kaminiwa:

shieldfoss:

rendakuenthusiast:

isaacsapphire:

transientpetersen:

One day you are called from your morning coffee and chair by the sounds of a dispute coming from the school yard. In the center of the play area, three children are arguing loudly over a rudely carved wooden flute. Each is quite passionate in asserting that, while the others have compelling arguments, the flute should rightfully go to them as their claim on it is the strongest. You want to be fair so you conduct an extensive interview with each and the following story comes out. None of the children disagree about these facts, only their relevance.

The first child is from a poor family (henceforth ‘the poor kid’). They don’t have much in the way of possessions so they have become used to improvising toys. One such favorite was a stick that they found on their distant grandparent’s property. The poor kid was usually to be found swinging it around and playing swashbuckler on the playground equipment during recess. The second child (‘the rich kid’) finds this most annoying and prefers not to use the areas where the poor kid is playing as a result.

Last week the poor kid comes in to school without lunch. They’re looking really hungry so the rich kid offers to trade a spare sandwich for the stick that has been annoying them. The poor kid agrees and the traded sandwich makes for a very satisfying lunch. The third child (‘the crafty kid’) happens to be sitting nearby and takes a liking to the stick. They ask the rich kid if they can use the stick to help with a personal project. The rich kid is in a good mood and hands it over.

In the intervening week, the crafty kid carves the stick into a rough flute. It is rudimentary to be sure but functional. Today, the crafty kid brought the flute in to school, the other two saw it in the school yard, and the fight broke out.

If the rich kid gets it, they will play it on and off for a few days (they are the only one of the trio that knows how to play) and then it will end up in their locker with the rest of their toys (because they don’t like to share what’s theirs). If the crafty kid gets it, they will examine it for a while to take notes about the carving process and then throw it to their dog to chew up or throw it out (like many artists, they hate to see their practice pieces). If the poor kid gets it, they will use it like they always did and go back to swashbuckling (in the week since giving it up, this kid couldn’t find a suitable replacement and misses playing their favorite games).

You’re an impartial observer. You don’t owe these kids anything and never expect them to be of any use to you in the future. At this moment, you’re more concerned about making the headache go away but you do want to be fair.

Alternatively, you know the rich kid will say good things to their parents, who have influence on the school board, the poor kid is your cousin, and the crafty kid lent you a full range of tools last month when you needed to do some emergency classroom repair.

What do you do and who has the best claim? Do you expect other observers to agree with your assessment? In a perfect world would you expect to generate objective agreement or is this situation truly pathological?

Amartya Sen created this example to illustrate how different moral frameworks truly generate different answers even in non-extreme situations. I consider this an excellent thought experiment for understanding how complicated justice can be and how mutually contradictory our current systems are.

Wait, somebody thinks it isn’t morally the crafty kid’s?

Yeah I kinda want to form communities where people who don’t think the crafty kid has the best claim can’t join and only live in them. Just my gut reaction here.

That’s a really interesting though experiment.

I’m not sure if the stick is the rich or the crafty kids’, though, because:

They ask the rich kid if they can use the stick to help with a personal project. The rich kid is in a good mood and hands it over.

Was that a transfer of ownership or a lending? If somebody asks me if they can use something of mine (and I feel it was clearly the rich kid’s before the project) for a crafts project, whether or not it becomes “theirs” is very very fluent – like, if somebody asks if they can use one of my chairs for a project, I would be very disappointed if I got anything but a useful chair back – though possibly modified/decorated – and would not have any implied change of ownership. If somebody asked if they could use my tools in a project, I would not expect to get any screws/nails back.

Counterpoint: If it was still just a stick, I’m pretty sure the rich kid wouldn’t care about getting it back at all. He wants it because the crafty kid turned it in to something cool.

Of course, you could let the crafty kid study it and then hand it off to the rich kid. The crafty kid explicitly just wants to study it for a bit before parting with it…

I actually don’t really care about neither the crafty nor the rich kids’ opinions, in so far that they are in agreement about the facts of whether it was a transfer of ownership or not.

If it turns out that they do agree about the wording but not about whether it was a transfer of ownership (That is, “Can I use” was the explicit wording, not “can I borrow” or “can I have” and they disagree about the meaning) then yeah I’d give it to the crafty kid, probably on the understanding that the crafty kid owes the rich kid a stick but not a stick that he has transformed into a flute.

But if it was explicitly a loan, then it’s still the rich kid’s stick no matter how amazingly transformative the crafty kid has been.

Do you know that feeling

kaminiwa:

shieldfoss:

socialjusticemunchkin:

shieldfoss:

collapsedsquid:

shieldfoss:

Where you agree with somebodys radically unorthodox opinion on a subject, and so expect them to be in the cluster of “smart people who think things through”

And then on a different subject, they’re not just wrong but completely, entirely, intothetrashitgoes wrong?

So now you wonder – are they always wrong? Are they wrong when they agree with me? Am I wrong? How deep does this even go?

And at that point, the only way to get any work done is to take comfort in your own innate superiorityaccept that maybe one person can be wrong on some things and right on others so you don’t have to agree with them about it all.

In this case, it is somebody who is correct on city planning but almost maliciously wrong on economics.

EDIT: And not in a “communism did nothing wrong” kind of way, and not in a “capitalism did nothing wrong” kind of way – no, it is somebody who either does not understand the diminishing utility of money or is totally cool with just shivving the underclass straight in the kidneys – “let’s replace all state taxes with sales taxes” whta? wath? whaat? whaaat?

Normally those plans come with a refundable credit or similar scheme.  Did the plan not even include that?

(I mean, I have problems with the idea in general, but I see loads of hot takes on how it could be done progressively.)

Not a word. Yeah you could do something progressive with sales tax e.g. UBI + sales tax, but that wasn’t it.

That is an impressive level of upfuckedness. I sympathize very strongly with the idea that taxes should be simple and gathered from a small number of extremely broad sources so I kind of get where “sales tax for everything” would come from but without UBI it’s just cartoonishly evil.

Also, everyone worth listening to obviously knows that LVT is the one tax to rule them all. (And carbon tax, but that counts more as “your actions are causing harm to others, pay up” instead of a source of income.)

Back when I had no property, I used to be super against property taxes for what I felt were really good reasons.

Now that I have property, you’d think I’d be even more against them but now I am for property taxes for what I feel are really good reasons.

Cannot tell if Masochist or just learned economics late.

This thread is baffling me, since most all the poor people I’ve known consider sales taxes to be significantly preferable to income taxes.

I’m not sure if Washington is unusual in this, but sales taxes don’t apply to food, rent, utilities, etc. – the basics of life are tax-free. Thus, sales tax is automatically progressive: the poor people who spend 95% of their money on the basics, avoid 95% of taxes. The rich people who spend very little on those things, pay significantly more in taxes.

Washington is not uniquely unusual, but it is unusual.

The reason sales tax is not just not-progressive but actively regressive is that it applies to the things poor people buy (Goods, utilities) and not the things rich people buy (stocks, pensions).

If you somehow finangle a tax code so that sales tax applies to rich people purchases instead of poor people purchases, yeah, that could solve some of it but that’s not how it’s normally done.

Know of a good tumblr scraper that you’ve had success with?

Google gives me programs from like 2012, I need one that can scrape my posts from current tumblr which I don’t believe is the same – though I might be wrong.

(Alternatively: Does tumblr have native functionality that lets me download my posts in one place?)

EDIT: IT TURNS OUT – wordpress already knows people might want to do this and so wordpress has native functionality to import.

IF – and only if – tumblr shuts down, I will be writing at shieldfoss.com instead of here.

rendakuenthusiast:

isaacsapphire:

transientpetersen:

One day you are called from your morning coffee and chair by the sounds of a dispute coming from the school yard. In the center of the play area, three children are arguing loudly over a rudely carved wooden flute. Each is quite passionate in asserting that, while the others have compelling arguments, the flute should rightfully go to them as their claim on it is the strongest. You want to be fair so you conduct an extensive interview with each and the following story comes out. None of the children disagree about these facts, only their relevance.

The first child is from a poor family (henceforth ‘the poor kid’). They don’t have much in the way of possessions so they have become used to improvising toys. One such favorite was a stick that they found on their distant grandparent’s property. The poor kid was usually to be found swinging it around and playing swashbuckler on the playground equipment during recess. The second child (‘the rich kid’) finds this most annoying and prefers not to use the areas where the poor kid is playing as a result.

Last week the poor kid comes in to school without lunch. They’re looking really hungry so the rich kid offers to trade a spare sandwich for the stick that has been annoying them. The poor kid agrees and the traded sandwich makes for a very satisfying lunch. The third child (‘the crafty kid’) happens to be sitting nearby and takes a liking to the stick. They ask the rich kid if they can use the stick to help with a personal project. The rich kid is in a good mood and hands it over.

In the intervening week, the crafty kid carves the stick into a rough flute. It is rudimentary to be sure but functional. Today, the crafty kid brought the flute in to school, the other two saw it in the school yard, and the fight broke out.

If the rich kid gets it, they will play it on and off for a few days (they are the only one of the trio that knows how to play) and then it will end up in their locker with the rest of their toys (because they don’t like to share what’s theirs). If the crafty kid gets it, they will examine it for a while to take notes about the carving process and then throw it to their dog to chew up or throw it out (like many artists, they hate to see their practice pieces). If the poor kid gets it, they will use it like they always did and go back to swashbuckling (in the week since giving it up, this kid couldn’t find a suitable replacement and misses playing their favorite games).

You’re an impartial observer. You don’t owe these kids anything and never expect them to be of any use to you in the future. At this moment, you’re more concerned about making the headache go away but you do want to be fair.

Alternatively, you know the rich kid will say good things to their parents, who have influence on the school board, the poor kid is your cousin, and the crafty kid lent you a full range of tools last month when you needed to do some emergency classroom repair.

What do you do and who has the best claim? Do you expect other observers to agree with your assessment? In a perfect world would you expect to generate objective agreement or is this situation truly pathological?

Amartya Sen created this example to illustrate how different moral frameworks truly generate different answers even in non-extreme situations. I consider this an excellent thought experiment for understanding how complicated justice can be and how mutually contradictory our current systems are.

Wait, somebody thinks it isn’t morally the crafty kid’s?

Yeah I kinda want to form communities where people who don’t think the crafty kid has the best claim can’t join and only live in them. Just my gut reaction here.

That’s a really interesting though experiment.

I’m not sure if the stick is the rich or the crafty kids’, though, because:

They ask the rich kid if they can use the stick to help with a personal project. The rich kid is in a good mood and hands it over.

Was that a transfer of ownership or a lending? If somebody asks me if they can use something of mine (and I feel it was clearly the rich kid’s before the project) for a crafts project, whether or not it becomes “theirs” is very very fluent – like, if somebody asks if they can use one of my chairs for a project, I would be very disappointed if I got anything but a useful chair back – though possibly modified/decorated – and would not have any implied change of ownership. If somebody asked if they could use my tools in a project, I would not expect to get any screws/nails back.

Do you know that feeling

socialjusticemunchkin:

shieldfoss:

collapsedsquid:

shieldfoss:

Where you agree with somebodys radically unorthodox opinion on a subject, and so expect them to be in the cluster of “smart people who think things through”

And then on a different subject, they’re not just wrong but completely, entirely, intothetrashitgoes wrong?

So now you wonder – are they always wrong? Are they wrong when they agree with me? Am I wrong? How deep does this even go?

And at that point, the only way to get any work done is to take comfort in your own innate superiorityaccept that maybe one person can be wrong on some things and right on others so you don’t have to agree with them about it all.

In this case, it is somebody who is correct on city planning but almost maliciously wrong on economics.

EDIT: And not in a “communism did nothing wrong” kind of way, and not in a “capitalism did nothing wrong” kind of way – no, it is somebody who either does not understand the diminishing utility of money or is totally cool with just shivving the underclass straight in the kidneys – “let’s replace all state taxes with sales taxes” whta? wath? whaat? whaaat?

Normally those plans come with a refundable credit or similar scheme.  Did the plan not even include that?

(I mean, I have problems with the idea in general, but I see loads of hot takes on how it could be done progressively.)

Not a word. Yeah you could do something progressive with sales tax e.g. UBI + sales tax, but that wasn’t it.

That is an impressive level of upfuckedness. I sympathize very strongly with the idea that taxes should be simple and gathered from a small number of extremely broad sources so I kind of get where “sales tax for everything” would come from but without UBI it’s just cartoonishly evil.

Also, everyone worth listening to obviously knows that LVT is the one tax to rule them all. (And carbon tax, but that counts more as “your actions are causing harm to others, pay up” instead of a source of income.)

Back when I had no property, I used to be super against property taxes for what I felt were really good reasons.

Now that I have property, you’d think I’d be even more against them but now I am for property taxes for what I feel are really good reasons.

Cannot tell if Masochist or just learned economics late.

rendakuenthusiast:

shieldfoss:

nuclearspaceheater:

severnayazemlya:

When I was but a wee sevlet, I went to a friend’s birthday party out in Baltimore. Since I was but a wee sevlet, I had to get my parents to give me a ride. They did, of course, but when I called and told them it was over, they didn’t show.

Two hours later, I found out the reason. The reason, of course, was Baltimore. A character of the sort one gets out there had been driving drunk in the middle of the day. And had smashed into the side of my mother’s car.

My family is not particularly rich, but it is particularly tall. The prospect of buying a new car was not appealing. The insurance company said it was totaled, but what the hell kind of cracker gives a damn about that? 

My uncle happened to have a car of the same model, albeit a few years older, and the same condition, which it got into by contributing to the noble cause of controlling the local deer population. “Gee,” we thought, “these two cars are both totaled, but they’re totaled in different places. If we take these two totaled cars and put them together, we can have one car that works.” So he cannibalized the car for parts, loaded them in his pickup truck, and drove over.

Car models change over the years, so it wasn’t a trivial task. I don’t remember what we did. I do remember that it involved duct tape, a tennis ball, and a copy of Jimmy Carter’s autobiography. I swear I am not making this up.

Once we were done, we looked at each other and went:

Is anyone going to drive this fucking thing?

So we hauled it to the dump.

That’s why I’m not a Javascript developer.

However big of a tire-fire you thought Javascript was, well, it’s actually 1 tire bigger than that, as the algorithm in the link above for padding a string with spaces is O(n^2) under some implementations.

Oh fuck me I’m glad I’m a Systems Programmer

How do webdevs even sleep at night

C and C++ are no better. Half of Javascript’s flaws as a language are just it doing the same things as C, and C++ is full of its own tire-fires. I agree that there is no excuse for node, though.

I am not going to claim that C/C++ are some magical land of fairies and dew-drops – whenever I am asked by somebody “should I learn C++?” I tell them that if they are asking advice, the answer is no. The only people who should learn C/C++ are people who know they need it.

Which I guess is kind of the same for Javascript – you should only learn Javascript if you need it.