It's basically a group of people writing formal reports on various paranormal things that the fictional SCP Foundation Secures, Contains and Protects (us from). Kind of like reading the paperwork and after-mission reports of SHIELD.
The SCP Foundation is a fictional organization that is the subject of a web-based collaborative writing project of the same name. The stories generated by the project describe the exploits of the Foundation, supposedly responsible for containing individuals, entities, locations, and objects that violate natural law (referred to as SCPs). The main written works on the SCP Foundation website are articles written in the style of structured internal documentation about the contained SCPs. The website also contains thousands of "Foundation Tales", short stories set within the universe of the SCP Foundation.
A comparison to SHIELD would be misleading, I think, in that it would suggest an aesthetic/ideology of "heroism" behind the work that's not there. SCP paints a picture of a cynical and dystopian organization, with little concern for loss-of-life of its test subjects.
I would compare SCP more to the Half-Life universe's Black Mesa and Aperture Science research facilities. Or to the Cube movies. Or, I suppose, to The Syndicate from the X-Files (though in that case the comparison would be to the parts of the military doing security and ops under them.)
I'd say it's closer to (the paperwork and after-action reports from) The Laundry Files by Charles Stross.
I love the SCP Foundation.
Video game speedrunning - playing a video game over and over, trying to beat it in the fastest time possible. It scratches an engineering itch to know miniscule little details and optimizations about a game that you love, and be collaborating/competing with others, working to push down times. It has a chill social aspect to it, where you stream on twitch and your friends watch your attempts, talk about the techniques, and hang out with you while you practice. A lot of incredibly bright, talented and kind geeks. Some of the real scientists behind the scenes are brilliant engineers who poke at ram values and theorycraft routes based on manipulated RNG seeds.
I got into the scene from participating in a speedgaming tournament (http://speedgaming.org/events/), which forced me to learn a game and made me several great friends.
Since then I've gotten deep into a zelda randomizer (http://alttpr.com/) that has a vibrant and passionate community. A really smart engineer realized that you could randomize the items in the game by breaking it down into a dependency graph, so that the game is different every time. You race on the same seed as someone else, and you win by efficiently routing your item checks, better faster at the game, and/or making good gambles. It's one part speedrunning, one part poker.
People will basically write a program to do the speedruns for them with literal microsecond precision. My favorite are watching super Mario 64 TAS runs.
Stuff like a special way that they can jump perfectly on some slopes to build up hilariously high speed values then using that to launch across the map all in a fraction of a second.
There is also a Pokemon run where the guy built a way to input arbritrary code during a first generation Pokemon (red or blue) run, and used it to program in the opening to the next generation of the games among other things things.
"...But before that, we have to talk about alternate universes."
Some TAS runs do things like abuse the order that the console would read inputs to do multiple inputs in a single "frame".
Here is a comprehensive list of games that currently have randomizers written for them.
Full disclosure, I've written two of the Kirby randomizers ;)
* Geoguessr (I don't participate in this one much, street view is pretty limiting)
* The Dish's "View from My Window" archive. A now defunct blog series where readers would submit photos from their window. Very difficult. Users often pinpoint the exact window from which the photo was taken.
* SkyScraperCity's Guess the City contest. A daily contest to guess the city. Also this is a precious internet 2.0 forum.
* North Korea enthusiasts pinpointing the exact location of Kim Jung Un in official DPRK photos.
* r/whereisthis helps Reddit users locate photos, also allows content just for fun.
* r/PictureGame a more open contest, not necessarily a geolocation task.
There was a story during the 2016 US election campaign where someone had a webcam pointed at a flag for some of the parties, and some folks managed to find the location by observing the stars and drove there and changed the flag, or something like that.
Edit: link to the story: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/d7eddj/4chan-does-first-g...
Literally in one case https://www.quora.com/How-did-4chan-get-the-coordinates-of-a...
We just (10 minutes ago) finished playing a round of Quake 2. Some games are streamed (https://www.twitch.tv/thfrw/videos/all | https://www.twitch.tv/communities/openbsd_gaming | https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF2MeFBWJoFZtz0ADX3Us0Q/vid...), we even have some more modern FNA games and a list of games available on GoG for the platform (https://www.gog.com/mix/openbsd_engine_available). We generally hang out on irc #openbsd-gaming @ freenode.
For more info on Go, check out:
* Learn the rules - http://www.usgo.org/learn-play
* Online Go Server - https://online-go.com/ - my personal favorite place to play online (other servers are not Linux-friendly or their software is awful)
* /r/baduk (Go = Japanese, Baduk = Korean, Weiqi = Chinese) - https://www.reddit.com/r/baduk
There's been a lot of progress getting computers to play Go over the last few years, and it's only about 2 years since we've had a computer capable of beating professionals (Alpha Go). Nowadays you can run a better-than-all-pros program on your desktop if you have a decent GPU. Check out https://github.com/featurecat/lizzie for a frontend to Leela Zero, the underlying Go playing program.
It's a free shell service, with paid addons. It has been around since 1987 and retains a lot of the charm of the BBS world. It does this while offering very modern things like Mastodon federated social media, SQL storage, VOIP, and has amateur radio, minecraft, and a ton of other stuff. There really is something for everyone.
I appreciate all of the stuff listed above, but what I personally LOVE most about SDF is that it runs on NetBSD and offers a ton of packages from all the different open source and free software communities. BSD packages, GNU packages, home grown packages.
It's just a very friendly and fun place. I am 'rmusial' on there too. Feel free to say hello!
(SDF holds the only public leaderboard I'm aware of / care about)
Very cool to meet you world champion Nihil
Some fun first things are setup VOIP, check out anonradio, and type 'games' at your shell. Have some fun!
This is a shameless plug for the venerable bi-weekly songwriting and recording competition known as SongFight!
The idea is, every couple of weeks over at the SongFight website they announce a new song title, from then you have roughly 10 days to write and record an original song with that title. After the deadline expires, the new songs are posted to the site and voting begins. Anyone on the Internet with a unique IP address can vote, and there are usually anywhere between 75 to 250 votes cast for a given fight. Also at that time the votes for the previous competition are posted and the winner(s) are announced. Winners enjoy the smug satisfaction of a job well done.
Everyone who participates enjoys the benefits of having a firm deadline, and a good reason to write and record a song, as well as a motivation for doing a good job.
Members of the SongFight community often review the songs submitted for the fight over on the forums, so it can also be a place to get detailed feedback and constructive criticism about your songwriting.
It was pretty great because it was small enough to where we could have special themes like "imitate the style of another artist in the group" and we actually knew each other well enough to where you could do that, and then when listening, you could tell pretty easily "ah, this person is imitating Wallacoloo's style". And even though what you make over the course of 30 minutes is undeniably crap, sometimes the core of it would make for material that you could expand into an actual song over the next week.
The bronies also had a similar take on this type of thing titled Toast Beard. Whenever a new episode of My Little Pony aired, you'd have a week to create an "episode response" - e.g. remixing any musical acts from that show, vocal splicing the characters, or original works that were related in some other way.
Both of these are, to my knowledge, defunct (although, it's possible they just evolved into different things; I didn't keep up). But they were really fun because they were small groups both with a lot of personality, not serious in the least, and they encouraged a good deal of experimentation. It certainly was something you did for the experience and where the outcome really didn't matter a whole lot.
Hobbyist Operating Systems Development!
We also have forums: http://f.osdev.org/ and IRC: Freenode/#osdev !
Haven't been on there as much since I started university though, my interests shifted towards physics/maths. I'm trying to get back into it because it's a fun hobby and I need a distraction from work/college; I started a kernel towards the end of spring, but unfortunately got distracted by exams. I want to try get in running userspace programs as soon as possible, but I'd like to get the syscall API nailed down first as I don't want to have to rewrite drivers (it's a microkernel) if I decide at some point to rewrite the kernel in rust (currently in C, but I like rust's type-system—the combo of a rust kernel + haskell userspace is also something I've been contemplating, but will probably have to wait a few years)
> exotic banana cultivar discussion
> exotic fig cultivar discussion
>> General tropical fruit discussion
> weird explorer, a (semi)-edible fruit reviewer
> the amazon of rare and unusual plants
(although for more obscure plants you often have to find a more local seller on a forum)
So far I have bought a bunchosia armeniaca (a fruit that supposedly tastes like peanut butter) and a petite strain of figs which I am currently trying to fruit.
This does not even touch obvious subcultures like bonsai trees.
Screamo is a very small community but extremely passionate and active.
For example a great show with well known out of town bands in Toronto is about 50-100 people.
But we have people driving from New Jersey to waterloo (not knowing anyone) to see a show with respire, ostraca and Terry green.
I've been involved in music for quite some time but never seen a fanbase this dedicated..
Currently there is a fest in Toronto (new friends fest) where you see people from all over NA with ages ranging 20-40s putting everything into making emotional hardcore.
Watching a band play in a small packed record shop where the band has <1 meter space from the crowd, complemented with a slippery floor from the sweat / condensation, talking about growing up and losing their loved ones to mental illnesses while playing their hearts out was incredibly powerful to watch and I imagine therapeutic to the band.
I've been trying to start to document the scene via live recordings - here's a shared folder
Favourites so far are
Hundreds of AU,
But there are many amazing acts
I'm near NYC, so getting to see Cap'n Jazz last year and the various outfits the City of Caterpillar/pg.99 guys play in has been fun, but I'm out of the loop nowadays. Check out Pianos Become the Teeth if you haven't, they're from the East coast and have followed the typical progression from hardcore to indie emo that seems common in this space.
There's a long-held opinion/joke that there's an emo revival about every decade, so I'm holding out.
Thanks for this.
Trying to get to some hardcore shows in squats - I've learned a lot about people from hardcore shows.
Maybe the personality trait influencing this is a higher sensitivity to tactile experience. I wonder what other tastes this group might share. Of course, nice notebooks/pads go with the pens. I have an inclination toward boardgames with hefty dice, and I'm very choosy regarding my coffee mugs.
And now that I think about it, everything physical I own really.
My own simulation is much more amateur than this, with lesser fidelity. As a layperson to the biology of snails _and_ to life simulation itself, I am pretty much just...winging it. My level of detail goes beyond a _typical_ gamified sandbox-esque simulation, but not to the level of accuracy and detail as OpenWorm. I have a basic genetics system, a basic brain where sensory inputs go from receptors through several "neurons" as the snail reacts to the world, a sensory/short term/long term memory system, a rudimentary organ system, and a rudimentary macro/micronutrient system for the snails. All of these are developed on the fly with little biological backing, but I'm aiming to make them as flexible as possible in approach so that when the systems are in place technically I could focus on research (we have a lot of data about snails!) and tailor the specific values to fit something realistic for a common land snail species. For example, I have no idea what a realistic basal metabolic rate is for a Cornu aspersum snail is, so right now I just implemented the concept of BMR and plugged in a value.
All of this is already implemented in the original PHP version of this simulation, which I am now rewriting from scratch in Go (I thought it would be fun to learn Go, plus I think rewriting the whole simulation now that many current systems are designed would not hurt - the PHP version is messy as I was designing rudimentary systems while building it). With the Go version I am taking a different approach. With the PHP version I started with the UI side of things - a simple website where you could make a simple "snail". Then I made the snail more and more detailed from there. With the Go version I have a better view of what I want my actual simulation to look like, so I am starting with the server-side implementation of the organism simulation itself and exposing APIs which different clients could then consume (starting with a very simple CLI for basic interaction with the simulation). This way I can support a multitude of clients - some focusing on more observational/"scientific" purposes, others which could be more gamified, all using the same organism sim in the backend and choosing what aspects to expose to the user.
The purpose of the project is my own entertainment and learning as a developer - so many things go into a simulation, there is always more to discover both biologically and in terms of the technical implementation. I am invested enough in the project to attend life simulation related conferences at my own cost, but without any real time pressure in terms of the development cycle, nor any attempts to limit my scope. I basically implement what sounds interesting to me, or interesting to learn about.
That was probably way more boring than you were hoping, but if you're still interested I do have a dev log here (which I should update more often, but I've been on a five-week vacation and took a detour into a self-modifying simulation experiment based on a paper so haven't focused on the snails as much as I'd like): http://liza.io/categories/snails
Heck no, that was really interesting. These odd, deep comments are one of the reasons I love Hacker News. I doubt I'll follow the project but enjoyed your description of it. I'd probably read a summary of the finished work, too, if it proved useful for real-world data or even amateur simulation builders.
I look forward to the underwater snail simulation so I can understand what caused our snail to die in our short-lived fish tank experiment. :(
No doubt, though, the little apple snail was more interesting than the beta fish he shared the tank with!
Smart, unusual, and entertaining.
If you search #badgelife on twitter you can see some of the action unfold. https://twitter.com/hashtag/badgelife
@hacker_hermit has compiled a list https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NgPj-GdSLcI1Rb2Q2sJ5...
Kerry Scharfglass has a video which explains some of the history and process:
Pretty cool stuff, maybe one of these days I'll find a Conch of Sobriety.
Historical Firearms and the Development thereof: /r/ForgottenWeapons
as well as /r/guns in general.
Also, https://www.reddit.com/r/aimdownsights/top/?sort=top&t=all is worth checking out.
For 1st World War guns.
And I wish guns weren't so expensive. I'm at the point where I have insurance on my gun collection alone.
I wish I could find a good group of like minded who could just focus on the sport without descending into endless political posturing.
Im with ya. Live in one of the most liberal cities in the states, definitely lean liberal, but love guns too.
My PW3 Kindle got way better with the many hacks I've learned there.
For instance, with koreader you can open djvus, epubs, fb2 (if you’re onto those formats), but what makes koreader especially appealing to me is that it is a far better pdf reader than Kindle’s native.
Or you can look for a pool of available hacks that make Kindle’s overall usage far more suited to your own particular needs. One example is the screensavers hack that allows you to choose either to use your own images (somewhat interesting if you’re onto customizing them to your tastes); or you can, as I prefer, to use that last displayed screen as the screensaver, as this allows you to keep a book’s opened page in display while you are taking notes or doing some other book research related task.
Some of these new features are now so essential to my Kindle’s experience that I can’t imagine myself using an original one without jailbreaking it. Also, I have my Kindle since 2015 and I’m in no hurry to get a newer or more capable model. As it is, it is very tailored to my academic needs.
(That said, it's probably the first time I've used my Kindle Keyboard in months. I mostly use my phone or Samsung tablet for reading Kindle now.)
Same! On-the-fly column splitting, text reflow, and contrast adjustment makes reading academic papers much more pleasant.
But the community there is very helpful and I’m convinced that if I were to physically hack it, I would find enough help there to guide me through.
It's a passion that cuts right across society and political outlook. There are people of almost every persuasion into bikes. You end up communicating with people who do very different jobs to you, vote very differently, in fact view the whole world very differently. Gets you out of your bubble.
It’s just in live MVP right now, but launching in September down in the Southern Hemisphere market by market, then hopefully up north for 2019 Spring if we can scale down here.
1. Wario Forums
A site I run about the Wario Land and WarioWare franchises, which covers everything from the games content to their universe to the tech involved in the games and their design.
The level of dedication to the series honestly surprises even me sometimes, especially given that we've done stuff like reconstructed the soundtracks in original quality by seeking out the samples used from commercial sample packs and merging them with the MIDIs from the games, found tons of unused content in the games by datamining the files and what not and are basically working on a complex level editor for Wario Land 4 right now, basically disassembling the whole game in the process.
2. Various fan game development/ROM hacking communities (Mario Fan Games Galaxy, SMW Central, ROM Hacking.net el all)
Because to me, the world of fan game, ROM hack and game mod development feels a lot like the web development scene in the 80s and early 90s, where everyone was building interesting things for the fun of it rather than because there was a commercial incentive.
The fact you legally can't make money in these fields may have actually helped keep them interesting, and to some degree makes them a bit like the open source community for game development.
What can I say? It's fascinating to see all the early unused ideas for games, as well as old data found on the discs/cartridges/whatever.
4. The Lost Media Wiki
For much the same reason as above, except instead of focusing on unused content, it focuses on unreleased or hard to find works instead. It can be interesting reading about media that say, aired once about 20 years ago and hasn't been seen since, or what not.
5. Hacker Forums
What? It's basically Hacker News in traditional forum form, and was launched here a few months ago.
But yeah, those are just a few of the ones I enjoy.
It's a mastadon instance where you're not allowed to use the letter 'e'. Tbh I've not been there much lately, but it's fun and has fun people on it. Although not too many people are active there, because it's quite hard work.
A possible winner of the nicheness competition?
The best part is you not only get to hang out with lots of fluffy animal people (who often share your variety of not quite cis and straight), you get to bring all your hobbies along. Lots of furry musicians, programmers, writers, etc.
Could you please shed some more light on this community? Maybe a link that describes it properly - I can google but could stumble upon maybe an unfactual website without knowing it.
A community that encourages niceness is something I haven't really heard of before yet sounds super interesting - that's not to say that a community has to explicitly say they're nice to be nice. I know I've had my fair share of going out of my comfort zone meeting others and not knowing whether they are "that" person or not. Although maybe it's good for me to come to terms with knowing that not everyone is friendly and that that's okay.
One good place to start is with the main furry wiki's own definitions: http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Furry and http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Furry_fandom
The biggest thing that furries have in common is that they are fans of each other. There's no other central rallying point.
It's a culture that encourages niceness.
You can just decide you're a furry and find an entry point into the community. There's even a furry making new ones with every match in the fighting game community.
Solutions range from wearing a cooling vest that contains gel packs (you freeze them before wearing them) to fursuits with integrated cooling fans. (Often they vent through the ears.)
I don't know what they use to keep cool.
If it's impossible to find outside of word of mouth with acquantainces, then the purpose of the internet has been defeated. Why have the ability to connect all of these people with a common interest if you're going to refuse to let serendipity happen?
If you just link random people directly, you'll inevitably get some folks that can't read the atmosphere and just generally walk all over the flowerbeds without realizing what they're doing. AKA they need to "lurk moar"
Love how interactive the community is. Everybody is pretty much obsessed with coffee and you learn so much. From water, to coffee beans, to machines.
Also http://www.owbn.net international live action roleplaying (LARP) network of games, mostly in the US and Brazil. I have friends from all over I've made through it, and as an introvert who sometimes struggled socially when I was younger, it's done wonders for my ability to socialize and understand others.
Also my writing, persuasive ability, and organizational ability are much much better thanks to having taking part in it's management in the past.
https://epxx.co/artigos/ "Railroads" section. Most material is in pt_BR but I have translated some of them to en.
The main focus was/is Brian Crabtree’s Monome modules (https://monome.org) but it’s a fascinating community generally.
I can’t really afford any of this stuff (I use VCV Rack and Reaktor), but the design quality of Monome’s hardware is simply staggering.
AlphaZero and LCZero show have orders of magnitude better evaluation is available and can go toe to toe with existing engines despite radically fewer nodes searched. I wouldn't be surprised however, after this current generation of NNs get good, if the traiditional Alpha-Beta engines can't encode _some_ of the more subtle positional knowledge they've picked up, in a way that works quickly with their current architectures.
https://www.reddit.com/r/low_poly - a subreddit for 3d low-poly art. Really simple and beautiful artworks. You can easily get into voxel art with MagicaVoxel, or you can try Silo to model low-poly stuff.
There's a meta-hack, of sorts, however, that is:
"You don't have to be this way, and you don't have to do what others expect of you. You can change, and you don't have to ask permission. They will make you pay for it -- your friends, spouses, colleagues, institutions -- but the cost of the alternative can be higher still. Be free."
The Spec Miata class has ~35 cars in a given race here in the Bay Area. It's probably the biggest amateur class out there. The community is very vibrant and racing is a blast.
Half the people are privacy adverse, the other half just profitters.
Still, interesting to modify and manipulate hardware and software on cell phones, although the scene is very different (and more complicated) then 05 (where you could replace the $SYS.ESN file in Hex and checksum to get a new valid ESN)
I operate a community for robotics hobbyists interested in doing work for social change. Want to work on cool robots while contributing to open source hardware and software for robots that can help people? If so come check out http://reboot.love
Sometimes whoever deals with the actual logistics of the printing and shipping will throw in something extra. In one case, the story was centered around a musician, and the guy who shipped the books also included an audio CD with his interpretation of the songs the character would have performed. In another case, there have been riddles and puzzles included on the first or last pages.
Could be just a bunch of roleplayers.
For me, fortunately, it's just a game. But I like to think that maybe I'm helping people where it's all too real.
Bottom line, though, it's just fun :)
And by the way, Mirimir is just a persona. In meatspace, I'm a very private person, but not in any remarkable way.
See the "Fit-Out" section. He goes into a lot of detail.
It's damn impressive how quickly some of the most obscure requests are answered due to the sheer number of eyes looking at them.
Another interesting specialist weather site to look at (not a community per se): https://www.windy.com/
What are those communities like? What’s the benefit compared to Reddit/wherever else?
For example, 4chan has some of the most up-to-date English language discussions around for a lot of Japanese fandoms. If you want to discuss new releases of obscure japanese noise bands, you probably want to be /mu/. If you're not on /mu/ and are on some other platform, you're probably just going to get a regurgitated version of the discussion from /mu/ anyway, with an increased propogation delay and someone else doing the cherrypicking. (Note: I'm just using "Japanese noise bands" as an example, I don't know if that particular discussion on /mu/ is good, or if the relevant low-latency discussion is on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, etc these days)
You grow out of it.
in many ways they feel like the freest place on the internet to me. there's hardly any moderation, and it feels like a frontier. none of this is to say they're for everyone or even preferable for most people, because frontiers aren't. it wasn't so long ago that much more of the internet was like this, and hopefully someday soon there will be a new frontier.
> What are those communities like?
Die-hard enthusiasts, a smattering of experts, and people somewhere in between: all on the website to goof around. Asking to be spoon-fed knowledge is a sure-fire way to derail a thread into people telling you to buzz off (I've used kinder words here) and google whatever it is you're looking to know. However, if you demonstrate to the posters your competency by speaking on the material, you'll be in good company. Sometimes, that's not enough. Lurking was a HUGE part of the website, and people used to be shamed for being from another community and treating the site like their other community. Nowadays, not so much. Again, it was somewhat better years ago, though the past contained its own share of troublesome repeat posters.
> What’s the benefit compared to Reddit/wherever else?
You'll get actual opinions from actual humans. No one has a Reddit board mod breathing down their neck, ready to shadowban posters for "violations" at their whim. In the past, posters have been surprisingly generous, offering books, games, software, and their own FTP servers for sharing. Because of the "die-hard enthusiast" air, there's still a sense of holding the content of their hobbies to a higher standard. I've found many people aggressively funny in the past, but nowadays many seem to be slaves to the board stereotypes and in-jokes. You won't see any "I CANT EVEN xD" like on Tumblr, threads aren't a popularity/points contest like they are on Reddit, and you won't see any posts going "DAE MEMES?!" like on both of those sites among others. Posts on 4chan are also way less self-serving because of the culture of Anonymous, while it's a common (and sometimes correct, based on some of the posts I read on the programming boards on Reddit) assumption that everyone who posts on Reddit is looking for an ego boost in some manner. Note that the picture I've painted of the posting on 4chan is not always like this.
To access the benefits, there are a few hoops to jump through: be able to privately/mentally dismiss someone as a fool and move on with your life instead of allowing yourself to be bogged down by what they post (someone else will inevitably end up fighting that person anyway), find the boards YOU want to browse (using 4chan as a whole is not a prerequisite to the site), lurk for some time before you post, and be aware that many of the boards on 4chan just aren't good. Usable boards in the modern day include: /vg/ for repeating threads on specific games, /tg/ for traditional games, /a/ and/or /jp/ for Otaku culture, /o/ if you like cars, any of the smaller or less traveled boards like /trv/ or /out/. For most of the other boards on 4chan, you're better off just using Reddit these days.
While recently I've been less involved due to work/family commitments, it's fun to always be on the lookout. I've also enjoyed tallying birds by sound while running outdoors.
Also, http://xeno-canto.org (the "mysteries" section can be fun)
/r/CasualUK: Light-hearted UK chat, free from politics. Very wholesome if you're from the UK, and a great distraction from what a shit-show the country can be at times.
/r/bjj: The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu subreddit. If you've ever been interested in taking up a martial art I recommend checking it out, and seeing if there are any gyms in your area.
Another plug for this. Always get a laugh from there.
How does one be Pro at AoE?
A very small handful of top players plays it full time. Viper is the "top guy" currently and he streams on Twitch. So his income is Twitch + Youtube + tournament winnings.
T90Official (USA) and MembTV (Spain) are both full-time casters of pro & semi-pro matches, and they probably make $75k and $50k respectively per year, based on their sub counts and what I know of their donations.
2) that there are others like them.
3) others have the same problem as well.
I have found good work-related question discussions like: "How can I say something nice to a woman without crossing any personal boundary lines." (A question that is hard to get a good answer from HR training); "How can I break up with someone I work with"
There is also the "Kinky And Geeky" group: (https://fetlife.com/groups/81) and the "Kinky & Geeky Convention Circuit" (https://fetlife.com/groups/121830) which are good for meeting up with others randomly.
Discussions can take you fairly far into the weeds but you learn a heck of a lot.
the QuakeWorld discord is http://discord.quake.world feel free to join
/r/waifuism is probably my favorite
The community at http://www.reddit.com/r/minipainting is wonderful and always willing to provide constructive feedback if you ask genuinely. Also http://www.coolminiornot.com to see some of the amazing work other people are doing (or just to feel bad about your own).