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By TheophileEscargot (Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 12:26:12 AM EST) Reading, MLP, Me (all tags)
Reading: "Rommel? Gunner Who?", "Racing Through the Dark", "Sea of Rust" Me. Links.

What I'm Reading
Rommel? Gunner Who? A Confrontation in the Desert. Second volume of Spike Milligan's war autobiography. Pretty readable, has a steady stream of gags, and a good account of of what it's like to be a very ordinary soldier. It's interspersed with a few fragments of more serious stuff: accounts of his horrific nightmares and a one musing on how the past remains fresh in his memory.

I get the feeling that for him humour was an escape from the war, but he couldn't really integrate it as black humour as in MASH or Catch 22. The jokes are kept firmly separate from the horror.

Overall, a decent read.

What I'm Reading 2
Racing Through the Dark by David Millar. Autobiography of a racing cyclist who initially resisted doping, gave in to temptation, was busted and temporarily banned, then restarted his career and evangelised for clean sport.

Quite interesting for its account of life as a pro cyclist, I knew very little about the sport and found the details fascinating.

What I'm Reading 3
Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill. Science fiction novel set in a post-human post-apocalyptic future where a robot uprising wiped out humankind, but the surviving robots found themselves in conflict with AIs wanting to assimilate them.

Very good book: the is also a screenwriter and provides plenty of action and a taut plot.

So I'm back as Scrum Master at work: more work and more admin, but looks better on a CV. They've finally given up on their insane plan for a microservices front-end and a monolithic back-end, but after wasting so many months building virtually nothing it now looks like they're going to outsource a big chunk of the work. That means I won't get the exposure to new front-end technologies I was hoping for. At least I don't have to listen to any more smug condescending lectures where I'm basically accused of being a quaint reactionary luddite for thinking it's a bad idea to do the equivalent of building a new vehicle by welding the front half of a Tesla to the back half of a diesel tractor.

Been running quite a bit but I seem to have hit a plateau with my attempts to get back to pre-injury fitness. My long runs are getting slower each week though I haven't been pushing. I have been pushing the short runs but don't seem to be getting faster, just more tired. Wish I had the chance for some recovery time afterwards but it's almost always straight back into work/childcare/chores.

Video. Laurel and Hardy pie fight. Young guy responds to first listen of "Bohemian Rhapsody", more. Use of colour in movies. Cassetteboy vs Strictly Come Dancing. Banksy: Shredding the Girl and Balloon - The Director's Cut.

Politics. PCS union wins legal battle over direct deductions of dues from pay . Problems with the "UK public finances naer bottom of IMF league table" story.

Sci/Tech. Predatory publisher vanishes but takes some legitimate papers with it. Designer complains about Google+ project. Index typewriters Can I Have My Amygdala Removed? Jocelyn Bell to use prize money to help minorities in science. Consistent Hashing: Algorithmic Tradeoffs.

Pics. 1930s fashion. Control panels.

Random. How to Ram Through a Vehicular Roadblock.

< I'm kind of in a pissy mood rn | Accidental diary... >
We're functioning automatic | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)
I wish I still had the link by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 01:22:28 AM EST
but I read about someone who'd had been treated for epilepsy or possibly anxiety by having his amygdala destroyed. The result the article focused on was that he'd essentially lost any kind of passion. It wasn't a very technical article, but they characterized it that way, which seemed a little more reasonable than claiming he no longer felt fear.

They went into some detail on this, and the upshot was he just didn't care about a laundry list of things that amounted to a fairly shocking picture. On the one hand he was, imo, horrifically damaged, but on the other he seemed to have lost the facility to mind it.

See you, space cowboy.

Yes by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 01:38:31 AM EST
It's a legitimate treatment for some conditions, and cancer might mean it also has to be excised. But some people seem to think they could do it deliberately to turn themselves into an emotionless super-logical Mr Spock or something.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Ugh by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #3 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 02:39:06 AM EST
The main reason I chose to stop being medicated was this. There’s an edge that comes with feeling, and what nummed the bad also excised too much in my case. I guess though it depends how bad the bad is. Doing that permanently? I shudder.

[ Parent ]
Thought I had permanent damage by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 04:47:51 PM EST
which was low-key terrifying. Tellingly, I managed to re-engage the related faculties by using empathy. I noticed it by accident, but am thankful it did since it gave me a handle on the gain knob until things got back to their regular functioning.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
Google+ by hulver (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 04:28:20 AM EST
I read that designer post. It does sound like a pretty dysfunctional organisation.

He sounds like a bit of a wanker though. Apart from people not listening to him at all, his biggest complaint seemed to be that people didn't do exactly what he wanted. Why wouldn't they? He's a genius!

In other news.

That mechanism in the banksy frame looks super fake. Those blades aren't going to cut anything that way around.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

EEVBlog thought it was fake too. by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 03:56:17 PM EST
vid here

It wasn't just the blade orientation, but other stuff too. Perhaps the banksy vid was made with the intention of being debunked.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
Eevblog by hulver (4.00 / 2) #7 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 04:08:12 PM EST
Oh man, I try to watch his stuff, I really do. Some of it is really interesting.

I normally only make it half way through as by the end of the video only my dogs can hear him.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
ikr? by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 04:34:52 PM EST
I've engaged the high trim and the low boost and it still exacerbates the tinnitus.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
An (EEVBlog) Update by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Oct 19, 2018 at 04:48:52 PM EST

I'm on board with his idea that they did the deed when it was being authenticated.

The new banksy vid (I skipped it at first thinking it was a link to the first one) has some obvious trolling in it, like the soldering iron being held by the business end.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
Bohemian Rhapsody reaction by hulver (4.00 / 2) #5 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 06:15:45 AM EST
Thanks for posting that. It's great.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Doping by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Oct 18, 2018 at 04:31:34 PM EST
It's hard to even pin down what even constitutes doping. Prescription drugs raises a big question, but you could also call into question using certain supplements, strange training techniques, certain kinds of diet...

And I would be remiss if I didn't bring up pot in this day and age. Is it or is it not performance enhancing? Ross Rebagliati won a gold medal on the stuff and nearly lost it, but pot wasn't on the banned list. Of course parity with the war on bla^Wdrugs is the second law of politics so they fixed that up right quick in a hurry.

I think it's impossible to draw a line that even approximately separates good faith from bad.

On the prescription drug front, there is a huge issue in e-sports. The issue being many of the top players are teens, and prescription drugs like ritalin and dexedrine offer a great advantage.

If you check into the official tournaments, their policies tend to stop at banning drug endorsements of any kind. Problem is, half the kids are going to be using it, and maybe only half of them had the prescription to begin with.

What kind of policy do you draw up for that? Do you let the environment encourage coke and speed use among kids, or do you ban the kids being treated for attention disorders? Or do you just ban use among the kids who couldn't manage to get a 'scrip? Seems like nothing is fair and all they do is ban talking about it.

See you, space cowboy.

Milligan war biogs by Herring (4.00 / 2) #11 Fri Oct 19, 2018 at 02:31:55 PM EST
I think I started reading those when I was about 10 or possibly earlier. Actually, I have a memory of my uncle deciding to read to me and my cousin (almost the same age) at bedtime and I handed over Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall as the thing I was reading at the time. I'm sure I didn't get all of the saucier passages. I have read all 7 and they were interesting.

I have a photo of the boy with David Millar (and yes, I've read his book too). There are mixed opinions about him in the cycling community - he didn't put his hand up straight away for the EPO and fought the case for a while. Having had a brief conversation with him, he does seem like a nice chap though.

As an aside rant, you do sometimes hear the opinion "just let anyone dope if they like - level playing field". This annoys me quite a lot. At the same time the likes of Armstrong were doing their thing, there were lots of up and coming young cyclists, riders who thought they could be something one day. They could get the drugs - which they thought they needed to compete - but they couldn't afford the sort of medical supervision and monitoring that people like Lance Armstrong could. There was a spate of deaths of young new professionals during that period whose levels of red blood cells had got so high that their hearts just could not pump it around their bodies. Doping is not a victimless crime.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

Rant pt II by Herring (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Oct 19, 2018 at 02:52:03 PM EST
In one of my committee positions, I get regular updates with lists of the latest sanctions of riders in British Cycling (affiliated to UCI) and Cycling Time Trials events.

And yes, doping is going on. At an amateur level. Seriously, in a TT you might stand to win £50 for turning yourself inside-out on a grim dual carriageway at 6:00am on a cold Sunday morning. But people are doing it. And as part of one of the sport's governing bodies, I can see how much we're spending on testing and it's going up year after year.

The saddest thing was a couple of years ago when the newly crowned under 18 TT champion tested positive for EPO. Seriously. Under 18. The boy's nemesis when he was racing has a pro contract now. You do wonder about pressures.

Strangely though in my time competing I have never been tested. But then I never really troubled to top half of the results board so there you are.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

We're functioning automatic | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)