nacho's recent activity

  1. Comment on The US' vaccine rollout is world-beating. That doesn't mean it's good enough. But let's take a moment to appreciate it. in ~health.coronavirus

    nacho
    Link Parent
    Precisely the opposite is true in the case of EU solidarity and the Asian countries who are unwilling to outbid other countries for doses because they're handling the situation well. Many rich,...

    Everyone is being nationalistic though.

    Precisely the opposite is true in the case of EU solidarity and the Asian countries who are unwilling to outbid other countries for doses because they're handling the situation well. Many rich, western countries are being nationalistic, yes.

    This nationalism is even going on at the expense of self-interest.

    WHO have been clear on the impacts of this. Again, it's in the national interest of countries to have a global response if the world's integrated society is to open up again for the benefit of all.

    Covid-19 is a type of virus that will likely mutate many times. We don't know how effective our vaccines will be on future mutations and how long their effect will be. There's a room for effective action and curtailing outbreaks to lower virus density before inevitable outbreaks.

    We're squandering that opportunity due to short-term pressures, in part because people want to travel for summer holidays and similar, luxury reasons. Democracies accepting of the most stringent responses to a pandemic are unsurprisingly handling this pandemic the best: People there accept a greater degree of encroachment on personal freedoms for the good of society as a whole.

    9 votes
  2. Comment on Rush Limbaugh dead at seventy in ~news

    nacho
    Link Parent
    Thanks for sharing that obit. It is indeed worth reading. I hope tildes will manage to discuss the impact of his life rather than pointless grave dancing. That sort of behavior does no-one any...

    Thanks for sharing that obit. It is indeed worth reading.

    I hope tildes will manage to discuss the impact of his life rather than pointless grave dancing.

    That sort of behavior does no-one any good, and just helps those who don't have a negative view of Limbaugh reinforce their views rather than take this as an opportunity to reflect on what his legacy is.

    12 votes
  3. Comment on The US' vaccine rollout is world-beating. That doesn't mean it's good enough. But let's take a moment to appreciate it. in ~health.coronavirus

    nacho
    Link
    What a load of absolute nonsense. I rarely use strong words about how absolutely ridiculously bad a piece of content is because those sorts of words are reserved for garbage like this. Amount of...

    What a load of absolute nonsense. I rarely use strong words about how absolutely ridiculously bad a piece of content is because those sorts of words are reserved for garbage like this.

    Amount of doses each country is offered/getting is what's bottlenecking almost every country. Those are decisions vaccine companies are making, not countries.


    This piece completely ignores morality. Is it right for rich countries to get all the vaccine doses when we all know that to stop the global pandemic from taking lives, from spreading and from repeat outbreaks is that serious outbreaks everywhere are shot down.

    A global response is required for normalcy to return.

    Poor countries with few resources and societies that can't close down because people will starve and die, are they supposed to wait until 2023 to start vaccination after everyone even in low risk groups in rich countries have been jabbed?


    The right measure of vaccination success isn't amount of doses. In a situation of vaccine scarcity, the most important criteria of success is how many lives your vaccines are preventing. Are you vaccinating the at risk groups to prevent people from dying?

    Are you vaccinating health care personell if that's what's necessary to keep the pandemic response on track?

    Are you vaccinating those groups who're being most permanently harmed by society closing down so you can open things up for them?

    How are these countries allocating doses? I'd argue that the US is one of the least systematic countries in this regard. People with resources and social capital seem to be getting too many doses. Those who need vaccines the most, aren't.


    I'd argue that Israel is one of the worst countries in regard to vaccination because its approach is so nationalistic. It's just immorally selfish to vaccinate people outside high risk groups in their 40s and 50s as people are dying elsewhere.

    In this overview they are supposedly the best. Countries in Asia and Oceania that have effectively prevented mass contagion are being penalized in this sort of rating system because they're taking moral responsibility to the rest of humankind seriously.

    It's outrageous. If these are the types of metrics that society chooses to judge a pandemic response to, that's not a good society in my view.

    Five years ago having vaccines for a novel virus like this not just produced, but properly tested in less than a year would be science fiction. Of course the rate determining step of vaccination is how quickly new vaccine production factories can be built. Money isn't a factor here. Governments are throwing money at the problem in the trillions.

    Trump's terrible response (absurdly lauded in this piece) is the perfect example for how government has nothing to do with it, not that he deserves credit. US vaccination has gone well despite what the federal government did. The analysis couldn't be more off the mark.

    9 votes
  4. Comment on YouTubers have to declare ads. Why doesn't anyone else? in ~tech

    nacho
    Link
    I don't have time to watch the whole 30 minutes, but skipping around a little, to me it seems like something is either lost on the video maker, or the whole premise is a misread of the situation....

    I don't have time to watch the whole 30 minutes, but skipping around a little, to me it seems like something is either lost on the video maker, or the whole premise is a misread of the situation. If I missed where this is actually explained, feel free to ignore this comment entirely.


    Around the world, there are regulations for "influencers". Those regulations make sure that if someone is paid to endorse a product, they have to declare that payment to the people watching. But why does no-one on TV, or film, or anywhere else have to do that?

    In the EU, you generally have to have clear disclaimers that say a show has product placement.

    In film, these things are often buried in the 10 minute long credits no-one reads.

    In print in the EU, many publications clearly label sponsored content. Advertorials often say "sponsored" on the front page etc. This is stuff you've seen in magazines paying to have "articles" instead of other ads for decades.


    The reason youtube, twitch.tv, snapchat, Instagram etc. all do this is that they'd otherwise be fined in the EU market. They're just following the rules everyone else has to follow in the EU.

    There are many old broadcaster rules that govern tv etc. For example regulations that ban betting advertisements and the like. Those regulations were written prior to internet streaming being a thing, so they often make rules that apply only to domestic market broadcasters. If you broadcast your TV from elsewhere (the UK was a haven for this) you could still have betting commercials since the laws didn't apply.


    Regulation is behind the technology, but legislators have been more on the ball regarding influencers. I'd argue that's because instagramers, sports stars, celebrities, musicians etc. all reach a really young audience. The angle is protecting kids from not realizing they're watching an ad, or that someone got paid to show off those pants or that game or whatever.

    Adults are assumed to be responsible for realizing this themselves, although history has clearly shown that rules for mass marketing are very necessary. Powerful psychological tools that are researched to change behaviors work. That's why the advertising industry is so huge.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Replacing ableist and mental health exclusive language (crazy, insane, whack, ...) in ~talk

    nacho
    Link
    What negative descriptors or insults should I be using? I often end up saying that something is silly or dumb. What "good" ways of pointing out bad things do you use?

    What negative descriptors or insults should I be using?

    I often end up saying that something is silly or dumb.

    What "good" ways of pointing out bad things do you use?

    4 votes
  6. Comment on No, getting rid of anonymity will not fix social media; it will cause more problems in ~tech

    nacho
    Link Parent
    The cost to society of having these huge anonymous forums is substantial. Too many people seem to ignore that. Again, I'm not convinced de-anonymization is the way to go, but something has to...

    The cost to society of having these huge anonymous forums is substantial. Too many people seem to ignore that.

    Again, I'm not convinced de-anonymization is the way to go, but something has to change.

    What other solutions are there to stop these mass events from doing serious harm to society? Where should we start?

    It's clear the platforms are doing harm that should be prevented.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on No, getting rid of anonymity will not fix social media; it will cause more problems in ~tech

    nacho
    Link
    It is pretty much impossible to defend oneself against personal attacks/claims/allegations that come from anonymous sources. That's why most serious media don't allow/print these types of...

    It is pretty much impossible to defend oneself against personal attacks/claims/allegations that come from anonymous sources.

    That's why most serious media don't allow/print these types of comments. Anonymity online comes with huge caveats when you can reach mass audiences of millions and millions of people.


    If we look at the crazy conspiracies that have become actual political movements, like pizzagate, like Qanon, like Hillary's health smears in the presidential election, like claims of Biden being a pedophile - If we look at all these things, anonymity and anonymous people pushing an agenda through claims are what drives these crazy things into the forefront.

    Not only do they do direct harm in slandering public figures (or just random people who happen to go viral), but they do collective harm in downplaying the actual bad things going on, like the sexual misconduct of Trump, pedophiles in positions of power both in various faiths and societies.

    Qanon is part of taking down, toning down and minimizing the impact of great reporting on small, rich groups exploiting flawed democracies for their own gain.

    The systemic attacks regimes have on other countries and societies through the use of social media are attacks on the fabric of society. Sowing division and politicizing objective reality can be extremely effective attacks on democracy itself.


    De-anonymizing social media could do a tremendous amount of good in developed countries with strong democracies.

    But de-anonymizing social media would do a ton of harm to societies with regimes that assert undue social control on their inhabitants.

    There is a reason there are so many caveats and exceptions from totally free speech, even in the US: centuries of seeing the true power of words. The idea that instant mass communication doesn't fundamentally change the situation and need for legislation is naive at best.

    An idea that often comes along with anonymity is the belief that freedom of speech implies freedom of consequence from that speech. '

    It's time to reassert the power of speech by strengthening the responsibilities and consequences that follow from speaking. Is de-anonymization the way to go? I'm not convinced, but the last few years clearly show that something has to change.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on US Air Force is preparing to deploy bombers to Norway for the first time – detachment of B-1Bs, accompanied by 200+ personnel, is set to arrive at Ørland Main Air Station in ~news

    nacho
    Link
    For context: The US Marines have equipment in mountain caves in the area (there have previously been M1 Abram tanks stored until Trump said no to continuation, munitions, all sorts of things....

    For context: The US Marines have equipment in mountain caves in the area (there have previously been M1 Abram tanks stored until Trump said no to continuation, munitions, all sorts of things. Thousands and thousands of items).

    I don't think the US has had bombers stationed in Norway since the 1980s at the very latest, maybe even further back.

    B1-Bs, B52s etc. have trained with aircraft from Ørland as recently as in 2020, but haven't landed in Norway, maybe ever.

    Norway has self-imposed restrictions for how far east towards Russia they operate with military aircraft. There's a different limit further to the west that they "advise" (read: order) other nations not to cross to increase tensions with Russia.

    Norwegian parliament has ok'd this deployment despite some parties are very against Norway having allies train/station in Norway. The news on this deployment is creating the expected stir.

    10 votes
  9. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    nacho
    Link
    I'm reading Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad. It's a narrative of the history from the pivotal Second World War theatre in the city, written in 1998. He's spoken to a lot of the primary sources, and...

    I'm reading Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad. It's a narrative of the history from the pivotal Second World War theatre in the city, written in 1998.

    He's spoken to a lot of the primary sources, and has spent considerable time in Soviet archives, which brings a lot of perspective to the table alongside traditional German sources.

    It's very interesting to see this battle in the lens of the late 1990s. I really enjoy reading old non-fiction. It's often a two-for-one with regards to showing attitudes of the recent past and the topic itself. The downside is of course that one has to check up on the field/topic itself to get a corrective for the development in the field over the past decades.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on The climate crisis is worse than you can imagine. Here’s what happens if you try. in ~enviro

    nacho
    Link Parent
    Everyone who warns about a potential catastrophe that is subsequently averted (maybe even in part due to their concerns) will always look as a fear-monger. Similarly, anyone who says things will...

    Everyone who warns about a potential catastrophe that is subsequently averted (maybe even in part due to their concerns) will always look as a fear-monger. Similarly, anyone who says things will surely work out always look super optimistic post-disaster.

    What's the worst thing that will happen from being too pessimistic about the climate/ecological/diversity disasters and society taking too strong measures curbing the destruction of our planet? Unused economic opportunities? Slightly lower quality of life?

    What's the worst thing that will happen from being too optimistic about the same situation? Catastrophic collapse? An unrecognizable world? An unlivable planet? An unstoppable self-reinforcing spiral outside of human control?


    In this complex situation, (climate, biological and ecological systems are extremely complicated) we're strongly incentivized to err on the side of caution. At the same time, it's a lot more comfortable to have faith in invention/technology solving issues that seem unresolved or maybe even unresolvable today.

    That's why the messaging can seem so extremely negative. We're incentivized to be extra negative in this situation.

    10 votes
  11. Comment on Norway's sovereign wealth fund gains more than £90bn during 2020 – central bank stimulus pushes up value of shares in ~finance

    nacho
    Link
    This was in the year of a pandemic with huge public stimulus spending. We are clearly in a bubble. When will it pop? with 72 percent of the fund in equities, how do you hedge? When do you sell off...

    The 10.9% gain for the fund was not a particularly extraordinary performance during a year in which the US benchmark stock market index, the S&P 500, gained more than 16%.

    This was in the year of a pandemic with huge public stimulus spending. We are clearly in a bubble. When will it pop?

    with 72 percent of the fund in equities, how do you hedge? When do you sell off to buy the after-pop? When's the time to just sit on cash rather than other assets?

    2021 and 2022 will surely be interesting years in the world economy. The state of the economy seems completely disconnected from stock markets.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Discord bans the r/WallStreetBets server in ~tech

    nacho
    Link Parent
    You'd be surprised at how under-resourced automoderator is. The whole of reddit crashed temporarily for around 2 hours when /r/politics called the election for Biden. Automoderator was wonky for...

    You'd be surprised at how under-resourced automoderator is. The whole of reddit crashed temporarily for around 2 hours when /r/politics called the election for Biden. Automoderator was wonky for more than 12 hours across the whole site due to the volume of submissions/comments.

    Then there are the other types of functionalities that require own tools. I see there's a /u/WallStreetBot on the modlist. Their bot almost certainly couldn't keep up if it does any sort of thing that uses slightly more resources than your most basic functions.

    Unless I'm misremembering, it seems the subreddit has about doubled in number of subscribers from around two to over four million in less than a week.

    12 votes
  13. Comment on UN treaty banning nuclear weapons takes effect, without the US and others in ~news

    nacho
    Link Parent
    I think this is unfair to the NPT. The NPT has been hugely successful in hindering the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The secondary aim of nuclear disarmament and then total disarmament is...

    I think this is unfair to the NPT.

    The NPT has been hugely successful in hindering the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

    The secondary aim of nuclear disarmament and then total disarmament is Article VI of the treaty:

    Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control

    The nuclear arms race has stopped, barring those who are in non-compliance or never signed on to the NPT.

    Negotiation in "good faith" on general and complete disarmament won't happen. The genie is out of the bottle. International law, politics and enforcement have not been in a position to deal make "strict and effective international control" possible because the UN is too weak.


    This ban treaty is an empty statement. It costs the signatories so close to nothing because they aren't and won't pursue nuclear arms due to domestic concerns.

    If anything, 10-12 years ago, the (Western) world seemed much more likely to push for the goals of this worthless paper in ways that may have mattered. That means ways in which nuclear powers and countries hosting those nukes would partake.

    Lest we forget the situation, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wrote this when they gave the peace prize to Obama in 2009:

    The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

    The conflict between the US (and the western nuclear powers), Russia and China has escalated tremendously since. The conflict between India and Pakistan has escalated. The conflicts between India and China have escalated. North Korea: Escalation. The Arab Spring has become and Arab Autumn.

    This treaty is a UN diplomatic powerplay to look good domestically, and to be able to wag ones' fingers at the West and superpowers who are high and mighty, speak of human rights, combatting poverty etc.

    Alex Wellerstein says a lot of smart things about nukes in a historical context, but on this, I think he's very wrong.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on UN treaty banning nuclear weapons takes effect, without the US and others in ~news

    nacho
    Link Parent
    No. It's something that could have fit well in the 1930s League of Nations where all sorts of nice resolutions regarding putting genies back in bottles were agreed to. With the benefit of history,...

    No.

    It's something that could have fit well in the 1930s League of Nations where all sorts of nice resolutions regarding putting genies back in bottles were agreed to.

    With the benefit of history, we all know these are meaningless. So do the 50 countries that have ratified this ban.

    I'm no fan of nuclear weapons. The history of command and control and vulnerabilities, lucky breaks etc. speak for themselves. The last nuclear treaty between the US and Russia that seriously limits nuclear armament is set to expire in something like two weeks. Those sorts of treaties are the way to go. They have actually led to lessening of nuclear tension and likelihood of use.

    The ban itself only applies to those who have signed. It's without teeth. The road to hell is often paved with good intentions. That's certainly the case here.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Why do we assume extraterrestrials might want to visit us? It is presumptuous to assume that we are worthy of special attention from advanced species in the Milky Way. in ~space

    nacho
    Link
    We'd be ants from a different world. We go to great lengths to study rocks for simple geology from elsewhere. Natural systems are complicated. Mathematics and limitations of physics suggest there...

    It is presumptuous to assume that we are worthy of special attention from advanced species in the Milky Way. We may be a phenomenon as uninteresting to them as ants are to us.

    We'd be ants from a different world. We go to great lengths to study rocks for simple geology from elsewhere. Natural systems are complicated. Mathematics and limitations of physics suggest there are plenty of novel interactions on any world that can't be simulated or observed from afar.

    I am a believer in the great challenges of travel and distance compared to the speed of light. I'm no space expert, but wouldn't any planet be an interesting curiosity or exhibit, if we are talking about civilizations that somehow have prevailed for billions of years in post-nuclear societies bracing challenges of AI and so on?

    Visitors might observe us from afar, and remain hard to spot. Who's to say they'd telegraph that they're here?

    I think there's a vast simplification of how hard space is to traverse. The ideas of human space colonies in my lifetime just seem like someone in the 1920s envisioning everyone driving personal flying cars: Completely unrealistic.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on Trump revokes rule preventing White House staff from lobbying in ~news

    nacho
    Link
    The whole idea that this isn't law, so it can't be unilaterally revoked shows how broken the current US system is. Legislators need to do their jobs so the executive and judicial branches aren't...

    The whole idea that this isn't law, so it can't be unilaterally revoked shows how broken the current US system is.

    Legislators need to do their jobs so the executive and judicial branches aren't forced to (not) do it in their interpretations of the code that exists.

    It remains to be seen whether or not a new Congress wishes to fix these things rapidly after what the last four years have shown. I'm not super hopeful, but one can always dream that this is typical "First 100 days in office" stuff you can do to pad effectiveness and start rebuilding trust by legally holding yourself to basic standards.

    9 votes
  17. Comment on Putin's palace. History of world's largest bribe. [Eng sub] in ~misc

    nacho
    Link
    This is the one Russian documentary you'll want to sit through the whole of, reading subtitles for close to two hours. The world's (by far) richest man is a Russian grifter who's stolen the future...

    This is the one Russian documentary you'll want to sit through the whole of, reading subtitles for close to two hours.

    The world's (by far) richest man is a Russian grifter who's stolen the future of all the millions of Russians who had an incredible opportunity to reform a broken country, paved by millions in national resource wealth.

    Instead they got Putin.

    This is a bombshell documentary. The best in the business have tried for years to document Putin's robbery of his people. I'm greatly looking forward to all the independent verification and spin off that comes from this incredible documentary.

    Navalny has decided to die for this, or at least bet that he is now worth more alive than dead because of the international fallout of this one documentary. This is a moment in history you'll want to say "I watched that the week it came. I was there. My voice was a tiny part of the international choir demanding justice."

    14 votes
  18. Comment on Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 18 in ~news

    nacho
    Link Parent
    It will surely be a huge DDOS target for a long time to come. Remember when The Piratebay was complaining of DDOS-ing making real users not reach the site? That will surely also happen here. But...

    It will surely be a huge DDOS target for a long time to come. Remember when The Piratebay was complaining of DDOS-ing making real users not reach the site?

    That will surely also happen here. But at a much larger scale.

    9 votes
  19. Comment on Sámi reindeer herders file lawsuit against Norway windfarm – indigenous communities say planned Øyfjellet turbines will interfere with migration paths in ~enviro

    nacho
    Link
    Only a couple weeks ago The Norwegian Supreme Court decided it was going to run the Storheia case regarding the largest wind production plant in Northern Europe (also located in Sámi reindeer...

    Only a couple weeks ago The Norwegian Supreme Court decided it was going to run the Storheia case regarding the largest wind production plant in Northern Europe (also located in Sámi reindeer terrain) for a "large chamber" due to the case's significance.

    This case is currently under consideration in CERD, which is the United Nations' committee on racial discrimination. If the Storheia / Fosen vind case isn't won by the Sámi reindeer herders, it will surely end in the European court of human rights.

    The Fosen / Storheia proceeding has been ongoing since 2017. The result there will surely have an impact on the Øyfjellet case (and be ready before it reaches higher courts).

    3 votes
  20. Comment on The scary power of the companies that finally shut Trump up in ~tech

    nacho
    Link Parent
    It's a failure of how few limits there are to speech in the US constitution (although many seem to forget how many exceptions there actually are). The framers simply couldn't imagine modern mass...

    It's a failure of how few limits there are to speech in the US constitution (although many seem to forget how many exceptions there actually are).

    The framers simply couldn't imagine modern mass communication. It'd be absolutely insane to suggest someone in the late 1700s should even envision how such a society could change and what it'd require legally speaking.

    The constitution is also way too hard to change, so it's never been fixed. Subsequent legislation all suffers.

    4 votes