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What are the appropriate feelings for when the president of your country vows to use the military against civilians, for when people of color continue to be murdered with impunity by police, for when 100,000 of your countrypeople have died to a pandemic due to government inaction, for when the federal government has threatened to punish websites whose behavior they dislike, for when journalists are being shot at and arrested, for when there appears to be a full-scale mass mutiny by the highly-militarized police because their ability to commit brutality unchecked was threatened?

Asking for me. Because I'm feeling so lost and empty and wrecked right now.

 

A standard RPG dice set has seven dice: d4, d6, d8, 2d10, d12, and d20.

I really just want a set in deep, rich, translucent gem tones, a different color of the rainbow per die.

 

"OH GOD WHAT'S WRONG--oh I had beets last night."

Every fucking time.

 

Saw all those reports about Trump taking aim at 'social media companies' so I took a look at what he's pushing to be amended: https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

This isn't "social media companies", or "businesses", it's *everything*. Every website every forum every Fedi instance, every FTP server and gopher hole. Absolutely everything.

I severely doubt they'll go ahead and change/revoke this because it'll make all forms of accessible servers liable for whatever snippets of media is on them as if the server owner themselves has authored them.

What's odd is how the media keeps focusing on the 'social network' aspect and not noticing the magnitude of what we're talking about. You'd think they'd notice. :blobthinking:

Full legal text: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230

 

This is a year old, but it's a nice primer on some of the tactics that Hong Kong protesters used effectively. Good to keep in mind.

I'm curious if anyone has any other consolidated English-language resources on practical mass protest tactics, whether from Hong Kong or not.

 

Twitter: Respectable Lawyer on Twitter (Respectable Lawyer)


 

Could barely sleep last night because of anxiety.

I finished Sarah Kendzior's Hiding In Plain Sight this week, and it's chilling. It is so apparent that we're witnessing an autocratic consolidation of power, the transformation of a (nominally) liberal democracy into an autocracy.

Bill Barr, supposedly in charge of ensuring laws are applied justly, chuckles and says history is written by the victors. The president's unelected son-in-law says there's no reason right now to believe the election won't be held on November 3rd as planned, suggesting that's even up for debate. Today, the White House is preparing an executive order that will weaken Section 230 protections because "conservative viewpoints are being censored".

It's happening so quickly. And it seems nobody wants to see it.

 

I set up a Git forge on my home server today. It was remarkably easy, and though I still only barely understand Git, it's really cool that I can host my own.

I've got my own personal Git forge. I'm working on my own little social network for my friends and myself (as seen here). I've got my own little cloud thanks to NextCloud. Bit by bit, I'm pulling my data back under my control, and I love it!

I'm really looking forward to leaving Goodreads. I'm eagerly watching @Readlebee and @[email protected]'s Book Wyrm, because federated social reading? Yes please.

# is so rad.
 
Good question! I think it's an intersection of learning more about Git in general, getting more comfortable with directly editing configuration files in an open-source operating system, and exploring self-hosting more.

I set up a repo for my homepage on there. I don't need it for that project, of course--I could obviously just use Git locally, and will continue to do so--but I figured it was a good learning opportunity.

In the future, I may use it with a friend as we work on customizing and developing add-ons for my Friendica instance.
 
Awesome, good luck with that.

 


 

I think I’m starting to understand Git?

To be clear about where I’m coming from and what this means, I’m not talking about the intricacies or the inner workings or anything like that. I have spent a couple years completely baffled by the absolute basics of Git, while also recognizing it as a useful tool and kinda fumbling around to interact with it for other people’s projects.

But I think I turned a corner today where I realized how useful it could be on my own computer and for my own projects, and I set up a Gitea instance on my personal server. I think I’m starting to understand the barest minimum.

And hey, that’s kinda cool! 😀
This entry was edited (6 days ago)

 

Observations from a Pandemic


I'm gonna use the comments on this post to share observations from this weird time.
 
"Stay safe," reads the reader board outside a Sizzler.
 
I'm forgetting how to live in a city. My car feels unfamiliar. When I walk down the sidewalk, the bubble of my awareness is smaller. I almost forget to look both ways before crossing the street.

 

Spotify is buying up all the popular podcasts and removing them from the commons in order to drive you to their platform.

Podcasts have somehow stayed open access, built on standards, and just (mostly) work. Moving them to a proprietary platform just so a few people (ie: not you) can make money is bad for everyone who isn't making money. (ie: you.)

 

computing enthusiasts: microsoft is supporting linux apps in windows and adding DX support! this is amazing!

me, cynical:
embrace
extend <-- you are here
extinguish

 

I have a radically different idea for dealing with this problem.

Twitter: steele on Twitter (steele)


 

It is somehow both incredibly empowering and incredibly disheartening to identify that the source of my computer's recent freezing and stuttering appears to be running out of memory and swap space.

Empowering because, yay, I read the logs and noticed something!

Disheartening because, crap, now what?

I can add swap space, but I'm more curious about why this is happening so I can fix it at the source.

 

I'm so happy to have found Friendica and the Fediverse. I first discovered Friendica back in 2014, when I was just starting for the first time to think about federated social networks. Now, 6 years later, not only am I running my own instance, I'm also a few projects away from opening it up to my friends and actually hosting my own social network.

My biggest contribution to the project is typically dropping in on Github issues to make feature requests, which I'm sure makes me a bit of a gadfly. But I have deep appreciation for @Hypolite Petovan and the other devs who keep this amazing project running.

Happy birthday, Friendica!

Today is #, the 12th birthday of the first post published on the # by @Evan Prodromou on #.

Back in late 2016 I'm glad the # (comprising OStatus/ActivityPub-compatible social networks) and the # (comprising Diaspora-compatible social networks) welcomed me when my # account was frozen and I was (and still am) too stubborn to give in to their demand to give me back access to it.

I've been contributing to # ever since, mostly through dogfooding through my own single-user node.

Happy Birthday to us and thank you to everyone who has contributed or still is contributing to this mind-boggling common project.

 

Getting my printer/scanners working on Ubuntu is driving me up the wall.
 
These are all supposedly the same printer.

I just want to pick a printer from the Print dialog and have it work, damn it.

 

Can't see the colors red or blue without devolving into factional fury? Hate touching things of the bad colors? Is it ruining family game nights? We made a version of a card game that won't provoke your inchoate rage, because this is fine and normal.

 

The existence of billionaires (and, soon, trillionaires 🤮) is morally repugnant.

Hypolite Petovan reshared this.


 

Twitter: Jennifer Wright on Twitter (Jennifer Wright)


 

My thumb keeps drifting toward the Twitter icon on my phone this morning, and then I remind myself, "I'm having a lovely morning, why would I ruin it?"

Trying to break the habit of starting my day with the hellsite.

 

Friendly reminder: "X as a service" is just a misleading corporate euphemism for "pay forever for not owning it".

"Software as a service" actually means "pay forever for not owning the software".

"Games as a service" actually means "pay forever for not owning games".

"Infrastructure as a service" actually means "pay forever for not owning the hardware".

And so on.

There is no "cloud", it's just other people's computers
 
Here's the deal. More and more software becomes exclusively "as a service". And corporations deliberately use the language reserved for goods to advertise their services.

"BUY this song on iTunes" sets the expectation that this song will stay with you forever.

"BUY this live-service DRM-protected game" sets the expectation that this song will stay with you forever.

It won't. It can be taken away from you any moment. For no refund.

"as a service" - is a deliberate propaganda term to set the narrative of "ownership being obsolete".

"No one is confused here" is a pretty disingenuous statement. Ross Scott talked about this in terms of games, there's a video link in the thread.

 

@Friendica Support Does Friendica still support multiple profiles per account, to be assigned to different groups/contacts? Or has the new custom profile field function overwritten that?
 
To answer your question: The new custom profile field function replaced that legacy feature. You couldn't select groups and only one profile per contact. And both features only work with Friendica's remote authentication, so Mastodon contacts won't see any custom profile field that isn't public.
 
Got it. Thanks!

 

The scientific method is excellent within its domain, but try to turn it into a complete worldview and it proves itself woefully inadequate. The majority of life as it is lived doesn’t break down into systems of measurable inputs and outputs and attempts to make things fit that framework wind up absurd and contradictory. It leads to a kind of rationalish thinking that bears an aesthetic similarity to scientific reason but is really just a mishmash of biases and received beliefs from authority.

 


 

See also most other actually marginalised groups.

[Image description:
Tumblr post by theconcealedweapon
"You'll notice that LGBT pride parades are being cancelled, and LGBT people are not complaining and calling it an injustice.

Meanwhile, Christians are calling it an injustice that churches are being closed, and conservatives are calling it an injustice that stay at home orders exist.

That's because LGBT people actually experience injustices, so they know when an injustice is happening. They face way too many injustices to label everything they don't like as an injustice. And they're not defying social distancing orders to have the parade anyway."]
Image description in toot.

 

I see we're leaning hard into the classic American "ignore it, pretend it isn't real, do nothing, and hope it goes away" strategy.

🇺🇸 GREATEST 🦅 COUNTRY 🎆 EVER 🦠

 

Weekend report:

Friday and Saturday were super productive. I built a new raised garden bed on Friday, putting into practice what I'd learned building beds #1 and 2. The walls were twice as thick and I properly squared the corners, for starters, resulting in a much more solid construction. I also picked away at my new project, replacing door and cabinet hardware in my upstairs hallway, which is part of the much larger project of actually decorating our house (rather than falling back on the "Postgraduate Modern" look, as my dad calls it). I have grand visions for this house, and I'm so excited to actually make them happen.

In time, though. Can't do it all at once (for some reason).

I picked up Kingdom of Loathing again this weekend. Sigh. I used to love this game. I daydreamed about drawing a fan webcomic when I was younger. And I used to be pretty good at it, too--I knew most of the tricks and tools and was used to optimizing my way through a run. But several years have passed since I played actively, and there are so many new tools that I'm pretty lost.

On top of that, though, is the fact that co-creator Zack "Jick" Johnson was accused of abuse by his ex-partner last year. That was enough to make me cancel my donation subscription, and I thought I was done playing for good.

But damn it, it's still got some draw. Ten years of my life are in that game, and they're not going easily. I dipped my toe back into it this weekend, and I felt its draw, and I'm conflicted. I wish they'd just open-source the project so I could run my own copy.

Ha, now there's something. I always dreamed of making my own browser-based RPG like KoL. Now that I have my own server, it's easier than ever to tinker around... 🤔

Speaking of games with awful creators, I also jumped back into Minecraft today. God, this one's fun. After two busy days, I finally gave myself permission to veg out today, so I started a new world and immediately set to building a base in a mountain. It took some effort to quit at bedtime, which reminds me of staying up late playing it in my sophomore year dorm room... nine years ago. Yikes a-mighty.

I also downloaded and installed Minetest, the open-source Minecraft clone. Haven't tried it yet to see if it's any good--too busy with actual Minecraft.

My girlfriend stopped by this afternoon to drop off two strawberry plants, plus a little edible treat. We talked through the window. God, it'll be good to see people again.

Thinking of making some syrups this week to mix into seltzer. I'm jonesing for more tasty drinks.

Had to rein myself in and keep from buying fancy flavored coffee, a graphics card, and a Pinebook Pro. And a new light fixture for our hallway.

Finally, ended the weekend by asking friends on Facebook for book recommendations. Looking for something fun to offset the cold sobriety of Sarah Kendzior's Hiding In Plain Sight.

Really productive weekend. I obviously wish there weren't a pandemic on, and I especially wish this country weren't dominated by capitalist ghouls and headed by a self-absorbed misanthropic grifter trying to strip it for parts... but another part of me doesn't want life to go back to "normal". Bring me that small-scale cooperative anarchocommunism life, baby.
#
This entry was edited (4 weeks ago)

 

The economy is not worth people's lives. Not even one life. The economy is made up numbers, people are real.

 

Some of y'all might find this useful.

 

A cool HTML5 tool to design RPG maps. Beyond the classic mapmaking tools (walls, ground, pools) what blew my mind the most are the colored light sources that can be added to give an instant atmosphere to any map.

 

Love the posters downtown calling for a recall of the governor because so few people in our state have died of COVID-19.

That's the ENTIRE point, you dingbats.
 
I'm glad I can stay home and avoid that particular brand of nonsense. I lost it the last time I saw a Trump campaign booth on a street corner in Midtown Manhattan and I probably will do it again if I encounter this kind of political crap.
 
I tore three of them down. You tape bullshit on lampposts, you risk it getting torn down.

Luckily (in this case), downtown is kinda a ghost town right now, so I doubt too many people will see the posters that are still up.

 

"I need privacy. Not because my actions are questionable, but because your judgement and intentions are."

 

Japan is apparently much worse off than initial optimistic estimates portrayed, and this article is an interesting look into that fact as well as a use of cryptography I hadn't seen before.

 

There's a blog post I want to write that I've been beating my head against for at least a week. I just can't get the framing right.

 

Time for another book cover! This one is for Bob Altemeyer's The Authoritarians, which is available for free online and summarizes a career's worth of research into authoritarianism.



This cover is CC BY-SA 4.0.

Image credits:

 

if a company can easily profit during a crisis, then it is essential during a crisis and should be publicly owned

 

There's some Discourse™ over on hellsite about shoplifting, and I wrote a couple thoughts. ⚠️ Heads up for mention of abusive dynamics.

It continues to astound me how we in this country treat tyrannical behavior as something as inevitable as the weather.

If someone shoplifts from a store and the boss punishes workers for it, there are two people acting with agency in the scenario, and only one of them has the authority to punish others.

Yeah, don't steal, but if someone does steal, the boss's reaction to that is 100% the boss's responsibility. Period.

And if someone has the authority to punish you for something you didn't do, nothing was stopping them from finding any other excuse.

"They made me do it" is such a classic example of an abuser's responsibility-dodging.

"You got me so worked up."
"They were just so rude."
"A theft happened on your shift."

And sure, they wouldn't have that specific excuse if others had complied.

But tyrants will always find an excuse for their tyranny. Trying to contort our lives to give them no cover results in us being bent out of shape, and them still tyrannizing.

Tyrants want you to blame others for their own actions.

Don't play their game.
This entry was edited (2 months ago)
 
How do you not play the game when you're a punished worker?
 
Hold your boss responsible for their own actions, even if only in your mind.

And provide support and solidarity to others working alongside you.

Those are the first couple ideas that come to mind.
 
"Don't play their game" may not be the best phrasing and these tweets were a little unclear on their audience.

I think the point I'm aiming for here is that deflecting responsibility is a classic pattern of those acting like petty tyrants, and it is aided when we discount the agency of those with power. We buy into this when we accept their justifications, so I'm trying to push back against this tendency.

It absolutely doesn't change material conditions. If your boss plays pretty tyrant and fires you, you're out of a job, period. So I'm not trying to discount that or ignore it, but just guide culpability to the person who made that choice.
This entry was edited (2 months ago)
 
Thanks for the clarification, it's also a common behavior among domestic abusers to tell their victims they force them to be abusive/violent.
 
It absolutely is, yup. That was on my mind as I was writing this.

 

I'm heading out today to buy a secondhand computer for $80. That's exciting for me, because it's going to be my dedicated server for my community Friendica installation!

This one I'm posting from has always been intended as a test installation--it's on a server I'm using for other home stuff for my wife and myself, like Nextcloud and our personal wiki. The new computer will be expressly intended for my friends.

Of course, that means my home now contains:
  • My laptop
  • My wife's laptop
  • My desktop
  • Our home server
  • My Friendica server

...and there's a Raspberry Pi for managing my 3D printer planned for the future, too. These things breed like rabbits, I tell ya... 🖥️🐇

 

I wanted my ebook copy of Alexander Berkman's "What Is Communist Anarchism?" that I got from The Anarchist Library to have a rad cover, so I made one using open, free, and public-domain resources.

My cover is CC-BY-NC 4.0. Have fun!



Oh, and do check out The Anarchist Library. They're a really rad resource.

EssDub reshared this.