• 10 Posts
Joined 11 months ago
Cake day: July 21st, 2023


  • Ttereal tellers is ttattElonkows nothing about AI. Anyone involved in the field knows all of the big names because we read their papers, listen to their lectures, and talk about their models. He then goes on to be dismissive of work he’s not even close to understanding. It’s blatant ignorance, and Elon is used to just being able to power through his ignorance by either BSing his way past people who know no more than him or firing anyone who is actually qualified and as a result disagrees with him.

  • Slay and serve are part of the drag/queer community lexicon that were made popular (iirc) in the NY ballroom scene. No one cares when 6th graders use them or if they stop.

    If you watch queer media or hang out with The Gays, you’ll hear them all the time. They’re a bit campy, but not cringe.

  • At some point, sound mixing just went to shit. My partner was in the industry working in post-production and agrees with me. The sfx are loud and the dialogue is not - thus all of the smart tvs and settop devices supporting features like “Dialogue Boost.”

    I used to notice it a lot with poorly managed concerts - the singer’s mic would get drowned out by the instruments. I guess all the people who were responsible for that moved to LA.

    But now I have a soundbar and two HomePods as speakers, and still turn on subs. And that might have something to do with the number of concerts.

  • Just to get it out of the way, I picked Capital because it’s extremely popular as well as being legendarily difficult to read. You could probably do Origin of Species pretty easily - I think it’s actually pretty accessible - but there’s no reason to read it at this point unless you’re a biology nerd with a fetish for history. Evolutionary biology, fortunately, has advanced significantly in the past couple of centuries. If you actually are interested in Capital (both as an artifact of its time as well as being a brilliant critique of the system that was starting to hit its stride), I recommend David Harvey. Harvey has several video and text based courses on Capital that make the ideas accessible and make sense both in the context in which they were written and for our more modern understanding. A lot of his work is freely available on YouTube and the web. 

    But moving on from Marx, you might benefit from a course in literary analysis. Again, it could be an ebook or a video, but it might help to develop a framework for understanding literature around either a specific period (eg early 20th century versus post war writings) or topics or literary movements. What I’m saying is that if you read scholars who studied Walt Whitman in addition to actually reading his writings, I think you would get closer to what I think your goal is.

    In any case, I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you make some remarkable discoveries. I’ve taken multi-year sabbaticals where I did little outside of reading, and I always came out of them with far better growth than a decade of work at a desk.

  • It’s not an unpopular opinion but it might be a tankie shitpost. I just really fucking wish people would explain their reasoning rather than just blatting out a stupid idea. This one isn’t stupid, per se, but if you want actual feedback you should say why you hold this opinion so people can tell you where they agree and disagree and it’s not just a downvote fest.

    Having said that, this is the least stupid of a series of incredibly vapid posts, so I’m writing a response.

    Yes, there is a supply/demand relationship. Let’s say you make 50 widgets a year and sell them for a dollar. Then a new use comes out for them, and people are willing to pay two dollars (this is actually the story behind the kong dog toy coming from a VW part). So now you can increase production, but eventually you’ll run out of customers, so you can reduce the price to $1.50, and so on. You can see this happening in real time in commodities markets, where oil producers will cut output to drive up prices, or increase it to drive them down (eg if they want to reduce oil production in other countries).

    Where you’re not wrong is that it’s a highly idealized model, like a lot of basic economics. It works best with commodities, but we’ve seen it with video cards, hard drives, cars, and so on. However, the more complex the market, the more factors beyond supply and demand are involved. There are things like sticky prices, information disparity (look up a paper called “A Market for Lemons”), and biases like those that won experimental psychologist Daniel Kahneman the Nobel prize in economics.

  • Because they make more money than they’re paying in fines. They also may be making more money violating laws than they’re paying in fines, but that’s how they’ll have to determine how they conduct business.

    Basically - and this is mostly for tech but I suspect it applies to other markets - the US is the single largest market. “Europe” is second, depending on how you want to define it, but even just the EU is a very big market. China is big and growing, and most companies are trying their best to keep growth there. Asia collectively could be huge, but the attempts to collectivize Asia have not worked out well, historically speaking.

    But the takeaway is that a company will exit s market if it’s losing money, generally speaking. No one is sacrificing earnings to make sure Belgians have access to the latest phones out of the goodness of their hearts.

  • I’m going to make a couple of recommendations, but I do have a question - why are you looking for free/out of copyright books? These have a couple of issues that may get in the way of your primary goal of getting g better at reading and, I assume, learning about new subjects. I’m also going to make the assumption that we’re talking primarily about English language books, but note that you didn’t specify a set of topics.

    Many of the books that you can find on, eg, Gutenberg, suffer from being poor or outdated translations. If you’re really looking to understand Marx’s Capital (to take an extreme example) I could not recommend a resource less than Gutenberg. It is atrocious. If you want to read Dickens or something, it is at best plain unflavored oatmeal. I’d like to suggest a couple of alternatives.

    When I had zero income for a while and was simply burning through my savings to live from day to day but still needed to read and learn - both to feel human and to move on to my next phase in life - I found torrents of ebooks. Some of them were just crappy PDF scans where the pages were just images (I think my first Zizek book was like that), while others were available in or translatable to an e-book format. The ones I tended to grab (and this is 20+ years ago) were things like the entire collection of Oxford University Press books for a span of years, which would cover science, philosophy, literature, and so on. Each one was gigs in size, and I used an ebook program to catalog them.

    The other option, depending on where you are or where you can manage to appear to be, is the public library system. This lets you borrow many books, and libraries aren’t all that strict (generally speaking) about validating addresses and such.

    My suggestion overall is to read about reading, and in general to read more modern books. If you’re interested in Jack London, don’t just read Jack London. Read about how he fits into English literature by people who have dedicated their lives to the subject. Read about the world he inhabited, what his metaphors mean, and how he compares to writers in his genre who preceded and followed him.

    Oscar Wilde is a darling author, but again you need the full literary context to really appreciate gay history and literature, you’ll want the additional history and context of his contemporaries, his historical conditions, and how his work influenced future authors.

    While it’s easier to appreciate Sherlock Holmes than Shakespeare, you won’t get as much out of it out of either without a bit more digging.

  • I think they also have an EMP effect that can damage ship/sat electronics.

    But, like the internet, a sub is a series of tubes. You have a big horizontal tube that the people and the engine lives in, and you have vertical ones where the things that blow up cities live.

    I mean, there are optional smaller horizontal tubes, but I feel like if you’re going to launch a sub into space it really ought to be one of the big ones. Maybe it’s just a Freudian thing.

  • I’m going to assume that OP and most people posting here know the difference between trans and drag. Some drag queens are trans, most are LGBT, some are straight. But trans women are women.

    Trans persons - at least many of them - mostly want to pass and have their identity accepted. This goes for trans men and trans women. And most people would like to be seen as attractive.

    The truth is though that you might just be into trans women. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the community is generally aware of and quite wary of “chasers.” Those are people that fetishize trans persons.

    The difference between being attracted to trans women and being a chaser is whether you see the person as an individual or as a class. Think about white guys who are really into Asian women or black men. On the one hand, it’s fine to have different tastes and perceptions of beauty. The fetishization occurs when the individuality of the person becomes less important than the fetishized quality.

  • Okay, I’m not going to push back on the social club aspect. That’s dead on. I’m also not going to get into what’s fashionable and how funding works. Like I said, I’m in the club. I mean, I’ve since sold out to work for a FAANG so I can have a lot of money going into retirement and run away to Europe in case the US really starts to go under.

    I can go through my prejudice against MIT grads - I’ve met two whom were decent persons and one of them was from Sloan and zero were from Media Lab - and so on. The U of M folks in complexity theory, otoh, have all been wonderful.

    And yes, I was talking about undergrads, but as we both know it’s easier to get into an elite grad program from an elite undergrad program. That’s the track. Plus, it’s rare to have to pay for a PhD program unless you’re coming in at baseline in an oversubscribed program.

  • Can you do a text search and find the word “conviction” in the amendment?

    Here’s the text:

    No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

    And, again, this has all gone through Congress. Trump did it. Everyone knows it. Even the Trumpists know it.

  • I want to be clear. I do not blame Ghana’s people for these laws. I do not blame Africans for the many nations that have enacted similar laws.

    Christian church organizations, acting under the rubric of evangelical outreach or even more offensively charitable giving have backed religious and political leaders with LGBT-phobic agendas up to and including execution for being gay. Of course they’re going to do it - they get power and money for doing so.

    The US needs to extend the Logan Act to apply to these situations and make the crime a felony that can lead to the arrest of the people involved and the legal dissolution of the organizations.