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 Post subject: APOD aside
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:49 am 
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daveboling, I was slightly surprised to find that the APOD post wasn't something that was automated. Is there a reason that the posting of the daily APOD to C&F isn't automated?

I have some possible ideas as to why it wouldn't be, but I am also interested to hear your thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:53 am 
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A couple reasons, but mainly that by posting manually I have made seeing each one of the APOD postings part of my daily routine. If I ever get tired of it, or can no longer post, I'd challenge anyone who continues the thread to automate it (but only after posting manually for at least one week). It's like framing a masterpiece; a little bit of the wonder rubs off on you just by putting a frame around it for display.

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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:59 pm 
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daveboling wrote:
A couple reasons, but mainly that by posting manually I have made seeing each one of the APOD postings part of my daily routine. If I ever get tired of it, or can no longer post, I'd challenge anyone who continues the thread to automate it (but only after posting manually for at least one week). It's like framing a masterpiece; a little bit of the wonder rubs off on you just by putting a frame around it for display.

dave boling


That makes sense. Thanks for sharing. :)

I believe automating it would be relatively easy. (I haven't tried per se, but I've done enough programming that I think I know where I'd start.) The main barrier that I imagined is that the mods probably wouldn't appreciate it as much if it were just a program posting every day. I think having a human post it also adds value too.


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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:36 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
Is there a reason that the posting of the daily APOD to C&F isn't automated?
AaronFW wrote:
I think having a human post it also adds value too.

You're right; current Admin would find it problematic if it were automated. But never mind us - consider the ultimately awkward dilemma of posts in your username that were not posted by you at all: in one sense, you would be like an absentee landlord; in another sense, you would be hostage to the automation program. The first sense would be the main thrust of Admin objection; the second should well be your own. On a personal level, it certainly would be mine: Once automated, I cannot be free.

Your second comment above is on board with our thinking. From the beginning (well before anyone ever even dreamt of Facebook and Twitter) C&F was and still is intended, in its way, as a social website above all, and automation is not social. As you have guessed, whatever form this socialization takes, the persons behind it are key. Even if few members ever post replies on the APOD thread, it is still an offering to all, and when manually submitted, each post expresses something of its author in a way that automation cannot. Automation erases the personal element, and therein lies our objection to the notion: Once automated, the project no longer has any Dave-ness about it; his authorship becomes fundamentally irrelevant, and would have as much meaning for the spirit of C&F as the banner ads do, which is to say none at all. Arguably, it would be little better than spam, then. Instead, the present APOD thread is a living personal project, a direct act of creativity; it also happens to be an extension of a previous project in the same vein (hence the '"He's your son!!" of...'), the original first founded by Denny, one of our members who has since passed on and is greatly missed. As such, Dave's act of taking up the reins not only honors Denny's memory; on its own, it too bears the living personal stamp of its present author, who saw the project as worth perpetuating. As things presently stand, if for any reason Dave were to discontinue posting on the thread and no one else were to continue the tradition in some way, that would be the end of that, and we all move on, the APOD project becoming a marker in the course of C&F history.

As you can see, this insistence on the social standard is a matter of longstanding Board philosophy, conceived and implemented from the first by its originator and Grand Pooh-bah Emeritus, Dale Wisely. We still hope to see C&F continue in this spirit, as least as we interpret it. Dave's thoughts on automating it after him are interesting and worth consideration, but we can cross that bridge when we get to it; I confess that initially, my gut personal preference would be to have someone continue posting it manually. As we might have said in days of yore, it's the Chiffy thing to do. :)

IIRC, Denny himself was perfectly capable of automating his original APOD thread, because he had resources, if not the exact chops. He chose not to, which I think says something - but then he never could resist the opportunity to insert personal commentary, and the wryer, the better. :)

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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:59 am 
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Ah, I had not known Denny or known the history of the APOD thread. :o

Just because it is a related side tangent....Have you heard about the Roman Mazurenko App? It is an app made in the memory of Roman Mazurenko who died a few years ago after being hit by a car. His name probably isn't familiar but he was a young entrepreneur. In his memory, an app was made to replicate text message discussions of him. The creator collected thousands of his text messages and built an app to simulate talking with him. The creator also released "Replika" which takes the users Text Messages and learns in order to be a companion that you can text and have conversations with. I had originally read about the apps in an article that was predicting how loss of loved ones might look different in the near future.

Maybe we have enough Chiff and Fipple Data that we could create the ultimate Chiffer. :)


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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:42 am 
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AaronFW wrote:
Maybe we have enough Chiff and Fipple Data that we could create the ultimate Chiffer. :)
That's a noble goal, innit?


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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:41 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
Just because it is a related side tangent....Have you heard about the Roman Mazurenko App? It is an app made in the memory of Roman Mazurenko who died a few years ago after being hit by a car. His name probably isn't familiar but he was a young entrepreneur. In his memory, an app was made to replicate text message discussions of him. The creator collected thousands of his text messages and built an app to simulate talking with him. The creator also released "Replika" which takes the users Text Messages and learns in order to be a companion that you can text and have conversations with. I had originally read about the apps in an article that was predicting how loss of loved ones might look different in the near future.

TBH, I don't understand the inclination toward that. I mean, I do, because those of us who have known deep grief miss our loved ones beyond telling and we would give anything to get them back. But if we are to be honest with ourselves, departed is departed and no app is going to resurrect them. Not really. To suggest that the app experience would in any way be meaningful is, I think, a big mistake except in coming to hard revelations about ourselves. That's very valuable - I would say the most important of all - but that's also as far as it goes. In using the app one is only engaged with a collection of statistical probabilities; a simulacrum, not the original being itself. I for one would find such an experience hollow, and something of a mockery. I'm afraid it would stretch me thin to find a companion in that when the living are all around me.

Of course, this draws us into territory of the nature of being and selfhood. Given C&F's rules, my own ideas and convictions in the matter are not fit material for public discussion here because they arguably fall within the matter of religion.

AaronFW wrote:
Maybe we have enough Chiff and Fipple Data that we could create the ultimate Chiffer. :)

Why is one needed? How would you point to him/her? The Ultimate Chiffer is the very one you are reading at that very moment. There is no other; we are all the Ultimate Chiffer.

AaronFW wrote:
Ah, I had not known Denny...

Sometimes I can't be sure I ever did, either. He could be oblique in the extreme, because he inclined to brevity and the compression it calls for. But I always found him entertaining. :)

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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:04 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
Maybe we have enough Chiff and Fipple Data that we could create the ultimate Chiffer. :)

Why is one needed? How would you point to him/her? The Ultimate Chiffer is the very one you are reading at that very moment. There is no other; we are all the Ultimate Chiffer.


The shortcoming I saw was that the Ultimate Chiffer also needs to play music since a real Chiffer is someone who lives in the world and has things to contribute and learn. But AI would run short of being able to contribute to the forums (well, the AI could automatically field questions on Pakistani-made instruments).


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 Post subject: Re: APOD aside
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:18 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
...(well, the AI could automatically field questions on Pakistani-made instruments).

But it would not have the direct personal experience to back it up. It could only speak second-hand; speaking of which, its ability to separate the wheat from the chaff would also be in question.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not an anti-AI luddite. But as things stand now, in certain fields I see only its limitations. Music is far too subjective a pursuit for AI to fit comfortably; game theory, medicine and general knowledge are another matter.

I have to say, though, that Jarvis is one of my favorite characters in the Iron Man movie franchise, and one wonders at the possibilities for the future. Not of the franchise; I meant of AI. :)

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