mundane_and_naive's recent activity

  1. Comment on “How could you, Woody?” Or: my reaction to Toy Story 4. in ~movies

    mundane_and_naive Link
    If I were to be presumptuous, it would seem to me that you view Woody's decision to go with Bo Peep as a betrayal to his character as established in the earlier films. Is this a fair take on your...

    If I were to be presumptuous, it would seem to me that you view Woody's decision to go with Bo Peep as a betrayal to his character as established in the earlier films. Is this a fair take on your opinion?

    Do you attribute this apparent betrayal to the writers' inability to maintain consistency, or as a new facet of Woody's personality that only surface now, or as a violent change to his personality resulted from events that occur during this film, or something else?

    I apologize if this comment may sound accusatory, evidently the film was able to touch you deeply and it's not my intention to attack you in any way. I am only trying to understand your position better.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on How A Grocery Store's Plan To Shame Customers Into Using Reusable Bags Backfired in ~enviro

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    Bothered in the sense that if you haven't formed the habit of carrying tote bags, it's a bit of an inconvenience having to actively remember to do so. When it's for something as casual and...

    Bothered in the sense that if you haven't formed the habit of carrying tote bags, it's a bit of an inconvenience having to actively remember to do so. When it's for something as casual and effortless as shopping, that little bit of mental burden is enough to make people not bother.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on How A Grocery Store's Plan To Shame Customers Into Using Reusable Bags Backfired in ~enviro

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    It'd help if there's a more fashionable angle to using resusable bags I think. Make it so people'd be excited to carry a tote bag, not bothered by it.

    It'd help if there's a more fashionable angle to using resusable bags I think. Make it so people'd be excited to carry a tote bag, not bothered by it.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid will star a black Ariel in ~movies

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    You're right, it doesn't. I guess it only bothers you if you try to think about it too much.

    You're right, it doesn't. I guess it only bothers you if you try to think about it too much.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid will star a black Ariel in ~movies

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    How could a people living at the bottom of the sea possibly be exposed to enough sunlight to have dark skin to begin with? I can't help but feel like this is the kind of thing that could come...

    How could a people living at the bottom of the sea possibly be exposed to enough sunlight to have dark skin to begin with? I can't help but feel like this is the kind of thing that could come right out of Atlanta (the TV show) or something.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on What are some of your favorite examples of storytelling via gameplay? in ~games

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    You know, after thinking about it for a bit, The Stanley Parable is technically not cheating either, since it does "storify" a gameplay mechanics, and that's walking. Of course, if we stretch the...

    You know, after thinking about it for a bit, The Stanley Parable is technically not cheating either, since it does "storify" a gameplay mechanics, and that's walking. Of course, if we stretch the boundary this far, any game can be said to tell a story, as long as someone puts narration on top of it, which I think probably wouldn't hurt if there's more of.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on What are some of your favorite examples of storytelling via gameplay? in ~games

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    That's clever. Reminds me of the bit in Portal 2 where Wheatley asked you to say "apple" but when you follow the prompt on screen, Chell just jumped instead. Interactive humor ftw.

    That's clever. Reminds me of the bit in Portal 2 where Wheatley asked you to say "apple" but when you follow the prompt on screen, Chell just jumped instead. Interactive humor ftw.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on What are some of your favorite examples of storytelling via gameplay? in ~games

    mundane_and_naive (edited ) Link Parent
    There's another smaller instance in Braid that I thought was also quite neat. You know how at the end of every world, you meet a dinosaurs and he tells you the princess is in another castle, all...

    There's another smaller instance in Braid that I thought was also quite neat. You know how at the end of every world, you meet a dinosaurs and he tells you the princess is in another castle, all pretty standard scripted events. Except for the end of world 4 (the time moves backward when you move backward world), you just run right pass him, leaving him chasing after you.

    What I find so great about it is that it just makes so much sense mechanically. Of course you cannot talk to him because if you stop, time doesn't move, so no conversation can be had. Running away is the only way the game can move forward so it's a logical direction that the story must go as well. And yet, it plays out exactly like a cliche dramatic movie moment (two people have a fight, one person then runs away despite the other calling their name).

    The kind of things that if seen in any other media, we would roll our eyes as for how contrived and heavy-handed it looks, here plays out beautifully and perfectly natural. This is the kind of seamless storytelling that writers in any form of media would strive to accomplish.

    Edit: wait, what moment in Fez?

    2 votes
  9. Comment on What are some of your favorite examples of storytelling via gameplay? in ~games

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    Yeah that's a tough call. A game where all you do is strolling from one exhibit to the next would be boring, and would also betray the weight of the story. I wouldn't remove the monsters outright...

    Yeah that's a tough call. A game where all you do is strolling from one exhibit to the next would be boring, and would also betray the weight of the story. I wouldn't remove the monsters outright though, since the grotesque imagery is certainly aligned with the theme. Are there any horror games without dying anyway?

    1 vote
  10. Comment on What are some of your favorite examples of storytelling via gameplay? in ~games

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    Ooh I like SOMA too. The game is chocked full with moments like that. I appreciate that it explores every possible existential scenarios that could arise from the technology of mind-uploading,...

    Ooh I like SOMA too. The game is chocked full with moments like that. I appreciate that it explores every possible existential scenarios that could arise from the technology of mind-uploading, which is by no means a new concept, but the first person aspect really do provide new perspective (like what would it feel like to copy your own mind and see yourself from a new body. It's really weird when you've gotten used to having a certain look for the majority of the game then suddenly see that same body in front of you, but not you anymore).

    I think this game is as close to "hard sci-fi" as we've ever gotten to in video game form yet. It's a shame that it didn't fully commit to being a philosophical exploration and was bogged down by conventional horror game monster chase gimmick.

    7 votes
  11. Warning: this post may contain spoilers

    Video game's approach to storytelling usually comprise of mixing gameplay mechanics (gunplay, health system, enemy AI...) and storytelling elements (cutscenes, dialogue trees, environment details...). There are also special systems designed to work both as gameplay challenge as well as narrative carriers (quick time events, the nemesis system in Shadow of War...)

    However, there's also a third approach, where traditional gameplay elements when put into appropriate context within the game gain additional narrative significance (the way Thomas was Alone's basic platforming mechanics are personified via narration, or Undertale's combat system being integral to how the story develops...)

    Have you ever noticed if a gameplay element also doubled as a storytelling device in the games you played before? If so, what was it and what did it "tell" you?

    13 votes
  12. Comment on Reddit has quarantined /r/The_Donald in ~tech

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    Could it be because Reddit hasn't done much "news-worthy" stuff? IIRC, the last time a controversy happened due to Reddit was the Boston Bombing, and it made the news heavily then.

    Could it be because Reddit hasn't done much "news-worthy" stuff? IIRC, the last time a controversy happened due to Reddit was the Boston Bombing, and it made the news heavily then.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What is your favorite thought experiment? in ~talk

    mundane_and_naive Link
    My personal variation of the Brain-in-a-vat thought experiment: how do you know whether people are genuinely nice to you or they're just trying to deceive you. Sure, people may appear sincere,...

    My personal variation of the Brain-in-a-vat thought experiment: how do you know whether people are genuinely nice to you or they're just trying to deceive you.

    Sure, people may appear sincere, they may go into lots of details or give great heartfelt confessions. Theoretically though, all can be carefully crafted to sell you a facade, be it third party opinions or psychoanalytical patterns. There's no way to know for sure.

    As for why someone would go to such extreme, there can be many reasons: not wanting to make you feel bad; a long con to swindle you; revenge or pure narcissism...

    3 votes
  14. Comment on What is your favorite thought experiment? in ~talk

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    Zero seems pretty straightforward to me, at least as much as compared to other natural numbers. In what way is it more problematic and harder to comprehend?

    Zero seems pretty straightforward to me, at least as much as compared to other natural numbers. In what way is it more problematic and harder to comprehend?

    1 vote
  15. Comment on The researcher behind the smartphone “horns” study sells posture pillows in ~news

    mundane_and_naive Link
    This makes me curious, has there been any bodily change caused by the use of technology throughout human history?

    This makes me curious, has there been any bodily change caused by the use of technology throughout human history?

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds in ~books

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    That sounds like an interesting line of thought. Would you mind expanding on that a bit? Specifically, in what way does trust function similar to a resource, how are they traded, what would...

    I've often thought about democracy in the same context of energy balance as capitalism.

    That sounds like an interesting line of thought. Would you mind expanding on that a bit? Specifically, in what way does trust function similar to a resource, how are they traded, what would scarcity and abundance look like, is there an equivalence to a free market or a monopoly, etc.

  17. Comment on Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds in ~books

    mundane_and_naive Link
    As someone growing up in a developing country, I empathize with his viewpoint. From what I've seen going with my friends' families as well as my own, the familial experiences are mostly about...

    When I brought up the mass internment of Muslim Uighurs ... he trotted out the familiar arguments of government-controlled media ... The answer duplicated government propaganda so exactly that I couldn’t help asking Liu if he ever thought he might have been brainwashed. “I know what you are thinking,” he told me with weary clarity. “What about individual liberty and freedom of governance?” He sighed, as if exhausted by a debate going on in his head. “But that’s not what Chinese people care about. For ordinary folks, it’s the cost of health care, real-estate prices, their children’s education. Not democracy.”

    Liu closed his eyes for a long moment and then said quietly, “This is why I don’t like to talk about subjects like this. The truth is you don’t really—I mean, can’t truly—understand.” He gestured around him. “You’ve lived here, in the U.S., for, what, going on three decades?” The implication was clear: years in the West had brainwashed me. In that moment, in Liu’s mind, I, with my inflexible sense of morality, was the alien.

    As someone growing up in a developing country, I empathize with his viewpoint. From what I've seen going with my friends' families as well as my own, the familial experiences are mostly about survival concerns and has very little to do with personal values. Individual circumstances may vary but the overall topics are the same: You study hard to get into a good university, not because you like it; you get a job that pays well, not because it's life fulfilling; you marry someone with a good prospects, not necessarily because you love them; finally you have kids and make sure that they'd also have good a future, because that's what love is. It's never about what you want to do, but what's good for you. Personally, I am lucky that my parents were more open-minded and so I grew up with a bit more personal freedom than my peers. Even so, I couldn't escape growing up with constant reminders of what the right way to live is and I couldn't help but to feel a bit guilty for having the time to concern myself with such "first-world" values, when most people I know are all about ensuring their survival first.

    “If China were to transform into a democracy, it would be hell on earth,” he said. “I would evacuate tomorrow, to the United States or Europe or—I don’t know.” The irony that the countries he was proposing were democracies seemed to escape his notice.

    At first I was mildly annoyed by the slightly mocking tone of the writer here. I mean, we can infer that when Liu Cixin said that, he was considering the democratic United States and Europe to be the lesser evil than a democratic China, not that he suddenly "forgot" that United States and Europe are democratic states. This is a nitpicky complain but it was particularly grating for me since the author's tone throughout the rest of the article was more thoughtful than that. But then I noticed that it plays off quite well with the way she described herself in the previous section, i.e. someone brainwashed by the West and hence being dismissive of Liu's outlook. So the author was being a bit cheeky or maybe I just read into it too much.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on Bodies in Seats: At Facebook’s worst-performing content moderation site in North America, one contractor has died, and others say they fear for their lives in ~tech

    mundane_and_naive (edited ) Link Parent
    As much as these private corporations are sidestepping their responsibility to society, sometimes I think maybe we, the public, are also putting too much undeserved blame on them. Even if Facebook...

    As much as these private corporations are sidestepping their responsibility to society, sometimes I think maybe we, the public, are also putting too much undeserved blame on them. Even if Facebook somehow turn over a new leaf and is fully committed to the cause of moderating users discourse and cultivating a healthy environment online, how do they even realistically pull it off?

    Facebook's user base is over two billions people. That's not a small number, almost twice the population of China. With an irl country, there's an entire legal system, with dedicated police force and government officials in order to manage their population in a reasonable way. There's no way a private company like Facebook can gather that many employee to achieve a similar level of competency.

    Granted, the scope of managing an online social platform is much smaller than managing a country (perhaps a more comparable job scope would be that of a Ministry of Communication and Information or something). However, there's an inherent level of complexity to managing the communication of a large population. Both have to deal with hate speech, life threats, thefts, false identity, illegal contents...

    This is a problem where I think simply applying more pressure to these companies would not produce a favorable outcome for any parties involved. The few realistic approaches that they could take are either: implementing some sub optimal framework and ignoring the outcry (e.g. the Youtube's copyright system), banning certain type of contents wholesale based on easy-to-define criteria at the risk of hurting legitimate content creators (e.g. Tumblr), employing as many people as they possibly can and overload them with the massive amount of work (e.g. Facebook), letting the users moderate themselves which is only one degree less questionable than trusting the individual users (e.g. Reddit) or relying an AI, of which the technology is nowhere near ready. Out of all the examples given, only Reddit's model is currently somewhat sustainable and even so, it is not without its own problems and probably not applicable to other social media. Evidently, none of the approaches taken are satisfactory.

    At the end of the day, social media are still business entities, their function is to provide a product or a service. Demanding them to also solve our societal problems for us might be too much for them to handle. I do believe eventually governments really need to step in in order to produce any satisfactory outcomes. However, I don't think what the government needs to do is simply breaking up the companies (they're already incompetent enough as it is, how can they do any better with less power and resources), or to demand them to somehow just magically do better. I think what governments need to do is giving these companies a helping hand in managing the social behaviors of the people. Create laws that provide clear boundaries as to what type of behaviors are and are not acceptable. Have enforceable guidelines and robust frameworks for maintaining order online. Train personnel specifically for jobs related to online moderation. Educate the public...

    As an analogy, the job of car manufacturers is to produce vehicles that meet certain performance and safety criteria. Producing those criteria, designing traffic laws and maintaining road safety are the jobs of the government and the traffic police.

    1 vote
  19. Comment on Genetic Algorithms in ~comp

    mundane_and_naive Link
    Off topic: This is a good addition to the "a layperson's introduction to" series. Maybe someone could add that tag please.

    Off topic: This is a good addition to the "a layperson's introduction to" series. Maybe someone could add that tag please.

    2 votes
  20. Comment on The end of erotica? How Hollywood fell out of love with sex in ~movies

    mundane_and_naive Link Parent
    Interesting. What are some of the less explored aspect of sex that you'd like to see? Do you recommend any fictions that tackle sex in nuanced ways?

    Interesting. What are some of the less explored aspect of sex that you'd like to see? Do you recommend any fictions that tackle sex in nuanced ways?

    4 votes