aethicglass's recent activity

  1. Comment on What was your personal "never again" moment? in ~talk

    aethicglass
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    I had a similar cig experience... my only pack of smokes got rained on while I was camping. I dried them out in the sun and smoked them anyways. Worst taste ever. Wasn't bad enough to keep me from...

    I had a similar cig experience... my only pack of smokes got rained on while I was camping. I dried them out in the sun and smoked them anyways. Worst taste ever. Wasn't bad enough to keep me from smoking them, as I still needed the nicotine. But it was miserable. Water and dried tobacco don't mix.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on I'm stuck in an endless loop in ~health

    aethicglass
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    Supplements that might be worth looking into if you haven't already: L-dopa & 5HTP: Precursors for dopamine and serotonin. I take them with EGCG, which acts as a binder to pass the BBB instead of...

    Supplements that might be worth looking into if you haven't already:

    L-dopa & 5HTP: Precursors for dopamine and serotonin. I take them with EGCG, which acts as a binder to pass the BBB instead of accumulating in muscle tissue. I take either L-dopa and EGCG or 5HTP and EGCG. Taking them together seems to negate value. My reason for taking them is that the type of depression I tend to get is the numb sort of flavor. My emotional responses to anything positive can get extremely low. So I just kinda gauge dosage depending on what my emotional responses have been like in the previous few days.

    Vitamin D: you've almost certainly had your vitamin D levels tested if they're looking at your thyroid health, but it's worth mentioning that the thyroid doesn't do its job well without it.

    N-Acetyl Cystine (NAC): antioxidant. I mention it primarily because I've been studying oxidative stress a lot lately (thyroid dysfunction in either direction has been shown to increase oxidative stress), and it can lead to a very wide array of problematic conditions and secondary imbalances that can be difficult to nail down a root cause for. Just do a search of biology papers talking about oxidative stress and you'll see what I mean. Incidentally, it ties in closely with development of COVID.

    Resveratrol: This is probably the most nebulous out of all of these recommendations. I only recently started looking into it. The paper Resveratrol: A double edged sword in health benefits is a good starting place. To oversimplify: it has antioxidant pathways, anticancer mechanisms (via SIRT1 upregulation), cardioprotective, antimicrobial, and neuroprotective effects (likely due to antioxidation). I'm mainly interested in it for the SIRT1 upregulation, as SIRT1 is used to mark out damaged cells to be removed by the innate immune system. The double-edged sword part of it comes into play with the complexity of dosage (lower dosing elicits different effects from higher dosing), an apparent increase in ROS (despite being an antioxidant), which may also lead to an increased chance of damaging cells instead of helping them. However, it has also been shown that ROS of a certain baseline amount are a necessary part of cell signalling, and it's possible that this increase in ROS is related to the anticancer mechanisms at play.
    What I can say about it from the few weeks of personal experience I have so far is that the higher dosage (which is suppose to kick the SIRT1 and apoptosis mechanism into gear) can feel kinda crappy. Like I need to flush my system out. A bit like a hangover when there's too much acetaldehyde floating around from metabolizing booze. I've been doing that dosage level at a max of twice a week. The only noticeably bad times were when that twice-a-week was one day after another.
    Positives that I've noticed from it so far: my energy level has been significantly higher. I have an actinic keratosis on my forehead that has been there for 2 years, just slowly getting worse. It seems to be healing. It no longer hurts, it's smoothed out and doesn't feel rough anymore. In fact, my skin in general seems to be feeling more like skin again and less like dried out callus. My concentration level has been a bit less scattered (the irony of this is that I'm adding this in as an edit because I got distracted).
    I should note that I've been taking it in conjunction with berberine and NMN. They seem to have mechanisms that may complement each other well (if the preliminary studies pan out and are verified). Berberine seems to assist the anticancer mechanisms and NMN seems to maybe be capable of repairing damaged DNA and decreasing genetic methylation. I noticed the combo because they're marketed together, but looking into the studies that have been on each of them individually or together, I can see why.
    I'm also thinking that supplementing folic acid (to assist with angiogenesis) on the off-days of not taking this combo. But that just recently occurred to me so I haven't had a chance to look into it much yet.


    As might be evident in this post, I approach a lot of my issues with supplements. I can't really afford doctors, which kinda leaves trying to find over the counter things that might help. I've been through a lot, but these are the things that have helped me the most. If you've already tried them with no luck, I'm sorry and I wish I could do something else to help. I know the frustration of lack of motivation and lack of mental clarity all too well. But if by chance there's something in here you haven't heard of before, please don't just take my word on it either. Look into it yourself, talk things over with your doctor. I'm a dang construction worker, so don't take medical advice from me.

    (edit: added some details)

    2 votes
  3. Comment on A vaccine reality check: so much hope is riding on a breakthrough, but a vaccine is only the beginning of the end in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    Thanks, I'm giving it a read. I have some issues with it already (mostly in the simplification of the nature of immunity, the very topic that the article is claiming to be insufficiently...

    Thanks, I'm giving it a read. I have some issues with it already (mostly in the simplification of the nature of immunity, the very topic that the article is claiming to be insufficiently understood and yet they are trying to simplify what is understood), but despite that it reinforces my point of contention. There are many vaccines that do give long term immunity. There are even vaccines that give long term immunity against cases when unvaccinated infection rarely gives immunity. So I'm wondering where the author of OP's article got the concept and why they believe it's applicable.

    At this point I'm tempted to go through and gather a list of primary sources for vaccines that give robust long term immunity. But that's belaboring the wrong point. This is a sidetrack off of my overall objection to this article based solely off the first sentence I wrote. Maybe I've spent too long with my nose buried in medical studies lately, but I can't even begin to relate how frustrating it is to me that journalism in general seems to be making a hash of wrapping their heads around the concepts they're attempted to explain. Maybe they just don't have the time to devote and have impending deadlines that must be met. But that's still a problem, not merely an excuse.

    These articles bear the weight of influence. They inform people. But to be able to teach something, one must first understand it. And in my experience of teaching, I need to understand things at a decently higher level than that of which I'm teaching in order to do a proper job of it. I think this article is punching above its class to be honest. They skipped the understanding part (let alone understanding at a higher level) and went straight towards teaching. That fails to inform, it misinforms. And we have enough problems with misinformation about science right now without adding to that pile.


    Eh, okay I'm reading through the article you grabbed a bit more. So I might as well keep this going...

    The growing understanding of the speed at which vaccine-trained immune systems can lose their muscle has raised concerns about some recent public health decisions. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, changed its legally binding regulations about use of the yellow fever vaccine... so WHO shifted from requiring booster shots every 10 years to a single, lifetime shot. ... "The yellow fever vaccine–induced immunity is long-lived, but only in 80% of people," Slifka says.

    So what happened with the yellow fever vaccine is that they were seeing good long term immunity responses so they stopped recommending boosters. Then some people stopped having long term immunity and there were some cases that popped up. Now that's certainly a problem for those who caught it. But it's also notable that this didn't result in an epidemic. Why? Because herd immunity did its job. The statistical factor of long term immunity kicked into play and limited the effective rate of transmission. So they came to the conclusion that boosters should still be given to those who live in areas that aren't regularly exposed to yellow fever and who thereby lose their immune response over time. None of this indicates that the vaccine doesn't do its job. It only indicates that variables must be accounted for in order for it to do its job to maximum efficacy.

    A WHO spokesperson for the expert committee that evaluates vaccines says it continues to review new data on breakthrough cases of yellow fever, closely monitoring the duration of immunity in people who received a single dose. "The evidence provided does not support the need for [a] booster dose," the spokesperson says, noting that WHO cautions against "overinterpretation" of antibody data.

    This kinda drives it home for me. When talking about vaccines, it seems like a lot of journalism leans heavily on solely antibody immune response. That's only one factor in a complex network of immune response. They're cautioning against interpreting the results of the correlation of decreased antibody in some of the vaccine recipients and the resurgence of cases. Because the resurgence may have nothing to do with a decrease in antibody response. There are other factors involved.

    With SARS-Cov2, we're unlikely to get a vaccine that will give robust antibody results. At least from what I understand. Antibody response seems to be dropping off within a few months of recovery. However, there are other branches of immune response, and what we need to understand specifically with this is how effective T-cell memory response will be. There are already anecdotal cases of reinfection popping up, but we don't have data on these cases. Did they develop memory response and lose it? Did they never develop memory response in the first place? What conditions of infection must be met in order to develop robust immunity?

    If there was a way to provide even short term immunity to the population in a safer way than infection, even if it only provides that short term immunity to 51% of that population, would you find it a worthwhile endeavor to administer it?

    I'd emphatically answer yes for three reasons.

    1. Saving lives is a worthwhile endeavor that I wonder if people have forgotten. "Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good" is a good phrase that's been floating around lately that responds nicely to this lack of regard, in my opinion.
    2. Among those hit with symptoms of COVID (so ignoring the asymptomatic carriers for a moment), those who survive still high I high likelyhood of retaining symptoms for a long time after initial recovery. These "long haulers" are having to endure some pretty significant decrease in quality of life due to the damage inflicted by the virus.
    3. The R effective is already heavily influenced by precautions. This virus is not so infectious that it bypasses all of our efforts. The more precautions we've been taking, the more the R effective goes down. The less precautions we take, the more infection we get. Even if a vaccine can only provide short term immunity for 51% (minimum efficacy for approval), that will still have the capacity to impact the R effective, especially if we exercise other precautions in tandem.

    Alright, that's my core dump for the day. Haha thanks again for the article. Sorry if I come off as a grump or anything. I'm also trying not to punch above my own weight with this and unwittingly spread misinformation, so apologies if I've done so at any point.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on A vaccine reality check: so much hope is riding on a breakthrough, but a vaccine is only the beginning of the end in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
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    Uhh, I'm gonna need to see a source on this. That's a hell of a generalization to try to apply to a virus that people are still scrambling to gather more data on. Especially with regards to immune...

    Vaccine-induced immunity, though, tends to be weaker than immunity that arises after an infection.

    Uhh, I'm gonna need to see a source on this. That's a hell of a generalization to try to apply to a virus that people are still scrambling to gather more data on. Especially with regards to immune response. There have been suspected cases of reinfection, there are large numbers of "long-haulers", and there has been very little data collected about long term immunity because it simply hasn't been around long enough to understand how various people's immune systems are responding to it.

    The Oxford vaccine recently published their phase 2 results, and showed the presence of T-cell immunity. Antibodies tend to clear out within the course of a few months (they're supposed to; failure to do so can result in some pretty awful long term complications when your system just accumulates antibodies against every little thing it encounters). T-cell immunity involves the memory response. They're hoping that it will be capable of yielding some decently long term immunity. But with the number of asymptomatic carriers who don't seem to be building up either antibodies or T-cell memory because of the non-severity of the infection, it's absolutely possible that vaccine immune response will be more robust than average sars-cov2 infection immune response.

    But respiratory viruses don’t normally fling themselves into muscle. They infect respiratory systems, after all, and they usually sneak in through the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. Although vaccine shots induce antibodies in the blood, they don’t induce many in the mucous membranes, meaning they’re unlikely to prevent the virus from entering the body.

    I'm sorry but I'm kinda questioning whether this author understands what vaccines are and the variety of different ways in which they can work. The things they are trying to pass off as -- I dunno, I feel like based on the headline I'm supposed to find these things deeply concerning in tone... But there are a pretty huge variety of approaches being attempted in parallel right now, on a pretty massive scale, and with absolutely unprecedented budget. This could likely be the single largest peer review in history, with the scientific eyes of the world over focused on finding the solution. So the tone of this article is kinda rubbing me the wrong way. I'm sorry if they come to a decent conclusion eventually, but to me this feels like someone's sloppy attempt to prematurely wrap their head around something they were ill prepared to comprehend.

    Edit: finished reading it. I kinda get what they're trying to get at. People need to to hedge their optimism. That isn't always immediately apparent to me because I kinda take that as a given. I guess what rubs me wrong about it the most is that I feel like this vaccine effort is absolutely jaw-dropping in pace, scale, breadth, all of it. People have been working on it for all of 7 months, and they could possibly be 5 months away from having the first batches ready. That's... that's absolutely astounding.

    So instead of belaboring what could possibly go wrong, how about focusing on the different ways we could keep things from going wrong? How about talking about the fact that if the best of humanity has stepped up to the plate and is accomplishing some incredible things, we could try and keep that ball rolling? And I know that the former nitpicking is a necessary first step for the latter solution, but I think it's just the tone and delivery of the messaging that irks me.

    Like, I'm not in medicine. I'm not in journalism. It's not my job to either understand these concepts nor to explain them, yet I've devoted a hell of a lot of my time and energy to understanding the concepts at play here. I don't feel like this author did more than some cursory interviews, thought up some seemingly clever explanations to fit into the narrative they wanted to tell, and bowed out when it came down to the nuts and bolts of actually understanding it before trying to pass it on.

    Sorry again for going on at length. I'll leave my rant at that.

    10 votes
  5. Comment on Help, any good resource on drawing? in ~creative

    aethicglass
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    How to draw animals Cultural Heritage 3D model collection for references YT video on Force method figure drawing Male anatomy 3d model that I found particularly useful for sculpting PureRef - free...

    For anatomy in general, I usually just search for "muscle name anatomy" and scrub through google images til I find what I need, and throw it all on a PureRef board. I mostly just sculpt weird creatures, so I search for different types of animal skulls, skeletons, anatomy diagrams, skin textures, etc. Once I have a decent reference board I just start making stuff.

    I help mod an art discord. Decent little community. If you're interested in an invite, shoot me a message.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on Discord: Our stand on racial equality in ~tech

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    This would be kinda awesome to see happen. But with discord, I feel like it also comes down to the mod teams on individual servers. I mod on a couple public servers (both around 500 users), a...

    This would be kinda awesome to see happen. But with discord, I feel like it also comes down to the mod teams on individual servers. I mod on a couple public servers (both around 500 users), a couple private servers that aren't problematic whatsoever, and assist with community stuff in a few 500-1k servers. Basically, it's a team effort to keep the garbage at bay. But it's also pretty doable for communities of that size.

    For sub 1k servers, I'd say a mod per 100 users is a pretty decent ratio. Larger than that, you don't necessarily need more people with high permissions, just a sort of community watch. People who are active who have community standards in mind, who are willing to help out people who need it, and issue warnings to those in violation of standards.

    One thing I've noticed is that the bigots/sexists/racists tend to dip their toes first. Sure, there are always edgy trolls who come in guns blazing, but they're simple to deal with (except in cases where they persist with bouncing around a VPN and creating multiple accounts, but these are rare). The ones that are most difficult to deal with walk and talk like everyone else for the most part. They're just slightly off. Like you said, "If you've become intimately familiar with racists and white nationalist online, it is quite easy to pick out even their really subtle stuff." It's almost like they dog whistle for each other so they know they aren't alone before they start really letting loose. I've also been noticing lately that it's been working quite well to make them feel alone in that regard. Calling out the dog whistles for what they are in combination with letting them know that "this is not the place you're looking for" really takes the wind out of their sails. As a side note, I don't feel like this used to do the trick. I think recent events have begun to illustrate the depth and breadth of sheer numbers of people who are not willing to tolerate their shit anymore, and how few in number they are in comparison. That's just my running theory though.

    8 votes
  7. Comment on The Last of Us Part II tries to be profound. It fails in ~games

    aethicglass
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    It just came out. This really frustrates me because I've been waiting for this game for years. I just started playing it, and already I can't go online without hearing about how utterly...

    It just came out. This really frustrates me because I've been waiting for this game for years. I just started playing it, and already I can't go online without hearing about how utterly disappointed I should be. If anything is a disappointment to me, it's the gaming "community" for fostering this toxic wasteland of a behavior. I understand that a fair number of people probably want to hear if the game is any good before buying it. But with such a highly anticipated game it becomes unavoidable to encounter substantial enthusiasm-sinks.

    It was similar with game of thrones. Most people were perfectly capable of being disappointed in the resolution of the series without having to be told what to think by reviewers. The reviews didn't save anyone from the disappointment. People were going to be disappointed with that resolution no matter if they were warned it was bad or not.

    As with game of thrones, I just want to be able to get through the incessant buzz unscathed by preconceived notions. And that's already out the window.

    I'm not disappointed with the game in the least so far. I play games at a snail's pace, and yet I've somehow managed to find dozens of amazing moments that have completely enthralled me. Maybe instead of churning out reviews as quickly as possible so their opinions can be heard above the barrage of bullshittery, people should maybe just take the time to find the things they enjoy in life instead if it doesn't seem like this game does the trick.

    I dunno, just kinda pissed off about all this. It's been out for a day and I haven't even had the chance to play more than a couple hours so far.

    12 votes
  8. Comment on IBM exits facial recognition business, calls for police reform in ~tech

    aethicglass
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    Despite the sentiment that the actions of a corporation are hard to see in any light other than profit motive, I'll still take this as a step above hollow declarations of support. Maybe not much...

    Despite the sentiment that the actions of a corporation are hard to see in any light other than profit motive, I'll still take this as a step above hollow declarations of support. Maybe not much of a step above, but it's still a step. Here's hoping more steps follow suit.

    10 votes
  9. Comment on What are you confused by? in ~talk

    aethicglass
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    More of a source of frustration at this point, although I wouldn't be opposed to anyone shining some light on the subject... Digital audio seems to be trapped in the early 00s for the most part....

    More of a source of frustration at this point, although I wouldn't be opposed to anyone shining some light on the subject...

    Digital audio seems to be trapped in the early 00s for the most part. Specifically, my source of frustration lies in the routing capabilities. Things are largely handled on a driver level. This is fine for the vast majority of users who just want their audio to come through a pair of speakers and be done with it. It immediately becomes problematic if you want to actually do anything else with that audio.

    For example, I like to stream working in blender with some friends in discord. I also like being able to have some music playing while still being able to talk through the mic. Under normal operating conditions, this results in the entirety of system audio being piped back into voice chat, including the audio of anyone else talking in chat.

    Yes, there is a software solution to the problem. It is not elegant. It's a hodge podge of various applications combined to split audio sources on a per-app basis into virtual drivers that are then controlled by another application to adjust levels and map outputs. It's very finnicky. It needs to be set up each time I stream, then set back when I'm done. It's high latency and doesn't match up with video unless I go through the effort of manually adjusting a rendering delay for all video sources. And it's prone to failure, with failure being anything from popcorn crackles to complete loss of audio requiring a reboot.

    There is also a hardware solution now. And it's actually quite elegant, but it's doesn't come cheap. It's basically an audio interface which comes with multiple drivers that you can permanently map sources to, with a clean interface that allows complex routing. I'm not gonna bother plugging the device. I've never had a chance to use it because it's sold out everywhere.

    And don't even get me started on audio plugins. Everything from the framework to the interfaces and the pricing is all stuck back in the early 00s. When they actually work, it feels like the luckiest thing ever. Render that out because it might not stay that way.

    Point is, audio feels like such an afterthought it's ridiculous. It's an absolute nightmare to troubleshoot, as a single setting (one virtual driver with an output of 48000 instead of 41500) can wreak havoc across the entire stream. Everyone who has tried setting up streams more complex than single sources knows the woes of which I speak. There's a great deal of demand for an elegant solution, yet there is only a single company so far that has actually developed an elegant solution. It's similar with capturing video, and yet there are dozens of solutions for capturing video.

    All that said, there are a couple things that give me hope. The number of people who are turning to streaming in order to stay in touch with friends and loved ones has increased dramatically (myself included), and so the amount of demand has increased as well. Just looking at youtube videos of some of the possible software solutions to the problem illustrates this effect. There is a rising tide of people trying to explain their own solution to the problem as they spend days or weeks figuring it out and sharing it for others to avoid the pain.

    Second is the development of more advanced audio solutions. The device I mentioned earlier is just the first. There will likely be more. As they gain in popularity, there may finally be a push to incorporate that functionality on the motherboard level, and within the OS itself. (Again, I'm only speaking for windows here. I know linux and mac have slightly better routing solutions, but I'm honestly not particularly impressed with those either.) The development of the audio in the PS5 is also giving me hope. They're supposedly adding in a much more robust audio chipset capable of compiling thousands of audio sources, performing FFTs, and rendering to 3d virtualization for a variety of speaker configurations without discernible latency. This development also gives me hope that maybe more attention to audio will be warranted in future generations of PCs.

    I wouldn't even call myself an audiophile. It just honestly feels like audio has fallen by the wayside for the last couple decades. It got "good enough for most people" and left at that.

    (edit: holy smokes that was longer than I intended. Guess I just had to get that of my chest.)

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Coronavirus may be a blood vessel disease, which explains everything in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
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    Dr. Sehuelt at MedCram has been talking about this in his youtube channel and on MedCram itself for the past month or so. I highly recommend looking up his videos and watching the past dozen or...

    Dr. Sehuelt at MedCram has been talking about this in his youtube channel and on MedCram itself for the past month or so. I highly recommend looking up his videos and watching the past dozen or so. He explains in fantastic detail, and also talks extensively about the possibility of N-Acetyl Cystine being a very good candidate for targeting the specific oxidative stress feedback loop caused by covid19 attacks on endothelial cells.

    His videos are easy to find on youtube (just search medcram), but keep in mind that a few of the episodes have been automatically removed by youtube's censorship of some covid related material. All of the videos are posted on the MedCram website and have been made free to the public.

    8 votes
  11. Comment on A first look at Unreal Engine 5, including a real-time demo running on PS5 in ~games

    aethicglass
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    To point out a few concerns I've noticed from people: Raytracing: GI is a form of ray tracing. Ray tracing is basically selective forms of path tracing (think "unbiased" renderers like blender and...

    To point out a few concerns I've noticed from people:

    Raytracing: GI is a form of ray tracing. Ray tracing is basically selective forms of path tracing (think "unbiased" renderers like blender and c4d). The more form of raytracing that are added, the closer to unbiased the engine becomes. But also the more intensive the load. It's a balancing act to find a sweet spot where the engine doesn't stutter out of realtime but it's still a useful tool for developers. GI is the the most useful trick in the book because baked lighting and "traditional" dynamic lighting both present challenges that must be overcome in order to look right. GI looks amazing 90% of the time right from the get-go.

    Character looks blah: Despite what they were saying about LODs, they're talking about static meshes. Deforming a multi-million poly mesh is amazingly process intensive feat. Character likely still need to have baked displacement/bump onto lower poly mesh in order to animate smoothly. So the benefit of those amazingly high poly static meshes does not apply to anything being animated, most likely. Additionally, the character is slightly stylized. That was an art decision somewhere along the line. They went for the left side of the uncanny valley instead of trying to climb out the right side. It was a conservative decision, but that's likely because the character mesh/animation was not a feature being showcased, but rather a necessary part of the presentation that they just needed to not stand out too much. The attention is focused elsewhere.

    Is it more work for higher detail levels? These changes don't necessitate devs to utilize them. Pipelines can remain the same or they can evolve alongside the new features, it's entirely up to the devs. But the new LOD system appears to be designed to work hand-in-hand with the recently acquired quixel assets. They are absolutely amazing to work with and are some of the highest quality assets you can get your hands on, and they're included and well-integrated into the engine. They're giving devs more tools to work with. That may equate to more work, it may mean less work. It's highly variable depending on the project and its desired look and feel, and what approach the developers need to take in order to achieve the results they'd like. Regardless, these have the potential to be pretty fundamentally awesome new tools to play around with.

    (side note: I've only started learning unreal recently. I'm not interested in gamedev, I'm mostly learning it for vfx purposes. And the GI and new LOD system are absolutely amazing for vfx. Unreal is becoming more and more of a viable engine for realtime photorealistic vfx.)

    Edit: Oh! I forgot about the water sim. You can tell they didn't want to spend much time on it because it's still a bit uncanny valley. But honestly, any progress on fluid sim is good. There is a huge wide uncanny valley with fluid physics, and it's mind blowingly processor intensive to get results that even approach the uphill climb out of weird-looking. If you see fluid sim that looks good, it's baked. If you see fluid sim that's realtime, it's weird. But take the progress at face value, even if it looks odd still it's likely progress nonetheless.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on 1-pixel wealth: Wealth in the United States, shown to scale in ~finance

    aethicglass
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    Yea, my mind seems to almost immediately go to: Holy crap I couldn't possibly use all this money. How can I put it to use to improve the quality of life for humanity in general? Where is it best...

    Yea, my mind seems to almost immediately go to: Holy crap I couldn't possibly use all this money. How can I put it to use to improve the quality of life for humanity in general? Where is it best to redirect?

    7 votes
  13. Comment on 1-pixel wealth: Wealth in the United States, shown to scale in ~finance

    aethicglass
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    Couple years ago on here, I commented in a similar thread and asked the question, more or less, of if you had that amount of wealth, what would you actually do with it? It turned into more of a...

    Couple years ago on here, I commented in a similar thread and asked the question, more or less, of if you had that amount of wealth, what would you actually do with it?

    It turned into more of a discussion about whether or not wealthy people deserve it. Even had a comment or two saying that Bezos worked hard and earned every penny (I do not agree with this sentiment whatsoever). But I'm not interested in hearing whether wealthy people deserve their wealth because I have a strong opinion on the matter that isn't going to change.

    I'm interested in what people would want with that amount of wealth. The lack of actual response last time seemed to give me an answer indirectly. That it's beyond the hopes and dreams, even the imaginations of most to even come close to requiring a fraction. To paraphrase my previous attempt to ambitiously distribute: I could pick out 500 people I know personally and give them all 10mil. Then give every amazon employee a quarter million dollars (a house in most places). I'd still have 8 billion left to play around with. And that was at Bezos's level of wealth two years ago.

    My feeling on the matter is this: Money is the lifeblood of the economy. Concentrations of wealth are massive gyres of money that have stagnated and coagulated. Blood clots. Society's tissues are necrotizing in a slow gangrenous rot because of this. However, I'm hesitant to even post this opinion because it's often met with contention. This should be a no-brainer, yet people with laughably low incomes in comparison come crawling out of the woodwork to defend their heroes.

    All in all, it's one of the more disheartening subjects to me.

    36 votes
  14. Comment on How can I save more money on razors? in ~life

    aethicglass
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    The last batch I had from them lasted me two years. Granted, I only shave once a week, so that came out to around 100 shaves -- edit: multiplied by three applications per shave... once with grain...

    The last batch I had from them lasted me two years. Granted, I only shave once a week, so that came out to around 100 shaves -- edit: multiplied by three applications per shave... once with grain with a straight razor, once against grain with a straight razor, once more for cleanup... so 300 applications total.

    Honestly have no idea how long barbasol lasts or any of the others, but I don't remember them lasting anywhere close to that long. I'd also make the argument that I get less ingrown hairs and skin irritation in general using soap over foam, but I have problematic facial hair so those problems may not apply to others.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on How can I save more money on razors? in ~life

    aethicglass
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    I'll add that switching over to shaving soap as opposed to cream or foam is also the way to go. Higher cost up front (dish, brush, and soap), but cheap as hell in the long run. I actually like my...

    I'll add that switching over to shaving soap as opposed to cream or foam is also the way to go. Higher cost up front (dish, brush, and soap), but cheap as hell in the long run. I actually like my cheap synthetic brush better than my pricier badger hair brush. As far as soap goes, just about any puck of shaving soap will do the trick, but I like the stuff I got from LA shaving soap co the most. Stayed emulsified longer than most, lasted ages, was good stuff. By the looks of it, he even has starter kits on his site.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    aethicglass
    Link
    Currently on the last book of The Witcher series (out of 8). Was honestly not expecting much more than pulp fantasy. Hoo boy. I'm honestly thinking I might just go through and read them over again...

    Currently on the last book of The Witcher series (out of 8). Was honestly not expecting much more than pulp fantasy. Hoo boy. I'm honestly thinking I might just go through and read them over again when I'm done. There could be a dozen more of these books and I would just keep reading them. It makes me really sad that I'm on the last one.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    To be honest, that's just kinda Stephenson's writing style. He goes into ridiculously granular depth on things that aren't relevant to plot. It's better to think of his books less as a...

    To be honest, that's just kinda Stephenson's writing style. He goes into ridiculously granular depth on things that aren't relevant to plot. It's better to think of his books less as a storytelling device and more as an output of a collection of things he's been geeking out about recently. He's amazingly good at making difficult concepts understandable though, so if any of the topics that he's writing about is something that interests you for any other reason, it can be an absolute joy to read through. For everyone else, I think they just kind wonder why the hell he's been going on about the metallurgy of 17th century currencies for so goddamn long.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Making a knife with ~$100 worth of materials in ~hobbies

    aethicglass
    Link Parent
    Love that dude. Found his channel about a year ago and went through the entire thing. Entertaining, creative, uplifting, informative, well edited, inspiring, and just good ol fun to watch. He gets...

    Love that dude. Found his channel about a year ago and went through the entire thing. Entertaining, creative, uplifting, informative, well edited, inspiring, and just good ol fun to watch. He gets into a lot of stuff that I'd like to eventually learn and have a decent setup for... one of these days.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on Daily coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - March 27 in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link
    A suggestion to anyone feeling cooped up: Take an opportunity to do some handyman work around your place. That bookcase with that shelf that's falling apart could use a couple of cleats to hold it...

    A suggestion to anyone feeling cooped up: Take an opportunity to do some handyman work around your place. That bookcase with that shelf that's falling apart could use a couple of cleats to hold it together better. The walls might use a fresh coat of paint or two. Or maybe just a quick cleaning to get the dog grease off that one spot. (Seriously, anyone else get dog grease strains on the wall?) In all, make your living space more pleasant to live in. Fix the issues that lurk so far back in your mind that you've long forgotten about them being a problem. In the end, you'll feel much more comfortable spending time in that space and you'll feel less cooped up.

    So for the LA update, I don't have much to add since my initial observations about lockdown behavior (panic buying followed by seeming cooperation by many). Gotta go out today and finalize the purchase of a new (used) car. My first meeting was the first business day after the lockdown. They seemed to understand that they should try to put into place some new protocols, but didn't understand exactly how to go about doing it. I'd like to think that I've influenced them a bit (for all I know I might be their only customer this week because I certainly didn't see anyone else in there that wasn't an employee). But when I showed up, did the test drive, then immediately got out a bottle of 90% isopropyl and wiped down my hands and phone I got a bit of a weird look followed by a dawning understanding that things were indeed changing.

    That was Monday. Yesterday I went back in to perform an inspection of the car while it was on a lift. The mechanic's shop was basically empty. Easily two dozen lifts and no work being done. The salesman had the paperwork ready for me to take home. There wasn't even much of an attempt to sell me on any extras except for an obligatory hey do you want an extended warranty? No? No problem here's the paperwork without it. Considering the extras are where they make the vast majority of their money, I'd characterize that whole sequence of events as unorthodox and noteworthy. On the one hand, I'd be astonished if I was their only buyer for the week. On the other hand, it kinda feels like that might be the case.

    Sorry if this post seems kind of all over the place. It's a bit of a long-winded way for me to explain how much of a ghost town it feels like right now. Which in a lot of ways I see as a good thing. We have a fairly robust economy in California and it has the potential of bouncing back here a bit more easily than in other places. But we have too high of a population for our medical system to handle this uninhibited. It makes much more perfect sense to me to take a hit now and bounce back later than to try to stick this out (as recommended by some of the more foolish of the administration) and end up with a much bigger hit down the road.

    And also, self isolation has been a way of life for me for a good long while. I'm an old hat at this. I like not feeling obligated to shake hands. I like everyone having to stay at least 6 feet away from me. I like that the roads are relatively empty when I do need to go out. I'm not a big fan of feeling like a germaphobe and bringing a bottle of isopropyl along for the ride, but many of the people I care about are at-risk and I'm completely on board with doing anything I can to keep them safe. Hell, I smoked for 20 years. I could use a bit of caution myself.

    12 votes
  20. Comment on Daily coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - March 23 in ~health.coronavirus

    aethicglass
    Link
    LA lockdown checking in... I had to go check out a car today. While that might not seem like an essential elsewhere, it's absolutely an essential here in LA. It's a long story, but I'm stuck in...

    LA lockdown checking in...

    I had to go check out a car today. While that might not seem like an essential elsewhere, it's absolutely an essential here in LA. It's a long story, but I'm stuck in the position of finding my first new car at a very odd time.

    That said, the lockdown seems to be going well here. It'll be at least another week before we start to see what sort of effect it's having. I'm suspecting an initial spike because there were a lot of people panic shopping (standing in long lines with tons of other people) on the last day before the lockdown took effect.

    But here's why I think it's going well: I drove through the 405/101 interchange at 5pm and again at 6pm going around 75 mph on average. For those unfamiliar with the area, that interchange is one of the most heavily trafficked interchanges in the country. Driving through there during rush hour, you're lucky to be going faster than 10mph. The traffic present today was mind blowingly low. Which tells me that people are taking heed, by and large. Sure, there were cars on the road and I was among them. But I have a good feeling that people here are trying their best.

    2 votes