Hubski thoughtful web.Hubski made some synthetic rain #music not of interest unless you have a spare '87 Yamaha TX81z lying around, but along with my rainy gifs I was making rainy sounds last week. Now you can download the patches to make them yourself. If you have a Yamaha TX81z. claim that FEC Data suggests Trump laundered money to pay off Stormy Daniels. #trump #uspolitics haven’t been through this thorough rundown yet: people on github not getting the same result, we shall see.update: updated the source file and apparently repeatable. and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet #internet #media Web sites get the most traffic? According to the ranking service Alexa, the top three sites in the United States, as of this writing, are Google, YouTube, and Facebook. (Porn, somewhat hearteningly, doesn’t crack the top ten.) The rankings don’t reflect everything—the dark Web, the nouveau-riche recluses harvesting bitcoin—but, for the most part, people online go where you’d expect them to go. The only truly surprising entry, in fourth place, is Reddit, whose astronomical popularity seems at odds with the fact that many Americans have only vaguely heard of the site and have no real understanding of what it is. A link aggregator? A microblogging platform? A social network? Fartski: February Sketches, Practice Report #tellhubski #art a creative first few days in February (during which I finally completed my malingering project from this thread by rd95: ), and with mk's additional encouragement, I decided my challenge for the month would be to practice drawing/draw/sketch (I consider the 3 options perfect synonyms; others might not) "on the reg." That is to say, loosely, my goal was to draw every day or at least try to; strictly, the activity I tracked was "draw a face every day" and I marked it complete 21/28 days this past month. I thought I would share a little about the experience and my thoughts and blah blah blah and so on.first sketch, first day, first self-portrait Context: Art Skill I dabble in various art-and-craft activities, have my whole life, and so I already had a scattered background of sketching experience, understanding, and skill. I feel it's important to mention that -- I didn't go from 0 to 100 by drawing every day for 4 weeks. Goal-Setting Background Six or so months ago I picked up a tracker app. It was cheap, only not-free because I wanted to track an obscene number of activities with it. (Right now I am tracking 15 behaviors.) Tracking helps me live my life and feel good about it. I know it's not for everyone, but for me, it helps. So in early Feb when I realized I'd drawn faces every day for like, 3 or 4 days in a row without even trying, I decided to make that specific behavior a new daily goal. I've enjoyed sketching in the past and am typically drawn to faces. I like to pause TV shows and draw characters' faces, especially if I really like the character or think they have a great face; I do personally think drawing faces well is really hard, and sometimes wonder why I like them so much when - I'll be honest - I am happy with a given celebrity sketch if someone else can look at who I've drawn and guess correctly the person it's meant to be. (Within the first 3 tries, even.) What I am saying is, I draw them the most, but I certainly fall short executing, often. I believe goal activities should be really easy or really appealing, especially daily goals - so "Draw a face a day" was the obvious choice. It is hard enough to pick up a new activity and do it every day for a month - no need to complicate things by making my goal activity less appealing/more constricted. george clooney, first week As of March 2nd, I filled up my sketchbook. It took me a year to fill the sketchbook I had before that. the bigger part is everything I drew beginning Feb 1 "Draw a face" was a great specific goal. There were days the directive, "Draw" would have been too vague and frustrating. Every time I checked my daily goals and read, "Draw a face," I thought, "Oh hey yeah. I like drawing faces." I really believe making my goal the specific activity that I did, helped me continue to achieve it. Sometimes it was hard to come up with new people. I drew Cardi B for my sister because my sister loves her, and I couldn't come up with anyone I wanted to sketch that day. Cardi B inspired me to try Drake and Nicki Minaj that day as well. 2nd weekOnce I started sketching for a day, I found it really, really easy to keep going. That's how I filled up a whole notebook. Rarely did one face sketch stop at that...and often I branched out in content too. I drew still lives of my living room table. I drew this guy often. This one's my favorite - 1st week?My last day I had a weird creative idea and drew half a dozen cartoon mermaids doing boring real-life-people things. That was fun. Not everyone has been able to identify this coen brothers christ figure 99% of the time I drew using charcoal pencils, a tip from mk given probably like 2 years ago. Sometimes I drew in pen or pencil, but rarely. The mermaids I did with all 3 of those mediums and added colored pencil to boot. I had had a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain for years but not bothered with it much - I'd taken several seasons of art classes in my teens and one of my instructors taught using exercises from the book every day as warm-ups for her classes, so a) I had a reasonable introduction to the concepts and suggested practice already -- and b) I just hadn't made myself -- and around the 3rd week I dug that out and went through it for improvement tips/tried-and-tried drawing activities worth practicing with. I wrote 'em all down. Half of them I was kind of doing anyway. The other half, eehhh, well. There's at least one I plan on trying in an interesting variation, beginning in the next week or so. Mostly, if you google, "How to get better at drawing," you'll find the key is practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice. I believe it, at least mostly I do, and at least I believe I can manage to improve with conscious effort and practice, myself; a teacher might help a little or at some points, but I don't think I'm good enough or plateau'd enough to need one, in the moment. Probably not ever at all. I really enjoy sketching and drawing. final self-portrait, 4th week This whole experience made a light bulb go off. A personal epiphany.I realized how much I enjoy arts and crafting - sketching, yeah, and you might remember some of my previous exlporations too: I plan to buy a house in the next two years and I realized I want to have a dedicated creating space. I realized I'm an adult and if I'm buying a house it's for me and I can require crazy things like a second sink in a wet (read: laundry or basement) room so that I can finally start making paper en mass on the reg the way I wanted to when I started exploring handmade paper for bookbinding 1+ year ago but was forced to conclude it wasn't a real viable workable executable pursuit due to lack of good usable space etc and basically hang that piece of art dream up and walk away from it. I realized I really love being creative and it's a given I will be crafting things the rest of my foreseeable life. I realized I could embrace that.So guys...I am. Look at me. I'm arting. Art begets more art, I am pretty certain. Like rabbits replicate. mk sent me a ton of stuff, basically everything a girl could need to get started on oil painting - I have no idea what I'm doing - but learn - by doing, right? How else? :D I am having fun. And having Ideas. i carved all these stamps. i love carving stamps. i encourage you all to do it if you have to pick a single artski fartski activity to start on. i find few things as satisfying Here's to sketching daily faces, hubski. Here's to making. contemporary architecture #architecture #modernism here's a firm entry in the things-are-getting-worse categoryi don't believe this article mentions cost much, and of course it's a factor, but that can't be the whole story because it ain't cheap to make eisenman's crap; it's clearly just a gesture #hubski #meta having fun with inkscape Importance of Rudeness #thehumancondition #politics ref entirely unnecessary demise of Barnes & Noble #retailhell don’t know what happens after Barnes & Noble sinks. It’s all well and good to say “Support indie stores!” but there are huge swaths of America where there aren’t any. B&N is the last thing standing between Amazon and a total monopoly of the publishing industry, and a monopoly is never a good thing. But the entire book world needs to be prepared, because it’s coming. The zero-moment point came Monday, and in the crassest, cruelest, more heartless way possible.Barnes & Noble has slit its own wrists. Now we just wait to bleed out. helped sell the false choice of war once. It's happening again. #politics #iran"Why Yes Sometimes It Is All About Me and Only Me": Original Work by _refugee_ #art #showhubski._refugee_ Tokyo Architects #poetry #writing lilI've been writing poetry lately. People I've shown have been positive enough with it for me to keep going with it. I spoke this poem at a poetry slam last Wednesday, and people liked it too. I hope you do as well.This poem started off from a conversation I was having with someone about how much post-apocalyptic media has been written, made, and filmed. But, because of how I write, sort of stream-of-consciousness, it started there and then went somewhere else.Tokyo Architects It’s easy to think about the apocalypse. Not just because of “these days” or because we live in “interesting times.” It has always taken more energy to create than it has to destroy, to build the sand castle than to kick it down, to be the architects of Tokyo than to be Godzilla. It has always taken more energy to create than it has to destroy, because to create is to resist. We create bridges to ford the troubled waters of life, to make passage easier for those who come after us. we build dams and levees to hold back the oncoming storm, to keep those who cannot run safe against the tempers of Poseidon, and the sound and fury of the North Wind. We resist. and of course, any architect in Tokyo will tell you that resisting an earthquake means being able to bend and sway like a forest of bamboo. Lithe, smoothly moving to and fro with adversity, but never losing its roots. and of course, any architect in Tokyo will tell you that being faced with a giant force of nature, like Godzilla, or Mothra, or Rodan, means watching everything you have worked for falling to pieces as you run for your life. Bricks, bullets, and tear gas in the air, riot shields SWAT teams, and militia in your rear view. Being an architect in Tokyo means seeing all of that horror, your friend being hit by a carelessly thrown car, and then waking up in the emergency shelter, putting on your best suit (a bit bloodstained), and starting again. It has always taken more energy to create than it has to destroy. To create is to resist, and to build up from nothing is to persist in the face of absolute destruction, a Tokyo downtown flattened by an angry, raging creature. We, like cockroaches, too tough to kill, like a supreme court judge too stubborn to die, will persist. and like Tokyo Architects, we will start again. Dedicated to the Notorious RBG, Supreme Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sharp Power Threatens Soft Power #politics #foreignaffairs from the shithole of Nambia #whiterabbit #sillyseason of this really shouldn’t have to be said…I’m also not the best person to say it… but nevertheless I feel the need to vent a bit:Purported quotes: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out." Mr Trump told lawmakers [that] the US should instead be taking in migrants from countries like Norway.<rant>On the surface-levelIt’s obviously myopic to label entire swathes of the world “shitholes”. One could point to examples of decidedly non-shitty places in the shitholes as well as decidedly shitty places in the non-shitholes as riposte. Not worth splitting hairs about this as the main point is that TBH this level of thinking is a) not becoming of the office of the President and b) not indicative of someone who can think further than their eyes can see.But they are shitholes?Yes. Isn’t it great that we can now finally express our narrow-minded opinions unfettered by liberal/elite/intellectual imps and their fellatory attitude towards political correctness? The truth is the truth, and it wants to be heard.(Trump will probably deny that he said it at all, but it will be too late for the foaming sycophants who publicly agree with his alleged statements.)The argument that goes alongside this idea, if we are being charitable, is that it’s not racist if it’s true. Perhaps in the strict sense, but in the context of other things the man has said, it becomes another piece of ever-increasing evidence that he is, in fact, a flaming bigot. And this bigotry is oozing into your politics, national discourse and foreign policy in ways that are far less subtle than before. (Let’s not even begin to talk about America’s historical penchant for contributing to shitholery worldwide – I’m sure there will be some punditry on this topic elsewhere.)A country’s shittiness as determinant of what exactly?On the first level, it is quite obviously stupid to tie the preference for a potential immigrant to the status of their home country. There is presumably a process involved which negates having to rely on "nationality" as the deciding factor. Presumably also people who are happy where they are tend not to move to places which are worse for them (in the general sense that we are considering immigration here) so the point is probably moot.I’m sure the ancient Egyptians would have considered Europe to be a shithole too if they were thinking like this. The wheel turns slowly. But it does turn. And so it would appear that MAGA is not final, shittiness not fatal. Your president is a cock, my president is a cock. Your politicians are often shit, my politicians are often shit. Pray to your remaining institutions of social cohesion that you can keep it together lest the door hit you on the way out in the South China Sea some years from now.OK, a bit crude but the point is that petty nationalism and the related disparaging of the Other implies a lack of familiarity with “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” If nothing else, then I would hope that America can remember in the years to come what its founding principles were.Olive branch fatigueMany of us shitholers are constantly engaged in a very tiring battle to gain a more full humanity in the eyes of the likes of Trump’s base. This is the kind of struggle that Trump’s comments undermine. I think the key feature is that it’s actually quite difficult to explain things that e.g. to me might seem obvious, but in fact are hard to understand if you have a very different frame of reference. When Fanon says that people revolt “because they cannot breathe” I wonder who is capable of appreciating what he means.On a practical level, this kind of understanding is better found through calm engagement or reading a book but instead it tends to happen in the vitriolic spaces of social media – it’s worth a thought how much this is having a negative impact on “debates” – I certainly perceive that it is.Eventually people give up trying and become jaded. Cf. the processes by which people move from satyagraha or civil disobedience to armed struggle.Africa is a country, n’est ce pas?Firstly, the mere fact of calling out “Africa” as one of the shithole entities qualifies it for this one.Secondly, it’s telling that it is only some countries which are labelled as irredeemable shitholes. This idea is laid bare too obviously by Trump but I’m going to put it to you that he is not alone. Most analysis of the continent is done through this lens and I invite you to extend a more critical eye (side thought: Mahmood Mamdani speaks about how Africa has been a victim of history by analogy – I will go look for the quote when I have the chance).Dog whistlesThis is confirmed by his supposed preference for Norwegians… Norway, the social-democratic welfare state with universal healthcare. The fact that these policies are not in the US Overton window is apparently not enough to designate a country as a shithole and its citizens as fundamentally undesirable.It’s pretty clear what his rationale is here…In fact, as dog whistles go, the veneer is becoming increasingly thin. I watch with growing alarm at the amount of bile spewn by reinvigorated white nationalists. Please, America, don’t let them win. When the dust finally settles you will be hard pressed to find anyone who claims they voted for Trump, just like you can’t find anyone who voted for the NP in South Africa.Shithole today, trading partner tomorrowEven only practically, this numpty probably makes US diplomatic staff incredibly despondent. Good luck creating those bilateral trade deals with the shitholes – politics has never been rational and so these stupid things ironically matter. As one twitteratus put it: “If Africa is the shithole, y'all must enjoy eating ass”Anyway, Death to America, eat the rich, and furthermore Carthago delenda est.</rant>P.S. in these trying times I have to add that I am not being 100% serious, if it wasn't clear... asked 0 questions of Fusion GPS about Trump-Russia #seriousseason 0. That is what Grassley thought was so important that needed to be kept secret. And, oh yeah, NYT ran a false story about the FBI being unaware of Trump-Russia connections on Halloween 2016. How many times is this "liberal" paper going to risk its own credibility in service of Republicans? other news, NYMag summarizes the Wolff book *without* focusing on Bannon. #whiterabbit #goodlongread is so much to excerpt. Yet it all deserves excerpting.Where's Marlon. just donated $20 to Hubski so @mk doesn't have to pay for the servers alone. Join me. #supporthubski #askhubski the 46 Adirondack High Peaks #outdoors #hiking December 15, 2014 through December 21, 2017 I hiked to the summits of all 46 of the Adirondack High Peaks. The High Peaks are the summits in Adirondack Park in northern New York over 4000'. That's actually a misnomer as it's more specifically the 46 summits that were surveyed as over 4000' circa the 1920s. Modern surveys have found four are actually below the cutoff and one more is right around 4000'. But for historical reasons, the 46er club sticks with the original list.I first went to Adirondack Park simply because they had snow. The long version of the story is this: for the previous ten years, my vacation time was consumed by traveling to see Tegan and Sara (a band) play live. In 2013 they released a not very good album. Inertia kept me going to shows, but by 2014 I wasn't very enthused. So I found myself at the end of 2014 with some vacation time I needed to use or lose.In 2013 I started hiking more. As it happens, it's because of my 2013 trip to see Tegan and Sara in Sydney. I spent a week, and one day I visited the Blue Mountains. It wasn't anything remotely difficult; I walked around in old running shoes and blue jeans. But it was very pretty, and I went to more nature areas once home. Winter here was fantastic that year, and by Christmas I couldn't walk the local trails in boots. I bought snowshoes, pretty good ones. I really enjoyed stomping around in the snow that winter.Come late 2014, there was no snow here. The ground wasn't even frozen. Faced with vacation time to use and no snow, I started looking for who had snow. There was snow in the Rockies and Cascades, but online resources were scant for winter hikes and both had avalanche risks.The third place with lots of snow was a round blob in northern New York. I didn't know what it was, but that round blob was Adirondack Park. As I looked for hikes to do, the Lake Placid tourism website had hike descriptions to a variety of summits. It was much more than I found in the other areas as there was even discussion of winter hikes with no avalanche warnings. I later learned avalanches have killed people in the Adirondack mountains but on rock slides and not trails.I'd settled on hiking to Algonquin Peak. It was a fairly straight trail with good parking. I bought a few extra items I didn't have previously, stuff like poles, a compass and a cigarette lighter. I bought a large roller bag that can fit my snowshoes and poles. I was just out to enjoy being outdoors in the snow. While I was heading toward a summit, it was really just picking a trail and not targeting the summit. So I got a leisurely start mid-morning, maybe 9 AM. I wore a backpack with some water, food, and some emergency gear. It was a backpack designed for a laptop.Along the way I met someone I might never forget. It was just some random skier coming down; these hiking trails also get backcountry skiers. He stopped to chat briefly and asked where I was headed. I told him Algonquin but that I might not make the summit. It was still my intent just to enjoy the trail. He looked at me and asked, "Why?" It was a simple question that helped me feel like maybe I wasn't in over my head. I didn't look out of place, and maybe I wasn't. I pushed on.I might have been completely green in this environment, but I still knew I had to turn back before it got late. It was after 12:00 when I reached a junction and talked to two more people. They told me left was Wright, steeper but a shorter distance. Straight was Algonquin. I opted for shorter distance and soon found myself above the tree line, looking out on a cloud layer below me. Going down was a brand new adventure. My high quality snowshoes were great going up. They had loads of grip. But now all those sharp pointy bits were pointing the wrong direction. I held on with my toes as much as I could, but my toes took a beating. I definitely fell a couple times. Nothing dangerous, just my feet slipping and me landing in the snow. I made it down safely.That night I spent a little time on Google to figure out what I'd done. I learned hiking all the mountains in the area is a thing people do. At the time I thought if I hiked three a year, I could finish by the time I was 50. Ha.All told, my hike to the summit of Wright was about seven miles roundtrip.February 2015I went back. I picked Giant/Rocky Peak Ridge and Street/Nye as hikes that were a roughly similar distance. There were all kinds of weather warnings, and I scratched Rocky Peak Ridge off the plan before I even started. Giant was an adventure in the exposed areas. More than once I looked at an open clearing with no idea where to go. Getting my bearings to know where I came from, I decided if I crossed and didn't find the trail, I would turn back. Each time, I found it. On the way down Giant I learned to butt slide. A short but steep section had been very difficult on the way up. Down, I found myself starting to do the splits as a foot slid away from me. I decided both feet sliding was better than one, and down I went with a poof at the bottom. Easy.The next day I headed for Street and Nye. There were all kinds of severe weather warnings, but it seemed OK. As the trees started to thin I found myself worrying as views that had been clear started to cloud in. I quickly reached Nye and decided to head down instead of going for Street. March 2015I was hooked. I went up Big Slide on my first day, and it was a piece of cake. So easy that I thought I'd tackle the higher and longer Algonquin/Iroquois ridge the next day. Here I learned an important lesson. That hike was brilliant until the Algonquin tree line when I found myself in whipping winds and unsure where the trail went. I didn't have a hood, and while I had a map, all I knew was the trail went "up." It wasn't a good place to be, and I turned back.While I was disappointed, the next day I bagged Street, finishing the hike from the previous month.Easter weekend 2015My company gives us Good Friday off, and I used the long weekend to go back. This time I did Tabletop and Phelps one day and Algonquin the next. This was still in snowshoes despite being April.May is typically muddy in the mountains, and bugs can be bad in June and July, so I took some time off.August 2015, first camping tripHaving bagged Algonquin in April, I wanted to go back for Iroquois further down the ridge. I also wanted to try camping. My plan was to hike up Algonquin and Iroquois, then drop down the ridge to Lake Colden to camp. Then the second day I'd hike Cliff and Redfield and hike out.I was doing ok up until I descended off the ridge. I was slow with my full pack up the mountains, but I was OK. Descending with the full pack was awful. By the time I got to Lake Colden, I was done. Instead of continuing toward Cliff and Redfield I found a campsite on a more direct hike out. The next morning I enjoyed views of Avalanche Lake.Camping worked well, but I learned I did not want to carry an overnight bag up and especially down mountains.December 2015I planned this trip in advance, planning to recreate my amazing first trip but spending a full week doing day hikes. Winter came very late to the park, and I ended up not even taking snowshoes. There was a little ice up high, so microspikes were in order. I hiked the Santanoni range the first day and Whiteface and Esther another. I'd planned a third hike, but somewhere along the way my boot waterproofing let go. Stuff was wet, so I threw in the towel and settled for those five summits. The Santanoni's were my hardest hike to date, taking me eleven hours to complete.February 2016I wish I could remember my logic for planning the hike I did, because in retrospect it was quite ambitious. The loop I did started the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR), a private club with easements for hiker use. It starts as a hike down a road. The winter down low never really developed, so it was a fairly easy walk the five miles down to the end of the road where I started to gain elevation. Around 2000' I put snowshoes on, and it was very wintery from that point on. I bagged Sawteeth, Gothics, Armstrong and Upper Wolf Jaw mountains in a traverse along the ridge. I found it difficult to find the way across Gothics as it was a bald summit covered in snow and ice, but I managed after a bit of struggling with deep snow.April 2016I planned this as an overnight trip. I'd planned to hike in to tackle Cliff and Redfield. I bought a new backpack and travel bag for it and everything. I was going to go straight from the airport to the trailhead, but my bag didn't arrive on the plane. It turns out the tag had fallen off. It did eventually arrive a few hours later, but by this point my plan was bust. So I went for a longer day hike I still needed: Nippletop and Dial. This was the only trip I ended up doing entirely with someone else. When I pulled into the trailhead, another person pulled in right after me and asked "Is this the trailhead for Nippletop?" We hiked all day together.He wasn't originally from the area but had moved there with his wife as she was from there. He'd served with the Army in Afghanistan but had messed up his knee pretty bad and got out. His wife was in the process of leaving him, and he was living with his in-laws. I was in the Army National Guard myself, and I knew all the statistics about veteran suicide. I broached the topic with him, mentioning the 46 Climbs suicide prevention charity that uses mountain climbs as a way to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He knew the statistics, too, of course. He said he'd look into it as he felt strongly about veteran health. I still think about him sometimes, and the thought that kept running through my mind was that he could be a poster child for veteran suicide. I hope he's OK. I have only one picture of him on the edge of a panorama taken from the shoulder of Noonmark mountain. This is looking back on Dial with Dix to the left. September 2016I had some difficult hikes left, so I took my first September trip to try to bag them in ideal weather. I was treated to flawless weather three days.First was Allen. This one is notorious. It's 18 miles round trip for a single summit, and there's this infamous red slime. The herd path (unofficial trail) goes up a brook, and the rock has some type of red slimy fungus on it. When it's dry, it's as grippy as rock. But when it's even slightly wet, it's as slippery as ice. It lived up to its reputation. As a funny coincidence, there were three of us on the mountain that day, and we crossed paths at the same time. I was the first up but descending slowly and was overtaken by a faster hiker also coming down. The third person came upon us at the same time, coming up. He caught up with me as we moved onto the official trail about four miles from the cars. He was the one who suggested looking into satellite communication, and he carried a SPOT. I bought an inReach once I got home. Allen took me 11 hours, but I got it done.Three days later I went for another long, difficult hike: the Sewards. There are four Sewards, but I was only going for the three grouped together: Seward, Donaldson and Emmons. This hike ended up not being too terrible. There was one really difficult stretch getting up Donaldson, but from there it was a nice walk down to Emmons and back to Seward. I used the Calkins Brook herd path. This is shorter with less total elevation gain, though there's an up hill section getting back toward the car that did not seem so steep in the morning.I wanted a third easy hike to wrap up the trip, so I hiked Lower Wolf Jaw two days later. I used a less popular trailhead as it was a Saturday. It was still very busy, and someone told me the more popular trailhead had filled up at 3 AM Saturday morning. For an easy hike, LWJ from the Rooster Comb trailhead had the most elevation gain of the three hikes. The trailhead is quite a bit lower than the more popular trailheads and sits below 1000' while others are around 1700'.November 2016I ran a half marathon on Sunday, flew to New York on Wednesday, and hiked Haystack on Thursday. It was a lot, but it went really well. Haystack was another 18 mile hike. It's a totally bald summit with some amazing views, I'm told. I saw nothing but gray. It was also the windiest summit I've been on, and it was a little scary. The hike goes over an initial bump known as Little Haystack, and thankfully it was out of the wind descending the far side. The Haystack rock was very grippy, which was good as I felt like I could be blown off the mountain and into the endless gray in every direction. This took me twelve hours, 6 AM to 6 PM.Two days later in much nice weather I bagged the fourth Seward, Seymour. The day after that, it snowed a foot. Timing was on my side.December 2016This was the opposite of December 2015: there was tons of snow. I initially intended to go for Cliff and Redfield the first day (third time I planned these) but backed down to just Marshall, a summit closer to the trailhead. It was bitterly cold with the car reporting -7 degrees F. Once I got moving, I wasn't cold. There had been fresh snow since the last time anyone went up Marshall, and with a mile to go and the time already 11:30, I decided to turn back. It was disappointing but necessary.The next day I picked an easy hike to have a better chance of summiting in the snow. I ended up carrying my snowshoes to the summit of Cascade and Porter and back down. There was much less snow on these, and being easy they're fairly popular. The trails were solid the whole way.February 2017With fewer and fewer easy summits left, I went for Saddleback on this long weekend. It ended much like Marshall: part way up, slow going in deep snow, and turning back. This was my first trip with zero summits attained. The views were great, though. I was at Uphill by 11:30 that morning. The summit of Cliff was a mere mile away, so I re-packed my bag for a day hike and set off up Cliff. It lived up to its reputation and name. The flat sections are mudholes, and then it goes straight up. And then it has zero views at the top. The steep parts were tricky.The next day I went to Skylight and Gray as planned. Skylight is a beautiful hike. The climb is a piece of cake, just a steady ascent with no steep parts. It's a totally bald summit with fantastic views.Gray wasn't as nice with two steep spots, mud, and so-so views.I was back at Uphill in early afternoon. Normally I wouldn't start an ascent at 1 PM, but with a campsite right there those normal rules don't apply. Redfield is a fairly pleasant hike with a few views along the way. It mostly goes up a brook, and I had to watch for tell-tale signs of previous hikers to find the way. Rocks get dirty and scratched, and I found it fairly easy to follow them up. Back at Uphill, this put me a full day ahead of schedule. I was tired but doing fine.The next morning I packed up and started heading out. I'd always known Marshall was on my way out. Being a day ahead of schedule doesn't mean a day of surplus energy. Marshall was about a quarter of the way back to the car with a campsite at the base and two more campsites from there to the car. I decided to go for Marshall, and if I was tired I could set up camp somewhere along the way.Marshall is known for having a few winding paths on the top with not all of them going to the summit. I had a GPS track of the right path but just followed all the muddiest spurs and was always right.I could hear a helicopter while on the summit. I later learned they were looking for an overdue hiker. Sadly, they found him too late. He was across the valley from me.I slipped on moss while coming down but was just wet and not even bruised. At the base, I ended up hiking all the way out. At each obvious overnight I decided to push to the next. At the last one, I was only three miles from hot food and a shower, so I pushed to the end. It was a very productive trip.December 2017At this point I had two summits left: Basin, an 18 mile hike, and Colden, a 12 mile hike. I'd learned winter hikes are usually best undertaken early in the week as weekend hikers will have packed trails down. I had a week in the area, and the first day weather was cold but with low winds. The hike to Basin starts along a popular trail along the Johns Brook valley. The first three miles was hard packed snow and ice, fast terrain with microspikes on one's boots. The trail got softer at the Johns Brook Lodge, the last of the major trail junctions, and I switched to snowshoes to follow the tracks of previous hikers.The trail I was taking was that major trail, then there's a mile of trail to cut over to the Range Trail, a major trail that runs along the summits of the Great Range, including Basin. When I got to that shortcut trail I found everyone before me had gone straight when I needed to go left. It was only 9:45 AM, so I might as well go as far as I can. It was slow going. When I got to the Range Trail, it was in the same condition. From the point where I started breaking the trail to the summit, I covered 1.68 miles in three hours, 45 minutes. It was so slow. The last 0.7 miles of that took a hair over two hours. But I made it.And I made it back to the car some 13 hours, 15 minutes after I left it.Weather the next day was ok, but I was exhausted. I enjoyed my breakfast at the fantastic Snow Goose Bed and Breakfast in Keene Valley and headed up to Lake Placid for the rest of the trip.The next two days had terrible weather: windy, fresh snow, cold. I took the time to recuperate. My last day was Thursday the 21st. I flew out the next day. Thursday's weather looked great. Still cold, but the winds were low and the skies clear. I took my time getting going on Colden, partially because I was feeling a little lazy and partially hoping to find tracks ahead of me.It turns out five people ahead of me broke out the trail to Colden that morning. I saw them all as they were leaving the summit, and I had a great trail to follow up.Toward the end of the 46 as I looked at what summits I had left, I had picked Colden as a good last summit. It's a shorter trail, and it's adjacent to Wright, my first. I had a nice view of it (just over my shoulder, down the ridge from the higher Algonquin).ConclusionI'm ecstatic about finishing. Thousands of people have finished them, and a thousand people likely did in 2017 alone. I liken it to a marathon. Probably just about anyone could do it. But few do."The Christmas After" - a christmas song by yours truly. #hubskioriginalmusicclub #tunesdotflac, zebra2, kantos, steve.Wrote this song yesterday, recorded and mixed it today. That's one way to procrastinate packing, I guess.Interestingly, not my first holiday song.This is the first song I've recorded in a long time, maybe 4 or 5 months. I've been writing new stuff constantly, just been having a hard time setting things down. It's about the first holiday without someone you love. Give some hugs this year.Lyrics:Late to massWe had to stand in the backAngels we misheard - oh, I -I just mouthed the wordsIt's been a while.I don't take his body nowI wait by the aisleTill my family comes around.Broken glassI was a drunken messBut you just laughed and swept the groundYou said that empty bottles sound like silver bells(Can we trade our sweaters?)It's not my size.Hang up the stockings(Now there's only five). Story on Amtrak Cascades Train 501 Derailment #trains #transportation don't know if you've seen this story yet or not. Basically, a train derailment occurred on a new stretch of track between Tacoma, WA, and Olympia, WA. Three fatalities, numerous other injuries. Train going 80mp along a 30mph curve. millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression #goodlongreads design of this article is quite interesting, and works better on desktop. Keep scrolling! Europeans Tire of Being Sold Inferior Products #easterneurope #capitalismquestionmark, though, wasn't speaking just for people in his own country. Rather, he was giving voice to those across Central and Eastern Europe who have long wondered why Nutella doesn't taste as chocolatey at home as it does in Germany, for example, or why the cola isn't as full-bodied and the washing powder doesn't work as well.He was speaking for 103 million EU citizens who for years have been forced to make due with second-rate versions of brand-name products. Not only that, but questionable studies have even claimed to show that Eastern European consumers prefer the mediocre goods to the real thing. The Polish newspaper Gazeta Prawna has referred to the phenomenon as "grocery racism."Devac goobster and Dumb Inside #comics #music for ButterflyEffect Do We Do With The Art of Monstrous Men? #thehumancondition #art ain’t nothing going to stop me from listening to Remix to Ignition On the other hand I’ve tried watching Woody Allen movies and honestly? Massive panning meh Marathon: my first full marathon #running #racereport Info: Madison Marathon on November 12, 2017 in Madison WI.Goals: This was my first full marathon, and my main goal was to finish. After that, my goal time was 4:20. Training: I've done six half marathons with the most recent one in August. Coming off that I increased my weekly and long run distances pretty consistently other than being interrupted by hikes in August and September. My training routine was to do hill intervals on Mondays, a fast, flat five mile run on Tuesday, a six to nine mile run Thursday and my long run Saturday. My long run length increased roughly 1.5 miles per week and topped out at 22.11 miles two weeks before the race.Pre-race: I got up before 4 AM for the 7 AM race. I downed a chocolate mint Clif bar, a 32 oz bottle of Gatorade, and some instant coffee (as long as I'm naming brands, it was Starbucks Via mocha). The day before I had some easily digestible food (bean and rice burrito for lunch and chicken wrap for dinner, stuff I've had many times). I felt good all through the run as far as stomach stuff goes.Race: I hung with the 4:20 pace group until about mile 18. Up to that point I was ahead of them a little behind them a little but otherwise with them. I don't remember exactly where they started to get ahead of me, but by mile 21 I'd definitely lost them. I couldn't see them at all.For nutrition I took three gels and two chews. This was my first time using chews in a race, and it will be my last. These were Clif Shot Blocks, and the packing is terrible. They're so hard to get open during a race, and they're kind of hard to eat. I used them in long training runs and they were fine, but I always had the luxury of eating and drinking whenever I wanted. In the race I wanted to eat them with fluids, and I was always surprised by aid stations and stuck trying to rip them apart and keep moving and get water. The gels are great as always. I nick the corners of them to open them more easily. So by mile 18 I was starting to fade, and I ended up walking up several hills. I probably walked five times in the last five miles, but I made it to the end and finished in 4:28. While I didn't make my goal time, I wasn't so far off that I'm disappointed.I'd been worried about a couple hills around mile 18, but to be honest, I barely remember going up them. Not because they were easy but because of a mix of just settled into the run and in a bit of a daze. Post-race: My right knee is really stiff but not painfully so. I'm otherwise pretty good. I won't be running at all for a few days, but I'll be back at it soon enough. My knee still aches but is better in the last 24 hours. Yesterday it ached when I did anything. Today it only aches on stairs.What would I change? Besides no Clif Shot Blocks, my race day went well. The only other change that comes to mind is a training one. As a first race, I think what I did for training was fine, but if I do another I want to get to the point where running 18 miles is no big deal. During my long run training, each week was really tough. When I ran 18 miles, the first 16 were nice but the last two a struggle. The next week when I ran 20, the first 18 were OK but the last two a struggle. I think what I'd do differently is give myself maybe three or four weeks of doing 18 mile long runs with a goal of having 18 miles feel as natural as ten or so does today.Will I do another? I don't know. One coworker says not to decide until two weeks after you do one, and I agree with that. The Madison Marathon was run well, and I enjoy the course. If I do another I want to do a different race but only for variety, not because of any disappointment with the race. I'm already signed up for three half marathons next year. is Wrong on the Internet #internet #goodlongread right now, right here, YouTube and Google are complicit in that system. The architecture they have built to extract the maximum revenue from online video is being hacked by persons unknown to abuse children, perhaps not even deliberately, but at a massive scale. I believe they have an absolute responsibility to deal with this, just as they have a responsibility to deal with the radicalisation of (mostly) young (mostly) men via extremist videos — of any political persuasion. They have so far showed absolutely no inclination to do this, which is in itself despicable. However, a huge part of my troubled response to this issue is that I have no idea how they can respond without shutting down the service itself, and most systems which resemble it. We have built a world which operates at scale, where human oversight is simply impossible, and no manner of inhuman oversight will counter most of the examples I’ve used in this essay. The asides I’ve kept in parentheses throughout, if expanded upon, would allow one with minimal effort to rewrite everything I’ve said, with very little effort, to be not about child abuse, but about white nationalism, about violent religious ideologies, about fake news, about climate denialism, about 9/11 conspiracies. PSA on Hubski Privacy #hubski with mk's permission.As mk eluded to in his Pubski post:there was something about 'prev'. I'd like to explain what it was, tell you about what I learned from it and share some conclusions.How did the 'prev' thing work?It's simple, really. You go to any post, you get a link that Now, I changed the /pub/ to /prev/. Lo and behold, it took away any restrictions to post access. It could have been a draft, private message or a deleted post or comment, didn't matter.- How was it found?Boredom. I looked through the Hubski's robots.txt file and found something I couldn't recall messing with.- Why was it working?I'm speculating, but I think that because it was intended as a preview of one's own posts, there were no (additional) security measures in place to guard against obtaining the illicit access. By design, it made sense. The only way anyone could utilise /prev/ method was to do it manually. Unfortunately, it was a security risk.What have I learned?I want to stress it as much as possible: I have never read or saved any of the data while the bug was in place. The only posts I accessed were mine or pure accidents. Could anyone else do it? Potentially, yes.What I did do, however, is that I took about 60k posts while those were accessible, PMs, drafts… you name it. I had no way of differentiating them. Then ran them through a bunch of regex checkers and tested them for the presence of the following:- BTC/ETC addresses,- Names that weren't on my lists of common surnames or Wikipedia,- Various patterns of telephone numbers, PO boxes and email addresses,- The last line of message's body containing a name (it was a yes/no).And some other stuff along those lines. I want to stress that it can contain false-positives as I haven't seen the values that were found. I just got tally counts. It also goes without saying that quite a lot of it is likely to come from spam, as they have to put some kind of contact info.Please, avoid sending sensitive information through Hubski. It wasn't made with strict security in mind, it's a third space where we can talk, chill, share, stimulate and try being excellent to each other. It's genuine, and that's a big part of both its appeal and charm. But it's a growing place and odds are that the next IT geek might not be half as nice as I am (or anyone else who helped with patching holes for that matter, I claim no full credit on anything).I am by no means denigrating the work done by mk, rob05c, forwardslash and everyone else who worked on Hubski. It's an amazing project. But it wasn't made with security as the main priority, it's all about utility and I have no bad words or critique to say about that. - A Trip Report Told Through STICKERS #stickers #tripreport an effort to become hubski's most prolific sticker-er, I share with you now, a few favorites from this weekend:..Keep To The Right (which I think could be a nice motto for life)lovely architecture in SoHomy favorite place for a Banh mì in the cityThe Washington Square Arch is pushing back the darka very thoughtful ice cream join in the villageWhat can be learned in Time Square?I suppose one could learn several hubski usernamesThe red steps are consistently pushing back the darkArguably the best ramen in the world is doing it's part...What can be learned at the Met?Bushwick... the thoughtful neighborhoodBONUS MEW:insomniasexx Korea is Best Korea #tripreport #tellhubski in Taipei for my exchange semester (last semester of school of my life! I’m really looking forward to work instead of going to school), some friends and I decided to spend a few days in South Korea. You can find some pictures taken with my phone (Galaxy S7) here: arrived in Busan Airport at 7 am on Friday 20th of October, after going through customs, getting some cash and buying a sim card to get 4G data, I decided to head towards Gamcheon Culture Village which is the home of brightly painted houses with a lot of decorated murals & sculptures. To get directions from the Airport to there, I opened Google Maps and saw that something was wrong: you can’t get walking or driving directions from point A to B in South Korea on Maps, due to some concerns with North Korea. You can still access some dated information about public transportation, in this case I was lucky as the information about buses was still correct. After visiting Gamcheon, I went to Jagalshi Fish Market, which is a famous fish market where locals and fisherman meets to do business. Most of the fish are still alive and placed in medium-size aquarium. Then, I headed towards a Coffee place to eat something and drink coffee, before going up Busan Tower to have a nice 360° view of the city. Around 12 am, I went to find my friends, who arrived one day earlier, at the other end of the city, near Busan Cinema Center (we discovered that it was still Busan International Film Festival, so we booked a ticket to see a film called “The Square” at 8 pm, who won Cannes most prestigious award; it was an interesting movie about some current issues in society, it’s an “artsy” film, the music and cinematography was great). Between then and 8 pm, we went to do a great hike at Geumjeong Fortress. We took a cable car to go to the South Gate of the fortress, and after a few hours of hiking we arrived at the north gate before going down to Beomeosa Temple. After having some Korean dinner (Bulgogi, which is a form of Korean BBQ; where you take thin slices of beef or pork and grill them on a BBQ) and watching the movie, we went to the hostel to have some coffee before going out to a bar. After drinking some beers and playing a lot of foosball, it was 4 am and time to go to sleep. This day felt like 2 days.On October 21st, we woke up early to head towards Gyeongju, which is a city north of Busan, to hike Mt Namsan. It was a great hike: during the way up you can see some temples and shrines, some call it an “open-air museum” but it’s a bit far-fetched. For dinner, we ate at a really great local restaurant called Dosol Maeul, then we stumbled upon a small music festival which was really fun, close to Cheomseongdae, which might be the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in the world (we thought it looked like a pizza oven and had no idea what it was at the time). Then we headed towards Anapji Pond, a famous Palace for past national events before going back to Busan.On October 22nd, we headed towards Tongyeong. We weren’t able to do much that day due to a lot of transportation, and we wanted to take Mireuksan Cable Car but it was closed due to too much wind activity. We settled on doing some luge activity which was really fun, and watched a beautiful sunset on the islands nearby. We slept in the city. The next day, we woke up at 5 am to catch a bus that didn’t came (Google Maps old data), so we ended up taking a taxi to catch a ferry at 7 am to head towards Saryangdo, an Island south of Tongyeong. After arriving to Saryangdo, we took a taxi to go West of the island. Then, we started a wonderful long hike that went from West to East of the island – that took around 5 hours. Then, we headed back to Busan. Two of my friends had to come back to Taipei, I had two more days. We booked the day before a train ticket to Seoul, departing at 9:45 pm, arriving there at 3:15 am. So, on October 24, we arrived at Seoul at 3:15 am and headed towards our hostel. Slept 6 hours, and went to do some hiking at Bukhansan National Park (it’s amazing how the city and the nature goes along in South Korea). We went to Baegundae Peak (highest peak in Bukhansan) and it was an amazing hike: autumn season was really here, the colors on the leafs were astounding, the view of the city from the top and the surroundings were all worth it. After the hike, we met with one of my friend who is doing an exchange semester in Seoul, we drank some beers and had dinner, it was nice to be able to see him there. Then we went to sleep.On our last day, we did some sightseeing in Seoul, visiting Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, two of the biggest Palace in South Korea. We saw the changing of the Guard which was a nice ceremony. Then at 4:15 pm we took the train back to Busan, and, after three different subway, we were back at Busan Airport to fly back to Taipei. South Korea is a really beautiful country, I wasn’t expecting to find such beautiful hikes there, it was a great surprise. I felt that the country was cleaner than Taipei, and the people felt more outgoing. The climate is also way better for me than Singapour or Taipei. I don’t really know what’s the catch, but they have an unemployment rate of 3% and their economy seems to do good on the surface. I really felt like I was in an advanced country in the sense that the infrastructure is really good, you can find everything, you have very good internet connection and everything is clean (cleaner than Paris – even though that doesn’t say a lot). Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions #technology #ai and Prayers, the Game #thehumancondition #commentary as depressingly political as I like to get in mind: for all intents and purposes, once you hit 25 you've chosen every brand you'll ever choose. This is one reason why advertising focuses heavily on teenagers and young adults; it's easier to hack a presidential election than it is to get your mom to switch dish detergent. Macrobrews are kinda fucked in this regard because those goddamn whippersnappers tend to buy a sixer of something expensive and semi-local, but only every now and then: my roommate will buy six Blue Moons about three times a year while my dad will buy a half-rack of Coors Light once or twice a week. So they're marketing to a rarified stratum: people under 25 who are deciding on "their regular beer" that they can get most places. The Most Interesting Man came out in 2006 so everybody they could (legally) influence back then is between the ages of 35 and 40. Time to do something new because they know that even if they kill off The Most Interesting Man, you aren't going to switch to Corona at this late date. You started drinking Dos Equis to set yourself apart from those choads.The owners of the macro brews give no fucks, of course. 70% of beer sales in the US are controlled by one fucking company. pretty much never know what the fuck his point is. It's like the op ed equivalent of a New Yorker cartoon like you're in Stage 2 of the Five Stages of Work. I heard this talk given by a CBC (Canada's National Radio Station) radio engineer as she reflected on her job there:Stage 1. The Good Day: Your job gives you happiness, fulfilment, and meaning.Stage 2. The Bad Day: Your job starts to irritate you. Everything you overlooked during the good day begins to stress you. You begin to learn some really unpleasant stuff about your workplace. You become frustrated, confused, and apathetic. You feel powerless.Stage 3. Revenge: The bad days outnumber the good days. You become self-compensating for your stress. Self-compensation might range from taking home post-its to absenteeism to searching for or even doing a second job during your original job, and worse.Stage 4. Personal Re-Engineering: You realize that you do value your job. It is the job you’ve always wanted. You explore how you can change so that you can once again have the good day. Personal re-engineering might involve asserting your concerns, negotiating with others, changing your expectations, and much more.Stage 5. Redemption: Some of your days at work are so excellent, they redeem all the other stress involved.Anyway, bfx, good luck sorting it all out. We want to see you happy.'s hard not to side with Alexander. His built work is meant to be occupied by humans; Eisenman's is not. That's basically the whole deal.The Katarxis gallery you linked by Alexander's student, Michael Mehaffy, is a good example of the care Alexander put into designing these spaces, and not just the design but the construction of his projects. His published works (especially The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth) describe the care he takes in tectonics, the art of construction.Eisenman did not. He designed Wexner with 12,000 square feet of fenestrated galleries which were later refitted because prolonged and unprotected sunlight exposure damages artwork it turns out. He designed House VI just a few years before this debate, and that was a fucking shitshow saved only by the kindness and architectural appreciation of his patrons.I mean, you can already tell the style of the guy when he said Chartres was "boring". My coworker (GSD faculty at the time) said everyone's collective jaws dropped at that considering, well...Chartres looks like this:Just for quick comparison, this is one of Eisenman's most prized works of his career:Which, despite looking like graphing paper ski slopes, also has this going for it:The project has more than doubled its original budget and has not attracted significant numbers of visitors. Construction of the final two planned buildings was stopped in 2012 and terminated definitively in March 2013 following high cost overruns.Par for the course for Eisenman - overblown budget, unfinished project, unusable space. This article is scathing.Meanwhile, Alexander's designing Eishin campus with Japanese school children:The architectural commission to build this community, came with the explicit insistence, by the managing director of the school, Hisae Hosoi, that he wanted the project to be done under conditions where faculty, staff, and students, were all taking part in the design process. And by this he meant, not the pablum of token "participation" and "charettes" that has become common in the last twenty years, but honest-to-goodness decision making by the people in the school, based on individual and group understanding.They ended up with this - no hiccups, no errors, in budget, active client participation, highly functional, highly used.But Eisenman's career took off in the years following this debate while Alexander's languished, and the implications of that are astounding. Design had stopped being about livable spaces, perceptual harmony, humane principles, client's needs, and basic functionality. In that vacuum had entered Eisenman's dialectic, and the academe from which it's derived. By taking a stand for functional harmony vs. post-humanism, Alexander took himself out of modern discourse and Eisenman et al became the lion and the Christian. Design's post-modern positioning can only be understood by that lens. world. sat and though about this for a few while working. I'm not angry, not really. I'm pissed off at a lot of things: the direction of my country, the regression of politics, internet cultures, education, etc. But being pissed off is not the same as angry.When and where I grew up, men did not display emotion. We were supposed to be Stoic rocks around which we build friendships and families. Emotions were for women and children. If you cried as a man there better someone in a casket, and once the box was in the ground you better stop that shit. If you got overly emotional you better be drunk, and we are all going to make fun of you in the morning. This of course leads to the inevitable conversation: Kid: Gee, Mister, a lot of these older guys are alcoholics, and the younger ones are killing themselves. Why is that? Adult: Well, Billy, it is a great mystery, isn't it.I got lucky. About the time my friends started on the path to having this shit eat them alive I discovered the online world and anonymity. With an anon account I could be angry, sad, etc and not have to deal with parents and family telling me to snap back into shape. Some people I grew up with were not so lucky. So I come off as an angry bitter cunt online sometimes (most times?) but that is not really what I am for the most part. 25ish years ago I was living in the void asking, legitimately, why bother keeping on. Then, yes I was angry. At the world, but mostly myself. Now I have a job I love with people I enjoy working with. I have a seven-figure net worth (at least on paper), a house I love living in, a car, money to do fun shit once in a while. I have a hobby that brings me joy with people who appreciate my contributions. I even use my hobby to better the community I live in and can say I'm doing my part to make the place suck just a bit less than when I found it.I can honestly say that right now, I am content. But that is not really the word I am looking for. The word is Happy. I Am Happy. It's weird typing that out as there have not been many times in my life I could say that and mean it. But yes, now is one of those times. It takes getting used to somedays because I still have that Stoic anti-emotional mindset and appearance that was beaten into me from childhood. But, yea, happy. Pubs. Just a water for me, barkeep... I'm still not remembering to drink enough water every day.Keto.I can deny it no longer... I have actually lost more than 20 pounds now. That means that - for the first time in my life - I weigh less than I did before.From a skinny 175lbs in 1987, to 269lbs at Christmas 2017, I have always gotten heavier. Amortized over time, that's only about 3lbs/year, but of course the weight did not gracefully grow over time. It grew rapidly, then leveled out for a few years at the "new normal" weight, until something happened and it went up again.For the first time in my life, my weight is going the other direction.I had to put several pairs of pants into storage. (Note: I wanted to get rid of them. But my wife insisted we keep them until we know whether I am going to keep the weight off or not.)I am maybe 2 months away from departing the land of XL, and purchasing L shirts... for the first time since the 1990's.I feel better.I don't "crash" at 2:PM every day.I no longer eat two antacid tablets every night.I don't fart prolifically anymore.My diet has changed significantly, and I now strongly identify with Michael Pollan's quip, "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much."I haven't started working out or stretching regularly. Which I planned to do Feb 1. Not sure why I haven't started, but I need to get on that.The road to "Fit and 50" is looking pretty good right now.Food Perspective.Mushroom hunters talk about "putting on their mushroom eyes" when they go mushroom hunting.You go out to where the mushrooms should be, and you see nothing. Damn. Wrong place? Was someone already here? Am I at the wrong elevation?Then they just go calm and stop moving for a few minutes. Scan the landscape. Be still.POP! Oh! There's one! ... and another!... oh! there's another one!... woah... they are EVERYWHERE! Holy crap I am STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF SO MANY MUSHROOMS!!With my new diet, which generally avoids most carbs and sugars, I have my "Carb Eyes" on.Vending machine? Nothing in there edible.Coffee shop? Nothing in there either, except black drip coffee, espresso shot, or an almond-milk latte.Restaurant? Side dishes start to look REALLY tasty... and main courses look heavy and unpleasant. "Can I just get these two sides, and a steak?"And now, I will post this message, and walk out into the lobby where my company is providing everyone with ... Valentine's Cupcakes. And I am going to enjoy the shit out one of those carbo-sugar bombs.Because carbo-sugar bombs are AMAZING treats.But that's what they should be: Treats. Not Food. know. And that's why I refuse to humor you.The difference between being glum about a physiological limitation or not being glum about a physiological limitation is glumness. Worse, the worse your attitude the worse your hormonal and chemical balance. The more you act like a little bitch, the longer you will be a little bitch, the harder it will be to not be a little bitch... physiologically. Toughen the fuck up. Not because I think less of you but because your strongest ally in this is yourself and you sell yourself short at the drop of a hat. had an epiphany maybe three, maybe for years ago. I was running, as always. Up the dune, as always. A mile into my 3-4 mile run, as always, same as it ever was, as I have been doing since 1988.This dude smoked me. Trotted right on by like I was standing still. Made me feel like shit. Then I thought about it and realized that I was old enough to be his dad. I'd been running longer than he'd been alive.I was faster when I was younger. But I'm still going. I'm doing pretty goddamn well, thankyouverymuch, and all the shit that holds me back isn't bad enough to hold me back much. I'm healthier than my parents were at my age; I'm healthier than my grandparents were at my age, I'm healthier than my friends at my age.I'll take it. In the end, we're only competing with ourselves, and we only get to win until we lose. I'll take every win I can get. MADE SOME SHIT, Y'ALLFirst of all, my first sweater is done!Really happy with how it turned out, just a smidge short, but that's okay. Already started another sweater, because I'm crazy.Also, I started painting stuff this weekend. I've never really been good at or liked drawing/painting, but I've been toying with some isometric stuff for the past few weeks, which has been fun. I'm making about 1 room a day, might connect them, might not.First one:(The dog is named Sammy)Not quite as cleanly executed as I'd like, but I like the design of this room. Might make it again sometime.WIP of the current one. are two problems.I like to call the first one (since right now, when I made it up) CONTROVERSY-AS-DISCUSSION. CONTROVERSY-AS-DISCUSSION (CAD) is what you do when you have no news, but you have to write about something otherwise you don't make any money. Here's how it works:1. Take any divisive social issue (race)2. Find someone who has an opinion about it (megawhitey)3. Feed the opinion into the media ouroboros4. KEEP FEEDING5. Success!You can write articles debunking the original opinion, articles debunking other articles, hot takes, thinkpieces about thinkpieces --- going on forever. Nobody would care about what this guy had to say if it wasn't used as ammunition by these people. They're pretending to report on something that they made up out of thin air. Internet journalists are the agents of controversy (megawhitey knows this too), so this story gets picked up by the right-wing sites instantly - but I'll get there.Look at some of the titles these articles have around the time this started to take off:Google employee's leaked anti-diversity memo sparks evaluation of tech cultureGoogle Employee's Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes 'Internally Viral'Right away, it gets called a manifesto. This random guy's craziness is a manifesto? Is it that important? Fuck you.SECOND PROBLEM: It's not really crazy. It's pretty mild. It's not really right, either, but that's not the point. When things like this get drawn into the culture war, they immediately get painted as extreme.(here on hubski, we're smart, we're moderates, we don't buy into the system, man, we know that this guy isn't a nazi)But now this guy is hanging out with a lot of wannabe nazis smart scientific gentlemen. Dangerously/occasionally reasonable-sounding gentlemen. I'm assuming this guy wasn't a crypto-fascist, but maybe just a regular (friendly) conservamoderate? You know - the kind that shakes his head at how dumb these kids can be about race and sex, but doesn't quite tip over the edge into being alt-right?(he'd have to be alt-right because he's too young to be rightright)Now he's been driven into the arms of these people. Because he probably thinks he's right, right? He probably thinks all he was doing was making a reasonable point, with !!science!! and !!analysis!!, and he's getting shouted at by ev-er-y-body with a blog/twatter/"journalistic position" on the internet. Except for the fine fellows at The Daily WireBreitbartJordan Peterologist the Canadian Psychologist, INCn'all that. Because they're taking him seriously, and not shouting at him, and calling his critics crazy liberals obsessed with political correctness. Which is what he was talking about in the first place.SECRET THIRD PROBLEM:Could we talk about diversity without sparks like this setting everything off, almost like we care?I didn't use my CAD abbreviation at all after I defined it, too. That could be the fourth problem here. The fourth problem might be this comment as a whole.Meh. NOBILITY.I think this is part of what gets at me. It's one thing if something done for the right reason happens to also be noble. It's another if a thing is done so as to telegraph to everyone watching that This Here is a Noble Act. This is mind-reading territory which can be dangerous. I don't want to second guess this reporter's motives. As far as I can tell, she wants to send her daughter to a segregated school to help her daughter's classmates, at the expense of a better school she could have sent her. But it also seems like there's a larger narrative the reporter wants her readers to read into, i.e. that white people in Dumbo are racists. I have no background that qualifies me to judge art, I love your drawings. I hope you keep doing them and sharing them. can do it, rd! Smash em! we really spell out why we'd rather have an alien megastructure than cosmic dust?'s almost non-news to us, ha. Just formalizing something we both have felt and known for a while. are five possible use cases for crypto that I see. 1. A black market currency2. A low-fee, decentralized international payment system3. An investment4. A general-purpose currency5. A secure, trustless information ledgerAs A Black Market CurrencyFor use in the black market, we're going to want a way to hold the currency anonymously, and a way to send private transactions.- BTC wallet anonymity is possible with a few hoop jumps, but private transactions are impossible. If address X has a transaction with a known black market address, this is public knowledge, and address X is forever associated with this shady exchange.- XRP has the same problems as BTC, with the added risk of validators simply rejecting transactions with known shady addresses.- ETH is currently no better than BTC, but they plan to implement technology borrowed from ZCash to allow private transactions, so ETH will be more private in the future.Best alternatives right now for this use case: Monero, ZCashAs An International Money Transfer SystemFor this, any low-fee system will work. The lower the fees, the better. Right now this means everything but BTC, but what would the fees look like in the future, assuming widespread adoption?- BTC "on-chain" transactions will only get worse, but they are working to implement Lightning Network. This will end up sort of like a "real" BTC wallet that you treat like a savings account, and a Lightning BTC wallet that you treat like a checking account that has low fees and fast transactions. The catch is that you have to pay the on-chain tx fee to transfer from your BTC wallet to your Lightning wallet.- Same story for ETH, really. Widespread adoption of ETH will result in high transaction fees. Not as high as BTC, but high. Ethereum is working on several scaling strategies in parallel, but realistically they're a year or two away.- XRP was built for this use case. It will scale, be low fee, and in the future, it may even be possible to use it through your bank. It's not super decentralized, but it's fast and low fee.As An InvestmentAt this point I have no idea. I don't understand why the market caps on these coins are so high. Let's be honest, they don't do anything cool yet. As a general rule I'd say don't put in anything you can't afford to lose 100% of.In the long term, I think any cryptocurrency that has a capped supply and a plan for scaling is a decent choice. I personally like the smart contract ones: Ethereum, Zilliqa, Eos, Cardano, RChain. Raiblocks is cool too. There are also some interesting ERC20 tokens. But those are all just opinions.As A General Purpose CurrencyFor this use, we want widespread adoption, stable value, low transaction fees, and transaction verifiability. For this space, my favorite is USD.Seriously though, a deflationary general purpose currency makes a bad currency, and so does a volatile one. Imagine buying something on credit and owing waaay more than you thought you would, or buying something when you could have bought two of it a month later. Deflation and volatility decrease the money velocity of a given cryptocurrency to the point that any economy based on it is much smaller that it would be otherwise. It makes the currency hard to spend and discourages its use. We already see the effects of this: Very very few businesses accept BTC directly because its value is so unstable. And it's a vicious cycle; less businesses accept it, so its utility is less, so less businesses accept it.In the long term, I think something like Dai or OmiseGO has a chance of being useful. But it's not ready yet.As A Secure, Trustless Information LedgerThis is the space that I think has been explored the least, and which I think has the post potential. It could disrupt a lot of industries, including certificate authorities, DNS, and, maybe someday, thinks like deeds, titles, stock ownership, and land registries. But all of this is years off.- BTC and XRP cannot be used well for this purpose.- ETH was built for this use case. Maybe in a few decades we'll see corruption in some countries being combated by registering things in an Ethereum or Ethereum-style blockchain. I'd trade a lot of my good stories for not having to live through them. of creating a separate thingy, I'll use this Pubski as a chance to reflect on 2017. John Green recently recommended writing two letters to your future self about what to take with you going into 2018, and what to leave in 2017. I think that's a great way to reflect and look forward simultaneously. ---LEAVE IT IN 2017---The first thing to leave behind is my indecisiveness. If 2017 has taught me anything, it's that I need to make decisions and stick to them, not fret and worry and ponder forever on them if it doesn't make the result any better. At the end of 2016, I read something which took me most of 2017 to internalise: "doubt must come to an end." I haven't been able to find that quote's source ever again. The insight that phases of doubt are just that, phases, has been meaningful to me. The second thing I want to leave is gliding. In a classic "it's not you, it's me" scenario, I've had a lot of fun gliding, but I don't have the free time to do it properly. Once or twice a month isn't gonna cut it for something as complex as learning to fly. It's been fun, but I gotta close that chapter for now. I also want to leave calorie logging behind in 2017. I tried picking it up again last year, but it made me feel guilty for eating, which is the exact opposite of what I needed it for. It helped me figure out a healthier diet, which is good. Other than that it's just not for me. Finally, I want 2017 to be the last year I would describe myself as reticent in unfamiliar social situations. I avoided small talk the first weeks of my internship as I've done many times before. It took a Sherry Turkle book to make me realise how embarrassingly unsocial that is and that it doesn't hurt, you fuckin' hermit, these people are nice if you just let them be nice.---BRING IT IN 2018--- First some minor things I want to take with me from 2017. It was the year I went out of my comfort zone a bunch of times, which is always insightful. It was the year of less distractions: after reading Deep Work by Cal Newport, I realised I should do with much less distraction in my life. My phone is now almost always on silent and I'm all the happier for it. 2017 was also the year I started meditating. For me, it's valuable as a kind of mental defragmentation: if I have any stress, worry or emotions on my mind I've found meditation to clear that up, or to at least make me more aware of how I'm feeling. I have also noticed that that clarity of mind carries over to the rest of the day. Meditation, for me, is a kind of mental health upkeep I didn't know I needed. I also started upping my reading game, and it's been one of the best things the year has brought me. A quick back of the envelope calculation puts me at more than 11,000 pages of nonfiction just in 2017, which is more than I have ever read in a single year. After five years of following my interests and curiosity to the best of my abilities, I finally figured out what I want to do in life. Not in the "I have found my calling" sense, but more in the sense of finally being able to connect the dots: Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.That's from Steve Jobs' commencement speech in 2005. I remember watching it ten years ago, and those words have been etched into my soul in the form of hope ever since. The naive and dreamy kind of hope that everything will work out in the end. While I can't say that has happened or will happen, I feel like I'm headed in the right direction with the right tools and people around me, and I'm incredibly grateful for that. 2017 was the year I connected a whole bunch of dots and settled on a direction, and I look forward to see where that will take me. don't go into debt to support Hubski. The best way to support Hubski is to continue to be here to provide your perspective. Leave the monetary supporting to those of us who are dumber but richer. Be you, and be you on here; no donation can hold a candle to that.Edit: I just threw down $20 for you. Happy New Year :)'m trying very, very hard to be as positive as possible from here on out. So far, I think I'm doing alright but I know I can do better and I'm gonna work on it. That said, I'm gonna make an exception for Uber.I, for some unknown reason, have a very deep, obsessive dislike against Uber. I don't know completely where it comes from, but I think a lot of it stems from the facts that A) They really don't seem to be for the working man and B) They think laws are nothing more than inconveniences that they can just ignore. The fact that A and B overlap somewhat and their attitude towards laws seems to influence their behavior in other ways just irks me even more. If I came and posted every negative article that I come across that involves Uber, I'd probably post one a week, minimum. What's there isn't even all of their controversies. The fact that they seem to have a new stain on their character on a seemingly monthly basis doesn't even surprise me anymore. I really hope something comes of this, because I don't like them at all, and I hope its a government somewhere that ends up being their eventual downfall. The internet tends to be pretty socially conscious (or at least loves a good social controversy) and when I think about it I'm honestly surprised that a tech company such as them have survived in a socially conscious atmosphere. news, everyone! After three months of job interviews, calls, negotiations, asking people for advice and what not I have made my choice and will be signing my contract this Friday. Out of the five companies I've had serious talks with, two weren't a good fit for me, two were really interesting, and one was the gig I'd been doing alongside my last year of my master's degree. They made a compelling offer but I mostly thought of it as my backup option. Yesterday I called my manager there to let him know:"Hey! I've made my choice, and it's sadly not in your favour. I had two other very interesting options - one was [well-known engineering firm], and the other was [the Chosen One]. I appreciated your offer and am glad that I could work for you guys, but the Chosen One was better in [all the ways that matter to me]." "Congrats on the choice! You definitely chose the best out of the three, [Chosen One] is a great company and would totally fit you."He said that like three more times in the same phone call - not at all disingenuously. I do think I've made the right call, the company I chose is a small urban planning consultancy focused on sustainable innovations. If I were to start a business like that, I'd probably do it the way they already do. Now I just gotta finish my darn thesis. I want to have it done by Christmas so that I can spend that week with family (and without worries). I've written my executive summary, formalised my methodology and have rewritten the first two chapters, so I'm on track, but I still have lots to do. Plus, I need to do Adult Life Stuff like find a better insurance company and find a place to move to. What's the John Lennon lyric again? Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans?edit: Also, because I don't celebrate Sinterklaas this year I bought myself this Casio I had been eyeing for a while: I love that it has a world map! I can scroll through time zones and the map will show the part of the world covered by that time zone. Plus, it's supposedly inspired by the James Bond's watch in Octopussy. struck me as wanting to be salty, and wanting to yell at someone else about the problems.both the Democrats and the Republicans have been lying to the poor for decades, but the Democrats kinda sorta feel bad about it. it's that ambivalence that has left them crushed and despondent. IT'S FUCKING STUPID. There are so many more poor people in the United States than rich people, so if they want power fuckin' rally behind the fuckn' poor people. I'm almost willing to give them a bye over the fact that it used to be hard to scare up individual donors and if you're looking for whales you're looking for the rich by definition but fuckin' Bernie Sanders. The Democrats should have been just as gobsmacked by Bernie Sanders as the Republicans were by Trump but instead of going "oh shit we have lost our base" they went "it's Hillary's turn damn the torpedoes full speed ahead" and here we were, living in fear of Twitter. He's a war criminal by any sane definition: we invaded Iraq based on intelligence that the government knew was false, after lying to our allies. The Afghanistan invasion was shaky but not wholly so, but in both cases the post-war period was so colossally mismanaged that it makes parts of Trump's presidency look magisterial. They chose loyalty and ideology over experience; for example, a 24-year-old with no experience in finance (and who had applied for a job with the White House) was instead sent to re-open the Iraqi stock exchange. They authorized the use of torture if we thought someone might have something to do with terrorism, they locked up people in Guantanamo Bay without proof of wrongdoing or access to lawyers, and generally torpedoed US credibility abroad. He also withdrew us from the Kyoto Protocol (an earlier treaty on greenhouse gas emissions).On the home front, his administration brought us the Patriot Act, and the president of the United States saying that you're "either with us or you're with the terrorists." Not long after the Justice Department ruled that the precursor program to the current domestic spying programs was illegal, then-AG John Ashcroft was in the hospital for acute pancreatitis, and possibly dying. The administration sent the White House Counsel (Alberto Gonzalez) and Chief of Staff Andrew Card to Ashcroft's hospital room to try to get him to reverse the DOJ's decision (Ashcroft refused). The acting AG, who witnessed all this, was none other than James Comey. Bush also signed laws requiring stricter standards on driver's licenses, a highly anti-consumer change to the bankruptcy code, and subsidies for energy companies that didn't incentivize green power generation.They also did things like No Child Left Behind, which was roundly considered a failure. He pushed for and signed a law cutting taxes on the wealthy, turning the first budget surplus since World War 2 into a deficit. His first ever veto was a law that would have allowed federal funding for research on new stem cell lines. His administration also thoroughly botched response to Hurricane Katrina, fired eight US attorneys for political reasons (which would result in the resignation of Karl Rove and then-AG Gonzales), leaked the name of a covert CIA operative for political reasons, and, wait for it, used a private e-mail server. The list goes on.Overall, he presaged the worst of Trump's policies and rhetoric: he was anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT rights, botched healthcare reform (pushed for Medicare Part D, which was a massive giveaway to drug companies), and mismanaged the financial crisis. He totally wrecked any pretense of moral credibility by the United States, including labeling countries as "evil" (at the same time we were happily torturing random folks from the Middle East at black sites all over the world). In any actually just society, he would've been impeached and sent to jail, but we just got left with someone who set a new low for presidential competence, comportment, and integrity. It's worth noting that Bush finished his presidency with an approval rating of 19%, lower than any president in history. it's primarily that he gets his ideology from memes. Not kidding. His Facebook history is full of fucking memes - and I've got to reference Dawkins here for the literal and original meaning of meme, because the sourced knowledge this guy has on politics is insidiously hard to pin down. His news feed is full ubiquitous, pint-sized ideas and fact-checking every meme he's ever come across and internalized is a herculean effort.This is insightful. I've experienced it. I have not put my finger on it before but you have the most of it.I work with a couple die hard conservatives. They are lonely people in Hollywood; there's a contingent to be sure and they're insular as fuck but the overwhelming majority of Hollywood liberals are in fact liberals. One of the things I've noticed in discussions with them (careful, respectful, well-bounded discussions) is that the conversation is not built around ideas. It's built around factoids. It's built around totems. It's built around memes.These ideas are not, in and of themselves, coherent components of a greater philosophy. They are not arguments. They are touchstones. They are bookmarks in an internet search of alienation, secret handshakes of cultural identity.A funny thing happened when Trump won: they got cranky. Keep in mind: I know people who worked with Trump. a lot. Had I gotten here a few years earlier I totally would have been crew on The Apprentice. He's a known quantity around here and yeah - it's a right-wing conservative orgazmotron. But at the same time, with Republicans owning the house, the senate, the executive and the judicial, the world should be perfect, right? But they knew - they knew - it'd be a long way from perfect. Theirs is a philosophy of opposition, particularly here in liberal Hollywood, and it wasn't so much that they were right, it's that everyone else was wrong.HERE's MY THINKINGWe don't drag him along, we live our lives and do the right thing. We don't assail his ideas hoping that eventually something sticks. It's an oppositional mentality and so long as he wants to oppose, it really doesn't matter what he's opposing. They're a tribe that want everyone else to lose. They don't really know what that looks like, but they want it really badly. This is the way cognitive dissonance works: it starts by feeling uncomfortable so you ignore the sources that assail your worldview. Then it pushes you into an insular place because you're retreating from information. Then you lose sight of reality because you're working so hard to keep up your microcosm. Then one day it snaps - and it snaps hard. And now you're a disillusioned searcher. Trump and the modern conservative universe is about the purest form of cognitive dissonance challenge you could ask for. He's not a conservative by any stretch. He's leading the party towards the reductio ad absurdum place the liberals always joked about - Trump literally defended Nazis. And they have nothing to build on, and their efforts to tear down are failing. There's going to be a reckoning. There's going to be soul-searching. And we'll need to welcome them back.but not yet, goddamn it think I'm probably drinking gin this afternoon. Gin gets me glum.Warning: Rambling thoughts on an extended interaction with a far-right pundit below...There was a guy in my wife's master's cohort at uni - the type of guy who's just really toxic politically. It's tough to characterize him; I'm not sure I've met many people like him, and I've definitely not interacted with them like I did with him.So he's all up in far-right news cycles, consuming memes and half-truth news stories and re-hosting them on his Facebook page. He's been doing this for months maybe years. He's not the type to keep to himself, and his social media is an extension of the types of conversations he has in person. Nearly every person in his cohort tried reaching out to the guy to get him to tone it down, or at least get him listen to some even-keeled opposition - I think they figured if they were thoughtful and articulate, he'd come around to some type of rhetorical moderation.And that's the thing too because this guy is approachable. He's pretty kind and at least a little polite in conversation, but his ideas are so fucking noxious that every person who tried talking to him eventually gave up.And it's not just his ideas, it's his conversational style. He fact-checks nothing. He researches nothing. He doesn't believe in statistics. He doesn't trust academia. Conversations with him are pages and pages of vitriolic opinion-vomiting. It's tough to handle.It's not just that he sources Breitbart and The Daily Caller for nearly every story (Fox News is moderate to him); it's primarily that he gets his ideology from memes. Not kidding. His Facebook history is full of fucking memes - and I've got to reference Dawkins here for the literal and original meaning of meme, because the sourced knowledge this guy has on politics is insidiously hard to pin down. His news feed is full ubiquitous, pint-sized ideas and fact-checking every meme he's ever come across and internalized is a herculean effort. Impossible, even for him - i.e. you can argue him into a corner, get him to agree, and 3 days later he's sharing the same exact shit again.He dropped the program at the recommendation of the faculty and director for reasons unrelated to his politics and entirely related to his academic performance. He lost ties to all the cohort except my wife, who kept him added (but unfollowed) on Facebook because she loved the drama of seeing some Lib-missionary get offended, argue with him for hours, and bite the dust in frustration.I'd never met him in person, only heard stories about him. I ended up friending him and starting a dialogue with the specific idea that I'd just try to figure out what he was about - not attempt to "convert" him politically, just see what his version of the far-right was.The conversation was wide-ranging and long - months-long. I started talking to him in February this year, and I cut ties with him last week. That's what I want to talk about here (at "the bar"), and if you've made it this fucking far, "Congratulations!" because you've got every right to throw whatever you're drinking into my whiny, doom & gloom face.This conversation with him took me to a dark place; if I'm being honest, I talked to him for too long for my mental health. He's representative of a massive demographic in America, and that started to weigh on me existentially. Point me to historical bipartisanship; point me to political indoctrination; point me to religiously-branded Conservatism; fuck, point me to the horrors of the Democratic party too. I've read almost all of it, and if I haven't then I'll read more gladly. But I'm convinced the American politico-intellectual rot will not heal.For sure, nationally-speaking we'll keep on chugging along, I guess. That's what a nation-state does. But this guy has been failed. He's been ruined. What the fuck do we do about that? 1. Do we drag him along, forcing healthcare down his throat, mandating tax reform in his interests, fighting the FCC for him, and offering his daughters birth control and prenatal options? 2. Do we involve ourselves personally, talking to him for months, reasoning him through his own warped thought processes, educate him on how to research and fact-check? 3. Do we let him rot? tl;dr: To what extent is it our individual civic duty to try to reconcile with political opposition?I started talking to him out of curiosity, and it ended with depressive horror. I wish there were a better way to explain my experience. I'm going to go actually drink now :) sure if you're being rhetorical, but asking if Trump is a cause or a symptom is akin to asking whether heroin addiction is a cause or a symptom. The answer is yes. Godry is correct that the GOP has basically been rotting since the end of the Cold War. They've tried to cram the square pegs that are "against terrorism" and "against taxes" into the round hole of "against communism" but it's just not fitting right. Lubricated by a thick layer of KFC grease, Trump has been able to squeeze himself into a hole he didn't have much to do with creating, but damn if he isn't splitting it wide open.Did you see that viral video of Bernie Sanders eviscerating Steve Mnuchin? It's a thing to behold, because Mnuchin is left almost speechless, but he sits there with the smug look of someone who doesn't give a shit about being wrong because he knows that there isn't a logical rip in space-time big enough to make the GOP give a shit how bad his tax bill is. They've reached critical mass, and the light and heat from their bullshit can no longer escape orbit, and thus it's turning in on itself. Competence surely isn't an asset, because any attempts to compute 'A' and 'not A' simultaneously break logic machines. Only a guy who claims that the Constitution is Christian scripture can compute this logic. Thus the ascendancy of fictional hyperboles like Roy Moore makes sense. "Terror Babies!" "Death Panels!" "Job Creators!" It's difficult to not sense that the mountains of horseshit that they've been shoveling for the past quarter century aren't beginning to decay. Hopefully it decays into fertilizer and doesn't cause a cholera epidemic. One of the upsides of Trump being elected is the awakening on sexual harassment. I don't think that without "grab 'em by the pussy" that we'd have people like Glenn Thrush and Charlie Rose being suspended. Harassment is no longer something creeps from the other side do; it took someone as disgusting as Trump to make us recognize that. I hope he'll have a similar effect in other areas (racism, classism, etc.). Trump is a symptom and a disease, and he's finally convincing us to make that doctor's appointment we've been putting off for too long. If his tax bill keeps getting this level of criticism (even the most generous estimates say it costs $1 trillion), there's a good chance that will collapse, too. Maybe at that point Godry will start to be taken seriously by his fellow conservatives.'m proud of what he's done and I think he's an awesome dude. But he's not an upper echelon quarterback. BUT the Dolphins signed Smokin Jay Cutler out of retirement so Kaepernick is a whole lot better than some starters in the league now. And now I have to politely ignore a bunch of conversations about how much Kaepernick is a spoiled whiner who sucks. I hate everyone. central challenge for Democrats in taking back the White House will hinge on the party’s ability to persuade a majority of Americans to support a more progressive agenda going forward.Apparently, Mr. Sosnik isn't familiar with how the Electoral College works. A plurality of Americans already vote democratic, and have so in all but one presidential election since 1992. Democrats' problem isn't one of majorities; it's one of geographics. That is unlikely to change anytime soon, and moving further leftward will accelerate, not decelerate this phenomenon. The leftward lurch has some real perils in it. The numbers cited above I think don't paint the whole picture. Immigration, e.g., wasn't much of a partisan fight until like 2015 when the Muslim Ban was first proposed. Immigration reform was the darling of W and the Kochs and was opposed by Bernie Sanders as recently as the beginning of the primary season. That dramatic 52 point shift has seen a lot of its movement only in the last couple years. Similarly, we're seeing a dramatic increase in "single payer" devotees in just the last half year. Democrats and liberals should be wary of getting caught in the "against Trump" vortex, and not let it color their chances of ever winning another presidential election.Speaking of, NYT published an OpEd today calling for Al Franken's resignation. That's the level of crazy liberals are going to rise to in service of all things "against Trump". Of all the moronic OpEds NYT has published over the years, this one got me particularly pissed off (because when Erik Prince or John Bolton publish one they're easy to laugh off), because it represents the worst of the left mob: letting a staff writer (as opposed to a one off partisan) call for the head of one of America's finest senators because, well, Roy Moore is a child molester and Donald Trump is a rapist and we don't like them so everyone gets a trophy. People need to keep their heads. America and the Democrats don't need a leftward push, especially one that's driven by "against Trump". We need a push toward sensible regulatory and tax reform, driven by a shared sense of community and compassion. That's not a leftist agenda, even though it sounds like one in today's world. It's a humanist agenda that the left has the best mandate to push. It will only happen, however, if we move past the identity driven leftism that's currently en vogue.