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kleinbl00  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 9, 2021  ·  

COVID AIN'T GONE YET

So my wife has a colleague. Known her for... fifteen years? Trained under her backintheday, filled in for a couple years when her practice exploded, threw a couple employees her way, their network was built by me. Things have been congenial and polite through COVID 'cuz (A) they're Republican (B) they're anti-vax. So we don't hang out like we used to.

Colleague has a 80-year-old mom who lives with them. And about a month ago they decided fukkit let's vaycay so they ran off to Hawaii for ten days, leaving our posse to cover half their practice. Came back not feelin' great.

They decided to shine it on.

So we've got one person coming into the office with active, confirmed COVID and another person who would if only she weren't so goddamn sick and we're trying to keep this from becoming a public health problem and counseling their one about-to-bail-now employee as to how to not end up in dire peril with the health department. None of this was direct, mind you, all of it was back-channel, our hands are scrupulously clean. Ain't nobody died, errbody on the mend, and when we asked "hey wanna go halvesies on a crate of medical supplies" the answer was monosyllabic.

They ain't talkin' to us. Not because of anything we did, but because their worldview was wrong, our worldview was right, and now we're the bad guys.

Got another friend. She's delivered every grandkid for her ex-boss from back when she was an EMT. Which is a tradition that meant that rather than sticking to her own back yard 80 miles away, she decided to come deliver 20 miles north of us... in our support structure, where we know the EMTs, we know the hospitals, yadda yadda. Home birth, which is always less of a controlled experiment, and the mom was acting woozy and weird. Things stretched out to the point where it wasn't happenin' so it's time to transport to the hospitals we use.

At which point they show up, mom has a temp of 104, crash to emergency c-section, baby hits the NICU, grandma gets kicked out of the suite, and both mom'n'dad pop a rapid COVID positive. But not before they've tromped through half the goddamn hospital.

Greetings from Big Brother! as healthcare providers we can look your ass up in the vaccine database. Which means we know that while this couple said they were vaccinated to the friend? They also said they'd NEVER get vaccinated to the grandma and as it turns out, dad was vaccinated, mom wasn't. 'cuz, you know, lying to your healthcare provider is small potatoes compared to I dunno sub rosa supporting treason.

We'd been talking about going back to home births but we just had this catastrophe where another mom was so stoned out of her gourd that labor pain transmogrified into "my hip hurts" so they sat there smoking spliffs until we had to come crash their house because they weren't gonna make it. That combined with this "Patriots will happily lie to liberal traitors to get what they want" mentality is noping us the fuck out of that.

Right now? 97% of COVID cases are among the unvaccinated. If you're in the hospital? With COVID? There's a 99.7% chance you didn't get two shots.

So yeah we're rolling back protections but that's not because COVID is gone. It's because if you get COVID now it's because you fuckin' earned it and if you earned it, the hospitals now have the bandwidth to deal with your irresponsible, lying ass.

The conversation between the friend and the dad (mom just got off Oxygen yesterday, is still in the ICU) was framed around "well we meant to get vaccinated we just... forgot." Which, okay, if that's what you need to maintain your friendship across the gap of "thanks for driving a hundred miles to leave a flaming bag of poo on the doorstep of one of your friends" more power to you. We'll just not mention the Big Gulp's worth of nyquil and other shit you shouldn't be taking in labor that y'all were using to mask your symptoms 'cuz at the end of the day they aren't our patients (except they are now because we have pediatricians so fuck us I guess).

But fuckin' hell man my kid don't have a vaccine yet and neither do her friends, and the variants coasting around these days are mean.

So also fuck off.

kleinbl00  ·  81 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How much does Post Malone/Taylor Swift/The Police/BTS actually make on royalties?  ·  

    We have based our algorithm on the data from this article from Soundcharts.

    Once we have the number of monthly streams from Spotify, we multiply the price-per-stream of each platform by the number of Spotify streams.

"Elon Musk walks into a pipefitter's union hall. The average wealth shoots up by a billion dollars per plumber."

So... the "this article" referenced has numbers. Those numbers don't match up to anyone else's numbers and everyone else's numbers don't match up to anything either. There's this need to believe that you can simply figure out how much money someone makes off of Spotify because then we can continue to feel good about paying a pittance to listen to our favorite artists over and over and over again. Your link:

    Another major streaming player is Amazon Music.

    As the other platforms, Amazon, don't publicly share the price-per-stream. This value approximates to $0.01196.

    Taken into account this value, 83K monthly streams are needed for reaching the $1000 mark, the lowest so far, but still high!

The link they took their data from:

    In full detail: Amazon Music Unlimited, Napster and Tidal got the top-3 rates at $0,0119, $0.0106 and $0.0099 respectively. However, don’t get too excited about Amazon’s numbers. The lion’s share of the tech giants subscribers are in fact over at Amazon Prime bundled streaming service — and for Amazon Prime, the average rate came to just 28% of the Unlimited’s payout, or $0,0034.

I worked with a guy who made his revenue entirely off of Youtube. He broke the economics (for him) down quite simply: any video with less than a million views earned him nothing. Did not even show up on his invoices. Any video with more than a million views made him about five thousand dollars. Each subsequent million views earned him about a thousand dollars. But those numbers were really wiggly and I guarantee that's what Youtube was paying him.

Look - a plane ticket from Seattle to Los Angeles used to cost about $300. I've probably bought a hundred of those. The least I've paid is $29 (no airline miles or other nonsense used - Delta was trying to assassinate Alaska Airlines). The most I've paid is $437. The most I've seen, however, is $5998.

And flight prices are hella easier to scrape than Spotify royalties.

kleinbl00  ·  152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Dare Mighty Things"  ·  
kleinbl00  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Money talks - Pornhub Just Purged All Unverified Content From the Platform  ·  

LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLERSKATES at your freeze peaches

Y'all young'uns know the Tale of Traci Lords? Sure, Crybaby, sure, neckbiter in Blade. Hey let's cue up that video real quick we could use a soundtrack. Traci would approve after all she cut an album with Juno Reactor as her backing band

So here's Traci back when she was Nora Kuzma, a 14-year-old getting raped in Ohio while visiting her estranged dad

Her alcoholic mom was dating a dude who molested her but he had a heart of gold; he hooked young Nora up with a friend of equally loose morals who hooked Nora up with a fake ID and took her to a bunch of auditions

    At age 15, Kuzma became pregnant by her high school boyfriend. Afraid of her mother's reaction, she went to Hayes for help. He arranged for her to have an abortion without her mother's knowledge. Looking for a job to get some money, she was introduced to his friend and started working for her as a babysitter. The woman offered to improve Kuzma's job opportunities by helping her get a fake driver's license. She provided Kuzma with a new birth certificate on condition that if she were ever caught she would say that she had stolen the phony identification. Kuzma now had the alias Kristie Elizabeth Nussman and a new driver's license that stated she was 20 rather than 15 years old. In February 1984, she answered a newspaper advertisement for Jim South's World Modeling Talent Agency. Posing as her stepfather, Hayes drove her to the agency. After signing a contract, she began working as a nude model and appeared in magazines such as Velvet, Juggs, and Club. During August, when she was selected to model for Penthouse magazine's September 1984 15th-anniversary issue, Kuzma was asked to choose a stage name. According to a 1988 interview, she chose Traci—one of the popular names she had longed for growing up—and Lords, after the actor Jack Lord, since she was a fan of the television series Hawaii Five-O, in which he portrayed the character of Steve McGarrett.

Traci? Traci was big. I was in fourth fucking grade and I knew who Traci Lords was. Pinups, videos, she did all the dirty stuff. We were just starting to negotiate puberty and we wanted Traci lords.

THE GIRL WITH THE HAMMER IS SIXTEEN

    After appearing at age 16 with John Leslie (an actor 23 years her senior) in the porno parody Talk Dirty to Me Part III (which won the AVN Award for the best movie), Lords was hailed as the "Princess of Porn". She became one of the highest-paid porn actresses of that time, earning more than $1,000 a day.

"I won't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day" - Linda Evangelista, four years later

    Lords continued making more movies until late 1985 when she tried to quit the industry at age 17, but returned a few months later. Afterwards, she met Stuart Dell, who became her boyfriend, manager, and business partner. They formed the Traci Lords Company. Dell and Lords made a distribution deal with Sy Adler, an industry veteran who ran Vantage International, that they would produce three movies for the company.

"Tried to quit the industry" is such a laden phrase.

    Two adults who knew Lords, but who requested anonymity, said they saw her picture in the adult magazine Velvet during July 1984 and telephoned the district attorney's office to inform authorities that she was underage, but that an investigator told them, "There isn't anything we can do about it."

Let's review. We've got a seventeen-year-old kid who has "tried to quit the industry" who is only there because her molester hooked her up with an ex-girlfriend who got her a fake ID so she could get an abortion without telling her mom. She's got high school classmates who tried to whistle-blow but nothing happened. What happened next is... some of the most fraught language I've ever seen on Wikipedia:

    During late May 1986 (around three weeks after Lords' 18th birthday), authorities were informed that she had been underage when she appeared in the porn movies. She had lied (according to Lords, it was a "white lie") to law enforcement, photographers, producers, directors, co-workers, and the general public for two years.

Yep, blame the 16-year-old kid for breaking the rules for money and approval.

    Government prosecutors declared that Lords was a victim of a manipulative industry, maintaining that she was drugged and made to do non-consensual acts. Industry insiders, including Ron Jeremy, Tom Byron, Peter North, and Ginger Lynn said they never saw her use drugs and that she was always fully aware of her actions.

Oh well if RON JEREMY says she wasn't coerced

Make no mistake: Traci Lords ANNIHILATED the porn industry. She was Penthouse Pet in the September 1984, the issue in which Bob Guccionne ran nude photos of then-Miss America Vanessa Williams against her consent

    In July 1984 (two months before the end of her reign), Williams learned that nude photos of her, taken before her involvement with the pageant, would be published without her consent in a future issue of Penthouse. Williams believed that the private photographs had been destroyed; she stated that she never signed a release permitting publication or use of the photos in a public format. In contrast, Hugh Hefner, the publisher of Playboy, was also given the opportunity to publish these photos but turned it down stating: "The single victim in all of this was the young woman herself, whose right to make this decision was taken away from her. If she wanted to make this kind of statement, that would be her business, but the statement wasn't made by her."

    The black-and-white photos dated back to the summer of 1982 (after her freshman year at Syracuse University) when she worked as an assistant and makeup artist for Mount Kisco, New York photographer Tom Chiapel. At the time, Williams stated that Chiapel said that "he had a concept of having two models pose nude for silhouettes, basically to make different shapes and forms. The light would be behind the models. I was reluctant, but since he assured me that I would be the only one to see them and I would not be identifiable in the photographs, I agreed.

Owning this magazine is a felony.

It cost the porn industry tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to clean it up. In my mind? Young Nora realized at some point that the clean start no one would give her was hers for the taking if she was willing to burn her abusers to the ground. So she did. And helped out fellow sex industry victim Vanessa Williams while she was at it. And her actions shook some shit up. Every disclaimer you used to see in porn? Traci Lords put it there. We may not call Section 2257 the "Traci Lords Act" but it's the fuckin' Traci Lords Act. Traci Lords legit flew a figurative airliner into the figurative World Trade Center of the porn industry, surveyed the rubble, said it was good and enrolled at Lee Strasbourg. The only reason she's not a goddamn DC Comics superhero is all the scummy old men who run Hollywood are still pissed.

    One afternoon in 2012, I went to lunch in the Valley at a Hamburger Hamlet with adult veteran Bill Margold, who’d codirected Traci, and adult agent Jim South, who’d represented Traci. Traci, and what happened 25 years ago, was the topic of conversation between these two. Not for part of the lunch, for the whole lunch. The way they told the story was as a noir, with Traci as the ne plus ultra of femmes fatales: She’d scammed the adult industry with a fake ID; had made one movie after the age of 18, a movie she owned the rights to; and then she’d blown the whistle on herself to make more money and become more famous. And the anger of both these men was still, all these years later, hot to the touch.

But that was then, this is now. Then, there were forms, there were lawyers, there were scummy old men. Now? Now there's freedom and sweetness and light and "chilling effects...on the sex work industry" and "literally the "think of the children" argument finely weaponized against the open internet yet again."

Up until that New York Times article, you could find thousands of hits for Traci Lords on Pornhub.

This is like the FBI not screening for Osama bin Laden. This is a lackadaisical freedom from harm so deep that the most obvious, most immediate, most thunderously bad consequences aren't even screened at surface level. This is a company so completely unconcerned with liability that they aren't motivated in the slightest to do the barest due diligence. Could they? Sure - you couldn't find Paris Hilton on there. Why? Her lawyers are meaner. Pornhub was filtering Paris Hilton, whose videos carry civil consequences, and carrying Traci Lords, whose videos carry criminal consequences. And if you don't think that was a conscious, deliberate decision you're fucking high.

And if you're more worried about hypothetical threats to sex workers than actual threats against underaged girls, FUCK YOU.

kleinbl00  ·  241 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Last Children of Down Syndrome  ·  

I'm curious as to why we need to augment your self-loathing on this one, Ben. The article is a nuanced, long-form investigation of "velvet eugenics" and the impact of prenatal testing on parents, children and society. By your own admission you've undergone professional and voluntary education and training on medical ethics, so this is likely something you've grappled with your entire adult life. You're an intelligent man, capable of distinction and compartmentalization but lately you've eschewed all that to get people to yell at you. It seems to be a form of "the religious shouldn't breed" and no amount of discussion around "this isn't a religious discussion" or "this isn't a people shouldn't breed discussion" dissuades you from your monolithic pursuit of castigation.

It's a shame because clearly you could add to this discussion but you're instead choosing to obfuscate it with inflammatory language so the discussion can be all about you. What are you worried about us discussing? What are you trying to distract us from? As someone whose life has been shaped by congenital defects I would value your input if you chose to share it. Speaking for myself, we went out of our way to get our kid genetically tested. We absolutely would have aborted if we'd popped Trisomy 21 because yeah - that's an 80% mortality rate with profound lifestyle impacts. Some of the other stuff? We didn't plan. Fortunately it didn't matter. So I have a perspective on this, and appreciate the perspectives of others. And I'm curious what you're so afraid of.

I'm guessing there's an outward "I wish I was never born" performative dance that supports you socially, combined with an inner "but I love my fiancee and am actively planning a future" hopefulness that can't be reconciled, so you go through this "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" Kabuki because if you have to admit that you actually hope you wake up every morning you'll be forced to address that you have something to lose now and you're just too spiritually weak to accept that the world would regret your passing. After all, if you value the world and the world values you, you might just have to press pause on your wholesale outward rejection of your entire inherited value system. You might have to examine your core beliefs and attempt to mature as a man. And it's so much easier being the angry product of arrested development.

You're getting lazy with it though. It's transparent. It also demonstrates how uncomfortable you are with yourself and your self image, which is usually a sign of readiness for growth.

I, for one, am here to help. Happy Holidays!

kleinbl00  ·  325 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Online Privacy Should Be Modeled on Real-World Privacy  ·  

    I think it’s easy for people sufficiently interested in this issue to write, or even read, an article like this to overestimate the interest that other people have in the subject.

The argument by privacy advocates going back to the DMCA has always been that people lack interest because they lack understanding. When Disney said "you can't tape football games" the country said 'the fuck you say' and everybody knew. On the other hand, when Sony said "we can sue you for millions if you make a perfect copy of your CD" things were much better hidden. "You wouldn't steal a car LOL" became the reaction of the world seven years after there was any discussion about it; this is one of the reasons everyone publicized the hell out of Net Neutrality despite the fact that it had very little effect on anyone in the moment.

    Consider how often the first button is “OK” and muscle memory says it’s the one you click to make the thing you just requested happen.

That makes it "dark design", not choice.

    Consider how many apps and services are already interlinked, and how hard it might be to figure out what might break if you opt out.

It's not hard to figure out what's broken. Try it. Does it work? Then it's not broken. Is it broken? Then it's broken. I switched back to iPhone about a month ago. I was delighted to discover I could delete Apple Maps. I was more delighted to discover that not only can I use Google Maps in Apple Carplay, but that it's radically more useful than Google Maps in Android Auto. Now - if I try to get Siri to look up an address, she refuses to talk to Google Maps. Apple helpfully asks me if I want to reinstall Apple Maps for that functionality and I cheerfully do not because the dumpster fire that was Apple Maps the last time I used it will never not be fresh on my memory, and having compared Google to Apple with my wife out driving around two weeks ago even a cursory glance at the AIs' chosen behavior reveals Apple to continue to suck.

Apple is making it a lot more inconvenient for me to subvert their native app. They are, however, allowing me to choose to do so. Thus, I continue to work around the lack of Apple Maps.

    Surely at least 99% of ads are ignored. That means all businesses have to spend a lot more to reach their next customer.

Let's hear it for choice! Simon calls me up two or three times a month to honor me with the opportunity to advertise on kiosks at the mall. They can hook me up for a mere thousand dollars a month. "Sure," I say, "lemme see your demographic breakdown and visibility figures for those kiosks." There is generally a pained silence on the other end of the line, followed by a variation of "no one's ever asked for that before" or "why do you need to see that" or "what's a CPM." I then patiently explain that I have an advertising budget that I'm attempting to maximize the utility of and I'm not going to commit to an ad buy whose effectiveness I can't predict. The conversation goes sideways at that point.

Conversely, I have a double-sided jumbotron at a busy intersection. It's dying; it was installed in 2004 and hit end-of-life in 2018 so we're looking at dropping between $30k and $50k to replace it. Now here's the thing: when I told the company to give me a CPM breakdown on that sign, THEY DID. They divided the cost of the sign by the number of vehicles that encountered it daily times the occupancy rate (both figures available from DOT) over the cost of the lease and revealed that spending $50k on a sign is 20 times cheaper than Google AdWords. More than that, our intake surveys ask "how did you hear about us" which is how I know that 20% of our customers come to us through online search, 20% through insurance website search, 20% word-of-mouth and 40% drove by and saw the sign.

As a business owner, I don't feel compelled to spend "a lot more to reach their next customer." I will spend as little as possible for maximum effect. As a savvy business owner I will research that relationship until I'm satisfied. if an advertising platform wishes for me to "spend a lot more" they need only give me compelling evidence that my spend will be efficacious. Simon Outdoor fails. Daktronics wins. It's just numbers.

I recognize you're talking about targeted advertising and I'm revealing that my means-tested, tracked, and researched most-efficient ad buy is "fuckin' 4'x10' LED sign on a street corner." I think that's telling. We presume that because something is super-invasive it must be super-effective and it's simply not so. I made the point to the guy who literally runs the Internet for Warner Brothers that with all the cookies and stuff Warner has in my browser it's kind of astounding that they give me the exact same ad three times over six times an hour. He responded that while the cookies and such are clearly and obviously available, the advertisers aren't interested because when you're trying to move product, microtargeting is utterly ineffective. He didn't say it was offensive; wasn't his wheelhouse.

And look. I think we're spending $100/mo on adwords right now. We're also organically the second or third search result for any term that matters to me within the isochrones I care about. That's in a market where my nearest competition literally owns "birthcenter.com" (they're two or three links below us). As far as sponsored ads? We're number two of two because any term we care to spend money on we're automatically outbid by a major hospital conglomerate.

Which, really, goes to show how ineffective online advertising is. We're basically pissing away that $100. Our business comes from being in the directories patients expect to look at, and in making the community aware of us through outdoor signage.

Which, once more, is probably why these discussions are so contentious. There's no there there. Nielsen ratings exist because the advertising industry demanded it of broadcasters; online advertising exists because it isn't tracked by Nielsen. As soon as there are auditable metrics for online advertising of any kind the whole thing will collapse.

kleinbl00  ·  472 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'We just can’t feed this many'  ·  x 2

I was going to lay down that pithy Claire Wolfe quote from 30 years ago but you know what? I'll play.

Revolutions have the unfortunate tendency to replace one repressive regime with another. Russia exchanged monarchs for kleptocrats; Iran replaced an autocratic monarch with an autocratic priest; Egypt replaced one autocratic general with another. Fortunately revolutions tend to hit concentrated power much harder than diffuse power. It's easy to overthrow a general. It's a pain in the ass to overthrow a House of Commons.

Before you can overthrow a democracy you have to replace it with an autocracy. You are free to argue the Republican Party in general and the Trump administration in particular are hell-bent on this goal and I will not argue with you. Where we can dicker is how successful they're being.

Obamacare survives because McCain threw a thumbs-down into the middle of the works. That's the power of one man in our structure of government - what took a dozen years of orchestrated attack was unwound by one man who suddenly grew a conscience. I think we can both agree that there are many people within the Trump administration who are doing everything they can to unwind what we've got - Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller come immediately to mind - but ours is a structure where, broad strokes, it's every bit as hard to tear down as it is to build up.

And ours is not a centralized society. Everyone in America has gotten used to turning locally; local newscasts are experiencing a renaissance the likes of which they've never had and the argument for States' Rights has never been clearer. What I remember most clearly about the run-up to the Iraq War was the tireless efforts by the White House to shape popular opinion through manipulation of the popular press. The end result was the phrase "MSM" whereby suddenly, the default view became "if you're seeing it on NBC it's probably a lie." This is the void Putin & Co rushed into and it got them an election, just like the void got Bush and Cheney a war. But it's one of those things you can pull once.

The rantings of Fox News aren't crazy enough for who's left so we've got to huddle around weird websites for QAnon news. The President panders and pumps OAN, whose ratings are known only to OAN (which substantially impacts their advertising rates, which indicates their ratings aren't even worth discussing). There is not a major news source on the air that hasn't outlined the outright lies and mistruths promoted by the White House and no one is even pretending this stuff is normal anymore. We're progressing through the process started in 2003 when the world was forced to learn how to vet news sources and honestly, REALITY WILL WIN. It's just easier. Journalists are generally a lazy bunch and constructing a narrative out of things that happened is overwhelmingly easier than constructing a narrative out of things that didn't, particularly when anyone with a phone can query additional sources.

Politically speaking we've had a splinter faction hell-bent on tearing us apart who now have to deal with the reality that success means pulling together. Every minimum-wage slacker you've ever excoriated is now standing in front of you selling you Cheetos while you retreat to your compound. And both sides of that exchange know it. We have an entire ideology that has steadfastly rejected expertise who are now clinging to any expert they can find. And we have states shipping supplies to one another in defiance of the federal government because we're all fucking pulling together.

And what has this done to society? What has this done to work? What has this done to education? Colleges are fucked but they'd been on the ragged edge of moving online anyway. Vast swaths of the service sector are suddenly unemployed. And we're all learning that there are a whole bunch of jobs that you can do a half-assed job at without ever needing to be in the office.

Would you take a 50% paycut if you never had to come to the office? 'cuz if that means you can move from a place where rent is $1000 a month to a place where rent is $300 a month... you start sharpening your pencil. ButterflyEffect and I were chatting about a marvelous cabin he's found for $172k up the fuck and gone some place where he could never commute to work... but considering it's less than a third what properties cost where he's forced to live, "telecommute from a cabin in the woods" becomes a lot more practical for everyone.

And suddenly your deep red hinterlands are full of Bernie-voting rose-wearing DSA fuckers drinking your redneck beer, buying your redneck groceries and engaging you in fucking conversation about the school levy.

Here's what I think: I think way too many of the Republican right-wing small-government ideologues have been on tape way too many times saying exactly the wrong thing over and over and over. People have sand in their panties right now about the absence of Joe Biden without observing that right now, the race is between Trump and "not Trump" and the constructive thing is to let Trump keep going on TV during prime time and appear keenly non-presidential. 77% of respondents polled want vote-by-mail. That's an eaaaaasy state initiative. Will it happen this time? I dunno. What I do know is that we're in the middle of a census right about the time everyone's being forced to stay home and it doesn't ask about immigration status but it does give you ten different choices of hispanic.

I don't know if you could craft a better repudiation of 'boomer, conservative thought than COVID-19. I'm not thankful we're going through it, but I'm not pessimistic about what happens after. Amazon got zero subsidies for building in NYC and they did anyway and that's because at the local level, Amazon got the middle finger.

I don't think we serve up rare cuts of oligarch. I think the smart money recognizes that the prudent move is to take a lower profile and I think that the rest of the country recognizes that the way we used to do stuff is inferior to most of the choices we're about to make.

kleinbl00  ·  474 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Bernie Sanders drops out of 2020 race   ·  

Who fucking cares? She's a democratic ex-fighter pilot running against Mitch McConnell.

Maybe dial the purity test back a bit.

kleinbl00  ·  487 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Craft Fair v4.0 - March 25, 2020  ·  

Here's the elastics shelf at JoAnn. JoAnn Fabrics is an essential business according to the State of WA so it's open under shelter-in-place. This is what it looked like last week.

I asked the green-haired guy cutting my cloth where the elastic was and he said "the aisle behind me, although I don't think you'll find anything!" So I went back. It wasn't far enough away from him not to hear him turn to his coworker and say "I'm so sick of people asking 'where's the elastic? Where's the elastic? How do I make a mask? How do I make a mask? Waah!'" So when I came back to get more fabric cut I told him "Look - I get that you're stressed and all? But I've got a clinic with seven employees that's been compelled to stay open through this thing and the only protective equipment we're going to see from now until the end of it is what's in this basket so I get it? But maybe keep it to yourself."

Cooking everything under UV for half an hour, then flipping, then cooking some more. The big box is my daughter's "beat on a block of plaster with a hammer and chisel to find rocks" toy; she bought it with her own money.

That's a MERV13 furnace filter. There were three left at Home Depot. I bought two. They contain two layers of synthetic felt with a layer of aluminum mesh in between. It's sharp as a mutherfucker.

If you savage the shit out of an MERV13 furnace filter you will find yourself bleeding from fingers and arms. You will also find yourself with approximately six yards of synthetic felt that's eminently breathable. Pictured here is one half of a savaged furnace filter. The wad in the corner is one half of a savaged furnace filter's accoutrement of razor wire.

Mask insert pattern. Masks by my wife, who sews about as well as I mix music. Therefore there's no point in doing any of the sewing.

Half a furnace filter yields approximately 70 mask inserts, which must be doubled up in order to equal the equivalent of about n65. N95 it ain't but "better than straight cloth" it is. It looks like I have the ability to produce about 120 masks if need be. Which is good because the nearest L&D department has closed its doors and the other nearest L&D is actively discouraging maternity patients from having babies in the hospital. Meanwhile CDC guidelines recommend separating newborns from COVID-19 mothers for two weeks, which as anyone who has ever studied early childhood development can tell you is a developmental nightmare of epic proportions so to no one's suprise it's going over like a lead balloon with the pregnant moms' contingent (and every other health organization who are actively asking the CDC 'WTF is wrong with you').

Fuckin' sunshine and rainbows over here in Seattle.

kleinbl00  ·  505 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Help. Please help me understand the panic  ·  

I'm your huckleberry.

Here's the way to look at it: COVID-19 is "the flu" if "the flu" were more contagious, could not be inoculated against and killed more old people. We've had the flu vaccine since 1938. Yeah, the flu shot has been optional but it's been around. You can get it at CVS. It probably costs $25 with no insurance, between $10 and $0 with.

"More contagious" "could not be inoculated against" and "killed more old people" are three statements that go right over your head. "more contagious" means "you're more likely to get it" but you've survived flu every goddamn time so what's the big deal. "could not be inoculated against" means "you're more likely to get it" but again, you've survived the flu every goddamn time. "Killed more old people" you immediately go to "but old people die" and then right on to "old people die of the flu" without pausing to consider public health considerations.

It's the public health considerations that you need to focus on.

So we deliver babies. Every hospital we talk to has a protocol for dealing with coronavirus. They all include things like "you get two companions period, no in and out privileges" which means whereas it used to be you, your wife, your doula, your mom, six cousins and your wife's best friend at the hospital, it's now you, your wife and your doula period. Okay, we can do that.

A couple of them include phrasing like "maternity patients showing symptoms of coronavirus will be isolated in a negative pressure room." Okay, makes sense.

But how many negative pressure rooms does your hospital have? And are they anywhere near the maternity ward?

    In total, 31 firefighters and 3 police officers would ultimately be quarantined or isolated. As of this writing, 18 are showing symptoms.

Kirkland is down 31 firefighters from one outbreak. Best guess? That's maybe two out of five fire stations. One uncontained outbreak has taken out 40% of Kirkland's emergency response capacity.

And that's with everyone around here freaking balls, by the way. We're cancelling schools, avoiding work. Highways be empty, dawg. Let's say that we're containing it appropriately and knocking that R0 of 2.4(?) down to an R0 of 1.4(?). Our 31 firefighters are going to be 45 people in about another 3 days. Next week it's gonna be 60. Assuming everyone is self-isolating and washing their hands.

Suppose one of those firefighters has a friend who works at Domino's and they shook hands.

    “Hey, you guys are supposed to be in self-quarantine,” the firefighter said.

    “No, we’re not,” the nurse replied.

    “Well, our chain of command talked to your management, and they say something different.”

    The nurse insisted; she hadn’t heard anything, she said.

    The firefighter looked down the hall and saw two caregivers in scrubs -- no mask or gown.

    “What the hell?” the firefighter thought. “Who is not telling you that you have two suspected coronavirus cases?”

So okay. You're young and spry and you've fought the flu. I'm young and spry and I've fought the flu. I'm either fighting the flu or coronavirus and I hope to fuck it's coronavirus because then at least I'll have it out of the way. But I've been able to sum up the energy for light soldering and occasional shopping for about ten days now. I haven't been hit this bad by flu in maybe six years - back when I didn't do flu shots 'cuz I was lazy. My contribution to the economy since late February has been netflix and chill.

But between you, your wife and your wife's best friend? Statistically, one of you is losing a parent to this. And you're losing them to pneumonia, and you're losing them to respiratory collapse, and if your parents are lucky, they're going to the hospital but if they're not, the American Hospital Association is estimating about 1.9 million people are going to the ICU over this

And there are about 60,000 ventilators in the United States.

No, they ain't all going at once. But this is an exponential situation.

Fundamentally? More people are going to get sick, and they're going to get more sick than usual, and our healthcare system does not have the capacity for it. Which means we're going to be experiencing a more severe flu season with less medical care. And that is generally bad for the vulnerable.

Does that make sense?

    Cartographers are “quite meticulous, really high-precision people,” he says. Their entire professional life is spent at the magnification level of a postage stamp. To sustain this kind of concentration, Hurni suspects that they eventually “look for something to break out of their daily routine.” The satisfaction of these illustrations comes from their transgressive nature— the labor and secrecy required to conceal one of these visual puns.

So this is Seminar II. I designed the AV systems for it in 2002-2005. There were over fifty sheets. Evergreen asked for "fiber optics" for their AV plant and we said "single mode or multi-mode? What are you doing with it?" and they responded "we don't know give us both." This is the equivalent of saying "we don't know if we need a freight train or a dump truck, bill us for both."

Seminar II has, in a few places, a green roof. It used to have an entirely green roof and then budget cuts happened. One of the running jokes at the meetings was how the green roof was going to be kept tidy; this was before everyone knew that green roofs were basically "sedums eight ways" but once you've worked on a green roof project you know this. My boss, who was a loathsome man, suggested a goat. Everyone laughed. The goat became a running in-joke of meetings. My boss, who was a loathsome man, did not know it was a joke.

Project design goes through a few stages - "SD" (systems development), "DD" (design development) and "CD" (construction development). Typically you get one or two sets for SD, then a 50% DD, a 75%DD and a 100%DD, then you might get a 50%CD, a 75%CD, a 90%CD, a 100%CD and a bid set. For those counting at home, that means I had to draw fifty sheets nine times. Except at 90%CD Evergreen asked why their roof, with their marvelous gardens, didn't have any guard rails to keep the fine children of Olympia from plummeting five floors to their deaths. The architect said that guard rails weren't aesthetic. The school said that guard rails were a requirement of the Uniform Building Code. My boss, who is still by all accounts a loathsome man, asked about the goat. Everyone looked at him and said nothing. The architect argued that no part of their contract required them to adhere to the Uniform Building Code and Evergreen, being Evergreen, agreed to pay them to redesign the whole thing with guard rails. We, as subcontractors, saw none of that money. So we went to 90%CD and then went back to 50, 75, 85, 90, 95, 100, 100 again and then bid. For free.

I was not in the initial meetings. I was given "the goat" as gospel truth. I had a few conversations with my once loathsome, always loathsome boss about the goat - he wasn't sure where the goat was staying, how the goat would be brought up there, penned etc. At one point I was on a phone call with someone at the architecture firm and said "there's no goat, right?" to which I got laughter.

So at 75%CD (the first time), I added a goat to the roof.

Something you should know about architectural drawings. They use XREFs - "eXternal REFerences" - which are generally the things drawn by the architect. You put them in as a non-editable layer and draw your stuff on top. Architectural CAD requires decent file hygiene or else you're fukt. And, of course, part of development is importing the XREFs from the architect each time, looking to see what's changed, and making sure all of your design still fits. You then upload everything to a folder and everyone can pull down your shit and make sure it works. I was dependent on Electrical, for example, to make sure that I had power everywhere I needed it and Electrical was dependent on me to make sure they captured my conduit etc. So my routine became 1) Get Xrefs 2) Crack them down so they were compliant with the layers we were using 3) bring them into my drawings 4) update my drawings 5) painstakingly go back and add the goat to this one sheet using the same layers as the green roof. That way the goat was screened back and subtle and I didn't need to worry about it. Also, the goat never showed up as an AV object that needed addressing.

So. Sixteen sets of drawings, eleven of which had a goat in them. Nobody noticed.

Until the bid documents went out.

There were four AV contractors bidding on our stuff, two who were incompetent, one who was an asshole and one that didn't do stuff this big generally. The little guy called me up about two days after it went out to bid to say "tell me about the goat" and I had to say "we'll talk about that in person when my loathsome boss isn't in the next office over." I called him later and relayed the story - we laughed - and I mentioned that I hope he got the bid considering he was the only person in three years of design that had ever noticed the goat.

"Oh, it's yours?" he said.

"Uhh... yeah?" I said.

"That's weird," he said "because it's on the electrical sheets, the mechanical sheets, the lighting sheets, the fire protection sheets..."

Near as I can tell, everyone else had gotten so lazy about dealing with the architect's Xrefs that they had gotten in the habit of just stealing mine off the server. After all, mine were already cracked down. Probably saved them three days of work. And when the architect often doesn't give you what you need, you find shortcuts.

So. Although I drew one (1) goat to be on one (1) sheet out of 700, the goat ended up in the bid documents at least two dozen times.

And nobody noticed but my AV contractor, who got the job by the way. Fifteen years later they're the only ones still in business.

related link

kleinbl00  ·  521 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the Affordability, Stupid  ·  

I found this stuff because of a thread by Oren Cass:

This graph says a lot:

kleinbl00  ·  554 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Kremlin Inches Closer to the Biden Plot  ·  

Humor an old man. That's what Google gives me when I look up "sky high view." I've been feeling introspective of late.

For debate in 10th grade I argued against the reunification of Germany. My argument was that reintegrating the failed state of East Germany with the western powerhouse of Europe would lead to an economic depression and social conditions likely to give rise to Nazism. The Soviet Union had just ceased to be but it was all safe in Yeltsin's hands so I made no considerations of a Romanian underclass, a North African diaspora or any of the other triggers that gave rise to the modern European neoliberal order but in fairness, I also made no considerations for the modern European neoliberal order spending itself to success. I had argued that the best thing we could do in Iraq would be to plant a bunch of McDonald's, give them a couple senators and a dozen representatives so it's not like I didn't grasp globalism, I just had a 10th grader's understanding of it. Not unlike half the Senate.

Meanwhile the think-tanks were busy arguing that the last war had been won and we were a couple warp drives and a holodeck away from our neoutopian destiny. Capitalism. The end. We had a Newsweek subscription back then and they had a little blurb about Sotheby's auctioning off the Soviet space program. Few years back I bought the auction catalogues off eBay. It's funny: in 1993 that's the triumph of law and order over the oppressive forces of Marxism-Leninism. In 2016 you can't see it as anything but the Imperialists raping the heritage of a people who didn't really have anything else. We get up-in-arms about Hobby Lobby raiding Iraqi antiquities but I can buy four FLOWN Orlov space suits on eBay right now. Look it up.

And the thing is? Any country's clandestine operators are criminal. By definition. And they work with criminals. Yeltsin? He was an oligarch who was working with us. Putin? he was an agent for the oligarchs who weren't and now he's one of 'em. We sat back and watched as a failed socialist state became a failed kleptocracy but failed to notice that Gorbachev destroyed the Soviet Union and Putin rebuilt Russia. Rebuilt it to serve his own interests? Hundo P. But have you looked around?

Can you taste it? Hope. Change. We were going to bank ourselves to heaven in 2008. The guy who started the Iraq War to secure a Project for a New American Century was out and the bookish black law professor with the middle name Hussein was in and if you could buy things with idealism we'd be plying flying cars across carbon-free skies. "India has more honors kids than America has kids!" and then they started setting each other on fire because WhatsApp told them to.

One of the books I read, can't remember which, had within the preface the notion that the United States didn't win the Cold War, the Soviet Union just lost it first. Neither economic system is perfect. One was demonstrably less perfect but that doesn't mean the other was without flaw and after it had no real rival its proponents doubled down on the stuff they believed in on the assumption that like fairies, trickle-down economics will live if only you clap your hands.

The KGB, which ran the Soviet Union, became the FSB which runs Russia. The constellation of appointed and elected roles for the nomenklatura may shift but they're still just stars in the sky. Gorbachev ruined the Soviet Union by believing in communism. He eliminated the waste and graft and gray markets and black markets and nepotism that was actually keeping the lights on and the whole fucking affair was over in six years. Another six years and the whole fucking affair was back.

I think the United States was stronger because it's a fundamentally stronger structure. I think the United States was stronger because individual determinism has been the backbone of American culture since before 1776. I think the United States was stronger because we have a tradition of innovation and at least pay lip service to liberty (selectively applied). But I also think that the Democrats believe in the experiment the same way Gorbachev did, and I think the Republicans are pragmatists.

Neoliberalism doesn't work for everyone and in the United States, the people it doesn't work for are over-represented. Fundamentally neoliberalism is unsustainable - it is a philosophy of wealth generation and wealth concentration that does not exist in equilibrium. You're only poor if your neighbors are rich and if you're virtuous and poor your neighbors are obviously sinful. For forty years I've been watching Republicans argue on morals and Democrats arguing on principle and for forty years the Democrats have been attracting people who haven't been left behind. Well, they've been attracting people who haven't been left behind but also don't immediately think "what's in it for me?"

Yeah I know this doesn't answer your question. Is Putin involved in influencing the President? Obviously. Is this how he did it? Probably one of many ways. Andrew Peek isn't a Russia expert by any stretch of the imagination, he's a Kennedy School kid whose wheelhouse is Iran. I have no fuckin' idea what that's about but at this point Andrew Peek has more foreign policy experience than most of Trump's cabinet which admittedly isn't saying much.

Masha Gessen wrote a book about Putin called Man Without a Face. It's about Putin, but it's also about the failure of a nascent Russian democracy to oppose the forces of organized crime, thereby leading to the ascendancy of the criminal underworld. At least when they were contained by the Soviet Union there was some idealism to somewhat steer the ship; once the FSB burned the Reichstag it was all Mafiya, all the time.

I think C Wright Mills coined the term "corporatocracy" because he knew no one would allow him to refer to the United States as an oligarchy. Thing is, in an oligarchy? The money only wins if everyone is playing fair. Otherwise to the underhanded go the spoils.

We're not there yet. But it sure seems like we're at the point where things either get better or they get ruinous. Someone on Twitter used a phrase like "epochal interregnum" and fuckin' Fourth Turning is 24 years old. Fucks predicted a collapse of global order starting in 2008... in 1996. The boomers want to burn it the fuck down.

So in that frame? I mean yeah Putin's money is fucking with American elections duh. Much the way it would have been fucking stupid for the CIA to NOT pay bin Laden clear up to the bombing of the Khobar towers, it would be fucking stupid for the KGB to NOT be cozying up with Trump. I'm not the first person to posit that Melania Trump is a Russian asset; fuckin' hell, man, if you look at a timeline of Trump's life his success is irrevocably tied to dating Iron Curtain supermodels.

We can argue about the metallurgy of the titanic. We can run Charpy tests on bits of hull and observe that a blunt force created too much shear for plates that weren't properly tempered. Bottom line, though, is it hit an iceberg.

Either enough people care about the way things were or they don't. That is the calculus we make every day, will continue to make every day. It might get bad before it gets good. It might get bad and stay that way for a while. Thing is? It has ALWAYS sucked to be Russian. It's sucked going back to before the Golden Horde. But for the past 200 years it's pretty much ruled to be an American and I think in the long run, it will continue to.

It's the short run that worries me, and the size and shape of our doom just doesn't seem important at the moment.

kleinbl00  ·  635 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Everything is amazing, but nothing is ours  ·  

Devil's advocacy: most people never needed it anyway

The MP3 revolution was interesting to watch as both a music fan and as an audio professional. On the one hand, people with no storage always opted for the lowest possible quality so they could maximize their quantity. On the other hand, people who had a handful of CDs would download thousands of MP3s. They also wouldn't back up, they also wouldn't duplicate across devices (because then you have to manage dupes!) and when they lost all their files to hard drive failure, they made no attempts to resurrect their collections.

I watched a futurist lay things out for upper-level media execs at a closed conference in 2010. "That kid with 800,000 MP3s. Guys, do you really think he represents a million lost sales? Do you really consider him to be a threat to your business model? He's not collecting, he's curating and he's curating for the sake of possession, not the sake of consumption."

The torrent kids weren't the customers of Spotify. Spotify is for people who know some music, don't have anything weird and aren't at all interested in alphabetizing their CDs. Those people listen to the radio, watch MTV and had a shelf with 20 albums on it before they could pay $7 a month to never worry about it again.

It's not that files have gone away. It's not that Dropbox is gone. It's that the people who never had a use for it in the first place have now been lured away by services designed for people who never got file structure in the first place.

Dropbox is an excellent example. It's a version control plugin. Where Dropbox made their money was by realizing that version control was useful for people who had no idea how to open a git repository. Where dropbox failed was in not understanding that even then, most people have no use for version control. The ultimate use case for Dropbox? Five people working on a group project who never work with other people and who were told by a nerd sick of dealing with them that if they just put the project file on Dropbox nobody has to worry about who has the latest version. The ultimate failure of Dropbox? Nobody understanding Dropbox, and someone deleting the file out of their dropbox, and everyone else screaming at the heavens "WHO DELETED THE DROPBOX" without understanding how to log into Dropbox to see the version control.

You see, most people never needed files anyway. They wrote a resume a few years ago, they have a list of babysitters, there's a spreadsheet with all the phone numbers in their carpool and that's it. The reason their desktops were miasmas of assorted documents is because they never need to find that shit anyway. Their desktop runs an unpatched version of XPSP3 because they bought it in 2007 and haven't used it to do more than TurboTax since 2013.

Bill Gates wanted a computer in every house because he saw the utility of ubiquitous PCs. Everyone put a computer in their house because they heard the hype. But what everybody really needed was a thing to do Youtube, Facebook and SMS. It's still just a fuckin' television, it just fits in your pocket now. Fundamentally, most people use technology as an asymmetrical pipeline of undifferentiated culture dispersion. This is why they store everything in their email inbox: emails are the most official thing in their lives, gmail makes it virtually impossible to delete anything and text is easily indexed so whatever they really need they can find by fumbling a word or two in the importantbox.

We're constantly upbraided about the "service economy." Really, the past 25 years of software development have been about creating services. "You're too stupid to do this yourself, let me give you the 5% of the functionality that you actually use, wall off the other 95% and charge you $70 a year so you can curate your own dick pics, sincerely, Dropbox." People, including myself have lambasted Yahoo for failing to achieve with Flickr what Instagram achieved by being a cheap, shitty version of Flickr. Thing is, though? Flickr was created for photographers sharing photos with people who like photography. Instagram was created for Kardashians sharing photos with people who like to eat paste.

The computer revolution was founded by people who knew that if they built it, an entire generation of artists and thinkers would use the tools to build a better tomorrow through the miracle of access and technology. The computer revolution was paid for,, however, by people who only wanted to sell each other Beanie Babies and watch each other eat Tide pods.

A quote of a quote:

    “The other day, I came across a website I’d written over two decades ago. I double-clicked the file, and it opened and ran perfectly. Then I tried to run a website I’d written 18 months ago and found I couldn’t run it without firing up a web server, and when I ran NPM install, one or two of those 65,000 files had issues that meant node failed to install them and the website didn’t run. When I did get it working, it needed a database. And then it relied on some third-party APIs and there was an issue with CORS because I hadn’t whitelisted localhost.

Two decades ago you would have fired up Internet Explorer which would have broken a few links, insisted that your Flash was out-of-date and rendered things pretty-sorta-OK at 1024x768. But two decades ago we would have considered this "perfect" because things had to run on Explorer with updated Flash at 1024x768. Now? Now I need all the content indexed for Google, capable of rendering landscape or portrait and be usable on Android and iOS through the same URL. Which - yes - means your espresso stand menu now relies on eight Wordpress plugins to be legible on seven different versions of iOS. Microsoft lost the mobile battle by presuming that a soccer mom waiting in line would put up with constantly patching her browser in order to know the price of a latte. Apple won by knowing they were selling devices to people who wanted a Swarovski panda on the back of it.

So I get it. The geeks who grew up being told that theirs was a shiny future of egalitarian brilliance prompted by the boundless promise of ubiquitious computing are slowly realizing that the Kick Me In The Balls Channel wins on content.

But you can't blame the technology and you can't blame the people profiting from it. Most of humanity has no goddamn business fucking around with file structure, and most of humanity knows it. The idiots were the people who tried to force them to adopt one even when it could only do them harm.

kleinbl00  ·  685 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What happened when a venture capitalist told the truth about a Mark Zuckerberg-backed start-up  ·  

If this guy:

    Prior to his current role, Jason served as Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading postsecondary innovation efforts to improve the outcomes of disadvantaged college students by investing in colleges, universities and entrepreneurs pursuing digital and adaptive learning, student coaching and advising, financial aid innovation, and employer pathways. Prior to the Foundation, Jason founded and grew three investor-backed technology and services companies before holding a series of executive positions at Microsoft, SchoolNet, Kaplan and StraighterLine. At Kaplan, Jason led three education businesses as general manager or president, in addition to founding and leading the company’s venture capital effort.

doesn't "get it" then "it" shouldn't be gotten. If your business is investing in educational technology and you aren't allowed to point out educational technology that shouldn't be invested in, this whole artifice needs to come down, man.

These guys should be allowed to comment. If you're following them on Twitter, it's because you want to know what they think about stuff. A Zuckerberg and Thiel-funded libertarian spankbank that eats shit to the tune of $250m? We need the world to talk about that shit.

kleinbl00  ·  710 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: American Capitalism Is Brutal. You Can Trace That to the Plantation. - The New York Times  ·  

Nope. Not buyin' it. Many of the excesses of capitalism can be traced to indentured servitude prior to slavery and many more can be traced back to penal servitude prior to indentured servitude. The excesses of capitalism were imported directly from England, which wasn't a standout in Europe for feudal brutality by any measure.

More than that, we fought a war against slavery and it's not like things got better for everyone after the elimination of slavery, nor were things fine and dandy in the North where slavery was abolished. Most of the worst aspects of capitalism arose during the Gilded Age where wage slavery was an essential part of the economy and where industrialists thought it was fine and dandy to hire private armies like the Pinkertons to murder union sympathizers and organizers.

American capitalism is brutal because America, Britain and the other "neoliberal" countries of the world cast capitalism and socialism as Manichean absolutes whereas the rest of the world saw them as poles on a spectrum. Once the Tsar fell, the world spent a hundred years realigning itself on that spectrum. Those forces that were most directly oppositional to communism ended up with the most free-market excesses; those that were most directly oppositional to capitalism ended up with the most excesses of a command economy.

The non-aligned movement allowed nations that were not directly required to kowtow to one ideology or another to pick and choose the market characteristics that they wanted without adhering solely to one pole or the other. This is why countries like France have many free-market aspects and many socialist aspects. The effects are masked in other nations by graft, corruption and cronyism but by and large, the rest of the world uses socialist aspects where they make sense and capitalist aspects where they make money without crushing everyone. The problem is that cronyism destroys socialism eventually while it buttresses and strengthens capitalism.

American capitalism is brutal because for 60 years we were able to point at the Soviet Union and China and Cuba and Vietnam and Cambodia and Nicaragua and Venezuela and say "WE DON'T WANT THAT AND IF YOU DO YOU ARE THE ENEMY." Up until 2016, "socialist" was an epithet in American political discourse. Up until 1989, "socialist" was part of the title of our greatest enemy. Therefore, anything that sniffed of socialism was un-American by definition and anything capitalist was desirable.

Survival of the fittest, bitchez.

kleinbl00  ·  723 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Labor Econ Versus the World  ·  

I've been thinking about this comment for a while. From my perspective, Hubski has become a lot more polite than it used to be. "I disagree with you, and you're dumb for thinking this way" is an appropriate response when your counterpart is espousing ideas that are demonstrably wrong.

But then, I've been having online debates since before you were born. My first "internet" experience was using an acoustic coupler to dial into the University of Colorado to play a MUD on a terminal whose only output was a daisywheel printer. I missed being OG "eternal September" by a year. And what I've noticed over the past ten years (but not the past twenty, and not the past 25) is the retreat of anyone over 30. It didn't used to be this way. It started when GenZ hit college.

Because here's the thing: you can be wrong. People are wrong all the time. And when they're wrong, and they're asking questions as to whether they're right, they need to be told they're wrong. When they're holding opinions that you judge to be harmful and toxic, they need to be told they're wrong in such a way that the toxicity is front-and-center. This has been accepted social conversational doctrine my entire life; it was the basis of every single-camera and multi-camera sitcom going back to I Love Lucy. It's the core of Nancy Reagan's Just Say No. It's the basis of Dennis Leary's career.

But a funny thing happened about 2010, 2011. Conversations on the internet started demanding that both sides are always right, and that if one side has absolutely all the facts, they still need to politely assert that they don't have all the facts lest the other side stop listening because their feelings are hurt.

I didn't really grasp why until I'd been back to college, until I'd seen my kid start school, until I had reason to explore the pedagogy of education in these United States and what I discovered is that a doctrine of exploration and self-education has, in most school districts, become an insistence that no one is ever wrong. Whatever ideas you may have, they automatically have merit through the simple act of holding them and if those ideas are to be discounted, they must be discounted by the holder, on the holder's terms, for reasons that are valid only to the holder.

For my part, I came to Hollywood in 2007 and was immediately sheep-dipped into a culture where the people who are wrong are wrong immediately, they are wrong incontrovertibly and the sooner we can get things right the less money we lose because there are 28 people and millions of dollars of gear waiting on your mistake. You can get over your butt-hurt later because we've got shit to do. Your assessment of the world is not the core issue here, it's the broader context and your place in it is entirely optional because there's a long line of people behind you who will do your job without getting wrapped up in whether or not you were right to have your feelings hurt. Likewise, my wife's profession involves life safety and regular discussions with emergency rooms and aid cars. She is surrounded by students who have opinions, who have their knowledge, who have their confidence, and are not going to be walked through whether or not an iron level of 18 should go to the ER "in their opinion" because somebody could die and somebody else has the expertise to answer the question.

And you can't fight the tape. The world is definitely heading towards safe spaces where we never confront each other over our racism or ageism or anything else because that's not the sort of shit you do face-to-face and person-to-person, you see, if you want to strike a blow for social justice you do it by ratioing Twitter threads. You do it by regramming. You do it through in-jokes and memes that Vice will wring their hands over obliquely. Actually telling someone they're wrong? In a conversation? Perish the thought.

So those of us who remember? Those of us who know? We're left with a choice - figure out how to tell you that you're wrong in such a way that your feelings aren't hurt... or find something better to do.

One of the things that bugged the shit out of me when I was your age was people who said "when I was your age." What bugged me more was people who would say "you'll understand when you're older." It's intellectually lazy. It's an appeal to authority based on nothing more than hang time. It's "respect your elders" without any underpinning justification. But it's also a cry for help - it's a statement that "I don't know why you're wrong, but you're wrong, fucking listen to me because I've been around the sun a couple dozen more times than you have and that ought to count for something."

I maintained then and I maintain now that an idea needs to stand on its own, regardless of who puts it forth. What I've learned by growing gray hairs, however, is that it's an instinct borne of the knowledge that simply being ass-in-seat for longer will teach you something, even if you can't elucidate it, even if you can't share it, even if you can't describe it. "Respect your elders" is ultimately based on the same sentiment as Neils Bohr's quote "an expert is someone who has made every mistake there is to make in a narrow field." You might not be able to explain why your opinion is right and their opinion is wrong based solely on the fact that they're half your age, but prejudicially speaking, at least, you've had longer to change your mind.

A lot of people don't have the patience to constantly reframe an argument in their opponent's terms. "You're right, but also impolite about it" has become the most common refrain I've seen over the past ten years whereas the 20 years before that were full of "you're full of shit, let me count the ways, asshole." I'll take the profanity, thanks; it doesn't immediately shift the conversation to whether or not the information was presented in the proper tone of voice.

Most people? Given the choice between having a conversation at a tenor that satisfies the other person no matter how wrong they are or silence? They'll pick silence. And that's how a whole new generation of kids are growing up with the idea that unions are useless, that public school doesn't matter, that feminism is irrelevant, that you're entitled to believe measles is better than measles vaccines. Because those of us who can argue the opposite have given up the effort of explaining it to you because you reject that there can be one right answer. Have given up on defending our certainty of knowledge because we've had this fight since you were born. Have given up on educating the youth because the youth don't want to be educated, they want to be patronized.

Because if the only people you're willing to listen to are the ones who are speaking in your approved tone of voice, the only people you'll hear are the ones you agree with.

kleinbl00  ·  782 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 5, 2019  ·  

IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Had Veen and 'bootz out last week. Veen for ten days, 'bootz for three. Did much hosting. Had many "what do I do with my life" conversations. Drank astonishingly little alcohol. Spent a few hours showing veen how to take apart a watch; apparently the parts Elgin I bought last year is hella more hammered than even I knew 'cuz my screwdrivers looked brand new for the past two years but as soon as I had to get the dial off that thing I'd snapped two blades.

Veen asked if I ever experienced "impostor syndrome" when it came to watchmaking. It's a fair question. After all, two years ago I knew virtually nothing. Thing of it is, though, it's an extremely shallow field. Immersing myself in it for a year and a half has me revealing manufacturers and history my instructors never knew, manipulating small parts my instructors can't manipulate and knowing by heart industry statistics that lifelong watchmakers are completely incredulous about.

I learned as an acoustical consultant - a trade that requires a mechanical engineering or physics degree and several years experience with esoteric empirical knowledge - that the way you prove your worth in a gnostic field is by slagging on others. The normies don't know so if you piss all over everyone else they assume you're pissing with reason. And watchmakers piss all over everyone. As a group their shit doesn't stink and if you ask 'em questions they'd best put your ass in its place. Their Facebook groups are largely about how stupid customers are, how stupid vendors are, and how horrible everyone is to their preciousssssss.

Here's the thing, though. A mechanical watch movement has between 50 and 250 parts, from the most basic to the most fiddly chronograph. Yeah there are watches with more but really, it's a bunch of gears ("wheels") and axles ("pinions") and other jargon and they only interact mechanically. The engine your Toyota has 5-600 parts and that's just the mechanical shit. A fuckin' fuel injector is like 30 parts and for it to work you've got fluid mechanics, electromechanics, electronics and thermodynamics. Not only that but your average "watchmaker" has no idea how to do anything other than fix the mechanical bits and polish what's there. It's a specialist field where nearly everything else is farmed out to other specialists. And I've been spending the past year neck deep in the "other specialists" shit - I've mixed three seasons of television while also earning sixty college credits in the past year while also spending maybe 300 hours (and $28k or so) in pursuit of "watchmaking" (which is what we call "being a watch mechanic"). I know more about watches and their repair than a few manufacturers I know.

But my daughter was whiney on Sunday. There was a little drama. She insisted she wasn't whining. I let her know (during the hug-it-out period) that if I'd used her tone of voice when I was a kid I would have been shouted at, possibly spanked and sent to my room without any supper and that sometimes I have a hard time when she does stuff I wasn't allowed to do, even if the stuff I wasn't allowed to do didn't really make sense. She asked why my parents were so mean. I said I didn't know. She asked if I told them to stop being mean and I said "I didn't know they were mean, they were the only parents I had" and she said "but you aren't mean" and I burst into uncontrollable tears.

And I mean, she doesn't know. She has no more insight into my suckitude than I had into my parents'. But I had a pretty good idea by 3 that my relationship with my parents was dissimilar to my peers. And whereas every picture I have of myself as a youth is of a haunted-eyed little spooky kid, my daughter is happy to the point of mania in photos. The great thing about kids is they love you unreservedly and worship everything you do (until they become teenagers, anyway). The terrible thing about kids - for me, anyway - is that you're never, ever worthy of it.

I am blowing off the rest of my schooling. Jewelry class for the past 10 weeks has been bang-on-shit-with-a-hammer class and I have received exactly zero instruction. I crafted a silver cup from a sheet using nothing but a hammer - it looks like a Riedel stemless champagne flute. I coated it in Japanese enamel to see what the colors look like. And it looks amateurish and silly because I received zero instruction in enameling. I have some interesting parts from that class, but everything I made I made without any input or insight from anyone while also being sniped by everyone around me (because jewelers are like watchmakers but with less schooling). And I cleaned out my bag, and I'm going to take the F (I'm yearning for that F - I'm eager to have it sit there - so that the instructor knows we're enemies now), and I'm going to pursue my own thing because where I'm going I don't need roads. I set micro-pave last year without knowing the first thing about it and while it looks like hammered shit, the next one won't and if you set out to learn how to do micro-pave the first thing you do is apprentice in Antwerp and get yourself a $2500 microscope.

But I've got a Valjoux 7750 that's misbehaving and when you look up the symptoms the Internet tells you to "take it in for service" and what they don't tell you is that at the price point of that 7750 the "servicepeople" are going to swap the movement and I'm wondering if I fucked it up by wearing it in beat-on-shit-with-a-hammer class. See, I know beyond a reasonable doubt what I know about fixing watches. But when the internet tells me I have no idea how to wear a watch I'm perfectly willing to believe them because I'm fucking white trash and I know it down to my very bones.

This washed across my transom this morning. You don't need to click on it. It's a puff piece about a jeweler opening a new boutique. They're spending about $1.3m and creating ten jobs. Woo hoo. News piece. I built a birth center with about $350k and our payroll now has nine people on it. We're setting up a Vaccines for Children program and it's going to be three phone calls, one contractor and three SKUs purchased. We'll be up in a month. Shit's trivial. Sure as fuck isn't worth making an international trade magazine.

My daughter spent her weekend putting together "scent packs" - her idea of play is to pick herbs, wrap them in paper, put together a merchandising display and haul it into class in an egg carton so that she can dominate a pinecone economy she created. Yeah. My daughter is getting others to hoard pinecones for her by selling artisanal herbs out of my garden. Told my wife this wasn't something all the kids had come up with, like we thought, but my daughter's idea and she said "well it's not surprising, she is the daughter of two entrepreneurs, after all." I immediately said "well, one entrepreneur and one loser who wastes a lot of time and money on useless knowledge." She was quiet for a minute and then said

"That's you talking, not me."

I spent $1300 so that Christie's could teach me the history of jewelry design. It's not a course for jewelers, it's a course for bored old rich ladies. I tell you what, though - ain't nobody in there gonna say that you should feel bad for owning gold jewelry because it's mined illegally in the Amazon for use in iPhones. When I'm done I hope to have a rich old lady's understanding of jewelry as propagated by Christie's because it's hella more useful to me than an angsty community college assistant's understanding of jewelry as propagated by indignant environmental movies. After all, jewelry makers call byzantine chain "idiot's delight." Jewelry sellers call it ten grand.

George Friedman recommended the works of Herman Wouk yesterday. This passage caught my eye:

    Even more instructive was the character Armin von Roon, a German general and aristocrat, whom Pug Henry met in Germany, and who wrote an operational analysis of the war that Henry translates into English. Wouk explains German strategy in detail and unapologetically. He argues powerfully that Germany was forced into a war it didn’t want and lost it only because of the ruthless cunning of Roosevelt. I didn’t agree with it, and I thought he was falsifying history, yet Wouk’s emulation of a brilliant German general explaining his country was, in my view, Wouk’s moment of genius. It was not just that he explained it but, in that passage, he reminded me of something I learned in philosophy. I was taught that you must understand a philosopher as he understood himself. Wouk showed that you must understand a nation as it understands itself. You may take issue with philosophers of a nation, but only after you have disciplined yourself to understand them as they understand themselves. And when you do that you not only understand important things, but you learn to compel your soul to listen and learn, even from evil. From Wouk I learned the suspension of judgement without plunging into the abyss of relativism.

"Impostor syndrome" is, to me, the "abyss of relativism." I know what I know about the outside world because I can vouch for that knowledge. I fought for it, I tested it, I verified it, I expanded it into corners it was never meant to illuminate. The inside world is, has been and shall always be a dark and dismal failure because my n will never be greater than one.

I have no doubts that I will be able to create and sell luxury timepieces. And I have no doubts that I will feel uncomfortable wearing one for as long as I draw breath. And that's pretty much where I am this Wednesday.

Cheers.

kleinbl00  ·  911 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?  ·  

like that has ever stopped ME