A cranky biologist who means well. My hobbies include long walks off short piers and anything science related.

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Joined 10 months ago
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Cake day: June 25th, 2023

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  • That’s a reasonable design. The result would be interesting and may raise more questions than it answers. That is a good thing.

    I don’t think this design would conclusively prove they were engaging in abstract communication, but that would take many experiments of similar scope.

    A sceptic could say the unconditioned group reaction was a result of social awareness of the reaction of the conditioned crows. Sort of a collective freak out based on the immediate reaction of the marked individuals.

    Regardless, I hereby tender my application to be colony manager of the research group. Murder Manager is the title I would choose.







  • This is why I may never be able to fully repair my relationship with my religious father after my own journey out, because I love him too much to undermine the belief that sustains him as an 87 year old.

    My own journey out has been incredibly painful and challenging but that is MY life path, not his. He stuck with my mother for 25 years to the very end after her Parkinsons diagnosis and he got to watch her choke to death on some food at the end.

    I really believe my father doesn’t need the religion to be that good and faithful, because he is just basically made of good stuff. But I will never attack his faith even though in my heart of hearts I find the foundations of that faith to be risible. What would be gained? What would it say about me if I did?









  • Oh, yes, dealing with the tension between the grassroots and the national party is a real thing to deal with. It may be true that the presidential primary is the only game right now in your jurisdiction, but there are frequently special or other off-cycle local elections, too.

    I’d go so far as to say the presidential primaries are pretty pointless this time around, as the contest seems to be already set-up, regardless of primary results. Thanks for your insightful comment.


  • Whew, thanks for not being a knee-jerk about my ‘mental prosthetic’! It takes real skill and understanding, I think, to even write the pseudocode or plain language description of a working script. After all, describing the problem and the outline of the solution is usually the hardest part. Pecking out the syntax takes the bulk of the time, but if you can avoid that step, what is lost? Very little in my experience.

    I’ve begun collecting an assortment of custom python and shell script utilities to accomplish routine or one-off tasks for which system utilities don’t exist. You bet you are still learning when doing it this way. After all, you have to understand the code well enough to tell if the output is what you need.



  • I agree.

    Does it count if one uses an LLM to help compose the shell script? I mean, I can and have written gnarly scripts by hand but it can take half an hour to work out a single line sometimes for a simple task versus 10 minutes describing it in plain language.