Open Thread

Open Thread #274

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51 thoughts on “Open Thread #274

  1. Aaron,

    I think we had a conversation in the past about daughters,that you would ideally like your hypothetical daughter to also be able to play a musical instrument (Piano,was it?) in addition to learning how to cook. (which should be considered a bare minimum skill)

    What else do you have in mind? I’ve already mentioned Gymnastics as a good way to start a young boy (provided a good instructor,but that goes with anything..) into physical activity,but its commonly thought of as a woman’s activity. And for good reason,the women don’t just look beautiful (unless they’ve really gotten unlucky in the face department),but definitely project elegance in their movements. (even outside performance)

    I honestly think Art is a good skill to get a girl into. I don’t know,I just find the idea of a girl being able to make beautiful paintings…elegant. Maybe that’s just me projecting what I’d desire in an ideal woman though. I think you’d certainly want your daughter to project an air of elegance and refinement to coincide with the beauty.

    1. Let me chime in here. It’s a very relevant question to us 😉

      I fully agree about honing artistic skills in our daughters. I too see it as an aspect of femininity that a woman should ideally have. It doesn’t have to be only painting or drawing; it could also be sewing or pottery for instance, which are in fact more practical. And if the chosen path is painting/drawing, then of course it can’t be modern art nonsense but realist styles of yore.

      I’m personally hopeless with art. As a girl, whenever a loved one’s birthday or a special occasion came up, I wished so much that I could produce something beautiful and tasteful with my own hands and effort to gift that person. A drawing with a few written lines that mean something to that person, or some handicraft personalised to them… I’ve always felt that a handmade gift trumps what you can buy in a store as it’s more meaningful and sincere.

      So this is one area I definitely want to help my daughters pursue. They shouldn’t go professional, but just take it far enough to be able to come up with a respectable gift if they so desire.

      What I think is trickier though, and not as guaranteed or measurable, is cultivating personality: a grateful and polite girl instead of entitled (a challenge given the resources we’re able to provide), sufficient agreeableness, tact… We also have the issue of two rather different cultures to impart. And it’s important they know how to be both a “good Chinese” and “good German” depending on the setting they find themselves in.

    2. Hey! I didn’t know you still commented/lurked around Aaron’s blog. I think its been awhile since you last chimed in. Nice to hear from you again,haha!

      >What I think is trickier though, and not as guaranteed or measurable, is cultivating personality

      Agreed. To be honest,I’m not sure you can really purposely cultivate/influence that on a fundamental level. You can certainly ingrain a good work ethic on someone by raising them in an environment that encourages it. I’m not sure if you’ve seen them,but I’ve discussed with your husband before about how I feel that children probably shouldn’t be exposed to video games too early. Not because I think Video Games are the devil or anything close to that sort of idea,but because they might not be inclined to do anything else that requires effort and skill development. And I think that goes quadruple for Multiplayer video games. the worst cases of video game addiction causing someone real life harm (sometimes as extreme as not sleeping multiple nights in a row without eating anything) that we’ve seen is from that kind of genre.

      I think people/humans on a fundamental level don’t like being bored. They’d rather tackle a challenging endeavor than be bored. But if there’s already an easier (and less risky to the ego.) activity they could do instead,a child will probably go for that instead of challenging themselves.

      But that’s discussing only 1 aspect of personality. If we’re talking stuff like Empathy,I don’t think there’s an easy answer. Would having them partake in volunteerism and witness poverty in person do that? maybe,maybe not. I recall being made to do that in school with my schoolmates. (we were happy about it because we’d rather do that than the typical boring classroom day,haha) It certainly didn’t change anything among the assholes we had in school.

      I think being exposed to personal struggle in general at a young age tends to develop Empathy. If you know how it feels like to suffer in any aspect of life,you’ll understand and be inclined to help those experiencing that same kind of suffering. But other than having your children partake in a variety challenging endeavors,I don’t think there’s a way (at least,none that is Ethical that I can think of) to purposely impart that to your children.

      Here’s an insightful article by respected self-defense instructor Rory Miller,this is a phenomenon he calls “Compulsive Competence”:

      Alright,this comment turned out longer than I’d like. Hope it doesn’t read like I’m rambling,haha.

    3. The kind of time-limited volunteering you mention is often only used to bolster someone’s CV. More cynically, it amounts to little more than some kind of sightseeing tour through the poor part of town.

    4. @Sleazy Wife
      I am happy that you guys are planning further ahead for the future of your children. I think honing her artistic skills is quite a way to nurture and express her feminity. You guys probably would not disagree when I say that cooking is all the more important, it is not technically artistic but one can also view it as an art as well.

      Just curious about “good Chinese” and “good German”? I think I can understand qualities of a good Chinese, but I don’t know qualities of a good German.

      Maybe Sleazy can chime in and explain.

      PS: I really dig German language and culture. Have been self-studying German on and off for 5 months now. Really enjoy it. I just don’t have time now as I am working for a speech language therapy center dedicated to autistic children.

    5. @Maou

      Yes, I still lurk as I like to read Aaron’s writing and we sometimes talk about it or his readers’ comments 🙂 Discussions on raising children naturally catch my attention more. I think you previously mentioned how much of a head start a boy can get in terms of fitness if he were introduced to proper lifting early. I’ve never lifted in my life but there was a period of time I swam actively as a girl (ages 7-10?) on top of the other physical activities that I was exposed to in school and whatnot. I was pleasantly surprised to find out in my biology class at 15 that I had the lowest heart rate in my class. We were asked to take our own pulses as a simple exercise and mine was drastically lower than everybody else’s. At that time I was no longer active at the same level though, so I attribute it to the swimming done years ago.

      I think the best way to cultivate empathy is role-modelling (as with many other things we wish to cultivate), and being intentional about pointing out when somebody in their midst behaves empathetically or not. I’m very skeptical about “voluntourism”. I did some of that as a student and memories or photos from that time make me cringe now.


      Being a “good German” seems to mean things like greeting others while making eye contact, not slurping your soup or eating with your mouth open, respecting the privacy of others, not giving unsolicited advice to friends and acquaintances…

    6. @Sleazy’s Wife

      >you previously mentioned how much of a head start a boy can get in terms of fitness if he were introduced to proper lifting early.<

      A lot of that has to do with the phenomenon called "Muscle Memory". Its the fact that you can regain muscle a lot faster and easier than gaining it the first time. But this doesn't just apply to muscle mass and strength,it applies to all around fitness. I've read multiple anecdotes from people who were big into fitness in their youth,had to quit sometime in their 20's and only returned to it 5 or even 10 years later,and in a single year of training,they are back (or almost there) to the fitness level they had built up in their youth. 20 years of training built back up in a single year or sometimes even less than that.

      Compare that to someone who only just starts getting into fitness for the very first time in their 30's and can only expect rather moderate results at best in that same timeframe. Needless to say,this is a massive advantage to have in life in general,and makes it so much easier to get back into fitness for times when you temporarily don't have a choice but to put your time and attention into other matters.

      At the youngest age though,starting in Gymnastics may give a better payoff however. Gets you strong/muscular AND develops coordination/physical IQ that can transfer over to nearly any sport/physical endeavor. I have a friend who is a BJJ black belt instructor and has studied the topic of fitness intensively,allow me to take a quote from him:

      Putting a kid in tumbling and basic gymnastics up until they are 9 or 10 years old and then letting them transition to another sport pretty much guarantees they will be a star athlete in that second sport.

      The "guaranteed" part is probably a bit of an exaggeration here. (Although being good at sports in school is probably much more achievable than aiming to be a professional. Its pretty common for guys who were good playing basketball at school to never end up playing professionally after all. Actually,its the norm. haha.) Best part is that this advice works for both young boys and girls.

      You can probably substitute Gymnastics with something like Dancing,Skateboarding,Wrestling,Swimming or Surfing,etc. (Basically any high-skill sport that involves the use of your entire body) if the child doesn't find the activity to be their cup of tea but they probably don't quite have as universal of a benefit as Gymnastics in terms of gaining both Kinesthetic Awareness and Strength development.

      Skills learned as a kid just seem to stick so much more fundamentally than skills learned later in life. I've learned how to Box,I've learned to Swim,and now I've learned to Lift,and while my physical IQ has definitely improved (I think I'm better at moving than the average person by this point at least!),I still find myself being a bit of a Klutz from time to time. I biked as a kid,but that's pretty much the extent of my involvement with sports back in the day. To use a different example,I see folks who learn how to use a computer at a later age,but even after years,they never quite learn how to type as fast and intuitively (by that,I mean without needing to look at the keyboard) as someone like me who has been consistently playing with the computer at a young age.

      And yes,its cliche to say,but being a role model and living by example is definitely the best way to encourage good behavior,no disagreements there. Its hard to respect (let alone listen to) someone who tries to push values into you but won't practice what they preach. Like parents who don't want their kids to smoke,yet can't control themselves to at least avoid smoking in their presence!

    7. Regarding touch typing, there are courses out there. I learned it from a book in my early teens, which was probably the best bang for the buck I have gotten in my life. Guided instruction is probably more helpful than learning it over the years by using a keyboard a lot. I have even tried various keyboard layouts (I liked “workman” a lot), but I dropped the idea you quickly get to the point of diminishing returns.

      By the way, there is a shocking number of professional software developers out there who cannot touch type. It is an utter embarrassment, but is also indicates how low the barrier of entry to this field really is because it tells a lot about a person when they cannot be bothered to learn arguably the most important foundational skill for their field.

    8. >Guided instruction is probably more helpful than learning it over the years by using a keyboard a lot.<

      True,and that goes with probably nearly every learnable skill. That BJJ blackbelt instructor I mentioned is actually one of the leading people who are trying to innovate how BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) is commonly taught.

      There is no doubt that BJJ is legit,but most training centers/dojos commonly suffer from a lack of a structured learning curriculum/plan. Being good at BJJ unfortunately does not automatically translate to being a good instructor/coach. And the same goes with a lot of other things really. Teaching is its own skill. One that,in embarrassing irony,is lacking in most of the teachers in mainstream schools.

      In a typical BJJ school,it takes about a decade to get your blackbelt. Under my friend's system,he gets his students to that level in about HALF the amount of time. (and they're beating other black belts in competitions,he isn't just tying a colored belt around their waist and calling it a day. That kind of thing is not tolerated at all in the BJJ community,you'd be eaten alive for trying to fake your skill)

      That's still a TON of time invesment (Not that you need to be anywhere close to blackbelt levels of skill if you just want to be able to defend yourself),but its amazing how much more efficient you can get with actually good teaching methods.

      I wrote this in one of your previous open threads,but to quote it again:

      Unfortunately,there is plenty of misinformation in the LD community. (Not that this should be a surprise to any of us by this point. Mainstream information sources in general is riddled with misinfo. Dating/PUA,Fitness,Martial Arts,etc. This is no different.)

      I guess it just goes to show how important it is to question the Status Quo. It does make you wonder though why the mainstream/popular way of doing things just tend to suck. I guess people in general just don't want to make the effort to think,even if it will actually improve their general QoL in whatever it is they're doing.

      Teachers in general are not paid well though. Finland is just one of the exemptions,and maybe that's why they're so lazy. One of the youtube shorts I've watched about "lacking motivation" says that the key to answering it is setting big (but realistic) goals. Its not motivating to work hard for so little payoff. And I guess that's why teachers here are so lazy and want students to do all the work by pilling on a mountain of homework taken from a textbook instead of setting up interesting activities in relation to the subject matter.

    1. This is great. Thanks for sharing! I came across a few preview videos of FF XVI, which were released this week, but none with such a lot of gameplay. Overall, this game looks really good. I am not quite as hyped as with REmake 4 after the latest trailer, but I nonetheless have very high hopes. Also, FF XVI is only about 35 to 40 hours long. Thus, you may even want to play through it again, with a second play-through obviously taking a lot less time. Back in the days, FF VI on the SNES was considered a very long game, with a length of about 40 hours. Nowadays, we are past the 100-hours mark, which is just ridiculous. Hardly any game can keep your attention for that long, and chances of replaying them are basically zero.

    2. The gameplay for FFXVI looks like the essentially Devil May Cry or God of War (original trilogy) if they were an RPG. I think it looks pretty fantastic. Also, aside from the tolerable campaign length, the battle system could be designed in such a way that it allows you to build in certain directions, which could potentially incentivize a second play through. I think the kaiju gameplay, though spectacular, looked much less satisfying than what you can pull off in human form, however.

      What about the latest REmake 4 trailer discouraged you?

    3. My hope is that FF XVI has a “new game plus” feature or adjustable difficulties. As it is more of an action RPG, this would work well. This game might get me to buy a PS5, but I still cannot find one for the MSRP around here.

      Maybe I did not express myself clearly. I meant to say that I not quite as hyped about FF XVI than about REmake 4, and with regards to the latter, the latest trailer made me more interested in this game. Nonetheless, FF XVI looks great. However, I dislike the potty-mouthed characters and would prefer if they abstained from casually saying “shit” and “fuck”, and the kaiju fight scene in the video you linked to looks boring in terms of gameplay, albeit visually very impressive. On a more personal note, the main protagonist reminds me a lot of a friend of mine who died an untimely death. Face, hair, and personality are all have an uncanny similarity.

    4. No, I think you wrote perfectly clear now that I look back.

      “I am not quite as hyped as with REmake 4 after the latest trailer…”

      If you skim over the second “as” and read it as “quite as hyped with” like I did, then the sentence takes on a whole new meaning. My bad. As far as the price of the PS5 goes, I believe Sony themselves raised the price. You can, however, buy the console on Amazon right now bundled with God of War (just sell the game to recoup the price difference) for $559.00 USD.

      Also, that’s pretty tragic about your friend. Does that make you more or less motivated to play the game?

      Btw, they recently released new gameplay footage of REmake:

    5. Here, the GoW bundle is also not available for the MSRP. The price is around 640 Euros. Well, I can wait. Also, it will be a few months until FF XVI releases anyway so there is no rush.

      Speaking of the similarity between my late friend and the main protagonist of FF XVI, just watching the footage feels odd to me. The first time I watched footage of this game, I had to stop after a minute or two because it was so jarring, looking at an on-screen character that has such an uncanny resemblance to my dead friend. I’ll probably get used to it, though.

      Thanks for sharing that RE4 footage. I had a very similar clip pop up in my YouTube feed, but with an insufferable narrator, so I had to mute it.

    6. I went back and watched the latter half of the FFXVI gameplay footage. I think I’m in love with the design of the Eikon Garuda and her sound design. I like the way she is always smiling menacingly during the fight, it’s just wicked-looking. I’m pretty sure that’s the fully transformed version of the chick from the first half of the gameplay. Definitely looking forward to seeing how Shiva turned out. Hopefully she is an ally, because it would be a shame to have to melt her face.

      When games come out I stop watching any footage of them. I think the developers, though it’s nice to see what the game will be like, revealing that entire boss fight kind of went a little too far. I’d like to think they have way more up their sleeve, at least. However, it seems like a lot of the story has been ruined as you can glean quite a bit just from that one video.

    7. I think Square-Enix does not have that much of a choice when it comes to marketing this game. I am in the camp that is of the opinion that there was not a single good single-player Final Fantasy since IX, which came out over twenty years ago. FF XV also had a pretty bad reception among fans. At first, the game vowed people with its graphics, but based on the reviews and opinions I have read, the game is pretty disappointing overall. Thus, to counter this impression and to show the world that they have learned their lesson, they need to show a bit more of FF XVI than they might have liked otherwise.

      On a more general note, I think that the FF franchise does not nearly have the pull it used to have. Today, people associate it with the very successful MMO FF XIV. Thus, I think that the average (non-MMO) gamer needs to be reminded that Final Fantasy still exists. You drew a comparison to the first GoW. This is interesting as the marketing of FF XVI reminds me a bit of the marketing behind GoW, which was also not shy to show off set pieces. For instance, Sony spoiled the fight against the Hydra, which is arguably the most impressive fight in the entire game. (I don’t even recall the final boss of the first GoW.)

    8. Oh, that sucks about the PS5 price. I’m remembering something about how the console raised in price everywhere pretty much except for the US.

      That’s really sad to hear about your friend. He must’ve been a great guy. I could also imagine being turned away from the game at first, but then later finding a strange sort of comfort about the character design after the initial shock wore off. I remember thinking Claire Redfield from REmake 2 looked so much like my niece, and it’s always disturbing to mess up a hardcore run and witness her being torn apart by the undead.

      I recently discovered that the hottie that controls the Shiva eikon is actually the protagonist’s childhood friend, so that’s pretty interesting. Also, in regards to your comments about replay-ability, some people are speculating that the eikon fight Square teased is actually new game + footage. The reason being is that Clive is wearing early game attire during his time as a slave prince, and therefore he shouldn’t have access to a lot of the abilities being showcased here yet.

      Also, the developers have already addressed concerns about the kaiju battles, explaining that in this instance Clive is still getting the hang of controlling the beast and that each instance of his transformation will be different. For example, some enemies are actually several times larger than his Ifrit model, so he will have to move a lot faster to compensate for the size difference. For the Garuda fight they specifically wanted more of a pro wrestling feel. It seems that each eikon/titan battle will be quite novel.

  2. I just got the Ship of Harkinian generator running on the Steam Deck and playing OoT this way is pretty wild. It was extremely easy to do as well. Easier than getting an emulator to work. I think there are even texture packs available for install already.

    1. That’s great! I have no nostalgia for OOT as I skipped the N64 when it was in its prime. I only bought one while waiting for the GameCube to come out to bridge the time and by then, the graphics were not at all impressive anymore. Of course, for fans of the game, Ship of Harkinian is a godsend.

    2. It’s pretty great, man! Glad you mentioned here a while back or I would have not known about it.

  3. Aaron,
    How’s life in the country? Have you started growing your own vegetables?

    I’ve been learning about homestead, and there’s a lot to learn.

    1. My wife is itching to grow vegetables, but it’s still quite cold here. Also, the garden is really small — I jokingly refer to it as a goy cage — so there is not a lot we can do. Another downside is that the ground is not as dry as I would like it to be. Growing potatoes and other tubers would be out of the picture for that reason. Well, with a raised bed it should be possible, but that’s more work and I don’t want to have ten raised beds. This is only an interim place anyway and I intend to get a place with more land, at least 1/8 to 1/4 of an acre.


    What do you guys think about High Intensity Training (not to be confused with High Intensity Interval Training)?

    The main things I’ve taken from this are that:
    1) Once you’ve gotten the muscle to failure, additional reps will provide no additional benefit. It’s time for recovery
    2) The safest and most efficient way to get the muscle to fail is to choose a weight you can lift slowly for both phases for 8-12 reps.
    3) You can use rest-pause, drop sets, negatives, etc if you’re unsure if you got the muscle to fail.
    4) The amount you can lift, or one rep max, is massively affected by skill. i.e., you will get outcompeted in a power lifting competition if this is the only style of exercise you do because you haven’t practiced the skill of lifting that heavy weight.

    1. I also find it suspicious that the most famous man in history couldn’t care less about making so much as an appearance considering the magnitude of the disastrous initial derailment. To my knowledge, the White House has failed to even give a proper statement on the matter. Even if you take these train wrecks at face value and make the claim that they are indeed accidental, one can’t help but wonder if the poor state of the US’s infrastructure couldn’t have already been completely renovated if not for billions being spent in Ukraine, as well as the trillions that got flushed down the toilet over the last couple decades for similar dead end endeavors. I guess this is the price to pay for “freedom”.

    2. You need to cut Joe Brandon some slack. After all, he is busy lining his pockets in the Ukraine, and it’s clearly more important that his son Hunter has enough money for coke and hookers, no matter the hour, than it is to ensure the safety of the American people.

    1. I’m with you. I’ve seen enough REmake 4 and FFXVI footage to convince me. What I’ll do is wait for RE4 to drop and see what the general consensus is and how it performs on the Deck, then wait a couple months for an inevitable Capcom sale to knock the game down about 20% or so and dive in. With FFXVI, it’ll be quite a while before a PC port gets released, but same thing with this game.

      Concerning TotK, I’ll see check out what Nintendo releases in terms of marketing and then probably just get the game. It’ll be $70 for years before it gets a measly $10 discount. I kind of regret checking out the art book leaks now, but at least they weren’t too spoiler-y.

    2. Aaron, will you by chance be playing REmake 2 before you play the 4th one? Btw, I think I found a pretty consistent PC glitch in the game where once you have all 3 medallions in your possession, if you don’t go straight to the statue and place them into their allotted indentations and instead go roaming around for remaining items (heals and ammo, for example) the game crashes. It just ruined two runs in a row for me.

    3. I have a short list of PS4 and PS5 games I intend to buy, and REmake 2 is on it. I am more curious to play RE VII, though, so if it turns out that I don’t have as much time as I’d like, I’ll probably pick the latter over the former. On a related note, before playing REmake 4, I would like to play though the GameCube original on an emulator again.

      This glitch sounds pretty horrible. Do you know if it also exists in other versions of the game? Back in the days, Nintendo was infamous for making strong demands on developers to ensure that their games run flawlessly. Today, though, it is not uncommon that console games crash, and for PC this has always been the case. On the PC, this can be excused due to the high number of possible hardware combination, and the fact that Microsoft Windows is a total POS (originally brought to you by the guy who knows everything about vaccinations). I don’t recall any Switch games crashing, though.

    4. Pickernanny, thanks for your donation. It seems you like REmake 2 quite a bit.

    5. I actually put in my Switch copy of RE4 just yesterday and played a couple chapters. It’s pretty rough honestly, haha. I keep trying to rotate the camera (there is no free camera), and it’s zoomed way too far in on Leon so that you have no decent awareness of your surroundings. Also, they could have long since made it possible to map weapons to the d-pad on subsequent versions. Going into the items menu and swapping weapons is awful now. None of these issues were at all so glaring back when it first launched l, though, so time has certainly had an effect on the game. From the REmake 4 footage they’ve shown off it looks as if you can quick map 2 weapons per direction on the d-pad.

      I doubt the glitch I spoke of is even a widespread problem because I see no one complaining about it when I do a search. It’s probably pretty unique to me. I never noticed anything like this happening before. The only games I’ve had crash on the Switch were Doom Eternal and Nier Automata, but it wasn’t super consistent. I was amazed one time when I left Breath of the Wild (a type of game that could potentially be riddled with glitches) on sleep mode for several weeks, and when I came back it started up right where I had left it with no issues.

    6. I think I last played RE 4 about three or four years ago, also just for a few chapters. This was the HD rerelease on Steam, which is missing the fancy post-processing of the GC version. I did not mind the narrow field of vision as it adds to the atmosphere. It’s also nostalgic for me, but I likely would not be as accepting if a new game did it. Also, swapping weapons is indeed tedious, but you do not need to do it a lot. Of course, this raises the question of cause vs consequence because players most likely adjusted to this kind of tedium by minimizing the number of times they need to pick a different weapon. In contrast, the updated UI in REmake 4 reminds me of a fast-paced first-person shooter. This will also change how people play the game because if it is that easy to switch weapons, you will do it frequently.

      A common cause of crashes are memory leaks, which means that the code consumes more and more RAM, and at some point you run out of it, leading to a crash. This can be effectively prevented by the choice of programming language or by very strict coding standards. Nintendo seems to really have its house in order so I am not surprised that BotW has no such issues.

    7. I get the sense that a company like Capcom, for example, has their work cut out for them since they develop games for multiple platforms. Nintendo releases have dedicated hardware, so I figure there’s a lot less to worry about in terms of optimization. A few recent Digital Foundry performance reviews seem to suggest that Xbox is harder to optimize for versus PS5, as the latter console has been consistently outperforming the former with pretty much every new major release.

      In terms of memory leaks, is that something you can prevent by saving, turning the game off and thus clearing the cache? Or, perhaps overcompensating by having a ridiculous amount of RAM (just curious)? Also, it seems like the more I play the game the larger the shader cache seems to be getting. It’s getting a little absurd.

    8. I think that Microsoft treats the Xbox similar to a PC, with layers of abstraction between the code and the hardware whereas I can imagine Sony offering special libraries that allow you to directly access the hardware. This was done during the PS3 years as well, and it was a major reason for the turnaround of this console. The step up in graphics quality in early vs mid or late-generation games was quite remarkable.

      Programmers like to use misleading metaphors. They have “bugs” that seemingly crawl into their code instead of “programming errors” and they likewise deal with “memory leaks”, as if someone poked a hole into their code, instead of “resource wastage”. Memory leaks are primarily an issue of RAM. Imagine a game storing the position of every slain enemy in the game world so that whenever you return to an area, you see your dead foes on the ground. For this, you would need to at least store coordinates and the enemy type. Of course, the game spawns new enemies, and if the game keeps slain enemies around, you end up using more and more RAM. (This is the primary reason why it used to be standard that slain enemies disappeared and/or respawned when reentering an area, as it is a lot cheaper to just execute the code again instead of keeping a bunch of game-world information around.)

      What you can do as a user is to restart your game, and to be on the safe side, you should completely exit and restart instead of just jumping back to the title screen and continue because some incompetent coder could have forgotten to add a function that wipes the game state after exiting the active gaming session. You can also overcompensate by adding more RAM. In commercial software development, this is also done, in fact. I know of one case where a company rented oversized servers in the cloud in order to control a memory leak. Thus, memory slowly grew, and after six weeks, they just restarted the service, with a minor downtime for the end user. The cheap foreign labor that was responsible could not fix the underlying problem, so they had to pay for many, many gigabytes of extra RAM whereas the code itself, if properly written, should have only consumed a few bytes of RAM or so but thanks to their incompetence, it consumed a few bytes per execution. The RAM was not freed afterwards, so they eventually filled many dozens of gigabytes of RAM.

      I am not sure how shader cache works, but I could imagine similar problems, i.e. old and outdated information being kept around. However, I also recall reading about precompiles shaders improving performance. Graphics programming is a field I know hardly anything about, though.

      Lastly, there is also resource wastage in game development. You may have noticed that game sizes have ballooned in the last few years. This is due to developers no longer bothering to compress their files properly. Thus, you get FLAC audio files instead of Speex or Ogg Vorbis, and you can end up wasting gigabytes where megabytes would have sufficed. The same is true for textures where no longer any color optimization is done. Some developers furthermore seem to use those enormous TIFF files. Here is someone bitching that Unreal Engine does not support TIFF, and it seems they later added it, thanks to those hacks who know very little about their craft. In app development there is also a lot of resource wastage. Discord takes over 350 MB of disk space, and an Amazon app for previewing Kindle files comes in at over 1 GB (!), both of which are mind-boggling. This is the consequence of having low-IQ morons work in software development.

    9. If you want to learn a bit more about the problem of incompetent programmers, then I recommend this somewhat technical presentation that demonstrates that a modern terminal window should be orders of magnitude faster:

      [EDIT: As a shortcut, you can also jump to the 44-minute mark for a visual demonstration of the difference, which gets the point across very well.]
      The same kind of resource wastage happens everywhere. There is no excuse for applications not launching instantly on modern computers. On macOS, for instance, it takes several seconds between taking a screenshot and the file showing up on your Desktop. The in-built text editor is also getting worse, e.g. if you scroll quickly, in a larger file, rendering errors pop up or the text does not get displayed properly, which seems to indicate that the file does not get loaded correctly.

    10. Then on the other hand there are devs who are serious and want to up their game by disciplining themselves to always use Clean Code patterns but end up slowing their applications down by an order of magnitude.

    11. This is the same guy. After recalling the video I shared earlier, I had a look at his channel. This very recent upload of his is also quite relevant, but a bit more technical:

      He demonstrates how “clean code” principles waste 15 years’ worth of hardware improvements.

    12. Thanks, Aaron, for the in depth explanation about the nature of gaming and RAM etc., and thanks to you and Skepdick for the interesting video links. I will certainly check them out soon.

      “Imagine a game storing the position of every slain enemy in the game world so that whenever you return to an area, you see your dead foes on the ground.”

      This actually made me think about my recent REmake 2 runs and the issue I had with the game crashing. The thing is I was doing a casual hardcore run where I was spamming my infinite ammo weapons and slaying every enemy in the police department section. There are even roaming enemies outside of certain windows that you normally wouldn’t waste ammo on that I was just blasting. I’d say with the finite amount of ammo available to you and the increased enemy defenses on hardcore that you’d normally only be able to kill about half or so of the enemies in this section, and generally you’d want to plan your routes carefully and bypass most of them while only killing the ones that are the biggest nuisance. I even took a picture of this funny zombie that rag-dolled in an amusing position, and of course each time you pass back through here he is still stuck in this way:

      Perhaps all these downed enemies were sucking up RAM. I’ve noticed that generally when you enter a room, if you exit for a second or two and walk back in the enemies in that area will sort of “reset”. However, in the case of the dead ones they are left exactly how they were. I’m now wondering if the the dead enemies take up more memory than the living ones.

    13. The zombie ragdoll doing a yoga exercise looks ridiculous. Overall, ragdoll animation has improved a lot over the years. The last time I tried playing Demons’ Souls on PS3, I found the ragdolls immersion breaking as they are flapping around as if they do not weigh anything.

      Your assumption could be correct. I can imagine that the game allocates a fixed amount of RAM for storing the position of enemies, but by using an infinite-ammo weapon, you may be able to rack up a greater number of kills than the developers considered (this gives an entirely different meaning to the term “game-breaking weapons”). Perhaps this is not a problem of memory leakage but of allocation, e.g. the game preserves space for 50 enemies, you end up killing more than that, but because of missing checks, the game code ends up overwriting some other data in RAM, and when that now overwritten data is accessed, the game crashes as it is not the input that was expected.

    14. >this gives an entirely different meaning to the term “game-breaking weapons”<

      Haha, nice.

      Assuming that it is indeed the case that memory allocation was responsible for the crashes I outlined earlier, then I also assume it wouldn’t necessarily be an issue for a system with access to more RAM. I watched the second video you linked to and found the topic pretty interesting, or rather the conclusion being drawn. It makes me wonder if that’s why we’re getting so many half-asses games that barely look better than last gen and struggle to even run at 30 frames (Gotham Knights comes to mind). Like, perhaps these inflated development teams, with the industry probably being quite saturated and lacking in genuine talent, are simply either doing their best (and falling short), or they’re just cutting corners and failing to optimize code due to time constraints and a lack of overall skill.

      In regards to rag-doll physics, as great as games like Dead Space 1&2 were, the weightless feel of downed enemies was in fact quite comical at times. And you’re right, it is immersion breaking when they go flopping around like one of P Ray’s lady boys (no offense, man!). In contrast, REmake 2’s physics are generally much more “natural”.

    15. Indeed, if a program corrupts the data it holds in memory by overwriting an area in RAM it was not supposed to, more RAM is not the answer. Well, Microsoft led the industry when it came to crashing PCs. They were great at it when 1 MB was a generous amount, and they kept honing their skills so that Windows can take down your machine randomly even if you have 32 GB of RAM in it.

      I think that the lack of skill is the biggest problem. Just look at all those diversity hiring initiatives where women and minorities who can barely solve a linear equation for x were hired as software engineers after a six-week long bootcamp. I have seen people wasting tens of thousands of dollars of the company’s money per month, and they thought it was all a big joke. In one case, some turd worlder created a database replica on AWS, for no clear reason, albeit he claimed it was for “research”, forgot about shutting it down, and it took over a year for this to get noticed. It did not help that his Middle Eastern manager was not exactly on the ball either. You would not believe what is going on in the IT industry.

    16. Speaking of diversity hires in tech, the company I’m currently contracted to is in the process of transitioning to a new healthcare software as they’re in the middle of a buyout. So, to help facilitate a smooth launch they’ve hired a third party company to essentially act as tech support to any employee that may need it for the next few weeks. There are dozens of these temp employees in the building at any given time, and they’re literally 90% or more black folks (most are women). Other than that I saw one soy boy white guy and a Jewess, as well as a few Karens. Quite frankly, I’m familiar with the software already, but I did seek help from a Kenyan woman one time for shits and giggles. Needless to say she wasn’t very much help, and one of the company’s in house employees was quickly able to step in and solve the problem after a good two or three minutes of flailing about. These people identify as “tech personnel” but they’re actually more like specially trained telemarketers. Btw, this is some of the easiest OT I’ve ever racked up because they’ve over scheduled people on purpose to help ease individual workload. Great times!

    17. What you witnessed seems to be a common tactic in business. We spoke about Blackrock’s ESG pressure campaign before. In order to be considered kosher, companies need to show a “fair gender distribution”, i.e. at least 50% women in any area. Of course, a huge surplus of women, for instance in HR, is not a problem at all. One way to boost the number of women in tech is to simply relabel tech-adjacent roles like customer support or QA as tech, which can be done easily by moving these reporting lines under a VP of Engineering. I assume that companies just view this as a cost of doing business. Just like you I observed obvious overstaffing in such roles, so there is probably a pattern. Perhaps company executives even think that they get off relatively cheaply as a QA ditz costs a lot less than a software engineer, and it surely is a lot easier to find a woman for such a role and pay her for not doing any work than it is to find a female software engineer.

    18. I think you pretty much nailed it. I’ll also mention that the CEO of the software company is a woman. I view the tech support aspect of this entity as sort of the “face” of the company. Meanwhile, behind the scenes making the product even a reality in the first place as well as keeping it functioning and up to date is most certainly a group of white and perhaps some Asian men.

      You’re not exaggerating at all when you say they’re getting paid to do nothing. I’ve observed them sitting in a cubby for most of the shift simply waiting around for something to do. They could have easily cut the amount of staff necessary to complete the transition by half or more, as well as decreased the duration of their stay by a third.

  5. Hi Aaron!
    1. What are your thoughts about men in general letting their wives/girlfriends know about their whereabouts and vice-versa? I know some women would consider this controlling behavior, and of course, people can lie about their whereabouts. In my case, for example, when I go for a run in the mountains, I let my mom that I’m going for a jog in the mountains because of wild life. I live close to the mountains and there’s mountain lions there’s. And if something does happen, she knows exactly where to go and find me.

    2. I’ve noticed that Millennials and Gen Z consider dating difficult or nearly impossible. Why is that? What does this generation consider dating? I remember that you said that the purpose of dating was to get married. Yet, I’ve come across women who have claimed they haven’t gone out on a date in years. So, are these women just hooking up? They meet a guy, go over their house and bang without going out to have a drink or two?

    1. 1) I would not overthink this. If your girlfriend wants to know exactly where you are at all times, then it’s a problem. This may be fine for children who have a tracker on their phone so their parents know about their whereabouts. In a big city, this is arguably mandatory. I am not just talking about the basic issue of trust. In essence, a woman who wants to know where you are, all the time, treats you like a little child. Another red flag is that women who have little to no trust in their partners normally are highly untrustworthy as they simply project their own cheating onto you.

      2) I know a few younger guys, millennials and Gen-Z, who have the strong belief that they will never own a house or be able to support a family. Thus, they engage in a highly consumerist lifestyle, not unlike gay men. With younger women, there is also an interesting aspect of how they use language. If they bang a random guy, it does not count. Thus, they are not “dating”, and in this context, meeting up with a guy for some activity that ends up in sex is not a “date” but just “Netflix and chill” or something along those lines. It could well be that they associate “dating” with the boomer generation.

    2. In reference to point number two, I recently came across this study claiming that 60% of men under 30 years old are single—double the amount compared to women:

      I would extrapolate from this study that a good portion of young women are dating guys in their 30s, the ones that have a steady income, a car and their own apartment or house. Either that or they’re engaging in polygynous behavior with Chads, i.e. sharing the best available men, and calling that “dating”.

      Also, I think the sex ratio for Gen Z might be in favor of the women. As in there is a higher surplus of young guys compared to desirable thots to go around. The average guy appears to be completely out of luck.

  6. I’m curious to know how avoidant you guys are of sugar. Is there anyone who abstains from it 100%? Meaning not just insisting on sugar-free groceries, but also not eating the desserts that get served with coffee at social gatherings and on special occasions. If you do indulge in chocolates or pastries sometimes, then when and how often?

    1. @Sleazy’s Wife

      I don’t consume much sugar at all. I’m fortunate that I don’t have a sweet tooth, however, I do my best to minimize my intake of sugar by reading the ingredient label on all food products. I avoid food products that contain dextrose, glucose, fructose, maltodextrin, corn starch or any added sugar. In addition, I also take this a little further and avoid any food that contains any preservatives, additives, emulsifier, and certain oils like canola, sunflower etc.

      If I do consume sugar, I make sure its organic since most sugar is GMO. If you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, try consuming raw honey, genuine raw honey. There’s a lot of honey out there that is fake.

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