Triseult's recent activity

  1. Comment on 1000 years from now, assuming records still exist, what do you think historians will give as the end date for the American Empire? in ~humanities

    Triseult
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    I think the watershed moment where the American Empire stops to exist is the day that NATO goes. Whatever happens next, the U.S. will no longer be in a position that it dictates international...

    I think the watershed moment where the American Empire stops to exist is the day that NATO goes. Whatever happens next, the U.S. will no longer be in a position that it dictates international geopolitics.

    The current POTUS is stepping on the accelerator down that slippery slope, but judging by the incredible amount of pushback he gets from his own Cabinet, I'm guessing this won't happen for a few decades yet. But I'm pretty sure historians will look back on this moment and describe it as a harbinger.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~life

    Triseult
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    This isn't about household chores. This is about a husband who feels the need to be competitive with his wife about trivial shit. Toxic behavior for sure, but not about sharing household chores...

    This isn't about household chores. This is about a husband who feels the need to be competitive with his wife about trivial shit. Toxic behavior for sure, but not about sharing household chores per se.

    That being said, I feel that for many there's still an expectation that it's a woman's role to do household chores, and men doing it come across as unique or worthy of praise.

    The most striking example I saw of this recently is one evening when I cooked dinner for my mom using one of her recipes. Just as I was thinking how great it felt to have cooked this dish myself, my mom said "Wow, food really does taste better when you're not the one making it."

    Yeah... There's still a gap there to be sure!

    Edit: Just to clarify, this is something of a generation gap. I'm the "designated cook" in my relationship, so I wouldn't hear my partner say that. But for my mom, having a man cook for her is a big deal as the only things my dad has ever cooked on a regular basis are breakfast and barbecue.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on The Mystery of People Who Speak Dozens of Languages in ~humanities

    Triseult
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    I was at Montreal LangFest last week, and a few hyperpolyglots I spoke to really hate the kind of articles that make them out to be some sort of wizards or gifted individuals. The truth is,...

    I was at Montreal LangFest last week, and a few hyperpolyglots I spoke to really hate the kind of articles that make them out to be some sort of wizards or gifted individuals. The truth is, everybody can learn multiple languages if they work hard at it and know how.

    I don't speak nearly enough languages to qualify as a hyperpolyglot (I speak 4-7 languages, depending on your definition of "speak") but the attitude irks me, too. People who express amazement at the langues I speak always act like I just have a gift. I do, but it's not genetic or God-given... It's the gift of having figured out, through trial and error, how language learning works.

    My theory about hyperpolyglots is that they learn 3, maybe 4 languages, then generalize their method to every possible language on Earth.

    And in each and every case, their method has two main points:

    1. Listen to interesting material you can generally understand but still challenges your limits;
    2. Keep your inhibitions towards language learning to a minimum, and don't be afraid of making mistakes.

    Whether they speak right away or not, or use a formal method or just dive in, that's the essential of the method: expose yourself to compelling, comprehensible input, and lower your affective filter.

    Most of us don't get there because 1) we don't have the resourcefulness or environment to find comprehensible input, but most importantly, 2) we have inhibitions around language learning, such as the fear of speaking poorly, cultural attitudes towards the other language, or doubt in our own abilities.

    Take Spanish in the U.S., for instance. There's TONS of compelling, comprehensible input available. But there's also a bias against Latinos, as coming from a lower socioeconomic standing, and that Spanish is an "inferior" language to English as a result.

    I should also point out learning your second language is pretty hard. At that point, you have no idea how to do it, and there's a lot of big conceptual hurdles to get you to fluency. (One example: understanding how to pronounce sounds that are not part of your native language.) As such, people growing up in bilingual households have a step up there because they figure out a lot of these things at an early age.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Can you help me source this climate change map? in ~enviro

    Triseult
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    Can't help you source it, but I just wanna point out this map is a fantastic SF writing resource. It's my go-to map whenever I want to write about future Earth where we haven't solved the threat...

    Can't help you source it, but I just wanna point out this map is a fantastic SF writing resource. It's my go-to map whenever I want to write about future Earth where we haven't solved the threat of climate change.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on It’s hard to have an unusual name in China in ~humanities

    Triseult
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    I'd rather not say it as it's pretty unique and I'd be essentially doxing myself. Sorry. :)

    I'd rather not say it as it's pretty unique and I'd be essentially doxing myself. Sorry. :)

    1 vote
  6. Comment on It’s hard to have an unusual name in China in ~humanities

    Triseult
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    Not about rare Chinese characters, but I have a silly story about the perils of picking a name in China... I lived in China for more than three years, and it's pretty customary for foreigners to...

    Not about rare Chinese characters, but I have a silly story about the perils of picking a name in China...

    I lived in China for more than three years, and it's pretty customary for foreigners to pick a Chinese name that somehow echoes their original names. This is because of the writing system where the characters have specific meanings, so you don't just want a similar-sounding name that has a gibberish meaning.

    So before I left, a Chinese friend from Hong Kong who knows passing Mandarin gave me a pretty cool name: "Wang Yong." Wang means "king" and is a reference to my surname, while Yong means "brave," which my friend said I was for moving to China.

    Turns out my friend wasn't that versed in Mandarin (his native language, being from Hong Kong, is Cantonese), and my name got me a LOT of raised eyebrows. To a Chinese person, it sounded like the most hillbilly name you could imagine.

    Basically, I was the China equivalent of a Chinese man walking around Alabama calling himself "Billy Bob Jackson."

    Another (Mandarin-speaking) Chinese friend eventually broke the news to me and helped me find another name, which has a beautiful meaning and sounds to my Chinese friends like some sort of romantic name from a bygone age. Pretty happy with the trade. :)

    6 votes
  7. Comment on It’s hard to have an unusual name in China in ~humanities

    Triseult
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    Not really, though. The character itself has existed for times immemorial. It's just rare and little-known. Well, if that bank was working 100% analog, a rare name would still be an issue. You...

    However, they sort of have a made up name...

    Not really, though. The character itself has existed for times immemorial. It's just rare and little-known.

    It was easier when everything was analog, because you would just tell someone how to write it and that's that.

    Well, if that bank was working 100% analog, a rare name would still be an issue. You could draw it for the bank teller, but then not everyone would be able to read it because they need to know how the character is pronounced. Actually, even if they added that character in the register, it'd still be a pain in the ass because a lot of people wouldn't know how to pronounce it without a dictionary, I'm guessing.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump in ~news

    Triseult
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    For me, this confirms my theory about the Trump Administration: Trump is running his administration like a reality TV show. The show The Apprentice gave him a lot of power on screen and appeared...

    For me, this confirms my theory about the Trump Administration: Trump is running his administration like a reality TV show.

    The show The Apprentice gave him a lot of power on screen and appeared to give him a lot behind the scenes as well, but that was part of the illusion of reality TV. It mattered for the brand of the show that he seemed to call the shots, but anyone who knows how reality TV works realizes that he was a figurehead. The thing that really mattered was the appearance of authority.

    Fast forward to the campaign, when his son approached Kasich to be VP. His offer was, You'll be the most powerful VP in the history of the United States, and Donald's gonna MAGA. In other words, he'll be the figurehead reality TV star, and you'll run the show behind the scenes.

    I don't think Pence has that much power... That was mostly Trump not understanding the President-VP dynamics. But his Cabinet has taken on this role. They let him bloviate because it plays to his base, but when it comes to establishing policy, he's not really in power. People second-guess him at every turn. Sometimes it frustrates him and he pushes back, but for the most part someone talks him off the edge of the cliff and they make statements that sound saner than the President does.

    What Trump's supporters call the Deep State is the realization of this state of things. It's the slow, dawning realization that Trump is just a reality TV star in the biggest reality show in human history.

    I'd go so far as to speculate that the chain of command for the launch of nukes has been altered in some way. Of course, NO ONE will ever admit it, much less to Trump himself, but I suspect there's a failsafe in the chain of command that means someone will make sure a launch isn't attributable to a lapse of judgment from Trump.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on U.S. Officials Scrambled Behind the Scenes to Shield NATO Deal From Trump in ~news

    Triseult
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    Some of the reporters at NPR Politics had a funny name for what's really keeping Trump in check: the Shallow State. They argue (pretty easily) that what's keeping Trump in check isn't some shadowy...

    Some of the reporters at NPR Politics had a funny name for what's really keeping Trump in check: the Shallow State. They argue (pretty easily) that what's keeping Trump in check isn't some shadowy cabal entrenched in the depths of the political apparatus, but rather Trump's own Cabinet and advisers, immediately below him.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on What do you guys think about Sacha Baron Cohen's "Who Is America?" in ~tv

    Triseult
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    Trick me into meeting someone whom I think is an important person with proper credentials, film me for two hours, then make a 3-minute hostile edit of what happened, and I bet you can make me look...

    Trick me into meeting someone whom I think is an important person with proper credentials, film me for two hours, then make a 3-minute hostile edit of what happened, and I bet you can make me look like an ass.

    I highly doubt I would run at people ass-first threatening to make them gay, but I probably won't look great either way.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on What do you guys think about Sacha Baron Cohen's "Who Is America?" in ~tv

    Triseult
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    For me, the real "genius" of SBC isn't what's being shown on screen; that's just the end result. When we only see these heavily-edited segments, it's easy to think of his "victims" in uncharitable...

    For me, the real "genius" of SBC isn't what's being shown on screen; that's just the end result. When we only see these heavily-edited segments, it's easy to think of his "victims" in uncharitable terms because without the context that led them there, and with judicious use of selective editing, they just seem to fall head first into very obvious traps.

    But to get to that point, SBC relies on a team that relentlessly deceives the intended victims, that create a web of false identities to convince their would-be interviewees that the interview they're about to go through is legit. We also don't see just how much SBC himself encourages them into outrageous behavior, for instance, by doing it himself, or by encouraging them repeatedly.

    So although I have no sympathy for the idiots who decide to talk about gun-carrying children or who run backwards with their exposed asses, I still distrust the nature of what I'm seeing as much as any other reality show. A lot of it is people reacting to someone they feel is utterly legit, and being peer-pressured into it.

    In other words, it feels like a hit job, and I feel manipulated by the end product, even though there's no denying that what the victims end up doing is utterly reprehensible.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on How's your attention span? in ~talk

    Triseult
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    I've become convinced that attention is a skill in this day and age. There are a lot of things working against us: this is an age of instant gratification, where the very culture is telling us...

    I've become convinced that attention is a skill in this day and age. There are a lot of things working against us: this is an age of instant gratification, where the very culture is telling us that indulging our desires is the way to lead a fulfilling life. There is very little value nowadays being put in long-term goals and enduring happiness.

    Social media force us into a very short and intense feedback loop. We're gratified with headlines that reinforce our points of view and tidbits of other people's lives that feel like interactions.

    All this eats at our attention spans when it comes to reading. As an avid reader from the day I learned to read, reading novels or complex essays has always been part of my daily information diet... Yet two years ago, I found myself completed exhausted by the prospect of reading a full novel.

    I had to rebuild that attention span, and it totally felt like a training regimen. I started with comicbooks, because they were better at holding my attention over long periods of time. I finally bought myself a Kindle so I could read without the temptation of that nagging Facebook notification in the notification bar.

    Really happy I built back up to this. But it's a cautionary tale, for sure. Keep exercising that attention muscle! Take time to unplug from social media and read long form. Think of social media as junk food: indulge from time to time, but make sure you consume a balanced diet.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Ecuador will imminently withdraw asylum for Julian Assange and hand him over to the UK in ~news

    Triseult
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    Here's what happened. It's pretty pathetic. Assange said he'd surrender if Obama gave clemency to Manning. Obama did. As is usually the case with such things, the act of clemency was to take...

    Here's what happened. It's pretty pathetic.

    Assange said he'd surrender if Obama gave clemency to Manning. Obama did. As is usually the case with such things, the act of clemency was to take effect after a 120-day transition period, thus allowing Ms. Manning the time to make arrangements, find lodgings, etc.

    Assange's reaction: "I was only gonna do it if the clemency was immediate."

    I wish I was kidding.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/julian-assange-chelsea-manning-barack-obama-hand-in-embassy-arrest-extradition-us-a7533911.html

    2 votes
  14. Comment on What are your favorite series? in ~tv

    Triseult
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    I wanna give a shout-out to the best TV series no one is talking about. Counterpart stars JK Simmons at his best, and it's a smart, complex SF thriller that's better than anything I've seen on TV...

    I wanna give a shout-out to the best TV series no one is talking about. Counterpart stars JK Simmons at his best, and it's a smart, complex SF thriller that's better than anything I've seen on TV recently. Superbly acted, superbly written, and it oozes Cold War-era atmosphere in a smart SF setting.

    Can't recommend it enough.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Reddit — one of the world's most popular websites — is trying to cash in through advertising in ~tech

    Triseult
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    It's ironic considering that what made AMAs insanely popular was the fact they were unscripted, informal, and really could go either way depending on the interaction with Redditors. Now they're...

    It's ironic considering that what made AMAs insanely popular was the fact they were unscripted, informal, and really could go either way depending on the interaction with Redditors.

    Now they're absolutely not different from any other sort of fan Q&A on the net. You can feel it, too... Just go back and reread old AMAs and you'll be amazed how sanitized they've now become. I think PR agents saw Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman as cautionary tales, while they were, in their own ways, a direct consequence of why AMAs were so great.

    45 votes
  16. Comment on YouTube introduces paid channel memberships and merchandising options for creators in ~tech

    Triseult
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    Yeah, we're definitely investigating Patreon! But she's in the early stages where the main difficulty is reaching her target audience and building enough of a following... Fingers crossed. Since...

    Yeah, we're definitely investigating Patreon! But she's in the early stages where the main difficulty is reaching her target audience and building enough of a following... Fingers crossed.

    Since you asked so kindly... Here's her channel:

    Hélène se promène

    Cheers!

    2 votes
  17. Comment on Lusine feat. Vilja Larjosto — Just A Cloud in ~music

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    Love Lusine, and that's a killer video. Thanks for sharing!

    Love Lusine, and that's a killer video. Thanks for sharing!

    2 votes
  18. Comment on YouTube introduces paid channel memberships and merchandising options for creators in ~tech

    Triseult
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    You need 100,000 subscribers... Great. Meaning YouTube is still not a path to generate income, however small, unless you've got one hell of a subscriber base. For instance, my girlfriend does...

    You need 100,000 subscribers... Great.

    Meaning YouTube is still not a path to generate income, however small, unless you've got one hell of a subscriber base. For instance, my girlfriend does easy-to-understand travel videos for French learners, but I'm afraid that's so niche she'll never see a dime from YouTube for the hours of content she gives them for free.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on Canada tariffs on US goods from ketchup to lawn mowers begin in ~news

    Triseult
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    You're in for a shock if the U.S. stops subsidising corn. Corn is in everything and is a huge part of feeding industrial cattle. (Fructose from corn isn't just effective at fattening humans, it...

    If these trade wars get us to stop subsidizing crops like corn and cotton, I'm 100% for them even if it costs me more in the short term.

    You're in for a shock if the U.S. stops subsidising corn. Corn is in everything and is a huge part of feeding industrial cattle. (Fructose from corn isn't just effective at fattening humans, it works on animals too.) Basically, all meat and the majority of processed food will jump up in price.

    Corn is insanely important to the U.S. food industry. In this CNN article, the journalist got their hair tested and 69% of the carbon in their hair came from corn.

    6 votes
  20. Comment on Bitcoin bloodbath nears historic levels in ~tech

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    I'm not convinced we've seen the last of the Bitcoin speculation bubble, but the future I fear for cryptocurrencies isn't a complete bust... It's a long, drawn-out cooldown. A Heat Death rather...

    I'm not convinced we've seen the last of the Bitcoin speculation bubble, but the future I fear for cryptocurrencies isn't a complete bust... It's a long, drawn-out cooldown. A Heat Death rather than a Big Crunch.

    I was pretty heavily into Linux in 2000, and I think there are a lot of parallels to draw with the "Linux on desktop" craze. Early in 2000, if you were on sites like Slashdot, you were CONVINCED that Linux's mass adoption on the desktop was just around the corner, you guys. All it needed was a good distro, or one positive article in the mainstream media. And if you only read tech sites, you were convinced it was a matter of time.

    In some ways, as good a proposition as a free OS was, there were some tragic flaws that doomed the project. An over-reliance on function over usability, for instance, or a general disinterest in UX design by a programmer-oriented community. Whatever those flaws were, the point is, the flaws stayed in place no matter what, while the common criticisms leveled at, say, Microsoft, were kinda-sorta addressed in a way that they became a non-issue for the general public. (For instance, as much as Windows still has security issues, it's nowhere near the mess it was when Linux was claiming the security advantage.)

    So, I think, there might be fatal flaws in blockchain technology. Processing time. The risk of fraud through social engineering or hacking of exchanges. The fact you can't call a central authority and revert a fraudulent charge. The energy cost. We like to think some future developers will solve all these, but what if they are flaws inherent to the technology?

    The idea of Linux on desktop didn't die a violent death. In some ways, it's still around. But the hype slowly, slowly dwindled down until it became a non-issue. There was no clear moment when this happened, just the zeitgeist moving on to other tech crazes.

    That's what I can envision for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a technology. We're told the blockchain will revolutionize everything, you guys, it's just a matter of time. And this adoption is a big reason that supports the very idea of investing: people invest because they believe that the hype of a useful, future tech is big enough to sustain investor growth, while the hardcores HODL because they dream of the day the blockchain finally reaches mass adoption.

    But what if it doesn't, and we collectively just move on from it?

    Just like Linux on the desktop, the blockchain will stick around, of that I have no doubt. I have no doubt, either, that some people will find a use for it. But it's entirely possible that cryptocurrencies as investment just keep cooling down, never coming back to previous heights, as the zeitgeist moves on.

    7 votes