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christianity, light blasphemy 

my fav part of the pauline epistles is the "shout out" sections at the end ("Greetz to my boys in Laodicea, and the whole crew at Nymphas' place")—because they really do sound just like youtuber shout outs—but also because they fix the often abstract theological content of the letters themselves to a particular social and physical context. a weird mix of posturing and name-dropping and exhortations and "i'm in prison and i don't know if i'll ever see you again"

star trek nitpicking 

@aparrish right, like half the way kids would communicate would be through exploiting how fuckwithable the tool was

tiktok more like tikspock

star trek nitpicking 

(this is all a long-winded way of saying that language model-based systems of translation *even in the perfect machine learning capital-U Utopian future* will always necessarily have gaps, because there is no such thing as language outside of the total context of language, including, you know, the physiology of the mouth parts, arrangement of bodies, tactical ambiguities, and weird Dukat-esque flirting)

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star trek nitpicking 

(i.e., we don't know for any particular conversation on the show if it is actually in English in-fiction, or if the show is translating it for us. the broader implication here being that ST must *itself* have a metafictional layer of adaptation/translation—from an epistemological perspective, we're not witnessing the events themselves but *versions* of the events that have already been adapted—there has to be a Red Book of Westmarch of Star Trek, is what I'm saying I guess)

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star trek nitpicking 

maybe Kira and Dukat are speaking the same language in-fiction, without using UT (presumably the occupation led to some Bajorans learning Cardassian languages and vice versa); then the *show* must be showing us an English translation of this exchange, using Dukat's closed lips as an equivalent of some similar gesture in the underlying language. from this you can conclude that *any* ST exchange portrayed as being in English might actually be a translation from another language

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star trek nitpicking 

even if you accept that the universal translator somehow makes it appear as though the speaker's lips are moving "correctly" in the translation target language, here you have an instance where there is no "language" to translate, even though the gesture can only be understood in linguistic context. (I guess the UT's lip sync would have to superimpose the illusion of a similar gesture at the appropriate part of the sentence in whatever language Kira speaks?)

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star trek nitpicking 

here's an interesting and complex example. in this scene, dukat and kira are speaking alone, presumably using the universal translator. at the end of this clip, dukat presses his lips together as though to say "me" but then dramatically catches himself and says "us"—the tension of the scene relies on this gesture, and Dukat's in-fiction underlying communicative intent with the gesture is important. how does the universal translator accomplish this kind of translation?

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Plant ID please
Two of these now 3 foot tall plants popped up between my comfrey and my black currant, and another smaller one over by the gooseberry, I think just as of this year. They are looking more and more tree like, I may have a root problem on my hands if I don't murder them yesterday. They kinda look like a willow and kind of like a nectarine? Does anybody know what they are? I'm in SW Missouri.

star trek nitpicking 

memory alpha has citations about english in the ENT & TOS eras, but little afterward—so there's a possibility that english isn't spoken by *anyone* by the time TNG and DS9 roll around. (how would language acquisition even happen in a society with ubiquitous, near instantaneous universal translators that work w/very little input? maybe some federation citizens never learn a conventional language *at all* and use UT to translate their own idiosyncratic "language" from birth?)

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star trek nitpicking 

i'm left believing that there must be some out of band way to signal to the universal translators that you don't want the next thing you say to be translated, or some cv dazzle-esque way of speaking that circumvents the translation model. klingons seem to use this exploit/feature a lot, maybe because they perceive the sound patterns of their language to be usefully threatening. other species seem to use it rarely, humans never at all?

pro basketball onomastics, no conclusions drawn 

("Golden State" refers to all of California, but there are three other teams in California, and the Warriors' identity, branding etc is very bound to the cities of the Bay Area. So even though they're named after the state, I would argue they don't see themselves as "representing" the entire state, nor do they consider the entire state their market. Though obviously a team's market and the place in their name don't have to be coterminous)

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pro basketball onomastics, no conclusions drawn 

the overwhelming majority of NBA franchises are named after cities; three* (Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz) are named after states. but only one—the Brooklyn Nets—is named after a administrative division more granular than the city.

(* marginal cases: New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors. "New York" is the name of both the city and the state, but "knickerbocker" afaik has only ever been a demonym for NYC residents proper?)

who decided to call it a "love potion" and not a "feels phial"

uspol, machine learning 

(Sarah Palin's speech style was very similar—outlandish, cruel, self-consciously "folksy," oftentimes incoherent—and it was often mocked at the time with language models, though it was markov chains in 2008 and not whatever the belching transformer model du jour is in 2019)

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uspol, machine learning 

using Trump's speeches is an especially ironic choice to make their point, since his entire rhetorical style is about saying outlandish, improbable, self-contradictory things just to get a rise out of people—his speech is already almost entirely phatic & meaning-free (you could replace any of his speeches with "I'm here, I'm loud, I'm cruel!" and little would change). like computer-generated spam, it's a good example of language that exists for its effect, not its meaning

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uspol, machine learning 

the actual potentially damaging effect of blog posts like this is that they leave unquestioned (and therefore reinforce) the "common sense" assumption that the trustworthiness of text somehow inheres in the text itself—i.e., that you can determine the authorship and intention of a text by looking at the text. this is very wrong, and reinforcing this belief makes it easier to "trick" people using spam, astroturfing and yeah, computer-generated text

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uspol, machine learning 

lawsuit.org/robotrump-an-ai-tr it's been possible to lie about things in writing, at scale, for a very long time. this blog post (like many others on the same topic) doesn't bother to imagine what *actual application* of these language models that will actually make the situation worse. consequently the post (like many others) comes off as aimless fearmongering

(erp, I should clarify this description to say that in these toots you're seeing the *most ambiguous* sentences/lines, i.e., the sentences/lines whose probability of belonging to either category is closest to 50%)

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(training a random forest classifier on sentences from gutenberg.org/ebooks/26209 and randomly sampled lines of poetry from project gutenberg [just enough to even out the classes]. vectorization process was just straight up averaging pre-trained glove word vectors, weighting each word inversely by unigram frequency [per spacy's .prob attribute]. works surprisingly well!)

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recipe sentences deemed most poetry-like:

Strain and reduce to one gill.

Mark into squares before it is cold, or break into irregular pieces.

ORANGE FLOWER LOTION FOR THE COMPLEXION.

IN 100 PARTS.

Test with a broom straw; when it comes out of the meringue clean it is done.

I have ventured, therefore, to give a few recipes where gelatine is used, knowing that there will be something to replace it.

After the cake rises the heat may be increased.

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