Questions you want answered.

Mermaidpirate wrote:

I wanna do a "how much news filters through?" check. How many of you know what I'm talking about when I say the cabinet thing that happened in Australia this week? (without looking it up, and without being Australian already).

Do you mean "It’s not so much a Cabinet leak as a leaked cabinet"? I'd heard of that a couple of days ago but just as a minor funny story; the way it's gone over the last couple of days is new to me. I figure it made it into my feed before the SOTU took over the news here.

Oh, that. I *did* see that, in Ars Technica I think. About two days ago. Over here, they are *file* cabinets. I thought you were referring to a *government* Cabinet, like with ministers and stuff. I hadn't heard anything like that.

Sorry for the confusion. I'm changing my answer to yes (and when I read it, I lol'd).

Robear wrote:

Oh, that. I *did* see that, in Ars Technica I think. About two days ago. Over here, they are *file* cabinets. I thought you were referring to a *government* Cabinet, like with ministers and stuff. I hadn't heard anything like that.

Sorry for the confusion. I'm changing my answer to yes (and when I read it, I lol'd).

It's a cabinet Cabinet.

I'd prefer it was a Cabinet Kabinet Cabernet cabinet. That would be tasty, tasty Wein.

I have two random questions that don't seem to belong to any established threads, so it seems like this is the place to post them! I would really like to learn how to engage in two different creative pursuits, but am having a really hard time finding a good starting point for either: creative writing and woodworking.

For creative writing, I've always loved writing, and when I've written blogs or various tiny bursts of fiction, people in my life have enthusiastically encouraged me to do more, but I am both busy and a coward, so I've never written more than a page of actual fiction at a time without tossing it in the garbage. I signed up for an online creative writing class through a community college several years ago, but, between being busy with work and disappointed by the level of attention the instructor seemed to be giving, I ended up bailing on it. I'm curious whether anyone knows of any sites/classes/resources/communities that would provide a)some amount of instruction, b)direction (writing prompts, assignment deadlines, etc. to keep me working towards something), and c)people who would actually read my writing and give feedback? I've obviously done some Googling about this, but that turns up so many resources that I have difficulty figuring out whether any of them are worth the time/attention/(in some cases) money. Anyone have experience with this and found something they found helpful?

As to woodworking, my interest comes from a sort of similar but opposite direction. I have no particular aptitude for it or experience with it, but I like the idea of being able to create things out of wood. I'd love to find some good basic projects for beginners that would eventually set me on the course to making things like tables and bookshelves. I've looked at a few sites that offer instruction on woodworking and other maker stuff, but everything seems to start from "okay, just have these 37 tools that each cost between $50-$2000, then..." Can anyone recommend a good resource here for a reasonable starting point for a total beginner that doesn't require a massive investment? A book, a youtube series, a website, whatever?

Thanks for any help you all have!

mrlogical wrote:

As to woodworking, my interest comes from a sort of similar but opposite direction. I have no particular aptitude for it or experience with it, but I like the idea of being able to create things out of wood. I'd love to find some good basic projects for beginners that would eventually set me on the course to making things like tables and bookshelves. I've looked at a few sites that offer instruction on woodworking and other maker stuff, but everything seems to start from "okay, just have these 37 tools that each cost between $50-$2000, then..." Can anyone recommend a good resource here for a reasonable starting point for a total beginner that doesn't require a massive investment? A book, a youtube series, a website, whatever?

Thanks for any help you all have!

I may be able to help with this one. For woodworking just like anything else, I'd start with a single goal and learn by accomplishing that goal.

Ana White has a TON of different projects, many of which are for the beginner. I suggest finding a project on there, and getting the tools/materials you need to make it. Remember that handheld power tools, or even plain old hand tools, can (with care) be used to accomplish tasks that people may do more easily with expensive big table tools like table saws, joiners, lathes, etc. Go with what your budget and amount of experience can support right now.

http://www.ana-white.com/

EDIT: By the way, a lot of Ana's more basic projects use dimensional lumber which doesn't require a lot of cuts or shaping. They're really good for easing into woodworking with something simple and useful.

As for woodworking also look for local wood shop clubs if you don't want to invest in a whole woodshop. There is one in my community I have meant to join but I am slowly amassing saws, drills and the like but I still don't have anywhere near the items needed.

Start with a few small projects and find what you like. I am making a butt load of dice sets for friends and family. Rather than paint on the dots I am drilling them in which is a lot of drilling. It's super chill to just work on it. Became full you don't eat the elephant first. You'll know if it becomes a chore. Good luck! Another pointer is raise the skill with each project aka have each one add a skill or three that won't over complicate it.

Also don't do what I do and have to invent how to make things work. I did this when my wife wanted a wooden pen holder to have pictures on all 4 sides. Well I made the f*ck outta that thing and encountered so many issues I made my own solution to that I was proud but it was also a pain in the ass. Still it can hold pens like no other

Edit: sorry two more suggestions try to find a you tube or beginners guide to safety (seriously you like all your fingers and eyes right?) jigs and reach sticks, how not to reach across saws, drills, and the like. How to watch for wood buck back, examining the wood before you cut or rip it, etc. Save your self trips to the emergency room.

Also, basics of woodglue, sawdust, how to do basic joints etc. It will save you time in the long run. Wear the right gloves, clothes, masks, and safety glasses. Read the last sentence again.

Hobear wrote:

As for woodworking also look for local wood shop clubs if you don't want to invest in a whole woodshop. There is one in my community I have meant to join but I am slowly amassing saws, drills and the like but I still don't have anywhere near the items needed.

This is a great suggestion for anyone who lives close to a maker space/club!

Nick Offerman has a book that supposedly introduces people to woodworking.

QUOTE IS NOT EDIT...

I'll make this post useful. Here's Ana White's Get Started Guide. Yeah, I really like her stuff for new woodworkers. My bias has been built up out of sending noobs to her site and seeing results over the years.

Thanks for the woodworking feedback, all. LouZiffer, Ana White's info looks great--unlike a lot of "beginners" info I've looked up previously, it looks like she actually appreciates what it means to be a beginner. And thanks for the safety tips Hobear, I will try to make a wooden crate or similar basic things without losing any digits.

Otherwise your counting will be in base 8 or 9.

oilypenguin wrote:
Mermaidpirate wrote:

I wanna do a "how much news filters through?" check. How many of you know what I'm talking about when I say the cabinet thing that happened in Australia this week? (without looking it up, and without being Australian already).

I read about it yesterday. That’s pretty messed up.

To me, yes it's bad and reflects really badly on Dept PM&C but is also fkn hilarious. The one that's sad is that fitness app revealing military bases and other stuff putting people in danger. Modern life!

Edit: and yes, I have a chair from the place they quite possibly were found. I had a short filing cabinet once too, but it was splintered at the bottom and didn't make it to Melbourne. No secrets inside.

I like reading and editing stuff! But I'm a great procrastinator and cannot help to inspire you to get started.

How do you make friends in your 30s? I once read research that you rotate out about 25%-50% of your friend group every 7 years, which makes sense... but I've not replaced the ones that I made while in college due to moving around, different jobs, and probably some apathy/laziness.

I like having people I can go get a drink with and socialize with.

vrikk, I found meetup.com pretty helpful to me in going through the same - free unless you're a group organizer. , look for groups of people with similar interest in your area. Sure there will be some bad groups or bad members but it's one way to meet some new folks who may or may not click. beyond that it's generally a matter of priorities, are folks going to take time away from other wants and responsibilities to help foster these new connections.

On woodworking, have a Google around for a tool library in your local area. There's one 20 minutes drive from my house, and it's the bomb. Non-profit, free to use (though they ask for a voluntary donation, suggesting $50/year, which if I borrow one tool per year instead of renting it, I make out), and an extensive selection of stuff.

A few weeks ago I saw (might have been here) an announcement about a game under development that simulates the career of a Royal Navy frigate captain in the early 1800s. Basically a Jack Aubrey simulator. But I've forgotten the name and publisher. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

I saw an interview with the author from a small blog that was posted to Facebook in January. He's still working on it, but has gone to a more cartoony representation and moved away from a 1-1 crew representation. Both changes are good, oddly enough, reducing screen clutter and making it possible to react more quickly to situations that need action. So it's continuing.

Unfortunately I don't remember the name, but when I come across it again, I'll post. If you are on FB, try subscribing to "Computer Wargaming: Tactical to Strategic", I think that is where it was posted (and it's a great group anyway, lots of good discussions).

qaraq wrote:

A few weeks ago I saw (might have been here) an announcement about a game under development that simulates the career of a Royal Navy frigate captain in the early 1800s. Basically a Jack Aubrey simulator. But I've forgotten the name and publisher. Does this ring a bell with anyone?

No, but I really want to know about this game. I'm all in for any game set in the Age of Sail.

I found it searching my browser history once I got on my home PC- the game I'm thinking of is called HMS from 'Every Single Soldier'. I read it in Rock Paper Shotgun's Flare Path column on 1/19.

qaraq wrote:

I found it searching my browser history once I got on my home PC- the game I'm thinking of is called HMS from 'Every Single Soldier'. I read it in Rock Paper Shotgun's Flare Path column on 1/19.

A board game version too! Now I'm doubly interested.

God I hope those meeples are called seaples.

Gravey wrote:

God I hope those meeples are called seaples.

I approve of this message.

What if we combine two ideas: The Great Filter, and It Would Take A Computer The Size of the Universe to Simulate the Universe.

What if the universe IS one big simulation, but it only has to simulate the parts that we happen to be observing at the time, like in a video game.

Throw that in as a potential filter for intelligent life. As soon as we start exploring too much of the universe, we get erased/squashed because there isn't enough computing power to have us be all over the place like that.

*I have not been smoking anything today

The problem I have with a computer that size is reliability. Why would we not notice the failures of components, eventually if not to date?

Robear wrote:

The problem I have with a computer that size is reliability. Why would we not notice the failures of components, eventually if not to date?

Physics are very reliable.

If the computation is encoded in the physical processes that take place in the universe, then you have an extremely reliable computer.

Awhile back I was tooling around a similar idea actually: Imagining a research team trying to get more grant funding because the species they were simulating kept doing particle acceleration and quantum experiments that were requiring too much processing power.

On another note, a simulated universe is actually one potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox. Why hasn't some other species becoming space faring and spread throughout the galaxy over the last 14 billion years? Because the simulation started 500 million years ago with an empty 13.5 billion year old universe, and that simulation may or may not be "fully modelling" the entire universe.

Jonman wrote:

Physics are very reliable.

Typical Big Physics propaganda! Stars are EXPLODING people. There's RADIATION everywhere and Jupiter is full of TOXINS. In space, PLANTS DIE and that proves it's unnatural! Everyone knows that Hubble is actually pointing at the Earth so they can look through your windows to READ YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

That's why we need to TEACH THE CONTROVERSY and defeat the Big Physics. Go to my webpage for One Weird Trick that THEY don't want you to know!

Robear wrote:

The problem I have with a computer that size is reliability. Why would we not notice the failures of components, eventually if not to date?

You are assuming the problems take the place of weird quirks just barely noticeable and not issues that require reverting to an earlier save state.

We would not be able to detect a rollback, so I don't worry about that.

Jonman, if the systems are both conducting the interactions of a real universe, and simulating one, then the simulator is by definition smaller than the actual universe, and can't sim it all.