DepartedPretzel's recent activity

  1. Comment on Electric cars are less green to make than petrol but make up for it in less than a year, new analysis reveals in ~tech

    DepartedPretzel
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    That doesn’t negate bus transit, which can still thrive in car-dominated infrastructure. Metropolitan areas use bus rapid transit to match car travel speeds, and can use connecting routes to reach...

    That doesn’t negate bus transit, which can still thrive in car-dominated infrastructure. Metropolitan areas use bus rapid transit to match car travel speeds, and can use connecting routes to reach more destinations. Rural areas use paratransit and demand responsive transit to meet transport needs in a sprawling area.

    Improving walkability is crucial. But if that isn’t immediately possible, then improving the availability, frequency, and reliability of bus transit could be the option. By those measures, as long as there’s quality transit near people, people will use it.

    It’s all a matter of political will. Cars are here to stay only because we and our municipal governments refuse to imagine another way. The Netherlands was car-centric in the 1970s until people demanded walkability, en masse. A similar thing is happening in car-centric Paris but much more rapidly, thanks in part to their mayor. In North America, the highly walkable and bikeable Montréal only became that way in the past decade.

    Governments waste time and money on temporary pilot programs, half-assed bike/pedestrian infrastructure, and frivilous capital upgrades for transit. Once we get serious about tangible improvements to street design and transit service, we will get people out of cars. No, it will not happen nationally in the United States. But material change is possible through regional organizing and state-level lobbying.

    It’s not hopeless. I think declaring it as such means giving up on the millions of people who won’t or can’t have a car, much less an EV.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Gaming on Linux - LTT Daily Driver Challenge Finale in ~games

    DepartedPretzel
    Link Parent
    Why should we excuse poor user experiences? Why shouldn’t simplicity be the ideal personal computing experience? If a piece of software is less intuitive, whether open source or not, not everyone...

    People constantly bitch about how [open-source applications are] designed, but for the most part if you take the time to actually learn how to use them they're just as capable as the more popular proprietary packages.

    Computers are no longer thought of as things you should have to learn to use and people just want a basic iPhone-like experience.

    Why should we excuse poor user experiences? Why shouldn’t simplicity be the ideal personal computing experience?

    If a piece of software is less intuitive, whether open source or not, not everyone will be able to sit down and learn it, even if they’re willing. And when it comes to vital everyday tasks like education, job-seeking, and personal finances, a PC experience that “just works” isn’t just a niceity but a necessity. It’s essential for open source software to meet people where they are and not the other way.

    I don’t take issue with the rest of your comment but this point struck a nerve. I strongly agree that the majority of Linux’s woes are the consequence of monopolistic greed and profit-driven ignorance, facts that Linux critics forget. However, I find that difficult user experiences are also key issues in the open source space. For open source software to make a dent, it needs to be accessible.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on A guide to designing accessible, WCAG-compliant focus indicators in ~comp

    DepartedPretzel
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    Yes please, tab navigation is so important. I’m able to use a mouse or touchscreen to navigate web pages, but it’s great to have other options when I would rather use my keyboard. In the last few...

    Yes please, tab navigation is so important. I’m able to use a mouse or touchscreen to navigate web pages, but it’s great to have other options when I would rather use my keyboard.

    In the last few months, I relied on tab navigation and focus indicators in an online Spanish course created by a textbook company. The website accomodates mouse users and tab users alike, making for a good experience without using the mouse. It was so good that I tried tab navigation on other parts of the web, but it’s either too difficult or impossible due to the issues explained in the article.

    Designers: Please make sure there are ways to use your website beyond using a mouse.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Democrats fall flat with ‘Latinx’ language in ~humanities

    DepartedPretzel
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    I can’t make heads or tails over this issue as someone who isn’t Hispanic. Though I’m frustrated that news coverage continues to muddy the water without consulting gender non-conforming (GNC)...

    I can’t make heads or tails over this issue as someone who isn’t Latino Latin@ Latine Latinx Hispanic. Though I’m frustrated that news coverage continues to muddy the water without consulting gender non-conforming (GNC) people. Even the 2020 Pew poll did not account for responses from GNC or transgender individuals. Out of three-thousand Hispanic poll-takers, surely a few people would have identified as trans? And if not, why not actively seek their opinions?

    If we’re going to debate matters related to gender-inclusive language, the least we can do is include the people who might use that language.

    That said, if anyone knows of academic or journalistic coverage of Latinx that fits this criteria, please send it along.


    Tag suggestion for @dubteedub: lgbtq

    11 votes
  5. Comment on How a New Hampshire libertarian utopia was foiled by bears in ~humanities

    DepartedPretzel
    Link Parent
    Not exactly in that way, no. But in the abstract, this group moved into a community they discovered, dismantled the community’s way of living, and replaced it with a social model that works...

    “If we all move to the same place then we can outvote the locals” doesn’t seem much like how colonialism worked, historically.

    Not exactly in that way, no. But in the abstract, this group moved into a community they discovered, dismantled the community’s way of living, and replaced it with a social model that works specifically to their advantage. Compared to colonialism, all that’s missing is the subordination of the existing inhabitants.

    This isn’t colonialism but their behavior fits within the colonialist mindset. Even Hongoltz-Hetling describes them as colonists.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Monophonics - It's Only Us (2020) in ~music

    DepartedPretzel
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    Oh hey, these folks! A good (overlooked?) album from 2020, filling the void that Daptone Records has left these past few years. (RIP Sharon Jones.) If I had a record collection, this would be a...

    Oh hey, these folks!

    A good (overlooked?) album from 2020, filling the void that Daptone Records has left these past few years. (RIP Sharon Jones.) If I had a record collection, this would be a mainstay.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Five books I loved reading this year in ~books

    DepartedPretzel
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    Per his descriptions, most of these recommendations seem to bolster Gates’s view that technology will save humanity. I dig science fiction and fictional utopias as they are. Science and...

    Per his descriptions, most of these recommendations seem to bolster Gates’s view that technology will save humanity. I dig science fiction and fictional utopias as they are. Science and engineering deserve to be explored through art. However, criticism is warranted when fiction is propagandized to promote a wealthy monopolist’s technocratic agenda.

    There ain’t a downvote button here (for good reason) but here’s my downvote. No hard feelings meant to lou.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on How a New Hampshire libertarian utopia was foiled by bears in ~humanities

    DepartedPretzel
    Link Parent
    The application of libertarian ideology became widespread. Though it came with inarguably bad social consquences (save for recycling). I don’t know how someone would not at least feel discomfort...

    Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling: By pretty much any measure you can look at to gauge a town’s success, Grafton got worse. Recycling rates went down. Neighbor complaints went up. The town’s legal costs went up because they were constantly defending themselves from lawsuits from Free Towners. The number of sex offenders living in the town went up. The number of recorded crimes went up. The town had never had a murder in living memory, and it had its first two, a double homicide, over a roommate dispute.

    The application of libertarian ideology became widespread. Though it came with inarguably bad social consquences (save for recycling). I don’t know how someone would not at least feel discomfort if their neighbors were murdered.

    5 votes
  9. Comment on How a New Hampshire libertarian utopia was foiled by bears in ~humanities

    DepartedPretzel
    Link Parent
    Arden reportedly still follows the tenets of Georgism. It approaches similarity to communism, enforcing public land ownership and heavy land tax while reducing other taxation, like income. For...

    Arden reportedly still follows the tenets of Georgism. It approaches similarity to communism, enforcing public land ownership and heavy land tax while reducing other taxation, like income. For what it’s worth, Upton Sinclair lived in Arden for a time.

    That said, Karl Marx criticized Georgism for being still too similar to capitalism. Plus Georgist communities like Arden have almost entirely catered to White artists and artisans. (Aside: Apparently Biden had a residence there?)

    Further research necessary.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Great, affordable downtowns that don't require a car? in ~life

    DepartedPretzel
    Link Parent
    No idea, I noticed that too. Have there been surveys of Tildes users (including location/place of origin) in the past? I would be very curious if there is actually a disproportionate amount of...

    what is it about Michigan that so many (relatively speaking) Tilders are from here?

    No idea, I noticed that too.

    Have there been surveys of Tildes users (including location/place of origin) in the past? I would be very curious if there is actually a disproportionate amount of Michiganders here.

    Philadelphia

    If Detroit doesn’t work out for me, Philly might be my next bet. It’s a good suggestion. Their transit seems pretty good.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Decades later, Mariya Takeuchi’s ”Plastic Love” a top-ten song in Japan in ~music

    DepartedPretzel
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    Original announcement; music video.

    Original announcement; music video.


    Recorded in 1984, “Plastic Love” is the song that continues to make comeback after comeback. This month, well over three decades after its original release, the song’s full-length official video was finally uploaded to YouTube. According to Warner Music Japan, its re-issued 12-inch single also broke the country’s top ten sales chart for the first time.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Great, affordable downtowns that don't require a car? in ~life

    DepartedPretzel
    Link Parent
    gasp Ypsilanti! I was raised there and I returned to live there for a time. I love the hell out of that city. The Midtown, Downtown, Depot Town, and Prospect Park neighborhoods are pretty...

    gasp Ypsilanti! I was raised there and I returned to live there for a time. I love the hell out of that city. The Midtown, Downtown, Depot Town, and Prospect Park neighborhoods are pretty walkable. I can confirm that the local bus transit system doesn’t have great coverage, but it’s reliable enough for frequent weekday travel.

    And I guess I’ll surrender some privacy to talk about Detroit, where I live now. The walkable neighborhoods are Downtown, Midtown, and the neighborhoods that border them. The city has put effort into improving walkability in those areas… since they’re rapidly gentrifying. But going without a car is a challenge. Walking and cycling can be nightmarish on the many wide car-centric streets. Transit is also way too unreliable since they aren’t paying bus drivers competitively nor are they prioritizing transit overall.

    So, I can’t thoroughly recommend Detroit for the purposes of this thread.

    That said, I’m fortunate enough to live in a walkable part of Detroit and it’s made me walk and bike more than I ever have. I actually hated walking or biking when I lived in the suburbs. Now I do all errands without a car, even if it takes more time and energy. Electric bikes, through the local bike share program, have unexpectedly become my primary mode of short-to-medium range transport. It’s everything I’ve dreamt about having with urban living, save for transit.

    I do love living in Detroit and I’m able to go car-free for most intra-city trips. It’s just that with dangerous street design and lackluster transit, most folks realistically need considerable dedication, luck, or desperation to go without a car in Detroit.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Lemmy has implemented federation with Mastodon/Pleroma in ~tech

    DepartedPretzel
    Link Parent
    The actual quality of discussions leave something to be desired, as of writing. But on paper it has everything to attract more users. The mobile experience is good, whether in a browser or one of...

    The actual quality of discussions leave something to be desired, as of writing. But on paper it has everything to attract more users. The mobile experience is good, whether in a browser or one of the community-developed apps. Running an instance is relatively inexpensive and light on resources. NLnet recently awarded a grant to the developers for some big improvements. And now, cross-platform federation.

    There’s a sense that Lemmy is growing and I really hope it attracts more good folks.

    7 votes
  14. Comment on Great, affordable downtowns that don't require a car? in ~life

    DepartedPretzel
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    The property listing website Walk Score could be of help to you. Quantitative scores of walkability don’t always mirror reality, but I do like being able to filter properties by proximity to...

    The property listing website Walk Score could be of help to you. Quantitative scores of walkability don’t always mirror reality, but I do like being able to filter properties by proximity to transit stops and commercial areas. If you use Walk Score, I suggest looking up a place you’re familiar with first to get a sense of their scoring.

    I can’t give any personal recommendations but I’m personally biased toward anything in the Midwest (since I live here). Chicago has many modes of car-free transport to choose from and has unparallelled density. From Minneapolis, I hear nothing but good news about the state of their car-free transportation. Madison has received multiple recognitions for their walkability. For a mid-sized city, Ann Arbor is also pretty walkable.

    There’s a number of options in the Midwest for car-free living, just bring some warm winter clothing and remember that when in doubt, ope it out.

    7 votes
  15. Comment on Lemmy has implemented federation with Mastodon/Pleroma in ~tech

  16. Comment on Urban renewal today - Patterns of development and displacement continue in Detroit in ~life

    DepartedPretzel
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    Stable housing builds stable communities, and stable communities build flourishing cities. Through community engagement and collaborative planning, resilient neighborhoods cultivate and, in turn, incentivize growth organically. […] New development should enhance neighborhoods; not destroy them.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on COP26 climate agreement reached in Glasgow with unprecedented reference to fossil fuels in ~enviro

    DepartedPretzel
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    Almost nothing but depressing news from this thing. We’re at Year Two of Ten before we – or really, certain geographic and disadvantaged areas of the world – are completely toast.

    Some scientists say that while there were breakthroughs in the COP26 deal, the full outcome did not meet the urgency of the moment.

    […]

    A recent analysis by Climate Action Tracker found that even with all the new emissions pledges announced ahead of COP26, the world is on track for 2.4 degrees of warming.

    And on coal, questions are being raised over whether the COP26 presidency should have adopted the unilateral change to the text by India.

    Almost nothing but depressing news from this thing. We’re at Year Two of Ten before we – or really, certain geographic and disadvantaged areas of the world – are completely toast.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Why Detroit residents pushed back against tree-planting in ~enviro

    DepartedPretzel
    Link
    Archive; original study. Via bq on MetaFilter.

    Archive; original study.


    In 2014, the city was a few years deep into a campaign to reforest its streets after decades of neglecting to maintain its depleted tree canopy. A local environmental nonprofit called The Greening of Detroit was the city’s official partner for carrying out that reforesting task, which it had started doing on its own when it was founded in 1989. By 2014, TGD had received additional funding to ramp up its tree-planting services to the tune of 1,000 to 5,000 new trees per year. To meet that goal, it had to penetrate neighborhoods somewhat more aggressively than it had in the past and win more buy-in from the residents.

    […]

    The residents [University of Vermont researcher Christine E.] Carmichael surveyed understood the benefits of having trees in urban environments—they provide shade and cooling, absorb air pollution, especially from traffic, increase property values, and improve health outcomes. But the reasons Detroit folks were submitting “no tree requests” were rooted in how they have historically interpreted their lived experiences in the city, or what Carmichael calls “heritage narratives.”

    These are the stories that people from all walks of Detroit life tell themselves and each other about why city conditions are the way they are. The heritage narratives that residents shared about trees in Detroit were different from the ones shared among the people in city government and TGD.

    […]

    Failing to meaningfully involve the residents in the decision-making is a classic environmental-justice no-no. However, from reading excerpts of Carmichael’s interviews with TGD staff members, it’s clear some of the tree planters thought they were doing these communities an environmental-justice solid. After all, who would turn down a free tree on their property, given all of the health and economic benefits that service affords? Perhaps these people just don’t get it. As one staff member told Carmichael in the study:

    You’re dealing with a generation that has not been used to having trees, the people who remember the elms are getting older and older. Now we’ve got generations of people that have grown up without trees on their street, they don’t even know what they’re missing.

    However, environmental justice is not just about the distribution of bad stuff, like pollution, or good stuff, like forestry projects across disadvantaged communities. It’s also about the distribution of power among communities that have historically only been the subjects and experiments of power structures.


    Via bq on MetaFilter.

    5 votes