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goobster  ·  75 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Internet was a mistake

I think this video misses the key point. (Like all of the pithy web video stuff produced by people who weren't there when it happened, pontificating on What Went Wrong.)

Here it is in a nutshell: AOL is to blame.

Back in the day of the early web, there were isolated islands of network interaction, that didn't really cross over very much. BBS. Fido. Gopher. AOL. WWW. Telnet. Archie. eWorld. The WeLL.

Each of these interactive tools were synonymous with the communities that used them. You used the Fido tool to log in to FidoNET. You used Gopher to find Gopher servers and transfer files and mail. AOL, eWorld, and The WeLL were servers you logged in to, and participated with those communities in those spaces.

The World Wide Web broke this model, and HTTP-based sites were now able to share files and data between the different tools and servers. You could write an HTTP front end to your FidoNET server, and people could use NCSA Mosaic to log in to your FidoNET, and see/transfer files in a visual tool, rather than command-line only.

Everyone using the World Wide Web had their own site.

Every single person was a CREATOR of some sort.

Maybe it was a list of porn sites. Maybe it was a list of parts for old BMW airhead motorcycles. Maybe it was ASCII art pictures.

Whatever it was, the same tool you used to browse other sites, was the tool you used to create your own site.

And, by default, everyone's Bookmarks List was public. That's how you found stuff. You went to someone's site, clicked on their Links page, and saw what sites they had links to. Click, click, click... rabbit hole!

Along came AOL.

America Online was originally just email. But they also created a custom, curated environment, where people could get movie listings, read news, and send messages to each other.

They business model was to charge by the hour, for the connection to AOL's servers. So they wanted you to stay logged in, and clicking around their properties, so they got to charge you for the access.

After much debate, AOL opened up their "walled garden", and allowed their users to VIEW and BROWSE the world wide web.

The change happened almost overnight.

People (like myself) had their own web servers running. Mine was on an old Mac SE I had in the corner of my bedroom, with a dedicated modem and phone line.

Suddenly, my $15/month phone bill for that line, and service, shot up to more than $50/month.

Other people, who had been serving their web sites for years, were suddenly hit with thousands of dollars in service fees from their ISP due to huge traffic spikes.

ALL of this activity was from the AOL people, who were not CREATING anything. They saw the internet as TV, and just consumed, consumed, consumed all of our paid-for content, for free.

Sure, AOL subscribers paid their AOL access fee, but AOL paid us web sites ZILCH, and we were forced to shut down, or monetize our sites to pay for the bandwidth AOL's looky-lous were consuming.

This is where the utility of the web ended.

Now, you needed to monetize your site. You had to measure "views", and run ads, and give up space on your site where CONTENT used to be, and serve flashing GIFs that advertisers paid you a fraction-of-a-cent per click.

Once that happened, the altruistic, creative, and generous nature of the web was destroyed. If you offered quality content for free, you were on the hook for enormous ISP hosting bills. If you monetized your site, you were in a constant war with your users that still continues today.

AOL fucked it by inviting "spectators" to simply look, without participating.

AOL turned the internet into TV.

oyster  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: THESE TECH COMPANIES WILL NEED MORE WOMEN ON THEIR BOARDS

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

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

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

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

Cumol  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 3, 2018

Hubski. Yesterday, I was courageous!

On Monday evening a friend I know from Israel contacted me with the info that there have been two drug-related deaths at a festival in Israel and that her sister, a moderator at a national radio station, needs someone with expertise in harm reduction and drug checking to speak on her show.

My first reaction was "HELL NO!". The radio station she works for is one of the most listened to in the country and the time of speaking would be during lunch break. After 8pm, the second peak of listeners per day. In short, maaaaaany people would be listening.

Many fears came up. My hebrew is not good enough. The drug checking I am doing is - strictly speaking - illegal. I was afraid one of my parents or people I know from my home town might listen and what effects it might have... "Your son is talking about drugs on national TV!!"

Nevertheless, I agreed. After a quick 5 minute chat with one of the workers at the station that simply told me to "speak about what you know", it was set.

From that moment I was SO nervous! I started to read everything possible about what happened. Sadly, very little information was known at that point.

The next day, I was super nervous. The closer the interview came, the worse it got.

Then I got the call. I could hear the current live show running in the background and another voice talking to me. She verified who I was and asked me how I want to be introduced. I told them with my full name and profession.

A few minute later me and another guy were on air. First the other guy was speaking. Someone who attended the event and could answer general questions about what happened. I was getting more relaxed.

Then my turn came.... Honestly, I only have a vague recollection about what I said. I just remember three things.

1) When she asked "what is MD (slang for MDMA)?" I went on a full-blown neuroscientific response, just to realize halfways that nobody would understand me.

2) At some point I got nervous again and my voice got shaky. Which made me stutter.

3) After telling her about the drug checking action that I do, she asked "Isn't that illegal what you are doing?" I somehow got angry. Suddenly all the nervousness went away and with a clear voice I said "honestly, I don't know if it is legal or not. All I know is, if I have a way to stop someone from injuring themselves or dying, I would do it".

And with that, the interview ended. I was shaking for the next hour.

I felt so bad. So many things I could have told but didn't. All the little mistakes. I thought "Why wasn't I more prepared?".

Then I got a message from a friend that listened to the interview. She loved it. She loved the message and was happy to hear my voice through the radio :)

And I remembered, that for the first time, I showed a part of me to the broad public. Fully knowing what kind of consequences it could have.

I told my mother later. She was proud.

bhrgunatha  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3 to 10 Years in Prison

It does seem light, they could have appointed him to the supreme court and that's life.

kleinbl00  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong

    How does obesity happen?

Pearl Harbor. Walk with me.

______________________________________________________

There are well-known and less-well-known consequences of American involvement in WWII. It's common knowledge that the eventual nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki set up the Cold War which was the ultimate battleground between capitalism and communism. Less well-known is the fact that the United States didn't ultimately win the war because of the atom bomb but because of our powers of industrial and agricultural production.

Marc Reisner argued that the Army Corps of Engineers won WWII with Grand Coulee Dam. It produced an impossible surplus of power when it was brought online; it had no customers. Then the war broke out and Americans were able to refine aluminum (an electrically-intensive process; the Intalco plant in Blaine, WA uses more electricity than Los Angeles) at a fraction of the price of anyone else in the world.

But in addition to aluminum, the impossible edge in oil refining really took off in WWII. Germany ground to a halt when we took their oil fields in North Africa. Meanwhile our fields in California and Texas turned out gasoline in quantities unmatched anywhere else in the world. And when you make gas, you can also make fertilizer. And when you've converted the Great American Desert to "the Heartland" you make food. You make food that travels. You make corn, potatoes and rice. And you feed that corn and rice to chickens, cows and pigs. And you drop food on the Russians, you drop food on the Chinese, you ship food to England and Australia, and while Germany and Japan are wracked with famine you share your American bounty around.

An interesting side note: because it was a Japanese attack, the safe thing to do, obviously, is lock up all the Japanese. Especially as they're sitting on a bunch of plum farmland on the West coast. You know, the one closest to the Japanese Empire. The one full of refugees from the Dust Bowl. Itinerant farmers from the South and the Midwest who came to California and starved because there are only so may people to pick oranges and strawberries. The ones who will thank you and vote for you and keep growing oranges and strawberries and everything else on formerly-Japanese farms they bought for pennies on the dollar when their original owners get shipped off to Manzanar.

So now Europe is in ruins and the Marshall Plan is going to make everything better. Ship that food out. Soft power! But it's got to travel. Hedgerow to Hedgerow we'll even push the Soviets around by selling it when they behave and withholding it when they don't. But it's got to travel. So corn, rice, soy and potatoes are food. We'll do anything we can to grow more food so that we can influence the behavior of the world with food. We'll subsidize the shit out of food so that everyone is growing food. Meanwhile those now-rich farmers on the West Coast who are growing carrots and olives and lettuce and spinach and oranges and apples? Yeah, they don't need any competition. They don't grow food because then those uppity black folx might go into competition with them for the high-value stuff. So they grow specialty crops. And it's assigned a fair market value.

A market value that goes up because you don't need to eat "specialty crops," not really. After all, the Irish subsisted off of potatoes and potatoes are food. And corn can be made into anything, man. It can be made into sugar - sugar that's way cheaper than cane sugar! It can be fed to cows - way cheaper than grass! It can be fed to chickens! Pigs are less likely to eat it, so pig farming largely goes away (it's come back with a vengeance because the Chinese have a preference for pork but as a foodstuff it's consumption by Americans has plummeted). But Americans eat corn, and things that eat corn, and there's so much excess corn and rice and soy when we're not shipping it all over the world to cajole our foreign policy needs through soft power that there are entire divisions of the USDA trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff.

And you know capitalism. Make more money. Finished products make more money than raw ingredients; you'll get so much more for a box of macaroni and cheese than you will for wheat and milk. Process the shit out of it and it'll keep forever. Process the shit out of it and it'll travel far. Process the shit out of it and you can turn it into whatever flavor you want it to be. Process the shit out of it and you can sell it to anyone, anywhere forever.

Somewhere around here we've got an article that argues the dominant species on earth isn't humans, it's corn. After all, we've basically given over our food production to it. A Wendy's meal, if I recall correctly, was ultimately about 80% corn (including the French fries). And against that we've got "specialty crops" that we have to refrigerate to get them across country and there are vast swaths of the US where "specialty crops" aren't even sold because it's so easy and cheap to get food. A box of Little Debbie snack cakes costs less than a head of lettuce. And a box of Little Debbie snack cakes will keep you alive if you're starving. And a box of Little Debbie snack cakes will sit on the shelf for nine months or more and nobody will be the wiser. The power goes out on that head of lettuce and it's garbage before morning.

And it's fuckin' lettuce.

Meanwhile we're all working harder for less, working longer for less, driving farther for less. The calories are easy and the nutrition is hard and that's before you recognize that we've arranged our entire food economy around food not "specialty crops." Reuters pointed out yesterday that one in three workers also has some form of job in the gig economy; even if we're working 40 hours a week (we're not, we're working 47) we're also filling our spare time with TaskRabbit, with Uber, with Mechanical Turk. And as humans, we're biologically programmed to pack on pounds when we're stressed because stress means starvation. I think it was Richard Wrangham who pointed out that there have only been about 125,000 generations since homo habilus split off from Australopithecus. Homo Sapiens is only 7500 generations. Go to Mile High Stadium, start "The Wave" and by the time it makes its way back round to you, the person next to you is a Neanderthal.

So here we are. Impossibly cheap calories, impossibly sedentary lifestyles, impossible stressors. Fight or flight doesn't care if it's a mastodon or an impending bankruptcy they'll both keep you up at night. At least if it's a mastodon you can run. We can't. So we get fat. And because we're Americans, and we've got a nice Protestant work ethic, and because we're rugged individualists, if you're fat it's a personal failing. Society hasn't let you down, the system hasn't failed you, you're a glutton and you should feel bad.

    Is there any solution?

Well, I'd start with

1) Take it the fuck easier on the poor and lower middle class.

2) Prioritize nutrition over calories. Know who used to be in charge of school nutrition? The goddamn Department of Defense. Then Nixon kicked 'em out and Reagan categorized ketchup as a fruit.

3) Make healthcare a nonprofit industry again. Know what's stupid cheap? Diet, exercise and sleep. Know what's crazy expensive? The time of medical professionals. Know where you can't make any money? Diet, exercise and sleep. Know where your profit centers are? Prescription drugs.

Weight Watchers costs around $700 a month - including food. They get an extra $13 a week to tell you "atta boy! You're doing good!" Insulin costs around $500 a month. No food. Insurance pays for insulin, usually. It rarely pays for Weight Watchers. Can you imagine what our society looked like if we had, you know, nutrition?

The fundamental basis of this article is "we know how to make people healthier, but we don't give a shit." I think it's more than that. It's more than tradition. It's that in order to solve the problem, we have to break capitalism.

And nobody wants to break capitalism.

swedishbadgergirl  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dear Hubski, how have the past 2 years been for you people?

I have no idea were to start. 2 years is a long time when you are 20.

But eh, yesterday I openly challenged the unofficial leader of the local county wing of my party. Well, my previous party. I did say that I would leave if the members approved the suggestion that he get a mandate to completely on his own negotiate with the other parties.

6-4 was the result. And that isn't bad for a first try. It was very clear it was him or me, and that it was almost even is something I am very proud of. I argued my position for one and a half hour. With no support.

I didn't win. But I did try.

And I was extremely cool.

Doing this kind of thing is literally a childhood dream of mine.

And the local wing of the party that is next most ideologically similar to mine has accepted me with open arms. Especially as I say that I am a very ideological person.

So doing something even cooler than I thought possible at 14 is a very, very nice feeling.

Quatrarius  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

i am:

in college

making friends + meeting people

doing well in classes

feeling happy and confident, about myself and the things i'm doing

i have:

gone on a date with somebody (verdict: just friends)

gone to my first futbawl game (verdict: the student section is fun, but standing for 3 hours on concrete makes my feet hurt)

got invited to a linguistics research lab thing by a professor (verdict: very excited - first meeting on friday)

Thoughts

This is the happiest (and most consistently happy) that I can remember being, if not ever, then for a long time. I see no reason for things to get worse, and a lot of reasons for things to get better in the next little bit / the future.

(it's amazing how much easier things are when you consistently have energy and don't hate yourself)

Life is goodski.

Quatrarius  ·  77 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Take This Cheat Sheet To The Ballpark To Decide When To Leave

baseball is the most zen of sports - not "Zen" in caps, but zen all lowercase

you go to a baseball game because you want to sit outside for a couple hours and enjoy the weather / think about nothing in particular, and sometimes something mildly interesting happens and you get to participate in the group happiness of a stadium full of people entertained by a home run or a clever bunt or something

baseball is the game you take your kids and your grandkids to to eat some popcorn or peanuts or a hot dog or something, and get ice cream after the game

you can enjoy baseball on any level of understanding of it from "jack shit" to "nate silver", and that's okay, because actually going out to see a baseball game is not really about the game

that's why there are 10 thousand games per season and they play through the summer is because baseball is about slowing way down and enjoying little things in the moment you experience them

the "exciting" part of baseball is in the playoffs so if that's your goal just wait until then

there's an unaffiliated minor league about a half hour away from here with 4 teams and one stadium - they have a little plaza with food vendors and a playground, and there's a grass hill in the outfield that you can sit on and watch from, and they have little gimmicks to get people there like fireworks and a dog that gets the bats, and there's beauty in that experience that's really important

there's baseball happening in the middle there but the important part is everything on the edges

cgod  ·  143 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA: The hubwheel is not a "like" button.x 2

The clicking of the hubwheel is a deeply personal decision of which any one else's dogmatic or relavatory advice should be considered purely advisory.

flac  ·  151 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 23, 2018x 7

Engaged.

mk8
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