CALICO's recent activity

  1. Comment on The SLS rocket is the worst thing to happen to NASA—but maybe also the best? in ~space

    CALICO
    Link
    As long as it works. It's really easy to hate the SLS (and I think I do), but my biggest anxiety is whether it will work or not. There are events that were so impactful to us that we'll remember...

    As long as it works.

    It's really easy to hate the SLS (and I think I do), but my biggest anxiety is whether it will work or not. There are events that were so impactful to us that we'll remember exactly where we were, and exactly what we were doing, when they happened. For many Americans, the morning of September 11th, 2001 is one of the larger examples. For myself, I will remember in greater clarity the morning of February 1, 2003, when I learned the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry; I doubt I need to explain why, not to this audience.

    I'm less concerned about the cost of the SLS, the delays, and the missed opportunities, than I am concerned that I'll watch Artemis-1 explode on Monday morning—or otherwise fail its planned trans-lunar injection in the coming weeks.

    There hasn't been a functional human space program worth a damn (not by my metrics anyway) in my lifetime. The shuttle program—fiasco that it was—was at least proof of something, and its death on July 21, 2011 is yet another red letter day in my life.

    I'm putting a lot of emotional weight on the SLS's success, if only because its failure may end this new dream just as it begins. While commercial rockets may very well—someday soon—fill its gap, changes in public perception or policy could impact those as well. Hopefully not irreparably, but the gods of chance & fate can be cruel.

    Just, me have this. Let us all share it.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on Please spoil Outer Wilds for me in ~games

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I don't intend to hijack this thread, but... What are some other (modern) games like this? I've been itching for a while now to play something that might—possibly—give me some of the...

    Basically, this game is an interactive mystery novel

    I don't intend to hijack this thread, but...

    What are some other (modern) games like this?

    I've been itching for a while now to play something that might—possibly—give me some of the difficult-to-describe feelings that playing Myst and Riven did back in the 90s.
    Ideally 3D, but not specifically a point-and-click like Myst. Minimal combat, or preferably none at all.

    I have been combing through reddit threads looking for potentials, but everyone seems to mean different things by words like: adventure game; otherwordly; surreal; mysterious; casual; dream-like; puzzles; etc.

    The vibe I'm looking for might just be ineffable, but Outer Wilds stuck out to me as a potential—though I haven't tried it yet to confirm.
    Subnautica was another suggestion that had stuck out. But after trying, it's not quite what I was hoping for. Though I will play more of it.

    Any ideas?

    (I'm aware Cyan, Inc is still active, and released Obduction relatively recently. But I haven't tried that yet either, and it would be nice if I could get what I'm looking for from other devs as well)

    2 votes
  3. Comment on 40% of Americans believe in creationism in ~humanities

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    A comprehensive answer would probably take a historian or ten. But we can start with the beginning, and remember that New England was colonized by Puritan Separatists with strong Calvinist...
    • Exemplary

    A comprehensive answer would probably take a historian or ten.
    But we can start with the beginning, and remember that New England was colonized by Puritan Separatists with strong Calvinist beliefs—essentially kicked out of Europe for being a pain in everyone's ass. While the Native Americans were here first, and the French & Spanish had various colonies, there was no established government to keep things restrained. Leave that petri dish mostly-undisturbed for a hundred or so years, and you get a very deep rooted culture that has survived to the modern era, in some form.

    Early America was """empty""", and loaded with fertile land & multitudes of resources. Combine human greed, religions capacity to be abused, with the above, and you get a wealthy class of people with a societal blank-slate. The Founders can be considered as idealistic as they want, but by the time the Declaration of Independence was penned there was already a kind of wealthy aristocracy in America intertwined with a deeply puritan culture. It doesn't matter how many immigrants from however many backgrounds came after, the White, culturally Anglo-Saxon, religiously-Protestant ruling class was already rooted in power.

    And they've stayed in power, for the most part. Whenever something would come along to challenge that status quo, there was an often-violent response to snuff it out. Sure, the culture has changed from what it was in the 1600's, but it's nearly a direct ancestor of it. There are non-white's & Catholics who hold power now, but the culture of the common person is directly influenced by the extreme beliefs of the Pilgrims. What could be called our modern Aristocracy don't all have blood lineages linking them to colonial day, but they've succeeded thanks to the society and government cultivated by those with a lust for power & loose morality.

    Religions of all flavors have been used as a tool to exploit or control the common folk, over the world, throughout history. I'm not sure how many of our rich & powerful have faith, but I'm not sure it matters either.
    Genocide of the Native Americans, and the enslavement & exploitation of predominantly-Africans were both justified with religious arguments. Whether those who ran plantations, or those who pushed west for gold, actually believed they were doing holy work, or not, that was often the narrative sold in the discourse to a largely uneducated & minimally literate population.

    Those common people being sold the story that America was God's Country, and their Government & Wealthy were doing God's work, had children. And they told that story to those children. Later, those children had children. The people tied the Exceptionalism of America to God, and the Leaders were Godly men. To go against their Leaders was to go against God.

    I'm running out of steam, I'm beginning to ramble, and I'm not a historian.
    I've only barely mentioned the lack of adequately educating the common people. But I don't think it's very difficult to connect these dots to the culture of ignorance & malice that continues to cause problems for the common people & the world into the modern day. Near every challenge to this status quo has been met with rabid violence. From the American Civil War; to the Wilmington, NC massacre; Oscarville, GA; Jim Crow; the War on Drugs; Philadelphia, 1985; and Election of President Obama & the rise of the Tea Party. I'm leaving out quite a lot, and these examples primarily only deal with the physical & cultural violence against black people.

    We're a sinful people, bound by corrupt tradition, proud of what we don't know.
    I'm not surprised by anything, anymore.

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

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    Elden Ring Friends got me to buy it when it was new, but I was really struggling—mostly to motivate myself to keep playing. I'd never played a Souls-type game before, and according to a friend I...

    Elden Ring

    Friends got me to buy it when it was new, but I was really struggling—mostly to motivate myself to keep playing. I'd never played a Souls-type game before, and according to a friend I was playing it wrong (much to their amusement). For the most part, I was running around the map absolutely confused at what my purpose was. I couldn't figure quite how to progress through the story, and I remain unsure quite what the story is (though my friend promises I'll get a clearer idea of what's going on [they say the story is rather sparse overall?] as I progress from where I am).
    The real lack of helpful guidance from NPCs, or any quality of objective tracker, had me pulling out my hair more than anything else. Other than being pointed in a vague direction with the goal 'become Elden Lord', I was completely lost. Eventually I got bored.

    Since I was a child I've been fairly anti-walkthrough, but I've found it necessary with this one. About a week ago I picked it back up & started to reference this Game Progress Route so I can stop running around frustrated & aimless. While I try to keep it minimal—trying to just look at the listed goals per region—it still feels like cheating. But now I have a checklist of things I need to do before I can do other things.

    I defeated Godrick last night—rather overleveled by this point; but now I'm able to enjoy my time more thoroughly. I feel like I can explore, without being forced to wander. Now I can just be pissed off at some of the bullshit combat instead.

    I'm enjoying things much more, and I'm interested to see what the rest of the game is like.


    Outside of online shooters or strategy games, it really tends to require a strong story & interesting characterization to keep me interested in a game. I've dropped more than a few games once I've decided the story went bad, or disrespected the canon of a previous title (e.g. Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Halo). This is probably a core piece of my struggle trying to care about Elden Ring, before I went to google for help.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Webb: The world is about to be new again in ~space

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    SMACS 0723 (SMACS J0723.3-7327) is a cluster of galaxies in the Volan constellation. Compare today's image from JWST with the image taken by Hubble. (scaled, cropped, and rotated) Full, unmodified...

    SMACS 0723 (SMACS J0723.3-7327) is a cluster of galaxies in the Volan constellation.

    Compare today's image from JWST with the image taken by Hubble. (scaled, cropped, and rotated)

    Full, unmodified Hubble image (24MB)


    Tomorrow we'll get images of the targets:

    • Carina Nebula: The Carina Nebula is one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky, located approximately 7,600 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. Nebulae are stellar nurseries where stars form. The Carina Nebula is home to many massive stars, several times larger than the Sun.
    • WASP-96 b (spectrum): WASP-96 b is a giant planet outside our solar system, composed mainly of gas. The planet, located nearly 1,150 light-years from Earth, orbits its star every 3.4 days. It has about half the mass of Jupiter, and its discovery was announced in 2014.
    • Southern Ring Nebula: The Southern Ring, or “Eight-Burst” nebula, is a planetary nebula – an expanding cloud of gas, surrounding a dying star. It is nearly half a light-year in diameter and is located approximately 2,000 light years away from Earth.
    • Stephan’s Quintet: About 290 million light-years away, Stephan’s Quintet is located in the constellation Pegasus. It is notable for being the first compact galaxy group ever discovered in 1877. Four of the five galaxies within the quintet are locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters.
      NASA Shares List of Cosmic Targets for Webb Telescope’s First Images

    For fun, today's pic got leaked on 4chan about 20min before official release.


    Andromeda321 on reddit offers: (partial quote)

    Pretty! Is there scientific value to it?

    Yes! The thing to realize is even with these very first images, because JWST is able to see in detail no telescope has had before there's a ton of low hanging fruit. In the case of this image, one of the big outstanding questions is a feature called the UV luminosity function, which tells you the star formation rate in those early galaxies. If you literally just count up the number of galaxies you see in those first JWST images, you'll already know more about the star formation rate in the early universe than we do now! Further, when you study the gravitational lensing pattern, you can learn about those foreground galaxies- things like their mass, and how the dark matter is distributed around them. OMG this is gonna be so neat!

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Shinzo Abe, Japan's former prime minister, assassinated at a campaign stop in ~news

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    17:57 JST https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20220708/k10013707681000.html https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220708/k00/00m/040/251000c

    安倍晋三元首相死亡 奈良県で演説中に銃で撃たれる
    Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dead, shot while giving a speech in Nara Prefecture.

    17:57 JST
    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20220708/k10013707681000.html


    特定の宗教団体幹部の名前を挙げ、「この幹部を狙うつもりだった」という趣旨の供述をしていることも判明。ただ、この幹部は現場にはいなかったとされる。意味が通らない供述を繰り返しており、奈良県警は刑事責任能力を慎重に調べている。
    It was also learned that he named a specific religious group leader and stated that he had intended to target this leader. However, it is said that this executive was not at the scene. He has repeatedly made statements that do not make sense, and the Nara Prefectural Police are carefully investigating his criminal responsibility.

    https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220708/k00/00m/040/251000c

    10 votes
  7. Comment on Shinzo Abe, Japan's former prime minister, assassinated at a campaign stop in ~news

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20220708/k10013707601000.html https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/9d9e79465d309ab265b2c36888d6a1b35e515e4e Looking at photos and video, weapon is a homemade...
    • Exemplary

    複数の防衛省関係者によりますと山上容疑者は2005年ごろまで3年間、海上自衛隊で勤務していたということです。
    According to several Defense Ministry officials, the suspect had served in the Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years until around 2005.

    https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20220708/k10013707601000.html


    安倍晋三元首相銃撃の山上容疑者「安倍元首相に不満があり、殺そうと思って狙った」と供述
    Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's shooting suspect Yamagami stated, "I was dissatisfied with former Prime Minister Abe and aimed to kill him."

    https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/9d9e79465d309ab265b2c36888d6a1b35e515e4e


    Looking at photos and video, weapon is a homemade double-barrel shotgun, possibly using black powder as opposed to a more modern smokeless powder.

    Cannot find much information about the attacker, Tetsuya Yamagami (山上徹也), at this time—the name is shared with at least one academic, and a number of other unrelated individuals.


    I haven't yet found a source claiming a plausible motivation, though some Japanese discussion forums on the internet are placing blame on everyone from both North & South Korea, to Soka Gakkai, to Japanese Imperialists, and Japanese Leftists. Nothing really to latch on to, at this time.

    What a fucking mess. I look forward to more reliable information as it comes out.

    13 votes
  8. Comment on What creative projects have you been working on? in ~creative

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I may have found some kind of bug? Once I got to Lvl 8, Wave 1, I get this black box that prevents me from doing anything further. I left one of those snipers alive at the end of Lvl 8, perhaps...

    I may have found some kind of bug? Once I got to Lvl 8, Wave 1, I get this black box that prevents me from doing anything further. I left one of those snipers alive at the end of Lvl 8, perhaps that has something to do with it?

    I'll play with this some more later, see if I can replicate it.
    EDIT: cleared all enemies of Lvl 8, still stuck at this black box screen. If this behavior is intended, it's not clear how to move onward from here; clicked a bunch of stuff, smashed the keyboard, nothing. I have to close the program and re-open.

    Haven't played Hoplite, but I think this is a clever little game. Economy of Movement is certainly key to getting a high score. Railgun + Movement Upgrade are what I've been going for, and I don't find myself really using the leash at all.
    I'm not game designer, but as a player I was confused at first how my movement had been upgraded—clicking on my player icon just gave me the border of six blue hexagons, which is not accurate after the upgrade.
    It can be a little tricky to remember what upgrades I've purchased too, playing several games in a row. Forgetting if I've bought the movement upgrade on a playthrough is the biggest headache, but some indication of which weapon I have (other than aiming and seeing what's possible to hit) would be nice.

    If I could be so bold as to make a recommendation, it would be a big Quality of Life improvement if I could see my full attack range somehow—similar to movement range being displayed by clicking my player icon.

    I'll be sure to play with this some more. While I'm pleased with my 258 score, it'll be interesting to see if I could get that now-unrealistic 514+ ;)

    gg @mgr

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Finland and Sweden's path to potential NATO membership – updating thread for news and opinion pieces [2022-07-05] in ~news

    CALICO
    Link
    18 May BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that Finland, Sweden have officially applied to join the world’s biggest military alliance, a move driven by security...

    18 May
    BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that Finland, Sweden have officially applied to join the world’s biggest military alliance, a move driven by security concerns over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

    “I warmly welcome the requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO. You are our closest partners,” Stoltenberg told reporters after a receiving their application letters from the two Nordic countries’ ambassadors. “This is a good day at a critical moment for our security.”

    Finland, Sweden submit NATO membership application - AP

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Meteorites could have brought all five genetic 'letters' of DNA to early Earth in ~space

    CALICO
    Link
    This is more of a tangential thought, (and I may well go off track, sorry) but this topic has brought it back to the front of my brain—and perhaps it'll yield some interesting discussion here: the...

    This is more of a tangential thought, (and I may well go off track, sorry) but this topic has brought it back to the front of my brain—and perhaps it'll yield some interesting discussion here: the focus on panspermia over abiogenesis in some circles always seemed a little odd to me.

    As I understand it, our current understanding of the early ocean, deep sea thermal vents, and chemistry, allow for abiogenesis to work without any major complications. Those same understandings could easily apply to other celestial bodies, given similar conditions, which allows for the possibility of extraterrestrial life to similarly arise from the nonliving-matter of their "host" "body".

    Why is so much intellectual labor being put into panspermia-related research, when (correct me if I'm wrong) there's nothing wrong with our current theories surrounding abiogenesis?

    The concept of life on, Earth, for example, arising from specific molecules or sometimes simple organisms present on a space rock/dust, colliding with the atmosphere and seeding the planet.. that always seemed to me like kicking the can. One would then have to explain where that stuff had come from.

    This article does provide me with a satisfying explanation for that, however. So now I can see some more merit.

    But, now I have more thoughts. If life were seeded on Earth from space, then for it to be a successful seeding the environment the compounds arrive at would have to have the appropriate prebiotic conditions & raw materials available to allow for the chemical reproduction of these compounds to occur, and thus allow for our understanding of early evolution to then take place. Does this now over-complicate things in contrast to our current theories regarding abiogenesis? Deep sea thermal vents are already heated chemical factories in an aquatic environment.

    My understanding is that we currently believe that life only began once on Earth (or at least, any other potential life seems to have died out & we haven't found evidence to suggest its existence). Is it not more likely it began around a thermal vent in the ocean, or some similar environment of early Earth, than it is to suggest meteorites or their debris ended up in a part of the Earth with the appropriate chemicals and conditions to then self replicate?

    It would also seem to make the successful seeding of other celestial bodies similarly more problematic, if they then as well must have these same prebiotic conditions and the statistical chance of the appropriate space debris making it to the appropriate location. Wouldn't that lower the overall probability of life (as we understand it) on other worlds, compared to if these worlds were "permitted" to have their own abiogenesis in their own thermal vents (or whatever)?

    I suppose there's validity in putting energy into this if we're thinking about the forms life can take, and if life NEEDS to be built from A/T/C/G/U, or if a hypothetical extraterrestrial life-form could use different chemicals, arranged in something unlike the DNA or RNA molecules. I understand that carbon based life is the only form of complex life that is theoretically stable, or likely. So I guess it would be natural to then ask if the form that carbon based life has taken on Earth, is the only way life can work.

    Finding all the nucleotides in space is interesting, but doesn't seem to answer anything on its own, right? Not for my questions anyway.

    I guess then abiogenesis and panspermia are both firmly on the table, but the body of evidence & the logic behind abiogenesis still far outweighs panspermia to me. Absent of any examples of extraterrestrial life that we could examine on a molecule level, we can't know for sure if life needs to be DNA & RNA made of A/T/C/G/U or not.

    Personally, I take the fringe position that life must be carbon-based; use DNA/RNA; be built on nucleotides generally, if not A/T/C/G/U specifically; that life might have originated on Earth multiple times & we would be hard-pressed to tell through genetic analysis, because life can only be built this way, the conditions of Earth are the conditions of Earth, and the results between an evolutionary tree with one trunk, or several, would appear (and may actually be) nearly identical; and that we can use life on Earth as an excellent model of what to both look for and expect in any potential extraterrestrial life. That is, not that aliens would be like Star Trek—basically human with latex forehead prosthetics. (although I can make an argument for the selective pressures for intelligent bipedal "humanoids"), but that extraterrestrial life would be identifiable to us as life. We would recognize it for life, and unless it evolved in an environment very different from conditions we find on Earth (from the mundane, to the extreme), then it would appear no stranger than a virus, a unicellular organism, or a fungi, mammal, reptile, etc. and no more bizarre than what we see in the midnight zone of our oceans, or anywhere throughout the evolutionary record.
    There's an asterisk in here somewhere, regarding mitochondria, and the probability of that happening *at all *, here, regardless of the potential for something similar to happen elsewhere, but I'm already brain-dumping a wall of text, so.

    So from that standpoint, this article is interesting to me because it shows some level of prevalence towards nucleotides existing outside of the Earth. Specifically having a celestial origin implies some lack of rarity in the nucleotides existing, just generally. That raises the likelihood of them existing on say, a stable enough body, for long enough, to be allowed the potential to undergo evolution in some form. I find it suggestive (w/r/t my above position) that we're finding these bases, but not much more there.

    I don't really know where to go from here, this was entirely stream of consciousness.

    Thoughts?

    4 votes
  11. Comment on I finally understand why evangelicals support Trump, and it's not just hypocrisy, mindless anti-gay, or stupdity in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link Parent
    "Reject Modernity, Embrace Tradition"

    "Reject Modernity, Embrace Tradition"

  12. Who's releasing comfy, casual, interesting, and/or educational, long-form video content regularly?

    It's time to find new creators to follow—ideally folks who upload often enough that I probably won't forget they exist, and whose videos are long enough to enjoy. A few of my top, still-active...

    It's time to find new creators to follow—ideally folks who upload often enough that I probably won't forget they exist, and whose videos are long enough to enjoy.

    A few of my top, still-active creators:

    While their topics aren't related (and don't limit yourself to them), they all upload relatively long-form content on a pretty regular basis. They all fill a niche comfortably, and uniquely—with their own personality. There's usually something to learn, and something to chew on, and something to laugh at.
    And they're not all so big that we've all heard of them before (except, perhaps RLM)


    Who do you actively follow?

    What niches do they fill?

    22 votes
  13. The Reuters livestream of Kyiv is peak surrealism

    I'm in a weird space right now. There's been some reports in the media that there were indications Russia may move to invade Ukraine by as early as.. right about the time of my posting this. I...

    I'm in a weird space right now.

    There's been some reports in the media that there were indications Russia may move to invade Ukraine by as early as.. right about the time of my posting this.

    I fancy myself informed, so I find a Reuters livestream of Maidan Square, Kyiv, Ukraine on YouTube to put on in the background. Expecting I might need to move it to the foreground at some point tonight, unless Russia doesn't make that particular move, but really hoping for just boring traffic sounds.

    Soon there's some loudspeaker playing the Soviet Nation Anthem, some RuneScape music, at approx. 0100 Kyiv time (2300 UTC) it starts playing Komm, süßer Tod—the track from the apocalypse in End of Evangelion, Caramelldansen, the Space Jam theme song..

    I'm sitting here expecting to hear just traffic sounds, hoping not to hear the sounds of war, and I'm listening to THIS?

    These are all meme songs. 4chan memes.

    At 0138L a voice yelled "Fuck Jannies", more 4chan culture

    What is life, anymore?

    Someone physically there is doing some kind of bit to troll whoever can hear them, or this is reflections of the alleged cyber attacks from a few hours ago..and it's old 4chan memes from ages ago.

    Can I just take a moment, and highlight how absurd this is? Life has become art, and its genre is surrealism. Or something close to it, I wasn't an Art Major. If I hear war sounds later tonight on this same stream I'm gonna shit.

    I've lived through some stuff, but nothing has ever felt this strange.

    Reuters, LIVE: View of Kyiv's Maidan Square amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

    What's up with y'all?

    23 votes
  14. Comment on Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (February 2022) in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link
    I'm going through some kind of character arc, I think. I've always been, pretty militantly, anti-label—for myself. I'm me. Fuck you. But getting these ADHD, and ASD labels, and learning my gender...

    I'm going through some kind of character arc, I think.

    I've always been, pretty militantly, anti-label—for myself. I'm me. Fuck you.

    But getting these ADHD, and ASD labels, and learning my gender stuff is uhhhhh statistically co-morbid to both of those?
    How much of me, is me?

    That painful memory? Turns out, that was an autism.
    That one, worst struggle? That's an ADHD.
    This gender thing? Tons of ADHD/ASD folks also got that.

    I used to just be me, but now I'm—at least significantly part—this neurodivergent triad that made much of my life events and interests and struggles this kind of predetermined horseshit?

    Eat my ass. I'll rage against Determinism until I die.

    As it turns out, most of my close social group is neurodivergent—I guess we all subconsciously just found each other and vibed through that commonality—so I have a wealth of perspectives to mine for their wisdom. I'm doing alright.

    But it's still a lot, ya know?
    Woulda been nice to have know this twenty years ago.

    I've been spending a great deal of time inside my head going over everything, processing it all. I have my sad moments, my regrets, my pains, my frustrations, the works. But I'm reading the literature, talking to my psych, and my friends have been there before me. I already feel myself changing as I understand myself on this deeper level. I'm gonna come out of this a different person. I don't know what that person looks like yet; I can only hope they're cool


    Also I'm down nearly 55lb/25kg, and a four-pack is starting to poke out for the first time in my life. So, it's not all complicated feelings lmao

    7 votes
  15. Comment on Is there any evidence that military hazing (shouting, abuse, etc) is conducive to better soldiers? in ~talk

    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    Only my personal, anecdotal evidence; US, enlisted during the Obama years. Basic Training "hazing" felt mostly productive, IMO. It wasn't the point where I'd classify it as hazing, or abuse. Not...
    • Exemplary

    Only my personal, anecdotal evidence; US, enlisted during the Obama years.

    Basic Training "hazing" felt mostly productive, IMO. It wasn't the point where I'd classify it as hazing, or abuse. Not Full Metal Jacket, by any means.
    And for what it's worth, I'm under the understanding that Basic has chilled out quite a lot since the beginning, and the old guys all think Basic is too soft for the new recruits. (shit happens, it's not perfect, but in the US it's not as intense as Hollywood has made it look) I understand it's chilled out more, since my time there, too.

    The strict constraints, and the punishments (mostly push-ups, flutter kicks, jumping jacks, etc) weren't overly prescribed (by my own judgement), or given out for nonsense reasons. (they sometimes felt like nonsense in the moment, but in retrospect I can see the objective of Basic was to take many dozens of strangers with many dozens of backstories, and give them a new foundation that military training can build upon).

    That's really my big take-away from Basic. I learned very little about what it was to be a service-member there; that came mostly from my job training, and working my job over the course of my enlistment) For the most part, it served largely an "administrative" kind of role that was just the set-up beginning to my military career. I left Basic with the ability to work with groups of strangers towards a common objective under the direction of an authority I didn't have the freedom to openly question. I picked up some history knowledge, and some of the cultural vibe of my particular branch too, but largely the exercise felt mostly structured to get random folks:

    • some level of basic fitness
    • able to work in teams
    • listen to your NCO/CO
    • follow instructions

    There was a surprisingly amount of time spent in a classroom environment as well. Most of the waking day, it felt like. General military education stuff (the laws we're bound by, regulations we're subject to, first aid, combat aid, how to put on a chemical suit and get gassed with something unpleasant)

    Very little of the experience was the popular image of Basic Training, and what there was felt appropriate (to me).

    After Basic, I never saw that shit again. They don't need that stuff anymore, and you can go on to your next training location to learn your specific job in a more chill environment (still military though, so not 100% chill). Once you're out of training, and doing your job, it's just like a normal work dynamic 95% of the time. Most service members never see combat, or deal with tangentially related, stressful positions. So, no? I'm making an assumption here (because I was not combat personnel) that those jobs touch on that kind of stress in their own way in their individual training pipelines.

    My N=1 evidence, may not be reflective of the general experience, your mileage may vary, some terms & conditions may apply


    The experiences will vary quite a lot—I imagine—by year of enlistment, country of service, and branch of service (Army, Navy, etc.)
    All the hazing, abuse, sexual assault, etc. that I have personal awareness of would be incidents resulting from shitty individuals, not an expression of a systematic issue (not in military, I could blame some other systems for those particular incidents however).

    Which isn't to say the US Military Training system isn't broken or flawed, only rather, I think the general population has an incorrect and imprecise understanding of how mundane most of the military experience is, and how low-intensity those dramatic Hollywood moments can look in real life.

    I didn't feel that Basic gave me any tools for dealing with the high stress situations I did find myself in (I learned those later), but that isn't to say the other recruits I served with didn't learn anything then.

    31 votes
  16. Comment on Give me your instant pot recipes! in ~food

    CALICO
    Link
    Not so much a recipe, but a tip: If you're making plain, white rice, toss in a couple of smashed garlic cloves & a star anise; it'll make your rice a little more worth a damn. If you're a...

    Not so much a recipe, but a tip:

    If you're making plain, white rice, toss in a couple of smashed garlic cloves & a star anise; it'll make your rice a little more worth a damn.

    If you're a licorice-adverse, I can't help you. Nobody can.

    I'm sorry.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (December 2021) in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link
    In a very short time I've gone from: more than three decades on this Earth thinking I was a bit odd, but mostly "normal"; to finding out not only do I have ADHD pretty hardcore, but I score pretty...

    In a very short time I've gone from: more than three decades on this Earth thinking I was a bit odd, but mostly "normal"; to finding out not only do I have ADHD pretty hardcore, but I score pretty high on the RAADS-R. Not "the" high score, but a high score (this is a WIP with my doc). Probable Asperger's.
    Six months ago, I'd never even suspected.

    I'm having a lot of emotions about it. None of them are despair or anything, and a lot of myself suddenly makes a lot of sense. Doing a lot of reading right now.
    But I'm very frustrated I'm only finding out now. Just having this language and context has given me so many new tools to modify how I interact with the world.

    I could have avoided hurting some people I love very deeply if I had these tools years ago.

    Communication is hard; hearts are fragile.


    It's just weird nobody in my life noticed before. Apparently I've got an aptitude for masks (learned that term just the other day). Like, outside of an Adderall script, what do I do with this information? I've managed to forge myself into a useful person already, so I guess it's more about personal understanding and interpersonal interactions.

    Curious road ahead 🚶

    4 votes
  18. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    CALICO
    Link
    I got my septum pierced, after several years of waffling. Glad I went through with it! Pain level was on par with plucking a stubborn nose hair, and lasted about as long. I look awesome 🌟 A good...

    I got my septum pierced, after several years of waffling.
    Glad I went through with it! Pain level was on par with plucking a stubborn nose hair, and lasted about as long.

    I look awesome 🌟


    A good bit of my hesitation was linked to social perception of facial piercings, and working in a professional environment doesn't help.

    Thankfully I got a horseshoe in, so I can easily hide it around the office. But there's a couple others I'd like someday, and there's no hiding those. It's kind of shit that folks care enough about this sort of thing that it can negatively impact your career.

    2 votes