daturkel's recent activity

  1. Comment on Is content moderation a dead end? in ~tech

    daturkel
    Link
    Submission statement: I saw this essay posted on Hacker News (comments section here if you dare). I'm not sure I agree with the author's premise that content moderation can be side-stepped by...

    Submission statement:

    I saw this essay posted on Hacker News (comments section here if you dare). I'm not sure I agree with the author's premise that content moderation can be side-stepped by "changing the model"—but, maybe I'd be a little more credulous if we had a few vague examples of what that might look like.

    I know the Tildes community has historically been interested in issues of content moderation (especially as it relates to this site and others like it), so I thought it might be good fodder for conversation.

    12 votes
  2. Comment on Repeatedly finding myself upset with the conversations on Tildes in ~talk

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    I don't use Tildes nearly as much as the users you're describing here, but I do check it a few times a day and try to participate in discussions, and my perspective on why is that it's because...

    I don't use Tildes nearly as much as the users you're describing here, but I do check it a few times a day and try to participate in discussions, and my perspective on why is that it's because Tildes is/feels so nascent and has so much potential that people feel really invested in making it the space they want it to be. You naturally want to shape the assortment of what gets posted and contribute to discussions and suggest ideas and rules and so on because when a site like Tildes becomes even a percentage of the size of major social networks, the ability for individuals to shape its trajectory shrinks to almost nothing. I suspect that many users who express their unhappiness with the site (and I've seen several posts like that) don't want to just step away from the site because they know they can still play a part in making it a place for them.

    12 votes
  3. Comment on New groups and site mechanics - 2021 edition in ~tildes

    daturkel
    (edited )
    Link
    This is a fairly minor suggestion, and one that's come up before, but I'd love the ability to be able to post the occasional anonymous comment (or post?). I think the practice of making throwaway...

    This is a fairly minor suggestion, and one that's come up before, but I'd love the ability to be able to post the occasional anonymous comment (or post?). I think the practice of making throwaway accounts on reddit is an emergent behavior because there was no official solution. It's tricky because anonymity is often a tool to enable conduct we wouldn't want to be held accountable for (abuse, flaming, spam, etc), but I've also found there are cases when I'd like to be able to share a perspective related to the industry I work in (lest it appear that I'm speaking on behalf of my employer), or based on my career, and I'd rather not have it linked to my named account.

    edit with an unrelated suggestion: I'd love it if locked threads had just a one sentence summary of why they were locked. I've come across a few recently and while you can generally intuit what happened, I think it helps serve as a model for future behavior to know "this thread was locked because XYZ behavior made it shitty."

    15 votes
  4. Comment on The former Netflix DVD library is a lost treasure we’ll never see again in ~movies

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    In theory, they could also use information about popularity of a title on DVD to weigh the potential value of buying the streaming rights.

    In theory, they could also use information about popularity of a title on DVD to weigh the potential value of buying the streaming rights.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on The former Netflix DVD library is a lost treasure we’ll never see again in ~movies

    daturkel
    Link
    There was a semi-analogous situation with the closure of What.cd. What.cd was a private bittorrent tracker for music with a breadth and depth of selection that rivaled only by Oink. You could find...

    There was a semi-analogous situation with the closure of What.cd.

    What.cd was a private bittorrent tracker for music with a breadth and depth of selection that rivaled only by Oink. You could find lossless rips of really obscure music, and there was an incredibly vibrant, passionate, and knowledgable community on the site, in its forums, and on its IRC that made the whole thing even more magical. (You were never going to hear that perfect-but-crazy-obscure record unless someone in the know pointed you toward it.)

    The site shut down after some of its servers were seized in 2016, and a lot of people mourned the loss (un-paywalled link here). But at the same time, the music industry had already radically changed: streaming was so affordable that music fans with even the most voracious appetites could get their fix for a few bucks a month.

    The delta between What.cd's catalogue and the Spotify/Apple Music catalog is largely in the very obscure long tail of music tastes—most fans won't notice the difference and now at least the artists make a little money again. (Of course, it was an incredible feat of cultural preservation that I wish could've been preserved even in some highly-restricted and legally compliant way.) But the thing I really miss is that community. Spotify hasn't leaned too heavily into community features, and Last.fm isn't thriving like it once was. Maybe that community is on Reddit now (or tiktok and apps I'm too old to know about) and I just haven't found it.

    6 votes
  6. Comment on Twitter: Calling for public input on our approach to world leaders in ~tech

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    This feels fine to me. No one approach will satisfy everyone, but Twitter receives so much criticism for this currently that we can't fault them for seeking input on the matter.

    This feels fine to me. No one approach will satisfy everyone, but Twitter receives so much criticism for this currently that we can't fault them for seeking input on the matter.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on The Beigeness, or How to Kill People with Bad Writing: The Scott Alexander Method in ~misc

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    I appreciate your summary because, while I suspect I'm sympathetic to the author's views, I can't bear to read anything that mimics his style. Libertarian circles often present their worldview as...

    I appreciate your summary because, while I suspect I'm sympathetic to the author's views, I can't bear to read anything that mimics his style.

    Libertarian circles often present their worldview as the product of a purely rational process. Despite how dramatically Trumpism (and the Tea Party before it) have shifted the Overton window to the right, for aspiring technocrats (and the wealthy in general), it's not necessarily culturally acceptable to be aligned with the far- or alt-right (unless you're as shameless as Peter Thiel I guess).

    And so this rationalist stuff offers the appealing cocktail: You get to appear scientific and, y'know, rational* while loosely masking many of the same bigoted, anti-media, and socially conservative values of more mainstream far-right circles.

    *(How often do these essays talk about "updating their priors" and cite philosophers and critical theorists across thousands of words to mask the hollowness of their actual ideas?)

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Why I am obsessed with the forbidden Seuss in ~books

    daturkel
    Link
    I read most of the books in question as a kid and a few of them (On Beyond Zebra, If I Ran the Zoo) were among my favorite Dr Seuss books. While the degree of "offense" varies from case to case,...

    I read most of the books in question as a kid and a few of them (On Beyond Zebra, If I Ran the Zoo) were among my favorite Dr Seuss books. While the degree of "offense" varies from case to case, there are definitely some illustrations here that I wouldn't love to show my future kids. (And we should hold material aimed at children to the highest standard for what we'll tolerate when it comes to objectionable content.)

    That being said, my perception is that the offending art is largely incidental to the works themselves—the books are not premised on outdated or racist concepts, but they do feature art with stereotypical and offensive depictions of various groups. (A counterexample might be Tin-Tin in the Congo, which I'd say is not salvageable.) I hope that a few years down the line, the Seuss folks might re-issue these books with some sort of introductory note, updated art where necessary, or both. I have a feeling that the kids of tomorrow won't mind the difference, and I think it's probably a healthy exercise in a time where there's a lot of anxiety around "cancel culture" and "is it still okay to this music / like this actor / etc.?"

    There was definitely an effort in conservative media circles to frame this as "Dr Seuss is being canceled!" but I don't think that's ever been anyone's intention—I think choice to selectively discontinue these books is an example of how we can be more nuanced than all-or-nothing value judgments on the entire body of work (or the author).

    6 votes
  9. Comment on Panda Express workers forced to strip in ‘cult-like’ team-building seminar, lawsuit alleges in ~news

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    Tangential to the article itself, but assuming you're referring to the Pasadena Star News page, it loaded fine (not-scrambled) for me in Chrome with uBlock Origin enabled. As for the kickback...

    Tangential to the article itself, but assuming you're referring to the Pasadena Star News page, it loaded fine (not-scrambled) for me in Chrome with uBlock Origin enabled.

    As for the kickback part: Since the self-help company gave out materials with Panda Express branding, it seems like this was at least in some way an official partnership (at least at the level of this individual franchise). I doubt that an employer in CA can compel employees to pay out of pocket for off-site job training though. (In fact, they might even have to pay you for your time.)

    3 votes
  10. Comment on When did writing in major newspapers become so bad? in ~creative

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    A bit for rhetorical purposes, sure, but my point stands that there's a certain strain of condescending techno-optimism that really grates me (and is a large reason I've stopped commenting on...

    I think this is a bit of an exaggeration of the article (blog?)'s point.

    A bit for rhetorical purposes, sure, but my point stands that there's a certain strain of condescending techno-optimism that really grates me (and is a large reason I've stopped commenting on Hacker News and prefer Tildes) and I think this is an example (perhaps not a "perfect example," as I put it).

    Is pretty awkward to parse to me.

    Agreed, it's not a great sentence! But the author is well-versed enough in statistics to know that an anecdote is not a trend! A more likely (and well-supported) hypothesis is that major newspapers are publishing more than ever before, and many of us are consuming more of it than we might have. The pieces with clear or unremarkable writing don't register much, but the pieces that are subpar (the quantity of which scales as the articles per day does) leave an impression.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on When did writing in major newspapers become so bad? in ~creative

    daturkel
    Link
    Silicon Valley and tech in general seem to hate establishment media institutions. (Edit: I say this as someone who works in tech—though not in SF—and who briefly worked in media.) It's not new,...

    Silicon Valley and tech in general seem to hate establishment media institutions. (Edit: I say this as someone who works in tech—though not in SF—and who briefly worked in media.) It's not new, and it's well-documented. The Star-Slate Codex nonsense was just another instantiation of it. Hacker News is regularly full of comments trashing the New York Times in particular.

    I would argue that we have access to more high-quality writing than ever before. (The New York Times in particular has done much in the past decade or so to shed its stodgy reputation as "the gray lady," and much of their content—particularly in opinion, analysis, and magazine-style pieces—has taken on a much more conversational tone.) The idea that this judgment should be made by an arbitrary web-app is a perfect example of the technologist's attitude that software can (trivially) address problems in domains they've never worked in.

    Maybe even more irksome is that the author finishes off the piece with this line:

    Or maybe historically prestigious publications should stop hiring former BuzzFeed writers.

    This is the most tired meme in ad-hominem media criticism and I have to believe at this point that it reads as disingenuous. Buzzfeed News has existed for nearly 10 years, during which it has won numerous awards and been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. It's also a part of the White House Press Corps. And Ben Smith is not a "former Buzzfeed writer," he was editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed News for nearly a decade—prior to that, he wrote for Politico.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Techworker.com launches, a new reader-funded site focusing on employees at tech companies in ~tech

    daturkel
    Link
    This has got great potential. I'm curious what other "tech workers" on Tildes read for industry-related news. Also, I had trouble adding the site to my rss reader, but this url seemed to work:...

    This has got great potential. I'm curious what other "tech workers" on Tildes read for industry-related news.

    Also, I had trouble adding the site to my rss reader, but this url seemed to work: https://techworker.com/feed

    1 vote
  13. Comment on Input from a text file, pull from multiple APIs, formatting output, etc. in Python in ~comp

    daturkel
    Link
    An alternative to beautiful soup is Scrapy, which has great docs and tutorials on its site. What's your comfort level with Python? Are you already familiar with Pandas? It might be nice to be able...

    An alternative to beautiful soup is Scrapy, which has great docs and tutorials on its site.

    What's your comfort level with Python? Are you already familiar with Pandas? It might be nice to be able to parse your API results into a Pandas dataframe and then output with to_csv (you can override the delimiter) rather than combining the fields manually into a string.

    6 votes
  14. Comment on Super High-Fidelity Mario: The quest to find original gaming audio samples in ~games

    daturkel
    Link
    Loved this. There's a whole community dedicated to tracking down the sound effects used in games too (e.g. this wikia). It's really impressive fan labor.

    Loved this. There's a whole community dedicated to tracking down the sound effects used in games too (e.g. this wikia). It's really impressive fan labor.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Any fans of regular non-smart watches? in ~talk

    daturkel
    Link
    I haven't been wearing a watch much during the pandemic since I'm always home without many appointments, but a couple years ago I bought a great Charlie Brown Timex. It's not exactly the same as...

    I haven't been wearing a watch much during the pandemic since I'm always home without many appointments, but a couple years ago I bought a great Charlie Brown Timex. It's not exactly the same as the ones available on the Timex site, it was some limited collaboration with Todd Snyder (see this old blog post). It's fairly loud, but I get a kick out of it every time I check it, and people always comment.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Twitter announces Birdwatch, a community-based approach to misinformation in ~tech

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    What is Reddit "Predictions"? Couldn't find it googline.

    What is Reddit "Predictions"? Couldn't find it googline.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on I'm getting spammed by robocalls, what can I do about it? in ~talk

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    I have a pixel but i would never use this feature because the idea of using it on a legitimate call is horrifying. I would never want to subject someone to the passive aggressive experience of...

    I have a pixel but i would never use this feature because the idea of using it on a legitimate call is horrifying. I would never want to subject someone to the passive aggressive experience of being screened by a robot.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on How should we evaluate narrative tension in videogames? in ~games

    daturkel
    Link Parent
    Children of Morta uses a very similar system for dealing with story in a roguelike game.

    Children of Morta uses a very similar system for dealing with story in a roguelike game.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Dumbdown - The dumb alternative to markdown in ~comp

    daturkel
    Link
    I think the Tree Notation stuff is conceptually cool, but this doesn't seem practical at all. Rather than answer the question "what are the user's needs for writing rich (web) content in...

    I think the Tree Notation stuff is conceptually cool, but this doesn't seem practical at all. Rather than answer the question "what are the user's needs for writing rich (web) content in plaintext?" it seems to answer the question "could I implement something that compiles to html using a Tree Notation language?"

    Out of the box, it seems like you can't have:

    • inline formatting
    • inline links
    • nested anything

    And converting empty lines to <br> seems like a mistake, since <br> is rarely desired in semantic html.

    Some quirks aside, I think markdown is actually a very effective solution for "rich text with graceful degradation" (i.e. if you end up getting raw markdown instead of compiled html, it's still readable).

    7 votes