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johnnyFive  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: We Will Regret Not Taking the Economic Effects of Mass Quarantine More Seriously  ·  

The author here is making a mistake that happens a lot with this kind of situation: conflating effectiveness with overreaction. He cites to infection rates leveling off in other countries, but fails to consider the fact that they've also implemented significant restrictions. China lowered its own infection rate by basically closing an entire province, and it seems to have worked. Italy is now seeing the start of a leveling-off as well, and that's about 2 weeks after putting the whole country on lockdown. The comparison to South Korea is also inapt, given that they reacted much faster and more prudently than the US did.

On the death rate: there are three problems here. The first is that his number is wrong; the WHO estimates a fatality rate of 3.4% worldwide, not 1%. Next, he conveniently leaves out Italy, which has seen a fatality rate of 5%. At least part of this is attributed to an overwhelmed healthcare system: in China's case, the death rate was 5.8% in Wuhan province, but only 0.7% in the rest of the country. Finally, 1% is still far from insignificant. If we had half the country infected, which is on the lower end of the estimates I've seen for doing nothing, a 1% death rate means 1.8 million people. That is a lot.

As for the economic impact, it's the usual "think of the job creators" nonsense. He's right that the economic impacts will be significant, but why is it only a choice between accepting a few (hundred) thousand more deaths from COVID-19 and trying to return to business as usual? If nothing else, the last few months should be showing us just how unsustainable our current economic system actually is. Shocks like disease are inevitable, and if our system is too brittle to handle them, it deserves to fail. If we'd listened to progressives 10 years ago, we'd already have measures in place that would've handled the economic effects far more effectively.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Craft Fair v4.0 - March 25, 2020  ·  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fuckin' sunshine and rainbows over here in Seattle.

kingmudsy  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Update: Chat  ·  

Just be glad you're not all mining bitcoin for me right now ;D

kleinbl00  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Help. Please help me understand the panic  ·  

I'm your huckleberry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does that make sense?

mk  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Federal Reserve cuts rates to zero and launches massive $700 billion quantitative easing program  ·  

I'm old enough that as a kid, my great uncle Fran used to tell me first hand stories of the Great Depression. My grandfather would walk the railroad tracks as a kid, picking up bits of metal to sell for scrap to get bread. This central banking money system is fucked. Yields have progressively spiked and dropped within lower bounds for the last four decades. Now the bound is near zero.

Central banks are pushing on string. That said, the economy is magic. It heals and transforms. People trade, build, and create. IMO in a very real way, what will die off in this next decade needs to die off. It was on life support anyway.

My biggest worry is that skyrocketing unemployment will lead to populism, nationalism, and conflict. There's going to be fertile ground for that bullshit. But, as far as the economy goes, I think the world has a real opportunity to rebuild with one that is less top-heavy. I see crypto as a fundamental building block of that. Institutions of trust have been the focus of economic exploits. That's Bernie's whole bang. My prediction is that in the next decade, Central Bank hi-jinks will continue to prove ineffectual at best, and an organic token-based economy will grow parallel to it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the bid documents went out.

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

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

"Uhh... yeah?" I said.

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

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

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

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

related link

kleinbl00  ·  40 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the Affordability, Stupid  ·  

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

This graph says a lot:

cgod  ·  70 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 22, 2020  ·  x 2

A few years ago another coffee shop moved in three blocks from my shop. It pissed me off because I knew the numbers and we were going to be eating each others dinner to the extent that I was pretty sure that they wouldn't make it but that they would hurt my bottom line pretty bad.

It was a nice couple who opened it, they had a background in dance performance and were pretty thin on service industry experience. They had a nut roasting company in back of the shop and decided they would open a retail location for their nuts and open a cafe to help make the whole thing balance out. They had a nice big nut display. Their coffee was decent and they had FOOD! They had stuff like quiche and egg sandwiches and shit like that. Another thing they had that didn't were walls painted in mocha and espresso shades with a natural edged counter all cut from the same tree. I know many people thought I was doomed, it was a very nice counter. Friends said that I should start doing food to stay competitive (I just have bagels and pastry).

I think it wasn't long before they nice couple realized that nuts weren't a destination shopping attraction, the nut display dwindled to a few shelves but they reportedly sell a lot of nuts online and to fancy shops. They double downed on the food and became more ambitious. You could get a motherfucking breakfast there with potatoes eggs and toast on the weekend. Food margins are way shittier than coffee margins and it entails a whole bunch of work and forethought to keep the machine running. The two of them couldn't man the shop and keep the nuts flowing alone so they got employees.

I know my numbers and and could pretty well judge their costs in relation to how busy they were and what their prices were. They were right about FOOD bringing em in. They were a bit busier than I was but all that labor and the worsening margins meant that the return on the work wan't panning out. I knew baristas who worked for them and they said it was a shitty unhappy place to work. I'd go in for a cup of coffee and not see the owners working or see the owners and note their strained smiles and weary eyes.

On a sidebar, why don't I have FOOD! Food has shitty margins when you have to add an employee to give any kind of decent service. If I had food I'd have to work significantly harder to eek out a relatively small amount of extra profit. I also know that the thousandth time I scrapped cheese off a plate I'd go down to the basement and hang myself from the rafters. I suppose it mostly comes down to the fact that there is a value to happiness that a small increase in marginal profit and brow sweat can't make up for.

So, I kept my head down, donated to local causes and kept getting to know the people in my neighborhood better. Most importantly I made better coffee than the other guys, all I cared about was coffee and relationships. The other shop changed their hours about ten times in a year and a half trying to find the magic hours to bring in the most money and keep labor and work to a minimum. In the end they opened later than I did and closed earlier. I loved it.

One day the other shops roaster came in to pitch me on his wares.

He walked in, saw who I carried and said "Oh, you are carrying Courier!."

He had half a dozen bags of coffee in his arms.

"You aren't going to be interested in switching roasters, Joel is the guy that inspired me to go into coffee, he's a great guy and his coffee is amazing." He gave me a few single orgins and told me to look him up if Courier ever went out of business.

I kept my head down for a year and a half and waited for them to go out of business which they finally did. They said they had to quit for personal reasons, which may to some extent be true but when you aren't making any money or having any fun personal reasons are nagging.

They immediately sold the business to another nice couple. This couple also had a background in performance and little food experience. They really went all in at the FOOD! They tried it all and were good at very little of it. I had one of their bland $7 quiches and wondered that anyone would buy such a thing twice. One of my friends got and egg sandwich and tossed it out declaring that it tasted oddly of fish and tossed it in the garbage. This couple slowly worked their own shop less and less relying on expensive employees to cover more and more shifts.

Their employees were mostly unhappy and gave shitty service. I work my shop 6 days a week for about fifty six open hours. I have two ladies who cover the seventh day alternating every other week and pick up an odd shift when I need it. They are both gems who trust to always act in my best interest and to treat people as well as I would. Neither are the all that great as baristas but they are both decent. I never worry about the shop for a second while they are there. I also have a friend who can pick up shifts who is an ace barista and great with people.

My service is consistent if a little wild and weird sometimes. When the group home goes out for coffee they come to my shop, I know their names and talk to them. I've got the vast majority of the minority business because I am happy to get to know and grateful to put coffee in the cup of almost each and every person who walks in the door. One of my black customers who has become over time one of my friends remarked that she didn't like to go in the other place. She said they were all smiles but she could tell that she wasn't welcome there. I let every mail man, UPS driver or construction work crew use my bathroom, they've become customers and the word has spread that a person out working can always get a glass of water and use the john at my place. It's really my joy when I look out on the floor and see every slice of my neighborhood life sitting at my tables. It took a couple years of development to get there but it's probably the thing that has made me the most proud of my spot. I'm sure that there are more than a few people who hate my spot. They hate the color scheme, they hate that I don't have food, they hate that I don't have lilac rose marry infused honey lattes, and they hate that I don't have all natural edged counters cut from the same tree. I'm not kid friendly. I'm not kid unfriendly but if the shop starts to look like a fucking day care with children running around and bouncing off things like bumper cars I'm like to put on NWA until things thin out a bit.

Finally the next nice couple has their dreams shattered by my unwillingness to lay down and die and just make room for the new order of natural edged counters all cut from the same tree. I worked like a dog (I like working, its not all that hard but it's long and I almost never have bad days). I kept love in my heart for all the people who chose to support me. I'm grateful for having had this chapter of my life be at least moderately successful. The second couple were out of business. I went to their equipment sale and purchased a Ditting grinder an almost like new Mazzer for $900, what a fucking deal. The Ditting is a godamn dream.

It's been a few months since they went out of business and I knew sales were up but I hadn't run the numbers and compared them to last year. I figured I was up about 30%. I just ran the January numbers and compared them to sales last year and I found that I was up 66% from last year! It's huge. It's money coming in long after fixed costs have been taken care of. I could probably make more money doing any number of things but it wouldn't be my gig and my customers. It makes me feel pretty great.

They are going to tear my shop down in about two years and I'm ok with that. It'll only be two years of the type of money I had hopped would be coming in all this time but it'll be all the sweeter for having buried a pair of starry eyed dancers dreams by being consistent and friendly and enjoying almost every day of my work life.

cgod  ·  53 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pro-Life” Activist Does Damage Control After Whining About Baby She “Saved”  ·  

I have immense respect for people who strongly oppose abortion and have adopted children who have been born with severe disadvantage.

I am pro-choice all the way.

I've known several people who have put their money where their mouth is and stepped up to care for a kid who is disabled or born with a drug addiiction. While I disagree with their pro-life position, I am overwhelmed by the goodness with which they hew to their beliefs.

Here we have a vapid bitch who would in no way support her beliefs with personal sacrifice.

Who fucking cares.

Are there hypocrites in every social movement?

Yes.

Is this lady one of them?

Yes.

Are there idiots who hold their pro-choice position based in nothing but their upbringing and peer group?

Yes.

This kind of story is nothing but shitty sneering about how right one side is over the other based upon the worst kind of person who hold a certain position. It's the lowest kind of story that reduces the arguments of the other side to a grotesque cartoon. I loath it.

Is abortion murder?

Yes, it is, at least to some extent.

I am an advocate for the murder if the unborn in certain situations. I don't find it a completely comfortable position to assume.

Stories like this make it a lot more comfortable to take a position that should be carefully considered.

I find this post disgusting.

I'd really like to hear a response from lil who bumped this post or steve who I suspect holds some opinion on the subject in response to what I've said. I've thought a lot about it and how I feel about abortion and people who believe it should not be legal.

goobster  ·  62 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hey Hubski, tell me a story about your dad  ·  

Ok.

For those who have seen the movie Ford vs Ferrari that came out recently, my Dad is kinda involved in that.

The race in Southern California early in the movie, where Ken Miles is initially disqualified because his trunk is too small? And he takes a hammer to the inside of the trunk to stretch it out and meet the rulebook?

Carroll Shelby was in a race the same day, driving a 7-liter Maserati.

My dad was also racing his Corvette there the same day (not a photo of my dad):

The thing is that there were only 5 "modified" class vehicles like the Maserati at the track that day - not enough to have a full race of their own - so the track decided to add the 5 Modifieds to the Stock class that my Dad was in.

Now, there's no way a stock race car can compete with a modified-class car. For example, the Modifieds all arrive on a trailer and are not street-legal. The stock-class cars have to be street legal, like my Dad's Corvette; he drove his car to the race that day.

So the Track Officials told everyone that this was going to be like LeMans, where several different class of cars are racing at the same time, but there are actually different races going on... the Modifieds will have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place according to their finishes, and the Stock-cars will have their own 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies, regardless of where the Modifieds finish.

BY NO MEANS were the Stock cars to try to compete with the Modified class cars! It was dangerous and pointless, so the Stockers should look for the Modifieds coming up in their rear view mirror, and let them pass. DON'T TRY AND RACE THE MODIFIEDS.

At the second corner, Carroll Shelby was in first place with his Maserati, and my Dad was in 2nd place in his Corvette. Over the next two laps the two of them pulled away from the rest of the field, and were on their own.

The 7-liter Maserati was a MONSTER powerhouse, of course, and could do a billion miles an hour on the straights. But a 7-liter engine is HEAVY, and it was slow through the corners.

On the other hand, my Dad's Corvette was nimble and quick (the first production car with a fiberglass body, IIRC), and able to get through the corners fast, but did not have the top speed of the Maserati.

Willow Springs Race Track has two long straight-ish sections, and some nice tight corners:

So Shelby would come out of Turn 9 and push the throttle to Mach 10 as he came to the Start/Finish line, then have to brake hard into Turn 1, where my Dad would catch up and stay ahead into Turn 6.

Then the fire-breathing 7-liter Maserati would blow by my Dad up to Turn 7, feather it a bit to get through Turn 8, brake hard for Turn 9, and turn on the rockets again approaching the Start/Finish line.

Throughout the 20-plus laps of the race, the two diced back and forth like this.

But my Dad noticed that Shelby had to feather the throttle a bit and scrub off some speed to get through Turn 8. My Dad figured that if he could get through 5 and 6 quicker, he could stay closer to Shelby on 7, pass him in 8, stay ahead through 9 as Shelby had to brake hard, and possibly stretch it out enough to beat Shelby to the Start/Finish line.

Now, remember, they are two different class vehicles in completely different races, that just happen to be running at the same time on the same track. The two of them COULD HAVE just driven normally and both taken 1st Place in each of their races.

But NOOOOOOOoOooOooOoOOoooo... these guys are RACERS.

So they are 2 laps from the end of the race.

Dad makes his move.

HARD out of Turn 4.

Don't let off through Turn 5.

Shelby isn't even in his rear view mirror, as my dad comes in HOT to Turn 6...

... and runs wide, and clips the outside rail with his left front fender. No biggie. A little broken fiberglass. No structural damage.

And he guns for Turns 7 and 8...

... and it WORKS.

Carroll Shelby can't get past my Dad before Turn 9. My Dad is in the lead, carrying more speed into the corner, and comes out at full throttle ahead of Shelby on the front straight for the first time.

He crosses the Start/Finish line ahead of Carroll Shelby and passes the white flag (last lap indicator) first!!

THIS IS GOING TO WORK. HE CAN BEAT SHELBY'S MODIFIED-CLASS MASERATI IN A STOCK CAR!!!

As my dad passes the Start/Finish line he notices the flagger is waving TWO flags at my Dad... the white flag, indicating the last lap, and a rolled black flag, too!

He thinks: Black flag: eliminated from race! But wait... it was ROLLED... that means something... SHIT... what does that mean? Do I have to stop? Do I continue racing?!? WHAT DO I DO?!?"

He's still ahead of Shelby and coming up to the corners where he needs to commit to his previous stunt to stay ahead of Shelby, and cross the Start/Finish in first place overall.....

But that rolled black flag! What does it mean!??

He flutters the throttle going into 5, doesn't carry the speed he needs to stay ahead between Turns 6 and 7... and the Maserati blows by him.

Shelby throws my dad a puzzled look as he passes. Carroll knows my dad beat him, and has slowed down, and is wondering why...

Shelby crosses the finish line first taking 1st overall, my dad crosses just behind him taking 1st in the Stock ("Production") class.

They see each other in the pits later. Shelby nods. My dad nods. They go their separate ways.

(Footnote: A rolled black flag means that there is damage to your vehicle that is being reviewed by race officials, and you may have to leave the track... but they haven't decided yet. So KEEP RACING. When my Dad clipped the wall and damaged the fender, race officials were concerned that his tire/wheel might have been damaged, and were waiting for him to come around past them again on the track so they could see the damage and make a determination of whether it was just cosmetic damage, or if he needed to be Black Flagged and pulled out of the race immediately. They determined his vehicle was safe to continue racing; he didn't need to slow or stop.)

Quatrarius  ·  84 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 8, 2020  ·  

the year has begun wonderfully

now going by new name and pronouns openly (with the only people not knowing are the ones it hasn't come up yet around them with): parents also like the new name (my mum and i teared up together talking about it) and trying their darndest to use em - it's amazing how much weight is off my back already

3 days into the new semester and I'm feeling good about academics so far, things are more interesting so far at least so we'll see how it goes

i went on a bountiful shopping trip and finally found some comfy tank tops among other purdy things

gonna start hitting the gym again this weekend / upon getting a feel for how the flow of each week will go / when the january crowd eases slightly

also gonna make a bunch of phone calls for haircut / piercing / therapy appointments to get the ball rolling on all of that

updates pending

kingmudsy  ·  83 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 8, 2020  ·  

I've got permanent bags under my eyes. This is mostly owed to my larger than average eye sockets, but partly because I'm always staying up past my bedtime. I've been putting thought into why I'm constantly giving myself insufficient sleep for no good reason, and this is what I've got:

I'm good looking. I'm smart. I'm funny. People want to be around me, and I tend to attract them easily. But even around family, I have a baseline level of discomfort. If I spend too much time with someone, I accumulate a nauseated feeling in my stomach that's only relieved by periods of solitude.

Night is the perfect time, because everyone else is gone. They're asleep or they're kindred spirits and don't expect my acknowledgement any more than I want theirs.

I love what nighttime sounds like.

Even the highway by my house is silent but for the perfectly digestible sound of one or two cars pushing like boats through a river of asphalt. The night is so still that the sound of my parent's antique modem clicking away in the kitchen can be heard clearly from the carpeted living room. The TV is on, and although I've muted the late-night advertisement for a new and innovative CPAP machine, I can still hear the small whine of static electricity arcing from red to green to blue. This small whine is overwhelming. I can smell it if I focus on it. It smells like hot dust. If I'm feeling particularly aspirational, I know that birdsong will eclipse the modem and the pixels when the sun stretches its first amber fingers and brushes their tips over the roofs of my neighborhood.

'Alone' to me means 'relaxed.' People bring tension, and they take me from my thoughts.

I'm still sussing out the underlying reasons here, but that's the basic phenomenon - I can only relax on my own, and I'm always alone at night. I think for now a simple description of the phenomenon is good enough. I'll keep sussing, and maybe I'll bring you an epiphany next week.

ooli  ·  42 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Library of Babel - Why Hexagons?  ·  

It inspired me to write a poem:

  Dans la bibliothèque aux étroits hexagones,

J'ai marché plus d'une fois vers un but précis.

Loin de ce tome ultime et de ses facéties,

Que cherchent les héros comme une autre Gorgone.

Lisant chaque ligne dans ma quête infinie

Plus impossible encore et plus simple à la fois,

Puisque dans ce royaume, bâti autrefois,

J’attends l'Amour qui absout de l'ignominie.

  Espérant celle qui dans le semblable livre

Plongerait son regard; son regard qui délivre,

Hébergerai mon âme dans sa palmeraie.

Mais le hasard est cruel, et son couperet

Sans fin, me laisse seul, isolé à poursuivre

Ces lignes que tu lirais, toi que j'aimerais!

...

According to google bot, this will roughly translate as :

  In the Library with narrow hexagons,

I have walked more than once towards a specific goal.

Far from the Ultimate volume and its jokes,

That heroes seek like another Gorgonian.

Reading every line in my endless quest

Even more impossible and simpler at the same time,

Because in this kingdom, built in the past,

I await the Love which absolves from ignominy.

   Hoping for the girl, in the similar book

Diving her gaze; her gaze that delivers,

Who will host my soul in her palm grove.

But Chance is cruel, and its cleaver

Endlessly, leaves me alone, isolated to pursue

These lines that you would read, you that I would love!

kingmudsy  ·  84 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ukrainian airliner crashes near Tehran: Iranian media  ·  

Alright.

Regarding the quoted death statistics: I agree that people who die in combat are often people who put themselves there, but it's undoubtedly true enlisting in the military carries some risk of a life of violence. But regardless of whether I'm off-base about inherent risk of violence (which I concede I might be, and I welcome correction on this), a long-term study on the health of 30,000 OEF/OIF Veterans and 30,000 Veterans from the same era who were not deployed (done by the National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans) found that 10% of even non-deployed vets develop PTSD, and 13.5% of all OEF/OIF vets. To quote the abstract, "PTSD is a significant public health problem in OEF/OIF-era veterans, and should not be considered an outcome solely related to deployment."

Next:

    You see, the Army is just not making their numbers. In fact, they aren't anywhere close. And you know who's fault it is? It's the recruiters, for just not being able to reach these kids, get it? You don't make the quota of one recruit a month? Well then you're a piece of shit NCO and your performance record will reflect. And are you aiming for a promotion in a couple years? Better get a good report or you're shit out of luck. But you know what, sometimes it's ok. Because up till now, the military has treated you pretty well. You get a solid paycheck, health insurance, life insurance, dental, and education. You're better off for the army, so it makes you happy to help someone reach your status.

    So then, kingsmudy, what do you think these people's motivations are? Are they silver tongued adults tempting our youth to their deaths? Or are they just regular goddamn people trying to live good lives? I respect the recruiters I know a hell of a lot more than many of my highschool friends who went off to work at facebook and google. At least they believe they're helping people, the FB and google people tend to solely be in it for the money.

I want you to know that I sympathize with recruiters, but this quote is exactly why I feel the way I do. The job as you describe it sounds like a nightmare. Their career is put on the chopping block, and only by pushing kids through the system can they avoid being a "piece of shit NCO" and maybe one day get promoted. If you find yourself in a struggling position through no fault of your own, what do you do? You find another kid. But you need this kid to join the military. What will you tell him to get him to enlist?

Is it okay to mislead someone if you genuinely think your lies could help them?

The gist of my opinion is this: I believe that most (if not all) recruiters truly believe the military is a good opportunity for young people. As you point out, most military recruiters aren't assholes, they're people trying to make ends meet. Nevertheless, they exist in a system that you correctly point out as brutal to their potential, endemically focused on number numbers numbers. I believe that this puts recruiters in a difficult position and incentivize dishonesty and manipulative behavior. Whether someone turns into the person the system seems to be (unintentionally) designed to create is up to their individual dispositions and the strength of their personal convictions.

As a supplement to this position, I'm providing this excerpt from an article published by the Army Times, discussing a study about why soldiers join the military. To summarize, it found that primarily people had joined because of familial relationships and expectations, but that many soldiers felt misled by recruiters:

    “Many recruiters perform admirably, but others may paint an unrealistic picture of day-to-day soldier life, thereby creating unusually high expectations,” the study says. “A steady diet of World War II action movies may likewise leave a prospective soldier uninformed about modern life in the Army.”

    The stereotype of the embellishing recruiter is alive and well, according to the study.

    ...

    “Many recruiters offered genuine help to soldiers seeking a job in the Army, but other recruiters (and recruitment materials) appeared to oversell an MOS and set overly high expectations for entering soldiers,” according to the study. “Though one-third of participants stated their MOS met or exceeded expectations, other soldiers were disappointed with aspects of their occupational specialty choices, complaining about boredom, about lack of field time, and about having to perform tasks unrelated to their occupations.”

This without the acknowledgement that many of the kids who can be helped by serving are only in that position because our society offers them no better alternative - because they've been deprived of services that are basic rights in other parts of the world. So recruiters can lie to kids about what the military can offer them (and the recruitment system encourages them to do so for the sake of their career), or they can be honest with them. I fully believe that most are honest, but the benefits are things that those kids should have anyway.

A 2017 Department of Defense poll of young people shows 49% of survey respondents indicated that if they were to join the military, one reason for doing so would be to pay for future education. “[Privileged people] have sufficient resources to meet their needs....They don't require joining the military to travel or learn a profession. They have connections to help them get into jobs that pay well and provide benefits. They don't need the military's medical insurance coverage that sometimes motivates low-income people to enlist.”

None of this is the recruiter's fault. They're using the tools available to them to encourage kids to make a decision they think will benefit them. But this idea that they're offering a pathway out of poverty and deserve praise for that frustrates me because it shouldn't be necessary.

Like I said to kleinbl00, "[Recruiters are] trying to figure out the best way to explain [how the military can benefit me], but those arguments end up being "Hey, you could escape poverty!" and while it's not the recruiters fault, it targets kids with little to no alternative. The military [is] a fantastic opportunity for those kids, but I wish there were more options for social mobility outside of enlistment, because a lot of them will be killed or crippled or mentally sundered by it. It sucks that they have to roll dice while I get to turn my nose up at in distaste, and maybe military recruiters just remind me of that inequality."

And while they might enjoy some benefits while serving, I don't think it's heretical to suggest that our nation needs to treat veterans better. Here's an opinion piece that conveniently encapsulates my feelings specifically in the context of recruiting:

    The VA is a perpetual mess, GI bill payments stop coming at random intervals, and the closest we’ve managed to come to engaging with the veteran suicide issue is videotaping ourselves doing push-ups about it for Facebook.

    Recruiters today are faced with convincing people to serve while dodging questions about American foreign policy, the divide between our military and political leaders, the chances that healthcare and education service members are promised might not come through and of course, the fact that after wearing a uniform for a while, there’s a greatly-increased chance you’ll find yourself in such a deep depression that you choose to take your own life.

    Recruiting isn’t going to get any easier as long as we see veterans as damaged goods, break our promises to them, turn on them as soon as it’s politically expedient, and expect service members to fight in conflicts that may start or end at any time based on politics, rather than direct threats to the nation’s security or an overarching strategy toward global stability. Right now, it doesn’t seem like we, as a nation, know what we’re doing. Why would young kids want to subject themselves to such hardship with no promise that it will benefit them or the country?

Finally, here's an article written by a staff sergeant who shadowed a recruiter for two weeks

    Recruiters are unethical liars and manipulators by trade. Among military and probably even some civilian circles, recruiter dishonesty is nothing new or surprising, and is often a punch line or the center of a funny anecdote, like “I know a guy whose recruiter told him he could keep his long hair in the military, and he totally bought it!” or “My recruiter told me I would travel the world in the military. Ha!” However, the problem is far more sinister than that.

    ...

    So what was I supposed to do when parents told me to leave their family alone? You would think I could cross out that name on the list, or mention in the log that this one is a no-go. According to my recruiter, respecting someone’s wish not to be harassed is for quitters. Believe it or not, my recruiter told me that when parents say their kid isn’t joining the military, and refuse to let us speak to him, I am supposed to shame them for being overbearing control freaks. Something like “Isn’t that his decision to make?” or “You’re not him – I’d rather he speak for himself” comes to mind as the scripted response. I couldn’t summon my inner asshole to bully parents, so I didn’t.

    Recruiters obtain contact information through sketchy means, they use that contact information to harass families, insult parents and ignore their legitimate requests to be left alone, and then they try to make minors feel like terrible people for accepting their parents’ financial aid as they go through higher education.

    ...

    Just a word of advice to anyone considering joining the military: joining is a huge life decision that cannot be taken lightly, and you need as much information as you can get before deciding. Recruiters are not legitimate sources of this information. Do your own research. Talk to a diverse group of people who are in the service and pick their brains about their experiences. Recruiters are not there to help you make an informed decision. They are there to sign you up by any means necessary and will say anything to make it happen. They are not the gatekeepers, they are the ones who hunt people down and drag them to the gates.

So, there it is. Military service is honorable, and it can help people. I don't like the system that recruiters exist in because it incentivizes the exact behavior they're accused of by people who serve. I don't like recruiters because the US Military built a system that encouraged the worst of their behavior, and in a just world their toolbox wouldn't include the basic rights that people should have access to without committing their livelihood to the government.