mat's recent activity

  1. Comment on Is Emacs or VIM worth learning in today's day and age? in ~comp

    mat
    Link Parent
    Find and replace is useful, especially combined with REGULAR EXPRESSIONS!. Or just find. Being able to change a word, rather than pressing delete x times then type a new one, is neat. :cw (c is...

    Find and replace is useful, especially combined with REGULAR EXPRESSIONS!. Or just find. Being able to change a word, rather than pressing delete x times then type a new one, is neat. :cw (c is the 'change' command and it's more powerful than just changing words). But I dunno, what's useful for me might not be for you.

    What I found very helpful when I was starting out was googling "vim cheat sheet" and finding one which was simple enough to print on a single page and leave propped against my monitor, but in depth enough that I had stuff to learn from it, and included stuff I might need. Your requirements will be different to mine, but have a look around and see what looks good to you. It might just be half a side of a few very simple commands at first, but having it right there by my screen all day was really useful.

    Also remember it's going to be slower at first to look up and use the new commands rather than just hitting i and treating vim like gedit. But once you get used to it, it'll be a LOT faster. Especially over a slightly dodgy ssh connection. Being able to hit cc to delete a whole line and switch to insert mode is much easier and safer than pressing delete x times and hoping you counted right.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Some thoughts on cleaning up my shitty apartment in ~talk

    mat
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    ― Terry Pratchett, Mort (emphasis mine)

    After a while [Mort] got into the rhythm of it, and started playing the private little quantity-surveying game that everyone plays in these circumstances. Let’s see, he thought, I’ve done nearly a quarter, let’s call it a third, so when I’ve done that corner by the hayrack it’ll be more than half, call it five-eighths, which means three more wheelbarrow loads… It doesn’t prove anything very much except that the awesome splendour of the universe is much easier to deal with if you think of it as a series of small chunks.

    ― Terry Pratchett, Mort (emphasis mine)

    12 votes
  3. Comment on Privacy woes and autonomy, where do I go now? in ~tech

    mat
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    Have you tried just not caring? I don't really mean that to sound facetious. But it works for me. I don't feel like my privacy is being compromised at all, and I do literally nothing to protect...

    Have you tried just not caring?

    I don't really mean that to sound facetious. But it works for me. I don't feel like my privacy is being compromised at all, and I do literally nothing to protect it. I use all the Meta platforms, I use Google products, etc. I did use Chrome a lot but Firefox has some features I prefer so that's my main browser now, although it's not for privacy reasons. My private life is still, after 25+ years online, entirely private. I look at some adverts occasionally. It doesn't impact my life whatsoever.

    People have been telling me the privacy sky is going to fall since... well, at least since gmail launched and we found it out "read" your email to target ads. There seems to be no evidence to suggest the sky has, or will, collapse upon me. A handful of lines among billions in an few ad tracking databases, that a human will never see, is not a thing I have the time or energy to care about.

    edit: I understand there are parts of the world where certain aspects of one's life it is important to keep very quiet, but I am not one of those people in one of those parts of the world. I do sympathise with those people and I'm glad various tools exist for them to remain out of sight.

    8 votes
  4. Comment on What is your opinion on Dan Brown novels? in ~books

    mat
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    Funnily enough this is the second time Dan Brown has been mentioned in the last 24 hours for me. The first was in the context of a discussion about the Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson Dune...

    Funnily enough this is the second time Dan Brown has been mentioned in the last 24 hours for me. The first was in the context of a discussion about the Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson Dune books, in which I said:

    "House Atredies is one of the worst books I've ever read, and I've read The DaVinci Code"

    I do stand by that, but it is a little unfair on The DaVinci Code. TDVC is certainly a bad book, but it's pacey and reasonably exciting junk with some fun (albeit extremely silly) set pieces - a bit like a Guy Ritchie or Michael Bay film. House Atredies is just bad on every level.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    Excellent, I'm glad you're enjoying it. I really liked the show and rewatched it a few years ago during night feeds with my kid and it still held up. Also I'm not sure what country you're from but...

    Excellent, I'm glad you're enjoying it. I really liked the show and rewatched it a few years ago during night feeds with my kid and it still held up.

    Also I'm not sure what country you're from but just in case you weren't aware, I should point out that Hugh Laurie does not sound like Dr House in real life (really only as an excuse to link to some excellent comedy)

    Edit: it's not lupus.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Seattle’s law mandating higher pay for food delivery workers is a case study in backfire economics in ~finance

    mat
    Link Parent
    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying, sorry. Can you clarify a little? There is a reading of what you said that involve treating groups such as the disabled as second class workers who...

    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying, sorry. Can you clarify a little?

    There is a reading of what you said that involve treating groups such as the disabled as second class workers who should be paid less and I'm sure that is not what you intended.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Seattle’s law mandating higher pay for food delivery workers is a case study in backfire economics in ~finance

    mat
    Link Parent
    I'm not sure that they were doing that. "Paying a living wage" is not the same thing at all as "being responsible employees don't starve". I don't see society forcing companies to pay workers...

    You seem to be operating from one hidden premise, that it's the employer's responsibility to ensure that the employee doesn't starve.

    I'm not sure that they were doing that. "Paying a living wage" is not the same thing at all as "being responsible employees don't starve".

    I don't see society forcing companies to pay workers enough that they don't starve in return for a fair amount of work requires the company to take any responsibility for social issues. Other than the social issues their exploitation of people's labour has caused in the first place, of course. Which is their fault, so perhaps that's a good thing for them to be made to be responsible for.

    It needs to be treated at the whole-society level, using the broadest powers that offer the fewest avenues for escape

    I have an idea. Perhaps we make sure that all jobs are paid such that nobody working a reasonable amount of hours (let's say 35 hours a week) needs state support to not starve and have basics like shelter, heating and so on.. that's a broad-power, whole-society move and should be reasonably inescapable.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Is Emacs or VIM worth learning in today's day and age? in ~comp

    mat
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    No. I say that as a lifelong vim user. If you're involved in sysops at all, then yes - but you'd already be using one or the other if you were. Editing the occasional config file in nano is fine...

    No.

    I say that as a lifelong vim user. If you're involved in sysops at all, then yes - but you'd already be using one or the other if you were. Editing the occasional config file in nano is fine but if you're spending any significant amount of time in the cli, it's worth the effort to learn something more powerful.

    It's perhaps a little inaccurate to say gedit is "superior" to vimacs, it's just easier to use. Gedit doesn't have anything like the features, but if they're not features you need, then that doesn't matter.

    16 votes
  9. Comment on I'm curious how people on here stay politically engaged and aware while maintaining mental health? in ~life

    mat
    Link Parent
    I agree with this. I get one vote every few years. All I need to know is how best to cast that vote to maximise positive outcomes. In most elections, which in my country are First Past The Post, I...

    think the level of detail is so low that you don't really need to consume a whole lot of media to get there.

    I agree with this. I get one vote every few years. All I need to know is how best to cast that vote to maximise positive outcomes. In most elections, which in my country are First Past The Post, I find out who is most likely to ensure we don't get a Conservative and I vote for them. That's the only rational way to behave in a FPTP system. Occasionally I get to vote with my conscience in a more proportional election but it's pretty rare.

    I don't need to torture myself with The News for years and years in-between votes. Because me knowing all that stuff doesn't change anything, all it does it make me more sad. The more I don't do Big News, the more masochistically masturbatory it seems as a pursuit. There's nothing wrong with masturbation, of course. But at least do it for pleasure.

    I spend far more time on hyperlocal news - for things that actually affect me, and things I can exert some (albeit still fairly small) influence on - than I do on national/international. I don't even actively seek out the latter and I still get way more of it than I'd like.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    Try some Iain M Banks, China Mieville or Ann Leckie (although the first 1/3 of Ancillary Justice is a bit of a slog, it does get much better). I think they're all much better writers, purely in...

    Try some Iain M Banks, China Mieville or Ann Leckie (although the first 1/3 of Ancillary Justice is a bit of a slog, it does get much better). I think they're all much better writers, purely in terms of assembling words on a page. They write actual literature rather than stories. Sometimes I find myself re-reading a passage just because it's such a joy to read. Leckie and Banks have both pulled off good books in the second person mode, which is really difficult to do well.

    Almost all stories are, ultimately, about people. That's sort of what sci-fi is, isn't it? You construct a world according to some extrapolation from known science (or at least science-adjacent, usually you get FTL for free in even hard sci-fi), then put people in it and see what they do. Although sometimes the people are machines or aliens or even terrifying giant spiders, but that's fine. People aren't always human, even here and now on Earth.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on What creative projects have you been working on? in ~creative

    mat
    Link Parent
    Yeah, it's pinning the noise down that is hard. I can't exactly put someone in the back of the van while I drive around to try to locate it either. I can sometimes make it happen rocking the van...

    Yeah, it's pinning the noise down that is hard. I can't exactly put someone in the back of the van while I drive around to try to locate it either. I can sometimes make it happen rocking the van by hand but it's pretty tricky. So far my strategy has been to tighten up everything I can see that should be tight, lubricate everything that should move, and jam silicone into any gaps I can find. Has not worked yet, but I'm hopeful.

    Also, thanks! I love our tent so much. It's heavy cotton canvas, it was bought rather than made - I'm not sure my sewing machine would be up to sewing that stuff! It's so nice to sleep in, because being canvas it breathes so it's not sweaty like polyester tents can be, and when the sun comes up the interior lights up with rainbows (kinda opposite to the picture). It's a lovely place to wake up. Also it's generally very easy to find our pitch on a busy campsite because we're the only people with a rainbow tent, although we did meet another one at a festival last year. On the downside it's pretty heavy so there is quite a bit of hefting stuff around on the kind of campsites which don't let you drive up to your pitch.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    The first Expanse book is a pretty straight lift of Neal Asher's Jain, from his Polity series. A series I would rate 7.5/10 although some books are better than others. But hegemonic alien nanotech...

    The first Expanse book is a pretty straight lift of Neal Asher's Jain, from his Polity series. A series I would rate 7.5/10 although some books are better than others. But hegemonic alien nanotech is hardly a new idea.

    Top tier space opera for me would be Iain M Banks' Culture books; Peter F Hamilton's pretty much everything but especially the Night's Dawn; Stephen Baxter's Xeelee sequence; Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch and more recently Arkady Martine's Teixcalaan series. All well written books full of great, original ideas with huge cosmic scope. Also Greg Egan but he's not such a good writer. He's a heck of a mathematician and his ideas are off the chart weird, but his books are often very hard work.

    Corey's books read like treatments for screenplays. Which is, essentially, what they are. Franck and Abraham are both screenwriters and I suspect they wanted The Expanse to go to TV from the very start, but it's easier to get a book published and it's easier to get a TV show greenlit if you have a successful book. There's a distinct lack of the joy of writing in their writing, which makes it pretty pedestrian to read even if their ideas were outstanding (which they are not). They're just a bit dull.

    10 votes
  13. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
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    I would consider 6/10 extremely generous. The Expanse books are better than the TV show and the books are maybe a 4/10 at best. Where 5 is average, they were definitely below average. Corey is not...

    I would consider 6/10 extremely generous. The Expanse books are better than the TV show and the books are maybe a 4/10 at best. Where 5 is average, they were definitely below average. Corey is not a sparkling writer and their ideas are pretty standard/derivative.

    The Expanse is the best space opera on TV around now but that's not really much of a thing because there is almost nothing good in the genre on screen. It doesn't really translate to screen well, it seems. I love sci-fi, especially space opera, I probably read it more than anything else. But it rarely seems to work on TV (or movies).

    The best sci-fi on TV in recent years was Severance by several thousand miles.

    10 votes
  14. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    I'm a sucker for a teen supernatural dramedy so I expected to like this and I was right. It was so much fun, it didn't take itself too seriously but the characters were all nicely fleshed out and...

    I'm a sucker for a teen supernatural dramedy so I expected to like this and I was right. It was so much fun, it didn't take itself too seriously but the characters were all nicely fleshed out and actually had real development through the series. I cared about what happened to them all - especially the scene with Edwin and Charles on the staircase was particularly sweet. It was nice seeing some other Sandman characters too, and like you I'm hoping for more in season two, if we get it.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    Naa, I really liked 33. It's one of my favourite examples of a literal ticking clock, and I think pulled off very well. It's not perfect but it's so, so tense. As for the rest, the visual style...

    Naa, I really liked 33. It's one of my favourite examples of a literal ticking clock, and I think pulled off very well. It's not perfect but it's so, so tense.

    As for the rest, the visual style stays the same, but Moore's preachiness gets worse, as does his use of the idiot plot. Some characters get more annoying. Some mature into being more badass. Frak does not stop being annoying but it's hard to swear on American tv so I do try to be understanding on that front. You can show the slaughter of billions of people, enslavement and torture and so on but can you say fuck? Can you fuck.

    Honestly, if you're not into it early you won't be into it later. I would suggest you watch something else. There's basically no good sci-fi on TV so you're a bit short on options on that front. That's one reason I mostly only read sci-fi and watch fantasy.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    Both were soundtracked by the excellent Bear McCreary

    Both were soundtracked by the excellent Bear McCreary

    6 votes
  17. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    Ah, good to know. Thanks, and fixed!

    Ah, good to know. Thanks, and fixed!

    2 votes
  18. Comment on My not so nice thoughts on Battlestar Galactica in ~tv

    mat
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    There are a few truly great moments in the show. The opening episode 33 is absolutely brilliant. Spoiler for S3E4 The Galactica jumping into New Caprica's atmosphere is one of the greatest moments...

    There are a few truly great moments in the show. The opening episode 33 is absolutely brilliant.

    Spoiler for S3E4

    The Galactica jumping into New Caprica's atmosphere is one of the greatest moments of sci-fi television not just in BSG but ever.

    I'm not sure the few great moments justify the rest of the time you'd have to put into it.

    Overall I don't particularly disagree with you. It does look dated but that's not really it's fault. It looked fresh and exciting at the time, I promise. The SFX were amazing for TV back then, especially on the Sci-Fi channel. As for the moralising, Ron Moore loves to preach on his shows, he did the same on Star Trek although as someone else was editing his scripts it was rather more toned down there. That bit gets worse, unfortunately.

    The desaturated colours are depressing as fuck

    This is not an accident, and it's a thing which does actually get a payoff at the end. House MD did the same in it's final season, leading to one of the best closing shots I've ever seen. House did it better. (btw if you're after a long-running network show that is good and ends well, House is my favourite of the Sherlock Holmes adaptations by a long way)

    If you think BSG is bad now just wait until you get to the end. By then I was only watching because I'd invested so much time I wanted a payoff/ending. No spoilers on how satisfactorily that happens..

    12 votes
  19. Comment on Recipes for chicken thighs in ~food

    mat
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    You could try brining them. That will make then softer and more moist, as well as seasoning them for even more flavour. Simply soak in very well salted water (salty like the sea is a good...

    You could try brining them. That will make then softer and more moist, as well as seasoning them for even more flavour. Simply soak in very well salted water (salty like the sea is a good saltiness to aim for) for at least a few hours, drain and cook. If you look online for recipes you'll find people adding all sorts to their brines but I've never noticed aromatics making any difference. Acid can have an effect, so experimenting with some vinegar in the brine is probably worth a shot.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on I'm at a loss on what to do about my backyard grass situation in ~life.home_improvement

    mat
    Link Parent
    It's an actual answer depending on what you want from your garden. And how your animals are. Both my dogs are dead now but they loved snuffling around in plants. I don't have any need for a large...

    It's an actual answer depending on what you want from your garden. And how your animals are. Both my dogs are dead now but they loved snuffling around in plants. I don't have any need for a large area of mown grass. My garden is mostly left to it's own devices but does have paths mowed through it regularly to maintain access to garden buildings and seating areas. It's maybe 15% mown grass, at a guess.

    The remainder is increasingly being taken over by wildflowers, mosses and so on. The unmown meadow-y areas absolutely teem with life in spring/summer, the traditional lawn-ish bits are relatively dead by comparison. I have not been stung by a bee yet, and there is a chance I might die if I do but also if there aren't any bees I will definitely die so I consider some good bee stuff is a risk worth taking. We don't have snakes or ticks where I live, but even if we did I'd be fine with sharing my space with them. I don't want to exclude nature from my garden, I want to encourage it.

    I can still do plenty of stuff outside. I can sit and enjoy the nature while having some tea or eating a meal with friends, I can hang up my laundry, I can plant plants and harvest food. There isn't much else I want to do that I have the space for. I couldn't fly a kite or ride my bike even if I mowed the entire place. If I need a large expanse of grass for some reason, there are several parks just a short walk or ride away.

    I'm not sure what you are doing when you "deal with" thistles and mice. We have plenty of both and they require no action.

    For what it's worth I've thought lawns are uncool for many years, but I do think it's nice it's becoming fashionable.

    2 votes