“Bright Young Women” review

Jessica Knoll’s “Bright Young Women”

Jessica Knoll's "Bright Young Women" has such strong beginning and ending chapters, with stakes that are truly life-and-death, that the middle chapters are a bit of a let-down. The central thematic premise of the book is that, for perverse reasons, serial killers become celebrities …

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On Animals and On GPT-4

Reading Susan Orleans' On Animals I'm struck by how essentially different from LLM-generated text her essays are. Now, of course, Orleans is at the highest tier of talent so it may not be saying much that "Well, that kind of writing isn't going to be usurped by LLMs soon." But …

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PyScript page

Short version for index and feeds more ...

Longer Orange 30 SLA Printer Assembly & Initial Impressions

I received my Orange 30 in a well-packed box via DHL. My box did not contain a manual, which I think might be an indication that it was among the first few hundred printers shipped. (It did, however, have a USB with what would apparently have been the printed manual …

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Please: Say "Twin" Networks, Not "Siamese" Networks

I'm a big fan of using a pair of identical networks to create output vectors that are then fed into a network that is trained to judge whether it's two input vectors are the same or different.

This is a powerful technique for "low k-shot" comparisons. Most ML techniques that …

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Ricky Jay R.I.P

Ricky Jay was one of my heroes. I first became aware of him in the pages of the remarkable “Cards as Weapons,” an oversized paperback that I bought at age 13 because it had a few pictures of topless women in it (you really can’t appreciate how much the …

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The Simplest Deep Learning Program That Could Possibly Work

Once upon a time, when I, a C programmer, first learned Smalltalk, I remember lamenting to J.D. Hildebrand "I just don't get it: where's the main()?" Eventually I figured it out, but the lesson remained: Sometimes when learning a new paradigm, what you need isn't a huge tutorial, it's …

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"The Deuce" Stinks. A Rant.

I’m a hair’s-breadth away from declaring that “The Deuce,” HBO’s Sunday night “prestige drama” about flesh-peddling and pornos in Times Square and 42nd Street in the mid-70s, is an exercise in trolling, some kind of meta-level commentary on the lack of drama, characterization, or stakes in, y …

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Writing to Azure Storage With F#

This last weekend I participated in the "Hack for the Sea" hackathon. As part of that, I needed to store images and structured data to Azure Storage. The process is very straightforward using F#'s async capabilities.

First, you'll need the connection string for your Azure Storage:

Use that to …

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Deep Whalesharks

Whalesharks are the largest fish in the ocean, but very little is known about their movements (where they breed, for instance, has been a huge mystery, although there's now pretty good evidence that some, at least, breed in the Galapagos).

Whalesharks have a "fingerprint" in the form of distinct spots …

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