Brock_Knifemann's recent activity

  1. Comment on The Real Class War in ~humanities

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    To be fair, most people don't really get all that interested into economics and politics until they're in their 30s and beyond. You can see a reflection of that in voter turn out by age bracket....

    I find not nearly enough of my peers show major concern for the decay of our socioeconomic landscape

    To be fair, most people don't really get all that interested into economics and politics until they're in their 30s and beyond. You can see a reflection of that in voter turn out by age bracket. It's also really important to remember that a great many Americans are so busy working that they do not have ample spare mental "bandwidth" to think/worry about it. When I worked rotating twelves in manufacturing, I barely had enough bandwidth to decide between wheat or white bread, much less the broader situation in the economy. This is not a blanket excuse, but it's worth remembering just how hard most if us have to hustle just have a roof over our heads.

    Which segues back to just how f'd up our economy is. It absolutely should not take multiple jobs just to barely hang above homelessness. There should not be homeless camps on every corner in the shadows of gleaming skyscrapers.
    The current situation is absolutely not sustainable. I can't predict what will happen, though, as our past examples came about before our silicon age:

    1) We can't rely on people rising up. When we did that 100 years ago for the right to unionize, the gov't and businesses were happy to kill and maim. Not to mention that many of us have precarious employment and missing just 1 shift might mean termination or missing rent. Those folks aren't going to go protest, even if they wanted to.
    2) We can't rely on an FDR/LBJ style society-first legislative agenda. One party is busy on the defense and isn't as progressive as we need; the other party is literally compromised and trying to undermine the system for their billionaire masters.
    3) We can't rely our numbers and general strikes for much longer. With the ever-increasing pace of automation, the capitalists won't need us for much longer. AI is already getting better at cancer detection than experienced radiologists, cashiers are replaced by the self-scan, even fast food workers are at risk from automated ordering kiosks.

    I have no idea where this road will take us, except that it'll get a lot worse for the 99% before it gets better.

    12 votes
  2. Comment on I'd like to talk about the world these days, care to join in? in ~talk

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    We're definitely not designed to deal with change at the rate that is currently happening. Barring "surprise events" like war and plagues, people's lives usually didn't change a whole lot from...

    We're definitely not designed to deal with change at the rate that is currently happening. Barring "surprise events" like war and plagues, people's lives usually didn't change a whole lot from generation to generation for the bulk of human history. If you were a farmer in ancient Egypt 4000 years ago, there was little reason to expect that your great-great grandchildren's lives would be any different than yours or your great-great grandparent's. It's not at all like that anymore, and it is frankly both scary and exhausting to even try and stay comfortably behind.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on I'd like to talk about the world these days, care to join in? in ~talk

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    That was insightful and helpful, thank you. It seems that basically, you can't individually do much but if you do the best that you can, then that's enough.

    That was insightful and helpful, thank you.

    It seems that basically, you can't individually do much but if you do the best that you can, then that's enough.

    1 vote
  4. I'd like to talk about the world these days, care to join in?

    Hey, friends. I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to talk and converse. Please, feel free to join in. I'm not trying to make any points or whatnot, but I need to get this out of my head....

    Hey, friends. I'd like to take a few minutes of your time to talk and converse. Please, feel free to join in. I'm not trying to make any points or whatnot, but I need to get this out of my head.

    It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see that there is a lot going on these days. I know that there's always a lot going on, but it just seems to be on my mind a lot more than it used to. I'm unsure if it's because things out there actually are heating up, if the current news cycle is finally paying some attention, if I'm just more interested/aware as I get older, or if it's some combination of these. Regardless, it just seems like there's so much to think about.

    To begin, there's the domestic stuff. We have an inevitable recession coming our way sooner than later (recessions being a feature of our application of Capitalism, after all), and, of course, the mess in the other Washington. I'm doing my best to keep up with the impeachment, while not letting it really "get to me". As I get older, I find that I care more and more about the wellbeing of my country, and the utter shame that is this current administration makes me genuinely concerned for the health of our nation and the people in it. I cannot help but think to myself that I am watching the arguably most significant political crisis since Watergate unfolding before me - live, in real-time. It's wild, as you know that you live through history in the making, but you never really think that you're going to live through something of this caliber.

    While I'm hopeful that our own brush with populism will turn out OK (our 3 branch government is remarkably robust), I still worry about us and the other countries that are dealing with it now too. We have Bolsonaro and Duerte, Brexit and Trump. We have the mess in Bolivia, and frankly I still don't exactly have my head wrapped fully around what the hell is actually going on there. We have the trickery of Putin and his loyal cronies. Even populism aside, we have the unrest and violence in Lebanon, Syria, Chile and Iran. And of course, let's not forget our friends in Hong Kong.

    I look at the HK situation and feel extra helpless. I was 7 when Tiananmen Square happened, and I kinda remember it. I certainly remember tank man on the news, but that was about it. I see what's going on in Hong Kong and I cannot get past the feeling that they're literally fighting a losing battle for their lives. I can't imagine how they'll survive this without getting steamrolled, unless a foreign power steps in. You know that'll alter the course of the 21st century. I mean, hell. Even if things turn out rosy, this is still probably one of the most significant events of this century. And here I am, watching it in real-time again.

    This isn't even touching on the literal concentration camps that China is running for the Uighur Muslims. Shit, even my own country is running camps for children right now. How TF does this even happen? By the time half of us even find out, these camps have already been up and running for a good while. What can you even do?

    Then there is a the ever-looming specter that haunts us and feels inescapable: global warming. I don't think I need to elaborate on this one, just a quick peek at the fires and floods, droughts and melting glaciers says it all. Again, we're along for this ride in an enormous mechanism that individually we are wholly powerless against. I sincerely hope that we do manage to engineer our way out of the worst of climate change, but I am honestly not hopeful that we will limit our emissions enough to keep us under the 4° warming that we're seemingly on the trajectory for. I sure won't be alive in 2100, but my youngest nibblings just might - or at least their kids will be. What kind of world are we leaving for them?

    How will these things affect and feed off each other? Will we look at the period between WWII and the early 21st century as one of unusual peace and prosperity?

    This stuff keeps me up at night, and sometimes it feels like doing your best is just a vain exercise in futility. I know it's not, in that everyone doing their best would make huge changes, and that no matter what happens, I can go to my grave in good conscience knowing that I did what I could. Still, some days it all feels like too much, you know?

    Anyway, thank you for listening to me, and letting me talk. There's a few people in my life that share the same concerns, but it's hard to find anyone to talk to about the breadth of all this shit that there is to worry about.

    So, anonymous strangers on the internet, how are you feeling about the world situation these days?

    21 votes
  5. Comment on Tell me about your smartphone! in ~talk

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link
    I have had an LG G7 ThinQ for just over a year now. I didn't really want to get a new phone, but I was on my 4^th warranty replacement for my old V-10. So. Many. Bootloops. Anyway, the G7 isn't a...

    I have had an LG G7 ThinQ for just over a year now. I didn't really want to get a new phone, but I was on my 4^th warranty replacement for my old V-10. So. Many. Bootloops.

    Anyway, the G7 isn't a bad phone at all, but it took all of a few weeks for me to crack the glass back... Kind of a terrible design choice, and I'll be certain to never get another phone with a glass back.

    To be honest, if I wasn't forced by school to use Duo for 2FA, I would have already ditched a smartphone for a flip phone. Maybe that'll be a graduation present to myself.

  6. Comment on Introducing the Gulfstream G700 in ~misc

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link
    If this is an ad, you've got the wrong demographic here.

    If this is an ad, you've got the wrong demographic here.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on A site to randomly stumble on to new and unique webpages - stumblingon in ~tech

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    Also, holy shit this is great. I've come across all kinds of interesting political philosophy. Which, ironically, is keeping me from my political philosophy homework.

    Also, holy shit this is great. I've come across all kinds of interesting political philosophy.

    Which, ironically, is keeping me from my political philosophy homework.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on A site to randomly stumble on to new and unique webpages - stumblingon in ~tech

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    I am pretty sure (but not certain) that people you followed influenced what stumbles you got. If I followed you, for example, things you liked would show up in my stumbles. I think. It's been a...

    I am pretty sure (but not certain) that people you followed influenced what stumbles you got. If I followed you, for example, things you liked would show up in my stumbles.

    I think. It's been a while :-\

    2 votes
  9. Comment on A site to randomly stumble on to new and unique webpages - stumblingon in ~tech

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    By "achiever", I meant that I used it a lot (had over 100,000 stumbles) and had a lot of followers. Which, I thought was odd because I never used it's social function or ever followed anyone. So...

    By "achiever", I meant that I used it a lot (had over 100,000 stumbles) and had a lot of followers. Which, I thought was odd because I never used it's social function or ever followed anyone.

    So in terms of what it did well, I thought it was pretty seamless as a Firefox extension. I generally enjoyed most of what I found, since it was narrowed down to handful of topics that I was interested in.

    As for the bad, I never liked the social aspect, so I never used that. It just seemed pointless, but I recognize that I dislike most social media, which doesn't mean that others share my views. I also disliked the advertising (sponsored stumbles) and spam that would sneak in. I reported that stuff all the time, but it never seemed to make any difference.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on A site to randomly stumble on to new and unique webpages - stumblingon in ~tech

    Brock_Knifemann
    (edited )
    Link
    Nice idea! I used to be a StumbleUpon acheiver (like over 1m followers, for some reason), and really miss that site. I had forgotten about it for a while and went back to find that it had died....

    Nice idea!

    I used to be a StumbleUpon acheiver (like over 1m followers, for some reason), and really miss that site. I had forgotten about it for a while and went back to find that it had died.

    I'll give this one a go :-)

    Update @Imn , this is so cool! I've already come across stuff that I had no idea existed. Thanks for making this tool.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on How to Find Your IP Address on Windows or Mac in ~tech

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    To be fair, I think most people's pestering relatives don't care what the IP is or how it works. They only care that their "internets won't work" and that they can't play candy crush. Or worse...

    To be fair, I think most people's pestering relatives don't care what the IP is or how it works. They only care that their "internets won't work" and that they can't play candy crush. Or worse yet, they got scammed again and need you to uninstall the god-knows-whatware that's half in Russian that they installed from "Microsoft support".

    1 vote
  12. Comment on In California, orcas and salmon have become so scarce people have forgotten what once was. Will the Northwest be next? in ~enviro

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    I used to work with a bunch of "live to fish, fish to live" types. They'd complain about the Tribes are "ruining the runs by catching too many". Meanwhile, their big ol' diesel F-350s on 33" tires...

    I used to work with a bunch of "live to fish, fish to live" types. They'd complain about the Tribes are "ruining the runs by catching too many". Meanwhile, their big ol' diesel F-350s on 33" tires are all parked along the Nisqually's banks, as they're out in fishing 10 feet offshore with their outboards idling.

    Talk about cognitive dissonance.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on In California, orcas and salmon have become so scarce people have forgotten what once was. Will the Northwest be next? in ~enviro

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    Oh, absolutely. We're doing that with our tech too, and it'll really become a thing when our machines are interactive enough to get into the uncanny valley. Now, on the flipside, we have the other...

    It's easy to fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing intelligent animals too much, of course

    Oh, absolutely. We're doing that with our tech too, and it'll really become a thing when our machines are interactive enough to get into the uncanny valley.

    Now, on the flipside, we have the other risk of being so human-centric that we completely disregard animal intelligence and sentience. We've been really good at doing that one, at least here in Western Culture, and that's a huge factor in why we are here with these environmental problems. Our economic system has been contingent on extracting value from everything it possibly can, including animals themselves and the natural world.

    I feel confident that the "animals are automotons for us to profit from" is absolutely the wrong way to go. I think that blanket anthropomorphizing animals is also foolish and that we need science to back up our claims. That said, we need a sane, middle ground here. It's ok to recognize that there is a spectrum: some animals are just like biological robots, that some are very close to us in cognitive ability, and most fall somewhere in between. But regardless of where they fall on this spectrum, every living thing is entitled to live their lives as they see fit and not just exist to be exploited for profit or our vulgar amusement.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on In California, orcas and salmon have become so scarce people have forgotten what once was. Will the Northwest be next? in ~enviro

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link
    As a PNW semi-native (wasn't born here, but we moved to the Seattle metro when I was 4), this sucks so hard. I remember the first time I got to see the orcas, up in the San Juan Islands. We...

    As a PNW semi-native (wasn't born here, but we moved to the Seattle metro when I was 4), this sucks so hard. I remember the first time I got to see the orcas, up in the San Juan Islands. We happened to be near the J Pod and we got to see J-2. She's deceased now, but was thought to be anywhere from 80 to over 100 years old. It's pretty moving to see this animal that's almost the size of a bus leading her pod, as she had done for decades. These animals are not just majestic; when you get close to one you have a chance to see them interact with each other and the environment in a way that you don't normally see. They're not like us per se, nor are they like great apes, but you can feel something special there. You get this feeling that there's a mind in there, something more akin to us than a cat or dog or parrot. It really makes you think about animal intelligence and just how myopic and destructive we are.

    The destruction of salmon runs is a big deal for the orca and for us. I remember as a child only 30 years ago seeing silvers and humpies, with some chinooks and a few kings in there too, moving through the sound and Commencement Bay. It's not like that these days. People out fishing and the tribes still get quite a few, but it's not like I remember. My great uncles used to say how the fish were "so thick that you could walk across the river on them". Overfishing and industrilization are a big part, but so are the dams on the Columbia and other rivers. I love hydro power, but it has a serious, serious cost at the expense of wildlife.

    But even if we tore down the dams yesterday, there's so much pollution. There's 1 refinery on the water in Tacoma, 2 in Anacortes, 1 in Bellingham and 1 up past Mt Vernon. Those are just refineries, not including tank farms, shipping, and tons of other manufacturing. That's not including sormwater runoff. Where do you think the drips of oil, lawn fertilizers and treated sewage end up? Puget Sound. Let's not forget the big ships. The ports of Tacoma and Seattle together are one of the biggest container destinations in the country, moving millions of TEUs a year. The engine noise from those is known to interfere with whale's echolocation and communication.

    There's over 4,000,000 people living within an hour of the Puget Sound, and a good portion of them are ignorant or ambivalent to the needs of the whales and wildlife. I hate being pessimistic, but I don't see our dams, industry and population changing in any way that will make a meaningful improvement. I really hope that my nibblings aren't the last generation to get to see our resident pods, but I'm not hopeful.

    Shortsightedness, greed, apathy and speciesism: the hallmarks of our kind.

    12 votes
  15. Comment on The 50 best video games of the 21st century in ~games

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link
    So, I have only played two games on that list: Minecraft and Limbo. Well, kinda. A friend had Limbo and I got to play it for like an hour, but I will say that I did enjoy it. I'm biased, since I...

    So, I have only played two games on that list: Minecraft and Limbo. Well, kinda. A friend had Limbo and I got to play it for like an hour, but I will say that I did enjoy it.

    I'm biased, since I friggin love Minecraft, but I think that I (as objectively as I can possibly be) agree that it deserves the #1 spot. It's been just tremendously influential and has managed to stay fresh for a decade with frequent updates that cost $0. It's kind of my mental gold standard for what a video game ought to be.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on How podcasts went from unlistenable to unmissable in ~tech

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link
    OK friends, I'd like to ask a serious question: Does anyone out there not like podcasts? Everyone I know in real life either loves them or is just ambivalent; the only person I know who doesn't...

    OK friends, I'd like to ask a serious question:

    Does anyone out there not like podcasts? Everyone I know in real life either loves them or is just ambivalent; the only person I know who doesn't like them is myself.

    I'm not trying to make a point or anything, I'm just curious what people outside of my narrow circles think.

    10 votes
  17. Comment on What are you doing this weekend? in ~talk

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link
    Writing a paper that I've been putting off :/

    Writing a paper that I've been putting off :/

    6 votes
  18. Comment on Slush Idea Bin in ~talk

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    Sorry, Hollywood is too busy reboothing things to come up with fresh ideas. I personally detest crime/cop/lawyer/doctor/political shows with a passion, but you bet I'd watch something like CSI:...

    Really surprised no one seems to have explored that yet.

    Sorry, Hollywood is too busy reboothing things to come up with fresh ideas.

    I personally detest crime/cop/lawyer/doctor/political shows with a passion, but you bet I'd watch something like CSI: Ur, if it was historically and aesthetically consistent with what we know.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link Parent
    I tried optifine once, but it was a hassle to get it to run on Linux. Generally speaking, I've never really considered mods beyond an interest in that one that adds like industrial capacity to the...

    I tried optifine once, but it was a hassle to get it to run on Linux. Generally speaking, I've never really considered mods beyond an interest in that one that adds like industrial capacity to the game... I think it's feed the beast or something?

    But if I'm being honest here, I think mods are probably a bad idea for me. The staleness that I get from MC kind of helps keep me from playing it too much.

  20. Comment on Slush Idea Bin in ~talk

    Brock_Knifemann
    Link
    A crime scene investigation TV show set in an empire from Antiquity. Imagine CSI: Byzantium, for example. You could have a lot of fun with that.

    A crime scene investigation TV show set in an empire from Antiquity. Imagine CSI: Byzantium, for example. You could have a lot of fun with that.

    7 votes