Search found 8382 matches

by JD
Yesterday, 18:04
Forum: The Joys of Life
Topic: Horrible, Offensive Geekery
Replies: 1062
Views: 120341

Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

I also agree that the initial setup of Omelas is basically "Assume a spherical utopia of uniform density, with whatever arbitrary attributes you want a utopia to have." Is Omelas a utopia? Well, for the majority of the inhabitants, who are not troubled by moral qualms, yes. From the authorial or re...
by JD
Yesterday, 15:13
Forum: The Joys of Life
Topic: Horrible, Offensive Geekery
Replies: 1062
Views: 120341

Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

It's not meant to soothe. It's a rallying-cry to fight for equality and against the very idea that people aren't equal or can be allowed to hold that idea. It's the dumbass "Paradox of Tolerance" argument writ large, complete with a mention of it. I think it's part of a long Progressive stance that...
by JD
Yesterday, 14:42
Forum: The Joys of Life
Topic: Horrible, Offensive Geekery
Replies: 1062
Views: 120341

Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

I have more to add later when I'm in front of a keyboard, but I'd just point of that "Omelas" is supposed to be a utopia, too. The whole point of the forsaken child is "Oh, you can't believe in a perfect society? Fine, let's say they keep this one kid in misery, do you believe it now , asshole?". I...
by JD
Yesterday, 13:10
Forum: The Joys of Life
Topic: Horrible, Offensive Geekery
Replies: 1062
Views: 120341

Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

A postscript: while writing this, I was reminded of Ray Bradbury's "The Flying Machine" , in which a man is executed for the crime of committing an act that directly hurts no one but opens the possibility that someone might someday. The parallels are actually a bit startling... The machine was a gar...
by JD
Yesterday, 13:01
Forum: The Joys of Life
Topic: Horrible, Offensive Geekery
Replies: 1062
Views: 120341

Re: Horrible, Offensive Geekery

I would sum them up as follows: Le Guin: Here's this utopia; oh wait it's not really a utopia because it's built on suffering. Jemisin: Here's this utopia, and it's utopia because they kill anybody who has wrongthink. Oh, OK, it's not directly because they kill people who have wrongthink, it's becau...
by JD
30 Nov 2020, 12:45
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Iran (so far away)
Replies: 899
Views: 67097

Re: Iran (so far away)

They may have done the math and decided that if they can take on Iran now while the US will go along with them, it'd be better than waiting 3-5 years for the "bipartisan Israel consensus" to break completely. And even if the US won't overtly go along with them, history suggests that the worst the U...
by JD
30 Nov 2020, 08:44
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Iran (so far away)
Replies: 899
Views: 67097

Re: Iran (so far away)

Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed In Attack My bet is the Israelis did it. It may be 'merely' to handicap Iran's nuclear development*, but it could also be an attempt to involve the US in a war with Iran before Trump leaves office. *My take on that is it will only make the Iranians even more det...
by JD
24 Nov 2020, 17:04
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Calling 2020 for Entropy
Replies: 1640
Views: 142929

Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

2020 has been a real shit ice cream show. Wisconsin election observers in Milwaukee were given wristbands bearing the poop emoji Tuesday during the fifth day of watching the recount requested by President Trump’s campaign. .. Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson told reporters that he didn't un...
by JD
24 Nov 2020, 13:56
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Worthwhile intertubez finds
Replies: 12479
Views: 1011814

Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Speaking of Slate, which I usually try not to, this is a short but interesting interview with two authors, ...Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith. In their 2005 academic study The Logic of Political Survival and its 2011 mass-market adaptation The Dictator’s Handbook, they propose a model for...
by JD
24 Nov 2020, 13:48
Forum: The Joys of Life
Topic: Small joys and random good things
Replies: 125
Views: 53903

Re: Small joys and random good things

My workplace strongly encouraged us to take a public speaking course, so I finally sighed and rolled my eyes and said, fine, I'll do it. And it has actually been fascinating. So far it's been mostly about speaking with intention, and avoiding the sense of urgency and the verbal tics that we all tend...
by JD
23 Nov 2020, 14:00
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Whither the Democratic Party?
Replies: 143
Views: 2464

Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

Certainly the Kultur War aspect of current politics plays into the hands of establishment Democrats. There's a subset of Democrats (or at least Democrat-leaning types) who want the party to go all Democratic Socialism, defund the police, nationalize all education, etc., but while they may kick up a ...
by JD
23 Nov 2020, 13:09
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Random covid-19 observations
Replies: 946
Views: 96113

Re: Random covid-19 observations

No shortages around here, although I haven't been looking for disinfectants so much lately, because we stocked up a long time ago. They were the one thing that remained in very short supply even after everything else went back to normal. And we have finally almost finished all of the cans of pink be...
by JD
23 Nov 2020, 12:00
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Whither the Democratic Party?
Replies: 143
Views: 2464

Re: Whither the Democratic Party?

A couple observations: The key distinction within their ranks, she argued, wasn’t between moderates and progressives, but between politicians who represent competitive districts and those who do not. I think that's probably true, but the two kind of go together. Where the Democrats have a lock on a ...
by JD
23 Nov 2020, 11:25
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Towing the Lion
Replies: 2044
Views: 219190

Re: Towing the Lion

Somebody in this true crime show just said that the victim's life was "hanging by a shred." Those are a rich mine of malapropisms. In the last couple days we've heard people say that a lack of progress in the case has left them "fustrated" and "flustrated", and one guy was asked if anyone could "cl...
by JD
20 Nov 2020, 07:36
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Orange is the new President
Replies: 8192
Views: 598228

Re: Orange is the new President

It is bizarre how their latest legal arguments seem to boil down to "fuck it, just declare us the winners, OK?"
by JD
19 Nov 2020, 18:46
Forum: The Joys of Life
Topic: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread
Replies: 933
Views: 89894

Re: Mo's moderately interesting sci/tech thread

This is not really "joys of life", but they're going to decommission the Arecibo radio telescope. :-( Apparently it just can't be fixed safely and cost-effectively. I know that it had a good run and everything comes to an end eventually, but it's been a part of science longer than I've been alive. W...
by JD
19 Nov 2020, 01:55
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Random covid-19 observations
Replies: 946
Views: 96113

Re: Random covid-19 observations

LOL at https://tsl.news/opinion-dolly-parton-coronavirus/
It was written May 3rd of this year.
by JD
18 Nov 2020, 16:35
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Observations of the Random sort
Replies: 9231
Views: 499438

Re: Observations of the Random sort

I wonder if some of that is just due to different tradeoffs. An F-22 is a fairly amazing piece of equipment, but it also requires something like 30 hours of maintenance for every hour of actual use; nobody would accept that in any other field, I don't think.
by JD
18 Nov 2020, 15:18
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!
Replies: 378
Views: 21801

Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Warren wrote: 18 Nov 2020, 15:10 Be sure to let us know when the seat gives way, because that's going to be hilarious.
I really thought you were going to go for the low-hanging "I didn't think you could get anything done for forty dollars these days" joke bait, Warren.
by JD
18 Nov 2020, 15:08
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!
Replies: 378
Views: 21801

Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Despite my grousing about the local bike repair place in the other thread, they had it done today, and the final price for the work was FORTY DOLLARS. I didn't think you could get anything done for forty dollars these days. So I basically got a new used bike for $40. I think there are a few things t...
by JD
18 Nov 2020, 11:05
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Calling 2024 for DEAR GOD NO!!!!
Replies: 19
Views: 918

Re: Calling 2024 for DEAR GOD NO!!!!

I'm seeing stories that Trump's flirtation with running in 2024 is paralyzing the normal feeling-out process for candidates: nobody wants to muddle the party's message or antagonize Trump if he ends up running again (or winning!) but they also don't want to be caught flat-footed if he doesn't run.
by JD
17 Nov 2020, 19:43
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Calling 2020 for Entropy
Replies: 1640
Views: 142929

Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

It's not childish to want to see Trump prosecuted when and where you have specific charges, but that doesn't seem like the mood of the howling mob, and it is childish to basically scream "I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU" because Daddy Biden won't give you what you want.
by JD
17 Nov 2020, 19:38
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Calling 2020 for Entropy
Replies: 1640
Views: 142929

Re: Calling 2020 for Entropy

Based on that thread, the lefty Twitter mob is losing its shit over Biden saying he's not going to aggressively pursue Trump post-election. The idea that there might be any bigger issue totally escapes them and they're melting down like toddlers. TWITTER: I wanna see Trump prosecuted! BIDEN: No, hon...
by JD
17 Nov 2020, 18:36
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Random covid-19 observations
Replies: 946
Views: 96113

Re: Random covid-19 observations

You just can't ever be sure if people are serious these days. I appreciate Parton's contribution, but the average cost to bring a new drug to market is something like a billion dollars these days , and Pfizer had a $1.95 billion "advance purchase" agreement with the Feds , so calling $1 million "mai...
by JD
17 Nov 2020, 13:11
Forum: General Chatter
Topic: Petty annoyances
Replies: 10115
Views: 671901

Re: Petty annoyances

My neighborhood has two bicycle repair shops: a long-time local shop, and snooty high-end shop. Snooty high-end shop is the kind of place where if you take a bike in and it isn't some $500 hipster bullshit they sneer at you for having a peasant bike, so fuck them, and I always take ours to the older...