bring back the luddites

Products and tips

Moderator: Site Mods


Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 10, 15:54

But on the plus side, the Dead will outnumber the Living on Facebook by the end of the century. That's something to look forward to, no? :D (And it was humans who calculated that - it would be creepy if a machine had done it.)

User avatar
nikos
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 14648
Joined: 2002 Feb 07, 15:57
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by nikos » 2016 Mar 10, 17:11

it's (another) greek's fault
http://www.sigmalive.com/news/scitech/t ... ou-alphago
google translation to the rescue!

Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 10, 18:22

Not sure if a "former chess champion turned video-game developer" is the kind of guy one should worry too much about developing real AI... usually one gets the sense that such "visionaries" are actually aware they lack the extra imaginative leaps of élan vital to truly "bridge the gap" of true AI and mere clever "progressive gate-switching" algorithms, so they rely upon the machine to do it for them. That amounts to a lot of headlines, but very little progress.

And considering that we definitively proved this week that you yourself are personally terrified of a little hard-drive, you're holding the Greek luddite flag high enough to outweigh all the propaganda Google can muster to support your man (and to take the spotlight off the fact that their self-driving car hit a bus last week). I mean, how could a hunk of mobile sensors possibly miss a rather large bus? So, they parade this other stuff out to impress the vast majority of humans who are already intellectually outclassed by their phones.

The media is funny that way... the more they rave about something so abstract that they actually can't describe it properly, the less significant it actually is in the long run. :shrug:

Rather, I should think, like how scientists are always (I am mean always) endlessly repeating the tired old line about how "increasing our understanding of what conditions were like at the beginning of the universe" somehow justifies giving them lots of money to smash atoms together. True, when J.J. Thompson discovered the first elementary particle (the electron) back in 1897, the implications could not be envisioned... all that comes to mind now (regarding AI) is the phrase "don't sweat the small stuff". :shrug:

One of the benefits of getting older (and not having children) is that I find I care less and less about futurology, and all the colloquial fear-mongering that goes with it. But that's just me making the best of my few luxuries. :D

User avatar
nikos
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 14648
Joined: 2002 Feb 07, 15:57
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by nikos » 2016 Mar 11, 07:07

the good news about humans and those who have kids in particular, is that all these AI machines are more or less the same. Either using analytic rules (deep blue) or neural networks (alphago), they learn about a particular topic and excel at it. Nobody's worried that he cannot add as fast as his calculator

the next stage will be if (when) AI moves from cause and effect, to ultimate cause (to use the aristotelian lingo), that is have drives and targets themselves. It is a fascinating research area which I want to enter one day, when the desktop business gets RIP.

Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 11, 08:17

nikos wrote:It is a fascinating research area which I want to enter one day, when the desktop business gets RIP.
You're the one who has more than enough trouble grasping the nettles of semantic deduction and applied reasoning when it comes to normal stuff - I shudder to think what kind of social graces your brand of AI would display. For example, since you exhibit such palpable fear and conservatism in the face of computer hardware :wink:, would anyone really expect a guy who's hitched on the bus his whole life to design a Ferrari? Probably not. That said, at least the AI of your Ferrari would be decidedly less likely to hit a bus. :D

When I was a kid I was dragged to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) which encompassed everything from concerts to parades to rides, stunts, and other fluff. The one part that always stuck in my head was the room off the science-building where they had set up a bunch of large screens with control-pads and people were invited to play Noughts and Crosses against a computer to their heart's delight. Naturally, I was a kid who was more au fait with Chess than the finer points of 3x3 state-space complexity, so when I got home I spent the rest of the summer messing with exponentially larger arrays (yet the same rules), just to see what would happen. Essentially what happened was that my paltry computer ran out of memory rather quickly and I developed a distaste for the database-oriented paradigm (there were no disc-drives then).

Since Noughts and Crosses is really too simple for sustainable interest, I made a (very simplistic) Chess emulator instead, but discovered that the only way it was amusing to play was if one introduced intentional miscalculations and wrong-moves to the Computer's turns, which in turn made it more fun for other people (who didn't know it was scamming-to-fail) to actually play.

This soured me on the whole procedural AI approach: since logic was always predictable and easy (I was too young to know about interesting things like Poincaré maps), my short-lived career in AI fizzled out with a thud since trying to out-smart myself was significantly less interesting than literature. Thankfully, the next summer I discovered Camus, Tolstoi, Machiavelli and all those other childhood friends and we conspired to shake the trees-of-pedagogues another way. And then the summer after that there were girls, and motorcycles and broken legs and LSD and all the other nonsense we waste our youths upon learning about the illusions of a contemporary world.

After all that the idea of AI never interested me much, since (regardless of the propaganda) it really just boils down to fakery, slight-of-hand, and the cleverness of bamboozling the easily bamboozled. Sure, that level cleverness can amount to intellectual gymnastics to rival the greatest challenges of Newton himself - but it's still just... cold, empty, and I'm always that kid sitting on the plinth getting bored with Noughts and Crosses after the first three moves. And I've never seen anything yet to convince me that no matter how clever it may become it can ever outweigh the truth that (in the immortal sentiment of Charles Bukowski) "a single dog / walking alone on a hot sidewalk of / summer / appears to have the power / of ten thousand gods".

And when the poetry of drunks trumps the trivial amusements of intellectual pursuit... well, that probably explains why the Sudoku craze passed me by. :shrug:

User avatar
nikos
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 14648
Joined: 2002 Feb 07, 15:57
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by nikos » 2016 Mar 11, 11:25

such a wunderkind you shouldn't let your DNA go to waste ;)
btw programming/algorithms and all things conceptual is the one thing that I feel invincible, but I am quick to admit my limitation in the hardward department

Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 11, 11:44

I took the emotional backwash of multiple miscarriages as a hint from nature to let my DNA just evaporate into smoke (preferably somewhere over the Ganges). You gotta plan early for these things, since our robot overlords are just going to crush us indiscriminately anyway, one day.

You have a perceived limitation in the hardware department, when in reality no one really does; it's the same thing as changing the oil/tyres on a car. That said, some people are complete lunatics that natural selection obviously failed to weed out the "sometimes it's wise to be conservative" gene. What part of the brain suggests that "I know, I just spent €386 quid on this thing and now I'll attack it with a razor blade"?

User avatar
nikos
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 14648
Joined: 2002 Feb 07, 15:57
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by nikos » 2016 Mar 11, 16:09

I thought you weren't supposed to handle chips with naked hands, obviously this guy is another one of those who think that hardware is kids play ;)

Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 11, 17:26

You can - the contacts are cleaned with alcohol before any placement. It's only when working on the motherboard that you really should have an anti-static band. But the important thing to remember here kids is do not attack your microprocessor with a razor-blade! :D

Curiously though, sometimes jury-rigged home-made solutions are the way to go - years ago I had a graphics card that died (or at least started artefacting badly). After a lot of reading, it seems that when these things are mass-produced in Taiwan the solder used on the PCB connectors is not always "cooked" long enough. Essentially what they do is "bake" the boards (without any plastic on them) which bonds the solder into wherever it's superficially attached - except sometimes they aren't left in the oven long enough so the connections are more brittle than expected.

As daft as it seems, it was suggested to me to strip all the plastic off my board (fan-mounts, pin-adaptors, etc), and literally stick it in my own oven for about 10 minutes at 200 degrees to "see if that would help" (reset the solder). So, not having anything to lose (an artefacting graphics card is useless), I tried it - and low and behold after "cooking" and reassembly, I got another 6-months out of it. Exactly how anyone thought of doing that in the first place is kind of funky, but who was I to argue?

I was a tad nervous about plugging it back in the motherboard to test it afterwards, but since a stock full-length PCIe port can only deliver about 75 Watts of power on its own, there wasn't too much danger of blowing up the flat.

But I draw the line at razor blades. :D

Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 18, 12:01

Kilmatead wrote:But I draw the line at razor blades.
Razor blades begone! 8)

pj
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 402
Joined: 2006 Jan 26, 14:01
Location: Florida

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by pj » 2016 Mar 18, 14:10

Egad! How I LOVE hearing the "experts" discuss electronics and ESDS (Electro-Static Discharge Sensitive) devices and what they can and can't do when putting their paws all over the parts! :roll:

Bottom line -- you CAN"T HANDLE ANYTHING (parts, boards, hard drives, etc.) -- unless you, the part, the work surface and the AIR AROUND YOU are all at the same potential (voltage). Otherwise you risk a current flow from the higher potential to the lowest potential in your vicinity, usually ground.

So you can't handle the chips while sitting in your fleece (Dacron) pajamas in your Nylon-covered chair rolling on the Linoleum floor (or Nylon carpet!!!!) with a bench that has a power strip with a properly grounded case metal that keeps the bench top close to ground potential. One scoot of your pajama-covered behind in that chair will generate upwards of 10,000 (yes, TEN THOUSAND) volts potential.

Plastic items (and what isn't plastic these days) are also static generators when rubbed or slid across surfaces. If you can't keep it wet (can't get static off a wet cat) then keep it away!

Almost ALL electronics these days are easily damaged by 200 volts or less. The higher the speed, the lower the break-down voltage of the internal gates, and one good shot of "juice" is all it takes to change a CMOS gate to a conductive path. The ESD-induced craters in the part are really interesting to look at when you delid the part to see just how bad you killed it.

But go ahead and grab, pinch, lick or whatever you want to do with your unprotected ESDS stuff. The people at Egghead and other e-outlets will thank you!

:baaa: :biggrin:

P.S. - Probably the SAFEST place to work on your stuff (hard drives excluded) is your FILLED BATHTUB! :biggrin: Just dry out the parts (18 to 24 hours at 200F) before applying power, but there won't be any static charges there. Just don't try to use your wall-outlet powered soldering iron while sitting in the tub! :shock:

P.P.S. - YMMV. Use this information at YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!

--------------------------------
PJ in (CHARGED UP) FL

Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 18, 15:19

You gotta learn how to live on the edge, man, this is how it's done in the real world - not all of us grew up to be rocket-boys. :wink: You would have had a minor heart attack if you had seen me ripping apart my old computer and piecing together the new one two weeks ago - fleeces, carpets, dust, dog-hairs (not mine), human hairs (possibly mine), and food crumbs to boot. And, just because it was cold, a coal/peat fire burning away not 2 metres from all the graphics cards, DDR4 modules, "yet to be assembled" air-cooler parts and "suspiciously left over" motherboard bits I had strewn about the smoke filled room where "room temperature" was highly dependant upon where you were standing... or kneeling... or bending over applying thermal insulating paste to shiny things (with loads of fingerprints), etc, etc, etc.

And, just to spite your scaredy-cat arse, it all came off without a hitch. Plugged her in, closed my eyes, and pressed the button - fully expecting a puff of blue smoke and a coil-whine as dirge. But no, she beeped, bopped, and bumped me into the UEFI madness that passes for BIOS these days. Maybe the luck-o-the-Irish... maybe just the way cookie-crumbles...

And what's the first thing I did? I cleared the CMOS (after first powerdown), just like my mammy taught me to do when starting a new tractor. All's good and running at a lazy 4.6Ghz with 1.285 volts / 1.352 adaptive max, (0.800 volts idle) and pulling little more than 275 watts from the wall at full stress tilt (including LCD and the world's most wonky desklamp). Why I bothered with a 750 Watt PSU I'll never know - but on the plus side, at less than 40% load the fan doesn't even bother to turn on.

I don't know how you big-city boys do it with all your book-learnin' and fancy tools and stuff, but out here on the razor's edge, we just roll up our sleeves, kiss a bit of metal, and hunker down to get the job done, no muss, no fuss.

And, for the record, decent motherboards these days - not the ones you buy in PC world - are fitted with military grade capacitors just in case idiots like me get our hands on them. I may be stupid, but no one can say I don't I pay for the privilege! :D

(At least I'm doing something - poor Nikos is afraid his computer's going to die and he's terrified of replacing a hard-drive with an SSD. He seems to think it will upset the PC's tao or cha-cha-cha or whatever sensitive emotional balance his has keeping it together. :shrug:)

User avatar
nikos
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 14648
Joined: 2002 Feb 07, 15:57
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by nikos » 2016 Mar 18, 16:52

try aping that, computers!
humans will take some beating yet :)
that kid is amazing, albeit at a completely useless skill

Kilmatead
Platinum Member
Platinum Member
Posts: 4569
Joined: 2008 Sep 30, 06:52
Location: Dublin

Re: bring back the luddites

Post by Kilmatead » 2016 Mar 18, 18:31

It's more entertaining if you look like she does. :wink:

Post Reply