NaraVara's recent activity

  1. Comment on Democrats circulate draft antitrust bills that could reshape Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google in ~tech

    NaraVara
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    I see there's two anti-monopoly bills that take very different tacks. Pramila Jayapal's: David Cicilline's: Jayapal's bill seems a little overly broad and ends up with a lot of problematic...

    I see there's two anti-monopoly bills that take very different tacks.

    Pramila Jayapal's:

    Ending Platform Monopolies Act: Sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the vice chair of the subcommittee, this bill would make it unlawful for a platform with at least 500,000 monthly active U.S. users and a market cap over $600 billion to own or operate a business that presents a clear conflict of interest. The draft defines an unlawful conflict as one that incentivizes a business to favor its own services over those of a competitors’ or disadvantage potential competitors that use the platform. Lawmakers have previously expressed concern that both Amazon and Apple, which run their own platforms for sellers and developers, respectively, could undermine competition due to a conflict of interest for their own competing products or apps.

    David Cicilline's:

    Platform Anti-Monopoly Act: This bill, proposed by Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, D-R.I., would prohibit dominant platforms from giving their own products and services advantages over those of competitors on the platform. It would also prohibit other types of discriminatory behavior by dominant platforms, like cutting off a competitor that uses the platform from services offered by the platform itself, and ban dominant platforms from using data collected on their services that isn’t public to others to fuel their own competing products, among several other prohibitions.

    Jayapal's bill seems a little overly broad and ends up with a lot of problematic "bycatch." In particular I can see it having a lot of, very difficult to untangle, security implications for a platform like iOS. Cicilline's version seems much more precisely targeted at what I think of as the problematic elements of platform consolidation. This paired with the requirement that companies have to validate that their merger proposals are valid instead of the other way around could probably go a long way.

    The ACCESS act is actually what I think is most interesting, but I just don't see it passing.

    Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act: This proposed bill from Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., would mandate dominant platforms maintain certain standards of data portability and interoperability, making it easier for consumers to take their data with them to other platforms.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on The Rise of Elevated Stupidity - America’s hot-take economy has created a kind of smart that is indistinguishable from stupid in ~life

    NaraVara
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    Funny and insightful commentary on the hot take economy.

    Funny and insightful commentary on the hot take economy.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Five things the media does to manufacture outrage in ~news

    NaraVara
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    Casinos, narcotics, tobacco. . . all of these are businesses that have very strong incentives to lean into taking advantage of flaws in peoples' brains to extract money from them against their own...

    The system is designed to boost popular content. Content becomes popular because people willingly engage in it initially, and it is presented to more people after it has become popular. People are how these systems work.

    Casinos, narcotics, tobacco. . . all of these are businesses that have very strong incentives to lean into taking advantage of flaws in peoples' brains to extract money from them against their own best interests. We tend to expect some amount of responsibility and care from those companies to not take things too far and encourage people to indulge responsibly. And those only affect individuals and their families, not the basic fabric of society.

    We're definitely not all equally responsible for this. There is definitely a lot more power to affect things and responsibility for outcomes in some very specific agents.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on Five things the media does to manufacture outrage in ~news

    NaraVara
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    We can't underrate the roles that social media plays though. The interaction design is structured to play these things up, elevate the most controversial voices, and incentivize the most...

    We can't underrate the roles that social media plays though. The interaction design is structured to play these things up, elevate the most controversial voices, and incentivize the most incendiary or controversial version of every take. It's like saying "It's out own fault for getting diabetes" and, while it's technically accurate at the immediate level, it's a set of choices being structured by a whole bunch of macro-level stuff outside out hands. We're always going to be going uphill if we try to work against it.

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

    NaraVara
    Link Parent
    I haven't. Link? Is it on YouTube?

    I haven't. Link? Is it on YouTube?

    1 vote
  6. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    Yeah I actually suggested that initially, but Mass Effect is actually a rather boring game to watch when you're just derping around the open worlds. Something like Uncharted would probably work...

    Yeah I actually suggested that initially, but Mass Effect is actually a rather boring game to watch when you're just derping around the open worlds. Something like Uncharted would probably work better.

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

    NaraVara
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    That might make sense. Not possible on console unfortunately. But I can see the hand-eye coordination of a mouse being easier to pick up than the finger-eye coordination of a thumb.

    That might make sense. Not possible on console unfortunately. But I can see the hand-eye coordination of a mouse being easier to pick up than the finger-eye coordination of a thumb.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Bo Burnham - Welcome to the Internet (2021) in ~music

    NaraVara
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    You assume they’re actually watching it instead of drawing conclusions based on memes and hearsay. But memes and hearsay is all they do. If they ever bothered directly engaging with anything for...

    But it seems like the extremely online aren’t getting the message.

    You assume they’re actually watching it instead of drawing conclusions based on memes and hearsay. But memes and hearsay is all they do. If they ever bothered directly engaging with anything for themselves instead of floating into the current they wouldn’t be so annoying.

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

    NaraVara
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    So with Mass Effect Legendary Edition out I decided to have my wife play through it to see how she does and how she gets by on making choices. But the problem is we can’t really get to choices....

    So with Mass Effect Legendary Edition out I decided to have my wife play through it to see how she does and how she gets by on making choices.

    But the problem is we can’t really get to choices. She has never played video games before aside from the occasional round of Mario kart on the N64 and the coordination of needing to use both thumb-sticks at once just doesn’t work for her. On the very easiest game mode the squad mates basically handle combat for you, but she can’t even tell what’s happening because she doesn’t have a sense for the analog stick being an analog stick. She keeps panning too far and looking at the ground or up at the sky.

    The whole experience is making me think AAA gaming must have a serious onboarding problem. They do short control tutorials, but if you don’t instinctively know that the right stick looks and left stick moves there is no way a short thing making you do it once will develop that skill enough for you to actually play and enjoy the game. I don’t even know how one onboards a person to be able to enjoy a game like this. It seems like swimming or learning a language where if you don’t learn it young the lack of neuroplasticity just makes it really hard for people without a natural aptitude to be able to pick it up.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on Neil Gaiman defends Sandman show casting nonbinary, black actors in ~tv

    NaraVara
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    That's interested. When I read I tend to imagine kind of featureless entities interacting until descriptions fill in details initially. It takes a little while of "getting to know" a character...

    That's interested. When I read I tend to imagine kind of featureless entities interacting until descriptions fill in details initially. It takes a little while of "getting to know" a character before my brain starts inserting people or features from "central casting." I even tend to hear them speaking in my own voice until I get a description of voice up until the "central casting" figure gets subbed in.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on The end of "The End of San Francisco" in ~life

    NaraVara
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    Hard to summarize in a snippet. It's a great essay about the simplistic narratives surrounding the affordability crisis. It's specifically about San Francisco but the stuff he talks about applies...

    Hard to summarize in a snippet. It's a great essay about the simplistic narratives surrounding the affordability crisis. It's specifically about San Francisco but the stuff he talks about applies for any city with an affordability crisis from Austin to Memphis to DC.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open, takes break from tennis, one day after tennis’ Grand Slams threatened disqualification or suspension if she continued to skip press conferences in ~sports

    NaraVara
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    It's really not about reversing that individual line ruling, it's more about making them hesitate and lose confidence in their ability to judge where the line is so they hesitate before ruling...

    Even if the player believes it isn't a justified penalty, I cannot recall many instances in any sport where a player argued with a referee and the referee's response was "well gee, you've made a very convincing argument, so I'm going to remove the penalty."

    It's really not about reversing that individual line ruling, it's more about making them hesitate and lose confidence in their ability to judge where the line is so they hesitate before ruling against you the next time.

    It always looks bad though. Especially in tennis where a big part of the culture of the sport emphasizes gentlemanly conduct.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on How Twitter turned Kimmy Schmidt into a ‘KKK Queen’ in ~tech

    NaraVara
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    I've been banging the "it is the platforms that are bad" narrative for a while, but I don't think we can entirely erase the agency of individuals in stuff like this. Just look at this piece on The...

    I've been banging the "it is the platforms that are bad" narrative for a while, but I don't think we can entirely erase the agency of individuals in stuff like this.

    Just look at this piece on The Root about it. The author takes palpable glee at the opportunity to drag Kemper here, and it's really not an issue of fact checking. She isn't saying anything that isn't factual and she isn't missing any context. She just has the KKK framing and willfully, intentionally adopts it because that lets her use her comparatively larger platform to get her shots in. This is clearly journalistic malpractice here.

    And it repeats with every person on Twitter. When it happened to Lindsay Ellis you could, again, read the fun and enjoyment from people participating in the pile on. These are shitty people who get off on cyberbullying targets of opportunity. It's a joke and a pastime for them and I think we really do need to spread some awareness about this behavior being out of line, refuse to engage with it ourselves, and calling it out when people in our circles engage in it. We've seen this dynamic play out in Gamergate too honestly. It is the exact same mechanism at play. The social justice angle just gives people a thin pretext to feel good about doing something they know is bad.

    22 votes
  14. Comment on Trump blog page shuts down for good in ~tech

    NaraVara
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    Fox partly turned on him after Jan 6 (but only partly). His most hardcore toadies are on Newsmax and OANN now, and those latter two are kind of fighting each other to capture the niche. Another...

    Fox partly turned on him after Jan 6 (but only partly). His most hardcore toadies are on Newsmax and OANN now, and those latter two are kind of fighting each other to capture the niche.

    Another thing I haven't really heard about for a few years now is Breitbart. I'm sure it's still around but it just doesn't seem to going viral the way it used to. I'm not even entirely sure the effect is all just due to deplatforming. I honestly think all these guys had managed to game out recommendation algos to drive traffic and once Facebook updated its recommendations system they literally had nothing to work with. It's amazing how much garbage they let fly for so long. Anti-vaxx shit has started to subside too. All this shit used to get pushed out into my feed on occasion but I haven't seen hide nor hair of it, even during the peak of election hysteria.

    9 votes
  15. Comment on How can I better engage Tilderinos on my philosophy posts? in ~talk

    NaraVara
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    Out of curiosity, why do you think people feel the need to respond to the poster’s take on an article rather than the content itself? I usually try to keep my comments to providing background or...

    Out of curiosity, why do you think people feel the need to respond to the poster’s take on an article rather than the content itself? I usually try to keep my comments to providing background or context that might help people get more out of the article. I specifically avoid putting my own spin on it because I don’t want to color people’s read on it with my own take before they have a chance to take it in for themselves unvarnished.

    One thing I have noticed is even when there is engagement people tend to bike shed on stylistic stuff or drag various nitpicks in the piece (e.g. complain about the headline, complain about writing style, speculate on the author’s intentions.) So it’s rarely any kind of discussion on the content of an article itself. It’s kind of frustrating.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on You don’t need an identity in ~humanities

    NaraVara
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    I honestly think the misinterpretation is on you here. It’s perfectly normal to use the term “identity” to refer to groups. It’s not like we refer to it as “identity group politics” is it?

    I honestly think the misinterpretation is on you here. It’s perfectly normal to use the term “identity” to refer to groups. It’s not like we refer to it as “identity group politics” is it?

    5 votes
  17. Comment on You don’t need an identity in ~humanities

    NaraVara
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    The author is pretty clearly not talking about identity as in self awareness. He’s talking about identity as in an identity group to select into. This meaning was quite plain to me on a first...

    The author is pretty clearly not talking about identity as in self awareness. He’s talking about identity as in an identity group to select into. This meaning was quite plain to me on a first reading of the headline.

    8 votes