Want to join in? Respond to our weekly writing prompts, open to everyone.
Want to join in? Respond to our weekly writing prompts, open to everyone.
from An Open Letter
Gambit worked, won first place 😎
It isn't search. Search should give you sources. The excellent elicit.org is a great application of AI to search.
That we are using it as search shows us how broken search is. At least the model that is monetized by adds. I use DEVONagent as an antidote to search in the way that presents on the world's most popular search engine.
It has limitations.
> ChatGPT sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers. Fixing this issue is challenging, as: (1) during RL training, there’s currently no source of truth; (2) training the model to be more cautious causes it to decline questions that it can answer correctly; and (3) supervised training misleads the model because the ideal answer depends on what the model knows, rather than what the human demonstrator knows.
It can be an equalizer. We can use ChatGPT and similar applications built on helping us write to get unstuck. I use tools like these to break away from a blank page.
English teachers (my wife is one!) need to start teaching people a different kind of writing literacy based on prompts, editing, and bringing voice into our writing.
There is a quote I remember being from the Eames documentary: You can't outsource curiosity. What is it we can't outsource to ChatGPT? Curiosity and its close cousin engagement. We have to interact in a way that demonstrates we, as humans, are delivering those two things.
The repo and website are linked on the projects page.
from The Monday Kickoff
Welcome to this week's edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I've found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.
Let's get this Monday started with these links:
The Myth of the Public Good, wherein Andy Hines examines the idea of public good, where it went off track in the United States, and why it'll be difficult to put the idea back on its original path.
The Clash Of Two Gilded Ages, wherein Yuen Yuen Ang explores the parallels between the growth of modern China and the rise of the United States as an economic power in the 19th century.
A Nation like Lava: Piłsudski’s Vision, wherein we learn about Józef Piłsudski, a Polish national hero post World War One, about the forces and ideas that shaped him, and why he was both reviled and revered.
What's Wrong with Technocracy?, wherein Matthew Cole attempts to explain what the titular concept is, and why its intersections with elite domination and minoritarian rule merit serious scrutiny.
Smart Streetlights are Casting a Long Shadow Over Our Cities, wherein we get a look at some of the technologies powering so-called smart cities, learn a bit about the history of the streetlight as a tool for surveillance, and why we should be wary of smart one.
The Wizards of Mind Control, wherein we learn about the astonishing ways some parasites can infect animals and pull their behavioral strings.
How Douglas Engelbart Invented the Future, wherein we learn a bit about how the computer scientist went about changing the way humans could handle complexity and urgency, that would be universally helpful, and how that informed modern computing.
The world is moving closer to a new cold war fought with authoritarian tech, wherein Tate Ryan-Mosley surveys the use of surveillance technology around the world and how the state can use technology to increase its control over its citizens.
Thomas C. Foster on the Seven Deadly Sins of Writing, wherein the writer and writing teacher looks at the factors that can make people doubt their writing and their ability to write.
And that's it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.
Over the years I've I had periods when I'm into reading books and then not. After coming off a long period of not, I decided at the beginning of 2022 that I wanted to get into a routine of reading books again. I like to read fiction because it allows me to escape my everyday life and enter a new world.
My routine is pretty simple. I read in bed every evening before going to sleep. I usually get in about an hour of reading before I fall asleep. Last year I was able to read 19 digital books and 3 paperbacks which is damn good considering I hadn't read any books the year before.
I read on a Kindle Paperwhite and get my books on Amazon. I'm currently reading Jonathon Kellerman's Breakdown. Alex Delaware and Milo are just great fucking characters. At the same time, I'm reading Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. It's very different from what I would normally read but I think I'm going really like it.
If you're a dog person like me I want to recommend 3 books about dogs that I read last year.
Here are some of my favorite authors:
from Ithaka's Blog
This interface is brilliant:
Great, just great options. And uploading took literally ten seconds.
I am so excited about this new platform!!!
Basically, Laterpress (https://www.laterpress.com/) allows the writer to run their own Scribd by letting them charge a yearly subscription. NOT ONLY THAT, it also allows the writer to have their own storefront by letting them charge a one-time fee, like at any other book retailer.
This is superb. I hope they create a phone app.
If you’re curious about just how smooth the reading experience can be on Laterpress, you can try it here on my book page: https://milk.laterpress.com/
I haven’t uploaded any other books yet, but oh goodness I am so excited. The reader interface is clean, the publisher interface is clean, everything is clean, everything works, it is so nice.
from Zéro Janvier
Je sors un peu déçu de la lecture de ce “guides des genres et sous-genres de l'imaginaire”, tiré du blog d'un passionné de littératures de l'imaginaire.
J'espérais en sortir avec de nombreuses références de romans que l'auteur m'aurait donné très envie de lire, et ce n'est pas totalement le cas. En effet, le titre de l'ouvrage doit être pris au sens littéral : l'auteur passe en effet plus de temps à proposer, préciser et débattre de la définition de chaque genre et sous-genre de l'imaginaire qu'à les illustrer avec des oeuvres représentatives. Si la présentation de chaque sous-genre s'achève bien par un encadré listant quelques oeuvres, cela tient plus de l'inventaire que de la présentation donnant envie d'en découvrir plus sur chaque oeuvre.
J'espérais trouver de l'inspiration pour de nouvelles lectures, j'en ressors avec une classification certes très précise (j'adore ça, d'ailleurs) mais guère inspirante.
from The New Oil
Disclosure: The New Oil is sponsored by IVPN. Per the terms of this agreement, IVPN does not have any input on our review, but we want to disclose any possible conflicts of interest up front. You can read all of our guidelines for sponsorships here.
A VPN – or Virtual Private Network – is a service that creates an encrypted tunnel between the device and the provider's server, protecting all your traffic from prying eyes along the way like your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or whoever owns the router (think public Wi-Fi, for example). After reaching the provider's server, your traffic continues on to your desired destination like normal. IVPN is one such service.
You may not, to be honest. (Interestingly, IVPN openly shares this opinion. Check out their site “Do I Need a VPN?”). A lot of people really hype VPNs as one of those absolutely, must-have, life-changing things that will solve all your problems. Some mainstream providers even make ridiculous, outright-false claims like “it'll make you anonymous” or “it'll protect you from viruses.” In all honesty, while I do believe that VPNs are an essential piece of your privacy strategy, there are many other free or low-cost strategies that will give you significantly more protection. A VPN these days pretty much only has two purposes: changing your IP address and protecting your traffic from local snoops. Changing your IP address is a valuable part of avoiding tracking, but it’s just one way and a VPN won’t protect you against those other methods like browser fingerprinting, tracking pixels, cookies, and more. Likewise, while it can be great to protect your traffic from your ISP or a local cybercriminal, from a security perspective you’re already pretty well covered so long as you enable your browser’s HTTPS-Only mode and make sure you’re using the correct sites instead of spoofed/phishing sites. Having said all that, I do still consider a VPN to be a useful and recommended part of your privacy and security posture if you can afford one. It can bypass censorship, stop your ISP from selling your browsing data, help obscure your IP address from tracking and logging, and protect your traffic from certain attacks.
Some people prefer Tor over VPNs. Tor is a great service, but it also has some issues that make it the wrong tool for certain situations. For example, many essential services – like banks – block known Tor IP addresses to prevent fraud and abuse, making those services nearly impossible with Tor. Second, Tor loses almost – if not – all of its anonymity once you login to something. If you login to your email and then your Reddit account in the same session, they’re now tied together and you’ve lost your anonymity benefit. For this reason, I recommend reputable VPNs for any services that are tied to your real identity or sensitive and Tor for random searches or accounts that are not tied to your real identity.
IVPN has some really impressive positive aspects. For one, they are committed to ethical marketing. Their site talks about how they don’t believe in paying for reviews or unethical ads, their commitment to transparency, and as I linked above they even have a website that aims to dispel many of the myths surrounding VPNs and what they can and can’t do – even if it costs them potential customers. They’d rather lose an educated customer who knows that IVPN won’t solve their problems than dupe a paying customer who won’t get the protection they really need.
IVPN’s security is also top notch. We have covered numerous stories on Surveillance Report about vulnerabilities in widespread VPN protocols or infrastructure, and nearly every one has noted “IVPN is not vulnerable to this,” usually because they patched their systems months ago or have some other mitigation in place that just so happens to protect against the vulnerability in question. (Of course, IVPN is not the only one immune to these bugs, but out of the three we endorse on The New Oil they’re the only one that is consistently ahead of the curve). I was also pleased to see that Wireguard was their default protocol – which is a recently-developed VPN protocol that’s considered to be faster, lighter, and because the code is so small it’s more easily auditable, which hopefully in the long run will mean less vulnerabilities. Though of course, the other protocols listed above are still available for those who want something a bit more time-tested or have a different need. Finally, IVPN offers a built-in firewall that blocks known trackers, ads, and malicious domains. For the record, all three of the VPNs The New Oil currently recommends offers the same feature under various names, but regardless that's always a plus worth pointing out.
The information required at signup is none. Seriously. You can click “generate an IVPN account” on their homepage and it just does. They also accept Monero directly without a third-party exchange being involved as well as cash, which means that if done right, IVPN is easily 100% anonymous. Of course, you can add an email if you feel so inclined, and you can pay with a card (including a privacy.com card), Bitcoin, or PayPal, but at no point do they require any of this from you. It’s totally voluntary. Finally, they offer TOTP to protect your account, which is wonderful. While there wouldn't really be any information for an attacker to gain if they did manage to compromise your account, basic account protections are always appreciated.
Finally, their country of origin – Gibraltar – offers some redeeming aspects. Gibraltar is legally a UK territory (which I will discuss next), but they are given a long leash by the government and operate mostly as an autonomous region. This turned out to be a good thing when post-Brexit, Gibraltar decided to legally adopt GDPR for themselves. From what I understand, it was largely untouched except for a few legal definitions to clarify that it was being applied to Gibraltar specifically.
A few other neat things I noticed in my time testing them out:
Oh, and for those who saw my System 76 video, I would like to note that the DaVinci bug no longer seems to be an issue. I'm not sure who's side it was fixed on, but either way I no longer have to disable or adjust my IVPN client when video editing. I just wanted to report that.
IVPN does have a few drawbacks, but they’re very few and far between. The most noticeable one, in my opinion, is the low server selection. They offer only 81 servers in 34 countries (up slightly from last year). I personally didn’t find this to be an issue at all, but when going up against other providers who offer hundreds of servers in well over fifty countries, it may be an issue for some users. IVPN also makes no promises of working on streaming services. In the past I’ve reported issues with HBO Max and Spotify. I truthfully gave up trying to use IVPN with video streaming so I can’t confirm or deny those issues still exist (most likely do) but I can confirm Spotify sometimes doesn’t want to load. Unfortunately a simple reboot of the VPN doesn’t always work, which I reported did in the past. Fortunately this issue is rare overall. I can probably count on one hand how many times it happened in the last few months of using it.
Since the last time I reviewed IVPN, I really cracked down on my commitment to using double-hop VPNs. I have mixed opinions on IVPN’s double-hop implementation from a user-perspective. While I appreciate being able to pick my exit city – unlike Proton where you can only pick exit countries and even then only certain ones – I’m sad I can’t simply pick “fastest” should I not care, and the “sort by: latency” option doesn’t always work well, particularly on the Windows app. On that note, I have frequently noticed another bug in which IVPN claims to be connected despite the fact that I’m currently in Airplane Mode on Windows. I should really report this, it simply keeps slipping my mind. It’s a small bug, but it does make me wonder at other times if my connection is still solid. Of course, I can always quickly and easily verify this with a quick “what's my IP address?” search.
Perhaps the biggest drawback lies in their home country. As I said before, Gibraltar operates largely autonomously and did go out of their way to legally apply GDPR to themselves after Brexit. However, they are still a UK territory. Hong Kong used to be mostly independent, too, until they weren’t. The reason we list a country of origin as a pro or con based on their Eyes affiliation is because it sets a tone. If a country is part of the Eyes, it shows that they have a lower regard for the privacy of their citizens and they are willing to share data and violate privacy. Likewise, while Gibraltar may value privacy, they belong to a country that clearly does not, and if the UK decides to crack down on their anti-privacy stance in Gibraltar, this could be very damaging to IVPN. Keep in mind: this is pure speculation. There is no evidence at this time that the UK is pressuring Gibraltar or IVPN or what forms that kind of pressure might take if it did come to pass. I also have zero doubt that Gibraltar and IVPN would push back against these unethical requests. However, at the end of the day, they fall under UK jurisdiction, and if they lose these battles, it could be a problem. Again, I cannot stress enough that this purely a “what if” scenario, but given the UK’s open and outright hostility against privacy, it’s worth having this concern on your radar.
My last few months on IVPN has been overall very pleasant. Aside from the two bugs noted earlier, everything was smooth and fast (except in areas with low cell signal, but that should be expected). Signup was shockingly smooth, apps were easy to find and install, and settings were explained well and straightforward. If you a VPN with a high ethical standard, a great track record of security, and no-personal-information-required, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to check into IVPN.
You can learn more and sign up for IVPN here. No affiliate link.
from The Fediverse Report
Welcome to another episode of Sunday Readings, a bi-weekly newsletter that gives you three articles worth reading. The theme of this episode is reflections on the web. If you’d want to summarize what the fediverse actually is, you could do worse by saying that at its core it is an ‘internet build on top of the internet’.
Reading, writing and reflecting on the fediverse becomes in part about the internet itself. To understand why people are excited about building on the fediverse, it helps to understand and reflect on the development of the internet. And it does feel like people are excited, my feelings are encapsulated by this post:
To understand where that excitement comes from, we’re going back in time:
So get cozy, grab a seat, and lets dive into some analysis of internet history.
Robin Berjon’s The Internet Transition is nothing short of grand, in it’s description of how the internet is at an inflection point. It is a grand, sweeping narrative, where starting at beginning means starting at single-celled organisms. Berjon uses this slow build-up to describe how complexity in society is a good thing, but also that managing societal complexity is, well, hard. The internet has profoundly influenced our societal complexity, and Berjon describes the problem as follows:
the Internet has made greater institutional capacity possible, but
it has also made our world more complex in ways that require an increase in institutional capacity to happen and
it has broken some of our established institutions, actually causing a decrease in institutional capacity, and
we are not yet using the new governance capabilities that the Internet made possible anyway.
This does not mean that creating and using new forms of governance capabilities will take the shape that it is often imagined:
“One of the most common future-Earth sci-fi tropes is that of a single unified worldwide government, often simply depicted as a beefed up UN — something bureaucratic, ineffective, and in charge of pretty much everything. And it’s not just sci-fi authors who tend that way. We tend to imagine governance systems as neatly, even naively, nested: countries, provinces, counties, cities, districts… all forming a nice matryoshka pyramid. From an empirical perspective, this simplistic view is incorrect. It also leads us to conflate global and central.”
Berjon argues in detail against unified and centralized ways of governance, coming to suggest:
“worldwide governance that is neither centralised nor unified, and in which every institution provides governance (in varying degrees) for every other, in much the same way that in an ecosystem everything is infrastructure for everything else. (Yes, like the Fediverse but a lot more so.)”
And finally concluding:
To summarise, we are traversing an epochal change and we lack the institutional capacity to complete this transformation without imploding. We could well fail, and the consequences of failure at this juncture would be catastrophic. However, we can collectively rise to the challenge and an exciting assemblage of subfields is emerging to help. We can fix the failed state that is the Internet if we approach building tech with institutional principles, and an Internet that delivers on its cooperative promise of deeper, denser institutional capacity is what we need as a planetary civilisation.
The issues that Berjon describe point to deep and complex societal issues, that are not solved by all just moving to the fediverse. But as Chris Trottier states, it can be part of a start of a new movement. The cooperative premise is indeed build deeply into the fediverse, and that is something be work hard to maintain and develop.
Matt Baer, the creator of write.as, wrote a blogpost in December 2021, about web3. Web3 was just starting to gain traction, and Matt wrote a reflection on it. He instead proposed a web 3.0, in contrast with the financialized, crypto-centered web3. The web 3.0 values are in opposite with those of web3, namely open, personal ownership, and interoperability.
Now more than a year later, web3 seems to have lived out most of its hype cycle. With the slow destruction of crypto, energy and money seems to be draining out of web3 as well, with people being thoroughly disillusioned by the financializated of the internet.It’s interesting to see how well this piece held up, more than a year later.
Baer summarizes web 3.0 as:
And further on:
If anything feels the most “Web 3.0” to me today, it’s the fediverse. It’s certainly the most human — it allows any kind of organization to form around both platform development (often an open source community) and data stewardship (could be an individual, non-profit, co-op, small business, etc.). There’s no overhead from unnecessary organizations or programmed contracts — people know how to coordinate naturally. It allows but doesn’t require commerce to keep the ecosystem alive. And if there is commerce, it naturally supports healthy competition, i.e. multiple service providers. Finally, it’s both useful and user-friendly enough for anyone in the world to utilize today — something sorely lacking in “web3.”
Baer’s proposals and ideas feel just as fresh and relevant a year later.
The third piece is called “Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech” by Mike Masnick. This piece is also older, from 2019, and does not talk directly about the fediverse either. Instead, it sets up the stage, dividing the internet era in an early age of protocols (such as UseNet and IRC), followed by an age of Platforms (the current FAAMG Big Tech), and argues the value of a move towards protocols again. Masnick argues:
Moving to a world where protocols and not proprietary platforms dominate would solve many issues currently facing the internet today. Rather than relying on a few giant platforms to police speech online, there could be widespread competition, in which anyone could design their own interfaces, filters, and additional services, allowing whichever ones work best to succeed, without having to resort to outright censorship for certain voices. It would allow end users to determine their own tolerances for different types of speech but make it much easier for most people to avoid the most problematic speech, without silencing anyone entirely or having the platforms themselves make the decisions about who is allowed to speak.
Without naming the fediverse or Mastodon, the system proposed by Masnick resembles it well:
A protocol-based system, however, moves much of the decision making away from the center and gives it to the ends of the network. Rather than relying on a single centralized platform, with all of the internal biases and incentives that that entails, anyone would be able to create their own set of rules—including which content do they not want to see and which content would they like to see promoted. Since most people would not wish to manually control all of their own preferences and levels, this could easily fall on any number of third parties—whether they be competing platforms, public interest organizations, or local communities. Those third parties could create whatever interfaces, with whatever rules, they wanted.
When describing what might not work, one of the answers Masnick gives is an increased complexity. Written in 2019, it seems remarkably how well this fits with critique that is currently being leveled at the signup process for Mastodon:
It is entirely possible that any protocols-based system will tend to be too complicated and too cumbersome to attract a large enough userbase. Users don’t want to fiddle with tons of settings or different apps to get things to work. They just want to find out what the service is and be able to use it without much difficulty. Platforms have historically been quite good at focusing on the user experience aspect, especially around onboarding new users.
We’ve built many tools for publishing to the web – but I want to make the claim that we have underdeveloped the tools and platforms for publishing collections, indexes and small databases. It’s too hard to build these kinds of experiences, too hard to maintain them and a lack of collaborative tools.
This is a very interesting problem. And relevant to civil society organizations as well as hobbyists and collectors. How does a local nonprofit keep up a list of resources relevant to their community? How do we know what services are available in our communities? How do we discover all the forms we have to fill out and keep up to date if we need assistance getting food. How do humans find and reuse this data.
At the database of resources level, this is a problem 211 tries to solve. Open referral takes it a step further and provides an indie web like structure for marking up the resources, making it easier to remix and use them. Libraries bring it to their communities.
The now-defunct H2O from Harvard is a good starting place for thinking about this. It was made for collaboratively managing course syllabi. You could make a syllabus, clone a syllabus, fork a syllabus and rework it. It carried attribution with it. It preserved the contributors to the syllabus. I used to organize post-talk or workshop handouts.
It feels like their is a community project here to define a standards based approach that allows people to contribute resources, create lists with ability to create sections, order items, and annotate at the list, section, and item level, and publish to the web. It can borrow from the collaborative aspect of H2O so that you can remix other lists, preserving attribution.
from the moon.
I’m not really a forgiving person.
Sulit untukku memaafkan seseorang, terutama ketika dia benar-benar menyinggungku atau benar-benar menyakitiku. Aku memang tidak berkata apa-apa, berlaku biasa saja di depan orang tersebut, namun aku berjanji pada hatiku sendiri untuk tidak akan pernah memaafkan orang tersebut.
Sebelum aku pindah ke negara ini, terdapat sebuah gesekan besar antara suami, aku dan ibu mertuaku. Biasa, perihal finansial. Beliau benar-benar menyinggungku, menyinggung suamiku. Aku marah besar, tapi tidak bisa mengeluarkannya di depan beliau karena tidak ingin memperbesar rongga di antara beliau dan suami.
Di dalam hatiku aku berkata, inikah orang yang ingin aku untuk menganggapnya sebagai ibuku sendiri? She is even worse than my own mother. Ayahku bahkan tidak pernah memperlakukan suamiku seperti itu. Ayahku sangat sayang pada suamiku, dia menantu kesayangan beliau. Dia membuatkan menantunya teh setiap menantunya berkunjung, membelikan nasi tim saat menantunya sakit. Tidak adil rasanya karena mertuaku tidak memperlakukanku sama seperti ayahku memperlakukan suamiku.
Aku tidak bisa memaafkannya, apapun yang beliau lakukan untuk meminta maafku.
Selang beberapa bulan setelah itu, rumah tangga kakak iparku hancur dan ibu mertuaku sakit parah. Jelas sekali sakitnya berasal dari stress yang sangat berat.
Awalnya aku biasa saja. Tetapi lama kelamaan, penyakitnya makin berat dan aku terpikirkan kalimat yang terukir dalam di hatiku waktu itu. Aku tidak bermaksud superior atau mendahului Tuhan, tapi apakah sakitnya mertuaku ini karena beliau tidak mendapatkan maaf yang tulus dariku?
Ketidakberuntungan menghantui keluarga mertuaku tepat setelah kejadian itu, apakah ini sebuah ganjaran akan sakit hatiku?
Ketika berpindah ke negara ini, suamiku mulai banyak bercerita tentang masa kecilnya, kedekatan dengan orangtuanya yang sangat minim dan betapa ia tak mengerti mengapa ia harus dekat dengan orangtuanya sementara kedekatan itu tak pernah orangtuanya pupuk semenjak ia kecil.
Aku miris mendengarnya. Aku pikir hanya aku yang menjalani kehidupan masa kecil yang tidak menyenangkan. Lima tahun menikah, aku baru tahu perasaan suamiku saat dia dalam proses tumbuh besar.
Aku marah, sedih. Tapi aku bisa apa? Semua sudah terjadi. Tidak mungkin aku mengembalikan waktu dan membuat masa kecil suamiku berubah 180 derajat.
I try to make him happy.
Aku belikan ia pakaian, aku jaga mood-nya, aku turuti semua keinginannya. Tapi, mood-nya selalu hancur saat ibunya merengek sesuatu yang menurutku... entahlah, aku tidak bisa berkata apa-apa.
I hate his mom and his dad. They always take him for granted. Aku sayangi dia, aku cintai dan aku juga ikut hancur melihat orangtuanya memperlakukan dia seperti itu.
Dan aku semakin jauh dari kata maaf.
Aku selalu ingin mengatakan bahwa aku sayang dia, ayahku juga, begitu pun kakak-kakak dan adikku. Mereka semua menghormati dia. Suami, menantu, kakak ipar dan adik ipar kebanggaan keluargaku.
Aku harap perasaanku dan keluargaku ini sampai padanya.
from Telmina's notes
This image is created by NMKD Stable Diffusion GUI.
#2023年 #2023年1月 #2023年1月30日 #StableDiffusion #NMKDStableDiffusionGUI #AI #PC #Windows #暖房 #体調不良 #照明 #テレワーク
This article was originally published to Medium on August 14, 2022. (https://medium.com/@non-monetized_together/people-on-the-internet-are-assuming-the-worst-of-one-another-80f52cad14f3?source=user_profile---------8----------------------------)
Back in 2013, Reddit user Aalewis posted this to the atheism subreddit, going viral, prompting ridicule, and becoming a meme:
“Just to be clear, I’m not a professional ‘quote maker’. I’m just an atheist teenager who greatly values his intelligence and scientific fact over any silly fiction book written 3,500 years ago. This being said, I am open to any and all criticism.
‘In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony god’s blessing. But because, I am enlightened by my intelligence.’” — Aalewis (source: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/in-this-moment-i-am-euphoric)
I will admit this quote certainly isn’t perfect. It reads like a teenager trying too hard to sound adult. As well as having punctuation errors, what does Aalewis even mean by “professional quote maker?” Yet they aren’t actually saying anything wrong for an atheist. I’m a theist myself, and even I find it hard to interpret this post as meaning anything other than “atheism and human knowledge have been so useful for me that I have achieved a state of fulfillment equivalent to what spirituality promises to offer.” Tell me how you can be an atheist without agreeing with this.
Well, let’s see what others have to say. I’ll start with responses from the original thread, which is now only viewable on the Internet Archive. (source: https://web.archive.org/web/20130109064934/http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/15xwij/i_came_up_with_this_quote_just_a_few_minutes_ago/)
If I’m right, you’re probably feeling pretty damn awful right now. If I were you then for the next few years you might cringe at night at the thought of having once posted this.
It’s one of the inevitable mistakes of that phase between youth and maturity. Every single person who posted in this thread has them too; I’ve got five I could name right now. There’s that one quote, “If I could do my life over, I would make the same mistakes, only sooner”; to that I say, bollocks to that. These kinds of things just suck like a black hole. But at the very least, we’ve all had them at some point.
I’ll point out the immediate things I want to get across. For a start, atheism doesn’t mean belittling theists or going out of your way to humiliate or disprove them. It means just not believing in divinity of any form. Neither does atheism immediately equal intelligence.
Secondly, it’s all well and good to be a smart bloke but without a healthy does of wisdom and humility you’re not going to be someone anybody could be happy to talk to.” — Priderage
Ridiculous. Priderage started off putting the blame on Aalewis for other people making fun of them, but then started promoting respect and humility, as if Aalewis wasn’t already doing so in the first place! Aalewis didn’t even mention theists in their post, let alone belittle them. Plus, they were humble — they just mentioned they were open to criticism. Also, atheism equals intelligence the same way that theism equals intelligence. Everybody has an intelligence, save for the comatose, the brain-dead, and the newborn.
Priderage’s response continues for a while but basically the entire gist of their comment is contained in the excerpt above (check the link for yourself to see their full comment). So no, their comment really does mean what it looks like it means. But what’s even crazier is that the comments were practically worshipping Priderage for making such a deep and meaningful response.
“But I am an atheist forum, I’m just gushing over a user who called someone out for expressing their atheism in a normal way!” — r/atheism
I really should at least compliment Priderage on the sympathetic nature of their reply, but the way it was paired with a message of mockery makes me question their true intentions.
Priderage may not be aware of the subconscious messages they communicated: making a tribute to atheism is an “inevitable mistake,” openly disagreeing with theism equals mocking it, some atheists lack intelligence, being content with earthly knowledge is not humble, and publicly supporting atheism means “you’re not going to be someone anybody could be happy to talk to.” The popularity of Priderage’s response really speaks to how fragile religious structures were in 2013 as well as how uncomfortable people were towards pro-atheist comments, even among atheists.
Or does it?
Could it be possible that I misread their response? Totally. Remember, I created this blog with the intention of writing not from a position of authority, but as an equal to my readers. I’m just one guy.
But if that’s so, then Priderage didn’t bother to consider the possibility that Aalewis’s comment may have just been an innocent shout-out to atheism. This shows that they nonetheless assumed the worst in people. As you will see, this is a pattern that got repeated through many of the other comments. If one of these commenters considered that maybe not everyone online is a jerk, this story could have gone very differently.
This next response is an example of a greater problem with the Internet that is so ubiquitous and unaddressed that I’m surprised that I haven’t written an article about it yet.
“Wow, that is so pretentious, poorly written and self indulgent.
I can just imagine how “deep” OP probably thought that was. He probably spent at least a little bit of time crafting that “quote” into what he thought was a concise and introspective nugget of genius. Now he deletes the post running away with his tail between his legs.” — ****ty-analogy
You should keep track of whenever you see someone online complaining that someone else thinks they are so smart. Nine times out of ten, they are talking about someone who never even hinted about such a thing. It’s a cop-out people use whenever they don’t have any actual arguments, yet I don’t see people point this issue out.
This case was no different. That’s ****ty-analogy’s entire comment right there, so you can see that they didn’t actually have anything to support their claim, and it’s at 208 points.
XenoRenseller posted a response that backed up the conclusions I made earlier about what Priderage’s subconscious messages meant to society. It reads, “[Aalewis] has to attack the image of god to help justify his stance; he’s definitely not comfortable.” But when your definition of “attack” is wide enough to apply to Aalewis’s comment, you’re putting huge limitations on how you expect “comfortable” atheists to behave. So, XenoRenseller was strongly opposing freedom of atheist speech.
Same with Zlatanista, who responded with “[i]f someone asked me to provide one quote that summed up r/atheism, this would be it. It literally has everything: arrogance, naivety and bizarrely misplaced egotism.” This is especially ironic because by putting down an entire subreddit, Zlatanista was displaying the same traits that they were baselessly accusing Aalewis of.
Many other users in the thread accused Aalewis of being egotistical or insulting. They include DrSexNugget, shodanx, HarlanEllisonIsGod, DefenestratorOfSouls, HeresWhyYouSuck, and attaxx. And this is just going off the comments that have enough upvotes to be visible in the archived version. None of the points they made were valid.
In the midst of all of this outrage, I’ve found a comment on a different thread, except this one has the potential to guide us to a more positive future (thank you, double-happiness, for sharing it with us) (source: https://www.reddit.com/r/SubredditDrama/comments/15yjpi/comment/c7ro4en/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3). It shows two copy-pasted comments, one of which appears to be an Aalewis comment that appeared in the original thread, but did not receive enough upvotes to appear in the linked archive version. This doesn’t prove that the comment is legit, but if it is (and it likely is), it confirms my suspicions about Aalewis’s intentions.
“[deleted] -232 points 1 day ago
At no point did I say I was “special”. I don’t think myself better than anyone because of my atheism. I did not insult anyone by saying I don’t feel euphoria at a phony blessing.”
Then, if this is real, not only did people make quick negative assumptions about Aalewis, but when Aalewis explained that the mob was wrong, they got downvoted. Not only does this mean Internet atheists were insecure about being open about their lack of faith, but it shows that they were not willing to learn from Aalewis when they challenged everyone else’s insecurities. If this doesn’t point to the authoritarian capabilities of groupthink, I don’t know what does.
But that was almost 10 years ago.
I’ve been trying to make this obvious, but in case you haven’t noticed, the purpose of this post (and all my posts on Non-Monetized Together) isn’t to unleash frustration or to create drama with others. It’s to look back at an unfortunate incident and ask, “what went wrong?” If we are more honest about our worldviews, which include religion, we can have more substantial discussions and learn from each other more easily. How do we make that our reality?
It would require theists to develop some thicker skin so they avoid mislabelling opposing ideas as attacks. It would require atheists to go into more detail about their beliefs so others can understand their positive intentions. We all must challenge ourselves to work towards a resolution when chatting with strangers online. The future of our humanity lies in these interactions.
Resilience, openness, and solutions — these are also three of the goals that Non-Monetized Together is working to achieve. I know it’s cliché, but the impact of these virtues extend far beyond yourself. By connecting with each other and believing in our goals, we can be a part of something incredibly powerful.
Something more than just an unremarkable quote from an unidentified Redditor.
You can read more about the challenge here.
Class: Cleric Deity: Fubar, petty god magical mishap and adventure; symbol is a flaming, simple five-pointed star (Petty Gods p. 53) Alignment: Chaotic Languages: Common, Alignment
Appearance: 5'10” / 1,78 m, 146 lbs. / 66 kg; honey skin; soft black bushy hair and long forked beard Traits: Calm, lacks empathy, prays before all decisions
Hit points: 4 Armor class: 2
STR: 13 (+1 to hit, damage, and open doors) INT: 8 (can write simple Common words) WIS: 16 (+2 on magic based saving throws) DEX: 14 (+1 to hit with missiles, -1 AC bonus, +1 initiative) CON: 8 (-1 points per hit die) CHA: 9
Death Ray or Poison: 11 Magic Wands: 12 Paralysis or Turn to Stone: 14 Dragon Breath: 16 Rods, Staves, or Spells: 15
Coins: 3 gp Armor: Plate Mail Armor Weapons: War Hammer, Sling (30 stones) Gear: Holy Symbol, Small Sack (2), Torches (6), Wine Skin, Rope (50ft)
from Ithaka's Blog
Mainly, for my own reference.
I am not a Logic Pro master. (In fact, I don’t know if what I do counts as “audio mastering.” Probably, it doesn’t. But, what else to call it? I don’t know.)
Because I am not a master, what I have done is… I have looked this up on various sites and… pretty much pressed the buttons where they said I should.
This is a summary of the buttons I pressed. There are some phrases in this post that you might use as search keywords. If not the overall summary, then maybe those phrases will help.
All this, in Logic Pro.
For audio cleaning:
Do not ever use Noise Gate for the purpose of cleaning audio that should be, well, audible. Your voice will sound completely artificial. I tried using it. It sounds awful, because the thing apparently cuts off everything that is softer than a certain threshold volume.
Meaning, it might be able to eliminate that annoying, very soft beep that is part of the room tone (which should be completely inaudible), but it cannot make your voice itself (the part that should remain clearly audible) sound neat. If you nevertheless use noise gate on audio that should be clearly audible, such as your voice, it will make you sound like you’re breathing in staccato, by eliminating the softer breathing sounds. It will make you sound like you’re sick!
(I actually do not remember where the “Channel EQ” in the screenshot comes from. Consider this proof that I am not a Logic Pro master.)
The “Loudness” plugin lets you monitor the loudness… but I’m not sure what it does, other than monitoring.
The specific settings of DeEsser 2, Channel EQ, and Limiter can be adjusted according to your tastes. Pick whatever sounds nice to your ears.
Mainly, the audio cleaning step, from above, will have made the cleaned audio softer than the original recording. So, it is likely that you might want to use the plugins to volume up a bit.
Once cleaning & editing are finished:
File > Bounce > Project or Selection
Depending on what you want, you might change the setting. But this is the setting I have been using and it has caused no problems so far, on any of the podcast platforms.
Within Logic pro, if you keep using the same file over and over again (recording, deleting that recording, recording the next episode, deleting that, recording another episode in the same file…) various deleted bits will stay alive behind-the-scenes, in places you don’t immediately see. Those hidden bits will slow down your computer. It might even crash, eventually.
So, to clean the file:
If you save logic project as a package file, it stores all recordings inside of it. Open project, press F (or View > Show Browsers),
go to the Project tab and in Edit menu press Select Unused (or manually select files that you don't need), backspace to delete them.
Then go to File > Project Management > Clean Up > select Delete Unused Files > Ok. It should give you window with list of files it about to delete, check if everything is ok and press ok. Now your recordings should be gone from project and also from disk.
But, in general, it seems like a good idea to create a template file. This template file would be free of any previous recordings that might be lurking in the background. Also, it would have:
I suggest you lock the row with the original recording, once you are done recording. Then mute it. Only go back to it if you mess up the row for edited recording.
That is all, from this non-audio-expert podcaster.
from Arno's Stuff
Alright, this is a bit of an unusual situation, as I rarely blog about very down-to-earth everyday technical tweaks, but my fonts looked so ugly on Windows 11 that I had to look into it.
This post is essentially mirroring this StackOverflow post.
The first step is to change the way the entire OS renders fonts.
Quickest way is to just push the keys Win+R
(I made this using this very nice website by the way), you should see a small window pop-up on the bottom-left of your screen
You should type exactly what’s in my prompt:
This will open a window, click on advanced
Then (after clicking on the Performance button) you just tick a few boxes, most importantly the “Smooth edges” option.
If you use Google Chrome (or Chromium) like me, you might’ve noticed the fonts looking like shit. That is not you hallucinating (at least not if it’s still close to 2023) !
Chrome has as set of experimental features it can toggle on or off, which you can find at chrome://flags/ if you’re using chrome.
This is what it looks like:
The only one you’ve got to disable is the “Accelerated 2D Canvas” which you see on top here. You might need to Ctrl+F to find it on the page.