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Messages - chaotic neutral observer

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Apple Talk / Re: The Compleat Billy Chronicles (thanks to Zenpatista)
« on: September 13, 2020, 05:37:15 pm »
Oh, I know. Fucking with the strong force could seed a vacuum collapse.

This is a very bad idea by any measure. Christ.

*slams start button right through the console*

If you're going to trigger a vacuum collapse, please give me a few minutes advance notice.  I'd like to climb up on the roof so I can enjoy the spectacle.

The End of Existence seldom happens more than once in a lifetime; I wouldn't want to miss it.

Apple Talk / Re: The Compleat Billy Chronicles (thanks to Zenpatista)
« on: September 11, 2020, 07:48:26 pm »
I try not to think about what "knock divots out of our little corner of reality" might really mean.

Apple Talk / Re: The Compleat Billy Chronicles (thanks to Zenpatista)
« on: September 11, 2020, 04:27:50 pm »
There is nothing you can do with an x-ray laser that cannot be done more easily with a big honking chunk of mass moving at indecent speeds.
It suddenly occurs to me that a Jedi Master would have no way to defend against even a WW1-era machine gun.  Maybe his precognition will let him block the first bullet, but there's no way he can wave that light sword fast enough to stop all of them.  Actually, a shotgun might be even better, since the bullets all fly at once.  When was the blunderbuss invented?  1700-something?

Anyway, if it's a beam weapon, it needs to have a better cost/lethality ratio than conventional firearms.  Within certain limits, anyway; I don't know if cost is that big of a deal for the American military.

Hmm, what else might leak radiation?  A nuclear-powered hoverboard?

Apple Talk / Re: The Compleat Billy Chronicles (thanks to Zenpatista)
« on: September 11, 2020, 04:53:30 am »
At the moment I can't say much about it, other than it makes the DEFF BOTS look socially responsible.

Once the principals realize they're shoveling money down a fucking hole and pull the plug, I'll gab all day.

Until told otherwise, I choose to believe it is a man-portable directed-energy beam weapon.  The kind that can burn a hole in tank armour, or wipe out an approaching army just by sweeping it in an arc in their general direction.

Apple Talk / Re: The Compleat Billy Chronicles (thanks to Zenpatista)
« on: September 10, 2020, 07:55:49 pm »
Me:  "Cheer up, Steve.  We're going to do great things.  This new project isn't just 'blue sky', it's 'somewhere around Neptune' and we get paid for no deliverables."

I love those projects.  I'm currently on an R&D project for a three-letter government agency (no, not that one, the other one) and the PM is complaining almost weekly that we're not spending enough money.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: September 04, 2020, 05:31:25 pm »

Vote early, vote often.

But just to test the system.  It's not actually fraud if you don't get away with it, right?

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: September 03, 2020, 08:23:22 pm »
That's where they stored Jack Churchill, IIRC, with the whole "silent man falling" incident.
Winston Churchill's nephew, Giles Romilly, was at Colditz, but I don't recall any other Churchill connections.

RPG Ghetto / Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« on: September 03, 2020, 02:26:08 pm »
Iím not happy with it. It actually actively degraded my enjoyment of the main game and The Foundation. I threw my brain at Nioh for a while thereafter: if Iím going to be abused by a video game, I want it to be on my terms.

If you can avoid AWE, avoid it.

My inner completionist demanded that I play it, despite the warning, but I took the precaution of skipping the cutscenes.  I haven't played Alan Wake, anyway.

The sidequests were unimaginative, and the "flavour" elements--the documents and tapes scattered about--were entirely bland.  I eventually stopped bothering to read them.  The whole thing felt like a token effort, only done to fulfill contractual obligations, and assigned to one of the writing interns as a "learning experience."

I didn't actively hate it, but it was quite pointless.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: September 03, 2020, 05:03:15 am »
Escape From Colditz (P.R. Reid)

During World War II, the castle at Colditz served as a German high-security prisoner-of-war camp.  It was reserved for officers who had escaped from other camps, been recaptured, and were considered at high risk for escaping again.  Later in the war it was also used for high-profile prisoners (relatives of politicians, and such) whom the Germans thought would make good hostages, if the war were to go badly.

The Germans considered the castle to be inescapable; it had tall, sheer walls, was located on a steep hill, and the guards outnumbered the prisoners.  But putting so many escape-prone officers in one place had predictable effects.  Many attempted escape, a few were shot, several managed to get away, and some even managed to make it all the way home.

It's a true account, but it reads like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Everyone here knows how to pick locks, how to make disguises.  Hacksaws are made from old razor blades, radios are constructed from smuggled parts.  If a civilian contractor enters the prison, and removes his coat for any reason, he'll leave without it.  If he leaves his truck unattended on the grounds, he might find it missing a wheel bolt, or two.

The different contingents--English, French, Polish--need to appoint Escape Officers, who coordinate activities so that different groups don't interfere with each other in their attempts.

There are diversions, tunnels, feigned illnesses, hidden compartments, secret passageways.  The Germans, to educate themselves, create an "Escape Museum", containing artifacts of past attempts.

Guards' movements are carefully monitored and recorded; one escape is coordinated with split-second timing.

One prisoner resembles a high-ranking German closely, and is disguised to look like him, so he can deflect suspicion during his escape attempt.  He even seems about to pull it off, until the original appears.

A section of an attic is walled off to make a workshop.  A glider is constructed, with the object of a rooftop escape; but, the war ends before they get to test it.

This book is more concerned with the art of escape, rather than the war itself, but there are a few reminders.  A number of French Jews who were interred in the camp for a time have no motivation to escape; if they were to be recaptured, it would mean death.  The S.S. executes four hundred slaves in the nearby town.  The involvement of the Gestapo means torture.  The Wehrmacht, who operate the prison, seem comparatively civilized, but they'll still shoot at you if you run.

This is an entertaining read, and an easy recommendation.  "Escape from Colditz" is actually comprised of two earlier publications, "The Colditz Story" and "Men of Colditz"; the first is an account of the author's personal experiences, up until his escape; the second is a compilation of later events in the prison, which he learned of after the war.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Curbside Pickup Only
« on: August 28, 2020, 04:03:34 pm »
Sometimes living in the future is fun.

I want to set up an outdoor temperature sensor, but (1) it can't be too close to the house, (2) I want it to be wired, and (3) I don't want to trip over the cable.  So I surfed youtube for a bit, starting out with horizontal boring augers, and somehow progressing to DIY hydraulic mining.  Then I took a trip to Home Despot.


10ft 1/2 in. conduit ($4.78)
    (Not pressure rated, but I'd rather pressurize conduit temporarily than run cable through a water pipe (even if it's just 2 mA at 5V)).

1/2 in. PVC cap ($0.93)
    (I cement this to one end of the conduit, and drill a small hole to make a "nozzle")

1/2 in. PVC threaded adapter ($0.48)
1/2 in. to 3/4 in. swivel adapter ($3.64)
    (These are to hook up the garden hose to the other end of the conduit)

Grey PVC cement ($6.20)
    (But no primer, because fuck you).

So, after $16.03 (plus tax) and about 15 minutes of work in somewhat muddy conditions, I've run ten foot of conduit from a shady spot under a pine tree, beneath a brick wall, under a concrete-slab walkway, and out under the deck attached to the house.

That was way easier than it had any right to be.

Feel free to get all pedantic about how the evaporative cooling from the pine trees will affect measurement accuracy.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: August 26, 2020, 10:55:25 pm »
As far as I can tell, that IP address is in Vancouver, Washington, not Australia.

It seems to be assigned to Vanwatech, an anti DDOS service provider, whose owner, Nick Lim, has also provided services to the likes of the Daily Stormer.

This is evidence that 8chan and Q use the same morality-unimpaired CDN, but I'm not sure that it proves much more than that.

Apple Talk / Re: UNLIMITED Village Idiot Thread
« on: August 25, 2020, 10:06:25 pm »
I'm a cultural Discordian.  It means I get to cherry-pick the bits I like, and ignore the rest.

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Holographic Galaxy Brain
« on: August 21, 2020, 03:34:50 pm »
I had difficulty watching the video.  Instead of presenting a thesis, and then providing justifications or background information for that thesis, it had the form of a stream of consciousness, where the narrator skimmed across a variety of poorly-understood and weakly-connected topics.  After watching, I couldn't tell you clearly what the Pribram-Bohm hypothesis was, let alone whether it was plausible.

As a specific example, I have a fair understanding of the Fourier transform, and use one of its relatives very heavily in my day job.  The video introduced it, presented a mostly-wrong example of what it does, and then included it as a integral part of the following slides, without clarifying what utility it served.  The Fourier transform is just a mathematical tool, for making certain types of problems easier to work with.  The Fourier transform requires infinite extent in time and frequency, so it does not, and cannot, have any correspondence to physical reality.  He could have substituted any other tool in the slides (like a computer, a hammer, or a squedge-wodger), and it wouldn't have made what he was saying any more or less clear.

In one of the slides, the speed of light was written wrong (it's ~3.00*(10^8) m/s).  This may seem like nitpicking, but it's the physical equivalent of a person giving a mathematical lecture and saying "pi = 2".

In the youtube comments (ick, I know) somebody said:
I have a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of California, San Diego.
5 minutes in, the video states that there's a 3d electrical field in the dendrites of cerebral cortex neurons "shown on the right". the cell depicted is not from the cerebral cortex but from the cerebellum. This would be something covered in any 101 level undergrad course. I doubt that the video maker has any actual knowledge of neuroscience.

So...don't take that video too seriously, I guess.

One topic in the video is Bohn's concept of "implicate order". This line of thinking is that all the "strangeness" we observe in quantum particles is likely explainable by a form of order even smaller than that. That even the smallest matter we can conceive of is playing by rules determined by even smaller unobserved subquantum forces. Bohn called this hidden level of reality the "implicate order". It's maybe like the source code of reality.
It's conceivable that there is another layer below quantum mechanics, but I agree with LMNO's opinion that it is probably even weirder.  This implicate order idea seems like adding another turtle to the stack.  But that's not how the study of physics works.  Nobody wanted this quantum physics crap, it was invented so that we had a mathematical model for the weirdness we were observing.  And the model works.  It predicts the behaviour of nanoscale semiconductors, for example.  The "implicate order" idea doesn't appear to explain anything that needs explaining, or give us any tools to better understand reality.

Think about how psychology is derived from biology. Biology is derived from chemistry. Chemistry derived from physics. Particle physics is derived from quantum physics. So psychology is "really" a derivation of quantum physics.
Each layer is not so much derived from the lower layer, as it is explained by it.  You can do biology without going too deep into chemistry, you can do lots of chemistry without messing around with quantum physics.  Science works its way down, not up.  Yes, structures at a high-level are comprised of lower-level components, but the high-level behaviour of a system isn't necessarily dictated by it's lower level components.

When you're driving a car around, it doesn't matter very much to you if the engine is fuel-injection, carbureted, rotary, electric, or steam-powered (unless you need to visit the mechanic).  You almost certainly aren't concerned with quantum-mechanical effects; they simply aren't significant at car-scale.

Similarly, there's no need to invoke quantum physics when considering human psychology...unless you need to visit the mechanic encounter some phenomena that can't be explained otherwise.  I don't think we've reached that point.  I don't see any reason why a sufficiently sophisticated electronic computer couldn't emulate human consciousness, and it doesn't invoke quantum "randomness" to function (in fact, teh quantums mostly just get in the way).

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: August 20, 2020, 06:50:10 pm »
As an aside, I think "Warfighter" is a lame name for a boat, especially a leisure craft.

If I had a boat, I'd give it a name like "I Can't Believe It's Not Chicken" or maybe "Satan's Bunghole".

Aneristic Illusions / Re: General Trump hilarity free-for-all thread
« on: August 20, 2020, 06:38:31 pm »
I skimmed the indictment:

Pretty juicy stuff.  The counts are "conspiracy to commit wire fraud" and  "conspiracy to commit money laundering".

In addition to the boat, there are about a dozen bank accounts subject to forfeiture, and if some of the forfeitable assets are inaccessible, the government can seize the defendants other property.

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