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Devac  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: When it's good to be bad

I have stopped reading right about here:

    And yet a new school of thinking is challenging these received ways and arguing that straying from the path, even engaging in hedonistic behaviour, might be the surest way to success.

so I will only conclude that author has learned some lesson. Better late than never. But since I know how the narrative in pieces like this goes, I went straight for the ending and got:

    That he ever thought he could achieve perfection, without setbacks, without respites, Franklin admitted, was his gravest error. He had been naïve. And prideful.

See? I was right. Good for him!

So, have some shit that I've learned from my father so far:

- In all likelihood you have only this one life, so try to be happy.

- Moderate yourself as much and long as you are comfortable (and I don't have to bail you out).

- Don't obsess over minor failings. Every problem is bigger that it really is on first glance. Look at it when you'll get over it.

- You probably don't know what you want.

- Don't be a dick. Or at least try to not be one and treat others as they deserve.

- Hard work or not, you are not entitled to anything in life. There's likely someone much better anyway.

- As with toilets, try to leave the place in at least the state you found it yourself.

- Fear is the mind-killer, but not everything requires higher mental faculties.

- You can strive for true perfection but you can never achieve it. It also applies to this list.

And I didn't even need to quote philosophers.

kleinbl00  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017x 2

a year in the life.

We had our first class in there last night. Coats were hung on coat hooks I had hung five minutes previously. The person running the class had my phone number for two days to coordinate everything she might need; instead she showed up half an hour after she said she would and expected I could make it all work. And I did. But it's galling - "Yeah, I've never been here before, or met you before, and the last time my organization stopped by the sheetrock had just gone up I'm sure you can make my three hours of powerpoint and Youtube videos work just fine, especially if I give you half an hour, despite the fact that I've been forewarned the internet is spotty I'm sure you can work it out."

And then my wife showed up and then I took the kid home and then she got home at eleven. I'm on my 3rd or 4th 10-11-12 hour day on this fucker. Monday night was two hours naked knee-deep in lukewarm water scraping blue protectant off a tub. Yesterday, on the other, was easier... but I discovered that the tub they were 3 weeks late in delivering (thereby setting us back 3 weeks) is a factory 2nd with a massive chip in it that will spread if I can't get it fixed. So that made me happy.

The difficulty is the minute that class got there, it was abundantly clear that I don't belong. Nobody in the birth community says "husband" because it's offensive. We're all "partners." And we're all "supportive" and we're all expected to get out of the way so they can focus on women's mysteries. Except during the birth where the philosophy is basically "thou art thy partner's bitch who is suffering more than you can ever know to bring about the miracle of life you're lucky we let you in the room worm now help your master breathe!"

So what I'm left with is I've spent like three years building a business in an industry actively hostile to my gender, that will never have anything to do with me, and which resents my participation. I am a fish building an airplane. It's a fuckin' P-51 Mustang to be sure but I still got gills, you know? The only thing I get out of it is gratitude from my wife, and despite spending the better part of two days cleaning and tidying and polishing that place I was denied any reaction from her last night because god forbid we speak too loudly to interrupt the class.

I realized yesterday that while I've been maintaining social media channels for two years and organizing ad campaigns and infographics and all the rest, I've never once mentioned the birth center on my own Facebook page.

This is really the only place I talk about it.

That probably says something.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Democrats, it's time to hunker down

if Andy Kaufman were a blogger

ThatFanficGuy  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

This last week has been overwhelmingly positive. I've come to terms with demons that are years old through coming to accept my limits, had nothing but desire to learn about and have fun with people, had a sober mind to help a friend go through a break-up with her girl friend (of which I'm particularly proud) and found some awesome music.

I've also survived chickenpox (which wasn't as bad as people think: just a flu) and had to come home - a place that used to loathe - for treatment, which may have given space to all of the great transformative experience I've had lately. It's the same city steve had so much fun exploring today/yesterday in the IRC, which fills me with joy. Dude, go ahead and drive around Tomsk and Novosibirsk, too! Let me know what you think! Tomsk is much calmer and more narrow than Kemerovo, with a lot of history on its streets, while Novosibirsk is bigger, more urban and modern (though the latter might be my own perception of it: I do love that city).

One of the biggest changes was in how I see other people. Some of you may know a friend used to have, Sveta; we've been friends for two years before breaking up badly: our flaws collided hard and I couldn't take it. This year, I wrote her a message saying how grateful I was for the time we had, given that I've never said it at the time. She responded with the same. Something clicked in my head: that maybe the person I've been demonizing all this while isn't evil at all and it was me who projected my problems onto her, which is what led us to all the trouble we've had. Suddenly, things became clear: she was no longer the demon - just a person trying her best to stay afloat in life, like the rest of us. Made me realize I still wanted to be friends with her because she treated me with kindness and care.

She said she wasn't sure she can let me into her life again - I was, after all, a major source of emotional pain in her life before. It's okay. What matters is that I've finally recognized my own feelings and expressed them openly; whether we become friends again, I'm just glad it happened to me and, hopefully, I was able to mend a couple of bricks of her bridge of life.

Which is another thing I came to realize: the past isn't merely gone - it builds a bridge that we walk on. Conflicts, when left unresolved, crumble and corrode the bricks of which it's built. We affect each others' bridges when we enter people's lives, and by leaving anger in their lives, we corrode the bricks. An apology, then, is mending another person's bridge - and, perhaps, your own; to mend another's bridge is an achievement, and if you are the source of the damage - a duty.

One of the biggest challenges lately has been losing weight. I took up this rather extreme meal plan to get rid of the belly. It was fun the first couple of days because of the challenge of not eating, and I also tried to do "cardio trim" alongside, but soon my strength, both of body and mind, deteriorated to the point where I could no longer sustain the exercise or have any will to do anything, in obvious contrast with the week prior. I guess the effect's supposed to be drastic, otherwise nothing would happen, but this is a lot; I took a day off it today, to figure out how to proceed. My motivation is that I can't wear my usual white shirt until I trim the fat - and, given how damn good I look in it, it's a strong motivator for me.

Moving to Tomsk tomorrow, partly for uni, mostly because I'm full with what this house has to give me.

And to finish with some awesome music...

Zvenit Yanvarskaya Viuga is a cover of a classic Soviet film soundtrack by the Italian pop-rock band Vanilla Sky. It hit the Italian charts a couple of years ago like a hurricane, and I'm so glad to finally find it myself, because it sounds awesome. There's a snippet of the original in the beginning of the clip.

Prisencolinensinaincuisol is a song from another Italian artist, Adriano Celentano. He may not be as known in the rest of Europe or in the US, but he was popular as an actor in Russia during my childhood. The song is a nonsense verse that means to imitate the sound of American English to an Italian ear; if you turn off your language recognition, you can hear something distinctly American there sometimes. The second video is the modern remix by Benny Benassi, featuring old Celentano in a background role.

I keep trying to put out a decent response but Portland is snowed in and the shop is busy. I'll be brief.

There are no triumphs in foreign policy and many dissatisfaction.

We still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and now have troops in a few new countries. The Arab spring made nothing better. Pivot to Asia doesn't seem to have even happened. Rapprochement with Russia, well...lolz. Israel is...a fucking mess, we really couldn't be getting along with them worse. Relations with Cuba is a nice thing but pretty underwhelming. There have been some improvements in relations with regional economic and governance groups around the world. He killed Osama!

Health care costs jumped more this year than they have in decades. Health care is supposed to be Obama's big thing. Personally I don't feel like the health care reform was done well, it might mostly be because I've paid more for less care every year since it's been passed and I lack any objectivity about all the good it's done. I'm paying significantly more for significantly less care as are most other people I know.

He 'saved the economy.' I think most presidents would have done about the same thing he did. Lots of people lost their homes but the 1% did pretty well as he bailed out the banks.

Some decent work on the environment and workers rights. Don't call it a legacy because much of it will be gutted in the next two years. Gays can openly serve in the military and LGBT rights have been advanced, that's cool but not really big impact stuff that wasn't coming down the pipes in the next decade Obama or not.

The main reason I think he should live in infamy. Government has become opaque and the citizens transparent. Bush got things started but the Obama administration really ran with it. Massive surveillance technology has been brought to bear against citizens while Freedom of Information requests are being denied at a record rate. NSL letters, prosecution of whistle blowers, Sneak and Peek warrants, suspicionless stops of American citizens at internal US checkpoints by the boarder patrol, prosecutions that are based on the fruit of knowledge obtained by technology's like stingrays where the defendant never gets to challenge the initial search or even know that it existed (who knows what else they are using). I could go on but this is a fair collection of the things his administration has been up to that trouble me.

The people get to see less and less of how the sausage is made while they have lost most of the protections that used to be assumed to be protected under the 4th amendment against getting ground up by government. I think that the relationship between government and the governed has been profoundly changed and there will be terrible consequences down the line when the new powers and protections available to government fall into the wrong hands. I think people we will look back and say that this was the time things really went off the tracks. Bush II was the inflection point in relationship and Obama was the guy who pushed things over the edge needlessly.

I could be getting crazy. I sound a lot like people I've known who were survailed and assailed by the FBI in the 60's. They sounded a little crazy to me until I heard some of the dirty tricks that the government put on them. There are people I love and respect who think I'm a little wacky but I still think that our society is in deep trouble and that Obama has done things that are undermining our basic constitutional protections and enhancing government power by degrading constitutional freedoms and the liberal democracy.

On an up note I just found out that a coffee shop three blocks from me is closing down. Huzzah! The opened after me and there is plenty of space to put a coffee shop without being that close to another one in this part of town. It was kind of a dick move. Their coffee wasn't as good as mine but they had some nice pastries that they made on site. I think what killed them was not being open 7 days a week and changing their hours too much. If they had been open seven days a week and had better brewing equipment they probably wouldn't have closed up shop. I don't know that I'll see a lot of business from them closing but I'll see a bit. They were very new Portland with natural wood edge counters and shiny and slick, my old building shop has a lot of character. I'm sure they played a lot of very comfortable music, I play all kinds of weird shit that is delightful if you don't want the standard Portland playlist. It's a lifestyle guig. I'm very old Portland... WTE, things might get better but they aren't going to change. I'd rather jump off a bridge than look at a natural edge counter all cut from the same tree for the rest of my days. Huzzah! Huzzah! I've outlasted the competition! I'm busier this winter than last! Huzzah! Seriously I just found out about this and want to crow but don't want to come off as a dick to my customers so this is my outlet.

I'm not joking and I don't think my views are dumb.

I'm comfortable with you not agreeing with me, you have your own belifes and values, doesn't make you right or me wrong to value and worry about different things.

Nice knee jerk, doesn't agree with me so it's dumb.

goobster  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 4, 2017

I read through the whole thread, and all of your responses, and I see one thing that has not been mentioned: Agency.

You had no agency in "cheeks" asking if the man with you was your dad.

You have no agency in the actions your brother is taking on your behalf.

Rest assured, Cheeks will lose his job. I have friends who are in both Management and Training at Goodwill, and one strike is enough to put you on the black list. They aren't hiring the cream of the crop at Goodwill. They are giving people an opportunity to pull themselves out of whatever hole they are in, by providing free job training, counseling, and other services people need to get back on their feet. So they have a very quick fuse. If you cause any sort of problem, you are out. There is always another person waiting behind you for the opportunity, and Goodwill needs to get people through the system and trained so they become productive employees, as opposed to unproductive trainees.

This man will now lose access to that opportunity permanently, because there was a claim made against him.

Goodwill will do the right thing and talk to your brother about the experience, and will do most of this verbally instead of in a written format, because it is a discovery process.

However all of these actions and activities are being taken on your behalf, because your brother has robbed you of your agency in this situation.

You chose to simply ignore Cheek's request. That was you taking the action you felt was appropriate to the situation.

I have no horse in this race, or have a position to defend in this situation. I'm just stating the facts in a way that might encourage you to take an active role - to regain your agency - in this situation.

I equate your brother taking action on your behalf as equally as demeaning to you as Cheeks' initial comment hitting on you. These are two men who have acted in their own interest, with you as the fulcrum.

Personally, I would not be happy in that place. I would feel used. That's my $0.02.

mk  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 21, 2016

Yesterday, I essentially put in my notice at a workplace I have been at for 15 years.

This next year ought to be a different one.

flac  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 7, 2016

So, thenewgreen commissioned a shirt from me, and I decided to make a Hubski-themed one. Still mid-process, needs buttons and hems.

Here is is head-on. Mostly black, subdued, but then...

BLAM color everywhere.

Collar down.

Cuffs closed.

placket.

Proud of how this one is shaping up, lots of nice details in it - goobster, there are honest-to-god pleats and plackets on this puppy, I'll upload detail pics later.

----

Also

Made my sister a dress for her birthday.

(There is a picture of me modeling it, but it's a bit early in the day for that...)

-----------

Relatedly, my mother, who is a saintly woman, saw me working on this shirt last night, and she literally pulled my father by his shirt to the machine and said "OUR SON CAN MAKE A PLEAT" like it was the most mindblowing thing she had ever seen. My dad has been, uh, not super pleased with my sewing in the past, so it was nice to at least get a "huh, pretty good" from him (even if it was kind of forced).

Bottom line: my mom is awesome.

WanderingEng  ·  41 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Coal is dead, because nobody wants to build coal-fired power plants.

The wind tech is way better than it was even ten years ago. The expiration of GE's patent on variable speed turbine generators opened the versatile technology up to everyone. These turbines can control voltage more dynamically.

Separately, the cost of power electronics have come down, so now some turbines use full converters to change the generator output to the power system frequency. These can eliminate gearboxes, too, and also control voltage.

In the US, FERC has made a number of rulings that forced wind plants to improve. FERC Order 661-A (pdf) required wind turbines have low voltage ride through, forcing them to remain online during system faults. 661-A also mandated a power factor range, relating back to the GE patent and full converter turbines with their ability to control voltage.

We're also able to push the power system harder than ever. Fifty years ago we still had manned substations. People would sit there and call the control center every so often to tell them what the analog meters showed. Today we scan every analog and digital point every few seconds. And every few minutes the entire system is simulated to see what would happen if a failure occurred. That lets the system accept more wind. The output is variable, of course. The system was easy when it was the same generators running all the time. The variable wind output means one day to the next could be drastically different. The tools allow us to be confident the system is still reliable.

There were a couple wind output records broken in the US a week or two ago. I think MISO topped 13,000 MW. For comparison, that's about double the maximum output of Grand Coulee.

To me, the issue is wind doesn't provide capacity like a gas, coal, nuclear or hydro plant does. I think MISO allows something like 16% of wind nameplate capacity to count as capacity to serve load. So you build a 100 MW wind farm, and you get 16 MW of capacity. Build a 100 MW gas combustion turbine and you get 100 MW of capacity. Load needs capacity to ensure all load can be served.

johnnyFive  ·  66 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: You Are Still Crying Wolf

I was with Scott's explanation until the Mexican immigrants statement. He had to twist himself into such contortions to explain why saying that Mexican immigrants coming into the U.S. illegally were rapists and murderers isn't a statement about Mexican people that the rest of it lost a lot of persuasiveness. I mean, he literally says that Trump saying that "Mexico isn't sending us their best" means that Trump thinks that Mexicans are some of the best people (completely ignoring what "their" means in this context). Talk about starting with your conclusion and then twisting the evidence to fit it. I also think that while it's not the same as actively supporting the KKK, if the KKK is supporting you then it's important to at least explore why.

But at the end of the day, I don't actually think Trump is truly a racist, and I think Scott totally and completely misreads who Trump is as a person.

The thing is, I almost wish Trump were a true racist. As the great Walter Sobchak said, "I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."

As the saying goes, hate is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is indifference. Trump doesn't hate Mexicans, black people, Jews, women, whomever. He simply does not give even a single fuck about any of them (or any of the rest us). As David Brooks wrote in early October:

    Imagine you are Trump. You are trying to bluff your way through a debate. You’re running for an office you’re completely unqualified for. You are chasing some glimmer of validation that recedes ever further from view.

    Your only rest comes when you are insulting somebody, when you are threatening to throw your opponent in jail, when you are looming over her menacingly like a mafioso thug on the precipice of a hit, when you are bellowing that she has “tremendous hate in her heart” when it is clear to everyone you are only projecting what is in your own.

    Trump’s emotional makeup means he can hit only a few notes: fury and aggression. In some ways, his debate performances look like primate dominance displays — filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.

Trump doesn't insult people because he feels anything about them, he insults people because he literally feels nothing. He didn't say the judge hearing the Trump University case is biased because he's Mexican because Trump actually believes this to be true, it was just the first insult that came to mind, and one that would get him attention.

I don't remember if I ever said it here, but the underlying feeling I kept getting through the campaign was that Trump wanted to be elected president, but that he doesn't want to be president. Sure, he has ideas (or gets them from other people), but they're not tethered to anything. That's why he keeps changing positions and why everything seems so schizoid. He doesn't seem to have the courage of his convictions because he has no convictions. He wanted the validation from the outside, because he's wholly incapable of finding contentment within himself. That's the same reason he's purging his inner circle with a priority on loyalty rather than ability; he has to be the center of adulation.

He can brag about groping women or be perfectly comfortable calling his daughter a "piece of ass" because he's never really had an emotional connection with anyone. He wants the approval of those immediately in front of him, so he takes a guess at how to do that and runs with it. He was okay calling his daughter that because he was on the Howard Stern show, and he thought that was the best way to get Stern (and his listeners) to like him. He was Mr. Right Wing Crazypants during the election, because that's how he got his supporters and campaign staff to like him. He got to speak to crowds of thousands who thought he was just the greatest. Why would he change? The more outside criticism hurt him (and I believe that it does), the more he would just shift his focus to those who were worshiping him while lashing out at the outside. The best way to feel like part of one group is to talk about how you're all under attack.

Notice how now that his "circle" has expanded, suddenly he's become more moderate? It's because he wants the rest of us to adore him too.

So I for one don't hate Trump, and am not angry at Trump for being who he is. I pity Trump. I can feel sorry for all those who will be hurt by his latest round of narcissism, and can only hope that our country and our world are strong enough to survive it (and I think they are). He's like the dog chasing cars, and now he's caught one.

Odder  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Has anyone read "Rationality: From AI to Zombies" by Eliezer Yudkowsky

I don't plan to. Yudkowsky isn't remotely qualified to write a book on rationality, and he knows nothing about philosophy, computer science or cognition. He's just a sci-fi nerd with delusions of grandeur and no formal training in anything, and I know that no serious philosopher, computer scientist, or psychologist takes his work very seriously.

I have a very negative view on both LessWrong and Slate Star Codex. LessWrong is Yudkowsky's blog, of course, and he would have done better if he had bothered to read some philosophy before trying to teach others philosophy, instead of just deciding that Bayes Theorem was the answer to everything. Slate Star Codex strikes me as more irrational and reactionary than rationalist, mistaking fear, paranoia, and lack of empathy for "cold, hard logic." I'd be concerned for anyone that took anything they read there too seriously, as it seems like a precursor to nasty places like theredpill subreddit.