As we watch events in Texas unfold, bear in mind that Texas "seceded" from the US national electrical grid in order to avoid federal regulation. They privatized their grid into the hands of a few wealthy people. As a result there are only two limited interconnects making it impossible for surrounding states to share power to keep Texas afloat in terms of electric power.

All this suffering in Texas should not be happening. The grid in Texas is intact, they just don't have generation capacity. If Texas had remained part of the US grid, power from as far away as California, Washington, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, could be routed to Texas. Looking at the real-time data here, the US grid is running at more than 200 GW below capacity. There's enough power to hold up two states of Texas even if Texas had no generation at all. But we can't send them power.

Keep this in mind when rich people trick the public and politicians about privatization, and spout garbage like "going it alone, in keeping with the pioneering spirit of the USA". No. Organized cooperation is power. Going it alone is weakness.

Don't believe in cooperation? Study how the Roman army was organized. It was all about very tightly organized cooperation, starting with an individual soldier and those to his immediate left and right. This is how 8,000 Romans could take on 80,000 and methodically slaughter the 80,000 with zero losses.

> …It was very thorough and they had obviously put a lot of effort into it, but it was all premised on this idea that GamerGate was some kind of shining PR success, even though as I remember it they managed to take a complaint about a video game review and mishandle it so badly that they literally got condemned by the UN General Assembly. But it's the thought that counts, and I am humbled by their support.

astralcodexten.substack.com/p/

I am once again thinking about the Sino-Soviet friendship posters that appear to be telling the story of a gay couple

When asked about fears of automation in 1969, Arthur C. Clarke famously said that we shouldn't worry about automation: "the goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play." I have never seen his answer quoted in full.

my cars have been so bored from sitting around this year that they made up names for themselves, like Culture Ships.

I don't think people realize why its important to remove white supremacists from your board/forum/web community.

- They are extremely motivated.
- They have a tradition of recruiting via meme(in the classic sense).
- They have centuries of effective propaganda.
- They will take over. Slowly at first then suddenly.
- They will always create more moderation work for you. They will never stop pushing.

Every society struggles with this. And it's not some conspiracy.

Facebook’s own research revealed that 64 percent of the time a person joins an extremist Facebook Group, they do so because the platform recommended it.
wired.com/story/opinion-platfo

I have been hating myself this year for being "distractible" and unproductive at work. It's hard to focus, hard to stay motivated. But I think I've realized that I'm not actually distracted from work at all. Work IS the distraction. This year has made it impossible to ignore what's important: friends, relationships, place, health, life. Work was always what was pointless, and it's merely extra difficult to lie to myself about that this year.

this is the best summary of the "working at twitter" experience i've ever seen (via @cadadr)

A pandemic mask that has "my other mask is for crime" printed on it

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checkout form: "and what is the expiration date of this credit card?"

me: "octob---"

checkout form: "🚨🚨🚨 THATS EXPIRED!!!! 🚨🚨🚨"

me: "let me fucking finish putting in the year okay? jesus."

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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!