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counterintuitive to me that, even with the high rates of immigration and the quality of translation technology, I’m so insulated from the Chinese internet. I don’t know what discourse they have. I read about crazy intense doxxing and harassment incidents in books about China (like Age of Ambition) but that’s like being a Chinese person who kinda knows what Twitter is like from the Justine Sacco incident. I want to… oh, get their jokes, be in some actually good Discord servers, know whatever arbitrary sexual acts or dynamics are taboo in their culture. (There was a really good tumblr thread on Chinese fandom is totally okay with… was it incest? Something that US fandom feels weird about? but is not okay with poly or even multi-shipping? I loved that thread.)

Would be so amazing if there was a blog run by a normal Terminally Online person in China who just happened to speak very good English and was willing to post 1 screenshot a day of something that was on their feed, translating and explaining everything to me. God, I’d fund that Patreon


My wishes are answered! The spouse of someone I share a Discord server with is running weibo.substack.com

Premise: just faithfully translate the first 1500 words of whatever shows up in the Weibo trending posts today. No cherry picking articles, no punditry or commentary. Come experience the Chinese internet!

I’ve enjoyed every single post. Just picking a random one:

A lot of parents are asking a blogger for advice about going to high school overseas, because Chinese high school is too stressful. But they’re concerned about their children not being patriotic anymore after leaving China. The blogger admits that this is a very valid concern, especially since lately, there’s been many incidents of very patriotic Chinese students going overseas and getting into violent physical conflicts with their classmates over political differences, and that this is illegal in a lot of countries. So therefore, his advice is to send their kids to Russia. There are a lot of great schools in Russia. Russia’s leading the world in tech, and is pretty good in the arts too, and their food is great. A lot of modern Chinese processed food actually comes from Russia, so it’s very easy to find things like cream popsicles and sausages that were a hallmark of Chinese people’s childhoods. And you don’t have to worry about war in Russia, because it’s such a big country that no invader can win. Also, lots of hot chicks in Russia. But if your child is a girl, you have to be a little careful going to Russia, because their food is high in calories so it’s very easy to get fat. And Russian men like to drink a lot, so it might be a little scary for girls.

Two recurring themes that make me go “oh wow, huh” are bride prices (major driver of social drama and economic action) and treatment of children.


#reading a random selection of trending Chinese Twitter-analogue posts has immediately reminded me #of why I don’t read random selections of trending Twitter posts #I would like to listen to some chill Chinese nerds please #(I know I said I have issues with the concept of chill-ness) #(but in this case it would be a much more graceful failure mode than the reverse) #discourse cw #sexism cw #child abuse cw? #disordered eating? #alcohol mention #oh look an update #China

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In the big list of “terms of art in a specific discipline that suddenly everybody is familiar with”, I think that to go with “coronavirus”, “core inflation”, etc. we’ll shortly be adding “cascading failure.”


tags from @brin-bellway

#I desperately want to make an “in the future‚ ‘zoonosis’ will be a word everyone knows” reference here#but I can’t think of a suitable word to stick in there#maybe if I were more fluent in webdev jargon#(…why does that quote not turn up on search engines)#(please tell me somebody knows what I’m talking about)

There’s a fancy word for this phenomenon, used by scientists who study infectious diseases from an ecological perspective: zoonosis. […] It’s a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the twenty-first century.

2014 Oct: Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus, by David Quammen

I got that off Siderea’s Great Age of Plagues series, though perhaps you got it from elsewhere.


That’s getting at the same idea, yeah, but I don’t think it’s the exact line I was thinking of. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the thing I saw was a David Quammen author interview, though.)


Siderea, 2022-12-31:

On the first anniversary of my 2020 post “Preparing for the Pandemic: Stage 0”, I wrote a post “The Very Bad News”, in which I said:

[…] the public imagination about climate change has been pretty much exclusively trained to entertain meteorological calamities – storms, mostly – but there are whole other categories.

Such as the epidemiological.

See, even if *this* pandemic wasn’t caused by the Climate Catastrophe, it seems the epidemiologists are expecting the Climate Catastrophe to cause other pandemics and epidemics. There’s a variety of reasons why – I had found a prescient essay from, IIRC, 2015 or so, which I have subsequently lost, which had a sentence to the effect of, “In the future, ‘zoonosis’ is going to be a word everyone knows.” – but we can discuss those later.

Well the actual quote, it turns out, is, as I quoted above, “Zoonosis.  […] It’s a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the twenty-first century.”

It *feels* like that specific “going to be a word everyone knows” line has been around since the 2010s, but (1) that might not be accurate and (2) 2021 might not be the first time Siderea said it. (She has apparently set her blog to not be indexed by public search engines, and I don’t currently have any plans to ingest it into my personal search engine.)


#oh look an update #reply via reblog #apocalypse cw #illness tw #amnesia cw? #climate change

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Hi this thread is making me insane.


(my tags on my previous reblog of this:)

#(some other quotes from that Twitter thread to contextualise it:) #(“If it’s not real I’m not even mad‚ #killing a melon with a sword and writing a code to tell a fun story is an incredible way to spend lockdown”) #(“For context btw I have already sent this guy my nudes like‚ months ago. I’ve said we can meet up. #None of this is a ploy to get in my pants and holy shit if it was it’d be the wildest possible way of doing so”) #(“People are rediscovering this and keep retweeting it so I feel like doing another update‚ #the guy who was receiving/executing the melons is now my boyfriend. #We’ve been together about 6 months now and our conversations are still this weird about 50% of the time.”) #(though really you should read the whole thread) #(including watching the videos with sound on) #(half the thread is age-restricted for some reason‚ but if you have objections to Twitter) #((and who doesn’t)) #(you can–I just accidentally discovered–get around that by reading it through Nitter) #(that’s https://nitter.hu/TrinCyboid/status/1356496649460322304 or the Nitter instance of your choice) #(also these people are apparently doing a podcast where they watch seasons of 24 in real time and I may have to check it out)

Update: I have now listened to the first season of “24 Bauer Party People”, and it is *very* funny.


#oh look an update #podcasts #recs #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #(sort of) #food? #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what

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in much more interesting news, today at work I got to explore an abandoned 500-year-old castle, seized by the state because of the owner’s massive tax evasion

we spent an hour and half going all over the grounds, I’d never felt so #urbex


just want to point out that we found this door at one point





seeing this door makes me feel like i have never truly contemplated the possibilities of doors as a concept, as though a new understanding of what it means to be a door has been forced upon me


So lots of people in the notes want to see more pictures,

I see the virtual tour set up by the state to help with the sale is still available, so have at it :


excellent news, everyone:

first of all, I have confirmed you can find the door in the virtual tour above


but second.

there’s two of them


here is a picture of the new one from the other side:


why would you have two of these, you ask? I don’t know, but the floor plan might give us a hint:


Circled in red is where i found the new one. There’s four different floors with this kind of structure. I have checked every corner and most of them have regular flat doors set diagonally or something boring like that. But. Two angledoors!


(here’s where the one in the OP can be found. notice it’s a different floor, “R+1” rather than “Rdc”)


#oh look an update #love the decor fandom

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if you liked @earlyandoftenpodcast (which is itself excellent as an amalgamation of a century of history, told with an imperceptible amount of fnords), I recommend Presidencies of the United States

it’s a bit slow (it’s taken him six years to cover twenty years of history) but i like it that way


Presidencies of the United States does have transcripts, if you’re so inclined. You can find them at the bottom of the page for each episode, such as the most recent one.

#i couldn’t find it for a while but i remembered hearing the guy insist that he had transcripts #also early and often *was* great and i highly recommend it as a sort of background to Presidencies #the New York episodes in particular helped to set the stage for understanding NY at the time of the Clinton faction #even if NY politics truly is the devil’s own incomprehensibles

Ooh, thank you!

*adds to reading list*


#reply via reblog #oh look an update #podcasts #recs #history #home of the brave #that excuse for communication called speech

The ongoing saga of Harker and the stapler

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My ball python, Harker, is really scared of this one stapler.


Every time he sees it, he balls up.


I was grading today and sure enough, the stapler was still scary.


However, for the first time, I introduced a second stapler!

He was nervous at first…


But it didn’t take him long to warm up to it.


Pretty soon it became his best friend!


There was nothing the new stapler couldn’t do!


Including protecting him from the other stapler.


The moral of the story?

My snake is a weirdo.


Update: Today I took Harker to my office, where he met another stapler.


He was fairly apathetic at first, but eventually they got on pretty well!


This stapler was smaller than either of the others, but one thing was sure: this stapler was definitely not scary!


Am I any closer to understanding my snake’s strange relationship with staplers?


Absolutely not.


UPDATE: it’s 2016 and I’m pleased to announce that he’s FINALLY gotten over his fear of the stapler!


He likes it now!


Tell him I’m proud of him


This post is so pure!


#snakes #adorable #oh look an update

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@itsbenedict​ replied: this is a phenomenon that drives me to bestial, murderous rage

When I went in for lunch shift the next morning, the fly had evolved overnight into a wasp. Fortunately, I only ever saw it once, out by the soda machine.

Six days later, I found a very dead wasp curled up next to a heating element. Until next time, then.


#(posted this too soon‚ sorry about that) #bugs #replies #oh look an update #unsanitary cw #death tw? #in which Brin has a job #trying to keep this lighthearted in keeping with the original joke

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Amass Fuck-You Money

Goals: amass fuckyou money

Forever reblog the mother goddess

(status: I acknowledge that this is psychological damage from an extended period of financial hardship during formative years, but I nonetheless mostly endorse it)

Hmm. I seem to be having a bunch of thoughts and feelings about this.

There seems to be a…maybe “divide” is too strong a word, I don’t know. But…like, I called it “fuck-you money vs fuck-me money” in a post a while back. Even when the actions are the same, there’s this psychological difference in how people can approach it.

When I see FIRE people, they always frame it in terms of *freedom*. (It’s right there in the acronym: Financially *Independent*, Retiring Early.) But to me, it strikes me as being a thing about *safety*. “Enough money that you can run your household solely off the interest from your investments” can protect you from a lot of different problems, and *that’s* why the idea appeals to me.

A few weeks ago I saw some distant acquaintance-of-an-acquaintance on Tumblr (I don’t recall who) advising a young person with a high-paying job and relatively low expenses (Silicon Valley programmer, I think, or something like that) to go on some trips and enjoy themself, because they weren’t going to have this much disposable income again until their forties if not later. And it felt like a very weird framing to me, because…the way I see it, if future-me doesn’t have money to spare, then neither do I. I don’t have spare money unless I can afford to feed myself, and I can’t truly afford to feed myself unless I can afford to feed *all* of my selves.

16-year-old me got to eat because 7-year-old me’s dad put away some “”extra””, and eventually that “”extra”” was all he had left. Where is 33-year-old me getting *her* food from?

Because if the source isn’t me, then I don’t trust it to come through for her. I want to do all I can to make sure that, no matter who is or is not willing to employ her or for how much, 33-year-old me (and 44-year-old me, and 55-year-old me…) is fed and housed and so forth.

(This was going to be a tag ramble, but then I thought it should probably stay with the post if somebody reblogs it to respond or something. I’m just going to leave it in tag format.)

#this post probably partly inspired by my first anniversary of non-freelance employment   #which is coming up soon   #I think I will celebrate by scheduling the dental checkup I have been putting off for ~3 years because I didn’t feel I could afford it   #(yes government healthcare does not cover dental)   #(OHIP has some very weird-looking exceptions)   #(this is probably the result of some kind of complicated political negotiation that I’m not sure I want to know the details of)   #anyway a dental checkup seems like a good compromise between celebratory and practical   #(and [practical celebrations are easier to enjoy]/[I find myself drawn to practical gifts these days anyway including gifts I buy for myself])   #((that safety thing manifests here especially))   #((the things I dream of buying these days are always things that protect you from something))   #((checkups that protect you from tooth damage and electric cars that protect you from rising oil prices and solar-powered phone chargers that protect you from power outages))   #((this I am much less sure I endorse))   #((I mean I think it is good to want practical things but it would also probably be good if I felt safe enough to want a few non-practical things too))   #(((sometimes on especially bad brain days I can’t even bring myself to play Flight Rising)))   #(((that is currently the most common cause of my FR hiatuses)))   #(((it used to be the most common cause was that I felt like playing some other game instead)))

#I will put this in the tags though: #I was reading my Tumblr archive recently and *damn* 2014!me was having a hard time #she didn’t talk about it much in public but occasionally she couldn’t quite hold it in anymore and it leaked out into a post #I felt very sorry for her #basically what I’m saying is #hi 2022!me #I hope you’re in a good enough position that you can feel sorry for me rather than going ”yeah I still know that feel” #(but if so please do still provide for farther-future!us) #(just with a healthier frame of mind) #(maybe buy solar chargers *and* video games)

Hi, 2018!me.

I won’t lie to you: I do still know that feel. Things haven’t really changed much for us financially: still a slow bleeding kept at bay by unpredictable one-time cash infusions, still with a-home-in-good-repair being a cherished but distant dream. Still taking some gigs at $1.30/hour, though only the especially easy ones now. We graduated last year, and the diploma’s been *exactly* as much of a waste of time and resources as we feared it would be, though I have not quite lost hope altogether. I have made only $309 in deposits to my retirement fund, in the time since I was you.

Financially, we still don’t have the stability and security that we long for.

*Non*-financially, though, our position has improved. We’ve made new friends, and even mostly managed to keep the old, and (in addition to the non-practicality-related aspects) they’ve taught us (and we them) many useful things. I’m in better shape now: not *great* shape, but on a good day I can run for half an hour straight (almost two miles!), and even on moderately bad days I can do twenty minutes. I still work at the restaurant, but I’m allowed to mask at work now (I know, right, we thought that would *never* happen, didn’t even dare hope for it), and we were–by, admittedly, a terrifyingly narrow margin–not fucked over by the travesty that set the precedent that workplaces allow employees to mask.

(If this were two-way communication, I’d have opened with advice on getting higher-grade and more durable masks while they’re still easy to come by, so that the margin won’t be so terrifyingly narrow. But it isn’t, and I will have to content myself with knowing that it worked out for us in the end.)

(It didn’t work out, for a lot of people. A lot of people, in a lot of ways, are worse off now than they were in 2018. I do not live in as flourishing a world as we would hope.

But we, personally, were fortunate in this regard: we rose through the cracks of the problems that hit everyone, and that actually ended up counteracting a lot of the problems that were specific to us. It’s where most of the one-time cash infusions came from; it’s why I haven’t been sick–not *really* sick, not anything bad enough to make me wish I were unconscious–in over three and a half of the four years that separate us.)

((common-cold-induced depression isn’t normal, BTW. you know that weird non-depressive cold we had in December of 2017? yeah, that’s just what colds are like for normal people. sure does explain a lot about why people are Like That.))

Anyway. Our safety hasn’t improved as much as we were hoping, but it *has* improved. We’ve been through storms, but we’ve weathered them. (I even successfully handled not having a functioning toilet for five days! I’d prepared a contingency plan for that, and it paid off!)

The Ontarian government has announced plans to start covering dental care in a couple of years (a long enough delay that I’ve decided it’s still worth paying for a checkup this year, though I may skip next year). Our parents’ pensions will start trickling in next year, with the bigger ones starting in 2025. I still have a couple more ideas for how to break into an accounting career, and I still have the option of changing tacks and making a living in an unrelated field.

In the time since I was you, I have bought both a solar panel and a video game.

One way or another, we’ll get through this.

Remember, I love you.


#reply via reblog #oh look an update #adventures in human capitalism #adventures in University Land #in which Brin has a job #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #covid19 #illness tw #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what #venting cw? #bragging cw? #kind of both