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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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comments 36
Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What are your weekend plans?

I would even say that I have something FUN! planned. Also, I can't even look at my textbooks so this is going to be a good way to vent before exams.

    Do you have comic shops in Sweden? I think you're in Sweden.

Sometimes I wish for it to be true. No, I'm in Poland, just can speak på Svenska ;).

I know of one comic book store in the whole Warsaw (that's where I currently live) as it never was a popular hobby around here. There are few places with various mangas, but those are usually in larger bookstores. But advice is advice, I'll try to hang around.

I have to say one thing, though. My university library will never cease to amaze me. I don't think that I was ever recommended a book on Hubski (and some of them were about some quite obscure subjects) that wasn't in one of the libraries. Understanding Comics is actually rented now, but I have placed a reservation for it. Thanks!

I have to say that I am very surprised that there's not a single mention of piracy destroying the medium. Kudos, as it seems to be the goto cop out when it comes to something not selling well.

Here's a good question that is quite a problem for newbies like me: where do I begin?

I'm serious and probably not alone in thinking that there's no good place for someone to just start reading something. Oh, here's Good Guy: Adjective Verb but there's also this nifty looking Good Guy & Nice Fella: An Unlikely Alliance. Which one goes before the other, or are they (somehow?) completely unrelated? What's this number next to Earth? Gosh, I wish there was some sort of a wiki that would clarify it.

180768 entries?! Am I about to read a comic book or get a degree in something? Fuck it, I'll just go and do something else.

I know that I have likely committed something close to six fallacies and sound as if I have never had a comic book in my life, but it is a very discouraging place to be in. Compound it with all of the things pointed out by kleinbl00 or rd95 and the article itself and you get a very little incentive to stick around as an outsider.

Being a 40k and Warhammer Fantasy geek myself, both being very much lore-heavy universes in their own rights, I know that there must be a good way to get people like me on board. I mean, look at channels like Vaults of Terra or ArchWarhammer and you are going to get pretty damn well introduced to 40k (and also the Fantasy in the latter case) in about three hours. Every time I try to get into comic books with channels like ComicsExplained (recommended to me by many) I just grow in the conviction that the whole genre isn't for me. Which is a shame because I can clearly see how many people approach it with the passion that mirrors my geeking out about a new 40k book or a badass miniature that cost an arm and a leg but just looks so cool.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 24, 2017

Lots of reading for uni, that's pretty much it on that front. I did manage to pass my driver's licence test, so that's cool.

In other news, a bit of a PSA: if your regular cardiologist, or any other doctor for that matter, isn't available and someone else needs to take you in, then don't let him prescribe you anything that isn't a refill on your current prescription! Learned that one the hard way.

I was given a beta blocker that I don't need. And if that wasn't stupid enough, I was prescribed Sotalol of all things. It's not only designed to treat severe arrhythmias (I have a mild one that's not immediately life-threatening) but like most drugs from the 1970s it comes with a bucketload of shitty side effects.

I had to stop taking it after four days because while I can manage being constantly nauseous, dizzy and with a headache it made me gasp for air. By day three I was not only unable to properly exercise, I was losing breath while walking upstairs. That's an achievement: take a guy who runs ~4km each day and turn him into someone with worse cardio than my eighty-four-year-old grandfather.

Starting to lose faith in doctors here. The fact that a lobotomy recipient like my replacement doc could become someone whom I will never be, serves to only piss me off that much more. Fact that I was stupid enough to take what he prescribed is only adding insult to injury. I'm mostly fine, although I'm willing to hazard a guess that the main reasons behind it are stopping taking Sotalol and a healthy dose of this sweet BP-rising anger.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Teaching stuff is resolved.

Thank you. :D

    I hope you told those two principals what you think happened at your old school. You don't want that to come back and bite you.

I provided them with as complete image of the situation as I could. Reason and it being only a theory notwithstanding.

    You will probably disagree with my following comments. I'm interested in knowing what you think:

I actually don't think so. I have my own experiences and biases, granted, but despite quite a few differences I'm largely of similar mind.

    Not all. Some, maybe even many, deal with things with integrity.

One generalisation, unintentional I might add, and it's here. ;)

    Principals are terrified of parents. Keep in mind that you still have not talked directly to the principal and don't really know what happened. You still have the option of behaving with integrity and trying to clarify any misunderstanding.

This is something that I didn't really see while I was a student there. Mistake or selective memories could be a thing, but there were cases where student's parents would come with complaints and principal's response was pretty much "You know, no one forces your kid to be in this school". There were something close to eighteen candidates per place after selecting the best to take the internal exam when I was being admitted, so it was a pretty strong leverage. I'm willing to agree here purely because I'm new to this mess.

    is still just a theory.

Yes, but since the principal didn't give me any response I have to do with what I got from secondary sources. Not the best situation, but that's what I have.

    Model appropriate behaviour by facing the problem calmly and asking for clarification and mentoring.

I try, but I was more often than not ignored by people. It's going to be hard to move past it.

    It's in your best interest to get this false or misguided or bullshit accusation cleared up with the principal and by all your actions, you've demonstrated that you are a serious teacher.

Again, "yes, but…". Unless the principal will graciously start responding I can only do it by doing my best and hope that she'll take some of your advice herself and consider that perhaps there was even a slight tinge of her being guilty of this situation.

    Rather than writing them off as being full of shit, give them a chance to work it out with you.

I figured that I could be slightly less restrained and diplomatic around the people here. ;)

I appreciate your advice and will follow it as far as I can. That said, I don't know why you thought that I would disagree with you outright. Good advice is good advice.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Teaching stuff is resolved.

    You're making my head hurt.

Sorry. This is getting saved to motivate me to develop some sort "you are too sleepy to write" test.

    That might be what got you in trouble - you flippantly picked a religious concept you don't understand perfectly and then used it incorrectly to make your point.

Can't argue with that, although I wouldn't say I was flippant intentionally. Regardless, I get your point.

    But in the Conway glider example, what is the invariant?

Really useful frame-by-frame visualisation


1. Number of black squares after each step.

2. Direction of movement.

3. Distance it will move between each complete cycle.

4. There will always be only one black square that is connected to the rest of the structure by its vertex.

Some of them are invariants for a whole cycle, others work for each frame.

    This is why I gave a counter-example of catalysts - you need them for the reaction, but their mass returns to solution in the course of the process.

Yes. The catalyst can be thought of as an invariant of a specific chemical reaction. Again, sorry for my more than underwhelming response earlier. I hope that this one is clearer.

Devac  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Teaching stuff is resolved.

EDIT: More or less you can (and should) ignore this post. I'll leave it as it is for the sake of the rest of the conversation below, but I was seriously jamming words together at places.

    So an invariant is not a constant because an invariant is subject to conditions while a constant is defined?

I'm going to answer "yes, but". Invariants can be constants, but not all constants are invariants. It depends on in respect to what something is invariant.

Let's make the karma example more explicit. We already have a set of 4 people. 3 of them have good karma, 1 has a bad karma. This might be an invariant depending on the rules for karma exchange we will make.

Now here are the rules for karma exchange (in pairs, interact with everyone around you):

1. A person with good karma will give good karma to a person with good karma. (Harmony)

2. A person with good karma will have to do something bad to a person with bad karma. (They get what they deserve)

3. A person with bad karma will have to do something good to a person with good karma. (They repent for what they have done)

4. A person with bad karma will do something bad to a person with bad karma. (War never changes)

Now, let's go turn by turn:

Turn 0:

  G G


Turn 1:

  G <1> G

^ ^

2 4

v v

G <3> B

1. Good with Good, nothing changes.

2. Good with Good, nothing changes.

3. Good does something bad to Bad.

4. Good with Good, nothing changes.

So the state goes:

  G G     G G   G G    G G    G G 


Turn 2 (same order of operation):

  G G    G G    B G     B G    B G


(sorry if I made some sort of mistake along the way, I am seriously tired after last few days)

The invariant can be anything that does not changes as a holistic property when discussing examples like the one above. There will always be one Bad karma, it just passes to the next person in this case. But as a more general term, it's anything that will come as a result of a certain type of operation. Adding any number to it's opposite:

  1 + (-1), 2 + (-2) … n + (-n)
will be always equal to zero (for a given definition of addition ;)). While trivial, it is indeed an invariant of the operation as it will work for any object. You always have to specify in respect to what you have your invariant property.

Am I making any sense? Sorry, I'm seriously not at my best but I wanted to respond today. If that's not clear please tell me.

I think that the revived pathogen would be largely similar, but since it would be allowed to evolve with different initial conditions it could find a divergent path for its evolution making it a similar but 'different enough' strain that would react differently. This assumes that it could prove to be as virulent as it was in the past. Also, kleinbl00 made a great point: we have evolved alongside these pathogens and they couldn't spread efficiently enough to prevail to our times in that form.

That said, it's nothing but hard speculation on my part.

    You're in as much of a rush to get out of school as me, it sounds like.

Nah, I like it so far. However, if I could get to the finish faster, then why not make an attempt at it? In my case it works like this: some of the courses that I am eligible to take count both toward my undergrad and to the specialisation I want to take because courses with the exact same codes and material are listed on both of them. On top of it, a lot of the physics courses that qualify for theoretical physics count as valid options for applied maths majors. Other courses, like the Classical Field Theory that I'm doing now, count for both masters programmes and my selection of 'interests topics' during undergrad.

I'm actually minimising my work for maximal ETCS gain by playing around with how the courses are transferred between departments. :P

Plus I'm not going to lie, it would be a cool thing to finally best my brother at something. ;)

    Try to have at least a bit of fun on the way

I do have fun. Maybe not in the 'going to parties' way, but I rarely like how it works for me. Actually, I just came back from one and despite having some good time I grew more and more bored as it progressed. Now I sit in front my laptop with a freshly launched IDE and have a blast working on one of my projects. Perhaps it would be easier for me if I could not taste or smell alcohol, though. ;P

    I have a laundry list of relatively harmless things I'll eventually be following through on. Like spoofing official procedural paperwork placed next to the microwave in the break room, with a new sign enforcing paper documentation of microwave usage, and caution tape stuck to the floor in a perimeter around it all.

Dang! I hope that you'll share it afterwards. Definitely sounds like something I can get behind. Most of the ones here are based on various stickers so it would be a good way to stray from the formula. I'll have to start taking pictures of some of them, one was a really bitchin' parody of the Superman logo where it was changed to δS followed by (not translated literally) "You know the hero by the way he acts". :D

I appreciate the advice. Really, I do and thank you for it. But that whole "push yourself to try again straight after a failure" never really worked for me. Believe me, it was tried time and time again when I tried to learn (or improve) how to swim, ride a bike, care for plants or deliver lines. It was at best just kinda frustrating, at worst it was causing me to burn out this much faster.

    Again, I'm sorry to reinforce your existing worries, but I think age and your corresponding position as "student" allows them to feel no moral qualms about leaving you in the dark.

Eh, don't worry. I'm accustomed to it by now, at least more or less. Here's an excerpt from a talk with ThatFanficGuy on the same subject:

23:07 < ThatFanficGuy> Sounds odd that they'd push you away like that.

23:07 < ThatFanficGuy> You tell the story of a good teacher: never late, students enjoying your work...

23:08 < Devac> eh, I had worse. I also never commited any crime worse than jaywalking and yet every policeman I interacted with thinks that I'm either sassing him/her or look/do/seem suspicious

It's just one of those things at this point. Only, as you clearly know, can get to me easier than other problems.

    The folks who treated you right are worth keeping around, and you'll remember which ones they are veryyyyy naturally.

Absolutely. I mean, don't all sane people have their own nice and naughty lists?

    if I watched you lecture, I'd probably just end up feeling even more stupid than I do currently

Nice words coming from someone who accused me of having an impostor syndrome. Twice iirc. :P

    Man, I wish I could be there to see what happens to them when they try to break you, in graduate school.

This might happen earlier than I was thinking. I crunched some numbers and if I play the next semester juuust right I might reduce my maths masters programme to one year (normally it's 3 years of undergrad and 2 years to get to masters). It's as if no-one involved in making our regulations had to ever min-max a fighter for a D&D game. Seriously, there are at least three loopholes about the course selection that apply to me.

    in this instance, you don't need to go through them to lecture. Just set up sessions without directly involving the school, if people are interested. You should teach, it's the best way to learn.

Now that you mention it, university students can requisition any lecture room that isn't scheduled for any further use on a given day. Yess… I will gather the various geeks and nerds und other misfits into a single location and slowly mould them into problem-solving machines that are loyal only to ME!

My former high school will rue this day most dearly!

    Did the principal attend any of the classes ever?

Nope, not in person at least. Vice principle (is there a name for it?) did attend it quite a few times, even asked a few questions when I was talking about isomorphisms. :D

    He sounds like not the warmest guy - but I'd strongly consider asking him.

I'll do that. About him as a person though, he's actually really nice. But he holds great expectations and high standards for his students. Plus he's a great teacher, nineteen out of twenty-five students in his class are medalists of at least national level Olympics.

    Also, who is the teacher in charge of the Math and Physics Club. Who did you work with scheduling your short lessons - the principal or someone else?

The teacher who's in charge of the club has to attend and it's always them who handle scheduling and actual conduct of the lesson. I send the dates when I can do it along with an abstract of what I want to talk about (usually I'll also send slides in advance), they make a final decision about 'when' and whatever administrative voodoo happens afterwards is not something that I'm privy to. I don't think that it ever needs the principal to give the green light unless the rumours are true and she is our webmaster.

    It might be a calling. Don't let the bastards grind you down.

Dunno. Maybe you are right, but I oftentimes will simply get bored with things no matter if I excel or struggle with them. For instance, I was pretty damn good when it came to dancing, loved it to be honest, and now I just don't find it fun. No grinding me down or bad event that I could relate to it. It simply stopped being something I would like to continue doing. There are quite a few things like that already.

That said, I'm far from lacking enthusiasm at the moment. Frankly, I almost want to become a good teacher out of spite. ;)

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