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istara's profile

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hubskier for: 3343 days

istara recently published her first novel, Forbidden Lessons. Yay!

recent comments, posts, and shares:
istara  ·  2442 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Remember the "migration" from reddit?

Yes though not as often as I'd like to be. Both have their advantages. Best of all, hubski seems relatively asshole free ;)

istara  ·  2461 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How have you lost weight?

Fasting. It just makes it an absolute breeze. You don't even have to go zero calories, you can do two non-contiguous days of 500 a week (you may need to add an extra day if the weight's "stubborn") and you should see a difference.

It's also sustainable because you get so many days of normal eating as well.

See here: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-19112549

The other thing I've tried, which combined with intermittent fasting absolutely melts it off, is Whole30, which is basically meat, fish, veg, fruit, nuts, seed, olive and coconut oil. The thing with Whole30 is to understand its ethos: understand that it's a month of hell (even though I usually eat a lot of wholefoods - but no dairy is very painful), don't try to find cunning ways to get around it.

Essentially it's a "reset". It makes you realise that if you can't go 30 days with no chocolate and cheese, then maybe you had more of a food addiction problem than you realise.


istara  ·  2481 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My Little Sister Taught Me How To Snapchat Like “The Teens”

All I can think reading this is "god I'm glad I'm old".

That said I don't think this child is representative of most teens, and I also think her parents should be limiting her use. She sounds addicted. I find myself wondering what she's NOT doing due to all her timing using this app.

istara  ·  2484 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What makes an atheist love religious music?

I'm atheist, I love traditional Christmas carols and some hymns.

I also love the soundtrack to Saved! (and the film itself) though I probably wouldn't want to listen to it separately from the film.

A good tune is a good tune.

Ironically, we never sang one of my favourite hymns at school - I vow to thee my country - because it was considered putting patriotism above god.

istara  ·  2560 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: CGP Grey- The Missing Plague

I share your pain, I really do!

istara  ·  2560 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: CGP Grey- The Missing Plague

I click on /r/science precisely to find out why something is actually not a cure for cancer despite the headline.

istara  ·  2560 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I am lonely will anyone speak to me


istara  ·  2606 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

Then you're a racist artist, and so be it. It's not illegal to be racist or hold racist views: just look at all those abhorrent white supremacy groups.

It's not like someone is actively harmed because you only paint pictures of black people. Maybe you only like painting with dark pigment. Maybe you feel it's a specific skill you have and your work painting East Asian or Caucasian people would be poor and harm your artistic brand. Or maybe you actively dislike white people. Who's to know?

(For what it's worth, I used to do amateur portraits and vastly preferred sketching old men. The crags, the wrinkles, etc. I found them much easier and more interesting to do. Had I decided to charge, I almost certainly would have refused requests from younger people, as I wouldn't feel they would be happy with the result. Is that discrimination, given it's based on age?)

Either way: people need to consider if harm is really being done to the person discriminated against. Does it "harm" you if a particular artist won't make you the product you want? No. Are you harmed by a particular business not making you a cake? No. And if they had to turn your business away because they were too busy, you wouldn't have a case.

In future, bigoted businesses will simply lie and say they have no capacity to fulfil your order.

The worst kind of discrimination is being refused a job because of your [group]. It's being harassed or bullied. It's being killed.

It's not not-having-someone-paint-your-portrait (or not-bake you a cake).

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

It's not "looking down their noses", it's appreciating a cultural difference.

Of course your own history of migration, legacy of slavery, geographic diversity and higher extant religiosity are going to mean you need different laws.

It's not about better/worse, it's about practicality and what fits the current state of society. The US needs stronger enforcements of anti-discrimation because there is still more cultural discrimination. You had enforced segregation within living memory, we did not.

I'm not sure why you're trying to paint me as "high and mighty". I fully admit that your country lags Europe in some regards (I can't imagine an openly atheist president would yet be electable, for example). In some other regards, the US exceeds Europe (secularity in public schools for starters). Plus there is also a lot of diversity within Europe. Ireland and a couple of countries massively lag the rest of the developed world in terms of reproductive rights. Here in Australia, we lag horribly when it comes to gay marriage rights.

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

I think this reflects a kind of cultural mindset gulf between the US and perhaps European countries. To me it's absurd that someone would "need" a cake to the point that they feel they have a "right" to it. It's absurd to me - and rude - that I would impose my beliefs on someone else such that they were forced to modify their services and their own beliefs - for a non-essential product or service.

I guess the split here is that you talk from a position about rights. It's all about "your rights" - the customer's absolute right to always be right and always be served.

And your laws reflect that.

Whereas for me - as someone from a nation for whom queuing politely and apologising when someone else bumps into you is a national pastime - it's about consideration. I don't need or want laws that legally protect a hate cake. I'm quite happy to have such speech restricted. If I have to express my own freedom of speech through other channels, that's fine. I'll do so. I'll find another cake vendor, or make my own, or perhaps put the message on a table decoration.

I don't think we are going to reconcile this, because I'm not arguing from a legal point of view (and I'm outside the US anyway, so your laws don't really affect me) but I what I personally believe should be the situation.

Our difference of opinion on this is a cultural one, it's a difference of attitude.

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

I'm not suggesting they refuse service, I'm suggesting they should be able to refuse to customise their service in a specific way.

I'm an atheist. I wouldn't dream of going into a bakery run by Muslims and asking them to make me a cake with "there is no God!" piped on it.

If the law requires them to do that, then the law is wrong.

On the other hand, when it comes to essential service, I would have no hesitation entering a pharmacy staffed by a devout Catholic and asking for the morning after pill. And if they refused, I would sue the shit out of them.

This isn't about service. It's about being forced to modify your service, and offer a product that you don't normally sell.

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

I do see what you mean. You might argue that you only make that bra in an adult size.

Likewise you might argue that you only make wedding cakes with flowers/non human figures. And if you did so, fair enough that you wouldn't want to put two brides on. There are some religions that prohibit the use of human images anyway (strict islam being one).

Also to throw into the mix: you're a wedding caterer, you're Jewish, you don't make or serve food with pork. Someone asks for sandwiches with ham instead of salmon. Are you required to make those?

If the wedding cake guy said: "I can't make you a cake saying "Ben and Steve's Big Gay Wedding", but I can make you cake with flowers, or one with a generic "Happy Wedding"" - would that be okay?

Then back to the first example, you could offer to make the dodgy-looking dude a bra, but only in an adult size or above.

Then you have the dilemma that his wife is a midget/little person...

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

I get that if you are offering an essential service. Like a pharmacy, or grocery store.

But a wedding cake? It's very much a discretionary item. I could equally feel indignant that a local boutique won't stock my size, but ultimately I'm not going to unduly suffer just because I have to shop elsewhere.

If I was unable to buy contraceptives in the only pharmacy for 100 miles or more (and this has happened in rural Australia) then that's a massive issue.

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

Okay, then what if you run a private business from home, making cakes? Or knitting sweaters with slogans that you sell on Etsy?

At what point are you required to make a product that conflicts with your moral or artistic integrity?

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

But I specifically said you shouldn't refuse general business.

My view is that you shouldn't be forced to customise your products in a way that conflicts with your own artistic, moral, or whatever integrity.

Another example: you're a tailor. You make sexy lingerie. Someone wants you to make a peephole bra for a three-year-old. It's probably not illegal, as a garment in itself. But you personally find it abhorrent and against your personal ethical and moral code. Should you be able to refuse that?

What about the damage to your business if you become the "tailor who made the toddler peephole bra"?

Similarly, if your cake shop operates in a tight knit religious community, what about the damage to your brand if someone forces you to make a cake with a message that conflicts with that community's (albeit bigoted) beliefs?

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

But it depends what you mean by "service".

To sell someone a cake you already make - sure.

To sell someone a cake that they want customised in a way that you don't normally do: I think you have choice here. As I mentioned in another comment, if you're an artist who paints portraits in watercolour, or in monochrome, I don't think it's reasonable for someone to demand that you paint in oil or in colours. Ultimately it goes down to your own personal artistic choice, and the kind of art and product you want your brand associated with.

It's not about refusing custom to another group. It's about refusing your products to be used in a way that specifically supports the ethos or belief of that group, if you don't support that ethos or belief. No private business should be required to make a cake with a message they consider abhorrent or immoral on it.

I'm a secular atheist, for what it's worth. I should equally be allowed to refuse to make a cake with "Jesus saves" on it: though selling someone the basic cake, and letting them add the custom icing elsewhere, that's fine.

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

It depends whether it is a religious or a civil ceremony. If the minister carries out religious ceremonies exclusively within their own religion, then fine. They can discriminate. I wouldn't expect some orthodox Jewish rabbi to preside over my atheist or christian or whatever wedding.

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

I think you should make the cake. If it's just a regular cake that you usually make.

I don't think you should be required to make a cake and paint the statement "KKK 4ever!" or "NAMBLA rules!" on it.

When it comes to your own personal art and craft, you should be able to refuse any design. No one would have an issue with a landscape painter refusing to paint a portrait, or to paint in a different style, or with different media. It's their artistic choice. I see painting a slogan - or taking specific request for design that you may not want to do - as part of that.

As a comparison: let's say the baker was asked to make a "joke cake" with a chocolate turd on it. The baker doesn't want it to end up all over social media tagged with his business name. Does that make him a humourless piece of work? So be it. It's his choice what he does with his brand.

If a baker doesn't want to make a cake with "gay weddings rule!" on it, or whatever else, that's his choice. Does it make him a bigot? Likely. But it's choice to have a bigoted brand.

istara  ·  2607 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religious Freedom - HELP ME

I'm an atheist and a secularist.

If you run a bakery where a cake with "Hail Satan" on it is not part of your normal product offering, then you should not be required to make it.

If you make regular wedding cakes, and you simply refuse to sell one of your existing cake to a gay couple, that's not okay.

If you receive any public money or similar for your business, then you should be required to serve all customers. So if you work for a council, or the government, as a registrar, then absolutely you should be required to register gay unions or resign.

If you are a minister in a private religion, or an independent civil celebrant, it's up to you whom you choose to preside over. Again, any public money involved, then you cannot discriminate.

If your church receives any public funding, and rents its premises from time to time for non-religious events there as many churches do, then it cannot refuse a gay event.

If you're a pharmacist and you won't prescribe certain medication due to religious beliefs, you should resign.

istara  ·  2634 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dealing with the euphemism treadmill?

You do your best. And that's all you can do. Because different people prefer different terms, depending on their age, geography, culture and just personal preference.

And if someone throws a shitfit at the term you use, you remind yourself that your intent was to be polite, and it is their choice to get offended. Don't apologise. Merely say: no offence was meant, if you prefer a different term to be used, then please make that known.

Ultimately whether you describe someone as "coloured" or "black" it doesn't actually harm them. Likewise "gay" or "homosexual".

If you're a well-meaning, non-bigoted person, and they react badly, then fuck them, seriously.

These days, I am no longer extending any tolerance to the offenderati. If you are not in some shithole like ISIS-run Syria, being raped and tortured on a daily basis, then you can essentially fucking get over yourself. (I don't mean you, OP, I mean people who make a hobby out of getting indignant).

istara  ·  2634 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: When White Poets Pretend to be Asian

Honestly, I just thought it was great. People - editors and readers - have prejudices. If authors choose pen names and personas they'll think more favourably of, so be it.

Male romance writers are forced to use female pen names to sell to the romance market. Female writers are often forced to go gender neutral, or use just the initials (JK Rowling, PD James) to attain credibility and male readers.

So this guy had a "race change" to get published. Good for him. Ultimately this is about his poem, not about him, and if it was good enough to get published then his persona/pen name is irrelevant.

istara  ·  2682 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 5 Hubski funding ideas that don't involve bitcoin

I agree, I have no issue with ads and obviously targeted make better sense for all sides.

I don't like subscriptions because then we lose our pseudonymity (eg hubski knows who I am from my credit card details. It's a key reason I've never bought a Reddit gold).

General donations might be better but then you can't link it to a reward, which some donators require.

istara  ·  2715 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More

Also exercise makes you hungry, so you'll tend to overcompensate afterwards.

Swimming is the worst for this. Wonderful for your body in terms gentle, non straining exercise, but brings on the ravens like nothing else.

istara  ·  2715 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More

My tip, which I recently gave to someone on Reddit, is to develop a "snobby taste". If you can only bring yourself to eat high end treats: whether that's Godiva chocolate or a truly fine wine, you can reach the stage where junkier stuff repels you. I can't eat cheap chocolate, even though I'm a chocaholic. (I can eat mid-range stuff like Lindt, but even that gets kind of sickly).

Not only is the higher end stuff richer and more sating: you can't, for example, drink a pint of fine, strong espresso in the same way you could slosh down a pint of weak, sugary, creamy, flavoured coffee, but it also costs a tonne more. Even if you can afford it, you tend to be more restrained (because dropping $100 on gourmet treats really makes you aware of what you're spending/eating).

Alongside this you're trying finer, better food with your regular eating. Cleaner food. Cooking from scratch more. Developing a taste for fresh food that makes you reject the canned stuff or processed stuff as kind of icky and fetid.

istara  ·  2724 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: If this is the beginning of the end for Reddit, then Reddit deserves to die

Hello! All well. My third book, Man of the Match, should be coming out soon (just in beta/proofing now). It's another romance.

Then I'm trying to get my act together and finally start publishing some of my backlog of murder mystery novels, which will go under a different pen name. I have four completed unpublished ones, but they still need proofing etc.

How about you?

istara  ·  2726 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Reddit changes community guideliness, bans subreddits.

The issue I had with /r/jailbait is that it clearly involved photos where the age could not be verified, nor the user permission, regardless of violentacrez's supposed moderation. (Did he personally track the subject of every image, the date it was taken, and their birth certificate?) It should never have been allowed from the get-go. I thought it highly unwise they allowed it as long as they did (same with upskirt subreddits).

While I think there are also serious risks with /r/gonewild and similar (in terms of pictures being posted without permission, the best mods in the world can't totally police that) at least its intention is self-posting. That was never the intention of /r/jailbait. Its aim was to post images of teenagers who looked borderline age of consent.

Ultimately the issue is whether Reddit ever needed to be a porn site to gain sufficient traction? Maybe it did. Maybe it was simply a business decision to tolerate (and still tolerate) all that shit.

istara  ·  2726 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Reddit changes community guideliness, bans subreddits.

Oh undoubtedly, but Twitter has become the conduit for other destinations. The dumb pipe. The surge happens, and everyone is off to the NYT or BBC or whatever.

Is there any way to track, for example, how many of your Followers actually saw a particular tweet of yours? (Assuming they didn't click on it). So often I hear companies saying "we'll put it out on Twitter" but what is "out" in that context? Who is there?

Whereas Facebook (which personally I loathe) has a far quieter, more in depth feed, and individual pages within it are far more like destinations if you're interested enough to actually go to a company page on there.

I've actually tried going to corporate Twitter accounts before to get their news/information: it's impossible. It doesn't aggregate in a useful way. It doesn't look useful.