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About aeromancer

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  1. mumble, mumble they are two very separate things, it'd be nice to discuss this further, actually. I mean, we are a writing group, so separating what meaning context gives a word and connotation gives a word would be useful. Got that out of my system, let's discuss AI. That is a possibility. Definitely the other study you mention has a result which is based off of selection bias, but I'm not quite sure about this one. I've seen some very convincing arguments for physiognomy, but at the same time, as writers, we know you 'can't judge a book by it's cover'. Now, the study doesn't go in-depth as to the how they selected the criminals (they mention a confidentiality agreement) and the list of crimes they mention definitely leave cases which can be open for bias. They also (unfortunately) don't list the web-spider tool they used to gather the non-criminal photos, as I would have liked to know the margin of error for the non-criminal pictures, but alas. I'm not sure I like the thought of hundreds of people being charged as criminals solely based on a judge's bias. Even if you wanted to assume, say 10% of the criminal set as being innocent, but wrongly profiled, the discovery still stands. In particular, I'm very interested in the fact that attention was drawn to the greater facial variance in the criminal set than the non criminal set, I think that a wealth of information can be gleaned from repeat testing in that area. I'll have to keep an eye out for this, and hopefully the research continues. Thanks for showing me this, it's not every day I come across these articles. I'll take the flak for this, it's not simple. I said this statement as a response to a worry about corrupted algorithms. Corrupted algorithms are easy to fix. The root cause, a bit trickier. What I mean when I said simple is that, relative to a human, computers don't have a intrinsic bias, or what humans call a bias. Given a corrupted data set, computers will learn the wrong algorithms, but it only takes a few keystrokes (usually) to reset a learning algorithm back to its default state, or (better yet) just delete the algorithms and start over fresh. The clean data set is where the challenge lies, but that's a human problem to create it, not a computer problem. Moving onto more recent discussion: (I really need to spend more time on the Internet. Or much less.) @Ernei For what it's worth, I agree with most of what you say, especially your point on perceiving individuals as a whole, rather then the individuals they should be perceived as. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It's one of the cornerstones of the American criminal justice system. And I cannot believe I'm defending Richard Spencer, but I am going to do it. Let me make this clear: In America, we the people do not use physical violence against people we disagree politically with. Even if the people you are calling Nazis (presumably the alt-right) were Nazis (and they are not), they are protected by the American government to spread their ideals. The way you counter the spread of ideas is by fighting on the intellectual level. You should never punch a Nazi. "Violence is the last refuge of cowards." - Isaac Asmiov
  2. Yes I do. And this is why. To quote from your response 'there is no such thing as language without connotation and context'. Connotation and context. They are not one and the same, they are two different properties of words, as you yourself say. Connotation refers extra meanings a word can invoke on its own, context is the meaning of the word using the language around it, this is something you likely know better than I. The reason I am 'defensive', as you put it, is because I thought you may have reached the wrong conclusion. The article you quote is discussing 'word context', only 'context'. You classify 'connotation' and 'context' differently. Yet, when discussing the article's results, you consistently use the word 'connotation', despite the word 'connotation' never being used by the article in question and the fact that the words connotation and context are not interchangeable. You leaped to the assumption that the article was proving that the connotations of language had a bias because you had a confirmation bias. It is also for the same reason you assume by age, once again, because of a confirmation bias. You wish me to be a child who doesn't understand what is being discussed (which I am not), so you look for confirmation to the case, and ignore evidence that rejects your theory.
  3. And I last 'won the day' around 4 years ago!


    This reveals far more about me than I would have liked.

    1. aeromancer


      Also, it's me being sarcastic. This probably gives me the wrong incentive.

  4. Definitely interesting article, but it's not about biases intrinsic to language usage at all, it's about the context words are commonly used in. Whether the English language is inherently biased is another issue, all these programs do is measure the ways words are used by the current human population, and that's not an intrinsic issue within the language. Also, quoting from the article: "AI has the potential to reinforce existing biases because, unlike humans, algorithms are unequipped to consciously counteract learned biases, researchers warn." Well, yes, algorithms can't consciously counteract anything (because they don't have a conscious), but it's quite simple to override a 'learned bias' in a computer program by systematically deleting all archived data and reevaluating everything from scratch. There's not going to be a problem. Really? Only one downvote so far?
  5. Ow. I personally love the Inheritance Trilogy Cycle, though I can see the flaws with it. Do you think that kind of behavior would be cathartic? Because, if so, I have a mound of Ohmsfords to kill. I suppose, though my way of clearing plot holes is 'hack away everything that doesn't make sense.' In the end, I get left with a better novel, but I have a character that's gotten completely cut three times. It's kind of painful, because I've got all that backstory and notes, and it's just sitting there on a doc in my desktop, untouched and unloved.
  6. Yeah, I know. There was that time Inigo Montoya won (2015, I think?). I actually have read the Feed series. I had a friend get the series recommended to him (and he hated it), but he assumed that I might like it, so I ended up with his copy, which sat on my desk for a while until I was sufficiently bored to read another zombie novel - and it's good. Not exceptional, but it's a zombie book which actually has a human society in it which hasn't collapsed to decay. Take notes, people. There's not really a good fix, but maybe require an account to vote, so only people who are actually dedicated can vote. As opposed to, say, getting a group of friends to take thirty seconds to vote for your favorite. And I don't believe in fanfic. I mean, well written fanfiction which stays true to the source material and intentions of the author, or an imaginative re-creation isn't bad and I wouldn't mind reading it, but that almost never happens. This contest, unfortunately, is no exception to bad fanfic, and I'm looking at you, Patrick Rothfuss, when I say that. Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear were both excellent books. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a hidden gem. The short story you wrote for the Tom Bombadil / Davi match-up? No. That was horrible. I know Davi was horribly outmatched, but that still doesn't justify massacring Goldenberry's character to what you what it to be.
  7. Have fun. That's easily my least favorite part when it comes to writing. On an unrelated note, this: I think I'm a few days late on the final results, but this years whole tournament was just very weird. I didn't recognize half the characters (which is good, I suppose, more books for me to read). There were several victories that clearly should not have happened (Georgia Mason making it to the quarterfinals, despite the fact that mock-ups never had her using her gun, Harry Dresden somehow losing to Davi, and (like usual) the championship match being nothing but a glorified fan war). Yes. I'm sore about the fact that character I like lost because of fandom sizes. I like the concept, just please change the format so it's not a popularity contest. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
  8. Alright. Let’s get cracking. Chapter 14: You might have picked up from my earlier comments that I’m a die-hard sci-fi. This chapter is not that. I will, however, shut up about it because this isn’t a hard sci-fi book, and this chapter works decent as a set-up to the opera part of ‘space opera’. It just seems a bit too plot convenient. Maybe throw in a random malfunction to lower the suspension of disbelief level. Chapter 15: As always, the Q / Moth banter is pretty good, though I wouldn’t describe Moth as ‘Machiavellian’. My understanding off Machiavelli is second-hand, unfortunately, so all I can do here is raise the point. I definitely like the Moon imagery. Chapter 16: The receptionist dialogue seemed a little stilted to me. Kudos to Moth for a backstory drop, and presumably some insight into her motivation, but it seems to me she’s lying and is just swearing out of habit. The dialogue between Q and Mary feels a bit rushed and forced. I get the joke Q makes when he says ‘Call me Q’, but that’s only because it’s a joke I’d use and nothing from context. A reader might just assume that it was a misprint of some sort. And we end off with Q cursing in an unimaginative fashion. I don't mind the cliffhanger as much as tone of normality it leaves me off on.
  9. I will quote 'Art of War' given any decent opportunity, yes. It's kind of frustrating that Sun Tzu doesn't really have anything to say about guerrilla warfare, and there's a lot that can be disregarded within 'Art of War' (the chapter on fire, for example) but it's still a must read for everything else. I especially love the chapter on spies. I've read Go Rin No Sho for writing single combat, but that was a while ago. Single combat, as you say, is left to chance a lot more often, though (speaking of Go RIn No Sho) the duel between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro is an example of when the fight was won long before it started. I'd also recommend reading the first chapter of Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath for similar situations. Funny you should use chess as an example, though. I played a game yesterday were I won in essentially eight moves. Not actually eight moves, but after eight moves I was in a winning position and the rest of the game was just execution. (I was white playing Queen's Gambit Accepted, in case you were wondering.) In chess, it is impossible to predict the winner from just the players, but a Grandmaster-level player (which I am nowhere near) can usually predict the winner from after a few moves in.
  10. This is true for basically all Jedi, barring Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan Kenobi, as established over the expanded universe, hates blasters. There's actually a hilarious clip from Clone Wars Season 7 (which was never released, but the test footage for six episodes were, somehow) which has Anakin dual-wielding blasters and fighting through a droid ship while Obi-Wan just watches and makes comments. Obi-Wan does use starship guns, but he hates flying so he tries avoiding it as much as possible. And yes, he does use a blaster to kill Grevious. His words. "So uncivilized." Obi-Wan Kenobi is also probably the greatest Jedi to ever live. I have no bias on the subject whatsoever. Not greatest Force-wielder, mind you, that's up for grabs between a lot of people, i.e., Jacen Solo, Revan, Luke Skywalker, Cade Skywalker, etc. Yes. Card-carrying villains must be able to be taken out by a protagonist with a lucky one-shot. They also must be painfully obvious that they're evil and have five-minute monologue ready at ten seconds' notice. Realistic fight scenes, unfortunately, make for terrible drama and suspense. A true fight is over before the fight starts.
  11. "Your father’s lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age." -Obi-Wan Kenobi The true weapon of a Jedi is not, of course, his saber but the force. The lightsaber is a means to focus the force, especially since making a lightsaber is a delicate process which usually requires a force trance. The Jedi is a guardian of the peace. The saber is not a weapon of war, but of peace and a symbol of that peace. A Jedi with a blaster is a threat, a Jedi with a lightsaber hilt is a guardian of the peace. So, why don't Sith use blasters, then? There's not really a good reason, aside from hubris.
  12. The names 'Lightsaber' and 'podracer' are both Star-Wars specific. Also, most people won't use speeder, they'll use something like hoverbike but there's nothing inheritly wrong with speeder. The concepts are general, though. Feel free to use an energy-based sword, just don't put it out as a plot device or something. It's kind of like hobbits. Legally, JRR Tolkien owns the name 'hobbits', so they're usually called Halflings if other fantasy authors want to use them. Also, just want to point out that a lightsaber is not, in fact, a light saber (i.e. lightweight cavalry blade). It's a plasma estoc. Sabers, by definition, have a curved blade, something that light waves cannot do. Star Wars has a habit of using horribly named sci-fi concepts.
  13. Well, at first glance, I find an alchemist who knows nothing about magic to be strange. But I also know you're building S to be a chemist rather than an alchemist, meaning that S would specialize in very specific fields. That kind of fits the 'maven' archetype from Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, if you're familiar with that. It makes sense from S's point of view to know little of magic, as I assume S knows little outside her few specific fields, but I'm not sure it'd make sense from a readers point of view, as most fantasy readers will dot-connect 'magic' and 'alchemy', there are several books where 'alchemy' is a sub-field within the larger field of magic as a whole. You might want to nail down a line between magic and alchemy really early on. This is actually something I've debated elsewhere. The general consensus of the discussion were two general rules for this situation. 1) You should have a pretty clear idea of what the limits to magic are, if only to stop you from writing plot holes into later books (cough Time Turners cough). 2) The main character should not have magic but it's fine for supporting characters (i.e. Gandalf, Allanon) who can't be relied upon to consistently help the protagonist.
  14. Notes: I see you’ve elected to once again start a chapter with bones. I have no objection to such a start, but, ah, this is the second time within six chapters. Also, “alchemist would be around to use my bones to make oil, because otherwise that was a terribly wasteful way to go.” – This is a very odd thought. I suppose it’s to let you know that S wants to be useful as a corpse, or something. Even if S’s bones aren’t make to bone oil, the body will still decompose and serve to fertilize the soil.. -S’s ‘I an Alchemist’ line on page 5 sets up the character very well. I also note that you’re going out of your way to highlight S’s lack of self-confidence. -Out of idle, and slightly morbid curiosity, how intense are these guild wars? -First taste of real magic is a sending. There’s not a lot to go on, at all, so I’m going to save all comments. I could make a few stabs at it, but I'd rather not. Kind of odd how S has no knowledge of magic, though.
  15. Yes, please.