CALICO's recent activity

  1. Comment on Do stories need conflict? in ~books

    CALICO
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    To be honest, I don't disagree with your disagreement. Most of the stories I'm familiar with that "have no conflict", well, I can usually find something I'd consider a conflict. The "and then, and...

    To be honest, I don't disagree with your disagreement.

    Most of the stories I'm familiar with that "have no conflict", well, I can usually find something I'd consider a conflict. The "and then, and then" stories, with no conflict at all, I find they're boring if they're anything longer than a vignette. Not my jam.

    7 votes
  2. Comment on Do stories need conflict? in ~books

    CALICO
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    It's very nearly time for me to be getting to sleep, so I'll be brief now and expand upon it tomorrow if needed. For all three questions: yes. Mostly. With exceptions, of course. Conflict is more...

    It's very nearly time for me to be getting to sleep, so I'll be brief now and expand upon it tomorrow if needed.


    For all three questions: yes. Mostly. With exceptions, of course.

    1. Conflict is more complex than a villain, or a big fight. This cute—reductive—little image could be said to describe a vast majority of stories. Conflict what happens when a character is dissatisfied by a thing; big or small. From within, from without. Conflict is something we all experience, it's part of the human condition. A resolved conflict is satisfying in life. Being able to consent to a conflict, and witness its resolution, seems to be fundamental enough to storytelling that we've been telling the same few stories to ourselves the world over for most of recorded history.

    2. Slice of Life, and Kishōtenketsu are two major types of storytelling that don't have much or any conflict to speak of. They're more rare compared to a conflict-story, but both have a healthy history with millions who enjoy those structures.

    3. It can be effective in that it can get a person interested in the anatomy and structure of a story, and give their mind the tools to analyze a text, and allow them the freedom to deconstruct a story and all of its components. Knowing what a story tends to be made of allows for questions like, is this piece actually necessary? in the first place. It can be ineffective if you have a strict teacher who sucks, and doesn't give one the freedom to explore anything or ask probing questions.

    10 votes
  3. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    CALICO
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    Season 2 of The Boys is shaping up to be everything I hoped it would be, so far. No spoilers for anyone who cares, but it's taking the elements I loved—and loved to hate—from the first season and...

    Season 2 of The Boys is shaping up to be everything I hoped it would be, so far. No spoilers for anyone who cares, but it's taking the elements I loved—and loved to hate—from the first season and really cranking it to eleven. I'm not familiar with the comics, so how it is as an adaptation is unknown to me. But simply as television it's a real delight in character & conflict.

    I've been slowly rewatching The Next Generation, and it's really difficult to articulate my love for the crew of NCC-1701-D. It's just so fun, and charming, but doesn't fail to explore deep-cutting questions. TNG is my Star Trek, and despite my best efforts I've never enjoyed any other Trek on the same level.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Phosphine discovered in Venus' atmosphere, which could be evidence of microbial life in ~space

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    Personally, I'm mostly just afraid to get excited about something I care about this much.

    Personally, I'm mostly just afraid to get excited about something I care about this much.

    15 votes
  5. Comment on Dune - Official trailer in ~movies

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    The Stormlight Archive is his strongest work, but those books are dense & complex and asking somebody to make that kind of commitment without having built up any good faith prior... it's a big...

    The Stormlight Archive is his strongest work, but those books are dense & complex and asking somebody to make that kind of commitment without having built up any good faith prior... it's a big ask.

    I'll second Mistborn. Book one (The Final Empire) is part of a trilogy, however it's also entirely self-contained and can be read as a standalone with no issue. The characters are fun, and the world is different from your average fantasy.
    One sentence pitch: Mistborn is a heist story in a world where the Dark Lord won.

    Did you only read Words of Radiance? That's a Book 2.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Dune - Official trailer in ~movies

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    Villeneuve is not only directing this film—covering the first half of Dune 1965—but is involved with Dune: The Sisterhood, which will be a show focusing on the Bene Gesserit.

    Villeneuve is not only directing this film—covering the first half of Dune 1965—but is involved with Dune: The Sisterhood, which will be a show focusing on the Bene Gesserit.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on Dune - Official trailer in ~movies

    CALICO
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    I think.. I'll allow myself to get excited now. If I have to find a criticism: I don't love the veil on the Revered Mother. But that's about it. Reasonable minds may differ, but the aesthetic of...

    I think.. I'll allow myself to get excited now.

    If I have to find a criticism: I don't love the veil on the Revered Mother. But that's about it.
    Reasonable minds may differ, but the aesthetic of everything feels so on point. Everything looks the way it ought to. The vocals of the characters feels right. The delivery feels right. And the cinematography looks to be a real treat. Even if the screenplay or the pacing fucks up the end product, I think it's safe to predict that this movie is going to be the most indulgent of eye-candy, at a minimum.

    Also, how awesome was the slow, haunting rendition of Pink Floyd's Eclipse? Chills.

    23 votes
  8. Comment on The end of dispersed camping in ~enviro

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    They can be visible as their congo-line for about a week after launch, before they change their altitudes and orbits to their final tracks. SpaceX has also been working on adding sunshades, less...

    They can be visible as their congo-line for about a week after launch, before they change their altitudes and orbits to their final tracks. SpaceX has also been working on adding sunshades, less reflective coatings, and alternative unfolding techniques to minimize visibility.

    I don't find them to be very noticeable to be honest, but I am looking from Afghanistan and while the night skies can be very clear, there's also a lot of dust in the air most days. It depends. Your mileage may vary.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on US indictments and raids of piracy group members in "The Scene" throw top-tier piracy world into chaos in ~tech

    CALICO
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    I guess this is only tangentially related, but can anybody help me understand how digital piracy is theft, vice counterfeit or something along those lines? This is a real question. I know what...

    I guess this is only tangentially related, but can anybody help me understand how digital piracy is theft, vice counterfeit or something along those lines?

    This is a real question.

    I know what intellectual property is. But I don't understand how pirating it constitutes theft. Maybe I can't get over how the term in understood vis-a-vis physical property.

    Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night hangs in New York City's Museum of Modern Art. If I break into the Museum of Modern Art and remove the painting, I stole it. That's obvious, and it makes sense.

    If I happen to paint a perfect copy, an absolutely indistinguishable counterfeit... I stole it?
    But it's right there, hanging in the Museum. Nobody moved it. The Museum didn't lose possession. I don't see how that could be theft, and I can't see how this is any different from digital piracy.


    he is alleged to have caused “tens of millions of dollars” in losses to film production studios

    I don't understand how this can be true.

    I understand the concept of opportunity loss. What I don't understand is how it can be measured, and how this measurement can mean anything:

    Deep Blue Sea 3 was released on blu-ray this week. I can buy it on Amazon for $14.96 USD. If I download DBS3, does Rosebrook Films lose fifteen bucks? How many times do I have to download it to bankrupt the production company.
    I can download it from my tracker for 22.9 GB. If I had 2.7 exabytes of storage, could I wipe out their distributors—Warner Bros—annual operating income? Will I be prosecuted for billions in losses?

    Let's say I'm living in a region where there are no legal means to purchase a disc of DBS3. Am I causing anyone to lose money? With no options open to me to pay money for it, what's the opportunity loss for something in which there was no opportunity?


    Fuck me, I can't wrap my brain around this.

    22 votes
  10. Comment on Dune thoughts and adaptation in ~books

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I recently reread Dune, and that really stuck out to me moreso than it did my first time reading. Internal perspective is always a hurdle in book/film adaptations, but, that whole sequence with...

    I recently reread Dune, and that really stuck out to me moreso than it did my first time reading.
    Internal perspective is always a hurdle in book/film adaptations, but, that whole sequence with Paul in the desert might be the trickiest part for Villeneuve to pull off, in what will presumably be the final moments of the new film. To say nothing of the Spice Agony and all the rest in the second half.

    Fingers crossed.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on In 100 years' time, what do you think society will look back on and view with distaste? in ~humanities

    CALICO
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    Hopefully, the way we treat our dying. I could write up a long post—as is my custom—but I've had a long day. Suffice to say that here and now, in the year 2020, I'm confused & disgusted at how we...

    Hopefully, the way we treat our dying.

    I could write up a long post—as is my custom—but I've had a long day. Suffice to say that here and now, in the year 2020, I'm confused & disgusted at how we tend to treat our pets with more respect, and grant them more dignity than we do to our own elderly and terminally ill.
    When our animals are suffering, we give them peace. When grandma is suffering, we put her in the hospital so we can keep her alive long enough to feel her organs slowly fail. We take away her agency, her autonomy, her right to self-determination, and force her to endure her death, on our terms.

    I hope the folks of the future have more empathy than we do, in the present.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on What are the Big Problems? in ~talk

    CALICO
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    In no specific order: Humanities failure to cope with existing, and our eventual, unavoidable ends. Humanities potential to find "the source code". Consciousness 1) This one has a lot personal...

    In no specific order:

    1. Humanities failure to cope with existing, and our eventual, unavoidable ends.
    2. Humanities potential to find "the source code".
    3. Consciousness

    1) This one has a lot personal bias baked into it. To keep it brief, I have the perspective that a lot of the problems we bump into—and have bumped into, throughout recorded history—stem from our failure to cope with being "awake", with being aware of our own consciousness, in a seemingly arbitrary world with no inherent meaning but many inherent horrors, and the knowledge it will all stop at some point.
    I have the belief that until we (on the macro scale) can get past our screaming into the void, we're not going to be able to evolve interpersonnally or societally much further than we've managed thus far.
    Worth saying that I believe some philosophies or belief systems have enabled this to happen, but have not been implemented or internalized on a large enough scale to solve the problem.

    2) "Source Code" here mostly should be understood as a Comprehensive Theory of Everything, but genetics & epigenetics fits as well.
    The human brain has been anatomically modern for (roughly) 60 thousand years. Most of that time had our ancestors living in the Upper Paleolithic of nomadic hunter-gatherers. With the same brains of our forebears, we live in a veritable Sci-Fi world. With these brains, we've managed to understand the "rules of the universe" well enough to pervert atomic weapons into existence.
    If we don't soon run in to the limits of human intelligence, we may soon understand the entire rule-book and all that can be done with it. I fear what that understanding may enable us to do at our worst.

    3) What is consciousness? Whence does it arise? Where does it reside?
    Why is there a Thing subjectively experiencing a subjective experience at all? Why are we not instead unconscious automata?
    Are the Materialist Reductionists right, and it comes solely from the structure of the brain?
    Are some of the fringe ideas on the right track, and there's an external component?
    Can the nation of China be conscious? Along similar lines of thought, is an ant colony conscious? What of fungi, or interconnected plants? Can they be conscious? Are they conscious? If they are not, can not, why? If they are or can be, how are we adapt our interactions with the world?
    Can a machine be conscious? If so, why is there debate on the ethics of creating a machine-consciousness when there is little-to-no debate in creating a new human-consciousness?
    Is consciousness a binary, something you either have or you don't? If so, what are the things that are conscious, and what makes them different from the things that aren't?
    Is consciousness a spectral quality? Is a cat more conscious than a fly? Is a cat less conscious than a human? Are humans as conscious as it's possible to be? What does it even mean to be more or less conscious?

    What is the individual experience of a consciousness when the system that supports it, dies?

    4 votes
  13. Comment on What is a great book to learn high-school level physics? in ~talk

    CALICO
    (edited )
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    I think I might have some resources on my external; stand-by for say, 6.5 hours, until I'm out of work and can check. @mrbig edit: So most of what I have for physics is more advanced stuff, but I...

    I think I might have some resources on my external; stand-by for say, 6.5 hours, until I'm out of work and can check.


    @mrbig
    edit: So most of what I have for physics is more advanced stuff, but I do have an open-source textbook called Light and Matter by Benjamin Crowell. Here is his site, which hosts this and other books for download. However while the copy on the site is around 80MB in one volume, my copy is about 11MB in six. (.7z archive) Unfortunately it is PDF format, and I know how much that can suck on a Kindle. I tried converting to EPUB and MOBI, but the formatting got all fucked up and the end results were useless.

    It's been about a decade since I've read this book, but I remember it being pretty solid. Per the description on the site, it's "...an introductory text intended for a one-year introductory course of the type typically taken by biology majors, or for AP Physics 1 and 2. Algebra and trig are used, and there are optional calculus-based sections."

    2 votes
  14. Comment on How will voting by mail work for you? in ~talk

    CALICO
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    It might not. The plan was to simply, mail via absentee. I mailed in for my ballot earlier this week, and now I hear that the Post Office here at Kandahar AF is shutting down early next month. How...

    It might not. The plan was to simply, mail via absentee.
    I mailed in for my ballot earlier this week, and now I hear that the Post Office here at Kandahar AF is shutting down early next month. How I will be receiving my ballot, sending in my ballot, and shipping all my shit home, are all very good questions. Great questions.
    The best questions.

    8 votes
  15. Comment on What creative projects have you been working on? in ~creative

    CALICO
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    Made some progress since last post. I'm playing with the Green Fairy/Absinthe historical association. I haven't fully settled on what kind of aesthetic I want to go for with the fairy's design,...

    Made some progress since last post.

    I'm playing with the Green Fairy/Absinthe historical association. I haven't fully settled on what kind of aesthetic I want to go for with the fairy's design, but I dread that it's what I need to work on next; modelling humanoid characters is my nightmare that I need to get over.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on What are your thoughts on more nuanced sexuality labels and their relationship with lgbt? in ~lgbt

    CALICO
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    I can see their value for the people who use them. There are many kinds of people, and sometimes none of the labels we have work for a person. That person might feel lost, or like an aberration. A...

    I can see their value for the people who use them. There are many kinds of people, and sometimes none of the labels we have work for a person. That person might feel lost, or like an aberration. A label can affirm a persons identity, and show they aren't alone.

    Existing can be terrifying, especially if you don't have anything to hold on to.

    24 votes
  17. Comment on Bisexuality Exists: Bisexual attraction study upends decades of flawed research in ~lgbt

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    You ask good questions. I think I'll preface my answers with a note that these are my own perspectives, and reasonable minds may disagree. I would say yes, with the caveat that exceptions always...

    You ask good questions.
    I think I'll preface my answers with a note that these are my own perspectives, and reasonable minds may disagree.

    Does this imply a binary/mutual exclusivity between "traps" and Transgender/sexual people

    I would say yes, with the caveat that exceptions always exist.

    If so then even putting the 2 words in the same sentence is wrong because traps aren't/wouldn't be Transgender/sexual.

    I'd say that's accurate.

    In the last comment of mine I said this:

    [snip]

    That all makes sense.

    Because in my view I was not picturing any actual trans person, only a stereotype, [snip] so to me, bringing it to real people at all was kind of a surprise. [snip]

    &

    I never associated the word "trap" with real Trans people in my mind, so where did that come from? [snip]

    Here's my interpretation:

    1. You said—roughly, in essence—that you're straight but also traps can be pretty neat
    2. Completely by happenstance, you stumbled upon a sore spot in the trans community.
      2.1 The term trap has found its way into meatspace; it is being used—by others, not you in this thread—to refer to actual people.
      2.2 Because people can't read minds, it's easy to confuse a trans-person and a crossdresser.
      2.3 The word 'trap' gets applied to both kinds of people, and it just so happens to be harmful when applied to trans-folk.
    3. @Wren was likely aware of 2.1–3, and chimed in.
    4. You were made aware that the thing you said had more to it than expected.

    While you knew what you were talking about (i.e. art, fiction, etc), to others it was more subjective and individual biases & experience colored interpretations. Confusion, miscommunication, etc etc etc.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Bisexuality Exists: Bisexual attraction study upends decades of flawed research in ~lgbt

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    Kind of. It's a complex thing, and I think the friction is more unfortunate than it is malicious. Sticking with the anime-context and how 'trap' is used thereof: Astolfo would be a trap. They...

    I'm assuming the pain-point is that I'm thinking of someone who crossdresses as a hobby/for fun, like cosplaying, while for you, crossdressing implies someone trying to approach their wanted sex/gender instead of being dysphoric, so calling the former a trap will mean they succeeded in being hot to their own sex while calling the latter a trap will mean they failed to convincingly pass as the gender they want to be?

    Kind of. It's a complex thing, and I think the friction is more unfortunate than it is malicious.

    Sticking with the anime-context and how 'trap' is used thereof:
    Astolfo would be a trap. They don't identify as a female*, but enjoy crossdressing & being mistaken for the opposite sex.
    Ruka, from Steins;Gate, would not be a trap. Ruka feels trapped in the wrong body (and once manipulated time to change it). They're a trans-girl, not a crossdressing man.

    *(There's an argument to be made Astolfo might be non-binary, and not a cis-male. But I don't think that's definitive)

    A real person like Astolfo might take pride in being called a trap; they derive pleasure from crossdressing & being mistaken for the opposite sex.
    A real person like Ruka would feel distraught in being called a trap; all they're doing is trying to feel at peace with, and comfortable in, their own body as best as they can. Being recognized as a girl would be validating, and being seen as who they really are.

    That you brought up cosplay (costume roleplay) is valuable. It could be said that:

    • a trap uses roleplay and costumes to be what they are not. (putting on a mask)
    • a trans person takes off a costume, and stops roleplaying, to be what they are (taking off a mask)

    I think a big place the issue comes from is one of perception. To an outside observer, Astolfo & Ruka appear to be the same kind of person—though who they are and what they're doing is very different.
    The feminine male-crossdresser has a far larger presence and visibility in anime & manga compared to trans-characters, so the word 'trap' took hold as the word for a man who appears as a woman. Using the word 'trap' for a trans person/character is likely part habit, and part misunderstanding what it is to be trans in the first place.
    Nonetheless, the word just so happens to imply deception and that's the last thing a trans person is trying to do; they're trying to be seen as their true self, and calling them a trap is much the same as calling them a liar and denying their entire identity.

    Make sense?

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Are there any words/terms that people often use that are offensive to you/your group of people? in ~lgbt

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    Basically this. Personally, there's not a word one could call me that would result in offense taken or feelings hurt. But if whatever you're saying comes with a judgmental, derisive tone, my...

    Ultimately though, it's a backing of hatred/disdain that gives any slur its status. As such, it's often not about a specific word but about the manner in which it's used and the intent behind it. Even normal words can be spun to be demeaning and turned into slurs.

    Basically this.

    Personally, there's not a word one could call me that would result in offense taken or feelings hurt. But if whatever you're saying comes with a judgmental, derisive tone, my opinion of you adjusts accordingly—Oh, you're that kind of person.

    There's some nuance. Casually dropping the word "faggot" in a sentence will have me believing you to be unemotionally othering—ignorant, but not malicious; maybe not even conscious of what you're doing. That same sentence, but as if saying "faggot" put a bad taste in your mouth, well I'm going to see you as a bigot who's intentionally and hatefully othering.

    How I treat you differs between the two. I'm not out in the workplace, nor do I present myself outside of a heteronormative way. Being taken for a straight dude, I'm not being seen as an other from the get-go. So I'm seen as an equal, and the things I say won't be said to a person on the defensive. I can build empathy & acceptance over time through conversation. That's the most rewarding.

    The most fun is fucking with the hateful people, and they don't give me a workable alternative. I'm not Daryl Davis, I don't have the skillset at this time to make the above work on them. But if I'm forced to be around a hateful person—due to work, or something like that—I'll find a way to fuck with you. Usually I'll mime their personality and manner of speech, but with a twist; instead of saying something like: "Oh you like xyx? What are you, a queer?" I'll say: "Oh you like xyz? What are you, straight?"
    My theory is that the manner of speaking has them seeing me a peer, that the twist of language plants a question in their mind, and that my deadpan delivery gives them no reason to suspect anything other than my odd sense of humor. I don't know if it works, but it's cathartic and hasn't backfired yet ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    4 votes