General thoughts

Everything goes... within reason!

General thoughts

Postby LongRunner » September 29th, 2022, 11:26 pm

Maybe this could count as a mini-blog, I shall see…

High intelligence/giftedness
Gifted people aren't just capable of doing more, they need to do more to attain satisfaction/fulfillment.
When others fail to understand or respect that, high intelligence can become a curse.

Children and parenting
I don't have children of my own (and am so far undecided if I ever will), so this is from my own childhood and observing others:
  • If you or your partner have a neurological condition which, if passed on, makes it likely that your child will require special attention (and this includes high intelligence/giftedness), then I'd strongly recommend settling for just one child if at all.
    If you are dividing your attention between the children, it's unlikely that each one will get enough of it.
  • I find it disrespectful to "protect" children from subjects deemed "too hard" for them, especially in the case of gifted children. Never submit to the whim of anyone who sees fit to "bring down" your child to "normal" by withholding higher-level activities from them; if that happened to me, I wouldn't be here.
  • I don't actually like the societal expectation that parents have to preempt children's misbehavior around other people; it's inauthentic (some things won't bother some people) and also a burden on the parents (as if they weren't having it hard enough anyway). People worry that someone might snap at their child; but parents nowadays are so stressed that they snap constantly anyway, so I'm not sure where the advantage is :huh:
  • It pains me whenever adults push children to do something; in fact it barely even matters whether the thing itself is good or bad.
School of course is one of my pet-peeves, for reasons you can read about extensively in Peter Gray's blog.
(And I'm generally disillusioned with all levels of formal education, observing the "results".)

There's only one anime I've come to like, namely Mitsudomoe. On the face of it, all its ingredients are wrong; the janky art, ropey expressions, superfluous panty shenanigans and clichéd premise don't appear to make it stand out from the crowd. But somehow, somewhere, something went right along the way.

While Mitsudomoe is ostensibly about a class of disobedient 6th-graders, to me it expresses that you can't "domesticate" children the way school tries to do. It indeed engages me in a manner shows set in "orderly" schools never have done; and the caring moments are thereby far more convincing and authentic. For a gag show, it also has moments of surprising intelligence: Yuki was really thoughtful in saying Miku wasn't bragging about her posh stuff (if being rich is all you have to boast about, then you don't have much of a life), and Kaieda dramatically demonstrates how the "strictest" people always seem to end up committing the strangest offenses :lol2:. (I can point out a few real cases if you want :mrgreen:)

It's just a pity that it only ran for a total of 22 episodes (including the even-spicier Episode 14 which was aired only belatedly). That, and something without an excess of borderline content would be nice; but I'm grateful enough that such a great show isn't a shotacon/lolicon (given Australia's attitudes there).
Honestly, I'm less worried about the content than I am about spoiling peoples' taste for other anime :group:
I'd recommend starting from Episode 3 and getting back to 1 and 2 later (if you want to see them) though.

Note: The "Serious Squadron Gachi Rangers" subtitle in S02E01 requires the Impact font (which is only preinstalled on Windows and Mac OS).
If not installed, your system will probably auto-substitute a font too wide to fit. Decent-quality episodes are >300MB (at 720p; you can also find some 1080p copies out there, but observing the lack of sharpness those were probably upscaled from 720p anyway, so not worth the extra gigabytes if you ask me).
Information is far more fragile than the HDDs it's stored on.

Smart people don't buy "smart" devices without very carefully weighing up the risks and benefits beforehand.

My PC: Core i3 4130 on GA-H87M-D3H with GT640 OC 2GiB and 2 * 8GiB Kingston HyperX 1600MHz, Kingston SA400S37120G, WD3003FZEX-00Z4SA0 and HDS721010CLA630, Pioneer BDR-209DBKS and Optiarc AD-7200S, Seasonic G-360, Chenbro PC31031, Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.2 (with Windows 7 still accessible if needed).
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General thoughts 2022-10-05

Postby LongRunner » October 5th, 2022, 6:41 am

Because of the loudness war, I've ended up mostly listening to music older than me. :-/ So it's more a technical issue than an artistic one.
There are some sounds I find unpleasant (heavy metal, opera), but otherwise I'm not overly picky (and for the most part I don't adhere to any particular genre).

I'm not sure who can top Split Enz' brilliant quirkiness (especially their earlier albums), but Scatman John had a great inspirational (and at times funny) touch.
Other than that, take your pick among Bobbie Gentry, Dexys Midnight Runners, Dionne Warwick, Eurythmics, Sydney Youngblood, Wendy Matthews (so far I only have Emigré and Lily, but The Witness Tree also has good dynamic range) and perhaps The Stranglers' softer tracks (e.g. Golden Brown)…

Electric guitars are overused and I don't find the sound (of driving them into heavy distortion) pleasant :s (not that it's supposed to be? Nevermind)
If anything I prefer using synthesizers to make softer sounds (some of the Kirby games do so to good effect).

While audio clipping is widely acknowledged as a no-no, its visual counterpart is not only accepted but even encouraged to some extent.
I beg to differ: While you will often have to push a few hot-spots over the limit to keep the remainder viewably bright, I find that all substantial areas should be kept within range. (Especially on anything soft, overexposure will ruin the effect.)
Last edited by LongRunner on November 21st, 2022, 8:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Electric guitar remark
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General thoughts 2022-10-20

Postby LongRunner » October 19th, 2022, 11:44 pm

Political Correctness
I see its rise as being (at least in part) a misguided attempt to mitigate the mental health problems caused by compulsory schooling: “If the children are too run‑down to cope with the cold hard fact of failure, let's soften the failure to fix it!” Of course, professionals in all industries have every right to be irate about that. But since making school optional doesn't even occur to most people as an option, all they manage to do is fight endlessly over whether mental health (left) or robust skills (right) are more critical. (Not that schooling taught skills that well in the first place, but I digress…)

I think PC mentality also has a sort of seductive appeal to many people: It's a way they can continue being judgemental, but in the guise of “compassion”.

Anti-bully mentality doesn't work, for reasons amply explained by Izzy Kalman. Still, the Golden Rule does fail occasionally; which while far better than the routine failure of anti-bullying policies, ultimately leaves exiting the environment as the only really reliable escape.

In both of those cases, freedom to quit is the key. It's not my plan that so many problems come back to school; that's just the reality, and it won't change until the school establishment collapses (it has too many restoring forces against meaningful reform from within).

The next stage of political correctness? Maybe, but even more crucially, it's a byproduct of modern neoliberal capitalism.
If you support neoliberalism, then fine – provided you stop complaining about wokeness.

Likes (social media)
The obvious reaction to the modern trend (excluding Reddit) of only counting likes/thumbs-up, is that it's done to appease the special-snowflakes; but actually, the true underlying reason is even more cynical. Counting both likes and dislikes (preferably separately, but subtracting dislikes from likes is OK) is definitely a saner system, although still imperfect in that it can foster groupthink; so in some ways, it's perhaps best not to count likes/dislikes at all (as on most forums).

Of course, I stay away from Facebook and Twitter anyway (and only view YouTube begrudgingly, with no intention to upload anything there). But if it's any small consolation (and if you can cope with the big browsers), there is a browser extension which reveals the dislikes on YouTube videos (but not the comments).
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General thoughts 2022-10-22

Postby LongRunner » October 21st, 2022, 1:36 pm

Art websites
If you're like me, don't bother joining them; given the accessibility of art, superficial people win by default.
No good deed I've attempted there has gone unpunished, and don't even consider discussing any matter of importance there.

Then again, I can't say I mind that much; I have my own artsy and aesthetic things which are surely more interesting anyway.
If true art is incomprehensible (as my persona seems to be to the art community), then consider me a true artist :mrgreen:
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General thoughts 2022-10-27

Postby LongRunner » October 27th, 2022, 5:51 am

What makes geeks cool?
To me it's not so much the interests themselves, but rather the attitude which goes with them; complex technical matters tend to require open minds, keep us more‑or‑less grounded in reality, and disabuse us of harsh surface-level judgementality.

Online forums
They're somewhat OK on technical sites (as long as the administrator isn't power-tripping), but elsewhere they're usually more trouble than they're worth.
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General thoughts 2022-11-06

Postby LongRunner » November 5th, 2022, 9:32 am

Junk food
I've always found it hypocritical here in Australia to run those “Live Lighter” PSAs while still allowing the advertising of unhealthy foods.
I don't overly mind which side you're on in the matter, but just pick a side OK? Either ban the junk-food ads already or stop running the PSAs :s

Most people do it in one form or another; just that they only notice when it's in a way which bothers them.

In my view, its creators missed the point; encyclopedias existed for the pre-Internet era.
Whether or not its broad accuracy is on par with printed encyclopedias, there are numerous factual errors remaining without a reasonable excuse.

Whenever a more-specialized website is available for the topic of interest, I go there (if what's available is no good, then I'll resort to Wikipedia).
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General thoughts 2022-11-24

Postby LongRunner » November 24th, 2022, 2:42 am

If you want kids to value it, then you have to allow them out to the real thing; schoolyards don't count as they provide almost nothing to do.

Not that there's a great deal of outdoors near me… :-/

I avoid using them whenever possible, not just out of honesty but (even more so) because they end up dirtying the words used as the euphemisms.
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General thoughts 2022-11-29

Postby LongRunner » November 28th, 2022, 10:25 pm

Besides being harder to read, when used nowadays (other than for quick handwriting) it seems to be accompanied by elements of pretention/snobbery.
I never use it myself (well, maybe ironically :P), although I'll give Coilcraft credit for finding one sensible use in their logo.

Pets vs. Pests
The line has become rather blurred in this house; the dog steals food at any opportunity, and one of the three cats isn't properly toilet-trained. :runaway:
Our cats also leave the remains of their prey indoors, and last Saturday night I intercepted a rat chase to get out of having to clean up :blush:
MIDNIGHT UPDATE: One mouse (or rat, not quite sure) has hidden behind the fridge (again!); they're just too good at finding crevices.

Having animist tendencies, I never fully made sense of which animals are usually regarded as "cute" and which aren't; it seems to be as much a function of which species are deemed "useful" as it is of their appearance or other innate traits. After reading this (I'd think you'd need much more than 220V for reliable elephant electrocution, but I digress) I thought: While elephants are way rarer than rats (or mice), maybe we can extend the suggested approach to even small animals? Don't the animals have more sense here than most of us humans do? :huh: (as you can tell, I'm no human supremacist)

Perhaps bringing cats indoors was a mistake too, and the original way they roamed around outside buildings (although not in Australia with cats being an introduced species, and feral cats infamous for devouring native animals) made more sense…
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