mat's recent activity

  1. Comment on David Lynch has a YouTube channel on which, each day, he gives a weather report and picks a number from a jar in ~movies

    mat
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    Lynch has been doing this since before Youtube existed. I remember watching his daily weather videos way back in the early 2000s.

    Lynch has been doing this since before Youtube existed. I remember watching his daily weather videos way back in the early 2000s.

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

    mat
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    I am in the final few pages of Jodi Taylor's Just One Damned Thing After Another which I've really enjoyed. It's short and simple but the characters are well-drawn and engaging, and the plot is...

    I am in the final few pages of Jodi Taylor's Just One Damned Thing After Another which I've really enjoyed. It's short and simple but the characters are well-drawn and engaging, and the plot is well paced and exciting and it's managed to make me both laugh out loud and cry a bit as well. It's the first in a surprisingly long series which I'm not entirely sure the concept will support but I'm going to read a few more and see how it goes.

    With the Kid we are mostly reading Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers which is great. The best children's books stand up to repeated readings and I'm not tired of this one yet. Jeffers' books are always a pleasure.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Do you carry a knife with with you? If so, what type/company? in ~hobbies

    mat
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    When I used work in retail I had a little knife clipped in my pocket all the time, it was useful for opening boxes, cutting cables and so on. I carried it to and from work, I suppose. But only...

    When I used work in retail I had a little knife clipped in my pocket all the time, it was useful for opening boxes, cutting cables and so on. I carried it to and from work, I suppose. But only because we didn't have lockers to leave stuff there.

    Other than that sort of thing I have no idea why people carry knives. Or multitools for that matter. I just don't encounter that sort of problem regularly enough for it to be worth the hassle of putting more things into my pockets.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on Voat is shutting down on December 25 in ~tech

    mat
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    Yeah, things do become trickier when you live in a fundamentalist theocracy. I guess suck it and see. Am I right in thinking church and state are supposed to be separated by the constitution? I'm...

    Would states controlled by the GOP prosecute people who criticized Christianity?

    Yeah, things do become trickier when you live in a fundamentalist theocracy. I guess suck it and see. Am I right in thinking church and state are supposed to be separated by the constitution?

    Would casual use of n****r be an offense

    I'm not 100% on this but I think it is in the UK already. Where "casual" means used as an insult. Not where used between peers. I did mention context, yeah? :)

    Laws should be clear, vagueness invites misuse.

    Well, yes and no. Clarity is important but you can't write down every single possible case. That's partly why we have courts and judges and stuff. To apply laws in context. If the law was completely 100% clear we wouldn't need any of that, you could replace the courts with a flow chart.

    It's simply not possible to write 100% clear laws 100% of the time and I don't think not making laws because there might be some wiggle room in them is the best approach. Also lots of laws are completely clear already and people still wiggle out of them - who was that guy who got caught in the act of raping some girl and still got let off because he was white and rich? Brock someone?

    If incitement of hatred is criminalized, does that criminalize promotion of the attendant ideologies?

    Yes, to an extent. But that is OK. Look up Popper's paradox of tolerance. Personally speaking, I'm totally fine with making Nazis illegal.

    So the thing is, a lot of what you seem to be saying looks like a bunch of slippery slope type arguments, which I personally never find particularly convincing. Look at what currently happens in other countries who already have hate speech legislations, and compare that to what is happening in the US where such laws don't exist so much.

    I might have in some ways less freedom than you, but on the other hand I don't recall many demonstrations in the UK in which actual fuckin' neo-nazis were walking around waving guns in the street and calling for another, bigger holocaust. So I'd invite you to consider that it is perhaps possible the US has already slipped a little too far the entirely wrong way down the slope which concerns you.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on Voat is shutting down on December 25 in ~tech

    mat
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    This is a non-issue. A hypothetical future non-benevolent dictatorship doesn't need precedent or existing structures to censor/propogandise through, they'll just create whatever they want or need...

    a) under the assumption that it will always be a benevolent, democratic system implementing these regulations

    This is a non-issue. A hypothetical future non-benevolent dictatorship doesn't need precedent or existing structures to censor/propogandise through, they'll just create whatever they want or need at the time. That's one of the things that makes them non-benevolent.

    b) with the assumption that concepts like “hate speech” have a clear, firm definition.

    This is commonly managed pretty well in quite a lot of countries outside the US. You don't actually need a 100% clear definition, laws have fuzzy edges all the time - just think about things like 'dangerous driving' or 'anti-social behaviour' - fuzzy definitions let you take context into consideration, which I'd argue is far more useful. "Hate speech" is equally easy to catch most of. The definition should probably lean towards under-application than over, but still.

    I agree these sort of things can go wrong but given how wrong things are currently going, I think it's probably worth trying something. In the worst case, failing differently is still a sort of progress. Societies have dealt with these kind of problems forever, I don't think it's necessarily an unsolvable problem.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Ask Tildes: How do you organize the files on your computer? in ~comp

    mat
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    Well, "organise" is a very strong word. Some things are organised better than others. I have hundreds of GB of photos dating back to pre-digital days, which are organised by camera/year/month....

    Well, "organise" is a very strong word.

    Some things are organised better than others. I have hundreds of GB of photos dating back to pre-digital days, which are organised by camera/year/month. Occasionally camera/year/event (eg: wedding, holiday, etc, which may also contain some sub-structure). I'm vaguely hoping that one day I'll be able to point some software, perhaps ML/AI based, at my photos directory and have it make some sort of sense of things for me.

    My Music directory on my NAS is ridiculous. There's a top level directory labelled "sorted" which has sorted/a, sorted/b, etc. then letter/artist/album/song.mp3. But there's also unsortedX where X = 1-200 or so. Each unsorted directory may contain multiple subdirectories before you get to any artist/album structure, if there's even anything like that - some of them are just a few hundred files. Additionally there's a bunch of directories called things like "psytrance" and "techno bangers" and I have no idea what's in there, apart from the obvious. This mess dates back to student days when any suitably equipped visitor to the house plugged in their external drive or laptop and we cross-copied each other's mp3 collections. I do know it runs to about 250GB, I don't know what's in there and I don't touch it any more. Streaming has saved me from having to address the issue.

    My home directory is mostly just various scratch dirs like ~/downloads ~/projects ~/books for stuff I haven't dealt with/finished, until things get moved into ~/backup/ which is where syncing to cloud/NAS/etc happens mostly automatically. This folder contains, to my shame, multiple subdirectories of the format documents/backup/upback/old/, some going back to last century. They are at least backed up.

    On-disk organisation is very similar to how my physical work and living spaces are organised, small areas of high organisation - eg, my ~/backup/scripts and my ~/current-work dirs are very well structured - but overall it's just a loose shambles which I mostly just remember my way around. I'm better at remembering physical stuff (ask me where any tool I own is) than virtual but I can still tell you where most things are from memory. Music folder notwithstanding.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Voat is shutting down on December 25 in ~tech

    mat
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    Oh, I'm sure their ideology does align. If it didn't, who would keep such a site running? If I made voat and it turned into the cesspit voat turned into, I'd take it offline then make a special...

    Oh, I'm sure their ideology does align. If it didn't, who would keep such a site running? If I made voat and it turned into the cesspit voat turned into, I'd take it offline then make a special trip to the datacentre so I could burn and salt the hard drives it lived on.

    Apologies in advance for going off at a bit of a tangent here but recently I've been thinking a bit about Hanlon's Razor ("never attribute that to malice which is adequately explained by stupidity") and Clarke's Corollary ("any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice"). It comes up quite often when people wonder whether $politician or $political_party are stupid or evil. I used to wonder that too, but I'm increasingly of the opinion that the question is a category error. In that the two things are, functionally, the exact same thing.

    The two 'laws' I mention suggest that stupidity and malice are at least on a spectrum and in some cases interchangeable. It's stupid to think that a civilised society can exist with unfettered free speech, it's equally stupid to think white people are inherently superior - but you can equally assert those things are malicious. My point is that it doesn't make any difference. They are the same.

    Stupid and malicious aren't a spectrum, they aren't two sides of the same coin, they are in many - possible all - cases the exact same thing.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Voat is shutting down on December 25 in ~tech

    mat
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    Expert level cognitive dissonance or more likely, given that it's really not that hard to put together a link aggregator with comments and votes, simple old fashioned stupids. As J S Mill said:...

    How the hell they stay convinced they're doing the right thing by developing their site, and continuing to believe in absolute free speech, is honestly beyond me.

    Expert level cognitive dissonance or more likely, given that it's really not that hard to put together a link aggregator with comments and votes, simple old fashioned stupids. As J S Mill said: "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives..." continued

    I mean they named their site after a fight, I doubt we're dealing with the brightest and best here.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Voat is shutting down on December 25 in ~tech

    mat
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    I'd never heard of Ruqqus until today and I had a quick look just now, I'm not sure adding more idiots from Voat is going to be that noticable given that every single post I clicked on had some...

    I'd never heard of Ruqqus until today and I had a quick look just now, I'm not sure adding more idiots from Voat is going to be that noticable given that every single post I clicked on had some sort of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic or otherwise bigoted comment.

    14 votes
  10. Comment on What were the best books you read this year? in ~books

    mat
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    I rather enjoyed Charlie Stross's Saturn's Children which is about a post-flesh human society. I liked being referred to as 'pink goo' and the ultra-realistic space-travel was fun too. Stross is...

    I rather enjoyed Charlie Stross's Saturn's Children which is about a post-flesh human society. I liked being referred to as 'pink goo' and the ultra-realistic space-travel was fun too. Stross is very hit and miss for me but when he's good I do like him a lot. The followup book, Neptune's Brood was also good but didn't really feel like it added much or progressed a sequence or anything.

    Yoon Ha Lee is someone I've been enjoying this year, I think I read two of his books. Dragon Pearl is a pretty simple, but great fun, bit of YA sci-fi. Hard to put down but you'll finish it in a handful of hours so it's not a problem. But Phoenix Extravagant was great and I don't normally like fantasy at all. It's smart, well paced and Lee does, as always, have an interesting take on magic which I can't go in to too much detail about because spoilers. But it's well worth a read.

    I think the best thing I've read this year is the book I'm currently reading, Peter F Hamilton's The Saints of Salvation, the final book in his current trilogy. Hamilton does epic-scale space opera like nobody else, on page count alone! I wasn't all that into the first Salvation book but it's been slowly building over the last howevermany thousands of pages to the point where I'm currently losing sleep due to reading late rather than sleeping. This is non ideal when the kid wakes me up at 6am every morning, but it's a sign of a good book. Hamilton's usual ludicrous scale over which the plot arcs applies, but as ever he backs it up with strong characters who you care about. It's not a deeply philosophical book, but it is a very exciting one.

    I would also like to mention Can't You Sleep, Little Bear by Martin Waddell because it's just adorable. I find it hard to read the line "I've brought you the moon, Little Bear" without getting a bit emotional.

    Related, big shout out to all the many, many picture books I've read this year. Too many to list, but there's some really wonderful stories out there which happen to be being told with big pictures and simple language. One of my favourites is Death, Duck and the Tulip (I suggest muting the video and just reading). I don't just read them with my kid, a good picture book is worth reading just because it's a good book.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on The Tildes' Make Something Month (Timasomo) 2020 Showcase Thread in ~talk

    mat
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    Aww, thanks dude. That's so nice of you to say. I'm so glad you put this thing together, I had a blast doing it and I enjoyed putting together the writeups as well, so I really appreciate your...

    Aww, thanks dude. That's so nice of you to say. I'm so glad you put this thing together, I had a blast doing it and I enjoyed putting together the writeups as well, so I really appreciate your kind words on that front. None of this would have happened without you, so you deserve much honour as well. Same time next year then?

    2 votes
  12. Comment on The Tildes' Make Something Month (Timasomo) 2020 Showcase Thread in ~talk

    mat
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    Hey, I've been away so didn't see this until now. Thanks, it means a lot you like it. I haven't done many knives and it's nice to hear I'm doing OK. I haven't seen kaleido the brand for sale...

    Hey, I've been away so didn't see this until now. Thanks, it means a lot you like it. I haven't done many knives and it's nice to hear I'm doing OK.

    I haven't seen kaleido the brand for sale anywhere else but I have seen quite a few other recycled plastic products that do the same sort of thing.

    I think I'll try to weld the broken knife, I have a big welding job to do when I get the time (my new belt grinder needs assembling) but I have no idea when that time will be available. When I get it finished I'll definitely drop some photos in one of the weekend threads.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on Cyberpunk 2077 preload now available in ~games

    mat
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    Most movies are boring and predictable, not to mention linear and one-dimensional. I prefer games which play like games, so I'm not sure of the benefit of viewing them through the lens of a...

    Give me a list of RPGs that play like a movie, have excellent writing and voice acting, compelling characters and story, buck fantasy tropes with different mythology, and provide a bonus game as the final DLC.

    Most movies are boring and predictable, not to mention linear and one-dimensional. I prefer games which play like games, so I'm not sure of the benefit of viewing them through the lens of a non-interactive medium. Also offering loads of DLC doesn't make a game good. It can add extra good bits to an already good game, but a bad game with lots of DLC is just more of a bad game.

    So with that in mind, I would suggest Demon's Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls 3, maybe the Divinity games, even Dragon's Dogma is pretty good on that front. Possible mention for Fallout NV, a couple of the Borderlands games and maybe The Outer Worlds but I haven't put a great deal of time into that yet. All are well written with excellent voice acting and compelling characters doing fairly interesting and varied stuff in well built worlds with deep lore to back them up.

    TW3 was one of the most disappointing games I've ever played. The combat was immersion-breakingly bad, the characters flat (Gerald appears to just be a mobile chin with a haircut on top, which to be fair, the TV adaptation absolutely nailed) and the storytelling was trying really hard but just came off weak. I spent so long standing around in cutscenes while other people explained the plot to me. Then it was off on yet another fetch and carry mission. It was just... boring. Gwent was the only reason I kept playing it so long but even that didn't keep my interest past maybe five hours. I hope CDPR have upped their game for Cyberpunk because it looks incredibly pretty - but I'm not holding my breath.

    In terms of hours played my number one RPG is probably Ultima Online. Gameplay wise it's got to be Dark Souls.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on The Tildes' Make Something Month (Timasomo) 2020 Showcase Thread in ~talk

    mat
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    Thanks! :) As for the handle, it's a "full tang", which means the metal runs the full length of the handle. This is stronger than some other methods and in some ways a lot simpler to make - but...

    Thanks! :)

    As for the handle, it's a "full tang", which means the metal runs the full length of the handle. This is stronger than some other methods and in some ways a lot simpler to make - but it's not always what you want for a knife.

    Apart from that I don't think there's a name for precisely what I did. The handle is just glued on, other possible techniques might use pins/rivets/etc to hold the handle material in place, and I just freehanded the shape.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on The Tildes' Make Something Month (Timasomo) 2020 Showcase Thread in ~talk

    mat
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    Chop Chop Motherfunkers From a pile of metal and recycled plastic to (even if I do say so myself) a rather pretty, nice and shiny, scary sharp handmade kitchen knife. I did start on a second one...

    Chop Chop Motherfunkers

    From a pile of metal and recycled plastic to (even if I do say so myself) a rather pretty, nice and shiny, scary sharp handmade kitchen knife.

    I did start on a second one but things went badly and I haven't had time to try to fix that or work on something else.

    But I do have a new knife in my kitchen and it's been working really well and I'm super pleased with it. Still sharp as hell. I'm not sure I'd have pushed myself to get it done without such a great project from @kfwyre who deserves all the thanks and cheers for setting this up.

    Many more details and lots of photos at the various update threads: first, second, third, fourth (final link also has impressive firey video bit which I was quite pleased to be able to film without injury)

    As always, happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

    17 votes
  16. Comment on Does anyone here use a standing desk? in ~life

    mat
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    Am I right in thinking that acupressure works on all the acupuncture points around the body but reflexology is specifically the feet?

    Am I right in thinking that acupressure works on all the acupuncture points around the body but reflexology is specifically the feet?

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Does anyone here use a standing desk? in ~life

    mat
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    Yes and no. It started as that. But a decent amount of modern chiropractors don't do the woo stuff and are highly skilled physical therapists. Although not all - and as far as I know there's no...

    Yes and no. It started as that. But a decent amount of modern chiropractors don't do the woo stuff and are highly skilled physical therapists. Although not all - and as far as I know there's no way to tell in advance.

    But, while magical woo is magical woo and I am extremely wary of such - in recent years I've started to think more that if it works, it works. The human body is complicated and strange, pain is especially weird and all sorts of things can help without being real science. For example, acupuncture, which is amazing for certain sorts of back pain despite being largely magic. A friend of mine once gave me some free reflexology treatment and my back didn't hurt for days afterwards. I don't know why her rubbing my feet did that, or what she believed she was doing in regard to my energy flow or whatever the hell it was supposed to be - but it helped. It took away my pain. I paid for a few more sessions it was so good.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Does anyone here use a standing desk? in ~life

    mat
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    Oh, no. It really could. If I started lifting weights I'd be absolutely ruined within weeks. Like, day-long agony kind of thing. Counting the hours between being able to take more painkillers sort...

    lifting really doesn't hurt either way right?

    Oh, no. It really could. If I started lifting weights I'd be absolutely ruined within weeks. Like, day-long agony kind of thing. Counting the hours between being able to take more painkillers sort of situation.

    Everybody is different and while your issues might respond to a specific form of exercise, not everyone's will. It's good that you've found a thing which works and it's also good to mention it to give people something to consider - but everyone with chronic pain issues needs to check with their physical therapist before they start doing stuff, because some conditions may be made worse, not better.

    That said, walking - just normal walking not power walking - is probably a fairly safe bet though.

    7 votes
  19. Comment on Does anyone here use a standing desk? in ~life

    mat
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    I do a lot of work standing, and to be honest it's not that different for my back than sitting. What actually matters - at least for me - is keeping moving. I've actually de-optimised my workspace...

    I do a lot of work standing, and to be honest it's not that different for my back than sitting. What actually matters - at least for me - is keeping moving. I've actually de-optimised my workspace somewhat I have to move from here to there to get different things and do stuff. In the past I've used timers to enforce breaks to move around - even microbreaks of a few seconds can make a difference, i used to have a staged system with 20s breaks every five minutes and a longer break once an hour. I found that wasn't just good for my body but also helped keep my brain working better too.

    Also as others have said, anti-fatigue matting is a good thing. Although I have also heard that a wobbly bit of old pallet works just as well, because being a little unstable it keeps you slightly moving around.

    8 votes
  20. Comment on The Scottish village where the children design the Christmas lights in ~design

    mat
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    Normally not really my sort of thing - neither christmas nor children's artwork. But for some reason, perhaps the general bleakness of the year so far, I liked this story. In a more general sense,...

    Normally not really my sort of thing - neither christmas nor children's artwork. But for some reason, perhaps the general bleakness of the year so far, I liked this story.

    In a more general sense, I am strongly in favour of making the design of public spaces both accessible to the users of those spaces, and a way of building and reinforcing community, and this is definitely both of those things. What's particularly good in this instance is that being a non-permanent display, they can go a little more off-piste and so what if some of the snowmen are a bit wonky.

    4 votes