spit-evil-olive-tips's recent activity

  1. Comment on Need help planning a pseudo-upgrade for my computer tower in ~comp

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    the CPU cooler you have, since it came with a ~10 year old case (or perhaps included with your old CPU? cases with bundled CPU coolers are relatively uncommon), almost certainly won't be...

    Couldn't find the cpu cooler that came with the tower, but subbed in another.

    the CPU cooler you have, since it came with a ~10 year old case (or perhaps included with your old CPU? cases with bundled CPU coolers are relatively uncommon), almost certainly won't be compatible with the mounting holes on AM5 motherboards. and the Ryzen 7700X is just a bare CPU with no fan included, so make sure to buy that or another CPU cooler as well.

    the Cooler Master one you linked is perfectly cromulent. I'm a big fan (ha) of Noctua coolers, if it's in your budget the U12S is excellent. Noctua has a very good compatibility checker to make sure that the cooler fits physically with all your other parts, as well as providing enough cooling to actually cool the CPU. you can see here that several of Noctua's smaller coolers wouldn't be able to keep up with the 7700X at max load. your RAM is only 33mm high, which is good...tall RAM modules can often cause problems with CPU coolers. your case is an absolute unit so it looks like there shouldn't be any problem there.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Need help planning a pseudo-upgrade for my computer tower in ~comp

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    you've got a ~10 year old Haswell-era CPU, so your motherboard has an older CPU socket that isn't in use anymore. buying new parts that will work with it isn't really an option. also, I'm not...

    might it be cheaper to keep them for the framework and get older (still compatible) parts that would fit right in to the system as it stands?

    you've got a ~10 year old Haswell-era CPU, so your motherboard has an older CPU socket that isn't in use anymore. buying new parts that will work with it isn't really an option.

    also, I'm not super familiar with Framework laptops, but the newer parts you have is a desktop-class CPU plus full-size DIMMs of RAM meant for a desktop case, so it's unlikely they would fit into a laptop (and if they did, the power draw would be extremely high, and battery life terrible). on the other hand, the NVMe drive should almost certainly fit, assuming the Framework accepts standard 2280 (22mm x 80mm) sized drives.

    the bare minimum you'll need for the upgrade will be an AM5-compatible motherboard, see here for a list of options.

    since it sounds like you want to do this on a tight budget, the least expensive option I think would be to upgrade the motherboard now, swapping in the new CPU and RAM and keeping all the other parts (upgrading from the SATA SSD to the NVMe one is an option, but not a requirement). then look for deals on a used graphics card, since a previous-gen card would still be a significant upgrade from your current 970.

    you can use the system builder that site has to fill in your other parts (CPU and RAM) to get an estimate of the power draw of the entire system. the 650w PSU is probably fine until you upgrade the GPU, and then it may or may not be sufficient, depending on the wattage the new GPU draws.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on ‘Lavender’: The AI machine directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza in ~tech

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    if the headline of the article was changed to "Lavender: The positive-unlabeled learning algorithms directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza" would that satisfy your objection? if it's such a...

    it seems like from the lecture the IDF was using fairly bog-standard PU algorithms

    if the headline of the article was changed to "Lavender: The positive-unlabeled learning algorithms directing Israel’s bombing spree in Gaza" would that satisfy your objection?

    it's such a nebulous, undefined term in the common conscious now that talking about "AI" means almost nothing.

    if it's such a meaningless term, why did this guy include it in the title of his book?

    In 2021, a book titled “The Human-Machine Team: How to Create Synergy Between Human and Artificial Intelligence That Will Revolutionize Our World” was released in English under the pen name “Brigadier General Y.S.”

    and why does Tel Aviv University host an event called "AI Week" where the system was talked about? (they even registered https://ai-week.com/ for the event...)

    +972 and Local Call have obtained footage of a private lecture given by the commander of Unit 8200’s secretive Data Science and AI center, “Col. Yoav,” at Tel Aviv University’s AI week in 2023, which was reported on at the time in the Israeli media.

    it seems like it does have meaning...but, like probably every other term in English or any other language, the meaning is dependent on the context?

    I do think there is a kernel of truth to what you're saying - that when news articles intended for non-technical consumption mention AI, they rarely mention which specific algorithms or methods are used. and...OK? I don't understand how that's particularly different from any other journalism.

    when I read an article critical of Shotspotter, to pick an unrelated example, it doesn't go into the details of the digital signal processing algorithms they use to supposedly tell the difference between gunshots and cars backfiring. or if I read an article about a breakthrough in treatment of some form of cancer, the article typically doesn't talk about the specific lab techniques that were used to develop the new cancer drug.

    and likewise, when I read an article about the real-world effects of AI, it usually doesn't mention whether the system in question is based on spline-reticulation learning or non-Euclidean hyperparameter optimization or partially-hidden Markov jungles.

    but I would say that "AI" does have a fairly well-established meaning in the context of this type of journalism. AI is the siren song of the idea that "there's just too much data that it's infeasible for humans to sort through and understand, so we have no choice but to feed all the data into a computer and trust that The Algorithm will produce the right outputs":

    In “The Human-Machine Team,” the book referenced at the beginning of this article, the current commander of Unit 8200 advocates for such a system without referencing Lavender by name. (The commander himself also isn’t named, but five sources in 8200 confirmed that the commander is the author, as reported also by Haaretz.) Describing human personnel as a “bottleneck” that limits the army’s capacity during a military operation, the commander laments: “We [humans] cannot process so much information. It doesn’t matter how many people you have tasked to produce targets during the war — you still cannot produce enough targets per day.”

    ...

    “The more information, and the more variety, the better,” the commander writes. “Visual information, cellular information, social media connections, battlefield information, phone contacts, photos.” While humans select these features at first, the commander continues, over time the machine will come to identify features on its own. This, he says, can enable militaries to create “tens of thousands of targets,” while the actual decision as to whether or not to attack them will remain a human one.

    of course, that thing about the decision to attack remaining in human hands seems to have...not held up particularly well:

    From that moment, sources said that if Lavender decided an individual was a militant in Hamas, they were essentially asked to treat that as an order, with no requirement to independently check why the machine made that choice or to examine the raw intelligence data on which it is based.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of March 18 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
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    December 2023: Michigan recording further reveals Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 election today: NBC hires former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, who has demonized the press and refused to acknowledge...

    December 2023: Michigan recording further reveals Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 election

    A report from Michigan further peels back the curtain on Trump’s efforts to nullify the results of the 2020 election. The Detroit News listened to a partial recording of Trump and RNC chair Ronna McDaniel reportedly pressuring the Republican chair and another member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers not to certify the results there despite no evidence of fraud.

    ...

    One former prosecutor that I talked to today did suggest that Ronna McDaniel could become a co-conspirator in the federal case in one count of that case if it could be proven that she knew that there was, in fact, no voter fraud, but yet was urging these elections officials to not certify alleging that fraud existed, so still waiting to see on that.

    today: NBC hires former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, who has demonized the press and refused to acknowledge Biden was fairly elected

    “It couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” Carrie Budoff Brown, senior vice president of politics at NBC News, said in a memo to staff.

    for some historical parallels, from Robert Evans in March 2023: Why legacy media institutions, like the New York Times and the Washington Post, fail historically at confronting fascism

    This thing you’re about to read was written by me, initially, for a speech I was asked to give at the Oxford Union over in England. The broad topic they asked me to speak on was ‘how fascist movements arise within democratic society’. That is a broad topic, and given my limited time I chose to focus on the response of legacy liberal newspapers to fascist movements in history.

    NBC, which gets dismissed as "liberal" news by people on the right-wing, is now employing someone who was actively involved in Trump's attempt to steal the 2020 election.

    those who forget history are condemned to...something something.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on Tell US Congress: Stop the TikTok ban in ~tech

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    here's the full text of the bill if you would like to read it. the question of whether "foreign organizations" have rights under the 1st Amendment has nothing to do with anything. this law is a...

    because foreign organizations do not have first amendment rights.

    here's the full text of the bill if you would like to read it.

    (1) PROHIBITION OF FOREIGN ADVERSARY CONTROLLED APPLICATIONS.—It shall be unlawful for an entity to distribute, maintain, or update (or enable the distribution, maintenance, or updating of) a foreign adversary controlled application by carrying out, within the land or maritime borders of the United States, any of the following:

    (A) Providing services to distribute, maintain, or update such foreign adversary controlled application (including any source code of such application) by means of a marketplace (including an online mobile application store) through which users within the land or maritime borders of the United States may access, maintain, or update such application.

    (B) Providing internet hosting services to enable the distribution, maintenance, or updating of such foreign adversary controlled application for users within the land or maritime borders of the United States.

    the question of whether "foreign organizations" have rights under the 1st Amendment has nothing to do with anything.

    this law is a restriction on app stores, such as those run by Apple and Google. it would prevent them from hosting the TikTok app for download. last I checked, their convoluted tax-avoidance schemes notwithstanding, they are US companies.

  6. Comment on Weekly Israel-Hamas war megathread - week of March 18 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    there's a famous quote about journalism that apparently goes back to 1974 (if not earlier) in various forms: published by CNN today: Netanyahu says he’s trying everything to get more aid to Gaza....

    there's a famous quote about journalism that apparently goes back to 1974 (if not earlier) in various forms:

    “Our job is not to report both sides. One side says it’s raining and the other side says it is not raining. Our job is to look out the window.”

    published by CNN today:

    Netanyahu says he’s trying everything to get more aid to Gaza. Aid groups say that’s not true

    the article, to its credit, does a half-decent job debunking the lies and mistruths Netanyahu told, but of course keeping up the veneer of journalistic objectivity:

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN in an interview on Sunday that his country’s policy is to let as much humanitarian aid into Gaza as is necessary, a claim that has been disputed by aid agencies and even contradicts his own statements.

    ...

    The Israeli leader’s claim contradicts statements he made previously, in which he boasted about permitting “minimal humanitarian aid” to enter Gaza.

    “We provide minimal humanitarian aid,” Netanyahu said at a press conference in January. “If we want to achieve our war goals, we give the minimal aid.”

    ...

    Netanyahu said that Israel has created “alternative routes” to deliver aid, including through airdrops, shipments by sea, and “land routes.”

    Only two land crossings have been used to deliver aid to Gaza – the Rafah crossing with Egypt, and the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel. But volumes are insufficient compared to the scale of suffering.

    Israel has however tested a pilot program to deliver desperately needed aid to northern Gaza through another border gate, but only six trucks had crossed it as of last Wednesday.

    ...

    “The problem is not the number of trucks going in, although we’re increasing it on a daily basis,” Netanyahu said.

    Aid groups and the UN have said that the main problem hampering humanitarian aid in Gaza is the small number of trucks entering the enclave due to Israeli restrictions.

    An average of 95 aid trucks per day entered Gaza between October 10 and February 1, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent, down from 500 trucks a day before the war through the Rafah crossing alone.

    ...

    Netanyahu told CNN Sunday that Hamas is the main obstacle to aid deliveries and is looting incoming aid. Israel hasn’t provided any evidence to back that claim.

    I think the context of the interview is important here:

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN in an interview on Sunday

    which links to this video, "Watch Dana Bash press Netanyahu over Gaza humanitarian crisis". Netanyahu was interviewed on "State of the Union", which is CNN's entry in the Sunday morning news talk show field.

    the video of the interview is 14 minutes long, and if you look at the episode transcript it was the very first thing they covered in the episode, in the "A block".

    so Netanyahu gets 14 minutes of extremely valuable airtime, the A block of CNN's Sunday news show.

    interviewing Netanyahu is a choice that CNN made. they could have interviewed someone else, such as someone who works for Doctors Without Borders, or a Palestinian who's had their entire family killed. but interviewing Netanyahu is apparently more "newsworthy", even if he lies during the interview.

    then this article about how Netanyahu lied gets published on Monday, and the headline doesn't mention he lied, just does some "opinions differ as to whether it's raining" bullshit. if you want a fun challenge, go to the CNN homepage and see how far "below the fold" that article is - see if you can find that article at all without a direct link to it.

    18 votes
  7. Comment on Tell US Congress: Stop the TikTok ban in ~tech

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    I don't think the evidence (in the comment you linked to at the top of the thread) supports this claim. there's evidence that TikTok moderation aligns with what the Chinese government wants, but...

    There's explicit evidence that the platform itself colludes with the Chinese government

    I don't think the evidence (in the comment you linked to at the top of the thread) supports this claim.

    there's evidence that TikTok moderation aligns with what the Chinese government wants, but there's a classic correlation vs. causation problem. there's no evidence that I see for a causal link.

    the people who run ByteDance live in China, which means they've been exposed to propaganda from the Chinese government their whole lives. it's possible that they're making what they view as just normal moderation decisions, but that are influenced by propaganda they've been exposed to in a "fish don't realize they're wet" way.

    if you're going to claim that collusion is taking place, you should have actual evidence of collusion, and all you have is "there's smoke so there must be fire".


    but, let's assume for the sake of argument that there actually is a causal link, that there is collusion - that executives at ByteDance meet in a smoke-filled room with people from the Chinese government, and agree to remove some topics and promote others in a way that the government wants.

    even if that were true...so what? Congress banning an app because they dislike the content it removes or promotes is clearly viewpoint discrimination which is sort of the textbook example of a 1st Amendment violation.

    thought experiment: I (a US citizen & resident) start a new social media company, called ChiComTok. we're based 100% in the United States, but our app makes a promise that we will censor or promote content in the way we think the Chinese government would want. maybe we even email Xi.Jinping@gov.cn or whatever and say "hey, let us know if there's any other topics you want removed or promoted".

    Congress banning my ChiComTok app would very clearly be viewpoint discrimination and not allowed under the 1st Amendment. this would include if they try to insist it's not a "ban" because the law just says "it's only banned as long as @spit-evil-olive-tips owns it, if he sells it to someone else who promises to change its moderation policies it's not banned".

    but obviously my ChiComTok app would have trouble getting its initial userbase. so, for a somewhat more realistic thought experiment, say there was an existing US-based social media platform that I bought, maybe for $44 billion, and I turned it into an outlet for Chinese communist propaganda. would Congress be justified in passing a law requiring me to sell it, and banning it if I didn't?

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Offbeat Fridays – The thread where offbeat headlines become front page news in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
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    official press release from the US Dept of Justice: Montana man pleads guilty to federal wildlife trafficking charges as part of yearslong effort to create giant hybrid sheep for captive hunting

    official press release from the US Dept of Justice:

    Montana man pleads guilty to federal wildlife trafficking charges as part of yearslong effort to create giant hybrid sheep for captive hunting

    Arthur “Jack” Schubarth, 80, of Vaughn, Montana, is the owner and operator of Sun River Enterprises LLC – also known as Schubarth Ranch – which is a 215-acre alternative livestock ranch in Vaughn. The Schubarth Ranch is engaged in the purchase, sale and breeding of “alternative livestock” such as mountain sheep, mountain goats and various ungulates. The primary market for Schubarth’s livestock is captive hunting operations, also known as shooting preserves or game ranches.

    According to court documents, Schubarth conspired with at least five other individuals between 2013 and 2021 to create a larger hybrid species of sheep that would garner higher prices from shooting preserves. Schubarth brought parts of the largest sheep in the world, Marco Polo argali sheep (Ovis ammon polii), from Kyrgyzstan into the United States without declaring the importation. Average males can weigh more than 300 pounds with horns that span more than five feet. Marco Polo argali are native to the high elevations of the Pamir region of Central Asia. They are protected internationally by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, domestically by the U.S. Endangered Species Act and are prohibited in the State of Montana to protect native sheep from disease and hybridization.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on House passes bill that could ban TikTok in the US, sending it to the Senate in ~tech

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    former speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking on the House floor in favor of this ban: she also mentions, in a very disjointed way, the Uyghur genocide in China as a reason for the ban. but obviously we're...

    former speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking on the House floor in favor of this ban:

    This is not an attempt to ban TikTok. It's an attempt to make TikTok better. Tic-Tac-Toe. A winner. A winner.

    she also mentions, in a very disjointed way, the Uyghur genocide in China as a reason for the ban.

    but obviously we're not going to ban Facebook, even though they played a part in the genocide in Myanmar.

    here is the sponsor of the bill, Mike Gallagher (R-WI), saying the quiet part a bit too loud:

    ...it cannot be used to censor speech, it takes no position at all on the content of speech, only foreign adversary control of what is becoming the dominant news platform for Americans under 30

    from November 2023: leaked audio of ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt

    "and so we really have a TikTok problem, a Gen-Z problem"

    this entire freakout seems to be that people under 30 are consuming news that is critical of the US in some way, particularly with regards to Israel's actions in Gaza.

    from the League of Women Voters in September 2022

    There are a million ways to get-out-the-vote (GOTV), and when it comes to reaching new voters, one of the best methods is via the incredibly popular video app, TikTok! We've compiled a few of our favorite videos you can share, plus tips to create your own post.

    so it looks like Biden is going to ban this app that's extremely popular among young people (all while insisting it's not a ban, of course).

    and if Biden loses in November, we're going to have a bunch of very predictable hand-wringing about why so many young people didn't bother to vote.

    12 votes
  10. Comment on Weekly Israel-Hamas war megathread - week of March 4 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    from an NPR article: "a number of weeks" is frustratingly vague. probably a month or two, then? I wonder how many people are going to die of starvation in the meantime. and "plan and execute"...

    from an NPR article:

    It will take a number of weeks to plan and execute the operation, the officials said.

    "a number of weeks" is frustratingly vague. probably a month or two, then? I wonder how many people are going to die of starvation in the meantime.

    and "plan and execute" suggests...they just started planning this now? Israel strengthened their blockade of Gaza almost immediately after October 7th. Human Rights Watch published Starvation used as weapon of war in Gaza in December.

    (and of course it goes back further than that - Timeline: the humanitarian impact of the Gaza blockade is from 2018 and looks back at the 11 years since the blockade was started in 2007)

    it seems to me like the public pressure campaign on Biden (especially all the votes for "uncommitted" delegates in the pseudo-primaries the Democrats have been having) is effective, and that they're now scrambling for things they can do to show they're not doing nothing.

    The routes to take aid in by land rely on a number of factors. They include border crossings that must be open, the availability of drivers in Gaza to receive the trucks and drive the supplies where they need to go, as well as having clearance from the Israeli military for safe passage.

    building the port only addresses the first problem. having enough drivers and trucks will still be a challenge, as will the Israeli military opening fire on anyone or anything they want to. a truck might be carrying baby formula, or a secret Hamas mobile command post cleverly disguised as baby formula.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of March 4 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Evan Osnos in the New Yorker: Joe Biden’s Last Campaign: Trailing Trump in polls and facing doubts about his age, the President voices defiant confidence in his prospects for reëlection (archive...

    Evan Osnos in the New Yorker: Joe Biden’s Last Campaign: Trailing Trump in polls and facing doubts about his age, the President voices defiant confidence in his prospects for reëlection (archive link)

    emphasis added:

    I asked Biden what he would do in a second term to protect abortion access at the federal level. “Pass Roe v. Wade as the law of the land,” he said. Democrats would need to win control of the House of Representatives and gain seats in the Senate, but Biden expressed confidence. “A few more elections like we’ve seen taking place in the states” would suffice, he said. “You’re seeing the country changing.” Then, reiterating his position on Roe, he said, “I’ve never been supportive of, you know, ‘It’s my body, I can do what I want with it.’ But I have been supportive of the notion that this is probably the most rational allocation of responsibility that all the major religions have signed on and debated over the last thousand years.”

    It’s a framing that irritates advocates. (In February, after he told attendees at a New York fund-raiser, “I don’t want abortion on demand, but I thought Roe v. Wade was right,” Slate ran a story titled “Biden’s Latest Abortion Fumble Is Particularly Distressing.”) But, so far, they have chosen to avoid a fight with a Democratic President whose opponent crows that he was able to “terminate” Roe. After the midterms in 2022, researchers found that abortion restrictions had disproportionately motivated first-time and younger voters, and women under fifty.

    support for reproductive rights has proven itself to be incredibly motivating for the Democratic base to get out the vote.

    how the hell is Joe "most progressive president evar" Biden still fucking up the messaging this badly?

    9 votes
  12. Comment on What is the most reliable and affordable form of storage medium to use as a backup drive for your computer? in ~tech

    spit-evil-olive-tips
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    "most reliable" would be some kind of "enterprise" hard drive. however, those will be very expensive. "best bang for the buck" instead will be two less expensive consumer-grade drives that you...

    "most reliable" would be some kind of "enterprise" hard drive. however, those will be very expensive.

    "best bang for the buck" instead will be two less expensive consumer-grade drives that you treat as identical copies of each other.

    importantly, you want the two drives to be in different failure domains.

    for example, what you don't want to do is decide you want an Acme 1TB SSD, then go to that product page on Amazon, change the quantity drop-down to 2, then click Buy Now.

    most likely, someone at an Amazon warehouse would grab two drives from the same bin, and ship them to you in the same box.

    and before they arrived at the Amazon warehouse, there's a decent chance those two drives rolled off the assembly line at the Acme factory on the same day, then got loaded into the same truck and cargo ship on their way to the Amazon warehouse.

    any subtle environmental factors that can lead to a drive failing early - high heat or humidity at the factory that day, an especially bumpy road that the truck drove on, etc - are shared by the two drives. ditto any flaw in Acme's drive design that leads to a high failure rate. this means that their failure probabilities are linked together, when what you want is independence in the statistical sense.

    many drives may actually come from the same factory, even if they're marketed as different brands. an easy option to avoid this is to get one SSD and one spinning-rust drive. that also isolates you from some other common failure modes (an earthquake, for example, might vibrate the hard drive enough to cause it to have read errors, but the SSD would be unaffected)

    it's possible to run the two drives in a software RAID configuration (ZFS, BTRFS, mdadm, etc) as others have mentioned, but this is probably overkill. a simpler option is to treat them as two completely independent drives, and run all of your backups twice.

    make sure to set up SMART health monitoring of the drives - modern drives can detect that they're starting to fail and warn you early.

    if you're using backup software of some kind, it likely includes checksums of the data in order to verify integrity. if you're just copying files directly to the backup medium with rsync or whatever, you'll want to add checksums yourself by running b2sum or something similar, and storing the computed checksums on the drive for later verification. make sure to actually verify the checksums regularly (at least monthly, I'd say) in order to spot any silent data corruption.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on The West is losing Muslim Liberals – Indifference to Palestinian suffering in Gaza is alienating moderates across the Islamic world and tarnishing the appeal of liberal democratic values in ~misc

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    by this logic, anyone who is opposed to Hamas...should support an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, yes?

    This war is literally want Hamas wants.

    by this logic, anyone who is opposed to Hamas...should support an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, yes?

    16 votes
  14. Comment on The West is losing Muslim Liberals – Indifference to Palestinian suffering in Gaza is alienating moderates across the Islamic world and tarnishing the appeal of liberal democratic values in ~misc

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    sigh. this is....just literal whataboutism. there's a crucial difference here that you're missing. I live in the US. I'm mad about the actions of Hamas. there's nothing that I can do about it,...

    I mean, why aren't they mad at Hamas for using civilian structures to stage military operations or the Palestinians who allow and even assist with it? It's literally a war crime. Why aren't they mad about Palestinian's use of indoctrination on their own children into martyrs? Why aren't they mad that Hamas is stealing food and aid meant for the people of Palestine, food aid has been stopped again in part because of it.

    sigh. this is....just literal whataboutism.

    They can be mad at Israel, but they need to be at least a little bit mad at Palestine and Hamas too, and they aren't.

    there's a crucial difference here that you're missing.

    I live in the US. I'm mad about the actions of Hamas. there's nothing that I can do about it, though.

    obviously, every morning since October 7th, I have woken up, gotten out of bed, and shouted "I CONDEMN HAMAS" at the top of my lungs. my neighbors have complained (I suspect they may be anti-semitic) but other than that it's had zero impact on the world.

    meanwhile, I'm also mad about the actions of Israel. but in this case there is something I can do about it. the US government sends billions of dollars per year to Israeli's military. I can lobby my elected representatives and tell them I think they should stop sending aid to Israel until and unless Israel stops committing war crimes. I could even tell them this issue matters enough to me that if they don't, I will vote for their opponent in the next election or even (*gasp*) withhold my vote entirely in that particular race.

    if you'd like, anytime I write a letter to my Congressional representatives saying I think they should withdraw military aid from Israel, I will include a little "PS, please withdraw all US military aid from Hamas as well" at the end. would that satisfy your criteria for determining if my anger is legitimate or not?

    26 votes
  15. Comment on Compensating compassion | Too few people donate their organs, dead or alive. How can we make it easier to donate, but avoid the abuses that some fear from cash payments? in ~health

    spit-evil-olive-tips
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    this is a really bizarre, and to my mind just flat-out untrue, way of claiming it's affordable for everyone. like, for a minimum wage worker, they would need to work for two years in order to...

    Today, Iran is the closest to something like this. Iranians are allowed to sell their kidneys for any price they like. Iran has no kidney waiting list. Kidneys, though still expensive, are within reach for almost all of the ​Iranian population that needs one. The cost of a kidney is $4,200, which is less than two years of work on the Iranian minimum wage

    this is a really bizarre, and to my mind just flat-out untrue, way of claiming it's affordable for everyone.

    like, for a minimum wage worker, they would need to work for two years in order to afford to a kidney, and in those two years they would need zero living expenses so that everything they make goes into the kidney savings fund. which is obviously not possible for someone in perfect health, much less someone with kidney disease (as the article says, lots of people undergoing dialysis lose their jobs because of the time the process takes)

    or if this minimum wage worker can save 10% of their income towards a new kidney, it would take them 20ish years? which is also obviously not feasible - as the article says, half of people on dialysis die within 5 years.

    ...and there are charities such as the Kidney Foundation that support those who need a kidney transplant but cannot afford it.

    if new kidneys truly were affordable for everyone...they wouldn't need this charity?

    poor people selling organs, and wealthier people buying them, is inherently tied up in income inequality. this hand-wavy attempt at "oh no it's fine anyone in Iran can afford a kidney" just rings incredibly hollow.

    In March 2008, to increase donations, the Israeli government imple­mented a ‘priority allocation’ policy to encourage more people to sign up to donate organs after their deaths. Once someone has been registered as a donor for three years, they receive priority allocation if they themselves need a transplant.

    this, and all the other "encourage people to opt-in or not-opt-out of being donors" systems they mention seem overly complicated to me.

    here's a much simpler idea:

    • at birth, you go on the "you are eligible to receive donated organs, and you consent to have your organs donated after you die" list
    • up until age 18, your parents can remove you from the list at any time
    • after age 18, you can remove yourself from the list at any time
    • crucially, removal from the list is permanent, and one-way. it's like renouncing your citizenship in Organdonateistan.
      • with the exception that if your parents removed you from the list when you were a child, there should be a grace period, maybe from 18 to 21, where you have a one-time chance to add yourself back to the list.

    if you remove yourself from the list, because you don't want your organs donated after you die, then you should not be eligible under any circumstances to receive someone else's donated organs after they die.

    if at some point in the future there were so many donated organs that they were at risk of going unused, then we might consider allowing people who've opted-out to receive a donated organ. but as long as there's an organ shortage, if you refuse to donate your organs after death, you are SOL when it comes to receiving them while you're alive.

    this might lead to some outcomes that would appear to be undesirable. say you've got 1 donated liver, and 2 candidates who need a transplant. one is a marathon runner (in other words, very healthy other than the liver disease), elementary school teacher, mother of 3. the other is a homeless alcoholic.

    if the teacher renounced her citizenship in Organdonateistan, then tough shit, the homeless guy gets the liver transplant instead. her family and friends will of course be furious about this, and tell everyone they know how this woman died needlessly, all because she opted out of organ donation. and that in turn will encourage people who hear about it to want to remain on the organ donation list. there's your "nudge" (Cass Sunstein got a book deal, where's mine?)

    Even if direct cash payments are too unpopular, there are other ways of compensating people that may not be, including in-kind payments, such as gifts, paid holiday, recovery time, and tax breaks. One attempt to put this into practice that has received widespread scientific endorsement is Modify NOTA. The campaign advocates for offering $10,000 in tax credits to live donors every year for ten years after donation.

    I've written previously about this "Modify NOTA" proposal and why I think the proponents are both wrong and intellectually dishonest about what they're proposing.

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Weekly Israel-Hamas war megathread - week of February 19 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    I mean...what is your definition of "the current war"? if you define it to be "the stuff that started on October 7th", then yes, tautologically it started on October 7th. I often see a version of...

    But if by "this situation" you mean the entire history of Israel/Palestine conflicts, then no, it did not start on October 7th. What I was referring to though is this current war which definitely would not have happened if Hamas hadn't launched their terrorist attack.

    I mean...what is your definition of "the current war"?

    if you define it to be "the stuff that started on October 7th", then yes, tautologically it started on October 7th.

    I often see a version of this repeated as a pro-Israel "there was a ceasefire on October 6th" talking point (including from Hillary Clinton)

    it reminds me of this quote from Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing in 2015 about protests in Baltimore after police murdered Freddie Gray:

    When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse.

    the war between Israel and Hamas escalated on October 7th, there's no doubt about that. but I think it's absurd to call that the "start" of anything. it'd be like saying that the North Vietnamese started a war by launching the Tet offensive.

    Israel has had a continuous blockade of Gaza since 2007 (with other on-and-off blockades happening before then).

    and a blockade is an act of war:

    According to modern international law, blockades are an act of war. They are illegal as part of a war of aggression or when used against a civilian population, instead of a military target. In such case, they are a war crime and potentially a crime against humanity.

    so by the international definition of what "war" is, the current war goes back to at least 2007. there's obviously history and context that matters from before then. but I don't think you can meaningfully define the "current war" in such a way that excludes 2007 - October 6th 2023.

    Hamas leadership was fully aware of the fact that Israel would respond disproportionately. They do not care about their own population though. They are religious extremists and will keep making a "martyr" of every single one of their countrymen and -women because to them, the end justifies the means.

    OK, so Hamas knows (or strongly believes) that Israel will respond to the October 7th attacks by increasing the collective punishment of the citizens of Gaza.

    but does that alter the moral calculus in any way? collective punishment is a war crime. if Hamas, as you say, knows that Israel will collectively punish civilians in Gaza, and doesn't care or is OK with it, does that justify the collective punishment of those civilians?

    8 votes
  17. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of February 12 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    right, if it's a ballot with 2 names, Biden or Trump, I'm obviously picking Biden, no question or hesitation. but that's also the sense of fatalism I'm referring to. lots of Democrats are acting...

    right, if it's a ballot with 2 names, Biden or Trump, I'm obviously picking Biden, no question or hesitation.

    but that's also the sense of fatalism I'm referring to. lots of Democrats are acting like those ballots have already been printed and the names on them are set in stone.

    Biden will be the nominee, because...he just will. there's no primary, because there doesn't need to be one. Biden will be the nominee, no matter what. it's pointless for the Democratic party to have a democratic process for picking the nominee, because the nominee has already been decided. the nominee is Joe Biden, and Joe Biden is the nominee.

    and yes, no sitting President has ever lost his party's nomination for re-election...but sitting Presidents have declined to seek 2nd terms before. LBJ off the top of my head, probably others I'm forgetting. and that's what Klein is advocating here:

    So then what? Step one, unfortunately, is convincing Biden that he should not run again. That he does not want to risk being Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a heroic, brilliant public servant who caused the outcome she feared most because she didn’t retire early enough. That in stepping aside he would be able to finish out his term as a strong and focused president, and people would see the honor in what he did, in putting his country over his ambitions.

    The people whom Biden listens to — Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Mike Donilon, Ron Klain, Nancy Pelosi, Anita Dunn — they need to get him to see this. Biden may come to see it himself.

    I take nothing away from how hard that is, how much Biden wants to finish the job he has started, keep doing the good he believes he can do. Retirement can be, often is, a trauma. But losing to Donald Trump would be far worse.

    during the 2020 primary, Biden soft-pedaled the idea that he would do exactly that, and not seek a 2nd term if elected:

    Biden signals to aides that he would serve only a single term

    While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital.

    According to four people who regularly talk to Biden, all of whom asked for anonymity to discuss internal campaign matters, it is virtually inconceivable that he will run for reelection in 2024, when he would be the first octogenarian president.

    “If Biden is elected,” a prominent adviser to the campaign said, “he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.”

    as Klein repeats several times, the current polling we have, inaccurate and flawed though it surely is, points towards Biden is losing

    And yet Biden’s poll numbers are dismal. His approval rating lingers in the high 30s. Most polls show him losing to Donald Trump in 2024.

    ...

    But even given that, I was stunned when his team declined a Super Bowl interview. Biden is not up by 12 points. He can’t coast to victory here. He is losing. He is behind in most polls. He is behind, despite everything people already know about Donald Trump. He needs to make up ground. If he does not make up ground, Trump wins.

    ...

    And that can become a self-fulfilling cycle. His staff knows that news conference was a disaster. So how will they respond? What will they do now? They will hold him back from aggressive campaigning even more, from unscripted situations. They will try to make doubly sure that it doesn’t happen again. But they need a candidate — Democrats need a candidate — who can aggressively campaign, because again — and I cannot emphasize this enough — they are currently losing.

    not just in head-to-head election polls - this page from 538 has a little widget that compares approval ratings. Biden's approval rating currently is lower than Trump's approval rating at the same point of the presidency.

    there's a weird conundrum where 2024 is The Most Important Election Of Our Lives and beating Trump is absolutely the only thing that matters, everything else is secondary...but "maybe a different Democrat would have a better chance of beating Trump" is seemingly the one thing that's off-limits in trying to figure out the best way to defeat Trump.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of February 12 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    (edited )
    Link
    Ezra Klein: Democrats have a better option than Biden (archive link) here's the videos he's referring to - 2019 and 2024 I think he is spot on about this feeling of fatalism, that there's nothing...

    Ezra Klein: Democrats have a better option than Biden (archive link)

    We had to wait till this year — till now, really — to see Biden even begin to show what he’d be like on the campaign trail. And what I think we’re seeing is that he is not up for this. He is not the campaigner he was, even five years ago. That’s not insider reporting on my part. Go watch a speech he gave in Pennsylvania, kicking off his campaign in 2019. And then go watch the speech he gave last month, in Valley Forge, kicking off his election campaign. No comparison here. Both speeches are on YouTube, and you can see it. The way he moves, the energy in his voice. The Democrats denying decline are only fooling themselves.

    here's the videos he's referring to - 2019 and 2024

    Part of my job is talking to the kinds of Democrats who run and win campaigns constantly. All of them are worried about this. None of them say that this is an invention or not a real issue. And this is key: It’s not the age itself they are worried about. The age of 81 doesn’t mean anything. It’s the impression Biden is giving of age. Of slowness. Of frailty.

    The presidency is a performance. You are not just making decisions, you are also acting out the things people want to believe about their president — that the president is in command, strong, energetic, compassionate, thoughtful, that they don’t need to worry about all that is happening in the world, because the president has it all under control.

    I think he is spot on about this feeling of fatalism, that there's nothing that can be done, it's a freight train that's already travelling at 100mph and nothing can be done to stop it so it's best to just jump out of the way:

    I think one reason Democrats react so defensively to critiques of Biden is they’ve come to a kind of fatalism. They believe it is too late to do anything else. And if it is too late to do anything else, then to talk about Biden’s age is to contribute to Donald Trump’s victory.

    he has a prediction/nightmare that I find completely plausible:

    I have this nightmare that Trump wins in 2024. And then in 2025 and 2026, out come the campaign tell-all books, and they’re full of emails and WhatsApp messages between Biden staffers and Democratic leaders, where they’re all saying to each other, this is a disaster, he’s not going to win this, I can’t bear to watch this speech, we’re going to lose. But they didn’t say any of it publicly, they didn’t do anything, because it was too dangerous for their careers, or too uncomfortable given their loyalty to Biden.

    even in the best-case scenario of Biden winning...that means he'll be President until January 20, 2029. a little less than 5 years from now. does anyone believe he has 5 years of full mental & physical health left?

    if you need a reminder of how much the Presidency ages someone - here's Obama in 2009, 2012, and 2017. and Obama was 55 when he left office. (in other words, when Obama left office in 2017, he was the same age as Joe Biden was in 1997)

    are we supposed to vote for Biden, with an unwritten assumption / open secret that he very likely won't be able to serve the full term, and will either resign or die in office so that Kamala Harris can take over?

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of February 12 in ~news

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link Parent
    she's the first African American and first woman to be elected NY Attorney General she was a Democratic member of the NYC city council, getting re-elected with almost 90% of the vote: she sued the...

    it does open Letitia James up to accusations of political bias.

    she's the first African American and first woman to be elected NY Attorney General

    she was a Democratic member of the NYC city council, getting re-elected with almost 90% of the vote:

    She was re-elected on the Democratic line on November 8, 2005, with 88.11% of the vote, compared to 6.80% for Republican Anthony Herbert, and 5.08% for Independence Party candidate Charles B. Billups.

    she sued the NRA in 2020. the lawsuit is still ongoing but it's produced headlines like Civil trial scrutinizes lavish spending by gun rights group’s longtime leader

    in a hypothetical parallel universe where she hadn't filed this case against Trump...do you think she would somehow be immune from accusations of political bias?

    6 votes
  20. Comment on Baldur's Gate 3's Nocturne is a landmark in trans representation, but for her voice actor Abigail Thorn it's just the beginning in ~lgbt

    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    thought this fit better in ~lgbt rather than ~games mainly because of this absolute banger of a quote: Abigail said on Xitter that she was pleasantly surprised they included it.
    • Exemplary

    thought this fit better in ~lgbt rather than ~games mainly because of this absolute banger of a quote:

    “White supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy violently inflicts precarity on the vast majority of queer people whilst uplifting one or two 'special queers' - myself included - on the condition that we perform queerness in such a way that allows cishet people to delude themselves into believing they aren’t complicit in or benefitting from that violence. When we see trans characters in media and trans kids sleeping rough on the streets those things aren’t necessarily in tension: they’re part of the same societal mechanism of control and consent manufacture,” she explains, noting that, despite condemnation from international medical authorities, the NHS may go ahead with banning puberty blockers in the UK. “If they can do that and get away with it, what good does it really do if Abigail Thorn is on television? Trans representation is nice, but I prefer to think in terms of Trans Power. We need to control our own lives, and that means cis people like NHS managers need to give up some of the power they have over us. If me being in movies and TV shows and games helps with that then great, but the goal is liberation not celebrity.”

    Abigail said on Xitter that she was pleasantly surprised they included it.

    I’m glad Rock Paper Shotgun printed this quote from my interview lol: I wondered whether they would!

    32 votes