mftrhu's recent activity

  1. Comment on Lightest, cheapest laptop out there with best battery life in ~tech

    mftrhu Link
    If you are just going to use it for Emacs, why not take a look at the PineBook? It has an ARM, 2 GB of RAM, and only 16 GB of (upgradable) eMMC but, at $100, it probably fits your "cheapest"...

    If you are just going to use it for Emacs, why not take a look at the PineBook? It has an ARM, 2 GB of RAM, and only 16 GB of (upgradable) eMMC but, at $100, it probably fits your "cheapest" requirement.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What are the minimal features every good blog should have? in ~comp

    mftrhu Link
    Feeds, possibly containing the full content of the post. Archive pages - all posts, by year, by category, by tag. Feeds for those might be nice-to-have. It should be usable without Javascript.

    Feeds, possibly containing the full content of the post. Archive pages - all posts, by year, by category, by tag. Feeds for those might be nice-to-have. It should be usable without Javascript.

    8 votes
  3. Comment on I believe Google search is restricting what articles I can see in my searches, based on my location. What can I do? in ~tech

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Because, if you have DDG as your main search engine, you can also use any number of other search engines - !google if Startpage is not to your liking, !wikipedia if you don't want random search...

    Because, if you have DDG as your main search engine, you can also use any number of other search engines - !google if Startpage is not to your liking, !wikipedia if you don't want random search results, !bi if you want images and want them through Bing...

    1 vote
  4. Comment on I believe Google search is restricting what articles I can see in my searches, based on my location. What can I do? in ~tech

    mftrhu Link
    Try Startpage. They basically serve as an anonymizing proxy to Google - they pull their results from Google, but without sharing information on the users with them. You can use them through...

    Try Startpage. They basically serve as an anonymizing proxy to Google - they pull their results from Google, but without sharing information on the users with them. You can use them through DuckDuckGo by putting !s before your query.

    They apparently were the default Tor browser search engine until 2015, too, when they moved to Disconnect.

    You could also anonymize your searches by proxying them through some SearX instance, but they might still be "bubbled" to the location of the proxy.

    14 votes
  5. Comment on Fermi problem game thread in ~misc

    mftrhu Link Parent
    I read just yesterday that 50% of the world had access to the Internet in 2018, and those are the people who presumably have or can use a device with a keyboard (even on a dumb phone) on a daily...

    I read just yesterday that 50% of the world had access to the Internet in 2018, and those are the people who presumably have or can use a device with a keyboard (even on a dumb phone) on a daily basis. For a population of... fuck, we are 7.7 billions already? That comes up to ~4 billions.

    Now I'd apply the Pareto principle, and try to estimate how much a random person would be writing each day - 10k keypresses come up to 2k words, but that feels too much. 1k/200 words seems somewhat more reasonable, and that would come up to ~3.2e12 keypresses per day for the bottom 80%. Let's double that (80/20), and we get up to ~6.4e12 keypresses per day - rounding up to 7e12.

    (That'd mean that the top 20% - the content creators, more or less - only produce 1k words per day. This seems a bit low to me, but it's probably not too off overall.)

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Vatican condemns gender theory as bid to destroy nature in ~news

    mftrhu Link
    This really, really grinds my gears. There are five six main reasons for this: the sheer gall they have in calling these "Rational arguments"; the very superficial understanding of biology they...

    This really, really grinds my gears.

    Rational Arguments

    1. Taking into account our historical overview, together with certain points of agreement identified, and the critique that has been made of gender theory, we can now move to some considerations on the issue based on the light of reason. In fact, there are rational arguments to support the centrality of the body as an integrating element of personal identity and family relationships. The body is subjectivity that communicates identity of being. In the light of this reality, we can understand why the data of biological and medical science shows that ‘sexual dimorphism’ (that is, the sexual difference between men and women) can be demonstrated scientifically by such fields as genetics, endocrinology and neurology. From the point of view of genetics, male cells (which contain XY chromosomes) differ, from the very moment of conception, from female cells (with their XX chromosomes). That said, in cases where a person’s sex is not clearly defined, it is medical professionals who can make a therapeutic intervention. In such situations, parents cannot make an arbitrary choice on the issue, let alone society. Instead, medical science should act with purely therapeutic ends, and intervene in the least invasive fashion, on the basis of objective parameters and with a view to establishing the person’s constitutive identity.
    2. The process of identifying sexual identity is made more difficult by the fictitious constract known as “gender neuter” or “third gender”, which has the effect of obscuring the fact that a person’s sex is a structural determinant of male or female identity. Efforts to go beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference, such as the ideas of “intersex” or “transgender”, lead to a masculinity or feminity that is ambiguous, even though (in a self-contradictory way), these concepts themselves actually presuppose the very sexual difference that they propose to negate or supersede.

    There are five six main reasons for this:

    1. the sheer gall they have in calling these "Rational arguments";
    2. the very superficial understanding of biology they demonstrate;
    3. the fact that they argue for operating on intersex children to "establish the person's [...] identity";
    4. the fact that they then go on to call "intersex" an "idea";
    5. the fact that they say that "these concepts [intersex or transgender] themselves actually presuppose the very sexual difference that they propose to negate or supersede";
    6. the fact that they claim that "identifying sexual identity" (incidentally, confusing sexuality and gender) would be made more difficult by the idea of a "third gender" - wont' anyone think of the poor cisgender children, who might suffer the horror of spending five minutes wondering whether their assignment was right for them?

    For all their pearl clutching over "gender ideology", the idea of being transgender - the concept of being transgender, let alone intersex - does not "propose to negate or supersede" their oh-so-precious gender roles.

    Even if I could understand how they can consider being transgender "an idea" - like for gay people, they don't really understand how we are still trans and gay without performing our gender or sexuality, without transitioning or having sex - only someone without two brain cells to rub together could say the same for intersex.

    And only someone without two brain cells to rub together could go from calling for medical intervention on intersex children, to calling intersex "an idea". How should doctors intervene on ideas?

    I could go on and call them out as monstrous and thoughtless for this, but, really, we are speaking about the Vatican here. The bodily autonomy ship already sailed with them, and it would be just wasted breath keypresses.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on Vatican condemns gender theory as bid to destroy nature in ~news

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Gender is a social construct. It's also not a social construct. And these two statements don't contradict each other, because gender is also one of the most overloaded words around. When people...

    Which I can see actually, if gender is a social construct then it doesn't make sense for him to feel like a male trapped in a female body. Both his brother and sister are cis gender. Why is he trans and his siblings aren't? [...]

    Gender is a social construct. It's also not a social construct. And these two statements don't contradict each other, because gender is also one of the most overloaded words around.

    When people say "gender is a social construct" they are referring to gender roles, and gender expression. "Women are lovers, men are fighters", "men shouldn't show emotions", "boys wear blue, girl wear pink" are socially constructed.

    When people say "gender is not a social construct" they are referring to gender identity. Gender identity refers to the innate "I'm a man/I'm a woman/I'm not a man or a woman", and it's frankly poorly named.

    For one thing, it doesn't really distinguish between the visceral "I should [not] have breasts/a beard", and what one considers themselves to be ("[thus,] I am a woman/man").

    The latter could be considered socially constructed - "I'm a woman/man/neither" can be rewritten as "I belong to the group of women/men/neither".

    The former is very much not, and I'd rather see it called "unconscious sex" or something to that effect. Some people I know use "gender orientation", to mirror the "sexual orientation" (attracted to) and "sexual identity" (considers oneself gay/hetero) split, but I don't like it very much.

    For another, despite people understanding that "identity" is not chosen, or created, in most other contexts - "I identified the bug", "Halt! Identify yourself!" - "identify as" opened us to a slew of "hurr durr I identify as an attack helicopter".

    5 votes
  8. Comment on What's your aesthetic? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Afraid not. I'm not big into games.

    Afraid not. I'm not big into games.

  9. Comment on What are your goals and accomplishments for this week? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link Parent
    I can relate. Even if I don't play anymore, I still waste most of my time on reading unrelated things. I understand. And maybe it'll become less than a passing interest once you'll have a few...

    I've tried but if I'm being 100% honest......discipline has become my greatest foe. When I'm at home, I'd rather be playing WoW or MtG or something. And you'd be right....taking a class for a passing interest is probably a waste but I learn best in a structured environment where I can get guidance when I need it is the way I learn best.

    I can relate. Even if I don't play anymore, I still waste most of my time on reading unrelated things.

    At least until I have a baseline knowledge of what I'm trying to learn. Once I have the basics down, and can build my knowledge from there, I tend to take a bit more initiative.

    I understand. And maybe it'll become less than a passing interest once you'll have a few dozen hours of it under your belt.

    So I think often about maybe going into a Mediator type role.

    Is there an actual degree/career path for that? Or are you talking about getting into law, and then... specializing in it?

  10. Comment on What is your favourite programming language? in ~comp

    mftrhu Link
    I write code in a lot of languages, but my favourite is definitely Python. Not because it's particularly beautiful, but because it's straightforward and it makes solving most problems easy, even...

    I write code in a lot of languages, but my favourite is definitely Python. Not because it's particularly beautiful, but because it's straightforward and it makes solving most problems easy, even when ignoring all the third-party libraries available for it. If it had a decent standard library, Lua would fill the same niche for me, "arrays start at 0" be damned.

    If anything, I find shell - not full-fledged scripts, just one-liner pipelines - more elegant, more aesthetically appealing. But I don't really use languages for their aesthetic: I appreciate it more when they can make things simple. Python does that (but then, so do awk, shell, and make - in their own niches).

    (bad/weird syntax, in any case, doesn't deter me much - writing boilerplate does, but not bad syntax)

    3 votes
  11. Comment on What's your aesthetic? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    My aesthetic is nuclear-powered steam locomotives, rusted Rube-Goldberg machines, hidden smirks and lots of dark green.

    My aesthetic is nuclear-powered steam locomotives, rusted Rube-Goldberg machines, hidden smirks and lots of dark green.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on What's a common misconception or misunderstanding you would love to see corrected? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link Parent
    I will find you, and I will throw a spider at you. Don't think I won't. Hah. I don't even know how I got there anymore, but the librarian spiders are how I imagine Google's less-than-literal...

    Ooh ooh, I think you're high!

    I will find you, and I will throw a spider at you. Don't think I won't.

    Please get more absurd and continue shouting at me! :D

    Hah. I don't even know how I got there anymore, but the librarian spiders are how I imagine Google's less-than-literal spiders - wearing spectacles and skittering about a web of links.

    I'm not sure why time-traveling but, knowing myself, I had a perfectly logical and yet completely ridiculous reason for it: I was using it to distract a spammer on Telegram, and it worked - I ended up talking about turtles with one of them, and discussing our worries with another.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What is your personal preference and why: vim or emacs? in ~comp

    mftrhu Link
    Emacs all the way. I tried vim, but modal editing just doesn't jibe with me. I like it a bit because it has everything and the kitchen sink built-in, but mostly because it makes it easy to do that...

    Emacs all the way. I tried vim, but modal editing just doesn't jibe with me.

    I like it a bit because it has everything and the kitchen sink built-in, but mostly because it makes it easy to do that - and to tweak what others have built, and to extend it. It has org-mode, yes, but it also allows you to mess around with it: you can rewrite parts of the exporters, define or re-define new link types, and you can do all of that by just switching to the *scratch* buffer, and you can do all of that for basically all of Emacs.

    The fact that it's one of the most lightweight applications running on my laptop doesn't hurt, for all the "Eight Megabytes And Constantly Swapping" of yesteryear.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on What are you most proud of in your life? in ~life

    mftrhu Link
    Hah. It'll probably take a turn for the depressed, but - why not? I'm proud of being still alive. I wasted my biggest accomplishment to get to this point - I had just turned 17 when I got into...

    Hah. It'll probably take a turn for the depressed, but - why not?

    I'm proud of being still alive. I wasted my biggest accomplishment to get to this point - I had just turned 17 when I got into university - but, nevertheless, here I am. I didn't kill myself. I transitioned. I hardly ever want to dismember myself anymore - I can aim that anger outwards now.

    I forgot most of the math I learned back then, but I didn't exactly stop learning. I am unfocused, but stubborn: it might take me years to get something, and I might get distracted dozens of times, but I will keep on returning to it, and on chipping away at it.

    I got better at programming, reading, writing, arguing. I got better at organizing information that I want to remember, so when people ask me something I usually take seconds to get back at them with an answer, or I can look it up online in minutes.

    What are your unique talents and skills?
    What makes you individually awesome and stand out from others?

    I know how to use old tools. I know how to use weird tools. I have a good memory, and better notes, and I know that those tools exist. Where other people might chug away trying to solve some problem, I'm happy to build a Rube Goldberg machine of a shell pipeline and do just 10% of the work. I also know how to write in Tengwar, how to make chainmaille, how to format a document in troff, I can jump from Python to shell to Scheme and know a dozen more languages.

    Plus, I have nothing to fear from l'esprit de l'escalier.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on What are you doing this week? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    The usual: try to get some better quality sleep, try to keep up with Anki-Duolingo-calculus review-assorted programming challenges - I did the former this morning, but was too busy/distracted in...

    The usual: try to get some better quality sleep, try to keep up with Anki-Duolingo-calculus review-assorted programming challenges - I did the former this morning, but was too busy/distracted in the afternoon for the latter - read, and work some more on my remind-bot project.

    It's a little Telegram bot which I am building in Racket, and it's coming along pretty nicely. The code is not good enough for a general-purpose library, but it has been chugging along this whole night - not that it has a lot to do right now. I just set it up to ping me every hour, so I won't lose track of time (the clock in the corner is not very helpful), and plugged in some more generic "remind me of this later" functionality today.

    Later on, I plan to add some sort of "news digest" functionality - maybe with another script in cron grabbing a bunch of feeds every morning, with the bot sending me the top 10.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Reddit Terminal Viewer development is shutting down, owner citing burnout and disillusionment with Reddit as a platform in ~comp

    mftrhu Link Parent
    I still have an old 2011 netbook hanging around. It's underpowered as hell, but I use it from time to time - had to use it for a month when the keyboard of my laptop broke - and while using Reddit...

    I still have an old 2011 netbook hanging around. It's underpowered as hell, but I use it from time to time - had to use it for a month when the keyboard of my laptop broke - and while using Reddit via a normal web browser is impractical - I mostly use Dillo and NetSurf on that machine - rtv works perfectly well.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on What are you doing this weekend? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    I am not good at taking pauses, so I decided to write a little Telegram bot to ping me each hour to remind me (and maybe do a few more things - I have a bunch of scripts that I could conceivably...

    I am not good at taking pauses, so I decided to write a little Telegram bot to ping me each hour to remind me (and maybe do a few more things - I have a bunch of scripts that I could conceivably plug in there and which would be useful on the go).

    I started writing it in Python, but at some point before reaching echo bot status I decided to rewrite it in Racket. I ended up spending the whole morning wrangling with it - there is seemingly no straightforward way to do an HTTP request with a timeout, so I lifted one of the functions from the Racket source itself.

    I still have a bunch of refactoring left to do, but it's coming along nicely.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on What are your goals and accomplishments for this week? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Have you tried taking a stab at self-learning? I might be biased here as I am already familiar with programming, but taking a few classes for a passing interest seems a bit of a waste to me. Of...

    Have you tried taking a stab at self-learning? I might be biased here as I am already familiar with programming, but taking a few classes for a passing interest seems a bit of a waste to me.

    Of course, I also have no idea how things work where you live. Here you can follow pretty much any course, but not take any exams, only a very narrow set of them would actually count towards a degree, and most of what you need to take is fixed.

    I feel like I want to take my degree into the math/science direction and I originally started as a Psych major so I may finish that and try to angle for something in research

    Is there anything that interests you specifically? As in, in psych research?

  19. Comment on Has anyone here considered the idea that it is immoral to procreate? in ~humanities

    mftrhu Link
    I did. I refuse to procreate, and this is one of the main reasons for it. I don't care about what impact it would have on environment or society or the planet. It's not even suffering that matters...

    I did. I refuse to procreate, and this is one of the main reasons for it.

    I don't care about what impact it would have on environment or society or the planet. It's not even suffering that matters that much, but the death that would follow. Hell, it might just be even worse if we could guarantee every single person a happy, meaningful life, one that they would definitely like.

    1 vote
  20. Comment on Has anyone here considered the idea that it is immoral to procreate? in ~humanities

    mftrhu Link Parent
    This does not follow from your premises. At all. A creature does not usually mass ~400 millions tons. A creature is not all the instances of a given individual which more-or-less belong to the...

    Part of human existence is understanding that fundamentally all any creature has an obligation to is to itself, and then only because it has convinced itself as much. [...] So, accepting that as a fact, it does not behoove the individual (human, in this example) to refuse to procreate for biological, social, and cultural reasons.

    This does not follow from your premises. At all.

    A creature does not usually mass ~400 millions tons. A creature is not all the instances of a given individual which more-or-less belong to the same group. A creature is not society.

    There are plenty of reasons - biological, social, cultural - for an individual to refuse to procreate. Most - probably all - of those reasons are advantageous to the individual. Not procreating means not having to go through a pregnancy and childbirth. It means not having to take time off work, it means not having to take care of an infant, then a child, then an adolescent. There is a cost - measured in money, time, stress - for that.

    Without procreation a society can't continue. If a society is unable to continue, it devolves more and more until it is nothing. Human beings, as social creatures, need a society of some sort to live, which is tantamount to every creature. Thus, with no procreation there is no society and thus there are no humans.

    And this is something between the invocation of a slippery slope and a non-sequitur.

    Yes. Without any sort of procreation society won't be able to continue existing. If everyone, or at least the vast majority of people, decided to stop procreating, no more humans would come into being.

    But, again, an individual is not the whole of society. The decision of an individual to not procreate won't lead to a society where no more children are born - not any more than the existence of gay people does.

    Even if it did, so what?

    Let's imagine a world where every single person on Earth somehow decided "no, I don't think I want children", and went about their life trying to avoid reproducing. Every single one of the individuals making up the group that we call "society", decided against it.

    In that scenario, society would eventually disappear. The human race would eventually go extinct.

    Why would that be a bad thing?

    I could go on about how society is not a thinking entity, how it does only exists as the connections between individuals, how it's not more important than them, how "the greater good" is a load of bollocks even outside of Harry Potter...

    But, in that scenario - in a scenario where no-one is reproducing - the people have decided, collectively, that society is not worth preserving. That the cost to keep the human race alive (through reproduction, at least) is not worth paying.

    Also, and feel free to ignore me if I'm speaking out of turn here: almost every time I've personally encountered people who believe this type of philosophy they also suffer from some form of depression.

    I will do exactly that because while yes, I suffer from some form of depression, that's not the reason for my being anti-natalist. I am anti-natalist not because I want to die, but because I want to live, and I can't, in good conscience, create new thinking beings only to condemn them to death.

    8 votes