Kirk Israel's commonplace and blog. Quotes and links daily since 2001.
For an anti-racism reading group I'm reading Sonya Renee Taylor's "The Body is Not An Apology". I've just started it but one related idea I've heard recently is trying to replace "body positivity" with "body neutrality". You don't have to foster adoration for stretch mark or your height or whatever, you just have to understand that these kind of aspects don't have to define someone as a person.

It's too bad "It is what it is" has become such a trite cliché of the reality television set, because I think its calm refusal to sort into emotionally engaged wonderful/awful (with its tacit "yeah, this situation probably isn't my first choice" living in its meta-level) is a useful tool. As far as trite pop catchphrases go it's probably better than "It's all good!" which requires a bit more self-deception or spin to be consistently true.)

Thinking on the subject reminded me of a quip I made years ago - I've been trying to note when I remember early, nascent forms of my current philosophical stances - and I looked it up in my blog:



One of my favorite tags on my blog is /tag/aim, (mostly) bits from the old AOL Instant Messenger days. For a while I assumed it was mostly nostalgia that made me think "damn, we were funnier then" (or maybe just being a bit younger and more quick-witted after all!) but you know? The modern "equivalents" of AIM - SMS/WhatsApp etc... most of them are phone based. And it's much more challenging to get banter going between people tapping into their screens than with two competent typists!
July 23, 2021
The common shorthand in psychology circles for the tension between emotion and cognition--between what we feel and what we think--is to use the Star Trek characters of Captain Kirk and Officer Spock. Kirk is all heart, a man of intense and compelling emotions. He's fire. By contrast, Spock, that lovable, pointy-eared half human half Vulcan, is all head; he's a cerebral problem solver unencumbered by the distractions of feelings. He's ice.

The key to avoid rumination is to combine the two Starship Enterprise crew members. When supporting others, we need to offer the comfort of Kirk and the intellect of Spock.
Ethan Kross, Chatter.
This book on our internal voices was more self-help than philosophical, but still pretty decent. I think I was most interested in his advice on advising others. He goes into say how listening to others but ONLY empathizing with their negative feelings can reinforce their own negative chatter. Learning to subtly reframe and contextualize a negative experience, without denying the validity of what they're saying, is a delicate operation!

I probably need some less heavy-handed ramp up to "well, it's all the heat death at the end of the universe anyway, and this problem clearly doesn't rise to that level, so why worry about it?"

I would say, I think the more interesting analysis of old Star Trek is not a duality but tripartite: Spock as Brain, McCoy as Heart, Kirk as mediating Guts and Spirit.
Lego GBC - beautiful engineering just to shove tiny Lego basketballs and soccer balls around.
something I don't think occurs to settlers is that Indigenous people already are living in a post-apocalyptic world

So when YOU sew a bunch of unmatched parts together, it is "a quilt" and "a beautiful gift" and "will assuredly become a family heirloom" but when I sew a bunch of unmatched parts together it is "A MONSTER" and "AN ABOMINATION, AN AFFRONT TO THE GODS" and goes on "A MURDEROUS KILLING SPREE."
Evilsupplyco

Link to spread: Doctors having to tell patients coming down begging for a vaccine as they are coming down with COVID: I'm Sorry, But It's Too Late.

Heh, put like that it reminds me of the end of the world vision some Fundamentalists Christians paint for the end of the world, with repentant sinners pleading for mercy it is too late for.
"I try to be very non-judgmental when I'm getting a new COVID patient that's unvaccinated, but I really just started asking them, 'Why haven't you gotten the vaccine?' And I'll just ask it point blank, in the least judgmental way possible," she said. "And most of them, they're very honest, they give me answers. 'I talked to this person, I saw this thing on Facebook, I got this email, I saw this on the news,' you know, these are all the reasons that I didn't get vaccinated.

"And the one question that I always ask them is, did you make an appointment with your primary care doctor and ask them for their opinion on whether or not you should receive the vaccine? And so far, nobody has answered yes to that question."

Arabic has words for many modes of camelness though looking at it, it feels like German, where compound words are doing a lot of the work that other languages might use a few words for.
When I think about like, "Yeah I did this." You know, "I'm so great. I had 30, I had 25-10-10," or whatever the case might be. Because you're going to think about that ... Usually the next day you're going to suck. Simple as that. Like, the next few days you're going to be terrible. And I figured out a mindset to have that, when you focus on the past, that's your ego: "I did this in the past. I won that in the past."

And when I focus on the future, it's my pride. "Yeah, the next game, Game 5, I'll do this and this and this. I'm going to dominate." That's your pride talking. Like, it doesn't happen. You're right here. I try and focus in the moment. In the present. And that's humility. That's being humble. That's not setting no expectations. That's going out there and enjoying the game. Competing at a high level. I've had people throughout my life who have helped me with that. But that's a skill that I've tried to, like, how do you say? Perfect it. Yeah, master it. It's been working so far, so I'm not going to stop.
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Congratulations to Antetokounmpo and the Bucks! By all accounts an amazing player and person (if a little too fond of Chick-fil-A for liberals' liking) And he's right, it's great when anchoring the hometown team instead of going to join a superstar squad is great.
FB "this day" (7 years ago, 2014) came up with this shot.

I have other shots with a similar bell decoration, but usually with blue tape. (Tape-on-bell is more classic than my current use of covers, but of course hard to change between bands.)
Yesterday I spent too much time fiddling with the "game setup" in my office.

For my first 3 months here I've been living a lie: there's a TV in the webcam shot behind me, and an Atari 2600, but the two weren't actually plugged in.

But finally I dug up the wire I was missing, decided to switch to an Atari 7800 (actually fit better in the shelf), and then started going about trying to set up everything that has been languishing in my basement: SNES, Dreamcast, N64, and then a Wii U and Xbox 360 in the living room, along with the Switch and PS4 that are my actual current systems.

I got about 2/3 (maybe less) of the setup... and I realized it wasn't making me happy. Kind of the opposite!

There's a lot to unpack (figuratively and literally) with these games:

1. To be honest, I know I wouldn't play these games that much, and that makes me a little sad. (And even if I ever get to my quarterly "retrogame afternoons" with friends, this layout wouldn't even be that great for it.)

2. The condo is great but a games tower would be eating up more than its share of my limited shelf space.

3. It's still hit or miss to know which specific games might not actually work. I got each system up and humming, but there's enough flakiness that it's sort of a bad reminder of the hopeless war against entropy.

So I guess by taking up feelings, space, and time... this game tower as is ain't pulling its weight. I think I might leave up the Atari and maybe one more system. I guess if I'm honest it's more the emotional space than the physical space that is the cost, which has been a surprise.

I guess I've identified as "a retrogamer" (this was before "gamer as cultural identity" was as much of a thing) - mostly by having an Atari 2600 for long after everyone else had been moving on. But a lot of it is just being slow to give up systems that I like.

Video Games are special as an art form. They are interactive narrative in a way few non-game forms are, and even humble early-80s systems can run the numbers and make a physics-y virtual world in a way other game types can't. So most games make up a microcosm, and I like the idea of being able to go back to those worlds sometimes, even if I don't very often.

I guess I will move most of my systems into the basement archives. Actually, it's been interesting to review which systems I really long for: the Atari 2600 is the purest bit of nostalgia (and then later geek pride as I make original games for it). Xbox 360 has the largest number of games that blew me away. GameCube a close second. Dreamcast also is in the mix a bit - though maybe mostly for Bangai-O. I'm surprised there's not more Nintendo in what I am tempted to keep... maybe it's that Nintendo does such a good job interating on its series that SNES, N64, and Wii all have better versions of their highlights available. (I think Wii is most noticeable for that. Even though it plays GameCube games, I think the irritation of having to navigate its "pointer" menu to get them, and its relative lack of must-play games for me, means I'd rather have a cute lunch box GameCube up, even if it takes up more shelfspace.) Oh and PS2 - not much there for me, though i keep around copies of "Magic Pengel"


What's mistake but a kind of take?
What's nausea but a kind of -ausea?
Sober, drunk, -unk , astonishment. . . .
Agreement--disagreement!!
Emotion--motion!!! . . .
Reconciliation of opposites; sober, drunk, all the same!
Good and evil reconciled in a laugh!
It escapes, it escapes!
But--
What escapes, WHAT escapes?
William James on Nitrous Oxide (literally)

Fun fact, an Atari 7800 fits in a (13"-wide) IKEA Kallax cubby, but a 6-switch Atari 2600 does not :-D

Ah, a nation of under-vaccinated know-nothings who will leave pockets for the virus to keep around and evolve into something even worse. Great!

Perhaps they feel that under a Biden administration, helping the Delta variant make the Dow stumble is an act of political protest.
John Hodgman's animated detective series "Dicktown" features thinly veiled versions of him and co-creator David Rees.

Honestly I feel a little called out by the hoodie/cargo shorts representation, though a parody of me would always be in sandals, not those socks and sneakers.

It does make me wonder, what non-athletic shorts for men carry any dignity. I think about how James Gandolfini's Tony Soprano got flack in the real world because a Mafia figure of his stature wouldn't wear shorts. They lack gravitas! But man, they're just so much more comfortable in the summer.

I mean, part of my privilege (at work and around town) is that no one really cares how I look. And I'm not sure if John Hodgman's character's outfit including khakis and even a jacket is much better, really. But still.
I get the autobiography reference of "I, Robot" but "Mind and Iron" would have been a great name too.

You see how oppressed Americans are by the drab bland colors of our cars and houses.
if it helps to know, you are loved by the earth who asked you to be here with it for just a very little while

I really like the line work on my new tattoos...