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Cake day: June 23rd, 2023

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  • I’m so fucked up by all of this. I don’t know what anything means anymore and depending on who I’m talking to, I’m either a faithless child-diddling monster, or I’m a genocide-supporting class traitor.

    And like. I’d consider myself a far left liberal, in the sense of how the U.S. defined liberal when I learned the terms, where it was more a place on the political spectrum, rather than a codified set of ideas.
    Right to left, I’d define the that spectrum as Reactionary (Alt-right), conservative, centrist, liberal, and revolutionary (leftist, I think?). I know that those terms have different meanings in other countries.
    I’d consider the Republican Party to currently be between conservative and alt-right, with the Democratic Party being centrist with liberal window dressing.

    I think the U.S. political system is fucked. It was never intended to accommodate political parties, let alone the nearly 250 years of maneuvering by capitalists to slip reigns onto the government, which now appears to have fully succeeded. I believe that the embrace of fascism by the Republican Party is a means to control the ~60% of people who are left of center and without cohesive political representation because of limitations of the U.S. political system/bastardization of it/the pernicious influence of capitalism.

    I don’t support the Democratic Party, nor do I really feel the U.S. government is in a place to fix itself without some foundational things changing. I don’t think, realistically, that those things can be changed without mass engagement and effort, which… sigh. I’m doing what I can.

    But also, I don’t believe a revolt or some form of dramatic U.S. government reformation is possible. As a result, the folks that are already demanding change and have given up hope for reforming the system are hostile to me, and the other folks fall into the camp of being disengaged/only mildly upset or even desirous of a slide into fascism. It feels like there isn’t really enough people who are unified who want to change course without throwing the whole thing out.
    I honestly feel kind of alone.

    Here comes the ramble:

    What happens if the U.S. does elect Trump and it swings full fascism?
    Will the disengaged people even know if it gets bad enough that they should start engaging? Congress is already working on banning TikTok because of Gaza. A congress that doesn’t need to pretend to abide by the law would have already done that 8-10 months ago. The media, owned by a few corporations, already mostly shapes the U.S. worldview. What happens when the outliers - PBS starts parroting Fox News talking points by government mandate, and independent news sites are suddenly no longer reachable?
    If folks do know things are bad, and they do band together to try to do something about it - how do they manage? Any number of reasons can be dreamed up to disenfranchise. In my state, weed is legal. A quick cross-reference of the state weed registry with the voter registry and possibly a quick demographics check (because we know they’d do that), and the federal government can throw whoever they want in jail, prevent us from ever voting, or remove our ability to earn a living for any dreamed up reason. Revolution? A country that’s geographically unassailable will continue to be unassailable. Plus you have the propaganda/information control and the general docility of the U.S. population.

    I’m not trying to challenge or debate anyone here. I don’t think you’re stupid, nor do I think the ideals are bad. I fucking wish society was more altruistic and smarter.
    I just… don’t see any realistic or actionable outcome other than to keep fighting for every inch using the tools we have, even if they are faulty, entrenched systems.
    Call me propagandized, unimaginative, cynical or stupid, or… whatever, I guess. I just don’t see other viable options, and I think broadcasting moral superiority, embracing divisiveness and exhibiting hostility is going to create roadblocks, should we need to unite. If we can.



  • Honestly kind of excited for the company blogs to start spitting out their disaster recovery crisis management stories.

    I mean - this is just a giant test of disaster recovery crisis management plans. And while there are absolutely real-world consequences to this, the fix almost seems scriptable.

    If a company uses IPMI (Called Branded AMT and sometimes vPro by Intel), and their network is intact/the devices are on their network, they ought to be able to remotely address this.
    But that’s obviously predicated on them having already deployed/configured the tools.



  • I think that both what you and the other commenter have said is probably pretty accurate, but I also wanted to note that the office of the president is immensely powerful on its own.
    Executive actions can have immediate changes without support from others. And having someone like Bernie in a position to set the national tone by being ‘the face’ of our politics for 4 years could certainly shift the Overton window. Bernie speaks his mind, and as the leader of the U.S., folks listen, even if he can’t pass policy. So if he spends 6 months leading up to an election talking about preference voting, ethics reform, or campaign finance - candidates and primary challengers are going to discuss those positions rather than leave them off their platform.
    Those issues could shift the baseline of political power in the U.S. - if we had an election cycle or two where the president was driving national dialogue about it, voters would also choose candidates who made those things a priority - empowering - perhaps not Bernie, but maybe the next round of candidates, and possibly leading to permanent changes to our democracy.

    Which is, well, very hopeful. But it illustrates what he could have done. Could have changed trajectories, rather than circling the same old drain that leads to a two party system where both parties are on the take from someone.







  • I’m a little annoyed that my client apparently didn’t show me this post yesterday.

    I’m nominally familiar with utility scale issues and it appears the fault here lie with the lack of regulatory environment in Texas.
    There’s a process called “Line Clearing” where utilities send crews to cut down branches or sometimes whole trees if they pose a risk to power lines. Line clearing mostly impacts local circuits. Circuits are neighborhood level, and those power lines are lower than other kinds of power lines. Schedules for line clearing are often set with regulatory bodies, but can be left to utilities to set.

    Because line clearing means that crews have to traverse every power line on the grid, it’s often not something that utilities want to do. If given a say in the regulatory process or left to their own devices, they’ll opt for as long of a span between line clearings as possible.

    What’s that mean, now that I’ve written so much? Well, it means that when big storms come through, the failure point isn’t necessarily the transmission lines or the power stations. It’s the local lines, disconnecting individual houses, streets, or entire neighborhoods. Instead of a few fixes here and there to get the grid back up, it’s a lot of fixes everywhere, which is time consuming and expensive. It means that ‘everyday’ failures are more common as trees can rot out and randomly collapse.
    And, sure - those everyday fixes are relatively easy to deal with individually, but in a situation where a lot of those issues accumulate at once, they can cause other, more serious issues on the grid, as well as creating a massive backlog to work through.

    It’s sort of a foundational regulatory problem that seems to not have been addressed. A lot of midwestern states can bear wind storms with minimal problems - because their grid standards are written with lots of wet snow in mind.

    Which is all to say, it’s supply, demand, delivery, and all the trappings therein, too.
    I think on those grounds, criticism of Texas’ grid stands.


  • Coming into this comment thread relatively late, but I briefly wondered after reading the headline if this was a rebellion against the views his family instilled in him.

    Obviously, it’s a heck of a rebellion if that idea holds even an ounce of water, but I could see rebelling against parents, coupled with the existential frustration that most folks feel about the current political situation, paired with the inexperience/poor decision making of youth, or even the beginnings of schizophrenia leading down this path.

    Definitely filing that line of thought into the “complete speculation, and almost certainly not what really happened” bin, though.