Some of the apps I use:

1. Mastodon (Social Media Platform). Its decentralized nature means it cannot pull the shit Facebook and Twitter pull easily, but admins of individual servers can block you. Terms of use for most servers contain vague statements like "do not post offensive content" and so on. So ultimately you rely on the common sense of the admins. Still, it's much better than Tw/Fb because you can go to other servers and retain access to the Fediverse. If you're fed up with the terms of the available servers, you can create your own and put forth your own terms. However, the most populous servers can still band together and boycott you (as they did with Gab.)

2. Keybase (Encryption, Identity Proof, Storage, Chat). It was a love at first sight. Then Zoom bought it. I am told Keybase is still safe given the stringent code-reviews it has passed. But a Chinese company owns it now, meaning, it's only going to get worse over time. I have not deleted my data from Keybase, and still use it. But I try not to add any more data to my account.

3. Cyph (Encryption, Chat, etc). Cyph was built in response to the purchase of Keybase. The founders aim to make the platform resistant to attacks from quantum computers. The UI is not super pretty yet, but the platform as a whole is promising.

4. DuckDuckGo Search Engine.

5. Brave Browser.

6. Mozilla Firefox.

7. DuckDuckGo Browser for Android.

8. Signal (for instant messaging). You have to have it installed on your phone. It requires a phone number to tie to your account. You can do voice call and video call with it too. It can also be used to replace the messaging app on your phone for regular text messages. You can create encrypted backups for your messages and restore them onto your new phone if you are switching phones; it's simple but you must follow the exact order of operations listed on the website on the first attempt.

****. Nothing beats having your own website, using email, and storing your data in future-proof formats (like .txt).

evernote.com/shard/s737/sh/292

-----------------------------------------------------------
Think Bayes Chapter 6 Decision Analysis
-----------------------------------------------------------

Building posterior distribution for Price is Right.

evernote.com/shard/s737/sh/49f

My Wolfram Mathematica codes for Chapter 6 of Think Bayes: Odds and Addends

Problems include

* Finding the distribution of the sum of the results of three rolls of a six-sided dice.

* Finding the distribution of the maximum of the results of six rolls of three six-sided die.

* Finding the distribution of obtaining 1, 2, ..., 20 in Dungeons & Dragons.

@Mayana I checked out your profile after I noticed you favorited my toot about ones vs one's.

I'm wondering how you read my toot? Did you use some program to convert text into audio?

And how do you select which toot to read?

Thanks!

**** Therefore, Flask enchanted the oculus in such a way that none of it would be visible to the Soul Families, most to Erasmus, but the crucial information would be available to Ireen only. The oculus would be discovered by those serving the Soul Families, because they would be the one with the resources and motivation to sweep the area: no way of getting around that. The oculus would be tagged, ``for my star student, who will know exactly what to do," implicating Erasmus as the intended recipient. The Soul Families would then probably strike a deal with Erasmus to gain the information inside, so there needed to be something for them there. Regarding how to reach Ireen... he would just have to hope Ireen would figure something out.

** Ireen

*** It takes wisdom to realize rapid progress is an existential threat. The current world order becomes vulnerable to progressively greater numbers of single points of failure. Increasing amounts of destruction become susceptible to be triggered by decreasing number of individuals. There is not enough time to adapt to unforeseen consequences. Progress is destabilizing if its rate is too high.

*** It takes courage to do something substantial about it.

Show thread

* Key Events

** Erasmus

*** Erasmus opens with the realization that fictions are not creations, they are destructions. Reality is stranger than fiction. Fiction is a subtractive process of deleting truths in order to increase credibility and transmissibility.

*** One's positions ought to account for all the information one has incorporated into one's knowledgebase. Erasmus allowed his hypothesis to color everything he knew. This was not a comfortable place to be.

** Flask

*** The oculus, unknown to Erasmus, was not actually meant for him. Therefore, despite all the surrounding contraptions he had devised and all them enchantments he and Ireen applied, he was unable to access all the information locked within.

*** Flask meant for the oculus to eventually make its way to Ireen, who through her position in the Amaranthers, would be able to do what was needed. Here was Flask's thought process:

**** There is a massive magical potential in the Lower Realm. If the Soul Families, corrupted over centuries, learn about it, internal conflicts would immediately develop between the families, sucking Autumnwish into a conflict of families, unleashing enormous amounts of destruction. The knowledge must not reach the Soul Families.

**** His star student, Erasmus, was a little more trustworthy. However, he would be curious and reach the conclusion that the potential must be used for good. He would end up conducting dangerous research, which would work for a while, but ultimately play into the hands of the Soul Families if Erasmus made one mistake.

**** Only Ireen, another star student, younger, lesser known, would immediately grasp the existential threat posed by such potential. Flask is aware of the inevitable corruption that has taken hold of the Amaranthers, but he trusts that Ireen's group would be able to do the right thing: cut off the connection between the Lower Realm and the Upper Realm, and thereby protect Autumnwish.

ones / one’s

The possessive pronoun “one’s” requires an apostrophe before the S, unlike “its,” “hers,” and other personal pronouns. Examples: “pull oneself up by one’s own bootstraps,” “a jury of one’s peers,” “minding one’s own business.”

A simple test: try inserting “anyone’s” in place of “one’s.” If it works grammatically, you need the apostrophe in “one’s” too. When “one’s” is a contraction of “one is” it also requires an apostrophe: “no one’s listening,” “this one’s for you.”

The only times “ones” has no apostrophe are when it is being used to mean “examples” or “people” as in “ripe ones” or “loved ones,” or in the informal arithmetical expression “the ones column.”

brians.wsu.edu/2016/05/19/ones

I've realized that typing out posts here is not a great way to keep track of everything. Henceforth, I plan to post links to pages I am working on like so:

evernote.com/shard/s737/sh/f70

This way I can update what I've previously written without losing track or requiring to rewrite from scratch.

STONE LAKE is located on 1293 Cedarhurst St in Mt Oliver, on the south side of Autumnwish. From the common side, Stone Lake is an upscale townshouse. It has four stories above the ground, and two below. The general exterior is white. There are four spires at the top and a red pyramid crown.

I wonder why YouTube feels the need to employ elaborate methods to defend domestic terrorists. And by the way, people can fact check themselves. Treat your users with done respect.

Watch "BLM and Antifa bring ‘rubble, death, violence, and destruction’" on YouTube
youtu.be/9Mx6eKROG7c

BLM is a terrorist organization, for the record.

Renlin

Beginning - Graduation arc, birthday, Leia's death...
Followed by, the attack during which Renlin tries in vain to confront Marco.
Fight in which Erasmus and co intervenes, slightly before the Soul Families join the frey.

Long training arc. Includes Renlin's partial recovery, and his diving into the books.
Training with Ireen. Learning with Mel.
Learning the old tongue. (The kitlodi language is going to come in handy some time later. Perhaps book three when they have to make sure no one other than them understand what they are chatting about. They decide to resurrect the language.)
Chats with Tori.

And then, the Rightful. Hearing the voice of Flask in the language he had been learning. That would be a good place to end indeed. We can have Mel as an additional character. We can have Ireen have her little challenges as well. Perhaps even a soft introduction of Herschyl and Marina. Charl would be drawing the strings from behind, and we could draw attention to that as well.

Erasmus has his own thing going on in the side. I am not opposed to the grand start with The Oculus. Erasmus for sure needs to be a PoV character.

Are we having a goddamn character explosion? Let's take a look at the PoV characters in this book:
Renlin. Erasmus. These two are for sure. And we have bits of Flask through Erasmus.
Ireen. For the rescue scene? But the rescue happens differently in this version. Anyway there will be plenty for her. The "It will be hard to betray him" right at the beginning, and then the book ends with her betrayal, yeah, that sounds delectable.

So mostly Renlin and Erasmus. How about one from a minor character. Perhaps Flora? Not opposed to it. She's the shy one. The one who will die a while later. Not opposed to giving her some say. And then killing her off.

I have good feeling about this project.

This will be partially meditative.

I am currently reading The Blade Itself in order to learn more about character-work. Hirohiko Araki mentioned in his book that Character is more important than everything else. Joe Abercrombie seems to have taken that to heart (not deliberately -- I doubt he even knows Araki). The first book of the trilogy primarily sets up the characters, plot arrives in the later books.

But so far I am not bored by the book. The characters are involved in overcoming their own obstacles. The fights are quick, gritty, and decisive---the author avoids spending too long on visuals as that is not what books are the best at. Instead Abercrombie delineates the inner workings within the characters' minds---and that is what books are excellent at: playing to the strength of the medium.

Things to learn. things to learn...

I have long fight scenes. I will have to tighten them up. I use fantasy elements in fights quite a lot. The only fantasy element I have seen used in the book is Logen spitting the fire spirit at the bandit, incinerating him. But that's limited magic. The rest is as humans would fight.

**Tight, short, decisive fight scenes, with consequences for mistakes.**

What else? The characters are moving, doing things. Descriptions are present in plenty, but the characters are doing things, and the descriptions are weaved seamlessly within.

Show thread

corpulent
excessively fat
rove
move about aimlessly or without any destination
dingy
thickly covered with ingrained dirt or soot
hutch
a cage for small animals
atoll
an island consisting of a coral reef surrounding a lagoon
pantograph
mechanical device used to copy a figure or plan on a different scale
aperitif
alcoholic beverage taken before a meal as an appetizer
frankincense
an aromatic gum resin formerly valued for worship
serviette
a small piece of table linen that is used to wipe the mouth and to cover the lap in order to protect clothing
fen
low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation
workaday
found in the ordinary course of events
scrumptious
extremely pleasing to the sense of taste
canoodle
fondle or pet affectionately
communique
an official report (usually sent in haste)
emir
an independent ruler or chieftain
weir
a low dam built across a stream to raise its level or divert its flow
hessian
(19th century) a man's high tasseled boot
azalea
any of numerous ornamental shrubs grown for their showy flowers of various colors
refectory
a communal dining-hall, usually in a monastery
trill
a note that alternates with another note a semitone above it

Show thread

Read a couple more chapters, and I am really enjoying the book. We got to know a little bit about Glokta, and how he used to be a champion at least equaling the capabilities of Luthar.

The relationship between West and Luthar is interesting. I enjoyed the chapter in which Luthar meets West's sister. The buildup was fun to read. Just the right amount of predictability.

The chapter was a little less gritty.

But there were other chapters like the one in which Logen meets Bayaz's apprentice and has to fight the bandits. That one was quite gritty. We get to see the competent side of Logen, as well as his generous side (giving his food to the apprentice, saying he had eaten when he had not.) Logen is becoming likable. Need to learn what brought him down.

Show thread

This guy is Julian Assange in the making.

We better have laws to protect people like him.

Show thread
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Mastodon.host

What sets mastodon.host appart?

As a general instance, we are not centered on a specific theme, or a specific language. Everyone is welcome as long as they follow the few rules we have.

We always run the latest stable version of Mastodon, providing you a stock experience, with the following modifications:

  • 2048 character limit (not 500).
  • 512 character limits for the account's bio (not 160).
  • full column width (not fixed size).
  • more search results (20 instead of 5 per type of search).
  • Audio upload (not limited to videos only).
  • full text search of statuses (not restricted to searching tags and users).
  • trending tags are displayed on the main UI ( and a more complete view is available here)
  • boosts and replies are shown in the timelines (more complete view for everyone).
  • Your mastodon.host account is also a XMPP account (Federated Instant Messaging, take a look online to find a client and use your mastodon.host username and password to configure it, you can also use our online web client). Woohoo! two services in one!
  • We also have a very good view of the federation (our federated timeline gives you a more broad view of the Mastodon network than a 'normal' instance, there's a lot to read in a lot of languages).
  • We also host a Peertube instance for the convenience. Try it and let us know what you think !
  • In the same vein, we host a Funkwhale instance for the convenience. Try it and let us know what you think !
  • If you want to be on a more quiet, moderated instance, or use another AP implementation, we host a Pleroma instance for the convenience. This is the same fediverse as with Mastodon, but with a different default UI and way more optimized backend. Try and see which one you prefer !
  • Now if you want a different UI, the stock mastodon one does not please you, you can check Pinafore.
  • We do also host for the convenience a video Conference server ( Jitsi Meet )
  • We have a mastodon relay for other instances to bootstrap their timelines: https://relay.mastodon.host

Although we are a medium+ sized instance, we'd like to keep the feeling that you are at home and safe here.