2 m ago in Quotes
Some people spend their lives interested only in themselves. Almost all Japanese animation is produced with hardly any basis taken from observing real people, you know. It’s produced by humans who can’t stand looking at other humans.
 3 m ago in Zitate
Wie unterschwellig solche Mechanismen funktionieren, zeigt folgendes Beispiel (vgl. Tages-Anzeiger, T.A., Zürich vom 11.2.1994). Beim Aussteigen aus einer Straßenbahn fühlt sich ein siebenundsiebzigjähriger Mann von einem anderen Mann behindert, weil dieser, da er mit dem Fahrer spricht, den Ausstieg blockiert. Der ältere Mann zieht einen Revolver, gibt aus einer Distanz von zwei bis drei Metern vier Schüsse auf den anderen ab und verschwindet. Zufällig wird der Schütze vier Wochen später in einem Restaurant wiedererkannt und verhaftet. Er streitet ab, geschossen zu haben, trägt aber eine Waffe ohne Waffenschein bei sich. Bei der Durchsuchung seines Hauses entdeckt die Polizei ein Waffenlager. Schließlich gesteht der Mann die Tat. Er macht jedoch geltend, "im Affekt" gehandelt zu haben, vom anderen "erschreckt" worden zu sein.

Eine gerichtliche Untersuchung wird eingeleitet und dann eingestellt. Laut Stellungnahme der Staatsanwältin habe sich der Siebenundsiebzigjährige in einem "Sachverhaltsirrtum" befunden. Er habe irrtümlich angenommen, er befinde sich in einer Notwehrsituation und sei deshalb berechtigt gewesen, sich zu wehren. Es sei verständlich, so die Staatsanwältin, daß er "übersensibel auf aggressive Spannungen und Äußerungen" reagiere.

"Was habe ich getan", fragte das Opfer einen Journalisten, "daß er auf mich schießen durfte?"

Wie sollen wir das "Mitgefühl" dieser Staatsanwältin verstehen? Warum stellt sie sich auf die Seite des Täters und schützt andere Bürger nicht vor ihm? Gibt ihre Haltung nicht jedem die Erlaubnis, zu morden? Was ist das für ein Mitgefühl, das uns gegen unsere eigenen Bedürfnisse und Interessen verstoßen, das uns den Schmerz des Opfers beiseiteschieben läßt und die tödliche Gefahr, die vom Täter ausgeht, verneint?
"Der Verlust des Mitgefühls"
 3 m ago in Quotes
I often warn people: "Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity.
 3 m ago in Stuff

war is hell and the military is full of it

U.S. Army on Twitter: "How has serving impacted you?"

some of the responses:

lemme think

I didn’t serve but my brother did
he never went to war but still shot himself in the head so

he was the sweetest most tender person I’ll ever know and the @USArmy ruined him

oh wait I have another brother who served also without fighting

he’s been fucked up in the head paranoid and violent for forty years ever since and I don’t even know where he is or if he’s still alive

and the stories he told FROM STATESIDE

Dad served in Vietnam as Navy artillery mechanic, spent most of his time in combat. Watched all his friends die when his PBR was blown up in middle of night. Hospital pulled out some shrapnel, badly stitched him up, & sent him right back to work on the next boat, same day.

Dad spent next several decades drinking because that was what passed for mental health treatment at local VA office. He had horrific nightmares for long time & would wake us with his screaming. He doesn't scream as much anymore, but still won't talk about his experience.

On Veteran's Day while the military Twitter account is tweeting platitudes, my dad gets the most expensive hard liquor he can afford, toasts to the lives his friends never had a chance to live, and ends the day drunk and sobbing. He made us swear to never join the military.

I’ve only seen my father smile in pictures. I was a baby when he went to Vietnam. The things he saw and did there broke him inside. There was no joy in life for him anymore. He finally shot himself in his study one afternoon, I found him when I came home. I was 8.

My grandfather served in Korea. One day they told him he could go back home if he signed on a list. He signed it, and they shipped him off to Nevada without his knowledge and tested the effects of radiation exposure on him. The VA didn’t want to have him a single damn dime...

Starting in 2014-15 he slowly became paralyzed from the upper chest down and had to have a feeding tube put in his stomach. The VA still gave nothing to him. The effects of his radiation exposure slowly but surely began to show from 2014 onwards and only got much worse.

He did eventually get his disability and benefits. But it was a 5 year long battle with the VA for every dime and dollar. They tried everything to refuse his rightful compensation. On May 28 2018, last Memorial Day. He died of asphyxiation....

The US Army to all that:

To everyone who responded to this thread, thank you for sharing your story. Your stories are real, they matter, and they may help others in similar situations. The Army is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our Soldiers.

As we honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice this weekend by remembering their service, we are also mindful of the fact that we have to take care of those who came back home with scars we can't see.

You know what, when you send off innocent people to murder other innocent people, for the profit of others, eventual "scars" are rather predictable.
 3 m ago in Quotes
When you get more experienced most of these things make me laugh or cry (depending on the siuation); it does not matter what companies like FB, Google do; people on HN or Reddit will take it and do it to the extreme: we now ‘need to’ use React for everything; if it does not fit, just beat it with a hammer until it does. Kubernetes and microservices must be used for every tiny little part if the app even if it causes a lot more overhead in performance/memory use (computers are cheap and fast!) or debugging. Abstract almost everything! (Java + OOP, Javascript and the npm mess) to Abstract almost nothing! (Go w/o generics), Make everything reusable (left-pad), Rewrite everything in JS!, Rust!, Go! etc etc. Everyone is running after eachother and doing it more extreme and the end result is just as shit as if you would not have done that at all and just thought about it bit before opening some IDE and codegenerate you million lines of boilerplate with the instable and slow framework-du-jour. As an older coder I sigh when a codebase is taken out of the ‘mothballs’ even 6-12 months after creation and people cannot get it running because everything they used is outdated because the framework and library authors move fast and break everything all the time. And ofcourse it is in an outdated language / framework(Ruby on Rails is soooo pase) so noone knows anything , it uses the 358 most popular DSLs (350 unmaintained since january) at the time so unless you drank the same coolaid it is a nightmare spelonking adventure.

At least Dijkstra had sound mathematical reasoning for his arguments and wrote about them eloquently (and with good humor I may add); most of what is peddled in the hipster coding circles is a smooth talk by a gifted social media frontman that has no solid basis in anything besides that the person is popular. I do not even understand how people dare to put their name on complete messes like npm or one line npm packages unless it is a joke. I assume things like leftpad are in fact a joke; if they are not I would have to cry myself to sleep every night. So I just lie and say it is funny.
 3 m ago in Quotes
As long as we continue to have children, or accept people having children, we have chosen - as a species - to not give up on them, and their descendants.

Preserving a livable environment, and preferably much more than livable, is simply a duty springing from that fact.

There is no need for any deep philosophy, to care for the environment is - essentially - a consequence of choices already made.
 3 m ago in Meta Collection

Communication / Alienation

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
The easy possibility to write letters must - seen theoretically - have brought a terrible disruption of the souls into the world. It is communication with ghosts, and not just with the ghost of the receiver, but with one's own ghost as well, which develops under the hand in the letter one is writing, or even in a series of letters, where on letter substantiates the other and can call on it as witness. How could the idea come up that humans can communicate with each other through letters! One can think of a person that is far away, or touch a person that is close by, everything else is above the power of humans. But writing letters means to bare oneself in front of the ghosts, which they are greedily waiting for. Written kisses don't arrive at their place, but get drunk out by the ghosts on the way. Because of this plentiful food they multiply so outrageously. Humanity is feeling that and fighting against it, it has, to disable the ghostly between humans, and to achieve the natural communication, the peace of souls, invented the train, the car, the airplane, but it's too late, apparently they are inventions made while falling, the opponent is so much calmer and stronger, and invented after mail the telegraph, the telephone, wireless telegraphy. The ghosts won't starve, but we will perish.
letter to Milena Jesenská (March 1922)
You have to remember that in democratic societies citizens talking with each other is very important. We've lost a lot of that with the mass media. Now we have an opportunity for citizens to create their own communications with each other. So when these big deals with the big companies and the big governments carve up this new territory, I feel it's very important that we keep a kind of "social green belt", that we keep the ability for citizens to talk amongst each other.
How odd I can have all this inside me and to you it’s just words.
From a philosophical viewpoint, the danger inherent in the new reality of mankind seems to be that this unity, based on the technical means of communication and violence, destroys all national traditions and buries the authentic origins of all human existence. This destructive process can even be considered a necessary prerequisite for ultimate understanding between men of all cultures, civilizations, races, and nations. Its result would be a shallowness that would transform man, as we have known him in five thousand years of recorded history, beyond recognition. It would be more than mere superficiality; it would be as though the whole dimension of depth, without which human thought, even on the mere level of technical invention, could not exist, would simply disappear. This leveling down would be much more radical than the leveling to the lowest common denominator; it would ultimately arrive at a denominator of which we have hardly any notion today.

As long as one conceives of truth as separate and distinct from its expression, as something which by itself is uncommunicative and neither communicates itself to reason nor appeals to "existential" experience, it is almost impossible not to believe that this destructive process will inevitably be triggered off by the sheer automatism of technology which made the world one and, in a sense, united mankind. It looks as though the historical pasts of the-nations, in their utter diversity and disparity, in their confusing variety and bewildering strangeness for each other, are nothing but obstacles on the road to a horridly shallow unity. This, of course, is a delusion; if the dimension of depth out of which modern science and technology have developed ever were destroyed, the probability is that the new unity of mankind could not even technically survive. Everything then seems to depend upon the possibility of bringing the national pasts, in their original disparateness, into communication with each other as the only way to catch up with the global system of communication which covers the surface of the earth.
"Men in Dark Times"
The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful.
I'm rapidly becoming anti-tech, and I live and breathe tech. People no longer seem to know how to actually talk to each other, unless they already agree 100% with each others positions on any given subject. I don't see all of this heading in a positive direction for humanity, and I think we see that unfolding all around us, every day.
In all major socializing forces you will find an underlying movement to gain and maintain power through the use of words. From witch doctor to priest to bureaucrat it is all the same. A governed populace must be conditioned to accept power-words as actual things, to confuse the symbolized system with the tangible universe. In the maintenance of such a power structure, certain symbols are kept out of the reach of common understanding – symbols such as those dealing with economic manipulation of those which define the local interpretation of sanity. Symbol-secrecy of this form leads to the development of fragmented sub-languages, each being a signal that its users are accumulating some form of power.
"Children of Dune"
Our main way of relating ourselves to others is like things relate themselves to things on the market. We want to exchange our own personality, or as one says sometimes, our "personality package", for something. Now, this is not so true for the manual workers. The manual worker does not have to sell his personality. He doesn't have to sell his smile. But what you might call the "symbolpushers" , that is to say, all the people who deal with figures, with paper, with men, who manipulate - to use a better, or nicer, word - manipulate men and signs and words, all those today have not only to sell their service but in the bargain they're to sell their personality, more or less. There are exceptions.
The whole concept of alienation found its first expression in Western thought in the Old Testament concept of idolatry. The essence of what the prophets call "idolatry" is not that man worships many gods instead of only one. It is that the idols are the work of man's own hands -- they are things, and man bows down and worships things; worships that which he has created himself. In doing so he transforms himself into a thing. He transfers to the things of his creation the attributes of his own life, and instead of experiencing himself as the creating person, he is in touch with himself only by the worship of the idol. He has become estranged from his own life forces, from the wealth of his own potentialities, and is in touch with himself only in the indirect way of submission to life frozen in the idols. The deadness and emptiness of the idol is expressed in the Old Testament: "Eyes they have and they do not see, ears they have and they do not hear," etc. The more man transfers his own powers to the idols, the poorer he himself becomes, and the more dependent on the idols, so that they permit him to redeem a small part of what was originally his. The idols can be a godlike figure, the state, the church, a person, possessions. Idolatry changes its objects; it is by no means to be found only in those forms in which the idol has a so-called religious meaning. Idolatry is always the worship of something into which man has put his own creative powers, and to which he now submits, instead of experiencing himself in his creative act.

Among the many forms of alienation, the most frequent one is alienation in language. If I express a feeling with a word, let us say, if I say "I love you," the word is meant to be an indication of the reality which exists within myself, the power of my loving. The word "love" is meant to be a symbol of the fact love, but as soon as it is spoken it tends to assume a life of its own, it becomes a reality. I am under the illusion that the saying of the word is the equivalent of the experience, and soon I say the word and feel nothing, except the thought of love which the word expresses. The alienation of language shows the whole complexity of alienation. Language is one of the most precious human achievements; to avoid alienation by not speaking would be foolish -- yet one must be always aware of the danger of the spoken word, that it threatens to substitute itself for the living experience. The same holds true for all other achievements of man; ideas, art, any kind of man-made objects. They are man's creations; they are valuable aids for life, yet each one of them is also a trap, a temptation to confuse life with things, experience with artifacts, feeling with surrender and submission.
I haven't got a speech. I didn't plan words. I didn't even try to I just knew I had to get here, to stand here, and I wanted you to listen.

To really listen, not just pull a face like you're listening, like you do the rest of the time. A face that you're feeling instead of processing.

You pull a face, and poke it towards the stage, and we lah-di-dah, we sing and dance and tumble around. And all you see up here, it's not people, you don't see people up here, it's all fodder. And the faker the fodder, the more you love it, because fake fodder's the only thing that works any more. It's all that we can stomach.

Actually, not quite all. Real pain, real viciousness, that, we can take. Yeah, stick a fat man up a pole. We laugh ourselves feral, because we've earned the right, we've done cell time and he's slacking, the scum, so ha-ha-ha at him!

Because we're so out of our minds with desperation, we don't know any better. All we know is fake fodder and buying shit. That's how we speak to each other, how we express ourselves, is buying shit.

What, I have a dream? The peak of our dreams is a new app for our Dopple, it doesn't exist! It's not even there! We buy shit that's not even there.

Show us something real and free and beautiful. You couldn't.

Yeah? It'd break us. We're too numb for it. I might as well choke. It's only so much wonder we can bear.

When you find any wonder whatsoever, you dole it out in meagre portions. Only then until it's augmented, packaged, and pumped through 10,000 preassigned filters till it's nothing more than a meaningless series of lights, while we ride day in day out, going where? Powering what? All tiny cells and tiny screens and bigger cells and bigger screens and fuck you!

Fuck you, that's what it boils down to. Fuck you for sitting there and slowly making things worse. Fuck you and your spotlight and your sanctimonious faces.

Fuck you all for thinking the one thing I came close to never meant anything. For oozing around it and crushing it into a bone, into a joke. One more ugly joke in a kingdom of millions.

Fuck you for happening. Fuck you for me, for us, for everyone.

Fuck you!
The Black Mirror
[..]

The horseman serves the horse,
The neatherd serves the neat,
The merchant serves the purse, 
The eater serves his meat;
'T is the day of the chattel,
Web to weave, and corn to grind;
Things are in the saddle,
And ride mankind.

There are two laws discrete,
Not reconciled,--
Law for man, and law for thing;
The last builds town and fleet,
But it runs wild,
And doth the man unking.
'T is fit the forest fall,
The steep be graded,
The mountain tunnelled,
The sand shaded,
The orchard planted,
The glebe tilled,
The prairie granted,
The steamer built.

Let man serve law for man;
Live for friendship, live for love,
For truth's and harmony's behoof;
The state may follow how it can,
As Olympus follows Jove.

[..]
"Ode Inscribed to W. H. Channing"

 3 m ago in Quotes
In all major socializing forces you will find an underlying movement to gain and maintain power through the use of words. From witch doctor to priest to bureaucrat it is all the same. A governed populace must be conditioned to accept power-words as actual things, to confuse the symbolized system with the tangible universe. In the maintenance of such a power structure, certain symbols are kept out of the reach of common understanding – symbols such as those dealing with economic manipulation of those which define the local interpretation of sanity. Symbol-secrecy of this form leads to the development of fragmented sub-languages, each being a signal that its users are accumulating some form of power.
"Children of Dune"
 3 m ago in Updates
  • download filenames have the year, month and day appended to the filename
  • profiles can set a prefix that gets prefixed to all download filenames
 3 m ago in Quotes
This is what happens when academics want to get on the juicy lecture circuit and seduce starry-eyed graduate students.

Hell no. There are no academics in the sovereign citizen/freeman movement.

That is what happens when people who are down in the pecking order first see rich people doing whatever they want and getting away with it, and then someone comes and tells them that they too can do whatever as long as they follow these simple steps.
 3 m ago in Quotes
Frankly, most people have a grossly stunted sense of empathy, with exceptions only for those things that they have firsthand life experience with. An instructive contrast is media depictions of sexual violence against women: for a couple of decades, there has been a concerted effort to decry media depictions of violence against women (sexual or otherwise) that are perceived as unnecessary or trivializing. The success of these campaigns is to be lauded, but what they reveal about how empathy-bankrupt monsters most people are is sort of chilling: people en masse can be taught to play-act empathy by rote if it's drilled into their head that a particular case is no longer socially acceptable, but they don't seem to be capable (en masse) of practicing the skill of empathy itself.

For anyone who watches Game of Thrones: Compare the huge outcry against the depiction of Sansa's marital rape to _an entire season_ of infinitely more gruesome torture porn by the same perpetrator against a male victim, which included genital mutilation. Despite being a far more egregious and lengthy display of gratuitous and stomach-turning violence, the latter caused no backlash whatsoever, and is in fact still fodder for jokes about Game of Thrones-themed foods ("Theon's Flayed Sausage"), including from publications like Huffington Post which were some of the loudest complainants about how unforgivable the former scene was.

TL;DR: It's not a particularly popular opinion, but most people are far more depraved and far less capable of basic human empathy than even their own ostensible moral standards would imply. Like you, I can't relate to how people watch that stuff, but I can definitely understand it.
 4 m ago in Quotes
It’s Facebook. You’re the product, not the customer. The hot dog rolls at the supermarket don’t get a complaint button either.
 4 m ago in Quotes
[..] being a weirdo with eccentricities and preferences wasn’t something that demanded medication and diagnosis and labels and highly precise rules for what’s normal and what’s not. You could be awkward. It wasn’t a big deal.

Now, that is no longer true. People are keeping score starting at five years old, boxing kids into limited futures of medication and unrelenting demands for strict behavioral protocols.

So, what changed? The schools. The doctors. The kids didn’t change. The adults did. The trend was to demand more from children, and thus force them into tighter constraints in adulthood. The trend was to try and force a society to do more with less, and to weed out the weak.

Kids have to do homework in kindergarten, and that is bullshit. They shouldn’t have homework until middle school, really. They should just be kids. They shouldn’t have anxiety about grades when they’re little. They should be permitted to exist as tiny little humans, getting a first look at a gigantic world. Up until age ten, they should just be exposed to what it means to be a person.
 4 m ago in Quotes
[..] celebrities (particularly, but not solely, movie stars) are always playing a role, even in interviews, etc. When they make a public appearance that isn't overtly as a character, the role they're playing is their "movie star" persona. Unless you are an actual friend of theirs, you don't really know what their true authentic selves are.

Social media, it seems to me, has caused everyone to do the same thing. In social media, people tend to be playing a role -- that role being what they view as the best version of themselves. But it's not their true authentic selves any more than with the celebrities.

I think this has caused a serious degradation in the social fabric. Before social media, the most common interactions you had were with friends and family, and you were mostly interacting with their authentic selves. After all, nobody really knows you until they've seen you at your worst.

Interactions in social media are not like that. You're interactive with people playing parts, and that interaction is no longer genuine human contact. It just has the window-dressing of that.

Loneliness and isolation is the logical result of that. It's a bit like replacing most of your food with "dietary fiber" that is made to look and taste like food. It will fill you up and taste good, but in the end you'll still starve to death.
 4 m ago in Quotes
The only answers are either open source or objective third party auditing, or preferably some combination of both. Words from google employees mean nothing.
 4 m ago in Quotes
Unanimity of opinion is a very ominous phenomenon, and one characteristic of our modern mass age. It destroys social and personal life, which is based on the fact that we are different by nature and by conviction. To hold different opinions and to be aware that other people think differently on the same issue shields us from Godlike certainty which stops all discussion and reduces social relationships to those of an ant heap. A unanimous public opinion tends to eliminate bodily those who differ, for mass unanimity is not the result of agreement, but an expression of fanaticism and hysteria. In contrast to agreement, unanimity does not stop at certain well-defined objects, but spreads like an infection into every related issue.
 4 m ago in Quotes
Everything is worse in these authoritarian countries, not just the freedom. That is another thing people generally don't understand. There is nothing to catch up to. We just have to make sure to not get worse ourselves. And to actually use the advantages we had. That is why I am saying that it is the West that is defeatist. It is we that are changing our ways, to a large extent from our post war ideals.

If you want the feature of democracy you have actually be democratic. Which many areas of our societies increasingly aren't. It is nice to be able to say whatever you want, but if no one is listening there is no effect. The point is that something should happen, otherwise we are just cargo culting ourselves and being jesters for those in power.
 4 m ago in Quotes
When books or pictures in reproduction are thrown on the market cheaply and attain huge sales, this does not affect the nature of the objects in question. But their nature is affected when these objects themselves are changed rewritten, condensed, digested, reduced to kitsch in reproduction, or in preparation for the movies. This does not mean that culture spreads to the masses, but that culture is being destroyed in order to yield entertainment.

The result of this is not disintegration but decay, and those who actively promote it are not the Tin Pan Alley composers but a special kind of intellectuals, often well read and well informed, whose sole function is to organize, disseminate, and change cultural objects in order to persuade the masses that Hamlet can be as entertaining as My Fair Lady, and perhaps educational as well. There are many great authors of the past who have survived centuries of oblivion and neglect, but it is still an open question whether they will be able to survive an entertaining version of what they have to say.
 4 m ago in Zitate
Wer den Swing in sich hat, ob er im Saal steht oder auf der Bühne, kann nicht mehr im Gleichschritt marschieren.