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Posts posted by Bob_Church

  1. Iago

    It's been many years since I was in Taylorville, but I would say stay here.

    But watch out for Joe. He's got the gift of gab and you might end up on the porch talking and miss the whole boogie.

    It looks nice but since this is a boogie a room is just someplace I can crash then have a shower when I get up. A couple hundred a night for stuff that seems nice, but I'll never use, is a little steep for what I need.


  2. adumbelk

    That's perfect, thank you. I thought the picture I remember was a little bit closer than this but it's been so long. Really I just wanted to get a rough idea of what's to draw. I'll look more into the source and figure out who to talk to about rights. Thank you!

    It's really surprising how much our memory of these things can change. Glad it was the correct shot.

  3. "In the meantime, google weak AI and strong AI for an overview of both. "

    I don't need to google it, I'm quite aware of the terms and how they're used.

    I just find it amusing to watch so many people realize that they can't provide what they said they could so they just rename what they can do.
    There was a dog shelter in Marietta that always had whatever dog a caller wanted. Even if they only had one dog, it was whatever breed you were looking for.

  4. "So when I disagree with you I am "twisting words." When I agree with you I am "twisting words." "

    If I told you it was pouring the rain down you'd find a way to skip the umbrella then explain that water isn't really dripping from you.
    That's what I mean by you twisting words.

  5. adumbelk

    It's a picture of a very low pull on a round. The Skydivers is still mostly belly to earth and the canopy is at pine stretch. I'd like to outline it for a project if I can find the picture. Thanks

    It sounds like this shot from Skies Call 2. This is just a scan from my copy. I have no idea how you'd go about getting permission to use it or a good copy.
    I'm sure I could scan a better copy for you, it's two pages so it's a little rough, but please don't take that as me saying it's ok to use it, I just have the book. I leave that call to you.
    If it's even the right photo, that is.


  6. peek

    ***You don't have to use a card supplied by the manufacturer. You don't have to use a Tyvek card. You don't have to use a pre-printed card -- you could just write the required stuff on the back of your business card.

    Yep, that is what I do. I had cards printed many years ago, and have not yet run out of them. Unfortunately, so many riggers and dropzones now think that information besides that of the reserve must be present on the card, that I kind of have given up, and just use the preprinted cards available.

    I guess I'll design a new card whenever I run out.

    My favorite packing card is a hand made one from Kennedy Space Center. I bought a reserve from a man who worked there and he packed it on the same table as the Shuttle booster canopies.
    Speaking of futuristic, I really like the usb card that Strong provides along with the paper one. It's a great place to keep digital copies of everything. The one downside is that it's shaped in a way that fits into the reserve card pocket and it's so very tempting to keep it there. But I suspect that after one opening it would look like a saltine you stepped on. There are paper usb cards now, so can flexible digital cards be far off?

  7. piisfish

    ******ah yes, the right wing wins yet another victory to support killing each other while calling ourselves patriots.....

    Not quite. Right-wingers once again win when it comes to upholding the constitution of this great country. The document that the Democrats and the leftist Socialist have come to despise.what is the exact wording again ? Isn’t it written something like: well organised militia ? Show us how the militia is organised then...

    I live close to the area where the UMWA was formed. When government sanctioned strike breakers and Pinkertons arrived to put people in their places they found a well armed citizenry ready for them. Otherwise, coal miners would have never been allowed to unionize and make a decent living for themselves and their families.

  8. "However, if you are saying it's not strong AI, I agree. It's a form of "weak AI" that is intended as a limited assistant. Most AI over the next decade or so will take this form - an assistant for people both at home and at work to simplify their interface to the growing cloud of networks and devices around us. "

    This is all about taking what you have and twisting words to the point that they say it is what you want it to be.

    This explains a lot.

  9. "Even so, AI has come pretty far, even running on Von Neumann/Harvard architecture machines. Imagine if you went back to 1983 and demo'd a device that you could plug in, then say "hey Alexa, play some early David Bowie" or "hey Alexa, what are the effects of tariffs on the economy?" or "hey Alexa, tell me a joke." It would have blown that CEO's socks off. "

    It still wouldn't be intelligence. It's a sensor system with a complex decision tree. A decision tree created for it, not by it. Pretending that it's AI or anywhere near it is like those guys who used to argue that a television was just one step away from a Star Trek transporter.
    When Alexa's descendant decides that it doesn't like Bowie and lies about having it available then we can talk intelligence.

  10. "Part of the problem is that people STILL don't really understand what AI is. I've just spent a year working on a number of projects for the NHS looking at the use of AI. AI (and more specifically ML) is already better than humans at things like identifying cancerous moles, or recommending drug regimes for chronic illness based on a number of symptoms. "

    I think the biggest problem is that we're trying to create an artificial version of something when we still don't have a clue about the original version.

  11. jonstark

    We were doing them in the late seventies with “problem” students. Took a guy with a flat spin problem up a few times.

    What could go wrong? We didn’t know what we didn’t know. Yikes!


    I did way too many clear and pulls, I'd look down and tumble. At Bidwell, in '78, they said they were considering putting me back on static line. But "putting you back on static line" was actually a euphemism for suggesting you find another sport. Then one day Kenny Bright was there helping out. Kenny had a lot of jumps and experience. A lot of the people running Bidwell were young and with a few hundred jumps. They were good, they knew what they were doing and all, but there was something about Kenny's older calmer style that really seemed to help. He took me up and I finally did a perfect c&p. Then he took me up for a five second delay and that went well. After that it all worked,the usual screwups now and then but no more "maybe back to static line." I still credit Kenny Bright for letting me become a skydiver.

  12. airdvr


    Last year, The Fiscal Times ranked 116 cities with populations greater than 200,000 for their fiscal soundness. Chicago ranked dead last. Just like the state of Illinois, it is broke. And the current incompetent regime seems to think that raising taxes to stratospheric levels and spending more is how to fix the problem.

    Nice to see more people enslaved by giving them free money.

    We want universal health care, universal basic income and open borders.
    Yeh, that's gonna work.

  13. ryoder

    ***I think UBI is inevitable in the long run, (Or a similar idea) based on the fact that a lot of jobs, due to AI and automation, are never coming back.
    It's a way off yet but at some point, there is very little that won't be done better and more cheaply by machines.

    Tell that to Elon Musk:

    It reminds me of the promise of AI in the 80s. "Yes sir, General, or CEO, or whoever's writing the checks. We have the concept of AI whipped we just don't have the hardware yet."
    Then we got the hardware and it suddenly got really quiet.

  14. Stumpy

    I think UBI is inevitable in the long run, (Or a similar idea) based on the fact that a lot of jobs, due to AI and automation, are never coming back.
    It's a way off yet but at some point, there is very little that won't be done better and more cheaply by machines.

    I saw an article awhile back that's saying the opposite. That is, outfits that were going to go with automation realized that if you move your factory to places where you can exploit your workers mercilessly then they're much cheaper than automation. After all, when they break down you don't have to fix them, just get more.
    I'll see if I can dig it up.

  15. markharju

    I have recently come back to after abandoning social media.

    I am hopeful that others will follow my lead and return as well. When I quit Facebook I wrote an essay about exactly why I was leaving (I found it more corrosive than in the pre-SC days). It (fb) is a wonderful platform, but the lack of filtering coupled with the lack of critical thinking makes for a lot of knee-jerk flaming. Not my idea of a fun time.


    I had exactly the opposite experience but with the same conclusion. I tried Facebook for about a month early this spring. I found a lot of great people in the old skydivers section and great discussions. But it was still Facebook. I felt like I needed a shower every time I used it. Not that forum, but just Facebook. So I bailed. But I miss the people on there.
    What I'd like to do is get some or all (dream big) of those folks over here, but their arguments against coming are pretty much the opposite of why you left there. I try to convince them that a forum can be what its users make it, but they aren't interested in coming back. And it's a real shame.

  16. JamesBond

    ***About the domestic violence. Is it pretty much even throughout the population in Australia or particularly bad in some parts of the population?

    It's hard to say. Unlike the US, Australia has a small population over a large land mass, but highly concentrated in coastal cities - led, by far, by Sydney (where I am) and Melbourne.

    I would've thought that domestic violence rates would be higher in the congested city areas, but the data (for NSW anyway, the eastern state where Sydney is capital) suggests that DV is worse out in the outback:

    There seems to be a correlation between rates of assault and economic power across the state. Sydney and other NSW coastal hubs have seemingly lower rates of assault compared to more inland regions. In hindsight, this isn't terribly surprising.

    I think Bob, you may have seen a somewhat biased news report if your takeaway was that Australia's domestic violence rates are comparable to America's in the 1950s or so. The stats between Australia and America more recently are quite similar (, so I assume there was a little sensationalism in the report you saw.

    That's why I was wondering about the regional thing. It wasn't clear if they were talking about Australia in general or specific places. We have places in the US that fit the same description, alcohol banned but smuggled in, sexual assault and violence epidemic, but while those things do happen everywhere not at anything like the rate in those places.

  17. piisfish

    Plus you get paid physical training and several days technical training before your first jump. Provided you make it through selection.

    My first water jump was for the Sternwheel Regatta in Charleston Wv. I got paid $25, got my rig cleaned and repacked at no charge, a free t-shirt and best of all, had the local emergency crews waiting for me as I went into the water.
    Then to top it all off they let me swim from the motor boat to the dock. Swimming in that area is usually strictly forbidden with huge 'No Swimming' signs all over the place. Small things, but I had a great time.
    It was a good afternoon.

  18. "It's not in this version of the story, but alcohol was reportedly involved (not terribly surprisingly). "

    This is very close to Oshkosh and I soon realized that if you were driving in Oshkosh and had a heart attack or something and lost control of the car you would drive into a bar or a carry out. Sorry, package store. And even in Neenah and Menasha the places in grocery stores where, around here, there would be a huge produce section they've got cases of booze piled up. And I'm not talking beer either. Cases of heavy duty booze. In the winter there are so many snow white faces with bright red noses that it looks like a Rudolph convention.

  19. wolfriverjoe

    You would think the ringing bells and flashing lights and lowered warning gates would be noticeable.

    It's not in this version of the story, but alcohol was reportedly involved (not terribly surprisingly).

    That's such a familiar sight. Not the bicycle falling through the bridge, but the bridge. My wife grew up in Neenah and I think that's the bridge she walked across to and from school each day, wondering if her ears would survive the trip. Those Wisconsin winters are cold and windy.

  20. "Only penultimate? So who is the ultimate troll? "

    The ultimate troll is one that you don't even know is a troll. There is one poster that I can't decide about. Are these posts from a group of trolls using a faked account, a machine AI or just someone who actually talks like that? Based on the quickness of responses and their shortness I'm thinking the second, but I'm not sure if the technology is there yet. The responses are simple enough for some old AI counselor program but linking that to a forum is what I wonder about.
    But no matter what, the only sensible thing to do is never respond.

  21. JamesBond

    Hey Bob,

    Australian here. Yes when I read about domestic violence against women and rape stats here, I was taken aback. I believe our rates of other types of violent crimes are lower than yours though - not that I'm saying one is better or worse than the other. It's just how it's played out respectively I suppose.

    And just to clarify (not that it matters because I know what you meant) - the ABS is actually the Australian Bureau of Statistics - where I imagine we are getting our numbers from. The ABC is our Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and yes their news reports are generally good quality.

    You may find this link interesting:

    Yep, ABC, got those backwards. Thanks,
    They have good international reporting which I like. And I do enjoy local stories, like following a link about something odd to some town's local paper then reading the local news.
    About the domestic violence. Is it pretty much even throughout the population in Australia or particularly bad in some parts of the population?