Patrick Phelan
A Light In The Darkness

A giant pile of pretentious ramblings that will probably prove embarrassing later on.

Democracy dies in darkness, of embarrassment

Revolt: cheese, though I just got the pun in the title. Seemed to me Deepak and Anoop were arguing that consciousness was the processing of the universe, and that God was just more consciousness than usual. The first is a valid concept, but seemed to be off the point. (and not what any of these words mean to most people, but are Hindu concepts.) The second is [Hammond]'s Scientific Proof of God, and somebody is going to get stabbed. Perhaps a more focused debate would have been "the more we evolve, the less we need sentience". There's an excellent SF series the name of which escapes me involving an ancient alien device that would only talk to sufficiently advanced intelligences, much to the irritation of another ancient alien race that had evolved past the need for consciousness (normal definition) but had more than enough processing (Deepak definition) to be God-like to the Humans. Another debate could have been progressive (? modern? forward-looking?) society doesn't need religion. Even I would argue against that, though: society doesn't need bad religion, certainly, but religion either as the opiate of the masses or as positive inspiration is good. (See also: Babylon 5) Hindu nationalists attacking people is bad, but as above the viewpoint that you and everything is just the universe thinking might encourage less strident self-assuredness.

Javascript feature request: setTimeout(function, 'whenever'); Like giving a task to a lowest priority background thread, it will run, but whenever.

I would like to bring up The Leaf again, the crypto-currency from The First Bank of Spiderplants. In light of articles showing young people or Japan or people who really should know better "investing" in various coins, I should point out that many are useless or outright scams. The Leaf doesn't deliver the hacker ideals of a global anonymous transaction network free from The Man, but in no way does Bitcoin. (Maybe a public ledger isn't the best place to log your drug transactions, or using the power of a small city to pay for a cup of coffee.) The Leaf does come far closer: while it does require a bank/greenhouse, that bank doesn't have to retain records of the transactions, and it could be a global network if it has as much hardware as the existing global credit card network. It just wouldn't necessarily take 3% from every transaction like a credit card does. It would provide the cost and speed advantages of ACH with the security of disposable credit card numbers, and actually provide the possibility of a global anonymous cash network.

Spring 2018 Anime

Into the Badlands #2: Wesley Crusher annoyed me, and the writing in the last episode is terrible.


I got a voice mail in Chinese. I get a lot of spam in Chinese, but this is a first.

Anime Winter 2018 Review: Many of the mid-tier shows turned out terribly (Basilisk, Ito, citrus, maybe Grancrest), but some of the Girl's Club shows (Camp, Universe, Takagi, also Ramens) were brilliant. CCS:CC was expected to be and is god-tier. Aside from the update to the phones (and that you can't film sports day events!), it is a second season to a show that aired 20 years ago. If the Star Wars prequels had managed this, George Lucas would be hailed as the king of film (and as not somebody who had a team edit out his worst impulses until he became too important to criticize). Even the treatment of characters whose actors have died is brilliant. Episode 9 had better handle Carrie Fisher at least as well, speaking of Star Wars.

Because I couldn't find out if Burnout Paradise Remastered is playable on a PC (apparently not), I downloaded Asphalt 8. The racing itself is nice (far more controllable with a keyboard than the forza demo) but the unceasing begging for micro-payments is a revelation. I have lived a sheltered life or something.


In this Corner of the World: slice of life, girls WWII club. By making the point of view character a privileged air-head, they manage to gloss over quite a lot. Lin is a goodly part of the movie's impact, and is shown mostly in the closing credits.

Steel Rain: more of the fun Best Korea. Though they showed a statue of the Paramount General without showing the face. Forbidden!

Given: nice looking, but that's quite a carbon footprint for hippies.

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World: stuff, not particularly in-depth or opinionated, except for the bit about malevolent dwarf druids, which is 100% fact.

I've been working as a programmer longer than 95% of other programmers, according to SO. So very tired.

Children of the Whales: possibly too much unexplained Dilandau. D. was a formidable if unstable military commander, who went crazy. This one is regarded as a clown (literally) by his own commanders and is insane from the get-go.


I noticed Swift's assignment operator returns nothing, to prohibit "if a = b" errors, but "if let a = b?" seems to be the primary way dealing with things that might be nil.

The Force: aimless, in that there is no conclusion or change it can point to.

Naga: (not the fish monsters) I could see that as a lifestyle, except for the arm-holding-up ones.


A.I.C.O: very nice. Sciencey, yet not a thing to complain about. Pulsing mounds of flesh, but not entirely stomach turning. Also has an ending. Probably should not have binged the whole thing, though.

I think the problem with "Junji Ito Collection" is timing: the print version could present a highly detailed grotesque, forcing you to stop and stare at it, trapping you on the that page. The animation just blows past it at TV resolution, spending most of its time on cheap animation.

B: The Beginning: sort of a Japanese Batman + Italian House, MD? The particular mystery seemed extremely petty. The framing mystery is not explained. (It is just The Beginning, I guess.)

I was trying to diagnose why a VPN wasn't sending data, and looked at the console. Remember the last time I said the dozens of log messages a second was a symptom of poor software? Now there's hundreds. Giant blocks from the kernel every second, something from wirelessproxd every half second. It isn't doing the 3 line iTunes thing, but is instead doing a 6 line coreaudiod thing. There's actual errors once every 6 seconds. It's a 40Kbps rain of crap. I'm in favor of having all these daemons, even if a lot of them are mysterious, but turning them off when not in use would be a big gain. I don't need wireless doing anything when I have the wifi and bluetooth shut off.

An apparently legit Verizon email said my auto-pay "has been canceled". It said my account was locked again, but at least this time was willing to send me a temporary password. (to the email address controlled by the locked account, because certainly nobody would change such a thing) Once I get in, it says the auto-pay is not canceled.

The Flanders next door have an Alexa, and it is reading the Bible. They are up into the begats. It has a particularly booming quality I hope my NPR at low volume doesn't have.


Shin Gojira: I liked that a lot of things Godzilla usually brushes aside (trains, buildings) were used as weapons. Revenge! I really like the evolution and hard(ish) SF aspect. The Engrish was pretty bad.

Full Metal Netflix: decent enough, includes Nina, but leaves enough for a full sequel. Weird that the armor always seemed CGI, yet still with a person inside it.

The Final Master: super dense, then abruptly ends. Some really funny character moments, then a long historical grind. I'm assuming I'm not Chinese enough to know the actual ending.

Infinity Chamber: also nice SF, slow-ish.

Dark: nice SF, but incredibly slow, rainy. I do like the 80's cars, though later 80's are best.


Mute: Poor timing after Altered Carbon. Better looking, but also not great, structural issues.

Kung Fu Yoga: has some nice moments. Also I have received great awareness of Belt and Road initiative.

Warcraft: I never actually played the RTS. (Myth was my RTS, also I'm bad at them.) As such, it was nice seeing Stormwind at max draw distance, and spotting things like the Doomhammer, before it turned blue and grew spikes, and Atiesh the Raven Staff (prevents saddle sores). The story didn't do much for me.

Devilman Crybaby: nice and weird. The middle drags a bit, but the end is extreme.


Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi: HiDive doesn't have a free version of current shows, but it does have this. I rewatched it while waiting on laundry. Giant X weirdness, loads of single frame animator gags, plot that eventually means something (but doesn't actually grow up, which now, kind of irritated me). - I'd like that lifestyle, but not the murderous crazy people or dodging rangers. Buying enough property would solve both, but then there's the cost and racial issues of rich white people buying Hawaii. Solution: train the hippies to live a native lifestyle, make them an exhibit for hikers willing to go in that far.

I kind of want to spend $5 on HiDive to watch Colors, but I could spend twice as much on Amazon and get more than twice as many shows. Support an anime focused streaming site, or crush it to stop streaming fragmentation? Or buy both and stop being cheap.

"Connecting a Windows 10 computer to a Mac is more complex than you'd imagine." no kidding. Not only do I not have the version of Windows that does stuff, the stuff it does seems designed to be irritating, presumably to get you to upgrade.

your name: I liked it, nicely paced, very Japanese.

"Thanks for being a loyal Verizon customer." - ha


I got the Horde Vicious Fox. I will play the Priest more, but she doesn't have all the pvp talents yet, and pretty bad gear, and nobody likes disc now. I think it is best to get the talents now then wait for the next expac when everybody is in greens.

Altered Carbon (Netflix): I liked it. Some characters seemed a tad insane, though I guess that was part of the point.


I installed the Kemono Friends Pavilion app off the American App Store (search for Bushiroad), but now it has stopped working, with a button that demands the Japanese App Store. At least I got all the foxes, though I didn't get the video game for Red. #NoTatsukiNoTanoshi


There's somebody on the Intelligence Squared debate "Unresolved: America's Economic Outlook" who appears to be insane. America "can't survive" on a consistent 1% growth rate? The war on business is over? (bet that guy doesn't own a business.) "The most positive deregulation is net neutrality." Coal is booming again? Obviously, he helped write the Trump tax cut. He is literally arguing for the 1920's economy, energy, racism.


Ash vs Evil Dead #1: Groovy

The rise in people working from home means that some jobs could be decoupled from location altogether, making commuting obsolete. Soon it'll even be possible to get a good internet connection in the remotest parts of Alaska—so if you wanted to work as, say, a web developer in a place like Point Hope, which is above the Arctic Circle, you could (in theory) do the job as easily as if you were living in San Francisco.
from I would like to point out while my current career goal is to live in a shack in the woods, this points out a lot of rural space is impoverished not because of the lack of jobs, but the lack of everything else. I could do my job with a cell connection and solar panel for the laptop, but my current need for periodic cat scans would limit where I can live. While I personally can afford the time off to spend days traveling, the hypothetical Point Hope web developer might not.

ID-0: the last half is adequate. Not Outlaw Star.

Godzilla Netflix Series: I liked it. My one nitpick: the spacesuits in the escape were the same well-used model.


Winter 2018 anime


A joke combining Binchou-tan with a bit from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
This modern world has driven me to despair, but Binchou-tan is always genki

Project Binchou-stan continued in a holding pattern. It might just be because it is currently -10C and I have a hot water bottle under my blanket and my hands are still freezing, but I would consider moving to a warmer climate. I don't have so much money that I could move or equip a new household and buy a shack in Hawaii or someplace on a whim, and not enough willpower to actually move. Still only working part time, though I think that mostly means I just don't get paid a lot, but I also really can't work more than 2 8-hour days in a row.

A pre-post-apocalyptic theme that I am shamelessly stealing from Susumu Hirasawa. It continues the trend of making the text increasingly hard to read. Not sure as I can top this one. (If you were wondering: I generally don't read my own site. I grep the source files for titles so I can remember if I saw/read it. I was pretty sure nobody else is reading it either, but here you are.)

2017 Drivel

My sole remaining career goal is to live in a shack in the woods. No more resumes!

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Patrick Phelan, now more than ever.
w____\\W//___w       Te Hupenui
Exploration, experimentation, exclamation. Lights shine brightly in the many towns.