David Thompson
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August 09, 2021

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David

As noted in the earlier thread, if someone goes out of their way to make interaction as complicated as possible, with rules and preconditions that can change several times a day, it generally occurs to me that there are better uses of my time.

Perhaps madam will one day realise how The Quest To Be Interesting can be so very, very tiresome.

David

Not entirely unrelated.

John D

Social media was a mistake.

John D

*Except blogs of course. :-)

Sam Duncan

“Social media was a mistake.”

I'm coming round to the idea that it's deliberate subversion by hostile agents.

Horace Dunn

If you have half an hour, this interview with Ed Husain on his recent study of activities in British mosques is depressing but well worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAXDniO11l4

Seems like an important study. No doubt the BBC and other mainstream media organisations will be keen to cover it...

Clam

Remember, citizens, always closely monitor those bracelets and earrings. Because you couldn’t possibly have anything better to do.

LOL. That.

David

LOL. That.

Well, you can imagine scenarios in which you wouldn’t be able to address someone without risking a public scolding – say, while waiting to order coffee – until you’d examined in some detail their jewellery and accessories. And then repeating the process, should you want a second cup.

Once again, we’re in the world of farce.

Somewhat related.

See also.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Social media was a mistake.

"Smart" phones as well, the two together are an utter disaster and responsible for about 90% of the insanity these days.

David

“Smart” phones as well,

[ Fondles phone, then carefully positions it on large embroidered cushion. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Speaking of complications, some helpful tips.

David

Social media was a mistake.

It does seem to be enabling some… odd behaviour. I can’t help wondering whether attention-seeking was more tolerable, and less neurotic, when those seeking attention took up drama classes or started dodgy bands. At least then there was some sort of transaction.

anon a mouse

It does seem to be enabling some… odd behaviour.

Nah. Not at least in my extended, er, family. We've always had tales of the odd Aunty and Uncle, but the beauty of the interwebz is now that they're able to broadcast their nuttery 24/7 worldwide!

Ain't it grand?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...but the beauty of the interwebz is now that they're able to broadcast their nuttery 24/7 worldwide!

Exactly, the buffonery was pretty much local in The Before Times prior to 2007 when one had to sit down in front of a computer with a low res webcam and upload the idiocy over dodgy internet connections rather than take something out of a pocket and squirt it to the world over 4&5G.

Selective EMP to take out "social" media and "smart"phones and there would be much normalcy returned to the world.

anon a mouse

take something out of a pocket and squirt it to the world

Ah... er....

Hmmm.

pst314

“My pronoun, like, preference has changed three times today.”

It's like Alice in Wonderland.

David

Ah... er....

If anyone’s getting aroused by this thread, I’m calling social services.

WTP

Again, it’s not the technology of social media that is the problem. It’s that there have been these crazy people, essentially forever. The MSM’s global reach accelerated it. Slowly at first but by the time Andy Warhol’s “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” nailed it, it was only a matter of time. The internet, more properly than social media, which is simply the specific implementation, is what made everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly most viral.

The bigger problem as I see it is that technology is advancing much, much faster than even society’s best and brightest can keep up with on a broad scale. Never has human society had to adapt so quickly to such incredible changes in virtually every aspect of life. And this is happening across the planet in virtually every part of civilization. We are living The Day The Universe Changed happening every Tuesday. There is no human precedent for such a thing. Historically when big changes have taken place they have occurred far enough apart to allow the society at least a decade or so to digest it. To throw out the bad effects and keep the good. Change today happens way too fast, too often in parallel with other changes. New ideas get built on shifting foundations.

Karl

I missed this:

Bill de Blasio. Mayor of New York City. On compulsory vaccinations.

"We tried voluntary. We could not have been more kind and compassionate. Free testing, everywhere you turn, incentives, friendly, warm embrace. The voluntary phase is over,”

The voluntary phase is over.

"Voluntary" was a phase, apparently.

You are so fucked.

pst314

I'm coming round to the idea that it's deliberate subversion by hostile agents.

And then there are the internet trolls, who ruin comment threads either for political purposes or to gratify a depraved desire to make other people unhappy. Trolling can be reduced, but only slightly, by eliminating anonymity. The chief problem is that there is no social cost to bad behavior: Nobody on the internet gets shunned by all their neighbors or punched in the face.

David

Selective EMP to take out “social” media and “smart” phones

My game scores!

[ Faints. ]

pst314

If anyone’s getting aroused by this thread, I’m calling social services.

[ Looks sharply at David fondling his phone. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

"Voluntary" was a phase, apparently.

Not surprising for a guy who supported the Sandinistas and honeymooned in Cuba. He is pushing a "vaccine passport" to get into bars, restaurants, etc., but I wonder how that is supposed to work for people from free states who have the misfortune to wind up in NYC for work, or foolish enough to go visit.

OTOH, it is not as if these types ever think things through.

pst314

Again, it’s not the technology of social media that is the problem. It’s that there have been these crazy people, essentially forever.

Yes and no: the technology enables the crazy people.

The internet, more properly than social media, which is simply the specific implementation, is what made everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly most viral.

I have been told, by researchers who used the internet from the beginning, that it was at originally a very civil "place".

pst314

OTOH, it is not as if these types ever think things through.

A sensible culture makes sure that there are always consequences for tyrants.

pst314

The Rwandan refugee who started the Nantes cathedral fire in 2020 has just murdered a priest.

WTP

I have been told, by researchers who used the internet from the beginning, that it was at originally a very civil "place".

Oh, Usenet stuff or whatever else I poked around on back then would get ugly. It was just a more refined ugliness. More like what you see in the technology discussion groups today. Personally, and this is yet another of my character flaws I’m sure, while I do sometimes find refined ugliness amusing, I generally prefer people come out and say what they have to say and not passive-aggressively beat around the bush.

aelfheld
some helpful tips.

It's going to be interesting when these people discover reality isn't optional.

Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret

Sam

Speaking of complications, some helpful tips.

Tip #4 for Boys on their Period:

If your cheast [sic] hurts don't bind. Some guys get tender breast tissue when it's that time of the month, listen to your body, don't push yourself!"

I can't for the life of me understand why the suicide rate for the trans hovers around a coin flip.

PiperPaul

Yes and no: the technology enables the crazy people.

I think it makes them worse, either by validation or encouragement of craziness (you just *know* that some griefers are egging some along), competition or both.

Karl

Social media was a mistake.

I'm torn.
On the one hand, no grown adult should use social media. Obvs.

On the other, it's difficult to avoid if a significant portion of your society's life happens on social media.

And on the gripping hand - I never wanted to be a part of society anyway.

pst314

Oh, Usenet stuff or whatever else I poked around on back then would get ugly. It was just a more refined ugliness.

I'll bow to your experience, since I did not get internet access until the web had been around a while.

I'm curious how that more refined ugliness compared to face-to-face interactions between the same people.

aelfheld
I never wanted to be a part of society anyway.

Misanthropes Disperse!

David

listen to your body

[ Insert dark irony here. ]

David

The Rwandan refugee who started the Nantes cathedral fire in 2020 has just murdered a priest.

In much the same way, “diversity” seems to be the belief that the less we have in common, and feel we have in common, the happier we will be. An unobvious proposition, to say the least.

As noted previously.

pst314

In much the same way, “diversity” seems to be the belief that the less we have in common, and feel we have in common, the happier we will be. An unobvious proposition, to say the least.

Terry Pratchett wrote that diversity makes us stronger, in the same way that alloys are stronger than pure metals. I guess he never considered that you cannot turn iron into steel by adding 30 percent pot metal.

WTP

I'm curious how that more refined ugliness compared to face-to-face interactions between the same people.

While not quite as nasty, putting aside the passive-aggressive part, they were still things one wouldn’t say face-to-face. But let me be the devil’s advocate for social media, or more specifically, on-line discussion. First minor point, I think even people who know each other and even those who see each other somewhat frequently will say things on line that they wouldn’t say face-to-face. But also I don’t see much new about that. People used to write nasty, or even very heart-felt letters to each other that they wouldn’t say face-to-face. It’s simple human nature and we’re pretty much all built that way. Mostly. More than we like to admit. Also, again…don’t forget/deny the heart-felt aspect.

Secondly, in face-to-face conversation, the more aggressive, often least knowledgeable person tends to dominate the conversation. And frequently, the more a-hole type will modify what one person said. Talk being ephemeral as opposed to the written word, a bully can force his or her misinterpretation, often intentional, of what the other person said. At least with online discussion, you can clearly demonstrate to all present that you said exactly what you said.

And thirdly with on-line discussion…most gratefully, by its very nature, at some point, the other party hits send and then effectively shuts the hell up so others can speak…well, write…

pst314

People used to write nasty, or even very heart-felt letters to each other that they wouldn’t say face-to-face.

Good point.

Talk being ephemeral as opposed to the written word, a bully can force his or her misinterpretation, often intentional, of what the other person said. At least with online discussion, you can clearly demonstrate to all present that you said exactly what you said.

I have experienced that many times, where someone said something indefensible but later claimed to either not remember it or that he had said something very different.

Governor Squid

...that it was originally a very civil "place".

It wasn't Eden, but it was manageable until the September that Never Ended. I've seen any number of columns over the years talking about how things went to hell because the 'Net became too big, too popular, but a lot of those complaints miss what I think is a crucial detail -- it wasn't the size of the community, it was the rate of growth.

An example on a smaller scale than a global communications network: My father was active for many years in on online discussion group for home brewers. As new users came in, they needed to be taught to observe the community's norms. These were pretty basic, and boiled down to "We're here to help each other become better brewers, not to insult anybody." This worked fine for years, as the old-timers (I think my dad's userID was 0016) admonished the new arrivals that if they wanted to receive help, they needed to be helpful themselves. The community grew steadily from a few dozen users to several hundreds.

Then they got profiled in a popular magazine, and suddenly there was a crush of new users. Hundreds of people showed up in the space of a month, and utterly overwhelmed the existing culture, replacing it with one that called anyone having problems an "idiot" and anyone who thought a recipe was too heavy-handed with hops a "fag."

Now my dad just brews his stuff quietly and helps friends and neighbors face-to-face when they show an interest or have questions.

I've little doubt that if the entirety of Instapundit's peanut gallery showed up here and started arguing, our voices would be drowned out so quickly that nobody would ever know what the old days were like. One hopes that if such a thing were to happen, at the very least our gracious host would get a lovely pied-à-terre out of the deal.

pst314

Hundreds of people showed up in the space of a month, and utterly overwhelmed the existing culture, replacing it with one that called anyone having problems an "idiot" and anyone who thought a recipe was too heavy-handed with hops a "fag."

Sounds like what happened to Instapundit.

I've little doubt that if the entirety of Instapundit's peanut gallery showed up here and started arguing, our voices would be drowned out so quickly that nobody would ever know what the old days were like.

Truly a horrifying thought.

David

our voices would be drowned out so quickly that nobody would ever know what the old days were like.

It’s important to set a tone, I think, and preferably with a light touch. I mean, you don’t want to be a nag, but you’d like to avoid too many knife fights and fag burns in the upholstery.

One hopes that if such a thing were to happen, at the very least our gracious host would get a lovely pied-à-terre out of the deal.

[ Drifts into reverie. ]

Actually, I suspect the kinds of people you’re talking about are unlikely to be the kinds of people who would see much point in supporting any particular venue they pass through, briefly but loudly. In my experience, the most generous supporters are generally well-behaved or rarely comment.

WTP

and anyone who thought a recipe was too heavy-handed with hops a "fag."

Well, not the word I would use…but I surely can empathize. Though I am trying to imagine what fun I could have the next time I’m in a brewpub that I belated realize might be a bit hipsterish and I were to say something of sufficiently obscure meaning as, “What do you recommend? I find that hoppy stuff kinda gay”

Farnsworth M Muldoon

From Ace, The Greatest Dynasty Ever.

pst314

It’s important to set a tone, I think, and preferably with a light touch.

Seems to have worked here pretty well so far. (Although Instapundit only started linking to you in the last year, so it's possible that with time you will start getting trolls. Time will tell.)

Darleen

So, she changes her pronouns several times a day?

Pffffffffft She needs to catchup with the latest fad.

pst314

Well, not the word I would use…but I surely can empathize.

I just don't see it. It seems like a matter of personal taste, not subject to condemnation. Hoppy beer vs. not, sweet wine vs. dry, etc, why should I be care?

pst314

why should I be care?

Argh! I promise, David, I'm not a Chinese bot.

David

Although Instapundit only started linking to you in the last year,

Much longer than that, though the frequency has increased a little. I’ve always been surprised by how few unsavoury characters we get in here.

WTP

And I would generally agree. A few years ago, actually I think it was quite more than a few, the hoppy thing was interesting. And aside from fruity beers which I do believe are an abomination and an affront to the Lord, I don't get into how my beer was made. I truly don't care. But I do want it to taste like beer. Which itself shouldn't be a problem but so many of these little craft brew places, for some reason even here in MAGA country, will feature say a dozen beers, eight of them will be some sort of pina colata beer or Blueberry Somesuch yadda-yadda and of the remaining four, two are all hopped up and the other two are stouts. I'm drinking a lot of stouts lately. Which I do like to have solo but with food I find the stout distracts from the food and the food distracts from the stout. For the most part. But that's me. The thing is, it's beer. It really does not need to be complicated. Women are complicated. Wine is complicated. Beer should always be in a completely different quadrant. Goad made it because he wanted us to be happy. Not complicated. Which was why He made women. But now I'm going in circles...

WTP

Goad. There really should be a God named Goad. I think that would make for a really cool religion. Maybe I can start one. Has there ever been a real religion centered around beer?

Darleen

Has there ever been a real religion centered around beer?

Centered? Maybe not centered, but beer has been a very important part of many religious orders. Our trip to Ireland included clambering around as many ruins as we could spot. The monks at Jerpoint Abbey were vegetarian but were into brewing up a lot of the grain they grew. Evidently, this was not at all unusual.

pst314

Much longer than that, though the frequency has increased a little.

I only searched your URL for "instalanch", which I guess was not good enough.

pst314

Gods of beer and wine

Darleen

Gods of beer and wine

Also: John 2:1-11

pst314

How are those utopian AI predictions working out?

Daniel Ream

Never has human society had to adapt so quickly to such incredible changes in virtually every aspect of life

I can't agree (and I work in software). As Mark Steyn has pointed out, the pace of technological innovation in the first half of the twentieth century was vastly greater than the second half. Someone born in 1900 emerged into a world where heavier than air flight was impossible. By the end of his life, that person would have seen men walking on the Moon. Someone born in 1962 would largely recognize the world of 2021.

I have been told, by researchers who used the internet from the beginning, that it was at originally a very civil "place".

Prior to Eternal September, the only way to get access to Usenet fora was to be affiliated with a military, university, or research institution. Such people generally didn't have all day to f*ck around sh*tposting on Usenet newsgroups, got killfiled when they did, and if they weren't undergrads would catch a stern talking to by their supervisor for abusing organizational resources as well as time.

So, she changes her pronouns several times a day? Pffffffffft

I'm going to write a pronoun-rotation algorithm based on TKIP. Thousands of unique pronouns per second. Deal with that, you blue-haired clowns.

ccscientist

I think the web has really enabled the crazy. You get points and validation for being eccentric and nuts. It is a status game. You get more of what you reward.

Governor Squid

I'm something of a German purist when it comes to beer, no doubt due to helping my simple German father produce and consume a lot of the stuff over the past 30 years or so. (We joke that Belgium produces 3,000 beers, and 40 of them are pretty good!)

His philosophy is centered on balance: the bitterness of the hops should be balanced by the sweetness of the malt. I've nothing against a good hoppy beer, so long as it shows some attempt at balance. Any fool can pour a kilogram of hops into a kettle and never give a second thought to traditional flavo(u)rs or textures.

Unfortunately, the last fifteen years of brewing have been an escalating dick-measuring contest between dudebros competing to see who can pour the most hops into their brew. As a result, I attend happy hours with cow-orkers who honestly believe that all beer is supposed to taste like acne medicine, because it's all they've ever known. And now it looks like having run the bitterness axis as far as it can go, they're switching to sours (which can be wonderful when done perfectly, but unlike IPAs they are really unforgiving to the mediocre brewer).

Like WTP, I've noticed that every brewpub has a dozen choices on tap, and ten of those will be __IPA's (they add letters to the front almost as frequently as the "complicated" add letters to the end of LGBTQWERTY+) or fruit sours. But that generally means that you'll have a pilsner or dunkel or stout or cream ale that is often quite tasty. I like to think of it as letting the hipsters underwrite my honest hardworking beers by shelling out top dollar for their Clearasil.

De gustibust est and all that, but sometimes I wish the younger guys knew what they were missing.

pst314

I attend happy hours with cow-orkers

Where do you work that there are cow-orc hybrids?

De gustibust est and all that, but sometimes I wish the younger guys knew what they were missing.

Perhaps we can blame rapid communications for causing fads to spread so quickly across an entire nation.

pst314

Woke, Lysenkoist biology: "The trauma of white supremacy accumulates over centuries and is passed down and stored in the bodies of black and Indigenous peoples across generations."

Sam

Me: Hello, what do you have on tap?

Barlass: Lots! What do you like? Like...IPAs, or...?

Me: Not IPAs.

Barlass: Oh...well, I think we might have some unfiltered toilet water left, but I'll have to check...

pst314

I'm not really a beer drinker, but I did try a local beer and a cider last time I was in London. Very good. And no lint-covered sausages anywhere.

pst314

Heh:

"What’s as big as a house, burns 20 liters of fuel every hour, puts out a shitload of smoke and noise, and cuts an apple into 3 pieces?"
"A soviet machine made to cut apples into four pieces."

Directrix Gazer

About 4/5 of the people I've talked to about it share my distaste for the trendy IPAs, the drinking of which increasingly resembles french-kissing a pine tree. Making the dubious assumption that my anecdotal data are representative, the question then becomes, why do they make so many of them?

pst314

the question then becomes, why do they make so many of them?

We are Superior Beings who are not so manipulable as to follow fads.

WTP

Someone born in 1900 emerged into a world where heavier than air flight was impossible. By the end of his life, that person would have seen men walking on the Moon. Someone born in 1962 would largely recognize the world of 2021.

Well this sort of argument can go on ad nauseum (don't you hate those things?) but without surrendering the rate of tech change part of the argument I would say that computers and iPhones and such got into the hands of a lot broader sampling of third world citizens and a hell of a lot faster than electricity, indoor plumbing, radio, or TV.

the only way to get access to Usenet fora was to be affiliated with a military, university, or research institution. Such people generally didn't have all day to f*ck around sh*tposting on Usenet newsgroups, got killfiled when they did, and if they weren't undergrads would catch a stern talking to by their supervisor for abusing organizational resources as well as time.

Dude. It's been 30 years, let it go. I keeeeed. No, really. Usenet wasn't everything. Long before that went public were the bulletin boards and list servers and such that served similar purposes. I don't specifically recall using any bulletin boards, I wasn't much of a gamer because I didn't have all day to f*ck around with them, but I got regular, unfortunately totally unsolicited, reports from a co-worker/friend about what went on on some of those boards. Possibly did use them in college but I do recall using LISTSERV a good bit. It was how I initially learned how the broader internet worked. Unless I'm confusing/conflating the two.

I'm something of a German purist when it comes to beer, no doubt due to helping my simple German father produce and consume a lot of the stuff over the past 30 years or so.

As a person of mostly German ethnicity (I blame my German toilet training for most of my personality disorders...no, really...no, I keeeed...), I must confess that I believed such until a trip to Prague. That was beer heaven.

As for the stouts....I fear they may start ruining those as well. I get the same feeling when the IPA's and such first came out. Only with stouts it seems there's a race between the coffee lovers and the chocolate lovers. Right now I'm at the "Gee, that's interesting. OK, that was good too" stage, but if this goes on much longer...well, there will always be a Guinness. Please God. Don't take that one away. After a visit to the Guinness brewery in Dublin, I felt that they were missing out on the coffee market. I've wanted to slip some of that roasted barely in with my coffee beans but I haven't run across any. I suppose that's what the internet is for but...meh.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

"why do they make so many of them?"

Why are so many of the popular best-sellers simple-minded plots that flatter the reader? Why so many popular movies quickly forgotten ten five two years later? Why are so many popular songs stuffed with lyrics that are cringy, obscene, or contain questionable moral behavior, but they have a great beat?

I've come to believe, after decades of observations, that the majority of people do not think. They embody beliefs because it's repeatedly pushed on them by the media. They adopt stories they haven't verified but believe because it conform to their worldview. They arrogantly believe that if they can think it, it's possible. And they will not even consider the possibility that a) they were lied to; b) they misunderstand the numbers/science; c) they refuse to see they are advocating policies (*cough* defund the police *cough*) that destroy people's other neighborhoods and lives.

IPAs are very unpleasant to drink. I have tried them, both from the larger companies, and those from a neighborhood brewery that puts out a lovely stout I adore. Heck, another small brewer put out a beer flavored with basil and onion, and that was more flavorful than any IPA.

So people adopt IPAs because it's pushed on them, they want to appear smart, it doesn't kill them, and they have tongues made of sandpaper.

Governor Squid

A couple of years ago, I met a guy who sold distilling equipment and supplies. He was working his way across the Twin Cities looking for anyone interested in starting up a craft distillery. When I asked him "Why Minnesota?" he explained that he looks for markets that are oversaturated with microbreweries, as they are ripe for introducing the "next step" for those who want to stand out from the crowd. Looking at the density of brew pubs in a five-mile radius, I certainly couldn't fault his logic!

The upshot of this is that I don't lack for options, for as long as they can stay in operation. My locals have a nice variety of pilsner, cream ale, dunkel, Kentucky common, and if all else fails, one can almost always find a Summit or a Nordeast. I guess I'm lucky I haven't been overwhelmed with silly stouts yet.

What's been chapping me of late is the supply/distribution problems keeping the Merlin from reliably carrying Belhaven. When a man needs a pint of Wee Heavy, he shouldn't be told to try again in a few weeks!

Daniel Ream

Me: Hello, what do you have on tap?

Barlass: Lots! What do you like? Like...IPAs, or...?

Me: Not IPAs.

You: You do have some beer?

Barlass: Of course, sir! It's a brew pub, sir. We got-

You: No, no, don't tell me, I'm keen to guess.

Barlass: Fair enough, sir.

You: Guiness?

Barlass: No.

You: Strongbow?

Barlass: No.

You: Pilsner?

Barlass: Yes?

You: Ah, well, I'll have some of that!

Barlass: Oh, I'm sorry, sir, I thought you were talking to me. Pilsner, sir, that's my name.

You: Is it.

Steve E

I would say that computers and iPhones and such got into the hands of a lot broader sampling of third world citizens and a hell of a lot faster than electricity, indoor plumbing, radio, or TV

I worked for a financial services. In 1997 we introduce a mutual fund that invested exclusively in Brazil. The fund managers strategy was a simple one. Brazil was a second world country with vast untapped resources that desperately wanted to become a first world country. He argued that all you had to do to make money was invest in basic infrastructure type stocks and wait patiently. So the fund was loaded with companies like Petrobras and Telebras. Telebras (the phone company) had something like a 20 or 30 per cent market penetration at the time. He felt even if they only doubled that penetration the fund value would increase significantly. Today I don't think the number of land lines has increased much. Everyone went straight to cell phones.

Steve E

"A soviet machine made to cut apples into four pieces."

A favourite punch line around my house when we encounter any large awkward item or technology is to say, in a bad russian accent, "eez new soviet microtechnology."

Another favourite story involves the space pen. Nasa breathlessly announced that scientists had invented a pen that could write in the weightlessness of space. Excited reporters wanted to the cost to bring such a pen about. The answer was multi-millions had been spent on the project over several years. One intrepid hack wanted to know what the Soviets used to write in Space. The answer: A pencil.

Oh and speaking about the rapidly accelerating pace of change, I rewatched Alvin Toffler's Future Shock. KInd of hokey by today's standard but he was right about a lot of things.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

If this doesn't say "An administration to be taken seriously", nothing does.

Sam

The answer: A pencil.

I heard that graphite/lead shavings hanging around your spacecraft in zero-g is suboptimal. Then again it could've just been NASA propaganda.

The classic Soviet question remains my favorite: What did the communists use for light before candles? Electricity.

pst314

If this doesn't say "An administration to be taken seriously", nothing does.

Angus

realised that the hipsters at the trendy breweries here in Brisbane had gone too far when I tried a Strawberry Milkshake IPA. It was an interesting cloudy pink colour, the only other redeeming feature was that it was sold as a four pack, so I only had to tip out 3 cans.

Angus

*I realised*

Stupid Soviet era phone…

pst314

I heard that graphite/lead shavings hanging around your spacecraft in zero-g is suboptimal. Then again it could've just been NASA propaganda.

Answers here.

WTP

When I worked on the shuttle program one of my coworkers shelled out for one of those space pens. As I recall, it sucked in 1G. I often wondered how many of them they took on each flight. I mean it's not like a regular office where there's always a pen somewhere. Maybe they did work better in zero-G. Though most likely what they sold us rubes on the ground, which was likely exactly what they sold in the gift shop at the Welcome Center, was a much cheaper piece of crap.

pst314

The poorest white areas are less violent than the wealthiest black areas:

Source: The Changing Relationship between Income and Crime Victimization, by Steven D. Levitt, Economic Policy Review, Sept 1999.

I'd be happier if there were also a chart that used per capita income rather than household income, since households vary in size and may vary partly in sync with race.

I've seen similar charts before, as well as reports that high income blacks are depressingly likely to commit serious felonies, cannot remember where.

Does anybody here know of other studies that support or cast doubt on this chart?

Richard Cranium
Well this sort of argument can go on ad nauseum (don't you hate those things?) but without surrendering the rate of tech change part of the argument I would say that computers and iPhones and such got into the hands of a lot broader sampling of third world citizens and a hell of a lot faster than electricity, indoor plumbing, radio, or TV.

Well, what takes the absolute minimum infrastructure cost to create and maintain?

Anything requiring insulated copper (or optical fiber) strung over long distances are right out. So, land line telephone might possibly be installed for what the government thought was essential, but they might decide that 2 way AM radio was cheaper in the long run.

I'd opine that radio (particularly AM radio) was the cheapest way to broadcast information one way over a very large area. I remember listening to WLS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WLS_(AM)#The_WLS_Musicradio_era) when I lived slightly north of the Tennessee/Alabama border. That radio station was ~470 miles away. I have personally seen 2-way communications over a 500 mile AM radio link. (I was the Signal Officer for an MLRS battalion in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and we set up a directional antenna to link with a battery that was deployed at Fort Bliss for training purposes.)

IF you have electricity (which is one reason why China is building coal-fired electrical generation facilities at a breakneck pace and deciding that it was worth building the 3 Gorges Dam, despite it being an obvious target for any future conflict), you can do all sorts of interesting things. Indoor plumbing requires a lot of infrastructure. Putting up a cell tower takes much less infrastructure.

As one joker put it: Most of the drag is at the leading edge of the wing; all the lift is after it. There can be advantages of being late to the game, especially if earlier versions of the game produced things that would be completely thrown away.

I didn't want to spend the time to write less; sorry.

Richard Cranium

As usual, after reading what I wanted to post after I posted it, I'll point out that long-distance 2-way communication over AM radio could be cheap as well. Easy to operate long-distance 2-way communication over AM radio is a different beast (AKA voice communications). Lightning creates static and it was difficult to hide the content of such traffic for a very long time. Now, we have ways to encrypt such traffic but the impact of static is still there.

Morse code over AM radio (which can include ionosphere bouncing) can deliver a message (albeit with multiple transmissions) over astonishingly long distances. There's a very good reason why US Special Forces troops were taught Morse code.

Chester Draws

I've little doubt that if the entirety of Instapundit's peanut gallery showed up here and started arguing, our voices would be drowned out so quickly that nobody would ever know what the old days were like.

I noticed about a year ago that I visit a variety of different blogs or discussion groups. What they all have in common is that they all have a group of commenters, who write comprehensible English. So the amount of trolling is low (although I remember Minnow) and i dont have to put up with people who have never learnt any grammer of spelling and who cant punctuate and right really long rambling sentances that drive you insane because they are to dammed lazy to right properly.

Once a group gets so big that I no longer recognise most of the commenters, and thus can put their comments into perspective, I tend to leave.

Richard Cranium
What they all have in common is that they all have a group of commenters, who write comprehensible English.

Thank God that I don't post often.

pst314

What they all have in common is that they all have a group of commenters, who write comprehensible English.

Of course, there are some commenters at Instapundit that I wish were incomprehensible.

Fred the Fourth

I've been reading instapundit since the year zero. My opinion is that the commentary there has no value. They do not clarify or add to a posting.

Commentaries I read thoroughly include:

This Here Fine Totally Legitimate Establishment
TheNewNeo
Quillette
Althouse

ArsTechnica (But the political bias there is a chore to slog through)

I read a few other sites regularly but rarely find comments useful.

(I walked a klick in the hills today without dying. Yay me! Expecting to receive bills totalling, as a real estate agent might say, "in the mid-six-figures." Hospital lady says "just set it aside. We will be working with insurance. Don't have a heart attack. Haha.")

Daniel Ream

There's some interesting research that suggests that the "health" (by which they mean a combination of longevity and activity) of an online community is determined primarily by turnover rather than size, growth rate, posting frequency, etc. Seems counter-intuitive to me but the r-value's pretty high.

pst314

I've been reading instapundit since the year zero...

As have I.

...My opinion is that the commentary there has no value. They do not clarify or add to a posting...

A very small percent of the comments add value. It used to be better, when Glenn first enabled comments, but soon began to go downhill. Very disappointing. Now I feel old: Remember when Little Green Footballs had sometimes-useful comments and sane management? (Although even at its peak there were far too many comments which amounted to little more than "that's good" or "that's bad".

...I walked a klick in the hills today without dying.

Good for you! Wishing you steady progress!

Uma Thurmond's Feet

For anyone still reading here, I'll recommend the Archdruid for not only his commentary (he's a real druid, for certain values of druiditry), but he polices his comment section rigorously, and the result is some pretty interesting discussions, not all of them about magic.

https://www.ecosophia.net/

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