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Comment: Re:Books (Score 1) 679

I think you make a very good point. I wasn't close to my grandparents and I would very much like to have heard about their lives. My mom and I had a close relationship and I'm glad I don't have a bunch of videos for exactly the reason you say -- it would be too much ... too much something. Don't know how to say it.

There's an interesting This American Life about a person who's mother left a pile of letters to be opened once per year on the daughter's birthday, and one for her wedding. It started out very good, but ended not so great (see Act 1) ("... you shouldn't be dragged back into the grave with them every year ...):


So I started this post, listened again to that TAL episode, and coming back to this post, will sort of disagree with what I said at first. I still think periodic mailing is a bad idea, but maybe the poster could make the videos, but they would be given to the daughter immediately after the funeral, and in a whole pile all at once (backups kept somewhere in case of accidental or intentional destruction). Then in the future, if she chooses, she can watch what she wants -- all, some, or none. This leaves watching as a choice she may or may not exercise -- in contrast, the periodic shipment seems like it has a good chance of becoming a source of resentment and pain (i.e., why should a ghost appear on the wedding to potentially create great sadness or feelings of being a disappointment or whatever).

Comment: Re:Books (Score 1) 679

I lost my mom -- had the same reaction you had. For me, the tapes would have become a huge burden and source of anxiety.

And it's been a while since I read the Foundation Series, but didn't Hari Seldon's eventually diverge from current events? Even he couldn't manage a perfect set of videos.

Comment: Re:Instilling values more important (Score 2) 679

That isn't a hurt she might want to work thru in the midst of other big life events. She might be really having fun with her friends on graduation day and not feel like opening that wound, and if she does not sit down and watch the video of day feel guilty at betraying your memory.

This is really insightful. My mom died when I was 20, which is probably better than if she had died when I was 6 -- or maybe worse, I don't know. I skipped my graduation ceremony for college and graduate school (no second parent either). I buried myself in doing things, hard and difficult things, as a way to alleviate the pain. I really don't know if I'd want to have to relive that pain periodically by watching videos. In fact I know I wouldn't have -- I'd inevitably feel like I was in some way, disappointing a ghost or missing that person or some other random negative emotion.

I probably didn't deal with things the right way when my mom died, and my response affected my whole life. I still will pick up a subject of one kind or another and totally immerse myself in it -- just like I did back then -- but now it is out of habit. It isn't even a joy thing. It's simply a means to get to a state of not-existing. I suppose it is better than having had used alcohol or drugs to achieve that feeling, but finding and engaging in new subjects at a totally immersive compulsive level isn't exactly healthy either.

I don't know what to to tell the poster -- I don't think I'm saying "don't leave videos" -- I was older and more aware than I would have been at six, I didn't have a second parent to pick up the slack, and I had my own personality oddities fully baked in. But, he should consider that it is possible that the kindest thing he can do, is to not leave a stack of videos. That making and leaving these videos is perhaps his way to not think about the disease and while they are a comfort to him, they would be a huge burden to his daughter.

Just last year while moving, I found a short final thoughts note my mom left for me, and I just totally broke down over it. That was a year ago and it still haunts me a little. A video would have been debilitating, at least for me.

Comment: Re:get to work (Score 1) 282

by anagama (#49129247) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

2) If you want to actually use (G)PG(P) your recipient also has to grok it, install software to use it, and you have to exchange keys. This is a massive hurdle to overcome for all but the most dedicated cryptonerds. Until there is a majority of people who want to use encrypted mail, that will carry on being the case.

Of the hundreds of people I exchange email with, about four regularly use encryption. Even amongst people who value privacy, GPG use is rare. It doesn't seem like it should be hard, but it is, and there are some confusing things about it. For example, adding a public key requires closing and restarting the email app for it to work, but there isn't even a popup that notifies about this. Recipe for frustration and rejection.

Comment: Re: Oh bullshit! (Score 1) 298

by anagama (#49124691) Attached to: FedEx Won't Ship DIY Gunsmithing Machine

You mean Democrats, the New GOP, right? A more pro-war, pro-surveillance, pro-wall-street group of assholes could only be found ... nowhere. The difference between the Old GOP and the New GOP can be summed up in total over the issues of abortion and gay marriage. Other than that, the two groups are entirely fungible.

Seriously, Democrats today are to the right of Nixon and do everything he loved to do (war and surveil) and one thing he couldn't do (Nixon Care, conveniently relabeled Obama Care).

So get over yourself -- you're just a blue team neo-con no better than a red team neo-con.

Comment: Re:You are free to have killer robots (Score 1) 318

This AC needs modding up. The real problem with a robotic army is that the soldiers are safe and war becomes an easy go-to solution whereas constituents tend to get pissed and fail to re-elect people they think are spilling blood for no reason. Making war cheap, in the shed blood sense, is a very bad idea.

Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 1) 303

by anagama (#49115755) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

How much would you pay for a copy of Windows 3.1? I'm no Microsoft shill -- I don't even use Windows -- but the people paying for Windows today aren't paying for something that was laid down on a disc 20 years ago. They're paying for ongoing updates, bug fixes, increased functionality, wholly different functionality, etc. etc. That Alanis Morrisette song "Isn't It Ironic" -- it's just as grammatically fucked up as it ever was despite being out there for the last 20 years.

Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 1) 303

by anagama (#49115409) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Same with me -- I rarely listen to music while driving these days. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks. I remember as a teen riding around with my Grandpa being annoyed at him listening to AM talk radio rather than playing music. Now I'm doing essentially the same thing, just with better technology.

Comment: Re:*Ironic* Pesticides for humans (Score 1) 224

by anagama (#49113915) Attached to: 100 Years of Chemical Weapons

Radio Lab did an interesting show on Fritz Haber -- his work resulted in commercial fertilizer without which we'd probably have five or six billion fewer people on the planet because you can't mine guano forever at a rate faster than it is replaced, but he also pioneered one of the most gruesome weapons out there. It's a very strange tale.

Radio Lab episode:

Commercial fertilizer:


Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 3, Interesting) 303

by anagama (#49113695) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

This is true. When I was a kid in the 80s (teen years), I bought lots of records and CDs. By my late 20s (late 90s), that had dwindled considerably, more so in my 30s, and now that I'm in my late 40s, I basically buy no music. Maybe a song per year on average, if that much. I don't engage in filesharing.

So the $30 or $40 I spend per year on Pandora for an ad free account, which I use probably less than 10 hours per month, is comprised in part of money I would never have given the music industry in the absence of something like Pandora. Note, it isn't that Pandora caused me stop buying music -- I had already stopped more than a decade before I started listening to Pandora. For the music industry, whatever they get out of my Pandora usage should be considered pure gravy that they wouldn't have gotten if Pandora or something like it did not exist.

Comment: Re:How does this compare to radio? (Score 0) 303

by anagama (#49113461) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

I have a paid pandora account. After about a month of liking and disliking stuff, the "station" became very good -- now, a year after starting it, I hear a song I don't like maybe once in two hours.

With radio, going off my recollection from the bad old days, I mostly heard ads and music I didn't like and maybe a song or two I wanted to listen to once per hour.

As for the price Pandora is paying, is anyone asking whether Spotify is paying too much? Anyone with a song Pandora is playing has something like 100 years or whatever ridiculous term copyrights last, to milk it. If it gto a million plays per year, that's $100k for one song. $1M for ten songs. A high school graduate can expect to make $1.2M in an entire lifetime:

Comment: Re:Tough to fix. But. (Score 1) 182

by anagama (#49105665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

I agree with almost all of this, and it seems you have a real interest in protecting the interests of the little guy so to speak, but #16 wholly runs against that grain. If you take out the teeth from civil lawsuits, you empower Ford to never stop making Pintos, or fertilizer manufacturers to blow up as many neighborhoods as they want. This would be a massive form of corporate welfare that would benefit large monied interests and make regular people incapable of striking back in any meaningful manner.

Comment: Re:Another silly decision (Score 1) 480

by anagama (#49035025) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

I rented for a long time -- ten years -- and recently "bought" a house. The fact is, most people borrow the money to get a house, I know I did. So in the first instance, I was renting a property directly, but the second is like renting money to buy a property. In the second instance, there's a whole lot of extra maintenance issues that aren't included in the monthly payment either and so I figure I'm paying roughly double to rent the money to buy a house than I paid to rent a (very nice waterfront) apartment. Obviously there are reasons I felt it was worth it when I rented the money to buy this house, but I'll be honest, those reasons seem less valid over time. Especially after a plumber leaves you a $2000 bill (yes, I had the inspection).

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose