wervenyt's recent activity

  1. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    Glad to hear it's a good book. I've heard less than stellar things about the sequels, and so wasn't sure whether or not to invest the time into reading them. I think I'll do so now.

    Glad to hear it's a good book. I've heard less than stellar things about the sequels, and so wasn't sure whether or not to invest the time into reading them. I think I'll do so now.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    wervenyt
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Frankly, Dune was very much an easy read in comparison to the others, so it worked well as a buffer. I saw that, and decided that I'll hunt down the "authorised" edition upon a reread. There was...

    Frankly, Dune was very much an easy read in comparison to the others, so it worked well as a buffer.

    I saw that, and decided that I'll hunt down the "authorised" edition upon a reread. There was enough stuff that just flew right past me for worrying about varying editions to not be worth it.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    wervenyt
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    I've recently finished reading Thomas Pynchon's V. and Frank Herbert's Dune, and am currently working through William Gaddis' The Recognitions. V. was hilarious at times, and fairly traumatic at...

    I've recently finished reading Thomas Pynchon's V. and Frank Herbert's Dune, and am currently working through William Gaddis' The Recognitions.


    V. was hilarious at times, and fairly traumatic at others. This is one of those books which was a little too dense to feel as though my casual methods of reading (you know, sans encyclopedia and detailed notetaking) were able to glean even the majority of the text, let alone subtext. Regardless, it was a fun read, I think I'll come back to it soon enough.


    Dune was a nice reprieve. For some reason, I went into it with the attitude that it was going to be a typical hero's journey plot with a lot of worldbuilding. It really isn't that. The worldbuilding is vast, and it's conveyed with just the right balance of exposition and mystery. Having read, outside of Pratchett, primarily Real Literary Works for the past year, it was great to sit down with a page-turner that didn't try to tackle The Human Condition or anything else so silly.

    minor Dune spoilers After spending the first part of the book immersed in a melange eh? of wonder at this new universe and political intrigue, and the second unveiling the mysteries of Arrakis and watching all the dominoes set up, the conclusion felt overly simple. Everything got wrapped up nice and neatly, but it all just...happened. It didn't feel like the reader was able to witness every strike of the tiles.

    The Recognitions is really a tough read. The prose ranges from pseudo-classical to purply to slang, and Gaddis wastes no time alerting the reader to context shifts, swinging from dialogue into illustration into the thoughts of characters without more than a period to indicate a change in subject. Funnily, a huge number of complaints about this book say that the long passages of conversation without enough exposition to even alert the reader to the identity of the speaker are torturous, but Gaddis seems to have done an excellent job of writing dialogue with distinct voice. I'm actually getting more lost in the rest of the book!

    I probably made a mistake starting The Recognitions so soon after V.. Supposedly, it had some direct influence on Pynchon writing V., and, uh, that's pretty apparent. They feel very different, but thematically, there is a huge amount of overlap, and a few of the character dynamics have some similarities. That's not a knock on V., it's not even close to a rip-off, but with the meandering prose of Recognitions, it adds a lot to the disorientation. It's nowhere near as silly as V., but there are some very funny metatextual elements.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Recommend me books with a twist (with a twist) in ~books

    wervenyt
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    Joseph Heller's Catch-22 For a twist on your twist, I'm not even sure whether this one has a twist.

    Joseph Heller's Catch-22

    For a twist on your twist, I'm not even sure whether this one has a twist.

    8 votes
  5. Comment on (Crypto rant) McDonald's serves 62 million customers every day in ~tech

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    Can I ask what fundamental issues you see in government-independent currencies?

    Can I ask what fundamental issues you see in government-independent currencies?

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Norm Macdonald dies: Influential comedian & former ‘SNL’ Weekend Update anchor was 61 in ~tv

    wervenyt
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    His heyday was a little before my time, but Norm MacDonald was one of the greatest comedians to ever tell a joke on stage. Pure skill, no gimmicks. Rest in peace.

    His heyday was a little before my time, but Norm MacDonald was one of the greatest comedians to ever tell a joke on stage. Pure skill, no gimmicks. Rest in peace.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on When is comedy NOT at the consequence of something else's tragedy? in ~talk

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    So it's laughing at something's tragedy because you're asking if it is? In a scenario where the pun is plain word association, so simple that most small children would probably 'get it', why are...

    So it's laughing at something's tragedy because you're asking if it is? In a scenario where the pun is plain word association, so simple that most small children would probably 'get it', why are you assuming that the humour comes from the tragedy that someone who doesn't exist does not 'get it'?

    15 votes
  8. Comment on When is comedy NOT at the consequence of something else's tragedy? in ~talk

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    Does that necessarily imply that the cause for humour is the mockery of the hypothetical third party who misses the pun about the beekeeper's convention being all abuzz?

    Does that necessarily imply that the cause for humour is the mockery of the hypothetical third party who misses the pun about the beekeeper's convention being all abuzz?

    6 votes
  9. Comment on When is comedy NOT at the consequence of something else's tragedy? in ~talk

    wervenyt
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    A lot of absurdist humour doesn't really have a butt, aside from the listener's expectations. You can laugh at simple incongruity or suspense, and while you could say you're making light of the...

    A lot of absurdist humour doesn't really have a butt, aside from the listener's expectations. You can laugh at simple incongruity or suspense, and while you could say you're making light of the tragedy of your unfulfilled prediction, that doesn't seem like a meaningful definition of tragedy.

    13 votes
  10. Comment on Climate change won't stop while America hates trains and walking in ~enviro

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    The ability to just hop down to the shop for a couple ingredients, batteries, or other staples is really wonderful. We in the suburbs or low density cities have learned to make big, infrequent...

    The ability to just hop down to the shop for a couple ingredients, batteries, or other staples is really wonderful. We in the suburbs or low density cities have learned to make big, infrequent grocery trips, but having that flexibility to stop in on foot for 15 minutes is vastly underestimated when you're used to stocking up a week at a time. It leads to less food waste, a more varied diet, and reduced stress when you realize you're out of something. If you hate shopping, you can bring a cart and still stock up once a week.

    Otherwise, I agree about the failings of the survey. Just wanted to share a bit.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on Scientists now think that being overweight can protect your health in ~health

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    That baseline of exercise could be the catalyst for upstream changes in neurology, leading to better executive function or even an unconscious reduction in the mindless grazing so many struggle...

    That baseline of exercise could be the catalyst for upstream changes in neurology, leading to better executive function or even an unconscious reduction in the mindless grazing so many struggle with. The science isn't there, but we have plenty of evidence that even low-intensity physical activity has a big impact on mood.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on Should you be wearing a mask again? Here’s a map of the Covid hot spots subject to the CDC’s new guidance in ~health.coronavirus

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    You might've just convinced me to restock on N95s. However, a few months ago, I took a flight across the US, and I saw an unbelievable number of people wearing K/N95s without having pressed the...

    You might've just convinced me to restock on N95s. However, a few months ago, I took a flight across the US, and I saw an unbelievable number of people wearing K/N95s without having pressed the nasal strip down, or in some other way entirely defeating their effectiveness.

    When the mask 'debate' started last April, it seemed baffling that various public-facing doctors were arguing that the benefits of using effective masks would be undercut by individuals misusing them. How hard is it to get a good seal? Apparently, very.


    I could also see the extreme conspiratorially-minded populations arguing that sencouraging people to use such a sterile-looking mask is yet another step along the path of dehumanization and isolation from one another, which is their go-to for why masking is bad in general. Not that we should particularly mind such fringe opinions, it's just hard not to anticipate every possible backfire.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Why relativism is the worst idea ever in ~humanities

    wervenyt
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    Relativism cannot be a position one holds as a basis for actual belief, but what it does do is remind humanity that all we are is emergent intelligences that cannot see outside of our own...

    Relativism cannot be a position one holds as a basis for actual belief, but what it does do is remind humanity that all we are is emergent intelligences that cannot see outside of our own perspectives. The idea that you are proving an ultimate truth by saying "ah, but you go to doctors!" is a shallow and disingenuous argument. One can accept the current context of life while epistemically acknowledging it as specific rather than universal.

    7 votes
  14. Comment on How has the pandemic changed you? in ~talk

    wervenyt
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    I've always been a long term optimist. Not in any specific sense, but my faith that life, order, awareness, will continue to defy entropy as long as it remains possible, has always been strong....

    I've always been a long term optimist. Not in any specific sense, but my faith that life, order, awareness, will continue to defy entropy as long as it remains possible, has always been strong. This pandemic was only dark enough to make me question it. On the other hand, trust in the future of the human race was never my bag. This certainly hasn't helped things.

    Social trust feels like it's at an all-time low, and it's hard not to interpret that as a harbinger of reckoning. I don't know what that means. It could be global warfare, it could "just" be civil wars across the spectrum of societies, it could be...nothing. That end of the range of potentialities is the most worrying.

    As an individual, I'm physically stronger than I ever have been, and mentally healthier than I had been in years. Maybe over a decade. Despite that, I'm as afraid to go out and meet people as I have always been. Given the circumstances, that still feels like something of a win, to not have regressed. My substance issues remain present, but certainly haven't worsened. The pandemic's been horrible for humanity, but I'm just trucking along. A life built on paranoia and isolation is remarkably resilient to a world full of infinitely dubious voices and bereft of social contact.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on 18-year-old member of online harassment group sentenced to five years in prison after "swatting" the owner of a desirable Twitter handle, resulting in a fatal heart attack in ~tech

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    In my mind, and I'm sure in others', calling a punishment a slap on the wrist carries the implication that it's practically nothing, not that it pales in comparison to the crime. Sorry if that...

    In my mind, and I'm sure in others', calling a punishment a slap on the wrist carries the implication that it's practically nothing, not that it pales in comparison to the crime. Sorry if that difference of perspective comes across as a matter of bad faith.

    8 votes
  16. Comment on 18-year-old member of online harassment group sentenced to five years in prison after "swatting" the owner of a desirable Twitter handle, resulting in a fatal heart attack in ~tech

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    Calling a punishment a slap on the wrist has an absolute definition regardless of its value relative to the crime though. It implies that to the recipient, there's no real harm done, like fining a...

    Calling a punishment a slap on the wrist has an absolute definition regardless of its value relative to the crime though. It implies that to the recipient, there's no real harm done, like fining a multinational corporation a percentage of daily profits. There's no prison system in the world in which 5 years of incarceration is that low stakes.

    10 votes
  17. Comment on Tinnitus is making me crazy in ~health

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    Yeah, it's almost definitely just tinnitus, I just felt like someone should pay lip service to the other possibilities. I hope you can find some relief, it sounds like you're dealing with...

    Yeah, it's almost definitely just tinnitus, I just felt like someone should pay lip service to the other possibilities. I hope you can find some relief, it sounds like you're dealing with something truly awful.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on Tinnitus is making me crazy in ~health

    wervenyt
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    A couple of things, ranging from potentially helpful to almost certainly useless: I've always found using white noise generators to exacerbate my awareness of tinnitus, if not making the...

    A couple of things, ranging from potentially helpful to almost certainly useless:

    1. I've always found using white noise generators to exacerbate my awareness of tinnitus, if not making the perception itself more intense. It might be worth trying to go without them for now.

    2. Are you able to meditate through it? If it's bugging you so much that you can't, the tinnitus could be a sign of something more worrisome. It might be worth contacting your psychiatrist about.

    3. n-acetylcysteine helps some folks' tinnitus, it definitely pushes mine to the background. Depending on its availability in Brasil and any meds you're taking, it's worth looking into.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on Libera Chat vs. Freenode: Who won? in ~comp

    wervenyt
    Link Parent
    I'd actually argue that no communities should be on proprietary networks. The simple concept of ceding ownership of your conversations to a third party with a profit motive is ridiculous, and the...

    I'd actually argue that no communities should be on proprietary networks. The simple concept of ceding ownership of your conversations to a third party with a profit motive is ridiculous, and the fact that dozens of FLOSS projects have moved to Discord is frightening.

    7 votes
  20. Comment on What's the cheapest food that makes you really happy? in ~talk

    wervenyt
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    I'm a huge fan of sardines tinned in oil, especially mixed with a soft cheese and some nondistilled vinegar. Maybe it's not amazing by itself, but throw it on some bread with hot sauce, onto a...

    I'm a huge fan of sardines tinned in oil, especially mixed with a soft cheese and some nondistilled vinegar. Maybe it's not amazing by itself, but throw it on some bread with hot sauce, onto a salad, or with pasta, and it's just delightful.

    5 votes