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since I at least don't have anything pinned, I might as well join in on the folks doing this:

hello! I'm clar fon, a.k.a. light dark, a.k.a. ltdk. I do and say lots of things, and I generally post spontaneous, longer explanations of things on my mind or what I'm working on. if you want a good idea of what I do, check out some of my latest posts!

I work as a boring software developer because it pays the bills, but I also code a lot of other things in my spare time and, at some indefinite point in the future, will have more tangible things to share.

but at least here's a few of the things I've been working on:

  • a program to randomly generate accessible colour schemes featuring a metric assload of geometry because computers are complicated
  • a sandboxy puzzle game about picking locks by pushing blocks
  • a video series about teaching maths in logical order rather than chronological order
  • a format for recording graphics tablet inputs as SVG animations instead of videos
  • other stuff that may never be done

I also hate capitalism just like the rest of the folks here, so, if you agree, chances are we'll probably get along. this is a public account for a reason; I don't mind people following here even if I don't know them, but if I do get to know you, I might let you follow my worse, private alt too! :blobcatbox:

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soliciting funds 

I officially now have a GitHub Sponsors page for folks who wanna help offer support in the form of cold, hard cash. There aren't any perks at the moment because I honestly am not expecting much, but it's there so I can have one and potentially start doing something with it.

For the moment, I'm employed full-time and all of the money I get will be forwarded to my partner @LottieVixen, who is currently unemployed in the UK.

Since we're currently doing financially okay at the moment, if you have literally anything better to do with your money, you should do that instead.

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new alt account: lighthearted stuff 

decided that, because I know and trust the folks who run, I'm going to try and start moving my alt account here too. however, before I make an actual alt account, I decided to move some of the light-hearted stuff that I used to post there into an unlocked account, @ltht.

most of the stuff there will be out-of-context quotes from stuff I've been watching or reading, and it will be boostable for folks who are as amused as I usually am.

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New feature soon in Krita: Lambert Shading.🔆

It's a blending mode made by Despair for better shading using a single layer. I gave feedback to adjust the blending mode during its development. The blending mode is really versatile as you'll see in this quick demo I painted:

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encoding one of two possible states, as a bit

vent/subpost @ no one here, cis people & sexual dimorphism 

cis people love to ask why humans are born with nipples regardless of gender and like

the relative lack of sexual dimorphism in humans has been an evolutionary benefit for humans and it's downright irresponsible for people to act like all these things are unanswered scientific questions instead of like, basic facts

"why don't humans have bones in their penises? gorillas have one so why don't we"
^ questions asked by literally no one

like the reason why a relative lack of sexual dimorphism is beneficial for humans is because it means that we can all solve problems with our fucking brains and can separate out tasks among all humans without having to be like (grunt) "man hunt, woman sit around and do nothing" except this is exactly what modern society wants us to believe

yes, there are general trends & differences and body chemicals & genetics do make a difference, no it doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does

the whole point is that we can all do things collectively in a way that doesn't matter how you fuck and make babies, and that part literally matters way less

sorry, after one year on the shelf, this distilled water is no longer distilled

it becomes... stilled

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the jug of distilled water I own has an expiration date

in what universe would this ever make sense

fedi meta 

there really needs to be a general purpose "please don't boost" tag for posts so that you can make posts that are both not restricted to followers but also wouldn't make sense to boost

like the "but servers would have to honour this tag" bs is a complete strawman because servers have to honour a lot of other stuff like showing posts only to the right people, and we don't use this as an excuse to not have privacy settings

just, be careful who you federate with

idk I'm frustrated that we have to rely on manually communicating stuff that could easily be a part of the protocol

general personal stuff 

I need to get back to all the projects I put on pause because of moving

I still haven't even unpacked all of my basic stuff, and unpacking is gonna be going on for a while

but I think I'm at least mostly recovered from moving, minus a few setbacks like being ill all yesterday and a bit last week

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The word "butch"; Canadian 90's TV :ReBoot: 

Every time I see the word "butch," I can only think of this I'm sorry

No actually I'm not sorry in the slightest

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Portuguese speakers, what non-binary pronouns you use/hear/prefer?

Boosts ok!

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i don't care about the summer olympics or the winter olympics. give me the autumn olympics. i want to see teams from different countries compete in Corn Maze. i want to see who podiums in Jack-o'-lanterns. i wanna see a bunch of track suits with skeleton motifs. i want to represent my country in Haunted House

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"but what we mean isn't that it can't be translated, just that it's not like, word for word"

yeah but that's just like, words?? no word corresponds word by word to another language. word-level glossing isn't translation. like even the simplest words, do you think "cat" correspond to "gato"? yeah sure your pet cat is a "gato", but jaguars, lions and tigers are all cats and none of them are gatos. or nekos, for that matter. a sexy boyfriend is a gato but not a cat; an annoying bf can be cattish, but not gateiro, though one can sneak neko to feign one's real intentions, but that's neko-kaburi, rather than being nekoppoi; a gato can also be an improvised hack to steal energy or cable TV, while a neko can be a gay bottom, or if you burn your tongue easily you have a neko tongue, but no one will point out you have a cat tongue, nor a gato tongue, and so forth.

if that's the criterion then all words are untranslatable. of course that's not what translation is so the notion is nonsense. the so-called untranslatable words are just regular words laced with sparkling exoticism

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twisty puzzles 

I've been re-learning the beginner algorithms for my 3-cube and for the first time I finally solved the cube properly in a way that used all the steps, and I managed to get that nice feeling of accomplishment that I used to have before I got super good at it

I'm thinking I'll take a stab at making my own resource for the algorithms since, while there are loads of all-encompassing tutorials for the beginner method, and while there are loads of cheat sheets for the massive list of advanced algorithms, there is no middle ground for the "more advanced" cases of the beginner method

like, a lot of resources will just tell you to run the same algorithm multiple times, instead of giving you a smaller but different algorithm to memorise for certain tasks. so, like, you can potentially get faster even by just doing a beginner method

and ultimately, this actually brings you closer to the advanced method, since you're combining fewer steps together by then instead of just jumping from "okay just move this piece here" to "memorise one of 70 patterns and use the appropriate method"

being failed by the system, etc. 

for several years I've held my ground in terms of not wanting to buy a car for a multitude of reasons (it's expensive, I can still use public transit even if it's terrible, etc., etc.) but honestly before I moved into my new place I was pretty set on giving in because I just can't deal with having to lug heavy bags of things on the bus any more

and then after moving to my new place, for a few weeks, I felt okay, mostly because I wasn't doing that

but I just spent the evening carrying two heavy bags of food back to my apartment, which is farther from the bus than my old place, and… yeah. I'm gonna do that, probably.

not looking forward to it, but no matter how much I pretend to think otherwise, I do in fact live in a society

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subnautica: below zero review (no spoilers) 

so, I still need to reflect more on my review of the first game, and I think I'll try and replay it once a lot of the stuff from the sequel is backported to the original, but at least, here's my thoughts on the sequel

Below Zero is definitely a solid improvement on the foundation of the original game. it strengthens the parts of the game that were good, adds newer parts I didn't know I wanted, and overall makes for a fantastic experience. probably the weakest part of the sequel is the pacing, which isn't that important to a lot of people, but feels important to me. I might even go far enough to say that the pacing in the sequel is worse than the original, even though it feels like they tried to address some of the problems with pacing

to start out more specifically, we need to talk about Subnautica as a genre. the first game really wanted to be an underwater survival-horror game. not only is the ocean scary on its own, but they felt the need to add additional, even cartoonish horror elements on top of it. a lot of the vibe of the first game is about wondering whether other people survived the crash of the Aurora, given the vast swaths of evidence that a lot of people did not survive the crash of the Aurora. ultimately, the first game leaves a lot of dead ends beyond the implied dead-ness, with the justification for the dead ends just being "horror." while these unresolved mysteries feel very realistic in the sense that you wouldn't know what happened to these people, it feels just like bad narrative design

the sequel does away with a lot of the distracting horror elements in favour of just being a good underwater survival game. yes, the ocean is still dark and horrifying, but they don't need to add anything else to make it more scary. you're just on an underwater adventure, trying to figure out what happened to your sister, and occasionally getting swallowed by a very large fish* with a blood-curdling roar.

  • yes, I know not every underwater creature is a fish, but it's also on an alien planet and literally doesn't matter

in terms of story, they took a step beyond making their silent white-man protagonist a black woman, and gave her a voice and personality. Robin Ayou is an excellent character with a lot of nuance, and all the other characters in the story are great too. having an Indian woman as the voice of the PDA also angers a lot of xenophobes and I'm all for it. having all of these characters with a wide variety of different emotions is great, as opposed to the first game where the characters were sparsely developed due to that whole dying thing we talked about

if you want someone to nitpick all the gameplay details, honestly, there's probably a better summary out there. the bottom line is that Subnautica strives as an adventure game, and I think that Below Zero does a great job improving on this. the world definitely feels smaller than the original's but I don't mind that nearly as much. and the addition of temperature and more above-ground exploration was nice. base building is better than before, a load of bugs were squashed, and overall, it just feels fun to play, with jank physics and weird behaviour not getting (nearly) in the way of the actual game. I'll talk about the two big bugs I experienced in the spoilery section after this review.

like the first game, there is a problem with pacing in the sense that a whole lot of the game relies on you stumbling into the next hint or the next area, with occasional messages leading you to a new place to go. the first game required you to go all the way back to your base to reach a radio, and the second game thankfully did away with that and just periodically gave you new waypoints to explore. however, ultimately, there are points where you have no hints and just have to keep guessing, or worse, look up what's next

in the first game, they did a rather good job of making the game tread down a gradual path to its end. ultimately, all of the different waypoints were just gentle nudges to explore the whole map and gather the resources you need before discovering the real destination. the story reaches its peak, there's a nice reminder of what you've achieved, and roll credits

in the first game, there was a clear end goal: leave 4546B. the second game starts with the nebulous goal of "find out what happened to your sister," then early on develops a more clear goal which I won't spoil. there is a definitive ending to the game, but the build-up is too weak, I feel. and, while there were a lot of good story beats all the way until the end, it felt like they were only loosely paired with what was happening in the game in the meantime. as a result, by the end, I more wanted to get on with the story and finish it up for the sake of it, rather than enjoy the game

and that's a hard problem, too-- a lot of the gameplay elements want you to get attached to your base and the environment, but ultimately, you have to leave. the first game had this problem too, and I don't really know what the best way to solve it is. it is a problem, though

final thoughts -- I really liked this game, and I'm cautiously optimistic about the untitled Subnautica 3. they really fixed a lot of the minute-to-minute gameplay and improved the story, but like the first game, they had problems with pacing. while I'm still not sure if the first game is necessarily worth your time to play, without a doubt, this game is, and you don't need to know the original to play it.


so, the seatruck. wow, this is a brilliant idea. the cyclops submarine from the previous game was honestly an awkward choice and really detracted from the base-building elements, since it had the potential to be a base in its own right. making the seamoth and cyclops into a modular vehicle with the clear cost-benefit of bigger != better, is fantastic. A+, I hope that they go down this path in any future games.

as far as the two major bugs I discovered, the game still has issues with slope collisions, and by the end of the game I actually just abandoned my prawn suit because it got wedged in a hole it was too big to fall down, that it also couldn't jump out of. I also managed to deploy my snowfox into a hill where I couldn't retrieve it, which was similarly upsetting. ultimately, like a lot of the underwater glitches from the first game, you can resolve them by just not saving, but I messed up and saved, and there's no way to fix it without cheating. makes me upset.


Al-An is a very interesting addition to the game, and I overall like him and the fact that they really fleshed out the Architects in this game. getting him a body is the "clear goal" I mentioned earlier, and it's actually the only goal the game requires to finish, since even though it seems improbable you won't find closure on your sister before the game ends, you technically are allowed to finish without it.

the main reason why I'm cautiously optimistic about Subnautica 3 is that this really leaves a lot of confusion about how the series will continue, if the next game will be a prequel, or what exactly it will entail. I trust that Unknown Worlds will make a good game, especially after seeing Below Zero, but I'm just unsure what kind of game they'll make

how many ways are there to write a webbed page? 

the codebase at work has SVGs embedded in Elm code

and I don't mean that it has the text contents of the SVGs in the code, but rather that the raw XML in the SVGs has been converted to the set of relevant Virtual DOM calls

I hate it

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On the internet, everyone knows you're a cat — and that's totally okay.