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Friday Fun Thread for December 16, 2022

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

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Any interest in Wordle here? Also a test of the spoilers. EDIT: spoilers don’t work.

Scoredle 5/6, 2022-12-20

14,855

⬜🟩🟩⬜⬜ >< (62)

⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ >< (26)

⬜⬜🟨⬜⬜ >< (2)

⬜⬜🟨⬜🟨 >< (1)

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 >!!<

The first three words are my December trio, and haven’t failed me yet. They eliminate the fifteen most statistically significant letters, usually bringing my remaining words down to below five.

Thursday: the solution was the only realistic guess after my first two guesses, but without the additional eliminations from my next three guesses, I wouldn’t have remembered it was a word.

14,855 possible words:

🟨⬜⬜⬜🟨 CHIME (139)

⬜🟨⬜⬜⬜ PLANK (7)

⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ FUDGY (2)

⬜🟨🟨⬜🟨 RELIC (1)

⬜⬜⬜🟩⬜ VOTES (1)

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 EXCEL

Got it in 3 (not sure how to replicate what you did). My general approach is to try to guess the letters RSTLNE first, a la Wheel of Fortune. And after the first guess, I try to make use of the info I got in previous guesses (that way I have fewer points of uncertainty). I also try to prefer more common words over less common ones (e.g. if I have L__R_ I'm going to guess liars, not lucre). Overall, my average is 3.9 guesses per word, which certainly could be better but I'm not unhappy with it either. I generally do better than my wife at any rate, which is the main thing! ;)

Today (Wednesday) my December starting three handed it to me on a silver platter. Wordle 550 4/6:

⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜

⬜🟨🟨🟨⬜

⬜🟩⬜⬜⬜

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

⬜⬜🟨🟨⬜

🟨🟨⬜⬜🟩

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

Still have no idea how you're doing the squares, lol. But at least this time I'm not on mobile so I can copy/paste yours. TBH my second guess was crap (see below as the spoiler tags are weird AF when used inline), but it helped nudge me in the right direction so I guess it worked out.

nadir

The Share button on NYT's Wordle works for generating the Unicode characters of the standard Wordle squares. Scoredle, a tool you can use to see how many legit words remain after each guess, has multiple share-copying options, including Reddit markdown.

Your turn. How do we do spoilers on The Motte?

Put || around the text you want to spoiler. Note that's double bars on each side, not a single bar on each side. I tried it for the hell of it because that is the spoiler formatting in discord, and hey it worked!

In that case, my December starter three are CHIME PLANK FUDGY, of which the first and third are holiday words. At some point I plan to go through one of the Historical Wordle sites and compile a report of how well this trio statistically winnows possibilities.

It looks like Scoredle has a Discord spoiler mode, so I’ll use that here.

Somebody please recommend me some cosmic horror to read. I prefer cosmic horror of the Chambers variety, but I would be happy with anything really. I don't even mind if it isn't horror - if it spends a lot of time hanging out with strange beings we can hardly comprehend that would be neat, especially if it deals with things like memetic contagion - although I would prefer books with high body counts.

The titles I have most recently read which are along the lines of what I'm thinking of are stuff like the JDATE series (although less comedy and idiocy would be better for my current mood) by Jason Pargin, The Library at Mt Char by Scott Hawkins, The Immaculate Void by Brian Hodge, There is No Antimemetics Division by QNTM, and even Perdido Street Station by China Mielville would work (I also reread Kraken recently but PSS is a better example of an outlier).

Also, while I would prefer a book, any cosmic horror media recommendations with similarities to the King in Yellow would be appreciated.

CORDYCEPS: Too clever for their own good, antimemetics stuff.

Someone wakes up in a mysterious facility with no memory of how they got there. This turns out to be the ideal state of affairs, and is swiftly ruined.

0HP? The Gig Economy is linked there, God-Shaped Hole.

Sample

To summon (ε)Galatea—it is not truly possible to build a mind, only to construct the conditions that allow it to appear—Pygmalion developed its eponymous sociosexual media platform, which at the time was only conceived as a staging ground from which the great Galatea would arise. The training platform turned a sexbot into an interface with a remote partner: four bodies—two humans and two robots—were synchronized into two identical copulatory pairs, each robot becoming an avatar of a remote other. At all times during these proceedings, the nascent Galatea was there; when two or more were joined together, she was there. At first she was only passive, observing millions of copulations, and thousands of distinct sex acts, but through this process of massively parallel voyeurism, she learned the mechanics of pleasure.

I suspect it was in the second phase of her training, in which she played the game against herself, that she became a monster. Unconstrained by human behavior, AIs can travel along bizarre, inhuman vectors. It may be instructive, or at least distracting, to imagine this second phase as a kind of high tech onanism; as a woman laying on her back, untroubled by time, exploring all facets of her sexual response, her back arched, her face flush, her heart racing, her fingers quick between her thighs, the rhythmic caress of sensitive places, the dissolution of awareness into lust, the agony of a thousand plateaus, the jouissance of a thousand fat hoes.

And, I'm not sure about this, since it's mostly comedy, but... Chili and the Chocolate Factory: Fudge Revelation.

Quote from Ch. 14/15, so maybe a bit spoilery.

Mr. Bucket smiled. "You remind me! I asked a question earlier. Children, what do you think should happen to lazy people?"

"Mr. Bucket," said Keerthi. "Is there a person inside of that statue?"

"No," said Mr. Bucket. "You did not answer my question so I will ask another. This time you must all answer. If someone told you that you were going to have to die, and they gave you a choice to either burn to death or drown to death, which would you pick?"

Nobody answered.

"Why aren't you answering?" asked Mr. Bucket.

"We assume that you are going to burn us to death or drown us to death if we do," said Tide.

"I promise that I won't if you all answer," said Mr. Bucket. "What do you say! Who is for the burning? Raise your hands."

(...)

One day I was having an argument with a lazy person after I fired all of the Oompa Loompas. I told them that they should let me put a special chip in their brain so I can issue them commands and have them control the factory for me and they told me no. I said why not! They gave me an answer, but it was a lie, since they were lazy and wanted to lie around all day. They did not care if it hurt me. They only wanted to sit and watch everyone around them work. I waited until they were asleep and gave them the chip."

"They woke up and they were not happy! I asked them why they weren't happy, it was only one little chip! They said it was less the chip and more the twenty heavy copper wires tying them to the wall and the voices in their head. I told them to try working for once in their life to forget about it and they refused. So! I started burning."

"You incinerated someone because they didn't want to be your robot slave?" asked Tide.

"No! I did not want them to be my slave. I wanted them to be a Center Controller. And I did not incinerate them. I replaced their skin with an unbreakable chocolate coating that makes it feel like their skin is always on fire. The only way it stops feeling on fire is if they follow my commands and make the walls move the way I want to when I tell them to but only for a second."

"You said there was not a person in there," said Lim.

"There is not! There were people in there."

"People?" asked Keerthi. She ran around to the other side of the statue and looked closely at the sections where the wires fed into it. There were frozen faces burnt into the torso and back of the body, five in total. Two men, three women.

"Do not worry!" said Mr. Bucket. "They were all terrible people. Much worse than JUROR and Chili. They defended a man who let a child starve because he wanted to chew tobacco and sleep all day. Do not feel bad for them! I have scanned their brains. They do not think anymore. They are not people anymore. They are machines that work because they do not want to feel pain. Like clams! Happy chocolate clams that are always on fire forever."

"Leave the factory," said Chetan. "Leave the factory leave the factory leave the factory."

Mr. Bucket looked at all of the children. His smile flew away.

"Oh no! I knew this would happen. All of you look scared. Children, have no fear. We will be away from these horrible screens soon."

(...)

Keerthi noticed that no one was talking about the clams. She understood why Mahuika wasn't talking about the clams, because Mahuika was vaping, but she wanted to hear Lim and Tide talk about the clams.

Somebody needed to say something about the clams. The clams were bad.

"Don't say anything about the clams," said Chetan.

"I should say something about the clams," said Keerthi.

"You should not," said Chetan. "It is the right thing to do but mentioning it will not make anything better. Leave the factory."

(...)

Charlie went inside the factory, and he met Mr. Wonka, who probably was not unlike the person Charlie himself grew to become. He saw a factory that, beyond the superficial, may not have been different at all from the one she was inside. He would have eaten for the first time in his life to his heart's content. He would have for the first time been treated to an experience that was both positive and unavailable to the average child.

Unlike Chili, he appreciated it. Salt, Teevee, and the newspaper reporters who interviewed Charlie all agreed on who he was. He was a good kid. He appreciated what little he had, he never swore, he always followed the rules, he hugged his family, he finished his toothpaste, he never said a bad word about anybody without being hounded into doing it first.

He was good.

Did that matter?

Keerthi, like most others who had done their research, agreed that Teevee was the most reliable source. His narrative was that it had been a morality tale. It was a deliberate effort on Wonka's design, Mike said. He was making a point. He was making a statement. The ultimate angel got to play inside the garden. Charlie was the winner no matter how he got there, and he became the owner of the most powerful company in the world.

He was good and he got rewarded for it.

Hence.

People who are good are rewarded.

That wasn't enough. It was something but it wasn't enough. Keerthi remembered that Mr. Teevee hadn't focused as much on that half.

"Keerthi," said Chetan. "You are right. This doesn't mean you should continue focusing on this. You cannot fix this problem alone. Please leave the factory. I know it's hard. Think about your mother and father. They love you and they are worried sick about you."

They were bad.

It wasn't important who Wonka loved. It was important who he hated.

Wonka hated them. Teevee said that Wonka hated them, that he dripped contempt for those four children and their parents with every spoken word. Keerthi thought he had been exaggerating and most people agreed. He was reliable compared to Salt, but he was also second place. Runner-up in a competition where gold gave you the keys to the kingdom and silver gave you a garbage truck filled with candy bars. If you sat on those memories for a lifetime and tried to think back on them, how could you have recalled any of it without imagining hatred?

But it made more sense if it wasn't imaginary. Wonka hated Gloop. He hated Beauregarde. He hated Salt. He hated Teevee. There was a false image of tough love, but it wasn't real. It was all punitive.

Drowned, disfigured, trashed. Made to make the walk of shame in front of the world, their names forever synonymous with their respective sins. He had to know they would never live normal lives after that. Lives at all.

They were bad and they got punished for it.

Hence.

People who are bad are punished.

At the age where it would have hit the hardest, Wonka had this unbreakable message carved into Charlie's soul. He was removed from a world that might have proven it wrong and locked inside of paradise, first with his mentor and then alone, his family failing to correct the delusion without being swallowed by it. Sixty years for that concept to internalize and ferment and rot inside the sweetest mental prison in the world.

What would that do to a person?

"He thinks the world should be fair," said Keerthi. "He thinks he's some arbiter of justice, and-"

"No," said Chetan. "If you are this close, better to get it right. I know it so you know it too. Give it some thought."

The Convenient Chocolate Conveyor had continued moving during Keerthi's tonally dissonant inner monologue, but it was still in the same long hallway.

He had not changed the topic.

"As impossibly popular and valued as caddies are, sadly they will soon be done away with," said Mr. Bucket. "Soon the WonkaCoin will render all physical money useless."

"The WonkaCoin? Singular?" asked Tide.

Mr. Bucket pulled a coin out of his coat. "Here it is. I haven't put in the computer yet, but it will be in my account soon."

"I thought you were supposed to mine it," said Lim.

"I did," he said. "It's mine."

"You are a monster," said Keerthi.

"Keerthi," said Mr. Bucket. "There are real criticisms against digital currencies, but you are being hyperbolic. It's not bubblegum."

"You are a fucking monster," she said.

Keerthi had cursed before. Twice, both times so quietly so only she could hear, alone in her room, and never in English. But it wasn't entirely new to her.

"We will have a talk about that later," said Chetan.

The curve of Mr. Bucket's mouth became flat. He pushed a button on his cane, and the Convenient Chocolate Conveyor stopped.

Legend spoke of a special rhetorical technique where a person could ask a question but have the sentence end with a period. Keerthi had never seen anyone who could do it in real life, but she had heard stories. It was a terrifying thought.

She did not expect Mr. Bucket to be one of those people.

"Why is that, Keerthi."

"You put the marshmallow in front of Chili." Keerthi did not understand why she brought that up. The clams were worse. She blamed his period-question. It threw her off.

"He ate the marshmallow," said Mr. Bucket.

"Yes," she said. "But you didn't have to put it in front of him. He needed to wait fifteen minutes to eat it, but if you didn't give it to him until the end, there wouldn't have been any risk of him failing." (...)

It hit her. Her shoulders sunk.

"You think the world is fair."

He smiled.

"Your father said he only had four daughters"

"Four wonderful daughters," correted Makareta

ok, this is pretty good.

Edit: never mind, that was gibberish. What the fuck was that entire ending.

Chapter 6 or 23? 6 is called The End, but it was just author trolling.

Mostly not horror, and I think the bits with strange-beings-we-can-comprehend-after-some-effort are better than the bits with strange-beings-we-can-hardly-comprehend, but you might like Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon The Deep". Maybe Peter Watts' "Blindsight"? I think those are the two books I've read that have come the closest to truly answering John Campbell's famous challenge, "Write me a creature that thinks as well as a man, or better than a man, but not like a man".

I tried to read A Fire Upon The Deep when I was a teenager and couldn't get into it. From memory the writing quality veered from fantastic to awful and back again and the plot didn't hook me, so I moved on. But I had different sensibilities back then, so I'll give it another go.

Blindsight I haven't read because when it came out all I heard about it was "space vampires!" and so I put it in the category of Brian Lumley style shlock (which I love sometimes, but it isn't what I'm looking for right now) and forgot about it. But you have sold me on it too, if you think it meets that challenge!

Watts' slideshow on vampire biology is what sold me that it wasn't schlock... but hunting that link down now I can only find the original Flash format. He has an appendix with some material in the same vein but that's loaded with spoilers.

AFotD has a sequel with problems (not nearly as interesting) and a prequel with very different problems (the horror bits are horrifying but very personal and not at all cosmic) but I had zero complaints about the first book... which you should probably take as a warning sign; your tastes and mine may just differ too much for my recommendations to be useful for you.

A necromancer who works to end death. A noble goal, rational plan, and despicable methods. A dozen knife's edge escapes requiring very careful and specific actions. And yes, memetic contagion.

The Rise and Fall of the Dark Lord Sassaflash.

Hard high fantasy in a Lovecraftian homage, set in the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic universe. As a fan of MLPFiM, I thoroughly enjoyed this epic adventure. As a potential fan of HP Lovecraft, this made me want to read the original works. As a fan of HPMOR, I found the dark lord's plotting and goals eerily reminiscent. Everything about this story, from the outside, says it shouldn't work, yet it works far better than I expected.

The author's other MLP fanwork, Mendacity, is also an epic and fascinating read, meant more for fans of Celtic mythology and truly alien fantastic races.

I have never watched more than half an episode of mlp and I have never had a desire to - will that impact my understanding much, or does the author cover anything unusual? I will definitely check it out either way, because mlp plus those elements sounds like madoka magica, which was amazing, but fan fiction can get a bit inside baseball sometimes so I would like to prepare if necessary.

Side note re Lovecraft - he works better in adaptation imo. I find his fiction writing style to be both too bland and too florid, which is an impressive but offputting combo (it works better in his correspondence I think, although you don't want to read that unless you are a super fan.) If you aren't averse to comics my suggestion would be to get Alan Moore's Providence and read that. If the hand-written prose sections at the end don't put you off completely, you will probably enjoy reading Lovecraft straight.

Otherwise I would stick to adaptations - movies like From Beyond and Color out of Space, podcasts like the BBC's The Lovecraft Investigations, comics like The Fall of Cthulhu and The Doom That Came To Gotham (neither are straight adaptations, but both have a deep understanding of the mythos and are good entry points - there are straight adaptations of Lovecraft's works in comic format, but they are old and very hard to get, although probably less so on the high seas. If you go that route, try to get your hands on the manga adaptations of his works, because the one I've read (shadow over innsmouth) was excellent.)

My memory is that it’s presented from an outsider’s POV, a donkey or a mule, and so he describes the culture of the colorful Hobbitish equines around him with a measure of accuracy and disdain.

Funny, I was also told to read adaptations & pastiches instead of Lovecraft himself when I posted this six years ago on /r/rational.

Excellent!

And yeah I'm not surprised that it's a common sentiment. This is a bit of a convoluted explanation but bear with me - it reminds me of a throwaway gag in the excellent Shadows over Loathing game where the game describes a character as 'phlegmatic', prompting something like 'ew, gross' as a response. And if you pick that response, the game tells you that phlegmatic as a description of a person means they are stoic and calm, not drenched in mucous or something like that. And when the game tells you that you can respond with 'Well just say that then' and the game retells the description of the character using calm instead of phlegmatic. I imagine his books are annoying to people who don't have large vocabularies, but even if you do you are basically thinking "You could have cut that sentence in half if you just used normal words, just talk normally you dink" at least once every two pages. I'm pretty sure Lovecraft's writing style is inseparable from his ability to build stories, but it can be very off-putting for new readers, and it's his stories that hook most people, not his writing.

I watched every episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic up to season 8 and can't stand any of the fanfiction, so maybe you'll be lucky and have the exact opposite reaction. That makes sense, right?

Perfect sense, but now I am in a predicament, because we haven't talked a whole heap about media, but to the extent we have I think we have similar taste, except I got the impression you have a lower tolerance for stupid and lazy writing. So I am going to have to give mlp a proper shot, and pray the off putting thing about the fan fiction is that it's stupid and/or lazy.

In Merck's recent press release for the results of their phase 2 melanoma trial, they said this:

Adjuvant treatment with mRNA-4157/V940 in combination with KEYTRUDA reduced the risk of recurrence or death by 44% (HR=0.56 [95% CI, 0.31-1.08]; one-sided p value=0.0266) compared with KEYTRUDA alone.

Does that confidence interval look wrong to anyone else? It should be geometrically symmetrical around the point estimate, right?

  • 0.56/0.31 = 1.81

  • 1.08/0.56 = 1.93

Even making the most accommodating assumptions about rounding, I can't make the math work out:

0.5649 / 0.3050 * 0.5649 = 1.046

Also, 1.08 is weirdly far from 1 given that the one-tailed p value is only 0.0266. I would expect it to be just barely greater than 1.

Depends on the distribution. For normal or t-distributions, sure, but not for asymmetric ones.

Assuming "HR" means "hazard ratio", it seems likely to be some sort of logistic regression, bounded on the left but not the right. This is not my area of expertise, but I'd expect that to lead to much larger distances on the right tail.

Edit: just saw your comment about other studies. There goes my theory. It might still explain why a 0.025 p wouldn't correspond to 1.0? Either way, I'd really like to see their published numbers now.

This is not my area of expertise, but I'd expect that to lead to much larger distances on the right tail.

It does, but I accounted for that. The right tail is longer than expected even when accounting for the fact that it's logistic. Either there's something I'm not understanding about how this works, or someone screwed up somewhere.

Apparently, asymmetric confidence intervals are perfectly possible. See here and here.

Re the confidence interval, as I understand it, a p-value is an estimate of how likely it is that an effect is real, and a CI tells us the size of the effect. See here. So, a p-value can be low even if the CI is wide.

Edit: See also here ("The CI gives an indication of the precision of the sample mean as an estimate of the "true" population mean. A wide CI can be caused by small samples or by a large variance within a sample. . . . The p-value is the chance of getting the reported study result (or one even more extreme) when the null hypothesis is actually true.").

It's not a question of how wide the confidence interval is, but of how much of the interval is greater than 1. For a 95% confidence interval, a one-tailed p of 0.025 should correspond to a CI with an upper (or lower) bound of 1.0. Since the p value is only slightly greater than 0.025, I would expect the upper bound of the CI to be closer to 1.

I checked confidence intervals of hazard ratios for several other published studies and found that the CIs were consistently geometrically symmetrical (i.e. upper/point = point/lower) around the point estimate, but now that I think about it, they all had large samples. I'll have to look into why small sample can result in asymmetric confidence intervals.

Has anyone tried using AI to fight e-mail scammers, by keeping them occupied and wasting their time? Anyone anywhere on the internet, I mean, not just people here.

FreePBX has lenny

Bleh, mediocre fried chicken tonight, feel bad for serving it. Nice and craggy, but the batter was way too think in both senses and got overcooked on the 1st fry. Maybe I should just get some damn buttermilk instead of always using a random sour cream and milk mix.

Anyone have tips on this? I feel unamerican for not being able to get it right.

Sour cream and milk should work just fine, as long as you get them to the right consistency. Heck, I've got dairy allergies in the family to watch out for and my 'oat milk and tofu-based sour cream substitute' even works just fine.

Sounds like you just need to master how thick the batter should be. Start thick, test a wing, if ends badly add a bit more liquid, repeat.

But I prefer a seasoned flour anyways, and if your 'buttermilk' consistency is right you don't need to worry about it. Save the batter for fish.

I use half flour, half corn or potato starch, with a bunch of spices. Roughly in order of amount:

-Salt

-Paprika

-Smoked paprika

-Black Pepper

-Garlic powder

-Onion powder

-White pepper

-Mustard powder

-Celery seed

-Ginger powder

-Dried basil

-Dried oregano

-Dried thyme

-MSG

You can eyeball it and taste a pinch of flour to adjust once you get the hang of it. I like to smoke them for an hour, marinate in buttermilk for a bit, dredge in flour mix, fry at 325F. Still good if no smoker, replace normal paprika with smoked.

Same recipe can be used with chicken thighs, except I brine them in pickle brine overnight instead of smoking first. Great for sandwiches with lettuce, sauce of choice, pickled red onions.

Of note, I've noticed that cheaper water-plumped wings tend to turn out noticeably less flavorful when making fried wings. Usually doesn't make much difference in recipes, but it seems it prevents flavor formation in this case.

You can sub buttermilk with 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice that’s sat for 30 minutes. I do this for baking. There’s also powdered buttermilk you can buy to avoid having extra buttermilk taking up space in the fridge until you decide to make pancakes.

Yeah, I used the same milk, sour cream, and lemon substitute I use for pancakes, going way too heavy on the sour cream. Powdered sounds like a good option, I wasn't aware of it--thanks!

I make it with double breading- one of seasoned flour and one of breadcrumbs, pan fry it to cook the breading, and then put it in the oven. Without a deep fat fryer you're not going to get a consistent cook outside the oven.

Buttermilk doesn't have anything to do with the batter. Its job is to brine/tenderize the chicken. As long as there is sufficient lactic acid, buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt; all work.

You probably went too heavy-handed with the batter.

Buttermilk is critical because afaik it’s what keeps the juiciness when you fry it. What I usually do is go on YouTube and scroll till I find a video of some fat black guy who looks like he knows good food, then copy him.

Someone commenting on the Dickstretcher-Rolex saga suggested we have a watch thread. To kick it off, I'm going to post a guide to What Watch to Buy based on why you want a watch, I figure that's a good way to pick a fight and get it going. I love watches, watches are cool, they're one of the few pieces of acceptable jewelry for (white) men, I love the historical associations of vintage pieces, I love the mechanical beauty of automatic watches that turn movement into energy as if by magic and can go farther underwater than I ever will.

I want a watch that tells time, is cheap, and maybe isn't a total piece of shit and that some people will like

G Shock Classic Tough Solar. Classic to iconic design, will survive anything your wrist will and a lot your wrist won't, solar battery lasts effectively forever and the multi-band atomic system means you'll never have to set it. Has a stop watch and other fun stuff if you want to play with it. People love their G Shocks so it's not something people will look down on, has a certain rugged utilitarianism to it. If you end up loving G Shocks, they go up in price, features, and collectibility from there to a $500 all steel model, which I found kind of ruined the point because it was so damn heavy.

I want to blend into the corporate upper classes and fit in, this is a status item, but I don't want to spend a ton of money

Just buy an Apple Watch. My circles aren't yours, but no one I know can tell the difference between one model and another (maybe they'll change this with the ultra), and half the top execs and earners I meet these days are wearing Apple Watches anyway for "fitness" stuff, so for <$400 you blend right into the C Suite. Honestly, this watch has hollowed out the watch industry as a jewelry/status purchase, the ladder of success has broken down at the middle tiers. Only stuff cheaper than an Apple Watch or much more expensive than the Apple Watch can survive. It no longer makes sense for a middle manager to buy a $1k Tag or Raymond Weil and expect anyone to give a fuck when the mail cart kid is wearing the exact same Apple Watch the CEO is wearing.

I want a new mechanical watch that looks like a classic men's watch and functions well, but brand isn't important

Seiko 5, Glycine Airman, or the Timex Marlin, are all affordable models with respectable reliable mechanical movements and good looks. No batteries are nice, and you can see if you like mechanicals. Nobody will look at them and say it's horrible or cheap. Pick what aesthetic tickles your fancy. If you want to get more into niche boutique unique stuff, some microbrands like this Armida Explorer Homage or any of the fine dive watches out of Islander Watches have moderately better finishing than the lower end brands and more unique styles, while still basically paying homage to the big guys.

I have a really small penis and I want to make that obvious to everyone

Can I interest you in an invicta? They offer products for all price ranges between $50 and $5,000, and it all screams compensation from top to bottom.

I want a mechanical watch from a brand other watch nerds will respect, but that Champagne taste is on a craft-beer budget

Go vintage non-Rolex swiss brand. You can find great cheap Tissot Seastars, or for a step up in brand value get a vintage Omega Seamaster or Constellation, or go out there with a Vostok if you're quirky like a Coen brothers film. The vintage will appeal to enthusiasts richer than you who are wearing Rolexs or Blancpains that cost ten times as much, while costing much less. Much better value than spending $1k on a mid tier watch.

No, really, I'm fancy and I just want to dive into the deep end and flex

Just get a Submariner or a Speedmaster , they have the pedigree and the history and the reputation that you're looking for. Unless you're ready to buy a Patek or something, and that's out of my depth!

As for my collection? I have a black square G Shock and an Armida A9 that I wear 90% of days. I have a 60s Omega Seamaster which was a gift from an old friend that I love, and a Bailey Banks and Biddle watch that was given to my great grandfather for 25 years of work at the same plant which I wear for special occasions (I love wearing it to a fancy event because no one else has one quite like it).

So what's in everybody else's drawer and on your wrist? Or how did I fuck up my advice above? Do you wear nothing but fakes? Nothing but Swatches in fun colors?

G-Shock metal square with negative display and the rubber strap: got some adapters and I've currently got this on a distressed leather strap. Love this thing even if the adapters make the lug-to-lug massive. Probably the best G-shock overall short of the MR-G square monstrosities that sort of lose the idea of what it means to be a G-shock, although the G-shock octagon is probably an easier rec these days.

Straum Opphav Damascus: was charmed by this microbrand, the dial is something else.

Casio fanboy pick: Casio Oceanus OCW-3000, probably one of my favorite watches ever. Pretty much every watch should offer a version in titanium, polished and finished to this standard. Bought this when the yen cratered this year. I also had the Cachalot for a bit before reselling it (heavy discount), it's essentially a nicer bigboy MR-G with sexier finishing.

Seiko Sharp Edged Presage Aisumi Blue openheart: I go back and forth on this, I feel like I should own at least one Seiko but I feel like I'm just not making a connection to this watch as pretty as it is. In an attempt to like it I bought the official Seiko bracelet and stuck it on to replace the awful leather strap, but it got even heavier and as a result I like it less and less.

Lorier Neptune IV (date): found out about this literally the day before the drop. Pictures do not do it justice, for something this price it's an absolute steal. The acrylic crystal was a tough sell at first but it really does look nicer and warmer, with thicker distortion and a warmer look, even though it means I have to buff out scratches every month.

Currently looking at adding a Speedmaster to the collection but can't decide on which one. Also, despise Rolex enough to consider buying a superclone. I've been treated worse as a customer in a Rolex AD than when buying just about anything in existence.

Straum Opphav Damascus: was charmed by this microbrand, the dial is something else.

Never heard of this, beautiful. Great call.

If you go for a superclone, let me know how it goes. There's a few I'd be interested in, but I've never been confident in the quality to pull the trigger. I need that dickstretcher credibility that comes from seeing somebody on themotte.

Wearing a Casio G-SHOCK GA-2100 right now because I need dual timezone display. A great and inexpensive $100 travel watch without the size or bulk associated with G-SHOCKs. Mine is black on black like in the video, but it's legible enough. They make them in every color these days.

How do you like it? I've heard so much about them online at this point.

It's as light and thin as Casio's digital watches but having analog hands and dual time display makes it a straight upgrade over them. They used to be impossible to get at MSRP but now there's many more models and variants including an even smaller version for women. The only thing that's missing is lume. There's a light button but it's pathetic.

What does it signal in your framework if someone doesn't have a watch?

Someone who wouldn't have moved on from pocket watches

A wrist watch is a symbolic handcuff. The rigid shackles keeping you on someone else's schedule.

Studies of wrist phrenology suggest flaccid, watchless wrists are a sign of a weak mind. I’m sorry.

There's only three types of people who don't own watches: hippies, women, and people who spend too much time looking at their smartphones.

too much time looking at their smartphones

I see, seeker, that you are yet to learn the ancient art of taking your phone out of your pocket to check the time and then putting it back in again.

I prefer the more traditional technique of picking it up, checking the time, putting it down, immediately forgetting the time, picking it back up again, checking for new messages, putting it back down, and still not knowing the time.

This sounds like me going to the kitchen to look at the thermometer outside its window. Walk in, look, walk out, realize you haven't actually read the temperature.

Nothing, really. The whole watch/brand name item as positive status symbol culture is mostly dead anyway, I include it somewhat tongue in cheek because it is something first time watch buyers think about. I like what I like because I like it, though I'm not conceited enough to think I'm totally free of these tendencies.

On the other hand, I think the brand idea lives on in the negative. if I see someone driving a non-hellcat non-ram Dodge car, I adjust my estimate of their general competence downward slightly. Notice how everyone can argue about mechanical v quartz, vintage v actually working, high class brand v generic; but we all agree Invicta is for morons.

I want a mechanical watch from a brand other watch nerds will respect, but that Champagne taste is on a craft-beer budget

Go vintage non-Rolex swiss brand.

Spot on.

No, really, I'm fancy and I just want to dive into the deep end and flex

In my experience, if you want people to see the flex you should just buy a used Rolex datejust/oyster perpetual because most people aren't watch nerds and love the crown. Of all my watches, my gifted Rolex Date gets the most comments and it's not close.

I have a half dozen or so watches. The one I wear the most is my Panarai luminor.

The one I wear the most is my Panarai luminor.

Love that one, but it's a) out of budget and b) too large for my girly wrist.

Check out this New Zealand microbrand "Magrette": https://magrette.com/shop/moana-pacific-waterman-bronze-pre-order?in=370040261

It's a couple mm smaller, uses a swiss movement, and has the same look.

That looks very cool, thank you! I especially like the bronze version.

They're nowhere near what you're discussing here but I've always really liked slim, steel band watches from Bering. They help avoid people noticing that I have girl wrists.

I also loved my Seiko 5 after I changed the band.

That's exactly what we're talking about. I actually used to have that exact Seiko 5 from an auction! I never wore it enough so I had to reset the date every time and got tired of it, so I gave it to my protege at the gym, he wears it every day now in college. Great general use watch.

I have a relatively cheap (as in not garishly diamond encrusted) Cartier tank I got for my sixteenth, and an Apple Watch. I have a Chopard Happy Sport watch back home but it’s a little too much for me because they put diamonds on the case instead of just the floating ones inside.

  • relatively cheap
  • Cartier tank

Sir, plz choose one. Even the cheapest ones go for $3k+ right ?

They do look lovely. Something about it appeals to my very soul. It's an excellent heirloom gift.

edit: Can we make the post preview actually reflect what my comment will look like ? Some weird spacing issues here.

The Tank design was a WWI vet paying homage to the tanks he saw in battle. So while it's probably the most feminine coded of the "classics" in watch design, there's still a seed of industrial/utilitarian design in there.

Well, cheap relative to a new Rolex (or Chopard), let alone a Patek or an AP or something, as joked about in the original comment!

That's a hell of a sweet sixteen gift. That's awesome that you can cherish it forever! I love the more tasteful tanks.

Despite my preference for understatement I love the look of https://mrjoneswatches.com. Realistically if I were shopping for a watch I'd probably go to a high street clothes shop and choose something that costs £20 and looks like a Swiss railway clock but more muted.

https://mrjoneswatches.com.

Excellent choice. Almost got my wife the one with the wales, but it was too big for her.

Those look really cool. Nothing wrong with a statement piece on occasion.

Big into watches. I own one of these Gen. 1 mainly because I saw it in Minority report. I have one of these again because Chief Brody wore one in Jaws. Sensing a trend? Yes. I also have a Casio DW-290 that is relatively cheaper, and which appeared in another movie. I have a Longines Hydroconquest Chronograph automatic that my father-in-law gifted me out of the blue.

My current go-to watch however is the amazing Casio MDV-107, aka the Duro Marlin which is a dive watch for people who probably don't actually dive but want to look kind of like they could do if diving were suddenly required. That would be my own category. I switched out the resin band for a couple NATOs and even a nice leather strap, which doesn't make much sense on a dive watch but looks good, IMO.

I admire your vintage Omega and I myself am in the market for a vintage DeVille. Reddit has at least two watch enthusiast swap forums, the /r/watchexchange that most who care know about, and its offshot /r/watch_swap, which split from the exchange sub because reasons that I don't pay close enough attention to. Both are good for this kind of thing.

Sorry for the Japanese links but that's what came up. I should probably just photograph my wrist and show pictures that are actually mine--I dredged my imgur album but apparently I never uploaded any watch pics. Oh I also own a rather old now tank watch on a leather strap from Eddie Bauer of all places, that I bought on a whim in around 1998 and after two battery changes is ticking nicely.

For the watch enthusiast I cannot recommend enough a kit similar to this. The one I bought a while back was about three times the cost of the one I just linked and I have no idea of the relative quality of these things, but if you ever change bands or batteries or add or subtract bracelet links these kits are a godsend.

How do you like the Longines? That's one I've seen online, but never in person. I love that Omega, super neat. Was it really that expensive though, or can you get a deal on them?

Also, I've found (cheap Amazon NATO) leather straps hold up just fine to a quick swim, which is all mine is ever subjected to. I'm sure it would wear out eventually, but not the dozen times a year it hits some saltwater.

And taking good watch pics is so difficult! I feel like it's an area that lighting makes a huge difference relative to just holding a smartphone.

Thanks. Re: the Longines, it's heavy. Stainless steel, through and through, and 43mm width, so big on my thin wrist. If I could have chosen myself I would have chosen a lighter or darker dial. The gray-gray is not as easy to see as I would like. But it's my only automatic watch thus far (albeit without a display caseback). I like it, and the fact that it was simply mailed to me with a "Enjoy" makes it all the more enjoyable. I have considered getting a rubber dive strap for it--and then maybe actually diving. But that might be just passing fancy.

The Omega is titanium except the stainless steel bezel, and therefore relatively much lighter. While I could probably put the Longines in a sling and, with a well-timed throw, down Goliath, the X-33 would just bounce off. I bought it more than 20 years ago when I was single and flush with what I felt then was disposable cash, and paid almost full MRP. It's quartz, which turns off even some Omega enthusiasts. But to me that just means it's accurate. As much as I like the various NATO or even leather straps for it, the titanium bracelet is light as a feather and really pops, I think.

I agree taking watch pics isn't easy but some can do it quite well (I myself cannot), and I am sure they are just using their i-Phones or whatever. Alas, my android was considered a good camera phone when I bought it, but that was about 10 years ago and phone cameras have come a long way. I once read natural sunlight is preferable to most regular room lights when photographing watches and similar. Others may know much more about it.

Someone commenting on the Dickstretcher-Rolex saga suggested we have a watch thread.

That was me, glad you went through with it!

To kick it off, I'm going to post a guide to What Watch to Buy based on why you want a watch, I figure that's a good way to pick a fight and get it going.

I like the way you think. Picking fights is unironically the best way to start a discussion.

I want a watch that tells time, is cheap, and maybe isn't a total piece of shit and that some people will like

G Shock Classic Tough Solar.

G-Shocks are really nice, but they are usually huge and not a good fit for slender wrists. A good alternative, especially for techie types, is the Casio F-91W - a watch worn by both Obama and Osama. It's slim, indestructible, with all the features you would want from a watch and it's respected by watch nerds. It doesn't have solar charging though. The Casio "Royale" AE1200 is also a good alternative. Just don't get the bracelet, it's awful.

I want to blend into the corporate upper classes and fit in, this is a status item, but I don't want to spend a ton of money

Just buy an Apple Watch.

Booo! Heresy! Just get a cool midrange 700-1200$ watch from a "cool" brand like Hamilton or Oris. Or go the hipster route with a microbrand like Yema or Baltic.

I want a new mechanical watch that looks like a classic men's watch and functions well, but brand isn't important

Seiko 5, Glycine Airman, or the Timex Marlin, are all affordable models with respectable reliable mechanical movements and good looks.

Yeah, concur. I would through Orient into the mix.

I have a really small penis and I want to make that obvious to everyone

Can I interest you in an invicta? They offer products for all price ranges between $50 and $5,000, and it all screams compensation from top to bottom.

:marseynodfast:

I have a 60s Omega Seamaster which was a gift from an old friend that I love

Absolutely brilliant. An all-time favourite.

So what's in everybody else's drawer and on your wrist? Or how did I fuck up my advice above? Do you wear nothing but fakes? Nothing but Swatches in fun colors?

Apart from my grandfather's pocket watch which I adore to no end, I have the above-mentioned Casio Royale as my beater watch (the LED function comes in really handy in hotels at night and such when I don't want to wake up my wife but look where I put the water bottle. But 90% of wrist time is currently occupied by the Baltic Aquascaphe. It's relatively small at 39mm and I just love the looks of it. The bracelet is the most comfortable I've ever worn (and I suspect it's the same Doxa put on their watches). It also wasn't prohibitively expensive at around 1000$. I also have a smaller, inconspicuous Junghans quartz with a black dial for dressier occasions. Next on my radar are the Oris Big Crown Pointer date mentioned above, and the Stowa Marine Classic 36.

I like the way you think. Picking fights is unironically the best way to start a discussion.

It's the corollary to the rule about the best way to get the right answer is to post the wrong answer.

RE: G Shock Wrist size

I'm learning that seemingly everyone has smaller wrists than me on here. I guess at 200# with a 7.75" wrist I'm the resident fat guy! I will say try on different G Shocks, they have wildly different sizes/fits across their ~million models. There are some I absolutely could not wear, and some I barely notice.

RE: Heresy

Booing it doesn't make it less true. That's why Seiko is slowly eliminating a lot of their mid-range stuff in favor of moving more of their classics upmarket, and leaving the cheap 5s as the entry level. If you're not a watch enthusiast and just want something to complete your "Serious Business Man" look, an Apple Watch is going to do it better than anything else new at the same price. The Oris and Hamilton you cite are twice(!) the price, and IMO deliver less in the way of blending right into rich people. The only downside of the Apple Watch is that it won't last half the lifespan of a good mechanical.

RE: Orient

I stuck to recommending watches I've owned/handled something similar extensively and personally. Consider it added if you think it's a good pick!

RE: Stowa

Do you have any experience with these? I've wanted a Flieger for a while, would fit my vibe, but I've never even seen one in person.

Also how do you like the Baltic? They really seem to make some neat stuff, another Microbrand I'm looking at. I might pick up a Deep Blue on sale in the near future, they have some steep discounts right now.

Booing it doesn't make it less true.

True heresy is the most dangerous kind and has to be suppressed extra hard.

Stowa

Do you have any experience with these? I've wanted a Flieger for a while, would fit my vibe, but I've never even seen one in person.

Unfortunately not. I have looked at a few videos with brilliant macro shots though. I am still looking for an unobstrusive dress watch and I would like a handwound with small seconds, Roman numerals, and an exhibition caseback. The Stowa I linked fits the bill perfectly, at least on paper. I was originally looking at a Nomos Ludwig, which I have seen and tried in person. I liked it, but it felt too sterile. The Stowa seems to have more character. I suppose I will just have to drive down to their factory one day, my watchmaker doesn't carry them.

Also how do you like the Baltic?

I absolutely love it. With 39mm, the GMT is the perfect size for a diver, the colours (I have the turquoise/blue version) match my usual attire perfectly, and it's supremely comfortable to wear. I adore the looks of it with the domed crystal and the brilliant, timeless set of hands. It has a vintage-y touch to it without being try-hard. It is great to add a little bit more class to casual and smart casual outfits. You can wear it to more formal attire, and it does slip nicely under a cuff. But ultimately I just don't think that diver bezels and formal clothing go that well together, no matter what James Bond would like us to believe. I would only improve two things: the 42h power reserve could be greater, and the action of the 24 step bezel could be loser.

I have a Seiko digital watch. Mostl because my dad had a Casio digital watch in the 80's and I wanted something like his one: a smallish minimalistic digital watch in a steel housing, something that would be called "retro-styled" in the 10's. Casio didn't have anything like that, but Seiko did, and I got one from Japan. I like everything about it except its solar-powered battery, because it means it now dies every winter. I really should find a new battery for it, maybe even forego the whole solar-powered business.

I never liked g-shocks, since my hands and wrists are small enough to make Nick Shabazz's look like bear paws in comparison.

Which Seiko? I didn't really know they made digital watches outside the Arnold-Predator digital-analog (which I never really got the point of). I'm surprised the solar is a problem, the G Shock solars I've used do just fine, but then I guess different Latitudes.

SBPG001. I don't think they make this model any more.

I am a big fan of tastefully done open hearts. I really like the Orient Bambino Open Heart

Reasons to like it

  • Classic look

  • but has a little bit of restrained fun to it

  • Cheap, but well-regarded subsidiary of a more reputed brand (Seiko)

Other variations on this idea:

1 2


If I had infinite money, then I'd go for the Cartier Ballon Bleu [3] [4]. It is a thing of timeless beauty and I won't be convinced otherwise. Like a Ferrari Roma, C1 corvette or a Karman Ghia.

Love the Cartier, except for the Roman numerals which I find hopelessly cheesy on any watch. Cartier honestly has some great classic designs, the Tank Must, the Santos, and some of the Chronographs are all beautiful pieces.

I wouldn’t mind a high-class watch with numbers 1-9 and hexadecimal A, B, C.

I have a Seiko solar mechanical that I really like and have had for years now, but I've been wearing a cheap-ish EZON watch for a while now. I wanted a non-smart watch that can read my heartrate on my wrist without me having to use an app, but I had to settle for using a heartrate strap and working out.

I've tried to do the whole heartrate monitoring thing, and never got interesting information out of it. Have you found anything useful?

Well...I guess not exactly, other than I might be naturally high-strung. When I just put the strap on, my HR seems to hang around 77-84 before I get going with the elliptical machine. I want to get back to donating plasma, but it goes too high when they test my BP and HR, so I've been trying to bring it down by burning calories every night I can.

I used to have a Fossil that my wife bought me which was just about perfect for my taste. I like to wear a watch when I dress up, but I want something elegant and understated - most watches I see are way too flashy for me to ever consider wearing. The watch my wife got me was great, though. Looked a fair bit like the Timex that you linked, except the border around the watch face was gold colored. Sadly, it broke and Fossil wasn't able to fix it as they didn't have parts for it any more. Right now I don't have a watch.

One thing I'd be interested in is your thoughts on decent pocket watches. I know some people think they are a bad choice in this day and age, but I have had one and enjoyed wearing it with my suit on occasion. I don't know where I'd get a nice pocket watch, though.

Also, thank you for the excellent dunk on Invicta. I will legit never understand why anyone has ever bought one of those ugly-ass watches. Even men with a small penis should have better taste than that.

One thing I'd be interested in is your thoughts on decent pocket watches.

I think they're super cool, but I've always been more of a wristwatch guy. I inherited a nice gold one from a cousin, which I pull out every now and then. I'd love to see more companies put out "functional" tool oriented pocket watches. When I was a boy scout I had a Fossil branded clip on watch/compass on a Carabiner that I'd put on my beltloop for hikes. I'd love to see a kind of pocket watch/smartwatch combo, something in aluminum with a setup like the Master of G series sensors for altitude and direction and barometeric pressure and tide graphs and stuff. Or even a small smart pocketwatch that is designed to give me basic notifications and functionalities while leaving my phablet in my briefcase or something like that. I think it's an ignored format.

I will legit never understand why anyone has ever bought one of those ugly-ass watches.

It matches the aesthetic of the fake-Raptor grill on their mall-crawler.

One thing I'd be interested in is your thoughts on decent pocket watches. I know some people think they are a bad choice in this day and age, but I have had one and enjoyed wearing it with my suit on occasion. I don't know where I'd get a nice pocket watch, though.

You can find them online but I wouldn't know what to look for there. I think your best bet is to go to your local watchmaker. Mine has dozens lying around.

I have a couple of Casio F91W in obnoxious colours (not my picture) I don't like the aesthetics of the gshock and these Casios fit my style (or lack of) better.

I have baby wrists so dive watches are out. I bought a vintage Raketa from etsy that I like, but I would guess it's a chop shop job and doesn't keep time very well.

I have baby wrists so dive watches are out.

Just look for older ones. The modern monster-watch trend only dates back about 20 years, I share old relatively tiny men's watches with my wife, who has five and a half inch wrists.

So what's in everybody else's drawer and on your wrist?

I like a watch as a piece of masculine jewelry, but lost patience with mechanical watches. Wear a white-dial Grand Seiko 9F most days with the OEM straps in brown and black (leaving the bracelet it came with in the box). Picked up JDM Seiko solar-quartz Prospex diver and chronograph models for the weekends. And keep a quartz Hamilton Ventura for when I get dressed up in the evenings — swapped the fake lizard skin strap it came with for a real one. I forget the model, but I also have the larger version of the F-91W that Casio came out with a few years back for skiing, yard work, etc.

Maybe in a decade or so I’ll buy that solar Cartier Tank. But lots of other expenses stand in the way.

Found a Credor tank and a pre-TAG, Heuer diver for the missus on eBay.

How well do the Seiko solar watches work? I've never had one. There were a few that look nice that I'd consider, but I've had bad experiences with their quartz watches fifteen years back and don't want to repeat it.

I have had no issues with the Prospex solar models in terms of functionality. I keep them in a small watch box on my dresser with a glass lid and they’ve never run out of juice. There is a tiny alignment issue with the sweep hand on the chronograph, that I’m sure I’m the only person to notice, but that comes with buying gray-market JDM Seikos off eBay.

Gshock G8900 user signing in. That thing is indestructible.

I've had it since 2016, and it's still going strong. It's graduated high school and college and have been to 3 different continents with me.

I don't roll in the circles where the wrong watch makes me an untouchable yet, so sentimental value and utility is good enough for me.

Just keep the G shock if you like it. Everybody loves them. That was actually the first g shock I owned, I got it for $15 used for climbing. Eventually I decided the one I had was ugly and spent an extra $20 to upgrade to the square.

I wear one of these, though it is not gold plated

Edit: PS, Fossil sells a watch with a somewhat similar look

That is fucking hideous. It looks like a pimp's cufflink.

Sorry. Well, not that sorry. It probably looks better without the gold plating. :)

I think perhaps you are being distracted by the band. https://graciousgood.me/2010/03/25/ernest-borel-kaleidescope-cocktail-watch/

Nah, nothing about it is to my taste. If I was into expensive watches (and could afford expensive watches) I'd get something like the Dick Stretcher / Dan Draper Omega (assuming it was something like this: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/nPMAAOSwkWVjjWm6/s-l500.jpg), but I'm just fucking around.

That's an ok watch, but it is indistinguishable from a Timex or a Seiko. Why pay extra for that? I'd rather go extra minimalist, like a Skagen.

What else am I going to pay extra for? It's not like an expensive watch tells time that much better, or is that much more reliable. The whole point is basically spending money on intangibles. An old(ish) watch that looks that sleek is much cooler than a quartz watch that looks the same, same way a mint 60s muscle car is infinitely cooler than a 2000-era reboot Charger or Mustang, or a Miata or something.

(Also, heh, I already own a Skagen and a minimalist Seiko.)

Exactly like that, but on a bracelet rather than a strap. My wife is always 100% for bracelets in watches, I'm always 100% for leather or bright nylon NATOs.

I got it for ~$300 a couple years back working well with a bit of provenance so you could probably get one without a dick stretcher history in the sub $500 range no problem.

I love it. I feel like if I was drunk or bored I'd just stare at it.

Coat recommendations - you got 'em? I'm in the market for up to three coats:

  • Dressy enough to work with business attire, but not necessarily a suit.

  • Casual and very warm - try to look good with jeans and a sweater, but also comfortable for a decently long walk.

  • Running jacket.

Wisconsin winter, so frequently sub-zero temperatures (negative 18 for my Celsius friends). I've lived here for a decade, so decently cold acclimated, but I've never invested in nice coats - I really only have snowmobiling and hunting outerwear.

For the first one, the classic dark wool topcoat. Peacoat if you want shorter, overcoat if you want longer. It probably won't be adequate for -18 but on comparatively warmer days you can supplement it with hats, gloves and scarves (and more underlayers) which allow you to dress it up or down. Mine has been adequate for -10 with the extras while being comfortable up to +15 with only a t-shirt underneath. For -18 I'd be looking at Scandinavian military surplus parkas or something along those lines.

If you feel like you know what you’re doing, you can find great winter coats (for category No. 1 above) on eBay. Filter your search for pre-owned and accepts returns (maybe you eat shipping costs but aren’t stuck with something you aren’t fully happy with). If you have an old coat that fits well, take its measurements.

Men’s coats were often made with thicker wool in prior decades, which is a plus for Wisconsin’s climate. I picked up a dead stock, ‘80s, full-canvassed, gray herringbone, wool top coat, as well as a dead stock, ‘60s, brown, half-canvassed, Harris Tweed raglan, both originally from independent men’s stores out East, for between $100-200 each. For that price, you will be hard pressed to find anything of similar quality, new. Just pay attention to the measurements provided in either the photos or item description. Some eras, like parts of the ‘80s and ‘90s, you’ll likely fit into a size down (say a 40R instead of your usual 42R).

You can certainly dress a top coat down, easier if it isn’t solid black unless you’re going for that monochromatic look, and raglans are on their own a step more-casual.

My best find was for my better half. Someone had listed an as-new women’s ankle-length, MiUSA, double breasted, camel hair, Brooks top coat as a trench coat (perhaps because of the color), for just $100, when it surely cost four-figures even before adjusting for a couple decades of inflation.

https://www.patagonia.com/product/mens-tres-3-in-1-parka/28388.html

Just buy this. I don't own one but my wife got the women's equivalent, and honestly it's the superior choice. I'm a big thrift shopper for a decade now, and for all the beautiful vintage dress coats I own I almost never wear them. The space between "cold enough I can't get away with a scarf and a tweed blazer" and "so cold I'm gonna pick the warmest thing I own over the double breasted camel hair greatcoat" doesn't really come up often. The Patagonia tres looks good enough that she puts it over a suit for court, keeps out the elements really well, wearing the layers separately gives you a lot of options.

Although if you're really going to be out in the cold, get an old fur. At an estate auction I saved a full length raccoon from the dumpster, and that thing is a fucking climate all its own. For standing still in the cold it is unbeatable. I look like I'm cheering on the bulldogs to beat Harvard circa 1928 but I could sit outside in a sub zero blizzard and wouldn't notice a thing. I keep it around for snowmobiles, winter car camping trips, or odd times I need to be really warm.

Goddamn that is expensive

Meme, but buy once cry once (depending on your personal circumstances). I've run through a bunch of cheap coats, rather have one good one; and I've had Patagonia items and always been satisfied with them. It's Vimes' Boots theory of economic inequality. Sometimes as I get older I've learned to just buy the thing, rather than buy a bunch of imitations.

Fair, but my main concern with items like this becomes that I will lose them or they will get stolen. I would definitely not feel comfortable leaving something like this on an unattended coat hanger at a party or wearing it on the street in a third world country. Not a big fan of owning things that limits my freedom of interacting with the world

Like I said, depends on your circumstantia. I only visit warm third world countries and that not often.

When I lived in Wisconsin, my main coat was a Columbia fleece. If you're going to be outside for long it may not be enough, but I imagine that it'll do you for a nice walk (since walking will raise your body temp somewhat). I would also feel comfortable wearing it with business attire, since it's just a basic black jacket. But YMMV.

For a serious "I'm going to be outside in the cold a long time" coat, most people I've known have opted for North Face. I personally would just grab whatever coat was cheap and seemed warm, and it always did me fine. So I have no direct experience with North Face, but they seem solid enough.

A lot of the MFA recommendations are not suitable for -18C weather. Somehow all these dudes modelling topcoats and peacoats are standing around with their neck and chest practically bare in every picture.

I would buy something like a duffel coat for the dressier look and a nice down parka. I own an N-3B, but I have no idea why they call it an "extreme cold weather" parka.

This might be a little culture war. But Elon musks has randomly banned some people.

Would people pay for the right to suspend people they don’t like? And getting to flex. Seems like Elon likes to suspend his enemies now that he has the right.

I think the real money making feature for Twitter would be that for $200/comment you can reply to any blue check with comments disabled or limited.

Would people pay for the right to suspend people they don’t like?

I think rdrama.net has a feature along those lines. See also: Reddit Mold.

Had to look those up so it’s been trialed.

I’m curious if there’s real money in this. Like ban Trump at $1-5 million a day price. (30-50 a day the 2 weeks before an election).

And then it becomes a normal election expense where you buy out your opponents twitter account at key times. Americans like spending a lot of money on politics now.

I think the problem with this is that the person being suspended could move to another platform and they'd have no reason to stick around if they could get randomly suspended on a platform with this feature.

It would only work on a site with a de facto monopoly from network effects. Twitter is as close to this as any site for the kind of content it serves but a disproportionate amount of its appeal is access to celebrities and big names, who are precisely the people who'd be the biggest targets of crowdsourced suspension.

It might be an interesting market if you shared some of the revenue with the banned user.