Macil's recent activity

  1. Comment on The Tyranny of Convenience in ~life

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    Everyone defaults to the convenient thing in areas they haven't thought too hard about. How many of us open Netflix and let it autoplay whatever show was on last that we don't really care about,...

    I honestly got the feeling that the basis behind all of the author's ideas is that he believes that most people are childlike, unwilling to do things simply because they are too hard. It's extremely condescending. The author might as well just wear a hat with the words "I'm out of touch with today's youth" written on it.

    Everyone defaults to the convenient thing in areas they haven't thought too hard about.

    How many of us open Netflix and let it autoplay whatever show was on last that we don't really care about, even when we have a backlog of interesting movies and dvds we've been meaning to watch? How many of us pay lip service to privacy concerns about Facebook, but then open it everyday, leave it on its defaults, and talk to people there? How many of us often stop for some fast food or microwave a meal when we've been imagining cooking a nice meal sometime soon? How many of us sit down at home and open our favorite link aggregator instead of reading through already-open tabs or purchased books we've wanted to go through? How many of us when deciding to play a game pick an already-downloaded game in our Steam collection rather than pick a game we prefer just because that game requires finding a disk and putting it in?

    Sure, most of us try to fight this here and there, but usually only in a few facets of life at a time.

    I think that's badly misunderstanding the author to suggest they want us to get rid of technology. The author just wants us to acknowledge what convenience does to us. If an otherwise "worse" option has more convenience, then that convenience will make us pick it most of the time if we don't correct for that. People underestimate convenience's effect and often don't notice that. Realizing that is just one step to getting better.


    Related: I love the article Beware Trivial Inconveniences. Consider China's Great Firewall: Its purpose is not to make it impossible to access certain banned content. People who say "The Great Firewall doesn't matter because VPNs are easy" are entirely missing the point (in a way that's very useful for China). It makes certain content inconvenient, which causes most people to naturally avoid it.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on What are your dreams like? in ~talk

    Macil Link
    There seem to be a lot of recurring locations in my dreams. I usually have no direct memory of them while awake, but sometimes when I wake up, I can briefly remember and visualize them. I often...

    There seem to be a lot of recurring locations in my dreams. I usually have no direct memory of them while awake, but sometimes when I wake up, I can briefly remember and visualize them. I often have a lot of confusion about whether the locations I remember are from dreaming that night, or are from a dream years before. Sometimes I initially decide that a location must've been new to my a dream that night, and then realize it was a place I dreamed about long ago, or vice versa. Usually my dreams are connected to things I've been worried or thinking about lately, which helps for figuring out when they happened.

    Usually I have most of my dreams when I'm partway into waking up in the morning. I'm prone to falling asleep really quickly after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock, and I'll often have another dream or re-enter a dream when this happens. I can get really disoriented in the morning upon waking up again if a dream really grips me in this time. I'll often get it in my head that there's some important task I have to accomplish in the dream before I fully wake up, and I'll will myself back to sleep.

  3. Comment on Delete Never: The Digital Hoarders Who Collect Tumblrs, Medieval Manuscripts, and Terabytes of Text Files in ~tech

    Macil (edited ) Link
    Sometimes I go through my bookmarks, and find lots of dead links. Not all of them show up on archive.org. I'm tempted to set up a script to periodically wget all of my bookmarks, but it...

    Sometimes I go through my bookmarks, and find lots of dead links. Not all of them show up on archive.org. I'm tempted to set up a script to periodically wget all of my bookmarks, but it disappoints me that my personal archive is unlikely to be found by anyone else who coincidentally tries to follow broken links to the same resources that I've archived. Also, many sites aren't built in a way that wget works well on.

    I really hope IPFS takes off. If all of my bookmarks pointed to sites using IPFS, then I could mirror their content and help serve them on IPFS. If the original host goes down, I'll still be able to help host the content at its original URL, and the URL will still work for anyone else in the world who tries to follow it. And then maybe people will re-host my own content in the same way, even to long after I'm gone if my content is good enough.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on What are some things other people dislike that you quite enjoy? in ~talk

    Macil Link Parent
    I really like that the movie has a subplot where the protagonists fail their goal and return without it done, and a subplot where a rebelling character learns the lesson that they need to not...

    I really like that the movie has a subplot where the protagonists fail their goal and return without it done, and a subplot where a rebelling character learns the lesson that they need to not always rebel and need to work together with their leadership more. ... I think the execution of both of these things was pretty poor though, but I'm still giving the movie some points for those because I think those are really underused story angles nowadays.

  5. Comment on Halo 2's final players share their stories in ~games

    Macil Link Parent
    Just in case anyone wasn't aware, you can also play it on xbox one in the Halo Master Chief Collection. It used to be really buggy around launch, but it's finally good as of the last year or two....

    Just in case anyone wasn't aware, you can also play it on xbox one in the Halo Master Chief Collection.

    It used to be really buggy around launch, but it's finally good as of the last year or two. It's pretty nice with the additional Halo 2 Anniversary content, forge mode (in the H2A multiplayer maps), and the ability to easily jump into maps from other early Halo games.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on RIP Culture War Thread - /r/slatestarcodex's regular thread for debating polarizing issues showed the difficulties and risks of hosting those conversations in ~tech

    Macil Link Parent
    This is a point I've seen brought up a number of times (in r/slatestarcodex and elsewhere) which I find really frustrating. It's not a counterargument at all against "the CW thread (or SSC)...

    The harassment is him being painted as a bigot even though he’s not one

    This is a point I've seen brought up a number of times (in r/slatestarcodex and elsewhere) which I find really frustrating. It's not a counterargument at all against "the CW thread (or SSC) attracts and platforms bigots".

    But he even has data to back up that it wasn’t “full of” racist right wings, they were just a vocal minority.

    He omitted that only 5% of the people polled said they comment in the CW thread. And the poll wouldn't account for the possibility of power users heavily influencing the thread. It's misleading to imply that the dominant politics of the CW thread would match the overall userbase.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on RIP Culture War Thread - /r/slatestarcodex's regular thread for debating polarizing issues showed the difficulties and risks of hosting those conversations in ~tech

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    Slate Star Codex is the name of the site that Scott Alexander writes essays on. It also has a busy comments section and a subreddit. There's some great posts listed on SSC's About page:...

    Slate Star Codex is the name of the site that Scott Alexander writes essays on. It also has a busy comments section and a subreddit. There's some great posts listed on SSC's About page: https://slatestarcodex.com/about/.

    Scott used to be a prolific poster on the site LessWrong.com. SSC's initial userbase came from LW, especially as LW became less active. (LessWrong is a site that primarily focuses on learning about how rational thinking and human minds work, for personal growth purposes and AI design purposes. The site has been mainly known for the writing of Eliezer Yudkowsky and the Sequences. SSC is much more variety focused than LW, but retains some of the focus on rationality.)

    6 votes
  8. Comment on RIP Culture War Thread - /r/slatestarcodex's regular thread for debating polarizing issues showed the difficulties and risks of hosting those conversations in ~tech

    Macil (edited ) Link
    For some context on the issue, I really like sov and nullc's posts in the HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19230282. In the r/slatestarcodex and HN threads, there was a lot of...

    For some context on the issue, I really like sov and nullc's posts in the HN thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19230282.

    "I will be honest and admit I rarely read the [Culture War] thread myself." - Scott

    "The experience can be a little jarring because you’ll have some insightful, genuinely depth hub worth comment upvoted and then another highly upvoted comments next to it will be how we should bring back eugenics and how we should limit immigration to people from high IQ countries in Europe and East Asia" - u/ yodatsracist

    I noticed three main misleading arguments in the blog post: * That the SSC survey tells us anything about the CW thread. [...] Here is the data on the survey respondents readership of the CW thread: 3175 (42.7%) "No, I don't want to read it", 2346 (31.5%) "No, I didn't know it existed", 1425 (19.1%) "Yes, I read it", 369 (4.9%) "Yes, I comment there", 118 (1.5%) no answer. I don't want to assume bad faith, but I think it's really suspect that this wasn't mentioned in the post.

    In the r/slatestarcodex and HN threads, there was a lot of discussion about this as if it was another stock example of deplatforming, but I think the issue is more subtle than that. I see the issue less like "Do we want to be in a world where CW is allowed to exist?" and more "Should CW be part of SSC?". It attracts its own users and brings a different standard of discussion, and that doesn't stay contained.

    I'm not very active in the SSC community, but I've been a fan of Scott's articles for years. It was stuff like the CW thread that made me stay away from its community. I wish there would be more self-reflection there about the standards of the community, and I hope the CW thread removal causes some change.

    Though I wonder if it's my place to push for change as an outsider. Then again, if this problem is caused in part by progressives there feeling like they're outsiders there and leaving, should I try to compensate against that feeling? Then again x2, maybe it's an uphill battle:

    And I think that at least some of this ethos is Scott's fault. I don't understand how this is complicated - if you spend more time being charitable to neoreactionaries than progressives, then the former will feel at home in your community and the latter won't. If you spend more time talking about spurious accusations of racism than things Trump did wrong, that is a very valuable signal about the kind of thing you care about, and people will self-sort accordingly. Your personal beliefs that you only mention offhandedly don't really matter!

    -paanther, https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/atfbhe/comment/eh118az

    I think community is defined more from the top than people generally admit. Maybe I have fundamentally different ideas than Scott about what makes a good online community, and I should find and foster a different place.

    Sorry if I went off track a little. I aimed to give some context and ended up rambling about my personal take on the matter. It's part of a subject that's been on my mind a lot, and I've been meaning to find ways to write more about it.

    8 votes
  9. Comment on A List of Hacker News' Undocumented Features and Behaviors - anything interesting that we could apply (or avoid) here? in ~tildes

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    I moderated a site in the past, and I gave one shadowban in total. It was to a user that had previously been told to improve, banned temporarily, and then banned multiple times permanently as they...

    I moderated a site in the past, and I gave one shadowban in total. It was to a user that had previously been told to improve, banned temporarily, and then banned multiple times permanently as they evaded the bans repeatedly over weeks in order to cause more trouble. When they got shadowbanned, I watched their posts, and they continued to try to start shit. They also whined that nobody was paying attention to them. I would have found this depressing if I hadn't seen them do that a few days before and then immediately flame the people who replied to them. Within a day of nobody taking any of their now-hidden bait, the user got bored and then never returned. The shadowban was much more successful than I predicted. I had quietly implemented the shadowban feature into the site software specifically for that user, and I de-implemented it afterwards.
    I consider it the nuclear option. I think it should only be used on people who have been told that they're in the wrong and have had the chance to adapt.

    I once was playing a social web game with a friend where chat messages showed up above your character's head. Some players would put icon emojis in their chat, which made it look like an icon was just floating over you. A few people were putting three hearts over their head, which within the game UI and font made it look like a Zelda-style healthbar was over their head, which I thought was a pretty funny effect. I copied them into my clipboard, and about every 15 seconds for a few minutes, I quickly pressed enter, ctrl-v, enter to keep the chat message above my head. Shortly after, my friend and I could no longer find each other in the game. We assumed it was buggy so we spent 45 minutes trying to find each other in the game, and I looked at the network requests and code in Chrome devtools to try to figure out the issue. I did end up finding a few bugs. I emailed the developer about the bugs and the glitch that I couldn't find my friend in the game. ... It turns out that I had tripped some kind of chat rate-limiting and had gotten automatically shadowbanned. (... Why did the game have chat rate-limiting like that? The chat messages weren't disruptive. Your new message just replaced your current one on the screen, and didn't block other users. ... and why make the chat-rate limiting go straight to a shadowban?) I was pretty pissed. I didn't say so, though I just didn't touch the game again. I don't think shadowbans should be given to people that weren't warned in any way, and probably not by automated systems.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Open-Source, Free Games in ~games

    Macil Link Parent
    I think it's worth emphasizing that the game is exactly Quake 3's engine and gameplay with improved netcode added in. I love jumping into a free-for-all match in OpenArena. It's a very fast...

    I think it's worth emphasizing that the game is exactly Quake 3's engine and gameplay with improved netcode added in.
    I love jumping into a free-for-all match in OpenArena. It's a very fast gameplay loop, and the game is quick to load and connect, so I can even easily drop in for as little as a few minutes and have some fun.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Productive vs non-productive creativity in ~creative

    Macil Link
    I've been keeping a lot of random notes in Google Keep lately. I started out with just writing notes of blog post drafts and project ideas, though I gradually expanded to jotting any idea down...

    I've been keeping a lot of random notes in Google Keep lately. I started out with just writing notes of blog post drafts and project ideas, though I gradually expanded to jotting any idea down that I think I might possibly want to recall later. I've got notes listing interesting quotes from videos I've watched (with links and timestamps), notes on various mildly-controversial news items with links to evidence to help me remember an intelligent opinion on it, notes rambling about the nature of consciousness (often written while high ... it's usually closer to the side of previously-unconsidered tautology than deep insight, but still stands up more than I expected. I think being high makes everything feel interesting and makes me more likely to be explicit about my assumptions), notes about random things from my childhood that I think about often to help me remember the details, etc. I've been using tags to sort the types of notes too. I really recommend using Keep. It also has a convenient mobile app.

  12. Comment on Tetris 99 isn’t just a great twist on a classic—it’s a gameplay revolution in ~games

    Macil Link Parent
    Tetris normally feels stressful when things start speeding up. Tetris 99 actually makes me feel more accomplished because it constantly shows me that I did better than some number of people.

    Tetris normally feels stressful when things start speeding up. Tetris 99 actually makes me feel more accomplished because it constantly shows me that I did better than some number of people.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Apex Legends in ~games

    Macil Link Parent
    I generally feel the same way playing battle royale games. It's funny because I like a lot of shooters: I play a lot of Titanfall 2, Halo, and OpenArena (the Quake 3 engine with free resources and...

    Last night we got our first win but it didn't feel good. I had no kills (but a huge damage number) and I'd been res'd twice. It didn't feel like an achievement and didn't make me want to play more.

    I generally feel the same way playing battle royale games. It's funny because I like a lot of shooters: I play a lot of Titanfall 2, Halo, and OpenArena (the Quake 3 engine with free resources and much improved netcode). The shooters I like generally have a fast gameplay loop. If you have a bad run, well usually you're actively back in battle within 15 seconds, which gives you another chance, and even if you're doing badly, the quantity of play makes it feel fun.

    In BR games, the exploration can be fun at least. Fortnight and Blackout feel fun to explore in because they have a high variety of environments and things to find. I don't feel like Apex Legends' environment feels as fun to explore.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on The Internet's Hidden Rules: An Empirical Study of Reddit Norm Violations at Micro, Meso, and Macro scales. in ~science

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    I think it makes a big difference what is being counted as "criticizing moderators". I'm sure many sites have tons of "fuck the mods"-tier posts, and I'd be surprised if that doesn't make up the...

    the fact that comments criticizing moderators were removed at a macro level is just disheartening. That simply can't happen in a healthy community.

    I think it makes a big difference what is being counted as "criticizing moderators". I'm sure many sites have tons of "fuck the mods"-tier posts, and I'd be surprised if that doesn't make up the bulk of deleted posts labeled "criticizing moderators" here. The paper's example comment for the "abusing and criticizing moderators" category is "lets see if this gets deleted. fuck you r/news mods".

    I helped moderate a forum-like site for years, and it was stressfully common for people who broke a rule and got punished (usually with a very minor punishment, like an individual post being deleted or an hour ban being given) to organize disruptive bad-faith brigades. It was generally decided to allow these, which I think was extremely toxic and that it validated and normalized this behavior.

    10 votes
  15. Comment on What are you planning to read this year? in ~books

    Macil Link Parent
    Worm is one of my favorite stories! It has an attention to likely consequences that makes it feel like a realistic outcome of a world where certain events happen. It's clear the author has put a...

    Worm is one of my favorite stories! It has an attention to likely consequences that makes it feel like a realistic outcome of a world where certain events happen. It's clear the author has put a lot of thought into how their world works. I love the gradual world-building and the focus on the characters' planning and the consequences of it. It's what I really love in fiction. I still need to read Ward.

    2 votes