arp242's recent activity

  1. Comment on Star Trek: Lower Decks trailer in ~tv

    arp242
    Link Parent
    After Star Trek taking itself incredibly serious for most of its existence, a little lighter-hearted approach might be just what's needed right now. Doctor Who – the other franchise which has been...

    After Star Trek taking itself incredibly serious for most of its existence, a little lighter-hearted approach might be just what's needed right now.

    Doctor Who – the other franchise which has been running for more than half a century – has remained fun and entertaining exactly because it doesn't always take itself too serious.

  2. Comment on Hawaii grapples with Great Depression-level unemployment as tourism plummets in ~finance

    arp242
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    I currently live in Bali, and it has similar problems. There's also little government aid (which seems busy with other things), although most locals seem to get along kind-of okay due to social...

    I currently live in Bali, and it has similar problems. There's also little government aid (which seems busy with other things), although most locals seem to get along kind-of okay due to social cohesion. For example my girlfriend sends money to her cousin etc. It also has a lot of farming, and can be more or less self-sustainable for basic needs. I fear things will start getting properly desperate sooner or later though, and that once they open the borders to get the economy going again it'll be a huge hotspot :-/

    Funniest part is that while they're desperate to get tourism up again they're also starting to kick out the foreigners already here on overstay permits. Monty Python logic 🙃

    12 votes
  3. Comment on Bad faith is the condition of the modern internet, and shitposting is the lingua franca of the online world in ~tech

    arp242
    Link Parent
    Sounds like a lot like Timothy McVeign's beliefs based on the The Turner Diaries etc. Scary.

    Sounds like a lot like Timothy McVeign's beliefs based on the The Turner Diaries etc. Scary.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    Link Parent
    But how do you distinguish between "question no one looked at" and "question people looked at and decided was bad"?

    But how do you distinguish between "question no one looked at" and "question people looked at and decided was bad"?

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    Link Parent
    Okay, that makes sense. To be honest, I've kind of given up for the foreseeable future, which is why I haven't really followed the more recent developments all that closely. At some point a former...

    Okay, that makes sense.

    To be honest, I've kind of given up for the foreseeable future, which is why I haven't really followed the more recent developments all that closely. At some point a former employee contacted me after reading my SO post and we exchanged some emails, and their descriptions of the Stack Exchange culture was ... not flattering: no clear leadership, many committee meetings, managers protecting their turf, new CEO just wanting to monetize Teams, etc. You know ... the classic Enterprise-y stuff. This is just one person's perspective of course, but it does match up pretty much exactly with what I've been able to observe over the years.

    The vi.SE site is still nice; actually I think it's by far the best place to ask your Vim question on the internet as far as I know, and I'm modestly proud of being a small part of building that. I still hang out there occasionally :-)

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    Link Parent
    I think Stack Overflow is kinda different than Tildes though; as someone looking to answer questions I want to be able to quickly see which questions are worth looking at and which aren't:...

    I think Stack Overflow is kinda different than Tildes though; as someone looking to answer questions I want to be able to quickly see which questions are worth looking at and which aren't: downvotes are useful for that, and I think removing them would be a loss.

    But ... there is no reason why the score needs to be shown to the OP. There's a lot of different things you can do, such as having a minimal value of -1 or 0 for the OP and instead adding a message like "hey, we noticed your questions isn't received too well, here are some tips on how to make it better: [..]".

    None of this is rocket science or requiring fundamental changes, it's just tweaking UI and adding an if or two. There's been some movement here since I wrote that with question closure, but I haven't really followed so I don't really know the details.

    Then again, all of this rests on the assumption that people aren't going to abuse their votes...

    But if you disagree with a post, you should always be able to explain why you think the post is wrong or low quality or whatever.

    The problem with that on Stack Overflow is that people are going to leave shitty comments. To be fair, it does take more time and effort to write thoughtful and kind criticism, especially if someone is a bit, ehh, clueless. It's probably better to "automate" that through votes/flags/etc.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    Link Parent
    I'm not so sure the "whenever possible" really matters, since Stack Exchange already ignored then-existing procedures to fire Monica. I mean, you can write anything on a piece of paper, right?...

    I'm not so sure the "whenever possible" really matters, since Stack Exchange already ignored then-existing procedures to fire Monica.

    I mean, you can write anything on a piece of paper, right? It's all about trust in that they're actually followed in good faith to the best of their ability. Five years ago, I had that trust. Now ... not so much.

    In that sense, the whole song and dance about the "new code of conduct" 2 years ago or so was also pretty meaningless IMHO. There was nothing wrong with the old "be nice" policy (in fact, I think it was a lot clearer), the problem was just that it wasn't enforced very well (which is a hard task, I admit), and the new CoC also isn't enforced very well, so ... little really changed. I actually wrote an entire rant about this.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I don't know. The mod question happened way back in January (2019) after a discussion in the chat room about this, and after that it went pretty quiet on this topic as far as I've seen;...

    Yeah, I don't know. The mod question happened way back in January (2019) after a discussion in the chat room about this, and after that it went pretty quiet on this topic as far as I've seen; nothing was really resolved but people seemed to "agree to disagree".

    Then in late September it was suddenly announced in the mod chatroom that "we'll be amending the CoC regarding pronoun use, which will also include avoiding using pronouns". I didn't even connect it with the January discussions initially; I think Monica asked some questions about what this meant exactly, and then suddenly she was fired to pretty much everyone's surprise. I didn't follow the last part of this very closely as I was busy relocating to a different country at the time. After 2 days of travel and adjusting for jetlag I had decided to resign as I felt 5 years was enough, and I only learned a few hours later that I resigned in the midst of a massive fire-storm and many mod resignations in protest haha

    I suspect there was quite a bit of non-public "lobbying" on this, especially considering the cheering about it, but I don't know for sure 🤷‍♂️ It would seem that the decision was made by one person who has since pretty much refused to comment on it at all, leaving basically other people to deal with it all. I don't think they really see anything wrong with their actions (or if they do, they never said so as far as I've been able to see). I suspect there were many heated discussions inside SE about this as well (which fits with Shog9's and Robert's sudden departure, as well as Jon resigning), but people are professionals and you don't really air this kind of dirty laundry.

    It all sounds a bit conspiratorial, but that's what happened as near as I'm able to determine these kind of things: people got so upset they continued working at trying to change things "behind the screens" – not necessarily a bad thing, although a person should have the ability to defend themselves – which eventually cumulated in Monica's firing.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Stack Exchange as a company does more than you'd might think, not just in building the software and hosting it (which is already quite a task at this scale), Community Managers do a lot of...

    Stack Exchange as a company does more than you'd might think, not just in building the software and hosting it (which is already quite a task at this scale), Community Managers do a lot of invisible work in making sure the community runs well, ranging from identifying voting rings and other outright abuse to resolving personal conflicts to dealing people who are suicidal*. In other words: the community wouldn't exist without Stack Exchange, either. They both need each other.

    But yeah, there is a bit of a power imbalance; like the landlord needs the tenant just as much as the tenant needs the landlord, generally speaking the landlord is the one with the largest amount of power (unless the tenant are given power by laws and such).


    *: People post suicidal stuff on Stack Overflow. I don't recall the exact numbers off-hand but there's a bunch every month 😟 Dealing with that is really hard not-fun work.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    This is not really what happened. Monica says she doesn't like "they" and "them" as singular pronouns for grammatical reasons, and that instead she prefers to avoid using gendered pronouns...

    This is not really what happened. Monica says she doesn't like "they" and "them" as singular pronouns for grammatical reasons, and that instead she prefers to avoid using gendered pronouns altogether in her writing. You can find that take a bit pedantic and that she was being a bit stubborn (I do, as well), but she really wasn't trying to "play word games" or "not respecting pronouns", and it's in no way proportional to how she was treated.

    The take from the opposing side was that you must using the preferred pronouns – which are more "required pronouns" if you must use them – or that you're otherwise not recognizing people's identity.

    Monica – and myself as well – found that a strange take, as it's requiring of people to explicitly use a particular vocabulary to validate your identity, which isn't really a requirement for respectful or inclusive communication, IMO, or was it covered by the rules (either explicitly or in spirit). The entire conversation in the mod thread was also pretty abstract; in spite of invitations to do so, no one actually gave any concrete examples where Monica's writings caused hurt or offence. In my reading, Monica was plenty open to re-adjusting her views if people would be more specific.

    I still have screenshots of the entire mod thread that started this entire things* and have re-read it and the many comments just now. I think Monica was plenty clear and empathic, and hardly "playing word games".

    Again, I don't especially agree with Monica's perspective; I use singular "they" as pretty much the default pronoun and have for a long time, but honestly, the entire thing was a very minor disagreement blown completely out of proportion. If we want inclusivity (great!) then we must also be inclusive to these kind of small differences of opinion. Kicking people in the teeth over it is not how you win people for your cause (quite the opposite). I'm familiar with the Paradox of Tolerance, but this really wasn't a case of transphobia, either explicit or subtle. The fact of the matter is that if you want to change how millions of people use the English language you're going to have to have some amount of patience; people have strong feelings about what is and isn't "correct" all the time, and this is no different, and disagreement about it doesn't mean they disagree with your identity as a person.

    Monica spent over 8 years and untold hours of volunteer work on Stack Exchange; it was a big part of her daily life. Almost every interaction I've had with her or seen her be involved in over the years was exceptional, even when the interactions were challenging (she didn't moderate the easiest sites). Disregarding all existing procedures to fire her over a pet peeve really wasn't appropriate, and neither was making misleading statement to the press about it, or refusing to enter in to a conversation with Monica about it. Monica was treated like an anonymous Reddit troll making low-effort comments.

    Some people literally cheered in the mod chat room over her sudden firing. I still find the lack of empathy, compassion and kindness astounding, and it has been a major contributor in making sure I really don't want to deal with this community in the near future again, as I found the entire experience profoundly unpleasant and negative to the point where I would call it toxic.

    Even if you strongly feel that she was being tone-deaf and/or low-key transphobic, it really was no reason to treat her like this over it. You don't fix these kind of issues by inflicting a great amount of personal hurt on someone and then cheering. I don't like seeing anyone hurt and will gladly speak up when I see trans or non-binary folk getting hurt (and even have done so), and Monica's case is no exception, and I'm still upset about seeing someone hurt like this.

    Sorry for the long reply here. I have no doubt of your intentions as most people just read the short "Monica something something pronouns something something trans" summary and draw their conclusions from that, but things are rather nuanced and subtle here which makes a huge difference, and I get a little bit peeved when that is lost 😅


    *: I've considered sharing an anonymized version of this, to clear up the confusion/assumptions people have about this, but have decided against it since it would go against the mod agreement – something not to be taken lightly, in spite of SE's breach of trust.

    11 votes
  11. Comment on Is anyone here involved with Stack Exchange/Stack Overflow? How do you feel about the new moderator agreement? in ~talk

    arp242
    (edited )
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    I too was a mod too during the incident (although I am no longer, just due to shifting interests) and saw the entire thing pretty up-close. The problem wasn't a lack of procedures – there were...

    I too was a mod too during the incident (although I am no longer, just due to shifting interests) and saw the entire thing pretty up-close. The problem wasn't a lack of procedures – there were already procedures – it was the casting aside of already-existing procedures, as well as basic standards of common decency IMO. As far as I know, none of this has been addressed, and only barely acknowledged.

    So ... you can create all the procedures if you want, but it seems to me that it's far more important to actually build trust that you're actually going to follow them, even when it's inconvenient or against your personal beliefs. This doesn't really do anything to (re)build that trust.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Differentiating Reddit usernames from Tildes usernames? in ~tildes

    arp242
    Link Parent
    On Lobsters – which uses the @-syntax as well – I regularly see people use the /u/-syntax. So yeah, IMO it's pretty useful.

    On Lobsters – which uses the @-syntax as well – I regularly see people use the /u/-syntax. So yeah, IMO it's pretty useful.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What are some open-source projects you'd like to see get more attention? in ~comp

    arp242
    Link Parent
    Can't people publish the same apps on Google Play too? I installed F-Droid a few years back, and it mostly just had the same apps. It wasn't really clear to me that added value F-Droid was giving...

    Can't people publish the same apps on Google Play too? I installed F-Droid a few years back, and it mostly just had the same apps. It wasn't really clear to me that added value F-Droid was giving me, but perhaps I missed something?

  14. Comment on Kanye West declares he will run for US president in 2020 in ~news

    arp242
    Link Parent
    I think both Obama and Trump essentially offered the same message/platform: change from the status quo. Of course, Obama and Trump are different in uncountable ways, but I strongly suspect this...

    I think both Obama and Trump essentially offered the same message/platform: change from the status quo. Of course, Obama and Trump are different in uncountable ways, but I strongly suspect this core message/platform was key in getting both of them elected.

    Neither candidate changed not all that much. This is not entirely their fault for a myriad of reasons (which are different for both candidates, and in the case of Trump that's not a bad thing in my opinion), but I fear that Trump won't the last extreme President we'll see in the coming decades if various deep aspects of US society don't actually change for the better.

    I think by and large the Democratic party has been a dismal failure in addressing these concerns and have been completely lacking any sense of vision, perspective, or priorities. And don't even get me started about the Republican party.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Kanye West declares he will run for US president in 2020 in ~news

    arp242
    Link Parent
    He's just this celebrity who runs for president for attention, he'll never actually get any votes. Oh ... wait... More seriously, one concern is that he'll draw votes from Biden and pull a Nader;...

    Who would support/vote for someone with this world view to be a president?

    He's just this celebrity who runs for president for attention, he'll never actually get any votes.

    Oh ... wait...

    More seriously, one concern is that he'll draw votes from Biden and pull a Nader; given how narrow the margins are in some states this might actually be a serious concern.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on Reclaiming Indian food from the white gaze in ~food

    arp242
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Eh, if you go to India today the hygienic standards really are lower and many people from Europe/US not used to it do get sick. It took me about 3 months getting used to food in Indonesia. Modern...

    Implying that another culture's food must necessarily get you sick is pretty directly claiming that "those people" are dirty and can't adhere to basic hygiene standards

    Eh, if you go to India today the hygienic standards really are lower and many people from Europe/US not used to it do get sick. It took me about 3 months getting used to food in Indonesia.

    Modern Indian restaurants in the UK of course live up to the modern standards, but this was probably not always the case. So yeah, I'd say this has a basis in reality.

    ethnic restaurants routinely get rated lower (both by restaurant reviewers and travel guides as well as by health inspectors) because of these unconscious biases

    That's quite the stretch. Maybe the exotic food just isn't to everyone's tastes?

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Reddit releases their new content policy along with banning hundreds of subreddits, including /r/The_Donald and /r/ChapoTrapHouse in ~tech

    arp242
    Link Parent
    I find the greatest value on Reddit in specific technical communities, e.g. /r/golang, /r/voidlinux, etc. There's good some content there, and no real alternative AFAIK (HN is too broad, and...

    I find the greatest value on Reddit in specific technical communities, e.g. /r/golang, /r/voidlinux, etc. There's good some content there, and no real alternative AFAIK (HN is too broad, and mailing lists suck).

    8 votes
  18. Comment on [WARNING - transphobia] Gender critical has been banned - here are some links I’ve collected in ~test

    arp242
    Link
    I'm not going to check 50 links, so this isn't even a criticism of the topic as such, but dumping 50 unorganized links on pretty much any broad subject would seem bad form to me in a discussion...

    I'm not going to check 50 links, so this isn't even a criticism of the topic as such, but dumping 50 unorganized links on pretty much any broad subject would seem bad form to me in a discussion forum. There's simply too much to discus/reply to here.

    This alone would merit closure/deletion/whatever IMHO.

    12 votes
  19. Comment on Scott Alexander has deleted his Slate Star Codex blog due to the New York Times planning to reveal his real name in an article in ~misc

    arp242
    Link Parent
    The problem I see with "hard rationalism" is that humans are fundamentally not rational beings, and simply identifying yourself as a "rational being" does not make you in to a rational being. It...

    The problem I see with "hard rationalism" is that humans are fundamentally not rational beings, and simply identifying yourself as a "rational being" does not make you in to a rational being. It tends to induce a "I am rational, and therefore always right" kind of thinking which – ironically – makes people more susceptible to all sorts of "wrong" thinking, rather than less.

    This is an issue in various communities in varying degrees: skeptics, atheists, people with Ph.D.s, Nobel prize winners, etc.

    The biggest mistake you can make is to think you're too smart to be biased or fooled.

    9 votes