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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
Posts 6
Comments 922
Tesla shareholders to vote whether Elon Musk deserves billions judge struck down
  • The legal opinions I’ve read have indicated that this vote will not affect the court’s decision and that Elon will not be getting the bonus at this time. The court is looking at additional issues related to governance, and the bonus will have to wait until the other issues are resolved.

    In addition, TSLA has been missing its targets and hemorrhaging money. The share price has plummeted from peak values, and Elon has made raiding Tesla resources to fund his privately held ventures. He treats Tesla like his personal piggy bank rather as a public company to which he owes fiduciary responsibility, and because the board is filled with people loyal to Musk rather than the company, his behaviors have been allowed to run unchecked.

  • Survey: 69% of Americans support U.S. and Ukraine ending the war with Russia
  • I’m sorry, but I’m about as ready to blindly trust a poll from the Quincy Institute that backs their narrative as I would be to believe a poll from the American Enterprise Institute about how much Americans like capitalism and oppose welfare.

    In 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there were two resignations in protest at the institute's dovish response to the conflict: non-resident fellow Joseph Cirincione of Ploughshares Fund, who had raised money for Quincy, and board member Paul Eaton, a retired senior Army major officer and adviser to Democratic politicians and liberal advocacy groups. Cirincione said he "fundamentally" disagrees with Quincy experts who "completely ignore the dangers and the horrors of Russia's invasion and occupation and focus almost exclusively on criticism of the United States, NATO, and Ukraine".

  • Is it ever okay to film strangers in public?
  • I believe that’s not the law though. The law outlines the conditions under which a person has an “expectation of privacy.” If you’re inside your house, you have an expectation of privacy and so should not be filmed. If you’re on the sidewalk in public, you have no expectation of privacy. If you’re in a private establishment (restaurant or store for instance), the owner or their representatives can ask you not to record and you have to comply.

    All of street photography depends on this kind of legal framework.

  • India’s early election results point to rebuke for Modi and his party
  • This is the effect of having an authoritarian in charge. The propaganda that gets produced is done to convey a sense of power of the person/party, its popularity, and the scale of the internal and external “enemy threat.”

    I think a lot of people have their fingers crossed on this one.

  • They Said, “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever,” and That is Exactly What They Did
  • Thats a good point. We should design the system so that it can be adapted to population changes with planned transitions and levels of support, no matter what generated it. However, we should probably not base a funding model intended to run for multiple decades around an edge case like what happened during Covid.

  • viruses
  • Theoretical biologist here. I consider viruses to define the lower edge of what I’d consider “alive.” I similarly consider prions to be “not alive,” but to define a position towards the upper limit of complex, self-reproducing chemistry. There’s some research going on here to better understand how replication reactions (maybe encased in a lipid bubble to keep the reaction free from the environment) may lead to increasing complexity and proto-cells. That’s not what prions are, but the idea is that a property like replication is necessary but not sufficient and to build from what we know regarding the environment and possible chemicals.

    I consider a virus to be alive because they rise to the level of complexity and adaptive dynamics I feel should be associated with living systems. I’ll paint with a broad brush here, but they have genes, a division between genotype and phenotype, the populations evolve as part of an ecosystem with all of the associated dynamics of adaptation and speciation, and they have relatively complex structures consisting of multiple distinct elements. “Alive,” to me, shouldn’t be approached as a binary concept - I’m not sure what it conceptually adds to the discussion. Instead, I think it should be approached as a gradient of properties any one of which may be more or less present. I feel the same about intelligence, theory of mind, and animal communication.

    The thing to remember when thinking about questions like this is that when science (or history or literature…) is taught as a beginner’s subject (primary and secondary school), it’s often approached in a highly simplified manner - simplified to the point of inaccuracy sometimes. Many instructors will take the approach of having students memorize lists for regurgitation on exams - the seven properties of life, a gene is a length of dna that encodes for a protein, the definition of a species, and so on. I don’t really like that approach, and to be honest I was never any good at it myself.

  • Hamas no longer poses major threat to Israel, Biden says
  • I really think there are two different aspects to the classification of the threat. It’s actually pretty analogous to the Afghanistan War.

    First, neither Al Quaeda nor Hamas represent an existential threat to their opponents. The US hasn’t really faced a believable existential threat since the collapse of the USSR, Israel hasn’t really faced one since the 80s. Countries in Eastern Europe face an existential threat from Russia. And so on. Killing 1200 (or 3000) people, no matter how brutally or unjustified or evil it seems, it does not threaten to destroy the state of Israel. It is, of course, now an existential threat to Netanyahu, which is one reason why it’s being pursued with such enthusiasm.

    The second aspect builds from the first and questions whether the solution pursued by Israel (and the US) were both efficient (ie proportional to the threat so as not to divert attention and resources from other threats) and effective. They have to be expected to achieve specific and measurable goals and timelines.

    The ability to pull off an Oct 7th might have been equally well but more efficiently and effectively with intelligence and commando units, and Israel would have been given free rein by most of the planet to do so.

  • Tesla investor accuses Elon Musk of $7.5 billion of insider trades
  • Well, the suit that overturned his bonus was a single shareholder suit and that one was obviously successful.

    I have been surprised there haven’t been more shareholder suits to be honest. They could challenge fiduciary responsibility on the basis of him robbing Peter to pay Paul by raiding Tesla for engineers, not to mention dividing his own time and effort between too many unrelated interests.

  • Reductress is savage.
  • As someone who doesn’t believe that humans have free will, I don’t believe people should be cast as being culpable for their actions and thus morally deserving punishment or praise.

    However, there exist people who do harm to their neighbors and to society, and the above doesn’t mean that they need to be given free rein to do whatever they’re driven to do. To me, the call to eliminate prisons is like the call to defund police - it’s not saying that nothing should be there, but rather what we currently have not only doesn’t solve the problem but actually makes it worse.

    From my point of view, incarceration needs to serve at least one of two purposes:

    1. Changing the person’s propensity to engage in those behaviors using an evidence-based medical approach rather than one of “criminal justice”
    2. Isolation to prevent caused harm while necessary. The isolation should be no more onerous than is strictly necessary. It might mean hotel-like accommodations and academic classes, but the people would not be permitted to leave the facility. I believe this is the practice in some Northern European countries, which have a lower rate of recidivism than the US.
  • Louisiana Banned Abortion Pills. It Also Faces a Maternal Mortality Crisis.
  • Supporters say the new law aims to stop men from poisoning pregnant partners in order to induce abortion without consent.

    Any time they make up this kind of excuse for passing onerous and unnecessary legislation - whether it’s abortion medication or drag shows or bathroom bills - we have to ask two questions:

    1. How common is the behavior that this is intended to address?
    2. How much do you expect this to go down as a result of the legislation, and how long should it take?

    If they can’t answer that, they should face having their legislation blocked as failing to establish an evidence-based argument.

  • Feature requests

    I’m a big fan of the app, and I think it does stand out. However, there’s a couple of areas that I think really do need to be addressed, especially if it’s going to become the Apollo of lemmy.

    First, using the link widget should at the very least autopopulate with the highlighted text, and if the paste buffer contains a url, probably autopopulate with that as well. It’s beyond frustrating to select a block of text to turn into a link, only to have to go back, copy the text into the buffer, then recopy the link into the buffer, and then paste it in. All of the data are already available via the api.

    The second is that switching user accounts should not reset the current post view back to the list of posts view. In Apollo, a user could switch accounts (say, to a mod or other dedicated account) while looking at a post/thread and still continue with the current view. One could even do this in the course of writing a reply, so that if (for example) an author had a professional account for their books and a separate account for general interactions, they could switch over if it was appropriate to apply to someone as a published SF author as opposed to the account where they posted cat memes. I recognize that the architecture of lemmy might make that inapplicable in some cases (eg if the switched account is on an instance that doesn’t have that particular post for whatever reason), but I think that should be an edge case rather than having the reset apply across the board.

    The last one is a feature that I don’t think even Apollo got right but which one of the other lemmy apps is very close to nailing. Having a reply interrupted, either because the app crashed or got backgrounded or was interrupted by the user, shouldn’t erase the possibility of resuming. The typed response, along with the comment it’s responding to, should be saved out. Apollo only saved the text of the comment, while the other lemmy app lets you jump right back into it with both the response and the target. I’d love to see this at least at the single comment level, if not queuing up several independently across accounts. The storage space is trivial and the context is ( I imagine) available.

    That all said, this is a remarkable and mature app, especially given how new it is, and I love it.


    Thank you CreatureSurvive for creating the best Lemmy app I’ve used

    Like a lot of us, I came over to lemmy after that whole Reddit API thing. I had started using Reddit shortly after AlienBlue came out, and with Apollo I was a cemented user. I enjoyed the discussions and the communities, but for me it’s all about the UX. Life is too short for crappy apps, and I hate using webUIs on my phone.

    It was shortly after that that the first iOS clients for lemmy started shipping, and I think I might have tried them all. I still have six or seven installed on my phone. They all have their problems, and they’re all different. A couple of them are decent enough that they’ve become the only two that I use, but because both have their own (and different) warts, I’ve just been going back and forth.

    So, thank you for what is obviously a lot of hard work, and thank you for making it available to people. You are a very talented developer and designer. This is now the only app I need.



    Editor widgets missing a quick option for embedding a link?

    Okay, to be fair I just started using this app an hour ago, but I’m finding the decision for an undo/redo, headline level, and strikeout being included as widgets in the toolbar when there’s no obvious option for the far more common use cases of adding links and images and such. I tend to be a long form poster, and I like to include a number of links to external articles when possible. I rely on my text editor to make it as simple as possible. In the ideal case, the editor will use popups that will prepopulate with the highlighted text (if any) for the link, and then have a second box for the target url.

    Am I just missing something?


    Question for legal folks: Travel based abortion restrictions

    Texas and I believe a few other states have passed anti-abortion laws that attempt to cover people leaving their states to seek safe and legal abortions. The ones I’m familiar with (as I recall) applied to things like traveling on state-owned roads to seek an abortion out of state.

    Let’s lay aside the question of constitutional and federal restrictions governing interstate commerce laws for now. I started wondering if these laws would govern transportation via airlines or Amtrak. They could (I assume) make the argument that they pulled you over on the way to the transportation facility, but if you didn’t buy the tickets until you get there, I think it’d complicate the state’s case. I did some thinking along those lines.

    My real question now is whether the defendant could state that they were traveling for reasons of a medical consultation regarding their pregnancy but had not yet decided whether they would be having an abortion performed. As far as I know, these laws necessarily target intent. If the patient states they were traveling to a state where they would be more likely to receive competent medical advice (which is a truism - abortion-restricting states also limit what MDs can say to a patient), would the state need to prove their intent? Absent something like a text message stating “I’m going to California to get an abortion,” does the prosecution have any line of attack there?

    Abortion resources:

    California abortion resources by the state government

    Planned Parenthood

    Abortion Defense Network

    LGBTQ abortion info


    Do more or fewer communities lead to increased engagement?

    As I watch The Internet look like it’s starting to adopt a new phase (let’s call it federation writ large), I’m watching for signs of both success and struggle. I have some strong opinions of features and functionality lacking in the current suite of UIs that might help adoption, but thing I’ve been thinking about more recently is the effects of premature fragmentation.

    Like so many things, it boils down to a problem of discovery. By discovery, I mean the user’s ability to find posts and topics that they want to read and engage with.

    If lemmy had 10 users, we would not need separate topics. It’d probably be a few posts a day, tops, and it’d be easy enough to just scan through and see if anything of interest was being discussed. That could probably scale up a bit - let’s call it 100 users just for discussion. 100 users, 10-15 posts per day. Somewhere beyond that, you’d probably want to start some kind of classification. It would need to be at a fairly high level, like tech and politics. I’m thinking of things like 90s era slashdot. The point I’m making is that 1000 users would be too few to fragment the tech topic/tag into separate operating systems, much less specific flavors or versions of Linux.

    My point is this: picture a growth curve. From biology and general network theory we would expect the growth curve of a successful service or community to grow exponentially. In the early part of growth, the exponential curve can appear linear - it can take time for the network effect to really kick in. Things like the Reddit exit can create a brief non-linearity, but until you hit the hockey stick part it’s just steady growth. Let’s call this function U(t) for users as a function of time.

    Now let’s think about growth in the number of communities. From the above, and using discoverability as our fitness function, we’d expect them to grow as a function of the number of users. As the number of users goes up, both the number of and diversity in the posts go up, meaning we need additional metadata to find “our” content easily. Let’s call this one C(t) for communities as a function of time.

    My thought right now is that a fitness function would discover that U(t) >> C(t). I’m not going to get a lot more specific because it’s just a thought but I suspect that there’s be some relationship between inter-topic and intra-topic diversity (and the overall information diversity of the service).

    What I’m getting to is that it may be that one of the strengths of a service like lemmy, which allows for an almost unlimited expansion of communities including duplications, is not applying the concept of a fitness function, and actually can make things harder to discover and thus the service harder to use, reducing the ability to recruit and retain users. It reduces the average number of posts per topic and increases noise both in search and in the feed. I’ve ended up defaulting my clients to basically showing /all and sorting by recent just to make sure I’m not missing anything interesting, then blocking communities one by one. That’s not sustainable or friendly to more casual users. It’s definitely not the Apollo-on-Reddit kind of UX.

    I’m not sure what can or should be done, given both the architecture and philosophy. I’m just thinking about how things like network theory can inform how this sort of thing can be optimized.


    Open source bug databases

    I’m interested in finding projects that have bug databases (eg bugzilla) that allow people to access them, especially if the available data includes histories for comments and state changes. Ideally, it would include bug reports and feature requests submitted by both the dev team and by users and would have a fair amount of traffic.

    To be clear, I don’t mind if the bug tracking software or the project is open source (although that helps). I’d just like something where I can access status and histories over time on a relatively current project.