/ˈbɑːltəkʊteɪ/. Knows some chemistry and piping stuff. TeXmacs user.



  • 119 Posts
Joined 1 年前
Cake day: 2023年6月12日


  • and then ends it, always leaving you wanting more

    After several years of reading, I have realized that most of his books fall into the “Status Quo” genre, much like Marvel movies in which superheroes are cops that work to prevent relatable characters or governments from falling too out of sync with reality. The second their dystopian speculations start to imagine a society better off (due to redistribution of concentrated power or wealth), they immediately end.

    Diamond Age (1994): corporations control society by controlling the centralized Feeds that supply matter compilers, justifying their monopoly by saying they keep society stable. MC publishes blueprints for compiling your own Feed. Story ends.

    Anathem (2008): The government executes most scientists en masse and imprisons most survivors because technology was too disruptive 3000 years ago. A new global disaster forces the release of the scientists so they can wield ancient technology to solve the crisis. Story ends.

    Cryptonomicon (1999) / The Great Simoleon Caper (1994): Some cryptographers think Bitcoin is a good idea even if it might topple governments. They publish it. Story ends.

    Termination Shock (2021): Climate change can be solved by billionaires by getting governments addicted to shooting sulfur into the atmosphere. The story ends basically as soon as the operation begins.

    Seveneves (2015): The moon blows up, forcing a crash course construction of a modern Noah’s Ark in the form of a fleet of spaceships in low Earth orbit. Eccentric billionaires sacrifice themselves to make the project work to save seven genius women who rebuild society with eugenics and a racial caste system. They discover some pre-disaster survivors whose culture is incompatible with the new society. Talks begin for reïntegration. Story ends.

    Fall (2019): People upload and emulate their brains into datacenter computers. The first rich people to upload themselves gain an enormous first mover advantage in the digital afterlife and control the minds of newcomers whose surviving families pay ludicrous amounts of money to keep the dead billionaire-controlled Bitworld running. The system keeps running smoothly until the admin with the credentials to shut everything down dies, is uploaded, defeats the incumbent dead billionaire, thus making the world more equitable. Story ends.

    The closest thing to an exception I can find is Atmosphæra Incognita (2014; part of Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future), in which a billionaire fights environmental regulations and NIMBY pushback to build a 20-kilometer steel tower to reduce space launch costs by acting as scaffolding for a mass driver. Although the story portrays most people as against the construction of such an audacious structure, and although the main beneficiaries are corporations wealthy enough to purchase space on the tower to install equipment, if you weigh your definition of “society” towards billionaires and their company org charts, then the story is about breaking the Status Quo (of NIMBY California landowners).

  • baltakateitoAnime@ani.socialTHE NEW GATE - Episode 4 discussion
    4 天前

    I am glad the author of the original light novel got their story animated. If this story had been published before either Overlord (2010) or Sword Art Online (2002), then the story would have been groundbreaking. However, the only main advantages this show has over other isekai is the lack of any spiciness, beyond the usual smattering of damsels in distress and a blushing pair of twins. Everyone seems chaste, honorable, and hard-working. No sign of any harem development in sight. There does not even seem to be any political antagonist or obvious grievances against the status quo. The most likely source of conflict seems to be MCʼs overpowered state, yet the author has made him successful in keeping that off the plot table for now. Instead of Overlord’s murderous menagerie of a sexually frustrated succubus, underage loli vampire, skin-harvesting demon, etc., we have an elf maid, an elf, and a fox. Nothing complicated.

    It feels like a television program designed by a public morals committee that I would show my conservative grandmother to fool her into allowing me to see more interesting shows.

    Edit: dropped the series as of episode 8. Animation did not get better.

  • Damn. Now I want a solarpunk isekai.

    Recommendation: I just finished The Terraformers (2023) which basically has all the bullet points. It opens with a rich kid being executed by a forest ranger for LARPing a carbon negative campsite on a private planet to eat some skewed rabbit. Wealth inequality is still an issue, but technology is crazy; people figured out Earth animals were people the whole time, and baseline Homo sapiens are treated as animals if commercial interests are not restrained by government. I would be a miserable monster living in that arguably better future simply because of my upbringing: I love me a good burger and feel squeamish about people being born from bioprinters. It really humbled me, making me realize the current status quo must change if we want to improve society for everyone; a typical Japanese isekai MC would be a complete fish out of water.

  • At least it wasn’t mayo or soy sauce.

    Someday I hope to see an isekai that acts to humble the audience instead of cheerleading Earth culture. Imagine a Japanese high schooler MC waking up, ready to wow the world with Japanese cuisine, smartphone technology, and knowledge of modern medicine… only to realize:

    • Most people are vegan and think MC is a monster for wanting to enslave and eat people (e.g. industrial farm cattle)
    • Earth technology is inefficient and wasteful.
    • 21st century medicine is their equivalent of bloodletting

    I am sure it would not sit well with test audiences since no one likes being told their culture is bad, but even Earth cultures are incompatible across sufficient geographic distances and spans of history.

  • baltakateitoMemesAbsolutely deranged
    7 天前

    If battery technology werenʼt still stuck in the Vietnam War era, 2-second rapid charging would require something like a thick boi USB-B cable to satisfy everyoneʼs desire to also use their phone as a tazer/hand grenade/flying drone/cardiac defibrillator/space heater.

  • This is like your favorite bar removing all seating and converting itself into a vending machine with “NO LOITERING” signs plastered everywhere.

    Edit: I cancelled my 7.99 USD/month subscription. It’s not a big signal, but it’s the only one I have that matters to SONY, the near-monopoly that owns the concern. Half the enjoyment I got was in seeing the immediate reactions of others to an episode. Now, without comments or reviews, I can’t even pretend that I’m not watching these shows alone. What’s the point of enjoying a show if you can’t talk about it with others?

  • The Aranet4 runs on two AA batteries and the smartphone apps are still well-supported. The apps also support CSV export of trend data which is nice. In addition to CO2 ppm, it also records temperature, air pressure, and relative humidity (these other readings are probably used to adjust the CO2 sensor readings to account for temperature/humidity/air pressure conditions). I carry one of these with me while traveling and its high alarm beep (I have it set to sample every 60 seconds) is a convenient reminder to circulate air or consider wearing a mask if I am in a public space. The air pressure reading can be used as a crude altimeter, especially if you have two of the devices: one in a stationary location and another on your person as you take a hike; subtract the two values and you get a pressure difference that is a function of elevation.