kfwyre's recent activity

  1. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    I love your backlog reduction goal! I've actually been thinking about doing another Tildes event in the coming months (probably March/April) that's focused on backlog busting. If you don't mind me...

    I love your backlog reduction goal! I've actually been thinking about doing another Tildes event in the coming months (probably March/April) that's focused on backlog busting.

    If you don't mind me asking: how big is your backlog, and how are you choosing what to play from it?

  2. What's something you're comfortable telling people on the internet that you wouldn't share with people you know in real life?

    This is presumably unanswerable for anyone whose handle here is known by anyone in their real life, but I figured I'd ask it anyway, as there are likely a good number of us for whom our Tildes...

    This is presumably unanswerable for anyone whose handle here is known by anyone in their real life, but I figured I'd ask it anyway, as there are likely a good number of us for whom our Tildes names are fully separate from our real life identitires.

    • What are you willing to share with internet strangers but not people you know in real life?
    • Why is it important to you that it is not shared with people you know in real life?

    As noted in the question, I'm looking for stuff you're comfortable sharing. I'm not trying to fish for deep dirt here.

    8 votes
  3. Comment on San Francisco Pride members vote to ban Google and YouTube from their parade in ~lgbt

    kfwyre
    Link
    Looks like it's not yet final: I'm curious what people here think, as I can see this both ways. On one hand, Google has done a lot to support us -- moreso than many other companies. I also love...

    Looks like it's not yet final:

    One small group raised concerns about Google as a corporate sponsor. Our legal team is reviewing the implications of last week’s vote by seven of Pride’s 326 members. Our Board of Directors will meet February 5th to determine our next step. As we get ready to celebrate our 50th parade, our goal remains the same as it was for our first — to be inclusive and reflect the diversity of our communities.

    I'm curious what people here think, as I can see this both ways. On one hand, Google has done a lot to support us -- moreso than many other companies. I also love Pride's open and inviting "come as you are" feel. On the other hand, I also get how YouTube in particular enables some noxious viewpoints and discourse, and their moderation has been underwhelming.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Town Meeting in ~talk

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    There's a documentary called Welcome to Leith about neo-Nazis who move to a small town in hopes of setting up their own enclave there. Part of the film focuses on the actions of the people already...

    There's a documentary called Welcome to Leith about neo-Nazis who move to a small town in hopes of setting up their own enclave there. Part of the film focuses on the actions of the people already living in the town who try to stop them from taking over -- a process which involves several town meetings.

    It's been a while since I've seen the film so I don't know if they are exact examples of this (they might just be more "concerned citizens"-type gatherings) but I figured I'd mention it here in case it's relevant to what you're looking for.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Fitness Weekly Discussion in ~health

    kfwyre
    Link
    BEAT. SABER. My husband and I spent last weekend away with his D&D crew, and while they had their sessions, I borrowed and played with a friend's Oculus Quest. He only had Beat Saber installed,...

    BEAT. SABER.

    My husband and I spent last weekend away with his D&D crew, and while they had their sessions, I borrowed and played with a friend's Oculus Quest. He only had Beat Saber installed, along with ~200 custom songs.

    I think I played Beat Saber for approximately 8 hours that weekend. I ran through multiple full battery charges on the headset and sweated up a storm. My arms were ridiculously sore during our drive home.

    A few days later, my husband surprised me with a gift: my own Quest! In his words: "I haven't seen you that happy in a long time." My friends, while watching me play, noted that I had a giant grin on my face the whole time.

    Beat Saber is absolutely the most fun I've had gaming in recent memory. A long, long time ago I spent my time playing copious amounts of DDR, so I'm already someone who knows the joys of full-body rhythm gaming, and Beat Saber is basically VR DDR that's way easier on the knees.

    I just got the sideloading of custom songs set up for my Quest and spent the better part of the afternoon downloading songs. Tomorrow I'm going to start regular cardio for the first time in a long time, and unlike pretty much every cardio exercise I've ever done that isn't DDR, I'm genuinely looking forward to it.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Why procrastination is about managing emotions, not time in ~life

    kfwyre
    Link
    I can definitely relate to this. One of the ways I can tell when I'm really burning out at my job is when I stay on my phone past bedtime. It's a way of procrastinating waking up. Going to sleep...

    I can definitely relate to this. One of the ways I can tell when I'm really burning out at my job is when I stay on my phone past bedtime. It's a way of procrastinating waking up. Going to sleep means the next work day will be here (what feels like) immediately, but staying up makes it feel like it's further away.

    I can tell when I'm really low when I start seeking out something to facilitate the procrastination -- usually some form of idle/clicker game. I know they're not fun, I know they're exploitative, yet when I'm down in the depths of the dumps, I'll install one and run it for hours, each night, when I should be sleeping.

    The good news is that I'm aware that this is how I function, so despite being at a relative low point in my career right now, I'm a lot better about using positive coping strategies rather than maladaptive ones. The bad news is that it took me a long time to get here.

    7 votes
  7. Comment on Tech support request: recovering from hard crashes in Linux in ~tech

    kfwyre
    Link
    Final Update: System76 ended up replacing the motherboard (under warranty). I received my laptop back today and will test it out in the coming days to make sure everything is running as intended....

    Final Update:

    System76 ended up replacing the motherboard (under warranty). I received my laptop back today and will test it out in the coming days to make sure everything is running as intended. Thanks to everyone here who helped me! Without your assistance I would have just put up with the issues and likely ended up with a very expensive lemon of a laptop.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on USDA proposes new rules that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries in ~food

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    Apologies for getting back to you on this so late! I've had an unexpectly busy past few days. I don't know that I have satisfactory answers for you, as I will admit to similar gaps in my own...

    Apologies for getting back to you on this so late! I've had an unexpectly busy past few days.

    I don't know that I have satisfactory answers for you, as I will admit to similar gaps in my own understanding. While I'm somewhat knowledgeable about education, I've got a very teacher-centric focus, so I'm out of my element when it comes to stuff like this topic. I also wrote my first post in the scattered fog of a sleepless night, so upon re-reading it, I'm not even entirely sure what I was going for. It feels more haphazard than I like, which no doubt fueled many of your very valid questions.

    I'm also in a weird place where I simultaneously believe that government should do right by its people and also that government is susceptible to corruptive forces. For all my talk of wanting government to protect children's health, I don't believe they'll actually do it. Much of this is the career-related pessimism you might be familiar with if you've seen my other posts on teaching around here.

    As such, I don't know what the solution is. I don't think more money is great, as I already don't trust schools and districts to use what they have effectively. Some of that can be attributed to poor management, but some of it can also be attributed to poor policy. For example, we have to continually have "professional development" to maintain our credentials, and there is little to no oversight on the quality of the programs providing this PD, so districts spend large sums on crappy companies to provide crappy trainings so their teachers can check required bureaucratic boxes to keep jobs that we already have. It's a complete waste, but we also don't have a choice in the matter. It's why I'm hesitant of any solution that has us throw more resources at something, because so many of our resources are already ill-spent.

    With regard to child nutrition, I also think the answer isn't really a straight line from problem A to solution A. For example, in other posts, you talked about parents being in charge of nutrition, which is absolutely the right ideal. The presence of federal subsidies and regulation regarding child nutrition could be looked at less as a public health statement and more of an economic one, with the prevalence of the free and reduced lunch program highlighting the reality that many parents aren't financially able to provide adequate nutrition for their children. If we see this situation as a symptom of that, then the correct solution has little or nothing to do with the subsidies or regulations in place there, as those are simply cover for the larger issue of parental economic hardship. Solving that problem would likely benefit child nutrition more than these particular guidelines.

    I wish I could provide you with a more complete answer, and my first post spoke with a conviction that made it sound like I had one, but the truth is that I genuinely don't know what the right answers are here. I apologize if that's unsatisfying to you, but it's the truth. Thank you for your questions, though, as they gave me a lot to think about.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Denmark to finally allow gay and bisexual men to give blood – but only after four month abstinence period in ~lgbt

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    This data is from the US, not Denmark, but it gives an answer to your question. In 2018, male-male sexual contact accounted for the transmission of HIV to roughly 25,000 people. Heterosexual...

    This data is from the US, not Denmark, but it gives an answer to your question.

    In 2018, male-male sexual contact accounted for the transmission of HIV to roughly 25,000 people. Heterosexual contact accounted for less than 3,000. The disparity of these numbers is even more pronounced when you consider that the broader population sizes are not equal, and there are far more people engaging in heterosexual contact than male-male sexual contact.

    If you look at the cumulative data for stage 3 classifications (AIDS), you can see that male-male sexual contact accounts for ~618,000 cases, while heterosexual contact accounts for ~94,000.

    This data breaks my heart. As a gay man who grew up in the shadow of AIDS, I'm devastated to see that it is continuing to ravage our community.

    I get why the ban is bad optics, and I will admit that it stings a little personally. I have never donated blood, but I would love to do so and am the kind of person would do so regularly. I think it's an amazing, wonderful way of helping others.

    But I also get why the ban happened in the first place. Back in the 80s, HIV got into our national blood supply. A little-known or discussed fact about AIDS was that hemophiliacs were also devastated by the disease, because HIV made it into their transfusions before before we fully understood what was going on with it or how to stop its spread.

    The decision to eliminate high-risk groups was based on a significant safety concern and a broad statistical pragmatism that doesn't scale well to individual experience. As such, I acknowledge that I am in a demographic with demonstrably higher transmission rates of HIV. Though I know my status is negative and will continue to be so, the people taking my blood can't necessarily trust that. Statistically, the chance that I could infect the blood supply (or, now that detection is better, cause whole pools of donations to have to be discarded) is significantly higher than most other people. It is likely more worthwhile for them to simply prevent me and people like me from entering the pool than it is for them to manage the risk of including us.

    I'm not saying it's right -- only that I get why they do it. I would love for blood donation to take a more nuanced stance on the issue, however. Am I really still high-risk if me and my husband have been HIV-negative and mutually monogamous for nearly a decade now?

    11 votes
  10. Comment on USDA proposes new rules that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries in ~food

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    I wasn't trying to say that they cook a meal every three seconds -- sorry if I came across that way! I was trying to highlight the fact that a school cafeteria resembles an assembly line much more...

    I wasn't trying to say that they cook a meal every three seconds -- sorry if I came across that way! I was trying to highlight the fact that a school cafeteria resembles an assembly line much more than a restaurant.

    Your last point is salient. The first school that I worked in was 100% free and reduced lunch. We had a secondary community program that supplemented the school lunch program and regularly provided dinners to certain students for dinners, weekends, and breaks. I'd never thought about it until I'd started teaching, but for a child who is food-dependent on the school, the weekend is a regular recurrence of food insecurity.

    I now work at a school in a far wealthier area, and we'll have students whose parents regularly bring in decadent homemade meals, or, more often, take-out from local food places or Panera. The disparity in both availability and quality of food is significant.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Use This, Not That: Positive Swaps for the New Year in ~talk

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    Right back at you! You're a wonderful presence here on the site.

    Right back at you! You're a wonderful presence here on the site.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on USDA proposes new rules that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries in ~food

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    School lunches are all about volume and efficiency. Cafeteria workers will be tasked with feeding hundreds or thousands of students in a matter of minutes. I did some quick math on my current...

    School lunches are all about volume and efficiency. Cafeteria workers will be tasked with feeding hundreds or thousands of students in a matter of minutes. I did some quick math on my current situation:

    The lunch period I'm in lasts 21 minutes and has approximately 400 students. If all of them get lunch from the line, the cafeteria would have to crank out meals at a rate of 1 every 3 seconds in order to serve everyone, though that means there would be kids still getting their lunches mere seconds before the bell to leave. It's unreasonable to assume that all students will order lunch, so if we drop it to just a third of the population eating, and we leave five minutes at the end of the period to make sure that all students have time to eat, that's still a pace of 1 meal every 7 seconds.

    This is just one lunch period in one school in my district. If I scale that up to the district level or the city level, we see that every day school lunchrooms are pushing thousands and hundreds of thousands of meals in the span of an hour or two. This reality forces school meals to be things that are able to prepared, cooked, and distributed quickly and in bulk.

    The reality is that companies like the ones @cfabbro mentioned are really the only ones who can operate at this level. They benefit from the economies of scale mandated by the need to feed thousands of kids each and every day, so we can't choose fresh local foods prepared by trained chefs over, say, Sodexo.

    This efficiency squeeze applies to labor too: most cafeteria workers are only employed part time which often makes them ineligible for benefits. I did a quick search of open food service positions and, of the ones I could find that posted wages, all of them were in the ballpark of $12 an hour (or, $240 a week for a four-hour-a-day workweek).

    The regulations mentioned in this article are effectively less about schools and more about these companies that contract with schools. The regulations for school meals establish the floor that companies have to meet, and these companies have already achieved maximum efficiency with that floor in place. They're great at volume and speed, and they have cut costs as much as possible (which is important, because I believe the per-meal reimbursement offered by the National School Lunch Program is pretty low, though I couldn't find any numbers when I searched around). They're undoubtedly trying now to change the regulations because it's in their best interest to lower the floor. They've maximized fast, cheap, and easy to the best that they can by law, so the next step is to change the law to allow them to keep going down that road. This is what they, as a company, are designed to do. Without regulation they'll continue to do so to the severe detriment of child health.

    A good example is Coca-Cola, which offers no health benefits (and plenty of detriments). They're pretty infamous for signing exclusive contracts with cash-strapped school districts. This was after their industry lobby changed USDA regulations that previously barred their product as detrimental:

    In most states, secondary schools follow the minimum federal regulations and allow soda to be sold throughout the day, except in school cafeterias when government-subsidized breakfast or lunch is being served. In the late 1970s, the USDA tried to impose much wider restrictions, prohibiting the sale of soft drinks and other foods with "minimal nutritional value" throughout schools from the beginning of the school day until 30 minutes after the end of the last lunch period.

    The National Soft Drink Association challenged the regulation, and in 1983 the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the USDA prohibition.

    From another article on the issue:

    In Florida, the cola war is likely to spread to other school districts. That's because the Florida Cabinet may revoke a rule that prohibits the sale of beverages from vending machines in high schools at least one hour after the lunch period. Gov. Jeb Bush recently went on record favoring the repeal, which would boost soft-drink sales.

    The government should be the one to hold the line for what's right for our kids. They're the only entity with the size and ability to counter profit-seeking companies. Parents can't do it; schools can't do it; even whole districts can't do it. We need something in place that companies have to bow to, and we need rules that they fear breaking. Right now companies are still responsive to government mandates, but we also know that, rather than stay on their side of the line, they love to influence government to move the line, and always in their favor. This is why standardized testing has all but co-opted American education. They were able to so successfully redraw the line that for-profit testing looks like a social good and teachers are seen as a social ill.

    The nutrition and health of our nation's kids simply should not be subject to a profit motive. There's too much money to be made in doing wrong by them.

    10 votes
  13. Comment on Sci-fi magazine pulls story by trans writer after 'barrage of attacks' in ~lgbt

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Very unfortunate. I can definitely understand the frustration based on the title. That meme was (maybe still is?) prevalent and widespread, to the point that I had to address it with my students...

    Very unfortunate.

    I can definitely understand the frustration based on the title. That meme was (maybe still is?) prevalent and widespread, to the point that I had to address it with my students directly, multiple times. I'd hear it in the halls, with kids laughing uproariously at the absurd idea of being an attack helicopter while simultaneously gleefully enjoying the "loophole" of identity disclosure that, they believe, allows them to say whatever they want about themselves and have it go unquestioned.

    The logic of it is easily deflated, of course. I'd ask my students probing, honest questions: "how do you plan to go about living your life to reflect your new identity?" or "what is it about your experiences that has led you to this conclusion?" They didn't ever give real answers, because they couldn't, because none of them are actually attack helicopters. The meme tries to tell us that trans people are trans simply because they say so, when it's actually the reverse: trans people say they're trans because they are. The identity doesn't hinge on the act of disclosure; the disclosure occurs because of the identity. The meme tells us to put the cart before the horse and then identify as the cart. Checkmate, trans people!

    The attack helicopter meme harkened back to the "that's so gay" phrasing that was popular when I was younger. It too was widespread enough that you could hear it almost anywhere, and it too relied on indignity to queer people in order to land. None of us should have to face that indignity, and when it's culturally adopted at large, it stings in a different way from the usual slights. Given this, I can definitely see why some people would respond negatively to the story's presence. Its title feels like yet another jab among thousands of others just like it. It's the same, obvious, played out jab that's somehow still novel and noteworthy to the rest of the world. It's a reminder that when the rest of the world is thinking of people like you, they're doing so only to mock and deride. You're a joke! Don't you get it?! Hilarious.

    With that said, I don't love internet dogpiling, and I don't love the culture of dissolving things into their worst soundbytes. I also don't love drawing conclusions about what I've heard second, third, or nth-hand. So, I found the story.

    I won't link it here, since the author has asked it to be removed, and I want to respect her wishes. I will say that I went in expecting a too on-the-nose attempt at satire or a quick bad riff on the shallow meme. It's far more than either of those: 7700 words, and a full concept. It's composed of thoughtful, compelling writing. It feels exactly like a sci-fi short story, not a trans hitpiece. If we consider it didactic, the lesson it teaches is that even those that identify as attack helicopters have full, complex lives and motivations. The meme makes trans people the butt of the joke by equating them with attack helicopters as a point of absurdity. The story self-seriously deflates the meme by leaning into it and making attack helicopters something that you care about and feel for.

    I got my students to stop using the meme by forcing them to reframe the absurd part of it: identifying as an attack helicopter is absurd but only because no one lives their life as an attack helicopter. This story takes a different tack and asks us to consider that, should someone genuinely live as an attack helicopter, then their life is no less valid or worthy of criticism. Both are attempts to restore dignity to those who the meme attempts to take it from, but both go about it in different ways.

    I can't tell people what to feel or how they should live their lives, but this story didn't strike me as something worth shutting down. Because of suspicions, the author was effectively forcibly outed. She is probably a lot more wary to publish anything else of hers in the future. Outrage shut down an individual attempting to share her unique voice with the world. That's a win only for the people who try to silence and intimidate trans people -- the kind of people who use the attack helicopter meme not for its latent absurdity but because they feel that, underneath is jokey exterior, is a salient and significant truth.

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of the friendly fire we see with queer individuals comes from the fact that so many of us are still in battles for our dignity. The author of the story was painted as an enemy and brought down with force by her own community, and we take note only because of the unfairness that highlights. The hidden, implicit message here is that this kind of thing is already happening and this community is primed for battle, only we don't really hear about the takedowns that are fair game. If the trans community rallies around to take down an actual neo-Nazi waging attacks on them, few people would be wringing their hands over it. I think it's easy for us to criticize people for being overzealous in their vigilance, but I think it's also worth considering why that vigilance exists in the first place. If the first two hundred times you heard the attack helicopter meme it was meant to hurt you, why would you think anything else the next time it comes your way?

    21 votes
  14. Comment on How bad is the environmental impact of shipping/delivery? in ~enviro

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    I have a pretty strong bias in favor of ebooks, so I really only use PBS for books I can't get in ebook form or that aren't suited for an eink device (e.g. graphic novels).

    It seems very likely that shipping a book uses more resources than downloading it.

    I have a pretty strong bias in favor of ebooks, so I really only use PBS for books I can't get in ebook form or that aren't suited for an eink device (e.g. graphic novels).

    2 votes
  15. Comment on How bad is the environmental impact of shipping/delivery? in ~enviro

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    This makes a lot of sense, and is very helpful. Thank you.

    This makes a lot of sense, and is very helpful. Thank you.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Developer says their game started selling 400% better on Steam after releasing torrent in ~games

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    Yeah, it's clear this was an attempt at marketing. The torrent release and articles like this one are effectively a publicity stunt. I don't blame them for trying -- after all, it has worked...

    Yeah, it's clear this was an attempt at marketing. The torrent release and articles like this one are effectively a publicity stunt. I don't blame them for trying -- after all, it has worked before.

    I think the real story isn't that their sales increased but what you pointed out: many games, even decent ones, go completely and utterly unnoticed. It used to be that launching on Steam was a near guarantee of success. Getting onto the platform meant your game had finally "made it." Now there's simply so much on the platform, with more added every day, that a game with no marketing is just another drop in the flood.

    11 votes
  17. Comment on USDA proposes new rules that would allow schools to cut the amount of vegetables and fruits required at lunch and breakfasts while giving them license to sell more pizza, burgers and fries in ~food

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    To add on to this, I believe it's over half of the students in the country who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. I couldn't find full national data, but I did find data by state and spot...

    To add on to this, I believe it's over half of the students in the country who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. I couldn't find full national data, but I did find data by state and spot checking seems to confirm this, so this policy potentially impacts a majority of kids nationwide.

    6 votes
  18. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    kfwyre
    Link
    Here are the audiobooks I've finished since my last update: Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy I went in expecting a rundown of for-profit colleges and the ways...

    Here are the audiobooks I've finished since my last update:

    Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy

    I went in expecting a rundown of for-profit colleges and the ways they're exploitative, and I certainly got that, but what I didn't expect was to get a more reflective look at the greater economic forces that drive enrollment in those schools in the first place. I also didn't expect an on-the-ground view of the experience of working for them. The author, it turns out, was a recruiter for two for-profit colleges.

    There's a lot of wisdom in the book, and it covers a lot of ground. The author has an effortlessly readable/listenable style that is both relatable and informative. I'd recommend it to anyone who has heard of for-profit colleges or has the sense that they're bad, but can't quite put their finger on why or how.

    Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know

    Gladwell's books are always thoroughly engaging while being questionably convincing. He's a great storyteller, always finding fascinating plotlines and telling them skillfully. Furthermore, he does a great job of planting puzzles or conundrums early in his writing, then waiting for a long time to resolve the tension, which is a great engagement strategy. You don't want to put his books down because not only is he telling you good stories, they're also building towards meaningful conclusions.

    With that said, I have a very hard time being uncritical of this one. His main idea is that, with strangers, we assume they are being truthful, which opens us up to friction when they are not. Furthermore, he explores the converse of this: people who are being truthful but appear not to be. He tells lots of interesting stories along the way, but many of the choices he uses seem ill-advised or even downright counterintuitive.

    Brock Turner and Jerry Sandusky are both brought up as examples of how strangers can misinterpret one another, rather than as examples of someone who can take advantage of our tendency to "default to truth." He has perfunctory criticisms of their behavior, certainly, but seems to miss the forest for the trees in both of their stories.

    The same goes for the story that bookends the book. He anchors the entire text with the death of Sandra Bland. He argues that the dominant cultural narrative of the events of her traffic stop, arrest, and death, are oversimplified. At the end of the book, he recontextualizes the entire event, using the points he has been trying to make across the entire book, and I found his culmination unsatisfying and one-sided.

    She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement

    This reads very similarly to All the President's Men, but with a focus on Harvey Weinstein instead of Richard Nixon. It details the steps the journalists took to try to break the story, as well as Weinstein's efforts to try to cover it up. It's an uncomfortable read that will make your skin crawl, but it's also a portrait of courageous and dedicated women who worked together for justice. In that way, it's inspirational, but it's hard to celebrate that aspect knowing that it came about because of such awful exploitation.

    In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

    I don't know what to make of this one. Pollan speaks with a conviction that's appealing, and the whole book is written like a catchy exposé. The Book The Food Industry Doesn't Want You To Read! He scratches the itch of distrusting companies and provides arguments that make a lot of intuitive sense. On the other hand, he comes across as anti-science, with tons of appeals to tradition. It's not that he's necessarily wrong, it's just that this same type of writing could be used to support, say, anti-vaccination standpoints.

    I thought it was interesting, and I'm sure he's right about much of his recommendations, but the book left me with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

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    C: Tressie McMillan Cottom - Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy
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    G: Malcolm Gladwell - Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know
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    J: Jodi Kantor; Megan Twohey - She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
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    1 vote
  19. Comment on What are some games that exceed expectations? in ~games

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    That is my very favorite style of gaming. Thanks for putting this on my radar!

    It's a very good casual game for the type of a player that enjoys base-building but can't be bothered to think things through at the moment: it's for when they want to relax, or engage themselves in a simpler game.

    That is my very favorite style of gaming. Thanks for putting this on my radar!

  20. How bad is the environmental impact of shipping/delivery?

    I've recently started trying to improve my environmental impact, so I apologize for what might be a very basic question, but how bad is it to have items shipped/delivered to you, rather than...

    I've recently started trying to improve my environmental impact, so I apologize for what might be a very basic question, but how bad is it to have items shipped/delivered to you, rather than picking them up from a store near you?

    I'm specifically interested in two situations:

    1. If I'm buying a specialty, zero-waste product that's not available in stores nearby, which is worse: having it delivered directly to my house, or having to drive a good distance in my own car to get it? Are the two roughly comparable, or is one considerably worse than the other?

    2. I use a service called PaperBackSwap that is sort of like a big, distributed, online used bookstore. You give away books from your collection to people who request them, and for each book you send out you can request one to be sent to you. I like that it's putting books in the hands of people who specifically want them (as opposed to donating them or selling them to a used bookstore where they might be shelved indefinitely or pulped), but now I'm sitting here wondering how bad it is for that single hardcover of mine to travel halfway across the country. On the other hand, the book is getting reused, potentially multiple times if it then gets requested by others after that. Should I be considering this good reuse, or a waste of resources?

    Outside of those two, I'd welcome any primers on the topic at large, as well as any best practices with consumer goods that I can start putting into place. I've already done a lot to find plastic-free alternatives to a lot of what I use, but I don't know if I'm trading one ill for another by getting them from places that have to send them from hundreds of miles away.

    11 votes