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Comment author: Lumifer 08 June 2017 08:44:10PM 0 points [-]

The issue is size. A tablet might be too small for the purpose, though it has the big advantage of being "complete" out of the box. A computer monitor is going to be lager but it's just a display, you will still need an actual computer for it. You might be able to use your smartphone as that computer, but depending on the particulars you could still need additional hardware.

The simplest way of attaching the screen would be plain-vanilla velcro. It's not going to be that heavy.

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 09:13:55PM 0 points [-]

I think that before I invest myself too heavily in any particular hardware, I should try to find out more about what sorts of software exist for such passive wall displays. For example, I wouldn't mind something like the custom channel used at my local coffee shop, with my own pick of RSS feeds, weather sources, GCalender items, and the like; but I don't know offhand any piece of software, either for Android or Linux, that does that.

Comment author: Elo 08 June 2017 08:28:11PM 1 point [-]

Kanban board

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 09:07:28PM 0 points [-]

After a quick Google - a 'to-do/doing/done' list made of sticky-notes seems like it'd be simple, inexpensive, and helpful. Unless someone comes up with a better suggestion by tomorrow, I expect I'm going to start giving this a try as soon as I hit the nearby dollar store. :)

Comment author: Lumifer 08 June 2017 06:53:33PM 1 point [-]

A computer screen.

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 07:36:07PM 0 points [-]

An interesting thought.

The current setup is that the back of a dresser is facing my bed, with the corkboard on the back; do you know of any such screens that would be feasible to attach, in whatever manner? Or are you thinking more along the lines of grabbing an El Cheapo tablet, supported by a pile of pushpins?

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 June 2017 06:44:58PM 0 points [-]

Due to Life, I now have a 2x3-foot corkboard just above the foot of my bed. What should I pin to it?

Comment author: DataPacRat 03 June 2017 03:00:57AM 0 points [-]

Printing several pages onto one piece of paper?

Embarrassingly silly and small question that I can't seem to find an answer through Google on, and there don't seem any good subreddits for:

I've compiled some notes I want to have handy to refer to into a 16-page PDF. I want to shrink and rearrange those pages, to print 8 per side onto a standard sheet of paper, so that I can cut, staple, and fold it into a pocket-sized booklet. My last-ditch solution would be to hope a photocopy/print shop wouldn't charge much to accomplish that... But does anyone here know how to wrestle my doc into usable shape without having to pay cash?

(My available computer is Linux-based. I'm generating the PDF by fiddling with an HTML doc mostly full of tables and 'printing' it to a file. Some further fiddling is probably going to improve its presentation, but if you've got an auto PDF-to-booklet script handy, or otherwise want to play with it, I've tossed my current draft here.)

Comment author: DataPacRat 01 May 2017 06:26:26AM 1 point [-]

Over the Hump, and Starting a Return to Normality

There are some downsides to being a data pack-rat, as well as the obvious up-sides.

I'm in the process of moving to a new house, and the last month has pretty much been dedicated to that project - everything from a new set of floorboards being laid down to finding the best stores near the new place to buy my favourite beverage (grapefruit Perrier). The process is still ongoing, and I'm still going to be paying rent at the old place for some months to come; for example, even after getting rid of nearly all my mass-market paperback novels, there are still a /lot/ of books in the old family library that are still going to have to be shlepped over to the new one, and not a single member of my family has great strength or endurance.

But most of the hard work and planning is done, and life is settling into a new normal: today, I hope and plan to apply for a new library card, do some banking, grab some income tax forms, and just maybe visit the nearby branch of a computer store to upgrade my laptop's RAM. My sleep schedule is still ridiculous, if I lose 50 pounds I'll still going to be overweight, asthma sucks... but a lot of the stresses from the old home are just plain gone. I am, as I see it, in about as good a mental state as I'm likely to be in the foreseeable future.

Which means that, barring unexpectable crises, it's time for me to start writing again. My current plan: When I hit my new local public library today, I'm going to sit down for a while and start going over my partial draft of 'Extracted', to both refamiliarize myself with it and to start nudging any details I find that seem to need editing. And, by the time I've gone over what I've already written, to start finishing writing what I didn't get around to typing out the last time I worked on the piece.

The main bit of uncertainty around this plan is that I have insufficient data to predict whether, how soon, and how severely I will go through my next bout of more-severe-than-everyday anhedonic depression. I'm hopeful that the release of stress from the old home will make such a bout less likely; but I'm also aware of the statistics that show that the act of moving to a new home adds its own form of stress. Barring low-probability black-swan events, my range of expected mid-term futures runs from going back to my previous levels of depression, all the way up to completing a novel and beginning the brand-new venture of learning about e-publishing.

Comment author: MrMind 09 March 2017 03:37:56PM 0 points [-]

I'm just saying that a coordinating AI seems an obvious evolution, I was told just yesterday by one of my coworker that machine learning systems for the automatic checking of complex regulations are already used profitably.
Anyway, if the charter itself is the focal point of the story, by all mean delve into organizational science. Just don't forget that, when writing science fiction, it's very easy to descend into info-dumping.

Comment author: DataPacRat 09 March 2017 07:48:56PM 0 points [-]

an obvious solution

I've been skimming some of my setting-idea notes, such as 'algorithms replacing middle-managers' and have realized that, for a certain point of the planned setting, you've highlighted an approach that is likely to be common among many other people. However, one of the main reasons for my protagonist's choice to try relying on himselves is that AIs which optimize for various easy-to-check metrics, such as profitability, tend not to take into account that human values are complex.

So there are likely going to be all manner of hyper-efficient, software-managed organizations who, in a straight fight, could out-organize my protagonist's little personal co-op. Various copies of my protagonist, seeing the data, will conclude that the costs are worth the benefits, and leave the co-op to gain the benefits of said organizational methods. However, this will cause a sort of social 'evaporative cooling', so that the copies who remain in the co-op will tend to be the ones most dedicated to working towards the full complexity of their values. As long as they can avoid going completely bankrupt - in other words, as long as there's enough income to pay for the hardware to run at least one copy that remains a member - then the co-op will be able to quietly chug along doing its own thing while wider society changes in various values-simplifying ways around it.

... That is, if I can do everything that such a story needs to get done right.

Comment author: MrMind 07 March 2017 08:15:04AM 0 points [-]

I still don't understand why it has to be a charter instead of, say, an AI that can react to change and update itself on new information.

Comment author: DataPacRat 08 March 2017 05:23:04AM 0 points [-]

Because I am actually reasonably capable of creating some sort of actual charter that actually exists, and apply it to a scenario based on minor extrapolations of existing technologies that don't require particularly fundamental breakthroughs (ie: increased computer power; increased understanding of how neural cells work, such as is being fiddled with in the OpenWorm project; and increased resolution of certain scanning technology). I wouldn't know where to begin in even vaguely describing "an AI that can react to change and update itself on new information", and if such a thing /could/ be written, it would nigh-certainly completely derail the entire scenario and make the multi-self charter completely irrelevant.

Comment author: moridinamael 06 March 2017 04:36:07PM 0 points [-]

In lieu of coming up with a creative solution to your problem, I will relate how Hannu Rajaniemi solves this problem in the Quantum Thief books, particular for the group called the Sobornost. (Spoilers, obviously.) There are billions (trillions?) of copies of certain individuals, and each copy retains self-copying rights. Each copy knows which agent forked it (who its "copyfather" is), and is programmed to feel "religious awe" and devotion to its specific line of descent. So if you found yourself spawned in this world, you would feel strong awe and obedience for your copyfather, even stronger awe and obedience for your copygrandfather, and ultimate devotion to the "original" digital version of yourself (the "prime"). This policy keeps everyone in line and assists in conflict resolution, because there's always a hierarchy of authority among the copies. This also allows small groups of copies to go off and pursue a tangential agenda with trust that the agenda will be in line with what the prime individual wanted.

Comment author: DataPacRat 06 March 2017 05:23:38PM 0 points [-]

It's an interesting solution, but the ability to edit the AIs to reliably feel such emotions is rather further in the future than I want to focus on; I want to start out by assuming that the brain-emulations are brute-force black-box emulations of low-level neural processes, and that it'll take a significant amount of research to get beyond that stage to create more subtle effects.

That said, I /do/ have some notes on the benefits of keeping careful track of which copies "descend" from which, in order to have a well-understood hierarchy to default back onto in case some emergency requires such organization. I've even considered having 'elder' copies use a set of computational tricks to have kill-switches for their 'descendants'. But having spent some time thinking about this approach, I suspect that an AI-clan which relied on such a rigid hierarchy for organizing their management structure would be rapidly out-competed by AI-clans that applied post-paleolithic ideas on the matter. (But the effort spent thinking about the hierarchy isn't wasted, as it can still serve as the default basis for legal inheritance should one copy die, and as a default hierarchy in lifeboat situations with limited resources of the AI-clan hasn't come up with a better system by then.)

Comment author: MrMind 06 March 2017 04:54:03PM 0 points [-]

That is an objection that is only valid for a story happening in a time near to us. But, as you say:

However, by the time that happens, enough evidence about organizational science will have been gathered for the founding charter to have been amended into unrecognizability

and nobody out there can possibly know their own field hundreds of years in the future. I state my case: handwave everything and concentrate on the story.

Comment author: DataPacRat 06 March 2017 05:12:11PM 0 points [-]

I believe I may have phrased that quoted part poorly. Perhaps, "... long before the time the copies diverge enough to want to split into completely separate groups, they would likely have already learned enough about the current state-of-the-art of organizational theory to have amended the charter from its initial, preliminary form into something quite different". I didn't mean to imply 'hundreds of years', just a set of individuals learning about a field previously outside their area of expertise.

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