Microblog on a variety of subjects with one constraint: I get 10 minutes to write a post.
  • An experiment showing our sense of self is illusionary June 11, 2023

    The experiment shows how our sense of self is manufactured. It was conducted on people who had the unique property of having no connection between their left and right brain.

    In one of Gazzaniga’s experiments, researchers presented the word “walk” to a patient’s right brain only. The patient immediately responded to the request and stood up and started to leave the van in which the testing was taking place. When the patient’s left brain, which is responsible for language, was asked why he got up to walk, the interpreter came up with a plausible but completely incorrect explanation: “I’m going into the house to get a Coke.”

    In another exercise, the word “laugh” was presented to the right brain and the patient complied. When asked why she was laughing, her left brain responded by cracking a joke: “You guys come up and test us each month. What a way to make a living!” Remember, the correct answer here would have been, “I got up because you asked me to,” and “I laughed because you asked me to,” but since the left brain didn’t have access to these requests, it made up an answer and believed it rather than saying, “I don’t know why I just did that.”

    More here: https://bigthink.com/the-well/eastern-philosophy-neuroscience-no-self/

  • TP-7 field recorder, you'll probably never need it but you'll definitely want it May 12, 2023

    TP=7 Field recorder

    In the days of multi-functional devices, its rare to see such beautiful singular devices created. Full of Dieter Rams vibes, the TP-7 field recorder records what you say and can transcribe it automatically on your iPhone. Hopefully behind the scenes the transcription service is using the OpenAPI Whisper API.

    Read more here: https://teenage.engineering/products/tp-7

  • Communities that are formed around solving one problem are ineffective in solving that problem April 27, 2023

    Something I wrote a few years back when trying to solve a hard problem. A good fitness indicator of an effective problem-solving community is probably an abandoned one.

    Communities that are formed around solving one problem are ineffective at solving that problem Link to heading

    One person has a problem, if problem persists for any length of time, the more likely others will be experiencing that problem at the same time.

    If there are enough people with that problem, a community will form around solving it. If the community is ineffective in solving that problem, then the community will grow and begin to sustain itself as new members join with that problem and the existing members continue to work on solving that problem.

    For the community to survive, the problem must not be solved or the solution has to be close to unobtainable. Ineffective solutions will be devised to solve the problem. The complexity or discipline involved in solving the problem will exceed the ability of the individuals to implement it. The blame of solving the problem will lay in not in the community itself, but the individual not being able to implement the solution. An example of this may be a nearly impossible diet, regime or routine.

    If an effective solution is found to the problem. There are two possible outcomes: either the community will dissipate and active membership dwindles or it will protect itself from the existential threat and block the ideas. This is especially true if the identities or financials of individuals in the community rely upon the problem existing.

    Therefore, no community that sustains itself will form around the right solution. It is unsustainable. The communities with the most active members are also the most popular, propagating the problem.

  • What is a vodel? April 14, 2023

    A Vodel is a portmanteau of the words Visual and Model. It is defined by the ability to see the model either explicitly or through mental imagery.

    The distinction is required because a model does not necessarily mean it is visible. Take for example a mental model. A mental model is not visible to others, but you can make it visible by explaining it’s constituent behaviours and rationales - the what and the why.

    1. If you can represent a model visually, then it would be a Vodel.
    2. If cannot see a model visually due to its abstract nature, it can still be a Vodel if it is visible to other person through understanding.

    When the transfer of understanding is complete - the behaviour has been Vodelled in someone else’s mind.

  • Buttons back on porsches April 13, 2023

    Finally, after years of everything turning into an iPad (Telsa being the worst offender) designers see sense and bring tactile buttons back to the dash.

    Porsche buttons are back


  • Continuous Mapping Process April 7, 2023

    Continuous mapping is a process where any system is mapped and continually kept up to date by a pressure from either human process or automated code tools.

    Vodolling/Vodelling is one such process, where there is a constant pressure through software cartographers, principles and automated syncing between the code and map to determine if they are in sync.

  • Problem-solving and Einstellung April 6, 2023

    Einstellung is the development of a mechanized state of mind. Often called a problem solving set, Einstellung refers to a person’s predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though better or more appropriate methods of solving the problem exist.

    Basically the more problems you’ve been exposed to in the past, the more problem-solving techniques you will have. Whilst this is useful, it creates a big downside: your repertoire of techniques hide better possible alternatives.

    As they say “science advances one funeral at a time”

  • Task-driven Autonomous Agent or the first-step towards the infinite paperclips AI machine April 4, 2023

    I came across this “whitepaper” written by ChatGPT: https://yoheinakajima.com/task-driven-autonomous-agent-utilizing-gpt-4-pinecone-and-langchain-for-diverse-applications/

    It was based on the prompts:

    I would like to incubate a startup founded by GPT4. Please write instructions and code for a code that runs intermittently to create, complete, and prioritize tasks. This should use Python and GPT4 API, and store tasks in Pinecone. Use Langchain agents with ChatGPT plug-ins to complete tasks. Each loop should consist of the following steps: (1) review task list and complete first task by retrieving relevant context from Pinecone and using Langchain agent with ChatGPT plug-ins, (2) enrich result of task with further context and store in Pinecone, (3) create new tasks based on results, add do task list, and reprioritize task list for next iteration.


    You are an Al science researcher. Analyze the following code and write a scientific research paper describing what it’s for, how it works, the novel approaches it takes, and the significance of this new approach for Al and the world.


    Analyze the following code and show a flowchart of how it works by writing it in Graphviz.


    Write a tweet thread based on the following research paper:

    The best part about it, Chatgpt can produce Graphviz… of course it can - nice.

  • The XY problem April 4, 2023

    The XY problem is asking about your attempted solution rather than your actual problem. This leads to enormous amounts of wasted time and energy, both on the part of people asking for help, and on the part of those providing help.

    Due to lack of knowledge, you ask questions about what you think is a step towards solving the real problem instead of providing context of the solution.

    Useful not only in asking people, but also LLMs like ChatGPT.

    More here: https://xyproblem.info

  • Factorio as a 3d simulator March 24, 2023

    Factorio is one of the best games to become a better engineer. I wanted to use it as a 3d simulation for some ideas I had on human behaviour. For that that simulation to work I needed to ensure the construction of items built by factories had a consistent time, so I made a quick mod written in lua

    The 3 files needed:


    for _, recipe_prototype in pairs(data.raw.recipe) do
        recipe_prototype.energy_required = settings.startup["adam-build-time"].value


          type = "double-setting",
          name = "adam-build-time",
          setting_type = "startup",
          default_value = 2.0,
          minimum_value = 0.1,
          maximum_value = 1000.0,


        "title":"Adam Set Build Time",
        "factorio_version": "1.1",
        "dependencies": ["base"]

    The way Factorio handles lifecycle of objects was initially confusing, but when you understand how amazingly optimised it is as a game, you know everything is done for a very good reason.

    In the end, I didn’t use Factorio even though it worked because it was distractingly over complicated and looked messy… so back to the drawing board.