Horrible, Offensive Geekery

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thoreau
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by thoreau »

Thanos with crushed snack foods.
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"...if that monkey gets any smarter it's going to start shorting TSLA."
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Jennifer
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer »

If you read any post-apocalyptic scifi -- specifically, the stories that start in normal society, then the apocalypse happens and you are now following the story of the survivors -- there is ALWAYS a scene where they are thinking about the Before Time, and some item which was totally taken for granted and practically worthless then, but is super-valuable now. (One specific example I recall is in "Alas Babylon," one of the earliest nuclear war novels, published in the 50s when almost everybody smoked, and thus matchbooks were ubiquitous: almost every place of business gave them away for free, often as advertising, and even non-smokers often had some for politeness reasons: a gentleman would carry matches or a lighter in case he encountered a lady in need of a light, and hosts and hostesses of course would have some for any smoking guests. In Alas Babylon, a few weeks or months after the bombs fall, the protagonist is realizing how he and his fellow survivors had been very wasteful of matches, which are now almost gone so they have to be very careful to keep their one fire burning all the time, rather than let it go out.)

I am now experiencing a much, much milder version of the same thing, since this quarantine started. A partial listing of once nearly-useless odds and ends, all of which I'd contemplated throwing away during some previous cleaning/decluttering, and all of which have since proven very useful in this odd time, includes: mini soaps and lotion bottles taken from hotels (Jeff takes one of each to work with him now, plus we both wash our hands far more frequently than we did before); the 3M "health kit" I impulse-bought years ago, containing masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and the like (Jeff also carries hand sanitizer); several damaged old shirts or nightshirts/nightgowns from the rag bag (Jeff cut makeshift masks/bandanas out of some); a large collection of hair/ponytail elastics in various sizes (possibly useful for mask-making and repair); and likely one or two additional things I can't recall right now.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b
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thoreau
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by thoreau »

Bane:
Wore a mask
Shut down sporting events
Quarantined a city
Everything was caused by a bat.
He knew, and we wouldn't listen.
"...if that monkey gets any smarter it's going to start shorting TSLA."
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Painboy
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Painboy »

This really shouldn't affect my opinion of him but it does. I mean anyone can play a game of D&D. This however, is some grade A nerdery.

Henry Cavill Is Just Like Us, Painting Warhammer Figurines to Get Through Quarantine
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JasonL
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by JasonL »

Painboy wrote: 14 Apr 2020, 12:44 This really shouldn't affect my opinion of him but it does. I mean anyone can play a game of D&D. This however, is some grade A nerdery.

Henry Cavill Is Just Like Us, Painting Warhammer Figurines to Get Through Quarantine
Cavill is the out of nowhere nerd story of our age.
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Ellie
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Ellie »

We need to find a place for him in the Vin Diesel / Terry Crews buddy cop movie.

Image
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Hugh Akston
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Hugh Akston »

I do like the Wood/Radcliffe infinite regress angle.
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lunchstealer
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by lunchstealer »

Hugh Akston wrote: 14 Apr 2020, 14:13 I do like the Wood/Radcliffe infinite regress angle.
So what do we do with Rupert Grint and Sean Astin?
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Painboy wrote: 14 Apr 2020, 12:44 This really shouldn't affect my opinion of him but it does. I mean anyone can play a game of D&D. This however, is some grade A nerdery.

Henry Cavill Is Just Like Us, Painting Warhammer Figurines to Get Through Quarantine
You can also find old footage of Peter Cushing painting miniatures. He was more into historical units.
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lunchstealer
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by lunchstealer »

"Dude she's the Purdue Pharma of the black pill." - JasonL

"This thread is like a dog park where everyone lets their preconceptions and biases run around and sniff each others butts." - Hugh Akston

"That's just tokenism with extra steps." - Jake
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Jasper
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jasper »

Painboy wrote: 14 Apr 2020, 12:44 This really shouldn't affect my opinion of him but it does. I mean anyone can play a game of D&D. This however, is some grade A nerdery.

Henry Cavill Is Just Like Us, Painting Warhammer Figurines to Get Through Quarantine

*Jeremiah Johnson nod*
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thoreau
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by thoreau »

COVID-19 could be an origin story for Asimov's Spacers, the segment of humanity that lives in total isolation from others, using technology to meet all of their needs without any direct human contact.
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Kolohe
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Kolohe »

That was only the Spacers on Solaris. The majority of the spacers were social, but only amongst their own aristocratic class.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex
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thoreau
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by thoreau »

Kolohe wrote: 15 Apr 2020, 14:59 That was only the Spacers on Solaris. The majority of the spacers were social, but only amongst their own aristocratic class.
OK, that sounds vaguely familiar.

(I haven't read those books since "Breakfast At Tiffany's was a Top 40 hit.)
"...if that monkey gets any smarter it's going to start shorting TSLA."
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lunchstealer
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by lunchstealer »

thoreau wrote: 15 Apr 2020, 15:01
Kolohe wrote: 15 Apr 2020, 14:59 That was only the Spacers on Solaris. The majority of the spacers were social, but only amongst their own aristocratic class.
OK, that sounds vaguely familiar.

(I haven't read those books since "Breakfast At Tiffany's was a Top 40 hit.)
And I said I think I remember the song.
"Dude she's the Purdue Pharma of the black pill." - JasonL

"This thread is like a dog park where everyone lets their preconceptions and biases run around and sniff each others butts." - Hugh Akston

"That's just tokenism with extra steps." - Jake
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Jadagul
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jadagul »

Kolohe wrote: 15 Apr 2020, 14:59 That was only the Spacers on Solaris. The majority of the spacers were social, but only amongst their own aristocratic class.
They were still a lot more closeness- and physical-contact-averse than the Earth humans were, I think.

But yeah, Solaris is the fucked up one where they thought it was perverse to be in the same room as another human.

(I'd had the same thought a few weeks back.)
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lunchstealer
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by lunchstealer »

Everybody's dunking on Dennis Prager right now, but this touched my heart.

"Dude she's the Purdue Pharma of the black pill." - JasonL

"This thread is like a dog park where everyone lets their preconceptions and biases run around and sniff each others butts." - Hugh Akston

"That's just tokenism with extra steps." - Jake
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b »

Seen elsewhere:
Camilla: "You, sir, should wear your mask."
Stranger: "Indeed?"
Cassilda: "Indeed it's time. We are all socially distancing but you."
Stranger: "I wear no mask."
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) "No mask? No mask!"
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
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JD
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by JD »

When I was a kid, I grew up with these pictures of dinosaurs as lumbering, stodgy creatures that could barely support their own weight, like this

Image

and later with the impression that all old depictions of dinosaurs were like that. But they weren't; this painting is from 1897:

Image

(The painting is inaccurate for other reasons, but at least it depicts them as active and agile. The painting is by Charles Knight, who got a lot of things about dinosaurs wrong, but he was apparently guided in his depiction of Laelaps/Dryptosaurus by E.D. Cope and Henry Fairfield Osborn, the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History.)
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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Jennifer
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer »

This-here comment COULD go under random observations OR petty annoyances, but my train of thought ended up disembarking somewhere JUST geeky enough to qualify for this thread:

I recently (post-covid) have made a few posts about a minor problem of mine: due to my history of kidney stones, and desire to avoid history repeating itself that way, I drink copious quantities of water, far more than a regular person of my size, perspiration and respiration rates, and other factors would need. And since warm water is the boringest of beverages, I prefer my drinking water ice-cold, literally as cold as freshwater can get while remaining in liquid form -- my ideal standard drink is not "add ice to a glassful of water" but "add water to a glassful of ice."

My ordinary home freezer cannot possibly produce ice cubes fast enough to keep up with my drinking habits, so what I do is take plastic drinking bottles holding a bit more than a liter apiece, fill them roughly halfway with water, freeze them, then top off those "ice bottles" with water. (The bottle I am currently drinking from is one I removed from the freezer about an hour ago; just before I started typing this comment, I got up to refill it with water again, because it contained nothing but a big misshapen ice cube. Given the temperature today, I estimate I'll have maybe another hour before ALL of the ice in this bottle has melted; when that happens I will again fill it halfway with water, stick it back in the freezer, and take out a fresh ice bottle.) These bottles were sold in insulated holders with shoulder straps, for people to carry on hikes and such. When I go out I use one of those holders to carry a bottle with me, but I can't do this at home because, here in Georgia, the humidity is such that if I use those insulated holders ALL the time, they'll get all mildewy and gross.

So at home I drink from a plastic bottle that is ice-cold to the touch ('cuz it's literally full of ice, duh), and also extremely wet to the touch (especially on days like today when the windows are open and climate control/AC is off), thanks to the combination of high humidity and the scientific principle of condensation. The amount of condensation that collects on my at-home ice bottles defies even the biggest and most absorbent of drink coasters, so I was CONSTANTLY doing things like, switching out damp coasters for dry ones, stacking old washcloths underneath coasters in a vain attempt to absorb all that moisture, and so on ... until I finally had the Captain Obvious insight of abandoning the coasters and putting the bottles in -- not full-fledged bowls, exactly, but various bowl/plate hybrids, such as the Lenox porcelain candy dish I found in a Goodwill a couple weeks ago.

I already have the at-home drinking habit of getting up every so often to add more tapwater to my ice bottle, but now, when I do this, I don't just carry the ice bottle to the sink (and leave a trail of condensation-drippings everywhere I go); what I do is carry the [candy dish/ bone china deep-saucer / porcelain thingy that I'm not sure WHAT its original intended function was] to the sink, and dump out all the condensation.

The "offensive geekery" connection comes in because the first time I poured a few teaspoons' worth of collected condensation out of the bottom of that candy dish, I thought about the first Star Wars movie, where Luke and his family were "water farmers" on the desert planet of Tattooine ... obviously, the crops I've been harvesting (and discarding) aren't enough for me to make a full-fledged living off it, the way Luke's aunt and uncle do, but I entertained myself by thinking, I could maybe do this as a side hustle, make a couple hundred extra dollars [galactic credits] every month selling premium-price organic artisanal wild-caught water. Get one of my friends with graphic-design ability to whip up a colorful and eye-catching label for the bottles or cans of water, similar to the eye-catching labels you see on premium indie beers ... or, for a more profitable (though sociopathic) option, I could market the water alongside some woowoo bullshit explaining how this will realign the chakras of anyone with a quantum midiclorian deficit, or something.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b
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Jennifer
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Jennifer »

Also, a pettily annoying random observation related to my last comment: when I have an ice bottle that's brand-new out of the freezer, with the bottle's contents completely frozen except for the relatively small amount of water I just-now added to top it off, the condensation on the outside of the bottle will immediately re-freeze. So i need to be careful during the first minute or so a bottle is out of the freezer -- more than once I have picked up a bottle, and the porcelain candy dish or china saucer rose with it, because even with an upper-70s room temperature, the frozen condensation temporarily "fused" the ice bottle and its ceramic coaster-equivalent together.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b
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Hugh Akston
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Hugh Akston »

I just noticed that the cast list for Dr Strange includes a character called Tina Minoru, who is the mother of Nico Minoru of the Runaways. She's in the scene toward the end where they arm up to defend the Hong Kong Sanctum, and she is clearly grabbing the Staff of One.

Image

The character apparently has a significant role in the Runaways TV series, but she's played by a different actor. I just think it's cool that Marvel threw that little easter egg in there.
"Is a Lulztopia the best we can hope for?!?" ~Taktix®
"Well if they're blaming libertarians again then things must be going back to normal." ~dbcooper
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Eric the .5b
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by Eric the .5b »

I got pointed to "The Ones Who Stay and Fight" by N. K. Jemisin, her answer to/variation on "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas".

I think the best I can say of it is that it thoroughly avoids some of the inanities of "Omelas" and actually has a point beyond "lol you can't even imagine a perfect society". And, well, some people do have the reader-reactions described by the authorial voice...but, you know, not having those reactions, I'm left unaffected. Even within the parable frame, I kept having fundamental wait, what? reactions, and outside the parable...yeah, I dunno.


(But then, I'm still wondering at the source of the idea that some seemingly idyllic society having some horrific and wildly incongruous flaw makes it more "believable". I've never actually seen a story where that even vaguely seemed to be the intent, and I've never actually heard actual people voice that opinion. The revelation of such a horrific flaw is always simply the dramatic twist, usually in a wildly unrealistic fashion, because a story needs tension and a genuinely perfect society doesn't give you much of that. I suspect it's a dead unicorn trope, as the kids say.)
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
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JD
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by JD »

I would sum them up as follows:
Le Guin: Here's this utopia; oh wait it's not really a utopia because it's built on suffering.
Jemisin: Here's this utopia, and it's utopia because they kill anybody who has wrongthink.

Oh, OK, it's not directly because they kill people who have wrongthink, it's because they all care deeply about each other's happiness. Killing dissidents is just the way they express that. Utopia is maintained by bright lines: you're allowed to differ ("Um-Helatians still have differences with each other, of opinion and otherwise. Of course they do! They’re people.") but only within rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.

In the end, they're not so different: in both cases, society is maintained through the use of force against a minority. And Omelas does have malcontents of a sort, from whom the story draws its title, while Um-Helat basically doesn't have any. Nobody walks away from Um-Helat. Even the people who get killed aren't malcontents per se, they don't want to overturn society, they are horrified by what they see on our world, they are literally just people who explored forbidden knowledge. Killing them is apparently OK because they're adults who "knew those consequences and accepted them": no word about people who didn't accept them; maybe they don't count. (In an interview, Jemisin basically says it's OK if they suffer because they "bring the contagion of suffering to others." I think that's a copout because the executed have literally done nothing more than learn and talk about the fact that suffering is possible, i.e., thoughtcrime.) The little girl is basically predicted to buy into Um-Helat society unquestioningly. What happens if she doesn't? The story doesn't explicitly say. Did you think this story would end with the cold-eyed slaughter of a child? Silly reader! No, she'll be led gently away by the hand and gently explained to, until she understands. And if she doesn't? then, uh...hey, look, a beautiful garden!

And that leads me to something really interesting I noticed in a specific comparison of the two stories: in Omelas, the condition of the child is depicted in unblinking grimness and squalidity - filth and abuse - but in Um-Helat, everything is beautiful. The enforcers are beautiful. Their clothes are beautiful. Their weapons are beautiful. The execution is carried out with exquisite kindness and delicacy. The bodies are buried in a beautiful garden. This honestly seems like a kind of moral cowardice on Jemisin's part. If the act is morally acceptable, it's no less morally acceptable if it's carried out by squat, sullen people dressed in filthy rags, wielding crude gore-caked clubs. But that wouldn't suit the thrust of the story. Everything has to be beautiful because everything in this society is perfect and beautiful, including killing freethinkers and dissidents. You will save the child from the dungeon by killing a man in front of his daughter for having known forbidden things, but don't worry, you'll be exquisitely dressed.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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JD
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Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

Post by JD »

A postscript: while writing this, I was reminded of Ray Bradbury's "The Flying Machine", in which a man is executed for the crime of committing an act that directly hurts no one but opens the possibility that someone might someday. The parallels are actually a bit startling...
The machine was a garden of metal and jewels. Set in motion, the birds sangs in tiny metal
trees, wolves walked through miniature forests, and tiny people ran in and out of sun and shadow,
fanning themselves with miniature fans, listening to tiny emerald birds, and standing by impossibly
small but tinkling fountains.

"Is It not beautiful?" said the Emperor. "If you asked me what I have done here, I could answer
you well. I have made birds sing, I have made forests murmur, I have set people to walking in this
woodland, enjoying the leaves and shadows and songs. That is what I have done."

"But, oh, Emperor!" pleaded the flier, on his knees, the tears pouring down his face. "I have done
a similar thing! I have found beauty. I have flown on the morning wind. I have looked down on all
the sleeping houses and gardens. I have smelled the sea and even seen it, beyond the hills, from
my high place. And I have soared like a bird; oh, I cannot say how beautiful it is up there, in the
sky, with the wind about me, the wind blowing me here like a feather, there like a fan, the way the
sky smells in the morning! And how free one feels! That is beautiful, Emperor, that is beautiful too!"

"Yes," said the Emperor sadly, "I know it must be true. For I felt my heart move with you in the
air and I wondered: What is it like? How does it feel? How do the distant pools look from so high?
And how my houses and servants? Like ants? And how the distant towns not yet awake?"

"Then spare me!"

"But there are times," said the Emperor, more sadly still, "when one must lose a little beauty if
one is to keep what little beauty one already has. I do not fear you, yourself, but I fear another
man."

"What man?"

"Some other man who, seeing you, will build a thing of bright papers and bamboo like this. But
the other man will have an evil face and an evil heart, and the beauty will be gone. It is this man I
fear."

"Why? Why?"

"Who is to say that someday just such a man, in just such an apparatus of paper and reed, might
not fly in the sky and drop huge stones upon the Great Wall of China?" said the Emperor.
No one moved or said a word.
"Off with his head," said the Emperor.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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