Friday assorted links


#2 Nothing changed, they are still Colombian.

6. Neural nets are simpler, less smart brains than human brains. As they get better we should expect them to make every mistake made by human brains.

They are algorithms, not brains.

Interesting this work was done in China, which is something like 90% Han Chinese. It is among the highest racial purity of any nation. I wonder how many criminals they detected were actually members of China's racial minorities.

What does "racial purity" even me in this context? They are about 100% Asian, this is what racial should mean.
Do we care if Germany is "pure" or if there are Finns there? Do we care if the are Portuguese immigrants in Spain? Do we care about Tanzanian immigrants in Congo?

Presumably this would refer to being defined as one of the 56 national minorities. Viewing it through the lens of "racial purity" seems potentially odd or likely to lead to wrong thinking, but it could easily explain how prejudices could combine with lived experiences among those more likely to become criminals, perhaps as a direct result of greater barriers within more formal and sanctioned ways of getting by.

"Ukrainian" was a Soviet nationality (so was Jew, by the way), so what? They were still a Slavic people.

Fine. Call it "ethnic purity" if you need everything to be PC. Doesn't change the point that I suspect this neural network is recognizing Han Chinese as the good guys.

I doubt PC people are often concerned with "purity", but yes, the observation is the observation.

Hey are still all Asians.

"this is what racial should mean": who are you to tell us what it should mean? And what does "should" have to do with it anyway? Do you object to the expression 'the human race'? Do you really believe in an Asian race? I'd expect better from a distinguished Brazilian intellectual.

I object to things not being thought to mean what they really mean. Words have meaning.
Of course tbere is an Asian race. In the old times, our firefathers used to celebrate the Brazilian Race holiday

"an Asian race", singular? "Words have meaning." But many have several meanings: 'race' is one.

For all practical effects, they are the same. They can't be told apart. In countries like Brazil, they congregate together. The famous Liberty Neighbourhood in São Paulo City (São Paulo, by the way is the biggest "Japanese city" outside Japan) used to attract Japanese, now a good chunck of its population is Chinese or Korean. Where the Japanese used to have terrorist Fascist groups in Brazil and years laters their children would be part of Communist urban guerrillas, now there are triads and the Korean Mafia acting. Where the Kapanese pioneer, the Chine thrive. My town is kinda university town, it is awash in Asian Brasilians and Asian exchange students, I still can tell their nationalities apart, they are basically the same, their pronunciation of Portuguese is the same, their opinions are the same, their mannerisms are the same. So their grandgrandparents used to kill one another? Big deal. We used to cut the throats of the Southern rebels and they used to do the same with us. They are still as much Brazilians as we are.

Thiago is a great example of why Brazilian IQ is below the world average.

No, it is not. In, fact a survey by the Brazilian government showed it is at least seven points higher than the World average. And evidently it was not the Brazilian people who had to choose between electing a guy speaks at 4 th grade level and Crooked Hillary.

"They can’t be told apart". Good God, a man who couldn't distinguish a Punjabi from a Korean. It's a World First I tell you.

Well, I was thinking of East Asians, there aren't many Punjabis around in Brazil. And the fact remains people are basically the same from Ulaanbaatar to Singapore. Again, experience has shown there is little to no variations among them, they live in the same parts of the city, gravitate towards the same lines of work, hold the same political opinions and so on and on and on. They are monolithic in behavior and expectations. They are crafty and shrewd, calculating and petty, ungenerous and vindicative, the Mr. Hyde to our Dr. Jekyll if you will. .

David Brooks fancies himself as a modern day Tolstoy and he does his best impression in the column today. That column doesn't verge on the cliff of stupidity - it takes a full swan dive off of it.


Couldn't agree more......never understood appeal......the most over rated columnist . I 've never heard him say or read anything he's written that could be remotely described as inciteful.......he writes mediocre book reports

Well, he incited you to write a comment.... So you contradict yourself.

I've been living under a rock, obviously. I had no idea one of favorite novelists (Marias) had another book out. Thanks, Tyler...

I suspect Brooks did not read Lewis' book but just the article in Vanity Fair.

I hope all you Americans are enjoying that Black Friday thing:

There are much bigger savings in Brazil's Black Friday. The sellers are much more honest, too.

Our Black Friday mobs rise at dawn, shop like tigers and pack far more firepower than the pathetic Brazilians. We laugh at their concern for low prices or honest merchants.

The smallest great-grandmother in one of our shopping crowds would trample six or thirty-two mere Brazilians.

We could shop at malls if we wanted, but we have computers to streamline thewhole process. This way we can get much more bang for our bucks.

Soft, timid keyboard shoppers. No fire in their bellies, awaken in the dark, brave the cold, fight for your flatscreens,

We have enough flatscreens for evryone, life in Brazil doesn't hae to be a constant struggle for survival. In other parts of the world, life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short", but not in Brazil.

They're doing a Black Friday special on irony. You should take advantage of the discount and stock up.

I already have as much as I will ever need.

#2: whatever, so long as it's something the parties are willing to live with. Sixty-seven years of violence is quite enough.

If it were true, they would have stopped by the sixty-sixth year or before that. It is the nature of the Castilian: the only use they have for peace is to prepare for war, the only use we have for war is to prepare peace. As Brazilian writer Monteiro Lobato said, the Spanish-speaking states are butcher shops where bloody human meat is bought and sold. It is no wonder the only two long civil wars in Brazilian history were fought in the Southern border states where people mix Spanish and Portuguese words, one of them against outlaws who had hidden themselves in Uruguay under the Castilians' protection.
This so-called peace deal with go nowhere and will do it faster than Usain Bolt.

Do the pishtacos ever get into your neighborhood?

No, but in the early 1900s, the "degoladores" (the "beheaders"), war lords who ordered their enemies' necks chopped were fighting in Brazil's Southern states. As I said the troubles in the South, probably incited by the Castilian aggressor, were the only real civil wars in Brazilian history.

I disagree. Precisely because it has been sixty-seven years, the only acceptable solution involved anyone calling themselves "comrade" hanging from a length of hemp rope. Rewarding terrorists for their terrorism by giving them seats in Parliament, immunity and an open invitation to form the next government is insane. FARC has lost. Make them pay.

Indeed. One never rewards betrayal or aggression. When there were rumors the Emperor was to sign a peace treaty with López after he invaded Brazil and murdered our soldiers, the mother of seven of young soldiers (one of them a future Brazilian president) said she would rather have them to the last buried in Paraguay wth hoor than see them again without victory. This was the popular spirit as opposed to the Crown hesitations. This was the spirit that carried the day. The Paraguayan aggressor threw its best men on us. We killed them. Then it threw barely trained conscripts on us, we killed them. Then it threw boys on us, we killed them. Then it threw women on us and we killed. Always pursuing López, to prevent him to stage a Castrist guerrila avant la lettre. Year after blood-soaked year, only one goal: "victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival".
I say, make the enemy pay for what it did. Settle an example. Make all who watch understand that the wages of betrayal is death.

Cheer up, SMFS, Fidel Castro is dead. Looks like Obama managed to do what generations of right wingers have tried to, kill off Castro. I love how Obama did it by normalizing relations with them. Seriously, I think Fidel said screw this I'm out.

I think it is more likely he held on until he knew that his totalitarian dictatorship would be safe. Which Obama granted him.

Anything that does not involve both Castros hanging upside down in a provincial town square next to their mistresses is a defeat for mankind.

Either way, Obama pulled it off, just like killing Bin Laden. Thereby proving Obama is the greatest president in American history, if not world history.

Why? Can't America change course again? And hs dictatorship has been safe for 57 years and counting so it is hard to blame Obama if Cuba did not collpase in 2009-2016.

Clearly it was the cumulative effect of Republican policies that got him.I would like to see him trying to survive another 60 years of economic embargo.

#2 -- sounds like the Farc lost leverage and they are getting worse terms. This sounds like a reason to fight until complete victory/defeat.

#6 -- Yes, many subjects that progressives removed from what is allowed in discourse will slowly come back with big data and genetics, oh, progressives is there anything you can't get wrong?

6) Or, maybe it will explain our irrational prejudices to us.

Perhaps there is a genetic explanation for how some people more easily hold irrational prejudices than others? Personally, I think it's learned from other irrationally prejudiced people, but if there is a genetic explanation for these irrational prejudices, this might help to overcome the irrational prejudices which contribute to the presently observed outcomes.

Or maybe you're right about something or other, but it's pretty hard to pin you down on much more than "something something genetics and whatever outcome there is it will prove progressives dumb".

You see, when you start with the conclusion, you cannot do good science. And you're starting with the conclusion.

Lol. Starting with the conclusion, and destroying/vilifying/smearing others has been your cause's modus operandi for decades. How we let you vile creatures have any power what so ever will be studied in the future. Perhaps only ridiculed.

I started with a maybe, not a conclusion.

It was followed by a "perhaps", and "if", and a "might".

Anyways ...

You're really not in a position to evaluate most people's rationality or prejudice.

Neither are you, but that hasn't slowed you down any.

Most often, you speak for yourself in that regard.

Art can piss me off from the right as much as Nathan does from the left, but the two aren't close in terms of intellect.

Let's be fair, Art isn't THAT much dumber than Nathan.

Art is clever, eloquent and succinct. These are all fine qualities, which are not to be sneezed at.

If Thiago has taught me anything, it is that Nathan is practically Paraguayan of intellect.

Art Deco is an unusual personality. He certainly does not suffer fools gladly. But he also brings a great deal of facts and data to this site.

He adds more value than, at a guess, the bottom 50% of the posters here.

> more than 50% of the posters here
truly a low bar

6) Perhaps discrimination and maltreatment explain the outcomes (eventually a criminal record) in a relevant share of cases, as compared to the different faces being genetically related to coding which contributes to deviant behaviours of the criminal type.

The underlying theory being that if you treat someone like a criminal, for a variety of reasons eventually they are more likely to become one.

Any evidence for that theory?

Just the totality of obviousness

So nope you don't.

I don't have any 'evidence' for the 'theory' that treating people with respect is a good idea either, but we will just have to carry on somehow.

Well, it's gotta be part of it, but surely not the only thing.

Oddly enough if people behave like criminals for generations, then, for a variety of reasons, eventually other people are more likely to assume they are one.

When even Jessie Jackson admits to feeling relieved when he isn't followed by a young Black male, you have a hard job fighting reality.

Sometimes, there can be aspects of "like father like son" - and this is related to presence of role models, etc.

Similar reasoning might also apply to racism.

Most people I know prefer not to be followed, regardless of the age or skin colour of the person following them.

I have a suspicion that there will be a limit to "modern scientific phrenology," or whatever it gets called. I remember reading a popular science book a few years ago that talked about phrenology and criminality, and the stuff that has been in peer reviewed journals that one might call phrenology makes sense. Basically, things that impact the development of an embryo/foetus in such a way that make someone likelier to commit crimes also sometimes impact the development of facial features, relative position of organs like the mouth, ears, etc. I don't know what percentage of criminals might have undergone abnormal gestational development, but my suspicion is that it is less than 100%, and greater than 1%. Of course there is always the lead poisoning theory of the great crime wave of the 20th century.

Seems a reasonable hypothesis.

BTW, AFAIK facial morphometrics isn't phrenology which concerned cranial dimensions.

#1) Hirsham Matar's memoir is popping up on a lot of these lists. Seems something that TC would have read. Did you ever review this?

#6: The authors state "We stress that the criminal face images in Sc are normal ID photos not police mugshots." Then, they are even more specific "We stress that the upper lip curvature
(ro) is measured on standard ID photos taken with the person in neutral facial expression."

But, what is neutral facial expression? The article made me remember this essay on why people doesn't smile in paintings and old photos.

Perhaps what the researchers found with the algorithms is subconscious response of a criminal to sit for a photo in government building. What they see is a response to the actions and the environment. Can the same facial features be measured in other types of photos taken in other environments? Do criminals also appear with frowned lips in family photos? Or in security cameras in public spaces?

The most interesting part is that the authors make a question and then they jump into conclusions : "What features of a human face betray its owner’s propensity for crimes?". They talk about propensity and then in conclusions they say "data-driven face classifiers are able to make reliable inference on criminality". However, the temporality of crimes is never discussed. When where these photos taken? Before of after the crimes? Will the people classified as non-criminal will stay like that the rest of their lives? If they want to talk about propensity. The photos should have been a time series of criminals since youth showing the same facial features before and after the crime was committed. If not, it may just be fear or guilt or any other subconscious response to be trapped in a closed space surrounded by authority.

That essay was interesting, thanks.

Google’s Multilingual Neural Machine Translation System: Enabling Zero-Shot Translation

Melvin Johnson, Mike Schuster, Quoc V. Le, Maxim Krikun, Yonghui Wu, Zhifeng Chen, Nikhil Thorat melvinp,schuster,qvl,krikun,yonghui,zhifengc,
Fernanda Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, Greg Corrado, Macduff Hughes, Jeffrey Dean

We propose a simple, elegant solution to use a single Neural Machine Translation (NMT) model to translate between multiple languages. Our solution requires no change in the model architecture from our base system but instead introduces an artificial token at the beginning of the input sentence to specify the required target language. The rest of the model, which includes encoder, decoder and attention, remains unchanged and is shared across all languages. Using a shared wordpiece vocabulary, our approach enables Multilingual NMT using a single model without any increase in parameters, which is significantly simpler than previous proposals for Multilingual NMT. Our method often improves the translation quality of all involved language pairs, even while keeping the total number of model parameters constant. On the WMT’14 benchmarks, a single multilingual model achieves comparable performance for English→French and surpasses state-of-the-art results for English→German. Similarly, a single multilingual model surpasses state-of-the-art results for French→English and German→English on WMT’14 and WMT’15 benchmarks respectively. On production corpora, multilingual models of up to twelve language pairs allow for better translation of many individual pairs. In addition to improving the translation quality of language pairs that the model was trained with, our models can also learn to perform implicit bridging between language pairs never seen explicitly during training, showing that transfer learning and zero-shot translation is possible for neural translation. Finally, we show analyses that hints at a universal interlingua representation in our models and show some interesting examples when mixing languages.

#6 I think you can tell with some accuracy by looking who is a nice person but nat accurately enough. Even 89% is not enough to be very useful. The real dangerous folks are those who seem nice but are evil.

Lie me.

There's No Art To Find The Mind's Construction In The Face

"Why are some people zealously seized, manically attentive and compulsively engaged?"

David Brooks' problem is that he is none of those things. And it shows. He has never been all-in on anything.

Your answer shows real ineclligente.

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