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Racist Mentality

March 29th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
This is essentially a shorter version of one of my points from the longer Three Tiers of Mind and arguably an extension of the discussion on Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning.  What bothers me lately is there seems to be a general shift away from why racism is bad in the first place and more towards just any mention of race is bad or that any difference in advantage is bad (aka "privilege").  What makes racism bad at its core is that you are ignoring a person's individuality and making an assumption about that person based on association to a category.  In other words, you are not seeing the person in front of you but treating that person as just one of many belonging to some arbitrary label.  That person is no longer a person with their own agency and ability to cause change in the world but just a thing, an object, something that is not you.  That's the real problem that leads to all other acts someone may commit, which everyone then reacts to as racism or other crimes.

You see this immediately in any situation you normally associate with racism.  The reason slavery was able to make sense in people's minds was the ability to ignore the individuality of any person branded under the slave label.  Removing race would have made the act no better if the hierarchy still existed (and it did/does even amongst populations of same ethnicity).  The reason there is conflict between the rich and poor is because each side uses the other as only a means to an end, treating the other as just that - an other.  Removing money or other material differences makes the situation no better if people still view each other in terms of what they have, their demographics, or other population-level traits - in terms of association and value instead of as individuals (some will recognize this as the concept of dignity in Kantian theory).  Objectifying, commoditizing, treating someone as merely a statistic... these are all different names and outcomes for what is essentially the same thinking process deep down.  They judge you on where you come from instead of why you came, what you represent instead of what you actually chose to do.  You're X because you're a Y, and Ys are X.  It's the act of being too lazy to think about the full context and just reacting on a trigger word, of trying to think in broad-brush rules and sweeping generalizations instead of being willing to look at each situation case-by-case.  The flaw is thinking the abstract grouping more real than the individual the abstract was created around.  

This same manner of thinking pretty much leads to any other social aspects we consider "bad." An unfulfilling job - being a cog in a machine, working under someone's thumb - happens when your individuality is disregarded and you are treated as just a faceless number amongst many.  A friend or relationship feels false when the other doesn't actually listen to you specifically but just says what could be said to anyone else.  Someone is patronizing if they give advice without knowing anything about the person they are lecturing and just assume advice is warranted.  Someone is pedantic if they are ignoring what you're trying to say and only caring about how you said it.  Even the murderous psychopath - the difference between him and a hero soldier is that he does not think about others as individuals, just objects, a kill count, again a number.

When taken...[More]
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Four Notes of Us, Annihilation, Dark City

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Had these four notes from the Us trailer stuck in my head for the longest time and couldn't quite place why it sounded like I heard them in orchestral form before, then realized I heard them in Annihilation, and before that, Dark City.


Music obviously isn't mine but is meshed together just for fun to show how similar the pieces are from each respective movie.  Ironically, Dark City is the most uplifting variation of the melody and most thoroughly explores it.
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God Formula

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another one that came to me in a dream. Made more sense right after I woke, but I unfortunately started losing details as soon as I got to writing it down.

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The story is essentially a sci-fi thriller movie, where the founder tries to create AI from a math perspective similar to induction instead of the more common approach of fitting to data.  It's counterintuitive but rather than try to create a general algorithm that adapts to specific cases, the founder wants to start from one case and solve for the rest of the world - ie letting the AI define the rest of world on its own volition. In other words, instead of adapting or being an agent in the world, this algorithm plays God and creates it from scratch.  The idea is similar to trying to understand or simulate the current universe by instead creating a new one altogether via man-made blackholes in a lab.  It's also similar to what you do in theoretical math where you define hypothetical systems or...[More]
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Economic Literacy

March 7th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
"I don't see why universal healthcare can't work. Other countries do just fine having it. In fact, they're doing better than us. Look at the pound - it's worth way more than the dollar!" And everyone agrees and cheers. Sigh...
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In the End

March 4th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
In the End by Marcus Warner (@MWarnerMusic)
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Dreams Adrift

February 5th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

This could either be an animation or short film. The imagery of someone walking upsidedown against the night sky is what stuck in my mind.
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Scene starts panning down from a cloudy, moonlit night sky to a girl standing on the edge of a highrise rooftop with her arms out.  It looks like she is about to fall, but as she goes over the edge, the camera rotates to instead show her walking down the side of the building, apparently sleepwalking.  There is a wistful element as her hair is constantly flowing and her arms are out to balance.  The elements seem to whirl around her as she walks, as if animated by what she is dreaming.  The iconic scene is of her walking upsidedown on the bottom of a plank between two highrises against the backdrop of the moon and night sky in the background.  

Eventually...[More]
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No More Outsourced Teams

January 27th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Why I'll never outsource my ideas again - tired of teams thinking it fair if I pay everyone's salary out of pocket + give up half equity. I get 100% of the risk while they get zero risk + salary + half upside. Their worst case is getting paid and moving onto the next client, while mine is losing everything and starting over.
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Run and Record Games on VM Server

January 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
More a reminder for myself how to set up a remote server/vm like Azure to run and record games.  Otherwise, you'll run into issues like lack of GPU/DirectX or no sound.

1. Create a VM with Windows 10 and a GPU (for Azure, it is the NC series).
2. If your GPU is a Tesla, make sure to install Nvidia drivers and enable graphics rendering on it.
3. Install VB-Audio virtual sound card to be able to capture sound from the game.
4. If an Unreal...[More]
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Fixing VR Controllers Out of View

January 21st, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
If you use inside-out #VR / #WindowsMixedReality headsets like @Samsung Odyssey, you'll run into the controllers glitching out when out of view (below or behind your head). In an #UnrealEngine or #Unity game, a workaround is to store the location of the controllers but avoid updating if the location moves too far from the headset (the glitching out when out of view). The rotation of each controller still works as they're based on gyroscopes instead of cameras, so you'll still want to update the rotation, just not the location which is now some absurd unusable number.

In Unreal Engine, it would look like this:


This really should be internalized into the headset driver itself, as it only makes sense to not update to a location that is physically impossible.  For now, you have to do that check yourself.
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Vue

January 20th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another story that came as a dream, ironically as a movie I was watching in the dream.

The movie initially starts as a horror film about boy initially trying to escape the home of a crazed family with a murderous cyborg child.  The home is more or less a cave with no open windows or exit (all boarded up).  The parents are human but very old and clearly insane, sort of like the fake grandparents from The Visit.  The cyborg behaves more like an animal and is Frankenstein-like, with loosely pieced together scrap metal for arms, blades for hands, barely functional prosthetics for what's left of the face (doll-like eyes, unmoving lips, etc), etc.  Often it crawls on all fours or climbs the walls, staying in the shadows.  It is unclear if it was once human at all or entirely machine to begin with.  The pacing and feel is almost like a Saw movie at first, with no indication how the we arrived here or why things are.

After about halfway through...[More]
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ETC Probability

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Not surprised about ETC 51% attack since everything in blockchain is only "statistically impossible" (low odds) instead of true certainty. Expecting more problems like this over time. More surprised some now defend lack of certainty as a feature instead - https://coingape.com/pow-blockchain-secure-post-ethereum-classic-attack/
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In line with what I wrote before:
https://www.pftq.com/blabberbox/?page=Bitcoin_Probability
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"If they're going crazy right now on how some random hashtag should be "statistically impossible," wait till two people generate the same wallet (which is not supposed to happen until the sun dies... "statistically"). #Bitcoin
https://www.coindesk.com/21e800-bitcoin-satoshi-mystery-twitter-obsessing/"
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Flax Master

January 5th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Random Stuff | #
Recipe for the best smoothie (originally from Earthbar).  Serves 2 16 oz cups; half the amounts for 1 serving.
- 1 frozen Sambazon Acai bar (pure and unsweetened)
- 1 cup of frozen wild blueberries (aka billberry).
- 2 bananas
- 2 teaspoons of unfiltered flax oil (lignans for anti-cancer).
- 2 tablespoons...[More]
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Makeshift Sit-Stand Desk and Second Screen

December 29th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Surprisingly comfortable ergonomic-wise since everything from the screen position/height and keyboard/mouse are adjustable.  But the screen isn't big enough for me to see without my glasses sadly.
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Japan and Norway

December 23rd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Finally uploaded pictures I took in Japan and Norway last year.

Norway
Kyoto, Japan
Tokyo, Japan




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End of Adolescence

November 27th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
There's a feeling you get when summer hits and school is out.  When you were younger, it might have been excitement, freedom.  As you got older, it became more an interruption, an emptiness, time crawling by as you waited to see your peers again, an interlude as you waited for the next adventure. Except... on the 12th time, summer doesn't quite end.  It keeps going, no matter how long you wait. That feeling - when you're the only one still wandering the campus while everyone else already left - gradually becomes your everyday.  And at some point, you look back and realize this is the rest of your life.
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Haiiro to Ao Cover

November 17th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Haiiro to Ao Cover by Kobasolo (@kobamakolts)
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Trying to Using Google Cloud

November 14th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Seems there's a reason @GoogleCloud's market share trails behind Microsoft's @Azure and is nowhere near Amazon's @AWSCloud.  It's just insanely difficult to get up and running.

First is the error that I need to enable the Google Cloud service in my Admin Console, but Google Cloud is not even listed there.  The specific error is "Google Cloud Platform service has been disabled. Please contact your administrator to restore service in G Suite Admin console."



Have to contact...[More]
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Enabling Graphics for Nvidia Tesla GPU in Azure VM

November 11th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
If you're trying to use the GPUs Azure VMs for actual graphics like in game development, DirectX, or other things where the GPU has to be detected, you need to set the Tesla GPUs to WDDM mode.  By default they are in TCC, which doesn't let them be detected by the system in RDP and has graphics disabled.  Not even Nvidia control panel will see the card.

Solution is pretty quick - just a command line entry.  It can just be done in Command Prompt, no additional software needed.  Credits to the comments on Reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/cloudygamer/comments/7twmiq/problem_with_azure_nv6_and_nvidia_tesla_m60/

(Make sure you first have the Nvidia drivers installed, either by starting the VM with an image that has them or installing manually.)

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1. Open Command Prompt.
2. Enter: cd C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVSMI
3. Enter: nvidia-smi -l
4. Ctrl+Break...[More]
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Placebo Effect on Mind

November 10th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Very interesting article that sounds a lot like the ideas portrayed in @MNightShyamalan's @SplitMovie
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/07/magazine/placebo-effect-medicine.html
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Double Tax Issue on Patreon

November 3rd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
The Hidden Patreon Double Tax...

Would love to be shown wrong here, but as far as I've found, money on @Patreon is taxed for both patron and creator. In any other situation, only the giver or receiver is taxed, not both. Donations to non-profits are deductible, salaries of employees are deductible expense for the employer, even traditional non-Patreon patron/sponsorship arrangements are at least some form of write-off/expense for the sponsor.  But for Patreon, unless you go through the excessive effort of establishing yourself as a company with an elaborate case for how giving to artists is business-related or straight up start a non-profit organization yourself, the money you give on Patreon is going to be from income you paid taxes on, and then that creator also pays taxes on it as their income.

This is a simplification of the math but just to illustrate: If you made $100k this year and wanted to give away half to artists on Patreon, you literally can't...[More]
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