imperialismus's recent activity

  1. Comment on Norwegians head to the polls on Sept. 13 in a parliamentary election that has centered on the issue of whether saving the planet is worth stopping the fossil fuel gravy train in ~enviro

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    Wind farms in particular are unpopular because they spoil the aesthetic and experience of unspoiled nature. They can also disturb local wildlife as well as (on land, in some areas) herds of...

    Wind farms in particular are unpopular because they spoil the aesthetic and experience of unspoiled nature. They can also disturb local wildlife as well as (on land, in some areas) herds of reindeer. Although I'm convinced most people oppose them simply because they're ugly and destroy the experience of relatively untouched nature. They can be loud, but most proposed wind farms are relatively far from populated areas, although the right to travel freely in unexploited nature (allemannsretten) is strong in Norway, and any attempt to despoil it even aesthetically is vigorously opposed.

    Almost all (99%) of the electric power in Norway is already renewable hydropower, although attempts to build hydropower plants in virgin waterways are also often opposed for much the same reasons.

    Another issue is that the new Nordlink power cable connecting Norway to the rest of continental Europe means higher electric power prices for Norwegians. Norway has traditionally enjoyed very cheap power prices due to the abundance of cheap hydropower, but the connection to Germany means power companies (which are generally owned by municipalities) are tempted to sell that power abroad, depleting the water reservoirs and causing higher domestic prices.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on Hyperbolica devlog #6: Pushing Unity to it's limits in ~games.game_design

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    Hyperbolica looks like a really cool game, but what is the actual gameplay loop? What is it actually about? I've seen all the dev diaries and nothing so far explains what the player will actually...

    Hyperbolica looks like a really cool game, but what is the actual gameplay loop? What is it actually about? I've seen all the dev diaries and nothing so far explains what the player will actually be doing apart from walking around unusual geometries.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Apple / iOS rant in ~tech

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    "It just works" is like, the number one reason anyone would choose an Apple product. I'm not a fan of their stubbornness with having their own proprietary solution to everything, and their general...

    "It just works" is like, the number one reason anyone would choose an Apple product. I'm not a fan of their stubbornness with having their own proprietary solution to everything, and their general attitude of hostility towards alternatives. But I've had an iPhone and an iPad for years, while my computer is a Windows PC... And my phone and iPad just do what I require them to do. Very few hassles.

    I'm a generally tech-savvy person who prefers to do most computer-y things on an actual computer. My phone is mostly used for basic communication (calls/sms/snapchat) and browsing maps and the web while on the go. The occasional photo when I don't have my camera at hand. My iPad is my reader for ebooks, which have almost completely replaced physical books for me, as well as for browsing the web or YouTube while in bed. I also have a (Samsung brand) keyboard-cum-protective case attached to it at all times, so it works decently well as a replacement laptop while traveling. But I would never think of writing long documents or editing photos or playing serious games on it.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Alphabet’s drone delivery service Wing hits 100,000 deliveries milestone in ~tech

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    Now we're in flying cars territory! I think this technology will exist within this decade, but I don't think it's going to be common inside cities because, well, flying cars. Boeing's Cargo Air...

    I could imagine in the future it'll be possible to build larger drones that can carry and deliver multiple packages, maybe even eventually up to or exceeding the capacity of something like an Amazon van. That feels like something we might see in a decade or two though.

    Now we're in flying cars territory! I think this technology will exist within this decade, but I don't think it's going to be common inside cities because, well, flying cars. Boeing's Cargo Air Vehicle looks like what you picture when you hear the word "drone", just scaled up massively. It's six meters wide, has twelve rotors, weighs 450 kg (about half of what the lightest ordinary road cars weigh in at) and is designed to take a payload of up to 225kg. Even though it looks nothing like a Blade Runner flying car, functionally it's big and heavy enough that it's going to deal with the same issues. How do you regulate that? How do you deal with the safety issues, the noise pollution, the traffic logistics and right of way in low urban airspaces?

    I think the technology will get there long before the legalities are worked out. We might have drone "cargo trucks" by 2031 but I doubt they will be legal to operate at scale inside cities in 2041. We might see them flying between cities though. I simply struggle to see how to resolve all the issues that arise when something much bigger than the Wing drones or ordinary recreational drones wants to operate in cities.

    The best current-tech comparison I can think of is a small helicopter. Technically feasible to land on many (empty) streets, but logistically and legally very limited in where they actually do operate inside cities. The Boeing cargo drone is already approaching the dimensions of an ultralight helicopter, except more compact in the height dimension.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Exposing fraud and deception in the retro video game market in ~games

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    I remember that discussion! It's nice to see somebody do the investigative work to prove the intuitive assumption that this whole thing is rotten, corrupt, and manipulative. Incredible that Jim...

    I remember that discussion! It's nice to see somebody do the investigative work to prove the intuitive assumption that this whole thing is rotten, corrupt, and manipulative. Incredible that Jim Halperin was part of a million-dollar settlement in the 1980s for fraudulent coin grading and now he's applying the exact same playbook to video games.

    The worst part of it is, let's say somebody wants to actually play an old N64 or NES game on the original console. Now the most scuffed cartridges will be sold for ten times the price just because some old dudes decided to get rich off of factory sealed games.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on People are paying millions of dollars for digital pictures of rocks in ~tech

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    Or just plain old speculation. Doesn't matter if the price crashes next week if you sell at a profit on Friday...

    Or just plain old speculation. Doesn't matter if the price crashes next week if you sell at a profit on Friday...

    11 votes
  7. Comment on Not-a-Linux distro review: SerenityOS is a Unix-y love letter to the ’90s in ~tech

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    Serenity is a really cool project that I've been following for several years. I've yet to actually build it though, since I'm on Windows, and in the past it was quite troublesome to build on WSL...

    Serenity is a really cool project that I've been following for several years. I've yet to actually build it though, since I'm on Windows, and in the past it was quite troublesome to build on WSL (mostly because WSL doesn't have a great way of dealing with graphics). I think maybe it's easier now than it was in the past. Regardless, Andreas's live coding videos are the best I've seen, even if I may never use the system myself.

    I think live coding can be a great way to learn, but only when it works as well as it does here. Most of the time you see somebody spending half their time struggling with a build system or pondering an obscure bug or pontificating about everything under the sun (looking at you, Jonathan Blow). Andreas seems to be able to perfectly divide his projects into pieces so that he can actually finish a feature in a reasonable time, without cutting out the inevitable bugs and tricky problems. It's really remarkable.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Lasius americanus is one of the easiest ants you can keep in ~hobbies

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    Isn't that kind of boring? Isn't it more interesting to see them live in a more natural looking environment?

    Isn't that kind of boring? Isn't it more interesting to see them live in a more natural looking environment?

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Brett Favre urges no tackle football for children under 14 in ~sports

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    I think we may be talking about different things. Most fouls from tackles are basically trips. Player falls down, that's it. It looks the same at all levels of play from the Sunday league to the...

    I think we may be talking about different things. Most fouls from tackles are basically trips. Player falls down, that's it. It looks the same at all levels of play from the Sunday league to the Champions League. I don't think it takes any particular skill to not get injured by such low-risk tackles - or if there is a skill to it, it's one that's easily internalized by players at all levels of play, because it follows naturally from physics. Most tackles are like that because most players are not trying to get sent off with a red, nor to cripple their opposition.

    But a high-risk tackle (which may be malicious or just unlucky) is something else. If somebody smashes into your knee or ankle, say, there isn't much you can do.

    I do think Messi has been exceptionally lucky in his career. He's picked up numerous minor injuries, like all professional footballers, but has missed less than 90 days in twenty years. With just a little bad luck any of those injuries could have cost him months or even years of recovery. And conversely, if it isn't luck and is actually some particular skillset, it's one that sets him above even other highly regarded professionals. He's quite possibly the best footballer ever. It's not something you could teach to children anyway. Every season you see professionals picking up career-derailing injuries due to, basically, bad luck.

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Brett Favre urges no tackle football for children under 14 in ~sports

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    Maybe the sports are just that different. A soccer tackle isn't really something where you can learn to take a hit. It's foot on foot/leg. The goal of the person in possession of the ball is to...

    Maybe the sports are just that different. A soccer tackle isn't really something where you can learn to take a hit. It's foot on foot/leg. The goal of the person in possession of the ball is to get past the defender with control of the ball, ideally by avoiding getting hit at all. But if somebody does hit your ankle/shin/knee there's really nothing whatsoever you can do to mitigate the damage; whether it results in an injury or not is decided by the actions of the defender and luck at that point.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Brett Favre urges no tackle football for children under 14 in ~sports

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    This is true, but it will happen anyway unless you set the age limit close to or at adulthood (maybe 16-17). Does "learning body contact" really help the kid who hasn't had his voice drop nor...

    This is true, but it will happen anyway unless you set the age limit close to or at adulthood (maybe 16-17). Does "learning body contact" really help the kid who hasn't had his voice drop nor grown a hair on his chest avoid injury when he gets tackled by that 6'1 170 pound kid?

    Anecdotally as well, when I played soccer as a kid -- which may not be as brutal as American football, but still often results in injuries in adults -- nobody really got seriously injured until people started hitting puberty. Our bodies were simply not capable of sufficient force (unless extremely bad luck was involved) to cause any serious injuries. The rules didn't change when we hit 12-13 years old, the only thing that changed was our size, speed and power, which made the same tackles much more dangerous. Having had that experience of playing the same game at an earlier age doesn't seem to have made any impact.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Brett Favre urges no tackle football for children under 14 in ~sports

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    This reminds me of a similar initiative to ban or reduce heading the ball in association football. The US soccer federation were the first to ban heading for children up to the age of 10. The...

    This reminds me of a similar initiative to ban or reduce heading the ball in association football. The US soccer federation were the first to ban heading for children up to the age of 10. The Football Associations of England, Scotland and Ireland followed up by banning heading in training for the same age range, but not in matches (it's not a big part of matches in that age range anyway, they argued). These changes were motivated by studies that showed significantly increased risk of degenerative brain disease in professional (association) football players. What impact heading specifically has is unclear, although it can cause concussions.

    Tackles in American Football seem much higher risk than headers in soccer, so this seems like a good idea. Not being American, I had kind of assumed that kids in the US don't play full-contact football before high school. Like, why isn't it like this already?

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Taliban enter Afghan capital as US diplomats evacuate by chopper in ~news

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    I think you're taking it way too literally. First of all, the term doesn't apply to premodern times at all. Second of all, one would have to be a fool to think any empire - even the Soviet Union -...

    I think you're taking it way too literally. First of all, the term doesn't apply to premodern times at all. Second of all, one would have to be a fool to think any empire - even the Soviet Union - collapsed solely due to its involvement in Afghanistan.

    It's more about modern empires (or super powers) coming to terms with the limits of their own power. Now, admittedly, tacking it onto the end of that comment was a bit flippant on my side. I didn't have any deep thoughts behind it, just referencing the 100+ year history of major powers struggling to fully realize their strategic goals in Afghanistan. I'll admit that. But thinking more about it, it's not unlikely that future historians will view this war as a sort of swan song for American hegemony. China may well overtake the US as the world's biggest economy in the next few decades, even if the Americans still have a superior army. And it's difficult to imagine another American war on the scale of Afghanistan or Iraq anytime soon. I'm sure the US will still be involved in armed conflicts around the world in the coming decades, but we probably won't see another war of this scale this generation.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Taliban enter Afghan capital as US diplomats evacuate by chopper in ~news

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    Remarks by President Biden on Afghanistan : Wow. Isn't this just a complete admission of failure, while simultaneously trying to have your cake and eat it too by claiming you never wanted the...

    Remarks by President Biden on Afghanistan :

    Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.

    Wow. Isn't this just a complete admission of failure, while simultaneously trying to have your cake and eat it too by claiming you never wanted the thing you tried for 20 years to do in the first place?

    After twenty years, we're back to status quo ante bellum. Bin Laden might be dead but the Taliban which supported him are back in power, and the past twenty years haven't exactly given any reasons for terrorists to love the US more, so there will surely be another bin Laden somewhere sometime in the not so distant future.

    Now, this isn't to say that the decision to pull out now was necessarily wrong, because I struggle to see what one, two, ten more years would do if the past twenty years and trillion dollars couldn't build a competent Afghan army and robust democracy. But we should at least not pretend like this wasn't a failure.

    Graveyard of empires indeed.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on How a board game about birds became a surprise blockbuster in ~games.tabletop

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    Recently I've enjoyed several rounds of Catan with my family. It sounds like Wingspan is a less competitive game (and it does sound fun, might check it out), but I think it really depends on how...

    Recently I've enjoyed several rounds of Catan with my family. It sounds like Wingspan is a less competitive game (and it does sound fun, might check it out), but I think it really depends on how you play the game, not just the game itself. In my family we've had good-natured round-the-table discussions about the best moves for the player whose turn it is, even if the game-theoretically best move would be not to give any advice to other players. It's only when someone is close to winning the game that it gets moderately more competitive.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of August 16 in ~health.coronavirus

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    Found out today my second shot was pushed forward from mid-October to September 2. Seems like Norway's vaccine program is really picking up steam.

    Found out today my second shot was pushed forward from mid-October to September 2. Seems like Norway's vaccine program is really picking up steam.

    8 votes
  17. Comment on The co-founder of Snopes wrote dozens of plagiarized articles for the fact-checking site in ~news

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    It's a betrayal of trust insofar as readers expect them to comply with regular journalistic practice, which includes not plagiarizing. It's not a betrayal of trust in the sense of them publishing...

    It's a betrayal of trust insofar as readers expect them to comply with regular journalistic practice, which includes not plagiarizing. It's not a betrayal of trust in the sense of them publishing fake news or incorrect information. Frankly I think most readers don't really care whether parts of an article was plagiarized. However, it does raise the question, if one of the founders of Snopes was this lazy, not even writing their own copy, were they also lazy in regards to fact checking? If you did your own independent verification of information, would you stoop to copying the exact wording of another source? Unlikely. Laziness is not really compatible with being a trusted source of information; even if this particular case didn't (as far as we know) lead to promoting falsehoods, most people will not go to the trouble of independently verifying their news sources' claims. And any suggestion that they take shortcuts inevitably raises concerns about whether they did the same thing not just with copyright law but with actual source critique and information.

    14 votes
  18. Comment on Bolsonaro’s ‘banana republic’ military parade condemned by critics in ~news

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    I don't know much about Brazil or Bolsonaro (the one thing I remember about him is that time he confused the Faroe Islands for Norway when complaining about whaling, as a response to Norway...

    I don't know much about Brazil or Bolsonaro (the one thing I remember about him is that time he confused the Faroe Islands for Norway when complaining about whaling, as a response to Norway pulling economic support for the Amazon rain forest). But I appreciate that meme. Not exactly North Korea style that parade, was it?

    1 vote
  19. Comment on Plymouth shooting: Six dead including child on a devastating night for the city in ~news

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    The US is the same color on this map as Afghanistan. Wow.

    The US is the same color on this map as Afghanistan. Wow.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on Do you wear a non-smartwatch? If so, what do you have? in ~talk

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    This is my watch, a Soviet-made Raketa World Time. Truth be told I rarely wear it as I bought it more as a fashion accessory and tend to forget I own it. But I do think it's really cool.

    This is my watch, a Soviet-made Raketa World Time. Truth be told I rarely wear it as I bought it more as a fashion accessory and tend to forget I own it. But I do think it's really cool.

    3 votes