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halinc's comments
halinc  ·  1760 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How long until a robot cries?

Can you explain this comment? While the disciplines are distinct, In pop-sci articles it's not uncommon to hear from both.

halinc  ·  1896 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: First-ever Hubski three-word story challenge: Oct/2/2014

I left again.

halinc  ·  1896 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea

While I agree with the bulk of what the author's saying here, this struck me as an unfair statement:

>Now it just so happens that within the past decade or so the United States has, in effect, run two experiments — one in Iraq, the other in Libya — to test whether the theory of spontaneous order works out as the libertarian tradition would predict.

That wasn't an experiment in spontaneous order as described by Smith or the 'libertarian tradition.' It was an experiment in what happens when a power vacuum is suddenly created in a volatile political environment.

halinc  ·  1993 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Minimal Wikipedia

Looks like the mobile version of Wiki with a larger font.

halinc  ·  2012 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Anyone have experience with grants?

As a researcher I've been on teams depending on grant funding, but I've never been a PI so my experience is pretty limited, but what I do know is that you need to be prepared for quite a bit of red tape. Deadlines for action on the part of the grant awarder are more like guidelines. Good scores don't necessarily mean you'll get funded, but they are a good sign. Apply often and be very descriptive!

halinc  ·  2015 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Miley Cyrus: The Anti-Lorde

Does this strike anyone else as easy and shallow criticism? We're supposed to be surprised that America has turned on a former child star, and that a fresh face in the scene is still unimpeachable? Low-hanging jokes like this one undermine her point too:

| hipsters tossed it out faster than an empty can of ironically-quaffed Pabst

TheGreatAbider16  ·  2014 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I didn't much enjoy it either. Particularly equating a title like "Pure Heroine" with "innocence." I can't see it.

cgod  ·  2014 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It reminded me of college writing assignment where you will get a good grade for bold attempts at "rich use of language and imagery" and you are expected to try your hand at interesting comparisons and the use of metaphors and specific modes of analysis.

Looking at it that way it's an A paper but I'm not really interested in 200 level English composition. Reminds me of stuff I wrote in school but I chose more fertile ground to push my bullshit around in.

halinc  ·  2019 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings

I don't disagree with the thrust of this article, but the conclusion is a little vague. The call to be more empathetic and pay attention to society's outsiders could be fleshed out a little more.

IRC, GeoCities, myspace top 8's, AOL instant messenger, dial-up tones.

llagerlof  ·  2043 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Don't forget ICQ!

halinc  ·  2047 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what's your excuse?

Nothing sounds that appealing any more. My joie de vivre is temporarily unavailable, 503. Time to start looking for that SOB.

nowaypablo  ·  2046 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've been there. Good luck friend, check the cupboard

halinc  ·  2052 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sixty-Eighth Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread
halinc  ·  2055 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Cable, or "What'ch'ya'll watchin?"

What are your issues with GRRM, his editor, and the text?

_refugee_  ·  2055 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think that GoT has lost a lot of narrative power as a result of multiple "main thread" characters being killed or dying off. I very much appreciate an author who is willing to kill his or her characters. It avoids trite happy endings and strikes fear and real feeling into the heart of readers, who often think "Oh but [the author] would never allow this character to die, they are too integral." It also creates a more realistic story.

However, when you repeatedly kill characters, especially characters that your audience likes, you encourage your audience to stop caring so damn much about your characters in general. The reader (or watcher) learns that everyone is expendable and so as a result stops investing as much in everyone. Ultimately, each main character death becomes less meaningful in the long run as a result, and in order to create the same kind of reaction as (Book 1 Spoiler) Ned Stark's death the author must ramp up the extremity of each death. See (later book - either 4 or 5) the Red Wedding. In addition, due to the narrative structure of GoT, each main-line voice that is killed off must be replaced by new characters, or face a dwindling cast of main-thread characters and PoV. GRRM has obviously chosen against the latter. In fact, the main-thread characters have increased. On top of that, GRRM has at times introduced characters whose narratives only appear once in the story or very sporadically. This last bit causes me to again care less about individual characters because I no longer know who's important or who is coming back. Each new main-line character must cultivate a relationship with the reader; the reader must find either the story, PoV, or the narrator appealing, or else why bother reading that section? When this relationship is hastily cultivated, not cultivated (by only having one instance of it), or not thoroughly cultivated, the reader will lose interest. I feel that GRRM fails to realize this in later books as he begins introducing a great number of new main-line characters who I felt (as a reader) I had no or little established reason to care about. It is trying to continually attempt to establish relationships to new characters/POVs/storylines. GRRM further complicates this as he introduces more and more complex storylines. When you are jumping from place to place and person to person, it is easy for the audience to become confused about who is whom, where a given character is, and which events the character has experienced or is experiencing. This is of course even further complicated by the fact that characters move about all the time. This results in a significant amount of thumbing back to previous chapters so the reader can refresh him- or herself on prior events. As a reader I find this extremely frustrating when it occurs on a heavily repeated basis. I don't think one can deny that it makes it significantly more difficult to progress forward in a book if one is constantly thumbing back to ensure one has the correct understanding of a situation. And in addition, it builds on that detachment that I mention earlier.

Many people have a few favorite cast members, as I'll call them, and they read on primarily for those characters. The attachment to those characters and their fate keeps the reader going. Unfortunately this can also result in readers paying less attention to stories that don't involve those characters, skimming, and thereby not forming the new attachments that are necessary to continue interest in the overall story as a whole. So this contributes to the "not building relationships with new characters" issue - because some characters a reader has deep relationships to are still left.

I think GRRM got overswept with his Grand Brilliant Idea and began throwing in more extraneous detail and story than was necessary. I think his editor got overwhelmed with the success of the books and is basically letting GRRM do whatever the fuck he wants. And I think the text, over time, encourages readers to become alienated. Basically, I think that shit needs to get edited the fuck down.

I realize my complaints may come down to "GRRM/GoT is overly complex" and some people will say "Complexity makes a work great." Sure, yes, complexity can help work be really, really successful, see Infinite Jest. But like any other tool or technique, when it's overdone, it becomes harmful to the text. Some of what I complain about in the long run helped make GoT what it was in the short run/beginning. I guess I feel like GoT is now pulling the same old tricks, same old rabbit out a hat, except now I've seen it ten or fifteen times and because I see it coming, I'm not even interested.

I'd rather read the Wikipedia summaries of every forthcoming GoT book than spend the time it takes to wade through them. The writing and story are not good enough to justify the time or emotional attachment. GRRM isn't doing anything new with the writing. It's plot plot plot and I'm no longer surprised by or interested in most of the plot.

kleinbl00  ·  2055 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think it's hilarious that you're extrapolating your experiences with the Red Wedding out to the rest of the series. That's what everybody does. That's what I did.

There's nothing "hasty" about Game of Thrones. If anything, the books are tedious in their detail. Book-wise, the show is less than half way through Book 3, and there's plenty of shit to get through.

Is it "plot plot plot?" Sure. That's called storytelling.

For what it's worth, I've never met anyone who didn't put the books down for a few months in the middle of Book 3. Like I said, that's basically where the series is right now. Every single one of them, however, picked them back up, and was glad for it.

_refugee_  ·  2055 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've read all the way through up to Dances With Dragons. Tried to get into Dances With Dragons and mostly completely failed. Maybe part of it was the wait between books; I lose interest and accurate recall when enough time and other distractions (like in this instance other books) get between me and a given thing. By the time DWD came out I was no longer attached to most of the series. Maybe it was time, maybe it was my completely self-confessed bitter bitch coming through: I must admit here that when something I like, but do not love, becomes the obsession of a large, loud group of people, it generally tends to turn me off of the object of their fandom. Everyone running around going "OMG Game of Thrones" made me go "Yes. Please shut up. GoT." I guess part of it is that while I enjoyed GoT a lot at first, I never fell in love and found such passion alienating. (What wasn't I seeing in the series that everyone else saw?)

I wouldn't say hasty. I would say "more dramatic" and/or "more painful." We become inured to shock when we are frequently exposed to it. Let's say [x] amount of shock like the death of a single character. If [x] occurs every 50-100 pages by 1,000 pages in [x] is expected. Now to get the same reaction the author must deal out 2[x] of shock. Or whatever. You build a tolerance for it, especially as a reader because readers are already detached from the "reality" of the world within a book. (Edit: OK, yes, basically I'm saying that emotional reactions from book characters and events are like heroin. At first you're super sensitive to the characters and their pain. But if they're in pain fucking all the time you're just like "oh yeah, you're suffering again. fuckin' frodo and your fuckin' ring whining about it i get it." Then Frodo has to lose his fucking FINGER before I'm like "Oh yeah he's suffering some more, that really, really sucks." Or, whatever.)

I watched the first season. I got tired of all the people going "OMG" on Facebook and Twitter. Like, a) contain yourselves, people, and b) you think the HBO series was good? go read the fuckin' book, and c) you fucking newbs that are just getting into this through the HBO series and think you're "fans," you don't even fuckin' know.

Like, sure, TV series are cool. I never got into Got:TV. I'm not up-to-date and don't care to get that way. I understand TV/movie adaptations of novels are not their novels and maybe should be treated as separate objects because of it, but based on some of the changes they've made in the series I'm not really interested. And I certainly don't care about becoming emotionally invested in GoT:TV. Like, I clearly can't bestir myself to be emotionally invested in the books at this point. Why even bother with the show?

I skimmed DwD to read the stories of the characters I liked and/or despised. DwD is when I got really fed up with GRRM.

I guess my point is it's all plot and so I feel like I can just read the summary later and not lose anything at all. Just give me the freaking tl;dr so I don't have to slog through the books but I get some kind of resolution to the story if I want it.

I really, really dislike GoT, but it's not because I haven't gone in as deep as I could try. - to the books.

flagamuffin  ·  2055 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    In addition, due to the narrative structure of GoT, each main-line voice that is killed off must be replaced by new characters, or face a dwindling cast of main-thread characters and PoV. GRRM has obviously chosen against the latter. In fact, the main-thread characters have increased. On top of that, GRRM has at times introduced characters whose narratives only appear once in the story or very sporadically. This last bit causes me to again care less about individual characters because I no longer know who's important or who is coming back. Each new main-line character must cultivate a relationship with the reader; the reader must find either the story, PoV, or the narrator appealing, or else why bother reading that section? When this relationship is hastily cultivated, not cultivated (by only having one instance of it), or not thoroughly cultivated, the reader will lose interest. I feel that GRRM fails to realize this in later books as he begins introducing a great number of new main-line characters who I felt (as a reader) I had no or little established reason to care about.

Agree. But. See below.

    I think GRRM got overswept with his Grand Brilliant Idea and began throwing in more extraneous detail and story than was necessary.

I'm pretty sure he's admitted to this.

--

I like the complexity of GoT, it's fun. I like the Easter eggs most of all -- much like rationalist fiction, it's "solvable." We have a lot of fun over at r/asoiaf doing predictions. Frankly, I'm mostly interested in reading book 6 and 7 to see which stuff we got right.

I also hate the complexity. It feels at times shoehorned, but then so does learning about history. Martin is a student of history. Pretty much every little incident in GoT is modeled on event that happened to Eleanor of Aquitaine or Hannibal or some interesting fucker. This is neat.

Martin's commitment to realism is bound to hurt his narrative. Realism dictates that he make us love a castmember and then tear their character to shreds while killing them off. It makes the novels unique, not excellent. I can name any number of fantasy series I enjoy reading more, and that's not just because of my opinion of Martin's often-trite prose, but I really, truly don't know how Game of Thrones is going to end -- and that's pretty unheard of.

--

The show is completely hit or miss. Some actors are incredible -- Tywin, Arya -- some are lackluster. The showrunners have made a lot of questionable decisions, but they've also improved on a few things. This season's episodes have been great, decent and okay in that order so far, but certainly all worth watching for the spectacle.

kleinbl00  ·  2055 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Figured out the other day that the Seven Gods are Manicheism and R'hllor is Islam.

Me? I hate the tedium. GRRM will blow six pages on the fucking food.

briandmyers  ·  2053 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Figured out the other day that the Seven Gods are Manicheism and R'hllor is Islam.

I always thought the Seven were (roughly) Catholicism; and the sparrows movement represented the Protestants. I don't see the R'hllor / Islam connection, except perhaps in their dealings with the infidel?

I also feel that, on some levels anyway, the dragons represent Science in our world, and their awakening / rebirth is a representation of the Renaissance.

>> Me? I hate the tedium. GRRM will blow six pages on the fucking food.

Sooo much grease dripping down chins.

kleinbl00  ·  2053 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Manichaeism post-dates christianity but predates islam. Unlike christianity or judaism, manichaeism busts the universe up into five "sub gods" - Reason, Mind, Intelligence, Thought and Understanding. These get reflected down to Ether, Wind, Light, Water and Fire in the 1st kingdom. 2nd kingdom? that's where it gets complicated.

No parallels are perfect - if they were, R'hllor would be the persecutor and the Seven Gods would be the upstart. But the fact of the matter is, Manichaeism went crazy throughout south asia and the Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Zoroastrians were all threatened by it... and drove it to extinction.

briandmyers  ·  2053 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Interesting. In most of the world (outside Westeros), the Seven are the upstart - and even within Westeros, they are "the new gods".

The Seven seem to me to be an amalgam of the Catholic Trinity with the old Roman and Greek pantheons.

kleinbl00  ·  2053 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know one thing for sure - there's no correct answer to this. It's an interesting discussion, however.

havires  ·  1974 days ago  ·  link  ·  

As an unrelated note: I've heard The Black Company is awesome, but I've never read it. I might have to fix this.

halinc  ·  2069 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Emerging European Dream v. The American Dream

I found this paragraph and its explanation particularly insightful:

"When an American says “freedom”, what we have in mind is autonomy and mobility. That’s why we love the “auto-mobile”. We stole the German internal combustion engine because we were ready for it and you weren’t. We created the first car culture in the world. You created the Autobahn, but we had the cars. So, “autonomy” and “mobility”. Our parents teach us when we’re very little, you need to be self-sufficient. The government is not going to take care of you, your neighbors may show some charity, but don’t depend on them. You are on your own, you’re responsible for your life, you’re going to learn to swim or sink, and never blame someone else for your life, your life is your destiny, you’re in charge, take control of your life. Be an island, be self-sufficient, be independent, be autonomous, be mobile, be the cowboy on the horse – now, the kid in the car. No continental parent teaches you this. They teach you that “freedom” is the quality of your relationships, your access to communities. To the extent that you have access, you have community, you have quality of relationships, you can blossom, you can flourish, you have opportunity, you have choices."

I've heard these differing ideas of freedom succinctly described as 'freedom from. X' vs. 'freedom to. Y.' It's a useful way to think about it.

halinc  ·  2083 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm helping my parents move out of my childhood home. Suggest some music.

Thanks for the warning. My goal here is to realize the end of a part of my life without engaging in any of that sort of masochism. It's comforting that this is a pretty universal experience.

humanodon  ·  2084 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Cooool. But kind of gross too. It reminds me of that Nine Inch Nails video a little bit [NSFW]:

halinc  ·  2114 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Is Your State's Favorite Band?

The title is a little misleading here - the artist listed for each state is the most 'distinctive' pick for that state, ie the one who sees the most relative increase in popularity in that state. James Blake isn't the most popular answer for a favorite artist among New Yorkers, but he's picked more often in New York than in other states.