ChingShih's recent activity

  1. Comment on What have you been watching / reading this week? (Anime/Manga) in ~anime

    ChingShih
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    Neither a manga nor an anime, but Hideyuki Kikuchi's 30th volume of the Vampire Hunter D novels just dropped a couple days ago in North America. I'm going to be reading that soonish. There are a...

    Neither a manga nor an anime, but Hideyuki Kikuchi's 30th volume of the Vampire Hunter D novels just dropped a couple days ago in North America. I'm going to be reading that soonish. There are a couple of pictures (by Yoshitaka Amano), but it's not a light novel or anything.

    If anyone is interested in them, I recommend picking up this novel while it's still available. They sell through their print run pretty quickly and I don't know how many reprints actually happen. You'd think Dark Horse would be able to help push sales, but the resale market on these books is absolutely insane. It's very challenging to buy earlier volumes in physical form, though they're all available through Kindle.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Seasonal hobbies: What are your summer/winter hobbies? in ~hobbies

    ChingShih
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    ATGATT!! Good work! Yes, it's a struggle in the high heat and especially humidity. Wind sheer really encourages fast riding when it's hot, haha, but I hope everyone is riding safe. I'm the same...

    ATGATT!! Good work! Yes, it's a struggle in the high heat and especially humidity. Wind sheer really encourages fast riding when it's hot, haha, but I hope everyone is riding safe.

    I'm the same way in the winter. I don't enjoy being out even in a heavy jacket, scarf, and pants. Below 40 with or without wind sheer is just miserable and sport bikes offer inadequate protection against the elements. Even my dual sport friends aren't doing much better.

  3. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    ChingShih
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    How do I subscribe to your upcoming in-depth review of the two books so I know which one to read? Can we get a hashtag Medici up in here? Haha. Sincerely, someone who hasn't yet started reading...

    How do I subscribe to your upcoming in-depth review of the two books so I know which one to read? Can we get a hashtag Medici up in here? Haha.

    Sincerely, someone who hasn't yet started reading The Borgias.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Seasonal hobbies: What are your summer/winter hobbies? in ~hobbies

    ChingShih
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    Those are some badass winter hobbies! I like that "snowshoeing" is it's own entire thing. It's not just "a winter walk in the woods," it's much more than that. I assume that most people who are...

    Those are some badass winter hobbies!

    I like that "snowshoeing" is it's own entire thing. It's not just "a winter walk in the woods," it's much more than that. I assume that most people who are into snowshoeing are doing some kind of backpack hunting or backpacking in general. But I imagine that snowshoeing is a different experience than most cross-country travel by foot and would like to try it sometime. The world feels like a different place when it's covered in snow.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Seasonal hobbies: What are your summer/winter hobbies? in ~hobbies

    ChingShih
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    May your grand woolly beast have wonderful adventures, cuddles, and pets for many years to come! What kind of metal working are you doing? I've been thinking about picking up a MIG welder for a...

    May your grand woolly beast have wonderful adventures, cuddles, and pets for many years to come!

    What kind of metal working are you doing? I've been thinking about picking up a MIG welder for a while for small metal projects and just learning the craft.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Seasonal hobbies: What are your summer/winter hobbies? in ~hobbies

    ChingShih
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    Disc golf! I've always wanted to get into disc golf or ultimate (frisbee). I suppose disc golf is pretty easy to pick up and work on solo until I reach a comfort level where I can embarrass myself...

    Disc golf! I've always wanted to get into disc golf or ultimate (frisbee). I suppose disc golf is pretty easy to pick up and work on solo until I reach a comfort level where I can embarrass myself in front of friends and teammates.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What's a life lesson you've applied that has changed your life? in ~life

    ChingShih
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    I think that's a very valuable distinction. I've always thought of “Do unto others..." as more of a social-good. In-line with things like the Ten Commandments (essentially a list of things that...

    I think that's a very valuable distinction.

    I've always thought of “Do unto others..." as more of a social-good. In-line with things like the Ten Commandments (essentially a list of things that would ruin the social fabric if everyone did them, plus cannibalism).

    But it also makes sense to modify things to "as they would prefer..." because it's both polite and healthy to view thing from the other person's perspective when offering them kindness, sympathy, etc. That's a valuable element of maintaining the social fabric and also being personable.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on What's a life lesson you've applied that has changed your life? in ~life

    ChingShih
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    "Be honest, not candid." The difference is as important to understand as is the contexts that it applies to, but I often try to proof-read anything I write with this in mind. The gist is not to...

    "Be honest, not candid." The difference is as important to understand as is the contexts that it applies to, but I often try to proof-read anything I write with this in mind. The gist is not to overshare in situations where it's inappropriate or disadventageous, whether at a job interview or making new friends.

    On a somewhat similar theme, "you can lie to yourself, but don't lie to your friends." A friend of mine needs to be reminded of this one. I'm worried she's going to continue burning more bridges than she can afford.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Seasonal hobbies: What are your summer/winter hobbies? in ~hobbies

    ChingShih
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    Yes, it's definitely a good time to be inside. It's unseasonally warm here and I just don't enjoy how hot it is right now, but when I have more time I'll be finishing my woodworking projects in...

    Yes, it's definitely a good time to be inside. It's unseasonally warm here and I just don't enjoy how hot it is right now, but when I have more time I'll be finishing my woodworking projects in the mornings and using the rest of my weekend to complain about the heat, haha.

    What got me thinking about seasonal hobbies is that I know some Mennonite folks don't work over the winter, so they must have some interesting winter hobbies. Also makes me think they must all have a lot of September and October birthdays. ;)

    4 votes
  10. Seasonal hobbies: What are your summer/winter hobbies?

    What are some hobbies you do specifically when during this time of year (whether it's your summer or winter)? And what do you do in the opposite season? When I'm home, summer is when I do some...

    What are some hobbies you do specifically when during this time of year (whether it's your summer or winter)? And what do you do in the opposite season?

    When I'm home, summer is when I do some light woodworking projects. Currently I need to finish a shadowbox that will be illuminated with LED strip lights. I also have to finish a bat house that needs a little more work before I can do a final assembly and install it on a post.

    I don't really have any specific hobbies for the winter, besides crushing my music backlog while reading, so I'm interested to see what other people do.


    I was intending on posting this before the season actually started, but here we are. :)

    17 votes
  11. Comment on Russia-Ukraine war megathread - June 2024 news updates in ~news

    ChingShih
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    Russia to Release and Facilitate Return of All Indians Working in Russian Army (Times of India) Since this isn't really a large number of people (or at least not a large number of known people),...

    Russia to Release and Facilitate Return of All Indians Working in Russian Army (Times of India)

    According to reports, approximately 200 Indian nationals were hired as security helpers by the Russian military.

    India also insisted on a "verified stop to any further recruitment of Indian nationals" by the Russian Army, emphasizing that such practices would not align with the partnership between the two nations. As of mid-June, only around 10 Indians working as support staff with the Russian military had been released and repatriated to India.

    PM Modi commenced his two-day official visit to Moscow on Monday at the invitation of Russian President Putin to participate in the 22nd India-Russia Annual Summit.

    Since this isn't really a large number of people (or at least not a large number of known people), and it's been a point of contention for about 2 years, I wonder what Russia leveraged this little gesture for.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on "Radical, in a different vein": The "Abundants" and supply-side progressives in ~misc

    ChingShih
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    The unfortunate part of human nature is that there are literally people who rank themselves not by how much they have, but by seeing how much less other people have. Rather than appreciate what...

    Who doesn't want these things?

    The unfortunate part of capitalist-democracy human nature is that there are literally people who rank themselves not by how much they have, but by seeing how much less other people have. Rather than appreciate what they have, they have to convince themselves of their importance by seeing how many strata are below them. And who knows if they even worked to get there. It's kind of a positivity vs negativity kind of thing and, either way, it's incredibly materialistic.

    That extends to housing and upwards mobility and has been a big component in both jobs and housing. It's been a big driver in the institutional racism that minorities have faced when home-buying, especially during the Jim Crow era when people found creative ways to disenfranchise those who were honestly trying to work their way upwards. In fact, bigots of all types were especially offended by upward mobility, and classist and economic bigots are the same way today. They believe that there are a finite number of seats available in the "middle class" or "upper-middle class" -- and the only real "upper class" are old money. New money are transients, members of a boom-and-bust class that come and go like shooting stars, while old money measures their time like the rise and fall of an empire.

    Capitalist economists and their loyalists (see: CNBC) often talk about the importance of maintaining an unemployment rate of 4%. That's not because they believe that lower unemployment is impossible, but because they believe there is a Darwinian dogfight at the lowest echelon of society that's required for the churn of employment to continue. There needs to be a level of desperation in order for people to fight to succeed, to take the lowest-paying jobs at the worst hours, because as the classic anti-communist argument goes: who wants to become a doctor if they get paid the same as a bus driver? That people would want to pursue a career out of passion, or do things that might have a positive knock-on effect for others, is inconceivable to their world view. The cogs of the economy must always be working towards wealth-creation and altruism isn't a real variable to them.

    About 2010, I read an op-ed article in passing. I think it was in Forbes. In the one-page article the author explained their views on why the book publishing industry should return to being privately financed by old money. It stuck with me as one of those moments where someone was "saying the crazy part aloud," and I think the argument was that back in the old days private entities financed "good" books and therefore knew how to choose quality for the masses. Oh, and publishers were just an obnoxious, money-stealing middle-man. Which means that the author wasn't really arguing for a democratic book publishing experience, even consolidated within a capitalist framework (which already chooses based on profitability/marketability), but something closer to a meritocracy with oversight by old money. At best. While I'm a bit of a book snob and encourage people to find objectively good books to enjoy, people also deserve to read what engages them and makes their brains feel warm and fuzzy. Imagine the mental gymnastics and joyless childhood required to believe that only the rich should be allowed to determine what books are published, then apply that to other aspects of life.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Modern Warfare: How Call of Duty 4 changed a genre forever in ~games

    ChingShih
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    Thanks for posting this. I was a little surprised the video didn't go deeper into the circumstances of WW2 in other popular media at the time (especially from Spielberg) and that there wasn't a...

    Thanks for posting this. I was a little surprised the video didn't go deeper into the circumstances of WW2 in other popular media at the time (especially from Spielberg) and that there wasn't a whole bunch more about Treyarch. But maybe there is/will be a separate video about that.

    I was going to comment the WW2 theme was throughout media at the time that these games were coming out. I think the broader context is that the WW2 time period has always been one of the most popular in America and in American media that is exported. Americans have always turned out for big war films, but in the 90s and early 2000s they were deluged by the theme across all media, not just video games. I think that the video game industry was following that cash-grab and deviating from the plurality of futuristic shooters (Doom ('93), Quake ('96), Unreal ('98), Half-Life ('98)) that were carving out their brands and off-shoots. But these games were book-ended to some extent by Wolfenstein 3D ('92) and Return to Castle Wolfenstein ('01).

    In the mainstream, 1998 saw the release of Saving Private Ryan, featuring one of the most accurate depictions of D-Day (and war) since the star-studded The Longest Day (1962). Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg put a lot of emphasis on this and, coincidentally or not, there was a lot of news during this time period about WW2 veterans, parades, and military honors (many WW2 veterans were in their 70s or early 80s at that time, the same age as Tom Hanks' character at the beginning and end of the film).

    In early September 2001, Band of Brothers released on HBO to critical acclaim and, like Saving Private Ryan, had Spielberg and Tom Hanks involved. 2001 would also be the 60th anniversary of the US entering the war and along with that, discoveries of unexploded WW2-era ordinance in French fields was still mainstream news-worthy. Right up until September 11th, when the attention of the media shifted in a big way and while Call of Duty was getting its famous WW2-themed iterations after that, by the mid-2000s the industry was primed to work on games set in a different time period.

    7 votes
  14. Comment on Russia-Ukraine war megathread - June 2024 news updates in ~news

    ChingShih
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    Also, this month this video with English subtitles has been making the rounds (actually since 23 May). It's by a Chinese former soldier who became a mercenary for Russia. He talks about the...

    Also, this month this video with English subtitles has been making the rounds (actually since 23 May). It's by a Chinese former soldier who became a mercenary for Russia. He talks about the extreme casualty rate of new recruits in the area he was in, the diversity of his group, being on the receiving end of mortars, his experience with drone attacks, and the challenges he faced during military operations. Note that the first 45 seconds of the video he's talking about, uh, digestive system problems, so I recommend skipping that.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Russia-Ukraine war megathread - June 2024 news updates in ~news

    ChingShih
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    Annual allied military aid $60 billion for next four years, says Ukraine PM (Reuters) There's not a lot to the article, but it helps to put into perspective how much funding countries designate as...

    Annual allied military aid $60 billion for next four years, says Ukraine PM (Reuters)

    There's not a lot to the article, but it helps to put into perspective how much funding countries designate as supporting Ukraine actually is materially for Ukraine. For instance, $60B over 4 years from several countries really highlights how little money is going to Ukraine's military of the $61B Ukraine aid bill from the US.[1]

    Anyway, the meat of the Reuters article is:

    The 10-year agreements, including with the EU and the U.S., set out commitments on long-term military and other assistance and pledge to hold immediate consultations to decide on the next steps in the event of a future Russian attack after the current conflict has ended.

    "According to these agreements, in the next four years, our partners plan to provide Ukraine with total military support worth $60 billion annually," Shmyhal said during a governmental meeting. He did not provide breakdown of funding sources.


    [1] I had to remind myself of what the breakdown was of that bill. Here it is, broken down simply.

    In the Ukraine bill, of the $60.7bn, a total of about $23bn would be used by the US to replenish its military stockpiles, opening the door to future US military transfers to Ukraine. Another $14bn would go to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, in which the Pentagon buys advanced new weapon systems for the Ukrainian military directly from US defense contractors.

    There is also more than $11bn to fund current US military operations in the region, enhancing the capabilities of the Ukrainian military and fostering intelligence collaboration between Kyiv and Washington, and about $8bn in non-military assistance, such as helping Ukraine’s government continue basic operations, including the payment of salaries and pensions.

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Why so many bitcoin mining companies are pivoting to AI in ~tech

    ChingShih
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    Literally. Marathon Digital (NYSE: $MARA) used to be a bunch of patent troll lawyers, then in 2021 they switched over to Bitcoin mining. I fully expect companies like them to shift over to AI...

    Literally. Marathon Digital (NYSE: $MARA) used to be a bunch of patent troll lawyers, then in 2021 they switched over to Bitcoin mining. I fully expect companies like them to shift over to AI because they've already built cryptomining facilities adjacent to power plants, so all the infrastructure is in place. Doesn't get any more opportunistic than that.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Steam Summer Sale 2024: Hidden gems in ~games

    ChingShih
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    N/N+ was such an awesome physics-y platform game. Loved it back when it was a flash game. Bought it on PSP when it came to that. At some point I should pick up N++ to enjoy it on the SteamDeck. I...

    N/N+ was such an awesome physics-y platform game. Loved it back when it was a flash game. Bought it on PSP when it came to that. At some point I should pick up N++ to enjoy it on the SteamDeck. I know it's on Switch, too, but I can't believe more people haven't played and reviewed it on Steam.

    Awesome list!

    7 votes
  18. Comment on 29% of global, 46% of US, EV owners likely to switch back to ICE cars per McKinsey consumer survey in ~transport

    ChingShih
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    Sure, when there's NACS support for all non-Tesla EVs, or more Supercharger stations have been retrofitted with CCS, that infrastructure will go a long way. I was thinking more about trips where...

    Sure, when there's NACS support for all non-Tesla EVs, or more Supercharger stations have been retrofitted with CCS, that infrastructure will go a long way. I was thinking more about trips where you'd then drive around national parks or other places, rather than driving point-to-point and then leave the vehicle for the entire day. Charging coverage (Tesla, for example) is still pretty sparse for road tripping to destinations you'd actually drive around and its capacity will really be strained when the CCS->NACS conversion is finally made and more vehicles are capable of using that finite resource.

    It's difficult to plan a road trip when it comes to rural areas, especially national parks, where chargers of any type are in limited supply (and potentially limited amperage when all chargers are being used). For longer stays, it means leaving the park to charge, then coming back so you can do more sightseeing. That back and forth takes up a lot of extra time and reduces total range per day during your trip and adds the possibility of more complications.

    Incidentally, it's a problem with gas vehicles in Africa when rural gas stations are out of fuel and you have to drive somewhere else to find some. Somewhat similar to gas vehicles, EV drivers have to be concerned about which side of the vehicle the port/charger is on. Having to wait at a charging station just to charge is one thing, but it's an extra pain in the ass when you're 3 cars deep in line waiting for a spot to open up, only to find out that the orientation of someone else's car is blocking your ability to charge.

    Also, some people have run into Supercharger stations being down for maintenance that wasn't mentioned, which makes planning a road trip have more variables. That plus Electrify America's chargers routinely having reliability issues just makes me not want to find out how bad a lengthy road-trip would be until I can have more confidence in my car's range and more range overall (I'm optimistic that we'll have 400mi+ range in some 2026 model year vehicles). Battery improvements should fix that for me and I hope that would make EVs more acceptable for other drivers as well.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on 29% of global, 46% of US, EV owners likely to switch back to ICE cars per McKinsey consumer survey in ~transport

    ChingShih
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    Yeah, there are a number of drawbacks that EVs face in a market that is allowed to orient itself against it. One thing I'd not considered as a serious problem when buying an EV was that fast...

    Yeah, there are a number of drawbacks that EVs face in a market that is allowed to orient itself against it. One thing I'd not considered as a serious problem when buying an EV was that fast chargers would not just charge a premium for their convenience versus L2 chargers, but they would price themselves at what the market can bear, rather than at a simple premium over commercial electricity pricing. So at home I might pay $0.11/kwh, and commercial might pay half that. But fast chargers in the areas I use them are priced at ~$0.44/kwh or more with surcharges, which places a total price of a 20-80% charge at around $45-55 (according to my receipt). Pretty much what consumers are used to paying at the pump (even if that doesn't take into account frequency of refueling; i.e. Prius vs F-150). Meanwhile I pay a lot less than that when charging at home.

    Tesla, Lucid, and Mercedes are among the few companies really focusing on reducing the drag coefficient (Cd) of their EVs not just due to shape, but especially in Lucid's case, aerodynamic efficiencies that allow their upcoming SUV to have a Cd of 0.03 more than their sedan. Crazy. But there's no legislation that's really pushing truck/SUV manufacturers to make more aerodynamic, energy-efficient vehicles because on paper the vehicles are already measured as "greener" than their ICE counterparts of identical shapes. But they could be much more efficient and while those efficiencies would cost money in R&D, they'd net manufacturers much better range on paper and in practice. But that's not really what they're selling, they're selling "new EV go fast," so we have a whole slew of vehicles with effective ranges of 223-283 miles (EPA) when they could be markedly better or have less battery and therefore be lighter.

    Another issue, which is discussed elsewhere in this thread and one I considered when purchasing my EV, was that EVs aren't really suitable for huge road trips due to infrastructure availability and reliability. I don't want to have to budget L2 charging speeds when going across the country. ~L3 would be fine, and a half-hour break in driving for every 4-hours or so is probably a good idea (food, bathroom, and walking the dog/cat/goldfish), but at L2 charging speeds you're talking 6+ hours to do the same amount of charging for vehicles with large batteries. The road trip factor is something that's going to change the way people perceive their vehicles (if they don't already have a "weekend sports car") and perceive their lifestyle pace.

    9 votes
  20. Comment on ‘I wouldn't come here, to be honest,’ says the disdainful star of Visit Oslo's latest advert, which has become a viral hit online in ~travel