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b_b's profile
b_b

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following: 117
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hubskier for: 3764 days

When not in real life, I spend my time here.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
b_b  ·  12 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump's social media venture says it has raised $1 bln

At least something got him out of Congress

b_b  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My Brain Tumour, Something’s Leaking?

That was a great night. You could even say life changing for me in some ways (though going into details as to why would probably bore everyone). Or maybe not. But it was fun and memorable nonetheless. I can't say that I have everyday contract with any of the players anymore, but you're all dear to me. My best wishes to you for a speedy and full recovery. No matter your level of participation, you're the only emerita member of the hubski community, with all the honors with which that comes. Much love.

-Ben

b_b  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 1, 2021

I had one job right out of college that I hated. I got hired as a manufacturing engineer by Chrysler at a time when Daimler was trying to dump them to anyone who would make a realistic bid. On day one my new boss basically told me he's too busy to train me, so until he gets around to it, just make sure I look busy whenever his boss is around. They paid me $53,000/yr for doing almost nothing. That was a high starting salary for the time. Many of my classmates would have jumped at it, but I resolved to quit on day 1. I stuck it out from April to September, because I figured I could handle a summer of shit until the next gig I found started, which was graduate school. From Chrysler I took a $32,000 pay cut to pursue grad studies, and have not regretted it for a single minute ever since. There's nothing like taking pride in the work you do and feeling like you're doing something that contributes (to the world, to your sense of self...whatever, as long as you don't feel like a bump on a log).

b_b  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'Patience is crucial': Why we won't know for weeks how dangerous Omicron is

I think the more surprising thing here is that Bryan Adams is in the rock and roll hof. I guess they're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

b_b  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'Patience is crucial': Why we won't know for weeks how dangerous Omicron is

Really horrible incentives being created for a region that can not afford more bad incentives. If you're South Africa right now, you're definitely thinking, "Why the hell should I try to help in the future when all I get is shit on in response."

The scare headlines from NYT and elsewhere are less than helpful right now. Immune evasion by the virus is sort of predictable, and not doesn't have to be a death sentence for the economy all over again.

I'll bet if anyone looked, they'd find more variants. My step brother and his wife just got covid for the second time, and they were vaccinated in between. That's some immune evasion right there, but who the fuck is going to sequence their viral genomes? We all need to cool it right about now. I really hope to never become a person who uses phrases such as "main stream" or "liberal" media, but they're really pissing me off right now.

b_b  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Know How the Beatles Ended? Peter Jackson May Change Your Mind.

Haven't watched yet. On a vacation with my family, so I'm gonna wait until next week.

b_b  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 24, 2021

All three Pfizer.

b_b  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 24, 2021

Same for me. Nothing for 1 or 2, then 3 made every single joint in my body feel swollen. Didn't want to move.

b_b  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Libertarian Dream Town

I work for a woman who once told me, "Something about the way you explain things just always clicks for me. I don't understand something when ten other people explain it, then you do one time and I get it." I told her it was cognitive empathy, the attempt to think like another person and then say it the way you think might resonate with that person. She replied, "Oh. I have no empathy." That was two years before I started working for her, and the only only times I regret taking the job are on days when she inadvertently reminds me how true her self-assessment was.

b_b  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Vaporware car is best car

That's even worse if that's true, because retail investors are the ones who can least afford to lose their ass. So many people went bust in the dotcom era. "Fundamentals matter" was the lesson learned, and we forgot that lesson in about 2 years, then we had the housing bubble, whose lesson lasted even less than 2 years, and which caused even more people to lose their ass. Now this. I'm no oracle, but I know how this ends.

b_b  ·  17 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Vaporware car is best car

"We believe the market is pricing in extraordinarily high probabilities of success. Pets.com is the wave of the future, and everyone knows it."

b_b  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America

    LOL they have done no such fucking thing.

You know, sometimes one comes face to face with one's shortcomings, and this might be that moment for me. When faced with a factset that doesn't add up, my reaction is almost always, "Well if I can see that this is bullshit in 2 minutes of calculations, then clearly I'm missing something." Techbros notwithstanding, my reaction is rarely. "Oh, easy, they're lying for money." I can be very credulous even at times when everything says to be the opposite.

b_b  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America

    My mother used to point out the patched hole in the ceiling at one of her labs where a grad student loaded up an ultracentrifuge without a counterweight. I guess it was easier to do in the '60s.

Uh, yeah. These days every UC is programmed to go to low speed to sense the balancing before it ramps up. From what I understand there were many lab incidents that led to those engineering changes. Even if no one gets hurt, you're still out $80k when you have to buy a new machine, because user error voids the warranty.

b_b  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America

I'm in biotech so I have a lot of experience with centrifuges of various types, though almost all small. If you unbalance a centrifuge that weighs, say, 50 kg, by a few grams and you run it at 2,000 g, you get some serious wobble. You let it run for more than a few seconds and the machines all set themselves down, because you'll fuck the bearing quickly. You get to 100,000 g and then you're talking about balancing to the hundredth of a gram. Obviously it's all relative, and here I'm sure they've designed to the known forces and expected changes in angular momentum, but I just don't see how you don't break the rotor arm here. Maybe a sliding counterweight on the opposite arm that can be brought to the center immediately upon release? You could change the moment of inertia pretty quickly that way.

b_b  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America

And that should produce about 0.25 x g at speeds that are like a third of what has been proposed by hyperloop.

b_b  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America

Perfection

b_b  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America

    I maintain that Hyperloop is a trojan horse SpaceX project to replace the rockets with a centrifugal launch system.

I can't find it at the moment but I remember working out the math of the speeds he was promoting for passenger travel and concluding that you would need a greater than 2 mile turn radius or something to stay below 1 g. It was very evident from the beginning that Hyperloop was not a viable transportation idea. Didn't stop any amount of jizz being spilled over it though, because most people don't know thing one about physics.

b_b  ·  20 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America

I mean, we have to assume that they have people on their team who took high school physics, right? I guess we had to assume there were people who took high school biology on Theranos's team, but that didn't matter.

I would like to think "short Facebook" would be a good position going into the Brave New World. I suppose that depends on the will of the invisible hand to control the market being stronger than the will of the tech titans to control the regulators. My guess is the minute this starts hurting FB et al's bottom line they'll all be clamoring about fairness.

Although I got out of crypto years ago (I regret that some days--only the days when I think about it!), I understand the basic arguments, and I basically get it. What I don't get at all is how we go from here to there. I mean, how do we go from a situation where a few tens of thousands of people hold all the "currency" to a situation in which a mom in Arkansas is benefitting from Web3, when that more or less depends upon wide adoption of one or more coins. Right now, Heinz can do ad buys on FB that are pretty damn microtargeted, and all indications are that they sort of work ok, but not as well as you'd think they would. So I'm pretty sure I understand the nature of trustless interactions, but I haven't been able to envision how the wealth trickles out in a way that makes the schema implementable. Most of the arguments I've seen about crypto look more like underpants gnomes than a playbook.

b_b  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Much Do Electric Vehicles Cost to ‘Fill Up’ Compared With Buying Gasoline?

I don't hate EVs. I am annoyed by the lack of consideration around all the thorny issues that switching to a primarily EV fleet entails, of which there are a lot, many of which have very high costs and unclear benefits. None of them are reasons not to build EVs, or even to encourage some people to switch. But every asshole with a "TKS ELON" license plate treats you like you're Union Carbide for even suggesting that maybe EVs aren't a panacea.

And I do get the point. And I hate the starfuckers, too! I try my hardest not to take life advice from the Kardashians, but I'm sure I'll buy an EV too when it makes sense. Curb Your Enthusiasm new season just started and it features Larry David driving an Audi electric SUV. On that show he's gone from driving a Camry to Prius to an i3 to now whatever the EV equivalent of a Q7 is.

b_b  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Jerry Saltz: John Currin Is the Caligula of Painting

Anyone can hate me for saying this, but I actually find this work (image search the rest of the show) more comedic than grotesque. I don't think Caligula is an apt comparator, because Caligula was a tyrant. This look much more like trying to cast the ridiculousness of the Classics by comparing them to porn, and the ridiculousness of porn by comparing it to Classics, and the ridiculousness of al of us by revering both of them, even if it's only ok to revere one in public. Anyway, I laughed out loud. I think this Vulture writer, who I gather is a famous art critic, is taking it way too seriously.

b_b  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Much Do Electric Vehicles Cost to ‘Fill Up’ Compared With Buying Gasoline?

    Taxes never subside!

Tax rates may not subside, but for a usage tax, tax receipts necessarily subside when the thing being taxed is being used less. The trouble here is that gas taxes, like all usage taxes, are designed to encourage lower usage, because, in theory, lower usage is better for the environment and leads to lower wear and tear on the roads. In this instance, the use tax receipts are going to fall, and the wear and tear on the roads will increase over time, because (a) the cars are heavier on a unit basis, and (b) people will drive more because it costs them less. Whether it's better for the environment depends largely on local energy generation.

I don't have a problem in theory with using taxes to increase EV usage in the short term, per se. I have a huge fucking problem giving a tax rebate to someone buying a Model S or a Hummer or an Audi RS. If you can afford one of those cars you don't deserve a tax credit. Period.

This is obviously a general problem in America. We love to design tax breaks to nominally "help", then use it as a giveaway to rich people.

I sincerely hope you're right. Nothing would be better for the future than an internet that realizes its potential to do good. My suspicion isn't based on any specific fact set. It's based purely on history's propensity for rhyming.

    “I'm obviously not a visionary, but I predicted that the internet would be shitty back in 1999,” Kyanka told Motherboard in 2017. “Everybody was talking about how the internet was going to revolutionize everything and everything was going to be great, but nobody ever talked about how shitty the internet could also be.”

Yeah, flying cars to 140 characters and all. This is exactly why I'm not even sightly bullish or excited about web 3.0. There hasn't yet been a popular development in the internet age that hasn't almost immediately turned to shit. There must be a law about how things suck as soon as there's like 100 people involved. Maybe fewer.