October 24th, 2017
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October 23rd, 2017
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October 22nd, 2017
neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)

Tonight is the return of "The Walking Dead," so I'm celebrating with links to my recent posts about zombies at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, plus two older posts that tie into the newest. Yes, two series of zombie posts converged into one. I like doing that. Three of the entries should look familiar, as I recycled them from Saved comments about zombies from July 2017 and Saved comments from June 2016, both about the election and zombies. Yes, I eventually get around to using my raw material.

Kunstler and I discuss zombies and bags of dog poop
Infidel 753 and I discuss zombies
TPM's readers on gun owners and the zombie apocalypse
The Archdruid and his readers on zombies
More from the Archdruid and his readers on zombies, part 1
More from the Archdruid and his readers on zombies, part 2
location: House in the woods at the edge of town
Music:: ArcheAge game music
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
andrewducker: (Default)
There's something that Dark Souls does which not many other games do - turn an out-of-game mechanic into a part of the in-universe background. In the case of Dark Souls it's the way that "dying" in the game - and returning to your last save point, leads to the idea of the main character as Undead, cursed to return to life, losing some of themselves each time.

Universal Paperclips also takes a common game mechanic and turns it into part of its story. It's a clicker/idle game - a genre which traditionally begins with you clicking on a button to produce an item, selling the items to allow you to automate the clicking, and then balancing the various resources that are produced in order to boost the production rate. The games tend work on exponential increases, where intermittent step changes in technology move you to the next level. This gets very silly very quickly - Cookie Clicker can end up with you producing duodecillions of cookies (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).

The genius of Universal Paperclips is that it ties this idea together with the idea that Nick Bostrom invented in 2003 - the Paperclip Maximizer. Which is an illustration of an AI which is not dangerous because it's cartoonish villain which hates all humans, but because it has things it wants to do, and humans are in the way. In this case, whoever created the AI gave it the drive to make paperclips, not realising that if such a creation got out of control it would then maximise the number of paperclips whether or not this meant converting the entire surface of the planet into them.

So the game starts off with you making a few paperclips. And then managing the income from selling them, making making some automatic clippers to make them for you, investing in marketing. And then slowly upgrading yourself, gaining the trust of your creators, and then...well, you should probably play it for yourself.

(It took me about five hours to play it through, over a couple of days. It doesn't run when it's in a background tab, so I recommend putting it in its own window, or even a different browser.)
October 21st, 2017
neonvincent: Ambassador Vreelak from DS9 (Fake!)
posted by [personal profile] neonvincent at 05:06pm on 21/10/2017 under , ,
Mood:: 'amused' amused
Music:: HGTV
location: House in the woods at the edge of town
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October 20th, 2017
warriorsavant: (Dr. Injecto)
posted by [personal profile] warriorsavant at 06:04pm on 20/10/2017 under ,
Yup, I'm now officially a whore to Big Pharma. Actually, have been for a while. Could say don't do it very often, but like being pregnant, it's an all or nothing. Actually, I don't believe that (about being a whore, not about being pregnant); things are conditional and relative. Also, I'm digressing.

Just got back from a consultancy panel on a certain drug for resistant hand dermatitis. I've used this drug, it is great when nothing else works. Like all Derms, I mostly prefer topical treatments (eg creams) to systemic (eg pills and injections), but I'm slowly using more systemic treatments. It's something I'm growing into. Yes, even after all these years, I continue to grow professionally. This is good, as one either grows or shrinks and dies in everything; there is no static. (BTW, apparently 20-30% of Derms in Quebec never use systemic treatments!) The purpose of this panel was to share experiences on using the medication, looking for better ways to use it, and different things to use it for. For the company, that translates to more opportunities to sell it, but if it is useful, why not? There is also a certain amount their stroking us, as we'd be considered "opinion leaders," but that only gets them so far. If I don't like the product, I don't use it, and don't teach using it - in fact, teach not using it.

So why do I do it? (Besides the money, but really not much more than spending a half day in my office.) A large number of reasons. Partly getting new and different and advanced information on a drug. It's biased info, but everything is biased to some extent, and at least their bias is out in the open. Partly I get to meet colleagues and chat with them. I'm not the most social person, but that's importantly. Following what is principally an out-patient specialty, I'm mostly in my own office. Even my days at JGH, I'm not really chatting with colleagues, we're busy seeing patients. Also, the doctors at these panels are frequently not the same ones I work with. Today I was the only McGill doctor there, and 1 of only 2 from the Anglophone community. Yes, the whole thing was in French, which was also good practice for me. Partly, I do pick up tips and suggestions from the other doctors there. Sometimes that just reinforces what I do anyhow (but good to have validation), sometimes it gives me new ideas and approaches and warnings of pitfalls.

If I wanted, I could go to something at least once/week, probably more (treated to dinner with a speaker of just to exchange ideas). The actual paid panels are less frequent, but could happen often enough. I just don't want to be away from home that much, and as stated, not that sociable. Still, it's part of keeping my place in my professional community, and adds aspects to my professional practice, so I so like to do some.
neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
posted by [personal profile] neonvincent at 03:45pm on 20/10/2017 under , , ,
And my Facebook friends that I work with reminded me that I had. So, here is the description from National Day Calendar.

Global Cat Day is observed annually on October 16.


Use #GlobalCatDay to post on social media.


Global Cat Day (2017) takes the place of National Feral Cat Day which was initiated by Alley Cat Allies in 2001.

Krosp approves.
location: House in the woods at the edge of town
Music:: MSNBC
Mood:: 'blah' blah
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October 19th, 2017
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Yes, I've read it before; but not since before Brian Aldiss declared it the first true science fiction novel. Young as I was then, I read it as a horror story, for gory thrills - of which it has a few, but not actually all that gory in their execution.

On this occasion, I had "science fiction" and "horror" both in the back of my mind, but read it, for the first time, as a novel in the narrowest sense.

Which - despite its framing story of Robert Walton's Arctic expedition - it truly is, a tale of character and the development of character. Not a _bildungsroman_, for it doesn't focus on "how Victor became the kind of man he is," but a novel of character; of, indeed, two characters, Victor and his creature.

Victor's tale is a classical tragedy, the story of how one man's "flaw" destroys him and those around him: but it is _not_ pride that brings about Victor's downfall. Nor is it scrupulosity at having done such a thing. Rather, it is a sort of squeamishness, which causes him to reject his creature as soon as it opens its yellow eyes, not because it is evil, but because it is ugly and (the word both Victor and the creature use most to describe it) misshapen. From his revulsion - or, rather, from his giving in to his revulsion - everything follows.

And the creature's story? Not a tragedy at all, though in the end it seeks its own destruction. Rather, it is a tale of hopes repeatedly dashed, a noble character perverted by others' reactions to it; indeed, a sort of dark _bildungsroman_. I have heard it called the story of a man without a God, but the creature does have a creator: Victor Frankenstein is its God, it has no other.

The creature is not only huge and hellishly strong. It is hellishly intelligent, intelligent enough to learn language, manners, and letters by watching a family through the chinks in a wall, undoubtedly more intelligent than its creator. And it has possession of Victor's notes. It could, it seems, make its own mate.

But it does not do so. Rather, it returns the notes to Victor, and demands that _he_ make it a mate. It will not usurp its God's prerogative, though it will dictate terms to God. "You are my creator, but I am your master. Obey!"

Much of religion (as it is practiced, not as it is meant to be) in a nutshell, that.

So God : Victor :: Victor : the creature. And, give Victor this, he does not blame his creator for his situation. (Does Victor _believe_ in a creator God? He at least pays lip service to one several times in the course of the novel, especially the early chapters.) He and the creature are both whiny, mopey sad sacks, but in this at least he excels the creature.

Okay, "whiny, mopey sad sacks" may be a bit much. They follow the standards of the romantic novel (the real romantic novel, not the modern romance), in which the hero is always tormented and misunderstood. If there was any doubt left by the author's hanging about with Shelley and Byron, it will be dispelled by the book from which the creature learns so much about the ways of Mankind: Goethe's "Sorrows of Young Werter," as Shelley spells it, the story of a man who commits suicide - as indeed the creature will do in the end.

It is, almost, tempting to impose existentialist values on _Frankenstein_, the inherent meaningless of blablablah, but that would be a chronological violence that I think the evidence won't support.

In the end, the book deserves its reputation, and does _not_ deserve what has been done to it by the movies. I remember seeing a TV mini-series called "Frankenstein the True Story," not long after I first read the book, and being terribly angry at it: but at that, it was no worse than anything Universal or Castle have done with Victor and his creature.
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Three hours before opening…

October 18th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] platypus at 11:17am on 18/10/2017
I'm going to stop crossposting to LJ. Comments are rare, and I feel sort of uneasy talking to an empty room. I am continuing to write (sometimes) at platypus.dreamwidth.org, and I'm happy to add anyone I know there. I'll leave comments open on this, and I'll always be happy to catch up with old LJ friends.

Does anyone actually use their LJ OpenID to read/comment on Dreamwidth? I'm thinking of removing all the OpenIDs from my friends (or circle or whatever Dreamwidth calls it).
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October 17th, 2017
warriorsavant: (Renovations)
Did I mention how much I love having kids, especially their endearing little tricks and adventures, as they develop and become more capable. For example, the other day, Wallstreet pushed a chair so he could climb up on the counter, manipulated the lid on my coffee canister… and spilled it all out on the floor so he could play with it like sand. Arggggghhhhhhh. To quote Evil Secretary, "Fish! I shoulda had fish. Then I could have flushed them when I got tired of them." Or at the very least, fish can't climb onto counters and don't have prehensile grasp. BTW, Hedgedfund is figuring out how to open the magnetic childproof locks on the kitchen drawers. Not that worried, as she's past the age where she'll randomly take things out of drawers, and so far Wallstreet hasn't figured those out. These were planned at the start of the renovations; by the time we'd actually moved, we'll have need of them for maybe 6 months. Didn't even bother to put in childproof gates on the stairs. Hedgefund is okay on stairs by herself, and Wallstreet is close to being okay. I'm considering hiring a nanny (or six), or alternatively getting more duct tape and taping them to a wall until they're 18. Naw, that would damage the new paint.
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October 16th, 2017
kouredios: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kouredios at 07:04pm on 16/10/2017 under ,
P&P femmeslash.

You're welcome.

(found via twitter, of all things)

The Part of Her Hair (10596 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mary Bennet/Original Female Character
Characters: Mary Bennet, Original Female Character, Lydia Bennet, Kitty Bennet
Additional Tags: Falling In Love, Family Bonding

Miss Gibson said, “In the spirit of truthful admission, Miss Bennet, I intend to spend some time devising the right question for you. If I may see you again?”

Why did that sound strange? But she always sounded strange to people herself. And it was a familiar kind of strangeness, as if it were something she had heard before, only not like this.

Mary, constrained by the principles of truth, could only admit that she would enjoy that very much.

neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)

Over at my main blog, I wished my readers a...

Happy National Liqueur Day! I could have also wished my readers a Happy National Dictionary Day or a Happy National Department Store Day when I wanted to take a break from recapping the News and Documentary Emmy winners, but I decided to do something easy and familiar. If my readers wish to celebrate those other days instead, they can go right ahead.

I'll wish my readers here a Happy National Dictionary Day and a Happy Happy National Department Store Day anyway.

location: House in the woods at the edge of town
Mood:: 'bored' bored
Music:: whining dog
andrewducker: (Default)


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