Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
OftenBen's badges given
francopoli  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Want to become self-compassionate? Run a marathon

This is why I posted it. I'll never run a marathon; I'm a tank class not a DPS class. I wanted to see what the runners and joggers of Hubski had to add.

tacocat  ·  106 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Post a Datsun

b_b  ·  156 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Democratic civil war? The Left already wonx 2

    The central challenge for Democrats in taking back the White House will hinge on the party’s ability to persuade a majority of Americans to support a more progressive agenda going forward.

Apparently, Mr. Sosnik isn't familiar with how the Electoral College works. A plurality of Americans already vote democratic, and have so in all but one presidential election since 1992. Democrats' problem isn't one of majorities; it's one of geographics. That is unlikely to change anytime soon, and moving further leftward will accelerate, not decelerate this phenomenon.

The leftward lurch has some real perils in it. The numbers cited above I think don't paint the whole picture. Immigration, e.g., wasn't much of a partisan fight until like 2015 when the Muslim Ban was first proposed. Immigration reform was the darling of W and the Kochs and was opposed by Bernie Sanders as recently as the beginning of the primary season. That dramatic 52 point shift has seen a lot of its movement only in the last couple years. Similarly, we're seeing a dramatic increase in "single payer" devotees in just the last half year. Democrats and liberals should be wary of getting caught in the "against Trump" vortex, and not let it color their chances of ever winning another presidential election.

Speaking of, NYT published an OpEd today calling for Al Franken's resignation. That's the level of crazy liberals are going to rise to in service of all things "against Trump". Of all the moronic OpEds NYT has published over the years, this one got me particularly pissed off (because when Erik Prince or John Bolton publish one they're easy to laugh off), because it represents the worst of the left mob: letting a staff writer (as opposed to a one off partisan) call for the head of one of America's finest senators because, well, Roy Moore is a child molester and Donald Trump is a rapist and we don't like them so everyone gets a trophy.

People need to keep their heads. America and the Democrats don't need a leftward push, especially one that's driven by "against Trump". We need a push toward sensible regulatory and tax reform, driven by a shared sense of community and compassion. That's not a leftist agenda, even though it sounds like one in today's world. It's a humanist agenda that the left has the best mandate to push. It will only happen, however, if we move past the identity driven leftism that's currently en vogue.

cgod  ·  330 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: An Essay from 1922: Why I Quit Being So Accommodating

He makes that point by the end of the essay.

lil  ·  375 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 12, 2017

    Pronoia: the belief that the universe is conspiring in your favour.
I had to look it up. I'm a little proanoid, but I mostly believe you have to take the first steps to change your life. Then the universe will rush in to help.
francopoli  ·  527 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sense of Alienation

I'm a gamer. That means I hate women, am a part of the alt-right, am racist and one step away from shooting up a school.

I'm a metalhead. Which means I am a druggies who gets into fights, worships Satan and abuses Animals.

I play D&D. So I summon demons and participate in anti-social behavior.

I'm Irish. So I'm a drunken lazy lout good for nothing but menial labour.

I own guns, so there is that baggage.

I'm a liberal. Ever feel like you don't belong? Be the one liberal Sanders supporter at the gun range. There are literally dozens of us left-leaning gun nuts! DOZENS!

All my life I have been on the outside. All my life every problem has been my fault, my friends' fault. And every time these foolish stupid garbage discussions come up, the people pushing them turn out to be ugly people who buy drugs from gay male prostitutes, etc. There are a lot of people like us out there, the problem is that we are quietly doing our own thing and disgusted by the loud voices screaming from their blogs, from the TV from the pulpit, from the podium. It gets frustrating, it makes you angry. And I've been dealing with this shit for 40+ years now.

The only advice I can give you is build up thick skin. Learn to laugh at your adversaries. Fight for the ideas you believe in. Help those around you in need. Leave the place better than you found it. Don't be ashamed of who you are or the hobbies you have, or the people you vote for, or any of the incidental bullshit that is used to label you and put you in a cage. Be the better person.

Men are programmed to Build, it is sort of our purpose. So, build something with meaning. Build a group of friends that will walk through hell with you. Spend time with them, eat meals with them, fight the battles with them. Play games, tell jokes, pick them up when they fall, scream all the louder when you kick ass. The internet has been a disaster for friendships and interpersonal support groups; this is one reason I think that so many men kill themselves in this day and age. Trump won because there are millions of people out there that have been cut out of life. The jobs are gone, the communities are crumbling, the families are torn apart as the kids run the fuck away. Trump tapped into that anger and now he is President. We fight him by being better, by building freind circles, families and communities.

So many people have spent the last year in a filter bubble. I've been screaming at anyone who will listen that Trump was going to win, and I was told to shut up, I was called a "BernieBro" I was called a misogynist because I did not like Clinton, I was even called a neocon(!)...after writing checks to get a Socialist elected President. Yet, here I am, waiting for the rest of you to catch up to where I was six months ago. The thing about me? I've been called every name in the book; you cannot insult me. But when it comes time to clean house, to move forward? You bet your ass I am going to remember every one who shit on Sanders, on Dean, on Warren. We have a fight on our hands. We have the opportunity to build things. And IMO most of that building will be offline. Look at all the people saying they are going to be offline for a while, I don't think it is a coincidence.

So go out this weekend. Get real face time with people. Go to a protest and see that there are others like you out there. Go to a bar and watch an NFL game. Go get lost in a group of people. And next week let's start talking about the work ahead of us.

francopoli  ·  584 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 14, 2016x 2

We were set up in public, with telescopes, looking at Saturn and the Moon. I was looking at Saturn, at high magnification, getting nothing but ohhhhs and ahhhs. One of the groups that came up to me included a kid, he could not have been more than 10. He stared at me, as in STARED at me in a way that I knew something was about to go down. I've done this enough that I can tell the kids that are there because of mom and dad, and the kids that are there because they are curious. (I've also been able to pick out the pick pockets and sneak thieves fortunately they are rare.) He asks to look through the telescope and I give him the spiel on how to look and where to look. One of the reasons I like doing this is to watch the faces... you can tell the INSTANT they see Saturn. Or Jupiter. Or the faint stuff. This kid never lost the stare, so I asked him if he saw the planet. He said he did. I asked if he saw the rings, the bands on the planet, the shadow of the globe on the rings. He stood there for a good 2-3 minutes. At these events the adults will stop and watch the kids as well while they wait patiently. he finally comes down from the stepladder, and his face is now much softer. More of a kid and less, well, adult. I then realized I am dealing with a kid with a shit homelife and just showed him something that he is trying to process.

As he moves aside to let his mom(?) look, I look him right in the eyes and say "neat, huh?" He stares at me. The face grows a bit more of what I like to call "puzzled, curious child" and I can see he as a question. Mom(?) starts saying prayers and praise Jesus as she looks. He then says, and I quote him exactly here: How long was it after you got out of jail that you bought the telescope?

This confused me and I really did not understand that. I wanted to ask him to repeat the question, but then thought through what he said. I replied "I've never been to jail. I had to save up a long time to get this from working my job." The reply hit me like a truck: "All the men I meet have been to jail."

I sat there with my head spinning for a moment, then saw that the line was gone. I look the kid in the eyes and say to him "Want to see something really cool?" He looks at me and nods. I put M11 in the eyepiece and show him how to see the "V" that makes up the "Wild Duck" of the Wild Duck Cluster. I explain that this is 2900 stars over 6000 light years away, and ask the mom(?) to take a look. All I can say to this kid is "Life is much bigger than we think, and the universe is infinite. We all have the opportunity to end up where we can do the most good." The mom(?) says "amen" and they move on. I hope I see the kid again; I'm kicking myself that I did not get his name.

Why do I type it as mom(?) in the above? I'm not sure if the lady was a guardian, a grandparent, an older sister. Hard to judge ages sometimes in the dark at these events. And with some families, there are questions that should not be asked.

That same evening about an hour later as we were talking about packing up, a Chaldean family walked up to us, very excited to be able to look through a telescope. Excited people we help and spend time with. There were 3 men, 3 women dressed and acting like their wives, and an elderly couple, obviously the parents. The older woman whispered in Arabic, and the older gentlemen asked me if his wife could look at the moon. I say sure, and move the telescope off of Saturn after giving the younger couples a glance. While the scope is moving he tells me he is from Baghdad, he left as a child in the 80's and they are touring the USA before they move back to Iraq. I set the scope up so that the whole of the moon is in the eyepiece. The men look first. Lots of chatter in Arabic, smiles, and handshakes. Then the ladies look. The elderly woman looks last, gasps, takes a step back and makes the sign of the cross and starts whispering in Arabic. The other women all look and chatter excitedly. I look at the elderly lady and ask if she wants to look again. She does, only this time she looks longer. Finally, in English "So Beautiful!" I smile at her husband and say "I think she sees it!" He then asks me, a great question: So, is this the same moon my family in Iraq is looking at? I reply "Yes! Only they are 12 hours away, so the sun is up there... when we have a sunrise, it will be sunset and moonrise in Iraq." The lady is in tears, mumbling "So Beautiful!" I look at her, and ask, Do you want to see it closer? She nods. I put in an eyepiece that goes from about 70 power to about 150 power so she can see right into the craters in the Southern Highlands near Tycho. I let the men look first, then the younger women, then she looks. She starts speaking in Arabic, faster, more of a mumble to her husband. For a few minutes, I explain to the husband how Tycho formed, how big it is (54 miles), how the big mountain (1 mile tall) in the center formed, and that the impact made the bright rays they say before and he translates to the wife, eye glued to the telescope. The Husband tells me that his wife has always loved the moon as it reminds her of when they used to watch it back in Iraq when she was a little girl, and that they have never looked through a telescope before. He also asked me how I knew he was Chaldean, I told him where I grew up and he laughed. His family moved there not too long ago. We said goodbye and wished each other well in our travels.

It seems that every other time that I think this outreach stuff is not worth it, something like the above happens and it makes me realize that I may be making my tiny little corner of the earth suck a bit less.

_refugee_  ·  611 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 17, 2016

Hey dude,

I'm just going to interject here that KB calorie tracks daily and has been for years. I know this because I'm his stalker, duh. Not to mention that it's quite possible for an eating disorder to have long-term side effects on the human body. And let's not even consider what all else he might have wrong with him. I mean, dude's a little grungy. He's got that ponytail going...could have worms, maybe, you know, even?

Of course, you don't know KB as well as I do, or his eating habits, or exercise habits, or past history with food, or any of those things.

But I can assure you he already knows about CICO and that there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.

Your comment would be totally in place if it was on r/loseit, and honestly, if you'd said it there, I'd probably have upvoted and moved on. It's just...KB's not a dumbass or a dilettante when it comes to cal counts, weight loss, exercise, etc. So I'm just gonna raise up and try to let you know as politely as possible, your comment here is coming across condescending as all hell.

And maaaybe I just saved you a verbal whipping by doing this. (But not if you get defensive about what all I've just said. Cuz I'm trying to be nice here, I really am, and it's not something I even try very often.)

There's a famous piece of journalism on the causes of the ~2008 financial crisis, specifically the housing bubble, called The Giant Pool of Money. There's one part that always stuck out to me, and seems incredibly relevant here, so I'll highlight it [emphasis mine, at the end]:

    Adam Davidson

    Right, the global pool of money, that's where our story begins. Most people don't think about it, but there's this huge pool of money out there, which is basically all the money the world is saving now-- insurance companies saving for a catastrophe, pension funds saving money for retirement, the Central Bank of England saving for whatever central banks save for, all the world's savings.

    Ceyla Pazarbasioglu

    A lot of money, it's about 70 trillion.

    Adam Davidson

    That's the head of capital market research at the International Monetary Fund, the place to go if you want to figure out how much money is in the world.

    [...]

    Adam Davidson

    And by the way, before you finance enthusiasts start writing any letters, we do know that $70 trillion technically refers to that subset of global savings called fixed income securities. Everyone else can just ignore what I just said. Let's put $70 trillion in perspective. Do this. Think about all the money that people spend everywhere in the world, everything you bought in the last year, all of it. Then add everything Bill Gates bought, and all the rice sold in China, and that fleet of planes Boeing just sold to South Korea, all the money spent in every country on Earth in a year. That is less than $70 trillion, less than the global pool of money.

    Alex Blumberg

    Wow.

    Adam Davidson

    We're talking about a lot of money.

    Alex Blumberg

    That is a lot of money.

    Adam Davidson

    And that money comes along with armies of very nervous men and women watching over the pool of money. Investment managers, they don't want to lose a penny of that. They don't want to lose any of that money, and, even more so, they want to make it grow bigger. But to make it grow, they have to find something to invest in.

    So, most of modern history, what they did was they bought really safe and, frankly, really boring investments like treasuries and municipal bonds, boring things. But then, right before our story starts, something changed, something happened to that global pool of money.

    Ceyla Pazarbasioglu

    This number doubled since 2000. In 2000 this was about $36 trillion.

    Adam Davidson

    So it took several hundred years for the world to get to $36 trillion. And then it took six years to get another $36 trillion.

    Ceyla Pazarbasioglu

    Yeah, there has been a very sharp increase.

    Adam Davidson

    How does the world get twice as much money to invest? There are lots of things that happen. But the main headline is that all sorts of poor countries became kind of rich, making things like TVs and selling us oil. China, India, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia made a lot of money and banked it.

    China, for example, has over a $1 trillion in its central bank. And there are office buildings in Beijing filled with math geniuses, real math geniuses, looking for a place to invest it. And the world was not ready for all this new money. There is twice as much money looking for investments, but there are not twice as many good investments.

rd95  ·  745 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: More Than 40% of Student Borrowers Aren’t Making Paymentsx 4

Sorry this took a bit to respond to, but I've had trouble typing this out. This isn't stuff I like to think about and it seems like kleinbl00 has explained some of it. Here's what I typed out though, partially stemming from personal experience. . .

The thing is though, $8,900 is a lot of money for a large number of people. For paying back student loans, that's about $100 to $150 a month, something a lot of people can't afford. Let me break it down for you a bit, so you can see where I'm coming from because I found myself in this trap. Here we go . . .

Let's take a person, like me, college drop out working 2 jobs to make ends meet. Only, unlike when I was working 2 jobs, now thanks to Obamacare, the number of full time jobs out there is much lower. Now, people are working 2 part time jobs, max hours, with no benefits. That's two jobs, maybe above minimum wage, at roughly $8 an hour for 50 hours a week. That breaks down to . . .

$400 a week or about $300 after taxes. $1600 a month or about $1200 after taxes. That's about $20,000 a year or $16,000 after taxes. Money is fucking TIGHT. Here's the wild ride we're going down, and trust me, it's painful . . .

You take home $1,600 a month. Take away $500 dollars for rent. Congrats, You're down to $1,100. Now take away an additional $300, because you have to pay for utilities and your phone on your shitty plan. Now you're down to $800. Now take away another $300, because that's your money for your car insurance and gas. Heaven forbid you still owe money on that car because that's even more coming out of your pay. Now you're down to $500. Take away another $150 for food and another $150 for health insurance and you have yourself at the end of the month, $200. That's $200 dollars flex room, before student loans even come in.

Here's where things get shitty. Your car? It's a 15 year old GM J Body. Something breaks on it once every three months. There goes some of that money. What's that? You got a minor cold that somehow became an ear infection so bad that you have to go to the doctor because you woke up to literal puss oozing out your ear? That'll be an $80 copay for the clinic plus another $20 for antibiotics. In reality though, you spent half the day getting that taken care of so you're actually out more money, because you're not spending time working. After you get home from a long, half day at work because you work a shitty retail job, you find out that one of your roommates blew part of his money on a $25 dollar pizza delivery, instead of real food like rice and eggs. That's not the worse of it though, he bought that pizza to soften the blow of him getting fucking fired from his shitty ass job so now you have to cover his part of the rent until he can find something else. Now your rent just went from $500 a month to $750 a month and now you're hemorrhaging money every single month until he finds something new because you just can't kick him out, he's like family. Congratulations. You're now in a massive downwards spiral and you haven't even touched your student loans yet. Your debt is getting worse by the week and even when your roommate finally finds work again, climbing out of the debt will be that much harder, because you not only dug your hole deeper, but possibly wider. To make matters worse, if debt wasn't bad enough, the psychological pain of the inevitable collection calls and knocks on your door from the landlord will make things worse. Six years later, you're still afraid to pick up the phone whenever an unknown number calls you.

So many things go wrong when you're poor and everything that goes wrong ends up costing you money, making things worse and worse. There's a reason why savings are called "safety nets." Being able to afford to take care of problems when they first show up, keeps them from getting worse down the road, literally saving you money in the long run. You have to have that money to begin with though, to make things work.

lil  ·  764 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Bernie Fucking Sanders (tng records a weird thing )

    I basically write and record a song about 4 nights a week.

I found that line majorly inspiring tng. It made me realize that if I'm going to get the 1-woman-show done by my bday 2017, I'd better start working on it... i.e. do something four nights a week. One or more hours at least. To be a good hockey player, I'm going to have to play a lot of hockey.

btw, after April I'm open to editing yr start-up docs, in exchange for stox, but I imagine all the principals have wives for that sort of thing.

_refugee_  ·  835 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Radicalizing the Romanceless

Democrats and the tea party differ only on the surface.

bioemerl  ·  860 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves

In other news: The world continues to run on practices that the average person only finds negative due to the fact they are no longer exposed to them living in nice, comfy, cities where the most horrible thing they deal with is a line at the gas station.

If the average person knew about the slavery used to make so many of our products, the conditions the people who work in the factories that make our stuff were held in, the sheer amount of environmental destruction we create, the way animals are treated in the "meat factories' we get our hamburgers from, they would be horrified.

However, if they were truly well informed, and knew the costs of not doing those things, it is likely the status quo will never change. Stuff like the above isn't done because people are evil, those things are done because they are the best way for things to happen, the actions of a thousand people in a thousand different situations, with a thousand different motives.

Some examples, of course, are crossing the line, such as literal slavery. However, things like bad conditions in developing nations, or chick grinders are things that truly do make the world better, not worse, in the long run, through being the only/best way to humanely kill thousands of baby chickens, or being the only way in which these developing nations will become developed.

Strangely like the story in "the giver". We put the moral burden, the pain, the guilt, on those who aren't us, so we can live a more happy and productive life.

mk  ·  921 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Test Post, Please Ignore

Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.

lil  ·  972 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Feeling sad after meeting with my old advisor today

    But I can't help but feel all weepy about everything I left behind. :(

How lucky you are to feel weepy. How beautiful it is that you do. Imagine how awful your undergraduate years would have been if all you feel is joy at getting away from it all.

Good memories of happy satisfying times will always be tinged with a little sadness because they are past. The sadness is a way of honoring the memory, deepening its meaning. Those same memories that are making you weepy are exactly the experiences, connections, and relationships that made you strong enough to take this next step of going TO something new and important, not just running away from a dark place.

Does that make sense?

ArtemusBlank7
text  ·  #poetry  ·  #remains
  ·  
flagamuffin  ·  1062 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Study: Congress literally doesn’t care what you think

I'm gonna go vote.