imperialismus's recent activity

  1. Comment on The ways that a cheese can go extinct, and the cheesemakers who are working to save them in ~food

    imperialismus
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    That was an unexpected meditation on authenticity.

    That was an unexpected meditation on authenticity.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What dark matter is (probably) not in ~space

    imperialismus
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    The detection of gravitational waves ruled out a lot of the alternatives. The astonishing accuracy and predictive value of general relativity on cosmological scales is hard to explain if it's...

    The detection of gravitational waves ruled out a lot of the alternatives. The astonishing accuracy and predictive value of general relativity on cosmological scales is hard to explain if it's fundamentally wrong. It's not the ultimate theory of gravity, because it doesn't work on quantum scales, but on the balance of evidence, it seems to be a very good description of gravity at large scales. While invisible matter may seem presumptuous, throwing away the successes of GR also seems presumptuous. Especially because we've detected near-invisible particles like neutrinos. It's estimated that billions pass through your body every second, yet we have to build 50,000 ton detectors to catch a few of them.

    It's one thing to be skeptical of a theory that has never predicted anything novel to any degree of accuracy. It's another thing to discount a theory that has been validated again and again for 100 years. At that point, invisible matter starts to look very attractive.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Fuck you, COVID. I'm in love! in ~talk

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    That's adorable. I hope the physical meetup works out well for you. My love life was really on halt before corona, and I was just about getting ready to jump back in. Truth be told, my whole...

    That's adorable. I hope the physical meetup works out well for you.

    My love life was really on halt before corona, and I was just about getting ready to jump back in. Truth be told, my whole social life was kind of on halt (was dealing with shit) and I was planning to become more active and maybe join some social activities, then covid hit. Not much of an online dating scene in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, unfortunately. I also have a strange tendency to do better in face to face encounters than online despite being chronically shy, I don't know why. So I'm not currently involved in any romantic activities, but I'm cheering for you.

    Hopefully when things settle down more with pandemics and shit, I'll get out there again.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on Heroes Orchestra - Heroes of Might and Magic 3 Orchestral Concert in ~music

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    In my humble opinion, HoMM3 has the best video game soundtrack of all time, composed by Paul Romero. Heroes Orchestra is a Polish orchestra dedicated to performing music from the Heroes franchise....

    In my humble opinion, HoMM3 has the best video game soundtrack of all time, composed by Paul Romero. Heroes Orchestra is a Polish orchestra dedicated to performing music from the Heroes franchise. This is their concert on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the release of Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

    This game was a big part of my childhood, and I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve reinstalled it. It’s still alive, with a number of people playing it online and streaming on twitch. The soundtrack is a big part of that, but it’s not purely nostalgic. The Heroes soundtrack is not a bunch of lazy blips and boops whose value derives purely from nostalgia, but proper classical compositions that I think hold up very well today. I think the Heroes Orchestra does it justice.

    It’s funny: I’m not a big enthusiast of classical music in general (you won’t find me casually listening to Beethoven or Mozart or Mussorgsky), but its pervasive use in film and video games shows that it’s still got a place in today’s world, you just have to package it right for a modern audience.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on The greatest Olympic cheat - The curious case of the electrified épée in ~sports

    imperialismus
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    I can’t be bothered to argue semantics. A cheat is either a person who commits fraud or an act of deception. As for Lorz, imagine a person shows up to a bicycle race with a motorcycle and gets...

    I can’t be bothered to argue semantics. A cheat is either a person who commits fraud or an act of deception.

    As for Lorz, imagine a person shows up to a bicycle race with a motorcycle and gets instantly disqualified. Would that be a great cheat? Of course not. The impact of cheating is proportional to how far the cheater gets before being caught. Lance Armstrong is a greater cheater than a random dumbass who got caught for doping before achieving anything - because he was a celebrated champion before he got caught. It’s about the impact on the sport as a whole. Having an entire sport canceled for 4+ years seems more impactful than a single disqualified athlete.

  6. Comment on Using a VPN may make you less secure in ~tech

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    Well, my government recently approved a requirement for ISPs to store metadata for 18 months, and I do not trust them to use that information responsibly. I personally don’t use a VPN but I am...

    Well, my government recently approved a requirement for ISPs to store metadata for 18 months, and I do not trust them to use that information responsibly. I personally don’t use a VPN but I am considering one just for peace of mind. I imagine it would be an additional hassle for my government to extract data from a foreign company.

    I also would use Tor for less than legal activity, if I were to do such a thing, but I have always imagined that security is more because of a lack of resources to pursue, say, small purchases of drugs for personal use, than a fundamental inability of governments to track activity given sufficient motivation to do so.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on The greatest Olympic cheat - The curious case of the electrified épée in ~sports

    imperialismus
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    I can’t imagine a good reason why organized cheating by multiple individuals is not considered cheating. It’s simply cheating on a larger scale. It’s the kind of cheating that the Russians (and...

    I can’t imagine a good reason why organized cheating by multiple individuals is not considered cheating. It’s simply cheating on a larger scale. It’s the kind of cheating that the Russians (and likely others) were doing with doping, except the example I cited wasn’t about doping.

    I can agree that Lorz wasn’t as pre-planned as Onischenko, but on the other hand, he wasn’t caught until after he was celebrated as winner, rather than disqualified in the early stages of a tournament.

    Anyway I don’t think we can come up with an objective set of criteria for greatest Olympic cheat, I just wanted to mention a couple of examples which I personally consider equally great.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on The greatest Olympic cheat - The curious case of the electrified épée in ~sports

    imperialismus
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    Interesting story about a little-known sport. I would challenge the claim of greatest Olympic cheat with a couple of worthy contenders: In the 2000 Paralympics, Spain entered a team in the...

    Interesting story about a little-known sport.

    I would challenge the claim of greatest Olympic cheat with a couple of worthy contenders: In the 2000 Paralympics, Spain entered a team in the basketball for people with intellectual disabilities event with 10 out of 12 athletes not actually being intellectually disabled. They won, but were soon exposed. It led to all sports for people with intellectual disabilities being cancelled for years as the entire category of sports and its qualifications for entry were challenged.

    Also, more amusingly, in the Summer Olympics of 1904, Frederick Lorz crossed the finish line first in the marathon and was initially celebrated as winner, even though he had ridden in a car for most of the race. He quickly admitted that the whole thing was a joke, and went on to win the Boston Marathon legitimately next year.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Is there such a thing as a "Hispanic" and "Latino" person? in ~misc

    imperialismus
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    I wonder how useful these survey questions are. I hail from a traditionally relatively homogenous country (Norway) and I have never encountered a form which asked me to specify an ethnic or racial...

    I wonder how useful these survey questions are. I hail from a traditionally relatively homogenous country (Norway) and I have never encountered a form which asked me to specify an ethnic or racial identification. Statistics still exist on immigrants and their descendents, but they are generally based on factors such as ‘were you or your parents born in the country or not’, not self-identification.

    I understand that especially in a more ethnically diverse country like the US, there is a desire to track ethnic or racial origin. Charitably, we might interpret it as a way to identify areas in which minority groups struggle unfairly, so that measures can be taken to improve those things. But with such simplified and flawed categorizations, how useful is that data, really?

    It’s a bit trippy to hear about the American obsession with race, since it is so foreign to my own experience, but having never experienced it first-hand I can’t really pronounce a judgment on it.

    7 votes
  10. Comment on My 2017 iPhone X died: I got a 2016 iPhone SE for $70, upgraded the battery and added wireless charging — it's great in ~tech

    imperialismus
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    I also have an original SE and I’m very happy with it apart from one thing, which is pretty fundamental for a phone: regular voice phone calls. It seems like 1/3 of the time when I receive or make...

    I also have an original SE and I’m very happy with it apart from one thing, which is pretty fundamental for a phone: regular voice phone calls. It seems like 1/3 of the time when I receive or make a phone call, I can’t hear the other party or the other party can’t hear me, and we have to redial to get it working. I’ve followed my carrier’s instructions on how to fix it, which were basically ‘redownload the operator settings’, to no awail.

    I realize a lot of people barely ever use their smartphone for actual phone calls, but it’s still pretty annoying. Apart from that, I love having a phone that fits in my pocket - any pocket at all - and I know the 2020 iPhone SE is larger.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Giving GPT-3 a Turing Test in ~tech

    imperialismus
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    That’s clever. Now I’m picturing a dystopian world in which the eyes on my feet stare up in terror at the Eye of Sauron in the sky. I was honestly pretty impressed by this: It’s wrong, but in a...

    That’s clever.

    Now I’m picturing a dystopian world in which the eyes on my feet stare up in terror at the Eye of Sauron in the sky.

    I was honestly pretty impressed by this:

    Q: Who was president of the United States in 1700?
    A: William Penn was president of the United States in 1700.

    Q: Who was president of the United States in 1650?
    A: Richard Bennett was president of the United States in 1650.

    Q: Who was president of the United States in 1620?
    A: James I was president of the United States in 1620.

    Q: Who was president of the United States in 1600?
    A: Queen Elizabeth I was president of the United States in 1600.

    It’s wrong, but in a way that makes sense. It’s exactly how I’d imagine a futuristic AI would be wrong!

    6 votes
  12. Comment on The 👁👄👁 debacle sums up tech's race issues in ~tech

    imperialismus
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    What platform are you on? I’m currently on an iPad, which displays two identical brown eyes.

    What platform are you on? I’m currently on an iPad, which displays two identical brown eyes.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on The 👁👄👁 debacle sums up tech's race issues in ~tech

    imperialismus
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    I’m not sure if this story really sums up tech’s race issues. The article mentions how some of the participants in this stunt are critical of the role that black people are largely relegated to by...

    I’m not sure if this story really sums up tech’s race issues. The article mentions how some of the participants in this stunt are critical of the role that black people are largely relegated to by venture capital - as a diversity token. And yet it also says that a largely non-white group of jokers managed to exploit the system by creating a fake hype cycle for a nonexistent product.

    One question that immediately springs to mind is: if it’s so easy to manipulate the system, couldn’t these tactics be used for the next real tech startup founded by black entrepeneurs? It seems to be the moral of this story isn’t so much ‘tech has race issues’ (which I don’t doubt for a second) but ‘you can achieve whatever you want if you’re just willing to exploit the system.’ I don’t mean to belittle the challenges that black entrepeneurs face, which I really wouldn’t know anything about, but could something resembling positivity come out of this? I think it’s awful that the tech world is built on fake hype, but until such time as we can change that system, maybe this tendency can be exploited to lift up those who have been excluded from benefiting from it?

    9 votes
  14. Comment on What do you think of alternate history? in ~humanities

    imperialismus
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    As a literary genre, I like it. I don’t watch alternate history youtubers. Also, there appears to be some text missing in the OP. It cuts off in the middle of a word.

    As a literary genre, I like it. I don’t watch alternate history youtubers.

    Also, there appears to be some text missing in the OP. It cuts off in the middle of a word.

  15. Comment on A personal account of a fake Amazon reviewer in ~tech

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    I might be cynical, but what surprises me about this story is that he actually owned the products he reviewed. I guess it makes sense if Amazon incentivizes verified reviews, but I would have...

    I might be cynical, but what surprises me about this story is that he actually owned the products he reviewed. I guess it makes sense if Amazon incentivizes verified reviews, but I would have expected a fake reviewer to just make shit up outright.

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Covid-19 coronavirus: Superspreader - woman infects 71 people in 60 seconds in elevator: CDC study in ~health.coronavirus

    imperialismus
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    I wonder who invented the clickbait headline, because I saw the same headline in a rather tabloid Norwegian newspaper earlier today. I don’t know if they got it from NZ Herald or they both got it...

    I wonder who invented the clickbait headline, because I saw the same headline in a rather tabloid Norwegian newspaper earlier today. I don’t know if they got it from NZ Herald or they both got it from somewhere else. The 60 seconds is pulled out of thin air (we don’t know how long she was in the elevator, and touching a surface takes only a second), and obviously the whole headline is misleading.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Does self-promotion feel "bad" for anyone else? in ~talk

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    I personally loathe promoting my own stuff, maybe even to a pathological degree. I learned I couldn’t make a living as a freelancer in part because it requires me to constantly sell myself and my...

    I personally loathe promoting my own stuff, maybe even to a pathological degree. I learned I couldn’t make a living as a freelancer in part because it requires me to constantly sell myself and my services - at times it feels like half the job, at least until you’ve spent years building a reputation, is selling yourself. This is clearly maladaptive, but I do think it’s good to have a reflective stance on how and when it’s appropriate to promote yourself, your work, and other things related to you.

    In general, I would say, play by the rules. Get a feel for whether the space you’re in has an aversion to self promotion, and if so, step more carefully. I’m part of some online communities that have a very strong focus on community: on creating an atmosphere of like-minded people who are on the same level, rather than one of consumers and promoters. Such places tend to have stronger rules on self promotion.

    For instance, the r/fantasy subreddit has a strong stance on self promo that can be summarized as, once every blue moon is okay, as long as it’s only a small part of your overall activity. Which I think is a perfectly fine rule for a community that already has a problem of fans pimping their favorite book in all kinds of totally inappropriate contexts; it would be much worse if it were a free-for-all of authors spamming their books. That place has a lot of well-known authors as regular members, and you can have a conversation with them as fellow fans rather than as seller and potential buyer, and I think it’s wonderful. But just because that works for one particular community doesn’t mean I think it should be a universal law of the internet.

    I don’t think OP’s contributions are bad at all, and they should not feel bad about them. But when a community grows, it’s easy for it to be invaded by selfish, self-serving not-members whose only purpose is to exploit the community for attention or profit. I think that rule on limiting self promo exists not to punish people like OP, who engages with the community in good faith, but rather, to preemptively restrict such less conscientious self promoters. It’s probably not a very big issue now, but it can absolutely become an issue in more targeted niche communities. Suddenly you have the greatest single collection of model train builders, or fantasy book fans, or guerilla crocheters, or whatever on the internet, and to a lot of people, that looks like a targeted marketing campaign waiting to happen. Tildes, while it has different groups, feels more like a general community right now. It doesn’t have large niche sub-communities that have their own distinct culture yet (almost all the groups have near identical sub counts), so it doesn’t have that same marketing allure.

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

    imperialismus
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    Thanks. Seems like it’s memes all the way down. I don’t know how anyone not involved in this subculture could be expected to follow the convoluted trail of Big Igloos, icehouses, clown worlds,...

    Thanks. Seems like it’s memes all the way down. I don’t know how anyone not involved in this subculture could be expected to follow the convoluted trail of Big Igloos, icehouses, clown worlds, roof Koreans, and whatever else.

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

    imperialismus
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    Twitter is an exceptionally bad platform for long-form, thoughtful essays. Even if you can post a longer text as a sequence of tweets, there’s an almost irresistible pull to make each tweet an...

    Twitter is an exceptionally bad platform for long-form, thoughtful essays. Even if you can post a longer text as a sequence of tweets, there’s an almost irresistible pull to make each tweet an independent soundbyte. I think there’s probably an interesting take in there, but I think it would be better expressed literally anywhere else. Even reddit or facebook.

    The text is littered with references I don’t get. What’s the deal with the nice-looking boy in the Hawaiian shirt? I have no idea. Is it something Twitter users are expected to know about? If this were a Slate article, I’d expect there to be at least a link to some context.

    11 votes