precise's recent activity

  1. Comment on Anonymous leaks gigabytes of data from alt-right web host Epik in ~tech

    precise
    Link Parent
    Yes, I'm combing through it. It's huge, most of the juicy stuff is in .sql dumps so I've got a hefty vps importing the stuff now. The news reporting is pretty accurate, it's a bit if a pia to sift...

    Yes, I'm combing through it. It's huge, most of the juicy stuff is in .sql dumps so I've got a hefty vps importing the stuff now. The news reporting is pretty accurate, it's a bit if a pia to sift through because of the size. DDOSecrets has info on the file if you want to peak yourself.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    precise
    Link Parent
    Why was this tagged as exemplary? No offense dubteedub...

    Why was this tagged as exemplary? No offense dubteedub...

    6 votes
  3. Comment on The current affairs at Current Affairs is that everyone has been fired in ~news

    precise
    Link Parent
    As I continue to journey through life, I too have witnessed the brutal self-interest that seems to come naturally to many. I have to question the origins of this human characteristic, because,...

    As I continue to journey through life, I too have witnessed the brutal self-interest that seems to come naturally to many. I have to question the origins of this human characteristic, because, frankly, I don't think it's in our nature to be selfish. As this topical article from The Conversation highlights, the foundations of this so called innate trait are constructed with the concepts of evolution psychology and falsities such as our supposed "kill our be killed" prehistoric origins. I think there is merit to the creation of power imbalances in social systems, but I don't think that this is due to human nature. I think there is a possibility that this proclivity is connected to the systems that we occupy, that it is environmental rather than evolutionary.

    The above article heavily draws on historical and prehistorical evidence to make their case. If we were to venture into the modern era I'd posit that our current societal structures directly contribute to an environment that perpetuates the need for self-preservation over all. This leans into the nature vs. nurture debate (which will probably bear little fruit at this junction), but it's very easy to mistake an innate characteristic for an acquired one.

    If we can apply this new understanding to our societal structures, and abandon current systems that encourage selfishness (read: systems that promote inequity of any form), we stand a chance to break the pattern of constant power struggles which have plagued recent human history.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on Thoughts on Dean Spade's essay "Solidarity Not Charity - Mutual Aid for Mobilization and Survival" in ~misc

    precise
    Link Parent
    A very similar project is Freecycle. Their core focus has been to keep products from going to landfills, rather than mutual aid, but the premise still stands. I haven't used the program in quite...

    A very similar project is Freecycle. Their core focus has been to keep products from going to landfills, rather than mutual aid, but the premise still stands. I haven't used the program in quite some time, and it seems to have slowed down, but it's still there!

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Thoughts on Dean Spade's essay "Solidarity Not Charity - Mutual Aid for Mobilization and Survival" in ~misc

    precise
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    Dean Spade is a lawyer, writer and trans activist "who has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He works as an Associate...

    Dean Spade is a lawyer, writer and trans activist "who has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He works as an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law." In his essay "Solidarity Not Charity", Spade reflects on their work as an activist and makes the case for utilizing the organizational theory of mutual aid to strengthen progressive movements and build community.

    The author analyzes the requisite characteristics of the systems on which society is built, and highlights the facade of reformism that he posits demobilizes popular leftist movements:

    Systems of domination produce routes for channeling dissatisfaction that are nonthreatening to those systems. We are encouraged to bring our complaints in ways that are the least disruptive and the most beneficial to existing conditions.

    Resistant intellectual traditions have consistently raised the concern that reforms emerge in the face of disruptive movements demanding justice but for the most part are designed to demobilize by asserting that the problem has been taken care of, meanwhile making as little material change as possible.

    Spade offer's several examples such as:

    1. half-baked immigration reform that picks and choose recipients based on arbitrary merit,
    2. tokenization of members of marginalized groups brought into the employ of continually discriminatory organizations, and
    3. social safety-net reform that addresses procedural gaps, without considering the root causes of disproportionate inequality in society.

    In my experience as an activist and Leftist, there is near constant battle between liberals and Leftist. One of the main points of contention is the concept of reformism verses "revolution." I tend to concur with the author that systems are inherently resistant to change, that working within the system is often a lost cause. On the other hand, I have to admit the "black and white" stance that progressive movements tend to project can be detrimental to progress as well. In relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, it has lead directly to not only confusion within the movement, but misunderstanding from onlookers. The ambiguity of the movement's name is most blatant; to an outsider the natural counterpart to such a statement is that other lives don't matter. This is an absurdity, but the misinformed (a large segment of the population) are not compelled to engage with a movement that they perceive to be discriminatory in itself. I find it somewhat ironic that a progressive movement which correctly relies upon the concept of intent verses perception has struggled to identify issues of perception in relation to their messaging.

    He then opines the benefits of mutual aid; by abandoning the power structures that dominate and ail society we may begin to rebuild from the bottom up a community with an embedded social characteristic of equity, absent of power structures. Spade defines mutual aid as:

    Mutual aid is a form of political participation in which people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions, not just through symbolic acts or putting pressure on their representatives in government but by actually building new social relations that are more survivable.

    The concept of caring for one another, rather than caring for others is paramount. Not only is it a mechanic for growth of a mutual aid movement, but as we'll see later it is the concept of "solidarity not charity" that defines mutual aid from the charity structure and it's implicit flaws.

    Being able to get help with a crisis is often a condition of being able to politically participate. It is hard to be part of organizing when you are struggling with a barrier to survival. Getting support through a mutual aid project that has a political analysis of the conditions that produced your crisis also helps break stigma and isolation. In capitalism, social problems resulting from maldistribution and extraction are seen as individual moral failings of targeted people. Getting support in a context that sees the systems, not the people suffering in them, as the problem can help combat the isolation and stigma. People at the front lines have the most awareness of how these systems harm and are essential strategists because of their expertise. Directly impacted people and people who care about them often join movements because they want to get and give help. Mutual aid exposes the failures of the current system and shows an alternative. It builds faith in people power and fights the demobilizing impacts of individualism and hopelessness-induced apathy.

    Furthermore, Spade details the difficulties of organizing mutual aid. In order to create a movement independent of systems which have intrinsic power structures, the ingrained concept of ranked leadership is a difficult one to challenge. The concept of consensus based decision making is one that can often lead to stalemate and difficulties in organizing, but it is this process that underpins mutual aid's ability to lift up marginalized communities while maintaining no such power imbalances. It balances the line of lifting up the oppressed without placing the disadvantaged on a symbolic pedestal to further irrelevant or misguided political agendas. In the essay's namesake, the concept of charity also preoccupies the ideals of many members of neoliberal society.

    Mutual aid also faces the challenge of neoliberal co-optation. Neoliberalism combines attacks on public infrastructure and public services, endorsing privatization and volunteerism. As public services are cut, neoliberals push for social safety nets to be replaced by family and church, assuming that those who fail to belong to such structures deserve abandonment. Philanthropy and privatization are expected to replace public welfare, and public-private partnerships are celebrated as part of a fiction that everything should be “run like a business.” The cultural narrative about social justice entrepreneurship suggests that people who want change should not fight for justice but should invent new ways of managing poor people and social problems. This raises the question, How do mutual aid projects remain threatening and oppositional to the status quo and cultivate resistance, rather than becoming complementary to abandonment and privatization?

    The concept of applying mutual aid as a broad tactic to progressive movements is not new, but it is a powerful tool to empower communities in a productive fashion. Mutual aid goes further than just dismantling oppressive systems, but it directs support to all and uses conversations started therein to build new systems that replace the old. I believe Leftists in particular can benefit from such actions, and any movement addressing oppression can as well.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Ventoy: Multi-ISO bootable USBs in ~comp

    precise
    Link Parent
    Huh, still not on my end. On the downloads page in the archive snapshot the author states the server is under-provisioned so it's probably in and out.

    Huh, still not on my end. On the downloads page in the archive snapshot the author states the server is under-provisioned so it's probably in and out.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on Ventoy: Multi-ISO bootable USBs in ~comp

    precise
    Link Parent
    I actually found this page from a DDG search, so for any internet wanderers looking, they have a Github. Website is still down 11 months later. :P https://github.com/ventoy/Ventoy/releases

    I actually found this page from a DDG search, so for any internet wanderers looking, they have a Github. Website is still down 11 months later. :P

    https://github.com/ventoy/Ventoy/releases

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

    precise
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    While we're on the topic I think it'd be a good time to dispel the myth that BLM protests are likely to turn into riots, or that it's some ubiquitous phenomenon. Per The Guardian "...more than 93%...

    While we're on the topic I think it'd be a good time to dispel the myth that BLM protests are likely to turn into riots, or that it's some ubiquitous phenomenon. Per The Guardian "...more than 93% involving no serious harm to people or damage to property, according to a new report tracking political violence in the United States.", original paper here

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

    precise
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    I watched this live and I think I came into it with off base expectations. I was expecting to feel good if this was the outcome, or happy. I don't. This verdict is good for George's family and...

    I watched this live and I think I came into it with off base expectations. I was expecting to feel good if this was the outcome, or happy. I don't. This verdict is good for George's family and their community. It's good for the rest of the nation in a way, but George Floyd is dead. George is dead and racism gets to live as an idea unshaken by this verdict. That cop is probably going to jail but the broken policing system is still free to operate unhindered.

    Media outlets and pundits are going to call this a "watershed moment for the modern civil rights movement" like they are actively authoring history books during commercial breaks, but I don't believe that this verdict will change much. Believe me, I'm no stranger to fighting for racial equality and social justice. I recognize what this represents to organizers, protesters, activists and BIPOC individuals across the country. I just can't shake the idea that this is the same old cycle. I do wonder how much longer the apathetic or unaffected populace will pay attention to social justice issues on this scale, but my gut says it's not much longer.

    20 votes
  10. What are some analog alternatives to digital services or products that you use?

    There has been a bit of talk here recently about people who don't use the internet, why and how they don't. It's a common assumption that it's truly impossible to live without the internet, and to...

    There has been a bit of talk here recently about people who don't use the internet, why and how they don't. It's a common assumption that it's truly impossible to live without the internet, and to some that may be the case. I don't think this should be a roadblock to those who wish to try to withdraw at their own discretion. So what are some analog services or products you use? Maybe it's something that's not broken so why fix it? Maybe in your opinion something is better the old way as compared to the new internet version? I'll start it off with these:

    • I still read paper books. I know this is super common, but I've met several people who consume their literature in exclusively electronic formats. I just can't concentrate when reading eBooks or listening to audio books. I also like the feel and smell of books, reminds me of hanging out in the library as a kid.
    • I really try to not use mapping applications while driving. I think the ubiquity of GPS and mapping applications makes it really easy to not focus on where you are. It takes your eyes off of the road and there are privacy implications as well. I tend to look up directions ahead of time and write some notes down or print it out (cheat). I started doing this after an incident where I called 911, but couldn't tell the operator where I was despite the fact that I drove that route every day.
    • I still write letters. I think letter writing offers element of intimacy, and helps foster good relationships. There's no "lol" or "k." in letter writing (except for one letter a friend sent as a joke), it lends to careful and purposeful composition as clarification is not always a text or phone call away. You can also get creative with your letter delivery. I've picked up more than one letter from bulletin boards at national parks (yes, if you ask they'll probably do that), I once had a friend send me a wax sealed letter via registered mail to a hotel which got quite a face out of the receptionist, and I once had a several letter exchange where the letter contents were encrypted with a basic ciphertext.
    31 votes
  11. Comment on Good basic electronics toys for twelve year olds? in ~hobbies

    precise
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    Take a look at these! I got the Snap Circuit Basic kit as a gift when I was a kid and worked my way through the entire series. I think you'll like these because you have to manually assemble each...

    Take a look at these! I got the Snap Circuit Basic kit as a gift when I was a kid and worked my way through the entire series. I think you'll like these because you have to manually assemble each circuit, and there are also ICs to interface with. The more advanced kits actually include a computer interface which provides an oscilloscope experience. The manuals are free to download (because, ya know, kids) so you can look at all the projects before purchase. I've never used the Coding sets, can't testify to those. This was probably the best gift I ever got as a kid and I'd highly recommend it to anybody looking for anything similar.

    https://shop.elenco.com/consumers/brands/snap-circuits.html

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access? in ~talk

    precise
    Link Parent
    My impression wasn't that you were cheering for these things to happen, but that you were taking the stance in apathy and shifting blame to politicians who often fail us. I've heard it a lot from...

    My impression wasn't that you were cheering for these things to happen, but that you were taking the stance in apathy and shifting blame to politicians who often fail us. I've heard it a lot from people who don't even vote, but then blame politicians for all of their problems. This idea stemmed from your original comment regarding the costs of doing business. I felt it implied an acceptance of norms, I believe I was incorrect in assuming that implication.

    I agree we need consumer protections now, I just don't have faith in politicians to protect us.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access? in ~talk

    precise
    Link Parent
    I don't think it is outside of the scope of this argument. The concepts of spyware, violations of privacy and companies requiring unfair legal agreements are universal and intrinsic to...

    I don't think it is outside of the scope of this argument. The concepts of spyware, violations of privacy and companies requiring unfair legal agreements are universal and intrinsic to participating in this tech focused society. This system you're seemingly forcing onto people is based on the premise of progress first and ask for consumer protections later.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access? in ~talk

    precise
    Link Parent
    I don't agree with your notion that it is the price of doing business. Let's take the ticket machine example because I believe it is a false equivalency. In the case of doing business without the...

    I don't agree with your notion that it is the price of doing business. Let's take the ticket machine example because I believe it is a false equivalency. In the case of doing business without the ticket machine, the price is purchasing a phone made by underpaid labor, with non-renewable resources and engineered with planned obsolescence in mind. A phone which will probably end up as a toxic brick in a landfill in a few years. A phone which will track your location for multiple parties, often times these parties you've already paid money to, but they want to double dip. Now compare that with the cost of doing business with the ticket machine. Substantially fewer devices, manufactured for long term use. Possibly made in substandard labor conditions, but the quantity would be dwarfed in comparison to the prior alternative. What is there to truly gain by "modernizing" this system? Maybe some NYC employees got reassigned or let go and that saved some money? Maybe NYC was missing tons of ticket revenue? I'm not sure, but I don't think the municipality would dare compare whatever efficiencies they introduced to the negative externalities of the tech and internet industries.

    As for just accepting this new reality as ours, that's another way of saying you're forcing change onto others and to deal with it. It's ignoring the huge problems that we tend to ignore in the name of convenience, I'm not ok with that. This may be the capitalist vision of the price of doing business, but I refuse to participate.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access? in ~talk

    precise
    Link Parent
    We don't necessarily need to politicize this into pro-tech and anti-tech, I'm neither. I take issue with much of what the internet has to offer, but what I truly am is pro-choice. Compared to most...

    We don't necessarily need to politicize this into pro-tech and anti-tech, I'm neither. I take issue with much of what the internet has to offer, but what I truly am is pro-choice. Compared to most people, I have a very different background regarding my experience on the internet. I've spent large swaths of my life in front of screens, as much as 16 hours a day for work and hobbies. I've also spent large swaths of my life disconnected, weeks (sometimes months) on end without internet for work and hobbies as well. My reflections on both experiences have led me to believe that I was happier without the internet, and I see my ability to opt out disappearing everyday.

    That is just my opinion though, and it should not be the basis for the entire premise of opting out of technology. Other digital exiles have their own reasons, many of which I agree with. The desire for privacy, to not feed into a surveillance capitalist economy where "accept", "consent" and "agree" are a legal ploy. The desire to unplug, the all day and night news media cycle, chocked with reactionaries and opinionated talking heads telling you what is "happening" and how to think, trying to evoke emotions. For the environment, the internet overall generates hundreds of millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases every year. The insistent advertising, telling me what to buy or what to wear, sometimes without even appearing as advertisements. The constant drama, Reddit/Twitter/Facebook/etc. drama absorbing societal attention span like a sponge, diverting from other more important issues. The emotional crutch, social media doesn't mean you aren't alone. The algorithm driven content, driving users into their own sureties under false pretenses. While some of these have non-internet parallels, they are all prevalent on the internet and it should be my choice to opt in or out of them.

    I can totally understand the idea of avoiding certain sites, certain companies...

    I think this is a fallacy perpetuated by businesses for a long time. Why should we the consumer have to determine the ethical standing of every business we engage with, whether it be your local grocer or Facebook? When did this burden to be an "ethical consumer" fall on us? Why are we not demanding these companies be ethical producers? We are often told to vote with our wallets, but why the hell are we in a position where we have to take such direct action to stop these companies from violating basic human rights? That burden should not fall on us, and it applies to selective internet usage as well.

    ...but the idea of cutting oneself of from email, Wikipedia, and all the basic life-admin tools (banking, taxes, bill payments) is totally alien to me.

    These are all good things to an extent, as I said I take issue with much of what the internet has to offer but not all of it. My opinions aside, these utilities existed in some form or another pre-internet. E-mail is mail, I still write letters to friends personally. Wikipedia is the library. Banking, taxes and bill payments used to be (and still are) conducted at physical locations, by phone or by mail. Does the internet make things easier? Yes. Faster? Yes. Is the convenience worth all of the internet based maladies I've described? Maybe, it's up to you. Is your convenience worth forcing other people into this broken system? No.

    Would you see it as society's duty to enable your decision, or the drawbacks of an offline lifestyle as your own burden to bear?

    I think it would be a mix of both. I have to acknowledge that there will always be an element of society constantly looking to progress no matter the cost. It's this mantra in capitalism that you've always got to be better than the next person, sometimes it creates good things and sometimes it doesn't, but I can't ignore it. Progress does not mean we abandon the past though. When I think of accessibility for the offline lifestyle, I worry about things like internet based voting, medical providers that exclusively use internet portals for medical records and billing, mandatory (or quasi-mandatory) COVID-19 vaccination card phone apps, and other very important aspects of everyday life that are being funneled into an exclusive internet machine. These are inventions in the name of convenience, with no room for opting out. Even some of the basic life administration utilities you listed are becoming online only, banking for instance. It is my belief that these very important utilities and services be accessible offline as well as on.

    What gets deemed to be of critical importance is a huge open ended question. The idea of a service from which the public benefits is very different from a public service. As long as capital and business controls the definition of what a public service is, those services that are beneficial and often required in a society will never be classified as a public service. Until this prerequisite definition is crafted, I don't think we will be able to answer the question of where do be draw the line on reasonable accommodation. I don't believe that society should always bear these burdens, but I also posit that many of these burdens are imaginary and somehow the internet has come to represent society.

    8 votes
  16. Comment on Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access? in ~talk

    precise
    Link Parent
    I agree with your two point measure for determining when such an assumption is okay, but I still think it leaves some people out. What about the people that don't want to be on the internet? The...

    I agree with your two point measure for determining when such an assumption is okay, but I still think it leaves some people out. What about the people that don't want to be on the internet? The people who don't want to own a cell phone, or a computer? There are very good reasons for wanting to opt out, and this trend of putting everything on the internet makes it very difficult for people to make choices for themselves. This idea of getting to a point of assuming people have internet access leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I guess I fall into this category, but just because people have access doesn't mean they want it.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access? in ~talk

    precise
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I think a distinction between access to public and private services is in order, but private services don't necessarily preclude the need for public access. Take food deserts for example. I think...

    I think a distinction between access to public and private services is in order, but private services don't necessarily preclude the need for public access. Take food deserts for example. I think we'd both agree that easy access to a grocer is important, even if it's not a public service. Regarding an exclusionary basis, access to services is very much tied to financial standing. The article in @Greg's post also specifically points out that elderly individuals also don't have access to the internet, either by choice or lack of knowledge. If this second issue amounts to discrimination is a question of ethics.

    A business is not absolved of any and all social responsibilities in the name profit. Especially when, as the article points out, this company signed up 175,000 thousand customers over the past two years. I'd posit that if a small subsection of customers are causing that much financial distress for this large of a service, that it is not the customers but the management who are to blame. Another much more likely scenario is that the business is trimming fat and people are being left out in the cold because of it.

    This may seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill, but I think it is very representative of conversations that need to be had across a wide swath of society regarding internet access.

    11 votes
  18. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~misc

    precise
    Link Parent
    Hey, I think this belongs in ~test, unless I'm missing something. Edit: NVM, I'm tired.

    Hey, I think this belongs in ~test, unless I'm missing something.

    Edit: NVM, I'm tired.

  19. Comment on Iran and China sign economic and security agreement, challenging US pressure on the state in ~news

    precise
    Link Parent
    Despite popular western rhetoric and mixed messaging from China itself, China is not a communist country. The PRC and ruling CCP do hold on to the cultural and historical significance of...

    Despite popular western rhetoric and mixed messaging from China itself, China is not a communist country. The PRC and ruling CCP do hold on to the cultural and historical significance of post-civil war founders like Mao and their ideologies of Maoism, but the practical implementation of formal communism has been waning since the late 1970's. In 1978 Deng came to power and brought with him economic reforms; he transitioned China into a mixed economy, rather than a planned economy. Leading into the 21st century, liberalization and economic expansionism through programs like the Belt and Road Initiative have furthered the country from their communist past. Now-a-days, the PRC's economy is best described as state capitalism, not communism.

    4 votes