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That feeling when people write fiction as if it was non-fiction, or maybe non-fiction while in character?

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“Put a computer in everything” is one of those decisions that people 100 years from now will bring up to show how backwards we of the past were, the way we do with decisions like “make water pipes out of lead” and “put cocaine in cough drops”

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How much of the complexity in modern computing is to justify the use of the term “engineer” across much of the industry?

It’s a weird quirk of history, perhaps, that we seem to have walked away from the professional title “programmer” in favor of “developer” or “engineer,” terms borrowed from the construction of buildings.

…or the masculine urge to build big objects.

Dear web designers making blog themes: "should fit many kinds of content" doesn't have to mean "bland with a hint of vanilla". Try doing some actual, you know, design.

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financial dependence is *such* an effective tool of abuse, that we really should be working together as a society for things like ubi, and universal health care, if for no other reason than to reduce the levels of power abusive employers, spouses and parents have over theur victims.

it wasn’t obvious to me but it’s so clear now that virtually all conservative policies are about increasing those power imbalances

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Preaching to the choir here, I'm sure. The EFF runs down a list of various ways Hollywood tries to screw over artists, making it obvious that their interest in draconian copyright laws is not about "protecting artists."

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"As long as we have a political organization dedicated to gaining power at any cost, maximizing profit no matter what the consequences, [there is] no future for human civilization."

-- Noam Chomsky

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the more you learn about colonisation the worse it gets 

things I knew:

- my home area was taken from Guarani and Jê folk (Kaingang and Laklãnõ)
- forest folk had sophisticated agroforestry technology that the coloniser failed to even see, let alone understand
- many "agricultural" staples where domesticated by Amazonian folk that the coloniser called "hunter-gatherers" "without agriculture", including potato, yam, cocoa, manioc, chilli, peanut, tobacco, and a whole lot of fruit and nut trees
- that technology supported large, federated populations with roads and river "cities", that early colonisers reported on, later Christian historians dismissed as myth, and archeologists up until recently failed to spot. LIDAR technology, new evidence gathered after rampant deforestation, and a small softening of colonial prejudices has now proved the old stories right.
- we only ever got any reasonable documentation of indigenous folk after they were deep into postapocalyptic conditions, after 1500. most ethnobotanical knowledge is lost.
- my native biome, the Atlantic forest, was a product of human engineering, like the Amazon forest; from the soil to the selection of trees, everything was stewearded by human residents
- in the long night of 500 years, the native population has been genocided upwards of 97%
- in the long night of 500 years, the distinctive araucaria pine, along with the Araucaria Atlantic forest it supports, has been ecocided upwards of 97%.

things I didn't know:
- human-useful trees like açaí, cocoa and Brazil nut are "hyperdominant" in the Amazon, several orders of magnitude more frequent than what they'd be without human management (227 tree species, or 1.7% of total known, make up more than half of it; açaí is the single most frequent tree.)
- Amazonian people hunted little, and their agroforestry focused on tree crops more than grain or tubers. They fished often.
- by contrast with coloniser agriculture, indigenous cultures seemed to have a knack for diversity and experimentation within the ecosystem. the Caiapó developed 56 varieties of sweet potato; the famously polyamorous Canela, 52 broadbeans; the Baniwa 78 chili cultivars, etc. etc.
- in the Atlantic area, the Jê were nomadic and cycled through food sources through the year
- for the autumn period when the araucaria produces that staple of my childhood, the pinhão nut, they would hang around araucaria sources as their primary source
- the onset of Kaingang-style underground houses happened circa 1000 years ago
- the araucaria pine population starts exploding in the fossil record ca. 1000 years ago
- the conflicts between Kaingang, Laklãnõ and colonisers were about araucaria trees.

so if I'm getting this correctly,

- ca. 1000 years ago, the Proto-Jê arrive. In the space of 500 years they turn the Atlantic Forest into the Araucaria landscapes we know.
- ca. 500 years ago, the coloniser arrive. in the same time period, they all but extinguish this whole high-biodiversity biome. for wood.

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LTR: (linked below)

One of my absolute pet peeves is any kind of "historical realism" in a fantasy world. Yes, if it's something set in our world there needs to be a small amount of "historical accuracy", but 1) I can almost guarantee you that a lot of things you think are "accurate" aren't and 2) The setting might be in a different time, but your readers are not.

When it comes to fantasy with no connection to our world ... you don't even need to obey physics!

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I get that many people on the #BoycottStarbucks hashtag (on Birdsite) don't care about Starbucks going cashless, or that they might not understand why it's problematic, but why are so many people—many of whom appear to be left leaning—going to bat for the corporation?

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Step 1 to unfucking yourself and being a slightly less shitty person is to really truly internalize that your lived live experiences are not universal and for every one axis of privilege you have you are one degree removed from reality

Step 0 is accepting you're a piece of shit. Everyone is to varying degrees, but you are.

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people complaining about kids having it easier absolutely boggle my mind. if we aren't trying to make life better for the new generation what the fuck are we doing

Charles Stross, who for nearly two decades demonstrated an uncanny ability to predict near-future developments, says he has no clue what's next for the :

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Not that this will be a surprise to anyone, but climate scientists at Rutgers have determined that the damage of nuclear war would be devastating for the world's crops, even if only two nuclear powers nuke one another.

Basically, it can't be allowed...

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grump, amoral "moral panics" 

I think a lot about "Parental Guidance" ratings on shows, movies, games, and social media. These warnings tend to be about "protecting" people from curse words and seeing boobs, but don't even attempt to protect people from seeing nazi-apologia, white supremacist revenge fantasies, misogyny, Islamophobia, and queerphobia

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Realized this morning that the better you get at programming, the less employable you become as a programmer.

There is a lot more money in working with shit that with beauty.

We have created some perverse incentives.

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uspol, military-industrial complex predation 

They are getting COMFY saying the quiet part out loud.

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Fun fact: The rise of ASCII-based markup languages (like Markdown, reStructuredText, and friends) indicates that the promise of WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) was a false one. It's not actually easier with WYSIWYG. It is harder. It is harder for software to process. It is harder to embed in other spaces. And even when the goal is simple document creation, it is harder because it hides so much that is important to authors: it hides the semantics, the very reason things look like they do.

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The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our Code of Conduct.