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Messages - Frenzie

26
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers
That already works with UHD. Due to the higher sharpness of 2160p, 16:9 is perfectly livable. But livable isn't ideal. 3840 × 2400 is both more comfortable to use and wastes less physical space. And since I have an actual display with those characteristics I can say that with an even higher degree of certainty than I could a decade ago, even though I could already say so with absolute certainty based on older 16:10 displays.

And indeed it's not even that I necessarily want 8k (though I do want higher pixel density, I mainly mean there are potential steps in between as well as far beyond), but an 8k 32 inch would be a very usable monitor while a 4k 32 inch is just less sharp. I still think 32 inch is probably too big regardless though.
27
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers
You're in Western Europe, so you're rich. You're not fooling anybody.
For comparison, over the past decade I've spent "only" about a thousand on monitors (that's a monitor for me, a monitor for my wife, and a TV) and I fully intend to spend a grand total of 0 for several more years unless one of them breaks, although I might be tempted to make an exception for a decent 5k, 8k or E Ink monitor under a thousand. Probably not for 5k, that's too close to 4k to be worthwhile.

Something else of particular interest is 4k with extra vertical space, i.e., 3840 × 2400 like on this very laptop I'm typing right now. I can't wrap my head around that not being available for desktop use…
28
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers
LTT (back from drama) shows off a 25.3" DASUNG Paperlike E-Ink Monitor available for $ 1,748,--. It's a little beyond my price range, put another way I doubt I'll spend anywhere close € 1.800 on monitors for the next decade if not two, but it's nice to see things like this being developed. Hopefully if richer people buy some it'll become a bit more accessible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZXrJRpA0Jw

https://shop.dasung.com/products/dasung-25-3-curved-e-ink-monitor-paperlike-253-u
33
DnD Central / Re: Is there a Black psychology problem…?
And the documentary stressed at regular intervals that Blacks need to know this, take their history back and be proud of it. I mean, knowing that you greatly contributed to shooting natives, what is there to be proud of? Why demand recognition for it?
"Shooting natives is a white people thing" (as opposed to a human/colonizer thing) could be a fairly harmful inaccurate bad stereotype/opinion to hold. You could do a lot worse than correct it.
34
Browsers & Technology / Re: E-readers
- No microSD slot on Inkpad 4
Oh dear.
Inkpad 4 is the first e-reader I have with a flush screen. I know some people hate flush screens. On my unit I do not see what the objection is. Maybe it's something with my eyes, but I do not see that the text sits deeper under the surface compared to the non-flush Inkpad 3 or that the text would be less sharp. To the contrary, the text seems perhaps a little nudge towards gray on Inkpad 3 and blacker on Inkpad 4.
Infrared for touch (i.e., no additional layers to get in the way) requires a sunken screen, but just because it's not flush doesn't mean it's infrared. Additionally improved screen tech may offset any losses from not using infrared. So it's at least possible it would've been slightly better if not flushed.
35
DnD Central / Re: What's going on in Benelux?
It somewhat touches on it in the video, but it's almost within reason to think everything in Suriname was awful while things were mostly alright in Indonesia. That's not quite fair, notably see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_conquest_of_the_Banda_Islands and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rawagede_massacre. That last one in particular is a shameful absurdity. Also see plenty of 19th and early 20th century literature about how thing weren't necessarily all that great in Indonesia, although I don't think much of it questioned colonialism as such — just the way it was done. And the video does touch on "contract workers" from Indonesia (basically indentured servants) but the West and East Indies are overall fairly disconnected from each other.

I don't think the Spanish had such a split. To put it bluntly, they were awful everywhere. The Brits had a vaguely comparable split, but they were still much more awful in the east. The Belgians, well, their single colony was one of the worst of all. One could keep going. The French were maybe okay sometimes?

The video seems to imply or take as a given that all colonial empires are equally bad and that attitudes toward the empire must relate to other factors like education. That seems a bit wanting. It may be the case that all are bad, but some are (much) worse than others. And the Dutch one — well, until the 19th century it was a trade empire, except in the West Indies (i.e., where it was quite actively bad). That's in stark contrast to the aforementioned Spanish and English. Would the people of Papua New Guinea have been happier without the Dutch? Absolutely. And yet they may well have preferred centuries of Dutch hands-off colonialism over the Javanese hands-on variety, much like how many Indonesians may well have preferred the Dutch over the Japanese, as strange as that may sound.

Is it weird to be proud that it wasn't nearly as bad? Probably, but I do think it puts a slightly different angle on those numbers, and the video focuses almost completely on the West Indies. At the same time that seems fair, since the proud ones seem to want to forget about the slave stuff completely. Still, the simplest explanation is that they're not talking about the same colonial empire at all.
42
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Travelling and such


Making traffic uncomfortable for cars (à la hollandaise)
Driving is much worse in every other country. The Netherlands is the best country as a driver by a surprisingly large margin.

 
Do you remember the times when even bicycles had to have licence plates?
Another example of weird authoritarian Soviet power abuse?

Here license plates were introduced in 1898 for cars because cars are dangerous.

There was some bike registration during the German occupation because if in their view you didn't need it they could use it for the war effort.
43
DnD Central / Re: Artificial intelligent - Ideas producer
The existing digitized texts might come surprisingly close to most of the output of all papers and such of all students, or at the very least all bachelor's and master's theses. That constitutes a substantially bigger amount of work than merely that which is published in academic journals. I think many a university and college makes you agree that anything you upload might be submitted to one of those firms. It's possible that we're a bit more ethically conscious in (some parts of) Europe than in America of course, but basic pattern matching was a bit passé a decade ago. :-) I suspect the ethics are likely to be more about keeping things internal vs semi-public than about whether to do it at all, given big scandals like over in Germany a decade ago.

But while I don't quite know how the modern commercial software presents its results, well over a decade ago there was also already very effective style detection. As an example, I used stylo to analyze the authorship of the Twelve Virtues, a Middle Dutch text. There was a surprisingly clear distinction between various parts of the text, suggesting a different authorship situation than the single author traditionally credited, and while it's not mentioned in the traditional literature the latter part turns out to have been translation-copied almost straight from Eckhart when you analyze the contents.

These stylometric analyses work better with more data; on the level of a couple of sentences they're not as meaningful. But at the same time, it wouldn't surprise me if AI-generated sentences or paragraphs would've stood out like a sore thumb using 15 or 30 y/o statistical analysis. "Could this be AI?" is merely a subcategory of "could this be a different author?"

Of course the next step would be that you give the AI a sample of your text and tell it to write more in the same style. It might at least potentially be able to do a much better job than a person, because we tend to focus on the vocabulary while that which actually betrays us most consistently, called function words in the requisite jargon[1]
The likes of determiners and copulas, see Horton, Thomas Bolton (1987) "The effectiveness of the stylometry of function words in discriminating between Shakespeare and Fletcher" https://era.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/6638 as a fairly random result showing how far back this goes, but more important for example Kestemont, Mike (2014) "Function Words in Authorship Attribution. From Black Magic to Theory?" https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301404098_Function_Words_in_Authorship_Attribution_From_Black_Magic_to_Theory.
45
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Travelling and such
Here's an article the start of which can be summarized as "for some incomprehensible reason someone's surprised it's cars that are loud"
https://heatmap.news/economy/tokyo-anti-car-pedestrian-paradise
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Yet when I emerged from the train station in Shibuya, blinking jetlagged in the morning light after a night flight from Amsterdam, what actually caught me off guard was not the bustle but rather how quiet the city is. When you see cliched images of Tokyo, what invariably is shown are the enormous crowds of pedestrians crossing the roads, or Mount Fuji in the background of the futuristic skyline. I expected something like Los Angeles in Blade Runner, I suppose — futuristic and overwhelming. From photos, Tokyo can look almost unplanned, with neon signs everywhere and a huge variety of forms of architecture. You expect it to feel messy. What I experienced, however, was a city that felt almost like being in a futuristic village. It is utterly calm, in a way that is actually rather strange.

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Since the advent of the automobile, architects and urban planners worldwide have found it almost impossible to resist building cities around roads and an assumption that most people will drive. Tokyo somehow managed not to. It rebuilt in a much more human-centric way.
Reminder that much of the Netherlands was bombed to pieces too. It's not clear to me from the article if this is actually true as written because I've seen the major improvements in Antwerp and Brussels over the past decade first-hand, comparable to what happened in the Netherlands from the '70s to the early '90s. In any case it's never too late to convert.

[Edit: later on it talks about how there was no money for roads and they sucked all around, so it's definitely plausible in that context.]

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For one thing, cars are far more enthusiastically inspected than in America or most of Europe. Cars must be checked by officials every two years to ensure that they are still compliant, and have not been modified.
Er, hold on, every two years isn't standard everywhere?

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But unlike America, the idea of making them free never seemed to cross politicians’ minds, probably because Japan in the postwar era was not the world’s richest country. Capital was not freely available. To build the roads, the national government formed corporations such as the Shuto Kōsoku-dōro Kabushiki-gaisha, or Metropolitan Expressway Company, which was formed in greater Tokyo in 1959.
Just a quick note that I've experienced more tollways in America than anywhere else including France and Italy.

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What that meant was that, from the beginning, roads did not have an unfair advantage in their competition with other forms of transport.
This though, is awesome.

46
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Travelling and such
Most infamously on this crossing the railway
That looks exactly like how you'd imagine the Soviet Union might build things. :( I remember similar constructions from when I visited former East Germany in '94, except in typical communist fashion it wasn't just horribly designed but also full of potholes and otherwise collapsing. So this is just communist design with EU funds you say, just better asphalt? When I went again around 2000 most of that communist junk had been replaced by slightly saner West German designs, although they should've gone straight for Dutch if you ask me. ;)

But yeah, in built-up areas crossings look like I already showed, or like this or that. That last one by pure coincidence seems to be a bike street, meaning a place where cars aren't allowed to pass bikes.

Edit: btw, to give an indication of vehicle tax on cars in the Netherlands, it looks like a car at around 1500 kilo (i.e., a stupid SUV) has to pay about € 217 per 3 months. It should probably be more, but over in Germany they typically pay about a quarter because they don't take weight into account, only the engine cilinder contents. You can play around with some values here; unfortunately I didn't see a convenient table or formula.
47
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Travelling and such
In my view, effective traffic planning is largely achieved by restricting just one group: Cars. What is most needed is restrictions on car purchase and taxing their usage. This automatically leaves breathing space for all other road users. […]

Regulating road construction for different traffic is secondary. Netherlands has gone very far in special-purpose building for bicycles. It is far more straightforward to just tax cars, if you are really into environmentalism and safety etc.
With that strategic element omitted, you're simply describing exactly what the Netherlands (and to a reasonable extent also Belgium) does.

But cars will always need more space than bikes, different routes, etc. If you build for everyone, you build for cars. Period.

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This is in fact how it used to work in USSR. Getting a car was bureaucratically a very difficult, arduous and long project. As a result, even though roads were built for cars one might say, the cars on the roads were so sparse that pedestrians could walk anywhere. Something similar is in place in Japan: Before you can buy a car, you need to prove that you have a parking spot for it, and tax brackets are prohibitive for larger vehicles.
However, this shows a clear difference between what we would consider an authoritarian dictatorship and a consensus-based ("democratic") society. When you build what inhabitants want you get this.[1]

So we have:
  • What the local people want
  • Many incentives and the very realistic option not to use a car
  • Some disincentives to use a car

The end result is that almost no one I know owns a car anymore, which 20 years ago they probably would've.

It's not dissimilar to what you say is the Japanese approach, with the difference that it's not a restriction written into law at the time you buy a car. But who would buy a car they couldn't park? If you randomly dumped it somewhere you'd be fined, it would be dragged off and possessed, and you might even lose your driver's license.

This is in fact how it used to work in USSR. Getting a car was bureaucratically a very difficult, arduous and long project. As a result, even though roads were built for cars one might say, the cars on the roads were so sparse that pedestrians could walk anywhere.
Note that this is also how it was in America a hundred years ago and the rich people who could afford cars invented the ludicrous concept of "jaywalking" so they could race around. So I'm hardly convinced that having a few rich and powerful as the only drivers is a good thing. Here in Belgium the rich were also notorious for making the roads unsafe back in those days.
Incidentally the new neighborhood right next to me in Antwerp is somewhat similar in many ways, although it doesn't go as far.
48
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Travelling and such
I don't know about Estonia, but I think you're simply describing how roads work. :P Unless otherwise specified all roads have a speed limit of 60, and that's basically all roads in the countryside. That'll be lowered to 50 or 30 depending on circumstances (i.e., where it's more built up or otherwise unsafe).

Having a separated cycle path is at the very least pleasant for any speed cars might go over 30, and on busy roads even when cars go 30.

The solution is to slow cars down so that there is just one speed, and even the opposite-direction traffic isn't provided a separate lane on the same road.
That's bog standard traffic calming, like here. If you're correct about railways crossings we just prefer people to cross railways as quickly as possible,[1] but note that in more built up areas crossings will often look more like this. :)
They're just the normal width of the road basically.