Installing a new project I had to use autoconf. I realized it had been years since I've typed "./configure". Sometimes the world gets better without me noticing.

@tastytentacles This evaluation helped clarify it a lot for me:

I think the important ones are:
- Define an area instead of a point
- Include some sense of precision
- Possibly shorten codes when defining something in the same area or country

But I'm guessing the reason that is making people try new methods is that lat/long hasn't stuck. It may be hubris that something else will.

"We propose that you can measure how user-facing a program or language is by measuring how much of its time it spends or worries about doing IO. That is, after all, the medium through which anyone who is not a program’s author (of which there may be many) will interact with the program. The time spent doing IO can be on the command line, via a GUI, over a network, or wherever; but to be a serious contender for user-facing programs, a language has to make IO be easy."

@jwinnie Not at all – the point is that there's no universal spectrum that applies to all these political identities. If you can convince enough people of a value system you can create a new political identity from scratch.

The outcomes of that value system might align with another value system. For instance, I think technocratic and liberal are closely aligned, with "progressive" maybe being the loose term to encompass both. But the reasons and emotional resonances are still distinct.

@jwinnie Well this part is easy! This isn't about a rational value system, this is about the emotional cues that resonate.

What is progress? It matters a lot to me, because if you convince me that something is progress then I'll get excited about it.

And maybe that's something important: we're open to arguments about how we should apply our values. But if (for instance) you try to convince me that a particular group is the oppressed or the oppressor, I can agree and yet am unmoved.

@jwinnie Is there anything wrong with having a lot of them? Except that you need some critical mass that is able to construct and reinforce these ideas among themselves.

I suspect people have a dominant perspective, and the secondary perspective is much much weaker. So you only get as many dichotomies as there are distinct intellectual and cultural political groups.

I wrote a super non-timely blog post on political alignments: (link:… – somehow I feel bad writing about politics, but no current events are mentioned!

I've read a few hypothesis, but I still don't quite get what's happening with the dryness in the horn of Africa and Kenya. The band of green across Africa is so consistent, despite topographical barriers. (South Sudan is greener than I'd realized.)

Why are all woodworking shows about building stuff for your tools, and tools to help you build that specific stuff?

But then generally, it makes me wonder what the most meta tool is? That is, a tool whose sole purpose is to build another tool? (x however many levels)

I feel like little remote-controlled cars with cameras would really add to the model train experience... something to let you experience it at scale.

I guess the same is true for my own yard, though it's hard to navigate it like a mouse... the terrain is difficult. But maybe even a large vehicle is ok so long as the camera is front and low.

I am in an npm hell of create-react-app's making.

"Strategy Tax": – the product compromises you make, and limitations you must accept, to serve a larger strategy (typically a corporate strategy).

I'm intrigued by the moral implications of this geoengineering (aka ocean fertilization):

Of course many people effect the environment far more than this one experiment, but we ignore it morally. Like, it's okay to affect the world as long as you do it ignorantly and without any intention. Only when an individual expresses intentionality is it treated as a moral threat.

A Robert Moses of transit would be a godsend. And yet it seems quite impossible...

A Robert Moses of climate change action would be pretty kick-ass too. And yet...

@Gargron fwiw rich text gives me some optimism about Mastodon for this same reason - it's kind of a lame Twitter clone, but since I hate Twitter there honestly aren't many alternatives, and so here I am.

Mastodon as something that's not just a Twitter clone, maybe there's actually something there? A reason why this space can be constructive and not just reactive...

But if we have defectors, then beautification through artifice becomes the baseline, and no one is allowed to be comfortable with themselves. We enter the self-loathing self-image that is so dominant in the female experience.

"Metrosexuals" are defectors. I honestly don't know how the wind blows, I'm not sure if this will really end up being a thing. I'm old enough that I'm past it, whatever happens. But I see this as a downside of liberalization, it allows defectors.

In a conversation about Spanx, I realize that men don't participate in that kind of body-modifying artifice in part because we police each other: there's a stigma, held by men and applied to other men, against self-beautification, especially done artificially (including makeup).

There's a sort of prisoner's dilemma here: so long as heterosexual men maintain a unified front, we preserve expectations that men are unadorned, and that being comfortable in your body is preferable to artifice.

Reminds me of what I've read that having a voice in your head is often not a traumatic experience for people in some other cultures, because they don't think there's anything _wrong_ with having a voice in your head, and this gives it the room to be a companion instead is a demon.

Interesting point in

The academic who is interviewed suggests that something like a mindfulness retreat may be a traumatic experience in a way Buddhist meditation is less likely to be, because there's a lore in Buddhism that this is a divine path laid down by a benevolent force. That very expectation helps fill what you make room for.

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Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either! We adhere to an adapted version of the TootCat Code of Conduct and have documented a list of blocked instances. Ash is the admin and is supported by Fuzzface, Brian!, and Daniel Glus as moderators. Hosting costs are largely covered by our generous supporters on Patreon – thanks for all the help!