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By TheophileEscargot (Sat Apr 02, 2016 at 01:43:46 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Three-Body Problem". Me. Links.

What I'm Reading
Finished The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Chinese science fiction novel, taking place largely in the present day with a few flashbacks. Has some top-notch hard SF elements, very cleverly worked out. Also liked the depiction of the long term research project, and the flashbacks to the Cultural Revolution were fascinating.

I didn't realise though that it was the first book in a trilogy, and the plot doesn't have much of a resolution. Also has the traditional hard SF trait of not terribly convincing characters, though I did like the earthy policeman Shi Qiang.

Overall though, excellent science fiction, well worked out and original. Will definitely be looking out for the sequels.

Socioeconomics. Plan to make the Eurozone work. House prices chart: "housing appears to be more than 40% overvalued in Australia, Britain and Canada". Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap: Evidence from Glassdoor Salary Data.

Things been a bit tricky at work. There's an application I hadn't really touched that's supposed to provide real-time information on our main application. It was basically hacked out with no thought for performance, which is both disastrously bad and seriously hampering our main application by constantly hammering it for data. Somehow I've been given the job of sorting all this out as several customers are panicking and threatening rollouts.

Have finally got out all the "sticking plaster" solutions that might help in the short term. But we'll need some major architectural changes to have a hope of a long-term solution. It may not even be possible to give the customers what they were promised and think they have: real-time information on a system that's big enough to rely on overnight batch processes to get shit done.

So, been stressed out by that and of course the endless grind of childcare. Toddler's been moved to a new room at nursery and was upset about that for a few days, been teething again too.

Apparently they want to toilet train him as well (he's 2 years and a few months). Hopefully they know what they're doing, but he doesn't seem ready to me. He doesn't show the main signs of being ready: he's not interested, he doesn't seem to be aware of when he's pooping, and he doesn't have any kind of regular schedule. He's also pretty energetic: some of the potty training guides talk about making them sit on the potty "for an hour or so" until something happens; unless we chain him to the damn thing we'll be lucky to get 30 seconds. Will give it a go but think we might have to call a halt if he won't cooperate.

Articles. The Strange Case of a Nazi Who Became an Israeli Hitman, via. Trafficking survivor interview. Who are the nephilim?

Politics. Why the Government's academisation plan is flawed. Britain sacrifices steel industry to curry favour with China . Conservative MPs ‘broke the law to win the 2015 general election. The Brexit muppet show. Final polling error report summary, in full. Jeremy Corbyn interview. George Osborne: Four radical reforms which show what this modern, compassionate Conservative Government is all about.

Random. 16 novelty British TV spin-off singles. Triangle puzzle. O RLY? guides. Little Chon and Long John: anti-Imperialist popup book.

Sci/Tech, Apple v. the FBI. Personality types and response to typos.

< 1 down, 3 to go | Taking the fucking contract >
Can we fix it? | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
Nursery by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Apr 02, 2016 at 06:06:28 AM EST
They're just wanting to toilet train him for their own convenience rather than do nappy changes. Tell them firmly that he's not ready yet.  It just causes problems in terms of accidents and upsetting the child if you do it before he's ready. My daughter didn't start until three when she seemed to be ready and it took 3 weeks.

nephilim by lm (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Apr 02, 2016 at 08:48:45 AM EST
I've never heard the theory that the "sons of god" were teh progeny of Seth rather than angels before. Clearly I'm not as well read in Christian antiquity as I thought I was.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Hacked out app... by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Apr 02, 2016 at 09:08:14 AM EST
A few years back at FBI I worked on an application like that. Several years before someone had an idea for an application, hacked together a demo, and the Bureau said, in effec, "We need this capability immediately, roll it out now. If it needs fixing we'll fix it later." It proceeded to grow, like a fungus, for about 7 years until it was unmaintainable.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Toilet training's a bugger by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Apr 02, 2016 at 09:18:24 AM EST
We got so lucky with ours; number two was sorted pretty quickly a few months after she turned two, pretty much well entirely of her own choosing and with very little being forced on her from us.

A bit before turning three, she still wets the bed after a nap every now and again. Again we've let her go at her own pace on this. Her nursery also tried to impose nappy-free naps, only resulting in them and her getting upset.

But dear god the cleaning is every bit as dull as changing nappies themselves.

Three Body Problem by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #5 Sun Apr 03, 2016 at 01:25:01 AM EST
I liked it a lot. Agree on the great hard SF moments - many of them. The characters do sometimes have a certain Asimovian lumber yard quality, I guess, and the protagonist is a classic SF plot passenger like Arthur Dent or Luke Skywalker. I liked the aliens explained by computer game a lot. When it was first introduced I was wary of that element but it was done quite well in the end.

I thought the Ye Wenjie character was more interesting, internally plausible, and surprising. Her decisions setup the world, as well.

Iambic Web Certified

Turns out I'm just forgetful by lm (4.00 / 1) #6 Sun Apr 03, 2016 at 02:36:12 PM EST
The Sunday school class I teach just happened to be on the book of Job. Which reminded me that a few years ago, a friend had asked me what the Church Fathers had taught about the nephilim.

So I went back and reviewed those old messages. Turns out that I told him that while there was no consensus, most treatments from antiquity treat them as the children of Seth.

I totally forgot that I had known that.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
My opinion of today's shite grammar & spelling by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Apr 03, 2016 at 09:56:02 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Can we fix it? | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)