”The Planet Construction Kit” by Mark Rosenfelder

If you are writing a story that requires its own world—maybe a science fiction world in a strange galaxy far, far away or a fantasy world from another era—this is the book for you!

The Planet Construction Kit may sound like it’s all about astronomy and planets and moons, but although the book also addresses these aspects of worldbuilding, it takes up so much more. Continue reading ”The Planet Construction Kit” by Mark Rosenfelder

We would never have…

Perhaps you’ve seen a discussion about how justice was performed in the old days, where someone says “we would never have done it like that” or “if it had been today, that case wouldn’t even have gone to court.”

The latest such discussion I came across was on the execution of Joe Hill :

Like many historians, Gibbs M. Smith, author of a Hill biography, said the trial was unfair. “Under today’s laws of evidence, he never would have been convicted and executed,” Mr. Smith said.

Then it hit me. If we say these things today about things that happened a century ago. People a century from now will most definitely say the same about things we’re doing today.

And that’s why I will never ever under any circumstance believe in the death penalty.

The Rise of Special AI Chips

General purpose CPUs have been complemented with special purpose hardware accelerators since soon after they made an entrance on the consumer market.

The first PC in my childhood home had a math co-processor, and no gamer today would run a system without a dedicated graphics card with a GPU.

With the emergence of AI, the need for a new type of special purpose hardware accelerator is rising; an AI-chip specially designed to run deep neural nets.

Continue reading The Rise of Special AI Chips

Autism and “getting better”

I was watching Netflix’s “Atypical” when I came across the following exchange in a scene where the parents of the main character Sam were at a group for parents with children with autism:

Doug: The whole thing really threw me off because we’ve been getting along well, and he’s been seeing a therapist lately, and I felt like he was getting better…

Shelby: Oh! So sorry to interrupt you again, but um, there is no (making air quotes) getting better in autism. It’s a neurological condition, not a curable disease…

It’s obvious Shelby has a stick up her arse when you see the character in action, and I really feel sorry for her kid: No, John, you can’t go out and play with the other kids because there’s no getting better in autism and the last time you made poor Amy cry… Continue reading Autism and “getting better”

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