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veen's comments
veen  ·  42 minutes ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 18, 2018

    Ask: What can be learned? (Learn it, then move on.)

I find this to be so difficult though, because it is rarely the case that the answer presents itself lickety split. It's usually days, months or even years later that I feel like I have learned the lessons from it. The emotional distance gained from temporal distance is what allows me to hone in on the answer. I wouldn't be mulling over the past if it wasn't useful to some degree.

veen  ·  49 minutes ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 18, 2018

Well, alright, I can avoid historic garments and sharp pointy stabby things. But accidents like that are generally hard to avoid. "Accidents hide in the smallest corners", as the Dutch saying goes.

veen  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 18, 2018

On Living in the Present, or Please Do Not Get A Medieval Blade In Your Eye

---

After a month of waiting my Nerdiest Thing Ever finally arrived. It's a custom-made D&D dice box with a quote that I personally care about and that totally fits the nature of the game, since throwing the dice by definition will end my doubts.

Not long after its arrival, I tried again to search the web for the source of the quote and I think I may have found a source? Wittgenstein said in his book On Certainty that “a doubt without an end is not even a doubt.” I can see myself misremembering / paraphrasing / butchering that quote into mine.

Speaking of nerdy things: a friend of a friend was doing one of those historical reenactments, and somehow he got stabbed by a fucking sword in his eye. It went partly into his skull, so not only will he be half-blind, he also has difficulties talking and may never recover fully. Dude's the same age as me, and just like that, his life got upended.

I also read Paul Kalanithi's When Breath becomes Air this week. It's a posthumous memoir. Paul was on his way to become one of the best neurosurgeons, when he was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. The book feels unfinished because that's what it is, and that's what his life was. Yet he found the strength to remain hopeful - not for a cure, but "for days of meaning".

It's made me contemplate on my own frailty and mortality. About the ol' "live each day like it's your last" adagium. After all, who knows what could happen. But on the other hand, should I really change my approach to life? I spend a lot of time contemplating my future, and mulling over the past, and I wonder if it gets in the way of the present too much.

I know I can't do anything about things like cancer and swords to the eye. But I can work on those days of meaning. And maybe the way to do that is to let those plans and those reflections go for a while. To let go of my doubts about my future, and my doubts over my past actions.

Maybe that's why that quote resonates so much with me.

kleinbl00  ·  1 hour ago  ·  link  ·  

    I know I can't do anything about things like cancer and swords to the eye.

Cancer? No. Swords to the eye?

Your life has spiraled out of control in truly novel and unprecedented ways if you can't control for "swords to the eye."

veen  ·  49 minutes ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, alright, I can avoid historic garments and sharp pointy stabby things. But accidents like that are generally hard to avoid. "Accidents hide in the smallest corners", as the Dutch saying goes.

lil  ·  2 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

    I spend a lot of time contemplating my future, and mulling over the past, and I wonder if it gets in the way of the present too much.
It does. Contemplation and reflecting are good things generally, but can leave you numb. Here's what I do with my mulling mostly: Ask: What can be learned? (Learn it, then move on.) Maybe one stays mulling over the past because the thing that can be learned might be too difficult to truly accept and embrace.
veen  ·  42 minutes ago  ·  link  ·  

    Ask: What can be learned? (Learn it, then move on.)

I find this to be so difficult though, because it is rarely the case that the answer presents itself lickety split. It's usually days, months or even years later that I feel like I have learned the lessons from it. The emotional distance gained from temporal distance is what allows me to hone in on the answer. I wouldn't be mulling over the past if it wasn't useful to some degree.

veen  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: veen’s reviews #2: Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty

I remember Judt and Timothy Snyder discussing that. Pretty awful how so many people had no scruples when it came to Jewish wealth.

kleinbl00  ·  1 hour ago  ·  link  ·  

Hey - you tell somebody they can shoot their neighbor and take their farm, or not shoot their neighbor and get shot by their other neighbor. Before too long the only people left are the guilty ones.

Worked in Cambodia, too. You were either the bourgeoisie or the survivors. This is why the whole "Trump therefore we're one step away from the Third Reich" canard bugs the shit out of me. Ain't nobody wanna steal the resources of those uppity, wealthy black people.

veen  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 26th Desultory Quotes Rodeo

    There’s nothing on my horizon except everything. Everything is on my horizon.

- Rainn Wilson aka Dwight Schrute.

    "The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.”

- Unknown

    “Refusing to deal with numbers rarely serves the interests of the least well off.”

- Thomas Piketty

    "Our patients' lives and identities may be in our hands - yet death will always win. Even if you are perfect, the world isn't. The secret is to know the deck you stack - that you will lose, that your hands or judgement will slip, and yet still struggle to win for your patients. You can't ever reach perfection - but you can believe in an asymptote towards which you are ceaselessly striving."

- Paul Kalanithi

    We can either make our choices deliberately, or let others or other things decide for us.

- Greg McKeown

Buy less stuff. Eat less meat. And try to figure out where you can conserve energy.

My 1000sqft place is poised to stay under 2100 kWh this year.

b_b  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Damn. USA isn't number 1 in anything anymore :(

veen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘Unmasking Antifa Act' includes 15-year prison term proposal

    “(a) In general.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

    Section 1363 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: “Whoever, during the commission of an offense under this section, wears a disguise, including a mask, shall, in addition to any term of imprisonment otherwise imposed under this section, be imprisoned for 2 years.”.

Man, cosplayers are gonna be pissed.

Really though, this sounds almost silly considering how broadly it is formulated. Hell, you could count Halloween costumes as a 'disguise'.

tacocat  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·  

American conservative politicians seem to enjoy writing broadly worded laws so they can defer responsibility for unfair enforcement to levels of government such as counties and even individual law enforcement officers. This is the party of small government that doesn't honestly believe in small government so they get a lot of convenient opportunities to codify racism and discrimination. They kinda lack a united voice with so many individual actors which makes nailing down intent basically impossible. Meh. I'm not currently upset enough about this to ramble on longer but I've been personally affected

veen  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 11, 2018

My mom cut off contact with her dad a few years ago. He was always kind to me and my sister, but was always manipulative towards my mom. Then his wife died, and all that was left after grief was bitterness, so he became even more of a manipulative jerk to my mom.

It still took her two years of exhausted headaches / migraines after each visit before she could cut him off. Family is hard to let go of. Personally I wanted her to cut ties way earlier - you might owe some family a helping hand, but you don't owe them your life or your kids.

veen  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mueller asks court for 100 more blank subpoenas ahead of Manafort trial

    The request comes roughly a month after Mueller filed a request for 150 blank subpoenas.

So there are now potentially 250 people who have to show up for the Manafort trial? Is that an unusually high amount?

cgod  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Former federal prosecutor Ken Whit said that the initial 250 was not at all unusual in a complex case dealing with financial crimes. Each movement of money will generate multiple suppoenas from the different institutions involved. He said that it might be a little bit on the low side considering all the charges.

veen  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The mechanical keyboard rabbit hole

    I think we underestimate the degree to which having tools that make you happy can really make doing a job better.

I'm not so sure about the efficacy of nice/awesome tools over regular ones. I have an expensive-ass iPad Pro which is marginally better for sketching and taking notes than my ol' paper notebook. I highly doubt it's $800 better at its primary note-taking function. I have a Ducky Zero mechanical keyboard - I think it helps here and there with RSI, but not much better than a regular keyboard.

I read Marie Kondo while packing up to move homes. Don't read it - it's basically someone nerding out about organizing her stuff around the simple-ass dictum of keeping the things that make you happy while ditching the things that don't.

She for example totally digs her clothes to be folded in a way that they can stand somewhat vertically. It makes her happy.

I tried it - and I decided I just don't give a crap. But I do give a crap about having a clicky keyboard, and a fancy iPad'n'keyboard and alllll the other tech that I keep buying to build my Perfect Tech Setup. She doesn't care about that, and that's okay, because stuff is there to make you happy in doing what you do.

I think we understimate the degree to which having tools that make you happy can really make one happier.

johnnyFive  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think we're saying the same (or at least similar) things. There's two elements to the competency angle, though.

First, if you have something that makes doing something enjoyable, you're more likely to do that thing. I resisted drawing for a long time, and part of the reason I got an iPad Pro was because I knew that would make me more likely to actually practice. And it worked! It wasn't the only reason I got motivated, but it helped.

The other is, related to this, we're more likely to put in the work the less it feels like work. We're very good at finding shortcuts in doing things that we don't want to do, but something that makes doing whatever it is more pleasant acts in the opposite direction. Simply put, easier things are less frustrating.

veen  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 11, 2018

Yeah, for me it's work and life consuming most of my time. I'm writing an academic paper based on my thesis as well, and I notice it's not easy to find the time for that. But I have also drastically cut down my time on Reddit, Twitter, HN, and reading newspapers which has limited my exposure to cool things to post here.

veen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Self-driving cars are headed toward an AI roadblock

    Not anymore

(that's Uber though, not Waymo)

Over the years I have increasingly become pessimistic about full, everywhere, driver-licence-free autonomous driving, in no small part because the foremost expert I know has made a similar move. He's putting that kinda tech at at somewhere around five decades away IIRC.

There's a strong tendency to put everything from Uber's OpenCV side project all the way up to the dreamed level-5 AV in the same bucket, while I think the nuances of the tech drastically change what kind of technological wall will be hit when. Personally, I am more and more putting my money on AV's that are limited to easy roads. (With easy being 'highways' now and 'separated traffic flows' in the near future.)

kleinbl00  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    (that's Uber though, not Waymo)

Doh

veen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Juggalos figured out how to beat facial recognition technology

Even in a dystopian Minority Report-esque future I would never suggest one to become a Juggalo.

veen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 285th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

veen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 4, 2018

Happy Fourth y'all!

Good vibes all around. I finally got to see Iron & Wine live. I can't even remember where I first heard about Iron & Wine, but it's been in my playlists for years now. The band was phenomenal, and I got to hear all the songs I hoped for. Damn near each song was performed in a much more interesting and dynamic way than the album would suggest. And I brought a new friend along - my D&D DM is a nice fella and I knew he likes indie music, so I invited him along. (And partly because it is surprisingly difficult to make new real friends after college.) Thankfully he also thought it was a great concert.

I also had this amazing company party at what was one of Amsterdam's biggest prisons up until two years ago. Brutalism, BBQ, barbed wire and beers in the sun. The afterparty was on the 7th floor of a hotel with an amazing view of the city. Colleague of mine mentioned that he wanted me to help along with a project he might be doing with Sidewalk Labs, which is dope.

Yesterday the girl I'm seeing had a great evening together at a restaurant with a plethora of dishes from all around the world. We hadn't seen each other in a while because we both had so much planned already and she lives in another city. Part of me was worried that that might be a problem, but it wasn't at all and we already have plans to see each other soon. (Or at least soonish.)