Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Weeknotes 2020-06-07: Mad World

The world isn’t letting up. The virus is still around, but both the US and my own country have gotten distracted.

The US is in its second week of police brutality/black lives matters protests. Meanwhile, our government took on a sidequest of trying to enact a wide-ranging and easily abusable anti-terror bill, triggering some smaller (by comparison to the US).

I haven’t written about the terror bill, mainly because I haven’t had the opportunity to dig into it too deeply. But my general impression leaves me two points:

  • what is the justification for asking for increased police/anti-terrorism powers? We don’t actually get that many terror attacks pulled off, the last big one was Marawi (which I heard some Congressmen citing, tbf), which was back in 2017. And that was mostly a problem with Islamic militants. I don’t hear any of the bill proponents talking about how specifically the limits on govt powers holds them back. How would these added powers prevent another Marawi? Did they actually have intel leading up to the Marawi siege that they couldn’t act on due to limited powers? I find this difficult to believe because…
  • what about the authorities’ history of impunity? It’s hard to believe that they are being restricted by the law in anti-terror activities when they don’t seem to let the law get in the way for much lesser things. I guess this is the crux of the issue for most people, one of trust. Even if you say there are safeguards in the law, they are still easily abusable. The bill extends the detention period for terror suspects to I think is it 30 days, extendable? But given the speed (or lack thereof) of local courts, even if you challenge any violation of the safeguards, the challenge may take longer to resolve than the detention period. Maybe we should consider cleaning up our justice system first? People wouldn’t object if our systems were trustworthy…

Oh, also China banned mocking their national anthem in HK, or something to that effect. China being China. Better not to lose track of what is probably the greatest threat to democracy in the coming century…

My stuff:

  • This week’s quarantine notes.
  • I was hoping the weather would get much cooler than this. Where’s our hanging amihan?!?
  • Tiny bit of consulting work again this week, mostly integration work. And it’s in PHP, which means I’m once again tempted to write a “bad things about PHP” post lol. Maybe I’ll collect a few more gripes before I do that.
  • Sleep schedule slightly better and more regular, but my eyes seem to be heavy a lot more often.
  • Gaming::
    • I think I’m like in the final act for Divinity OS2. Need to finish it soonish because…
    • … my PS4 is back! My brother finally passed by the house to pick up some stuff and returned my console. I already hooked it up and did the installation things for FF7R. Will probably start it this week.
    • new Humble choice is up, but it’s meh again. Will probably pass.
    • I was looking forward to the PS5 reveal this week, but it got rescheduled due to everything happening
    • At least previews for the next Magic set have already started. Some cool stuff. Instant planeswalker abilities! Phasing! Prowess! Really creepy art! We also got some bans and an actual rule change to address companions, both of which are sure to shake up the formats. I finally caved and paid gems for the Ikoria mythic pass on Arena (I’ve saved up a bunch anyway. Still totally F2P!). Hopefully I can max out the levels/rewards before the mastery rotation.
  • Quiz: Geekfight was fun this week (theme was Marvel comics, right up my alley), although I didn’t win. We did poorly in the other two online quizzes
  • Watching lately:
    • Legends of Tomorrow season finale was weak and didn’t really make sense, but still somehow the best of the Arrowverse finales this season. Oh well.
    • By contrast, I really liked the Rick and Morty season finale
    • I also started watching Space Force; only 3 episodes in, it’s a bit meh. Not super funny or anything.
  • Side projects:
    • Worked a bit on triviastorm stuff this week. I’m preparing new questions and cleaning up the old ones, and also some work on a tighter checking algorithm. There’s a bunch of features I want to add to this side project, let’s see if I manage to get around to them.
    • Also spent a couple of hours fantasizing about rewriting the site again, maybe back to a dynamic backend, or some kind of hybrid, mostly to address the issues scaling with so many posts. Lol, will probably not do this yet, but it’s in the back of my mind.

No recent links for now. Maybe I’ll be more diligent about this next week.

See Also

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