This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

Maybe start with The Circle, because it’s short, and I think it’s cool.

A TED talk from Sal Khan, the founder and CEO of Khan Academy: The amazing AI super tutor for students and teachers.

The Hardware Lottery, a paper about AI processing systems, contains the quote:

Perhaps more troubling is how far away we are from the type of intelligence humans demonstrate. Human brains despite their complexity remain extremely energy efficient. Our brain has over 85 billion neurons but runs on the energy equivalent of an electric shaver. While deep neural networks may be scalable, it may be prohibitively expensive to do so in a regime of comparable intelligence to humans. An apt metaphor is that we appear to be trying to build a ladder to the moon.

The concern with the efficiency of human brains is maybe they will be used as an AI platform? :( I hope not!

Also the author of The Hardware Lottery uses the phrase “risk adverse” twice in their paper, which is just so annoying.

The Chinese curse is: May you live in interesting times.

This is kind of hilarious: Laws of Computing. It’s a good example of one of those things where you’re not sure if it’s genius or quackery. :) (Hint: it’s quackery!) But it is good fun, and the author makes some allusions to the difference between Western and Eastern perspectives.

So the Time Cube is described as: “a pseudoscientific personal web page, founded in 1997 by the self-proclaimed “wisest man on earth,” Otis Eugene “Gene” Ray.” You can find a version of it online over here: https://timecube.2enp.com/.

The tildeverse is a loose collection of websites. I have an account on tilde.club over here: tilde.club/~jj5.

We were talking about Bluesky and I mentioned this article: Bluesky’s user safety situation.

Comedy for the ages:

An old classic: Nirvana – Oh Me (Live On MTV Unplugged, 1993 / Unedited).

The motto of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland: “No One Provokes Me with Impunity” — Bad ass!

I forget how this one came up, but wow: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Jubilee Street” (Official Uncensored Music Video).

I have purchased this one, but have not read it yet: The Courage to be Disliked: The Japanese phenomenon that shows you how to free yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness.

I tried to find the quote from the person who said “I write tshirts” for a living. It was in some movie, but I forget which one.

If you have some time you might enjoy some of my essays:

If you like Nine Inch Nails and anime, you will love this: Anime Music Video NIN The Becoming Lain, Akira & Ghost In The Shell.


This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

I have a Dremel 4300 with a Plunge Router attachment.

I found the latest incarnation of OBS: OBS Studio.

I found AV Australia but they have a dizzying array of products. What I want to know about is the HDMI to USB cam adapter, can you let me know where to find that?

Definitely watch Where the Crawdads Sing, it’s excellent.

Turns out there’s countable infinity and uncountable infinity, this is arrived at by way of Cantor’s diagonal argument.

As I mentioned lately I’ve been working on my Kickass Crypto software library.

A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?

There should be a government provided service so that you can have your delivery details provided to the delivery company independently of the vendor. This could be a more general set of services. You give your ID to the vendor, the vendor gives your ID to the delivery company, the government gives your delivery address to the delivery company, the vendor never knows where you live. You could get a new ID for each transaction.

King Missile – Jesus was way cool.

You can see the books I picked in my Silicon Chip Book Order. The red arrows were round one, the green arrows were round two.

Andrew “bunnie” Huang wrote Hacking the Xbox and made the Chumby. This is my chumby:

Nirvana – Oh Me

Pulp – Babies

Obama: “Better Is Good”

Black Star – Definition

KRS-One – Step Into A World

You should write a poem on “should”.

Portishead – Dummy

I discovered Situationist International.

Let’s not forget Assange, Manning, and Snowden.

I am definitely going to read The Courage to be Disliked.

As discussed, these are my mugs of memory:

Mr Rabbit didn’t look very stable on my shelf:

So I ate him:

I don’t think Mr Rabbit was very happy about that. But, fuck it.


This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

Check out this skit from He Huang, she’s hilarious!

The book I mentioned was Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. It’s a postmodern literary classic published in 1973. I have a dead tree version on my shelf (I haven’t read it yet), and I will give to you later this year.

The panopticon is a concept for a prison or surveillance system originally proposed by the philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century.

As we mentioned: if you work on the railways you must see people miss the train all day, every day.

As we discovered: you can’t change displacement without changing time. This was a revelation for me! Even classical space is not orthogonal to classical time! Or perhaps orthogonality and independence are different concepts and I oughtn’t conflate them.

I found the Bill Hicks pick up the gun skit.

I have published my latest weight loss report.

I mentioned the egg drop test. I read recently (and I’m annoyed that I forget where) that academics like using the egg drop test as a clandestine intelligence test.

I mentioned there are two broad types of 3D printer: resin and filament. You can read about resin vs filament. I’m planning to get a filament printer. The one I have my eye on is a Creality Ender-3 V2 Neo.

I will put gluten free muesli and sugar free jam on the shopping list. :)


This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

SMBC comic: holy shit the tape is in backwards!

  1. Filled with a specified element or elements; charged.
  2. Marked by or causing distress; emotional.

The VR guy is Jaron Lanier.

I was looking up the The Social Dilemma and I discovered the collective action problem, very interesting!

As promised there are some notes about my first contact with ChatGPT.

Check out James Mickens. Two talks of interest:

I asked ChatGPT why they call it the 64 thousand dollar question:

Willie, why do you rob banks?
Because that’s where the money is!

Elon Musk deletes tweets critical of Twitter after weekend barrage.

The distributed social network is Mastadon.

Recently I read How to Be an Artist. Essentially how to be poor and work hard!

Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia is an American docuseries, which premiered on Viceland on October 26, 2016. The show follows Hamilton Morris as he explores the history, chemistry and social impact of psychoactive substances. It chronicles Morris’ travels and first-hand experiences, as well as interviews with scientists, shamans and fringe culture figures.

Here are the lyrics to No Pussy Blues.

True Blood is an American fantasy horror drama television series produced and created by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a series of novels by Charlaine Harris.

And I mentioned my blog post about money and Straya.

Also I mentioned that StarOffice became LibreOffice. I use LibreOffice quite a lot, particularly Writer (Word equivalent) and Calc (Excel equivalent), it’s good capable software.




This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

Hey mate.

Thanks for hanging out on Christmas day. It was lovely to see both you and $YOUR_DOG. <3

Here is our latest homework.

I mentioned the “defence in depth” on my network, that looks like this:

The equipment on the top of the stack is an Edimax GS-1005BE, which is a 5-Port, 2.5 Gigabit switch. If you can make your way onto my GREEN network, let me know how, and I will shout you a steak dinner and the accompanying beers. :)

As you mentioned Western Sydney University started life as a federation of various smaller colleges. This genesis is documented in the opening section of the Wikipedia article.

There is atheist and agnostic, but I wasn’t able to find something different which meant ‘neutral’, unless you were thinking of secular?

So this bloke John Perkins wrote a book called Confessions of an Economic Hit Man which was published in 2005. It talks about how a number of small countries were swindled out of a bunch of money. (I discovered while digging up the book link that he has since published another book.)

The movie The Report is a look into the use of torture by the CIA. I’m no expert but I believe it is the Geneva Conventions that make this illegal.

You should be aware of Kevin Rudd’s new book: The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict Between the US and Xi Jinping’s China. I have read that book and I am pleased that Rudd has a strategy to help these nations avoid that horrible prospect. I for one am pleased to hear of Rudd’s recent appointment as Australia’s new ambassador to US.

The book Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev is about contemporary Russia and its unrealities…

Both the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street happened in 2011.

I mentioned the concept of Ikigai, which loosely translated means “why you get out of bed in the morning”, and is the intersection of your passion, your mission, your vocation, and your profession:

In Japan Moais are social support “clubs” that act as a safety net for members. According to that Wikipedia page “According to research, Moais are considered one of the leading factors of the longevity of lifespan of the Okinawan people, making the region among the highest concentration of centenarians in the world.”

You have probably heard that to become an expert you need to put in your 10,000 hours, but in The 4 things you need to be an expert, Derek Muller lists some additional things:

  1. a valid environment (not a random one)
  2. many repeated attempts
  3. feedback after every attempt
  4. deliberate practice (to push beyond your comfort zone)

In computer science a tractable problem is one which can be solved in polynomial time. It is not known if P!=NP, no polynomial time solution has ever been found for a nondeterministic polynomial time problem, but no proof that there can be no such solution has ever been given. I put together this comparison of algorithm running times which indicates how many items you can process in various durations for various types of algorithm.

Definitely watch Ex Machina. I’m surprised this movie came out back in 2014, I thought it was more recent than that. But really good. Check it out. Before you watch Ex Machina you should be aware of the Turing test, which basically means we decide that AI is real/successful if a person can’t tell if they’re talking to a machine or a real person when interacting with an AI. The futurist (and Google employee) Ray Kurzweil believes the Turing test will be passed on or before 2029.

Crypto-fascism is “the secret support for, or admiration of, fascism or trends very closely related to the ideology. The term is used to imply that an individual or group keeps this support or admiration hidden to avoid political persecution or political suicide.” In this case “crypto” just means “secret”, it doesn’t have anything to do with encryption or crypto-currency.

The recent Penny Arcade comic which talks about “business” is this one: A Knife And A Fork.

I have it in my notes to mention my disk configuration for ‘longing’, but I’m not sure why that was relevant. All I can think to point out is that I have 2x 48GB NVMe cache partitions sitting in front of 3x spinning rust disks which are in a RAID1 mirror, meaning I can tolerate the loss of two drives. Also of note is that I’m using zstd compression for my spinning rust disks.

As I mentioned Descartes’ demon is a thought experiment from RenĂ© Descartes in which he contemplates the possibility that he is being deceived via his sensory access to the world and develops his philosophy of “radical doubt”. Even under radical doubt he concludes that he can never doubt that he is thinking, thus: I think, therefore I am.

The Categorical Imperative is a moral conclusion of Immanuel Kant: “Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

I mentioned Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Haven’t read it yet, but do have a dead tree version sitting patiently on my desk.

See you in the next instalment. :)



This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

Hey mate.

Lovely to see you again. Thanks for dinner! And thanks for sending me home with dessert, the apple crumble was yummo! <3

So this is Mastodon. Basically peer to peer social networking.

If you go here and scroll down to “Moderated servers”, you will see what a nightmare it is keeping toxic content off the platform.

It was interesting reading about the journalism code of practice.

Bodies by the Sex Pistols remains a confronting and poignant message. “I’m not an animal! I’m an abortion.”

I couldn’t find anything on “Don Kiyoti”, did you mean Don Quixote?

Check out The Tao of Programming.

Check out the Lex Fridman interview with Ray Kurzweil. In the interview Ray mentions about how he has a conversation with his digitized father.

Lex Fridman is a very interesting dude, and he does some awesome interviews with some very famous people.

Fred Brooks is a famous programmer and author who died just a few days ago.

The Penny Arcade comic is an important part of contemporary culture. I forget why it was relevant but I had a note about this one.

Steve Yegge is a famous programmer from Google who made a bit of a splash with his blog many years ago.

Check out Welcome to Hell, it’s pretty funny.

If you get a chance definitely watch Hacksaw Ridge.

You should read Technology implies belligerence and the book that it’s from, Blindsight. You can find it free online.

There’s a great interview with Pat Helland over here, you can see his famous collection of pez dispensers in the background!

And I will leave you with this, because it’s awesome.



Hi. I’d like to introduce a new feature of my blog, the Homework category. From time to time I meet with my friend S.F. and we have very interesting conversations. Arising from those conversations is a bunch of homework, which is stuff I have to go home and research based on what came up in our conversation. Usually I just email my friend after our conversation with the homework, but I thought that from now on I would post a slightly edited version of the homework over here, because I think it’s interesting and good fodder for my blog.