post_below's recent activity

  1. Comment on Lithium removal with household water purification devices in ~science

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    In fairness to nutjobs... though the conspiracy theories about water fluoridation are far fetched, being concerned about consuming most elements in higher quantities than humans did historically...

    In fairness to nutjobs... though the conspiracy theories about water fluoridation are far fetched, being concerned about consuming most elements in higher quantities than humans did historically is completely reasonable.

    In the case of fluoride, there are established health risks, the only debate is about how much is too much. As a result the PPM guidelines have been revisited and lowered.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Patagonia founder gives away the company to fight climate change in ~enviro

  3. Comment on The economist who knows the miracle is over in ~books

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    I just don't buy that human life was largely miserable because they didn't have all the amenities and leisure time we do. People still dreamed and loved and wondered. I thought the Franklin quote...

    I just don't buy that human life was largely miserable because they didn't have all the amenities and leisure time we do. People still dreamed and loved and wondered.

    I thought the Franklin quote about Native Americans was apt because it speaks of a way of life people found appealing despite lacking most of the things we think we need.

    Meanwhile in modern times, suicide rates keep rising.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on The economist who knows the miracle is over in ~books

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    I agree. Sidestepping 'quality of life' since it comes with a lot of modern associations, and instead thinking about things like satisfaction, community, love, meaning, accomplishment... of course...

    I agree. Sidestepping 'quality of life' since it comes with a lot of modern associations, and instead thinking about things like satisfaction, community, love, meaning, accomplishment... of course a lot of people, at any age of human history, achieved those things (or whatever else they wanted).

    During most of human history, it really was a nightmare by modern western standards. But that's not a fair way to judge those lives, they had a very different set of expectations than we do, and a different set of skills to go with them

    For example, if you expect 50% (or whatever much larger than now percent) of your children to die young, if you grew up witnessing that reality, it hits a lot different than it would for a modern couple.

    I think lots of people, during periods that would break many modern humans, lived rich lives they were deeply grateful for.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on An AI-generated artwork won first place at a state fair fine arts competition, and artists are pissed in ~arts

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    There's a photoshop plugin for Stable Diffusion in beta. And of course there were already impressive AI upscaling, masking and denoising apps out there. You're absolutely right, the line between...

    will also start to see it being incorporated into more and more digital art programs

    There's a photoshop plugin for Stable Diffusion in beta. And of course there were already impressive AI upscaling, masking and denoising apps out there.

    You're absolutely right, the line between human and AI where digital art is concerned is going to get blurry to the point of nonexistent.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on JK Rowling's new book, about a transphobe who faces wrath online, raises eyebrows in ~books

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    To stray a little off topic... I'm not sure that an endless supply of money equates to an easy life. Ditto for fame. Most of the things that empirically (based on what research there is) matter...

    To stray a little off topic... I'm not sure that an endless supply of money equates to an easy life. Ditto for fame.

    Most of the things that empirically (based on what research there is) matter for fulfillment and peace of mind are independent of money and celebrity. Provided, of course, enough money that there is no stress around basic needs and taking care of your family. Money is understandably everything for many below that line.

    Using Rowling as an example, wealth and fame have clearly not conferred the self awareness to realize that, whatever she thinks about trans people, it's not a hill that she can do anyone any good by dying on. Instead she seems to be causing herself all sorts of misery.

    Money can't save people from themselves :)

    6 votes
  7. Comment on An AI-generated artwork won first place at a state fair fine arts competition, and artists are pissed in ~arts

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    In my limited experience DALL·E is the best of the bunch but Stable Diffusion (dreamstudio being the official web app for SD) seems to be catching up. Their release of img2img was big, and the...

    In my limited experience DALL·E is the best of the bunch but Stable Diffusion (dreamstudio being the official web app for SD) seems to be catching up. Their release of img2img was big, and the open source community will keep doing amazing things with SD.

    There are already SD projects out that can run it locally on a PC with only 6 gigs of VRAM!

    It's times like this when the power of open source reminds me of the early internet, when all the cool toys were wide open to anyone with the time to spare.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on An AI-generated artwork won first place at a state fair fine arts competition, and artists are pissed in ~arts

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    I'm not sure that's fair. He labeled his submission "via Midjourney". I read it as an experiment. He might be a dick, but I don't think we have enough information to tell. I think maybe the fuck...

    And fuck him for doing this too.

    I'm not sure that's fair. He labeled his submission "via Midjourney". I read it as an experiment. He might be a dick, but I don't think we have enough information to tell.

    I think maybe the fuck you is better aimed at the technology itself, because the day it was released this kind of thing (and so much more) became inevitable.

    I relate to your sentiment, I've created time consuming art, and I have alot of respect for professional artists and the magic they make.

    But also, there's no putting this back in the box, so we're all going to have to make peace with the implications.

    The power of machine learning powered AI is going to grow exponentially for a while.

    13 votes
  9. Comment on An AI-generated artwork won first place at a state fair fine arts competition, and artists are pissed in ~arts

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    Midjourney reportedly incorporated learning code from the Stable Diffusion source, which improved it's quality significantly, that's why I mentioned it. Maybe this guy's submission was created...

    Midjourney reportedly incorporated learning code from the Stable Diffusion source, which improved it's quality significantly, that's why I mentioned it.

    Maybe this guy's submission was created before the change, but either way the speed that AI image generation is changing the landscape is mind blowing.

    Edit: Just googled, Midjourney went into open beta on July 12, 2022.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on An AI-generated artwork won first place at a state fair fine arts competition, and artists are pissed in ~arts

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    It was only a matter of time. It's remarkable how fast this is all moving, Stable Diffusion was released about a week ago.

    It was only a matter of time. It's remarkable how fast this is all moving, Stable Diffusion was released about a week ago.

    7 votes
  11. Comment on The new Income-Driven Repayment system could cause some big problems in ~finance

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    Definitely. We keep subsidizing private industries that are part of the problem instead of following the example of (most of) the rest of the west in providing these services as a basic right....

    However, this is the same basic problem as healthcare.

    Definitely. We keep subsidizing private industries that are part of the problem instead of following the example of (most of) the rest of the west in providing these services as a basic right.

    Healthcare is a great example of how that strategy costs society dramatically more than the alternative. The numbers are impossible to argue with.

    It's more nuanced where education is concerned but we can see universally accessible higher education working in all sorts of places. I believe that, on balance, it gives more to society than it costs.

    The only semi-rational defense I've heard of not trying to go all the way with socializing these services is that the far right will try to convince everyone that any amount of socialism is bad, because communism, and maybe that will work and then progressives will lose...

    But they already shout socialism at almost everything anyway. Let them. We've put off trying to make a rational modern society under the rationalization that it's hard politically for too long.

    How do we even know these ideas can't win? We shoot down anyone who runs on them before there's a vote.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Porn use and men's and women's sexual performance: Evidence from a large longitudinal sample in ~health

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    If we're going to explore semantics, I said "around 25" as a way if expressing the fuzziness you're after. Well yes and no, as we develop we get better at interceding in emotional reactions with...

    I don't disagree, but I want to add nuance

    If we're going to explore semantics, I said "around 25" as a way if expressing the fuzziness you're after.

    self-image and sexuality is rarely a rational thought process.

    Well yes and no, as we develop we get better at interceding in emotional reactions with forebrain rationality.

    For that reason I think the results would be very different in an older sample group. And, as you say, the difference would be compounded by life experience.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Porn use and men's and women's sexual performance: Evidence from a large longitudinal sample in ~health

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    Full brain development happens at around 25. I wonder how much different the results would be in a study of adults (physically rather than legally). Personally I wouldn't extrapolate anything...

    Average age was 21

    Full brain development happens at around 25. I wonder how much different the results would be in a study of adults (physically rather than legally).

    Personally I wouldn't extrapolate anything concrete from my sexuality at 21. I had no idea what was happening. Thought I did at the time though!

    4 votes
  14. Comment on ‘Disturbing’: Experts troubled by Canada’s euthanasia laws in ~health

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    There's a lot of interesting discussion in this thread about the pros and cons of assisted suicide. I'd add what I think is the most important point: We know from experience that making things...

    There's a lot of interesting discussion in this thread about the pros and cons of assisted suicide.

    I'd add what I think is the most important point: We know from experience that making things illegal doesn't stop them from happening, and in many cases makes the problems dramatically worse (prohibition, the wars on drugs, criminalized prostitution, et al.)

    So it seems to me that allowing people to get help leaving this world in a safe and controlled environment where they have access to support and counseling which may cause them to reconsider, is absolutely always going to be better than leaving them to solve the problem themselves with a bridge, or worse, an assault rifle.

    The more stigma and difficulty we stack on top of assisted suicide, the more likely people will be to go another way.

    Using the, no doubt oversimplified, example of hearing loss... I don't personally think that's a good reason to want to die. But I don't have a right to project my value system onto anyone else. They have the right to decide.

    Having an exit path administered by professionals, free from ideology and unecessary barriers to access, is better for both individuals and society at large. Our personal feelings about death shouldn't be a part of the equation.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on Testing end-to-end encrypted backups and more on Messenger in ~tech

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    Are you talking about the Nebraska case? I haven't heard about this happening in Texas, and a quick Google didn't turn up anything. In the Nebraska case, Facebook was complying with a valid court...

    Are you talking about the Nebraska case? I haven't heard about this happening in Texas, and a quick Google didn't turn up anything.

    In the Nebraska case, Facebook was complying with a valid court order where they didn't have reasonable grounds to contest it.

    Additionally, the charges did not include abortion when FB received the order, instead they involved illegal disposal of a body. The abortion charge was added later.

    Note that abortion is legal in Nebraska. Nebraska's existing law (passed in 2010, nothing to do with recent supreme court craziness) bans abortions after 20 to 22 weeks (reports vary) which is less than some places, but not insanely so. Certainly nothing like Texas' new 6 week cutoff.

    https://www.npr.org/2022/08/10/1116716749/a-nebraska-woman-is-charged-with-helping-her-daughter-have-an-abortion

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What's your unpopular food opinion or idiosyncrasy? in ~food

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    I found a brand of unsweetened ketchup for the first time earlier this year, it's amazing. There is no need for sugar in ketchup.

    I found a brand of unsweetened ketchup for the first time earlier this year, it's amazing. There is no need for sugar in ketchup.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Will Smith: It’s been a minute… in ~movies

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    It's strange to me that we use celebrities as a vehicle for morality exploration. This apology has headlined in nearly every publication. From my perspective it's one of the least important things...

    It's strange to me that we use celebrities as a vehicle for morality exploration. This apology has headlined in nearly every publication. From my perspective it's one of the least important things that's happened in the world today (I watched it too though).

    He's a talented performer who many of us have bonded with by staring at close ups of his face while he has convincing emotions for hours at a time. We're wired to respond to that.

    I wish we could recognize that emotional hack for what it is and realize that anything we feel as a result is a stage trick. Will Smith isn't important, he's just a random guy who did a dumb thing while a lot of people were watching.

    The fact that his apology is headline news is mostly harmless I suppose, but I believe celebrity worship (and everything that goes along with it) is damaging to the overall wellbeing of humanity. It sells a collection of unfulfilling values that people, from a young age, absorb without necessarily realizing it's happening.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Leaked: US power companies secretly spending millions to protect profits and fight clean energy in ~enviro

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    I've Been Targeted With Probably the Most Vicious Corporate Counterattack in American History An unrelated example of the power wielded by western corporations. In this case, in an attempt to make...

    I've Been Targeted With Probably the Most Vicious Corporate Counterattack in American History

    An unrelated example of the power wielded by western corporations. In this case, in an attempt to make sure that indigenous people in the Amazon don't continue to get help from western lawyers.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on Leaked: US power companies secretly spending millions to protect profits and fight clean energy in ~enviro

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    ProPublica is another great nonprofit organization that does investigative journalism on all sorts of topics.

    ProPublica is another great nonprofit organization that does investigative journalism on all sorts of topics.

    1 vote