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Cake day: янв. 23, 2021

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So where in the idea of capitalism do you see a mechanism that avoids colluding and undermining the sovereignty of people?

From my POV, capitalism is the act of maximising profit/cash flow. This may happen through peaceful agreements, soft power or hard power.

What part of capitalism are you referring to, when you distinguish it from neo-liberalism?


There are many report stating that these promises were made.

Whether Russia made a tactical mistake in codifying these promises… is it relevant? There is clear evidence that NATO promised not to expand. And again, it seems obvious that a NATO expansion would set up a conflict with Russia. So why would you do it?

Here is another good german language article about the situation


Please check the Spiegel article. Also, again, isn’t it common sense that if you put troops against a country’s border, that country feels threatened?

edited “border”


Sure I can.

We can cite John Maersheimer from 2014

Here is the outline link to the same article.

More recently the german Spiegel published documents demonstrating the promises. Here is an english language Russia Today link, referencing the original german article (you can find the paywalled link there).

But let’s be frank, the idea that a NATO expansion to the east will set off a conflict with Russia is just obvious. There were high ranking officials confirming that over the last thirty years (I believe even Genscher).

The argument that states should be able to choose their allies is a little bit absurd since we are not talking about a club that you can vote yourself in if you wish to do so. The NATO has to extend an offer for your country to be able to join it.

Russia and before that the Soviet Union expressed their issue with that and asked NATO not to put troops against their borders. Yet, NATO did.

The sources I link to above are from the most realist IR academic and from a totally mainstream german news outlet.


So what about the eastern expansion of NATO? Do you sigh over this too?


Yes, but there are precedents to this. The situation didn’t come out of the blue. Russia surely carries the responsibility for acknowledging the separatist states and escalating the situation with “piece troops”.

But NATO surely is responsible for creating the situation at large. The promise was no eastern expansion, yet eastern expansion took place.

The references made to the previous US interventions by Op are highlighting the aggressive nature of the US which created the pretext to the current situation. You cannot wipe those away by saying you are referring to the last 48 hours only.


I know of some of the shady people that were supported by the West and the Ukraine.

Could you shed some more light on the war crimes that Putin refers to? Also could you share the evidence that exists?


OK, I’ll try and help.

Certain products in the West remain cheap, since they can draw on “price efficient” labour in the “developing world”.

Now, does this labour cost differential pose a problem for global equality? I.e. you might have enough money to get around your local developing capitol, but you won’t be able to move to New York.

Does your rich country now have an incentive to keep low wages in the developing world?

Would workers in the rich country expect any benefits of this situation?

Would workers in the poor country have realistic chances to move up the ladder?

Is there a tension between global and national equality?



The Most Powerful Computers You’ve Never Heard Of - Invidious
Super interesting video about analog computers

Fully agree with you here and particularly your longer response above.

VR / AR has some fantastic use cases in industrial work, where experienced workers can overshadow a field person and be enriched by some sort of global database that covers whatever that field person is working on. There are probably other niche tech use cases as well.

As for an entertainment gadget that is widely used, I just don’t think it is as immersive as portrayed or will be in the foreseeable future.



I mean, can you imagine the desire, of being able to leave behind your real world, your dirty, exhausting, imperfect real world, where you are weak and ugly and unsuccessful and going to a virtual world where you can experience whatever you want?

All just through a head set? I honestly don’t quite buy this (admitting fully that I might be wrong) and really can’t relate to the desire you are describing either.

It’s not real and won’t look / feel real. So maybe there is a one or two hour entertainment to be had, but I can’t see this overhyped potential and VR being used “everywhere”.

Consider all the video chats we are having since the pandemic at work. What did 80% people do pretty quickly? Turn off their cameras, turn off their mics, while they are browsing the web in the background or doing the dishes, letting the meeting/call pass by. Would any of those go into VR to experience a virtual version of their colleague without being forced? I don’t think so.


The problem with private schools is that they, at least in the country I live in, seem to run havoc and actually collect more public funding than public schools do (which I find perverse, really).

I’m really torn about this. I could imagine a case for private schools, but just the example I see in this anglo country I’m in makes me really cautious about them.


Yes, monetising it also creates stupid incentives. In the educational scenario you’ll have to face the fact that if someone pays you for a service they are your client. How do you educated someone on whose feedback and money you depend? Certainly not in an objective manner.


Maybe the fact that you pose the question is a hint to its answer.

We are so quick to abstract this question, as in tech allows us to call our family from wherever we work and anytime, but this means we don’t have the same resources to question why we are away from our family.

Likewise, it allows us to reach beyond the social norms of our physical circle, but it doesn’t provide a neutral framework of how to be beyond those norms.

I think the problems with tech are related to the ownership of tech. Currently, I do think it makes us more lonely but maybe we have to move beyond tech to be able to use it well :)


I watched the video and find it upsetting. I believe that this guy and his way of thinking about climate change is why we run into it the way we do.

Rather than acknowledging that climate change is caused by emissions which are largely done through energy production, transport in supply chains and industrial activities, i.e. systemic elements, he goes on to complain about how individuals, who have nothing to do with energy production or transport, are hypocrites.

This is disgusting and will do nothing to solve global warming but in fact make it worse.

To name a few examples:

In response to how people say they care about the problem vs other actors:

“… it is pretty fair to say that we consumers have a pretty good view of ourselves and a pretty dim view of others …”

Alternatively, we might say that they just make a statement about the efforts / care they feel versus the efforts and care they see in other actors, notably in industry apparently, which, correctly, is perceived as rather absent.

In response to the stat showing that people support stronger environmental rules but don’t think that they would need to change their own habits:

" … gap between what people say and are prepared to do …"

The presenter’s statement simply does not follow from what was presented. A simple alternative explanation: People might think it won’t affect their lives because they aren’t energy generation experts or have deep knowledge about how transport in supply chain works.

Then the guy goes on about how people apparently prioritise reducing waste and recycling. The problem he sees with this is that waste minimisation and recycling is already happening in the west and therefore interprets it as the “lazy” option for people to choose because it means they already adapted and don’t need to change their lifestyle.

First of all, I’m nearly 100% certain that this is a false statement, given the discrepancy between recycling and waste management efforts in the western world. Secondly, the whole point has very limited applicability to global warming.

Later on he shows other proposed actions and mentions that none of these are actionable by an individual. He uses this to show how everyone is a sinner. Instead he could make the logical conclusion that climate change has something to do with the systems our economy runs on, which most of us have no insight or power over.

Then he asserts that many people could replace fossil fuels with renewables “in their own homes”. Most people do not live in their own homes. Even those who happen to live in their own homes would generally not be in an financial position to swap fossil fuels with renewables. Further, the idea that this swap should be done on a household by household idea is so stupid that I don’t even know where to start.

After a turn to some marketing ideas that made me throw up, he seriously argues that governments were not able to regulate the tobacco industry, because the industry sowed “tiny seeds of doubt” into peoples mind about the health impacts of tobacco. Really? How about the money spent on lobbying with politicians?

He finishes his talk with: “if everyone would do the right thing…”. I just want to reiterate that this is an absurd argument to make. There are serious economic and financial goals at stake for actors that prevent us from changing our economy to mitigate global warming. These goals are directly related to some of the largest industries in the world (e.g. energy) and we haven’t even articulated the issue, let alone started a conversation of how to solve it.

The solution to global warming is to wind down the fossil fuel industry to zero, which should be easy enough to understand. This is an act that will have a significant impact everywhere and we should focus on managing that change. Asking people to turn off the lights, enhance energy efficiency and advocate for “Meat free Mondays” will largely fail but even where it doesn’t, won’t impact the amount of produced emissions.


Whatever you do then, do not move to Sydney… cockroaches the size of puppies and yes some fly but none of them is happy to chip in for rent


The point of the screenshot comment is that we are not focusing on the right things when discussing climate change.

There are lots of issues with SUVs but to say that some end product is the real cause of the problem (talking about climate change, not cancer here) is just inaccurate. It is the tremendous industry that was built, the associated physical assets, and the associated economic and financial incentives.


Sure, for most of my life I didn’t have a car either. But that’s not really the point. Some life circumstances are outside your own control. The point I poorly tried to make was more that people are driven by their current circumstances. Climate change is a systemic problem. You can’t rely on people reactively fixing climate change 8 billion times in their own little yard. It just won’t happen.


Not everyone can just move somewhere else. People have families, social responsibilities and also not always the resources to move to a different part. Further, legal freedom of movement is not a given for everyone.


That’s exactly right. The problem is largely systemic and clearly linked to the way we run our economy.


I didn’t phrase this correctly. My point wasn’t that cars are needed in a general way.

My point was that most people, as of today have some dependency on cars, whether they like it or not. People by large have not been involved in the Urban Design decisions that shaped the cities in the last 100 years or so.

I further want to add that even if more people would decide to go without a car (and I believe that this in many countries is actually what is happening), the impact on global warming would be minimal.

Also I think you are correct in saying that the current way of using cars will change in the future drastically.

So in summary, if we care to put effort into avoiding the worst of climate change, we need to address the areas where the damage is done, which is industry. As I stated above, we haven’t done this in the last 40 years and I feel that the “personal responsibility” approach was something that actually caused significant problems and side tracked meaningful action.


I don’t think that this is a false dichotomy at all, it’s clearly a matter of strategy and history showed that the wrong strategy was chosen.

For 40 years we are focusing on individual action as a mitigation strategy. This failed thoroughly.

The reason why we have not addressed global warming in any meaningful manner is that we failed to discuss the economic and financial incentives that keep the problem running. And we failed to discuss in meaningful ways the actions that are actually needed to mitigate climate change, namely wind down the fossil fuel industry.

Whenever that topic somewhat came up, the narrative immediately changed to what this would mean for the individual and what the individual can do to facilitate this change.

We failed to discuss the costs of winding down these industries, including how to assist workers in those industries to manage the change. We failed to address the financial impact of turning off capital intensive infrastructure that was built with the premise of someone making profits for 40-60 years off that asset. And we failed developing a large scale technology transition plan, that also shows how underdeveloped countries can improve their quality of life without going down fossil fuel way.


So tell me, in the situation you are describing, how would you do your job and care for yourself or the people you like / who depend on you without access to e.g. a car?

I don’t understand how you do not seem to care why those emissions, that cause global warming, take place in the first place?


Of course the strategy changes.

If one corporation would produce 100% of emissions you would be able to discuss how to wind it down. How to manage the impact of winding it down.

Instead we are talking about whether you, the singular you, wasted too much water having a shower.

This is absolutely absurd.


One of the things that just work really well for me. The webclipper is quite decent too.


That’s really my biggest problem with most green parties / organisations. There is an emphasis on individual action that is just unreasonable. Climate change won’t be affected by individual change, since it really is a systemic problem. No amount of green consumption or efficiency will do as much as a dent in the problem of global warming.

Our energy and supply chain transport infrastructure needs to be overhauled which will cost a lot of capital investment and strip off a lot of planned profits from the books. These are the issues that need to be addressed. Whether Joe Blogs drives a SUV is inconsequential.

You can’t use your wallet to vote against the financial incentives that keep the polluting infrastructure running.


This is an interesting question and discussion.

I do feel that left/right is a useful distinction. It is useful from my perspective in terms of values, even though we don’t focus on this in most discussions.

The point is: are you are ok with a person next to you suffering. Suffering because they did wrong, suffering because they have to for a bigger cause. If you are ok with it, you will, in the end, support some form of right wing or authoritarian policies.

The alternative is “One for all and all for one”.

You quote David Graeber somewhere else. In his spirit, I do believe that this is a decision. We either care or we don’t.


Did you find the workflow easy enough in the end?


Thanks, I might play around with it a little


Is anyone using Blender for woodworking or architectural type of work? Or do people rather use something like FreeCAD for it? Thanks!


Looking for song/artist: Second breath
I remember a song called "second breath" by what I believe was a former member of the "four non blondes". The video was pretty low key, with the singer dancing in her room, jumping on her couch. Anybody know the song or artist?

So I think what this refers to is the historical idea of anarchism which very much is both socialist and libertarian.

Why should people not voice their opinion using Linux or Debian? Even if you disagree, why would it bother or even disgust you?

Here is the first paragraph about anarchism from the wiki article:

Anarchism is a political philosophy and movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the state, which it holds to be unnecessary, undesirable, and harmful. As a historically left-wing movement, placed on the farthest left of the political spectrum, it is usually described alongside libertarian Marxism as the libertarian wing (libertarian socialism) of the socialist movement, and has a strong historical association with anti-capitalism and socialism.


"Each year across the world, kids of roughly the same age are packed into classrooms and confined to desks with the intent of learning from an adult teacher. But is this how children were adapted to learn? In today’s technologically dependent, economically complex world in which a particular subset of skills is critical, fact-based knowledge is no doubt best imparted from those with experience—which is usually adults. But what about social learning? Humans as a species are set apart by their incredible dependence on one another; cooperation is at the heart of both an individual’s survival and a functioning society. So, how do children typically learn to cooperate? Anthropological research in small-scale societies—including my work among with the Pumé of Venezuela and the Maya living in the Yucatan Peninsula—resoundingly suggests that they learn from one another. Schooling and growing up in small nuclear families have been the norm for only the past century or so in industrialized societies—just a brief flash in evolutionary time. Childhood in these societies is commonly thought of as a period requiring intense adult investment dedicated to learning and instruction. But research in nonindustrial, small-scale societies—the kinds of communities that all our ancestors lived in both deep in the past and until fairly recently—gives a different picture. Today children in industrialized societies spend a lot of time in supervised environments with adult direction. ..."

Curious why this article gets all these downvotes… maybe someone who downvoted can comment?


"The negotiation process in the United States typically involves a small committee of mid- to lower-level management and their lawyers negotiating with a small committee of workers who are selected to represent the majority. The report illustrates an alternative approach to bargaining that directly engages the entire unionized workforce, featuring case studies of workers in industries where unions have been expanding in recent years, including Boston hotel workers, educators in New Jersey, nurses in rural Massachusetts and Philadelphia, and reporters from the Los Angeles Times and Law360. The negotiations discussed were conducted between 2016 and 2019 and involved five unions in which workers achieved breakthroughs in their final contracts. Turning the Tables also provides a step-by-step guide on how unions and workers can practice this approach."

Absolutely! I think any extra power in the phones is simply used to suck up more data and telemetrics. The phones get faster so the Samsungs, Googles and Apples can run their useless extras for their own benefits.

That’s why the phones run so much smoother once you e.g. remove google and put on a custom rom


Yes, generally agree.

However the bloat in Linux can be managed more easily and is nowhere as intense. Even old RPis and old laptops are still usable after 10+ years.

My IT experience at work has been deteriorating for at least 6 years now. It is now at a stage where I go back to handwritten notes and MS Notepad, because those generally don’t crash my work laptop that often.

The other areas where there is intense bloat is phones. After de-googling my phones (incl. custom ROM), everything works more smooth and the battery typically lasts 50% longer (guestimate). I’ve de-googled probably over half a dozen phones so far and the end product was always way smoother and faster and much extended battery life.


I’m not quite buying this. First of all, most people are forced to use some bloated OS and software at work. This means they get used to certain apps and unless they have a specific interest in say Open Source, they won’t look into alternatives. Schools, universities, etc. all get “sponsored” by big tech as well, leading to further market capture.

Secondly, things like Linux are presented by large corps as complicated, which simply isn’t true but again, the large corp would have some credibility bonus.

In general, the computer industry is largely consolidated from a customer perspective to a number of large players that scare people actively away from open solutions. As with nearly everything, you cannot vote with your wallet, since the markets are heavily tilted towards large corporations.

Finally, what is “woke-sufficiency”?


Snikket was quite easy to set up and the community is very helpful


In what way am I not discussing the content of the law? I’m asking questions, you seem the specialist. If you don’t know the answers, fine, there is no harm in saying so.

The assumptions you mention are just normal things to consider when discussing a law, in any country. Calling it a strawman is, frankly, just lazy. I asked questions that you can address directly. I don’t speak Chinese, so I specifically didn’t comment on the actual law, which I can’t read, but solely on the links you provided.

Also it’s not whether “China needs any additional laws to coerce people to do anything”. It’s about whether a law can be used to coerce people. And the law, the way you presented it, absolutely can.

I further encourage you to read into how child abuse laws have been used and abused historically. I provided prompts to get you started.


Strike! with Jane McAlevey - The Dig
"The strike is back, and big time. Teachers in particular have been walking off the job not only to demand higher wages but also to fight for an end to privatization and for a transformation of the educational system for their students. These strikes, often led by women, are no doubt inspiring, and they have won important victories for workers and the communities they serve. We are, in other words, beginning to head in the right direction—but we’re not heading there even close to fast enough. Winning working class power is not only necessary to meet people’s immediate material needs. It is necessary if we are to accomplish a profound democratization of this country, which is what we must do if we are to implement a just energy transition that heads off what scientists have determined to be imminent climate catastrophe. Dan talks to Jane McAlevey about the labor movement and strikes. Jane’s Catalyst article [The Strike as the Ultimate Structure Test](https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/01/strike-strategy-john-steuben-review-organizing). And her Jacobin article [Organizing to Win a Green New Deal](https://jacobinmag.com/2019/03/green-new-deal-union-organizing-jobs)." Quote is from when the episode was run originally in March 2019. Link to original episode: https://www.thedigradio.com/podcast/strike-with-jane-mcalevey/ Her website: https://janemcalevey.com/

Sorry, I thought I did.

The articles you linked to, do not describe what “excessive academic pressure” is. They also do not say what the consequences are when excessive academic pressure has been applied. Lastly they do no say who makes the complaint and who would judge whether pressure is excessive. The actual law might outline all of this, but based on the links you provided it is absolutely not clear.

“Academic pressure” in reality is very subjective and the definition will vary kid by kid.

The practical concern regarding how to abuse this law would be that some parents could be accused to put “excessive academic pressure” on their kids in order to coerce them to do something or to punish them for past behavior.

So what would the potential consequences of violating the law be? Will kids will be separated from their parents? Will the parents face a financial fine? Prison? Limited career opportunities? Or alternatively, would the consequence be something totally benevolent in that the kid and parents get free counseling without any threat to living conditions and with guaranteed privacy?

Laws just like this have been abused over and over again. I mentioned early on why I think a law is the wrong mechanism for the stated intent. But even if you think it could be a good tool to achieve a positive societal outcome, you still want to make sure that there are legal safeguards in the law that avoid abuse by any state representative. With China being as big as it is, this law potentially could be abused by millions of state representatives on their own account or on the account of the hierarchy above them.

Sorry if my previous responses weren’t clear on what I’m asking. But the abuse potential of such a law are, in my opinion, tremendous.


In an essay penned shortly before his death, David Graeber argued that post-pandemic, we can’t slip back into a reality where the way our society is organized — to serve every whim of a small handful of rich people while debasing and degrading the vast majority of us — is seen as sensible or reasonable.


What are some good non-US/UK magazines, website, people, resource to read / watch / listen to?
As per title, I'm looking for some good regular resources outside of the US/UK sphere. Can cover a really broad spectrum on the left. Thanks!


This week, Grace speaks to researcher and author Phil Jones about when 'automation' is actually just poorly-paid microwork – and how those workers can organise to resist exploitation.

*Introduction* In this work, I summarize and assess the arguments for a natural origin and against a laboratory-based origin of Covid-19 presented in the Holmes et al. preprint [1]. The preprint review by Holmes et al. represents one of the most extensive compilations of arguments for a zoonotic origin and was authored by numerous experts in relevant fields. Although Holmes et al. “contend that there is substantial body of scientific evidence supporting a zoonotic origin for SARS-CoV-2” [1], I argue that all publicly available evidence and information are consistent with both natural and laboratory origin scenarios. In the absence of dispositive evidence in support of either a natural spillover or a research-related incident, it is necessary to rigorously investigate both hypotheses [2,3]. Only with more data and information can scientists confidently evaluate the likelihood of each origin hypothesis. A credible, transparent, evidence-based, and international investigation of the origin of Covid-19 is not only vital but also feasible [3–5].


"Woodlands Early Education Centre, in Logan south of Brisbane, as well as nine others in the chain have recently overhauled their yards to increase children's exposure to risk. ... While the new grounds may look dangerous — a towering fort (with open edges), 1.6-metre-high balance beams, and climbing walls (without a fall mattress) — the data shows the opposite. There has actually been a 43 per cent reduction in reported injuries at the centre."

Looking for a cheap-ish linux supported laptop with touchscreen
Hi, I'm looking for a laptop in the $200 - $400 mark (can be second hand) that has reasonable support for linux and also has a touchscreen. Touchscreen will be mainly for scrolling. I'm happy to do some stunts to get linux installed but I'm looking for something that supports it reasonable well. Thanks for any suggestions!

I just think there needs to be a proper discussion, whether this type of research is ok in general.... HackerNews discussion is here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28644428

> Now researchers say they have found some of the earliest evidence of humans using clothing in a cave in Morocco, with the discovery of bone tools and bones from skinned animals suggesting the practice dates back at least 120,000 years. > > Dr Emily Hallett, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, the first author of the study, said the work reinforced the view that early humans in Africa were innovative and resourceful. > > “Our study adds another piece to the long list of hallmark human behaviours that begin to appear in the archaeological record of Africa around 100,000 years ago,” she said.

Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show
> For the past three years, Facebook has been conducting studies into how its photo-sharing app affects its millions of young users. Repeatedly, the company’s researchers found that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of them, most notably teenage girls. > > “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said one slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experience the issues. “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” said another slide. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.” > > Among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram, one presentation showed. The whole article reads like a horror show. Corporate representatives use Orwellian language to justify and minimise the problem... The Head of Instagram is quoted in this section: > In May, Instagram head Adam Mosseri told reporters that research he had seen suggests the app’s effects on teen well-being is likely “quite small.” > > In a recent interview, Mr. Mosseri said: “In no way do I mean to diminish these issues.…Some of the issues mentioned in this story aren’t necessarily widespread, but their impact on people may be huge.” > > He said he believes Facebook was late to realizing there were drawbacks to connecting people in such large numbers. “I’ve been pushing very hard for us to embrace our responsibilities more broadly,” he said. > > He said the research into the mental-health effects on teens was valuable, and that Facebook employees ask tough questions about the platform. “For me, this isn’t dirty laundry. I’m actually very proud of this research,” he said. "I'm very proud of this research and pushing really hard for change"... while cashing in and making sure that the hard push won't cause damage to the profits I'm sure.... >:(

Immersive Math - Linear Algebra
Really nice, interactive illustrations to provide a really nice introduction to linear algebra.

Police get online account takeover, data disruption powers
"The bill grants the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission new powers to combat serious crime enabled by anonymising technology using three new warrants: network activity, data disruption and account takeover. With the warrants, both agencies can take control of a person’s online account to gather evidence about serious offences without consent, as well as add, copy, delete or alter material to disrupt criminal activity and collect intelligence from online networks." Unbelievable....

Is there an open source spotify client for linux?
I'm looking for something I can use on my laptop. The official spotify client works, but it's a bit slow so was wondering if there are alternatives. I got a spotify account, so would like to be able to use this one with it. Thanks!


"The PAM Duress is a module designed to allow users to generate 'duress' passwords that when used in place of their normal password will execute abritrary scripts. This functionality could be used to allow someone pressed to give a password under coersion to provide a password that grants access but in the background runs scripts to clean up sensitive data, close connections to other networks to limit lateral movement, and/or to send off a notifcation or alert (potentially one with detailed information like location, visible wifi hotspots, a picture from the camera, a link to a stream from the microphone, etc). You could even spawn a process to remove the pam_duress module so the threat actor won't be able to see if the duress module was available. This is transparent to the person coersing the password from the user as the duress password will grant authentication and drop to the user's shell. Duress scripts can be generated on an individual user basis or generated globally. Users can also re-use global duress passwords to sign their own duress scripts (rare instance where this could actually be useful from a security perspective)." Found on HN - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28267975



""" Ingraham said to her guest, reality TV host Jon Taffer. “If we are not causing people to be hungry to work, then we’re providing them with all the meals they need sitting at home,” Taffer agreed. “These benefits make absolutely no sense to us.” """ .... from the outside of the US it is sooo hard to understand how this doesn't make people go WTF ....


One-off emergency tax on billionaires’ pandemic windfalls could fund COVID-19 jabs for entire world | Oxfam International
"A one-off 99 percent levy on billionaires’ wealth gains during the pandemic could pay for everyone on Earth to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide a $20,000 cash grant to all unemployed workers, according to new analysis released today by Oxfam, the Fight Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies and the Patriotic Millionaires. The organizations are calling on governments to tax the ultra wealthy who profited from the pandemic crisis to help offset its costs." ... and then let's realise that this works really well and address the non-pandemic windfalls!

What are some good resources to learn Mandarin?
Most internet searches bring up pretty commercialized results, sometimes hideously expensive. What are some good, low cost ways of learning Mandarin? Thanks!

How China Escaped Shock Therapy w/ Isabella Weber - The Dig
**"How China rejected neoliberal orthodoxy and became the new workshop of the world. Dan interviews economist Isabella Weber on her book How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate. "** Isabella seems to be on a road show for her book, since she also was just recently interviewed by [Doug Henwood](https://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Radio.html#S210708). I found both interviews extremely interesting and learned a fair bit about the economics of price controls as well as history while listening to them. One nice piece for instance is where she compares the US price controls during WW2 with China's during the civil war. The US had a highly concentrated industry, meaning that price controls were really just a negotiation with a few industry leaders. "It is really easy to fix prices that were already fixed " in this case by big conglomerates. The price fixing just avoided windfall profits given the bumped up demand due to the war. "Windfall" in this case because the supply of e.g. steel wouldn't have been able to keep up with the demand anyway (can't increase steel production over night) and the price fixing simply meant that the producers couldn't reap those "accidental" windfall profits that would have been available to them otherwise. In comparison, the Chinese economy was a lot more agricultural and fragmented, meaning that price controls met a market that was much more fluid. Basic links of production were disturbed in the context of the civil war already (unlike in the US). Supply of goods were already erratic and the prices were extremely volatile, as a result of the civil war. Price fixes were therefore not effective in coordinating production in the same way as they were in the US. She also contrasts this with the increase of lumber prices that we saw last year and this. All in all very insightful and highly recommended. Doug's interview is a bit shorter than Daniel's. So perhaps that's the better place to start for some. However she explores the topic in a bit more detail in The Dig, so hence the main link goes there.

Spotting drowning children, or people in general, is apparently very difficult. The website shows some examples. [Relevant HN discussion](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27984570)

Interesting article that explores links historians made between empires and plagues (refuting some as it discusses them)

Excerpt: "One of my four-year-old twins is obsessed with death. She wants to know everything about dying. Again and again, she asks me to tell her about what happens when people die. Initially, I was a little surprised by her fascination with ‘died’ people, as she calls them, but then it became clear that she was thinking a lot about this whenever she was quiet. ‘Will you tell me more about dying. What happens when people die?’ she asks me every night before bed. ‘Their bodies stop working. Their hearts stop working,’ I tell her. ‘Is this what happened with Naanaa?’ Naanaa – my father, their grandfather – died in November last year. The twins met him only once, just before their third birthday when we visited India in 2019, although we tried to speak regularly over FaceTime. We were due to visit again in early 2020, but then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and slowly he became more ill, more frail; the loneliness and isolation of the lockdown, and the lack of adequate healthcare during these weeks and months, took their toll on him. Preschool children can make sense of death, but only through their parent’s grief, and this is clearly what is happening here: I’d travelled to India and stayed for a week after my father’s funeral and was very open with my children about my sadness. I want them to understand that their grandfather is dead, and I want them to know him, if only through my memories. I also want to normalise talking about death going hand-in-hand with life, especially as right now, with the world in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic crisis, my children hear my husband and I talking about death so often."

For some days now, I get server timeouts when trying to access Lemmy.ml in Firefox. Weird thing is that I can ping Lemmy.ml from the CLI. I've got various add-ons installed, mostly privacy focused. How would I debug this? Thanks

The whole line of arguing is just aweful...

"The study, by an international collaboration of scientists from 14 countries and including experts from the University of Oxford, set out to test the “invariant rate of ageing” hypothesis, which says that a species has a relatively fixed rate of ageing from adulthood. “Our findings support the theory that, rather than slowing down death, more people are living much longer due to a reduction in mortality at younger ages,” said José Manuel Aburto from Oxford’s Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, who analysed age-specific birth and death data spanning centuries and continents."

Really nice discussion how inevitable personal bias in the scientific community makes headlines and how science as a method adjusts knowledge. At the start there is a nice discussion of how ones own professional background impacts ones imagination when it comes to more speculative areas. The following quote is from the end of the article: "The strength of science, as a method for learning about our world, is the ability to self-correct when the data come in. But this self-correction often applies only to the field as a whole: individual scientists, when their speculations are not borne out by the evidence, sometimes fail to change their minds. Hoyle remained staunchly opposed to the Big Bang theory until his death in 2001. If he’d lived in the age of Twitter, he would have been front-page news: ‘Cambridge professor denies the Big Bang’ would make for clickbait just as appealing as ‘Harvard professor says aliens have visited’. But Hoyle was wrong, ..."

"Most of us live in social worlds that are profoundly unequal, where small elites have vastly more power and wealth than everyone else. Very few of the have-nots find this congenial. As experimental economists have shown, we tend to enter social situations prepared to take a chance and cooperate in collective activities. But if others take more than their share, we resent being played for a sucker. We live in unequal worlds, and few of us are unaware of, or indifferent to, that fact. Since the elites are massively outnumbered, the origins and stability of unequal divisions of the cake are puzzling, especially once we realise that this is a very recent aspect of our social existence. Our particular species of humans has been around for about 300,000 years and, best as we can tell, for about 290,000 of those years we lived materially poorer but much more equal lives. For most of our life as a species, most communities lived as mobile foragers, shifting camps when local resources became scarce, but probably sticking to a regular pattern over a defined territory."

Euro 2020: Guardian Experts’ Network | Football | The Guardian
There are some good articles on the upcoming Euro 2020. In particular I like the team guides, introducing each team with background, strengths and outlook

"Kate Crawford studies the social and political implications of artificial intelligence. She is a research professor of communication and science and technology studies at the University of Southern California and a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research. Her new book, Atlas of AI, looks at what it takes to make AI and what’s at stake as it reshapes our world."

"In Zen we say practice is nothing other than your everyday activity. If we view the Dharma as something special – a particular activity we treat as more sacred, or a state we hope to attain that will be of an entirely different nature than the mundane existence we currently endure – we’re missing the point. At the same time, if we think practice is nothing other than just continuing our half-awake, habitual way of living, we’re also missing the point! What is the nature of our life and practice? Zen Master Dogen explores this koan in his essay “Kajo,” or “Everyday Activity.”"

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