EgoEimi's recent activity

  1. Comment on The new meth: Different chemically than it was a decade ago, the drug is creating a wave of severe mental illness and worsening America’s homelessness problem in ~health

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I think the new synthetic drug wave is a very different beast than the beasts that the alcohol and marijuana prohibitions tried to fight against, and it's different from the older heroin crisis. I...

    I think the new synthetic drug wave is a very different beast than the beasts that the alcohol and marijuana prohibitions tried to fight against, and it's different from the older heroin crisis. I wonder if lessons from the past are still applicable.

    I think there are intractable problems:

    • The drug industry is like any other industry. It responds to technological and economic changes and innovates.
    • Knowledge of synthetic production has been spreading in the underworld, much like how the tech industry picks up technologies like React Native or Kubernetes.
    • Synthetic production is easier for cartels, now decoupled from intensive and vulnerable land-based production. They too can "remote work", so to speak.
    • Highly potent synthetic drugs are a lot more lethal, but that makes them easy and compact to transport.
    • Margin of dosage error is unforgiving. 2mg of fentanyl is lethal (an opioid, I know).

    Legalization or tolerance (gedoogbeleid) could help with safer distribution and dosage. I think there should be legal, state-assisted exits from addiction — but I am highly skeptical that there should be legal entryways as the descent into synthetic addiction and crisis seems to be more a straight drop than a slide.


    I am also becoming skeptical of moving our culture toward drug destigmatization.

    I just got home from a long weekend in LA spent with a group of gay ravers doing coke, ketamine, and ecstasy day in and day out. But I was sober as the DD. (But I was tempted to do some ecstasy one night, but figured that I couldn't sober quickly enough by the end of the night.)

    I became the DD after an alarming incident where we rode at night with a Lyft driver who was tired, admitted he was going through shit in life, and dropped that he took meth and Adderall so he could keep driving and then meet up with his buddy later that night. It was terrifying ride: he missed several highway exits and changes and made swerves when he couldn't recognize the curving road.

    I wrote a detailed report to Lyft afterward. One very... ahem, 'woke' LA hipster-artist type in the group chastized me out for "snitching", saying that I shouldn't have reported the driver because "he was going through shit".

    I was adamant that I did the ethical and right thing. This driver seemed fresh, and it seemed very likely he'd eventually cause serious injury or death to someone or himself. But I was appalled that this group member somehow thought it wasn't as big of a deal as the driver's personal struggles.

    I think we do need better ways to rehabilitate and heal people. But I'm really, really not liking a taste of this drug-destigmatized culture I'm getting a taste of in ultraliberal California.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on Yet another variation on the initialism: LGBTQIASB+ in ~lgbt

    EgoEimi
    Link
    I'm a gay Asian-American. I've been wary of the recent surge of international queer-mainstream interest in indigenous cultural gender constructs. A lot of information around these constructs...
    • Exemplary

    I'm a gay Asian-American. I've been wary of the recent surge of international queer-mainstream interest in indigenous cultural gender constructs.

    A lot of information around these constructs appear to be propagated by non-indigenous people, so I'm skeptical of their veracity. I get the vague sense that this is the 2020s equivalent to getting Asian character tattoos, where the international queer community is drawn to a cool, exotic cultural phenomenon.

    The constructs don't appear to be universally or contemporarily shared by indigenous cultures. From what I can learn, those cultures utilized these constructs primarily for hierarchal or religious roles, similar to how the ancient-to-late-imperial Chinese used eunuchs as quasi-non-binary "non-men" to fulfill certain political roles. The elevation of tribe-specific constructs to the superethnic level seems (to me) akin to asserting that fengshui is very important to Asians.

    And I also wonder — do these culture-specific constructs even have meaning or utility outside of their original cultural contexts? I think that their cultures have the necessary structures to give these constructs meaning and utility. But when they are non-contextualized in outside cultures they are meaningless. Even with awareness, they are merely definitions and facts — but ultimately cultural constructs without cultural import outside of their native cultures.

    13 votes
  3. Comment on What's something about yourself that you had to face? in ~life

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Indeed! I very much love complex gender-ambiguous or gender-mixed scents. Recently I’ve been loving Marc-Antoine Barrois’ Ganymede, which has been described as “having a drink at a bar in Blade...

    Another great thing about scents is they aren't really tied to specific genders in people's subconscious minds (even if marketing says otherwise).

    Indeed! I very much love complex gender-ambiguous or gender-mixed scents. Recently I’ve been loving Marc-Antoine Barrois’ Ganymede, which has been described as “having a drink at a bar in Blade Runner.”

    Hint hint to anyone reading this

    6 votes
  4. Comment on What's something about yourself that you had to face? in ~life

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Hallelujah, I'll second this albeit as a gay man. Some people have pleasant scents that say, "come closer" and draw you in and invite you to linger for hours. Annnd some people have scents that...

    On the topic of scents - a light complimentary scent does as much as a pretty face can. I'll say it again: LIGHT, COMPLIMENTARY scent haha. You'll know you've found the one because people will legitimately compliment you when you wear it - sometimes indirectly - "I'll sit next to you", "Did you do something new?” That day they'll be extra friendly/kind (i.e. the way the beautiful population live). If you get no compliments (they'll never say you smell) that means too heavy, or wrong scent for that crowd.

    Hallelujah, I'll second this albeit as a gay man.

    Some people have pleasant scents that say, "come closer" and draw you in and invite you to linger for hours.

    Annnd some people have scents that are literally repulsive, making it physically difficult to stay next to them for a long time.

    This is all independent of visuals.

    1. Eat well.
    2. Bathe daily.
    3. Wear clean clothes.
    4. Wear a complementary fragrance.
    5 votes
  5. Comment on The problem with film criticism in ~movies

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Next up: critiqued critics critique critics critiquing criticism critically It’s critics all the way down

    Next up: critiqued critics critique critics critiquing criticism critically

    It’s critics all the way down

    4 votes
  6. Comment on What delicious foods don't photograph well? in ~talk

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I’ve always thought the yolk looked disgusting whether in photo or in person — and I grew up eating it. But I find the egg “white” beautiful and gemlike.

    I’ve always thought the yolk looked disgusting whether in photo or in person — and I grew up eating it. But I find the egg “white” beautiful and gemlike.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What’s driving the huge US rent spike? in ~finance

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I agree somewhat. But I think there's a lack of examination of individuals, networks, and trust in renting. Also, the landlord class has multiple subclasses. Maybe it is even two classes. Trust...

    I agree somewhat.

    But I think there's a lack of examination of individuals, networks, and trust in renting. Also, the landlord class has multiple subclasses. Maybe it is even two classes.

    Trust and reputation are big variables in renting. Airbnb was revolutionary in that it convinced people to rent out private property to strangers, a previously inconceivable proposition. It managed to do so by primarily creating a reputation marketplace.

    There are two and a half markets:

    1. The free market
    2. The informal trust-based market
    3. The "off-market"

    On #2 — It's an open not-secret that having a good tenant reputation and renting from people in your network can net significant discounts. I've gotten (and keep getting) good discounts because my past landlords provide referrals and I have a network.

    I'll also get requests from people I know looking for in-network tenants by word of mouth, offering excellent rates on nice places that they don't want to put on the free market because of the risk of getting a bad tenant who will cause damage or squat and drag out an eviction process.

    On #3 — There's housing capacity that is off market because people don't trust strangers. My mom has a spacious home with empty bedrooms with attached bathrooms.

    • She refuses to rent them on the free market for extra income — but she'd consider renting them out cheaply to someone she or her church network knows and trusts.
    • My best friend once rented an entire floor—with a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living, etc.—for cheap (relative to local market) from a senior colleague he knew. The colleague had a very large house, and that floor was a (renovated) half-basement floor on a slope and looked out onto an outdoor pool.
    6 votes
  8. Comment on What’s driving the huge US rent spike? in ~finance

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I disagree that it's the primary reason. There are a lot of other more important factors. The past few decades has seen migration of people from the countryside into cities at breakneck pace,...

    Non-occupant ownership - that is, profit-seeking - is the primary reason that housing costs so much in most places in the world. If landlording wasn't allowed, there would be less financial risk involved for prospective owner occupants.

    I disagree that it's the primary reason. There are a lot of other more important factors.

    The past few decades has seen migration of people from the countryside into cities at breakneck pace, drawn by educational and employment opportunities and urban amenities. The modern economy has shifted heavily toward service and knowledge work, and cities provide agglomeration benefits to modern companies.

    Renting and buying housing in rural, semi-rural, and exurban areas in the US is extremely cheap. You can rent a stately 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom house for $1.2k in Decatur, Illinois. But there's a reason why folks leaving Decatur nickname it "Decay-tur".

    Cities have failed to keep up building enough housing to accommodate urban migrants. This is hampered by:

    1. Zoning regulations. Self-explanatory. This + property tax policies drive housing un-affordability in California.
    2. Preservation concerns. It's important to preserve culturally significant sites and areas. Existing cities have accumulated a lot of history. When I lived in Amsterdam, it seemed like every corner had once been touched by some great thinker or artist like Spinoza or Vermeer.
    3. Fundamental land constraints. Cities can't necessarily 'make' new land. They can landfill waterfronts—like how Amsterdam, San Francisco, and Singapore are—but it's a very slow and expensive process.
    4. Extent and quality of public transportation and road infrastructure determine how 'large' a city can viably be and what the land desirability gradient is like.

    Not even to mention Elizabeth Warren's work landmark work The Two-Income Trap pointing out that household incomes nearly doubled because women entered the workforce—a good thing. But that interacts with the primacy of housing (and location) in access to educational and employment opportunities in our modern economy has led to a fierce and overheated house price bidding war—a bad thing.

    7 votes
  9. Comment on Why are people getting worse at “The Price Is Right”? in ~tv

    EgoEimi
    Link
    Obligatory I’d also like to add in that there’s massive product differentiation these days, with store brand, national brands, foreign brands (now easily accessible), local and regional brands,...

    Obligatory

    It's one banana, Michael. What could it cost, $10?

    I’d also like to add in that there’s massive product differentiation these days, with store brand, national brands, foreign brands (now easily accessible), local and regional brands, small artisanal brands, and so on — all with their mid market, upmarket, organic, and other variants and tiers.

    Today at the store I saw single 12 oz. bottles of ginger beer being sold for $6 each.

    I feel that $6 should buy either a dozen cans of cheap corn syrup-based ginger beer or a pack of four bottles of nice ginger beer. But a single bottle of ginger beer? My world of prices is spinning.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Facebook is acting like a hostile foreign power; it’s time we treated it that way in ~tech

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I agree. The author is really straining to argue that Facebook is some sort of neo-nation. It's a very "draw the rest of the fucking owl" statement. The "people" part hand-waves away a lot of...

    I agree. The author is really straining to argue that Facebook is some sort of neo-nation.

    The basic components of nationhood go something like this: You need land, currency, a philosophy of governance, and people.

    It's a very "draw the rest of the fucking owl" statement.

    The "people" part hand-waves away a lot of important sociological variables, like loyalty, ideology, unity solidarity, ethnicity, and so on. It also misses a few very critical ingredients like state monopoly over violence and sovereignty.

    I feel absolutely zero kinship with another Facebook user on the basis of us both being on Facebook or Instagram, whereas I feel a little kinship with other Americans on the basis of our being part of the same nation body.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on For the United States, our constitutional crisis is already here in ~misc

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Thanks for the correction, that's a very good point.

    Thanks for the correction, that's a very good point.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on For the United States, our constitutional crisis is already here in ~misc

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    Trump is 75 now. Average male life expectancy is 75.1. Obese individuals lose 5–10 years if I recall correctly. As macabre as it may be, I really don’t count on him seeing 2024.

    do you really think "Barring health problems, he is running" is such an outlandish prediction?

    Trump is 75 now. Average male life expectancy is 75.1. Obese individuals lose 5–10 years if I recall correctly.

    As macabre as it may be, I really don’t count on him seeing 2024.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on As women become 60% of all US college students and continue to outpace & outperform men, the WSJ takes a look at how colleges and students feel about it in ~humanities

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I observe similar among people I know and concur: men tend to chase risk more. Leads to some good things like big career payoffs; it also leads to some bad things like a significantly higher...

    I observe similar among people I know and concur: men tend to chase risk more. Leads to some good things like big career payoffs; it also leads to some bad things like a significantly higher death-by-injury rate.

    I had a very racially and gender-mixed network of friends and acquaintances in high school. I'm about 10 years out of high school now. It's very curious how the men I knew have a wider distribution of outcomes than the women I knew.

    Looking at the men I knew

    • At least three died from drugs or drug-related accidents
    • One dropped out of a low-tier college to do construction and now is quite well-off. A few dropouts. Many completed college. Several have started their own companies; a few are successful, and one now has a wildly successful tech company.

    Looking at the women I knew

    • None have died from drugs or drug-related accidents.
    • Almost all completed college and are now in stable professional careers in medicine (either as biomedical researchers, doctors or nurses), software, marketing, communications, etc. But none have started a company.

    But this is a limited dataset of like 100 or so people in my high school network.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on ‘Can’t compete’: Why hiring for child care is a huge struggle in ~life

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I think you hit it on the nose. The forces driving population decline don't seem benign. It'd be one thing if society collectively decided that fewer children would be good for the environment....

    I think you hit it on the nose.

    The forces driving population decline don't seem benign. It'd be one thing if society collectively decided that fewer children would be good for the environment. But we're clearly not so enlightened. It's more than just financial insecurity — people were far poorer in the past yet still had many children: signs point to people feeling fundamentally insecure and uncomfortable about having children in our contemporary society.

    Our hyper globalized economic model does not care about community or roots; it only sees us as units of labor to be moved and deployed only with regard to economic territory. Job tenures grow shorter and shorter.

    because we have to rely on our bank accounts instead of our social bonds

    In our model, what was traditionally rendered as care within a community has been abstracted as goods and services to be bought. I think there have been a few drawbacks:

    • As you mentioned, in order to afford goods and services we must work more and more, thereby displacing our available free time to give care to others.
    • The goods and services stop flowing when you can't pay up. Care given by a community only requires proportional reciprocation, the giving of time.
    • Giving and receiving care builds relationships and trust over time — a community strengthens itself over time through the exchange of care. Trading goods and services are largely transactional: the relationship only exists so long as the transaction does.

    I'm not a parent... yet. But I'm wary of a world where I would have to work long and hard just so I can afford having strangers raise my own (future) child.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 review: Foundational fixes in ~tech

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I was initially skeptical of the new Safari after seeing the preview images. But now having used it I love it. It's a much neater experience. I like how it automatically detects sticky top nav...

    New Safari - a lot of controversy in the beta, which I lightly followed, but honestly after they affixed the floating URL bar I quite like the new one. I think the tab screen is much nicer - the cards look cool but are obnoxious to control. URL bar on the bottom takes some getting use to but it is genuinely somewhere closer for your fingers.

    I was initially skeptical of the new Safari after seeing the preview images. But now having used it I love it. It's a much neater experience. I like how it automatically detects sticky top nav bars and pulls their background color into the notch corners.

    Image text recognition - It's pretty cool, I think it's the kind of thing that as long as you remember will be useful. Of course it's not something you'd just have an ad hoc use for on the spot. Did a test on some images in my album.

    This feature is personally super useful for me. My photos are pretty much memos. I take photo of everything and revisit them later to act on them.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Do you have an article of clothing or costume piece you enjoy wearing? in ~talk

    EgoEimi
    Link
    I have this jacquard cardigan woven with an elaborate underwater scene. The corals are woven with metallic thread so they shimmer in the sunlight, making the scene come alive. I feel fabulously...

    I have this jacquard cardigan woven with an elaborate underwater scene. The corals are woven with metallic thread so they shimmer in the sunlight, making the scene come alive.

    I feel fabulously radiant when I wear it. It makes me feel like a protagonist instead of a background character.

    6 votes
  17. Comment on We must radically reduce carbon emissions by 2030 in order to avoid the most catastrophic damage of climate change. How can you help? in ~enviro

    EgoEimi
    (edited )
    Link
    There's the eternal debate of Do Corporations Change? vs. Do Individuals Change? Both need to change. There are two base truths: First, corporations do use their vast resources to shirk...

    There's the eternal debate of Do Corporations Change? vs. Do Individuals Change?

    Both need to change.

    There are two base truths:

    First, corporations do use their vast resources to shirk responsibility and to encourage greater consumption. But this is the nature of our Darwinian world: entities that don't do this can't compete and grow to become significant.

    Companies that try to do good as their core business model accept inefficiencies that render them uncompetitive in the broader market. Ethical production has very low value to the market, which is far more concerned with price, quality, etc.

    It doesn't matter that 100 companies produce 70% of emissions. You could split them up into 100,000 companies and they'll altogether still produce the same amount because there's an eager market waiting, wanting cheap flights, heating, cars, clothes, and so on.

    Second, individuals buy and use productions from those corporations and thereby sanctioning those corporations' activities. Corporations don't go and burn oil for fun and giggles: at the other end there are individuals who want the output. But the modern lifestyle to which modern people aspire compel them to want/need these products.

    People want to own lots of things, drive their own cars, live in big houses, and fly and see the world. We can't lay the blame solely on corporate advertising. Fundamentally our culture has been about having nice things, having it better than our parents did, and having it better than our neighbors (keeping up with the Joneses).

    Combating climate change effectively requires (I think) that we change both sides of the equation — incrementally and in lockstep.

    We need to gradually change regulations in order to change the market game which corporations play. And we need to gradually change our cultures, societies, and cities that fundamentally shape our consumption habits.

    We need a business environment where all companies have to strictly monitor, report, and control their environmental impact, where one cannot discreetly undercut others. We need a trade environment where companies cannot leverage weak environmental regulations overseas as a manufacturing competitive advantage.

    We need a culture where the ultimate stage of success is not about owning a luxury car for every family member, a big house with a pool, and vacations to Bali, Mykonos, and Patagonia. You only need to spend ten minutes on TikTok and Instagram to see that this is what global society at large lusts after.

    6 votes
  18. Comment on Prisoners serving life sentences in Denmark are to be banned from entering new romantic relationships in ~news

    EgoEimi
    Link Parent
    I think that such practices are more akin to banning pedophilia and self-harm fetishes. I think that prison is essentially the state regulating a prisoner's relationships with others to prevent...

    I think that such practices are more akin to banning pedophilia and self-harm fetishes.

    should the state be able to regulate what type of relationships prisoners are allowed to have?

    I think that prison is essentially the state regulating a prisoner's relationships with others to prevent the prisoner from harming others. Imprisonment is the severing of the free relations that free individuals get to enjoy and are trusted to not grossly abuse.

    I think that in our culture most people would agree that sexually-romantically pursuing someone because they're a serial killer goes far, far beyond being a mere sexual-romantic preference or behavioral-personality eccentricity and instead reflects a mentally unwell state. And as such, hybristophiles should be protected from being emotionally exploited by psychopaths.

    7 votes
  19. Comment on What's something that you feel is unfairly criticized? in ~talk

    EgoEimi
    Link
    Hostile or defensive architecture in public facilities and spaces, namely public transit and parks, to curb antisocial behavior like homeless squatting, fare evasion, skating, and so on. I'm a...

    Hostile or defensive architecture in public facilities and spaces, namely public transit and parks, to curb antisocial behavior like homeless squatting, fare evasion, skating, and so on.

    I'm a designer with an architecture background and have a lot of friends in architecture, landscape, and public works. I've been around the SF Bay Area area recently, and have seen the sad state of public transit and parks. And I am very disappointed in disrespect that people have shown them.

    Common criticisms of hostile / defensive architecture:

    • They stigmatize and punish the homeless.
    • They punish the poor.
    • It tries to hide poverty.
    • Kids skating are harmless.
    • It's Orwellian.
    • Money spent on defensive architecture should be spent on housing.

    What I think is fair

    • They're not real solutions. But I think they're unideal measures for an unideal world.
    • They foster a hostile ambiance. Our urban landscapes ought to be soft and inviting, not hard and cynical.

    Why I think they're unfair:

    • If you take the argument to its logical extreme, then we can't enjoy safe, clean public amenities, if any at all, until all social issues are solved. (I think it's not either-or.)
    • The money spent on defensive architecture is negligible and wouldn't make a dent on housing. And the housing shortage in California is a policy issue (largely stemming from Proposition 13 and zoning), not a money issue.
    • Public transit and parks are public goods meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone. It's an unfortunate reality that a significant number of homeless individuals are bad stewards of their environments.
    • People passed out in stations or in trains, feces and urine and needles on floors and walls, litter everywhere — these don't garner public sympathy but antipathy.
    • Fare evasion revenue loss is minimal, but it's disrespectful to paying commuters. And fare evaders tend to stir up trouble.
    • Unlawful and antisocial behavior makes public spaces unpleasant to use. It drives away people who can afford better options, leaving behind people who can't afford other options and the true believers in public transit and goods. Those can afford it will drive their own cars to go to the hills or Lake Tahoe when they want to enjoy nature.
    • Deterring and catching vandalism is way cheaper than endlessly replacing destroyed things.

    I have a friend who was a parks director for a Californian city. They spent $20m+ a year just replacing things damaged or destroyed by homeless people or vandals. Someone lights a playground on fire? That's a million dollars. Someone blows up a trash can? That's thousands of dollars. Something keeps getting destroyed? It won't get replaced. That's money that doesn't go into more amenities or park programs for children. It's no wonder that so many urban Californian parks are just sad chainlink-fenced, empty grass lot affairs.

    I travel in liberal circles and often hear "lives over property" and "property can be replaced". It's not either-or. Public property embody our efforts and endeavors and enrich community life. Defensive architecture is just a practical way of protecting and keeping public property for everyone to enjoy and not get taken over and abused by a few.

    Egh, I'm feeling old and crotchety even though I'm actually young (and a skater myself). But I've spent enough time living in Europe and East Asia to know that we do get nice things when we don't break or destroy nice things.

    10 votes
  20. Comment on The Matrix Resurrections – Official trailer 1 in ~movies

    EgoEimi
    Link
    I like how Neo gets to be played by Keanu while the new Trinity-like female protagonist gets swapped for a younger hotter model. (I don’t actually like it.)

    I like how Neo gets to be played by Keanu while the new Trinity-like female protagonist gets swapped for a younger hotter model.

    (I don’t actually like it.)

    4 votes