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    1. I've recently been trying to confront the fact that a lot of the things I want to do online work best if they've got some connection to my real life identity (or will eventually, almost by...

      I've recently been trying to confront the fact that a lot of the things I want to do online work best if they've got some connection to my real life identity (or will eventually, almost by necessity, become connected). Things like working on open source software, writing, etc. almost always seem to lead back to other people knowing at the very least your real name and probably your email address.

      I know that my threat model for people going after my identity is a lot different from someone with nation-state level adversaries like Ed Snowden or various activists, but I still find it hard to decide what gets to be connected to what. Do I put my real name on my GitHub account? Do I post things on my GitHub blog to here? Should I have my real name on my Twitter account? What about the fact that some of my usernames resemble each other?

      I'm not necessarily looking for advice about my particular situation, but I would really like to hear how other people have dealt with such situations and what you generally think about things like identity compartmentalization.

      37 votes
    2. I'm writing this in an attempt to explain more clearly some ideas about the dangers of having an oligopoly in control of the Web, and the current difficulties of discussing that without being...

      I'm writing this in an attempt to explain more clearly some ideas about the dangers of having an oligopoly in control of the Web, and the current difficulties of discussing that without being taken as some kind of "free speech absolutist". It's an analogy and, as in any analogy, it's only valid to a certain extent. The important thing is for it to be valid enough to explain a point.


      There was a city in which four companies had ended up owning every bar, except for a handful of them in the outskirts. Upon one moment, they started to regulate which kind of conversations could be held in their bars and which couldn't, something they had a legal right to do and felt was their responsibility. So they prohibited any racist, homophobic or sexually explicit conversation, as well as conversations which they thought could carry any risk for society as a whole. Almost no one could really object to that, after all who would defend that kind of behavior? Some far right gangs said it was against their right to free speech, but they were correctly answered that they didn't have any right to determine the conversation policy of bars that weren't theirs.

      Others tried to point that, while that policy wasn't inherently wrong and those companies were in their right to implement it, in the past this was dealt with on a bar-per-bar basis, and although the immense majority of bars didn't allow that kind of behaviors, they had different degrees of flexibility about different topics so bars were more varied and diverse, and you were free to choose a bar which conformed to your interests.

      But they were quickly accused of defending some supposed right of that people to be given a place to discuss and organize, and sometimes even accused of defending those ideas. "If you don't like how the Four Companies manage their bars, go elsewhere".

      The problem is that the far right gangs and other kind of undesirable people, when forced to leave the Four Companies' bars, went straight to the bars in the outskirts, overflowing them. Some of those bars were already owned by far right people, others though the answer to the Four Companies was to keep a more tolerant policy, and were overtook by neo-nazis. The few independent bars that didn't accept to become far right havens were forced to implement policies not that far from those of the Four Companies, or else face a far right invasion. Their clients spent a lot of time discussing wether something was off-limits or not instead of just enjoying a good time like they did before, and those bars were also very small and far away. They were interesting places, to be sure, but they were cut apart from most of the night life of the city, which took place on the hundreds of Four Companies' bars.

      But now, there was a growing problem. The Four Companies had started to prohibit other subjects, for several reasons that aren't really important. Some were distasteful subjects, other were against their political interests or the city council's. But, as the far right gangs kept stabbing people and trying to reclaim their "right" to be accepted into the Four Companies' bars, most people thought that the risk they posed weighed more than anything else.

      But they were missing the point. In another nearby city, there were never a handful of companies owning most bars. Still most bars didn't allow far right gangs, and discussion was diverse and fun, and sometimes helpful to combat the excesses of the city council and local police. Still, there were some neo-nazi bars, and most bars had one or two unlikable people. Neo-nazi bars sometimes caused trouble and had to be closed by the police, most were not only under police surveillance but under the neighbors' surveillance too. And, as neo-nazis were a very small minority, if you didn't support the same team as the owner of your closest bar, you could go to another bar which supported your team without it being forcefully full of neo-nazis or otherwise disgusting people.

      Both cities had neo-nazis and sometimes problems in their bars, although Four Companies' bars were quite more peaceful on average, as they were heavily policed in a uniform and homogeneous way. But they were lifeless too, and lots of interesting discussions and possibilities of neighbors facing local injustice together were lost forever. Everyone ended up thinking the same, watching the same, liking the same sports and supporting the same teams. Bars weren't a fun and exciting place anymore.


      This is just an analogy, so it's limited. But I think it explains well my general view and worries on the subject, which have nothing to do with leaving free way to racists and neo-nazis. It has to do with putting an end to the oligopoly before it's too late.

      6 votes
    3. I'll get the discussion started -- I'm somewhat into contemporary art, recently Can't Help Myself by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu. Mark Rothko is another favorite of mine, hopefully some day I can make it...

      I'll get the discussion started -- I'm somewhat into contemporary art, recently Can't Help Myself by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu.

      Mark Rothko is another favorite of mine, hopefully some day I can make it down to the Rothko Chapel.

      11 votes
    4. I was just thinking about this. It has no basis in evidence or anything, it just popped into my head. Could using terms like POC that are catch-alls for all non-white races cause a rift between...

      I was just thinking about this. It has no basis in evidence or anything, it just popped into my head. Could using terms like POC that are catch-alls for all non-white races cause a rift between white people and POC? I feel like it has the potential to create a kind of "us VS. them" mentality if it hasn't already. Because it's saying you have all the races in the world, and then you have white people. I don't really have an alternative or a solution. It was just an observation I made. Of course, me being white myself, maybe there's just something I'm not understanding. I think it could spark an interesting discussion because people are bound to have many different opinions on this subject.

      22 votes
    5. Occasionally when I'm getting really into some music or watching videos from my favorite content creators, I'll be stricken with what I can only describe as a flash of inspiration, where I'll...

      Occasionally when I'm getting really into some music or watching videos from my favorite content creators, I'll be stricken with what I can only describe as a flash of inspiration, where I'll really want to do something, but I don't have any of the skills to produce anything, so I'm just left inspired but aimless. Does anyone else get this as well? If so, have you done anything more to channel that?

      26 votes
    6. The active development of Tildes and the feedback/discussions about features and mechanisms had me thinking. Is the conscious design and moderation of forums for public discourse a manner of...

      The active development of Tildes and the feedback/discussions about features and mechanisms had me thinking. Is the conscious design and moderation of forums for public discourse a manner of social engineering?

      I know the connotation of social engineering is usually negative, as in manipulating people for politics. But it's a double edged sword.

      Most recently I was reading this feedback on removing usernames from link topics and while reading the comments I was thinking of how meta this all is. It's meta-meta-cognition in that we (well, by far the actual developers) are designing the space within which we execute our discourse and thinking. To paraphrase the above example: user identification can bias one's own impulse reaction to content, either to a beneficial or detrimental end, so how do we want this?

      The moderation-influenced scenario is a bit more tricky because it can become too top-heavy, as in one prominent example many of us came from recently... But I think with a balance of direction from the overlords (jk, there is also public input as mentioned) and the chaos of natural public discourse, you could obtain an efficient environment for the exchange of ideas.

      I'm not sure what my stimulating question would be for you all, so just tell me what you think.

      33 votes
    7. I assume most of the people that post in Tildes came from Reddit (or they used Reddit primarily). Does anyone else primarily post on something other than Reddit? As an example, I primarily post on...

      I assume most of the people that post in Tildes came from Reddit (or they used Reddit primarily). Does anyone else primarily post on something other than Reddit? As an example, I primarily post on Something Awful. I think what attracted me to Tildes is what initially repulsed me from Reddit. I absolutely hate the idea of my opinion being drowned out simply because it was downvoted. Tildes has a bit in common with Something Awful in that sense. Something Awful is a more 'traditional' format. Each post follows the other and there isn't any mechanic for a community to hide or collapse a post.

      Additionally, it seems like the few punishments that occur here are a bit more open and transparent than Reddit. That is similar to SA, where they have something called a 'Lepers Colony' to see punishment reasons. Tildes appeals to me because even though it has a hint of Reddit, the discussions are a bit more focused just like SA.

      If you do post on older message board, which ones do you post on, and why do you like it?

      Like I mentioned I primarily post on Something Awful (Games and C-Spam subforums). I also used to post on GameFAQs and the resulting spinoff called LUElinks. I enjoyed each of these because they were a little bit more rough than other message boards, but they weren't a wild west like some of the anonymous options that existed.

      18 votes
    8. As the title says! I recently got a fretless bass and it's super hard to intonate correctly since I'm used to the frets doing it for me. It's such a weird sound but it isn't bad. I'm learning a...

      As the title says! I recently got a fretless bass and it's super hard to intonate correctly since I'm used to the frets doing it for me. It's such a weird sound but it isn't bad. I'm learning a few songs on it already and it's funny to me that even if I switch to my fretted bass, that I still try to maintain proper intonation

      38 votes
    9. In today’s age, we have a wealth of knowledge available on the fly, and a wealth of misinformation too. Every day I see someone on the internet either mis-informed or ill-informed, even with...

      In today’s age, we have a wealth of knowledge available on the fly, and a wealth of misinformation too. Every day I see someone on the internet either mis-informed or ill-informed, even with google and research at their fingertips. What is something you wish the general public would actually take the time to learn about beyond a very surface level interpretation?
      Many issues can’t be solved based on just surface level knowlege.

      My biggest answer is politics in general, because it controls our world yet it feels like 70%+ of people don’t know what they are talking about beyond layman knowlege, and we’ve seen what happens when tons of people set themselves on a belief and even argue for it when they don’t know what they don’t know.

      I don’t know anything about politics but even I can see that people are talking out of straight emotion most of the time.

      So, i ask you nice tildes’ers Tilderds Tilderotatoes, what’s something you wish to inform us about that most people don’t read into very much? Can be political or otherwise.

      It’s a broad question I know, but that leaves room for a lot of discussion.
      Thanks for reading

      44 votes
    10. The concept sounds a bit lazy or unintelligent, but for me personally, I struggle with so much anxiety and other mental health problems that I have to filter out political posts, on here, reddit,...

      The concept sounds a bit lazy or unintelligent, but for me personally, I struggle with so much anxiety and other mental health problems that I have to filter out political posts, on here, reddit, and elsewhere, or else the weight affects me so badly that I'm put in a bad mood/mindset very easily. If anyone else feels the same way, I ask you this: Does anyone else feel similarly, and if so, how do you defend against the tidal wave of awful things happening seemingly daily?

      19 votes
    11. Privacy and Politics

      I was thinking about the intersection of internet privacy and politics. You could even say I was having a bit of a mini-crisis. I like to think of myself as being pretty liberal, but I wondering...

      I was thinking about the intersection of internet privacy and politics. You could even say I was having a bit of a mini-crisis. I like to think of myself as being pretty liberal, but I wondering how that fits into privacy. I was a little upset when I learned that Obama called Edward Snowden unpatriotic. I was kind of thinking that what he did was patriotic. Wasn't the NSA monitoring US citizens without warrants. That's morally wrong right? I think I would be pretty fine with the government monitoring someone if they had a warrant given to them by a non-secret court. I'm wondering if anyone here can give me some insight on this or if anyone else feels/has felt this way.

      4 votes
    12. Hi there. It seems that minimalist and zero waste movements have picked up some steam recently in many first world countries as a reaction to the consumerist, greed-based lifestyles promoted and...

      Hi there. It seems that minimalist and zero waste movements have picked up some steam recently in many first world countries as a reaction to the consumerist, greed-based lifestyles promoted and upon realisation of our impact on the world. As an aspiring zero waste minimalist and general conversationalist, I am interested in your opinions, so I'll bombard you with some questions.


      Do any of you lead a minimalist or zero waste life, or are you aspiring to or making the transition right now?

      What is your opinion of the movements?

      Are you opposed to the lifestyles?

      Why are you/do you want to be minimalist or create zero waste?

      What is minimalism to you?

      Are you a minimalist in some or all parts of your life?

      What challenges did you run into when making the changes, and how did you overcome them?

      Is there anything you recommend to those who are still just aspiring?

      Does minimalism imply frugality?

      Do you have anything else to add?

      29 votes
    13. Hey. I just listened to the Stuff You Should Know podcast about the Winchester mystery mansion and I kind of just wanted to talk about it. Anyone been there? Have any cool facts? Things like that....

      Hey. I just listened to the Stuff You Should Know podcast about the Winchester mystery mansion and I kind of just wanted to talk about it. Anyone been there? Have any cool facts? Things like that. I just think it's a really cool and interesting place.

      7 votes
    14. Ever since I've heard about how Google tracks you and steals your data and all that, I've been gradually been moving away from their products. With the ones I could live without, like Google...

      Ever since I've heard about how Google tracks you and steals your data and all that, I've been gradually been moving away from their products. With the ones I could live without, like Google search, maps, Chrome, etc. the switch wasn't too bad. But with the ones like Google photos, drive, home, I actually really like these products and I'm not really sure I want to switch away from them. I have so much stuff in my Google drive that I've amassed over the years. It's very easy to use and a lot of my friends/family/teachers use it. I just really like Google drive. Same with Photos. The irony in all this (I'm probably using irony wrong), is that I don't feel good using them because of all the privacy concerns and the like. I'm not really sure what I'm seeking to get out of this. Just kind of wanted to start a conversation. Do any of you have similar feelings about Google products?

      41 votes
    15. DISCLAIMER: The reason I’m writing it is that there are some things I’m afraid to ask IRL to not be labeled as “not woke enough” but I honestly want to learn the whys and hows of some things....

      DISCLAIMER: The reason I’m writing it is that there are some things I’m afraid to ask IRL to not be labeled as “not woke enough” but I honestly want to learn the whys and hows of some things. Incidentally that’s something I think could be improved in “leftist” circles, because if people feel they can’t say things but don’t get chances to actually change their minds it’s just a bandage and not a solution IMHO (plus this whole idea that people have to be perfect and not make a single mistake is really counterproductive I think). On the other hand, I understand it’s not the job of a minority/oppressed population to educate the “other”, but at this point, my questions are mainly in the edges and all the info I see online is actually not consistent. Hopefully, I won’t say anything horribly wrong lol.

      1. My first “friction” is with the whole concept of cultural appropriation. I don't know if you've read the Cosmopolitan article on "don't dress your kid as Moana this Halloween". But that article pointed to another article by a Fiji woman that said it's OK to dress as Moana as long as you don't try to copy traditional garbs, etc.. I usually understand the points of view but in this case (as well as in the recent case of the qipao) it seems that even the affected people don't agree on the gravity of the thing. I've also seen discussions on whether it's appropriate for a white kid to dress up as The Black Panther (obv no blackface) and I've seen more white people saying it's "cultural appropriation" than black people saying that. There are some blatant cases like blackface, or wearing religious/spiritual stuff to a party, or using the “n” word, and it's obvious to me why shouldn’t they be done, but other cases seem to be more about “well if you’re doing this and you’re only doing because it’s cool then it’s bad”. Which I can relate to but yeah, it doesn’t feel very productive.

      My usual approach with cultural appropriation and correct behavior is “I’ll do it if I think it’s not offensive and if someone complains or tells me it is offensive I’ll learn and not do it again or ask for permission” (for example I give dap to some black friends who initiated it, but I won’t give dap to a random person I just met). How do you navigate this? How do you navigate the pieces of your identity that you feel are misrepresented (and sometimes ridiculed) and how do you navigate your interpretations of other identities? Since I’m asking controversial stuff, could someone explain to me why drag isn’t offensive? Isn’t it men dressing up as women and taking feminine stereotypes to the extreme? Like, I enjoy RuPaul but I’m always wondering why people find it cool.

      1. Speaking of identity, what forms an identity? I mean, if I start going deep then I am the only person with my identity, and I have problems and people hurt me and I hurt people, but we usually get around it by talking, empathizing, and not assuming the worst of each other all the time. But if I look at certain pieces of my identity: I’m poor, I grew up in a violent city, I had to be ultramasculine to survive, I am a woman, I am not white, I have a disability, I have BPD, I know how to code… In each of these facets I have reasons to feel “oppressed” or “guilty”, to feel like I’m a “victim” or to feel like I’m an “oppressor”. But none of these thoughts really give me much to do about it other than masturbating to my self-pity or self-righteousness. Furthermore, whatever all the things I am I’m also a member of a society that I think has the potential to get better if we all row together. So how do we combine the fact that we are all individuals but at the same time we have all these identities that make us feel angry/sad/guilty and at the same time we’re all in the same boat? How do you deal with this?

      OK I have many more questions but maybe this is enough for now… Again, I appreciate your understanding and your help!

      17 votes
    16. ~talk seems to fit this criteria, but as I browse Tildes to my dismay the majority of content is re-posts of links from external sources. Obviously, there are also quite a few posts which are more...

      ~talk seems to fit this criteria, but as I browse Tildes to my dismay the majority of content is re-posts of links from external sources. Obviously, there are also quite a few posts which are more than simply URL pastes, and even in the comments of a URL post, there can be healthy discourse happening.

      But I am interested to discover whether anyone here knows of any other platforms that are entirely dedicated to written discussion and communication, where external links do not play a big part in that ecosystem of discourse.

      16 votes
    17. Maybe I'm just not very well versed in this sort of thing but I couldn't find anything online. I've always been sort of paranoid that a company might not be truthful in their privacy policy. Is...

      Maybe I'm just not very well versed in this sort of thing but I couldn't find anything online. I've always been sort of paranoid that a company might not be truthful in their privacy policy. Is there any sort of law to keep them honest or do we just have to take their word on it?

      12 votes
    18. Everyday I am more surprised how impatient people are, and how ridiculous the behavior that stems from it is. The street in front of my house is a four-lane street. There is a stop sign 30 ft at...

      Everyday I am more surprised how impatient people are, and how ridiculous the behavior that stems from it is.

      The street in front of my house is a four-lane street. There is a stop sign 30 ft at the end of the block. Just about every morning I will back out and there will be a car that will get into the next lane and then overtake me just so they can slam on their brakes because there's a line of cars at the four-way stop 30 feet ahead. I just don't understand that behavior. Drivers in general seem so impatient and I don't know why they are always in a hurry. We have major accidents here daily.

      I've been trying to get a package delivered since last Friday. The post office has been making it real hard to get due to issues on their end. This morning I got a voicemail to go pick it up at the station around the corner.

      I'm in line and this woman asked if anyone is there just to pick up. So I say yes I am and I walk up and I give the guy my information. This woman behind me reaches around right next to my face and says can you get this for me? Like it isn't my turn.

      They can't find my package because I was told wrong and they didn't actually have it it was out for delivery. This woman has been waiting about 60 seconds and you can hear her sighing and then she leaps to the register next to me as soon as a woman walks up asking for her package.

      This woman was making a big deal about having to wait not even 2 minutes for her package.

      I just don't understand why people are so impatient. I mean I was frustrated as could be about my package because they kept flip-flopping on me but I wasn't acting put out like it was the worst thing in the world.

      Is it entitlement? What is it? People get mad when they have to wait in line behind one person at the grocery store who has already been rung up and is just paying at that point. I mean why are they actually getting upset over this stuff.

      And they never learn. I'll be checked out and leaving by the time they are being rung up because they spent 5 minutes looking for a short line. I don't get it.

      32 votes
    19. I saw an AskReddit thread on this recently and I thought us Tilders (is that what we're calling ourselves?) could do our own. The spooky season is approaching and I thought this might be something...

      I saw an AskReddit thread on this recently and I thought us Tilders (is that what we're calling ourselves?) could do our own. The spooky season is approaching and I thought this might be something fun to do.

      15 votes
    20. This started as a sub-thread in a topic about possible contenders for the 2020 US Presidential race, but it generated enough interesting discussion that I thought it'd be worth spinning off into...

      This started as a sub-thread in a topic about possible contenders for the 2020 US Presidential race, but it generated enough interesting discussion that I thought it'd be worth spinning off into its own topic, particularly so we can include people outside the US who are ignoring or filtering out topics about American politics.

      To expand on the questions in the topic title:

      • What level of education should be required by law of every citizen?
      • How should schools be funded? What role should taxes play vs. tuition paid by the student or their parents?
      • Should homeschooling be allowed, and if so, how strict should the educational requirements be?

      And if you want to go really deep:

      • What is the purpose of education in the first place? Is it to make better and more productive workers; to create an informed electorate; to learn for the sake of learning?
      16 votes
    21. I recall recently seeing an article posted that was related to euthanasia, and I started thinking about the subject. I see both potential pros and potential cons associated with it. For example,...

      I recall recently seeing an article posted that was related to euthanasia, and I started thinking about the subject. I see both potential pros and potential cons associated with it. For example, there's the concern about family members or authority pressuring an ill person to opt for doctor-assisted suicide to ease financial burdens, for instance. There's also the benefit, on the other hand, of allowing someone who is terminally ill or guaranteed to live the rest of their life in excruciating pain the option to go out on their own terms. With proper oversight and ethical considerations, it generally seems to be an all-around ideal to provide an "opt-out" for those who would only continue to suffer and would rather not prolong it, as a merciful alternative to forcing them to live it out.

      But then there are some trickier questions.

      As a disclaimer, I spent nearly a couple of decades struggling through depression and have been surrounded (and still am surrounded) by people who struggle with their own mental illnesses. Because of this, I'm perfectly aware of the stigma and subpar treatment of mental illness in general. With that in mind, I completely recognize that there are certain conditions which are, at this time, completely untreatable and result in peoples' quality of life deteriorating to the point that they become perpetually miserable, particularly with certain neurodegenerative diseases.

      Thus, the question occurred to me: wouldn't such a condition be the mental health equivalent of a terminal illness? Would it not be unethical to force someone to continue living under conditions in which their quality of life will only diminish? Shouldn't someone who has such a condition, and is either of sound enough mind or with a written statement of their wishes from a time when they were of sound enough mind, be able to make the same decision about whether or not to opt to go out on their own terms?

      And yet, as reasonable as it sounds, for some reason the thought of it feels wrong.

      Is there something fundamentally more wrong about euthanasia for mental health vs. euthanasia for physical health? Is it just a culturally-learned ideal?

      More importantly, what makes euthanasia acceptable in some cases and not others? Which cases do you think exemplify the divide? Is there something more fundamental that we can latch onto? Is there a clear line we can draw? Is psychology itself just too young a field for us to be drawing that ethical line?

      I'm genuinely not sure how to feel about this subject. I would be interested in hearing some other thoughts on the subject. The questions above don't necessarily have to be answered, but I thought they could be good priming points.

      24 votes