September 21, 2023

Quit Lit

As twitter… I don’t even know what metaphor to reach for to describe what is happening to twitter, but all I know is that we will be calling it “doing a twitter” from now on. Anyway, as twitter does a twitter, I’ve seen people talk about several tools for archiving your social media output. This has always sort of puzzled me. I kind of don’t mind if social media is ephemeral, impermanent. Read more

July 10, 2023

Why Paw Patrol is just the worst

I am a dad, and as a dad I watch a lot of kids TV. Some shows I think are actually pretty great (Hey Duggee, Bluey), and some shows are fine, not my thing, but inoffensive (Fireman Sam, Chuggington, Octonauts). There is, however, one show that I just really hate. Paw Patrol. It’s bad. Caveats Before we dive into all the reasons Paw Patrol is the worst, I want to lay out a few caveats. Read more

March 27, 2023

Do Submarines Swim?

By now I’m sure everyone has seen enthusiastic AI boosters being completely wowed by ChatGPT and other Large Language Models (LLM) and also AI detractors pointing out the flaws of these models. For example, here’s a big compilation of such LLM failures. I think I’m probably more on the critical side, but I think a lot of the criticisms fall flat. Or better, the examples are failures, but the conclusions people draw on the basis of those failures are flawed. Read more

January 27, 2023

Python's Counter

The problem Python has a Counter object – it’s found in the collections module – and I’ve become convinced that it’s… a bit weird? The basic idea is fine: it’s a dictionary but the keys are things you want to count, and the values are the amount of the thing you have counted. The neat thing is if you initialise a counter with an iterable like a string or a list, it’ll give you the counts for the number of times each element appears. Read more

January 13, 2023

Subclass Like a Boss

I had this idea for a project I could do, but I thought “maybe I should do this other thing first to get to grips with the API”. I was doing something for that project, and got distracted doing a simpler project to learn about the technologies and tools involved. I got distracted from that project by some weird behaviour of a class in the python standard library (I’ll post about that later). Read more

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