listic

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate... Forget that.

I've been working in the large gas power plant, a sprawling monster creeping over a city, large enough to power some European nations. A lake is kept warm in winter with just effluent waters. Everywhere you look in the city you can see traces of it. At any given time there's always something breaking or leaking somewhere. It looks like it can break down at any moment. Yet the constant labour of thousands of workers always keeps power plant humming along. It's an impressive feat of human engineering.

Comments

How did experiments with lucid dreaming pan out?

Did you do anything special to have lucid dreams?

Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016

How does one call a philosophical position that images have intrinsic meanining, rather than assigned one by the external observer?

What can be said about a person giving voice to such position? (with the purpose of understanding their position and how to best one could converse with them, if at all)

I am asking because I encountered such a person in a social network discussion about computer vision. They are saying that pattern recognition is not yet a knowledge of their meaning and yes, meaning is intrinsic to image.

All that comes to my mind is: I am not versed in philosophy, but it looks to me that science is based on the opposite premise and further discussion is meaningless.

Open Thread, Jun. 15 - Jun. 21, 2015

Way better for me; tango and soccer are practically dead to me; swimming is fun.

OTOH if you optimize for fitness benefits, I am almost sure swimming is not optimal: e.g. cardio training and weight lifting should be better.

You should really figure out what you wish to optimize for. If you want to optimize for 'everything' you should be fine doing 'anything' that looks like it helps it.

Stupid Questions May 2015

Haven't heard about such an accident. Why do you ask?

Can't figure how the second paragraph demonstrates that technological progress has ended (by the way, do you mean it stopped or it really reached its logical conclusion?). Rather, it illustrates its ever more rapid pace. And that might be a problem for science fiction: where formerly readers were excited to read fiction about strange new things that science could bring in the future, nowadays they are rather overwhelmed with the strange new things they already have, and afraid and unwilling to look into the future; it's not that the science fiction cannot show it. Charles Stross has written about it (don't have the exact link; sorry)

Open Thread, May 4 - May 10, 2015

Thanks for bringing it to my attention! Having an interest in visual novels, interactive fiction and generally all forms of experimenting with good ol' prose that just might end up advancing 'state of the art' of fiction (I suppose I should call that ambition 'upgrading the prose' - have you seen this or that?) I was immediately attracted by your term 'a story-like object': I am interested in exactly the kind of stuff that might be hard to put a label on.

I decided to take a peek, and read through it all. Didn't expect to enjoy it like I did. You know, something like this might lie at the beginning of a novel or game, but us common readers do not get to read it.

You know, there's a peculiar game studio from London called Failbetter Games, makers of Escapist's 2009 "Browser Game of the Year" called Fallen London. That's a kind of game studio that, when deciding to make an expansion to their game, starts with hiring writers; Fallen London is over 1.5 million words. When asked how they keep track of their established canon and avoid overwriting other plots, they say:

Q.: When it came to designing the plot lines for islands, how did you make sure to keep them from overwriting other plots or established canon? What methods did you use to keep it in check?

A.: Things we use: (i) a house style document (ii) a giant Google spreadsheet of info ranked in rows by subject and in columns from 'public' to 'unrevealable secret'

I presume you are not sure what it is you're writing? If you were to ask me, this story-like object of yours is not a story. Rather it has the trappings of just such a guideline for writing a novel or a series, maybe even written collaboratively by several authors. It has (i) and maybe (ii), too: these individual FAQ paragraphs could as well be made those spreadsheet cells, ranked from 'public' to 'unrevealable secret' and from that you would start picking and choosing details and making that into a story, game or whatever you call it; short story or novella won't even have place for all of the detail; whatever gets shown would be decided as much by the laws of narrative as by the inner logic you present here.

The language of desire (post 2 of 3)

Let's hope part 3 will make sense of all of it.

Efficient Food

There's also SpoonRocket.

Though for some reason, this seems to only work just in some parts of the world: here in Russia even the grocery delivery seems to only be properly implemented in Moscow.

[LINK] Terry Pratchett is dead

I believe it's probably only because of the woefully under-developed state of cryonics itself that the practice of voluntary death through cryopreservation (cryothanasia) haven't been seriously researched: rather counter-intuitively, cryonics companies are too few and mostly have enough trouble on their hands to bother disrupting the status quo.

Getting frozen before you die can well be problematic, but not necessarily impossible in all jurisdictions. I believe it's just not well researched. Cryonics has low demand as it is, and cryothanasia requires even greater mental effort to voluntarily choose death, before dying the 'natural' way, and make all the necessary research and preparations yourself, so I wouldn't be surprised to learn that noone bothered yet, or noone who made their efforts public, at the very least. Which doesn't mean that this is impossible. Suicide tourism is a thing, after all.

I would recommend directly contacting Danila Medvedev (medvedev@tranhuman.ru) from Russian company CryoRus, if you are really practically interested in the prospect of cryothanasia - it is likely that it is possible, but noone is going to offer it as a product, so far, you will have to research it for yourself; they are at least entertaining the idea.

2015 Repository Reruns - Boring Advice Repository

Your claim is worthless without context. Please provide some evidence: why is smartphone the highest ROI purchase for you and why do you think it will be worth it for others.

With smartphones as ubiquitous as they are today, computer-literate people who don't have them should have their reasons. You don' t provide any.

My reasons for not having a smartphone are: I predict that benefits of smartphone ownership will not justify the cost of ownership for me. The cost of ownership consists of:

One-time:

  • Researching and choosing a smartphone
  • Learning to use it and its many applications
  • Cost (smartphone must be bought)

Recurring:

  • One more thing to manage and obsess over
  • One more thing to charge and not lose
  • A distraction that's always with me. I cannot do any productive work on the phone, but I can use the internet, very slowly. Any time and energy spent on it would be better spent elsewhere.
  • Data plans cost money.

Of course, smartphone usage has its well-documented benefits, but for me they didn't yet outweigh the costs.

The reason I ultimately surrendered and bought a smartphone was that I hoped to implement Allen's GTD with it. Only later I came across his interview where he advices not to use brand new technologies for GTD, but tried and true ones, that you are already comfortable with. So true.

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