post_below's recent activity

  1. Comment on How do I get better at expressing vulnerability? in ~talk

    post_below
    Link
    Lowering the volume of the "prove you're good so that the tribe will value you and not kick you out into the darkness where you will be consumed by sabre toothed tigers" voice is one of those...

    How do I shed this annoying habit of trying to be perfect even when it's really not necessary and really not helpful?

    Lowering the volume of the "prove you're good so that the tribe will value you and not kick you out into the darkness where you will be consumed by sabre toothed tigers" voice is one of those lifelong progressions.

    It's an ancient drive that we start building strategies around in childhood (read pre rational). Which means the patterns are deep and semi-immune to forebrain intervention.

    Since "being good" for others is based in the bottom levels of Maslow's hierarchy, sometimes it helps to start there: safety. Find ways to feel safe. Eventually your nervous system will get the message, which makes negotiating with your amygdala much easier :)

    4 votes
  2. Comment on What's something that hasn't aged well? in ~talk

    post_below
    Link
    Industrialization

    Industrialization

    3 votes
  3. Comment on How accurate are whois records? in ~tech

    post_below
    Link Parent
    I agree that it's a stupid thing to do, but GoDaddy (for one) definitely used to do it. As far as I know, no one with any authority to do something about it ever looked into it. Maybe no one is...

    I agree that it's a stupid thing to do, but GoDaddy (for one) definitely used to do it. As far as I know, no one with any authority to do something about it ever looked into it. Maybe no one is doing it these days, maybe they are.

    I always suggest that, to be be safe, people search for domain availability via a neutral whois service and then register the domain at a registrar that doesn't have a lot of frontrunning accusations floating around.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Posing as Amazon seller, consumer group investigates fake-review industry in ~tech

    post_below
    Link Parent
    That AWS is more profitable is true, and interesting. But there is no universe where Amazon walks away from the (mind blowing) investment they've made in their global fulfillment infrastructure....

    That AWS is more profitable is true, and interesting. But there is no universe where Amazon walks away from the (mind blowing) investment they've made in their global fulfillment infrastructure. As long as there's any profit at all they'll continue to devote resources to retail.

    Even breaking even, or making a small loss, would be justifiable if it gets them prime members and an audience for their other products. And of course right now they're making all kinds of profit in retail.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Posing as Amazon seller, consumer group investigates fake-review industry in ~tech

    post_below
    Link
    The thing that's remarkable to me is how much press this has gotten, over the course of years, with very little proactive response from Amazon. Not just about fake reviews but also...

    The thing that's remarkable to me is how much press this has gotten, over the course of years, with very little proactive response from Amazon.

    Not just about fake reviews but also faulty/dangerous/counterfeit products.

    A common take is that Amazon allows it because it makes them money but that would be such a stupid move on their part that it's really difficult to believe. When you're Amazon size you don't care about short term profits, you're trying to dominate the market long term, and for that (unless you have a true monopoly) you need to maintain your reputation.

    Which leaves the explanation that Amazon is just too big to respond efficiently to things like this. Injunctions against groups that sell fake reviews or sketchy products have almost no impact. They'll just recycle under new names in a matter of weeks, or other groups will take their place. Playing whack a mole with grey and black hat actors hasn't worked for anyone, ever. It's a token effort meant to sound good in meetings so no one has to spend the time and energy to actually solve the problem.

    Better automation and a horde of employees dedicated to manual review are the only real solutions (short of scrapping the review system and raising the barrier to entry for sellers). It's amazing to me this hasn't happened yet.

    But maybe that's good, maybe Amazon will continue to drop the ball on this long enough to damage their reputation to the point that there will be room for other players to move in.

    8 votes
  6. Comment on Browser ‘favicons’ can be used as undeletable ‘supercookies’ to track you online in ~tech

    post_below
    Link Parent
    There are all sorts of ways to identify a user across sessions with reasonable accuracy. So in that sense the hype isn't warranted. This is a creative way to do it though, they deserve credit for...

    There are all sorts of ways to identify a user across sessions with reasonable accuracy. So in that sense the hype isn't warranted.

    This is a creative way to do it though, they deserve credit for coming up with it, and publishing it so browser makers can fix it.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on A proposed scientific balloon flight in northern Sweden has attracted opposition from environmental groups over fears it could lead to the use of solar geoengineering in ~enviro

    post_below
    Link Parent
    Just to be clear, I never said anything about scientific hubris (though it's of course a thing). Any good scientist in a relevant field will be the first to say we don't know a hell of a lot. As...

    Just to be clear, I never said anything about scientific hubris (though it's of course a thing). Any good scientist in a relevant field will be the first to say we don't know a hell of a lot.

    As clarified by continuing to read my original post ;) I agree that greed and shortsightedness are the core problems.

    That said, in the coming years a lot of people are going to want to do more than study and learn. They're going to want to actually start geoengineering. That's a problem when the actions of one country (or private group) can impact the entire world, potentially irreversibly.

    At some point we'll have to come together and make decisions globally, hopefully before people start pressing buttons just to see what they do.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on A proposed scientific balloon flight in northern Sweden has attracted opposition from environmental groups over fears it could lead to the use of solar geoengineering in ~enviro

    post_below
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm with Raymond on this. Our childish belief that we understood our environment well enough that we could mold it to our will without consequence got us here. I'm reasonably certain more of that...

    I'm with Raymond on this. Our childish belief that we understood our environment well enough that we could mold it to our will without consequence got us here. I'm reasonably certain more of that thinking isn't a great idea.

    We don't understand the complexities of earth's systems, take as evidence our ever changing models of what exactly climate change is going to look like. We know a lot, more all the time, but when it comes to what exactly will happen to the larger systems if we tweak X, we have educated guesses at best. We should be real with ourselves, we can't even reliably predict the weather a few days out yet.

    I like geoengineering as a last ditch option if we arrive at a point where there aren't any other choices. Right now we know we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we should focus on that.

    It's a big problem, the future of humanity vs late stage capitalism, makes it easy to get distracted by shiny things that look comparatively easy.

    6 votes
  9. Comment on Harvard astrophysicist says 2017 interstellar object sighting was humanity’s first contact with an artifact of extraterrestrial intelligence in ~space

    post_below
    Link Parent
    Science began as an answer to the problem of anecdotal evidence. At it's core science recognizes that we are unreliable narrators. Here Loeb is not being in any way scientific, he doen't have...

    Science began as an answer to the problem of anecdotal evidence. At it's core science recognizes that we are unreliable narrators.

    Here Loeb is not being in any way scientific, he doen't have evidence, or a testable hypothesis. It's just conjecture. One that he has a clear emotional motivation to make.

    From a scientific standpoint it's remarkably irresponsible to say this thing was made by aliens based on what we know. That's why the rest of the scientific community isn't saying it.

    From a conversational standpoint it's great. What if it was alien? That would be cool.

    Side note, I love how he says a major problem in science is self promotion and ego and also: "Have you seen my new book? I'm doing 100's of interviews! OMG it's crazy! But it's not about me, it's about the message. I mean yes, it's my message. But it's so big and important!"

    19 votes
  10. Comment on Do you have an internal narrative or monologue, and if so what do you mean by that? in ~talk

    post_below
    Link
    Is it right or wrong to post something off topic in a thread that arose from an off topic discussion? Not related to monologues but to different ways of thinking, my mind was blown when I first...

    Is it right or wrong to post something off topic in a thread that arose from an off topic discussion?

    Not related to monologues but to different ways of thinking, my mind was blown when I first met someone who couldn't visualize and then discovered it's something that's been studied and isn't terribly uncommon:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphantasia

    The idea of essentially being unable to imagine is... hard to imagine. It makes you wonder just how different people's internal experiences really are. Much more than we imagine I think. Unless you're aphantasiac.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    post_below
    Link Parent
    Valid points, the suicide rate for men vs women (at least in the US) really is mind blowing. As you say, as a man when it's hard it seems that it's extra hard. Which we should recognize and talk...

    Valid points, the suicide rate for men vs women (at least in the US) really is mind blowing.

    As you say, as a man when it's hard it seems that it's extra hard. Which we should recognize and talk about. And I think most of the reasons why men fall through the cracks more than women are covered in this thread.

    The rest of the time it's still easy mode though. I don't mean that in an absolute way. Not crazy easier, just easier.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    post_below
    Link Parent
    Cheers to your queerest straight relationship!

    Cheers to your queerest straight relationship!

    4 votes
  13. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    post_below
    Link
    So many replies, I think it's all been covered. I'll just add one thing I've noticed: If you're going to be a man, don't be short. In conversations about gender, especially about the unreasonable...

    So many replies, I think it's all been covered.

    I'll just add one thing I've noticed: If you're going to be a man, don't be short. In conversations about gender, especially about the unreasonable expectations society has for female beauty, I've often asked women how they feel about short guys. Well I don't always ask, sometimes they just volunteer the information. One had it on a t-shirt.

    The answer is, invariably, no thank you. They're okay with men being short as a concept of course, but they can't imagine being sexually attracted to a short guy. Yes, they get the irony, they don't want to be pre-judged for their bodies so why is it fair for them to do it to men, and still, no short guys.

    These are largely open minded, accepting women who hold as an ideal that attractiveness is much more than just physical. Sometimes they'll talk about dating overweight guys, or guys that aren't conventionally handsome, just not short ones. He has to be taller than they are, hopefully much taller.

    Of course there are exceptions, no doubt lots of them, it's just uncanny how many women feel this way.

    Throw in that most men don't learn to deal with their emotions and you get small man's syndrome. And it's not a small problem, Napolean was a thing.

    I love this thread, it's a good conversation to have, particularly the points a few posters have made about the expectation for men to be strong and stable (and the gut reaction of disgust that seems to follow when they aren't). And about the expectation that men should express less of certain emotions (and therefore never learn to deal with them in a healthy way). I don't think we can bring those things up enough at this stage.

    But without dismissing any of that, I also want to say: being a man isn't hard. Being human is hard sometimes, but if you're going to do it, being a man is easy mode. Unless, it turns out, you're short and attracted to women.

    Which I think is BS. If I was a woman I'd totally date short guys.

    10 votes
  14. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    post_below
    Link Parent
    This is so true. We don't want men to be the aggressor anymore, except when we do. Social progress is always slow.

    This is so true. We don't want men to be the aggressor anymore, except when we do.

    Social progress is always slow.

    11 votes
  15. Comment on Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc. lawsuit: Can APIs be copyrighted? in ~comp

    post_below
    Link Parent
    To add to this, for non programmers, an API is essentially a way for applications to communicate. It's not the application itself. Sometimes an API can become pretty big, but it never contains any...

    To add to this, for non programmers, an API is essentially a way for applications to communicate. It's not the application itself.

    Sometimes an API can become pretty big, but it never contains any of your core functionality.

    If it were to become possible to copyright an API, and sue for damages, it could fundamentally and retroactively change software development in ways that would be bad for everyone.

    Oracle is trolling for cash here, they know it, and so does everyone else involved with any tech background. I think the only reason there's any conversation around it besides "wtf Oracle?" is because people want to see Google take a hit.

    In this case it could hurt the rest of the software world more than it hurts Google. The question is whether or not the court will see that.

    10 votes
  16. Comment on Forever chemicals are widespread in US drinking water in ~enviro

    post_below
    Link
    The takeaway from this (I hope) is that we have public health backwards. As long as there's no proven harm, much of the time regulators give companies the green light. This despite decades of...

    The takeaway from this (I hope) is that we have public health backwards. As long as there's no proven harm, much of the time regulators give companies the green light.

    This despite decades of evidence that under tested chemicals incorporated into products at scale usually turn out to be damaging to health, the environment or both. Again and again this happens, yet so far we haven't learned.

    Would it slow the pace of new innovations, and therefore profits, if we required solid pure reviewed evidence of no long term harm instead of just no hard evidence of harm before something could be used? Of course. Human health, biodiversity and a livable environment are worth more than capitalism.

    I'm stating the obvious here because I so often see smart people react strongly when people question the status quo of industrialized capitalism. Whether it's food additives or industrial processes or any of a host of things. The impression I get is that people think all this stuff is based on hard science and those that question it are anti-science conspiracy theorists.

    But the opposite is true. We aren't approaching these things with a scientific mindset at all. You don't roll out your compelling but insufficiently tested theory on the public simply because there's no evidence yet that you shouldn't. You test it rigorously, then you come up with other ways to test it, then if you get the results you want you invite other people to prove you wrong.

    Unless the new thing is something that existed in our environment, in comparable quantities, during the majority of our evolution, the default assumption should be that it's harmful until proven otherwise. That might sound extreme, but if we look at the evidence we have so far (usually gathered after the damage has already been done) it seems to me to be common sense.

    13 votes
  17. Comment on Are software engineers "engineers"? in ~comp

    post_below
    Link Parent
    The engineer vs not engineer debate in software makes me laugh every time it comes up. It seems to imply that the the concept of "engineer" is so rareified a thing that some sort of gatekeeping is...
    • Exemplary

    The engineer vs not engineer debate in software makes me laugh every time it comes up. It seems to imply that the the concept of "engineer" is so rareified a thing that some sort of gatekeeping is required before you qualify for so noble a title.

    Why? Because engineering requires a degree? Well, sometimes anyway. Because you have to be able to structure your thinking in particular ways? Because you could end up making something where the quality has potential consequences? That's true of so many fields.

    I always imagine the debate is largely the result of middle management types who are perpetually afraid of anything that feels outside the lines and obsessed with categorization. That and people who are overly impressed by their bachelors degree.

    It's so silly how much some of us care about titles here in the adolescence of humanity. The only thing that matters is can a person do the thing, or can they not do the thing. Call them whatever you want. Or better yet, call them whatever they want

    4 votes
  18. Comment on What Parler saw during the attack on the Capitol: Curated videos, arranged on a timeline in ~news

    post_below
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I agree, misinformation has become a huge problem and it has the potential to get much worse. It's not a new problem, but the scale the digital revolution has given it is new. Which means we need...

    I agree, misinformation has become a huge problem and it has the potential to get much worse. It's not a new problem, but the scale the digital revolution has given it is new. Which means we need new solutions.

    Don't get sucked into the first amendment conversation though. We don't need to throw out the first amendment. And the next time a sociopathic narcissist gets hold of the reins we'll be glad we didn't.

    Platforms doing moderation isn't a free speech issue, the first amendment has no rational place in that conversation. And hopefully much of the solution will be found there. The threat of legislation may turn out to be more effective than actual legislation.

    Some of the problem is cultural, that part is on us. Which is a big conversation that probably belongs in a different thread.

    The part of the solution that's legislative (if it comes to that) is also a nuanced conversation. One that's full of slippery slopes. Probably that's what you're referring to when you suggest trading free speech for sanity. But history tells us that if we do that the chances are high it will eventually be used as a weapon against the wrong people.

    Fear, anger and resignation almost never lead to laws that either protect or enhance freedom long term.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on Thoughts on the difficulties of content moderation, and implications for decentralised communities in ~tech

    post_below
    Link Parent
    I see what you mean. The scale definitely changes the social implications. Side note, I'm really hoping we don't end up with legislation that applies censorship laws to non government entities....

    I see what you mean. The scale definitely changes the social implications.

    Side note, I'm really hoping we don't end up with legislation that applies censorship laws to non government entities. Censorship isn't our problem, size and power is, hopefully that's what we try to fix.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on Thoughts on the difficulties of content moderation, and implications for decentralised communities in ~tech

    post_below
    Link Parent
    Doesn't the word censorship maintain the same meaning in either context?

    Doesn't the word censorship maintain the same meaning in either context?

    1 vote