[they/them] 🏳️‍⚧️, 🏳️‍🌈, disabled, disgruntled. Former librarian, future dust.
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English Is a New Top Coding Language.

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Or so Sarah Butcher reports:

If you’re wondering which coding language to learn for a software engineering job in banking, Goldman Sachs’ CIO Marco Argenti seems to be aligning himself to the people who suggest an advanced knowledge of the English language and an ability to articulate your thoughts clearly and coherently in it, is now up there alongside Python and C++.

Writing in Harvard Business Review, Argenti says he’s advised his daughter to study philosophy as well as engineering because coding in the age of large language models is partly about the “quality of the prompt.”

“Ambiguous or not well-formed questions will make the AI try to guess the question you are really asking, which in turn increases the probability of getting an imprecise or even totally made-up answer,” says Argenti. In the future, he says the most pertinent question won’t be “Can you code?,” but, “Can you get the best code out of your AI by asking the right question?”.

Asking the right question will partly depend upon being able to articulate yourself in English and that will depend upon, “reasoning, logic, and first-principles thinking,” says Argenti. Philosophical thinking skills are suddenly all-important. “I’ve seen people on social media create entire games with just a few skillfully written prompts that in the very recent past would have taken months to develop,” he adds.

I know nothing about coding, but Stu Clayton, who sent me the link, does, and since he thinks this is of interest lächerlich, I’m passing it along. Anything that places value on “advanced knowledge of the English language and an ability to articulate your thoughts” is probably a good thing.

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synapsecracklepop
65 days ago
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This sounds suspiciously like the BS I was sold 25 years ago about being an English major, wrt how my "critical thinking skills" etc would be so desired by employers across many industries.
ATL again
freeAgent
65 days ago
I can see how this may not be complete BS, but at least in any near-term scenario I can envision, a human is also going to need to review any code generated by an AI and be able to correct or modify it where necessary, and that obviously requires a human who knows how to code without an AI intermediary.
freeAgent
65 days ago
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Los Angeles, CA
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1 public comment
denismm
65 days ago
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So basically you need to be able to speak English in a specific constrained way that gets consistent results from a computer program that generates code for you. That is called a PROGAMMING LANGUAGE. Just use a normal programming language that doesn’t require a huge energy-wasting black box instead of an optimized compiler.
cosmotic
65 days ago
Humans use energy too, at some point the efficient way might be the ai
jickmagger
64 days ago
most code is not energy efficient, but to make it so would be too difficult to write. It would be something like a long LastPass password, only fathomable to AI, which is the way things are going. Coders will be obsolete very soon
cosmotic
64 days ago
The cost to do any sort of math is going to be WAY more efficient on a computer than a human. A computer can do more calculations in a second than a human would take over their entire lifetime. At 2000 calories per day, that computer is going to roast the human.

Why Children Need Risk, Fear, and Excitement in Play

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synapsecracklepop
134 days ago
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When I took my kids to playgrounds, I'd sit on a bench and read, with earplugs or headphones, and the reassurance "I'll be right here if you need me." 95% of the other parents would be playing with their kids, or worse, leading the kids through the activities with manic martial merriment: "Swing here! Hop hop hop! Now climb here! Not so high! NOT SO HIGH! Are you ready to come down? Don't run! Don't spit! Don't yell! Why are you crying?" Who was it for, and why?
ATL again
JayM
140 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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There's an effective morning-after pill for STIs but it's not clear it works in women

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The antibiotic doxycycline hyclate can be used after sex to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

Doxy-PEP can be taken a few hours after sex and is effective at preventing sexually transmitted infections. New research finds it's less effective for women but that may not be the final word.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

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synapsecracklepop
194 days ago
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And no mention whatsoever of efficacy for transmen. Will it? Won't it? Why or why not? If only there were some way to tell...
ATL again
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No longer brushed off: A Minnesota clinic tries to rewrite medicine’s approach to miscarriage

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WOODBURY, Minn. — By the time Taylor Teske came to be sitting on an exam table in an obstetrician’s office in Minnesota, her medical records marked a devastating journey: nine pregnancies, one baby, eight miscarriages.

The first miscarriage happened in June 2018, almost as soon as she found out she was pregnant. Teske told her boss at the vascular clinic where she worked that she was pregnant, and he asked if she wanted to sneak a look using the clinic’s ultrasound. He searched for sounds on the black-and-white screen. Minutes passed, but nothing happened. An obstetrician-gynecologist later confirmed that Teske was having a miscarriage. 

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synapsecracklepop
321 days ago
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A long and important piece. I know too many people who've faced repeated, often unexplained miscarriages -- and now with the potential for the clotting issues caused by COVID/long COVID, I fear we'll only see more. Because many people only work with OBGYNs, not reproductive specialists, it's even more important they know about what's in this.
ATL again
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Serif or sans serif?

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Most people care about their typefaces

Appearances matter, especially whether fonts have serifs or not.

"Font Wars Spread After State Department Replaces Times New Roman with Calibri

"'I'm banging my head against the wall;' camps divided in fallout from government efforts to make documents easier to read"

By Katie Deighton, WSJ (3/14/23)

One wonders whether it is a matter of functionality and efficiency or esthetics and taste.  Whatever motivates the confrontation, one thing is evident, and that is that people have deeply held opinions in favor of / against one side or the other.

What sounds like a typeface tempest-in-a-teapot has boiled over in the U.S. and U.K., where changes in document requirements have set off a war of words among cantankerous font factions.

The State Department announced in January that Calibri would replace Times New Roman on official documents to make them easier to read. U.K.’s Home Office, for similar reasons, x-ed out the 83-year-old Times New Roman, which has the wings and feet on letters known as serif style.

“For every study out there that says that sans serifs are more legible than serifs, you’re going to find an opposite study,” said Maria Lindenfeldar, the creative director at Princeton University Press in New Jersey.

A 2017 study published in the scientific journal Annals of Dyslexia found that text in Dyslexie, a typeface designed to make reading easier for people with dyslexia, didn’t test any better—whether measured by speed or accuracy—than words in Times New Roman.

Some typeface executives say that, in fact, the serif flourish makes letters easier to distinguish. They cite the identical appearance in some Calibri fonts of the lowercase “l,” as in look, and uppercase “I,” as in India.

The serif versus sans-serif debate extends to nonverbal communication.

Typographer Sarah Hyndman, author of the book “Why Fonts Matter,” found that people saw serif typefaces such as Times New Roman embodying “traditional,” “conventional” and “trustworthy” values, she said; Calibri and other sans-serif typefaces were seen as “confident,” “friendly,” and “honest.”

Rebecca Creed, a Florida-based appellate attorney, had in the past used Times New Roman or Courier New for court briefs and other legal documents. In 2021, the Florida Supreme Court adopted a rule requiring Arial or Bookman Old Style, chosen for their readability on screens, for computer-generated documents.

At Ms. Creed’s law firm, Bookman Old Style won out.

“We just liked the way it looked,” she said. “That sounds dumb, but it’s really just what it came down to.”

Chacun à son goût.

 

Selected readings

 

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synapsecracklepop
486 days ago
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During and after an extended period of vision loss, I found APHont as wonderful as it was designed to be. (Free for users/audiences with vision loss)

From a 2007 research review: "The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) recommends the use of its APHont font when creating large-print materials for individuals with low vision because of its usability characteristics: even spacing between letters, no serifs, wider letters, rounder letters, and larger punctuation marks. We did not locate any experimental, published studies on APHont..."

Some say it's not "attractive," but I think it's not unattractive -- anything is better than TNR, one of the stingiest little serifs ever. And with the benefits of increased access, fluency, and textual immersion, APHont readers and typers likely have less interest in nitpicking the finer points of presentation. That, at least, was my experience.
ATL again
davenelson
486 days ago
To bad APHont font is only available for personal use.
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Becerra: Judge set to rule on abortion pill is ‘beginning to read the law’

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WASHINGTON — Health secretary Xavier Becerra on Tuesday warned of dramatic consequences if a federal judge revokes the federal approval of mifepristone, a form of medication abortion.

The judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, is set to rule on a case brought in Texas by anti-abortion advocates seeking to overturn the drug’s initial approval more than two decades ago. Mifepristone, taken in combination with misoprostol, accounts for over half of U.S. abortions. It is also used to treat miscarriage.

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synapsecracklepop
496 days ago
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"Becerra warned that if Kacsmaryk — an appointee of President Donald Trump — overturns mifepristone’s approval, the impact of the ruling would extend far beyond threats to abortion access. [As if that weren't nightmarish enough -SJ]

"Such a ruling would challenge the country’s basic system for approving drugs and encroach on the authority of the Food and Drug Administration, Becerra argued."
ATL again
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