Books/mythology/metaphysics discussions moved to: loopingworld.com

This means that the site here won’t (usually) be updated and I’ll eventually copy all of book-related posts over there. The rest of the stuff will stay here for as long the site stays up (not planning of pulling it down for the foreseeable future).

UPDATE: I’ll sporadically still post here, but it will be for writing about roguelike development, tracking my own (lack of) progress, or other quirky gaming things.

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The best the “left” can do for humanity, is to go extinct

I guess I have to start by saying that I’ve been a “leftist” all my life, and while I completely abandoned the position as an ideology, and only judge things in practice, my views haven’t changed at all. And they haven’t changed now. So that title there looks like a contradiction, yes, so I’ll explain why here.

I’m tired as an observer about this endless fight and division into two factions. I only see humanity, and it’s about time that we face the consequences of our choices. I usually see things from a much higher level, for me politics are just one layer of human culture and evolution, of a species as a whole. But lets leave all this part about grander statements and lets focus on the more practical. I think it’s obvious that, world-wide (and post-Covid) there has been a rising tide of right-wing political power. There are obviously exceptions (like the UK, but due to effects of post-Brexit), but I see these as local events that don’t have lasting effects on the greater tide. I see this kind of change as inevitable. And, to be honest, I also see a pattern being followed very similar to the rise of fascism in Europe.

It doesn’t matter if its true fascism, if it’s close, or if it’s just a rhetorical argument to demonize what’s happening, what matters is an undeniable, progressive cultural hegemony of the right, that has probably started its rise before Covid, but was greatly accelerated by it. As I said other times, Covid didn’t change anything, it wasn’t a turning point. It only accelerated patterns (in the economy, culture, and everything else) that were already being enacted. We see things happening sooner, but not different things happening.

For all these reasons, this isn’t a “war”. This isn’t a fight. This isn’t a struggle between left and right, or good versus evil. We are all together in this, we are all part of the same wave. No matter the internal struggles and little battles, the overall tide is unchanged. It can be delayed, but it can’t be averted. And at the point we’re at, I’m not even sure a delay helps anything.

I do believe, after what I’ve observed through the years, that what we consider the “left”, worldwide, is either an hollow hunk, or a sock-puppet moved by the right for its own agenda. A convenient, animated straw man. All the left does in practice these days is either aping the right, or provide alibi. All the Republican strength and rhetoric exists because they have an enemy. All the propaganda, fake news and all that shit is effective because there’s a left that provides a target. The function of the left is to either delay the inevitable, or just add confusion. It’s like riding a bike with training wheels: it’s time to either go or crash. Can’t keep dragging forever and getting sunk in the “lesser bad”.

I am a pessimist, so I don’t believe there’s an happy way out. But I’m also a realist, and I’m perfectly conscious that I don’t have all the pieces, and I don’t know the outcome. When it comes to real threats like climate change, what the scientists don’t tell you is that we are already way, way, WAY too late. Sure, it’s not all the same, and a minuscule shift in the trajectory can save some millions of lives. But what Covid should have taught you, is that those who die are left behind and quickly forgotten. The world is made by who survives. Those lives lost cease to be perceived.

This process we belong to as humanity can’t be faced as a struggle between two parties. It’s just one whole. And it’s about time that humanity, as a whole, faces the outcome. And takes responsibility.

The only way out of it, whether extinction or improvement, happens still from within. Those Republican idiots drunk on propaganda need to wake up. It’s not about control, it’s not about the supremacy of a group over another. They need to have the power to make their choices, so that the stage is clear of all the smoke. Once they stop having an enemy to blame their frustrations on they will see the reality of what’s around and what they’ve brought upon themselves. They need to crash into reality. And reality is blind and deaf to propaganda and rhetoric.

(though, of course, Republicans being as dumb as they are, would rather pray than fix anything, and in the end blame god as the cause of their woes)

Accelerate, go against the wall at full speed.

We all need to crash into reality, and hope to survive the process.

Yes. Let them win.

Get It Right

I’ve been watching little bits and pieces of Soaryn’s Forgecraft (this will be gone in 2 months, fyi) and it was funny to see him retracing the same steps of ChosenArchitect.

Soaryn is testing Neoforge on 20.4, so dealing with MI, whereas ChosenArchitect is on 20.1, dealing with GTCEu Modern.

Exhibiting the same issues and ultimate aversion to this flavor of tech…

Both start steam age with full AE2 systems. They start at the end, so to speak.

The interesting part here is that they expose an inherent flaw in GT design. Soaryn was adamant NOT HAVING a compressor for the plates. Why? Because he’d rather order tons of hammers and then craft as many plates he needs at once. This type of behavior cascades on everything else. Why have all these machines all sort of nested recipes, with big motors containing smaller motors, containing other components, in a neverending microcrafting spiral?

This problem is made worse in modern iterations of GT. Originally, and still in GT6, the mod is designed around the concept of scarcity. It takes effort to go mine ores with a pickaxe, so you care about ways to squeeze out more from the same amount of material. But in modern contexts with resource generation, large veins and 3×3 fast hammers, the problem of scarcity is gone. And not only is gone, but the math is all wrong. You will speedrun through the early game much faster by SKIPPING the intended way while consuming materials inefficiently. Because you don’t care about lowering the costs, you care about crafting speed. Production speed.

The good old problem: machines have crafting times, the crafting table does not. You can always produce faster by using a crafting table than the “competing” machine.

What is the point of AUTOMATION when doing work manually is more efficient?

That’s why I’ve been observing, and making my own design experiments aimed to fix certain problems. In the context of infinite resource generation, making a mod progression turn around improved processes that utilize materials more efficiently is a pointless mechanic. Because there’s no difference if a plate costs one or two ingots: they are infinite. To fix this, my intention was to start progressively removing recipes from the crafting table. Remove the convenient option to better guide toward the intended path.

The “on boarding” has always been the real problem of GT with new players. The wall that you immediately meet, with the number of resources and micro crafting ramping up immediately. The first LV circuit being a hurdle because of the number of small components that go into it. But my own goal here is not to reduce the scope, but to shift it around. You get told to do STACKS of circuits, and if you spend time CALCULATING the costs all the way up the processing chain, you end up with big numbers that feel daunting.

Taking recipes away from the crafting table means setting up machines that do the job. And once you have those machines, you can also go the minor length to connect them for proper automation. At the end of this you have a processing chain that delivers circuits to you. One or a thousand.

Repetition is what is necessary for automation to exist. But if the manual path is more time efficient, then you’ve defeated the purpose. The “meta” of the game has broken the intended design, and the result is not improved. You are just giving players the wrong expectations, and deserve their complaints when they say GT is not fun to play.

As a general rule: everything that’s constantly on demand can be as convoluted as you like. It’s all automation. Whereas everything that has single uses, or occasionally required, should have be craftable in one step, or as close as possible to that. (and btw, rules are then made to be broken, you just need to be aware why they exist so that when you break them you know what you’re doing)

People sometime make fun of the fact that in my modpack I “merge” large parts from previous GT versions, but I always saw what I was doing as a kind of GT Greatest Hits Remix. (Originally I intended to go from GT2 onward, and then out, including Vintage Story, or Pyanodon and AngelBobs). I’m experimenting and moving around the wider context of how the different parts connect and work together. Using Create or even Farmer’s Delight cutting board because it forces a player to process items one by one manually. No batch crafting. Leading to a more natural adoption of machines. Using machines becomes MORE efficient, not worse. And once you jumpstart this process, everything that is part of production will happen in its own processing branch, and never on the crafting table. You either automate, or stop to play.

But just as a music remix is made of samples of other songs, the same applies to what I’ve done. Take it and remix it yourself any way you want. Change one thing or many. Take inspiration or copy. Do whatever you feel like doing.

My modpack was never meant to be an end. It was meant to be a platform. Whether or not it is used that way, that’s what it was intended to be.

The Drama of a JellySquid

Follow up.

There’s been ton of drama through the night. I’ve been debating with myself about doing a giant in depth archive and commentary here (and a bottomless journey in the depth of specifics). But I probably won’t: it would take a lot of time and wouldn’t be as much useful…

I have no bias against JellySquid and my “commentary” is purely specific. I do put real effort (and time) to understand things and step outside any bias.

Nothing was truly solved, through the discussion that happened (and my own responsibility was only causing very minor ripples). Some aspects require more radical questions, whereas people usually prefer going about in circles rather than being final.

Not many enjoy “the shortest path” amidst the thousandfold thought :)

…But in the end the destination was “agreed.”

And this:

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When stupidity becomes tradition

“People are never happy.”

This being used as a convenient excuse for an idiotic choice irritates me in ways you cannot conceive. If you want to make boneheaded choices at least have the courage to stand behind them, rather than abstain from responsibility and ascribe them to whims outside your control.

(thanks to “embeddedt” but that fight is beyond pointless, it’s like raging at the wind)

I don’t have dev access to this specific chat, but I would have replied if I could:

This part here is factually wrong. And because so, it’s worth discussing.

“I don’t know what versions people would even want us to target”

The whole discussion above is disingenuous. Yet, let’s pretend it’s not, and that this line is plain honest and it means what it states.

Not only I can tell you “what version people want you to target”, but I can tell you why, I can prove it’s not my personal opinion, and I can tell you how to find the answer without me telling you the answer directly. Because it is quite simple, as long one is earnestly looking for it, rather than sifting through excuses.

Of course no one dictates what someone else has to work on. The same reason why there are people, still today, developing mods for Minecraft beta, or 1.4.7, or 1.5.2.
But the argument here is not about what anyone decides to work with, but what “most” people want, in the sense of the overall community.

The root is obvious, and legitimate:

Despite Embeddedt downsizing the problem, the argument is that it takes a huge amount of overhead to maintain multiple versions. But again, no one is arguing devs CHOICES. I’m here arguing MOTIVATIONS. Your choice is “wrong” not because I get to decide for you. But because the motivation YOU OFFERED doesn’t lead logically to that choice. If that’s the motivation, then your choice is WRONG.

And here’s why.

“Most” people play mods through guided experiences we call modpacks. One obviously cannot create modpacks out of thin air. For example 1.20.3 was released just a few hours ago, it’s not viable for modpacks yet (arguably but likely, it never will). Sodium, the topic here, was just released FOR 1.20.3. Who’s going to use it? For sure people who enjoy a mostly vanilla experience will. And that’s likely still lots of people. Just as long you don’t care about the overall modding context.

Again, your choice. But if you don’t want to ignore the overall modding context, then again the answer is obvious. Even if the community is currently at its most splintered state, there are usually two versions that can be considered “active”. The main and the current.

My point is that you don’t have to rely on my opinion, about what’s main and what’s current. But you can simply find out. Then how? By looking at some of the signature mods. If we agreed that most people play modpacks, and that modpacks are good as structured experiences, then most modpacks will use quests, recipe browsers and map mods. These cases aren’t truly useful, because map mods and recipe browsers will try to support every version under the sun rather than making choices, whereas we’re looking for trends. But the main mod most of everyone uses for quest is “FTB Quests”, and this is already a straightforward answer. Current is 1.20.1, main is 1.19.2.

There is a valid argument, for example, for NOT supporting minor versions like 1.19.3/4, and the reason is that you only target main or current. Whoever is on .4, for example, wouldn’t have any real valid argument to not simply jump to current. Whereas there is a valid argument to stay on main: most mods aren’t yet updated. .3/4 have nothing specific to them that makes them valid alternatives. It’s always either main or current.

You can argue that FTB isn’t representative of the community, since it’s still a privately held company pursuing its own interests. But they still have to work with the mods the community delivers. Again, neither you nor they can build a modpack out of thin air. We all needs the mods to exist, and the more ambitious the mod the more cumbersome the technical update required to keep “version chasing”.

That’s why one of the very best “signature” mods is Botania. It always gets ported to the latest versions, but it’s slow doing so. And again, we get the answer we expect: 1.20.1 is current, 1.19.2 is main. The most recent version was released just a couple of weeks ago. That version became current, in the sense of being viable for a decent modpack in a similar timeframe. Despite 1.20.1 still lacking lots of stuff, and making 1.19.2 still “main.”

A couple of days ago I tried to put together a “modpack” for 1.20.2 neoforge, because if in the future I’m going to deal with that, then I could already have an instance ready to experiment with. This is what I got after searching for a while:

Yep, that’s all.
There would be Journeymap, but I prefer Xaero. That’s all I found (not even a recipe browser available).

It goes without saying (yet it never does), that 1.21 will be out in the next few months, that Mojang shuffled too many technical things in minor .2 and .3 versions, and that Neoforge itself is a more radical departure from .2 onward.

All these together mean that 1.21 will arrive before even a small portions of (significant) mods will be available for any 1.20.2+.

Therefore it is very much plausible and probable that the next “current” version will be 1.21.x, that any 1.20.2+ will be just technical exercises, and that there won’t even be enough time to transform 1.20.1 into “main.” The main version will jump from 1.19.2 to 1.21.x. The technical challenge to move to 1.21 will likely dilute the quality of mods even further. If 1.20 becomes main, it will be as a kind of flux, or no man’s land. Something we call main because there are no better alternatives. Rather than making 1.20.1 reach standard, it will be that the standard itself got lowered.

The community will splinter further.

In the context of Sodium, here, the premise is slightly different since Sodium is also used by vanilla players, not just modded. If we assume that Sodium’s “mission” is to version chase, then it is not realistic to expect it not release for any minor version update. 1.20.3 in this case. But since they “conceded to dual-support”, as they say, the argument above is updated, but still valid: 1.20.3 is current, 1.20.1 is main.

If you want to dual support, then you support the “current” (1.20.3 now) and main (1.20.1). That first line above from Embeddedt was right, as long you cut the “personally” it starts with. It’s not personal. It’s simply right.

The reason is that people who don’t care about the available set of mods, the vanilla players, will jump to the most recent. Modded players will stay on 1.20.1.

There isn’t a single valid reason beside internal technicalities to decide to support 1.20.2. It’s not dual-support, it’s useless overhead.

(Since this has been brought up: the tone of my blog is scathing because it’s my blog. I talk to myself. I don’t need euphemisms.)

Follow up.

The limits of AI

One limit of AI is that it cannot join random Discord servers to regurgitate its shit.

Yet it’s able to compel human beings to do just that for itself.

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The Powers That Be.

I got caught on a thing on twitter. As usual, I write for myself.
R. Scott Bakker has taught me to seek for eloquence.

Yes, I can criticize him on this platform because he makes a tiny sacrifice necessary to reap what he wants: BELIEVERS. He’s a businessman and knows what it means negotiating power.
And because he breeds believers and has lots of money, he can also survive the many mistakes he’s doing. He’s not simply seizing more power, he’s securing it.
He’s crafting a path to power and money THROUGH belief. And what belief is stronger and casts a wider net than “truth”?

That’s why he wants to shape twitter that way.
He needs to WEAPONIZE truth. Make it into a tool he can seize and wield like a sword, taking swings with a sense of moral superiority.
Moral superiority that you yourself have surrendered already to him… for free.

But of course he cannot control who posts on twitter. Not without turning into an OBVIOUS tyrant, and he doesn’t want that.
No, he wants to posture as a SAINT. As a PROPHET. Hope for humanity.

He understood, by observing the myth of cryptocurrencies, that even the success of businesses is lead by beliefs, rather than truth.
By perception rather than knowledge. That success is fabricated rather than found.
He also understood that to protect his businesses he needs a strong political support. And by closely observing Trump he understood that by projecting an image of success he can make that success true, through the belief and projection of the people looking at him.
That’s why he’s courting Right Wing politicians to have a strong presence on Twitter. Why he’s spreading a welcome mat to their feet. Appearing almost deferring to them, leaving the stage to them: because he wants them to DEPEND on him. So that he will exact favors from them, when the time will come. He’s positioning his pawns for future use.

It’s a long game, the path to power.

He has deliberately polarized the platform politically, as much as he could. So that people who disagreed would leave on their own will, just out of sheer disgust for what he says.
Causing what could be described as a “spontaneous” political alignment. Making sure to tip the scales by making the presence of opponents intolerable. Because for many, even staying on the platform would signify support. His words so despicable to make the choice to leave very easy. Even when for those who left that choice was never on the table. It was a sudden, unprecedented shift that was forced.

All the while securing an even stronger support from those who stayed and were on his side. Not anymore just of mild sympathy and appreciation for his business activities, but transformed into belief. Into necessity.
An higher function to “save humanity” from the “virus of woke.” His language has become pure virtue signaling because, again, he wasn’t simply seeking supporters, he needed BELIEVERS.
Because it is by instilling beliefs that he’ll be able to make all these people act for him. That’s how he goes from having a momentary, fickle favor, to POSSESSION of these people.
Same as Trump drove his faithfuls to the brink of sedition. No matter who “won” the elections, when who won the elections also becomes a belief. A wish, a desire. A conviction. A hunger. And then a sense of perverted justice and vengeance.

But you know what? Same as Elon would do, we can generalize: the problem posed to humanity as a whole in present times isn’t anymore mere politics. Power has moved smoothly from politicians to corporations. From puppet to puppeteer.
And corporations are even more so outside the control of easily manipulated democracy. The real problem we have aren’t men (not women) like Elon Musk, Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping, or Kim Jong Un (all five joined by their nationalistic egoism).
The real problem is the protracted control of power done by these caricatural, small, childish men. Parodies of villains in a King’s novel.

Somewhat as using The Lord of the Rings as a metaphor: power is ALWAYS toxic. No matter who wields it.

The only antidote is not allowing these men keep their power for too long. No matter how successful or unsuccessful they’ve been. No matter whether you agree with them, and made them into your hope.

For those men I mentioned, their time is LONG overdue. For Musk, he’s had a good run. Time to retire and take care of his kids. He certainly has enough money to do that.

On the Folly of Men: “Stop giving ETAs”

Time, and people wasting it. The crime isn’t what you feel, but you wasting everyone else’s time because of your own folly. When stupidity isn’t simply BORNE, but imposed on others.

There is this recurrent theme about people, organizations or whatever, having a project, having a plan, this project or plan being naturally incomplete, and so slipping away. That gap between knowledge and reality.

Cause and effect.

ETAs are given for projects people are looking up to. To manage expectations, without offering too many details: expectations thrive in blindness.

Then problems appear, delays happen. Long after delays happen people come to terms with them, until that gap between the internal and external knowledge has to be filled and those working on the project have to communicate those waiting outside that their expectations haven’t matched reality.

But who’s to blame for the irritation and disappointment when the internal and the external misaligned? We are so obviously in need of a scapegoat.

Because of blindness, because the cause is not seen, silly people think the problem is ETA and not the intervening things that caused delays.

Irritation causes people looking for something to be angry that. ETA is the convenient scapegoat, but since it’s just rhetorical, it doesn’t work. It’s illusory. Stopping giving ETAs doesn’t magically stop people from asking.

So delays happen anyway, and stopping giving official ETA only causes hundreds more people constantly asking for updates. Causing more irritation, causing more delays.

Imagine if the authors, rather than conveniently blaming their own ETA, simply had a message pinned clearly on their Discord saying: “due to xyz problems we are unable to respect end of the year deadline. New ETA is early/mid/late 2024”. And maybe write a few lines about the technical causes.

The immediate consequence is that threads like this one wouldn’t have existed. People would be educated about the nature of delays, and everyone would move on.

People don’t like the shortest path. They love taking infinite detours, and complain endlessly about their woes. Even if they are entirely their own making.

Keep believing, stay blind: light debases.

Technically: the nature of the problems rising around ETAs is the misalignment between internal and external states. It simply follow that the only way to resolve these problems is through MORE information. Not less. Enjoy a Sanderson.

“It will release when it’s ready” overlaps with “it releases when it releases”. It’s a tautology. Using tautologies means you love adding noise to the signal we all share. You love polluting shared spaces.

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