a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
badged content
recently badged: ooli  cgod  mk  goobster  Devac  kleinbl00  
ooli  ·  1 day 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!

cgod  ·  12 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  ·  21 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.)

cgod  ·  29 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.

Quatrarius  ·  43 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  ·  42 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.

kingmudsy  ·  43 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.

Devac  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why the world is waiting for Betelgeuse to go supernova  ·  

I need to correct myself and point out that the values I got were wrong.

Formulae:

  t = sqrt(x²/c² + 2x/g) - time measured on Earth

t' = (c / g) * asinh(gt/c) - time measured by ship's crew

Numerical values:

  c = 3.00E8 m/s

g = 9.81 m/s²

x = 4.3 ly = 4.07E16 m

Time from the perspective of people on Earth (t): 1.63E8 seconds = 5.18 years.

Time from the perspective of people on the ship (t'): 7.27E7 seconds = 2.31 years.

Derivation was OK, had four other people check it for me and can show the work. It's not a new result anyway. Regardless, sorry for the mistake.

am_Unition, ButterflyEffect, nil - you also shared that post, so I'm shouting out just in case it has any relevance for you guys.

elizabeth  ·  48 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski Craft Fair v1.0 - January 2, 2020 (FINISHED)   ·  

Didn’t find the motivation to go buy supplies for the embroidery stuff I want to make yet. But in the meantime, I’ve finished this octopus I started more than a year ago. I abandoned the project halfway because I thought I needed to go buy filling for it. But I realized I could just gut an old pillow and complete the project! I’m happy with how it turned out.

ThurberMingus  ·  40 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Small stash o' pics from last night's full moon.  ·  

    A meteor shower+picnic sort of date is in my back pocket

A+ idea. That's how I proposed to my wife.

necroptosis  ·  43 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ukrainian airliner crashes near Tehran: Iranian media  ·  

You know, the last thing I ever wanted to be known for on Hubski was my military service. But for fucks sake, I guess I'm stepping in for the sheer idiocy of these posts. Have you ever actually interacted with someone who has recently served Nil? Have you asked them about their experiences? I can almost guarantee you haven't, because you know fuck all.

First off, looking at work today, the US military is a decently paying job. It's east to look at the $20k salary and scream "WE AREN'T PAYING THEM ANYTHING". However what costs does an E2 in the military have? Healthcare is paid for, lodging is paid for, food is paid for, any classes they take are paid for. That $20k is solely expendable income. How many people you know, Nil, have $20k of expendable income a year? And that's as a 18 year old with zero life experience.

Second, look at who is going to combat nowadays. Who died this year? Green berets were the majority of casualties. What troops were sent to Iraq in response to this Iran nonsense? The 82nd airborne. What do these forces have in common my friend? I'll go ahead and answer because I know you don't know. They all volunteer MULTIPLE TIMES. Anyone going to dangerous situations is actively trying to get there. If you want to talk surge times, sure, but that's a long fucking time ago. Stating that the military is life ruining is sheer ignorance. It speaks to a basic understanding of the lives of 99% of service members.

Quite honestly, your entire posts reads like a vietnam-era diatribe against the man. I would suggest not speaking to something you know nothing about .

zebra2  ·  78 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!

goobster  ·  66 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, what is your ideal for personal wealth?  ·  

Growing up in San Francisco and being a part of the 80's-90's computer boom there, and the rise of the internet and IPO's, I know quite a few super-rich people.

Or, I USED to.

The problem when you are a wimpy little geek who whips up a piece of software, and then sells it for $100m to Google, is that now everyone "knows" you have $100m in cash in your pocket, and you were living fine on $75k/year, so you have "extra" money to give to them for their loony project.

So you stop reading emails. And returning calls. And get a private cell number. And isolate.

Because you still are, at your core, an introvert who thinks an ideal week is sleeping during the day, ordering a pizza, and sitting up in your living room all night coding, or playing games. And avoiding all human contact.

The balance in the bank account doesn't change that part of your personality.

Unless... you become a colossal dick, and abuse the large number of extraordinarily hot women who suddenly find you attractive, after you have had zero game your ENTIRE life. And you become "entitled" to this type of treatment by women, and expect it from ALL women... including the ones that work for you. Because you have never managed another person before, and now you are the CEO of a huge corporation and have to give interviews and fend off hot women and drugs and your senses get dulled from the constant stimulation and really all you wanna do is order a pizza and sit in your living room and have a 15-hour CoD session...

So yeah...

After a tipping point, it's not about the quantity of money, it's about the quality of what you do with that money.

I'm at that tipping point of comfort, simply because my house is paid off. That's $1800-2500 a month that is NOT going out to a mortgage company. That is a LIFE-CHANGING amount of money for something like 97% of the American population.

Saturday I went to this fantastic block in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, where a friend of mine has bought ALL of the warehouses on the street and converted the entire street into artists studios. Blacksmiths. Painters. Sculptors. Ceramicists. Woodworkers. Sound artists. Fire arts. Everything.

I was able to buy each of the pieces that really spoke to me, and support a local artist. I have these things in my home now - along with others I have acquired over my lifetime - and will cherish these items, not just for their beauty/utility/whatever, but because I was able to use my money to support a local artist... who uses local materials... who pays rent to a friend of mine... who is creating a vibrant arts community in my city... which is being swallowed by Amazon and Google and Expedia and and and...

And the kicker is, that I make about 10% over the median income in my city.

I am not "rich". I am not "wealthy". But I am comfortable (barring any health issues that come up), and I'm good with that.

Cumol  ·  62 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 18, 2019  ·  

exhales

Haven't shared what was going with me in a while here. I seem to mainly find time to do it when I am on holidays at home. So, out of my childhood room, I give you my last 6 months of living.

health

I was doing good, really good. Found my way back to Karate, was climbing in between, staying active as a way to manage the stress that is building up in my last year of PhD. And then it happened, I misplaced my foot during sparring, my ankle twisted, and then my knee followed. I heard it. I never thought that I would hear it. The pain was instant. Fast forward by a week of swollen joints and not knowing what is up, my ACL ripped. And that just before summer/festival season. It felt like this started a process of extreme ups and downs that went on until last wednesday. I decided to still go to the burn I wanted to do go. Twisted my unstable knee twice there, didn't care, had surgery in august. Felt like a vegetable for 3-4 weeks. Been recovering well. Twisted my knee again, worried that it ripped again, still don't know if it is fine but doctor says it feels okay, probably not ripped. I figure, either case, I need to get my muscles back, focus on physio and training my legs with the hope that all is fine.

Apart from my knee. I have had stomach troubles for a while and I couldn't quite figure it out. I still don't know exactly, but it seems to be connected with milk products. When I leave them out, reduce my meat/fat intake, eat more salad, my stomach is more happy. Maybe I should listen to my body. Chances are I became lactose intolerant with age? Wasn't sure this could happen. Heard some anecdotes from people where it happened to them during some stressful periods.

PhD

Its the last sprint, my friends. After having my last thesis advisory committee meeting I was told to wrap it up until June next year. Problem is, the main results of the thesis are just being uncovered now. Hypothesis that I have been following for the past year (and my boss believing/betting on for at least that long) are turning out to be false. I am accepting it and looking for other solutions, my boss is not. This lead to one of my hardest progress reports last week. It felt like going into cognitive war with someone who was waaaay too lucky in his career. I felt sick and even more disillusioned by scientists afterwards. How can you claim that you are doing hypothesis driven science and then no accept the results of all the experiments that have been done? Bottom line, he wants to have a look at my raw data of two years of experiments because he doesn'T understand my simple analysis of calcium signals. Funny thing is, all that happened just 30 minutes after he declared in front of the whole group that he is giving me a 1000€ bonus for all the things I do for the lab. Not exactly "carrot and stick" but it felt like it, somehow.

Anyway, it seems like its time to fire the engines up to 120% and bulldoze through the next months. I am not sure what I am going to do afterwards. I promised myself that I won't stay in science unless I am going something that I am really passionate about. So I have been looking for labs that work on the claustrum as I am still obsessed with the neuroscience of psychedelics. I have made positive contact with one PI in the UK where I have a feeling that I could learn something. There is another one in Jerusalem that I have to yet contact...

Family

On the 12.10., is my fathers birthday. On the 12.10.2019, at 10 in the morning, while frying some breakfast eggs, my father had a sudden cardiac death. Luckily, my mother and grandma were home. They heard a noise in the kitchen, found him, and my mother started to reanimate while my grandma ran out to the street to catch the ambulance that was on its way (because we don't have addresses). After 10 minutes of reanimation, a guy on a motorcycle arrived with a defibrillator kit. They introduced those mobile units because of the crazy traffic situation in Israel. The streets are always packed and people don't know how to open up a rescue alley. He gave my father a shock, got his pulse back. Lost it again, shocked him again. Went like this for another 3 times. 10 minutes after the mobile unit, the ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital. Overall, it took 45 minutes from the moment my mother called until he was at the hospital.

When my mother called, around 12 am, I was having late breakfast and planning to call my father to wish him a happy birthday. I was surprised to be called by my mother and sister at the same time, instead. I instantly felt something was wrong. I picked up and listened to my crying mother. My mind went cold and analytic. I remember asking he for the details and time it took for things to evolve. My medical studies popped up again, remembering that 3 minutes without air could already start the brain damage. In my head, I thought him dead. And then the sadness kicked in and I was in agony. She told me that they had to do two stents and put him in hypothermia to help reduce the damage. So he was in a coma, without us able to say whether he will wake up, or not.

There was only one reflex, find a flight and head back home. This is also when I realised that I am not prepared for such an emergency. Dishing out 1000€ for a flight ticket is not something my PhD finances could handle so lightly. But that is another issue. I found a flight for next day in the morning. Already at the german airport, my mom called me to tell me that he woke up. Completely confused, but seems to still have many of his normal function.

Fast forward a few hours. I am standing in his room in the hospital, in shock. My father had a memory span of 3 minutes. I had no clue what to feel in that moment. Relief that he is alive and survived? Worry for how his life will continue if this is how he states? My irrational mind was in control and it seemed to block out all the things I learned about post-operative symptoms and delirium because boy, the next week was one hell of a ride.

During the following week, he had to do another two stents (correct a previous one, and open another one). This was all too surprising to us. My father is a thin and rather healthy-looking guy. How could it be that 2/3 of his heart wasn't being perfused? Simple answer, 35 years of cigarettes. Delirium does weird things with you. You can't really sleep as you wake up every 5-10 minutes throughout the night. You forget all kinds of shit which leads to repeating all kind of stuff. You do weird things like ordering 3 skinned rabbits from 3 people at 6 A.M. which I had to drive around town to collect. Or, broadcast funny pictures of your 75-year old sister (who lost her husband a year ago) you took with your newly discovered gender swap filter on snapchat, with the purpose to find her a new husband (why did we give him his phone back???).

This was of course all also mixed with blaming us. We, my sister, my mother, and I are the reason this happened to him. Because we are not close to him and studying in Germany. Because my mother is "driving me crazy", which means, translated, she does not follow his orders. And that after her being the only reason he is still alive.

It was a hard week. And a hard month afterwards (specially for my mom). But now, just 2 months afterwards, he seems fine. He had to get another stent to open up that last missing branch. He is taking his meds. He quit smoking. He is less aggressive (seems like it at least). He hasn't been to work yet, which is good. But something changed. We are all scared that this could happen at any instant now, again.

relationship

I realise, now that I wrote that word above, that my stomach starts to hurt and I am hitting a mental roadblock in my head that is trying to stop me from writing or dealing with what happened. Do I listen to my body/mind or are the misaligned?

Anyway. In July, just before the ACL surgery and the burn, I met a cool girl. She was fun, shared many of my hobbies, is an Imogen Heap fan, liked raving, eating, and binging TV shows. I got interested. It felt nice. So things developed. And we got to know each other better. Our good corners, our weird corners. All of that in parallel to me being strapped to a bed most of the time without the ability to do much because of my leg. But it was a nice time. However, at some points past the first month or 1.5 months since we started dating, I started to get weird thoughts. I caught myself worrying about the problems the future will bring more often than enjoying the current time with her. My plans were to finish the PhD and leave. And now I am heading towards a relationship with a 34 year old woman (5 years older than me) that is feeling good but I know that if I commit full on to this, I will not be able to leave. I talked to her and told her what was in my mind. She said we should stay in the present and not worry about the future. This silenced the voices in my head for a little. But rather, it made them quieter for a while, because they came back, and started to get louder and louder.

The following two months, I caught myself constantly switching between the worry about the future and questioning the relationship and enjoying the time with her. She was caring and lowing. She showered me with love and I could feel it in everything she did. And it felt good to be loved like this. But I also realised, that I am not giving her or will probably never hive her that love back. In any form. There was a moment where I "snapped out" of it and know that I am not in love. Not in the way that she is looking at me and it made me feel very guilty. To cut a long process short, at one evening, where I was again trapped in the "being here and being there" feeling, I decided to let loose of all the thoughts I had jumbled up in my head, with the hope that some clarity will crystallise out of it. It ended up to be the night we broke up. And that was not my plan. But it was inevitable, at least in my view. This was 3 weeks ago. And it was hard. It was hard seeing her hurt. Hard letting go of someone that loved me this much. But I saw no other way. Doubt and sadness mixed with feelings of relief. Did I do the right thing? Did I just throw away something that I will regret in the future? Was I chasing something that doesn't exist?

The thing is. I know how I feel when I am madly in love. I had that same thing happen to me a year ago. Back then, the situation was switched. But I remember, that in that state of mind, nothing was impossible. Whenever I looked into the future, I saw solutions. Whether it was the "jew dating arab" problem, or, the geographical situation, or, money... Nothing was a problem. But now, I only saw the problems. Which hinted me that I am in no way close to feeling the same way I felt last year.

Even though I went a long way from being emotional popsicle that I made myself become in highschool, I am no way close to being emotionally open or understanding my emotions. And this whole story is again an example of that. Whenever I have a hand-written letter in my mailbox, it is never a nice one. This time it was also no exception. One day before my flight home, I get a looong letter from her and all I read was pain and sadness. And it hurt me a lot. It pains me to see the damage I did, again. And I wonder if there will be a time where I will not do this damage anymore...

kleinbl00  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Kremlin Inches Closer to the Biden Plot  ·  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In elementary school in the 80s, we were given presentations about how photovoltaic cells were going to change the world. Utopia was just around the corner as soon as they could work out getting just a little more efficiency out of the panels and as soon as costs came down just a little. In the 90s, GM made an electric car that actual mortals could lease (not buy - see Who Killed The Electric Car). If we all recycle, then we could save X amount of aluminum and plastic. If we compost and garden we could reduce landfill waste. If we all do X then we can save Y.

.

.

I guess I'm just tired. and maybe a little bitter.

.

.

I got excited about solar and wind.

I turn off lights when not in use - have for years.

didn't buy a car until I was 21.

I don't eat a lot of meat - partly because I don't love it, but partly because of the amount of water and energy it takes.

I pay extra for recycling - have for years.

I changed out my bulbs for CFLs

I changed out CFLs for LEDs.

I got an electric car in 2013

I bought a house with solar.

I carpool even though it is almost painfully inconvenient.

When I'm not carpooling, I ride my bike 13 miles each way to work.

.

.

I spend, and have spent more mental anguish, and had more environmental guilt on these subjects... and I'm tired... because it feels very much like my actions are dwarfed, swallowed up, and more than negated by ONE steak eating, monster house dwelling, F-350 diving real estate agent who logs 100 miles/day.

I think I'm just tired, disillusioned, and burned out on the subject. just so tired. I'm not going to quit doing these things. I've just got a lot of sub surface anger and frustration boiling about it. I've been doing so many of the things... and talking about it. And evangelizing for it. And it feels like a life wasted on deaf ears, blind hearts, and hard hearts.

kantos  ·  99 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 13, 2019  ·  

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

zebra2  ·  134 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.