grahamiam's recent activity

  1. Comment on Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord [Early Access] is now available for purchase in ~games

    grahamiam
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    I have 100 hours in the original and 200 hours in Warband. The basic idea of this game is so good, and I'm a little confused/sad why no larger studios took the same basic idea and applied it to...

    I have 100 hours in the original and 200 hours in Warband. The basic idea of this game is so good, and I'm a little confused/sad why no larger studios took the same basic idea and applied it to outer space or something.

    I doubt I'll play Bannerlord nearly as much as it's pretty unusual for me to drop much time in open-ended single-player games anymore, but I preordered as a retroactive payment for the last two games, which I think I got both on sale for maybe $5 each?

    2 votes
  2. Comment on What is something that you learned/were taught wrong? in ~talk

    grahamiam
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    Not really - while I handwrote a lot in grad school for my notes, I was the only person who read it so it didn't bother me. I've recently swapped from being a college instructor to a high school...

    Not really - while I handwrote a lot in grad school for my notes, I was the only person who read it so it didn't bother me. I've recently swapped from being a college instructor to a high school one, so I handwrite a lot more now than I used to (since there's less electronic grading), but I'm 34 and don't see it being easy to switch.

    I have worked on my chalk handwriting though and am proud to say that if I focus it no longer looks like a 3rd grader's writing.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on What is something that you learned/were taught wrong? in ~talk

    grahamiam
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    No one taught me that I should brush my tongue, and I don't think I realized I should until I was an undergrad. I hold my pencil "incorrectly" and have bad (but not awful) handwriting, plus my...

    No one taught me that I should brush my tongue, and I don't think I realized I should until I was an undergrad.

    I hold my pencil "incorrectly" and have bad (but not awful) handwriting, plus my hand hurts sometimes if I write much. I don't know for sure that if my Kindergarten teacher had been more strict about how to hold it that these issues would be fixed.

    8 votes
  4. Comment on What is something that you learned/were taught wrong? in ~talk

    grahamiam
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they Not a recent change at all, it just got brought into the spotlight because of its use for nonbinary purposes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

    Not a recent change at all, it just got brought into the spotlight because of its use for nonbinary purposes.

    13 votes
  5. Comment on Daily coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - March 25 in ~health.coronavirus

    grahamiam
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    Taiwan has had consistently double-digit new cases every day for the past few days, after going for a long time without any cases. Almost every case is just directly connected to a recent...

    Taiwan has had consistently double-digit new cases every day for the past few days, after going for a long time without any cases. Almost every case is just directly connected to a recent international return (and there's a mandatory quarantine on returning people now), so it seems under control still, but it also seems like shit could change fast.

    As someone who has recently emigrated from the US and just kind of took it for granted I'd be able to return once a year, the reality that I might not be able to take a trip back this summer is just now hitting me. It's rough. Friends and family are communicating more than they used to, but with a lot of stress built-in, of course. On top of that, our dog (who is living with family in a great home) in the US suddenly started having balance/vertigo issues which is terrifying even though the internet says that's common for older dogs and not much to worry about.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on What are some games in which movement itself is a joy? in ~games

    grahamiam
    (edited )
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    Spider-man PS4 is what I thought of immediately too. The movement plus NYC recreation made it the only open world game I've enjoyed travel in. Edit: I lied. Forgot about SRIV until /u/kfwyre...

    Spider-man PS4 is what I thought of immediately too. The movement plus NYC recreation made it the only open world game I've enjoyed travel in.

    Edit: I lied. Forgot about SRIV until /u/kfwyre reminded me of it.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on Silver lining to this pandemic? in ~health.coronavirus

    grahamiam
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    Masks not only help stop the droplets, they also make you less likely to touch your nose or mouth which helps, and their omnipresence here in Taiwan helps keep prevention efforts in focus in...

    Masks not only help stop the droplets, they also make you less likely to touch your nose or mouth which helps, and their omnipresence here in Taiwan helps keep prevention efforts in focus in day-to-day life.

    Even if them stopping you from contracting the virus is a "myth," that myth existing makes it more likely for people who are infected but don't think they are infected to wear the mask, and it also helps prevent some sneezing/coughing droplets into public spaces, especially in situations where people might not be good about covering their mouths (carrying stuff, holding on in a bus, children who don't think about it).

    So yeah, I used to be a skeptic because the masks obviously don't stop the virus from entering, but I think they are still useful. The downside is that prior to the coronavirus, Taiwan had an attitude that if you had a cold, you still came to work and wore a mask and that was acceptable, which is obviously bad. Not that different from people coming to work with a cold in the US due to lack of PTO/healthcare access, though.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Trump says he could demote Fed chair Powell, risking more market turmoil in ~finance

    grahamiam
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    Which recessions would you say the Fed "caused"? That seems like a bold claim.

    Which recessions would you say the Fed "caused"? That seems like a bold claim.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    grahamiam
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    Two classic dystopians, but in wildly different ways: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood has really great worldbuilding, but I'm finding the characters to be a little bit too preachy mouthpieces...

    Two classic dystopians, but in wildly different ways:

    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood has really great worldbuilding, but I'm finding the characters to be a little bit too preachy mouthpieces instead of full people. I'm about halfway through. It's good enough to recommend, but it's not on the same level as Handmaid's. Maybe it'll get better.

    Rereading Never Let Me Go as I'm teaching it to 10th graders this semester. This book is a masterpiece in the slow reveal, the building unease. If you haven't read Ishiguro, both this and Remains of the Day are amazing. Remains is realism - historical fiction from the PoV of a butler in the first half of the 20th century. Never Let Me Go is alternate history, semi-dystopia, almost but not quite science fiction. Read them!

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

    grahamiam
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    Agreed. This raid is great visually, but it feels overall (at heroic level) a good bit easier than the rest of the expansion's raids. IMO, the best fight of the expansion has been Jaina by far,...

    Agreed.

    This raid is great visually, but it feels overall (at heroic level) a good bit easier than the rest of the expansion's raids. IMO, the best fight of the expansion has been Jaina by far, maybe my favorite raid fight ever.

    Obviously lots of problems with gearing and RNG and procs and alts, as /r/wow reiterates every single day, but imo Obelisks are the best season affix and Visions are a nice continuation of the Mage Tower idea, and the invasions are really visually appealing even if the dailies are meh.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on What do you like/dislike about where you live? in ~talk

    grahamiam
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    Lived in Round Rock, just outside of Austin, for 11 years. The main con there is the traffic and lack of public transportation. A few lesser cons are living in Texas and having a pretty crappy...

    Lived in Round Rock, just outside of Austin, for 11 years. The main con there is the traffic and lack of public transportation. A few lesser cons are living in Texas and having a pretty crappy airport in terms of routes and cost. The main pro was that it had pretty much every kind of food and event you could possibly want, despite not being a gigantic city, and being very close to seclusion without having to go far.

    Now in Taipei, since June of last year. The main con is the summer and humidity. I knew humidity sucked, but I never knew how much it sucked. Everything is wet, all the time. You have to use some sort of astrolobe to figure out when it's best to seal the apartment and run a dehumidifer versus opening windows and getting air flow etc. We've had a backpack grow mold that we don't think had anything spill in it. We've had leather sandals grow mold. We woke up with crazy condensation after forgetting to worry about the dehumidifier or windows for a big two days. Clothes dryers are also not really a thing here, and drying clothes on a line is a pain in the ass when the humidity is so high and it rains on a regular basis. Also, April-October is just miserable outside for the most part. Another con as a huge dog lover is that I'd be more guilty about having a dog here, due to the tiny apartment, lack of yards, and heat.

    The biggest pro is living in a city that values the same things I do a lot more than in the US. Public transportation, education, and environmentalism are very focused on and constantly being improved. Single-use plastics are still a huge issue here, but people on all levels are trying to address it. It's fairly common to see people bust out their own glassware containers to take leftovers home, etc. Commuting on a quiet bus instead of driving to work every day has improved my energy so much. Then, of course, there's the lack of guns and socialized healthcare, which is huge as well. Finally, being able to walk to just about anything involved in my daily life is such an amazing thing as someone who has never lived in a place with that potential.

    One element that is both a pro and a con is that food works a little differently here than in the US. There are a ton of little stalls that sell very cheap, healthy food - a good meal can be as little as $2-3USD. This is good because you spend less time on food and have a wide range of options etc. etc., but it also means cooking at home is a lot less feasible and beneficial. I miss cooking a lot, though our kitchen here is tiny and not very equipped.

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

    grahamiam
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    Still playing FFXIV and WoW mainly. In FFXIV I'm just scratching the most recent expansion, and in WoW we're 9/12H in Nyalotha and I just 5masked my first vision last week. The raid is okay - we...

    Still playing FFXIV and WoW mainly. In FFXIV I'm just scratching the most recent expansion, and in WoW we're 9/12H in Nyalotha and I just 5masked my first vision last week. The raid is okay - we only raid one night a week so it's more time investment than difficulty holding us back. The Visions are fun now but I can see them being super annoying in a week or two when I'm farming them for sockets. FFXIV continues to be like a single player game where I occasionally see a few other people. I'm very torn on the whole setup, as I've posted here before. On the one hand, the story is great for a single-player RPG. On the other hand, requiring so much investment to play with people who are already max level is kind of insane for an MMO. The fanbase is also annoyingly positive about all aspects, so the subreddit simultaneously says "It's a good thing they make you spend so much time on the early quests because then you're invested in the story" along with "Of course the early levels are boring, you don't get your full ability kit until later." But I prefer the ridiculous over-positivity of FFXIV's fanbase to the rabid negativity of WoW's, I guess.

    One recommendation of something new I played - Heave Ho on the Switch is the best sitting-on-the-couch-with-3-friends-while-slightly-inebriated game I've played in a long, long time. It's ridiculous, low-entry fun.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Karen Russell on the finances of writing in ~books

    grahamiam
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    I've gotten to meet Karen Russell a few times, and she's one of the most genuinely nice people in the literary world I've come across. She's also a rock star in the literary fiction world, with...

    I've gotten to meet Karen Russell a few times, and she's one of the most genuinely nice people in the literary world I've come across. She's also a rock star in the literary fiction world, with her debut novel being a Pulitzer finalist and her winning the MacArthur Genius Grant.

    In this article, she discusses the difficulty of even a writer at her level of success putting together a functional life when it comes to balancing work, family, and finances.

    I'm a big proponent of anyone discussing further how being an artist without basically working two full-time jobs or having a trust fund / high earning spouse is insanely difficult, though this article is a little lacking in details (she kind of breezes over what she did with the MacArthur money).

    If you'd like to read my favorite short story by her, here's "St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves" in PDF form from a shady looking URL I found on Google: https://1.cdn.edl.io/PNYONEfw15WBM6xTjqiCnP8sH3lKkHsH4bIy5kvG7GZfeByR.pdf

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Oil prices just fell 31% (and counting) with single biggest drop since Gulf War in ~finance

    grahamiam
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    While buying during this downturn will probably do well in the future, historical analysis shows that if you had invested that money as early as possible, you'd do better. The maxim time in the...

    While buying during this downturn will probably do well in the future, historical analysis shows that if you had invested that money as early as possible, you'd do better.

    The maxim time in the market > timing the market holds true pretty well.

    More info : https://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence/comments/ff6dah/dollar_cost_averaging_vs_10_drop_eg_coronaviral/

    9 votes
  15. Comment on What are some great songs from your homeland? in ~talk

  16. Comment on Andrew Yang’s new non-profit is giving away $500,000 in free cash as a UBI experiment in ~news

    grahamiam
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    For a similar, private organization-backed initiative, check out GiveDirect, especially the TAL episode that compared their work in Africa with Heifer International. These are charity based and...

    For a similar, private organization-backed initiative, check out GiveDirect, especially the TAL episode that compared their work in Africa with Heifer International. These are charity based and thus have a much different motivation from Yang, but it's a similar conversation around the implementation.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on What are some great songs from your homeland? in ~talk

  18. Comment on Why Taiwan has just 42 coronavirus cases while neighbors report hundreds or thousands in ~health.coronavirus

    grahamiam
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    Recent transplant from the US to Taipei, AMA! A few notes - I was a cynic about the masks and hand sanitizer considering the empirical evidence is lacking, but how can I argue with the results?...

    Recent transplant from the US to Taipei, AMA!

    A few notes - I was a cynic about the masks and hand sanitizer considering the empirical evidence is lacking, but how can I argue with the results? Even if it wasn't due to those things, the heightened awareness their omnipresence brings probably helps. It's also harder to touch your face/nose a lot while wearing a mask. The peer pressure factor is pretty huge. There is no rule that you have to wear a mask, but I'd say right now it's about 75% of the people on the street and 95% of people on the subway wear one (before corona it was probably ~30-40% for both). If you cough or sneeze on the subway everyone turns and looks, and if you do so without a mask on you get some seriously annoyed looks. Wearing a mask constantly fogs my glasses. People (or, at least, men) are much more serious about using alcohol sanitizer than about washing their hands leaving a bathroom. There are some absurdities, like people pulling down a medical mask to smoke a cigarette, or a school requiring masks all the time then during lunch packing kids and staff close together while everyone removes their masks to eat.

    It's been kind of fascinating. I haven't really felt any worry at all, but I have no foreseeable travel plans and am not an at-risk demographic of the virus being difficult for me.

    7 votes
  19. Comment on What's the Coronavirus like where you are? in ~talk

    grahamiam
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    Living in Taiwan! At first I thought our very extreme measures were overreacting (two weeks no school, many events canceled, rationing masks, tons of small things like temperature screening at...

    Living in Taiwan! At first I thought our very extreme measures were overreacting (two weeks no school, many events canceled, rationing masks, tons of small things like temperature screening at restaurants), but we seem to have so far avoided the outbreak you'd expect from a country with so many travelers to and from China.

    13 votes