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Comment author: tut 21 September 2017 04:24:08PM 6 points [-]


I do not have the patience to read anything on that site. Or alternatively, my computer is too old and my screen too low res. But I am not sufficiently committed to LW to buy new hardware just to maybe be able to see it. Is there any possibility that the old site might remain up, maybe as some kind of accessibility thing for people who can't use the new one?

In response to comment by tut on LW 2.0 Open Beta Live
Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 25 September 2017 01:23:22AM *  11 points [-]

I can corroborate that the scrolling is painful on sufficiently old hardware (and two of the not-home not-work places I most like to hang out in these days have hardware that is sufficiently old).

Scrolling for example is painful near the bottom (in the comments) of the recent article on the Cambrian explosion on a Core 2 Duo running Windows Vista, in Chrome. In particular, it takes whole seconds for the text to appear. (Till then the view port is blank / white.)

But even when I'm using reasonably fast hardware, my reaction to any signs that the text on a web page is not being produced "the old fashioned way" (and the new site certainly has such signs) is to ask myself if I really need to continue using the site.

Even a site's use of a font I don't recognize I provokes that reaction in me.

Why? Well, it is a sign that I will run into further irritants. Some actions will work slightly differently from the way I am used to with the result that I have to stop concentrating on the reason I came onto the web site to figure out scrolling or searching in the page or making sure the right pane on the screen has "keyboard focus" or how to change the size of the text. Or I will have to figure out how to undo the effects of some action I took accidentally.

If you're reading this and cannot relate, then maybe that is because I have cataracts, so a large text size is more important to me than it is to you. Or maybe it is because I have a 57-year-old brain and some chronic health issues so that it is harder for me to retain what is in my working memory when things jump around on a page in ways that my brain cannot predict.

Or maybe it is because I prefer the kinesthetic sensory modality which makes me care more about subtleties in the computer's response to various "attempted manipulations" (e.g., attempting to scroll or to use the pointing device to select an extent of text) of the web page.

The new LW site is not doing anything that many many other web sites are not also doing, so this is a comment about modern web sites more than it is a comment about the new version of LW.

I realize that this comment is rough on the creators of the next version of LW since it is negative feedback, but not actionable negative feedback (since they've already implemented a particular design). I considered refraining from publishing it, but went ahead because writing this comment, then observing how many points it ends up with is by far the easiest way for me to find out how many LWers share my frustrations (and knowing that is even more useful to me than knowing how many in the general population of internet users share my frustrations). I won't make a habit of complaining about it.

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 31 January 2017 10:47:15PM *  3 points [-]

when I visit LW, I am almost always using a desktop computer. sometimes whole months go by without my visiting LW. to see what is new on LW, I scan http://lesswrong.com/r/all/recentposts/ (which mixes discussion and main). I never look at Open Thread posts. added: I took the poll.

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 14 December 2016 09:16:09PM 0 points [-]

Some of the past Solstices have been recorded with a video camera. Do the organizers know of any plans to record this year's event? (I ask because whether I am being recorded affects how spontaneous I am willing to behave.)

Comment author: woodside 04 December 2014 08:26:52PM *  27 points [-]

If I could convince Aubrey de Grey to cut off his beard it would increase everyones expected longevity more than any other accomplishment I'm capable of.

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 09 December 2014 12:50:58AM *  1 point [-]

His girlfriend, or one of his girlfriends (I'm not sure how many he had at the time) told me she thinks the beard is really hot.

Comment author: sullyj3 28 October 2014 12:53:41AM 0 points [-]

why not use mplayer for the sound?

In response to comment by sullyj3 on The 5-Second Level
Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 30 October 2014 02:52:22PM 0 points [-]

These days I use /usr/bin/afplay. The advantages are (1) lightweight program that loads quickly, (2) installed by default on all Macs.

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 23 August 2014 03:10:39PM *  0 points [-]

J.C.R. Licklider seems to have understood most of its importance in the early 1960s, writing that it would become, "the main and essential medium of informational interaction for governments, institutions, corporations, and individuals."

Not only did he predict it and write about it, he was one of the most important factors in actualizing it: through his position in the management hierarchy of ARPA, he directed the funding of research into "packet switching", which is the main technical difference between the internet and, e.g., the telephone network, which in its early decades -- before it was subsumed into the internet in the 1990s and 2000s -- operated according to a contrasting principle called "circuit switching".

Licklider was a mentor to Lawrence Roberts, who through his position at ARPA directed additional funding to packet-switching research and to the actual creation in 1969 of the network (ARPAnet) that would become the internet.

Licklider's 1961 paper "Intergalactic Computer Network" would be a good place to look for information about what exactly Licklider was able to predict.

Although I know of no indications in their writings that he or Roberts understood the eventual importance of amateurs on the internet, someone in the chain of cause-and-effect between Licklider and Roberts and the actual implementation the internet understood some important things about contributors because the design of the internet made it easy for individuals to contribute -- and the only reason I am using the word "individuals" rather than "amateurs" is that before the early 1990s it was difficult for the average person to access the internet (or even to learn that it exists) without being employed by a large organization with a technological or scientific mission or employed or enrolled in an elite university.

I. J. Good wrote -- in the early 1960s IIRC -- that although artificial intelligence was the most potent long-term technological project he knew about, research into packet-switching was worth funding because it would probably bear fruit before AI would and because it would tend to amplify the "collective intelligence" of the human race.

When the ARPAnet consisted of only a handful (two?) machines, Doug Engelbart was already involved in some of the nut-and-bolts of getting it working. That fact, combined with Engelbart's prescience on other matters, combined with Engelbart's explicitly-stated career goal of increasing the "collective intelligence" of the human race, make him another author I would read if I were looking for early accurate predictions about the impact of what came to be called the internet.

Vannevar Bush's 1945 article "As We May Think" is generally considered the earliest published prediction of the societal importance of computer networking and computer-mediated communication.

Bush, Licklider, Roberts and perhaps also Good were "East Coast technocrats": people who alternated between being on the faculty of prestigious schools and management jobs in the U.S. Department of Defense.

I once knew a smart guy who was under the impression that the only basic research necessary for the creation of the internet was the research that led to sufficiently-fast computers and to the ability to communicate over fiber-optical cables, essentially ignoring the problems "higher up on the stack". A good antidote to that mistake is to read some seminal research papers, particularly the 1981 paper "End-to-end arguments in system design".

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 12 June 2014 03:15:08PM *  1 point [-]

Upvoted for having math in it and plausibly being relevant :)

Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 18 April 2014 12:00:42AM 0 points [-]


Comment author: rhollerith_dot_com 19 March 2014 03:45:18AM *  5 points [-]

Thanks for the replies (and congrats to the new team members). I imagined that One Medical Group was somehow strategically involved in the expansion of MIRI, neglecting to consider the possibility that the reason for their inclusion in the name of the party is their [del: having paid for the pizza and beer :del] being a MIRI donor.

One Medical? Expansion of MIRI?

9 rhollerith_dot_com 18 March 2014 02:38PM

It has been 5.5 days since the MIRI Expansion party. Could someone, anyone who attended please describe briefly what was announced?

(I attempted unsuccessfully to satisfy my curiosity by reading around all occurrences of "expansion" and "one medical" in /r/all/comments and scanning all the titles in /r/all/recentposts.)

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