Open Thread

Open Thread #196

The Open Thread is a place for open discussion among my readers. Post anything you feel like sharing! From now on, the Open Thread will no longer be monthly. Instead, there will be a new Open Thread whenever it is adequate. The stage is yours. Go ahead!

The latest Open Thread is made ‘sticky’ to improve access.

Please consider throwing a few coins into the tip jar, and buy my books! They are great. Your support is greatly appreciated.

24 thoughts on “Open Thread #196

  1. Has anyone checked out S Craig Zahler’s films? I thought both Bone Tomahawk (there’s a brutal scene that will fuck with you if your gore threshold isn’t high, you’ve been warned) and Brawl In Cell Block 99 were both killer. Dragged Across Concrete was somewhat of a letdown imo, but he’s definitely a capable filmmaker putting out poz free flicks.

    1. I have not heard of him. Also, the name “Zahler” immediately triggered my J-dar (and I was right!), even though this is a rather amusing Jewish name as it is German for “payer”. Based on what you wrote, his angle may be gore and violence as a means of subverting society. I will probably check out Brawl In Cell Block 99, based on your recommendation, but give Bone Tomahawk a pass as I am quite turned off by excessive gore.

    2. He is indeed Jewish, but ironically also the most overtly right wing filmmaker in the game. The gore in bone tomahawk is only excessive in one scene, but hot damn if that scene isn’t haunting.

    3. Is that scene telegraphed well? If I know it is coming, I can avert my eyes. On a related note, I have been on a heavy media detox for about one year, and nowadays I even find it gross to see people kissing on screen. The depiction of sexual activites is, in most cases, irrelevant to the story, so its major purposes are titillation as well as moral subversion.

    4. I just finished watching Brawl In Cell 99. Given that I found some scenes excessively violent, I do not want to imagine how gory Bone Tomahawk is. This movie is pretty nihilistic, but the bigger issue is that the narrative is not really convincing. For instance, it is not clear to me why the protagonist shot his associates in a drug deal gone wrong, which leads to his imprisonment, instead of staying out of sight of the cops. I could of course speculate about the motive, but the motivation is not clear at all. This is fine for an artfag movie, but not for a straightforward action flick. Later on, the protagonist gets told, by a member of the gang he antagonized, to ensure that he gets sent to maximum security prison, and that he has to kill a guy there in order to save his just-kidnapped wife. Yet, this was just a ploy to get him into the same prison where some of the members of that gang got locked up in, with the intention of killing him there, but at that point, it does not make any sense for the gang to keep the wife as a bargaining chip. The guy he was supposed to kill does not exist, after all. Also, the movie does not even attempt to explain why those gang members are not constrained by the rules in this prison and essentially get to hang out in their own private area, without any supervision. Again, you can make up an explanation, e.g. assuming that the gang bribed the manager of the prison, but this is simply unsatisfying for the viewer.

      Overall, the movie is okay. I would say that it is a solid B-movie that I would recommend if you feel like idling away some time. I think you will enjoy it if you like action and are not put off by the idea of watching Vince Vaughn pretending to be Jason Statham.

    5. @Aaron

      Really? Even kissing is off-putting to you? When my friends and I watched Korean dramas as teenagers, we often complained about how prudish those dramas were. At most, the male and female leads will only press their lips together and the camera pans out. We wanted to see more o_o There is a bit more lip movement in most dramas now, but that’s about it.

    6. I see what you’re saying. It’s got a lot of B movie elements in it. I mainly enjoyed Vince’s performance, and the overall vibe. There were definitely some plot points that required you to suspend disbelief.

      The scene in Bone Tomahawk is definitely telegraphed. It happens near the end, and it happens to someone who is NOT one of the main characters. Movie as a whole is not gory until that scene. You will definitely want to skip that scene if you watch it.

  2. Picking up on where we left in OT195 regarding software development.

    I think developers often take things at face value and interestingly, even QA is more focussed on trying to “break things” vs. actually testing how the end-user interacts with the application.
    I’m a partner at an SaaS and we’ve outsourced the coding to a firm in Croatia. Second time we work with them. One major learning is, that it significantly speeds up the process if you have very precise wireframes, which leave the devs very little room for interpretation. So, having a good project management and an excellent designer saves a lot of time. My advice is to spend more money on the design, so that later on, devs can work within a very confined area, because, as has been rightly pointed out, “big picture thinking” is something they do not engage in.
    A simple example is formatting of numbers. We wanted to see separators for currency values, i.e. “USD 1’000’000” (instead of “USD 1000000”), but now we also have separators for zip codes, i.e. one of our clients lives in “8’003 Zürich”… Obv. this is fixed now.
    If I add up all these little things, I think this is one of the reasons projects get delayed. The devil is in the details.
    One other major delay are just what I call “logical black swans”. These are replications of reality that are easily done manually (but not scalable of course), and don’t seem hard to replicate in code at first. One such thing was the change of a frequency of a recurring process from e.g. monthly to quarterly or from semi-annually to quarterly with respective deadlines and “as of” dates, BUT with the process already being ongoing. Making those changes is rather simple if you send out emails manually, but boy did we spend some time on defining the logic of the code and specifying all the edge cases.

  3. Here are some based news: An Iraqi divorced his newly-wed wife because she danced like a slut at the wedding party. I understand where this dude comes from. Imagine you have found yourself a nice, traditional girl, only to realize that you have been duped. The contrast between the image this guy had of his wife and reality was too much for him to handle. Also, he most certainly felt insulted and disrespected by her behavior as well. If this woman was Westernized, I can imagine her thinking, “Yeah, watch me dance, hubby! I know that you do not like it but what are you going to do about it?”

  4. Vietnam is opening up rapidly. You need to do a PCR test, do not need to be vaxxed, and you need to quarantine, which you can do at your hotel or the place you stay, for only seven days:
    Herker posted an update on Vietnam a few days ago, which was about vaccination status. Note that a home quarantine of seven days is almost a joke requirement. In contrast, in Singapore they lock you into a hotel room for two weeks.

  5. You may have noticed that fashion models seem to be getting fatter and fatter. As the video below shows, what you see are often regular-size models who wear fat suits:
    This is real life imitating art. Kurt Vonnegut mentioned a variation of this in his short story Harrison Bergeron.

  6. @Aaron, and others who might know.

    What’s the deal with python?

    I’ve been researching salaries for different things and ran into a few surprises.

    Originally I was surprised looking at salaries for full stack developers. I was like webdevelopment is easy, why would they get paid so much.

    But after studying it some more I realized how much there is to learn. So the salary makes sense. It might require learning easy things, but it requires a ton of them.

    But now that I’ve studied puthon, I have this confusion again. Python is so easy to learn. Why would python developers be getting paid almost as much as C and Java developers? What am I missing?

    And on the that note, why would anyone bother learning Java? If you can make similar money with Python. Or is it all just legacy people who learned Java back in the day. I don’t understand why a new programmer would bother with Java.

    1. On the last comment. Yes I realize there are a ton of devices on Java etc etc. So I understand why companies need Java programmers.

      What I don’t understand is why programmers would bother with it if there is no additional benefit over something like python. I would imagine less people studying Java and the supply going down. And when supply goes down, the companies who need Java devs would pay more. Why isn’t that happening? Are there just too many people who already learned it because it was required at uni or something like that?

    2. The university curriculum is often still based on Java as a teaching language, and most people in those degree programs do not have a lot of initiative. They simply learn what they have been told to learn. Even at that level, only a minority does any coding in their spare time. If Python is not used in any of their courses, they will just not bother with it.

      The supply for Java developers is enormously large, but the quality tends to be quite low. At a larger company, any job ad you put up for a Java developer role attracts many dozens of applicants, often from third-world countries. I had to interview a few of those people, and it is not a fun experience. Note that I do not want to bash countries like India in general. I have met one or two excellent developers from India, but the average quality is indeed as low as the average IQ of the country would suggest it is.

    3. These days, developers are in high demand basically across the board. There is also a difference in the market, i.e. C and Java are legacy languages while Python, as a professional language, is a recent entrant. Before around 2014 it was quite rare to see job ads for Python developers, even though the language is already a few decades old.

      I would even go so far as to say that any company that still heavily uses Java raises a red flag as the language and the OOP paradigm are quite horrible. You can write code that is faster, more concise, and more readable in several other languages. At this point, legacy developers claim that Java is “portable”, but that is no longer a benefit as the industry has been moving away from desktop software and towards SaaS. Besides, Java was never really all that portable, and you still have to deal with the JVM as an extra layer.

      My take is that there is relatively little growth in the use of C and Java. If you set up a new online business, I think you are borderline retarded if you go for Java. Also, a lot of companies have, in recent years, been moving their legacy systems from Java to something more modern like Go. The market for C developers is even more limited. In my view, salaries are a bit out of whack. You could do work on the Linux kernel in C, which has a pretty high barrier of entry, and not get paid as much as someone who taught himself JS and Python, and spent a few years working with web frameworks. However, the key takeaway here is that job complexity does not determine salaries; supply and demand do. A great example here are the IQ150 mathematics PhDs who cannot get academic jobs.

  7. Mystery and Beckster are scamming men, they will not stop.

    Mystery is now teaching guys magic spells, he said spells are magic, he is teaching guys the dark art of spells.

    Im not joking.

    There is people buying from him.

    1. Did you verify that the post is authentic? Charging $48k for a “nine-month mentorship program” is completely ridiculous. On that note, I think that a big reason PUAs were able to fill boot camps that cost $2k or so was due to the hosing boom in the ramp up to 2008, and easy money. With the bursting of the housing bubble, the PUA industry took a considerable hit, which probably was more of a cause-and-effect relationship than mere coincidence, and for a few more years, well-paid and often foreign-born software engineers with poor social skills seem to have kept the industry afloat, before that well finally ran dry.

  8. So austria is removing the whole “quarantine for the unvaccinated” thing… Don’t know what to think of it. Don’t know whether to consider it a victory considering they went from super insane to just insane. Or perhaps they just need to the backtracking in steps so it’s not too sudden… we’ll see…

    1. The Austrian government is currently in a rather bad position because one of the constitutional judges submitted a five-page letter to the government with detailed questions he wants answers to. This includes aspects like the issue of dying with vs of Covid, absolute vs relative vaxx efficiency, Covid death rates, hospitalization, the danger of Covid for different age cohorts, and many more. The document, which has been confirmed to be true, seem to have been written by someone who is pretty much up-to-speed on the anti-vaxx position. I think that the recent reduction of measures has to be interpreted as a first response to that letter. You can find the scanned letter here (bottom of post), and you can probably read it if you run it through an image-based translation software.

    2. That’s interesting ? In the same vein, something similar happened in portugal. Apparently the courts ruled that you can’t take away people’s rights based on a pcr test, as they produce too many false positive. And the whole thing about the pcr cycles.

      This used to be fringe conspiracy-theorist talk. You used to be laughed away if you mention pcr cycles. But now judges are saying it.

    1. Samsung internet won’t let me post a comment here. So weird. Hence testing with different browser.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.