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Odder's profile

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I'm a 27 year old eternal student. I never want to stop learning. I'm interested in physics, math, philosophy, psychology, education, and literature. I'm optimistic about the world and the future.

Odder's recent comments, posts, and shares:
Odder  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Nasa unveils spacesuits to be worn by first woman on the moon

Oh... I guess that wasn't a thing we ever did. Damn.

    2024 lunar mission

In other news, NASA is betting on a blue wave.

Odder  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A series of mysterious bleeps and bloops defined the early days of the internet

Are you telling me the average qz reader is too young to remember the modem sound?

Ye gods.

Odder  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Made Me Reconsider the Anthropocene

So basically we're the meteor, not the dinosaur bones.

I'm glad the author realized that he didn't entirely understand the field he was writing on, and was willing to admit it.

I had research grad students in mind more than teaching grad students - classifying teaching grad students as teachers subject to the teachers union makes sense - but I'll wager that it hasn't really taken off yet because most grad students in teaching positions are either about to graduate or trying to switch to a research position.

Research students generally work directly for their PI, at least on paper - which makes it harder. Even if a union could make the PI's life hell, most grad students either look up to or are afraid of their thesis advisor, or both. My experiences are my own here - but most grad students I've ever met are essentially boastful victims - if they were willing to work for profit rather than what they suppose is furthering knowledge, they would have left for the private sector making double for half the time years earlier.

A theoretical labor union of grad students would need to force universities to organize in such a way that all grad student (and postdoc, while we're at it) labor was paid into from overhead from grant funding, proportional to the number of students, and would need to fight against all the lobbying and concern trolling about "endangering higher education" and "slowing down the progress of science". It's not impossible but it's a significantly harder battle than i.e. teachers.

    Meanwhile, unionizing grad students here would solve a lot of problems

How would that even work? Grad students are generally in a competitive and underpaid market, aren't in that market for a significant amount of time, and for many of them are trying to become the employers that they'd be collectively bargaining against.

The problem here is that constitutional conservatism is bad. No one who actually votes really likes it - and it's never been supported by a large group of people. It's all about screwing over the poor not because you hate them, but because you've somehow convinced yourself that that's the moral thing to do. What Sarah Longwell wants you to believe is that the GOP have actually just been useful idiots since 1964 - that they didn't realize that they were dogwhistling and weasel-wording their way into power and influence by exploiting religion and racism. Of course they did know exactly what they were doing, they just got queasy when it worked too well and someone came along who did it better than them.

Odder  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Young people are poisoning themselves at alarming rates with over-the-counter drugs


Odder  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Persistent Myth of Human Persistence Hunting

    he realized almost immediately that if you are going to chase an animal that is much faster than you, at some point it will run out of sight and you will have to track it.

Yeah - I kinda wondered this. If I somehow managed to chase an antelope (40mph) at max human speed (20mph) for 1 hour until it died, it would be 20 miles away... or way too far to still be running from you.

    I would hypothesize that she forged her boss' boss' email because she was formerly internal and is now external.

That makes a bit more sense - hadn't pieced that part together. The reaction seems a bit more appropriate now. And makes the article all the more interesting since they mainly seemed to publish it as a teaching moment in not threatening legal action - which doesn't seem super relevant given the whole "former employee" thing.

I could play the part of the grumpy snarker guy and just say "burn it all down" but this is part of the world is too interesting even if I have no desire to take any part in it. I can see why an influencer would think that they would be in a position to request a free upgrade, and why a company would turn them down bluntly (65k followers is amateur numbers) . The article leaves more questions than it answers, though - which isn't necessarily its fault...

- Did Ng fabricate the email?

- Did she accidentally email an incorrect address, where the recipient played an elaborate prank on her? If so, how did they get the real name of an actual airline employee?

- Is it even possible, as Ng thinks, that the airline sent her the email and then later claimed it was a forgery? What would they gain from this?

- Did the person who sent her a response go rogue, and then deny it when the company asked for clarification? Why would the company claim the email didn't originate from it's servers in that case?

It does seem like the company overreacted by banning her from the flight - a forged email that says "we might give you a business class upgrade if one is available" doesn't even seem like grounds for fraud investigation unless the company never does that or the gate agent knew the person who had supposedly signed the email and followed up with them. Unless - of course - there's more to this story than what Jacqueline Ng was willing to share with Elliott.

Unrelated to that - that website itself is fascinating. They don't bill themselves as "how to not be a jerk to customer service and you might get what you want" but that's essentially the service they are providing.

Odder  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class

These people are obviously living outside their means and are being stupid about it. They should stop. I think the point of the article is more that being a homeowner, having two new cars, having one child, and eating out at restaurants a few times a week is outside the means of a family that makes over double the median salary - when fifty or even thirty years ago, that and more would have been possible on one average salary.

Odder  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The White House accidentally emailed its Ukraine talking points to Nancy Pelosi

You don't. You do it on purpose because you hate your boss.

Odder  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is Meritocracy Making Everyone Miserable?

Oh yeah, I don't disagree with you here. When I referred to "economic class" I meant intentionally hiring someone because they came from a less privileged background - which sounds nice on the surface but gets ugly quickly when you start in on which sacrifices you make for how much lack of privilege.

    Conformity to an aesthetic that was laid out before you were born. The ability to synthesize certain life experiences and relate to people on a level most lower and middle class kids can't understand.

To some extent this is a part of what we call "merit" and it's probably more useful to most work than finding the zeroes of a parabola. And it is certainly something upper class kids get infinitely more chances to get good at.

Odder  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Is Meritocracy Making Everyone Miserable?

Yes, it does make people miserable when they think it's their own fault that they aren't successful, whether that's true or not. But then again, what other sane criteria are you going to use to determine if someone is qualified for something? Race? Gender? Economic class? Whatever trendy social handicap is big this week?

Idea: Instead of tracking whether or not people feel sad if they don't get the job they want, we could instead focus on making sure that people don't need to have "merit" just to be able have access to food, shelter, a living wage, and healthcare, and let the meritocracy take care of itself.

Odder  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How the baby boomers — not millennials — screwed America

i mean, the boomers aren't the generation that started Vietnam - they're the generation that was forced to fight in it by assholes from two generations prior. And that generation was the one that had assholes crash the stock market and cause the great depression just as they were coming of age, and so on.

Maybe assholeishness just skips a generation? Or alternatively every generation sucks, but we all forgot about Gen X, and nobody want to shit on the Lost Generation or the "Greatest" Generation because of that whole "fought in the war" thing.

Yeah, i just don't really grasp why that's a problem or a scandal.

The alternative - venture capitalists freely dispensing investment advice and potentially bankrupting competitors' startups sounds much worse.

Yeah - I don't get it. i think that I'm going to have to accept that this is a part of the world that I'm not going to understand.