scissortail's recent activity

  1. Comment on What's a video game that you really want to exist? in ~games

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    This doesn't fulfill your wish, but what you wrote reminded me of Ultima IV. You do still have to kill things, but the point of the game is more "attaining noble virtue" rather than "good...

    This doesn't fulfill your wish, but what you wrote reminded me of Ultima IV. You do still have to kill things, but the point of the game is more "attaining noble virtue" rather than "good vanquishes evil."

    3 votes
  2. Comment on What are some good ultra-low-spec computer games? in ~games

    scissortail
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    Ultra low spec, you say? I've enjoyed what little I've played of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and hear Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is damn good. If you're a fiend for complexity there's always Dwarf...

    Ultra low spec, you say?

    I've enjoyed what little I've played of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup and hear Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is damn good.

    If you're a fiend for complexity there's always Dwarf Fortress.

    And for something a bit less ASCII, I really enjoyed playing VVVVVV.

    11 votes
  3. Comment on They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul (1990) in ~music

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    rouge_cricket has got you covered with some solid recommendations. I'll second Lincoln and Flood, particularly the former--it's one of my very favorite albums, one of the most perfect I can think...

    rouge_cricket has got you covered with some solid recommendations. I'll second Lincoln and Flood, particularly the former--it's one of my very favorite albums, one of the most perfect I can think of. I am also very fond of their self-titled debut, and Apollo 18 is pretty damn good too. I think they've lost a bit of their touch with regards to making unbelievable albums, but even their less-impressive efforts have songs on them that are impeccably crafted. One of my favorite latter-day TMBG tunes is "Can't Keep Johnny Down".

    1 vote
  4. Comment on They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul (1990) in ~music

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    I've only seen them live once, but they were electric. And they opened with the one song I had to hear live ("Cowtown"). They're incredible musicians and born performers. Glad Flans is still at it...

    I've only seen them live once, but they were electric. And they opened with the one song I had to hear live ("Cowtown"). They're incredible musicians and born performers. Glad Flans is still at it even after his accident!

    I think they stretched "Istanbul" into eight minutes when I saw them, and the solos were dazzling. I also remember "Why Does The Sun Shine?" bringing the house down.

    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

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    It all makes me wonder if we will eventually just stop trusting digital images and video altogether. It would be strange times if we have to go back to film to even approach a baseline for...

    It all makes me wonder if we will eventually just stop trusting digital images and video altogether. It would be strange times if we have to go back to film to even approach a baseline for trustworthiness.

    6 votes
  6. Comment on The ethics of hunting deer for meat in ~food

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    I think you're on the money with this one. If we want sustainable farming, it necessarily involves de-industrialization and (therefore) a much larger percentage of people becoming involved in...

    I think you're on the money with this one. If we want sustainable farming, it necessarily involves de-industrialization and (therefore) a much larger percentage of people becoming involved in agriculture in some way.

    From what I can tell, integrating animals into small farm systems actually makes it easier for the small-scale farm to reduce dependence on outside inputs. The post-industrial farmer trying to eat a vegan diet sourced mostly from their own farm will have a difficult time. Without animals converting grasses, insects, and kitchen wastes into manure, the farmer ends up having to plant a serious amount of green manure crops to return fertility to their soils. It also becomes much trickier to eat a nutritionally complete vegan diet without present-day vitamin fortifications, etc. I wouldn't say it's totally impossible, but for most folks and situations it would be prohibitively difficult.

    IMO small-scale farms that humanely integrate livestock are the most resilient and ecologically sensible path forward.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on What's an underrated, cancelled, or largely forgotten show that you really love? in ~tv

    scissortail
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    Ooh, I actually have a relevant one: Spaced. It's a brilliant sitcom with loads of heart by Edgar Wright and many of his usual suspects. The writing is clever, the characters are memorable, and...

    Ooh, I actually have a relevant one: Spaced.

    It's a brilliant sitcom with loads of heart by Edgar Wright and many of his usual suspects. The writing is clever, the characters are memorable, and the story ends up having a real emotional impact.

    It was done before Wright's hit movies, and I think it's where he, Pegg, and Frost really start to hit their stride. The criminally underrated Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson) also puts in an excellent performance,

    On top of it all, Peter Serafinowicz is truly the perfect asshole in this show. It's a little slice of (now admittedly dated) nerd greatness, and if you enjoy Edgar Wright's work you will probably love this show.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Regarding the future: An open letter to the people I care about in ~life

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    Thank you for the kind words, and for the suggestion! I'll absolutely look into the Azores. The way you've written about them certainly makes them sound appealing. Fresh fruit just hits different...

    Thank you for the kind words, and for the suggestion! I'll absolutely look into the Azores. The way you've written about them certainly makes them sound appealing. Fresh fruit just hits different when it's grown right on the island. I've been spoiled for great bananas here in Hawai'i, and have gotten to try fruits I never even knew existed. The eggfruit and star apple may be my favorites of the new-to-me fruits.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Regarding the future: An open letter to the people I care about in ~life

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    Trade is absolutely a sticky wicket. Each future community will doubtless handle things differently, but my thought would be to view salvage technology as a transitional step. As you point out, it...

    Trade is absolutely a sticky wicket. Each future community will doubtless handle things differently, but my thought would be to view salvage technology as a transitional step. As you point out, it only goes so far, and in my opinion should be used for the establishment of systems where that level of technology is no longer necessary. If a community can handle the basics--food, water, shelter, clothing (and I might add arts/crafts/culture here)--sustainably and internally, trade becomes primarily a vehicle for luxury goods and cultural exchange. This probably involves a lot of tools, techniques, and lifeways that we would associate with the medieval period, pre-contact America, or even the Stone Age.

    I am actually living on an island right now. It seems to me that in terms of contemporary economies, you're totally correct--most islands are very dependent on foreign trade (and often tourism) to make ends meet. Here in Hawai'i, the islands grew only about fifteen percent of their food in 2016. This is not for lack of arable land, either--short of recent lava flows, food can be grown easily almost anywhere on the islands (and even the lava flows have little plants trying their best). I think the sort of autonomy of necessities I'm spitballing about would be achievable here, though it would obviously necessitate huge changes in lifestyle for everyone involved.

    Resilience is more about having diverse industries and trading partners. These issues are too big for individuals or even for small communities.

    One of my premises implied that industrial capitalism will eventually fail--I think the first part of this only really holds if that premise is incorrect, though I do agree completely that resilience is beyond the scope of the individual. I think a small set of modestly-sized communities, though, could achieve effective resilience with the right attitudes and strategies.

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

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    Forgive my ignorance here--while I agree that backdooring E2EE would be security suicide for Facebook, I don't think I understand why it would be trivial to find out about it. What would prevent...

    Forgive my ignorance here--while I agree that backdooring E2EE would be security suicide for Facebook, I don't think I understand why it would be trivial to find out about it. What would prevent them from using a key escrow, say by having a key copy silently sent with the initial package of metadata?

  11. Comment on Testing end-to-end encrypted backups and more on Messenger in ~tech

    scissortail
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    Is there any reason to trust Meta to not have this backdoored? Given their longstanding patterns of user-hostile behavior, I'm not inclined to see this as anything but bluster.

    Is there any reason to trust Meta to not have this backdoored? Given their longstanding patterns of user-hostile behavior, I'm not inclined to see this as anything but bluster.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Regarding the future: An open letter to the people I care about in ~life

    scissortail
    Link
    I wrote this post for my blog a little while ago, and the recent discussion on The Guardian's piece about the Sami prompted me to share. I think moving towards lifestyles that enable degrowth will...

    I wrote this post for my blog a little while ago, and the recent discussion on The Guardian's piece about the Sami prompted me to share.

    I think moving towards lifestyles that enable degrowth will be critical in the near-term, and in this piece I lay out a little bit of the whys and hows as they pertain to my own life.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on Indigenous reindeer herders fear the drive towards a more sustainable economy is destroying their traditional way of life and identity in Sweden in ~life

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    I think you're pretty much bang-on here, but I don't think we will see top-down rationing anytime soon. Major world governments are welded to industrial capital, and I would be extremely surprised...

    I think you're pretty much bang-on here, but I don't think we will see top-down rationing anytime soon. Major world governments are welded to industrial capital, and I would be extremely surprised if any politician could get away with seriously entertaining degrowth in the next two decades (at least).

    I believe it's on us to do this ourselves. We have to change our consumption patterns and ways of life, because the government and (especially) the corporations are not going to do it for us.

    Tangentially, the sort of degrowth you point towards necessarily involves a similar overhaul of our agricultural system. One of its biggest inputs right now is oil. Oil powers tractors, runs processing equipment, and (crucially) is essential to the production of artificial fertilizers (as ingredient and as factory power). With regards to making changes ourselves, this involves beginning to produce some (or most) of our own food and supporting small-scale farmers who use less energy- and oil-intensive methods.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on What are you battling with right now? in ~talk

    scissortail
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    I'm trying to figure out how I want to make a modest income. I am currently living and working long-term on a farmstead in the tropics. It's a great life, but sadly expenses aren't quite at...

    I'm trying to figure out how I want to make a modest income.

    I am currently living and working long-term on a farmstead in the tropics. It's a great life, but sadly expenses aren't quite at zero--I unfortunately still have a bit of personal debt to pay off in addition to my phone bill, storage unit, and health insurance (which may get the axe soon).

    Ideally I'd find some decent-paying piece work that I can do from my underpowered computing setup (a Raspberry Pi 3B+). I really only have to crack $500/month, though a bit more would obviously be good.

    At the moment the best candidate seems to be technical writing, and editing for sites that don't have a workflow that bodies my little computer. I'm in the process of putting together a copy-editing pitch for a small sports analysis outfit, though it would probably only get me part of the way towards breaking even. Part of me thinks it would be worth my time to get better at coding; I've made a couple runs at learning C but haven't really stuck with it long enough to be any good. I'm also considering trying to write a couple essays that have been on the brain, and then attempt to shop them around to online publications.

    I can't say I'm terribly enthusiastic about any of these options, so I'd love suggestions or leads if anyone has them.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on What are you battling with right now? in ~talk

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    A lot of your post could have been written by one of my very best friends. They are going though a really difficult time, in part because of feeling like a loser fuck-up (though they're anything...

    A lot of your post could have been written by one of my very best friends. They are going though a really difficult time, in part because of feeling like a loser fuck-up (though they're anything but). I'll tell you like I tell them: it sounds like you've internalized some serious bullshit about success. Thinking that "winning" early at the relationships-and-career game is the only route to flourishing is, in my mind, an unnecessarily narrow view. The beautiful thing about life is that it's whatever you want it to be (within the constraints of your means and situation, sorta). To echo lou, you are the one who gets to decide what winning at life means. Do other people think you're a loser because you don't have a shiny resume or tons of sexual experience? If so, forget 'em. They're not the sort of people whose opinions are worth giving a shit about. If it's just in your own head, ask yourself why. I don't think you'll find compelling reasons to judge success on those metrics.

    It's great to hear, though, that you're taking steps towards some goals. I'd encourage you to ask yourself what it is that you want, disregarding society's expectations for you, and then work towards those things. Walk the path towards your best self, but be good to yourself too--you are not a loser because you are doing some things later than other people.

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Has anyone here actually acted on their escapist fantasies? in ~talk

    scissortail
    Link Parent
    I am not, though my host does take WWOOFers. My host and I met through reddit, of all places.

    I am not, though my host does take WWOOFers. My host and I met through reddit, of all places.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Has anyone here actually acted on their escapist fantasies? in ~talk

    scissortail
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    Yes, actually. I'm in the middle of doing just that right now. A few weeks ago I quit my job, sold my car, threw my stuff into storage, and booked a flight to the Big Island of Hawai'i to work on...

    Yes, actually. I'm in the middle of doing just that right now.

    A few weeks ago I quit my job, sold my car, threw my stuff into storage, and booked a flight to the Big Island of Hawai'i to work on a farmstead. It was a move I had planned for some months before, but it didn't feel totally real until I bottle-fed a goat kid for the first time.

    This was all precipitated by a deep existential crisis, in which I realized that I was wholly unsatisfied with the way I was living my day-to-day life. The skilled blue-collar, commuter worker lifestyle felt hollow to me, and had for a long time. I couldn't abide the fact that I made so little of what I consumed, that my routine and situation kept me from producing for myself and others. While I had (and still have) an incredible group of friends back on the mainland, I could no longer stand going to and from work every day and coming home too exhausted and in-a-rut to work on projects that actually interested me. I couldn't keep waking up in an ugly, soulless city and seeing glass and concrete everywhere. Severe managerial incompetence at my workplace did not help, either. When an opportunity to live a life like the one I had been dreaming of fell into my lap, I decided to take it.

    For the last several years of my life, I have viewed homesteading as my end game. I realized that I could no longer wait to taste the lifestyle, or to learn the skills I would need to live the rest of my life.

    So now, I live in the middle of the jungle. I sleep in a tent (for now), get regularly gnawed on by mosquitoes, and shit in a glorified bucket. But by god, do I love every second of it. I'm getting the best sleep I've had in years, eating quality food, and seeing the results of my hard work every day. So far I have zero regrets, and am quite certain that this is the sort of life that I want to live until I die.

    10 votes
  18. Comment on Everything Everywhere All at Once in ~movies

    scissortail
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    I watched this movie about a week ago now, and I was totally blown away. I have not once had a movie affect me emotionally like that. I had cried at two film showings before, but this film had me...

    I watched this movie about a week ago now, and I was totally blown away.

    I have not once had a movie affect me emotionally like that. I had cried at two film showings before, but this film had me sobbing, and for no small amount of time. I thought about it constantly for days after, and still think about it regularly.

    I thought that it was a beautiful film. It is worth the cost and effort to see it in theaters, and in my opinion it's best to go in knowing as little about it as possible.

    1 vote
  19. Comment on Much more to come from yokozuna Terunofuji after stunning 2021 in ~sports

    scissortail
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    Teru really had that aura of invincibility about him this last Basho! Even when Takakeisho and (especially) Abi pushed him to the brink, he was cool as a cucumber and turned it around as if losing...

    Teru really had that aura of invincibility about him this last Basho! Even when Takakeisho and (especially) Abi pushed him to the brink, he was cool as a cucumber and turned it around as if losing wasn't even a possibility. It was nice to see after his slightly shakier (though still quite impressive) first tournament as yokozuna. I'm fairly new to sumo (I've only watched the past 4 Basho), but it seems to me that he'll be top dog as long as he keeps his health and his knees. His style no doubt appeals to the conservative audience too--he really embodies that powerful, belt-oriented, forward-moving sumo that seems to be the platonic ideal of traditional technique.

    Who would you like to see as the next yokuzuna, @AugustusFerdinand? I could definitely see Takakeiso stringing a couple yusho together, or Mitakeumi finding that last bit of consistency he's lacking. I'd love to see Wakatakakage make it to the top, but I think he probably has a ways to go before he's ready to scratch the top ranks.

    1 vote