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This is great! I generally use PRISM Break to find privacy software, but this list is much more comprehensive.

I'm reading Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun - currently only 50 pages in and I'm hooked.

usipeus  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What are you reading this week?

Today I'm going to start City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett. I was super impressed by one of his previous works, The Company Man, and my expectations are very high for his new book. After I finish that, I'll probably read William Gibson's The Peripheral, then something by Cory Doctorow.

I think I'm interested in epistemology, but I don't really know at this point. A class at my university that stood out to me was engineering ethics.

I want to learn (and am currently learning) programming. So far I've done some C, Python, and Java, but I still haven't mastered anything. I also need to learn shell scripting and git. There's a nice list of free resources for quite a few programming languages here.

* Creative writing and technical writing

* Cooking

* Recording music (I play bass guitar and a bit of electric guitar, but I haven't tried recording them)

* Piano (played for 6 years, stopped 7 years ago, forgot how to read sheet music)

* Music theory (some good resources I found:, Dave Conservatiore)

* Drums

* DIY electronics (my major is electrical engineering, so I've already learned the basics; the next step is getting all the materials)

* Art

* Philosophy

* Astrophysics (cool resource that I haven't tried yet: open astrophysics bookshelf)

* Theoretical physics

* Math First Course in Linear Algebra (free textbook)

Graphical Linear Algebra

Circles Sines and Signals (intro to digital signal processing)

* Bike and car maintenance

I don't understand why the author seems to discount anything remotely complex as not mathematical. For example,

> Today's submicrometer transistors involve complicated effects that the earlier models neglected, so engineers have turned to computer simulation software to model smaller transistors. A more effective formula would describe transistors at all scales, but such a compact formula does not exist.

What the heck does she think the code of the simulation software is? People wrote that code so that engineers can actually get work done at Intel. Furthermore, aren't those "complicated effects" at smaller scales due to quantum mechanics which are extremely well-defined by math?

Why is there the assumption that describing something in the most general form (like "transistors at all scales") is still going to be simple? Is everything supposed to be as simple as E = mc^2?

usipeus  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Judge. Discriminate. Be Discerning.

I think the author of this article is trying too hard to take an isolated event and generalize its results towards all of America. First of all, what the heck is up with his/her definitions of judgement and discriminate?

> With political correctness reaching unprecedented levels, we as a society are claiming to not judge (make a considered decision or come to a sensible conclusion) or discriminate (recognize a distinction; differentiate).

I was under the impression that not judging people (in the context of racism/sexism/*-ism) has a much more specific meaning more akin to not stereotyping. Same for the word discrimination; in this context those two words do not mean the same thing as:

> “discernment,” defined as “the ability to judge well.” Would we want to exclaim “I have no discernment!”?

The author is ignoring the contextual usage of two of the words in the title in order to draw sweeping generalizations about people. He/she claims that because we have accepted transgender people, America can no longer distinguish "admirable character" from "moral decay".

And let's remind ourselves about who the author is complaining about when he/she lashes out at the

> the faceless mob of social media

> the faceless social media mob, along with the mainstream media, both of which have no judgement or discrimination (read: discernment)

I think it goes without saying that these people do not have social justice as their highest priority. The "social media mob" is probably more concerned with finding people to attack in order to feel better about themselves. The backdrop for their attacks, the setting, if you will, is a current event. Transgender issues are only a means for these idiots to justify their endless hate. Similarly, the "mainstream media" has to go with whatever will get them viewers. Whatever side they take is for that purpose alone. When money comes into play, as it must for mainstream media, then journalistic ethics and the truth both become shoved to the side.

This quote in particular proves that the author is talking about extremists, basically. His analogy to Party members in 1984 is hilarious - what could possibly be more extreme than the authorities in 1984?

> The faceless social media mob, along with the mainstream media, both of which have no judgement or discrimination (read: discernment) unleashed hate upon him in eerily similar fashion to the way Party members participated in Two Minutes of Hate in Orwell’s “1984”.

This article in a nutshell is the author drawing sweeping generalizations about all of America based on the actions of an extremist minority and using semantics (which ignore the context that the usage of particular words are grounded in) to describe those generalizations.

Just for the record, do I think giving that particular transgender person an award over that particular soldier is okay? Well, based only on what the article says, it seems a bit stupid. Perhaps Mr. Berg is at least partially correct, although I don't think he realizes exactly how important transgenderism is to one's identity. But is really saying what the author thinks he's saying?

> More importantly, [Berg] discerned that we, as a nation, are cheapening the meaning of bravery in a way that is utterly offensive to the truly brave.

I don't think so.

Besides, we as a nation do honor our soldiers every day and recognize their courage. Unfortunately, I can't say the same thing for people of color or people who aren't heterosexual.

I've been listening to some doom metal lately, mostly The Howling Void (a one man funeral doom project).

The Howling Void - The Silence of Centuries

Neptune's Pride 2 is a brilliant RTS which has games that can last for weeks. It's real time, but a lot of the events take hours/days to happen so you can check on your progress twice a day and keep up. The mechanics are simple; the real fun is player interaction.

usipeus  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What kind of mouse do you use?

I got that same mouse off of Amazon for $30 in November, and it hasn't shown any signs of wear. It's an incredible mouse for the price, and it even comes with customizable weights! I've recommended it to friends who don't want to spend $50-$70 on a decent gaming mouse.

usipeus  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Do you keep a journal or a notebook?

I don't, but I want to start one (hopefully tomorrow, before I forget what I want to write about). I'll probably start by answering a question I have, or documenting my progress for certain projects.

Thief 2 is arguably the best stealth game ever made and its gameplay has not aged a single day. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the graphics.

Planescape: Torment is the Thief 2 of classic western RPGs. The world in particular is incredibly well-made.

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