Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2017

notable notches on the bedpost of liiiife

to red team (US military v.): to attack your own side, to test the soundness of their defence. See also pentest.

rah (UK n.) or Rah-Rah (US n.): brash upper-class young man. A preppy boor.

the Real Book (70s, US n.): illicit book of jazz scores, including melody lines, photocopied by generations of American music students. A phenomenal playlist. The biggest jazz sheet book ever.

manel (n.): Man panel; public speaking session with no women. (Not including the chair, for some reason.) People are angry about this, because they take manels to constitute a claim that no women know anything about the topic. This is a bit strong.

government name (US gang n.): birth name; source of embarrassment for thugs with edgy nicknames. See also (UK) Sunday name: "Aye, ma name's Bet - oh bit ma Sunday name's Elizabeth.".

the note (cinema n.): the impression a character gives in their first scene, setting the tone for them. By analogy with a tuning fork. Hard to google.

nasty little probl…

notable thought vectors

thought vector (ML n.): digital representation of an idea; a series of numbers produced by embedding e.g. the words "cow", "heifer", and "Aberdeen Angus" in several languages, but also (speculative) alltheseimages.

if you can convert each sentence in a document into a vector, then you can take that sequence of vectors and [try to model] natural reasoning. And that was something that old fashioned AI could never do.

If we can read every English document on the web, and turn each sentence into a thought vector, you've got plenty of data for training a system that can reason like people do. (Now, you might not want it to reason like people do, but at least we can see what they would think.)

What I think is going to happen over the next few years is this ability to turn sentences into thought vectors is going to rapidly change the level at which we can understand documents.
A big ass deal.

Of course, it is not computationally possible to deal with t…


My nation is a dress uniform, like all nations. Distinctive, colourful, old, mass-produced. Six sizes too big. If I wear it I am legible to you, you I haven't met. It veils me when I meet you and don't want to be met by you. It lives in the cupboard (I don't have to meet many people).

It's usually nice to own it - something to don when surrounded by notional barbarians, to set myself apart in my different barbarism. Though often people point to it, saying that I am my frock coat, or that I'm wearing my frock coat when I'm not wearing it. This isn't fun, as no forced game is fun. At least my coat isn't caked in shit and blood, like yours. (Like all coats, it is caked in shit and blood, but at least mine isn't on the outside.)

Like all regiments, my regiment thinks it is special: not many people have these coats. But wearing any coat makes you less rare: you leave your kingdom singly for a low foothold on Leviathan.

No one will spit on my coat…

thole thule

Pale rulered ceiling low.
The fog a second sky at ten paces.
Your breath a third foglet.
You'd review harshly a film ending
among this melodramatic a cloud chamber,
lazy with meteorological ellipsis.

Away, you forget endmost
Grampian, the uniformity and wall-eyed mist.
Back, grey cries for colour: quayside tattoos,
neon dye, Jäger. Colour isn't given.

Nae thermo, nae sae dynamic. (Ootsides, onywauy.)
Folk thole the grey reef lang enou,
puddle in the sea, hoovering
at livid macroeconomic cracks.
Abdy oxidates, no white-het but blue.
A'hin blurs. A'hin levels. A'hin mixes. A'hin cools.