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Devac's profile

I'm a mathematics and physics student, which summarises many of my interests ;). In addition, I'm an avid fan of metal and RPGs (Role Playing Games).

Some extra stuff you might need to know about me:

I'm half-Polish and half-German, know the Polish language much better than German, but I can get at least the gist of it. Other than that I know bare-bones Czech and Swedish. For the sake of completeness, I also know English. ;)

I'm dyslexic and colour blind (the red-green type), that's to excuse miscommunication and me calling something eye-straining or unreadable. It's a rather extreme case of the bottom left in this picture.

It's not uncommon for me to call pounds, ounces and similar non-SI units of measurement as Wizard Units (WU). That's not due to hate, but it does feel annoying when most people in the USA or the UK can't be bothered to convert them on their own. Yet, moan whenever I would confuse some Pennsylvanian Liquid Ounce with Imperial Lager Ounce. I'm not even certain if the units I made up there are not real! It's a miracle you don't have TI-81 Shaftment to measure distance.

I don't like people making poorly reasoned accusations about me. If you think that you can give me a lesson on something give me a god-damned lesson instead of calling me names.

I don't have any problems with personal beliefs. It includes but is not limited to sexual orientation, gender issues and food choices, and all that other crap. I honest to whatever you find holy/unholy/other don't care. Just don't try to evangelise at me. That's among the easiest reasons for me to block/mute someone, beforehand calling them a sanctimonious git.

If you think that I'm disrespecting you: please, assume that I had a really bad day. I don't think I'm violent by nature. I think that I'm neither offensive nor a douche. But when I'm not at my usual laid-back state I will jump to HULK SMASH in an instant. And usually switch back as fast. Yes, I am serious.

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Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: RPG Setting for: Imperium Romanum D&D

I responded to you about it on IRC, but just in case you missed it: I killed the site because it was really inconvenient to update. Because there's no way to ssh there, I had to waste about ten minutes on making an archive locally, uploading it through FTP, log to the in-browser file manager, unpack it, edit some of the files via what's basically a form field in the mentioned manager. I know how incredibly petty that is, but it was just frustrating. Especially considering the high latencies of the in-browser file manager.

In order to solve this problem, I will just publish the whole thing when I'll get to around 80-100 pages (not counting basic Monster Manual and my campaign, these are now separate projects done roughly in parallel) of the planned content and be left with only fixing typos, grammar and whatnot. It will come with an added benefit of being playtested better, as I'm in the middle of the second campaign (version in Polish is pretty much done since last summer and works as my master document) and my players already mentioned some issues. For instance:

- While it's very close (or as close as I could get) to the historical period (late Republic/early Empire), it limited the options for characters to grow. This isn't miniature wargaming so promoting someone to a rank of centurion or optio (centurion's second in command) isn't as enticing as it was for Romans.

- My rules for 'squad tactics' have turned out to be really overpowered in some respects. Players showed me how their group of five thrid-level characters can curb-stomp most of the magical creatures in the setting as long as the enemy can't fly. Simultaneously, they were unable to deal with anything that can fly as they had very limited ranged options available sans the customary javelins and pilum.

- I'll have to find some cool way to, reluctantly, add a bit more accessible healing options. While my players don't mind high-mortality games and like how it changes their approach to picking fights into a much more calculated and weighted one, it also meant that they avoided risks. You can't really have the tales of heroism and badassery without risk. And you simply can't afford to attack when you aren't absolutely sure that you are going to win. While it can be mitigated with the mentioned 'squad tactics', there's still quite a lot of balancing to be done.

TL;DR: In software versioning terms, let's say that I'm going to repost it when I'll get to a Release Candidate v1, but I'm around 0.7.5 closed beta at the moment. Expect it to happen after my exams in the late June/early July.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: March for Science thread

    almost-correct maths

That's the math-to-be in the world without funding and with the scientists being put on the sidelines. Now they get what you paid for, like in any real business. ;)

Yeah, this seems to be the MO of most places. So far mk is the only person who when informed about vulnerability:

1. Took me seriously.

2. Didn't threaten me with legal action.

3. Wasn't more concerned about bad press than security.

There's an electronics store in the Czech Republic where I can still, after almost four years since reporting it, waltz in and look-up the personal information (shopping history, the billing address, most of the bank details) of clients that threatened me with police. Countless fora that were so far behind with updates that a fucking single-quote SQL injection worked there, banning me for 'disruptive behaviour and vandalism'.

At this point, my only regret is that I have never found a bug on a site that openly offers rewards for reporting vulnerabilities. It's seriously not worth the hassle to report it most of the time. To this day I regret that my report to mk was done in a tone of "please do something about it, I'm you giving shit away from going black-hat with this thing", but I hope people understand where I was coming from.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Did you celebrate today?

Hitler's birthday is not to be celebrated! ;)

So just to make sure I'm getting this correctly: DKMS is interested only in a subset of cells for a very specific purpose, whereas FL takes everything in order to have a more versatile selection of stem cells? I think that I got it, thanks. :D

Well, I'm sold. It's a great and informative video.

I have a question, though. In Poland we have a DKMS Fundation (Dawcy Komórek Macierzystych i Szpiku - Donors of Stem Cells and Bone Marrow) that performs a procedure that seems similar to what you guys are doing (here are the details in English). Is it actually similar or am I confused due to my layman knowledge of medicine?

    You wanna talk about what I said about Sapkowski and Glukhovsky? Alright. Let's talk about it. But bring something on the matter to the table instead of rehashing tangential topics.

You brought me here through a shoutout about a 'tangential topic', and I have already given my stance on both Sapkowski and the approach to fanfiction. How come you are pissy toward someone who agrees with you about everything other than you not wanting the old-guard to talk about their perspective?

Glukhovsky? I didn't like his Metro books, but that's the extent of it. Seems like a cool dude, though.

    And now you wonder why I'd rather shoot myself than become so closed off the world that I start actually talking shit?

No, that's not what I am wondering about. But I can see things as having a boundless potential to change and improve instead of giving up. But you get there not by closing yourself and sheltering against the opposing views. Fact that you respond with anger and frustration to every such opportunity is the 'why' that I am pondering.

And don't throw parents into it. What, you think that it was all sunshine and roses for me? I felt like a fucking experiment for the most of my life, witnessed (as in it happened in front of my eyes) four people in my family die before I have even turned ten (stroke, status epilepticus, drug overdose and a liver cancer that metastasized pretty much all over my oldest brother's body). As far as my parents were concerned, I might have been setting cats on fire and kill frogs with a hammer (not that I ever have done either) but they wouldn't see a problem with it as long as I'm maintaining my grades. Remember the beginning of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? That's pretty much my relationship with both of my parents, so there. You can try and use it to add weight to your arguments, but that's not gonna work on me despite my trying to empathise. Just as I am certain my memories are not going to phase you with my life story.

Sorry, I didn't mean to add so much insubstantial blather to this discussion. Not that you weren't doing the same.

    his arguments are mostly crap

Honestly, I can share the logs from your rant if you want me to, but the extent of your argument was "it's wrong because it's not what I like all while the young and aspiring authors are very easy to be influenced by an authoritative figures like GRRM who act like petulant children: being offended that 'someone is playing with my toys, baaaw!'" (not a direct quote, as anyone should tell by my atrocious grammar alone, but it works as a simplified version). You did make a case that any type of creativity, even a self-insert Mary Sue mucking about someone's world that I have posed as a reluctant opposing side, is a good type of training and that's how some people start and get better from there. OK, you are right. People can start anywhere and grow however they want. However, while quite eloquent, your rant on IRC wasn't really all that well argued. And believe me or not, I pretty much agree with you in that any art is to be replicated and experimented with, no matter of your skill. That said, I don't think that neither GRRM nor you argued your points well. Both look to me like knee-jerks.

    He can think whatever he wants, as long as he keeps it to himself. Exposed to air... some things corrode and rust over, and I don't like that smell.

I thought that you were against echo chambers. Wouldn't you rather know in almost excruciating detail why he or other authors does not like the fan fiction? I would, despite the fact that I am barely giving a fuck about this thing. If given an opportunity, I would love to see him defend his stance in a debate instead of just throwing it unopposed in an interview.

    If I knew I would, I'd rather shoot myself right now

I would prefer to ask why I have turned out like this. By knowing the cause and extent of perceived damage you can start the mending process.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 19, 2017

    that they don't think it's a big deal is often more of a big deal than the thing itself.

Seems like you hit the nail on the head with that one. I don't expect perfect punctuality, but when she has more free time during the week than I have for my weekends… it's more than a bit fucked up that I'm the one who is left waiting or forced to rearrange my schedule. While we were dating I was late five minutes total and had the decency to call in advance. It was a good day if her being 'fashionably late' turned out to be less than half an hour. :/

Thanks, it's good to get a confirmation even if one is sure to be in the right.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 19, 2017

Despite the fact that I was tired and sleep deprived during the last week's mid-term session, I turned out pretty damn good. If I can get a B+ as my worst grade after two nights without sleep it would seem that I'm well suited to do research work in the future ;).

Other than that, perhaps this is worth sharing. I broke up with my girlfriend. If my time isn't respected, it's not a good idea to date. And if I can be punctual despite 55-hour workload at uni, tutoring, CCNA workshop, driving lessons and having to actually do all of my food, cleaning and all that other crap… I don't think that a flaky girl who has to write an essay or two per week should be given any slack about not being able to schedule anything and keep to it. Something broke inside me when I was busting my arse to secure a completely free weekend and she managed to forget about everything and told me that she confused the weeks and has other plans. I'm not the absolute most dependable person in the world, but if I'm late uncertain about my schedule I will let you know and write it the fuck down so that I will know what's up. I can't believe that I'm even asking it, especially since I know the answer and it would take some serious chops to convince me otherwise, but do I have some 'ludicrous' standards? It doesn't feel that for me, but who knows. Please don't respond if you got dumped recently yourself, I'm seriously not in the mood to hear how I must be unreasonable for expecting the most basic of courtesies.

I hate to even appear like I'm defending Sapkowski, but there are some things that should be clarified:

    Can't make rent off your precious classic of a fantasy novel alone? Boo fucking hoo.

Until not that long ago, authors in Poland were given some of the shittiest royalties possible. I would not be surprised in the slightest if he got ten or twenty(!) times as much money for selling the rights to the books to make the infamous TV series and movie (don't watch it, it's terrible but not even in that "so bad it's funny" way) than he got from royalties. This shit was barely regulated by law in the 1990s. Series ended around 1997 and he had to sell the rights in the early 00s.

Yeah, Sapkowski is a shithead and an alcoholic. I don't think that I have met anyone who enjoyed talking with the guy on any occasion, so there's that. But think of it like this: if an author of a series that most Poles aged 15 to 50 read or own does not have a lot of money, there was/is perhaps something wrong with our publishing.

    That rant on GRRM

And here is my belated response to it: for each their own. I wrote quite a few short stories myself and can tell one thing from experience: I'm a lot better when I'm not constrained by someone else's world. I've basically learned how to read and write with RPGs in the background, watching how my brother played Ultima and Baldur's Gate games. But I rarely like to both read and write in a fanfic format. The quality of fanfics aside, they don't feel right to me in the sense that the characters that I know (and possibly even like) suddenly act out of character. Usually, I can't think of a good way to add or expand on someone's creation. But I love to make my own worlds. Test various concepts in my head and write it down. If I was told to make a fanfic it would be a complete crap. That's assuming that I could even finish it.

Here's what I wrote so far and felt like it's good enough to be kept:

About four times as much stuff I just threw away or burned because it didn't meet my own standards or would need a revision so major that I might just as well start anew. Effect? One of those stories actually got published. Yeah, to this day I can't really believe it.

So what, does it mean that the only good way to learn how to write is to create your own world, characters and abhor the sheer idea of a fanfic? Fuck no! It's just something that I can't do. I also write everything in pencil because I can't seem to focus on writing when I'm in front of a keyboard. Does it mean that nothing of worth can be created on a computer? Again, fuck no! That's my own quirk. From my experience I would tell you to maybe turn the computer off and try writing your drafts on paper, but that's just that and nothing more.

As far as the writer's training goes, it's perhaps a good way for some people. Just like fanfics. Others are just as entitled to their own opinion and take on the creative works as you are. Going so far as to hate an author for his own experience with writing and fanfiction sounds like a knee-jerk reaction. Yes, perhaps just like theirs but it does not justify either.

You have a point in calling Sapkowski on his hypocrisy, but that's only assuming that he didn't grow as an author since the mid-1980's. I think that he did grow, although developed a nasty case of Cerebus Syndrome despite being imo better suited to write light parodies.

Seriously, for each their own. So they don't like fanfics. Fuck 'em, but they are absolutely entitled to having their opinions.

My suede jacket is a sort of a mix between a hand-me-down and a memento from my grandfather. It's comfy, warm, has some undefined but pleasant smell to it and just looks great. Plus I'm not gonna lie, it's nice to at least appear like you have broad shoulders and, you know, bulk. It's also rather stiff and well padded, so I can pretend that I'm wearing armour.


I grew enough to wear it only about two years ago, but it's actually older than I am by at least five or six years. It's what I wear through spring and autumn, but with a turtleneck or anything with a high collar, it can serve well through winter as well. Because of that, it's a good chance that whatever happens to me throughout the year this jacket will be involved in some way.

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