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Monthly Archives: September 2017


Two New Javascript Projects Done

A mostly boring, semi-technical post…on the Internet, no less. I have two new Javascript projects done up at GitHub.

randomNumberGenerator (repository here)
Returns an array of numbers, chosen from a range. Granted, plenty of other developers have done this, but I wanted the mental exercise of coding it myself. I found myself needing random numbers for coding projects when they come about, and it pays to not have to repeat yourself.

workoutRandomizer (repository here)
Randomizes workout moves from a Javascript object. Easy to customize, even if you don’t really know Javascript object syntax and aren’t afraid of tinkering with source code. Something a little more practical, and something I actually use whenever I work out.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 27

What Are Heuristics?
A very brief but good overview: the “world violence” ratio the video mentions is a good example of the spotlight fallacy. But the unspoken conclusion is that heuristics are bad at knowing large scale phenomena because human beings qua human beings are bad at knowing large scale phenomena.

When to Trust the Experts (Climate and Otherwise)
Another unspoken (unwritten) conclusion: trust the experts when they agree with you, because paying attention to contrary data causes cognitive dissonance and, outwardly, causes social instability inside a person’s circle.

Star Trek: Discovery – Main Title Sequence
Wonderfully stylized sequence and a break from Star Trek tradition.

“Whip” Cream
How can a famous food blogger screw up so badly, so many times? It’s not as though she doesn’t know the right way. Beware going to that site: it has more ads than a Super Bowl on repeat, and it takes just as long to load.

The Internet Is Not Impressed With the All-Girl ‘Lord of the Flies’ Remake
I wouldn’t mind an all-broad Flies version; it makes much more sense than a diverse one, since the original text involved boys from an all-boy military school. And, according to some commentaries, Flies is about government (men) and the predilection towards physical violence that men, not women, have. Airdropping girls (heh) into that role is nonsensical. To wit…:

“It’s really encouraging that The Lego Movie Sequel will focus on gender issues.”
Boring.

Why Computer Programmers Should Stop Calling Themselves Engineers
I get the sentiment, the same argument can be used for electrical engineers vs civic engineers. English vulgate speakers—i.e., everyone who speaks English—knows a software engineer isn’t a materials engineer. That’s why languages use modifiers to eliminate ambiguity. “Engineer,” by itself, anyways, means almost nothing.

Everyone is on steroids
Especially if they claim “natty” (natural), are on YouTube or Instagram, and trying to sell you something. Doubly so they are on steroids if they are vegan; vegan bodybuilders have 0.0% chance of maintaining that kind of muscle mass and leanness without getting pinned in the butt on the regular.

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Clones All the Time

The subject of clones has been coming up too much in my life in recent moment for me to ignore. I half-wish God would insert a literal clone in my life for various reasons, but that might cause more problems than solve them.

Here’s a numbered list, in no significant order, of related things.

1. If my clone appeared, I would play chess with him, then possibly arm wrestling. I’m average at both, but so is he.

2. Another Earth is about an exact replica of Earth that appears in the sky, and the girl (Rhoda) who forms a relationship with a man whose family she killed in a car accident. She was set to attend MIT for astronomy, but her incarceration derailed that opportunity entirely. Minor spoiler: it’s discovered the people on Earth Two mirrored those on (our) Earth One exactly, up until the moment the two Earths observed each other. The accident occurred when Rhoda was trying to look up at Earth Two in the sky while driving. What do you think happened to the Rhoda on Earth Two?

3. Melancholia was released the same year, about a estranging wife and her family that deal with the titular planet that existed on the opposed side of the sun, but is now on a course to pass, or collide, with Earth. It’s much less open ended the way Another Earth is, but Melancholia is somewhat of a metaphor for depression, so unless you keep that in mind, some of the plot point might confuse you. Melancholia also boasts a fascinating 8 minute prologue, comprised of music and slow-motion visuals, that acts as an overture for the entire plot arc of the film, using the prelude from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. It comes off as very influenced by Kubrick, like the prelude for 2001, that still haunts me when I watch it, but with…what is really the opposite of a blank black screen.

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Other People Write: Advent of a Miracle by Strongarm

Christine’s comment on my last post inspired me to throw out some song lyrics, as a type of poetry appreciation. The video for the song is at the bottom of this post, but don’t click play unless you’re prepared. At the very least, you can admire Mark deSalvo’s artwork in the video thumbnail, which appears to be from the vinyl version. The CD version just had the glowy hands on the cover.

I had a copy from the first pressing of this CD, which came to be known as the “boob pressing.” The face of the actual CD had a painting of the woman naked, holding her arm up. Her boob was supposed to be in the middle of the CD, where the hole is, but it didn’t turn out like that. So a lot of hardcore punk rock kids got a flash of nipple when they got home from the Christian bookstore. I’m pretty sure the band mentions the nip slip Travis’ podcast on the album’s 20th anniversary.

You’re my beloved, and altogether lovely
As a gift that can’t be bought, as if gold could favor outweigh
Your meaning to me, the secrets of the heart made manifest
Even beauty’s priced beside thee, proportioned by lot the less

Wishes fade, dreams break, promise made

Takes away your will, takes your whole heart captive
Just for one promise, sell it all for one true word
To hold on to, face the shame of it all
Safer to neglect than open your calloused heart

Piece by piece, you’ve lost a part of your self
You share to gain, but lose at love, and learn to hate yourself
More and more each day, and all the days thereafter
They labor to put back together and regain what’s gone forever

Wishes fade, as dreams break, promise made, tomorrow takes

The most costly mistake is to try to change the past today
The filth and the shame, they all wash away
For you, Christ will clean the slate

Only love can fill the void when the world has taken its toll
Hand in hand, by your side, we’ll walk down this path together
I’ll take you to the place where promises will never break
To the advent of a miracle

True love is to die for, and is why I cry for you
And the pain you feel and feed can heal
If you’d just walk with me toward the light

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Platonic Solid

Men, arrayed on rays, vertex to vertex
Reach across the plane with probisci
Sleek and curious but blade-grass frail
A lateral-diagonal intermingling

God, as capstone, pours it downward
Perpendicularity, liquid, and unpredicatable
Few could apprehend from whence to where

Most retract their probing lines, prophesying danger
Only a few stay their hand to catch the downward flow

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Alien: Covenant Nearly Passes the Jay Test

I re-watched Alien: Covenant the other day, and I was floored to realize that it nearly passed the Jay Test, wherein 90% of all the human deaths that occur are female. I say “nearly” as a relative descriptor, since it was so close to being 50% of all deaths, which is far and away a better rating than any other movie you might see.

I know the specific metric is nearly 50% because the crew of the Covenant is made of up all couples that are on a colonization mission. There are a few thousand colonists in stasis aboard the ship, as well as over a thousand human embryos. All their fates are unknown until the next sequel, so their deaths won’t even count towards the ratio. However, 40 of the colonists are killed in an accident, their sexes unknown, so again the male/female ratio of those deaths can’t be considered.

The ship’s crew, however, all die in the course of the movie except for two: a man and woman, though it’s heavily implied that they are going to buy the farm at the end.

So, if the crew is all couples, and they all die, except for a man and woman, why is not an even 50/50 ratio of deaths? Well, one couple was gay*: Sergeant Hallis and Sergeant Lope. In the scene where David appears after the neomorph attack in the wheat field, you’ll catch one half of this (formerly) happy couple speaking an informal elegy over the corpse of his better half. If you watch one of the deleted scenes it’s very obvious that Hallis and Lope batting on the same team. So there is one more male death to cast.

Leave it to the gay couple to screw up Equality™.

* A note on this: of all the plotholes, goofs, and in-universe non-realistic plot points critics make up point out in the Alien franchise (the Ridley Scott installments, anyway), I don’t think I’ve read anyone else mention this. There’s no way a director would put a non-breeding couple on a colonization mission. It seems far too risky to not have as many people as possible able to populate a planet. But what do I know? There’s probably a good counter to that.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 26

Jay at 40
I recently turned 40, so like all beautiful young women I took a bad selfie with no filters or edits. Enjoy.

Over-40s most at risk in UK’s laziness epidemic, says PHE
Speaking of middle age…

Starbucks Invite-a-Friend Interstitial
Attn: Starbucks. I think you’re okay. Your Sumatra K-Cups, brewed at 6 oz and served black as night, has ruined me for other cups of coffee. Your online boardgame this summer is also neat, but I can’t make it past the first stage of incentives because I don’t belong to the hashtag and emoji cesspool called Twitter. What gives?

A Churlish Defense
“Marx was a wicked and short-sighted man who weaponized envy on a multinational and multigenerational scale, but nation states don’t set the world in order, either.”

NYT pulls book from best-seller list over suspicious sales
I’ve witnessed a similar kind of market gaming myself, first-hand, while working at music stores near major metro areas, where an artist touring through the area would send a rep to buy in bulk all or most of the artist CDs in the store. Sometimes the actual artist himself would come in and do it himself.

Vegetarians Don’t Live Longer
Via Jill. Keep in mind one can eat anything loaded with sugar, soy, white flour, or anything you’re not supposed to be eating, as a part of a vegetarian diet.

Footprint find on Crete may push back date humans walked upright

Time Cube
Remember the Time Cube site? Thank God someone had the foresight to mirror it. One of the best word salad manifestos I’ve come across.

LOST SPHEAR Gameplay Trailer
The top-down JRPG genre is probably my favorite in gaming, and this looks fun.

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Monoculture and Diversity, Redux

Azure had a comment on “Monoculture and Diversity“:

I was thinking of Romans 10:12 – “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him…” And maybe I’ll throw in Exodus 22:21 – “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”

Those are a couple of verses that come to mind that I think someone could use to make the argument that, from a Christian perspective, diversity is a moral imperative.

Ed had a good comment here, especially in his last sentence: “Diversity in Christ is a matter of calling and mission; there has to be a shared confession in there somewhere or you can’t work well together.” This is probably no more apparent than in Jesus’ inner circle of disciple, the Apostles. There was an admixture of backgrounds among those twelve, Simon the Zealot versus Matthew/Levi perhaps being the sharpest contrast. Those two would have been at each other instantly if they had met outside the context of Jesus’ mission—while together there was most likely a strong requirement of self-restraint on the part of those two for stability’s sake. In a real sense, all the diversity among the Apostles was subsumed into the monoculture of Jesus’ mission; it’s pretty clear that Jesus was the type of guy who, not unusual for a Hebraic ascetic preacher of His time, strongly preferred some things to be left at the door if one were to sign onto the mission.

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Don’t Send a Rabbit

“Don’t send a rabbit to kill a fox.”
-Chief Daisuke Aramaki, Ghost in the Shell (2017)

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