Hubskihttps://hubski.com/A thoughtful web.Hubskihttps://hubski.com/images/discussion.pnghttps://hubski.com/https://hubski.com/pub/412500Activist Stops Deportation on Swedish flight #deporteeshttps://hubski.com/pub/412500Because an Afghan was being deported on her flight to Istanbul, activist Elin Ersson refused to sit down. What happens in the next minutes shakes everyone on boardReport in The Guardian has more info.https://hubski.com/pub/411700Vi Hart - Suspend Your Disbelief (on how a community is made, radicalized) #thehumanncondition #mathhttps://hubski.com/pub/411700https://hubski.com/pub/411369I am 2000 days oldhttps://hubski.com/pub/411369Or rather, I registered a handle based on my footwear--with a z because internet pseudonyms "have" to have flourishes--about 5.5 years ago. I lurked for a little while before that. I had just dropped out of college and so had lots more free time. I have nothing but gratitude for the site and its members. A handful of very memorable meet-ups, more than a little encouragement when I was confused or down in the dumps, and a lot of heartwarming congratulations when it came to sharing victories. So many interesting links and conversation. So much life advice. So much spam (we're doing better with the spam ;).I don't have anything special to contribute on this day, but it's beautiful where I'm at in Baltimore today (80 degrees and breezy, bright blue sky) so I'm sending you good weather vibes.https://hubski.com/pub/410526How an American gambler unlocked the secret to Hong Kong horse racing, winning almost US$1 billion #bigdatahttps://hubski.com/pub/410526https://hubski.com/pub/410234My Opa #inmemoriam #opahttps://hubski.com/pub/410234I held the fish out of the water, showing my family proudly how big it was. Then I heard my Opa bellow, "give the thing a fighting chance, dammit!" He wanted me to put it back in the water as soon as possible to ensure it's survival. He was big on ensuring the survival of all creatures, big and small. He fed critters. All critters. Deer, birds, squirrels, rabbits, feral cats and dogs. But most of all, he fed people. He was around ten years old when the WWII ended. As the son of a German officer, he spent several years in German occupied France, living on a French farm. His hosts were kind to him and revisited the farm as an adult to give thanks. When the war ended, he had to find his way back home, unassisted. He was ten years old. The French, indeed the world, had no love for the germans, not even the children. He was tough, smart and resourceful. He would talk about the war often, but usually not until later in the evening after a number of drinks. "Who wants some sweet shit?" He would ask, after dinner. This meant "who wants some whisky?" I think it was his way of dealing with the memories. When he did talk about the war, he did so studiously and not personally. Very rarely did he tell a personal story about his experience. He loathed Hitler and the Nazi's. He spoke of the famine he saw throughout Europe. Both of my grandparents had witnessed extraordinary famine and extreme poverty. My grandmother used to follow around the coal wagons as a little girl and elbow her way through other kids for the scraps that would fall off of the wagon. They scavenged for food and any other precious resource. My grandfather came to Brighton Michigan as the first exchange student the town high school ever had. He liked the town so much that he returned after service and made it his home. He had intended to study medicine at the University of Michigan but my grandmother got pregnant and he withdrew from school to work. Eventually, he started his own machining company. He had a single C&C Laith. He named the company, Brighton NC Machine. It was just him, a Laith, a phone and a cot. A familiar story for a budding entrepreneur. He made the sales calls, machined the parts and delivered them. He had a few friends as outside investors. Over many years and tireless work that kept him from his wife and children, he made some headway and the company grew. Eventually they would employ over 100 people. Opa was a product of his childhood, as we all are. Every other Friday he would personally walk the shop floor and hand out the paychecks. With each paycheck he would give his employees a loaf of bread. This was a common gift from Opa. If he showed up to your home, he always brought with him a loaf of bread. To them, as children in war time nothing could have been more precious. It was the ultimate gift. It was telling of the man he was. When you entered his home, he would immediately begin offering you food and drink. "Would you like a cooke." He would ask. "No thank you, Opa." and he would reply, "Well then, how about two?" He gave bear hugs. Giant ones. His appetite for food and drink was large. His appreciation for nature was too. When I was a little boy, I was playing in the wood behind his home with my cousins. We stumbled upon him sitting on the top of the largest hill, sitting crosslegged with his hands on his knees and eyes closed. He looked so peaceful. He was meditating. They lived in a large stone house in the country that we all referred to as "The Stone House." It was the center of all of our lives. My grandfather spent his days working at the shop, then he'd come home and tinker on his tractor or some other contraption that needed repair, then head in for supper. Their kitchen table was and is my favorite place on earth. It had a stained glass lamp that hung low and cast a red light over the table. Outside the large kitchen window was a big lilac tree and a few bird feeders. We'd all sit and comment on the birds and wildlife. During dinner and after, the conversation was lively. Dictionaries and encyclopedias would inevitably emerge as ideas and definitions were challenged. Debate was heavily encouraged and Opa was the champ. He had a way with words and was a big fan of flexing his lexiconian chops. English was his second language but he could school the natives. He was smart. Extremely smart and he liked to show it off through language. He was a big fan of the word "rudimentary." Used it often. As a kid, that word seemed enormous to me. Everything about Opa seemed larger than life. I saw the way people admired him, as a boss, as a husband and as a father. I saw the way he would be late for dinner because he was visiting a sick friend (and dropping off bread). I saw that he donated large sums of money and time to causes like Lacasa, a shelter for battered women or gleaners, a food pantry for the underprivileged. I saw him give profit sharing to his employees, even in the lean years. I saw him offer tuition reimbursement and I saw him continue to pay terminally ill employees well after they left his charge. When I went to college, he offered to pay my tuition. Education was the most noble pursuit, in his mind. When my grades failed and I asked him to continue paying he refused, saying "I'll not throw good money after bad." -This felt cruel at the time, but was such an amazing life lesson for me. I owe him such a debt of gratitude for this (and many other lessons.)He was fond of the Tagore quote, "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and found that life was duty. I acted and behold, it the duty was joy." You can hear him reading this quote here: A few days ago, hospice was called in to help my Oma care for my Opa. On fathers day I was able to visit with my children. My son, Atticus has my Opa's name as his middle name. Often, when people hear Atticus name for the first time, especially if they're fans of literature, they'll remark that he has a big name to live up to. I always say that it's his middle name that has the biggest shoes to fill. Brighton NC is still around. In fact, much of my family works there. I have been asked a bunch of times in my life why I don't work for the family business? I always say that I never wanted to work for my Opa, I wanted to be my Opa. Those are some huge shoes to fill. I'll never get there, but without my Opa there is NO WAY that I would be an entrepreneur today. There is no way that I would have this insatiable appetite to build something of substance that can employ people towards a common purpose. I owe him so much. Today, I left work early to go visit him. My aunts were there and two of my favorite cousins. We all sat in his room, my Oma sang German songs and we told stories past and present. It was nice. When it was time to move him, I was asked to hold one side of his sheet. When finished he grasped my hand. I held it for a long time. My Oma said, "why don't we give Steven a few minutes alone with Opa." I am so grateful for this. I'll admit, I was a bit terrified. What do you say? I said, "I love you." I said, "thank you." I told him I have a company I am building and like you, I will take care of my employees. I told him that I have a beautiful family and that he was such a wonderful influence on my life and that I will be eternally grateful." I said, I have to go now Opa. I will see you tomorrow." I kissed him on the head and said one more "I love you." Tonight, my mom called at 10:15pm and told me, through thick tears, that Opa died. I kid you not, immediately lightening began to strike outside. Not far away, faint lightening but right on top of the house type of lightening. I began walking upstairs to tell my wife and a huge bolt struck outside and our power went out. As I walked in the bedroom the power came back on and my wife said, "That's some crazy lightning." I replied, "Opa is dead." When I stopped crying, I wrote on my notepad, "He left on a bolt of lightning."Thanks for listening Hubski.https://hubski.com/pub/4096872018 Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon #racereport #runninghttps://hubski.com/pub/409687This was my first marathon ever, and with numerous injuries preventing me from following or even finishing out a proper training cycle, I lowered my goal of < 4:00:00 to < 4:20:00 which seemed attainable but a challenge, all things considered.TrainingSo, yeah. I had hoped to follow Jack Daniels 18-week plan with two quality workouts a week, and was following it for a month or two, before my ankle blew up from a previous injury trail running last year. That resulted in two months of light running, physical therapy, and knee pain on my opposing knee due to overcompensating for the injury. On the bright side, my climbing improved greatly in this time, but it was horrible for my running. Once that finally got to a point in running, I was able to pull together a half-marathon PR of 1:50:15 in a very, very hilly course but was still pressed on time. The result was not following much of a plan, and trying to get as many miles in as possible. My longest run ended up being 18 miles, but fortunately I had some great cross-training over the past month in backpacking and basic mountaineering and managed to string together about a month worth of > 50 mile weeks between running and hiking.The Night BeforeAll kitted out. A lot more thought went into this than any half-marathon I've ran. What extra clothes might I want (forecast was calling for showers mid-morning, an improvement over thunderstorms from earlier in the week!!!). How much food, so on. It was much more strategic. I was very, very, very anxious for this race given that it was my first marathon, and feeling under prepared because of the training issues. Can I really run a marathon? Will I end up injured at some point during this race? A lot of what-if's were racing through my mind, so I ended up putting on The Great British Bake Off at around 9pm last night after a night of pasta with cabbage, and way too much other food...finally fell asleep at 11ish pm, much later than I would have liked given my 3:45am wakeup alarm.The Morning OfDrove up to Seattle, hopped on the monorail, nothing exciting. Ran into another runner I knew who was also running the full marathon, but not even close to his first. Ate a banana, spent some time in the bathroom. Went to bag check. All the little things that add up over the course of the morning. It was a beautiful morning, I couldn't have asked for a nice one.The RaceThings went way, way faster at the start this year compared to last year in this race. Corrals were smooth, I was happy with that! Highlights from the first 13.1 miles:1. Trying to eat a crumbled Stinger Waffle at mile 8ish. Took one bite and half of it ended up in my mouth. Choking hazards are real, people!!! Took me a handful of miles to recover from that incident and try eating more food. This also happened to coincide with a "really fucking steep" two-block stretch of hill that most people walked. I didn't, because holy fuck I've been walking up mountains for months now.2. Mile 6ish, my favorite sign. "Stranger with Candy" as a lone lady with a candy bowl watched the spectators, I can only assume she was looking for somebody. I didn't take any candy. Other signs included numerous "You are running better than the government" signs. Seattle...3. Splitting off from the half-marathon runners. This is where the pack really thinned out.Highlights from the last 13.1 miles:1. Running on the viaduct before it's torn down! That was a really cool experience, minus me really, really, really needing to use a port-a-potty during a five (!!!) mile stretch of no port-a-potties. That stop added probably three minutes to my time.2. Eating more food without choking on it.3. Seeing my friends for the first time with their signs and bells and whatever else. I didn't actually read the signs at the time, but I saw them!4. Seeing a good friend of mine who was running the race with me on an outback stretch, she was a good two miles ahead of me at this point and kicking ass! This would have been the 14 (for me) and 16 (for her) marker. Also, seeing another runner I know at the mile 19 (for me) and 25 (for him) marker. He's really fucking fast and beat me by an hour.5. Running up near the zoo! As soon as I hit trail I started passing lots and lots of people. It was rejuvenating and just in time.6. Seeing the finish line.In GeneralAbout 1,500ft of gain over the entirety of the course, and a race I'll never forget. I feel like I ran it fairly conservatively, and feel like I can run tomorrow without much issue. Maybe a bit too slow? The long split at mile 23 coincides with continuous uphill, and another port-a-potty stop...stomach wasn't very agreeable this morning, unfortunately. Overall I'm happy with how I ran the race, the intent was to match splits across the first and second half, and I did a damn close job of that despite the second half being much more sustained hills than the first. I nearly caught my friend, too, closed a twenty minute gap all the way down to a four minute gap because of the sustained performance. A lot of parts of my body ended up with minor pains and annoyances over the course of the race, including my arches which was a new experience, but nothing lasted very long. The arches were an issue for the last three miles, for some reason, but didn't hamper me. The last mile we finally got those showers, which actually rained pretty hard so I was nice and wet at the finish line. A true Seattle race.The AftermathFirst off, a big thanks to wasoxygen, WanderingEng, and some family members and friends for watching this all unfold in real-time. Hopefully you all enjoyed that and that the app was tolerable. Overall I came in the top 33% in this race, and placed almost exactly 50% in my division (gender and age). For gender, I was slightly above the top 50%. I'll take those results for a first! I ate a lot of food today, drank a fair amount of beer, and stretched/foam-rolled/ankle strengthening exercises. I'm tired, but on the verge of signing up for this race again next year...and taking a good luck at wear on my shoes!One marathon down, who knows how many more to go. What a day...https://hubski.com/pub/409682OC - E. H. Brogan - “Mermaids: They’re Just Like Us” and “Tardigrades at Every Size” #art #tellhubskihttps://hubski.com/pub/409682Thrilledhttps://hubski.com/pub/409327Tuning the sine wave to save energy #energy #greenhttps://hubski.com/pub/409327More than 60% of the energy generated for the US's power infrastructure is lost between the generator and the user.SIXTY percent.But that might be changing, due to one company's efforts to reduce loss by tuning the wavelength of the energy being transmitted, to make it more efficient, at different locations in the transmission network.THIS is very cool. (And also somewhat speculative... but a very cool approach to addressing our weak and inefficient energy generation, transmission, and storage infrastructure.)https://hubski.com/pub/409267TANK #animation #arthttps://hubski.com/pub/409267And a link to the making of ‘TANK’ by its creator:https://prolost.com/blog/tankhttps://hubski.com/pub/408932Hubski Live - Maryland Edition #hubskimeetup #stickershttps://hubski.com/pub/408932Bootz is already there... ref inbound... I’m in the Uber...https://hubski.com/pub/408659High Yield Train Wreck #goodlongread #economicshttps://hubski.com/pub/408659didja know that Wisdom Tree launched a CoCo bond ETF last week?We've discussed liquidity traps before but not in this context. Markets are made when one entity wishes to sell something and another entity wishes to buy something. If you have something worthless, nobody wants to buy it. "junk" bonds are those that are risky investments. Because they are risky investments, they earn their holders high interest rates. It's just like car insurance: if you've got a DUI and three accidents on your record, you pay more to insure your car. If you have difficulty paying your credit card bill, your interest rate goes up. The insurance company makes money because the risk of any one driver costing them more than they earn is spread across lots of drivers. This, by the way, is why flood insurance is federally guaranteed: the risk of one homeowner costing more than they earn the insurance company is 100% which means we, the taxpayers, cover the difference. Nobody is covering the difference in high yield bonds, and there are more high yield bonds right now than ever before. And when it comes time to sell, there won't be anyone to buy.https://hubski.com/pub/408521Inside AA with Tacocat: The Pre History of Alcoholics Anonymous #insideaahttps://hubski.com/pub/408521I don't even know if I'd call this a first draft. Writing is a thing for me to do and I need something to do lately. This is more constructive than being a smartass on Twitter which is maybe what I'd have done instead. But I'm learning some of what I thought were my coping mechanisms for stress are stressful themselves. Writing and art are work if you want to produce something decent. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Whatever, I'm off track. Sorry this isn't cited or anything. I'm confident I'm right about this stuff but I wrote it off the top of my head except for some details of the Oxford Group so I could be wrong about some things. This is not a first draft, it's a raw draft. Thanks for keeping me motivated with the first response._______________According to the mythology of the program, what would come to be known as Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 when an alcoholic named Bill Wilson serendipitously came in contact with another alcoholic named Bob Smith through the use of a phone book in an Akron, Ohio hotel and the guidance of a church. Bill had had a religious vision about six months prior that he accredited his new found sobriety to but part of the vision was sharing this revelation with other alcoholics in order to maintain his own sobriety by helping others.Bill Wilson’s story is the first chapter in Alcoholics Anonymous, colloquially known as The Big Book, the text which was written by committee in 1939 and gave the group its name. In it he details his life and struggles for sobriety. Fighting in World War I, flying high as a stock broker in the twenties, how that all worked out for everyone involved, being a miserable drunk that could not function whatsoever to the point that his wife worked to support him in a time when women did not work. Some of the details of Bill being an insufferable piece of shit are obfuscated by history such as the fact that a woman taking a job is not scandalous ninety years later. Some details are no doubt obfuscated by Bill intentionally to save face as he was an egotistical maniac in addition to a useless alcoholic. Some details are not clear due to subsequent history which is not mentioned in the AA program as Bill and Dr. Bob are canonized in the pantheon of a group where questions are ignored, brushed off, rationalized away or met with hostility.Bill and Dr. Bob (the nickname for Bob Smith) were involved in an early twentieth century fringe Christian movement called the Oxford Group and AA is directly patterned after the philosophy of this movement. The Oxford Group was a movement founded by a Christian missionary named Frank Buchman in 1908. Simply put, it believed that all sin and all of the world’s problems could be attributed to the character defects of fear and selfishness, ideas that would reappear in AA doctrine thirty years later. Buchman did not lead a church. The Oxford Group was organized informally and meetings among members were more likely to be held in a living room than a worship center. The goal of the group was essentially to infiltrate churches throughout the world and draw parishioners into the group through the charisma of its members and the results of its philosophy that would presumably be magnetic due to the absolute truth and effectiveness of its practices. The solution to selfishness and fear is to give one’s life over to God. Whatever that means.At one point Bill Wilson got a surprise visit from an old drinking buddy named Ebby Thatcher who had used the Oxford Group methods to cease drinking for a (short) period. Bill claims in his story in the Big Book that he brushed off Thatcher because Bill was an agnostic and had no interest in “the God thing.” Which is either an outright lie or a redefinition of the word agnostic. The latter is not unlikely because there’s an entire chapter in the Big Book that can be seen as an attempt to frame everyone who is in active addiction as an agnostic, but I’ll come back to that chapter later. Of course Bill isn’t 100% dismissive. He was probably just an asshole at the time because he was full of cheap gin. He claims that he noticed a change in Ebby Thatcher that stuck with him.Bill was in and out of sanitariums in the early thirties for alcohol withdrawal and possibly delirium tremens, the worst expression of withdrawal which can lead to hallucinations and death if not medically treated. Today severe alcohol withdrawal is treated with anti convulsants, fluids and vitamins but also a not dissimilar experience of being locked in a hospital. There were no benzodiazepans in the thirties so aside from literal medical use of alcohol, the treatment was spotty involving sedatives or experimental treatments. Experimental is the experience Bill had after his meeting with Ebby Thatcher. Bill was given the belladonna treatment, a quack method involving a poisonous plant that can itself induce hallucinations And what happens? Bill has a ‘spiritual experience’ and comes to accept the Oxford Group’s methods as being an effective treatment for alcoholism. There is no mention of his prior experience with the group in the book. What exactly the ‘Belladonna Method’ is has been rendered unclear by history and AA makes no attempt to clarify eighty years later. Ebby Thatcher is never mentioned again but is arguably canonized for delivering the spark of a message to Bill. He was sober for about six months and after the success of AA Bill supported him for the rest of his life out of gratitude (I guess). Don’t let that fact paint a rosy picture of the man. He sobered up but remained a complete piece of shit.So into this confluence of events that seems at this point remarkably easy to attribute mystical involvement if one doesn’t read any source but Bill’s own word, Bill stumbles into an Akron hotel on a business trip. He’s about six months sober but has not been able to put into practice what he believes is the answer outside of the halls and rooms of the sanitarium. He has a bar on one side and a phone booth on the other. He knows he needs to help other alcoholics in order to help himself because the hallucination, ahem vision, in the hospital told him so. So he calls around various churches in order to find someone to help rather than go to the bar which is something he desperately wants to do. And he is connected with Dr. Bob Smith, who is coincidentally part of the Oxford Group as well, and the two spend a night talking each other through the throes of craving. This was this first meeting of alcoholics anonymous.https://hubski.com/pub/408038Hiking the Pecos Wilderness, NM #tripreport #hikingandcampinghttps://hubski.com/pub/408038I ended up in New Mexico because of an off-hand comment by kleinbl00 about New Mexico mountains. I was looking for a spring mountain hiking trip that wouldn't be mud and/or snow, thus ruling out anything further north.I found a number of good trip reports for East Pecos Baldy and Truchas peaks. Hiking here gave me a lot of options.All of my mountain hiking up until this point was in the Adirondacks. These peaks are in the 4-5000' range, starting from trailheads of 900-1800'. In the Pecos Wilderness, I started at over 8800' at the Jacks Creek trailhead north of Cowles, NM and about an hour's drive from Santa Fe. I had three days of hiking blocked off with an intent of going to Truchas Peak. Day one was a hike out to Pecos Baldy Lake, a common camping site. I saw two horse riders that afternoon, and they were the last people I saw for about 42 hours.The hike to Pecos Baldy lake was 7.25 miles and took me up to 11,500'. My GPS tells me I had a total ascent of 2940'. I felt pretty good up to about 10,500' when I just started to feel worn out. With less than a half mile to go to the lake, I had to stop and take my backpack off and just sit for a bit. The hike up took me about 4.5 hours.That night after laying in my tent for a bit, I checked my pulse. Normally my resting heart rate is under 60 beats per minute. Laying there more than 10,000' above my home, I measured 88 bpm (44 beats over 30 seconds). I decided then that Truchas (about 10 miles round trip) was off the agenda. I'd instead go for East Pecos Baldy, a mere 1.2 mile trip and 1000' elevation gain.It was cold and windy that night. My sleeping bag is rated to 40 degrees, and I woke up cold. I checked the time: 10:30 PM. If it was almost morning I'd have just lived with the cold, but this was going to be all night. I packed a sleeping bag liner I'd never used before, and I pulled that into my bag. It did the trick, and I'm glad I had it.The next morning I knew the hike was shorter, and it was cold. I ate breakfast with a wool hat, gloves, and down coat. I was still cold and decided I just needed to get moving to warm up.There's an official trail all the way to the summit. It's 0.6 miles down one trail and then a 0.6 mile spur to the summit. I saw a lot of snow as this was on the north side of a spur off the mountain. About halfway down the trail I got to an eroded bit of trail I couldn't figure out how to get around. Going under it meant dropping down twenty feet with no obvious way to get back up. Going over it meant trying to get up twenty feet. And going across it meant a steep slope with loose dirt where slipping meant a twenty foot slide into trees and rocks. I pride myself on being safe. I turned around.Back at my camp, I considered my options. I knew the route to Truchas crossed the Trailriders Wall, a flat open ridge with a lot of views, so I took the trail up there. Along here I topped out at 11,953', my new record for highest hike. At this point I had no specific goal as no summit was within reach, so I just hiked down the trail until I felt like turning around.That's the Truchas group of peaks in the center.Along here I saw a sign for another trail that headed back to the lake. My National Geographic map showed the trail leaving the lake but stopping at the saddle between East Pecos Baldy and the Trailriders Wall. But the sign was there and I could see a few cairns marking the trail. On the way back, I followed that as best I could, but it wasn't nearly as worn as the other trails were. It was here that I saw a herd of bighorn sheep.Continuing on, now on the side slope of the Trailriders Wall, I encountered a talus field. It was like walking on the rocks under railroad tracks. Everything was loose. From my vantage I couldn't see any trail, but I knew I had to get to the saddle. The Wall is mostly treeless, so it was easy to see where I needed to go. Once there, I could see multiple paths through the talus.Coming down off the saddle I scared up a couple... I don't know, beavers maybe? I'd say groundhogs, but they apparently aren't in New Mexico. Otherwise it was a straightforward hike back down. After about four hours on the move, I was pretty tired again, much like the first day. While the day was early and I could have started hiking out, I stayed put for the rest of the day.The third day was a simple hike out, almost entirely downhill. To my surprise, I still was worn out by the end. Much like day one, I had to drop my pack and rest even close to the end. Conclusions:I enjoyed the Pecos Wilderness and would gladly go back. However, I wasn't terribly impressed with the bits of Santa Fe and Albuquerque I saw. Endless beige dirt is depressing. I also concluded elevation does have an effect on me, and it won't be immediately obvious. Instead it's sort of a cumulative impact that creeps up. I think my next trip, if not to the Northeast, will be to split the difference between Mount Marcy at 5300' and the Trailriders Wall at 12,000'.https://hubski.com/pub/407894Sci-Fi club, let's get some new faces in here #scificlub #scifihttps://hubski.com/pub/407894So I've been noticing a lot of unfamiliar and new names popping up around here, so I figure it'd be a good time to spark up the #scificlub and see what kind of interest there is.For those who haven't seen it, #scificlub has been around for a little while now, and periodically gets dropped and picked up again. The format generally involves watching/reading/consuming some piece of sci-fi media, then we all discuss it at some pre-designated point in time. The format is plenty amenable to modification though. You can browse though the tag to get a historical sense of what we've looked at.So now I'd like to call roll for all those interested to chime in. We'll need to pick some material.The inclusion criteria for material to look at has typically been this: Easily accessible (preferably free and online) Low time commitment (short stories and movies yes, whole novels and seven-season TV shows no) So please throw out some suggestions! There's been some recent movie releases that may be of interest, classics we haven't covered, or any other sort of thing like that.Last-updated list of shoutouts:Trombone kleinbl00 JakobVirgil mhr OftenBen plewemt elizabeth blackbootz Meriadoc Tiger_the_Lion _thoracic johnnyFive tehstone rthomas6 War Dala OftenBen bhrgunatha kantos francopoli anatomygeek Purple_Rubyhttps://hubski.com/pub/407394The Spy Who Came Home: why an expert in terrorism became a beat cop #goodlongreadhttps://hubski.com/pub/407394Though Skinner had completed his training just two months earlier, he already knew every road in the Third Precinct. On slow nights, he tried to memorize the locations of Savannah’s traffic lights and stop signs, so that he could visualize the quickest route to any call. Darren Bradley, who went through training with Skinner, said, “When they gave us the sheets with police signals and codes”—a list of nearly two hundred radio call signs—“he looked it over once and had it in his head.”As Skinner approached Summerside, a white Camaro with tinted windows pulled out and came toward him. Cars registered in Georgia don’t have license plates on the front, but, as the Camaro zoomed past, Skinner glanced into his side mirror, memorized the rear-plate number from its backward reflection, and called it in.There was a brief time at the end of college when I thought: "I could totally be in the CIA." I applied, and never heard back. Turns out, I couldn't. I really, really couldn't.https://hubski.com/pub/407042Can a Male Artist Still Paint a Female Nude? #art #goodlongreadhttps://hubski.com/pub/407042Who’s Afraid of the Female Nude?Paintings of naked women, usually by clothed men, are suddenly sitting very uncomfortably on gallery walls.https://hubski.com/pub/406967Some thoughts on discussion, opinion and spaces #thehumancondition #armchairphilosophyhttps://hubski.com/pub/406967I thought I would share a version of an email I wrote a little while ago. I help to organise my research group's weekly seminars - the idea has, broadly, been to foster an open space in which to discuss things of a less technical nature. Recently, however, one of the profs raised some concerns about people making less substantiated or emotional statements. It got me to thinking about how or whether these two goals reconcile. In any case it reminded me of the discussions around the Sam Altman post from a while back, and just hubski's mantra/culture in general.___Of late I have been thinking quite broadly about issues around debate, discussion and opinion. It seems perhaps a bit trite but it appears to me that in many spheres of public discourse we seem to be constantly bombarded with people disagreeing with one another and a fair amount of the vitriol that often accompanies such disagreements.Whether the nature of public discourse now is any different to how it was in the past is not really something I have the experience to say – in any case I mention this state only inasmuch as it forms a contextual basis for discourse writ large.The main point is that it feels self-evidently necessary to have discussions which are worthwhile (constructive?) as opposed to pointless – from the national level down to the interpersonal. The question is then what form a worthwhile, valuable or constructive discussion should take. In order to begin to answer this question we must unpack a number of issues – knowledge, perception, opinion, experience and truth are all elements which form part of this muddle.With that in mind I want to put forward a few of the nascent ideas I have had around all these and their relationships with one another. I do not for a minute believe the thinking is "complete" nor even necessarily consistent. But hopefully it can be food for thought amongst us all, and something which may stimulate (recursively) some discussion.The dynamics of opinionMy first contention is about belief and opinion. It may seem paradoxical but in the moment where a person expresses an opinion of theirs, I think it is impossible for them to not simultaneously believe that opinion to be true. Consider the converse – that it is possible. What would this look like, in terms of cognition and expression? I make a statement: “I believe the world to be this way”, but in my heart of hearts I believe that it is in fact a different way – in this case I have simply not expressed the opinion that I actually believe, but I still have a certain truth that I hold on to.There are some edge cases to this theory: I believe thing A as well as thing B, but these happen to be logically inconsistent. In this case I am suffering from cognitive dissonance, which is in fact the exact paradox I am attempting to describe – the situation where, because A and B are both my opinions, I must hold both to be true regardless of their inconsistency (the stability of such a situation is a separate issue).The reason I mention this oddity is that it naturally plays itself out whenever two people engage in a debate – both people have different beliefs, but their beliefs are equally true to themselves. Of course, beliefs can change, but during this process one’s internal truth remains intact – I was wrong but I can never be wrong (in the sense I am describing here).On a personal level, I know that my opinion has changed for many things over the years. To me this firstly signifies that I really shouldn’t clutch my current opinion with too much force, regardless of the fact that I must believe it – and for anyone interested is also the reason why I much prefer playing Devil’s advocate than actually expressing my real opinion.Note that this is related, but subtly different to the idea that “we are all ignorant”. To my mind, ignorance implies that there is some truth we are not aware of. I think my point is that “truth” is not really what we are after, but rather the ability to see opinions/beliefs as malleable and ductile.Furthermore, I am explicitly not saying that we can never know anything or that there is no universal truth. What perhaps is questionable is the conflation of individual truth and universal truth.The dynamics of perceptionMy second contention is that what constitutes this individual truth is influenced by perception in ways that are very fundamental to the acquisition of knowledge. Without getting into the philosophy too deeply, it seems fair to me that we can only really know the world which we perceive: Sartre said that “consciousness and the world are given in the same blow” and I tend to agree. Because, however, our own consciousnesses are all different in any myriad ways, does it not follow that we all perceive equally valid yet irreconcilably different worlds?Consider the case of languages with different conceptualisations of colour – in Japanese for example (I am told), there is only one word which captures both blue and green. So to a Japanese person, the sky and the trees appear to be the same colour (or at least, shades of the same colour) in a way that is not the case for others. The point is that our perceptions in turn are modulated by a number of different things which are probably unique for every person, although there may be similarities among people who share the same way of interpreting aspects of the world.This idea needs to be borne in mind very strongly when we begin to discuss things with the idea of reaching a consensus or advancing our understanding – that the sky and the trees have different wavelengths of light is largely irrelevant in terms of the effect it will have on our perceptions. Consensus in this context becomes more of a practicable understanding of how everyone sees the issue, rather than everyone seeing it the same way. Otherwise stated, at which point do our different lived experiences of the same physical world imply that a “rational” basis might not be able to accommodate all “worldviews”? Hence the need for a different basis.On axioms and substantiationOne of my friends often has stories of his classmate with a fringe political ideology. I never want to meet the guy because him and I apparently do not see eye to eye on some very fundamental issues – things like whether equality is an ideal etc. Inasmuch as it seems like one’s deepest-downest ethics are not really based on anything else, it follows that we probably won’t ever agree on some things unless one of us changes our foundational ethics.The reason I bring this up is because I think it’s often pointless to try and debate something if we can’t agree on the axioms which underpin the discussion. In other words, it’s a different kettle of fish to disagree on the way in which the idea that “all men are created equal” should manifest itself than to disagree about that same statement: on the one hand can be a discussion of how to navigate redress/affirmative action when all should be equal, on the other hand live “race realists” and eugenicists. No prizes for guessing which of the two debates I am not interested in having.Tying it back to consensus building (i.e. the process I mentioned above), it seems to me that we stand to benefit the most in terms of a discussion when we attempt to drill down into opinions and dissect the axioms/justifications on which they are based – regardless of what form these axioms may take, from feelings to data. Note how this flips around the traditional academic notion of substantiation – in this mode we move from the starting point that the justification exists somewhere (i.e. I must hold my opinions to be true) and seek instead to expose and interrogate it, rather than expect that everyone is explicitly aware of every belief or fact they base their worldview on.The dynamics of spacesWhich brings us to the next question – what kind of spaces are conducive to this process? In order to answer this, we must first examine what it is that gives a space a certain nature. Firstly, there is the question of what kinds of opinions are admissible. This can be stated in terms of axioms as well: what are the axioms that we must assume to be shared in order to have a discussion that is meaningful. These are best defined in terms of what the stated goal of the space is: in a court environment, one assumes that everyone is reading and basing their arguments off the same laws. In a completely open, “anything goes” discussion there are no prescriptions. I have been sat in many plenary sessions during FeesMustFall protests in which the discussion moves from a very particular ideology, and where deviations from this are not appropriate.I want to mention here that part of what I am getting at is that the classically liberal notion of free speech and open debate is in fact a very myopic way to consider discussion and discourse. In my view, what kinds of opinions are acceptable depends entirely on the nature of the space and more pertinently on the whims of the humans involved in that space. Note that I don’t think anyone has ever accused the Constitutional Court of being an “echo chamber” due to its deliberations being based on a single and human-defined set of axioms, i.e. the constitution.What I am getting at is that setting up these axiomatic boundaries is exactly what constitutes defining a space. The idea that there is one universal set of rules which must define how we approach discussion and discourse is one which, I think, neglects to factor in the way that it is our relations with one another which shape our worldview, and not necessarily the prescriptions of a universal moral truth.The second issue that must be addressed is a practical one: when the discussion does start to veer into the realm of inadmissible opinions, who will play the role of the arbiter? Arbitration is necessary because it is impossible to know a priori everything that is in the limits and everything that is outside the limits. This is also an issue of discipline in terms of the space being dynamically held together by those who constitute it. When an opinion is threatening to dissolve the space (via challenging the axioms that it is based on), this opinion can either be accepted or rejected (with the axioms then changing to accommodate this). In many ways this process of acceptance and rejection is the hallmark of a constructive discussion. How we fill such a role in the broader public discourse is however not clear…In summaryOpinions are malleable, ductile and furthermore shaped by perception as well as reason. Opinions are not static. Nevertheless, any opinion held represents (for the time being) the holder’s truth. When different truths clash we can hopefully channel this clash in a way that allows both parties to walk away with an improved understanding of one another’s views, and occasionally with a new shared consensus.Whether this will be possible depends heavily on who is involved in the discussion, mostly because our opinions are either explicitly or implicitly based on certain axioms. In order to have a constructive debate, what must be interrogated is not so much the opinion itself, but the chain of axiomatic justification which underpins it.I hope that this exposition gives a little bit more structure to the kinds of questions which I certainly know have been milling around in the back of my head for a while. I found it valuable to try and analyse the things we find seem to represent competing or irreconcilable goals – open discussion vs knowledge-based; free speech vs safe spaces etc.Cheers,DWhttps://hubski.com/pub/406580One third of Amazon employees in Arizona need food stamps to feed themselves. #business #economicshttps://hubski.com/pub/406580Later this year, Amazon will begin accepting grocery orders from customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal anti-poverty program formerly known as food stamps. As the nation’s largest e-commerce grocer, Amazon stands to profit more than any other retailer when the $70 billion program goes online after an initial eight-state pilot.But this new revenue will effectively function as a double subsidy for the company: In Arizona, new data suggests that one in three of the company’s own employees depend on SNAP to put food on the table. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the figure appears to be around one in 10. Overall, of five states that responded to a public records request for a list of their top employers of SNAP recipients, Amazon cracked the top 20 in four.Let's be honest. In 10 years many of these people won't even have these jobs. Localized GPS + drones are going to take out so many jobs in warehousing, from people who pick orders all the way to inventory control specialists.https://hubski.com/pub/406291The Warrior at the Mall #goodlongread #foodforthoughthttps://hubski.com/pub/406291https://hubski.com/pub/406033First-Ever Evictions Database Shows: 'We're In the Middle Of A Housing Crisis' #housing #povertyhttps://hubski.com/pub/406033https://hubski.com/pub/405741Molly Ringwald: What About the Breakfast Club?: Revisiting the movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo. #thefemalecondition #filmhttps://hubski.com/pub/405741https://hubski.com/pub/405455"The Clock Is Ticking": Inside the Worse U.S. Maritime Disaster in Decades #goodlongread #maritimehttps://hubski.com/pub/405455https://hubski.com/pub/405134I pissed on Ted Nugent's drivewayhttps://hubski.com/pub/405134Just saw you, Ted Nugent, in the news today, some bullshit about you slamming the Parkland surivors. I have no idea why they continue to cite your extreme right views in the news, but every time I see your name I remember that back in the 80s when I pissed on your driveway. My sister's boyfriend owned a camp in Irons, Michigan and his next-door neighbor was you, Ted Nugent. We were all drunk and out and about and I had a good long piss on your driveway. I thought it was just funny at the time, but nowadays I'm damn glad I did it everytime I see your fcked up views in the news. Fck you Teddy. You stepped in my piss every time you walked down your own driveway. Why the hell does the news even bother with you? Find some cause that shows you have a soul.https://hubski.com/pub/404681Hubski Update: Change to our TOS #blog.hubski #hubskihttps://hubski.com/pub/404681Because of the Facebook shitshow, I decided to peruse our Terms of Service, which hadn't been updated since 2014.I made the following change:Previous language:User information will only be shared with third parties in an aggregate form that preserves individual user anonymity. Emails, IP addresses, partial IP addresses, and user-activity will not be shared with third parties.Updated language:We do not share user information with third parties.We haven't gone the "selling our users" route, and we aren't going to. If there's not a better way, then maybe there shouldn't be a way.https://hubski.com/pub/403670I made some synthetic rain #musichttps://hubski.com/pub/403670Probably 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.https://hubski.com/pub/403566Statistical claim that FEC Data suggests Trump laundered money to pay off Stormy Daniels. #trump #uspoliticshttps://hubski.com/pub/403566I haven’t been through this thorough rundown yet:https://viewfromll2.com/2018/03/11/on-the-origins-of-stormy-danielss-130k-settlement-payment-and-the-probability-of-the-disbursement-records-matching-the-settlement-amount-by-random-chance/Some people on github not getting the same result, we shall see.update: updated the source file and apparently repeatable.https://hubski.com/pub/403184Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet #internet #mediahttps://hubski.com/pub/403184Which 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?https://hubski.com/pub/403067Graeber: How to change the course of human history #goodlongread #thehumanconditionhttps://hubski.com/pub/403067https://hubski.com/pub/402543Artski Fartski: February Sketches, Practice Report #tellhubski #arthttps://hubski.com/pub/402543After 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.https://hubski.com/pub/402389Contra contemporary architecture #architecture #modernismhttps://hubski.com/pub/402389wasoxygen 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 gesturehttps://hubski.com/pub/413157https://hubski.com/pub/413157I think this video misses the key point. (Like all of the pithy web video stuff produced by people who weren't there when it happened, pontificating on What Went Wrong.)Here it is in a nutshell: AOL is to blame.Back in the day of the early web, there were isolated islands of network interaction, that didn't really cross over very much. BBS. Fido. Gopher. AOL. WWW. Telnet. Archie. eWorld. The WeLL.Each of these interactive tools were synonymous with the communities that used them. You used the Fido tool to log in to FidoNET. You used Gopher to find Gopher servers and transfer files and mail. AOL, eWorld, and The WeLL were servers you logged in to, and participated with those communities in those spaces.The World Wide Web broke this model, and HTTP-based sites were now able to share files and data between the different tools and servers. You could write an HTTP front end to your FidoNET server, and people could use NCSA Mosaic to log in to your FidoNET, and see/transfer files in a visual tool, rather than command-line only.Everyone using the World Wide Web had their own site.Every single person was a CREATOR of some sort.Maybe it was a list of porn sites. Maybe it was a list of parts for old BMW airhead motorcycles. Maybe it was ASCII art pictures.Whatever it was, the same tool you used to browse other sites, was the tool you used to create your own site.And, by default, everyone's Bookmarks List was public. That's how you found stuff. You went to someone's site, clicked on their Links page, and saw what sites they had links to. Click, click, click... rabbit hole!Along came AOL.America Online was originally just email. But they also created a custom, curated environment, where people could get movie listings, read news, and send messages to each other.They business model was to charge by the hour, for the connection to AOL's servers. So they wanted you to stay logged in, and clicking around their properties, so they got to charge you for the access.After much debate, AOL opened up their "walled garden", and allowed their users to VIEW and BROWSE the world wide web.The change happened almost overnight.People (like myself) had their own web servers running. Mine was on an old Mac SE I had in the corner of my bedroom, with a dedicated modem and phone line.Suddenly, my $15/month phone bill for that line, and service, shot up to more than $50/month.Other people, who had been serving their web sites for years, were suddenly hit with thousands of dollars in service fees from their ISP due to huge traffic spikes.ALL of this activity was from the AOL people, who were not CREATING anything. They saw the internet as TV, and just consumed, consumed, consumed all of our paid-for content, for free.Sure, AOL subscribers paid their AOL access fee, but AOL paid us web sites ZILCH, and we were forced to shut down, or monetize our sites to pay for the bandwidth AOL's looky-lous were consuming.This is where the utility of the web ended.Now, you needed to monetize your site. You had to measure "views", and run ads, and give up space on your site where CONTENT used to be, and serve flashing GIFs that advertisers paid you a fraction-of-a-cent per click.Once that happened, the altruistic, creative, and generous nature of the web was destroyed. If you offered quality content for free, you were on the hook for enormous ISP hosting bills. If you monetized your site, you were in a constant war with your users that still continues today.AOL fucked it by inviting "spectators" to simply look, without participating.AOL turned the internet into TV.https://hubski.com/pub/413015https://hubski.com/pub/413015baseball is the most zen of sports - not "Zen" in caps, but zen all lowercaseyou go to a baseball game because you want to sit outside for a couple hours and enjoy the weather / think about nothing in particular, and sometimes something mildly interesting happens and you get to participate in the group happiness of a stadium full of people entertained by a home run or a clever bunt or somethingbaseball is the game you take your kids and your grandkids to to eat some popcorn or peanuts or a hot dog or something, and get ice cream after the gameyou can enjoy baseball on any level of understanding of it from "jack shit" to "nate silver", and that's okay, because actually going out to see a baseball game is not really about the gamethat's why there are 10 thousand games per season and they play through the summer is because baseball is about slowing way down and enjoying little things in the moment you experience themthe "exciting" part of baseball is in the playoffs so if that's your goal just wait until thenthere's an unaffiliated minor league about a half hour away from here with 4 teams and one stadium - they have a little plaza with food vendors and a playground, and there's a grass hill in the outfield that you can sit on and watch from, and they have little gimmicks to get people there like fireworks and a dog that gets the bats, and there's beauty in that experience that's really importantthere's baseball happening in the middle there but the important part is everything on the edgeshttps://hubski.com/pub/412919https://hubski.com/pub/412919OH FUCK MUTHERFUCKER NOW YOU'RE WINDING ME UPBecause beer fucking sucks right now.You know it, you just don't want to admit it - beer is straight-up bullshit at the moment. Yeah, sure there's a million tiny shitty little breweries out there but they're all being bought up one by one by AB InBev or SAB Miller and they all make fucking IPA. You know what IPA is? It's the beer you make when you don't have the room to make beer - IPA requires no refrigeration to make. It's that shit you made in your dorm room when the RA wasn't watching. It's that swill that tastes the same whether it's turned or not because they sell it to you pre-turned. It's that shit you drink because hefeweizens are too heavy - you know, the beer that they've convinced you to put an orange slice in it so it doesn't taste quite so much like pruno.Fortunately for the beer companies, your tiny shitty little IPA from bumblesquatch colorado can be sold for fuckin' $2.50 a bottle because it says you need a lumberbeard to drink it or some shit, as opposed to $1.25 a bottle for pilsners that you're shipping from Canada or Copenhagen (or brewing down the street, but as we all know your dad's macrobrews have been fucking terrible for decades, that's why we started down this road). Unfortunately for the beer companies, nobody wants to spend fucking $9 for a sixer of Fat Tire anymore and the alternative you're offering them is fucking Michelob Ultra Organic or some shit which tastes about the same as Zima without the sugar, assuming you remember what Zima is. Fortunately nobody remembers Zima or Bartles & Jaymes so let's try selling them "summer shandy" or "radler" because a wine cooler by any other name would taste as cloyingly sweet. LOOK AT THIS PICTURE. LOOK AT IT.Bud. Light. Lime. STRAW ber RITA. "Try it over ice!" What. The Actual. Fuck. This is AB InBev throwing their hands in the goddamn air and saying "we never knew why they liked our swill in the first place, mix a Kool-Aid packet in there and see if they buy it." Meanwhile the beer that everyone drank forever is fucking gone, yo. When was the last time you saw an Anchor Steam? I mean, I live 150 miles from the brewery and I have a hard time finding Weinhard's. I used to drink Kirin Light. Now I can't even find Kirin.I used to drink Amstel Light. I haven't seen it at the market in three years.I'm drinking Sam Adams Light - and that'll work - but it is literally the only drinkable light beer left at my supermarket. They generally have three cases of Sam Adams, two cases of Sam Adams Light, five cases of Heineken, two cases of Heineken light, and an entire aisle of various and sundry IPAs.And those fucking "summer shandys." You know what I drink down here in LA? They've got me drinking Russian beer, yo. I live in goddamn America, home of the macrowbrew and because the industry is pushing trasherita premix I'm drinkin' shit that's been shipped from SAINT FUCKING PETERSBERG.Let's drive a stake through the heart of the whole goddamn industry. I'm so completely fucking over the direction it's taken. Kill this bitch so we can bury it and move the fuck on.https://hubski.com/pub/411008https://hubski.com/pub/411008I don't know Kentucky politics. I know the governor and the legislature don't have to be in lock step. Take all your previous posts about how fucked Rural America is. Throw in your hate of the coal country idiots. Add in a few fanatic religious sects. Then give all those people a coalition and the keys to the state government. The whole platform is fuck poor people and do everything you can to fuck over the two Blue-Voting Cities (The same two cities that are 2/3 the state economy).Kentucky is everything wrong with what is going on at a national level, only with the crazy cranked up to RONPAUL2008 levels. Only the crazy here wins because everything is shit, everything is terrible and the only option left is to fuck it up for everyone else while you laugh as it all burns down.https://hubski.com/pub/410120https://hubski.com/pub/410120Have you known many women who were sexually assaulted and ignored, shamed or blamed? Know anyone who's life was ruined by it, left to be fearful, mentally ill or unable to have well adjusted adult relationships?I think the current witch hunt is of way less importance than the change it might make in our world.Too bad for the ones who get cut down in all innocence, we may never know who they are.Have you ever pressured for sex?Maybe it wasn't rape but maybe it wasn't really what she wanted.It's a horrible unfair world.Maybe this is what has to happen for it to be a little less so in the future.It didn't seem like it was going to change without some kind of revolution and no revolution happens without some blood in the streets.I hope a guy in college is afraid when he's trying to coerce my daughter into to doing something she doesn't want to.I hope that it comes around to making those people with the least power safer from their bosses, their landlords the cops.My mom, a school teacher who retired to become a librarian, a women of modest demeanor and habits says that she and almost all her female friends have been sexually harassed by cops during traffic stops.It's been a shitty brutal and fearful world to be a women.Maybe someday soon, maybe tomorrow it will be a little less so.https://hubski.com/pub/409663https://hubski.com/pub/409663You can't just post an interesting point dataset mapped in a less cool way than I hoped and expect me to not give it a shot myself:Full size. I assumed 15 mile visibility. ButterflyEffect.https://hubski.com/pub/409578https://hubski.com/pub/409578'K. So. That was delicious.The "disappearance" of "telephone culture" is a direct consequence of place and decorum in that telephones used to be for places. You had a home phone and an office phone and if you needed to be reached at the office you had a number. If you needed to be reached at home it was presumed it was someone who knew you personally, wanted to know you personally, or had something important to communicate.A phone was not an obligation - a phone was a tool for communicating within certain settings. And because phones were controlled by large monopolies with ridiculous build cost and tremendous vertical integration it was exceedingly difficult to sidestep the decorum associated with calling a phone number. And if you didn't connect, you didn't connect. If it was important, you'd call back. Answering machines, which are older than Alexis Madrigal, allowed people to leave messages. This allowed people to screen calls, which has been happening since before Alexis Madrigal was born. Where things got messed up for the phone company, however, was when they went digital.Because they couldn't do it all at once. Your digital system had to be backwards-compatible with your analog system, and your analog system had to be backwards-compatible with the first phone systems installed back in nineteen diggity-two. Which meant, effectively, that the controls on digital technology were adequate for nineteen diggity-two.The same technology that allowed the phone company to give you voicemail allow VoIP pirates to phonebank the shit out of everyone from a call center in Bangalore. Once it's become data you can do anything with it. The original PCS transport protocol is literally 10BaseT. You're on a computer now, bubba.So they made them smaller and they put one in everyone's pocket and phones were no longer about place. I fought them for years using this very argument: "I am not a place. If you need to reach me, you can reach me AT home. You can reach me AT work." For a while cell phones were things you called in an emergency because they were expensive. Texts, despite being free sideband metadata, were equally expensive. And then things were deregulated such that texts were free and calling was cheap and suddenly youcould notescape.And that's the thing Madrigal doesn't get (because he's a fucktard). "Telephone culture" has vanished because there's no goddamn freedom from it. There's no longer any unreachability because the number everyone has (and it's on Facebook and it's everywhere and VoIP is so cheap that you can literally dial every number sequentially) is in your back pocket. Which means if someone is calling you, they're fuckin' interrupting you. You can't get away from that thing. So yeah. People text first because it's polite and asymmetrical. If you're the kind of person who responds to texts too quickly, people email you. You likely chat with your friends on the phone, but rarely... but when you do, it's important. I work freelance. We're hired on the phone. Random-ass number calls you, you pick up because it is likely a producer who got your name from a friend or coworker and they don't want to waste time. They want to take your pulse and answer any questions. I once almost got fired off a job because I cracked a joke (wish I had in retrospect). Voice communication is more important now, not less. My wife delivers babies. She's got a client portal in her EHR. She answers texts from patients all the time. But every single one of them - ALL OF THEM - call when it's time for the baby. That most reclusive of species, the early-20s woman, who never talks to anyone on the phone anymore, CALLS my wife in the middle of the night to say the baby is coming. Telephone culture isn't dead. It's just been elevated. And if you don't get that, you deserve to get hung up on.https://hubski.com/pub/409411https://hubski.com/pub/409411You do forget that Europe, in general, doesn't know AC is a thing. Plus, humidity. I'd take hot LA over lukewarm London any day.https://hubski.com/pub/409388https://hubski.com/pub/409388It's HOT. 23 Celsius outside, which is enough to make most Irish people melt. I'm going to go for a walk to get some vitamin D - it's a shame how much of life is spent indoors. I'm developing a wicked farmer tan lately, though. Brown just above the elbows, milky white at the shoulders.Getting ready for this Ten Peaks thing in a couple of weeks. I think my feet are about ready, but I'm more worried about my legs than anything else. I was instructed to update the poster with a picture of my face and a little blurb, which I found a bit embarrassing. Have a gander:https://hubski.com/pub/409281https://hubski.com/pub/409281https://hubski.com/pub/408946https://hubski.com/pub/408946The clicking of the hubwheel is a deeply personal decision of which any one else's dogmatic or relavatory advice should be considered purely advisory.https://hubski.com/pub/408828https://hubski.com/pub/408828I have other commitments that get in the way.I read that and seriously thought it said "I have other communists that get in the way."https://hubski.com/pub/408769https://hubski.com/pub/408769https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Basic_Plotshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journeyhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thirty-Six_Dramatic_Situationshttps://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/jul/13/three-six-or-36-how-many-basic-plots-are-there-in-all-stories-ever-writtenhttps://hubski.com/pub/408418https://hubski.com/pub/408418Engaged.https://hubski.com/pub/408340https://hubski.com/pub/408340i was thinking a few seconds ago and i'm going to call these people "thought daddies"a thought daddy is some guy (they're almost always guys) aged >30 with a college education, generally white (or off-brand white) - they can be gay, but they aren't normally, and the crucial part is that they're all writers or scientists. if they're a scientist, their specialization basically doesn't matter at allbecause all thought daddies have big thoughts about the whole world, and they write so many books, and they know why everything sucks so much (there are no optimist thought daddies)and science fetishists cluster around these people because they're just opinionated turbonerds with power, as opposed to them (the powerless ones)i don't understand why cynicism means you have to take people at face value when they say they have all the answers - when somebody tells you "i'm the rational, right one and the people that disagree aren't logical," doesn't that set off some alarms? why are these people exempt from questioning? just because they say they're right? because they confirm the beliefs you already have? i'll never understand thatwas freud right all along? is it a father figure thing - they fit the dad mold so well, they're so comforting with the answers, sometimes they have beardsi guess it doesn't matter too much in the endhttps://hubski.com/pub/408167https://hubski.com/pub/408167"don't report on it, it encourages them" is the "just ignore it and they'll stop bullying you" of the gun control world, and it's a reddit comments section-tier analysis of the situationi wish i could spit on an opinionhttps://hubski.com/pub/408139https://hubski.com/pub/408139Is there another way to report on mass murder that doesn't seem like glorifying to you?Maybe we just shouldn't be reporting on this in the national media. These are always given multiple days of wall-to-wall coverage on cable news. This is known to encourage copycats and attract others to outdo the carnage in previous incidents.https://hubski.com/pub/408138https://hubski.com/pub/408138"Hey, live feed. Active shooter in Texas.""Where?""Santa Fe.""Isn't that outside Dallas?""I dunno.""Just another example of the government not doing their job."And then we called attendance.________________________________________________________________When I went to college 20 years ago, there were signs up about what to do in the event of a fire. This time? There is no room, hallway or bathroom without an 11x17 placard telling me what to do in case some fucking nutbag with an AR-15 decides to kill me.We keep hearing "it'll never happen here" and statistically they're right but fuckin' hell, a buddy's daughter lost a friend in a school shooting so statistics or no, that is FAR too few degrees of separation between a statistical fluke and me and my loved ones. You know what I grew up with? I grew up with a constant back-of-the-mind fear that the Russians would get itchy and we'd end up as mohawk-wearing dogfood eaters on the edge of the Great Nuclear Desert. Forty years. Strangelove, Failsafe, Wargames, Day After, Threads, Road Warrior, the Russians would eventually blow us up. It left an indelible mark on culture and fuckin' hell if the 'boomers didn't wallow in that shit like it was sausage gravy. If you were a kid? You just knew that between AIDS and Andropov there was no fuckin' point in planning for the future."I've always felt like eventually it was going to happen here too."By the time I graduated high school most of the fallout shelter signs had come down because it had just been accepted that there was fuckall that could be done. It feels like we're getting there with school shootings. But while the 'boomers made sure the whole fucking culture understood that death was coming from Ivan the Terrible, everyone is fucking ignoring the fact that we've raised an entire generation to expect one of their classmates to turn an assault rifle on them sometime. Friend visiting from Fresno. She's talking about the junior soccer league there. Apparently there was a barbecue and one parent got into a fight with another parent and pulled a gun on him. AT A BARBECUE. Which meant there had to be a meeting. About whether concealed carry was okay at soccer league functions. One faction argued - in all seriousness - "that it just isn't a party until the guns come out." And we have to humor that. Because that's the culture. But if anybody said "it just isn't a party until the tits come out" it'd be national fucking news and someone would be required counseling before they were allowed to work in an occupation around children ever again.I'd rather my kid be around tits.When I was in high school I had ready access to weapons. Went plinkin' multiple times a week sometimes. Friends of mine got in an armed standoff because someone made someone else mad. Nobody died. I used to fantasize about walking into a classroom with an AR-15 loaded with blanks to shoot at the ceiling. Never did. (1) I knew there would be dire consequences (2) I cared.I think the caring part has decreased. When the Russians were going to kill us all, it was about fearing a natural disaster, basically. Nothing we could do. Active shooter shit? If you're at the end of your goddamn rope, and you have no real concept of mortality because you're seven-fucking-teen years old, the choice between popper and poppee is a moral one. And in these here United States, you aren't allowed to say "If you have a fatalistic attraction to tools designed to kill multiple people at once and minimal affinity for socialization and thriving, you are sick and we need to help you." Because if you love guns, you're a True American and if you think there should be not just access controls but oh, I dunno, maybe a concerted effort to disrupt a culture that values the tools of military aggression in the hands of civilian sportsmen... well, you don't understand, you're wrong, and I'm a responsible gun owner why are you punishing me?It was just as easy to get guns 20 years ago as it is now. By any measure, the murder rate has gone down while the gun ownership rate has gone up. You are much less likely to die by gunfire now than you were then.But back then, you were a lot less likely to die out of the goddamn blue, for no goddamn reason, by gunfire.The NRA aren't terrorists. Gun owners aren't terrorists. Gun rights advocates aren't terrorists. But every mass shooter is a terrorist and our country has a hobby that is the proximate cause of terrorism. Most people will never face a mass shooting. But every school student in America has to prepare for them as if they are, and they have to face the reality that we'd rather they memorize "run, hide, fight" instead of "stop, drop & roll" because a splinter fraction of the populace is concerned that if they give an inch, we'll take a mile and the next thing they know they'll be in fucking FEMA camps.She was Serbian. She'd lost two houses in the war. Her neighbors had firebombed her house in the country and burned it to the ground. Then NATO had bombed her city and leveled her condo. I asked her which was worse. "The country," she said. "Carpet bombing you don't have to take personally."The entire country arranged its culture around eventual, impersonal armageddon at the hands of unseen Soviet aggressors. Yet that same generation is perfectly okay with kids wondering which one of their classmates might shoot them in the face some day.When the Run-Fight-Hide generation is tasked with taking care of the Duck'n'Cover generation, I wonder what they'll do. I wonder if despite all their triumphs, they'll end up eating alpo on the edge of the desert.And it takes every inch of my generosity to not wish for it earnestly.https://hubski.com/pub/408001https://hubski.com/pub/408001No update of substance with regard to health. More testing has been scheduled after the treadmill stress test I took showed a drastic decrease in exercise capacity. Essentially as soon as I start moving I become anaerobic because blood isn't getting to all the bits it should. Another neck-needling cardiac procedure sometime soon, inner ear testing to check for/rule out true vertigo, a few other things.I have a long time friend and mentor who got a heart transplant last year after almost fifty years of living with a condition almost identical to mine. Last week she found out her donors name, Brandy, and some more information about her. She left behind a sister and a teenage daughter, and they have tentatively begun to get to know one another. There is no standard model for contact between a donor family and an organ recipient, everyone seems to do things their own way, for better or worse. My friend is a strong, kind and deeply affectionate person. I hope that Brandy's family will take some comfort in knowing that their mother's, sister's passing accomplished some good, and allowed my friend to continue her work improving cardiac care across the country, across the globe. Barring some massive development in artificial hearts in the next few years, this is the path I will be on. If you had asked me a year-ish ago if I would accept a donor organ, I would have told you no. I would have told you that there is a high demand for organs, and I have lived my life without much regret. I would have told you that someone younger than me deserved a chance at more years. I would have told you that someone older than me has obligations to dependents, and it would be unfair of me to take a heart when someone's parent might need it. I would have told you lots of things, most of it true-ish. But the real reason I didn't want one is because I truly didn't think that I was worth keeping around.I have since been convinced otherwise. He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.In less dire news, my request to terminate my lease early because of foundation leaks/water damage was approved. We have a cute little house to move into at the end of the month, after it's had it's carpets cleaned, a few other odds and ends. For the first time in three years, I'm going to have a yard, a garden, and nobody smoking cigarettes outside my windows at all hours of the day and night.Cheers Hubski.https://hubski.com/pub/407827https://hubski.com/pub/407827I'll totally pretend to give you answers.What is killing me this time - compared to all the other challenges I faced in life - is that this one; first, is not in my hand and I am simply sitting there and suffering, and second, it affects more than just myself.know the difference between FEELING helpless and BEING helpless.So okay. You went on a trip and met a girl and felt titillated and infatuated for the first time in a while. Happens to literally every person in a long-term relationship. I flirt recklessly. My wife knows I do. She also knows I come home to her because a lot of it is situational. Infatuation is exploring the possibilities. Love is cherishing the realities. You may not be in love with Sarah but she's also not surprising you much anymore. Novelty is a hell of a drug.And okay. Sarah accepted that she cares more about you than you care about her, and you, for some dumb goddamn reason, decided to keep her around as a fuckbuddy until AUGUST or some shit. This is the only thing I'm going to give you a ration of shit for. You're in a shitty place. It sucks. I'm sorry. I'ma give you some pathways I promise but for a minute, sit there and feel bad for this. Because it's a shitty thing to do to another human being. "I don't feel that we have a future together but... let's keep rubbing our genitals together for another four months because we have nothing better to do." It's one thing if you're both at "eh" in the relationship but if you're already acknowledging that she's way more into you than you are into her, keeping her on the leash is fuckin' cruel, dude. And it's going to cause things to cascade one of three ways:(1) She's going to muster up her self-esteem and drop you like a hot rock because who the fuck are you to string her along like that after you've both acknowledged that she's got feelings you can't reciprocate. (2) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking HONESTLY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to win a guy in 120 days. And, as a bonus, she gets to bump uglies.(3) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to land your man in one easy step. And, as a bonus, you already had a pregnancy scare 5 weeks ago.If I understand correctly, you have not been present at any doctor's appointments. You have her word that she's pregnant. If you believe her, that's plenty evidence enough. If you don't believe her, she wouldn't be the first person to fake a pregnancy in order to push a guy into marriage. It's happened to three of my friends, in fact. But don't focus on that. In the end it doesn't matter. Those three pathways are independent of pregnancy, real or feigned; the pregnancy is a complication but it does not affect the fundamental core of your relationship with Sarah.Your relationship with your father is coloring your current situation way too much. Makes sense. Entirely natural. By all means analyze it, reflect on it, react to it, but then set it aside because the relationship that matters now is between you, your potential child, and the mother of that potential child. That's where a lot of the helplessness is coming from: you had no power over your father yet he still holds power over you. You have no power over this child yet this child holds power over you. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer. Your current reaction to Sarah has a lot to do with the fact that you thought you killed all responsibility to the relationship yet still managed to reap the benefits. Yet here she is, drowning you in responsibility and threatening to cut you off entirely from any benefits. She's making it clear that you are unnecessary to her future plans, much like you made it clear that she was unnecessary to yours. What was the word? "Paralyzed." All right. You're frozen. You can't move, you can't breathe, and you're freaking out. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer.NOWYou're all about abortion which leads me to believe that divorce doesn't offend your religious sensibilities. You're freaking out about your family's reaction to a kid out of wedlock. And you're fixated on this child's future alienation because you're going to have no input into their life. Yet the obvious solution - marry the girl - has been ruled out, out of hand, with no discussion whatsoever. Why is that?Marry the girl. Now you've got a say in the kid's upbringing. Commit to not being a stranger. Get to know her family and friends. Commit to three more years in Germany, three more years of trying to see what kind of life you can build with Sarah. It's the first two years of a child's life that govern so much of their future and having two parents that love them under one roof where they feel safe and loved makes all the difference in the world. If you're not into it within three years, part amicably. Support your child. Be a part of their life. Be anchored in her family. Be a relative that doesn't vanish. Be a father. You can be travel dad no problem. After you've front-loaded the commitment it'll be nearly impossible to shrug you off, particularly if you comport yourself like a gentleman. And fuckin' hell, you may discover that having something in common with Sarah, who is about to give over her body and time for the next two years to the life and well-being of your firstborn, makes her someone you can love more. You might be surprised what happens when you extend the girl some trust and empathy. You might find she warms up into more of a person you want her to be. And, you might discover that she miscarries and you didn't have to blow up your life. Maybe you go through with the wedding, maybe you drop her like a hot rock and learn to never again string along a girl who likes you more than you like her. Either way, your best move is to commit to a wedding and let it play out for better or worse. All the bullshit above aside, saying I'm going to do this means you're DOING something which breaks you free from paralysis. You're making a move, you're making a decision, you're acting towards your own future, and you're forcing the probability cascade to break down in your favor. - You propose to the girl. She turns you down. You say you want to help. She turns you down. You try to be in the kid's life. She turns you down. You've done all you can, your father can't resent you completely, and the door is open to be a part later. - You propose to the girl. She says yes. You get married, have a kid, stick it out as long as you can, and end up being Foreign Dad. By then you're more settled financially, you have a better idea what your future holds and you've influenced your child's future in an immeasurably positive way. - You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You walk away unscathed. - You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You find your feelings towards Sarah have changed. To be continued, for better or worse. - You propose to the girl. She says yes. You have a family and live happily ever after.Either way, when you've decided you no longer care for someone as much as they care for you, stop fucking them for both your sakes.https://hubski.com/pub/407596https://hubski.com/pub/407596UNEXPECTED STORY SEQUELSI was getting ready for work this morning, and I had all the way gotten dressed, accessorized, and even did my hair braided, in two french braids tied off at the nape of my neck, when by that point all the looking in the mirror which that entailed started getting to me. I started second-guessing my outfit (even despite my never-before-failed orderly-life strategy of picking out my work clothes every night beforehand). I started second-guessing how I looked. I started thinking about Instagram models and the bodies of the people I work with (typical Bank Ass office bodies, generally) and I started trying to think about female friends I have who are my age and how they looked, and how they looked compared to high school, and so on and so forth. I started to stare at the mirror and ask myself, "What do other people see when they look at me? What must I look like through the eyes of other people? Do I have a big ass? I don't think I do, but my last kind-of-boyfriend keeps vague-posting about me on facebook and one thing he shared was about how he's an ass man and the girl he likes has a huge one...I never thought I have a big ass, really, but do I?" I go through this whole exercise in pissing away thought and time into mirrors in exchange for racheting higher and higher levels of crippling gross feelings often enough. Pretty often. Maybe a lot. Depends on the week. So anyway I kept looking in the full body mirror in my room at myself and asking, “Is this how normal people think and feel and think and feel about their bodies?” Then I’d go to the bathroom for some other reason and find myself looking in the mirror there. I’d ask, “How do normal people feel about their bodies? Is the way I feel about my body normal? I don’t think so, I mean, what normal person does this in the morning, especially a morning when they took care and time to look a little more-than-average nice in ways that require a little more-than-average self-care and you’d think self-care meant doing so was good for one, wouldn’t it?” And then I’d walk through the kitchen to put something in my work bag or whatever and I’d pass the full body mirror on the way and at some point between all my askings about normal people I realized something. Maybe I had a breakthrough. I think it might be one, anyway. It feels like that, in my mind, honestly it feels like a literal break in the pattern and color of the thoughts I'd been weaving just as I'm using to weaving them all the time, and yes it feels like maybe now I can see through them. And there's light coming through over there. To explain what happened I need to talk about something else for a minute. I’m working on a 5-year plan. Early on, mid-January or earlier, while I was just starting the entire project and fleshing it out, I stopped at some point. I thought, you’re making all these plans for 1, 2, 5 years out, refugee, but why? And I stopped all my tasking and goal-orienting and sometimes-you-can-get-too-caught-up-on-projects-and-progress-and-miss-the-big-green-point-all-around you. I took a trusty notebook and I wrote down, What kind of person do you want to be? I gave it care and thought and came up with eleven words in the next hour or so. I didn’t let myself just rush to write down popular good virtues or etc; I asked myself, what kind of person is it important, to me, for me to be? and i weighed what i came up with until I decided I agreed with it. I didn’t tie any major life goals back to those words, not specifically, not concretely, only maybe if you stretch the meaning and squint your eyes a bit. So they didn't actually drive my goals or my 5 year plan in any visceral way. However, taking that inventory did really seem to help ground me as I went through making my goals and breaking them into smaller goals and basically wiring up my 5-year-plan process/binder. Mentally, I think it gave me the ground I needed to stand upon and solidly create my plan of attack for getting what I want out of life. I think doing that gave me the fortitude to see the 5 year plan through, and commit to it, and work at it. And keep working at it, day by day. So this morning, looking into mirrors and agonizing and asking myself all these questions which hinged on this strange word, normal, this word which usually frankly I disdain -- I thought, hey hang on just one minute. Normal, normal, normal, why do you keep saying that? Why are you fixating there? Put aside the question of “Am I normal or not?” because frankly, that answer doesn’t matter to the true issue at hand. The true issue at hand is that I don't feel very comfortable with my body and haven't since I was 12— what the fuck is any normal person going to know or be able to tell me about how to change that? Scratch everything about this line of tearing-your-hair-out making-yourself-madder-not-saner-by-following-it line of questioning and KILL the underlying train of faux-logic that’s driving it. Forget everybody else, and what everybody else does. And I sat down, and I opened my trusty notebook, and I wrote, “What’s the kind of relationship I want with my body?” You know what I think now? I think me and my body? I think we might be going somewhere. At last. I think, starting from here — what do I want with what I have — and seeing it as a relationship, as a “Let me take care of you and you take care of me,” sort of deal — I don’t know, in my notebook I titled it caps-lock BREAKTHROUGH. and then I gave it an underline. OftenBen______Before that happened this morning I was going to share with Pubski an old poem I dug up this week, 2011 sort of old, which you know what? Has stood up to time and is, surprisingly, still intellectually decent. A little morsel. It has a tone I think mk will recognize and like. Remember when we talked about a little detachment? I think I feel it here. _____Happy hump day guys, on with the self-actualizing, good energy all around. refhttps://hubski.com/pub/407246https://hubski.com/pub/407246There's a girl in The Horrible Art Class. We'll call her Rebecca. In the first of four "allow me to memorize your names" segments The Horrible Teacher said "Rabak? Rebech? Arbitch?" at which point Rebecca, blushing, said "Rebecca. My first name doesn't fit on the attendance records for some reason." She was embarrassed by this.Rebecca's hair is too long and her clothes are frumpy. But her eyes are alive under too much makeup. She's one of the Annoyed Ones in That Horrible Art Class; or, at least she's one of the ones who jets as quickly as she can. Monday she was wearing a too-large sweatshirt. It said "In Case of (mid-life) Emergency Dial (Porsche) 9-1-1" and had a crude representation of a red RUF turbo on it. I asked her "So who saddled you with the shirt? Who has the disease?" and she said "My dad had a 911" and I plowed straight through "I just got one they're great everyone should have one" without touching on "what happened to it" "what happened to your dad" "why are you wearing your dad's sweatshirt." But you can see it. Whatever the circumstances there's a good possibility she's going through life minus a parent. I just want to tell her she looks nice. I want to tell her to be brave enough to cut her hair, to stop hiding. I want to make everything be all right. I think when you're a teenager you're too busy being consumed by your own fragility to notice that you're all standing around like scared deer waiting for the tigers to come. I've surrounded myself with children in the virtual world for fifteen years now. When surrounded by real ones my instincts are the same. Protect, inform, advise. I think I've realized that my overwhelmingly paternal instincts are an overreaction to my fundamentally feral upbringing. My wife got back from a conference a couple weeks ago. They were talking about ACE scores and how many in the midwifery community tend to score higher than baseline. My wife and her new employee remarked that they were "zero" and "one" respectively but the argument was that if you have a non-zero score and your patient has a non-zero score your relationship has a cumulative score and in a traumatic birth your interactions are going to be a product of the cumulative, not the individuals. Curious, I took the test and scored a six. It bugs the shit out of me that my altruism is motivated by the shadow effects of 30-year-old bullshit. It's disempowering. It makes it feel fake. It means I became Reddit's Father Confessor not because I wanted to do good but because I was flailing to fill the hole dug there decades earlier. Now all I can notice is how stinky teenagers are. I wonder if they always were and now I sound like David Fucking Brooks.https://hubski.com/pub/407239https://hubski.com/pub/407239I wasn't really prepared for the emotional toll that leaving all these preschoolers was going to have on me. I still have a few more days teaching, but I've told the kids I'm leaving and they are... not pleased, to say the least.The hardest one has been a 3 year old kid named Ian, who's been at the school since it opened. I babysit him sometimes, because his family's a mess. His parents just finalized a divorce, his brother bullies him all the time, etc. When I was babysitting him yesterday, I told him that I'm leaving soon, but we still have time to play at the school a few more times.His exact response was:big tears"BUT YOU'RE MY BEST GROWN UP"Starts running away from me in the Fred Meyers food courtOnce I caught him, which thankfully didn't take long, he told me that it's okay I'm moving, because soon he's just going to get a jet, and use that jet to bring me and my family to live at his house.So, there's that.https://hubski.com/pub/407051https://hubski.com/pub/407051Writing is fun. Being a writer is bullshit. This dichotomy is one of the things writers don't talk about, don't write books about, don't tell students about. Somewhere on here there's an article about the dirty little secret that every writer you've ever read had/has a spouse or a parent that allows them to eat so they can spend fuckin' forever grinding away at that magnum opus that nobody gives a shit about. If you're a "writer", odds are good you're also wasting your time from an economics standpoint. Stephen King will tell you that Tabby basically underwrote his career through Carrie. Anne LaMott will mention in passing that her dad's agent read eight of her books and oh by the way she's divorced from the guy who put food on the table while she did it. It's the dirty little secret: the people who don't have a benefactor are competing with the people who do but nobody mentions the benefactors. The two successful screenwriters I came up with were both in a position where they could live in $3k/mo apartments for two fucking years without having to earn a penny so they could sit there and write. Must be nice.The other dichotomy is nobody gets into writing because they want to perform in front of an audience. Nobody sits down to write a book so they can carry it around under their figurative or literal arm to dozens of trained professionals all intent on saying no. Nobody sets out to prove themselves over and over and over again only to be sent a "not for us - sent from my iPad" email on Thanksgiving evening (true story). But once you get accepted by an agent you're a god. But once you get rejected by a publisher you're scum. But once you get published you're a god. But once the book gets panned you're scum. And it's all so goddamned capricious. If you ever want to see into the soul of any performer, ask them what work they're most proud of. It won't be one you've heard of. It'll be that thing they believed in, that they put their heart and soul into, that the marketplace crushed. And maybe they'll have rationalized why it got crushed, and maybe they won't, but it's still the central fable of their lives, be it written or a work-in-progress. It's the thing that allows them to make peace with the capriciousness. Some people don't make peace with the capriciousness. Hemingway was absolutely at the top of his game. Pithy mutherfucker. "There's nothing to writing. You just sit at the typewriter and bleed." Said the guy who tried on 47 endings and 18 titles for Farewell to Arms. David Foster Wallace? The closer he got to death, the more personal his writing became, the less interested his audience was in what he had to say. The stories I write for me? Nobody wants to read them. The stories I shit out because someone throws a buck at me? ZOMGBUSINESS. That'll fuck with a mind: You're auditioning for genius but for some reason what they love the most is derivative crap. You'll notice nobody ever calls Danielle Steel or Dan Brown tortured geniuses. You may not think Amy Winehouse would have been different 20 years sober, but you don't care if David Lee Roth is different 20 years sober. Amy Winehouse was "serious." Diamond Dave is not. So if you're a serious artiste you're left grappling with the cognitive dissonance that if you get paid you're a sell-out but if you don't get paid you starve (unless you're one of the lucky dilettantes we don't talk about but we all know and us serious artistes all know they aren't serious anyway, just lucky). And if you're a serious artiste you know that validation is nothing but validation is everything but validation is illogical but if it matters it MUST be logical and somehowif you let yourself goand turn off for a whileand give it to the bottle, give it to the powder, give it to the needle, give it to whateverit doesn'tmatterso much.Writers, as a species, are sensitive. Writers, as a species, are introverts. Writers, as a profession, must have nerves of steel and an endless appetite for rejection and writers, as a profession, are chronically, criminally underpaid and undervalued. And if that writer has a tendency towards dependency, that dependency is what allows them to power through that cognitive dissonance. It's the thing that allows them to write for an audience. Would Amy Winehouse's material be different if she were sober? Who knows. King's certainly is. Inebriation allows writers to plow through the bullshit of being writers. Lots of writers can do it without substance abuse. Some can't. For those who can't, the proximate cause of their substance abuse is the bullshit of being a writer, and the bullshit of being a writer definitely colors their writing (lookin' at you, Charlie Kaufman). who wants to be a great writer if you are only a great writer when you're fucked up? what an awful fucking curse you know?Said every writing drunk in the history of writing, ever.And then they poured another shot.https://hubski.com/pub/406782https://hubski.com/pub/406782You can't just leave it there, man!Aight -What annoyed you?Mostly how goddamn correct you ended up being. Our original discussion was around the difference between rebellion and mature subversion with regard to making a tangible difference in world events at historical scale. You made the point that with education in the practical history if the last century or so comes the knowledge that democratic processes didn't ever really amount to bupkis with regard to the course of events. Based on the reading list, that appears to be true. Decisions that mobilize troops, actors that conduct the covert and "covert" operations of international relations before, during and after wars are simply not affected by democratic processes. There simply isn't enough time to make decisions that way. I can't tell you how many times I have read and watched Charlie Wilson's War. It drives me to liquor almost every time. What surprised you?How deeply personal history can be. To use the example of Charlie Wilson's War, who the fuck has ever heard of Gust Avrokatos or Mike Vickers? How did a few guys with grudges and bad personnel reviews and a coke-n-strippers habit basically bring about the end of the USSR and change all of global politics forever? How did they defeat the monster that Churchill warned about? I was surprised how divided every nation-state's government's seem to be with regard to international policy. It highlights the damage done to the state department by 45, because it takes decades to cultivate even shitty international relations, to say nothing of developing workable, non shitty, professional and respected ones. What made you think?As much as I talk about the personal nature of history writ large, it's also deeply impersonal. The Russians don't really care about the average American, they want to not be the butt of dumb/poor/drunk/low-life-expectancy jokes. They want a strong domestic economy and they have a history of not playing nice which makes people not want to play nice with them. But Nobody who considers the US an enemy gives a damn about John and Jane Doe. They either have a legitimate grievance about something done without our knowledge or approval or they have a world philosophy that precludes peaceful coexistence.What made you want to not think?How goddamn correct you ended up being. I, as an individual who has no intention of pursuing international politics or covert operations will have exactly zero impact on who decides to bomb who. The best i can hope for is to be a nonviolent actor personally and vote for an anti-war candidate if one ever comes along. Otherwise better to not think about such things except to study history and try to better whatever community I can find or scratch out of the dirt for myself. Bombs will fall or they won't, either way, I'm not a part of the process. Much as I want to take all human failing on my own shoulders, Mattis didn't check in with me before he launched several billion dollars worth of whoop ass at Syria.What changed about your worldview? I take these things significantly less personally. I try to take Dan Carlin's 'Martian' perspective on world events. I'm more interested in the politics of my state and city than national and global events simply because they are more likely to affect me and my opinion of them has a snowball's chance of actually causing some change that might be helpful to the next generation. Hopefully we michiganders can get our asses in gear and save the great lakes from NESTLE and the petrochemical companies running leaky pipe under the Mackinac bridge. Think global act local has never made more sense to me.What stayed the same?I'm still not gonna vote blue team just because. Lesser evilism is no more appealing to me now than in the past. Maybe the blue team will have its house in order the next time national elections roll around. I am not hopeful in this regard. I am reminded of Obama's analogy of the US and national policy as an ocean liner, and of the colossal force needed consistently to bring about a minor course correction. The whole business reinforces the little house on the prairie fantasies we have discussed and you have derided in the past. I don't get to opt out. In some clockwork orange ish way, I get to watch the whole thing unfold and I don't get to look away. In short, I need to read more. For some reason, no matter how much I listen I still can't seem to get through Durant, even at 1.25x speed. I think I have 17 hours left on the first volume, we're currently discussing the origins and structure of Hinduism.https://hubski.com/pub/406700https://hubski.com/pub/406700Well, I just realized I finally finished this list.https://hubski.com/pub/406501https://hubski.com/pub/406501Something I didn't say last time about that one app that I should have:You're an exceptionally talented, exceptionally interesting young man. But you reveal nothing about yourself until you've been directly questioned. Then you're cautiously enthusiastic about the stuff you're, like, really good at. You know what's sexy as all hell? Enthusiasm. The unbridled confidence to not just believe but to know that the stuff you think is cool IS cool and that anybody would be delighted to get a glimpse into this awesome world you live in. Passion and enthusiasm is what makes things interesting; being the vessel of that passion and enthusiasm is what makes you interesting. You're a great communicator. Every interaction you have with a girl should take the form of "you're going to think this is cool because X." If you can make someone feel the awesome you do they will view you as awesome through simple transference.https://hubski.com/pub/406300https://hubski.com/pub/406300This is why I posted it. I'll never run a marathon; I'm a tank class not a DPS class. I wanted to see what the runners and joggers of Hubski had to add.https://hubski.com/pub/406094https://hubski.com/pub/406094We all have doubts about ourselves. If we didn't we'd all be dicks like Trump.Doubt isn't a bad thing in and of itself. But it shouldn't hang around. Don't feed it.Look it in the eye, evaluate it with a clear head, learn what you can from it, and then discard it. Doubt is a reminder to look inward from time to time, and make sure you are who you think you are.Doubt is a fortune cookie fortune: Interesting in the moment, but useless in the long run.(And by the by... the "sad panda" visual that appeared in my head almost made me spit out my coffee, it was so funny! Thank you for that!)https://hubski.com/pub/406015https://hubski.com/pub/406015It's not a contest for most quintessential Hubski post! No, because if it were it would be this post: ...... (just spent 10 minutes searching for the post where you say you'll never get married) Dammit! Couldn't find it.