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galen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 19, 2018

Afternoon.

Work is picking up. People are coming back from vacation, meaning we finally have problems to fix. I like fixing problems. Learning that having problems to work on & people to help is a very important component of my general satisfaction with life. This is also why I've started working at the bar in our dorm (volunteer basis; free drinks on shift). It's nice to be useful.

I miss my drums. My roommate has a cajon, which he lets me borrow, but it's not the same. I find myself singing more, maybe as a substitute musical outlet. Fortunately, in October I'll start practicing with a friend's band, and see if we fit together. They have a kit. I can't wait.

---

Last night at the bar, I was talking with two other Americans, and these two German girls came over and started talking with us. At some point I and the two of them switched to German, and after about 15 minutes, one of them guessed that I was half American & half Swiss, and the other one that I was German. This scenario is pretty much exactly what I envisioned as the "end goal" of my German (language) studies. Now I can fully focus on getting my Spanish up to par ;)

---

Getting kind of low-level homesick, though, on a pretty consistent basis. Currently listening to Buck Meek's Texas twang and missing my state.

And just like that, the lyrics playing right now:

    If I could find a way back home

    I'd go

galen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  
This comment has been deleted.
galen  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: History Will Remember Mitch McConnell as One of the Very Worst

Because they're quoting from C-SPAN transcripts, I think.

galen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 12, 2018

    Despite all the distractions/adventures/food for thought, I'm still not free of the mental burdens I bore back home. The fact that I feel like I'm without people who know and understand me, that I don't need permission to hang out or be with. I thought maybe I'd escape that by being someplace radically different. But we carry it with us. It's an internal resolution that I haven't found yet. I'm still learning to be whole wherever and whenever I am.

It's very easy to (consciously or subconsciously) feel like travelling (running away) is the answer. In my experience, it even works at first-- the newness of somewhere foreign beats out old pain. But the latter creeps back in, and either we deal with it, or we run further away.

I'm trying to work through my burdens too. Write a PM if you ever want to talk.

galen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 295th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

galen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 295th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Coldplay popped into my head this morning. Not sure why.

Can't think of Coldplay without thinking of Radiohead.

Can't think of Radiohead without thinking of an old friend who's still never recorded his cover of Creep, which was at the age of 12 the best live performance I'd ever heard.

https://tallwilliamlarsen.bandcamp.com/track/drop-in-the-bucket

galen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How WhatsApp Destroyed A Village

Immediately reminded me of the Blue Whale challenge, a VK-based hoax that led to alleged suicides, arrests, and moral panic across Russia.

    And what happens when an incitement to violence can be shared instantly with hundreds of people who can each share it with hundreds more?

Compare also RTLM, a Rwandan radio station that played a central role in the propagation of genocidal calls to action. I'd argue that whatever communication technology prevails can (and sadly probably will) be abused to incite violence. This is not a WhatsApp-specific problem.

veen  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It’s not a technology-specific problem, I completely agree. But I don’t think communications methods are entirely neutral either. The design of the app or website or whatever plays a big role in how people interact with it, and that responsibility does lay with the company or organization, up to a reasonable point. I’m just not entirely sure where that point is.

kleinbl00  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Here's the problem:

    In attempting to fulfill Facebook’s current mission — to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” — Zuckerberg and his team of Silicon Valley–based executives failed to foresee its malignant applications: misinformation, propaganda, rumor, hate.

They didn't fail to foresee. They failed to be responsible. There's a world of difference between "to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together" and "to build community and bring the world closer together."

Facebook was created so that Harvard boys could rate Harvard girls without the girls knowing. This whole "empower community" thing is a speculative side-benefit of the core mission of social media apps, which is monetizing jealousy. By saying, "well, people could use it for good if they wanted" those collecting the checks absolve themselves of all responsibility for any actions or behavior other than "good" (for which they can claim credit).

Meanwhile, the organizations tasked with enforcing "good" have no more handle on the platform than anybody else. Generally they have a lot less.

And here we are.

katakowsj  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Agreed. That, and...

    The videos, whose origins are impossible to trace because of WhatsApp’s strong encryption, had been making the rounds in WhatsApp groups in India months before the incident in Rainpada.

Since when do we take the word of any reporter that has absolutely no stake in the game? Encryption absolves the reporter of any culpability. What the hell?

galen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mac Miller Dead at 26.

Fuck, man.

Fuck.

galen  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

    stretch your current abilities to an uncomfortable level and embrace honest feedback, even if it destroys what you thought was good.

    That's not necessarily fun though

Then I guess I'm just weird :)

A more serious explanation: I think there's inherent beauty in doing any thing well, regardless of what that thing is. This is why it's always cool to see people talking about the things they really care about, even if I absolutely don't care about that thing. Passion is cool. Doing things well is cool.

Also I hate losing.

veen  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's satisfying for sure, but it's not fun in the spaß sense of the word.

    I think there's inherent beauty in doing any thing well, regardless of what that thing is.

Totally agree. (One of my favourite subreddits is /r/ATBGE.)

The perfectionist in me always strives to do things well from the get-go. Which so far has worked wonders, but the downside is that I avoid failure like the plague and thus don't always know how to deal with it.

galen  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

Perfecto, gracias. Te escribo en unas semanas :)

galen  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

I find going to the supermarket a pretty nice way of just dragging yourself out of bed and, like you said, being an adult to cope. There's always something you can restock: rice, beans, toilet paper, olive oil. It's not the most efficient, but for staying afloat while low-key depressed, I think it's a good strategy.

tacocat  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've been too broke to buy food at several points recently. From about 10-3 is the only time I can expect to leave my apartment without being stuck in ridiculous traffic. And the grocery stores here are crazy busy if I don't go during that time window. I really need to move to a different living situation

galen  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

This is why I'm anxious to get to softball practice every week-- because I've spent time at home focusing on my own techniques, comparing with pros, watching youtube videos, trying things out. Eventually, I'm just ready to see if I'm more successful in a game-like environment. Some others also exhibit this constant series of small improvements; others seem to have decided that they're "done learning," and now they've stagnated. To my eye, that seems a lot less fun.

Maybe I should practice that more in other areas of life.

veen  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think the techniques themselves are less important than the system behind it. One of the books in this trifecta of productivity books is Scott Adams' (the Dilbert guy) book. He makes the point that goals are for losers (as in, you're a loser for a long time until you actually hit that goal), and that you should instead focus on implementing some kind of system that you'll be able to succeed at and improve over time. So instead of saying "I want to lose X pounds", he suggests saying "I will eat healthy/healthier", which is much easier to accomplish and improve upon.

There's also a bunch of research that suggests that you will inevitably hit a plateau unless you develop ways to practice with deliberateness. Cal Newport calls it "stretch and destroy": stretch your current abilities to an uncomfortable level and embrace honest feedback, even if it destroys what you thought was good.

That's not necessarily fun though, so I would think about what you want to get out of softball. Could be that it just satiates your sporting and socializing needs. There's no need to strive for perfection in everything you do, but I firmly believe it's good to do everything with deliberateness.

galen  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    stretch your current abilities to an uncomfortable level and embrace honest feedback, even if it destroys what you thought was good.

    That's not necessarily fun though

Then I guess I'm just weird :)

A more serious explanation: I think there's inherent beauty in doing any thing well, regardless of what that thing is. This is why it's always cool to see people talking about the things they really care about, even if I absolutely don't care about that thing. Passion is cool. Doing things well is cool.

Also I hate losing.

veen  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's satisfying for sure, but it's not fun in the spaß sense of the word.

    I think there's inherent beauty in doing any thing well, regardless of what that thing is.

Totally agree. (One of my favourite subreddits is /r/ATBGE.)

The perfectionist in me always strives to do things well from the get-go. Which so far has worked wonders, but the downside is that I avoid failure like the plague and thus don't always know how to deal with it.

galen  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

German police are generally pretty chill. Just don't give me the university administrators.

mk  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's a global thing.