July 2017 news

July 2017 gwern.net newsletter with links on intelligence, GANs, malaria, Borges's essays, 2 book reviews
topics: newsletter
source; created: 14 June 2017; modified: 20 Feb 2020; status: finished; confidence: log; importance: 0

This is the July 2017 edition of ; previous, (). This is a summary of the revision-history RSS feed, overlapping with my & ; brought to you by my donors on Patreon.







  • (an aggressive mish-mash of action scenes with one of the most excessive Hollywood soundtrack, exhaustingly droning & thudding throughout the movie, I’ve ever heard. The special effects in the action scenes are, as usual, perfect, but oddly compromised by a lack of scale—while Dunkirk involved hundreds of thousands of men, somehow the effects conspire to create not a sense of catastrophe & crisis but a sense of conspicuous crampedness, as if only a few hundred men and a few dozen boats were ever involved rather than entire armies. The gritty & horrifying set pieces depicted with such cinematographic care ought to add up to more than they do.)


  • (purchased after a Linux upgrade killed my copy of ; GW2 had entranced me after reading World of Stuart’s review and being intrigued by the described strategic gameplay of black hole farming. After some experimentation, I discovered that the control combination of a mouse for movement and the d-pad for firing offered me an extraordinary level of laser-sharp eyeblink-fast control which unlocked the higher reaches of black hole farming, allowing for intense trance-inducing games lasting up to my high score of 35m30s/2,945,963 points. Naturally I assumed as a ‘clone’ that GW2’s mouse-keyboard control scheme was drawn from the original Geometry Wars. Alas! GW3, despite many years of development, offers naught but the twin-sticks Xbox gamepad and a clumsy keyboard-only control scheme. Playing even the simplest level of GW3 feels like wading through mud—after being anesthetized. Going back would be as difficult as using a push lawn mower after a z-track riding lawn mower, a HDD after an SSD, a mouse after a trackball… GW3 boasts many levels and modes, but I fear they all must be enjoyed through the same control scheme. If I had not played GW2, perhaps I could appreciate GW3 for what it is, but I have been spoiled. I will simply have to figure out how to get GW2 running again, in a VM if I must.)



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