rogue_cricket's recent activity

  1. Comment on Banana duct-taped to a wall has sold for $120,000 in ~arts

    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Well, here's my hot take. Really more of a fun thought exercise. I'm not really educated on art or art history aside from what I've kind of passively absorbed from people who actually critique...

    Well, here's my hot take. Really more of a fun thought exercise. I'm not really educated on art or art history aside from what I've kind of passively absorbed from people who actually critique things.

    There's been movements in the past all based around questioning what art actually is or trying to push the boundaries of what we consider to be art. I won't get into the details but this idea has been around for quite a long time - does art need to reflect things as they are (or would be), does art even need to represent anything, does art need to be aesthetically pleasing, etc. I think in some ways, there's two parallel ideas of art - traditional art and technical ability is of course impressive, but there's also an entire "meta genre", really, where there's philosophical challenges being made and discussions being had through the medium.

    Firstly, the piece is probably mostly irreverent - it is titled "Comedian", and honestly I think it's questionable whether the artist expected to actually sell it for 120K large (what could a banana cost? Ten dollars?). The price itself could be a commentary on how we value things contextually, or even the inherent material value of art. I can buy a bunch of bananas for $1.50. So where does the additional value come from? But really... could the same could be said for canvas and paint? You could argue that additional value comes from skillful arrangement of that paint on the canvas, but does it really? Its additional value is entirely subjective and does seem depend on a lot of ephemeral and contextual things that are unrelated to the actual time and skill involved - like who made it, how old it is, or even (and this is what I think may be the main thesis) the context in which it is displayed and sold.

    A banana itself is also a physical thing which will rot. In fact it rots quite quickly - which is why I think a banana was chosen in addition to its particular cheapness. The piece comes with the instructions to replace the fruit every ten days. This brings obvious parallels to the Ship of Theseus: is it the same piece of art? What is the purchaser actually buying here? Lots of art needs replacement and restoration, the banana just exaggerates the time scale.

    OK, so then some guy goes up to it and eats it. I mean, dude, it's a banana. You eat bananas. It's not "an idea", like the museum insisted, it's a banana - sugar and potassium. But people are even going on in articles about how the art is somehow destroyed or changed now, but the art itself has instructions for it being replaced every ten days anyway. In fact, this stunt probably increased the value of the piece. What's the difference between it being consumed letting it rot? Can you meaningfully destroy it? Then that calls to mind the follow-up: can you meaningfully sell it?

    The fact that the guy who ate it called himself "the hungry artist" could be another paragraph but I'm starting to feel a bit silly at this point to be honest... the whole thing could be a meta-commentary on dummies like me who entertain ourselves trying to find meaning in the absurd, or how fucked up the art world is because rich people have too much money. But that'd be something worth looking into the other work of the artist about.

    15 votes
  2. Comment on SUV shaming: I care about climate change, so why am I driving an SUV? in ~enviro

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    I'll also argue the increased height makes it safer if you live in an area where snow tends to pile up. Driving around in a sedan in an area where snowbanks are regularly taller than the average...

    I'll also argue the increased height makes it safer if you live in an area where snow tends to pile up. Driving around in a sedan in an area where snowbanks are regularly taller than the average man is like having blinders on.

    I'm big on the environment and right now I'm driving a little Honda, but I learned to drive using my dad's truck and there are times that I really miss that extra couple feet of height.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on The Stardew Valley 1.4 content update is now available on Steam and GOG in ~games

    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I am excited for this to drop on the Switch! Stardew Valley is the only video game my fiancée likes and I think she'll be thrilled. I think the only date we've gotten so far is "after the PC...

    I am excited for this to drop on the Switch! Stardew Valley is the only video game my fiancée likes and I think she'll be thrilled. I think the only date we've gotten so far is "after the PC update" so I'm hoping soon. :)

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Discussion time: What are your opinions on digital censorship? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    I think moderation is important for communities, and I think often the framing of something as "censorship" is kind of alarmist. Like if a manager kicks someone out of a grocery store for ranting...

    I think moderation is important for communities, and I think often the framing of something as "censorship" is kind of alarmist. Like if a manager kicks someone out of a grocery store for ranting about how the Jews control the media, nobody gets up in arms about how he's being unfairly censored. He expressed a nasty viewpoint in an inappropriate way in an inappropriate place and he was removed from the space. That's how I feel about 80-90% of online "censorship".

    Sacha Baren Cohen recently used the phrase "it's freedom of speech, not freedom of reach" and I generally agree. You can say what you like. However, people who own spaces where they allow the public to comment or make their views known, including businesses like websites and events, are not obligated to give you a megaphone. I would actually be pretty horrified if I were required to host someone who wants to espouse harmful views with my server space or a physical space which I have paid for. I should not have to use my resources to let them amplify their opinions for free. As long as people are free to protest outside about it - entirely fine by me! - freedom of expression is maintained.

    I also believe that a complete lack of moderation results in a worse community with less diversity of ideas because you end up with less diversity of people. If you allow the most toxic and unpleasant people to post, harass, bully, and otherwise make interaction negative... then people will leave. And the people who will leave are the people who are generally more often the targets of this harassment - usually sexual and gender minorities, nonwhite people. The people who won't leave are the kind of people who relish the ability to espouse viewpoints that are actively hostile to others, and it gets worse and worse and more and more toxic over time as these views become entrenched as part of the community's culture. It becomes even more "echo-chambery" than a community that is moderated too tightly, in my opinion.

    EDIT: I do want to mention as an aside that a monopoly publisher, bankroller, or host is obviously quite bad for this - I think the problem is the monopoly itself, not the fact that the monopoly has the power to kick people off of their platform or refuse to publish things they do not want to publish. It is the monopoly that should be prevented or broken up, not their freedom to choose what to host. The root cause there is that these media/publishing resources have accumulated into the hands of too few people but that's a whole thing on its own.

    27 votes
  5. Comment on How can I deal with corrosion from saltpeter (salt from the ocean) on my desktop computer? in ~tech

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    OP isn't referring to evaporated seawater, it's aerosolized seawater. If you're close enough to the coast there is absolutely salt in the air.

    OP isn't referring to evaporated seawater, it's aerosolized seawater. If you're close enough to the coast there is absolutely salt in the air.

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

    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I've actually got a bit back into Runescape. They're hosting a "Twisted League" contest where you are confined to Ironman mode on an ingame island. I'm kind of enjoying it because it's content I...

    I've actually got a bit back into Runescape. They're hosting a "Twisted League" contest where you are confined to Ironman mode on an ingame island. I'm kind of enjoying it because it's content I haven't explored otherwise and the experience rates are five times normal so you can see more and grind less.

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

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I kind of agree too. There are long games I've enjoyed, but then when I think about games I've actually sunk the most hours into they're games which are dense rather than just long. That is,...

    Yeah, I kind of agree too. There are long games I've enjoyed, but then when I think about games I've actually sunk the most hours into they're games which are dense rather than just long. That is, there's a reason to do multiple play-throughs in that the game allows for creativity or multiple play styles rather than just one really long main storyline or tons of side-quests.

    At the very least I'll echo the desire for an in-depth quest log. My favourite was actually... there was one of the Pokemon games that actually showed you a little slideshow of the last few things you did, if it's been a while since you loaded your save. I thought that was great.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Has anyone gifted you food or a kitchen / cooking gadget that you particularly liked? in ~food

    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I got a rice cooker one Christmas! It's nice to set and forget and it frees up space on the stovetop. I've got Celiac disease so I eat more rice than the average Westerner, I'd imagine, in the...

    I got a rice cooker one Christmas! It's nice to set and forget and it frees up space on the stovetop. I've got Celiac disease so I eat more rice than the average Westerner, I'd imagine, in the absence of pasta or bread - I use it just about every day.

    I'm also always happy to receive homemade preserves like jams and pickles! My aunt made a bunch of spicy pickled green beans last year and I thought they were great.

    I also don't mind those little bags of soup mix or a mason jar with a "hot chocolate kit" in it, even though some people might think they're a bit hokey. I also once got a grinder with a mix of dried red chillies and salt in it during a $10-and-under Yankee Swap and I fought to keep it.

    7 votes
  9. Comment on Added a page showing details of Tildes's financials, as well as a monthly donation goal in ~tildes.official

    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    MetaFilter already does this. Its moderators work in shifts (I think full time, though they may be part-time). They are hired from the community by the business as employees through a pretty...

    The logistics and legalities of paying moderators are so complex that I don't think any site will ever do it.

    MetaFilter already does this. Its moderators work in shifts (I think full time, though they may be part-time). They are hired from the community by the business as employees through a pretty typical job application process... the position is announced, applications come in, candidates are interviewed and one is hired. So in that sense they might be considered more community managers, but really they do moderate the site - they approve or remove submissions, anonymize replies by request, remove unhelpful or mean comments and spam, and chime in when discussions get off-track or insulting.

    If you're referring to a system like Reddit's, where moderators are just whoever gets the space first and they recruit their friends on as other moderators, and there's no organization as to what hours they work and so on - yeah, that'd be wild.

    I'm not saying that this is right for Tildes, of course! I agree, it doesn't seem workable or really all that necessary for the foreseeable future. But it's definitely been done, you just need to get away from the typical paradigm of volunteers and their buddies.

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

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    I'm liking it so far too, around 10 hours in (although I restarted after a couple hours because I wanted to play as an idiot so my true playtime is probably closer to like 11-12 hours). I see a...

    I'm liking it so far too, around 10 hours in (although I restarted after a couple hours because I wanted to play as an idiot so my true playtime is probably closer to like 11-12 hours). I see a lot of people complaining that it's too short, which might be true, but I also suspect these folks might just be sprinting from quest objective to quest objective. I'm having a fine time just kind of plodding around the spots I've been so far, reading my emails, trying to find secrets, etc. When I find myself rushing through dialogue I know it's time to turn it off for the evening.

    I think it reminds me a bit more of Mass Effect 1/2 than it does Fallout in a lot of ways - the smaller and denser self-contained levels and the companion selection/banter come to mind as being kind of Mass Effect-y. Plus the ship hub.

    I hope they keep up with the IP because to me this game feels like a good "starting-off" point. I know the trend is generally to simplify systems over the course of the lifetime of a series, but I think it could do with a little more complexity if they do another iteration years down the line.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on What are you doing this weekend? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
    Link
    My girlfriend proposed to me yesterday so my original plans of going to the markets and playing video games are completely out the window in favour of freaking out with my friends and family....

    My girlfriend proposed to me yesterday so my original plans of going to the markets and playing video games are completely out the window in favour of freaking out with my friends and family. We're gonna be wives!!

    11 votes
  12. Comment on EU passes “Right to repair” Law to make large appliances easier to repair starting from 2021 in ~news

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    I hope the passing of this law is an indicator that this has already started. :) I'm actually not sure what consumer-friendly laws are in place where I live, and this post has encouraged me to...

    I hope the passing of this law is an indicator that this has already started. :)

    I'm actually not sure what consumer-friendly laws are in place where I live, and this post has encouraged me to look into it. It'd certainly be nice to slow down with all this wasteful planned obsolescence stuff and now with eyes on the environment it might be a good opportunity to really start the push for it in earnest.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread in ~comp

    rogue_cricket
    Link
    Is there a way to see if two MySQL queries are equivalent after an optimizer pass? There's a particular bizarre little expression that keeps popping up in an awful query that I'm editing and I...

    Is there a way to see if two MySQL queries are equivalent after an optimizer pass? There's a particular bizarre little expression that keeps popping up in an awful query that I'm editing and I suspect it just gets optimized out anyway. I'm just curious, and I'm not really planning on basing my work on the answer, I'm just wondering if there's a way for me to check.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on What editor/IDE do you use? in ~comp

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    Potentially they're writing ELisp to modify it? Not that other IDEs can't be modified similarly.

    Potentially they're writing ELisp to modify it? Not that other IDEs can't be modified similarly.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Mash Made in Heaven: Tips for Making Better Mashed Potatoes in ~food

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    Well -- to be fair to BA, that's the entire premise of the miniseries. As an extreme example, for the "best pizza" miniseries two members of the team went to Italy to learn how to make their own...

    Well -- to be fair to BA, that's the entire premise of the miniseries. As an extreme example, for the "best pizza" miniseries two members of the team went to Italy to learn how to make their own mozzarella out of buffalo milk. I don't really think that's intended for home chefs.

    It's more about learning generally about food and getting to watch their experimentation process than it is about creating a recipe that is easily replicated. (I also think that a lot of them are funny and fun to watch which helps.)

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Mash Made in Heaven: Tips for Making Better Mashed Potatoes in ~food

    rogue_cricket
    Link Parent
    I agree! I'm even right next door as a Canadian and I think most American recipes for mashed potatoes often involve way too much butter and cream/milk. I'm used to them being fluffier.

    I agree! I'm even right next door as a Canadian and I think most American recipes for mashed potatoes often involve way too much butter and cream/milk. I'm used to them being fluffier.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Canada election: Trudeau's Liberals win but lose majority in ~news

    rogue_cricket
    Link
    I'm not really mad about this election, I think. At least not in my area and at least not yet. The Green candidate won in my riding (which I know narrows down my location basically 100%) and I was...

    I'm not really mad about this election, I think. At least not in my area and at least not yet. The Green candidate won in my riding (which I know narrows down my location basically 100%) and I was pleasantly surprised. I wish I could say I voted for her, but I'm an ABC voter and I thought the Liberal incumbent had a better chance. Thanks to the folks who weren't scared of voting for a smaller party. I'm happy to get a non-Liberal, non-Conservative and see how it fits.

    The Greens and Conservatives were the ones knocking on doors and putting up signs and it showed at the polls. I bet the Green volunteer team is stoked. They worked hard. Too bad no further inroads, but they're really starting to form a bit more of a presence here in NB.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    A lot of people here are working on cool fun things so I thought I'd chip in with something different. I'm working on untangling some massive SQL queries which are currently running unacceptably...

    A lot of people here are working on cool fun things so I thought I'd chip in with something different.

    I'm working on untangling some massive SQL queries which are currently running unacceptably slowly. We have our database indexed appropriately, but the way that the queries are written causes the indexing to not work because the code unnecessarily checks conditions on basically every row it returns. I suspect they were written by some kind of cave goblin or perhaps a co-op student.

    I suspect more than one goblin/student was involved as the formatting even across a single query is wildly inconsistent in terms of the even the basics like spacing, capitalization, and spelling. The only consistent thing is that there is no indentation whatsoever.

    So far I have three favourite lines. Firstly, there is a single line used to convert timestamps which according to my editor spans over 800 characters, and it is copy-pasted throughout various files. Secondly, I found a quadruply-nested REPLACE(REPLACE(...)) used to insert a series of animal emojis into a string. And thirdly this line, short and sweet, which I believe really sums up the amount of care put into the original craft of this whole thing:

    Select customer.transferred AS Transferd

    I am very tired.

    EDIT: I just went back and checked, it's not four nested REPLACE()s for the animal emoji. It's six.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on Do Nazis deserve electricity? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Right - I had posted and subsequently deleted something because I really didn't want to get too involved in the "Nazis!" part of this discussion on second thought. But that aside, for some reason...

    Right - I had posted and subsequently deleted something because I really didn't want to get too involved in the "Nazis!" part of this discussion on second thought. But that aside, for some reason people are treating "slippery slope" like a valid argument standing on its own when it's typically considered a fallacy.

    "Who decides where the line is?" We do! As a society, as people, we decide collectively according to our values. Our institutions and the people in them are not dumb rules machines, they can evolve and change and make decisions in special cases. If something is "technically consistent" with a rule due to some logical quirk, but not consistent with the spirit of the rule or the value behind it, then we can deal with that.

    The point of a rule or guideline is to attempt to come to a collective agreement on what we will tolerate in our interactions with each other. It is not a line of code we slap onto a Rules Computer and hope that society comes out on the other side. The moral and ethical measure of ideals and values should not be a contest of whose are the most internally consistent.

    Basically "where is the line?" is a tedious point to approach just about anything from. In my experience it's mostly used to "JAQ off". I wish this had been framed differently.

    7 votes
  20. Comment on What games would you consider "hidden gems"? in ~games

    rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (yes, that's the whole title) for the Nintendo Gamecube. Some might consider this kind of a cult hit, and it did get a sequel, so it might be...

    Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (yes, that's the whole title) for the Nintendo Gamecube.

    Some might consider this kind of a cult hit, and it did get a sequel, so it might be cheating, but it honestly one of the most interesting and unique games I have ever played. It definitely has flaws... but it also has TONS of unique and interesting things.

    The Battle System
    In short, it is a fast-paced deck-building RPG where you use cards to battle monsters and bosses - but that explanation does not really do it justice. It's a VERY engaging battle system that balances risk-reward really well and ramps up pleasantly in difficulty and complexity as the game goes onward.

    This got too long so expand to learn more!

    Each character has a deck of cards that you build between battles. Cards generally fall into attack, heal, or defense categories. On your characters' turn you are presented with a hand of cards pulled randomly from their deck. You select a target (an enemy or ally) and select the cards you want to use one at a time. Every time you select a card, a new one is immediately pulled from your deck and into your hand. Depending on your progress in the game, you can select more cards per turn and you get a bigger hand to pick from.

    I'll explain an attack scenario because it's the simplest. Most attack cards will do some amount of neutral damage in addition to some amount of elemental damage. The elemental damage is critical to pay attention to for a couple reasons - firstly, many enemies have significant resistances or weaknesses to certain element. Secondly, selecting opposing elements will cancel damage! For example, if you pick a fire sword (20 fire, 10 neutral) then an ice sword (20 water, 10 neutral) you will only do a total of 20 damage because the fire and water damage cancel. So you're USUALLY better off not picking opposing elements at all... with occasional exceptions for the bonus system.

    The bonus system is based on an additional quality each card has, which are its bonus numbers. Each individual card can have up to 4 numbers on it, from 0-9. When you select a card, you flick the thumbstick in the direction of the number you want to activate on it. If you select a series of numbers such that a combo is formed (e.g., a "full house" of 2-2-2-1-1, or a "run" of 1-2-3-4-5), you get a % bonus to the cards' effects after all the elemental damage is calculated. These can get pretty significant, to the point that it might even be worth using a healing card on an enemy, cancelling elemental damage, wasting a defense card during an attack phase, or even not using your full allotment of attacks in order to keep a good combo.

    As you progress in the game, a time limit is introduced and progressively restricted as the amount of cards you are able to chain together increases. The time limit is front-loaded, so as an example let's say you have 20 seconds to select your first card and then 5 seconds between each subsequent card. So you use the first time limit to plan out your potential combos, weigh the risks that you'll get a bonus number you need on a drawn card during your attack, and execute your plan or change it accordingly.

    You also have to consider how many cards are left in your deck, because "re-shuffling" eats your turn. You might strategically waste your turn to force this so you have a fresh hand at a more opportune time.

    It is one of the most well-designed difficulty curves I have ever experienced in any RPG. It's not just about grinding - you actually have to act faster and make more snap risk/reward choices in battle as the game moves on.

    Deck Building
    So obviously if you're using cards, you have to build out a deck. Cards can be bought, found from enemies, discovered on the overworld, evolved over time, or combo'd into new cards.

    Card evolution is interesting - cards progress with game time. Grapes become wine, wine becomes vinegar. Some cards grow more powerful with time, and some grow weaker, and some change categories completely. (Interestingly, one card is exclusively available by waiting around for a really long time for its predecessor to evolve, meaning that the Baten Katos 100% speedrun clocks in at over 300 hours.)

    There's also comboing cards! If, during your attack or defense phase, you use specific combinations of cards, you can produce a new card. For example, Wheat + Water + Fire becaomes Bread. There are over 100 of these combos.

    Also, some cards are exclusive to some characters - so each character feels different and does well with different elements.

    Story and Worldbuilding
    The world is split into very distinctive zones and the design in some of them is really cool. There's a couple typical fantasy forested areas and sewers, sure, but also there's a cloud kingdom, a steampunk kingdom and a dimension-shifting magic area. You travel through abandoned libraries and candy villages and magic mazes as you sail through the skies from floating island to floating island.

    The story is also pretty cool in some ways, despite some occasional weaknesses. The player is a character - you are a spirit from the spirit realm who is bound to the main character, Kalas, and only he can see you. He speaks to you directly along the way for advice and input.

    Some parts are a bit weak, and the voice work is bad enough that it doesn't really help (in the community it's considered kind of a charming quirk at this point - the characters sound like they're talking through cardboard tubes and they're not always great actors). But I'll just say that while some of the story beats are really predictable, it does have its share of cool surprises.

    Music
    Motoi Sakuraba. A lot of orchestral, prog rock. The music is phenomenal. That's it. It's basically all great.

    Overall
    I've beaten it a few times and this writeup really makes me want to play through it again. I legit love this game. It didn't get a ton of advertising and it does have its frustrating weaknesses, but it's charming and fun and it has a special place in my heart.

    5 votes