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kleinbl00  ·  16 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.

KapteinB  ·  168 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 320th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

This weekend was what we Eurovision-nerds refer to as Super Saturday, where 5 national entries were selected (with two more following on Sunday).

Finland is sending none other than Darude, whom you may remember from his 1999 smash hit (which is now possibly stuck in your head just from reading his name). Alas this song is no Sandstorm, being more muted and much less catchy.

Georgia is one of my favourite Eurovision nations, which rarely fails to entertain. This year they are less fun than usual, but I still quite like it.

Iceland's pick is not very typical for Eurovision. It will certainly stand out. It's brutal. I almost like it.

Moldova had my favourite song last year. This year they're just ok in my opinion.

My native Norway is sending a catchy dance tune with a solid dose of joik. I'm biased, of course, but I like it.

Portugal this year seems quirky just for the sake of being quirky.

And finally Serbia went with this ballad.

This is probably the best crop so far this year. And in general I'm happy with how many countries are choosing to sing in other languages than English this year. :-)

user-inactivated  ·  274 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Space and Space Launch Updates

The problem is not politics, its physics. The Apollo Program was sent into space on a 50 story building made with some of the most advanced metals yet created then filled with high explosives. All that to get about 60-70 tons into space; the "payload" ie the people and the return capsule, was under 2500 pounds when all was said and done. The rocket equation is a bitch that will be obeyed no matter what you want to do. As long as we are using chemical rockets, we are bound to the limits of fuel and engine efficiency. No manner of cash will change the laws of nature. The only way to play with the rocket equation, in a chemical rocket, is to burn lightweight fuel, very hot, and kick it out the back as fast as possible.

The Falcon Heavy will have a max, realistic, payload of 80 metric Tons, limited by the size of the fairing (the part on the nose) and will be closer to 60-70 tons when it starts lofting payloads. these numbers are to low earth orbit, ie where the space station is. To go to the moon, cut the weight in half as the other half of the payload is the fuel to go to the moon. To land? Cut in half again to get a guess on usable payload numbers. The BFR is going to be a massive metal tube full of fuel, with the volume of a 60 story skyscraper, and it is looking, realistically, like a max weight into space of 110-120 tons. (FYI, Musk is saying 300tons to Low earth Orbit and the guys I follow that build working space hardware and engines are all doubting this.) The main benefit is that the rocket is going to be reusable which drops the price per pound to space to something that makes a real space-based economy viable.

To put this in perspective, the Shuttle weighed 99 tons empty. It had a payload of 50-60 tons. It used the most advanced, most efficient engines ever built; they were using hydrogen, as hot as you can get it, sending the exhaust out as fast as it could possible go, and not explode the engines or melt them. Then you had to add in the biggest solid rocket motors ever made JUST TO GET THE THING MOVING. The Solid rocket boosters provided some 75% of the oomph to get the shuttle to orbit. Then you had to deal with the fun and engineering of dealing with hydrogen. Short answer? Liquid Hydrogen is shit to deal with. It seeps into whatever metal you make its container out of, the tanks cannot be reused (unless there has been a breakthrough I am not aware of) and the stuff is so light that you need massive tanks to hold it.

The only way to get more efficiency is to use ion engines, but the thrust is so light you will never get off the ground. Once in space? nothing right now is better. On the ground? Burn some kind of fuel in an engine is the only game in town. If all you need is a gentile nudge and have a lot of time, the efficiency of an ion engine is some factor of 100 better than chemical rockets. The total "delta V" aka change in speed of the Dawn mission, for example, was in the order of 10 kilometers per second which is just not possible with the limits of the current tech.

The modern next-gen rockets are all going to use super chilled, densified liquid methane, which has its own issues. Because methane is much denser than H2 you get more actual hydrogen in a volume, the molecules don't imbrittle your tanks and you can reuse the tanks, piping etc. LCH4 is also much warmer that H2 so you need less energy, insulation etc to handle it. Oh and you can use solar energy on places like Mars to make Methane and Oxygen out of the air and dirt. One tank design was using liquid oxygen pipes as the cooling for the liquid methane, which helps if you want redundant systems to reduce weight. That big tank on the Shuttle Stack? Almost all Hydrogen storage That little, tiny tank on top is the LOX. The problem with methane is that darn carbon atom. CH4 and O2 make water and CO2... if the engine is not hot enough and engineered well enough. If the engine is not engineered correctly, you get a carbon soot covering your impellers, turbines and combustion chambers instead of that CO2 and that causes all kinds of issues. Most of these are being solved now as the main rocket fuel for, say SpaceX, is avionic kerosene which is why the exhaust looks "sooty" on the launch videos. They traded some of the chemical efficiency of the engine for reliability and lower cost. With Methane, from what I have read in the past, the same tricks to prevent soot in the engine won't work because Methane needs higher temperatures and tighter tolerances, and it is harder to use the fuel-rich mixture they currently use to cool the engines and parts.

The Sea Dragon is the largest rocket that I am aware of that had actual design work done on it outside of science fiction. The sound from the rocket was such that everything within 50 miles of the engine bell would be shook to dead or deafened. That rocket had a max payload of 500 tons, on paper-take about 75% of that for the real value. Then there is the cost to pound and do we really need to send a payload that large into orbit any more?

The short answer to your question? 100 tons usable cargo to orbit reliably is doable and a realistic goal; if cash is thrown at the problem, they can make the rockets cheap and reusable reducing the price per kg to orbit. Any more than that is limited by chemistry, physics, and the politics of what you need to launch such a large rocket.

oyster  ·  316 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: THESE TECH COMPANIES WILL NEED MORE WOMEN ON THEIR BOARDS

I decided to take a few days to get together my response for this because in my opinion, well, you're all wrong or looking at this from the wrong angle.

The reason they do this isn't to get more women on boards now for any immediate reason even if that's how they sell it to you. The reason they do this is to start shifting societal norms. Corporations do this. I'm on a committee at work and they asked us about changing a bonus system, some people disagreed since it wouldn't benefit them while some people agreed since it would benefit them. I found out just how much of a natural born corporate shill I am that day by chiming in that it didn't matter what anybody thought, it mattered that in a year or two when all the staff were different anyways this would be the new normal and how would it benefit us then ? What kind of staff would we be attracting and would this effect our ability to retain the best staff in the long term ?

So, current opinions aside, what does this do in a year or in five years ? When everybody's moved on to talking about something else ? Keep in mind that Trudeau's gender neutral cabinet is old news, I actually straight up forgot about it. What did it do though ? It changed who we saw in power and that's important because it gets us more comfortable with the idea. Let's look at nurses, generally elderly patient don't like male nurses because it's weird for them. They aren't used to it. So we provide incentive to going into the profession or hiring male staff. It achieves basically nothing in the short term beyond some numbers. In the long term though people growing up now see male nurses more commonly and aren't as weird about it. We now have a larger pool of people who are likely to pick the profession and considering our aging population and nursing shortage that's not such a bad thing. Representation is generally what people are trying to change with these things, encouraging a wider variety of people to aim high has benefits across the country. You want to lower teen pregnancy and thereby the number of people relying on the welfare system ? Want to lower the number of people who fall through the cracks ? You've got to give them something to aim for. They don't even have to become a CEO, all they have to do is not get knocked up or get hooked on drugs before they're able to take care of themselves. In this case representation matters.

I strongly recommend any book by Bruce Hood, one of my favourites is called The Self Illusion which argues the self as we know it is likely entirely built of our experiences in the world. One study cited looked at how gender plays a part in how we interact with babies. The same baby was dressed in either blue or pink and introduced as either Nathan or Sarah. When introduced to the same baby as a girl the adults talked about how beautiful she was and when introduced to the baby as a boy they commented on what career they might have. This study was done in 1986, the women who young girls now look up to were raised in this type of environment. So the question isn't do women simply prefer different professions, it's not even have we socially influenced women to prefer different professions ( we know we have ), it is can we use this to our benefit. Corporations don't care about you, and neither does the government. Corporations care about the health of said corporation and the government cares about the health of the place they are governing. Some succeed and some fail, this is how one is attempting to succeed in the long run.

kleinbl00  ·  462 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Paralyzed.

I'll totally pretend to give you answers.

    What is killing me this time - compared to all the other challenges I faced in life - is that this one; first, is not in my hand and I am simply sitting there and suffering, and second, it affects more than just myself.

know the difference between FEELING helpless and BEING helpless.

So okay. You went on a trip and met a girl and felt titillated and infatuated for the first time in a while. Happens to literally every person in a long-term relationship. I flirt recklessly. My wife knows I do. She also knows I come home to her because a lot of it is situational. Infatuation is exploring the possibilities. Love is cherishing the realities. You may not be in love with Sarah but she's also not surprising you much anymore. Novelty is a hell of a drug.

And okay. Sarah accepted that she cares more about you than you care about her, and you, for some dumb goddamn reason, decided to keep her around as a fuckbuddy until AUGUST or some shit.

This is the only thing I'm going to give you a ration of shit for. You're in a shitty place. It sucks. I'm sorry. I'ma give you some pathways I promise but for a minute, sit there and feel bad for this. Because it's a shitty thing to do to another human being. "I don't feel that we have a future together but... let's keep rubbing our genitals together for another four months because we have nothing better to do." It's one thing if you're both at "eh" in the relationship but if you're already acknowledging that she's way more into you than you are into her, keeping her on the leash is fuckin' cruel, dude. And it's going to cause things to cascade one of three ways:

(1) She's going to muster up her self-esteem and drop you like a hot rock because who the fuck are you to string her along like that after you've both acknowledged that she's got feelings you can't reciprocate.

(2) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking HONESTLY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to win a guy in 120 days. And, as a bonus, she gets to bump uglies.

(3) She's going to take what she can get for as long as she can get it and try to win you over to her way of thinking BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. You've given her a deadline, you've given her an ultimatum, you've given her a way forward: how to land your man in one easy step. And, as a bonus, you already had a pregnancy scare 5 weeks ago.

If I understand correctly, you have not been present at any doctor's appointments. You have her word that she's pregnant. If you believe her, that's plenty evidence enough. If you don't believe her, she wouldn't be the first person to fake a pregnancy in order to push a guy into marriage. It's happened to three of my friends, in fact. But don't focus on that. In the end it doesn't matter. Those three pathways are independent of pregnancy, real or feigned; the pregnancy is a complication but it does not affect the fundamental core of your relationship with Sarah.

Your relationship with your father is coloring your current situation way too much. Makes sense. Entirely natural. By all means analyze it, reflect on it, react to it, but then set it aside because the relationship that matters now is between you, your potential child, and the mother of that potential child. That's where a lot of the helplessness is coming from: you had no power over your father yet he still holds power over you. You have no power over this child yet this child holds power over you. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer.

Your current reaction to Sarah has a lot to do with the fact that you thought you killed all responsibility to the relationship yet still managed to reap the benefits. Yet here she is, drowning you in responsibility and threatening to cut you off entirely from any benefits. She's making it clear that you are unnecessary to her future plans, much like you made it clear that she was unnecessary to yours. What was the word? "Paralyzed." All right. You're frozen. You can't move, you can't breathe, and you're freaking out. Hold it up to the light, nod at it, then put it back in the drawer.

NOW

You're all about abortion which leads me to believe that divorce doesn't offend your religious sensibilities. You're freaking out about your family's reaction to a kid out of wedlock. And you're fixated on this child's future alienation because you're going to have no input into their life. Yet the obvious solution - marry the girl - has been ruled out, out of hand, with no discussion whatsoever. Why is that?

Marry the girl. Now you've got a say in the kid's upbringing. Commit to not being a stranger. Get to know her family and friends. Commit to three more years in Germany, three more years of trying to see what kind of life you can build with Sarah. It's the first two years of a child's life that govern so much of their future and having two parents that love them under one roof where they feel safe and loved makes all the difference in the world.

If you're not into it within three years, part amicably. Support your child. Be a part of their life. Be anchored in her family. Be a relative that doesn't vanish. Be a father. You can be travel dad no problem. After you've front-loaded the commitment it'll be nearly impossible to shrug you off, particularly if you comport yourself like a gentleman. And fuckin' hell, you may discover that having something in common with Sarah, who is about to give over her body and time for the next two years to the life and well-being of your firstborn, makes her someone you can love more.

You might be surprised what happens when you extend the girl some trust and empathy. You might find she warms up into more of a person you want her to be. And, you might discover that she miscarries and you didn't have to blow up your life. Maybe you go through with the wedding, maybe you drop her like a hot rock and learn to never again string along a girl who likes you more than you like her.

Either way, your best move is to commit to a wedding and let it play out for better or worse. All the bullshit above aside, saying I'm going to do this means you're DOING something which breaks you free from paralysis. You're making a move, you're making a decision, you're acting towards your own future, and you're forcing the probability cascade to break down in your favor.

- You propose to the girl. She turns you down. You say you want to help. She turns you down. You try to be in the kid's life. She turns you down. You've done all you can, your father can't resent you completely, and the door is open to be a part later.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. You get married, have a kid, stick it out as long as you can, and end up being Foreign Dad. By then you're more settled financially, you have a better idea what your future holds and you've influenced your child's future in an immeasurably positive way.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You walk away unscathed.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. The pregnancy disappears. You find your feelings towards Sarah have changed. To be continued, for better or worse.

- You propose to the girl. She says yes. You have a family and live happily ever after.

Either way, when you've decided you no longer care for someone as much as they care for you, stop fucking them for both your sakes.

kleinbl00  ·  478 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Judging A Book By Its Sobriety

Writing is fun. Being a writer is bullshit. This dichotomy is one of the things writers don't talk about, don't write books about, don't tell students about.

Somewhere on here there's an article about the dirty little secret that every writer you've ever read had/has a spouse or a parent that allows them to eat so they can spend fuckin' forever grinding away at that magnum opus that nobody gives a shit about. If you're a "writer", odds are good you're also wasting your time from an economics standpoint. Stephen King will tell you that Tabby basically underwrote his career through Carrie. Anne LaMott will mention in passing that her dad's agent read eight of her books and oh by the way she's divorced from the guy who put food on the table while she did it. It's the dirty little secret: the people who don't have a benefactor are competing with the people who do but nobody mentions the benefactors. The two successful screenwriters I came up with were both in a position where they could live in $3k/mo apartments for two fucking years without having to earn a penny so they could sit there and write. Must be nice.

The other dichotomy is nobody gets into writing because they want to perform in front of an audience. Nobody sits down to write a book so they can carry it around under their figurative or literal arm to dozens of trained professionals all intent on saying no. Nobody sets out to prove themselves over and over and over again only to be sent a "not for us - sent from my iPad" email on Thanksgiving evening (true story). But once you get accepted by an agent you're a god. But once you get rejected by a publisher you're scum. But once you get published you're a god. But once the book gets panned you're scum.

And it's all so goddamned capricious.

If you ever want to see into the soul of any performer, ask them what work they're most proud of. It won't be one you've heard of. It'll be that thing they believed in, that they put their heart and soul into, that the marketplace crushed. And maybe they'll have rationalized why it got crushed, and maybe they won't, but it's still the central fable of their lives, be it written or a work-in-progress. It's the thing that allows them to make peace with the capriciousness.

Some people don't make peace with the capriciousness.

Hemingway was absolutely at the top of his game. Pithy mutherfucker. "There's nothing to writing. You just sit at the typewriter and bleed." Said the guy who tried on 47 endings and 18 titles for Farewell to Arms. David Foster Wallace? The closer he got to death, the more personal his writing became, the less interested his audience was in what he had to say.

The stories I write for me? Nobody wants to read them. The stories I shit out because someone throws a buck at me? ZOMGBUSINESS. That'll fuck with a mind: You're auditioning for genius but for some reason what they love the most is derivative crap. You'll notice nobody ever calls Danielle Steel or Dan Brown tortured geniuses. You may not think Amy Winehouse would have been different 20 years sober, but you don't care if David Lee Roth is different 20 years sober. Amy Winehouse was "serious." Diamond Dave is not.

So if you're a serious artiste you're left grappling with the cognitive dissonance that if you get paid you're a sell-out but if you don't get paid you starve (unless you're one of the lucky dilettantes we don't talk about but we all know and us serious artistes all know they aren't serious anyway, just lucky). And if you're a serious artiste you know that validation is nothing but validation is everything but validation is illogical but if it matters it MUST be logical and somehow

if you let yourself go

and turn off for a while

and give it to the bottle, give it to the powder, give it to the needle, give it to whatever

it doesn't

matter

so much.

Writers, as a species, are sensitive. Writers, as a species, are introverts. Writers, as a profession, must have nerves of steel and an endless appetite for rejection and writers, as a profession, are chronically, criminally underpaid and undervalued. And if that writer has a tendency towards dependency, that dependency is what allows them to power through that cognitive dissonance. It's the thing that allows them to write for an audience.

Would Amy Winehouse's material be different if she were sober? Who knows. King's certainly is.

Inebriation allows writers to plow through the bullshit of being writers. Lots of writers can do it without substance abuse. Some can't. For those who can't, the proximate cause of their substance abuse is the bullshit of being a writer, and the bullshit of being a writer definitely colors their writing (lookin' at you, Charlie Kaufman).

    who wants to be a great writer if you are only a great writer when you're fucked up? what an awful fucking curse you know?

Said every writing drunk in the history of writing, ever.

And then they poured another shot.

kleinbl00  ·  522 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dos Equis erases The Most Interesting Man from its history

Keep in mind: for all intents and purposes, once you hit 25 you've chosen every brand you'll ever choose. This is one reason why advertising focuses heavily on teenagers and young adults; it's easier to hack a presidential election than it is to get your mom to switch dish detergent. Macrobrews are kinda fucked in this regard because those goddamn whippersnappers tend to buy a sixer of something expensive and semi-local, but only every now and then: my roommate will buy six Blue Moons about three times a year while my dad will buy a half-rack of Coors Light once or twice a week. So they're marketing to a rarified stratum: people under 25 who are deciding on "their regular beer" that they can get most places. The Most Interesting Man came out in 2006 so everybody they could (legally) influence back then is between the ages of 35 and 40. Time to do something new because they know that even if they kill off The Most Interesting Man, you aren't going to switch to Corona at this late date. You started drinking Dos Equis to set yourself apart from those choads.

The owners of the macro brews give no fucks, of course. 70% of beer sales in the US are controlled by one fucking company.

tacocat  ·  592 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Putin, Trump, and political obsession: an observation from your resident russki

Umm.... I'd trade a lot of my good stories for not having to live through them.

Idunno, man, these grammar conversations are crazy to me.

I steal a descriptor from my friend, who is in linguistics, and describe myself as a Grammar punk. To quote them:

"Language is inherently based in communication- it is understanding in structure, not structure for structure's sake

If you understand what someone is saying and choose to be difficult about it for the sake of correctness, you're being a loathsome pedant."

The point of language is to be understood, and to me it doesn't matter what length of dash you use. Yes, the semicolons are incorrect, and they do prevent understanding. But dashes?

And like, I'm in a Historical Performance program. It is the subset of classical music for musical pedants. They have arguments about the correct amount of commas needed in their tuning, and where your 3rd and 6th intervals should be depending on time and location in Europe. Despite that level of daily pedantry, the concept of em vs en vs hyphen in a real world situation is still a bit mind blowing to me.

StillWaters  ·  759 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How fear of falling explains love of Trump

A very interesting analysis.

The sad thing is that the Democratic platform would have helped them and Trump / the Republicans will only hasten their fall.

A root problem here is the income inequality. Ensure more menial jobs are adequately paid and at least some of the economic stress will be removed, and perhaps some pride restored. Certainly one needs to deploy better programs to enable people who live in small towns that lose their cornerstone industries to be retrained and to bring in new investment to such places.

I also believe we need to develop a project with Germany to better understand the great success they have in apprenticeship programs - an effort that connects employers, educators and the federal government to enable people to do-learn-do.

There were also a couple statements that stood out to me:

    Adding insult to injury for those with the grit to survive on an assembly line or in a steel mill, the decades-long shift from manufacturing to services is creating the type of jobs that are distinctly unappealing to many men.

    The declining employment and salaries of men without college degrees make them less attractive as marriage partners.

    "I don’t want it to sound bad, but I’ve always seen a woman in the position of a nurse or some kind of health care worker. I see it as more of a woman’s touch."

Do declining salaries make men less attractive as marriage partners? Or is it that lower salaries or less "masculine" jobs make the men insecure, and for that reason they become less attractive? And is this tied to the traditional gender roles of "men work hard so they get good jobs so they can bring home the bacon to their family".

Having lived in northern Europe many years I sense there is a very significant difference in how men define their worth. Equality between genders in northern Europe has lead to men also being more free to define where their worth comes from, and increasingly it is separated from the status of position, the masculinity of the position, and the salary they bring home (compared to what I experience in the US).

Where I live in the US there are so many ex-pat wives who bring along their husbands and children, that these stay at home men have arranged a club. And they love their lives. They see being a good father as an expression of masculinity. Meanwhile, too many of the men described in this article view almost any work in the tertiary sector (service sector) - let alone a stay-at-home dad! - as being "women's work" that is beneath their dignity.

Sometimes I sense that the call for MAGA - harking back to a time when blue collar jobs were readily available and gave a middle-class income, and "blacks knew their place and women stayed at home" - is like some desperate hope that they can avoid needing to change by getting the rest of the world to change. It is like a farmer who hopes fall will come after winter, and refuses to prepare for spring. The ones they hurt the most by refusing to adapt is themselves.

kleinbl00  ·  843 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Buying Silicon Valley's Horseshit

    “The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists.. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.”

- Banksy, AdBusters interview backintheday

The issue is not that these choices are available, the issue is that these choices crowd out the sensible ones. There's a lot of fallacious product design in toothbrushes. At the same time, it makes sense to apply what we know about dental hygiene to what we know about human habit to what we know about materials science to what we know about merchandising because even an expensive toothbrush is what? $4? $5? That's before you get into the land of Sonicare and its ilk and there are justifications to that, too. I have a $140 toothbrush. It was recommended to me by my dentist over my $100 toothbrush because apparently I was brushing hard enough to require some repair at the gumline to the tune of $900 billed to my insurance. The difference? The new one tweedles at me when I brush too hard. First world problems? You betcha. Asymptotic improvement? Mos def. BUT it is innovation in pursuit of improvement.

Dollar shave club, on the other hand, doesn't help you shave better. What it does is provide you access to bottom-of-the-barrel no-name Chinese blades at substantial markup to you. Yeah - a bag of Bic safety razors is like $3 for 24 or whatever so obviously you don't have to purchase that, either, but Unilever spent a billion dollars buying Dollar Shave Club instead of, I dunno, making better razors.

Lather, rinse, repeat. You rightly state that you are not directly impacted by any of these deeply silly Silicon Valley choices but you are indirectly affected. As you state, you're a fan of Blue Apron - what if Silicon Valley spent $120m on improving the efficiency of produce delivery to wherever you are instead of $120m on ways to sell chopped fruits and vegetables for $10/lb?

Henry Petroski has argued many times that necessity isn't the mother of invention, luxury is - we do not invent a fork because we cannot eat without one, we invent a fork because it's easier to eat with one. The inventor/manufacturer profits off of the increase of ease he provides us, and we pay him gladly. The argument put forth in the article (not as clearly as it could be, no doubt) is that the Silicon Valley business cycle is not focused on efficiency, it's focused on inefficiency and predation. And while this is not universally true, the argument for "disruption" is not "make the world a better place" it's "break laws and make money until they legislate you out of existence."

I have thousands of hours of music on hard drives. I used to have hundreds of CDs. My access to music went up an order of magnitude with the advent of Napster... but I can't really say that MP3s improved the state of music. It used to be that technological innovation was largely in pursuit of quality-of-life improvement and that argument could easily be made about Napster et.al. However, the inefficiencies of the music market also provided a living for most of the people involved in its generation.

And that's another issue - companies like RentBerry and Fiverr are, at base, eliminating inefficiencies. However, in a marketplace that's even a little unfair or uncompetitive, "inefficiencies" are often the profit of the disadvantaged. On a perfectly level playing field, assembly line workers in Detroit should have no problems competing with assembly line workers in Guadalajara.

But.

    This article is annoying because it stands on the premise that someone offering a choice to you is the same as you being forced to participate, and that a choice you don't agree with is somehow this nefarious plot to screw your life up. Fiverr doesn't exist to destroy the middle class dream. It connects freelancers with people who hire them.

Hi. Freelancer. Years of experience. Union member, skilled laborer. And where I work, the middle has dropped out. I'm one of the youngest people in my industry that I know of and my 20-year reunion was a while ago. See, used to be you started out as a gopher PA and then you became a set PA and then you picked up a skill and then you started making a little money and your network grew and you started making more money and eventually you had a wife and two kids and a house in the Valley. But now there's a sea of film school grads who can work for free because mommy and daddy understand that you have to do that for a while in order to get experience so they'll pay Janie's $1900/mo rent for a studio in Panorama City while she struggles for free until eventually it becomes clear that as soon as she starts to ask for money there's ten more Janies eager to take her place so eventually she's going to go back to live with her parents in Dayton and take orders at Applebee's while meanwhile, the guys that are actually hiring new kids who don't know what they're doing are generally doing it with their parents' money, too, and they're going to fail out within however long it takes for their folx to get sick of paying for their hobbies and in the meantime, we're all getting older and we're all hanging on to the gigs we have and the kids? The kids are not coming up because the opportunities that are available to them are a mirage.

Make no mistake. I'm the other side of that divide. Comfortably. But the gig economy, in my industry at least, is a fucking meat grinder for those without protections. Multiply times everything.

flac  ·  878 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives

Congratulations! You've shown that you care enough about human life that you started a homicide statistic with "lol"! You definitely seem like you do give your time supplying food to the homeless, or volunteering on a suicide hotline, and don't just use the excuse of "this isn't an issue that directly affects me" to avoid actually helping anybody not related to you by blood.

I'm sorry that not enough trans people are dying to warrant your empathy - let's hope it stays that way.

Tell me, how are you fighting the Opioid epidemic in America? What are some concrete steps I, as a citizen, can take to stop the deaths of 33,000 of my peers? I certainly don't know anyone who is addicted to prescription pills, so by your reasoning I have no reason to care about it - that's just not something which affects me. I do know a young trans woman who was beaten to within an inch of her life in an alley, but hey, my number's smaller than yours, I should care about your thing instead - fuck her statistically insignificant life!

See, here's the thing about proportions: they tend to point to something larger than themselves. If you actually did give your time to helping the homeless, you would find that between 10-20 of those 50 people might be gay or trans (and before you have a chance - I know I linked to a liberal rag and you are going to debate the numbers, I don't particularly have the energy to find better sources) - a number which is disproportionately high. Or if you actually spent your time with opium addicts, you would find that, again, a disproportionately high amount of them are gay or trans. And do I even have to tell you how many gay and trans people would be calling you on that suicide hotline?

I get it, you don't know any trans people, but some of us do. Some of us may even want to start a family with the trans man they've been dating for 5 years - a thing that becomes significantly harder if he's dead. I completely agree that there is a finite amount of energy that we can all channel to causes that we deem to be important - I just hope that you're channeling yours towards something bigger than complaining about people mourning the dead.

EDIT: I'm sorry that this is pretty aggressive, I don't mean it as a personal attack - in all seriousness, I have no doubts that you are a good person, and I get where you are coming from. This is just an issue that hits really close to home.

Oy, Democracy Now(!). I love Glenn Greenwald, but this is super disingenuous.

    And yet, all I heard from Democrats—not all I heard, because there were a lot of Democrats who supported Manning and Snowden and Drake—but certainly Democratic officials in D.C. were almost unanimous, under Obama, in saying that leaks—leakers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, that they’re traitors.

There's the rub. Conflating "Democratic Officials in D.C." who were "almost unanimous under Obama" with the unspecified "Democrats" in the title is misleading at best, and dumps the burden of hypocrisy on Democrats in general. You know who else was "almost unanimous" in condemning Manning and Snowden? Republican officials in D.C. under Obama. The Manning and Snowden leaks didn't uncover partisan divide so much as they uncovered a philosophical- and frankly totally predictable- difference between those in power and/or who stand at any point to gain power and those who just want to talk on their goddamn iPhone in peace. Snowden and Manning, to varying degrees, uncovered infrastructural mechanisms for abuse that could be used by anybody in power to bad effect; accordingly, pretty much everybody with their hands closest to the levers- Democrat and Republican- cried foul.

Meanwhile, I know next to nobody in my everyday life- Democrat, Republican or Other- who believed that what Snowden did was bad. Okay, let's be honest, I know a few conservatives that still think it. Illegal? Sure, because it was. That's the nature of civil disobedience. But the general consensus on the street is that Snowden did the necessary, and that Manning's actions, although very carelessly executed, didn't merit the sentence. NB- Manning was put in jail by a Democrat, but released by that selfsame Democrat.

So it drives me crazy- fucking. crazy. to read Democracy Now(!) articles that try to paint Democrats in general as somehow hypocritical because of the above. Mainly because then all my militant liberal Facebook acquaintances, still inexplicably bitter at Hillary Clinton and her perceived misdeeds, wallpaper my feed the next day with articles like this as their next gem of evidence that the current Democratic wing is corrupt and hypocritical because Bernie.

This is not that. Everybody in power hated what Snowden did, and a plurality if not a majority of those not in power celebrated what he did. Meanwhile, the current situation has underscored not systemic problems that need to be corrected for the good of the whole electorate, but a very current, temporary administration running roughshod over the systemic safeguards meant to uphold the good of the electorate. Basic conflict of interest regulations? Naw, we're not gonna pay attention to that. Private citizen undermining current presidential policies via back channels to international rivals? See no problem there.

If leaks are how these things come to light, I as a Democrat- and a citizen- applaud them just as I applauded Snowden. That's in full recognition of the fact that such leaks are illegal.

The only thing that surprises me at this point is that rogue actors in the intelligence community up to now have (openly) broken the rules only to uncover abuses of power rather than to perpetuate them. Who would have thought that safeguards to civil liberty would have arisen with such regularity from the agencies who enjoy the highest abuse potential.

user-inactivated  ·  1049 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Vice Presidential Debate Tonight at 9 Eastern

Gonna pull this for the darker, grittier Hubskina reboot directed by Zach Snyder

_refugee_  ·  1095 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 17, 2016

Hey dude,

I'm just going to interject here that KB calorie tracks daily and has been for years. I know this because I'm his stalker, duh. Not to mention that it's quite possible for an eating disorder to have long-term side effects on the human body. And let's not even consider what all else he might have wrong with him. I mean, dude's a little grungy. He's got that ponytail going...could have worms, maybe, you know, even?

Of course, you don't know KB as well as I do, or his eating habits, or exercise habits, or past history with food, or any of those things.

But I can assure you he already knows about CICO and that there are 3500 calories in a pound of fat.

Your comment would be totally in place if it was on r/loseit, and honestly, if you'd said it there, I'd probably have upvoted and moved on. It's just...KB's not a dumbass or a dilettante when it comes to cal counts, weight loss, exercise, etc. So I'm just gonna raise up and try to let you know as politely as possible, your comment here is coming across condescending as all hell.

And maaaybe I just saved you a verbal whipping by doing this. (But not if you get defensive about what all I've just said. Cuz I'm trying to be nice here, I really am, and it's not something I even try very often.)

moe  ·  1119 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: [48 HOURS] Shockingly, original journalism didn't save Reddit

    If we can pull enough donations

Oo Hubski's funding meter isn't anywhere close to target.

steve, you still matchin'? doot

user-inactivated  ·  1179 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Volvo's Small Car Strategy Is Massive

Lord Mercy, you're putting out a skewed image of the Mustang. This is a car, like the Corvette, with over 50 years of very rich history. Your pictures, while they support your argument, are far from impartial. That's like saying “Oh. Picasso was a painter? Here's a picture of a blank canvas. La dee daa. Big fucking deal.”

First of all . . .

    I always thought that most mustangs were under-powered poser cars that were more wanna-be. I guess I grew up in the 90's where a mustang is what you got if you wanted to pay too much for a rental car.

Both cars you just showed, the Fox Body and the early SN-95 were underpowered. EVERYTHING from that era was underpowered. The Malaise era was real and it wasn't until the late '80s and early '90s that we started to see a change from that. The production cars sucked. Yes. What people could do with them though and are still doing with them? That's fucking magical.

Furthermore, people love the engines in those cars and in return, those engines love being modded. The 302 Windsor V8 found in the Fox Body? Easy to mod. The Modular 4.6L V8 in the SN-95 and the first half of the S-197 series? Easy to mod. The Modular 5.0 in the second half of the S-197 series and the current S-550 series? Fucking same. There are after market parts from body kits to suspension to dress ups to really make your car unique. Don't believe me? Go shopping for a bit this morning. People take, what you've shown, and turn them into works of art like pretty much every damn thing you see here. They're beautiful. They're fast and powerful. They're points of personal pride to their owners. In short, they're fucking amazing.

I'm not even gonna get into how the classic Mustangs are fucking iconic. For good fucking reason too. They're stylish. They're sexy. They're timeless.

Now, I know what you're gonna say next because I hear this argument all the time.

“Mustangs are only good for going in straight lines.”

1. So what? Drag racing is awesome enough as it is so that's good enough. 2. That's true for the majority of American cars up until recently and while that's not defendable in and of itself, at least the Mustang wasn't alone in this regard. 3. If you want a Mustang that handles well, there are suspension mods for that. The car is a blank canvas, make it personal.

“Up until the S-197 all the previous Mustangs were based on commuter cars platforms.”

So? That shit is auto industry standard and it's still going on today. The Audi TT is on the same platform as the VW Golf. The Mazda RX-8 has the same underpinnings as the Miata. Subaru's WRX and STI are built off of the Impreza and on and on it goes.

The S-197 and the S-550 though? Built from the ground up. Their own dedicated platforms. And both cars, while flawed, ARE FUCKING AMAZING.

So you know what? Everyone and anyone can fucking shit on the Mustang all day long. Be all bourgeoisie about your car choices and engines and all that. I don't give a fuck. All cars have their flaws and all cars have their strong points. Good luck trying to afford a fucking McLaren and using it as a daily driver. Me? I'm gonna continue to love my FR-S, because it's amazing fun despite its lack of power. I'm gonna continue to oggle Mustangs and Camaros cause they're amazing. I'm gonna chat it up with the guy who has the MG Midget about how his car left him stranded on the side of the road for the third time this year and reaffirm that despite its flaws, it's still awesome. I'm gonna continue to love cars that people like to poo on like El Caminos and Rancheros, Hyundai Tiburons and Genesis (because hey, at least Hyundai is trying), VW Vans and Unimogs, and Pintos and Vegas and Gremlins and everything else out there. Fuck, shit, I know a guy who has a Kia Optima that he's making his own because he loves the lines and you know what? I fucking support him too because it's his and it makes him so damn happy. I'm gonna love peoples' cars whether they're purely stock or highly modified, whether they're classic American Muscle or European Roadsters or a 20 year old Chevy S10 that's been repainted, filled to the brim with speakers, and slammed to the ground.

Just remember this. Cars are amazing. Period. Cars are a point of passion for so many people. Period. When you diss on a car, whether it's a Honda Civic or a Ford Mustang or a Porsche 911, you're not only insulting the car, but you're actively dismissing the opinion of the people who love those cars, and even worse, marginalizing countless man hours of hard work from researchers and engineers to designers and factory workers. I've heard that Gale Halderman is one of the nicest, approachable guys in the car world. 50 bucks says if you told him your opinion on the legacy of a car that he was there for from the start, you'd probably break his heart.

I'm done talking cars today. Cause you all broke mine.

It was my dad.

I'm glad I was born before the internet took off. It must be so incredibly hard these days for kids to get interested in books or for parents/teachers/others to spark the interest for long form reading.

My dad only had a small collection of books, but was an avid library member. I have so many fond memories of visiting the library every month. Even better when we moved and our house was on the same street as the local library.

Thanks for this post. I haven't read any "joy" books in the last 18 months, only technical, work related books.

Going to remedy that starting tonight!

veen  ·  1217 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: GET OFF LINE FOR BERNIE: Watch this to the end

The voting system used has lead to a democracy of only two parties (Duverger's Law). There's a very strong us-versus-them mentality comparing the Democrats and Republicans. Because of this, the interesting political debates don't really happen at the party level but at the candidate level - so it matters a lot which person is nominated, because if they win it's their ideas and policies that they will try to drag through Congress.

If you want to know why it is in the news every. single. day, Ryan Holiday explains in his book that news outlets like Politico figured out that they can start coverage of the race years in advance. They do this simply by discussing and speculating on potential candidates and ramping up the coverage from there on. This election has been nuts (at least from my perspective) in no small part because of all the media attention generated around it.

HairyLenny  ·  1239 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what are your side projects?

I've just started my side-career as a Dementia Friends champion. Basically I go around delivering DF information session which give people a better understanding of what dementia is and what it's like to live with. I hope it'll be as rewarding as I expect. I'm also doing what I can to make my local area a dementia friendly community.

cgod  ·  1277 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My Current Soundtrack

I've known people who click through dating/mating apps and go on dates with three or four different people a week. Hell I've known people who will scheduled three dates in an evening, if the first one is going well they will cancel the next two and so on. I suppose it's playing the odds, dating like you are buying a lottery ticket, you never know the next one might be a winner.

The cold ask out of a person you just met or didn't even know was always there but it seems like people are more like to go for the quick and shallow date without much meaning attached to it than they ever were before.

I don't know if I'm saying this at all well. If you go on one hundred dates a year you might look at going on a date with a coworker with little consideration of the consequences. It's just another date. All dates are just another date, nothing to em, just push through em like enemies in a video game until you find a golden chest.

You used to only be able to date people you knew and consequently would have to gauge the social or work related consequences of who you were going to go out with more carefully than an average tinder date. You had to weigh the relative merits of the person and how they related to your world with some care (not necessarily some kind of extraordinary care but it mattered). There was always the cold ask out of a person you met while at a book store, the bar or a show but there were way less of these people to hook up with than there are now that the internet has aggregated demand.

Now a days you can go on three dates in a night or one hundred dates in a year even if you are less than the studliest guy or more desirable girl around. You don't have to try and suss out how compatible a person is, what your friends would think if you started seeing her, if Donna would still consider going out with you if she knew you went out on a date with Susan. You can just date your ass off, separate the wheat from the chaff as you find them. No worries about if your compatible, do you share the same tastes, does their laugh annoy the shit out of you. The consensus of people I've seen who date hard and often is that you should know in the first ten to twenty minutes if a person is worth your time. No more working up the nerve or deciding if your really interested.

It's a different world.

veen  ·  1296 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 160th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Digging this electronic piece:

user-inactivated  ·  1317 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Your Job Is Pointless

    How much money do you have in the bank?

One year's take home pay not counting 401K and investments.

    If you stop working now, how many years could you live with that money, in a decent cheap house (in a cheap part of your country, not even in a cheap foreign country)

If I stretched it, sold the house lived in a shitty apartment, 2-3 years. Having lived in shitty apartments let me say that I will never allow myself to do that again, and I won't ever do it willingly. How about you?

    Remember you do not have to work: so no transit, no representation shopping, plenty of time, so you can enjoy repairing broken furniture instead of replacing it, you can enjoy cooking instead of going out, etc.. You can fish, but will more likely buy fish... fish are cheap. How many years?

This sounds like hippy bullshit so let's break it down.

    so no transit

So, you are never going to leave home? Walk everywhere? Bike? Bikes cost money, walking costs time and burns food that will have to be procured. Walking a few miles a day is very energy intensive and that energy needs to be replaced or you get sick and hurt.

    no representation shopping

Which I personally don't do. I spend my money on my hobbies and books. I guess we need to define "representation shopping?"

    plenty of time, so you can enjoy repairing broken furniture instead of replacing it,

Repairing furniture is a skill you get better at. Depending on costs involved, this does not take a lot of time. Hell under your system, build your own furniture. But don't buy the lumber cause you don't work. So go find trees, cut them down. Go find sheep and make the wool. Go find deer and cows to skin for leather. Grow a few hundred acres of cotton for fabric.

    you can enjoy cooking instead of going out

I already cook my own meals and rarely eat out. Are there people who need this bit of advice? sure. So I'll give you 1/2 this point. The raw ingredients still need to come from somewhere, food will need to be stored and defended against the elements and vermin, and cooking implements will need to be either made or procured.

    You can fish, but will more likely buy fish

What in the actual fuck? Where the hell do you live that you think someone can just pick up and live off the land? I mean I live out in the middle if the USA and I can't pull this one off. Studies I see say you need 5 acres to feed yourself. one such link That much land is about 300K out here if you have access to water, and that does not necessarily include a stream or pond with fish in it. Unless you own 20 acres you need to pay for hunting licenses, deer tags etc. Then you need to build a shelter. And the starting livestock (go with goats they are easier than cows and take less room).

I'm getting a vibe off you that have some overly romantic version of life that will be crushed in 30 minutes of living out in the sticks. I could up and quit right now, buy land and have the cash to live for a while. But I know shit about farming, rural living, auto repair and the tens if not hundreds of skills needed to not die on my own. This is how a specialized economy works. I do something that is needed, you do something else that is needed, and we use that labour to pay for the services of other people who do work that needs to be done. Farmers farm, milling companies turn that into food, trucking companies ship it, retailers store and sell the final goods. Money makes that all happen otherwise the farmer has to spend a not minimal time doing tasks that are not farming.

    Those years measure the part of your income that go into paying for the obligatory expense your working lifestyle impose upon you.And that's my only argument: money you get from work is overrated, it is mostly useful because you work.

Maybe if you make minimum wage. Or have some insane crazy expensive lifestyle. I have to keep track of work expenses for tax purposes, and less than one week a year is needed to pay for my work related expense. This is everything I need to 'work' and use for work alone. My car makes me mobile so I am not stuck in the house all the time, along with taking me to work. My house (worth below median value for the area if that is important to you) holds my stuff, lets me get a good sleep, keeps me warm and dry at night and is almost paid off. My yearly utilities cost less than two weeks of full time work a year, my insurance bill is about a week's employment, so even if I am generous and include that, I am spending about a month's labour to "work" and everything else is for my life.

Off the grid living is not camping, and if that is your goal, cool go for it. But for a sizable chunk of people that ain't gonna happen. The first bad rain, or -20F night or the first time you slip and gash your leg open or even coming to the realization that a "hunter-gatherer" life is brutal and short will make you realize why people in those societies die young.

    There must be a case for a sustainable innovative world where we work 15-10-5h/week. But obviously we will be too bored to indulge in it.

Now this I agree with. And better utilization of our workforce is something I think we should talk about.