April 30, 2016

Russian Warplane Flies in 'Unsafe' Manner Near U.S. Aircraft The start of the War With Russia, or maybe just revenge for "Top Gun".
"Of course, we know that humans are political, but we still often assume that our political actions come from thinking about beliefs and desires. Even in election season we assume that voters figure out who will enact the policies they want, and we're surprised when it turns out that they care more about who belongs to their group or who is the top dog. "
--Alison Gopnik, in an Atlantic review Frans de Waal's "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?"
Nice debut for BABAM! - the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, a loose affiliation of like minded players from various bands for last minute but worthy events and big umbrella gatherings.... today we supported the rally to get Somerville's Retirement fund divested from fossil fuels - a real loser investment these days no matter how you slice it.

(I was having a water bottle crisis where it somehow flooded by hip pack... I gotta stop carrying stuff during gigs :-)

April 29, 2016

Crying isn't sadness; it happens because an emotion is too big for your body.
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Bai had gone into the kitchen with a six-pack and now he came back into the living room holding one beer. It was like the opposite of a miracle.
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"'There are no refunds. That's the point of the game.' I should have bought two."
(The game in question has half-dead aliens wanting refunds from the gatekeeper to the afterlife... "Should have bought two" is an alien expression that kind of combines "buyer beware" and "have your cake and eat it too")
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"Don't be a guy who feels bad. Nobody ever knows what to do. Our life-task is to decide what to do."
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I dropped a leaf into a hole
And you dropped me in turn. I found
That gravity reversed its pull
And through the sky was solid ground.
We drop, are dropped, and each to each
It's what we do, it's not profound.
And if a hole is out of reach
We take a longer way around.
We fall in all directions. Some
Find lucky landings, higher ground.
I wait, instead, for help to come
And some of us are never found.

I left a message in the ice:
The time, the distance and the price.

Advertising copy for the Ip Shkoy computer game The Long Way Around poss. written by Af be Hui Translated into English verse by Dr. Linda Blum and Dr. Tetsuo Milk
(The game in question is about a stranded astronaut trying to return home.)
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"It wouldn't be the first time the power of love was responsible for a whole lot of bullshit."
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"A static document is a fossil of thought."

--These were some passages I really liked on rereading Leonard Richardson's "Constellation Games". Man, I wish I knew how to get this book the attention "Ready Player One" gets... it's orders of magnitude superior.

April 28, 2016

Here is a post generator and here are some interesting posts from it

"the difference between crows and ravens is that crows romanticize sin"
Skepticism on the Rise Worldwide. I have no intention of becoming a strident atheist, or even a militant agnostic ("we don't know the answer to these things... AND NEITHER DO YOU") but still, I would think that the sheer number of faiths and beliefs would give fundamentalist "we have an exclusive line to The Truth" thinking pause. But the whole disastrous mess of fundamentalism isn't prone to that kind of thoughtful reflection or self-doubt.

(And people dig-in, and can become more and more entrenched in an individual as the years go by. I mean, who'd want to accept that they'd invested so much of their life in something that wasn't true? So let's double down on faith -- sunk cost fallacy meets pascal's wager.)

April 27, 2016

"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us."
-- John Culkin (paraphrasing Marshall McLuhan)

April 26, 2016

Kids and Crafts. As an uncle with show-off tendencies and decades of doodling it can be a challenge to find the right balance co-creating with kids. I want to foster their creativity, show them the joy of amateur creation by example... but it's hard to conceptualize the challenges they face, and I don't want them to be frustrated with their skillset. In the same way it's weird when a toddler is at an age where you can have a mini-conversation with them about the state of their diaper, the way "coloring in the lines" is a developmental milestone and the stages of drawing they go through defies simplified cognitive models - it's hard to get your mind into that lack of hand-eye coordination.

I think of Sedaris' hilarious "Front Row Center With Thaddeus Bristol" - - where a professional theater critic brings his full guns to bear on a local elementary school Christmas Pageant. Or, worse, that real life story of a kid whose musical ambitions were quashed by a father who would almost throw her off the piano stool to show how he could do it better.

It takes mindfulness to find a decent balance: having fun making stuff with the kid, not blatantly condescending in terms of artistic level but not overwhelming them with tricks I've picked up over 4 decades, and also praising their effort and not intrinsic ability-- trying to keep them away from fixed mindset! (Maybe it helps to keep in mind how mediocre my attempts to draw real-life things are... I'm not half the cartoonist I'd like to be.
My new favorite black ink pen. I really have developed a preference for thick lines ala "Bold"/10mm.
Why So Many Smart People Aren't Happy