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2021 April

  • In a recent STEM-focused newsletter, Noahpinion talked a bit about the myth of math being an inborn ability: Again and again, we have seen the following pattern repeat itself: Different kids with different levels of preparation come into a math class. Some of these kids have parents who have drilled them on math from a young age, while others never had that kind of parental input. On the first few tests, the well-prepared kids get perfect scores, while the unprepared kids get only what they could figure out by winging it—maybe 80 or 85%, a solid B. The unprepared kids,

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  • Falcon and Winter Soldier review (with some spoilers): more action-packed and straightforward compared to Wandavision, jumping straight into the action from the get go some great performances here, especially from Sebastian Stan (Bucky), Wyatt Russell (John Walker), and Daniel Bruhl (Zemo) Bucky and Sam have great chemistry, even though they start out annoyed at each other pacing is a bit odd at times; feels more like an extended movie than a weekly episodic series (especially compared to Wandavision, which took advantage of the weekly format really well) although a complete story by itself, this one felt more of a setup

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  • I've been a bit busy this weekend (see below), so this post is running a bit late. The world: An ongoing saga right here in the Philippines: Last weekend, community pantries for the needy started sprouting up in Metro Manila and all over the country, largely inspired by one started in Maginhawa here in Quezon City. The central idea was "give what you can, take what you need." Stories spread of heartwarming stories like a poor old man donating some food even though he had very little and an ice cream vendor giving away the remnants of his cart for

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  • This is a follow up to "Blogs of Yesteryear". This is the remainder of my blogroll from 2004/2005. I feel like the second half is less interesting than the first half, but I figured I might as well go through them as well. geekiness I think the blogs under this session are about general geeky topics. Absurd Genius - looks this was a tech and gaming-focused blog that featured a web portal for the PSP browser. But I couldn't find anymore information about the author. It was formerly hosted on, but that domain doesn't seem to have any content

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  • I'm not sure what to think of this past week, feels like it went by quickly. I may have spent too much of it daydreaming. The world: NCR+ bubble is now one week into modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ - an acronym that makes no sense). Cases still seem to be pretty high on a day-to-day basis, though we're told the R number is dropping slightly, so that's good I guess? Still, would be nice if the case numbers would calm down. Still lots of stories about people having trouble getting into hospitals and dying in ICUs. Meanwhile, the presidential

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  • Google Chrome is adding a new feature that lets their browser target you with ads without using third-party browser cookies. Here's some more info: How to fight back against Google FLoC. But basically it comes down to: if you're a web user who doesn't want your browsing history to be used to target you with advertisments, stop using Google Chrome. There are many alternatives. I'm a Firefox boy myself. For site owners, you can add a Permissions-Policy: interest-cohort=() response header to opt-out of your site being included in the data collected about your Chrome visitors. I've updated this site to

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  • A number of people I follow have been raving about Ted Lasso for a while, so I thought I'd give it a try. My thoughts: Season 1 is 10 episodes, each episode 30 minutes long. I finished all of the episodes over the span of one day! I didn't know much coming in: I knew it was about sports, and I knew it was supposedly a comedy. For some reason I assumed it was about American football. It turns out to be about English association football, i.e. soccer! Wikipedia claims the series is a comedy, but it's not a "ha-ha

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  • talks about programming being hard: Most beginners in programming eventually end up with the same ingratiating message: „Programming is easy, everyone can do it”, with some threatening message that people doing the gatekeeping should stop doing that. I’m here to tell you that that is not true. Programming is hard, programming is not for everyone, and for the time being everyone might be able to do it, but most definitely most should not. Like most of the empty, shallow, positive messages coming with an automatic defense against refute, in this case talking about this gatekeeping thing that simply doesn’t

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  • Without Their Permission is a 2013 book by Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. The central thesis of the book is that modern-day internet breaks down barriers and allows anyone to accomplish great things without having to go through traditional gatekeepers like publishers and such. I actually read the first part of the book a few years ago, and just resumed reading the book now because I saw in iBooks that it remembered where I had stopped. The first part covered mostly the author's involvement in two successful startups - Reddit and Hipmunk. The middle part of the book is dedicated to

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  • The world: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth's husband, has passed away. So has DMX, American rapper. Big facebook breach reported, etc. Doesn't seem like news, really. My phone number was among the data leaked. The country is still experiencing a surge in cases, hospitals and ICUs still bursting to capacity. Yet in spite of the crisis, the president has not been around. This has prompted questions of whether he's still alive. This in turn prompted multiple proof-of-life photos and videos from the senator-who-is-also-presidential-assistant, some of which may or may have been photoshopped. We are told he will

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  • The on-site process Got my first shot of the Sinovac vaccine earlier today at Pinyahan Elementary School in Quezon City. My appointment was for 9am, I arrived on-site a bit before 8:30am. There was a short queue outside, so I waited there for a bit.

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  • During a recent session of spelunking through old web stuff, I managed to find some older versions of the blog that I hadn't found before (and hence aren't available in the ancient archives). Screenshots of those old versions have been inserted back in the timeline. I guess it's one of those things I never bothered to archive because in theory all of that content had already been exported from Blogspot to Wordpress and eventually to the current site. But there was some content from this archive I hadn't recovered before: the list of blogs I link to in the sidebar!

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  • So after reading Neuromancer last month, I was looking for a bit of lighter fare, so I decided to work on some Discworld books and started with the first book of the City Watch subseries, Guards! Guards!. I was already quite a bit in when I was like "why does all of this seem so familiar? Are Discworld books really so same-y that it feels like I've read this before?" The good news is that it wasn't true, Discworld books aren't super-samey; I have read it before, way back in 2016 in fact. And I also found out that I

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  • It's April! Or as it's otherwise known, March 2020 month 13. As is usual, we are suffering the sweltering summer heat. Also, it's Easter Sunday, if that means anything to you. The world: Surprising almost no one, the PH government extended the ECQ lockdown in the NCR+ bubble. Anyone with half a brain could have told you that the one week ECQ was no way going to be enough, given what we know about the virus' life cycle. Meanwhile, we continued to hit record numbers of new cases, our 7-day rolling average now the highest in SEA since the pandemic

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