bloup's recent activity

  1. Comment on Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster in ~tech

    bloup
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    yes, but if people didn't "like" those things (and who does, except for the few bloodsuckers who profit off of it), they could just take their ball and go home and that is literally all I want...

    You could still have all that awful stuff with bitcoin or eth or whatever running the backend. That it's currently dollars or euros or whatever is irrelevant. The tokens don't matter. But at least dollars don't cost the planet to create.

    yes, but if people didn't "like" those things (and who does, except for the few bloodsuckers who profit off of it), they could just take their ball and go home and that is literally all I want people to understand.

    And I am sick of this energy consumption talking point. It's a dealbreaking problem in many of the earliest implementations of a brand new technology and I won't even argue with you on that... I don't really understand why so many people think I am advocating for existing cryptocurrencies when if anything I hoped I made it quite clear that I myself am extremely critical of how they are now. But why do you think it can't be fixed?

    The point is that you cannot "fix" BTC and still have BTC at the end of it. Bitcoin is fundamentally not possible to turn into the thing it needs to be to solve the problems you want it to solve.

    I literally don't care about bitcoin. Bitcoin is shit. It's broken, it's a failure, it'll never succeed at what it set out to do, holy shit please stop talking to me about how bad bitcoin is because the first comment I made on this post was "I agree with basically everything the author of this bitcoin-hating article has to say about bitcoin".

    Could another system be, sure but would it be recognisable as a cryptocurrency? Not sure.

    Homie, if all it takes for me to get you on board with what I'm talking about is for me to not call it "cryptocurrency" then you can call it whatever you want. But it really sounds like you are just creating a definition of "cryptocurrency" where "if it's good, it can't be cryptocurrency". Like, "cryptocurrency" is not exactly a "well-defined" idea... There are literally "cryptocurrencies" that are just straight 1 to 1 USD backed up by an audited cash account and nobody has a problem calling them "cryptocurrencies".

    6 votes
  2. Comment on Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster in ~tech

    bloup
    (edited )
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    Simply being able to have total financial control over your life has tremendous social value. We live in a world dominated by for profit financial institutions that do not serve you, but rather...

    Simply being able to have total financial control over your life has tremendous social value. We live in a world dominated by for profit financial institutions that do not serve you, but rather use your needs as a vehicle to make even more money for themselves. Anytime they figure it'll suit their interests to sell you out, they will every single time. We see it happen over and over again, and you want to give more power to these institutions?

    I mean, honestly, I think cryptocurrency is really only a technology that is necessary in a world where a person really has no good reason to trust banks, because they put profit before your needs. Like if anything, you should trust them to sell you out every single time it suits their interests because that would just be good business. If people hate the idea of cryptocurrency so much, or think it's really impossible to solve the problems they perceive with it, then I think the rational response would not be to naively reject the very important considerations I bring up, but to start advocating for the cooperatization of financial institutions... In other words, if you want me to trust banks so bad, structure literally all the banks in the world so that the business owner literally can't sell out the customers because they are the same thing.

    it wouldn’t actually have any practical value if the banks...aren’t interested.

    I mean, don't you realize that a successful cryptocurrency that was actually up to the standards you have set would completely undermine the power of the privately owned global financial system because it would make it possible for people to easily "opt out" of it if they don't like what banks do, so of course banks "aren't interested" and never will be? Honestly, it's sort of the whole point of why it's so important...

    And for what it's worth, I'm really only saying

    we should all think very hard to try and solve the problems NaraVara describes because a cryptocurrency that was able to work as well as NaraVara describes would be a tremendous social good for the world as it exists now and I personally do not see any reason to think these problems are necessarily intractable.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster in ~tech

    bloup
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Crypto makes it so you don't have to trust anybody. It doesn't make it so you can trust anybody. Huge difference. Those people got screwed, but the point is none of them had to use these services...

    So, um, how does crypto solve that issue? Every other month you hear about someone running off with a bunch of the stuff

    Crypto makes it so you don't have to trust anybody. It doesn't make it so you can trust anybody. Huge difference. Those people got screwed, but the point is none of them had to use these services if they just wanted to participate in the system. With cryptocurrency, there is an equivalent to keeping some emergency cash on hand in your house. This is the analogy to cash, in that "you don't have to trust anyone" because that cash exists and as long as you do what you're supposed to and manage to keep it safe, it's not going anywhere. You can't do this if you can't have money unless it's in a bank account.

    Why wouldn't I use a system that works?

    I guess this is really an entirely separate discussion but personally I look at all the misery in the world that seems to be directly caused by the global financial system and can hardly say it "just works". I mean, regulations are great and all, but I mean even here in the US, I see how banks constantly screw over regular American people all the time. Like how can you say that, living through the Great Recession and its consequences for large financial institutions? And that's just here! Go look at how multinational banks finance the plunder of the third world if you want some real horror. I don't want anything to do with them!

    I'm glad you use a credit union or mutual bank, I wish everyone did. I refuse to allow myself to become dependent on any other sort of financial institution. But, why? I mean, I use credit unions for basically all the same reasons that I think people should not write off cryptocurrency... I think, if we had a global co-op economy and financial institutions were all owned by their members, a trust based financial system would be totally fine, but we absolutely do not live in a world even remotely resembling that. Currently the global financial system is completely dominated by extremely wealthy private for-profit institutions that hardly see cooperative banking as any kind of threat, and as long as that's the case it's a really dumb idea for people to essentially cede control of their finances to these institutions. I mean it's great you're in a credit union, but that's hardly the case for everybody!

    Also it's worth noting that a lot of the "kinks" in most crypto are designed-in and unsolvable in it's current form.

    I don't really understand this statement. Like yeah, things with problems always will have those problems until you fix them... i.e. "change them so they are no longer in their 'current' form".

    9 votes
  4. Comment on Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster in ~tech

    bloup
    Link Parent
    These things do not solve the problems I speak of at all. Access to financial services is a separate issue. It should be simply possible to be custodian of your own financial assets without having...

    These things do not solve the problems I speak of at all. Access to financial services is a separate issue. It should be simply possible to be custodian of your own financial assets without having to involve some kind of external party that you literally just have to trust, and it should be possible to do this without physical tokens. This is the problem we need to solve. And I really find it troubling everyone seems to be a-okay with just handing over the keys to multinational for-profit banks because we didn’t work out the kinks in crypto.

    13 votes
  5. Comment on Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster in ~tech

    bloup
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    I agree with basically everything the author writes. But it is very important not to lose sight that the problems that motivated the development of cryptocurrency in the first place still exist...

    I agree with basically everything the author writes. But it is very important not to lose sight that the problems that motivated the development of cryptocurrency in the first place still exist and still need serious solutions. There needs to be a real electronic alternative to physical cash. We cannot have a world that operates solely on credit doled out by the owning class, and literal physical money is practically an anachronism at this point.

    Also, I have never held crypto, ever, and definitely am not planning on it anytime soon.

    14 votes
  6. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I really think you are giving my words an extremely uncharitable and literal interpretation, because I definitely did not want you to imagine literally creating a new nation. All I want you to...

    I really think you are giving my words an extremely uncharitable and literal interpretation, because I definitely did not want you to imagine literally creating a new nation. All I want you to understand is that the vast majority of people would not choose to live in a place that had no kind of national government for many reasons that they'd consider obvious and readily apparent. People understand that participating in the affairs of their government (even possibly as an opposing force) is, to some extent, completely in their own rational self-interest. People do not typically feel the same way about unions, even though in virtually every respect a union is simpler and more unified than a national government could ever hope to be. If I said "a government should represent the interests of its citizens, there are shitty governments but if people want them to be better all they have to do is actually put in the work to try and change it" I really doubt you'd have said something like "No, that's not how representative democracy works" and you'd have been able to "catch my drift" so to speak.

    Unlike with citizenship, some people are in unions and others aren't.

    I am glad you mentioned this, because, yes, this is in fact the critical difference between unions and governments. Besides unions being much simpler and far more straightforward, basically the only crucial difference is that not everyone is in a union. Again, I want to make it clear, you really are hitting on something important here, the big difference between unions and governments is that not everyone is in a union. They are almost exactly the same, besides unions being simpler and having clearer goals and more unified interests, and the big fact that not everyone is in a union.

    whatever your theory might say.

    I literally don't have a theory and never presented anything resembling a "theory" and find it extremely frustrating you continue to think this. This is not a theory: people are more skeptical of unions than they are of nation states and that is simply illogical. I mean, I really just want people to be consistent. Like I do hope people resolve that tension with the simple realization that "there is no reason to believe that building a union that sufficiently addresses all my concerns related to unionism should ever be truly impossible", and thus simply have a more positive view of unions and perhaps a greater willingness to engage with a hypothetical union (which, again, is what is necessary to make a union be good, just like literally any other organization of human beings). But I guess it would also be consistent to start doubting that representative democracy in general was really such a good idea after all, although I hope that's not the direction people go in...

    1 vote
  7. Comment on What it takes to become the world's best whistler in ~arts

    bloup
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    Does anyone have any other examples of these sorts of relatively small, but extremely international gatherings?

    Does anyone have any other examples of these sorts of relatively small, but extremely international gatherings?

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    Link Parent
    People are more skeptical that you can make a "successful" union than they are that you could make a "successful" nation-state, which is highly illogical. I'm not saying that people working in the...

    People are more skeptical that you can make a "successful" union than they are that you could make a "successful" nation-state, which is highly illogical.

    I'm not saying that people working in the same place can't disagree, I am saying that they are basically guaranteed to have way more in common with each other than if you just chose two random citizens of the same country. So if you are willing to accept that it's possible and probably even a "good thing" to organize national governments that do "good things" for you and that other random person I chose who happens to live in the same arbitrarily defined region as you who basically has nothing else in common with you, you naturally you should definitely feel the same way about unions, and if you are a working person and don't have one, you should probably spend time and effort into figuring out how to organize a "good" one.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    Link Parent
    This kind of sounds like an example of what I'm talking about, though. Like, you basically said it yourself, this would not have happened without widespread ambivalence towards unions, which is...

    This kind of sounds like an example of what I'm talking about, though. Like, you basically said it yourself, this would not have happened without widespread ambivalence towards unions, which is really what makes so few members participate in the affairs of the union to the point where the members can't even hold their own corrupt leadership accountable. That isn't the ineffectivity of unions, that is literally just people not taking their own interests seriously. This is why it's so crucial to understand that there is no difference between the union and the worker's themselves, and that if worker's want a good union, they have to actually put effort into it. But it's definitely worth the effort, because even if that contract the teamsters got was shitty, it's probably still a lot better than no contract at all... And now imagine if people actually tried. Like, imagine if all those part timers actually took their own interests seriously enough to vote down the shitty contract. You'd probably have gotten a better one.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Okay, but the point I've been trying to make this whole time (in a sense, anyway) is that nobody who is perfectly willing to take for granted the fact that they live in a nation-state should have...

    Okay, but the point I've been trying to make this whole time (in a sense, anyway) is that nobody who is perfectly willing to take for granted the fact that they live in a nation-state should have any skepticism at all of unions at least in principle. I mean, sure, resenting unions because of prior experience is one thing, but you should at least be able to admit that it didn't have to be that way and with some careful thought there is probably a way to solve the problems you experienced previously. But, in a lot of ways, a labor union and a nation-state are quite similar, except, the goals of a union are way simpler and way more straightforward compared to a nation-state, and the members of a labor union have basically the most highly aligned interests possible, compared to a nation state where the common bond between everyone is literally just "well, we were all born in the same arbitrarily defined geographic region..."

    And the other point I'm trying to make is these sentiments in the working class is mostly the intentional result of untold billions of dollars worth of anti-labor propaganda being pushed by the biggest exploiters of labor over the past several decades.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I don’t see how you figure this at all. The Amazon workers who voted no make it extremely clear that there is a skepticism of unions as a concept, not like “I’m for unions, but this one is a bad...

    I would say it’s more like not wanting to buy a condo in a certain area because you’ve heard horror stories about people getting into disputes with the local condo board.

    I don’t see how you figure this at all. The Amazon workers who voted no make it extremely clear that there is a skepticism of unions as a concept, not like “I’m for unions, but this one is a bad one”...

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    It’s true, union politics is basically the same as government politics. Except, a union is basically composed of people that have, relatively speaking, almost the exact same interests (and in fact...

    It’s true, union politics is basically the same as government politics. Except, a union is basically composed of people that have, relatively speaking, almost the exact same interests (and in fact that is specifically sort of the whole point), unlike a government which tries to do the same thing for literally every person living as a citizen within its borders. So if anything, making a good union should be way easier than making a good state.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    (edited )
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    I literally have no idea how you could possibly get that from a comment that contains the words "people need to understand that there are shitty unions" All I am saying is that all it takes to...

    but you seem to want to prove that unions are automatically good

    I literally have no idea how you could possibly get that from a comment that contains the words "people need to understand that there are shitty unions"

    All I am saying is that all it takes to stop a shitty union is you and your coworkers actually being engaged with the activities of the union... Unions aren't "automatically good", and nobody said that. But workers voting against unions because they are worried about their coworkers is the same as people voting against the idea of governments carte blanche because they are worried they might not get along with their neighbors...

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
    Link Parent
    Ironically this is the exact line of thinking I am being extremely critical of in the comment you are replying to. A union is just an association of people with common interests organizing...

    Ironically this is the exact line of thinking I am being extremely critical of in the comment you are replying to. A union is just an association of people with common interests organizing themselves so they can collectively bargain with some kind of other entity. The idea that a "union" has to look like some kind of representative democratic bureaucracy in order to be a "real union", is honestly in my opinion, one of the most effective pieces of anti labor propaganda pushed on the working class since the mid 20th century. A union does not have to be some kind of big to do with a vote and signing of cards and all that. It can be as simple as the waitstaff at a local restaurant meeting up on the weekend to discuss strategies for pressuring their employer to be more responsible with scheduling shifts. And if maybe the business grows, and it makes sense to form a nonprofit organization to manage the affairs of the union and maybe start drawing dues, then that's something people can do. Also, I think this really illustrates how ridiculous anti-union laws really are, because all they do is try to impose conditions on how you may freely associate with your coworkers... Obviously, you can't really organize this kind of informal consensus based union when the business operates on the scale of an Amazon warehouse, but the point is that a union should always be organized in the fashion that represents the workers' interests best. But, this is literally the organization you are forming with your coworkers to best represent your interests. If you perceive problems in how the union is being organized (like, maybe you think you have good reason to suspect that the way the union is being organized is susceptible to corruption, or you don't think it is effectively representative of everyone), you should figure out a better way to organize the union that addresses those problems, not just give up.

    As for "not being able to satisfy everyone", I'm pretty sure that is not what people are worried about when they have distrust for unions. What they are worried about is the idea of some corrupt union boss that does little more than siphon money from everybody's paycheck. And my point is that if you (and your coworkers too) actually put in the effort to build a good union and always hold its leadership accountable, then this is not something that you actually need to worry about.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on A NASA intern stole $21 million worth of moon rocks. He wanted to have sex on them. in ~space

    bloup
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    I think you should include the preceding sentence, where it explains that he got caught because he tried to sell the moon rocks on the internet, lmao... Legit stole priceless scientific specimens...

    I think you should include the preceding sentence, where it explains that he got caught because he tried to sell the moon rocks on the internet, lmao... Legit stole priceless scientific specimens and then tried to hawk them on the internet and this guy says “He really wasn’t a criminal”?? How do I get this level of the benefit of the doubt??

    18 votes
  16. Comment on Why Amazon workers sided with the company over a union in ~finance

    bloup
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    Also making it clear that a union is not some kind of abstract institution that represents the interests of the employees. The union is literally the employees themselves. Like people need to...

    Also making it clear that a union is not some kind of abstract institution that represents the interests of the employees. The union is literally the employees themselves. Like people need to understand that there are shitty unions, but literally all a person has to do to fix it is actually participate in their union... “I don’t trust unions to represent my interests” is the same as “I don’t trust myself to represent my interests”.

    7 votes
  17. Comment on What's a question you want to ask, but you're worried about how it might come across? in ~talk

    bloup
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    If you feel like this happens to you a lot (and especially if these thoughts cause you any kind of distress, or they just feel unwelcome and it’s like you can’t make them stop), you should speak...

    If you feel like this happens to you a lot (and especially if these thoughts cause you any kind of distress, or they just feel unwelcome and it’s like you can’t make them stop), you should speak to a psychiatrist about OCD.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on What's a question you want to ask, but you're worried about how it might come across? in ~talk

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I don’t think that’s quite it. I am questioning my gender identity. I notice that I seem to have many similar thoughts and experiences to many people who call themselves agender (the ones I shared...

    I don’t think that’s quite it. I am questioning my gender identity. I notice that I seem to have many similar thoughts and experiences to many people who call themselves agender (the ones I shared with you being a few examples), so the idea that I might be agender seems pretty plausible to me. But I also try to put all this in the context of my own experiences and relationship with gender:

    I feel like I’ve never really had the opportunity to “explore” my gender identity, and a lot of it simply comes down to a fear of social repercussions for not conforming to gender stereotypes.

    I feel like I tend to enjoy socializing with women a lot more than men, but have always felt like my perceived masculinity was this oppressive force in women’s spaces. I honestly feel like, as a man, I can’t even exist in public spaces because all I can think about is how people literally have good reason to be weary of unfamiliar men. And then I think about “who would be the one who might try to be murder me if I attempted to explore my gender identity” and I know in my heart “well it’d definitely be a man...”. All of this has really led to me deeply resenting the idea that “I am a man”.

    Sometimes, I think about the idea of living as a woman or what it would be like to have been born a woman, and in a lot of ways it seems extremely appealing. I actually think there’s a very good chance I’d be a lot happier if everyone saw me as a woman. Sometimes these sorts of thoughts make me wonder if I’m actually a trans woman. However, I also feel like all of my gender anxieties originate from external sources, which seems a lot different from the experience of most trans people. Like my problem seems to mostly be all about how others see me, rather than how I see myself. Because when I look in the mirror I just don’t see a man, I just a person who happens to have some facial hair who I am okay with being. I just wish everyone else could be okay with it too no matter how I chose to express my individuality :(

    6 votes
  19. Comment on What's a question you want to ask, but you're worried about how it might come across? in ~talk

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I think I might be agender but I haven't figured it out yet. For practically my entire life, I considered myself to be a heterosexual cisgendered man without really thinking about it too much. But...

    I think I might be agender but I haven't figured it out yet. For practically my entire life, I considered myself to be a heterosexual cisgendered man without really thinking about it too much. But as an adult, trying to better understand the experiences of transgender people made me realize that I did not actually understand gender at all (and I really still don't) and in fact, the more I learned and thought about gender, the less sense it all made to me, and the more preposterous it all felt. I don't feel any particular "attachment" to masculinity, and never have. I feel like my entire life I've been engaging in "gendered activities" simply because I feel like this external social pressure to conform to everyone else's idea of who I am "supposed" to be. I asked myself questions like "if I lived in an alternate universe where the only difference was human gender roles were completely swapped, would I have some kind of problem with wearing dresses and makeup?" and I can't imagine I would. I don't really have any problems with my body, at least none that I think shouldn't be considered "normal" or "healthy". When people talk about feeling like they are born in the "wrong body" it actually genuinely confuses me. I try and try to understand but I can't. Like sometimes I wish my body were proportioned differently so women's clothes would look better on me but it's just not and I'm okay with that! I guess like, it doesn't feel any different than wishing I was a different height or had a more athletic build, or had a "more attractive" face. For all I know, I could have been AFAB and, still wound up with straight hips and a flat chest. Would I feel like that made me any less of a "woman"? I just can't imagine it would! I mean seriously, people come in so many different shapes and sizes and colors. Sure, biological sex correlates closely with the presence of many of these features, but the idea that any of these traits in particular "belongs" to a particular sex or "characterizes" those sexes just makes absolutely no sense to me!

    When I look at what people who call themselves "agender" have to say, it seems like they often have remarkably similar experiences and thoughts to me. However, there is definitely a diversity of experience. Many agender people live their public life as their gender assigned at birth, but it's not necessarily true. There are even agender people who experience gender dysphoria and elect to undergo medical procedures in order to remove what they consider to be gendered aspects of their body.

    I definitely think the post-gender philosophy is extremely appealing and represents like the only possible future where I think agender people would actually feel like they could really express themselves.

    I hope this gives you some insight.

    7 votes
  20. Comment on RMS addresses the free software community in ~tech

    bloup
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    Oh yeah, I understand all that, I actually wanted to be a college professor for a while. But it's stuff like this that made me realize that universities don't actually care about undergrads beyond...

    Oh yeah, I understand all that, I actually wanted to be a college professor for a while. But it's stuff like this that made me realize that universities don't actually care about undergrads beyond the amount of tuition money they can scare out of them through 12 years of marketing. So I decided I did not want to be part of it.

    I mean, here's an easy solution: don't make undergraduate education a chore for researchers. Instead, give researchers who are willing to educate undergraduates esteem, recognition, and maybe even additional compensation. But like, nobody will even try it because there is no point. it's not like people will stop signing up for school as long as they think that there is no way to participate in society in a meaningful way without a college degree (and who is cultivating this attitude and who is it really benefiting?).

    2 votes