Eric_the_Cerise's recent activity

  1. Comment on Thinking about quitting the Internet in ~tech

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    Slow responses on my part, in this thread I started ... apologies for that. I am looking into this book, and I just noticed he's the same guy that wrote Deep Work. I may have to start paying...

    Slow responses on my part, in this thread I started ... apologies for that.

    I am looking into this book, and I just noticed he's the same guy that wrote Deep Work. I may have to start paying attention to this author. Thanks for the tip.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on The best way to help bees? Don’t become a beekeeper like I did. in ~enviro

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    Agreed. Standing water also doesn't really qualify as "clean water" ... at least, not for long. I am thinking of small bubblers of the bird fountain variety, that either include design elements...

    Agreed. Standing water also doesn't really qualify as "clean water" ... at least, not for long.

    I am thinking of small bubblers of the bird fountain variety, that either include design elements allowing insects to reach the water safely, or adding half-submerged sticks or rocks that provide such access.

    5 votes
  3. Is climate change driving the global rise in populism? If so ... how? If not ... what is?

    Preamble ... this is another rambling, jumbled soliloquy that may or may not make any actual points ... or, you know, sense. "Climate Change is causing the rise in populism". That is a theory I...

    Preamble ... this is another rambling, jumbled soliloquy that may or may not make any actual points ... or, you know, sense.

    "Climate Change is causing the rise in populism".

    That is a theory I have entertained for many years -- going back to before the 2016 US Presidential election. And--confirmation bias being what it is--since I believe the theory, I keep seeing anecdotal evidence all over the place connecting the two.

    But, thinking about it this morning, looking at it logically ... I still think there is probably a connection, but I'm not really sure. It may well just be a coincidence of timing. And even if there is a connection, I'm just not quite sure what it is. If it is true ... why? What is the actual connection?

    So ... why do countries keep electing populist "Trump-like" leaders?

    That's already a hard question to answer clearly, without quickly descending into personal attacks and ad hominems and such.

    Plus, of course, generalization is problematic ... we're talking about different countries, different cultures, different histories driving each vote. It's not all the same. And yet, over and over again, election after election, it sure looks the same.

    I think the main reason is a tribal "fear of invaders" reaction, mostly against the rise of immigration, particularly immigration from (to paraphrase Trump) "the shit-hole countries". Maybe it's an even more basic "fear of change" reaction. But I definitely think, in the US, the rise of Trump was a direct result of the illegal immigration issue -- not exclusively, but that was a big piece of the puzzle. In particular, Trump equating Muslims with terrorists, and Mexican immigrants with criminals, etc.

    Here in the EU, immigration -- particularly the 2015 refugee crisis caused by the wars in the Middle East -- was probably the top reason for Brexit, as has been most of the populist surge over here since then. One country after another here keeps electing right-wing leadership based on the "we'll keep out the dirty immigrants" campaign promises. Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, the list just keeps going. I live in Germany these days, and I gotta tell you, there is nothing scarier than seeing a huge surge in popularity in the German far-right.

    The other top reason that seems to be driving it is some kind of sense of nationalistic self-determination. People feeling like their country--their home--is being changed by Outside Forces, and trying to lock it down, trying to find a way back to the good old days when the white people ran things and the brown people cooked and cleaned for them.

    In Hungary, Orban routinely gets massive support with his constant rants about "Brussels" (meaning the EU) trying to force their gay liberal anti-Christian agenda down the throats of decent God-fearing Hungarians, and I see variations of that theme in most of the populist movements.

    Right now, I want to say the populist trend is a response to (or rather, a denial of) the consequences of Colonialism and resource depletion. I think (again, over-simplified), people here in the Industrial Western World do not want to hear that the problems in the rest of the world are our fault, and that we have a responsibility to the people there, to try to help address some of the problems we've helped cause ... and instead, people are electing leaders who tell them the rest of the world is going to hell but it's not their fault and if they just lock down their borders, everything will stay "nice" in their country.

    Something like that, anyway.

    Okay ... so, resource depletion and a backlash against the consequences of Colonialism.

    Does that seem like a fair and reasonable generalization of what is driving the rise in populism?

    Because none of that is really connected to Climate Change. Sure, it depends on "which" resources we're talking about, but even in a magical hypothetical world where burning fossil fuels doesn't cause the planet to heat up ... wouldn't we still be seeing just about the same results from the Colonialism-and-resource-depletion issues?

    But then again, at a global level, everything is pretty much connected to everything else. I feel like, coming at it from that angle, I could make a fairly good argument that Climate Change and resource depletion are pretty closely related, regardless of which resources you're talking about.

    Oh yeah ... one more wrinkle. I'm primarily talking about populism in the US, Canada, UK, EU. I actually know a lot less about the situations in other regions. Asia. Latin America. Bolsonaro. Millei. I know there are others, but names elude me at the moment, and I don't have an understanding of why they are getting elected. Are they part of this trend? Do they blow a hole in my logic? IDK.


    tl;dr

    Okay ... I guess that's my new thesis -- populism is primarily being driven by a denial of the consequences of Colonialism and resource depletion ... which may or may not be closely related to Climate Change itself; I'm still just not sure.

    Or, more broadly, more Climate-Change-inclusive -- populism is about people seeing that the world is dying, and electing leaders who A) tell them it's not their fault, and B) promise to save their country, even as the rest of the world burns.

    Thoughts?


    17 votes
  4. Comment on The best way to help bees? Don’t become a beekeeper like I did. in ~enviro

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    Separately, I have some issues with the claims in this article. Nutshell version -- This is a very explicit "correlation, therefore causation" logical error. Nowhere in the article do I see any...

    Separately, I have some issues with the claims in this article.

    Nutshell version --

    In Munich, an increase in hives in the surrounding area reduced the number of wild bees recorded between May and July in the city’s botanical garden.

    This is a very explicit "correlation, therefore causation" logical error. Nowhere in the article do I see any evidence supporting the idea that "more domestic honeybees are the cause of fewer wild bees".

    There may be causation going on there. It is, of course, possible that honeybee populations are impacting wild bees, and there is some logic to the idea that "there are only so many flowers to go around" ... but it's also worth noting that domestic honeybees do not forage on all the same things that various wild bees do. In many cases, they're not even dependent on the same habitats and food sources. In most cases, there probably is some overlap, but it's not a simple, black-and-white "the honeybees are eating the wild bees' food" scenario.

    I find it much more likely that the real culprit is the spread of humans, along with our pesticides and other chemicals. It's been reported a lot in recent years, that we seem to be in the middle of a global insect Apocalypse ... insect populations of all sorts, are plummeting all over the world. Honeybees aren't causing that.

    10 votes
  5. Comment on The best way to help bees? Don’t become a beekeeper like I did. in ~enviro

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    Former hobbyist beekeeper here ... one more tip not mentioned in the article, and that does not get recommended enough (I think) in general. Put out clean water ... in containers that provide...

    Former hobbyist beekeeper here ... one more tip not mentioned in the article, and that does not get recommended enough (I think) in general.

    Put out clean water ... in containers that provide safe, dry "landing zones" so bees and other insects can walk up to the edge of the water and drink w/o risk of falling in.

    That's good for birds, too, obviously, but it is also very helpful for bees, other insects, and probably all the creepy crawlies.

    9 votes
  6. Comment on ProtonMail on all the data that Outlook collects about your email in ~tech

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    Nutshell ... you can't be sure. Ever. You have to do your best-effort due diligence on the provider, and decide for yourself if you are willing to trust them. There is never any better answer than...

    Nutshell ... you can't be sure. Ever. You have to do your best-effort due diligence on the provider, and decide for yourself if you are willing to trust them. There is never any better answer than that, regarding VPN. You need to trust your VPN provider more than you trust your ISP.

    Proton has a good track record and a good history, but there are others that seem to be at least as trustworthy (though it's a pretty short list).

    Generally speaking, this is the first website I visit, any time I need to do research on the best privacy-based tools available ... I just looked now, and pleasantly surprised to see that Proton is top of the list for their recommended VPN services ... although, anecdotally, I would have ranked Mullvad higher (but they have no free tier, either).

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    That's kinda true. Lions, hyenas and humans all hunted them occasionally, and probably some mega-predators back before the last Ice Age ended, but officially, no, they have no natural predators. I...

    That's kinda true.

    Lions, hyenas and humans all hunted them occasionally, and probably some mega-predators back before the last Ice Age ended, but officially, no, they have no natural predators.

    I don't know that much about elephants ... but if they are over-populating the region, then something is out of whack, and I would be shocked if it wasn't, somehow, our fault.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Botswana threatens to send 20,000 elephants to Germany in ~enviro

    Eric_the_Cerise
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    In broad strokes, I agree with all of your points. After humans eliminate the (other) natural predators, they inherit the responsibility of managing the prey herds themselves, whether they like it...

    In broad strokes, I agree with all of your points.

    After humans eliminate the (other) natural predators, they inherit the responsibility of managing the prey herds themselves, whether they like it or not.

    Consider it the hunting version of the "if you feed a stray" rule.

    I grew up as a deer hunter in Wisconsin, where I spent many years paying close attention to how the state (the Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources) managed the deer herd there.

    When a governmental agency is trying to manage a prey animal based on how much revenue they can bring in ... it always goes badly. The money skews the policies. In Wisconsin, over many decades, the list of things that went badly, managing the deer herd there, is long and sordid.

    However, not managing it at all would have been 10x worse, and generally speaking, most people in the WI DNR were absolutely doing their best to balance a delicate and complex ecosystem.

    Having too many elephants is a good problem; not one I ever expected to see in my lifetime.

    Learning how to manage that herd will have to be a trial-and-error thing; hopefully, they try to take lessons from others before them, like the WI DNR and--I'm sure--100s (1000s?) of other such programs around the world. But it's their herd, and their responsibility to manage it, and Germany trying to control how they do it, smells suspiciously like the next chapter of Colonialism.

    10 votes
  9. Comment on ProtonMail on all the data that Outlook collects about your email in ~tech

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    I've been using Proton for a decade or more (as a secondary email provider -- I agree that they aren't quite there yet, for my primary service). I believe they are both private and secure. You can...

    I've been using Proton for a decade or more (as a secondary email provider -- I agree that they aren't quite there yet, for my primary service). I believe they are both private and secure. You can start with their free-tier VPN service ... they do (I think) sensible tiered services, with the free tier being legitimately useful, and the paid tiers legitimately providing real extra value for the money.

    In other news, I tried switching to Linux many times, many different versions, over many years ... every time I got a new machine, I always set up a "dual-boot" system, half-Windows, half-(some-flavor-of-)Linux ... and after a month or two on the Linux side, I always went back to pure Windows.

    Until Linux Mint. I think it matters a lot, which Linux you try to switch over to. Ubuntu is decent, but it's too "different" for most Windows users to adjust to. Mint will feel different, too ... but it's manageable.

    I've been using Linux exclusively now for 8 or 9 years, thanks to Mint.

    10 votes
  10. Comment on Do US voters care about policy even a little? in ~misc

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    My personal knowledge and memories go back to Carter. I aggressively disagree with how the Biden Administration withdrew the US from Afghanistan (not that he did it ... just how). I also...

    My personal knowledge and memories go back to Carter.

    I aggressively disagree with how the Biden Administration withdrew the US from Afghanistan (not that he did it ... just how).

    I also aggressively disagree with US support for Israel, but that predates the current conflict by a decade or more, so it'd be unfair to blame Biden exclusively for that.

    Mainly, though, I fault the Biden Administration -- and more broadly, the Democratic leadership overall -- for underselling their accomplishments since 2020, and similarly, for underplaying the existential threat to the world that the Republican Party has become ... and this is coming from a person who would lean Republican in a "normal" world.

    Now ... all that said ... I agree, Biden is the best-and-most-effective President the US has had, for at least as long as I've been paying attention. And yeah, he's a 1000 years old ... but that also means he's got 900 years of experience, and it shows.

    Ultimately, I think the real underlying problem is that Democrats like to think that they can disagree on specific issues and then Come Together when it really matters ... except, too many Democratic voters let themselves get hyperfixated on their personal Issue of Choice, and then just stay home because they aren't getting their way on that one issue. Meanwhile, the Republicans go all "Stepford Wives" and blindly support their guy, no matter what ... even when it's Donald Trump.

    7 votes
  11. Comment on Fisker's EV prices slashed by up to $24,000, Tesla freezes them as trades in ~transport

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    Not even talking about Fisker specifically here ... I just keep seeing posts about green/renewable vehicles, from cars all the way down to skateboards and scooters ... where the post title is...

    Not even talking about Fisker specifically here ... I just keep seeing posts about green/renewable vehicles, from cars all the way down to skateboards and scooters ... where the post title is something like "Ultragreen Travel Thing now $1200 off" ... and I get interested for a half-second, until I realize no, that's not the price, that's just the markdown ... and I am barely willing to consider paying the markdown price, let alone the actual price.

    $24,000 for a car is expensive. It just is. $37,000 (the discounted price) is too much money for a car. $60k+ (I guess the original price range) is way, way, way too much money for a car.

    Stop building cars that do 0-100 in half a second and have built-in coffee makers and jacuzzis and build cars that people can afford.

    And get off my lawn.

    </rant>
    13 votes
  12. Comment on Hey, monthly mystery commenters, what's up with the hit-and-runs? in ~tildes

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    I don't think you mean me, but I do have a habit of "remembering that Tildes exists", then reading/voting/commenting regularly for a few days or weeks, then drifting off for a month or 3, quite...

    I don't think you mean me, but I do have a habit of "remembering that Tildes exists", then reading/voting/commenting regularly for a few days or weeks, then drifting off for a month or 3, quite possibly leaving discussions unfinished and ultimately forgotten.

    I expect what you are seeing is variations of similar habits of intermittent activity.

    16 votes
  13. Comment on You're wrong about Aptera's car. It's ridiculously efficient (and solar powered). in ~transport

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    Yeah, the original version of the car was also gas (or diesel?), sub-$20k, and aiming for 300+ mpg fuel efficiency, so it still would have been a pretty nice vehicle, even running on fossil fuels....

    Yeah, the original version of the car was also gas (or diesel?), sub-$20k, and aiming for 300+ mpg fuel efficiency, so it still would have been a pretty nice vehicle, even running on fossil fuels.

    The latest incarnation looks quite different and it does sound promising. The company actually has money and employees and a lot of pre-orders. Here's hoping ...

    3 votes
  14. Comment on You're wrong about Aptera's car. It's ridiculously efficient (and solar powered). in ~transport

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    I've been following the Aptera car project for well over a decade. Production release has been "right around the corner" the entire time. They probably are not actual vaporware, but they do seem...

    I've been following the Aptera car project for well over a decade. Production release has been "right around the corner" the entire time. They probably are not actual vaporware, but they do seem to keep running into financial, regulatory, and scaling issues that keep pushing back the launch.

    If/When they ever get their act together and actually have a mass-produced product for sale that is in line with their claims, I'll be in line to buy one.

    Edit ... from Wikipedia:

    In 2008, Aptera Motors ... announced it would start to sell its car by the end of that year and received $500 deposits from approximately 4,000 people for the vehicles. Near the end of 2008, it ... announced that the launch of the vehicle would be delayed until 2009.

    19 votes
  15. Comment on Lyme disease vaccine: Major test underway. All you need to know. in ~health

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    I was vaccinated against Lyme in Wisconsin, back around 2002-ish. There was a vaccine available for a brief period, but got cancelled. The reasons I've heard for it being discontinued have varied...

    I was vaccinated against Lyme in Wisconsin, back around 2002-ish. There was a vaccine available for a brief period, but got cancelled. The reasons I've heard for it being discontinued have varied over the years, from claims of problematic side-effects (I had none), to lack of interest (that seems unlikely), to ineffectiveness (apparently there are/were multiple variations of Lyme, and the vaccine only worked against one of them).

    Fast-forward 20 years ... I got Lyme disease in Germany ... probably. Tick-infested region; I checked myself regularly after being out, never saw a tick bite me, but I did see a long-lasting odd bruise on my heel and thought it could be a warped "bullseye" bite rash.

    Went in, got tested, the doctor said that the test results were "weird" (her word), that I did have Lyme, but they couldn't tell how long ago I got it, might have had it for years. I've never had any symptoms (probably; at least, none of the obvious ones).

    Told her about the 20-year-old vaccination, she said there was a reasonable chance it might be mucking up the test results. Also might actually have helped my immune response to the infection. She couldn't be sure; old, discontinued vaccine, different country, etc.

    Gave me antibiotics ... I took 'em, but never actually followed up. I still need to go back in for a follow-up test to make sure the antibiotics cleared it up.

    2 votes
  16. Thinking about quitting the Internet

    This is an off-the-cuff, stream-of-consciousness post, so IDK how much sense it'll make. This idea of quitting the Internet is not new for me, but it's also never been a serious,...

    This is an off-the-cuff, stream-of-consciousness post, so IDK how much sense it'll make.

    This idea of quitting the Internet is not new for me, but it's also never been a serious, "consider-the-pros-v-cons" plan, either. Just a kind of knee-jerk reaction to seeing things online that remind me (more and more often, these days) that the 'Net is not what I hoped-and-wanted it to be, and it is becoming less like it, daily.

    But in recent months, for me, I find myself thinking about it more, more often, and more seriously.

    For a bit of context, I am a software developer (I guess), 20+ years in the field, more back-end than front-end, but quite a lot of web development, too. And I've been burned out in my field for the last several years, working occasionally, but mostly just living off of savings ... watching them dwindle, while I try to figure out what else to do with my life.

    I also think there is some kind of burgeoning groundswell towards some similar ideas ... many people becoming more and more disgusted with what corporations and governments have done and are doing to it, trying to find some way to walk away from it w/o completely severing themselves from the modern world. The latest generation of AI and the new magic word, "enshittification" are certainly making more people realize that the 'Net is not headed in a good direction.

    I could so easily go into a long-winded rant about "this isn't the Internet we were promised", and yada ... but whatever. It is what it is, and many people are happy with it, and many, many more are just quietly resigned to it being a necessary part of life.

    For many, many years, I have explored online alternatives, the dark web, assorted distributed-network ideals like Hyperborea and IPFS. I keep seeing potentials, but nothing that ever coalesces.

    Again, just stream-of-consciousness here ... anyone else ever find themselves seriously considering this, or something similarly drastic?

    45 votes
  17. Comment on Finland has remained the happiest country in the world for the seventh year in a row, according to the annual World Happiness Report published on Wednesday in ~life

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    Minor quibble, but no, it doesn't. Previously, the US was 15th; this year, it dropped 8 places to 23rd. Coincidentally (?), Germany was right below, in 16th, and also dropped exactly 8 places, to...

    the US still ranks in the top 20. Around countries like Germany and France.

    Minor quibble, but no, it doesn't.

    Previously, the US was 15th; this year, it dropped 8 places to 23rd. Coincidentally (?), Germany was right below, in 16th, and also dropped exactly 8 places, to 24th.

    As an American living in Germany, this statistical tidbit has really hit me.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Substack turns on its ‘Nazis Welcome!’ sign in ~tech

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    It's not that so many "remain" in this world. New ones are being created daily, probably by the thousands, thanks in part (quite literally) to decisions like this one by Substack. 40-50 years ago,...

    It's not that so many "remain" in this world. New ones are being created daily, probably by the thousands, thanks in part (quite literally) to decisions like this one by Substack.

    40-50 years ago, there were many, many fewer Nazis (both in the open and in hiding -- I can't prove it, but I'll stand by that assertion), than there are today ... and that's because the vast majority of adults walking around had lived through Hitler and WWII. One way or another, people remembered it, personally.

    Now, it's history. It's getting "fuzzy". People can find all kinds of fringe theories and evidence suggesting it was exaggerated, misrepresented, or flat-out made up. Even without the outrage-inducing algorithms of the FB-circle, people were going to forget what really happened, and start to believe what they want to believe, instead.

    20 votes
  19. Comment on Substack turns on its ‘Nazis Welcome!’ sign in ~tech

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    I can't speak to the other sites, but I was among the people that abandoned Reddit 6 or 8 outrages ago, and joined (among other places) Voat. When it was brand new, it was nice. It was created and...

    I can't speak to the other sites, but I was among the people that abandoned Reddit 6 or 8 outrages ago, and joined (among other places) Voat. When it was brand new, it was nice. It was created and run--apparently, at least--by a reasonable, idealistic person who simply believed in unfettered freedom of speech.

    And, yeah, exactly this happened to it. Nazis, trolls, right-wing conspiracy nuts crept in, everyone else left.

    32 votes
  20. Comment on I want to learn Android (with Kotlin) ... should I focus on Jetpack or the old XML style? in ~comp

    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link Parent
    I was hoping you'd weigh in. Just 'cuz it's simpler, and Old-School (like me), I'm going to focus on XML this next time around (I tried Jetpack the first time — it looks promising, but complicated...

    I was hoping you'd weigh in.

    Just 'cuz it's simpler, and Old-School (like me), I'm going to focus on XML this next time around (I tried Jetpack the first time — it looks promising, but complicated and too many confusing guides/answers online, at least for me).

    Also, to start, I'm doing a fairly small, cheesy, mostly-text-adventure video game that does not require a lot of advanced UI. If/When I succeed in deploying that to F-Droid, then I'll dive into something more serious, w/Jetpack.

    But anticipate some questions from me in the coming month or two...

    Thanks

    2 votes