annikastheory wrote

Checkmate Atheists /s

"All the observations stated in Genesis are consistent with a cosmic airburst," Kennett said, "but there's no scientific proof that this destroyed city is indeed the Sodom of the Old Testament." However, the researchers said, the disaster could have generated an oral tradition that may have served as the inspiration for the written account in the book of Genesis, as well as the biblical account of the burning of Jericho in the Old Testament Book of Joshua.


annikastheory wrote

Why do people bother having discussion if anarchy comes from a English translation of archy meaning hierarchy or an English translation of archy meaning rulers. How about we queer anarchy up in the sense that it can mean without rulers, without hierarchy or even neither of those

Do people actually argue about this? Maybe I live under a rock but that does sound like a waste of effort. I guess I would move more towards an idea of word meanings in the contexts of current use or towards the idea of defining your terms.


annikastheory wrote (edited )

I have been thinking about the concept that the government pushes the nuclear family as a method of control, or as a way to distract from cuts to welfare programs. This article is a pretty clear cut example of that. Some selected quotes (its a longish article)

The new law [tanf] said that in order to get federal anti-poverty funding, states would be required to go after fathers of children whose mothers had applied for welfare, in an attempt to get them to pay child support to the government as repayment for those welfare dollars.

Then-President Bill Clinton said this now much-overlooked provision of the legislation would contribute to “the most sweeping crackdown on deadbeat parents in history.”

more than $1.7 billion in child support collected from fathers in 2020 was seized by federal and state governments as repayment for mothers and children having been on welfare, according to a ProPublica analysis of federal Office of Child Support Enforcement statistics. Close to 3 million of the nation’s poorest families had child support taken from them last year, amid the pandemic, for this reason

During the pandemic, the IRS and state child support agencies even redirected stimulus money that had been headed to poor fathers into government coffers instead, on the grounds that they owed child support on behalf of a family that had previously received welfare.

One worker not in New Mexico said in an email that in a recent case, an absent father told a woman applying for public assistance that “if she ever mentions his name on anything, that is the last time she would ever be able to say his name.”

For many mothers, though, the harm is subtler: Fathers may retaliate by withholding informal support, like cash, gifts to the kids or babysitting help. Or a mother may know that her former partner is in a precarious financial situation, and would be ruined by the government garnishing up to 65% of his paycheck — and threatening him with jail time if he can’t or won’t pay up.

This was another common fear articulated by mothers who were asked to name fathers to get aid: that an absent dad forced to pay support would spitefully seek custody or greater involvement in medical and educational decisions about the child.

The stigma around the sexual choices of single moms remains pervasive at the welfare office, said Georgette Cooke, who said she doesn’t know who the father of her child is. “Look, it was a one-night stand. I didn’t know I would get pregnant,” she said. “But I’m still the one who has to support my child.”

Robert Doar, president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, was the head of New York state’s child support program when federal welfare reform was passed. “Maybe this practice ought to be put out of its misery,” he said, but he added that there remains a legitimate rationale for it: “When a parent needs help from the government because the other parent is not supporting them ... it’s perfectly logical to say to that absent parent, ‘Hey, wait a minute, you ought to pay us back.’”

Doar said that requiring mothers to comply with child support, even against their will, can be beneficial for them in the long run. It sets them up to keep getting child support even after their welfare is repaid to the government, and without having to navigate the labyrinthine family court system on their own, including paying a lawyer and court fees.

She said her interactions with the Human Services Department started out friendly but turned contentious when she mentioned that the dad was not, in fact, a deadbeat. “They didn’t take too kind to that,” Davis said. She said that a caseworker tried to get her to say that the father wasn’t as involved a parent as she was claiming, so that the state could go after him for child support as repayment for providing her with assistance. New Report Shows “Deeply Troubling Failures” by Border Patrol in Boy’s Death, Key Congressional Leader Says

“It’s like they wanted us to not be a family unit,” she said, “which I thought was the opposite of what this whole welfare thing was supposed to be about.”

I find this last quote particularly apt.

The whole article boils down to "help the state rob the biological father or starve. Do this even if the biological father might murder you, or starve."


annikastheory wrote

Reply to comment by CameronNemo in friday free talk by emma

I like hand holding lol, but yes I am getting most of the fundamentals down at this point and should just head to the docs for most things now.

But for real why would I be looking into how to add command line arguments to my code if I didn't know what a command line argument was?


annikastheory wrote (edited )

Reply to friday free talk by emma

Sometimes I feel like programming tutorial people are needlessly long winded. I mean I am too but its annoying. I just wanted to know how to use argparse and the first few search results literally went into the history of C. Then the next couple went on a detailed explanation of what a command line argument is. Like if its easier to just read the documentation than your tutorial your tutorial sucks.

Also I feel like I am stuck in an endless loop working on my code. I have determined that coding is 90% putting something together, realizing there's a better way of doing it, and then redoing like 50% of your code and adding an additional 20% more code. then rinse and repeat.

Going to try and watch the Truman show this weekend. Its a favorite of mine and I always get a new perspective each time I watch it.

Edit: maybe that was their plan all along. Make bad tutorials so people learn to read the documentation.


annikastheory wrote

Is this all cool If I just copy paste it here?

THE SCEPTICS have plenty of fodder. The earliest adopters of bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, used it to buy drugs, while cyber-hackers now demand their ransom in it. Hundreds of millions of dollars of ether, another digital money, were stolen this year after hackers found a bug in some code. Many “believers” are in reality trying to get rich quick from the global mania that has seen the value of cryptoassets reach $2.2trn. Others are freakishly devoted. The entrepreneur who announced in June that El Salvador was adopting bitcoin as an official currency sobbed on stage, claiming it would save the nation.

The crooks, fools and proselytisers are off-putting. Nevertheless, the rise of an ecosystem of financial services, known as decentralised finance, or “DeFi”, deserves sober consideration. It has the potential to rewire how the financial system works, with all the promise and perils that entails. The proliferation of innovation in DeFi is akin to the frenzy of invention in the early phase of the web. At a time when people live ever more of their lives online, the crypto-revolution could even remake the architecture of the digital economy.

DeFi is one of three tech trends disrupting finance. Tech “platform” firms are muscling in on payments and banks. Governments are launching digital currencies, or govcoins. DeFi offers an alternative path which aims to spread power, not concentrate it. To understand how, start with blockchains, vast networks of computers that keep an open, incorruptible common record and update it without the need for a central authority.

Bitcoin, the first big blockchain, created in 2009, is now a distraction. Instead, Ethereum, a blockchain network created in 2015, upon which most DeFi applications are built, is reaching critical mass. Its developers view finance as a juicy target. Conventional banking requires a huge infrastructure to maintain trust between strangers, from clearing houses and compliance to capital rules and courts. It is expensive and often captured by insiders: think of credit-card fees and bankers’ yachts. By contrast, transactions on a blockchain are trustworthy, cheap, transparent and quick—at least in theory.

Although the terminology is intimidating (fees are “gas”; the main currency is ether, and title deeds over digital assets are known as NFTs), the basic activities taking place on DeFi are familiar. These include trading on exchanges and issuing loans and taking deposits through self-executing agreements called smart contracts. One yardstick of activity is the value of digital instruments being used as collateral: from almost nothing in early 2018 it has reached $90bn. Another is the value of transactions that Ethereum is verifying. In the second quarter this reached $2.5trn, around the same sum as Visa processes and equivalent to a sixth of the activity on Nasdaq, a stock exchange.

The dream of a low-friction financial system is just the beginning. DeFi is spreading to more ambitious terrain. MetaMask, a DeFi wallet with more than 10m users, acts as a digital identity. To enter a decentralised “metaverse”, a looking-glass world with shops run by its users, you link your wallet to a cartoonish avatar who roams around. These digital worlds will become the subject of intensifying competition as more spending shifts online. Big tech firms could impose huge taxes on these mini-economies: imagine Apple’s App Store charging fees, or Facebook selling your avatar’s intimate secrets. A better alternative might be decentralised networks that host applications and are run mutually by users. DeFi could provide payments and property rights.

Crypto-enthusiasts see a Utopia. But there is a long way to go before DeFi is as reliable as, say, JPMorgan Chase or PayPal. Some problems are prosaic. A common criticism is that blockchain platforms do not scale easily and that the computers they harness consume wasteful amounts of electricity. But Ethereum is a self-improvement machine. When it is in high demand the fees it charges for verification can climb, encouraging developers to work on minimising the intensity with which they use it. There will be new versions of Ethereum; other, better blockchains could one day replace it.

Yet DeFi also raises questions about how a virtual economy with its own norms interacts with the real world. One worry is the lack of an external anchor of value. Cryptocurrencies are no different from the dollar, in that they rely on people having a shared expectation of their utility. However, conventional money is also backed by states with a monopoly on force and central banks that are lenders of last resort. Without these, DeFi will be vulnerable to panics. Contract enforcement outside the virtual world is also a concern. A blockchain contract may say you own a house but only the police can enforce an eviction.

Governance and accountability in DeFi-land are rudimentary. A sequence of large irrevocable transactions that humans cannot override could be dangerous, especially as coding errors are inevitable. Money-laundering has thrived in the ungoverned grey zone of services lying between Ethereum and the banking system. Despite the claims of decentralisation, some programmers and app owners hold disproportionate sway over the DeFi system. And a malign actor could even gain control over a majority of the computers that run a blockchain.

Alice’s adventures in DeFi-land

Digital libertarians would prefer that DeFi remain autonomous—imperfect but pure. Yet to succeed it must integrate with the conventional financial and legal systems, as Gary Gensler, a crypto-expert who is America’s financial watchdog, has outlined. Many DeFi applications are run by decentralised organisations which vote on some issues; these bodies should become subject to laws and regulations. The Bank for International Settlements, a club for central banks, has suggested that govcoins might be used in DeFi apps, providing stability.

Finance is entering a new era in which the three novel but flawed visions of tech platforms, big government and DeFi will compete and intermingle. Each embodies a technical architecture and an ideology about how the economy should be run. As with the internet in the 1990s, no one knows where the revolution will end. But it stands to transform how money works and, as it does so, the entire digital world.


annikastheory wrote

Currency so beautiful it makes me cry

The entrepreneur who announced in June that El Salvador was adopting bitcoin as an official currency sobbed on stage, claiming it would save the nation.

This was surprisingly on point.

Yet DeFi also raises questions about how a virtual economy with its own norms interacts with the real world. One worry is the lack of an external anchor of value. Cryptocurrencies are no different from the dollar, in that they rely on people having a shared expectation of their utility. However, conventional money is also backed by states with a monopoly on force and central banks that are lenders of last resort. Without these, DeFi will be vulnerable to panics. Contract enforcement outside the virtual world is also a concern. A blockchain contract may say you own a house but only the police can enforce an eviction.

Also a just love how this name sounds.

Digital libertarians


annikastheory wrote

This is the kind of shit that fucks me up.

Ms. West works full time with four other employees to make close to 400 meals a day, but she still relies on welfare to make ends meet. Ms. West makes less than $25,000 a year.

Despite the low pay, Ms. West said she feels committed to her job because she wants to make sure her students get fed. “We are really running on the smiles of our students that come in to see us every day,” Ms. West said. “That’s why we show up at 4:45 in the morning — we all know those kids by name. But when the cafeteria doors close, we sigh and our shoulders drop. It’s exhausting.”

This lady is passionate about being a lunch lady because how much she cares about kids and her wages have to be subsidized by the government just for her to survive. Its screwed up on a number of levels.

Also you'd think schools would put some of the following ideas together and see the logical conclusion.

“Some states ended unemployment benefits early, so there is already some research,” Ms. Groshen said. “And when you look at the studies, there was some effect in the market from unemployment ending, but it wasn’t very large.”

“It’s ironic because for forever, schools have been underfunded and felt like they couldn’t do what they needed,” he said. “But now you have this federal funding. We have plenty of money. But the human capital is not there.”

“It’s hard to appeal to them when the fast-food chain is offering $1 more per hour


annikastheory wrote

Reply to comment by Tequila_Wolf in friday free talk by emma

I haven't had anyone die yet. Only one person that I know that for sure got it. I have mentioned that I am surrounded by conservatives and surprisingly most of them have not been covid deniers and have got vaccinated. Which is good because I know a lot of elderly folks.

Unfortunately many on my wife's side of the family are covid deniers. I worry about them but also I am angry with them for being shit heads. I also worry about my kid because she has to be around some of them. Yet another reason we want to find an alternative to my in-laws watching our kid.


annikastheory wrote

Reply to comment by emma in friday free talk by emma

I have never owned a Mac, and I don't know your situation, like if it's a work computer or something. But I think the Linux kernel now supports the m1 if that's an option/ something you want to do.


annikastheory wrote

The text on the right was so jarring I didn't even read the other half of this picture for a while. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on this one but the phrase "uncivilized savage that shouldn't exist" brings to my mind the genocide of indigenous people and seems in bad taste, to put it mildly. Maybe I am looking to much into it but it honestly really shocked me.


annikastheory wrote

Even if I didn't think IQ was a social construct that isn't really how bell curves work. If I assumed IQ as a concept people of average intelligence or higher would easily be capable of "that level of discourse". On the bell curve that covers around 84% of people. But also who cares it is 100% a construct.


annikastheory wrote

A couple more thoughts I had. Its hard to know how upvotes play into all this. I would certainly perceive there to be more engagement in things that are more highly upvoted but that may not be the case. I suppose it depends on what function upvoting has to the voter. The "dunking" and meme posts tend to get highly upvoted whereas news or more serious conversations may not.

I think for myself I see many people who, primarily, focus themselves on these "dunkings" as a fun thing to do, but who's conversations hardly go beyond this fun into more serious conversations

The other thing is sometimes the primary way we engage in a conversation is listening. Or on the internet reading. So maybe an idea is foreign to me so I just read the conversations, rather than respond. or maybe I lack self-confidence or fear conflict so I hope others engage where I am not brave enough to. Then outside of that I just post memes or something.

Final thought: There seems to be an underlying assumption in your initial question that "more thought provoking, less discussed topics" are of greater value than "arguing against common banal positions". I don't really agree with that assumption largely for the reasons stated in my first comment.

Perhaps that relates to the "online irony culture" you referenced though. Certainly people can use irony and memes to mask super shitty beliefs but I don't think that's usually the case here, at least as far as I can tell.


annikastheory wrote (edited )

Probably a bit of a frivolous answer but frankly "dunking" is fun. Don't get me wrong, its very important to discuss complex issues or critique each other but that's hard work, its taxing and it takes time. Its also very easy to offend or start drama with that. It isn't the sort of thing I would want to do with great frequency. Some days are exhausting on their own and on those days I come to this site to chill not to think through complex/new things or to be challenged.

Edit: but also I think you may be diminishing the amount of constructive conversations that do happen here/ over inflating the amount of "dunking". If you compare the length of the comments on the one about direct democracy (for example) and look at the comment lengths on other threads you'll notice a large difference. It seems people flock to the "dunking" posts with short 1-2 sentence quips but there are sustained conversations elsewhere with paragraphs of text being exchanged between users.


annikastheory wrote (edited )

My favorite comment.

fascism is not tolerated here.

Isn't this basically a fascist dogwhistle at this point? Any sensible fascist will seek to brand their garbage as anything but in order to try and dupe enough people into going down the rabbit hole.

And then the comment below

it's also the 4th rule on this sub tbf

2nd favorite

Lmao anarchy without democracy? These people are loons


annikastheory OP wrote

I have had the displeasure of reading one of Gary smalleys books. He isn't just a crappy counselor he's also a Christian one.

The others seem to also be setting people up for abuse

I had a similar complaint that I voiced quietly to a fellow coworker. Mine was more that it glorified traits that were profitable to businesses.


annikastheory OP wrote

They had us all move to the corner of a room based on what animal we were. Then they pointed at each corner saying this is x animal and then read the description. It was dumb.

Couple coworkers were real excited about because x animal "is so me" and felt the need to get people from other departments to take it.