I’ve seen problems where folks were trying valiantly to move forward with the wrong abstraction, but having very little success. Adding new features was incredibly hard, and each success further complicated the code, which made adding the next feature even harder. When they altered their point of view from “I must preserve our investment in this code” to “This code made sense for a while, but perhaps we’ve learned all we can from it,” and gave themselves permission to re-think their abstractions in light of current requirements, everything got easier. Once they inlined the code, the path forward became obvious, and adding new features become faster and easier.The moral of this story? Don’t get trapped by the sunk cost fallacy. If you find yourself passing parameters and adding conditional paths through shared code, the abstraction is incorrect. It may have been right to begin with, but that day has passed
Consumer Reports: The Future of Memory Safety
Consumer Reports published a paper on promoting the use of memory safe-languages and the challenges involved: Memory Safety Convening Report – Memory-Safety-Convening-Report.pdf
More in The Register
An introduction to ChatGPT for educators
Jonathan Soma, a professor at Columbia’s Journalism School, wrote a short, useful introduction to ChatGPT for educators that will offer some insight for those interested:
Source: An introduction to ChatGPT for educators (and maybe journalists)
Google Engineer Claims AI Chatbot Is Sentient: Why That Matters – Scientific American
This was from May of last year, it feels like ten years ago already. The prognosticators saying that Google is in trouble because of ChatGPT aren’t recognizing the work that Google, and many other companies, have already put into machine learning. Between these efforts, and many others, it’s going to be a mind-blowing year.
Lemoine, a software engineer at Google, had been working on the development of LaMDA for months. His experience with the program, described in a recent Washington Post article, caused quite a stir. In the article, Lemoine recounts many dialogues he had with LaMDA in which the two talked about various topics, ranging from technical to philosophical issues. These led him to ask if the software program is sentient.
Source: Google Engineer Claims AI Chatbot Is Sentient: Why That Matters – Scientific American
This gallery contains 6 photos.
Our puppy Xena, who crossed the rainbow bridge in 2020:
The Case: to Expand the House of Representatives – YouTube
There is a capacity issue with the House of Representatives that results in terrible work-arounds where no one feels adequately supported by it. The writers of the Constitution understood this would happen and the House used to grow in size with the country’s population. Here is a short video explaining why we should resume that process:
The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI
A thought provoking essay from Maggie Appleton about where we are, and where we’re headed, with Generative AI and the Internet:
Proving you’re a human on a web flooded with generative AI content
Power of Pentatonic Scale – Demonstration by Bobby McFerrin – YouTube
A great 3 minute video I go back to for inspiration every year:
Bring back personal blogging – The Verge
A good read about blogging to start the new year:
The personal blog built the internet, and maybe it can fix it.