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orbat  ·  91 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

I'm frankly somewhat convinced we're going to see multiple authoritarian dictatorships in Europe in the coming decades. Poland and Hungary are already fairly far down that path, Germany has AfD gaining popularity, hard-right parties are gaining popularity in all the Nordics, and similar stuff's happening down South as well.

Here in Finland our nationalist right-wing party just had an internal schism due to the original leadership not being racist enough, we spawned the whole Soldiers of Odin shit, national socialist "resistance movements" are gaining popularity and so on.

orbat  ·  70 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: OC - Svalbard

I was only there for 3 days (long story), but I figure a week or two would probably be good, depending on what sort of activities you like. Pyramiden was great (although I would have loved to camp over there and explore it properly, instead of just the few hours we got during the day trip) but the boat ride over there from Longyearbyen takes like 3h, and we did this "walrus safari" thing where we got a private boat & guide who took us over to an island with a walrus colony, and we did some whale spotting (even saw a blue whale, holy crap).

It was summer when we went there (so at most a sweltering +10°C, apparently about as hot as it gets), but I think the next time I go over there I want to go during the winter (but after the sun's up, at first anyhow). Would love to do a looong ski trip (maybe even from coast to coast, but that'd be at least a few weeks' worth of skiing); that'll probably require glacier safety courses, but those might be doable there since they have a bazillion nature-oriented tour companies. There's probably snowboarding and downhill skiing to be had as well, but I'm more of a hiker / cross-country person so I don't really know. Generally if you're at all an outdoorsy type, you'll probably like it. Don't know how hiking in the summer would be, but my guess would be not too great since it seems like everything gets a bit muddy so it might be a bit of a slog (but this is based on very limited knowledge.)

One thing to keep in mind is that you really can't go anywhere outside Longyearbyen (the biggest settlement & "capital") without a guide, since you need someone with a rifle in your group due to polar bears (I'm not kidding.) You can try applying for a rifle permit if you know how to handle guns, but I don't know what the bureaucracy on that would be.

orbat  ·  71 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: OC - Svalbard

Thanks! Glad you liked the pictures.

I heard so many stories about how the "lifers" of Svalbard (so people who've mostly only lived there, and aren't just there seasonally) can get a bit… strange. Considering how isolated some people choose to live, and how brutal the winters must be, it's not exactly surprising. And I don't mean any of this negatively, mind you; the locals I talked to (permanent or not) were really happy to share their experience, and I was happy to learn. Svalbard really, really resonated with me, and I don't fully know why. I just want to ski from one coast to the other and gawk at glaciers (because holy shit have you seen those damn things?), or go camping in Pyramiden, or see what the stars look like in the middle of nowhere when it's actually dark.

What did/does your grandfather do there, if I may ask? Miner?

KapteinB  ·  70 days ago  ·  link  ·  

He was a machine operator by trade. For a while he worked in the mines, but for most of his stay he worked as a bus driver.

I guess he had a few quirks, but he never struck me as particularly strange. While I only got to visit him twice on Svalbard, he had a summer residence in southern Norway, where I'd visit every summer when I was young. :-)

orbat  ·  309 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Cloverfield Paradox. A review in the form of questions.

I watched about half; I'm never getting that 50min of my life back. This has to honestly be one of the worst movies I've seen, and that's saying a lot considering Battlefield Earth exists. It's like the plot is so fantastically stupid just so people can feel smart watching it.

And I'm not necessarily all that discerning: I thought Soldier was great.

orbat  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX’s First Moon Voyage Customer

Oh yeah, my point was more that it's obvious in space exploration as well

kleinbl00  ·  86 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I know. Sad thing is it's been seventeen years since Dennis Tito first went up, and nearly seventy years since Heinlein wrote "The Man who Sold the Moon" so in a way it isn't exactly new. Especially as Musk has called out two Heinlein books by name as inspirations.

Here's the thing. Musk started SpaceX because Roscosmos saw him as a rube and a tourist. He in turn took Roscosmos as a model - SpaceX isn't trying to be the United Launch Alliance, it's trying to be the Korolev Design Bureau. The watchword is cheap. Even "cheap" it's around $5k/kilo to LEO.

Call a human and their life support for a short voyage 100 kilos. That's a half million to LEO, cost. The Saturn V was 140,000 kilos to LEO, 48,000 kilos to TLI. You're at $1.5m to TLI, then, assuming Musk does everything as cheap as possible. The Apollo CSM, on the other hand, was 15,000 kilos with three dudes in it so it's not unreasonable to say it's more like $7.5m.

You could knock that down by a factor of ten and it's out of reach of anybody reasonable. Knock it down by a hundred and it's still more than going around the world on a cruise ship first class. And even then it's loosy-goosy moot shit; our $750k to LEO is a hundredth what NASA paid Roscosmos. And the ISS isn't even in LEO, not really; it's virtually skimming the clouds. When you take that cost-per-kilo and apply it to robots, humans start looking like expensive tourists anyway, the only question left is who foots the bill.

orbat  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX’s First Moon Voyage Customer

Do you see me disparaging the attempt? Your comment has literally nothing to do with mine. The private sector and obscenely rich people are now at the forefront at least in the US due to their ridiculous fear of the government doing anything. My comment was related to this, not to the attempt itself as such

orbat  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX’s First Moon Voyage Customer

It says a lot about the world today that the next astronauts are going to be people who are obscenely rich and/or famous. Gilded Age of space exploration…

kleinbl00  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Gilded age of fuckin' everything.

Someone asked me why I was becoming a watchmaker. I said "I've been studying the economic data for three years, probably sixty books in and who knows how many articles and newsletters. I decided that if you have to live in a gilded age, it's best to be a goldsmith."

orbat  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh yeah, my point was more that it's obvious in space exploration as well

kleinbl00  ·  86 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I know. Sad thing is it's been seventeen years since Dennis Tito first went up, and nearly seventy years since Heinlein wrote "The Man who Sold the Moon" so in a way it isn't exactly new. Especially as Musk has called out two Heinlein books by name as inspirations.

Here's the thing. Musk started SpaceX because Roscosmos saw him as a rube and a tourist. He in turn took Roscosmos as a model - SpaceX isn't trying to be the United Launch Alliance, it's trying to be the Korolev Design Bureau. The watchword is cheap. Even "cheap" it's around $5k/kilo to LEO.

Call a human and their life support for a short voyage 100 kilos. That's a half million to LEO, cost. The Saturn V was 140,000 kilos to LEO, 48,000 kilos to TLI. You're at $1.5m to TLI, then, assuming Musk does everything as cheap as possible. The Apollo CSM, on the other hand, was 15,000 kilos with three dudes in it so it's not unreasonable to say it's more like $7.5m.

You could knock that down by a factor of ten and it's out of reach of anybody reasonable. Knock it down by a hundred and it's still more than going around the world on a cruise ship first class. And even then it's loosy-goosy moot shit; our $750k to LEO is a hundredth what NASA paid Roscosmos. And the ISS isn't even in LEO, not really; it's virtually skimming the clouds. When you take that cost-per-kilo and apply it to robots, humans start looking like expensive tourists anyway, the only question left is who foots the bill.

demure  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's not strictly the case.

As an aside, the dude is investing a not insignificant sum into the development of BFR.

It's not exactly easy (or cheap) to design and fly a rocket that big.

OftenBen  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you see anyone else making the attempt?

orbat  ·  87 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you see me disparaging the attempt? Your comment has literally nothing to do with mine. The private sector and obscenely rich people are now at the forefront at least in the US due to their ridiculous fear of the government doing anything. My comment was related to this, not to the attempt itself as such

orbat  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A brief history of batshit conservative boycotts

    Liberals are offended by this video of a Keurig being thrown off of a building.

    Please retweet to offend a Liberal

This narrative where they do things just to "offend liberals" is… interesting, especially considering that I seriously doubt anyone was actually offended by conservatives destroying their own property. I wonder if this is a US thing, or is it more widespread (due to how fast cultural trends / memes tend to spread now)? Personally I haven't seen this where I live, but that doesn't say much

bfv  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On the one hand, it's admirably consistent. The American right freaks out about broken windows at protests, and they only destroy their own property in protest. It's weird, but it's consistent.

On the other hand, the American right has a habit of killing people instead.

orbat  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why John Bolton Is So Obsessed With the International Criminal Court

The US has never really been a fan of having others shine light on their activities abroad, so Bolton's – and the US' in general – resistance to the ICC isn't really all that surprising. Their rhetoric about freedom, democracy and human rights is exactly that: rhetoric.

Actually, OftenBen's description sounds more like what cjdns was designed for. One existing cjdns mesh is Hyperboria

OftenBen  ·  310 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That was it! Hyperboria!

orbat  ·  327 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My 91-year-old Mom Fell on the Ice, and Here's What Happened Next

I was expecting this to go in a much different direction than it did; I'm happy it turned out, well, happy. My maternal grandmother died (back in the 70s) after slipping on ice. My mom's nearly 80 and slipped just a couple of weeks ago, but thankfully only banged up her head and hip a bit, but didn't break anything. I would imagine she had a moment where she thought "this is how I go."

lil  ·  326 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I was expecting this to go in a much different direction than it did;

Because it went the way it did, I thought it might be a story. Thanks for reading.

I hope your mom's okay. Even being super careful doesn't help. Ice is often invisible and brutal.

The emergency room doctor said they were seeing a lot of broken wrists. While sliding across the ice on your nose is no party, my mom was glad she didn't break any bones or her glasses. You'd think at 91, your bones might be easily broken. That's why everyone wanted to get her to the clinic.

  I slipped last year and wrote this while waiting in emergency: 
orbat  ·  330 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 17, 2018

I've been reading about the nature of consciousness today, and I really wanted to share this thought.

So, turns out that our experience of consciousness isn't actually real-time; what we perceive – sensory input, our thoughts, the decisions we make and so on – as happening right now has actually already happened. Everything we perceive is tens to hundreds of milliseconds in the past, and when we become conscious of making a choice, the choice has already been made. It's like our consciousness is the brain's/mind's way of letting "me" know what's going on, and actually being the "me"; it gives us a narrative.

I was sort of blown away by this idea that what I experience as "me, here and now" is in a way only the tip of the iceberg of my mind and what my brain does. Like I'm looking at a movie of my own life

orbat  ·  331 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's the (Democracy-Poisoning) Golden Age of Free Speech

Great article. I've been thinking around the same themes lately, and one thing that stuck out was the argument that banning someone from e.g. Facebook isn't as close to censorship as "meddling with trust and attention." While I absolutely agree that these new tactics powered by behavioral data really do amount to censorship, I'd say that the big platforms have such a disproportionate impact on our lives that bans are effectively censorship; just because someone can still access the Internet doesn't mean a unilateral Google or Facebook ban couldn't have a tremendous impact.

The simplest case would be a political dissident getting banned from Facebook, but it doesn't have to be anything that "foreign" to most of us. Many of us are completely reliant on the megaplatforms for data storage, mail, calendars, communication and so on; our lives are increasingly digital, and whoever serves your digital life to you is the one holding the reins

orbat  ·  303 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Salon Offers To Remove Ads If Visitors Help Mine Cryptocurrency

Media houses getting desperate because people don't want to pay for subscriptions, they don't want to see ads, and they won't donate either, and somehow it's Salon that's in the wrong and not all of us?

francopoli  ·  302 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In this case? 100% yes, Salon is in the wrong. I would say the same thing if they loaded Folding@home or the SETI distributed computing software as part of a partnership. You don't take over the compute resources of someone's equipment just because you are, for lack of a better word, desperate.

On top of that issue I have with this policy, Salon is shit. They are a left-leaning version of the Daily Mail focusing on outrage and shock to generate controversy to get hits. I am not going to blame Salon for that, however, EVERY DAMN MEDIA RESOURCE is doing that now. I do subscribe to a few magazines that offer what I would call Real journalism, and I will whitelist a site that has a history of not displaying infected adverts.

Right now in 2018 the main way computer viruses spread are infected emails and advertising networks. Since I exist in a world of PROTECT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME yea, I use noscript, pi-hole and adblockers. I teach people how to do the same. I use pi-hole at work to protect my network and reduce my workload. The fracturing of the media landscape has done a number on media companies, but let us be really, really brutally honest for a second. They did this to themselves. Lowering standards, chasing clickbait, outrage as a business model, accusations as headlines, tabloid celebrity bullshit have chased people like me away. I want to know what is going on in the world, not what is going on in the head of whatever celebrity brand is being promoted this week. And I will defend myself against viruses, malware and infections... and not apologize for it.

I wish I had an answer but we are getting into a cart -vs- horse problem. Better reporting and writing, more long form investigations will get people like me to read your web site. Better control over the ads you run and tighter security on your website and ad networks will get me to unblock your ads. And those things cost money that they are not making right now because people like me are telling them to piss off and die.

ButterflyEffect  ·  302 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Which magazines do you subscribe to?

francopoli  ·  302 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I get the Economist (not the US version, its shit), The Nation, The Progressive (they have Trump derangement syndrome and I'm about to drop them). The Atlantic is good every other month it seems. The National Review is a good one for a right leaning counterpoint. I had the New Republic for a while but got disinterested and killed it.

The important point, I think is to get opinion on the left and the right. Don't get into a bubble. If you are a lefty, know what the guys on the right are saying so you can listen, counter and talk about what they are discussing, and likewise.

Going through Amazon get the digital editions, they are cheaper and the old rags don't stack up to the rafters.

orbat  ·  309 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Are Conservatives More Susceptible to Believing Lies?

So show us the specific claims you think are incorrect. Most of them seem to be backed by actual articles. This just smacks of you not wanting to believe results that you disagree with