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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2017, 11:51 PM
Number of posts: 5,694

Journal Archives

Has anyone gone through Cymbalta (Duloxetine) withdrawal?

I've been taking it for post-shingles neuralgia for a couple of years, but due to an unfortunate confluence of events, I'm facing my last daily dose tomorrow. It may be another week, or more, before I can get my prescription refilled.

I'm wondering if anyone here has gone through withdrawal after taking the med for an extended time. Sounds like I'm in for a *not good* week or so.
Posted by LudwigPastorius | Sat Dec 3, 2022, 02:18 PM (10 replies)

Tell your Senators to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

The PWFA would create a clear standard requiring employers to engage with workers and provide reasonable accommodations to workers with pregnancy-related limitations.

The AFL-CIO web site has an email template for you to send.

Posted by LudwigPastorius | Wed Nov 30, 2022, 02:56 PM (3 replies)

Lab-grown brain cells play video game Pong

Researchers have grown brain cells in a lab that have learned to play the 1970s tennis-like video game, Pong.


Writing in the journal Neuron, Dr Brett Kagan, of the company Cortical Labs, claims to have created the first ''sentient'' lab-grown brain in a dish.


The mini-brains are likely to become more complex as the research progresses - but Dr Kagan's team are working with bioethicists to ensure they do not accidentally create a conscious brain, with all the ethical questions that would raise.


...Prof Karl Friston, of University College London, who is working with Dr Kagan, says: "The mini-brain learned without it being taught and so is more adaptable and flexible."

More here: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-63195653

Scientific article here: https://tinyurl.com/m9k4fp4k

Can this Star Trek technology be far behind? https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Bio-neural_gel_pack
Posted by LudwigPastorius | Sun Oct 16, 2022, 10:22 AM (16 replies)

Nukes Reported On Route To Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reignited fears that he is about to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine following a viral video and a defense analyst's comments.


Could be a feint. Could be munitions.

Either way, Putin is acting like a cornered rat. The generals need to step up and take him out, now.

Posted by LudwigPastorius | Wed Oct 5, 2022, 02:41 AM (11 replies)

Ex-GOP Congressman Riggleman: Gosar and Gohmert have 'serious cognitive issues'

I'd say that assessment applies to a majority of the current Republicans in office.

But, yeah. If you go on camera complaining that "if you're a Republican, you can't even lie to Congress or to an FBI agent", there is something seriously wrong with you.

The Republican congressmen Louis Gohmert and Paul Gosar adopted such extreme, conspiracy-tinged positions, even before the US Capitol attack, that a fellow member of the rightwing Freedom Caucus thought they “may have had serious cognitive issues”.


Riggleman describes one meeting in which Gohmert “promoted a conspiracy theory related to master algorithms”, saying he “suspected there was a secret technology shadow-banning conservatives across all platforms”.


Riggleman says Gosar and Gohmert “seemed to be joined at the brain stem when it came to their eagerness to believe wild, dramatic fantasies about Democrats, the media and big tech.


Riggleman also calls Gosar “a blatant white supremacist”, describing him and the Iowa Republican Steve King “making a case for white supremacy over pulled pork and ribs”.

More here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/sep/27/denver-riggleman-book-republicans-paul-gosar-louie-gohmert
Posted by LudwigPastorius | Tue Sep 27, 2022, 01:33 PM (4 replies)

Oxford researchers: Superintelligent AI is "likely" to cause an existential catastrophe for humanity


The most successful AI models today are known as GANs, or Generative Adversarial Networks. They have a two-part structure where one part of the program is trying to generate a picture (or sentence) from input data, and a second part is grading its performance. What the new paper proposes is that at some point in the future, an advanced AI overseeing some important function could be incentivized to come up with cheating strategies to get its reward in ways that harm humanity.

“Under the conditions we have identified, our conclusion is much stronger than that of any previous publication—an existential catastrophe is not just possible, but likely,” Cohen said on Twitter in a thread about the paper.

"In a world with infinite resources, I would be extremely uncertain about what would happen. In a world with finite resources, there's unavoidable competition for these resources," Cohen told Motherboard in an interview. "And if you're in a competition with something capable of outfoxing you at every turn, then you shouldn't expect to win. And the other key part is that it would have an insatiable appetite for more energy to keep driving the probability closer and closer."

The paper envisions life on Earth turning into a zero-sum game between humanity, with its needs to grow food and keep the lights on, and the super-advanced machine, which would try and harness all available resources to secure its reward and protect against our escalating attempts to stop it. “Losing this game would be fatal,” the paper says. These possibilities, however theoretical, mean we should be progressing slowly—if at all—toward the goal of more powerful AI.

For example, the Paperclip Maximizer thought experiment:

Posted by LudwigPastorius | Thu Sep 15, 2022, 10:24 PM (16 replies)

They're all absolutely fucking insane. (CPAC & MTG content)

DALLAS - As dozens of onlookers looked on, some with tears in their eyes, a barefoot man in an orange jumpsuit and red MAGA cap sobbed in a cage in a convention center in Dallas, Texas.

Attendees at CPAC, the massive annual conservative activist conference, were given bluetooth headphones, emblazoned with the word “silence,” where they were invited to listen to audio accounts from January 6 defendants who have been jailed due to the Capitol riot.

Some spectators wept. Some threw money into the cage. Others came up close to mutter words of comfort and support to the emotionally distraught man inside, who was alternating sitting on a bare cot with his head in his hands, and writing sad slogans on a blackboard like “Where is Everyone?” Among those in the audience was Zuny Duarte, mother of Enrique Tarrio, the jailed ex-chairman of the Proud Boys facing seditious conspiracy charges for his role in the Capitol. One man, wearing a T-shirt saying “Correctional Officers for Trump 2020” pointed at his chest, making sure the “jailed” activist saw, and said “”I know how it works, man.”

During Thursday’s performance in the J6 cage, the man in the prison had been an actor. But on Friday, the man was none other than Brandon Straka, a self-proclaimed former liberal who founded #WalkAway, a social media campaign encouraging Democrats to ditch their party for the GOP. Straka was a vocal Stop the Steal proponent and activist, and landed in hot water with the feds when he filmed himself from the steps of the Capitol building on Jan. 6.


More here: https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3ppy5/cpac-marjorie-taylor-greene-and-the-capitol-riot-rage-cage
Posted by LudwigPastorius | Sun Aug 7, 2022, 11:35 AM (19 replies)

The latest evidence that Trump is absolutely, bugshit insane

He still thinks he can overturn an election decided over a year and a half ago.

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said former President Donald Trump called him last week as part of a fresh effort to decertify the state's 2020 presidential election results.

"He would like us to do something different in Wisconsin," Vos, a Republican, explained to CNN affiliate WISN in relaying his phone conversation with Trump. "I explained it's not allowed under the Constitution. He has a different opinion."


Posted by LudwigPastorius | Wed Jul 20, 2022, 07:00 PM (6 replies)

It's hotter than Satan's ball sack!

I just took my instant read thermometer outside and my driveway is 118 degrees.

WeatherUnderground sez tomorrow it'll be hotter still.

This is insane.
Posted by LudwigPastorius | Thu Jun 23, 2022, 04:27 PM (20 replies)

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

The J6 Committee is undecided whether to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

The Democratic chairman says making a formal referral to the DOJ is, "not our job".


(CNN)The chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol told reporters Monday that the panel will not make any criminal referral of former President Donald Trump or anyone else to the Justice Department -- a claim that met swift pushback from members of the panel.

"No, you know, we're going to tell the facts. If the Department of Justice looks at it, and assume that there's something that needs further review, I'm sure they'll do it," Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson said when asked whether the committee would refer Trump or others to the department.

Pressed again on whether the committee would ever make a formal referral to the Justice Department, the Mississippi Democrat said, "No, that's not our job. Our job is to look at the facts and circumstances around January 6, what caused it and make recommendations after that."


Rep. Liz Cheney, who serves as vice chair of the committee, released a statement contradicting the chairman's comments. "The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time," the Wyoming Republican tweeted.

I'd hate to be right, in my most cynical moments, thinking that these hearings are more about the mid-term elections than defending the Constitution and bringing the perpetrators of a coup attempt to justice. But, it sure looks like the committee is positioning to make no definitive statement on the prosecution of the ringleaders.
Posted by LudwigPastorius | Tue Jun 14, 2022, 10:58 AM (38 replies)
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