CALICO's recent activity

  1. Comment on The Mandalorian | S01E03: The Sin in ~tv

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    So, a few things. Mandalorians are very loyal to their own. You take care of eachother above all else. If a Mandalorian adopts you, you're a Mandalorian as far as they're concerned. Even if you're...

    So, a few things.

    Mandalorians are very loyal to their own. You take care of eachother above all else.

    If a Mandalorian adopts you, you're a Mandalorian as far as they're concerned. Even if you're not a Mandalorian by blood.

    Family is more than blood.
    —Mandalorian Proverb

    The Empire occupied Mandalore, and thus the Mandalorians have beef with the Empire.

    Mando was a Foundling, that is, an orphaned child. He was taken in by the Mandalorians, and now he is one of them.

    When Mando presented his reward to the smith, the other Mandalorians noticed it was Imperial spoils. From their perception, Mando was aiding & abetting their enemies by doing their dirty work for them, and taking rightful Mandalorian property in return. Basically, he was helping the Imperial remnants and all he was getting in return is something the Mandalorians owned by right already. They weren't too happy about this.

    Mando had a bit of an arc with Yiddle this episode, and that control knob spells it out. At first he takes it away from Yiddle, annoyed. Then he drops of Yiddle, and wants to know what will happen to them. He gets kindly told to fuck himself. Then he goes home. His confrontation with that other Mandalorian reminds him that he helped an enemy, and left a child to an unknown fate. During the forging of his cuirass, he flashes back to the moment he was orphaned. He goes to get another bounty, and again asks what will happen to the child. That's twice he's expressed concern. When he goes back to his ship, he reaches for the lever and the knob is gone. This reminds him explicitly about Yiddle, and his concern peaks.

    "Aw fuck. I have to save Yiddle. They're a Foundling just like I was, and everyone is being sketchy as fuck about what's going to happen to them."
    —Probably his thoughts

    So he betrays the code of the Bounty Hunter Guild, to honor the code of his adopted people. As a bonus, he's fucking over the enemy by stealing back what they wanted while keeping the Beskar. The other Mandalorians support him because of this.

    "Hey, Mando did the right thing after all. Good lad."
    —Probably what they said to eachother

    At the end, Yiddle goes for the knob again. Mando gives it to him. He's taken on Yiddle as his responsibility, and basically considers them to be family instead of just a bounty.

    13 votes
  2. Comment on The Mandalorian | S01E01+E02 in ~tv

  3. The Mandalorian | S01E03: The Sin

    Warning: this post may contain spoilers

    The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.


    Previous:

    17 votes
  4. Comment on What are you doing this week? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I was, and still am. It certainly gives a unique perspective on certain goings on in the world. What exactly I do, well, that's where I get to have a little fun and get to honestly say I can...

    I was, and still am. It certainly gives a unique perspective on certain goings on in the world. What exactly I do, well, that's where I get to have a little fun and get to honestly say I can neither confirm nor deny.1

    The thing with this careerfield is that if I ever want to publish a non-fictional work, I have to get it vetted to ensure it contains no privileged information. Otherwise I risk my clearance on one side of the spectrum, to my loss of freedom on the other. These NDA's don't expire.
    Fiction is generally alright with minimal restrictions. If I wanted to write Tom Clancy-esque novels it'd probably be wise to get it vetted, but thankfully for the convenience I'm more inclined towards writing Fantasy/Science Fiction. If a work ever catches the interest of an agent, I'll for sure have to publish under a pen name. It would just be the smart thing to do.

    And maybe. I'm sure the skills are applicable somewhere. Problem is that my resume is largely written in accomplishments and coded language, such that nobody outside of the field would understand the relevance or impact. It's already a pain trying to communicate my experience to people within the community during interviews. Very little is at an Unclass'd level.

    I'm good at what I do, and quite a lot of tax dollars have gone into my training and keeping everything current. So I'm a bit hesitant to look at leaving the field at some point. It doesn't help that I live for the kind of news I currently can access. But, I have always wanted to work in the sciences. Time will tell if those cards are in my hands and fate agrees with my fascination with fungal organisms, or if this is just the thing I do with my life. Never a dull moment, for sure.

    1It's kind of a cheeky thing to say, but it amuses me. A decade ago I didn't understand what exactly it meant, and thought it was a way to confirm something without confirming it. But really it means that one way or another, a more accurate answer would reveal too much information. You could be dead on, or way off mark. But my saying anything to imply anything just won't do. Thus, the canned Hollywood language.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on What are you doing this week? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    Computer stuff, in essence. When I wore the uniform, I was a 1N4X1. You can find the official job description online, but by nature of the job it doesn't say all that much and nether can I. Since...

    Computer stuff, in essence.

    When I wore the uniform, I was a 1N4X1. You can find the official job description online, but by nature of the job it doesn't say all that much and nether can I. Since I got out, my only viable career opportunities are jobs along the same lines. The only other jobs on my resume are standard, pre-enlistment things like retail work. So, at this point in my life I'm doing government contact work. In the past several years after taking off the ABU's I've worked all over this field doing a number of very different things. It's a very strange place to find myself in, to be honest. This isn't what I wanted to be when I grew up, and it's not what I want to spend my life doing. I just kind of, fell into it.

    I'm really quite a hippie in my heart, and working for the US Government is this weird paradoxical thing to contend with. A few contacts ago I had a job in DC wearing a suit. Fucking bonkers, I tell you.

    I've decided to stick with this line of work for the time being because my perception is that we're in for a rough time economically, in an unstable political climate. This job allows me to build a savings, and help support friends back home. While I'm here I'm going to try and get a degree, and segue myself into the Cybersecuity field. That ought to expand my portfolio of options in the near-term.

    I think, when I grow up™, I want to be a Mycologist. A research scientist, for certain. The trick is finding out how to get there while staying financially stable along the way.

    /blog

    7 votes
  6. Comment on What are you doing this week? in ~talk

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    I haven't checked-in in any of these threads for a bit to obfuscate my travel dates, but I've been settled in for a length of time now. My new home until I decide to find a job somewhere else is...

    I haven't checked-in in any of these threads for a bit to obfuscate my travel dates, but I've been settled in for a length of time now. My new home until I decide to find a job somewhere else is Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.
    I never got to deploy out here while I wore the uniform.

    Since the beginning of October I have: left my job in Kuwait; visited family in the NE US; visited my long-distance partner and friends in Asheville, NC; spent some time at Fort Bliss, TX; went back to Kuwait, got stuck in Germany for a lot of hours on the way; spent some time at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan waiting for MILAIR; arrived at Kandahar Airfield. Not a long list, but I've been very busy this almost two-months.

    Here are some pics from I think August til recently. Should be captioned for your contextual pleasure, hopefully in order.

    More specifically on-topic, now that I'm all settled in my new room with the new job, I plan on getting back to the gym this week. I've been lax for far too long, and all the muscle I worked hard to get years ago is basically all gone. Current/Former deployers know that there's not a whole lot to do out here but work and work out. I'm not coming back to the US until I look like an underwear model again, dammit.

    Other than that, I'll be tackling my creative writing project as part of Timasomo. I'm quite behind where I expected to be at this point, but I'm hopeful I'll be able to have my first draft by the end of 2019. We will see. If not, well, I'll just keep chugging away at it.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on The Mandalorian | S01E01+E02 in ~tv

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I appreciate the recommendations, from the both of you. @cfabbro Just for interest, how I initially found out about Kurosawa and became curious about his work was this video by one of my...

    I appreciate the recommendations, from the both of you. @cfabbro
    Just for interest, how I initially found out about Kurosawa and became curious about his work was this video by one of my favorite—now dead—channels on youtube: Akira Kurosawa - Composing Movement | Every Frame a Painting

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Would you pay for social media platforms and search engines if it meant they would not have any advertising or data collection? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    Likes and attention give us dopamine hits, and whichever finger presses that button most tends to be what people gravitate towards. Even though there's an absurd amount of money behind optimizing...

    Likes and attention give us dopamine hits, and whichever finger presses that button most tends to be what people gravitate towards. Even though there's an absurd amount of money behind optimizing that, the theory behind seems pretty simple; we're addicts looking for our fix.

    6 votes
  9. Comment on Would you pay for social media platforms and search engines if it meant they would not have any advertising or data collection? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I can't. By its nature, or maybe our own, people seem to do this thing where they'll share their ups and not so much their downs or the mundane. If your contacts are sharing nothing but their best...

    I can't. By its nature, or maybe our own, people seem to do this thing where they'll share their ups and not so much their downs or the mundane. If your contacts are sharing nothing but their best moments, that inevitably leads to comparison between them and yourself. And if you're like most people, most of your moments are probably mundane. This can lead to unhealthy perspective on your own life—I wish MY life was as exciting as Bob's—or you may begin only sharing your best moments, maybe embellishing, as way to compete socially. This of course invites others to compare themselves with your highlight reel.

    Humans are social animals. Anything that allows for competition in this space has the potential to be dangerous. Most of us want to fit in with our peers, or climb the social ladder if we perceive ourselves to be too low on it.

    I'd be interested to see if something could be done that negates this factor, but in a post-Facebook world I think any adopters of this potential new model would be coming in with a poisoned mindset, making its job all the more difficult.

    10 votes
  10. Comment on Buttigieg surges ahead of Democratic rivals in Iowa: poll in ~news

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I tend to prefer aggregates over single polls, as I think they're a better indicator of overall trends. RCP is my go-to, but even they're showing Buttigieg leading in Iowa—albeit by not as wide a...

    I tend to prefer aggregates over single polls, as I think they're a better indicator of overall trends. RCP is my go-to, but even they're showing Buttigieg leading in Iowa—albeit by not as wide a margin.

    Looking at it nationally, it seems like Buttigieg might benefit from Iowa. Once the results from the caucus comes in, it's only a month till Super Tuesday. If he takes a big chunk in Iowa I'd expect to see his support rise on the national stage past his 8.0 average. Should be interesting to see where he'll be taking support from, assuming that's the case. On the national charts I don't perceive many Sanders/Warren supporters going his way; his rise could be due to former-Biden supporters, or from taking among the myriad bottom candidates. If Buttigieg is taking from Biden, we might see him fall to near or below Warren after Iowa if the impact is big enough.

    I'm not a Data Analyst, but it is fascinating to watch the polls and see them shift with daily news and through the debates.

    9 votes
  11. Comment on I Found Work on an Amazon Website. I Made 97 Cents an Hour. in ~tech

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I dabbled in it a bit a few years ago. There were some HIT's that advertised as paying well—full dollars or more per task—but often these were either non/partially functional in whatever browser I...

    I dabbled in it a bit a few years ago. There were some HIT's that advertised as paying well—full dollars or more per task—but often these were either non/partially functional in whatever browser I tried them in, or the length of the task was long enough to cancel out the perceived benefit. I mostly stuck to lower paying, much shorter ones that I could get into a flow state and crank a bunch out. I didn't stick with it long enough to unlock more strict HIT's, because the time I was putting in wasn't netting all that much and it wasn't very easy to multitask with something more interesting. I think I was getting over a dollar per hour, but maybe only by 10/20¢. A year ago I logged back in, and noticed far fewer of the tasks I used to do, and more tasks with tighter requirements. I just cashed out the ~$20 I had in my balance and haven't thought to come back to it.

    10 votes
  12. Comment on The Mandalorian | S01E01+E02 in ~tv

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Per Legends-lore, Yoda's species was always super in-tune with the Force as a rule. I can buy Little Yittle using the Force, based on that, their age (infant yes, but around for a bit), and that...

    Per Legends-lore, Yoda's species was always super in-tune with the Force as a rule. I can buy Baby Yoda Little Yittle using the Force, based on that, their age (infant yes, but around for a bit), and that using it caused them to pass out in exhaustion for a bunch of hours. I'm very iterested to see if they'll go deep on where Yittle came from in this; 50 years old during current events would have Yittle being 22 during Order 66.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on The Mandalorian | S01E01+E02 in ~tv

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I was aware of the intimate history between Samurai and Westerns, but I don't think I've ever sat down to watch any yet. I've read and heard quite a lot about the work of Akira Kurosowa, and I...

    I was aware of the intimate history between Samurai and Westerns, but I don't think I've ever sat down to watch any yet. I've read and heard quite a lot about the work of Akira Kurosowa, and I really ought to watch his films on of these days.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on The Mandalorian | S01E01+E02 in ~tv

    CALICO
    Link
    I actually wasn't looking forward to this show all that much; while I've enjoyed all four of the new films—two Saga, two Anthology—they've all disappointed me in one way or another. The writing...

    I actually wasn't looking forward to this show all that much; while I've enjoyed all four of the new films—two Saga, two Anthology—they've all disappointed me in one way or another. The writing hasn't always been up to my standards, the aesthetic sometimes didn't feel right to me, etc. When I heard that there was going to be a television show, I felt pretty lukewarm about it. It would probably be enjoyable, but I'd find beef with it somewhere. So I didn't follow any of the news about it. I didn't read anything, I didn't watch the trailer, I didn't even know who all was involved with the project. I wasn't even aware it had come out until I noticed the first episode on a private tracker. I figured, "eh, what the hell", and queued it for download; let me tell you a thing or two...

    I'm absolutely blown away by what I've seen so far. The aesthetic is on point. This feels like Star Wars, to me. It's dirty. There's grit. There's enough practical effects that I believe with my eyes that this is the same universe as the original trilogy of films. I was worried that being a TV show, what CGI there would be would be lacking polish and pull me out of the experience. Other than a couple of small, specific instances, it appears that I expected too little. For the first time since I heard we were getting new Star Wars in 2012, I'm excited.

    The Mandalorian is in the Western-style of the old serials, which I wasn't expecting going in blind. The appearances of OT aliens helps to ground the experience while showing us something new along the way—which is one of my problems with the Sequel Films. The score is the only thing that felt off to me, but by episode two I was really digging it. It's got a Western vibe to it, and after acclimating to the sound during the first episode I see now that it really fits the tone they're going for.

    I'd love to go deep on the actual episode content, but my thoughts haven't fully organized themselves yet.

    I love elephant-snout flute music. I love how much garbage a lot of the tech looks. I love space toilet. I love Werner Herzog. I love Star Wars weapons based on historic firearms. I love traumatic cooking. I love that scene with the Mandalorian Armorer, both her Viking/Spartan appearance and the backstory-characterization of our hero's childhood PTSD-esque flashback. I love that our hero isn't an unstoppable badass in every situation. I love "I have spoken" Ugnaught. I love Mandalorian lore. I love IG-11, and how they move around like hybrid savant/piece of shit. I love baby Yoda. I love Jawa disintegrations. Etc etc.

    My only real beef with the show so far is its runtime; half an hour is too little. Not because it doesn't work narratively, but because I'm selfish and want more in one sitting. Especially since this is coming out weekly, and I can't binge it all on day one.

    8 votes
  15. The Mandalorian | S01E01+E02

    Warning: this post may contain spoilers

    The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.


    The first two episodes of this first season have dropped. What do you think about it, so far?

    19 votes
  16. Comment on Electric car future may depend on deep sea mining in ~enviro

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I'd much rather we mine asteroids—sitting around doing fuck-all in space—than add yet another stressor to our continually strained biosphere. Yeah, getting mass outside of our gravity well is...

    I'd much rather we mine asteroids—sitting around doing fuck-all in space—than add yet another stressor to our continually strained biosphere. Yeah, getting mass outside of our gravity well is really expensive. But when there's literally enough material in the asteroid belt to collapse the markets in just about every metal we could think of, one would think that those resources would have a pretty big incentive painted on their faces. The first party to pull it off would have an effective monopoly and complete control over pricing for quite some time, especially given how few people seem interested in going for it. Not that I think such a monopoly would be desirable, but fuck, maybe let's start looking for materials where they're abundant and come with no direct cost to our ecosystem. The poor thing has enough on its plate already.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Rick and Morty S04E01 - "Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat" in ~tv

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    I think there's a lot of Dan Harmon coming through here. One of my favorite podcasts is Harmontown, in which Dan Harmon mostly just gets up on stage, drunk, and proceeds to wax philosophical his...

    what's the point in anything they do? Why bother ... when you're a god?

    I think there's a lot of Dan Harmon coming through here. One of my favorite podcasts is Harmontown, in which Dan Harmon mostly just gets up on stage, drunk, and proceeds to wax philosophical his stream of consciousness, shaped by personal and world events, to an audience. Joined by his friends—some of which voice characters on the show—and special guests, they have all sorts of hilarious and fascinating discussions. But it's the naked expression of self that I enjoy the most. I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the man's mind and mindset after years of listening to this weekly.
    So, take it from me that this video from Adult Swim does a fantastic job of distilling the essence of his worldview in about three-minutes: The Search for Meaning

    3 votes
  18. Comment on What is your dream game? in ~games

    CALICO
    Link
    Fuck me up with some Mistborn, please. Not familiar with it? Let me sell it to you (with minimal spoilers): Setting Set on the fictional planet of Scadrial, the Final Empire is a brutal...

    Fuck me up with some Mistborn, please.

    Not familiar with it? Let me sell it to you (with minimal spoilers):

    Setting

    Set on the fictional planet of Scadrial, the Final Empire is a brutal aristocracy controlled by the—as of the first novel—1,000 year old Lord Ruler. Surrounded by ashmounts (volcanoes) on all sides, ash falls from the sky, always. The ash partially blocks out the red sun, making agriculture very labor intensive for very little gain. The fields, smithies, and all the rest of industry are all manned by the Skaa—a trodden down, peasant class of people, seen as inherently inferior to those with nobility in their blood. When night falls, thick mists come out to cover the land, and the Mistborn come out to play.


    Allomancy

    The Nobility on Scadrial are different from the Skaa, in that within their genes comes the potential for works of magic. Allomancy allows its users to ingest, then "burn" any of a number of metals and receive its associated ability. All of the Nobles carry the genes, but Allomancers are rare. The lucky among them are Mistings, those with the ability to burn one of the metals. The truly blessed are the Mistborn, rarer still, and have the ability to use all the metals.

    Steel grants the ability to push nearby metals away from the user. A Steel Misting is called a Coinshot.
    Iron grants the ability to pull nearby metals away from the user. An Iron Misting is called a Lurcher.
    Zinc grant the ability to enflame the emotions of nearby people. A very talented user is able to do this with specific emotions. A Zinc Misting is called a Rioter.
    Brass grants the ability to damped the emotions of nearby people. A very talented user is able to do this with specific emotions. A Brass Misting is called a Soother.
    Pewter grants increased physical abilities: stamina, durability, strength, healing, etc. A Pewter Misting is called a Pewterarm, or Thug.
    Tin grants increased senses: sights, sound, feel, etc. A Tin Misting is called a Tineye.
    Copper casts a coppercloud, which hides nearby Allomancers burning metal from Bronze Mistings. A Copper Misting is called a Smoker.
    Bronze grants the ability to detect is anyone nearby is burning metal; using Allomancy. A Bronze Misting is called a Seeker.
    Gold reveals your past self, and is seen to be rather useless as of this period of time on Scadrial. Gold Mistings are called Augers.
    Atium reveals the near future to you. Invaluable in a fight, it's said that a Mistborn burning Atium is unbeatable. That is, unless they are fighting another with the same. Atium is given to the Nobility by the Lord Ruler, and only in very small amounts. There are no known Atium Mistings.


    Factions

    Noble Houses
    Only a handful exist at any time in the grand city of Luthedel. Not a united front, the Nobility are always fighting each other—usually with political scheming—for power, wealth, and influence. Much scheming occurs during the opulent balls that take place during most nights in their ostentatious Keeps. When tensions get particularly nasty, the Nobility let their Mistborn wreak havoc on their rivals, and there's the potential for a full-on House War to erupt.

    The Steel Ministry
    The priesthood for the Lord Ruler. Despite being clergy, the Steel Ministry is mainly responsible for bureaucratic matters, and keeping the Nobility & Skaa alike in-line. Nothing happens in the Final Empire without their Obligators allowing it, and subverting their will is likely to end poorly.

    • The Canton of Inquisition is the most feared Canton within the Steel Ministry, as it's formed by the Steel Inquisitors: unnaturally strong & fearsome Allomancers, instantly recognizable by the two large, steel spikes driven through their skulls where their eyes should be. Answerable only to the Lord Ruler himself, the Inquisitors are primarily tasked with controlling the use and spread of Allomancy—a Noble breeding with Skaa could allow Allomancy to spread within the peasantry, and that just won't do.

    Skaa
    Hardly seen as human by those in power, Skaa make up the majority of the population in the Final Empire. Their life of repression is a constant hell, most Skaa are content to scrape by, keep their heads down, and just try to live their life. Skaa gangs exist, formed of those unhappy with their lot in life, and fight to have just a little more of a life than the broken spirits have accepted.
    Despite the Ministry's best efforts to limit Noble Blood mixing with that of the Proletariat, there are Skaa who carry the genes for Allomancy. Skaa Allomancers—who don't get discovered and tortured into a bloody pulp by Inquisitors—tend to form a kind of Resistance.


    I think Mistborn is just begging for a video game to be made in its world. The bones are there for a vast potential of story, even ignoring the trilogy of novels that take place during this era on Scadrial. There was one in the works, for a time. Mistborn: Birthright is a cancelled game set several hundred years before the events of the first novel. Featuring an original storyline written by Brandon Sanderson—the author of Mistborn—the player would have taken on the role of Fendin "Fiddle" Fathvell, an arrogant young nobleman who must master his newfound Allomantic abilities before the forces at work can destroy his entire family.

    That game is not happening anymore. It's dead.
    My dream game is for something along those same lines.

    I imagine it would be incredibly difficult to pull off Allomancy in a game. The player would have to keep track of their reserves of 10 different metals, and switching between abilities could break the flow of gameplay through opening menus during play. A common mode of transportation for a Mistborn is to alternate pushing and pulling on nearby metals, allowing them to "fly". I can't even imagine how that would be done in a satisfying way without holding the players hand too much. I suppose it would look something like web-slinging mixed with rocket-jumping. Other than that though, I think one would just need to throw enough money at a studio to get it done. Something like Dishonored crossed with Skyrim, it would not be a cheap game to make if you want it be any good. Mistborn is pretty well known in the fantasy genre, but its pop-culture presence isn't really strong enough to justify the massive expense developing this game assuredly would be.

    6 votes
  19. Comment on What's a "sore thumb" for you? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link
    I can hear "electricity". For some reason, I can perceive very high frequency tones that many of my peers cannot. For a while I thought it may have been something like tinnitus, until I noticed a...

    I can hear "electricity".

    For some reason, I can perceive very high frequency tones that many of my peers cannot. For a while I thought it may have been something like tinnitus, until I noticed a serene quiet I rarely experience while hiking miles from civilization.

    Old school televisions were the worst, but if I'm anywhere near powered devices I can pick up on a sound that's sometimes only just at the edge of my auditory perception. I can mostly ignore the ever present whine, but when certain things are plugged in or powered it can be very difficult not to pay some attention to it.

    I kind of can't wait until I lose some of the upper range of my hearing. As of my last audiogram however, my hearing is still excellent.

    9 votes