September 30, 2016

--from A Quick Perspective, a really cool series of photos and videos. This is the largest oil tanker ever produced placed in the main lake in Central Park.

September 29, 2016

Lifehack: worried your view of time is getting too quantitative, with nothing but digital clockfaces in your life? And use a Mac? Set the clockface to Analog for a while.

September 28, 2016

Barking Up The Wrong Tree continues to be one of the best weekly newsletters I get. Sunday's entry, with its emphasis on classical Stoicism and its emphasis on identifying what's out of our control is especially timely in this election season - there's lots of other good stuff in that entry too.

The mushy area for Stoicism has always those spaces that are neither under our control nor 100% out of our control. Say with democracy, how our vote matters, but not very much (and even less if you're in a stalwart red or blue state) or our smallish political donations, or activities like volunteering - it's a fine line staying motivated when our contributions are so limited and all you have is the "Categorical Imperative" of saying I should act in a way that I think it would be better if everyone acted that way.

I'm not saying I think Trump isn't dangerous, and that between the economy, the courts, and the military, there's a lot of peril. And I also acknowledge that I can speak from a place of economic and racial privilege, where a large chain of things would have to go wrong for me to be really hosed, and not everyone shares that shielding. But I'm thinking that many of my friends here (and it's funny how FB sometimes becomes a thousand preachers preaching to 998 choir folk, with just those 2 choir folk there keeping things heated) are in similar circumstances. Finding that balance of "this matters" with "this is out of my control and might end up in a way I think is terrible" and "I will probably muddle through anyway"... it's tough.

I'm almost as worried about the emotional health of many of my friends and loved ones than the circumstances of a negative outcome to this election. Some of that is justifiable, and I don't want to completely downplay it, but it's so easy to get wrapped up in this kind of tribalism thinking. I guess I find some cold preemptive comfort with a few friends I have who are fretting the other way, who think Hillary and/or the establishment is bad/bad/bad and that despite the known unknowns of letting a reckless populist egomaniac in the whitehouse, it'll work itself out. I think they're wrong, wrong enough that I'm fighting for Hillary, but I take comfort in how the country has survived lots of gruesome ugly political idiots before, and all of our perspective is distorted through the echo chamber media and the difficulty of know what political life was like in the last two centuries.

September 27, 2016

Blast from the past... (2000)

"Just the image of Mega Man standing [...] there's a sadness to it. Even his sprite has a certain gravity and seriousness to it [...]. When I see a young child playing alone, in a park or in the middle of the street, playing by himself [...] there's something so sad about that sight, it can almost bring me to tears. And there's something similarly lonely about Mega Man [...]. In the backstory I wrote, Mega Man alone is equipped with the functionality to turn himself off. That very fact imbues him with a sadness. The other robot masters were made for some kind of specific job or work, so there's no need for them to have an "off switch" they can control. However, a robot helper like Mega Man can make his own judgments, and therefore can decide whether he's needed or not [...]. The sadness of being a robot is having this inorganic existence."
--Akira Kitamura, original creator of Mega Man, quoted in the most recent issue in "Boss Fight Books", "Mega Man 3" by Salvatore Pane

September 26, 2016

Thoughts about Romeo and Juliet. It's a *lot* more complex than "wait, just two kids whose dumb romance gets everyone killed".
"when you push a pull door and the person behind says 'you need to pull' aye cheers lad sure next plan was to start lifting from the bottom"
-- Why does everything sound better written in UK English?
Pretty darn fine rebuttal to "male privilege doesn't exist" misthink.