notable thought vectors

  • thought vector (ML n.): digital representation of an idea; a series of numbers produced by embedding e.g. the words "cow", "heifer", and "Aberdeen Angus" in several languages, but also (speculative) all these images.

    if you can convert each sentence in a document into a vector, then you can take that sequence of vectors and [try to model] natural reasoning. And that was something that old fashioned AI could never do.

    If we can read every English document on the web, and turn each sentence into a thought vector, you've got plenty of data for training a system that can reason like people do. (Now, you might not want it to reason like people do, but at least we can see what they would think.)

    What I think is going to happen over the next few years is this ability to turn sentences into thought vectors is going to rapidly change the level at which we can understand documents.
    A big ass deal.

    Of course, it is not computationally possible to deal with than a couple of thought vectors at once. Currently. And we'd need many thousands to match our brightest exegetes. But if it could be done, it would be a implementation / proof of the Tractarian philosophy.

    (Geoff Hinton has a few of these giant hints about the future (see also dark knowledge, a residue function extracted from a massive ensemble model; can perform efficiently, even on data not mentioned in its class probabilities, even on smartphones).)

  • clone (trans* pej. n.): Insult for a trans person who seeks to 'pass' perfectly. Seems pretty nasty, but I've seen a non-pejorative use. See also fish, Mary Kay, GG.

  • to hellban (internet v.): to make posts by a user invisible to all other users, without telling them; to covertly enforce ostracism. A taste of death. Psychologically sound: "When nothing they post ever gets a response, a hellbanned user is likely to get bored and leave" rather than just creating a new account. Very malign despite its effectiveness.

  • clapback (US n.): a comeback; rapid response to insult. From the old-school rap thing of syncopating your sentence with claps? And 👏 so 👏 it 👏 explains 👏 this 👏 annoying 👏 meme.

  • wypipo (US pej. n.): Racial slur; white people. (But it doesn't count as a slur: demeaning and upsetting people isn't real, systemic harm, after all.)

  • call girl principle (n.): Rule for negotiating: set the price / collect payoff before rendering anything. This is because the perceived value of a service is greatly diminished afterward. Anchoring, hindsight bias, post-purchase rationalisation: it's all in there.

  • Superfund site (US n.): a highly toxic hellhole, suitable for receiving emergency government cleanup funds.

  • to stovepipe (software, pej. v.): to build separately, without integrating into other systems. A "stovepipe system" could share data with other systems but doesn't. (Consider one chimney per house in a terrace of houses.)

  • toaster (software, n.): 1) of an inferior computer, one overheating as it tries to keep up with modern software demands. 2) freeware consisting entirely of glued-together libraries.

  • lagniappe (Fr. n.) from yapay (Quechua): a little extra. Used particularly in New Orleans. See also Irish English luckpenny.

  • calaboose (n.) from calabozo (Spanish n.): prison, particularly a small one.

  • modifiable areal unit (geography n.): Cute term for something which doesn't exist in nature, which is only conventional or quasi-real. Some parts of philosophy are unavoidable after all.

  • Whispernet (n.): The free global wi-fi that Kindles get. Kinda limited, but still cool and ekeing a little more wonder out of this 'knowledge pulled out of the sky' thing we are given without effort.



My nation is a dress uniform, like all nations. Distinctive, colourful, old, mass-produced. Six sizes too big. If I wear it I am legible to you, you I haven't met. It veils me when I meet you and don't want to be met by you. It lives in the cupboard (I don't have to meet many people).

It's usually nice to own it - something to don when surrounded by notional barbarians, to set myself apart in my different barbarism. Though often people point to it, saying that I am my frock coat, or that I'm wearing my frock coat when I'm not wearing it. This isn't fun, as no forced game is fun. At least my coat isn't caked in shit and blood, like yours. (Like all coats, it is caked in shit and blood, but at least mine isn't on the outside.)

Like all regiments, my regiment thinks it is special: not many people have these coats. But wearing any coat makes you less rare: you leave your kingdom singly for a low foothold on Leviathan.

No one will spit on my coat, unlike yours. It is humble and demotic. The regiment's crimes were quiet crimes, or else loud crimes with none left to say.

Frock coats are new. There are no frock coats, we just pretend we're wearing frock coats to humour each other. It is cold without them. But it it wouldn't be, if you stood like so before yours as it burned. Say, can you see?