Open Thread

Open Thread #343

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38 thoughts on “Open Thread #343

  1. Does it seem that any thoughts of Palestine, even as a rump state is finished, as the goal to “destroy Hamas” is a pretext for an ethnic cleansing? The prelude to Israel’s invasion of Gaza is Azerbaijan’s expulsion of ethnic Armenians from the Artsakh Republic in Nagorno-Karabakh, which seems to set the precedent that might is right. Will Palestinians be the new Jews wandering the world to settle and look for ways to make money to regain their homeland as a long-term vision, or the new Gypsies causing trouble wherever they moved (and did in Jordan, Lebanon, and Kuwait already)?

    1. I think Israel is trying to make life as miserable as possible for Palestinians and hope that they become refugees in Europe.

    1. Discontent is brewing all over the continent, which is also expressed in polling numbers. Both in Europe and the United States our hostile elites are pushing through their agenda with complete disregard for the native population. This year is going to be wild. Probably, the Demon-rats will try to launch BLM 2.0 this summer, right as the country is close to completely disintegrating.

  2. Continuing with the thing of the guy whose girlfriend stalked him to get to meet him…

    It reminds me of something from my past that I hasn’t shared with anyone, IRL or online. As I mentioned recently, most of my lays have come after making first contact online, and it was the case with my first girlfriend/sex partner. It wouldn’t be remarkable weren’t it for the fact that, after getting her attention on social media, I lied to her about knowing her younger sister. The fucked-up thing is that she had recently died of lupus and yes, I had a brief online friendship with her (this was during the political unrest in the country back in 2018, so it was unsafe and unsound to go out with any stranger), but I made it sound like much more than that.

    Am I as crazy as a Cluster Bitch? I know I’m not, but you see where I’m coming from, right? No physical stalking, no involving other people, etc., unlike the girl in that story.

  3. Modern gaming:
    1) Final Fantasy VII Remake got an 8 GB update to better cover Tifa’s boobs:
    https://archive.ph/FcL26
    After all, it would be a crime against humanity if you got a boner from looking at a depiction of a supernaturally attractive woman but not when looking at m2f trannies.
    2) Nintendo’s remake of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door removes an innocuous graffiti from the original that only spelled “N”. I have absolutely no idea why this may have happened.

    1. I am actually looking at some ways to become an interpreter and translator. Coding can be fun snd I can add that to my CV. But learning software development takes up a lot of my energy and time. The pay for a software developer is better, but it requires you to be on the constant look out for new technology. It can also be quite stressful depends on the company.

      I have always been very good with languages and received appraisal from my teachers. My math aptitude is average at best.

      If I am lucky, I might be able to work for the Department of State or the government.

      At my age, it is perhaps better to develop what I already have instead of building up something from scratch.

  4. I am currently learning to do programming myself. I start with Python as it is beginner-friendly.

    It seems studying for tech is better than doing research in history or language therapy.

    I used to enjoy programming a lot when I was in high school. But my parents opposed it because I was not good at Math in Vietnamese schools. I did very well in the US, but that was because the curriculum was not that obtuse and tests are easier.

    If I want to work in NLP, or natural language engineering, what should I prepare?

    I believe a good start, especially after getting used to syntax of a language is a strong grasp in algorithm design and data structure. I am currently reading Kleinberg.

    1. If you really want to go into software development, I would advise you against early specialization. NLP in particular is a field that has seen a lot of change. Relatively recent developments in AI-based translations undermined decades of NLP research. On that note, it is probably not a good idea to go into AI research either because by the time you are done with your degree, this field may have been commoditized.

      The standard CS curriculum gives you a pretty solid foundation for a career. I believe you are referring to the book Algorithm Design by Kleinberg and Tardos. It is very good. I used it myself. There are others. I would recommend that you get a proper theoretical foundation, learn programming at various levels of abstraction, e.g. one each of C/Rust/Go, Python/Java, Haskell/Racket. Then, do one or two internships to get practical experience, probably not more than about six months in total. This should be enough to get a gig as a junior developer. Currently, the market is tough for juniors, though, in particular if you are not geographically mobile. However, I know of a few large Western companies who are building up “tech hubs” in SEA.

    2. Even though I’m nowhere near Aaron I’d concurr with his advice, because I wish I had told it to myself. You really can’t future project what you’ll end up liking/prefering/being good at. I ended up in a completely different place (specialization) then when I started, and dropped a lot of potential specializations and no longer like them at all.

    3. I mean to say even though I’ve only been in this for a couple of years (though fast tracked), I already have those “I wish I had approached things differently” realizations. One of those is definetely the fact you can’t guess where you’ll end up specializing. It’s not possible to choose it on day one.

    4. @Sleazy

      particular if you are not geographically mobile.

      I hold dual citizenships so I can go back to the US anytime I want. But I already have a bachelor degree in Chinese so I am kind of wary to do a second bachelor in CS in the US. They will teach you stuffs that you can learn on your own. I would also have to pay a hefty price as well.

      I don’t know if companies will hire programmers who self-taught. In Vietnam, credentialism is strong. I believe it is true in the US as well.

      I found this program:
      https://www.compling.uw.edu/admissions

      I suspect that there is something wrong as they don’t require a GRE result. This uni also has a master degree in Computer Science, but it is more competitive. So I wonder ehy one is less demanding, while the other is more difficult to get into.

    5. Not requiring the GRE could be a red flag. However, there is a movement among woke US colleges to disregard any kind of standardized testing so that they can admit whoever they want, which is obviously a general red flag regarding the contemporary US education system. It is of course your choice, but I would advise you not to go into computational linguistics as there is no dedicated labor market. The really useful skills this degree teaches you can be acquired via self-study.

      Oftentimes, you just need a bachelor’s degree to tick a checkbox. Maybe send out a few applications where you highlight a few projects you have done and see what happens. In particular smaller companies would probably be happy to get some inexpensive labor if you can prove a certain level of baseline competency.

    6. You are right, I will follow your guideline.

      computational linguistics as there is no dedicated labor market. The really useful skills this degree teaches you can be acquired via self-study.

      I have to agree. I have looked for job listings on indeed and linkedin, I find it rather daunting that most jobs are academic from universities. That should be a red-flag. Most academics are out of touch with reality.

      Oftentimes, you just need a bachelor’s degree to tick a checkbox.

      Doing another 4 years seems kind of excessive. Perhaps you mean my bachelor degree in Chinese from China is sufficient?

      One of the reasons I have not settled down in the US is because I cannot penetrate the job market and have to do menial labour.

    7. Yes, that is what I meant. If HR wants people to have a degree, then you need to have a degree, no matter what it is in. They will simply filter out all CVs that do not list a degree. This is the modern business world.

      Maybe try your luck in the US again at the start of the next boom cycle. The economy is not doing very well at the moment. There is a chance that the Fed will manipulate the markets in the run-up to the election in November, but this will only be cheap or free money that leads to another bubble. There is a need for genuine economic reform, but with the U.S. dollar weakening I would at best be cautiously optimistic. My view is that the US, and the West in general, is in decline.

    8. @Sleazy,
      Oh I read on reddit that a computational linguist complained that companies think training an engineer linguistics is much easier than training a linguist building algorithm.

      I find that is true, and I have a strong background in linguistics.

    9. I also recall a Google executive sarcastically joking, years ago, that the more linguists they fire, the better their translation software becomes. The problem with computational linguistics, to my understanding, is that it is heavily focused on rules based systems. This may be great for writing papers, but not so much if your task is to automatically translate drunken tweets from “Ebonics” to English.

    10. I think my general thought about your approach to learning CS is quite true. I also thought that I should read up on very basic concepts such as programming language paradigms, garbage collector, etc before coding. It makes more sense that way.

      Perhaps reading a bit about hardware. I read somewhere here that you started to build a computer a young age. Amazing! You must have loved computer since you was young.

    11. I don’t think I was that young when I built my first computer, more like mid-to-late teens. However, back then this was a lot more unusual to do than nowadays where there are entire YouTube channels dedicated to this topic and you can get parts on Amazon. Back in the days, just sourcing the parts was not so easy. Stores focused on selling pre-built PCs, with a considerable markup. The one site I used sometimes even ran out of parts. My main motivation was to save a lot of money and the other was to be able to use exactly the components I wanted.

    12. “One of those is definetely the fact you can’t guess where you’ll end up specializing. It’s not possible to choose it on day one.”

      I feel like this is one reason getting a variety of part time job experiences can be useful in your youth,helps you get some practical experiences to help you forge your path.

      Unfortunately,the way mainstream schooling is run,isn’t supportive for running this life strategy. (not even getting into the fact that some schools even forbid part time jobs at all. I graduated high school in one such school),but I’ve gotten into that topic already before.

      I think Finland (and even Netherlands) schooling might have “optional education” classes though on a variety of subjects,which might reduce the need to hunt for part time job experiences,but I can’t vouch for it. I’d need to research more.

      You can definitely do this with a private tutoring education,I believe the reddit description I shared even said they were doing just this.

  5. @Alek Novy
    You taught me a single great lesson: learning problem solving is much more important than coding in different languages. I believe this is an algorithmic mindset. Once you have learnt how to translate a problem into algorithm, you just need to take a small step to push deeper into syntax of a new language.

    1. “learning problem solving is much more important than…”

      Ideally,school was supposed to help us develop this skill. Instead,what we got is memorizing a bunch of uninteresting information,probably at least more than 70% of which will be completely irrelevant in our practical lives.

      Ironically,my experience with “problem solving” came with judiciously breaking the school rules. Like beating up the bully who was constantly harassing me in front of the entire high school. In doing so,I prevent him and his friends from trying to take revenge on me (because if they try,they risk getting their graduation cancelled AND getting injured by yours truly. Once again; “More Trouble Than I’m Worth”.)

      Sorry,my comment here was probably completely different from the kind of “problem solving” you guys were talking about,but I definitely felt it was worth a mention.

      To use another example of “problem solving” that I learned,this time in college,was judiciously “cheating” to circumvent the completely unreasonable system they had,especially in regards to Thesis writing. I’m not gonna bore you all with the details however. They say “Cheaters/Rule-Breakers never Win”,but honestly,I have found just about the opposite in my experience with life.

      Its the people that know how to bend the rules to their favor and get away with it,that win in today’s society.

    1. That’s funny, just the other day I was thinking when this was going to happen. With all the other stuff they forced into pageants, I was thinking “I’m sure the next thing will be promoting older women as true beauty or some shit”.

    2. We already have “Plus-Sized Models”,so this next step probably wasn’t too out of the blue to predict.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8I-2y-6f-U

      I have said before here that I consider this the best “Fat Acceptance/Body Positivity” related video that I have ever seen. What I really mean by that,however,is that it is the only SANE video I’ve seen that you can argue vouches for the topic. (“Self-Defense is for everyone,regardless of shape” the uploader doesn’t deny the mountain of benefits that come with being in-shape.)

      Personally,I feel TRUE Body Positivity,what SHOULD be the fundamental message,can be summed up in this single sentence:

      “I deserve to not be harassed/bullied for my Imperfections.”

      That’s it. Nothing more,nothing less. You deserve to be treated with basic courtesy and politeness (and people to not dismiss you in your area of expertise. I think you’re already familiar with how the halo effect even leaks into the professional world; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpjeMaOirvg ),but you don’t deserve to have people kissing (lying) your ego either.

      Or worse; ,GLORIFYING your imperfections. (and nothing glorifies obesity more than just the sheer oxymoronic existence of plus-sized models)

    3. Agree. Like most insane movements it started off with a noble thing. People shouldn’t assume that between me (when I was fat) and a skinny dude, he must be better at every skill, even though the skills in question have nothing to do with weight. That kind of weight-discrimination is absolute bullshit.

      Projecting all sorts of negatives (negative halo) on someone based on their weight is absolute bullshit. But then the “fat acceptance movement” took it to a whole other extreme to where they claim things equivalent to earth being flat.

  6. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oW8chg1oAWo

    The future of the current giant nation is precarious. It is unthinkable how the US could maintain their economic supremacy without highly educated citizens.

    If Sleazy believes in the decline of the West, then I am anxious about the general decline of the world. China has its own endemic corruption that saps the creativity of young companies. Meanwhile, the US was becoming so corrupted with its flawed education system and its polarises politics that a dark age is waiting.

    1. I’m a big believer in demographics. Western Europe and the anglo world had a fertility below replacement since the 70s, southern Europe since the 80s and Eastern Europe since the 90s. The US rebounded but is also below replacement since 2010. East Asia is also below replacement for decades. So the countries which are the engines of development and the human capital of the world, are shrinking.

      So who is breeding? It’s not latin America, south east Asia, Iran or India which have some potential (all have TFR below 2)…

      No it is Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and some middle eastern countries (Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt).

  7. Aaron, I recall you commented in a previous post that due to more European men moving to Switzerland than women to accelerate their career, there is a gender imbalance (similar to that of the Bay Area). On top of that, Switzerland is mainly a political and commerical entity more than a cultural one, with citizens of the three cantonments having very little connection with other ones but rather more with their respective ethnic nation states (Germany, France, Italy).

    Is it better for a man to move somewhere for money hoping that the pussy will come, or is it better to move where the pussy is and worry about the money later? Already, a large number of Instagram models traveling to Dubai is setting the tone for international dating. They’re obviously not there to try the falafel.

    1. The problem with moving to a male-heavy environment in order to accelerate one’s career is that hoping for pussy to materialize out of thin air is probably misguided. It can work for some but it cannot possibly work for all. Also, such places tend to exhibit stark wealth disparity. Sure, you may make a solid six-figure paycheck in the bay area, but there are hundreds of thousands of guys who are pulling down seven figures a year. The competition is simply too big. It’s great if you have made it and get to enjoy your wealth but wage slaving likely is not going to cut it, with the exception of a few very rare gigs.

      Probably the best course of action is to work hard on accelerating your career early on and tolerating being a small fish in a big pond. However, once you have achieved a certain level, you can then more easily move elsewhere and secure a much more high status position. For instance, if you have worked in banking in Zurich or software engineering in the Bay Area for a few years, you will probably stand out when applying to a related job somewhere else. Of course the pay will not match what you used to make but there is a good chance that your relative status, earning power, and quality of life will be much higher.

    2. Sound advice for any young person in the western world where small towns no longer have industry (manufacturing) to sustain a local professional class but large cities have been centralized job banks for finance, tech, and services. What is disastrous is being a big fish in a small pond (or a small fish in a small pond) too early in one’s career and developing an inflated self-worth (e.g. “I am so smart!”, “All my friends tell me I’m beautiful!”, etc.) that is exploded when realizing that your peers who did the grind early one are reaping the rewards you can’t even imagine while you think “work-life balance” made you a better prospect due to having affordable housing, community values, and a nice personality.

    1. I don’t think we’ve seen any First World nation behave with such barbarism since 1945. The more time goes on the more I have this gut feeling that October 7th was a false flag. Like the excuses the US gave for bombing Syria. It takes a while for these types of lies to be exposed, and by the time they are it’s too late. Similar to the plandemic.

      Even if October 7th wasn’t a false flag, the reaction is so disproportionate it cannot be excused by any rational person. Similar to the US’s reaction to 9/11. Even if these are not false flag operations, it’s undeniable in my mind that powerful people in high places eagerly wait for them to happen.

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