AugustusFerdinand's recent activity

  1. Comment on The Biden blowout scenario in ~misc

  2. Comment on The Biden blowout scenario in ~misc

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    As a general policy you should never believe the salesperson. Nate Silver/538 is the salesperson and is doing everything they can to say "please ignore how wrong we were by letting us explain that...

    ...calculated that some of the vote models could be off by 15 to 20 percent.
    Virtually all the major vote forecasters, including Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, The New York Times Upshot and the Princeton Election Consortium, put Mrs. Clinton’s chances of winning in the 70 to 99 percent range.

    1. As a general policy you should never believe the salesperson. Nate Silver/538 is the salesperson and is doing everything they can to say "please ignore how wrong we were by letting us explain that all of the models are shit we were right all along".

    2. If the margin of error is that wide, the polls are useless.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay going up 400% in ~tech

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    Are any of them the size of Mozilla?

    Conversely, there's tons of worker-owned co-ops doing just fine.

    Are any of them the size of Mozilla?

    4 votes
  4. Comment on Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay going up 400% in ~tech

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    Same, I only found out as I went looking for more info. To be fair her first name is Winifred, she just chooses not to go by it.

    Same, I only found out as I went looking for more info. To be fair her first name is Winifred, she just chooses not to go by it.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay going up 400% in ~tech

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    So if the revenue fell from $27M to $20M would you blame leadership or the people making the phone calls for failing to bring in money? Can't have it both ways where leadership takes the blame in...

    Well, she was there and $27M of revenue was brought in. Correlation is not causation, and I must say I suspect that a lot of people paid a lot less than her probably had a lot to do with that. Again, using the only non-profit I'm intimately familiar with, at my alma mater close to 90% of actual fundraising calls were made by students making minimum wage; campaigns were designed and implemented by graphic designers and marketers making normal market rates, not millions a year.

    So if the revenue fell from $27M to $20M would you blame leadership or the people making the phone calls for failing to bring in money? Can't have it both ways where leadership takes the blame in bad times, but gets none of the credit.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay going up 400% in ~tech

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    I think this is the key point on the overall market share, on mobile people just use what's built in. While extensions and ad-blockers are incredibly useful, facts are most people don't even know...

    I don't understand why the Firefox market share is so low. Or, rather, I don't understand why it has been dropping.

    I suppose for mobile, since the default is Safari or Chrome, most people don't switch.

    I think this is the key point on the overall market share, on mobile people just use what's built in.

    But the article points out that Firefox (for Android) can run ad-blockers. This is a tremendously useful feature. I have a low-end Android phone and few website run properly, even with ads blocked. Websites on iPhone tend to work much better.

    While extensions and ad-blockers are incredibly useful, facts are most people don't even know they exist. Even better-than-average-in-regards-to-tech people I know have been shocked to find out they can block ads anywhere, let alone on their phones. Even my tech-savvy, built her own computer, wife will forget that she has an ad blocker on her phone (we use Blokada) if it doesn't start on its own if she needs to restart her phone or the battery dies.

    For desktop, though, most people I've met are using Windows and most are then using Chrome, meaning they went out of their way to install a new browser.
    What would it take to get desktop users to install Firefox first? Better migration tools? A browser feature that Chrome lacks? Firefox is a great browser, aside from the foregoing reasons, I just don't see what about the market is making it perform so poorly.

    This I think is largely part of the Google monopoly. "Google it" is as synonymous with searching as (and I'll show my age here) as "Xerox it" was to making a copy of something. My father still uses Yahoo and even he says "I'll google it" when he wants to search for something. Then there's the big "Install Chrome" button when you go to Google.com on anything other than Chrome. Firefox has advertisements I'm sure (I don't see them), but I'm guessing it's largely word of mouth and people pay very little attention to their privacy so it's an uphill battle for them.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on Firefox usage is down 85% despite Mozilla's top exec pay going up 400% in ~tech

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    Being that she was one of the key people to start Mozilla in 2003 after AOL killed Netscape and since has been the General Manager of mozilla.org then President, CEO, Chairperson, and subsequently...

    Did he, in fact, bring in $5 million of revenue?

    Being that she was one of the key people to start Mozilla in 2003 after AOL killed Netscape and since has been the General Manager of mozilla.org then President, CEO, Chairperson, and subsequently Chairwoman of both the Foundation and Corporation since the onset; I'm willing to say it's a safe bet that she has in fact brought in much more than $5M in revenue. But if you want specific numbers, Mozilla's tax documents show that in 2017 $20M was brought in and 2018 (latest document) $27M in revenue was brought in. So yeah, she did, in fact, bring in $5M+ of revenue.

    Does someone have to be paid as much as 1/10th of a purchase of an entire company (Pocket) per year in order to bring in revenue?

    If you want them to stay, sure. When Mitchell Baker was asked about her $2.4M compensation she said: "I learned that my pay was about an 80% discount to market. Meaning that competitive roles elsewhere were paying about 5 times as much. That's too big a discount to ask people and their families to commit to."

    Would you do your job for a 80% less than your competitors are paying for the same role? I'd imagine not.
    Is $2.4M a lot of money? Absolutely.
    Is it more money than any person need in a year? Unless she's paying for cancer treatment in cash, yes.
    Do we live in a post-scarcity society where people are willing to do what they enjoy without compensation because there is no need to worry about their future, families, or ability to pay bills? No.
    Because of this capitalistic system if you want top level talent do you need to pay for it? Yes.

    This argument has never made much sense to me. My alma mater's president kept taking pay increases while fundraising fell, enrollment fell, and even while faculty salaries fell, and justified it with precisely this argument

    Then your alma matter president shouldn't have been getting that. If they justified it with that argument then the evidence that they weren't doing their job should have been presented. Pay for performance.

    On the contrary, I'd say that executives should be the last to get a pay raise. "You succeeded in getting this company so much money that everyone got a raise and the shareholders made money, now you get a bonus/raise for doing that" kind of thing.

    Based on the tax documents, the fact that she didn't receive compensation at all for the first 5 years at Mozilla, her salary is still low compared to others in her position, and that she didn't receive that level of compensation until the last couple of years shows she was in fact "the last to get a pay raise".

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Environmentalists have held protests outside a court that is deciding on a tunnel link between Germany and Denmark – they say the project is flawed on many levels in ~enviro

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    Thanks for that. Only found the century old tunnel and was curious how a tunnel that moves 145k cars per day is also touted as a tourist attraction. I've corrected my comment, thank you again.

    Thanks for that. Only found the century old tunnel and was curious how a tunnel that moves 145k cars per day is also touted as a tourist attraction. I've corrected my comment, thank you again.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on I can't make it any clearer. Any advice? in ~comp

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    The only way to do this that I've found is to completely take it out of their control via management software.

    The only way to do this that I've found is to completely take it out of their control via management software.

    14 votes
  10. Comment on Should we talk about voting again? in ~tildes

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    These two have a combined method that you wrote, or at least introduced, and asked for feedback on leading to overall positive reception with the only real complaints being that people needed to...

    visible with up and down votes works (Reddit)
    vote scores only visible to the poster works (Hacker News)

    These two have a combined method that you wrote, or at least introduced, and asked for feedback on leading to overall positive reception with the only real complaints being that people needed to think for themselves to form an opinion. That solution being temporarily hidden vote counts.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Should we talk about voting again? in ~tildes

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    Which only further cements my point that you'll use a vote count as an indicator of correctness on a topic you are not versed enough to make that determination. The very concept of votes is to...

    As I stated in the next paragraph, I disagree because I find it a valuable indicator, especially on topics in which I am not particularly versed, on how people view a particular viewpoint. Of course, it needs to be taken in the context of the actual post itself - presenting a popular opinion in an inflammatory way or vice versa is not going to garner a lot of positive votes.

    Which only further cements my point that you'll use a vote count as an indicator of correctness on a topic you are not versed enough to make that determination. The very concept of votes is to encourage discourse by voting for people that provide meaningful discussion. Voting is NOT an "I agree" button. The very presence of publicly visible vote counts encourages mob mentality because even with no one looking over your shoulder you feel peer pressure to agree with others when you see it as you've openly admitted: A highly voted comment on topic in which you know nothing will influence you to take it as fact regardless if it's right or wrong.

    I do not agree with the idea that an unequal amount of positive reinforcement is a bad thing or that it should be hidden. Understanding how the public feels about an opinion is an important part of feedback. The only time this becomes problematic is when you have an echo chamber and the 'public' opinion is not truly representative of the public but people believe it is (it's only representative of the sample).

    The positive reinforcement is still there, it is just private to the person that made the comment only. You later bring up people wanting diversity here, but are ignoring the echo chamber that has been admitted to already being here as well. We have an echo chamber here. The opinions here do not truly represent the public.

    I believe the correct take on seeing disparity should be to reconsider how we choose to interact with the functionality of the site and to create discussions around problematic patterns. Talking about increasing diversity, or specifically choosing to reward diversity is a way to counteract this but still allow for public opinion to be shown.

    If votes are hidden and there's only 2 replies to a comment and one has 90 votes and the other 2, but one is espousing a potentially intolerant viewpoint, how is an uneducated or unfamiliar reader supposed to understand that the comment with 2 votes represents a minority opinion, especially if the comment with 2 votes appeals to their emotion or experiences in a stronger fashion?

    And if those votes are public and if the 90 point comment is espousing alt-right intolerance and the 2 pointer is pushing for LGBT rights you expect the uneducated and unfamiliar person to change their viewpoint to the 90 point side even though the 2 pointer appeals to their emotions and experience in a stronger fashion. Your examples are based on the assumption that the group here does not diversify while stating it's sorely needed.

    I understand there is a potential downside to this in that groupthink, hivemind, or echo chambers can emerge based on the majority imposing their will and while I think this does happen on occasion on Tildes, we are quite aware of our white male tech bias and people have brought up that they want this to be fixed. The visibility of votes has not prevented this from emerging (and I believe has actually been a good indicator to show that it is a problem) and revoking visibility will not fix issues of diversity.

    There is also zero evidence that the public visibility of votes has encouraged people to express a desire for greater diversity here. If anything the revocation of publicly visible vote counts, even if only for a short time after posting, will encourage people to express opinions other than the norm thereby encouraging the diversity you're specifically requesting as diversity isn't merely gender, sexuality, and occupation but also ideas from other viewpoints regardless of the individual.

    The functionality and idea to hide votes for a period of time already exists on reddit and was written by Deimos specifically to curtail bandwagon voting, both positive and negative, and encourage discussion through such.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Should we talk about voting again? in ~tildes

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    I made a previous comment on this in a thread about color coding comments and having a "best of" page; which I'll copy here as it applies. I'm also of the opinion that vote counts should be hidden...

    I made a previous comment on this in a thread about color coding comments and having a "best of" page; which I'll copy here as it applies.

    It would also be nice to have a “best of Tildes” page for exemplary comments.

    I disagree entirely. Discussion here is and should remain generally high quality purely on the basis of keeping the site at a high level. Unless someone specifically goes looking for a reason behind the colors and memorizes them (orange is obvious the first time anyone enters a thread they were in prior) they mostly go unnoticed. The statements given when exemplary is labeled should be the extent of the recognition a commentor receives and I am of the opinion that vote counts shouldn't be displayed either. A vote count or any other award/point/recognition system is inherently flawed and leads to little more than pandering to an audience to fit in (comparison is the thief of joy) for that minute dopamine rush when someone "likes" your response. These things are what has made reddit little more than an echo chamber with comment sections filled with jokes. Even here I've witnessed dissenting opinions be labeled as noise because people just can't give up on having a downvote button for anything they disagree with or doesn't match the status quo.

    I'm also of the opinion that vote counts should be hidden to everyone but the person that made the comment (and possibly only visible to that person on their own user page) either permanently or for a period of 3-7 days. Another idea is a modified version of reddit's "contest mode" in which the order of top level comments is randomized for a period of time before settling back into a set comment sort order. If done here I would prefer the replies to the top level comments not be hidden by default as they are in "contest mode" as that mode, as evidenced by the name, is meant specifically for subs that hold contests.

    Publicly declared voting systems are flawed, people will vote with the crowd to fit in, this has been readily apparent on reddit (and here) especially where up and down votes pile on without any actual thought being placed on the content, context, or factualness of the comment. I've watched comments swing wildly from negative to positive when presenting contrary information (leading to negatives) that is followed by someone else backing up the statement with something as simple as "You know, he's right..." making it rocket back into positives. If you want a more "real world" scenario, remember this: Every single election cycle is met with warnings about how X party is going to declare themselves the winner early to discourage people from getting out to vote and how exit polls discourage or rally voters depending on who's winning.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Should we talk about voting again? in ~tildes

    AugustusFerdinand
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Then it should be private. Vote counts, even if only for a period of a few days, should be visible only to the person that made the comment just as the note received when given an exemplary tag is...

    People need to be incentivized to post, but positive encouragement in the form of a number going up showing that they were seen and heard, especially when there isn't a lot of activity (so less chance of a reply) is absolutely integral to this.

    Then it should be private. Vote counts, even if only for a period of a few days, should be visible only to the person that made the comment just as the note received when given an exemplary tag is private.

    Edit as I meant to address this as well:

    I've also seen people in places of privilege say things which are downright wrong or intolerant and whether those posts receive votes is important to my own understanding of whether the current community is actually accepting and gives me an understanding of where they stand on issues.

    In these cases the wrong or intolerant comment needs to be addressed instead of ignored while you make a mental note on where people are standing based on incorrect information.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Environmentalists have held protests outside a court that is deciding on a tunnel link between Germany and Denmark – they say the project is flawed on many levels in ~enviro

    AugustusFerdinand
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Or any sources. "Experts say" has been a universally translated to "we have nothing to actually back this up" in my experience. I'm even willing to bet that the "experts" they can link are only...

    But agree, some better sources would be nice...

    Or any sources. "Experts say" has been a universally translated to "we have nothing to actually back this up" in my experience. I'm even willing to bet that the "experts" they can link are only accounting for the current average of vehicles crossing via the ferry and not the increase in traffic a new route would open up and would make them trying to argue both ways that the increased traffic would cause problems for current residents and somehow there won't be increased traffic and it's useless. Which brings up the next point: What does the century old and very short (426m) 45 year old 3.1km tunnel in the middle of the busy city of Hamburg have to do with an 18km tunnel between two countries?

    Reading further on my own, since these people can't be bothered to back up their claims, there are complaints that the money could be spent elsewhere (except literally every-single-project has this argument against it) and that it's too expensive. The latter I can get on board with as it appears the cost has increased by making the tunnel 200kmh capable instead of the original 160kph estimate and they've turned down offers from cyclist associations to help with the cost if they add a bike path in the tunnel.

    The tunnel plan may be based on outdated cold war ideas of unifying areas and the Gedser–Rostock Bridge (or tunnel) might be a better idea however I don't see these groups suggesting it or that it'll be met with complete approval either. I'm feeling a little Hitchhiker's Guide with the idea that something is going to be built, so make a decision on if it'll be this tunnel (which was also originally proposed as a bridge) or the Gedser-Rostock. On the one hand this tunnel is argued that it'll increase traffic in already traffic clogged Hamburg and all the new development is being done east of Hamburg where it could be better served by the Rostock solution, but on the other if they're arguing about cost an 18km tunnel sure sounds a lot cheaper than a 42.5km bridge/tunnel.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fehmarn_Belt_Fixed_Link

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gedser%E2%80%93Rostock_Bridge

    Edit

    Thank you yammas for pointing me to the correct tunnel even if I still don't see how that tunnel's existence and traffic flow is in any way related to the proposed tunnel.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Environmentalists have held protests outside a court that is deciding on a tunnel link between Germany and Denmark – they say the project is flawed on many levels in ~enviro

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Does anyone have links to the environmental groups actual evidence backed claims? The linked petition has no real info. Their website is just alarmist screams with no actual substance. There's...

    Does anyone have links to the environmental groups actual evidence backed claims? The linked petition has no real info. Their website is just alarmist screams with no actual substance. There's this, which is statements but no proof or sources of their claims.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Tildes Census Deep Dive - What do you dislike about tildes? in ~tildes

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    While I agree that Tildes needs to grow and diversify, my opinion that this complaint of being too small is slightly out of touch with reality. Based on the age ranges given in the census, and as...
    • Exemplary

    Tildes is too small
    44% of the user-base indicated that they felt that Tildes was currently too small. There's really not a lot to be said here, other than a large number of those who filled out the survey wanted to express that they felt Tildes should still continue to grow.

    While I agree that Tildes needs to grow and diversify, my opinion that this complaint of being too small is slightly out of touch with reality. Based on the age ranges given in the census, and as one of the older members, most of the users here have never experienced a small community. They all found social networking, reddit, hackernews, etc. long after they were immensely popular. These users are accustomed to a constantly changing "feed" providing them with an unending supply of entertainment. This is given more credence in the numerous responses about lack of activity/changes on the front page. It's a well known trait of these sites that most users contribute nothing; not content, not even comments. They are here to consume and give nothing back. Which is fine; not everyone has something of value to add, but it is ever-so-slightly hypocritical to complain about something in which you do not contribute to. You'll find this to be a recurring theme in my response: Be the change you want to see. Either make content or invite people to the site.

    Diversity, Tech-centric
    Both of these topics are hitting on the same fundamental problem, which could be seen as an extension of the size of Tildes, but really refers more to who is using Tildes, rather than how many users. There is a lot of overlap between these two classifications, but sometimes people mention the tech centrism as a problem of content (too many tech/computing discussions) and not a problem of culture. In these cases there's not complete overlap.

    I agree that greater diversity is needed, but again this goes back to Tildes being small and tech-centric people being early adopters. Like it or loathe it, but you aren't going to find many plumbers, farmers, etc. in the early ranks of a new website. If you want subjects other than tech and politics then post them. While the site welcomes anyone from anywhere, it's still US centric due to population and we are in the midst of an election year. I do not believe or push the false idea of American Exceptionalism, but you can't deny the global impact of US politics. Perhaps we should apologize for being a superpower? Guess it's our fault that the Borut Pahor isn't posted about on Tildes.

    Intolerance
    Intolerance is the unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differs from one's own. Many comments talked about users 'talking past' each other, getting into long bickering arguments that went nowhere, or targeted harassment of some sort. [...] I don't have a good frame of reference of what an 'acceptable' level is, because you're bound to have some people who are more emotionally sensitive than others and confrontations that don't always end the way you want them to. I hope we can discuss this in a broader context, however, because I have personally seen what I believe is an increasing number of intolerant posts often masquerading as 'honest discourse'.

    I think this is also linked to the age of individuals here, as both in personal and observed experience this is something that comes with maturity. One does not have to agree with someone to accept their views, and this is furthered by evidence that when presented with an opposing opinion people rarely change their minds and instead only dig in their heels further. Many people have a habit of taking any discussion as a battle to be "won" and failure to win in their eyes can trigger this feeling of intolerance by the other party. If a comment contains actual intolerance (personal attacks, bigotry, hate speech, incitement of violence) there is a "Malice" label for it.

    Elitism

    Not much for me to say here as I pay little attention to who I'm responding to or who is making the post and just respond to the content.

    Website Functionality
    Several people commented on a lack of a mobile app, a want for embedded images and videos, and the voting system. Other suggestions - comment threading, user blocking, differentiation between reasons why a post was bumped in the activity feed (?), mobile design (easier to click links), a desire for a more robust topic log, and that the website is too minimalist/sterile.

    On the one hand I can see a use for imbedded videos, on the other I already have to click to read every article that interests me and so clicking to watch a video isn't some huge ordeal. I vehemently disagree with the want for embedded images. Tildes is an alternative to reddit, not a replacement. If I wanted an endless stream of contextless images, gifs, and memes I'd still be on reddit. It is extremely rare that a single image or album of images is representative of good content or sparks meaningful discussion. I have no strong feelings about the need for an app as I wouldn't use it through both an attempt to limit mobile screen time and the few times I have visited Tildes on mobile I found no issue with the mobile/adaptive design and my ability to navigate it. The news links are large and easy to tap, although the links to comments could be larger.

    Tildes is too serious
    Only a single person complained that tildes was not serious enough (or perhaps not, you decide... they said, "increasing creep of low effort posts"). The majority of posts complaining about tildes being too serious were often also complaints about people bickering. When it wasn't about how users interacted, it was about the form of discussion available - people often brought up the "meaningful conversation" portion of the tildes documentation and culture, but often had a desire to have memes, shitposts, humor, or some outlet for conversation that isn't as effort based. Perhaps they like the culture and just want to do more with the people here? Perhaps they simply want to get to know their fellow users in a way they can't currently.
    From my own perspective, I'd love to see more memes and humor. I tend to shitpost a lot on the unofficial discord. I've seen quite a few of you all on there as well, and would highly recommend it to anyone who feels like they want to get to know other users better.

    Again, Tildes is, and has been billed as, an alternative to reddit, not a replacement. There are plenty of places already available for memes and shitposting, places for meaningful conversation are few and far between.

    Politics
    More people complained about Tildes being too left than too right, which makes sense given the aggregated political compass from the survey. I think more people complained about there being too much politics than commented on politics whatsoever. I'm leaving this section relatively small because I'm not sure this is something that needs significant discussion at this point. But if you feel strongly, please help to direct a discussion in this thread.

    Tildes is left leaning, both obviously and evidenced by the census, as would be expected considering where the users came from. Would I like more right-leaning view points? Yes. Do right-leaning view points have a nasty little habit of colliding with the ideals of "no intolerance"? Also, yes. If someone can direct me to where I can find right-leaning people to recruit that are also willing to accept "you're not allowed to be a bigot" rule do let me know.

    20 votes
  17. Comment on Ednaswap - Torn in ~music

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Today a friend introduced me to the fact that the song Torn by Natalie Imbruglia isn't originally by her. It's by a band called Ednaswap and I'm digging the guitars in it instead of poppy-ness of...

    Today a friend introduced me to the fact that the song Torn by Natalie Imbruglia isn't originally by her. It's by a band called Ednaswap and I'm digging the guitars in it instead of poppy-ness of the better known version.

  18. Comment on Whale meat has seen an increase in sales this year in Norway – according to local whalers, demand has outstripped supply for the first time in half a decade in ~food

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    Slippery slope arguments are logical fallacies.

    Slippery slope arguments are logical fallacies.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on At this point, 5G is a bad joke in ~tech

    AugustusFerdinand
    Link Parent
    While 4G/LTE is miles better than 3G, it is worth noting that no carrier in the US has ever actually met the standards for 4G. It's 4G in technology only, not speeds. I expect the same with 5G.

    It's a new selling point. 5 is greater than 4, so it's something they can use to get people to upgrade. It's not a massive, transformative leap like the move from 2G to 3G or 3G to LTE was.

    While 4G/LTE is miles better than 3G, it is worth noting that no carrier in the US has ever actually met the standards for 4G. It's 4G in technology only, not speeds. I expect the same with 5G.

    17 votes