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Friday Fun Thread for April 5, 2024

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

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I just saw the "Lex-Free Man Podcast" on Youtube:

Some hero excised Lex out of the Lex Fridman Podcast. I doubt it will survive a copyright strike, but I find it amusing that somebody else holds Lex's opinions in as much esteem as I do. I still listen because he gets great guests (how?).

I thought of the classic bike cuck comic today, because I kinda feel that way in reverse: I'm particularly mad at someone because I know they aren't better off for having fucked me over.

I've had an ongoing nightmare with a contractor working for my father. He's repeatedly shown up juuuuuuust enough that it seemed like a bad idea to fire him and try to find someone else to finish (no one likes to take over a half-finished job), but then would demand a progress payment, and disappear for a few days afterward, with no notice. It took a month to do a week's worth of work, with a million excuses about how this wasn't ready and that wasn't right and this was bad and that was bad and whatever, and it is holding up other aspects of the same project. Last week, I wrote up a new contract to have him sign, indicating that in exchange for a payment on that day, he would come to work every day until the conclusion of the project. For every day he missed we would deduct 1/7 of the remaining balance. He's since missed three days. I didn't mention the balance reduction, somewhat dishonestly, because I didn't want him thinking "Well, is it even worth finishing for 4/7?"

Well today he comes in and demands to get half the remaining balance up front. "I gotta make my car payment or they're gonna repo the car!" I put him off all day then told him, hey, we're going to abide by the payment terms you signed last week, I see no reason to divert from them. Whatever issues there are with the job or with your finances, you knew about them last week when we put that together and you signed it.

Now he's saying he isn't coming back for two days because he needs to do other jobs to make money. I told him we intend to abide by the contract terms, and that he is obligated to come in every day. He said that he would make up any lost money charging us extra to do repairs on work he had already screwed up.

I'm going to need to rig up better security cameras at the property to make sure he doesn't pull some bullshit.

But the thing that galls me the most about the whole process is that he didn't benefit from this either. He's still broke! We paid him his entire initial estimate, and it took four times as long as it should have, so he didn't end up with a big pile of money at the end. It's going to cost us twice as much as it should have by the time we actually get it done, and he's broke.

Maybe I would feel better if he had just stolen my money, at least it would have made him happier.

I'd just chalk it up to a learning experience. The only leverage you have against a shady contractor is the money you haven't paid them yet, the know you aren't gonna wait long enough to get some form of actual judgement against them to complete the job, and they'll just leave town if you try to get a financial judgement afterwards.

It sucks, but if you actually try to enforce that balance reduction term he's just gonna split.

It sucks, but if you actually try to enforce that balance reduction term he's just gonna split.

Oh, he's already split, I just hope he stays split. I've heard horror stories of guys who "repossess" construction work by destroying it, hence the need to rig up better cameras. The purpose of the balance reduction clause was primarily to motivate him to consistently show up, and secondarily to create a drop-dead date for the contract if he didn't. Once seven days pass where he didn't show up, there is zero remaining balance. On the off chance he tries to waste our time in small-claims.

This ties in with another argument :re poverty-as-a-cause-of-crime. If you actually do some ballpark estimates for the average criminal, you'll frequently find out that they make money barely on par with a regular minimum wage job, often worse, with the added risk of ending up in jail. This goes against the claims of significant parts of both left and right; The left often thinks that people turn to crime since minimum wage jobs aren't enough to get by, but as it turns out crime isn't actually better so that argument is kinda moot; Many on the right think that criminals are self-serving egoists taking advantage of a well-meaning system for their own gain. As it turns out, the majority of criminals are probably just idiots who are screwing themselves over and others. And at least for me a lot of things clicked into place upon that realisation; For example you'll notice that many people who just barely get by have a certain degree of self-destructive behaviour that holds them back significantly, they just also have some admirable (or at least tolerable) qualities in addition. Your contractor seems like a good example.

Once again appears the age-old question: What would the ideal conversation platform look like?

Ideally, the edit history of a comment should be visible, as it is on Wikipedia or Github.

I can imagine a system where each user has his own Git repository, in which each post or comment is represented as a single file. I think submitting pull requests to fix another user's typos would be extremely funny, but also much less disruptive than pointing out typos in a separate comment.

<article data-inreplyto="meiklwuw/169 ajubeaox/foobar">
  <p>Both of you are completely wrong. Rather, the correct answer is <span data-inreferenceto="kowupize/203406141409">Kowupize's</span>.</p>

Sometimes people say things in the heat of the moment that they regret, or which break the rules. Sometimes they accidentally reveal a bit of personal information that they want to quickly delete before the web scrapers / comment archivers get to the comment. Sometimes you just make an embarrassing typo that you want to fix. I assume the mods have access to comment history, but I don’t support everyone having access to everyone else’s comment history. Sure, nothing is ever really deleted from the internet, but that’s not really the debate.

(EDIT: PDF version from ToaKraka for people with bad internet.)

Which of the following would you rather have? CYOA - In general, people pick Comfort or Power. But the Motte is built different (laughs). As a fun exercise, pick your option and predict what the Motte will choose.

Me: YOUR CHOICE. The motte: Pleasure 20%, Adventure 20%, Comfort 20%, Good Works 20%, Power 20%

Wrap this part in || to spoiler, please. (And try to pick your honest choice rather than the socially desirable one if at all possible)

Me: Comfort. The motte: sorry, I read everyone else's comments before replying.


Similar to the last super power thingy I saw here, all of them have really obnoxious downsides except one which is basically just free good things. The downside of comfort is basically that the upside isn't as strong as the others. Realistically I think all of the others would be awful (pleasure from an existential standpoint. It would be pleasurable to experience but I'm not convinced that the person in it would still be "me" in a meaningful way), at least done long term. I'd probably enjoy them for a few years, but then end up going insane from the horrible constraints they impose. Comfort is the only one where I could basically live an actual normal human life and do stuff I like doing, just with some extra advantages.

Surprised by what everyone else is saying. Power sounds very difficult! An oil-rich country with what, some S-300s and Mig-21s and no allies? Could LARP as Equatorial Guinea's fantastically corrupt ruler but you couldn't even play the race card when someone decides to launch some regime change. And what about threats from within - there are going to be ministers and officials. Governing a country is hard, how would you know to deal with the locals? Do they speak English? This is the kind of thing an air force colonel or a baron could pull off, I doubt many of us have the right management skills.

For me it's Pleasure, though I was tempted by Comfort. Pleasure is literally maximum fun. Normally I'm a power and adventure man but they seem high-risk, high risk in the sense that you'll have tedious and/or crushing problems to deal with.

I thought I'd pick comfort, but it's description in this completely sucks.

Their idea of comfort is to start at the top of the social heap, and to feel an obligation to do something with that position or at least do a lot to maintain it. How is that comfort? I'd describe that option as the "head start in life".

Some of the other options get freaking super powers. The power option actually sounded like a better option for achieving a life of comfort.

The life of comfort as id imagine it:

Live in Elysium a mostly post scarcity society that is in an orbital habitat. No one there needs anything. Whether that is medical attention, resources, etc. Your body will be maintained in near perfect health until you are 100 years old. At which point you will die peacefully in your sleep.

People on earth live in terrible conditions, you can do nothing for them except selflessly offer up your spot on Elysium.

There are five year age gaps between generations, so if you stick with mostly your generation you won't have to deal with the death of friends.

Basically just live out some fun social settings, drink and eat whatever you want for a hundred years. But ultimately you live a meaningless life of ease. That is comfort.

power, would be fun to try to be the lee kuan yew of the Indian ocean

My answer is 100% Power. Ironically, the others are just a little too masturbate-y to me; Adventure might as well be as unreal as the pleasure machine specifically due to the constraints of the question- in that sure, you'll have adventure and some absurdly long lifespan, but you'll never have the opportunity to share it with anyone... would be hell. So is Good Works, for that matter, but for different reasons- sure, you'll be immortal, but you're also stuck in limbo. So, Power it is; it's basically a limited-time version of the others on Hard Mode anyway, which speaks further to it being the only correct choice.

As far as the Motte answer, I'm predicting 10% Pleasure, 0% Adventure, 20% Comfort, 0% Good Works, 70% Power because most of the users on this site are generally reality-focused anyway and the highest-percentage one there has the best ROI for those kinds of people.

Good job predicting the motte. I really thought people here, being rationalists, would go for the idea that a chemical reproduction of well-being would be equally worthwhile to eudaimonia from real accomplishments.

It's a shame there wasn't a Knowledge option, otherwise we could re-create that scene from HPMOR.

It's a shame there wasn't a Knowledge option

Maybe, but the only thing Knowledge rewards you with is Lamborghinis and I'm dreaming a little bigger than that.

|| Good works. I have people in my life with diseases that aren’t really curable, just treatable. So I’d cure them, then I’d break the taboo to lose my powers so that my family can remember my existence again.

All these options seem terrible, but that’s the least so. ||

Congratulations on being the only non-power-hungry one of us.

Friend, I’m hungry for the only power that really matters to me. The mightiest king is powerless to exile tumors, or outlaw Alzheimer’s. No tyrant can face down death.

Myself: Power, if I don't convince myself in the moment to pick Pleasure (permanent virtuality is quite aesthetically unappealing to me, even if it feels like a "rational" choice). I would probably make a half-hearted effort of transforming the place into a mining-and-production haven, offering huge subsidies and promises of safety to foreign specialists, and spend the other half of the effort having a harem. Adventure sounds immediately unappealing. Piloting a Star Trek Enterprise with a crew of hundreds, sure. Alone? No. Good Works is too much constant effort and limits (mostly about having to move around) for too few external rewards. Comfort I'd pick if transforming myself into a stereotypical square-jawed blonde gigachad wasn't mandatory. I like my looks mostly as they are, and would prefer to remain "myself but looksmaxxed".

The Motte: Pleasure 15%, Adventure 10%, Comfort 30%, Good Works 10%, Power 35%

Also, I have to agree with those who whinged about the massive picture in the CYOA I posted earlier: this shit took a solid 2 minutes to load over VPN. I felt like I was in the internet of the 90s, and I wasn't even on the internet in the 90s.

Me: Power. The motte: Pleasure 50%, Adventure 20%, Comfort 10%, Good Works 10%, Power 10%

I bet most of The Motte will (correctly) see that the pleasure machine can provide every feeling the other options might. You could even program the pleasure machine to fool you into thinking you chose something else. And arguably, the existence of the pleasure machine solves any external suffering that Good Works or Power might fix; when others hook up to the grid, the moral dilemma of choosing Pleasure goes away.

Has anyone else watched, or did anyone else watch as a child, the documentary series World At War? The link I just provided is to all 26 episodes on Youtube. Not the best resolution, but really this must be one of the best documentary series about WWII ever produced, not least because of the interviews with men who were actually in the war and who are now dead (it was made in 1973.) Narrated by Laurence Olivier. Highly recommended. I remember my dad watching it as it was released--he'd sit in his lounge chair, and I can still recall the theme playing. I got bored quickly and usually only watched a few minutes, but I was a kid. Recently I've been watching the whole thing.

Not really fun, however, so I'm not sure it's appropriate to this thread. I didn't want to put this in the main forum and I am not interested in a culture war take.

Yeah I saw it, the intro theme is something else.

It really is superb. The range and importance of the interviewees is astonishing. There are good quality versions of every episode on Dailymotion iirc.

Yep, and I agree that it's one of the best documentary series ever made. The only quibble I have is that it gives the Pacific war rather short shrift; in 26 episodes, one of which is dedicated entirely to the Dutch resistance, only 2 deal with the Pacific War exclusively (possibly 3, there may be one on Burma, I can't remember). This may be an artifact of it being a British series, but it prevents the series from being definitive.

The Pacific War tends to get less interest because there's much less of the X's and O's or Jimmies and Joes to it, after Midway Japan didn't really have a strategic chance it was just a question of how much punishment they would endure before giving in.

The narrative in the West has the Germans winning significant victories and being on the verge of a strategic victory until Stalingrad at the earliest, and they would continue to launch significant counteroffensives until late in the war that it's easy to dream on for counterfactuals.

The narrative in the East gives the Japanese no real shot after Midway, they don't really launch any interesting offensives, it's just a long series of Island Hopping, Kamikaze, bombing of Japanese cities, Atom Bomb, fini.

There is an episode on Burma, yes, Episode 14 "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow" but I agree there's not as much about the Pacific theater. I hadn't thought of that while watching (I'm on episode 20 of 26), I suppose I was thinking it would be covered after VE Day.

It is quite literally covered after VE day.

If you're in a 1970s British TV WWII documentary mood, also give The Secret War a try (vimeo, wikipedia)

I will do, thank you!

Yes, love that show. When I was a teenager I watched it on the Military Channel and a few years ago rewatched a lot of episodes on YouTube.

While more relevant to @Throwaway05, @Pigeon and any other doctors lurking here, I have a funny story from work. For context, if you don't know me, I'm a doctor from India, who, having passed one heap of British medical exams, while still recuperating (and losing sleep from the residency matching process) for another, happens to be working at one of the more prestigious hospitals back at home. In India, almost all of our own exams, including from med school, involve actual bona fide sick people, even the more fancy ones.

I turned up, as usual, only to find my ward crammed with dozens of obviously senior doctors and not a patient in sight. And I didn't sign up for any medical conferences, I only attend them if there's a buffet table and booze.

Turns out the MRCP PACES exam, which, as the acronym would suggest, provides membership to the Royal College of Physicians in the UK (basically internists, but sounds cooler), was being conducted there. It involves somewhat more involved cases and more tricky diagnoses than what I had to endure in my own British OSCEs. And which I hope to never have to give myself, since I just want to be a fucking shrink, I don't care to palpate your liver, no, not even if I'm seeing you after a paracetamol overdose. Palpating the fake prosthetic tiddies on a grinning male actor while doing my best to look in the eyes (up there, a bit to the left) the actress who supposedly had a breast lump somewhere in there takes most of the fun out of it.

And nobody had told me. Cue me gingerly creeping to the doctor's room, which kept getting invaded my yet more cute postgrad trainees/residents. I'm not one to complain about that, but I really wanted some fucking sleep.

Eventually, I spotted a girl feverishly reading MRCP station notes, and I enquired politely about them only to be told she wasn't giving the exam herself.


Like, I'm not the most passionate doctor around, but it's pretty rare to study for an exam you're not fucking giving.

Turns out that in lieu of highly trained professional actors fluent in English, as is the case in the UK, at least as far as I can recall my friends telling me, or by googling it myself, they just recruit the medicine residents in India.

Well, it must be fun to be on the other end of the poking and prodding. I recall them chatting about how one poor bastard had to endure some particularly painful tests, and had to do his absolute best from wincing as his abdomen was molested in an effort to find something wrong with his perfectly normal kidneys. Why? Because the test wasn't supposed to be painful, and if he did show his pain, that would be interpreted as an intentional clinical sign by the examinees, who not having access to the script, would then promptly jump to the wrong diagnosis and thus immediately fail the station.

Funnier still were the ophthalmological exams, since a few of the over-qualified patients had visual issues of their own, and the imaginary platonic ideal of a patient they were supposed to embody didn't. One of them found out he had a heart murmur the hard way, which has to suck, but I heard that the examiners did end up agreeing to pass the people who noticed that particular divergence from fiction.

Well, I guess it beats seriously ill patients being subjected to the same, it's a bit awkward when they die on you or have to shifted to the ICU mid exam, really wreaks havoc on the grading. Well, I've no intention of giving the MRCP, but it was sure funny to just sit there and munch popcorn as the bacon was made, until someone guilt-tripped me into admitting my lack of productive work to my boss and I was reassigned to another ward for the week. Eh, it was good while it lasted. If I do ever give it for the lols, I'll hope the 'patient' takes pity on me or wants respite from my fumbling, and just whispers the diagnosis to me instead. They'd probably know better.

There are multiple inaccurate things the GP mentioned about the PACES exam.

For example, if any of the patients or actors wince or show distress during any part of the PACES exam, the candidate will likely fail the whole exam. This holds true regardless of whether the candidate got the right diagnosis or otherwise performed well in that particular station or in the exam as a whole.

Huh. I'm just as confused as @netstack. Surely there must be some cases where an expression of discomfort is expected, as it would be IRL?

If there's a gentle way to palpate a kidney, I haven't heard of it. As far I know, it's usually not possible to even feel them in normal patients, unless you go hard. But I never said I was a good internist or interested in it, so I could well be wrong.

Why do you think palpating kidneys is painful? Have you tried it on yourself?

Really? That seems like a pretty high bar to clear. What if the station is supposed to be, I dunno, appendicitis?

Do you think an actual appendicitis patient will agree to be be palpated by 20 different doctors in one day?

Because the test wasn't supposed to be painful, and if he did show his pain, that would be interpreted as an intentional clinical sign by the examinees, who not having access to the script, would then promptly jump to the wrong diagnosis and thus immediately fail the station.

Is that a bad outcome? If the examinees are conducting the test incorrectly such that it caused pain, and then jumping to incorrect conclusions as a result, that is something that will lead to incorrect conclusions when done in the real world on real patients, and deserves to be flunked.

Unless what you mean is that the test "officially" doesn't cause pain despite frequently causing pain in practice even when done correctly, such that the students are not to blame for the inevitable mis-diagnosis because the expected exam answers are flawed.

Kidney palpation is difficult, you have to really dig into it, and there can be spurious confounders, like someone being bruised (maybe they were after a dozen people had done it), too fat, and so on. I've never had much luck with it myself, and you have to go hard to even expect to feel it.

There are certainly clinical exams which are useful and done in reality, but I sincerely hope nobody is making serious decisions off of one, in the absence of other tests. I presume that's what the medical resident knows better than I did, and hence why they took pity on the people desperate to find any hint towards a diagnosis, after all, he was healthy, as an actor he was expected to make shit up and feign pain and discomfort where it's expected, even if he didn't actually feel it.

Wait, what does a heart murmur have to do with his eyes?

Nothing at all, I'd hope.

This is a different resident, he's asymptomatic, but does in fact have early heart disease, since from the overheard description it wasn't an innocent murmur. But I had work elsewhere and no shortage of other patients with cardiac issues, so my curiosity was sated.

You guys like coffee? I love coffee. I'm not so into it that I have a grinder or anything, but it's almost every day that I drink some at work. I drink it black.

The problem is that I might love it too much. I get a little paranoid that I'm consuming too much caffeine. And maybe I'd sleep better if I didn't overdo it. You guys got any favorite decaf brands? So far, I've tried a total of one decaf coffee, Beaumont from Aldi. It was noticeably less good than regular coffee, and I needed to put quite a bit more grounds in it to match my usual taste, but overall, not bad. I hope some of you can report that you've tried one that's better than "not bad", but who knows.

After a few years of heavy coffee abuse, and at times low levels of amphetamines (generic adderall), I no longer get jitters or sleep problems from coffee, no matter how much I drink. There's only a subtle perking up which may be simply be conditioned reflex. Maybe something like this could happen to you, too, although I don't know whether you'd consider that good or bad.

One thing you might try is vigorous exercise after work. In my experience, that tended to drown out any residual effect of caffeine. Although some of the effect may have been the extensive hydration required.

You're pretty much in the same situation as me, then, and no, I don't think cutting it out or switching to decaf will change much. I usually drink one cup around 10 am, unless I'm unusually tired, in which case I'll start earlier and possibly have a cup in the afternoon. I also have dinner at my parents' house every Sunday and my mum and I have coffee with dessert. I don't think it affects my sleep in any way. I don't drink coffee at home on the weekends and only order it at restaurants if it's a sit-down place. I used to drink quite a bit of tea when I worked from home (usually about 2 cups a day, almost always in the afternoon) and the effects on sleep were similar. Honestly, having to get up and go into an office as opposed to working from home where I wasn't going to sleep past the start time no matter what made a much bigger difference in my sleep schedule than whatever effect a little bit of caffeine is having on me.

I says this as someone who's pretty critical of coffee culture generally; it's the only addiction that's not only socially acceptable to have, but socially acceptable to almost brag about having. There was a commercial a few years back where a guy repeatedly warned everyone not to talk to him until he had his coffee. If you say you can't function in the morning without coffee people will act understanding, if not sympathetic. Say the same thing about booze and people will start giving you pamphlets. I get that there's a difference in the relative risk levels, but an addiction is an addiction, and caffeine addiction is probably the easiest to treat (it can be done over a long weekend). I think the dividing line is whether you're doing it for the taste or for the psychotropic effect. If you're doing it for the effect then you'd be sucking down Folgers at home every day and wouldn't have a moment at work without a cup in front of you.

If you say you can't function in the morning without coffee people will act understanding, if not sympathetic. Say the same thing about booze and people will start giving you pamphlets.

You mentioned the relative severity of alcohol, but I think it's good and natural to treat addictions with greater or lesser severity based on their risks. I mean, how much concern would you want people to have if you tell them that you're crabby and irritable without coffee?

I think a more apt comparison might be made to nicotine, cigarettes specifically. Of course cigarettes, too, are more dangerous than coffee. But nicotine withdrawal won't literally kill you like alcohol withdrawal can. And if someone says "don't talk to me until I have my cigarette," everybody sees that this is a problem. But there won't be any pamphlets handed out. It's pretty clear that our responses to addiction run on a gradient. As they should.

Yep. I bought a little hand-grinder that I love, because it stops me from overdoing it. I think about 4 cups, or one french press, is the sweet spot. Pour it in just slightly below a full boil, embrace the smell, and drink it black. One cup per hour, each hour in the morning. None in the afternoon. That's the way.

I used to hate coffee.

I've recently done a total 180 and drink like 5-6 shots of espresso a day. I just get Americanos or Black if I don't to jitter all day.

If you’re into coffee for the taste this won’t work but usually I’ll switch to tea if I’m trying to cut down on caffeine.

I split a Chemex of good coffee with my wife every morning. If there's any ill effect, I sure haven't noticed it, but that is what someone that literally never skips their morning coffee would say. I used to drink quite a bit more with cream and sweetener, but when we switched over to fancier coffee, I found that I was satisfied with one good mug.

The year before last, I cut caffeine out completely for a month. While the first week was a challenge, it must be said that I slept like a baby for the entire period, better than I'd slept for years prior.

The only problem was readjusting. The day after I completed my detox I was over at my parents' house for dinner and had two cups of tea. I felt like I'd done a whole gram of coke, my heart was racing.

Yeah it’s amazing how strong caffeine is after your tolerance is reset. I remember being off it for a few months before discovering that an americano can give you an adrenaline rush.

No caffeine for me. Herbal tea only. :P

Why don't you have grinder? They're cheap. Do you just drink at work and you're in an office?

At one point I drank too much coffee (like 7 cups a day) so now I'm limiting myself to 1-2 cups a day and have been for the past 15 years, it works great. One in the morning and possibly one in the afternoon.

Yep, just at work. I figured I'd be playing a dangerous game if I drank it on weekends too. But it's not too serious either way.

I actually think getting a grinder and whatnot might actually help. It seems like its not necessarily the caffeine you like so much as the taste and experience of enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee.

Turn it into a bit more of an involved ritual and really savor a cup or two of that gourmet shit. Then once you're done, it's too much of a pain in the ass to do it all over again. Supplement with some tea if you need an extra little pickmeup in the later morning or early afternoon. That way you don't have to sacrifice taste to limit the negative impacts of too much caffeine.

Quantity has a quality all its own, but you might actually enjoy it more when you no longer have the option of just mindlessly gulping down a never ending supply of standard drip coffee.

Caffeine has a distinct bitter flavour, so all decaf coffee will have a noticable difference.

My wife and I have to do a forced detox every six months or so, over a few weeks dropping down from double shot of espresso in the morning and an afternoon coffee, to single shot in the morning, to yerba mate light in the morning, to black tea in the morning. Then we start back up at a single espresso shot and the cycle repeats as we drink more and more coffee until we need to detox again.

I like to drink lots of coffee, and generally I can stomach it fairly well. When I notice that I'm overdoing it, I either cut back or water it down. Sometimes I cut it down to a single cup a day for a few weeks. Sometimes I quit entirely for a few months. If you notice health problems that might be related to coffee, quit coffee. At least for a while. It's just a drink, you can drink other things. And the withdrawal symptoms aren't that bad, in my experience - maybe a mild headache for a day or two; nothing modern medicine can't fix.

Decaf weirds me out. Just like non-alcoholic beer. It's wrong.

I don't think I will have any withdrawal symptoms if I quit; I never drink any on the weekends. But I think you're right. I'll try quitting for a while. It's really easy to get into the habit of making some every day and then desiring the allotted coffee that you clearly deserve. It's true, it's just a drink, but there's nothing like coffee, and I don't want soft drinks, so that pretty much leaves alcoholic beverages and milk for water alternatives, and those have calories.

I would absolutely drink non-alcoholic beer if old age robbed alcohol processing from me.

Seconding the advice of swapping to black tea, with the added suggestion that I've had great success replacing half my cups of coffee per day with cups of tea.

I feel more focused and less anxious/jittery with that combination (while also being able to painlessly step down my caffeine consumption).

Why not drink water?

I do drink water. I like water.

water alternatives

Why not drink water?

Never change SouthKraut, never change.

I've tried changing out coffee for black tea. Even decaf black tea, because honestly I just need something with flavor. It's ok. Still just doesn't quite hit the same. Might work better for you.

I actually hadn't ever even heard of decaf tea. It squares with your acidity problems? I may have to try it. My experience with tea has been "meh", but I don't know if I've tried black tea specifically. The best iced tea I ever drank was some unsweetened iced green tea at the state fair when I was severely dehydrated, it's never tasted good otherwise.

Yeah, black tea doesn't bother my stomach one iota. Caffeinated lacks the raw punch of coffee, and caffeinated or not aren't really robust enough flavor wise to really satiate me. But, they are better than nothing, and closer than anything else. Especially if you are confining yourself to drinks without calories, which I am as well.

I have one cup in the morning. I love it, but after that it's decaf only. I put enough cream in the decaf not to care about the flavor. I'd probably look for carbon dioxide decaffinated beans if I wanted to drink them for flavor.

One way to get less caffine but still get some is tea. A nice green tea in the morning is very pleasant too.

Nope. Controversial opinion here, I think coffee is a flavor not a real beverage. I absolutely love coffee-flavored desserts, ice cream, mocha, stuff like that. The only time I'll drink actual coffee is if it's in a super-sweet latte or something, with more milk and sugar than actual coffee. Essentially a warm coffee-flavored milkshake.

Or, if I'm trying to be responsible and not drink a meal's worth of calories in a cup, I'll just drink water.

I just don't get proper coffee just brewed in water with nothing or very little else. I don't think it tastes good, it's like stirring spoonfuls of cinnamon or nutmeg into your water. They taste good when combined with the right stuff, but not by themselves.

Coffee by itself has a bitter, unpleasant flavor and I’m convinced people who like it do so primarily because of the positive association with energy, alertness, productivity etc. that caffeine obviously has. It’s no different to an alcoholic who eventually develops a taste for a really disgusting kind of hard liquor because they associate it with being drunk.

A flat white with (relatively little) sugar is tasty, sure, I drink coffee all the time. But ‘milk and sugar’ have a much better record for being naturally tasty to people than hot, bitter, heavily diluted, nutrition-less bean stock.

The Huffington Post apparently did a video where adults try coffee for the first time and hate all but the stuff that tastes least of coffee (the mocha).

I excessively love bitter rich flavors. Like 85% cacao chocolate or dark black coffee. I wish great tasting very dark coffee existed so I could have it all day.

I like black coffee because it is so great. Huffington Post videos be damned.

It's an acquired taste. I personally wish it didn't have psychotropic effects because it would allow me to have more than one cup without feeling like crap. I've tried decaf and that actually tastes bad, so full-strength it is, though I rarely have more than one cup a day.

Try some lightly roasted ethiopian beans sometime, I find they have a much more sour, almost berry-like flavor.

No! Liquor is the wrong comparison! The right comparison is the huge amount of craft beer stouts that get made. I have tried many of these with many different subtleties. Almost all of them are bitter. But some of them are tastier than others. One of them may have some little banana taste in it. Or one tastes like chocolate. Or maybe it's just some uniquely nice bitter taste. Well, okay, I guess liquor is an okay comparison. They're both "acquired tastes". After you drink enough liquor you learn to put aside the taste of the alcohol and actually tasting the rest of it. Maybe something similar happens with coffee. I know someone who is very particular about the coffee he uses, even though he uses cream and sugar he needs his fancy stuff otherwise it doesn't taste good enough. I've tried the same coffee he likes, except black, and I have to admit, it's pretty nice. How dare you say these things about me and my fellow coffee drinkers!! You've ruined this thread!

MathWizard is right, coffee flavored stuff is good too. I'm a big fan of coffee ice cream. I probably wouldn't drink very much alcohol if I didn't like the coffee flavor that stouts have.

I quite like those absurd 12% stouts (in very small quantities), to me they’re quite sweet and have a kind of dessert malt flavor.

Have you had Lion Stout? It's from Sri Lanka if I'm remembering correctly. One of the best stouts I ever tasted. Like 10% alcohol too.

I haven’t, I’ve had Lion Lager though (it’s the most common beer in the Maldives, probably because of proximity), but not the stout.

I'm pretty sure that neither Sri Lanka or the Maldives have or had lions (well, maybe the former has some zoos), but I guess the branding works lol.

Not as bad as Singapore, which was named that way because a myopic Indian prince thought he spotted a lion, which definitely wasn't, at best it could have been a tiger unusually fond of swimming.

Supposedly IPA's have ruined the taste buds of brewers, and there is no way back. I can enjoy a good IPA. Stone Brewing always did good work. But it seems like every fucking microbrew just piled into making shitty IPAs the last 10 years. I can scarcely drink anything domestic anymore because of it.

Still enjoy a solid British pub ale when I'm not having Irish whiskey.

The reason why microbreweries pile on the IPAs is because they're the easiest to make. The bitterness hides so much that there's a large margin of error. That being said, I have some friends who drink nothing but IPAs, so I understand why these places keep making them. I can tolerate them, but it's nice to have a beer I can drink more than two of.

I have no issue with IPAs but I really dislike the ‘classic British pub ale’. I think it’s telling that even in England it seems to be ever less popular - young British men seem to prefer lagers, IPAs or guinness. The 4% British ‘real ales’ are some of the only beers I find truly irredeemable. I don’t know what people see in them.

Well, I'm drinking whatever is good enough to be palatable in America I assume. Innis & Gunn, Boddingtons, Old Speckled Hen, even Trooper goofy as it is to have a British Ale from Iron Maiden.

Old Speckled Hen is quite nice, but to me a lot of them taste almost salty? It’s hard to describe, they have an unpleasant savory taste to me.

I've tried enough IPAs to say that they're not too bad, but I'd definitely rather have a stout. Too many hops. Seems I haven't found any real satisfying middle ground between the super heavy beers (stouts) and the crisp light beers (ales, pilsners, shandies).

You like red wine? I haven't found a red wine I liked. I hate the taste of them, somehow. I like sake, I like white wines, I liked some homebrewed date (the fruit!) wine, but I highly dislike red wines, sweet or sour.

I think an Amber is what you're looking for. Either that or a heavier lager. I heard one bartender at a brewery years ago describe Yuengling as a "balanced" beer, so maybe you want to go in that direction? I know Yuengling doesn't have the cachet it used to have since it's available in more states and the craft beer scene is much better than it was in the early '00s when Yuengling had its heyday, but it's still a decent beer you can always go back to. It used to be all I drank, and I'm about to go to the bar and I think I might get one for old time's sake. I should disclose that I drink beer almost every day and that my daily driver is Miller High Life, so I'm not a beer snob by any stretch of the imagination.

Seems I haven't found any real satisfying middle ground between the super heavy beers (stouts) and the crisp light beers (ales, pilsners, shandies).

How about a nice dunkel lager? It's got the roasted flavors and maltiness of a stout but the crispness and clean aftertaste of a light lager.

I'll give it a shot next time I buy anything. I have too much alcohol in the house because I drink way too slow.

All those trips to Oktoberfest over the years still haven't really delineated the differences between all the different types of beer for me. I must not drink enough.

Have you tried Rioja? I've met several people who dislike most other reds they've tried but enjoy some Riojas. They're different from the French or Italian grapes that are usually grown in California but you can get it pretty cheaply. The Campo Viejo brand is pretty consistent and good for the mid-low price range.

I have not, and I've never heard of it but because it's a red wine I regard it with suspicion. Does it have a lot of tannins in it like other reds? That's probably what's doing it, I am told.

They tend to have softer tannins than most other reds. The Garnacha/Grenache grape in particular is on the lower end of tannins so that would be the place to start.

Honestly I'm not much of a wine person. I find nearly every wine I've ever had inoffensive. I guess I just don't get what makes wine good or not.

You know, my dad growing up used think butter was flavor. Period. Even into adulthood, if something wasn't slathered in butter, he thought it was flavorless.

These days, everyone seems to suffer from what my dad had, god rest his congested heart, except with sugar instead. That's all I can think of when I see people complaining about the taste of coffee sans sugar and cream.

Someone here once said that even modern berries have, say, 50 times the amount of sugar that actual wild ones did. I have no idea if that’s true, but it does Really Make You Think.

My mother ran into a problem where her family recipe for cranberry jelly stopped working. After a few years of debugging, and experimenting with things like altitude, it turned out to be the sugar content of the cranberries. Apparently the modern commercial breed has a lot more sugar than the old breeds. I don't know about 50 times, but it was definitely enough to cause pre-20th-century recipes to stop working.

Watermelon rinds have shrunk, too, causing problems for watermelon rind pickle.

And brussel sprouts are no longer as bitter as they used to be.

I can totally believe modern berries have more sugar. But I have wild blackberries on my property, and at most store bought blueberries are 5x sweeter. I don't know how quantity of sugar versus taste of sugar scales though. Maybe it's logarithmic for all I know. Or my taste buds are broken.

I suppose the thesis is that even the wild blackberries on your property are descended from cultivated species, but again I have no idea if that’s true.

Yeah, I also love coffee too much. It's not the caffeine that got me, at least not directly. It was the acidity. Started having more and more heartburn, until one night my stomach was just roiling and convulsing in pain. Could barely eat for days. Went to the ER, they didn't find anything that would kill me immediately, got forwarded to a GI specialist. They scoped me and didn't see anything either like ulcers or cancer. They basically just told me to lay off all the coffee. And wouldn't you know it, turns out that was it.

I mean, maybe. I was also put on a proton uptake inhibitor for a month, which kind of worked. I just felt like my stomach wasn't working anymore. Had very little appetite and little energy. Then I got off that and was on Pepcid AC at nights when my heartburn and pain was worst, while making lifestyle choices like less/no coffee. Eventually I weaned off of that, and was doing alright with just morning coffee. But the habit has been kicking in again with some afternoon coffee about an hour before I workout, along with some mild heartburn again.

Ah well. Just have to live with your vices.

Same thing for me. I really loved black coffee but the acidity eventually started to give me severe heartburn so I had to switch to milkbased coffee drinks, which works fine. A cappuccino is usually no issue.

Damn, I would hate it if I had to give it up altogether. The acidity being a problem would rule out even crappy decaf! Very raw deal. Everyone tells me that a similar thing will happen to me and my love of spicy food as I grow old, but I hope not.

Yeah, this all happened in the months preceding my 40th birthday. I can confirm getting old sucks ass.

So some friends of mine finally talked me into playing Helldivers 2, all my skepticism about Games as a Service aside.

I enjoyed it for 3 days, and then wouldn't you know the networking completely fucking broke for no fucking reason, and I can't play with anybody anymore. Can't refund, can't play with my friends, nothing.

Got fucking GaaS-lit again. God damnit.

Funny court opinion

  • Guy seeks to buy a gun

  • Background check is still pending, but he's allowed to take the gun home anyway

  • The background check eventually fails, so an ATF agent is dispatched to retrieve the gun

  • The gun buyer isn't at home, and his wife (with limited command of English) thinks the ATF agent is a robber and calls 911

  • Two local police officers arrive and tell the ATF agent to put his hands up

  • The ATF agent's response: "I'm a federal fucking agent!"

  • The police officers tase and handcuff him, and detain him for twenty minutes before verifying his identity

  • The ATF agent sues the officers, and the trial judge denies qualified immunity to them

On one hand, denying QI due to the material disagreements is reasonable, dare I say correct.

On the other, I wonder how often Wright or Vanderhoef gets applied when the subject isn’t another cop.

Because of course the only time cops don't get qualified immunity is when they attack a supercop...

the federal government is not sending their best:

Police say ATF agent James Burk took expensive wine to the self-checkout lane and charged himself a small percent of the cost.

It's the same ATF agent! That's crazy.

Agent Burk again indicated that he needed air and said, “Call an ambulance, I’m asking for an ambulance.” However, when Officer Fihe told Agent Burk that they already had a medic coming, Agent Burk then said that he did not need a medic.

When you say you're sick so you can stay home from school but mom calls your bluff

There's a video of the incident out there right? Or maybe this isn't that uncommon and I'm remembering someone from some other agency being arrested on the job.

Yeah, there are also condensed versions if you search the agent's name, but some of the splicing and commentary might leave a little bit to be desired.

Interestingly, when searching I found several "AI" generated looking articles that seem to have incorrect information about the case. One claimed the agent had settled with the city for $440k, but links to an entirely unrelated case.

Other sources claim the agent was fired from the ATF for his part in the incident. Though, it would be pretty funny if the official policy of the agency was for plain clothes agents to scream "I'm a federal fucking agent!" when confronted by uniformed officers.

A search for "Burk ATF video" appears to turn up several relevant results.

it is my paternal grandfather's 91st birthday today so we are throwing a small event where some of his close friends are invited for dinner and drinks. I lost my grandmother at the age of 4 so I am quite close to him. Like most families here, he lives with us so I look forward to hosting some of his friends.

My aunts and their husbands are here too, I remember us throwing a more large-scale get-together 10-15 years ago on the same date and I have fond memories of that time. I was in middle school, no worries, I saw the perks of being a wallflower and pulp fiction in the same day after having played holi with my cousins and we went out and stuff. The next day our house was lit up since some movie people wanted to shoot here. Really fond memories, I am glad I got to experience that stuff.

Apart from this, I will be rewatching Heat, I like Michael Mann, loved Miami Vice (the movie). I have not seen the TV show but I might. I will also start with three body problem, I saw videos of it on quinns ideas, a YouTube channel and have been fascinated by it since so hope that is good.

Wish you guys a very happy weekend. p.s. I was trending on indian reddit yesterday lol so that was fun. Best part was girls begrudgingly saying that they found me attractive despite me being shown ina bad light for calling someone a pajeet.

Best part was girls begrudgingly saying that they found me attractive despite me being shown ina bad light for calling someone a pajeet.

One of those sentences that gets weirder and arguably funnier the more you think about it.

lmao, it is still up btw, people are debating how many likes I would get on tinder, stating that my face is optimised for online dating. They got my height wrong by an inch too.

Congratulations to your grandfather and have fun. The Miami Vice TV series is very of its time, it's extremely 80s/90s. But treat it as an extended MTV video and it's fun. Some good episodes, some crazy ones (the, uh, voodoo one? Yeah, Philip Michael Thomas is not a good enough actor to pull that off).

Set the fashion for a decade, though, in both men's styling and in music. Glen Frey song inspired an episode of the show where he went on to star in this episode.

I really liked the aesthetics of the show, I wonder what Miami is like to live in and how much of an influence the show has had on it. I wish Mann could make the show again but with the tech and budget studios offer for streaming services.

Grandads birthday was amazing, he is 91 now, still writes books and articles, easily one of the most effortlessly productive people I know, his field is political science, he is not as smart as he once was but a young him would have loved a place like this one.

I'm glad everyone had a good time and good for Grandad, may he keep on going till he hits 100!

Thanks man. It was great, we here live with our grandparents on the father's side. He was quite pleased.

Years ago I saw the trailer for an indie comedy film wherein two straight men pretend to be gay in order to get women into bed. Their reasoning is that if they present themselves as gay, women will let their guard down around them. Then they can announce "oh my God, I'm so attracted to you, I've never been attracted to a woman before", and the woman in question will be so flattered that she'll go to bed with the guy.

Is it reasonable of me to assume that any straight man who describes himself as "demisexual" is pulling exactly the same kind of long con, but more subtle?

Things like low testosterone due to a medical issue or childhood trauma that makes him distrustful of strangers seem more likely.

Probably not.

I mean, there’s got to be a few. The equilibrium amount of fraud, and all that. But the answer to “can these people really think what they claim to be thinking?!” is usually “yes.”

Also kind of reminds me of that Key and Peele heist.

Is it reasonable of me to assume that any straight man who describes himself as "demisexual" is pulling exactly the same kind of long con, but more subtle?

I would say that the vast majority of people who describe themselves as Asexual but have sex/relationships have simply found an identity-based way to navigate chastity in a sexual world that frightens them (largely based on media). All personal boundaries must be identity based in liberal society, or else they are very difficult to defend. A woman who says she doesn't want to have sex right away is a prude, a woman who says she is asexual is valid. A man who says he doesn't want to have sex all the time is a lying loser, a man who says he is asexual is valid.

I'd compare it in my own life to the years I spent between 13 and 17 listening to a ton of Minor Threat and Youth of Today and Earth Crisis and claiming to be super into Straight Edge punk philosophy. I had an Out of Step poster, and scribbled "I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't fuck, at least I can fucking think!" on things in Sharpie. I think I even put X's on the back of my hands when I went to concerts a few times.

Not to invalidate anyone who really was Straight Edge, I met some of them, but as a loser teenager it was cowardice. I was afraid of girls, and couldn't get a date anyway; I was afraid of booze and drugs and breaking laws around them, and didn't get invited to parties anyway. Straight Edge was a way to claim I was making a principled stand. I doubt it achieved much, I was an apparent loser, it was mostly something I said to make myself feel better.

I wouldn't say 'any', but 'some' would be prudent.

Basically any of these alternate sexualities like 'sapiosexual' or whatever, deserves a raised eyebrow.

I'm not in the habit of assuming the worst intentions in anyone who doesn't think like me. Some men also fake being progressive to pull alt girls, doesn't mean there aren't genuine ones.

That is to say, I don't need to "get to know her in order to be attracted", personally. If someone comes here and says he does, will you disbelieve him?

I'm thinking of one specific guy I know, who describes himself as "demisexual" and yet admits to watching porn. Not an OnlyFans girl with whom he has the plausible deniability of claiming that he knows her intimately (or the character she's playing) - just regular ol' XVideos.

If you need to get to know someone before you feel sexually attracted to them - how can you jerk off to porn? I don't get it.

how can you jerk off to porn?

Maybe he doesn't; maybe he just watches in a "huh, neat, sex and nudity" way (and maybe goes and does it after).

If you need to get to know someone before you feel sexually attracted to them

I think the whole conceit of "demisexuality" is trying to communicate, for lack of a better word, that the 'tricks' don't work on you- you don't have the... compulsion? to fuck or compromise as hard when you see primary sexual characteristics (as opposed to hetero/homosexuality, who by comparison to demis do).

At the same time, it's also an attempt to communicate that you still find sex pleasurable and desirable, as opposed to [a demisexual's assumption of] asexuals who do not (while that may not be taxonomically correct, I think that's the reason they want to label themselves differently in the first place).

He might be able to be sexually attracted to and have physically pleasurable sex with a strange woman, but would feel mentally very uncomfortable doing something so intimate with a stranger and would not actually enjoy the experience.

Isn't sexuality supposed to determine who you find sexually attractive? Don't remember where I heard it, but someone said the whole "demisexual" thing is just "being normal" and I still haven't heard a compelling counter.