balooga's recent activity

  1. Comment on Report: 26 States Now Ban or Restrict Community Broadband in ~tech

    balooga Link
    I must be missing something; where is the list of states?

    I must be missing something; where is the list of states?

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

    balooga Link Parent
    THANK YOU for posting that, it's new to me and I am loving it! Reminds me of a cross between Us3 and Jurassic 5. Not sure how I missed this back in the day. I've also been revisiting John Reuben's...

    THANK YOU for posting that, it's new to me and I am loving it! Reminds me of a cross between Us3 and Jurassic 5. Not sure how I missed this back in the day. I've also been revisiting John Reuben's first album. It's a lot sillier but the production values are high and it's held up surprisingly well.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

    balooga Link
    Bit of an offbeat choice, but this week I dusted off the 1994 Gospel Gangstaz album Gang Affiliated. Once upon a time I listened to quite a lot of Christian hip-hop but I don't think any of it has...

    Bit of an offbeat choice, but this week I dusted off the 1994 Gospel Gangstaz album Gang Affiliated. Once upon a time I listened to quite a lot of Christian hip-hop but I don't think any of it has held up nearly as well as this record did. It's gritty and authentic west coast rap from that era, easily keeping up with anything NWA or Public Enemy were doing at the time. Tight lyrics, solid beats. The content's uncomfortably honest and raw, and relevant today. Looking back at it from 25 years later, I think it really deserves some recognition as one of the early greats in a niche genre.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on New mod for bsnes emulator makes “Mode 7” SNES games look like new in ~games

    balooga Link
    This is mind-blowing! Wish I could run this on a Raspberry Pi.

    This is mind-blowing! Wish I could run this on a Raspberry Pi.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Mod annotations for removed comments in ~tildes

    balooga Link Parent
    I mean, even in that situation wouldn't something like "Removed comment in violation of rules against objectionable or unlawful content" cover it while being sufficiently vague? We don't need a...

    I mean, even in that situation wouldn't something like "Removed comment in violation of rules against objectionable or unlawful content" cover it while being sufficiently vague? We don't need a detailed breakdown here.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on What To Expect From Sony's Next-Gen PlayStation in ~games

    balooga Link Parent
    I think the Wii U demonstrated that even a high-quality touchscreen in your controller is usually just an expensive distraction from what you really care about looking at, the game unfolding on...

    I think the Wii U demonstrated that even a high-quality touchscreen in your controller is usually just an expensive distraction from what you really care about looking at, the game unfolding on the primary screen. The Nintendo Switch was a good iteration that included a great portable touchscreen while always keeping the active display count at one.

    The only good use I can think of for individual screens on controllers is for local multiplayer games where you want to keep certain information secret and off the main screen where other players can see it. I don't play sports games but I still think NFL2K made brilliant use of the Dreamcast's VMU by allowing players to choose their plays privately. No idea if that concept still exists in some form today, but I think local multiplayer is largely disappearing in general.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Mod annotations for removed comments in ~tildes

    balooga Link Parent
    That is shady x1000. I'm grateful Tildes is more transparent about that sort of thing.

    That is shady x1000. I'm grateful Tildes is more transparent about that sort of thing.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Mod annotations for removed comments in ~tildes

    balooga Link Parent
    Good catch, that makes sense. Then maybe as an additional feature request, a special sort of admin-comment could come in handy for situations like these. This would be stickied at the top, and...

    It looks like a few other trailing comments were pruned as well. That's likely why Deimos posted a top-level comment (as it applied to the whole thread), rather than responding underneath the largest removal chain.

    Good catch, that makes sense. Then maybe as an additional feature request, a special sort of admin-comment could come in handy for situations like these. This would be stickied at the top, and maybe styled a bit differently from regular comments, for visibility. That way the annotation doesn't get lost in the crowd.

    4 votes
  9. I just came across this field of 13 admin-removed comments and frankly it left me feeling rather unsettled. That's a lot of content to just nuke all at once. Contextually, the thread up to that...

    I just came across this field of 13 admin-removed comments and frankly it left me feeling rather unsettled. That's a lot of content to just nuke all at once. Contextually, the thread up to that point was genial and non-controversial, so it seems especially odd that there's just this black hole there. What struck me mostly was how opaque the moderation was. There is no indication of what kind of content was removed, why it was removed, or specifically who did the removal or when it happened.

    Then I scrolled down and at the very bottom I found what I guess is meant to address these concerns, a comment from Deimos:

    Sigh, I saw this thread was active and thought it was going to have an actual on-topic discussion in it. Let's (mostly) start this over.

    It's not always clear online so I want to say that I'm not rage-posting or bellyaching about censorship or any of the usual drama that tends to crop up on sites like Tildes from time to time. I trust Deimos' moderation and give this the benefit of the doubt. What I'm actually doing, I guess, is making a feature request about better annotation for removed comments.

    Would it make sense to show a note (like Deimos' comment) in-thread at the position of the deleted content? Instead of down at the bottom of the page or unattached to anything relevant? In my opinion some kind of "reason" message should always be provided with any moderation activity as a matter of course. Even if it's just boilerplate text chosen from a dropdown menu.

    Also, would a single bulk-annotation for all of the related removals make for better UX than 13 separate ones? I think that would be both easier to read, and easier for Deimos to generate on the backend.

    I feel like we may have had this conversation previously, but I couldn't find it. Apologies if I'm beating a dead horse.

    14 votes
  10. Comment on Israeli Robotic Moon Landing Fails In Final Descent in ~tech

    balooga Link Parent
    Well said. I think the most astonishing thing about the successful manned missions so far is not that they made it to the moon — which is a huge feat! — but that the crew returned back to Earth...

    Well said. I think the most astonishing thing about the successful manned missions so far is not that they made it to the moon — which is a huge feat! — but that the crew returned back to Earth again, safe and sound.

    Looking forward to space travel becoming more commonplace, in all its forms. All the best to SpaceIL.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on New species of ancient human discovered in Philippines cave in ~humanities

    balooga Link Parent
    Fair point. I don't follow this stuff very closely. Haven't there been a number of "new species" found in the past that later turned out to be humans with birth defects or degenerative diseases? I...

    Fair point. I don't follow this stuff very closely. Haven't there been a number of "new species" found in the past that later turned out to be humans with birth defects or degenerative diseases? I would assume that without a preponderance of evidence this could easily fall into that category.

  12. Comment on Shuffle your entire music library, then tell me about the first five tracks that come up. in ~music

    balooga Link Parent
    You already mentioned This Binary Universe, which might just be his master work. I was fortunate to see him perform the whole thing live in 2006. I don't think he's done anything else similar to...

    You already mentioned This Binary Universe, which might just be his master work. I was fortunate to see him perform the whole thing live in 2006. I don't think he's done anything else similar to that except the untitled (_) album, which is pretty good too. Those are more like symphonies than standard EDM.

    But his DJ stuff is just as good. Depends on what I'm in the mood for. I think my favorite of those albums is These Hopeful Machines, followed by ESCM. I was also pleasantly surprised by Electronic Opus, which I thought was just going to be a greatest hits compilation but the well-used orchestral rearrangements actually improved on the originals. Emotional Technology will always have a special place in my heart too, since it's the first one I discovered.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on New species of ancient human discovered in Philippines cave in ~humanities

    balooga Link
    This sounds like a lot of hot air and conjecture if you ask me.

    The excavation did not yield a complete skeleton: seven teeth, two hand bones, three foot bones and one thigh bone were found, thought to belong to two adults and one child.

    This sounds like a lot of hot air and conjecture if you ask me.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on Why vi rocks in ~comp

    balooga Link Parent
    I meant proprietary in the sense that vi's commands are non-standard, the program's vocabulary isn't really shared with any other programs or common conventions. On consulting with a dictionary,...

    I believe the word you were looking for was arbitrary.

    I meant proprietary in the sense that vi's commands are non-standard, the program's vocabulary isn't really shared with any other programs or common conventions. On consulting with a dictionary, it looks like that word doesn't mean what I think it means.

    Anyway, yes, they're certainly arbitrary too. Though I get initialisms like w for "write" and y for "yank", it's confounding when the rest of the world uses "save" and "copy" to describe the same actions.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Why vi rocks in ~comp

    balooga Link
    Out of all the CLI text editors I've used, I like vi(m) the best. It's powerful, but most importantly for me, it's ubiquitous. But I have to call a spade a spade: vi's UX is atrocious. Probably...

    Out of all the CLI text editors I've used, I like vi(m) the best. It's powerful, but most importantly for me, it's ubiquitous.

    But I have to call a spade a spade: vi's UX is atrocious. Probably because it was written before "UX" was even conceived of. Commands are arcane and proprietary, feature discoverability is basically zero. If you want to be any good at using it, be prepared to pore over docs and cheatsheets and get ready to memorize a ton of nonsensical incantations. Yes, it does have its own internally consistent vocabulary but it doesn't really have anything in common with other software or UI conventions.

    I'd love to try a CLI editor designed with modern sensibilities but unless there's a way to get it installed on every random server I SSH to, there's not really any point for me. For local work, as far as I'm concerned, there's no substitute for an application with a good GUI.

    11 votes
  16. Comment on Shuffle your entire music library, then tell me about the first five tracks that come up. in ~music

    balooga Link Parent
    Imogen Heap is actually the singer's given name, isn't it?

    Imogen Heap is actually the singer's given name, isn't it?

    6 votes
  17. Comment on Shuffle your entire music library, then tell me about the first five tracks that come up. in ~music

    balooga Link Parent
    I'm just happy to find another BT fan in the wild. I know he's got a decent following but everybody I mention him to just gives me a blank stare. One of my favorite musicians of any genre.

    I'm just happy to find another BT fan in the wild. I know he's got a decent following but everybody I mention him to just gives me a blank stare. One of my favorite musicians of any genre.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on How Bioware's Anthem Went Wrong in ~games

    balooga Link Parent
    Yeah, my understanding is that BioWare was in the state it was precisely because of all the staff turnover following the EA acquisition. After all of the original stakeholders were out, what...

    Yeah, my understanding is that BioWare was in the state it was precisely because of all the staff turnover following the EA acquisition. After all of the original stakeholders were out, what remained was BioWare in name only. This was before Dragon Age: Inquisition, if we're establishing a timeline (personally, I thought that game was a mess too, but I guess it compares favorably to what they've released in the years since then).

  19. Comment on Oh No! The Depressing Truth About the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory Workers in ~books

    balooga Link Parent
    I'd be curious to see the objective morality you're describing and understand exactly how it's defined. What makes it objective? I'd love to have a framework that was clearly applicable to every...

    I'd be curious to see the objective morality you're describing and understand exactly how it's defined. What makes it objective?

    I'd love to have a framework that was clearly applicable to every situation, that remained constant across decades and centuries and longer, that humanity could unanimously standardize and submit to. In my experience and understanding of history, that neither exists nor is even possible.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on Oh No! The Depressing Truth About the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory Workers in ~books

    balooga Link Parent
    I'm a meat-eater! I love a delicious juicy cheeseburger or a rack of barbecue ribs. There's nothing shocking or offensive about that statement, it's absolutely commonplace in 2019. However, today...

    It's a tad big-headed of us to think that we, right now, in this moment, have got it 100% right to the exclusion of all past and future moralities.

    I'm a meat-eater! I love a delicious juicy cheeseburger or a rack of barbecue ribs. There's nothing shocking or offensive about that statement, it's absolutely commonplace in 2019.

    However, today I can observe the cultural tide fluctuating on this topic. Where it will ultimately go, who can be sure? Veganism appears to be on the rise right now. Research is diving deeper into the nature of animal cognition. Exposés have revealed some disturbing, and previously hidden, cruelties endemic in commercial meat production at scale. The Impossible Burger is making headlines as a viable meat alternative (I haven't tried it, personally). More broadly, we're in the midst of a cultural trend of public callouts and shaming that is well-intentioned but frighteningly indiscriminate.

    I don't think it's far fetched to extrapolate from this moment in time and predict a future (let's say 35 years from now, maybe sooner) where carnivorism is considered a barbaric and immoral practice from the unenlightened past.

    Suppose that, right now, I write books that people like. Books in which characters casually enjoy the occasional ham sandwich. Would it be right for a vegan future to dig up my dietary grievances (which are presently mainstream) and use them against me? Would that have any bearing on the quality or enjoyability of my books in their original context? Is it fair to invalidate my work ex post facto because consensus on some ethical issue has shifted over time?

    I don't think it's right to hold past-people to the same standards of current-people. We have to have the maturity to recognize that values are not constant, and the flexibility to judge people in contextually appropriate ways. Roald Dahl's books are still treasures. Don't burn them. Just note the archaic portions as you read them with your kids and they'll grow up with a more informed perspective on where we've come from as a species, and where we ought to go next.

    13 votes