kfwyre's recent activity

  1. Comment on On the other side of Prime Day, Amazon workers brace for 'two months of hell' in ~misc

    kfwyre Link Parent
    If anyone wants a good example of some current anti-union propaganda, check out Delta's recent initiative. There's even an app, so you can enjoy its passively threatening messages through the...

    If anyone wants a good example of some current anti-union propaganda, check out Delta's recent initiative. There's even an app, so you can enjoy its passively threatening messages through the convenience of your mobile device!

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Why Today’s Amazon Strike Is So Important in ~misc

    kfwyre Link
    That level of churn should be a red flag, but I've no doubt that they've run the numbers and it's cheaper long-term to just perpetually replace employees than actually invest in them. They're...

    She started working at Amazon one year and seven months ago with seventy people; only five are left.

    That level of churn should be a red flag, but I've no doubt that they've run the numbers and it's cheaper long-term to just perpetually replace employees than actually invest in them. They're probably just hoping to run out the clock until automation becomes feasible and they never have to deal with low-level employees again.

    The company expects her to pick and pack a mind-boggling six hundred items per hour, leading to repetitive stress injuries.

    That's one item every six seconds. Absolutely inhuman. I'm reminded of the Facebook moderators who have goals of 25,000 items per day. Assuming an eight hour workday, that's a little over one second per item. Less if you include breaks.

    3 votes
  3. No genre restrictions, so a tell-all memoir is as valid a response as a high-fantasy tome. Maybe you want to dive in deep on an anthropological topic, or maybe you want to pen a full book of...

    No genre restrictions, so a tell-all memoir is as valid a response as a high-fantasy tome. Maybe you want to dive in deep on an anthropological topic, or maybe you want to pen a full book of contemporary political commentary. Any and all options are on the table, with the only caveat being that you'd have to write enough to fill a book, so it would have to be an area of knowledge or passion for you--likely both.

    Also, for those here that have already written books, feel free to talk about those if you like, or one you hope to write in the future.

    For those that haven't, don't feel constrained by real-world concerns/inhibitions. Pretend you have the time and resources to adequately devote to the book to fully see your vision through.

    Make sure you give us:

    • A summary of what the book would be about
    • An explanation of why you'd want to write that specific book
    • And, most importantly, a good title!
    13 votes
  4. Comment on Under fire from game devs, G2A proposes new 'Key Blocker' tool in ~games

    kfwyre Link
    Barring all of the issues with this proposal which others have highlighted, this still does not address the issue of them selling keys bought with stolen credit cards or those acquired by abusing...

    Barring all of the issues with this proposal which others have highlighted, this still does not address the issue of them selling keys bought with stolen credit cards or those acquired by abusing chargebacks. Not only is this a main complaint against G2A in the first place, but it's the one that hits devs and publishers the hardest--far more than sold review/giveaway keys. It makes this "solution" misdirection at best--pay no attention to that fraud behind the curtain.

    At this point, not only is it clear that G2A is uninterested in doing the right thing, but I fear that all this recent press might have an adverse effect and actually raise their profile. I wonder if they welcome the criticism and strategically bat back like this simply because it's free advertising for them. For all the people who won't go to them because they're shady and untrustworthy, there are plenty who will because they win on price, which of course they can only do because of the sketchiness they are more than willing to accomodate on their marketplace in the first place.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on What do you think about "robot affection"? in ~talk

    kfwyre Link Parent
    Agreed. One of the difficulties of aging is that pets become much harder--eventually nearly impossible--to adequately care for. Everyday tasks like bending over to put down a water bowl or scoop...

    Agreed. One of the difficulties of aging is that pets become much harder--eventually nearly impossible--to adequately care for. Everyday tasks like bending over to put down a water bowl or scoop up poop, for example, become difficult or outright risky. A robotic "pet" that offers companionship without an added care burden could go a long way towards mitigating loneliness in elderly individuals.

    6 votes
  6. Comment on Google employees are systematically listening to audio files recorded by Google Home smart speakers and the Google Assistant smartphone app in ~tech

    kfwyre Link Parent
    Mozilla's Common Voice is working toward an open-source voice recognition engine and data set. You can contribute to the project very easily (no signup needed, takes mere seconds), and if you're...

    Mozilla's Common Voice is working toward an open-source voice recognition engine and data set. You can contribute to the project very easily (no signup needed, takes mere seconds), and if you're not wanting to record your own voice for the data set you can always help by verifying others'.

    7 votes
  7. Comment on What games have you been playing lately? in ~games

    kfwyre Link Parent
    I never thought about the Sonic connection, but you're so right it hurts! Sonic games have always had this sort of identity crisis where they're not sure if Sonic is supposed to just go fast or do...

    I never thought about the Sonic connection, but you're so right it hurts!

    Sonic games have always had this sort of identity crisis where they're not sure if Sonic is supposed to just go fast or do platforming. They usually can't make up their mind and just decide to do both, but separately. Action Henk is instead the perfect marriage of those two ideas. It's the game that Sonic games have always tried to be (and masterfully executed to boot). Great observation.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on What games have you been playing lately? in ~games

    kfwyre Link Parent
    Action Henk is outstanding, but I agree that it didn't put it's best foot forward presentation-wise. Nothing says "precise physics-based time-trial racing in the vein of the Trials or TrackMania...

    Action Henk is outstanding, but I agree that it didn't put it's best foot forward presentation-wise. Nothing says "precise physics-based time-trial racing in the vein of the Trials or TrackMania series" like an overweight guy in a tanktop running through an offbrand Toy Story world!

    I also think Descenders is pretty repetitive, but that's honestly what I like about it. With the procedural generation I get a fresh-yet-familiar game each time. If I played it on its own, I would probably tire of it quickly, but it's perfect as an audiobook game for me since my main focus is listening and it acts as background stimulus. I'll put dozens of hours into relatively mindless or deliberately grindy games because of audiobooks even though I'd get bored after an hour if I played them standalone.

    I will say that the second world you stopped on is my least favorite of the six I've unlocked so far. It's a HUGE difficulty increase from the first world and some of its design elements seem to go against the goals of the game (e.g. trees EVERYWHERE). Part of me thinks that's because they wanted to reinforce that it's a somewhat technical game and you can't just hold the accelerator and hit every jump at full-speed, but that feels like a lesson they could have built up to a little better, rather than going all in on it in World 2.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on The bounty hunters of Fallout 76 will kill anyone you want, for a price in ~games

    kfwyre Link
    I haven't played 76, so I'm curious about the motivations behind this. Is this happening simply to settle scores and cause chaos, or are people doing this because there are in-game benefits to...

    I haven't played 76, so I'm curious about the motivations behind this. Is this happening simply to settle scores and cause chaos, or are people doing this because there are in-game benefits to doing so? Does the killed player receive any sort of penalty for dying? Is there a way for a player to avoid getting griefed in this manner if they've been targeted?

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Pirate our games, don't buy them from key resellers, say indies in ~games

    kfwyre (edited ) Link
    The Factorio team has joined the chorus (discussed in the second half of the post). G2A has offered devs a tenfold return on money lost to chargebacks if the devs can prove keys were sold on G2A...

    The Factorio team has joined the chorus (discussed in the second half of the post).

    G2A has offered devs a tenfold return on money lost to chargebacks if the devs can prove keys were sold on G2A that were purchased fraudulently. The Factorio devs took them up on this offer, the result of which is still in process. They don't seem to be holding their breath for a positive outcome, which I feel is probably the right move given G2A's history.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on What are you doing this weekend? in ~talk

    kfwyre Link
    I had to take my dog in for an emergency procedure last weekend, and today in the follow-up they had to be a bit more aggressive with their procedures since his infection wasn't healing. It's...

    I had to take my dog in for an emergency procedure last weekend, and today in the follow-up they had to be a bit more aggressive with their procedures since his infection wasn't healing.

    It's rough knowing how scared he gets at the vet and how much pain he's in, especially because he hides it well. The hardest part, aside from my own fear of unexpectedly losing him, is not being able to tell him what's going on, why I'm leaving him in the hands of strangers, and that his pain will get better soon. It's such a terrifying ordeal for him, especially because he can't see the bigger picture.

    I just brought him back home after his follow-up procedure which went well but has a tough recovery. He is going to spend the weekend (and next week) resting and getting lots and lots of much needed TLC from my husband and me.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on What games have you been playing lately? in ~games

    kfwyre Link Parent
    Interesting. It's odd to me that they would limit real estate in the potentially limitless digital world of an MMO. Any idea why they decided to implement a finite number of plots, the demand for...

    I like the idea of amassing a fortune via jobs, I would much prefer it if I had something worthwhile to spend it on, like a house. Which the game offers! Except you cant get one because every plot is taken and none are for sale.

    Interesting. It's odd to me that they would limit real estate in the potentially limitless digital world of an MMO. Any idea why they decided to implement a finite number of plots, the demand for which has clearly been exceeded? I've never played an MMO so I might be missing something obvious, but it seems counterintuitive to me to lock your players out of opportunities like that, especially if your goal is to keep them subscribed long-term.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What games have you been playing lately? in ~games

    kfwyre (edited ) Link
    My game playing preferences fall into basically two categories: games I can play while listening to audiobooks, and short narrative-driven experiences. In the category of Audiobook Accompaniment,...

    My game playing preferences fall into basically two categories: games I can play while listening to audiobooks, and short narrative-driven experiences.

    In the category of Audiobook Accompaniment, we have Descenders, which is a sort of downhill bike racing roguelike. The maps are procedurally generated and you make your way across a given environment by going from node-to-node, FTL-style, choosing between tracks that have different stats and setups (e.g. some offer more stunts, a good racing line, or an open environment in which you must make your own path).

    The game feels really good to play, and there is no stat-based unlocking (only cosmetics), so your bike and rider always feel the same, and any skill increase is your own. The game is easy to get into but also has a very high skill ceiling. You won't be able to just hold down the accelerate button the entire time, as you can go too high off some jumps and make landing safely impossible.

    It definitely leans more arcade than sim, so it's gratifying and flashy, and its roguelike setup gives it tons of replayability. It's going to be a nice audiobook accompaniment for a long time.

    In the category of Short Narratives, we have A Normal Lost Phone, which is a visual-novel-esque game where you find an unlocked phone and go through its apps to uncover the story of its owner. Most of the game is just reading messages and emails, but there are a few simple puzzles along the way. It takes less than two hours from start to finish, but it tells a complete story.

    I liked it overall, and I give it props for having some well-handled LGBT content, which I feel is still a bit rare in games (though certainly getting better than it used to be).

    9 votes
  14. Comment on Principal Who Tried to Stay ‘Politically Neutral’ About Holocaust Is Removed in ~news

    kfwyre (edited ) Link
    Two thoughts: First, for anyone interested in in-depth reads about Holocaust denialism, check out Deborah Lipstadt. She has several books on the topic, including History on Trial: My Day in Court...

    Two thoughts:

    First, for anyone interested in in-depth reads about Holocaust denialism, check out Deborah Lipstadt. She has several books on the topic, including History on Trial: My Day in Court With a Holocaust Denier (also called Denial: Holocaust History on Trial to tie in with a recent movie adaptation). In this, one of the people she called a Holocaust denier in a previous book sued her for libel. The book focuses on the ensuing court case which, by nature of the allegations, ends up putting the details of the Holocaust itself on trial. It's a very harrowing yet gratifying read, and you get to see the intellectual slipperiness of the denier, using nearly every excuse in the playbook to walk back his words. I think it has a lot of resonance today, given that the tactics he uses to try to finagle some truth from his lies are ones we so commonly see today with people who make disingenous arguments and falsified facts about a whole range of topics.

    Second, teachers and principals are heavily pressured to remain "politically neutral." Of course we all know there's no such thing, but regardless of the ideology, it's a bad look for adults in education to take strong political stances, particularly on hot button issues, and especially ones that are divisive within the community they're a part of.

    Just one parent can cause a big fuss. I worked with a teacher who, in 2016, made a comment to her class that she felt that Trump had mistreated women. This is not a terribly controversial statement given that he has directly admitted as much, and she went no further with her comment, understanding that taking a hardline stance on a political candidate in front of a room full of students could be awful optics. It didn't matter. The parents of one of her students contacted the principal and asked for the teacher to be reprimanded and for their student to be removed from her classroom under the claims of indoctrination. Another teacher I knew got into hot water for having a Trump bumper sticker on their car that they parked at the school.

    Talking about any candidate or hot button political topic is risky because many states have regulations about what teachers can and cannot say. And even outside of regulation, there's the understanding that we, as teachers, exist within yet must appear to be outside of the culture wars of society.

    It's a tough position to be in, because students frequently ask us things like "Who are you going to vote for?" or "Do you believe in God?" or "Do you think abortion is wrong?" and you know that your response will be heard by a room full of divided beliefs and likely their even more divided parents. Taking a side can feel wrong since we'd rather students come to their own conclusions and because we don't want to stir an already heated pot, but remaining neutral or ambiguous can also feel wrong, especially if the topic is one we have strong beliefs on.

    Furthermore, the line between personal belief and instruction can get blurry, especially because we frequently use real-life situations to convey academic concepts. If I teach about interest rates using my own home mortgage, that's considered great and fine! Better than teaching about it in the abstract! But if I publicly mention that my husband and I live together in that same house, I can be accused of teaching "the gay agenda" despite that simply being a personal detail about me that I shared with the class. Part of teaching, unfortunately, is knowing how to play to the middle or avoiding being pinned down as a simple matter of self-preservation

    With regards to the article, I don't have enough information to know what this principal believes, and even my "politically neutral" teacher persona would have a hard time letting Holocaust denial go unchecked, but if I had to wager, his noncommital writing style feels like the acts of self-preservation we do all the time. It takes only one concerned parent to start a storm and end a career (as was the case here), and the loudest and most persistent parents often have the most extreme views (e.g. Holocaust denial), so he very well may have felt that "neutrality" was his best course forward and the one that opened him up to the least liability. I feel like this whole issue might say less about that individual principal and more about where the Oveton window is given that abstention from acknowledging the Holocaust could conceivably be seen as "neutral."

    I say all of this not to defend Holocaust denial in the slightest (it's abhorrent), but to contextualize the likely pressures faced by the principal.

    9 votes
  15. Comment on Thoughts on Hannah Gadsby's "Nanette"? in ~lgbt

    kfwyre Link Parent
    I'm really glad that you got something out of it! I'm happy that I could be the person to pass it along to you. Absolutely agreed. I have been through some specific, singular instances of trauma...

    I'm really glad that you got something out of it! I'm happy that I could be the person to pass it along to you.

    But hearing from your childhood that "gay", or the equivalents in basically every language, are a way to say that something is bad... it really kind of fucks you up.

    Absolutely agreed. I have been through some specific, singular instances of trauma myself, though not ones nearly as badly as she shared. When I share mine, people show instant empathy because, of course, these events were objectively horrible. Nobody would want to experience anything close to them.

    What's hard to get people to understand--what their empathy is often inexperienced at seeing--is that the passive toxicity of societally embedded homophobia was worse than having someone threaten me, for example. Homophobia dealt damage over time, which adds up to a lot night after night, month after month, year after year. Threats were certainly more acutely and immediately terrifying, and they raised alarm in every system in my body. But you recover from that by slowly returning to the safety of normalcy. But what could I do when normal wasn't safe for me? When who I am was treated as anathema or abomination? When I wasn't even safe inside my own brain because I hated myself so damn much?

    It's sad that her experience, your experience, and my experience all share that common thread: the pollution of our lives by hatred and discrimination. Presumably we all grew up in different places and likely even different times, yet homophobia was seemingly universal--spread between all of them. Things are absolutely getting better, but we're not yet where we need to be. We need people like her to not only tell our stories and do it meaningfully, but we also need people like her to challenge the very pollution we've had to live with all our lives. She is an inspiration, and a source of healing. The world is a better place because of her courage and candor. May we all learn from it.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Interesting fast-paced space-themed racing games on Switch in ~games

    kfwyre Link
    Fast RMX is really great, but, for anyone interested in it, let the difference between the main game time and the completionist time tell the story that it is seriously difficult. Don't get me...

    Fast RMX is really great, but, for anyone interested in it, let the difference between the main game time and the completionist time tell the story that it is seriously difficult.

    Don't get me wrong, I loved it and think it's fantastically made. When you nail a difficult track and hit the boosts and turns just right, it's thrilling. Just know that getting there can be quite tough.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on Tell us about your first love in ~talk

    kfwyre (edited ) Link
    cw: homophobia My first love was God. I realize that's not what you meant with the question, but it's the honest truth. I grew up believing there was this warm, loving, all-powerful figure...

    cw: homophobia

    My first love was God.

    I realize that's not what you meant with the question, but it's the honest truth. I grew up believing there was this warm, loving, all-powerful figure watching over me who cared deeply about my existence. I would pray all the time, asking Him questions, thanking Him, airing my insecurities and offering up my transgressions. It was powerful and transformative, as any religious person can tell you.

    When I was in sixth grade, I started to, well, notice things. One of my friends was on the school football team and began developing some muscle in his arm, and I remember how I seemingly couldn't look away. I was fascinated! It looked so... interesting, but I wasn't sure why. Maybe I wanted my arms to look like his? Sure. That was it.

    Equally important were the things I didn't notice. Like girls. Other guys certainly did, and would discuss them frequently, particularly if they weren't around. They'd bring it up with me and ask me questions I didn't know how to answer. "Do you like Sarah?" Well, sure, she seems really smart and she's nice to everyone. "Do you think Jade is pretty?" Uh, yeah, I guess? Isn't it mean if I say she isn't? "Lool at how hot Celia is!" Sure, I think her... hair... is... nice? I think?

    Middle school was the time in my life where it seemed like, one by one, each of my male friends started speaking a foreign language. They would say things about girls that made absolutely no sense to me, and I played along simply because to be different in any way was to be bad, and to be different in that particular way was the worst.

    See, middle school was about the time I learned that the God I loved dearly (and I genuinely did), had some limits. All my life I'd been told that He was capital-L Love in its purest, richest, most fulfilling form. Even better, His Love was unconditional. And, even better than that, His Love had infinite forgiveness. No matter what I did, I could always come to Him to experience that Love, because his Love didn't care who I was or what I'd done.

    Except, of course, if you're gay. Elementary School God was like winning a sweepstakes, but Middle School God was like realizing there was some pretty important fine print. When I was young, nobody told me that God had a couple of exceptions in his whole "unconditional love" policy. Turns out God didn't love this other class of people: homosexuals. The vilest of sinners who went against nature. They were a scourge on society and the lowest of the low.

    Of course, I didn't know that was me at the time. Things were so regressive where I grew up that the only idea of "gay" I was exposed to was defined the following way: "gay" meant "fag" and "fag" meant a man who acted like (and presumably wanted to be) a woman. That was it. No gays in the community or on TV or in the books I read. No benchmarks to go by. That pervasive, awful, incorrect outline was all I had to work with.

    And that didn't fit me at all. I didn't want to be a woman. I wasn't womanly at all. My voice was deepening. I was getting muscle and growing body hair. So there was no way I was gay, right? So what if I didn't "like" girls? Most of my guy friends couldn't figure them out either, so that hardly mattered. And I didn't "like" guys. "Like" is something you do before "love" which is something you do before "marriage", and guys have to marry girls, so how could I "like" another guy? It didn't make any sense...

    ...is what I told myself, intellectually, over and over again. It was my defense mechanism. Unfortunately, it turns out that God could see straight through to my heart. He knew everything. That electrifying feeling I got when I saw the male underwear models in the JC Penney catalog? He knew. And the unexplainable nervous tension I felt--like I was doing something wrong--as I watched a picture of David Duchovny download line by line on our blazing fast but somehow still so excruciatingly slow 14.4 Kbps modem? He knew. I knew too, but I was so afraid and so powerless to make it stop that my lies were my only hope. The catalog was just so that I could be a responsible shopper! The pic of Duchovny was for a school project, and how cool would everyone think I was when I showed them that I could print pictures from the Internet! Ha! See? I'm cool! I'm not the lowest of the low!

    Except, of course, I was. The being who Loved me and who I loved right back knew what I was and, according to everyone in my community and seemingly even the Bible itself, He was not okay with it. I could be forgiven for anything... except that.

    There's a lot more I could say, but I'll leave it at this: because I loved God and He loved me, I consider the Church to be my first, abusive relationship. It lasted over a decade, and I spent those years living in a shame so powerful it would make your heart stop. I would cry myself to sleep night after night, begging God to change me and make me something other than what I was. I lived in constant fear of being found out by every single person, every single day. I hated who I was because God hated who I was, and everyone around me would hate me if they knew the truth--a very truth I denied to myself for so long because I genuinely believed I could change. God was all-powerful, right? He could change me, right? Because a loving God wouldn't leave me this way, right? Because He wouldn't keep me trapped as the very thing He despised, right?

    With regards to love, I grew up under a contradiction: I was told constantly that God loves me, but also that God, unconditionally, does not love this other group of people who seemed to be a lot like me. Only by hiding and lying to myself about who I was could I cling to the first part and ignore the dissonance that was slowly and silently ripping me in half. When I finally did come out, I did so not proudly but out of exhaustion and defeat. I had given up on hiding and hoping. I was stuck this way.

    In this darkest moment I turned to my support system. The people closest to me, who, for my entire life, had told me they loved me and lived their lives with the purpose to reflect and spread God's love. My church, my own family failed to show me that love. I instead received condemnation. At that point I became fully severed. The contradiction was over. God could no longer Love me because I was no longer lovable.

    When people are in abusive relationships, they often blame themselves. I sure did, and the consequences of that were nearly fatal to me. I am lucky that I was able to escape with my life. So many do not. I am the living brother to so many Christian ghosts--lives that were cut short because they, too, learned the horrible, destructive, and utterly devastating lesson that God's Love was not for them.

    How wrong we were. How wrong were the people we trusted who taught us it. It's a bullshit lesson. Love is not that. It does not kill. It doesn't destroy or denigrate. It's not proud, and it does not dishonor others. It does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.1

    11 votes