kisrael.com | archive | last weeks
2015.01.30

  ...of the moment  
Be sure to hit unmute!

So currently one of my big takeaways from "Thinking, Fast and Slow" is this: everything in life is harder than we expect, but we have to do it anyway to get anywhere. Even if we wouldn't if we knew how hard it was going to be.

2015.01.29

  ...of the moment  
"It's only a mistake if you don't learn from it."
--Cary Elwes' Father
"My entire work as a computer expert consists of adding to the data, the cross-referencing, the criteria of rational decision-making. It has no meaning . To tell the truth, it is even negative up to a point; a useless encumbering of the neurons. This world has need of many things, bar more information."
--Michel Houellebecq, "Whatever"
"Cognition is embodied; you think with your body, not only with your brain."
--Daniel Kahneman, "Thinking, Fast and Slow"

2015.01.28

  ...of the moment  
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/magazine/tom-brady-cannot-stop.html - big Brady writeup in NY Times magazine
Whoa, on a whim added a bit of tabasco to my usual 100 calorie kettle corn minibag, shaking well. That is pretty good!

2015.01.27

  ...of the moment  
Snow measured in dogs, excellent.

Dear Washington Post:

Your usage of "wicked" as an adjective ("Wicked Storm") is incorrect. In the New England vernacular, "Wicked" is generally only used as adverb modifying some other descriptor (e.g. "Wicked bad cold" or more an exclamation such as "That's wicked cool!"). Used directly as an adjective, "wicked" resorts to its more common meaning (e.g. "Your wicked ways")

The expression you were looking for was "Wicked Big Storm".

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Smooches,
Kirk
I set out to talk about my Atari 2600 programming weekend on my devblog, but got distracted talking about my 2002-2004 Atari project JoustPong. Reading the game's own development blog, I'm struck by how many challenges I overcame to get the thing produced - and also the poignancy of how those dates (not quite coincidentally) correspond to the bookends of my marriage.

2015.01.26

  ...of the moment  
In 2008 I went to Japan, and sent this postcard to the folks at work, customized with a funny speech balloon. (Well, funny for engineers on the scrum team anyway.) My company recently acquired Nexage, where a bunch of people from my old job wound up, and Steve Katz showed me it, apparently one of his favorite bits of office decoration...

Went to the grocery and packie, stocked up on Guinness and Clementines. That and a bit of milk is all you need, nutritionally speaking! Though maybe some metamucil if you planned to make such a low-fiber time of it.

loaded4bear
2015.01.25
The fruit of my weekend at GGJ, an original Atari 2600 game: See the Game Home Page

My teammates were cool, the music was GREAT, and the cover art was kind of brilliant:

2015.01.24

  ...of the moment  
Trudging to Alewife through the snow, I saw and heard a small flock of geese fly one way and then the other. They seemed lost.
"Unrestrained randomness would make your games impossible to play, so you need to control it."
--from the Batari BASIC instructions

2015.01.23

  ...of the moment  
Getting through more of "Thinking, Fast and Slow" (took a short break for another quick read, it was getting to be a slog.)

While I think I get the idea of "Regression to the Mean" and in the prevalence of chance across the performances of members of a given population, I think it might be too easy to take away unhelpful life lessons from this, to take on a defeatist "well it's all chance anyway."
A quora right up my objective/subjective alley, What's the biggest difference between your culture and America's?

2015.01.22

  ...of the moment  
"Made a graph of my past relationships. I have an ex axis and a why axis"
--Yik Yak, via tumblr.
Belichick, the comic book villain America needs.
The Road To Armageddon(2004) A point I've made before, but a bit more so recently: in save the world movies, an easy way to know who's the Bad Guys is they're the ones trying to bring about the end of the world. I think the same holds true for real life.

Dispensationalism, especially the "pre-millennialist"/Left-Behind variety ("Get Out Of Revelation Free, man it's gonna suck down here, I pity the rest of you suckas, shoulda repented when you had the chance!") is just horrible. It's one of those stories told to young Christian kids to calm them down when they learn enough about Revelation to freak the hell out ("O, surely God loves US to much to let all this bad stuff happen to US") but when their church isn't sophisticated enough to see Revelation as pretty clearly describing then current-day-Rome, and a metaphorical description of spiritual battle rather than as true life events, but instead say it has just enough poetry to see military helicopters as plagues of locusts or what not.

2015.01.21

  ...of the moment  
Wondering if I should switch back to paper books. Mostly because of the concept of worst retention etc with e-texts. Also paper books are great because you can put them on a shelf and look smart and easily lend them, but terrible because you have to put them on a shelf.

Sometimes I think keeping such close track of my book consumption year after year isn't a great thing, that I'm more biased towards activities I've quantified/gamified that way vs, say, coding (for recreational or self-education purposes)
O jeez is there any way to remove the [Username] button from the top right of the new version of chrome? It's like having your mom sew your name into your underwear.
I do think satire is a good weapon against ISIS propaganda.

just listen. with your heart.
2015.01.20
My drummer friend Tom says "Just listen. With your heart."

  ...of the moment  
"I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I'll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else."

"Or brains even?"

"Oh gosh, yes, brains is one of the least. You can be a lovely person without brains, absolutely lovely. Kindness - that simple word. To be kind - it covers everything, to my mind. If you're kind that's it."
--Roald Dahl (and Brian Sibley)
I kind of dig "Do Your Job" as this year's Patriots' slogan. (There's also "We're on to [Team City Name]" which is important as well).

It seems like a lot of successful teams have a kind of theme, like "The Idiots" for The Red Sox, which one a year after "Cowboy Up" didn't quite get it done.

I wonder if the Seahawks have something like that this year, besides their usual "12th Man" shtick and this year a lot of talk about God and the usual "everyone doubted us" BS talk.

2015.01.19

  ...of the moment  

I can't figure out if it's effective or the other bird is just like "whatever dude, I don't want to get involved."
Trying to fight a bad case of post-stomach-bug angst and ennui by taking down the Christmas Decorations and generally improving the Feng Shui of my sleeping and work/entertainment areas. I think the number one thing is putting my bed (a decent-ish IKEA daybed) back to twin-bed size mode; at double size it's too big for the space. Also hanging up some languishing art and getting stuff ready to move out to thrift donations.

Kind of enjoying the mindlessness of sports radio. It's kinda like an audio version of Mac+Cheese comfort food.

2015.01.18

  ...of the moment  
"Scariest phrase in the English language: 'In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Scalia...'"
--http://twitter.com/sarahlicity
Damon Linker:
Liberalism offers the following deal to individuals and groups: give up the hope of controlling the whole of social life, of using government power (and violence) to enforce your vision of the highest good, and allow the natural pluralism of society to grow and flourish; in return you'll be granted the freedom to find a home within that highly differentiated socio-cultural ecosystem, a place where you and those with whom you freely choose to associate can also grow and flourish in peace.

Tolerate -- and you will be tolerated in turn.

That's the liberal bargain. It is one of the finest achievements of Western civilization, and one of its greatest gifts to humanity in all times and places -- nothing less than an all-purpose strategy for getting along despite our often rancorous disagreements about the highest good and ultimate ends of life.

Muslims who admire (let alone who go to fight for) the Islamic State, or who favor a form of sharia law that would make apostasy a crime punishable by death, have effectively rejected the liberal bargain and opted to exile themselves from liberal civilization.

And therein lies the challenge confronting the liberal West.
--from Can Islam ever make peace with liberalism?. It's interesting to think about the differences between the US and Europe in their relations to their Moslem populations.
I refuse to read the Superbowl XLIX as anything but "X-Licks".

I always think postseason Win/Loss records are kind of wonky, because the postseason is 1 and done, so you actually get fewer opportunities to lose, so to speak.

2015.01.17

  ...of the moment  
Sometimes the answer to a number of web design questions is "well what is company X doing?" -- the assumption being that these are smart companies who might even be doing A/B testing with a lot of thought and metrics. So following FB's lead, it's a decent practice to request a web browser at least 1400 pixels across to show everything? To me that implies they think people tend to run FB maximized, or at about that width - relatively few screens are near double that.

Of course, there was a quiet revolution in the 2000s that tended to abstract literal pixel resolution from what every program feels it's working with. Compared to some early attempts in the first half of that decade, the results are astonishingly transparent to users and developers alike.