flip's recent activity

  1. Comment on What was your "oh, they wanted more than coffee!" moment? in ~talk

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    Thirteen year old me, upon being told that the class hottie wanted to get to know me better, came up "why would she want that?" as the best possible answer. Undaunted, her friend said "you know,...

    Thirteen year old me, upon being told that the class hottie wanted to get to know me better, came up "why would she want that?" as the best possible answer.

    Undaunted, her friend said "you know, becoming more friendly with you", but I doubled down with "well, we always hang out at [specific place in our school], just tell her to come by and I will be there with the boys".

    I ended up never getting anywhere with her, surprisingly.

    11 votes
  2. Comment on As a DM, I kinda hate Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition in ~games.tabletop

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    I just converted to 5e from 2nd Edition AD&D (we started in 1992), taking advantage of quarantine. Did a couple of dungeon crawls to get the mechanics right, but the AC thing was immediately an...

    I just converted to 5e from 2nd Edition AD&D (we started in 1992), taking advantage of quarantine. Did a couple of dungeon crawls to get the mechanics right, but the AC thing was immediately an issue. Same with attack bonuses and all.

    You know what I did? I simply upped everything. The NPC's have the same level of special abilities, attack bonuses, etc. Monsters are getting proficiency bonuses just like players as well. Rules were meant to be tweaked.

    Last 2 sessions (another one in 90 minutes, yay!), TPK was avoided just because I want the campaign to continue. But if the players Leroy Jenkins things again, it will end tonight.

    If you want it to be more tactical, just make it impossible to succeed without brains. You are the DM, you rule unopposed. Go nuts.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on JetBrains Academy - Learn to program in Python, Java, or Kotlin by creating working projects - Currently available for free in ~comp

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    Tried it a bit but kept running into errors (which having the correct code), so maybe it needs a bit of work. But it is fun to poke around.

    Tried it a bit but kept running into errors (which having the correct code), so maybe it needs a bit of work.
    But it is fun to poke around.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on This is not the apocalypse you were looking for in ~life

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    Being in a poorer country, I can tell you that the numbers we have (close to 10.000 now) are NOWHERE near the actual count. There simply are not enough tests to run, so lots and lots of cases are...

    Being in a poorer country, I can tell you that the numbers we have (close to 10.000 now) are NOWHERE near the actual count. There simply are not enough tests to run, so lots and lots of cases are simply not accounted for.

    Hopefully the measures in place in India help contain it. Because it would be an unprecedented tragedy if Covid hit them as hard as Italy or Spain.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese in ~humanities

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    I just committed to learning Japanese, so this is going to come in handy. Thank you very much for posting it.

    I just committed to learning Japanese, so this is going to come in handy. Thank you very much for posting it.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on How do you record your journal, personal log, or diary and why do you record it that way? in ~talk

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    I tried a bunch of different solutions, some good, some bad, but these days, because I'm crossplatform in mobile and desktop, I've been using Journey. It imports from my previous one (Day One),...

    I tried a bunch of different solutions, some good, some bad, but these days, because I'm crossplatform in mobile and desktop, I've been using Journey. It imports from my previous one (Day One), it's very decently built, and it has good backup and security, so that's what I use.

    I also have a couple of physical notebooks I use when I'm not near a device, then either take a picture and post it in the relevant date (bad for searching, but faster) or transcribe it into Journey.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Which books had a major influence in your formative years? in ~books

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    Animal Farm and 1984 in terms of political awareness, Lord of the Rings and Pillars of the Earth for shaping a lot of my entertainment and friend choices. The last 2 along with Count of Monte...

    Animal Farm and 1984 in terms of political awareness, Lord of the Rings and Pillars of the Earth for shaping a lot of my entertainment and friend choices. The last 2 along with Count of Monte Cristo and Shogun for what a gripping and thrilling book should feel like.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Trump knew of the whistleblower complaint earlier than we thought. That's devastating. in ~news

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    As someone who enjoys politics but doesn't live in the US (I did live in DC for a number of years), it is sometimes hard to believe what we are witnessing. And I agree, this is not going to change...

    As someone who enjoys politics but doesn't live in the US (I did live in DC for a number of years), it is sometimes hard to believe what we are witnessing. And I agree, this is not going to change anything, because worse things have been done and nothing changed.

    It's just baffling what the GOP has become and what they are willing to defend if it means staying in power. It's the kind of stuff you expect from a Banana Republic, not from the country that produced the Federalist Papers and basically created what the modern version of a democracy looks like (warts and all, looking at you, Electoral College).

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    No, he was not legitimately voted in. He asked, in a referendum, if the population approved of him having another term. They voted no and he still did it. If anything, he did a power grab first....

    No, he was not legitimately voted in.

    He asked, in a referendum, if the population approved of him having another term. They voted no and he still did it. If anything, he did a power grab first. And the most recent election showed really good signs of being tampered with as well.

    That CIA backed regime change is such a tired trope. Should have been retired long ago. Please find another conspiracy theory to defend authoritarian leaders you like in order to assess blame onto people you don't.

    Not denying the CIA did that a lot back in the day. But this clearly is not the same as the stuff we went through in the 60's until the 80's.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    You are more than welcome, old friend (I love that username). Regrettably, the public discourse has been completely compromised here, so it's either "Lula didn't do anything wrong" or "Lula should...

    You are more than welcome, old friend (I love that username).

    Regrettably, the public discourse has been completely compromised here, so it's either "Lula didn't do anything wrong" or "Lula should be shot", same with Bolsonaro, either he's the second coming of Jesus or he's the second coming of Hitler. There is no grey, only black or white, 0 or 1.

    It's really tiresome, but it's the world we live in now, apparently...

    5 votes
  11. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    Don't mention it. It's the least I can do.

    Don't mention it. It's the least I can do.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    It's amazingly convenient for the author of the article to "forget" to mention these issues.

    It's amazingly convenient for the author of the article to "forget" to mention these issues.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    No, the conversations were not falsified. They are real. However, the context matters. I'll try to condense things, because it's past bed time. I can feel a wall of text coming, though. So sorry...

    No, the conversations were not falsified. They are real. However, the context matters. I'll try to condense things, because it's past bed time. I can feel a wall of text coming, though. So sorry about that in advance.

    ---- x ---- x ----

    Although yes, those conversations are not supposed to happen, they do, all the time. Brazilian law, especially in terms of judicial proceedings, is one gigantic exercise of lack of boundaries. Judges talk to lawyers when they shouldn't, prosecutors tell judges things they shouldn't, lawyers have dinner with prosecutors and discuss their cases, it's an enormous mess of personal relations, looking the other way, and overall lack of professional ethics.

    Should it happen? No. Does it happen in almost all lawsuits? Yes. It wasn't outside the normal and, because it's such a complex case, as are all cases involving corruption, especially on a federal Govt level, it takes a lot of work to make it into something that makes sense. So should it be the basis for saying it was politically motivated and should be thrown out? Holy shit no.

    And, added that they were hacked by the most basic stuff you can imagine, like old "click here" level stuff (none of them had 2FA turned on, to make matters worse), it's really baffling that these people were/are handling one of the most complex and important cases in the history of the country (and probably the biggest corruption investigation in the world in terms of reach and money) and managed to get a lot of convictions out of it.

    Does it make it OK? No, probably not. Does it mean that they conspired to lock Lula up? No, it doesn't. Especially because there were conversations about all the other cases (I honestly have lost count at this point) and the leaked conversations were extremely selective of what they showed, displaying a pretty high level of editing to make the narrative go one way (more on this at the end).

    ---- x ---- x ----

    The entire proceeding (on a macro level) targeted people from across the political spectrum in Brazil. No party was left untouched, it was truly a national level task force, working across the board. Yes, Lula was a prime target, because he led Brazil for 8 years, electing his successor for another 8 (she was impeached in the last of those) and, under his watch, an enormous corruption scheme was created (expanding on stuff that was already there, but this was beyond anything the country had seen to that point), operated, turned into a political weapon.

    Was the case against him strong? No, not really. Did they manage to get enough evidence (based on people they arrested and cut deals with for smaller sentences)? Undoubtedly. Regarding Lula specifically, here are some of those: one construction company (the same embroiled in a ton of case across Latin America - read about Odebretch's corruption scandal in Peru for a good example) paid for a farm he owned through a friend (which was proved beyond reasonable doubt) to be remodelled. They gave him a beachside property (which is one of his convictions) in exchange for legislation passed at their request. His son, before dad became president, was a janitor in a zoo. He now is the largest landowner in Brazil, has one of the largest cattle farms in the country (the largest is another PT crony, who was also set free the other day). Another company donated a place in São Paulo for his "institute", free of charge and not against anything the Govt did for them (it has since emerged that they also had some tax breaks handed to them during that period). The list goes on.

    Their corruption scheme was syphoning a % from Petrobras contracts off the top. In a multibillion dollar contract, as Oil & Gas tends to be, it's a massive amount of money. But they also sold laws and rules, paid for construction in countries they shouldn't have (money Brazil will never get back and derives no benefit from – the PT politicians did it because they syphoned money from these projects into their personal stashes). They benefited a few selected companies (rumour has it that many of these have PT people behind them, profiting from them), destroying a few industries in the process because these "national champions" bought the smaller players (not to mention the competition problems and the long list of labour shit that goes with it). The list of things that was done is immense, honestly it's too much to list in one go.

    ---- x ---- x ----

    Long story short, 100% of the politicians that were the beneficiaries of this frankly ridiculous decision by our supreme court (and it takes an extremely lousy reading of the Constitution to reach that decision, which the same court had ruled against a lot of times before) were found guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. One guy had more than 10 million dollars in cash in a flat. Another was getting paid a monthly stipend (his wife, mum, dad, sons, etc. as well) by one construction company. Odebretch had an entire Dept of the company tasked with keeping track of their corruption payment, they even had a proprietary software for controlling that (apparently they spent almost 1 billion dollars in kickbacks, while getting more than 30 billion in Govt contracts during the same period – I'm sure it's because of the competency, nothing to do with money being handed out).

    This has been an enormous setback for the fight against corruption in Brazil, a country where it is endemic and causes incalculable harm to millions of people each day. And it was done on the back not only of Lula being set free, but a host of other well-know politicians and business that had finally been asked to pay for their crimes and now they are all walking free. Without the threat of jail time, you can't get people to rat on others, so the crimes become much harder to prove and the fight against corruption suffers more and more.

    ---- x ---- x ----

    To make it even worse, Lula being free not only almost guarantees that Bolsonaro will be re-elected, because people see him as someone who will fight Lula, but this also guarantees that the country will be a slave to these bullshit political sideshows when we should be tackling corruption, inequality, health, education, etc. It's (yet another in a sea of them) lost chance of making the country better, but now it will be an afterthought in the fight by a lot of corrupt, incompetent, and frankly gigantic assholes who are only looking out for themselves.

    ---- x ---- x ----

    So yeah, I'm lamenting the handling of the case, because it showed the worst sides of the Brazilian legal system (especially how fucking disgusting our supreme court has become), it made corruption OK again, because there's no punishment for crimes that hurt society the most, by diverting resources from where it should go to go into slush funds and BVI bank accounts of assholes, and it will guarantee 3 years of the most idiotic political arguments and discussions, killing what little momentum we had built in repairing the terrible damage decades of corruption have done to it. And yeah, I'm contradicting those interpretations because they are intellectually shallow at best and criminally misleading on purpose most likely, because no one that has had access to all the publicly available material, who understands how corruption works, and has paid half a heart beat's attention to Brazilian politics cannot, in good faith, say this was a politically motivated sham.

    Lula and the others that had been sent to prison are all, without a shadow of a doubt, guilty of their crimes and much more. It is a shame that some of them are being hailed as heroes for withstanding their unjust prison time when they are simply grafters who took advantage of their positions to make money for themselves, no matter who got hurt in the process.

    This is money that could have gone to schools, hospitals, hell, just paying for infra-structure. But no, it went into $15,000 bottles of wine, trips abroad, buying of real estate, etc. And that is what hurts the most, the amount of citizens that suffered, who didn't get one service or another, of kids that went to shit schools, etc., because these assholes wanted to use the money to go to Miami and spend their ill-gotten money on crap.

    ---- x ---- x ----

    Also, just as an aside, when you are elected to Congress in Brazil, you have alternates, that take your job if you leave, become incapacitated, whatever.

    Greenwald's husband got his political gig by taking the place of a dude from Lula's party (whose claim to fame was to appear on Big Brother and parley that into a political gig and then fighting with Bolsonaro when they were both in Congress) and the husband's party was, throughout PT's Govt, part of their base (still is, now in the opposition). Funny how that rarely gets mentioned, no? Makes it harder to be impartial when publishing stuff, I'd say.

    ---- x ---- x ----

    So yeah, seeing people claim Lula was a political prisoner kinda pisses me off, sorry if anything I wrote came across as abrasive, it was not my intention.
    It just hurts to realise that being an upstanding and law-abiding citizen in my country is for suckers, since crime obviously pays and working and paying your taxes makes you an idiot.
    Despondent doesn't begin to describe the mood these days from anyone who isn't blinded by ideology and can still look at things critically in the country (an ever diminishing minority, I'm sad to see).

    14 votes
  14. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    Believe whatever you like. I have read the leaked conversations, the judicial decisions, everything. I have talked to numerous judges and prosecutors over the course of my life, and reached my own...

    Believe whatever you like. I have read the leaked conversations, the judicial decisions, everything. I have talked to numerous judges and prosecutors over the course of my life, and reached my own conclusions based on more than 20 years of law education and practice in Brazil and abroad. You're free to reach your own conclusions, based on whatever sources you'd like to consume, it's just sad that the information exists and people still want to cling on to this idiotic ideological pattern of not believing what's right in front of their eyes.

    Just understand that Lula (and many others who were freed based on the same STF decision) did not have their convictions vacated, the evidence against them is overwhelming, and this was a huge step backwards for a country known for taking them. But this was probably the worst step back of the last 10 years.

    I thought the year couldn't get worse, after my fellow Brazilians decided that electing that pea-brained sack of dumb was a good idea, but apparently it can, now we can also return to the status quo ante in terms of corruption, under which Lula's party (and many others, because this is not just about PT) stole BILLIONS of dollars of taxpayer's money while our education, health, and all sort of public services go to (even worse than it already is) shit. Good times.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    I live in Brazil, please don't try to educate me on the history of my country. I live here, I am a lawyer and worked with government a lot during the PT time in government on behalf of my clients...

    I live in Brazil, please don't try to educate me on the history of my country. I live here, I am a lawyer and worked with government a lot during the PT time in government on behalf of my clients (none have been arrested so far, because we didn't sink into the corruption mud), I know perfectly well what happened.

    Saying it's politically motivated is beyond lack of information, it is borderline intellectual malfeasance.

    The Intercept has proven to be extremely biased (I had high hopes for it) and seriously lacking in judgment regarding their sources. It was a waste of a great opportunity for an opposition vehicle of information, but they fell into the party line and lost all credibility.

    Corruption here has no party line, no right or left (which are ridiculous terms to use these days, by the way). Defending Lula based on ideology is ridiculous, since he has none. All he cares about is his status, he will bulldoze anything in his path to get it (including blaming everything he was charged with on his recently decesead wife, because that's the type of person he is).

    10 votes
  16. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

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    So no mention about his power grab, extending his tenure way longer than the Constitution allowed him? Funny how that works. I know a couple of people in Bolivia, none of them are "right wing",...

    So no mention about his power grab, extending his tenure way longer than the Constitution allowed him? Funny how that works.

    I know a couple of people in Bolivia, none of them are "right wing", and both joined in the protests and told me that, yes the army had to get involved to get this done, but this is not a 1960's CIA backed revolution.

    The mention of "politically motivated charges" against Lula perfectly illustrates the low quality of the article, among other insanely biased statements. Hearing him talk about "social inclusion of the poor" after flying home on a private jet has to be a joke.

    14 votes
  17. Comment on Reddit’s automoderator is the future of the internet, and deeply imperfect | The good: AutoMod saves time and prevents potential mental health issues. The bad: Humans still have to clean up after it. in ~tech

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    I'm glad I was not the only one who came with a version of this thought. If two times being tired brought AM and Tildes, then yeah, more tiredness for Deimos.

    I'm glad I was not the only one who came with a version of this thought. If two times being tired brought AM and Tildes, then yeah, more tiredness for Deimos.

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

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    You should give it a whirl. It's really really good. I was actively surprised at how much I got sucked in to that universe. And Monte Cristo is long but there isn't one extraneous word. The build...

    You should give it a whirl. It's really really good. I was actively surprised at how much I got sucked in to that universe.

    And Monte Cristo is long but there isn't one extraneous word. The build up to the end is superb and the imagery is second to none. I honestly don't know how many times I've read it and I've done it in three different languages (original French was the hardest).

    3 votes
  19. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

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    Just finished my nth re-read of the Count of Monte Cristo, now reading a python programming book (I'm learning), the 8th book of the Expanse series (Tiamat's Wrath), and about to start (again)...

    Just finished my nth re-read of the Count of Monte Cristo, now reading a python programming book (I'm learning), the 8th book of the Expanse series (Tiamat's Wrath), and about to start (again) Will Durant's The Story of Philosophy.

    Monte Cristo doesn't need an intro, python will hopefully one day be work related.

    Expanse is a sci-fi series (made into a TV series, 4th season starting in December) and the 8th book was published a wee while ago, and it should be the last act before the conclusion (the authors release novellas that happen before/between books too). I started reading on a rec from a friend and was immediately hooked and basically devoured all the books that had been published until then. The world building is pretty neat, since it's Earth, Mars, etc., only as humanity expands into the system and beyond, the characters are interesting and there are plenty of funny parts. What's not to like?

    Durant's book I've tried reading a few years back, but work got in the way, so I'm going to try again (now that work is definitely not any easier, because I'm an idiot).

    7 votes
  20. Comment on The key to a good life is avoiding pain (Epicurus) in ~life

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    I'm not a particular fan of his philosophies, but any discussions regarding how to lead a better life that leads people to be less asshole-y to others and to seek self-development is OK in my...

    I'm not a particular fan of his philosophies, but any discussions regarding how to lead a better life that leads people to be less asshole-y to others and to seek self-development is OK in my book.

    I also enjoy how his philosophy begat the term "epicure", which I really enjoy.

    2 votes