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joined 2022 September 06 14:31:18 UTC


User ID: 859



2 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 06 14:31:18 UTC


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User ID: 859

My aunt and uncle had a place in Florida for the past decade until they sold in June this year. Like a lot of retired Canadians they live half up north, then go somewhere warm in winter. It wasn't the only factor in their decision to sell, but the forthcoming election was another push to convince them to get out. They felt in general people had gotten a bit more aggressive, rude, and generally unhinged in their time there. Aggressive driving seemed to be up as well as casual/threatening handling of guns. They didn't live in an expensive part and if you just walked around the neighbourhood you could see a number of sort of gauche displays of political affiliation. They decided that it was best to leave before you leave with bitterness.

  • Extroversion: 70
  • Emotional stability: 66
  • Agreeableness: 51
  • Conscientiousness: 18
  • Intellect/Imagination: 96

Not sure what this means exactly.

Speaking of Cromwells, last week I read through Hilary Mantel's trilogy about Oliver's distant ancestor, Thomas Cromwell (Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, The Mirror & the Light). Really enjoyed it. Historical fiction is often saddled when it deals with famous individuals but the incidents involved are simultaneously famous enough and factually unsure (like Anne Boleyn's fall) that it still finds itself with plenty of space to maneuver. Great prose too.

In a broader sense than what the commenters below added, there are various scenarios where market failures exist because of information asymmetries. I.e., person A knows about x and person B does not, so they can't come to terms they both find agreeable. In this case there has to be some kind of intervention by the government or another third party for things to work; classic examples for this would be used cars and health insurance.

Insurance companies have a much more sophisticated understanding of wildfire risks than the average person. Throw in some other cognitive biases (humans generally don't organize their finances in 50 year windows), and there are going to be places where insurance companies essentially feel obligated to raise rates to the point where humans will not pay them. Hell, auto insurance is something comparatively much simpler for both issuer and seller and governments generally still have to force drivers to buy it.

From what I remember from summer 2021 mostly the former. They were typically churches on or near rural reserves, and in general indigenous Canadians are more church-going than your average Canadian of European descent. One of the amusing results of this was that indigenous elders tended to be much more outspoken against the church burnings (some links: 1, 2, 3), while you practically had to drag condemnations out of Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh (leaders of the major center and center-left parties, respectively).

There were a few exceptions, like an Egyptian Coptic church that was targeted, or a Vietnamese church..

certainly I've heard of various otherwise dim-seeming elite athletes having savant-like memory (LeBron James and Steven Stamkos are two that pop to mind)

Golf and tennis are unusual in that we evaluate players based on their performance in a few selected events rather than over the course of an entire season, even though it's doubtful that this is an accurate representation of overall ability.

One of the things about golf is, especially for the majors, anyone who gets in is basically good enough to win if they put four of their best rounds together. And in a field of around 150 players somebody generally comes close to doing that. That's why there are plenty of golfers who were career journeymen with only one or two career wins who randomly win a major.

It was a testament to Tiger Woods' insane dominance that he was winning a majority of the tournaments he played from ~2005-09, because that meant that his average four rounds was consistently better than the rest of the fields' best four rounds.

There are plenty of counterexamples, though. Many golfers don't peak until their late 30s or 40s. Some classic examples would include Phil Mickelson (who won his six majors between the ages of 34 and 51), Steve Stricker (who didn't peak until ~45), or right now Lucas Glover who has won the last two PGA events at age 43 and has resurrected his career after a decade and a half of being one of the randoms to win a major.

edit: forgot another great example. The only other player to have a "Tiger-esque" season in the last few decades was Vijay Singh who was 41 at the time (2004). The large majority of his wins came after he turned 40

you haven't even gotten into all the weird sex stuff yet!

To me the central problem of IQ meritocracy is that intelligence is one value among many. If you were in charge of staffing a business or a school or a government ministry, it's understandable why you would want to prioritize intelligence; but if you prioritize intelligence alone you might start to run into problems. There are plenty of intelligent people who are conniving schemers, who are sociopathic, who are selfish and vain, who hate themselves or their country, who value their own advancement much greater than others, or who even simply prefer others failing to themselves succeeding. In these cases selecting individuals solely for their intelligence makes their destructive flaws worse. An inveterate gambler is a bad person to hire in accounting. An inveterate gambler who is also intelligent is a million times worse, because not only will they do much more damage they also are much more likely to be able to conceal their faults (and subsequently, the wake of destruction).

Western academia seems to be filled with plenty of smart people who hate themselves and their country. I don't think it would be an unpopular observation here to point out that them being intelligent makes it worse and not better. Maybe if we weren't so hellbent on selecting for IQ we would not have found ourselves in this position for IQ to be so roundly dismissed.

The cherry on top of this story is that his claim of the US having hundreds of bombs makes its way into the pivotal War Council conference on peace terms on August 9. The meeting had been insisted upon by the Emperor - with some grumbling - after the bombing of Hiroshima and the Soviet entry into the war. Halfway through the meeting, news is delivered that Nagasaki has also been destroyed by an atomic bomb. Defence Minister Korechika Anami brings up this claim from McDilda that the US has limitless A-bombs, and immediately discounts it as nonsense. But then he reflected that maybe it would be better if it was true: "Would it not be wondrous for the whole nation to be destroyed like a beautiful flower?"

If you met me there is zero chance you'd describe me as anything other than white. I find myself extraordinarily doubtful whether you can visually identify who has "pure European heritage" out of a group of North Americans.

Big week for nuclear power in Ontario

After France, I believe Ontario is the king of nuclear power generation: roughly 60% of the province's electricity is generated from its nuclear power plants. However there were growing issues: cost overruns and increased political opposition in the 1980s had prevented development of new reactors for decades, and the legal battles over just the initial environmental assessments of an attempt to build new reactors at the Darlington site beginning in 2006 meant the project ended up stillborn (the provincial government abandoned it in 2011, and the court scuffles went on for another five years past that). After that successive Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments were plenty happy to kick the can down the road: after all, getting new hydro or nuclear generation going is never something that's going to come online in time for next election, so it just all disappears beyond the political event horizon. Never mind the various projections anticipating a large and growing gap between generation and demand, a gap probably understated if electrification of heating/transport accelerates.

Then all of a sudden it becomes an issue because one of the major nuclear plants (Pickering) is all of a sudden due for retirement before the next election, and there's a mad scramble to fix things. But at least the positive is that it appears to have finally shaken decision-makers out of their reverie: 4,800 MW of new reactors at Bruce Power will see it reclaim its former status as the world's largest nuclear plant, and three new small modular reactors will add 1,200 MW more. The scale is considerable: just the three new SMRs will generate more electricity than Canada's ten largest windfarms combined.

And so far the response has been positive! Looking at Reddit comments might not necessarily be instructive of the general reaction but it's been nothing but relief so far. I've been scanning left-leaning legacy media (there isn't much left in Canada) and what criticism there has been so far has been mainly tepid concerns about cost (which are valid, controlling cost overruns are pretty important here).

It'll be interesting to see the federal response here. The current Minister of Environment, Steven Guilbeault, is a former Greenpeace guy and has been vocally anti-nuclear in the past. The regulatory hurdles these projects will have to mount are mainly federal and there is the potential for some kind of obstruction. On the other hand the current Trudeau government has been cautiously open, at least rhetorically, to new nuclear development and has been helping fund SMR development. We shall see how it pans out. In general public sentiment isn't an issue: the large majority of Ontario's population already lives close to a nuclear power plant and public support is high. The concern is how interest groups or specific influential individuals might use the legal system or regulatory requirements to kill by a thousand cuts.

I'm going to take this chance to indulge in just a little bit of optimism!

They legalized it (or kept it legal, rather) in part because the social democrats showed the parliament photographs of pretty native Pacific Islander and Southwest African girls and even the centrists agreed they were as attractive as German women, and therefore acceptable.

These are the real conversations we need to be having.

As an aside I'm currently reading a more recent-ish history of the Bounty mutiny and am being reminded at how devastating Pacific Islander women are to the underpinnings of European civilization.

Happy 4th of July to our American friends! I've come to share a little bit of history that struck me, then and now, as one of the more compelling paeans of American greatness: the opinion of Germans of American soldiers in 1917-18.

When the USA fell into WWI mostly-unprepared, it had to rapidly acquaint itself with the realities of modern warfare and gamely struggled with it. Once the fighting ended the Army was very interested in sourcing the enemy's opinions of its performance so as to be better prepared for next time. What actually happened was the USA retreated again into isolationism and it had to relearn all the same lessons in 1941-42 again at great cost. But it did produce this great document: Candid Comment on the American Soldier of 1917-18 (and Kindred Topics) by The Germans.

While much of it is devoted to German opinions of American combat performance (the general conclusion was brave, but foolhardy), the more interesting elements to me are the German impressions of Americans as individuals. Many of the American soldiers were ethnically German themself, and the whole situation lended itself to German introspection on how their American cousins had diverged in between the great German national failures of 1848 and 1918. This was after all a great clash of the ideals of the former versus the structure of the latter (which was drawn into sharper contrast by the further civil conflict within Germany; there are repeated instances of praise for American rule versus that of the "Spartacists").

You can see some selected quotes on various topics here, but what I find particularly interesting are the various comments about American class distinctions, given the shock Germans had in comparing their Prussian norms with American freedoms. Some choice quotes:

He comments on the fact that the Americans were what might be called bad prisoners. A group of 14 were brought in one day and when asked about their units refused to talk. They refused to work and talked back to the [German] officers, much to the annoyance of the officers and the concealed delight of the men.

Braun has served in the German army as an enlisted man and keenly alive to conditions in the army. He makes an interesting comparison in the German and American systems of training officers and states that the German system was the direct downfall of the army. At the beginning of the war Germany was well supplied with experienced officers who were respected and looked up to by the men in spite of the harsh disciplinary measures. The casualties, however, among officers during the first year of the war were enormous and they at once started training new officers... The candidates were selected from among the sons of the most influential families, given a short training and then put in charge of Companies. They tried to impose the same rigid discipline that the regular officers had, but the enlisted men resented this to the extent of open rebellion and fought with their officers until there was no discipline left in the army... He said that the American training schools although modelled after the Germans turned out successful officers because the best fitted men were picked from the ranks.

He spoke of the great difference between the American and German armies and was very much surprised to learn that one could become a noncommissioned officer after spending six or eight months in the service. In peace time in the German army a soldier was given a Sergeantcy only after he had spent 10 or 12 years in service then if he continued faithful he was given a place near his home as a Postman or railroad employee.

The American army seems to me as fine a collection of individual physical specimen as I have ever seen. But from the standpoint of military discipline it is a mob, pure and simple. The men appear slouchy; the officers do not stand out from the men in appearance as they do in any European army. All seem to allow themselves to be victimized in prices by the tradespeople of this, I am most unhappy to admit, vanquished country. They seem to have no conception of the fact that we are their enemies, and deep down in our hearts we hate each and every one of them!

Hahn states that all the people in the town are admiring the clean-cut American soldiers. He states that the impression the American soldier is leaving, with the people of Germany, is the impression that Germany will have of America in years to come. He notices the contrast between the American and German armies in their forms of discipline, stating that if the German army had been as free with their men as the American Army is, they would not have had the success that was theirs at the beginning of the war.

The attitude of the American officer towards enlisted men is very different than in our army in which officers have always treated their men as cattle.

While on duty the relations between men and officers are very strict, but on the other hand, when off duty, they are without constraint. The officers sit in the same cafe rooms with their men. When one sees the supplies, the material, etc., one is obliged to laugh at the imagination of our marine heads who praised the U-boats as a victor over the Entente. Every man has his cloth coat and his waterproof coat, his leather shoes and rubber shoes, etc.

This man has been a proprietor of a cafe for eight years. He speaks very highly of the American soldier and thinks that it was luck for the people that Americans were chosen for this district. He thinks it is strange that the Americans, having spent so short a time in the army, can adapt themselves to any condition that presents itself. He remarked that on the day the soldiers came to this town all were surprised at the orderly way the Americans conducted themselves. He said that he had never known a regiment of German soldiers to come here and behave themselves in such an orderly manner. German soldiers were always brutal to servants and destroyed a great deal of property.

A few American prisoners were brought here in June 1918 and were not mistreated. The Americans were the Chief complainers when the food was bad which was always. The Americans occasionally received packages containing hard tack and other luxuries but their packages were usually rifled. After the entrance of the Americans several Italians desired to return to Italy and France and demanded their pay from the German contractor. This was refused. They appealed to the Americans. Three "doughboys" with fixed bayonets accompanied the Italians and prompt payment was made. He states that miners are now being treated well and receive thirteen marks a day.

In the town of RITTERSDORF the subject of separation of Church and State was very strongly advocated at a meeting of the German Democratic Party: an opportunity to defend the position of the Church in this question was seized by two Catholic priests in the audience, who contended that the ideals of good government and the ideal of the Church were identical. In reply, the speaker of the German Democratic Party stated there could be no better example of the results of a divided Church and State than the American soldiers billeted in the German homes; he asked the audience to compare the conduct, appearance and enlightenment of the American soldiers with the aspect of the German soldiers. The reply met with the approval of the audience and the priests were "hissed" out of the meeting.

This lady says that a good many of the inhabitants of Rengsdorf and the surrounding town have made up their minds to emigrate to America if they will be permitted to do so. She explains that this is due to the good impression made by the American soldiers who are occupying this region and also the fact that most of the middle class and lower class are much afraid of the impending war debt and indemnity.

I have had soldiers in quarter all winter. At first I had Germans. Later Americans came. To become acquainted with these "our enemies" as house companions is among other things so very instructive. I have changed in a good many of my opinions, and would like to go to America for a half year or so because it is certain that these people possess a secret method which raises the most common fellows into an individual who stands up boldly and moves about freely and unconcerned. I think we can learn some things there which later could be used to advantage here. I do not mean this personally, but as a better education nationally.

What makes the Czechoslovakia situation even worse in hindsight is that there was a good chance the Heer was going to launch a coup against Hitler if the western allies hadn't backed down. Not that anyone knew this at the time.

Of course, it's an older show...

New season coming out in a month

For comedies, The Office (original). Dramas, The Wire.

Honourable mentions: Deadwood, Party Down, Community, The Thick of It.

Appreciate your work.

an infamous hack, even among hack Hollywood writers

I wouldn't care so much if not for due to the decline of the rest of the internet; Reddit has become a useful and very valuable repository of knowledge and discussion by actual humans. Preserving the utility of the platform is actually fairly important to me for that reason. And the changes to API access and crackdown on third-party apps is worrying because of how awful the actual official Reddit user tools are. Topic search is bad and comment search is nonexistent; prior to the disabling of API access you had to use something like https://camas.unddit.com/ if you actually wanted to search for something specific. Moderation is often opaque and censorious, and third-party tools like reveddit or unddit allowed you to see the comments and actions the mods/admins didn't want you to see.

Reddit is an imperfect and often frustrating website, but it's also a customizeable one that functions as one of the last remaining places where large numbers of humans come together to have online, organic conversations. Changes like this threaten, without exaggeration, its usefulness to humanity.

Several of the ones I wanted to read appear to have been immediately deleted by their authors.

Just scanning Ian Kershaw's biography of Hitler (which is what usually gets thrown around as the most "complete" English-language text) and there's no mention of it. Lots of talk about how Hitler was scared and disgusted by prostitution and how he (and other contemporaries) linked it in his mind with Judaism, but certainly nothing about an arrest for male prostitution. Kershaw generally dismisses sexual rumours about Hitler as "little more than a combination of rumour, hearsay, surmise, and innuendo, often spiced up by Hitler’s political enemies."

Nazi concentration camps (what they called Konzentrationslager) were quite a bit different from what their contemporaries called "concentration camps." Those were effectively large prison camps for holding civilian populations, like Japanese internment in the US and Canada. Nazi Konzentrationslager on the other hand was a slave labour camp where you were worked to death. Death was the ultimate goal of your stay there. The only reason they aren't called "death camps" is because the Nazis also built Vernichtungslager where they killed people within hours of arrival.

If not for knowing how the subject brings out resident contrarians, I would be half inclined to think this is another rdrama experiment. I'm willing to indulge a bit then.

Only, I cannot fathom how anyone sees this when they look at Hitler. Here was a man who sincerely held the best interests of his People in his heart. He came of age in a time when his nation was — historical aggression notwithstanding — brutally, horrifically, oppressed. Countless of his countrymen, women and children, starved to death needlessly under spiteful, vindictive post-war Allied blockades. The economy was so saddled with reparation debt that rebuilding would take generations if it were ever possible at all. The people had no hope. Men and women who wanted families faced down a seemingly-insurmountable challenge in doing so. The risk of watching their babies die of starvation was all too real. And what chance had those children of decent lives even if they did survive to adulthood? They would end up de facto slaves, servants to the sneering foreigners who now controlled everything.

I think you're getting something here. I think you're a bit confused about some of the details - post-war Allied blockades starving Germans? But I think you're broadly correct that the hunger Germans experienced in the last year of the war was a very impactful historical trauma. I know how a similar hunger in '44-45 shaped the worldview of my grandfather. All questions of morality become mooted when you have a tangible sense of genuine food insecurity that most westerners can't even dream of. There have been a number of books written on exploring food insecurity as the driving cause of the mass violence in Eastern Europe from 1918-1945, (Black Earth by Timothy Snyder is one I've read), and I think it's a useful lens.

I would disagree that Hitler "held the best interests" of Germans at heart. He had a sort of egomaniacal view of Germans; they were great when they were bringing his visions to loftier heights, but when they proved unable to win the wars he started he was quite spiteful. He of course privately disparaged Christianity and various other traditional elements of German culture in private, but really I don't see how you can reconcile some unselfish love for the German people with his behaviour in 1944-45. He would've gladly condemned every last man, woman and child to oblivion for the failure to see through his designs.

(Also for the record the Soviets did not kill more people than the Nazis, let alone "so many more.")

Hitler seems to me, at heart, a very good father. If I emulated him, I should not hesitate to feed my own child first, even upon the corpses of my neighbors’ children. I should lie and cheat and steal and murder in game-theoretically optimal ways to bestow upon my children as many resources as possible, that they should not themselves end up in chains or on the dinner plate. The notorious Fourteen Words — “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” — make the connection so explicit and unassailable that the Left dares not to look upon it.

Hitler was willing to send endless Germans to die in Russia for him. He was willing to very literally to throw the lives of young boys away so that he might live a few days more. He set Germany against the world in a crusade for his own vanity. You interpret his actions as being meant to save Germany, but no one more than him worked to bring about its destruction. It was his actions that literally split Germany in two. Hell, if not for the threat of the Soviets you hold as the real evil who knows how far the retribution might have gone; the Morgenthau Plan gives you an inkling of to what extremes the United States might have gone to to prevent the rise of another like him.

The grand irony is that you are projecting all these kindly, fatherly attributes on to Hitler as a contrast to your "degenerate" enemies in the present. Yes, those debased products of modernity whose faults you neatly list: childless, infertile, more caring to dogs than humans, emotionally unsuitable to raise a family, and not even respectful of borders! It was here especially that I was wondering whether this was one big prank, but because you didn't add that they were all short-tempered drug addicts convinced of their own intellectual superiority I figured you must be genuine.