Blabberbox:Random blog-like posts from pftq.Share on Twitter

Modern Schools

August 9th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
This is just my own personal preference in lifestyle obviously, but one of the thoughts I can't stand is how repetitive the life of a modern teacher must be, the dread of just living year after year on loop teaching the same thing but with no progression and not even the same students to share the journey.  To me, the thought of it is like being trapped in Groundhog Day.  You are the rock that never moves while all your students pass you by.  Fifty years can pass, your students already having lived entire lives, and when they come back to visit, you're still there doing the same thing, as if part of the historical scenery itself.

I kind of wish there was a more old-fashioned approach, where you and your teacher are both a team growing and learning together until the student finally one day becomes equal or even surpasses the teacher.  What we have instead with schools/colleges is more an assembly line where students churn in and out, the teachers sometimes not even remembering the names of students they just taught last year, and the conversation always being one directional of the teacher just unloading their knowledge to the student. In college, it's even worse with you not having the same teacher for even 6 months and that teacher literally only clocking in one hour a week to talk on stage.

It would be so much more exciting if being part of a school was more like being on a team training to face the real world together.  That English teacher, instead of just reading and grading papers year after year, could actually be writing novels and expecting students to one day carry on the story.  That computer professor, instead of just explaining the same intro to computers year after year, could actually be working on an entirely new technology on which the students are being trained to one day help complete.  Instead of just talking about a subject, the same material in perpetuity, we learn as much as the teacher knows so far and then keep discovering more together.

It means that by becoming a student, you become dedicated to one day working with and carrying on the work you study, but maybe that would be for better.  I think I would have liked that kind of life more.
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Daydream Believers Cover

August 9th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Daydream Believer Cover by Youmou & Ohana
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SF vs Tokyo Prices

August 9th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
What $200/night gets you in SF, worst part of town but rated 4/5:
https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/I-paid-202-to-stay-at-a-micro-hotel-in-SF-14287621.php#photo-18030559

What $65/night gets you in Tokyo, center of Shibuya:
https://www.themillennials.jp/shibuya?lang=en

And food prices:
https://twitter.com/AiSideQuests/status/940082396426248194
($18+tax+tip in SF/LA vs $18 total for 2 ppl at Denny's)

For normal, local food, it's even cheaper (basically divide by 100 to convert yen to USD):

1000 yen for udon noodles + 3 desserts + drink at Meniroiro Itudemoyatu


600 yen for ramen + fried rice + potstickers at Toshu
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Google Maps Missing Starred Places

July 21st, 2019 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
For those also running into issues with starred places on Mobile not showing on desktop:
https://www.reddit.com/r/GoogleMaps/comments/97inxv/saved_places_stars_not_showing_up_on_desktop_when/

Basically the saved place is not being saved correctly with proper date.  To fix, you need to go to Bookmarks and resave each that has a Nan date.
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One Punch Cat Fan Animation

July 2nd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Found @dillongoo's fan animation sadly more satisfying to watch than the second season. #OnePunchMan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niXMKRey9Yg
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A Taste for Health

June 27th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Had an idea for a story recently for if society found a way to make someone naturally like the taste of healthy foods (like vegetables, etc) - imagine if what you liked and craved lined up with what was good for you.  It sounds and all seems well, everyone eating better diets and enjoying better lifestyles.  Then imagine one day unexplained animal attacks start leaving people dead and torn up, seemingly at random and in generally urban settings with no dangerous wild predators.  As the story goes on, footage and evidence start to reveal the attacks seem to come from not any animal but a human.  The authorities track down and arrest one suspect, but the killings continue, seemingly at random and with no motive.  It turns out not to be any one person but people at random who suddenly go mad for human meat.  The commonality is they've all been genetically modified to like the taste of whatever is good for them, and it worked too well.  Because the healthiest...[More]
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SQL Azure Users

June 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Something to remember to do every time you add SQL users to an Azure database.
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/19334041/the-select-permission-was-denied-on-the-object-users-database-xxx-schema
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Bitcoin Calls Below Parity

June 22nd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Bitcoin is moving so fast that call options on @LedgerX are priced below parity, as if $BTC was still below $11K. Literally free money (just buy the call and sell one Bitcoin to net the difference). #Bitcoin #BTC
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USDT Minting

June 16th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Personal theory on where the #USDT is going - it's actually lent out on #Bitfinex. Risk-free return for the minters while collecting borrow fees during $BTC rallies. The thought came to mind when I noticed a $77M lending wall in their funding page at the same time the $100M USDT headline came out. Other exchanges having increased borrow rates once $BTC broke $9000, but the rates on Bitfinex stayed about the same.
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Comparing Options Contracts

June 12th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Bitcoin Options Price Feed Data and Analysis on LedgerX

This is a spreadsheet I created to compare what call or put options are best to buy, specifically using this for Bitcoin options on LedgerX but can be used with any options really.  You can essentially use this as an API for LedgerX options price data into your own scripts as well by using the ImportRange function.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dZbFjCrr2FykdPvE4UVLp8kOO5Iox9lmctSmfqSTq1I/edit#gid=0

Sometimes the...[More]
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Flagging Uber, Lyft with QR Codes

June 9th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
For me it's still easier to flag a taxi in #NYC. It'd be great if you can flag @Uber or @Lyft the same way and just swipe QR codes to pay. Then you don't have to wait 5 min for the app to find drivers or for someone else further away to circle the block after accidentally passing you a few times.  Since many drivers already label their cars with Uber or Lyft signs, this is sort of part way there already.  The only thing missing is for a way to pay without driver searching, which would be solved by QR scanning the driver's phone when the passenger steps in to bypass the search process.
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Conversations

May 29th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Overhead a couple people having one of the more interesting philosophical conversations in a long time and wanted to join in, only to then realize they were middle school students doing homework. Sigh.
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Saitama vs Suiryu Fan Animation

May 26th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Thought this fan animation was more exciting to watch than the actual scene in the anime, which sadly often felt more like still images panned across the screen. #onepunchman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkY6bFt5UkY
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Brightburn at Dolby Cinema

May 25th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Just watched @Brightburn but was actually more impressed by @DolbyCinema. The bass was so heavy + directional that it felt like the sensation of a train speeding by (or coming right at you), which made it scarier than the scene itself.
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Conversation with a Doctor

May 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
One of the more frustrating experiences I've had in a while... part of what makes the healthcare here feel pretty worthless.  Obviously not reflective of all doctors... just many my own experiences.
-------------
Doctor: Here's a prescription drug that will relieve the symptom.  Just take it everyday from now on, and you won't feel it anymore.
Me: Is there a test or something we can do to check why it's happening? Or if it might be more serious?
Doctor: Like what?
Me: Maybe it's...[More]
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If People Talked About Internet Like They Do Blockchain

May 10th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Person B: Have you heard of this thing called the Internet? It's the future. You should buy as many dial-up modems as you can before the price goes up.  Once the Internet becomes mainstream, we'll all be rich.
Person A: Why would the price go up?
Person B: Because adoption.  Everyone will start using the Internet.  You could use it to store information, transact, compute things... everything will be on the Internet.
Person A: Isn't that just computers in general?
Person B: No, unlike just your home computer, anything that is on the Internet stays there forever.  It's also decentralized, meaning no one can shut it down or control it.  And most importantly, it's global.  Everything has to be global nowadays.  That's the future.  Personal computing was the first revolution.  This is the next one.  Imagine if you could go back in time to the 80's before personal computing was mainstream.  This is that opportunity.  You could buy up everything before anyone else gets a chance.
Person A: But why would modem prices go up?
Person B: There's no Internet without modems.  Every person needs a modem to use the Internet.
Person A: Couldn't you just make more?
Person B: That's why you have to pick the right modem brand.  Some brands inflate the supply.  You should buy AOL modems.  It's a fixed supply.  There will never be any more AOL modems made again.  It also has the highest usage and market cap.
Person A: Market cap?
Person B: You take the price of a modem and multiply by the number of modems out there.
Person A: How many AOL modems are there?
Person B: Theoretically, once the last modem in store is sold - 21 billion.
Person A: That's more than we'll ever need.
Person B: Yeah but each person can buy more than one.  Some people who were early got to hoard millions of modems.  People also lose their modems or their logins.  Supposedly 20% of all modems right now are lost or not usable by anyone.  You have to imagine a future beyond your wildest expectations where everyone and their grandma know about and use the Internet.  It's hard to visualize, but that's how people felt when personal computing first started too, and now everyone has a computer in their home.  Everything in the future will use the Internet in one form or another, and this is our chance to own part of that infrastructure.

Person A: So what does your startup do?
Person B: It's an Internet company.
Person A: But what does it do?
Person B: We create applications that run on the Internet.  People are calling them Websites.
Person A: What kind of applications?
Person B: Anything that clients demand.  We're trying to help build the Internet ecosystem.  The more people we get using the Internet, the more modem prices will go up.  Everyone wins.  We've had clients from restaurants to banks.  Everyone wants to be on the Internet now.
Person A: Why would a bank need to be on the Internet?
Person B: Banks still keep things in books and binders.  We help them store things digitally on the Internet.
Person A: But couldn't you just store it on computers and digitize things in general? That would already solve the problem.  What about just a database and network? Wouldn't that be faster? Also wouldn't being on the Internet put their information at risk of being hacked?
Person B: The Internet can't be hacked. Everything you read is the user getting hacked or the Website being insecure.  The Internet itself has never gone down or been compromised.  It is the most secure and resilient thing out there.

Person A: So what does your Website do?
Person B: We're building a revolutionary ecosystem so anyone who checks out a library book does it through the Internet, and everyone will have to use our Website to be part of that.  It'll change the world.
Person A: Would I get to read the book digitally?
Person B: No, you would just log on to the Website to check it out on the Internet, but you still go to the library to pick up the book.
Person A: Why wouldn't I just go to the library and check out books the old way since I'm there anyway?
Person B: Because the Internet makes things more efficient and secure.
Person A: How does that translate to a business model for your startup?
Person B: If everyone is using our Website, then the Website has value, unimaginable value, and the price will reflect that value in the long run.  Think about how many people in the world read books.  Billions.  Imagine if they all used the Internet.  Even if every account was only worth $1, that's billions of dollars flowing through the Internet.  And then think about how many books a person reads, multiply those numbers and you get trillions of dollars.
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Prions and Synthesized Foods

April 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
More an open-ended question here.  Prions, or misfolded proteins, are the cause of mad-cow disease when eating meat.  The animal itself is more likely to be produce misfolded proteins when eating brain tissue, but sometimes it's also just luck (or perhaps environmental, stress, etc).  The prions themselves cannot be destroyed by heating or other means once created, as it's more a mutation than a "disease." Once in the body, it causes other proteins to be misfolded as well in a tumor-like fashion.  With regards to new synthesized foods like vegan or fake meats,  I wonder what ways (if any) are there to unintentionally create misfolded proteins in the process as well.  Right now, it seems that they try to mess with the vegetable ingredients as little as possible when creating the meat flavor and texture.  Some of these opt for a non-GMO label to make it distinct.  It would probably be more a concern if in the future companies become more aggressive with manipulating or modifying the proteins themselves as they refine the meat.
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A Wish for a Life

April 2nd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Imagine if you could make any wish come true but would cause the death of one random person.

A man, known as the Baron, lives in a castle atop a hill and is suspected of having a supernatural artifact that does this, causing many mysterious deaths in the nearby town for his own gain.  Each death is similar, with each person becoming suddenly frail and ghostly pale before dying within days.  The story initially seems one of despair, as no one can really prove this to authorities and people at random just keep dying.  Many supporting and likeable characters have their arc abruptly ended in this manner.

An investigator tries to solve this mystery but doesn't believe in superstition.  He's an outsider to the town and tries to bring science and reason he believes the townspeople lack.  He suspects more likely the Baron created this rumor to hide something more nefarious.  A friend of the investigator gets frustrated with the investigator's calm...[More]
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Racist Mentality

March 29th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
This is more or less a concise 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.  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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