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Messages - dubsartur

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General Chatter - The Boozer / Re: Baelin's Route
« on: May 15, 2021, 11:59:06 PM »
I am a tabetop person not a MMORPG person, but that is fun!

Adorea Olomouc in Czechia just created something called Knight of Hope (warning: implied rape) and a random YouTuber has House of the Rising Sun in Old French

I don't think the issues I had were moderation-worthy. But people - especially some sorts of rather snarky nerd - can manage to be quite hostile without crossing that line. Anyway, continuing to think about this and I might offer something at some point: I've started sketching out a first few hundred words so we'll see where it gets to.
People on the Internet seem especially crabby right now.  I think its a mix of the pandemic and 'outgroup culture' from smartphone-oriented corporate social media (the culture that tells people that gentle questioning is sealioning and sealioning is wicked).  The problem is that I can't see people off the Internet because of the crown flu.

I commented a few times on his site but did not see many clicks through.

I see some very strange nationalist nonsense on

I don't see a comment policy on his site, although I block scripts by default so it could be hidden.  It seems like he needs some volunteer mods.

The Rise and Fall of Online Culture Wars (Substack)

I saw some of the weird things he talks about, but my point of view was more "a strange new culture of mockery and soundbites appears and is embraced by the Old Media.  At the same time, many influential Americans on the Internet are recruited for faction fights within the richest third of the US and turn their spaces into weapons in these fights.  Most foreigners and many sensible Americans lose interest and quietly stop posting or rebrand themselves, while these spaces start to devour themselves.  From 2016 onwards, the US begins to wobble from its dominant position in Internet culture while squeezing its fist tighter and tighter on corporate social media."  So I would not try to talk about the alt-right as if it were just a US phenomenon, or feminism on the Internet as if it was not there from the beginning!  His essay is very parochial!

One reason I keep writing on my site is not to concede talking about ideas on the Internet to the twitter-lovers and the LessWrong types and the people who spent too much time on tumblr.

My heart assumes that if people write or lecture gladly and confidently on a subject, they have verifiable expertise in it and have given it serious thought.  My mind has trouble convincing it that most of these people just have the gift for gab or are emitting talking points given to them by someone in their faction.  I don't get confused this way face to face, its easier to understand when someone is just playing with ideas or working through them (so I should ask some gentle questions) and when I should shut up and listen and when they are trying to sell something and I need to deflate their nonsense.

Also, I'm confused by the paragraphs about the rise of images accusing critics of belonging to some un-cool group, because yes it was annoying and poisomed some spaces, but does anyone serious take that kind of ad hominem seriously?  Some people use it when goofing off, but I am trying to think of someone thoughtful using that kind of rhetoric in public.  And insulting people rather than engage with their arguments is a very old move in rhetoric.  I would not treat it as a cultural change on the level of the Old Media going from erasing the open Internet to treating tweets as Very Serious Sources.

Have I talked about the dismantling of Laurentian University in Northern Ontario by its president at all?

This also shows the history of higher education in eastern Canada, because Laurentian was federated with a group of small sectarian universities with mostly 19th century origins. Federation was a way to evade restrictions on public funds for denomiational institutions, but it let several institutions with less than the usual tens of thousands of students for a Canadian university survive.  The president cut them loose and they will probably close or shrink.  Its not clear that Laurentian has the right to do this but education is a provincial responsibility and the province is run by a Ford.

By the time settlers got out west we were already losing our religion and especially institutions.

Got turned down for a job in the Netherlands on Friday.

I got to watch about half of the conference on Saturday, but my Zoom connection dropped half way through my talk.  I did not know because I was in my full-screen slide window not my browser window so I could not see the warning that the conference had ended.  So I had to miss the next talk and redo half of my talk :(

Mike Wong the astronomer slyly evaded my question about which Mike Wong was from the mirror universe.  That would suggest he is the Terran Empire Wong, but then the Star Wars Wong is a fan of the Sith.  Coincidence or evidence that Mike Wong the engineer is from the Terran Empire while the astronomer is from the United Federation of Planets?  I ask, you decide.

They say they will be recording and posting on YouTube.  I may create a PeerTube account for this!

CFI Calgary has a zoom conference on Saturday 8 May 11.00 to 24.00 Toronto time

Talks on geeky and humanistic topics include:

Andy Thomson – Why We Believe in God(s)
Sandra Dunham – The Cost of Religion in Canada
Amir Artaban Sedaghat – East, West, Islam: a Perpetual Misapprehension?
Panel discussion: Losing Our Religion - Moderator: John Varghese; Panelists: Joshua Jeyakumar , Muhammod, Talla Odeh, Allison Jensen
Gus Lyn-Piluso & Joan Harrison – Education for Democracy
Michael Wong – Star Trek and Science (n.b. this Michael Wong is the astronomer with a podcast in the United States, not the engineer with a website in Ontario)
Panel discussion: Freedom of Speech: A Cost Benefit Analysis - Moderator: Kayla Horan-Dmytruk; Panelists: Scott Fraser, Mark Urista, Cara Zwibel
Sean Manning – Ancient Astronauts Built the Science Fiction of Egypt direct link to the videoconference
Zack Dumont – Surviving Misinformation in a Global Pandemic

Committees of doctors are starting to say "maybe we can't eliminate the virus in Canada any more but we should still try to drastically reduce numbers of cases" while others are wondering if immunization can eliminate the virus given that the more infectious variants would require 80-90% of the population to be immune to create herd immunity, while the 13% of the population under the age of 12 cannot presently be vaccinated at all.  So again, the provinces which tried to eliminate the virus had a much more successful strategy than the provinces which tried to manage it.

There is a three-way clash between logging companies  backed by the BC government, the local First Nations, and settler environmentalists about logging an untouched old-growth forest along Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island.  Some people think this is another case of someone pulling off the mask and deciding "get it in the last days that getting is good."


In the EU, there has been a lot of quiet work to disconnect from American systems of digital power since 2016: replacing credit cards and paypal with the EU SEPA system, use open-source software in schools and government offices, and so on.  Is there anything similar in the UK?

Martin R has some thoughts on the switch of rural male Swedes without immigrant relatives from the Social Democratic party to the local franchise of the Xenophobe Party

Also, many carbon taxes in Canada are at least partially paid back to low-income taxpayers.  And its easier to create them to get them to cover 90% of emissions at a price high enough that people stop emitting.

I have seen one poll that satisfaction with federal and most provincial governments' handling of the pandemic is falling since winter 2020/2021, but polls in Canada are not very reliable.

The Old Media are beating hard against the federal and most provincial governments for their mishandling of the pandemic. 

The Supreme Court of Canada just ruled that the Sinixit nation still exists on the south side of the Medicine Line, so still has rights north of it.  (There are a fair number of Sinixit on the north side, but not concentrated enough that the government has to admit they are still a nation). The Canadian-US border was literally drawn by picking a point on the Great Lakes and running it west to wherever it hits the Pacific (with a bit of fudging around the Salish Sea) and then each state set out to ethnically cleanse its side of the line.  It was a way to get no more British-US wars after 1815 and especially 1865 when the UK looked at the size of the Union Army and Navy and the cost of defending Canada and sent some telegrams.  So it does not correspond very well with indigenous human geography.

Oh, and the environmentalist press has noticed that the new BC government is projecting that GHG emissions will continue to increase until 2023 (they budget for revenue from the carbon tax, and have committed to carbon tax rates for the next few years, so from revenue you can deduce taxable emissions).  Since they have committed to a 20% cut below 2018 levels by 2025, one of the two targets will have to fail.

At least I have the right hair for my talk which has Giorgio "I'm not saying it was aliens ..." T on the first slide

I will probably get it cut before a forthcoming job interview.

The latest Existential Comics plays with the same question as "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" and suggests that the reason wizards selfishly keep all their magic for themselves rather than helping the Muggles is that the wizards are English  Its an interesting take on the British empire, because the wizards don't make a show of bestowing the forms of civilized life on the wogs, they practice strict apartheid.  Western Europeans often try to pretend that their empires were not the predatory things they were, but the wizarding world does not bother.

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