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Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 1) 252 252

Actually the exact opposite is true.

Which is necessarily true in any kind of fashion, even if it's anti-fashion. Hipsterism is a kind of contrarianism; the attraction is having things that most other people don't even know about. But strict contrarianism is morally indistinguishable from strict conformism.

Now outside of major metropolitan centers like Manhattan when people say "hipster" they mean something else; there's not enough of a critical mass of non-conformity to cater to an actual "hipster" class. What they're really talking about is "kids taking part in trends I'm not included in." In other words its the same-old, same-old grousing about kids these days, only now by people who've spent their lives as the focus of youth culture and can't deal with their new-found cultural marginalization.

As you get older the gracious thing to do is to age out of concern, one way or the other, with fashion.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 2) 252 252

I thought hipsters all owned iPhone and Macbooks, and shopped at The Gap. I.e. they are all about conformity, fads and Buzzfeed.

No, those things are actually anti-hip. As soon as something gets big enough for Buzzfeed it's for a different audience.

"Hip" implies arcane knowledge possessed by a select few. A great band with a small local following is "hip"; when they make it big they're no longer "hip", although they may still be "cool". The iPhone is pretty much the antithesis of hip, no matter how cool it may be. If I were to guess what hipster phone model might look like, it might be something low-cost Indian android phone manufactured for the local market and not intended for export -- very rare and hard to get outside of India. Or even better, hard to get outside of Gujarat. Or even better only a few hundred were ever manufactured then the company went bankrupt and the stock was sold on the street in Ahmedabad. Provided that the phone is cool. Cool plus obscure is the formula for "hip".

It follows there is no such thing as "hip" retail chain. It's a contradiction in terms. A chain may position itself in its marketing as "hip", but it's really after what the tech adoption cycle refers to as "Early Majority" adopters.

Hipsters reject being the leading edge of anything; as soon as something becomes big, it is no longer hip. This means they're not economically valuable on a large scale, which some people see as self-centered and anti-social. Compare this to cosplayers; the media always adopts a kind of well-the-circus-is-in-town attitude when there's a con, but while they're condescending toward cosplayers the media can't afford to be hostile because those people are the important early adopters for economically valuable media franchises.

Let me give you a more authentic hipster trend than the one you named. Last year there was a fad for hipster men to buy black fedora hats from Brooklyn shops that cater to Hasidic men. While as soon as something gets big enough to draw media attention it's dead to hipsters, this fad illustrates the elements of hipster aesthetic: (1) resurrecting obscure and obsolete fashions; (2) exoticism or syncretism; and (3) authenticity.

Now from an objective standpoint there's no good reason to favor or disfavor fedoras as opposed to, say baseball caps. It's just a different fashion. Likewise there's no practical reason to value a hat from a owner-operated store in Brooklyn over an identical one purchased from Amazon. But it does add rarity value, and that's the key. Something has to be rare and unusual to be hip. As soon as hipness is productized it appeals to a different audience.

Comment: Re:Because...it's the LAW! (Score 2) 291 291

"extremely" high is an exaggeration. Quite a lot of us who are liberal are also against gun control, I can't say I've met more than a handful of true gun control advocates in my travels. There are a number of people who want strong gun control, but I'm not sure how large this group of people is. I usually equate them to Mother's Against Drunk Driving, who continue to try to essentially ban alcohol sales or consumption any time the issue is raised, and are very effective at keeping old anti-alcohol laws on the books (in several different states I've lived). They remain a minority, but a powerful one in that they can be relied upon to consistently fight for their beliefs, even though it is usually a losing battle.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 3, Insightful) 252 252

Is this just another term for hipsters? People who seek out things that everyone else has dismissed for (usually) good reasons.

No. Because the "good reason" usually is "most people aren't doing that anymore." The article is about things that *never* become cool, not things that were cool in grandpa's day.

The real problem with being a hipster is that the ideal of non-conformity is inconsistent with the idea of fashion.

Comment: Re:Drop the hammer on them. (Score 5, Insightful) 1147 1147

"Drop the hammer on them."

That's the easy part. The hard part is dealing with what happens after the hammer has been dropped.

Someone once said that the definition of a bad policy is one that leads to a place where you have nothing but bad options. I believe everyone (not just the Greeks) thought back in 2000 it woudl be good policy to bring Greece into the Eurozone. But now we've now reached the point where otherwise rational people are talking about "dropping the hammer", as if having an incipient failed state in Europe is a small price to pay for 600 euro in your pocket. The frustration is understandable, but the the satisfaction of dropping the hammer on Greece would be short-lived -- possibly on the order of weeks depending on the scale of financial disruption.

The unhappy truth is that bad policy choices fifteen years ago means all the options available today lead to long-lived, complicated, and expensive consequences.

Comment: Re:Slippery slope (Score 1) 265 265

I'll tell you up-front that I do believe in a God and that this God is the uncaused cause that set everything else into motion. As this is a personal belief, it won't have much to do with my response to you, but I thought I'd mention it to add some perspective. By "personal belief", I mean "go form your own". I for one cannot stand the mindless group-think experience of most churches I've visited and the "security" of being surrounded by the like-minded is worthless. I think Big Questions like "is there a God?" are things you have to decide for yourself.

OK. I find the belief in unfounded god/s is one of the leading causes of murder, rape and mutilation etc throughout history. It has also repeatedly held humanity's progress back and tend to be non-democratic and unreasonable in nature having no place in schools or modern life in general.

The massive mainstream religions have become like a corrupt government. They served a purpose and provided people something they felt they needed, but various control freaks long ago realized they can also be used to control people. Like Jim Marrs says, religion and the monetary system are the two major methods of controlling people. This doesn't mean that currency of some kind has no legitimate use (barter has lots of problems) and it likewise doesn't mean that religion can only control people.

I mean, I've read the Bible. I'm not an expert, but I can say that I'm well familiar with it, specifically the words of Jesus Christ. When I read the words attributed to him, I see exhortations to be humble, to love your neighbor as you love yourself, the importance of forgiveness, turn the other cheek, etc. I've read multiple translations and they all agree on this point. I just can't find any teaching of Jesus that can be construed as "murder, rape, torture, etc are all perfectly acceptable". Those calling themselves Christian and claiming to have read the same Bible should have observed the same.

I argue that if there was a god he/she/it would not need any believers nor would he need them to be offended to defend his/her/its name or honour.

The actual concern for this comes from the idea that the Creator wants to have a relationship with the created, rather than just watch us like an aquarium or snow globe. It's also believed that people have an inherent longing for such a connection and don't have a full life without it.

The perversion used to control people is this idea that you must behave a certain way and become a certain typecast sort of person or else you're faulty in some serious way. It's just a way to enforce conformity, not in a "top-down" way but in such a way that the conformists themselves would feel ashamed to appear otherwise.

I've also argued to more than one religious person, that I doubt a term like "god dammit" would actually offend any serious God-concept. It seems like a childish position to me, to envision God as some sort of scolding parent. I know human beings who wouldn't actually be offended by terms they dislike; why should Almighty God be more petty than they? It just makes no sense to me.

If I believe, wholly and deeply in divine pink unicorns a legislation demanding that others respect such an unfounded belief would be an insult.

If you also had multiple witnesses providing written accounts of this, and said unicorns performed what appeared to be miracles in front of large crowds, and many people found this convincing and credible, well then you might be onto something.

The very questioning of belief is repeatedly a cause to offend some. After all, the only unforgivable sin is to deny the holy spirit, should such a spirit exist in the unlikely event that spirits become factual.

My own concept of God includes a desire for us to question everything worthwhile, and this certainly qualifies. Einstein said "the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible". I personally wouldn't want to create mindless robots with no sense of awe or mystery, no genuinely satisfying curiosity; they would never reach their full potential. If I can see what would be direly wrong with that, I assume a being infinitely more advanced than myself can also see this.

If by "unforgivable sin" you refer to Mark 3:22-30 and Matthew 12:31-32, this refers to permanently rejecting the Holy Spirit. In the context of Mark 3:22-30 the Pharisees tried to falsely attribute Jesus's powers to Satan ("ruler of the demons"). This represents a conscious rejection, a misunderstanding so profound that its bearer actively resists truth, even when it happens in front of them. It's the idea of someone seeing an act of God and calling it evil. In many matters not involving religion, this is how psychotic people operate: they've convinced themselves that the wrong thing to do is expedient, justified, expected, etc and therefore good ("greater good" is a common one).

Like Bill Hicks mentioned, I personally suspect that we are God's way of experiencing Itself subjectively. That would make questioning, reasoning, and personal refinement all the more important.

Not exactly a front-page story anymore, but when I read your post, it got me thinking.

Comment: Same here. (Score 1) 634 634

I have similar issues:
  - Towing several tons (travel trailer or 23 foot trailerable-with-extreme-trailer deep-keel coastal-water-ocean-capable sailboat) up and down mountains and cross-country.
  - Going to/from the ranch - over 250 miles one way (over the Altamont grade, across the central valley, and through a pass in the Sierras) - with the last 0.7 miles sometimes hubcap-deep mud.
  - Carrying ranch groceries for several months and/or other supplies or equipment from the nearest supermarket etc. - 27 miles away.
and so on.
  - Off-roading to visit ghost towns and other historic sites in the Nevada Desert - where "running out of gas" - in the absence of cell phone service - might mean your skeletons are discovered in a couple years.

On the other hand, for trips about 3/4 of the year and NOT towing, a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle with sufficient range, serious regenerative braking, and adequate cargo capacity for two week's groceries and luggage for two, would be ideal. Charge it up at each end (off a windmill/solar at the Nevada end) to start full, use regenerative braking on the downslopes to power across the valley or up the next up slope. For a hybrid: Top off the batteries while cruising the central valley and use batteries plus engine to avoid being a creeping traffic hazard on the mountain roads.

My cycle would be almost identical to a Silicon Valley worker who mostly commutes 25 miles each way and occasionally vacations at the Lake Tahoe ski resorts or Reno or camps in the Sierras. A single vehicle that could do both - rather than needing two vehicles to accommodate the use pattern - would be ideal.

Comment: About three days work, but PITA (Score 1) 369 369

Basically an loading tool with a bug I knew from testing, you could set it correctly once in production but if you set it twice every user was f*cked up and could only be fixed from the web interface by about 5 clicks per user, no programmatic solution. And of course we had an error in the production setup, I altered that part - which I could - but forgot to take out the "you can run this only once" settings. Hundreds of users borked and the vendor support would take forever or claim there's no other way, what do?

This was a consulting company, trying to bill this would look bad on both our vendor and ourselves and it pretty much broke everything so we gave a benched consultant the assignment from hell. Click here, here, browse, pick, save in this somewhat less than instant web interface. Now do that all day, every day for all users until you're done. Personally I'd be ready to jump off the roof after an hour, but apparently she stuck to it for three days and finished. I don't think we won any popularity points with her though.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 369 369

Or pulling the network cable. You have to plan for idiots, because there will be idiots. And odds are, they will outrank you.

Since this was a server unless he was at the console copying it off to a USB stick he'd probably hook the server back up to the network so he could copy it to his client.

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 634 634

The problem is that the overall experience is more of a PITA than just shoving fuel in the tank. Obviously this assumes you ignore externalities, but that's the norm so it's a safe assumption. Once more of these issues are ironed out then there will be less anxiety and more purchases.

He's got so many problems in that video that it's probably staged for click bait, so it can be linked to by EV opponents. Like the cable, that's staged. Every charger map has a filter and you only need to set it right once. I don't know anyone else who hasn't been able to pay for power, usually they have all the ordinary credit/debit/cell phone payment options in addition to the EV-specific cards. With broken chargers and drive problems, well that's bad luck on top of everything else. Not to mention he's trying for something the car's not planned for at all.

First of all, it has a 74 mile range and he's planning a 350 mile drive. The last 20% is really slow, so in practice the fill-ups will be 60 miles max so he'll need at least five full recharges even assuming they're perfectly spaced and he'll run close to zero range. If you want a 5 mile margin and estimating that the chargers are 5 miles from where you'd like them to be 50 miles is more realistic. That's six 80% recharges in a day, at least half an hour each so three hours total. Any sane person would say let's not do that, just rent a Tesla/ICE or take the plane or whatever.

He's abusing the range extender to carry on, but I like the basic idea that if there's a screw-up you can solve it with a little gas instead of being stranded or stuck on a slow charger. Like big boats also have small rescue boats, you know in case of emergency. Hopefully more EVs will come with that option.

Comment: Re:Hillary Clinton says: (Score 3, Interesting) 264 264

Then you lack a moral compass and need t get some help. I'm suggesting that when you know the fucker is guilty, you put his ass in jail, not defend him.

If your defense lawyer won't offer competent counsel it won't ever be a fair trial. Everybody speculates, even defense lawyers. The prosecutor, the judge, the jury members, the journalists, everyone on the peanut gallery got a personal opinion. You can pick one from the lynch mob as judge, jury and executioner and you got the court of personal opinion instead of the court of public opinion, it's still a shitty system.

That's why we have a system built on evidence. The prosecutor lays out the evidence in favor, the defense lawyer the evidence against, the judge is the referee and the jury decides if it's proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Now certainly there's a lot of subjective evaluation on what testimony is credible, evidence is reliable, theories are plausible and so on.

It's not supposed to be gut feel speculation based on superficial appearance and behavior, maybe you get an impression he's creepy and sleazy "hood rat" but that doesn't make him more guilty.than a slick smooth talker in a suit. At least it's not supposed to, but that's what personal opinion often is - how well the person in front of us matches the mental image we have of "that kind" of person.

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