Silbern's recent activity

  1. Comment on It's a great time to be an American in ~misc

    Silbern
    Link
    Feel free to change the title, I was worried the original was a bit too long. The article sums up the odd feelings I've experienced the last few months, and I was wondering if anyone else relates...

    Feel free to change the title, I was worried the original was a bit too long. The article sums up the odd feelings I've experienced the last few months, and I was wondering if anyone else relates - despite all the bad going on right now, I feel strangely optimistic for the US' future, for the first time in years. It seems like we've reached a genuine turning point, and I'm excited to see where we go over the next decade. Much more so than I was December 31st, 2019.

    8 votes
  2. Comment on Evo Online canceled after co-founder accused of sexual misconduct in ~games

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Dude so did I! That was a real moment there haha, I just about died.

    Dude so did I! That was a real moment there haha, I just about died.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Do Americans understand how badly they’re doing? in ~health.coronavirus

    Silbern
    Link
    Not to take away from Trump's mismanagement, but the coronavirus situation varies dramatically across the country. France had 918 new cases on July 1st, Hawaii's had 870 cases total throughout the...

    Not to take away from Trump's mismanagement, but the coronavirus situation varies dramatically across the country. France had 918 new cases on July 1st, Hawaii's had 870 cases total throughout the entire crisis, despite us being one of the most at risk states early on due to our high elderly population and numerous travelers from China and Japan. And while our geographic isolation prevents transmission through driving, it doesn't help as much as you'd think - unlike New Zealand, we can't just close our borders to all visitors until the situations get under control. While I understand the author is generalizing, it's a pretty substantial one, and it does ruffle my feathers a bit that we're (and several other states that've done a good job) a "pariah state".

    I also really don't like this line

    the EU believes that the United States is no better than Russia and Brazil—autocrat-run public-health disasters—and that American tourists would pose a dire threat to the hard-won stability our lockdown has earned us.

    The list blocks pretty much the entire world, including Taiwan, Chile, Costa Rica, etc. are they "autocratic-run public health disasters"? Furthermore, the list is not legally binding, and Hungary for example has already announced that it's only going to accept people from Serbia, not Canada, New Zealand, or any other country on the list. The list also includes a reciprocity agreement (which shows it's clearly not just about public health concerns as they keep saying), and some of the EU's own members - especially Sweden, with almost 3,000 new cases per day last I checked a week ago - likely wouldn't have been allowed if they weren't in the EU.

    9 votes
  4. Comment on LinkedIn iOS app is copying the contents of the clipboard on every keystroke in ~tech

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Love the transparency from the Apollo dev, it's great to see programmers that are willing to explain how or why their programs work the way they do. All too often we treat our craft as a black art...

    Love the transparency from the Apollo dev, it's great to see programmers that are willing to explain how or why their programs work the way they do. All too often we treat our craft as a black art that ordinary people aren't meant to understand the slightest bit of...

    5 votes
  5. Comment on The Whiteness Project is an interactive investigation into how Americans who identify as white, or partially white, understand and experience their race in ~life

    Silbern
    Link
    It's interesting to see some research into how white people perceive themselves, normally most of the research is in black / hispanic / asian communities. As a white person myself, I expect the...

    It's interesting to see some research into how white people perceive themselves, normally most of the research is in black / hispanic / asian communities.

    As a white person myself, I expect the responses to be quite muddled, and for there to be very little consensus about what "being white" means. Unlike the other racial groups, most white people were never pushed into dedicated communities, and particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest, the time of their ancestor's immigration is so far back that we're likely to practice little, if any, of their original customs. I'm a partial second generation immigrant myself, and I only speak basic German at best and don't really feel all that connected to Germany, particularly as I've gotten older and encountered some of the starker societal differences between the US and Germany. If I ever adopt a kid, even though I would try to teach what I know, they would become further disconnected than I am, and so etc. Many other white people in the US have already undergone this for 10 or 15 generations, by which point it's incredibly diluted.

    The other thing also is that since white people are generally the majority, anything that features white people is likely to be taken as more general than it would be if it were centered around other racial groups. Ed Edd n' Eddy for example, is a classic (or at least, heavily classically inspired) Canadian-American kid's cartoon, with a nearly all white cast, that takes place in a very stereotypical middle class small town / minor suburb. Yet lots of people watch it without really thinking about the race of the characters, just as a generalistic kid's cartoon, and it doesn't feature really any emphasis on racial stereotypes. But if you look at a show like Everybody Hates Chris, which was a reality show centered around a black family, it instantly stands out as a show produced around a minority, and the show is filled with references to things black folks might get that white or asian people wouldn't.

    I lived in Japan for awhile, and there I experienced kind of the opposite effect. Any ordinary character in an anime was basically taken to be Japanese, and often there wouldn't be very much focus on what being Japanese meant. But if an American character is featured, such as Bandit Keith in Yu-Gi-Oh or Revy from Black Lagoon, it's always with an immediately stereotyped role - with the former, an obnoxious burly dude with an American flag bandanna, and the latter is a badass dual gun wielding chick raised on the streets of NYC. I'm sure that if there were a Japanese anime centered around an American family in Japan, it would also be inherently self-aware about what being a minority in Japan is like, while the same show centered around a Japanese family wouldn't.

    TL;DR Just a really long winded way to say that I don't think there will be much consistency or a strong identity because the majority doesn't spend much time contemplating its differences vs the minority. Straight people don't really have much of a consistent idea of what "being straight" means, whereas LGBT people have our own subculture and common experiences centered around our sexuality / gender identity. I expect a very similar situation with racial groups too.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Kongregate is no longer accepting new games, will shut down almost all of their chat/forums in three weeks, and is laying off employees in ~games

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Yeah, this really sucks. Kongregate was one of the major flash game sites, along with Andkon arcade, Miniclip, Nitrome, Mofunzone, Newgrounds, Agames.com, Armor Games, etc. that really defined...

    Yeah, this really sucks. Kongregate was one of the major flash game sites, along with Andkon arcade, Miniclip, Nitrome, Mofunzone, Newgrounds, Agames.com, Armor Games, etc. that really defined 2000's era flash games. I hoped they'd be able to do what Nitrome did and use a Flash emulator in the browser to keep their games working, but I guess not... :/

    Probably a good time to mention BlueMaxima's Flashpoint. It's a project that aims to preserve flash games (and other plugin based media) for the future. It's really complete and has pretty much all of them, so at least the games themselves will be preserved for the future to enjoy.

    14 votes
  7. Comment on Tildes Issue Log - June 2020 in ~tildes

    Silbern
    Link
    Hey man, thanks for your years of work! As a self-proclaimed internet historian, your logs are a really easy to digest way to record the history of the site, particularly in its early days, and if...

    Hey man, thanks for your years of work! As a self-proclaimed internet historian, your logs are a really easy to digest way to record the history of the site, particularly in its early days, and if it's still running in 15 years, people are going to come back to it and be able to read the evolution for themselves. And that makes me really happy :)

    On that note, it's also been just over 2 years since I joined as well, it feels like we just passed our 1 year anniversary yesterday!

    7 votes
  8. Comment on Lemmy, an open-source federated Reddit alternative, gets funding for development in ~tech

    Silbern
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    There's very little that's inherently left-right, including immigration, you're absolutely right. It's a problem of trying to boil down complex politics, especially complex politics between...

    There's very little that's inherently left-right, including immigration, you're absolutely right. It's a problem of trying to boil down complex politics, especially complex politics between different countries, on a simple one dimensional spectrum. And it's why I usually don't like using these terms or try to describe one country as more "left or right wing" than another, because often different countries have completely different criteria as to what constitutes what.

    That being said, in the US today, immigration and diversity are topics that absolutely fall along a left-right divide, with a very small number of exceptions (mainly union voters for the Democrats and libertarians + large corporations that exploit immigrant workers on the right).

    Furthermore, every country in this comparison shows a comparable divide. The self-identified "left" of each country is more open to diversity and immigration than the "right" of that same country, usually by substantial margins of 20+% (the smallest is 10%).

    Therefore, I don't have a problem in using in this particular context, since the data clearly backs up this being a general trend, for this specific set of countries. And by this same definition, if we put them all on a scale the way we do each country individually, then it's unmistakable that the US would rank as "far left" by most/all of the other country's standards, given the huge gulf.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Lemmy, an open-source federated Reddit alternative, gets funding for development in ~tech

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Unless the average Democrat in the US is "extreme left", it really wouldn't. It'd certainly be considered progressive, but not extremist. And I also wouldn't agree that the US is universally...

    Only in America (and maybe Russia) could Tildes be considered "extreme left", due to the Overton window being so far skewed to the right there.

    Unless the average Democrat in the US is "extreme left", it really wouldn't. It'd certainly be considered progressive, but not extremist.

    And I also wouldn't agree that the US is universally skewed far to the right. On some of our own left/right divides, the rest of the world is skewed waaay to the right (from our own perspective). Compare the responses of Americans vs some Europeans on diversity for example (from Pew Research, a well respected polling firm). 58% of Americans approve of diversity and immigration, and only 7% disapprove. Compare this to the Netherlands, where only 17% of Dutch people approve of diversity, and a full 36% think it's actively making their country worse. If the American conservatives in this survey were their own country, the Trump supporters and religious evangelicals mind you, they'd be the third most liberal country on immigration, second only to the UK in Europe, and only by 4%.

    9 votes
  10. Comment on I joined Parler, the right-wing echo chamber’s new favorite alt-Twitter in ~tech

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Fair enough I guess. What I meant, is that all that pressure is outwards focused; while they may troll and brigade other subreddits, they're not engaging with their users in any meaningful...

    I thought /r/the_donald wasn't exactly an isolated subreddit,. If I recall correctly, they did brigade other subreddits in general and with some frequency. Here's a thread from /r/boston talking about it. In that thread, it's alluded to the fact, they were likely not the only city based subreddit to be affected by /r/the_donald brigades.

    Fair enough I guess. What I meant, is that all that pressure is outwards focused; while they may troll and brigade other subreddits, they're not engaging with their users in any meaningful capacity. If you took away the other subreddits, and /r/the_donald were the only sub on that site, nothing would really change other than that they wouldn't have other users to troll. They're not going to become any less extreme than they already are, since they weren't moderating themselves to begin with.

    If I were a betting man, I would wager that these radicalization efforts haven't really stopped on popular sites like Reddit. They're just better at hiding it in plain sight.

    Targeted efforts will continue, and not all of these users leave completely. After all, they may still retain their old accounts, and perhaps even some smaller communities as well. But if the big ones aren't on the site anymore, it's going to significantly hamper their ability to draw in new users and troll existing ones.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on I joined Parler, the right-wing echo chamber’s new favorite alt-Twitter in ~tech

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    I don't think it really changes much tbh. The thing is that while these far right nuts may share the same website as the general public, they don't really interact with them as is. Look at Reddit...

    I don't think it really changes much tbh. The thing is that while these far right nuts may share the same website as the general public, they don't really interact with them as is. Look at Reddit and /r/The_Donald for instance - back when it was an active subreddit, there were tons of users that visited that sub, and only that sub (or subs very closely related). On Twitter, they only follow other far right users, and generally only participate in discussions with them too.

    If they already talk in mostly their own circle, then them moving off to another site isn't going to make them more or less prone to radicalization, than they would be if they just stayed on Twitter in their community to begin with. It does limit their exposure to other people who might not be radicalized though, and at the bare minimum, contains their vitriol, so I think it's a net positive, if a relatively small one.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Latest $84 million cuts rip the heart out of the ABC, and Australia's democracy in ~news

    Silbern
    (edited )
    Link
    This is a common myth about the US I hear a lot, so I suppose now is as good a time as any to address it. We absolutely have publicly funded media assets; most notably, PBS (the Public Broadcast...

    While not everyone will miss every program or service that has gone, and even with its occasional missteps, there is no doubt the ABC is the envy of the liberal democracies that do not have publicly funded assets, particularly the United States.

    This is a common myth about the US I hear a lot, so I suppose now is as good a time as any to address it. We absolutely have publicly funded media assets; most notably, PBS (the Public Broadcast Corporation) and VoA (Voice of America). The former is a nonprofit corporation whose income is predominantly from its content fees and public funding, and the latter is directly managed by a US agency, hence the US government.

    VoA is more geared for foreign readers (though many Americans, including myself, also read it), but PBS is one of the largest multimedia institutions in the US, being watched by over 50% of Americans each month, and consistently ranks with NASA and the court system as among the most trusted public institutions. ABC seems to have been around 70% viewership across all of their outlets, including traditional news, radio, etc as of 2016. I think given PBS' narrower focus on video content, the two are quite comparable, and while I'm sure the Australian ABC is pretty good, PBS isn't leaving us wanting either. Their programming is phenomenal, accessibility is excellent, and they fulfill everything you could ask for from a public media service.

    9 votes
  13. Comment on Did Europe have more mutations through its history? in ~science

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I think it's more likely blond hair is common in northern Europe because of a lack of genetic diversity, not despite it. Other regions of the world with similarly low sunlight patterns don't...

    Yeah, I think it's more likely blond hair is common in northern Europe because of a lack of genetic diversity, not despite it. Other regions of the world with similarly low sunlight patterns don't exhibit comparable mutations, and the one part of the world that does - certain regions of the Pacific - also suffer from a lack of genetic diversity, owing to small populations that are greatly isolated from each other. Blond hair tends to be naturally recessive, and it shrinks or even disappears nearly entirely in more diverse regions of the world, even when they contain Europeans or people of European descent (like the US, Canada, southern France, etc. where blond people are 25% or less instead of 80+%), which I think is pretty significant.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Did Europe have more mutations through its history? in ~science

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Not necessarily. Many other northern populations, particularly the indigenous people of Canada and Russia, don't natively have blond hair at all afaik, and there are populations of Pacific...

    Not necessarily. Many other northern populations, particularly the indigenous people of Canada and Russia, don't natively have blond hair at all afaik, and there are populations of Pacific islanders that independently developed it (and still sustained it). A commonly cited reason is that blond hair enables more vitamin D to be collected, but the blondest populations in Scandinavia tend to be regions where people also consumed fish in large quantities, which is one of the few sources in nature that naturally has a lot of it. Further south, in Germany or France for example, the total supply of sunlight isn't all that much greater (if at all), yet blond hair drops off pretty substantially even over a relatively short distance.

    It doesn't seem to be a big disadvantage or advantage either way given its inconsistency, and I think the rarity has more to do with the fact that lighter hair colors tend to be highly recessive, so you need a relative lack of genetic diversity to continuously sustain it in high quantities. Europeans tend to exhibit many other highly recessive traits / disorders, and I hypothesize that blond hair is just one more of the pot.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on Reuters removes RSS feeds in ~tech

    Silbern
    Link
    Does AP have an RSS feed? I remember them having one a few years back, but it seems to have disappeared. Dark times for us RSS fans...

    Does AP have an RSS feed? I remember them having one a few years back, but it seems to have disappeared. Dark times for us RSS fans...

    6 votes
  16. Comment on I just became a US citizen today in ~talk

    Silbern
    Link
    Congratulations!!! I was born a US citizen, but I might be going through this with my mom soon, we're looking at getting her naturalized. The only two things I can think of to do next, as the...

    Congratulations!!! I was born a US citizen, but I might be going through this with my mom soon, we're looking at getting her naturalized. The only two things I can think of to do next, as the other commenters said, is to get your legally entitled passport (if you can afford it), and register to exercise your right to vote! :)

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Six former eBay executives and employees charged with aggressive cyberstalking campaign targeting a couple who published an online newsletter critical of the company in ~tech

    Silbern
    Link
    You've got to be fucking kidding me, just wow. Sending a decapitated animal head, porn, a book on the loss of a spouse, harassing them with private messages, attempting to break into the victim's...

    You've got to be fucking kidding me, just wow. Sending a decapitated animal head, porn, a book on the loss of a spouse, harassing them with private messages, attempting to break into the victim's car and track them with GPS, lying to the police, coming up with fake "Person of Interest" reports - I've seen less crazy schemes in kid's cartoons. The Onion could publish this as their first 100% realistic story, and I'd think it's outlandish even for them.

    8 votes
  18. Comment on Are there any good tools for "one-off" file encryption? in ~comp

    Silbern
    Link
    My favorite tool when it comes to encrypting files one shot is an encrypted zip file, often through 7zip. It's cross platform, condenses a bunch of files easily, and looks indistinguishable to a...

    My favorite tool when it comes to encrypting files one shot is an encrypted zip file, often through 7zip. It's cross platform, condenses a bunch of files easily, and looks indistinguishable to a normal zip until you try to open it, so it doesn't raise any flags.

    Albeit a Linux specific tool, KDE has a really neat tool called Vault that I think creates a virtual folder wherever, and transparently decrypts and encrypts anything dropped in it or pulled out. I've never used it myself since I have full disk encryption, but it seems really useful and just the trick if you use it on a laptop with an unencrypted drive for instance.

    3 votes