zlatiah avatar



Honestly I don't know who I am either.
I'm also on Firefish: @zlatiah

Wanting to move out of the US?

Hello, all! Longtime lurker on Reddit and now on Lemmy. I’ve tried looking into getting out of the US as things aren’t looking too great as I’m sure many of you know, but wanted some tips from those of us who have gotten out. Where did you decide to move to, and what were the things you looked at when deciding to move...

zlatiah avatar

I'm sorry OP I couldn't answer your questions directly since I am in a same boat, so I can only share my experience trying to get there... Maybe some of this would be useful

Where did you decide to move to, and what were the things you looked at when deciding to move there?

So the only immigration-friendly countries I can find are Canada, Australia, and Germany. Not a big list to begin with, but for US citizens there might be more options with other EU countries. Canada has... issues, someone else in the thread mentioned about their experiences. Australia apparently is closing its doors. Sweden used to be fine but I heard things went really South for them a few months ago.

And if you're a lurker on Reddit you probably know r/IWantOut? Country-specific wise I know r/Germany has a phenomenal wiki for their stuff, and Canada has r/immigrationcanada. Unfortunately a lot of good information is still on Reddit so yeah

Other countries... I don't think Asian countries do much immigration at all, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe some EU countries are fine depending on heritage and/or where you are from. I have no idea what's going on in Africa, if anyone knows something plz let me know.

Where can I start? How can I realistically make it happen?

For your privacy plz don't answer in this thread, but 1) how old are you, 2) what type of education do you have, and 3) what type of work do you do? Having a college education and an in-demand career goes a long way, although this is also country-dependent. And yeah under many circumstances your employer could help you with the process. Certain parts of Canada and Germany obviously have language requirements, but a lot of other countries accept English. I heard some places allow investment-based immigration, but 1) it's expensive AF and 2) not sure if countries that allow this plan are remotely desirable for US citizens...

Also side note: please DO NOT give up US citizenship unless you have a really good reason to / already have something in your bag. I'm not a citizen here, and most US citizens have no idea how excruciating it is to immigrate to this country

zlatiah avatar

Maybe try looking up info from governmental websites first? A lot of countries (not US, cough cough) seem to have fairly straightforward immigration guidelines, so they'd probably write up what types of person they are looking for & the standard procedures

Old Reddit posts could be second

And... depending on the country, for some places it may be better to just DIY, some places having a lawyer might be extra helpful

zlatiah avatar

Immigration-specific groups. Not in a major way like completely shutting down immigration or install a per-country cap or something. Since Australia does skill-based immigration, my understanding is that they are limiting the types of ppl they allow in. I'd love to be proven wrong though, if I'm not right plz correct me

zlatiah, (edited )
zlatiah avatar

Interesting question...

As an overall answer: humans are incredibly adaptable, so as a person living in the US, it almost never subjectively feels bad. For goodness' sake, I knew people who lived in Chicago's Hyde Park (one of the most dangerous neighborhoods) and happily biked to work. I personally lived in what people would describe as a "hood" and a "third-world country" for a good year and a half, and honestly felt really safe over there. Because of this, I honestly don't think anyone can give an objective answer solely from their living experiences.

Objectively, the US is a developed country and is not terrible, but regarding your specific points:

  1. Yes, the government passed shitty laws, and chose to not pass a lot of not-shitty laws.
  2. Yes, there are more mass shootings than the country should have. I'm not going to say why.
  3. Insured healthcare isn't expensive (correction: some stuff are still too expensive even after insurance). However, uninsured healthcare is incredibly expensive, and unfortunately people without employment/self-employed have to purchase their own insurance... which is also stupidly expensive. Also, a lot of things that should be insured aren't.
  4. The different states are certainly different. US politics is very polarized, so heavy-blue and heavy-red states are quite different in their approaches to... many things in life. Whether they are good or bad is up to you.

I mean, people living in Switzerland complain about their countries all the time, even though almost everyone else in the world envy the way they live... so it is possible that some might be a bit overblown.

zlatiah avatar

ELI5 about the Chinese real estate market in general? This is how they got to where they are today:

  • Investing in China sucks. The stock market is extremely volatile and there seem to be a lot of shady activities, banks get bank runs so you couldn't even put too much money in banks, etc
  • In contrast, real estate is heavily subsidized by China's state capitalistic approach, so it became a really "stable" investment... because government subsidized it
  • Because of this, everyone buys or want to buy real estate in China. In fact, people are willing to buy places that would almost never be lived in, because of possibility of appreciation... so we're approaching NFT-level bullshit here
  • Additional point: because of the above point, Chinese investors would buy real estate even when abroad & the RE market is not nearly as favorable. Obviously this causes some frictions... like a good chunk of Canadian citizen blaming Chinese ppl on raising home prices
  • Chinese economy is now facing hardship, so the real estate bubble is finally showing signs of leakage in the past few years

I am not an economist and cannot offer insight as to whether this would turn into an 2008 moment... Nevertheless, I am aware that Soho is an extremely well-known developer, and that the Chinese economy is to a large extent built on top of real estate. And despite how much I dislike China, it is one of the world's largest economies, and large economies don't just go belly-up without inflicting heavy damage on the whole world... So this is not good news by any means.

zlatiah avatar

Hey OP, I am similar to you in most aspects but I'm a lot younger, so please take it with a grain of salt...

I also live in Texas, and honestly I thought a lot of less privileged folks or ppl with family ties would love to be in your situation and just leave? It's not just about politics. Even if tomorrow Texas becomes a liberal stronghold, it will still take possibly at least a decade to fix ERCOT, the climate issue, and flooding issues (if you live in Houston)... This clusterfrick alone was enough to prompt me to never live in Texas again once I'm done with grad school

Besides, my understanding is that there are a few left-leaning metro areas which have suburbs (or live in the city!) that don't cost that much more to live in compared to mid-/upper-mid-class TX suburbs, so there's probably no financial disincentive to move either

zlatiah avatar

Second this. Also link to relevant Cory Doctorow article for those interested: https://pluralistic.net/2023/05/17/free-as-in-freefile/

Personally, last year my taxes were somewhat complex, but I filed my taxes using the fillable electronic forms alone anyways; IRS actually nicely corrected mistakes I made on the tax form and sent me back a check... For most ppl you can probably just go to a random free provider as suggested by the IRS.

No need to use TurboTax for anything unless tax situation is super complex & you can't/don't want to read the IRS instructions

zlatiah avatar

For god's sake temperatures above 40 Celsius are dangerous and claims like this will literally kill some people... But again, after everything happening in the last 3-4 years it's hard to imagine conservatives putting other folks' health and safety as a priority

zlatiah avatar

Oh boy it's my time to shine!

I'm working in aging right now. Heard of Dr. David Sinclair since he was the corresponding author on a paper I was curious about... So this is what his lab is doing.

Two important disclaimers:

  • Success in cellular research rarely translates to something viable in the clinic. A lot of chemicals don't behave the same way in cells as in actual animals or humans. Heck, a good number of phase 2 drugs even fail, and these haven't even made it into phase 1... so I wouldn't be too optimistic about them.
  • The journal Aging is not the most prestigious journal especially for someone working at Harvard Medical School (HMS) to be honest. I'd be more excited if this was published in Nature Aging or Nature Communications or something. If this ever gets published in New England Journal of Medicine (a very prestigious journal only for clinical studies) then we have some news.

The link between cell senescence and aging is something actively being studied tho.

And, if anyone is curious about this topic: I'm also very actively following Dr. Vadim Gladyshev who is also from HMS and is working in aging, I believe he is doing some wet lab-biology on a similar area as well. Feels like his research is sometimes a bit ahead of his time but I think his work has great potential.

zlatiah avatar

Ah... so you're specifically mentioning about the news article in question?

If you repay the loan, [your NFT token] comes back home. If not, [the token] gets a new owner. Simple as that!

I guess this explains everything... Probably just ppl hustling each other lol. And I assume given what types of shady characters are into NFTs, there are probably a lot of them who want to hustle another person out of some cash

zlatiah avatar

I wouldn't be surprised if someone does. I mean banks also just shuffle money around and guess who has a bunch of cash lying on hand so... Goes back to the gold rush era, but there are folks who mine the gold and folks who mine the miners

Also some tech companies can be at a loss for years but run on VC money

So... I don't know, but again I wouldn't be surprised if they are making something to keep this nonsense going

zlatiah avatar

I daily-drive Organic Maps, works very well, uses pre-downloaded maps, & allows OSM contribution. Ofc it's reliant on OSM so may not work perfectly depending on the location

zlatiah avatar

Tried it myself with hardened Firefox, can confirm that's the case. It's even worse, my first search is "getting run over"...

Probably says more about the type of ppl frequenting YouTube than YT doing some shady stuff. Which honestly sounds more dystopian to me

P.S. Just realized youtube.com blocks Tor Browser, not cool Ytb.

zlatiah avatar

mailbox.org and skiff are „too expensive“ with 3€/month.

Ah... I do use mailbox.org and I've self-hosted with docker-mailserver before.

I agree, selfhosting mail is a really big pain, and at least where I live most ISPs don't open the ports necessary for mailservers, so I had to spin up my own server & it was more expensive than just using a mail provider. Could potentially be the cheapest option if I could host it from home & just use a RasPi or something

I'm happy with mailbox.org; the Standard Tier price is 2.50 Euro/mo if paid in full if that helps. Probably not the cheapest option especially since it's not unlimited, but they do allow domain matches at Standard tier or above, and there are other goodies like calendar/video conferencing/cloud storage & stuff.

zlatiah avatar

Ohhh so that's why... So the rice actually does do something? But I think the marketer who designed this needs to be sent back to high school to retake biology or sth

zlatiah, (edited )
zlatiah avatar

Thanks! Wowzers I've never heard of Nature Food, didn't realize this journal had such a high impact factor. A few things of interest to me from the article...

  • Vegans are one standard deviation younger than heavy-meat-eaters and eat fewer calories... although they should have adjusted for the difference
  • This didn't show on the fancy Monte Carlo simulation they did, but vegans emit much, MUCH less methane than any other group
  • Literally any group is significantly better than heavy meat-eaters, especially low meat-eaters or below

The questionnaire they used to determine categories:

  • Do you eat any meat (including bacon, ham, poultry, game, meat pies, sausages)? (Vegans, vegetarians and fish-eaters respond ‘No’.)
  • Do you eat any fish? (Vegans and vegetarians respond ‘No’.)
  • Do you eat any eggs (including eggs in cakes or other baked goods)? (Vegans respond ‘No’.)
  • Do you eat any dairy products (including milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt)? (Vegans respond ‘No’.)
    And meat-eaters are divided by grams of meat eaten per day: <50 g/d, 50-100 g/d, >100 g/d. Apparently one patty from McDonald's (Big Mac has two) is like 45 grams of beef so...

I mean the conclusions aren't anything surprising, cows are literally one of the major sources of environmental damage... But it does provide some way moving forward I suppose. I suspect banning steakhouses would have a much better impact than forcing everyone to be vegan lol

zlatiah avatar

Great article... Pharmaceuticals is interesting since the needs of corporations functioning under capitalism and their customers disconnect a lot

  • Making effective drugs is mad expensive (billions of USD), so companies are strongly incentivized to squeeze as much profit as possible everywhere on top of the already bad enough corporate greed levels
  • Thanks to patents, new drugs are almost always monopolies, so the pharma who makes the drug can charge (almost) as much as they want and make a lot
  • Whereas making drugs without patents is not profitable as the article suggested... so these are done mostly by factories based in India and other not fully developed countries
  • Funnily enough most ppl need cheaper generic drugs, not the ones most pharma companies are innovating and will make mad profits from
  • And for the people mentioned above, pharmaceuticals are basically a need not a luxury, but somehow it's dependent on the ebbs and flows of free market capitalism

My unhinged opinion is... Most of the pharmaceuticals research are done by (mostly) publicly-funded research labs anyways... so might as well just let the government do something about this? I wouldn't be surprised if some folks in academia wouldn't mind moonlighting as CEO at a nonprofit drug manufacturer or sth

zlatiah avatar

I hope so too! I'm self-hosting Calckey via docker right now, and having one ready-to-go docker was something I found quite nice with Calckey. I hope this continues to be the case with Firefish

zlatiah avatar

Calckey is a Misskey (https://misskey.io/) fork, hence the name. Misskey is an extremely popular fediverse microblogging service from Japan with a lot of functionalities that Mastodon doesn't have (quote toot, emoji react, ...), in fact if you follow any Japanese accounts on Mastodon there is a good chance they are using Misskey instead

Basically Calckey diverged enough from Misskey (and I suspect Kainoa didn't like the name) that they agreed to rebrand. Kind of a big deal tbh

zlatiah avatar

I don't know all the differences since I didn't write code for the project so... here are the contributors' own words: https://codeberg.org/firefish/firefish/src/branch/develop/FIREFISH.md

With the way the world's going, is there even a point to anything anymore?

Climate is fucked, animals continue to go extinct even more, our money will be worth nothing the coming years… What motivation do I even have to care to keep going? The world is ran and basically owned by corrupt rich people, there’s poverty, war, etc. It makes me sick to my stomach the way to world is. So I ask, why bother...

zlatiah avatar

(insert astronaut meme) never has been

Jokes aside... This is my personal philosophy & probably won't align with everyone's. As someone who started science quite young, I realized quite early that beyond societal issues, literally nothing is "meaningful"... If Earth itself will be gone in a few billion years, might as well practice some optimistic nihilism and do some stuff with whatever life I have. There's still stuff to do even if society doesn't prioritize ppl like me

zlatiah avatar

Daily drive Gnentoo, not sure if I could ever wholeheartedly recommend it since it's not really accessible for beginners...

If I need a VM I'd probably spin up an Arch or Alpine since they are relatively minimal & are not that difficult to set up once you're familiar with stuff (well Arch is one-command setup now). For servers... pretty much Debian always since that's what everyone supports

Stability-wise... I guess it depends on what type of "stability" I want? If I meant stability by having stable programming environments then it's not compatible with having new updates, Debian probably would be best for that. If I meant stability by the system not breaking too often, then most rolling release distros are probably fine? Arch/Gentoo have a lot more room for user error which is probably where most of the instability comes from, but otherwise they typically don't have too many issues I believe. Fedora is great but there's been some issue with RHEL going close-source, so I guess some ppl won't want to support that endeavor

Has anyone used or contributed to OpenStreetMap?

I’ve tried using it over the years but I never liked it because there was no information. So last night I looked at my local city and there is almost no information at all. I spent a few hours last night adding buildings and restaurants and removing incorrect items. It was actually kind of fun and therapeutic and I plan to do...

zlatiah avatar

Yes and yes! Couldn't contribute that much but I try to

I think having a highly important FOSS project that is not controlled by a company known for shutting down many of its beloved products (I'm talking about you Google) is pretty nice...

Also I think map quality is location-dependent. I live in a large metropolitan area in Southern US; OSM is usable, but there are no house/building numbers, and a good number of businesses are missing. In contrast I think the map is a lot better in Chicago which is a lot more pedestrian-friendly? Also, when I looked at Germany it seems OSM is on-par or better than Google Maps... in fact one of the larger rental websites use OSM instead of Google Maps (imagine Zillow doing it in US lol)

zlatiah avatar

Nope, just native kbin.social. Firefox almost never crashes on any other occasions either, so it's probably just my issue then, I'll have to look into this

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