Sahasrahla's recent activity

  1. Comment on Deep-sea mining and the race to the bottom of the ocean in ~enviro

    Sahasrahla
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    This bit especially and this comment on a previous discussion of underwater mining have got me thinking. The world, in a relative sense to the needs of the humans living on it, has been elastic....

    I reminded him that centuries of mining on land have exacted a devastating price: tropical islands denuded, mountaintops sheared off, groundwater contaminated, and species eradicated. Given the devastation of land-based mining, I asked, shouldn’t we hesitate to mine the sea?

    “I don’t believe people should worry that much,” he said with a shrug. “There’s certainly an impact in the area that’s mined, because you are creating an environmental disturbance, but we can find ways to manage that.” I pointed out that the impact from sediment could travel far beyond the mining zone, and he responded, “Sure, that’s the other major environmental concern. There is a sediment plume, and we need to manage it. We need to understand how the plume operates, and there are experiments being done right now that will help us.” As he spoke, I realized that for Lodge, none of these questions warranted reflection—or anyway, he didn’t see reflection as part of his job. He was there to facilitate mining, not to question the wisdom of doing so.

    This bit especially and this comment on a previous discussion of underwater mining have got me thinking.

    The world, in a relative sense to the needs of the humans living on it, has been elastic. Since the dawn of our species and the mass migrations that spread us over the Earth we have repeatedly come up against the limits of the natural resources available to us. We would spread and reproduce and the world would seem small with no more room for us, then we would discover and innovate and the world would seem large again as untapped resources let us grow. Fire, agriculture, steam power and other innovations large and small let us settle most land masses, grow cities with millions of people, and expand our ways-of-life.

    Now, though, we feel constrained once again by the limits of the natural world and we're trying to innovate our way out of it. And, maybe we can. New energy sources can replace fossil hydrocarbons and better environmental practices can reduce the impact of our industries and daily lives. But, for how much longer? Maybe we can expand the world once more to allow for our growth but can that be sustained for even another couple centuries? It feels like we're reaching a limit where the impacts of human activities on the Earth can't be mitigated.

    If that's true we'll be faced with a choice: halt growth or expand our reach beyond the Earth. Neither choice is easy. The latter sounds like science fiction and the former—which would involve unprecedented global cooperation and sacrifice, especially on the part of citizens of powerful and wealthy nations—may as well be. There is hope on both fronts: access to space is becoming cheaper, AI could allow for extraterrestrial resource extraction by autonomous machines, well-funded organizations exist which aim to move people or manufacturing into space, economic incentives could pull more effort into developing space; and, here on Earth, people have faced global environmental crises before and they're getting more serious about facing our current challenges.

    To take a large step back and look at this from a very wide perspective we can speculate that, no matter the answer to the Fermi Paradox, across billions of years and countless worlds in a universe of galaxies we must not be the first species to face this problem. What choices have others made? Whether as a thought experiment or something which we could imagine has some grounding in reality I think it's an interesting question. It frames our problems not as something unique or insurmountable but as a challenge that must have been solved and failed countless times before. If anything it's a coming of age, a first step beyond adolescence that must be overcome when an intelligent species grows to the limits of its home. It's simply our turn to take that next step, and even if we can't benefit from the wisdom of those who we imagine could have come before us, we can still consider our place in the universe before deciding who we want to be as a species.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on How do you feel about safer kitchen knives? in ~food

  3. Comment on How do you feel about safer kitchen knives? in ~food

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    It's about removing the most harmful weapons so that whatever improvised weapon a person finds will be less harmful and less likely to be lethal. Yes, a person determined to do violence will find...

    It's about removing the most harmful weapons so that whatever improvised weapon a person finds will be less harmful and less likely to be lethal. Yes, a person determined to do violence will find a way, but this is more about impulsive heat-of-the-moment violence. Being hit with a rolling pin is less likely to be lethal than being stabbed with a kitchen knife; setting a kettle to boil with the intent to scald someone or looking for ways to MacGyver a puncturing weapon are not impulsive acts, at least not on the same level as a split-second decision.

    Of course, none of this is really an answer to whether this would work or not. Would dull-pointed knives actually reduce injuries/fatalities in abusive or other situations, or would people still be injured or killed just as much by other means? I think in this thread we've all stated our "here's why it would or wouldn't work" speculation but only a trial of such a program would let us know if it works. Though, doing such a trial would be more difficult if public opinion is strongly against such a program (e.g.) before we even know its effects.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on How do you feel about safer kitchen knives? in ~food

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    The explanation I've heard for this is that it helps with situations that suddenly and emotionally escalate, where an abusive partner will just grab whatever's handy and try to hurt the other...

    The explanation I've heard for this is that it helps with situations that suddenly and emotionally escalate, where an abusive partner will just grab whatever's handy and try to hurt the other person. If they grab a pointed kitchen knife capable of stabbing someone then that's what they'll do, and the injury will be a lot more serious and potentially fatal compared to if they had used their fists, a heavy object, the slashing edge of a knife, etc. Preventing the abuse in the first place is best but you don't have to do one or the other.

    A good comparison I think is how guns increase the risk of suicide. Naive logic might tell us that a suicidal person will seek out whatever means possible, and if they didn't have a gun they'd use something else, but "studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair. Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide...but few can survive a gun blast."

    Preventing suicide attempts (or acts of domestic violence) in the first place would be ideal but removing the means by which people can easily commit lethal violence on impulse makes a real difference, and it doesn't have to come at the cost of addressing root causes.

    16 votes
  5. Comment on Hong Kong protesters are using apps to avoid restaurants they suspect are pro-China in ~news

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    I think one useful question is, could that ever be acceptable? A thought experiment to try to look at the situation with more empathy from an American/western perspective: Imagine a near-future...

    I think one useful question is, could that ever be acceptable? A thought experiment to try to look at the situation with more empathy from an American/western perspective:

    Imagine a near-future America. The fascists and alt-rightists were empowered by Trump's second term and by his third term democracy was effectively dead. Some local municipal elections still happen but the office of President is elected by hand-picked Republican senators—Republicans, of course, being the sole legal party at the state or federal level. In this climate the rule of law has become a mere suggestion: citizens are routinely kidnapped by the government and imprisoned indefinitely as the result of sham trials and forced confessions; everyone is surveilled including by invasive spyware in chat and payment apps necessary for daily life; and concentration camps have expanded to hold millions of ethnic and linguistic minorities for "re-Americanization" where they are subject to torture and medical experiments.

    However, there's a faint glimmer of hope. Though many Americans feel resigned to their fate and don't believe they can defeat their oppressors they've taken to the streets en masse anyway, with some demonstrations seeing almost a third of Americans (about 100 million) marching at once. These demonstrations started peacefully but the government responded with violence: a militarized police force has been blanketing the nation's cities with noxious tear gas (wild animals and pets have died, many people have gotten sick, and there is strong evidence of carcinogenic dioxins in the gas now used), protesters have been arrested in the hundreds of thousands and disappeared into a black hole of a prison system with those who have made it out telling of systemic abuse and rape, criminal gangs have been used as proxies to assault protesters and pro-democracy local politicians with knives and clubs, and roaming gangs of police in full riot gear who patrol the streets at all hours of the day randomly assault or arrest anyone they feel like.

    After months of constant police oppression, and years of civil rights being dismantled, most Americans are anti-government and on the side of the protesters. Some people, however, loudly and proudly declare that "blue lives matter" and that the uppity protesters are merely getting what's coming to them for the disruption they've caused. The country is divided, though not in half by number, along pro-government and pro-protester lines. Businesses belonging to the gangs involved in the terrorist stabbings are attacked, as well as banks and chains belonging to establishment pro-government billionaires. Vocal support for the government or the police is seen as helping to sustain an oppressive regime: every voice matters in a war for survival that will be lost or won depending on the strength and resolve of public opinion for the protesters and their tactics.

    However, in addition to attacks on gang and oligarch run businesses, some local mom-and-pop businesses belonging to vocal pro-police/pro-government owners have been vandalized as well—and this is where Americans lost international support. Because what are these "supposedly pro-democracy" vandals doing attacking the businesses of innocent people? Free speech is a democratic ideal and if you vandalize the business of someone supporting the oppressive and genocidal regime that you are rebelling against, well, you must not actually care about democracy at all. That doesn't make the regime the good guys but it does imply a moral equivalency between the oppressors and oppressed that lets us all throw up our hands and happily declare "there are bad people on both sides" before moving on with our lives.


    It's worth noting, of course, that this analogy is far from perfect. In trying to draw parallels between the situation in Hong Kong and the imagined dystopia of an ultra-Trumpian America I've included references to both conditions in Hong Kong and (to a lesser extent) conditions on the Mainland which many in Hong Kong fear will come to their home if consolidation of CCP rule continues. I've also left out some important factors that are unique to Hong Kong and which had no clear American point for comparison. Really, this comment is more of an exercise in empathy than it is an effort to summarize or explain what's happening in Hong Kong. There is unfortunately more injustice in the world than any of us could hope to understand or stay informed on, but hopefully an exercise like this can help us pause for a moment to consider the lives and points of view of some of the many people throughout the world right now who are fighting for their freedoms.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on 'We thought it was a prank': Girl, 6, finds China prisoner plea in Tesco charity card in ~news

    Sahasrahla
    (edited )
    Link
    Background on Peter Humphrey, the man mentioned in the card: A short interview, with transcript: Interview with Peter Humphrey about his time in Chinese prison (734 words) From the very moment...

    Background on Peter Humphrey, the man mentioned in the card:

    A short interview, with transcript:

    Interview with Peter Humphrey about his time in Chinese prison (734 words) From the very moment that you're dropped into a cell, you're there to be crushed. You're there to have your spirit broken. You're there to break down and confess to things that you may have not done.

    I wasn't able to talk to my wife again for the next 700 days. I knew that I and my wife had never committed a crime. I knew why we were there. I knew it was wrong. I knew it was injustice. And injustice is something that I've spent my entire life fighting against. And so I was prepared to fight.

    A day or two after I arrived in the detention centre, inside the interrogation cell there was a cage of steel bars. Inside the cage there was a metal seat with a locking bar. And so I would be pushed into this cage and made to sit in the seat, and then locked into the seat. And I'm in handcuffs as well at the same time.

    The physical conditions that you're placed in during the interrogation are part of a deliberate system. 700 days that I spent in captivity, I never slept with the lights off. I sometimes think I never slept at all. The prisoners were woken up every morning at 6.30am by a very weird electronic bugle. After that, breakfast would be brought on a trolley. They would push the food through the gaps in the bars of the door in these metal doggy bowls.

    You're with strangers in a crowded room. 12 or 13 people in some cases. That's duress. You're not allowed to write to your relatives. You're not allowed to have direct contact with lawyers. That's duress. You don't get sunshine. You hardly get any physical exercise outdoors. That's duress.

    They broadcast on a TV set that's hanging from the ceiling and it's piped in from, what they call the propaganda department. They broadcast some physical jerks, sort of exercises, a PE teacher telling everyone to do this, do that.

    Anyone in those conditions is going to be worn down very quickly by anxiety and panic attacks. So every prisoner in this situation, although he's with other prisoners, he's isolated effectively. And he's constantly turning over in his mind. That's the only place where people can find privacy, is inside their own mind.

    During the 13 months that I spent in that detention centre, I was able to glimpse my wife a couple of times through a window of an interrogation cell when I was on my way to meet my lawyer. We were not able to talk. When I received the first letter from her in January 2014, it was like gold dust falling from heaven. And from that moment on this sort of strengthened my morale, my resolve, my fight. We wrote more love letters to each other during this period in captivity in the end than we'd never written to each other in our lifetime.

    Shortly before our trial, we met briefly in the yard of the detention centre and in a prisoner van when we went to the courthouse for what they called a pretrial hearing. The day that we went to court was one of the most terrible days of my life. Because it wasn't so much the trial itself that made the day terrible. It was the fact that the police had played a trick on me before the trial, regarding the information about my brother in law's death.

    My wife's brother had died in the United States a few weeks or a couple of months before the trial. The police told me that she knew about it now, that she had been told. And this was a lie. When I arrived in the court house, we crossed each other's paths inside the courthouse building. She was being escorted across the top of the staircase, and I was just about to be brought up that staircase.

    And when I saw her she said, "Good morning, Peter." And I expressed my condolences to her, believing that she knew. And she didn't. They had lied to me. And Ying broke down. So this completely destabilised us at the beginning of the trial. Five minutes later, we were being led into the courtroom.

    I knew how much my wife loves me. And I believe that the love between us is probably what helped us to survive this ordeal.

    A longer article by Humphrey about his experience, also available on archive. (about 5000 words)

    Edit:

    On the subject of prison labour:

    The prison was a business, doing manufacturing jobs for companies. Mornings, afternoons and often during the after-lunch nap, prisoners “laboured” in the common room. Our men made packaging parts. I recognised well-known brands — 3M, C&A, H&M. So much for corporate social responsibility, though the companies may well have been unaware that prison labour was part of their supply chain. Prisoners from Chinese cell blocks worked in our factory making textiles and components. They marched there like soldiers before our breakfast and returned late in the evening. The foreigners who laboured in my cell block were Africans and Asians with no money from family, and no other way to buy toiletries and snacks. It was piece work; a hundred of this, a thousand of that. Full-time, they earned about Yn120 (£13.50) a month. But it was also about points. There was a sentence-reduction system based on points earned through labour — work such as floor cleaning, food serving, teaching and approved study. Snitching also earned favourable treatment.

    And it goes on to say about sentence-reduction:

    Once or twice a year a list of prisoners went up showing who had earned reductions. Those on long terms crowded around, praying their name was on the board. Many were disappointed. Reductions had become rarer since President Xi Jinping had taken power in early 2013. Before that, a 10-year term might be cut to seven. Under Xi you would be lucky to get one year taken off. I never qualified because I boycotted the thought reports. The officers refused to explain the system to me anyway.

    10 votes
  7. Comment on Epic Games Store holiday sale has started - sales, one free game per day, and $10 off on everything $14.99+ in ~games

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    I don't mean to step on anyone's toes but I don't mind the exclusives as much as a lot of people seem to. Steam has a de facto near-monopoly on PC games (except for some big name titles where...

    I don't mean to step on anyone's toes but I don't mind the exclusives as much as a lot of people seem to. Steam has a de facto near-monopoly on PC games (except for some big name titles where publishers make you get their own launcher) and even with exclusives and giveaways it's hard to compete against that. Sure, Steam/Valve is well-loved and so far "not evil", but they have more than a healthy amount of control over the market. I also like that Epic is offering higher royalties to studios which is especially important for independent devs: a royalty rate of 88% (Epic) compared to 70% (Steam) means more than 25% higher revenues for the same number of games sold. That could mean the difference between a career or insolvency for a lot of indies trying to make it in a difficult and uncertain field.

    8 votes
  8. Comment on The 2019 Tildes Census in ~tildes

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    It's a bit like those browser fingerprint tests where seemingly innocuous info can deanonymize you. If you're a monolingual American IT professional you might blend in with the rest but probably...

    It's a bit like those browser fingerprint tests where seemingly innocuous info can deanonymize you. If you're a monolingual American IT professional you might blend in with the rest but probably most people here are pretty unique when you combine a few of the fields.

    9 votes
  9. Comment on What’s your shampoo of choice, and why? in ~talk

    Sahasrahla
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    Something fruity and girly that leaves me clean and actually smelling good. I made the mistake of using some male-marketed shampoo once: it smelled like deodorant and had flecks of dirt (sorry,...

    Something fruity and girly that leaves me clean and actually smelling good. I made the mistake of using some male-marketed shampoo once: it smelled like deodorant and had flecks of dirt (sorry, "activated charcoal") in it. Never again.

    12 votes
  10. Comment on Epic Games Store holiday sale has started - sales, one free game per day, and $10 off on everything $14.99+ in ~games

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    This is a turn-based mechs-vs-monsters tactics game from the makers of FTL: Faster Than Light and it's an absolute joy to play. Lots of fun, rewarding gameplay, and a surprisingly engaging story...

    This is a turn-based mechs-vs-monsters tactics game from the makers of FTL: Faster Than Light and it's an absolute joy to play. Lots of fun, rewarding gameplay, and a surprisingly engaging story and lore. Definitely worth downloading the Epic launcher for, or if you don't like Epic, just buy it on Steam or elsewhere; it's worth it.

    13 votes
  11. Comment on Why don't you comment on poetry? in ~talk

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    I wonder if it might be useful to have a ~feedback or ~criticism group. Not for poetry specifically or even just creative writing, but for any project people have that they want to solicit others'...

    I wonder if it might be useful to have a ~feedback or ~criticism group. Not for poetry specifically or even just creative writing, but for any project people have that they want to solicit others' opinions on.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on What are some non-English words that you believe would be good candidates for inclusion in English dictionaries? in ~humanities

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    I feel like whenever I heard "ghetto" growing up it had more positive connotations, kind of like it expressed a "it's not stupid if it works" philosophy that praised the ingenuity of doing...

    I feel like whenever I heard "ghetto" growing up it had more positive connotations, kind of like it expressed a "it's not stupid if it works" philosophy that praised the ingenuity of doing something with limited resources, while at the same time being a bit jovial in recognizing the sometimes ridiculous seeming result. Of course, that's not to argue that the word is inoffensive or should be in common usage, or that it has the same connotations everywhere. It's just that as I've heard it used here (usually by people from housing projects) it never seemed contemptuous or negative, and was mostly just a positive way of describing the unique solutions to problems that people would sometimes construct.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What are some non-English words that you believe would be good candidates for inclusion in English dictionaries? in ~humanities

    Sahasrahla
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    A few languages have a word or phrase that can express encouragement in a way that doesn't quite exist in English. Jia you, ganbatte, aja aja, etc. The most similar phrase in English is "good...

    A few languages have a word or phrase that can express encouragement in a way that doesn't quite exist in English. Jia you, ganbatte, aja aja, etc. The most similar phrase in English is "good luck!" but that has more a connotation of "I hope it goes well!" or "I hope you can do well!". Something like "jia you" is more versatile and can express more of a "you can do it!" or "you can work hard!" idea that encourages another's efforts towards a positive outcome. Saying "good luck!", "you can do it!", or "let's go!" doesn't quite cut it.

    Interestingly, since these expressions are so useful and because it's surprisingly hard to express the same thing succinctly in English in a way that works in all contexts, these words/phrases or their literal translations are becoming more common in English. Probably the best well known is "add oil", the literal translation of "jia you", which has apparently made it into the OED.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Canada wants 100 million people by 2100 in ~misc

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    If I remember correctly a day later, the video cites 450,000 immigrants per year as the number that would make 100 million by 2100 possible (compared to about 300,000 immigrants per year now). The...

    If I remember correctly a day later, the video cites 450,000 immigrants per year as the number that would make 100 million by 2100 possible (compared to about 300,000 immigrants per year now). The analysis in the video is skeptical of this idea: the commentator thinks it would be difficult to reach the 450,000 per year for various reasons (one reason he says is the de facto requirement to keep the the ratio of Quebec's population to the rest of Canada the same; just to note, this isn't something I've heard before and I can't find any info on it, and the only similar idea I've come across before is the requirement for minimum representation for certain provinces in parliament regardless of population). Much more optimistic is the 2017 book Maximum Canada: Toward a Country of 100 Million which advocates for the idea. As it says:

    (collapsed for length) A maximum Canada would not entail a Laurier-era large-scale immigration drive or a noticeably increased flow of newcomers at a pace likely to disrupt the social balance. It would mean a slow increase in immigration levels to somewhat more than the approximately 300,000 people we currently accept every year. Since the early 1990s, Canada’s immigration rate has stayed relatively steady at around 0.7 to 0.8 percent (that is, 7 or 8 new immigrants each year for every 1,000 existing Canadians). For a substantial population increase, this rate would need to increase by a couple of tenths of a percentage point, to perhaps 1.2 per cent, for a number of years. It would not entail a year-to-year increase in immigration numbers beyond the modest changes Canadians are used to. For example, Canada’s immigration intake increased several times during the Mulroney years—notably by 50,000 between 1986 and 1987 (from 99,000 back to the 1976 level of 152,000)—and then fell by 40,000 in the Chrétien years, from 216,000 to 174,000 in 1997, and then jumped again by 40,000 in 2000, to 230,000. In 2016, it saw another increase of 40,000, from 260,000 to a target of 300,000.

    Most scenarios for population growth call for similar gradual changes in immigration intake. One proposal, by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth, outlines a plan that would see a gradual rise in immigration numbers, with annual increases between 15,000 and 45,000 immigrants each year (to avoid a sudden strain on our education, transportation and health systems) until 2021. At that point Canada would be taking in 75,000 additional primary immigrants (those admitted through the points system) and an equal number of family members (those who come as relatives of the “points” immigrants), for a total annual immigration intake of 450,000 per year and an annual population growth of 1.2 percent—an immigration level considerably lower than, for example, Switzerland’s (1.9 per cent) and similar to the rates in New Zealand, Ireland and Norway. The plan would focus exclusively on high-skill and postsecondary student immigration to minimize cost and maximize economic benefit (as well as a predicted sharp decrease in refugee numbers, which tend to spike only during crises every few decades). This would not produce a very noticeable increase in the number of newcomers in Canadian streets and schools; it is less than a third of the proportion of immigration Canada experienced every year in the 1910s. The plan would allow institutions and infrastructure to expand in an organic and managed way, so that cities could plan for growth and phase in transportation, housing and schools as the newcomers’ economic participation provided the new tax revenues to pay for them.

    The Advisory Council’s immigration numbers are on the high side: they assume no change in birth rates. If investments in family policy and childcare deliver a fertility-rate increase, then the immigration numbers could be considerably lower. The effect will be the same either way: more Canadians, and a considerably younger population. This, as Chapter 6 showed, would make the mid-century demographic crunch much more manageable. The price of managing an aging generation would not eat up a third of national and provincial budgets, thereby leaving resources for climate policy, infrastructure and younger generations.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on How To Get A Book Deal in Ten Years or Less in ~books

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    Yeah definitely, even with print-on-demand a self-published author won't get into most physical bookstores. Ordering a self-published vs traditionally published physical book on Amazon won't look...

    Yeah definitely, even with print-on-demand a self-published author won't get into most physical bookstores. Ordering a self-published vs traditionally published physical book on Amazon won't look any different, but a self-published author just won't have the ability to get their book onto actual shelves in brick-and-mortar stores. (Except for, like, negotiating with small indie bookstores one at a time or something, and even then it's not likely.)

    A lot of people really want to have that physical book available.

    For a lot of people I think this is the major thing traditional publishers offer. You grow up loving and reading books and you want to write a book too, but you know writing a book isn't enough. Anyone can write a book if you don't worry about quality, but being one of the select few who writes a book good enough to be chosen by agents/publishers and see your book show up on store and library shelves next to your heroes' books—that's powerful. You can see it in the video too: Lindsay doesn't say her choice to traditionally publish is a business decision or a financial one, it's simply her goal because of course it is. In most peoples' minds that's what being an author is.

    Unfortunately I think publishers use this (among other factors) to take advantage of authors. They don't have to offer a living wage to new authors; they simply have to offer enough to make it feel real. And if you don't like it, well, there's always more would-be authors trying to break in. I feel like if more writers looked at writing as a career, and not as a passion/prestige-project that might turn into a career if lightning strikes, then you'd see more writers turning down what the traditional publishers are offering and striking out on their own. Which, hopefully, would force the publishers to actually pay the most important part of their work force if they wanted to retain and attract talent.

  16. Comment on How To Get A Book Deal in Ten Years or Less in ~books

    Sahasrahla
    Link Parent
    I think the path for self-published authors is usually selling ebooks, mostly on Amazon. The most lucrative business model (as in, plenty of people making over $100K per year) seems to be quickly...

    I think the path for self-published authors is usually selling ebooks, mostly on Amazon. The most lucrative business model (as in, plenty of people making over $100K per year) seems to be quickly writing inexpensive ebooks that hit all the right genre tropes and building up a readership through consistent output and smart use of advertising, Amazon's algorithms, and other means of promotion. Actually, I think there's someone here on Tildes who self publishes successfully and lucratively, but I don't remember who.

    Of course, plenty of self-published authors have found moderate success (you can estimate book sales from Goodreads reviews if you're curious) following a more traditional model of writing one or two books per year with a focus on originality rather than following set tropes. There are also standout successes (e.g. to various degrees The Martian, Wool, Senlin Ascends) that get approached by publishers or even made into movies. Wool is an especially interesting case because it I think it ended up being a "hybrid" deal where the publisher handled physical books and the author kept the ebook rights. Another interesting case is Michael J. Sullivan, a bestselling traditionally published author who moved more to self-publishing because of disagreements with his publishers over audiobook rights.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Finland's finance minister deleted an Instagram post and issued an apology after criticism by a human rights group in ~news

    Sahasrahla
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    It's been alarming to see how many western nations support de facto exile1, often without trial, when the people involved are associated in some way with terrorism or IS. I don't know anything...

    It's been alarming to see how many western nations support de facto exile1, often without trial, when the people involved are associated in some way with terrorism or IS. I don't know anything about this particular case but have these women been convicted of or even charged with any crimes? Why should they not be allowed to return to their home country (and processed by the criminal justice system, if necessary) if the authority holding them wants them gone from their territory? Is it simply that Finland's government thinks these people are evil but can't prove criminal wrong-doing, so it's trying to effectively prosecute these people outside of the criminal justice system because they can?

    Also, almost an aside, but why is the article highlighting that this is a "women-led" government? Is it to give context given that Finland (presumably) has been in the news recently for this reason? Is it because a women-led government is expected to specifically treat women better? (Would a women-led government exiling men be acceptable or expected?) Is it because a women-led government is supposed to in general be more peaceable or gentle? And, from the perspective of someone who knows almost nothing about Finland's current government, what does "women-led" even mean? Head of government + majority of cabinet ministers or legislators, or what?


    1 Another common way this is being done (which doesn't seem to be the case here?) is by revoking the citizenship of dual citizens, which is a whole other topic.

    7 votes