soks_n_sandals's recent activity

  1. Comment on The story of Cajun Mardi Gras - how do you celebrate Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday? in ~humanities

    soks_n_sandals
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    I ate one of those today! My friend's grandparents used to have them (they were Polish), so she had one delivered to my apartment as a cross-over gift.

    I ate one of those today! My friend's grandparents used to have them (they were Polish), so she had one delivered to my apartment as a cross-over gift.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on The story of Cajun Mardi Gras - how do you celebrate Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday? in ~humanities

    soks_n_sandals
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    I see @mycketforvirrad's post about Swedish Fat Tuesday celebration. It made me want to hear how everyone else that celebrates does so! The short video tells the side of the Cajun Mardi Gras, or...

    I see @mycketforvirrad's post about Swedish Fat Tuesday celebration. It made me want to hear how everyone else that celebrates does so! The short video tells the side of the Cajun Mardi Gras, or what my friends and I would call "rural" Mardi Gras, since it mainly takes place in smaller communities. It's a pretty dramatic departure from the floats and pomp in New Orleans, and while rife with its own regressive issues, it's a cultural touchstone that I wanted to share with you all.

    Louisiana Mardi Gras is double canceled this year due to an ice storm and COVID, which I'm sure has cancelled many other religious and non-religious celebrations world wide. Today is also my birthday, and at least as I celebrate from the cold north, I have strannge solace knowing my family and friends back home have the same weather on their Mardi Gras. Just another 35 years until my birthday falls on Mardi Gras again...

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Sending stuff around the world in ~talk

    soks_n_sandals
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    Disclaimer: I am not a professional or a business person. I researched the shit out of importation to the United States when I brought in a valuable item in this summer. If you plan to send a lot...

    Disclaimer: I am not a professional or a business person. I researched the shit out of importation to the United States when I brought in a valuable item in this summer.

    If you plan to send a lot of product, it may be worth looking into hiring a customs broker? For the one-off shipment, the EMS mail service is a good way to send internationally for cheap. That's USPS for the United States, who will hand it off to another national post office or courier. FedEx and UPS seem to have different rules depending on the volume of business you do, but they have "fast lanes" that can expedite the import process for you.

    Normally your client/receiver is responsible for customs duties and whatnot. So that might not technically be your problem. Food, like coffee beans, will be interesting. It may fall under different categories depending on if it's roasted or not. In the US, you might be held up by the FDA if you're importing.

    If it's packaged mailed in a sealed bag, you'd probably be able to write a customs declaration and send it fairly straightforward. The courier can usually charge your client any customs fees at the time of delivery.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Super High-Fidelity Mario: The quest to find original gaming audio samples in ~games

    soks_n_sandals
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    What a fascinating story! Hearing those synthesized low brass sounds is kind of surreal. I love when synth sound has the color and timbre of a real instrument, but are still synth-y. My go-to...

    What a fascinating story! Hearing those synthesized low brass sounds is kind of surreal. I love when synth sound has the color and timbre of a real instrument, but are still synth-y. My go-to example is Mort Garson's Plantasia.

    The individuals that did these "re-masters" have done an outstanding job.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Let's talk about computer algebra systems in ~comp

    soks_n_sandals
    (edited )
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    My main CAS experience is with the TI Nspire CX CAS and it's accompanying desktop software. The desktop software is basically just an emulation of the calculator display on your machine. I found...

    My main CAS experience is with the TI Nspire CX CAS and it's accompanying desktop software. The desktop software is basically just an emulation of the calculator display on your machine. I found the ability to type formatted expressions as proper math, instead of command-line, really valuable. I didn't explore its capabilities for data import, but it can do some 3D plotting. It's CAS functions for algebraic manipulation and simplification were pretty good, though simplification wasn't perfect. It's linear algebra capabilities were what you'd need for a calculator. Imagine a core Matlab.

    I've also worked with Matlab, which has a symbolic algebra toolbox, and Matlab is quite good. Edit: I see the pricetag for Matlab is steep. The pro of the TI calculator is that it's about $170 bucks with the software bundled. Or, you can just buy the teacher software for about [$140 from a vendor, which seems like the same thing as the student software, plus some extra functionality[(https://www.calculatorsinc.com/shop/ti-nspire-cx-premium-teacher-software-single-user-license/).

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Accused murderer wins right to check source code of DNA testing kit used by police in ~tech

    soks_n_sandals
    (edited )
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    Is this just grandstanding? I review code that's written in a scripting language like Matlab and it would never take me 6 minutes to review a line of code. I've certainly been slowed down by bad...

    Is this just grandstanding?

    The co-founder of the company, Mark Perlin, is said to have argued against source code analysis by claiming that the program, consisting of 170,000 lines of MATLAB code, is so dense it would take eight and a half years to review at a rate of ten lines an hour.

    I review code that's written in a scripting language like Matlab and it would never take me 6 minutes to review a line of code. I've certainly been slowed down by bad code, but if the defense is that the code is "dense" (aka hard to follow) then that bodes poorly to me as a defense.

    Edit: I should say I've also worked in Matlab and I think it's pretty friendly to read, which is the source of my skepticism.

    14 votes
  7. Comment on Any fans of regular non-smart watches? in ~talk

    soks_n_sandals
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    I've been on and off with watches for a long time, but I really like to have items in my life that do one thing well. I always have my phone, but it's purpose to me is a phone/communication...

    I've been on and off with watches for a long time, but I really like to have items in my life that do one thing well. I always have my phone, but it's purpose to me is a phone/communication device, not a clock, so pulling it out to check the time feels very unsubtle. When I graduated from high school I bought myself a Benchmade and an unnecessarily fancy Seiko that I largely stopped wearing. So when I graduated from college, the one thing I wanted was a good, simple watch. I ended up getting a stainless steel Bertucci field watch as a graduation present from my partner and her family. I've worn it every day since and beat the hell out of it but it still looks pretty much like new. I put a leather band on it and it really dressed it up, but I keep the nylon bands around for when I work out, swim, etc., and I love that it can accompany me on anything I want to do. The offset crown makes daily wear really comfortable.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on First-person-shooters with great single player content on the Xbox in ~games

    soks_n_sandals
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    Have you played the Borderlands series yet? I still fire it up the second on PC regularly and I played through Borderlands 1 twice on my 360. The best part is that there are so many side quests,...

    Have you played the Borderlands series yet? I still fire it up the second on PC regularly and I played through Borderlands 1 twice on my 360. The best part is that there are so many side quests, you can really squeeze a lot of play-time out. Combine that with the different character classes and DLC and you have a ton of value in my opinion.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on The GameStop game never stops in ~finance

    soks_n_sandals
    Link Parent
    That post being so highly upvoted reminds me of a cynical saying my fiancee's dad (a professor of business management) often repeats. It's something like "if you know so little about investing...

    That post being so highly upvoted reminds me of a cynical saying my fiancee's dad (a professor of business management) often repeats. It's something like "if you know so little about investing that you hire a stock broker, you're too stupid to be left alone with one" and that's all I see with the outrage at Robinhood. So many people piled on the bandwagon but have zero idea what is really going on. It can certainly be explained in layman's terms, but the misunderstanding about what happens behind the scenes is playing out right now in these highly-ranked, and wrong, posts.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on Falling for Mississippi in ~humanities

    soks_n_sandals
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    I have mentioned it before, but for those that don't know, I am from the American South. I grew up about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, as the crow flies. Around this time last year,...

    I have mentioned it before, but for those that don't know, I am from the American South. I grew up about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, as the crow flies. Around this time last year, pre-pandemic, I was asked at a party to explain why I would ever want to move back to the South. This essay capture some of the sentiments and reasons I had. There's a lot of work to be done in the South. It's prompted social media posts that resound with "The South is not a lost cause!" or "Don't give up on the South!" By leaving, and never returning, I am merely exacerbating the issues I've left behind. Perhaps I can convince a few Northerners while I'm in the North that, despite the image, there are some good things about the South. But what does that do for the people that still live down there? That suffer from inequality, lack of opportunity, and daily injustice? It's a lot easier to throw up my hands and go somewhere that the work has already been done. I don't want that. I want to affect change from within and be there to realize a better vision and future for the South.

    Edit: PS - I love the Bitter Southerner. I think the essays, art, and message they broadcast are a vital channel for constructive appreciation of the Southern US.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on The GameStop game never stops in ~finance

    soks_n_sandals
    Link Parent
    Exaaactly. Even if there was chatter about it through upper management, that chatter coming to a low-level employee is basically zero. I am a low-level employee. I barely know what my immediate...

    Exaaactly. Even if there was chatter about it through upper management, that chatter coming to a low-level employee is basically zero. I am a low-level employee. I barely know what my immediate coworkers are doing today, much less the entire executive board!

    1 vote
  12. Comment on The GameStop game never stops in ~finance

    soks_n_sandals
    Link Parent
    Yeah there was zero proof in that first link. Why would someone "low-level" have heard anything that the execs discussed? It just makes no sense to me. I'd still be skeptical even with an employee...

    Yeah there was zero proof in that first link. Why would someone "low-level" have heard anything that the execs discussed? It just makes no sense to me. I'd still be skeptical even with an employee badge, SSO page, any sort of access that isn't like source code (since that would be a particularly stupid thing to post as proof you work somewhere), but goes beyond a completely unverified story.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Twitter announces Birdwatch, a community-based approach to misinformation in ~tech

    soks_n_sandals
    Link Parent
    Do you consider the culture of those sites to contribute to their self-moderated success? My impression is that mechanism was baked-in from the outset, whereas here with Twitter, it's more like an...

    Do you consider the culture of those sites to contribute to their self-moderated success? My impression is that mechanism was baked-in from the outset, whereas here with Twitter, it's more like an afterthought.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on Furniture giant IKEA is planning to sell spare parts for its furniture – its aim is to prolong the life of its products and dispel the idea that it makes disposable goods in ~finance

    soks_n_sandals
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    Furniture makers like Floyd have tried to solve the assembly/disassembly problem that other commenters have mentioned plagues Ikea furniture. I think they've done a great job. Most of the...

    Furniture makers like Floyd have tried to solve the assembly/disassembly problem that other commenters have mentioned plagues Ikea furniture. I think they've done a great job. Most of the improvements are in fasteners and I would call them "non-destructive," in the sense that one isn't screwing into particle board, but rather into a threaded metal tube basically this. Ikea gets my praise, though, because they may use weird, custom parts, but Floyd didn't mention in the assembly manual what size bolts were used in a $2,000 couch. So, when we were missing crucial hardware, it was a pain to go figure out the necessary size at the hardware store. Even an $80 office chair I bought came with a few spares and listed the size of the fasteners in the manual.

    What's interesting, though, is that the price is really high for Floyd furniture. The design is good enough, sure, but when I can buy refurbished solid wood furniture locally for the same price, it's hard to see the value in the Floyd stuff. I'd rather the hassle of moving high-quality furniture that's heavy than spend the same money on high-quality flat pack furniture.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    soks_n_sandals
    Link Parent
    Let me preface by saying this is from a US-centric point of view, but I'm not sure I agree with you that being a man is "easy mode." I'm not trying to be argumentative, but rather, add nuance to...

    Let me preface by saying this is from a US-centric point of view, but I'm not sure I agree with you that being a man is "easy mode." I'm not trying to be argumentative, but rather, add nuance to this. I don't disagree that there are myriad social consequences that make being a man easier. But there are other signals that when it's hard, it's really hard.

    Men commit suicide in the US at 3.5x the rate of women (2018 data). Of individuals, men make up 70% of the homeless population in the US (2018 data). They're a staggering 82% of the individual homeless population in Puerto Rico and Louisiana.

    I think these figures allude to the other comments in this thread that suggest society values men's lives less than women's. I'd say it's necessary (and fair) to address that being male affords societal privileges, but there a lot of issues that exist in many different contexts.

    11 votes
  16. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    soks_n_sandals
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    Something hard in my experience has been having to recognize what is "toxic" masculinity, de-programming those parts of myself, and then re-programming with something constructive. Most men will...

    Something hard in my experience has been having to recognize what is "toxic" masculinity, de-programming those parts of myself, and then re-programming with something constructive. Most men will need help with this, and the very act of asking for help can be paralyzingly hard as a man.

    Joe Rogan is a figure who I think fails at the first part of this, the identification of toxicity. He oversimplifies the push against toxic masculinity and takes it personally, and suggests that society doesn't want men that look like him: big, burly, physically strong, aggressive, and outspoken. That's not really true.

    Society is pushing for men to quit acting like James Bond in the old movies. That's the second part of this. De-programming the bad. To not jeer and harass women on the street. To not objectify and sexualize women perpetually. To talk things out, instead of just shutting down or waiting until something small becomes a huge issue. To be more patient, more accepting, and more empathetic. There are a litany of other things that could go in this section.

    To do this, and enter the third phase of re-programming, one must determine what parts of one's upbringing to denounce, and then how to learn it again. Men really need to help each other in this way. The question is how, though, when many men can't do it for themselves? How are they to find other men that can help them?

    One major obstacle is that men want to avoid being a "burden," even when that means sacrificing one's own emotional well-being through loneliness, anxiety, or depression. I went through a serious period of anxiety attacks when I would try to talk to my partner about our relationship and some past failures of mine. I fought feelings of worthlessness during college, even though my grades were fine. I fought loneliness when my partner moved cross-country, and many of my friends moved away at the same time. I never really told her about these things until it basically came to a head, because I didn't know how to broach the topic that I needed help. In men I talk to, I find the same issues. Even if we want to ask for help, most of us are afraid to do so, lest we be a burden. I don't even want to burden a therapist (lol) and it's literally their job to talk through stuff like this.

    I'm extremely indebted to my partner for basically holding my hand through the process of growth over quite a few years. I think most young men (read: 20-30ish years old) in the US are awakening to realize they are ill-equipped to handle their emotions. The women in my life, and those of my friends' lives, have helped us to bridge the emotional gaps left by our fathers, who did so much better than their fathers. In turn, we try to provide a space for our male friends that don't have partners to help them learn to handle their emotions. But we aren't professionals, and it's hard to bring a friend further than you've gotten yourself.

    Because asking for help as a man is so hard, it's valuable when a man you trust will guide you without you asking for help. That, I think, is a good first step in the hard task of building a society of better men.

    For those seeking additional resources for the challenges young men face, see the film The Mask You Live In. I was able to get halfway through, but couldn't finish it, because the pain and frustration plaguing the young men in the documentary were just too personal for me.

    10 votes
  17. Comment on How do you manage data backups? in ~tech

    soks_n_sandals
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    I'm sure other folks will have some really interesting set ups, but I can attest to pCloud's online cloud service. If you need less than 2 TB, this may be a good option. Pros: Mounts itself as a...

    I'm sure other folks will have some really interesting set ups, but I can attest to pCloud's online cloud service. If you need less than 2 TB, this may be a good option.

    Pros:

    • Mounts itself as a network drive
    • Works on both Linux and Windows, as well as Android and iOS (I use it as an iCloud replacement)
    • Upload speed is limited by your own upload speed (I backed up about 60 GB in 6 or 7 hours last weekend)
    • Allows you to sync "local" folders, which includes my external drives and the other half of my partitioned hard drive (and probably network shares, but I don't have any to try with). This is automatic. You can also exclude file types.
    • Import from Google Drive and others (only imports files you own and uploaded, not Google Docs).
    • Lifetime subscriptions available for 500 GB, 2 TB, and family options.
    • Uses peer-to-peer local file transfer to speed up file access from one device to another.
    • Has internal backup images to allow you to restore to a previous point.

    In this way, you can select arbitrary folders to sync to pCloud that may contain actual backup images, as well as regular files and folders, say from drive A, B, and C. You could then add one primary sync for an aggregated pCloud folder to another hard drive, say drive D, and basically funnel your data up to pCloud, then back down to a drive, creating parity between a physical and cloud copy.

    The con of this is that these are syncs, so messing with so-called drive D will impact data in your cloud.

    8 votes