Dec 072016

I’ve always been pro-Gentrification (or at least, not anti-Gentrification), and couldn’t quite understand why anyone wouldn’t be. This post has finally explained it in a way that *makes sense* (hooray for opposing perspectives!). Mad props to commenter Dirdle for bringing this article to my attention. I am updating my thinking somewhat… tho it’s still very hard to feel sympathy of people who are awful assholes.

“Even though gentrification is clearly and unambiguously for the greater good, and a net benefit to society, it causes concentrated pain on a small collection of people. Further, as a side effect, it chooses a subset of those people, the subset that suffers the most already, and heaps even more suffering onto them to get it out of the way of normal people who just want to live in the Mission (analogy: take part in nerd culture).”

And yeah… this reads like apologetics for assholes, and that there’s no reason anyone *has to* be an asshole, social skills can be learned if you try. IRL I certainly have little patience for assholery, and I don’t ever try to defend it.

For me tho, this wasn’t about trying to defend assholes, in so much as it was explaining why gentrification is bad. It drew an analogy that I could understand. The whole “the rest of the world is hostile and horrible, and this is my one safe place, and now I’m losing it because the world judges me as *not good enough*” resonated with me. That I was finally able to understand that was enlightening enough that I was OK with handwaving the actual analogy and pretending for a little while that they have little control over their general levels of assholeness.

More than anything else, I thought back to my own online communities in high school, which kept me going thru the shit years. And I remembered the terror when my local ISP went down for three days and I was cut off from them entirely, and I realized my entire world depended on some flimsy circuit boards that could be crushed any moment. That was the feeling this article brought up, and drew a direct line from that to gentrification.


Hey Google… when I have to use an ad-blocker to disable your “features,” you’re turning into MicroSoft. I shouldn’t need third party software to revert yours to functionality. >.< It’s not that I’m against Google putting in new features, but the fact that Explore is obnoxious and intrusive, and cannot be turned off is awful.


Immigration Can Increase The Amount Your Country Is Like Itself. Ouch-note: “Liberals are so stubborn about moving to big cities in blue states that it was a pretty major factor in this election: if liberals all stayed where we were born, Hillary might have won.”
(to clarify, the post is in favor of moving to friendly territory, this is a tongue-in-cheek observation)


“Can I do something RIGHT NOW to make the Trump presidency less awful, without getting off my butt or spending any money?”
Trump has an online survey asking what he should focus on in his first 100 days. There are some options that are much less destructive than others. If enough people vote “Highly Important” for the least destructive ones, and “Not Important” for the most destructive ones, there is a chance he’ll neglect the most awful goals in favor of the less awful ones.
Of course this depends on him actually taking the results of an online poll seriously (and on enough sane people answering to influence the results), but that’s the crazy thing about Trump. You never know what crazy shit he’s gonna take seriously!
(Also, don’t just vote “Not Important” for all, that has the same effect as not voting at all. You gotta actually rank them to direct focus toward less bad options.)
IMPORTANT – do NOT let this replace *actual* doing of stuff and donating of money. This is literally the least anyone can possibly do, please don’t stop at the literal least.


If you need to smile today – 24 Pics That Prove ‘Ken M’ Is The Greatest Troll On The Internet. He makes the dread Comments Section fun! :)


“A girl dying of cancer wanted to use cryonic preservation to have a chance at being revived in the future. While supported by her mother the father disagreed; in a recent high court ruling, the judge found that she could be cryopreserved.”
The link is to an analysis article, because it’s less emotionally harrowing. In its first paragraph it links back to the BBC news article, which makes me want to cry and cheer at once. I can’t imagine the terror of not having legal bodily autonomy to the point that a parent could simply decide they want to kill me and that almost being OK!! Well, yes I can actually, which is why this was so awful to read. Some people are so freakin evil. :(

Wut?? Trump got more votes from people of color than Romney did. “The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people.”


As always, David Wong kills it. How Half Of America Lost Its F**king Mind
“If you don’t live in one of these small towns, you can’t understand the hopelessness.”


“our brains are incredibly powerful organs, but their native architecture doesn’t care about high-minded ideals like Truth. They’re designed to work tirelessly and efficiently in our self-interest. So if a brain anticipates that it will be rewarded for adopting a particular belief, it’s perfectly happy to do so, and doesn’t much care where the reward comes from

“If we could arrange for our peers to judge us solely for the accuracy of our beliefs, then we’d have no incentive to believe anything but the truth.
In other words, we do need to teach rationality and critical thinking skills — not just to ourselves, but to everyone at once.”


Holy crap, awesome!! I dunno if I’m biased, but seriously, why are all the best shows animated? I have a hard time bothering with live-action tv anymore.


If you haven’t gotten your HPV vaccine yet, this is your reminder. The startling rise in oral cancer in men, and what it says about our changing sexual habits. Also a reminder to cure cancer, but that one’s less personally-actionable.


The dinosaurs spot the first hints of an asteroid on the horizon… 3D Printing Is Going to Turn the Miniatures Gaming Market Into a War Zone



Casual Love
“We have a mythology surrounding romantic love that says it’s a special, rare feeling, reserved for just a few people in your whole life… and that falling in love is A MAJOR LIFE EVENT, about which SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
If we can agree that our bodies are not inherently dangerous, can’t we do the same for our hearts?
I suggest we take a page from the casual sex book here. Let’s lift some of the weighty grandiosity off the shoulders of love, and allow it to be what it is: a sweet, ephemeral, exciting feeling to experience and share.
The big advantage for the lover is that falling in love will feel less scary, life-threatening, and crazy-making. As long as love is theoretically reserved for people whom you want to date and possibly marry, falling in love will be confusing and dramatic. If we interpret this particular set of feelings and thoughts as an epic, life-changing event, we’ll have no choice but to get really, really attached to our beloved. We’ll throw a lot of expectations at them…
The big advantage for the beloved is that being loved will feel less like an attack, and more like a gift. The little-discussed fact is that it’s super uncomfortable to be loved when the feeling is not mutual. So uncomfortable, in fact, that many of us would rather act like callous, cold-hearted assholes than be in the same room as the person who loves us.[…]But that’s not an aversion to love, or to the lover; it’s the attachment and expectation being hurled in our direction with such intensity.”


Awesomeness by amazing friends!


Unsong Change Log
(more at link)…
(probably funnier if you read Unsong, but still good!)


From Lambdaphagy on tumblr, quoting Murray:
“The broadest goal is a society in which people throughout the functional range of intelligence can find, and feel they have found, a valued place for themselves. For “valued place,” I will give you a pragmatic definition: you occupy a valued place if other people would miss you if you were gone. The fact that you would be missed means that you were valued. Both the quality and quantity of valued places are important. A beloved spouse is that someone who would “miss you” in the widest and most intense way. But to have many different people who would miss you, in many different parts of your life and at many levels of intensity, is also a hallmark of a person whose “place” is well and thoroughly valued. One way of thinking about policy options is to ask whether they aid or obstruct this goal of creating valued places.
It used to be a lot easier than it is now.”

  11 Responses to “Link Archive 10/12/16 – 12/7/16”

  1. Thank you again for all those links and things!

    That troll was amazing! “If our brains become too smart they become self-aware and take over our bodies.” Brilliant! :D

  2. That cracked dot com article was really shockingly insightful.

    One bit that really particularly stood out to me (although I’m sure the author didn’t mean it to be the main focus) was the way in which films perpetuate and reinforce a background assumption of urban bad rural good. Once pointed out its clear, but before its pointed out it’s so normal and expected as to be invisible.

    I’m used to being conscious and aware of the way in which media portrays race / class / gender and to thinking about the motivations behind such portrayals and the consequences of them, but I’d totally missed this and it is probably fairly pernicious. There are more city dwellers than women, so city dwellers being demonized is probably a big deal.

  3. For some reason I thought I’d originally read that post because of one of your previous link threads? Well, I’ve learned not to trust my recollections. Regardless, though, I’m very glad you liked it!

    but seriously, why are all the best shows animated? I have a hard time bothering with live-action tv anymore.

    Man, you’re really talking my language in this post =P. And that was one great short, too. Fair warning: this is the path that leads to being a degenerate weeaboo.

    • > Fair warning: this is the path that leads to being a degenerate weeaboo.

      Noooooooo! Not a degenerate weeaboo! T_T Is there no hope?

  4. While I can think of a number of live action series I enjoy (Westworld, Mr. Robot, the Magicians), this short is one of the most awesome things I have seen in quite a while, can’t wait for an actual episode. Thanks!

    This is what I love most about blogs from people with tastes similar to mine, finding great stories I likely would have missed otherwise.

    • After Gravity Falls was over I was looking for another show, sort-of similar, that I’d like. Eneasz linked something about Rick and Morty a while back so that was the next show of that kind (whichever that kind actually is) that I got into.

      Steven Universe for some reason didn’t appeal to me.. maybe I just didn’t like the first episode but I haven’t watched any other episodes yet.

      This train thing looks great though!

      Gravity Falls, Rick and Morty (and I guess Infinity Train) Spoilers ahead! And Steven Universe if you haven’t seen the first episode yet.

      So now I’m thinking of what Gravity Falls, Rick & Morty and Infinity Train have in common which doesn’t apply to Steven Universe (or at least doesn’t apply to the first episode)..
      – The protagonists are normal people facing mysterious things (I consider Morty to be normal, Rick obviously isn’t, Tulip seems normal enough, the Pine twins.. well Dipper counts as normal – Steven has superpowers so he isn’t normal)
      – They explore concepts that I tend to think about occasionally.. that’s mostly Rick and Morty (Living in an interconnected multiverse; what kind of stuff would I build if I could build more or less any technology imaginable..) but also Gravity Falls (Being from a universe near the end of it’s lifetime invades a younger universe; what would happen if someone could erase memories; if you lived in a universe that was built around the desires of your subconsciousness, how would it look like?) and I could see that happening in Infinity Train too.
      – Red haired girl as part of the main cast – I noticed that but don’t know if it plays a role. They’re often portrayed as witty and strong so maybe that’s it? Summer (from Rick and Morty) doesn’t seem that witty but she doesn’t seem stupid either. I guess there’s someone (or multiple someone’s) like that in Steven Universe too, I just noticed that trend when I thought about the properties of the characters.

      • You know, people keep recommending Gravity Falls to me, it is on my list, will try to get around it starting it this weekend.

        I couldn’t get past the first episode of Steve Universe, it felt too much like the cartoons I grew up on.

        Completely agree on Rick and Morty being awesome, though for different reasons. For me, the fun is in seeing them explore philosophical concepts in an entertaining way. The way Summer goes from advocating for free will to demanding its abolition after seeing a race war erupt was brilliant. I also enjoy seeing the gradual character development. While it’s obvious Rick reconnected with his family for his own benefit, he clearly comes to care for them, would add more but I try to avoid spoilers.

        Not sure about the red head thing, look at Lois Griffin in Family Guy.

    • I actually tried Westworld after posting this. I am loving the hell out of it, so much so that I’ve already seen three episodes (which is fast by my standards). Very well, I’m a fan of some live-action TV again! :)

  5. I’m not sure I really understand gentrification. I am and always have been against things I like becoming mainstream because then I get left with nothing. Game of Thrones comes to mind….

    I don’t see why people see social skills as a binary thing. People think I have ‘bad social skills’. Then I meet up with other Aspies who all also have ‘bad social skills’. Then something magic happens. We don’t have bad social skills together. We get along and everyone is nice to everyone and we all have a good time.

    Mainstream societies ideas of good social skills can go jump in a river. I have my own idea of right and wrong and polite and impolite and I don’t see why I should change just because the majority of people disagree with me.

    Heck in America the majority of people voted for Trump. You wont see me changing my mind to think he will make an awesome president based upon my being outnumbered.

    • >I don’t see why people see social skills as a binary thing. People think I have ‘bad social skills’. Then I meet up with other Aspies who all also have ‘bad social skills’. Then something magic happens. We don’t have bad social skills together. We get along and everyone is nice to everyone and we all have a good time.

      That is awesome! :) I have a few friends that are at the lower end of the spectrum, and I very much agree with the “not bad, just different” thing. Heck, even different cultures can have these sorts of “don’t fit together” dynamics. I do, however, know of people who are just plain jerks. They’re mean to others, and don’t care, and it’s not because of any aspy thing. There really isn’t any good excuse for threatening someone or calling them worthless, for example.

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