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AstroFrank

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Then there should be a at least a few articles about rolling construction equipment over Occupy camps, illegal seizure of personal equipment, long term detentions of "leaders," and how the US State Department helped coordinate the global crack down on November 15-17. I won't hold my breath.

The Tea Party won the future. Not Occupy.

AstroFrank  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 4, 2021

I did not call you inhuman. If that is your takeaway, then I accept the full blame as I am not as good a writer as I should be. The only people I will call inhuman all wear shity red hats made in china while spreading a pandemic Virus and eating livestock dewormer. I tried to say you live in a bubble outside the typical human experience. As do I, and everyone using this website. At this point we are talking past each other. I promised to give the internet six months, maybe I can come up with something not so inflammatory to try to get a point across before my promise is kept and I can go back to dying. Back in the old days when recycling our newspapers, instead of massive wholesale changes to our society, was going to save the world we could live on a minimum wage. barely, poorly, and not in a healthy way, but we could live. Can't do that today, hell people can barely live on $15/hr. The one good thing to come out of this pandemic is the rise in wages due to the labour shortage.

I was raised to fight for people. The Catholic Church I went to in the 70's sent people to fight for civil rights in the South (while ignoring the local KKK and molesting kids, but let's just add that to the list of shit) I was raised to build the community you would be proud to live in. And for 50 plus years the entire world has shit in my face for trying. The emotional reaction I have to my life right now is that every cause I've joined has been destroyed demonized and mocked. Perot was talking about universal health care as a pro-business move, and that college was too expensive and a drain on the US economy in fucking '92 (30 years ago now). Howard Dean would have gone down as one of the best presidents in the 21st century. Even after the DNC let him die after the Fox "dean Scream" edit, he came back with a 50 state strategy that took back Congress... only to be kicked to the curb again and sent back to Vermont. Occupy is its own swirl of shit. Both non-profit education foundations I worked with died because we had to fight kick and scratch for money to keep operating, only to frustrate the people willing to volunteer. And these are just the big fights that maybe some people will recognize.

If you meet an asshole in the morning, well you met an loser. If you meet losers all day long, look in the mirror. It finally took failing health to realize the things I believe in are not only not popular; some even have active well-funded counter movements. And I'm sick of the taste of shit in my mouth. I'm sick, literally in my case, of fighting and losing. It's not been amusing at all to watch the reactions of people to my decision to start saying "NO" and wanting to live at least a few years on my own terms. People I've known for 30 years and more now won't talk to me because I won't give time and money.

    Here's where we differ. You want people to enjoy astronomy your way. I want people to enjoy astronomy.

The disconnect here between you and I, and I take the blame for not conveying my thoughts well enough, is that every hobby should have room for both. Every Hobby NEEDS room for both. I want beginners, even if I don't really "get" the kids these days as I shake my cane at them. But I also want my events of old farts where we can hang out and do our thing. If you walked into your fancy watch event and demanded they make digital watches cool again because the kids these days are all digital, you'd be laughed out of the event and blacklisted. there is an analogy there that I am butchering, hopefully it comes through.

    I bear you no malice and zero ill-will and will happily accept your slag as the cost of doing business.

My fight is not with you. My disgust and anger is with (gestures around at everything with a pissed expression on his face) Your kid is above ground, you gotta fight that battle because otherwise you are a sociopath. I get it. Hell, I even hope you win more than you don't. Long after I'm forgotten, I hope that you and yours are surrounded by grandkids laughing at the idiots thinking shit was falling apart.

    Recalibrate, mutherfucker

I did. The things I like get destroyed so I started saying no more often, stopped trying to roll the boulder to the top of the hill, stopped fighting for people that hate me unless I write checks, started standing up for my personal well-being and stopped participating. When I try to defend the things I enjoy, I end up screaming past people in barely read internet forums. Call me a bitter old man if you want, hell I sort of agree with you. But I keep coming back to the old cliche of inside of every angry old cunt like me is the corpse of an optimist.

    And come down from the mountain more often.

NO.

AstroFrank  ·  80 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: August 4, 2021  ·  

The reply to this keeps 502'ing on me so I will drop it here for kleinbl00

    Okay grumpy old man you earned yourself some devil's advocacy.

Your response pissed me the fuck off. Then I sat on top of my hill, and thought about this while watching the smoke from California and Oregon destroying the sky. Since I am camping out in the parking lot of a hospital after my injections, and have wifi access, I'll answer you. I am not nearly as good of a writer as you and I think we talked past each other, so let's see if I can expand our ideas here.

    That means the median visual astronomer was 30 years old when the HST went up, and 37 when WFPC2 went online.

You discount the visual astronomers that have died off in the last 30 years. I bring up people don't like space and you reply with the ultimate example of "pretty space picture nobody knows shit about." Why was this picture taken? What question was being asked? Yea Yea Yea first image with the Hubble Palette, whatever. Even here on Hubski, you and I are the only two people that know what "Hubble Palette" means, and I'll get to that in a moment. I've been in a room with Jeff Hestor http://www.jeff-hester.com/about-dr-hester/ and got to talk to him one on one a long time ago when I still gave a shit. He's a fantastic person, he's fighting the good fight for what it is worth. But the person and the idea behind the image means not-a-fucking-thing. Pretty picture on a college dorm, all that matters. PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE SPACE THEY LIKE PRETTY PICTURES

    That sounds about right - I was lugging a Coulter 10" Dobsonian around in the back of a Buick Skylark in those years where you could still pretend the ground was relevant. That shining period between billion dollar astigmatism and the Pillars of Creation shot. ... 'cuz I'm sorry - all the SBIG in the world will never fucking compete with that. Not ever. I tried a little game before I started writing this: I googled "most famous Hubble photographs" and "most famous Palomar photographs" and you know what? The Palomar shots are of Palomar.

There are five Messier awards in the Astronomical League Observing programs. https://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/AlphabeticObservingClubs.html I have all of them. I have the Hershell 400 and Hershell 400 (2) awards. I have enough awards to start making a run at the Master Observer certificate if I feel like making that effort. I have used remote telescopes to assist with the confirmation of exoplanets to the point my name is on five scientific papers, and used my own gear back home to track two more that are still being worked on and may finally publish this year. I have a NASA placard on my wall thanking me for engaging in outreach to over 50,000 people. I also have a NASA award for organizing a science campaign during the 2017 eclipse where we rounded up 600 boy scouts to do real data collection backing up the pros in aircraft and satellites that is going to be published this year if not already out. Now that we are done comparing prom gowns and all the other girls think we are pretty, let's cut the bullshit and get to the point.

Oh, and Hubble is in the news at least quarterly, and again PRETTY PICTURES; how many people outside of us even know what the hell Palomar is? People do not like space, they like PRETTY PICTURES.

    Ever been to the Griffith Observatory? It's pretty funny reading their plaques trying to justify the place as if it ever did any real science. They pretty much boil down to "we stare at sunspots sometimes." 1.6 million visitors a year, beyotch.

Never been to Griffin, but I've paid for a few nights with the 60" at Mt. Wilson twice. $1500/night for the group. The second evening myself and a few other people used the night to drag some impressive glass up there. I think between the ten of us, we had a combined $25,000 of eyepieces on us. And honestly, I think I had a better view through a 32" Obsession at the star party that got cancelled mentioned above. Of your 1.6 million visitors I wonder how many are there because the Griffin people used to whore themselves out to every movie and TV production they could wedge themselves into. 161 productions according to IMDB. LA is a city of 20 million people, that visitation number is impressive but let's not kid ourselves that the people of Los Angeles give a shit about Griffin, Mt. Wilson or any of these places. What percent of these visitors are out of state tourists?

    I remember star parties out in the desert. We had good sky. The Pleiades are a loose cluster from the Sangre de Cristos, they aren't seven sisters. The Milky Way is a naked eye object from under a streetlamp. Rich fuckers, too, with like 12" Meades'n'shit. And what were things pointed at? ... and maybe some rogue crankiwumpus like you insistent on making people look away from the center of the eyepiece so he could claim he showed them M81.

I have data on the state of astronomy clubs across the nation. Clubs with a combined 2700 members in areas representing 36+ million people in the USA. But some few rich people bought a $5000 coat rack they take out a few times a year means Astronomy is healthy? Are you going to seriously make the argument "rich people most effected" to me? Because if that is your argument fuck you and your fucking high horse. YOU.. FUCKING YOU of all people are better than that and I expect better from you. Note the numbers on those clubs. People in astronomy clubs are not even a rounding error on a statistical blip on the long tail. The older guys who did all the work either got Covid and died or noped out because they don't want to deal with the 40% of America that turns out to get its reality from foreign Facebook bullshit memes and flat earth groups. And fuck you, we don't show people galaxies at outreach we show open clusters and globular clusters like M3, M5, M92, M15, M11, M52 etc because those are easy to train someone to see quickly. You pull a "rich people impacted" argument on me of all people then toss around "elitism hur hur?" eat shit.

    Now - I didn't drag 50lbs of sonotube above the frost line to stare at planets. I did my dark sky shit, and I enjoyed it. Doodled in notebooks by red light and everything. But I did that shit alone and I didn't expect anyone to come with me. The serious hunting? That shit is solitary. And you yourself, homie, spent half your time photographing and the other half processing. I've seen your shots. The social aspect pretty much demands a trophy. Sure maybe you can get some accolades for your dedication if you describe your adventures but the picture's worth a thousand words. And with the amount of post-processing that's been de rigeur in astronomy since Clyde Fucking Tombaugh, that means an equatorial mount or a steppermotored Dobsonian hack. And that means $$$$$.

Done the visual from dark skies, documented it, have the certificates and notebooks to prove it. Even started on the Urban observing programs because work was killing me and I was unable to travel anywhere. You know why visual observers go into astrophotography? I know 'cause I was one, and talked to dozens if not hundreds who did the same. LIGHT POLLUTION. You know how many people in the USA care about light pollution? NONE. Even the AMA cannot get traction on the idea of overlighting residential neighborhoods is increasing breast cancer rates and has a possible link to the rise in autism. Photography lets me at least pretend that I am doing astronomy even if photos are shit for experiencing the world around us. What would you rather have? Someone looking at nothing put pictures of the Grand Canyon, or actually GOING there and experiencing it. Would you rather have people looking a the moon with their own eyes, or relegate everything to flat images on a screen. I made my choice and walked away from the shit show becasue I see where the world is going; I don't want any part of a society that wants pictures but not the experience.

    Try and tell me Stellarvue was selling more than 200 scopes a year ever. I remember when the ex-Soviet Maksutov Cassagrains came out and holy shit you could do planetary astronomy for less than $4k. My family paid $400 a night to go to an astronomy B&B and they couldn't afford a 16" Dobsonian. $22k for a 10" MCT? Hot diggedy damn! You got anything aspirational for little shits like me who saved up half his summer's wages for a cardboard and particle board clunker with a telrad and a $150 Orion focuser?

Six years ago, I got invited to be a part of a focus group, as someone doing outreach and talking to the public. I got to have two days of talks with the folks making beginner telescopes. I think that I am still technically under that NDA, but the telescopes we thought up are now on sale. https://www.celestron.com/products/starsense-explorer-lt-80az They are on mounts that do not suck, the optics are "fine" and just enough tech to make it easy to use. This is what you should be recomending for kids with birthday money, or paper route money etc to get. And no I do not get paid to promote them, never did. Now that Orion owns Meade, I am hoping that the software guys on the Meade side make the Orion stuff better and easier to use. We also promoted the Starblast 4.5" table top reflectors and got some 20 put into the local library system. You almost certainly know that you can get a not-bad beginner telescope for roughly $250 which is a lot of money for someone on minimum income, but doable. You acuse me of eliteism, remember? I'm trying to get people to not buy shitty hobby killing telescopes at Walmart and target, you see to think all there is out there is $10,000 glass.

    Know what kills hobbies? Elitism. That's why vinyl still exists, and why skaters are still listening to Dinosaur Jr. 30 years later. That Icona Pop LP you bought at Whole Foods to play on the Salvation Army Technics you paid too much for because you didn't know any better? That's a gateway. So are those shitty Instagram-class Celestrons.

Hobbies die when the people that have been around for a while stop helping the newcomers. Youtube vids are cool and all, but without someone to look at face to face and say "can you help me" you lose the new blood to the learning curve. Write all the checks you want, build all the shit you think you can get. Hell build public accessible observatories like I have done. No volunteers? You are fucked. Chase away the volunteers? Yer fucked. Have a lot of money but nobdy to do the work needed to keep the hobby/club/organization going? You die. Elitism is a minor problem compared to the lack of suckers and fools like I used to be doing all the work cause Duty, Honor, "the Cause," outreach, whatever. When the old greybeards stop attending gatherings, when the old timers like me walk away, when the apathy kicks in, the hoby dies. Make the rewards for doing an incredible amount of shit work not worth the squeeze, and your hobby dies just as dead as "elitism." Insult and berate the people on the ground doing the work, most of whom do it for the love and not much else, and your organization will die.

    I'll betcha if you threw another one on the University grounds they'd shut up. Yeah you're right - nobody serious could see anything serious seriously. But nobody following Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Twitter is ready to venture an hour into the hinterlands to pretend they can see Neptune anyway. Couple times *hanging out with their normie buddies? Sipping cocoa and schnapps while staring at things they could legit see through binoculars? That's another matter.

The Devil's advocate question is this: Why the fuck would I do that? The college already showed that they would not back us up, after working with them for TWO FUCKING DECADES where their physics students got extra credit for hanging out with people owning better gear than the bloody university did! All that time of working with them to the point where the star party was a 400ish paying customer event twice a year. What in the HELL makes you think they would step in and help and/or support us in a new adventure? When someone shows me their true colours, and shows me exactly what value they place on my efforts, I remember that. My friends got thrown under a bus for a bunch of idiots chasing social media clout, people that would have forgotten the event even took place as soon as the new thing got more likes and upvotes. The people we worked for free to add value to their students, and asked for nothing in return other than the use of their name to help with the Park Service and the Dept. of the Interior were tossed aside without even an afterthought. Fuck ever associating with people like that ever again. The couple that ran the show since the mid 90's are rumored to put together a very private event with no advertising, no door prizes, no sponsors once the Covid shit is mostly over. The University and its students won't be welcome.

The disconnect here, and this idea hit me in the middle of one of my drives into town to deal with society crap, is that you are not Human. Don't get mad, this is compliment, but I need to dig deep and make sure I am saying what I mean to say with that statement. You and I, and the people on this website are not human. Sure we are all homo sapiens with four limbs, 20 digits, forward facing binocular vision etc, but that "sapiens" part of the name? We are outliers looking in on the human experience. My county has a population of roughly 12K people. The county seat has a population of some 2500 people. There is a library in town, and since librarians are bigger gossips than any bartender I try to befriend them. In June of 2021 the total number of checked out books was under 200. Not 200K, TWO HUNDRED. This includes digital rentals as I specifically asked if there was an uptick during the pandemic. TWO HUNDRED BOOKS A MONTH. Between you and I, I bet we hit that in a typical year. Two people read more in a year than an ENTIRE COUNTY OF PEOPLE do in a month. Now, there are no bookstores in the county, I checked, not even a used book store! It is possible that everyone here, a county where 80% of households are below the poverty line, are buying books online or pirating PDF's, but I've met the neighbors and let's say I have doubts. YOU read more than just about anyone else I've even known, online or off. More importantly, you retain the info you ingest, can process it and explain it to others in context. That skill alone puts you in the top 5% of the smart people in this country. If you last name was gates, or bezos, or Boringoldmoneywhitedude the fourth, you'd have gone to an ivy league, made your business connections and almost certainly be running a Fortune 1000 class company by now. You exist on a level that at times I don't think you understand, maybe you do and just feel guilty or whatever and keep that offline. You and I got the shit rolls on the family dice and had to make due with what we were given. Yet somehow we if not thrived as least did not suck on a shotgun or die of a drug overdose or any other multitude of pitfalls that you and I have shared stories about. We are both retired, and let's be brutally honest here, most people in our generation are NOT going to retire until the last two years of their lives when the body and brain break down from over work and their employer can no longer accommodate their needs, so ship them off to die at home on government health care to keep the health insurance costs low for the rest of the drones in the factory. You and I are talking on a website with maybe 30 active users, four of whom have PhDs in the sciences, and this place is run by two guys using STEM cells to help prolong healthy living, a technology that I bet at most 1 out of 500 people even know exists. How many people know this place exists? 2000? Maybe? When you look at where we are, and where everyone else is, you and I are not even a statistical blip on the very end of the very long tail of human existence. How many people here are into what can be roped into pop culture? None of us, I mean I don't know what a Dinosaur Jr was and had to look it up, some meh band from 30 years ago. Talk to most people and all they spit out is tv shows and movies, and not much else. I could sit here for a few hours and list line item after line item that makes not just you and I but most of the people on this website outside the base human experience. We are "human" by the proxy of our biology, but if we walked into a city council meeting or a PTA meeting, how many people there would we be able to connect with?

The problem you and I both have is that we are in a bubble. Might be different bubbles, but each of the bubbles we exist in protect us from the normal shit normal people go through every day. We can read a book, we can listen to a politicial speach and understand the language about the people they are rallying, but we see this all from the outside. We have the Time, money and privilege to be able to do something that in not directly paying the bills. You can watch your neighbors make poor choices about thier house, but talk about it as an academic exercise to explain the housing market to the rest of us outliers. You get to talk to the rich and wealthy, you mentioned you have had relationships working and otherwise with the famous etc. I've talked to people who have space hardware on the surface of other planets. I can pick up my phone right now and call someone working in mission control for the ISS. Kids I met at outreach events 15 years ago are now building Artemis hardware. This puts me in a VASTLY different head space when it comes to space and astronomy that just about anyone but the guy here that launched satellites earlier this year. Your reply to me really pissed me off until I realized you are coming at this as someone looking in from a 50,000 foot level. Do either one of us really remember what it is like to live on minimum wage? I bet neither of us has 50K in student loan debt. We both own where we live. Neither of us is living paycheck to paycheck. I was homeless living in Truck Center Parking lots off the interstates, and now can barely offer advice from that time nearly four decades ago. We both have expensive esoteric hobbies that the average person cannot comprehend the cost to get into. You can drop a few grand on some widgit thing for your watchmaking and not feel the dread of not eating for a month. Everything about you is outside of a normal human living experience in the current world except your family and upbringing. How many humans do you know that can build a $100K plus milling machine just because they want to fuck around a little bit? Hell, I can't do that, then again I have no income either.

Once I calmed down and actually though about what you wrote, I realize you are not being a cunt just to be a pissant, you are just tone deaf and out of the loop of what is going on at the ground level. Congrats, you won the game.

AstroFrank  ·  122 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Starlink is a very big deal

Starlink, and everyone hyped about it, can eat all the covid infested bags of dicks I can get my hands on. I see at lest two trains a night on every moonless evening I am outside. All this shit so they can sell you disposable gear to feed internet ads at gullible elon musk loving cunts.

https://phys.org/news/2020-05-costly-collateral-elonmusk-starlink-satellite.html

Let's talk about space junk. Before governments got involved the starlink policy was the same of every other tech company: externalities not related to day to day profits are for the poor people to deal with. In short, FUCK YOU. The goal is to get so big as fast as possible that they cannot be regulated, ie the Uber model.

The ESA had to move a weather tracking satellite because nobody at SpaceX/starlink was available to talk about moving their satellite on a "near pass" orbit. The first couple of launches of starlinks did not have a protocol in mind to avoid collisions. Some 5% of the satellites are already dead and deorbiting, and so many satellite rentries with their chemical make-up is a threat to the ozone hole.

https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/31594/20210608/megaconstellation-satellites-reentering-puts-hole-ozone-layer-increases-atmosphere-pollution.htm

But hey, fuck the poors stuck on earth, WE'ZE GONNA GO TO MERS Y'ALL!

You cannot use a Pihole or adblockers with starlink either, that is buried in the user agreement.

Fuck starlink, fuck spaceX and fuck the fanboys.

AstroFrank  ·  122 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 23, 2021  ·  

Astronomy is a hobby for old people, mostly men. It also is a hobby for people with time and disposable income, but that is a separate rant. The median age of an amateur astronomer given by people in marketing is 54. Visual astronomers, like me, are a decade older. And we are dying off. The number of people buying high quality large visual telescopes is numbered in the hundreds per year. AstroPhysics, one such vendor sells under 200 telescopes a year most going to research universities. Stellarvue, another company of high quality gear, sold about 300 telescopes last year. The number of companies building these devices are in the single digits. Two companies building large Dobsonians style telescopes for visual observing see the writing on the wall, took their final orders and are closing forever. The three best mirror makers are no longer taking orders for visual mirrors, focusing instead on equipment for astrophotography and university research institutions as they upgrade decades-old telescopes. Looking at what Celestron offers and has in stock now, you have gear aimed at the instragram astrophoto community (median age 40) and shit-tier beginner garbage.

The pandemic ripped a massive hole in the astronomy community. So many older people either died or won't go to club events or star parties due to the Pandemic risks. We are a tightly knit community of weird people with a weird hobby and any loss of one of us is a massive loss of talent, skill, and knowledge. There is about to be a flood of good, higher end, visual astronomy gear on the market, but no buyers. Visual astronomy is hard, and very few people any more want a hard hobby. In the next few years there is going to be some high end gear that ends up donated to the dying astronomy clubs where it will collect dust until it is thrown out because it is taking up space. I saved one such device, rescued from an estate sale from a man I never met but talked to for years online. The 'scope is in my car outside this library I am using for wifi. I have a pad for it, and once lumber is not worth more by weight than platinum I intend to build a home for the telescope. I need to buy a few car batteries on the way home now that I think about it so I can power my new gear.

I know the argument incoming. But space is popular. No, it is not. Useless celebrity cunts like Neil Tyson are popular. I've met him before he was THE Neil DeGrasse Tyson back at TAM6... geezus that was only 8 years ago?

He was a guy passionate about something he was WAY down the rabbit hole of knowledge and wanted to grab you and scream in your face "THIS IS AWESOME!" Now, he sits on fucking twitter all day. He's gone off the plot, just like every other famous person. The guy behind the "Bad Astronomy" blog/page/books got famous and then became too good for us mortals more than a decade ago as well. People do not like space, they lice celebrity. People like Hubble images. People like hurricane warnings and weather reports but do not understand where those come from. The less said about Elon Musk the better. They don't like SPACE as an industry or technology. Astronaut talks do not sell tickets. The most popular astronomy podcasts get 10-15K views if they are popular; talk about the boring stuff like doing the work and your talk may hit 2K views/listens. A child unboxing toys, to put this number in perspective, gets 100K views a video and makes 10 million USD a year. One of the younger people with a youtube channel gets 30K views... if he talks about his dog and then shows a pretty image at the end of the video. People do not like space, they don't want to put in the work to be good at a hobby, all these people want to do is post results. And stopping part two of the argument here, its not just college kids. The number of older "adults" throwing tantrums that they have to work at something to get good at is makes me glad that my nearest neighbor is 6 miles away.

The last star party I helped run and organize ran afoul of the local college social media religious fanatics because we did not have "women friendly" facilities. At a primitive campground in a national park with no electric, running water or cell service. A place chosen for its off-grid location and lack of lights, electricity, and its isolation from even aircraft overflights. This was a shock to the dozen or so women astronomers that had been attending the event for a decade, the wives that tagged along for the peace and quiet and the two wives of the organizers running the organization since the 80's. We lost the financial and in-kind support from the local college because the lack of conveniences was "exclusionary." When the college pulled out, we lost the park service assistance with permits and the other hundred little things you need assistance with to make an event like this work. The state agency that had been helping us with portable toilets, traffic control, signage etc stopped returning our calls. From what we were able to gather, there was some popularity on social media for astrophotos in 2018-2019 and the group that wanted to participate were pissed they could not upload images to their websites or charge their phones and equipment. They complained to university officials and the state park service about us. There was a demand that we lug in a generator and build showers. The star party no longer exists; the two older couples all but said "fuck this shit" and noped out. They blame the pandemic, but the real reason is that none of the older volunteers feel like dealing with this crap, a lot of work for ungrateful people, no money and all the joy having been sucked out.

I got forced back online to buy gear. Since I am online, I reached out to some people I know in multiple clubs across the country. People bought telescopes during the pandemic, saw the hobby is hard, and dumped that gear on whatever organization showed up when someone googled "local astronomy group." The clubs that saw massive growth in numbers of members are now struggling with the loss of the clubs culture as people that have been around for years are pushed out by the flood of new people. I hope they ride the wave, get tons of new blood, volunteers and cash, but I've seen this before and these types of clubs will rarely last once the old timer volunteers are gone. The death knell of any niche hobby is popularity. If you are into a small hobby with a close community, pray to your deity of choice you never get noticed or popular. Its a shame because with the internet, the 10 people in Idaho into blacksmithing can get together virtually and learn from each other. They can share tips about gear, technique and design, and get better with effort and passion for something they enjoy. Then some big social media celebrity gets a following of people, notices you guys doing your own thing and seemingly enjoying yourselves and now your hobby is shit and you cannot buy equipment, your forums are flooded with new people without a clue drowning out the people with knowledge and those 10 original people all slip away offline and won't talk about their achievents and passions due to the connection with the influx of toxic shit and idiots. This story may be anecdotal fiction, or it may be a second hand account from the guy that moved my trailer to the property and helped me tie it down. Go find a knitting group that has been around 10 or more years if you think this is only a dude-bro issue. Because damn, those poor people got fucked over, hard, by the newcomers with their "bitch and stitch" stores and runs on yarn, thread, canvas and equipment. Back before I moved, a lady into video games and knitting told us all how she was kicked out of her knitting group because her being a 60 year old woman with grandkids and a husband of 40ish years made some of the new people uncomfortable. (The new people kicked her and her two "grandma" friends out of the facebook group and changed the venue on her) I watched cooking groups implode in real time due to the popularity of the terrible cooking channels and youtube famous "chefs." Giant 1000 people LAN parties died the same way, popularity of video games killed them and nobody will volunteer to run them any more. The new people that think they can get famous gaming do nothing but whine and stir shit swamping out the old timers; the culture that made these events fun died.

This rant is not just about a hobby I love dying (in this case literally). Its an old man rant on the state of the world and how social media is evil. Fame is a moral evil and social media feeds off its pursuit. Fame is the death of honor and dignity. Nobody chasing fame is a decent human being in my opinion. The character needed to dig in and get good at something, that mentality of put in the work with a plan to get good at something, that drive, that passion, that "This is fun and I don't give a shit who else cares" attitude is fading. Post a stupid video that hits the right algorithm on social media and the next thing you know you are being flown to be on a talk show and now can sponsor some crap product and cash out for simply existing. I've heard kids say they want to be youtubers, not realizing that those famous people work 100 hour weeks and the only reason they got famous is pure stupid chance. Tell them the work that goes into making a video worth watching, and you can see their face try to process a foreign concept for the first time. Social media is a moral evil that gives the unaware the idea that fame is good and easy. The few good parts of fame are shared and normalized; the bad, the struggles, the work is shoved into a memory hole because it only got three upvotes or likes. Everything worth doing has been converted into an instant gratification treadmill and that is why social media is terrible.

I am not sure anymore if the concept of "happy" exists. I think this idea is something we have a faith-like dedication to, to our detriment as a society. There is an emotion attached to accomplishment, not quite self-esteem, but something along those lines. You want to find a "happy" kid in a school? Find the kid that busted his ass to get a good grade on a test and ask him how he did it. Watch their face light us as they talk about the work they did. Is that happiness? Or is it something else? Find the kid that just completed his first skateboard trick. Find the kid that just built her first 3-D printed model from scratch. Find the guys in whatever shop class still exists and ask them about the stuff they are building. Find the kid that just nailed a guitar riff after 20 hours of trying. Find someone that just baked their first sourdough that does not suck from scratch. Those people will light up like a commercial parking lot if you get them talking about what it took to be successful. Is that "happy?" Or is it something else? Excluding the people with medical issues that need help, I think one of the reasons so many people are down, depressed and unfulfilled is because people are not DOING anything any more. Watching a movie is not DOING something. Consuming products is not DOING something. Merely existing is not DOING.

Hobbies are dying, and go ahead and argue if you want but I've seen the sales numbers. This could just be the ramblings of an old bitter jerk that walked away from a good job to go live in BanjoStan in a 700 square foot off grid trailer to watch the world die as he prepares to dance with the Reaper. Or it could be the observations of someone that first hand saw the decline of union labor, the stagnation of wages, the destruction of the middle class, the implosion of the nuclear family, the housing crisis and rent affordability bomb, all that big picture stuff no longer serving people that need or want to work for a living. If you are working two jobs to pay rent because multi-billion dollar hedge funds are destroying house affordability, you won't have a passion project. And guess what folks, overwork and no down time are not going to make you happy if all you are doing is treading water. One thing I picked up from the pandemic is the number of people that were forced to stay home, then started feeling better. They cooked at home, they worked out a bit, they felt less stress. Now that people are going back to work, I hope they can keep any hobby they picked up and use that to get a sense of accomplishment and feel good about themselves. and it makes me happy as hell that shitty service providers like restaurants and retail are closing because they won't pay their people and treat them with respect. Out here, the local wallmart is cutting hours because even at $18/hour nobody will work for them. Better to make $15 in construction outside and not deal with screaming idiots, mentally ill church people with entitlement complexes, and a management structure that sees you as sub human.

Life is way too short to hate your situation; I'm still angry it took me this long to figure that one out.

AstroFrank  ·  122 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pentagon Report: Some UFO Sightings Can't Be Explained With Current Science

Several "unidentified" have been thoroughly discussed and described.

AstroFrank  ·  122 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Triangle UFO over Shanghai June 22 2021

Its not a shadow, its an obstruction that looks exactly like the triangular building in the image below in this thread. Shanghai is a city of 55 million people, in China, in a city where there are 100 million cell phones all with cameras. If this was a "real" phenomena we would have shitty social media tags, multiple zooms, multiple angles and thousands of eye witness reports. It is hard to get a sense of scale on shitty hand held anything recording, but the object looks bigger, say the size of the top of a massive sky scraper taken from not street level through a marine layer.

In fact, it looks like Tomorrow Square, a thousand foot tall building that is in about the right spot relative to the stills I see of Shanghai in the day time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow_Square

Its a fucking building shot by tourists through a marine layer in about the right part of the city to see a 1000 foot tall building peek out through patchy clouds. Come on guys, this one is not even fucking trying.

AstroFrank  ·  136 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 9, 2021

I have not earned an income from work since September 2019. I moved out to "Go-Fuckyourself-Stan" since I was unable to emigrate to Ireland after selling and giving away most of my stuff that held no personal value other than an anchor holding me to a city I no longer felt was my home. This process involved selling about 30K worth of astronomy gear. The new homestead is 80 acres, well 160. I had to buy the second lot and hire an atourney to get an easement and access road built. With the pandemic and the shit show that is labour in the rural parts of the USA, the road will get graded and graveled sometime in 2030. My hope is all these cunts buying land up here will realize that living in the reddest of the red states home to naught but protestant traitors will make then leave in a few years. I'm just glad that I was able to get all my living stuff done before the world went to full shit in Q4 2020. The one thing I do have here is damn near perfect skies. Last year, not counting the land purchase and moving a single wide mobile home to the land, I lived on less than 30K including taxes and fees , gas, food etc. I took a look at finances, and thanks to some amazing timing I nearly doubled my net worth due to the pandemic dip and recovery rally. So it is time to relearn to love a hobby again.

I made a call and got hold of a guy I have done business with to the tune of over six figures including referrals over the last 20 or so years. He asked what I have been up to, and told him. I told him I burned all my online presence, that the old job was treating me worse than shite, that I removed myself from astronomy education and noped out to the mountains. My guy then spent an hour calling me every name in the book, insulting everything about me, and telling me that he is so disappointed that I bailed out he will never sell me anything again. He then hung up on me. There are maybe six people on this earth that can talk to me in such a manner... and have me sit and listen, none of whom are family.

A few days later he calls back, calmer and gives me conditions that I need to meet to stay a customer. He explained how the pandemic cratered the astronomy hobby and there is literally no gear worth owning for sale right now. But he was willing to shove me to the front of the line if I did a few things for him. The one demand that almost ended a multi-decade friendship was my guy demanding I get back online again. I asked why. He went silent for a good few minutes then gave me an answer I will not put in public. He made a convincing argument. So here I am, back on the sewer of human failure that is the internet. The internet was a mistake, not one that I think the human race can recover from fast enough to fix our larger institutional issues. When the shit really hits the fan, the French revolution is going to look like a minor disagreement followed by a night of drinking at the pub. I do not have internet at the homestead, I barely have phone service. I explained this, we had a good talk, and so here I am again. At least now that the solar is up I can type stuff on a laptop for the trips into town to see the doctor or brave a Costco. Not watching the fall of western civilization in real time one garbage twitter thread at a time has really helped my mental and physical well being. I've lost enough weight and can almost breathe again due to no allergies to the point that they now think they can drug me correctly and fix my health issues. I'll post once in a while when I can make it to town with time to spare to sit in the library or a coffee shop and get connected. Maybe.

I also realized that 2021 is the 10 year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. I should sit down and write my angry fucking hate-rant on my experience there. I'm not-unconvinced that the US system of representative democracy died with insane panicked over-response by the people in power, but I hope I am wrong. Everyone complaining about police over-responses and use of force that did not raise your voice ten years ago? eat shit.

AstroFrank  ·  136 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A sober discussion: Aliens on Earth

There are no aliens. Not intelligent ones at least. And so far, every bacteria, virus, fungi etc known to man, even the ones under Antarctic glaciers, in thermal vents at the bottom of the ocean and in caustic chemical pools in Yellowstone all have DNA and RNA pointing towards a common single ancestor that lived as soon as organic chemistry could function on the earth as it cooled, some 4.2 billion years ago.

There are no aliens. Mick West has been debunking this nonsense for at least 15 years on Youtube. He's at the point now where not only can he explain that what you are looking at is a plane, but by figuring out the time stamps on the videos, which plane and contrail you are looking at.

The reason these videos are coming out now is because the problems with the tech that caused the oddities, along with better training are no longer a national security risk to our military. The take away from the "go fast" video, debunk below, is not OH SHIT ALIENS! The take away from these videos should be OH SHIT WE CAN SEE A LARGE BIRD FLAP ITS WINGS FROM A CAMERA TRAVELING SUPERSONIC SPEEDS FROM FIVE MILES AWAY. And now that this video and information is declassified, what can they see and find now? (hint the software is better at finding these glitches and blips and hiding them from the pilots so they can focus on drones and stealth aircraft)

There are no aliens. If there was anything sentient within 250 light years we would be picking up their airport radars by now. There is a subset of people that have been lost in all the chaos of the last 30 years that want a savior but don't go to church, so they invent little green men visitors. There are no aliens, and

There are no aliens. We want there to be because humans are garbage at fixing problems on our own.