patience_limited's recent activity

  1. Comment on Got any new electronics? Tell me about them! in ~talk

    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I haven't gotten rid of any of the old devices (piHole FTW!) - I just needed quick-and-dirty coverage at the new place so we could work in both old and new locations pending our move. As you...

    I haven't gotten rid of any of the old devices (piHole FTW!) - I just needed quick-and-dirty coverage at the new place so we could work in both old and new locations pending our move.

    As you indicated, it's a very specific use case. The new homestead has an awkward footprint for WiFi coverage. Half the house could have dead spots due to concrete, extensive copper piping for a steam-heat system, and earth-adjoining walls. We also wanted to be able to use our devices outdoors. I'm not up to running my own cabling these days, not to mention that hardwiring is an expense we'd rather defer until we're living there and have a better idea of A-V and home automation plans. A mesh system seemed like the easiest bridge solution.

    Rather than spending hours to get reliable signal with multiple cheaper APs and our venerable Linksys WRT54G spare router, I pounced on an eero Pro deal ($279 for the Pro and one Beacon), figuring I could return them if they didn't work out. The signal has been great thoughout two floors and within 250' of the house (one of the advantages of the new place is that there are no detectable competing signals!), and I can still incorporate the new eeros when I have time to fiddle with things again. Contractors were also happy that they had a guest network for access to their data.

    Spouse isn't a network geek, and needs a VLAN without my paranoid, obsessive tweaking so that he can reliably test work-related websites with a consumer-grade experience. The new eeros will probably be dedicated for his use, plus low-risk devices and guest net.

    I love Ubiquiti UniFi APs - they play very nicely in crowded WiFi environments (much better than Cisco, IMHO), and I've had better luck combining them with other manufacturers' PoE switches and firewalls than I've had with Aruba devices. Their advantages just weren't specifically relevant to my current situation.

    Also, we're now rural. The locale has rough weather, and frequent widespread outages as a result. No single ISP or 4G vendor has great speed and reliability for our work-from-home needs (it seems like cable and cellular services share some backbone routes), but there's a decent fiber co-op. One of my ultimate networking goals is to ensure we've got failover and ideally, bonding between two carriers. That's not something my setup will handle gracefully now, so I'll probably be looking at a new router eventually - any experience with the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter?

  2. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of July 6 in ~health.coronavirus

    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    So my locale has had a huge (per unit of population, anyway) case spike over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Northern Lower Michigan is a fairly representative microcosm of the impact of...

    So my locale has had a huge (per unit of population, anyway) case spike over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Northern Lower Michigan is a fairly representative microcosm of the impact of privileged travelers on service industry workers (and ultimately, their communities) in tourist destinations. I served travelers from Oklahoma, Mississippi, and multiple states adjacent to Michigan, then left work this evening to see a car with a Texas license plate parked next to mine.

    We're taking all conceivable precautions - windows open, masks on, marked 6 foot distances, limited occupancy, constant sanitizing, no indoor seating or by-the-glass sales, etc., but aside from the paychecks, this all feels very inessential.

    I'm feeling extra hateful because tipping also seems to be inessential for many of the patrons, especially the young, clearly affluent beachgoers.

    In the U.S., at least, it's impossible to discuss COVID-19 without confronting the intersection of inequality and public health.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on Got any new electronics? Tell me about them! in ~talk

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    We went in exactly the opposite direction - the former well-tweaked DD-WRT router, switches, VLANs, VPN, PiHole, VMWare boxen, etc. are all (temporarily, at least) being supplanted with two eero...

    We went in exactly the opposite direction - the former well-tweaked DD-WRT router, switches, VLANs, VPN, PiHole, VMWare boxen, etc. are all (temporarily, at least) being supplanted with two eero WiFi devices in the new house.

    The current installation is mainly so that we and contractors have Internet access prior to proper move-in. Counting outdoor spaces, we're getting excellent signal and speed (confirmed that we're maxing out the tested cable speed) throughout about 5,000 sq. ft. without running cabling. It's a sprawling footprint split on two levels built into a hill, with one device on each level. As things stand, I've got another three older eero APs (previously used for a guest-only VLAN) that might not be needed. So far, it's been a completely brainless setup, though I'm not thrilled to have Amazon lurking in my network.

    That's not to say we've tested with all dozen or so devices in our household and multiple concurrent media streams or backups yet.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on What's something that's a "really big deal" that has fallen out of public awareness and discourse? in ~talk

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    Roger Stone is notorious in part for one of his rules of politics: "Hate is a more powerful motivator than love". It's impossible to maintain civilization without a collective bias in favor of...

    Roger Stone is notorious in part for one of his rules of politics: "Hate is a more powerful motivator than love".

    It's impossible to maintain civilization without a collective bias in favor of trust and altruism. That bias perversely makes it easier to manufacture outrage and hate - by inflating the perceived incidence of violations of trust, then ascribing them to outgroups.

    We're actually surrounded by contrary examples that are so common they're not newsworthy.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on What's something that's a "really big deal" that has fallen out of public awareness and discourse? in ~talk

    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I don't know that the revolution-suppressing capacity of the Internet attention black hole will persist past the point where ever-grimmer reality intrudes on people's lives. In the U.S., at least,...

    I don't know that the revolution-suppressing capacity of the Internet attention black hole will persist past the point where ever-grimmer reality intrudes on people's lives.

    In the U.S., at least, the number of people who've lost a loved one or their livelihoods to COVID-19, or their home to a climate disaster, or watched George Floyd's death for the n-th time, is growing daily.

    I can't see this continuing indefinitely. There's already a fair incidence of violent rage. The propaganda engines can't gaslight people forever, when they're so forcefully confronted with failed explanations for suffering.

    There's no economic model for the worst offenders (e.g. Facebook and Google) to perpetuate the cycle when advertising money starts to pull out, regardless of how many hypnotized eyeballs can be delivered.

    Footnote: Unbiasing the sample of people's behavior is important. I've been spending less time online (and by extension, Tildes) to work on political action, volunteering, and personal job/housing stuff. I'd suspect that this is also true for a great many people who are fomenting a revolution that just hasn't earned that label in the media yet. Revolutions don't necessarily involve open warfare; there are historical examples of non-violent mass action that drove vast political change. I hope we're simply too embedded in events to see that pattern emerging.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on 2020 US presidential election simulator in ~misc

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    The U.S. model of "democracy" has at least as much potential for arcane fascination as the ruleset for any game system, events are published in one of the most prevalent global languages, our...

    The U.S. model of "democracy" has at least as much potential for arcane fascination as the ruleset for any game system, events are published in one of the most prevalent global languages, our cultural exports feature political drama heavily... There's plenty of material for a global fan base, regardless of how directly the results impact them. And that whole nuclear Armageddon thing.

    8 votes
  7. Comment on What's something that's a "really big deal" that has fallen out of public awareness and discourse? in ~talk

    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    It's really striking to me lately how rapidly things that are important to our survival and the existence of stable human civilization fade from public attention. When I look on Google Trends,...

    It's really striking to me lately how rapidly things that are important to our survival and the existence of stable human civilization fade from public attention.

    When I look on Google Trends, it's as if Black Lives Matter, COVID-19 stories, Trump's various acts of lawlessness, the war crimes in Syria, Chinese suppression of the Uighurs and Hong Kong, environmental catastrophes, etc. all have an attention span half-life of about 5 days. [The search rate drop-offs literally look like a radioactivity decay curve...]

    It may be that we're learning helplessness because we can't individually control the frightful events that are besieging us. Maybe, as /u/Kuromantis implied, most effective action happens nearly immediately (or within the first 5 days, anyway). I can't pinpoint any single "big deal" about which we should all be continually interested, other than how we can be more effective at collective action and planning.

    29 votes
  8. Comment on People complain that going to the shore is a careless act during a pandemic, but the science so far suggests otherwise in ~health.coronavirus

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    I guess it's fine to call out the noxious and unproductive behaviors around "shaming" in all spheres. It's just not as effective as non-judgmental information, and creates dangerous levels of...

    I guess it's fine to call out the noxious and unproductive behaviors around "shaming" in all spheres.

    It's just not as effective as non-judgmental information, and creates dangerous levels of polarized pushback as people hunch into their defensive shells of habit, prejudice, ignorance, and spite.

    Though The Atlantic essay has some well-crafted turns of phrase, it's mainly a hot-take on all the "beach-shaming" media stories. It's not an attempt to describe, quantify, diagnose, or remedy the practice of shaming itself. Neither does the essay describe what better communication about risks might look like. The below was what I felt was the best writing in the essay:

    And in a particularly American fashion, we’ve turned a public-health catastrophe into a fight among factions, in which the virus is treated as a moral agent that will disproportionately smite one’s ideological enemies—while presumably sparing the moral and the righteous—rather than as a pathogen that spreads more effectively in some settings or through some behaviors, which are impervious to moral or ideological hierarchy. Add in our broken digital public sphere, where anger and outrage more easily bring in the retweets, likes, and clicks, and where bikini pictures probably do not hurt, and we have the makings of the confused, unscientific, harmful, and counterproductive environment we find ourselves in now.

    It's worth emphasizing how news stories tend to anthropomorphize the virus as if it's a personal nemesis with moral biases to afflict the sinful or hated groups, rather than an impersonal, natural phenomenon that we will eventually understand and be able to mitigate. Many countries other than the U.S. seem to have figured this out - maybe the execrable quality of English-language science and health journalism has something to do with this. ;-)

    5 votes
  9. Comment on Study finds hydroxychloroquine may have boosted survival, but other researchers have doubts in ~health.coronavirus

    patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    It's worth reading the entire article for a decent layperson's interpretation of the controversy around this study. Though the sample size is high, the most noteworthy detail for my semi-trained...

    It's worth reading the entire article for a decent layperson's interpretation of the controversy around this study.

    Though the sample size is high, the most noteworthy detail for my semi-trained eyes is that it's a retrospective study. It's well-established that retrospective studies are highly prone to sources of bias.

    Retrospective studies involve looking back through an accumulation of existing data and statistically fitting explanations to it, rather than designing a forward-looking, controlled experiment to test a hypothesis. [There's a good illustration here.] It's easy to inadvertently change the definition of a "needle" when you're searching "haystacks" of records that themselves may not be coded correctly.

    In the Henry Ford study, there's at least one known example of this phenomenon - patients were not randomly assigned to treatments. The hydroxychloroquine recipients may have been different in important respects (age, general health, etc.) from patients who didn't receive HCQ. Many of the hydroxychloroquine- or HCQ+azithromycin-treated patients also received immunosuppressive treatments like steroids and tocilizumab, which are now known to be independently effective in reducing COVID-19 mortality. The researchers excluded a significant number of patients not yet released from the hospital, who may still be a significant source of uncounted mortality. While the lead physician touts peer review of the article for publication, journal acceptance doesn't obviate these bases for criticism.

    Needless to say, expect a newly widened divergence of public opinion on hydroxychloroquine benefits depending on one's politics and preferred information sources. See also this summary of other evidence concerning hydroxychloroquine's efficacy in COVID-19 treatment and prevention.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on People complain that going to the shore is a careless act during a pandemic, but the science so far suggests otherwise in ~health.coronavirus

    patience_limited
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    Anecdata: The little stretch of lake resort towns I live among is experiencing its own COVID renaissance right now. There's a very good chance the Governor of Michigan will be shutting things down...

    Anecdata:

    The little stretch of lake resort towns I live among is experiencing its own COVID renaissance right now. There's a very good chance the Governor of Michigan will be shutting things down in Northern Michigan shortly.

    While beaches and the outdoors certainly offer opportunities to remain at safe distances and aren't likely to be major sources of airborne COVID transmission, there's all the visitation from higher prevalence places and ancillary activity in shops, restaurants, and hotels to worry about.

    On a personal note, I'm working at a winery for the summer while looking for longer term work. Last week, we had a drunken college-age visitor walk in without a mask, wanting to taste wine. They were literally dripping wet from the beach, half-naked and barefoot.

    The restaurant across the street has a health department alert after an out-of-state vacationer tested positive.

    I just learned yesterday that one of the beachside local restaurants had a summer worker show up after testing positive for COVID; the restaurant is now shut for two weeks of staff quarantine.

    It's not the outdoors that's a problem; it's all the human traffic associated with beach-going.

    13 votes
  11. Comment on What's a dish you've made that you're most proud of? in ~food

    patience_limited
    (edited )
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    I can't say I'm really proud of my vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, kosher variation on the Almond Joy Tart that's a pastry shop staple. I was never crazy about how sickeningly...

    I can't say I'm really proud of my vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, kosher variation on the Almond Joy Tart that's a pastry shop staple. I was never crazy about how sickeningly sweet both the original and my take on it are.

    On the other hand, I managed to make something for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to share dessert with their friends, and that's a win in my book. It's actually a good recipe for people who don't have a lot of baking experience. You can make something that doesn't require a huge amount of kitchen time and specialized tools other than a tart pan, and looks great even without well-practiced techniques.

    Here it is, with apologies for English units and formatting issues:

                           Almond Happiness Tart
    

    Recipe By : patience_limited
    Serving Size : 16

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method


                         Crust:
    

    3 cups slivered almonds -- toasted
    4 ounces brown sugar
    3 1/4 ounces coconut oil
    1 tablespoon water

                         Filling:
      
        1/2      cup  ginger spread (Ginger People) or ginger jam
    

    1 can Coco Lopez (8.5 oz.)
    3 1/4 ounces coconut oil
    1 ounce dark rum
    1/4 cup coconut flour
    14 ounces sweetened coconut flakes

                         Ganache:
    

    2 bars Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate (3.5 oz. bar)
    1 can Coco Lopez (8.5 oz.)
    3 ounces coconut oil

                         Powdered Sugar icing for decorating (optional):
    

    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon coconut oil -- melted
    hot water

    Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Crust:

    Use pan-release spray (e.g. unflavored, flour-free PAM - check for soy
    content) or coconut oil to grease a 12" removable-bottom tart pan.

    Toast slivered almonds on a cookie sheet for approx. 10 - 12 minutes to a
    light brown, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.

    Place hot almonds in the bowl of a food processor with brown sugar,
    coconut oil and water. [The residual heat of the almonds will melt the
    coconut oil.] Process until coarsely chopped, about the consistency of
    steel-cut oatmeal.

    Pack the almond mixture into the tart ring, creating a rim about 1/2"
    thick. This is most easily done with a flat-bottomed metal measuring cup
    to ensure an even thickness.

    Place the tart pan on a baking sheet - there will be some leakage of the
    oil from the crust while baking. Bake the crust at 350 F for 12 - 15
    minutes, until uniformly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool
    completely.

    Spread the bottom of the cooled crust with 1/2 cup ginger spread or jam.

    Filling:

    Combine Coco Lopez and coconut oil in a 4-quart microwave-safe plastic
    mixing bowl. Microwave at full power for 30 second intervals, stirring
    ingredients with a whisk in between each interval, until contents are
    melted and smoothly combined. Whisk in rum and coconut flour, then fold
    in coconut flakes with a spatula until the coconut is evenly coated.

    Pour filling into crust, smooth the filling flat with an icing spatula,
    then return the tart pan to the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until
    top of coconut filling just starts to brown, approx. 8 - 10 minutes
    (remove from oven if edges of crust start to darken excessively, or cover
    edges with foil). Cool completely to room temperature, then refrigerate
    for a minimum of one hour.

    Ganache: [If planning to decorate, prepare the decorating icing bag before
    the ganache; the icing should be applied before the ganache sets.]

    Break chocolate into squares and combine with other ingredients in a
    microwave-safe plastic bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir the
    mixture gently with a whisk, taking care not to incorporate air bubbles,
    until the mixture is smooth and no oil streaks are visible.

    Starting at the center of the cooled tart, pour the ganache out into a
    puddle. Tilting and turning the tart, allow the ganache to flow just to
    the inner edge of the crust.

    Decoration:

    Place powdered sugar in a small bowl, then add very hot water by
    teaspoonfuls and stir with a fork until icing is the consistency of
    toothpaste. Stir in coconut oil until mixture is smooth. Place icing in
    a plastic sandwich bag and squeeze it down to one corner (or make a
    parchment icing cornet); cut corner to leave a hole about the diameter of
    a toothpick.

    Set the ganache-covered tart on a cake turntable; begin a spiral of icing
    at the center of the tart, drawing the line and moving the tip of the
    decorating bag out towards the edge of the tart while slowly spinning the
    turntable. [If you don't have a cake turntable, you can draw concentric circles
    about 1" apart, starting around the center and continuing outward.]

    Using the tip of a sharp toothpick or skewer, draw a herringbone pattern
    with alternating up and down strokes from the edges of the tart to the
    center at evenly spaced intervals. [Note - I found that this didn't work
    very well with the water-based icing and coconut oil ganache. It may be
    easier to just draw radial lines with the icing for a spiderweb pattern,
    or if you can tolerate a little dairy, to use melted white chocolate
    instead.]

    Finish:

    Refrigerate finished tart overnight. Lift tart out of the ring on the pan
    bottom, and slide a warmed 10" spatula under the crust to remove the pan
    bottom. For best flavor and easiest cutting, allow to warm, covered with
    plastic wrap, to just below room temperature. Cut with a warm knife to
    serve. If refrigerated and well-covered, this tart will keep for up to
    one week without significant change in flavor.

    Description:
    The vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free version of the Almond Joy Tart
    Yield:
    (1) 12" tart
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 474 Calories; 40g Fat (72.6%
    calories from fat); 6g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg
    Cholesterol; 69mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1
    Fruit; 7 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

    NOTES :
    **Shredded, unsweetened coconut can be substituted for the almonds to serve those allergic to tree nuts. **
    I've tried to provide instructions suitable for both
    inexperienced and experienced bakers. Aside from
    decoration, each component is relatively easy to prepare,
    and the whole thing doesn't create too much kitchen mess
    if you set the tart pan on the baking sheet used to toast
    the almonds, and wipe and reuse the filling bowl and
    implements to make the ganache.

         For those interested in how I modified the original
         recipe:
    
         Butter contains about 15 - 18% water and another 3 - 4%
         milk solids, so I used coconut oil plus water in an
         equivalent ratio, e.g. for 4 ounces of butter, I used 3
         1/4 ounces coconut oil plus half an ounce of water for the
         crust.
    
         The original filling called for 6 oz. white chocolate,
         which is usually about 25 - 30% fats from cocoa butter and
         butterfat, 15% milk solids, and 50+% sugar.  The original
         recipe depended on this white chocolate content to set the
         filling in the refrigerator.  Instead, I used some coconut
         flour to give a roughly equal protein and solids content.
          With the additional baking step, the filling sets nicely.
         Also, I thought the original filling was a little too
         rich, sweet and uncomplicated - the ginger jam and rum
         replace the sugar equivalent of the white chocolate and
         the water equivalent of 4 oz. butter, but I didn't
         increase the coconut oil to make up for the missing fat
         content from the white chocolate.
    
         The original ganache used 1/2 c. heavy cream, 3 oz. corn
         syrup, 3 oz. butter, and 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate.
         Lindt 70% Dark Chocolate bars are readily available,
         excellent quality and list no dairy or soy ingredients.
         Coco Lopez is a heavily sweetened coconut milk with a high
         coconut cream content, so it seemed like a reasonable
         substitute for dairy cream and corn syrup.  In the coconut
         oil substitution, I chose not to add more water since I
         didn't know the exact water content of the Coco Lopez.
         All in all, this ganache turned out much like the
         original, but it does tend to break more easily, so the
         decoration didn't turn out as well as the original when I
         used a water-based icing instead of white chocolate.```
    
    1 vote
  12. Comment on What's a dish you've made that you're most proud of? in ~food

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    Everyone who's made Yottam Ottolenghi's hummus recipe says it's the best hummus they've ever had. Part of the secret to making smooth hummus is starting with dried chickpeas (garbanzos) and baking...

    Everyone who's made Yottam Ottolenghi's hummus recipe says it's the best hummus they've ever had. Part of the secret to making smooth hummus is starting with dried chickpeas (garbanzos) and baking soda. The soda alkali helps denature some of the tougher lignins in the bean that would otherwise leave it woody and make the pureé grainy.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on Reclaiming Indian food from the white gaze in ~food

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    The movie, Big Night does a good job of revealing how commercial concessions to taste and stereotypes cause divergence from authentic craft in cuisine, and the pain of living as members of an...

    The movie, Big Night does a good job of revealing how commercial concessions to taste and stereotypes cause divergence from authentic craft in cuisine, and the pain of living as members of an immigrant minority trying to become acculturated.

    There's a really striking scene of that interaction, to the tune, "Mambo Italiano", which is its own creole of cultures clashing and mixing.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Reclaiming Indian food from the white gaze in ~food

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    Thanks for relating that - it's hard to acknowledge when you may have done harm to people. Just a footnote - my best friend is Korean, and she loves to cook. But when we were at work together,...

    Thanks for relating that - it's hard to acknowledge when you may have done harm to people.

    Just a footnote - my best friend is Korean, and she loves to cook. But when we were at work together, she'd never reheat her food or eat her lunch indoors, regardless of weather, because people made awful comments about the smell. She'd bring me gifts of homemade kimchi (OMG yum) and caution me not to unwrap the multiple layers of plastic until I got home.

    H1B Indian contractors at that same office went through hell about food smells. They were already resented for lowering wage standards among the salaried employees they were slowly replacing. If they dared to leave a food container in the 'fridge or microwave, they'd return to find it in the trash, container and all. At least one probably got sick from dish soap added to their food (and thus cameras added to the dining area, and a little more employee resentment - lather, rinse, repeat).

    7 votes
  15. Comment on When proof is not enough: Throughout history, evidence of racism has failed to effect change in ~humanities

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    We're social critters, and changing perceptions is as much about whom you permit yourself to trust for salient evidence as what the evidence implies. I'll confess I didn't have my "oh, sh*t, this...

    We're social critters, and changing perceptions is as much about whom you permit yourself to trust for salient evidence as what the evidence implies.

    I'll confess I didn't have my "oh, sh*t, this is real" moment about race in addition to class, until Black middle-class friends related their personal experiences after Trayvon Martin's murder. Some part of me really wanted to cling to the conventional liberal framework of thinking, "We've got a Black President, now we just need to fix concentrated poverty". The real statistics hadn't changed, but my idea of the meaning and roots of those numbers did.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Beyond ‘white fragility’ in ~misc

  17. Comment on Vienna judge delivers "non-judgment" in GDPR Facebook case in ~tech

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    It doesn't matter if a contract is transparent when one party to it has no practical means to enforce its terms, and the service provided is so opaque that the customer has little visibility into...

    It doesn't matter if a contract is transparent when one party to it has no practical means to enforce its terms, and the service provided is so opaque that the customer has little visibility into whether those terms have been breached.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Tell me about your living space in ~life

    patience_limited
    (edited )
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    Spouse and I have been living in a three-bedroom apartment for the past year. No kids or pets; apart from us, the only life is an ornamental chili pepper plant and whatever fermentation project is...

    Spouse and I have been living in a three-bedroom apartment for the past year. No kids or pets; apart from us, the only life is an ornamental chili pepper plant and whatever fermentation project is currently underway in the kitchen. [PSA: Don't ferment garlic paste indoors.]

    Good: The building was literally completed just in time for us to move in, and the apartment was so pristine that it feels like we're ruining the place by existing in it. I know when every dent and scratch happened...

    We've each got an office for work-from-home. Kitchen/living/dining are open-plan, so it feels reasonably spacious. The modern construction meant plenty of closet and cabinet space to control clutter, and ADA-compliant bathroom sizes. There's a walkout balcony surrounded by trees. We were fortunate in the location - it's near enough to town that most amenities are within 15 minutes' drive.

    We were overjoyed to find a clean, well-appointed, affordable place given how scarce rental housing was in the marketplace. We'd been offered a dank, mold-infested, unimproved two-bedroom 1960's cottage for the same rental cost.

    Bad: The floors are cheap woodgrain laminate with no sound-damping whatsoever. Walls and doors are also thin. We're on a middle floor, so it's like living in a drum - everything happening in adjoining apartments is noticeable at all times. We can hear toilets flushing, teeth being brushed, pets' nails clicking on the floor, weird sex noises, children banging on things. You can judge pretty closely what footgear the neighbors wear, their entertainment tastes, and the health of their relationships.

    The shiny stainless steel kitchen appliances have the cheapest possible innards - the dishwasher doesn't get anything clean, the 'fridge compressor whines at a teeth-gritting pitch, the stove can just about boil water, the washer and dryer...don't. Even the luxe-appearing granite countertops weren't sealed properly, so we're anxiously wiping every drip in the hope that we don't sacrifice our security deposit to an ineradicable stain. The heating/cooling are uneven, the smoke detector is erratic, there's not enough hot water capacity for 10 minutes of low pressure showers, and we've already had to deal with a flood from bad upstairs plumbing.

    The paint and bedroom carpeting aren't great, either. Sponging off a mark on the wall left an even worse patch of rubbed paint, and there's already visible thinning of the carpet where the underlayment foam is breaking down in the high-traffic areas.

    Everything is in shades of greige and white, which turns out more depressing than restful when you're stuck inside for long periods. The windows of our office rooms have fine views of sodium-lit parking lots; it's nearly impossible to black out enough light throughout the apartment for good sleep. Despite the nasty orange glow at night, there isn't enough daylight from any window to grow houseplants without supplemental lighting. We're also under the flight path for the airport...

    Both our upstairs and downstairs neighbors are smokers, so it's rare that we can sit out on our balcony or leave windows open without inhaling whatever they're smoking.

    Other than unpacking books and a few decorative objects, we haven't really personalized the space. Our original plan was to rent until we could buy a house, which we actually accomplished last November. Unfortunately, renovation on that place got stalled with the COVID-19 lockdowns, so we've been in a not-great apartment for half a year longer than expected. Landscaping and gardening outside at the new place has been a major sanity saver. Fingers-crossed, we move in three weeks.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Bill requires employers to keep implanted microchips voluntary for workers in ~tech

    patience_limited
    Link Parent
    Yes, your speculation about the problems is accurate, from my experience. It's cool to know exactly where the nearest restocked crash cart or cardiologist is, and ensure that everything is...

    Yes, your speculation about the problems is accurate, from my experience.

    It's cool to know exactly where the nearest restocked crash cart or cardiologist is, and ensure that everything is efficiently utilized. But in the U.S. profit-driven health system, it's often a means of reducing slack to the point that there's no spare capacity for shocks - with COVID-19 shortages as a case in point.

    I've also seen the results of metricization and management by KPI's that reinforce labor/management dysfunction rather than correcting it. Even if employee tracking could improve safety, satisfaction, and efficiency, it's way too easy to create good numbers in charts and bad outcomes in reality.

    5 votes