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The fucking anal cleanliness of all pop music production these days. The need to have a Ph.D. in "sound design" to gain entry to the world of music. The need for all music to be so fucking locked down, produced to death, carefully sculpted to the tiniest microbeat and fraction of a kiloherz. The crushing humourless stylishness of it all. It feels so stifling and unspontaneous.

That and Post fucking Malone.

This was a refreshing read, though disappointing that we let something really interesting get away from us. I particularly liked his comments on science at the end:

    "The populist movements in the United States and Europe rest in part on the fact that the public has lost faith in the scientific process. That’s why people deny global warming, for example. One of my interviewers in Germany said, ‘There are scientists who maintain that it’s a mistake to go public when you’re not yet certain.’ Those scientists think that if we reveal situations of uncertainty, we won’t be believed when we talk about climate change. But the lack of credibility is due precisely to the fact that we show the public only the final product. If a group of scientists closet themselves in a room, and then emerge to deliver a lecture on the result as though to students, people won’t believe them – because they won’t have seen the doubts, they won’t have seen that there weren’t enough data in the earlier stages.

    “The right way is to persuade the public that the scientific process is a normal human activity, that it’s no different from what a police detective does or a plumber who comes to fix a drainpipe. Scientists are considered an elite, because they themselves create that ivory tower artificially. They say, ‘The public doesn’t understand, so there’s no need to share with them. We’ll decide among ourselves what’s right, and then we’ll tell the politicians what needs to be done.’ But then the populist politician says, ‘Only the elite say that, they are hiding other things from us.’ Because there’s a leap to the stage of conclusions and policy. The differences of opinion in the scientific community are what lend humanity to the scientific process, and humanity lends credibility."

Crazy world we live in, where the guy who thinks we might just have been visited by aliens is one of the most rational and intelligent voices I've come across lately.

rrrrr  ·  124 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Informational article about that extra-solar asteroid.

To pick up on a very old thread...

I've been reading David Abram's The Spell of the Sensuous lately. He has a chapter in there about how in oral cultures stories are very closely bound up with particular places, so that it makes no sense to tell a story without saying where it happened. The powers of the place are actively involved in the story. Only in cultures with alphabetical writing, he says (roughly), do we find being treated as a neutral setting (space) for action. I wonder if part of the issue isn't a prejudice against science fiction, but that we naturally need to understand stories in terms of relatable places - that we relate better to the story when the setting is relatable and naturally absorb it more deeply? Presumably most of us don't have much familiarity with spaceships and airlocks.

kleinbl00  ·  124 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It sounds to me that the key is "oral cultures." When your body of knowledge exists as folklore shared amongst those you only know face-to-face, speculation is the same thing as lying. I'm unaware of any non-writing culture that thought hypothetically and thinking hypothetically is the crux of science fiction.

rrrrr  ·  137 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A list of AIs doing what their creators said, not what they meant

As someone who builds software for a living, it's interesting to see how this is an issue for AI in exactly the same way it's an issue for software teams. If you just build what you are asked for, it will be the wrong thing. And even if you're careful, you will learn what people actually want only from their disappointed response to you actually building something. This is why we build things in small chunks and get feedback along the way: people are not good at converting their imaginative vision into written, spoken or encoded instructions, and there will always be something silently assumed.

The AIs have it even harder than the human teams though, since we humans are (for the time being) better at predicting common human oversights and reading between the lines of the instructions. Perhaps one day we'll be able to preprocess our instructions through a "figure out what the human probably meant to say" AI.

kleinbl00  ·  137 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Frankly, it's the thing that drives me the craziest about machinists. Engineers are like gods to them - stupid, vengeful gods that aren't to be respected because obviously they don't know what the fuck they're doing but boy howdy thou shalt not question the holy writ on the drawing or the hand of the Almighty will rise up and smite thee!

All last quarter was an adventure in "interpret this poorly-dimensioned, nonsensical part made out of inappropriate material" when any engineer that had had so much as one part built would have learned that you always want to make things as absolutely legible as possible because interpolation is always going to be suboptimal. And I can't recall a single device or component I ever designed that did not go through at least a few rounds of "so, guys, how hard is this going to be to build?"

It isn't even about a lack of vision - it's about a lack of comprehension of someone else's craft. The decent craftsmen know this and account for it. "Does this need to be solid stainless? And how critical is this dimension? Because I can buy a brass fitting from Home Depot and bore it out a bit and you'll be within fifteen thousandths. And then you can have it this afternoon instead of Q3 because the 5-axis is making DoD shit until those shelves are full." But unless you have clever humans on both sides of the equation, stupid mistakes happen.

I was working in a small town that happened to be an hour drive from my home in a suburb of Seattle. I could get socks delivered to my home by Amazon within 24 hours. I could get socks delivered to my small town within 6 weeks. Amazon had a bunch of skookum algorithms to figure out how to ship what where, but it didn't have any "use alternate shipping methods if there's a six week difference in a sixty minute drive" patches to prevent them from losing the sale. 'cuz there was also a Walmart half a mile away... and guaranteed, that's what most people did.

bfv  ·  137 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Micromanaging warehouse workers is a much better use of their planning algorithm peoples' time. Amazon is a strange company.

kleinbl00  ·  137 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There are corners of Amazon that are the result of clever people squeezing the numbers as hard as they can and turning coal into diamonds (and making their hands achey and black). There are other corners of Amazon that are the result of Jeff Bezos demanding things.

There's a bit in The Everything Store where they're talking about the design of the Kindle. Super-secret, nobody talk about it, rootin'tootin'hifalootin' designers from Germany and it's this beautiful e-ink thing that's light and thin and glorious and Jeff Bezos hates it because it doesn't have a keyboard.

Well of course it doesn't have a keyboard, asshole, it's a reader, said the designers but no, Bezos insisted that customers needed to be able to buy Kindle books from a goddamn Kindle and to do that they either needed a touch screen which didn't work with the refresh rates or they needed a fucking keyboard and 3G and he was such a dick about it that the designers walked and the world got

Absolutely plausible - thanks. It seems there are only 3 music files in use in the marketing business these days: the one you mentioned, the upbeat quirky fun one with the acoustic guitar strumming and claps, and the one that sounds like an endless intro to a lost U2 song circa 1987 that never quite arrives. Honestly, these folks should have gone with number 2. Or Yakkity Sax.

kleinbl00  ·  159 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There was a time when every third piece of music you saw on cable or the Internet was from Final Cut Pro's stock music library.

goobster  ·  159 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And nowadays every piece of music on every Kickstarter or social media ad is stock music from GarageBand. I can identify almost every one of them by name...

I can't tell whether the video here is supposed to be absurd or whether people who spend their lives developing a burger-flipping robot have lost all sense of absurdity.

kleinbl00  ·  159 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Pretend you're a video editor on Mandy. You have no steady gigs. Someone needs a video cut and they're offering $50.

You probably crank through a dozen of these videos a day. This one is particularly shit as you're supposed to assemble something out of nothing - you have maybe two actual clips of the fuckin' robot flipping burgers, and for SEO usefulness you need to cobble together a clip of at least a minute.

So you raid the shit out of stock libraries - nobody is even going to notice you've got a Fanuc and a US Robotics in there - and you tie it all together with a bunch of bullshit white people writing gibberish in xterm windows.

What nobody knows but you, of course, is that the original music you cut it to was Yakkity Sax. Because you start out with all this bullshit cut to Yakkity Sax. And then, same as always, you mute Yakkity Sax and drop in BullshitBombasticOrchestra48k.aif because all these bullshit Mandy editing jobs want BullshitBombasticOrchestra48k.aif because they're so bullied and punched around by the bullshit tech firms that the creatives behind the campaign aren't even self-aware anymore. So you started the gig at 9 and it's 10:30 now which means you're half an hour behind so you launch that fucker and actualized a rate of about $30 an hour which is a little less than half what you'd be making if this was real work and you hope there's more bullshit on Mandy because rent is due in two weeks.

rrrrr  ·  159 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Absolutely plausible - thanks. It seems there are only 3 music files in use in the marketing business these days: the one you mentioned, the upbeat quirky fun one with the acoustic guitar strumming and claps, and the one that sounds like an endless intro to a lost U2 song circa 1987 that never quite arrives. Honestly, these folks should have gone with number 2. Or Yakkity Sax.

kleinbl00  ·  159 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There was a time when every third piece of music you saw on cable or the Internet was from Final Cut Pro's stock music library.

goobster  ·  159 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And nowadays every piece of music on every Kickstarter or social media ad is stock music from GarageBand. I can identify almost every one of them by name...

rrrrr  ·  200 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Post Malone sucks

Well, at least I'm not dreaming. Others can see it too.

rrrrr  ·  209 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Somebody sent Hilary Clinton and Obama mail bombs

Also CNN.

tacocat  ·  209 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah. I just heard. Somebody is trying to hit the Trump enemies list

demure  ·  217 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Pretty fitting for a wrong link, though...

veen  ·  216 days ago  ·  link  ·  

God dammit...

Shame on me. Was gonna post both but confused my tabs.

rrrrr  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘I Fundamentally Believe That My Time at Reddit Made the World a Worse Place’

An alternative would be to charge users for entry to the site. If the charge were set low enough it might work. But I don't know how many people consider social media sites to be enough of an enhancement to their lives to be worth paying for. It's hard enough to get people to pay for music, art, movies, books, etc. Also by charging a fee you'd be skewing the demographic towards wealthier people, which would suck.

goobster  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think it is time for a pay-social media site. There was one on Kickstarter that I almost funded a couple weeks ago.

Ah! I found it. Here it is: OpenBook

I'd also like to see a pay model that incentivized participation over browsing. A "like/heart" would cost you a single Dingleberry, and and downvote would cost you 10, but a 1,000-word article with original images would award you 10,000 Dingleberries. Or something like that.

Make the base price like $10/month, and you weed out the majority of trolls. Then you incentivize participation, provide up/down rankings, good content moderation tools (flag/edit/delete comments on your content), and an anti-griefing system (like Hubski) that neuters the assholes, and that would be WORTH $10/mo.

Could work... for a while... until r/The_Donald found it.

francopoli  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Would work for years until a Digg-style mass migration swamps the culture of the place and it changes over a week. But I agree. I pay for Totalfark (mentioned elsewhere) as there is a lot less toxic garbage when you have money involved.

Then again, as someone that's been around, you may recall SomethingAwful. $10 a month and everyone on that board was cancer. Maybe the pay sites would self select their demographic.

The one thing that worries me is that when the site gets popular enough and hosting costs, moderation costs, legal fees, etc grow, the pressure will be on to turn on the access to cash. that means ad revenue, featured posts/products, native advertising etc. I wish I was smart (and rich) enough to have a solution to this problem.

goobster  ·  218 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, the thing about a pay-for social media site is that it is a product/service, not a Public asset. So if people become dicks, you just end their account. Bam. Done. No more r/The_Donald.

francopoli  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

One of my favorite areas on the Internet are the Totalfark forums. $5 a month is a great gatekeeper that keeps a lot of the reddit and 4chan edgelords out.

Payed entry skews the conversations to older, established, wealthy people, true. It also attracts people like me that are fed up with the public facing internet. The opposite side of the equation is a site like 4chan where the abrasive culture weeds out people. That model has the effect of skewing conversations to young, poor, college-aged, STEM students. At least the payed entry has the potential to not be an echo chamber, at least not as much of one.

One thing I wish Hubski did was not allow Google to index threads. The astronomy forum I am on blocks people from reading topics unless they are logged it. Once a month or so, someone will complain about that, and I'm glad the people running the site are digging their heels in. Nothing inside the site shows up in a google search. Pain in the ass if you are looking for an answer, a life saver if you are trying to have a conversation.

rrrrr  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: ‘I Fundamentally Believe That My Time at Reddit Made the World a Worse Place’

Hubski has a better mechanic than reddit: because it's sharers and followers I find it makes me think more about whether other people really need to see what I'm about to share or whether I'm wasting their time. And it's great to be able to remove someone from my feeds without censoring them for others.

Then again, I felt similarly about reddit when I first used it back in 2008 or so. Reddit seemed like such a sensible site where people with expertise discussed serious topics, compared to the fluff on Digg. You would think twice before posting on reddit. Things change, and it's still an open question whether Hubski's more civilized culture would survive a huge influx of users. Especially if that growth put it on the radar of the various propaganda "influence" campaigns.

But one thing Hubski certainly has going for it is the lack of corporate pressure for growth at all costs. This guy hits that nail right on the head.

francopoli  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Once you hit that level where the site cannot be funded by donations and you have to run ads, that is the beginning of the end. Keeping the site small, but not too small, makes the community more civil, or at least that is the way it seems to me.

rrrrr  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

An alternative would be to charge users for entry to the site. If the charge were set low enough it might work. But I don't know how many people consider social media sites to be enough of an enhancement to their lives to be worth paying for. It's hard enough to get people to pay for music, art, movies, books, etc. Also by charging a fee you'd be skewing the demographic towards wealthier people, which would suck.

goobster  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think it is time for a pay-social media site. There was one on Kickstarter that I almost funded a couple weeks ago.

Ah! I found it. Here it is: OpenBook

I'd also like to see a pay model that incentivized participation over browsing. A "like/heart" would cost you a single Dingleberry, and and downvote would cost you 10, but a 1,000-word article with original images would award you 10,000 Dingleberries. Or something like that.

Make the base price like $10/month, and you weed out the majority of trolls. Then you incentivize participation, provide up/down rankings, good content moderation tools (flag/edit/delete comments on your content), and an anti-griefing system (like Hubski) that neuters the assholes, and that would be WORTH $10/mo.

Could work... for a while... until r/The_Donald found it.

francopoli  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Would work for years until a Digg-style mass migration swamps the culture of the place and it changes over a week. But I agree. I pay for Totalfark (mentioned elsewhere) as there is a lot less toxic garbage when you have money involved.

Then again, as someone that's been around, you may recall SomethingAwful. $10 a month and everyone on that board was cancer. Maybe the pay sites would self select their demographic.

The one thing that worries me is that when the site gets popular enough and hosting costs, moderation costs, legal fees, etc grow, the pressure will be on to turn on the access to cash. that means ad revenue, featured posts/products, native advertising etc. I wish I was smart (and rich) enough to have a solution to this problem.

goobster  ·  218 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, the thing about a pay-for social media site is that it is a product/service, not a Public asset. So if people become dicks, you just end their account. Bam. Done. No more r/The_Donald.

francopoli  ·  221 days ago  ·  link  ·  

One of my favorite areas on the Internet are the Totalfark forums. $5 a month is a great gatekeeper that keeps a lot of the reddit and 4chan edgelords out.

Payed entry skews the conversations to older, established, wealthy people, true. It also attracts people like me that are fed up with the public facing internet. The opposite side of the equation is a site like 4chan where the abrasive culture weeds out people. That model has the effect of skewing conversations to young, poor, college-aged, STEM students. At least the payed entry has the potential to not be an echo chamber, at least not as much of one.

One thing I wish Hubski did was not allow Google to index threads. The astronomy forum I am on blocks people from reading topics unless they are logged it. Once a month or so, someone will complain about that, and I'm glad the people running the site are digging their heels in. Nothing inside the site shows up in a google search. Pain in the ass if you are looking for an answer, a life saver if you are trying to have a conversation.

HeroicGomez  ·  219 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It helps that there's only maybe a couple dozen particularly active users here. So their opinion carries a lot more weight on whether or not your content gets positive attention than it does on a larger platform like Reddit.

Reddit turned at some point from an open forum to a subversively curated platform, and though no one can pinpoint a particular moment, such a turn became inevitable once they prioritized revenue growth (which, if they were going to survive at their scale, they had no choice but to do).

rrrrr  ·  223 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I may not get to vote. This guy is pulling the slimiest shit

Sorry you're subject to his fuckery. I hope you find a way to register. It's terrible the way these Republicans are systematically gnawing away at all the supports of democracy, trying to get the whole system to fall permanently to them. There's nothing they won't stoop to. It drives me nuts just observing from outside the USA, but it must be so much worse to be directly on the receiving end. May all you decent Americans win your country back from these crooks, soon.

tacocat  ·  223 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've moved since 2016 so I had to re register. Making me potentially subject to this fuckery as I haven't gotten my card yet.

rrrrr  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Rod Rosenstein resigns. Or not. To meet Trump on Thursday

There's a lot of confusion about this right now it seems. He may have been fired, or be about to be fired.

This page currently says he's expecting to be fired today, and that Mueller's Russia investigation could be at risk.

Edit: Obligatory Mueller firing rapid response link.

Time to update those Facebook politics quizzes: Hitler or Stalin, which one are you? Since by the new rules of political debate, anyone to the left of Literally Hitler is Literally Stalin.

rrrrr  ·  256 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Man who punched a Nazi ordered to pay $1

Hey, this guy has been through it. He also had to suffer the indignity of being yelled at by his dad while broadcasting a live chat with his Nazi buddy. If only there were some way of not constantly being humiliated for being a Nazi...