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b_b's profile
b_b

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following: 114
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followed domains: 3
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hubskier for: 3247 days

When not in real life, I spend my time here.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
b_b  ·  6 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Soon we’ll all be cancelled

"I'm making no judgments about your character. You can't empathize." Reread as many times as you need to figure out why that's wrong.

Inherent in your argument is that no one can ever see anything from anyone else's perspective, because someone has always suffered more. It's hyperindividualism to a degree that would make Grover Norquist blush.

b_b  ·  8 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 8, 2020

This is twice in the last 30 minutes I've been called "old" on this site!

I don't think it's a cop out to just turn away. Talking with people is a great way to learn a lot, but it also saps a lot of time an energy (I'm sure no one knows that better than you). So when you're met with the Internet as it exists right now, it's sometimes just a better use of time to say, "I'm going to do something else today." I left this site for almost 2 years because it was taking more out of me than it was giving back (lots of reasons for that, some of which are, frankly, unique to me and so not generalizable). In that case you're doing yourself a disservice to stay on board. There's an old New Yorker cartoon of a dude on his computer. His wife says, "Come to bed" and he replies with, "But someone on the internet is wrong!" It sums up a lot. Most people want to be validated. They don't want to teach and be taught.

I've made real life friends on this site, and I'm happy about that. That (and covid) is what finally brought me back. I missed it in a way I didn't realize I did. I'm not an old-hand at internet forums, so my perspective on that does not exist. What I do know is what I enjoy, which is talking about history, current events, science, etc., and also admiring all the cool things that people do and then share. So long as that's happening, I can say I'll probably be around. But if and when we get to a point where sharing a well reasoned (or at least some reasoned) opinion is met with attacks on your person and not on your words more often than not, that's when I'll fuck off again. Don't give a fuck whether the kids do that all day. It's not for me.

b_b  ·  9 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 8, 2020

I'm of the opinion that Hubski is just fine and the thing that needs fixing is the internet. Most of us don't have your pugilistic style, so it's easier just to fuck off than to deal with it.

b_b  ·  9 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Soon we’ll all be cancelled

    this is an opinion that can only come from a place of privilege

Talk to me or don't, but when you some dumb, meaningless shit like this it's not really a conversation you're trying to have. Since you don't know much of anything about my background, and I know even less about yours, let's try to evaluate each other's words instead of making buzzword value judgments about character.

To get back to the conversation: You have it the wrong way around. The ideas that were once too dangerous to talk about were that black people aren't subhuman, not that they are. In fact, there is a really large body of literature from post-Civil War until like the 1930s trying to use data to support that point (and not from backwater Southerners--Harvard was the biggest and worst offender for this type of "research"). It was only when more voices were let in that change started to occur. One thing I agree with you on is that there is never a true marketplace of ideas. That's a fantasy, but it's a good fantasy, not a bad one, and one that we would be wise to try to strive for. In fact, I have it on pretty good authority that's sort of the point of this here website (privileged information, you might even call it). The abject ridiculousness of ideas about, say, genetic inferiority, only get exposed in a world in which alternative narratives are allowed to thrive.

b_b  ·  11 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Soon we’ll all be cancelled

    Also, I have personal issues such as the nice weekend with my aunt and uncle who are Trumpers. We discussed politics, but it never got ugly, and I love them. I’m all about canceling Trump, but I can love his followers. I need to be careful not to be a hypocrite.

I spent some time with Trump family this past weekend, too. We engage but we don't fight, and I don't care about them any less since Trump became president. I think the problem is that people have all sorts of reasons for voting Trump that don't have anything to do with Nazism. The trouble is that they can't be convinced that the white supremacists are a core constituency of his, and that supporting him is supporting them too. But it's just not that important to them, and there's no amount of convincing we can do to change that.

But I totally and completely disagree that "canceling" is, at its core, about just not liking someone. It's about thought policing for purity. This type of thought regulation has a long history (goes back at least to a French philosopher whom Marx cited a lot called Helvetius), and the idea is that if you can get people to change their behavior via law (or de facto law, in the case of the Internet), then you can eventually alter their morality. Basically you Stockholm syndrome them into acting a certain way. It's more or less why art and literature were so heavily regulated in the Eastern Bloc.

I fundamentally believe that there are not any ideas that are too dangerous to talk about--as ideas in an open marketplace. The Holocaust didn't happen because Mein Kampf got published. It's in print here in the US, and I read it years ago...I still have two little Jewish babies running around my house. This is as close to saying anything controversial as I'll probably say on the internet, because I'm not into Internet fights as a way of life, but the Twitter mobs are playing with fire they don't fundamentally understand. Vote, please. For the love of God vote.

b_b  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Letter on Justice and Open Debate

Wait, you understand my Atwood reference was a joke, right?

b_b  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "It is rotting American democracy from the inside out."

The Senate was a horrible compromise, but one, I'm afraid, we're stuck with. I think many people would be amazed to learn that there are two things in the Constitution that cannot be changed by any mechanism. The first is moot, since it said that no one could make any changes to slavery for 20 years after ratification. That is why it took 20 years to ban the international slave trade. The other is that the voting power of any given state in the Senate can only be changed by assent of the state whose power is to be changed, which is basically everyone, because it's not like if you change one state's number of senators, you don't affect the relative power of everyone else. So 100% of people in 49 states could all sign up for an amendment that says, "WHY THE FUCK DOES WYOMING GET 2 SENATORS?", and Wyoming just gets to shrug.

b_b  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Letter on Justice and Open Debate

There are also quite a few legal scholars whose opinions about directed change vs. mob rule ought to be taken seriously (and that fucking Canadian fascist Margaret Atwood). It's actually a shame they let David Brooks sign it, because it just gives the internet mob some cheap lols and an easy way to write the whole thing off. It's a pretty facile essay, but as a editorial to Twitter (nice phrase, btw!) it's a down right magnum opus.

b_b  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "It is rotting American democracy from the inside out."

I remember being taught about the EC for the first time. The lesson was basically, "Did you know that we don't actually vote for the President? We actually vote for Electors who elect the president! But don't worry, kids, it's a formality. The chances of a president winning the EC and losing the popular vote are so remote as to not even be discussed." That would have been in like 1992, let's say. I got to vote for president for the first time in 2000, the same year I graduated high school and turned 18. So I have lived a mere 40% of my adult life under a president who won by popular assent.

Making the EC moot is far easier than abolishing it, since the former only requires a change in state laws and the latter a constitutional amendment. The 270 compact would de facto abolish the EC overnight. I hope that if there's a blue tidal wave at the state level this fall, that it would be on the agenda of many state legislators. The recent SCOTUS ruling is actually a huge win for the 270 Compact, since it would obviate any faithless electors from saying, e.g., "I'm voting how OH voted, not how NY voted, fuck you." A 9-0 ruling also makes GOP court challenges to its inception a hard sell. So I don't think the ruling on its own is that bad. It's a simple plain reading of law, and it's not SCOTUS's fault the law is dumb.

Liberal activists have put a lot of effort into passing redistricting commission laws that make it harder to gerrymander House seats, and they've had a lot of success pursuing that goal in swing states. They have proven that they can take their case to the people, so I hope they'll fight hard for this change, too. I'd throw money at any group trying to get that shit on the ballot.

b_b  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’

Ain't no thang, bro. You know how text-based communication is... Not so good at relating inflection. Never meant any harm, but I'll try to be more sensitive.

I'm sorry to hear that's still a thing. That's the benefit of exploiting a public who is woefully unfamiliar with old ideas.

    ...typical pseudoacademic econobullshit: take a common term, wrap it in jargon, then act like you've created fucking magic.

Remember when "antifragile" was a thing for like a day? I remember yelling at the TV, "It's called 'stability' you fuckhead."

I shared that War Nerd story, so I guess I did hear of it once upon a time. Not a scrap of recollection.

Not at all relevant to this discussion, but just because I haven't thought of the War Nerd in a long time. One of his blog posts about the genesis of Boko Haram sent me down a giant rabbit hole of reading a bunch of Chinua Achebe's books, which in turn got me reading a ton about decolonialization in general. He could do that. Style and substance all the way down. I miss it.

Breton Woods was already de facto pulled out of by 1947, because of, ahem, massive government debt in Europe that the US had to subsidize. Attempts to say otherwise are not historically accurate, but I can't imagine historical accuracy is pertinent to this type of fantasy. Offset payments don't really work when denominated in a single government's currency, because you know, the locals sort of like to use their own currency for shit at the hardware store and restaurants and whatnot. And unless or until a country can produce all of its own goods without trade, or we become a One World Government, we're pretty much stuck with trade imbalances, and at least one country involved in the trade is going to use another government's money in those situations (although it's both countries a lot of the time). There are times when I think I couldn't respect Bernie Sanders any less than I already do, but then I always find a way to go lower.

Edit to say that those bunkers made my day. I can't believe I've never some across that before.

b_b  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Strategies of Dementia Politics

Hopefully the Biden people will just hammer the fuck out of that "I don't take responsibility at all" quote. I've seen a few iterations of commercials that show death totals and other scenes of mayhem then cut to Trump saying that. I can't remember a more devastating political ad. I hope that at the very least it tempers the enthusiasm of the Trump fence sitters. There's no electoral math where he can win with just the hard core types. My in-laws have never voted for Democrats in any recent memory, and they're both voting Biden.

I want the government to buy me and everyone else in the country a mansion on 5 acres.

On a more serious note, I think the reason people started taking this garbage seriously is because the government has printed an ungodly amount of money since 2008 without any increase in inflation. So now the thinking goes that we can make as much money as we want without any consequences. I think what this fails to account for is how little of that money actually made it to circulation, rather than shoring up bogus balance sheets. We haven't done the experiment that the MMT people think we have already done, and if we did that experiment my guess is that the results would be pretty different.

Nice write-up though. Appreciate it.

b_b  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Strategies of Dementia Politics

As I remember it, you were the only person in my bubble who accurately predicted a Trump victory in 2016.

b_b  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Strategies of Dementia Politics

If this wasn't NR and this guy wasn't credited as the author of a book called "The Case For Trump" I literally would have thought this was bad satire. I don't often go into the conservative media funhouse, but I always regret it when I do.

b_b  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 1, 2020

It's a tragic irony that the sector hit hardest by covid is healthcare. Not that healthcare isn't hypertrophied in some ways, but one person's hypertrophy is another person's essential care. My company is projecting up to a billion loss this year (on $5 billion of projected revenue, so a giant loss) depending how the second half of the year goes, and they've already furloughed 10% of their workforce. I feel annoyed instead of inspired by those hero signs all my neighbors have on their lawns.

b_b  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA regarding user bans

There were one or two times when this place was inundated with a bunch of dipshits from reddit who just started vandalizing the place. We played whack-a-mole aggressively for like two days and it blew over. It hasn't happened in a long time though--that would have been probably like 8 years ago. I guess they eventually decided this place wasn't worth their time. Fucking locusts.

b_b  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA regarding user bans

who gives a shit

b_b  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: His Judgement Cometh and that Right Soon

It's a small pet peeve that anyone refers to these people as "retail investors". They're retail traders, and there's a big difference. The article you linked a few weeks back about sports gamblers entering the fray is a good indication of the level of thought that probably goes into most of these trades. I'm a pretty avid sports gambler, so I know a lot of sports gamblers, and I can tell you that the average weekend football bettor doesn't know simple things like what constitutes a proper hedge and when one would use one. So when a kid starts putting real cash on options trades, shit is definitely going to hit the fan (full disclosure, I've read a lot about this crap even though I don't often play stocks, and I wouldn't have the first goddam clue about options trading).

So yeah, people are going to lose. And yeah, it's sort of their fault and sort of not their fault simultaneously. But the bigger picture here is that hypertrophy in the financial sector has created so many of these problems to begin with (in the same way that corn syrup binging has caused a lot of the obesity problems), but they're both secondary issues of bad tax laws that not only allow for but encourage misbehavior on the part of giant companies. Putting a million new financial regs in place to stop kids from options trading themselves to death is like trying to treat a gunshot wound with gauze. We need better tax law and we need regulators with sharp fucking teeth and bad attitudes.

I just read a longish profile of Fiona Hill in the new Yorker. In it, she describes is decent detail how individuals inside the administration leak things to the press for the sole purpose of making other individuals look bad to the president, not to the public. They use the press to backstab each other without any regard to the public responsibility of either the government or the media. I'm sure this has been done in the past, but I'm also sure it's never been weaponized this way.

b_b  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: U.S. Cases Are Probably 10 Times Higher Than the Official Count, C.D.C. Says

Supposedly this new estimate is based on antibody studies, so I think it's actual covid, not just symptoms.

b_b  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’

I'm probably the only person in America who's a bigger dick in real life than on the internet.

b_b  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 24, 2020

Probably we all have recently, according to a new CDC reveal

b_b  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: There Isn’t a Coronavirus ‘Second Wave’

I think he'll return. Seemed like he was pretty agitated and probably needed a break, although I'm sorry that I was the person who put him over the edge.

b_b  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Republican political operatives who call the shots at Facebook

This article finally got me over the fence to pay the subscription fee.