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Joined 1 year ago
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Cake day: June 4th, 2023

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  • Like I said, we’re quite mixed here. Take Hispanic as an example. You could be Hispanic and Latino, or one or the other and consider yourself white, or black or an indigenous American. This stuff is more about cultural identity, and crucially your cultural experiences and expectations, than it is about genetics. Plenty of families are actually wrong about where they’re from, for a variety of reasons. But that doesn’t matter all that much. In Florida, for instance, Spanish families generally have more in common with Cubans and Italians than they would with recent immigrants from Spain because of when the most significant waves of immigration happened that have historically shaped our communities.

    I’d also like to point out that all of this doesn’t seem from colonialism either. Lots of people leave their home countries for lots of reasons and end up here. There is a vocal minority of people who don’t like that and think their kids aren’t American enough, but to the rest of us they’re American as hell. So you can be American and whatever, and doesn’t make you any less American. It can’t be universal, because most other places don’t have this kind of population. But it’s relevant here because there are so many American experiences that if you want to know where you share cultural touchstones, or experience and acknowledge other cultures, it gives you a place to start from.


  • Is it just the Jewish part that you don’t get? The US has so many different active cultures going on in the same spaces that knowing someone’s ethnic background can tell you a lot about them and their family. I’m sure some people want to know because they’re racist, but for most people it’s just a cultural shorthand. Knowing someone is Cuban rather than Puerto Rican, or half Spanish and half Irish tells you what kinds of experiences they might have had, what comfort foods they’re likely to eat, how they’re likely to celebrate their holidays. Stuff like that. Especially if one of their cultural identities is one that you share, or frequently share the same spaces with, you’ve probably just found a whole lot of commonalities with that person. Older people might ask. In my experience younger people generally won’t. So either it’s obvious to you or they tell you or you might not know at all.

    From a governmental standpoint, they keep track of different statistics based on ethnicity, supposedly so they can make sure they’re not failing any groups of people with representation, healthcare outcomes, policing, etc. It obviously doesn’t always work, but that’s supposed to be why the government is interested.



  • She explores so many ideas.

    Left hand of darkness explores our humanity through the lense of gender by removing gender from the society. It’s an emotional exploration, and if you enjoy audiobooks the personal nature of the story goes well with the personal experience of it being told to you.

    The dispossessed is probably my favorite book. It’s more of a social / political exploration. You’ll probably be thinking about it more where you’ll be feeling about the left hand of darkness, so if you want something a little more externally focused and cognitive then it’s a great place to start.

    You can literally pick up anything she’s ever written and have a great experience, but she’s written some really hard hitters. Not in the sense of a baseball metaphor either. The story and the characters will just hit you really hard.





  • I don’t really get this take. I’ve seen the same people wanting stricter gun control and also saying this is a dumb law. Most responsible gun owners who are pro gun rights would agree that we don’t want drug addicts to have guns. Why isn’t this something people can all agree on? Admittedly, this is hypocritical as hell because police don’t bother to follow up on felons who own guns, and even infrequent marijuana use prohibits people from purchasing firearms. But, it’s just good sense for someone who is addicted to crack to not own guns.

    Even with the details of this case, my understanding is that it all started because he was on drugs, and didn’t have his gun safely stored and his then girlfriend, also a drug user, took it and threw it in a trash can in a public place, which is an excellent reason not to let drug users have guns.




  • I work in a technical field, and the amount of bad work I see is way higher than you’d think. There are companies without anyone competent to do what they claim to do. Astonishingly, they make money at it and frequently don’t get caught. Sometimes they have to hire someone like me to fix their bad work when they do cause themselves actual problems, but that’s much less expensive than hiring qualified people in the first place. That’s probably where we’re headed with ais, and honestly it won’t be much different than things are now, except for the horrible dystopian nature of replacing people with machines. As time goes on they’ll get fed the corrections competent people make to their output and the number of competent people necessary will shrink and shrink, till the work product is good enough that they don’t care to get it corrected. Then there won’t be anyone getting paid to do the job, and because of ais black box nature we will completely lose the knowledge to perform the job in the first place.



  • A couple things I haven’t seen mentioned.

    Get a smart watch that tracks your sleep. I like the Samsung Galaxy, but there are much cheaper options, like those from amazefit. This will give you a baseline of how much sleep you’re actually getting and an idea of the quality as well. Being able to quantify it has helped me get substantially more regular sleep, and showed me how much I actually need. Plus the vibrating alarm is better for actually waking me up, and I can set an alarm to remind me to get ready for bed.

    Use a meditation app with some comfortable Bluetooth headphones. I like insight timer. I hate meditation, and particularly those ‘body focus’ ones. I’m already hyper aware of my body, but there are plenty of options and they do really help you get to sleep.


  • There are people who have natural ability at every instrument, but it’s much more common for it to be with one or two types of instruments. Them a little (enjoyable) practice will get them to whatever level of mastery they’re happy with. They can be totally hopeless at other instruments, and average at others. The ones that will blow your mind are those who are total naturals at one, but choose to pursue an instrument they have no natural ability at.