bkimmel's recent activity

  1. Comment on Advice for hosting (and building) a personal website in ~comp

    bkimmel
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    How much do you really want to do or learn Frontend development? That's not a facetious question. I would say make your decision along this rubric: 1. "I want to make a website that looks like it...

    How much do you really want to do or learn Frontend development? That's not a facetious question. I would say make your decision along this rubric: 1. "I want to make a website that looks like it was done by a professional and presents my ideas in a respectable way". Just get a Squarespace site. 2. "I want to learn Frontend development". Then use something like what's suggested elsewhere (GitHub pages,etc.)

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Job search blues in ~talk

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    Fair... On the record, this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek: Some of the best developers I know (and best / most interesting people) came through bootcamps and they love software engineering... and...

    Fair... On the record, this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek: Some of the best developers I know (and best / most interesting people) came through bootcamps and they love software engineering... and you could substitute "BS in Computer Science" for that, as well.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Job search blues in ~talk

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    10 years ago they said AI was supposed to be driving all our trucks, so people stopped learning how to drive trucks. Now the truck drivers that stuck with it make bank. There's a lesson in there...

    10 years ago they said AI was supposed to be driving all our trucks, so people stopped learning how to drive trucks. Now the truck drivers that stuck with it make bank. There's a lesson in there for software engineers somewhere...

    It does go in cycles:

    1. Software pays a lot, so people go to boot camps and come out chasing the money.
    2. Field gets saturated with people who focus on the money.
    3. Those people are basically commodities: MBAs come along and say "we could do this at 25pct of cost in Bangalore / with GPT whatever.'
    4. Things get bad, salaries crash, etc.
    5. All the money-chasers leave the field. Only nerds who love coding remain.
    6. Nerds start making new things.
    7. Those things start making lots of money... So people start going to boot camps again chasing the money.... And the circle of life is complete.

    You're not even a real developer until you've been through at least one of these cycles. It is absolutely a critical skill to recognize which stage in the cycle you are in and act accordingly.

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

    bkimmel
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    Oddsparks. I've done my minimum duty to share here, I'm going back to playing. It's Factorio / Stardew / Against the Storm. I think I saw it had like an 88 or something on Steam? Underrated.

    Oddsparks. I've done my minimum duty to share here, I'm going back to playing. It's Factorio / Stardew / Against the Storm. I think I saw it had like an 88 or something on Steam? Underrated.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Sid Meyer's Alpha Centauri lovers, tell me what sets it apart in ~games

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    MASSIVE SPOILERS To me, Miriam Godwinson has maybe the most interesting character/faction arc in the game's narrative: Beginning as the basic stand-in for "Organized religion", she seems shrill...

    MASSIVE SPOILERS

    To me, Miriam Godwinson has maybe the most interesting character/faction arc in the game's narrative: Beginning as the basic stand-in for "Organized religion", she seems shrill and staunchly opposed to anything that would provide for humanity's genuine progress at first. But as the narrative develops and the other factions (with the exception of the U.N. / Pravin Lal) all seem to adopt some form of "techno-nihilism" (or "eco-nihilism" for Deirdre) for various reasons germane to their faction ideals, she stands with Lal as the only remaining voice defending what's left of humanity on Planet.

    Seeing what has happened in the wake of the "social media era" and our own society's de facto embrace of techno-nihilism, it's kind of hard not to see her position as kind of didactic to our own. I was watching a clip the other day of an avowed atheist on the Daily Show talking about how kids growing up without any "group social/moral" structure have vastly elevated rates of serious anxiety compared to those that do and I couldn't help but picture Godwinson glaring righteously from her little thumbnail picture above some kind of quote indicating how this was inevitable.

    Today, I find myself aligning most closely with Pravin Lal I think - which is interesting because I hated Lal and his faction when I used to play Alpha Centauri. I think his faction and Yang's were the only ones I never finished the game with because I just didn't like him that much. Maybe a good reason to pick up a retro copy of the game and make planetfall with the good old U.N.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Sid Meyer's Alpha Centauri lovers, tell me what sets it apart in ~games

    bkimmel
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    Definitely one of my top 5 games of all time. The lore and setting, as others have mentioned, is incredible. The quotes on tech tree advanced do a lot of the lifting to build the characters of...

    Definitely one of my top 5 games of all time.

    The lore and setting, as others have mentioned, is incredible. The quotes on tech tree advanced do a lot of the lifting to build the characters of their respective faction leaders. The quotes are really thought-provoking on a wide variety of issues from ecology and philosophy to capitalism and politics - and still super relevant 25 years later. It's been remarkable to see actual scientific progress largely track with the tech tree/story in the game: AI, human genome project, Mind-machine-interface.

    The gameplay is also amazing. I don't know if I prefer it to Civ, but it's more than just a "slapdash Civ in space". For one, the modular design system for units is really fun and a reminder of Master of Orion 2. The decisions you make to work with or against the ecology of Planet make some really interesting choices.

    Overall, I'd highly recommend it now.

    14 votes
  7. Comment on Building cross-platform offline-first apps with Bluetooth Low Energy in ~tech

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    Chrome has a Web BLE API so you can (for Chrome only) make web apps that leverage the BLE "central" role.

    Chrome has a Web BLE API so you can (for Chrome only) make web apps that leverage the BLE "central" role.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Frozen human brain tissue was successfully revived for the first time in ~science

    bkimmel
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    Related/not: I just finished reading the book "We are Legion: We are Bob" that considered a lot of the ethics of this kind of thing (although more in line with artificial consciousness via...

    Related/not: I just finished reading the book "We are Legion: We are Bob" that considered a lot of the ethics of this kind of thing (although more in line with artificial consciousness via "stored" neural information). Would highly recommend the read.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Donald Trump hush money trial: What criminal charges does he face? in ~news

    bkimmel
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    From https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/making-disbursements/operating-expenditures-candidate/ In a nutshell, that's why it's a violation. I actually believe of all the trials...

    From https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/making-disbursements/operating-expenditures-candidate/

    If a candidate uses his or her personal funds to make expenditures on behalf of the committee without intending to be reimbursed, this constitutes an in-kind contribution from the candidate to the committee. In addition, out-of-pocket spending by candidates, as agents of their authorized committees, requires reporting the original vendor’s information as a disbursement when that vendor exceeds $200 for the election cycle.

    In a nutshell, that's why it's a violation.

    I actually believe of all the trials Trump is facing, this one is the most clear. Inciting insurrection is certainly more serious but honestly I feel like that's where it gets a little fuzzy with political speech and potentially creates a cudgel out of precedent that could easily be used against someone advocating in front of a crowd for something like abortion rights.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Donald Trump hush money trial: What criminal charges does he face? in ~news

    bkimmel
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    As someone who spent a significant portion of my working life to make sure the campaigns I worked for didn't violate those election laws, let me tell you they are: 1. Clear and 2. Important....

    As someone who spent a significant portion of my working life to make sure the campaigns I worked for didn't violate those election laws, let me tell you they are: 1. Clear and 2. Important.

    Because if they weren't, the whole basis of MAGA/Trumpism would be essentially correct: the system (being inherently Democratic) is rigged. It's not. You can't spend money to influence elections ("Electioneering" in FEC parlance). and not disclose that to the FEC. Period.

    Trump did. Period.

    There is very little "creative reading" there, as far as I see it: Violating FEC law is a felony (and one of the most important ones to enforce in my opinion).

    A while ago, there was a topic on Tildes that was like "what's something you know from your line of work that you wish everyone knew" and I almost wrote how I wish everyone knew how "most campaigns" followed finance laws and how strict they are (for good reason).

    The real danger is allowing people to go "whoops my oil company spent 300,000 to help this candidate won his election. Oh golly gosh darn, my bad. I didn't know what I was doing." Which is basically what we'd be saying is OK if we declined to prosecute this. I disagree with the notion that this is absurd.

    Edit: and it's even more absurd after Citizens United . Your oil company can spend 3 million if it wants to! It just has to tell the FEC it did that.

    16 votes
  11. Comment on Donald Trump hush money trial: What criminal charges does he face? in ~news

    bkimmel
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    If you're going to run around for years and basically build a political career out of screaming "everything is corrupt and fixed" you can't be surprised when the justice system you are undermining...

    If you're going to run around for years and basically build a political career out of screaming "everything is corrupt and fixed" you can't be surprised when the justice system you are undermining does it's due diligence and checks your receipts at the door. Trump created the need for his own prosecution(s) - simple as. The justice system doesn't work if it only applies to the poor bastards at the bottom of the heap. It's America - you're free to shout "look at me! I'm above the law!" if you want to but you can't act shocked or characterize it as "reaching" if that system of justice makes it clear that you are, in fact, not. Even if they profess to hate it, making it clear to the seething masses that laws work and matter is a thing that it's important to get correct for posterity if nothing else.

    I'll mention specifically that I used to work in federal campaign finance. People don't get prosecuted as much as they should, but that's not because the laws aren't clear: they are quite lucid. People usually just don't get caught red-handed like Trump was here.

    13 votes
  12. Comment on Project Zomboid - What compares for gameplay? in ~games

    bkimmel
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    I picked up Zomboid late, too (about 8/9 months ago) and I love the gameplay. It's got that "losing is fun" vibe to it like Dwarf Fortress - which would be my first recommendation. If you like the...

    I picked up Zomboid late, too (about 8/9 months ago) and I love the gameplay. It's got that "losing is fun" vibe to it like Dwarf Fortress - which would be my first recommendation. If you like the crafting/skills- based parts of it, but you want something 180 degrees in the more heartwarming direction than Zombie Apocalypse, I would recommend Stardew Valley. If you're after the "ethereal/lonely exploration vibe" you sorta see in PZ but without quite as many zombies, I would recommend Starbound.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on The tech baron seeking to “ethnically cleanse” San Francisco in ~life

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    '''It's absolutely packed to the brim with people that think that because they know javascript better than 99.99999% of the population, that extends to their competence at everything.''' Didn't...

    '''It's absolutely packed to the brim with people that think that because they know javascript better than 99.99999% of the population, that extends to their competence at everything.'''

    Didn't Socrates (or was it Plato?) call this out as the root of most problems? (Except I think it was carpenters or something in his example).

    It really does seem like "failing Social Studies" is a hard requirement for these Silicon Valley types.

    18 votes
  14. Comment on The man who killed Google Search in ~tech

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    Killing Google Reader to me will always be "the day the music died". It makes perfect sense from a pure myopic business perspective: AMP was on the way in and you could sell ads a lot easier on...

    Killing Google Reader to me will always be "the day the music died".

    It makes perfect sense from a pure myopic business perspective: AMP was on the way in and you could sell ads a lot easier on AMP than you could on RSS. So Google Reader obviously had to die. It was just such a drastic break from the way the company has treated its users in the past. It didn't matter that if you looked 10-15 years into the future it was easy to see how Reader could have sustained a place with a lot of market leverage for them. There was a distinct possibility that in 2 years they could make more short-term money if AMP was adopted as quickly as they hoped. But of course AMP was selling "a better online reading experience"... Which Reader already delivered in a way that was better for users . So Reader went down in a cornfield.

    In a way, it sort of is similar to "cult classic show that gets cancelled" as you put it: Firefly got pulled because some executive at Fox was bothered by how much people liked it (in lieu of his pet project iirc). But that was to be expected from Fox (or TV/media). That was really the first time Google behaved that way.

    As far as the ad hominem against Raghavan: Yes, it's a bit off-putting, but these executives pay themselves millions on the pretense that they take more responsibility for the success and failures of their organizations. Hard to boo-hoo too much when someone actually calls their number on that for once. It's a lot less indecent than these guys paying themselves the equivalent of 20-30 other people under them who actually do the work. :shrug

    19 votes
  15. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~talk

    bkimmel
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    And so we return again to the holy void. Some say this is simply our destiny, but I would have you remember always that the void EXISTS, just as surely as you or I. Is nothingness any less a...

    And so we return again to the holy void. Some say this is simply our destiny, but I would have you remember always that the void EXISTS, just as surely as you or I. Is nothingness any less a miracle than substance?

    • Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We Must Dissent"
    4 votes
  16. Comment on What's a game that you feel is almost great? in ~games

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    Try the new Unicorn Overlord. Very much like OB64 but modernized and refined. Best trpg in a generation.

    Try the new Unicorn Overlord. Very much like OB64 but modernized and refined. Best trpg in a generation.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Favorite hobby / subculture YouTube channels? in ~hobbies

    bkimmel
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    Really liking some of these recommendations. Here's two I haven't seen yet: NileRed is a chemistry YouTuber. He does stuff like turning plastic gloves into grape soda and making plasma with grapes...

    Really liking some of these recommendations. Here's two I haven't seen yet:

    NileRed is a chemistry YouTuber. He does stuff like turning plastic gloves into grape soda and making plasma with grapes in a microwave.

    Peter Santanello Just a really good interviewer who goes into places a lot of people would rather forget (e.g. housing projects in Chicago and rundown former coal mining towns in West Virginia) and interviews people in a way that lets them tell their stories for their own stories' sake instead of someone else's narrative.

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

    bkimmel
    Link
    Unicorn Overlord All I can really say is that this is the best Tactical RPG since Fire Emblem: Awakening. Every choice feels meaningful and fun. The combinations of equipment, units, and...

    Unicorn Overlord

    All I can really say is that this is the best Tactical RPG since Fire Emblem: Awakening. Every choice feels meaningful and fun. The combinations of equipment, units, and "loadouts" where you basically write wysiwyg logic programs for your units is simply a revelation. The characters are great, the devs were clearly trpg fans themselves and it shows. 10/10

    1 vote
  19. Comment on 'I've never seen it this bad:' Game developers explain the huge layoffs hitting Riot, Epic, and more in ~games

    bkimmel
    Link Parent
    That second one (section 174 of the IRS code) is a huge driver of tech layoffs. There's a bill the House passed recently that's in the Senate that rolls that change back. Hoping they pass it soon.

    That second one (section 174 of the IRS code) is a huge driver of tech layoffs. There's a bill the House passed recently that's in the Senate that rolls that change back. Hoping they pass it soon.

    28 votes
  20. Comment on Northern hemisphere gardeners - share your 2024 plans! in ~hobbies

    bkimmel
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    I have plans to try and grow a bunch of different kinds of mint and a few other plants to make a tea garden (zone 6) this spring.

    I have plans to try and grow a bunch of different kinds of mint and a few other plants to make a tea garden (zone 6) this spring.

    7 votes