Algernon_Asimov's recent activity

  1. Comment on What do you guys think about socialism or other utopias? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Yes, but just because one option is bad, that doesn't mean another option is automatically perfect. The only times humanity has come close to trying socialism, we've messed it up. Maybe socialism...

    Yes, but just because one option is bad, that doesn't mean another option is automatically perfect. The only times humanity has come close to trying socialism, we've messed it up. Maybe socialism would be utopian if done by perfect beings, but when it's done by us flawed humans, it doesn't turn out utopian.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on What do you guys think about socialism or other utopias? in ~talk

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I love that you implicitly assume that socialism is utopian: "socialism or other utopias". :)

    I love that you implicitly assume that socialism is utopian: "socialism or other utopias". :)

    4 votes
  3. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    No. That's not the type of non-fiction I read. (Which is why I was asking.)

    No. That's not the type of non-fiction I read. (Which is why I was asking.)

  4. Comment on How to cast internet videos to my Chromecast? (It's not as simple as it seems!) in ~tech

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I'm not talking about apps, though. I'm talking about the Chrome browser. Apps like Netflix work fine. The problem happens when I try to cast from a webpage like this one. As for the rest of your...

    if the app supports casting,

    I'm not talking about apps, though. I'm talking about the Chrome browser. Apps like Netflix work fine. The problem happens when I try to cast from a webpage like this one.

    As for the rest of your reply, I don't understand anything you've mentioned. (I'm not an IT person, not by any stretch of the imagination. If something doesn't plug-and-play, I don't know how to make it work.)

    1 vote
  5. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I assume from the books you've listed that your non-fiction reading is mostly politics and current affairs (i.e. not history or linguistics or biology or physics or philosophy or any other...

    I assume from the books you've listed that your non-fiction reading is mostly politics and current affairs (i.e. not history or linguistics or biology or physics or philosophy or any other non-fiction topic I might recommend). Is that a correct assumption?

  6. How to cast internet videos to my Chromecast? (It's not as simple as it seems!)

    Recently, I've been posting here about all sorts of theatre that's available for streaming during the pandemic lockdown. Sounds like fun! But when I actually try to watch some of it... I'm having...

    Recently, I've been posting here about all sorts of theatre that's available for streaming during the pandemic lockdown. Sounds like fun! But when I actually try to watch some of it... I'm having technical problems.

    My Lenovo Yoga tablet won't cast from Chrome. At all. The option just doesn't exist in the Chrome browser on the tablet. The only way to cast anything is to open an app - but the videos I want to watch are on a webpage. In Chrome. Which doesn't have a casting option. Not helpful!

    So I go to my desktop computer. It can cast from Chrome to Chromecast. But the result is video only, because "casting tab audio is not supported on this device." I tried Googling that error message, but I ended up getting flummoxed. The Google Help pages don't even mention this error, and other tech blogs are too complex for me to understand.

    The Chromecast works fine. It accepts input (with sound) from other sources. It's just webpages (like YouTube.com and Vimeo.com) I'm having trouble with. I managed to watch one video last week, but I had to resort to installing the YouTube app to make it work. But not all the videos are on YouTube.

    Any ideas?

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    We all know that was a joke, right?

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

    We all know that was a joke, right?

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Me too. I often have regard for the wider audience whenever I'm debating someone. I know I'm probably not going to change that someone's mind, but I can at least present another point of view for...

    When it comes to debating on social media, I like to think of it as an appeal to the undecided reader rather than the person I'm arguing with.

    Me too. I often have regard for the wider audience whenever I'm debating someone. I know I'm probably not going to change that someone's mind, but I can at least present another point of view for anyone else reading the discussion. I've sometimes written replies solely for the wider audience, rather than the person I'm replying to (and I've occasionally sometimes told them this).

  9. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Arguing for uncertainty is the same as implying that something a person is certain about may be wrong. I've seen that, too - most often in religious debate subreddits, but also elsewhere.

    Arguing for uncertainty is the same as implying that something a person is certain about may be wrong. I've seen that, too - most often in religious debate subreddits, but also elsewhere.

  10. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I've learned that even a series of leading questions intended to tease out the underlying basis for a belief someone states, can be seen as aggressive or malicious. So I've stopped asking in many...

    I've learned that even a series of leading questions intended to tease out the underlying basis for a belief someone states, can be seen as aggressive or malicious. So I've stopped asking in many cases. People simply do not like being questioned or challenged. Even the perception of disagreement is enough to get people's hackles up.

    I also observed this in my previous experiences moderating on Reddit. If someone dares to utter any opinion that differs from the accepted orthodoxy - even if they're operating in good faith - they are labelled as evil and become the target of insults. This is true of left-leaning and right-leaning subreddits (it's even true of some science-fiction subreddits!). I've been accused of being a nazi and fascist myself because I dared to tell people that right-wing opinions were allowed to be aired in /r/Australia or /r/PoliticalDiscussion (ironically, I disagreed with many of the opinions I was protecting).

    One must toe the line or get the fuck out.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    The intention for this site has always been to add more moderators... eventually... via the "reputation" mechanic. The philosophy behind that is to decentralise and democratise moderation, so it's...

    The intention for this site has always been to add more moderators... eventually... via the "reputation" mechanic. The philosophy behind that is to decentralise and democratise moderation, so it's not in the hands of a chosen few. It also spreads the workload so moderators don't feel stressed or obligated.

    I would therefore add a qualification to your otherwise good suggestion (which I also have made previously): rather than add a moderator, add a few moderators.

    I'm sure @Deimos could, unlike Abraham in Sodom, find 10(ish) righteous people in Tildes to help out. He could hand-pick some lieutenants, put them through a mini moderation school to tell them what he wants and doesn't want, give them some mod powers, and set them to work. And, of surety, whatsoever Deimos giveth, Deimos can also taketh away.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    For sorting. High-voted comments, which are generally comments that people think are high quality, can be sorted to the top of a thread.

    why have the votes on comments?

    For sorting. High-voted comments, which are generally comments that people think are high quality, can be sorted to the top of a thread.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Having been the subject of moderation myself in the past, I can confirm this does happen.

    I suspect some moderation goes on behind the scenes where only he and the problematic users can see (in messages).

    Having been the subject of moderation myself in the past, I can confirm this does happen.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    I've read this trilogy a few times. It's genius. It's rightly considered a classic of science fiction. After you've finished, see if you can find The Martians, which contains some short stories...

    I've read this trilogy a few times. It's genius. It's rightly considered a classic of science fiction.

    After you've finished, see if you can find The Martians, which contains some short stories and essays that add on to the main trilogy. It's also worth a read.

  15. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I finished Hidden Figures which I started reading a while ago. I noticed that my reading has, ironically, decreased while I've been spending more time at home - because I did a lot of reading on...

    I finished Hidden Figures which I started reading a while ago. I noticed that my reading has, ironically, decreased while I've been spending more time at home - because I did a lot of reading on the train while travelling to work or other places. It took me a while to realise I'd stopped reading, and to make the effort to read more at home (rather than get distracted by silly things like television or Tildes or Reddit).

    Anyway, back on topic, I recommend Hidden Figures. It's a very interesting and well-written history of black women's employment at NASA's predecessor, NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics).

    I'm also reading Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 2. I bought the first three volumes of this series a while back, and I've been working through them deliberately slowly. They're a treat. I sit down, read one or two individual comics (each one takes only about 15 minutes), then put it away for a while. The book is physically impressive: it's big and heavy. It's not comfy armchair reading; it has to be read on a table or a desk. But it's nice to dive back into Wonder Woman's origins. The volume includes comics from three different titles. It's noticeable that the plots are different in each title. In 'Sensation Comics', for instance, Wonder Woman usually gets involved in some clash with the Nazis or the Japanese (or their agents). She's fighting for democracy and freedom! In her own title, 'Wonder Woman', she's usually involved in something a bit more character-specific, like something on Paradise Island or involving Mars (God of War) or some other non-WWII adventures. I'm finding I enjoy the 'Wonder Woman' comics more than the others. It's all very dated, but it's still fun. And, Wonder Woman and her lady friends (love Etta Candy "Woo woo!") do seem to get tied up a lot...

    I'm reading Asimov's Azazel, a collection of stories about George and his two-centimetre demon/alien friend Azazel. Asimov warns people in the introduction that this collection is nothing like what people are used to, and he's right. It's funny! It's witty. It's Wodehouse-esque at times. It's lovely bedtime reading.

    And... I am "reading" an audiobook (does one read an audiobook or listen to it?) for the first time. This came about by random. A while ago, I bought the DVDs of the TV series 'I, Claudius' - a BBC production based on Robert Greaves' novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God. I hadn't got around to watching them until recently, and the series is surprisingly good - especially when Derek Jacobi (playing the titular character) comes on screen. I found out he won a BAFTA for this series, and it was well-earned.

    Anyway, I decided to read the book, so I went to my bookshelves... and remembered that I had disposed of it somewhere along the way, together with a few other paperbacks about Roman history. So I decided to buy the ebook version. And while I was searching for the ebook, I stumbled across the audiobook versions of I, Claudius and Claudius the God, as read by Derek Jacobi. Well, that's a no-brainer! So I bought the audiobook of I, Claudius and have started listening to it. It's fascinating. It's brilliant. I admit most of the charm is in Jacobi's reading. He's just great. I could listen to him for hours - and it looks like I will be.

    The book itself is a fictionalised autobiography by Claudius, the Roman Emperor. It starts with his childhood in the household of the Emperor Augustus and his wife Livia (Claudius's grandmother), and covers the whole of Claudius's life through four Emperors (including himself). It reads like a soap opera, with everyone conniving and manipulating everyone else - and the villain Livia poisoning everyone she doesn't like! It's fun. And, like I said, Jacobi's reading is worth listening to. The book is written in the first person, so Jacobi gets to read it in character as Claudius, and he's brilliant at it.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Tildes' Book Backlog Burner Event: Week 1 Update Thread in ~books

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    'Nine Tomorrows' is a good choice. 'Robot Dreams' would be another good choice; in my opinion, it's the closest we have to a "best of" collection of Asimov. Truth will out!

    'Nine Tomorrows' is a good choice. 'Robot Dreams' would be another good choice; in my opinion, it's the closest we have to a "best of" collection of Asimov.

    Foundation got picked simply because I already owned it because of YOU.

    Truth will out!

    1 vote
  17. This Is Trump’s Fault: The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures

    This Is Trump’s Fault: The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures. This is a blunt and brutal assessment of Trump's performance during the coronavirus pandemic. The writer...

    This Is Trump’s Fault: The president is failing, and Americans are paying for his failures.

    This is a blunt and brutal assessment of Trump's performance during the coronavirus pandemic. The writer holds no punches, and uses no weasel words.

    37 votes
  18. Comment on Tildes' Book Backlog Burner Event: Week 1 Update Thread in ~books

    Algernon_Asimov
    Link Parent
    Don't blame me for this! I gave you other recommendations. This one's on your head. :P

    @Algernon_Asimov inspired me to start with, of course, Isaac Asimov, so for my print novel I will be reading the first book in his Foundation series

    Don't blame me for this! I gave you other recommendations. This one's on your head. :P

    2 votes