12-15 10:24 - 'Hello all my full names Jake Berry Newman. I’m a business consultant and expert Forex and Binary options trader. I reach out to the general public enlightening and educating them on the massive joys and vast benefits of inv...' by /u/Forex-Jake removed from /r/europe within 447-457min
''' Hello all my full names Jake Berry Newman. I’m a business consultant and expert Forex and Binary options trader. I reach out to the general public enlightening and educating them on the massive joys and vast benefits of investing into the Forex trading and Bitcoin mining market .Where only a 1 business week of trading 300 Euros can earn you more than 1000 Euros.If you be willing to give a listening ear do not hesitate to chat me up privately.And for those who have public questions feel free to drop your comments. i will be more than glad to give warm replies to all questions and private messages. Thanks for sacrificing your precious time to read my warm introduction. ''' Context Link Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link Author: Forex-Jake
Facebook reverses its 2018 ban on crypto advertising. Ads related to blockchain technology, cryptocurrency news, education and events will need no approval, while ads on ICOs, binary options and CFDs remain banned. https://buff.ly/2vU8Gy9 #crypto #facebookads #ban #blockchain
The morning alarm woke up Ghen. With an annoyed sigh, he stretched out his arm and silenced the foul-sounding chirps. Slowly sitting up in bed, he let out a deep yawn and got to his feet. Running a couple of chitinous fingers along his antennae to stimulate them to life, he made his bed and then went to his closet. Today was a work day, so he needed his suit. Once the pants were on, he stretched out his wings so that he could button up the shirt, then relaxing them once all the buttons were secured. Dressing for the day was done, now for the morning meal. Entering his kitchen, he took out the chilled leftovers of the evening meal last night and popped it into the radiator, first defrosting and then slightly cooking it. During that process, he also fished out a ceramic cup and placed it in his brewer, serving himself some synthesized caffeine. His idle thought led him to being amused that, when eaten directly off a plant, it has a concentration that could kill him three times over. But after going through some refinement and roasting, all it does is make him hyper. Once the meal was put together, his plate of heated leftovers and a cup of almost-piping-hot cup of Xia's, he took his time to enjoy it. His communicator vibrated. When he looked, he found it was from his boss. "Hello?" Ghen answered. "Ghen, the meeting's been moved up to a few minutes from now." His boss, Xkik, announced. "Apparently higher up has something important they want to say. We have a terminal ready for you, I'll message the login details." "Wha-, what's so important?" Ghen asked in bewilderment. "Did a water line rupture or something?" "No, nothing like that." Xkik replied with a slight chuckle. "It's actually about the rumors we've been hearing. That human corporation wanting to acquire us? That's what they're talking about." Ghen could feel everything inside his thorax drop to the floor. "That must mean it's true then, right? Did we get sold off by the Queen to this company then?" "Show up to the meeting and you'll get your answer." Xkik said simply. When he finished, Ghen got the notification on his communicator. There's the login details, allowing him to remotely attend the meeting. "They're about to start, hurry up." Once Xkik disconnected, Ghen worked fast to login and set up the remote viewing. Once everything was done, his screen started transmitting the meeting room. It was already packed. And off by the main board, he saw his answer. There was a human, resting against the wall on his two legs. Standing right in the center of everyone's view was the coordinator, Tizx, watching the clock periodically. As soon as the meeting's start time was reached, the coordinator began. "Alright everyone. I realize that this was rather short notice, so I want to say how appreciative I am that you made it. Now then, let's just get right to it. For some time now, many of you have been hearing rumors that a human corporation has been interested in us. Why? We never really knew. We're just an organization responsible for finding, extracting and providing water to the colony here all under the direction of the Queen herself. Well, as of now, I have the answer for you. Why don't I let Ryan say that?" Stepping back, Tizx motioned for the human, Ryan, to take over. With a nod, Ryan practically bounced over and then took the position. "Good morning to you all. I hope my Zazk is passable, heh. Anyways, the answer to those rumors, is yes. Terran Galactic Company is indeed interested in you all. Which now leads to me. I'm here to announce that, effective yesterday evening, this water company is now a subsidiary of Terran Galactic Company, under the name of Zilia Water Delivery." Many other sub-coordinators broke into hushed conversation, no doubt speaking their thoughts with each other about this move. Ghen could only wonder if this was even a good thing. What will the humans do? Will he still have his job? Will he have to learn how to deal with the ruthless humans? "Now, I am well aware this is quite the...uh, change." Ryan continued. "That's why I'm happy to inform you that, no, nothing negative or detrimental will happen to you. You just have new people to answer to. Operations will continue as normal, everybody here will still keep their jobs. The only real change any of you will personally experience is that Coordinator Tizx here will now report to someone else. On behalf of the Terran Galactic Company, we are extremely excited and are looking forward to working with you all. Thank you for your time." A week later. At least Ryan wasn't lying. After the initial shock wore off, things went back as they normally did. There were no terminations, no reductions in annual pay or anything. Nothing really changed. At least until this new meeting was called. Ghen was at the worksite this time, so he took his seat and watched as, once again, Ryan led the meeting. "Hello again, everyone!" He said cheerfully, his Zazk noticeably improved. "I hope I didn't end up looking like a liar, right? Everything's still normal, all that?" All the zazk in the room confirmed, providing comments to their pleasant surprise as well as lingering thoughts. "Awesome! Awesome." Ryan said jubilantly, his fleshy mouth revealing his bone-white teeth. "Now then, you're probably wondering why I'm here again, right? Well, I got another fantastic piece of news for you all! Two, actually. I'll start with the first: Zilia Water Delivery has just completed its IPO. The company is now publicly traded!" Ghen and the others voiced their confusion, having no idea what in the name of the Queen Ryan was talking about. What was Ryan talking about? What's an IPO? And why exactly is being publicly traded such a significant thing? "Oh, you guys don't know any of that?" Ryan asked in surprised confusion. After everybody confirmed, he let out a quick huff as he began his explanation. "Well, to begin, IPO is short for Initial Public Offering. Basically what that means is that, before today, Zilia was privately held. Only certain individuals could buy and sell shares here. But now that we're public? Literally anyone can buy and sell shares in the company, hence us being publicly traded." "Uh, what's a share?" Ghen asked, still completely lost. "Oh, boy..." Ryan muttered under his breath before returning to his peppy image. "To simply put it, a share is short for having a share of ownership in a company. When you buy a share, you're buying a piece of ownership, and when you sell, you're selling that amount." "So wait...if someone buys a share, they're a co-owner then?" One of the other team coordinators asked. "If they get enough, yeah." Ryan nodded. "You need a lot though, and that really depends on the company. If I had to give an answer though? I'd say usually you need to have a lot more shares than a lot of people combined to be officially a co-owner, but we call that being a majority shareholder." "And how do we do that?" Ghen asked, now growing curious but still not understanding why such a concept exists. "Simple. Buy shares." Ryan said simply. "And that leads into the second piece of awesome news. Zilia's corporate has a product in mind, a premium-package of water delivery. Instead of the usual water that you pump out, filter and ensure its potable before delivery, with the premium package, not only will you get that, but you'll also get all of the required nutrients and vitamins the zazk body requires! And they feel you guys have the best expertise and understanding to pull it off! So, here's what we're offering as a good-faith bonus: A 25% increase to your annual salary as well as being given stock options." Ghen wasn't sure about the second part, but the salary definitely got his attention, as well as everyone else's. Although his job was considered to have a good pay, Ghen isn't going to say no to a higher salary. In fact, he's been focusing his work on getting a promotion so he can come home with even more credits in pocket. "What do you mean by stock options?" Ghen asked after some time. Ryan let out that smile again, the one that revealed his teeth. "If you choose to transfer over to the new group, you'll be provided 50,000 shares in Zilia itself. Why's that awesome? Let me walk you through it. Right now, our last closing price per share was 3.02 credits. And if you have 50,000 shares during that time, you're sitting on 151,000 credits, if you cash it out immediately." "And why shouldn't we?" One of the coordinators demanded in an ambiguous tone. "Because the price per share changes a lot." Ryan explained promptly. "When we got done with the IPO? It closed at 2.73 a share. Right now? My money's on the closing price being 2.99 a share. However, we are extremely confident in this premium package being successful. If it does? Well, my bet is that the share price will skyrocket to 3.12 a share. If you hold those shares and the price gets to what my bet was? You'll instead get 156,000 credits. Just by holding onto them, you just made an additional 5,000 credits!" "And what if we have more shares?" Ghen questioned, now getting excited at the prospect of free money. "Even more money!" Ryan laughed a bit. "And don't forget about dividends, but that's for another time. The premium group is gearing up right now, we just need the workforce. If any of you wants in, I'll be back tomorrow with all the forms needed to make it official. Take the day and tonight to think it over, yeah?" Everything else melted into a blur. Ghen was practically on autopilot that whole day. Was this the secret to the humans' incredibly massive economy? How so many of them have amassed so much money out of nowhere? All you had to do was just buy this share out of a company and you get more money without even working? As soon as he got home, Ghen knew what he was going to do during the night. After feverishly looking through the galnet, now having the human race connected to it, he looked and gathered up as many books that were translated into zazk as he could find, all talking about the human economic system. The last time he undertook such an intensive study was during his primary education phase. And during his search, he even found forums on the galnet that were completely dedicated to the human's economy. All of them talking about strategies on what company, or stock, to pick. How to analyze a company's performance to determine if it was worth the money, or it had potential to grow over time. And that was when he discovered the humans found another method to the extremely simple buying and selling process. There were humans and some other immigrated aliens who made five times what Ghen could receive over a simple month just by watching the share prices during trading hours, and then buying and selling them at the proper times. Ghen's mind was just absolutely flabbergasted. He thought it was just some strange concept only aliens could make, but no, not with the humans. They've practically made their economy into an art or a science. No, not even their economy. Everything. If humans can see a way to make money off of it, they'll do it. And if there isn't, they'll look for a way. Healthcare was monetized. Galnet services, transportation, shopping at the store, they even made all of their utilities into profit-oriented companies. And it was there that Ghen paused, the realization slamming into him. Everything was monetized. Which means, if you don't have the money for it, you're not getting it. Right? Are the humans truly that ruthless? So obsessed with making money? To the point that they're willing to deprive their own people of the absolute necessities if it's a source of credits? Ghen let out a scoff. There's no way. Nobody is that cruel and callous. He's never been to the United Nations. He can't rely on what a bunch of random people on the galnet says. He decided that from here on out, he'll only go as far as saying that humans are a little obsessed with credits, nothing more. ... There he was. Ryan, sitting in the office provided to him. And there was a rather large line leading to him. Looks like word got around. Although, the line wasn't as large as he expected it to be. Maybe the others thought it was just a ruse? That there's no such thing as making free money by spending it on such a made-up concept? Ghen only knows that, if it is a ruse, it's an extremely elaborate one, where all of the humans are in on it. And he believes that's just extremely ridiculous. At the end, if he's unsure, he'll just take the transfer for the very real increase in his very real salary. And although he spent a very good chunk of the night reading up on how humans do things, he's still going to play it smart. He'll leave his 50,000 shares alone and see where it goes from there. "Good morning sir." Ryan greeted warmly once Ghen took his seat. "Now, name please?" "Ghen." He answered, barely keeping his nerves down. "Alright...and what's your position at this location?" Ryan questioned after scribbling on his form. "I monitor the pumping stations near the extraction sites." Ghen explained, staying on point. "To be more specific, I check to see if they're in need of maintenance, as well as reading the flow rate that's determined by the calculators installed there. If there's too little for what's needed, I pump out more. And if there's too much, I pull it back a little." "Nice...and how long have you been doing it for?" Ryan complimented with a nod. "As of tomorrow, ten years." Ghen replied, voice quickly changing to minor awe once he realized that fact. "Excellent. Do you have anyone in mind you'd like to replace you here?" Ryan questioned after another scribble. "If you don't have anyone, you're free to say so." Ghen took a moment to think it over. A bunch of names went through his mind, but one stuck with him. "Tilik. He's just been accepted here, but he's learned quickly. Very attentive and he always catches something subtle. I think he'll do really well in my position, even better actually." "Tilik, really?" Ryan questioned with a little shock, going through his completed forms. Ghen felt a short sense of panic in him. Did something happen, or was Tilik actually transferring? His answer didn't take long to reveal itself. "Right, Tilik was actually one of the first people to want to transfer here. He's actually requested to be part of the testing teams specifically. Do you have a second choice?" "Um...no, actually." Ghen replied, feeling a little ashamed. "Tilik was my only choice, to be honest." "Hey, don't worry." Ryan said assuringly with his hands raised. "Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, there's just nobody up to snuff, right? 'Kay, so, last question. Is there anything specific you'd like to do when given the transfer?" "If you need someone monitoring new pumps, I'd be happy to do that." Ghen stated. "So basically same job but with better payoff, am I right?" Ryan grinned. "I hear you. Sometimes, we're just not paid enough for what we're doing. I know I think that sometimes. Uh, our secret, yeah?" "Yeah, our secret." Ghen nodded, thinking it'd be better to have friendly relations with the human, just in case. "Awesome. Back on topic, that's it." Ryan announced, placing the form on his pile. "We'll give you a call when you're accepted." "Oh, uh, that's it?" Ghen questioned with a shrug in shocked surprise. "What, expecting a question like, why do you want to transfer?" Ryan chuckled a bit as he leaned in his seat. "You can bullshit all you want, but we both know the answer. Sweet money and stock options. Not saying that's a bad answer of course, just that it's pretty obvious." "I suppose it is." Ghen commented, realizing the point. "Also, you mentioned this...dividend? Is that for Zilia shares?" Ryan laughed a little bit before nodding. "Yep, announced before I came here. About 0.43 per share. Want to know why that's awesome? Instead of waiting for the proper price to cash out your shares, now? The company pays you for each share you hold." "A...Are you serious?" Ghen demanded, flabbergasted. Ryan nodded with his now-trademark grin. "Dead serious. If you get the transfer, and get those 50,000 shares? A little head math...right, if you hold onto those, in addition to your salary, you'll now annually be paid 21,500 credits, if you keep it at 50,000 shares. Only you can decide to sell or buy shares." Ghen just stood there silent and motionless, no idea of whether to believe it or not, to which Ryan just laughed. Once he walked out of the room, he managed to snap back to reality. Again, just focus on the very real pay-raise. He'll deal with the other parts later. After he returned to his spot, he spotted Tizx approaching by his desk. The coordinator seems to be as casual as always. "I saw you in that line a bit ago, Ghen." He said as he leaned on the desk. "Guess you're really taking that human's word?" "I mean, I don't know about all this share business or what not." Ghen began with a shrug, his tone sounding a little defensive. "But I mean, having a bigger salary? Course I'm going for it when I can. And if all this magic credits turn out to be real? You realize we can live like the royal servants, right? Get the best cars, the nicest food and all that?" "I'd be very careful, Ghen." Tizx warned in a sudden shift in tone. "Don't trust those humans. The way they just...obsess over money? Come up with more and more insane ways of getting credits? I don't know, it just makes my wings twitch." "You think this is a bad idea?" Ghen asked with a little surprise at the change-in-demeanor. "I think you should be careful, with the humans, and with what you're saying." Tizx replied, straightening his posture. "I wouldn't put it past those Earthmen to backstab you if it gets them a few more credits. And we all know how the royal servants get if any of us lowly commoners start thinking we can break into their circle." "I hear you, I'll be on my guard, promise." Ghen stated with a nod. With a confirming nod of his own, Tizx returned back to his duty, walking past Ghen's desk. Several weeks later. Everything became so much better. Ghen got the transfer. He didn't need to relocate to a new residence either. And after he was walked through into learning how to manage his stock account, and seeing that new form of payment in his hands, he already felt as though he made the best decision. But it was only when he decided to take those shares more seriously that he became privy to what he was given. After receiving the dividend payment, and actually seeing it was real, valid credits after transferring it to his main bank account, all he could describe was the most powerful high he ever felt. While his first thoughts were to buy himself a royalty-class car, some nicer furnishings for his home, or even a better home entirely, he ended up going the smarter route. After going back to his stock account, he discovered that Zilia's shares rose to about 3.22 credits in price. Knowing that this was the easiest money he could ever make, he took all of his dividend earnings and bought more shares in Zilia, bringing him to owning 56,891. And from his new regional coordinator, a human named Dylan, tomorrow is the grand release of the premium package. For just a monthly rate of 14.99 credits, the tap water will now include a sizeable portion of all nutrients and vitamins required in the zazk physiology. Still, Ghen has to admit. He's not entirely sure why anybody would want such a thing, if they'd even go for it. But, as long as he's practically swimming in easy credits, he won't pay much attention to it. And just like when he was intensively studying the basics of how the human economy worked, he barely got any sleep. His mind was constantly thinking about the things he would buy. Or rather, what other stocks to put his credits into. Even now he can still hardly believe it. Just spend your money on some, make-believe thing and, if you wait long enough and picked the right stock, you'll get more than you spent back? His mind even wandered onto what human colonies, or even their homeworld, Earth, was like. If everybody was making so much money, what kind of things would they offer? What kind of ridiculous service or product or item can you get? He's even debating on joining some forum and just asking around. Explain how he's new to how humans do things and was wondering what he should expect if he's successful. By the time he felt like he can go to sleep, the binary-stars of the system were rising from the horizon. After getting out of his bed and changing to clean clothes, his mind returned onto what-ifs. What if he bought better clothes? He's had his eye on that human brand of luxury clothes, Tessuti di Venezia, that's been all the rage amongst the royal servants. Or maybe he can go on vacation and just check out Earth for real? It was a short ride to his workplace from his home. After getting stuff his stuff and preparing to walk through the doors, he heard the roar of a car grow louder. When he looked, he saw the sleekest and quite possibly the coolest looking car he's ever seen. Each time the engine revved it would startle him, both from how harsh it sounded as well as just how intense it sounded. And after it parked, he saw the doors pop out and then slide along the body back. And there, he saw Tilik, the seat literally turning and extending out a bit before he got off. As soon as he saw Ghen staring, he struck a rather prideful pose after putting on his lab coat and then sauntered over to Ghen. "What do you think?" Tilik said, without any doubt inviting praise or compliments. "D...Did you actually buy that?" Ghen asked, unable to tear his eyes away from the car. "You're Queens-damn right I did!" Tilik laughed happily. "Thing takes off like a starship, has temperature-controlled seating, all-in-one center console, barely any bouncing on rough roads. Hoof, best decision I've ever made!" "How much did that thing cost?" Ghen asked after letting out an incredulous laugh. "Five million credits." Tilik replied, earning an absolutely shocked stare from Ghen. "And thanks to the incredible salary I have, in addition to all these shares and dividends, I'll pay back the credits I borrowed in no time!" Ghen needed a few moments before he could speak again. "All I've been doing is buying more shares." Tilik laughed and then patted the now-envious monitor's back. "Smart man. I got a little carried away, yeah, but not anymore. Any spending credits I got, going right back to investing. That's what it's called right, investing?" "Yeah, it is." Ghen nodded, feeling a fire light up in his thorax. "And also? Today's the day that the premium water thing is being released. Here's hoping it starts out well, right?" "Oh it will, trust me." Tilik chuckled as they both began making their way inside the workplace. "Lots of research, lots of study. By the Queen, so much of it...it'll make your head spin." And after hearing that, Ghen had a moment of realization. "Hey, Tilik? How did you get such a nice position anyways? Weren't you just studying under me before the humans came along?" Tilik let out a sigh after opening the door. "I'll be honest, I never wanted your job. Not because it's boring or terrible, just...I didn't suffer so many sleepless nights in the science academy just to be a glorified button pusher. This is what I've always wanted. Doing science, solving problems rather than just applying the solution, you know?" "Wait, you got an academic certificate?" Ghen questioned, completely floored. "How did you end up beneath me then? I should've been answering to you!" "Simple." Tilik gave a heavier sigh. "A royal servant was asking for the same job I was. Take a guess at who got it." "Ouch. Good thing the humans came along when they did, yeah?" Ghen was taken aback. He never heard anything about a servant taking a job at his place. "Looks like you're proving yourself to be well suited." "By the Queen, of course I am." Tilik nodded. "Like I said, I nearly broke my wings through so many nights, got certified top of my class, all just to get pushed to the dirt because someone who was born into a particular family wanted the same thing I did? I know I'm smarter than any of those empty-skull servants back in the Center. I know that, whatever, uh...corporate? Yeah, whatever corporate wants out of science, I will xeek give it to them." "Well, let me know how things go in the lab." Ghen said, admiring his drive as they neared the main office floor. "Because this is where the button pusher needs to go." Tilik let out a laugh as he nodded. "Hey, how about we meet up at Queen's Fine Eatery tonight. I'll pay, yeah?" Ghen, at first, wanted to admonish him for choosing such an outrageously expensive place to go. But he quickly realized that, he truly is good for it, thanks to the humans. "Well, hey, if you're paying for it." ... It was a fantastic opening. After being told what news sites to keep in mind for stocks, he first heard it from Dylan, and then got more detail on Business Today. There was such a massive demand right from the start that Zilia needs to increase extraction just to meet it. But what really got his attention was the effect it had. Zilia Water Delivery's share price just blasted off. After seemingly holding steady at about 3.15, by the time he got home and logged onto his account, it already reached 7.04 a share. The calculator on his account told him that he got a value-gain of 54.26%. Never in his entire life had he felt such...joy. With all of the shares he currently has? He's sitting at 400,512.64 credits. He knows that it is woefully pathetic compared to what the royal servants have just in their pockets, but the fact that he has such money, just by owning some intangible concept? Why even work at Zilia? Why doesn't he just sit at home, figure out what companies to invest in and make his money that way? What's even the point in working a real job, getting a pathetic pay when you can just take the money you have, determine where to spend it, and get triple back? All just sitting on your wings at home, researching? He was so wrapped up in his excited high that he completely forgot he was going to meet Tilik at Queen's. After quickly and haphazardly putting on his nicer clothes, he got to the place only a few minutes late. Tilik was there by the guide, no doubt having been waiting for him. As soon as he strode up, Tilik's wings stiffned out some. No doubt he must've seen the numbers as well. "I can see your wings, Ghen." Tilik began with an excited chuckle. "Made some serious credits?" Ghen let out an incredulous scoff, struggling to find the words for a moment. "Incredible. All I'm going to say." "Likewise." Tilik chortled some before nodding to the table guide. "All here. Table please?" "Right this way, sir." The guide said politely. It was a short walk, travelling between round tables. The vast majority were populated by zazk, but Ghen was surprised at seeing a few humans here as well. No doubt corporate workers checking out the local food. He did spot them having bowls filled with some kind of mass. Some were brown, others white with what looks to be black specks on them. They arrived at their table. A rather nice one, affording a view out the windows into the busy colony streets. Once Tilik and Ghen settled in, the guide handed out the menus. "May I suggest our rather popular option for tonight?" The guide began. "Human ice-cream. Ingredients sourced from Earth itself. Very cold, but incredibly sweet, and coming in many flavors. The most popular amongst us is called vanilla-bean. The vanilla itself soaks in the cream for much of the process, and then the innards sprinkled on top of it near the end. Rumor has it that the Queen herself has demanded personal shipments of such a treat straight from the home of vanilla, an island on Earth named Madagascar." Ghen didn't even spare a single thought. "Vanilla bean ice cream then, please." "Same." Tilik seconded when the guide glanced to him. With a slight bow, the guide proceeded to ferry their orders to the kitchen. Thankfully it was just a short wait before the guide returned, carrying a large plate containing bowls of ice cream. Ghen could feel the saliva on his mandibles as the bowl was placed before them. He could just feel the cold air around that glistening mass of sugary goodness. The white snow decorated with the black dots of vanilla bean. Once the guide left them, Tilik and Ghen both dived in at the same time. As soon as the ice cream entered his mouth, touched his tongue, he exploded in incomprehensible bliss. The sweetness, the smooth and creamy mass, even the taste of vanilla he wasn't sure about was just absolutely delightful. It was so overwhelming that his entire body limped, slumping in his seat as he was forced to ride on the surging tide of joy and happiness sweeping over him. Tilik was no different. He too was taken completely by the effects of the ice cream, his wings fluttering some against the seat. Ghen could hear some noise. It was the humans they passed by. They were chuckling, grinning, and glancing over at them discreetly. Unlike the two zazk, the humans seemingly just enjoyed the ice cream as if it was just another nice dessert to them. Or perhaps they couldn't allow themselves to succumb to the high? And as soon as the wave of indescribable bliss and happiness subsided, Ghen knew. He just knew. This was the life. He wanted this. The ice cream was just the beginning. So many things denied because he didn't have the credits, or worse, not the blood. Because he was just a drone in the great Collective, even if he had the credits, he wasn't allowed because of what caste he was born in. That fire that sparked in him when he saw Tilik's new car? It exploded into a raging firestorm. And when looking into Tilik's eyes, Ghen could see the same. He was on the same page as Ghen was. Both of them were sold. They have the credits. And the humans? If you can pay for it, they'll never discriminate. All they cared about is if you have the money. And by the Queen, Ghen and Tilik will endeavor to amass as much credits as physically possible. The rest of the night faded into a blur. A blur that evokes only one thing. Bliss. It was only when he walked through the door of his pathetic hut that Ghen's mind snapped back to focus. His mandibles felt sticky. And he felt a weight in his stomach. How much ice cream did he eat? Whatever it was, he ate such volume that the lower-section of his throax extended and rounded out, visible even under his shirt. He felt something odd in his pocket. It was a receipt. 43,000 credits for ten bowls of vanilla bean ice cream. Was that ten bowls for both of them? Or individually? Ghen didn't care. He's good for it. Returning back to his calculator, he acted upon the decision that he had made at that eatery. He's acquiring as many books about investing and stock trading as he could find, frequent and study all the discussions and arguments presented by other like-minded individuals such as he, all to ensure he can live the good life. And he had a very good feeling Tilik was doing the exact same thing. Well, first, the gurgling in his stomach, as well as the feeling of something rising demanded his attention. Looks like he'll need to take the night off to let his stomach get back to normal. Three Years Later. Ghen looked out beyond the horizon, seeing the colony that he grew up in. On the far side was where his old house was. With only a simple robe on, made from the finest silk from Earth's nation-state of China, he relaxed in his seat. It was a long road. Stockpiling credits from pre-existing investments and from subsequent pays, he and Tilik made it. From having only half a million in assets and cash, now transformed to over eight-hundred million. And now, his call contracts on American Interstellar? They've just announced a breakthrough in their next generation of warp drives, reducing the speed coefficient even further, resulting in far faster travel. And with that, their stock price climbed sharply. Another hundred million credits in the bank. Soon, very soon, he and Tilik are about to become the galaxy's first zazk billionares. But that's not enough. There are many humans who are billionares. Only those he can count on one hand are considered trillionares. He's going to break into that circle. He and Tilik. Looking beyond the colony, he saw the abandoned building of the workplace he transferred to when the humans arrived. Turns out, the reason for such a high demand was that the humans also slipped in sugar to the tap water. As soon as that broke, many influential royal servants demanded investigations and outright banning of Terran Galactic Company's influence over the former government division. Zilia's stock price plummeted. But thanks to an advance tip from his human coordinator, Dylan, he and Tilik made a put contract. And that's where they struck gold, as the human saying goes. Dylan warned that if they were citizens of the United Nations, they'd be investigated and convicted for insider trading. But, since they weren't, and the Collective were only just introduced to capitalism, there's no risk at all. Now the colony is going through a withdrawal phase, Zilia has been dissolved and reformed back as a government division and are currently at work re-establishing the standard, plain water delivery. "Well, shit." Tilik muttered as he walked up to Ghen's side, taking well to human speech. "Looks like you win. American Interstellar's announcement really was a good thing. There goes a million credits. Ah well, the Royal Shipyards will make it back for me soon." "Oh? Did they just go corporate?" Ghen asked curiously, glancing to Tilik. "Hell yeah they did." Tilik chuckled, sitting down. "Queen and her retard servants fought it hard, but Royal Shipyards is now officially a human-style corporation. And, to a surprise to all the xenophobes in the galaxy, they're already being offered contracts for ship production. That'll raise the stock price pretty good." "What's that human word...?" Ghen muttered, already having a reply in mind. "Dick? Yeah, calls or suck my dick, Tilik." Tilik roared in laughter. "Already made them. Forty credits a share by this day next month." "I have half a mind to go thirty." Ghen chuckled. "Either way, until then, I heard from Dylan that he knows a guy who knows several prime human women who happen to be into zazk." "You're interested in women?" Tilik said as his wings fluttered. "With how often you tell me to suck you off, I'd have thought differently." "Oh, I always thought it was you who was into men." Ghen responded dryly. "Just wanted to be a good friend, you know? Considering how you never seem to make it past, Hey sweet thing, I'm rich you know." "Oh, go fuck yourself." Tilik countered with a little laugh. After he stopped, wings stiffened, he looked to Ghen. "So, know any royal servants we can put the squeeze on for more revenue streams?" "I got just the one." Ghen nodded, sitting up. "Fzik. He's been fighting to control the ice cream trade. Worried it's a corrupting influence. Got done talking with the human CEO of Nestle earlier. If we clear the way, he'll know how to squeeze a little more gains in stock price when he makes the announcement." Tilik's wings stiffened even more, signaling his approval. "Alright, time to throw some credits around, yeah?" AN: Sorry for the period of no updates. College is starting up, lots of stuff to clear and work out. Not sure why but I just got a bug up my butt about incorporating money and the stock market into a short. Here it is. Sorry if it seems abrupt, character limit fast approaching. Let me know how you guys think about it!
I did not think we'd get here. COVID cases are in the single digits, and many cases are off-campus (https://health.gatech.edu/coronavirus/health-alerts). Test positivity rates are incredibly low (https://gatech-covid-tracker.com/). I think we can say that Georgia Tech has navigated through it's first wave of COVID cases. How did this happen? I'm not an epidemiologist, and even Dr. Fauci himself wouldn't be able to give you a 100% correct answer, because nobody can give you a 100% correct answer - there are too many unknowns. But, we can look at a few factors. 1.) Modified herd immunity threshold. Immunity is likely a real phenomena with COVID-19. Yes, there are now 7 confirmed cases of reinfection, but immunity is not a binary thing. It is not as if every person infected with COVID will either be immune, or they will be as unprotected as the rest of us. It's likely that the majority of COVID cases will gain some sort of immunity, and some will gain no immunity. For the sake of simplicity, let's just assume everyone infected with COVID at our campus has immunity. Georgia Tech has, in total, around 900 positive COVID cases. There are ~14,000 people on campus if you wildly extrapolate from a few surveys taken on this subreddit - if anyone could find where the actual number is, it would be helpful. Additionally, around 5-10% of the US was probably infected in the original Feb-March surge, which would be 700-1400 people. This brings us to 1600-2300 immune people in a population of 14000. The herd immunity threshold is given by (1-1/R0). Uncontrolled, the R0 for SARS-CoV2 is ~4. This means roughly 75% of the populace must be infected to gain "true immunity" - IE, you can do whatever you want, no distancing, no masking, etc. Obviously this is a bad idea. But, we aren't letting SARS-Cov2 spread uncontrollably. Mask compliance is high, people are trying to distance, people are washing their hands more often, etc. R0 is a function of environmental parameters as well - increasing distancing and hygiene decrease your R0. So what is the R0 with distancing and masking? That's a big question, but estimates from New York and Western Europe say it was somewhere around 0.8-1.1. A college campus will have a higher R0 than a typical state or nation, so we'll shift this up to 1.1-1.3. This brings our herd immunity threshold to anywhere between 9-23%. We currently have in the range of 11.5%-16%, and some cases on campus may have gone totally undetected. Here's a twitter thread by an MIT data scientist if you want to read more about the "modified herd immunity" phenomena. 2.) The people who took the most risks have already gotten COVID. Anecdotally, and logically, this makes sense. People going to bars, frat parties, etc have already been infected, and that was our "first wave". Unfortunately, I don't know how to quantify this in any meaningful way, but it is probably a factor. 3.) Behavior change. People could've seen the surge in cases and decided to be more careful - get tested weekly, avoid indoor dining, go to the CRC early in the morning when it's less crowded rather than in the middle of the day, etc. This would lower R0 as well and aid with point 1, although again, I don't know how to meaningfully quantify this. But it is a possible factor. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ If you made it through the above, congratulations. The question now is what Tech should do. Frankly, I feel like I am wasting both money and time this semester. This is unavoidable, and not Tech's fault or USG's fault - just a virus doing it's thing. But, just as governments - those of New York, China, South Korea, Germany, etc - gradually eased back on restrictions as the first curve was crushed, I believe Tech can and should do the same. We should not throw the floodgates open and let all hell break loose - but I think we can slowly loosen the screws in a manner that improves educational experiences, and in a way that avoids a second wave. Remote learning sucks. At least for intro classes, there is far better free material on Coursera - made by people who know how to deliver content online and who have been doing it for years - as opposed to professors who were thrown into this a few months ago. As we all know, many "hybrid" courses are pretty much all online. I'd suggest the OPTION - for both professors and students, mandates are a god awful idea - to have more in-person hybrid sections. This won't give me my money's worth - but it'll give us something. As of now, I have three hybrid classes - and yet have not had a single in person class. These classes can be conducted in a safe, distanced/masked manner, as to keep our R0 low and keep reaping the rewards of the "modified herd immunity" discussed above. This might be difficult to implement in the middle of this semester, but I think it can be implemented next semester, in the absence of mass vaccination until (in the most optimistic case) February-March. Other things include opening up lounges in dorms. Also, I know visiting other dorms is technically banned, but everyone I know is ignoring that rule. Many people aren't even aware of that rule - might as well just get rid of it if compliance is close to nil. But, I'd prefer more in-person classes above all else. This was a long post. Ultimately, COVID is a game of trades - we could lock everyone in their homes until there's a vaccine, but that would destroy our society. We could let everyone run wild until there's a vaccine - again, that would destroy our society. It's a multivariate optimization problem, where we are trying to maximize safety, education, and the student experience. I'm just a dude trying to help us find that maximum. TLDR: COVID-19 first wave beaten due to number of factors. More in-person classes would be nice.
OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – ESCAPE FROM STALAG SULTANATE, Part 1
That reminds me of a story. “HELLFIRE AND DALMATIANS!” I shouted to no one in particular. “What’s the problem, dear?” Esme asks in that way she has of telling me to calm down without having to say it directly. “This bloody fucking country. A day late and several dollars short.” I fume. “Can’t get a new liquor license because of the bloody COVID. Can’t go to a hotel bar and have a snort because of the bloody COVID. Can’t even slip across the border to Dubai and soak up some room service and buckets of complimentary cocktails because of the bloody COVID.” Yes, the Sultanate of Oman, in its infinitesimal wisdom, has traditionally followed other GCC countries by at least three months in making any sort of proclamations regarding this latest bugaboo: the hideous, deadly, itchy, loathsome, and possibly serially bent, noxious, pandemical COVID-19; aka, this pandemic’s entry for flu. Their response is one of immense knee-jerk without first having thought of the consequences. “Bloody lockdown, 2100 to 0700. What is this, the whole fucking country’s been bad and now being sent to bed without any supper?” I wondered aloud. “Idiot benchodes.” Even Esme couldn’t come up with a rejoinder to that. “Plus they close all the bars. And all the hotels. And the fucking bottle shops. It’s not enough that these fucking Muppets jack the ‘sin tax’ on booze and cigars by 100%, now they’re not even legally available.” I swore. Of course, once you’ve spent even a small portion of the time that I have in the Middle East, you have your connections. Your system. Your access to the seedy underbelly of any society; the venerable Black Market. Jesus Q. Christ on toast with baked beans, fried tomatoes, black pudding, and mushrooms, I could get most anything in the Middle East, be it legal, shady, or just plain illegal. However, before you all recoil in horror that the venerable Dr. Rocknocker dabbles in the prohibited, just remember: the ends always dojustify the means. “I'm telling you, Esme dear; this Gulf story is getting too complicated. The weasels have started closing in.” I complain to Es as she hands me a fresh drink. “Do you think…?” Esme asks expectantly. Esme is more than ready to go. I’ve used this place as a base of operations for years whilst I wear out the Omani legal system suing those asswipes that think just because they’re local and I’m a kafir, they’re immune to the law. I’ve spent a long, profitable and time-consuming period of the last few years proving them wrong. But, time was marching onwards. I agreed with Esme, we’ve milked this particular cash cow dry. It was time to hitch up our bootstraps, call it a day, and get the hell out of Dodge. But not before I took care of a few loose ends. Now, the country had recently lost its venerable Sultan, who croaked back in January of this year. Sultan Qaboos was a good egg, friend to expat and local alike. Did a shitload of good for this benighted Middle East sandpit. Dragged it kicking and screaming out of the 12th century into, well, not exactly the 21st, but a whole hell of a lot closer. He realized that he needed revolutionary, not evolutionary change in the country. By revolutionary, he needed American, British, Canadian, and the like Western Expats here to do the heavy thinking and lifting and Eastern Expats like Indians, Bangladeshis and Nepalese to do all the scut work. Yeah, I know. That sounds racist as fuck, but sometimes that’s the way the ball bounced. Simple evolution of society where Omanis graduated the local equivalent of grade school, through high school, into University, and finally into Entry level jobs in the oil and gas industry wasn’t going to cut it. Took too long and the country needed a serious cash flow now. So, that’s what he did. And it worked a treat. Then he died. And his chosen took over. Except his chosen was pretty much antithetical to everything the previous and very revered and successful, Sultan wanted. Soon, there are 100% ‘sin taxes’ aimed directly at the western expats. Tourists included. Then there’s quotas and ‘Letters of No Objection’, which are impossible to get so that the Eastern Expats can’t switch jobs. Then, there are Sultanic proclamations of new taxes on tourists, new taxes on fast food, new taxes on this, that and the other. Then there’s, in his own words, “Oman is for Omanis”, blatantly ridiculous and xenophobic Omanization, and the general swipe at all expats. “GET OUT.” This was the clear message of the new sultan. He wanted to take over and possibly nationalize all the oil workings in the country. Ask Venezuela, Iran, and Myanmar how well that worked out for them. Then he wants all expats out on their asses. He wants Omanis to take over all the jobs, even though they’re nowhere near educated nor experienced enough for the positions. Then take up the massive GDP slack in lower oil production and oil prices with tourism. Given everything else, that last line should be enough to get him off the throne. He’s fucking nuts if he thinks people are going to want to cruise or overland anywhere near a place where foreigners are seen only as a cash supply, are despised, and would welcome these all new 100% tax levies. Be that as it may, Esme and I decided that we have had enough of 135O F summer temperatures, virtual house arrest under the guise of a COVID lockdown, and idiots who were the only ones stupid or twisted enough not to vamoose when the great, big bloody letters were clearly written on the wall. But, there was the physical act of getting out of the country. Now, I had plenty of strings which I could pull, but I decided I’d start low and save those until we really needed them. So low, in fact, we went to the US Embassy in Muscat. “How low can you go?” reverberated through my head. What a haven of sad-sacks, flubadubs, and third rate hobbyists. Was either Esme or I surprised that when we finally secured an invitation to the embassy, that required a bit of string-pulling with the ex-Ambassador to Oman, now in Kabul; that besides the peach-fuzz faced Marine guarding the place, we were the only Americans in the joint? “This is American soil!” I laughed, as I pulled out a huge Cuban cigar and was immediately told to extinguish it. “We’re as American as apple pie and napalm! We file our fucking 1040s every April; I pay my fucking long-distance taxes and demand US assistance to vacate this gloomy place of sandy, sweaty, sultry Sturm und Drang!” “Shut up, Rock”, Esme chided me, “They don’t understand English. Much less, the florid English the way you trowel it on.” “Fuckbuckets”, I remonstrated. “Here I had memorized the whole Patrick Henry speech he made to the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775, at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. Troglodytes. No admiration for the classics.” “Rock, dear?” Esme noted, “It’s almost 1100 hours. Best to get to our appointment.” True, our appointment was slated for 1100 hours. But around here, anything starting within three hours of the stated time was considered close enough. We dragged ourselves, none too cheerfully, to the waiting room. Once we pried open the door, there was the usual “If you hear a high pitched wail, hit the deck” signs, and other things one could do while kissing one’s ass goodbye if there was a terrorist attack, we had a whole new slew of bullshit with which to deal. “Social distancing. 6 feet. Or if you’re from Baja Canada, 1 cow’s length.” “Must wear a mask. Bandanna, bandoliers, and large-caliber weapons or sombrero optional.” “No sitting. Faux Naugahyde seats are too difficult to sterilize. You must stand at attention, do not talk amongst yourselves, and remain patient until your number is called.” “Well, fuck!”, I snorted quietly, as I raised my first secret flask in rapt attention to our old glory of red, white, and blue. “Good thing they didn’t say nothin’ about getting a load on. If I’m going to be treated like cattle, I’m going to at least have something to chew on in the process.” “Oh, lord”, Esme grumbled, “You didn’t bring that Japanese Rye Whiskey with you, did you?” “ルハイム”, I said, which is Japanese for “L’chaim”! “Oh, hell”, Esme grinned as she borrowed my flask, “This is going to be a long day.” I began to protest but remembered that I was wearing my Agency-issued field vest. I must have had at least 5 or 6 more flasks lurking around in those pockets somewhere. Funny aside: they don’t bother with my going through an X-ray machine nor do they confiscate my phone, radio, knives, nor other field equipment when I go to the US Embassy. It took them almost two solid hours last time, and by the time they got to my Brunton Compass, emergency flasks, a few spare blasting cap boosters, and saw the label sewn into the back of my vest, they decided they’d just send Rack and Ruin some evil Emails and let me pass unmolested. “I’ll drink to that”, I say as I raise a flask as the locals raise an eyebrow. “Courtesy of Atheists International. We’re here for your children…” The collective gasps and growls indicate they weren’t happy with me or my betrothed. “Don’t care, Buckwheat”, I smiled, “Never did, never will. We’re out of here for good. You can curse my name all you want then. But, then again, why you standing in the American Embassy trying to get a visa to visit the land of the great evil empire?” All the locals and most of the Eastern Expats crowded into a corner as far away from us as they physically could. “BOO!” I snickered over a shot of Wild Turkey 101 Rye. “Now serving number 58! Number 58!” came the call over the tannoy. “Look at that”, I remarked to Es as I stashed both our flasks, “It’s only 12:35. Record time.” We both shimmy into the glass-fronted and presumably bullet- but not C-4 resistant- glass. We pick up the telephones there and acknowledge that we are who we said we were. The East Indian fella, one Harsh Talavalakar, behind the multiple layers of glass asked us why we were here. “Didn’t you read the appointment card?” I asked, “We’re here to have Uncle Sam get us passage out of this sordid and sultry place.” “You are American citizens?” he asked, vacantly. “That’s what it says on appointment cards and these here blue passports,” I replied. “Well, how was I to know?” he scoffed, returning to his half-consumed powdered sugar doughnut. “Maybe read the appointment card and see that we are US Citizens here on the behest of Ambassador Bethesda Orun?” I replied. “Like I have time to read everything that comes across my desk”, he scoffed again. I tapped on the glass to make certain I had his full attention. “Look here, Herr Harsh. I’m not sure how you got this job at the American Consulate but want to be very clear with you. My wife and I are residents of this place for the last 20 years. We’re American citizens of very high standing and have more high powered connections than an Arduino in a nuclear power station. We have direct connections with Langley, Virginia and if you want to retain your cushy job, you’ll put down that fucking doughnut and pay very rapt attention to the two Americans standing here who are getting more and more irritated with some Indian benchode that doesn’t think he has to really do his job. You savvy? You diggin’ me, Beaumont” I guess the benchode got his attention. The two scowls he received from Esme and myself sort of cemented the idea that we’re not too pleased and not with to be trifled. “Yes, sir?” he said, “And ma’am”, as Harsh quickly corrected himself as the doughnut disappeared. “We want out. Gone. Vamoose. Outta here. AMF. You got me?” he nods behind the shatterprone glass. “Now I know the borders are sealed and the airport’s closed, but fuck that. We want out and we want gone for good. I can’t make that much simpler or clearer. Get after it, son.” I said, as seriously as I could. “Well, sir”, he began, “ The airport’s closed…” “Are you deaf or born stupid and been losing ground ever since?” I asked, rhetorically. “I know that. We all know that. My HAT knows that. So, what devious little plan does the US Embassy have in store in just such an unsavory situation?” “Well”, he chokes a bit, “There’s this unofficial lottery where America citizens are issued random numbers and if their number comes up, there are seats made available on special clandestine charter flights.” Considering that Es and I are some of the last American citizens left in the country, I thought our chances might be pretty good. “OK”, I said, “Let us have two of your finest numbers.” “Yes, sir”, he said, “That will be US$500 total.” “Excuse me?” I said. “Oh, yes”, he smirked, “US$250 per number. Chances are you’ll never be called, but with these numbers, at least you stand a chance.” “OK”, I said, “Forget the numbers. I want your name and operating number. I’ve got a report to file that’s due in Virginia before breakfast.” “Oh, sir”, he smirked more, “I cannot release that information. Thanking you. Now be having a good day.” And he slammed the supposedly bulletproof shield between himself and Es and me. “Bulletproof? Maybe. Nitro proof? No fucking way.” I groused as I fished out a couple of blasting cap superfast boosters. “Calm down, dear”, Esme smiled to me as we walked out, “When he wasn’t looking, I took his picture, got his operating number, and full name. In fact, I think I got some information on where he lives…” In the cab on the way back to our villa, I reviewed and confirmed Es’s subterfuge. Flasks number 6 and 8 needed serious replenishment by the time we arrived home. “That’s fucking right, Ruin.” I yelled over the phone, “We need extraction. And now. Along with our personal effects and a few hundredweight of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ boxes of stuff we need to be transported.” “Well, Rock”, Agent Ruin replied, “That’s a tall order. Usually, extraction is for one person and the stuff they’re wearing. Tell you what. Let Rack and I work on it for a week or so. We’ll arrange transport of your personal effects, then we’ll see about getting you and Esme to Dubai. At least there, you can order a plane. Hell, knowing you, you’ll get Tony Stark to fly in and provide door to door service. Sit tight. We’ll be back in touch.” “Good!” I say as I slam the phone down. With these newfangled cellphone telephone instruments, they lack the same sort of satisfying “KER FUCKING CLANG” the old landlines used to have. “Es!”, I yelled, “Start packing. We’re due out of here within a week.” That meant we needed to do some packing triage: • Things going home with us. • Things being shipped. • Things being sold. • Things being left behind. • Things no one was about to get their furry little mitts on. “Oh, fuck!”, I startled. I had just remembered the John Wick-ian stash of various explosives, and adjunct materials I had buried in the basement. Obviously, I couldn’t take it home with me, I couldn’t sell it, and I sure as festering frothing fuck wasn’t going to leave it here. I needed to call one of my more shifty and swarthy friends and arrange for passage out to the deep, dark desert. Around the area where the new sultan had opened a couple of brand new landfills. Looks like I was going to expand them a few meters once we disposed of the few hundred kilos of accumulation I attained over the last few years. See, I’m a packrat. I never leave nor toss anything that might be convenient. Might have a benefit. Might prove to be useful sometime down the line. So, I’ve accumulated a bit of kit. Like…well…a few hundred sticks of Du Pont 60% Extra Fast Dynamite. A couple dozen spools of Z-4 Primacord, in various degrees of fullness. A shitload of C-4; enough bricks for a Floydian wall. A couple, well, a dozen, well, two dozen cases of binary liquid explosives. Hey, this stuff is hard to come by… Continuing, several thousand blasting caps and superfast flash blasting cap boosters. Some mercury fulminate. Some nitrogen triiodide. A couple tens of pounds of PETN. An equal amount of RDX. A few Erlenmeyer flasks full of shit even I’m not certain of what it is… Oh. And a few kilos of freshly decanted, raw nitroglycerin; packed in sturdy wooden boxes lined with new fuzzy lamb’s wool. Not that much. Just 10 or 12 kilos. Yeah. I can’t leave that here. Even a small accident with this stuff would lay waste to not only our villa; but my landlord’s villa with whom we share a common wall. Besides, as Omanis go, my landlord was the only dishdasha dressed denizen for which I had any respect or admiration. He was a good guy. I needed to return his villa at least in some semblance of what I received when we first rented from him. So, I had to dispose of many, many billions of kilojoules of potential energy. I needed to do this out in a distant and far away from prying ears and eyes regions and I needed a truck to haul this stuff out to the range. To be continued…
VR is not what a lot of people think it is. It's not comparable to racing wheels, Kinect, or 3DTVs. It offers a shift that the game industry hasn't had before; a first of it's kind. I'm going to outline what VR is like today in despite of the many misconceptions around it and what it will be like as it grows. What people find to be insurmountable problems are often solvable. What is VR in 2020? Something far more versatile and far-reaching than people comprehend. All game genres and camera perspectives work, so you're still able to access the types of games you've always enjoyed. It is often thought that VR is a 1st person medium and that's all it can do, but 3rd person and top-down VR games are a thing and in various cases are highly praised. Astro Bot, a 3rd person platformer, was the highest rated VR game before Half-Life: Alyx. Lets crush some misconceptions of 2020 VR:
The buy-in is $400 on average, not $1000 as that is Valve Index pricing.
Motion sickness is easily avoidable for most people by sticking to games that have 1:1 fully synced or mostly synced body movement like Beat Saber or even Alyx with teleportation.
Most VR games offer locomotion options so teleporting is certainly not a required norm.
You don't need a PC or console; Oculus Quest is the start of the new norm where headsets are self-contained.
You are not required to stand or move about. VR has always allowed you to relax in the same way as traditional gaming by sitting on the couch with a gamepad.
VR isn't anti-social. It's actually the pinnacle of social communication devices. What it is (currently) is potentially isolating depending on how you use it.
People will disabilities often think VR is not for them, when in all likelihood it probably is, because most disabilities work fine with VR and even have a lot to gain from the use of it.
The setup of VR is much faster and quicker than it was just a few years ago thanks to inside-out tracking and standalones. A Quest user can get going within 10 seconds.
So what are the problems with VR in 2020?
Low resolution and low FoV.
Wireless isn't standard.
Only a few released AAA exclusive games.
Potential for eye strain and headaches.
Some headsets feel really outdated. (PSVR)
Full body avatars don't align correctly.
Despite these downsides, VR still offers something truly special. What it enables is not just a more immersive way to game, but new ways to feel, to experience stories, to cooperate or fight against other players, and a plethora of new ways to interact which is the beating heart of gaming as a medium. To give some examples, Boneworks is a game that has experimental full body physics and the amount of extra agency it provides is staggering. When you can actually manipulate physics on a level this intimately where you are able to directly control and manipulate things in a way that traditional gaming simply can't allow, it opens up a whole new avenue of gameplay and game design. Things aren't based on a series of state machines anymore. "Is the player pressing the action button to climb this ladder or not?" "Is the player pressing the aim button to aim down the sights or not?" These aren't binary choices in VR. Everything is freeform and you can basically be in any number of states at a given time. Instead of climbing a ladder with an animation lock, you can grab on with one hand while aiming with the other, or if it's physically modelled, you could find a way to pick it up and plant it on a pipe sticking out of the ground to make your own makeshift trap where you spin it around as it pivots on top of the pipe, knocking anything away that comes close by. That's the power of physics in VR. You do things you think of in the same vain as reality instead of thinking inside the set limitations of the designers. Even MGSV has it's limitations with the freedom it provides, but that expands exponentially with 6DoF VR input and physics. I talked about how VR could make you feel things. A character or person that gets close to you in VR is going to invade your literal personal space. Heights are possibly going to start feeling like you are biologically in danger. The idea of tight spaces in say, a horror game, can cause claustrophobia. The way you move or interact with things can give off subtle almost phantom-limb like feelings because of the overwhelming visual and audio stimulation that enables you to do things that you haven't experienced with your real body; an example being floating around in zero gravity in Lone Echo. So it's not without it's share of problems, but it's an incredibly versatile gaming technology in 2020. It's also worth noting just how important it is as a non-gaming device as well, because there simply isn't a more suitably combative device against a world-wide pandemic than VR. Simply put, it's one of the most important devices you can get right now for that reason alone as you can socially connect with no distancing with face to face communication, travel and attend all sorts of events, and simply manage your mental and physical health in ways that the average person wishes so badly for right now. Where VR is (probably) going to be in 5 years You can expect a lot. A seismic shift that will make the VR of today feel like something very different. This is because the underlying technology is being reinvented with entirely custom tech that no longer relies on cell phone panels and lenses that have existed for decades.
The resolution will be around the equivalent of 1080p monitors, so you'd probably be looking at 4K x 4K per eye or higher.
The field of view will be 30-40% higher.
Eye strain and headaches will be solved via varifocal displays and VR will become even more comfortable visually than 2D displays, as they still have these issues which can be only be solved in stereoscopic displays.
Isolation will be solved with mixed reality reconstruction enabling the real world to bleed into VR on a per object basis in real time. VR headsets are now in all senses MR headsets. (VR+AR in one device)
There will be plenty of non-gaming apps gaining bigger traction like some sort of social space or event-based app.
PlayStation and Xbox will both support VR and a PSVR2 headset will have launched.
That's enough to solve almost all the issues of the technology and make it a buy-in for the average gamer. In 5 years, we should really start to see the blending of reality and virtual reality and how close the two can feel Where VR is (probably) going to be in 10 years
VR is now effectively photorealistic in the visual and audio department and it's extremely hard if not impossible at times to tell the difference between the real world and the virtual world.
Quite a number of people start to live big chunks of their lives in VR.
Light-field 6DoF video will be common allowing you to move inside live videos or a playback of a video that are in every way indistinguishable from reality, at least visually/audibly.
Streaming becomes mainstream as an option to consume games and it is now starting to become feasible to stream VR games as well.
VAR start to replace traditional displays and devices with monitors, phones and handhelds especially on their way out, but TVs very likely still hold a strong presence due to their communal nature.
If consoles still exist, their new features are now focused mostly on VR and how to integrate as seamlessly as possible into the VAR experience. Traditional gaming is still likely the most popular way to play, but consoles must find ways to market towards the new.
VAR are the new norm for work, education, communication, entertainment and a lot of aspects of daily life.
AAA VRMMORPGs start to get popular and become the new standard for the genre, revitalizing it.
The metaverse starts to form in some small way, not yet reaching the magnitude of something like the OASIS, but still a very large and versatile world or web of worlds where the phrase "Do anything, go anywhere, become anyone, be with anyone" is the truest it's ever been.
In short, as good as if not better than the base technology of Ready Player One which consists of a visor and gloves. Interestingly, RPO missed out on the merging of VR and AR which will play an important part of the future of HMDs as they will become more versatile, easier to multi-task with, and more engrained into daily life where physical isolation is only a user choice. Useful treadmills and/or treadmill shoes as well as haptic suits will likely become (and stay) enthusiast items that are incredible in their own right but due to the commitment, aren't applicable to the average person - in a way, just like RPO. At this stage, VR is mainstream with loads of AAA content coming out yearly and providing gaming experiences that are incomprehensible to most people today. Overall, the future of VR couldn't be brighter. It's absolutely here to stay, it's more incredible than people realize today, and it's only going to get exponentially better and more convenient in ways that people can't imagine.
A few days ago I was scrolling through Twitter, and came across a tweet that said that we should normalize gendered pronouns for non-binary folks (using she/her, or he/him). But doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of the non-binary label? (Sorry for not being educated enough)
UPDATE (Child wrote letter to us (parents) about being transgender)
(For reasons explained below, I will be referring to my son with male pronouns) So, a couple of days ago I posted a question about my son writing a letter about wanting "to get surgery to become a girl." (His words). I received a ton of feedback so thank you for your excellent advice. I also discussed the matter with a few friends of mine active in the LGBTQ community. The note was discovered by my wife before he actually gave it to us to read. Upon advice from others, I gave him a day or so to work up the courage to tell us before I would say anything. The other night, we talked and he told me everything. He cried and told me his reasons for wanting to transition. It's a rather long story, but in short, he is kind of a weird little nerdy kid. (I say this affectionately since I was the same way.) He is bullied at school a lot and as he articulated to me, he says all the boys pick on him and in his observations the girls don't get picked on. His cousin, my niece, who he is very close with, suggested the surgery option after watching the video of a youtuber who transitioned. (He couldn't remember the name.) He is the only boy cousin in his generation and thus can feel left out at times, as well. (First boy born in the wider family in over 20 years.) I told him I love him and support him no matter what. If he wants to transition, I will be there with him. He had never heard the words "trans." I told him a bit about what I had learned. I asked him if he wanted to start using she/her pronouns, he said no. I asked if he wanted me to get him some new clothes, no again. We talked at length. I said this will not be a quick process. It will involve a lot of doctors and therapy, but no matter what if that is the direction he wants to go in, I will respect that. So, at least for the time being I am going to default to his stated preference for pronouns. Is he actually trans? Not sure. Is he non-binary? Is he just struggling with his identity? Not sure. After consulting with a few people and professionals, at the very least he needs to see a therapist to sort this out. If it turns out that is the path to take, we'll support him. However, at this time it is inconclusive. As a side note, I didn't share it with him but my wife and I discussed it later. As I am sure y'all know, girls get picked on just as much if not more. I would expect it would be even more so for a child transitioning. So... there is a lot to unpack there certainly. Again, big THANK YOU to everyone who answered my question with advice and guidance. I will probably continue to lurk around to educate myself. I really appreciate the guidance. I am not sure what the future holds, but thank you all.
The mayor of Bozeman, Chris Mhel, is accused of being overly aggressive by multiple people. This is a copy of an email I received in regards to that.
September 7, 2020 Labor Day Members of the Bozeman City Commission, Because I cannot remain silent if I deserve to have any claim to continue to care about the rights, safety, equitable and fair treatment of women to advance gender and all equity in our community, I will do this as an individual and not on behalf of any organization. Preparing and sharing this Statement does not give me any pleasure and I hated to have to go through the pain of these records and memories again in order to respond. These statements of harmful and harassing treatment toward Bozeman City employees by our Mayor strongly influenced me that we who have suffered or witnessed this must step forward. I strongly urge everyone who is reading or listening to this - PLEASE review ALL the attached Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) documents from our current and former City Employees – many from women, but not all – to understand this: those leaders appearing to be women-supporting, liberal or even progressive men who are in power can and in this case with the Mayor, have profoundly harmed our City’s workforce including the 1st and only women City Manager, many have said was our most successful ever. And most employees who all want the Mayor removed. From the Bozeman City Commission Agenda for September 8, 2020, the FOIA Documents – open to read all 3 sections plus those from Commissioner Cunningham (total of 4): Discussion of Documents Related to Public Records Requests (Sullivan) I am writing and speaking about my experiences with Chris Mehl, from and since April 19, 2018. This date is when a leader of a local women’s business organization and I had a meeting with then Deputy Mayor Mehl (DM) to share and exchange around our City for CEDAW women’s human rights campaign to create safe, equitable and fair employment and living conditions in our community. Our meeting goal, quite simply in the same manner of our successful Equal Pay for Equal Work Resolution adopted by the City three years earlier, was to meet with each City Commissioner for an opportunity to educate, exchange around and get their advice about our proposed policy to advance women’s human rights in the workplace, schools, and our overall community through adoption of an Ordinance or Resolution. Over 70 Cities large and small throughout the U.S. have done this. Because at that time Mayor Andrus chose not to meet with any representatives of our campaign, the DM indicated he would stand in for the Mayor and learn more himself. I also indicated to the DM that there would be another representative from the local women’s business organization - a part of our City for CEDAW Leadership team who would join me. In our thorough preparation to meet with the DM – as with every Commission and community leader - we reached out to other current and former City leaders about how to approach and what best to say. At that time, I was warned by several of them that the DM “had a temper” and then I also shared that with this leader accompanying me, having no idea what that information could truly mean to each of us and our lives following. We spent an hour on April 19, 2018 from 4:00-5:00 pm at Sola Café, at the request of the DM, with several other customers nearby in the back section. While we had a carefully prepared outline of talking points of why we are requesting this now and how a policy to advance the human rights of all women and girls could benefit the City of Bozeman, we of course wanted to hear and address the DM’s questions and concerns. This meeting began by the DM with heated accusations made in anger and outrage to us in a shouting communication style about the fact that we dared to ask for this policy and goal – especially since the DM stated the Mayor already said she wouldn’t meet with our Campaign and didn’t we already have an Equal Pay Resolution. He then moved into accusatory rapid talking points ranging from how adopting a women’s human rights ordinance would cost at least $500,000 to conduct a City needs assessment to identify and address evidence of measurable gender and other discrimination and how could we waste the City’s tax dollars that way…..and the fact that children in our City have food insecurity and why should we fund a study instead of feeding the children? In trying to even answer or explore options we couldn’t get a word in for the first 30-45 minutes of his berating, bulling, belittlement and harassing “leadership style” that appeared to communicate his job was to intimidate and diminish us to the point that we would never return to the Mayor or City nor continue to educate and advance for any further women’s human rights. As we tried to both indicate that such a study was important to identify evidence of where gender and other discrimination existed in the institutions and sectors of our City and also recommend best practices to eradicate them – as recently well demonstrated by the Bozeman United for Racial Justice which only required 2 Marches of thousands of Bozeman residents and we congratulate them! – would cost from $10-20K and we already planned to ask other organizations for their support including MSU, Women’s Foundations, donors and more! In addition, if there was great urgency about Bozeman children’s food security, our Campaign’s issue as well - the results of our study was intended to strategically focus scarce tax dollars on which of our children and families needed assistance. And from lived experience - we know many of them were likely from single parent, underpaid, women-headed households. And that a gender analysis that included race/ethnicity, income, age and more would benefit all city policies, strategic planning, budgeting and employee workplace conditions beyond pay equity disparities to include prevention of sexual, racial harassment and other corrosive and harmful behaviors. But the DM couldn’t or wouldn’t listen until the final few minutes of this torturous hour when we calmed him down and pointed out some of the less costly or free policies other 70 Cities for CEDAW in the US have used to further women’s safety and economic security in their communities. Meanwhile those Sola Café customers and staff also witnessed the DM “leadership style” and more. After he left, we were asked,” who was that?” We said, “that’s your upcoming Mayor.” After the DM left, the volunteer leader and I tried to debrief this experience because this was so shocking - this was way more than a “Temper” issue - and appeared to be a pattern if we needed to be forewarned before meeting with the DM. In preparation for this Statement to the Commission, I needed to review and decided I will share my notes exchanged with my colleague from that DM meeting - written a day later, April 20, 2018: Quite honestly I did not expect the level to which I felt he [DM] was bullying, belittling and setting up so much opposition that he really didn't want to know any answers to the questions; he simply wanted to use them as a chance to humiliate us. I'm very, very angry and very unhappy about what he did; it was totally unnecessary and it was not fitting for a Deputy Mayor and future Mayor of our community. I'm going to be meeting with [another leader] today about their liaison with the School Board and I'm going to let them know some of what happened and get advice. I am drafting a letter this morning to Chris that follows up with Cyndy's email and why the over 20 people that were consulted about this Campaign did not see it as he did, because I don't think again he read this information very carefully. I'm going to ask you to look at it if you don't mind and share it with [ ] when I meet her with her tomorrow before I send it out. I don't want to do anything in anger. So I'm venting a little but you were wonderful and honestly we didn't need to come in with a bargaining position. We were there to learn what concerns he and the other Commissioners have: - I had asked Chris specifically in other emails if "you are able to generally support it", or "what exactly can you support" and that was what I thought the basis of the meeting was going to be about.
And I am feeling at this moment including in the follow-up email that summarizes our meeting content the question of:
Since you have so many objections to Our proposed [Bozeman for CEDAW] Ordinance as a model to achieve gender equity in our city, what is a process or framework that can allow the city to stand for gender equity and the health, dignity and safety of women and girls that is of substance and can be acceptable to the city? The ball is in his court or their court if he's really representing Cyndy Andrus as well. But she would not behave this way - that is for sure. You were great and I couldn't have done it; I couldn't have stood it without you. I honestly did not know that this is what his "temper" is about and it's bad for the City of Bozeman. Thank you again and so sorry we both had to put up with this and quite frankly it's why we need a city ordinance when you have leadership or bosses who treat women like this. It's called gender-based verbal violence and sexual harassment and we are Me Too. This is what happened, and now I’d like to add why this matters and why our City leadership and community should care and act. Even though I and the other leader have had to handle other very sexist and sexual harassing situations as well as gender-based violence over our lives, much like every woman – including death threats when I co-founded a program and shelter to address gender-based violence now called The HAVEN – the harsh impacts of DM’s verbal abuse was compounded because of his power as the DM and as incoming Bozeman Mayor. Having never received any apology or clarification about his “leadership style” or any follow up whatsoever from the DM, we drafted several versions of our own follow-up letter to the DM. This letter became so diplomatic to save our women’s rights cause and thus did not adequately address his abuse of power in order to avoid retaliation. Finally we resolved to focus our goal to create and institutionalize policies advancing women’s rights and safety and, now ironically, we decided not to send our letter to the DM. We never even thought this opportunity would occur to address what we now know is a long-standing pattern of the DM’s verbal form of gender-based violence. Instead, what I did is reach out to other leaders in our community to get their advice and felt afterwards that we were not taken seriously and always, in many ways spoken or by inaction, were told the DM’s contributions were more important than his “temper.” But we also learned from other discussions that we were not the only women affected by this pattern of abuse and fear of retaliation. When Mayor Andrus did reach out to me to schedule a meeting in June, 2018, about our City for CEDAW women’s human rights campaign following a City Commission meeting presentation earlier in May with over 100 supporters and nearly 1,000 signatures on our Petition, she wanted the DM to be present. I refused and told her why (correspondence in the other documents) and, upon request, followed up with Mayor Andrus in a lengthy phone call to provide specific examples and details from the meeting with the DM on April 19th. We were grateful she didn’t include him in that meeting. Another result both of us decided for ourselves and the Cities for CEDAW campaign after this April 19th meeting was either to not ever work or meet with the DM or at least always have 3-5 people present to prevent his harmful behavior from bullying and attempting to intimidate us again. Sadly, I also substantially reduced my and our expectations of what could be achieved for the creation of an Ordinance or Resolution to advance women’s human rights as Bozeman policy since that meeting. And as the DM moved into the role of Mayor, this was another way to prevent his attacks. Again, at the painful expense of the most vulnerable women we wanted this human rights policy, education and research to serve. The other volunteer leader quit working with the Equal Pay Resolution and this organization in order to not have to work with Mayor Mehl. She has shared her own story to this effect. Our lived experience as women, men and non-binary people of sexual, racial and/or other harassment and related violence in paid or volunteer workplaces and community leadership - along with the emerging research which is so badly needed here for the City and other workplaces - is now becoming more understood about its breadth and depth. We also know from the #ME TOO Movement that liberal White men – especially when holding the most prominent positions - can present as supporters of women and progressive causes, but do NOT walk their talk. After reading – and I so strong urge everyone who is reading or listening to this, PLEASE review ALL the attached the FOIA documents from our current and former City Employees – many from women, but not all – to understand this: those leaders appearing to be women-supporting, liberal or even progressive leaders who are in power can, and in this case, the Mayor has profoundly harmed our City’s workforce including the 1st and only women City Manager, who many have said was our most successful top Administrator ever. And this “leadership style” has been experienced by other current and previous Commissioners, members of Citizen Advisory Boards, business owners and many more we will never hear from who are also afraid to come forward because if the Mayor is not removed, they will be afraid of retaliation as am I and my colleague. Thinking about future City policies that advance gender and other equity, diversity and inclusion in our community and its workplace, how can anyone feel secure, much less “welcome” in their desire to contribute to our City, as a volunteer or employee, when they learn about this fully documented, unprofessional behavior of our Mayor in violation of the City’s own policies - carefully demonstrated over 2 years with extensive evidence in the FOIA documents by former City Managers Andrea Surratt and Dennis Taylor - if then no substantive action is taken? Now my colleague and I know – the Mayor’s "leadership style" as he defines this – was never only targeted at us, but directed widely, impacting a lot of women at all levels of employment and in our community, including current and former Commissioners, with all harmed in some way. I truly regret that we did not send our fully detailed letter of DM’s bullying, abusive and gender-based harassing treatment to the Mayor and other City leaders two years ago, or had been encouraged to file an Ethics Board complaint, but we believed it would probably be used against us and the organizations we cared about. I ask the City Commissioners on behalf of all who have suffered, been diminished, been humiliated, been afraid and been denied their ability to work in safety and dignity, to change our City’s elected Mayoral leadership now. Thank you, Jan Strout (she/hers) Bozeman, MT
Hello everyone! We've had a recent subscriber boom, thanks in no small part to some awesome videos by our friends Strange Æons, famous cool lesbian and Furby mother, and One Topic At A Time, the only valid straight guy (I'm joking of course, but he is pretty great). So, to everyone who just arrived, welcome to this wonderful community and I hope we can all have a fun time sharing memes and most importantly, educating ourselves about LGBTQ history and famous characters. In order to make sure everyone feels welcome, here's a couple guidelines we'd like you to help us with: We are focused specifically on making awareness of LGBTQ erasure. That means all posts should be explicitly about people failing to acknowledge homoerotic or gender-binary-nonconforming people and situations. We don't use the words "gay" or "trans" as hard labels when we talk about historical people, because culture evolves and language with it, but they are useful identifiers if we want to talk about what they did or how they felt. We know these labels might change from year to year and from culture to culture, so don't feel obligated to stick with them when we talk about a pre-modern context, though it's okay if you do use it because we all understand what you mean. If something is not entirely clear, asking is encouraged. That said, when we talk about modern people who have made their identity explicit we very much enforce respecting that identity. If someone is a declared bisexual, for example, and you insist they're straight or gay, you're being rude, and we don't like that. Please use the labels and pronouns people have chosen to go by. Deliberately misgendering people is a bannable offence. On that note, we have pronoun flairs for the most common identities and you can customise one in case it doesn't perfectly fit you. They're optional, but if someone uses them you should refer to that person with those pronouns. There is room for mistakes but we can also see when someone's being rude on purpose, so don't. This is a place for everyone to feel welcome and respecting their gender identity is a huge part of that. Be welcoming so you'll continue to be welcome. Finally: our rules are very short and concise. Please read and follow them. We want this place to be full of learning and fun, but we need your help with that. If you came from the videos or if you read the comments, you know the vibe. Let's all vibe. If someone is breaking the rules, please use the report button; some people have messaged us over chat or inbox but the report button is much more useful to us. That way we can deal with situations as soon as we see them. With all that said, I hope you know we're all trying to do our best to give our community a place where we can enjoy ourselves and talk about our history and experiences. Also, be sure to check our sister subreddits: /LGBTHistory, /LGBTCulture and /SapphireAndHerFriend. Have fun posting and talking together, maybe make some friends, and enjoy whatever posts or videos spark joy in you. If you have any questions you can leave them below or PM the subreddit. Have a nice browsing!
(Please note that the creator of this census, me (picc), is a cis female who intended on the next two questions being gender vs sex identity and realized that the original wording of the questions were a bit confusing. I'm sorry for this and we will make sure that it's more clear in the future.)
Gender vs Sex Identity
Sexual Orientation Demographics
Bi and Ace
I don't know
Current Relationship Status
In a relationship
Asian (includes East Asian, Southeast Asian, and origins in the Indian subcontinent)
Hawaiian / Pacific Islander
Indeginous Australian / Aboriginal Australian
Indigenous American / Native American
Mixed / Biracial
Native English Speakers
Yes (2,112, 78.54%)
No (577, 21.46%)
The highest non-english native languages were: Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German, French, Filipino, Polish, Arabic, Italian, and Swedish!
Highest Level of Education
Attained High School degree or equivalent
Completed Masters/Doctorate or equivalent
Completed undergraduate or equivalent
Still in High School or lower
Still in college/got some college credit
Please note this census occurred as the COVID-19 shutdowns began, so this may not be completely reflective of the current status of Popheads.
Employed - Full Time
Employed - Part Time
Student (Not Employed)
Mental and Physical Health Statistics
Have struggled in the past year (1,818, 68%)
Have not struggled in the past year (857, 32%)
Have a physical disability (103, 3.8%)
Do not have a physical disability (2,579, 96.2%)
There were so many! Here are the top 5:
Note - this is the same as the last census!
How Long Have You Been a Part of the Community?
3 to 6 months
6 to 9 months
9 months to 1 year
Less than 3 months
We're Overrun By Lurkers!
Rarely comment and post
Comment and post sometimes
Comment and post often
Other Subreddits We Use
Blackpink is in WHICH area? HipHopHeads, Indieheads, Music, Kpop, ListenToThis, LetsTalkMusic, EDM, WeAreTheMusicMakers, ElectronicMusic, and R&BHeads say hello
Popheads is the Best Music Sub, and we have the talent to prove it
85.2% of us (2277 respondents) primarily use Popheads, while 14.8% (395 respondents) do not 88.6%% of us use Popheads as our primary source of entertainment! We also primarily use Pitchfork, NPR, and Rolling Stone. We love making our own music! Just kidding. 82.6% (2,208) of our respondents don't make their own music.
Listening Hours and Methods
Hours spend listening to music per week
Hours of Listening
Percentage of that time listening to new music
A little more than half of our participants listen to "pop" music more than 50% of the time. We use phones as our primary source of listening tool, followed by computer, radio, music player, and others. We buy our music primarily as digital downloads, but plenty of us (919, 46%) buy CDs, and the cool kids (760, 38.1%) buy vinyl. Spotify came out on top as the primary streaming service with 2,160 participants using it, followed by YouTube at 1,605 participants. (This and the above were multiple answer options). Apple Music came in with 549 participants, barely beating out Soundcloud who had 469!
We're suckers for Pitchfork! 73.8% of participants have friends they can comfortably discuss music with. We are also a part of other communities on Last.fm and Discord! Though, 875 people said they are not part of other communities.
Top 5 TV Shows: The Good Place, Bojack Horseman, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, and The Office Top 5 Movies: Parasite, Mean Girls, La La Land, Titanic, and Interstellar Top 5 Video Games: Animal Crossing, Minecraft, The Sims, Pokemon, and Skyrim Top 5 Musical Acts: Taylor Swift, Charli XCX, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, and Lorde Top 5 Books: Harry Potter, 1984, The Great Gatsby, A Little Life, and Lord of the Rings Lots of you still don't read or have a favorite book!
Precompiled Gentoo Linux 17th Year Anniversary September 2020 update - Three complete GPU specific configurations
With my 17th year supporting Gentoo approaching in September I especially wanted to post this for Gentoo users. I have for years found the hobby of helping people on this subreddit enjoyable and wanted to offer you all an update to aid you in these trying times with your struggles adjusting to and learning to love penguins! As some of you know i've been a stalwart supporter of Gentoo Linux since 2003 due to the educational merits and flexibility afforded by "baking your own binaries" and configuring your own install to suit your own hardware or purpose. This is great but the build time required to compile all that software does dissuade some people from making an attempt. I've precompiled Gentoo Linux "stage4" tar.gz base system installs and released them on several previous occasions however i felt the changes since June warranted creating a new post update. In December i began providing three gpu specific configurations for Intel amd and nvidia graphics cards and given positive feedback have continued this in a similar fashion to Systemd76 Pop!_ OS featuring kde plasma with full support for 32 bit applications then add support for docker, qemu, lutris, steam, wine staging and much more! These builds contain the base gentoo install stage used for the initial builds in the root filesystem within the tarballs for each build dated December 12 2019 These builds are an update of the finest gentoo chroot builds assembled to date i've released to the general public :)
So what the feck is a stage4?
Gentoo Linux releases system install base systems as compressed archives that include the bare minimum software necessary for Linux to reproduce itself and any other software program. Historically Gentoo used to allow users to progress to this point by building up to several "stages" from stage 1 to stage 3 then later settled on only providing stage3. Stage4 is terminology Gentoo Linux users frequently use to refer to only the filesystem contents that comprises any completed and archived installation. Stage4 Gentoo system backup largely replaces the install stage choices offered the gentoo install handbook
Why the feck would I want this?
As many people have discovered that attempt using Linux software configuration can be inflexible or incompatible after it's been prepackaged for distros such as Ubuntu or Mint or you pick one and no avenue to recompile that software is provided to adapt that software for only your own hardware configuration to "fine tune" and eliminate consistency conflicts or eliminate an overabundance of software features having been supported. *** These builds will require some customization and additional config to become bootable if you choose to proceed with further system install configuration *** New Gentoo Linux 17.1 September 2020 build details
Three GPU specific builds configured for nvidia-drivers, amdgpu and intel gpu
nvidia build includes nvidia-drivers 450.66, vdpau, nvenc, vulkan and cuda support
intel build includes UMA intel gpu acceleration, vulkan, vaapi and vdpau support
amdgpu build includes vulkan, vkd3d dx12 and opencl support
Featured applications supported
Around 1600 packages precompiled or preinstalled in advance
Linux 5.4.60 GPU specific kernel configurations provided
Electrician / Foreman at a Union Shop (Minneapolis, MN USA)
Salary: $97,000 Years of experience: 8.0 Recommended Education: Apprenticeship
What’s a day in the life for an electrician?
I’m a foreman, which is a much different role then if I was still a journeyman electrician. As a foreman, it’s more managing than electrical work. My goal is to make project managers happy, keep everyone focused (so the customer is satisfied), make sure our shop is making money, and deliver something that I can be proud to stand by. The electricians beside me need to be enjoying their day; otherwise, they will resent me and put in sub-par work. Part of what I do is to try and keep things interesting, so my team doesn’t lose interest. I do this by giving guys responsibility, because there’s pride associated with everything they do, or when things are more mundane, creating competitions. The best thing about being a journeyman is that when you go home, you don’t have to think about work AT ALL. When you wake up, you don’t think about work; even when you drive to the job site, you don’t have to fire up your brain until the clock starts. But, as soon as you start working, you’re in a different world, and none of the problems from your home life consume you because you’re too busy problem solving, you’re dealing with something different every couple hours. On a typical day, you wake up early as hell and drive to your job site. The site might be a mudhole, or it might be a nice parking garage, but it changes every couple of months, you’re never in the same situation. For example, let’s say I get assigned to work at General Mills at a factory assembly line with some issues and have to work on it for three days. That might be a casual experience where they have prints, plans, and diagrams to look at, and you follow the instructions and install it. Or, you might be working for that customer and BOOM, an entire assembly line goes down, which prevents thousands of chocolate bars from being made. You now have workers standing there, and your job is to get that line fired back up, quickly. You need to be able to walk into that environment and figure out how to approach it safely. I go through a mental checklist: turn the power off, determine what’s feeding it, find the electric room, what kind of equipment is needed, how many motors there are, what caused the problem, isolate the source, etc. At some point, you go on auto-pilot, and your brain solves the issue. There’s also more thought to it; you need to quickly determine if you can fix it today, how soon you can get the part, whether there’s a temporary solution, or whether you have enough knowledge to fix it.
What’s the best part of being an electrician?
Don’t be afraid to try it; once most people get into the work, they end up liking the profession a lot more than they ever expected. The variety of backgrounds I see seems to be increasing; this includes first-generation Americans, people looking for new careers later in life, and many more women. There’s a lot of job stability, and it’s something that isn’t going away because there’s a huge need. You’ll challenge yourself physically and mentally, and will likely receive opportunities you would never see elsewhere. If you have a lot of ambition, it can be your passion, but it also doesn’t have to be. When you’re starting, you need to push through your training until you’re able to get your license. Once you get your license, you can’t have it taken away, and there’s a lot of freedom that comes with it, so it’s worth sticking it out.
What’s the downside of being an electrician? Words of caution?
For most people trying to get into the trades, I recommend thinking about the long-term implications. Don’t go after the first big paycheck you get offered; if the situation isn’t what you’re looking for, keep looking. Also, you need to be continually aware of what you’re doing, attentive, and present to the task. You learn to be hyper-focused. If you’re looking to get experience and you can’t get into a union program, there’s no problem working non-union. If you’re going to be a non-union worker, you have to have more ambition; you have to be more confrontational, vouch for yourself, ask your employer for more, and there’s no one backing you with negotiated contracts. If you want an excellent education that’s varied and hope to prevent yourself from getting into dangerous situations, the union might be the way to go. Non-union, there’s no curriculum, and you have to do additional research. All things aside, there are some great non-union workers out there. You can do it if you have the drive and determination. If you’re somebody who has no mechanical aptitude, doesn’t like to spend your free time figuring out how things work, or you’re afraid to fix something that’s broken, it might take you a while to enjoy being an electrician. You might still be good at it, but it might not come naturally. You need to have a strong work ethic if you want to have consistent employment and want to be a good electrician. You don’t need to be a perfectionist, but you need to try and do your best.
Describe the path you took to become an electrician
Before I started, I had a vague idea of what trade work looked like, and I tried to visualize myself as one of “those guys.” I wasn’t necessarily thinking, “do I like electricity?” or “do I want to work on electrical hazards?” I figured I could probably do it and gave it a try. Many people expect that if you’re blue-collar and your parents are blue-collar, then you’re the next candidate to be a trades worker. But, that’s an outdated idea. Most people don’t get into the trades because they want a high income, but when you tell anyone how much you make, they’re generally surprised. Because there’s such a demand for electricians, there’s limited space in apprentice training programs. As a result, there are many pre-apprentice (or unindentured apprentice) training programs emerging to ensure that the people who get accepted are likely to see it through. How much pre-apprentice work you need is location dependent (usually 6-24 months), so if you want to get in without this, you may need to research various states or cities. I completed six months of pre-apprentice work and was able to sign up because you no longer needed to complete the full two-year program. Due to high demand (in Minneapolis), they lifted the requirement so long as you could pass their interviews and entrance exams. Once you’re accepted, you have five years of apprenticeship. Each year brings a different program, a pay increase, and every six months, they switch you to a new contractor. Some of the content included learning various installations, people skills, safety, bending pipe, physics/math, high voltage, DC/AC theory, ladder logic, binary, national/state code, etc. But, the biggest thing is learning how to problem-solve, which goes well beyond the codebook. You get a taste for more technical aspects, but you can also really dive into topics like programmable logic controllers, solar, building automation, data, etc. There are lots of certifications for each of these, and in the end, they prepare you very well to take the state exam for the journeyman license. Starting as an apprentice allows you to make money right away. In my first year, I started at $15/hour, which doesn’t include your perks: paid vacation, pension, annuity, an unemployment slush fund, full health coverage for family, etc. Fast forward to today, I make $48.50/hour as a foreman or $46.50/hour as a journeyman. The pay rates are standardized through the union by location. What’s most in-demand right now is for low voltage and inside wireman, which is what I am. But, where you end up depends on your ambition and what you want to do. A lot of guys are content just being a worker; they don’t mind being laid off or moving from contractor to contractor. My preference is to work for a contractor that I like; I work hard to have that security. In terms of options, you can be a journeyman, a foreman, a general foreman (required when you exceed a specific crew size), or a master electrician (requires 2,000 hours of additional work and a master’s license). As a master electrician, you’re likely to get paid more, but you’re bonded to the shop, so you may not do much electrical work, and you will take all the heat if things go wrong.
What’s the future outlook for an electrician?
Since COVID hit, our shop has had to adapt by taking on less profitable jobs; doing this allows our best guys to keep working and stay engaged. For example, we just did a sizable solar rooftop installation, where the work was mostly outside in a safe environment versus a busy construction site. If things start to change, and people don’t want to invest in new commercial buildings, there’s always going to be a need to build homes, apartments, hospitals, schools, or facilities that need constant maintenance. The trades might take bites and hits along the way, but if you’re reasonably smart with your finances, you’ll be able to make it through any tough times, which I’ve never really seen. If need be, I could always find low voltage or travel to where the work is. I know several guys who went to Australia to improve the electric grid and help train locals. The scenario is a little extreme, but there are always opportunities. Ultimately, technology isn’t going to slow down; electrical equipment will always get better, faster, cheaper, and more efficient. Electrical work is nearly impossible to automate, so that can be a good thing if you’re coming from an industry that’s in decline.
If you’re trying to change careers, analyze the things you don’t like about your position now, because if you’re not coming from a trade, you could be in for a big surprise. I’ve observed that service workers who work in fast-paced environments and do a lot of multitasking do very well. You have to enjoy physical work; you have to be willing to work in many different environmental conditions, whether that’s filthy outdoor dirt, extreme temperatures, hot and cold, uncomfortable positions, etc. You have to be able to see the bigger picture so that your work doesn’t become mundane. Job/Career Demand - 5.0 Positive Impact - 4.0 Satisfaction - 4.5 Advancement/Growth - 4.0 Creativity - 4.5 Work-Life Balance - 4.7 Compensation & Benefits - 5.0 Work Environment - 4.0 --- For anyone with questions, I am unfortunately not the writer of this content. We are working on building messaging capabilities on our website, which will hopefully be live in a couple of months. If there are any urgent questions, I can reach out to my friend directly :)
The pharmacy 2020 demographics survey results are here! There were 258 respondents this year. Please note that the numbers will not necessarily add up to 100%, since all questions were optional. Sorry in advance for the crappy Excel graphs. Location Most respondents hailed from the US (233; 90.3%), followed by Canada (10; 3.9%), United Kingdom (8; 3.1%), New Zealand (2; 0.8%), and 1 respondent each from Australia, Indonesia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Taiwan. Of the 233 Americans, the top 3 states were California (20; 8.6%), Pennsylvania (18; 7.7%), and Texas (18; 7.7%). The 10 Canadians were from Ontario (5; 50%), British Columbia (2; 20%), Alberta (1; 10%), Nova Scotia (1; 10%), and Quebec (1; 10%). Demographics Of the 258 respondents, 130 (50.4%) identified as female, 123 (47.7%) as male, and 3 (1.2%) as non-binary. Age distribution is shown in the below table. A few statistics: minimum 19, maximum 68, mean 29.0, median 28, mode 26. https://preview.redd.it/qxyxs2sj09c51.png?width=554&format=png&auto=webp&s=202bef88a53fa8596182435590ba9de8eb3646c9 In terms of race/ethnicity, the categories from most to least common were as follows: white (156; 60.5%), Asian (55; 21.3%), 2 or more races (11; 4.3%), black (9; 3.5%), Hispanic or Latino (8; 3.1%), Indian subcontinent (6; 2.3%), Arab (4; 1.6%), Native American or American Indian (2; 0.8%), and Armenian (1; 0.4%). General employment questions Of the 258 respondents, 169 (65.5%) were pharmacists, 55 (21.3%) were pharmacy students, 22 (8.5%) were non-pharmacist staff, and 8 (3.1%) were pre-pharmacy students. There were also 1 each of the following: corporate pharmacy compliance, pharmacy wholesaler, pharmacology student, and other healthcare professional. Most respondents (169; 65.5%) were employed full time (defined as > 30 hours/week), while 19 (7.4%) were employed part time. 49 respondents (19.0%) were full time students (not necessarily in pharmacy), 13 (5.0%) were unemployed, 4 (1.6%) worked outside of the field of pharmacy, 2 (0.8%) were self-employed, 1 (0.4%) was retired, and 1 (0.4%) was consulting/contracting. There was a nearly equal split between respondents working in suburban (99; 38.4%) vs. urban (97; 37.6%) locations, followed by 21 (8.1%) in rural locations and 15 (5.8%) working remotely (apologies - I should have made this question/response more clear, but based on a jump compared to last year's survey, I think people working from home temporarily due to COVID-19 may have chosen this option). A pie chart of primary place of employment is shown below, with the top 7 responses shown in the legend: community/retail (136; 52.7%), hospital including outpatient (48; 18.6%), pharmaceutical industry including CROs (11; 4.3%), mail ordespecialty/home infusion (9; 3.5%), unemployed (8; 3.1%), long-term care/hospice (8; 3.1%), and ambulatory care (5; 1.9%). Please note that the unemployed category includes non-working full time students. https://preview.redd.it/csyipt0hs9c51.png?width=297&format=png&auto=webp&s=3b91337feb634a61730ccfbdd09aa8a0fdda6d7a A small proportion (42; 16.3%) of respondents reported having a second job. Of these, the most common fields of employment were: hospital including outpatient (10; 23.8%), community/retail (8; 19.0%), and self employment/side hustle (7; 16.7%). Salary For the following charts, I only included those working full time. Below is a histogram for full time pharmacist salary worldwide, as well as a table showing some stats for global, US, and ex-US salaries. https://preview.redd.it/n16j31x1v9c51.png?width=447&format=png&auto=webp&s=624581f5b94c917c417ac39da92cf9eb4c77130c
Clinical Research & Development (including Clinical Operations)
Medical Science Liaison
The breakdown by level was as follows: PharmD Fellow (3; 27.3%), Associate/Specialist (6; 54.5%), ManageSupervisor (1; 9.1%), Director (1; 9.1%). Five respondents had completed or were currently completing a fellowship. Four of these 5 provided their salaries during their fellowships, with an average of $50,000. Pharmacy and pre-pharmacy students There were 63 respondents (24.4%) who reported being pharmacy or pre-pharmacy students. Of these, the top 3 desired fields upon graduation were: hospital including residencies (16; 25.4%), undecided (13; 20.6%), and community/retail (11; 17.5%). These 63 students attended (or planned to attend) 45 different schools worldwide. The 5 most common schools reported were as follows: University of Toronto (3; 4.8%), Feik School of Pharmacy (2; 3.2%), Ohio State University (2; 3.2%), Temple University (2; 3.2%), and University of Colorado (2; 3.2%). The breakdown by year was as follows: undergraduate/pre-pharmacy (8; 12.7%), PY1 (4; 6.3%), PY2 (18; 28.6%), PY3 (16; 25.4%), and PY4 (13; 20.6%). Of the 13 PY4 students, 2 reported having a job lined up after graduation, both in community/retail. Most students (45; 71.4%) were working in a pharmacy setting while in school. Stats for the number of hours worked weekly were as follows: minimum 3; maximum 34; mean 15.8; median 15. The most common duties interns were authorized to perform at their jobs were counseling patients (38; 84.4%), administering immunizations (24; 53.3%), and product verification (17; 37.8%). Note that interns could choose more than 1 option. Of the 63 students, 36 (57.1%) reported that they would choose to attend pharmacy school again if they could go back in time, knowing what they know now. Sixteen students (25.4%) reported that they would decide on a different career path, and 5 (7.9%) were unsure. Following pharmacy school, some students were considering pursuing the following degrees (top 3 listed): MPH (6; 9.5%), MD (4; 6.3%), and MBA (3; 4.8%). Results from additional questions are shown in chart form below. https://preview.redd.it/mls7e2139ac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=5db3ec80fd6e1934c787941278b7b755ad802a45 https://preview.redd.it/p9p44ifm9ac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=faf04b54ed228cc0cf110d06ed27bfd524ba894f https://preview.redd.it/8p7qq205aac51.png?width=464&format=png&auto=webp&s=ae5d53c284cd86ff787498dad58c4d625ae2afb1 Pharmacists There were 169 pharmacists, from 91 different pharmacy schools. The most common alma maters were Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy (RU RAH RAH!!) with 6 respondents (3.6%), University of Pittsburgh with 5 respondents (3.0%), and the following 5 schools with 4 respondents each: Northeastern University, Ohio Northern University, University of Colorado, University of Georgia, and University of Kansas. Most pharmacists (152; 89.9%) were currently practicing pharmacy. Five (3.0%) had practiced in the past but were no longer practicing, and 10 (5.9%) had never practiced after graduating. Of those currently practicing pharmacy, the statistics on the number of years in practice were as follows: minimum 0.1; maximum 35; mean 4.8; and median 3. Nearly half of pharmacists (75; 49.3%) said they would choose a different career path if they could go back in time, knowing what they know now, while 71 pharmacists (46.7%) said they would still choose to pursue pharmacy. Local practice standards About half of pharmacists (84; 55.3%) reported administering (or being allowed to administer) many types of immunizations, while 3 (2.0%) reported that pharmacists were not allowed in their location. A further 63 pharmacists (41.4%) did not administer immunizations simply because it was not part of their job description (eg, hospital inpatient). Regarding therapeutic interchange for non-controlled prescriptions, 63 pharmacists (41.4%) reporting being authorized to update a prescription only after consulting the prescriber. An additional 43 pharmacists (28.3%) were allowed to update a prescription as long as the prescriber was notified afterwards (ie, without prior permission), and 8 pharmacists (5.3%) were allowed per institutional protocol or collaborative practice agreement. Twenty-four pharmacists (15.8%) reported that a new prescription would be required and that no updates by the pharmacist were allowed. For controlled prescriptions, 24 pharmacists (15.8%) reported being allowed to change any/all elements of the prescription following consultation with the prescriber, and 4 pharmacists (2.6%) were allowed per institutional protocol or collaborative practice agreement. Sixty-six pharmacists (43.4%) were allowed to change certain (but not all) elements, while 40 (26.3%) could not change any part of a controlled prescription and required the prescriber to issue a new one. Regarding pharmacist prescribing, most pharmacists (110; 72.4%) were not allowed to prescribe medications. Nineteen pharmacists (12.5%) could prescribe for certain health conditions, 3 (2.0%) could prescribe for any health condition, and 2 (1.3%) could prescribe per institutional protocol or collaborative practice agreement. Results from additional questions are shown in chart form below. https://preview.redd.it/9q4wjmmg3bc51.png?width=281&format=png&auto=webp&s=cf2ec43db13f3fcbe4cb398b1c39808389f54572 https://preview.redd.it/945u7beklac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=e74267ca8c2d56dd0c7fc42497df2f0d42f14a3a https://preview.redd.it/yyd7su4tlac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=86e12e31c5de3b91a615add5dd28055f881beddc https://preview.redd.it/tk2msh41mac51.png?width=480&format=png&auto=webp&s=c091747118370117d3ecf35a8e9bffd54ac02805 https://preview.redd.it/9njkd9vemac51.png?width=346&format=png&auto=webp&s=ffe54bfc9ae206295f7e81685a361357c14a625a https://preview.redd.it/mywjx5nwmac51.png?width=444&format=png&auto=webp&s=1eb695e764c2bf7c1ffbfddd947fc297eed4f8ea Pharmacy residents Of the 169 pharmacists, 31 (18.3%) had completed or were currently completing a pharmacy residency. Of those, there were 6 current PGY-1 residents and 1 current PGY-2 resident. Of the 24 pharmacists who had completed their PGY-1 residencies, most (18; 75%) did rotational programs without a specific focus. The remaining 6 pharmacists specialized in the following areas during their PGY-1: ambulatory care (2; 8.3%), community pharmacy (1; 4.2%), managed care (1; 4.2%), pediatrics (1; 4.2%), and pharmacotherapy (1; 4.2%). Stats on their PGY-1 salaries were as follows: minimum $33,000; maximum $60,000; mean $44,325; median $45,000. These PGY-1 residencies were done primarily in an urban setting (18; 75%), followed by suburban (3; 12.5%) and rural (2; 8.3%). Of the 11 pharmacists who had completed their PGY-2 residencies, the specialties included: ambulatory care (3; 27.3%), psychiatry (2; 18.2%), and 1 each of administration, critical care, emergency medicine, infectious disease, oncology, and pharmacotherapy (9.1% each). Stats on their PGY-2 salaries were as follows: minimum $35,000; maximum $51,000; mean $45,625; median $46,500. These PGY-2 residencies were done almost equally in urban (6; 54.5%) and suburban (5; 45.5%) settings. The 6 current PGY-1 residents had the following plans immediately following their PGY-1: inpatient staff pharmacist (2; 33.3%), PGY-2 residency (2; 33.3%), inpatient clinical specialty pharmacist (1; 16.7%), and non-practicing pharmacist (1; 16.7%). Of those who had completed their residencies, their roles immediately afterward are listed in the table below.
Number of Respondents
Inpatient staff pharmacist
Inpatient clinical specialty pharmacist
Ambulatory care pharmacist
Outpatient pharmacist (eg, retail, mail order, long term care)
Stopped practicing but remained in the field of pharmacy (eg, industry)
Drug information pharmacist
Pharmacy organizations This question was directed toward American respondents. There were 96 respondents who reported being currently active members of an association, the most common of which were ASHP (39; 40.6%), APhA (38; 39.6%), and a local/state pharmacy association (29; 30.2%). There were 35 respondents who reported previously being members of an association, the most common of which were APhA (25; 71.4%), ASHP (15; 42.9%), and a local/state pharmacy association (13; 37.1%). Final comments Thanks again to everyone who took the survey, and especially those who provided feedback! I totally acknowledge that the survey is very US-centric, and for that I apologize. I did take some feedback from some people in this subreddit, but if anyone ex-US wants to provide feedback for any future surveys, I'm happy to speak with you offline about it. The same also goes for anyone in a "niche" field such as long-term care, ambulatory care, managed care, etc. I'm happy to add in new sections or questions for those fields - it's just that I have no idea what to ask, having no experience in those areas. There are probably a few questions whose answers aren't reflected here mainly because this is long enough already, but if you have any questions (eg, what's the average salary for a hospital pharmacist in a suburban area?), please feel free to ask! Thanks again!
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