post_below's recent activity

  1. Comment on Why QAnon is disappearing from online view in ~tech

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    I realize that 'teenagers' here is probably some sort of figure of speech... but it was adults who largely created and spread Qanon. I agree that deplatforming was the right response in this...

    I realize that 'teenagers' here is probably some sort of figure of speech... but it was adults who largely created and spread Qanon.

    I agree that deplatforming was the right response in this instance, I don't think it makes sense to use that as justification for all out censorship.

    I definitely don't think the free information (or free speech) party should be over.

    When it comes to information consumption, digestion and dissemination, we're all new at this global data network thing, and we all have growing up to do.

    When you catch yourself exaggerating beyond reason: "they almost overthrew the government", that's your sign that you're reacting from emotion, the same mechanism that drives things like Qanon. I know that could sound condescending, but I'm reasonably sure it's just true.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on When people around you are suddenly forced to confront race - Watching white people. The year’s dark comedy of manners. in ~life

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    I want it to be as simple as this. It should be as simple as this. As your racist coworker illustrated, though, it's not so simple. That dude wasn't an outlier. Maybe an extreme example, but part...

    I want it to be as simple as this. It should be as simple as this. As your racist coworker illustrated, though, it's not so simple. That dude wasn't an outlier. Maybe an extreme example, but part of a demographic that still has a lot of power.

    But that's not the only reason it's not simple.

    The black people as a species white people can't understand is one of the most backwards gambits in social justice. Similar to "all white people are inherently racist".

    I understand the truths behind those sentiments but come on people, think about how your messaging is going to land before you deliver it. These concepts are guaranteed to fail with the groups we most want to reach. They're going to push potential allies away.

    In a perfect world we'd just remind people to have empathy and that would, essentially, be it.

    In the world we currently occupy both sides are more concerned with eliciting emotion for purposes of distribution and profit. Both sides are drawing lines and creating outsiders as fast as they can.

    By sides I mean progressives and... regressives? And more specifically, writers and public personalities in both groups. All of which have something personal to gain from their participation. If it's not money, it's social position, or the rush of self righteousness.

    And so, very few of the people in media and online whose words we share and use as a way into conversations about race are truly trying to solve the problems in a practical way (not a reference to the OP piece).

    That's at least part of the answer to your question... It's a minefield because there are strong economic and ego motivations for it to be a minefield.

    Of course it's also a minefield because there are far too many legitimate racists in the US. The tension is real. I just wish we could remove the guilt from the conversation. It's an unreliable motivator at best, and often it has the opposite effect to what's intended.

    But that's all human. Humans are self serving and short sighted most of the time. And so well practiced at seeming otherwise. Given that, it's probably good enough that the conversation continues to happen in any form.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Long before divorce, Bill Gates had reputation for questionable behavior, including an affair with an employee and multiple meetings with Jeffrey Epstein in ~news

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    Are we really talking about a friend then? Or more of an acquaintance? When something as life altering as being charged with a sex crime happens, that's when you need friends the most. I have no...

    willingly hanging out a dozen times with a man who’s been charged with child prostitution... well if my friend did that I’d want nothing to do with them

    Are we really talking about a friend then? Or more of an acquaintance? When something as life altering as being charged with a sex crime happens, that's when you need friends the most.

    I have no idea what Gates knew or didn't know back when he spent time with Epstein, or if they could even be called friends. Maybe it's evidence that Gates is scum, maybe not, I don't have anything approaching enough information to judge.

    So, straying from what I imagine was the spirit of your comment, I think the question of what we'd do in a comparable (though necessarily less egregious) situation is interesting. What Epstein did was so completely evil that there's not much grey area available for conversation.

    Putting Epstein aside... If a friend was charged with something awful, personally I'd consider being there in some way for them. It wouldn't mean I approved of what they were alleged to have done, it would mean that a human being I care about was alone and afraid. I would (likely) be on a very short list of people who might show up.

    If they were convicted, and I believed they did it, that would be different. Even then, though, maybe I'd write, or visit. Being there for a broken person doesn't have to mean you think what they did was acceptable.

    I'd have to consider what the potential guilt by association might do to my own life, and the lives of people close to me. I'd be potentially risking cancellation. Which feels wrong.

    11 votes
  4. Comment on On the ground info on India COVID situation in ~health.coronavirus

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    The revelation about the new strain, and how it's behaving, if true, is exactly the thing experts have been concerned about.

    The revelation about the new strain, and how it's behaving, if true, is exactly the thing experts have been concerned about.

    6 votes
  5. On the ground info on India COVID situation

    @Ak: India's major cities are in the middle of harrowing, grim and deathly collapse of its healthcare system. I have been trying (like many others) to help people find things that they need. Which has helped me see the ground situationThis is what's happening :

    14 votes
  6. Comment on Apple sued for terminating account with $25,000 worth of apps and videos in ~tech

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    I wish these lawsuits favorable winds, it's overdue to legally define what it means to buy a digital product. Apple's attempt to dismiss based on the concept that no reasonable consumer would...

    I wish these lawsuits favorable winds, it's overdue to legally define what it means to buy a digital product.

    Apple's attempt to dismiss based on the concept that no reasonable consumer would think they were actually buying the thing when they tap buy is next level stupid. Happily it failed.

    17 votes
  7. Comment on Linux bans the University of Minnesota for sending intentionally buggy patches in the name of research in ~comp

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    New apology post from the involved researchers.

    New apology post from the involved researchers.

    11 votes
  8. Comment on Linux bans the University of Minnesota for sending intentionally buggy patches in the name of research in ~comp

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    I just read some more about the whole situation. The original research, which the above statement refers to, still looks pretty innocuous to me. But the later patches submitted by another student...

    I just read some more about the whole situation. The original research, which the above statement refers to, still looks pretty innocuous to me.

    But the later patches submitted by another student under the professor (or part of the group, it wasn't entirely clear) definitely are not. His goal seemed to be to get patches into the actual tree, and it seems someone, somewhere along the way, did succeed in doing that.

    Which effectively taints the entire project and justifies all of the backlash. It also illustrates the ethical problem. It's one thing for a professor and one graduate student to do a very limited experiment (approved by their IRB), another to have an unknown number of students basically submitting whatever they want. Better to avoid undisclosed experiments of any kind.

    So, I get the outrage now.

    5 votes
  9. Comment on Linux bans the University of Minnesota for sending intentionally buggy patches in the name of research in ~comp

    post_below
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    Ok but putting aside ideological considerations... We're not talking about patches that had any chance of getting into the kernal (at least according to the researchers), if they were okayed they...

    Ok but putting aside ideological considerations... We're not talking about patches that had any chance of getting into the kernal (at least according to the researchers), if they were okayed they apparently immediately said some version of "no nevermind there's a bug in it, look here...".

    How is that going to get into the kernal tree?

    Three patches, each only a handful of lines, in an email thread... From a non-emotional perspective, what is the actual harm?

    And even from an emotional perspective, I write code and I'd be tickled rather than upset, if this happened with a codebase I was involved in. Again, it was never going to get into the actual code! Or so it appears.

    For clarification, there's also the more recent researcher, who may or may not have been doing it intentionally. I'm not asking about that part of it.

    Edit: clarification

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Linux bans the University of Minnesota for sending intentionally buggy patches in the name of research in ~comp

    post_below
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    The posts and articles I've skimmed about this left me with a very different impression of what happened than the researchers response gives. If they're telling the truth, and it seems unlikely...

    The posts and articles I've skimmed about this left me with a very different impression of what happened than the researchers response gives.

    If they're telling the truth, and it seems unlikely they would lie given the investigation and the ease with which it will be able to verify or refute their claims, I'm not sure I see any serious ethical issue with what they did. Three tiny (they mentioned five lines) patches distributed via email for feedback that they immediately came clean about if they were accepted to ensure there was no chance they could make it into the codebase.

    There's no malice there, or danger, or even a significant waste of anyone's time. Seems like everyone is overreacting. Am I missing something?

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Derek Chauvin is found guilty of murdering George Floyd in ~news

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    Even if the officer was justified in using his gun, and I don't think he was, there's no justification for firing 4 times.

    Even if the officer was justified in using his gun, and I don't think he was, there's no justification for firing 4 times.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on disroot (a provider of open source services such as mail) has received funding to implement mailbox encryption in ~comp

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    I was intrigued until I discovered they had scheduled biweekly downtime for maintenance. If you can't maintain a system hosting mission critical apps without regular downtime, I worry about your...

    I was intrigued until I discovered they had scheduled biweekly downtime for maintenance.

    If you can't maintain a system hosting mission critical apps without regular downtime, I worry about your design decisions.

    Primary email, contacts, calender et al. are a long term commitment after all.

    I love the core concept though.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Florida’s new transgender sports ban permits schools to require "routine sports physical examination" of the students' genitals, genetic makeup, and testosterone levels in ~lgbt

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    Replying as though this is a real question even though it's probably rhetorical... Because you believe transgender kids are confused or delusional and shouldn't exist in the first place. If it's...

    Replying as though this is a real question even though it's probably rhetorical...

    Because you believe transgender kids are confused or delusional and shouldn't exist in the first place. If it's their genitals that are being inspected it's ok because they are other.

    Which is awful. And also, we all know people who have reacted irrationally to change they don't understand. They shouldn't be allowed to make laws, ideally, but they aren't impossible to empathize with.

    And neither is it impossible for them to empathize. Whatever group they happen to be against, they're either secretly a part of, or it just hasn't been humanized for them yet.

    Except for whatever percentage of them are psychopaths, with is definitely nonzero.

    10 votes
  14. Comment on The harmful ableist language you unknowingly use in ~life

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    Isn't it more reasonable to assume that whatever value judgements society makes about deaf people, and deaf people about themselves, are because of perspectives about deafness itself rather than...

    this very article points out precisely how falling on deaf ears does have an intrinsic value statement - one that is projected by society and internalized by people who live within it and one which is most likely to both affect and be consciously noticeable among people who are othered by it.

    Isn't it more reasonable to assume that whatever value judgements society makes about deaf people, and deaf people about themselves, are because of perspectives about deafness itself rather than arising from vocabulary?

    You might be able to nudge the needle through vocabulary awareness, but you'll never meanfully move it that way.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on School almost 'eliminates bullying' with break-time ban on games in ~life

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    There's no way it solves bullying. Makes it invisible during the new not-recess maybe. Not directed at the poster I'm replying to: In what universe could anyone imagine this would solve bullying?...

    It's great that this solves bullying

    There's no way it solves bullying. Makes it invisible during the new not-recess maybe.

    Not directed at the poster I'm replying to: In what universe could anyone imagine this would solve bullying?

    We're talking about a complex emotional reality with roots in evolved drives, insecurity, parenting and so on. You're gonna change that by reading sonnets instead of playing?

    Why do we so persistently think we can fix aspects of human nature by papering over them?

    13 votes
  16. Comment on ‘Believe Women’ was a slogan. ‘Believe All Women’ is a straw man in ~life

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    It's not really black or white. Ignoring versus deplatforming. Who's going to deplatform mainstream media in any case? Ignoring them isn't entirely realistic either. There's a sort of network...

    It's not really black or white. Ignoring versus deplatforming. Who's going to deplatform mainstream media in any case?

    Ignoring them isn't entirely realistic either. There's a sort of network effect there. I meant it more as a device to illustrate that our perspective on media consumption will have to shift, hopefully already is.

    The same where our perspective on social change is concerned. All the rules are a little different than they used to be, and evolving.

    I agree, btw, that deplatforming not only works in some cases, but is absolutely necessary. I don't love the free speech implications, and it's about as slippery a slope as you can imagine, but we have the Trump and Qanon realities to remind us that mass anti-intellectualism is a real possibility.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on ‘Believe Women’ was a slogan. ‘Believe All Women’ is a straw man in ~life

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    The reason, of course, is that media catering to all sides identifies emotional topics and exploits them for engagement (cash). So there's a strong incentive to exaggerate and lose nuance. We do...

    The reason, of course, is that media catering to all sides identifies emotional topics and exploits them for engagement (cash). So there's a strong incentive to exaggerate and lose nuance.

    We do need better messaging, or really better self awareness and empathy, but maybe the best thing we can do is ignore the parts of the media that are purely in it for the clicks. Or at least talk about them like the bought and paid for corporate mouthpieces that they are. WaPo included. Let's not pretend Bezos' primary motivation was investment. At his power level influence over the media is table stakes.

    I mentioned sides, but the implication these days is that means progressives versus conservatives. That's not really true though. It's capitalism (in it's current state) versus human wellbeing. We need to find ways to make that the conversation.

    10 votes
  18. Comment on ‘Believe Women’ was a slogan. ‘Believe All Women’ is a straw man in ~life

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    It's been sad to see the paper that broke watergate lose it's integrity and become another corporate outlet.

    It's been sad to see the paper that broke watergate lose it's integrity and become another corporate outlet.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on ‘Believe Women’ was a slogan. ‘Believe All Women’ is a straw man in ~life

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    It's a standard playbook, use exaggeration to make a strawman from part of the opposition's view and then rally around it so people hear it from multiple sources over a short period of time......

    It's a standard playbook, use exaggeration to make a strawman from part of the opposition's view and then rally around it so people hear it from multiple sources over a short period of time... Instant thing. Bonus points if you can appeal to emotion and bypass the forebrain entirely.

    It's good to see it pointed out, even if it's WaPo.

    12 votes
  20. Comment on The climate crisis is worse than you can imagine. Here’s what happens if you try. in ~enviro

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    Yeah the focus on individuals is all wrong. Over 70% of CO2 emissions come from burning fossil fuels. Individuals can't change that. If everyone who could afford it went out and bought an electric...

    Yeah the focus on individuals is all wrong. Over 70% of CO2 emissions come from burning fossil fuels. Individuals can't change that.

    If everyone who could afford it went out and bought an electric car it would not fix climate change. The electricity that powers those cars still comes from fossil fuels. It would be better, but not better enough.

    If everyone stopped eating meat it would not fix climate change, only about 10% of emissions come from agriculture, and only a part of that comes from meat production.

    If everyone installed solar panels it would not fix climate change, a large part (in a lot of areas most) of their energy would still come from the fossil fuel powered grid. And it would of course have no impact on energy used outside of homes.

    If everyone bought local it would not fix climate change, too many things can't be produced locally, or can but still have a long range shipping requirement for some aspect of production.

    The changes have to be systemic, which leaves it up to governments. Not that individuals shouldn't do what they can, we need that too. I'm just annoyed by the narrative that implies the problem can be solved that way. I suspect it's a narrative that PR firms have been paid to promote for some time now, similar to the plastics industry funded recycling scam.

    The focus should be supporting the right lawmakers so that we can change climate policy, energy production and regulate the industries which rely on and promote fossil fuels.

    13 votes