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Friday Fun Thread for September 23, 2022

Be advised; 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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So I picked up Minecraft again and marvel how surprisingly educational it is for a video game.

1.most obvious thing - coding. Where else have you seen a game to implement fully functional logic gates?

2.Organization - huge number of available blocks encourages conscientiousness and good organizational skills. By late game you are basically helpless without a good sorting/storage system.

3.Prioritization - sheer creative potential even in vanilla gameplay means that it's trivial to sidetrack on any number of things. You can't help but learn that, just like in real life, it pays off to focus on getting things done one by one instead of having dozens of unfinished tasks.

And Minecraft hasn't even realized it's full potential despite being a decade old - development speed slowed down after it's success. Indeed, why try to hard when your game sells better than Tetris?

What /u/JarJarJedi username meants? I thought it was established he was a Sith Lord.

I am liking Andor. It is relief to watch something Star Warsy and not have exposition shoved down my throat, and instead just let the story slowly seep into me.

My biggest complaint is that one night the cops were eating blue lo mein out of a takeout container with chopsticks. They couldn't change the trope up just a little bit?

I'm in love

I've got butterflies in my stomach, and bees in my bonnet, I'm giggling like a schoolgirl despite being a hairy 6 foot tall man, well past the age where I could sneak into a high school and hope to avoid notice haha.

She's lovely, the more we talk, the more I feel like she was sculpted from clay just for me, with a few little imperfections just so they won't realize an angel went missing and send someone to recall her. She's 3 years older, not that I mind because a childhood spent locked up in a Christian-run school has left me with a MILF complex haha; though I'd have believed her if she said she was 18, and she can sneak into class anytime she pleases.

She's really smart, funny, and most importantly, laughs at my shittiest jokes and looks at me like I'm the only one in the world after I make them. That's shortly before she grabs me by the beard and pulls me in for a smoldering kiss that leaves me gasping for breath and one more for the road.

I wake up slightly terrified that this was all a dream, a figment of my imagination conjured up by stress and fatigue from my marathon-length sprint for a medical licensing exam. I've only felt this way once before, for a girl I loved long and deep for an unfairly long length of time, before I realized that she wasn't at all the person I had built up in my head.

They look similar too, they could have been sisters, both of them petite and with eyes I could gaze into till mine went dry and dusty. But she's fierce, a fighter, confident and assured, she's got her ducks in a row and and her feet planted on Terra Firma. I stand behind her with a proud smile on my face when she haggles with random street vendors, and then I hug her when she looks so proud of her bargaining skills, even as the poor shopkeeper wonders bemused why he ever agreed to sell half his wares at a loss. Lucky that I have nothing to sell to her, if she asked nicely I'd give her everything for free.

I adore everything about her, from her nails, ragged as they are from being bitten, to her hair, still frizzy from chemo, to her tiny, barely there dimples when she smiles before standing on tiptoe to kiss me long and hard. When she told me that the first she kissed me, she'd stopped listening to my passionate lecture on the musth secretions of elephants long ago, and was looking all adoring because I was so cute, I was both embarrassed and wanted to curl up in a ball and die of happiness. Half the reason I'm laying it all out in a public forum is to leave a record of how I feel in the moment, one I can look back to in a few years with either a smile or a small tear in my eyes.

I really hope this works out, I've never been so lovesick in my life, I genuinely want to be a better person, the kind of person she deserves and needs.

We're going to be living together in the UK for a month soon, that's a trial by fire for any relationship, let alone one this brand new. But guys I'm really hoping that it works out, that this is it, and I wish everyone finds someone that makes them feel this way, love really is a helluva drug.

You: this post

Her: K

Joking

I truly envy you. I feel I will never experience such delicious and indulgent feelings.

Be grateful. And don't fuck it up!

There's an ass for every seat, I genuinely hope you find someone who makes your head spin when they smile some day!

And I am grateful, will do my best not to mess up what seems to be the start of something beautiful ❤️

Hooray for romance!

You lucky, lucky bastard. Now write this down on a piece of paper or something and keep it with your most precious documents, because it's honest and powerful and should be more durable than a mere forum post.

Haha, thank you for the excellent suggestion! I'll make sure to have a permanent record made, and to keep it close to my heart, just as close as I keep her.

I need to give the second part of the UK medical licensing exam, the PLAB, in Manchester. It's the only site where it's conducted, as opposed to Part 1, which is held in dozens of locations and I could have pretty much walked to mine.

So Manchester it's going to be for at least 3 of those 4 weeks. Ideally, if all goes well and we've got some money and time on our hands we'll visit other parts of the UK, it's been ages since I was last there. I think you're based in London aren't you? I seem to dimly recall hearing that, unless it was just that Burdensome Count guy who resided there.

As for where we'll stay inside the city, it's going to be accomodations affiliated with the coaching academies that help everyone prepare for their OSCEs, or if we're in the mood to splurge, an Airbnb or two. This should be in November/December, and I'm already shivering at the thought of the cold haha.

Tell us about these panty-dropping elephant musth secretions.

Bwahaha, all I can say is that being a genuine nerd can be sexy at times, you just need to find someone who cares (easier said than done!).

I was waxing eloquent on elephant culture, we were pretty sloshed by then, as much as a calf trying to use the waterhole for the first time. I have no idea how that topic even came up, but it was hardly the most esoteric thing we discussed that day in the bar, hardly even top 5 material.

If anyone wants to try it (no warranty provided implied or otherwise), I was talking about the phenomenon of juvenile delinquency displayed by adolescent male elephants after being orphaned, and left without a single older male in their herd after poachers struck. They went wild and aggressive, attacking calves, and even murdering rhinos for sport.

The solution to that was to ship in a few adult males, who came by and whipped the teens into shape like an uncle restraining some kids on a bender. I'm pretty sure I was making a compelling argument about the similarity to humans who were raised in the absence of proper father figures, but if there was a final point being reached, it was swiftly derailed when she grabbed my goatee and pulled me in for a kiss that sucked all the air out of my lungs and probably the room.

I was so happy that I wasn't even deflated when she said she'd stopped paying attention several minutes ago, and was just admiring the sheer passion and animation with which I was discussing elephant graveyards and toxic masculinity in pachyderms (anyone needs to name their band?).

She's a keeper, that's for sure. Maybe an elephant keeper, now that I think about it <3

Does anyone here have an idea how to make good male friends? Doesn’t have to be IRL, online is fine. I don’t feel a burning desire for socialization for its own sake, so going to a local X club would really be pointless. Ideally I would like motte-like friends, but for 1:1 discussion which I find much more interesting than subreddit style discussion. I have tried friend-making subreddits and /soc/. Soc users are generally seriously mentally defective, and redditors are well….redditors. Not to mention that any friend-making space online is really just repurposed as a dating space by horny men, ruining it for everyone. Does anyone have close motte-like friends? How did you make them?

Come back to our BotC club lol! We've been experimenting with the rules until we mostly got rid of the annoyances (for example, a limit of 3 whispers per person per day forces most of the interesting information and discussion into the public square, 24h days feel much faster and to the point, we can fast-forward the last day or two when there's nothing much left to discuss, etc), and I guess we also got somewhat better at the game so there are more fun plays.

We are also doing some realtime voice games on weekends now. And there's an offtopic channel where people keep discussing random things. And some people ended on rdrama.net devcord because of course, most notably hbtz who among other things wrote a blackjack bot that hit the 2^31 dramacoin limit.

So I don't know about making close male friends for life, but there are certainly worse ways to find some online buddies to do fun stuff with.

Go to your local SSC meetup. (https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/fLdADsBLAMuGvky2M/acx-meetups-everywhere-list) You'll find a bunch of people there that meet this criteria.

I found a motte-like (almost certainly male) friend by doing a long-term programming project. Since it's online, we mostly talk, and it's mostly talking shop. But, we sometimes talk personal life. It just so happens the project is also a reverse-engineering project, which means the work is already more scientific-method than merely programming.

If you have male-dominated hobbies, are any of them tilted towards high verbal intelligence? Do you like reading a particular obscure philosophy? I recommend a Discord for any of these hobbies, and just start talking. Some individuals might stand out to you. Why does the person have to be male? Or did you specify that as a prediction of the kind of person you like?

This is assuming you are a male.

Guys make friends shoulder to shoulder not face to face. If you are looking for a guy to have long deep talks with, you are going to have a bad time.

Do sonething you like, even he most niche things would have some community around it. You can pick up friends along the way.

Guys also respect competence in other guys, having subpar social skills will be compensated if you are good at the thing you do together.

That also has the added benefit of always being a conversation topic you can fall back on.

While I entirely agree with the spirit of the comment, I've made quite a few friends where the common activity is mostly talking - not talking-for-talking, maybe debating politics or philosophy, etc. But in every case there's significant depth / common interest to it, and it's about something. So you can find a guy to have long deep talks about programming languages if you want.

This entirely is true in my experience.

If you want actual friends, go and do things with people and if the chemistry is good suggest doing more things with them.

I'd suggest asking people here, on lesswrong and other rationalist forums about hobbies you're interested in. The vast majority of users here are reasonable, intelligent adults who I wouldn't mind having as a friend.

Videogames are an obvious way to make friends; for example something chill and relaxing like Civ 5 or 6. Or any coop game.

Books are another obvious one, people love talking about their favorite fiction. See https://old.reddit.com/r/rational/ for examples.

You could look at meetups on lesswrong to find people near you and ask them individually for recreational activities IRL.

Does anyone have close motte-like friends? How did you make them?

I met my best friend while playing World of Warcraft. This was when he was about 11 years old and I was 13. He died earlier this year from Covid, at the age of 28 so I knew him for most of his life. We generally talked about new and relevant topics such as crypto, movies, technology, etc. and regularly played videogames together.

In hindsight, that was incredibly lucky though. It seems there are a thousand NPCs (for lack of a better term) for any one worthwhile person. Hence why I suggest using these kinds of forums; they're already full of high-quality individuals.

Non-mainstream recreational sports leagues. Something like soccer, baseball, or basketball probably doesn't have much of a selection effect.

Other sports are going to have a selection effect based on the type of people that would be interested in them.

I play underwater hockey. Its a team sport that requires organic bottom up cooperation. No coach can really direct the team's strategy from the sidelines. It requires swimming skills which tends to select a little more towards middle and upper class backgrounds. It has benefits for people that go scuba diving or spear fishing, which is again a bit upper middle class of a hobby. All discussions can always fall back to talking hockey strategy, so if someone starts going off on boring tangents you can drag it back. It is a coed sport but there isn't too much inter-sex drama.

Other sports that might be interesting and in your area with an eclectic group of people:

  1. Ultimate Frisby (has changed in recent years to be more competitive, and thus harder to make friends unless you are really good at the sport).

  2. Medieval Martial arts.

  3. Jiu Jitsu

  4. etc

I feel like there are a bunch of sports leagues out there, one of them might be a good fit and an interesting place to meet people.

Sometimes board game cafes will have Open Table nights, where people come to play with strangers and not people they brought with them.

Hobbies. People who want to socialize for the sake of socializing are usually messed up (and holy fuck /soc/ is a parody of that, I thought you must be exaggerating).

Find forums (not subreddits) for things you like, get involved, and make a group of friends you can start meeting up with. Twitter is surprisingly good for generalist hobbies, because discovery is so easy and people will notice you through reputation networks rather than the spastic twitching of reddit voting mobs.

Just do interesting things that attract other people who do interesting things. All my lasting friendships came from niche hobby communities, even in cases where we both ended up dropping the hobby.

Has there been any attempts to reach out to Sneer club since the move off Reddit? Perhaps we could offer shared hosting/servers? I would be willing to donate some cash for such a move in the spirit of "love your enemies" (for they keep you epistemologically humble.)

While that would be hilarious, /r/sneerclub is mostly just sneering, making fun of people, etc, so idk what value would come of it beyond hilarity for rdrama.

A /r/themotte style community for a more left-leaning ssc-adjacent space if any exist would be fun

They wouldn't do the same for us, their enemies.

Not sure if this goes against the point but I think they should atleast be cabale of doing the same, which I dont see much reason to believe.

Are they in any danger of getting booted off reddit? I don't really think sneerclub ever served the purpose of keeping us epistemologically humble.

This week I spent a lot of time on EGA. Namely, putting a lot of the stuff I read last week into practice this week.

It took me a while to fully grock the different EGA write modes and register settings. And then there were the memory latches! Jeeze! I guess I should start at the beginning.

There are 4 bitplanes in EGA that overlap in memory space. One bit out of each of the 4 bitplanes combines to determine the color of 1 pixel on the screen. There are also 4 bytes of latches in EGA that correspond to each of the 4 bitplanes. These latches get loaded when you try to read EGA memory space, and some of it ends up in whatever register you read it to. Then when you write back to EGA memory space, the contents of the latches form the basis of what gets written back, modified in all manner of ways by the write mode and the registers set.

So far as I figure, write mode 0 is the most complex. In write mode 0, many registers effect what gets written to EGA memory. You have the bitmask, which determines which bits of the latches get overwritten by whatever byte you are writing to memory. You have the bitplane masks, which determines which bitplane latches get overwritten by the byte you are writing. You have the function/rotate register which sets if the bits get overwriten, or'ed, anded or xor'ed with the latches, and how far bits get rotated. And then you have the set/reset value/enable registers, which can override certain bitplanes to be set low or high regardless of the byte you are writing to memory says.

Mode 1 just dumps withever is in the latches. You mostly use it for dumb copying from EGA memory space to another spot in EGA memory space.

Mode 2 only uses the bitmask, and the lower nibble of the byte being written corresponds to what gets written to the bitplanes. So basically you can write colors to the screen without having to fuck with bitplane masks or the set/reset registers. I'm told it's good for plotting arbitrary pixels on the screen.

Anyways, as proof of concept I wrote a program to draw 16x16 sprites in a memory format that can easily be written to the screen in EGA. All in assembly, also in EGA screen mode 0x0d. I plan on using it to create artwork I can then load into other games.

Fun things I've found out. Using the mouse when you draw to the screen fucks up your drawing. The mouse stomps all over the EGA registers when you move it. So you either need to set the registers using an overly complicated API in the mouse drivers, so that it can restore them properly when it exits it's interrupts. Or you hide the mouse while you are drawing. Something I swear I remember the old Sierra adventures games like Space Quest III doing.

Why are you investigating such ancient tech?

The heart wants what the heart wants.

Also, i strongly feel modern computing stands on the shoulders of giants. I get curious about what those giants were.

...or draw mouse cursor yourself... (which, I think, is the preferred way for games)

What is the state of exercise gaming? My only recollection is Wii Sports. Have there been any fun developments for gamifying exercise since then?

As others have mentioned, smart watches and exercise apps actually have been a huge boon for me. I've always liked bicycling and running, but watching your performance increase along segments and routes, leaderboards etc. is honestly excellent. I'm getting the fun out of playing a game and the benefit of greater strength.

Like gaming though there's a certain tier of competitor I can't touch since I have a job and am no longer in my 20s. Knowing I won't have a KOM on Strava in my life is tough, but being in the top 10% of people who bother gamifying exercise feels awesome.

And specific products you'd recommend?

Strava the app is the most widely used and is constantly being updated. One thing I ended up getting later that gives you a bit more info is a Bluetooth heart monitor.

I got a Fitbit and was unhappy with it.

Besides that it's just the exercise equipment which I can give advice on but would change based on what you're doing.

Smart watches literally exist specifically to gamify exercise. Run further distances, lift heavier weight, walk more steps? You get more points. Then you can share your high point count on social media with your friends.

Although, as someone who has no interest in owning a smart watch, but is in outrageously good shape, I can say that "being physically fit" and "traveling the world doing fun outdoorsy/fitness hobbies" is much more rewarding than an app ever could be.

...So yeah, my advice is to partake in interesting and physically strenuous hobbies, and to try to find friends who do those hobbies. Not to try to get your exercise while looking at a screen

In a different sense. Climbing is exactly that. Instead of adding workout to games, they gamified workouts.

It took the boring act of excersizing and gamified it. Each boulder is like a platformer level where you have to execute a set of moves and exersize becomes an accesory to allow you to execute the coolest moves.

No wonder tech nerds love climbing. It is computer games in workout format. (The wierd hipster in me lowkeys hates how all tech people love climbing. For once i thought id picked up a non tech hobby, only for every tech person to simulaneously pick it up around the exact time I got into it. We are all truly, a hivemind)


To answer your actual question, the quest 2 did what youre asking for.

In death : unchained and especiall thrill of the fight are amazing workouts. Thrill of the fight is up there with fullfield soccer as one sport that pretty knocks the wind out of me within 20 minutes.

Ring Fit did something interesting from a game design perspective, but it's not at all worth it. It gets old really fast, and it's more preoccupied with preventing you from hurting yourself than with actually being fun or challenging.

Down Dog isn't a game in that it doesn't have interactivity but it's great.

Peloton and Zwift are the new generation of gamification.

Oh you're in for a treat, VR exercise is what you're looking for.

A purchase of an Oculus Quest 2, new at ~$499, is enough to get you access to a whole new world of exercise games.

There are great ones like Beat Saber, which is a guaranteed workout, no end of boxing games, games with virtual athletics, such as Gorilla Tag, the list goes on and on.

Even "normal" VR titles are inherently more physically demanding than flat-screen titles, and there's so much out there you won't run dry for years.

You don't need a powerful PC, the Quest 2 works standalone as well as tethered, and given your particular needs I can wholeheartedly recommend it!

I play Pistol Whip with a gun shaped peripheral I bought from etsy that lets you add quarters to add weight. Holding a weaver stance and point shooting moving targets for 30 minutes is a surprisingly ok core workout.

Beat Saber is fun but if you use the Oculus Quest 2, you'll have to do some hacking to get custom songs in. It's worth it once you have that.

I like using the Armswinger movement in H3VR for a similar reason. Armswinger + Take and Hold is the closest approximation of InRangeTV-style 2-gun Action Challenge Match I can get from the comfort of my bedroom.

Ring Fit Adventure for the Switch was the next big thing, I think. It was very hard to acquire for quite some time. Being released right before 2020 probably helped a lot with its continued popularity, but I think I remember it getting a lot of attention when in launched in late 2019.

I would love to hear recommendations for it. In my experience it is a "use once and then put away" game.

Give me your best wild scam ideas.

Inspiration: My very elderly grandmother with pretty bad dementia got a wedding invitation from a very distant relation of her second husband. We had no idea who they were, not even vaguely, and she obviously didn't remember because there are days she doesn't remember my brother-in-law. My grandmother decided to send a check for $50 because that's what you do when you're invited to a wedding. My mother ultimately did figure out who they were, but in the meantime I thought to myself: this is a gold mine!

Send wedding invitations with fake first names (no last names) and pictures of nice young white couples to random nursing home residents. Don't send the same one to more than one resident at the same nursing home, mix it up, but there are 15,000 nursing homes with almost two million beds in the USA so you've got options. Not to mention active living retirement homes you could send to! Always set the wedding at a destination that is far and inconvenient, to prevent anyone from RSVPing yes, but most old people won't travel anyway. Old people with memory loss will be quite likely to say "Well, I don't remember them, but what if I do know them and then I stiff them and they're offended? I should just send them $50 to make sure I'm not rude. Didn't my dead friend/business partner/cousin/whatever have a daughter named something like that? Maybe it's her! I should just send $50."

If you got $20 out of 1/15 of the nursing homes in the country five times a year, you'd be hitting six figures.

I've heard about people doing this with extremely wealthy, famous people. Just send an invitation and wait for the assistant to send you a "can't make it but thanks" gift. Dunno what the success rate is, but it's funny

I still like the classic. Pick a number greater than 2 we'll call n, find a large number of people where the number exceeds 2^n, and n binary events that are believed to be impossible to predict. Give one prediction to half the people and the other to the other half. Remove from the pool everyone who gets a wrong prediction.

Repeat with the next event, until you have a population who has received multiple correct predictions. Sell them your next prediction.

I wonder if it could be updated using a website and cookies normally used for ad targeting to differentiate the populations.

this thread is not for anything Culture War related

That means keep CW posts in the CW thread.

Bruh, I was simply responding to the prompt.

Bruh, respond to the prompt without culture warring.

Bruh the definition of culture war is overly broad. You have Hall Monitor-itis. Take a break!

No. It's amusing how many people think "jannie"and "hall monitor" is some sort of sick burn, but that's exactly why we're here, to keep threads from degenerating into shitposting and bad faith trolling. You ignored an explicit and very clear rule, and there is no way you can argue in good faith that what you were referencing wasn't trying to score some CW zinger-points.

You're free to start a discussion with @ZorbaTHut and the other mods to talk about how you think "No Culture Warring in the Friday Fun Thread" should or shouldn't be enforced, but you are not free to ignore the rules and whine when you're pulled up short.

I didn't ignore the rules. I answered the prompt honestly and directly.

I cited the rule you broke. You can argue all you like that you weren't ignoring the rules, but you ignored the rules. "Honestly and directly" does not mean you didn't ignore the rules. You are free to continue ignoring the rules and insisting you didn't ignore the rules, but if you persist in ignoring the rules, predictable consequences will follow.

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Not so much a scam, but a trust generating exploit that could facilitate a scam.

A while ago I accidentally smashed a side mirror of a rather expensive vehicle in a parking lot. My fault entirely, so left a note with my contact information offering to pay for repair. The guy called me to tell me what an excellent and honourable person I was and followed up with a similar email. In the end I don't think he even sent me a bill.

Setting up a somewhat expensive demonstration of honesty like that would be way to become a trusted contact for a person or group, if you're willing to play a long-ish game.

Far worse people than us have worked long and hard on this sort of thing, I don't think there are any truly new scams (see the Spanish Prisoner/Nigerian Prince), but technology and social changes shift the balance of odds on them. Sending a fake wedding invite out in the 1920's to an old woman wouldn't generally work; she'd be in a closed community, likely living with family who would vet it. If you were serious about it I'd review a list of scams and see which ones might now be differentially favoured by new tech (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_confidence_tricks) or social shifts.

Prostitution masqueraded as amateur porn studio. Sex with clients is filmed, no face is shown, and the video sold at high cost on some website. Client pays money to studio to provide the filming and space, but has ownership over video. The result is just prostitution, but completely legal, and sufficiently anonymous. You wouldn’t be able to regulate this without regulating the entire amateur porn industry.

Marc Randazza does a bunch of first amendment lawyering, including for porn companies, and says this is a dumb scheme that would fail really fast.

This would be awfully risky, especially for the "studio". Neither courts nor juries are quite that stupid.

tbh I'm fine with the requirement for registration and regular tests if it's not "amateur" stuff.