alyaza [they/she]

internet gryphon. admin of Beehaw, mostly publicly interacting with people. nonbinary. they/she

  • 502 Posts
Joined 2Y ago
Cake day: Jan 28, 2022


how’s your week going, Beehaw
busy as usual, alas

Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain - Episode Five: Arion Press (2015)
> Anthony Bourdain & The Balvenie head to San Francisco, California to meet with Andrew Hoyem, master typographer and printer of Arion Press. One of the last of its kind, Arion Press has only a handful of members on its staff, all fellow craftsmen dedicated to this age old process. Each works meticulously to create the books in multiple parts, from the typecasters, to the proofreaders, to the printers and the bookbinders. All of these hands build a work of art through a process that must be seen to be believed, and can only, truly, be described as magic. Episode directed by filmmaker Rob Meyer.

this is already leading to layoffs, including [" managing editor Brendan Sinclair"]( and ["Alice Bell, deputy editor at Rock Paper Shotgun"](

in this case: no, they’re just Filipino, and it seems to just be a contraction of Jupiter or something similarly banal. i think it would be prudent in the future to do a bit of double checking before we start accusing people of Nazis; you can easily check your assumption by just visiting their mastodon page, linked in the description of their kbin account.

how’s your week going, Beehaw
currently working on book 28 of 40 for the year

Obviously, my point is that beehaw admins should accept that they made a mistake and refederate with I would also recommend upgrading to the latest version of Lemmy, because it at least gives users the option of instance blocking. I understand that you intend to move to Sublinks or another platform in the future, but in the meantime you are neglecting your users by allowing the current implementation on Lemmy to languish.

unless we’re compelled to, it is exceedingly unlikely we will upgrade. we are fully committed to moving off the platform so it just makes no sense to prioritize Lemmy updates.

with respect to refederation: we already polled that with both SJW and LW months ago and were given a very definitive no, do not refederate from our userbase. only 11% and 17% of our users were in favor of refederation respectively, and majorities were fine with continued defederation from both. our defederation policy was also strongly supported. (i believe this is the first time these numbers have been posted because they were so definitively in favor of the status quo.)

At the time that they defederated SJW, Beehaw was more that 3 times larger, at about 12k total/3k monthly users. Now, SJW is more than 5 times larger than Beehaw, which has dwindled to just 450 monthly users.

we’re not and have never been in this for numbers so this is immaterial to us–we’ve been quite public that we’d be fine having a community of a few dozen people, because that’s what we were before the Reddit fiasco. in any case: please understand that we are not responsible for the health of the Lemmy ecosystem. and even if we were (which we reject categorically) we have definitively been told to leave the platform because of our disagreements with the Lemmy developers. bettering this platform is no longer a priority for us in any way–and it is the general opinion of the team that we wasted a lot of time prioritizing that given the developer antipathy toward us. you can read more on that here if you’d like.

how’s your week going, Beehaw
busy as usual, currently reading Alt-America (David Neiwert)

how’s your week going, Beehaw
this week i am reading *When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm* and i think i can speak with confidence when i say that i hope every McKinsey consultant chokes on a grape

how’s your week going, Beehaw
it's a bit of a busy week but i am currently reading *I Want to Believe: Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism*

how’s your week going, Beehaw
tuesday edition because i'm busy

a notable point in here, particularly given the recent WCK murders: > In an unprecedented move, according to two of the sources, the army also decided during the first weeks of the war that, for every junior Hamas operative that Lavender marked, it was permissible to kill up to 15 or 20 civilians; in the past, the military did not authorize any “collateral damage” during assassinations of low-ranking militants. The sources added that, in the event that the target was a senior Hamas official with the rank of battalion or brigade commander, the army on several occasions authorized the killing of more than 100 civilians in the assassination of a single commander.

i don’t think “adding race-specific stripes to a pride flag” is a bad thing, is “treating people differently based on skin tone” except in the most cringeworthy, pedantic, I See No Color way possible, or is “racist”—and i think that if you believe these things you probably will not be allowed to partake in discussions like this on our instance after today

So a pride flag that is clearly textbook racist is good and arguing against it and the people that say its better because of the racism is not allowed here

when you call them racist and imply they’re segregationist for having their preference, yes, that is not allowed. that’s needlessly aggressive and needlessly sectarian—and speaking personally, “having a preference for more stripes on a flag that represent marginalized communities is racist and like segregation” is just such an overstatement of the point (that i otherwise agree with, for the record—i am not a fan of the progress flag) being made that it verges into being unserious.

also in Israel news today is this–the probable shutting down of Al Jazeera’s operations there. Netanyahu says he’ll act swiftly to request the outlet be banned under this new law

> Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the law's passing, saying that "Al Jazeera has harmed Israel's security, actively participated in the October 7 massacre, and incited against IDF soldiers. It's time to remove Hamas' mouthpiece from our country." > > He added: "The terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to take immediate action in accordance with the new law to halt the channel's activities."

the strategy here appears to be that Israel is trying to bait Hezbollah into attacking them, which is a very sane strategy and not at all completely psychotic

minor PSA (bee-SA?): you should now be able to use the Blobbee emoji set under our emoji picker
we discovered this set the other day by [olivvybee]( (Liv Asch), and obviously these are delightfully thematic for our instance. you should be able to find them in our emoji picker as follows. the emoji icon, at least on desktop, is the fourth from left smiley face on comment/post UI: ![]( ![](

Otherwise you could claim a crossdresser were trans or people who claimed they were “attack helicopters” would have to be accepted as trans because there would literally be no argument you could make against it.

this just sounds like a skill issue on your part, i’m sorry–this is not an issue if you have a postmodernist understanding of gender, which most trans people (myself included) subscribe to.

at the end of the day when you drill down? there really is not a material difference between the “real” and “fake” genders–gender is entirely socially constructed, and the designations of “male” and “female” that most people fall into are as arbitrary as any xenogender (real or frivolously created by right-wingers). you only “lose” by entertaining frivolous designations if your understanding of gender is already so narrow that you can’t conceptually accommodate anything beyond a handful of stock gender identities to begin with.

yeah the difficulty here really is: even if we wanted to stick around (i think the consensus is not especially) and even if we did get the mod tools we think are needed (no reason to believe this will happen), the bridge here is burned pretty definitively. i don’t personally see the sense in sticking around on a place where the people stewarding the software have an actively adversarial relationship with us

how’s your week going, Beehaw
busy week, taking a bunch of notes, not much time to talk

so, irritatingly, we appear to have absolutely no control over this as far as i can tell–i just spent about 15 minutes investigating the options available to us in Baserow to double check.

the Second Beehaw Community Survey
welcome to the second-ever Beehaw Community Survey. it's been awhile because of everything going on; we last did one of these with the influx of people last [June]( and we got 1,500 responses that time. we don't expect anywhere near that many this time, but that's fine. this survey should take about 10 minutes to fill out, so we strongly encourage you to do so when you are able to. you can find it at the following link: ### [Beehaw Community Survey #2]( --- the survey is comprised of **eight** optional demographic questions to help us assess the overall identity of our community and **eight** questions relating to Beehaw and the Fediverse. the survey will be open for at least three days but no longer than one week. it'll be locally pinned for the duration of that minimum three days, so please mind that. results will also be aggregated and posted on here/the Docs page in a summary like with the last survey. no ETA on that. --- this is also a good time to remind everyone that Beehaw has moved over to Open Collective Europe Foundation, and we will be taking all donations from there going forward. please direct your donations [there]( if you haven't switched from our old Open Collective Foundation page yet!

whenever my dad gets to shopping (not for lack of pestering on my part), most likely the first solution will be chemical–but in the interim i’m just trapping them and drowning them as they appear, which has worked well enough because i only see one or two a day and they really stick out against our walls. helpfully they also don’t seem to have gotten into any furniture or other places it’d be hard to root them out from, and we vacuumed the area they originated in which i suspect got a lot of them early

Ugh, bedbugs. I hope that situation resolves quickly for you, preferably as a false alarm.

unfortunately not a false alarm but luckily it seems they’re contained to one area we don’t really use anyways for now, and i’ve been picking off the ones i encounter; they seem to be very few and far between right now so i’m cautiously optimistic that management of the affected area will keep them from taking root elsewhere. more than anything it’s just brought attention to areas of our living space that weren’t previously getting much attention which has been good

I don’t follow the development super closely so I don’t know if those issues were resolved or not. I just remember a lot of discussion on it when I was first on Lemmy on a different instance.

not that i’m aware of, and fixing a database schema once it’s already in place tends to be a clusterfuck so i’m very skeptical it will get better any time soon

how’s your week going, Beehaw
pretty wacky week last week, it snowed a ton here, may or may not have bedbugs although if we do for now they seem contained(?) so keeping an eye on that

Beehaw, what are your thoughts on Thomas Berry’s 10 principles?
this is a sort of novel follow up to a question i asked previously, which was [your opinion on right of nature laws, which recognize natural entities as having "personhood" or legal rights comparable to humans]( Berry was a theologian who wrote extensively on the rights of nature and ecology generally. one of his lasting works are his 10 principles as enumerated in [The Origin, Differentiation and Role of Rights](, which are: 1. Rights originate where existence originates. That which determines existence determines rights. 2. Since it has no further context of existence in the phenomenal order, the universe is self-referent in its being and self-normative in its activities. It is also the primary referent in the being and activities of all derivative modes of being. 3. The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. As subjects, the component members of the universe are capable of having rights. 4. The natural world on the planet Earth gets its rights from the same source that humans get their rights, from the universe that brought them into being. 5. Every component of the Earth community has three rights. The right to be, the right to habitat, and the right to fulfill its role in the ever-renewing process of the Earth community. 6. All rights are species specific and limited. Rivers have river rights. Birds have bird rights. Insects have insect rights. Humans have human rights. Difference of rights is qualitative not quantitative. The rights of an insect would be of no use to a tree or fish. 7. Human rights do not cancel out the rights of other modes of being to exist in their natural state. Human property rights are not absolute. Property rights are simply a special relationship between a particular human "owner" and a particular piece of "property" for the benefit of both. 8. Species exist in the form of individuals and groupings--flock, herds, schools of fish and so forth. Rights refer to individuals and groupings, not simply in a general way to species. 9. These rights as presented here establish the relationships that the various components of the Earth have toward each other. The planet earth is a single community bound together with interdependent relationships. Every component of the Earth community is immediately or mediately dependent on every other member of the Community for the nourishment and assistance it needs for its own survival. This mutual nourishment, which includes predator-prey relationship, is integral with the role that each component of the Earth has within the comprehensive community of existence. 10. In a special manner humans have not only a need for but a right of access to the natural world, not only to supply their physical needs but also to provide the wonder needed by human intelligence, the beauty needed by human imagination, and the intimacy needed by the human emotions.

our previous fiscal host is dissolving at the end of the year–most of the details are over in our previous announcement post; all contributions go toward keeping the website up and paying for any labor associated with it outside of admin work

to be honest with you i have no clue what the logistics are for donations themselves. my intuition is… no, having managed our finances for the reports? but Chris almost certainly has a better idea of this than me.

no, everything is still in USD (although i think the switch means we’re losing slightly more to payment processing)

## tl;dr: Beehaw has moved over to Open Collective Europe Foundation, please direct your donations [there]( effective immediately. --- In some good news, we've successfully moved over to Open Collective Europe Foundation as our new fiscal host. This process has been mercifully quick and fairly painless, for which we're thankful. Going forward, please make all donations to the [Beehaw Collective]( there instead of the previous Beehaw page affiliated with Open Collective Foundation. We'll be mothballing that one following this post going live and according to OCF should be able to merge the page back into our new one sometime after April. Our balance of approximately $7,100 is in the process of being transferred and we do not expect issues there. OCF just submitted a transfer request today for us, and OCEF will let us know when that balance hits our new collective. We would encourage you to manually restart your contribution as soon as possible just for sake of ease and because our financial schedule will be very different going forward. However, starting later this month—at least based on what [Open Collective]( is saying—anybody still signed up to make contributions to the old page *should* receive an email with the following information: - an invitation to renew your contributions on the new collective page - direction to a page which will be pre-loaded with the amount and frequency of the contribution you made on the old collective, which you will then confirm So, don't fret too much if you can't immediately and manually switch. Spaced email reminders should also go out until Open Collective Foundation shuts down at the end of the year. If any of this does *not* happen, please page us and we'll see what's up.

pretty quiet week so far, i think it’s supposed to snow later which will be moderately annoying because i’ll have to shut my window for awhile if so

With approximately 600 members, Activision Quality Assurance United-CWA is the largest group of union-represented workers at any U.S. game studio. Workers in the new unit are located in California, Texas, and Minnesota. Over 1,000 video game workers at Microsoft now have union representation with CWA.

this is very cool, and hopefully more workers leverage the Microsoft neutrality agreement.

Hamas lied about 500 dying in al Ahli hospital blast and blaming the IDF. They didn’t even try to offer evidence.

even granting this, this seems like the obvious exception to the rule. as the commenter you’re replying to noted, the UN and WHO have generally supported (with a handful of discrepancies that are unsurprising given the circumstances) the Gaza Health Ministry’s death tolls. Israel’s counts have also not historically diverged strongly from the ones the Gaza Health Ministry gives. take the 2014 war where the Gaza Health Ministry said 2,310 killed, the UN HRC said 2,251 killed, and Israel said 2,125 killed. that’s only a 10% difference which, if we’re being honest, is not really much of one in the context of an armed conflict.

mostly, where the Ministry and Israel meaningfully differ is in who they consider civilians and on what bases–the Ministry claimed about 70% civilians killed in 2014, but Israel claimed 36%. and that’s a much harder question to parse out than whether or not the Gaza Health Ministry is lying about casualty numbers–which by all accounts we have it does not seem to be.

The right choices are generally more expensive (in terms of up-front costs, even if they’re less expensive in the long run) and/or require more time investment, both of which are lacking for the poor.

or just the non-technologically savvy. a lot of the issue here is a technological hurdle, fundamentally—it takes a certain level of technological knowledge for someone to, say, pirate ebooks versus just buying them legitimately and that’s a big point of friction for people in making the “right choice”. we have to keep in mind that for a lot of internet-using people nowadays, knowing the ins-and-outs of Facebook or how to download a browser add-on is probably a legitimate technical skill and on the upper bounds of what they’d know navigating spaces like this. and we don’t make it easy necessarily for people to acquire and advance the technological knowledge we’re talking about here either.

this is a very lengthy piece but quite interesting. from the introduction: > Something happened when we shifted to digital formats that created a loss of rights for readers. Pulling back the curtain on the evolution of ebooks offers some clarity to how the shift to digital left ownership behind in the analog world. > > While most publishers still sell physical books, when it comes to ebooks, the vast majority appear to have made a collective decision to shift to offering only limited licenses. Some of the reasons for this shift are economic, some legal, some technological, and others psychological – a belief that limiting or eliminating digital ownership of books will raise publisher revenues, forstall free copies leaking onto unauthorized websites, and allow publishers and platforms unprecedented control and tracking of the behaviors of readers, as well as universities and libraries that provide ebooks. Whether these beliefs map to reality, however, is hotly contested. --- and the broad conclusions here: > Our study leads us to several key conclusions: > - By turning to platforms as the primary technical means for conveying ebooks, publishers have introduced a third major player into the ebook supply chain: ebook platform companies. Together with publishers, platforms have restricted the ebook market to one composed primarily of licensing instead of sales. > - The platform companies have motives and goals that are independent of those of publishers or purchasers (including institutional buyers such as libraries and schools). Rather than looking to profit from individual sales, like a bookstore does, platforms compete to collect and control the most aggregate content and consumer data. This enables what are now widely known as “surveillance capitalism” revenue models, from data brokering to personalized ad targeting to the use of content lock-in subscription models.3 These platforms’ goals are sometimes at odds with the interests of libraries and readers. > - The introduction of platforms, and especially publisher-platform partnerships, has created new forms of legal and technological lock-in on the publisher side, with dependencies on platform infrastructure posing serious barriers to publishers independently selling ebooks directly to consumers. Platforms have few incentives to support direct sales models that do not require licensing, as those models do not easily support tracking user behavior. > - The structure of the ebook marketplace has introduced new stressors into both the publishing and library professions. Publishers and libraries feel they are facing existential crises/collapse, and their fears are pushing them into diametrically opposed viewpoints. Publishers feel pressured to protect and paywall their content, while libraries feel pressure to maintain relevant collections that are easily accessible via digital networks. Both libraries and publishers feel dependent on the ebook platform companies to provide the ebooks that readers demand, allowing the platform economy (which is already dominated by only a few large companies) to have even more power over the ebook marketplace. > - Because of the predominance of the publisher-platform licensing model for the ebook marketplace, important questions exist as to the impact, if any, that digital library lending of books has on that market. For example, while some evidence exists that the availability of second-hand physical books via libraries and used bookstores might compete with direct publisher book sales, it is less clear that the digital loan of a single title by a library competes with platform ebook subscriptions and locked-in book purchases. Moreover, given that publisher-platform partnerships profit from surveillance of book buyers, consumers who choose more privacy-friendly library loans may represent an entirely distinct market that places significant value on data protection. > - While access to user data generated by platform surveillance of readers is a potential benefit to publishers, in practice publishers do not fully exploit (and may not have full access to) that information.

How could less leaves lead to less carbon sequestration? I would love to read more about methods to maximize this.

my understanding–which is admittedly limited–is it’s a complicated issue but that the two biggest variables for the purposes of conversation are health of the things that you plant and what kinds of things you plant (since not all are made equal for carbon sequestration). the second point is mostly a function of location obviously, but on the first point this article seems to cover a lot of the basic principles (even though it’s about forestry and not exactly what Medellin is doing)—in short a well managed greenery project can probably sequester more carbon than one left to its own devices, because you can effectively “speed up” natural processes of sequestration and (in the very long term) turn over the carbon more easily when the plants start losing their capture efficacy. (and obviously, healthy plants with proper maintenance would be in a better position to thrive and sequester carbon than improperly tended to plants)

Seems like overgrown green corridors would sequester even more carbon and clean even more air, no?

overgrowth probably has the chance to damage adjacent infrastructure and create pockets of public safety issues. also if these are anything like the usual tree-planting projects, not maintaining them properly likely leads to less carbon sequestration

if the social prescription to harassment of moderators is “quit because you’re a baby” then you’re going to have many fewer pleasant spaces on the Fediverse in which to exist—because yeah, a lot of people will just quit. i am agnostic on the public modlog overall, but this is an obvious concern with it that i’m not convinced can just be dismissed idly. i obviously have better things to do than a thankless, payless job in which harassment would be dismissed like that.

the ultimate consequence of this approach:

The project’s wider impacts are like a breath of fresh air. Medellín’s temperatures fell by 2°C in the first three years of the program, and officials expect a further decrease of 4 to 5C over the next few decades, even taking into account climate change. In turn, City Hall says this will minimize the need for energy-intensive air conditioning.

pretty significant; this would make a huge difference in a lot of cities if replicated with care

for what it’s worth we have quite a few communities in dire need of some love and posters willing to give them some life–betterment and praxis was a good idea for example that’s unfortunately not been able to sustain itself recently

yeah, maybe they’re visible on other Fediverse projects? but i’ve only ever seen them on posts when they’re crossposted through those other projects, not when they’re posted here through Lemmy.

If the probability of success of those actions was not 0%, there may be an argument that the impact outweighs the unlikelihood of success. But you and I both know otherwise.

i mean i just don’t find this argument particularly convincing. i think biting this bullet would improperly impugn the vast majority of protests and forms of protest—because most of them are unsuccessful and will never be successful. likewise, i think “chance of influencing an outcome for the better” is just one variable you should consider in a moral act, because trying to weigh whether you should do something or not on that basis just invites a whole host of other problems.

If I attempt to destroy the government , I will be killed. If I don’t pay taxes, I will go to prison. If I don’t vote for Biden, I won’t.

i guess i’m sort of obliged to ask: why are these undesirable outcomes if your moral system is just? i find this a weird objection to make unless you fall into one of the following three camps:

  • you don’t believe your moral system is just enough to actually live by for some reason (in which case i’m unsure why you’d confidently assert moral positions);
  • you don’t actually and fully believe what you’re saying (self explanatory), or;
  • you would sooner prioritize your personal comfort over the inconvenient outcomes that actually living your moral system invites (which i would consider immoral, especially in this case)

If we know, as we do, that Biden will continue to support Israel’s genocide, and still vote for him, how can we un-hypocritically fault anyone else who supports a genocidal leader so long as they can claim some other worse person waiting in the wings?

i think this is already addressed in my comment: even if you don’t vote for Biden, you are complicit by virtue of paying taxes. the Palestinian children we’re murdering probably don’t care very much if you do or don’t vote, given that your vote is largely meaningless in what we do–your taxes are another matter, and directly finance our shipments of aid and weapons to Israel. accordingly i consider taxes to be a far more active contribution than any vote can be in this space, and i think if everybody was truly principled on this matter they would also abstain from paying them. since they don’t, i think they’ve already made such a moral compromise that it would be very silly to impugn voting for Biden.

given the exceptional civility of pretty much everyone else here versus the civility of your two comments, i’m going to have to ask you to take it down a notch. it’s fine if you don’t find these arguments convincing at all but the idea that they’re being made by an “uninformed bad faith actor” is not credible. t3rmit3 has been pretty straightforward and honest in their convictions here.

i think this thread is already trending in a poor in terms of actually, productively discussing this pretty serious event—and, speaking in a moderator capacity, i would also strongly prefer a direct journalistic source on that event to a second-hand source like this youtube video. so, fair warning to all participants: if this thread continues to go poorly i’ll likely remove it and start a fresh thread myself.

What has me considering the deontological position on this specifically is that, for utilitarian purposes, I have voted to allow our entire federal government to continue to drift right. When choosing the lesser of the two evils every time I did, I think I failed to consider that my permissiveness would embolden the lesser of the two evils to become increasingly evil as they were aware I wasn’t voting for them but against their opponent.

i guess my problem is, if you acknowledge this possibility: does it not logically follow that, likewise, allowing someone running as an open fascist to win might have the same or worse impact as you’re trying to avoid? because i would personally consider the argument “if Trump wins, fascism will be given a greenlight” more likely than the argument “if Biden wins, genocide will be given a greenlight” for a variety of reasons, and i would consider it more harmful if it occurred too. that’s for a few reasons: the overall shift in the party has been to the left and i think that’s far more likely to continue than a shift to the right; there’s a flourishing left-critical tendency within the Democratic Party; the overall American left the strongest it’s been in a long time, etc.

but i think most immediately it’s because i would contest the logical validity of the second argument at all. the contemporary US is a post settler-colonial society and most of its land area was acquired through genocidal processes given sanctity by the legal system. to me Biden is neither establishing a new norm nor deviating from an old one—he’s just a part of a long-normalized string of presidents like this.[1] in my mind trying to break the cycle by punishing him might be cathartic but will be politically fruitless and unlikely to produce the introspection you’re seeking. by contrast: i would argue we have not really had a fascist president—authoritarian, racist, white supremacist, truly evil? probably yes, but not fascist[2]—and so Trump winning would be a catastrophic normalization of that political tendency which we’ve to this point avoided. it would have extreme ramifications both domestically and globally, especially for the left.

and i will reiterate that i believe it entirely likely that you’re going to get a larger, more sweeping genocide from Trump and his followers than is happening in Palestine if he is given the power to do that. (it’s also obvious he’s going to continue that one based on his positioning since October 7.) we’re already seeing efforts in places like Arizona to make it de facto legal to murder undesirables like undocumented immigrants–the dehumanization needed for widespread killing to begin is clearly high in some parts of the Republican Party. in all of this space, i just don’t see very many compelling arguments for why the utilitarian perspective of harm reduction should be discarded here.

  1. indeed i think you could charge nearly every president since the US’s inception as being complicit in or directly responsible for at least one genocide. ↩︎

  2. i also have a hard time fitting most contemporary presidents into these categories in terms of governance even though i think these descriptors are accurate for most of them. i think Reagan is probably the most explicit offender in this regard, but even so i think it’s obvious there is a lot of distance in outcome between how he governed and how Trump has/wants to. ↩︎

What is your annual income at the moment and do you think you can transition to your own 501c3 in a reasonable time frame.

speaking personally: no, probably not. there are a lot of hurdles we’d have with trying that even in non-rushed circumstances. separately i think it’s unlikely an arrangement of this sort would work. over the past 5 months we’ve averaged about $415/mo after expenses, which works out to around $5,000 a year. taking contributions before expenses this is probably closer to $7,200 or more over a given 12 month interval.

in my mind voting in our current system is just pretty straightforward utilitarian calculus (and can’t be anything else): you should vote for the option which will do the least harm and has the highest probability of winning. even if you, say, accept that Biden and Trump are equal on I/P, that just means you should look to other issues on which they are distinct–and they are distinct on basically every other issue in a way that clearly suggests Biden to be the best choice you can make here.

take just the Autocracy Tracker, which makes it unambiguous that Trump, if he wins, is planning a sweeping authoritarian wave of deportations, purges, restrictions of civil rights, and repression of minority groups and ideological groups he disagrees with. much of this is, in a sense, already happening here and already a form of genocide against some groups (trans people most prominently–it is now de facto illegal to be trans and legal to bring harm to trans people in large portions of the US). a Trump win will probably ensure there is no safe place for such groups in this country anymore.

on a moral level: i am just not sympathetic to the idea that voting for Biden constitutes blood on your hands in a meaningful way. i think if you accept this line of argumentation, you would ultimately have to bite the bullet that this could also be said of paying taxes[1]–and i certainly don’t begrudge people for paying their taxes even as this lines the pocket of the war machine, so then why should judge them for voting? in general: by virtue of existing within a state, you will always be complicit to some degree in the crimes of that state, regardless of what you do to extricate yourself from supporting them. so i just don’t think that abstention from voting or voting for a more morally defensible alternative actually cleans your hands of the blood being perceived here.

separately, and more pragmatically: there is no compelling third party with anywhere near a possibility of winning or even scoring a “symbolic victory.” a vote for a leftist third party right now is, in a real sense, a vote wasted–because these parties are incompetent, fractured, and full of people who are not serious candidates. even with the Green Party (by far the most electorally advanced of them) nobody has ever trembled at their influence and in practice they mostly seem to exist to waste a lot of the money given to them on quixotic presidential candidates. imo: any actual movement challenging the power–your DSAs, for example–is going to be built from the ground up and not imposed through the presidency, and is only going to use electoralism as one of its several political arms.

  1. arguably, it’s even more true of paying taxes than of voting: votes may make no difference in whether something happens or not, but taxes actively make them possible ↩︎

yeah, we’re vaguely aware of some of these. hopefully, when we reach out to OCF they’ll be able to hand us off to one of them or something like that–but obviously, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan, and you don’t just want to have the single basket of eggs after the rug gets pulled out from under you like this

today is apparently just a bloodbath day in gaming generally. Deck Nine is also laying 20% of its staff off, and esports company ESL Faceit Group is laying off 15%

technofetishism–if there’s anything local politicians love it’s sounding hip and getting Cool Headlines over boring but practical technology that actually works