Blabberbox:Random blog-like posts by pftq and his related selves.Share on Twitter

GDC VR Mixer

March 8th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Attended the GDC VR Mixer last Thursday, which was ironically more impressive in VR than the GDC event itself.




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Star Wars Modern Lightsabers

February 11th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Thought this was hilarious - just making fun of how ridiculous the lightsabers in Star Wars 7 are.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgSylgBFi-I
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Observer Article on Bitcoin, Ripple, and Stellar

February 5th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
This is a very interesting read detailing Bitcoin, Ripple,and other aspects of the FinTech industry before the drama with Jed McCaleb last year. It’s like the Dark Pools book of the cryptocurrency industry. I recommend reading it in full.

Wells Fargo, for example, actually had a dedicated 20 person team researching bitcoin last year and was ready to dive into cryptocurrencies before MtGox went bust.
http://observer.com/2015/02/the-race-to-replace-bitcoin/
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Overemphasis on Numbers

January 21st, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
This is primarily a response to Erik McClure's blog post on age discrimination.

I'm of the same age, followed a roughly similar path through school, and also thought that young adults in general were fully capable if given the chance. I've since graduated and moved to the SF Bay Area though; you'd be surprised just how many new college grads actually cannot think freely and critically. I'm sure you must have seen at least a few headlines pointing out some of the absurdity in Silicon Valley now. (Having lived here for 6 years now, I'd say the media actually understates how nonsensical some of the thinking around here is, but that's for another discussion.) That's not to say we should box people up even more when they're younger, just that I can see where some of the prejudice is coming from (yet it can be argued that it's a self-fulfilling prophecy from treating people like drones in the first place).

Speaking on just my own experience in the SF Bay Area though, my thoughts are not so much that the issue is a prejudice against age as much as the issue is an overemphasis on credentials, test scores, and numbers in general. The problems with education today are what I personally see more as part of an overall lack of critical and creative thinking in society - too much data driven. People just want to look at some threshold, do an if-greater-then condition, and be done. If you look at some of the most talented programmers, as an example, many actually do not have a formal degree in Computer Science or are self taught; recruiting based on numbers like we do now would never find them and actually weed them out. On the other side of things, I've met engineers from Ivy League schools who can barely code but get the job nonetheless from great marks in school; some cannot build a program from scratch at all unless you give them the skeleton to fill in the details on, which is arguably the bulk of the work.  I've come across engineers from firms as prestigious as Google who would not even dare explore restaurants without some external confirmation of their decisions, justifying their decisions with "social validation" (their words, not mine); there's actual fear in their eyes at the thought of going somewhere that doesn't have enough Yelp reviews, fear of the uncertainty and making any decision not backed with numbers. Of course, this is flawed thinking, lots of appeal to majority, authority, and other fallacies, but the sad part is a lot of our peers who do this most likely are not even aware of what things like logical fallacies are (in a non-math context). If you've read books like "City and the Stars" or "Childhood's End", it is getting quite close to that at least in some pockets of the country.

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The City and the Stars

January 21st, 2015 | Posted by pftq in Recently Read | #
The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke
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Reflections on San Francisco

December 13th, 2014 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
It's been two years now since I moved to San Francisco.  It's hard to decide whether to move away as the people around will constantly tell you this is the place to be and how awesome it is.  Yet it's harder still to ignore that there's no real scene outside of tech as well as how unsophisticated (read - ghetto) many things are that you'd think would be taken for granted in a big city.

Some of the posts I've found on Quora are pretty spot on with my own experiences, though mine are limited more to the San Francisco side of it.

SF vs Chicago
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Sheeply Wolves

December 5th, 2014 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Watch out for the sheep in wolf's clothing.
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The Five Dimensions

November 11th, 2014 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
A point can break a line.  A line can divide a plane.  A plane can split a body.  Somebody can change history.  Everyone's histories together compose a universe.
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