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Friday Fun Thread for September 09, 2022

We don't have the bot, so let me step in: this thread is not for serious in depth discussion of weighty topics, 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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Reposting a question I put on /r/slatestarcodex in the hopes that someone here can help:

Does anyone have a link to the blog post about "bodybuilder problems"?

The author talks about how some problems are hard, but "bodybuilder problems" in the sense that everyone knows how to look like a body builder you just need to eat a set diet and lift weights, but it's not easy whereas there are also other problems where you don't actually know how to solve them, can't remember what they called those.

Googling "bodybuilder problems" doesn't help...

Yeah! That's it! Thanks a lot, been searching for a while now.

I have a Fantasy Football/Medical question, not sure if there are a lot of football fans here but I think it’d be hard to get anything insightful from this in a sports forum.

My question is regarding the concept of “mileage” on athletes, which mostly comes up in the context of NFL running backs but sometimes is used in other sports. The idea is that there’s a sort of limited number of times you can expect someone to run a football before the “wear and tear” leads to more accumulated injuries and thus a quick decline in athletic ability. This is trivially true in the sense that all players will decline in athletic ability with age eventually, and you can only carry the ball more times and accumulate more injuries, so these things will all be correlated to some extent. Running backs in particular seem to suddenly drop off a cliff in performance rather than gradually decline, and often when they are quite young. So when trying to predict the future value of a running back to a team (be it in Fantasy football or real life), people often use this concept to imply “Player A and Player B are both 23 years old with no major injury history, but Player A has carried the ball 1000 times while Player B has only carried it 500 times. Thus, I predict that Player B will be less likely to get injured and/or have a drop off in their athletic ability in the near future”.

But my argument is that “mileage” is actually irrelevant, or even positively predictive here. To me the relevant variables in predicting the future value of a running back (all else being equal) are 1) age, 2) actual injury history, and 3) some sort of immeasurable “durability” factor, which would be like how injury prone you are and how well your body ages. “Mileage” then would just a proxy for 1 and 2. So in the example of Player A and Player B above where these variables are equal, I think the fact that Player A carried the ball 1000 times without getting injured would be a positive as evidence of their durability.

I’m wondering if any fellow football nerds have thoughts on this or have seen any data about it? Or if any of the medical people think there is something to the concept of a sort of finite amount of high energy bursts of acceleration and collisions that your body can withstand before it deteriorates (ignoring head injuries)?

Old data at this point, but the Curse of 370 used to hold up pretty well for running backs.

No statistical evidence that baseball hitters who debut as pros younger have earlier peaks than players who remained as amateurs

In general I think mileage is more folk-logic than anything else. But I would say across many sports you see the phenomenon of a player playing an extreme outlier high stress and high use seasons can lead to a player breaking down.

Peak performance requires all of your joints to be in excellent shape. I think the issue is that every hard hit does a little bit of permanent damage. Or at least slow healing damage that never heals because they keep playing.

Accumulated micro-damage isn't visible. So the number of times they carried the ball is a reasonable proxy.

Having some dedicated fans go through all of the hits for each player and ranking them from 1-5 based on how hard they looked would probably also work well, but that's a lot more work.

For most purposes, it probably suffices for a fantasy enthusiast to say, "Derrick Henry takes a lot of abuse, I will devalue him going forward relative to his past performance". Getting more data-oriented is fun, of course, but sample size issues will apply when there just aren't that many players with massive carry burdens.

Should we make some media recommendations in this thread, or would it be better to have a "The Motte recommends" media thread? Tradition pushes me to use this thread, but I thought it might be neat since we have our own place now if there was a thread dedicated to media recommendations, since it would give new users an insight into us, plus it would also be handy for anyone looking for previously recommended titles without having to go through all the Friday fun threads. What does everyone think?

A general media thread seems like it could be a great idea. Keeps recs and reviews all in one convenient thread without splintering discussion much. Perhaps using thread themes could work as well to change it up a bit every week e.g. a focus on sci-fi themes one week, a focus on philosophical themes another...

I like both. Mottizens have the best recommendations, plus interesting little mini-reviews even when the media itself isn't great.

Does anyone play games on Steam? Here's a steam group.

If a lot of people join it would become an easy way to find rationalists to play games with.

Edit: here's the link

Did you forget the link? Although truth be told, while I would like to join a steam group with you guys, it would require the sacrifice of my anonymity :/

bone headed move on my part! Yeah, it's not really a motte group. Just a rationalist group. I'll post it on rationalist spaces too.

I have fun reading /r/sneerclub

It's too humorless for my taste. There's enough fun threads dunking on mottezens on rdrama for me.

I am subscribed for the occasional interesting insight or amusing find, but ultimately the vast majority of posters there are just a bit dim. It's like sifting through shit to find a nugget of gold. I think, as with SSC itself, it has suffered from growth because you used to find much better arguments a few years ago

I feel bad for them.

They are not the sharpest tools in the shed. A lot of their arguments reminds me of the shit written by freshmen in college, really sophomoric.

Its like they build up a massive takedown of the rationalist argument and then you read it and its 101 level stuff a high schooler could have come up with but gets discussed like its some galaxy brain shit, lol.


Looking at the post titles, I don't see any of the pointing out our new forum?

They used to stalk us but banned linking us because it exacerbated their collective inferiority complex was too cliche and easy.

Can't give us the Oxygen of Amplification!

Meh, it's like reading a creationist forum where they pat themselves on their backs for owning people with "if we evolved from monkeys then why monkeys are still around" and naturally anyone objecting to that is getting banned and their objections removed.

When I want to enjoy watching stupid people being stupid I prefer the stuff rdrama links to, where they also get their just deserts, or at least we make fun of them there. Watching idiots idiot with no consequence is more annoying than fun.

They aren't exactly stupid over there. Take /u/shitgenstein, for example. It's more like a forum for devout members of the faith that dares not name itself.

Yeah, it's not stupid, it's more like a self-inflicted lobotomy or something.

They have a community where there's a specific rule saying that it's not a debate community so when you see someone saying false stuff you can be banned if their stuff is not wrong, you know? I got a couple of accounts banned for that.

Unsurprisingly having such a rule results in a community full of people who believe in false things and reinforce each others' beliefs.

Why would anyone design a community based on such a principle? It rounds back again to: they are fucking stupid lol. Is it basic retardation or some advanced form of idiocy that affects high IQ people is kinda irrelevant.

Why would anyone design a community based on such a principle? It rounds back again to: they are fucking stupid lol. Is it basic retardation or some advanced form of idiocy that affects high IQ people is kinda irrelevant.

Why do people believe false things ?

Maybe it's related to social desirability. Sneerclub beliefs are laudable in polite society, hanging around with like-minded people and inventing dunks on the chuds is something that might help.

It's basic. The whole place reeks of "medium fish in a small pond" syndrome. People who concluded they were brilliant because they could dunk on Uncle Jim on Facebook. Banning debate makes it easier to keep up the pretense and protect the ego.

Agreed, we're made from the same mold, they just picked a different team.

I realized this week The Boys season 3 was released this summer. Four episodes in, I have to say I am still quite enjoying it. It's sufficiently different from the comic book that I can relax and stop worrying about the original plot, but it keeps enough of Garth Ennis's love of random squick. Urban, Starr and Crawford are all great.

I'm trying to remember where the plot was 4 episodes in. I think it might have been shortly after that point some TDS broke the 4th wall and really turned me off. Homelander was always a bit Trumpish, but they had him directly quoting Trump covid lines in situations that made absolutely zero sense in the context of the story. You just had to understand they were reaching as hard as they could to criticize Trump.

The verbatim Trumpy railing against fake news is also weird -- like, isn't the whole meta-point of the show that VoghtCo pretty much owns the media?

Heavy hands make bad art -- it's a shame things have moved in this direction because in a world where there aren't really any good guys (and a number of pretty clear analogies to be drawn with politicians on all parts of the spectrum) there would be a lot of more nuanced things to say than "orange man (with red eyes) very very bad"

It's still pretty fun to watch, so doesn't go in the 'ruined by woke' bin for me -- I'm having serious issues with The Sandman though.

This obscure album from 1972 has weirdly modern instrumentation and production

I'm inclined to agree...but I'm not sure I'd have done so if you hadn't said it first.

What gives you the impression? Something about the...mixing? The more I listen, the less sure I am I can describe production in any meaningful way.

The instruments sound more like layered samples than a band playing together.

The elongated string/horn notes, especially when they overlay each other and the vocal track. And the elongated moaned vocals. And the way the strings comes in for brief seconds at higher and lower registers just to insinuate a scale, especially the screechy high notes. And then the texture of the background female vocalists voices being purposely soft and at a low volume.

In the second song, when the female vocalists come in for that “we’re gonna make a little music”, it strikes me as something I’d hear from an indie band. And that kind of melody is weird for 70s.

We make a little music, it's called - we make a little music.

Yay! Funnily enough I made a thread too, but I guess you beat me through the moderation queue.

Without further adieu. I've been continuing my adventures in x86 assembly.

When last we met, I had just gotten Visual Studio Code to compile, link and run my asm files in DOSBOX. Since then I wrote a javascript file which node.js can execute which will ingest the dbg file from NASM, a map file from ALINK, and the exported breakpoints from Visual Studio Code, and create a list of breakpionts for DOSBOX to set in memory. Using a patched version of DOSBOX which will autoexec debugger commands, it ingests this file, and viola! My breakpoints set in Visual Studio Code get set in DOSBOX. I'm still refining the script, as well as the tasks in VSC. I went from writing tasks for each asm file, to writing a generic tasks which will compile, link and execute any single asm file. I don't have it adding the breakpoints yet though.

This has made it super easy to spit out a random asm file to test or experiment with one specific feature. I went to the effort of creating some code snippets to fill out new asm files with everything I need to start a new program. I also began taking notes in a composition notebook. Because there is just something about synthesizing lots of information from numerous websites, books and forum posts into exactly the concise information you need and writing it down, which seems to etch it into stone in your memory.

For example, the 8088/8086 has 4 "generic" registers. AX, BX, CX and DX. Except they are generic in name only. Sure, you can use them in a brute force fashion. Except near as I can tell, AX, the accumulator, is faster, if not required, in most math functions. BX, the base register, is the only register that allows you to use various forms of indirect addressing in the data segment. CX, the count register, is used for any instruction that repeats like LOOP or assorted bit rotations. DX, the data register, often functions as an auxilary for AX in the case of division or multiplication. Knowing these things really helps you plan ahead your register usage, but wasn't really spelled out super clearly in the sources I saw. So I spent an hour making a single page of notes, scanning all the 8088/8086 instructions for their special usage of AX, BX, CX and DX. I think it was productive.

The NASM documentation lies. A lot of contemporary 8088 documentation I'm reading uses what I can only assume is the Intel assembler's syntax. So indirect addressing is shown as "[di]", "label[bx]" or "label[bx][si]" for increasingly convoluted forms of offsetting and indexing. NASM claims it doesn't support this. That the entire address needs to be either inside or outside of square brackets. So "label[bx][si]" should be "[label+bx+si]. This is a blatant lie as I've compiled "label[bx]", "label[bx,di]" and "label[bx+di]". In fact, "label[bx,di]", "label[bx+di]", "[label+bx,di]" and "[label+bx+di]" all compile to the exact same byte code. More or less the only illegal syntax in NASM is the original Intel? syntax of "label[bx][di]". It won't support multiple square brackets.

But it's nice having a toolchain where I can just belt out a quick asm test file to inquire about these things. Sure, it's DOSBOX, not a real machine. But I'm mostly confident DOSBOX has it's shit together for basic stuff like this. As I've delved deeper into BIOS, DOS and VGA interrupt programming, some of the documentation I've read goes deep into all the assorted bugs various hardware possessed. For example, a lot of hardware erroneously wipes out the BP register on INT 10h calls! That's kind of a big deal. I'd be shocked if DOSBOX reproduced this. But maybe!

Anyways, it's been fun. Hope to have my first very simple assembly game belted out in the next few days. Also, I shouldn't be surprised, but it's remarkable how fucking small assembly executables are. These little test programs often weigh in at less than 200 bytes. Several of KB for even a simple "Hello World" in any modern language isn't uncommon.

The a-d registers, to the best of my knowledge, are named generic because it's in contrast to the other registers with very specific functions. For example, sp and ip aren't something you'd ever store data in just for funsies, so ax is very generic by comparison (even if it does have some special uses for certain instructions).

I imagine that the special uses come from the need to reduce binary size back in the day. If you needed to specify "mul rax, rcx" instead of just "mul rcx" that's extra encoding which would add up over time. Nowadays not such a big deal, but at the time the instruction set was designed it would've been quite a big deal.

For what it's worth, in long mode you get 8 extra generic registers (r8-r15), and those really are generic if the OG generic registers aren't generic enough for your taste. 😉

Although the 80386 Programmer's Manual lists eax, ebx, ecx, and edx as "general-purpose registers", you sometimes see them referred to as "accumulator", "base", "counter", and "data". Example: the rep instruction works on cx or ecx as a loop counter and you don't have any choice in the matter. Not sure whether that's documented intent or folklore.

Yay! Funnily enough I made a thread too, but I guess you beat me through the moderation queue.

Mine had more comments because people kept finding it via search =) Also, nepotism helps!

Glad I searched before making my own.

I’m in love with the 1911. Maybe this is because most of my prior experience was shooting Glocks, but it feels so luxurious by comparison. Good heft, smooth controls. I don’t care if the magazine is single-stack; this thing is great.

Anyone else care to share your personal taste in handguns?

Try a Sig P226. Better ergonomics than a Glock. Holds 18 rounds. I quite enjoy mine.

1911s really run the gamut between scrap metal and god tier pistols to shoot. Beautiful and timeless guns.

I'd still rather carry a baby Glock though.

I really like revolvers. I used to think they were kinda silly and old fashioned, but I love the flexibility of the platform, from single action monsters to snubbie double actions and everything in-between.

I also love the Jericho 941, steyr A1 and A2, and CZ 75 and Shadow.

I prefer the CZ 75 platform which is another steel-frame pistol - it is double-single action without a safety. Adrenaline spike reduces fine-motor control; with gross motor control taking over I don't want to fumble with a safety. The heavy trigger pull of the initial double-action is enough safety, and if you shot once you are probably shooting more, and past the initial shot it is single action.

However, I prefer Colt Python or S&W 686. No safety, leave it inert in a drawer, neglected, for decades, and it will still reliably work when you need it after all those years. Perhaps a 1911 or CZ-75 would too, but I just have peace of mind with a revolver. It also looks even more neat.

I shot a CZ 9mm a few years back, not long after I got my first gun, and I wonder if it was a 75. The owner had added a red dot and a side charging handle; he clearly wasn't trying to fit it in a back holster. But it was incredibly comfortable to shoot.

Speaking of single/double action, I didn't learn about the "Glock reset" until last week. The first pull is heavy, but if you don't fully release the trigger, follow up pulls are pretty light. I had no idea.

I don't have nearly as much revolver experience as I'd like.

It's certainly not as nice as a good 1911, but the Sig P365 that I carry occasionally is by far my favorite polymer handgun I've ever shot. It doesn't make much sense - the frame is tiny, but it fits my hand better than many full size pistols. Certainly better than any Glock. I know it goes against consensus, but I really hate that "rattley" feel Glocks have.

But the absolute most fun with a pistol I've had is with my 22 suppressor and Ruger Mark IV, with a custom trigger and a heavy bull barrel. Zero recoil, sounds like a BB gun, and I can terrorize soda cans at 75 yards offhand.

I love the 1911 as a platform. My dad has one for his CCW, and it's the weapon I shoot the most consistently with in my limited number of range hours. If I'm being perfectly honest with myself, it'll probably be my first handgun if/when I finally do make a purchase.

I've been to the range a couple times and shot my buddy's Hellcats and they feel really good in my hands. I like shooting his larger one, but the CCW he uses feels much better than other, similarly-sized pistols I've shot like Glocks or Sigs.

When I've considered getting a gun, it's been the 1911. I just love the story behind it, where the Army put out the call for a new service pistol, and it beat out all the competition by having 0 misfires or jams over a preposterous quantity of test fires.

Ahoy did a pretty fun video on it.

Historical guns are the best.

I should really apply for a curio license.

Beretta M92 is nice for similar reasons -- the slimness of a 1911 is hard to overstate though -- feels good man.

Glad I searched before making my own.

I didn't so we now have two FFTs stuck in the modqueue lol.

We have a Blood on the Clocktower themotte/rdrama Discord group. It's a social deduction game similar to, but with a much bigger emphasis on mechanics and logical deduction: there are no "simple peacefuls", everyone has some interesting ability, which also makes it more suitable for online play since you have a lot to discuss right from the start.

Though if you saw previous announcements there's a change: after 9 asynchronous text-based games we decided to try playing it live over voice chat and got seriously hooked on this format, so that's what we are doing now, and in particular are intending to do tomorrow, Saturday 10th September, at 19:00 UTC (, expecting to play 2 games lasting for about an hour and a half total. - one page rules explanation. - one page character reference for the Trouble Brewing script (the game has different sets of possible characters called scripts). - detailed list of Trouble Brewing character abilities with corner cases and interactions, not necessary to read but helps to understand how it all works.

PM me for a discord invite and with any questions you have.

I'm going to post this in Discord probably, but also can post it here to maybe entice people more.

Some Advice to a Newfriend on Playing BotC

Unlike in Mafia/Werewolf, dead players don't have their roles revealed and can keep talking and even vote once (usually on the last day). This has profound implications for both enjoyment and strategy: instead of being a game over, getting killed, especially in the night, usually makes you more trustworthy and therefore more involved in discussions, and you can still share all the information you got before death etc.

Good roles range from actively benefitting from getting killed by the Demon (such as being told about two players one of which killed you) to being OK with getting killed or executed instead of more important players because you used up your once-per-game ability or got your on-the-first-night information, to trying to stay alive because your ability gets more useful the longer the game goes on. This means that good players are expected to lie their heads off, including in private, if they have a strong incentive to fool the evil into thinking that they are on the opposite end of that spectrum from their real role.

However since evil players can also do that, it makes sense to decide to trust a random person and tell them your role first thing, so that they can confirm that you hard-claimed it to them when you explain why you lied to everyone. Of course, evil players can do that too. Other things you can do are telling someone that you're one of two or three roles, telling a few people that you're an important role and seeing if that gets you killed in the night, or even privately agreeing to swap claimed roles with someone if you want to get killed and they don't or vice versa. Obviously, evil players can do all that too.

Bluffing is kinda stressful for evils, especially Minions (since the Demon knows 3 not-in-play good roles), but in light of the above don't worry too much, decide on a role, maybe on a backup role, and comfort yourself with the fact that if your claimed role clashes with someone's actual good role you probably can get you both executed, haha. Or just keep telling people that you're new and are unsure if you can share your role until you have heard enough to get some idea who is and is not in play (of course good players can do this too, to trap evil players into claiming their role) (also, you probably should bluff a non-meh role eventually to make that believable).

At least skim the, mostly to get a sense of how roles interact, don't worry about memorizing them, you can keep the one-page script open for that and once you actually start playing with your virtual life on the line, it will all click into place incredibly fast.

We're also looking at likely running an async text-based game starting sometime this weekend. If hopping in voice chat with some near strangers isn't quite your thing, we'd still love to have people around for the text games.

I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite post on the Citadel.

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