a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
Kaius's profile

x 71

following: 21
followed tags: 51
followed domains: 0
badges given: 7 of 8
hubskier for: 3060 days

recent comments, posts, and shares:

Patrick Freyne is a top notch satirist and this article summed up the ridiculousness perfectly. My favourite bit is the commas around "also", its just perfect.

I had an argument with a friend recently, triggered by the Meghan interview (Meghxit? although surely now that Oprah and Beyonce are involved it should be Meghan-gate as the culture-court-case has been moved across the atlantic, clever move by the Sussexs PR team) on whether the Royal family was racist.

To me (whos great grandfather was shot by a clown), the royal family of a kingdom that has generated no less than 65 national independence days transcends the term racist. They are brought up to believe the blood of great kings flows in their veins, are surrounded by staff, and well... treated like royalty. Such a life does not help keep ones feet on the ground. It's a prerequisite for the job to see everyone who isn't family as "lesser", thats the whole fucking point of being royal. But "racist" doesnt cover it, I mean the now beloved (white,english,never divorced) Kate was a commoner who didn't pass muster with most Royalists some years ago.

My friend had a different view, and while they didn't go so far as to defend the Queen as a bastion of equality, they were ruffled by the overwhelming sense that Meghan and Harry are obviously ambitious celebrity types who are playing the situation for monetary gain. And its very hard for my friend to side with people who are dramatizing events (real or not) in their personal life for social/monetary gain; it goes without saying my friend has spent little time in America and thus is uneducated on the enlightened times we find ourselves in.

The following day I had a conversation with a British friend of mine who had taken umbrage with the couples belief that their child should have similar security as Prince Williams son, his point being that one was a "common" child and the other was "heir to the throne of England for gawd sakes!" and how ridiculous it was to compare them. When I (admittedly calculating his response, but feeling I needed to get one back for my poor dead great grandad who they shot in the haybarn) pointed out that both were "just kids" and should be seen as such, and that the real problem in my view was that fools believe one is more important than the other, his harrumphing could be heard in Worcestershire.

Its ALMOST like treating people differently because of who their ancestors were is an all round bad fucking idea.

Kaius  ·  111 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Investor anxiety mounts over prospect of stock market ‘bubble’

    Let me start out by saying that the pandemic has been useful to me in one regard: it has allowed me to ruthlessly prune my newsletter count. If I listened to you because you knew about markets? And as soon as things shifted in the markets you started talking about masks or remote work or (god help you) politics? Then you were doing nothing but grifting off your 20/20 hindsight. Behind me satan you can't guess at what will be you can only riff on variations of what was.

Would you include John Maudlin in the cull? He has tended to lean into discussing the pandemic but his recent newsletter did include some market direction calls for certain age groups.

Kaius  ·  111 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: One Year Alone in Forests of Sweden | Building Log Cabin like our Forefathers

You should check out "My Self Reliance" channel, Shaun builds a cabin in the woods single handed in the Canadian wilderness. Been following him for a few years as he has built and added to it.

Kaius  ·  117 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump predictions recap

Interesting, we should track some more under #predictions.

80% confident Biden survives his first term (given there are so many comments on his age/health).

80% confident that Trump is a major participant in a media organization by 2022.


Kaius  ·  117 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 20, 2021

It's a weird time.

I have lots to be thankful for, my family and I live in a big comfortable house in a small Irish village, we have a garden and all the conveniences of modern life. I work remotely from a quiet home office, and my wife is a homemaker which is wonderful, but is extra great in lockdown as she can help the kids with schoolwork. It's a nice simple life and we are very lucky, and we acknowledge it regularly.

For the last 12 months my days have pretty much a fixed routine. I get up, make a coffee, go to work, spend the morning answering emails and working on system designs, I eat lunch and chill out for 30 minutes, then back to work for an afternoon of meetings. After work I eat dinner, play with the kids for an hour or two, do some cleaning up, put kids to bed, and then sit on the couch reading, scrolling, or watching something for a while before going to bed.

That's it, wash rinse repeat for 12 months. I used to walk each day but can't really be bothered recently due to bad weather. To some extent life was always this monotonous but it was camouflaged by commutes, by different lunch locations, by different faces in different places. But now there is no colour to wash out the grey, no random variation to make the plain appear interesting.

I don't think I'm depressed, but I am fucking bored.

Kaius  ·  117 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Olivia Nuzzi: If Trump Doesn’t Keep You Up All Night, MyPillow Will

I have quite a large number of US colleagues and enjoy visiting the states (pre-covid) regularly. Watching from a distance what is happening is really painful, and the distance means that I only get ~1% of the experience so its pretty difficult to get a sense for what its like 'on the ground'. I don't pretend to understand any of it.

I could not comprehend how any country could entertain the though of electing Trump, let alone elect him AFTER the details that emerged during his campaign. I still cannot comprehend how he got 75M odd votes to come within a hairs breath of a second term given the daily shit show he ran. I have met people in my own country who praise him and, with zero skin in the game (he is not our shitshow to deal with), I've had long discussions with them to try and understand what the fuck is wrong with them, what is preventing them from seeing what is so CLEARLY obvious to me and most other people in terms of his shortcomings as a person let alone a world leader.

The QANON shit, its the same thing, I don't get it. People I work with revealing a considerable lack of reasoning ability, following some dogshit conspiracy theory down a rabbit hole, and being so sure about it that they post it on social media.

And its spreading, i've no doubt of that. The rest of the world absorbs quite a bit of American culture by osmosis, much of it good or at least neutral, but you can sense that the Atlantic wont be enough to hold back the crazy virus kicking off here in some shape.

The biggest revelation for me over the last 5+ years is, while most people are good kind and reasonable if given a chance, they can also be led astray very easily, and some significant % of the population were fucking nuts all along.

Kaius  ·  117 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Olivia Nuzzi: If Trump Doesn’t Keep You Up All Night, MyPillow Will

Are the Americans ok?

If its (TV, security cam, computer, whatever) connected to the internet then its only a matter of time before it is compromised.

Kaius  ·  125 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What books are you reading hubski?

You should enjoy the last two as well, I certainly did. What was interesting is how Cromwell changes over time, but not in a way he Cromwell recognizes, but the reader will notice how he grows into the role and how it changes him.

I need to find an analysis of the work somewhere and dig into it again.

Kaius  ·  125 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What books are you reading hubski?

The Wolf Hall trilogy was so good.

Kaius  ·  125 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What books are you reading hubski?

Worm by WildBow - https://parahumans.wordpress.com/

It's pretty massive and im only 20% or so into what is essentially 16 normal sized novels! It started off ok but has gradually gotten darker and better. Oh and its the first book I've read (instead of listening to audiobook) for years apart from textbooks.

A promised land - Barack Obama

Now that I am working from home full time I hoped I would find more time for reading but instead I've slowed down. My backlog of audible titles to get through has gone from impressive-bookshelf to insurmountable-library.

Kaius  ·  132 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hundreds of Google Employees Unionize, Culminating Years of Activism

Apparently, in the documents the group has released, they mentioned that they will not seek to lobby for employment changes for their union members ... so its more like a club! Which all sounds rather toothless, perhaps anything with teeth would have been clobbered by Googles lawyers before now.

Kaius  ·  166 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Hillbilly Elegy” Is the Last Thing America Needs in 2020

Ok, so you think he is a member of a third group and uses his supposed membership of the first and second to play both against each other for profit. I'll buy that.

    "Hillbilly made good" is Sergeant York or The Quiet Man.

Minor quibble but The Quiet Man is less rags to riches, more of a descendent-done-well returns to the old-country.

Kaius  ·  167 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How America’s deadliest serial killer went undetected for more than 40 years

Yea I read this one yesterday and its bloody grim stuff. 93 people... I mean at that point, does he even know how many he killed, can he even remember all of them.

Kaius  ·  167 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Hillbilly Elegy” Is the Last Thing America Needs in 2020

    Hillbilly Elegy is a terrible fucking book. It's A Million Little Pieces for the investment class. White Trash, on the other hand, is the book Hillbilly Elegy should have been.

It should be told, or at least interpreted, as a straightforward ascension story, rags to riches, where progressive values support people achieving their dreams. I don't remember him suggesting that there was significant pushback from the liberal elite beyond a few awkward situations like the networking dinner (and when would that not be awkward). He was welcomed, assisted financially, promoted, adopted as a full blood member, his upbringing was not a concern for anyone else. I'm trying to recall if he encountered any significant bigotry along the way but nothing springs to mind.

Not to draw parallels where none exist, but surely everyone experiences SOME distinction between their childhood experiences and their adult life. Not everyone (including the author it seems) had the Human Torch for a grandmother, but to some degree these two phases of our lives are very different. Again the message SHOULD be that (if taken at face value) he grew up in a violent area, with no objectively good role models, with no obvious route to success; yet he emerged from it to a much better place and isn't that positive and inspiring. I did it and so can you (hill)Billy.

But that's not the story the author tells, and because he doesn't tell it "straight", it all smells like a grift. To what end I don't know, it obviously made a ton of money. The article hints at a political run also.

I'm pretty awful at finding and listening to new music, I rarely actively try to do it, and when I do its a frustrating experience.

The two ways (admittedly sad) I've found to make it work are:

1. Get a recommended album from somewhere and FORCE myself to listen to it fully. I say force because on that first listen I will almost always not like it, rarely do I like something first time unless its pop rubbish. Once I've heard it enough times it either clicks or it doesn't, It very rarely clicks on the first few listens. Much of the music I listen to now I really didn't like first time hearing it... which is odd I know.

2. Have Spotify or something else "sneak" in a new track I haven't heard before using its algorithm. It seems like Spotify does this well enough to not trigger my new-music-disgust alarm. I'm guessing its a mix of knowing what I like, and what other people who like what I like also like... So Spotify allows me to discover a type of new music and I use it for that.

The downside to all of this is a big one: Eventually my music collection will be listings that Spotify found for me rather than ones I put effort into finding, which sounds "ok" at first pass, however its a disaster long term. My guess is that Spotify's algorithm will fundamentally change the music that gets produced in future, as artists that can more effectively chase the algorithm will be the ones who win out over artists creating "different" music that is not as easy to sneak into listeners ears...

Its the same with Netflix, Disney, Books... The algorithms are great in the very immediate short term where they find existing works that match what you want, but the whole things slides into grey-sludge as soon as new art is submissive to the algorithms in order to succeed.

Kaius  ·  168 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Hillbilly Elegy” Is the Last Thing America Needs in 2020

I read the book and enjoyed the "look how fucked up these people are" elements, while at the same time being confused by the authors perspective of praising said fucked up actions of his poor upbringing, from the heady heights of the Yale law academy. There was was an awful lot of hand-wringing about how much inner turmoil he had to deal with being split between two impossible states of being; a hillbilly, and an Urban elite. Yet that's what he is, he is both those things, is it really THAT hard to grasp that someone can be both... why all the drama? So yea the book was ok, but I'm guessing it speaks more to people in either of his two camps than it does to people in neither.

I forgot I read it until I saw the Netflix show advertised.

So over the weekend I sat down to watch it, and it was bad. Its not just that its a bad adaptation (which it probably is), its just that some of BS that you fly past in the book (say between Granny the gasoline gunslinger and whatever meth fuelled mess someone else was committing) were scenes like a goddamned Yale law student having an existential crisis over a salad fork and how it would impact his whole future. I gave up on the show around the point where they show his younger self doing a full-on header into a postcard stand in a gas station, where his mother furiously defends him to an overly obnoxious gas pumper... "My boy will show you he is worth three of you"...

I switched to the Diana documentary instead, another story of an upwardly mobile young person who dared dream above their station. Although in Dianas case it seems she was a naivete who wandered semi-blindly into her own nightmare, at least she had a sense of.. i dunno... responsibility, doing your duty.... Its foolish but at least you can admire it a little.

Vance seems to play both sides of the fence, defending his upbringing for their values, yet benefitting from the opposite values of the elite which raised him to where he is now. Which one is he representing here, which one is he selling out?