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goobster's profile

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following: 8
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hubskier for: 2155 days

Writer by trade. I makes da words purdy.

My #meetHubski interview is here.

recent comments, posts, and shares:
goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

The only statue in DC that had any effect on me at all, was the Lincoln Monument. It is awe inspiring, and the quotes on the walls are poignant even today. Every other statue was devoid of context or message. Which Roosevelt was it in a wheelchair? Which one implemented the New Deal? Which one didn't shoot a bear? No idea. Just more men on pedestals, devoid of valuable information or context.

But I was moved to tears at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (As I was at the 9/11 memorial in NYC, too.) The grave of the Unknown Soldier is a powerful monument with a gravity and apparent purpose that inspires visitors to speak in a whispered hush.

THAT's good statuary/art/monumenting; the message is apparent and powerful, regardless of the era it is viewed in, or the people involved.

goobster  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

Ah. Got it! Yes... bringing this verbiage into the Declaration is a landmark for sure.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Netflix employees walk out to protest Dave Chappelle’s special.

David Letterman has a Netflix show called "My next guest needs no introduction" where he sits on stage with a famous individual and has a conversation with them in front of an audience.

Much of the conversation is them reminiscing about their shared history, of course. But Dave is a deft interviewer and gets really good things from his guests, and in the kindest way. The show also weaves in small snippets of Dave and his guest outside of the theater context, chatting and walking, and just being people.

I encourage people to watch the Dave Chappelle episode.

The human man that Dave is interviewing is a thoughtful, deep, and contemplative person. Nothing he does is for the artifice or done as stunt.

Squaring the man sitting on stage with the comedian telling the trans jokes in the special, is ... fascinating?

The guy on stage in the special is a performer, doing a bit, that has been carefully designed to poke at things he sees in the world.

The guy on stage across from Dave is just a person - a dad, an employer, a guy with a job - who isn't putting on a show or delivering points to support an agenda.

I'm processing this. The difference between performer and man. And looking at the space between. And why the man would have put those jokes into his performance. Comedy at this level is highly structured and rehearsed, down to every beat, pause, and breath.

The Man Chappelle wanted the Performer Chappelle to elicit something. To start a conversation.

I'm curious about that...

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

For it to be irony, the statue itself would have to express the good idea... which it does not. It presents an idealized image of a man (created close to 200 years after his death) to commemorate a completely different thing.

The piece was commissioned to recognize Jefferson's defense of religious freedom ... which even you, in defending the statue, have failed to equate it with.

A far more powerful and appropriate statue would have been a ring of religious symbols with Jefferson's face in the center of them... arranged around his head like a constellation. That would at least demonstrate the idea the man is being recognized for. So even on an artistic basis, this plaster cast of the real bronze statue fails to live up to even it's most basic purpose and intent of its creator.

goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

"All men are created equal" was a time-worn concept by the time Jefferson included it in his draft of the Declaration of Independence. Hell, Milton had written almost the exact same phrase back in 1649, and throughout French history (prior to the French Revolution) similar phrasing and sentiments were common.


goobster  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

    There are men and women of their age that were singular and provided value and ideas that no others could have.

This is the same logic as, "why are my keys always in the LAST place I look?!?"

From Einstein to Feynman to Jesus Christ to Bagwhan Shree Rajneesh, those people are famous because their ideas got popular. Not because they were the ONLY people that could have had those ideas.

If it wasn't Einstein or Feynman, it would have been someone else because the base principles were sitting there to be identified by a sharp intellect.

Nothing JC or Rajneesh said was new or original. All of the ideas they shared were old by the time they said them.

Lionizing/deifying a human for an idea is illogical and unproductive, and is surprisingly defeating to young people's development. (See: Loewen) Turns out that raising an individual person on a whitewashed pillar - as opposed to elevating their few good ideas - shows the child that some are born to greatness, and they (the child) are not. "You are just a person; not great, like Einstein. He was special. You don't have that."

Statues as art? Great. Statue of Liberty. Lady Justice. Hell, even statuary of the four horsemen of war, famine, pestilence, and death, have more conversational and educational value than a statue of a person. Separating the idea from the individual is, in fact, the best way to get the most out of the idea.

Then, in a sociology elective in college, the student can dig into the various people behind ideas, and how/why people with serious issues can have good ideas, too.

Creating statuary of human beings to glorify their ideas/deeds is problematic. So why continue in this way? There are far better ways to raise ideas and ideals on pedestals...

The Liberty Statue in Budapest:

The Book Fountain in Budapest:

Fallen Firefighter statue in Seattle:

The Shoes on The Danube (memorial to Jews killed in Budapest during the Holocaust):

I Viaggiotori

goobster  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

Study of the man is a worthy and valuable thing to do, in the right context and time/place.

There is absolutely zero value to erecting a statue of the man, as a person. In fact, it ossifies the man and his works/thoughts, rather than allowing us to continue to evaluate the man and his doings in light of an evolving and changing society.

Again, the statue has zero intrinsic value, and has a very real possibility of making his equals feel like outsiders or outcasts.

What possible value does the statue provide? Nothing.

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

chef's kiss

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

    Ironic that those good ideas allow us to choose what to do with the statue.

In fact, it is not ironic at all. The idea is good, even if the man is not. Just further proves my point.

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 20, 2021

What are you programming in? What's the final product going to be... an analysis, or a tool?

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

Every single person reading this comment thread needs to read the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. Every American on Hubski has been indoctrinated using the same source materials as a child... source materials that intentionally glorify - and deify - the person, over their deeds.

American history textbooks are specifically designed to create teflon heroes, and diminish their misdeeds in honor of a whitewashed version of their biographies.

Everyone one of us Americans reading this has been indoctrinated in the same way, and we are powerless to de-program ourselves because they did it to us when we were children.

Loewen makes the excellent point that elevating these fictionalized depictions of our "founding heroes" then makes it HARDER for children to visualize themselves excelling... because we are all failures in our own eyes; not teflon god-heads who stand tall and claim we chopped down the cherry tree.

Some humans have good ideas that other humans want to embrace. That does not require embracing the originator of the idea, who - after all - is just a person that got it right, one time.

Statues of individual human beings are solely for the purposes of whitewashing. Elevate the idea, not the man.


goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

Why is the idea inextricable from the man, for you? Why do we have to worship the whole man, and not just his good ideas?

The man was a fucking tool. A complete asshole.

Doesn't mean he didn't have good ideas.

Why do you require us to burden ourselves with the full man, instead of just recognizing a good idea - wherever it came from - and building on that idea?

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

"Hello women, people of color, indigenous Americans, Asians, immigrants, the disabled, and everyone that is not a white man. Welcome to our building. Remember the slave owner who accidentally gave you rights he never believed you should have, due to poor wording on his part. Genuflect before the statue of this imperfect man, rather than living his words and ideals better than he ever did."

The founders of this country were just men. They had some good ideas. Let's run with the ideas, and leave the men as they were; imperfect humans with moments of brilliance. Carrying the baggage of the human being along with their ideas is pointless and destructive to the actual numerical majority of Americans.

goobster  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Thomas Jefferson statue coming down in New York's City Council chamber : NPR

This is not revising history, or "viewing the past through a modern lens," as you state.

This is recognizing that present-day America is informed by its past, and if we intend to improve, we must address the issues that white men have successfully swept under the carpet for hundreds of years.

The indigenous, black, asian, women, disabled, and other people who make up America have been marginalized, denied, and outright killed for asserting the same rights we white men take for granted. Imagine standing in any of their shoes, going into a public building to exercise your Constitutional rights, and having to do so below the overbearing statue of a man who saw you as less than him ... less than human.

"But what about the good stuff he did?"

When I lived in Hungary, I could easily thrive without a car because there is a mature and extensive electrified transportation network that could get me cheaply from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans, and from Moscow to Vienna.

This is solely due to Stalin's hell-bent drive to get electricity EVERYWHERE, to modernize transportation and home life for every citizen of the USSR.

Today, everyone relies on this network - from streetcars in city centers to international train travel - without genuflecting before the statue of Stalin, and constantly bringing up his name when appreciating the ease they have in moving around Europe.

The same can be done for Thomas Jefferson. As an author in our founding documents, and one of the first people to step up and serve in the office of President, he deserves recognition. In school, during subjects that pertain to those topics.

We don't need a statue of him - or any individual, honestly - to remind ourselves of the history of our institutions. In fact, I'd say that a statue of Lady Justice would be far more appropriate in a government building, since she stands as an idol for an idea/ideal rather than a flawed human individual.

It has taken me a long time to come around to this way of thought, but I am now convinced that erecting statues of people is a poor option. Glorify their good works, not the person. Teach kids that a HUMAN BEING, JUST LIKE THEM, came up with these good ideas, and they can too! Don't literally put an old white man on a pedestal like he's the only one that could have provided that value to the world. Not only is it untrue, it whitewashes people who were truly terrible human beings.

goobster  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The right-wing operatives orchestrating the attack on America's school boards

Nothing. Like the Tea Party, they are single-issue dipshits with no administration skills or experience.

The sheer boredom and mundanity of the everyday job of being on a school board will stifle them, and they'll leave voluntarily.

School Boards are also committees staffed with locals who have VERY strong views on what is important and what needs to happen. Many of them have had the same members for decades. One or two lunatics are always elected to the school board, who quickly find themselves ostracized from any decision-making process.

There's one on my local city council who votes No on everything, because he's anti-regulation. So the only thing he does at every single city council meeting is utter the word "No". You can imagine how effective that is.

Finally, many of these people are running under false pretenses. Critical Race Theory is a COLLEGE-LEVEL ELECTIVE course, and is not taught in grade school. So they are running to fight something that literally doesn't exist.

goobster  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The right-wing operatives orchestrating the attack on America's school boards

Side note:

    "One of the quandaries I ruminate over is "what makes a liberal/what makes a conservative." I've tried on a number of ideas and haven't rejected any of them; however, my current favorite hypothesis is that youth tend to be liberals because a liberal/progressive/permissive social structure tends to favor innovation and innovation favors the young. We grow conservative as we age, however, because we've accumulated wealth and resources and wish to retain them for future generations."

Don't discount the very real brain function changes that happen in people over 50, and continue to diminish at an accelerating rate until death. Ossification and the inability to take in new information is well documented, and everyone in senior leadership in any part of the government is at the very tail end of this decline.

Cognitive abilities collapse by 70. Nobody over 65 should even be allowed to run for office, much less hold a senior policymaking position.

goobster  ·  9 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: COVID super-immunity: one of the pandemic’s great puzzles

Fascinating. I love when science gets a chewy problem to dig in to, that is just emerging, and shows a couple of interesting paths to follow. This is when I really love science; when it's chewing on something new!

goobster  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 13, 2021

Oh I have no doubt that acupuncture will eventually fall to science, and we will discover the mechanism by which it works ... I mean, that's what science does; asses effects and test them until we understand how they work.

And this is also me laughing at myself and my purely mechanistic view of the world. Today, acupuncture is magic to me, simply because we do not fully understand the underlying mechanisms that make it work. But someday (hopefully in my lifetime!) we WILL understand it. Then it won't be magic... the mechanism will be understood... and my dogged belief in a purely mechanistic view of the Universe will remain unsullied! :-)

goobster  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 13, 2021

I'm all on-board with placebos. Totally fine with them. An effect is still an effect, right?

In fact, I've had a long series of unrelated medical issues that have been plaguing me for about a year or so.

I have a strong belief that they may be psychosomatic. Because literally the day after I am relieved of one ailment, another will magically appear in its place, and be just as bad, but completely unrelated.

I'm fairly sure I have some sort of psychological issue I need to address. If for no other reason, than to reduce the number of copays I have to make! :-)

goobster  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 13, 2021

Ya know what REALLY does my head in?

I have had severe hay fever for my entire life. Like, since I was a teenager, I had to take two Claritin a day from about March to October, or else turn into a sneezy, snotty, disgusting fountain of human fluids and misery.

Acupuncture flat out CURED MY HAY FEVER.

For about two months I went in for regular acupuncture on my knee, about 10 years ago. The practitioner asked me if anything else was bothering me, and I mentioned my hay fever, and she said, "Ok, I can take care of that, too." So November and December I got two treatments a week for my knee - and hay fever, apparently - and the next spring? All Summer? Into fall? Not a SINGLE DAY of hay fever symptoms. NOTHING.

To this day, no hay fever.

It is INSANE to think that sticking needles in my face/head can alter my body's histamine production/reaction circuits. That's just not rational.


(And I slacked off on the hay fever needles for a while, and ya know what? The symptoms resurfaced... until I told my new acupuncturist of my hay fever symptoms, and she started using those needle points again. Now the hay fever is gone again.)

goobster  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: California set to become first state to ban gasoline-powered lawn equipment


goobster  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: California set to become first state to ban gasoline-powered lawn equipment

I hear ya. And thank you for pulling up the actual numbers. 3% of ANYTHING in California is a needle-moving number, regardless of what it is measuring. So this is not just "performative legislation". I humbly take that back.

But it is also a rounding-error sized detail, when you look at the scope of the environment.

Shit... CARB standards exist for all 50 states now, because of California. Car manufacturers have now ALL committed to go fully electric in the next X years, because of California. Coal-fired power plants are shutting down everywhere because of California.

California has a vast amount of power, and when they wield it, they Make Shit Happen not just in CA, not just in the USA, but across the world.

All they gotta do is make an example of ONE of those companies - let's say Exxon - and the others will quickly fall in line out of fear for their necks and their bottom line.

Once Pelosi is gone, California can finally be unshackled from Boomer-land thinking, and be a leader and champion for change again.

goobster  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 13, 2021

I also like to lump it into the category of "trees use the mycelial networks around their roots to talk to each other, help each other out, and learn about impending dangers." Another totally whacky idea that is absolutely true and makes my brain itch.

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 13, 2021

Narrowing down the job offer that the Aussie company is sculpting for me. Emails going back and forth pitching ideas, work schedule - like, how do I help teams in Australia, New Zealand, San Diego, and London, and not work 24 hours a day?!? - and how to measure my deliverables and set good metrics for achievement. Also, how much of a chunk of the biz do I get when they/we sell in 4-5 years?

Current job: People have pretty much forgotten I exist. Which is OK by me. Saw a New Hire notification of someone being hired in another department/team... with my same job title, and role. (Functionally speaking. Technically my role is broader-focused, but in reality all the work I do falls directly within this new guy's domain.)

Dealing with in-law stuff is hard. My wife is the youngest of three daughters, and I overhear conversations where she is still treated as the baby - like a child - when she's in her 50's now. Familial roles are hard to shake, man! But, fortunately her skillset is becoming very valuable to her elderly parents, as their lives wind down, and they are beginning to understand the powerhouse capable amazing woman their youngest daughter has become. That part is kinda cool to witness... and then they are back to talking-down to her like she's a child again.

Meanwhile, my dad continues to just fade away, with moments of bright sharp lucidity interspersed with long periods of not really engaging or participating in life/conversations/anything, really. It's hard on my Mom, who is much more vibrant, capable, and cognitively engaged... yet needs to throttle those things to be my Dad's caregiver for most of the time.

And my knee is responding well to acupuncture. Again. I hate acupuncture... it works EXTREMELY well, but does not, in any way, shape, or form, conform to my worldview of How Shit Works. "Energy flows" and "pressure points" and fucking meridians and other hocus-pocus bullshit is NOT how this world or life works. It's all just simple chemical and electrical processes that can be broken down and examined. Not "energy flows" and other hokum.

But holy fuck, does it work! My knee has been under Western Medical Care for a month, with little to no improvement. A single session of acupuncture has reversed the badness probably 80%, and I already know that the two-sessions-a-week will put me in great shape for hiking later this month in Sedona.

But I still don't understand it, or how it works, or why. But I know it does work, and I just need to stop denying it, and do acupuncture regularly.

goobster  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 13, 2021

Holy shit. All the best, man. I hope they get in there and say, "Oh, shit... this ain't so bad! We are going to be able to go to lunch early!"

Fingers crossed for ya.