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Drakefyre

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About Drakefyre

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  1. Drakefyre

    Could You Interpret This Quote

    It seems to be gently poking fun at optimists, or the general human condition to believe that everything will go their way in the future, in business and in friendship. I think that interpretation is backed up by the fact that the quote is from "Epigrams of a Cynic"
  2. Drakefyre

    Big Argument!!1

    I still have FluffyTurtle.jpg on my computer, along with "Vote for Alcritas" banners, that picture of Mariann shooting a gun, a dancing doomguard, desperance banners, and more. And something called rhapsody.exs
  3. Drakefyre

    Non Technological entertainment.

    Sports (either competitive or social or both), cooking, drinking, board games (Dominion is a favorite), reading, cultural experiences like museums, concerts, galleries, etc. And while it does involve a computer (or smartphone), meetup.com in populous areas is pretty good for meeting likeminded people or getting into new hobbies. DC also has things like Knowledge Commons DC, and your area might have something similar.
  4. Drakefyre

    Avadon 2 trailer posted to youtube

    Exile 2 had the best music, followed by Exile 1. You can download them here.
  5. Drakefyre

    Back to School 2013

    I was a CS grad student at Stanford - I took a lot of Artificial Intelligence classes, just not Thrun's. I took a class that covered everything in Thrun's Udacity course - but in way more depth and rigor. I mentioned that I had Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller as professors, the two founders of Coursera, and their Stanford classes were both incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding. I think what you say definitely has merit, but the professors are Stanford are known for their teaching and their research (incidentally, not Thrun - who was recruited for his robot car skills, then left for Google and Udacity). The more common view is that it's just very hard to fail out of an elite university. There are a lot of resources and second chances. But in engineering specifically, the courses are difficult and challenge students, especially in the graduate-level classes. And yes, a lot of people leave a lot of schools with the same skills (and "earning potential" ... although like the article Kel linked, that's obviously not the best measure of measuring post-graduate "success"). But the low-income and racial differences are definitely worth noting (as well as the fact that super top tier schools have better financial aid than almost all state schools). For people interested in stuff like this, the Washington Post is in the middle of a 10-part series on higher ed and tuition. ETA: I don't think that online learning will ever replace brick and mortar institutions. But I do think that it can fill an important gap for ambitious high schoolers, people who can't afford college but want a college education (and plan to go later in life), nontraditional students who are looking for a way to ease back into education or can't go back to school, people in foreign countries with less access to higher ed, and hobbyists. And that's a lot of people.
  6. Drakefyre

    Back to School 2013

    Honestly, it's not great. I took the Artificial Intelligence for Robotics course first, and it's a pretty cursory overview of the subject and labeled as an "advanced" course. I didn't have Sebastian Thrun at Stanford but he claimed it was at least as hard as his Stanford classes, which I give serious sideye to. I think Coursera is better for advanced subjects because it's mostly actual university classes (and I did have Ng and Koller as profs) But we'll see how the GPU course is - it could be very good!
  7. Drakefyre

    Back to School 2013

    Introduction to Parallel Programming - I'll need to learn how to use CUDA and program GPUs for work, so this seems like a good starting point.
  8. Drakefyre

    What is the Longest Spiderweb Game?

    I always thought that Exile II took longer than Exile III when you're just trying to finish as quickly as possible - Exile III is huge and takes forever at first, but you really only need to stop a couple plagues and then be strong enough to survive the final battle. Singleton, combat mode, Avatar.
  9. Drakefyre

    Weird spells in Exile 3

    On the plus side, as the monsters get stronger and more powerful, so does your party!
  10. Drakefyre

    Weird spells in Exile 3

    You'll never really have to worry about it.
  11. Drakefyre

    Weird spells in Exile 3

    There are certain creatures that Mindduel you. It's a mostly ineffective but mildly annoying thing to deal with in a battle with a lot of creatures.
  12. Drakefyre

    My classmates terrify me

    On the subject of insurance and utility - one of the interesting measurements is a micromort: a one-in-a-million chance of death. Wikipedia
  13. Drakefyre

    A6 - Poll: What is your favored ending? [Spoilers]

    Wizards also live a very, very long time. I chose to help Gladwell, and kill the Darkside Loyalists and the Scourgeleaders for Melanchion. This resulted in the standoff, with essentially many independent nations in the caves and Avernum ruled by Gladwell. Avernum, the Abyss, Melanchion, the sliths, and the Vahnatai. Not to mention the wilderness owned by no-one. I liked the long ending narrative - everything made sense, it was satisfying, and no one power has control over the caves. One thing that could have been made more clear was the degree of autonomy Upper Avernum (consisting of the surface colony in Valorim as well as "old Upper Avernum" still in the caves) has from the Kingdom of Avernum now ruled by Gladwell. It would make sense to me that Avernum and Upper Avernum become two separate entities once Gladwell takes over from Starrus.
  14. Drakefyre

    Anyone care to explain the basic Republican philosophy? (USA)

    Originally Posted By: Vicheron It's funny how neuroscience just reeks of legitimacy. People don't even question it when a scientist uses an fMRI to tell them something about the brain. I just wonder what will happen when a person says that he like Coke but an fMRI image of his brain says that he likes Pepsi. Are they going to believe the person or his brain? Depends - what happens when he tries them both? There's a lot of psychology that goes into something like brand loyalty - someone conditioned to think that they prefer Coke when 'chemically' he prefers the taste of Pepsi is an interesting case. There are a lot of things that go into a purchasing decision, and ultimately that's the only thing that really matters. Taste, price, corporate practices, advertising, image ... it's all considered. And there's obviously the need to make sure people aren't drawing spurious conclusions by reading the fMRI data backwards. If a certain area of the brain sees activity when shown "frightening" images, just because there is activity in that area of the brain some other time, it doesn't mean that person is frightened (although that is one possibility). There's a large disconnect in neuroscience between what can be seen and observed on a minuscule scale of neurotransmitters and axons, and any kind of resultant behavior. There are so many factors and so many unknowns that every connection from small to large scale or vice-versa is celebrated. We're getting more and more tools to draw these connections, and anything that is reproducible and statistically significant is worth exploring further. And then we get into fun, manipulative things like neuromarketing.
  15. Drakefyre

    Anyone care to explain the basic Republican philosophy? (USA)

    Originally Posted By: Lilith Originally Posted By: Drakefyre There's about to be an explosion of breakthrough research in the field of neuroeconomics, especially with increased fMRI time available for researchers at many of the big research universities. I'm sure there will be a lot of early adopters trying to make a buck based on their findings, and then we'll get to see how applicable these studies really are! whoa look who's back Oh hey there LRTDeM ... I've been finishing up Avernum 6 and decided to pop in and see wuz happenin'
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