Eating Disorder Helpline Fires Staff, Transitions to Chatbot After Unionization

Perfectly normal, non-dystopian timeline.

NEDA, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to eating disorders, has had a helpline for the last twenty years that provided support to hundreds of thousands of people via chat, phone call, and text. [...]

"We asked for adequate staffing and ongoing training to keep up with our changing and growing Helpline, and opportunities for promotion to grow within NEDA. We didn't even ask for more money," Harper wrote. "When NEDA refused [to recognize our union], we filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board and won on March 17. Then, four days after our election results were certified, all four of us were told we were being let go and replaced by a chatbot."

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Em like a boss

End of an era: I was issued a new ATM card and the new one no longer has raised letters, and that makes me surprisingly sad. They are denying me the possibility of having my card swiped by a clacky carbon-paper roller machine. BUT WHAT IF!! I can still hear the sound of it.

When I was trying to figure out how to print the DNA Lounge Patreon cards, I tried to find a machine that could do embossing like this at any kind of scale, and it was not practical.

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And now, a rant about subtitles! There are many like it but this one is mine.

Give a listen to the clip to the right, from the opening-ish scene of some movie I fell asleep to last night.

I have become one of those people who watches movies with subittles on, and not because I am old and am losing my hearing (I am old, but my hearing seems fine!) but because the sound design in modern films is shit (and everyone knows this). Anyway, this leads to having my senses assaulted by subtitles like this:

    [ suspenseful music ]
    [ light dramatic music ]
    [ suspenseful music ]

Is there anyone who is helped by captions like this?

I can understand when a show, in the midst of a dramatic heist scene, might choose to interject within the dialog subtitles something like [ Never Gonna Give You Up continues playing ] -- that detail might actually contribute to one's understanding of the scene. Or it might be contractually required by the product placement payola.

And I can also understand when there's a scene when two characters are angrily and silently staring at each other while subtitles relate [ Put this pussy right in your face, swipe your nose like a credit card ] because that's the song the producer bought for the club scene they're in -- and if you were hearing this movie, that's the song that would be distracting you from the acting right now. So that's arguably necessary to give you equivalency of experience.

But when they do this "suspenseful music continues" crap -- when they try to tell you the "emotional content" of some stock pabulum classical soundtrack nonsense -- is there any hearing-impaired person in the world who finds their understanding of the film even remotely enhanced by this?

I feel like these subtitles might as well read:

    [ **TK** rip off Danny Elfman or John Williams here ]
or maybe
    [ Look, we couldn't afford Graeme Revell so we found this royalty-free thing on YouTube ]

Later in the same movie:

    [ speaking foreign language ]
    [ man sighs ]

Reader, the "foreign language" he was speaking was Spanish.

I mean, I can accept [ sighs in spanish ] because that's a joke, but there is no excuse, ever, for "speaks foreign language" unless it's like, Klingon, but wait, no, NOT EVEN IF IT IS LITERALLY KLINGON. Seriously, some motherfucker is speaking Spanish and you're giving me [ speaks foreign language ], after you went all-in to caption your royalty-free stock soundtrack bullshit as [ suspenseful yet slightly more upbeat music continues ]?

Stares into camera and [ gestures wildly at subtitle ].

Previously, previously.

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