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Posts posted by Ran

  1. 9 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

    I mean, it seems pretty clear that some states in the U.S. are deliberately misrepresenting coronavirus data.

    In some of those cases you can see that what's going on is not deliberate misrepresentation, but rather attempting to grapple with the difficulties of how it does and doesn't spread and what this says for policy recommendations. DC's "community spread" metric makes sense, for example, but it's highlighted as being "scrutinized" because it omits hopefully-thoroughly-isolated clusters (nursing homes, correctional facilities) which one normally doesn't think of when you think about communities at large and their normal interactions.

    But in any case, the main point is that everyone undercounts and the vast majority do it because it's the nature of the beast and not because there's a conspiracy. 

  2. 4 minutes ago, Zorral said:

    What do you think that means, beyond you, personally, don't give a damn, Scarlett, Darling.


    That there's not a lot to be concerned about regarding the notion that undercounts are solely due to states trying to cheat or mislead people, or even that states are just ineffective at keeping track? Thought it was pretty clear in context.

  3. Undercounts are understandable when medicine doesn't work this way. It takes time to do post-mortems, get lab test results, sign and file documents, have them go through the proper chain, etc. So long as the undercount is consistent in the short term to give a sense of trendsand it eventually captures the greater part of actual cases, there's not a lot to be concerned about. 

  4. What did this corrupt administration think it was proving by releasing the Flynn-Kislyak transcript? This stuff is, if anything, worse than what had been reported. It's in black-and-white that Flynn talked sanctions (which he denied doing to the FBI and allegedly to the VP). Is this some kind of sleight of hand they're hoping to pull, like when the "perfect transcript" from the Ukraine call was anything but but they pretended otherwise?


  5. It's one study, but a number of studies and real world cases have seen droves of hospitals stop using HCQ because the side-effects were high and benefits very low. All the early studies come from the same French doctor who has been pushing CQ and HCQ, and all of his studies were also quite flawed.

    I wouldn't call it a vindication of Trump.

  6. 1 hour ago, Teng Ai Hui said:

    I'm curious to try Gaiman's Sandman books.  Should I just follow the publication order?  Or should I try the chronological order?  The latter seems interesting but also impractical as one must find 4 different graphic novels in order to read the first 6 items.

    I'd go publication order, though bearing in mind that Preludes and Nocturnes is a bit rough around the edges as initially the plan was to make it more bound into the DC universe. After, it became much more its own thing (with occasional DC references, but much rarer). 


    ETA: After you finish Preludes and Nocturnes, you may find this entertaining -- quite a well done fan film adapting a key chapter


  7. 41 minutes ago, End of Disc One said:

    I'm reading through these in publication order.  Currently on A Song for Arbonne.  I'm enjoying it but it sort of feels like a lesser book than Tigana. 

    I didn't like Arbonne all that much when I first read it, I recall, but really went for it when I re-read it some years later. There are some really moving beats as it draws to its end. Kay pushes my emotional buttons.

    41 minutes ago, End of Disc One said:

    Tigana was amazing.


    41 minutes ago, End of Disc One said:

    I don't dislike any book yet, but the third Fionnavar book was pretty boring for a good chunk of it.  Its high points were really good though.

    Kay is really, really good at the emotional, cathartic moments, right? There's sections of that last book that make me tear up if I think too much about them, some 25 years after I first read the novel. That said, I can see your point, there's a lot of moving characters around to get them all into place for the grand finale. 

  8. 16 hours ago, JEORDHl said:

    Mmn... I don't have any I dislike. Some less than others, but none that I give a big ol' nawp too.

    Yeah, I don't think there's anything like a bad GGK book, in my mind. A book someone doesn't get along with? Sure, I can definitely understand that. 

  9. Finished The Great. Huzzah! Good fun, and a surprising slice of drama at the end. There's some uncertainty whether there'll be a 2nd season or not, as originally it was announced as a miniseries, but OTOH Tony McNamara originally pitched it as a six season series, and the play he wrote that it's based on jumps in time (IIRC, he said the first 40 minutes of his play were basically his plan for the first 2 seasons). There are things here and there that make it feel like a door has been left opened to take it into another season, so we'll see. 


    I will say, I felt the Dymovs were a huge loose end in the finale. They're present but so inconsequential, yet for one thing Catherine had personally witnessed their decisiveness in violently defending Peter, and Catherine seemed to start pulling at the thread of Grigor's angst and then just seemed to forget about it. Not sure what to make of that, other than it was getting a little over-stuffed.

    Other than that, we need to catch up on What We Do In the Shadows. Oh, and I've decided to watch Curb Your Enthusiasm for the first time. Larry David's self-caricature reminds me of one of my favorite literary characters, Jack Vance's Cugel; not so much a trickster, I suppose, but his self-regard makes him so hapless that you can't help but laugh. Into the third season now, and his learning about how his mother did with her illness was so perfectly timed.

    Will get back to the Miyazaki rewatch, maybe expanding it to be a general Ghibli watch since Netflix has quite a few of the films that I've never seen before.

  10. Keep this one. I revived it when it was noted how long it'd been running, and the board definitely doesn't care about thread length any longer, really (we just lock at 400 post for most threads now partially out of habit and partially out of the theory that it promotes discussion more on hot topics).

  11. 28 minutes ago, maarsen said:


    The only way to be remembered is to have your name put on something that will last 500 years

    It's interesting to think of how things shift. Writers and philosophers and poets and artists of more than 2000 years ago seem to be pretty much locks to be remembered another 500 years from now (if the human species is in position for such things, etc.; let us be optimistic for the sake of discussion), but damned few of the ones from the 20th and 21st century are necessarily going to be remembered in the same way. I suppose partially this may be that there's all sorts of ancient artists and philosophers who are lost to us and history, so we don't care about 'em, but it's hard to imagine any currently living philosopher in the 21st century being considered part of the foundational history of modern thought as it is taught in the year 2520. Chomsky, maybe? And he's not likely to be in a junior high textbook the same way Socrates is likely to be...


    26 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

    Sure! But the idea that it replaces the kind of mega-engineering that a space elevator actually enables is really not accurate, not at all.

    I mean, space elevators can only move so many payloads at a time, and it will take days for them to crawl up into orbit. Puts a limit on things there as well, whereas presumably if there was a lot of demand you'd just build more Starships or similar craft, which spreads out the risk of catastrophic failure if you've got one space elevator vs. 10 Starships .

    That said, the more telling part on the pricing suggested for Starship vs. a space elevator is that to get the pricing suggested, all these things have to fall right for Starship (re: Musk's optimistic projections) ... but the same is not being afforded to the space elevator, despite some saying the per kilo cost would ultimately become about €50 per kilo as well if power beaming technology becomes much more efficient. Optimistic projections are fine, but then counter projections on other projects should be afforded the same generous assumptions.



  12. 5 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

    still not as reliable as an actual space elevator. 

    To be totally fair here, space elevators remain completely science fictional while super heavy rockets have already existed and Starship largely uses already-proven technologies, just at a somewhat greater scale than previous efforts. The $50 per kilo thing is far-future looking, as many of Musk's projections tend to be, and I'd put no stock in it, but the basic idea that fully-reusable super heavy rockets will achieve noteworthy things while space elevators remain nonexistent seems perfectly reasonable.



  13. 8 minutes ago, Leofric said:

    Many of my favorites have been mentioned, Spiderman 2, Ragnarok, The Dark Knight, Winter Soldier, etc, but one of my favorites is missing.      No one mentioned The Rocketeer.   It really feels like a comic book brought to life and has great cast, especially Timothy Dalton as Neville Sinclair.    And it has Jennifer Connelly.    

    Oh, shit. Yes! Right up there with RoboCop. Wonderful film, charming performances from the cast, terrific set pieces.

  14. 10 hours ago, Ran said:

    I can't pick just one, so lets try this:

    Self-quoting because I just  realized that I liked the second film in pretty much every franchise I named, which says something about origin stories I guess. (Best superhero origin film: Superman)

    If looking at non-superhero comic adaptations, Sin City and A History of Violence would be my picks, but I've not seen Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and it's been too long since I've seen Ghost World and American Splendor, both which could bear mentioning.

  15. In general, and searching online just to confirm this, I'd say the consensus has traditionally been that Lions is the best of the books. I feel like his later novels are in some ways more beautiful and nuanced than Lions, but OTOH they don't quite have characters that fire the imagination in the same way (and for the most part). There is, IMO, a fairly irresistible charm to it.

    If you enjoy Fionavar, you should try Ysabel if you haven't already.

  16. While the idea that Robert should have kept the seats for his children is sound enough, the fact is that he'd then likely just award his brothers castellan status for the two seats, and they would basically be de facto rulers and so would still relatively easily leverage them in this situation to do ... well, what they did anyways.

    Under no circumstances do I see giving Renly Storm's End any more "stupid" than giving Stannis Dragonstone, if we have to frame it that way. A gift to one invites a gift to the other.


  17. 1 hour ago, Jussi said:

    Thanks for answers.

    I am actually happy to wait as long as it takes for GRRM to finish The Winds of Winter. ASoIaF has been my favourite book series since I found it in 2002. I stopped watching Game of Thrones after season 4, and I haven't read any spoilers.

    Stopped a season earlier than I. Can’t say I’m not a little envious!


  18. I appreciate the confidence that the Biden ticket will lift up the vote down ballot and lead to a take over of the Senate. Fingers crossed!

    That said, it feels like counting one's chickens before they're hatched. Until Biden wins and until the Senate falls into the hands of the Democrats, I don't want his opinion on the filibuster, I don't want his opinion on packing the court, and any other pie-in-the-sky thing that needs a bunch of other things to happen before it's worth discussing them.

  19. On 5/23/2020 at 7:32 PM, Mexal said:

    That's episode 8. We just finished it. Really funny episode.

    Just finished episode 6. Jeez, this show is terrific...


    Learning what Marial's father did to get the family demoted to servant status made our jaws drop in awe at the insanity of it. LOL


  20. If you suppose Kennedy will just be a name despite his having been the driving force for putting man on the moon, then I have to say Musk is unlikely to be remembered for putting man on Mars; it will be the first person who steps on Mars that will get the Armstrong-type fame.

    And sure, Armstrong and Einstein are sure bets for being remembered. Gates, I'd say, will be among the great industrialists and philanthropists whose foundations live on long after they're gone, so you've got Gates and Carnegie, Rockefeller and Ford, Morgan, etc. Will Bezos be remembered the same way? Maybe. Jobs? Hmm, less certain of that, but maybe.

    I find it hard to think of what entertainer will be famed centuries from now. Kids today don't know who Jimmy Stewart is, or Laurence Olivier. Artistic fame, at least when it comes to stage and screen, is fickle indeed. It can be powerful, but it doesn't seem to last more than a handful of generations.

    Likelier that a game developer or creator will be more remembered 500 years from now -- a Shigeru Miyamoto or a Gabe Newell -- than many of the athletes one can think of. It's nice to think Muhammed Ali's name will be remembered five centuries from now, but then will there be boxing five centuries from now? I'm thinking the tide against some of the more brutal sports will slowly chip away until they're no longer popular.



  21. Yes, saw that article. I think in the early stages of this, where tests were very limited, it made sense that the resources were focused on those who were seriously ill and doctors needed to know whether this novel coronavirus was a cause or not. Spending tests on random sampling from, specifically, school workers or students was probably not in the cards. Now, though, we have lab capacity for 100,000  tests a week... but there's a bit of furor in Sweden right now over the fact that nothing like that number are actually being done, largely because the regional and communal governments can't seem to figure out how many tests they should authorize and for whom beyond the ill and essential workers (which school staff are not considered to be, though IMO I think by this stage they should be). But as the article notes, there are also legal and privacy restrictions that seem to make it harder to do research.

    That said, other than the one outbreak in Skellefteå (which seemed to be driven by adults passing it to each other) there's been little evidence of any significant cluster outbreaks in Swedish schools. It's not the kind of depth of data researchers would want, but it's something.

  22. 7 minutes ago, Mexal said:

    We're almost finished with The Great. It's hilarious and fucked up. I enjoy it immensely. 

    Just  finished the 5th episode. It is terrific. I hear the King of Sweden will be making an appearance. Looking forward to it.

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