Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by James

  1. Blade Runner 2049

    I loved the film. The diversity concerns are all valid, of course, but it was such a relief to me that they put something out with a strong artistic vision, and which (to me) authentically evoked the original without mimicking it whole cloth. That said...
  2. I suspect you could probably interpret many things in this season as microcosms of the show itself, or even of its production. End of season spoiler: I guess it's a universal avenue of enquiry for viewers: regardless of other knowledge and experience, everyone can interpret the show in relation to itself. I lack the breadth and depth of cultural literacy to tease out all of the references, allusions, and other external connections in art, so I tend to resort to searching for reflexive connections.
  3. I read this in Nick's voice

    Extremely good.
  4. Plug your shit

    Very nice. My only suggestion would be that it might be worth tweaking the colour to match related shots together. Some shots looked a touch blue too blue to me, though that might just be my own personal preference. Anyway, good job in finding a kind of story in this footage. It feels like a very natural progression.
  5. The latest Abby episode is pretty great, though. I'm glad they're pushing back against Dan's nonsense a bit, but making a story out of it.
  6. The McElroy Family of Products

    Is the reason they don't also post them to YouTube that they want to encourage people to follow on both platforms? If so, they've done a bad job of letting YouTube subscribers know that they were even missing anything.
  7. Those last few moments were amazing. And the final closing credits. And Cooper's face being superimposed over all that stuff in 17. And the incredibly slow pan back and forth in the forest right before the credits in 17. I have to confess that a fairly significant part of me wants more answers and a brighter tone for the ending. I didn't expect to get that (Lynch was co-helming, after all), and being dispassionate about it I know it's almost certainly better the way it is, but the part of me that wants something easier is definitely there, and won't keep quiet. We actually got a lot more answers than I expected in the episodes running up to this, to be fair. And I guess those answers won't stick with me a fraction as long as this ending will. But man. Richard Cooper definitely has an element of BadCoop to him. Oh, and what's up with the corpse in Carrie's house? Feels like a dream. But I don't know. I stayed up to watch it starting at 2 am local time (I took tomorrow off work), so I'm now incredibly tired. Not that I'd fare much better fully rested. Jesus, what a show. What an ending. Time to sleep.
  8. Photos of things

    Those are awesome, @YoThatLimp. I think you're totally justified in your desire to control the work you've put considerable time, effort and money into achieving. Unfortunately, not being a particularly confident person, I have no idea how you'd express that to someone without sounding like a complete tool. Maybe phrase it like "Let me sort out the printing. Trust me, it'll look great," or something. Or just get one printed and offer to sell it to him (at cost, if you like, or however much you deem fit), and if he's not interested I guess you just have a sweet print of a great photo to hang up somewhere.
  9. Oh it's maddening for sure, but I still enjoy it. I don't really mind the players fucking up, but I got pretty wound up about Vinny giving specifically counterproductive advice, like having one character start their turn with an overwatch and have another one sprint from behind, meaning they missed out on a meld. But I still really like it. @miffy495 That stage in Steal My Sunshine exhibited one of my least favourite things that Giant Bomb does: missing something that seems obvious to me, then getting mad at the game about it. It's something I usually associate with Brad, but on this occasion Vinny was doing it pretty badly. Like, it becomes obvious pretty early on that if you spray the chain chomps from a distance (before they charge you) they run away, but he still kept spraying them from miles off and getting frustrated when they disappeared into the distance. Also, reasoning that losing health to the fiery paint was "worth it" to get a chain chomp into the water seems pretty silly when taking damage also makes you drop the tail before you can launch it. I don't know, I should be more laid back, and I'm no Mario Sunshine apologist, but sometimes I feel like they aren't meeting games half way. On the other hand, Abbys's ridiculous acrobatic showboating at the start of that jetpackless stage was incredible. I really enjoy that series most of the time.
  10. The timing also works for Naido, having fallen from the Purple Room just prior, maybe landing in our world. When watching the episode I'd assumed 2:53 was just some kind of magical time that things happen on any given day, but it seems pretty plausible that Twin Peaks of episode 14 is concurrent with that stuff from the early season. I'm never going to remember all the things that caught my eye in this thread. I did like the two Mothers theory, though. They're also both eyeless, which is a loose but potentially meaningful association. Finally, though I feel awful for the character, Sarah, and the Palmer house, are the perfect bridge between the grand cosmic battle kind of mythology (or whatever that actually amounts to) and the deeply human side of Twin Peaks that makes it so poignant. And Lynch's unique knack for the domestic nightmare. Demons still inhabit that house, all these years later. It's still in the shadow of all that's happened there. It's still haunted by indescribable anguish. It's host to both an absurd fantasy and something altogether too real.
  11. bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

    Yeah, the competitive nature of bitcoin mining pretty much guarantees that miners will make as large a detrimental environmental impact as they can afford to make in search of the next quarry of bitcoins. Obviously there's some incentive to efficient machinery, but I strongly suspect miners use efficiency savings to just run more machines. After all, if they don't, they're giving up potential earnings. Expand and compete, even if the work is arbitrary. Am I mistaken in thinking that the effectively fixed rate of release for new blockchains works in diametric opposition to efficiency?
  12. I didn't notice that, but it's amazing and makes so much sense! That the woman from the purple room should emerge near this tower-like structure. And I wonder again whether she's meant to be Josie. Did she somehow transfer from a wooden doorknob into a wooden tree stump? Does the purple realm inhabit all wood? Probably not but it's something to ponder. I agree. The way people come away from Lodge experiences with more coherent information that we see on screen closely matches my own experience in dreams: things happen and I acquire knowledge, but the knowledge I acquire doesn't particularly correspond to the events happening. The scene gradually changes and background information just kind of emerges in my mind. I'm sure it's similar for many people if not everyone. I'm a little angry at myself for that not even occurring to me. It makes a lot of sense, and has a grimness to it entirely consistent with Twin Peaks, and brings things back to Laura Palmer, who is kind of conspicuous in her absence, short of diary pages and mentions of the case. There would be a fitting tragedy to the demonic Mother being associated with or inhabiting Laura's literal mother. I was wondering when somebody was going to mention this. It seemed extremely deliberate. Is this what happens when someone without Cooper's innate ability go through the same sort of transdimensional journey? That seems like a pretty perfect reason for his involvement. That guy's pretty great, but I can't work out if it's because of or despite his apples-and-pears-guvnor accent. I don't think many people his age speak with a classic cockney accent these days, but it makes total sense in the world of Twin Peaks. I love that he explained jobsworths, too. Did Frost or Lynch just really like that word? Good lord, what a corker! All my doubts about where all these threads are going are assuaged. Not that I think it will all be neatly tied up at the end, but there is at least some meaningful connective tissue, which doesn't (to me) feel cheap or lazy.
  13. bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

    As far as I can tell, it's an extreme example of the Internet going all in on a dumb joke.
  14. Assuming this season was written with an eye to it maybe probably being a definitive end to the series, I think I might prefer that Lynch do something else, if he does keep working with Showtime. I'm not sure I can stand the perpetual anxiety of "will they stick the landing" to be drawn out in perpetuity, or until it gets bad enough that they stop funding new seasons.
  15. bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

    Here's a pretty interesting insight into a large Chinese bitcoin mining operation:
  16. In the latest Blue Bombing Dan recounts how, when he was a small child (three or so), the family refrigerator caught fire. This apparently so disturbed him that he became fearful that he himself would catch fire. He was so distressed, his mother took him to the fire department, where it was explained to him that he didn't have old faulty wiring, and he was given one of his first teddy bears, who was a fireman. I found it quite touching. I guess I'm pretty sentimental, really. I've really enjoyed Exquisite Corps so far. I wish it were more frequent!
  17. Sorry for the double post! I had pretty much the same thought process, but the other way around. I immediately assumed it was him giving up on his feelings for Norma, but then I thought maybe it was just him burning up the matchbook, but I rewinded it and it looked more like paper than card to me. God, what a downer. Poor Ed.
  18. I really enjoyed this episode. James at the Roadhouse was a great gag, which inspired a simultaneously delighted and distressed "oh noooOOO!" from me. I mean, it's fun, but man alive is his singing voice silly. He sounds like a cartoon character! It's worth bearing in mind that the latter half of Mulholland Drive was only added once the original pilot was rejected. The Club Silencio scene was originally only for the European pilot (which would have been a self-contained story, like the Twin Peaks European pilot), and the subsequent scenes were all added for the film version. That's not to disregard any connection, but when the series was originally conceived of, it was going to be more of an on-going mystery, and the lead would probably be quite naïve and optimistic like Betty. Still Lynch seems to be a great believer in art revealing itself to the artist, so it's quite possible that how Mulholland Drive ended up has informed how his (and Frost's) ideas about the Audrey character now.
  19. bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

    Fascinating stuff, thanks. The stuff about encoding other operational information into blocks was new to me, and explains a lot – I'd long wondered how changes were introduced. Relying on the same consensus mechanism for that kind of meta information is smart. So is there some sort of committee of miners that decides to simultaneously introduce these changes to a block at a certain time? Do miners have to monitor blocks for unannounced rule changes? Presumably they're fairly simple to identify. That altcoin stuff is interesting, too. I think I'd heard a little about it. It's certainly preferable, but is it all pure mathematics kind of stuff? I'm presuming it is, because that's the most fertile ground for one-way operations, where the work is difficult but checking it is easy (finding a new prime is laborious, but checking a single proposed prime for factors can be done relatively quickly). I'm no sort of expert, but I don't suppose things like protein folding have the same kind of asymmetrical effort relationship. Sorry for all the questions. This stuff is just so ingenious.
  20. I Had A Random Thought...

    I remember the excitement at Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare popularising persistence in multiplayer action games (I'm sure it existed somewhere before that, but nothing was a bigger deal back then). It's kind of funny now that if you don't have some sort of progression (beyond cosmetic items), it's so out of the ordinary it's equated with permadeath. Or is there some other sense in which PUBG is roguelike-like that I'm not getting?
  21. bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

    Thanks for that @aoanla. I've edited my post several times as I've identified errors, but I don't think I have the kind of mind that can hold all of this sort of thing in it all at once. So how does this fork work? Is all of the money preceding the fork duplicated across them? If I had 1 BCT before the fork, do I now have 1 BCT and 1 BCC? And do we expect the fork to collapse? Also, what does the miners starting their own chain entail? Do they just tell their software not to accept blockchains from certain addresses or something? Are vendors and standard users having to choose which to use? Can you select a particular chain to use? Speaking of resolving conflicts, I understand that usually what happens is the longest chain wins out, and the transactions in the shorter chain are rolled back. Wouldn't this mean that people are essentially "refunded" for transactions that have already been completed (for example, goods have changed hands)? Or is there a delay on transactions to ensure that there is no conflict, somehow? Oh, and a completely different note, is there any endgame for the ever-growing size of the blockchain, or is the idea that technology outpaces it? I know that you don't need the whole blockchain on client devices, but presumably it will still eventually become a problem?
  22. bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

    You're welcome! I'm glad it made sense.
  23. bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

    I've never used Bitcoin myself, but cryptocurrencies are pretty interesting, so here's my half-remembered summary of how it all works: The whole idea behind Bitcoin is that it's decentralised and anonymous. The technical details of how this is achieved are a bit complicated, but broadly speaking it's an ongoing ledger of transactions (a "blockchain"), and it relies on consensus to ensure nobody fiddles the system (you would have to manipulate over 50% of the devices running it in order to give yourself more bitcoins than you have, which would essentially be impossible). It all uses a similar encryption scheme to how you connect to secure (https://) websites, hence "cryptocurrency". New bitcoins are introduced into the system by "mining", which is basically making computers look for special numbers ("hashes"). The return on this diminishes over time, so it's gotten to the point where miners form pools and divide their earnings, and you have to be careful that you're not spending more on the electricity and hardware required to mine bitcoins than those bitcoins are actually worth. It's very computationally intensive, and has no value other than being an arbitrary way of introducing money into the system, which I think is pretty wasteful and feel a bit weird about. EDIT: I'm refreshing my memory by re-watching the videos I posted, and I should point out that the work done isn't pointless; it's required for how one block in the blockchain connects to the next. Nevertheless, it still doesn't seem very efficient, particularly given that it's competitive. I don't know if there's any way around that – whether perhaps it could piggyback on some other more useful distributed computing effort. Due to the nature of hashes, probably not. Still, hopefully cleverer minds than mine are thinking about it. You don't have a Bitcoin account as such. You have a wallet, which despite its name isn't exactly a container for your money. Instead, it's more like your credentials. It allows you to point to certain transactions in the blockchain and say "that was me", and from there work out how much money you have. But, if I'm not mistaken, the wallet itself doesn't actually change. It's just a public key/private key pair: people use the public key when transferring you money, and you use the private key to prove you are who you are and the money you've been transferred is yours to spend. If you lose your private key, you lose access to your money. There's no authority to turn to who can retrieve it for you; the key is the identity. In fact, if you lose your private key, not only is the money lost to you; it's lost to the whole system. There's no way of ever getting it back. So it's important to have it secure, both from loss and from theft. So I guess you should have it in several places, but all of them encrypted. (There is wallet software that I believe will manage a lot of this stuff for you.) As for the social stigma, I think there's probably at least a couple of reasons. Firstly, the anonymity aspect is obviously attractive to criminals. There's an impression that it's only really used to buy drugs and worse. That's not accurate – it's used for legitimate transactions, too – but I believe a disproportionate amount of cryptocurrency transactions are illicit. Secondly, the anonymity and decentralisation is also appealing to libertarians, and they're pretty insufferable. Thirdly, the technological aspect is appealing to Silicon Valley technology-utopian blue-sky-thinking disruptors or whatever you want to call them, who are also pretty insufferable. And maybe fourthly it might be associated with a certain amount of paranoia – if you're worried about the government spying on your spending habits, cryptocurrencies are an obvious way to go. Perhaps some people look down on those kinds of fears. Oh, and the value can be kind of all over the place. I think it did gain an awful lot of value a few years ago, which I don't think it's complete lost, but if I'm not mistaken it's kind of volatile. Here are some videos that explain it better than I can: An interesting detail about bitcoin mining is that it's the kind of operation that benefits from matrix operations. That's the kind of processing that graphics cards specialise in, so mining rigs often use a lot of graphics cards, running 24/7, to try to find the hashes. I understand this wears the graphics cards out fairly quickly, contributing another expense besides the electricity. Also it's apparently led to shortages of graphics cards, although this problem may subside now that they're starting to introduce cards specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining. Also, the anonymity angle is a bit complicated. If you're able to associate a public key with a person (which I guess you would be able to do if you ever knowingly transferred them money), I think you can go back through the blockchain and find all the transactions involving that person. So maybe it's less anonymous than traditional money? I'm not sure.
  24. Dr Sbaitso bot

    I highly approve. My most prominent Dr. Sbaitso memory is a boy at school telling me that if you were a bit flirty with him (Dr. Sbaitso, not the boy) eventually he would say something along the lines of "Ooh, my chips are melting!" I think I remember that because at the time I didn't understand it.