Blistering blue barnacles

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Sableagle
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Sableagle » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:25 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:
Flumble wrote:Don't you have oil collection points nearby?

We save up our bottles of used oil (used for deep-frying and stuff) until someone takes the effort to bring them to a collection point (the nearest one seems to be the football club), whence they will be moved to a recycling station for biofuel or whatever.

Apparently running your car off filtered vegetable oil is something you could do at home. Except in Hungary that is illegal, because (get this) an excise tax is imposed on all fuels. Making the practice tax fraud of all things.

Similar thing here. The students who demonstrated that they could run a car on the waste cooking oil from the Chinese restaurants and chippies published their results and got a bill from HMRC for the road fuel tax due.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:45 pm UTC

Road users are already charged for access to the roads (license and registration fees), why not roll the cost of road maintenance into that and not fuel? Break the payments up into monthly installments so you don't have a huge bill every year when you renew.

Charging for road maintenance through fuel taxes is like charging for internet infrastructure maintenance on your electric bill. Yes they are tangentially related but seriously, just charge for access like any normal network does.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Flumble » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:16 pm UTC

I don't know if I read your analogy correctly, but for actual internet use you have an extra subscription with a plethora of plans according to how much internet you want.

People who use the roads less want to pay less taxes for their road use than people who drive/ride a lot.* The amount of fuel spent is kind of proportional to your road use (and/or the immeasurable pollution cost) and, depending on your local taxing system, it's really hard to get fuel without paying taxes. Well, except for the frying oil ...and red diesel if your vehicle never gets checked.


*The same goes for public transport, so if the total infrastructure use were the same, we could just increase base taxes and remove those variable taxes. Unfortunately, there's also a difference between people who commute 4 hours a day and people who don't walk further than two blocks every day, and the former category should definitely be taxed more, preferably via the employer.

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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:41 pm UTC

Short of the current fuel-based system, GPS equipment to track your car movements for taxation, or a submission of odometer readings, I don't know of a way to tax road usage.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Yakk » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:41 pm UTC

All roads get license plate cameras and are toll roads.

Your license plate must be attached to an account. This account is debited for your road use.

Failure to have sufficient funds in the account means you are arrested by aggressive private contractors and/or cops, and your car is auctioned off by the state to pay your bills.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Sableagle » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:39 pm UTC

Question 1

What event took place that led to the development of the earliest living cells around 3000 million years ago?

Answer

Spoiler:
Complex chemicals started to clump together to form cells.


... but if your hindsight's weak as well you'd best stick to theology.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby ucim » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:39 pm UTC

It's a question of whether or not you want the taxation method to be a gross invasion of privacy, or relatively anonymous. If the tax is on fuel, it's pretty anonymous. The sane alternatives pretty much all involve a surveillance state.

Also, wear and tear on roads is proportional to the fourth power (IIRC, here on the boards) of the vehicle weight. So, truckers should pay much more (and their registration fees and tolls are in fact higher, as is their fuel usage)

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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby HES » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:51 am UTC

ucim wrote:Also, wear and tear on roads is proportional to the fourth power (IIRC, here on the boards) of the vehicle weight.

That's certainly the figure I was taught at MSc level. One does however have to factor in the benefit to the economy of the movement of goods.

The current system is certainly biased towards fuel efficient vehicles, which is a deliberate stance. However, this isn't sustainable as electric etc vehicles increase as a proportion of total traffic; some level of reform will be necessary over the next decade or so. Technology based mileage tracking seems a logical approach, even if it could be interpreted as a privacy issue.

The situation in the UK is a bit odd, as I believe road maintenance is technically taken from general taxation regardless of any driving-related taxes. Norway OTOH has an extensive network of ANPR toll points that I believe fund their road infrastructure, and the model seems to work well.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:22 am UTC

ucim wrote:The sane alternatives pretty much all involve a surveillance state.

Charge a large flat rate for registration, more than enough to cover the road maintenance.

Then offer discounts for verified odometer mileage (since time of last registration) and vehicle weight, while you're at the DMV already.

Comparing a few numbers is hardly an invasion of privacy and if it's still too much for you, you're welcome to skip the discount and pay full price instead.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby somitomi » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:40 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:a submission of odometer readings,

This reminds me of the electromechanical counters in old telephone exchanges, which kept track of the number of calls for billing purposes. Best part is: these were "read" periodically by taking photographs of the counters in 10x10 chunks.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby addams » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:53 pm UTC

HES wrote:The situation in the UK is a bit odd, as I believe road maintenance is technically taken from general taxation regardless of any driving-related taxes. Norway OTOH has an extensive network of ANPR toll points that I believe fund their road infrastructure, and the model seems to work well.
My first experience with Toll Roads was in Florida.
It Was Nuts!!

Every car had to Stop.
Then; Most Gunned It' got back up to 75 mph...
And...; There was Another Chirping Toll Booth!!

That's not a good way to preserve fuel nor the nerves of the drivers.
I was 'flipped out' by the system. I didn't carry enough change.

Then; In Mexico...
...So very funny.

There was a plume of dust from the impromptu road going Around the Toll Booth.
The only Time locals used the Toll Booth was when it rained. ...Mexico...

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Things are almost as different from state to state in Mexico,
As things are different country to country in Europe. (true!)
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby EMTP » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:02 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Road users are already charged for access to the roads (license and registration fees), why not roll the cost of road maintenance into that and not fuel? Break the payments up into monthly installments so you don't have a huge bill every year when you renew.


Because neither of those give a correlation between the contribution and the intensity of use. Fuel taxes mean someone who drives 40,000 miles a year pays significantly more towards the upkeep of roads than someone who drives 1,000 miles a year. Which is as it should be.

Fuel taxes also discourage burning fuel, encouraging people to drive more efficient vehicles, carpool, consolidate trips, etc, which is good for the climate.

"The current system is certainly biased towards fuel efficient vehicles, which is a deliberate stance. However, this isn't sustainable as electric etc vehicles increase as a proportion of total traffic; some level of reform will be necessary over the next decade or so."

Just double the tax every time fuel consumption falls by 50%. When no more fuel is sold, fund roads with something else -- estate taxes perhaps.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Coin » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:44 pm UTC

On my way home from work at 21.42 in the evening after starting at 08.00. Yesterday i started at the same time and finished at 20.15.
I hate my job...
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby poxic » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:29 am UTC

Very small rant: I can't read today's SMBC comic because of the giant unclosable ad for his new book. Seriously.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Liri » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:27 am UTC

poxic wrote:Very small rant: I can't read today's SMBC comic because of the giant unclosable ad for his new book. Seriously.

Is there not an "X" in the top right hand corner?

I was pretty annoyed, too. I was planning on potentially maybe thinking about getting it, too...
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby poxic » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:39 am UTC

Clicking the X in my relentlessly-customised Firefox does nothing. Maybe I should try Chrome... hey, it works there.

It's probably a random script being blocked. I can't be arsed to go through the list and figure out which one it is.
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Flumble » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:45 am UTC

It also pops up (and naturally is uncloseable) if you have javascript disabled. Which is ridiculous.

In any case I don't understand why there would be a pop-up ad for it. We all read yesterday's about-the-book comic and there's an ad on top of every comic. (that isn't blocked by any ad blocker that I know of because it's self-hosted, and rightfully so)

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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby somitomi » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:00 pm UTC

So I came back to my computer doing an update. For the last bleeding time, Microsoft: you do not reboot a computer without ASKING THE USER FOR PERMISSION TO DO SO!
It is genuinely beyond me how anyone could even consider such an atrociously inconsiderate notion and what baffles me even more is that this was without doubt a deliberate decision, the rationale behind which I entirely fail to grasp. You see, all previous versions of Windows installed updates as part of the shutdown procedure if and when the user decided to shut down the computer, and even then one could choose not to install the update in the shutdown dialog box. I don't particularly mind the changing of this pleasingly unobtrusive setup, but I do mind not having complete control over when my computer retreats to a state in which it is of no practical use for a considerable amount of time.
Thankfully, I didn't lose any important unsaved files, but this doesn't make me any less cross.

PS: Hey Microsoft, feel free to use this exceptionally complex piece of code:

Code: Select all

if (MessageBox.Show("I am terribly sorry to bother you, but would it be acceptable to reboot the computer now to install updates?", "Pardon me", MessageBoxButtons.YesNo) == DialogResult.Yes)
{
   //install update
}
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:24 pm UTC

Dear Next Door Neighbor,

Please stop parking with your vehicle blocking two to three feet of my driveway. If this persists, I might actually be forced to interact with you, rather than simply thinking annoyed thoughts in your general direction (or posting ineffectual rants like this on the Internet), and that would not meet my passive-aggressive needs.

Yours truly,
ObsessoMom

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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby addams » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:00 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:Dear Next Door Neighbor,

Please stop parking with your vehicle blocking two to three feet of my driveway. If this persists, I might actually be forced to interact with you, rather than simply thinking annoyed thoughts in your general direction (or posting ineffectual rants like this on the Internet), and that would not meet my passive-aggressive needs.

Yours truly,
ObsessoMom
Oh, Honey; We are Two very Different People.

Your, "passive-aggressive needs".
oh, dear...That is so Funny!

Very, very Funny.
I might be an Extrovert.

I'd be interacting with those people So much!
Of Course, I'd have Photos and Stories of Woe.

They might sell their car to avoid speaking to me.

Poor Them.
That wouldn't help.
somitomi wrote:So I came back to my computer doing an update. For the last bleeding time, Microsoft: you do not reboot a computer without ASKING THE USER FOR PERMISSION TO DO SO!
Spoiler:
It is genuinely beyond me how anyone could even consider such an atrociously inconsiderate notion and what baffles me even more is that this was without doubt a deliberate decision, the rationale behind which I entirely fail to grasp. You see, all previous versions of Windows installed updates as part of the shutdown procedure if and when the user decided to shut down the computer, and even then one could choose not to install the update in the shutdown dialog box. I don't particularly mind the changing of this pleasingly unobtrusive setup, but I do mind not having complete control over when my computer retreats to a state in which it is of no practical use for a considerable amount of time.
Thankfully, I didn't lose any important unsaved files, but this doesn't make me any less cross.

PS: Hey Microsoft, feel free to use this exceptionally complex piece of code:

Code: Select all

if (MessageBox.Show("I am terribly sorry to bother you, but would it be acceptable to reboot the computer now to install updates?", "Pardon me", MessageBoxButtons.YesNo) == DialogResult.Yes)
{
   //install update
}
What??
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Re: ANGRY NATTERINGS

Postby Sableagle » Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:57 am UTC

addams wrote:
ObsessoMom wrote:Dear Next Door Neighbor,

Please stop parking with your vehicle blocking two to three feet of my driveway. If this persists, I might actually be forced to interact with you, rather than simply thinking annoyed thoughts in your general direction (or posting ineffectual rants like this on the Internet), and that would not meet my passive-aggressive needs.

Yours truly,
ObsessoMom
Oh, Honey; We are Two very Different People.

Your, "passive-aggressive needs".
oh, dear...That is so Funny!

Very, very Funny.
I might be an Extrovert.

I'd be interacting with those people So much!
Of Course, I'd have Photos and Stories of Woe.

They might sell their car to avoid speaking to me.
ObsessoMom, I believe your problem is that you are operating the wrong vehicle. To test this hypothesis, borrow a different vehicle for a while and see whether this solves your problem. To keep testing scientific, use a large sample size, which in this case means trying out lots of different vehicles.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Angua » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:32 pm UTC

I don't really have anything to rant about, I just feel like ranting.

I don't know, maybe I'm just tired and lonely.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby TimelordSimone » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:19 pm UTC

concept: my three adult (late-20s) housemates manage to put the bins out on collection day when I'm not here
sometimes they don't manage even when I actively remind them
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby addams » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:56 pm UTC

TimelordSimone wrote:concept: my three adult (late-20s) housemates manage to put the bins out on collection day when I'm not here
sometimes they don't manage even when I actively remind them
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Flumble » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:20 pm UTC

"Microsoft puts you in control of your privacy", followed by a list of report settings toggles, one of which doesn't even have an "off" state.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby New User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:30 am UTC

Since the latest Windows 10 update, one of my hard drives isn't listed in the navigation pane in the file explorer, and I can't figure out how to add it back. I vaguely remember that I might have had to manually change the registry to make it appear the way I want it when I first installed Windows, but I wish it wouldn't be necessary for Windows updates to change things like this back to how they want when the end user customized it that way for a reason.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Flumble » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:43 am UTC

That's weird. Does it still show up in the partition manager (and mounted and with a drive letter)?

Since the update I can eject the USB root hub. Personally, I like having the option, but it doesn't seem like a good idea to show it to regular mortals.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Carlington » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:46 pm UTC

I don't know...most of the stuff I can do with a computer, I learned through a process of "what does this do? ohshitohshitohshit" and then having to work out how to fix it.

(for example, I learnt a lot about computers the first time I destroyed my computer's MBR)
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby New User » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:41 pm UTC

@Flumble, yes it shows up like normal in the device manager, and the drive still has a proper drive letter and functions normally in every other regard. Any ideas? My USB drive (drive letter E, plugged into my USB port, semi-permanent in that I rarely remove it, but still a removable drive) shows up in the navigation pane like normal. The SATA hard disk drive (drive F, plugged into my motherboard, internal in the PC case, non-removable without disassembling the PC case) doesn't show up in the navigation pane. It was there before the update, now I haven't changed anything that I recall but I noticed it's gone, and the update is the only thing I can think of that might have changed it. It's annoying since moving files to different drives (or folders) is supposed to be the convenience of the navigation pane, for me at least.

When I searched the web for "how to add a drive to the navigation pane Windows 10" or other similarly-worded queries, the overwhelming results I saw were from users asking how to remove drives from the navigation pane. Further reading tells me that having all drives listed separately in the pane is the default arrangement, but many users are annoyed that they also appear under "This PC" when expanded, since it appears to list the drives twice that way. I personally prefer not to expand "This PC" since I find most of the stuff there (Downloads, Pictures, Videos, etc.) is useless to me, and it just clutters up the navigation pane.

Really, the navigation pane would be very useful if it were fully customizable. And it might be, but going about doing that by requiring obscure edits to the registry makes it a lot of hassle. Adding or removing drives or folders from there should be as simple as dragging the folder in question to the navigation pane. After all, isn't moving things around by pointing and clicking with the mouse the paradigm of graphical operating systems in the first place?

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Ginger » Fri May 19, 2017 1:55 pm UTC

Small Rant Here: I'm a woman you sillies! I know the ultra-geeky scientists in us love to set fine lines for physical sexes but the fact remains that I am and have always been a woman. Don't care what parts I was born with. Don't care that you still consider me "not a woman inside" or whatever else silliness makes you feel able to sleep with the gender binary at night. Please, pretty please do not classify my sex when you are talking to me or insist that me wanting to be called a woman by others is, "social justice warrior stuff that we simply can't abide," solely because you believe sex is binary and can only be that way. Thank you peoples.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby eSOANEM » Fri May 19, 2017 2:37 pm UTC

It sucks that there are people who believe science says sex is binary and unchangeable because that's both shitty transphobia and wrong.

Like, even for people who want to salvage some idea of "biological sex", it cannot be one thing; it's a whole bunch of different things, none of which are binary and, whilst they often line up with each other and people's gender, do not align perfectly with any of them. It's just a smokescreen anyway, people say "sex is chromosomes so when I say you're [insert gender assigned at birth here] it's fine" but they're saying this to people who've never had their chromosomes tested. Then they say it's genitals, but again, they've not seen them. Eventually they start resorting to things that are entirely socially defined (like hair or clothing).

Sex is just gender in a labcoat so feel free to tell those people to fuck right off.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Ginger » Fri May 19, 2017 3:29 pm UTC

I would like to say that was a well-written post and I agree I will tell them that... as well I agree about being honest with myself about who I am, so I kind of get where they're coming from on one hand. On the other hand I don't think it's a necessary distinction to make when I plan on looking and acting indistinguishably as I can from the sex I want to be. So yes.

If I could "Like" your post I would.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby eSOANEM » Fri May 19, 2017 4:05 pm UTC

Eh, being honest with yourself about who you are is relative. By certain definitions of "biological sex", trans people on hormones have a sex different from their gender assigned at birth; trans people who've had bottom surgery also have a sex different from their gender assigned at birth according to a different definition of "biological sex". Pretty much all the other things people trot out about how they tell what someone's "sex" is are either even more likely to agree with a trans person's gender or are unlikely to be known by anyone involved except possibly their doctor.

Tbh, you know you're trans and that's you being honest with yourself; anything else is someone else policing how you talk about yourself which is usually a bad thing.

Like, one of the things that annoys me most is when medical forms have a "biological sex" box (binary ofc because apparently intersex people don't exist) and people defend it as medically relevant. Like, it's not. A doctor looking at a trans person may well make incorrect assumptions and therefore the wrong medical decision if they only know the person's gender but the same is true if they only know the person's gender assigned at birth; it's just a different set of wrong assumptions. For trans and intersex people, it's particularly important to recognise that "sex" actually consists of all these many distinct variables that, whilst not orthogonal, are also not parallel. Like, if you go with sex assigned at birth you'll miss the fact that a trans woman on E will have an increased risk of breast cancer whereas if you use their gender you'll miss the chance that they are at risk of prostate cancer (albeit lower I believe than an amab person not on E).
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby SecondTalon » Fri May 19, 2017 5:03 pm UTC

Spoilered because no one asked my opinion
Spoiler:
Going off the research as I currently understand it, the Y is where one gene exist. The purpose of this gene is to kick multiple different systems and say "Hey, you're all set for A, but do B instead, k?"

And generally speaking, this works out fine.

However!

Being a biological system, parts are prone to failure. Some sections may not kick on even though the Ygene told them to. Some systems may kick in even though there's no Ygene present telling them to do so.

Due to that, while as a general rule people who have XX chromosomes will have these features and people who have XY will have those features, this is not a universal rule.

And that's not even considering XXY or XYY or the other chromosomal outcomes I am ignorant about, nor does it consider personal choice on the matter, and it even doesn't consider the thousands of species that don't use X and Y chromosomes up to and including the species that have one set of sex organs at one point in their lives and another at a later point, or species that all possess the same sex organs until a particular one grows a different set and no one else in the group does unless that first one dies.

.....

Of course, I have an issue describing that to others as it too easily becomes "Oh, so you're saying those people are defective and need to be fixed" when... no, I'm saying they have the gender identify version of being left handed or having red hair - it's not the most common thing, but it's a valid trait that shouldn't be messed with.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Ginger » Fri May 19, 2017 5:09 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Like, one of the things that annoys me most is when medical forms have a "biological sex" box (binary ofc because apparently intersex people don't exist) and people defend it as medically relevant. Like, it's not.

I don't like and didn't like marking the "relevant biological boxes and questions" on my medical form for my new doctor. I long for the day when I can write the appropriate thing. But I am still in transition and not everything is as it should be. So that's where I'm coming from: Not saying that being honest with myself means checking that box every time but that I will for now as it is less confrontational for me.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri May 19, 2017 6:09 pm UTC

Pangender/genderfluid/genderqueer person here, slightly afraid to weigh in on this topic but here goes.

Actually you know what spoilered because SecondTalon did so too and this is way too long:
Spoiler:
While I also get angry at the false-sense-of-intellectual-superiority "science" nerds on the internet who say things like "there are only two biological genders" where by "gender" they mean "sex" and and by "sex" they mean "chromosomal configurations" and even then they're still wrong, I do have a small bit of intellectual sympathy for the position that they're trying to take. (Assuming for the moment that they're not just straight up assholes looking for an excuse to be assholes; I'm talking about the kind of people who are totally okay with trans people existing and doing whatever they want with regard to medical transition, gender expression, etc, and just making a theoretical stand about the meaning of words and such).

eSOANEM makes a great point about the actual biology of sex being multidimensional and each dimension being nonbinary. But then, if we imagine ourselves for a moment as people in a not-so-long-ago era where that information was first being discovered, which is similar to the kind of mind space that people just learning that information right now are in, that leaves us with the question of how to interpret words like "man" and "woman" that people have been using for centuries, in light of this new information. The approach that seems to me like it would have been most direct and least problematic is to take those traditional words as referring to the objective biological features that people historically could actually observe in those times, namely genitalia. And then, since genital configurations are still not binary but the words "man" and "woman" (taken as referring to them) try to treat them like they are, we're forced choose whether to interpret those words in a (referentially) inclusive or exclusive way, and so to choose whether people of ambiguous genitalia count as either "both man and woman" or "neither man nor woman" (the former, inclusive senses seem less likely to offend).

Under this hypothetical interpretation, someone with something like AIS, with unambiguous genitalia but an unexpected chromosomal configuration, would simply be a woman, just with XY chromosomes, which isn't a problem for calling her a woman because "woman" doesn't say anything about chromosomes. Someone who has undergone SRS likewise just is whatever their new sex is now, man or woman, but prior to it was another sex. And someone who has one set of genitals and doesn't like that and would rather have a different set (regardless of whether they intend SRS) wants to be a different sex, but isn't actually that other sex until they become it. That wanting-to-be-ness is a significant psychological property that probably deserves a name, but a new name, just like we invented new words to refer to sexual orientation (which I'm not conflating here, it's just an analogy) and didn't start calling anyone who wants to have sex with men "a woman". Again, this is all a hypothetical about what I'd have suggested if it was still 1950 and John Money hadn't published yet.

But it's not 1950 and that ship has sailed and it's too late to fight it so now we're left with an unfortunate terminological convention that I honestly think causes far more conflict and confusion than necessary. Instead of the above, we decided that since people refused to accept that genital sex is nonbinary, and insisted on calling people not on the ends of that axis as though they were, that the words "man" and "woman" must refer to socially constructed categories abstracted away from sex, instead of to sex itself. That is to say, rather than saying that people were bad at honestly talking about the complex actual reality, we decided to say that they're really talking about an oversimplified collective social fantasy, and that that's perfectly okay and not something we're going to complain about. Which honestly seems kind of more insulting to the intersex people about whom this was being decided; it seems more righteous to tell the people assigning them a binary sex at birth "no, you were objectively wrong about saying I was just a boy/just a girl; there are more options than that, and I'm one of them".

And then once we established that the words refer to the socially constructed property we now call gender... well, nobody is really any socially-constructed thing, it's entirely a matter of what people are called or are call themselves. (E.g. there's no sense arguing about whether anyone is really, say, a nerd, as much as some nerds might like to; it's just a social categorization with no real concrete referent). So now someone who would like to be a sex other than they were born (which, again, I'm still acknowledging is a real and significant psychological attribute that deserves recognition) just "identifies as" whichever objectively meaningless social label they want applied to them, and since there is no objective grounds on which to decide if those labels "really should" apply, to disagree with them mounts to nothing but an insult. But those are labels that everyone who's not well-versed in this stuff still think refer to a biological thing like genital sex. So it sounds to them like suddenly all kinds of people are denying objective facts and all of society is insisting that they do so as well, and I can easily see why a science-minded person would be offended by that. That's not what's actually happening, of course, but it looks to them like that's happening until the whole difference between biological sex and social gender is explained, and then that still sounds like people are redefining words, which honestly really is what happened but it was over half a century ago now and the words mean new things now and it's too late to go back so we're stuck with this confusing unnecessarily conflict-causing situation and it makes me sad.

Not in the least because it makes it really difficult to explain my own "gender identity" (which words themselves already don't sound like a good name for the property of myself I'm trying to describe*). The straightforward way I would like to describe it, had my above hypothetical had come to pass, would be "I'm a man, and I'm okay with that, and sometimes I even kinda like it; but I also kinda like the idea of being a woman, and would be totally okay with it if I was". Most people not well-versed in sex and gender matters would understand me correctly if I said that, I think. But then, in that kind of terminology, a transwoman would be described (pre-transition) as "a man, who's not okay with that and doesn't like it, and would rather be a woman", or (post-transition) as "a woman, who used to be a man, but didn't like it and so changed it", and that kind of language is going to upset a lot of people with the kind of interpretation given to all of those words today, which in turn makes me feel like I'm not supposed to describe myself in that kind of language either, but instead say something like "I'm neither a man nor a woman, or I'm kind of both, more or less of one or the other at different times", which sounds completely off and I think would make most people think I'm either intersexed, a shapeshifter, or more likely just a crazy person.

*If someone asks me "what's my gender" I'm never completely sure which of the many possible things that particular person might mean by that:
- What terms do I want people to call me by? (I have no preference, whatever feels natural to you.)
- What are my sex chromosomes? (I have no idea, I've never had my genes tested.)
- What is my "brain sex"? (I have no idea, I've never had my neuroanatomy examined.)
- What's in my pants? (A penis and testicles. At least that one's easy.)
- Do I feel like a man or a woman? (No...? I'm not sure what either would feel like unless you mean the last thing on this list below.)
- Do I have a masculine or feminine personality? (No; that question is meaningless unless you presume stereotypes that I avoid, but even assuming those stereotypes, I exhibit a mix of them from both, and score very near the center of tests like these.)
- Do I live a masculine or feminine social role? (No; that question is meaningless unless you presume stereotypes that I avoid, but even assuming those sterotypes I exhibit a mix of them from both, being both the breadwinner and the housekeeper and so on.)
- Do I have a masculine or feminine expression? (That question is also meaningless unless you presume stereotypes that I avoid but somehow it doesn't feel as obviously dumb to me; in any case, still a mix, wearing skirts usually indoors at home/work and pants usually outdoors hiking around, and a mix of men's and women's cut shirts in either case, with long hair but no makeup or jewelry and as body-hairless as I can find the time to keep myself.)
- How do I feel about what's in my pants? This I think is the most interesting question, and seems the most relevant to trans issues, but also has much less to do with the technical definition of social gender (vs biological sex) than most of the above questions, and so seems like it should really have a different name. (I'm fine with it, it's nice sometimes, some of the alternatives also seem like they'd be nice, and in an ideal world I'd prefer one of those alternatives, but since in the real world change is hard and I don't really mind what I've got now I don't especially care to do anything about it.)
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Quercus » Sat May 20, 2017 2:22 am UTC

Another genderqueer person here, I'm not really going to respond to the conversation (except to say that arguing against anyone's experience of their own body and mind is a shitty thing to do and I'm sorry that's happening to people), because it's 3 in the morning here and I'm not coherent enough to respond sensibly (and now I'm thinking that that turn of phrase makes me sound like a malfunctioning laser, which probably proves my point)... Anyway, reading the last few posts kind of made me think of something that's been bouncing around my head for a while:

I really, really want a word to signify that i have most-probably-male physiology that firstly don't come with a whole load of social baggage, because socially I'm way more feminine than masculine, so using terms that imply otherwise to most people seems inaccurate. And secondly don't use the "assigned at birth" formula, because i don't give a flying fuck what i was assigned at birth when I'm trying to describe what i am now, which is a penis and testicles possessing, bearded, testosterone dominant (confirmed by blood tests) person, who is socially feminine and has virtually no mental sense of gender identity at all.

IDK, i sometimes feel like I'm being squeezed from both sides... The people who are fine with my mind being not male (in the social and psychological senses) often seem to want to deny my experience of my body as male (which is an important experience for me), and those who are fine with my body being male, deny my experience of not being male socially or psychologically.

P.S. I don't feel that anyone here is doing either form of denying, just in case that isn't clear. You folks are cool.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby ucim » Sat May 20, 2017 3:50 am UTC

Quercus wrote:...socially I'm way more feminine than masculine...
Specifically to this point ("socially I'm...") and not to any other (mentally, physiologically, psychologically, genetically, anatomically...), I wonder if this is a property of society and not the individual. Males are "expected" to act one way, females the other way, but that expectation is a social construct; one that (IMO) is wrong. As I see it, being "squeezed" from that angle into the "wrong" gender is fundamentally different (because it's external) from being squeezed from the angle of (for example) "feeling like a woman" (whose validity I grant) but having testicles, because that is internal (except to the extent that the "feeling like" is caused by social pressures).

Am I missing something? Or do you (general you) also see a difference between internal gender misalignments and a misalignment between one's internal sense and an external expectation?

And while I'm here, do you have a problem with:
[_] male
[_] female
[_] it's complicated

in places where gender is legitimately useful?

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Quercus » Sat May 20, 2017 7:40 am UTC

ucim wrote:
Quercus wrote:...socially I'm way more feminine than masculine...
Specifically to this point ("socially I'm...") and not to any other (mentally, physiologically, psychologically, genetically, anatomically...), I wonder if this is a property of society and not the individual. Males are "expected" to act one way, females the other way, but that expectation is a social construct; one that (IMO) is wrong.

Personally (I can only speak for myself) I totally agree with this. The trouble is that the words "male" and "female" describe complex conglomerations of features that include the social aspects. At a certain level of deviation from that (particularly regarding clothing and appearance) the term "male" starts to feel inaccurate for me (when describing myself only - not making a judgement about others here). If I'm male and wearing a skirt/dress/makeup society has decided that I'm "crossdressing" and that it's probably a fetish, rather than being because i like the way the clothes feel and think they look cute. Even if its socially determined and wrong, it doesn't mean it's not real.

As I see it, being "squeezed" from that angle into the "wrong" gender is fundamentally different (because it's external) from being squeezed from the angle of (for example) "feeling like a woman" (whose validity I grant) but having testicles, because that is internal (except to the extent that the "feeling like" is caused by social pressures).

Am I missing something? Or do you (general you) also see a difference between internal gender misalignments and a misalignment between one's internal sense and an external expectation?


Yes, personally i do see a difference here, although i will note that the distinction is not a straightforward one - the internal and internal-external misalignments really often correlate (I'm an example of that), which my guess is some complex combination of wanting to be seen and treated as one's internal gender by the wider world, the internal misalignment making the social restrictions more glaringly obvious and obviously silly, and actual trends in preferences influenced by neurology (after all, most mammals show some degree of sexually dimorphic behaviour, it would be odd if humans didn't have any).

And while I'm here, do you have a problem with:
[_] male
[_] female
[_] it's complicated

in places where gender is legitimately useful?

Jose

I'd prefer other rather then it's complicated (although I'm guessing you didn't literally mean that forms would say "it's complicated"). I would also really like a free-text field, and a "prefer not to say" for anything other than a confidential medical form. I'd also note that "places where gender is legitimately useful" are really quite rare - equality tracking on things like job and university applications (which should be on a separate form going to a separate department) and a limited subset of medical forms are the only examples i can think of. Otherwise gender tickboxes can pretty much be replaced by either nothing or a preferred prounoun/salutation and/or preferred uniform style box.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Ginger » Sat May 20, 2017 10:55 am UTC

Quercus wrote:Another genderqueer person here, I'm not really going to respond to the conversation (except to say that arguing against anyone's experience of their own body and mind is a shitty thing to do and I'm sorry that's happening to people), because it's 3 in the morning here and I'm not coherent enough to respond sensibly (and now I'm thinking that that turn of phrase makes me sound like a malfunctioning laser, which probably proves my point)...

Original context for my rant was something I overheard on World of Warcraft chat, which was: "You can be born a woman and transition to a man but that means you're only socially a man and biologically still a woman!" Which makes me read that as some kind of tribal chant like, "We must count you as a group that you clearly don't fit into for pure numbers' sake! You're 'biologically' a woman whether you like it or not ha-ha! :P" I was like oh no that can't be a thing because I am All Woman(TM) and regardless of my supposed biological makeup I still feel and act like a woman et cetera. So yes: People were denying my mind and bodily experiences for the sake of classifying me and others like me in the camp of being Still a Woman/Man/Otter/Duck because of supposed biology.
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