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[–] stabby_cicada 5 points 2 days ago* (last edited 2 days ago)

In a way it is. Colonial empires maintain the support of the proletariat in the imperial cores by funneling wealth from colonized nations back to those people. If you're better off than your parents were, and your parents are better off than your grandparents were, why do you care that your ruling oligarchy is genociding its way across the planet and shoveling stolen profits into its insatiable maw?

English commoners forgave their empire's industrial scale genocide of African slaves on Haitian plantations because that genocide provided white sugar for their tea.

American commoners forgive the wholesale torture and murder of Latin American peasants because we can buy cheap bananas at the supermarket.

The top 20% of Americans control 80% of America's wealth. But they don't consume 80% of the resources America consumes. They don't burn 80% of the gas, they don't eat 80% of the food, they don't produce 80% of the pollution. What's killing the world is the bread and circuses - or rather the cars, cell phones, and factory farms - that give all but the very poorest Americans an artificially inflated standard of living at the cost of the world as a whole.

But telling poor Americans "your standard of living is too high" when the entire capitalist machine tells them they have the right to all the consumption they can buy and the best standard of living they can earn, it's a hard sell, you know?

[–] stabby_cicada 19 points 2 days ago (2 children)

In the same time period, eating meat at every meal was a demonstration of social status - only the wealthy and powerful had enough livestock to slaughter and eat them routinely.

Like lawns, and meat, and college education, and a dozen other forms of conspicuous consumption - privileges of the wealthy during the Victorian era and earlier, when industrialized society made those privileges cheaper, the middle class seized on them to emulate the upper class, and after a hundred fifty years those privileges became expectations.

And conspicuous consumption as a status symbol, when universalized to the majority of society, led inevitably to unsustainable consumption and the world as it is now.

so brave (
submitted 3 days ago by stabby_cicada to c/notvoting
[–] stabby_cicada 14 points 5 days ago

Food Not Bombs has a cookbook with a similar style of "protest food" recipes.

[–] stabby_cicada 10 points 5 days ago (4 children)

To be fair, people are choosing capitalism because they have to make money, buy food, and pay rent.

Graphic designer, writer, commissioned artist, were jobs people could do entirely online. And a lot of highly online people did one or the other, or have friends who did one or the other, and they see AI as the existential threat to their livelihoods that it, in fact, is.

And I feel for them. I really do. If you bought food and paid rent by making art online - especially if you're neurodivergent or disabled or trapped in an abusive relationship and couldn't hold a normal job - AI tools have destroyed your career. And it sucks. There's no getting around that.

But the core of the problem is not AI. The core of the problem is the lack of a safety net. Some of the enormous profits from the AI boom should be funneled back into society to support the people who are put out of business by the AI boom. But they won't. Because capitalism.

[–] stabby_cicada 2 points 5 days ago* (last edited 5 days ago) (1 children)

I deleted most of this comment because it wasn't as civil and understanding as I wanted it to be and it's probably better off lost to history 😆

But let me summarize my thoughts: your mother, and presumably you, eat a lot more meat than the average person. The 10% of human foods that aren't plant-based and can't easily be made plant-based are overrepresented in your meat heavy diet.

And meat heavy diets are bad for your personal health and for the health of the planet, for reasons we both know very well.

Which is to say: you are universalizing your personal experiences. It's not difficult to go vegan. It's difficult for you to go vegan, because your diet and lifestyle are so heavily focused on animal products. That's not an indictment of veganism; it's an indictment of the Western diet, and big agriculture, and capitalist food science that studied what flavors and textures trigger dopamine release so they could pack food with them and sell more product, and the whole vicious capitalist PR mechanism that convinced Westerners to eat a meat heavy, highly processed, unhealthy diet and convinced Western governments to subsidize it. And, to a much lesser extent, it is an indictment of your personal choices.

It's difficult for you to go vegan. But that's not on veganism. That's on you.

[–] stabby_cicada 5 points 6 days ago (3 children)

Frankly, I think your comment exemplifies how correct this article is.

"Cooking vegan is hard" - no, it isn't. 90% of non-vegan recipes can be made vegan by leaving out or substituting non-vegan ingredients. You don't need any different cooking methods to make pasta sauce without meat or fried rice without eggs. Dairy is slightly more complicated because milk does very particular things to the texture and chemistry of food but you can find guides to non-dairy replacements in literally 30 seconds on Google.

"I will be a social pariah/I can never eat out again" - that's catastrophizing. If you personally live in a food desert where no vegan food exists, or you personally have relatives who will emotionally abuse you for eating vegan food - I'm not saying this doesn't happen, in the age of Trump there are some conservatives who think eating tons of red meat (and smoking cigars and rolling coal) virtual signals their loyalty to conservatism, and I hope they enjoy the heart disease they're giving themselves - then eat non-vegan food in public. That's okay. Veganism is about avoiding animal products as far as is reasonable and practical.

But what I see a lot is people saying "I can't be vegan because there are no vegan restaurants in Kansas" when they live in California. I see people saying "I can't be vegan because people at church give vegans the stink eye" when they don't attend church. I see people saying "veganism is wrong because there's tons of land useless for agriculture that can only be used for grazing" when the meat they eat comes from soy fattened factory farm feed lots. I see people saying "veganism is wrong because hunting is a traditional lifeway of Native American people" when they are not Native American.

How does a lack of vegan restaurants keep you from cooking vegan at home? It doesn't.

Will you actually get criticized at family reunions if you bring a potluck dish without meat in it? As if there are food inspectors going through all the side dishes to make sure the required quantity of animal product is in it? Even for conservatives, that's ridiculous.

What I see over and over again is people bringing up reasons why other people can't go vegan in order to explain why they don't go vegan, even though the reasons that apply to those other people don't apply to them at all. And that is deflecting. And that's exactly what the article calls out.

If you came up to me and said, "You know CHEESE is ABUSE" I would not be thankful for the information. I would be annoyed that I didn't have lab-grown cheese yet.

I'm going to pick this sentence specifically to respond to, because. With all due respect.

If you said "I torture animals for pleasure and I'm not going to stop" we would consider you a sociopath.

But you're saying "I pay other people to torture animals for my pleasure and I'm not going to stop", and we're supposed to, what, smile and nod and agree how hard it is to not torture animals for pleasure?

Look. Torturing animals is wrong. You know it's wrong. You are admitting it's wrong. It hurts your feelings to be reminded that you are doing wrong.

That's a fair and understandable feeling and I don't care. Because you are torturing animals, and if you feel bad when someone reminds you, it's because you should.

There is value in gentle persuasion. And there's also value in ranting about the sheer fucking hypocrisy of carnists. This article is the latter.

[–] stabby_cicada 12 points 6 days ago (7 children)

Generated output is a gimmick that will be used by people who have no intention of making art.

Without getting into the definition of "art", yes, people will use generated output for purposes other than "art". And that's not a gimmick. That's a valuable tool.

Rally organizers can use AI to create pamphlets and notices for protests. Community organizers can illustrate broadsheets and zines. People can add imagery and interest to all sorts of written material that they wouldn't have the time or money to illustrate with traditional graphic design. AI can make an ad for a yard sale or bake sale look as slick and professional as any big name company's ads.

AI tools will make the world a more artistic place, they will let people put graphic art in all sorts of places they wouldn't have the time or money or skill to do so before, and that's a good thing.

[–] stabby_cicada 3 points 1 week ago

Both can be done, of course, and we live in a world with limited resources. There's no reason to commit resources to nuclear when those resources can, demonstratively and statistically, be used far more efficiently to implement other options.

It's like saying, yes, I can buy a used car for $5k cash now, or, on the other hand, I could pay $50k to get on the waiting list for a Tesla Cybertruck to be delivered in like five years.

And when I point out that the Cybertruck is less reliable, more expensive, and will leave me without a car for 5 years while I'm waiting, you say "well, why don't you buy the used car and put yourself on the Cybertruck waiting list?"

And I haven't even touched on the moral and environmental issues with nuclear power. I shouldn't have to. New nuclear is clearly the least efficient form of non-emitting power generation in the world. That should be the end of the discussion.

[–] stabby_cicada 4 points 1 week ago (2 children)

Yeah, nuclear is temporary, and yes, nothing stays in place longer than a temporary solution, but it’s a known and can be built now rather than yet another 5-15 years of waiting for untried tech solutions.

I guess you could say nuclear power can be built "now". From a certain point of view.

The last nuclear reactor to go online in the United States took 14 years to build - from breaking ground in 2009 to going online in 2023 - at a cost of thirty billion dollars.

And that wasn't even a new nuclear power site, it was a additional reactor added on as an existing site, so planning and permitting and so on were significantly faster then a new nuclear power plant would be.

So yes, we could start the process of building a new nuclear reactor in the United States and commit 30 billion in taxpayer money to it. And after 20 to 30 years that reactor might come online.

Or we could commit 30 billion dollars to subsidizing wind and solar power, and get that power generation online in the next few years, at a significantly lower cost per kilowatt.

[–] stabby_cicada 21 points 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago)

It may have suffered, but it's distinctive.

The webcomic space is flooded with generic "good art". If you want to stand out and build or maintain your brand - you need a unique look. Artists want their audience to be able to look at a character and instantly know they drew it.

(The best example of this is perhaps the worst human being in webcomics today. You can recognize his style in the first three lines of a face.)

I think PA was in kind of a bad place, because they were popular so early in the webcomic boom and so many people copied their style that their original art became generic. What's going to attract a new teenage reader to PA if it looks just like every other crappy "two guys on a couch playing video games" webcomic they've seen?

So PA had to change their style. And say what you will about it, there's no doubt who drew (or had an AI tool draw) those characters.

[–] stabby_cicada 3 points 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) (1 children)

I agree. Times change. Putting people out of work is not inherently a bad thing. How many oil workers and coal miners will be out of work when we ban fossil fuels? How many jobs emptying chamber pots and hauling dung were lost when cities installed sewer systems? Hell, how many taxi drivers were put out of work by Uber, and how many Uber drivers are about to be put out of work by self-driving vehicles? When specialized labor is replaced by technology that can do it faster and cheaper, that's good for society as a whole.

The problem is, society also needs better support for people whose jobs are replaced by technology, and that's something we don't have. The logic of capitalism requires unemployed people to suffer, so workers fear losing their jobs and don't oppose their bosses. OP's comic shouldn't be read as an attack on AI, but as an attack on capitalism.

[–] stabby_cicada 7 points 1 week ago (1 children)

The limitations of actual physical printing led to some amazing art.


From "Hey Beatnik! This is The Farm Book" - a visitor's guide from a commune in Tennessee in the 70s.


This is the context - an Idaho law that penalizes any library that allows minors access to "inappropriate" content, and lets each child's parent define what "inappropriate" means. So libraries could be penalized if, for example, a homeschooled Christian child reads a book on biology that mentions evolution or a YA novel with a gay character, and their parents object to it. Or if a liberal parent objects to their child reading the Bible or Quran.

Given the wide scope and uncertain limits of this law, some Idaho libraries are banning minors entirely. As was, I suspect, the goal.

Laws like this are becoming widespread in red states and will likely become federal law with Project 2025.

The United States is becoming a nation where parents' right to keep their kids stupid and bigoted is more important than children's right to learn. And if that isn't a sign of collapse I don't know what is.

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