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johnnyFive's profile

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hubskier for: 1355 days

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Accountability is an excellent thing, pity it's not more in vogue right now.

And thanks for the kind words!

johnnyFive  ·  13 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 19, 2020

Gotcha. Well, it'd be cool to have another hubskier in the RVA, but you gotta do what makes the most sense for you!

johnnyFive  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Bugski: Markup tips are down

I'll just add that it works fine for me on Firefox 73.0.1 running on Linux.

johnnyFive  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 19, 2020

Thanks! I'm definitely happy with it.

I remember that there was someone on here talking about moving to Richmond, but that was awhile ago. Was that you? Is that still on the horizon?

johnnyFive  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 19, 2020

Thanks! I'm really happy with how it turned out. I definitely recommend perusing the artist's instagram, as there's a lot of great stuff in there.

I'm a federal (executive branch) employee, so we have to be careful about what we talk about at work (thanks to the Hatch Act). So it generally doesn't come up. To the extent that it has outside of work, any misgivings are usually the same as those I see here on hubski.

I largely agree with am_Unition. Until it affects people personally, they will be content to do nothing. "Rule of law" is an abstraction that won't fit well on a bumper sticker, so it doesn't really have a place in the discourse. Plus the Republicans managed to make "idealism" a dirty word some time ago, which was as accurate a predictor of our current situation as we could ask for.

johnnyFive  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 19, 2020

I finally seem to be on an antidepressant that works, so that's pretty cool. We just upped the dosage a few days ago, and so far it's been that much more effective. I'm able to get a lot more clarity about what's going on in my head; rather than lifting my mood per se, it's instead making things quieter so that I can just relax more. It's easy for me to get lost in thought in a bad way, and this has helped with that a lot.

In other news, I got my newest tattoo finished last week as well. Here is a brief "fly-by" of it on my artist's instagram. The background music is a little loud on my default volume (and instagram doesn't seem to offer a volume control), although most other things in Firefox are too. It's the biggest and most visible one I have, and I'm super happy with how it turned out.

Not much else going on right now. I'm trying not to go crackers now that I feel like I can "do" more, and to let things happen more organically. Time management is a big problem for me: I tend to take on too much too quickly, but then lose interest equally fast. I think there's a fight in my head between the logical side and the emotional side, and I've been working on finding more of a balance between the two.

Shower thought for the day: a passion is something that becomes more interesting the more I understand it, not less.

johnnyFive  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Library of Babel - Why Hexagons?

Ha, that is a neat little addition.

johnnyFive  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Library of Babel - Why Hexagons?

I can't help but think this person is over-analyzing. I mean, other things happen that simply don't make sense if you think about them literally. The vestibules have bathrooms, but there's no indication of where food or water comes from. At one point a sect is mentioned that burns millions of books, but there's no mention of how they were able to start fires. The dead are apparently thrown out of the hexagons into an infinite fall, but there's no explanation of what part of the library's structure allows this to happen.

Borges often toyed with literary formulae, frequently created impossibilities, and in one case (Pierre Menard) explicitly lampoons exactly the kind of analysis that the author here is doing. Who's to say Borges didn't make the "correction" for the sole purpose of screwing with nitpicky readers?

To me, the story is an absurdist one (in the philosophical sense). If everything's already been written but there's no way to find the specific thing you're looking for, how do you find meaning in this universe? He describes various cults and governments that have formed. The narrator tells us that he's been searching for the book that will lead (through a chain of other books) to some kind of master book; if that's not a search for meaning I don't know what is. Then he goes on:

    It doesn't seem implausible to me that on some shelf in the universe there is a complete book; I pray to the unknown gods that a man - just one, even if it was thousands of years ago - has examined and read it. If honor, wisdom, and happiness are not for me, may they be for others. May heaven exist, even if my place is in hell. Let me be ridiculed and destroyed but that sometime, in one person, Your enormous Library be explained.

Another discussion of meaning follows a short time later:

    Some number n of possible languages use the same words; in some, the symbol 'library' has the same correct definition: 'the omnipresent and everlasting system of hexagonal galleries,' but 'library' means 'bread' or 'pyramid' or whatever else and the eight words that define it have some other meaning. You, who read me, are you sure that you understand my language?

A friend of mine had one when we were in elementary school, and I remember thinking it was pretty neat at the time. Looking at the games library, Turbo Sub is the only one I can actually remember, and I recall it being fun. But bear in mind that I was like 6 when the Lynx came out, although I don't recall exactly when I actually got to use one. I also hadn't really had much experience with handhelds, and compared to the home consoles of the time (the Atari 7800 and the NES), it wasn't too far off graphically. That said, I expect there's a reason it's not remembered as fondly as the Game Boy, even if it's just the fairly small library.

johnnyFive  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The media's 7 stages of Bernie grief

People really don't want to believe that the media would do this to a leftist candidate.

johnnyFive  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: To Crack the Toughest Optimization Problems, Just Add Lasers

johnnyFive  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Bizarre World of Fake Martial Arts

Maybe not, although there's no such thing as too much practice! But still, definitely sounds like you got a less-than-stellar teacher on that one.

johnnyFive  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Bizarre World of Fake Martial Arts

Absolutely not. Hong bao is always optional, and is usually only done at special occasions (e.g. sifu's birthday, Christmas, etc.). It's never been asked for directly, and I didn't even learn about its existence from my sifu (only from other students who'd been there longer than me). The only thing that learning something new is conditioned upon is whether you've put in enough time to be ready for it.

johnnyFive  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Bizarre World of Fake Martial Arts

Pre-viewing Thoughts

This came up on my own YouTube feed (since I'm a subscriber), but I haven't watched it yet. The problem is that the underlying premise is ... iffy.

I've been teaching a martial art (Ving Tsun, specifically) for about 3 years now, and training that same art for almost 10. One of the things I've noticed is that as my training has gone on, my idea of what we mean when we say a martial art "works" has changed quite a bit. Or perhaps better said, the fact that most of the time we don't actually know what we mean has become much clearer.

I've run into this a lot when trying to market myself. I dabbled with engaging with the subreddit for my area, but that didn't work very well. It takes a lot of time to explain why the generic "just train MMA instead" comments are dumb (and why I think MMA is at best a middlin' choice for self-defense), and that got exhausting really fast. It's also a lose-lose, because it's assumed that if I don't reply, it's because I can't refute what someone said.

But beyond this, this question of a martial art being "fake" or not usually involves some pretty narrow criteria at best. This is true even for those teachers who claim to be able to knock someone over without touching them (which is, I assume, a prominent point of the video). Because all of these attempts at critique don't really ask what they mean by "fake" or "works" when they're talking about it. Even the original post quotes someone saying that supereyepatchwolf has a ton of experience with "real" martial arts, but it's not actually clear what that means. And how can you have a "fake" martial art if there's no real definition of a "real" one?

I think we often conflate this idea of "real" vs. "fake" with whether a martial art "works." But even then, what do we actually mean?

You may say that a martial art "works" means simply "allows you to defend yourself." This is meaningless and arbitrary.

I "lose" fights (or sparring or whatever, although we don't call it that specifically) every class. Does this mean the martial art I'm studying doesn't work? Is it fake, then?

What if one of my students who's been training for 3 weeks loses a fight outside of class. Does this mean what I'm teaching doesn't "work"? What if someone who's been training for 3 years loses one? How long does someone have to train before their win/loss ratio is a reflection on the art itself? Doesn't who their opponent was matter? Or the person themselves?

If I've never used my training in a full-on street fight, does that mean it does or doesn't "work"? Let's say I lose such a fight. Does that negate the times my training has saved me from falling down the stairs or helped me avoid a car wreck? What about the simple health benefits of being in better physical shape? Does it somehow undo all the times other people have used it successfully to defend themselves? In other words, which instances of a martial art "working" count? What is the "worked" to "didn't work" ratio that something has to have to be considered "real"?

There are a lot more variables at play than we usually, actually consider. To me, the only thing that matters is whether training the art is a net positive for one's life. That's super broad, but it has to be. Losing one fight doesn't necessarily negate all the other benefits someone got from training something. (As an aside, anyone who is more likely to get into a fight after training is an asshole.)

Addendum after watching the first couple minutes

So far, he's not doing much to dissuade me that he's not asking the questions that need to be asked. Also, his history of martial arts in the U.S. is inaccurate. People were boxing well before WW2 (or does he not think boxing is a martial art, or that it was popular before the 1940s?). Greco-Roman wrestling was certainly a thing before then. Sailors were using things like savate at least by the 19th century, and that had some broader resonance (Sherlock Holmes was said to know it in the original books).

I had no idea the server was still up...it had been unreachable for me for awhile, so I stopped trying. But I'll be on most of today!