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CrazyEyeJoe

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CrazyEyeJoe  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The WSJ's grinning apocalypse of post-COVID retirement

Oh my GOD can I relate to this.

My dad effectively retired 6-7 years ago. Ever since he's just been getting deeper and deeper into conspiracy theories.

It started with the 9/11 being an inside job, and the moon landings being faked. It progressed to the Illuminati and the New World Order. Unsurprisingly he's convinced that COVID is either a hoax to keep people distracted while the NWO rips society apart behind the scenes, or it's a virus created in a Chinese lab for the same purpose.

He lives in France. The latest is that Macron and others are a bunch of Satanist paedophiles who rape and sacrifice children. I've never bothered looking into it, but it sounds like QAnon. He also thinks that Trump is the only one who can save us from the NWO.

It's fucking INTOLERABLE to talk to him now. No matter what the subject is, I know we're only 3-4 sentences away from the New World Order, paedophile Satanists or the COVID hoax. In order to have a meaningful conversation I have to ban him from talking about international politics.

He's not even right-wing, he's always been a leftist. What kind of nonsense is he reading to make him think Trump is our saviour? He's stopped reading mainstream media, he exclusively feeds on conspiracy nonsense.

Not only does it hurt to have my father going that mental, but it makes me wonder if the same thing will happen to me. Fucking hell.

Interesting story, but personally I don't get the anxiety angle. I can feel anxious UNTIL I see that someone's typing, then I relax because I know a response is coming.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Charles Koch Says His Partisanship Was a Mistake

    He rails against what he calls unnecessary licensing and government lobbying. (Koch Industries has spent more than $100 million in lobbying over the past decade, according to federal records kept by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group tracking money in U.S. politics.)

Isn't this the height of hypocracy?

    Mr. Koch disagrees and bristles at the notion that he wields too much influence. “When you look at countries that don’t let everyone participate, those in power stay in power unchallenged,” he says. “Instead of limiting certain people’s ability to engage, we should do all we can to empower more people to get engaged.”

The problems with fools like him is that they don't recognise that not every person can participate equally. A billionaire can influence politics a lot more than some fast food worker. Pretending that "one man one vote" is all that counts doesn't make it so.

It's so absurd that I just can't actually believe that he genuinely believes this stuff. He can't possibly be so dumb to think that he DOESN'T wield undue influence.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Post election discussion thread.

I found the contradiction in that second tweet to be interesting. Until a co-worker pointed out that California will have the same $15 minimum wage. And Florida also ruled that Uber drivers are independent contractors.

    On April 4, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 3 into law. The new law increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2022, for employers with 26 or more employees. For employers with 25 or fewer employees the minimum wage will reach $15 per hour by Jan. 1, 2023. Increases may be paused by the governor if certain economic or budgetary conditions exist. Beginning the first Jan. 1 after the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour for smaller employers, the minimum wage is indexed annually for inflation.

https://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-minimum-wage-chart.aspx

    On the other hand, in the United States, the District Court of Pennsylvania declared Uber drivers as independent contractors. So did the State of Florida.

http://kluwertaxblog.com/2020/04/03/uber-drivers-employees-or-independent-contractors/

So there doesn't appear to be much more to that tweet than some embarrassing cherry picking.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The view from outside.

All good points, some of which are obviously true now that I think about it. Thanks for all the sources too, I'll definitely have a look at them.

EDIT: One thing that really pisses me off is that the only real choice you have is either seeing which comments Facebook decides is "most relevant", or seeing thousands of twats tagging each other. That practice basically destroyed the FB comment sections (not that they were that great before). They should simply be filtered out for anyone who doesn't know the people.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The view from outside.

    sneaky little shit that it does to actively make the content and interactions worse. Hate is a powerful motivator. Love is really calm and relaxing. So Facebook carefully cultivates the worst animal characteristics in humans, and then fans the flames of hate so effectively.

    It's honestly a bit frightening, once you see it from outside.

Out of interest, could you list some of the ways you think they fan the flames?

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  33 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

Fine, let's say it it's a ledger, good enough for me.

    But again, if you write something wrong or dishonest, you have written it forever, out where it can never be edited. Mistakes will be made because we're people but a pattern of "mistakes" is either incompetence or malfeasance and now that it's there forever, anyone can investigate

Agreed, but with a lot of these things the paper trail isn't necessarily even the problem. Let's take Trump's taxes, for example. There is documentation out there that shows he's probably done illegal things, he just hasn't been prosecuted either due to the IRS being under-resourced, or political considerations. The documentation itself does not seem to be the issue.

I think you definitely have a point about dodgy dealings by state officials in places like India, but again I don't think this is a technical problem as much as it is a political problem. They could have good records without blockchains if their politicians really wanted it, but clearly they don't.

    No. With a public blockchain the durability increases with the number of copies. A 51% attack on an authentication blockchain would create two blockchains. Any transaction that happened before the 51% attack would be on both blockchains while any transaction that happened after the 51% attack would only be on one. if KBChain made the mistake of letting anybody on board, and got 51%attacked, KBChain Classic would release a memo saying "well that was dumb, we've still got your original verification and we're making our admissions standards more stringent." The data itself remains inviolate.

I don't disagree with the technical case, but the point I was making is that you can completely recalculate the entire block chain to your liking if you have access to enough copies of the chain, or have enough friends who do. And in your example, it still very much depends on people trusting you (or some group) to be the arbiter of KBChain.

Blockchain creates a robust ledger, one where no single actor can simply cross out a name in a document, which is good, but you could also achieve that by having a database that tracks changes over time. I guess your point is not that it's impermeable, but rather that it makes it harder to mess around with it. I don't disagree with this, but other secure systems are probably just as good?

    That's 100 Raspberry Pis or the equivalent. Give each of 'em a 1TB hard drive. You're talking about a $500 cost for companies that don't sell watches for less than $5k ea. Breitling did 530m CHF in sales last year. I would say "effectively zero" is an accurate description.

Absolutely, but I did say it can be good for some applications.

I have the feeling that we basically agree, maybe I just think that the things blockchains do aren't quite as revolutionary as you do.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  33 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

Your clarifications are fine, but I do find it to be a bit of an uncharitable reading of what I wrote, because it seems to be far less wrong than you make it out to be, if we're to believe wasoxygen.

However, the point that mattered most to what I was trying to say (point 5) turns out to be completely wrong, so it sounds like the power consumption point made in the article only applies to Bitcoin (or other similar blockchain use cases), and not blockchains in general.

I still think a lot of the other points made in the article are valid. Mainly the idea that a blockchain can't replace external human validation, since a blockchain can only verify that records have not been tampered with after the fact, but can't verify that the input records are correct in the first place. For example in the case of land changing hands, the blockchain can't verify whether it really did or not, it has to be told.

Instead of saying a blockchain is a glorified database, maybe it's more accurate to say it's a database with an elaborate checksum? A checksum can only check that data hasn't changed since the checksum was calculated, not whether or not the input information is correct.

There are also further trade-offs which do come at a cost (of course that applies to any technology);

- The security increases with the number of copies of the block chain out there, but since you need the entire chain to be copied it can be extremely storage intensive. Imagine if you wanted to use a block chain for a stock exchange; the number of transactions per day is enormous.

- Keeping all of these copies in sync costs a lot in terms of data traffic, which also creates latency. In fact, all the hashing, even if it's not quite as bad as I thought, will create latency as well. In a time where some companies move physically close to stock exchanges in order to have shorter latency over their (already speed of light) fibre, this is not a minor concern.

I think it's safe to say it's not "effectively zero cost", but it could be an acceptable cost for some applications. I also think it's safe to say there are many applications it would not be a good fit for.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  33 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

Thanks, that clarifies it quite a bit.

If I understand correctly; apart from my guess that the blockchain might be kept in parts by different users (turns out the whole block chain must be stored by each user), the only thing I had fundamentally misunderstood is that the calculation cost goes up for every transaction. It does not, since you only use the latest hash to calculate the next one (plus all the new data, obviously).

Pretty funny, since that was pretty much the only one that mattered for the point I wanted to make (blockchains being power inefficient).

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  35 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

It's late so I'll have to get back to you tomorrow on this.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  35 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

First of all, I'm not trying to say that there isn't a single use case for blockchains out there. I'm also not going to pretend to understand blockchains beyond a hand wavy high level understanding, so before we go on, I'd like to outline how I understand blockchains work, so we can at least agree that my understanding isn't fundamentally flawed:

1. Blockchains are kept "authentic" by calculating a set of hashes which are updated each time a transaction occurs.

2. All past transactions have an effect on the current hash, therefore you cannot modify any prior transactions without also affecting the hash, making it obvious if someone has tampered with it.

3. This is only valid if there is more than one copy of the blockchain (or parts of the chain, I'm sure nobody is sitting there with the entire Bitcoin chain, it's probably huge), because otherwise the hash changing is meaningless, nobody would be able to tell if it was tampered with or not as you could just recalculate the whole thing.

4. A higher number of users (and part holders) of the chain increases the security of the chain, because if there were, for example, only three users, two of them could agree to both make the same false transaction, and validate each other. The consensus then goes in their favour.

5. Because the entire chain is in a way involved in calculating the hash for the latest transaction, the cost of calculating it increases over time.

I'm not trying to write a scientific paper here, so I'm sure there are incorrect details, but are we broadly in agreement?

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  35 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

    it does so at effectively zero cost

If this were true you would have a point, but what about this from the article:

    Carrying out a payment with Visa requires about 0.002 kilowatt-hours; the same payment with bitcoin uses up 906 kilowatt-hours

I'm sure this is in large part due to Bitcoin's popularity and high number of users, but on a smaller scale this will be true for any blockchain application, and the power consumption will just keep increasing over time. This is not a trivial point.

Pretty broad post, it's hard to write a response without resorting to clichés and generalisations, so I'm just trying to relate it to my personal experience.

To the title question; I would say yes, but what can you do about it? Any thinking person is going to have some gripes about their society, that can't be avoided. However, if your gripes are fundamental, you could consider moving somewhere else. You say you've lived abroad, I guess you want to stay in the US because of family? Obviously no country is perfect, there is no hidden utopia out there, but a lot of countries are quite different from the US. The US might improve over time, but there are no guarantees, and it would take a long time. Personally I would never live there, far too right wing for my taste.

The way I see it you have two options:

1. Find somewhere else to live.

2. Learn to accept the faults of your country, and find a way to live within it.

Capitalism is everywhere, I don't know of any countries that aren't part of the system (North Korea?). However, the way in which it manifests changes. My impression is that the US has a particularly extreme interpretation of it, focused on companies' rights rather than employees', and seemingly always emphasising business over nearly any other concern, such as environmentalism or the prosperity of working people. This does not apply everywhere. I would say most (all?) European countries are to the left of the US political centre, at least economically.

To illustrate, let me give an example. I used to work for Toshiba, and one of the top executives from the US part of my division came to visit (in the UK) and do a presentation. He said something I will never forget. The company was going through some financial strife, and to reassure us, he said "Actually, the company is prioritising protecting jobs." It wasn't the words that surprised me. It was how he said it. He was almost laughing, incredulous, as if the very notion was absurd. Toshiba is a Japanese company, obviously, and in Japan corporations feel social responsibility, and will try to avoid mass firings (this could also be due to regulatory standards, not sure). Similarly, in most European countries, there are regulations protecting employees from being fired for no reason, or without being given any reasonable notice. Not so in the US. When multi-national corporations need to downsize, they fire their US staff first, because it's easy, then later they move on to staff in other countries, where the process is more regulated.

On the other hand, I have begun to get the impression that a huge number Americans live off government money, such as disability (whether or not they really are disabled), so I guess nothing is as clear cut as one might think. I don't know how unemployment benefits work in the US, but when I was unemployed in the UK some years ago, I was getting £70 per week, enough to pay HALF of my rent (due to some circumstances I will not go into here, I was not given the rent support I would normally have been entitled to for up to 3 months). To be fair, the UK is one of the most right wing countries in Europe.

In short, not every country is the same. Personally I am leaving the UK, to move back to Norway. This place is just too right wing for me.

What about acceptance? I guess I'm not the best person to comment, I'm fucking off to Norway because I can't accept this place, but I have a few things to add.

First of all, not every job is equally soul sucking. If you can find a job that you find tolerable (I think there are limits to how enjoyable a job can really be), that will be a lot easier on your mental health. For example I'm a lot happier since I left Toshiba, I used to get daily stress headaches, and I don't any more. If you can find a town/city that you like, that helps a lot as well. I have found that I'm much happier where I live now than where I was a couple of years ago, because it suits my personality more.

My advice would be to try different things every few years, and see what you like. There are many kinds of places, jobs, and people out there. Be true to yourself, but don't be inflexible. You will have an easier time doing things that feel natural to you, but there is NOWHERE, NOTHING and NO-ONE which will ever suit you 100%. Don't seek perfection, seek perspective.

CrazyEyeJoe  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Case for Adding 672 Million More Americans

Yeah, but why? Just to have a greater GDP than China? The idea of intentionally tripling the population is obviously absurd, as the entire country's infrastructure would have to fundamentally change, but I will admit that I think he has a small point in saying that there's no reason to have such ridiculous limits on immigration as there are now. It's almost impossible to permanently emigrate to the US.

I stopped reading once I reached the following:

    But one advantage the U.S. does have over China is that because it is a beacon of freedom to the world, rather than an increasingly dystopian oligarchy

Is this article from 20 years ago?