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dawgies kitties off topic open thread

A kittens, puppies, bonbons and rainbows open thread

Kitten, puppy, rainbow. (Bonbons not pictured.)
Kitten, puppy, rainbow. (Bonbons not pictured.)

In light of the sheer grimness of that last post, there has been a request for a “kittens, puppies, bonbons and rainbows thread.” So here you go. Discussion does not have to be confined to kittens, puppies, bonbons and rainbows, but keep it positive! This is a thread for uplifting stuff only. No trolls, MRAs, Hitlers.

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Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@IP

She said she didn’t want to get married, because we didn’t have a good proposal story to tell

I should hope the irony is not lost…

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ viscaria

Congratulations!!!

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Petal
I’m so sorry. I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as the one “right” proposal. The funny thing is, that “botched”* proposal story can be your story and I bet a lot of people will find it funny.

*It’s actually a pretty normal way to propose these days and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Some women see the flash mob videos and expect something unique like that but others would be really uncomfortable with that.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
4 years ago

@IP –

That’s too bad to hear that, both from her side (getting disappointed about something that was important to her) and even more so from your side (trying to get things right and not managing to, and on something that to me feels pretty minor, to boot). I hope she does come around, eventually, and can see things from your point of view – because I think your story ended up pretty awesome.

It was really interesting for me to read that, because my BF and I also met online, and have been in a long-distance relationship for some years now (it’s been very hard to figure out how to resolve this; we’re hoping to be able to do so this year, but there’s not much of a plan yet). We knew pretty much from the start that we were serious, and want to eventually spend our life together, and marriage was always assumed to be a part of it, if only for logistical reasons.
The first time I went to visit him in the US, we spent a couple of days at his grandparents’ old vacation house (now sold, sadly) on Olympic Peninsula. It’s beautiful out there. In the evening, we walked along the beach to a spot that always had great significance for him, and watched the sunset together. Then he turned to me and said…
“I would ask you to marry me, but I already know the answer.”
And that’s it.
<3
Personally, I prefer this to any fancy, expensive proposal. If a couple gets a kick out of doing one, good for them, but me, I'm happy.

(Also, I warned him a long time ago that I don't want a ring. I never wear any because I don't like how they feel on my hand, so it just seems like a pointless expense.)

[@EJ – I haven't forgotten, about pragmatics, it's just trying to phrase it properly in English that's giving me a bit of trouble. I'll figure out how to make it non-clunky, eventually.]

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

@Viscaria, congratulations! You deserve all the very best. It sounds like you may be getting it too!

@IP, oh dear. That sort of turbo-marriage stuff always put me off, myself! I’m not aromantic at all (I’m ace, but not aro), and I do like the frillies and the flowers, but I am sorta in your camp when it comes to weddings – dance hall, fun music and open bar is sufficient! I’m glad it’s worked out for you two despite that.

@LG, thank you for letting us know how things are going with you. It sounds like it’s going great, so I hope it continues to get better and better. I hope he learns – not just for the sake of your relationship, but for his own growth and happiness, too. You all deserve to be happy 🙂

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

What a story, IP. It’s amazing what a difference cultural expectations can make. I’m glad you two still managed to find your way to each other through all the falderall.

I know that whenever I get upset at my partner, I have an awful habit of suddenly saying “and not only THAT, but you also left early from my dad’s cabin that one time!” and he’s like “…you mean, 5 years ago?” and I’m like “YEAH. I DO.” In my case, I forgave him a long time ago, but that state-dependent memory brings it all back. Maybe your wife is the same?

Luckily I don’t have much in the way of proposal expectations. In fact, when he said last night that we should look for rings, I thought that was it, and I was elated. The more elaborate plan is all him.

I have two rules and two rules only, both of which he’s known for years: 1) No public proposals. 2) No asking my dad or my step dad for permission.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
4 years ago

@Viscaria

Yeah, she definitely does that. She’ll bring up one thing I did that upset her, and it doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but while she’s talking she’ll think of a dozen other things that happened in the last few months, and by the end of it she’s way more upset than she was originally. Things always work out in the end, but I tend to spend way more time than I would like just listening to things I’ve done wrong + apologizing for them.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
4 years ago

@LG

I was worried about you ! I’m so glad to hear it’s going better. Props to Mr. LG for being willing to work on himself, and major fucking props to you for facing that situation like you do. Keep it up, take care of yourself and be careful, and I hope it continues to go well !

All the cheers.

Dalillama
4 years ago

@LG
Yay for progress.

@Viscaria
Squeee!

@proposals
I honestly could not say how the proposal went. For either of my marriages. Hell, I’m not even certain anymore if I proposed to my (now) ex-wife or vice versa. I know Hubby proposed to me, he gave me the ring he’d gotten for his first engangement, but it was inscribed with mormon symology, so we don’t have it anymore. Later he bought me a ring inscribed in Irish (which I actually wear on a necklace, because I don’t wear rings on my fingers for various reasons, alongside my ring from my first marriage.) But any further details are lost to my crappy episodic memory.

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
4 years ago

@Scildfreja
I cannot hear that song without thinking of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCXFKo1UDjQ
Anyone who hasn’t seen Horrible Bosses-please do! It’s really funny!

Saphira
Saphira
4 years ago

Last week sucked. My closest friend was on vacation all week hiking in the Catskills so I couldn’t even text him because there’s shoddy cell reception up there. We talk almost every day, so that was hard. My IBS is acting up. I think that UTI I’ve been fighting for almost a month still isn’t gone because symptoms are cropping up again after a second round of antibiotics. I think one of the dwarf hamsters has cancer because she’s been losing weight. She’s one of my daughter’s favorites and she just lost her special hamster friend, Sunshine last month and the ripe old age of three. Sunshine was a special hamster — quite the personality for a tiny rodent — and I swear she had bonded to my daughter. My computer crashed, somehow messing up the information for my “account” (or whatever you’d call it) here, so I got stuck in moderation and had to figure out what went wrong because all my information looked right. On the bright side, my roommate’s joined the site to comment and all that, so yay!

This week had better be better. I think having “J” back from vacation will help a lot. I swear he keeps me sane.

EJ (The Orphic Lizard)

I spent the weekend with my partner, my sister and her fiance. It was awesome. We rewatched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, played board games, made and ate large amounts of food, and may have imbibed a beer or two.

I learned two new words: “snartlegog“, an alternate name for a cockchafer or maybug; and “belf“, a suspicious neologism arrived at during Bananagrams.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
4 years ago

This is not a kitten, nor a puppy, bonbon or rainbow. But it belongs here.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-26/stranger-kind-gesture-pay-tradie-petrol-bill/7877302

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

I have a rainbow story. It’s so ridiculously far-fetched that I wouldn’t expect anyone to ever believe it. But I swear on all I hold dear it actually happened….

I was having a mooch around at my favourite stone circle. There were a couple of other people there. This was a bit unusual but we got chatting and they were very nice. But then more and more people arrived; quite literally a hundred or so. That was very unusual. I wondered what the occasion could be (it wasn’t a significant calendar date or anything). But I found out. It was to be a wedding (well, handbinding) between two witches.

Now I have a dilemma. I don’t want to gatecrash but if I leave it might look like I don’t approve! I decided it would be better to hang around and apologise for intruding afterwards. Anyway, the wedding goes ahead. It was quite drizzly but the mist did add a nice ambience.

However right at the moment it was announced that they were, well, wife and wife (and I am not kidding, I mean exactly that moment) the rain stopped to reveal a magnificent rainbow. That did get quite a “Wow!” from all of us. One of the very few totally mystical experiences in my life.

I did explain myself afterwards when offering my congratulations. They were really nice about it and invited me to the reception.

(The happy couple; in the pub not the circle)

http://i.imgur.com/M99R8c2.jpg

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Alan
I believe 🙂

Apropos:

Dalillama
4 years ago

@Saphira
*hugs* if desired and hope things start looking up soon.

@Alan
that’s an incredibly sweet story

@music
My cousin is a local folksinger

Aunt Podger
Aunt Podger
4 years ago

I am going to a con for the first time in a decade this weekend. There’s a whole dramatic tale behind why, the upshot of which is, yes, if you’re a feminist, you will go to great lengths to avoid hurting guys who are ACTUALLY nice.

I am feeling like this is very brave of me, for reasons best left unspecified.

Of course, since there is no such thing as a person who identifies as female and also likes print spec fic, I am non-existent. Anyone care for a super-nerdy imaginary friend? I’ll be on the Archon dance floor Saturday night, in polka dots.

@saphira, sounds like things are on the upswing. Psychic dusting/ laundry-folding help if you want it, as I am crap at hugs.

@EJ, makes sense. If a dormitory is a place of dormir (sleep), and a factory is a place of factors, then a belfry is obviously the place for belfing or belfs.

Dalillama
4 years ago

@Aunt Podger
Anytime you’re looking for new reading material, hit me up; I’m an endless font of specfic recommendations for practically every taste.

Dalillama
4 years ago

And since the topic of tabletop gaming has recently been reintroduced, I’m (once again :p) looking for another player for an ongoing Wierd Western game via roll20, probably continuing on Monday evenings, if anyone’s interested.

ej
ej
4 years ago

I did it! I just wanted to share the news that I submitted my thesis on Monday. I took the day off yesterday for obvious reasons. The timing actually worked out really well because my partner (did I mention that I’ve been seeing someone new? I have a new partner and it’s great!) had a job interview in the morning, so we got to spend some time together in the afternoon. He still had to do some work, but we went to a gaming cafe for lunch. He worked and I spent the afternoon playing Portal 2.

Now I get to focus on prepping lectures because classes start next week…eek!

EJ (The Orphic Lizard)

Congrats ej!

Dalillama
4 years ago

Congratulations.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Scildfreja (and anyone else with a useful perspective)

Can I pick your brain regarding your area of expertise? I’m finally going to do a first draft of the first post of the series that will attempt to outline how social conflict works and I was hoping to find someone to “sniff test” some things and maybe give some feedback.

I’ve been agonizing over how to organize it properly and usefully express how the science relates to average experience. What I’m trying to do has similarities to your work when it comes to how people perceive and use information. Do you mind?

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Congratulations, ej! That’s a huge hurtle. I hope that it goes well. Beware the thesis defense snakes.

@Brony, of course! I’m sick, and am sort of fuzzy around the edges, but I’d be happy to help.

Dalillama
4 years ago

So fucking pissed off I could scream.
I had a job interview today (my current work being part time, I’m looking for a second job), wherein I was told that my ‘situation’ wasn’t a good fit, because ‘my voice might make the customers uncomfortable’.

Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack

@Dalillama

Well, fuck them, too, those fuckheads.

comment image

I’m sorry. I hope you don’t have to deal with such douchebags in the future. You’re too awesome for this shit.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Dali

So fucking pissed off I could scream

If it makes you feel any better I did scream. Then mumbled some obscenities

my voice might make the customers uncomfortable

Yep, supremely worried about the customers. That’s it. Definitely…

So sorry, darlin. Hugs and love 🙂

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Dalillama

What the actual fuck? And I’ve dealt with plenty of asshole customers whom were made uncomfortable by my voice (only men can do tech support, you know) but that never stopped me from providing excellent service. That’s a bullshit excuse and they know it.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

fhh. Fuck those guys, Dalillama. It’s their loss. Sounds like you wouldn’t have wanted to work there anyways.

Dalillama
4 years ago

Thanks, folks.

@Axe

Hugs and love 🙂

Back atcha, sweets.
@Scidlfreja

Sounds like you wouldn’t have wanted to work there anyways.

I bloody well don’t now.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Dalillama
Did they even try to justify that? A company coddling bigot customers. I wish I was surprised. I’m sorry that happened to you.

@ej
Congrats! What was your thesis about?

@Scidlfreja
Would it be safe to assume that you use the concept of affordances in your work? Sorry if that should be obvious, I read more anatomy and circuitry than the raw mathematical models that represent a phenomena?

One of my big challenges has been looking for good metaphors to tie average experience to brain and mind science that shapes my analysis of arguments. What would you say to using organized sets of affordances as a basic building block to conceptualize working memory and perception? I would supplement that with videogame metaphors in outlining a logic of aggression in text among other things.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

@Brony, we do use that concept, though it’s not really the term we use.

Well, we do, sometimes! Affordances are found specifically in UX (User Experience, a design field), which I’ve got a little experience with. In AI, we tend to talk more about problem spaces and solution spaces, frames and semantics. But that’s pretty much the same thing, really, just a different lexicon.

It’s very important concept overall, and really central to the discussion of how thought moves from point A to point B, so I totally encourage you to use affordances in your paper. I’d probably call a set of affordances associated with a single setting a frame or a stage, each holding several roles with their affordances or scripts. Lots of the work in my field has related cognition and storytelling, so using video games as analogy is an awesome idea.

(There are plenty of other analogies and systems available, but they can get pretty esoteric.)

I’m looking forward to reading it!

Viscaria
Viscaria
4 years ago

@Dalillama

Wow. Real subtle of them, huh?

I hope you find a job that is a kajillion times better.

Dalillama
4 years ago

@Brony
That was the ‘justification’. If there was going to be any more, I missed it, because that was the point where I told the interviewer to go to hell and stormed out.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

comment image
@Scildfreja
I think you will find this very interesting even if it is not precisely in your area. I still have some work to do because of how much I’m preparing in the background, but I finally have an outline.

…we do use that concept, though it’s not really the term we use.
Well, we do, sometimes! Affordances are found specifically in UX (User Experience, a design field), which I’ve got a little experience with. In AI, we tend to talk more about problem spaces and solution spaces, frames and semantics. But that’s pretty much the same thing, really, just a different lexicon.

What sort’s of problems? Have you created any solutions?

I have used those kinds of concepts too. In my case a big one is “rule based” as it relates to language and alterations of grammar due to “deficits of inhibition in the basal ganglia”. And my concepts of frames are basically the ones in that book on the self and consciousness by Dr. Damasio, “Self Comes to Mind. That talks about how consciousness, the self, and some really specific anatomy seem to be connected. Big concepts are “value principle”, “sociocultural homeostasis”, “disposition”, “emotion”, “feeling of emotion”, “body maps”, “sensory maps”, “primordial self”, “core self”, “autobiographical self”, “Convergence-Divergence Zones”, “Convergence-Divergence Regions”, “Qualia 1 and 2”,

I think it was “raging debate” that the author connected to “Qualia”. Qualia 1 is compared to music and with a “score” that affects and operates within mental processes. Qualia 2 has to do with “feeling” and why reality should feel like anything at all. I use this stuff to try think about the hands that you are not typing with.

I have some working concepts of spaces that I use. They come from sources that associate spaces with concepts in human evolution and brain anatomyTriadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions. That one is really interesting because it describes things related to tool use and how they might have impacted brain evolution.
My take home thoughts included that major domains of cognitive processing use the same parts of anatomy, potentially explaining things like the relationship between math and language using many of the same parts of the brain. I like to imagine that it’s also related to things like synesthesia.
Four kinds of spaces they discuss are perceptual, temporal, social, and conceptual spaces. Maybe this could help with that dream you had. Numbers aren’t nothing, symbols are everything 😉

It’s very important concept overall, and really central to the discussion of how thought moves from point A to point B, so I totally encourage you to use affordances in your paper. I’d probably call a set of affordances associated with a single setting a frame or a stage, each holding several roles with their affordances or scripts. Lots of the work in my field has related cognition and storytelling, so using video games as analogy is an awesome idea.

This is very useful. Thank you! I does sound like I’m using the concept right, and it’s central to many things. Since I’m not doing this professionally I sometimes try to ask questions of people in different fields for advice too. One of the authors on that paper on rule-based grammar for example.

I’ve been mulling this one over for weeks and have been outlining different categories of uses of the concept of an affordance. It’s sort of like a “pixel” of the flow of thought in my use. I’m using “affordance space” as a set of “perceptual affodances”. Things that we are able to rapidly perceive in the immediate moment, and that we are capable of interacting with at the level of “frame rate of consciousness”.
My goal is a working concept of a “social affordance”.

(There are plenty of other analogies and systems available, but they can get pretty esoteric.)

I have some for how emotions seem to work for me that use algebra equations for analogizing about the nature of the shifts in logic in basal ganglia circuitry that I perceive. I have several more for what Tourette’s Syndrome feels like because “demon possession” has been mentioned in journal articles. it’s a geeky hobby I do when reading journal articles.

I’m looking forward to reading it!

Thanks! I’ve been letting this one blog post lurk in the back of my head for the last several months. It’s one thing to feel something that gets turned into wikipedia articles like this, finding ways to use data to to convey guiding concepts in brain science that are useful more generally is about as scary as it is fascinating.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

http://i.imgur.com/wbT28Dj.png
@Dalillama
I like that. I have never seen someone complain about things like voices and language respond in a way that did not require me to suppress thoughts of child behavior modification techniques.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

For some reason the first two links in my first post did not work.
“…alterations of grammar…”
“…Self Comes to Mind…”

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Excellent and very insightful as always, my Brony bro. I’m pretty doped-up on medication at the moment so do take my reply with some degree of skepticism. Still, I’ll try!

What sort’s of problems? Have you created any solutions?

Most of my own work has been on the recognition of self-regulation, willpower, and metacognition in individuals through behaviour observation. So, the problem space includes willpower, attention and attention foci, arousal, and learning outcomes over time. The solution space is made up of various metrics we have at our disposal , the observations we can make about the individual. We hypothesize that our answer (e.g. “Is the student actually learning the thing that is being taught?”) is represented somewhere within the range of those metrics. All of the crazy methods and procedures and algorithms involved are just ways to strike out areas of the solution space that we find to be invalid.

In my case a big one is “rule based” as it relates to language and alterations of grammar due to “deficits of inhibition in the basal ganglia”

Rule-based systems are incredibly important in my work. There are a number of systems out there – the one I’m working with at the moment is a rete network, which is a fancy-pantsy algorithm that matches observations to the rules which can apply to them. With small rule sets you can just look at each rule, but we tend to operate with millions of rules of various stripes, so using a rete network is pretty much required.

I’m not familiar with Damasio, but from what I’m seeing from reviews of their work, it sounds like it is working from a solid foundation! Makes me think a bit of Daniel Dennett. The concept of a “Frame” in my work is a little more like a “Stereotype” or preset way of behaving in a given scenario, mind you. But that is of no difference really!

major domains of cognitive processing use the same parts of anatomy, potentially explaining things like the relationship between math and language using many of the same parts of the brain.

Oh, certainly. Math is a language, music is a language; they’re all extensions of our social interaction systems. To varying degrees of course! But I don’t think it’s really possible to pull those things apart!

(The dream was all about the construction of the natural numbers from the nullspace, and how it’s nothing but varying classifications of nothingness, and yet the same natural numbers, when projected into the reals, each represent infinity in their way, and how it all collapses back to null. It was sort of trippy, but, well. Discrete math is trippy. Maybe that’s what got poor Cantor in the end)

One of the authors on that paper on rule-based grammar for example.

All languages are built from a grammar and a vocabulary, this is a basic foundation of set theory and mathematics. Introductory set theory teaches how to construct these languages, how to define the interaction of symbols within the grammar, and all the other fun stuff involved. If you’ve never investigated it, you might enjoy it. You get to do some fun things with logic, like find out what happens to mathematics if you take the infinite number series and wrap it into a ring, or make it so that numbers can’t be added, or things like that. I found it super enlightening to learn those things.

My goal is a working concept of a “social affordance”.

Best of luck! If you put in good work, you should write it up as a white paper and find some good journals to submit to. That sort of a paper is hot stuff these days, and it could be a very nice feather in your cap.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Oops. I meant “I have never seen someone complain about things like voices and language the way you describe respond in a way that did not require me to suppress thoughts of child behavior modification techniques.” Dalillama! That was a very bad typo. I should have just said you talked to voice bigots.