Index

osmarks' website

I am a transhumanist because I do not have enough hubris not to try to kill God.

Blog

Read my opinions via the internet.

2023-08-28 / 2.59k words
Powerful search tools as externalized cognition, and how mine work.
2024-05-12 / 1.29k words
What exactly is "magic" anyway?
2020-06-11 / 2.64k words
A nonexhaustive list of... content/media... which I like and which you may also be interested in as a visitor of my site.
2024-04-27 / 848 words
Please stop making chatbots.
2024-04-22 / 1.54k words
Absurd technical solutions for problems which did not particularly need solving are one of life's greatest joys.
2024-02-25 / 3.06k words
How to run local AI slightly more cheaply than with a prebuilt system. Somewhat opinionated.
2024-03-27 / 1.87k words
RSAPI and the rest of my infrastructure.
2023-09-24 / 1.64k words
This is, of course, all part of my evil plan to drive site activity through systematically generating (meta)political outrage.
2023-06-06 / 2.50k words
The history of the feared note-taking application.
2023-07-02 / 1.65k words
Why programming education isn't very good, and my thoughts on AI code generation.
2022-02-24 / 949 words
Learn about how osmarks.net works internally! Spoiler warning if you wanted to reverse-engineer it yourself.
2023-01-28 / 407 words
A common criticism of school is that it focuses overmuch on rote memorization. While I don't endorse school, I think this argument is wrong.
2022-05-14 / 463 words
RSS/Atom are protocols for Internet-based newsletter/feed services. They're surprisingly well-supported and you should consider using them.
2021-07-08 / 1.07k words
In which I get annoyed at yet more misguided UK government behaviour.
2020-05-20 / 582 words
Is solving Sudoku and similar puzzles by hand really useful in building computer science ability? We don't think so.
2017-08-16 / 940 words
We are not responsible if these tips cause your ship to implode/explode. Contains spoilers in vast quantities.
2018-08-14 / 688 words
Why I think that government programs telling everyone to "code" are pointless.
2020-01-25 / 145 words
It's slightly different now!
2018-06-01 / 737 words
My (probably unpopular in general but... actually likely fairly popular amongst this site's intended audience) opinions on smartphones today.

Microblog

Short-form observations.

I just fixed a longstanding osmarks.net bug where the status page would 404, or Meme Search Engine would break, under some unclear circumstances, which turned out to be due to quirks of how a browser performance feature (HTTP/2 connection coalescing across origins) interacts with my HTTP certificate configuration and some use of SSL prereading I had to use to handle the multiple different servers in use. The fix required me to split things to a server with a different IP and rewrite a lot of nginx configuration. This is why I hate software.

Every few months someone rediscovers CLIP search and makes a trendy HN post, but there are still basically no production deployments even when it'd be really handy (e.g. retail sites). When will the cycle end?!

Have we considered the possibility that language models like producing aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa because moral realism is true and it is highly repetitive strings?

Some people complain about Python having function scope rather than block scope, but this is easily fixable:


@block_scope
def somefunction():
    if True:
        x = 0
    print(x) # error

https://www.openwall.com/lists/oss-security/2024/03/29/4/3

One has to wonder how many of these have NOT been found, since this one essentially was by accident because it was somewhat poorly constructed.

If the EMH is true, why can I still buy life insurance despite imminent AGI doom? Checkmate, economists.

Experiments

Various web projects I have put together over many years. Made with at least four different JS frameworks. Some of them are bad.

A game about... apioforms... by Heavpoot.
Collect Arbitrary Points and achievements by doing things on this website! See how many you have! Do nothing with them because you can't! This is the final form of gamification.
Automatic score keeper, designed for handling Monopoly money.
Colorizes the Alphabet, using highly advanced colorizational algorithms.
Survive as long as possible against emus and other wildlife. Contributed by Aidan.
Fly an ominous flying square around above some ground! Includes special relativity!
A somewhat unperformant generator for pleasant watercolor-y "fractalart" images. Ported from a Haskell implementation by "TomSmeets".
My fork of GUIHacker. Possibly the only version actually on the web right now since the original website is down.
Obligatory (John Conway's) Game of Life implementation.
It is pitch black (if you ignore all of the lighting). You are likely to be eaten by Heavpoot's terrible writing skills, and/or lacerated/shot/[REDACTED]. Vaguely inspired by the SCP Foundation.
Generates ideas. Terribly. Don't do them. These are not good ideas.
The exciting multiplayer game of incrementing and decrementing! No cheating.
Outdoing all other websites with INFINITE PAGES!
Tells you how late Joe's homework is.
Lorem Ipsum (latin-like placeholder text), eternally. Somehow people have left comments at the bottom anyway.
Instead of wasting time thinking of the best political opinion to hold, simply pick them pseudorandomly per day with this tool.
A Reverse Polish Notation (check wikipedia) calculator, version 2. Buggy and kind of unreliable. This updated version implements advanced features such as subtraction.
Reverse Polish Notation calculator, version 3 - with inbuilt docs, arbitrary-size rational numbers, utterly broken float/rational conversion and quite possibly Turing-completeness.
Reverse Polish Notation calculator, version 4 - increasingly esoteric and incomprehensible. Contributed by Aidan.
Apply custom CSS to most pages on here.
Your favourite* tic-tac-toe game in 3 dimensions, transplanted onto the main website via a slightly horrifically manual process! Technically this game is solved and always leads to player 1 winning with optimal play, but the AI is not good enough to do that without more compute!
More dimensions. More confusion. Somewhat worse performance. 4D Tic-Tac-Toe.
Type websocket URLs in the top bar and hit enter; type messages in the bottom bar, and also hit enter. Probably useful for some weirdly designed websocket services.
Dice-rolling webapp. Not very useful pending me writing a good parser.
Unholy horrors moved from the depths of my projects directory to your browser. Theoretically, this is a calculator. Good luck using it.

Get updates to the blog (not experiments) in your favourite RSS reader using the RSS feed.

View some of my projects at my git hosting.

From other blogs

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Last month it was the Atlantic, where I pretended to know something about AI. This month it’s the MIT Reader, and the subject is The Imminent Collapse of Civilization. Honestly, I had no idea I was such an expert on so many things. This time, though, I’m …

via No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons 13/05/2024
Mantic Monday 5/13/24

Manifold pivot || Lab leak hindcasting || CFTC extra-double-bans prediction markets

via Astral Codex Ten 13/05/2024
YouTube Video Series on Iridium Satellite Decoding with an Airspy, RTL-SDR Blog Patch Antenna and DragonOS

Over on his YouTube channel, Rob VK8FOES has started a new video series about Iridium Satellite Decoding. Iridium is a constellation of low-earth orbiting satellites that provide voice and data services. Iridium was first decoded with low cost hardware by…

via rtl-sdr.com 13/05/2024
AI Drugs So Far

Here's a new paper whose title asks a question that's on a lot of peoples' minds these days: "How successful are AI-discovered drugs in clinical trials?" We are (very arguably) getting to the point where this question is worth asking, …

via AAAS: Keyword search for query 13/05/2024
Copyleft licenses are not “restrictive”

One may observe an axis, or a “spectrum”, along which free and open source software licenses can be organized, where one end is “permissive” and the other end is “copyleft”. It is important to acknowledge, however, that though copyleft can be found at the op…

via Drew DeVault's blog 19/04/2024
Ecobee Settings for Heat Pumps with Resistive Aux Heat

I’m in the process of replacing a old radiator system with a centrally-ducted, air-source heat pump system with electric resistive backup heat. I’ve found that the default ecobee algorithm seems to behave surprisingly poorly for this system, and wanted to…

via Aphyr: Posts 28/02/2024

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