uselessabstraction's recent activity

  1. Comment on Gov. Gavin Newsom Will Halt Executions in California in ~news

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    I agree. There are certain rights we can't put a price on. Fair elections and due process rank among the top of that list. These are ideals that millions have sacrificed their lives in order to...

    I agree. There are certain rights we can't put a price on. Fair elections and due process rank among the top of that list. These are ideals that millions have sacrificed their lives in order to preserve within the free world. They are priceless, and no financial expense can hold a candle to the blood, sweat, and tears it cost to establish and preserve these rights.

    If due process is too expensive, then democracy itself is too expensive.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Gov. Gavin Newsom Will Halt Executions in California in ~news

    uselessabstraction (edited ) Link Parent
    I believe capital punishment should be reserved only for severe crimes against humanity. For the willing perpetrators of genocide, climate change, and the like. It serves absolutely no use in a...

    I believe capital punishment should be reserved only for severe crimes against humanity. For the willing perpetrators of genocide, climate change, and the like.

    It serves absolutely no use in a criminal justice system. It is the least effective deterrent conceivable, serves no role in rehabilitation, and is too great a responsibility for our flawed justice system.

    The only thing capital punishment is useful for is quenching vengeful bloodlust. That said, people like Mussolini, Gaddafi, and the Nazis convicted by the Nuremburg Trials deserved nothing less.*

    Edit: *Notably, in many cases like this, it isn't even the state which ultimately ends up delivering justice through death. These are crimes which are so utterly vast in scale that they manage to reduce the legitimacy of the state by such a degree that even lynch mobs hold greater legitimacy.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Recommend me some podcasts! in ~talk

    uselessabstraction (edited ) Link
    Revolutions - Mike Duncan distills several of history's most influential revolutions into 10 to 30 episode serial narratives, diving deep into the political, social, ideological and international...

    Revolutions - Mike Duncan distills several of history's most influential revolutions into 10 to 30 episode serial narratives, diving deep into the political, social, ideological and international precursors and blazing a trail through the turbulent events which follow.

    He covers the English Civil War, American Revolution, French Revolution, Haitian Revolution, 1948, South American Revolution, Mexican Revolution, and a couple others along the way. Next season starts in May and will cover the Russian Revolution.

    This is one of my favorite podcasts, and I can binge-listen to it like Netflix. Many of my other favorites were already mentioned in this thread.

    I'd also like to give a shout-out to Stay Tuned with Preet, and Lawfare, which both provide unrivaled analysis of the current, uhh, situation in the US.

  4. Comment on Trump Declares National Emergency To Help Fund Southern Border Wall in ~news

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    In response to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold native american tribal sovereignty in Worcester v. Georgia, Jackson infamously stated: He basically created a constitutional crisis by...

    In response to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold native american tribal sovereignty in Worcester v. Georgia, Jackson infamously stated:

    John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!

    He basically created a constitutional crisis by ignoring the verdict and daring the judicial branch to stop him. Jackson ultimately continued to remove the Cherokee nation from their lands in what is now called the Trail of Tears.

    12 votes
  5. Comment on Trump Declares National Emergency To Help Fund Southern Border Wall in ~news

    uselessabstraction (edited ) Link Parent
    I don't know if he believes this. He surely hopes it, but if the courts smack him down, it will just present him the opportunity to turn around and claim that due process and the rule of law -...

    he believes that he'll win all the court challenges that will be thrown in his way.

    I don't know if he believes this. He surely hopes it, but if the courts smack him down, it will just present him the opportunity to turn around and claim that due process and the rule of law - once again - are standing in his path to victory. He will deride the "corrupt, liberal, so-called judges" and use it to justify taking unilateral actions which consolidate even more power into the executive branch.

    That is, if he doesn't cut straight to pulling an Andrew Jackson.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Riot.im: The Big 1.0 in ~tech

    uselessabstraction Link
    Matthew Hodgson gave a pretty interesting speech about the history and status of Matrix, as well as its adoption by the government of France a couple weeks ago at FOSDEM 2019. I am really happy to...

    Matthew Hodgson gave a pretty interesting speech about the history and status of Matrix, as well as its adoption by the government of France a couple weeks ago at FOSDEM 2019. I am really happy to see Matrix reach this important milestone. In my opinion, Matrix is the greatest thing to happen in the space of realtime internet communications since IRC.

    15 votes
  7. Comment on Valentine's day in ~talk

    uselessabstraction Link
    I picked up my Fiancé some chocolates from a local confectionery, and a Nintendo Switch. The Switch was a blatantly and openly self-interested gift, but I knew she'd love it. :) She baked me a...

    I picked up my Fiancé some chocolates from a local confectionery, and a Nintendo Switch. The Switch was a blatantly and openly self-interested gift, but I knew she'd love it. :)

    She baked me a heart-shaped pizza, which we shared while cranking out some Miis. We're planning on going out for dinner this weekend.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on What programming language do you use for work and what's your favorite language? in ~comp

    uselessabstraction Link
    Well, I'm a machinist by trade, so the only code I ever write at work is FANUC G-Code, but I've been loving Rust for some late-night recreational hacking. The fun thing about programming in G-Code...

    Well, I'm a machinist by trade, so the only code I ever write at work is FANUC G-Code, but I've been loving Rust for some late-night recreational hacking.

    The fun thing about programming in G-Code is when your program "crashes," it actually crashes. (It actually isn't very much fun)

    8 votes
  9. Comment on We're No Longer in Smartphone Plateau. We're in the Smartphone Decline. in ~tech

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    Just gonna chime in here, I'm still using a Nexus 5 as well. These things can be bought for less than $80 nowadays, and they still run just fine. The battery life could be a bit better, but that's...

    Just gonna chime in here, I'm still using a Nexus 5 as well. These things can be bought for less than $80 nowadays, and they still run just fine. The battery life could be a bit better, but that's my only gripe. Give me a browser and a dialer and I'm happy.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on All The Criminal Charges To Emerge So Far From Robert Mueller's Investigation in ~news

    uselessabstraction (edited ) Link Parent
    There is also the possibility of charges being brought in other districts. Flynn was only charged for false statements, and Mueller's recommendation falls within the sentencing guidelines for that...

    There is also the possibility of charges being brought in other districts. Flynn was only charged for false statements, and Mueller's recommendation falls within the sentencing guidelines for that charge.

    There is a possibility he can also be charged with crimes related to his actions as an unregistered foreign agent of Turkey, or that third mystery investigation which was entirely redacted from his sentencing memo - though it does seem likely that Flynn will be treated with generous leniency for being the first major witness to cooperate.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Rust 2018 is here… but what is it? in ~comp

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    This is my take as well. Rust is a very young entrant into an ecosystem which has been dominated by C and C++ for forty years. C is in everything, and to change that would be like getting everyone...

    This is my take as well. Rust is a very young entrant into an ecosystem which has been dominated by C and C++ for forty years. C is in everything, and to change that would be like getting everyone in the world to speak Esperanto.

    With that in mind, Rust has made more inroads than any systems programming language I've seen come around before it. It has transcended the stage of being a fad language, and has really filled a niche which people were longing to be filled.

    Besides Mozilla's high profile deployment, people are building all sorts of projects with it, ranging from operating system kernels to coreutils replacements, to applications, to web services.

    It may not take over the world, but it's not going away either.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Mac, Electron and the Decline of Native Apps in ~tech

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    While we're throwing GUI toolkits out there, wxWidgets is designed specifically to use native components as well, and is used in several notable applications. (Audacity, Code::Blocks, Dolphin,...

    While we're throwing GUI toolkits out there, wxWidgets is designed specifically to use native components as well, and is used in several notable applications. (Audacity, Code::Blocks, Dolphin, FileZilla)

    That said, the code is very macro-heavy and gives me constipation.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Over a thousand absentee ballots possibly destroyed in controversial North Carolina House race in ~news

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    It is easy to place all the blame on Trump, but Trump would be nothing without his enablers in Congress. They could have cut him down to size any time they wanted to, but they found it to be...

    It is easy to place all the blame on Trump, but Trump would be nothing without his enablers in Congress. They could have cut him down to size any time they wanted to, but they found it to be politically expedient to let his corruption, inflammatory rhetoric, and attacks on our democratic institutions persist unchecked to this day.

    Two years of Devin Nunes on the House Intelligence Committee writing bullshit conspiracy memos. Two years of Jason Chaffetz and Trey Gowdy sitting with their subpoena pens stuck all the way up their asses on the House Oversight Committee. Two years of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan letting this utter abdication of constitutional duty persist right in front of his face - without the slightest effort to discipline or remove these frauds and replace them with someone willing to abide by their oath of office.

    Then you have the ever-smoldering McConnell dumpster fire over in the Senate. Denying to hold hearings for not only a Supreme Court Justice, but dozens of other federal judicial seats. Sitting on intelligence reports that our elections are being targeted by a foreign adversary and threatening to politicize the matter if the public is informed. Rubber stamping the most corrupt cabinet ever in our nation's history. The Senate under his leadership has managed to do even less than Paul Ryan in terms of fulfilling his constitutional duty.

    It is easy to be mad at Trump. It is justified to be mad at Trump - but Trump is only a problem because he is the embodiment of everything the Republican party already stood for. Removing Trump would be like putting a band-aid over a gangrenous infection sprinkled with cancer, AIDS, and fire ants.

    The party is a criminal organization to the core. It is a mafia. I can deal with the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" type of Conservative, but the Republican Party is a bunch of reactionary theocratic fascist mobsters. It needs to be destroyed. There will be no justice in the United States until it is destroyed.

    RICO the GOP.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on A Gale of Revolution in the Air in ~humanities

  15. Comment on Struggle setting up Tildes development environment in ~tildes

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    One of the first things I did was override the default VM provider to VirtualBox, since the box specified in the Tildes VagrantFile does not support libvirt. I added an export...

    One of the first things I did was override the default VM provider to VirtualBox, since the box specified in the Tildes VagrantFile does not support libvirt. I added an export VAGRANT_DEFAULT_PROVIDER=virtualbox to my .bashrc to make this stick. Everything I posted above was done using the VirtualBox provider.

    As far as explicitly setting the default VM in the VagrantFile, that is probably not a bad idea. I assume Fedora is a little unique in changing the default provider, but being explicit in the VagrantFile would make the setup a bit more robust and portable.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Fortnite-maker aims for Steam’s head with Epic Games Store in ~games

    uselessabstraction Link Parent
    Steam, U-Play, Epic Games Launcher, EA Origin, it IS getting a bit out of hand. I understand the aversion to monopoly, but I also have an aversion to redundancy and invasions of my privacy. The...

    Steam, U-Play, Epic Games Launcher, EA Origin, it IS getting a bit out of hand. I understand the aversion to monopoly, but I also have an aversion to redundancy and invasions of my privacy.

    The free software community has worked this problem out over a decade ago with repositories. You can have one package manager, and add repositories from whichever vendor you like. I wish commercial software developers would hop on board.

  17. Comment on Struggle setting up Tildes development environment in ~tildes

    uselessabstraction (edited ) Link Parent
    After wiping away all traces of the box, several times I can't figure out for the life of me why the original script is failing to run in its shell. I ssh'ed into the box, and sure enough, which...

    After wiping away all traces of the box, several times I can't figure out for the life of me why the original script is failing to run in its shell. I ssh'ed into the box, and sure enough, which sh returns /usr/bin/sh.

    None the less, I did some RTFMing and discovered that I can supply a custom bootstrap_salt.sh to the Salt provisioner, so I copied the bootstrap script, and made it a bit more portable by telling it to use /usr/bin/env sh.

    This is still a bit messy, but I can reprovision the machine without doing any manual screwing around. The box now provisions, and everything seems to be working. I suppose I'm happy with this hack for now :)

    Edit: It is worth mentioning, that the host system is running Fedora 29, and they have made at least a few adjustments to upstream Vagrant. Most notably, the default VM provider is switched to libvirt, and this needs to be overridden in order to use the box "ubuntu/xenial64" which is specified by Tildes.

    1 vote
  18. This is a speech that was delivered to the French National Assembly by Alexis de Tocqueville in January, 1848 - just a month before the outbreak of the 1848 "February Revolution." I find it to be...

    This is a speech that was delivered to the French National Assembly by Alexis de Tocqueville in January, 1848 - just a month before the outbreak of the 1848 "February Revolution."

    I find it to be remarkably prescient - even to this day - yet vastly underappreciated (at least from an American/English-speaking perspective).

    I am told that there is no danger because there are no riots; I am told that, because there is no visible disorder on the surface of society, there is no revolution at hand.

    Gentlemen, permit me to say that I believe you are mistaken. True, there is no actual disorder; but it has entered deeply into men's minds. See what is preparing itself amongst the working classes, who, I grant, are at present quiet. No doubt they are not disturbed by political passions, properly so called, to the same extent that they have been; but can you not see that their passions, instead of political, have become social? Do you not see that they are gradually forming opinions and ideas that are destined not only to upset this or that law, ministry, or even form of government, but society itself, until it totters upon the foundations on which it rests today? Do you not listen to what they say to themselves each day? Do you not hear them repeating unceasingly that all that is above them is incapable and unworthy of governing them; that the distribution of goods prevalent until now throughout the world is unjust; that property rests on a foundation that is not an equitable one? And do you not realize that when such opinions take root, when they spread in an almost universal manner, when they sink deeply into the masses, they are bound to bring with them sooner or later, I know not when or how, a most formidable revolution?

    This, gentlemen, is my profound conviction: I believe that we are at this moment sleeping on a volcano. I am profoundly convinced of it.

    I was saying just now that this evil would sooner or later, I know not how or whence it will come, bring with it a most serious revolution: be assured that that is so.-

    When I come to investigate what, at different times, in different periods, among different peoples, has been the effective cause that has brought about the downfall of the governing classes, I perceive this or that event, man, or accidental or superficial cause; but, believe me, the real reason, the effective reason that causes men to lose political power is that they have become unworthy to retain it.

    Think, gentlemen, of the old monarchy: it was stronger than you are, stronger in its origin; it was able to lean more than you do upon ancient customs, ancient habits, ancient beliefs; it was stronger than you are, and yet it has fallen to dust. And why did it fall? Do you think it was by the particular mischance? Do you think it was by the act some man, by the deficit, the oath in the tennis court, Lafayette, Mirabeau? No, gentlemen; there was another reason: the class that was then the governing class had become, through its indifference, its selfishness, and its vices, incapable and unworthy of governing the country.

    That was the true reason.

    Well, gentlemen, if it is right to have this patriotic prejudice at all times, how much more is it not right to have it in our own? Do you not feel, by some intuitive instinct that is not capable of analysis, but that is undeniable, that the earth is quaking once again in Europe? Do you not feel -- what shall I say? -- as it were a gale of revolution in the air? This gale, no one knows whence it springs, whence it blows, nor, believe me, whom it will carry with it; and it is in such times as these that you remain calm before the degradation of public morality -- for the expression is not too strong.

    I speak here without bitterness; I am even addressing you without any party spirit; I am attacking men against whom I feel no vindictiveness. But I am obliged to communicate to my country my firm and profound conviction. Well, then, my firm and profound conviction is this: that public morality is being degraded, and that the degradation of public morality will shortly, very shortly perhaps, bring down upon you new revolutions. Is the life of kings held by stronger threads? And these more difficult to snap than those of other men? Can you say today that you are certain of tomorrow? Do you know what may happen in France a year hence, or even a month or a day hence? You do not know; but what you must know is that the tempest is looming on the horizon, that it is coming toward us. Will you allow it to take you by surprise?

    Gentlemen, I implore you not to do so. I do not ask you, I implore you. I would gladly throw myself on my knees before you, so strongly do I believe in the reality and the seriousness of he danger, so convinced am I that my warnings are no empty rhetoric. Yes, the danger is great. Allay it while there is yet time; correct the evil by efficacious remedies, by attacking it not in its symptoms, but in itself.

    Legislative changes have been spoken of. I am greatly disposed to think that these changes are not only very useful, but necessary; thus, I believe in the need of electoral reform, in the urgency of parliamentary reform; but I am not, gentlemen, so mad as not to know that no laws can affect the destinies of nations. No, it is not the mechanism of laws that produced great events, gentlemen, but the inner spirit of the government. Keep the laws as they are, if you wish. I think you would be very wrong to do so; but keep them. Keep the men, too, if it gives you any pleasure. I raise no objection so far as I am concerned. But, in God's name, change the spirit of the government; for, I repeat, that spirit will lead you to the abyss.

    Source of English translation

    16 votes
  19. Comment on Four Defendants Charged In Panama Papers Investigation in ~news

    uselessabstraction Link
    It's about f'kn time. Hopefully this is just the beginning. Take all their money and build communes for the homeless right in the Hamptons. Plow their golf courses and plant vegetables. Throw them...

    It's about f'kn time. Hopefully this is just the beginning. Take all their money and build communes for the homeless right in the Hamptons. Plow their golf courses and plant vegetables. Throw them in jail and toss away the key.

    8 votes
  20. I'm interested in possibly developing a tildes client. In order to experiment with the currently disabled API, as well as to become more familiar with how Tildes works internally, I've been trying...

    I'm interested in possibly developing a tildes client. In order to experiment with the currently disabled API, as well as to become more familiar with how Tildes works internally, I've been trying to set up a Tildes development environment on my machine following the instructions on the docs site. I've run into a problem with the 'vagrant up' stage of the setup.

    ...  
    ==> default: Running provisioner: salt...  
    Copying salt minion config to vm.  
    Checking if salt-minion is installed  
    salt-minion was not found.  
    Checking if salt-call is installed  
    salt-call was not found.  
    Using Bootstrap Options:  -F -c /tmp  
    Bootstrapping Salt... (this may take a while)  
    bash: /tmp/bootstrap_salt.sh: /usr/bin/sh: bad interpreter: No such file or directory  
    The following SSH command responded with a non-zero exit status.  
    Vagrant assumes that this means the command failed!  
      
    /tmp/bootstrap_salt.sh  -F -c /tmp  
      
    Stdout from the command:  
      
      
      
    Stderr from the command:  
      
    bash: /tmp/bootstrap_salt.sh: /usr/bin/sh: bad interpreter: No such file or directory  
    

    So the Salt provisioning is failing, and it seems like it just has the wrong path to the shell it needs, but while I could probably just tweak this script, it seems like that goes against the concept of using Vagrant in the first place. I was wondering if anyone else ran into this problem, or if the bug lies between the seat and the keyboard.

    15 votes