nacho's recent activity

  1. Comment on The people who develop the long-lost camera films of strangers in ~life

    nacho Link
    Anyone have thoughts on the privacy of those pictured when a third party sells a film? Like if you found images of people, what would you do with them? What if they were famous? What if something...

    Anyone have thoughts on the privacy of those pictured when a third party sells a film?

    Like if you found images of people, what would you do with them? What if they were famous? What if something illegal was depicted? Something intimately private?

    Do you get to do whatever you want with the images? Should you get to do what you want? Where are your limits?

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Iranian officials say 17 alleged U.S. spies captured, some sentenced to death in ~news

    nacho Link Parent
    This is exactly the conclusion authoritarian regimes want us to draw in opposition to the US. They very well could be (CIA-backed) spies. Or they very well could be dissidents or political enemies...

    Given the CIA's history, it's probably likely that these were spies.

    This is exactly the conclusion authoritarian regimes want us to draw in opposition to the US.

    They very well could be (CIA-backed) spies. Or they very well could be dissidents or political enemies Iran wishes to get rid of.

    I'd urge anyone to stay open-minded until we have more evidence. As with claims of hacking, espionage and the like, we won't get to know everything. There's also going to be minsinformation from all parties involved.

    This was Iran's opening move after they said in June they'd taken down an US spy network of independent agents. It's too early to say how this lands.

    10 votes
  3. Comment on Humans aren’t designed to be happy – so stop trying in ~misc

    nacho Link
    All modern research seems to suggest that humans thrive when we're in a state of flow, of barely overcoming difficult challenges. That form of success in the face of adversity leads to (you...

    All modern research seems to suggest that humans thrive when we're in a state of flow, of barely overcoming difficult challenges.

    That form of success in the face of adversity leads to (you guessed it) happiness. It's pretty irresponsible to suggest that since we can't be happy all the time, we shouldn't try to do what statistically leads us to feel fulfilled in our lives.

    12 votes
  4. Comment on Opinions on “grammar nazis”? in ~talk

    nacho Link
    I'd only consider it appropriate to ask about language/grammar for purposes of understanding. If I don't understand something due to the way it's put, I'll ask. I'd ask in public as others can...

    I'd only consider it appropriate to ask about language/grammar for purposes of understanding.

    If I don't understand something due to the way it's put, I'll ask. I'd ask in public as others can benefit from explanations too, or help out if the original commenter isn't online.

    A forum would be an annoying place if it were filled with people pointing out the lack of the subjunctive, the proper order of adjectives and all sorts of other formal English grammar, wherever those corrections were made.

    9 votes
  5. Comment on Magnetoreception in Humans in ~science

    nacho Link
    Somewhat relatedly, this has always stuck with me: What happens if one loses sense of direction inside a building or after being spun around a bunch of times.

    Somewhat relatedly, this has always stuck with me:

    In fact, Guugu Yimithirr doesn’t make any use of egocentric coordinates at all. The anthropologist John Haviland and later the linguist Stephen Levinson have shown that Guugu Yimithirr does not use words like “left” or “right,” “in front of” or “behind,” to describe the position of objects. Whenever we would use the egocentric system, the Guugu Yimithirr rely on cardinal directions. If they want you to move over on the car seat to make room, they’ll say “move a bit to the east.” To tell you where exactly they left something in your house, they’ll say, “I left it on the southern edge of the western table.” Or they would warn you to “look out for that big ant just north of your foot.” Even when shown a film on television, they gave descriptions of it based on the orientation of the screen. If the television was facing north, and a man on the screen was approaching, they said that he was “coming northward.”

    What happens if one loses sense of direction inside a building or after being spun around a bunch of times.

  6. Comment on FBI believed Trump was closely involved in hush-money scheme, unsealed documents show in ~news

    nacho Link Parent
    It's almost exactly like Nancy Pelosi warned against this and said that talking about impeachment, starting impeachment or bothering with anything related to impeachment at this time, without an...

    It sucks that he's using yesterday's vote as a win.

    It's almost exactly like Nancy Pelosi warned against this and said that talking about impeachment, starting impeachment or bothering with anything related to impeachment at this time, without an incredible smoking gun that can get a conviction in the Senate, is an absolute waste of time. Worse, it plays right into Trump's hand.

    The more focus on impeachment, the easier Trump's election platform, unless he were actually to be impeached. Everyone I've talked to about impeachment over the last year and more doesn't even have an idea on what 20 (!) Republican senators would have to vote with the Democrats and independents for the 2/3 majority required for impeachment. Much less what it'd take for those 20 to vote for removing Trump.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on I want to donate to a tree-planting non-profit. Do you recommend any? in ~enviro

    nacho Link
    Personally, I've donated to WeForest. I'm not sure it's the best or most efficient organization, but I like the way they go about reforestation in ways that might actually lead to lasting change...

    Personally, I've donated to WeForest.

    I'm not sure it's the best or most efficient organization, but I like the way they go about reforestation in ways that might actually lead to lasting change by involving local populations and making forests an active part of the economy.

    Personally, I like their Luanshya district project in Zambia. I think working with smallholders and education is the way for lasting reforestation, and here it's also a way of improving quality of life and providing new opportunities. Not just from one-off planting, but from living off and with the forest in the future.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Which technical/technological issues or needs do you think should have been sorted out by now? in ~comp

    nacho Link
    After 2FA online banking came around 1999, I'm flabbergasted that a single global clearing house for transactions isn't even being talked about 20 years later. Why does it take days to make many...

    After 2FA online banking came around 1999, I'm flabbergasted that a single global clearing house for transactions isn't even being talked about 20 years later.

    Why does it take days to make many international money transfers in the 21st century? How is tax evasion through regular digital money transfers still possible? Why in the world is it easier to send someone a picture or a movie than money?


    Why is airplane ticketing still based on platforms that run on both software and hardware that's decades old?


    Paper checks are still a thing. Some places even require that you use them, or even digital checks. That boggles the mind. Why haven't modern solutions taken over this space?


    How hasn't speech to text become good enough to be mainstream yet? People spend silly amounts of time typing things out slowly. Sure, there's the issue of multiple languages and accents, but interfacing and the software around the algorithms is still so bad text to speech isn't mainstream practically anywhere.


    In terms of pure coding, why isn't everything that hits an external network always encrypted? That seemed like it'd be a no-brainer possibly even months after https started being a thing.

    16 votes
  9. Comment on We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made. in ~comp

    nacho Link Parent
    I think you're bang on the money in outlining this situation. I don't think it's down to poor management/hiring practices. This is a company strategy: We'll hire cheaper workers because that'll...

    I think you're bang on the money in outlining this situation.

    I don't think it's down to poor management/hiring practices. This is a company strategy: We'll hire cheaper workers because that'll surely be good enough for what we need.

    An environment of excellence, a culture of seeking to push oneself and improve as a collective group comes at the cost of higher wages. That situation is only something a board seeks if they calculate the upside to be higher than the added cost.

    In tech, average is often more than enough. It creates jobs that are terrible from day to day, but pay reasonably well. This hiring strategy creates all those desks filled with people who hate their jobs thoroughly. I think it's especially bad in many branches of tech because who really needs an environment where codes go beyond just pushing something average to market that mostly works?

    13 votes
  10. Comment on We fired our top talent. Best decision we ever made. in ~comp

    nacho Link
    Rick was not this company's "top talent". Rick could have been an incredible asset to the company if he'd been managed properly and people would have used his solving of complicated coding puzzles...

    Rick was not this company's "top talent".

    Rick could have been an incredible asset to the company if he'd been managed properly and people would have used his solving of complicated coding puzzles where appropriate.

    Having Ricks can give a mature tech company a huge competitive advantage that realizes incredible profits on the margin.


    There's a reason a lot of pure tech companies recruit people out of college in ways that target Ricks. Molding Ricks to fit your company without inheriting all the quirks of past projects and eccentricities left to their own devices can let you create products you simply can't code without Ricks. Just like there are science problems in every field of math, engineering, chemistry, physics, economics, medicine, statistics etc. that require raw brain power and analytical skills a crowd of slightly lesser brains won't ever solve.


    This one really wasn't on Rick, even if things could have been much better had Rick been a different person. He wasn't, and didn't receive the social feedback and support to be able to change before it was too late.

    If your workplace has a Rick, get out while there's getting out.

    12 votes
  11. Comment on Torn apart: the vicious war over young adult books in ~books

    nacho Link Parent
    There are simply more young adults around as it is today. Works like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew or even the Famous Five books (which could also be argued to be more children's books) have sold...

    While Harry Potter is the biggest YA series, it definitely wasn't the origin. So many great YA series come before it...anyways...

    There are simply more young adults around as it is today. Works like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew or even the Famous Five books (which could also be argued to be more children's books) have sold tremendous amounts. They were just as determining, or even moreso, than the culture-dominating works of today. Reading was a larger activity then than it is now for young adults who spend a lot more time behind screens.

    Apparently the Famous Five series still sells between one and two million copies a year, with a total of well beyond 100 million books sold.


    It's easy to forget the past due to the recent future.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Danish government will consider tabling a bill which would define sex without explicit consent as rape in ~news

    nacho Link Parent
    According to Wikipedia: So if you say someone's shelved the proposal everyone's on the same page. Similarly, there's quite often trouble with communication when people across the Atlantic refer to...

    According to Wikipedia:

    In parliamentary procedure, the verb to table has the opposite meaning in different countries: In the United States, to "table" usually means to postpone or suspend consideration of a pending motion. In the rest of the English-speaking world, to "table" means to begin consideration (or reconsideration) of a proposal.

    So if you say someone's shelved the proposal everyone's on the same page.

    Similarly, there's quite often trouble with communication when people across the Atlantic refer to something or someone being liberal. They don't mean exactly the opposite like with tabling motions, but there are large differences.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Sweden says it won't sign UN nuclear ban treaty – the treaty in its current form is not ready in ~news

    nacho Link
    I must be a cynic too, as this sounds really reasonable. In a rules-based world, the UN keeps showing it has no teeth to do anything about those who don't follow the rules. With nuclear arms,...

    NATO supports the idea of a world without nuclear weapons, but doesn’t believe it can be achieved by imposing a ban through the United Nations convention.

    I must be a cynic too, as this sounds really reasonable. In a rules-based world, the UN keeps showing it has no teeth to do anything about those who don't follow the rules.

    With nuclear arms, think North Korea, Iran, Israel. getting nuclear capabilities works in global geopolitics. Giving them up doesn't really make sense for regimes that fear outside action.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on After urging land reform I now know the brute power of our billionaire press in ~misc

    nacho Link Parent
    When you're of a minority view, you have at least two options: Sticking to your principles although you know you won't ever be able to cause change as you won't get the votes for changes in...

    When you're of a minority view, you have at least two options:

    • Sticking to your principles although you know you won't ever be able to cause change as you won't get the votes for changes in policy. (The Sanders route)
    • Clearly stating what principles you stand for as you are elected, then voting pragmatically to gradually enact change in the right direction step by step, inch by inch.

    Sanders choosing his route, has meant his vote has largely been irrelevant.

    This leads me to believe he'd also choose the Obama/Trump route of being a president by Executive order, rather than getting legislation through congress. This reduces the need for compromise, but also means a successor can overturn a lot of policy.

    But with Sanders' capstone policy there's an issue with that route: he needs to fundamentally change the law to overturn supreme court precedents, and in many cases probably even amend the constitution to get his policy through. That can't be done by executive order (and in the very least shouldn't).


    Even if you disagree that local office is irrelevant due to the nature of Washington compared to state politics, there's also the factor of time.

    Politics has changed completely in the decades Sanders has been in DC. How relevant is really accomplishment 30 years ago when things have changed so much since? Take the hyper-partisanship and unwillingness to vote across the line for one, take the overturn of congressional procedural precedent as another example.

    The mechanisms Sanders was even successful using locally don't exist in DC in 2019. How can that experience then be relevant today?


    1 vote
  15. Comment on After urging land reform I now know the brute power of our billionaire press in ~misc

    nacho Link Parent
    I don't think Corbyn is worse than May or Johnson. That isn't saying much though. The last elections have been Labour's to lose. And they've managed to lose spectacularly, even on an issue like...

    I don't think Corbyn is worse than May or Johnson. That isn't saying much though. The last elections have been Labour's to lose.

    And they've managed to lose spectacularly, even on an issue like Brexit. That's due to Corbyn's leadership and unwillingness to actually take a stance on the issue. The other parties are winning, Labour and the Tories are both losing.

    How different would things be with a somewhat competent leader of Labour?


    I'm not saying media doesn't matter. The public just not caring is an issue we all own. We have to pay for news, and to demand quality if we want an efficient Fourth estate.

    In the last decades that seems to have been taken for granted, and we're seeing the results now. In populism all over the West. Being wrong isn't an issue any longer. How'd we end up accepting that?

  16. Comment on After urging land reform I now know the brute power of our billionaire press in ~misc

    nacho Link Parent
    To the contrary, according to every source I can find, and a everything I remember, Sanders has been a less effective senator with lower "legislative effectiveness" than the average senator. He...

    Sanders has a track record of getting things done

    To the contrary, according to every source I can find, and a everything I remember, Sanders has been a less effective senator with lower "legislative effectiveness" than the average senator.

    He was even less effective in the House of Representatives (which is natural because he was the first independent there in 40 years when he was elected in 1990).

    Here's just one source that notes how few sponsored bills Sanders has gotten past into law and how few successful amendments he's managed to get through on others' bills.

    (I don't view achievements outside Congress as relevant to efficacy in national office because it's a completely different ballgame to state or local politics. That's due to the dynamics with both the Supreme court, convention and chamber majority leaders, and the scope of presidential powers)


    Sanders has been almost all bark and protest for years. Does he have the ability to compromise? Why hasn't he shown that in the decades he's been in public office?

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Insects are 'food of the future' in ~food

    nacho Link Parent
    There's an obvious way of sidestepping the "ick-factor". That is feeding the insects to something and then eating that something instead of eating the insects directly. Insect farms producing...

    There's an obvious way of sidestepping the "ick-factor".

    That is feeding the insects to something and then eating that something instead of eating the insects directly.


    Insect farms producing insect flour and protein to feed to fish or birds or other organisms that have insects in their natural diets could be both more environmentally friendly and better in terms of nutrition for the animals and the resulting human/animal food.

    Insect farming means you can get protein on a really low trophic level which reduces climate footprint and wasted energy moving sequentially up the food chain.

    It's only per 2017 (PDF) that using insects in fish feed has been allowed in the EU.


    Technology, research and production is therefore only in really early stages. Things like having to slaughter insects individually in a certified slaughterhouse (!) were required until the change in law.

    To use an example, say you had a Black Soldier Fly-factory. Their generations are under a month in length. If you set aside 2-3 percent for breeding, you have a self-sustaining population. They eat almost anything (meats, grains etc.) except things really high in cellulose. Essentially they can be used to compost very efficiently.

    The flies can't live in Northern European climates so say they were to escape from a factory, they'd just die. They don't sting. Adult flies don't eat. They aren't venomous or poisonous to anything (so you can feed them to anything from say pigs to birds to fish etc.

    The species is extremely efficient and about 45 percent protein (the rest is mostly fat). You harvest larvae that stop eating and start staying still before they pupate before turning adult, so they're easy to harvest after maximum growth before energy is expended.


    The future isn't a larvae smoothie, but larvae-fed bacon, salmon and chicken.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on After urging land reform I now know the brute power of our billionaire press in ~misc

    nacho Link Parent
    There are two parts to political candidacy for the highest offices. Politics and person. I completely understand anyone who agrees with the policies and principles of both Bernie Sanders and...

    There are two parts to political candidacy for the highest offices. Politics and person.

    I completely understand anyone who agrees with the policies and principles of both Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn but will never vote for them to hold office.

    They're both similar in lacking the pragmatism, statesmanship and interpersonal skills to ever be effective politicians.

    As a British friend of mine said, "Even if I agreed with 100% of all of Corbyn's policy, he could only ever be a candidate that was just above average overall."

    Many people do not like hearing this. You have to work within the existing political system. You need allies, not just fights. You need to do the politicking to get things done in parliaments. Corbyn and Sanders can never and will never work effectively in those climates.

    1 vote
  19. Comment on Trump's popularity during the 2016 campaign was closely correlated with Internet Research Agency bot activity. Every 25,000 retweets by IRA accounts predicted a 1% increase in opinion polls for Trump. in ~news

    nacho Link Parent
    Twitter is a tiny platform. When it published its user numbers for the first time ever in Feburary this year, it noted that 39% of its monthly users use the site daily. Their daily user count was...

    Twitter is a tiny platform. When it published its user numbers for the first time ever in Feburary this year, it noted that 39% of its monthly users use the site daily. Their daily user count was 126 million.

    Of the people with twitter accounts, it's rare to find people with many tweets. Use is really low. Retweets are low numbers. I'm not at all surprised if a couple thousand bots makes something trend in almost any country bar the largest English-language ones.


    If anything, reddit as a platform seems even easier to game. Due to the logarithmic scale of voting, even a hundred or two hundred votes on a thread that don't get detected by reddit's pitiful anti-vote-cheating systems almost ensures that a post gets hundreds of thousands of views.

    This is inevitably what's going to happen with social media platforms that go mainstream unless they choose hiring practices that are completely different to what SoMe companies do today. There just aren't enough heads to not be manipulated by those who're willing to pay to get their message across.

    5 votes
  20. Comment on Japan resumed commercial whaling after 31 years. New photos show what that looks like. in ~enviro

    nacho Link
    The Japanese "research" whaling that's been going on for years has been commercial in nature in all but name. Today Norway's yearly quota is 1278 Minke whales a year. (The population in Norwegian...

    The Japanese "research" whaling that's been going on for years has been commercial in nature in all but name.

    Today Norway's yearly quota is 1278 Minke whales a year. (The population in Norwegian waters is estimated to over 100.000 individuals.

    In 2018 the 11 whaling vessels that operate in the country (and only have Japan as market outside of Nroway) caught 454 of the 1178 whales that were their quota.


    It's surprising to me that the Japanese whaling efforts have garnered so much attention outside of it being for "research" rather than being open and honest about this being food.

    I believe the 2017 quota for Japanese ships was like 800 minke whales, around 50 humpback whales and around 50 fin whales. Those quotas were slashed in 2018 to a total of under 400 (?) if memory serves.

    Norwegian whaling hasn't got nearly the same global attention despite being bigger. Is the difference that this whaling is going on in European waters rather than far south near the antarctic? Anyone have outside perspectives on this?

    4 votes