July 2017 news

July 2017 gwern.net newsletter with links on intelligence, GANs, malaria, Borges's essays, 2 book reviews (newsletter)
created: 14 June 2017; modified: 10 Aug 2017; status: finished; confidence: log; importance: 0

This is the July 2017 edition of the gwern.net newsletter; previous, June 2017 (archives). This is a summary of the revision-history RSS feed, overlapping with my Changelog & Google+; brought to you by my donors on Patreon.

Writings

Media

Books

Nonfiction:

Film/TV

Live-action:

  • Dunkirk (2017) (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.)

Games

  • Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (purchased after a Linux upgrade killed my copy of GridWars 2; 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.)

Music

Touhou:

Kantai Collection:

Misc: