These people aren’t ready for what’s coming

When some proposed forming their own self-funded water provider, other residents revolted, saying the idea would foist an expensive, freedom-stealing new arm of government on them. The idea collapsed. Other solutions, like allowing a larger water utility to serve the area, could be years off.

Source: Skipped Showers, Paper Plates: An Arizona Suburb’s Water Is Cut Off – The New York Times

Well, those people are free to lose everything cos they decided to willingly entertain the notion they could live without running water. And in their pride everyone else loses.

If the drought in the Southwest continues for a couple more years we will enter water knife territory.

We can be predators. We have to.

I have some thoughts about the hockey-stick rise of “AI” (more like advanced machine learning) , it’s current iterations are bullshittiers (from On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt

His book On Bullshit addresses his concern and makes a distinction between “bullshitters” and liars. He concludes that bullshitters are more insidious: they are more of a threat against the truth than are liars.

Whatever happens with AI— it’s a bullshitter. It doesn’t, it can’t, care about what is true or false. Whomever uses it also does not care, and they will use it to expand their underdeveloped thoughts and ideas to have it talk about nothing at all, in an effort to confuse and control; to influence you to buy some random widget you don’t need.

Combine the output of AI writing tools with software to paraphrase and re-edit and everyone will have a really hard time telling what was written entirely by humans and what was fabricated from nothingness.

In time, media created with the assistance of AI will probably become the apex predator of your time and attention on the internet, where to attract attention is to attract predators:

Is our universe an empty forest or a dark one? If it’s a dark forest, then only Earth is foolish enough to ping the heavens and announce its presence. The rest of the universe already knows the real reason why the forest stays dark. It’s only a matter of time before the Earth learns as well.

This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest.

While it’s markedly safe to hide, it also means you give up your potential for change on the larger Internet, letting those predators bend the environment to their will permanently.

We’d do well to remember that on the Internet nobody cares you’re a dog.

HOWTO: WRITE BETTER DOCUMENTATION

So, call to action: if you are writing any kind of documentation, before explaining how to fix the problem, teach the user how to diagnose it.

Source: Why Linux Troubleshooting Advice Sucks

I’ve been writing documentation for myself for years, and been using Linux for 20 years and I still struggle with the basics cos most documentation for Linux fucken sucks.

  • Teach the user how to diagnose the issue so they can confirm the solution you have is indeed for their issue.
  • Explain why this is happening.
  • Provide the solution. Could be a bash one-liner they can copy-paste. Could be a script (explain how to run it). Could be a patch (explain how to apply it). Don’t just say “this is an exercise left to the reader.”

And no, “reading the source” doesn’t help. Neither does “read the man pages”; the only man page worth anything is the one for nmap.

If you’re one of those people that say that you can go fuck yourself, hard, in the ass, no lube.

It’s gentrification by any other name

Not every sector has benefited the same from the influx of digital nomads. Sarai Balderrama, the co-founder of Agencia de Arte, a digital platform that promotes up-and-coming Mexican artists to international clients, told Rest of World, “For over a year, I’ve been trying to tap into that market but they don’t seem interested in staying. You usually buy art when you start calling a place home.”

Source: Digital nomads now come first for Mexico City’s gig workers – Rest of World

The resident population of Mexico City has been screaming at these people to willingly integrate with the fabric of the city instead of just insulating themselves from it. Already thousands have been priced out by these digital nomads.

When Latin American people go to the US or Europe to work, Americans usually scream at them to integrate, and the vast majority of them do, even if they don’t speak the language. They pay taxes, they pay their bills, they spend discretionary income if they have any left after wiring money home.

But Americans and Europeans are not willing to return the favor.

Being employed keeps me out of trouble. Keep me employed

“This is the beginning of the end,” Yoo said last week. “It’s already just a midsize business in San Antonio. This is not a company that’s on a trajectory of growth. They’re on a trajectory of death. It will not be around.”

Source: Rackspace ‘on trajectory of death,’ founder Richard Yoo says

I work at a small datacenter. We’re… having some issues with customer retention and customer acquisition cos everyone wants that cloud hotness, even if they’re going to pay through the nose for it. What are we to do??? If Rackspace, one of the first names you think of when you need colocation, what is a small datacenter business in Minnesota to do?

A lot of people keep saying to avoid the cloud and whatnot, but then they end up going with aws, google cloud, or azure. That’s not putting your money where your mouth is.

If they get hacked, you get hacked. This is proven. All of these platforms, in their efforts to make it easy to get onboarded make it super easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot with insecure defaults.

Right now they’re making money, sure… But what happens when they don’t? Looking at you, google. But the others aren’t that much better. Do your part and support small and local businesses that can, and will, lend you their expertise.

A king in waiting gives a king’s answer

One day in the pavilion at Karakorum he [Genghis Kahn] asked an officer of the Mongol guard what, in all the world, could bring the greatest happiness.“The open steppe, a clear day, and a swift horse under you,” responded the officer after a little thought, “and a falcon on your wrist to start up hares.”“Nay,” responded the Kahn, “to crush your enemies, to see them fall at your feet—to take their horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their women. That is best.”

Source: ‘Do You Want to Live Forever?’—John Milius’ ‘Conan the Barbarian’ • Cinephilia & Beyond

Reading this twitter thread brought me to that Cinephilia article. They used real blood.

Time for a rewatch!

Gonna be a hell of a rager, Thunderbird!

Over the past couple years I’ve been using Nextcloud as my file syncing solution with plenty of success— you just have to make sure to set it up properly. I’ve enabled a couple of extensions for it (they call them “apps”) but the one I truly rely on is Tasks, which enables a CalDAV compatible to-do list.

Now, over the past decade or so I’ve tried a myriad of to-do applications and a lot of them really fell down on their face:
– Google Tasks: They change their interface so often, at the whims of whomever is in charge of that bit of code over at google. It tries to be too smart for its own good. It’s a google application do you don’t actually know if it’ll stick around.
– Google Keep: Free-form management sure, but it gets extremely unwieldy once you try to have more than what can fit on your screen. It also tries to be smart. There also the potential for extinction.
todo.txt: This is meant for people who are on their desk computers all day every day. I’m not.
Remember the Milk. It’s a paid app. At this point I don’t even remember what the limitation was that turned me off it.
wiki.vim: Again, meant for desk use.
Notion: It’s just so slow.
– Evernote: They seem to care more about how your to-do list looks rather than crossing items off it. Also you have to pay for all the goodies.
Microsoft To Do: You need a Microsoft account and they push hard to get you to upgrade to full-on Office.
Org Mode: Emacs. Just… no.
– I’m not listing any apps on iOS cos Apple devices are toys. Yes iPhones take awesome pictures but that’s cos they’re toys for adults.
– Mozilla Thunderbird: No built-in sync with other Thunderbird instances. Given that Mozilla is putting all of its resources into Firefox…

I’ve probably tried using a myriad others but decided against them for one reason or another, be it compatibility with my operating systems of choice, UI/UX decisions made by the part of the developers, lack of sane defaults forcing me to change al of the configuration settings, etc etc. At some point you just give up. Now, the Tasks app on Nextcloud is plenty capable and so far it has been the only one that I’ve been able to stick with longer than two weeks cos it covers all the features I want, which I found quite surprising:
– Web-based interface for availability pretty much everywhere you have a browser and Internet access.
– Hierarchical tasks! (aka subtasks) with notes attached to everything so you can document what you did and how you did it.
– Compatibility with pretty much everything out there via CalDAV. It’s a bit of a pain depending on what you’re using (looking at you, DAVx and tasks.org.

This last point is what I have to poke fun at Thunderbird. For an application that is trying extremely hard to run your life, they don’t fully support CalDAV, namely, hierarchical tasks. Found this on their Bugzilla

\Thunderbird Bugzilla: Bug 194863: Subtask nesting and event triggers (hierarchical to-do): Opened 20 years ago This bug grew up into quite the young adult[/caption]
This bug has been open since February 25, 2003. I’m typing this in January 3, 2023. In less than two months this bug will be able to drink in the United States.

I like you Thunderbird but what the fuck lol.

Cocinando en tu cuarto? Dale

Whitehorn’s book rescued me as it did thousands, probably millions of others. She knew just what people like me wanted: “Cooking to Stay Alive,” the first part, and “Cooking to Impress,” the second. No escaping cooking to stay alive because restaurants were few and far between in the 60s and too expensive for anything but a very special occasion.

Source: Cooking in a Bedsitter – Rachel Laudan

Ojalá hubiese tenido este libro durante mis años rebotando en Mexico.

Soft

        <a href="https://www.flickr.com/people/nullrend/">nullrend</a> posted a photo:

Soft