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thenewgreen  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Real talk: depression

Humility is fine. Shame is not. Resist shame.

kleinbl00  ·  84 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Buying Silicon Valley's Horseshit

    “The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists.. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.”

- Banksy, AdBusters interview backintheday

The issue is not that these choices are available, the issue is that these choices crowd out the sensible ones. There's a lot of fallacious product design in toothbrushes. At the same time, it makes sense to apply what we know about dental hygiene to what we know about human habit to what we know about materials science to what we know about merchandising because even an expensive toothbrush is what? $4? $5? That's before you get into the land of Sonicare and its ilk and there are justifications to that, too. I have a $140 toothbrush. It was recommended to me by my dentist over my $100 toothbrush because apparently I was brushing hard enough to require some repair at the gumline to the tune of $900 billed to my insurance. The difference? The new one tweedles at me when I brush too hard. First world problems? You betcha. Asymptotic improvement? Mos def. BUT it is innovation in pursuit of improvement.

Dollar shave club, on the other hand, doesn't help you shave better. What it does is provide you access to bottom-of-the-barrel no-name Chinese blades at substantial markup to you. Yeah - a bag of Bic safety razors is like $3 for 24 or whatever so obviously you don't have to purchase that, either, but Unilever spent a billion dollars buying Dollar Shave Club instead of, I dunno, making better razors.

Lather, rinse, repeat. You rightly state that you are not directly impacted by any of these deeply silly Silicon Valley choices but you are indirectly affected. As you state, you're a fan of Blue Apron - what if Silicon Valley spent $120m on improving the efficiency of produce delivery to wherever you are instead of $120m on ways to sell chopped fruits and vegetables for $10/lb?

Henry Petroski has argued many times that necessity isn't the mother of invention, luxury is - we do not invent a fork because we cannot eat without one, we invent a fork because it's easier to eat with one. The inventor/manufacturer profits off of the increase of ease he provides us, and we pay him gladly. The argument put forth in the article (not as clearly as it could be, no doubt) is that the Silicon Valley business cycle is not focused on efficiency, it's focused on inefficiency and predation. And while this is not universally true, the argument for "disruption" is not "make the world a better place" it's "break laws and make money until they legislate you out of existence."

I have thousands of hours of music on hard drives. I used to have hundreds of CDs. My access to music went up an order of magnitude with the advent of Napster... but I can't really say that MP3s improved the state of music. It used to be that technological innovation was largely in pursuit of quality-of-life improvement and that argument could easily be made about Napster et.al. However, the inefficiencies of the music market also provided a living for most of the people involved in its generation.

And that's another issue - companies like RentBerry and Fiverr are, at base, eliminating inefficiencies. However, in a marketplace that's even a little unfair or uncompetitive, "inefficiencies" are often the profit of the disadvantaged. On a perfectly level playing field, assembly line workers in Detroit should have no problems competing with assembly line workers in Guadalajara.

But.

    This article is annoying because it stands on the premise that someone offering a choice to you is the same as you being forced to participate, and that a choice you don't agree with is somehow this nefarious plot to screw your life up. Fiverr doesn't exist to destroy the middle class dream. It connects freelancers with people who hire them.

Hi. Freelancer. Years of experience. Union member, skilled laborer. And where I work, the middle has dropped out. I'm one of the youngest people in my industry that I know of and my 20-year reunion was a while ago. See, used to be you started out as a gopher PA and then you became a set PA and then you picked up a skill and then you started making a little money and your network grew and you started making more money and eventually you had a wife and two kids and a house in the Valley. But now there's a sea of film school grads who can work for free because mommy and daddy understand that you have to do that for a while in order to get experience so they'll pay Janie's $1900/mo rent for a studio in Panorama City while she struggles for free until eventually it becomes clear that as soon as she starts to ask for money there's ten more Janies eager to take her place so eventually she's going to go back to live with her parents in Dayton and take orders at Applebee's while meanwhile, the guys that are actually hiring new kids who don't know what they're doing are generally doing it with their parents' money, too, and they're going to fail out within however long it takes for their folx to get sick of paying for their hobbies and in the meantime, we're all getting older and we're all hanging on to the gigs we have and the kids? The kids are not coming up because the opportunities that are available to them are a mirage.

Make no mistake. I'm the other side of that divide. Comfortably. But the gig economy, in my industry at least, is a fucking meat grinder for those without protections. Multiply times everything.

flac  ·  120 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.

Oy, Democracy Now(!). I love Glenn Greenwald, but this is super disingenuous.

    And yet, all I heard from Democrats—not all I heard, because there were a lot of Democrats who supported Manning and Snowden and Drake—but certainly Democratic officials in D.C. were almost unanimous, under Obama, in saying that leaks—leakers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, that they’re traitors.

There's the rub. Conflating "Democratic Officials in D.C." who were "almost unanimous under Obama" with the unspecified "Democrats" in the title is misleading at best, and dumps the burden of hypocrisy on Democrats in general. You know who else was "almost unanimous" in condemning Manning and Snowden? Republican officials in D.C. under Obama. The Manning and Snowden leaks didn't uncover partisan divide so much as they uncovered a philosophical- and frankly totally predictable- difference between those in power and/or who stand at any point to gain power and those who just want to talk on their goddamn iPhone in peace. Snowden and Manning, to varying degrees, uncovered infrastructural mechanisms for abuse that could be used by anybody in power to bad effect; accordingly, pretty much everybody with their hands closest to the levers- Democrat and Republican- cried foul.

Meanwhile, I know next to nobody in my everyday life- Democrat, Republican or Other- who believed that what Snowden did was bad. Okay, let's be honest, I know a few conservatives that still think it. Illegal? Sure, because it was. That's the nature of civil disobedience. But the general consensus on the street is that Snowden did the necessary, and that Manning's actions, although very carelessly executed, didn't merit the sentence. NB- Manning was put in jail by a Democrat, but released by that selfsame Democrat.

So it drives me crazy- fucking. crazy. to read Democracy Now(!) articles that try to paint Democrats in general as somehow hypocritical because of the above. Mainly because then all my militant liberal Facebook acquaintances, still inexplicably bitter at Hillary Clinton and her perceived misdeeds, wallpaper my feed the next day with articles like this as their next gem of evidence that the current Democratic wing is corrupt and hypocritical because Bernie.

This is not that. Everybody in power hated what Snowden did, and a plurality if not a majority of those not in power celebrated what he did. Meanwhile, the current situation has underscored not systemic problems that need to be corrected for the good of the whole electorate, but a very current, temporary administration running roughshod over the systemic safeguards meant to uphold the good of the electorate. Basic conflict of interest regulations? Naw, we're not gonna pay attention to that. Private citizen undermining current presidential policies via back channels to international rivals? See no problem there.

If leaks are how these things come to light, I as a Democrat- and a citizen- applaud them just as I applauded Snowden. That's in full recognition of the fact that such leaks are illegal.

The only thing that surprises me at this point is that rogue actors in the intelligence community up to now have (openly) broken the rules only to uncover abuses of power rather than to perpetuate them. Who would have thought that safeguards to civil liberty would have arisen with such regularity from the agencies who enjoy the highest abuse potential.

user-inactivated  ·  290 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Vice Presidential Debate Tonight at 9 Eastern

Gonna pull this for the darker, grittier Hubskina reboot directed by Zach Snyder

_refugee_  ·  337 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 17, 2016

Hey dude,

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

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

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

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

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

moe  ·  360 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: [48 HOURS] Shockingly, original journalism didn't save Reddit

    If we can pull enough donations

Oo Hubski's funding meter isn't anywhere close to target.

steve, you still matchin'? doot

rd95  ·  421 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Volvo's Small Car Strategy Is Massive

Lord Mercy, you're putting out a skewed image of the Mustang. This is a car, like the Corvette, with over 50 years of very rich history. Your pictures, while they support your argument, are far from impartial. That's like saying “Oh. Picasso was a painter? Here's a picture of a blank canvas. La dee daa. Big fucking deal.”

First of all . . .

    I always thought that most mustangs were under-powered poser cars that were more wanna-be. I guess I grew up in the 90's where a mustang is what you got if you wanted to pay too much for a rental car.

Both cars you just showed, the Fox Body and the early SN-95 were underpowered. EVERYTHING from that era was underpowered. The Malaise era was real and it wasn't until the late '80s and early '90s that we started to see a change from that. The production cars sucked. Yes. What people could do with them though and are still doing with them? That's fucking magical.

Furthermore, people love the engines in those cars and in return, those engines love being modded. The 302 Windsor V8 found in the Fox Body? Easy to mod. The Modular 4.6L V8 in the SN-95 and the first half of the S-197 series? Easy to mod. The Modular 5.0 in the second half of the S-197 series and the current S-550 series? Fucking same. There are after market parts from body kits to suspension to dress ups to really make your car unique. Don't believe me? Go shopping for a bit this morning. People take, what you've shown, and turn them into works of art like pretty much every damn thing you see here. They're beautiful. They're fast and powerful. They're points of personal pride to their owners. In short, they're fucking amazing.

I'm not even gonna get into how the classic Mustangs are fucking iconic. For good fucking reason too. They're stylish. They're sexy. They're timeless.

Now, I know what you're gonna say next because I hear this argument all the time.

“Mustangs are only good for going in straight lines.”

1. So what? Drag racing is awesome enough as it is so that's good enough. 2. That's true for the majority of American cars up until recently and while that's not defendable in and of itself, at least the Mustang wasn't alone in this regard. 3. If you want a Mustang that handles well, there are suspension mods for that. The car is a blank canvas, make it personal.

“Up until the S-197 all the previous Mustangs were based on commuter cars platforms.”

So? That shit is auto industry standard and it's still going on today. The Audi TT is on the same platform as the VW Golf. The Mazda RX-8 has the same underpinnings as the Miata. Subaru's WRX and STI are built off of the Impreza and on and on it goes.

The S-197 and the S-550 though? Built from the ground up. Their own dedicated platforms. And both cars, while flawed, ARE FUCKING AMAZING.

So you know what? Everyone and anyone can fucking shit on the Mustang all day long. Be all bourgeoisie about your car choices and engines and all that. I don't give a fuck. All cars have their flaws and all cars have their strong points. Good luck trying to afford a fucking McLaren and using it as a daily driver. Me? I'm gonna continue to love my FR-S, because it's amazing fun despite its lack of power. I'm gonna continue to oggle Mustangs and Camaros cause they're amazing. I'm gonna chat it up with the guy who has the MG Midget about how his car left him stranded on the side of the road for the third time this year and reaffirm that despite its flaws, it's still awesome. I'm gonna continue to love cars that people like to poo on like El Caminos and Rancheros, Hyundai Tiburons and Genesis (because hey, at least Hyundai is trying), VW Vans and Unimogs, and Pintos and Vegas and Gremlins and everything else out there. Fuck, shit, I know a guy who has a Kia Optima that he's making his own because he loves the lines and you know what? I fucking support him too because it's his and it makes him so damn happy. I'm gonna love peoples' cars whether they're purely stock or highly modified, whether they're classic American Muscle or European Roadsters or a 20 year old Chevy S10 that's been repainted, filled to the brim with speakers, and slammed to the ground.

Just remember this. Cars are amazing. Period. Cars are a point of passion for so many people. Period. When you diss on a car, whether it's a Honda Civic or a Ford Mustang or a Porsche 911, you're not only insulting the car, but you're actively dismissing the opinion of the people who love those cars, and even worse, marginalizing countless man hours of hard work from researchers and engineers to designers and factory workers. I've heard that Gale Halderman is one of the nicest, approachable guys in the car world. 50 bucks says if you told him your opinion on the legacy of a car that he was there for from the start, you'd probably break his heart.

I'm done talking cars today. Cause you all broke mine.

It was my dad.

I'm glad I was born before the internet took off. It must be so incredibly hard these days for kids to get interested in books or for parents/teachers/others to spark the interest for long form reading.

My dad only had a small collection of books, but was an avid library member. I have so many fond memories of visiting the library every month. Even better when we moved and our house was on the same street as the local library.

Thanks for this post. I haven't read any "joy" books in the last 18 months, only technical, work related books.

Going to remedy that starting tonight!

veen  ·  458 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: GET OFF LINE FOR BERNIE: Watch this to the end

The voting system used has lead to a democracy of only two parties (Duverger's Law). There's a very strong us-versus-them mentality comparing the Democrats and Republicans. Because of this, the interesting political debates don't really happen at the party level but at the candidate level - so it matters a lot which person is nominated, because if they win it's their ideas and policies that they will try to drag through Congress.

If you want to know why it is in the news every. single. day, Ryan Holiday explains in his book that news outlets like Politico figured out that they can start coverage of the race years in advance. They do this simply by discussing and speculating on potential candidates and ramping up the coverage from there on. This election has been nuts (at least from my perspective) in no small part because of all the media attention generated around it.

HairyLenny  ·  480 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what are your side projects?

I've just started my side-career as a Dementia Friends champion. Basically I go around delivering DF information session which give people a better understanding of what dementia is and what it's like to live with. I hope it'll be as rewarding as I expect. I'm also doing what I can to make my local area a dementia friendly community.

cgod  ·  519 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My Current Soundtrack

I've known people who click through dating/mating apps and go on dates with three or four different people a week. Hell I've known people who will scheduled three dates in an evening, if the first one is going well they will cancel the next two and so on. I suppose it's playing the odds, dating like you are buying a lottery ticket, you never know the next one might be a winner.

The cold ask out of a person you just met or didn't even know was always there but it seems like people are more like to go for the quick and shallow date without much meaning attached to it than they ever were before.

I don't know if I'm saying this at all well. If you go on one hundred dates a year you might look at going on a date with a coworker with little consideration of the consequences. It's just another date. All dates are just another date, nothing to em, just push through em like enemies in a video game until you find a golden chest.

You used to only be able to date people you knew and consequently would have to gauge the social or work related consequences of who you were going to go out with more carefully than an average tinder date. You had to weigh the relative merits of the person and how they related to your world with some care (not necessarily some kind of extraordinary care but it mattered). There was always the cold ask out of a person you met while at a book store, the bar or a show but there were way less of these people to hook up with than there are now that the internet has aggregated demand.

Now a days you can go on three dates in a night or one hundred dates in a year even if you are less than the studliest guy or more desirable girl around. You don't have to try and suss out how compatible a person is, what your friends would think if you started seeing her, if Donna would still consider going out with you if she knew you went out on a date with Susan. You can just date your ass off, separate the wheat from the chaff as you find them. No worries about if your compatible, do you share the same tastes, does their laugh annoy the shit out of you. The consensus of people I've seen who date hard and often is that you should know in the first ten to twenty minutes if a person is worth your time. No more working up the nerve or deciding if your really interested.

It's a different world.

veen  ·  537 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 160th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Digging this electronic piece:

francopoli  ·  558 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Your Job Is Pointless

    How much money do you have in the bank?

One year's take home pay not counting 401K and investments.

    If you stop working now, how many years could you live with that money, in a decent cheap house (in a cheap part of your country, not even in a cheap foreign country)

If I stretched it, sold the house lived in a shitty apartment, 2-3 years. Having lived in shitty apartments let me say that I will never allow myself to do that again, and I won't ever do it willingly. How about you?

    Remember you do not have to work: so no transit, no representation shopping, plenty of time, so you can enjoy repairing broken furniture instead of replacing it, you can enjoy cooking instead of going out, etc.. You can fish, but will more likely buy fish... fish are cheap. How many years?

This sounds like hippy bullshit so let's break it down.

    so no transit

So, you are never going to leave home? Walk everywhere? Bike? Bikes cost money, walking costs time and burns food that will have to be procured. Walking a few miles a day is very energy intensive and that energy needs to be replaced or you get sick and hurt.

    no representation shopping

Which I personally don't do. I spend my money on my hobbies and books. I guess we need to define "representation shopping?"

    plenty of time, so you can enjoy repairing broken furniture instead of replacing it,

Repairing furniture is a skill you get better at. Depending on costs involved, this does not take a lot of time. Hell under your system, build your own furniture. But don't buy the lumber cause you don't work. So go find trees, cut them down. Go find sheep and make the wool. Go find deer and cows to skin for leather. Grow a few hundred acres of cotton for fabric.

    you can enjoy cooking instead of going out

I already cook my own meals and rarely eat out. Are there people who need this bit of advice? sure. So I'll give you 1/2 this point. The raw ingredients still need to come from somewhere, food will need to be stored and defended against the elements and vermin, and cooking implements will need to be either made or procured.

    You can fish, but will more likely buy fish

What in the actual fuck? Where the hell do you live that you think someone can just pick up and live off the land? I mean I live out in the middle if the USA and I can't pull this one off. Studies I see say you need 5 acres to feed yourself. one such link That much land is about 300K out here if you have access to water, and that does not necessarily include a stream or pond with fish in it. Unless you own 20 acres you need to pay for hunting licenses, deer tags etc. Then you need to build a shelter. And the starting livestock (go with goats they are easier than cows and take less room).

I'm getting a vibe off you that have some overly romantic version of life that will be crushed in 30 minutes of living out in the sticks. I could up and quit right now, buy land and have the cash to live for a while. But I know shit about farming, rural living, auto repair and the tens if not hundreds of skills needed to not die on my own. This is how a specialized economy works. I do something that is needed, you do something else that is needed, and we use that labour to pay for the services of other people who do work that needs to be done. Farmers farm, milling companies turn that into food, trucking companies ship it, retailers store and sell the final goods. Money makes that all happen otherwise the farmer has to spend a not minimal time doing tasks that are not farming.

    Those years measure the part of your income that go into paying for the obligatory expense your working lifestyle impose upon you.And that's my only argument: money you get from work is overrated, it is mostly useful because you work.

Maybe if you make minimum wage. Or have some insane crazy expensive lifestyle. I have to keep track of work expenses for tax purposes, and less than one week a year is needed to pay for my work related expense. This is everything I need to 'work' and use for work alone. My car makes me mobile so I am not stuck in the house all the time, along with taking me to work. My house (worth below median value for the area if that is important to you) holds my stuff, lets me get a good sleep, keeps me warm and dry at night and is almost paid off. My yearly utilities cost less than two weeks of full time work a year, my insurance bill is about a week's employment, so even if I am generous and include that, I am spending about a month's labour to "work" and everything else is for my life.

Off the grid living is not camping, and if that is your goal, cool go for it. But for a sizable chunk of people that ain't gonna happen. The first bad rain, or -20F night or the first time you slip and gash your leg open or even coming to the realization that a "hunter-gatherer" life is brutal and short will make you realize why people in those societies die young.

    There must be a case for a sustainable innovative world where we work 15-10-5h/week. But obviously we will be too bored to indulge in it.

Now this I agree with. And better utilization of our workforce is something I think we should talk about.

_refugee_  ·  589 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Interactive Map: How Many People Have Been Shot Near You This Year?

WARNING; you incited a small novel. (Many people from DE flee DE and gladly put it behind them. I feel the opposite. So I thought about why I stay a fair bit.)

I have lived and worked many different places. I grew up and went to college and all in DE, so I'm a true native, although my family stayed in suburbia and out of Wilmington for the most part. I've never lived in Wilmington proper before (though I have lived in one or two other 'bad areas' of Delaware; at one place there was a shooting on my street, no injuries though).

Currently, I work in Wilmington and have for the past 3 years (nearly!) because that's where my job is. Wilmington is a big center for banks due to Delaware's business-friendly tax and incorporation laws, so there is a lot of opportunity in my field there. I am moving to Wilmington because I wanted to get out of Newark, because I was frustrated with it for a number of reasons, and I helped my friends move into a great apartment complex (in a good part of the city on the outskirts of town) and decided to seize the opportunity, move somewhere really nice, and also get to be near/with friends.

Those aren't necessarily very strong reasons to answer, "What's keeping you in Wilmington?" but I wanted to start out with them because I think me being in Wilmington is more of a "thing that happened" than continued active decision. More specifically in response to your question, I freely admit I am a Delaware girl, have always been in love with the state, have always loved the parks, suburbs, and general feel of the area of DE in which I've grown up and lived. I like to quote Lord of the Rings when Bilbo speaks to Gandalf about Frodo: "He's still in love with the Shire." There are people I've grown up with who couldn't wait to leave DE, and denigrate it in their wake. There are people I know who scoff at people like me who (although not technically correct in my case; I've lived in PA and MD, too) "have never left." Heck, there's lots of literary tropes about how small towns are evil, or bad, or small-minded, or if you want to grow and develop as a person you need to leave them. Lately I have been thinking that there seems to be a general air of disdain, often, about people who "never leave" their hometown. But why? What is wrong with loving the area where you grew up, and continuing to love it, and staying there? - I don't think anything really. But sometimes people try to tell you that such feelings are hokey, or that people who stay are people who "never go anywhere," instead of maybe "people who love this place and want to stay." That's more what's keeping me in Delaware, though, not Wilmington.

I can't help working in Wilmington unless I were to move to another state where we have other worksites, or began WFH full-time (which I do not want). I have considered on and off moving to VA - work's HQ is located there; the housing market's pretty buyer-friendly; I've always wanted to live in a slightly more southern climate (weather-wise); etc. But recently while discussing this with a coworker she raised some potential pitfalls to doing that, which frankly bother me enough at the moment that I've decided for now, I definitely don't want to move to VA.

In the meantime, MD tax rates are just freakin' ridiculously high, so I have no interest in moving there (lived just over the border in MD for a year which is how I know that). I enjoyed living in PA but no longer have anything that draws me there; my brother has graduated and moved to Portland for grad school, the friends I lived with have all coupled up and are living with their S/Os and not looking for roommates, and I no longer have a job in PA either, one of the reasons I moved out there in the first place. So if I were to move, the states nearest me that would allow me to keep working out of Wilmington aren't good options in my mind, so I'd have to move further away and probably transfer to a different work site.

And right now, there's simply nothing persuading me to do that. I mean, I guess you could cite Wilmington's crime rate and say that should be a persuasive factor, but I don't have a family and don't plan on starting one in the short-term. Most of the Wilmington crime is drug-related and usually committed by male persons of color against other (often also male) persons of color. Some parts of the city are very, very bad, but I don't live there, work there, or go there, so the impact - besides being aware of it - is minimal. I have friends who are very committed to Wilmington and they feel strongly about standing by their city and working to redeem the community there, as opposed to simply fleeing and abandoning the city to fall into itself. I do think there is a point there that is valid, although I'm no city's savior or martyr and know that.

Meanwhile so much of my life is in Wilmington, Newark, and the surrounding areas. Many very dear friends, many very dear memories, my current boyfriend, etc. Honestly, I was saying at Thanksgiving the biggest drawback about living around here is that there is no way I can get out of going to my family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, unless I want to have absolutely NO relationship with my family - and I'm not there, by any means.

Once I wrote a poem that began,

  "I live inside my memory, I cannot help it." 

I really love revisiting past places, past times, past moments. I love the comfort of knowing how to get places. I love running into other native Delawareans and getting to swap stories from middle school and discover that we went to the same place for kindergarten, or etc. I love that it's a two-hour drive to the beach and I've been there and done it enough that I kind of know my way around even though I probably only make the trip a half-dozen times or so a year. I love all the country roads, I love knowing and going to all the state parks, I love the farms that start to pop up as you head away from Wilmington and Newark. I love that sometimes, I can take someone I really care about and go on a 30-minute drive with them and point out numerous meaningful places from my childhood and recount random stories that make up a part of who I am, just because I drive by places and they jog my memory. I love that I know the house with the best Christmas light display every year and I love bringing new people to see it.

There are drawbacks to living in the same place and knowing all the same people - they know all your past mistakes and drama - but I've been improving my life and growing up and being pretty straight and clean, post-college. I live and interact with people in such a way that I am not embarrassed by my choices or most things(people) I've done over the past 5 years. I have cut out the poisonous friends and, even though I'm still living in the same town they probably live in, I don't run into them, not more than maybe a chance meeting in the street once a year, and when that happens I don't have to engage. I am proud of my life and who I am and where I've gotten, especially compared to when I've been down in the past. So I feel like the common complaint of living in the same place for too long, that "you know too many people and too many people know you/about you," doesn't come into play in my life very much. And I have always felt that the best part of traveling is coming home - I do not have an innate urge to go new places, break new ground, go someplace totally different where no one knows me.

Besides, the Poet Laureate for the state has just retired, which means there's an open position. She held the post for like 8 years, and while she's a good poet, I kind of feel like I am one too. And I feel like being a native makes me a better candidate for the position than not! ;)

(It's been a running joke since college that I'm going to become poet laureate of Delaware. I have done basically nothing to accomplish this, but then again, how does one get that kind of post anyway? Who knows. Prestige, I guess. Prestige and writing regional love poems.)

Side note - best thing about the passage you quote above?

| that Wilmington just got its first homicide unit.

The police chief actually vocally opposed this development. Crazy hubris IMHO - there is a clear violence/crime problem in the city. But the push to add a homicide unit came from an outside review and I think he just didn't want to agree with any of the suggestions that came from it.

Anyway. That's why I live in, basically, the same area (certainly same county) where I grew up and went to college and why it doesn't bother me - why I actually enjoy and like it. Wilmington is kind of a side effect of those choices. But again...I could flee Wilmington for its crime rate, or I could stay and try, in some small way, to help fix it and its problems. I don't think that Wilmington's problems would be improved in any way if everyone who could afford to leave it left.

yellowoftops  ·  597 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 3 Questions With @nowaypablo

Hey Hubski, It's nowaypablo. It's a frosty evening here in New York City suburbia and I'm answering a few questions that thenewgreen sent me as part of this meethubski series interview thing. So thanks for having me on TNG. And here it goes.

Question 1: Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

One of the people that I really look up to is a family friend of mine who came to the United States from Armenia with $100 in his pocket, ame to the University of Rhode Island on a full scholarship, and studied physics. After graduating he came to New Jersey and as he started just taking whatever opportunity came before him he eventually got into the world of finance on Wall Street and eventually ended up managing his own hedge fund. That hedge fund became one of the most successful hedge funds in Manhattan and before you know it this physics geek from Armenia is a total Wolf of Wall Street Baller Type guy. And all the while he managed to maintain compassion and real character that allowed him to raise a great family, be a great father, and exhibit the sort of traits that I would want to see in any kind of person, especially myself, even in the face of financial success that a lot of the time we see spoiling a lot of great people and great characters.

Question 2: You are stranded on a deserted island and can bring one member from the Hubski community with you. Who do you bring and why?

I think we'd have a great time regardless of who I brought with me, but my boy Galen, who despite getting a higher ACT score than I did is still a great guy and I think we'd have a great time together. _refugee_ who is the first Hubski user that I actually saw in person, I've never had the chance to have another Hubski meetup though I would love to if anyone ever came to New York. We'd have a great time, thenewgreen would show me some great music I'm sure, keep me very entertained on that lonely deserted island. Although kleinbl00 would have a lot to teach me, I think we would argue so much that I think I would have to swim away from that island and risk drowning. (Hear you on that one). That could be great too.

Question 3: What is your message?

Well seeing as I'm 17 years old, I'd say that whatever opinion I have formed so far means absolutely nothing to anyone of any substance. But, I learned a lot this year about attitude. And that's something I'd like everyone to be aware of especially if you're a bright person who is in a bad situation, or in negative circumstances that you feel like you can't get out of. I found out that if you can keep even with the use of humor, try to keep a positive outlook even in the worst of situations, that circumstance might get better all of a sudden, and you'll be there with a positive outlook ready to seize that change and roll with it. Socially it's been very easy for me once I allowed myself to be open and free and have a good time. To just make friends and just surround myself with the kind of people that I feel most comfortable around. And if one of my friends turns out to not be the best person for me, to have this outlook, a positive attitude can help me let go of that toxic person and move on with my life easier, comfortably. And not trying to hang on to this wicked relationship and try to figure out how to get around it. So I hope that anyone who is going through any sort of tough times or any sort of stressful situation can allow themselves to see a little bit of humor or a little bit of fun in whatever they're doing. Or at least find something else to distract them from that and get back to it when they're feeling better because there is no point in wasting a second of your life in doing something that doesn't make you feel good. Unless of course you're working toward something that will make you feel great in the future, in which case keep chugging. Best of luck to you.

So thanks for having me on, and hearing me out. It's been great. Peace out.

briandmyers  ·  697 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what's your best advice for nailing an interview?

    I would suggest that honesty is great regarding the weakness question.

What's your greatest weakness?

I'd have to say "honesty".

I don't think honesty is a weakness.

I don't give a fuck what you think.

hogwild  ·  714 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Any other first-year PhD students out there?

Ah yes, and my advisor gave me the following essay as reading material a while back, which I just remembered:

Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught

It's short and it's not about how to handle the start of grad school. But it is good advice in general for academic careers, and in particular for careers in math.

tacocat  ·  725 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I did an informal study about Hubski

OKCupid is a palace built on a sadness foundation. I moderated there until seeing penises and arguing about rules lost its charm.

tacocat  ·  734 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How do I give badges?

Give it to me for this

You can do worse than Steve Winwood

TheVenerableCain  ·  747 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What are your favorite Windows 95/98 era video games?

Sword of Aragon. This game is one of my favorite games of all time. Fair warning, this game came out in '89, so the graphics are pretty amazing. You are the son of the slain ruler of Aladda, and your quest is to reunite the kingdoms of Aragon. You'll start the game by choosing a Warrior, Knight, Ranger, Priest, or Mage. This guy is you, and you'll see him in battle with a little flag that he carries around.

You'll want to recruit other heroes and form regular army units in order to defend against attacks on your city as well as capturing other cities or vassalizing them. In battle, your units and heroes will gain experience and level up, unlocking new equipment and spells (heroes only). You can have lightly armored "sword and board" infantry, or you can give them a huge, two-handed claymore and platemail. Similarly, archers can have anything from crossbows to compound bows, which affect what melee weapons they can carry in case you get charged by enemy calvary.

There are plenty of events that happen, some of which require you to choose an action such as sparing the life of an accused killer or seeing him executed. Girls are kidnapped by a minotaur. A dragon blocks your advance on a goblin stronghold. Do you kill these beasts or cower in fear? Your cities require your attention as well. Build up your agricultural, logging, mining, manufacturing, and commercial districts. Build more houses and bigger fortifications. Wait for the local populace to get in line to be recruited or forcibly conscript them into your army.

I've played hundreds of hours of Sword of Aragon and continue to get a run in every few months. The game's graphics are nothing to write home about, but the gameplay is fantastic. Best of all, it's free since it's abandonware. Here's a link to download it, if you're interested.

  
Other notable mentions off the top of my head include Dune (point and click), Dune II (real-time strategy), and X-COM: UFO Defense (turn-based tactics). I'd be happy to give you a run down on any of these games (and possibly others) as well.
yellowoftops  ·  763 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Democratic Tea Party

All of your points are very well refuted in my previous posts. I won't do the reading of my post for you. You're supposed to be an adult with adequate critical thinking skills and I expect you to understand how the points in your post which I have clearly referred to relate to the points in my post. If you can't do that then that's fine, but don't pretend that your points weren't discussed in a clear enough way for you to comprehend. It's all right there. I'll even give you an example.

    The borrower is paying on principal that is essentially worth much less, but the bank is able to make the loan because they get their money at the beginning when it's still worth a lot.

    What? The bank loses control of the money that's valuable in the beginning, and the reason they would go through with that is the expectation of a return on that investment in the future. But as a currency loses ts value, so does the ROI. You're saying that's good for the bank?

The bank does not lose money in the housing deal by lending out money due to what is called amortization and interest. If a bank lends you 100,000 and you buy a house, the bank has to charge interest to make a profit. This profit will lose value due to inflation, but not in the same amount that the interest will accrue. They also head the inflation off at the pass by taking most of your mortgage payment and applying it not to the principal of the loan, but instead to the interest that the loan has accrued thus far and interest the loan will ever accrue. EVEN MORE SO, most banks that originate the loan sell off your mortgage immediately to someone for a guaranteed amount and stop worrying about the interest ever. I lend you 100,000. I sell the loan for 102,000. I've just made 2,000 risk free. The guy who I sold it to paid 102,000, but now has the rights to the interest accrued on the loan and takes the risk associate with originating a loan.

I have never 'changed my tune'. I'll even reiterate it for you: Your understanding of the economics of the situation is capricious and lacks basic understanding of the underlying systems that you are attempting to discuss. I am not okay with your attempt to argue your point with no basis in reality as if it is actually a fact. My 'appeal to authority' is not akin to me just accepting the 'hive mind' or my 'indoctrination into the corporate drone squad' or whatever dumb shit you guys are saying in this current generation of ignorant internet economic experts. My authority in this situation is the academic research which has been performed before you and I were born, the studies that I have performed of that research, and the actual experience of the world based on that research.

Your authority is a gut feeling that you have that inflation is bad and deflation would make us richer. It's akin to religious fervor. Your economic understanding is equivalent to creationism. You are actively denying science because it doesn't agree with you. Like I said, this is not a debate. You have been wrong the whole time. It's like you asking me to debate you on why 2+2=5. And I did, because I believe that you can understand why you're wrong and learn. Looks like you're going to prove me wrong. But that's okay. Someone else will read these and see what you did and laugh at your mistakes and move on richer for the experience. That's okay with me.

insomniasexx  ·  785 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: David Foster Wallace - Consider The Lobster

I've caught a lot of lobster off the coast of LA. We hoop net by the breakwall in Redondo. Usually they're just over a foot long at the beginning of the season and by the end it's hard to find a legal one. I always let the men deal with the killing part. They use the "knife through the skull" method instead of the boiling alive method.

They also had the same mentality as the David Foster Wallace mentioned:

    ...plus that a willingness to exert personal agency and accept responsibility for stabbing the lobster’s head honors the lobster somehow and entitles one to eat it.

Typically we catch 10-20 lobsters a session, so the rest of the tails get frozen in milk cartons filled with ocean water until they are ready to be eaten. Fresh lobster is better, but 2 day old lobster that's been frozen in saltwater isn't noticeably different.

It is fucking ordeal to catch lobsters yourself – which is why those lobsters taste way better than the same lobsters from the fish market. We typically get down to the harbor at 4:30 or 5, grab some scraps of bait from the fish market, untangle the nets, hope there aren't maggots in them, put the bait scraps in pantyhose, tie those to the nets, find leftover 2 liter bottles in the recycling, put glowsticks in them, tie those to the nets, pack everything and a case of beer into the dingy, and set off. Then we drop all the nets one by one, circle back to the first one, pull it up, grab any lobster, check the length, throw them back if they are undersized, add new bait if it's gone, drop it the net back down, and repeat until we've hit our limit or we are too cold, wet, and stinky to do it anymore.

I never really thought about the killing part or pain that the lobster feel, beyond the fact that I'm too squeamish to take part in it myself. I don't necessarily like it but I don't know if it is better or worse than the slabs of pink meat I pick off the shelf at the grocery store every week. I have a higher respect for hunters who hunt, kill, skin, butcher, and eat their own meat than I have for myself picking $15 steaks out of a fridge. There really is something to eating something that required effort to obtain.

I don't know.

It's easier to ignore the death or horrible shit or pain or whatever. (This applies to everything - not just lobster.) Taking a moment to think about it instead of ignoring it or forcing it to the back of your mind is probably better in some sense. But it's also fucking depressing. One thing about being human is we get to rule this Earth - for better or for worse.

I think the takeaway from this piece is that we should all be more aware and reflective about the things we do, or animals we eat, or choices we make every day. The things that are easy to ignore can be quite interesting when examined – especially when examined by David Foster Wallace in ten thousand words. Does it mean that I'll stop eating lobster? No. Does it mean I'll think twice before throwing the lobster into the dingy next season? Not at all. But I'll probably think back to this essay next time I'm trying to wash the saltwater and fish smell out of my skin while licking my lips and watching lobster tails boil magnificently. Another thing about being human is we are capable of being reflective and empathetic. Maybe we should try to do more of the latter as we are ruling the world.

flagamuffin  ·  787 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Study: Congress literally doesn’t care what you think

I'm gonna go vote.

mk  ·  834 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Feature Request: Zen mode hides badges

That sounds reasonable. There is no truth to be found in badges.