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OftenBen  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Case for Hanging Out  ·  

We are so fucked if we need an academic defense of why it's a good idea to have friends and do things with them.

I get so frustrated with long time friends when they bum out on small social stuff because it's the small stuff that adds up to memories that make a lifetime.

I'll just continue to cook too much food on Friday nights and keep the invite open. I don't know what else to do.

am_Unition  ·  79 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 11, 2023  ·  

Guys, it's not a big deal.

Sorry I left in a tizzy.

I'll try to finally make it to shitting all over the recent optimistic fusion news within another week or so.

Glad to be back though, but I'm still on twitter 😬

bhrgunatha  ·  150 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: COVID-19 Origins: Investigating a “Complex and Grave Situation” Inside a Wuhan Lab  ·  

CCP has everything locked down so tightly, outsiders generally will never know the extent of censorship and totality of clampdown exerted. There were no results searching for mentions of Sitong Bridge Beijing on weibo or anywhere inside the great firewall recently. There are hundred or thousands or more police posted on bridges across China...

And anyone who's spent time in China will be aware of the pervasive chàbuduō attitude.

A mixture of a very pragmatic response to a situation, combined with meh, good enough, but it goes a lot further. It's also a very sharp, double edged sword.

Cable won't reach? Drill a hole in the door, feed it through... very pragmatic|meh good enough. Can't afford to buy and process vegetable oil, gutter oil..., so pragmatic|meh good enough.

Can't be bothered to follow to strict chemical/biological waste disposal procedures, dump it in the sewer.

chàbuduō also means if you can get away with it, you definitely should.

Now I'm not saying they were so slapdash with their attitudes, that a dangerous virus being experimented on for gain of function, funded by the US (because they aren't allowed to) - only co-incidentally the very virus that caused a worldwide pandemic killing millions - could have been exposed to the outside world accidentally because some fuckwit threw a virulent bat's carcass in the dumpster out back that one time because Joe Chao mixed up the labels on the infected/uninfected cages, or someone tore their protective clothing, or spilt a vial and just used a mop to clean it up because ... chàbuduō.

But that is exactly what happened.

Then the CCP machinery kicks in to cover it all up, now no-one will ever know the difference ... chàbuduō | meh good enough

user-inactivated  ·  183 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 28, 2022  ·  

I’m always honest with you guys, so I’m gonna be upfront here. I tried creating another account, baseballninja, but I have no idea how to activate it. So I found the password to an old account. I wrote all this last night, but here I am now. It’s been what, two years now? I don’t know. Time has lost meaning.

I’m here to pontificate about baseball, maybe cartoons like Ninja Turtles or some shit from time to time, but mostly baseball. I fell in love with it last year. Twitter is a cesspool of angry people and so many bots it’s not funny. Reddit is a hell hole. I don’t even fucking get discord, so here I am, because I’m lonely, my life is a disaster, and every day I go to bed alive is a small miracle.

If you want to know where I’m at, here’s a dump for you. It’s greyed out, cause shit gets really real, really quick.

Mental Health

I think dimensia is starting to kick in. I get confused and lost easily, have a hard time remembering words and events, and other shit.

I suffer from OCD, real, fucking, bad. We’re talking losing on average 2-4 hours a day just to hand washing and showering and shit. There’s times where I lose an hour just to a single hand washing session cause I just can’t get it right. The doctor I went to see for it, cause he was free at the time, accidentally made it worse. The coping mechanisms he taught me were for PTSD, a way to rationalize through your fears. Turns out, doing that shit makes OCD worse. Now that I know better, I’m trying to find a specialist for OCD here in the city, but wouldn’t you know it, no one is taking on new patients. Ever. No matter who I call, I get told to check back in three to six months. I’ve damn near given up.

My friends and social life

One turned into a red piller. Another is about to be homeless and there’s nothing I can do to help and I don’t know if I can bear to watch. Another is, I am starting to suspect, in some weird white nationalist uber conservative church and doesn’t fucking want to admit it. Another I’ve stopped talking to because they went shit crazy. Another lives literally 10 hours away. The Baha’is around here rarely do anything in person and the in person events they do are often when I’m working. Everyone else works when I’m free and vice Vera. My own fucking family never calls or texts unless I call or text first. I text friends memes to stay in touch. Outside my coworkers, my only socialization is with my wife, and for so many reasons that puts a strain on our relationship but we’re trying to manage.

My Career

I work at a pet store now, cause I can’t get a job anywhere else, and you’d think being a germaphobic animal lover who hates corporate America would make it hard enough, but worse, it’s in a baaad part of town. We’re talking having to have locks on our bathrooms because people use them for drugs and prostitution. We’re talking about witnessing people beat their own pets and children in front of God and everybody. We’re talking about a murder happening literally right next door cause two shoppers got into a heated argument during the holiday season. We’re talking serious tragic and fucked up homelessness. On and on I could go, the stories I could tell, you wouldn’t fucking believe me. They happen, I tell people about them, and no one ever fucking believes me except my coworkers, cause we’ve fucking seen it all. If one of you guys got a text from your roommate that said “Hey, you can’t come home right now. There’s an active shooter situation at our apartment complex and the police won’t let anyone in or out” you’d probably think it’s sensational or some shit. For the people I work with? That’s like the fucking weather report.

For real, I’m as kind as possible to as many people as possible at work every single day. Partly because I’m in so much pain, it brings reality into a new perspective that I want to do everything I can to keep other people from feeling what I feel on a daily basis. But also? I kind of don’t wanna get shot in the face cause I pissed off the wrong customer.

I’m in a dark, dark, dark place. There’s been some storms I’ve had to ride out and my m sure there’s more to come. I’m only here cause honestly, I don’t even fucking know what to do anymore. I’m not looking for help though, I don’t want sympathy or pity or support. I literally just want a safe corner of the internet to say shit like “This series between Boston and Baltimore has been insane and I can’t wait to see what happens next” or”here’s a list of catchers I think are amazing” or “I love that The Pirates give up on seasons so early, cause then they bust out the rookies and I love watching rookies hustle.”

So I’m back. I’m sorry and not sorry. I’ll warn you though, a lot of days, I’m just a ball of emotion. Put up with me or don’t, I don’t care, I’m gonna ramble about baseball anyway.

And if you’re blocked, it’s cause I barely have the energy to make it through the day, I don’t have any to put up with you. Doesn’t mean I hate. Doesn’t mean I think you’re a bad person. I’m just really, really tired.

.

.

.

I’m literally watching tonight’s Baltimore/Boston game while I wait for the ability to post. So here are thoughts.

Adley Rutschman is amazing. I have a special place in my heart for Jonah Heim and Tyler Stephenson though.

Boston’s City Connect Jersey is hideous. It looks like it belongs to some European Team. The Padres Jersey is worse. The Brewers and Angels have some cool ones though.

I’m surprised that Boston and Chicago White Sox both had seasons that fell apart. After Baltimore’s rough previous few seasons, this one was so fun, even if they don’t get a wild card slot. Can’t wait for next year for them. Or The Rangers.

I don’t care about pitch clocks, but I’m so glad they’re banning the shift. 4 men outfields and such were just stupid. Why even call them positions if they’re not gonna stick to them?

Players I love to keep an eye on. Jonah Heim. Oneil Cruz. Jonathan India. Keston Huira. Ryan Mountcastle. Way too many. On I could go.

Shohei deserves MVP.

Mancini being trade to Houston was a tragedy. Him being a bench player is a literal crime.

Is Kansas City even a real baseball team? I don’t think I’ve ever paid them even the remotest attention.

Fucking baseball. One of the few things that make sense. I’m glad I found it.

.

.

.

Woke up to use the bathroom and the wife’s Angels game was just starting. I sat down to watch a bit. Logan O’Hoppe is making his major league debut. He’s a catcher. I’m a sucker for catchers. I love catchers. So much ride on them. Watched a few innings. His first MLB at bat was a clean single, maybe he’ll be okay.

veen  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Californians asked to cut power use as extreme heat approaches  ·  

I'm off for three days and you guys start talking about EV charging. Literally doing 1200km in two days in a 66kW Hyundai. A few points to add to the discussion:

1) you charge where you park. You top up in quick breaks when you need to go further. Nobody wants to fastcharge, so we expect it to become a much smaller part of driving than gas stations are now. Over here we expect just 13% of all EV charging to be at (highway) fast chargers. Imagine if you could fill up your car with water. Would you really opt to fill it up at a random industrial parking lot you could also drop a hose in it on your own driving lane and at work for half the price? How about your employer realizing they could make money by offering you free charging when you allow them to use your car as a battery storage? Opportunity charging, which is that you charge when your car is standing still anyway, is the inevitable way forward.

2) The US is dearly lacking in both fast and destination chargers. Range anxiety disappears once those two are remotely reliable - I know this from first hand experience and from a bunch of studies done on the Dutch charging station network, which happens to leave every other country in the dust. As soon as it's a common sight for there to be a charger in a parking lot, people stop complaining. Because I already have the luxury of a dense and reliable network of destination and fast chargers, I almost never have to worry, and I also almost never fastcharge. Colleague of mine has a charger at home and at work and he's never even used a fastcharger. Because if you leave full and can charge at your destination, that's two charging stops eliminated. So a <car range> mile trip both ways is made possible by just one charger at my destination, that happens to also be a decent way to make money for businesses with a large energy connection. Tesla drivers love their Superchargers, but normal people will avoid them if they can. And if you do need them - for most people, as soon as your EV can do 100+ kW of fast charging, which is "most new models and probably whatever first model upper class people will buy", nobody minds the stops because you'll be ready to drive another 150-200 miles right when you're done taking a piss or grabbing a coffee. Especially when you factor in that charging is cheaper per mile than gas.

3) What will drive the change in chargers? Well, the business case for EV destination chargers is decent. The case for rapid chargers is VERY good as soon as you hit a certain level of daily users. There is less overhead and less insurance than a gas station. It never needs refills, and you can basically just plop one down and wait for your investment to pay off. Even a small station can draw traffic, or can boost sales. The number of rapid chargers that aren't Tesla has doubled in less than eighteen months over here. We fully expect every supermarket, DIY store, McDonalds and Starbucks (any place that you will park at for more than 20 minutes and that owns the land it's on) to follow suit.

4) Smart charging capabilities have been made mandatory on all public slow charging stations here. The collective energy use of EVs will be a hit on the grid, but it's in the form of "small spikes in many places", which is something that grids are in theory perfectly capable of handling if dimensioned correctly. The real problem that will fick things up are heavy vehicles. They consume a factor 10-15 more energy than cars per km and require near 1MW chargers if you want to top them up along the way. The energy use of industrial zones can easily increase by TWh's if adopted widely, which is not the case of personal vehicles. And the TCO, which is nearly always the main driver of any EV adoption rate, however is good enough that the trucks will be here before the infrastructure is upgraded.

5) I still dream of a V2G system of energy brokerage whereby we can delay daily power use with cars and home batteries. The realities are complicated, and the rise of EVs seems to be going just a bit too fast for V2G to catch up. My city is one of the first to realize what you guys are theorizing about.

But it's the result of one incredibly entrepreneurial dude who's been at this problem for 8 years. Wider adoption... I don't know. I hope so.

Quatrarius  ·  263 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What is a Woman, Anyway?  ·  x 2

"If so, then why does a person assigned at birth as a male but who identifies as a female need to remove the penis? Why does a person assigned at birth as a female but who identifies as a male need to add a penis? If a “woman” or a “man” is whatever anyone claims as their identity based on internal beliefs and feelings instead of external equipment—as one online influencer told Walsh, “Some people are boys, some people are girls, some are both, some are neither. Gender is all about how you feel on the inside and how you express yourself.”—then why would anyone put themselves through the ordeal of transitioning?"

what a lack of understanding of the motivations behind transitioning, of the concept of dysphoria / struggling with the stark contrast between self-perception and appearances / the way you're treated. why would a skinny teen with dreams of becoming a bodybuilder ever want to exercise and build muscle? why would a married woman who wants to have an affair take off her wedding ring at a bar? this is the crucial misunderstanding that so many people fail to even realize they're making - to be a woman is to be treated like a woman, to be a man is to be treated like a man. we define what it is to be a particular gender through our behavior and our expectations, not through some collection of meat. why is a graceful ship on the water called she? why is a deeply pitched computer generated voice perceived as a man's? because we associate these characteristics to them. why is a mother-in-law a go-to person that comedians joke about not wanting to talk to? all it is is the mother of your spouse, there's nothing inherently bad about that, right?

the entire trans "debate" relies on the confusion between what is real and what is bestowed on real things by our behavior. sure, you can say that a woman is a vaginahaver and a man is a penishaver - but are you gonna say to little David "hold on, sport, let's see your cock before you can go play with the boys"? no - you hear the name, you see the clothes, you perceive all the things that we associate with the category "boy", and you let him play and live his life

but not for long! if these trannytrackers win the """"debate"""", soon we will all be reduced to meat

veen  ·  345 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: On the Clock: Your Office Is Open and the Liquor Is Flowing   ·  

    The company is trying to resurrect office camaraderie but a number of her co-workers don’t drink. “It’s funny that that’s such a heavy part of trying to keep people invested so you don’t lose them,” she says.

the vibes they are a-shiftin'

Devac  ·  393 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 2, 2022  ·  x 2

After almost no driving since getting a license, I've completed five runs to the border. Full load both ways, carrying food and supplies my brother organized one way and people back. Three, aunt and her daughters, will be staying with us for the time being. Well, 'aunt'; we settled on it because even if there is a name for "great-grandfather's sister's granddaughter," nobody cares. Bro hired one of them already to accelerate what little paperwork they might need later on, but they're already on the social services. The rest I brought had other families to take them. It's our drop in the sea.

It's not well there, obviously. Already I've seen too many idiot nationalists protesting against 'immigration,' concentrating near areas for refugees. Provoking, assaulting, others exploiting. Human thrash, all of them. Because I have no idea what news comes your way, just don't let it distract you from who the real dirtbags are or what a simultaneous humanitarian catastrophe and effort are happening. Yes, I know, most of you are much savvier in politics than I am, but same most of you have repeatedly proven themselves at obsessing with whatever topic du jour mildly turned your head. And if you think this is insulting or exaggerating, hold onto your pants -- three years ago, if someone tweeted Trump wipes with his left, you could bet there'd be a thread about whether or not he pets the #whiterabbit with it. Don't lose perspective. Don't let it become some blasé gossip shit in a month.

I'll be going into other topics now. In part because of exhaustion, both physical and topical. When time is dense with events, it's gonna be either major themes only or a flood of information, and nobody's in the mood for the latter. Made me appreciate truckers even more, though.

Also, because the car is a 20-year-old piece of shit VW Golf I bought in December for $200 to learn car repairs/maintenance, it's short of a miracle it hadn't died a single time.

Also also, it's a good thing that at my current job, you can excuse any work delays with "yeah, so the maths got more complex than expected, will have to derive it algebraically instead." In my experience, it can buy up to three weeks.

I did my postdoc interview during a refueling break. It probably went poorly, though the interviewers seemed impressed when I corrected their article misquote from memory and answered both versions of the question. Them nagging me about why we didn't reschedule visibly pissed me off, and if this will cost me the job, good riddance. What the fuck do you think would be different apart from smart-casual attire?

Once driving became routine, the monotony of it settled. Played a D&D game by phone twice, which was crazy, but it was a boost of energy that couldn't have come at a better time. One of the TBA characters from the last time is a rogue, who is such an over-the-top gothy edgelord he'd make Tim Burton cream his laced-up pantaloons in a blink. The ranger player had to postpone again, but she's working for the Ministry of the Interior, and it's hard for a better excuse.

I don't know if I have it in me to do this more than once. The car isn't taking it well, and I sure as hell can't keep going like that more than a week. There's desire to help, and there's practicality. Instead, I'm seriously considering volunteering to IT security groups our gov organizes, but between dual citizenship and police record, I suspect my prospective clearance level is somewhere between LOL and "don't bother."

Now I'm going back to sleeping it off. Leaving you with this fun chess puzzle for all levels and ages.

White moves, checkmate in two.

user-inactivated  ·  474 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "The hookup moment has likely passed."  ·  
This comment has been deleted.
necroptosis  ·  492 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 24, 2021  ·  x 3

There are a lot of emotions running deep today. The past nine years have one hell of a trip. The person I was when I signed my name on the dotted line is vastly different from the one who signed out today. I've had quite a few drinks to celebrate the end so it's a little bit difficult to truly reflect but.. man idk. I'll try and put together a small album together within the next couple days of my favorite moments. The military has allowed me to meet countless interesting people, visit 30+ countries, and develop myself to a level I would have never before thought possible. While I never posted much on hubski I would like to thank y'all for keeping me somewhat grounded-just lurking and reading has been significant. When surrounded by the echo chamber of the army this website has always been a refuge to maintain at least a little intellectual capacity.

Quatrarius  ·  526 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Netflix employees walk out to protest Dave Chappelle’s special.  ·  x 2

i think that jokes about a discriminated minority should primarily be funny to that minority more than any general audience. i think that jokes about a discriminated minority that are designed to be funny to a general audience, but not to that minority, are not jokes that work.

trans people take these jokes seriously because they aren't funny to trans people. it's hard to not take something seriously when it's not funny to you. i want to repeat that i'm not insulted by the jokes in the special, they just make me sad. i think that these kinds of jokes don't help the community and just add onto the pile of cultural messaging against trans people. i think that this is the new battlefield of the culture war, and that trans people who react negatively to this special will continue to become targets. when you say "why is it being taken so seriously," this is why. comedy doesn't just float in the air - comedy is powerful. comedy can be used to reinforce certain attitudes, or undermine them. comedy and politics are connected to each other. you can be a carlin-type of comedian and use comedy to show how society is rigged for the powerful, or you can be the kind of comedian that uses comedy to reinforce existing stereotypes. i do not feel liberated by chappelle's humor about trans people. i do not welcome his takes on trans people. again, if i was to get up on stage and postulate about The Black Experience In America, i would fully expect to be reamed for it because i don't know what i'm talking about. when i hear dave's jokes about trans people, it is very clear that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

i don't want to censor comedy. i don't want to "cancel" anybody. it's very clear that the trans community at large is unable to cancel anybody, given that chappelle and ricky gervais and the like all still have careers. they can continue to make hacky jokes at my expense for as long as they want to for all i care. i just don't see why i have to pretend that it's all in good fun, and to lighten up - it's the standup comedian version of "boys will be boys" - he snapped your bra strap in front of your friends, but it's because he likes you, so just let him do it - it was just a joke

i will never be a model minority that puts up with being mocked, no matter whether you think that makes me a killjoy.

b_b  ·  534 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Mysterious Case of the COVID-19 Lab-Leak Theory  ·  

Ummmm, remind me: Did the baby-killing Zika virus arise 300 meters from the only lab in the world who holds similar Zika viruses and whose stated research goals are to modify the Zika virus in exactly the hyper-pathological way that it behaves in the wild, while that behavior has never before been observed among the tens of thousands of other known Zika viruses? Can't remember.

steve  ·  555 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 22, 2021  ·  

I'm making a fairly significant career shift. I'm leaving the safety of four years at a comfortable gig as a mid-level manager in operations/tech to be an individual contributor learning and development guy at a startup. It's a move I've been pondering for a while, and trying to figure out how to break into, and somehow I just convinced this company I'm the right person for the job. I'm equal parts excited and terrified. The swag from the new company showed up in a box yesterday moments before my current CEO passive aggressively (and embarrassingly) pleaded with me to stay at the current company (in a meeting in front of other people) - It was awkward and awful.

I start the new job next week. Lots of change in the pub this week, and I'm happy to be a part of it.

Cumol  ·  564 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘Never Forget’ Is Breaking America   ·  

I remember the day. It was weird. I went to junior high school back then, I think I was in 7th or 8th grade... At home, my father had the TV on aljazeera and he kept repeating "bin Laden finally got you, you maniacs", while his face mirrored the horror he was watching on TV, and knowing fully what that meant for everyone. The next day at school everyone was talking about it in class, and everyone was EXTATIC. Celebrating. I remember that some discussions broke out about it where some students were arguing that the attack killed civilians, but many were quick to counter that many many more civilians were killed by the USA all over the middle East and that this was the only way to do anything against the military power that is the US. In case you didn't realize, virtually everyone in the middle East hates the USA, and usually has a valid reason why to.

I didn't know what to think. I understood both arguments. And even though it is obvious what was right and wrong and that terrorist attacks should never be supported, I still struggled in taking a stance.

Once I made up my mind though, I kept my opinion to myself. Because loudly speaking out against the attacks was an act of treason.

While reading the article, it struck me how the same 12% in the states that were against the war in Afghanistan (and were called traitors), are probably the parallel group to the ones in the middle East who did not support the attacks and were also seen as traitors.

That day, hatred won. Everyone knew what was coming. The wrath of the almighty would thunder down onto the whole middle east for decades. The results of which we see today.

What did it bring? More hatred. More trauma. More generations of hatred.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if we would rather have the "traitors" on both sides in positions of power instead of the "warriors" and "heros".

b_b  ·  590 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 18, 2021  ·  

Today is my 10 year anniversary of being a Hubski member. Long time. A lot has happened in that time. I have easily spent more time on this website than any other over that stretch. Big ups to mk for making this place. I had the good fortune to help out in a rotating group of 4 or 5 of us who used to try to help keep the lights on here. Met a lot of good people that way, including some intense relationships that are and were very meaningful to me outside of the internet, some of which faded away and some of which were soured by my sometimes inept social abilities. Though I regret that the activity on the site isn't what it once was, it's a great community nonetheless.

AstroFrank  ·  601 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 4, 2021  ·  

The reply to this keeps 502'ing on me so I will drop it here for kleinbl00

    Okay grumpy old man you earned yourself some devil's advocacy.

Your response pissed me the fuck off. Then I sat on top of my hill, and thought about this while watching the smoke from California and Oregon destroying the sky. Since I am camping out in the parking lot of a hospital after my injections, and have wifi access, I'll answer you. I am not nearly as good of a writer as you and I think we talked past each other, so let's see if I can expand our ideas here.

    That means the median visual astronomer was 30 years old when the HST went up, and 37 when WFPC2 went online.

You discount the visual astronomers that have died off in the last 30 years. I bring up people don't like space and you reply with the ultimate example of "pretty space picture nobody knows shit about." Why was this picture taken? What question was being asked? Yea Yea Yea first image with the Hubble Palette, whatever. Even here on Hubski, you and I are the only two people that know what "Hubble Palette" means, and I'll get to that in a moment. I've been in a room with Jeff Hestor http://www.jeff-hester.com/about-dr-hester/ and got to talk to him one on one a long time ago when I still gave a shit. He's a fantastic person, he's fighting the good fight for what it is worth. But the person and the idea behind the image means not-a-fucking-thing. Pretty picture on a college dorm, all that matters. PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE SPACE THEY LIKE PRETTY PICTURES

    That sounds about right - I was lugging a Coulter 10" Dobsonian around in the back of a Buick Skylark in those years where you could still pretend the ground was relevant. That shining period between billion dollar astigmatism and the Pillars of Creation shot. ... 'cuz I'm sorry - all the SBIG in the world will never fucking compete with that. Not ever. I tried a little game before I started writing this: I googled "most famous Hubble photographs" and "most famous Palomar photographs" and you know what? The Palomar shots are of Palomar.

There are five Messier awards in the Astronomical League Observing programs. https://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/AlphabeticObservingClubs.html I have all of them. I have the Hershell 400 and Hershell 400 (2) awards. I have enough awards to start making a run at the Master Observer certificate if I feel like making that effort. I have used remote telescopes to assist with the confirmation of exoplanets to the point my name is on five scientific papers, and used my own gear back home to track two more that are still being worked on and may finally publish this year. I have a NASA placard on my wall thanking me for engaging in outreach to over 50,000 people. I also have a NASA award for organizing a science campaign during the 2017 eclipse where we rounded up 600 boy scouts to do real data collection backing up the pros in aircraft and satellites that is going to be published this year if not already out. Now that we are done comparing prom gowns and all the other girls think we are pretty, let's cut the bullshit and get to the point.

Oh, and Hubble is in the news at least quarterly, and again PRETTY PICTURES; how many people outside of us even know what the hell Palomar is? People do not like space, they like PRETTY PICTURES.

    Ever been to the Griffith Observatory? It's pretty funny reading their plaques trying to justify the place as if it ever did any real science. They pretty much boil down to "we stare at sunspots sometimes." 1.6 million visitors a year, beyotch.

Never been to Griffin, but I've paid for a few nights with the 60" at Mt. Wilson twice. $1500/night for the group. The second evening myself and a few other people used the night to drag some impressive glass up there. I think between the ten of us, we had a combined $25,000 of eyepieces on us. And honestly, I think I had a better view through a 32" Obsession at the star party that got cancelled mentioned above. Of your 1.6 million visitors I wonder how many are there because the Griffin people used to whore themselves out to every movie and TV production they could wedge themselves into. 161 productions according to IMDB. LA is a city of 20 million people, that visitation number is impressive but let's not kid ourselves that the people of Los Angeles give a shit about Griffin, Mt. Wilson or any of these places. What percent of these visitors are out of state tourists?

    I remember star parties out in the desert. We had good sky. The Pleiades are a loose cluster from the Sangre de Cristos, they aren't seven sisters. The Milky Way is a naked eye object from under a streetlamp. Rich fuckers, too, with like 12" Meades'n'shit. And what were things pointed at? ... and maybe some rogue crankiwumpus like you insistent on making people look away from the center of the eyepiece so he could claim he showed them M81.

I have data on the state of astronomy clubs across the nation. Clubs with a combined 2700 members in areas representing 36+ million people in the USA. But some few rich people bought a $5000 coat rack they take out a few times a year means Astronomy is healthy? Are you going to seriously make the argument "rich people most effected" to me? Because if that is your argument fuck you and your fucking high horse. YOU.. FUCKING YOU of all people are better than that and I expect better from you. Note the numbers on those clubs. People in astronomy clubs are not even a rounding error on a statistical blip on the long tail. The older guys who did all the work either got Covid and died or noped out because they don't want to deal with the 40% of America that turns out to get its reality from foreign Facebook bullshit memes and flat earth groups. And fuck you, we don't show people galaxies at outreach we show open clusters and globular clusters like M3, M5, M92, M15, M11, M52 etc because those are easy to train someone to see quickly. You pull a "rich people impacted" argument on me of all people then toss around "elitism hur hur?" eat shit.

    Now - I didn't drag 50lbs of sonotube above the frost line to stare at planets. I did my dark sky shit, and I enjoyed it. Doodled in notebooks by red light and everything. But I did that shit alone and I didn't expect anyone to come with me. The serious hunting? That shit is solitary. And you yourself, homie, spent half your time photographing and the other half processing. I've seen your shots. The social aspect pretty much demands a trophy. Sure maybe you can get some accolades for your dedication if you describe your adventures but the picture's worth a thousand words. And with the amount of post-processing that's been de rigeur in astronomy since Clyde Fucking Tombaugh, that means an equatorial mount or a steppermotored Dobsonian hack. And that means $$$$$.

Done the visual from dark skies, documented it, have the certificates and notebooks to prove it. Even started on the Urban observing programs because work was killing me and I was unable to travel anywhere. You know why visual observers go into astrophotography? I know 'cause I was one, and talked to dozens if not hundreds who did the same. LIGHT POLLUTION. You know how many people in the USA care about light pollution? NONE. Even the AMA cannot get traction on the idea of overlighting residential neighborhoods is increasing breast cancer rates and has a possible link to the rise in autism. Photography lets me at least pretend that I am doing astronomy even if photos are shit for experiencing the world around us. What would you rather have? Someone looking at nothing put pictures of the Grand Canyon, or actually GOING there and experiencing it. Would you rather have people looking a the moon with their own eyes, or relegate everything to flat images on a screen. I made my choice and walked away from the shit show becasue I see where the world is going; I don't want any part of a society that wants pictures but not the experience.

    Try and tell me Stellarvue was selling more than 200 scopes a year ever. I remember when the ex-Soviet Maksutov Cassagrains came out and holy shit you could do planetary astronomy for less than $4k. My family paid $400 a night to go to an astronomy B&B and they couldn't afford a 16" Dobsonian. $22k for a 10" MCT? Hot diggedy damn! You got anything aspirational for little shits like me who saved up half his summer's wages for a cardboard and particle board clunker with a telrad and a $150 Orion focuser?

Six years ago, I got invited to be a part of a focus group, as someone doing outreach and talking to the public. I got to have two days of talks with the folks making beginner telescopes. I think that I am still technically under that NDA, but the telescopes we thought up are now on sale. https://www.celestron.com/products/starsense-explorer-lt-80az They are on mounts that do not suck, the optics are "fine" and just enough tech to make it easy to use. This is what you should be recomending for kids with birthday money, or paper route money etc to get. And no I do not get paid to promote them, never did. Now that Orion owns Meade, I am hoping that the software guys on the Meade side make the Orion stuff better and easier to use. We also promoted the Starblast 4.5" table top reflectors and got some 20 put into the local library system. You almost certainly know that you can get a not-bad beginner telescope for roughly $250 which is a lot of money for someone on minimum income, but doable. You acuse me of eliteism, remember? I'm trying to get people to not buy shitty hobby killing telescopes at Walmart and target, you see to think all there is out there is $10,000 glass.

    Know what kills hobbies? Elitism. That's why vinyl still exists, and why skaters are still listening to Dinosaur Jr. 30 years later. That Icona Pop LP you bought at Whole Foods to play on the Salvation Army Technics you paid too much for because you didn't know any better? That's a gateway. So are those shitty Instagram-class Celestrons.

Hobbies die when the people that have been around for a while stop helping the newcomers. Youtube vids are cool and all, but without someone to look at face to face and say "can you help me" you lose the new blood to the learning curve. Write all the checks you want, build all the shit you think you can get. Hell build public accessible observatories like I have done. No volunteers? You are fucked. Chase away the volunteers? Yer fucked. Have a lot of money but nobdy to do the work needed to keep the hobby/club/organization going? You die. Elitism is a minor problem compared to the lack of suckers and fools like I used to be doing all the work cause Duty, Honor, "the Cause," outreach, whatever. When the old greybeards stop attending gatherings, when the old timers like me walk away, when the apathy kicks in, the hoby dies. Make the rewards for doing an incredible amount of shit work not worth the squeeze, and your hobby dies just as dead as "elitism." Insult and berate the people on the ground doing the work, most of whom do it for the love and not much else, and your organization will die.

    I'll betcha if you threw another one on the University grounds they'd shut up. Yeah you're right - nobody serious could see anything serious seriously. But nobody following Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Twitter is ready to venture an hour into the hinterlands to pretend they can see Neptune anyway. Couple times *hanging out with their normie buddies? Sipping cocoa and schnapps while staring at things they could legit see through binoculars? That's another matter.

The Devil's advocate question is this: Why the fuck would I do that? The college already showed that they would not back us up, after working with them for TWO FUCKING DECADES where their physics students got extra credit for hanging out with people owning better gear than the bloody university did! All that time of working with them to the point where the star party was a 400ish paying customer event twice a year. What in the HELL makes you think they would step in and help and/or support us in a new adventure? When someone shows me their true colours, and shows me exactly what value they place on my efforts, I remember that. My friends got thrown under a bus for a bunch of idiots chasing social media clout, people that would have forgotten the event even took place as soon as the new thing got more likes and upvotes. The people we worked for free to add value to their students, and asked for nothing in return other than the use of their name to help with the Park Service and the Dept. of the Interior were tossed aside without even an afterthought. Fuck ever associating with people like that ever again. The couple that ran the show since the mid 90's are rumored to put together a very private event with no advertising, no door prizes, no sponsors once the Covid shit is mostly over. The University and its students won't be welcome.

The disconnect here, and this idea hit me in the middle of one of my drives into town to deal with society crap, is that you are not Human. Don't get mad, this is compliment, but I need to dig deep and make sure I am saying what I mean to say with that statement. You and I, and the people on this website are not human. Sure we are all homo sapiens with four limbs, 20 digits, forward facing binocular vision etc, but that "sapiens" part of the name? We are outliers looking in on the human experience. My county has a population of roughly 12K people. The county seat has a population of some 2500 people. There is a library in town, and since librarians are bigger gossips than any bartender I try to befriend them. In June of 2021 the total number of checked out books was under 200. Not 200K, TWO HUNDRED. This includes digital rentals as I specifically asked if there was an uptick during the pandemic. TWO HUNDRED BOOKS A MONTH. Between you and I, I bet we hit that in a typical year. Two people read more in a year than an ENTIRE COUNTY OF PEOPLE do in a month. Now, there are no bookstores in the county, I checked, not even a used book store! It is possible that everyone here, a county where 80% of households are below the poverty line, are buying books online or pirating PDF's, but I've met the neighbors and let's say I have doubts. YOU read more than just about anyone else I've even known, online or off. More importantly, you retain the info you ingest, can process it and explain it to others in context. That skill alone puts you in the top 5% of the smart people in this country. If you last name was gates, or bezos, or Boringoldmoneywhitedude the fourth, you'd have gone to an ivy league, made your business connections and almost certainly be running a Fortune 1000 class company by now. You exist on a level that at times I don't think you understand, maybe you do and just feel guilty or whatever and keep that offline. You and I got the shit rolls on the family dice and had to make due with what we were given. Yet somehow we if not thrived as least did not suck on a shotgun or die of a drug overdose or any other multitude of pitfalls that you and I have shared stories about. We are both retired, and let's be brutally honest here, most people in our generation are NOT going to retire until the last two years of their lives when the body and brain break down from over work and their employer can no longer accommodate their needs, so ship them off to die at home on government health care to keep the health insurance costs low for the rest of the drones in the factory. You and I are talking on a website with maybe 30 active users, four of whom have PhDs in the sciences, and this place is run by two guys using STEM cells to help prolong healthy living, a technology that I bet at most 1 out of 500 people even know exists. How many people know this place exists? 2000? Maybe? When you look at where we are, and where everyone else is, you and I are not even a statistical blip on the very end of the very long tail of human existence. How many people here are into what can be roped into pop culture? None of us, I mean I don't know what a Dinosaur Jr was and had to look it up, some meh band from 30 years ago. Talk to most people and all they spit out is tv shows and movies, and not much else. I could sit here for a few hours and list line item after line item that makes not just you and I but most of the people on this website outside the base human experience. We are "human" by the proxy of our biology, but if we walked into a city council meeting or a PTA meeting, how many people there would we be able to connect with?

The problem you and I both have is that we are in a bubble. Might be different bubbles, but each of the bubbles we exist in protect us from the normal shit normal people go through every day. We can read a book, we can listen to a politicial speach and understand the language about the people they are rallying, but we see this all from the outside. We have the Time, money and privilege to be able to do something that in not directly paying the bills. You can watch your neighbors make poor choices about thier house, but talk about it as an academic exercise to explain the housing market to the rest of us outliers. You get to talk to the rich and wealthy, you mentioned you have had relationships working and otherwise with the famous etc. I've talked to people who have space hardware on the surface of other planets. I can pick up my phone right now and call someone working in mission control for the ISS. Kids I met at outreach events 15 years ago are now building Artemis hardware. This puts me in a VASTLY different head space when it comes to space and astronomy that just about anyone but the guy here that launched satellites earlier this year. Your reply to me really pissed me off until I realized you are coming at this as someone looking in from a 50,000 foot level. Do either one of us really remember what it is like to live on minimum wage? I bet neither of us has 50K in student loan debt. We both own where we live. Neither of us is living paycheck to paycheck. I was homeless living in Truck Center Parking lots off the interstates, and now can barely offer advice from that time nearly four decades ago. We both have expensive esoteric hobbies that the average person cannot comprehend the cost to get into. You can drop a few grand on some widgit thing for your watchmaking and not feel the dread of not eating for a month. Everything about you is outside of a normal human living experience in the current world except your family and upbringing. How many humans do you know that can build a $100K plus milling machine just because they want to fuck around a little bit? Hell, I can't do that, then again I have no income either.

Once I calmed down and actually though about what you wrote, I realize you are not being a cunt just to be a pissant, you are just tone deaf and out of the loop of what is going on at the ground level. Congrats, you won the game.

b_b  ·  645 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Lab Leak Theory Doesn’t Hold Up  ·  

I'm just gonna post this here, since I'm sick of tormenting Hubski with these types of articles. This is a devastating long read.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/the-lab-leak-theory-inside-the-fight-to-uncover-covid-19s-origins