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Messages - Brad

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My iPhone is dying (lots of crashes, glitches, etc, not to mention the decreasing battery life). For many reasons, I would prefer to switch to an Android phone, but this sort of thing and FLoC just keep me from wanting to go there.

I wonder how many people actually care.

This is exactly why I switched to an /e/ foundation phone.  It's not perfect but I'm happy with it and real glad that it's sending zero data back to Google.

Traffic / Re: Brave is Blocking Google FLoC tracking
« on: April 13, 2021, 09:54:33 PM »

No, Google! Vivaldi users will not get FLoC’ed.

Water Cooler / Re: Here ya go, Brad. NOT a robot barber.
« on: April 11, 2021, 03:04:21 PM »
I read some sort of follow up on the Flowbee factory in TX.  I don't remember where.  Apparently Covid shut them down and the owner/inventor thought it better to keep his workers safe rather than trying to cash in on the lockdown, so he closed it down.  He promises to get back up and running as soon as he gets the all clear.

I'm still buying one when they come back just to have on hand for next time.

Traffic / Re: Yahoo to shutter Yahoo Answers
« on: April 08, 2021, 10:25:54 AM »
> bulldozer

This might be true.  The complaint about Geocities sites hogging the G serps came largely from SEO's and maybe corporate types.  In many ways, the free sites were a collective Wikipedia before Wikipedia was ever thought of.  They were established long before Google, the best were listed in Dmoz which Google leaned on heavily and the Geocities type sites were well linked together as a legacy of surfing the web before competent search engines.  This made the best of the free sites rock solid for the original PageRank.

They were also in the way.  Geocities webmasters were never going to buy Adwords. Paramount wanted their late to the web Star Trek site to rank higher than Fred's Trek Fansite and SEO's wanted to rank for words like Orlando and Miami to sell something and there was always a free website getting in the way.

I remember some sort of announcement at WmW, perhaps by a Google Minion, that the free hosted sites would no longer be cluttering up the serps.  And it happened.  It wasn't personal, it's just that Geocities, Tripod and such were in the way.  The free sites were there for fun and free exchange of knowledge but the web was turning commercial and needed to be paved over into the vast asphalt parking lot we have today.

> diversity

Spot on.  The lack of search engine diversity is a huge factor.

Traffic / Re: Yahoo to shutter Yahoo Answers
« on: April 08, 2021, 12:04:15 AM »
Google helped kill off Geocities (and other free hosted sites) from the early days of the web simply by moving them back about 10 pages in he serps.  It would not surprise me if they did it to Answers too.

Traffic / Re: Yahoo to shutter Yahoo Answers
« on: April 07, 2021, 11:28:07 AM »
I find it odd that a company can't make all that ready (all be it mostly low quality) content into something profitable.

Either Mojeek or DDG lead me to a Yahoo Answers page recently and I couldn't remember the last time I'd been on Y! Answers.  So in answer to you question LM, I'm wondering how Google allows Yahoo Answers to rank in the organic results?  If Answers has been downgraded in favor of Google's own equivalent or some other answers type page that would kill a lot of traffic to Yahoo.

> planning

> density

I love touring through the pre-automobile, pre-planning, residential areas of Hammond, Indiana.  I suppose these were street car suburbs back in the day.  A typical block would have a corner store at the intersection, then a 6 - 10 flat apartment building, then 25 foot lots for homes on down until you approached another intersection where there might be another apartment building and another corner store or bar.

In poorer neighborhoods there might be little narrow shotgun homes on those 25' lots.  In richer neighborhoods people bought 2 - 3 lots together and built larger homes.  But even in the wealthier neighborhoods you had larger and smaller homes mixed together.  Point is they had no minimum square footage requirements or single family residential zoning.  Single family, multi-family, and small businesses that served the neighborhood were all mixed together and lots were narrow because in 1905 everyone had to walk from the nearest streetcar line. 

> emotional ownership

I remember reading that the native americans that sold Manhattan to the Dutch for wampum thought they were pulling a fast one on the Europeans, since the Native Americans had no concept of owning real estate.  So they were selling something they did not nor could not ever "own". The concept was alien to them.  Little did they know that the Europeans were deadly serious about owning the land, the territory, and were willing to enforce their ownership and control with cannon, firearms, swords and forts.

Maybe today.

But home ownership evolved partly out of our agrarian roots with ownership of land (the means of production) and partly politics and class which are all intertwined. Being a freeholder put you in a different class from a leaseholder and of course you also have "A man's home is his castle." which is a huge check on abuse of governmental power. 

Hardware & Technology / Google Experiments with Chrome Users
« on: April 05, 2021, 10:47:19 AM »
Google Is Testing Its Controversial New Ad Targeting Tech in Millions of Browsers.

Economics & Investing / Post Pandemic Supply Chain
« on: April 05, 2021, 10:27:59 AM »
Logjams at ports, container shortages, shipping prices rising, it's not just Suez being stuffed up.

Logjam deepens at the world's ports as pandemic strikes shipping

Remember when that American high school girl wore a Chinese dress to her prom?  People piled on that poor girl like crazy.  I read through a massive Twitter thread about it at the time.  I followed that thread across all the US time zones and people were piling on that young lady saying the most terrible things about her and her cultural appropriation.  Nasty stuff  but I kept following that thread until it hit China.  The Chinese were very polite but they made the following points:

A. They pointed out that nobody owns a culture.
B. They pointed out that there is no monolithic "Chinese" culture as American's seem to think, but that there are 8 Chinas (I don't remember the number TBH).
C. When the girl wearing the dress hit the media it was much discussed on Chinese social networks and the overwhelming consensus was that the Chinese were flattered that a young American woman chose to wear a Chinese dress to her special party.
D. They said they don't understand the concept of cultural appropriation and wondered if it was being pushed by first generation immigrants who were feeling the loss of their parent's heritage.
E. Many ventured that it looked to them like it was an excuse to bully a young woman.

That pretty much stopped the Twitter pile-on for that thread in it's tracks.  I got quite a chuckle out of that.

>cultural appropriation

I really dislike the concept of limiting ones activity to what people find acceptable for one's ethnicity.

Agreed.  "Cultural Appropriation" is a phony sin invented to allow somebody to feel righteously offended and to put somebody else at a seeming disadvantage.

1. Nobody can own a culture.
2. No two cultures encounter each other and come away unchanged.
3. Cultures have been selectively stealing from each other since before recorded history.  It's part of progress.

Man, yoga is getting hit from both the Right and Left.  This from 2015:

A university yoga class was cancelled because it was 'cultural appropriation' of a non-western practice

> Mastodon instance

There are managed Mastodon hosts out there. Turn key operations.  Like:

There are others too.

Hm,  this is really old stuff and may not pertain or might be a very small factor amongst the many theories you have brought up.

This is something I remember from a theology class at Uni back 40+ years ago.  Back during the turbulent 1960's and '70's attendance to mainstream churches went down.  Somebody did a study afterward, that found that those denominations that got involved in preaching about secular political events from the pulpit suffered the biggest decline.  While those denominations that ignored the turmoil of secular society and stuck with purely a message of salvation of one's soul, suffered the least decline.

What the researchers found out was, back then, church goers, wanted church services to be a refuge from the scariness of the turmoil of the secular world that seemed, in the 1960's to be falling apart, and they wanted comfort from their fears and direction about salvation, eternal life after death -- the Big Questions.

Bringing that home today: those churches that got deeply involved in politics may be suffering a backlash.

I think all of RC's points and ergo's are in play but two generational shifts are factors IMHO:

1. Role of women and the women's equality movement.  Boots on the ground, it's the women that are the backbone of any congregation and have been for generations.  This is a double edge sword: A. women are not allowed in the hierarchy of many churches which alienates them, but also: B. women may have been the backbone of the congregation precisely because they were marginalized in society and careers.  Now, women are advancing on those fronts plus raising children and don't have time for the church role their mother's had.

2. The whole same sex, LBGTQ acceptance thing.  Even in conservative churches many younger members are much more accepting of this than their elders and the hierarchy.

And this is just my own theory, but the rise of evangelical movements, and everyone wearing their religion on their shoulder like a chip to be knocked off, has not helped.  The neighborhood I grew up in had Roman Catholics and Heintz 57 variety Protestants all mixed together and you wouldn't ever know who was what because nobody talked about religion and their chosen denomination was just something for them and their family and we all just got along. Even though many had very deep faith they kept that to themselves.

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