millie

@millie@beehaw.org

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millie ,

How much does Putin pay you?

millie ,

Because you literally act like a mouthpiece with your constant apologetics for the aggression and war crimes of a tinpot dictator.

millie ,

The measures they use to say the economy is 'good' have one thing in common: they fail to account for value whatsoever.

They account for value in dollars, that's true. But they fail to account for value in any sense that matters: the usefulness of a product or service on the one hand and the labor that produces it on the other. Instead, we look at wages, employment rates, profits, and prices. Those are admittedly easy to quantify and play around with, but they aren't really anchored to anything meaningful.

For example, let's say your company makes on-the-go smoothies, sold in grocery stores and convenience stores. You've got a quality product: a relatively thick smoothy with quality ingredients and a good variety of purees and juices. You product isn't cheap, but that's because you use quality ingredients, pay your employees a fair wage, and use reasonable labor practices in your bottling plant. As a result, people love your product and enjoy working for your company. Soon you come to take up a prominent position on shelves, because your regular customers will reliably buy up your stock.

Now let's say you do an IPO. Once the board members have sway, they want to iron out some of these 'inefficiencies' in your company to increase their profits. First, they come for the ingredients. You wind up with fewer purees in smaller proportions, a greater proportion of inexpensive juices, and the most expensive ingredients dropping off the list entirely. Your loyal customers are annoyed that their smoothies aren't as thick, but it's still better than the other options, so they keep coming.

At your bottling plant, wages start to stagnate. Benefits aren't eliminated, but a new management technique is introduced in which hours are spread out to make it difficult to meet the minimum to qualify. Shifts begin increasingly running on skeleton crews as hours are spread thinner. Of course, the same amount of work still needs to be done, so the employees are doing two to three times as much work as they used to.

Long-term employees who once made the company what it was start to see the change and look for other options before things get worse, leading to a fresh generation of new employees with no clue how much better the company used to be.

At the end your profits are up, employment is up, and you're selling just as much or nearly as much of your product as you were before. If you only look at the numbers, it seems like this whole endeavor was a fantastic win for your company.

Except you've just made the world a little worse. The market presence you earned with your high-quality product no longer has an equivalent product taking it up, degrading the real value of the market itself. Employees are running themselves ragged making a perhaps flat or slightly rising wage per hour, but a wage that's actively diminishing in terms of the labor required to earn it and the purchasing power it comes with.

Now what happens when you take this model and project it to the entire economy?

All the numbers say record profits, low unemployment, stocked shelves full of high-demand products. And yet the reality is that we have to work more to pay for less of shittier and shittier products. Even the people who win don't really win, because they make a worse world for themselves where they can't get a good smoothy.

The whole thing is a mirage that we've been killing our society chasing.

NYC’s AI chatbot created to help small business owners was caught telling them to break the law. The city isn’t taking it down. ( apnews.com )

An artificial intelligence-powered chatbot created by New York City to help small business owners is under criticism for dispensing bizarre advice that misstates local policies and advises companies to violate the law....

millie ,

Look, just because the AI says it doesn't work doesn't mean you should stop using it! Things not working is normal in technology! It's okay if everything gets worse!

Alex Jones faces day of reckoning over what he owes Sandy Hook families ( www.npr.org )

It’s a day of reckoning today for Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and a long-awaited culmination for the Sandy Hook families who sued Jones for defamation. A federal bankruptcy judge in Texas is expected to force Jones to liquidate his personal assets, including ownership of his media company, Free Speech Systems, in...

millie ,

Good. I'm not usually one for wanting to see someone lose everything, but if anyone deserves it it's this asshole. Imagine knowingly lying about dead children for a decade.

How the hell do these kinds of people live with themselves?

millie ,

That's horrible. Haldol is like a punch to the brain. They're going to turn these poor kids into chemical zombies.

millie ,

This could honestly be really good for Nebula.

millie ,

uBlock Origin works fine for me on youtube. Just make sure you keep it updated and don't run multiple blockers.

millie ,

Nah, it's a subscription service, but it's got a few notable YouTubers and they tend to drop extra content there. PhilosophyTube is on there, 12Tone, a bunch of people. As a platform it's a lot less bullshit, but it's also obviously less content.

Though now I realize you actually have to get referred by one of the other members in order to start posting, so I'm not really sure they stand to benefit that much. It kind of explains why the content has been lacking. It certainly won't ever have the diversity of content that YouTube has with that approach.

Honestly learning that it's more of a market stall than a garden makes me less enthusiastic. It's there to curate what's already on YouTube without YouTube's limitations, not to create a better alternative that's actually sustainable.

millie ,

It's crazy that people believe this shit. They just run with it, and don't even do cursory research on what they're going after. Trans minors literally receive medical care to prevent unalterable changes. Hormones triggering changes in the body is the whole damn point!

When I tell people I lost 3 inches to the shifting of my pelvis and spinal curvature, they're mystified. Like, maybe they knew that estrogen could cause breast growth or changes to your body hair or your skin, but I don't think I've met a cis person yet who was aware of the spinal curvature changes.

I think if people realized just how much hormones change, they might not only see that there are a lot of changes someone might want to avoid during puberty if they're trans, but it might help them see that the most substantial changes to a person's body that may happen as part of transitioning may have nothing at all to do with surgery.

It seems as though a lot of the thinking around trans bodies is focused on surgery, to the point that they don't really necessarily know what else might even be involved. Which I suppose is why it's so easy to lie about it for political gain.

millie ,

This is a repost. Also, like, do we need to keep spamming Beehaw's tech section with headlines that reference rape as like, a casual way to say that a company did something dishonest? Cause I'm not really into it.

Like, seriously, is there a creepier version of this headline?

millie ,

Wait, wait, wait. Alyaza are you a fellow Masshole? :o

millie ,

Oh.. Is this why my credit is garbage? I assumed it was the bank accounts I lit on fire when I was a teenager.

millie ,

Do you subscribe to a worldview that includes compassion? This may disqualify you from joining our capitalist shit show.

millie ,

It would be nice if companies like this came out with a budget model so more people could participate in supporting their products. Lotta poor folks into FOSS.

millie ,

Headline reads like the PM is annoyed that Russia botched the arson.

millie ,

"Here I was, trying to burn down a building, and in swoops fucking Russia! Do prdele!"

millie ,

It really seems like humanity's feelings about who constitutes 'us' has been expanding significantly in the past century or so. It makes sense. Global communication went from being non-existent to a few bits of broadcast media and specialist communication to a massive information network spanning the entire planet, capable of instant communication with negligible latency inside of, what, three generations?

When I was born none of this stuff existed. You had like, dial-up networks like Genie and Prodigy and that was about it until I was like 8 or 9 or something. I think the first time I got on the Internet i was like 10 or 11. By the time I graduated high school, literally everyone was online. By the time I was 30, most people had a device in their pocket connected to the Internet with a speed and power (if not versatility) that beat out anything we had in high school. Now pretty much everyone has it. It's literally easier to get an Internet connection than it is to have somewhere to live.

That has a lot of implications. It's hard to hide injustice and bullshit when everyone has a video camera in their pocket and can connect to the Internet instantly. We know what factory farming looks like, we know that exploitation looks like, and we know the scale of our destruction of the environment in a way we didn't before.

Probably most importantly, we're learning, gradually, that what divides our interest is less and less national borders, physical appearance, or our different ways of living, but the hoarding of wealth and power. There's some push back, to be sure, but the Overton window has shifted substantially from where it was at the beginning of this global communication phenomenon and it's continuing to move that way a little at a time.

When we learn compassion for ourselves and the people around us, especially the people we were once taught were so different, it makes sense that we'd begin to generally become more practiced at compassion, empathy, and careful observation that is less and less rooted in our starting biases.

It makes sense that as that happens, the people controlling the purse strings and authorizing studies that might show that 'us' can extend further than we imagined might also gain more insight and be less defensive.

Dealing with D&D5E Hate and Pathfinder 2E

I have been trying to get my partner into Pathfinder 2nd edition, and they do seem taken with it, however he's been having some issues lately with PF2E. Notably, online. The more he gets into PF2E, the more hate he sees for 5E. He's been playing 5E for years now and has invested a lot of time and love into the game, and to see...

millie , (edited )

There isn't one best tabletop RPG system, or one best edition of tabletop RPG system. There's nothing inherently better about using one system over another. The only real difference is your own preference.

Like, Pathfinder, the first one, is a really interesting and robust system. It's great if you know it, but if you don't know it there are a lot of pitfalls and trap feats built in, and it can be hard to make a character that keeps up with the curve if you don't know what you're doing. Kind of reminds me of Magic: the Gathering in that; lots of options that seem good out of context, but aren't really. That's fine for some groups, for others it's a lot of extra headache.

Does D&D 5e treat your characters as being more robust and capable than, say, AD&D 2e? Yes, absolutely. But like, even that is just the default behavior of the system. That factors in, but a competent DM can run a ruthless game in 5e too, it's just a matter of shifting the numbers.

If your partner feels like 5e is too much of a power fantasy for his tastes, I'd recommend trying Dungeon Crawler Classics. You generate a handful of random level 0 characters and take like 4 per player into a dungeon that's an absolute meat grinder for them. They progress, you add new level 0s if you need to, and you keep going. It's a lot of fun watching your shitty little level 0 farmer grow into a fighter or a wizard or something. DCC is an absolutely ruthless system though, so be prepared to lean into it.

On the other hand, there is still plenty of AD&D 2e material out there. Maybe more than 5e, I'm not really sure. It was pretty robust, though, and less forgiving than 5e without being quite as bad as DCC, but your little level 1 wizard with 4 health can still get one-shotted by pretty much anything.

Of course, you can always just tune these systems to do what you want. Want to play 2e but don't feel like figuring out how THAC0 works or ever bothering to calculate it? Great! Don't. Just slot modern AC and hit rolls in. Start AC at 10 and when 2e says to go down, go up instead. Whenever something would make your THAC0 go down, treat that thing as an attack bonus instead. Hey, check it out, we've just stumbled into 3e's Base Attack Bonus system.

Tabletop rule sets aren't a god for you to worship, they're a tool for you to make as flexible as you need it to be. Take the pieces you want, toss the pieces you don't, add your own stuff. That's how any of this stuff got made to begin with, and it's how it progresses.

Want to make 5e more ruthless? Design an injury system and implement it.

But don't just get sad that some people have some milquetoast criticism about the one edition you happen to have stumbled across first. Who cares? Check out some other systems and develop your own opinions and contexts.

I hope your partner sorts it out!

millie ,

Wasn't there somebody just the other day talking about Adobe's ever-growing bloated bullshit versus GIMP's sleek UI and consistent features? Oh. Right. It was me.

millie ,

Honestly, I don't need the tools I use to change to become more mass-market focused. Nobody wants to eat a soup designed by consensus. I'd rather use something that suits me and have it continue to suit me than need everything to be the biggest most popular thing. Popularity seems to kind of ruin things.

millie ,

The Intercept really needs a new editor.

millie ,

No, because they mixed up "parties'" and "party's" and didn't catch it, along with a couple of other weird writing quirks and clunky usages. Also it's a pretty messy headline. There's also a lot more descriptive and poetic language than is actually helpful for getting their point across. Like to the point that it's wandering into New York Times levels of fluffing the length with flowery language. The writer could have used a couple of notes that they clearly didn't get.

I agree with the writer's position on the DNC's failure to find their compassion and humanity on immigration. It's the editing that needs work.

millie ,

The title here is a little misleading. A signal that repeated once per hour, as in 60 minutes, would be pretty astounding, and might be a good way for a civilization with enough information about us to say 'hi' in a way we'd recognize. It would certainly be very strange to see a natural phenomenon ticking away the hours at a precise rate.

53.8 minutes, on the other hand, is a bit less attention grabbing.

millie ,

It's more that their knowing what an hour is would be impressive. Our selection of the hour as a measure of time is arbitrary outside of its specific context. It's just 1/24th of our planet's rotational period. We could just as easily split the day up into 10ths or 15ths or 7ths or whatever.

To broadcast a signal that's exactly an hour long to a planet that uses the hour as a measure of time might potentially imply someone trying to reference our way of measuring time. A signal that repeats every 53.8 minutes is on a timer that isn't specifically relevant to Earth in the same way an hour exactly would be.

millie ,

I think when people think of the danger of AI, they think of something like Skynet or the Matrix. It either hijacks technology or builds it itself and destroys everything.

But what seems much more likely, given what we've seen already, is corporations pushing AI that they know isn't really capable of what they say it is and everyone going along with it because of money and technological ignorance.

You can already see the warning signs. Cars that run pedestrians over, search engines that tell people to eat glue, customer support AI that have no idea what they're talking about, endless fake reviews and articles. It's already hurt people, but so far only on a small scale.

But the profitablity of pushing AI early, especially if you're just pumping and dumping a company for quarterly profits, is massive. The more that gets normalized, the greater the chance one of them gets put in charge of something important, or becomes a barrier to something important.

That's what's scary about it. It isn't AI itself, it's AI as a vector for corporate recklessness.

millie ,

I absolutely love the UI. It's literally a major part of why I prefer it.

millie ,

Cool condescension, but I've been using Photoshop on and off since 2005, have occasionally used Illustrator, and used to spend an absurd amount of time with Flash. In addition to GIMP, I currently have Krita and Inkscape installed.

I literally prefer GIMP's UI. It doesn't have extra shit, it doesn't try to force me into a single window, and it goes really, really well with a multi-monitor setup. I don't care that it doesn't automatically edit non-destructively, because my workflow is adapted to it. Layers and folders are plenty.

No one piece of software is going to be the ideal solution for everyone. That's capitalistic exceptionalism infecting the rational analysis of what tool suits which user best. Photoshop may suit you better, but I'd take the sleek usefulness of GIMP over the bloat that accompanies all that extra stuff I don't need any day.

Why do I need an AI strapped to my tool for pixel art, pathing, and masking?

millie ,

You have literally no idea who I am or what I do.

I used GIMP to make a mock-up of a sign for a restaurant just yesterday. Is it going to be the tool I use for the final product? No, because that'll be in vector, but it's a lot easier to slap something together in than Inkscape or Krita.

'Killer apps' are meaningless in comparison to useful apps. I'm an artist who needs usable tools for her work. GIMP qualifies. Personally, I find it way easier and more intuitive to navigate than Krita, Inkscape, or any of Adobe's suite. It may not be for you, that's cool.

But what isn't cool is to pretend you know about other people's lives and what they need. Speak for yourself, you are perfectly capable of doing that. If you don't like GIMP's UI, that's great. If you think GIMP's UI is absolutely horrible for every user and nobody would ever use it for professional work.. you're literally just completely wrong.

millie ,

It literally isn't. Some states are pretty shit, but the US isn't forcing people into exile for building libraries. And some states are great places where people have rights and the legislature is actually willing to protect its population from authoritarian policies.

millie ,

So, just to make this clear.

The original goalpost was: "The US is exactly the same as Russia." This being in the context of an article talking about Russian librarians being imprisoned and active extreme suppression of the free exchange of ideas being organized by the Russian government.

There are certainly issues going on with libraries. John Oliver recently did an episode going over a lot of it. But the difference there is that these are largely organized by either fringe politicians or politicians in heavily right-wing states. I don't really see evidence of it at a Federal level, which is what would be the equivalent to what's going on in Russia. Even where some of this stuff is happening, it doesn't seem to yet be as extreme as the situation there.

Is it a similar and worrying pattern? Yes. Is it 'exactly the same thing'? Definitely not.

The US is extremely different from state to state, which can make getting anything done on a wide scale really chaotic, but it also means that we get to try new things and strike out on our own as a state if there's popular support. That's how we got marriage equality for queer folks, it's how we legalized marijuana in a lot of states, and it's what makes us able to do things like pass laws that protect people from other states' repressive laws. We can do things like provide a safe haven for people seeking abortions who live in states where it's illegal. There are states in the US that will literally take in trans folks as refugees from states with repressive laws. On the other hand, we have Florida, where there's actually a no travel advisory for trans people because they'll arrest us for trying to use a bathroom or having our gender on our driver's license.

And like, all this stuff you're saying is absolutely true. It is a huge mess of near unchecked capitalistic greed in a lot of cases.

But at this point we've moved the goal posts. Because they now seem to be "the US also has serious humanitarian problems". Which, that's true. But it doesn't mean the same thing as "the US is exactly the same as Russia."

We have our own set of problems.

millie ,

Those aren't gloves, they're just weirdly soft knuckle dusters.

millie ,

What do you mean? We have better voter engagement among young people than any previous generation.

millie ,

If you read the article, Lloyd grew up in Haiti and went to the US for college, which is where the two met. They then moved back to Haiti together. They're not some silly American couple with no business in Haiti, their family runs an orphanage and a school there.

Not really sure murdered missionaries trying to run an orphanage is a 'lol' situation.

millie ,

I wasn't so much talking about having the knowledge to make it safe as like actually having some business being there. It's certainly dangerous, just like it's dangerous for anyone who's living in proximity to that. But it's not like they're some idiot tourists, that's actually the life their family has focused on. Like, it's what they do.

millie ,

I didn't even know Kimmy Schmidt was Estonian.

millie ,

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report about the crash earlier this week, which did not include a probable cause. Those findings will be part of a final report that could take investigators up to two years to complete.

“Without the final report, I don’t think the vessel is going anywhere” far from Baltimore, Duan said.`

In the meantime, he hopes nonessential crew members will be allowed to get off the ship and stay temporarily on dry land to “ease their mental stress.”

They could literally be stuck living on an immobile cargo ship for 2 years. That's insane.

millie ,

I mean, that kind of makes sense. A lot of small websites are probably for temporary projects, or may even be experiments. When the project ends, it usually makes financial sense to quit paying for hosting and domains.

Whole lotta small projects during COVID.

millie ,

Butch is one end of a spectrum with femme on the other end. It can be used insultingly, but it's not anti-gay. If anything it's extremely gay.

It might be slightly sexist to throw at someone unprompted, but I think it's pretty fine in this context. It's not like she's using it on a trans woman. She's biting back at another cis woman who attacked her appearance by telling her she looks masculine, showing she can go low too, and is a better at it. She even alliterates literally 6 words in a row during a coherent insult. MTG couldn't do that if she had all week.

Honestly, the left needs more of this.

millie ,

Good! We benefit from exposure to different circumstances, and immigration is a great way to do that!

A massive portion of what people tend to typify as 'illegal' immigration is actually asylum-seeking, which is in fact legal. Entering a country to seek asylum is not illegal.

What we probably should consider illegal, however, is the genocide, displacement, enslavement, and exploitation that was used to steal and develop the land the United States claims.

Especially in the case of Mexican immigrants, who are often literally trying to move to territory that was once Mexico, that shit is kinda wild. Like, you're really going to sit there in the furthest reaches of encroachment on our southern neighbor and claim nobody has a right to come in? Not even asylum seekers? On stolen land? Are you kidding?

millie ,

The laws of quantum mechanics are confusing, predicting that particles are also waves and that cats are simultaneously alive and dead.

Okay, so, like, that's punchier writing than the actual truth, but how am I supposed to buy anything else about physics in the article after that? The level of oversimplification of relatively commonly known concepts does not give me confidence that the rest won't be pop sci drivel.

millie ,

Okay well maybe I'll circle back to it, then. Maybe bad science writing has made me a little cynical.

millie ,

Straight iced espresso for me. It does make me think of those particular customers who'd always demand an impossible level of no foam, though.

I did also end up reading about quantum foam anyway. 😂

millie ,

I mean, they're both at least illustrative I guess. In the case of particles and waves I may be quibbling a bit over the distinction that something is a particle or a wave versus exhibiting the properties of one or the other.

In the case of Schrodinger's cat, the thought experiment suggests that if the life or death of the cat is tied to the collapse of the state vector, an eigenstate of the two implies simultaneous life and death. But the varying interpretations of this problem aren't so straightforward as 'both dead and alive', and it's kind of misleading to just leave it at that.

Personally, I find it odd that they'd discount the cat's own awareness of the state vector's collapse. Obviously when the atom decays and kills it, it's going to know before you are regardless of the presence of cardboard.

It just seems like a lot of kind of imprecise throw-away mentions of more complex ideas for one sentence. But again, maybe I'm being cynical.

millie ,

When an article starts by describing the weather, I check out immediately. This is a failed novelist getting me to read their prose, not journalism.

Honestly, I could very well be wrong, but the New York Times has left me so exhausted with articles that start this way that I'll never find out.

Are there any WYSIWYG html editors? just curious

Hello, i was looking for a wysiwyg html editors i could use for my personal website, perferrably just as a simple open source desktop program on linux (though anything else is fine). i DID find something called KompoZer but i was wondering if there's any other ones, thanks

millie ,

Honestly, Dreamweaver is still pretty good. It's not as WYSIWYG as like some of the old school front-ends, but it does a pretty good job. If you get some templates and have at least a cursory understanding of xml and css syntax, you'll do okay.

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