Monthly Archives: August 2017

College and other controversial opinions

After protracted debate over when we should go to move to college due to the hurricane, my father finally said to just go on Sunday morning. With rain and strong winds, we proceeded in two cars carefully across the sixty-mile stretch. My mother prayed the Rosary for around three quarters of the trip.

I thought it would be chaos, but it was not; after all, by the time I arrived, already 90% of students had successfully moved in. We did the whole unpacking thing, and my parents invited me to a final lunch with them. We ate some good food, but my mother evidently had her reservations about the people around her and their boastful tattoos. Two hundred dollars for a tattoo, two thousand dollars for a removal.

I also made an illegal U-turn on a very busy road attempting to determine what I can turn right on, and what I cannot, on the route to the long-term parking garage. I felt immense pressure from my father in the other car, maybe just poised to scold me for being a moronic driver once I arrive to the garage. After all, I missed the street I needed to take, made a bad turn (hoping there wasn’t a police car on my side to ticket me), drove into the wrong garage, took too long to make a three-point turn and then decided to just go straight, all the while my dad looking from his car in front of me helplessly, and parked just a little off. In the end, however, he said little.

And indeed, little they said when they dropped me off at my dorm, other than a simple “bye,” as if I was just going to see them tomorrow or something. I simply said my goodbye as well, closed the door, and walked away, knowing that this would mark the beginning of my new life.

Yet some things are not changing in me, and they are restraining me as a result. In this overwhelmingly large campus, my social phobia and want for individuality are amplified.

And what are we all here for? To study. And I haven’t even seen the first of it. I haven’t seen any of my professors in person or taken a legitimate university class yet. I want to put my current knowledge to the test, learn more about what I want to do, talk to people who share my interests, and such and such. Yet, I’m deathly afraid that professors will bite my head off clean at the first opportunity, that they will find every way to weed out and fail students until only the cream of the crop is left standing. And I’m not sure I’m the cream of the crop. I’m working hard simply to stabilize my new life here.

At the end of Monday, I decided to go to the fourteenth floor to view the sunset; otherwise, I’d go insane not having a panoramic view of the cityscape and the sky. I awkwardly made my way up and finally enjoyed the view. The Mirror’s Edge theme started playing in my head again, like it did when I was traveling through Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo. I peered from multiple corners of the building and finally looked down at the activity below. There were people talking to each other, people cycling as a pair, people running on the track of the gym beside the dorm. People looked like they were generally having fun.

And then I thought about myself. Was I really enjoying myself, in solitude? I mean, I had walked around for three hours with an old friend, but to be honest, it felt somewhat burdening. I don’t know. It gave me something to do, as I ran around doing some things, like buying a clicker, but the walk was rather exhausting at the end of the day.

In the end, I just went online and found a self-test for mental health. It said I show signs of social anxiety and things so terrible that if I write them here, I am sure to never get a job.

There is one more thing I must make a remark that simply broke me yesterday. Someone on a community I am a member of made a thread about “how do you feel about [nonbinary gender]?”. The first response from a moderator was, “everyone is awesome.” I responded that the matter could be intensely debated, and one should find opinions elsewhere. He responded that there is no debate, and that if I wanted to keep talking, I could, but the discussion was pretty much closed. The next response from someone else was a YouTube embed for “Everything is Awesome” from, you know, The Lego Movie. At that point, I couldn’t take it anymore. My roommate was here and I could not show tears in front of him, so I took a shower. Upon taking the shower, I simply imploded.

NOT EVERYTHING IS AWESOME. Are murderers, rapists, thieves, serial killers, malnourished children, rebels, white supremacists, and drug addicts awesome? If everything in the world was awesome, there would be no conflict in the world. Stop being socially insular and historically irresponsible.

Evidently, no one even cares about these bad people; do you notice how they have even been entirely removed from this kind of social thinking? They’re not members of society anymore, they’re just bad guys trapped in birdcages for the rest of their lives, because they’re bad and they always will be. Let me tell you that if people actually began to care about the rights of individuals in prisons and made a conscientious attempt to reform prisons to fit the post-industrial European model of rehabilitation instead of mere condemnation (as we have been doing for hundreds of years; practically only the sentences dealt by the judges and amenities offered by these prisons have changed), we would not have a prison population exceeding the population of a major city.

And what about the oppressed and the malnourished? Are you telling me that they do not exist? Stop brainwashing yourself with the sentiment of a world peace that does not exist yet, because the song was psychologically engineered to satirize a fictional society of a likewise blissful, pacifist, brainwashed population of Lego minifigures.

To return to the original question, I will make my own opinion clear without necessarily luring debate. I am all right if someone has made a consultation with a professional and verified themselves to not conform to either male or female, because it was never their choice to feel so wrong in their own bodies; I respect that entirely. However, I am not all right if someone just picks and chooses whatever gender they “want” to be and then asks me to address them in a very specific manner. I have not experienced this personally, nor have I read into the intricacies of the material; hence why there is an entire field called “gender studies” devoted to questions such as, “how did people come to identify themselves in such a specific manner.” If the situation happens, I’ll respect the individual for something else (i.e. their work, their participation in a discussion), but I will certainly feel disdain inside because the situation this person has placed themselves in simply does not feel natural nor correct.

Meanwhile, it seems ironic that in the fight for diversity, I feel persecuted. I don’t go to Reddit anymore, because most news articles relating to Catholics or Catholicism that appear in my front page relate to overblown news articles of corruption or abuse by the clergy, or jokes about the Eucharist or sexual harassment made at the expense of Catholics, regardless of any factual accuracy at all. For instance, the BBC reported an article about the Pope “banning gluten-free Eucharist.” He didn’t ban it, he reiterated that the bread must be unleavened and naturally grown. You can have a 0.0001% gluten bread, but you cannot have 0%, because usually the gluten is replaced with artificial ingredients that contradict the tradition of making bread for consecration. Bread with minimal gluten may be necessary for people with specific conditions, but for the vast majority of people, it’s just a fad.

Anyway, I am scared of classes.

I will shut up before I accidentally “trigger” someone and then said person starts harassing and doxxing me for having openly shared my personal opinions.

A new beginning (old, transcribed)

Originally written 12/4/16:

Should I use pencil? Blue ink? Black ink? It’s like when you are starting a big coding project yet you seem to be baffled at the most trivial questions: tabs or spaces? 4 space per tab or 6?

Well, today it doesn’t matter because it’s 12 am and I don’t want to get my palm dirty with ink.

I never liked writing by hand rather than on the computer. Typing always seemed like the natural option for me; I weighed a word processor against a typewriter, and yet the question of which one is superior was never answered. So here I am, falling back to an old method of writing by hand [?].

Why am I writing by hand, if it is evidently so much easier and more intuitive to type? Because (a) it’s less distracting – I’m not switching back and forth between 7 different tabs, then checking if there’s new activity on Discord every 5 minutes. It is absolutely intolerable. (b) is that it discourages constant revision – what’s on paper has been written. It takes longer to erase than to write correctly the first time, so writing encourages good style and spelling.

Yet I must tell you that I am afraid of writing by hand because handwritten papers are difficult to hide. I cannot simply encrypt my papers, or put them in an obscure cabinet. Eventually someone will come and find them, and quite possibly read them.

Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. I wanted to start writing because I got tired of the blog. I associated the blog with my resignation from society, procrastination, social phobias, and all of the other peculiarities about me. Moreover, it seemed complete. There was really nothing more to add save a few flashbacks of nostalgia, like the expanse of cumulus clouds and bright, sunny days when I first moved here. I also remember that there was only one bridge for the main highway, as opposed to a zillion of them. The high school did not exist. Our house did not exist. The sprawling neighborhood of a probably 5-10,000 people did not exist, either. I remember the slim PS2 and the God of War-skinned PSP, and the time my uncle showed me Portal and irreversibly led me to becoming a gamer [at a young age]. (Believe me, if I had refused to see [my uncle play] Portal, my life today would be very different.)

That’s all I can write about today without my hand hurting. I will perhaps have time to write tomorrow but I would rather not think about the 8 hours I wasted playing Civ V thanks to the GTX 1050 Ti that has allowed me to play my collection of games flawlessly.

Funny, I didn’t write anything that next day. Or the day after that. I suppose I was just too embarrassed to keep going.


I have two thoughts from the shower: one is about how my new trigger for having a small existentialist crisis is spending energy – yes, the most fundamental object of the Universe; the other is about what would probably happen if I actually developed the backup software whose ideal features I mentioned in my previous post.

I have seen quite a number of articles describing the methodology of people who attempt to take the utmost environmentally-conscious lifestyle possible, explain briefly what people must give up in order to “save the Earth” and why, and invite everyone to follow the person’s advice to the letter. It’s all great advice; however, there’s a tiny problem with the advice: none of them go far enough.

You think you have a carbon footprint of zero from going off-the-grid with solar panels? Really, tell me then how those solar panels were manufactured. In fact, there is a very fine line between the carbon footprint of biofuels and that of producing a solar panel; it takes a considerable amount of the former to break even with the latter, although naturally (no pun intended) I don’t have any convenient sources to prove this. And tell me about the production and manufacturing process of your entire house, as well as the disposal and decomposition process that you plan to employ over the next 1,000 years (every bit of that house must go back to the soil to have a zero carbon footprint).

Growing plants also leaves a great footprint, especially in the nitrogen cycle where nutrients are being removed from the area you are growing from. Consider not only abstaining from meat, but also from agriculture. Think about the soil. It’s suffering.

And after succeeding to instill this minimalistic lifestyle on yourself, you realize that there is actually very little to do, as you have just thrust yourself back to the medieval age, except that everyone around you has cars and stuff from the modern era. So yeah, screw that, let them come to you, right? Nope.

These hippies, Amish people, whatever you want to label them as, end up striving to decouple themselves from the rest of humanity as far as possible, ultimately failing to understand the direction of humanity, the definition of society, the purpose of technological advancement.

My opinion is that it does not matter trying to counter the culture of technology and industrialization, because by removing yourself from society, you render yourself as a lost minority and thus do not matter in the eyes of business and government, which are just people organized in various hierarchies categorized by interest. Think about the numbers we’re working with here: terawatts of power, trillions of joules used every second. Do you, the intellectual, matter? No, not really. And the “if we all got to think like this” argument doesn’t apply here, so don’t even bother.

What are we here for? Why do we burn dinosaur and plant remains to get to work every day? There is progress being made, but for what? We just work for ourselves daily. We live not to enjoy nature anymore, but to enjoy others’ creations made with energy; to consume.

Energy is what we will use when we get to Mars. But why go to Mars? Just to have another growing space for a humanity that never ceases to grow? (If I call humanity a “malignant tumor,” I’m afraid I’ll get one myself.)

And they talk about AI being an existential problem. AI will not cause the existential problem; we already have an existential problem, and we’ve had one since the beginning of civilization. We know the end will come, but we do not know when.

Under Darwinian evolution, I don’t think hyperintelligence was an evolutionary target by nature. Individuals that are too intelligent would spend too much time contemplating their existence and just kill themselves, resolving that they were pointlessly created since life is really just a self-sustainment mechanism. Humans were able to survive, I guess, because they are dumb enough to laugh, be happy, and periodically kill each other for power, yet intelligent enough to explore philosophical and theological aspects of existence. In sum, they live a blissful life.

Blissful I am when I see the energy consumed of the vehicles I see on the ground, as the plane I am on descends during its approach to the airport. Energy is consumed everywhere. People cook with it, good food, bad food, ship packages, race each other, manufacture cheap goods, nice goods, expensive goods, vanity goods, fly around, give money, shoot firearms, play games. It is futile to restrain all of this human activity. Just keep living a blissful human life, and when the energy is all over and we find that we live in a glass ball filled with smoke, we’ll slap ourselves for being idiots, Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead, and then finally figure out who deserves heaven or hell. Then the energy problem is solved at last.

And speaking of energy, what happens when I do spend a month of my energy to make a backup software? All right, I make the software, and now I don’t use Windows so I can’t test it. I find a way to test it and test it anyway. It works all right, but how about for other people? I don’t know, who are the “other people”? I have to advertise my software. How do I do that if it’s not popular, and the market is flooded with crappy backup software?

Most Reddit software communities and Hacker News do not allow advertising; they only allow promotion of products by someone other than its creator. And what if it does get to those websites?

  • UI sucks, crashed a few times on the main screen. Do not recommend.
  • Seems promising, but not stable or popular enough. I’ll wait a few months.
  • CrashPlan is simpler in every way possible and I recommend everyone to use it in place of this piece of crap. Get this off of HN right now.
  • Great software, but horrible person behind the software. Perhaps I’ll consider using this software after the developer seeks mental help.
  • The developer is fundamentally flawed in these ideas: …
  • Sorry, but I don’t think anyone’s going to use your software. Tough luck man.

I don’t develop software, because I know that nobody uses it. It is a waste of time and energy developing something pointless like a video game, except if it is for massive or realtime simulation. I build on things that already exist because I have no plans to wage a war of idealism on other idealists or to further inflate my own ego by puffing my idealistic chest.

Forget radical data systems. Forget robust backup software. Leave all that crap to the neckbeards who have all of the time in the world (or, as they put it, “no time at all”) to engage in Internet gladiator matches and lucha libre against anyone who stands in their way. I give a little bit of crap, but I do not give so much crap about my software so as to change how I live my physical life. (Looking at you, Stallman.)

Where’s the good backup software?

For *nix users, the answer is easy: rsync. For Macintosh users, the answer is even simpler: Time Machine (“time ‘sheen”). For Windows, the answer is a convoluted mess of choices. And the problem is that none of those choices give everything you want.

Why can’t you have everything? Here’s all of the things a backup program needs:

  • Permissions. If you can’t preserve your metadata, forget about making faithful backups. POSIX and Windows permissions are very different, but they still deserve the same love.
  • Resilience. The restore part of a program should never produce a fatal error, unless a backup has been corrupted beyond repair. If a part has been corrupted, ignore that part, notify the user that a corrupted portion was ignored (noting, of course, what the corrupted portion actually is), and continue with the restore process.
  • Compression. Many would argue that compression only makes the backup more difficult to restore, yields a minimal return in efficiency, etc. However, this can make a large difference when uploading from a personal home network to a storage service, where storage costs are billed by the gigabyte. I don’t know about you, but $1 a month was more than my tax return this year.
  • Encryption. Everyone’s got their tinfoil hats on, how about you?
  • Incremental backups. People are not going to do full backups every week. This is a waste of time, storage space, and energy, since most files would be redundantly stored.
  • Block-level. If you modified a 20 GB VHD file, are you going to copy that whole thing on every weekly incremental backup? No, you’re going to copy the differences in blocks/parts of that file.
  • Archivable. It appears most people choose either image-based backups or file-based backups. I personally prefer at the file level, but this should not mean “copy millions of files and spew them on the target directory.” The backup should be neatly organized in, say, 50 MB parts that can be easily uploaded to a cloud service as part of a future backup plan. Or, it can just be made as a monolithic 800 GB file. The former is workable by most consumer file services, while the latter is most convenient for more enterprise-oriented services like Amazon Glacier.
  • Resumable. Most backup programs hate it when you shut down your computer for the night. Yet none of them seem to understand that this is exactly what shadow copies are for. Even after shutting down the computer, shadow copies do not magically change. Yet the software goes, restarts your entire backup, and creates yet another useless shadow copy for the mere sake of not wanting to touch files in use and making the most up-to-date backup possible.
  • Snapshots. Let’s say I don’t want to restore my whole computer; I just want to see an old file and its version changes over time. Most backup programs will not let you do that, citing that it is “too complex.” No, it’s not. Track the files the software backed up, using a tiny database like SQLite. There, you can store checksums, file sizes, previous versions, and so on and so forth. The suffering ends there. The end user can view a snapshot of the computer at a certain point in time, or view the history of a specific file, perhaps with diffs (binary diffs if the backup software is user-friendly enough).
  • Low profile. What is CloudBerry Backup using 2.7 GB of memory for? Just flapping around? No! Decent backup software should use 100 MB of memory, tops. Leave the heavy RAM consumption to browsers, games, and servers.
  • Integration. This backup software should be robust enough to make anything either a source or a destination for backups, notwithstanding the limitations of each backup medium.
    • Least liquid: Offline local storage; Amazon Glacier; Google Coldline
    • Somewhat liquid: FTP (due to its slow transfer speed of many files and inability to perform multipart transfers); most consumer storage services
    • Most liquid: iSCSI SANs; high-availability storage services
  • Drive path-agnostic. A backup software should never, ever depend on drive letters to figure out backup sources and targets.
  • Predict drive failure. This goes somewhat beyond the scope of a backup software, but there should be at least some kind of periodic SMART monitor to inform and warn a user of a drive that is indicating signs of failure. Yes, put a big popup on the notification bar with a scary message like “Your drive might fail soon” or just outright “Your drive is failing.” Show it to them the first three days, make it go away, and then show it to them the next week. Of course, the notification can be removed for a specific drive, but it will require them to read a message about possibly losing data on the failing drive, wait 5 seconds to close the dialog, and now they never have to see the dialog for that drive again.
  • Recognize cache folders. Here’s what you need to do: just stick that CCleaner scanning stuff into your product. Make the default backup plan ignore whatever CCleaner would usually clean up. Caches can add up to be gigabytes of size, and many users do not even care about including them in their backups, because all they want are their programs and documents. However, there is that one company that might say, “no you can’t ignore cache folders because we need a perfect file-level backup of the system tree.” (My argument would be to use CloneZilla and do it at the image level – but fine.)
  • Import from other services. No, I don’t care much about Acronis, Veeam, or other proprietary solutions. What I do care about, however, are the crappy Windows 7 Backup and Restore backups, dd “backups,” and other image-level backup formats. Don’t just import the backups: import file history, recompress them, preserve timestamps. Give them the full treatment, and put them neatly in the new backup format as if it really were an old backup.
  • Responsive (and responsible) backend. Big enterprise backup software uses a UI frontend, which merely communicates with the service backend. This is generally a good design. However, when the backend decides to quit, the UI frontend goes into limbo and does not respond to any commands, instead of providing a reasonable explanation to what is happening with the backend, while the backend does not attempt to halt whatever blocking operation that is taking too long. The gears just grind to a halt, and nothing can get done on either side.
  • Don’t delete anything without asking. No, I don’t even want an auto-purge functionality, and if you do, for the love of God, make it a manual operation. There is no reason to keep purging things constantly, unless you have a disk quota to work under – in that case, the software should determine what is best to purge (start with the big stuff, at the earliest backup) to meet the size requirement.
  • Only one backup mode. That backup mode better be good, and it should have a hybrid format.
  • Open-source format. The software itself may not be open-source, but you are essentially ensuring that someone out there can make a restore software that can always be compatible with the latest and greatest operating systems.
  • Bootable. Where are you going to make your restores from? A flash drive running Linux with an ncurses interface for your backup software, obviously. You could, of course, allow backups from that same bootable drive, in the case of an infected drive or as part of a standard computer emergency response procedure – but eh, that’s really pushing it. Just restores will do fine.
  • Self-testable. Make sure the backups can actually restore to something.
  • Exportable. One day, your backup software will not be relevant anymore, so why bother locking in users to your format? Make it so that they can export full archives of their backups, with a CSV sheet explaining all of the contents of each archive.

At the end of the day, users just want their files safe and sound, so keep the software as close to the fundamentals as possible, and allow others to make tools around the backup software if additional functionality is needed.

Paranoia about the eclipse

Here it is in TL;DR format:

  • If you didn’t spend $500 on the latest ISO for this exact solar eclipse event, don’t use equipment thinking that it “blocks the dangerous solar rays.”
  • When the Moon passes over the Sun, the Sun becomes an ultra-hot beam of plasma ready to annihilate anything that it touches.
  • You are an idiot because you are a non-professional who tried to look at the Sun.
  • Don’t look at the Sun or your eyes instantly bulge out of your eyesockets and explode.
  • $100 for eclipse glasses? Well, it’s only for a few minutes, and they make looking at the sun safe, so I think they’re worth the price ;)))))
  • Stay indoors because the zombies are coming.

When I was a kid, I used to look at the Sun for a second or so at a time. Did it make me a better person? No, but my vision was unaffected: I still do not wear glasses to this day. I can’t say the same thing about these days. My eyes have become older, and when I do look at the Sun, it forms spots on my eyes where the Sun was, and the spots linger for a few minutes until they consume themselves.

If you want real advice, go here:

Ideas for a new operating system

As I was watching Druaga compare the Windows system folder with the Mac system folder (which is probably just a fake frontend to a really ugly backend), I suddenly began to pace around, thinking about that graph-based file system again. I also thought about the “organization” defined by POSIX: is /usr/, /var/, /etc/, /opt/, /lib/, etc. really understandable? There’s clearly a conflict here: we want an organization that caters to both readability by the user, the core system, its components, and applications.

I speculate the creation of a new operating system in the next generation. Currently, I believe that it is nearly impossible for a new kernel to be created due to the excess complexity that semiconductor companies have thrown into their electronics, rendering operating system support for PCs effectively exclusive to Linux and Windows since those are the only two systems that they really test.

Why do we need a new operating system? In truth, we really do not. The conservatives will say, “Then why go into so much effort making an operating system that nobody will use, when there already exists one that works?” I’d ask the same thing about GNU Hurd, ReactOS, and so on.

It’s for the future. You see, there is a fatal flaw in the current operating system organizational architecture: it’s a limited directed graph that surmounts to a tree. It works under the premises that system data can be organized as papers and files inside folders. But the truth is that such data can be organized in various ways, but still not necessarily in a hierarchical or tag-based structure.

An undirected graph-based file system would work like the brain, and using more fundamental pieces of data that could allow the cluster size to go down to perhaps 2K. It would be incredibly difficult to visualize, but what you could still do is place sections of this data system in different physical locations, such as a server.


A visit to the Googleplex

After doing a thing with Google for the summer with a team of college, 150 or so of us were given an all-paid-for trip to the Google main headquarters in Mountain View, CA, for having completed the primary goals of the coding project.

It is certain that there are a very few number of individuals that get this opportunity. If you were just a kid, you’d be jumping up and down, but we are mature individuals (and broke college students) and know better than to get our hopes too high.

Because we were not informed at all that we were forbidden from disclosing any part of the trip, I can make full disclosure – well, at least the most interesting parts.


A new chapter

It is August 11, 2017. Two weeks before my first year of college. Time has passed, and everything will change now.

The days of being a slave to school are over. I do not want to live that life anymore. I have probably decreased my longevity by 10 years from the pressure of the past four. I want to actually develop a social life – meet people, learn how to do things – not just sit in my dorm, on my computer coding at every opportune moment I have. (Yes, I do want to bring my desktop, but for different reasons: I need a computer beefy enough to compile big libraries, and a laptop won’t cut it. I could try building a mini PC, but I doubt it will last me very long.)

I was awoken by my cat at 7 am, and then at 8 am. I looked outside: 7 am, and the sun had not even risen yet. Summer is over. The days of long sunlight, the days of adventuring in Japan, the days of fireworks at my uncle’s house, the days of total freedom and not knowing what to do with it, are all over once again.

This time, however, it is different. I will not be returning to high school anymore; I am finally moving up and forward, the progress I have been waiting months to achieve. It seems childish now to have a teacher paid to supervise you doing classwork, but I realize that many people remain trapped in their delusions of American sloth and thus fail to attempt to do their best. Then, in community college, there is no one around to tell them of the brutal mistake they have committed.

I have also found a friend who is interested in making an RC plane for FPV. Like me, he is avidly ambitious. However, due to the increase in popularity of “drones,” there are more prominent resources now on how to do FPV legally.

What has also arisen is the need (or lack thereof) for an AMA membership – I have read that the AMA these days are nothing more than lobbyists who use the $85-a-year membership required to be in any AMA-sanctioned flying club for just that, lobbying and advocacy of model aircraft in Congress. I don’t trust their insurance, because insurance companies these days are money-grabbers who will take every pain to keep their money, knowing that you put in so much more money for insurance per month than you could possibly lose from damages in a year. The AMA also fails to explain that, per 14 CFR 101.41(b) (“the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization”) does not mean you must be a member of the AMA to follow their rules.

Moreover, you need a Part 107 license for sUAS to fly beyond visual line-of-sight (required for FPV), and a technician’s ham radio license to operate the high-power transmitters needed for the video link, even if you are using ISM bands (2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, etc.). Thankfully, the technician’s license is actually the easiest to obtain and doesn’t require learning Morse code. In essence, it allows one to operate radio equipment that is not certified by the FCC, and in special bands provided that one’s callsign is given and you notify the FCC what band you are going to operate in, for what reason, and for what period of time the use will take place.

After about 30 minutes more of reading, however, it seems that if you follow Section 336, which includes the clause stated above, instead of being bound under FAA law, you are bound under any community’s guidelines you choose (but you can’t mix and match – you have to choose one), without necessarily needing to subscribe to their membership. However, this means that their guidelines suddenly can become interpreted as law under the scrutiny of a judge. However, if you do Section 336, it seems you can bypass strict sUAS rules in favor of “community guidelines” that might be more lenient than what the FAA states. Either way, it is no doubt why commercial enterprises have gotten impetuous with the FAA: even for commercial quadcopter flights for freight, the FAA maintains its decades-old stance of not wanting to put any trust at all on electronics, especially as a primary means of controlling an aircraft. Military? Go right ahead, control your plane from half the globe away, guns hot. Civilians? You must fly within no more than 400 feet above the ground, and the aircraft must be spottable with nothing but your eyeballs.

But what is the point of comprehending the convoluted manner in which the FAA defines and interprets its own rules? If an accident happens, you get fined, go to court with the FAA, and your case just sits in a corner for ten years. So just go to some open field and fly – oh wait, you can’t do that because you don’t have an open field! – so you have to go to a club with a little tiny fly box, again sanctioned and forced membership by the AMA.

Maybe the AMA is the right way to go about this. But how do I know the club members aren’t some old-timeys who just take their big gas plane and fly it around for a while because they have nothing else to do, and then tell me that the best way to fly a plane is to not fly it at all and watch someone else fly it instead? That would be a tremendous waste of money on my part. On top of that, I need money for a bicycle, so that I’m fairly mobile when I’m in college.

I don’t know. There’s going to be a lot of pressure on me from all sides when I go to college.

Japan: the hyperfunctional society: part 1

This is intended to be a complete account of my events in an eight-day trip to Japan, which had been planned for about two years by my native-speaking Japanese teacher, was organized by an educational travel agency, and included 26 other Japanese students with varying levels of knowledge.

Names have been truncated or removed for the sake of privacy.

After many intermittent lapses in editing, I decided to just split it into two as it was getting increasingly difficult to get myself to finish the narrative, but at the same time did not want to hold back the finished parts. I am not intending to publish this for money or anything like that; please excuse my limited vocabulary and prose during some dull parts. (more…)

Game development, and other depressing thoughts

I’m heating up from the lack of a working air conditioner in the rooms. There are two other working air conditioning units in this very large house, but what’s the point if they are in totally different areas. At least the temperatures are somewhat tolerable to an extent. Now the cat is complaining and suffering from the garage, yearning to come back inside, but no one else gives a crap until I let her back in and everyone else starts complaining about my decision to try treating a cat humanely, instead of indiscriminately putting a cat in the garage for twelve hours and then just forgetting about the cat. After all, cats can just groom themselves. You just put in water and food and they take care of themselves like plants. After I leave for college, my parents don’t give a crap about what happens with the cat. They are totally fine with leaving her alone all day, every day, except for maybe two to four hours a day. That is cruel and neglectful treatment of a cat, and I have suggested numerous times for them to find a family that could make better use of the cat. But they say no, she is already very old, she doesn’t want a lot of fun, she will sleep all day either way, and there’s really “no one” we can give the cat to. I look forward to getting away from home for once. Home is boring.

But today, I look at this question from Stack Exchange’s Game Development site (regarding licensing for someone’s Pokemon fan game), and I wonder what the point of toiling to make games is. I wonder what the point of the game dev site is, even. No one’s game will ever be good. No good, successful game developer ever used GameDev for anything useful, because they were so skilled at making games that all of the knowledge they needed was already bottled in their brains. No, of course not, your triple-A Japanese game developers don’t know English, why would they read GameDev? That’s right, because they are too busy being professionals and making video games professionally. Around half of all of the posts in GameDev have the tone of, “if you think your game will succeed, it won’t, and it will never be good or see the light of day, or even make a profit.” That’s right. Stop wasting your life making useless, dumb games, because your mind isn’t good enough to bring your “game ideas” to fruition. Your ideas suck, and if they just so happen to be good, will never be accepted by the rest of society unless you have the money to implement it.

Go back to consuming, plebeian.

That’s right, you don’t know how to make anything! You’re not creative. Every idea you have is based off the work someone else did. The real geniuses here are the likes of Hideo Kojima, who made such wonderful masterpieces that you will never equal or exceed in quality. In fact, you’re never going to become an aspiring game developer. Ever. And if you think you are, then you should stop being delusional and start looking for a job in web development. It’s a quick buck, can’t argue with that. Maybe IT if you don’t like that. Technical school for two years, and you’re set.

I took another dumb online depression test. I scored what is basically a high likelihood of severe depression. I hate being manipulated and used by my family, I hate being put aside in family matters as some clueless kid who is too clueless to at least be acquainted with family matters, I hate being scolded and looked in the face by my parents when I do something wrong, instead of being told how to make it right, and I hate sitting on my computer listening to my brother complain about how I “don’t want to play anything with him that isn’t on the computer.” I just cannot tolerate this suffering anymore.

I am so close to being able to receive legitimate medical assistance about how to unwind and untangle myself from the set of problems that gimped me from reaching self-fulfillment. My parents don’t believe it’s anything medical, no not any sort of chemical imbalance or conditioned tendencies. They think that it’s just me, that the problems are all coming from me, that none of them actually exist and I just make them up and I really just need a “spiritual director.” As I said before, spiritual directors are best for counseling, while psychologists are for actual medical diagnosis and treatment. I need a psychologist, not a spiritual director. My 80,000-word-long writings should be fair evidence that there are more problems at hand beside mere dissatisfaction and intermittent unhappiness. I have been conditioned by school so much that I am more proud of my work than myself.