enthusiasm enthusiast. æsthete. techie scum.

a good chunk of my posts are to /c/anything or /c/whatever; cross-post them if you think they’d be better elsewhere!

look, it’s a personal website!

  • 433 Posts
Joined 3Y ago
Cake day: May 28, 2020

james g on programming being like cooking
There's a lot in this metaphor that seems valuable! Cf. ["homebrew"]( in tabletop role-playing games. Best practices in a commercial kitchen will differ from those in a condo kitchen. Some things are only worth the effort to make in a large quantity, which can mean not at all at home. At the same time, no restaurant would care enough to make a picky-eater loved-one of yours their masala chai specifically without cinnamon, or something. [Tools that wouldn't make sense in a space-strapped restaurant kitchen may be okay if you've got suburban-size cabinets.]( What is the bash script of the kitchen? What is the Trader Joe's pre-chopped mirepoix of code?

He's an independent type designer. His site shows [properly fleshed out respectable-looking typefaces]( for respectable-typography costs, but the Font Of The Month Club is the real joy. Whether you're looking for Victorian flavor, elegant text typefaces, design-forward display options, or the latest font feature noodling around (color fonts! *color fonts*!) there's a fine assortment here to be worth looking through. The Mini license costs are really nice as a reasonable impulse buy for the font-oriented and not too shocking a figure for the non-font-oriented. I'm not at all a proper Font User -- my website's main typeface is a true [abomination]( I keep only because an SVG filter to replicate the effect sounds hard to get right -- but I love imagining print projects that would merit [Polliwog]( or [Klooster Thin](

Apparently such things typically have December as slaughtering-of-the-pig? But a boar is so much more [Germanically seasonal]( I love the decadent flat ultramarines in this -- actually it's cool how little the palette varies from the pigments they clearly used. Ultramarine, yellow ochre, burnt sienna...

Federating custom emojis is Quite A Thing, if I understand correctly

I do love them, but it’d be hard for them to not get real visually noisy. Also they’d need to be moddable (ex: racists using monkey emojis to harass). Also would they be anonymous the way vote counts are? I think they’re a really fun feature but need careful thought before UI incorporation. (ooh, maybe they’d make sense to keep pretty small and have in a similar position to where Reddit puts comment gilding?)

Just a couple! I’m still figuring out how it’ll make sense to use both.

I like the monoalphabetic cipher with a ciphertext used to determine symbol correspondence, seems about as complicated as I'd ever want to write out by hand. Anyone have a cipher they prefer for doing by hand?

This is great! Damn makes me miss being able to go out dancing lol

I know I said SFW over in the description, but also, it’s kind of SFW in that it is ancient art? But it’s funnier if you can’t see it first.

The sidenotes alone are a thing of beauty and wonder. I am very much not sarcastic when I say that. The vibe is sort of like reading beautiful little booklets, which is wonderful and non-distracting but also not very hypertexty. Their pieces don't link among each other a ton so far as I've read. I wonder if it's an intentional choice?

laurent gerdil’s carvings of opinel’s carvable knives
They're all beautiful -- a few even usable, I'd guess!

I'm gradually assembling a little [page]( with alternative search engines, especially ones that aren't striving to recreate what Google does. This newest entry is phenomenal. The way that it uses sites' own background images to decorate their results is wonderfully reminiscent of [whostyles]( I haven't used it enough yet to really be able to evaluate how well the search indexing does, but the spirit of the project is such that no matter the quality I'll be happy to follow it and watch it iterate.

I’ll check it out – love to see a list of sources like that in the description!

I'm not as fascinated by ideas of innate intelligence as a lot of techie people seem to be. I also hold values of equality and human dignity somewhat more strongly than the "fairness" invoked by e.g. opponents of affirmative action--so even if a lot of the "general intelligence is meaningful, measurable, and genetically determined" stuff were to be shown true, it wouldn't change my political commitments. So even though it wouldn't really matter, I recalled hearing that the science in this book was sketchy somehow, and that was about it. Hoo boy. This video patiently explains: * just how much [begging the question]( hides within both the concepts and the modes of analysis invoked by the authors * the intellectual dishonesty evident in the misrepresentation of cited studies * heritability doesn't mean what the authors have come to say it means, nor what you probably think it means * the connections between Nazi-era eugenics and the research the authors cite being not (just) a matter of shared ideology, but actual follow-the-money material support from their institutions Overall, I would highly recommend checking it out, because the influence of this work and its weird little online devotees has been such that even if you know you are 100% opposed to its political conclusions, you may have unknowingly absorbed some of its false premises.

an HTML webcomic site template suitable for static hosting
Gosh I love resources like this! It's so neat that people are sharing resources that make tech more accessible to folks with less technical experience. I have a layout I need to finish up and offer publicly to help people use HTML and CSS to lay out half-page zines... but I gotta make something with it myself first to prove it's useful.

This is such a lovely video! I'm going to go and watch more of her stuff -- exactly the sort of "lifestyle content" I never seem to find. Friendly energy, syncretic bits of practice and fact, beautiful shots of nature, and some hands-on advice: love it.

papercraft low-poly-esque mask patterns for sale
These are so charming -- I want to throw a party where I can make people wear them. It seems like you could get a lot of mileage out of a ream of white cardstock and [the animal skull set](

a tarot kickstarter that seems to have spared no expense in print quality
There are a lot of lovely tarot deck kickstarters that I have managed to restrain myself from backing. They tend to seem to be conceived of by illustrators. This one seems to me to have been designed by someone who really wanted to push the envelope on cool foil detailing, and I have thereby been suckered in. It's already like 4x funded, by the way -- I'm not telling you about it because I need you to back it, but because I want to share Ooh Pretty Shiny.

This is really cool stuff, and I appreciate how it isn't just "this is how it was" but how the author's taking the time to head off a lot of contemporary perspectives' "but why didn't they just XYZ". I'm also quite reminded of how Covid's impact on the economies caused a lot of folks like me to learn about the downsides of [just in time supply chains](, never mind their efficiencies.

some great halloweeny songs on a great personal website
The whole site is worth checking out, but I think it'd be easy to miss stuff like this that's a page within a topic shrine. And you shouldn't! I'm someone who spends time *every year* looking for Halloween music, and there is still a good helping here of stuff that's new to me.

femicom: femme aesthetic electronics museum
From the [about page]( > FEMICOM Museum is a physical and digital museum and archive dedicated to the preservation and reimagination of femme aesthetics and girlhood within twentieth-century video games, computing, and electronic toys. There is so much energy in these photos! Is it just millennial nostalgia that makes me so jazzed about them?

you may not like it, but this is what peak web design looks like
One thing that probably drew me to this sort of style from a young age was that -- it's a highly refined Internet look that is entirely built up by women and girls trying to impress other women and girls. I love when it goes fully over-the-top because it's saying, *you know what, other nichey girls like me are **worth** trying to outdo. My scene is worth my investment.* The careful attention to detail is a statement of values. Anyway, click around until you get to her art; there's a very cool glitchy oekaki vibe.

a GIF collage of bubbles
Is there a name for this kind of thing? "GIF painting" captures something about how the GIFs are being layered and composited differently from ye olde Geocities, but maybe it should be "collage" to capture the aspects of reuse. Anyway, it's a genre that's taking off on Multiverse and on []( and I find it really interesting. Please feel free to comment with any you've come across and liked; the more artistic hubris evident, the better.

Did anyone else spend a lot of time listening to MIDIs back in the day? Past their proper heyday we still hadn't had internet fast enough to do much in the way of MP3s, so this is a very nostalgic sound for me. A nice pairing for this link is [MIDIjs](, which is now necessary to get a MIDI going on a webpage. H/t [Castle Cyberskull]( on that. art, mostly black and white, mostly pixel
Rather horrorish and yet somehow very reminiscent of those old black and white Macintosh games.

wonderful south african backyard bird webcam
This is delightful! Having a species guide you have to scroll down to consult replicates precisely the experience of staring at a bird as hard as you can, memorizing as much as you can, and then turning to your bird book as soon as it flies away. Seeing the birds from far away also helps create a sense that, well, my area's common birds are still special and particular.

an artist’s site featuring contemporary tarot decks
I think the [lost hollow]( is my favorite. Which is yours?

jacob hall is continuing kicks condor’s work on whostyles!
h/t kicks condor Okay I'm like one of the probably-fewer-than-ten people in the world with a [defined whostyle](, so *obviously* I'm psyched by this. Having a list of people (defined by h-cards) and an offline tool to traverse their sites, grab the whostyles, sanitize the CSS, rescope the selectors, and repackage for your own site seems like a totally valid approach to me. That way the sanitizing could improve over time without having to respec inter-site dynamic inclusion. If you wanted to be properly agnostic about it, I'm sure you could make something like a Jekyll plugin to handle specifying the origin of the blockquote and kicking off finding the h-card and doing the style pull for that within a static build.

stop everything, they brought back confetti text from ms word 97
I cannot adequately express the nostalgic feelings this brings back. Growing up, I spent a lot of time on a computer without internet access, and Boy Do You Learn A Lot About Fonts That Way. I had totally forgotten confetti text and yet also it is lodged within my soul.

admit it, you thought diamonds were expensive because of DeBeers
I'm not gonna lie, I view Adam Conover as, like, the smarmy CinemaSins of learning, so any time he is called out I experience schadenfreude. But also, isn't this cool and informative? I really hope lab diamonds / lab white sapphire moissanite / whatever can take over because pretty much all lab stones are more ethical than pretty much all mined ones ([including Instagram #witchvibes shiny rocks]( Like -- that lake didn't have to be drained for diamonds. It didn't!

As an overprivileged impotent -- right in the feels. I'm glad this post is the first of a series. > I wasn't capable of inking multi-year deals with corporations as a teenager, and so set out as an early pioneer of the micro-transaction trail. > This originated with players sending envelopes of cash and change taped to index cards *to my parents house*. My mom was sure I was getting up to something shady online, but no, just selling digital goods 😇. I was never a *serious* member of GaiaOnline or Neopets, but at the time I vaguely wished I were. It's really neat to read about free vs. pay currency exchange rates!

those pavé eternity rings were created because they needed to sell smaller diamonds from the Soviet Union
This piece from 1982 is long and interesting and covers a lot of ground, but that's the bit that particularly tickles my fancy. Can you imagine?

best grandson makes machine to pair up telegram messaging with a grandmother-friendly physical interface
Meeting people where they are with technology is so important, and I love that this lets the grandchildren message from their phones as is presumably convenient for them.

Local news is less stressful because I feel proportionally less impotent to react to it. I recommend making this swap. I also like that they don't save the miscellaneous news till the end of the podcast, so if for whatever reason the daily topic isn't working for me, I already caught the headline round-up.

this package tracking site can grab details of Chinese shipping companies too
I don't know if you're used to ordering stuff internationally from AliExpress or similar, but it's very normal for tracking information to dump a package into a void for about a month until the thing shows up at your door. This site actually connects the Chinese shipper's tracking information with the domestic shipper's tracking information and adds estimates on top of the shipper's info. Handy!

I mean, that's *one* way of handling a housing shortage, I guess?

toAnythingmy jeans plea to gen z

I’d excerpt the relevant gifs from the devil wears prada but let’s just say you’ve seen them already and I don’t have to bother

toAnythingmy jeans plea to gen z

I’m not sure just because I’m not super familiar with Pants of the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties? As for the past few years – I wouldn’t think so? I remember when I was in middle school you Had To Have flares or bootcut jeans… then by 2010ish, everything had to be skinny… but it’s mostly stayed like that up to within the last 3-4 years?

I will say, though, pretty much all the jeans I’ve had in those eras have had to have such high stretch content that the fabric doesn’t last long, so that’s definitely a factor in how fast things can turn over. I got some Trendy Huge Wide Leg “dad pants” that are pretty much just cotton and it’s stunning to me how stiff/tough/heavy/inelastic jeans are in their natural form.

All is in flux. All is uncertainty. I recognize that at the decrepitude of 27 years of age, I am past the height of cool. The world will shift, and I will jog to meet it or be left behind. But if there is any mercy in you, Gen Z -- flared, bootcut, straight legged, pegged, wide legged, pleated mercy -- **please do not bring back low waist jeans.** They looked awful on those of us who weren't thin even when we were young. I will not return to that suffering. Please do not inflict it on each other.

Was your blog in English, though?

If you take Internet access…

…and cross reference against English speakers…

…then I think that’s enough explanation, no?

A question meant to provoke contemplation of ethics rarely has one answer, and this certainly doesn’t. “Service” and “utility” are concepts used in the legal system, and are not cleanly inherent to the situations where they’re applied. Legal systems aim to provide clear delineation of liability, but they can’t be considered the be-all and end-all of morality. Rather, when we ask ourselves “has the print shop done something wrong here” we must also consider “should the government allow the print shop to do this? should I shop at a print shop that does this?” etc. etc. as related but separate questions. (“Responsibility” also has a lot of shades by most reckonings)

content moderation and human nature
I think Benedict Evans writes about a lot of really interesting stuff. Sometimes he gets [right to the hearts of things]( Sometimes he's [wrong]( in important (and interesting!) ways. This seems to me to be an example of the latter. > However, it often now seems that content moderation is a Sisyphean task, where we can certainly reduce the problem, but almost by definition cannot solve it. The internet is people: all of society is online now, and so all of society’s problems are expressed, amplified and channeled in new ways by the internet. Fully agreed! Yes! Absolutely--technical problems are rarely *just* technical problems, but also *social* problems. > We can try to control that, but perhaps a certain level of bad behaviour on the internet and on social might just be inevitable, and we have to decide what we want, just as we did for cars or telephones - we require seat belts and safety standards, and speed limits, but don’t demand that cars be unable to exceed the speed limit. This, however, *does not follow*, and it doesn't follow *even for cars*. It took a [lot of corporate manipulation of people's beliefs]( for us to start thinking about car crashes as "accidents". It took [intense lobbying to create the crime of "jaywalking"]( where before, people had been allowed to walk in the streets their taxes paid for, and people driving cars had been responsible for not hitting others. **Powerful entities had it in their interest to make you believe this was all inevitable.** People made a lot of money from making us think that this is all just How Things Are, that we have to accept the costs and deaths. They're still making a lot of money. Even those [seat belt laws exist because the auto lobby wanted to get out of having to build in airbags.]( Automotive technology is technology just like the Internet is technology. Where technology lets us leap over natural physical limitations, "human nature" isn't an inherent fundamental to the situation. Why did we build the cars to go fast? Why do people assume they should be able to get around faster in a car than on a bike, even around pedestrians? If I write a letter that tells you to kill yourself and have a print shop blow it up into a poster, is the print shop at all responsible for their involvement in my words? What if they put out a self-service photocopier and choose not to look at what people are using it for? Is it different if it's not a poster but a banner ad? A tweet? Sure, we can acknowledge that it's some part of human nature that we're going to be shitty to each other, but should we be helping each other do it at 70 miles per hour? The speed of light? These are uncomfortably *political* questions, questions that have *power* tied up in them. And that's exactly why I think it's important to reject Evans' thinking here. > Some people argue that the problem is ads, or algorithmic feeds (both of which ideas I disagree with pretty strongly - I wrote about newsfeeds [here](, but this gets at the same underlying point: instead of looking for bad stuff, perhaps we should change the paths that bad stuff can abuse. The wave of anonymous messaging apps that appeared a few years ago exemplify this - it turned out that bullying was such an inherent effect of the basic concept that they all had to shut down. Hogarth contrasted dystopian Gin Lane with utopian Beer Street - alcohol is good, so long as it’s the right kind. > Of course, if the underlying problem is human nature, then you can still only channel it. He does *not* argue in the linked piece that algorithmic newsfeeds are *worth* their bad effects, only that they're a response to a real problem -- that's why I liked the linked piece! Let's not make fuzzy comparisons, even with tongue in cheek; Dickens was quite [right to note]( that the "great vice" of "gin-drinking in England" arose out of "poverty", "wretchedness[,] and dirt", which are no more human nature than all the riches of Silicon Valley... and as a non-teetotaler I am free to add without fear of being thought a nag that [any quantity of alcohol is bad for your health]( There aren't inherent inducements to good or evil in beer or gin. The existing context is too important, and someone's getting rich off of selling you either. I'm not even sure I believe that we can know anonymous messaging *inherently* leads to bullying, only that the populations who seize upon it in our preexisting imperfect context are using it toward that end. But if you're willing to believe that YikYak had to die, *why* then believe that an engagement-maximization framework -- algorithms harvesting your eyeballs -- is not having significant impact on the way we interact with each other? Is this guy *invested* in [Facebook]( Did any philosopher, pessimist or optimist, imagine like count displays in their [state of nature]( Ah, blech, the guy's got a history in VC. I shouldn't have opened the Twitter to try to confirm pronouns. There's a very sad genetic fallacy (well, heuristic) we could apply here but I'm too busy to let myself be saddened by its conclusions.

Does it need to be tackled? I mean, I think it’s a good thing about the reddit ecosystem that you have multiple communities dedicated to the same topic but which have different mod policies, say. To the extent that it can devolve into namesquatting, we can always repo the name later.

Maybe we should ask that there be a point of clarification in the sidebar?

Hey, if you’re getting death threats in PMs please reach out directly to admins. That is not something we tolerate. I am not sure what options like IP bans exist or will exist. We don’t want anybody to be harassed.

You have reported that you received one message from a different account that was rude. You are also in this thread calling people paranoid, so… I will at this time remind everyone that we’re trying not to have Lemmy be a cesspool, so please try to be polite. I am not seeing anyone behave in a way that seems obviously banworthy.

the (us) state birds are garbage
I may have a small data project on my hands, because it seems like all things being equal you'd want to allow for more prevalent birds being more favored... but this is a really entertaining and good video all told.’s bulletin board software is open source and great
Software shapes the feel of a social space. Just think of everyone who's so into Gemini -- or on the other side, how Reddit feels a bit unclean... anyway, this software may have been inspired by chan boards, but in the incarnation of it I know, it has a wonderful vibe. I just found out it's not some old thing repurposed, but an open source project under (newly active) development.

and I so, so, regret missing it. > [Cough, cough, cough] Well there's nothing like a good cough [Cough] To spread this disease

> The internet is clever, but it’s not always smart. It’s personalized, but not personal. It lures you in with a timeline, then fucks with your concept of time. It doesn’t know or care whether you actually had a miscarriage, got married, moved out, or bought the sneakers. It takes those sneakers and runs with whatever signals you’ve given it, and good luck catching up. We would never accept this kind of targeting from humans. If you offer someone a drink, they say "No thanks I'm sober", and you then keep shoving it in their face -- that is *terrible of you*. We accept the equivalent as a neutral fact of Internet ads. Why?

using homoglyphs to make bilingual (bi-orthographic?) crosswords
Honestly the main reason I'm posting this is that I find *fascinating* that there are little audio clips sprinkled throughout the way people use GIFs. I can think of *reasons* why this isn't more broadly done, but I still... love it?

jacob hall’s links
It is most delightful to run across a site that links to some things you already know you like, and a lot that you've never heard of. You go in to pick through them with high expectations. Jacob Hall's is one of those for me! (via [marijn](

All right, I've been playing on the web for a long while now but y'all might tempt me back to terminal stuff with this. It's so, so cute!

So the protocol is way, way different and massively out of scope to actually reimplement, so it would never make sense to have chugging along within the Lemmy backend server itself.

However, embedding Matrix rooms in webpages is something the Matrix devs want to make more straightforward (Gitter does this nicely and they’re shooting to subsume all of its functionality) so it’s not too hard to imagine some kind of integration with a. a separate Matrix server that gives permissions to b. a Matrix bot to manage creation of new rooms c. UI extensions to show this alongside communities.


Lemmy is deceptively shiny and awesome, but there’s still a lot of way more high-priority stuff that needs doing before this kind of huge feature extension is even discussed seriously, so the devs need to focus on that kind of thing.

Once the Element devs get embedded rooms a bit further down the road, this seems like a really doable project for a motivated Lemmy user to try adding on, though!

Your own server is the one through which you interact with all others. You just talk to it, and then it talks to the other servers.

Yup, the domain name is part of what defines your identity. I would expect that eventually we’ll have more interface options to ensure it’s not too confusing who’s who (especially since there’s your real username and then you can also set a display name) but it’s one of those things that isn’t really a problem until it’s a problem.

Deletions in the fediverse have been a big deal in past. The tl;dr is that your “home” server would send out a “hey delete this” notification to all the other servers. By default they will of course do that, but you can see that it’s conceivable that someone could make a malicious version of server software that wouldn’t.

I am not a dev on the project so I am happy to pitch in answering Qs. :)

Small nit: it’s not like pulling data from each server separately because you can have one user account on one server and vote / comment / post in communities on all the servers using that one same identity.

I have one somewhere but the rotating mechanism often strikes me subconsciously as a lack of it feels like the lead is rattling around (even though it isn’t)

One thing that’s important to me is making the fediverse less elitist. So that’s maybe a divergence of views, though I can’t speak to whether I’m whatever “kind of person” you’re thinking of.

Comparisons between stages of evolution do not neatly apply to comparisons between lifestyles; we can’t conclude that a large brain adapted to social interaction is better off in its absence. (See: and general health consensus tbh)

This is all pretty broad brush, of course; individuals are different and neurodivergent people are gonna want to tackle things differently, etc. etc. I’d say at the 50,000 feet view, the general US pattern of small households that try to solve all their problems alone is a pendulum too far to one side, and its social norms are in the way of people figuring out what might work better for them.

“Living arrangements” in terms of, you know, bedrooms around a kitchen… that’s only one aspect of how people enact this – and because it’s the most All Or Nothing, I think it’s not the most useful as a starting point, you know? I think I’ve seen the same romanticization you have, and it does strike me how young the person often is doing that romanticizing…

What I think is useful about this piece is how it points out how these attitudes extend beyond commune-type living; every extended family juggling child-cousins around so parents can run errands is doing the exact same thing. Every time friends arrange a joint Costco trip because Jessica has a minivan and Amanda likes the churros – they’re engaging in the same spirit.

Rather than setting up dramatic changes in living arrangements, my guess is we’d all be better served if we looked around at the community we already have and the things in our lives we already need to get done and figured out how to come together a little more to do them.

Personally, I don’t really want it to be changed; I like that there’s somewhere generic that can serve as a catch-all bin for Fediverse content. However, I think it’s cool that someone (possibly even you??? I don’t have it in a tab) was working on spinning off something to focus on organizing to increase Fediverse adoption. I intend to join such spinoffs as well :)

I like the fediverse for its nichey communities. It lets content be easily spread across the network for viral serendipity, but also lets people feel like they’re just hanging out with a smaller community where you get to know each other. Within that community, the community has full control and autonomy, which is why it’s better than e.g. the evils of Facebook Groups for what I’m describing. Having a sort of collective/cooperative/socially negotiated service provision creates the nice foundation for the right attitudes for a community to have (I was heavily influenced by ). I like that no one is making money off my attention so no one is incentivized to manipulate me.

I don’t care as much about censorship resistance, escaping Big Mod, libreness of software (except through how that’s made it something accessible and shaped-by-the-community that a sysadminny type person can spin up without a ton of resources)…

I mean I could definitely see a social network with a highly aestheticized personality test component taking off (cough millennials and hogwarts houses cough) but hoo boy am I Not A Fan of whatever this is:

The discrepancy makes you realize that a huge cluster of people fascinated by the exact same types of things as you would be an immensely powerful source of entertainment and information, a far better content aggregator than Reddit or Hacker News could ever be. Another feature to prioritize and a great promotional point, one sure to send VCs salivating should you ever need their help bringing this to life.

The juxtaposition he’s talking about is equivalent to cartomancy pressed into service for refining a startup idea. You don’t have to share my distaste for it, of course .

Linking is super important! My sense here is also that we should advocate pulling from the picture reddit keeps instead of keeping a copy uploaded here? Not sure how that’ll display and such, but that way OP can at least maintain ability to delete without having to know about Lemmy.

Does this user know you’re reposting their art? That this will not automatically be taken down if they delete the copy on Reddit?

I’m trying to figure out next steps specific to this issue specific to this city.

gay people deserve human rights

it’s really easy to move a mastodon instance. I know because I did it. it should eventually be as easy to move a lemmy instance. each admin that has the ability to move their instance if they want to represents a meaningful point of decentralization. “The underlying problem” sounds so dramatic.

It’s never a “fire”, it’s always a “thermal event”

i just want the internet to use more images as stickers in the way that bullet journal people use stickers

Hi. I’m speaking as an admin on the site.

Please don’t insult other people for this kind of thing. If you don’t think the view expressed is worthwhile, downvote and move on.


every time i learn something new about medical error I have to wipe it from my memory to be able to sleep peacefully again

sometimes you just don’t want to get rained on, you know?

It is planned to make the filter work better with other languages when there’s proper language support. If it can be made to work with more context sensitivity, the devs are open to that – but it’s played a really important role in keeping Lemmy a friendly place just because of the kind of people it’s scared off, so I wouldn’t expect it to be made way more permissive in some way that would be attractive to the grosser parts of the internet.

So as @PP44 is saying, it’s open source. The devs work to make sure that anyone can set it up straightforwardly to run with their own modifications, not just the main version – and that means modifying the slur filter is also supposed to be straightforward, even though it’s not encouraged. There isn’t actual moderation on the whole platform per se, since two instances can federate even if one has no slur filter. There are lots of “points” to federated stuff, though, so the existence of a slur filter works well to help keep Lemmy from attracting the cesspool-types while still enjoying those other benefits.