a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
neversparks's profile

x 4

following: 5
followed tags: 2
followed domains: 0
badges given: 0 of 0
hubskier for: 3189 days

recent comments, posts, and shares:
neversparks  ·  3041 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: As a species or civilization, what do you think we'd look like to an outsider?

(I know this is ages ago, but I haven't been on Hubski for a while, and I hope you don't mind me replying still).

    If there are humans who have trouble telling members of another human race apart, as Europeans in various parts of the world do with Asians and vice-versa, then I doubt that alien observers would be sensitive to "how different we all are."

You completely misunderstood me. I'm talking about people as individuals. We aren't a hive mind; we have behavior sets distinct to each and every person.

And if you're going to argue that way about religion, then I'd say what if aliens had no concept of religion at all? That we wouldn't meet an extremely secular and scientific race where all beliefs are defined by empirical data?

I could argue the same thing. It's how an outsider would look at things, not you as a human sees everything. Your view is just as "humanly" biased as mine is. And they would realize that we were sentient. Math is the universal language, and even if they see our work in that field as elementary and basic, it's still evidence of intellect.

neversparks  ·  3091 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: As a species or civilization, what do you think we'd look like to an outsider?

I don't think that they would see a religion revolving around gluttony. Advertising is not similar to evangelism (evangelism has an implied element of teaching) and uniformity doesn't point towards a religion. There's also a lack of large and frequent gatherings, religious texts, nor grand structures, which are hallmarks of a religion. A religion is much more complex than what you'd see at a fast food restaurant.

I think what an outside observer would think would depend on the range of their sight, so to speak. But either way, I don't think they could make many conclusions about our race as a whole. I think they'd recognize that we all have a sense of identity because of how different we all are. They'd realize that we are sentient life forms, and that that's all they could figure out with a quick glance observation. Assuming we were meeting an intelligent observer.

neversparks  ·  3107 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Who was the first to ever _______?"

Similarly, on the topic of dairy, I wonder who was the first person to milk a cow? Why would that ever seem like a good idea?

neversparks  ·  3128 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How we treat pets in America

This might be nitpicking, I would dispute the "odd juxtaposition of compassion and cruelty" the blogger claims we American exhibit towards pets. For that statement to be true, pet owners would have to be the ones euthanizing the millions of pets in those animal shelters. No, it's two (or more) distinct groups of people. The people loving the pets are not the ones killing them.

It's like saying that the compassion and hatred Americans have towards Obama is an odd juxtaposition.

Also, the little comment about how many of our products come from "factories with abysmal conditions" at the very end also really bugs me. It just demonstrates the general ignorance and lack of understanding that many Americans exhibit today (sorry if I offend anyone). My dad grew up on a farm in China, and they struggled to feed themselves - the rice they farmed was too expensive for them to eat. My dad made it to the US, but some of my family works in factories there, and the thing is, they don't mind it as much as you'd think. It's better than where they came from, and at least now they have food.

I know these aren't really the main points of this article (yeah yeah, puppy mills are bad), but those things really bugged me, and I just really didn't like the rhetoric the blogger tried to use.

Right, and we get his point now. I just think he really should have made an effort to do that in his first post, because that sort of comment garners this sort of response.

neversparks  ·  3149 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Results are In.

I guess my question is, do you still get that feeling here? Because I don't notice it. But I'm also a guy.

Hey, mind taking a step back a little? I'm not really for arguing on the internet.

No, I can browse the discussion and I don't expect him to repeat himself. Now, mind explaining what you want me to look for or do you just want to keep trying to pick a fight?

Well from this thread, it seems like kleinbl00 was being hostile. I thought his originally comment didn't appear very thoughtful (again the "It's stupid, I hate it, fuck that" thing), and Velociraptor posted a video that I thought was meant to be humorous. I understand that kleinbl00 would take offense to that, since the person he is being equated to is cast in a bad light, but he responds with:

    I'm not interfering with other people's business and causing a scene over a dollar - I'm lodging an academic objection to an institution I take exception to. It's not at all related, it's just that you lack the attention span to see the difference.

It's just that "That's stupid, I hate it, fuck that" isn't an academic objection. And we don't lack the attention span to see the difference, just that kleinbl00 didn't take the time to actually make a stance and really differentiate himself.

I don't know what you were referring to about who has commented on this discussion, how much, etc. Maybe I'm just missing something.

neversparks  ·  3149 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Decline of Friendship?

Great article. I definitely agree. Some of my closest friends in middle school were the friends I made on a Neopets forum board (despite constant warnings that everyone on the internet was a child predator back then).

I think something that attributes to the growth of digital friendships is that they're more convenient. For example, at this moment, I'm writing this comment while I'm at work.. It'll only take a few minutes, and after I'm done with it, I'll be right back to work. But physical friends require more attention. Often, you have to make an effort to meet up with them and make plans, and often those interactions last for a longer period of time. Friends made on the internet are only ever a few clicks away.

I think StephenBuckley has a point though. Kleinbl00 didn't really enunciate his stance in his post very well, and it made it sound like he only tipped because he had to (with the implication that he doesn't tip very well either). If you want an academic and intelligent discussion about something, you really ought to post something beyond "It's stupid, I hate it, fuck that".

Hey, I thought the video you posted was funny, but this goes too far. Those attacks on kleinbl00 were just unnecessary.

neversparks  ·  3150 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Results are In.

So women are likely to leave after seeing one offensive comment, but not men?

Edit: I feel like my post sounds almost confrontational. I sincerely don't mean it to sound that way (sorry if it does).

neversparks  ·  3150 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Results are In.

Well I could understand why it'd hurt, but I wouldn't say that it'd be reason to leave a community and never come back. One bad apple doesn't ruin the batch.

Also, just someone telling you that your comment was stupid doesn't explain the gender gap between users (Laurelai was saying how many women leave after being offended). I'm sure people tell males their opinions are stupid as well, but apparently we've stuck around.

Never knew the backstory to TITS OR GTFO (yeah I read the backstory to thenewgreen's comment), but I couldn't imagine something like that here. I guess I sort of just thought that Hubski was sort of a haven from that sort of thing.

Do you get that sort of vibe here? I haven't noticed it, and I surely hope I'm not that ignorant that I don't see it at all.

neversparks  ·  3150 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Results are In.

I don't know if I'd believe that. Why would someone leave just because one person out of hundreds made a comment that was offensive to them?

neversparks  ·  3152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Are You Most Self-Conscious About?

My eyebrows. That seems really stupid, because I should be able to just trim them. They're really big and thick. And I want to trim them, but my dad has them too and he's like "yay genetic heritage" when he mentions it. He's the first born; I'm the first born, his dad was the first born, and we all have it. To him, it's like a sign. (Also, we're Chinese, so that's why that stuff matters to him).

Also my weight. I do a good job of hiding it in the winter, but I'm always so self-conscious in the summer. I've been trying to exercise more recently though.

I'm also really afraid that people won't/don't like me. Kind of tied in with that, I'm afraid that I care much more about people than they do about me. Like considering someone one of your closest friends when they see you as an acquaintance or something. I mean, maybe not such a dramatic difference, but you get what I mean.

The list goes on, but it's probably starting to get boring now. The really interesting thing is that I'm apparently really good at hiding all of this. I'm at college, and I don't know what my friends here think, but my friends from high school have told me how they're jealous of my confidence and self-esteem. Except it's just that I don't really ever let these things show.

neversparks  ·  3152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Lil's Book of Questions: Will You Marry Me?

Just because marriage was historically the transfer of ownership doesn't mean it's true today. That definition simply doesn't hold in the modern world.

I don't see what's wrong with marriage. I want to get married. I don't see it so much as enslaving my SO but rather a promise to commit to each other, even through shitty times. And hey, what's wrong with a celebrating that?

Sure, marriage isn't necessary. Two people can be together without being married. But it isn't slavery. Not today. I don't think your arguments against marriage really hold, and I don't think we need to demonize it.

neversparks  ·  3152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Mind-blowing literature?

The one that instantly comes to mind is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The ending was amazing. And it's told from what I found to be an extremely interesting perspective.

neversparks  ·  3152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: One last day for the survey on how old Hubski is!

Will we be able to see the results? (And if so, when?) I'm kind of curious to see what it looks like.

neversparks  ·  3152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Will Facebook, Apple, and Google Fall? If so, who goes first?

I feel like comparing Rome, Great Britain, and Spain to Facebook, Apple, and Google is like comparing to apples and oranges. They have nothing in common other than the fact that they're big. The empires fell because they're trying to force a common lifestyle over a large group of people. When you try ruling over people against their will, then the resistance from the people eventually leads to the collapse of the empire (I'm oversimplifying, but still...). Google, Facebook, and Apple, on the other hand, don't try to force anything on anyone. They offer a service, and people decide to use it.

The comparison to Ford, Microsoft, and Kodak is perhaps more apt, but really only works well when compared to Apple. Ford stopped being a superpower because so much competition arose in the auto industry. I think in the end, Apple will face a similar situation.

Facebook, Google, and Amazon, however, are completely different than anything the article has discussed. All three of them are based pretty much completely on the internet. I think that creates a completely different dynamic that we probably don't actually know too much about because the internet hasn't really been around that long (relatively).

I don't think Google or Amazon will be falling any time soon. Survival on the internet seems to depend on adaptability to meet the needs of the consumers, and both Google and Amazon seem very adept at keeping up with what we need. Both provide a rather large range of services, and they also do it extremely well. Unless a company can be more all-encompassing and perform better than Amazon or Google, then people won't want to switch.

That being said, I do think Facebook will be the first to go. It only does social media - Amazon and Google on the other hand both have their fingers in a ton of pies. Facebook provides only one service, and not particularly well anymore. I think the primary reason people still use it is because everyone's on it. Why switch to a different social media network when nobody else has yet?

neversparks  ·  3153 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: There is Nothing to Writing

    I wrote hard, and I created beautiful art.

    Beautiful art that took seven years to perfect. Beautiful art that sold less than 100 copies. That brought me enough money to fill my tank. Once.

This was sort of what I was referring to, mostly. I just felt like your expectations for you first book might've been a bit high.

Also, I wasn't so much suggesting that you change your style, rather that you shouldn't adhere to strongly to your current style because styles tend to develop as we write more. (I wasn't in any way suggesting that you should have punches. It's a novel, not a rap or a speech.)

Which is why I brought up the time. I think it's better to write more than it is to keep editing and working on something we've already written. I think it's good to set something down for a little while and let it marinate before working on it again, when you can approach it more objectively and you're not as stuck on certain ideas that you had.

Of course, you're free to think differently.

I think I was just trying to say that you should keep writing, be open to what everyone says, always look for ways to improve, and don't place too many expectations on what you make.

If you don't expect your work to be the best, then you haven't failed yet - it's still a work-in-progress.

neversparks  ·  3156 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: There is Nothing to Writing


So I've been reading your post and the comments below and thinking about them quite a bit for the past couple of ours. Maybe that's weird. I don't know.

Anyway, I know you liked the encouragement more than the suggestions (though you'd prefer neither), and unfortunately what I'm going to post will be more of the latter (but I'll promise to try to be encouraging too).

Now please don't get offended. I don't mean to be mean when I say this: You sound pretentious. It's your first book, get over yourself.

I'm sorry. But I honestly think it's part of the problem. You think that you've created beautiful art, and that people don't like it because they can't appreciate beauty, they don't know how to "contemplate the dawn", and that your work is just too far above them for them to understand its genius. To understand your genius (because you read Shakespeare instead of Tolkien).

I think you're too proud to accept the fact that maybe your writing isn't good. You tell yourself that people don't appreciate good writing. But here's the thing, just because you like your writing doesn't mean it's good.

Now, to be clear, I'm not saying that your writing is awful, just that it might not be the greatness you expect it to be. I've read a bit of the sample of your book, and the main issue is the plot. Chapter 0 is just a bunch of elaborately descriptive fight scenes between nameless characters I don't care about. Chapter 1 starts with a fight between two nameless characters I don't care about. Oh, she can use fire.

I stopped there.

Here's what I've learned from my creative writing classes and listening to authors: Your first book will suck. Well, it probably will suck. In the same way I'm sure Michelangelo and Monet made a tons of shitty art before becoming the great artists that we know today.

You've only written one book. I know that's a huge milestone, but it's still just one book, and already you're expecting it to be literature. Your writing will probably develop. Your style will change, and you'll probably look back years from now and hate the way you wrote today.

What I want to tell you is that you need to keep writing. Don't spend 7 years on them, just start churning out books. They won't be great. And you shouldn't expect them to be. In time, they'll approve.

Have people read your books. Maybe not your friends, because they'll be afraid to tear it to shreds. Find people who will hate your book, who will tell you everything that's wrong with it, so that you can make it better. Take their criticisms and learn from them.

I think a lot of issues with new writers nowadays is that they want their work to be wholly their own. But you have to be open to collaboration. You have to be willing to let go of some things that just don't work, despite how much you might want them to.

I guess my main point is that you need to stop believing your work is great because then you won't try to improve. It takes so much more to write than just simply bleeding.

neversparks  ·  3156 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Not 30 Questions

Okay, I'm 18, so know that my answers are from a limited experience.

1. Here's how I'd imagine the conversation would go: "Whoa, what happened to your eye?" "Nothing." "Huh, well are you all right?" "Yeah. Peachy." "Hey, I noticed that bracelet you wear is missing. What happened to it?" "Hm? Oh, I must've lost it or something. It was a stupid thing anyway." "Oh. Pity. I've always liked it."

The idea would be to not force him to tell me anything. He'll tell me when he's ready. And at the same time I'd try to hint that I'm okay with his sexuality (that's what was implied, right?) without explicitly stating that I know because he might not be ready for me to know.

2. Reply with the email: "Sorry, someone thought it would be funny to send that last message to all of my contacts. It wasn't."

3. One of two things: 1) Blow it off, pretend it didn't happen, or 2) overexaggerate how offended I am so it passes off as a joke. Is that passive aggressive? Crap.

3.2. Apologize. Maybe make up some dumb excuse, like that I was having a shitty day or something.

4. Get up. Keep playing. Continue to kick ass.

5. If they're driving faster than me, I wouldn't care.

5.2. I hate slow drivers. And that's an understatement.

6. What would I actually do? Nothing. What do I think I should do? Gather the people who like it and have a go at it. Organize the thing without the endorsement of the club, then donate the proceeds.

7. Nope. No pie for them.

Yay procrastination!

neversparks  ·  3180 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A quote for my pocket journal

"Truth resists simplicity." - John Green

It's pretty self-explanatory, I think.