DonQuixote's recent activity

  1. Comment on The Dutch Hardly Bike At All in ~design

    DonQuixote
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    The Dutch bike all the time. They use it as basic intercity transportation. They're obviously not that interested in longer trips on bikes. It's called a cultural thing. Conversely, in U.S cities,...

    The Dutch bike all the time. They use it as basic intercity transportation. They're obviously not that interested in longer trips on bikes. It's called a cultural thing. Conversely, in U.S cities, everyone uses a vehicle. Or public transit, depending.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Twitter announces that they are stopping all political advertising globally in ~tech

    DonQuixote
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    Maybe they're just not interested in going through what Facebook did with political ads.

    Maybe they're just not interested in going through what Facebook did with political ads.

    16 votes
  3. Comment on Something happened at school Monday and I don't know how to interpret it in ~talk

    DonQuixote
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    Wait a few days till you talk with her again. But let the incident on the bench go. It likely had nothing to do with you. She'll bring it up if she feels you need an explanation. Once you get past...

    Wait a few days till you talk with her again. But let the incident on the bench go. It likely had nothing to do with you. She'll bring it up if she feels you need an explanation.

    Once you get past that, ask her to go for coffee or something. Keep it casual for now. Anyway that's my advice.

    13 votes
  4. Comment on What do you want to do/be when you grow up? in ~talk

    DonQuixote
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    Sometimes it just comes down to the environment and people. Since you don't seem to need work, find a public place you that appeals to you. It can be literally anywhere, maybe somewhere you...

    Sometimes it just comes down to the environment and people. Since you don't seem to need work, find a public place you that appeals to you. It can be literally anywhere, maybe somewhere you already hang out because of the people there. Offer to help out. Every place needs help. Just don't let them know you're a programmer and it should be fine.

    There might be other things that attract you or you may not be a people person. In any case, have fun!

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Is it OK if someone wants to live for years on a bench? in ~life

    DonQuixote
    Link Parent
    Do you live on your own land or somewhere else?

    Do you live on your own land or somewhere else?

    5 votes
  6. Moontrap: Target Earth, possibly the worst movie ever made.

    This is what you get when you search VUDU for free science fiction movies. The plot is banal enough. A spacecraft is discovered in Colorado that is 14,000 years old. A linguist and her lover are...

    This is what you get when you search VUDU for free science fiction movies. The plot is banal enough. A spacecraft is discovered in Colorado that is 14,000 years old. A linguist and her lover are hired to read an inscription and then summarily paid and told to go home by the mysterious and unlikeable head of the project, Richard Kontral.

    This description in no way does justice to how bad the script is. My first theory was that a rich father gave his fourteen year old son a chance to create a movie for his birthday present. But it's really just a low budget sequel to an obscure cult film called Moontrap.

    The lead character, Scout, is played by Sarah Butler who evidently rose to wordly fame in I Spit on Your Grave. Every line that Scout says to the villain includes adolescent sexual insults. The villain is I believe a washed up actor from an old sitcom called The Nanny. This guy is really hard to watch, the acting is as bad as the script.

    There's a scene of robots fighting that looks like it was choreographed with Rockem Sockem Robots, a toy from my childhood. If you're a collector of bad movies, this is a true gem.

    It was tough to watch, but our free streaming was slim pickings that night. I wanted to watch Day of the Triffids a classic bad movie from the '60's , but got outvoted. At least that movie was based on an interesting SF novel by John Wyndham. Maybe tomorrow night.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    DonQuixote
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    I'm reading Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich. It reads like a woman's version of Glamorama but is played strictly for laughs. Each Chapter starts off with a horoscope which somehow relates...

    I'm reading Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich. It reads like a woman's version of Glamorama but is played strictly for laughs. Each Chapter starts off with a horoscope which somehow relates to the book. Most of the story deals with Penelope Mercury and her friends. Most of the characters work a fashion magazine, so think 'The Devil Wears Prada' with pratfalls. Here's a sample of the dialogue:

    “Your coverage of the Whitney Gala and the fall season was superb. But May is going to be tough. It will be war. It seems Nan Thrice’s botched face-lift has finally healed and she has come out of hiding. She is chairing the American Ballet Ball and the Burkhas for Bahrain gala.”

    “Bahrain?” Lipstick said. “Why does Bahrain need a charity ball?”

    “Do you know how many inappropriately dressed indentured servants there are in Bahrain that need our help?” Jack said. “That, and Nan’s niece is dating the prince of Bahrain. Either way. Nan is out and about and back leading the circuit, and Elsie Courter is pissed.

    This type of frivolity isn't for everyone, but it's laid on so thickly that your head will be spinning trying to keep up with the plot. Had I not read Brett Easton Ellis' Glamorama I'd probably have put it down by now. But the concept of "Mercury in Retrograde" , based on superstition and incorrect astronomy, is a whimsical subject. So the title caught my eye and I'm going with it.

    Here's a pretty good article on the topic if you're interested: https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/what-does-mercury-retrograde-mean

    I like to use the term during one of those days when totally weird things are going on. I look at my friends and say "Well, Mercury is in Retrograde today." But they expect comments from me like this.

    I'm also finishing up The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means by George Soros. The billionaire certainly has a different take on financial markets, sort of like "Markets in Retrograde."

    5 votes
  8. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    DonQuixote
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    I have a wooden circular Venetian solitaire board with 36 beautiful oversized marbles that go in a fat cross pattern. It's possible to solve, but I haven't gotten there yet. You can find it on...

    I have a wooden circular Venetian solitaire board with 36 beautiful oversized marbles that go in a fat cross pattern. It's possible to solve, but I haven't gotten there yet. You can find it on youtube, but why ruin the game?

    Anyway when people ask, I call it the Glass Bead Game (which is isn't), as in the novel by Hermann Hesse. But my real love is a wooden sudoku board I was gifted. There are a few books out there called beyond blackbelt sudoku with almost impossible puzzles in it. Playing on a board is better than paper, as I skip all the notation solvers use, which are no help anyway. Some of these I've worked on for weeks. It takes your brain to another place entirely.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Computer Files Are Going Extinct in ~tech

    DonQuixote
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    This is the way all technology goes. The old Tandy computers were fairly simple machines. There were a few things they could do really well, with a small digital footprint. As the physical...

    This is the way all technology goes. The old Tandy computers were fairly simple machines. There were a few things they could do really well, with a small digital footprint. As the physical footprint got smaller, the digital one expanded, and expanded to fill up all available disk space.

    There's a whole digital minimalism movement waiting to be born. We all find our comfort zone somewhere in the continuum and would like to stay right there. Sometimes I miss MultiMate. But I never miss Lotus 1-2-3. It used to be you could tell a person's age by their hair style. Now you just have to look at the software they miss.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

    DonQuixote
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    I made a playlist of some of my collection and called it Jazz In The Night. This was the name of a Jazz program on KANU FM (Lawrence) from about 45 years ago. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Blue...

    I made a playlist of some of my collection and called it Jazz In The Night. This was the name of a Jazz program on KANU FM (Lawrence) from about 45 years ago. Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Blue Note jazz and others, usually in a live setting. I added in some Marian McPartland duets with Lionel Hampton and others along with her old PBS program. This was back before FM had commercials.

    Also listening to full orchestra music on Youtube, some pieces mentioned in novels by Murakami (Leoš Janáček's "Sinfonietta) , Enard (Song of the Night by Szymanowski), and others. There's a whole world of music out there that most people aren't aware of, from current indie back to traditional Shakahuchi (woodwind.)

    5 votes
  11. Comment on What's your SILLY unpopular opinion? in ~talk

  12. Comment on Forever 21's bankruptcy shows that teens are outgrowing malls in ~finance

    DonQuixote
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    As mallers age out and the places get emptier, it sounds depressing. But at least it'll free up lots of space for Amazon fulfillment centers and their other operations.

    As mallers age out and the places get emptier, it sounds depressing. But at least it'll free up lots of space for Amazon fulfillment centers and their other operations.

  13. Comment on China is using AI with brain devices in classrooms in ~tech

    DonQuixote
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    From the video: In this experiment, the parents also get to watch the results of the headbands on their children, so quite a few of them are good with it. What's even more chilling is the way...

    From the video:

    Despite the chances for false readings, teachers told us the headbands have forced the students to become more disciplined.

    In this experiment, the parents also get to watch the results of the headbands on their children, so quite a few of them are good with it. What's even more chilling is the way facial recognition now in use everywhere keeps tabs on all the citizens.

  14. Comment on What's your SILLY unpopular opinion? in ~talk

    DonQuixote
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    I put up with coat hangers because of our silly convention of wearing pressed and folded clothes. In my circles anyway.

    I put up with coat hangers because of our silly convention of wearing pressed and folded clothes. In my circles anyway.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on What's your SILLY unpopular opinion? in ~talk

    DonQuixote
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    If there weren't hangers I wouldn't have to wear any. As it is they sit in the closet 360 days a year, shrinking over time.

    If there weren't hangers I wouldn't have to wear any. As it is they sit in the closet 360 days a year, shrinking over time.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Why can’t we agree on what’s true any more? in ~news

    DonQuixote
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    That's easy. If I agree with the conspiracy theorist, there's no conspiracy at all. However, if I disagree with their views, it's obvious that they're peddling misinformation. And that, my...

    But it is possible to have too much scepticism. How exactly do we distinguish this critical mentality from that of the conspiracy theorist, who is convinced that they alone have seen through the official version of events?

    That's easy. If I agree with the conspiracy theorist, there's no conspiracy at all. However, if I disagree with their views, it's obvious that they're peddling misinformation.

    And that, my friends, is the problem. The internet is turning our bias inside out and making it an issue of its own. My favorite conspiracy theory is The Conspiracy of Algorithms. This is the concept that budding algorithms now being used in everything from number theory to automated driving have absorbed human biases from the datasets they've been fed. As algorithms become more complex and less transparent, these biases are likely resulting in conflicts which are settled ad hoc which then get fed back into the algorithm.

    This isn't a true conspiracy, because the problem is basically systemic. It's no more complex than the rounding errors that plagued spreadsheets at their beginnings.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on What's your SILLY unpopular opinion? in ~talk

    DonQuixote
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    Whoever invented coat hangers should have been shot. Book is forthcoming.

    Whoever invented coat hangers should have been shot. Book is forthcoming.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on 'Joker' director Todd Phillips pushes back against 'outrage,' 'far left' criticism in ~movies

  19. Comment on 'Joker' director Todd Phillips pushes back against 'outrage,' 'far left' criticism in ~movies

    DonQuixote
    Link Parent
    That wasn't my point. Those words were the director's. My point was that the studios were making money off of his desire to create what he saw as a real movie, with a big budget, while satisfying...

    That wasn't my point. Those words were the director's. My point was that the studios were making money off of his desire to create what he saw as a real movie, with a big budget, while satisfying their itch to make another hopefully very profitable movie about the Joker.

    1 vote
  20. Book Review - Turn Of Mind by Alice LaPlante

    Turn of Mind is a mystery. It's for the most part written in journal format. Interestingly it's a journal that sits in the house of a person with Alzheimer's disease. Jennifer White was an...

    Turn of Mind is a mystery. It's for the most part written in journal format. Interestingly it's a journal that sits in the house of a person with Alzheimer's disease.

    Jennifer White was an orthopedic surgeon in Chicago. Once brilliant, Dr. White is now in the later stages of the disease and the journal is written in by family members and housekeepers to help her remember who she was and who she is. A fractured portrait emerges of a cold and strong minded woman who has had a full life that she remembers in bits and pieces. Amidst the pages is mention of a neighbor, Amanda, who has been murdered. Slowly things come together for the reader while Dr. White's disease progresses into confusion.

    Yet she still has moments of lucidity, remembering the details of her profession, where she was considered one of the best and most respected hand surgeons in the country. Her deterioration is something she's at times very aware of, and it is this that makes the book so powerful.

    The narrative often lapses into Jennifer's past memories of both her parents and her children. This adds authenticity to her mental condition but also made me impatient for what seemed to be more important details. As Jennifer is interviewed by police officers and pulled into interaction with her grown son and daughter, we can begin to understand the horror of this disease, especially regarding how hard it is to trust people who may be trying to manipulate the sufferer for their own purposes.

    I'd put this near the top of my list for books enjoyed in 2019. It brings to mind The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, narrated by an Aspberger's spectrum person. Turn of Mind is a hard book to read, but it's even harder to put down once you get into it.

    4 votes