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Devac's comments
Devac  ·  1 hour ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I guess that's the closest I can get to 'realistic' painting

Thanks! Much appreciated.

I'm afraid that I don't have any magical fix for painting. Treat it like a stress-relief hobby, practice, experiment… buy a good solvent regardless of your motivation :P. Just remember to document failed projects. Otherwise, it's impossible to gauge how much you've improved.

Devac  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 23, 2017

Don't beat yourself over it. I read fast and need less sleep than most people. Plus the notion of history not being a slog through dates and unconnected remarks is so new to me that I'm going through this stuff on sheer novelty and enthusiasm alone.

veen  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

I am also surprised by how much I'm enjoying reading this one. Usually, the audiobooks I read are 8-12 hours long and anything above that feels like a slog. I'm glad Judt writes as well as his phenomenal longread on Belgium that nobody read here:

Postwar reminds me a lot of what a breeze Destiny Disrupted was, so if you haven't read that one I quite recommend it. It has a bit more name calling than Postwar but it also has a conversational tone throughout.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Destiny Disrupted is Fred McFriendly's Fun Facts about Founding Friendly Factions compared to Said's Orientalism. Ansary takes the viewpoint "man, you white people sure have fucked up Islamic history" while Said is basically "and you did it deliberately because you crackers be racist."

The problem is Said nails it. You cannot get through that book without some deep introspection. I now feel guilty for liking Kipling.

Devac  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 23, 2017

Thanks. I'm trying. Believe me, I'm doing my best here. I've been tutoring people for quite a while and I agree with all that you've said. I'm excited, doing what I can to be patient and try to prompt them where and what questions one should ask. There's some improvement already. It's just tiring.

But there is a massive problem where I don't know if I can give them a boost: my track was thrown into the deep water from the start. From the day one, I was solving problems that were too hard for me by design. I once described to you what I was doing as a freshman:

Tackling problems on your own, without having to be prompted, takes years of practice and some mental independence. I can give them the gist, and I will, but it's an entirely different way of thinking about tasks. Sorry for being on a Star Trek reference binge, but this whole assignment feels to me like Kobayashi Maru test. The teacher must experience futility and yet remain optimistic.

Do note that I have never said I'm giving up on them. It just seems like no matter what I do it feels half-arsed and exhausting.

lm  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Yep, it is exahusting especially if, like me, you're an introvert and any kind of interaction with people takes energy. On top of that, it's unlikely that you'll really see the fruits of your work -- the foundation you build with them now won't really begin to show until they build on it in higher-level classes (and maybe even projects/work after they graduate).

Since I stuck around at the same university for undergrad and grad school, I've had the pleasure of running into senior students that I tutored or taught when they were freshmen and having them tell me just how much they benefited from my efforts. That's one of the best feelings in the world.

So, keep at it! Things may seem futile now, but in the (very) long run they will be better people because of you.

Devac  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 23, 2017

People:

I'm tasked with helping two other undergrads get their calculations and theory straight. It pains me to say it, but the contrast between normal and individual track on physics is just staggering. I wouldn't say that it feels like putting someone from AP course into a remedial class, but it's close at times. One knows almost nothing about the group theory so while I was explaining that, the other took those two hours to attempt solving a filtered diffraction problem. Note the 'attempt', it was wrong and he couldn't see why. So there was more explaining to him while the other one was solving group theory problems I left her. Again, not without mistakes but with a depressing lack of rigour.

I spent about forty hours in total (last and this week) on helping them and I only feel more and more like an arse. It takes conscious effort to not ask either of them "what were you doing for the past two years?" It's exhausting on every possible level. I have to take my own work to home with me. There's not a single twenty-minute span in time when I can focus on it without them orbiting around.

Is that a glimpse into the world of a PhD student?

Books:

Postwar was depressing. And intriguing. In an unexpected way, it was uplifting. I would even go as far as to say fascinating and worth revisiting. Which brings me to a few questions: How the hell is it even possible for teachers to make history boring?! Are they required to complete something akin to kolinahr before taking a class on their own? The contrast between history in school and history told, apparently, anywhere else is simply mind-boggling.

The rest goes slowly, but consistently, forward. Hindered by the stuff I talked about earlier. I might have to go the audiobook route.

lm  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Unfortunately, most students haven't been taught mathematics well at any point in their lives. The week before the fall semester starts I teach an algebra review class to incoming freshmen, and I'm amazed at how poor some of their math skills are (for example, confused why 1/x + 1/y is not 1/(x + y), or reducing (5 + x) / (5 + y) to x / y).

It's a travesty that students can get this far in life without really understanding what's going on, but I don't think it's all their fault either.

Fortunately, they have you! Better late than never, as they say. So here's my advice on teaching mathematical rigor to people:

1. Be as excited as you can be. Rigorous argument is not necessarily the most enthralling of things, but people pick up on whether you care about something and that can make a big difference in their opinion of the topic.

2. Be patient. You've, perhaps subconsciously, spent years developing the understanding you have of the subject; they have not. That can change, but it won't happen right away.

3. Ask them questions. Building connections between ideas might come naturally to you, but it does not to everyone. Try to nudge them to see relationships between things, even if you/they don't fully explore that relationship and why it exists right away. Walk them through your process of seeing why a solution is right or wrong.

4. Think about what guides your intuition for problems and explain what you can of that process.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

    1. Be as excited as you can be. Rigorous argument is not necessarily the most enthralling of things, but people pick up on whether you care about something and that can make a big difference in their opinion of the topic.

This is so important. My precalc instructor was boring AF and I remember none of it. My DiffEQ instructor got so carried away that the prof next door would come over and tell him to stop banging on the chalkboard. As a result, I think DiffEQ is the fundamental magic that makes the world go 'round.

veen  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, that's also because engineering is like 50% differential equations. My diff course was pure math and zero applications and it was the. absolute. worst.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

It's funny because mine was math so pure that the final was

"Imagine a function that does xxxxxxxxxxx. What would happen if

A) yyyy?

B) zzzz?

C) ppp ddd qqq?"

No numbers. Fuckin' essay-style with roll-your-own functions and derivation. It was eye-poppingly hardcore.

The rate of attrition in that class was such that 15% of the people who started it finished it. I got a 25% on the one assignment he gave all quarter and immediately asked him what I could do to resurrect my grade. he said "relax! You were in the top 20%!"

When all of us were heads down and desperate on that final he said "if you take it home and study I will give you an A."

Fuckin' A I'll bet I could teach Diff EQ even now and it's been 20 years. That class was goddamn amazing.

veen  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe it was my professor - he was basically like "here's a Laplace and this is how you calculate a Wronskian so go do that now okthxbai". He never explained why things were done that way properly, so I had to resort to fucking Khan Academy more than once to understand what was happening.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  
Devac  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  
This comment has been deleted.
Devac  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks. I'm trying. Believe me, I'm doing my best here. I've been tutoring people for quite a while and I agree with all that you've said. I'm excited, doing what I can to be patient and try to prompt them where and what questions one should ask. There's some improvement already. It's just tiring.

But there is a massive problem where I don't know if I can give them a boost: my track was thrown into the deep water from the start. From the day one, I was solving problems that were too hard for me by design. I once described to you what I was doing as a freshman:

Tackling problems on your own, without having to be prompted, takes years of practice and some mental independence. I can give them the gist, and I will, but it's an entirely different way of thinking about tasks. Sorry for being on a Star Trek reference binge, but this whole assignment feels to me like Kobayashi Maru test. The teacher must experience futility and yet remain optimistic.

Do note that I have never said I'm giving up on them. It just seems like no matter what I do it feels half-arsed and exhausting.

lm  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Yep, it is exahusting especially if, like me, you're an introvert and any kind of interaction with people takes energy. On top of that, it's unlikely that you'll really see the fruits of your work -- the foundation you build with them now won't really begin to show until they build on it in higher-level classes (and maybe even projects/work after they graduate).

Since I stuck around at the same university for undergrad and grad school, I've had the pleasure of running into senior students that I tutored or taught when they were freshmen and having them tell me just how much they benefited from my efforts. That's one of the best feelings in the world.

So, keep at it! Things may seem futile now, but in the (very) long run they will be better people because of you.

veen  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Do they not teach the trick to expand 5x to xxxxx? I still use that whenever I'm in doubt.

A few years ago I tutored high school kids in math and physics and I wholly agree with your points. I had a few strategies that worked well depending on the kind of student. One was to break a problem into its smallest constituents, to ask basic questions about those problems (which they usually got right) and to then assemble it into a bigger picture.

Another is to attack a problem like you're Sherlock: what do we have here, and what do you know about problems that look like this? In my opinion, getting a student from doing math to understanding math is by asking the why question again and again and patiently teaching them the underlying fundamental principles.

lm  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the formatting engine got both of us on mathematical notation =]

mk, we really need a TeX math mode so I can stun you all with my abuse of fonts, font faces, superscripts, subscripts, and various brackets and unpronuncable symbols!

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

    How the hell is it even possible for teachers to make history boring?!

The more controversial a subject, the more abstractly it is taught. The more recent a subject, the less it is taught. Armenian genocide was 100 years ago and the quickest way to start a gunfight in Glendale, CA is to say it never happened out loud. Judt writes about the Yugoslavian conflict in Postwar and says, in no uncertain terms, that it's the Serbians' fault. Try that in high school and you're making the national papers. I mean, here it is, 150 years after it happened, and we've got people being murdered over whether or not confederate monuments are consolation trophies for losing slavers or commemorations of the noble sacrifices of a proud antebellum culture.

The personal cosmology of most humans organizes history into "who are villains" and "who are heroes" and teaching history is extraordinarily boring when you're making every possible effort not to aid and abet that effort.

And if you aid and abet that effort you get fired.

veen  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

what do you mean Postwar "was" depressing

I was gonna boast about how I read 290 pages in 8 days. But as the Dutch saying goes, there's always a bosses' boss.

Devac  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Don't beat yourself over it. I read fast and need less sleep than most people. Plus the notion of history not being a slog through dates and unconnected remarks is so new to me that I'm going through this stuff on sheer novelty and enthusiasm alone.

veen  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

I am also surprised by how much I'm enjoying reading this one. Usually, the audiobooks I read are 8-12 hours long and anything above that feels like a slog. I'm glad Judt writes as well as his phenomenal longread on Belgium that nobody read here:

Postwar reminds me a lot of what a breeze Destiny Disrupted was, so if you haven't read that one I quite recommend it. It has a bit more name calling than Postwar but it also has a conversational tone throughout.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Destiny Disrupted is Fred McFriendly's Fun Facts about Founding Friendly Factions compared to Said's Orientalism. Ansary takes the viewpoint "man, you white people sure have fucked up Islamic history" while Said is basically "and you did it deliberately because you crackers be racist."

The problem is Said nails it. You cannot get through that book without some deep introspection. I now feel guilty for liking Kipling.

Classifier seems like a tool you could use to at least manage stuff by category. If your files have some consistent naming convention, then it's possible to automate further. I mean, that's why we have globbing.

Also, by 'search tools' do you mean something like locate and find or are you using something else?

keifermiller  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'll play around with classifier. thanks!

tools: Baloo, find, and grep depending on context. Sometimes fzf when I remember that it exists.

On Linux, checking the MD5 sum isn't really required for installing anything. If you'll make a program and distribute it, you also provide the checksum for your build. That way if someone would swap binary for something else, you can tell by a checksum mismatch. Of course, it doesn't work if someone hacked your site and pasted their checksum as the valid one.

It's not a foolproof method but can still help with general security.

    I learned how to drive manual last week

That's the only way I know how to drive. The automatic transmission is rather fringe around here.

    Is this similar to why you would check for a collision that according to this is likely never going to happen to you?

I don't look for collisions. It's just something of which I am aware. Collisions are but a tiny subset of duplicates.

Here's how my script works:

1. Make a list of all files in <a list of directories>.

2. Save a full path to each file (but not a shortcuts) and pair it with an MD5 checksum. It goes recursively into subdirectories until the end of the tree.

3. Look for checksum duplicates.

4. If duplicate, then print (or save in a file) all locations.

Because there aren't many duplicates to begin with, I can usually go through the list by hand. Last time it was something like 10 positions.

Why does the checksum comparison work? Chances to have two different files with exact same checksum are pretty low. Like 'it never happened to me' low. Also, checksums will not differ even if the names are different.

EDIT: Just as a CYA measure for you twitchy programmers out there, I did put some optimisations in place. For instance: things are recalculated only if the date of modification is chronologically after the date of the last scan. If a file is no longer there, the entry is simply removed. It isn't pretty or as optimal as it could be but works fast enough for me.

weewooweewoo  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My only experience with experience with linux was to distrohop to see the differences between them. It was finals week and my procrastination took me through Ubuntu, Mint, Bodhi, and Crunchbang, and I'm sure the MD5 checksum is something I've seen while installing these things. I never really got it.

I learned how to drive manual last week, and I was surprised at how many things I've taken for granted driving automatic. I have an idealized romanticism with driving manual and just wanted to take it on. Is this similar to why you would check for a collision that according to this is likely never going to happen to you?

Devac  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On Linux, checking the MD5 sum isn't really required for installing anything. If you'll make a program and distribute it, you also provide the checksum for your build. That way if someone would swap binary for something else, you can tell by a checksum mismatch. Of course, it doesn't work if someone hacked your site and pasted their checksum as the valid one.

It's not a foolproof method but can still help with general security.

    I learned how to drive manual last week

That's the only way I know how to drive. The automatic transmission is rather fringe around here.

    Is this similar to why you would check for a collision that according to this is likely never going to happen to you?

I don't look for collisions. It's just something of which I am aware. Collisions are but a tiny subset of duplicates.

Dala  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ah, crunchbang. How I miss you. Thanks for the nostalgia trip.

Here's my home directory:

  Data/

Documents/

Downloads/

Notes/

Pictures/

Projects/

Remote/

Study/

Videos/

Virtual Machines/

Data is for keeping original files containing experimental results.

Notes directory is for storing various small notes. It contains subdirectories for years which are then divided by months.

Projects stores all of my code. It's divided on a per language basis and by topics (networking, numerical calculations, system scripts etc) by means of file links to relevant directories (similar to 'shortcuts' on Windows).

Remote is just to make direct links to other computers (sshfs and whatnot). Most people use /tmp/ instead.

Study is where I keep textbooks and courses I used or plan on using. A lot of them are just file links to something in Documents, Downloads or Videos.

Other directories are self-explanatory and divided into categories. I very rarely make any duplicates and I have a script that I run every few months to check for them.

EDIT: As for rules that prevent me from amassing a lot of files, it's quite simple: I rarely download anything unless it's something that I know I will use immediately or put it somewhere reasonably within a year on my to-do list. There are exceptions, but those are mostly things that I will use in grad school.

I have a problem with the number of bookmarks. Those require purging every few months, even if I try to have them all tidy and without duplicates. If I can see that I haven't visited some page since saving it, then it gets deleted. There are exceptions, but those are mainly things like "I would really like to visit this place if it will ever be possible."

weewooweewoo  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Using shortcuts is something I haven't thought of at all, but it's elegant! There are times when I can't decide where something should go, and there have been times when I've looked for something in multiple places.

I'm unsure what you mean by having a script to check for directories, do you have to recheck the organizational structure of your directory?

Devac  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Here's how my script works:

1. Make a list of all files in <a list of directories>.

2. Save a full path to each file (but not a shortcuts) and pair it with an MD5 checksum. It goes recursively into subdirectories until the end of the tree.

3. Look for checksum duplicates.

4. If duplicate, then print (or save in a file) all locations.

Because there aren't many duplicates to begin with, I can usually go through the list by hand. Last time it was something like 10 positions.

Why does the checksum comparison work? Chances to have two different files with exact same checksum are pretty low. Like 'it never happened to me' low. Also, checksums will not differ even if the names are different.

EDIT: Just as a CYA measure for you twitchy programmers out there, I did put some optimisations in place. For instance: things are recalculated only if the date of modification is chronologically after the date of the last scan. If a file is no longer there, the entry is simply removed. It isn't pretty or as optimal as it could be but works fast enough for me.

weewooweewoo  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My only experience with experience with linux was to distrohop to see the differences between them. It was finals week and my procrastination took me through Ubuntu, Mint, Bodhi, and Crunchbang, and I'm sure the MD5 checksum is something I've seen while installing these things. I never really got it.

I learned how to drive manual last week, and I was surprised at how many things I've taken for granted driving automatic. I have an idealized romanticism with driving manual and just wanted to take it on. Is this similar to why you would check for a collision that according to this is likely never going to happen to you?

Devac  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On Linux, checking the MD5 sum isn't really required for installing anything. If you'll make a program and distribute it, you also provide the checksum for your build. That way if someone would swap binary for something else, you can tell by a checksum mismatch. Of course, it doesn't work if someone hacked your site and pasted their checksum as the valid one.

It's not a foolproof method but can still help with general security.

    I learned how to drive manual last week

That's the only way I know how to drive. The automatic transmission is rather fringe around here.

    Is this similar to why you would check for a collision that according to this is likely never going to happen to you?

I don't look for collisions. It's just something of which I am aware. Collisions are but a tiny subset of duplicates.

Dala  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ah, crunchbang. How I miss you. Thanks for the nostalgia trip.

Devac  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ghost in the Shell: How Not to Adapt a Movie

How about "Listen you chicken-shits, I'm a highly talented and recognised director so whatever I make is pure gold. I guess that the beige was too subtle for you philistines."

But I think that in a crowd where referencing Bevis and Butthead and generally being a dick is good enough I actually might have been a bit too high brow.

johnnyFive  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That would also be acceptable.

Devac  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ghost in the Shell: How Not to Adapt a Movie

"We wanted to make it like Blade Runner without that obnoxious smog!"

"Christopher Nolan dared us to use even fewer colours. Mission accomplished."

Come on, join me with guessing what will be on the commentary track.

johnnyFive  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you're off to a good start, but you need to turn up the pretension a few notches :)

Devac  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How about "Listen you chicken-shits, I'm a highly talented and recognised director so whatever I make is pure gold. I guess that the beige was too subtle for you philistines."

But I think that in a crowd where referencing Bevis and Butthead and generally being a dick is good enough I actually might have been a bit too high brow.

johnnyFive  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That would also be acceptable.

Devac  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Photography: Ultraviolet Break of Day

To be fair, it's not like major cities in Asia need much to convey that feeling. EDIT: I would argue that almost any city can be made into something like that anyway.

That's Warsaw. Add a bunch of neon lights with kanji, play with saturation and colour balance a bit and you gonna get Cyberpunk aesthetics.

Two minutes in Gimp.

Devac  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Looks like Charlotesville is really starting to backfire for White Power groups

    When I non-sequit here it feels like a criminal violation

This just means you are an insequitur when it comes to the rules.

Now, thanks to my limitless off-topic powers, everything will seem more relevant. Carry on.

am_Unition  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Devac throwin' down in Latin makes me feel insequir :/

Devac  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: TIH: August 17, 1629- John Sobieski, King of Poland, is born

Ah, one of my favourite kings! Not even because of all the patriotic propaganda, but simply because he's one among few rulers of this country who either had smart ideas on their own or were willing to actually listen to someone who had them. I loathed history back in high school and yet I was intrigued enough to do some research about the guy on my own.

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