UniquelyGeneric's recent activity

  1. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    UniquelyGeneric
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    I'm in complete alignment with you. While I think this latest season was an improvement over the first, it still hasn't found a way to be concise enough. It meanders on the same theme a little too...

    I'm in complete alignment with you. While I think this latest season was an improvement over the first, it still hasn't found a way to be concise enough. It meanders on the same theme a little too long just to get the initial point across.

    The original Twilight Zone episodes were able to tie an entire plot line in 20-some minutes of what could have been entire feature films in their own right. Meanwhile the modern series double the runtime, but seems to cover even less plot. It always feels like it has the start to a cool sci-fi idea, but then never knows how to stick the landing, so it dwells on the idea itself without trying to provide a satisfying conclusion.

    Black Mirror has some well executed ideas in a handful of episodes, but there's definitely been others in the more recent seasons that have a similar "limbo" state to Peele's Twilight Zone.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    UniquelyGeneric
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    I wrapped up the latest season of the new Twilight Zone and I think I like it better than the first season. It wasn't nearly as heavy handed in its take on social issues (which it mostly avoided...

    I wrapped up the latest season of the new Twilight Zone and I think I like it better than the first season. It wasn't nearly as heavy handed in its take on social issues (which it mostly avoided this season around), but it was still lacking in some grander moral takeaway at the end of a few episodes. Not that the original Twilight Zone always had a deeper meaning behind each episode, but an episode from this latest season ended with Jordan Peele effectively saying "pretty crazy, right?" which I think diminishes the significance of the preceding events.

    That being said, my favorite episode starred Topher Grace (who also had a great episode in Black Mirror) and its plot can best be described as

    SPOILER

    Groundhog Day from the perspective of the love interest.

    I thought it was an interesting take on dating when paired with Netflix's Dating Around. That is, with modern dating making acquiring dates relatively easy (at least pre-coronavirus) it ends up becoming a numbers game. Perhaps it's just my own experience, but I ended up consciously trying to optimize a first date experience over time, which inevitably led me to write a song Dating Appathy (the two p's are deliberate) where I took a more cynical view that everyone is merely going through the motions without going through any emotions or real connection. This Twilight Zone episode doesn't necessarily resolve the dilemma of modern dating, but I enjoyed getting an alternate reality experience to something I had already put some thought to.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on The twenty-five best movies of 2020 (so far) in ~movies

    UniquelyGeneric
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    In a year where I expect a low movie release turnout, I was intrigued at the movies that did manage to make it out before/despite covid.

    In a year where I expect a low movie release turnout, I was intrigued at the movies that did manage to make it out before/despite covid.

  4. Comment on Magic Hat leaves behind a transformed craft beer industry in Vermont in ~food

    UniquelyGeneric
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    As an avid #9 drinker, I was shocked at how much I didn't know about Magic Hat's legacy, so thank you @Deimos for that worthwhile long read. I was introduced to Magic Hat in the runup to its peak,...

    As an avid #9 drinker, I was shocked at how much I didn't know about Magic Hat's legacy, so thank you @Deimos for that worthwhile long read.

    I was introduced to Magic Hat in the runup to its peak, and this article may help to corroborate anecdotal stories I heard about their annual brew contest winners being less innovative over the years. I hope they don't lose their soul in the move to Rochester, but it seems inevitable given the privatization the brewery is going through to compete with the craft brew scene it helped create.

    Something about the "fortune cookie" style bottle caps always felt endearing to me. Perhaps they will continue to experiment to stay relevant, but even if #9 just remains a beer store staple, I will still be happy. I can only hope there will be more beers to look forward to in the future. The article mentions Heady Topper and that is still quite the luxury when you can find it.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on An open discussion related to time and/or the aging process in ~talk

    UniquelyGeneric
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    Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Tell me about your living space in ~life

    UniquelyGeneric
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    I used these clips, which are sized perfectly for ethernet, but might be too small for HDMI. There's other versions that might support the slightly larger diameter of the cables, though. My advice...

    I used these clips, which are sized perfectly for ethernet, but might be too small for HDMI. There's other versions that might support the slightly larger diameter of the cables, though.

    My advice would be that you need to have tension in the cable to keep it neat, but you don't need to have a clip at every section to keep it form-fitting, only at areas where the cable will naturally bow out or around corners. I think less is more here, as the clips are somewhat more visible than the cable. I opted to not use nail-in versions, although they would be more sturdy than the adhesive (which will likely lose grip over time), because I thought the nail itself might stand out too much (and it's more of a pain to keep the cable tension while laying them down). You don't need the tension to be so extreme that the clips are at risk of getting pulled off, but just enough to keep the line taut and minimize the visible gap between the molding and the wire.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on Tell me about your living space in ~life

    UniquelyGeneric
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    This post could not have come at a better time. I recently moved into a new apartment a couple weeks ago so I've been spending the past ~2 months obsessing over every detail to optimize the space...

    This post could not have come at a better time. I recently moved into a new apartment a couple weeks ago so I've been spending the past ~2 months obsessing over every detail to optimize the space in New York's notoriously small living quarters.

    What's the breakdown of your living space?

    It's a 500 sq ft 1 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor of a building made in the early 1900's. The bedroom contains the only two windows in the unit, and the living room is merged with a tiny, but serviceable, kitchen with an electric stove. There's wood floors I've covered with a large rug in the living room, and exposed brick I've mostly left untouched aside from two large posters that I think balance out the nooks in the wall that they occupy. There's two fireplaces, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. I've cleverly placed a shoe rack in the bedroom one, and the second is occluded from view by my media center, which makes use of the empty space for all my power cords and networking.


    What do you appreciate about it?

    Many things. It's a "southern"-facing apartment, which given the orientation of Manahattan means I get the evening sun which works out perfectly for me because I am not a morning person, and I appreciate having more of the day that I'm awake with sunlight in the room. My last apartment got the morning sun and this proved to be problematic while taking video calls for work later in the day when I would lose any available natural light and had to improvise to make my face visible.

    I really like the layout as well, everything is very rectangular. While apartment hunting it was clear that most apartments in my price range were either repurposed studios or incredibly awkward shapes (e.g. a triangular shaped living room, or a long thin hallway that eats up the square footage with unusable space). Having everything rectangular means that the area of the room is maximized for usable space. I also like the French doors that separate the bedroom from the living room. It's clear it was a wall that was not part of the original building design, but it really helps me to separate my bedroom/office from the living/creative space. I keep the doors closed while working, and open them when I log off to mentally switch gears. The French doors really make the unit feel open and airy and help pass as much light as possible into the rest of the apartment.

    Everything just fits. There's some nooks in the walls that could have otherwise been a hassle, but for me they are perfect for allowing a slight separation of space within the same room. I have a nook in my bedroom which allows for the tiniest of desks to fit in, but I have a comfortable situation with a second monitor/TV screen visible from the bed and an old Kindle Fire I've mounted on the wall to be an always-on monitor for IRC chats. A nook in the living room is exactly the right size to fit my 88-key digital keyboard and nothing more. I had a guiding principle to ensure that all doors that can open in the apartment would be able to move completely without obstruction. I put a bar cart in the kitchen area, and while it could have made things cramped, the sink's under-cabinet door opens with less than inch to spare. My couch in the living room is spaced perfectly between a coat closet door and my vertical bike mount, giving both the space they need to operate.


    What bothers you about it?

    There's some element of its age that shows. For some reason mine is the only building on the block that has its Internet cables hanging on the outside, so my modem has to be next to my bed, and I've laced a 35 ft ethernet cable around the molding into the living room. It's well hidden and would make /r/cableporn proud, but unnecessary if the cables were interior in the first place.

    While I've made the most of the kitchen space, it still leaves something to be desired. It was clearly furnished in the 90's and it shows. Everything is white, including the cabinets, but the cabinets themselves have started to deteriorate from presumable water damage at the edges and don't hold up well to close inspection.

    It also has a toilet without a reservoir, so it uses a flush mechanism found in most bar toilets, which while it makes noises like it's doing a great job evacuating its contents, usually takes two flushes to get rid of everything. It also has a checkerboard tile on the floor which I'm just not a fan of.

    The last small complaint is that while there's trees on my whole block, for some reason right where my building is are newly planted trees which are quite small and cannot be seen while inside the apartment. A minor gripe for sure, but my last apartment had an entire garden outside the window so in relative terms it's a downgrade.


    In what ways have you made the space "yours"?

    The last tenant was clearly a recent college-grad with a job at Twitter so they had no idea the amazing space they had and no sense of style to make it look nice. They had boneheaded decisions like a couch sectional that blocked the bedroom door access, and printed out pictures taped up on the walls. Shelves were used to store cardboard boxes in plain sight and an attempt at growing a plant inside the fireplace unsurprisingly did not bode well for the plant.

    My general decor is intended to provide a parlor feel, with the kitchen taking on a bar/cocktail vibe, and the living room has this large artwork someone was throwing out at my last apartment complex, bookended by two large framed playing cards (Ace of Spades and an arabesque back of a card). The bedroom has this poster between the two large windows, which gives it a feeling of being another window to the outside (though my actual view is not nearly as idyllic). I also recently bought a guitar which is now mounted next to the keyboard to have a musical corner which also has its own aesthetics.

    Along with not being a morning person, I'm an extreme night owl. While I have f.lux on my computer, I bought smart bulbs for all areas in the apartment and plan on automating them through Home Assistant to provide a f.lux-like feel. I can tell it's already helping me go to sleep earlier, and it's so great to switch hues from blue to orange after sunset. Makes the apartment feel warmer, and along with the exposed brick makes me feel very comfy and relaxed.


    Do you share it with anyone: pets, plants, or people?

    This is very much a bachelor pad and it probably comes off that way to anyone who were to see it, but I've learned to treat the things I own much better than I used to, so I hope it also has an air of sophistication rather than just appearing like the living space of a drunk musician.

    I used to live with roommates for the past 3 years. It was done for the socialization as well as a larger space than my previous studio (which probably had 200 sq ft less than my current setup). I'm happy to have full ownership of my bathroom and kitchen where I can keep things clean and tidy without fear someone else will muck it up for me.

    I do have a small succulent collection of about 6 different plants. They occupy the one window sill without A/C and just today I bought an outside pot for my window sill and have some basil and spinach growing in it currently.


    Are you happy with where you are?

    Very much. Whether it's because I no longer have roommates, or because I was able to optimize my space to my liking, I feel very comfortable where I'm at. I joke that I had to optimize this space because due to covid I was going to be spending many hours in the same space. This apartment is my home office/gym/restaurant/bar/cinema/studio, and I can very easily transition to each function due to how I've set up everything.

    I also got lucky with the price for my place due to coronavirus messing with the pricing of NYC apartments. My only fear is that next year they will significantly increase the rent rate, but if it's not too much higher, it will still be worth staying rather than pay a broker fee and go through the hassle of moving. I expect to live here for the next 3 years (subject to change if there is a significant other that enters the mix).


    Is there anything you'd recommend for others regarding their living spaces?

    Use the vertical space! I had many things mounted that opened up floor space while being functional themselves: two spice racks cleared out cabinet space, a wallet/key holder prevented my one kitchen counter from being used for non-food items, a vertical bike mount allowed me to keep my bike inside while not getting in the way, my new guitar is mounted as well which keeps it easily accessible, there's command hooks in my closets for belts and other items that get frequent use, and I have two floating shelves over my desk for purely decorative purposes to make the space not feel empty. Also, I bought a lift-top coffee table, which has tons of storage space for books, and makes for a convenient transition to a dinner table or computer stand. What a game changer.

    I'm also a firm believer that "out of sight, out of mind" and its inverse are true. That is, place the things you want to use more frequently within arm's reach, and within eye sight. That's why I have my bike, guitar, keyboard and spice rack all very accessible so I can use them more frequently. The more friction points you put into something, the more activation energy it takes to actually use them. Good habits can be engineered rather than just conditioned.

    10 votes
  8. Comment on I just made my last ever student loan payment! in ~life

    UniquelyGeneric
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    I thought this would benefit me as well, but I spent a good chunk of change moving apartments (during the riots and curfew nonetheless), so now I'm left playing it conservative and saving the...

    The quarantine actually helped me accelerate payments.

    I thought this would benefit me as well, but I spent a good chunk of change moving apartments (during the riots and curfew nonetheless), so now I'm left playing it conservative and saving the money even though I shouldn't have to under normal circumstances. Even then, I'll only have paid off half the loans in the same timeframe you paid yours in full.

    It's a shame that loans can hang over our heads and only manage to weigh us down a good chunk of our lives. I'll join the party the day I've paid off my own loans, but at that point I'll probably have a mortgage or car loan to keep me under the thumb of capitalism >_>

    Cheers to your newfound independence!

    5 votes
  9. Comment on How fitness will change forever in ~health

    UniquelyGeneric
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    While most of the article focuses on the effects of quarantine and coronavirus precautions are moving gyms to the home, I did think this last reflection on how everyone's lives has changed was...

    While most of the article focuses on the effects of quarantine and coronavirus precautions are moving gyms to the home, I did think this last reflection on how everyone's lives has changed was well said:

    One of the quieter casualties of these pandemic months is dedicated space. Hospitals, grocery stores, and warehouses have held on to clear functions, but for everything else, there’s your apartment. Confinement leads to a kind of versatility; it means we figure out how to use the same room to work and raise kids and play and sleep, the same ingredients to make three dinners in a row, the same video software to conduct every kind of social exchange. It also means that the functions of office and restaurant and church and beach and bar hover over the same sad little seafoam Ikea carpet, mirrored in the same screen, shadowed by the same cool plant.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on Minneapolis ex-officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck is in custody and faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in ~news

    UniquelyGeneric
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    Third degree only exists in 3 states (Florida, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania). It has a max of 25 years in Minnesota, whereas in other states where the same requirements would qualify for second...

    Third degree only exists in 3 states (Florida, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania). It has a max of 25 years in Minnesota, whereas in other states where the same requirements would qualify for second degree murder, there's the possibility of a life sentence.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Protests over death of George Floyd disrupt Minneapolis, and beyond in ~news

    UniquelyGeneric
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    Call me a cynic, but a part of my thinks the reason the right wing media has uncharacteristically taken the side of minorities is because they are trying to quell further uprisings by ushering in...

    Call me a cynic, but a part of my thinks the reason the right wing media has uncharacteristically taken the side of minorities is because they are trying to quell further uprisings by ushering in police reform because it gives a facade of social progress while not identifying systemic issues that are being exacerbated with the covid crisis.

    Part of the rush to reopen states is to return the general populace to distraction via panem et circensus.

    I hope I'm wrong and we're really just experiencing a pressure cooker's contents catalyzing into positive paradigm shifts.

    18 votes
  12. Comment on Alt-right homophobes are using 4chan to plan a terrifying cyber attack on the LGBT+ community during Pride month in ~lgbt

    UniquelyGeneric
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    I think the crux of the issue lies somewhere at the intersection between Poe's law, Baader–Meinhof, and confirmation bias. That is to say, just spreading malicious information online can poison...

    I think the crux of the issue lies somewhere at the intersection between Poe's law, Baader–Meinhof, and confirmation bias. That is to say, just spreading malicious information online can poison one's mind to think that it's common and/or normal to hold extreme beliefs of a vocal minority.

    This seems to but up against the concept of free will if it implies that thoughts alone can be as bad as actions, but we live in a world where free speech and Section 203 are being challenged at the highest echelons of society, so perhaps this is a good time to consider addressing mental hygiene as much as Homeland Security / Disease Control.

    7 votes
  13. Comment on What's the weather/climate like where you live? in ~talk

    UniquelyGeneric
    Link Parent
    What a shame, I linked it because I figured it would be the most commonly accessible link. Social media building up moats around their walled gardens I suppose... Here's another site that shows...

    What a shame, I linked it because I figured it would be the most commonly accessible link. Social media building up moats around their walled gardens I suppose...

    Here's another site that shows the same thing.

  14. Comment on What's the weather/climate like where you live? in ~talk

    UniquelyGeneric
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    The NYC subway can be used as a method for quick mental calculation between Fahrenheit and Celsius, but admittedly it's only a novelty I discovered after moving here, and most New Yorkers probably...

    The NYC subway can be used as a method for quick mental calculation between Fahrenheit and Celsius, but admittedly it's only a novelty I discovered after moving here, and most New Yorkers probably couldn't recite all the stops on the 6 train so it's of limited use.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on What's the weather/climate like where you live? in ~talk

    UniquelyGeneric
    (edited )
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    NYC is around my ideal climate. I grew up in LA, and didn't appreciate how special it is to have every day be 72 and sunny. I lived in upstate NY to understand what a cold and long winter looks...

    NYC is around my ideal climate. I grew up in LA, and didn't appreciate how special it is to have every day be 72 and sunny. I lived in upstate NY to understand what a cold and long winter looks like, and I did Florida long enough to realize that I cannot stand humidity (perhaps from the dry heat in SoCal), so I ended up moving to NYC.

    New York has relatively mild Winters, hovering around freezing temperature, with a few storms that will drop enough snow to transform it into a "Winter Wonderland" of pure snow, before inevitably turning into a brown/grey mush that you have to dodge while walking about.

    The Summers are somewhat humid, peaking in the 80s F (~25-30 C), which can get a bit muggy when commuting to work. The skyscrapers and subways themselves trap in heat on the island of Manhattan, which is appreciated in the winter, but a bit too intense in the summer. You find yourself walking on the side of streets that have shade wherever you go. Occasionally a heat wave may push things into the 90s F (~32-37 C), but this isn't frequent or long lasting.

    The Spring and Fall, though, they're my favorite. Particularly the trees in the Fall. The weather is a cool 60-75 F (~15-25 C), and in Fall there's a calm undercurrent where the city feels more relaxed. The trees turn color in October (as opposed to September upstate), and I find their earth tones particularly striking against the brownstone apartments and other urban color schemes. You can also wear many layers in Fall which provides for greater flexibility of attire.

    In general, New Yorkers try to leave the city during Summer, but given the quarantine, we're probably going to stick it out here. Today was ~75 F (~25 C) and partly cloudy, so perfect for cycling and reading a book in the park, which is what I did :)

    5 votes
  16. Comment on Recommend me a movie that _________ in ~movies

    UniquelyGeneric
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    Under the Silver Lake - While among the cadre of neo-noir films, this one adopts the more traditional plot elements emblematic of the original film noir genre while giving them an updated facelift.

    Under the Silver Lake - While among the cadre of neo-noir films, this one adopts the more traditional plot elements emblematic of the original film noir genre while giving them an updated facelift.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Recommend me a movie that _________ in ~movies

    UniquelyGeneric
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    Perfect Sense is a movie about a pandemic that slowly removes one of your five senses in a set order. Depending upon when you were infected, your progression is visible to others who are living...

    Perfect Sense is a movie about a pandemic that slowly removes one of your five senses in a set order. Depending upon when you were infected, your progression is visible to others who are living with the disease. Society slowly drives towards collapse as nearly everyone contracts the disease. The ending may leave a little to be desired, but it's an interesting thought experiment nonetheless.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Uber-Grubhub: How the pandemic is launching the era of online platform regulation in ~tech

    UniquelyGeneric
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    The article mentions Google Meet attempting to take on Zoom, but I think a more egregious example of the problem with big tech is that the most sought after feature during quarantine (Tiled view)...

    The article mentions Google Meet attempting to take on Zoom, but I think a more egregious example of the problem with big tech is that the most sought after feature during quarantine (Tiled view) was not officially supported by Google despite Zoom's popularity being possibly driven by it, and it took a single person at a university to build an extension that was used by so many people he couldn't handle the volume of legal requests he was receiving.

    Google was quick to implement such a feature on their own, but for a company that prides itself on its product and engineering prowess, it was certainly behind the curve. Innovation stagnation is a monopolistic tendency, and the disruption brought by the coronavirus seems to be uncovering market inefficiencies everywhere these days.

    1 vote