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    posted a message on What would cities look like in 2050?

    Did you guys read the James Altucher piece "NYC is dead forever -- here's why"? It sheds light on the most adverse impacts of the Covid pandemic on NYC. It is difficult to argue against his points as well. With so many restaurants and businesses being permanently closed down, coupled with the mass exodus of people, NYC might just cease to be the throbbing city it was until March 2020. An unimaginably large number of office buildings have remained empty, and companies have no incentive to phase out remote work, especially since it saves them money that would otherwise be spent on essential physical infra spending and maintenance. Employees have reported more productivity, thanks to improved bandwidths. So: really no incentive for companies to eliminate remote work. If anything, they're getting more out of employees for the same pay (or reduced pay--depending on the industry you're in).


    In sum, the piece argues that cities that were until now Tier 2 may become Tier 1 -- financially and culturally. Work is definitely going to change further. Remote work is highly likely to become the norm, with the exception of brick and mortar industries. For a while now sociologists have also been suggesting that the nature of work would gradually change as we progress further into the 21st century. Homes will be reimagined; home offices will not be an elite thing only. A significant number of people would work remotely. Yet, this is not all rosy. The inability to separate work from home will also mean employers will regulate more than just our "work hours." We are likely to be subjected to increased monitoring. The pandemic, they argue, has only accelerated this process.

    Posted in: General Off Topic
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    posted a message on Does anyone have a good book to recommend?

    Since there're many science fiction recommendations here, I'd like to add something tangential yet critical to this list. My recommendation is not even a book, in fact. It's Bertrand Russell's "The Study of Mathematics" published in The New Quarterly in 1907. I've been reading this piece for a while now in relation to my work on objectivity and the inter-subjective. Russell here talks of the "purpose" or "value" of mathematics. To him, all its applications are crucial, but the prime value of mathematics is beauty. Formal education, he complains, and rightly so, prevents the young from realizing the aesthetic aspects of the discipline. We need only think of how mathematicians refer to some theorems and proofs as "elegant," "beautiful." Besides, the mathematical imagination is also deeply aesthetic. The number 1 for instance is both infinitely divisible and a whole in itself, a most basic unit that, strangely enough, contains infinity. My professors are also roping some of us in for outreach projects to talk about the difference between arithmetic and math at schools. After the pandemic is done with, that is.


    Personally, it bugs me that when people say math, they mostly mean arithmetic. The latter is a fundamental aspect of math. It is almost inevitably involved in higher mathematical processes and functions, but being good at arithmetic doesn't mean one will be good at math in its entirety. Similarly, if arithmetic is not all that easy for you, it does not follow that math will also be difficult. This conflation is largely responsible for our lukewarm attitude toward the discipline. Beyond arithmetic, math involves plenty of reasoning and ideally conscious reasoning--that is, being able to tell what you're doing with a problem when you're solving it. The inductive vs. deductive reasoning angle is typically very fruitful in terms of helping one understand and appreciate math better.


    If anybody's got related readings and recommendations please please do post here and let me know! Stay safe, guys! :)

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    posted a message on Best Font?

    Georgia and Sans Serif

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    posted a message on What are you listening to right now?

    Also listening to Abbey Road


    Currently playing Here Comes the Sun King


    Up next: Polythene Pam

    Posted in: Culture, Media & Arts
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    posted a message on Answer the question above you

    I'd like to be injury free and run more and more and more. (At the moment, I've had two injuries--both to my ankle--in the last 12 months).


    My question: Do you think we'll send spacecraft to Proxima Centauri in the next 50 years?

    Posted in: Forum Games
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    posted a message on What are you reading?

    At the moment, I'm reading two books--fiction and non-fiction as it happens.

    Fiction: Life Is Elsewhere by Milan Kundera. A terrific satirical account of how little it takes for writing to become pamphleteering or mere agitprop. Also shows how common it is to regulate aesthetic standards in the name of the common good. There's also a deep, underlying Oedipal theme here, with the poet (our protagonist) simply unable to shake his mother off his consciousness.
    Non-Fiction: Bruce Goldstein's work on Cognitive Psychology. Deals with the tensions between the behavioral approach and the cognitive approach and aims to shed light on why the latter might be a bit better. I, for one, am not a big fan of psychology, but it is interesting to read things about it.

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    posted a message on What are you listening to right now?

    I'm listening to Paul McCartney's Egypt Stattion album! It's a hot hit, at least as far as I'm concerned.

    Posted in: Culture, Media & Arts
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    posted a message on What are you listening to right now?

    Currently listening to Great Van Fleet's When the Curtain Falls


    Great song!


    Posted in: Culture, Media & Arts
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    posted a message on Favorite Game Soundtrack?

    I love the intro track to GTA San Andreas. It's clunky and got a nice, good groove to it. Just how good was San Andreas when it came out. It's one of my favorite games, too.

    Posted in: General Gaming
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    posted a message on Does anyone have a good book to recommend?

    I realize you want just one recommendation, but here's two :D


    1. The Pale King by David F. Wallace.

    It was published posthumously. It's ostensibly about the goings-on at the IRS, so there's a lot of finance- and economics-related insights and musings. Some of it is quite technical, and someone without in-depth knowledge in these fields will not get it. Yet, the book is accessible to just about anyone. The IRS, to Wallace, is an example of the bureaucratic mode of being. Of jobs that don't require pure concentration but are sapping and prone to inducing extreme boredom. In fact, the manuscript (the book was put together from a bunch of manuscripts after his death) is more about modern/post-modern life and boredom. Boredom, in fact, is the condition of modern life, per Wallace. At the same time, it's about the ends we go to simply to avoid a quiet yet highly discomforting moment. I really appreciate the book, but I'm sure I'd appreciate it more if I knew more about finance/economics.


    2. Principles of Macroeconomics by Gregory Mankiw

    My second suggestion is really an extension of the first. When I found myself looking for accessible introductory accounts of contemporary financial practices and critical economic forces while reading Wallace, I landed on this one. Reading The Pale King was more rewarding with a little side help. Wallace did not want to make his manuscript dense, but he wanted his readers to work hard. If one doesn't mind the effort, reading Wallace is not all that bad. It's enriching, in fact. I do consider Wallace quite conceited, though :D

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    posted a message on Answer the question above you

    Yes. The dare was to steal students' progress reports. My friend and I stole all the reports meant for our class, and burned them in a field near school. We almost got caught for trespassing, and a stranger yelled "arson" when he saw us light the reports in the field. We got away, though.


    Would you hike like Christopher McCandless?

    Posted in: Forum Games
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    posted a message on Introductions & Leavings

    Hey, all!


    I joined a while back, but just began posting. I've been active in the Off-Topic section today, and I just noticed the Intro thread, so "Hi, all"!


    I enjoy most PC games, and I also spend my time reading comics and lit. fiction. Looking forward to having interesting conversations here.

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    posted a message on What are you reading?

    I'm currently revisiting some of favorite comics. At the same time, I'm also reading a whole list of college-level psychology textbooks to prepare for my preliminary dissertation interview. The comics are keeping me calm and composed, and I'm grateful for that.


    Comic: Tintin in Tibet - It was the first Tintin I'd read as a child. Before I went after all the books in this series, I was a freewheeling reader--I didn't care much for chronology or continuity.

    Dissertation-related: Currently struggling with this long list of psychology textbooks. I don't intend to read all the titles in this list, but I reckon I should at least read three-fourths.

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    posted a message on How to Purify Water?

    I'm no scientist, but wouldn't boiling work just fine?

    Posted in: General Off Topic
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