TreeFiddyFiddy's recent activity

  1. Comment on Ukrainians contemplate the once unthinkable: Losing the war with Russia in ~misc

    TreeFiddyFiddy
    Link Parent
    To be completely fair, if I'm not mistaken, you were once on here questioning whether to keep your American citizenship - a country you never lived in and felt you had absolutely no connection to....
    • Exemplary

    I'll throw in an emotional component, which I'll allow myself to make as both a citizen of the US and Europe

    To be completely fair, if I'm not mistaken, you were once on here questioning whether to keep your American citizenship - a country you never lived in and felt you had absolutely no connection to. It's an interesting position for one to argue from an EU perspective but as the citizen of a country which they have all but formally completely disavowed.

    constant meddling of the US in our affairs
    letting us being taken hostage by other countries

    As an American who grew up in the States and has now lived in Europe for many years, I find this particular form of European doublethink especially irksome. Europeans tend to portray themselves of victims of US. I've encountered the narrative more than once about American culture "infecting" or "invading" European lands as if it was something inflicted upon them by a malevolent US and not because the citizens of those countries were freely choosing that culture - even when at a detriment to their own native one.

    Similarly Europe is often portrayed as a victim of American meddling and, as put above, a "hostage" to US interests. It is certainly true that the US meddles in European affairs but dishonest to portray the EU as a hostage when the truth is that this is a policy expressly desired by Europe. European nations have enjoyed luxurious social welfare programs largely because of their reliance on the US for defense and geopolitical leadership. The EU talks a big game about wanting to stand on their own two feet but meanwhile is expanding the presence of the American military, especially in the North and East.

    I am myself personally a non-interventionist and believe the US would be better off without meddling in world affairs but after many years of reflection on the subject and first hand experience living on four continents, I have begrudgingly come to admit that the world would suffer for the US to return to non-interventionism. Modern Europe would be unrecognizable without US support, again their lavish public spending and routine economic underperformance would be unsustainable if they had to support a military capable of defending the continent. Then there is the fact that in spite of America's "instigating wars all around the world," to borrow those words, Pax Americana is the most peaceful time in the entire recorded history of the world. Don't mistake me for a nationalist trying to glorify a country that I haven't lived in for over a decade and feel a more tenuous connection to by the day, I am a realist who understands that in the face of an entirely apathetic Europe a decision to align with a global military power has to be made and when choosing among the US, Russia, or China the US begins to not look so malevolent at all.

    And, without digressing to far or too long from the extremely complicated relationship between the US and Europe, we should not forget that Europe too continues to practice colonialism to this very day - particularly in Africa, the Middle East, and, to a lesser extent, South America but because they can hide in the US' shadow gets to escape the critical focus that they also deserve.

    29 votes
  2. Comment on In Berlin, I experience icks I never thought possible in ~travel

    TreeFiddyFiddy
    Link Parent
    What I find interesting and actually funny, in the literal sense, at times is how Germans view Americans as boorish for our tendency to make jokes about WW2/Nazis/Hitler. Here that is obviously...

    What I find interesting and actually funny, in the literal sense, at times is how Germans view Americans as boorish for our tendency to make jokes about WW2/Nazis/Hitler. Here that is obviously not socially acceptable outside of close friend groups but they assume we should just know better and have a little more tact than to do it, and I admit they do have a point, but on the flip side they go around saying the N-word with no consideration to the weight it carries for people from the US despite how glaringly obvious from American media (outside of hip-hop/rap culture) how negative that word is.

    It's the classic tale of two cultures misunderstanding each other and a golden opportunity for both of us to learn a little more tact and grace. Hearing my European friends casually drop N-bombs would make me physically jump at first but now I find it amusing in a they-don't-know-better type of way.

    7 votes
  3. Comment on In Berlin, I experience icks I never thought possible in ~travel

    TreeFiddyFiddy
    Link Parent
    The author surely is talking about the latter although being satirical about the former. Germans see their vacation time as a god given right, and good for them for standing up for it, but any...

    The author surely is talking about the latter although being satirical about the former. Germans see their vacation time as a god given right, and good for them for standing up for it, but any kind of planning around that circumstance seems to get lost. A lot of organizations both large and small do become chaotic at times because so-and-so is on vacation for three weeks and that's their job, please wait until they return. Or someone else is covering for them but doesn't really understand how or what to do and is already working two or three other duties in the office so they don't really have the bandwidth anyway.

    American culture around work and leisure time is definitely problematic but I see this comparison as a kind of somewhere in between would be ideal situation. Americans would do better to have more vacation days (and actually take them!) and the Germans might learn a little by planning around keeping operations for the customer going or at least thinking a little more outside the box to bend and skirt rules to keep things flowing at times.

    10 votes
  4. Comment on You don't need to document everything in ~tech

    TreeFiddyFiddy
    Link Parent
    I unfortunately don't have time to source my argument but there's plenty of easily accessible research to be found backing up my opinion. Arguments about gatekeeping who is allowed to criticize...

    I unfortunately don't have time to source my argument but there's plenty of easily accessible research to be found backing up my opinion.

    They don't come from a well-meaning place nor do they generate constructive discussion.

    Arguments about gatekeeping who is allowed to criticize cell phone and social media use aside, there is tons of research out there that shows that cell phones and social media are uniquely harmful and the arguments against them are not simply a rehash of that same old argument about kids these days

    • recording events actually impairs our memories of those events

    • apps are constructed so that sharing things trigger dopamine spikes, completely unlike past generations critiques of television, radio, the printing press

    • smartphones and social media can be addictive in the clinical sense because of their inherent design

    • smartphone and social media can lead to psychiatric disorders of various types

    and not backed up by science but I think easily discussed:

    • standing in an audience watching something like a concert or fireworks show when all you can see is everyone's phone screens and not much of the actual event can objectively ruin it for people trying to live in the moment and not hold a several inches large screen above their head

    • more than 90% of people really do not care about your video of fireworks or concerts, so it brings up the question of why do people even do this? Likes do trigger dopamine hits...

    • it always baffles me when people take photos of art in museums or things like fire works or live performances. There is almost undoubtedly a much better quality version of what you captured that can easily be googled. What's wrong with advocating that people just take a break from their phones and live in the real world for a bit

    At the end of the day it comes down to moderation. A quick clip or photo for posterity is certainly okay. I always allow myself to take something like a 30-second video clip of a concert before I commit to putting my phone away. But too many people these days do not have moderate connections to the device in their pocket that objectively is harming large swaths of society mentally, socially, politically, etc.

    I personally believe there is a lot of constructive discussion to be had where smart phones and living in the moment is concerned

    40 votes
  5. Comment on You don't need to document everything in ~tech

    TreeFiddyFiddy
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    Freya India's essay posits that people have forgotten how to live in the moment and trade actually experiencing for documenting via their phones. Whether a fireworks show in Paris or a packed...

    Freya India's essay posits that people have forgotten how to live in the moment and trade actually experiencing for documenting via their phones. Whether a fireworks show in Paris or a packed concert, it is sure to be ubiquitously filled with people standing there watching everything happen through their camera lens. The new existential question seems to be, "If it isn't on social media, did it even happen?" while the true question should be more akin to, "If you aren't giving something your actual authentic attention, were you even there?"

    28 votes
  6. Comment on The costs of a phone-based childhood (gifted link) in ~tech

    TreeFiddyFiddy
    Link Parent
    I've been struggling against my cell phone for a while now and have written about it often on this site. One of my primary dependencies is on Instagram, I genuinely enjoy being on there and mostly...

    I think phones themselves play a huge part, primarily because of notifications

    I've been struggling against my cell phone for a while now and have written about it often on this site. One of my primary dependencies is on Instagram, I genuinely enjoy being on there and mostly limit my follows to people I actually know or a few content creators for inspiration but it triggers a doom-loop for me and I end up spending way too much time on my phone.

    It literally physically pained me to do it but I turned off notifications on Instagram three weeks ago and my use of the app absolutely plummeted. I didn't even have to remove the app, just not seeing when friends messaged or liked, etc., was enough to stop triggering me. I still go on about once a day but can honestly say that my interest in the app is seriously flagging, my notification-induced FOMO is evaporated, and I just don't care if I'm missing something on the feed anymore and friends can wait to hear back from me about inane reels they've sent me.

    I'm now on a notification purging crusade on all of my devices. Outside of particular messaging apps and banking they're all slowly getting turned off.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on The war on recovery: how the US is sabotaging its best tools to prevent deaths in the opioid epidemic in ~health

    TreeFiddyFiddy
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    Onerous, unproven, and damaging restrictions on patient access to drugs like methadone and buprenorphine greatly harm addiction treatment in the US. Buprenorphine especially causes no high while...

    Onerous, unproven, and damaging restrictions on patient access to drugs like methadone and buprenorphine greatly harm addiction treatment in the US. Buprenorphine especially causes no high while alleviating addiction cravings and withdrawal symptoms but remains absurdly difficult to obtain because it is itself and opiate medication. With no end to the opioid crisis in the US, a massive rethink on addiction treatment and access is needed.

    11 votes
  8. Comment on US House Intel Chairman announces ‘serious national security threat,’ sources say it is related to Russia's nuclear capabilities in space in ~news

    TreeFiddyFiddy
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    I can't take the threat too seriously just like I can't take the threat of globabl nuclear war seriously, both would completely destroy worldwide civilization so why worry about it outside of...

    I can't take the threat too seriously just like I can't take the threat of globabl nuclear war seriously, both would completely destroy worldwide civilization so why worry about it outside of academic theory. A nuke in space won't be precise enough to target any one nation or group of nation's assets, it would destroy everything in a very wide radius - to include satelites that Russia relies on as well. It's like, good to know that this is a possiblity but I don't see how it's a serious national security threat that needs to be released to the public ASAP.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on What if US public housing were for everyone? in ~life

    TreeFiddyFiddy
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    While cities retain ownership of the properties and profits are funneling into city coffers I would prefer that cities use their power to offer either a buyback program for tenants or lifelong...

    While cities retain ownership of the properties and profits are funneling into city coffers I would prefer that cities use their power to offer either a buyback program for tenants or lifelong leases in order to spur residents to maintain and keep the properties up, a sense of ownership goes very far. A buyback program could even be backed by the city to offer tenant-buyers cheaper interests rates and/or prices. I think it's valid to worry that as revenue sources get diverted by politics and periodic budget crunches come up that maintenance and updating of these properties could easily get cut and these projects could slowly become slums for the poor.

    9 votes
  10. Comment on What if US public housing were for everyone? in ~life

    TreeFiddyFiddy
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    An interesting program is springing up around the US as cities begin to invest in affordable housing themselves. The innovations of these programs lay in providing developers favorable loan terms...

    An interesting program is springing up around the US as cities begin to invest in affordable housing themselves. The innovations of these programs lay in providing developers favorable loan terms and lower taxes to spur development because developers would prefer to chase higher returns made possible by such benefits.

    7 votes
  11. Comment on I applied for a software role at FedEx and was asked to take this bizarre personality test in ~life

    TreeFiddyFiddy
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    Granted, that “personality test” truly is bizarre but is this what we’re going to do on Tildes - link to Reddit posts?

    Granted, that “personality test” truly is bizarre but is this what we’re going to do on Tildes - link to Reddit posts?

    27 votes
  12. Alternative or fun ways to donate to charity?

    One of my financial goals for 2024 is to donate more to charity. I have a couple of major charities that I donate to once or twice a year and love the personal touch of a GoFundMe whenever someone...

    One of my financial goals for 2024 is to donate more to charity. I have a couple of major charities that I donate to once or twice a year and love the personal touch of a GoFundMe whenever someone I'm in some way connected to needs help but otherwise I find it hard to get motivated to find charities to give to.

    I used to donate regularly to Omaze, a Charitable organization that would count your donations as entries in raffles for the chance to win prizes. I never won and never really expected to but it made giving really fun and allowed me to reach a much wider breadth of charities than if I had done the legwork myself. Omaze is now shut down and while I'd rather not have to admit it, making donating fun or even just easier would get me to do it more often.

    Does anyone have any recommendations to get my charitable motivation up other than finding worthwhile charities and manually donating myself?

    24 votes
  13. Comment on The story of the New Hampshire primary in one voter in ~misc

    TreeFiddyFiddy
    Link Parent
    That is exactly why I wanted to post this. I find that a lot of people expected that Trump supporters had somehow woken up after his failed campaign last election and that his support had waned....

    Could someone suggest a meaningful takeaway from pieces like this, other than it being just another reminder of how incredibly unintelligent the "typical" voter is?

    That is exactly why I wanted to post this. I find that a lot of people expected that Trump supporters had somehow woken up after his failed campaign last election and that his support had waned. In reality, if you sit down and listen to these people you’ll quickly realize that their capacity to think politically is at a level that allows them to continue to support him as president. I.e. nothing has really changed since 2016.

    You may understand this and I applaud you for it but a lot of people simply don’t know what is going on in the minds of these people, well here it is, and it’s very important to understand what motivates them

    21 votes
  14. Comment on The story of the New Hampshire primary in one voter in ~misc

    TreeFiddyFiddy
    Link
    A lot of left-aligned discourse about President Trump shows a great disconnect in recognizing the views of the typical Trump supporter and unsurprisingly so as political discourse has continued to...

    A lot of left-aligned discourse about President Trump shows a great disconnect in recognizing the views of the typical Trump supporter and unsurprisingly so as political discourse has continued to grow more fractured and uncivil. Here is a snapshot of the thinking of a "typical" New Hampshire Republican Primary voter, who, anecdotally, sounds very much like a typical Donald Trump supporter

    12 votes
  15. Comment on China’s age of malaise in ~misc

    TreeFiddyFiddy
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    Western fears of an ascendent China on course to take over the world are giving way now to realities of stagnation and possible regression. A malaise has taken over China from the wealthy elite to...

    Western fears of an ascendent China on course to take over the world are giving way now to realities of stagnation and possible regression. A malaise has taken over China from the wealthy elite to the average urban citizen who see an inflection point on the horizon, a make it or break it test to see if Xi's experiment to wed Communist-style autocracy with Deng's legacy of capitalism can allow the country to continue on it's self-imagined destined path to multi-polar greatness.

    9 votes