just have fewer opinions on things

April 19, 2018
Tonight I'll be leading a discussion at my UU reading group based on Sam Harris' Waking Up Podcast #119: Hidden Motives, a conversation with Robin Hanson.

One quote I remember liking was this:
Try to live your lives so that you don't have to rely TOO much on things that might not be true. One way, is honestly, just have fewer opinions on things. We're in a society where there's this norm that you're supposed to have an opinion on half of everything you hear. And just don't do that. Just be agnostic about things you haven't looked into, pick your specialty, learn about a few things and know that well, and then tell other people what you know and find somebody you can roughly trust on the other things, but stop having so many opinions.
(around 1:14:30)

That appeals to my desire for equanimity- living a life of constant helpless outrage is rough on a system, and I'm sad at seeing so much of that among my friends. On the other hand I contrast this stance with the adage "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

NY Times on the Restaurant Expediter as a criticial role - I've never worked in a restaurant, and sometimes I get reminded it must be so much more complex than I realize. I've never really cooked, but I've seen people try to time out multiple dishes for a Thanksgiving meal, say - this must be that times a dozen. Plus, the need to keep calm and collected during times if crazy stress reminds me of the airline pilot / flight controller thing I posted the other day...
I love the graphic design of the names on this...

school of honkin' tuba

April 18, 2018

--An old shot, but not sure it ever got on the site. A relatively rare tuba shot from the last few years in that I'm not playing Scheiny - trying out one of the School of Honk's polka dot horns.
The Calmness of Airline Pilots and, most recently, Tammi Jo Shultz, one of the first female Navy pilots. And also the demeanor of the flight controllers - makes me wanna watch "Pushing Tin" again.

April 17, 2018

--via Cracked.com The Best, Most Underrated Lines From Shows And Movies ("Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die. Come watch tv." The "on purpose" part I especially dig.)

a means with no end ramble

April 16, 2018
Arun and Melissa have been indulging me with letting me sound off about some my philosophical ramblings, and comparing and contrasting to their views.

In general I haven't yet figured out how to succinctly and clearly describe my current view that Universal Truth exists (not just an objective description of the facts of the universe, but a model of what "should" be) and is somewhat knowable - or at least guessable, but - and this is the critical bit- you can NEVER be certain that you know it. Never ever. (And claiming that you have full and complete knowledge is as definitely close to "original sin" as this system gets.)

My faith is: faith is broken. At best it's a means to an end. I share Vonnegut's view "Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."

This is different, in ways subtle and coarse, from views that say "well, since Truth is unknowable, everyone has to make up their own, and also be sympathetic to other views you disagree with." In practice my view is similar: both reject brash self-assuredness, but for very different reasons- in my view, observing other people's is just a means to end. Or rather, a means with no end- because you will never know if you get there.

There's something taoist in this, which I dig, but also Plato's formsish, which is troubling me.
TIL: 'The term "wedding soup" comes from the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata" ("married soup"), which is a reference to the flavor produced by the combination/"marriage" of greens and the meat'

And here I had been thinking it was, like, originally for weddings. Sort of like having birthday cake any time of year.
One of the adventures of making websites for porchfests is dealing with quirky tech things generated by non- and semi-technical musicians.

It's easy to come up with little petty gripes like "c'mon, people, it's a BAND DESCRIPTION not your frickin' album press release blurb"!

But here: some folks uploaded 2 versions of the same image (a simple "two headshots pasted side by side into a new image" with no attempt at photoshopping, just two non-matching-background squares) One file in TIFF and then a JPG version of the same thing. And resizing it with ImageMagick for some reason converts the JPG to a photonegative.

It raises interesting questions!
1. Who uses tiff? I feel like it used to be more popular in the 90s or something? Is it probably just some old tech being used, or does it have some niche use I'm unaware of?
2. What on earth would cause a simple ImageMagick "convert {} -resize 240x240" to flip it to a freaky photo negative?

This isn't meant to be snarky - I think every band that comes together for a Porchfest is awesome, and there's no "you must be this technical to ride this ride", but I really am curious as to the background story.

April 15, 2018

"Cutting corners just makes more corners."

April 14, 2018

My hunt for the ideal sketch program for iPad continues with "Linea", which is pretty cool in a minimalistic way. Of course, the joy of these programs is always the samples they come with. "See? If you had actual skill you could make THIS!"

Blender of Love

April 13, 2018

Had an intense dream about getting eye-replacement surgery-- was crying with gratitude. In the dream it was practically outpatient surgery. Not sure if I should blame having to wear my backup eyeglasses yesterday or this Zuckerberg-themed tweet that has been making the rounds...

"What's the best piece of advice someone's ever given you?"

"After you've written something, rewrite it. And then after you've rewritten it, read it again, and then rewrite it again. There isn't anything you've written that's worthwhile and important that can't be improved."
--Robert Carlson from this Slate Interview with an Old Person