Weeknotes #164

in weeknotes

  • Friday was Hina Matsuri (Wikipedia)!

  • Alas, John came down with something and after throwing up on Monday evening, threw up again in the early hours of Saturday morning. I haven’t seen a vomiting pattern like that before and it’s left us a bit confused. He does have cold symptoms so there is an underlying sickness there but was that the cause or was it a coincident case of food poisoning? Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to have been another case of gastroenteritis.

  • Unsurprisingly, we took it pretty easy over the weekend and mostly stayed in, despite the excellent weather on Saturday. I did supervise Emma riding her bicycle over to the Mister Donut that’s one train station over.

  • Eri and I had our eighth anniversary over the weekend. It would have been nice to have done something special but that’s hard to do with the kids.

  • I enjoyed reading Brandon’s first entry in a series (maybe?) of blog posts about Bing AI.

  • In AI-related news, I spent a bit of time having ChatGPT ‘tutor’ me on recurrent neural networks and statistics. Without wanting to sound hyperbolic, the experience was profound and it feels like this kind of system could really transform education. I felt a freedom to go on tangents with ChatGPT (such as asking for the etymology of ‘recurrent’ and ‘regression’) that I would not have felt with a human tutor for fear that I would be either wasting time or unfairly putting them on the spot. There’s been understandable concern about the veracity of the information provided by systems like ChatGPT and that does give me pause but it also feels like something that can be addressed.

  • Speaking of Brandon, he sent me a link to this essay by W. David Marx on three ways of enjoying music. It’s excellent.

  • I was aghast to hear that new editions of Roald Dahl’s children books have been released (ABC News) and that the copy of Matilda I have on my Kindle has been automatically updated. I took some time to write to Penguin and hope I came across as reasonable. I do believe the people doing this are trying to make the world a better place; I just don’t think this is the way to do it. Freddie deBoer had a great post about it all, but it’s unfortunately paywalled.

  • Did you know English intonation includes something called ‘deaccenting’? If you didn’t, here’s Geoff Lindsey explaining when it occurs.

  • I’ve started watching the NBA again and have been enjoying the race to get into the play-offs in the Western Conference. With San Antonio doing its best to ensure it has the highest odds in the 2023 NDA Draft (in other words, they are tanking), I’ve temporarily switched my allegiance to Golden State and have my fingers crossed that they can make it back to the play-offs again. Their performance has been pretty poor this season, though, and if they fail to get in, it wouldn’t be a huge shock.

  • I came across Armand Van Helden’s ‘You Don’t Know Me’ (Apple Music) via a house music playlist and as often the case with songs from the late 90s was transported back to my teenage years.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont