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kleinbl00  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 26th Desultory Quotes Rodeo

This one is worth a passage:

    ...If two parties are engaged in a relatively equal contest of violence - say, generals commanding opposing armies - they have good reason to try to get inside each other's heads. It is only when one side has an overwhelming advantage in their capacity to cause physical harm that they no longer need to do so. But this has very profound effects, because it means that the most characteristic effect of violence, its ability to obviate the need for "interpretive labor," becomes most salient when the violence itself is least visible - in fact, where acts of spectacular physical violence are least likely to occur. These are of course precisely what I have just defined as situations of structural violence, systematic inequalities ultimately backed up by the threat of force. For this reason, situations of structural violence invariably produce extreme lopsided structures of imaginative identification.

    These effects are often most visible when the structures of inequality take the most deeply internalized forms. Gender is again a classic case in point. For example, in American situation comedies of the 1950s, there was a constant staple: jokes about the impossibility of understanding women. The jokes (told, of course, by men) always represented women's logic as fundamentally alien and incomprehensible "You have to love them," the message always seemed to run, "but who can really understand how these creatures think?" One never had the impression that the women in question had any trouble understanding men. The reason is obvious. Women had no choice but to understand men. In America, the fifties were the heyday of a certain ideal of the one-income patriarchal family, and among the more affluent, the ideal was often achieved. Women with no access to their own income or resources obviously had no choice but to spend a great deal of time and energy understanding what their menfolk thought was going on.

    This kind of rhetoric about the mysteries of womankind appears to be a perennial feature of such patriarchal arrangements. It is usually paired with a sense that, though illogical and inexplicable, women still have access to mysterious, almost mystical wisdom ("women's intuition") unavailable to men. And of course something like this happens in any relation of extreme inequality: peasants, for example, are always represented as being both oafishly simple, but somehow, also, mysteriously wise. Generations of women novelists - Virginia Woolf comes most immediately to mind (To the LIghthouse) - have documented the other side of such arrangements: the constant efforts women end up having to expend in managing, maintaining and adjusting the egos of oblivious and self-important men, involving the continual work of imaginative identification, or interpretive labor. This work carries over on every level. Women everywhere are always expected to continually imagine what one situation or another would look like from a male point of view. Men are almost never expected to do the same for women. So deeply internalized is this pattern of behavior that many men react to any suggestion that they might do otherwise as if it were itself an act of violence. A popular exercise among high school creative writing teachers in America, for example, is to ask students to imagine they have been transformed, for a day, into someone of the opposite sex, and describe what that day might be like. The results, apparently, are uncannily uniform. The girls all write long and detailed essays that clearly show they have spent a great deal of time thinking about the subject. Usually, a good proportion of the boys refuse to write the essay entirely. Those who do make it clear they have not the slightest conception what being a teenage girl might be like, and are outraged at the suggestion that they should have to think about it.

- David Graeber, The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

kleinbl00  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Streets of Philadelphia

Bruce Springsteen at his most tortured and commercial is better than Kanye West at the absolute top of his game.

Bruce Springsteen managed to make a synth tune the ultimate rah-rah patriotic good-ole-boy anthem of the Reagan '80s... using the same axe Vangelis used on Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner.

    Mueller is asking Ellis to give the witnesses what is known as "use immunity," which would prevent prosecutors from using their testimony as evidence against them in a criminal case, other than one in which they are accused of perjuring themselves in that testimony. The special counsel is not asking for so-called transactional immunity for the witnesses, which would give them protection from being prosecuted ever for the issues mentioned in their immunized testimony.

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Eyes on the prize, though: the 6-month over-under on Tesla stock is $371 on June 18 and $252 on April 2. 3% isn't even that sporty a day for the stock. The market regularly punishes Tesla for less, and awards it for no real reason at all.

Hauling out Gene Munster to comment on the stock? Makes sense. Digging up Howard Dean?

    The comments attracted widespread criticism on Monday, including from former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential nominee Howard Dean, who tweeted, “If the CEO loses it, the company is not worth anything.

When has anyone ever given a shit what Howard Dean thinks of stocks?

kleinbl00  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Galileo Would Be Stunned: Jupiter Now Has 79 Moons

    If you can find it, photograph it, compute an orbit? why not?

'cuz a gas giant bordering an asteroid belt is likely to attract flotsam like an angora sweater attracts cat hair? "Moon" is pretty loosely defined: basically anything that orbits and isn't artificial in origin. Saturn, therefore, only has as few moons as it has because we haven't started counting ring particles. At some point we're gonna have to define the lower bound or the term becomes meaningless.

This bit is pretty bitchin':

    DECam is a high-performance, wide-field CCD imager mounted at the prime focus of the Blanco 4-m telescope at CTIO. DECam imager contains 62 science CCDs with 520 megapixels and images 3 square degrees (2.2 degree wide field) at 0.263 arcsecond/pixel resolution.

kleinbl00  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Japan, EU sign massive free trade agreement

Well, the agreement has been in the works for a while but it's fair to say that Trump... accelerated things.

kleinbl00  ·  8 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet the Silicon Valley socialists who are pushing a tech worker uprising

    Mostly posting because holy shit Fast Company published this.

You bet they did:

    The long-term goal of the DSA, according to its site, is to eventually “eliminate private corporations” through the introduction of worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises.
bfv  ·  8 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

It wouldn't be nearly as satisfying if they weren't clutching their pearls.

Odder  ·  8 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

    “Tech . . . is primarily white men. And to be honest, you don’t see a lot of white men [at TWC meetings], which leads me to believe that, yeah it is a small minority that is driving this,”

I mean if you can equivocate "protesting because your company is working with ICE" with "scary minorities who want to end private property" why would you miss that opportunity?

You say "massive ego." I say "180GW to launch my 40lb toddler at the moon, not including the rocket or space capsule." That's 4,000 kg of TNT, by the way, or about four pickup loads.

The Mayflower weighed 180 tons.

But sure. We're gonna get a space colony through sheer force of will.


I know how badly Musk wants to be The Man Who Sold The Moon. He's said as much. And I know how badly his cult wants him to be. You said as much. But Tsiolkovsky won't be cheated no matter how badly Elon or you or anybody else wishes it to be so.

Elon thinks the Heavy will be $1700/kilo to LEO, and argues that he can get it down to $20 with reuse. But he's full of shit. With full reusability he's still looking at somewhere on the order of $1200 a kilo. $1200 a kilo is "rich people launching cubesats." It's a cost of $200k to get 150 kilos into space - that's for you and all the shit necessary to keep you alive.

But let's shoot the moon (literally). Presume Hyperloop is a stealth-mode launch cannon. Presume the capsules are going to be made out of diamond-fiber unobtanium and use unobtanium-alloy magnets that weigh nothing and have 100% quench. That's 811 megajoules per kilo for escape velocity. With zero loss, that's 225 kW/h per kilo. And all that energy needs to be delivered before you let it out of the gun - not over an hour, but over a matter of seconds.

Per kilogram.

You know who's doing more to get your happy space colony? am_Unition. At least he's researching fusion.

am_Unition  ·  9 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, kinda. I'm currently still doing space stuff, but the intent is to eventually break into fusion research. My god, it's so cutthroat, though, because of the almost total lack of funding and the complexity of the problem (edit: you know this). And shhh, don't tell my advisors, they don't like it when I talk about jumping ship into a different plasma regime.

The math is terrible, yes. Much worse for fusion than my schtuff, at least for now, although it's what you make of things, to a degree. I kinda went for some low-hanging fruit, for now. I just want my pedigree, and at this point, I've done all of the research I need, it's just reporting it. Which sucks, I can assure you.

OftenBen  ·  10 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

Believe me, I've seen the unhappy math.

Massive egos have been the driving force behinds all kinds of extraordinary achievements because massive egos are given to extraordinary measures in a way that ordinary or at least non-pathological people aren't.

If such a personality is the cost to the goal I stated beforehand, I think that it's a worthwhile trade.

kleinbl00  ·  10 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

You say "massive ego." I say "180GW to launch my 40lb toddler at the moon, not including the rocket or space capsule." That's 4,000 kg of TNT, by the way, or about four pickup loads.

The Mayflower weighed 180 tons.

But sure. We're gonna get a space colony through sheer force of will.

kleinbl00  ·  11 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: veen’s reviews #2: Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty

The one thing missing from Capital in the 21st Century, because it would have overshadowed everything else, is the massive transfer of wealth from the rentier class prior to WWII: both from the pogroms of Russia and then the Soviet Union, and the confiscation of wealth and property of Europe.

Basically the post-war boom was fueled by money stolen from the Jews.

Piketty does point out that Chicago-school monetarism is pretty much bullshit because its models are all based on that massive influx of wealth, which is one of his arguments for bailing on the US. But yeah - think on that for a moment. Saint Milton Friedman and his posse? Yeah, their economics work best when your initial conditions involve six million dead Jews.

kleinbl00  ·  14 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump Says 'No Reason To Believe' Russia Hacked U.S. Election

    The White House • July 17, 2018

    The Day Ahead

    President Donald J. Trump will meet with members of Congress to discuss options for further tax reform to help working Americans.

    Bold American diplomacy in Finland

    When President Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, he continued a proud American tradition on the world stage. “From the earliest days of our republic, American leaders have understood that diplomacy and engagement is preferable to conflict and hostility,” the President said.

    America has no illusions when it comes to Russia. President Trump directly addressed the issue of Russian interference in U.S. elections with President Putin, and the Trump Administration has implemented a range of tough sanctions on Russian individuals and entities. “The disagreements between our two countries are well known,” President Trump said. “But if we're going to solve many of the problems facing our world, then we're going to have to find ways to cooperate.”

    The bottom line: Americans want peace, not conflict. “Nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to meet, to refuse to engage, but that would not accomplish anything. As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics,” President Trump said.

    “As the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!” President Trump tweeted.

Seriously. y'all are missin' out if you aren't on Trump's email list.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Our homes don’t need formal spaces

    The above is a cavernous waste of money and space unless you've got a whole raucous friendgroup of people you invite over to your house all the time.

And this is exactly the allegation that I wish people like Kate Wagner would address: what, exactly, is a waste of space? What makes it a waste? Why do we criticize a big dumb formal living room but give things like barbecues, personal watercraft and time-share condos a bye?

Where I stay right now there is nowhere to sit. The couch is awful. My host, the guy who rents the place, prefers to sit in a director's chair. There is, effectively, nowhere to socialize. My home has a ridiculously large leather sectional and fuckin' hell, man, I've had that ridiculous sectional for sixteen years and ever since I got it, my place has been where my friends hang out. Do you think it's valuable to have a place where your friends come to you? I certainly do. And I've found out how deeply inconvenient it is to have nowhere for friends to sleep because my spare bedroom is full of audio post equipment.

Let's presume for the sake of argument that your bank feels your finances are such that you can afford a big dumb formal living room. Let's assume it's an extra 800 square feet. It probably adds $100k to your mortgage. For that kind of money you could buy a reasonably decent motorhome (that depreciates 40% the minute you drive it off the lot), a 24' bass boat (which will be worth a quarter that in ten years) or a Porsche 911 (which is gonna be worth a third that in six).

The motorhome is gonna get used maybe a week a year and you have to insure it and put gas in it. The bass boat is gonna need a trailer and a truck to haul it and a place to put it, unless you've got a slip which is probably going to cost you $50 a foot per month and oh, marine gas is like $6 a gallon and you usually spend something like 20% the value of a boat every year keeping it seaworthy. The Porsche? At least you get to drive it to work.

But the living room? It's the only appreciating asset there. And it's eight steps from the kitchen. You can put a couch in it and read a book whenever you want to. You can do yoga in it. And fuckin' hell you can have friends over without wondering if they're going to be weirded out by the boat toilet.

Presume you have the money. Presume you want to spend it. After all, what's the point of earning it if you can't enjoy it? WHY are we so eager to pillory people for wanting living space? Google image search "minimalism." What you get is big empty fuckin' rooms. So apparently the idea is not "don't covet space" the idea is "don't put anything in it once you have it."

    I do think people spend based on how they'd like to see themselves, and not on how they actually are.

"A man tells the world how he is four ways: his house, his wife, his car, and his shoes."

- Warren Adler, War of the Roses

Yeah. Spending is aspirational as all fuck. Always has been, always will be. Here's the question: if you've spent to be who you want to be, do you eventually become that person? If you buy a big dumb fucking living room and fill it full of parties, are you an entertainer? If you buy a big dumb fucking living room and fail to fill it full of parties, are you a failure?

This is the thing that bugs the shit out of me about Kate Wagner and her ilk. It's perfectly okay to savage someone for wanting a large living room or a formal dining room, even when they can afford it, but it's perfectly okay to pillory people for trying to make someone else's bad idea livable:

    It’s hard to describe the feeling of loss that comes with looking at a house built in 1980 and discovering an interior fresh out of last month’s HGTV Magazine. Do I really think the world needs more overstuffed chintz sofas or shag carpeting? No, but the idea that a world without a single room decorated like it’s fresh out of a Laura Ashley catalog seems like quite an erasure of the pop cultural history of how everyday people decorated their houses.

    I’ve devoted a large bookshelf to old catalogs, renovation books, interior design magazines, and other resources about how people decorated their homes partially out of personal obsession and partially because I’m afraid that someday that history will be lost in the material world and will only exist in the glossy imagery of those pages.

I worked in architecture for eight years. My sister is an architect. I've interacted with some of Kate Wagner's professors at Johns Hopkins. And it has made me fucking hate architects. The basic idea is that the client is always wrong, that whatever came before is bullshit unless it's holy and only they know the difference, and whatever ideas you may have about livability obviously come from the fact that you're a savage, here let me misquote a 15-year-old study with an n of 32 to prove it. I mean, she lost her fucking mind over the notion that someone would tear this eyesore down:

So what I'm left with is the hollow, spiteful elitism that's based not in any consistency of thought but simply a visceral dislike of anything you didn't study in school. And I fucking hate contemporary architecture. And I fucking hate "mcmansions." I mean look at this shit. Within two pictures she pillories a house for wasting energy with large windows and then pillories a different house for not letting the light in with small windows and they're both in Texas.

Look. There's nothing "Mc" about this mansion. It's twenty thousand square feet. Personally I can't imagine living in it (I can't imagine attending Medieval Times banquets in it). But I'm not so busy snarking that I can't see why it was profiled in the fucking Wall Street Journal. There's absolutely asinine quantities of wasted space in there but then, it's trying to be castle so of course there is. But we're too busy making "deep dream" jokes without noticing that really, the place is hella more logical than Neuschwanstein.

There's no why to architectural criticism in general, and McMansion Hell's in particular. It's all sophomoric "backoffmanI'mascientist" bullshit. And I honestly believe if she'd spend half her cleverness in actual critique the world would be a better place.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SMBC: College Level Mathematics

They mentioned something about "paying it forward" as my wife has been successful in her field.

The rescue was unavoidable in the media and chances were good that the very people you don't talk to anymore because they have a few positive things to say about Trump were more than eager to gossip over "those poor kids." I think most of us got our fill elsewhere.

And apparently there's something about Elon Musk that subconsciously irritates people.

WanderingEng  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Elon has a certain type of smugness that bugs me. I have a coworker who, when discussing something, gives a tone of "you can do it my way or you can do it the wrong way. It's your choice and up to you, but your way is wrong and mine right." Even little things like right-click to paste versus ctrl-v. Elon reminds me of my coworker.

b_b  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

Subconsciously my ass. Fuck that guy. Then again, I've known manufacturing cars was hard since before it was cool.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SMBC: College Level Mathematics

Update: 2 years have passed since the last offer, and 5 hours have passed since I wrote this comment. They just called again and are now offering her $53 an hour.


tacocat  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

The economics of academia needs independent study from the general field or something. It's not a rational marketplace