We share good ideas and conversation here.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
badged content
recently badged: lil  _thoracic  francopoli  veen  wasoxygen  
lil  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Something beautiful died tonight

The pain was beautiful, because it meant I cared a lot once

francopoli  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

200 hours of outreach work this year, not counting setup and tear-down. About 300 hours total over 55 events since January. Write that shit down, document every-fucking-thing and submit paperwork. Wait two weeks or so. And in the end you get these pretty little pins showing that you have done something that only 800 some-odd people have done. I'm tired, I'm a bit stressed from work and life, and the health situation is not in a good place. But these two awards have hit me a bit harder than I thought they would. The awards are numbered, and I honestly believed that there had been thousands of the awards given out. I know other people are doing astronomy outreach, they must not be paying membership dues and doing paperwork. With these two small bits of metal and ceramic and enamel, I have tangible proof that 2017 did not entirely suck a bag of erect cocks.

If the motto of our small community is "pushing back against the darkness" then I can say, with no hesitations, that I am doing my part.

BurnTheBarricade  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today's Writing Prompt: This Is What It's Like

"This is what it's like," said the recruiter, showing me the screenshot of a first-person shooter.

"This is what it's like," said the CO, as we stood drenched in sweat from head to toe.

"This is what it's like," said the EOD, defusing a mine that would have taken his knee.

"This is what it's like," said the veteran, as our unit rotated out for some rest again.

"This is what it's like," says the evening news, reminding me of things that I made myself do.

"This is what it's like," says my former spouse, with one last spiteful glance towards my house.

"This is what it's like," says the therapist, and puts me in pain that I didn't know could exist.

"This is what it's like," say people like myself, who can't know their pain and don't think to help.

thenewgreen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 247th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Threadx 2

Our baby was born. She's beautiful, healthy and awesome. Just like my other two kids, the first song she ever heard outside the womb was "I Will" by the Beatles as sung by me.

We spent the night in the hospital and my wife and I watched the Tom Petty documentary. This little girl entered the world to the Beatles and Tom Petty. My kids and I have been listening to the entire Cat Stevens catalog in heavy rotation.

Here is the little one:

wasoxygen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

That's a heck of a rabbit hole.

It appears to be something from Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon.

(Second GIS hit for "makers mark" arrow swiss from Pinterest, fourth related image)

veen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

DUDE I think I found it!?

It looks a lot like the Fontainemelon trademark that you see twice in this list, registered in 1880 for the region in Switzerland. Found this by Googling 'Schweiz uhrwerk apfel' and it was the first hit. It actually does lead back to that site of yours when you Google for Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon SA. Check that advert, it has the logo!

edit: hah, wasoxygen was slightly faster. Damn ninja!

kleinbl00  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 4, 2017

I've taken to referring to my time in Los Angeles for work as the time when I'm within the event horizon for the black hole. Communication in or out is tricky and time stretches to the point where your frame of reference is no longer valid.

This time last week I was in Los Angeles which appears to have boosted the Schwartzchild Radius.

My daughter is in an immunotherapy study. It's going to take years but there is a high likelihood that she'll be less allergic to peanuts on the other side. I phrased it to her as "how would you like to help other kids be less allergic to peanuts?" and she went all in, despite the fact that they had to make her back itch and draw her blood. Then her bloodwork came back with low immune response levels (probably because she had the sniffles) so she had to go in again. She likes the "magic cream that makes her arm tingle" but still, she's four and has had her blood drawn twice in two weeks with no complaints. The administrator told us that they really hope they can get her in because while they can't tell me her peanut IGGs, her regular IGGs are the highest in the entire study. Go kid. Glad you're more allergic than anyone else they've ever seen. not.

Had lunch with my buddy. Told him I'd done reasonably well in cryptocurrency, told him that if I couldn't use it for shit like chemotherapy copays what the fuck can I use it for, told him that the point you stop being able to be proud and refuse charity is well before the point where your relatives put out a GoFundMe for you and cut him a check for a thousand dollars. He cried and said it was really valuable to him to have long-term friends around (we've known each other since we were 4) so I punched him in the face and told him to stop being such a pussy. We now have a regular lunch date for as long as I'm in town.

Saw Front 242 and Severed Heads in Los Angeles. mk did not because he is lame. We got wasted - 60ccs of bone marrow aspiration be damned, I drank like four doubles of well bourbon and blasted my fucking mind out with EBM. The last time I saw Front 242 I ran lights for them and everyone was 20 years younger. The local alt-rag made fun of Front 242 back then for being totally into their music and dancing around like "a bunch of boojie boys" well past their primes because alt-rags are always bullshit. And here it is 20 years later and there's Jean-luc DeMeyer, 60 fuckin' years old, black leather jacket, sunglasses at night, rockin' it like it was '85. And the audience was not nearly as gothy as it would have been in Seattle - i mean, there was a guy in a hawaiian shirt and a fanny pack. And fuckin'A I was wearing goddamn cargo shorts so who the fuck am I to say anything.

one of my buddies is insecure. I told him to be more like Jean-Luc De Meyer - rock the sunglasses at night. That mutherfucker has known exactly who he is for 40 flippin' years and nobody remembers that bullshit alt-rag review but me while he's still sitting there headlining sold-out houses ten thousand miles from home. And then I got home and dropped my kid off at school wearing fuckin' house slippers and the same goddamn cargo shorts and realized that everyone else was all dressed for work'n'shit and I realized I have no fucks to give.

A friend turned me onto a Boeing gig doing tedious webcast shit. Sure, why not. So you talk to the recruiter. She wants a "resume." Oh, right. Out here in the world they still care about that shit. Fine, here's a thing I did in Pages like three years ago which I refuse to install on my computer to fix the address and email so here's a PDF with some wrong info because I can't be sussed. Then they want an "interview." Oh, right. Out here in the world they still care about that shit. Fine, okay, I'll pick up the phone, yeah, your rate is half what I make but so long as you give me enough work to not fuck up my unemployment checks until I get to my real job I'll take your money. What's that? You want me to fill out a profile on your website so that other recruiters can reach me? I mean, Okay...

At some point in the not-too-distant past I gave OftenBen a ration of shit about millennials because everybody harshes on the next crew but Millennials are the first posse that thinks it's okay to show up to an interview in flip-flops or some shit. It's a trope that's been in Forbes, Huffington Post, Time, whatever. Ben, I owe you and the rest of your generation an apology. Flip flops are what you wear to interviews you don't give a fuck about. The fact that you don't give a fuck about the interview doesn't say anything about you, it says a lot about the job being interviewed for. It says a lot about your regard for the culture that wants you to jump for their bullshit hoops.

I'm about to be 43 fuckin' years old and I have successfully opted out of that culture. My contempt is cushioned by disinterest and success; I can easily see it coming from a position of despair and resignation. Hipsters? Hipsters are the kids that aren't putting up with your bullshit and still feel kind of okay about themselves. A fully enlightened millennial generation will be a sea of vinyl-listening, avocado-toast-eating, flip-flop-wearing hipsters.

I've been to four watch-making classes. I'm learning not a lot and having the time of my goddamned life. The watchmaker at Vacheron Constantin recommended a book that is hard to find and very expensive. Turns out one of the instructors at the class scanned that fucker to PDF but never read it. It's DOPE. Did you know that there are really only five gears in a watch necessary to tell time? Did you know they're really fuckin' fun to take apart? Did you know that ten years building scale models, 20 years working with surface-mount electronics and 30 years tuning carburetors and otherwise performing fine work on motor vehicles gives you orders of magnitude more manual dexterity and fine motorwork than your peers? I didn't. I do now. I'm fuckin' good at this shit.

That's a pallet fork. It's about 4mm wide. Turns out that 10x macro lens that clips onto your phone that you got in your stocking can be really goddamn useful. So yeah. Took apart a pocketwatch and got it back together again in the amount of time it took everyone else to take it apart. LOVING IT. With a semi-decent CNC machine I could build these things from scratch all goddamn day long and be a pig in shit. I would be utterly and completely divorced from this bullshit "show the recruiter where on your resume the bad career touched you" society and walk around in my goddamn cargo shorts and house slippers all day because I don't have a boss to care.

Finally, my car is dying. It needed $1500 worth of work six months ago and still does. Then I gave a buddy a thousand dollars so he wouldn't fucking die and figured maybe, as a 43-year-old man, I deserve to drive something that doesn't smoke when it warms up and doesn't have gorilla tape keeping the headliner out of my hair.

So I'm negotiating on a Porsche 911 carrera cabriolet because my inner douchebag clearly wants out. Even better, it's the shitty 996 water-cooled one that Porsche nerds love to hate because apparently every time you turn the key Ferry Porsche spins in his grave because it's water-cooled and made with Boxster parts and has headlights like fried eggs and and and. Here's what I know - if I can get a car? That sold for $80k? With 21k miles on it, new tires and $15k worth of service just done on it for less than the price of a Prius C? I'ma do it.

State farm wants $7 less per month to insure an '02 Carrera than they do to insure a '95 Dodge. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

mk, thenewgreen, I might be rippin' through San Fran at some point soon because taking a ragtop Porsche up the PCH in fall sounds like a pretty nice birthday present to myself.

__________________________________________________________________

wellthatwascathartic

_thoracic  ·  7 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Today's Writing Prompt: This Is What It's Like

“This is what it’s like” says your instructor, watching you carefully for mistakes

        Training you on bandages, splints, and the cruel rhythm of chest compressions

Teaching you what kills right away, and what takes a while longer.

Telling you that sometimes all you can do is hold a hand and say something kind.

And you listen, wide-eyed.

“This is what it’s like” says your crew chief, pulling you up into the ambulance.

        Showing you streets, the bad stretches of interstates, the homes of frequent fliers. 

Reminding you to check pockets for knives and arms for track marks.

Relaying experience’s thousand little lessons, unteachable in the classroom.

And you listen, working hard to show your worth.

“This is what it’s like” say your patients, pointing to where it hurts.

        Screaming with pain, clutching an extremity turned the wrong way. 

Groaning and sweating, grabbing at their chest saying it’s just like the last one.

Lying still and silent, unknowingly trusting a stranger with everything.

And you listen, replying with soothing words.

“This is what it’s like” says your gear, speaking in clicks, beeps and error messages.

        The defibrillator whines its way up to 300 joules, saying it’ll try but no promises. 

The ambulance growls, bouncing and rattling over potholes as you try to start an IV

The BVM whooshes, fighting to push breath into a ruined airway.

And you listen, hoping that together it’ll make a difference.

“This is what it’s like” says the notch in your shears, bearing witness.

        Reminding you of that one, the one no one could have saved. 

Pulling you back into the dirt and blood of the scene, unbidden.

Making you feel old, far older than you should be by now.

And you listen, wishing you didn’t have to.

“This is what it’s like” says the calendar, slowly passing time

        Marking out your shifts, 12-hour gambles on what’ll come your way. 

Quietly telling you it’s almost time to renew your license again.

Studded with anniversaries you’d prefer not to remember, but can’t quite forget.

And you listen, stunned that it’s been this long.

“This is what it’s like” you say to the newbies, watching them carefully for mistakes

        Training them on bandages, splints, and the cruel rhythm of chest compressions

Teaching them what kills right away, and what takes a while longer.

Telling them that sometimes all you can do is hold a hand and say something kind.

And they listen, wide-eyed.
phloridaman  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How much work is home ownership?

I bought a house when I was 18. Got it for 20k right after the housing crash. Paid for it with student loans since the bank wouldn't give me a mortgage. In hindsight this was probably a risky move but it worked out since I was able to sell it for 85k after graduating. They'll let you take out as much money as you want with student loans. I think they were disappointed that I was able to pay everything back right away, kept trying to tell me that it was a bad decision financially. Strictly speaking, it was. Maybe you can make more money if you let yourself float some debt, but money ain't worth your freedom (in my opinion).

Anyway, I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college fixing the place up a bit. Sank another 15k of loan money into it there. Neighbor was a roofer, and I helped him replace the rotten rafters and reshingle at a discount. I got some concrete and patched the foundation where it needed it. Kitchen walls were basically mush thanks to leaky pipes, but my uncle's a plumber so we redid all the pipes and put in a second bathroom. Then it was just new cabinets and appliances for the kitchen after some drywall/spackle/paint where needed. When the summer ended I rented out the other rooms (3bed/2bath) to some friends to help with future expenses.

But the problems seemed to never end. One of my friend/tenants wanted to run an ethernet cable to his room a few months in. Prissy liberal northerner who don't think wifi is good enough. So we climb up into the attic with a drill to thread one through the wall. While crawling around, I get the fucking shit shocked out of me and ended up putting a dent in the drywall of the ceiling. There was a live wire just hanging out up there. At which point it became prudent to try and trace down any other electrical issues. Fortunately, we left enough access points in the walls where we were too lazy to drywall (behind the bathroom mirror, in the bedroom closets, basically the whole room with the air handler). It's way easier to just get some access plates and screw them into place instead of doing the full 9 yards of drywall repair. Also makes your life easier for future efforts.

One of the windows ended up getting a bit of a leak, too. Went to plug in my phone one night and my hand just went right through the wall to the outside. While repairing that, I found the beginnings of a termite infestation. Fortunately only the beginnings. Had to get the whole place treated. Thank god we made those access points in the walls.

Place also had a crawl space at one point, but a former owner buried the access point. Apparently the place flooded, and rather than pump out the water they just buried it and sealed the water down there. Concrete foundation was above the crawl space, and post-burial expansion is probably what had caused the original problems with that. House must've been moved at one point, foundation and all, and just put down on top of that hole. Found out about it when a gator dug out the old entrance and moved in. It just saw a nice, secluded pond across the street from the main waterway with a driveway right outside to sunbathe on. I never knew how loud a gator was until I had one living under my bed. Things fucking stink too. Tasted pretty good.

I could go on. I had that place for three years. Sometimes, it wouldn't need much work beyond mowing the lawn and cleaning and shit. But once or twice a year, that place ate up a few weeks to a month of my life. Was sad to hear the whole neighborhood pretty much came down during Irma. Old Florida neighborhood of wooden houses: only lasted that long by luck.

Crazy shit happens all the time in the world. If you own and are responsible for a part of it, it can take you on a fun and crazy ride. Make sure you're ready before claiming responsibility. If you want to own something, you've gotta make it a part of you and give it the care it needs. Don't just treat it as a way to make or save money, and don't leave shit as someone else's problems. Insurance companies are just there to let you pass the buck and not feel guilty or repair it yourself good and proper. Dive in and make that house and land a part of your being and it will be worth it. Otherwise, when the shit hits the fan you'll just see yourself as a victim and try to duck out.

If you don't want responsibility: rent. If you want to make a part of the world an extension of yourself: own. If you don't think you're ready to truly meld with a piece of the Earth, you have no business leading it on or playing make believe. Taking care of your place on this planet is a sacred duty that deserves no compromise. If y'all'r the kind of fucker that'll be fine with just letting others take care of your life for y'all, you ain't the kind of person that deserves to take care of this planet.

tl;dr: the Earth is a tender lover. This is a wonderful thing with the proper care and attention, but also easy to abuse and take advantage of. Be aware of this if you want join with a piece of her.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

kleinbl00  ·  30 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 20, 2017

    Welp. I'm in the hospital for a week or so. My transplanted kidney is experiencing some antibody mediated rejection. It's got some permanent damage, but with treatment and increased immune suppression, I should get a few more years of use out of it. Grateful for everyday since 2009. Grateful for my donor, and his family. Grateful for good healthcare. Grateful for my kiddos. Grateful for all the people who have supported me since my kidneys failed in 2007.

That's a buddy of mine, couple weeks ago. I've known him since I was three. He's center left. I'm center right. This was my seventh birthday.

He was my main rival through elementary school; the other smart kid. We were the twin towers of nerd-dom. Only he got distracted by other stuff and basically flaked out on school; I think he literally got perfect SAT scores but his academics blew. He now thinks it was the paint chips he ate as a baby because apparently he's got other hallmarks of lead exposure. Me? I started hanging out with the overpass kids and noped the fuck out of academics pretty hard so by the time anyone gave a fuck about achievement we were both too cynical to care.

    The out of pocket cost for these treatments will be approximately $5000. Worth it, but extremely difficult to cover, especially given the amount of unpaid leave from work he has had to take (2 weeks so far, plus at least another 10 days in the next two months for chemo). He's a good, hard-working man who hasn't been able to catch a break when it comes to his health.

We have lunch when I can find time; it's always striking to me because I show up wearing WTFever and he shows up in coveralls with his name on them. perfect SAT score. My life was no bed of roses but fuckin'A.

He's gonna die.

He's three months to the day younger than I am and he's gonna die. He's got two kids; one just graduated high school, I think, and the other is three or four years out. His wife got him all the way through recovery and then decided that she didn't want to be anyone's wife anymore. And his commute is miserable and he's gotta deal with shit like dialysis AGAIN.

I've done well in Ethereum. It's play money, too. And my instinct is to frickin' pay off his gofundme. I mean, there's a girl on the roster there a thousand miles away whose existence I'd forgotten until yesterday and she put $250 towards this guy she prolly hasn't seen in more than 20 years. I've had lunch with him like twice this year and I haven't been here for half of it. Maybe that'll buy him another couple years. But then I put my name on it and it hangs over both of us. Maybe I don't put my name on it and then it hangs over me. I don't know.

His parents are government employees with rippin' pensions but he doesn't talk to them anymore of course and besides, he's a grown-ass man. A grown-ass man whose sister is begging on the Internet to pay his medical expenses because we live in the most advanced Western democracy in the world with the best healthcare in the world and the best doctors in the world and we're crowdfunding someone's renal failure.

I make reality television for a living and my daughter's inhaler costs me $5. Her epipen costs me $5. Her ER visits? A whopping $70 ZOMG. I get hot towels when I fly and he finishes out the day with Gojo and growing up, his was the house the nicest one I'd been in and his mom was on the city council and their cars were always new and I hunted mice so I could sleep and here we are and I don't understand how we've created a society where a million little choices by a million little kids lead us to this place where I keep my bike tools in a Harry Winston bag and he's begging the Internet for another couple years on this earth, please.

So I'm home, and I slept in my own bed, and I started a class in taking apart watches and I've got a feature and a short to mix and what really fucks me up - and has been fucking me up - is my buddy.

I sent him a text saying we were setting up a standing lunch date, my treat, he picks the day of the week and the place. I haven't heard back.

America.

insomniasexx  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 20, 2017

Waiting for numbness to set in

Today we are learning how big of liars mk and steve are regarding pain levels.

---

3 hours later

They aren't liars. It's not painful at all. Like actually maybe a 1 or 2 with the most pain the numbing needle. But it is something crazy happening to your body and you will react as you do in those situations. randomuser shakes. I sweat and get lightheaded. I haven't donated blood in forever because I'm so small that I am basically done the rest of the day.

It's short enough tho that even with anxiety and body reacting, it's over before it becomes unbearable.

I also had a really emotionally, long, long draining day yesterday, hadn't eaten anything before the procedure and, as always, am running on little sleep. I would not recommend doing it under those circumstances. Having a watered down Gatorade helped heaps tho.

---

The next day

Definitely sore. Sorta feels like if you slip on ice really, really hard except its not on your tailbone. But tender to the touch, sore and achy around, and some weird, unexpected pains if you move a certain way. I took 400mg advil mid day, with 250mg norco at 9am and 6pm. I am tiny + low tolerance though, my 200mg norco is likely your 500mg norco.

So basically, my recommendations on how to make it not as shitty as my experience:

- Do the procedure later in the day when sleeping for 15 hours won't hurt much.

- If you are a naturally anxious person, take half a valium beforehand.

- Let the doctor know UP FRONT that you are nervous and do not want to know the details or see the things they use. (Kevin apparently got a much more in depth description of the procedure than I did 😂)

- Get a good night's rest and make sure you have eaten a good breakfast (but probably a good while before the procedure because if I had thrown up, it would have been nice to throw up essentially nothing).

- Headphones + favorite music (I did this, as I always do for things like this, and it helps keep me calm). I actually posted this original photo as I was waiting for the numbing to work and texted my brother up until the first needle ("brb getting stem cells taken")

- Bring a watered-down yellow gatorade (watered-down because I find gatorade to be far too sugary and strong in general, but definitely too sugary after something like this).

- Drink a little bit of gatorade or suck on a sugar cube before the procedure to help get your blood sugar up.

- Remember to breath and that it's literally over in like 5 minutes, but prepare to spend at least an hour in the doctor's office between explanation, preparation, numbing, the actual procedure, and giving yourself 15 minutes to cool down / calm down afterwards.

- Ask the doctor for an extra gauze / tape for yourself for the next day. I'm sure most people have things at their house that would work but we're in the middle of moving so kevin got cheap-y hotel face circle + painters tape this morning

wasoxygen  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 20, 2017x 2

I woke up at 4:30 Saturday morning prepared to do the hardest thing I've ever attempted.

It did not go as planned.

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.

veen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions

kleinbl00  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mapping’s Intelligent Agents: Autonomous Cars and Beyond

    What I'm apparently failing to explain is that I want more consideration, not less.

What you're explaining loud and clear is that you feel the people responsible for the truth on the ground are not giving it the proper consideration. When I called you out for arguing (as a grad student) that you knew better than the law, you doubled down:

    That's not my luminary genius insight but professor after professor after professor has taught me.

I took one (1) acoustics class. It was taught by the two acoustics Ph.Ds at UW. And we started the class with one of the profs explaining the measurement rig he had pointed out the window: see, the buses outside were loud, but it was spring and soon the trees would be covered in leaves and it would be much quieter. et voila. Acoustics.

We believed him - I mean, I was 22 and the actual math of the attenuation of a shit-ton of leaves is intensive. Nonetheless we never did end up comparing beginning and end. Once I started working in the field I relayed this story to my boss and she laughed uproariously and showed me the B&K chart listing attenuation on the x and "meters of forest in hundreds" on the y.

These are acoustical professors with Ph. Ds prestigious enough in their department to fund a boat that flips on its tail for sonar studies. And we learned all sorts of great stuff about nodal analysis, resonance, deep channels and the like which provided a fundamental basis for the practical knowledge that I then picked up in the field. Because "practical knowledge" wasn't their thing - they were busy rewriting the theory. And for environmental acoustics, the theory was laid out by a dude a hundred years dead.

We'll disregard my profs' erroneous assumptions about the way environmental acoustics work. We'll even disregard the fact that when they were busted, they shined it on as if it never happened. We'll focus instead on their attempts to broaden the body of knowledge that we all benefit from and thank them for it. We'll even spot them the assumption that if my boss were to walk into that room and give them a lesson on the acoustical isolation of leaves, they'd listen interestedly, ask intelligent questions and have a rigorous debate about the mathematics at play.

Because nobody comes out ahead when we assume everyone else is a fucking idiot.

FIIC. Field Impact Isolation Class. A two-digit number that takes two trained professionals two days and ten thousand dollars worth of equipment to arrive at. Lucrative, no? I mean, we couldn't roll one for less than $3k. Which means we didn't get to roll them nearly often enough. And we spent a day burning through the math in custom bullshit Excel spreadsheets that sucked and that wasn't any fun either. So when we were presented with an opportunity to test some composite floors so we could build up some better mass law models, my boss paid me to schlep concrete and sand up to the 4th floor of a condo for six weeks so we could do our own testing. Contribute our own models. Put in our own research.

I billed out at $150 an hour, dude, and she sank 240 hours into it.

So I'm glad you're "all worked up." You should be. You "want the underlying assumptions, biases and structural issues unearthed and discussed" which can only mean you think they aren't. You "want to know in which context they work and in which context they don't" as if you think people don't fight over this shit every goddamn day. And I've been trying to say this a dozen different ways and you aren't hearing it, probably because it's offensive, and because it assails your worldview:

The experts in the field know more than the people they measure.

That's it. That's my beef. That's my fundamental observation, that in any esoteric body of knowledge, the practitioners of that knowledge know more about that knowledge than the people who encounter that knowledge glancingly. No matter how broad your evaluation of mapping and GIS, it will never be as focused as the mid-level bureaucrat in some forgotten town who has jurisdiction over where roads go in his township.

The argument put forth in your essay is that the experts are fucking idiots. When I tried to find something about objective vs. relational you came back with "no, it's that the experts are fucking idiots." When I came back with "you know, the experts I've worked with seem to know their shit" you came back with "they don't know it nearly enough because research." So yeah. I'm fucking offended. Your argument hinges on the idea that the practitioners of a science are incurious about the theory of the science, which is the argument people always make, so often that you actually whipped out

    So you sound to me like yet another arrogant engineer who thinks their numbers are always a good enough substitute for the truth.

Dude.

DUDE.

The "arrogant" engineers are the ones that know they know more than you and are sick of having to explain it. They're the ones whose knowledge is called into question because somebody just did a study somewhere. They're the ones being forced to (temporarily) rewrite their entire code of behavior because some expert somewhere in another unrelated field has better PR.

These are Assistive Listening Devices. They cost about $300 each, plus about $1000 for the transmitter. And thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you have an auditorium that holds more than a hundred people you have to have enough of them for five percent of the audience. That means if you have a school somewhere with a gym that seats 300 people, $5500 is going to be spent on shitty FM radios that nobody ever listens to... rather than band instruments, rather than gym equipment, rather than art supplies.

This happened because a well-meaning audiologist argued back in the mid-80s that deaf people were being left out of public events because they couldn't hear, and a lot of them couldn't afford hearing aids, so clearly any public building should be forced to pay to bring them in so that they would be "handicapped-accessible." And none of them ever get used - you wanna stick someone else's grody earthing in your ear? - but they're mandated by law and building inspectors across the US have to count the fuckers every time there's a permit issue. Millions of these things, mouldering away in closets.

Repeat for in-class reinforcement, smartboards, etc. What usually happens next is some journalist gets a bug up their ass to investigate waste and comes after whatever the it-thing is and administrators are pilloried for wasting money on that thing that only has one study to back it but ALS has hung on for three decades because the ADA was written by the Pope, effectively, so here we are. But fundamentally? People who don't know telling people who do know bones it for everybody.

My argument, simply put, is it's dangerous and offensive to assume that the people doing the majority of the work are in the knowledge minority. And the fundamental argument put forth by this argument - and by you - is that if we have a number, and everybody agrees on it, it reflects calcified thinking and oppression of the populace.

    I don't want to paradigm shift my way to glory, I want people to stop and think about the values and methods they pick.

The only way you could want this is if you hold deeply the idea that "people" aren't already doing it.

And fuck right off with that shit.

There's a great Frontline that answers all your questions. Unfortunately it hasn't been digitized.

The problem with trading up the chain, simply put, is that law enforcement only knows what criminals tell them. They are not constructing parallel cases. They're not making the roads safer, they're filling their quota of speeding tickets.

Torture doesn't work for the same reason - if you tell me you'll stop pulling my toenails off if I tell you who gave me the IED, I'll stick with the pliers so long as my source scares me more than you. Which means all I need to do is give up someone who scares me less than you do - and there's no downside to iteratively throwing names out there.

Let's say I've got four buddies - Alex, Bob, Chuck, Dave and Elvis. You've got my phone and you know that I call all of them. You're going to throw me down the forever hole unless I give up my dealer, and you suspect it's Alex, Bob, Chuck, Dave or Elvis. I play cards with Alex. Bob occasionally buys weed from me. Chuck's a single dad who hits me up for money. Dave gets me work sometimes as a bricklayer and also loves to share his collection of child porn. Elvis works for the Zetas cartel.

I'm going to give them up in the following order:

1) Chuck because he's a drag on my bottom line

2) Alex because I lose money when I play him, even if it's usually fun

3) Bob, because I'll miss that income

4) Dave, because I'll really mis that income

Never) Elvis, because I don't want my entire family to end up beheaded on the side of the road outside Amarillo

Presume, for the sake of kindness, that the DEA can rule out Chuck and Alex immediately. They are obviously, visibly harmless. Bob? The DEA is going to squeeze Bob, who will give up his own list that also doesn't include Elvis. Each one of the people on his list will be squeezed until eventually someone is stupid enough to flip a supplier. That supplier is then going to play the exact same fucking game. Elvis is doing just fine, the DEA is chasing their tails, and low-level addicts are suddenly drug kingpins because they're all narcing on each other.

Let's add some financial incentive to the pot, shall we? Every single person who gets implicated is also subject to DEA seizure. That means they get to take anything that touches drugs. Did you drive a car with drugs in it? it belongs to the DEA. Did you ride in a friend's car with drugs in it? It belongs to the DEA. Store drugs in your house? It belongs to the DEA. Store drugs in your landlord's house? It belongs to the DEA.

Along with everything in it.

Let's take my buddy Dante. He was addicted to Meth. He got clean for the sake of his life, and for the sake of his son. And then his buddy, who helped him get clean, told him that he needed 2 kilos of coke to make it across town by 5 or the Zetas would kill him. So my buddy Dante got the keys out of a mailbox, got in the car and started it up.

The car? The DEA's. The drugs? The DEA's. Dante's buddy? Trading up the chain, giving up Dante rather than the guys the DEA wanted because Dante couldn't make him show up headless on the side of a freeway outside Amarillo. Dante, of course, had no one to give up so he was charged with trafficking and faced a ten year bid for a first offense. Lost his truck, lost all his musical equipment, is a felon forever.

Well yeah. Shouldn't have gotten in the car. No shit. But if you think policing, public order, the war on drugs or any civil good has been advanced by this travesty of criminal justice you're not only high, you're evil.

And that's what's wrong with it. Dante is real. The seizures are real. The dead on the side of the road outside of Amarillo is my sister's ex-boyfriend. And here's the DEA, getting low-level smurfs to snitch on each other for fun and profit while the Coast Guard siezes 225 tons of coke.