Amarok's recent activity

  1. Comment on What are you an "expert" on? in ~talk

    Amarok Link
    Music, mostly new music in old styles. Sysadmin work as a career. Gardening communities like Tildes as a kind of hobby. Roleplaying games. Scifi and fantasy media. Those topics tend to get me...

    Music, mostly new music in old styles. Sysadmin work as a career. Gardening communities like Tildes as a kind of hobby. Roleplaying games. Scifi and fantasy media. Those topics tend to get me rambling.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    Amarok Link Parent
    Maybe the pitch is wrong. Instead of calling it UBI in the USA, perhaps it makes more sense to pitch it as universal unemployment coverage, or perhaps as universal social security. We already have...

    Maybe the pitch is wrong. Instead of calling it UBI in the USA, perhaps it makes more sense to pitch it as universal unemployment coverage, or perhaps as universal social security. We already have social systems intended to do this for some segments of the population part of the time depending on age, disability, circumstance, state programs, and other factors. We're talking less about something truly new to America than we are about updating, formalizing, and regularizing existing social support systems into a better framework. Our welfare systems here are a gigantic mess and more than a few of them have exploitative elements. How much of that can we fix, and how much administrative overhead can we lose moving over to a more modern welfare system? Quite a lot, I'd wager.

  3. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    Amarok Link Parent
    If a UBI is ever implemented in the USA, it'd likely take the place of social security someday and build on top of that system. Makes sense to hand it all over to the Social Security...

    If a UBI is ever implemented in the USA, it'd likely take the place of social security someday and build on top of that system. Makes sense to hand it all over to the Social Security Administration and let them manage whatever administrative work comes with the program. Saddling the IRS with the workload doesn't really make sense, as the tax system isn't really intended to handle that sort of thing. If you're below the NIT threshold, the IRS would just pass you over to the SSA rather than trying to dispense UBI within a tax-refund framework, which isn't ideal for a system that would maintain weekly or monthly payments to millions of individuals.

  4. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    Amarok Link Parent
    You're making a pretty good case for universal education and universal health care to go along with basic income and complete the social support package.

    You're making a pretty good case for universal education and universal health care to go along with basic income and complete the social support package.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Majority of Bitcoin trading is a hoax, new study finds in ~tech

    Amarok Link Parent
    I'm right there with you. It's been ten years since bitcoin launched. This technology has not even come close to bearing the fruit that was promised. I'm quite sure someday that tree will bear...

    I'm right there with you. It's been ten years since bitcoin launched. This technology has not even come close to bearing the fruit that was promised. I'm quite sure someday that tree will bear fruit, and I'd be willing to bet that once we're off the dollar as the world reserve currency it's successor will be some kind of cryptocurrency.

    That said, Bitcoin ain't it, or at least, BTC as it is today ain't it. It can evolve, if one could get all of the cryptocrazies to stop arguing about implementations and start making progress, but I'm not holding out much hope of that happening.

    I'll be shocked if bitcoin manages to get past $16k/coin again. That seems like the peak to me. Crypto has lost the 'new hotness' shine. Now it's just another boring fact-of-life internet technology. Perhaps the people who own most of it can manage to manufacture another oh so predictable boom/bust cycle. I don't have much hope for it building into a legit marketplace.

    First one through the wall always gets bloody, and usually fails. We did get a proven, reliable distributed trust mechanism out of it, though. Someday I think that's going to become part of daily life for most people. It has applications far beyond currency. That's the real horse here, not bitcoin. We do need to work on the power costs, though.

    12 votes
  6. Comment on EverQuest is 20 years old, and people are still playing in ~games

    Amarok Link
    We'll see about that when the original EQ creators launch Pantheon. They promise to bring back the pain.

    I think the main problem is that the creative team that launched EverQuest in the first place is long gone, so it sort of feels like an orphan to long-time EverQuest veterans.

    It’s impossible to recapture that original magic or to repeat it. If you released an MMO without maps or a compass in 2019 it would probably be dismissed before it finished patching.

    We'll see about that when the original EQ creators launch Pantheon. They promise to bring back the pain.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    Amarok Link Parent
    See, that's a much more true form of the argument you made above. It's absolutely not as simple as that dollar to dollar gain, too many variables, too many layers. That's also why it won't simply...

    See, that's a much more true form of the argument you made above. It's absolutely not as simple as that dollar to dollar gain, too many variables, too many layers. That's also why it won't simply drive up the rent. I think it far more likely that a UBI will drive down debt. It'd be nice to get some proper first world empirical studies and see what actually happens, rather than relying on guesswork.

    Automation is complicating the minimum wage issue. Minimum wage is now a big red flag saying 'automate me immediately' to any company. I look at that as a good thing.

    8 votes
  8. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    Amarok Link Parent
    There's zero evidence to support this position, and we've got plenty of basic income studies to look at. The best you could do is say that UBI may play out differently in a more developed context...
    • Exemplary

    There's zero evidence to support this position, and we've got plenty of basic income studies to look at. The best you could do is say that UBI may play out differently in a more developed context such as a first world economy. More than that isn't born out by the data.

    Basic market forces will tell you that the landlord who doesn't raise his rates will rent all of his properties in short order as people move to him from his competitors. Prices are only going to go up when properties are more scarce and therefore more valuable, just like always, and UBI has jack shit to do with it.

    What UBI does for markets is provide a floor. This is the bottom. People living on the bottom are basically getting 'unemployment' level wages for free. That means instead of taking shit jobs from shit companies that pay barely anything above that level, they can walk off those exploitative jobs without worry. This puts Amazon and Walmart out of workers overnight. Power goes to the workforce, not the employers. Those who treat their employees well will be fine. Those who don't, will either rectify that problem or go under and get bought up by the winners who do.

    People don't buy new cars with UBI. They buy diapers, dinner, pay rent, and that's about it. That's the point. This gives them all the time in the world to start their own projects and make them profitable, or to find a job, or retrain themselves. This money that's being taxed out of the economy is going right back in at the bottom almost immediately. Trickle-up, not trickle-down. Frankly, all that matters is that the water is flowing, the more the better, the faster the better. Gas for the market's engine.

    33 votes
  9. Comment on 10,000 Tilders! in ~tildes

    Amarok Link Parent
    I see 10k. That's... strange. Something cached maybe?

    I see 10k. That's... strange. Something cached maybe?

  10. Comment on User bios added: you can write a short bio that will be visible on your user page in ~tildes.official

  11. Comment on User bios added: you can write a short bio that will be visible on your user page in ~tildes.official

    Amarok Link Parent
    Voat has had it since forever. Some folks have asked about user bios and user wiki pages, which will probably happen someday. It's also a pretty common feature in most forum-based systems, either...

    Voat has had it since forever. Some folks have asked about user bios and user wiki pages, which will probably happen someday. It's also a pretty common feature in most forum-based systems, either as a signature or user profile setting.

    Since Tildes is open source new feature bombs are to be expected. Anyone who can code can jump in and add new stuff. This will become more common as the place grows and more people who can code arrive.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on The Outer Worlds won't launch on Steam, will be an Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store exclusive in ~games

    Amarok Link Parent
    Yeah. Live long enough and these cycles reach eye-rolling levels. So many people and businesses who never took the ten seconds to learn from history. When your business has as many layers,...

    Yeah. Live long enough and these cycles reach eye-rolling levels. So many people and businesses who never took the ten seconds to learn from history. When your business has as many layers, middlemen, and backroom deals as the entertainment industry, change is slow, and hard, if it comes at all. People who have never used the internet are still making executive level decisions in these markets, and in government.

    If it gets bad enough, a company will start up that focuses on fully open hardware, from BIOS to CPU Microcode, from motherboard to mobile phone - and they'll make a killing. There's been plenty of talk about this lately for reasons unrelated to this conversation. Markets are a fickle bitch, but they always give people what they want, eventually. Powers that be can meddle, confuse, and delay things, but they can't stop them in the long run. Sooner or later the market wins out and turns over the old paradigm.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on The Outer Worlds won't launch on Steam, will be an Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store exclusive in ~games

    Amarok Link Parent
    Exactly. One's wallet is still one's most powerful and effective voting tool. That's just the world we live in, and no matter how much it changes, or what laws are passed, as long as money and...

    Exactly. One's wallet is still one's most powerful and effective voting tool. That's just the world we live in, and no matter how much it changes, or what laws are passed, as long as money and markets of any kind exist, that voting tool is going to be right there with them in some form.

    Polite emails can be ignored. Having a 20% softer launch than you were anticipating along with the resulting stock tumble (and seeing your game at #1 on a piracy leaderboard) is not something that can be ignored. It's not something that can be solved by force or law enforcement, either - the company can't abdicate the responsibility. It's up to them, and they know it, and there's nothing they can do about it except become more convenient than the piracy is.

    I like how HBO handles it. They brag about their pirated content in their marketing. I wonder once HBO Go went online how much the piracy dropped. I'd bet it was pretty significant. They also made a killing by realizing that hey, if you make shows with a lot of rewatch value (aka good television), and sell them on DVD/BluRay, you'll make far more money than advertising allows you to make.

    Most people do want to support the things they love.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on The Outer Worlds won't launch on Steam, will be an Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store exclusive in ~games

    Amarok Link Parent
    It'll all fail, because there is no way to plug the analog hole. At some point, it leaves the system to travel through the air to get to your head. It can always be captured at that point, often...

    It'll all fail, because there is no way to plug the analog hole. At some point, it leaves the system to travel through the air to get to your head. It can always be captured at that point, often losslessly, and the reuploaded and shared. Not just that, but the content using such annoying measures will end up being pirated much more heavily than content without it, so by using these technologies in an anti-consumer method, you simply guarantee your own failure.

    Spotify uses DRM. I can also drag-and-drop playlists out of Spotify onto my desktop and have them magically appear as ogg-320 files in seconds thanks to some handy programs built to strip that DRM off of their service. Spotify has basically turned into Napster, we've come full circle despite the DRM protections. I'm sure Spotify knows about this, and also doesn't give a damn in the slightest. They probably added that tech just to smooth over their record deals with labels who, through pure tech ignorance, thought those protections would be effective.

    I'm not worried. Once we have a brain computer interface that plugs the analog hole, then I'll start worrying... though less about who owns the media than about what garbage companies are trying to download into my wetware. :P

    2 votes
  15. Comment on The Outer Worlds won't launch on Steam, will be an Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store exclusive in ~games

    Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
    That's exactly how Steam conquered the world. They turned Russia from pirate central into a monster cash cow that beats Europe in profits... just by not being dicks to their customers. People like...

    That's exactly how Steam conquered the world. They turned Russia from pirate central into a monster cash cow that beats Europe in profits... just by not being dicks to their customers. People like to pretend this is a hard problem. The reality is it's an easy problem to solve. You just have to stop thinking 'piracy is theft' to get there. Piracy is theft-like in nature, but it's far more nuanced and complicated than simple stealing. You don't deprive anyone by making a copy, and yes, people would absolutely download a Porsche if that were possible without a second thought. Digital content isn't like physical content. The rules are different, at least until 3D printing comes into its own. Then we get to do this dance again in the real world, and that's going to make for interesting times. I think if we move from a mindset of 'copy' rights to a mindset of 'profit' rights we can dig our way out of this mess, but that'll take decades.

    Edit: As for Autocad, it's kinda the 'Photoshop' of the computer-aided design market. Want to build a replacement for the golden gate bridge? You'll be using Autocad. They place part of the software itself inside a USB-attached dongle that must be present attached to the computer in order for the program to execute. Without it, whatever you're building in there just sort of... melts and loses its form (or at least, that was their easter egg 'haha' to the pirates in the early days). When you are a sysadmin supporting 200 desktops with this software installed, with each dongle locked to each unique digital copy of the program, you can see why it becomes a massive pain in the ass. They have some server-side USB keys now to take the pain out of that, but only because their customers basically rioted and demanded it. It's been a while since I worked in the CAD space, but back then they didn't have competition, period. Not sure if they do now or not.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on The Outer Worlds won't launch on Steam, will be an Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store exclusive in ~games

    Amarok Link Parent
    The piracy debate has been solved for decades already. Convenience beats piracy. Lose the convenience, and piracy makes a comeback. All other factors and any morality is irrelevant to the...
    • Exemplary x2

    The piracy debate has been solved for decades already.

    Convenience beats piracy. Lose the convenience, and piracy makes a comeback. All other factors and any morality is irrelevant to the conversation, and so is the type of product or market.

    Steam has convenience going for it. One launcher, most games that ever existed, and they even support linux (good luck getting that from other vendors). That's now what 'convenient' means in gaming. Create twenty more gaming stores with their own software and convenient is now gone - your windows gaming rig is now a bloatware/spyware-infested mess.

    Same for streaming music, or movies and television. One service that has it all without ads wins on convenience. Splitting that up into dozens of services and it's less convenient, more expensive, and just as ad-ridden as cable.

    Where that 'convenience' line lies is different for everyone, and it also has a lot to do with their budget - some people can afford to pay $10 a month to 30 different services. Most people will never do that. Kids will pirate everything just because they can, they are too broke to afford it, and it's fun. That they are breaking the law doesn't enter their minds, or if it does, it just adds to the thrill.

    Piracy is easier now than it ever was. The law won't keep it at bay, or as we've seen over the last 40 years, even make a dent in it. Pirates see the law as a spineless joke and with the track record it's had stopping piracy of digital content it's easy to see why. Piracy is the proverbial nuclear option, and there's no defense of any kind that has ever been even the slightest bit effective stopping it. There are entire classes of legit businesses dedicated just to supporting piracy (VPNs, seedbox vendors, etc).

    DRM and similar technologies would have had to be designed into the internet, and into the concept of a computer, from day one for artificial digital scarcity to ever work. We're lucky that didn't happen, because that technology has other, far more harmful uses if it becomes ubiquitous in computing.

    If I had to pick a good example of anti-piracy measures, I'd point to Autocad. Their dongles and authorization process are anything but convenient, though. More like a gargantuan pain in the ass on a daily basis - but they haven't got any competition, really, so there's not much that can be done. You just have to suck it up and do the dance if you want to get your engineering on.

    Stay convenient, keep a reasonable price, and that's the best you can do fighting piracy. The market tendency right now is to fragment into hundreds of services that duplicate the cable and and console game markets as these old content behemoths try to create a corner for their content in this new marketplace. Most of them are in for a very rude awakening. They think streaming space is just a new cable space with each of them having their own 'channels'. Disney has the clout to make that work thanks to their near-monopoly on children's content. CBS? Not so much. A game 'network' launching on the strength of a handful of tiny exclusives, trying to take on Steam? Someone will have to explain to me how that isn't just a hilarious joke.

    I have a hunch that's not going to fly long-term. People will subscribe for only a month or two, then cancel until something new they want to see appears. Make that process painful and they'll stop re-upping and simply pirate the content again. If these content providers are expecting everyone to pay them every month, they are looking for bankruptcy. They haven't got the 'bundles' that protected them in other marketplaces.

    Where I personally draw the line is advertisements. Show me ads on a service I pay for and I'm not only out, I now consider you an enemy and feel not just guilt-free, but good pirating your content. Steam itself is about as far as I go - the ads there simply don't get in my way, and that's what I want, the ability to ignore them all unless I'm shopping. That's just me and my irrational hatred of insulting, time wasting, unproductive lies disguised as consumerism, though. Some people don't mind the ads.

    Ask ten different people why they pirate and you'll get ten different answers. In the end, though, it always boils down to 'it's easy.' Frustrated consumers turn to piracy. Satisfied ones don't mind that extra $1/mo price increase every year so much.

    18 votes
  17. Comment on Her son died. And then anti-vaxers attacked her in ~life

    Amarok Link Parent
    Any tools that grant expanded powers will attract users who want to abuse that power for a whole host of reasons. Their reasons aren't pertinent, though - the abuse of the power is what matters,...

    Any tools that grant expanded powers will attract users who want to abuse that power for a whole host of reasons. Their reasons aren't pertinent, though - the abuse of the power is what matters, not the why. On places like reddit, the admins don't take any real steps to curb those abuses. A system like this would fail over there. Tildes will address the abuse, the entire system is designed from the mindset of trusting users and punishing abusers. Right now that trust is simple - Deimos grants expanded powers to some people, and if they abuse them, he takes that power away. It's enough to get started. Eventually this will be handled by Tildes' trust system so it can scale up to large numbers of users.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Her son died. And then anti-vaxers attacked her in ~life

    Amarok Link Parent
    I think it's an improvement on reddit's delete-everything edit-nothing mentality. Why kill a good thread when you can just polish it a bit and make it better? People will eventually abuse these...

    I think it's an improvement on reddit's delete-everything edit-nothing mentality. Why kill a good thread when you can just polish it a bit and make it better? People will eventually abuse these powers, but that's just going to result in it getting fixed and them losing access. We've had some past discussion about the nuances of allowing for link and title editing.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on IMO, Trump 2020 is better than a non-progressive Democrat in ~talk

    Amarok Link Parent
    The supreme court isn't capped or required to have a specific number at all. It merely requires that congress and the president do their usual vetting process. I believe Andrew Jackson had some...

    The supreme court isn't capped or required to have a specific number at all. It merely requires that congress and the president do their usual vetting process. I believe Andrew Jackson had some success bullying his supreme court by threatening to appoint five new justices and bring it up to thirteen.

    Point being, if the court is having issues, the solution is just to start adding more justices. Take it right up to twenty seven of them, have them in three panels of nine and able to hear more cases. All of them rule in on constitutional cases. For other cases, one panel of nine rules, then it can be appealed to a different panel. Pick one of them for the kind of oversight FISA is providing and make it legit. Give the justices a twenty five year term limit.

    6 votes
  20. Comment on Tildes and personal content? in ~tildes

    Amarok Link Parent
    I've seen some people express concern that we're chasing the fun (such as the personal stuff) off of the site. Honestly it was a lot worse early on. There was a period where all of us needed to...

    I've seen some people express concern that we're chasing the fun (such as the personal stuff) off of the site. Honestly it was a lot worse early on. There was a period where all of us needed to decompress from the reddit mentality and learn how to be good to each other again. I like the personal stuff and don't want to see it get lost.

    My point is that if the main Tildes site is the 'serious' place, we can create other forms of 'fun' spaces such as a Mastodon instance - which is like giving Tildes users their own private twitter. The trust would be shared, it'd all just be one account in both places, or any other future places such as if we set up some kind of private slack/irc chat service. We don't have to choose between fun and serious, it's not binary, we can have both. As long as the trust system is the arbiter in all of our spaces it's all good.

    The Tildes website isn't the only way we can all interact with each other. Everything doesn't have to just be a group here, it could be a cloud of other services. Someone already set up a Tildes minecraft server. Maybe we can do an EQ emulator server and game together. Take a page from tilde.club and set up shell accounts for Tildes users. Lots of possibilities, lots of fun open source toys out there to play with.

    Let's not limit the idea of Tildes to just one reddit-like place. Think of it more like a garden. What do we want to plant here while we watch it all grow?

    1 vote