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kleinbl00  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 5, 2019

IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Had Veen and 'bootz out last week. Veen for ten days, 'bootz for three. Did much hosting. Had many "what do I do with my life" conversations. Drank astonishingly little alcohol. Spent a few hours showing veen how to take apart a watch; apparently the parts Elgin I bought last year is hella more hammered than even I knew 'cuz my screwdrivers looked brand new for the past two years but as soon as I had to get the dial off that thing I'd snapped two blades.

Veen asked if I ever experienced "impostor syndrome" when it came to watchmaking. It's a fair question. After all, two years ago I knew virtually nothing. Thing of it is, though, it's an extremely shallow field. Immersing myself in it for a year and a half has me revealing manufacturers and history my instructors never knew, manipulating small parts my instructors can't manipulate and knowing by heart industry statistics that lifelong watchmakers are completely incredulous about.

I learned as an acoustical consultant - a trade that requires a mechanical engineering or physics degree and several years experience with esoteric empirical knowledge - that the way you prove your worth in a gnostic field is by slagging on others. The normies don't know so if you piss all over everyone else they assume you're pissing with reason. And watchmakers piss all over everyone. As a group their shit doesn't stink and if you ask 'em questions they'd best put your ass in its place. Their Facebook groups are largely about how stupid customers are, how stupid vendors are, and how horrible everyone is to their preciousssssss.

Here's the thing, though. A mechanical watch movement has between 50 and 250 parts, from the most basic to the most fiddly chronograph. Yeah there are watches with more but really, it's a bunch of gears ("wheels") and axles ("pinions") and other jargon and they only interact mechanically. The engine your Toyota has 5-600 parts and that's just the mechanical shit. A fuckin' fuel injector is like 30 parts and for it to work you've got fluid mechanics, electromechanics, electronics and thermodynamics. Not only that but your average "watchmaker" has no idea how to do anything other than fix the mechanical bits and polish what's there. It's a specialist field where nearly everything else is farmed out to other specialists. And I've been spending the past year neck deep in the "other specialists" shit - I've mixed three seasons of television while also earning sixty college credits in the past year while also spending maybe 300 hours (and $28k or so) in pursuit of "watchmaking" (which is what we call "being a watch mechanic"). I know more about watches and their repair than a few manufacturers I know.

But my daughter was whiney on Sunday. There was a little drama. She insisted she wasn't whining. I let her know (during the hug-it-out period) that if I'd used her tone of voice when I was a kid I would have been shouted at, possibly spanked and sent to my room without any supper and that sometimes I have a hard time when she does stuff I wasn't allowed to do, even if the stuff I wasn't allowed to do didn't really make sense. She asked why my parents were so mean. I said I didn't know. She asked if I told them to stop being mean and I said "I didn't know they were mean, they were the only parents I had" and she said "but you aren't mean" and I burst into uncontrollable tears.

And I mean, she doesn't know. She has no more insight into my suckitude than I had into my parents'. But I had a pretty good idea by 3 that my relationship with my parents was dissimilar to my peers. And whereas every picture I have of myself as a youth is of a haunted-eyed little spooky kid, my daughter is happy to the point of mania in photos. The great thing about kids is they love you unreservedly and worship everything you do (until they become teenagers, anyway). The terrible thing about kids - for me, anyway - is that you're never, ever worthy of it.

I am blowing off the rest of my schooling. Jewelry class for the past 10 weeks has been bang-on-shit-with-a-hammer class and I have received exactly zero instruction. I crafted a silver cup from a sheet using nothing but a hammer - it looks like a Riedel stemless champagne flute. I coated it in Japanese enamel to see what the colors look like. And it looks amateurish and silly because I received zero instruction in enameling. I have some interesting parts from that class, but everything I made I made without any input or insight from anyone while also being sniped by everyone around me (because jewelers are like watchmakers but with less schooling). And I cleaned out my bag, and I'm going to take the F (I'm yearning for that F - I'm eager to have it sit there - so that the instructor knows we're enemies now), and I'm going to pursue my own thing because where I'm going I don't need roads. I set micro-pave last year without knowing the first thing about it and while it looks like hammered shit, the next one won't and if you set out to learn how to do micro-pave the first thing you do is apprentice in Antwerp and get yourself a $2500 microscope.

But I've got a Valjoux 7750 that's misbehaving and when you look up the symptoms the Internet tells you to "take it in for service" and what they don't tell you is that at the price point of that 7750 the "servicepeople" are going to swap the movement and I'm wondering if I fucked it up by wearing it in beat-on-shit-with-a-hammer class. See, I know beyond a reasonable doubt what I know about fixing watches. But when the internet tells me I have no idea how to wear a watch I'm perfectly willing to believe them because I'm fucking white trash and I know it down to my very bones.

This washed across my transom this morning. You don't need to click on it. It's a puff piece about a jeweler opening a new boutique. They're spending about $1.3m and creating ten jobs. Woo hoo. News piece. I built a birth center with about $350k and our payroll now has nine people on it. We're setting up a Vaccines for Children program and it's going to be three phone calls, one contractor and three SKUs purchased. We'll be up in a month. Shit's trivial. Sure as fuck isn't worth making an international trade magazine.

My daughter spent her weekend putting together "scent packs" - her idea of play is to pick herbs, wrap them in paper, put together a merchandising display and haul it into class in an egg carton so that she can dominate a pinecone economy she created. Yeah. My daughter is getting others to hoard pinecones for her by selling artisanal herbs out of my garden. Told my wife this wasn't something all the kids had come up with, like we thought, but my daughter's idea and she said "well it's not surprising, she is the daughter of two entrepreneurs, after all." I immediately said "well, one entrepreneur and one loser who wastes a lot of time and money on useless knowledge." She was quiet for a minute and then said

"That's you talking, not me."

I spent $1300 so that Christie's could teach me the history of jewelry design. It's not a course for jewelers, it's a course for bored old rich ladies. I tell you what, though - ain't nobody in there gonna say that you should feel bad for owning gold jewelry because it's mined illegally in the Amazon for use in iPhones. When I'm done I hope to have a rich old lady's understanding of jewelry as propagated by Christie's because it's hella more useful to me than an angsty community college assistant's understanding of jewelry as propagated by indignant environmental movies. After all, jewelry makers call byzantine chain "idiot's delight." Jewelry sellers call it ten grand.

George Friedman recommended the works of Herman Wouk yesterday. This passage caught my eye:

    Even more instructive was the character Armin von Roon, a German general and aristocrat, whom Pug Henry met in Germany, and who wrote an operational analysis of the war that Henry translates into English. Wouk explains German strategy in detail and unapologetically. He argues powerfully that Germany was forced into a war it didn’t want and lost it only because of the ruthless cunning of Roosevelt. I didn’t agree with it, and I thought he was falsifying history, yet Wouk’s emulation of a brilliant German general explaining his country was, in my view, Wouk’s moment of genius. It was not just that he explained it but, in that passage, he reminded me of something I learned in philosophy. I was taught that you must understand a philosopher as he understood himself. Wouk showed that you must understand a nation as it understands itself. You may take issue with philosophers of a nation, but only after you have disciplined yourself to understand them as they understand themselves. And when you do that you not only understand important things, but you learn to compel your soul to listen and learn, even from evil. From Wouk I learned the suspension of judgement without plunging into the abyss of relativism.

"Impostor syndrome" is, to me, the "abyss of relativism." I know what I know about the outside world because I can vouch for that knowledge. I fought for it, I tested it, I verified it, I expanded it into corners it was never meant to illuminate. The inside world is, has been and shall always be a dark and dismal failure because my n will never be greater than one.

I have no doubts that I will be able to create and sell luxury timepieces. And I have no doubts that I will feel uncomfortable wearing one for as long as I draw breath. And that's pretty much where I am this Wednesday.

Cheers.

kleinbl00  ·  174 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?

like that has ever stopped ME

kleinbl00  ·  303 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong

    How does obesity happen?

Pearl Harbor. Walk with me.

______________________________________________________

There are well-known and less-well-known consequences of American involvement in WWII. It's common knowledge that the eventual nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki set up the Cold War which was the ultimate battleground between capitalism and communism. Less well-known is the fact that the United States didn't ultimately win the war because of the atom bomb but because of our powers of industrial and agricultural production.

Marc Reisner argued that the Army Corps of Engineers won WWII with Grand Coulee Dam. It produced an impossible surplus of power when it was brought online; it had no customers. Then the war broke out and Americans were able to refine aluminum (an electrically-intensive process; the Intalco plant in Blaine, WA uses more electricity than Los Angeles) at a fraction of the price of anyone else in the world.

But in addition to aluminum, the impossible edge in oil refining really took off in WWII. Germany ground to a halt when we took their oil fields in North Africa. Meanwhile our fields in California and Texas turned out gasoline in quantities unmatched anywhere else in the world. And when you make gas, you can also make fertilizer. And when you've converted the Great American Desert to "the Heartland" you make food. You make food that travels. You make corn, potatoes and rice. And you feed that corn and rice to chickens, cows and pigs. And you drop food on the Russians, you drop food on the Chinese, you ship food to England and Australia, and while Germany and Japan are wracked with famine you share your American bounty around.

An interesting side note: because it was a Japanese attack, the safe thing to do, obviously, is lock up all the Japanese. Especially as they're sitting on a bunch of plum farmland on the West coast. You know, the one closest to the Japanese Empire. The one full of refugees from the Dust Bowl. Itinerant farmers from the South and the Midwest who came to California and starved because there are only so may people to pick oranges and strawberries. The ones who will thank you and vote for you and keep growing oranges and strawberries and everything else on formerly-Japanese farms they bought for pennies on the dollar when their original owners get shipped off to Manzanar.

So now Europe is in ruins and the Marshall Plan is going to make everything better. Ship that food out. Soft power! But it's got to travel. Hedgerow to Hedgerow we'll even push the Soviets around by selling it when they behave and withholding it when they don't. But it's got to travel. So corn, rice, soy and potatoes are food. We'll do anything we can to grow more food so that we can influence the behavior of the world with food. We'll subsidize the shit out of food so that everyone is growing food. Meanwhile those now-rich farmers on the West Coast who are growing carrots and olives and lettuce and spinach and oranges and apples? Yeah, they don't need any competition. They don't grow food because then those uppity black folx might go into competition with them for the high-value stuff. So they grow specialty crops. And it's assigned a fair market value.

A market value that goes up because you don't need to eat "specialty crops," not really. After all, the Irish subsisted off of potatoes and potatoes are food. And corn can be made into anything, man. It can be made into sugar - sugar that's way cheaper than cane sugar! It can be fed to cows - way cheaper than grass! It can be fed to chickens! Pigs are less likely to eat it, so pig farming largely goes away (it's come back with a vengeance because the Chinese have a preference for pork but as a foodstuff it's consumption by Americans has plummeted). But Americans eat corn, and things that eat corn, and there's so much excess corn and rice and soy when we're not shipping it all over the world to cajole our foreign policy needs through soft power that there are entire divisions of the USDA trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff.

And you know capitalism. Make more money. Finished products make more money than raw ingredients; you'll get so much more for a box of macaroni and cheese than you will for wheat and milk. Process the shit out of it and it'll keep forever. Process the shit out of it and it'll travel far. Process the shit out of it and you can turn it into whatever flavor you want it to be. Process the shit out of it and you can sell it to anyone, anywhere forever.

Somewhere around here we've got an article that argues the dominant species on earth isn't humans, it's corn. After all, we've basically given over our food production to it. A Wendy's meal, if I recall correctly, was ultimately about 80% corn (including the French fries). And against that we've got "specialty crops" that we have to refrigerate to get them across country and there are vast swaths of the US where "specialty crops" aren't even sold because it's so easy and cheap to get food. A box of Little Debbie snack cakes costs less than a head of lettuce. And a box of Little Debbie snack cakes will keep you alive if you're starving. And a box of Little Debbie snack cakes will sit on the shelf for nine months or more and nobody will be the wiser. The power goes out on that head of lettuce and it's garbage before morning.

And it's fuckin' lettuce.

Meanwhile we're all working harder for less, working longer for less, driving farther for less. The calories are easy and the nutrition is hard and that's before you recognize that we've arranged our entire food economy around food not "specialty crops." Reuters pointed out yesterday that one in three workers also has some form of job in the gig economy; even if we're working 40 hours a week (we're not, we're working 47) we're also filling our spare time with TaskRabbit, with Uber, with Mechanical Turk. And as humans, we're biologically programmed to pack on pounds when we're stressed because stress means starvation. I think it was Richard Wrangham who pointed out that there have only been about 125,000 generations since homo habilus split off from Australopithecus. Homo Sapiens is only 7500 generations. Go to Mile High Stadium, start "The Wave" and by the time it makes its way back round to you, the person next to you is a Neanderthal.

So here we are. Impossibly cheap calories, impossibly sedentary lifestyles, impossible stressors. Fight or flight doesn't care if it's a mastodon or an impending bankruptcy they'll both keep you up at night. At least if it's a mastodon you can run. We can't. So we get fat. And because we're Americans, and we've got a nice Protestant work ethic, and because we're rugged individualists, if you're fat it's a personal failing. Society hasn't let you down, the system hasn't failed you, you're a glutton and you should feel bad.

    Is there any solution?

Well, I'd start with

1) Take it the fuck easier on the poor and lower middle class.

2) Prioritize nutrition over calories. Know who used to be in charge of school nutrition? The goddamn Department of Defense. Then Nixon kicked 'em out and Reagan categorized ketchup as a fruit.

3) Make healthcare a nonprofit industry again. Know what's stupid cheap? Diet, exercise and sleep. Know what's crazy expensive? The time of medical professionals. Know where you can't make any money? Diet, exercise and sleep. Know where your profit centers are? Prescription drugs.

Weight Watchers costs around $700 a month - including food. They get an extra $13 a week to tell you "atta boy! You're doing good!" Insulin costs around $500 a month. No food. Insurance pays for insulin, usually. It rarely pays for Weight Watchers. Can you imagine what our society looked like if we had, you know, nutrition?

The fundamental basis of this article is "we know how to make people healthier, but we don't give a shit." I think it's more than that. It's more than tradition. It's that in order to solve the problem, we have to break capitalism.

And nobody wants to break capitalism.

kleinbl00  ·  351 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 1,2018

OH FUCK MUTHERFUCKER NOW YOU'RE WINDING ME UP

Because beer fucking sucks right now.

You know it, you just don't want to admit it - beer is straight-up bullshit at the moment. Yeah, sure there's a million tiny shitty little breweries out there but they're all being bought up one by one by AB InBev or SAB Miller and they all make fucking IPA. You know what IPA is? It's the beer you make when you don't have the room to make beer - IPA requires no refrigeration to make. It's that shit you made in your dorm room when the RA wasn't watching. It's that swill that tastes the same whether it's turned or not because they sell it to you pre-turned. It's that shit you drink because hefeweizens are too heavy - you know, the beer that they've convinced you to put an orange slice in it so it doesn't taste quite so much like pruno.

Fortunately for the beer companies, your tiny shitty little IPA from bumblesquatch colorado can be sold for fuckin' $2.50 a bottle because it says you need a lumberbeard to drink it or some shit, as opposed to $1.25 a bottle for pilsners that you're shipping from Canada or Copenhagen (or brewing down the street, but as we all know your dad's macrobrews have been fucking terrible for decades, that's why we started down this road). Unfortunately for the beer companies, nobody wants to spend fucking $9 for a sixer of Fat Tire anymore and the alternative you're offering them is fucking Michelob Ultra Organic or some shit which tastes about the same as Zima without the sugar, assuming you remember what Zima is. Fortunately nobody remembers Zima or Bartles & Jaymes so let's try selling them "summer shandy" or "radler" because a wine cooler by any other name would taste as cloyingly sweet.

LOOK AT THIS PICTURE.

LOOK AT IT.

Bud. Light. Lime. STRAW ber RITA. "Try it over ice!" What. The Actual. Fuck. This is AB InBev throwing their hands in the goddamn air and saying "we never knew why they liked our swill in the first place, mix a Kool-Aid packet in there and see if they buy it." Meanwhile the beer that everyone drank forever is fucking gone, yo. When was the last time you saw an Anchor Steam? I mean, I live 150 miles from the brewery and I have a hard time finding Weinhard's.

I used to drink Kirin Light. Now I can't even find Kirin.

I used to drink Amstel Light. I haven't seen it at the market in three years.

I'm drinking Sam Adams Light - and that'll work - but it is literally the only drinkable light beer left at my supermarket. They generally have three cases of Sam Adams, two cases of Sam Adams Light, five cases of Heineken, two cases of Heineken light, and an entire aisle of various and sundry IPAs.

And those fucking "summer shandys."

You know what I drink down here in LA?

They've got me drinking Russian beer, yo. I live in goddamn America, home of the macrowbrew and because the industry is pushing trasherita premix I'm drinkin' shit that's been shipped from SAINT FUCKING PETERSBERG.

Let's drive a stake through the heart of the whole goddamn industry. I'm so completely fucking over the direction it's taken. Kill this bitch so we can bury it and move the fuck on.

kleinbl00  ·  407 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore: Telephone culture is disappearing.

'K. So. That was delicious.

The "disappearance" of "telephone culture" is a direct consequence of place and decorum in that telephones used to be for places. You had a home phone and an office phone and if you needed to be reached at the office you had a number. If you needed to be reached at home it was presumed it was someone who knew you personally, wanted to know you personally, or had something important to communicate.

A phone was not an obligation - a phone was a tool for communicating within certain settings. And because phones were controlled by large monopolies with ridiculous build cost and tremendous vertical integration it was exceedingly difficult to sidestep the decorum associated with calling a phone number. And if you didn't connect, you didn't connect. If it was important, you'd call back.

Answering machines, which are older than Alexis Madrigal, allowed people to leave messages. This allowed people to screen calls, which has been happening since before Alexis Madrigal was born. Where things got messed up for the phone company, however, was when they went digital.

Because they couldn't do it all at once. Your digital system had to be backwards-compatible with your analog system, and your analog system had to be backwards-compatible with the first phone systems installed back in nineteen diggity-two. Which meant, effectively, that the controls on digital technology were adequate for nineteen diggity-two.

The same technology that allowed the phone company to give you voicemail allow VoIP pirates to phonebank the shit out of everyone from a call center in Bangalore. Once it's become data you can do anything with it. The original PCS transport protocol is literally 10BaseT. You're on a computer now, bubba.

So they made them smaller and they put one in everyone's pocket and phones were no longer about place. I fought them for years using this very argument: "I am not a place. If you need to reach me, you can reach me AT home. You can reach me AT work." For a while cell phones were things you called in an emergency because they were expensive. Texts, despite being free sideband metadata, were equally expensive. And then things were deregulated such that texts were free and calling was cheap and suddenly

you

could not

escape.

And that's the thing Madrigal doesn't get (because he's a fucktard). "Telephone culture" has vanished because there's no goddamn freedom from it. There's no longer any unreachability because the number everyone has (and it's on Facebook and it's everywhere and VoIP is so cheap that you can literally dial every number sequentially) is in your back pocket. Which means if someone is calling you, they're fuckin' interrupting you. You can't get away from that thing.

So yeah. People text first because it's polite and asymmetrical. If you're the kind of person who responds to texts too quickly, people email you. You likely chat with your friends on the phone, but rarely... but when you do, it's important.

I work freelance. We're hired on the phone. Random-ass number calls you, you pick up because it is likely a producer who got your name from a friend or coworker and they don't want to waste time. They want to take your pulse and answer any questions. I once almost got fired off a job because I cracked a joke (wish I had in retrospect). Voice communication is more important now, not less.

My wife delivers babies. She's got a client portal in her EHR. She answers texts from patients all the time. But every single one of them - ALL OF THEM - call when it's time for the baby.

That most reclusive of species, the early-20s woman, who never talks to anyone on the phone anymore, CALLS my wife in the middle of the night to say the baby is coming.

Telephone culture isn't dead. It's just been elevated. And if you don't get that, you deserve to get hung up on.

kleinbl00  ·  428 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas: At least 8 killed, sheriff says - CNN

"Hey, live feed. Active shooter in Texas."

"Where?"

"Santa Fe."

"Isn't that outside Dallas?"

"I dunno."

"Just another example of the government not doing their job."

And then we called attendance.

________________________________________________________________

When I went to college 20 years ago, there were signs up about what to do in the event of a fire. This time? There is no room, hallway or bathroom without an 11x17 placard telling me what to do in case some fucking nutbag with an AR-15 decides to kill me.

We keep hearing "it'll never happen here" and statistically they're right but fuckin' hell, a buddy's daughter lost a friend in a school shooting so statistics or no, that is FAR too few degrees of separation between a statistical fluke and me and my loved ones. You know what I grew up with? I grew up with a constant back-of-the-mind fear that the Russians would get itchy and we'd end up as mohawk-wearing dogfood eaters on the edge of the Great Nuclear Desert.

Forty years. Strangelove, Failsafe, Wargames, Day After, Threads, Road Warrior, the Russians would eventually blow us up. It left an indelible mark on culture and fuckin' hell if the 'boomers didn't wallow in that shit like it was sausage gravy. If you were a kid? You just knew that between AIDS and Andropov there was no fuckin' point in planning for the future.

"I've always felt like eventually it was going to happen here too."

By the time I graduated high school most of the fallout shelter signs had come down because it had just been accepted that there was fuckall that could be done. It feels like we're getting there with school shootings. But while the 'boomers made sure the whole fucking culture understood that death was coming from Ivan the Terrible, everyone is fucking ignoring the fact that we've raised an entire generation to expect one of their classmates to turn an assault rifle on them sometime.

Friend visiting from Fresno. She's talking about the junior soccer league there. Apparently there was a barbecue and one parent got into a fight with another parent and pulled a gun on him. AT A BARBECUE. Which meant there had to be a meeting. About whether concealed carry was okay at soccer league functions. One faction argued - in all seriousness - "that it just isn't a party until the guns come out." And we have to humor that. Because that's the culture. But if anybody said "it just isn't a party until the tits come out" it'd be national fucking news and someone would be required counseling before they were allowed to work in an occupation around children ever again.

I'd rather my kid be around tits.

When I was in high school I had ready access to weapons. Went plinkin' multiple times a week sometimes. Friends of mine got in an armed standoff because someone made someone else mad. Nobody died. I used to fantasize about walking into a classroom with an AR-15 loaded with blanks to shoot at the ceiling. Never did. (1) I knew there would be dire consequences (2) I cared.

I think the caring part has decreased. When the Russians were going to kill us all, it was about fearing a natural disaster, basically. Nothing we could do. Active shooter shit? If you're at the end of your goddamn rope, and you have no real concept of mortality because you're seven-fucking-teen years old, the choice between popper and poppee is a moral one. And in these here United States, you aren't allowed to say "If you have a fatalistic attraction to tools designed to kill multiple people at once and minimal affinity for socialization and thriving, you are sick and we need to help you." Because if you love guns, you're a True American and if you think there should be not just access controls but oh, I dunno, maybe a concerted effort to disrupt a culture that values the tools of military aggression in the hands of civilian sportsmen... well, you don't understand, you're wrong, and I'm a responsible gun owner why are you punishing me?

It was just as easy to get guns 20 years ago as it is now. By any measure, the murder rate has gone down while the gun ownership rate has gone up. You are much less likely to die by gunfire now than you were then.

But back then, you were a lot less likely to die out of the goddamn blue, for no goddamn reason, by gunfire.

The NRA aren't terrorists. Gun owners aren't terrorists. Gun rights advocates aren't terrorists. But every mass shooter is a terrorist and our country has a hobby that is the proximate cause of terrorism.

Most people will never face a mass shooting. But every school student in America has to prepare for them as if they are, and they have to face the reality that we'd rather they memorize "run, hide, fight" instead of "stop, drop & roll" because a splinter fraction of the populace is concerned that if they give an inch, we'll take a mile and the next thing they know they'll be in fucking FEMA camps.

She was Serbian. She'd lost two houses in the war. Her neighbors had firebombed her house in the country and burned it to the ground. Then NATO had bombed her city and leveled her condo. I asked her which was worse. "The country," she said. "Carpet bombing you don't have to take personally."

The entire country arranged its culture around eventual, impersonal armageddon at the hands of unseen Soviet aggressors. Yet that same generation is perfectly okay with kids wondering which one of their classmates might shoot them in the face some day.

When the Run-Fight-Hide generation is tasked with taking care of the Duck'n'Cover generation, I wonder what they'll do.

I wonder if despite all their triumphs, they'll end up eating alpo on the edge of the desert.

And it takes every inch of my generosity to not wish for it earnestly.

kleinbl00  ·  433 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Paralyzed.

I'll totally pretend to give you answers.

    What is killing me this time - compared to all the other challenges I faced in life - is that this one; first, is not in my hand and I am simply sitting there and suffering, and second, it affects more than just myself.

know the difference between FEELING helpless and BEING helpless.

So okay. You went on a trip and met a girl and felt titillated and infatuated for the first time in a while. Happens to literally every person in a long-term relationship. I flirt recklessly. My wife knows I do. She also knows I come home to her because a lot of it is situational. Infatuation is exploring the possibilities. Love is cherishing the realities. You may not be in love with Sarah but she's also not surprising you much anymore. Novelty is a hell of a drug.

And okay. Sarah accepted that she cares more about you than you care about her, and you, for some dumb goddamn reason, decided to keep her around as a fuckbuddy until AUGUST or some shit.

This is the only thing I'm going to give you a ration of shit for. You're in a shitty place. It sucks. I'm sorry. I'ma give you some pathways I promise but for a minute, sit there and feel bad for this. Because it's a shitty thing to do to another human being. "I don't feel that we have a future together but... let's keep rubbing our genitals together for another four months because we have nothing better to do." It's one thing if you're both at "eh" in the relationship but if you're already acknowledging that she's way more into you than you are into her, keeping her on the leash is fuckin' cruel, dude. And it's going to cause things to cascade one of three ways:

(1) She's going to muster up her self-esteem and drop you like a hot rock because who the fuck are you to string her along like that after you've both acknowledged that she's got feelings you can't reciprocate.

(2) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking HONESTLY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to win a guy in 120 days. And, as a bonus, she gets to bump uglies.

(3) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to land your man in one easy step. And, as a bonus, you already had a pregnancy scare 5 weeks ago.

If I understand correctly, you have not been present at any doctor's appointments. You have her word that she's pregnant. If you believe her, that's plenty evidence enough. If you don't believe her, she wouldn't be the first person to fake a pregnancy in order to push a guy into marriage. It's happened to three of my friends, in fact. But don't focus on that. In the end it doesn't matter. Those three pathways are independent of pregnancy, real or feigned; the pregnancy is a complication but it does not affect the fundamental core of your relationship with Sarah.

Your relationship with your father is coloring your current situation way too much. Makes sense. Entirely natural. By all means analyze it, reflect on it, react to it, but then set it aside because the relationship that matters now is between you, your potential child, and the mother of that potential child. That's where a lot of the helplessness is coming from: you had no power over your father yet he still holds power over you. You have no power over this child yet this child holds power over you. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer.

Your current reaction to Sarah has a lot to do with the fact that you thought you killed all responsibility to the relationship yet still managed to reap the benefits. Yet here she is, drowning you in responsibility and threatening to cut you off entirely from any benefits. She's making it clear that you are unnecessary to her future plans, much like you made it clear that she was unnecessary to yours. What was the word? "Paralyzed." All right. You're frozen. You can't move, you can't breathe, and you're freaking out. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer.

NOW

You're all about abortion which leads me to believe that divorce doesn't offend your religious sensibilities. You're freaking out about your family's reaction to a kid out of wedlock. And you're fixated on this child's future alienation because you're going to have no input into their life. Yet the obvious solution - marry the girl - has been ruled out, out of hand, with no discussion whatsoever. Why is that?

Marry the girl. Now you've got a say in the kid's upbringing. Commit to not being a stranger. Get to know her family and friends. Commit to three more years in Germany, three more years of trying to see what kind of life you can build with Sarah. It's the first two years of a child's life that govern so much of their future and having two parents that love them under one roof where they feel safe and loved makes all the difference in the world.

If you're not into it within three years, part amicably. Support your child. Be a part of their life. Be anchored in her family. Be a relative that doesn't vanish. Be a father. You can be travel dad no problem. After you've front-loaded the commitment it'll be nearly impossible to shrug you off, particularly if you comport yourself like a gentleman. And fuckin' hell, you may discover that having something in common with Sarah, who is about to give over her body and time for the next two years to the life and well-being of your firstborn, makes her someone you can love more.

You might be surprised what happens when you extend the girl some trust and empathy. You might find she warms up into more of a person you want her to be. And, you might discover that she miscarries and you didn't have to blow up your life. Maybe you go through with the wedding, maybe you drop her like a hot rock and learn to never again string along a girl who likes you more than you like her.

Either way, your best move is to commit to a wedding and let it play out for better or worse. All the bullshit above aside, saying I'm going to do this means you're DOING something which breaks you free from paralysis. You're making a move, you're making a decision, you're acting towards your own future, and you're forcing the probability cascade to break down in your favor.

- You propose to the girl. She turns you down. You say you want to help. She turns you down. You try to be in the kid's life. She turns you down. You've done all you can, your father can't resent you completely, and the door is open to be a part later.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. You get married, have a kid, stick it out as long as you can, and end up being Foreign Dad. By then you're more settled financially, you have a better idea what your future holds and you've influenced your child's future in an immeasurably positive way.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You walk away unscathed.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You find your feelings towards Sarah have changed. To be continued, for better or worse.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. You have a family and live happily ever after.

Either way, when you've decided you no longer care for someone as much as they care for you, stop fucking them for both your sakes.

kleinbl00  ·  444 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 2, 2018

There's a girl in The Horrible Art Class. We'll call her Rebecca. In the first of four "allow me to memorize your names" segments The Horrible Teacher said "Rabak? Rebech? Arbitch?" at which point Rebecca, blushing, said "Rebecca. My first name doesn't fit on the attendance records for some reason." She was embarrassed by this.

Rebecca's hair is too long and her clothes are frumpy. But her eyes are alive under too much makeup. She's one of the Annoyed Ones in That Horrible Art Class; or, at least she's one of the ones who jets as quickly as she can.

Monday she was wearing a too-large sweatshirt. It said "In Case of (mid-life) Emergency Dial (Porsche) 9-1-1" and had a crude representation of a red RUF turbo on it. I asked her "So who saddled you with the shirt? Who has the disease?" and she said "My dad had a 911" and I plowed straight through "I just got one they're great everyone should have one" without touching on "what happened to it" "what happened to your dad" "why are you wearing your dad's sweatshirt." But you can see it. Whatever the circumstances there's a good possibility she's going through life minus a parent.

I just want to tell her she looks nice. I want to tell her to be brave enough to cut her hair, to stop hiding. I want to make everything be all right. I think when you're a teenager you're too busy being consumed by your own fragility to notice that you're all standing around like scared deer waiting for the tigers to come.

I've surrounded myself with children in the virtual world for fifteen years now. When surrounded by real ones my instincts are the same. Protect, inform, advise. I think I've realized that my overwhelmingly paternal instincts are an overreaction to my fundamentally feral upbringing.

My wife got back from a conference a couple weeks ago. They were talking about ACE scores and how many in the midwifery community tend to score higher than baseline. My wife and her new employee remarked that they were "zero" and "one" respectively but the argument was that if you have a non-zero score and your patient has a non-zero score your relationship has a cumulative score and in a traumatic birth your interactions are going to be a product of the cumulative, not the individuals. Curious, I took the test and scored a six.

It bugs the shit out of me that my altruism is motivated by the shadow effects of 30-year-old bullshit. It's disempowering. It makes it feel fake. It means I became Reddit's Father Confessor not because I wanted to do good but because I was flailing to fill the hole dug there decades earlier.

Now all I can notice is how stinky teenagers are. I wonder if they always were and now I sound like David Fucking Brooks.

kleinbl00  ·  449 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Judging A Book By Its Sobriety

Writing is fun. Being a writer is bullshit. This dichotomy is one of the things writers don't talk about, don't write books about, don't tell students about.

Somewhere on here there's an article about the dirty little secret that every writer you've ever read had/has a spouse or a parent that allows them to eat so they can spend fuckin' forever grinding away at that magnum opus that nobody gives a shit about. If you're a "writer", odds are good you're also wasting your time from an economics standpoint. Stephen King will tell you that Tabby basically underwrote his career through Carrie. Anne LaMott will mention in passing that her dad's agent read eight of her books and oh by the way she's divorced from the guy who put food on the table while she did it. It's the dirty little secret: the people who don't have a benefactor are competing with the people who do but nobody mentions the benefactors. The two successful screenwriters I came up with were both in a position where they could live in $3k/mo apartments for two fucking years without having to earn a penny so they could sit there and write. Must be nice.

The other dichotomy is nobody gets into writing because they want to perform in front of an audience. Nobody sits down to write a book so they can carry it around under their figurative or literal arm to dozens of trained professionals all intent on saying no. Nobody sets out to prove themselves over and over and over again only to be sent a "not for us - sent from my iPad" email on Thanksgiving evening (true story). But once you get accepted by an agent you're a god. But once you get rejected by a publisher you're scum. But once you get published you're a god. But once the book gets panned you're scum.

And it's all so goddamned capricious.

If you ever want to see into the soul of any performer, ask them what work they're most proud of. It won't be one you've heard of. It'll be that thing they believed in, that they put their heart and soul into, that the marketplace crushed. And maybe they'll have rationalized why it got crushed, and maybe they won't, but it's still the central fable of their lives, be it written or a work-in-progress. It's the thing that allows them to make peace with the capriciousness.

Some people don't make peace with the capriciousness.

Hemingway was absolutely at the top of his game. Pithy mutherfucker. "There's nothing to writing. You just sit at the typewriter and bleed." Said the guy who tried on 47 endings and 18 titles for Farewell to Arms. David Foster Wallace? The closer he got to death, the more personal his writing became, the less interested his audience was in what he had to say.

The stories I write for me? Nobody wants to read them. The stories I shit out because someone throws a buck at me? ZOMGBUSINESS. That'll fuck with a mind: You're auditioning for genius but for some reason what they love the most is derivative crap. You'll notice nobody ever calls Danielle Steel or Dan Brown tortured geniuses. You may not think Amy Winehouse would have been different 20 years sober, but you don't care if David Lee Roth is different 20 years sober. Amy Winehouse was "serious." Diamond Dave is not.

So if you're a serious artiste you're left grappling with the cognitive dissonance that if you get paid you're a sell-out but if you don't get paid you starve (unless you're one of the lucky dilettantes we don't talk about but we all know and us serious artistes all know they aren't serious anyway, just lucky). And if you're a serious artiste you know that validation is nothing but validation is everything but validation is illogical but if it matters it MUST be logical and somehow

if you let yourself go

and turn off for a while

and give it to the bottle, give it to the powder, give it to the needle, give it to whatever

it doesn't

matter

so much.

Writers, as a species, are sensitive. Writers, as a species, are introverts. Writers, as a profession, must have nerves of steel and an endless appetite for rejection and writers, as a profession, are chronically, criminally underpaid and undervalued. And if that writer has a tendency towards dependency, that dependency is what allows them to power through that cognitive dissonance. It's the thing that allows them to write for an audience.

Would Amy Winehouse's material be different if she were sober? Who knows. King's certainly is.

Inebriation allows writers to plow through the bullshit of being writers. Lots of writers can do it without substance abuse. Some can't. For those who can't, the proximate cause of their substance abuse is the bullshit of being a writer, and the bullshit of being a writer definitely colors their writing (lookin' at you, Charlie Kaufman).

    who wants to be a great writer if you are only a great writer when you're fucked up? what an awful fucking curse you know?

Said every writing drunk in the history of writing, ever.

And then they poured another shot.

kleinbl00  ·  458 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 18, 2018

Something I didn't say last time about that one app that I should have:

You're an exceptionally talented, exceptionally interesting young man. But you reveal nothing about yourself until you've been directly questioned. Then you're cautiously enthusiastic about the stuff you're, like, really good at.

You know what's sexy as all hell? Enthusiasm. The unbridled confidence to not just believe but to know that the stuff you think is cool IS cool and that anybody would be delighted to get a glimpse into this awesome world you live in. Passion and enthusiasm is what makes things interesting; being the vessel of that passion and enthusiasm is what makes you interesting.

You're a great communicator. Every interaction you have with a girl should take the form of "you're going to think this is cool because X." If you can make someone feel the awesome you do they will view you as awesome through simple transference.

kleinbl00  ·  492 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dos Equis erases The Most Interesting Man from its history

Keep in mind: for all intents and purposes, once you hit 25 you've chosen every brand you'll ever choose. This is one reason why advertising focuses heavily on teenagers and young adults; it's easier to hack a presidential election than it is to get your mom to switch dish detergent. Macrobrews are kinda fucked in this regard because those goddamn whippersnappers tend to buy a sixer of something expensive and semi-local, but only every now and then: my roommate will buy six Blue Moons about three times a year while my dad will buy a half-rack of Coors Light once or twice a week. So they're marketing to a rarified stratum: people under 25 who are deciding on "their regular beer" that they can get most places. The Most Interesting Man came out in 2006 so everybody they could (legally) influence back then is between the ages of 35 and 40. Time to do something new because they know that even if they kill off The Most Interesting Man, you aren't going to switch to Corona at this late date. You started drinking Dos Equis to set yourself apart from those choads.

The owners of the macro brews give no fucks, of course. 70% of beer sales in the US are controlled by one fucking company.

kleinbl00  ·  528 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 7, 2018

I know. And that's why I refuse to humor you.

The difference between being glum about a physiological limitation or not being glum about a physiological limitation is glumness. Worse, the worse your attitude the worse your hormonal and chemical balance. The more you act like a little bitch, the longer you will be a little bitch, the harder it will be to not be a little bitch... physiologically.

Toughen the fuck up. Not because I think less of you but because your strongest ally in this is yourself and you sell yourself short at the drop of a hat.

kleinbl00  ·  528 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 7, 2018

I had an epiphany maybe three, maybe for years ago. I was running, as always. Up the dune, as always. A mile into my 3-4 mile run, as always, same as it ever was, as I have been doing since 1988.

This dude smoked me. Trotted right on by like I was standing still. Made me feel like shit. Then I thought about it and realized that I was old enough to be his dad. I'd been running longer than he'd been alive.

I was faster when I was younger. But I'm still going. I'm doing pretty goddamn well, thankyouverymuch, and all the shit that holds me back isn't bad enough to hold me back much. I'm healthier than my parents were at my age; I'm healthier than my grandparents were at my age, I'm healthier than my friends at my age.

I'll take it. In the end, we're only competing with ourselves, and we only get to win until we lose. I'll take every win I can get.

kleinbl00  ·  589 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Liberals Need to Take Their Fingers Out of Their Ears

It struck me as wanting to be salty, and wanting to yell at someone else about the problems.

both the Democrats and the Republicans have been lying to the poor for decades, but the Democrats kinda sorta feel bad about it. it's that ambivalence that has left them crushed and despondent.

IT'S FUCKING STUPID. There are so many more poor people in the United States than rich people, so if they want power fuckin' rally behind the fuckn' poor people. I'm almost willing to give them a bye over the fact that it used to be hard to scare up individual donors and if you're looking for whales you're looking for the rich by definition but fuckin' Bernie Sanders.

The Democrats should have been just as gobsmacked by Bernie Sanders as the Republicans were by Trump but instead of going "oh shit we have lost our base" they went "it's Hillary's turn damn the torpedoes full speed ahead" and here we were, living in fear of Twitter.

kleinbl00  ·  605 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 22, 2017

    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.

This is insightful. I've experienced it. I have not put my finger on it before but you have the most of it.

I work with a couple die hard conservatives. They are lonely people in Hollywood; there's a contingent to be sure and they're insular as fuck but the overwhelming majority of Hollywood liberals are in fact liberals.

One of the things I've noticed in discussions with them (careful, respectful, well-bounded discussions) is that the conversation is not built around ideas. It's built around factoids. It's built around totems. It's built around memes.

These ideas are not, in and of themselves, coherent components of a greater philosophy. They are not arguments. They are touchstones. They are bookmarks in an internet search of alienation, secret handshakes of cultural identity.

A funny thing happened when Trump won: they got cranky. Keep in mind: I know people who worked with Trump. a lot. Had I gotten here a few years earlier I totally would have been crew on The Apprentice. He's a known quantity around here and yeah - it's a right-wing conservative orgazmotron. But at the same time, with Republicans owning the house, the senate, the executive and the judicial, the world should be perfect, right? But they knew - they knew - it'd be a long way from perfect. Theirs is a philosophy of opposition, particularly here in liberal Hollywood, and it wasn't so much that they were right, it's that everyone else was wrong.

HERE's MY THINKING

We don't drag him along, we live our lives and do the right thing. We don't assail his ideas hoping that eventually something sticks. It's an oppositional mentality and so long as he wants to oppose, it really doesn't matter what he's opposing. They're a tribe that want everyone else to lose. They don't really know what that looks like, but they want it really badly.

This is the way cognitive dissonance works: it starts by feeling uncomfortable so you ignore the sources that assail your worldview. Then it pushes you into an insular place because you're retreating from information. Then you lose sight of reality because you're working so hard to keep up your microcosm. Then one day it snaps - and it snaps hard. And now you're a disillusioned searcher.

Trump and the modern conservative universe is about the purest form of cognitive dissonance challenge you could ask for. He's not a conservative by any stretch. He's leading the party towards the reductio ad absurdum place the liberals always joked about - Trump literally defended Nazis. And they have nothing to build on, and their efforts to tear down are failing.

There's going to be a reckoning. There's going to be soul-searching. And we'll need to welcome them back.

but not yet, goddamn it

kleinbl00  ·  654 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 4, 2017

I've taken to referring to my time in Los Angeles for work as the time when I'm within the event horizon for the black hole. Communication in or out is tricky and time stretches to the point where your frame of reference is no longer valid.

This time last week I was in Los Angeles which appears to have boosted the Schwartzchild Radius.

My daughter is in an immunotherapy study. It's going to take years but there is a high likelihood that she'll be less allergic to peanuts on the other side. I phrased it to her as "how would you like to help other kids be less allergic to peanuts?" and she went all in, despite the fact that they had to make her back itch and draw her blood. Then her bloodwork came back with low immune response levels (probably because she had the sniffles) so she had to go in again. She likes the "magic cream that makes her arm tingle" but still, she's four and has had her blood drawn twice in two weeks with no complaints. The administrator told us that they really hope they can get her in because while they can't tell me her peanut IGGs, her regular IGGs are the highest in the entire study. Go kid. Glad you're more allergic than anyone else they've ever seen. not.

Had lunch with my buddy. Told him I'd done reasonably well in cryptocurrency, told him that if I couldn't use it for shit like chemotherapy copays what the fuck can I use it for, told him that the point you stop being able to be proud and refuse charity is well before the point where your relatives put out a GoFundMe for you and cut him a check for a thousand dollars. He cried and said it was really valuable to him to have long-term friends around (we've known each other since we were 4) so I punched him in the face and told him to stop being such a pussy. We now have a regular lunch date for as long as I'm in town.

Saw Front 242 and Severed Heads in Los Angeles. mk did not because he is lame. We got wasted - 60ccs of bone marrow aspiration be damned, I drank like four doubles of well bourbon and blasted my fucking mind out with EBM. The last time I saw Front 242 I ran lights for them and everyone was 20 years younger. The local alt-rag made fun of Front 242 back then for being totally into their music and dancing around like "a bunch of boojie boys" well past their primes because alt-rags are always bullshit. And here it is 20 years later and there's Jean-luc DeMeyer, 60 fuckin' years old, black leather jacket, sunglasses at night, rockin' it like it was '85. And the audience was not nearly as gothy as it would have been in Seattle - i mean, there was a guy in a hawaiian shirt and a fanny pack. And fuckin'A I was wearing goddamn cargo shorts so who the fuck am I to say anything.

one of my buddies is insecure. I told him to be more like Jean-Luc De Meyer - rock the sunglasses at night. That mutherfucker has known exactly who he is for 40 flippin' years and nobody remembers that bullshit alt-rag review but me while he's still sitting there headlining sold-out houses ten thousand miles from home. And then I got home and dropped my kid off at school wearing fuckin' house slippers and the same goddamn cargo shorts and realized that everyone else was all dressed for work'n'shit and I realized I have no fucks to give.

A friend turned me onto a Boeing gig doing tedious webcast shit. Sure, why not. So you talk to the recruiter. She wants a "resume." Oh, right. Out here in the world they still care about that shit. Fine, here's a thing I did in Pages like three years ago which I refuse to install on my computer to fix the address and email so here's a PDF with some wrong info because I can't be sussed. Then they want an "interview." Oh, right. Out here in the world they still care about that shit. Fine, okay, I'll pick up the phone, yeah, your rate is half what I make but so long as you give me enough work to not fuck up my unemployment checks until I get to my real job I'll take your money. What's that? You want me to fill out a profile on your website so that other recruiters can reach me? I mean, Okay...

At some point in the not-too-distant past I gave OftenBen a ration of shit about millennials because everybody harshes on the next crew but Millennials are the first posse that thinks it's okay to show up to an interview in flip-flops or some shit. It's a trope that's been in Forbes, Huffington Post, Time, whatever. Ben, I owe you and the rest of your generation an apology. Flip flops are what you wear to interviews you don't give a fuck about. The fact that you don't give a fuck about the interview doesn't say anything about you, it says a lot about the job being interviewed for. It says a lot about your regard for the culture that wants you to jump for their bullshit hoops.

I'm about to be 43 fuckin' years old and I have successfully opted out of that culture. My contempt is cushioned by disinterest and success; I can easily see it coming from a position of despair and resignation. Hipsters? Hipsters are the kids that aren't putting up with your bullshit and still feel kind of okay about themselves. A fully enlightened millennial generation will be a sea of vinyl-listening, avocado-toast-eating, flip-flop-wearing hipsters.

I've been to four watch-making classes. I'm learning not a lot and having the time of my goddamned life. The watchmaker at Vacheron Constantin recommended a book that is hard to find and very expensive. Turns out one of the instructors at the class scanned that fucker to PDF but never read it. It's DOPE. Did you know that there are really only five gears in a watch necessary to tell time? Did you know they're really fuckin' fun to take apart? Did you know that ten years building scale models, 20 years working with surface-mount electronics and 30 years tuning carburetors and otherwise performing fine work on motor vehicles gives you orders of magnitude more manual dexterity and fine motorwork than your peers? I didn't. I do now. I'm fuckin' good at this shit.

That's a pallet fork. It's about 4mm wide. Turns out that 10x macro lens that clips onto your phone that you got in your stocking can be really goddamn useful. So yeah. Took apart a pocketwatch and got it back together again in the amount of time it took everyone else to take it apart. LOVING IT. With a semi-decent CNC machine I could build these things from scratch all goddamn day long and be a pig in shit. I would be utterly and completely divorced from this bullshit "show the recruiter where on your resume the bad career touched you" society and walk around in my goddamn cargo shorts and house slippers all day because I don't have a boss to care.

Finally, my car is dying. It needed $1500 worth of work six months ago and still does. Then I gave a buddy a thousand dollars so he wouldn't fucking die and figured maybe, as a 43-year-old man, I deserve to drive something that doesn't smoke when it warms up and doesn't have gorilla tape keeping the headliner out of my hair.

So I'm negotiating on a Porsche 911 carrera cabriolet because my inner douchebag clearly wants out. Even better, it's the shitty 996 water-cooled one that Porsche nerds love to hate because apparently every time you turn the key Ferry Porsche spins in his grave because it's water-cooled and made with Boxster parts and has headlights like fried eggs and and and. Here's what I know - if I can get a car? That sold for $80k? With 21k miles on it, new tires and $15k worth of service just done on it for less than the price of a Prius C? I'ma do it.

State farm wants $7 less per month to insure an '02 Carrera than they do to insure a '95 Dodge. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

mk, thenewgreen, I might be rippin' through San Fran at some point soon because taking a ragtop Porsche up the PCH in fall sounds like a pretty nice birthday present to myself.

__________________________________________________________________

wellthatwascathartic

kleinbl00  ·  657 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mapping’s Intelligent Agents: Autonomous Cars and Beyond

    What I'm apparently failing to explain is that I want more consideration, not less.

What you're explaining loud and clear is that you feel the people responsible for the truth on the ground are not giving it the proper consideration. When I called you out for arguing (as a grad student) that you knew better than the law, you doubled down:

    That's not my luminary genius insight but professor after professor after professor has taught me.

I took one (1) acoustics class. It was taught by the two acoustics Ph.Ds at UW. And we started the class with one of the profs explaining the measurement rig he had pointed out the window: see, the buses outside were loud, but it was spring and soon the trees would be covered in leaves and it would be much quieter. et voila. Acoustics.

We believed him - I mean, I was 22 and the actual math of the attenuation of a shit-ton of leaves is intensive. Nonetheless we never did end up comparing beginning and end. Once I started working in the field I relayed this story to my boss and she laughed uproariously and showed me the B&K chart listing attenuation on the x and "meters of forest in hundreds" on the y.

These are acoustical professors with Ph. Ds prestigious enough in their department to fund a boat that flips on its tail for sonar studies. And we learned all sorts of great stuff about nodal analysis, resonance, deep channels and the like which provided a fundamental basis for the practical knowledge that I then picked up in the field. Because "practical knowledge" wasn't their thing - they were busy rewriting the theory. And for environmental acoustics, the theory was laid out by a dude a hundred years dead.

We'll disregard my profs' erroneous assumptions about the way environmental acoustics work. We'll even disregard the fact that when they were busted, they shined it on as if it never happened. We'll focus instead on their attempts to broaden the body of knowledge that we all benefit from and thank them for it. We'll even spot them the assumption that if my boss were to walk into that room and give them a lesson on the acoustical isolation of leaves, they'd listen interestedly, ask intelligent questions and have a rigorous debate about the mathematics at play.

Because nobody comes out ahead when we assume everyone else is a fucking idiot.

FIIC. Field Impact Isolation Class. A two-digit number that takes two trained professionals two days and ten thousand dollars worth of equipment to arrive at. Lucrative, no? I mean, we couldn't roll one for less than $3k. Which means we didn't get to roll them nearly often enough. And we spent a day burning through the math in custom bullshit Excel spreadsheets that sucked and that wasn't any fun either. So when we were presented with an opportunity to test some composite floors so we could build up some better mass law models, my boss paid me to schlep concrete and sand up to the 4th floor of a condo for six weeks so we could do our own testing. Contribute our own models. Put in our own research.

I billed out at $150 an hour, dude, and she sank 240 hours into it.

So I'm glad you're "all worked up." You should be. You "want the underlying assumptions, biases and structural issues unearthed and discussed" which can only mean you think they aren't. You "want to know in which context they work and in which context they don't" as if you think people don't fight over this shit every goddamn day. And I've been trying to say this a dozen different ways and you aren't hearing it, probably because it's offensive, and because it assails your worldview:

The experts in the field know more than the people they measure.

That's it. That's my beef. That's my fundamental observation, that in any esoteric body of knowledge, the practitioners of that knowledge know more about that knowledge than the people who encounter that knowledge glancingly. No matter how broad your evaluation of mapping and GIS, it will never be as focused as the mid-level bureaucrat in some forgotten town who has jurisdiction over where roads go in his township.

The argument put forth in your essay is that the experts are fucking idiots. When I tried to find something about objective vs. relational you came back with "no, it's that the experts are fucking idiots." When I came back with "you know, the experts I've worked with seem to know their shit" you came back with "they don't know it nearly enough because research." So yeah. I'm fucking offended. Your argument hinges on the idea that the practitioners of a science are incurious about the theory of the science, which is the argument people always make, so often that you actually whipped out

    So you sound to me like yet another arrogant engineer who thinks their numbers are always a good enough substitute for the truth.

Dude.

DUDE.

The "arrogant" engineers are the ones that know they know more than you and are sick of having to explain it. They're the ones whose knowledge is called into question because somebody just did a study somewhere. They're the ones being forced to (temporarily) rewrite their entire code of behavior because some expert somewhere in another unrelated field has better PR.

These are Assistive Listening Devices. They cost about $300 each, plus about $1000 for the transmitter. And thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you have an auditorium that holds more than a hundred people you have to have enough of them for five percent of the audience. That means if you have a school somewhere with a gym that seats 300 people, $5500 is going to be spent on shitty FM radios that nobody ever listens to... rather than band instruments, rather than gym equipment, rather than art supplies.

This happened because a well-meaning audiologist argued back in the mid-80s that deaf people were being left out of public events because they couldn't hear, and a lot of them couldn't afford hearing aids, so clearly any public building should be forced to pay to bring them in so that they would be "handicapped-accessible." And none of them ever get used - you wanna stick someone else's grody earthing in your ear? - but they're mandated by law and building inspectors across the US have to count the fuckers every time there's a permit issue. Millions of these things, mouldering away in closets.

Repeat for in-class reinforcement, smartboards, etc. What usually happens next is some journalist gets a bug up their ass to investigate waste and comes after whatever the it-thing is and administrators are pilloried for wasting money on that thing that only has one study to back it but ALS has hung on for three decades because the ADA was written by the Pope, effectively, so here we are. But fundamentally? People who don't know telling people who do know bones it for everybody.

My argument, simply put, is it's dangerous and offensive to assume that the people doing the majority of the work are in the knowledge minority. And the fundamental argument put forth by this argument - and by you - is that if we have a number, and everybody agrees on it, it reflects calcified thinking and oppression of the populace.

    I don't want to paradigm shift my way to glory, I want people to stop and think about the values and methods they pick.

The only way you could want this is if you hold deeply the idea that "people" aren't already doing it.

And fuck right off with that shit.

There's a great Frontline that answers all your questions. Unfortunately it hasn't been digitized.

The problem with trading up the chain, simply put, is that law enforcement only knows what criminals tell them. They are not constructing parallel cases. They're not making the roads safer, they're filling their quota of speeding tickets.

Torture doesn't work for the same reason - if you tell me you'll stop pulling my toenails off if I tell you who gave me the IED, I'll stick with the pliers so long as my source scares me more than you. Which means all I need to do is give up someone who scares me less than you do - and there's no downside to iteratively throwing names out there.

Let's say I've got four buddies - Alex, Bob, Chuck, Dave and Elvis. You've got my phone and you know that I call all of them. You're going to throw me down the forever hole unless I give up my dealer, and you suspect it's Alex, Bob, Chuck, Dave or Elvis. I play cards with Alex. Bob occasionally buys weed from me. Chuck's a single dad who hits me up for money. Dave gets me work sometimes as a bricklayer and also loves to share his collection of child porn. Elvis works for the Zetas cartel.

I'm going to give them up in the following order:

1) Chuck because he's a drag on my bottom line

2) Alex because I lose money when I play him, even if it's usually fun

3) Bob, because I'll miss that income

4) Dave, because I'll really mis that income

Never) Elvis, because I don't want my entire family to end up beheaded on the side of the road outside Amarillo

Presume, for the sake of kindness, that the DEA can rule out Chuck and Alex immediately. They are obviously, visibly harmless. Bob? The DEA is going to squeeze Bob, who will give up his own list that also doesn't include Elvis. Each one of the people on his list will be squeezed until eventually someone is stupid enough to flip a supplier. That supplier is then going to play the exact same fucking game. Elvis is doing just fine, the DEA is chasing their tails, and low-level addicts are suddenly drug kingpins because they're all narcing on each other.

Let's add some financial incentive to the pot, shall we? Every single person who gets implicated is also subject to DEA seizure. That means they get to take anything that touches drugs. Did you drive a car with drugs in it? it belongs to the DEA. Did you ride in a friend's car with drugs in it? It belongs to the DEA. Store drugs in your house? It belongs to the DEA. Store drugs in your landlord's house? It belongs to the DEA.

Along with everything in it.

Let's take my buddy Dante. He was addicted to Meth. He got clean for the sake of his life, and for the sake of his son. And then his buddy, who helped him get clean, told him that he needed 2 kilos of coke to make it across town by 5 or the Zetas would kill him. So my buddy Dante got the keys out of a mailbox, got in the car and started it up.

The car? The DEA's. The drugs? The DEA's. Dante's buddy? Trading up the chain, giving up Dante rather than the guys the DEA wanted because Dante couldn't make him show up headless on the side of a freeway outside Amarillo. Dante, of course, had no one to give up so he was charged with trafficking and faced a ten year bid for a first offense. Lost his truck, lost all his musical equipment, is a felon forever.

Well yeah. Shouldn't have gotten in the car. No shit. But if you think policing, public order, the war on drugs or any civil good has been advanced by this travesty of criminal justice you're not only high, you're evil.

And that's what's wrong with it. Dante is real. The seizures are real. The dead on the side of the road outside of Amarillo is my sister's ex-boyfriend. And here's the DEA, getting low-level smurfs to snitch on each other for fun and profit while the Coast Guard siezes 225 tons of coke.