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    1. Do you get bored?

      I've been mulling over this question for a while. I genuinely can't remember the last time I was "bored". There are so many demands for my attention, opportunities for entertainment, and things to...

      I've been mulling over this question for a while.

      I genuinely can't remember the last time I was "bored". There are so many demands for my attention, opportunities for entertainment, and things to do that I'm never starved for stimulus.

      I think back to my childhood, when boredom was either something to be overcome and at times a paradoxical motivation: how many hobbies did I pick up or things did I learn because they were more interesting than being bored?

      I think of my students now, with phones, and wonder if they ever experience boredom anymore because they now have unlimited individualized high-interest content available at their fingertips 24/7.

      So, my question for everybody here is: do you get bored?

      If so, what is it like?

      If not, why do you think that is?

      How do you feel about your own boredom or lack thereof? What's the good and what's the bad of it?

      28 votes
    2. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      7 votes
    3. Easy access to stimulants aided scientific progress in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

      https://mastodon.social/@tef/112763581163648202 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Erd%C5%91s#Personality His colleague Alfréd Rényi said, "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into...

      https://mastodon.social/@tef/112763581163648202

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Erd%C5%91s#Personality

      His colleague Alfréd Rényi said, "a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems", and Erdős drank copious quantities

      After his mother's death in 1971 he started taking antidepressants and amphetamines, despite the concern of his friends, one of whom (Ron Graham) bet him $500 that he could not stop taking them for a month. Erdős won the bet, but complained that it impacted his performance: "You've showed me I'm not an addict. But I didn't get any work done. I'd get up in the morning and stare at a blank piece of paper. I'd have no ideas, just like an ordinary person. You've set mathematics back a month."

      https://kolektiva.social/@sidereal/112764385284252961

      They were called the "greatest generation" because they collectively had far easier access to stimulants than anyone before or since


      Random showerthought time:

      The war on drugs, medical skepticism, stigma, and other factors caused stimulants and medications, especially those useful for treating conditions such as ADHD, to become less accessible. This adversely affected the people who needed or would otherwise benefit from these stimulants and medications, and scientific progress and society more widely has suffered because of it.

      29 votes
    4. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      4 votes
    5. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      5 votes
    6. Why do I feel more connected to my dream with a full bladder?

      If I wake up with a medium full bladder, morning or middle of the night, sometimes I feel like my dream is still available and paused, and if I go back asleep right away, I can sometimes continue...

      If I wake up with a medium full bladder, morning or middle of the night, sometimes I feel like my dream is still available and paused, and if I go back asleep right away, I can sometimes continue the dream. During these precious moments, while awake, I remember the details of my dream vividly.

      On the other hand, if I go pee, then the dream rapidly fades away, like the door is shut. If I do dream again, it will be a completely new dream.

      I haven't been good about keeping up my dietary log, but it could be related to certain foods, like if I had too much salt? Idk

      Also a full bladder definitely doesn't guarantee dreams. I can have dreamless sleep with full bladder too, which is what makes me think my diet may be related too.

      15 votes
    7. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      10 votes
    8. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      12 votes
    9. Update #2 - "Reopening", Advertising, and so on

      I picked ~misc and don't really have an idea of what tags would be appropriate. If there's stuff I can include in future posts like this I'll be glad to make sure they're there, just let me know....

      I picked ~misc and don't really have an idea of what tags would be appropriate. If there's stuff I can include in future posts like this I'll be glad to make sure they're there, just let me know. There probably won't be one for a long while but I'll remember. Technically I am advertising myself a bit, but I think I've framed it well enough that ya'll will see it's not really the point of the post. I'll never be bothering ya'll with offers and ads and shit.

      This is a continuation from a post I made a while back about how it's going with the endeavor I've set in front of myself. In some ways, things proceed as I'd hoped, while in others there's been need for flexibility/adjustment. I wanted to give an update because a few big steps happened this past week which hopefully mean moving into a busier phase of the whole thing, and to add to the corpus, create the proof of what this all was as it begins if that makes sense.

      The biggest thing has been an article published in our local paper. Two, actually, which were combined together into a front page spread I did not expect. Yes, there's a photo of us and our contact info in there, and yes, you're welcome to reach us if you've an idea for something you'd like to do. You'll be talking to me, and I'll be happy to go over details and land on pricing that actually does work for both of us. Primarily we are offering the space, with some ability to accommodate large groups and connections with folks who can provide stuff. It depends on what you want, how things will be priced. The less you need us to do, the less we need to charge. We don't want to regularly be a place where folks stay overnight, but I can probably swing that from time to time for someone coming from far away. If you aim to do something in the near term, do be aware it is hot as shit down here and very humid. The house is a-ok staying cool, but you'll want to be prepared for Mississippi in the summer. I have a dog too, so if you've got allergies you'll need to prep accordingly. She's gonna be 16 this year, she's nothing but friendly to people and sleeps a lot. Pets are welcome, provided they are house-trained and well behaved.

      I am intentionally avoiding the internet on the whole for reasons I'll get into, but I do want to extend an offer to this forum in particular, as thanks for allowing me the space for expressing my thoughts as they took shape. I'm aware the site is public facing - what I'm going to share here is public already. I have to bite the bullet on sacrificing some anonymity and just try to control how that anonymity goes away, is how I've come to see it. You won't find me on social media, and what exists for the house/my grandmother is wildly out of date/largely inaccessible - it's gonna stay that way if all remains up to me, so this is just about the only way for someone outside of Brookhaven to know of us at this time. I'd like for at least a few people to know what we were up to, in a form that serves as proof of my intent from its actual beginnings. While the plan took shape before I ever wrote about it, it was in writing about it that I was able to make it clear to myself, what I aim to be doing, so I feel like it's part of completing things to share this stuff here.

      The paper is very much a local thing, they got a few details wrong and you'll probably pick out how the quotes don't quite sound like me if you've read a lot of what I've posted. It's fine, the details in need of correction aren't critical. There isn't a lot in there about the more high-minded stuff I like to write about, because I'm not there yet. For now, it's simply building a business out of something, I have to make the something from which that business will spring. I'll think more about where it goes when I've got it moving. The article was free, which was pretty awesome. The paper is in a slow time, and it's mostly one guy doing a lot of the writing, they were just happy to have something to include. I think he did great.

      The articles worked, too. I got calls the day the print version went out, and am expecting some followups soon to set dates and square away payment. I go walking downtown every day in the afternoon, and got some extra attention. While it's possible, while the pressure is light, I've been taking advantage by trying to advertise almost solely through word of mouth and face-to-face interactions, fully aware it will take a while for that to have an effect and that I may need to branch out fast if pressures change. Thus far, it's been the local paper, a print ad in a different paper that goes out primarily to local businesses, and a radio ad. There's a couple of reasons I've stuck to stuff like that.

      The first is that I think it will provide a good foundation for sustaining the enterprise. If it's possible to have enough business to stay around purely from what exists around me, that means I can capitalize maximally if/when we do extend advertising outside our area, and it means security if for whatever reason those means can't be utilized. I don't want to be dependent on the internet for a livelihood if I can possibly manage it. It's not so principled a position that I'd refuse to do it at any point, rather it's like a back-pocket option, something to be engaged with strategically at what I determine to be either the proper time or because the needs have grown past what I can sustain without it, if that makes sense. My aim is to be a part of this town, to be of it, so I want to keep what we're doing as local and simple as possible. I have to be ready to constrain everything and take care of my grandmother too. I won't let that priority slip and will endure whatever hardship is necessary to fulfill it. It's easier to do that the smaller things are, a bit of a balancing act.

      The second reason is much more practical and kind of silly. My grandmother's computer is the biggest security risk I think I've ever encountered in person. I refuse to introduce new online components when such a risk exists, if that makes sense, and I will endure whatever hit to efficiency/development it means until I can get it corrected. Her usage habits are minimal which is a lucky thing - she sticks to old fashioned stuff for almost everything. But, a priority of mine is that she can see and understand everything I'm doing, so I need this machine to be in a better state before I can take some of the steps with that. The challenge of it isn't technical at all, I could get the thing in good working order in a day, probably.

      To give you an idea of what's difficult here, imagine for a moment you just ignored the internet as a whole since it began. You used it, you know how to do some stuff on it, but only by way of memorizing actions, the steps necessary to do a thing you wanted, a setup someone made for you. You never really engaged with what the stuff you use is designed for, you didn't follow how any of it developed, you're (blissfully, I'd say) unaware of pretty much that whole end of things. It's very difficult to explain the danger of something like an AI phishing scam, to someone who for all intents and purposes, never learned what phishing is, and further doesn't tend to believe in the shittiness of other people. That last part is one of the reasons I love my grandmother as much as I do, but it does make this task harder, and delays further action on my part.

      I've gotten the machine to as secure a state as I can, and have gotten the data backed up, so hopefully movement really gets going on this and I can feel better about spreading out our net, so to speak. I think what frustrates me about it is having been there across years of time - a lot of why this machine is the way it is, is because other people took it upon themselves to "fix it" and almost none of them knew what the hell they were doing. They didn't explain anything to my grandmother either. Their interactions mean misunderstandings on my grandmother's part, and the lack of a foundation of knowledge means it's starting from zero in a way I have never actually encountered before doing this kind of work. I've gotten close, seen some pretty absurd things, but the lack here is just of a different kind, more complex than it seems. I've been writing about it separately/on my own because I think the experience stands as a sort of ultimate test of a lot of the stuff I did before I got here.

      There is also health to think about. The priority, for now, is to set things up in a way which is compatible with what my grandmother can do. I'm trying to set up situations that let her do the things that make her happiest, and do all of the nitty-gritty shitty stuff myself. That means house maintenance, yard work, grocery shopping, cooking, arranging for stuff like an electrician when something breaks, learning how to do some of the fixing myself. I've only ever rented. I've never been in a position to maintain a house before, and as I'm sure plenty of you know far better than me, that's a good bit to learn all on its own. Especially with a home as old and complicated as this one with an owner who hasn't done a lot of that herself. Can't exactly tell me what needs doing when someone else was being paid to come do it for years. I feel good about it though, I like to learn and I like to fix things, and there's lots of opportunity. I've been able to eliminate a lot of costs and reduce regular expenses by taking on a lot of what others were doing and applying effective fixes to longstanding issues. It's very fulfilling, like getting to do the type of work I always hit a wall with in all my other workplaces, improve and optimize. That it's for my family brings together a lot of what matters the most to me, keeps me constantly motivated.

      The town is nice too. It's been a few months so I've gotten more acclimated, the slower pace of things and friendlier atmosphere really does a lot for me. Here are a bunch of images of downtown I took on some of my walks. Because of the slower pace, I can be measured, precise, take the proper time to consider things and work out problems without feeling like I'm in some inner state of siege/under the gun all the time. At first I missed a lot of what was available to me elsewhere, but as time went on I came to realize a lot of that just didn't matter as much as I thought it did. As much as I love a good Indian restaurant and a computer store, not having them is not the detriment my mind used to pretend it was. Along with that has come an explosion of creativity, I've done a ridiculous amount of writing and reading, and am slowly getting myself up to snuff drawing things. The house exists on an art school campus, and from what I've gathered reading local magazines the presence of that school has done a ton to really give this place character and variety. My hope is to really lean into that, support it and see if we can have our space be a place for folks to work their creativity. Connections are taking shape and that's made me real happy to see. I cannot tell you how heartwarming it is, for example, to talk about this stuff with the guy who does a radio show and then hear him on the radio a day later saying "this place is really good you should go see it!" Folks are really beginning to grasp my aims when it comes to the scale and type of stuff we want to do, and I haven't really encountered much suspicion/doubt/etc. Folks tend to just trust the simple motives. I can't ask for more than that, the sense of gratitude I wake up with every day is beyond my ability to capture here.

      So, there you go. Another step taken, one more further toward whatever comes, as precisely as I can manage to get to the goals. I wanted to post the followup because I said I'd do that and as part of the effort itself, share the vision and the way it plays out in the hope others spot what my eyes miss, and/or that they might take something useful for themselves from it. I'd love to read it if you have thoughts, opinions, advice, experience. Or if you just want to talk about the high minded stuff, I do like doing that. Helps me stay consistent. Anyway, i've said plenty, so off I go to walk around downtown again. I've got that phone on me all the time, call/text whenever (text if it's after 5pm CST, is my only request with that). As always, I very much appreciate you taking the time and giving me your attention.

      16 votes
    10. Where do you find community?

      Where do you find support and friendship? Who are the folks who encourage you and add positivity to your life? It can be anything from a local gym to a sewing group to an online forum. I'd love to...

      Where do you find support and friendship? Who are the folks who encourage you and add positivity to your life? It can be anything from a local gym to a sewing group to an online forum. I'd love to hear about every's little supportive corners and community networks!

      40 votes
    11. Job search blues

      I’m a software engineer with 4 years of experience in a contract position that ends in a few months, with no renewal or conversion. Previously I was laid off in December 2022 and didn’t find work...

      I’m a software engineer with 4 years of experience in a contract position that ends in a few months, with no renewal or conversion. Previously I was laid off in December 2022 and didn’t find work until March 2023, so I’m trying to stay ahead of unemployment by applying for jobs before my contract ends.

      Since January I’ve been applying to all sorts of SWE jobs, either tailored to my experience or generalist roles I can fill. I’ve had two interviews, and they were for small on-site companies in my town. One I had to turn down an offer because their company was a nightmare, and the other went with a candidate who had more experience.

      I feel demoralized, frustrated, and anxious. Only two interviews in nearly 6 months? I thought the job search in 2023 was rough, but this is ridiculous. I’m confident in my ability to perform above expectations and I think if I could at least get more interviews I wouldn’t be searching for so long.

      I assume my resume must be the issue so I’ve rewritten it several times, getting feedback from managers and senior employees while also feeding it through ATS scanners. It’s come a long way but as of recently they all tell me it’s a great resume. They say it should at least get me an interview. And ATS scanners aren’t telling me anything is missing.

      Recently I even got an internal referral for a position through a friend of a friend, and my experience lined up nicely with the job description too. I thought this would be a sure thing, most hires come from networking rather than cold applications. Their engineering manager viewed my LinkedIn profile and I’ve since been ghosted. This experience hurt the most, because what else could they want? I feel like I’ve got a sticky note on my back that says do not hire instead of kick me!

      I can’t be alone in this experience. Is anyone else on here struggling in this job market? How long can this go on for and how bad is it going to get?

      43 votes
    12. How late is too late for a house party?

      I did it. I called the police with a very kind noise complaint. A house party down the street was going at 0130. I typically wouldn't care, but this was so loud that I could ask siri what a song...

      I did it. I called the police with a very kind noise complaint. A house party down the street was going at 0130. I typically wouldn't care, but this was so loud that I could ask siri what a song was and it told me. The house is three houses away, across the street, on the next block.

      For fellow party-poopers, how late did you let it go before you did something?

      35 votes
    13. What do you think is the mindset of the banally evil?

      There was a question on reddit about whether rich people ever think about all the poor and starving people who are suffering while they live in luxury. It got me thinking about the "rich" more...

      There was a question on reddit about whether rich people ever think about all the poor and starving people who are suffering while they live in luxury. It got me thinking about the "rich" more broadly, as many of the people like me who are on the internet are part of the global 1% if not the local.

      I think a lot of rich people dont like to think about the idea that maybe the truly morally right thing to do would be to give up all their money and work a day job like everyone else.

      So they try to avoid thinking about it at all to avoid having to constantly feel guilty about not doing the thing they know is right. Making a contribution to helping others just opens you up to other people or even your own conscience saying you could be doing more, and youll never be able to do enough to fully justify not doing so. Or alternatively you can embrace selfishness and give up on constantly trying to be a better person and never have to think about it again.

      Maybe its easy to look at some billionaire and say they could lose 1/2 their money and not notice any change in their lifestyle, so they should be considered morally contemptable for not even offering a fraction of that when it could make such a difference for so many. But somewhere between that and living in poverty, there has got to be some line where your right to take care of yourself and your right to try and invest in your own future stops outweighing the shame of allowing the evils of the world to go unchallenged.

      Then there is a fuzzy region around that line where its ambiguous whether you are doing enough good in the world or if you should feel morally compelled to change how you are living your life. And I think its probable the for a lot of people the place where they envision all their dreams coming true is somewhere on the negative end of the spectrum. So if your dream is to be a famous movie star, for example, at some point that dream might not be compatible with your moral imoerative to oppose classism.

      Personally I hate having to work an office job. If I got the chance to make a fortune Id build a cabin in the woods and have food delivered to me and never have to deal with anything ever again. But doing so would be selfish. So I guess if I ever had the opportunity Id be corrupted by riches in a heartbeat. Which is kind of a downer of an ending to this line of thought.

      31 votes
    14. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      6 votes
    15. I'm really tired of trying to be understanding to my right-winger friends

      I live in a country that's extremely dominated by the right. Leftist people are almost non-existent, and it's even often used as an insult. By leftist I just don't mean it in the anti-capitalist...

      I live in a country that's extremely dominated by the right. Leftist people are almost non-existent, and it's even often used as an insult. By leftist I just don't mean it in the anti-capitalist sense, but also for cultural stuff like not being a homophobe, racist, misogynist, etc. In fact, these are even more important qualities in this context.

      I've gone through and am still going through my fair share of ideological growth. Even though I've always been progressive by the standards of my country, well, it was a low bar. So I had to unlearn a lot of things, and learn a much more critical approach. I'm a constant learner, and I'm interested in politics, so in the long run it's changed me a lot.

      Another thing is that I've always had a strong egalitarian tendency since my childhood. I think this is an important trait that enabled me to grow past the conservative hierarchies. I'm really glad I did, and I plan on continuing to do so. However, this came at a personal cost I deem great.

      Simply put, I have a lot of trouble connecting with people anymore. I still can connect with people at some level as long as we don't talk about politics, but it's an important area to me, and more importantly, as a human being, I don't think I will ever be able to overlook someone who grossly objectifies women every day, expresses queerphobic sentiments constantly, jokes about violence against minorities regularly, or genuinely wants pogroms to happen to minorities.

      This is not a single person, but it's the general attitude of the population here. Men tend to make more edgy reactionary remarks, but women aren't that different politics-wise either. Some of my friends are left or left-leaning, but most of them are right-wingers who say and believe in stuff like that.

      I've tried to be understanding, see it from a different angle, tried to consider that people are 3-dimensional. But there's a limit. Both because I grew, and because some of them regressed, I now look at these people and feel like I'm a complete stranger. As a person who bonds with people hard, this is extremely upsetting to me. Loneliness has been a burden of mine for a long time for various reasons, but in the last few years I was finally starting feel like I had found a social circle I could truly belong to. Despite all the stuff I mentioned, in personal relations, these people had qualities I found quite positive and precious at the time. For example, they were much less the stereotypical "feelings are for women" type of guys, which are extremely common here. Maybe first time in my life, I was feeling truly at home. It's probably why I struggled for years to keep it going.

      For a very long time, I tried having talks with them, explain stuff to them, listen to them. They didn't work. I tried being aggressive, because they are still kind of dudely dudes who sometimes "respect" a dominant attitude, but that didn't work either. I feel like they are truly lost, and infuriatingly, unapologetically reactionary.

      I fear that if I abandon them I won't be able to find a new social circle like this one. I have international friends as well, and I love them, but anyone can guess that for some stuff you want local people to bond with.

      Part of my frustration is due to how most people here tend to follow comically evil beliefs. If this was just a rare occurance, I wouldn't have reacted this strongly, because I'd know there were a lot of egalitarian people. But they are an extreme minority. The dehumanization is suffocating.

      There isn't much to add. This is a cost I didn't consider would come to pass, but I think I've outgrown these people, except for a few friends who I appreciate. It's demoralizing losing your social circle again at this age, to start all over. Again. But I think it's mostly unavoidable, because I am done trying to be tolerant of their evil.

      Has anyone gone through, or is going through, something similar? What was or is your experience like?

      80 votes
    16. How does one engage in criticism of Israel without stooping to anti-semitic tropes?

      I write this topic knowing that it might get removed for being too controversial or incendiary or bring the anti-Semites out of the woodwork, in which case, I understand why this topic might get...

      I write this topic knowing that it might get removed for being too controversial or incendiary or bring the anti-Semites out of the woodwork, in which case, I understand why this topic might get removed.

      I am just hoping that tildes has a better capacity of engaging in such a charged topic, at least more than reddit.

      onto my question:

      Like anyone else who watches the news, I have been pretty aware of what is going on in the latest escalation of the Israel-Palestine war. I would not claim to be the most educated person ever, but I'd like to think I at least understand the broad-strokes.

      And I consider myself generally a progressive person (not a liberal) so I personally am not a big fan of the Israeli govt. And yes I do condemn Hamas, I don't care what your struggle is, Oct 7th was a terror attack and only makes the situation worse for the people you claim to be freedom fighters for.

      Having said all that, and seeing how much control Israel seems to have on the western powers, or specifically U.S., I will admit, my thoughts sometimes veer towards "they really do control things" and shit like that, but then 10 seconds later, I realize how ye-like that sounds and it's the exact same kind of thinking that led to the Holocaust. But then I also wonder if that is not entirely my fault and more because of the Jewish leaders who insist on making fervent support of Israel a strong part of their identity, thereby linking any criticism of the Israeli govt with criticism of Jewish people (or at least the Jewish leaders in the media who are supportive of Israel) rather than distancing themselves from a right-wing government.

      So yea, I guess my question is: I don't think its entirely unreasonable to think that Israel has a surprising amount of control over western powers (specifically U.S.) but that sentiment in and of itself also veers dangerously close to antisemitism for my liking so I wondered how folks on here approach it?

      38 votes
    17. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      5 votes
    18. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      11 votes
    19. Just wanna talk about drinking less

      I don't want to say I'm an alcoholic but I might be. Over the last several years, my drinking has increased from once or twice a week to daily, to the point where I'd start my day off in the...

      I don't want to say I'm an alcoholic but I might be. Over the last several years, my drinking has increased from once or twice a week to daily, to the point where I'd start my day off in the weekend with a drink. I knew it wasn't good, but it was a habit I fell into.

      Obviously I'm aware enough about it to do something. I've quit smoking cigarettes, so I at least understand the quitting process, but I also don't want to (and don't think I could) give up drinking forever like I did with quitting cigarettes.

      My wife is also a drinker, but is much more moderated about it. Thing is, it meant that even if I didn't buy drinks for me, there's always been drinks in the house and so... I drank that. I've finally convinced her that for financial and dietary reasons it would be beneficial to us to stop buying drinks for at home. For my own self, I know that if I don't have a drink around I just won't drink.

      This works great but, I find myself lost and listless now! It's a frustrating feeling that I remember well from when I was quitting cigarettes, and I know I just need to work through those moments and keep myself busy otherwise. With the nice weather, I've been biking a lot more and spending more time outside with my kids. At night is when it's toughest - those times after everyone else is asleep and before I go to bed.

      I'm not really looking for advice or anything, I just want to share somewhere my experience so far, because it feels good to write about it and express my feelings. Maybe it'll help.

      Also if anyone has a suggestion for something to replace beer, I'd appreciate it. I don't like fruity, or soft drinks. Currently I'm getting by with enormous amounts of sparkling water but sometimes I want some flavor, but most drinks that aren't beer are cloyingly sweet and disgusting.

      74 votes
    20. Milestone: Eldest child hits 18!

      I'm just spouting here. Today I feel old, yet I'm mid 40s. My eldest daughter today is 18. We had a family party for her yesterday and it was lovely. It's so crazy where the years go. As I sit...

      I'm just spouting here. Today I feel old, yet I'm mid 40s. My eldest daughter today is 18. We had a family party for her yesterday and it was lovely.

      It's so crazy where the years go. As I sit here, the 3.5 year old plays Duplo by the sofa on a lazy Sunday, the two other late teenagers upstairs and still not out of bed, I wonder what happens when they all leave and the house becomes peaceful.

      I have a long time to go with the youngest having arrived while I'm in the later years for having a child, he will practically grow up a single sibling. Holidays are certainly going to get cheaper in the long term.

      45 votes
    21. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      6 votes
    22. Some thoughts on cleaning up my shitty apartment

      So, I have some crap lying on the floor. Not crap in the sence that it goes straight to recycling, just lots of tidbits which I don't exactly know what to do with; semi-sorted papers, notebooks,...

      So, I have some crap lying on the floor. Not crap in the sence that it goes straight to recycling, just lots of tidbits which I don't exactly know what to do with; semi-sorted papers, notebooks, various VR gear, some books which I don't really have room for in my bookcase, some folders where some of the papers should probably go into, my laptop, a stone which I guess I use for weightlifting except I forget to do that, and when I see all this stuff, my brain just shortcircuits.

      So I decided that, okay, I can just ignore this and try tidying up this shelf which I had tried to make into a sort of cabinet of curiosities but which over time had degenerated into a bit of mess; a LCD game, the box to said LCD game, vintage headphones, vintage phone, retro Nokia mobile, beach glass, fossils, various stones, some mess which doesn't really belongs here, a cat skull (I think) ... and of course, the same thing happened. My brain just said nope, too much to deal with.

      I know there are ways to go about it. If getting my apartment in a habitable state is too much, I can ignore all of it and just focusing on one room. If my coding project seem to overwhelming, I can decide on a alpha milestone to work towards and based on that make a bucket list of the tasks and start with the most basic one, and if the first one is too overwhelming, split it up into sub-tasks. So there are some tried-and-true ways to deal with it.

      But for the first time, I started to wonder what exactly goes on with the brain here? Why does something consisting of a relatively small number of sub-tasks seem so overwhelmingly hard? Is it like that for everyone, does it have a name, what?

      30 votes
    23. I am a witch. Well, a well witcher...

      The well on our acreage has stopped producing much. It may come back after some rehabilitation but in the mean time I called out a local water expert and well repair tech to look at it. He said it...

      The well on our acreage has stopped producing much. It may come back after some rehabilitation but in the mean time I called out a local water expert and well repair tech to look at it.

      He said it might be necessary to drill a deeper well. Then he pulled out two rods, bent at a 90 degree angle and held them loosely in his grip, letting the ends point forward and still able to move freely. He started walking, criss crossing our yard til at one point the two rods turned inward to point toward each other. He dug his heel in to mark the spot and moved on to find at least 5 other spots on the yard where there is water underground. This is well witching. And its been used for years to find underground water.

      Dont ask me how it works. I have no clue. But he asked if I wanted to try it, so I did. Held the rods loosely and walked and sure enough, over a certain point they swung together. I was looking at them but very consciously not moving my hands or trying to manipulate them in any way. The rods were only about 1/8" thick and I wasnt gripping them tightly so it would have been impossible to make them turn. Did my hands turn in ever so slightly? Not that I could tell. I turned around and walked back over the spot and sure enough, the rods turned in at the same spot.

      Its a weird phenomenon. Have no idea why it works but it does work. I've seen witching used at a friends house with a very long pole held in one hand that would dip down when the witcher walked over the water, and it produced a successful high flow well. This guy even said he could find gas lines using the same technique.

      Can't wait til the wife gets home and I let her know she married a witch. lol

      35 votes
    24. For proponents of "vote for the lesser of two evils", what is your endgame?

      If I understand folks with that PoV correctly: if you are a democrat or typically vote democrat, you generally think that republicans are a danger to democracy, bad for the lives of minorities,...

      If I understand folks with that PoV correctly:

      if you are a democrat or typically vote democrat, you generally think that republicans are a danger to democracy, bad for the lives of minorities, and the disadvantaged/LGBT+, etc.
      If you are a republican or typically vote republican, you generally think that democrats are a danger to democracy, divide the country with identity politics, etc.
      (obviously I am making sweeping generalizations of both camps off the top of my head but hopefully the point comes across)

      But, I don't get what your endgame is. Like, you make it seem like if the other party wins, the country is screwed. but you can't possibly think that the country will forever vote for your party for President, right? So you think America is destined to go downhill depending on how many years the opposing party is in power?

      America flips between red and blue. So the other party is bound to win at least once a decade imo. and yet I hear how democracy is more at stake now than it's ever been if "the other party wins". So I don't get the long-term viability of "lesser of 2 evils" approach.

      Since I doubt America will become less angry and divisive anytime soon thanks to yallls 24 hour news networks and the social media companies that make more money the more Americans are mad at each other.

      Then again, I am by no means an expert so where am I wrong or have I misunderstood something?

      13 votes
    25. What are some global projects I can contribute to from my home?

      I'll try to keep it short. I'm not satisfied with the way I'm trying to contribute to the betterment of humanity and the planet. I want to contribute to my local community, but because of...

      I'll try to keep it short. I'm not satisfied with the way I'm trying to contribute to the betterment of humanity and the planet. I want to contribute to my local community, but because of political and health reasons, I can't do that.

      My relevant strong points are that I can analyze, synthesize, and write well (have been praised for them in professional academic settings). But the suggestions don't have to be about this.

      I've been writing things here and there for years, but I feel like they lack direction. It's just one person putting it out there with very limited reach. I feel like being part of a bigger project could help me effect change better. At the very least, it could help me feel like I'm doing something more tangible.

      22 votes
    26. What is a value or belief you have that is extremely outside the norm?

      There are a lot of unorthodox or minor values and beliefs in societies. For example, in Western countries, veganism is relatively rare. But still, it's not unheard of and it's gaining traction. In...

      There are a lot of unorthodox or minor values and beliefs in societies. For example, in Western countries, veganism is relatively rare. But still, it's not unheard of and it's gaining traction. In the same way, radically egalitarian values are in no way popular, but they are definitely heard of. Think of ideologies that based themselves on them, like anarchism or utopian socialism.

      We all have values and beliefs we hold dear, but even the ones that are very unorthodox most often fall into a tradition in some sort of philosophy, and have some significant following and historical grounding.

      Obviously, no matter how unorthodox a belief is, there's going to be some historical grounding and tradition. But think of the beliefs and values you have, and consider whether you have any that is found in even less than 1% of the population. Do you have such values or beliefs, and why?

      ...

      In my case, it's the fact that I despise nature. By nature, I don't mean being exposed to beautiful parts of it in a safe environment. I mean the hunger, the thirst, the violence, the diseases, the cold, the hot, and similar hardships. I mean nature in its glorious violence and random acts of suffering. I cherish life, and I do my best to contribute to its conservation, and that's why I despise the violence inherent in nature. Metaphorically speaking, Mother Nature is the most abusive parent in history. As an extension of this, in the grand scheme of things, I see the violence of nature as a much bigger problem than violence of humankind.

      41 votes
    27. What are three things you're feeling positively about today?

      I try to do this exercise with myself sometimes and then... forget. But thought it'd be a fun thread. (Also, obligatory reminder that Tildes is also public and all comments are available without...

      I try to do this exercise with myself sometimes and then... forget. But thought it'd be a fun thread.

      (Also, obligatory reminder that Tildes is also public and all comments are available without login, so keep things uh, vague enough.)

      25 votes
    28. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      7 votes
    29. Are most political talks performative?

      This is a thought I had, and I'm not saying it's necessarily true, or at least cynically true. But I think it brings to the fore an interesting point, and I want to emphasize how it feels like. I...

      This is a thought I had, and I'm not saying it's necessarily true, or at least cynically true. But I think it brings to the fore an interesting point, and I want to emphasize how it feels like.

      I feel like people are mostly interested in politics from a distant and uninvolved point of view. For example, in more progressive spaces, there's all this talk about fear of climate change, deteriorating international politics, rise of right wing authoritarianism, populism, nationalism, etc. However, I feel like people expect others to do something about it. There's this passivity and inaction, and no real effort to combat such changes. I feel like debates, talking, ruminating and such perform a theatrical function that makes you feel as if you've contributed to "doing good", but you actually don't do anything. This is what I mean by performative.

      This is not to say talking is unimportant. It's a major component of politics, and it's a core value and function of democratic and egalitarian approaches. However, it feels to me like doomscrolling and dreading or being angry about political things is seen as being politically conscious and active, while political consciousness can't exist without action.

      What are your thoughts about this? Have you had similar thoughts, or do you think differently? How do you emotionally handle this?

      24 votes
    30. Expanding upon other peoples' thoughts in discussions

      Lately, I've noticed that during small group discussions in professional settings, especially in virtual meetings, I have a tendency to contribute additional thoughts after someone else shares...

      Lately, I've noticed that during small group discussions in professional settings, especially in virtual meetings, I have a tendency to contribute additional thoughts after someone else shares something. My colleagues are often quiet which leads to awkward silences between topics, and I feel that for the discussion to flow smoothly, there needs to be some form of response or reciprocity to what was said. So, I often take on the role of expanding upon others' points, even if what I say doesn't add much. I should note that, I myself am an introvert through and through, but these awkward silences still make me uncomfortable and it's kind of annoying to see a mute icon pop up when it's supposed to be an active conversation. I suppose this is a habit that carried over from my days of hosting Bible studies many years ago, where active participation was hard to come by. People don't often share, but when they do, it helps to have someone acknowledge it - in my opinion, at least. I similarly engage like this in D&D where, in roleplaying scenarios, I'd use my character to fill in the empty spaces of conversation between other players and the DM, even if it's just a simple response that wasn't explicitly necessary.

      My question is: do people, including yourself, appreciate it when someone responds or adds to their point in this manner? I struggle to discern whether I'm actually facilitating the conversation or hogging it in an annoying way. I'm open to feedback or hearing from your experiences.

      17 votes
    31. AI, automation, and inequality — how do we reach utopia?

      Ok, not utopia per se but a post-scarcity-ish economy where people have their basic needs—food, shelter, healthcare—met virtually automatically. A world where, sure, maybe you have to earn money...

      Ok, not utopia per se but a post-scarcity-ish economy where people have their basic needs—food, shelter, healthcare—met virtually automatically. A world where, sure, maybe you have to earn money for certain very scarce luxuries like a tropical island trip, jewelry, nightly wagyu steak dinners, or a penthouse overlooking Central Park, but you get enough basic income to eat healthily and decently every day, have a modest but comfortable home, and not stress out about going to the hospital — and then you can choose if you want to work to earn money to buy additional luxuries or just spend your time to do sports, make art or music, pursue an academic interest, counsel or mentor others in your community, or devote yourself to nature conservation.

      I want to get this conversation rolling regularly because it's evident that we're on a cusp of a new economic era — one where AI and automation could free us from a lot of menial physical and intellectual labor and the pretense that everyone has to work to earn their continued existence. It's evident that not everyone has to work. If anything, our economy could be more efficient if incompetent or unmotivated folks just stayed at home and got out of other people's way. I think we all know someone who stays in a job because they need it but are actually a net negative on the organization.

      It's an open-ended topic, and there's a lot to talk about in this series—like, how would we distribute the fruits of automation? How would we politically achieve those mechanisms of distribution? What does partially automated healthcare look like?—but I think it'd be good to first talk about current economic inefficiencies that should and could be automated away.

      25 votes
    32. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      4 votes
    33. NHS is broken - also, did my Pa have a stroke?

      Strap in folks, this is a fun one. Yesterday at around midday my almost 75 yr old Pa started feeling extremely fatigued, weak all over, hot and, in his words, very odd. He rang my sister who lives...

      Strap in folks, this is a fun one.

      Yesterday at around midday my almost 75 yr old Pa started feeling extremely fatigued, weak all over, hot and, in his words, very odd.

      He rang my sister who lives 5 minutes away, she got there and immediately called an ambulance. They were there in sub 10 minutes and checked him over. He couldn't even walk in a straight line. They took his blood pressure and it benched 199/98. They said he had a possible stroke and needed to go to A&E (ER for my US friends). Not living more than 10 minutes from the local Medway Hospital (major hospital) they went there. It took 3 hours to get to being triaged. The time was 4:30pm when they're told that the closest Stroke clinic is Maidstone hospital, 40 minutes away at rush hour.

      On the way out, they saw the paramedics that had been out to respond and they called ahead to Maidstone Hospital so he was on record. That did nothing. When he got there, it took another 2 hours for them to do another triage, then another 2 to do blood work. Then the stroke unit refused to take him stating that they didn't think it was a stroke. After politely arguing the case my sister had to remind them to do his blood pressure again. At this point it had come down a little. He is still really weak and couldn't hold a cuppa without spilling it.

      Eventually they relented and did a CT scan. When they checked the results they said it wasn't a major stroke but could have been a posterial stroke which wouldn't show. They couldn't do anything else there and should go back to Medway. At this point it's midnight. At 1am, my sister is checking my dad back into Medway A&E. 1.5hrs later they're through reception and sitting in waiting room 3 with 29 other people. I headed down at 5am to relieve my sister. Between 5am and 11am they took his blood pressure twice and we waited in the waiting area with everyone, my usually fit and healthy dad in a wheelchair. He's exhausted, had no sleep and was genuinely scared, which he never is.

      It took until 2pm to see a doctor and we had to put in an official complaint to the nurses liaison team about the handling to even get that far. An hour later and then he saw a consultant who gave him a thorough check.

      Concerned, the doctor said he wants an MRI scan performed, but to do this he was being made an outpatient and sent home. He would get an appointment and come back in the next few days. Why? Because if they admitted him he would join the inpatient side and they have 1 MRI scanner. He may not have been seen for up to 2 weeks and would simply be taking up a bed. As an outpatient the team has 3 MRI scanners and he will be seen quicker, plus less likely to pick up an infection from the hospital. It took another hour and a half after this, plus chasing the team to get them to take bloods and remove his cannula so he could go home.

      Sorry for the long read, but how backward and broken is this system?

      They still don't know if it was a stroke or a brain degenerative issue, all we know is he is home, cannot look after himself or my disabled mother and the whole situation sucks.

      34 votes
    34. Making tough decisions: what’s your go-to approach?

      Do you go by gut/heart feeling? Do you analyze by head? Do you write out long lists of pros and cons on paper? Do you consult a lot of family and friends and then go by consensus majority? Do you...

      Do you go by gut/heart feeling?

      Do you analyze by head?

      Do you write out long lists of pros and cons on paper?

      Do you consult a lot of family and friends and then go by consensus majority?

      Do you overanalyze and agonize and hit decision paralysis? If so, how do you get over that or push through it?

      25 votes
    35. What does “going with your gut” feel like to you? How did you learn to “trust your gut”?

      As the title indicates, I am curious how folks have “gone with their gut intuition”, especially in circumstances where they are faced with tough decisions or life-altering changes. Some...

      As the title indicates, I am curious how folks have “gone with their gut intuition”, especially in circumstances where they are faced with tough decisions or life-altering changes. Some thoughts/prompts for discussion:

      • What does your “gut” feel like to you?
      • How do you reconcile differences between your “gut feeling” and what your brain is thinking/telling you?
      • How do you get to the point where you decide to “go with your gut”?
      • Can you share examples of when you went against your brain, and followed your gut, and it turned out to totally be the right decision for you?
      • Do you have any examples of when you followed your gut intuition, instead of what your brain/logical mind was telling you, and it came back to bite you?
      • How have you learned to “trust your gut”?
      • What tactics or steps have you learned to take when trying to parse between what your “gut” is telling you and what your “brain” is telling you?

      Curious how other people listen to their gut and use that intuition to make decisions or choose which direction to go in (concerning life stuff, career stuff, relationship issues, etc.).

      20 votes
    36. I made a mistake, I started using Reddit again

      ...and within a few weeks I was banned from r/iphone for "ban evasion", which I most definitely did not do. I've had the same reddit account for over 16 years and other than a surprisingly HUGE...

      ...and within a few weeks I was banned from r/iphone for "ban evasion", which I most definitely did not do.

      I've had the same reddit account for over 16 years and other than a surprisingly HUGE number of deleted comments and posts (according to sites that track that) that seem perfectly benign to me (mostly deleted for stupidly trivial technicalities), I've never had any problems on the site. Sure, a few unpopular opinions here and there that get downvoted a little but, but nothing offensive, no trolling, etc.

      So, I tried to respond, and here's how the conversation went:

      Hello. I’m very confused by this ban notification. The only recent activity that I’ve had on this subreddit is to answer somebody’s question, and I cannot imagine how that answer in any way violated the rules. Can you please help me to at least understand what led to this?

      ...to which the mod replied:

      Ban evasion not that hard to get

      ...and I responded:

      I honestly do not know what you're talking about. It appears that you think that I have been posting with multiple accounts, but I have not. I've been using this same account for over 16 years without ever being accused of such a thing. I'd appreciate it if you could take a look and reconsider.

      ...to which I got:

      No the system detects ban evader like you automatically

      ...

      I'm sorry that you think that I have done such a thing, but I have not. I even co-moderate another subreddit that is a very serious one with its fair share of trolls to deal with, so I get it, but I honestly did not try to evade any prior bans.

      ... and the only response I get back is:

      Stop

      I'm so sick and tired of that site, I don't know why I went back after doing so well avoiding it after the somewhat recent events that caused me to uninstall all of the apps and stop using the site. The mods there are abusive and power-hungry and it's a toxic place to be. It's a shame because my account is over 16 years old and I remember the old days when it was nothing like it is now. :(

      So, hopefully this time I'll stop using the site for good, this was the reminder that I needed. I've avoided Facebook and other social media due to the toxicity, I don't know why I expected reddit to be any better; please stay above the fray, Tildes!

      77 votes
    37. What would you recommend for a single, minimal, "overview-of-the-world" news source?

      I'm getting ready to try a long-term media fast, at least a month or two. That means no Social, no general forum talk (I have a couple of task-specific groups I have to stick with), no general...

      I'm getting ready to try a long-term media fast, at least a month or two. That means no Social, no general forum talk (I have a couple of task-specific groups I have to stick with), no general Internet browsing, and minimal news.

      But I don't want to completely divorce myself from the major news events of the world. In case Russia invades the EU, I want to know about it before Russian soldiers are knocking on my door. If a new global pandemic kicks off, or they fix global warming ... you know, Big Ticket items.

      So that's the question. If you only get one news source, that provides objective (-ish) reporting focused on actual news (not sports, not pop culture, not click-bait-y diet-fads and vitamin recommendations) ... news of the state of the world (preferably including the world beyond the United States).

      I realize there probably isn't a single source that hits all my bullets, but that's okay; I just need one that's close.

      Danke, y gracias.

      Edit: For now, my first pick is AP News' World News section ( https://apnews.com/world-news ). So, that's sort of my baseline; anything better than that available?

      Edit #2: So, apparently, AP News has either handicapped or completely eliminated their RSS feed(s); I'm getting some results, but all old and suspiciously incomplete, and the 'Net is full of "here's how to cobble together the equivalent of a real AP News RSS feed" tips. So, unless I figure this out quickly, I'm just about to lose interest in AP News.

      Anyone have any tips on this?

      43 votes
    38. Why don't we do more food-based activism?

      In the past few months I have been reading a lot about historical food culture. It's kind of amazing how much things have changed here in the US. Over the last century or so we have basically...

      In the past few months I have been reading a lot about historical food culture. It's kind of amazing how much things have changed here in the US. Over the last century or so we have basically eliminated communal eating and massively changed the economics of prepared meals. At one point we had automats and cafeterias which skipped out on most of the "front of house" service and focused on serving large volumes of people to keep prices low. There were also diners, which are much different from what we consider to be a diner today; they were very small places that only prepared simple things that needed very little labor to prepare; things like hash browns, sandwiches, or pancakes, so the food was still very cheap. But because they were small, they were able to serve smaller markets that other restaurants were not able to capitalize on. Compare that to today, where diners are just restaurants that have 50s style decor.

      But the thing I think is much more unusual is how rare we see food used in service of a message. It's something that has a long history across the globe. Most notably, religions operate food kitchens that help to bring poor people into their folds. Some religions actually have a built-in food culture that includes feeding your neighbors. It's really effective too; there's a small chain of restaurants where I live that has inexpensive food which has some bhuddist texts at the dining tables, and honestly it had me considering joining a religion for the first time. If I spoke Chinese they might have got me! Eating food requires a baseline of trust, so if you can get someone to eat at your restaurant you will bypass a lot of the caution that people approach the world with.

      With that being said, why isn't food-based activism a lot more popular? I'm sure that it would work for much more than religion. A restaurant that acts as a messaging platform doesn't necessarily need to be funded by food sales, so they can undercut the competition on price and reach an even greater audience. Given the ways I have seen religions use food to further their means, I think that it could even go farther than changing people's minds about topics and actually motivate people to take action and join communities who are actually making real change. Food is both relatively inexpensive and it's something that everyone needs to survive, so it seems to me that food-based activism is the single largest missed opportunity for community organization.

      20 votes
    39. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      8 votes
    40. Can friendships be forced?

      The foundation for organic friendships they say is repeated, unplanned interactions (which I think I largely agree with). But this isn't always feasible, depending on the environment you're in. Do...

      The foundation for organic friendships they say is repeated, unplanned interactions (which I think I largely agree with). But this isn't always feasible, depending on the environment you're in. Do you think a truly rich and organic friendship can be "forced"? What, if anything, is lost?

      14 votes
    41. Fellow Canadians, what's on your mind this week?

      I'm preoccupied with a couple of things. The first being that the federal budget was just released and I'm feeling like a national school lunch program and an injection of money into housing with...

      I'm preoccupied with a couple of things.

      The first being that the federal budget was just released and I'm feeling like a national school lunch program and an injection of money into housing with the expectation that cities build higher density dwellings is... Something they should have done mid mandate?

      Is there even time to implement this stuff? Are we getting close to the point where we've spent too much?

      Second is a quote from a compilation of personal accounts from travellers into this country's north in the 1800s. Farley Mowat assembled the stories and wrote the forward for "Tundra" in the 1960s and says the following

      "Until 50 or 60 years ago, the Arctic was a living reality to North Americans of every walk of life. It had become real because men of their own kind were daring it's remote fastness in search of pure adventure", unprotected by the vast mechanical shields that we now demand whenever we step out of our air conditioned sanctuaries".

      He goes on to talk about how -- most of all -- easily heated dwellings and running water had a softening effect on people, and that (basically) we fear and avoid Canada's climate far more than our forebearers did.

      Wondering what people's thoughts on this are.

      From what you learned from grandparents or earlier generations about spending time outside, would you agree that the comforts of home are just too damned seductive?

      13 votes
    42. Fellow hardline materialists, how do you "enchant" the world?

      As the classical argument goes, as the metaphysical aspects of the universe were stripped away by materialism, it was disenchanted. That it became more soulless, barren, and less enjoyable. While...

      As the classical argument goes, as the metaphysical aspects of the universe were stripped away by materialism, it was disenchanted. That it became more soulless, barren, and less enjoyable. While this argument has merit, I don't think it's necessarily true.

      For example, I'm a hardline materialist, meaning I don't think any metaphysical phenomenon exists, there is no afterlife, and that it's extremely unlikely a "God" exists. However, I also create dramatic and playful narratives around existence. I think of the natural laws of the universe as cold, unfeeling, grand Lovecraftian gods. I also think of the human existence, struggle, and search for warmth and meaning as an existentialist endeavor, a rebellion against this cruel and hostile cosmos. It can be likened to the narrative in Dark Souls or Berserk. A suffocatingly dark cosmos that also has warmth scattered around.

      This is my way of "enchanting" these jumbled together random bits that we call a universe, and the lives lived within it. So, other hardline materialists, how do you "enchant" your life and view of the world?

      I don't think it will be an issue, but just in case, please, no non-materialist answers. This topic's intention is not to debate anyone about materialism or metaphysics, but to have a conversation among a particular group of people.

      26 votes
    43. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      5 votes
    44. Have you had a life-altering change in who you are?

      The kinds of change I'm referring to are hard to put into words. A few examples may be switching from one end of the political spectrum to the other, leaving one country or culture for another,...

      The kinds of change I'm referring to are hard to put into words. A few examples may be switching from one end of the political spectrum to the other, leaving one country or culture for another, religious conversions and deconversions, or leaving behind one's family. Often, these changes are caused by deeply personal events like receiving a serious medical diagnosis, conflict, the death of a loved one, midlife crisis, or merely examining one's values or beliefs. There are countless other examples of both changes and causes, many of which I've never considered.

      There is shared experience between these changes: the world hasn't changed, but somehow everything is different. Everything is in a completely new light; it's as if you've moved between parallel universes. Not everyone has had or will have such a moment, but these changes seem to be the most important in catalyzing who we are. As much as we think sharing opinionated memes or arguing at Thanksgiving is going to shape or mold people around us, it is often personal experiences that actually make such change possible. And some small number of people do experience profound change: racists become antifascists, liberals become stanch conservatives, Christians become atheists. These sorts of life-altering changes are often what tell us most about who a person is.

      I made this post because the discussion of these changes are among the most valuable discussions I've had with others, and people often don't get socially-acceptable opportunities to share something so personally important to them. This is potentially a heavy subject, so don't feel that you need to share or elaborate any further than what's comfortable for you.

      44 votes
    45. What makes someone a "decent" person to you?

      I'd define decent as the minimum expectation I have for having someone in my life. I use the term a lot, but I had never been clear on what I mean by it. I think for me its that the person broadly...

      I'd define decent as the minimum expectation I have for having someone in my life. I use the term a lot, but I had never been clear on what I mean by it. I think for me its that the person broadly reciprocates the work I put into the relationship, both in kind and degree, unless I explicitly say otherwise. I'd say most of my interpersonal problems would fit under this; mainly being expected to put in a lot of emotional effort, and either they don't reciprocate it at all, they unambiguously do not match it or they ignore me when I tell them I don't care about gifts and act like the infrequent gift makes us equal.

      But that's me, and I expect there are many more varied expectations from y'all. So, what make some a decent person to you?

      26 votes
    46. As I get older, I get more and more disillusioned with "activism", and I'm fine with this

      Long story short, I grew up believing that a great deal of worth of someone's life was effecting change, especially politically. That's why I valued activism. It took courage, especially...

      Long story short, I grew up believing that a great deal of worth of someone's life was effecting change, especially politically. That's why I valued activism. It took courage, especially considering I don't live in a developed country.

      The older I got and more problems I faced, I started to realize how unsatisfactory, even hollow this was. Modes of activism I engaged in didn't seem to fulfill me emotionally anymore, they were mostly impersonal, and they didn't seem to change anything. I have a lot of views that are extremely unorthodox for the place I live in, and I don't see any political movement that internalizes those values. I am extremely alienated from the "nation" I am supposedly part of, and from the political movements within it.

      Another angle is that I recently realized how misguided I was. I was mostly doing mental labor, believing in the axiom that ideas can change things. But after some time and readings, I started thinking activities that aim for collective action and concrete changes (e.g. syndicates) were much more important. These are not available to me.

      I feel like I have wasted a lot of my time. I pursued ideals more than my own emotional needs, believing they would make me happy and fulfilled, and they didn't. I pursued a way of engaging in politics that felt good but didn't effect change.

      Don't get me wrong, while this is exasperating, it's also extremely liberating, joyful even. I enjoy the moments of quiet destruction that bring about the new. I no longer feel ashamed to admit I want comfort and stability in my life, and I don't want to take unnecessary risks. I have enough problems as is.

      With this being said, I haven't given up on effecting change. I think it's much more convoluted and different than what I imagined when I was younger, and it's not generally about "going out there and showing up" or writing political texts and such. There are also levels to creating change, as it's not a binary thing.

      At this point, I want to primarily live for myself, participate in some kind of change without risking myself to the point of overwhelming anxiety, and make more personal and real connections with people in general, including during effecting change.

      What I've written here is a bit rough, but it's still an ongoing and raw process for me, and this post is more of a conversation topic, rather than a properly structured argument. I am interested in hearing your opinions. Has anyone had similar experiences, or things this post reminded you of?

      49 votes
    47. What did you do this week (and weekend)?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      7 votes
    48. Parenthood venting thread

      I think my son is the cutest six-month-old that has ever lived, but damn, this month has been so hard. We all had COVID in the beginning of March, so my wife and I burned a bunch of sick days...

      I think my son is the cutest six-month-old that has ever lived, but damn, this month has been so hard.

      We all had COVID in the beginning of March, so my wife and I burned a bunch of sick days while being very ill, exhausted, and awake all night with a screaming baby. Screaming.

      He got better for about 2 days and then immediately got a nasty cold which he kindly passed to us. More sick days, more screaming, less sleep than we got with COVID.

      The cold turned into an ear infection after two weeks of horrible congestion, so his doctor put him on Amoxicillin. Except the Amoxicillin didn't work on the ear infection after 9 days of treatment. Oh, and he started having bloody diarrhea.

      We went to the doctor immediately and they said, "Oh, yeah, that's definitely blood and that's not great. We're going to try a different antibiotic now and send his stool to get tested."

      Then, my washing machine, which was full of diarrhea pajamas, broke down. After several hours of tear down, I was able to drain it and replace the drain pump.

      Washing machine was working great, except the gasket/seal on the door is old and didn't go back on properly during the repair. Water on the floor (minor leak, no big) and now have to deal with replacing that.

      Meanwhile, the kid still doesn't sleep at night and seems to communicate mainly through crying, whining, and grunting. The fact that he isn't babbling, squealing, or mimicking us is honestly a little stressful. He's six months old and I'm seeing him "become conscious" in a lot of really amazing ways. His laugh is absolutely incredible, he plays with toys in what seems like a pretty advanced way, he is crushing his physical and cognitive milestones way ahead of schedule, but he has a handful of social milestones he hasn't hit yet. My wife has autism in her family and I have ADHD, so any developmental delays are obviously pretty concerning to me. He is making eye contact and laughing though, so I guess that's good.

      I really shouldn't complain. I'm a teacher and we just had a week off. Most people don't get that. But I'm so exhausted and work tomorrow just sounds daunting. We can't send the kiddo to daycare with bloody diarrhea and I seriously cannot take any more sick days this year. I guess one silver lining is that my mother-in-law came up from out of state when my wife told her she was losing her sanity over all of this. So, we do have a couple days of childcare covered this week.

      Tl;Dr: Month from hell.

      Edit: I'll add a positive. He was super funny and full of laughs today and yesterday during the day time (night time still isn't fun). He also seemed to get a little scared during the eclipse today during totality, and I think that's adorable in a way. He did a pouty whine and only stopped when I put him closer to me and let him see my face.

      Anyone else want to share some war stories?

      38 votes
    49. Eclipse plans

      Surprised there's not really a thread yet, so I'll start it. What plans have you made for today's eclipse? I know people have traveled from all over the world to see it. We happen to live in the...

      Surprised there's not really a thread yet, so I'll start it. What plans have you made for today's eclipse? I know people have traveled from all over the world to see it.

      We happen to live in the path of totality so no travel needed. Actually even less travel than we thought. We were going to go to a parking garage at a nearby mall, but it turns out we have a pretty good view of the sun from our backyard! We also went to grab fast food as a treat and saw a bunch of people walking to the nearby park.

      How about everyone else?

      25 votes