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rthomas6's profile

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rthomas6  ·  378 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 31, 2023

My understanding is that postmodernism is taking what was built by modernism and tearing it down, showing how it doesn't work, and otherwise deconstructing it and examining it piece by piece to the point that it loses all meaning. It is disillusionment with the modern world, and admitting that it's all bullshit. In a word: nihilism.

Then, Metamodernism is taking those pieces and using them to construct things, just not the things you started with, and not using the pieces in the same way. And thereby adding meaning back into the thing, just not the same meaning as before. So you are still admitting that the original was bullshit, but instead of blowing everything up and leaving, you're constructing something that works for you, with full knowledge it is arbitrary. In a word: existentialism.

rthomas6  ·  952 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What’s Wrong with Socialism?

Ayn Rand's advocacy of self-interest above all other considerations is absolutely right, IF you only care about fairness. If fairness is our only metric, then a pure capitalist system would be close to optimal. There is still the matter of rent-seeking behavior, but that is another discussion.

The problem is, for most people, fairness cannot be the only metric. Some people are just worthless, and they deserve nothing. But we should give to them anyway, because people's fates, and character, are not entirely self-determined. Ayn Rand tries to gloss over this, but it's true, especially for children. Strictly speaking it is unfair and unjust to give to these people. But who cares? I don't want anyone to be homeless even if they deserve it.

On the other hand fairness and justice does matter. It's just as much of a travesty, in my opinion, to make value created count for nothing. The person that provides more value to humanity should be rewarded in proportion to the value created for others. In capitalism, that ideal is realized much closer than in socialism.

So any sane person will choose a mix of the two. And that is what we do. Then we squabble over the exact mix.

rthomas6  ·  952 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What’s Wrong with Socialism?

The student debt situation is caused by the 1-2 combo of the loans being federally guaranteed, thus incentivizing the banks to lend almost unlimited amounts, and the loans not being dischargeable during bankruptcy. If you change those two things the problem will go away.

rthomas6  ·  952 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Workplace culture delta b/w Millenial Managers and entry level Gen Z

As a millennial, some of this isn't that different than what we wanted to do but felt we couldn't because of the economy at the time. Now Gen Z is entering the workforce at a time when there is a worker shortage instead of a job shortage. They have never experienced a recession. Of course they want to use sick time when they have cramps or emotional issues too intense to work. That is reasonable, who wouldn't want that? But young millennials would have gotten fired for even asking in many cases.

Other things are definitely different, though. The politics at work thing is very strange to me. I do not want to express my political opinions through my job... Corporations don't have morals and they don't have feelings. They are a tool to create profit through selling goods. Why would I want to express my beliefs through such a fake and meaningless medium as advertising? If the company is doing something immoral or harmful, that is a need for regulation or taxation. Because when the shit hits the fan in the economy and we have our next recession, any political changes that aren't meaningless platitudes will be gone if it gets in the way of the bottom line.

rthomas6  ·  964 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: California set to become first state to ban gasoline-powered lawn equipment

I have one of those Ego electric lawnmowers. It's pretty good, but one battery charge doesn't last as long as I would like. But it doesn't seem to have less power or ability compared to a gas powered mower.

rthomas6  ·  964 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Weird article about privilege in The Age. Posting without comment.

People act like you can get rid of the outgroup, but you can't. It's baked into human nature. There will always be an outgroup, an "othered" group that you perceive as dangerous and whose motivations seem malicious or unknowable, unless maybe if you practice metta every day or something.

A lot of wokeness seems to be shifting who the outgroup is, rather than actually making meaningful systemic changes.

rthomas6  ·  1250 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tin-Can is now complete and available on Android and iOS.

Very cool! I had a very similar idea for an app, and the biggest difference is you actually built it and made it real. Congratulations!

It occurs to me that K meets most of these language design goals better than anything, and not many people have heard of it, because it's hard to read. Here is a program to list all the prime numbers between 1 and R:


Oh by the way, it's faster (!!) than C.

People don't use it except in niche applications because people can't look at it and see what it's doing. To me, it might as well be brainfuck with the amount of line noise it has. Readability and rapid comprehension are even more important, IMO, than brevity and power/expressiveness. That is why Python is so popular. It got all its libraries and ecosystem because it was easy to write AND easy to read, in addition to having a kind of syntactic brevity, so lots of people could rapidly iterate on it. It's not as powerful as Lisp or Haskell or whatever, but maybe it doesn't have to be for most applications.

I think Nim is a language to watch for these reasons.

rthomas6  ·  1312 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: America’s Next Authoritarian Will Be Much More Competent

Can you imagine if a Julius Caesar type got elected in 2016 instead of a bumbling idiot? Someone politically savvy, an MLK-level public speaker, militarily gifted, and damn charming? Someone like that could have done so much more damage. They could have ended the republic.

rthomas6  ·  1322 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 28, 2020

I would be okay with those things being laws here in the US. This is my fear, though: As long as the laws are enforced in a way that they prevent hate speech but allow the open and honest discussion of ideas with no cooling effect, all would be well. The problems start when people are afraid to research and discuss topics academically. With any sane person's interpretation of the laws, this would never occur. But the US seems rather insane to me lately.

rthomas6  ·  1322 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA: We are no longer in the midst of an experiment.

Do you guys want more users? This community seems very insular to me now, for better or worse. Most commenters I recognize by name, and they all seem to know each other. I sort of feel like if users here wanted more fresh faces, I would occasionally see Hubski mentioned outside of Hubski.

rthomas6  ·  1322 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 28, 2020

The problem is, who/what determines what is true and what is acceptable to say? And how do you prevent that entity from being corrupted or taken over by a bad actor?

rthomas6  ·  1322 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 28, 2020

Maybe you can supplant him with better "podcast bros". I like Sam Harris, Jocko Willink, Tim Ferriss, Dan Carlin, and Jordan Harbinger, to name a few.