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kleinbl00  ·  19 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Blueprint for Coffee in a Changing Climate

Okay. Look. I get it. Save the earth one cup at a time. Do right by your supply chain. Get the girl, kill the baddies and save the entire planet. And hooray for having your heart in the right place and sure - this is not a large trade organization and it doesn't have a lot of power so at least they're taking on what they can take on.

But this whole paper is an excuse for inaction. Cliff's notes on Action Item 3, "Measure and Reduce your Carbon Footprint:"

- Farmer Brothers (1800 employees, $240m sales)

- Determined that 85% of their carbon emissions come from roasting coffee

- Determined that 14% of their carbon emissions come from driving coffee

- Determined that 1% of their carbon emissions come from being in business

- So they got their engines certified clean idle

- And bought some carbon certificates

- To advance their goal of reducing their carbon emissions by 80% forty fucking years in the future

How many carbon credits did they buy? So few it didn't even make their self-fellating annual report. And - and here's my beef -

it wouldn't do fuckall about the future of coffee anyway.

Your argument - more money in cows than in coffee. To acknowledge that briefly, ranching is generally done on public lands while farming is done on private but we'll ignore that. One cow takes about 1.3 acres per year and one cow is good for about 500lbs of trimmed beef (and byproducts). Argentinian beef trades wholesale for $330/kt (or so) or $330/2200lb or 15 cents a pound so your 1.3 acres is earning you 75 bucks or, wholesale, you're making $57 per acre.

How 'bout coffee?

I know a shit-ton less about coffee than you do. All I have available to me is public information. When I google "coffee yield per acre" I get an article that tells me traditional methods yield as little as 450lbs an acre while intensive farming can push that up to 3,000 lbs. So right there, I know that if a specialty coffee association member wants to make a difference, he needs to find a modern farm that isn't fucking around because apparently the agricultural multiplier is a factor of seven. But how much are we getting for a pound of coffee?

Good thing your buddies at the SCAA are available to tell me. Looks like $1.75/lb. So even fucking around with shade-grown don't-care cherries-roasting-in-the-sun agriculture, a coffee plantation makes about a factor of ten over beef. But, of course, the capital expenditures to plant an acre of coffee and raise it to harvest are intense and no doubt reflected in that.

So I come back to this point - the links in the paper you shared all indicate that a coffee plantation is good for 30-50 years. They also indicate that 50 years from now, coffee will be coming from very different places. And digging into it a little more, it becomes obvious that an enterprising coffee roaster that actually wanted to make a difference (as opposed to sit around the tradegroup campfire singing koom bay yah) might get involved with some agricultural NGOs attempting to get ahead of the production curve on a crop that has a heavy sunk cost, an admirable response to intensive agriculture and the demand curve of a luxury item.

THEIR REPORT SHOULD BE BETTER THAN THIS.

Because see, if southern Mexico is currently the world's 8th largest arabica producer, I'ma guess that in 50 years south-central Mexico is gonna be the world's 8th largest arabica producer and if white-boy me can have some influence now that pushes things closer to the 3,000lb/acre number than the 450lb/acre number, FUCKIN'A PUT THAT SHIT IN WRITING.

    OVER THE NEXT 25 TO 30 YEARS, SALES OF TIMBER HARVESTED SUSTAINABLY ARE ESTIMATED TO GENERATE APPROXIMATELY U.S. $1,264,820 IN SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME TO THE PARTICIPATING COFFEE FARMERS

At the most, that's the equivalent of 50 acres of coffee. That's a legit "who gives a fuck" statistic. But your trade group gave it a quarter of a page.

I drink coffee. I like it. I want to keep doing it. And for fuck's sake, if your industry is worrying about 50% of the available land going away in the next 50 years, fuckin' do something about it.

    IMPORTERS AND EXPORTERS.

    Minimize travelling and transport distances. Choose airlines with green travel credentials and choose economy class.

If you're worried about the carbon imprint of your ass in business class, you're worrying about the wrong damn thing. I mean - sure. Maybe you feel better riding in economy class because your tradegroup told you to. But I'd rather know that you're taking steps to not burn more of the Amazon.

And this paper says fuckall about the Amazon.

flac  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 12, 2017

SHIT'S POPPIN'

I have a temp job that fulfills almost all the requirements I was looking for last week - consistent schedule, paid breaks, near where I live, reasonable pay, and a place to sit, if I want to. It's warehouse work, and I'm pretty good at it.

But more importantly, I got an interview for that job I really fucking wanted. The one over here, the one I thought I was unqualified for. I requested to be the first interview of the day, and they have about 10 other people they're considering for the job.

I don't own a jacket. I don't own a white shirt - though I think I may make one tonight after work. I'm really nervous, but I feel good about the possibility of working a job that I both like and think is important.

----------

Also, the album is unfortunately not coming out on the 15th. Job hunting has been an all-consuming affair. Sometime this month, though.

EDIT: Interview went well! They're doing a second set of interviews next week, should be hearing back this weekend about whether they want me to come in again.

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: rd95's poorly written, crummy career advice

There's some good solid advice in there. And I think I can add something valuable to what you said: Perspective.

You don't hear people 30-plus years old asking this question. Because they realize it isn't the right question to ask. By the time you are in your 30's, pretty much nobody you know will be working in the field/job that is written on their college degree.

Life is a river. You start off trying to build a dam, and make the river conform to your view of what it should look like. But water is consistent, persistent, strong, and devious. Your every effort to make life conform to your view will fail, and eventually you will get swept downstream.

Some people try to stop. They bash into rocks. They grasp at low-hanging branches and try to stop the water from dragging them further downstream.

Other people go "woohoo! whitewater rafting!!" and look downstream and try to pick a line that looks like the most fun.

These are the people who inspire you. They are the people enjoying life, and who seem to have amazing opportunities drop in their lap.

Schooling, clubs, hobbies, and interests are what you build your boat out of.

Then you get thrown into the water and head downstream.

What skills do you have? Do you communicate well with other people? Do you like to learn? Do you keep your word? Are you an enjoyable person to be around?

Then your boat will float, and you will find the journey enjoyable. The more flexible and amenable you are to life and it's ever-changing dynamics, the more opportunities that will be presented to you, and the more chances you will have to find something that you truly enjoy.

The less flexible, personable, pleasant you are, the less opportunities will come up. Because you are narrowly skilled, and unpleasant to be around, and therefore fit into only a small portion of the available roles out there in the world.

From where I'm sitting, just short of 50 years old, I can tell you that the river widens, slows, and empties into a big placid lake, where you can kinda paddle wherever you want. If you built a good boat.

I don't even recall all the jobs I have had, the places I have worked, the people I have fallen in and out of love with... all that is back there, up the hill, in the rapids on that river somewhere.

Looking back up that river, I can see the path I took now, but it was not apparent to me at the time. I was simply presented with interesting opportunities because I had a wide range of skills, I was funny, and people liked talking to me. They liked having me around, so they would overlook any technical/skills limitations, and just said, "Eh. You'll learn it on the job. It isn't hard."

This is, of course, my advice based on my experience.

Like RD95 says, life isn't lived in a house you built in college; it is a long series of building projects that you live within while building. Some rooms you may never visit again. Some you may crack the door open 30 years later and find a new passion for, and others you may visit every single day.

The only constant is change. Either find a way to embrace that, or live frustrated for the rest of your life.

lil  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 12, 2017

    Pronoia: the belief that the universe is conspiring in your favour.
I had to look it up. I'm a little proanoid, but I mostly believe you have to take the first steps to change your life. Then the universe will rush in to help.
kleinbl00  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 5, 2017x 2

We had our first birth in the birth center last night. Success. And we get to bill for nitrous. That means the infernal machine needs to be used only nineteen more times to pay for itself. My daughter, on the other hand, called for attention every time I was about to fall asleep for the first two hours and then woke up from a screaming, bawling nightmare. My wife is asleep in the other room which prevents me from finishing the background pass on the not-very-good movie, unless I put on headphones, which I hate doing when I'm doing surround work.

Our burn rate is a few thousand dollars higher per month than we anticipated, due entirely to construction delays. This means it will be longer before the center is profitable. Nonetheless, confidence is high. My wife pointed out last night that it was effectively equivalent to me putting her through college all over again. This morning I'm mulling over the fact that aside from a brief, glorious nine months between relationships in 2002, and a semi-refreshing, maybe-we'll-make-it period of about a year before we had our daughter, I have given over the overwhelming majority of my earnings to the care of others for more than 20 years now.

I'm partly bitter about that and partly contemplative. A friend of mine was in Variety on Friday because he's got a show set up with Granada and Netflix. He, of course, came to LA about a year after I did. Then his wife (whose family is not just wealthy, they're royal) supported him while he did free work for two solid years, had two kids, went through treatment twice and lived i a $4k/mo apartment while we were grinding dried placentas to make ends meet. They don't tell you that: if you're trying to break in while earning a living, you're breaking in against dilettantes with zero cost-of-failure and infinite hang-time. Then Sunday I discovered that another below-the-line friend had died of a heart attack at 36.

It's all about anchoring, I guess. I've got a tree surgeon coming over to tell me what it's going to cost to make sure the three massive firs in the back don't fall on the house. I'm hoping I can afford it. At the same time I was talking to the neighbor Sunday; her roof is leaking because she got a deal from another neighbor's then-boyfriend but he's a junkie now so whatever warranty there was, yeah notsomuch anymore. Meanwhile they're building out, not up, because it's cheaper, because there's seven of them in there, six adults, and they've got one bathroom and fewer square feet than we do, and one of them is in a wheelchair. But she's on 100% disability, her daughter is on 100% disability, her son works two jobs, both of which are custodial, her one grandson got thrown out of his mom's house for fighting and her other grandson -

He was howling Sunday. Not sure why. It was dark, there was lots of shouting. We're debating calling CPS. He hangs out with me but he's rough. He's eight and enjoys the company of my 4-year-old daughter who is brighter than him by far. He's on the spectrum among other things and he breaks stuff. We let him play with our daughter out doors but he's not allowed in our house unless one of his family members are there. And we're crowded with three people and all our shit in this house but fuckin'A we can still park a car in the garage. They've got seven people in there and I don't even know who the seventh is.

They're building out. They're getting a loan. The contractor is a friend of a friend which worked out oh-so-well last time, right? There's seven of them, two fixed incomes and maybe three jobs between them, none of which make much money. I mean, they've got a blue tarp keeping the rain off half the house (not the roof leak; apparently that's just sort of happening without any remediation).

Anchoring. I don't have a blue tarp keeping the rain out of the family room, my toilet-to-person ratio is 1.5, and we have retirement savings as if we were 20 years older than we are now. And I'm not in Variety but I'm not in the ground, either. And as formidable as our burn rate is, we fuckin' made it this month.

This month, anyway.

_refugee_  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 12, 2017

hey perhaps more importantly I GOT AN ETSY STORE OPEN AGAIN

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BroganBooks?ref=hdr

Got 9 listings up as of this AM but something like 5 additional book styles/covers need to be added before my total inventory's represented. What I'm saying is hit that F5 through the day and through tomorrow too and get me some pagevyaaas. Spend some money. Spam people with my link.

And in May I'll have a vendor table at a little local art hall event one of the bars I like holds every month. That is far scarier than the Etsy shop, fwiw. But I'm committed. Eek.

kleinbl00  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 29, 2017x 2

Birth center is donezo.

I mean, there's a couple little things. Gotta put up some blinds. Need to replace a doorknob. One counter still needs a backsplash. But we spent $1500 on catering for 50 people at the open house Saturday and after three hours we had eight rolls of mortadella, a couple polenta cakes and about a melon's worth of honeydew.

Also got my call for work this summer, so our financial future is secure while we wait for, oh, $1500 worth of catering to come back to us as goodwill and consumer interest.

Also pulled off the taxes such that we won't starve prior to work starting again, was able to pay my daughter's tuition in full, was able to pay the accountants and was able to set money aside for retirement for me and the wifey for the first time since 2005 so that's nice. I also managed, through sheer blind luck and mk's tutelage, to leverage bitcoin and Ethereum such that... well, I'm pleased with the current price and guardedly optimistic as to its trajectory. We should be starving to death right now and we're not. We might be sitting on a half million dollars' worth of leverage but apparently that's between a third and a quarter of where we'd be with a dental clinic. I might be driving a '95 Dodge, my daughter's room might be directly across the hall from mine and I might not be sure if we can afford storm windows this spring but fuckin'A I have a reasonable expectation that whatever windows we've got, I'll still own their frames next year.

My insurance is good enough that I have a nutritionist and a physical therapist, and my daughter is going to have a shitty week because she's got shots tomorrow and the dentist friday. I also have a yoga instructor. Mine is a pampered fucking lifestyle. If my biggest complaint is that I'm now eating sixteen servings of fresh vegetables a day I'm neck deep in white people problems.

I dunno. You're supposed to be thankful in November. That's always seemed weird to me because that's right about the time you're going into ridiculous debt buying shit people don't need and busily accomplishing fuckall until January. For me, it's always been getting through February.

We're cooking the second 3lb chunk of corned beef for my father-in-law's birthday tomorrow. That means i will make Irish Tacos for the second time in as many weeks because they're fucking delicious.

thenewgreen  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 29, 2017

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

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

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

realusername  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Full Debate - Animals Should Be Off The Menu?

Ignoring the morality of eating animals, on the subject of the animals, raising animals as/for food is horrible for the environment.

Cows/pigs/ships contaminate water sources.

Mammals fart, which in big enough numbers is pushing global warming.

The resources used to prepare one meal from an animal can be used to make up-to 100 meals from plants.

This effects everyone, no one is above global warming, yea the poor will be screwed more then the rich, but everyone are screwed. So avoiding eating animals for this reason alone in your self interest (unless you are going to die soon).

Food prices mostly affect poor people, and less so in richer countries, those that can afford to eat enough meat make global changes in the economy will be effected by it, so it goes to morality (do you care that your enjoyment of eating dead animals might starve someone to death ?).

There is also the subject of heart problems and colon cancer, you are less likely to die from them if you go vegan.

I think those are the main topics of eating animals, from there it's a personal choice, do I care about my heart ? do I care about global warming ? people less fortunate then me ? can I handle the social aspects of going vegan ? can I handle the mental changes required to change my diet ?

snoodog  ·  53 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 1, 2017

The baby came yesterday morning four and a half lbs. tiny little thing. Taking care of her while wife takes short 2 hr naps between feeding. Baby care is hard

kantos  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The beginning of the end? Reddit introduces profile pages

Trombone  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why does Mount Rushmore Exist?

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

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

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

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

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

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

kleinbl00  ·  42 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

Speaking as a twice-optioned screenwriter with an engineering degree, the divide is this:

The mathematically inclined - STEM-heads - know what something is. They function on the quantifiable and defendable. Their sphere of comfort is one in which data and facts and evidence hold the greatest sway.

The romantically inclined - liberal arts majors - know what something should be. They function on the desirable and intuitable. Their sphere of comfort is one in which concensus and persuasion allow us to achieve great things.

An engineer understands that the engines canna take much more of this, captain. The speed of light in a vacuum is an absolute. You can't fit ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. And they also know that all the hope in the world won't change that.

A poet understands that dammit, Scotty, we're counting on you. Laws are meant to be broken. You can be all that and a bag of chips. And they know that the bumblebee flies anyway.

We cannot function as a society without both aspects. We cannot function as humans without both aspects. HOWEVER

- Human Resources departments are never crewed by engineers.

- Boardrooms have few engineers in them.

- Lawyers are rarely engineers.

The tribe is led by liberal arts twits. They'd lead us all into the wasteland without people who understand double-blind testing but they'd still lead us there because your average stem-head generally believes that people should follow the evidence, not the leader.

But we don't.

It's an unfair stereotype to say that sciences majors are incapable of relating to liberal arts majors. However, it's an accurate stereotype to say that sciences majors do not relate to liberal arts majors as well as liberal arts majors relate to themselves, and it's fair to say that STEM-heads benefit from learning to meet the liberal arts majors where they live, if for no other reason than the parties tend to be less awkward.

That said, it's drearily routine for any liberal arts class inflicted on STEM majors to be seen as "humanizing" but any science class inflicted on liberal arts majors to be "degrading." "When am I ever going to use algebra again?" "How is the ideal gas law at all relevant to my future as a corporate raider?" "zeroth law? Can't you nerds even count to three?"

The STEM guys are far more likely to have a job, though.

Devac  ·  43 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those posts of mine that will ruffle some feathers. Let's make one thing clear: I've tried to put aside my own bias, pretty much failed at it but I am leaving it to show where I'm coming from. I'm only interested in the answer. That's it. It's not intended to be personal. Cool? Thanks.

    He came into the program as a multi-dimensional, highly skilled and multi-talented human being. I can't take any credit.

and this thing from IRC on the 20th November 2016:

    22:32 < lilski> I said earlier that I teach computer science students - but I basically teach them how to be human beings

What does it actually mean? Sorry for being peevish about it, but as someone who is focused on hard sciences and getting patronising treatment from most humanities-oriented people around me ever since I can remember, I can't help but resent some of this attitude (don't blame me, blame multiple people who told me verbatim that I must lack a soul to not appreciate some poem or picture :/). I've read a lot of your posts, many of the ones you've posted before I found Hubski and ones posted since then, but I'm at loss about what you actually do in class. What is the thing that your students lack and how does acquiring it make them into 'human beings'? What's about your students that your aim is to make them into those 'multidimensional human beings'? Sorry, but I simply loathe when in my own life the, supposedly, attuned to humanity people just throw me into some easy 'cog-head' category and go forth with their pre-existing assumption. I'm not angry or resentful specifically toward you, lil, but I'm asking because so far you have proven that you will not just dismiss my questions outright with something along the lines of "you will not understand, untermensh".

Aside from that, I agree with Odder. I had only one such interview so far and it was just… baffling. The guy who was interviewing me seemed to be thrown out of the loop when I didn't answer with some cliche line from a tutorial on interviews. Suffices to say that I ended up working in a bookstore as a clerk afterwards.

lil  ·  42 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why I think the tech interview process is broken – Medium

    I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those posts of mine that will ruffle some feathers.
Not at all. Thank you for writing. In fact, your letter made me immediately realize how I appear to some people.

    He came into the program as a multi-dimensional, highly skilled and multi-talented human being. I can't take any credit. and this thing from IRC on the 20th November 2016:

    22:32 < lilski> I said earlier that I teach computer science students - but I basically teach them how to be human beings

First of all, what does it mean to be a human being, let alone teach someone to be one? I will make more of an effort to describe what I do because my flippant shorthand sounds stupid and arrogant.

When the usual response from people is a sad nod, and "Good idea," I am only reinforcing negative stereotypes -- and like all stereotypes, they can potentially lead to prejudice.

    Sorry for being peevish about it, but as someone who is focused on hard sciences and getting patronising treatment from most humanities-oriented people around me ever since I can remember, I can't help but resent some of this attitude (don't blame me, blame multiple people who told me verbatim that I must lack a soul to not appreciate some poem or picture :/).
and not appreciating some arty thing doesn't make you any less human.

    but I'm at loss about what you actually do in class.
I focus on interpersonal communication skills, particularly listening to others; listening to what they say and don't say; examining our own reactions to stress, conflict, and confusion; understanding that what we see and perceive and interpret might be different from others who are with us; examining how, like it or not, our emotions are the engines of our lives and often objectivity is subjective. In addition, public speaking classes are all about connecting with others not talking at them.

    What is the thing that your students lack
My current students don't particularly lack anything more than any other group. We all struggle with communication and connection.

    and how does acquiring it make them into 'human beings'?
I regret ever using that phrase, but I will say this: the students often tell me that the class asked them to engage in new thoughtful self-reflection, that they have changed the way they relate to others, and that they feel more in control of their lives. That's not being a human being, but it's something.

    What's about your students that your aim is to make them into those 'multidimensional human beings'?
I want them to be happier and more effective. I want their teamwork to be more successful. I want them to understand their unintended contribution to their own problems. I'm grateful to have a chance to work in an area that seems meaningful to me and seems helpful. I hate coming across as arrogant. I imagine I will share this thread with my students. That will be an interesting conversation.

    Sorry, but I simply loathe when in my own life the, supposedly, attuned to humanity people just throw me into some easy 'cog-head' category and go forth with their pre-existing assumption.
Have you challenged their preconceived notions? What did they say? What evidence did they have?

    I'm not angry or resentful specifically toward you, lil, but I'm asking because so far you have proven that you will not just dismiss my questions outright with something along the lines of "you will not understand, untermensh".
I hope I have responded non-dismissively.
flac  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives

Congratulations! You've shown that you care enough about human life that you started a homicide statistic with "lol"! You definitely seem like you do give your time supplying food to the homeless, or volunteering on a suicide hotline, and don't just use the excuse of "this isn't an issue that directly affects me" to avoid actually helping anybody not related to you by blood.

I'm sorry that not enough trans people are dying to warrant your empathy - let's hope it stays that way.

Tell me, how are you fighting the Opioid epidemic in America? What are some concrete steps I, as a citizen, can take to stop the deaths of 33,000 of my peers? I certainly don't know anyone who is addicted to prescription pills, so by your reasoning I have no reason to care about it - that's just not something which affects me. I do know a young trans woman who was beaten to within an inch of her life in an alley, but hey, my number's smaller than yours, I should care about your thing instead - fuck her statistically insignificant life!

See, here's the thing about proportions: they tend to point to something larger than themselves. If you actually did give your time to helping the homeless, you would find that between 10-20 of those 50 people might be gay or trans (and before you have a chance - I know I linked to a liberal rag and you are going to debate the numbers, I don't particularly have the energy to find better sources) - a number which is disproportionately high. Or if you actually spent your time with opium addicts, you would find that, again, a disproportionately high amount of them are gay or trans. And do I even have to tell you how many gay and trans people would be calling you on that suicide hotline?

I get it, you don't know any trans people, but some of us do. Some of us may even want to start a family with the trans man they've been dating for 5 years - a thing that becomes significantly harder if he's dead. I completely agree that there is a finite amount of energy that we can all channel to causes that we deem to be important - I just hope that you're channeling yours towards something bigger than complaining about people mourning the dead.

EDIT: I'm sorry that this is pretty aggressive, I don't mean it as a personal attack - in all seriousness, I have no doubts that you are a good person, and I get where you are coming from. This is just an issue that hits really close to home.

    I call Scotland "dude" because I'm from California, and she and I have that kind of comfort in our relationship.

For the record, I consider "dude" to be gender neutral ;)

    The real question is, am I rude or inconsiderate or diminishing if I don't remember your gender preference and preferred pronoun to put in front of "coffeesp00ns"?

    I'm honestly asking. I have no idea of ooli or War or rd95 or snoodog's gender, and only know Elizabeth's and Lil's because of their names, and know kleinbl00's because I know the guy in person.

IMO, no, you're not being inconsiderate. The nature of online discourse means that gender is generally a lot less relevant unless it is inherently a part of the topic being discussed - which is how it should be IRL as well. If we were in public, however, and I had spoken with you and told you the pronouns I wanted you to use, and presented as female, and you still used "he/him" for me, I'd probably be seriously uncomfortable.

The most important thing to do? If you don't know - ASK. I have never met a trans person who would be more upset by you asking their gender than they would be by you getting their gender wrong. And if you mess it up the second time around, just correct and don't make a big deal - We're way more scared than you are.

I do think it's a good case of due diligence to look up some of the linguistics behind trans stuff, just because It's not really going away any time soon so far as i can see. So, like email and internet and cell phone, it's something we all have to learn. the same thing might become the case if the community and/or english scholars can decide on what gender neutral pronoun to use (probably singular they because our language already sort of supports it - like taking advantage of a weird compatibility in a program).

So here's a basic rundown on some stuff that, if you know, makes wading through conversations

Transgender person - Someone whose gender differs from the one their doctor put on their birth certificate.

Trans(gender) woman - Someone who previously used he/him pronouns who now uses she/her pronouns. That person could have been assigned male by their doctor at birth, or possibly had unclear genitalia at birth and was raised as a male. Regardless, they now will likely be going by female pronouns.

Trans(gender) man - Someone who previously used she/her pronouns who now uses he/him pronouns. That person could have been assigned female by their doctor at birth, or possibly had unclear genitalia at birth and was raised as a female. Regardless, they now will likely be going by male pronouns.

genderqueer - One of many words used to describe people who don't feel strongly as either male or female. An example might be someone who dresses very androgynously and uses they/them pronouns.

Cisgender - Cis is the opposite of the latin Trans - Cisalpine Gaul, for example, meaning the area of Gaul on the Roman side of the Alps, and Trans Atlantic meaning across the Atlantic Ocean. A Cisgender person is someone whose gender is the same as the one the doctor put on their birth certificate. That means that a cisgender man will likely, but not exclusively have XY chromosomes and a cisgender woman will likely, but not exclusively have XX chromosomes. Chromosomes, and genetics, are complicated.

    I gotta wonder if the gendering of anybody is really of material value

I mean, in a perfect world gender wouldn't be a factor in how we talk about each other. Men and women would exist perfectly equally. Trans people would still exist, but their taking of hormones to change their body wouldn't be a social issue, just a private one.

However, we don't live in that world. We live in a world where we put people into boxes because humans like little tidy boxes. Turns out that the world of human gender doesn't fit into our two box system of male and female, or even into some other cultures' Three gender box (though more boxes is likely better). So we are currently at a cultural turning point where we have to deal with trans people again. It's happened before (see the Weimar Republic for a recent example), and our choice has been to sweep trans people under the rug - Hopefully we can prevent that from happening again and start to change the way we look at gender.

Hope some of this helps.