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PTR  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 22, 2017

I think I'm probably drinking gin this afternoon. Gin gets me glum.

Warning: Rambling thoughts on an extended interaction with a far-right pundit below...

There was a guy in my wife's master's cohort at uni - the type of guy who's just really toxic politically. It's tough to characterize him; I'm not sure I've met many people like him, and I've definitely not interacted with them like I did with him.

So he's all up in far-right news cycles, consuming memes and half-truth news stories and re-hosting them on his Facebook page. He's been doing this for months maybe years. He's not the type to keep to himself, and his social media is an extension of the types of conversations he has in person. Nearly every person in his cohort tried reaching out to the guy to get him to tone it down, or at least get him listen to some even-keeled opposition - I think they figured if they were thoughtful and articulate, he'd come around to some type of rhetorical moderation.

And that's the thing too because this guy is approachable. He's pretty kind and at least a little polite in conversation, but his ideas are so fucking noxious that every person who tried talking to him eventually gave up.

And it's not just his ideas, it's his conversational style. He fact-checks nothing. He researches nothing. He doesn't believe in statistics. He doesn't trust academia. Conversations with him are pages and pages of vitriolic opinion-vomiting. It's tough to handle.

It's not just that he sources Breitbart and The Daily Caller for nearly every story (Fox News is moderate to him); it's primarily that he gets his ideology from memes. Not kidding. His Facebook history is full of fucking memes - and I've got to reference Dawkins here for the literal and original meaning of meme, because the sourced knowledge this guy has on politics is insidiously hard to pin down. His news feed is full ubiquitous, pint-sized ideas and fact-checking every meme he's ever come across and internalized is a herculean effort. Impossible, even for him - i.e. you can argue him into a corner, get him to agree, and 3 days later he's sharing the same exact shit again.

He dropped the program at the recommendation of the faculty and director for reasons unrelated to his politics and entirely related to his academic performance. He lost ties to all the cohort except my wife, who kept him added (but unfollowed) on Facebook because she loved the drama of seeing some Lib-missionary get offended, argue with him for hours, and bite the dust in frustration.

I'd never met him in person, only heard stories about him. I ended up friending him and starting a dialogue with the specific idea that I'd just try to figure out what he was about - not attempt to "convert" him politically, just see what his version of the far-right was.

The conversation was wide-ranging and long - months-long. I started talking to him in February this year, and I cut ties with him last week. That's what I want to talk about here (at "the bar"), and if you've made it this fucking far, "Congratulations!" because you've got every right to throw whatever you're drinking into my whiny, doom & gloom face.

This conversation with him took me to a dark place; if I'm being honest, I talked to him for too long for my mental health. He's representative of a massive demographic in America, and that started to weigh on me existentially. Point me to historical bipartisanship; point me to political indoctrination; point me to religiously-branded Conservatism; fuck, point me to the horrors of the Democratic party too. I've read almost all of it, and if I haven't then I'll read more gladly. But I'm convinced the American politico-intellectual rot will not heal.

For sure, nationally-speaking we'll keep on chugging along, I guess. That's what a nation-state does. But this guy has been failed. He's been ruined. What the fuck do we do about that?

  1. Do we drag him along, forcing healthcare down his throat, mandating tax reform in his interests, fighting the FCC for him, and offering his daughters birth control and prenatal options?

  2. Do we involve ourselves personally, talking to him for months, reasoning him through his own warped thought processes, educate him on how to research and fact-check?

  3. Do we let him rot?

tl;dr: To what extent is it our individual civic duty to try to reconcile with political opposition?

I started talking to him out of curiosity, and it ended with depressive horror. I wish there were a better way to explain my experience. I'm going to go actually drink now :)

b_b  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The GOP's fractal incompetence problem

Not sure if you're being rhetorical, but asking if Trump is a cause or a symptom is akin to asking whether heroin addiction is a cause or a symptom. The answer is yes. Godry is correct that the GOP has basically been rotting since the end of the Cold War. They've tried to cram the square pegs that are "against terrorism" and "against taxes" into the round hole of "against communism" but it's just not fitting right. Lubricated by a thick layer of KFC grease, Trump has been able to squeeze himself into a hole he didn't have much to do with creating, but damn if he isn't splitting it wide open.

Did you see that viral video of Bernie Sanders eviscerating Steve Mnuchin? It's a thing to behold, because Mnuchin is left almost speechless, but he sits there with the smug look of someone who doesn't give a shit about being wrong because he knows that there isn't a logical rip in space-time big enough to make the GOP give a shit how bad his tax bill is. They've reached critical mass, and the light and heat from their bullshit can no longer escape orbit, and thus it's turning in on itself. Competence surely isn't an asset, because any attempts to compute 'A' and 'not A' simultaneously break logic machines. Only a guy who claims that the Constitution is Christian scripture can compute this logic. Thus the ascendancy of fictional hyperboles like Roy Moore makes sense.

"Terror Babies!" "Death Panels!" "Job Creators!" It's difficult to not sense that the mountains of horseshit that they've been shoveling for the past quarter century aren't beginning to decay. Hopefully it decays into fertilizer and doesn't cause a cholera epidemic. One of the upsides of Trump being elected is the awakening on sexual harassment. I don't think that without "grab 'em by the pussy" that we'd have people like Glenn Thrush and Charlie Rose being suspended. Harassment is no longer something creeps from the other side do; it took someone as disgusting as Trump to make us recognize that. I hope he'll have a similar effect in other areas (racism, classism, etc.).

Trump is a symptom and a disease, and he's finally convincing us to make that doctor's appointment we've been putting off for too long. If his tax bill keeps getting this level of criticism (even the most generous estimates say it costs $1 trillion), there's a good chance that will collapse, too. Maybe at that point Godry will start to be taken seriously by his fellow conservatives.

steve  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 1, 2017

lil gave me the nudge... I better come clean.

The short version of a long story is that I got the job offer. I'm in the middle of negotiating the exit from my current employer... and if all goes well, I will have an even better story to tell after Thanksgiving.

veen  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

DUDE I think I found it!?

It looks a lot like the Fontainemelon trademark that you see twice in this list, registered in 1880 for the region in Switzerland. Found this by Googling 'Schweiz uhrwerk apfel' and it was the first hit. It actually does lead back to that site of yours when you Google for Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon SA. Check that advert, it has the logo!

edit: hah, wasoxygen was slightly faster. Damn ninja!

wasoxygen  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

That's a heck of a rabbit hole.

It appears to be something from Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon.

(Second GIS hit for "makers mark" arrow swiss from Pinterest, fourth related image)

BurnTheBarricade  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today's Writing Prompt: This Is What It's Like

"This is what it's like," said the recruiter, showing me the screenshot of a first-person shooter.

"This is what it's like," said the CO, as we stood drenched in sweat from head to toe.

"This is what it's like," said the EOD, defusing a mine that would have taken his knee.

"This is what it's like," said the veteran, as our unit rotated out for some rest again.

"This is what it's like," says the evening news, reminding me of things that I made myself do.

"This is what it's like," says my former spouse, with one last spiteful glance towards my house.

"This is what it's like," says the therapist, and puts me in pain that I didn't know could exist.

"This is what it's like," say people like myself, who can't know their pain and don't think to help.

Idunno, man, these grammar conversations are crazy to me.

I steal a descriptor from my friend, who is in linguistics, and describe myself as a Grammar punk. To quote them:

"Language is inherently based in communication- it is understanding in structure, not structure for structure's sake

If you understand what someone is saying and choose to be difficult about it for the sake of correctness, you're being a loathsome pedant."

The point of language is to be understood, and to me it doesn't matter what length of dash you use. Yes, the semicolons are incorrect, and they do prevent understanding. But dashes?

And like, I'm in a Historical Performance program. It is the subset of classical music for musical pedants. They have arguments about the correct amount of commas needed in their tuning, and where your 3rd and 6th intervals should be depending on time and location in Europe. Despite that level of daily pedantry, the concept of em vs en vs hyphen in a real world situation is still a bit mind blowing to me.

phloridaman  ·  56 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How much work is home ownership?

I bought a house when I was 18. Got it for 20k right after the housing crash. Paid for it with student loans since the bank wouldn't give me a mortgage. In hindsight this was probably a risky move but it worked out since I was able to sell it for 85k after graduating. They'll let you take out as much money as you want with student loans. I think they were disappointed that I was able to pay everything back right away, kept trying to tell me that it was a bad decision financially. Strictly speaking, it was. Maybe you can make more money if you let yourself float some debt, but money ain't worth your freedom (in my opinion).

Anyway, I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college fixing the place up a bit. Sank another 15k of loan money into it there. Neighbor was a roofer, and I helped him replace the rotten rafters and reshingle at a discount. I got some concrete and patched the foundation where it needed it. Kitchen walls were basically mush thanks to leaky pipes, but my uncle's a plumber so we redid all the pipes and put in a second bathroom. Then it was just new cabinets and appliances for the kitchen after some drywall/spackle/paint where needed. When the summer ended I rented out the other rooms (3bed/2bath) to some friends to help with future expenses.

But the problems seemed to never end. One of my friend/tenants wanted to run an ethernet cable to his room a few months in. Prissy liberal northerner who don't think wifi is good enough. So we climb up into the attic with a drill to thread one through the wall. While crawling around, I get the fucking shit shocked out of me and ended up putting a dent in the drywall of the ceiling. There was a live wire just hanging out up there. At which point it became prudent to try and trace down any other electrical issues. Fortunately, we left enough access points in the walls where we were too lazy to drywall (behind the bathroom mirror, in the bedroom closets, basically the whole room with the air handler). It's way easier to just get some access plates and screw them into place instead of doing the full 9 yards of drywall repair. Also makes your life easier for future efforts.

One of the windows ended up getting a bit of a leak, too. Went to plug in my phone one night and my hand just went right through the wall to the outside. While repairing that, I found the beginnings of a termite infestation. Fortunately only the beginnings. Had to get the whole place treated. Thank god we made those access points in the walls.

Place also had a crawl space at one point, but a former owner buried the access point. Apparently the place flooded, and rather than pump out the water they just buried it and sealed the water down there. Concrete foundation was above the crawl space, and post-burial expansion is probably what had caused the original problems with that. House must've been moved at one point, foundation and all, and just put down on top of that hole. Found out about it when a gator dug out the old entrance and moved in. It just saw a nice, secluded pond across the street from the main waterway with a driveway right outside to sunbathe on. I never knew how loud a gator was until I had one living under my bed. Things fucking stink too. Tasted pretty good.

I could go on. I had that place for three years. Sometimes, it wouldn't need much work beyond mowing the lawn and cleaning and shit. But once or twice a year, that place ate up a few weeks to a month of my life. Was sad to hear the whole neighborhood pretty much came down during Irma. Old Florida neighborhood of wooden houses: only lasted that long by luck.

Crazy shit happens all the time in the world. If you own and are responsible for a part of it, it can take you on a fun and crazy ride. Make sure you're ready before claiming responsibility. If you want to own something, you've gotta make it a part of you and give it the care it needs. Don't just treat it as a way to make or save money, and don't leave shit as someone else's problems. Insurance companies are just there to let you pass the buck and not feel guilty or repair it yourself good and proper. Dive in and make that house and land a part of your being and it will be worth it. Otherwise, when the shit hits the fan you'll just see yourself as a victim and try to duck out.

If you don't want responsibility: rent. If you want to make a part of the world an extension of yourself: own. If you don't think you're ready to truly meld with a piece of the Earth, you have no business leading it on or playing make believe. Taking care of your place on this planet is a sacred duty that deserves no compromise. If y'all'r the kind of fucker that'll be fine with just letting others take care of your life for y'all, you ain't the kind of person that deserves to take care of this planet.

tl;dr: the Earth is a tender lover. This is a wonderful thing with the proper care and attention, but also easy to abuse and take advantage of. Be aware of this if you want join with a piece of her.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

elizabeth  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 23, 2017

Had a great time yesterday watching the eclipse! And apparently the blog post featuring my photos and videos is beating all kinds of view records: http://blog.polycor.com/the-day-white-marble-turned-black-photos

It's been a really fun summer so far, and it's only gonna get better with burning man next week. I don't think I've ever been more exited.

Even had an unexpected bonding moment with this lady that works at the Georgia office yesterday that not only knew what burning man was (that I so far had to explain as going camping at an art festival in the desert to everyone else at the company) but has been at many festivals before and had some great tips to share.

Will be in LA the week after that (sept 4th to 12th at least). WHO'S IN TOWN? kleinbl00?

weewooweewoo  ·  104 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Flower Pot of Significant Personal Importance

I once had three mice. I named them Theodore, Buttercup, and The Holy Spirit. They were feeder mice meant to be fed to snakes. I had them for about 6 months and they helped with my depression. Mice are particularly hard to pet, and they started to hiss and bite at me whenever I went to feed them in the cage. This went on for awhile and on one particularly bad day I decided to kill them off. I rationalized that they were feeder mice that were going to die anyway. I took a half empty jar of peanut butter and put then waited awhile before I put the lid on it.

I woke up the next day feeling the absolute worst, and I was worried that my family would come in and notice that my mice were missing. I bought three more mice and pretended that everything was fine, but in the back of my mind I felt that there was an aura of fear left behind by the previous trio and these new mice knew that I was a mouse killer. I kept them until I left to find myself across the US and I couldn't find anyone to take care of them and I didn't have any friends with snakes so I decided to kill them in the same way, in a peanut butter jar.

I don't trust myself to take care of pets or plants right now. If you buy a succulent I'll buy a succulent.

> I would argue that the hacker had done more to earn money than Coindash had, but I'm devoutly anti-ICO at this point.

Seriously! No joke, these scammers have finally got almost the same payday that they've been working on for over a year! These ICOs are like 30 days of marketing. These scammers are like up all night, buying domains, writing copy, deving crazy tools, adjusting based on user feedback. 😂

...

veen  ·  163 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Analyzing Token Sale Models

I found one buried in an /r/ethtrader post somewhere: https://icostats.com/.

Specifically, check out ROI since ICO in the sidebar and toggle ETH in the top right corner.

keifermiller  ·  174 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Homelessness up 26% in LA YoY, 10% in Seattle , *61%* among LA youth

    needed

inevitable

What does UBI boil down to? It's a prop to keep capitalism from running off the rails once society no longer carries the structures that made it a stable social arrangement.

But it needs to do more than that to work in the long haul.

It needs to support the current economic system and it needs to suppress the reorganization of society around whatever new social structures emerge. Because those laborers are indeed human beings. If they're freed up, they're going to go into society and create new complexity.

And that newness is going to give rise to something else.

blackbootz  ·  205 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 3, 2017

Two Fridays ago, I settled on my house. Overcome with gratitude and happiness.

Funny story. I was eagerly showing the house to a few of my friends the next evening when cop sirens and flashing red lights fill the street. We look amongst ourselves. Well, shit, we do live in Baltimore. There's always some foolishness bound to be going on. Then we hear a very stern sounding knock on my front door. Confused, I open it to greet my unexpected guests--Baltimore's finest. (Cue white privilege for not being immediately tackled to the ground.) "Sir, we're responding to a breaking and entering call, and possible house party." "Uhh... I closed on this home yesterday."

Then my next door neighbor steps outside and starts apologizing profusely. She's been living in her house for fourteen years, the last year and half of which my house has stood empty. She had no idea the house had been sold. Earlier I had knocked on her door but she wasn't home yet. The cops thought it was a rather cute use of their time and greeted me to the neighborhood.

All in all, I'm overjoyed. On the cusp of getting straight As this semester, my roommate is moving in just in time to help pay my mortgage, and I'm the block's most eligible bachelor. I'm less than two blocks away from one of Baltimore's biggest parks where I'm looking forward to a summer of soccer leagues and food truck rallies. Finishing and furnishing the basement will be my next project, so if anyone from Hubski wants to crash, have at it.

thenewgreen  ·  240 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 29, 2017

Hell yes kb! (almost sent this using your actual name, such was my excitement. You have been working so hard towards this opening. It's phenomenal to see someone set a goal as lofty as this one and achieve it. I know how much it takes to accomplish such things. It's Herculean.

I read below that you are the one that took the photos for the center's art. They're amazing. Also, in a previous photo, I saw the living wall. -Well done!

Hell, I'd have a baby there. Maybe I'll swing by in October with my wife. Turns out, we have a daughter on the way ;-)

Trombone  ·  244 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why does Mount Rushmore Exist?

This was offputting. It drips with disdain. I understand that he's trying to make a political point, but way to do that by being an arrogant tool to the entire state of South Dakota. The best compliment he can come up with in the whole thing is "It was as beautiful as any land I’ve ever seen". That's the compliment equivalent of "meh" while looking down your nose. I've been to South Dakota, and yeah, Mt. Rushmore is kind of strange. "The hubris of man" and all. But? Custer's a great little town, and it's an excellent base of operations to see the state. There's more than a freakin' Pizza Hut there. Try out Wall Drug. Custer SP is quite beautiful. There's Pipestone. There's Badlands. There's Teddy Roosevelt NP. South Dakota is a treasure trove of nature's wonders. Instead of appreciating any of this, our narrator tosses his backhanded compliment out and spills more words talking about the local fauna come begging to lick the salt off his car. Does he ever mention another human being outside of his family unit? Is he that self-absorbed?

If I was to give Mr. Anderson some polite advice, I'd say:

- Go on your trip in season, because things will be open.

- If you want to actually see things, do some research and take some time to get out of your car and take a hike.

- Put down your electronics, and please make your kids do the same. If they're unshackled from their screens for a while, they might actually look around them, and appreciate it. They should understand how fortunate they are to be able to go on such a trip to such a beautiful area of the country. If all they do is Snapchat, you've wasted all your money getting them there.

- Check your preconceptions at the door and talk to people.