Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
rrrrr's comments
rrrrr  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web

I've made politically incorrect gaffes in very politically correct left-leaning academic circles and felt everyone's stares bearing down on me. I felt kind of mortified. I said sorry, that was insensitive, and I learned something about my own instincts there. Surprisingly, society didn't collapse.

rrrrr  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web

Nathan Robinson's response pretty much hits the mark:

Pretty loud for being so silenced.

I get the same feeling off these people as off the white nationalists who complain that white men are more oppressed than anyone else. They're either very deluded or speaking in bad faith.

veen  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ever since reading Peterson's book I can't tell you how freaking often he pops up.

    Think of all the black leftists and liberals, or scholars of race, that Sam Harris or Dave Rubin could have on their shows if they wanted to: Eddie Glaude, Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, Adolph Reed, Angela Davis, Kiese Laymon, Peniel Joseph, James Forman, Paul Butler, Tommie Shelby, Robin D. G. Kelley, Cathy Cohen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Nina Turner, Bryan Stevenson, Nell Irvin Painter, Elizabeth Hinton, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Briahna Joy Gray. (Those are just a few names from the top of my head; given time I could produce a list ten times longer.) If Sam Harris had Ibram Kendi, author of a National Book Award winning history of racist ideas, on his show, Harris might finally come to understand why so many people react badly to Charles Murray’s work, and appreciate the multi-hundred year history of “racial intelligence difference” discussions serving to justify racist violence.

Ten times this. While I have succesfully ignored Harris for quite some time now, he recently was on the Ezra Klein podcast. I don't recommend listening to it - it's not a good conversation, it doesn't really go anywhere, and I want my two hours back, but Ezra makes pretty much the same point to Harris.

    What I want to convince you of is that there’s a side of this you should become more curious about. You should be doing shows with people like Ibram Kendi, who is the author of Stamped from the Beginning, which is a book on racist ideas in America which won the National Book Award a couple of years back. People who really study how race and these ideas interact with American life and policy.

He doesn't see it as a problem. He doesn't really admit mistakes, period, because in this 'dark web' people are just meaner so one cannot look weak or nuanced. The term "neuroscientist" really needs bigger air quotes.

rrrrr  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Shitty brain tumor

Tough news. I hope things go well for her.

rrrrr  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘I really don’t know how Zuckerberg and co sleep at night’

    Unless or until FB is deemed to be a utility, they should be held to account for the havoc they cause globally. I don't know what that looks like, but clearly the status quo isn't working.

Holding websites responsible for what users post is a hard thing to implement without undesirable side-effects:

b_b  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's very true, but not holding them accountable clearly also has undesirable side effects. Good policy would at least attempt to balance the concerns on both sides.

rrrrr  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Welcome to Hubski

You had a rougher than usual welcome, and it surprised me. Stick with it - the conversation here is so much better than on any comparable site, and people are generally good to one another.

rrrrr  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: North and South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms

So do we have to admit, however reluctantly, that Trump takes some of the credit for making progress where others failed? What part did his combination of sanctions and the offer of talks play in bringing the two Korean leaders to the table?

ForPetesSake  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would be a little reluctant to uptalk America's role in this situation, Trump in particular. Much of this has happened independent of the United States, and because of China's influence in the region. If anything, his efforts have further alienated our allies and driven them more into the arms of their neighbors and other trade partners and away from American influence (Mexico and Canada bypassing the United States to make deals in Europe and Asia is a fine example). It definitely appears that they are intent on replacing the United States with other customers who are willing to play a little nicer (maybe China has convinced NK that they can benefit from this situation). Although, Trump's unpredictable behavior may have given North Korea pause and a reason to play a little nicer. It still seems more likely that this is political and economic maneuvering and they will either use America's unwillingness to cooperate as a wedge to drive between allies, or they will play up to Trump's ego and tensions will ease (giving Trump an opportunity to claim a win, even if little of it can be attributed to him personally).

rrrrr  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Doing science right: Have there been previous human civilizations on Earth?

The question you quote and ask in your post title isn't the same question the article is discussing. One's about previous human civilizations and the other's about pre-human (so non-human) civilizations.

goobster  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ah. Good catch. I was imprecise with my wording.

I equated humanity with industrialized civilization - like the author did - and didn't clearly state that the previous humanoid civilization would not have been Homo Sapiens, but a different genus.

    An accredited investor has to meet certain income and net worth standards, however, such as having $1 million in net worth or an annual salary of $250,000 for two years.

Huh. Oh well.

katakowsj  ·  64 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah. I wondered immediately about the standards, and also the bullshit tag.

What's the purpose of the income and net worth standards? If you can pony up the value of the tokens, don't you own a fraction, no matter how small?

Having to meet financial qualifications outside of providing money for the ether-based tokens seems counter to the whole idea of opening up the investment opportunity to many.

The fact that this comes as a threat to some may point to the actual credibility of the idea.

b_b  ·  64 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The purpose of accreditation in these types of off-the-book investing is so that only people who can suffer deep losses can bet on them. The government is at least nominally there to ensure that more traditional investments are conducted fairly and legally. Things like angel investing, e.g., are sort of wild west in their approach, so rather than ban them, the government has taken the position that only those with really high risk tolerance should be able to participate. In practice, this rule is rarely enforced (due to the off-the-books nature), as far as I'm aware (only dimly).

I think one could easily construct an argument against accreditation, since it locks out average people from early stage investing, which is where lots of money can be made. But if I'm not mistaken, the SEC's position is that it's far more often where money is lost. Institutions and professional investors are far more likely to be able to make a distinction between a snake oil salesman and a legit business opportunity. The SEC gives a pass to startups who don't have the resources to make official equities sales, with the caveat that they try not to take advantage of people who aren't sophisticated.

rrrrr  ·  66 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Self-driving Uber kills pedestrian in Tempe

    Our hearts go out to the victim’s family.

Who knew Uber had hearts?

kleinbl00  ·  66 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In jars.

In the pantry.

Pickling in secret herbs and spices.

rrrrr  ·  69 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How A Player In The Trump-Russia Scandal Led A Double Life As An American Spy

Yep. They actually do some good journalism these days, often enough that it has ceased to surprise me when I see an article like this from Buzzfeed. But I did just take a glance at their homepage and it's the same nonsense as ever. Can a website suffer from multiple personality disorder?

rrrrr  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump ousts Tillerson, will replace him as secretary of state with CIA chief Pompeo

Yesterday Tillerson spoke out about Russia poisoning a spy in the UK, while the White House refused to blame Russia. Today Tillerson is fired.

But that's OK, because the Republicans just shut down the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference. It turns out Russia is a great friend and did nothing wrong!

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've come around to the notion that the Republican Party are like market investors in a stock bubble: they know it can't continue, they know they're near the top, but they're trying to maximize their investment before they cash out their chips and hunker down for years of stormy weather.

Mccain is only ever reminded of the Keating Five when he's trying to run for President. None of these fuckers will face any real blowback if they survive reelection. And if they don't survive reelection there's some friendly board of directors somewhere that will pay them six figures a year to come to eight meetings.

"bin Laden determined to attack within the United States" has been on the board of directors at Dropbox since 2014.

am_Unition  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Having the House Intel Committee issue a statement at odds with the entire intelligence community (that Russia didn't aim to assist Trump) is a new low. I'm almost glad that they've terminated their little investigative theater, because seeing Nunes's name in headlines infuriates me to no end. But I have little doubt he'll continue to denigrate the title of "Congressman".

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Were you really expecting anything else?

The game I like to play is "what job are they looking for?" What is Nunes angling for with all this bullshit? Who, in the end, is going to be impressed by this? What outfit with deep pockets wants to throw coins at him?

My conclusion on Nunes is he's a small-town grifter that doesn't see the forest for the trees and is operating without an endgame but I'm not in politics. He could well surprise us.

b_b  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm close to ready to go full on conspiracy theorist here. This time last year I fully expected that Ryan and McConnell would jump ship after (1) they got their Spanish Inquisitor confirmed to the court, (2) they gutted the ACA, and (3) transferred more of the tax burden to the middle class while making the revenue picture one that necessitates cutting lots and lots in the near future. They got all three and yet they're still all in. Why? There are only a few reasonable explanations.

First is that they're enjoying gutting the welfare state so much that they just don't want to stop. This is likely. It doesn't account for some of the seedier things they've done, however, such as degrading law enforcement and intelligence gatherers, which are supposed to be GOP sacred cows.

Second, they could be full on conspirators in Trump's embezzlement scheme. I view this as so exceedingly unlikely that I hesitate to even type it.

Third, Russia has compromised them by the same tactics that they used against the Dems, and have heavy threats against them if they don't play ball. I find this to be a very real possibility. Donna Brazile told Clinton that she was going to be asked about emails at a town hall. Shocking and scandalous! Can you imagine what type of nefarious shit McConnell says and does when he thinks no one is watching? What about Paul Ryan, a person who admits in public that the long game of tax reform is to cut entitlements, and that Ayn Rand is his hero. Those are the things he's not embarrassed to say. There's an almost 100% certainty that these crooked dealers have a lot they need to keep under wraps. Is it so embarrassing and profoundly immoral that they would sell out NatSec to keep it hidden? I don't think that's beyond reason.

Some RNC staffers have said on the record--and then "corrected" themselves--that their emails were hacked. But we've never seen that evidence. So either the corrections were legit, or there's an anvil hanging by fishing line above the entire GOP's head. Do we think that somehow a bunch of old ass rich dudes are so tech savvy that they're immune to state sponsored hacking? Not likely.

am_Unition  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Politifact took a look at the RNC breach.

But I agree, it doesn’t make much sense to me why almost the entire party (at the national level, at least) is committing a slow political suicide. We all know Mueller is going to find, like, so many dead hookers in Trump’s trunk. So why is anyone still hitching their wagon up to his? Short-term political gains at the expense of being on the wrong side of history? Maybe they honestly don’t care.

johnnyFive  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you overestimate the likelihood that any of them will actually face consequences, but they don't. I think the Republican leadership was worried when Trump was elected, but once he made it through a few months without going to jail, it became clear that actual accountability is no longer a thing.

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think that if McConnell or Ryan were able to be blackmailed they would have been blackmailed long since. I've got my own pet conspiracies but I'm also with Benjamin "three can keep a secret if two are dead" Franklin. Really - what have we really learned about Trump that's surprising over the past 18 months? He's grab'embythepussy through and through, all we're learning is specifics.

The logical conclusion is that McConnell and Ryan know they're going to survive Trump.

Last time McConnell won he was up by 16 points. Ryan has never come within ten points of losing in eleven elections - he won his first election 81 to 19. If these guys can keep their constituents happy, they get to keep playing long after Trump is gone. Meanwhile they've been at it long enough to know that if they keep their noses clean in an election year they're golden.

goobster  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Heritage Foundation. Blackwater (or whatever name they are calling themselves to avoid name recognition, nowadays). Some Murdoch-owned property. The Koch Foundation. Goldman Sachs. Any of numerous interlinked policy think-tanks with a deep and abiding hatred for all America stands for...

The list is long and lucrative.

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not buyin' it. Nunes is a toady, not a thought leader.

- Heritage Foundation is a think tank. Nobody cares what Nunes thinks.

- Blackwater is a logistics company (really - they're just a lot more kinetic than Penske). Nunes does nothing for them.

- "Some Murdoch-owned property" is related to media, and Nunes has demonstrated himself to be fucking awful on camera. More than that, he's got terrible instincts and he's mostly good for getting caught doing dumb shit.

- The Koch foundation. They mostly spend money and Nunes has none.

- Goldman Sachs. I know it's popular to call 'em the Vampire Squid but mostly, they're a bank. The nefarious shit they've accomplished is all related to banking. Nunes offers them nothing.

- numerous interlinked policy think-tanks with a deep and abiding hatred for all America stands for...

There's a great line in Ken Follet's "Fall of Giants" where a character describes Lord Beaverbrook as having two important characteristics: truly believing the vile shit he publishes and being able to restate the evil and petty thoughts of his basest readers as something noble and rational.

Nobody wants Nunes' thoughts on anything. We know he has none. he's useful in the moment and I think he's reaching to demonstrate how "useful" he is because moving forward, he's got nothing to offer. I'm honestly having a rough time putting myself in the shoes of any of your Usual Suspects above and coming up with a reason to hire Devin other than some dumbshit grafty quid pro quo the conspiracy theorists would love to propose.

I think he's just really bad at the game and isn't thinking past November.

b_b  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just saw Trump comments re: Russia. "As soon a we get the facts, if we agree with them, we'll condemn Russia, or whoever." That's a clause by clause tour de force.

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sometimes I like to pretend he's Mike Myers pretending to be Wayne Campbell as the president.

Sometimes I like to pretend he's Andy Kaufman pretending to be Tony Clifton as the president.

francopoli  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was born in a superpower at its near peak of global dominance, probably the biggest most powerful global force ever in human history. I get to walk into grave watching the fall of Rome one tweet at a time.

I'm not a fan of this timeline, not at all.

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Meh, not buyin' it.

Orson Scott Card pointed out that the power of the Roman Empire was bureaucracy. There's a bit in the Durant where he says something awesome like "the emperors over the following three hundred years were noteworthy only in that there were so many of them, and so many of them were so short-lived." The last emperor you can name, probably, is Nero. He died in 68AD. Roman society, on the other hand, continued through Byzantium until fuckin' 1453. That whole "rise and fall" thing was Gibbon being dramatic; really, Julius Caesar was just the last larger-than-life dude to be declared a god.

We're gonna survive Trump. We got too much entrenched bureaucracy and bureaucrats for the whole thing to come apart at the seams. And really - neither the Democrats nor the Republicans want a repeat of Trump at this point. He's a walking, talking demonstration of why the Executive should be limited.

b_b  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Tillerson's comments about Russia yesterday were very prescient: "There will be a response." Fucking Keystone Cops.

rrrrr  ·  73 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's everyone watching these days?

The best two things i have watched recently:

- True Detective, season 1 (HBO)

- Dark (Netflix) - watch with the German soundtrack and English subtitles because the English voice acting will put you off!

johnnyFive  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The first season of True Detective is one of the best single seasons of TV I've ever seen.

Dark is next on my list after Narcos.

rrrrr  ·  75 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Worsening Cosmic Ray Situation

It's not just the usual 11-year cycle. As the article explains, the solar shield is weakening so that the maxima and minima of the cycle are lower than they were a few decades ago (see the first graph in the article). This means that more radiation reaches the Earth's own magnetic shield at each point in the cycle compared to the same point in the cycle in previous decades. And that effect will be compounded by the weakening of the Earth's own magnetic field. So for a number of reasons we're all getting higher doses these days.

The article doesn't say anything about why solar activity is weakening. So it seems this could just be a temporary fluctuation. The article's first graph shows that there was a weak cycle peaking around 1970 too, then it got stronger and recently weaker again. Are there studies of longer trends? And is there any understanding of the causes inside the sun? The small window of data shown in the article doesn't seem an adequate basis for prediction beyond the next few years.

francopoli  ·  75 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's not just the usual 11-year cycle.

One thing that you have to understand reading an article like this is that we have been measuring cosmic ray impacts on the earth's atmosphere for fewer than 50 years. In the general scheme of things, that is nothing. If the sun has a 200 year cycle of magnetic pulses, we have not seen but a quarter of the cycle.

There has been an uptick of "OMG MAGNETIC FIELD DOOOOOM FLIPS!!!" lately. Since there was not a mass extinction, or even any long term damage to the planet from the last flip, we as biological critters are going to probably be fine. Our tech is going to have a rough time, but tech exists because smart people solved problems and came up with solutions to expected difficulties. Since these problems are solvable, I'm not worried about them per se. We are talking more hardening of orbital satellites and resources, requiring more launches (Thank you SpaceX) and heavier manned capsules and living quarters to compensate for the changing radiation environment.

rrrrr  ·  77 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It’s my favorite palindrome’s birthday!

There's a few of us around.

steve  ·  77 days ago  ·  link  ·  


rrrrr  ·  93 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 266th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

I've been enjoying C.A.R.'s new album, Pinned:

Whole album on Spotify