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Multidimensional Radical Centrist

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joined 2022 September 04 18:24:54 UTC


User ID: 64


Multidimensional Radical Centrist

1 follower   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 04 18:24:54 UTC


No bio...


User ID: 64

In hindsight, I guess it's not surprising that a machine learning model trained on data largely from the Internet has seen an overwhelming amount of porn, or at least porn-adjacent content.

I wonder if coming up with a less-biased dataset will eventually require something silly like, say, street view to make observations more like reality. On the other hand, humans watching Hollywood movies already see a biased dataset compared to everyday life.

I've slowly developed a shooting pain that begins in my right lower back and extends to my outer right thigh.

I'm not a doctor, but this sounds like sciatica. The internet can suggest some specific stretches that might help.

For the record, I agree with your take. The comment is more referencing cases in which people rhetorically imply that the country is worse off than otherwise, which I think is less clear.


I sometimes consider the hypothetical world in which the 2003 invasion was skipped. It's obviously hard to predict such outcomes, but I think it's not implausible a continued Hussein regime might not be better for the average Iraqi. It's not like they had a particularly good human rights record.

Sure, there was a lot of destruction from the war (which I'd generally agree was poorly-conceived), but how would Iraq have faced the Arab Spring? It seems plausible that could have ended less like ISIS and more like the still-ongoing Syrian Civil War, likely complete with Russia intentionally bombing civilian targets and waves of refugees fleeing to Europe.

For all it's faults in the invasion, the country now could be much worse than it is today. Which is distinctly not an endorsement of the operation, merely a pause for consideration.

Although there was bipartisan support of the Iraq war (at least in the aftermath of 9/11) the Republicans were more strongly in favor of it and stayed in favor of it for longer.

My recollection of events was that Democrats were pretty loudly against the wars by 2008, but got very quiet on the subject during the Obama administration and didn't immediately pull out, in a few places even escalated with more drone strikes and such. People like Cindy Sheehan were propped up by the left during the latter Bush years and left to wither once Obama was in office. If anything, I take it as a statement on the ratio of partisans looking to hammer their outgroup to real honest-to-goodness peaceniks. The US seems to have more of the former.

As such, I'm inclined to think that the far right looking skeptically at weapons shipments is more a statement about who is in power than any consistent principle of kinetic international politics. You can even see that those on the far left are largely silenced on the matter: the DSA made a few anti-war statements early on that got some backlash, and seem to have gone mum since. IIRC even among Republican voters, a majority support aid to Ukraine.

If control was reversed I'd expect them to play the same games in the other direction: the folks in power are always trying to waste our precious resources and need additional oversight.

To elaborate, whenever the expected utility from discrimination exceeds the costs. If there's a genetic test that correlated with a 0.05% increase in risk for colon cancer, no sensible insurance company would order it, nor should a sane employer hinge their employment decisions upon it, because that would just be a pain in the ass.

I'm not sure I agree with this: there are lots of tests like BRCA1 that reveal something like 40% of women with the gene will develop breast cancer. Large employers often self-insure for employee health insurance (often with a known insurer providing the infrastructure and managing benefits), so health care costs actually come directly out of their bottom line. I can imagine that the math works out pretty easily that if, say, Starbucks knew of a positive test for the gene or a family history of certain diseases, it would actually be an actuarial loss to hire certain candidates and provide health insurance.

The US prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of genetic information, and I'm not sure I disagree with the idea that we should do so.

The alternative might well be being kicked out of Malaysia entirely

As I've heard it told, the founding story of independent Singapore involved the parliament of Malaysia voting unanimously (absent members from Singapore) in 1965 to expel Singapore from its state involuntarily. This seems related to the fact that the island was, unlike the mainland, a majority ethnic Chinese. The difference in outcomes of governance in otherwise-adjacent states is, um, certainly notable.

In general, I would have the state seek policies of colorblindness (even outside of the context of literal skin color). I can acknowledge that this may not always be the most efficient choice economically, but it seems desirable because it's a system I could accept being on the other end of. At the same time, I think we can and should guarantee a certain minimum of quality of outcome: even if you're at the bottom end of the system we should be able to make systems that give dignity, the basics (shelter, food, and such), and ideally purpose.

But I can also accept that there are times when deviating from this policy is expedient or even required: if there's a dangerous fugitive at large known to be tall, I wouldn't necessarily demand stopping and checking short people equally.

After that Medicare basically gets to set the price; if companies refuse to negotiate / accept then they can be taxed on gross receipts starting at 65% and going up to 95%.

I don't follow this sort of thing closely, but I'm rather curious as to what this negotiation has to end up looking like. How does Medicare negotiate with a sole supplier unless they can threaten to not buy at all? Similarly, how do the pharmaceutical manufacturers negotiate for higher rates?

I'm having trouble picturing any negotiation that doesn't end up with one party declaring what the price will be, take it or leave it. Historically that's been the companies, I take it, but the new law seems like it'd just reverse the tables, but I don't really have a better alternative to recommend.

Part of this is that anything sold intended to be a collectors item is generally made in too large quantities to be really rare. Think of that Beanie Baby divorce photo from 1999. On the other hand, I've heard that those originals are actually starting to trend up in value, so who knows.

I try not to collect things without specific uses, but I appreciate that others enjoy doing so. Sometimes it's actually valuable to historians.

Nowadays there are guys that brag with their inability to change a flat tire (true story).

An increasing number of new cars don't even come with a spare tire, without which the skill is not necessarily useful. On the other hand, modern tires are far more reliable than our grandparents', and run-flat tires aren't that bad, from what I hear.

And it's not like most folks can change the tire on the rim at home anyway: that's a specialized skill these days involving some specific large power tools and esoteric knowledge of installing TPMS sensors correctly. And used tires have specific proper disposal requirements too.

I'm not sure I disagree with your take completely, but it's also interesting to see the grind of reliability engineering and the division of specialized labor make observable progress within my own lifetime.

  • when I dieted, I maintained a small deficit (up to 500 calories) and suffered no adverse effects beyond really looking forward to the next meal
  • the guy that has tried dozens of diets (can't find the link) tried a deficit of 1000 calories and stopped after one week of feeling hungry and lethargic

At least in my experience (I'm not obese, but I've occasionally tried to lose modest amounts of weight to improve sports performance), my best results have come from trying to always be slightly hungry. Trying to be very hungry (presumably a large deficit) quickly led to poor decisionmaking -- "oh, just a small snack" doesn't stay limited very easily, although I've had some success with snacks I don't like, which starts sounding a lot like the potato diet.

But I have observed that this takes active thought, reminders, and is harder when I'm dealing with more IRL just because I have other things to think about.

if you reduce CI to 0, CO won't get reduced to 0 until you look like a walking skeleton and die of starvation

There are at least a few recorded cases of people doing this: the linked guy lost 276 pounds by fasting for 392 days in the '60s. Not recommending this, but not impossible.

In one memorable example, the Chicago Plumbers Union lobbied until the mid-1980s to continue requiring lead pipes until they were banned federally because only union plumbers could install lead lines. This probably had a negative safety impact for the plumbers themselves, has definitely impacted generations of Chicago residents in ways that less union-friendly jurisdictions avoided. But hey, job security!

You say nothing. Marriage surprisingly turns out great.

Obviously not directly related to OP, but I'm familiar with one instance where this happened. A close family member, single at the time, dropped "you could do better". Still together a fairly happy decade later, notwithstanding the usual ups and downs inherent in any marriage. Said family member is still close, and still single.

Unity Technologies is losing a billion dollars a year

I guess I'm not surprised about the changes, then, but I had assumed they were profitable given their established market share and how I had assumed their costs were fairly low. Good developers are expensive, but I didn't think Unity themselves had many costs beyond engine development and some seemingly-trivial web hosting (downloads, documentation, forums).

I know they have some adtech business on the side, but I'm rather curious where billions of dollars of annual costs are going: the statement only shows a billion each for development and administration/sales.

As a comparison, Valve is privately held, also publishes a game engine (admittedly, not the most popular one these days), and despite seemingly undirected management seems generally described as profitable. Although they also run a storefront that pays the bills. I guess Epic (the other major engine-publisher) does too.

This makes me feel old: these days browsers don't even support FTP.

The suburban demographic is naturally materialistic, rootless, individualist and globalist.

This really doesn't match my experience in the US: the average suburban dweller I know has a mortgage "rooting" them to their dwelling and presenting nontrivial costs -- real estate sales, movers, etc -- to up and move elsewhere. There may be some individualism, but the average suburban school has an active parent organization donating time and funds to local education. And there's no shortage of other groups meshing the community together: churches, youth/adult sports leagues, and so forth.

I wouldn't expect support for the alt-right to take off in suburbs -- whose inhabitants seem generally happy and content to just grill in their backyards -- but I think "solidly neoliberal" reflects what is actually a general conservatism in the sense of being change-averse: suburbanites don't want major political changes (locally or nationally: these might, gasp, impact property values), and garden-variety neoliberalism seems to be one of the least change-seeking platforms currently. In general, I think they want to keep things as they are, with an eye toward modest, gradual improvements and at least a stated preference for "be nice" policies with modest price tags. These folks aren't pushing to (re-)overhaul American health-care because they're largely employed and prefer the devil they know in their existing insurance plan. They aren't pushing to defund their police departments. But they might agree on increasing Medicaid spending or buying body cameras for police.

But perhaps Sweden's idea of a "suburb" is very different from what I experience day-to-day.

Yet these American blue cities are not "lurching" (a mild slur by the way) to the right, far from it. In the past decades they have become woker and woker.

I recognize that this is purely anecdotal, but my overall sense of "blue spaces" (and I live in one) is that in the last 12-18 months there's been an increase in the number of, as the kids say, "based" takes. Especially since the moderator revolt a few months back, a number of previously-radical local subreddits seem to have pivoted towards the center a bit, even if it's IMO quite-modest statements like "local property crime is bad for the community, and actually I want the police to do something" or "letting homeless folks shoot up drugs and openly defecate in the street across from the local elementary school is hardly 'compassionate' to anyone involved" get upvotes and positive engagement.

I have always found the "ultra-processed" definition lacking. I don't doubt the conclusions generally, but "processed" is a very broad definition, and I think deserves a closer set of guidelines: hydrogenated oils, breaded-and-fried foods, and such are far worse than, say, hummus, which is "processed" by pureeing a few fairly-healthy ingredients. I think it'd be a lot clearer to grade processes rather than count them.

Notably in 1945 there were a bunch of documented cases of Germans fleeing west with the deliberate goal of surrendering to non-Soviet Allied forces.

the Russians did not establish Nazi-style concentration camps for industrialized slaughter

I think it's worth noting that while the camps are the most well-publicized part of the Holocaust, a decent fraction of the deaths, especially early in the war were attributable to death squads with guns rounding up "undesirables."

There have definitely been recorded mass graves in places like Bucha that at least seem to resemble this sort of policy of wanton death.

It isn't every time, though it is rare. For example, a judge tossed the results of the '97 Miami mayoral election due to voter fraud.

While Suarez was not personally implicated, the prosecuting circuit court judge cited the district as ''the center of a massive, well-conceived and well-orchestrated absentee ballot voter fraud scheme.'' People working for Suarez's campaign were found forging voter signatures, including at least one of a dead citizen.

Why don't they do signature matches?

This one always strikes me as a silly question. In theory it sounds like a tolerable system in the same way that paper cheques or signatures on credit card receipts do. But there is a reason we don't tend to use those anymore: as best as I can tell forging a signature to at least pass within a large dataset isn't hard -- we aren't going to deploy credentialed handwriting experts for every ballot -- and many, if not most, of your obvious signature mismatches are probably going to come from medical issues like dominant hands in casts or motor control issues in older people.

I suppose it might catch a whole building or block of voters all signing with an X, but I'd be curious to see someone argue the cost-benefit of checking is worthwhile.

Cryptographic signatures is a whole different can of worms.

Team Red wants fewer people to vote. Team Blue wants more people to vote.

This seems true with respect to strategy, but I haven't seen any compelling data that these strategies actually improve their electoral outcomes: I don't see any hugely-compelling trends in, say, presidential election voter turnout and which party tends to win. I think there's a fairly minor bias toward Republicans in low-participation midterm elections, but I'm less convinced that this carries all the way to marginal voters in terms of whether or not they hold valid voter IDs.

Only a tiny fraction of people who come in for an initial consultation end up medically transitioning; most are dissuaded after talking to psychologists and doctors about whether it's actually the best path for them.

Do you have a citation to back this up? I haven't found any direct numbers, but there are some damning quotes from seemingly-reasonable sources. For example, the Interim Cass Review of the Tavistock clinic includes:

1.14. Primary and secondary care staff have told us that they feel under pressure to adopt an unquestioning affirmative approach and that this is at odds with the standard process of clinical assessment and diagnosis that they have been trained to undertake in all other clinical encounters

Honestly, I can't even find anecdotes of anyone and their doctor deciding that no treatment was the right course of action. I'm sure it's happened, but I'm having trouble believing "most" here.