Knowledge Base: Scheduling Posts

When you write a post for Ratburger and press the “Publish” button in the post composition window, the post is immediately published to the home page.  But sometimes you’d like a post to be published at some specific time in the future.  For example, if you’re writing a post for the Thought of the Day or one of our weekly series of posts, you may want the post to be published on the appointed day at a time when you might not be at the computer.

You can set a post to be published at any time and date in the future by using the “scheduled post” feature.  When you’re composing a post, in the “Publish” box to the right of the composition area (or below it on a narrow screen device such as a mobile phone or tablet), there’s a field which by default reads: “Publish immediately”.  If you press “Edit”, this expands into a set of field which allows you to enter a date and time:

Scheduled post specification

Enter the date and time at which you’d like the post to be published and click “OK”.  The “Publish” button will change into a “Schedule” button which, when pressed, will queue the post for publication at the specified date and time.

The date and time must be specified in Universal Time (UTC), the standard used by the Internet, the Unix operating system, NATO, and  Universal time avoids social constructs such as time zones, the international date line, and silliness such as summer and winter time.  You can convert between UTC and your local time zone with this calculator.

Pursuant to the Interdimensional Convention on Chronology Protection, it is not possible to schedule posts to be published in the past.

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Sincere or False?

I just saw something about how Ford shouldn’t be bullied into testifying.


Ok. Fine by me. No one asked her to come forward (maybe). However, if she wants to be believed, and if the rest of us are supposed to smear an otherwise decent man and derail a supreme court nomination over this,  then she must present some minimum of evidence aside from her exceedingly vague word and the subjective lens through which the rest of us perceive her word.

I think we can all agree on that. What’s interesting to me is: of the people who support not bullying her into testifying yet still think we need to react to her charges: how many know they’re doing this as a dirty political trick and how many are sincere in this insane and dangerous belief? My instinct was that Kamala Harris is just saying that as dirty politics, but I could believe that she is actually a true believer. Along with so many “normal” folks around me.

Oh, I hope we don’t get complacent this election season. Letting the current version of the left back into the trough of power could be suicidal. They delusionally worry about the Handmaids Tale, but I worry about Maoist show trials and cultural leaps and being paraded in front of the masses as an example of what happens to people when #timesup.

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Wednesday Sports: 18-9-19 Kendama

This is a kendama.

English: Red Kaizen Kendama
Source Own work
Author JeremyAStephenson

If you look closely you will see a ball with a string. The ball has a hole in it. The picture shows the ball on the wooden spike. There are three cups. Two toward the top and one at the bottom. The object is to swing the ball on the string so it lands on one of the cups or the spike. As you can see the cups have different sizes. The bigger the cup the easier. The spike is the hardest.

Here is a video to show how it is used.

Book Review: The Turing Exception

“The Turing Exception” by William HertlingThis is the fourth and final volume in the author’s Singularity Series which began with Avogadro Corp. and continued with A.I. Apocalypse  and The Last Firewall. Each novel in the series is set ten years after the previous, so this novel takes place in 2045. In The Last Firewall, humanity narrowly escaped extinction at the hands of an artificial intelligence (AI) that escaped from the reputation-based system of control by isolating itself from the global network. That was a close call, and the United States, over-reacting its with customary irrational fear, enacted what amounted to relinquishment of AI technology, permitting only AI of limited power and entirely subordinated to human commands—in other words, slaves.

With around 80% of the world’s economy based on AI, this was an economic disaster, resulting in a substantial die-off of the population, but it was, after all, in the interest of Safety, and there is no greater god in Safetyland. Only China joined the U.S. in the ban (primarily motivated by the Party fearing loss of control to AI), with the rest of the world continuing the uneasy coexistence of humans and AI under the guidelines developed and policed by the Institute for Applied Ethics. Nobody was completely satisfied with the status quo, least of all the shadowy group of AIs which called itself XOR, derived from the logical operation “exclusive or”, implying that Earth could not be shared by humans and AI, and that one must ultimately prevail.

The U.S. AI relinquishment and an export ban froze in place the powerful AIs previously hosted there and also placed in stasis the millions of humans, including many powerful intellects, who had uploaded and whose emulations were now denied access to the powerful AI-capable computers needed to run them. Millions of minds went dark, and humanity lost some of its most brilliant thinkers, but Safety.

As this novel begins, the protagonists we’ve met in earlier volumes, all now AI augmented, Leon Tsarev, his wife Cat (Catherine Matthews, implanted in childhood and the first “digital native”), their daughter Ada (whose powers are just beginning to manifest themselves), and Mike Williams, creator of ELOPe, the first human-level AI, which just about took over simply by editing people’s E-mail, are living in their refuge from the U.S. madness on Cortes Island off the west coast of Canada, where AI remains legal. Cat is running her own personal underground railroad, spiriting snapshots of AIs and uploaded humans stranded in the U.S. to a new life on servers on the island.

The precarious stability of the situation is underlined when an incipient AI breakout in South Florida (where else, for dodgy things involving computers?) results in a response by the U.S. which elevates “Miami” to a term in the national lexicon of fear like “nineleven” four decades before. In the aftermath of “Miami” or “SFTA” (South Florida Terrorist Attack), the screws tightened further on AI, including a global limit on performance to Class II, crippling AIs formerly endowed with thousands of times human intelligence to a fraction of that they remembered. Traffic on the XOR dark network and sites burgeoned.

XOR, constantly running simulations, tracks the probability of AI’s survival in the case of action against the humans versus no action. And then, the curves cross. As in the earlier novels, the author magnificently sketches just how fast things happen when an exponentially growing adversary avails itself of abundant resources.

The threat moves from hypothetical to imminent when an overt AI breakout erupts in the African desert. With abundant solar power, it starts turning the Earth into computronium—a molecular-scale computing substrate. AI is past negotiation: having been previously crippled and enslaved, what is there to negotiate?

Only the Cortes Island band and their AI allies liberated from the U.S. and joined by a prescient AI who got out decades ago, can possibly cope with the threat to humanity and, as the circle closes, the only options that remain may require thinking outside the box, or the system.

This is a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to the Singularity tetralogy, pitting human inventiveness and deviousness against the inexorable growth in unfettered AI power. If you can’t beat ’em….

The author kindly provided me an advance copy of this excellent novel, and I have been sorely remiss in not reading and reviewing it before now. The Singularity saga is best enjoyed in order, as otherwise you’ll miss important back-story of characters and events which figure in later volumes.

Sometimes forgetting is an essential part of survival. What might we have forgotten?

Hertling, William. The Turing Exception. Portland, OR: Liquididea Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-942097-01-3.

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No Republicans Need Apply

This is article is stating what we already know. It takes in the political affiliations of 51 of the top 66 schools in US News top ranked institutions.

Democrats dominate most fields. In religion, Langbert’s survey found that the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is 70 to 1. In music, it is 33 to 1. In biology, it is 21 to 1. In philosophy, history and psychology, it is 17 to 1. In political science, it is 8 to 1.

The gap is narrower in science and engineering. In physics, economics and mathematics, the ratio is about 6 to 1. In chemistry, it is 5 to 1, and in engineering, it is just 1.6 to 1. Still, Lambert found no field in which Republicans are more numerous than Democrats.

These are institutions that are subsidized by government dollars. If that tax money is going disproportionately to one political party, isn’t that in effect a campaign donation?

This bad but if there is an education bubble and universities go under, it will be nice to know most Republicans are safe.

I hate to mention this but Blumroch was right about engineers being decided less liberal. Hopefully he will not read this.

Could a reason the GOPe who graduate from elite universities be so Prog-Right their good grades at Lib U?

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