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zebra2  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 4, 2019  ·  

So the album releases on Friday, but it's on Bandcamp already

https://elkbird.bandcamp.com/album/nature-expansion-pack

Go ahead and take a download code for it!

kantos  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 13, 2019  ·  

But seriously, this is a neat update. Appreciate it.

zebra2  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

It is a pubski of meager means, but we make do with what we have. This is where the real party is. We have pruno and badges.

I made a glitch art thing. I think it will be the new album cover, which I intend to wrap up very soon now.

steve  ·  69 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 2, 2019  ·  

Early pub. I like it.

I’ve been carpooling with a bloke who lives nearby. The older I get, the more I realize we’re all very similar when we let our guards down and look for the best in people.

We let someone go at work this week. It’s never easy, but this one was the right time for the right reasons.

I’m still recovering from a vacation. I know that may sound strange, but it’s a thing. Between time zone differences, piled up work, inspiration overload, and general life evaluation - it’s been a rough couple of weeks. I’ll say this though - I am a blessed/fortunate man who has had more opportunity than most, and I don’t want to waste another minute.

I love you all. I don’t drink, but I feel drunk. My guard is down. My heart is full. I’d hug you if you were in front of me. Maybe you need one. I usually do. But if hugs aren’t your thing, a high five, a smile, or just a knowing glance. I’m here. You’re here. We can just be.

So here’s to you Hubski... I raise my metaphorical glass to you. And to you. And to this place. And to mk... wherever he is this week...thanks for opening early.

thenewgreen  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

I was in Paris for 4 days. It changed me. I saw what life should be like. It should take 3 hours to have lunch. You should walk everywhere you go. You should only build buildings worth building. You should have the largest and most beautiful of those buildings dedicated to showcasing art.

The people have a leisurely way to them, while also having a definitive style. It’s remarkable. It’s a remarkably beautiful place. It’s the new gold standard for cities for me.

I’ll return.

cgod  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

One of my cats learned how to kill birds and proceeded to attempt a neighborhood genocide. He went from not killing birds to killing one or two a day.

We ordered some bell collars and his kill count went down to one every two days.

We have more bells coming today, they are supposedly louder and ring easier than the ones we have.

I took his collar off today to adjust the bells (he was able to hook their rings on his teeth). He bolted during the collar adjustment and came back 20 min later with a bird.

If I can't get the bird kill rate down to something like one a year than he'll only be able to go outside at night.

He's a hell of a cat. The vet just saw him and said something like "this is what a healthy cat should look like!" He's lean fit and smart. I've never had a smart cat before.

Hope I can get a handle on his murderous behavior.

I'm drinking Broken Top bourbon from Sisters Oregon, I think they have bourbon figured out at their price point.

zebra2  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

You can’t prove it. This is a perfect pubski. I won’t tell you anything.

johnnyFive  ·  60 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

I went to a CLE (continuing legal education) thing at my alma mater last week. The theme was restorative justice, basically the idea that there may be better responses to crime than just throwing people in jail. It was good to see the work being done, and also that it was being done by people actually in a position to do something (some of the speakers included a local trial judge and a prosecutor). The last speakers were a couple of guys who had only recently gotten out of prison for murder, and who helped co-found a local group trying to stop street violence before it starts. They were really amazing, and I had a good conversation with one of them afterwards. You can tell when people get It, even if you couldn't explain what It is, and these two get It.

The keynote was given by Dr. Johonna Turner, who is with the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University, just up the road. To start with, and I recognize the unfairness of this, she was the first person I've ever heard use words like "intersectionality" without making it sound like all the ills of the world are my fault as a white cisgendered male. She managed to talk about these things and somehow make it feel like everyone in the room (or me, when I was talking to her later) was in it together. I probably spent an hour talking to her after the main event ended, and even ended up giving her a ride back to her hotel afterwards. She was very patient with my fumbling attempts to talk about issues of gender and race.

Meanwhile, I'm in the market for a new psychiatrist, as the one I had is leaving practice (or at least the local one). I was able to get in with one earlier this week, but I was not impressed. Apropos of nothing he started talking about how when he did inpatient work, most of his job was in sussing out fraudulent requests for hospitalization, and spent a good chunk of our appointment bemoaning drug-seeking behavior. He doesn't take depression seriously as a thing, totally blowing off my own issues with that particular condition (which are getting worse of late). He talked about the low success rate of a given antidepressant as if that were meaningful, especially given that it's basically impossible to know if a given drug will work for a given person ahead of time (and objectively measuring the effectiveness is super difficult). It was all very surreal, and I get the impression that he's out on his own because of anger at The System. But it's also clear that he's very stuck in his ways, and is more interested in them than listening to me. (This was further supported by the fact that he kept talking about out-of-pocket costs despite my having insurance, and that we spent half my appointment going through the questions that I'd already filled out on the intake paperwork.) Ironically one of the things that I was excited about was that, according to his intake person when I made the appointment, he typically avoids stimulants in treating ADHD. I'd be glad to change, because the med crash is a bitch. He instead prescribed a stimulant. To be fair, he did say that this one tends to be a more gradual come down, although I'm skeptical of his statement that I wouldn't notice it wearing off. I still have a couple months of meds from my previous doc, so at least I have some time.

kleinbl00  ·  41 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Everything is amazing, but nothing is ours  ·  

Devil's advocacy: most people never needed it anyway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A quote of a quote:

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

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

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

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

_refugee_  ·  42 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thoughts on sympathy and empathy  ·  

I agree with the idea that empathy, in any given person, exists as a limited commodity.

I believe that a person is by nature a limited being; there are bounds to all dimensions of experience, feeling, etc. Once a person gets into the appearance of having unlimited any-quality-within-the-self, it seems to me like we are now talking about gods or fictions. Or narcissists, I suppose.

I have read that our daily ability to self-discipline is limited; that it shows a decline in performance over time when taxed. (Yes, I've also read articles that decry those same studies; seems like the jury is out on this topic. However, I've never seen a study demonstrating a human's unlimited quantity of -- well, anything.) I know for a fact that attributes of mine, such as patience or anger, certainly feel and appear limited as I engage in or with them. My general level of intelligence is limited by my brain and genes. My stamina and physical endurance are limited, as I begin to feel exhausted halfway through a 6 mile run. I can't even sleep forever; the body wakes me up when it's hit that particular limit, with no input from me on whether I agree.

I think the thankful antidote or defense to this limited experience and limited mental/brain-i-al resources that all persons experience is the ability to switch off: when I recognize my empathy has reached a limit, I can switch gears from empathizing, perhaps, to trying my best to listen, or learn. When I am out of patience, I can divert my attention to something less trying. When I am out of reason because, perhaps, my emotions are too high -- I can realize this, consciously decide to stop engaging analytically (or to stop allowing myself to turn to 'logic' or overthinking) and practice letting go, or accepting that not everything can be proven, defined, known -- can be mathematic in nature, I'd like to say.

There are limits to empathy, just like any other human trait or ability; knowing what our personal limits are allows us to recognize when we have reached them and to stop trying to wring a dry sponge, or get the car going by flooding the engine. It is useful to know when a given approach may no longer be viable due to resource constraints so that then, we can either admit this limit and step away from the task, or we can admit the limit and begin to try other, potentially also-valuable approaches.

kantos  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

AHHHH. (This is another relationship vent brought to you by kantos)

5 jars of your most fermented jam. Throw in the whole trash bag too, please.

I'm my mind is numb from the level of face plant I just achieved.

   Invite girl over for dinner 

Proceed to have nice meal

Gets to that moment of make a move or not

Ask bluntly after a nice night if she's looking for a relationship

"Not particularly"

Land softly with a couple minutes of not awkward conversation

Exit the girl

Gonna ride out the feeling of the L for the duration of the evening. Then call friends in the morning to get back on the buck.

Fortunate enough I can bounce back with a game plan, but damn that was rough.

I'm taking a warm shower, and going to bed for a mental reset.

Night hubs. o7

am_Unition  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

I'll meet you halfway:

am_Unition  ·  66 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What If We Really Are Alone in the Universe?  ·  

    ... not only is it going to be a lot less work to take our atmosphere from 400ppm to 250, we're already here.

Yepperz. Realistically, it will "cost" governments tens of trillions of dollars to solve the climate problem. Over the next ten to twenty years, it will become glaringly obvious that we have no choice.

When people are like, "HEY, send me to start terraforming Mars RIGHT NOW!", I wanna tell them, "OK, have fun! I'll be here. Maybe you'll get the bandwidth to email me before you die, but maybe not". I think NASA is probably realizing that any serious attempt to colonize Mars needs to be an international endeavor if it will ever have a chance of succeeding (/affording it). With a staunchly anti-globalist president, there's no good reason for NASA to broadcast that, because they also probably realize that they're gonna have to pull a Vatican and think on timescales of human generations from the get-go, so what's four or eight years? I've been trash talking a Mars shot since I got here. The public simply doesn't understand how many challenges there are to colonizing Mars, and unlike asteroid mining, there are essentially zero business incentives for sending people to Mars. That I can think of, at least.

    SETI & Drake Equation paragraph

It's not hydrogen emission, it's emission generated when hydrogen bonds to hydroxide and makes water. Had to look it up, I was so confused, I thought "Why would SETI be looking at... Lyman-Alpha..?". I don't think targeting water is a terribly bad idea. Water has so many unique properties (yuge heat index, less dense in the solid phase than the liquid, relatively small temperature difference required for phase changes, should occur everywhere in the universe near a previous supernova that produced the Oxygen, etc.), and although it certainly might drastically narrow the types of "life", it seems like a decent start.

I think I've said this before, but I wonder if there isn't something encoded into quasar outbursts, like if advanced civilizations ever systematically arrange matter to fall into the supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies. I doubt it's really possible to encode much on very short timescales, because the processes in the accretion disk and jets that create emissions are super turbulent and non-linear. Actually, we think the most common non-linear process energizing things there is probably magnetic reconnection (muh jerb), but anyway. The dots and dits could be days, weeks, months, or years-long, though, I guess. That'd be the best way to have an omni-directional signal, because you'd be modulating gamma-ray and relativistic particle fluxes, which are rare enough that your signal-to-noise ratio is muuuuuuch better than other wavelengths or lower energy particles, especially if it were coming from the center of your own galaxy. There are many many other considerations, though.

Didn't know that about Drake and the Navy. I still maintain that the galaxy might be teeming with life, and there's not really a reason for them to bother us. Apparently there are plenty of solar systems with rocky, watery planets. There might be only a relatively small span in a civilization's development when they broadcast radio waves up into space before switching to neutrino beams or whatever. Think of it like a spherical shell of radio waves, and however many years they broadcast for, that's how many light years thick it is, and the radius of the shell is obviously growing one light year per year. The strength of the signal inside the shell decays as a function of 1/r^2; quite quickly, as the radius expands outwards.

    Give me the energy requirements for a tightbeam visual signal from, say, Alpha Centauri B. I wanna be able to read morse code at night.

Ho boy, here we go. Pinging Devac for peer review.

Like, with the naked eye? OK, you'll need an apparent magnitude of at least +6. Let's make it +4, because I don't want to voyage into the central Pacific Ocean to see this, I don't even wanna squint. We'll assume that the Alpha Centaurians (probably centaurs) have tuned their laser's beam divergence such that when it reaches us, the beam diameter is the size of Earth's diameter. And btw, they'll have to aim 4.3 years in advance, so (being nowhere near precise enough) 0.3 orbits ahead of wherever Earth is when they flip the switch. From the apparent magnitude wiki article, we'll just convert the m=0 flux for the "V"(= visible) band to m=+4 using Pogson's ratio, 2.512, raised to the (+4 - 0 =) 4th power: 2.512^4 = ~40. OK, so to have enough visible photon flux per unit area (we start with cm^2) for it to appear as an m+4 for everyone on Earth, we need 40 x 3.64E-20 (= ~1.5E-18) ergs/(s*cm^2*Hz). We need to get rid of the Hz. If we assume they're using a monochromatic beam smack dab in the middle of the visible light spectrum, say 550 nanometers (yellow) = lambda, and c = lambda*f (where c is the speed of light), so f = 3E8 (m/s)/5.5E-7 (m) = ~5E14 Hz. So 1.5E-18*5E14 = ~1E-3 ergs/(s*cm^2). 1 erg = 1E-7 Joule, so now we're at 1E-10 J/(s*cm^2) = 1E-10 W/cm^2. Sanity check before the final step: I guess this sounds kinda right. If cat toy laser pointers are around 1 mW (1E-3 W) and we're instructed to never shine them in peoples eyes (which are roughly a square centimeter), it makes sense that barely-discernible blinking lights in the sky should be around 10 million times less powerful. OK, best for last. Finally, we multiply by the cross-sectional area of the Earth... in square centimeters. Earth's radius is ~6000 km, = 6E8 cm, and pi*r^2 = ~1E18 cm^2. So those guys are rollin' with a 1E8 Watt laser. 100 million watts. Let's make it a "jiggawatt" (1E9 Watts) for funsies. According to gubbmint, you'd need about 400 windmills to power your laser. Only(?) 40 windmills for the 1E8 Watt laser. Problem is, you might want a lotta lasers. And the results for red and blue will be more or less similar, certainly well within an order of magnitude.

If they built a truly dispersionless laser (not quite possible, but play along), and knew exactly where your eyeball would be at all times 4.3 years in the future, they could just use something as powerful as the toy laser, and it'd still damage your eye. Hey, what're you up to just after January 28th of 2024? Asking for a friend.

mitra  ·  60 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

This week I went out apple-picking with my friends and had a great time. We chose a wonderful sunny day and got a huge bag of Honey Golds and Empires that I am still chewing through, and probably will be for the foreseeable future. The orchard was a fair distance outside of town, but the crowds were huge - I guess everyone is just trying to bask in the sun while they still can, we've had our first frost of the season a few days back. Walked around the orchard for some time, and then tried to get lost in the corn maze (but couldn't).

Also I took some photos of the Parliament while walking around a few days back, and they just came in from the lab. I've been trying to shoot on film recently, which wasn't going too well (destroyed my first roll and got some light leaks on my next one cause I didn't roll it all the way back before opening), but, other than the expense and the inconvenience, it's fun.

elizabeth  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

Today's my 3rd day in Eindhoven, and it's been awesome so far. Eating delicious vegan food every day, slowly getting to know the 40 young folks in the crew, biking everywhere, barely drinking. Feels super wholesome - I think I needed that in my life right now after the crazy summer of debauchery I've had. Prepping for dutch design week right now and getting in the groove of the film crew.

I wish i could have gotten here earlier honestly, seems like it's been lots of fun and the project is wrapping up in december. But the founder is very seriously looking into buying land in Portugal and building an alternative community. Pretty much a hippy commune, but a high tech version where you document your processes and share it all open source and do R&D for sustainable living.

ButterflyEffect  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

Perspective is talking to family members who have never been west of Michigan or east of Rhode Island about you preparing to go in to a completely foreign country, Bhutan, and looking up places to stay in Bangkok on the way.

There’s a lot to be thankful for, it’ll be a big list this Thanksgiving.

mk  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 9th 2019  ·  

Some sort of quid pro quo badge thing going on here...