Mild Dermatographia



Review: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

review
Quick foreword: I have a huge backlog of movies, books, and comics to add reviews to before I forget ever having read/watched them, so apologies in advance for the review spam. Right, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. 5/5, I loved this movie. It takes a bunch of classic concepts and executes them flawlessly. Parental unwillingness to accept their children for deviating from the norms of their time, a child’s rejection of their parents antiquity, loss of passion, regretting one’s major life decisions, and more. Read more...

Review: The Goblin Emperor

review
I recently finished The Goblin Emperor and found it… good? It definitely didn’t blow my mind, but what I think it wanted to do (be a hybrid coming-of-age/palace-politics story), it did well. I’m afraid this review won’t be very clever, because I was merely whelmed by this book. Some random notes: The use of traditional fantasy races (goblins and elves) feels lazy; they’ve existed for centuries, why not do something new? Read more...

Macbook Air M1

software
My 1st gen surface book became nigh unusable in September 2021 after maybe 4 years of use; the keyboard would continuously disconnect from the tablet (I presume because a loose fit and the pins losing their connection), the screen has some major burn-in issues, the battery life had dropped to almost nothing, and the CPU would struggle to achieve anything. I imagine all this, minus the keyboard issues, were caused by me using it pretty heavily for CAD, programming, and occasional gaming; I get the impression it was never designed to sustain high loads for long periods of time, despite its purported productivity pedigree. Read more...

Review: Impermanence - Abbey Road Version by Architects

review
I found this song and was immediately torn. I figure it’s both worth sharing and criticizing heavily, so without further ado: The Good Bringing in an orchestra for this song was a brilliant decision. The strings are emotional and sweeping, the brass is powerful with wonderfully dark downward slide at some points, the bells(?) are such a great touch for the breakdown. Sam pulls out some disgusting low growls that really should have made it on to the original recording. Read more...

Is There a Truth to Idiocracy?

misc
Idiocracy is the tale of an average man who is cryogenically frozen for 500 years and awakens in a future where he is the smartest person alive. The logic for how the world got to such a point is that smart people stopped reproducing and idiots didn’t. While the film has been cricticized for such a simplistic take on evolution and intelligence (see this xkcd comic for a quick summary), it does raise some less simplistic/one-dimensional questions: is there less evolutionary pressure to reduce/block certain genetic traits, and if so, will that lack of pressure result in an increase in traits which were previously culled? Read more...

Don't Look Up

misc
I watched Don’t Look Up over Christmas and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it from a cinematic perspective, found that it was probably more mastubatory than revolutionary. Myself and those who I watched it with nodded our heads at the empassioned speeches, laughed at the flagrant real-life stand-ins, and lamented how cynical yet accurate the movie is to the current climate crisis. We finished the movie, felt a vague sense of moral superiority for being in-tune with the dismal state of the universe, and promptly moved on with our lives. Read more...

Things I Want to Do

life
I’m still massively naive and optimistic, so here’s a list of things I’d like to do at some point or another (or at least take a shot at), in no particular order. Maybe I’ll turn it into a living documente like the hiking doc at some point. Build my own legged (quadruped) robot a-la-Boston Dynamics Spot/ANYbotics ANYmal Build a torso-mounted robot I can co-drum with Write my own CAD software (or at least a super basic one) Join a band Learn how to sing properly Write a book. Read more...

Update: All Music Sucks

rant
I think I’ve found why I became fed up with music as a whole; my music organizing and listening system encouraged over-listening to a given genre. I had organized my Spotify library into genre-specific playlists; these ranged in granularity, from incredibly course (“Pop”) to more fine (“Metalcore” vs “Deathcore” vs “Prog Metal”). When I listened to music, I usually chose one of those playlists and let it run its course. This meant that my listening experience was fairly homogenous over a single session; I think this may have led to me being burnt out, hearing the same instruments, tunings, patterns, what have you, again and again. Read more...

Living and Studying in Switzerland - 4 Month Retrospective

life
I moved to Switzerland for grad school back in September, and figured I’d take the lull in my schedule (not really, still have projects, oh well) to write about my experience so far. I’ll definitely make an updated version of this when I graduated; it’ll be nice to compare my final thoughts to how I felt pretty early on. I’ve split this into a few sections. The first is about my program at ETH Zurich; the second is about the university itself. Read more...

My Job Application Statistics

life
Apologies in advance, this is going to be a very short, uninformative post; it’s more of a public diary entry of sorts for me to put down a couple quick thoughts, and so won’t be especially englightening or deep. I’ve been applying for jobs since December of 2019. I figure, it being the two year anniversary of unemployment, I’d celebrate by making a diagram and rambling a bit about my experience! Read more...
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