reese's recent activity

  1. Comment on Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Basic Math in ~science

    reese
    Link Parent
    I kind of agree about simply choosing a more precise descriptor. I went with the title that the author provided, but I was worried that the article would be better titled, "Neutrinos Lead to...

    I kind of agree about simply choosing a more precise descriptor. I went with the title that the author provided, but I was worried that the article would be better titled, "Neutrinos Lead to Unexpected Discovery in Linear Algebra," or maybe Basic Linear Algebra.

    As the article states, the discovery clarifies a relationship that will probably be taught in introductory linear algebra classes from now on. That's why @vaddi says it isn't "ultra abstract." I agree that the newfound identity has "direct impact in applied maths and engineering." For programmers like you and I, it may mean optimizations to the game and physics engines we use, among other things.

    Speaking of, consider rotations. Game engines popularly prefer the quaternion number system to compute them, extending the complex numbers, because 1) its runtime complexity is cheaper than using real numbers via Euler angles, and 2) it escapes Gimbal lock.

    But if all of that sounds like mumbo jumbo to you: excellent, because eigenvalues and eigenvectors are actually easier to learn about than quaternions. They are bedrock linear algebra. You need to know about them first before you get to quaternions, which are much more abstract. So, the crazy thing is that, as abstract as quaternions are, they're pivotal to making our games and simulations run well. Take a new discovery that is less abstract and it really makes you wonder about the possible engineering applications.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on What's a piece of media (show/movie/game/album/book/comic/etc.) that you passionately like, but never see anyone else mention? in ~talk

    reese
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    Androids & Aliens. It's a well-produced podcast of people role-playing in a Starfinder campaign. The players are so emotionally connected to their characters that the first player death actually...

    Androids & Aliens.

    It's a well-produced podcast of people role-playing in a Starfinder campaign. The players are so emotionally connected to their characters that the first player death actually results in someone sobbing. But, generally speaking, the interactions between the players and NPCs are hilarious. The combat is intense. The conversations and commentary are never disappointing, in-game or out. This is the only role-playing podcast I've ever listened to where there is little-to-no downtime and rule lookup (it's actually the only role-playing podcast I've found that I really like). This podcast just flows. Since they know they have a listening audience, they streamline everything as much as possible, occasionally making up reasonable rules and then correcting for the next episode. But, don't worry, they know most of the rules from the get-go aside from ship-to-ship combat, but they pick that up pretty quickly. What's really cool is how the players have to assume roles like you see in Star Trek, which becomes more important as the podcast progresses.

    Since this podcast is a long-running series, I recommend starting at the first episode. I started listening to it when it came out, but I'm only on the 27th episode since I have to juggle it with my other podcasts and limited time. Keep in mind that they have 83 episodes already! It would actually be difficult to keep up, to be honest, so the content already seems almost endless at this point.

    Also, hopefully this qualifies as "niche" media, even though it's relatively new and ongoing. I never see people here bring it up or Starfinder, so I figured it was definitely worth spreading.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on ZzArt - Abstract Art Evolution - Now Open Source on GitHub! in ~creative

    reese
    Link Parent
    Thanks for sharing that. And yeah, I was able to find my work of art in my phone history. Behold!

    Thanks for sharing that. And yeah, I was able to find my work of art in my phone history.

    Behold!

    2 votes
  4. Comment on ZzArt - Abstract Art Evolution - Now Open Source on GitHub! in ~creative

    reese
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    The demo was fun. On my phone I "evolved" art of what appeared to be Ronald McDonald's ass from the perspective of someone high on LSD, and I regret not having taken a screenshot of it. Also, just...

    The demo was fun. On my phone I "evolved" art of what appeared to be Ronald McDonald's ass from the perspective of someone high on LSD, and I regret not having taken a screenshot of it.

    Also, just wanted to say I appreciate the readability of your code, and furthermore that you kept things simple and embedded it in index.html. All too often I find people's JS-based demos way too complicated, opting for bizarro file management, and using an absurd amount of libraries to do stuff natively supported in the vast majority of browsers today.

    Edit: Another thing, before I forget. I think it's so important that people like you prefer writing your demos in JS, because it's the quickest way to illustrate concepts to others. I think it's a great educational resource. What's more, with Electron or NW.js, you can release simulations or games to pretty much any platform with ease. Security implications aside, I guess WebAssembly will eventually change the game, but I've always liked JS (not necessarily Node or the ridiculous package ecosystem), especially for its treatment of lambda expressions.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on In 2020, I can no longer abide the 100-hour RPG in ~games

    reese
    Link Parent
    Oh, same here, but I'm not sure if it's a conundrum. It's because you already know that you can jump in and out of a game like Skyrim with little time needed to find your bearings. The warmup...

    On the other hand, I have at least twice the number of hours put into Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4 each, than I do with Pillars of Eternity . . . Bit of a conundrum, to be honest.

    Oh, same here, but I'm not sure if it's a conundrum. It's because you already know that you can jump in and out of a game like Skyrim with little time needed to find your bearings. The warmup period approaches zero. Regardless of your tastes, you'll more regularly select games with little warmup time, because, not only is the warmup process not gratifying, but it's literally a duration of no gratification that you have to be willing to endure. Adding insult to injury, this is when you want to play a game, so you're already primed for preferring immediate gratification. Furthermore, compared to Pillars, a game like Skyrim requires less cognitive load—your brain is not a fount of unlimited processing power, and neither is mine. Subconsciously I think we get clued into selecting less cognitively demanding activities when our brain or body has more to worry about in the background, whether combating emotional trauma, infection, etc.

    Ultimately this all means that we play less time-consuming games longer than more time-consuming ones. It seems like a conundrum or paradox, but it's really just because we're animals. It's the same reason why we can't all constantly submit original, high-quality content to Tildes. You'll notice large spans of time between good posts. They require somebody to sit down and think. You can describe that same thinking process in terms of breadth and depth, because we're all just biological machines whose output can be described by computational complexity. There's much more I want to explore and qualify on that note, but I'll save it for a blog post later down the line.

    And remember, breadth (b) and depth (d) compound on each other. Think of it not as b + d, but instead as b * d. That's why if b is exclusively high, or d is exclusively high, then we're talking about roughly linear processing. If they're both high, well, then the processing is nonlinear.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on In 2020, I can no longer abide the 100-hour RPG in ~games

    reese
    Link Parent
    FYI, many people find themselves more gripped by Tyranny's story than that of Pillars—Pillars, I think, takes more warmup time. Personally, I think I like the Tyranny characters more, too. Look at...

    FYI, many people find themselves more gripped by Tyranny's story than that of Pillars⁠—Pillars, I think, takes more warmup time. Personally, I think I like the Tyranny characters more, too. Look at reviews on them both, or, if you have the money lying around, just buy both lol. They're both excellent. Never played Pillars 2, though, so no comment on that one yet.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Vitamin E acetate found in all 29 lung fluid samples tested from injured vapers in ~health

    reese
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    So it's a long-winded way of saying if vitamin E acetate is on the label or you don't trust the label (or lack thereof), don't use the product. Ars Technica clarifies that the CDC seems to only be...

    These findings reinforce CDC’s recommendation that persons should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products containing THC, especially those obtained from informal sources such as friends or family, or those from the illicit market, where product ingredients are unknown or can be highly variable (9). Until the relationship of vitamin E acetate and lung health is better characterized, it is important that vitamin E acetate not be added to e-cigarette, or vaping, products. CDC will continue to update guidance, as appropriate, as new data become available from this outbreak investigation.

    So it's a long-winded way of saying if vitamin E acetate is on the label or you don't trust the label (or lack thereof), don't use the product.

    Ars Technica clarifies that the CDC seems to only be referring to vape liquid cartridges, so it seems safe to say that dry herb vaping is not a culprit in this outbreak (if that were the case, I'd expect smokers to report similar symptoms, but then again I'm not a biochemist).

    6 votes
  8. Comment on In 2020, I can no longer abide the 100-hour RPG in ~games

    reese
    (edited )
    Link
    I see games in two dimensions: breadth and depth. Breadth only demands time on the player's part, whereas depth demands significant cognitive load and consequent time of the player. Think of...

    I see games in two dimensions: breadth and depth. Breadth only demands time on the player's part, whereas depth demands significant cognitive load and consequent time of the player. Think of breadth like walking on a road. Depth also involves walking on that road, but additionally includes climbing each tree next to it along the way. With those dimensions, we can make up "exemplary" quadrants:

    1. Little Breadth, Little Depth - Don't Shit Your Pants
    2. High Breadth, Little Depth - Skyrim
    3. High Breadth, High Depth - Pillars of Eternity
    4. Little Breadth, High Depth - Dark Souls

    Now, some people will argue that Skyrim has high depth, because of the history and lore, but here I'm talking about how most people play Skyrim. Some players will claim Dark Souls has high breadth because of New Game Plus, but it's just the same linear levels with slight variations. After all, in Dark Souls you very much learn the levels in depth, as with the combat and probably lore. And I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there are people who have spent over 50 hours playing Don't Shit Your Pants after showing it to all their friends, relatives, and coworkers over the course of several years.

    But, I will make no effort justifying my characterization of Pillars of Eternity, since it's pretty obvious, and falls under the category that the article's author is referring to.

    The issue with games featuring both high breadth and depth is that the two dimensions compound on one another in terms of time commitment. Not just that, but games with high depth tend to require a strong short-term memory of the game's controls and goings-on—obviously some games are easier to jump into at a moment's notice than others. Anybody can jump into Don't Shit Your Pants. Assuming the game doesn't crash from all of the mods, I can jump into Skyrim pretty much immediately as well. With Dark Souls I would need some time to acclimate, despite being a seasoned player. Finally, if I open up Pillars of Eternity right now, I'll have no fucking idea how to play the game, I won't know where I am, and I could only vaguely guess at what's happening.

    Point being, I applaud the author's acceptance that having more or less time doesn't make you more or less of a gamer, it just means certain kinds of games may or may not be realistic undertakings for you.

    7 votes
  9. Comment on What is/are your favorite quote/s? in ~talk

    reese
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    This one has stuck with me for a long time: — Horace Walpole

    This one has stuck with me for a long time:

    The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel.

    — Horace Walpole

    3 votes
  10. Comment on What is/are your favorite quote/s? in ~talk

    reese
    Link Parent
    Well, there's a book I need to read. Do you have any other science fiction recommendations with similar themes?

    Well, there's a book I need to read. Do you have any other science fiction recommendations with similar themes?

    2 votes
  11. Comment on What piece of kitchen equipment do you regret buying, and why? in ~food

    reese
    Link Parent
    Personally, I find all forms of pod coffee disgusting. And for some reason most Keurig coffee literally gives me diarrhea, so I tend to politely decline offers to drink it at others' homes. I just...

    Personally, I find all forms of pod coffee disgusting. And for some reason most Keurig coffee literally gives me diarrhea, so I tend to politely decline offers to drink it at others' homes.

    I just get beans and grind them for my Cuisinart drip coffeemaker. Using a steel carafe is so much easier to maintain than having a burner, which is what I used to deal with a few years ago. Also, the coffee in the carafe stays hot way longer.

    The only exception I make to grinding my own beans is when I get my hands on pre-ground New Mexico Piñon Coffee as a treat. That stuff is superb. Discovered it in a Trader Joe's back when I lived in St. Louis, and have been hooked ever since. I don't think Trader Joe's sells it anymore, but you can find it online.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Tell me about your smartphone! in ~talk

    reese
    Link Parent
    I also had a Moto G5 Plus, and it lasted about a year until it abruptly stopped working. Worked great until... it didn't. I take good care of my electronics, and never had cascading component...

    I also had a Moto G5 Plus, and it lasted about a year until it abruptly stopped working. Worked great until... it didn't. I take good care of my electronics, and never had cascading component failure on one of my of devices like that before. Repairing the phone wasn't worth just getting a new one, so I replaced it with the Pixel 3a. (Anymore it seems impossible to find a decent smartphone that isn't unreasonably expensive.) So far I'm happy with the Pixel, but I've only had it for a couple months. Android is completely up-to-date on it, and it runs smooth. Battery lasts way longer than I need, which bodes well for the future when the battery health is poor.

    Oh, but I should add that the first-generation Pixel Buds suck ass. Thankfully the 3a has a headphone jack, because I think I'm done trying to use wireless earbuds until my consciousness dissipates from this wretched world. I can bear using the Pixel Buds for exercise and the occasional phone call, and that's about it. For anyone curious, just look up the overwhelmingly negative reviews about these piece-of-shit earbuds.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on BlizzCon 2019 Opening Ceremony in ~games

    reese
    Link Parent
    Hollywood has produced exploitation films for years, so I wouldn't put it past Blizzard to exploit people's emotions regarding current cultural trends for money, namely because they're the kind of...

    Hollywood has produced exploitation films for years, so I wouldn't put it past Blizzard to exploit people's emotions regarding current cultural trends for money, namely because they're the kind of company that would do that. After all, Overwatch very much popularized the loot box mechanic, which was lifted from Team Fortress 2. Embedding this into the core product, rather than keeping such emotional appeals limited to advertising as many companies do, makes me feel nauseated.

    Anyway, the greentext may be "fake drivel that someone wrote to rile up the 4chan demographic," but it's not obvious to me that it is, probably because it's eerily correct in a few places. And if that "correctness" arose out of baseless, cynical guesses about Blizzard's direction, then that is useful information. I'm speculating about a video game company's closed-door plans here, not conducting a science experiment. And it's not like I can waltz into Blizzard's office and ask them anything without signing a legally binding NDA, so all we can do is wait and see. If it turns out we can constantly just assume the worst of Blizzard's intentions, then that in itself should inform our purchasing decisions.

    The reactionary skeptic's take applied here misses the point that if some random asshole on 4chan can just guess with a surprising degree of accuracy what Blizzard is planning, then we should really consider suppressing our nostalgia for Diablo 4.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on BlizzCon 2019 Opening Ceremony in ~games

    reese
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Oh, I didn't realize that. Then the subtext of including Rathma in this trailer as a pivotal character, who has an angel for a father and a demon for a mother, may further point to the...

    Oh, I didn't realize that.

    Then the subtext of including Rathma in this trailer as a pivotal character, who has an angel for a father and a demon for a mother, may further point to the aforementioned, speculative boundary crossing on the player's part (effectively siding with demons which may be hinted by the fact that Rathma is summoning his mother). But I don't know. We'll see.

    Edit: I read more about Lilith, and realized that she had been banished specifically into the Void. From the greentext (may contain spoilers):

    Ending cutscene shows all 4 games have been a set up, Diablo was a good guy all along finding the strongest nephelim [sic] to prepare for an invasion from "The Void".

    Hmm.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Death Stranding - Launch trailer in ~games

    reese
    Link Parent
    I found the controls overwhelming at first, but I'm in a groove and digging MGS5. I love stealth games. From a narrative perspective, yeah, I have no idea what the fuck is going on, but I'm...

    I found the controls overwhelming at first, but I'm in a groove and digging MGS5. I love stealth games. From a narrative perspective, yeah, I have no idea what the fuck is going on, but I'm nonetheless entertained.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on BlizzCon 2019 Opening Ceremony in ~games

    reese
    Link Parent
    In the trailer, only three individuals with "willing blood" could summon Lilith. The only character in the trailer that we could empathize with, since he wasn't a cutthroat, yielded to a demon in...

    In the trailer, only three individuals with "willing blood" could summon Lilith. The only character in the trailer that we could empathize with, since he wasn't a cutthroat, yielded to a demon in the search of knowledge. Also, the narrator of the gameplay footage trailer goes out of his way to emphasize that the realm is "full of hatred." And we already observed in Diablo 3 that the angels were rather authoritarian aside from Tyrael. Remember this?

    So, to me, the greentext, while not 100% accurate, is probably still useful to help set expectations.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on BlizzCon 2019 Opening Ceremony in ~games

    reese
    Link Parent
    Here's Diablo 4 gameplay footage linked in the Polygon article. And based on what I'm seeing, this greentext appears increasingly accurate. For example: Yeah, we only saw three classes in the...

    Here's Diablo 4 gameplay footage linked in the Polygon article.

    And based on what I'm seeing, this greentext appears increasingly accurate. For example:

    3 classes at launch, 5 planned as part of paid seasonal paid [sic] content updates.

    Yeah, we only saw three classes in the video, didn't we?

    The announcement cinematic lays on siding with the baddies (demons) pretty thick. Again, I refer to the greentext:

    Game involves siding with the demons as, after a millennia of peace, the angels are now an authoritarian, all controlling regime who once again want to purge sanctuary . . . They [sic] tagline being workshopped is "Let out your inner demons" as the "ult" mechanic from overwatch . . .

    I'm not critiquing the story direction (seems fine) so much as I am pointing out that the greentext is mostly on-point. It's stated that the bulk of development didn't ramp up until the do-you-guys-not-have-phones debacle, which would explain why the supposed crunch on the game is so remarkably terrible. I can't see how there could be this much passable gameplay footage without crunch.

    One place where the greentext is super wrong is the claim that Diablo 4 is first-person. Uhh, no? But for all we know, it could have been first-person earlier in development. Halo: Combat Evolved, for example, was originally conceptualized as more of a third-person RTS, and then ended up being an FPS later. It is more plausible, though, that Diablo 4 has first-person, real-time cinematics.

    All unsubstantiated claims made on cesspool websites aside, I'm torn about Diablo 4. Does it look/feel more like Diablo 3 should have? For sure. But that also kind of pisses me off. Why should the fans have to kick and scream to get the attention of Blizzard's shareholders? The customers should have already been dictating the terms. Personally, I think Blizzard will make Diablo 4 diablo enough in promos to hook nostalgic fans, but I doubt it's a standard they'll hold to for the duration of the game, at least not without gimmicks. There are many other reasons I need not enumerate to be mad at Blizzard, so I'm not preordering this game. Maybe I'll buy the game after it comes out, assuming Blizzard's behavior changes for the better.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Why is dark mode such a big deal? in ~tech

    reese
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    I can tell you why I feel strongly about dark mode: because light themes hurt my eyes. At night, if I stare at light themes for a while, you will see broken blood vessels in my eyes, but this is...

    I can tell you why I feel strongly about dark mode: because light themes hurt my eyes. At night, if I stare at light themes for a while, you will see broken blood vessels in my eyes, but this is not the case with dark themes. And my eyes are healthy, by the way, at least based on an optometrist visit a few weeks ago. So I'm pretty sure this is an issue other normal people experience too. Having tired eyes sucks, especially when you work with computers all the time. Dark themes/modes have drastically improved my productivity, meaning that I can keep working throughout the night, not just because it's much more bearable at the moment, but because I didn't spend all prior hours of the day wearing my eyes out.

    And by the way, I appropriately modulate the brightness of my devices (mostly automating it with software like Redshift), and I wear UV protective glasses just to be careful. It's not like I'm sitting here drooling with the brightness cranked all the way up.

    Disturbingly there are opinions in this thread that downplay the inclination to use dark themes as a preference. Okay, I guess not enjoying having my eyes hurt is a preference. I'm not understanding why there is any modicum of hostility aimed at people who benefit from the fact that dark themes are now ubiquitous. How having what is now generally an extra option inconveniences people who prefer light themes for purely aesthetic reasons is inexplicable to me. I suppose if there are apps that only offer dark themes now, people who don't like it will just have to use browser extensions like the rest of us have already been doing for years. One great thing about Tildes is that we have various dark themes available—I use the black theme, since it bothers my eyes the least.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Death Stranding - Launch trailer in ~games

    reese
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Never even tried a Kojima game in my entire life, but when I saw the first promos of Death Stranding, I knew I had to play it. Most Sony-affiliated franchises passed me when I was a kid. For a...

    Never even tried a Kojima game in my entire life, but when I saw the first promos of Death Stranding, I knew I had to play it. Most Sony-affiliated franchises passed me when I was a kid. For a brief period of time I had access to my uncle's PlayStation, so I played Crash Bandicoot, Driver, Spyro, and Twisted Metal, but that was pretty much it. Time passed and I briefly owned a PlayStation 3, but the only reason I owned it was to play Souls games. My wife bought a PS4 I mainly use to watch Netflix, so I will end up playing Death Stranding in December as a holiday gift. A couple weeks ago I picked up Metal Gear Solid 5 on sale, and I'm just now getting around to install it.

    2 votes