Annual reminder

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Evert
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by Evert » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:10 am

michiguel wrote: When you verbalize things is when you actually pay attention to a given concept.
Sure. That's why it's important to take notes during a lecture.
That is why it is important to sign the "I won't shake my baby" form. The more stupid it looks to do it, the better.
This is where I disagree. I am aware of the issue, I am not more or less likely to do it because of a random piece of paper. All it does is make me feel I'm being talked down to.
Note that I never claimed this is some universal human truth. If it helps someone, great. It just doesn't do it for me.
By the time comes you have the impulse to do that, you immediately remember.
Oddly enough, no. What I remembered on those occasions where a crying baby at three in the morning tended to drive me up the wall is that it's a baby and one should never lose control or act in frustration when dealing with a child. Particularly babies, where it is at best useless to lose your patience and become angry.

Not everyone has the same tolerance for frustration, of course.
Things that become "consensus" are easier to follow. It may not apply to Evert, that somehow is very aware of the problem, but it will apply to others. It saves lives. In other words, Evert is totally wrong on assuming that was silly. People organize those things for a very good reason.
I said I found it silly and patronising. I didn't say this was some universal human truth.

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Evert
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by Evert » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:42 am

bob wrote: What is the divorce rate where you live? And then do you not go through the "till death do us part?" with the minister/rabbi/etc? How well was THAT pledge followed?
Interesting analogy, but by default the marriage pledge here doesn't have such a clause: it just requires you to agree to fulfilling the obligations stated in the law (which are about financial security, emotional support, physical aid and caring for children that are part of the family).
It's probably part of religious ceremonies though, but those aren't legally binding.

Of course that's not the point you're making, but I just wanted to point out that many (most?) marriage pledges here do not include that particular clause even though the intention when marrying someone is usually that it's for life (otherwise it's just a lot of hassle).
If someone is dishonest, a pledge means less than nothing. If they are honest, a pledge is less than useless.
Agreed, certainly where it concerns myself.

bob
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by bob » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:32 pm

Evert wrote:
bob wrote: What is the divorce rate where you live? And then do you not go through the "till death do us part?" with the minister/rabbi/etc? How well was THAT pledge followed?
Interesting analogy, but by default the marriage pledge here doesn't have such a clause: it just requires you to agree to fulfilling the obligations stated in the law (which are about financial security, emotional support, physical aid and caring for children that are part of the family).
It's probably part of religious ceremonies though, but those aren't legally binding.

Of course that's not the point you're making, but I just wanted to point out that many (most?) marriage pledges here do not include that particular clause even though the intention when marrying someone is usually that it's for life (otherwise it's just a lot of hassle).
If someone is dishonest, a pledge means less than nothing. If they are honest, a pledge is less than useless.
Agreed, certainly where it concerns myself.
I only mentioned marriage because it was mentioned in the post I replied to. Our weddings here generally have something to the effect of "I, Robert Hyatt, take you Janie to be my wife, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to death us do part."

Quite a few seem to not take that seriously since the US divorce rate is generally quoted at around 50%, and I just looked up the Netherlands where it is around 43%. So "pledges" are not worth the paper they are written on, nor the air they are spoken into. :)

wgarvin
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by wgarvin » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:22 am

Evert wrote:See, this reminds me of an incident a couple of years ago, when we were living in North-America. We were following pre-natal classes and in one of them they covered the topic of shaking babies and how you should then never, ever do that. This was followed by a little ceremony where you could write a pledge on a piece of paper ("I promise that I will never shake my baby"), which you could then hand over to another participant to sign and witness.
That's surreal.. [Edit: after re-reading some of the other posts about it, I can see why they ask you to sign that pledge though. Shaking a baby can cause permanent brain damage, even death. If that simple, patronizing trick can reduce the number of such incidents, then its worth the cost to your dignity.]


Its woefully off-topic, but your description made me think of this post I read recently, about the author's experiences during a severe bout of depression:
Ken White of popehat.com wrote: I couldn't get through this if I couldn't laugh at myself and at the absurdity of it all.

I first recognized this because of golf pencils. You're encouraged to write to loved ones when you're hospitalized. But pens are potential weapons, so they give you the short, stubby pencils that you'd use to score miniature golf. These induce hand cramps but are highly ineffective for suicide. Once a day they'd ask me to sign a promise not to hurt myself, or others. When they asked that they gave me a pen. An oath written with a golf pencil is of mickle might; nobody expects your word to be binding unless it's written with, at a minimum, a Bic. After you sign the no-harm promise they take the pen back, and give you back the golf pencil. One day the cosmic ridiculousness of this struck me so hard that I started to laugh until tears rolled down my face. I do not recommend this as a strategy to get out of a mental institution more promptly.
I think his whole post is great reading, especially if you or someone you know has struggled with depression.


But back on topic. I admit that the whole "pledge" idea doesn't seem too useful to me personally.

But signing some sort of pledge in public does have one benefit that bob might not have acknowledged, which is to indicate to other people that you intend to behave ethically, in accordance with the pledge. Some people might find it worthwhile to make a statement of that sort. For example, if they feel that certain behavior is unethical and they want to help shape the community opinion about it by "leading by example", then signing a public statement that says "I think X is unethical and I pledge not to do it" might have some value. Obviously its up to each person to decide for themselves whether they want to or not.

Dann Corbit
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by Dann Corbit » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:39 am

bob wrote:
Evert wrote:
bob wrote: What is the divorce rate where you live? And then do you not go through the "till death do us part?" with the minister/rabbi/etc? How well was THAT pledge followed?
Interesting analogy, but by default the marriage pledge here doesn't have such a clause: it just requires you to agree to fulfilling the obligations stated in the law (which are about financial security, emotional support, physical aid and caring for children that are part of the family).
It's probably part of religious ceremonies though, but those aren't legally binding.

Of course that's not the point you're making, but I just wanted to point out that many (most?) marriage pledges here do not include that particular clause even though the intention when marrying someone is usually that it's for life (otherwise it's just a lot of hassle).
If someone is dishonest, a pledge means less than nothing. If they are honest, a pledge is less than useless.
Agreed, certainly where it concerns myself.
I only mentioned marriage because it was mentioned in the post I replied to. Our weddings here generally have something to the effect of "I, Robert Hyatt, take you Janie to be my wife, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to death us do part."

Quite a few seem to not take that seriously since the US divorce rate is generally quoted at around 50%, and I just looked up the Netherlands where it is around 43%. So "pledges" are not worth the paper they are written on, nor the air they are spoken into. :)
I have a different take on it. A pledge is as strong as the person who makes it. Always carry your promise through, *especially* when it turns out to your disadvantage. The other ones don't even need reminders (because, after all, they are to your advantage). When people discover that you are a man of your word, you will gain their trust.

As far as reluctance to make a strange pledge, I can see that point too.
E.g.:
"I promise not to beat my wife."
"I promise not to to rob a bank."
"I promise not to kick a puppy."

Do these things really even need to be spoken?
If they do, it is something really sad. We're setting the bar awfully low.

IMO-YMMV

wgarvin
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by wgarvin » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:03 am

Dann Corbit wrote: As far as reluctance to make a strange pledge, I can see that point too.
E.g.:
"I promise not to beat my wife."
"I promise not to to rob a bank."
"I promise not to kick a puppy."

Do these things really even need to be spoken?
If they do, it is something really sad. We're setting the bar awfully low.
I agree about those three examples, but "I promise not to shake my baby" is less clear-cut. It seems to have two purposes:
(1) to educate new parents about the dangers of shaking their baby (even briefly), and
(2) to try and reprogram their behavior so that if in a moment of pure frustration, they were about to shake their baby in anger, they might stop and think about it first.
Know the Facts about [Shaken Baby Syndrome]:
* SBS is a leading cause of child abuse deaths in the United States.
* Babies (newborn to 4 months) are at greatest risk of injury from shaking.
* Inconsolable crying is a primary trigger for shaking a baby.

bob
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by bob » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:06 pm

wgarvin wrote:
Evert wrote:See, this reminds me of an incident a couple of years ago, when we were living in North-America. We were following pre-natal classes and in one of them they covered the topic of shaking babies and how you should then never, ever do that. This was followed by a little ceremony where you could write a pledge on a piece of paper ("I promise that I will never shake my baby"), which you could then hand over to another participant to sign and witness.
That's surreal.. [Edit: after re-reading some of the other posts about it, I can see why they ask you to sign that pledge though. Shaking a baby can cause permanent brain damage, even death. If that simple, patronizing trick can reduce the number of such incidents, then its worth the cost to your dignity.]


Its woefully off-topic, but your description made me think of this post I read recently, about the author's experiences during a severe bout of depression:
Ken White of popehat.com wrote: I couldn't get through this if I couldn't laugh at myself and at the absurdity of it all.

I first recognized this because of golf pencils. You're encouraged to write to loved ones when you're hospitalized. But pens are potential weapons, so they give you the short, stubby pencils that you'd use to score miniature golf. These induce hand cramps but are highly ineffective for suicide. Once a day they'd ask me to sign a promise not to hurt myself, or others. When they asked that they gave me a pen. An oath written with a golf pencil is of mickle might; nobody expects your word to be binding unless it's written with, at a minimum, a Bic. After you sign the no-harm promise they take the pen back, and give you back the golf pencil. One day the cosmic ridiculousness of this struck me so hard that I started to laugh until tears rolled down my face. I do not recommend this as a strategy to get out of a mental institution more promptly.
I think his whole post is great reading, especially if you or someone you know has struggled with depression.


But back on topic. I admit that the whole "pledge" idea doesn't seem too useful to me personally.

But signing some sort of pledge in public does have one benefit that bob might not have acknowledged, which is to indicate to other people that you intend to behave ethically, in accordance with the pledge. Some people might find it worthwhile to make a statement of that sort. For example, if they feel that certain behavior is unethical and they want to help shape the community opinion about it by "leading by example", then signing a public statement that says "I think X is unethical and I pledge not to do it" might have some value. Obviously its up to each person to decide for themselves whether they want to or not.
I'm not sure I would go along with that. If you have to see me write it to believe it, how can you possibly know whether or not I actually meant it? We have seen quite a few statements about "program originality" over the past few years, and whether they are true or not has nothing to do with what the author wrote. Houdini as just one example, to avoid the more controversial one. those that "walk the walk" don't need to "talk the talk". As the old saying goes, "talk is cheap" (as is signing a pledge or taking a vow). I am three weeks away from my 47th anniversary. I'd presume my signing something saying that "till death do us part" means something would be pointless, since it is pretty obvious my wife and I were serious when we said "I do". Or, in other words, one's character is defined by what they do, not by what they say they will do.

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Re: Annual reminder

Post by Evert » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:26 pm

wgarvin wrote:
Dann Corbit wrote: As far as reluctance to make a strange pledge, I can see that point too.
E.g.:
"I promise not to beat my wife."
"I promise not to to rob a bank."
"I promise not to kick a puppy."

Do these things really even need to be spoken?
If they do, it is something really sad. We're setting the bar awfully low.
I agree about those three examples, but "I promise not to shake my baby" is less clear-cut.
Well, I would add "I will not abuse my child" to that list. No parent sets out with the intention to abuse their child.

Of course it still happens, but the reason it happens is that people didn't make a pledge not to do it.
It seems to have two purposes:
(1) to educate new parents about the dangers of shaking their baby (even briefly), and
(2) to try and reprogram their behavior so that if in a moment of pure frustration, they were about to shake their baby in anger, they might stop and think about it first.
Know the Facts about [Shaken Baby Syndrome]:
* SBS is a leading cause of child abuse deaths in the United States.
* Babies (newborn to 4 months) are at greatest risk of injury from shaking.
* Inconsolable crying is a primary trigger for shaking a baby.
Shaking a baby is child abuse, possibly homicide if you end up killing the baby, so that's absolutely something that you need people to be aware of. A crying baby that won't settle gets on your nerves very quickly. What doesn't help is that gently rocking a baby has a soothing effect and helps them settle, so when it doesn't work, rocking it harder has to be better, right?
What I do know is that for later children you simply don't have time to dote on them as much as on the first, so by the time you get round to attending a crying baby, chances are that they've settled already - in other words, sometimes it's better just to let a crying baby be for a while, hard as it can be.

Anyway, this is veering off on a bit of a tangent.

rob
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Re: Annual reminder

Post by rob » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:25 am

What would be the appropriate selection for an individual who has quite deliberately strictly avoided reading any source code from any open source chess program?

I can hardly claim to be the original author of much in my program, the Rubric chess engine. For example, for the transposition table code, I studied several papers along the lines of "Computer Chess and Search" by Marsland. For the Zobrist hashing method I read the paper "A New Hashing Method with Application for Game Playing" by Zobrist. I use the negamax formulation of alpha-beta/pvs presented in the paper "Parallel Search of Strongly Ordered Game Trees" by Marsland and Campbell.

Things do look a bit different in my engine from what is presented in the above papers because after you add null move, external iterative deepening, internal iterative deepening, bit boards, incremental do/undo with Zobrist hashing, etc., it's a lot more code. But clearly there's an unmistakable similarity of my code to the papers I've mentioned.

Even my use of the alpha-beta algorithm is a copy and paste. I mention alpha-beta particularly because alpha-beta in the form seen in most textbooks (Knuth's version) nowadays was not an obvious algorithm at the time it was constructed by Knuth. Many other researchers had formulated algorithms a lot like alpha-beta, but which, for various reasons, did not return the optimal decision tree.

I have copyrighted my (currently) closed source engine because U.S. copyright law does not apply to algorithms and independent authorship of roughly the same ideas is nevertheless copyrightable provided that the work was independently synthesized without resorting to a verbatim sort of "copy and paste" approach. But I'm really "standing on the shoulders of giants" with my engine. Very little of it came from my own mind and nowhere else. In fact, most of the time when a new idea pops into my head about how to make it better, I can search here and someone has already posted a topic on their experiments with the very same idea.

I'll agree though that there is a satisfaction in working through the existing material and designing the experiments to validate promising personally authored ideas.

Rob

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