patience_limited's recent activity

  1. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    Planted 65 tree and shrub seedlings from the local land conservancy to replace dead ash trees that we've been hauling out all year. Ouch.

    Planted 65 tree and shrub seedlings from the local land conservancy to replace dead ash trees that we've been hauling out all year. Ouch.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Nassim Taleb: Bitcoin failed as a currency and became a speculative ponzi scheme in ~finance

    patience_limited
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    I was a Bitcoin early adopter, when it was a cool mathematical toy and maybe an answer to the problem of excessive private data collection on financial transactions. I'm now convinced that Bitcoin...

    I was a Bitcoin early adopter, when it was a cool mathematical toy and maybe an answer to the problem of excessive private data collection on financial transactions. I'm now convinced that Bitcoin is a disaster for multiple reasons, not least that:

    1. It's an entropy engine. The algorithm is intentionally inefficient to preserve the entire blockchain, in ways that don't serve the purposes of a store of value and encrypted ledger. The energy costs of transactions are asymptotic to their utility, and this is only going to get worse.

    2. Bitcoin is an inequality engine. Early adopters have such an insurmountable advantage in energy investment versus token quantity that people getting in now are vastly disadvantaged.

    3. Bitcoin prices in other currencies are easy to manipulate and mining pool control is opaque.

    Bitcoin's only advantage is that it was the first verifiable cryptocurrency to market, and a stable ecosystem of tools.

    11 votes
  3. Comment on I'm moving between apartments soon. Do you have any advice or protips on the logistics of moving? in ~life

    patience_limited
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    For a cross-town move, if you have access to your new place before the move-out date for your old one, you can do two very important things: If your livelihood depends on reliable Internet access,...

    For a cross-town move, if you have access to your new place before the move-out date for your old one, you can do two very important things:

    1. If your livelihood depends on reliable Internet access, get service established and tested in your new place before the move. Take your router, connect it to the modem in your new apartment, and be certain you can get service. [We were very fortunate in having access to our new place a month before moving, because that's how long it took Spectrum to repair the line to the house.]

    2. If you have fragile or valuable light-weight items, baggable clothing and bedding, etc., you should hand-move them. You won't be paying movers to break them or wasting time packing them for someone else to carry, then unpacking again. Never trust moving companies to make good on insurance for damaged or lost items, and irreplaceable is just that.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Why I’m switching to raised beds for my survival garden in ~enviro

    patience_limited
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    Totally worth it. My available sunny garden area is on a sandy slope with a relatively thin layer of topsoil - any digging or tilling risks erosion. You can get 4' x 8' (about 3 m2) 12"-deep metal...

    Totally worth it. My available sunny garden area is on a sandy slope with a relatively thin layer of topsoil - any digging or tilling risks erosion. You can get 4' x 8' (about 3 m2) 12"-deep metal raised bed frames for about $70 USD. I got 4 of them, plus 5 cubic yards of 50/50 compost and topsoil delivered, total cost about $100 per bed.

    Of course, there's some sweat equity in filling them. However, I've double-dug an equivalent area of clay soil before and there's no comparison. Filling and dumping a wheelbarrow is much easier than hand-hacking and mixing clay with amendments to lighten it.

    With the compost content I'm using, it did need to be topped off again this spring to replace organic matter broken down and compacted over the winter, about three inches depth replacement per bed. Nonetheless, last year's bountiful crops and extended growing season proved the worth of this technique.

    This year, I'm looking at hoop covers to start out the tomato seedlings that are overgrowing my indoor lights. Also, we've got deer to cope with - the compactness of raised beds makes fencing much more manageable. That's this weekend's project - twelve T-posts and some netting will do the job.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Picture Book Lust - Vanishing Asia by Kevin Kelly in ~books

    patience_limited
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    I'm not generally a fan of books meant for coffee tables (or coffee tables, for that matter). I'm also frustrated by photographic travelogues. My inner eye wants to see more or less or different...

    I'm not generally a fan of books meant for coffee tables (or coffee tables, for that matter). I'm also frustrated by photographic travelogues. My inner eye wants to see more or less or different than what the photographer chose.

    But my travel-deprived soul instantly thirsted for these volumes. Kevin Kelly's insight, perspective, and wisdom have been fairly trustworthy over a long period. I'm willing to risk that he'll do a respectful documentarian's job of curating his personal photos, perhaps moreso than National Geographic.

    Hoping there'll be a digital version eventually.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on What does your gaze reveal about you? On the privacy implications of eye tracking in ~tech

    patience_limited
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    Lest you think this is still abstract and unrelated to current technologies, imagine my surprise when the new Subaru nagged me to keep my eyes on the road. I'd been going about 20 m.p.h. on a...

    Lest you think this is still abstract and unrelated to current technologies, imagine my surprise when the new Subaru nagged me to keep my eyes on the road. I'd been going about 20 m.p.h. on a sluggish downtown street, and apparently glanced at a shop window longer than the car thought desirable.

    It's not just the data gathering that's creepy, it's the instant behavior modification feedback.

    11 votes
  7. Comment on Steven Donziger has been under house arrest for over 580 days, awaiting trial on a misdemeanor charge. It’s all, he says, because he beat a multinational energy corporation in court. in ~enviro

    patience_limited
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    I was curious about activity following the Esquire article, and then got suspicious about the highly Google-ranked Chevron propaganda ad claiming fraud on Donziger's part. More explanation of the...

    I was curious about activity following the Esquire article, and then got suspicious about the highly Google-ranked Chevron propaganda ad claiming fraud on Donziger's part.

    More explanation of the current Chevron actions is here: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/steven-donziger-chevron-google/

    5 votes
  8. Comment on What are you drinking tonight/this weekend? in ~food

    patience_limited
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    A bottle of a local Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay blend, about a quarter used for steaming a big pot of mussels. A reduction of the pot liquids, plus garlic, shallots, parsley, and lots of butter went...

    A bottle of a local Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay blend, about a quarter used for steaming a big pot of mussels. A reduction of the pot liquids, plus garlic, shallots, parsley, and lots of butter went with the mussels, a crusty sourdough baguette, and the remaining wine. Perfect easy Sunday dinner with the spouse!

    yeah, we're food and wine nerds.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Medical chatbot using OpenAI’s GPT-3 told a fake patient to kill themselves in ~tech

    patience_limited
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    It's weirdly reminiscent of Crisis Text Line's training - there were specific questions we had to ask, in a specific order. But part of the training was about building a connection of empathy. We...

    It's weirdly reminiscent of Crisis Text Line's training - there were specific questions we had to ask, in a specific order.

    But part of the training was about building a connection of empathy. We were supposed to use our human judgment about how and when to get those fundamental safety questions answered, determine how to link the texter with the most appropriate forms of support for the problems they were expressing, and de-escalate their emotional response to the situation that triggered their sense of being overwhelmed.

    Judging by the cognitive demands for dealing with people in crisis (I burned out after the first hundred calls), it would be useful if an AI could handle the basics. I can't imagine, though, that an AI would be capable of parsing the enormous variety of human problems coming in, or know when to ask for help.

    [I was somewhat disappointed to learn that Crisis Text Line's founder had a side business in using anonymized information to train chatbots for customer service. Nonetheless, that's a relatively low-risk interaction.]

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Michigan county commissioner pulls gun out during virtual meeting when resident asked board to denounce Proud Boys in ~news

    patience_limited
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    Man, this is pure viral meme gold. Straight to the Indivisible list.

    Man, this is pure viral meme gold. Straight to the Indivisible list.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Michigan county commissioner pulls gun out during virtual meeting when resident asked board to denounce Proud Boys in ~news

    patience_limited
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    The truly infuriating thing is that these yahoos ran unopposed in the last election. It's long been a source of my cynicism about the Democratic Party establishment that they can't be arsed to...

    The truly infuriating thing is that these yahoos ran unopposed in the last election. It's long been a source of my cynicism about the Democratic Party establishment that they can't be arsed to field or fund candidates at the city and county level. They're still not contending in "red" territory, and that contributes to polarization.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on Michigan county commissioner pulls gun out during virtual meeting when resident asked board to denounce Proud Boys in ~news

    patience_limited
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    I'm hesitant to share local news that reflects my increasingly parochial life interests, but it seems like we're living in a microcosm of U.S. politics right now. Keep in mind that the news...
    • Exemplary

    I'm hesitant to share local news that reflects my increasingly parochial life interests, but it seems like we're living in a microcosm of U.S. politics right now.

    Keep in mind that the news story's events are occurring after the U.S. near-coup to keep Donald Trump in power. Whether it's a last gasp of backwater backlash, or the confident acting out of a stoked and willing fascist base, only time will tell.

    For some background, Grand Traverse County's Board of Commissioners is 5 - 2 Republican/Democrat, in a county (pop. 90,000) where the populace votes roughly 50/50 Republican/Democrat.

    Gun rights are a prior political fault line, in a region where a very liberal small city's preferences conflict with the surrounding rural community's gun sports, hunting culture, social conservatism, and overt racism.

    In the most recent meeting, the BOC voted to:

    1. De-fund and denounce enforcement of state COVID-19 regulations;
    2. Refuse to fund the county nursing home pension plan (two Republican board members have conflicts of interest in private nursing home ownership);
    3. Defeat a requirement that board members self-identify conflicts of interest; and
    4. Give themselves a 150% raise.

    Local reporting illustrates the blithe impunity the most stridently "conservative" members (also the president and vice-president of the board) take for granted. Both of them have given audience to the Proud Boys, and spoken of them with praise subsequently. This is a problem with the Michigan Republican Party at large, but it's reflected on all scales, and allows the worst extremists to operate with impunity.

    I want to make two particular points here:

    1. Pay attention to your local politics as well as the national and global issues that occupy your Internet newsfeed. Sometimes they mirror and magnify national or global issues. It's our duty as citizens in a democracy to encourage responsible, competent policy makers and weed out the inept or corrupt. Every exceptional (for good or evil) politician starts a career with their immediate community; that's where your vote has the greatest impact.

    2. Local news matters - it's worth your investment of money and time to help keep your community informed about the decisions of the people governing them, and pay attention yourself.

    The local Indivisible group is working hard to remove the commissioner who brandished his semi-automatic rifle in a public meeting, and is asking the president of the board to resign as well. With a Republican legislature and courts in the state, though, it's unlikely that any legal proceedings will succeed.

    22 votes
  13. Comment on What are you growing in your fruit/vegetable garden? in ~hobbies

    patience_limited
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    Ooh, ooh, pick me! Very Northern Hemisphere here, 45° N and not too far from cfabbro's locale. I'm just getting indoor seed-starting underway, with estimated last frost date in mid-May. Climate...

    Ooh, ooh, pick me!

    Very Northern Hemisphere here, 45° N and not too far from cfabbro's locale. I'm just getting indoor seed-starting underway, with estimated last frost date in mid-May. Climate change has made this an erratic prediction; winter is running 8 - 10°C warmer than historical norms so far this year.

    We have about 30 m2 of raised beds to fill, and a rolling, partially wooded half-hectare of sandy loam, mostly trees and landscape plantings.

    We're working to build an edible permaculture landscape. So far, there are immature fruit trees - 2 heirloom apple varieties, a mulberry, and a couple of cherries. We have blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus. Planned perennial plantings for the coming year are hedge blueberries, plums, gooseberries, currants, hazelnuts (filberts), elderberries, and Nanking cherry. We may give hardier peach or nectarine tree varieties a try. Longer term, and with some construction, a vine arbor for grapes, kiwifruit, and ornamental clematis.

    The perennial herbs are in landscape plantings - multicolor bergamot, several thymes, oregano, sage, chamomile, rosemary, lavender, yarrow, multicolor echinacea, tarragon, winter savory, verbena, wintergreen, mints, juniper. Actually, the mints are kind of all over the place, as they are wont to be. It's a shame the cats are immune to catnip.

    There are a few traditional medicinal/ornamentals - foxglove, hellebore, artemisia (wormwood), milkweed, etc., though I don't recommend messing around with these at all. Standardized doses of active ingredients with high ratios of dose to toxicity threshold, under medical supervision, please.

    We've got an oyster mushroom bed started in a wooded area, and shiitake plugs on the way for spring. There may be other medicinal🍄 beds coming, though grow bags work great for those.

    Planned annual seeds so far are:

    • Hot peppers - Thai, chocolate Poblano, ghost peppers, etc. These are weirdly hard to get locally. I need to start them very early indoors, as we've only got about 100 reliable days of frost-free growing season.

    • 3 varieties of kale (Lacinato, tender curled leaf, and something purple)

    • Rocket (arugula)

    • 5 kinds of leaf lettuce

    • Tatsoi, Mizuna

    • Spinach, two varieties

    • Fennel - Florence and bronze

    • Nasturtiums (pretty, tasty - nearly all parts are edible, useful for companion planting to repel insects, and super-easy to seed-save)

    • Peas - snow, sugar snaps, and shelling

    • Multiple varieties of bush and climbing beans (mostly heirlooms, but a few hybrids because mildews and bean viruses are problematic here)

      • there's an asparagus bean variety I loved in Florida, delicious and productive, but no idea how it will do with cooler nights
      • Scarlet runner beans, because pretty
      • Cherokee beans for dry keeping
      • 2 varieties of French filet beans
      • Edamame
      • Experimental plantings of a couple of the better-tasting varieties from Rancho Gordo
    • Tomatoes - about 20 varieties, because just-picked garden tomatoes are nearly as good as sex

    • Tomatillos

    • Parsley, curled and flat-leaf

    • Cilantro, chervil, dill

    • Basil - Genovese, Thai, Chinese, lemon

    • Carrots, 4 varieties

    • Radishes - daikon and multicolor globe

    • Japanese eggplant - not a fan of the woodier, tougher European-style eggplants

    • Red burgundy okra

    • beets - bull's-eye and yellow

    • rainbow chard

    • 3 varieties of garlic

    • Shallots

    • Scallions

    • A couple of smaller onion varieties for pearl onions, and cipollines

    • Chives

    • Marigolds

    • Zinnias

    • Sunflowers

    • Sweet peas (not edible seed, unfortunately)

    • Snapdragons

    • Nigella (edible seed)

    • Cosmos

    I've found it's mostly not a good investment of scarce raised-bed space to plant brassicas (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and sprawly vines (zucchini, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, melons). I'd love to plant corn and potatoes, but there's not really enough level, unshaded area. We're fortunate to live near farms that can provide these in abundance, if not every variety I want to try. I might carve out a little space for Oriental vegetables like Japanese cucumber, Chinese long-stem broccoli, and baby bok choi that are otherwise hard to get.

    I'm going to try lemongrass and ginger in containers, brought inside for winter. We've got thriving windowsill bay plant and English lavender.

    Gardens are a life's work and the basis for physical and mental health. Everyone should have access to a space where they can grow and cultivate at least some of the food they consume.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 17 in ~news

    patience_limited
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    That was inexcusable on my part, I'd implicitly assumed everyone here had seen that episode or read the books. 🤦. You have my profound apologies, it won't happen again.

    That was inexcusable on my part, I'd implicitly assumed everyone here had seen that episode or read the books. 🤦. You have my profound apologies, it won't happen again.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 17 in ~news

    patience_limited
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    In my doomscrolling universe today, I've run across: The recent The Expanse episode featuring Marco Inaros' "freedom" speech after he's just machine-gunned Earth with big space rocks and killed...

    In my doomscrolling universe today, I've run across:

    1. The recent The Expanse episode featuring Marco Inaros' "freedom" speech after he's just machine-gunned Earth with big space rocks and killed millions;
    2. This Wired article about DIY military-style tactical assault, and the politics and philosophy thereof;
    3. This charming news about record gun sales; and
    4. The chatter in my Northern Michigan neighborhood's NextDoor, evenly split between worry about COVID-19 deniers or violence against government in our little blue map dot, and frothy rants about deprivation of 2A rights, the Plandemic, microchip vaccines, and the illegitimate overthrow of Trump.

    It's not wholly cheering that the state capitols are seeing few right-wing protesters gathered so far; their capacity to f*ck things up is far greater than their numbers. I'm weary and drained of the capacity for surprise. Intellectually, I know the baddies aren't going to win this time, either, but there's little likelihood of bloodless victory. I feel contaminated just by the moments of thinking, "Who's going to teach me how to defend myself against the gun-crazy neighbors?"

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Biden unveils $1.9 trillion economic and health-care relief package in ~news

    patience_limited
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    For comparison with the last major depression relief packages: Which was bigger, the 2009 Recovery Act Package, or FDR's New Deal? My back-of-the-envelope calculation says $1.9 trillion is about...

    For comparison with the last major depression relief packages: Which was bigger, the 2009 Recovery Act Package, or FDR's New Deal?

    Thus, the cost on a per capita basis in 2009 dollars was $2,738 for ARRA and $5,231 for the New Deal.

    Dupor also compared the costs in terms of the size of the economy at the time of enactment. ARRA’s cost was equal to 5.7 percent of the nation’s 2008 output. The New Deal, however, was about 40 percent of the nation’s 1929 output.

    My back-of-the-envelope calculation says $1.9 trillion is about 9% of the most recently reported $21.2 trillion U.S. GDP.

    I'll be surprised if half of the amount gets through even a Democratic-controlled Congress, but it's a fair start. The $15 minimum wage is a modest beginning to decreasing inequality over the long term, but redistributive tax policy will have to pass as well.

    9 votes
  17. Comment on Declassification of secret document reveals US strategy in the Indo-Pacific in ~news

    patience_limited
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    From the article:

    From the article:

    The US government has just declassified one of its most sensitive national security documents—its 2018 strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific, which was formally classified SECRET and not for release to foreign nationals.

    The full text, minus a few small redactions, was made public late on 12 January (US east coast time), having originally been cleared for publication on 5 January, prior to the turmoil in Washington.

    The release of this document will be rightly overshadowed in the news cycle by the aftermath of the disgraceful domestic attack on the US Capitol, but for observers interested in the future security of the world beyond American shores, it will be of long-term interest and warrant close reading.