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Decades-old Cans of Salmon Reveal Changes in Ocean Health

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Researchers used tinned fish to reconstruct parasitic population change, giving new meaning to the phrase “opening a can of worms”

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tpbrisco
11 days ago
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Eww....
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'What Is It?' in Takia, Oman

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Opened in 2015, the National Museum of Oman houses more than 5,000 items encompassing the history of Oman, from prehistory to the present. Artifacts on display in the Prehistory and Ancient History Gallery date back as far as 2 million years ago. Among various cabinets displaying artifacts such as arrowheads, fishing hooks, and jewelry is one solitary cabinet with an intriguing caption reading simply, "What is it?"

“What is it?” refers to a copper statuette found in Al-Buwayrdah, a village in northern Oman. This artifact is oddly shaped, with two sets of moderately symmetrical limbs and a protrusion resembling an exaggerated nose or beak where the two upper limbs meet. The extremities of the upper limbs are dented, representing paws, wings, or perhaps even stylized hands. In fact, the caption hints at the possibility that the figurine may be a birdman, angel, jinn, or eagle. The most likely explanation is that it is an anthropomorphic depiction of an eagle.

The eagle was part of the polytheistic iconography present in pre-Islamic Arabia. More specifically, it represents a deity called Syn (spelling variations abound), which was connected with the moon. Depictions of the eagle have been found on coins and rock carvings throughout the Arabian Peninsula, but it was only under the Greco-Roman influence that anthropomorphic features started appearing. If this is the case, this statuette must have been made not earlier than the fourth century B.C., but more robust evidence is needed to support this hypothesis. In the meantime, the mystery persists.

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tpbrisco
28 days ago
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Clearly built with alien technology
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Like deja vu but worse

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I just got an email from a store I bought something at about 4 months ago. It happens, they have my mail, somewhere in their fine print they said that they were gonna send me product recommendations or I clicked a thing because it looked like the box you have to click to get the thing.

I’m not even mad about it, it does sometimes make sense. The store where we order cat food sends out coupons and I can save a bit on chewy treats for our libertarian overlords here, for example. The company that just send me the email about new products? The sell automatic standing desks. How many of those do I buy every quarter? About zero now that I have one – I have only so many rooms to fill and so many bodies to place at tables.

Now of course they could think that I have this huge company with staff who all need standing desks (get one, they’re great, I wished the office I work in had them) but how big are the chances really?

People know the scary stories of “surveillance capitalism” and how Facebook and other platforms knows us better than we do. How they can predict our needs with sophisticated algorithms, shape our world and behavior. Because we are just these simplistic animals that if they see something they need it and buy it.

The standing desk company isn’t the most sophisticated in the world when it comes to data analytics and algorithms I guess. They probably just use some ready-made ecommerce solution that sends out emails. But there are more sophisticated players in that space, with limitless resources and the smartest programmers and statisticians on staff. There is Amazon.

You might have heard for example that Amazon ships products already to fulfillment centers near hotspots before they have been ordered to ship faster and that they then use their algorithmically sorted page to push the things they already transported to your neightborhood to you. That they track and analyze every click you make to try to get you to buy things, especially things you did look at.

These things then follow you around and keep being presented to you. Buy this, you did check it out, right? You want this!

I do buy stuff on Amazon at times (I try to avoid it but sometimes it’s hard) so I have products following me around. I remember a few years ago I was looking to buy a TV, I browsed some and all my recommendations were TVs and then I bought the one I wanted.

But the recommendations didn’t go away. Amazon kept showing me more TVs. Now I needed exactly one TV. I don’t need more of those things in this home. But these things kept following me around in spite of me buying a TV an Amazon based on my comparison.

Digital systems have a tendency to flatten everything. Because flat is easy to implement. We see that more than anywhere with modern “AI” systems but other systems also have the same tendency. What do I mean by that? Flatten?

Amazon for example doesn’t care why you look at an object. Maybe you want to buy something, maybe you just wanted to look up the technical specs or someone sent you a link to a funny review. All the same to Amazon. The complexity of the world flatted to a little “but you looked at this” flag. Same for buying stuff. Amazon builds your profile to suggest things that might be relevant to you but then just adds everything you buy (you can modify it but it’s an annoying process) to your profile. Even the thing you bought for your niece as a birthday gift. Or your dad’s last Christmas present. All these things are being flattened. Stripped of context and nuance and messiness. Perfectly flat and neat. A model build not to understand you but to enable an algorithm to work efficiently. You are just a data provider.

I think this shows us another crack in tech’s narrative of being so uber-powerful and data being the perfect source of truth and future forecasting (another “AI” related narrative here, “AI” is really just the continuation of the tech development of the last 10-15 years, just a bit more wasteful). Because while the algorithms might be smart and efficient and might scale. Might build profiles of people in nanoseconds while comparing products to millions of people in milliseconds all that is built on a flattend world view.

I don’t have a grand point to make here. Just a random observation while deleting mails from my inbox: A lot of discourse might be lead by people thinking themselves to be the smartest people in the room with access to the only real magic there is, data. But when we look at what all that data analytics does it quickly just looks very mediocre. Like something that goes through some motion without understanding context and the world. Like something mimicking something real but without any understanding for it and therefore failing. Kinda like modern “AI” systems.

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tpbrisco
31 days ago
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"Even the thing you bought for your niece as a birthday gift." I bought my niece 'sparkly princess make-up' when she was 8. That crap followed me for years.
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tante
31 days ago
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What if all the algorithms around us are not all that great due to the flattening of the world they are based on?
Berlin/Germany

Everyone Is Trauma Dumping on a 3-Year-Old Puppet

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You needn’t scroll through Twitter or tune into cable news for more than 20 seconds to understand that things are not going great right now. The planet’s burning, it costs money to breathe, our taxes are funding unthinkable war crimes, the job market is incredibly bleak, and, put simply, the vibes are just awful.…

Read more...

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tpbrisco
79 days ago
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Didn't take long to play the "military-industrial complex" card. 10 points towards the hackney paper trophy.
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hannahdraper
79 days ago
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OK, sorry for getting emotional, especially as a sentient adult who understands that none of this is real and all of this is coming from a bunch of adult social media strategists who likely hold master’s degrees and are underpaid and overworked. But in my mind, Elmo is, indeed, just a furry little child with no consciousness of the world’s darkness, and we all just... did that to him. Imagine the horrors his big googly eyes just witnessed from asking the internet a simple question... He’s just a kid. And for about 24 hours, Twitter made him its villain of the day for the great crime of caring.
Washington, DC

Tree.fm

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Tree.fm allows you to listen to a random forest. This is beautiful.

(Thank you Book of Joe)

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tpbrisco
86 days ago
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My go-to at work is lofiatc.com, but this may be added to my rotation
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jhamill
87 days ago
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Interesting
California

New York Post : 2 teen brothers stabbed, 1 fatally, during fight outside NYC axe throwing bar

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A 17-year-old boy was killed and his 19-year-old brother was injured when they were knifed during a fight with another group outside a lower Manhattan axe throwing bar early Thanksgiving morning, police and law enforcement sources said.

The fatal stabbing happened around 1:50 a.m. in Chinatown when the victims got into an altercation outside Live Axe, an axe throwing venue at 96 Lafayette St., police said.

An axe was not used in the incident, sources said.

It’s unclear what sparked the argument.

The two teenagers were both stabbed in the torso, the NYPD said.

The 17-year-old was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was not immediately identified.

The older brother was also taken to Bellevue and is in stable condition, police said.

Part of the block was taped off by investigators, according to ABC 7 footage.

The investigation is ongoing and no arrests were immediately made on Thursday.

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tpbrisco
147 days ago
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This just breaking: NYC - which classifies slingshots as weapons - thought it was ok to mix liquor and axe throwing. Sounds like a bad choice in an effort to make Florida look smarter
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