October 16, 2018
Before I started college I got to visit Marcos, our exchange student from Portugal... his friends put on a poetry and fashion show "Fractions of Seconds" and I saw a village bullfight.
October 15, 2018
Ah, the midwest prom. In retrospect kind of weird "the garter dance" was a thing for high school dances...
Wins at Fenway and Foxboro - nothing to be overconfident about at either but still, it's good to win when you gotta win. Interestingly the 43-40 score was a Scorigami, a score never previously achieved at the end of an NFL game. (I guess there's more opportunities with high scores.)
On my devblog: the stupid-idea-buddies buddy.
October 14, 2018
Bookended with band trips to Atlanta and Florida, and the musical Hello Dolly in between.
October 13, 2018
Dances, band trips to Detroit and Boston, and ending at Veronika's prom...
October 12, 2018
Ahh, Middle School (as Matt Groening calls it, "the deepest pit of Hell", high school being merely the second deepest.) Fun fact: for most of this time I went by my middle name "Logan". Anyway, mostly school stuff, plus the NEOSA Salvation Army Youth Band's trip to Mexico City.
Nerf Football Rah Rah Rah
The biggest and most frightening impact of the AI revolution might be on the relative efficiency of democracies and dictatorships. Historically, autocracies have faced crippling handicaps in regard to innovation and economic growth. In the late 20th century, democracies usually outperformed dictatorships, because they were far better at processing information. We tend to think about the conflict between democracy and dictatorship as a conflict between two different ethical systems, but it is actually a conflict between two different data-processing systems. Democracy distributes the power to process information and make decisions among many people and institutions, whereas dictatorship concentrates information and power in one place. Given 20th-century technology, it was inefficient to concentrate too much information and power in one place. Nobody had the ability to process all available information fast enough and make the right decisions. This is one reason the Soviet Union made far worse decisions than the United States, and why the Soviet economy lagged far behind the American economy.

However, artificial intelligence may soon swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. AI makes it possible to process enormous amounts of information centrally. In fact, it might make centralized systems far more efficient than diffuse systems, because machine learning works better when the machine has more information to analyze. If you disregard all privacy concerns and concentrate all the information relating to a billion people in one database, you’ll wind up with much better algorithms than if you respect individual privacy and have in your database only partial information on a million people. An authoritarian government that orders all its citizens to have their DNA sequenced and to share their medical data with some central authority would gain an immense advantage in genetics and medical research over societies in which medical data are strictly private. The main handicap of authoritarian regimes in the 20th century—the desire to concentrate all information and power in one place—may become their decisive advantage in the 21st century.

-- Yuval Noah Harari writing in The Atlantic
October 11, 2018
Sometime during college or shortly thereafter I assembled my own photo album.

A long time ago I scanned it all and put it on my website, but at a relatively low resolution (see here) so I decided to scan it all again. I reused all the old filenames I used as caption back then - sometimes carrying information I would have forgotten in the mean while.

When I scanned it, I broke it into 9 sections. Starting with "The Young Years" - including shots of my folks before I was around.


"masculinity is violence on the horizon"
October 10, 2018
Today is the 30th Anniversary of my dad's death.

Last year around this time I went to the Boston MFA with Melissa and Liz, and I told them the story about my dad's art collection, how even though he had no budget he knew how to juggle finances and became a small-time collector, especially lithographic prints. (I have a few vague memories of going with him to meet with dealers in upstate NY, rifling through those bins like they used to have in record stores.)

In the year of his death, well after he was incapacitated from illness, he invited representatives of the Cleveland Museum of Art to peruse his collection and see if there was anything they wanted to add to their permanent collection. They chose two pieces.

Of course as a 14 year old I didn't really get the level of honor that represented, how that kind of affirmation from such an institution meant to so much that it was worth making a gift, even a gift that was rarely going to be "on view"...

Last year was the first time I remembered that public institutions now post their collections online, so I could see what the prints in question were:

The first was "The Kerosene Lamp" by Wanda Gág (1929)

Such an intriguing kind of meltiness to it all... In 2014 The New Yorker wrote on some of the artist's children's books)

The other was Thomas Hart Benton Sorghum Mill (1969)


My dad was classic "champagne on a beer budget" where I tend to the reverse, a bit. I suppose you could speculate that the kid from small town Ohio felt he had something to prove in a way that I don't, though also he had an artistic sensitivity I lack - and a gourmet-ish attention to detail evident in, say, his baking with precise measures and his incredibly persnickety needlepoint work.

FWIW I'm kind of the polar opposite of that, preferring things that are superficially intriguing, to be generated and consumed in the most expedient method available - I've cultivated my way of skimming a book and quickly getting the jist into kind of a lifestyle. On the other hand, I suppose the programming I do has a similar need to attend to tiny details...sometimes I wish he was around so we could have done needlepoint / pixel art collaborations.
I should post this link : clevelandart.org/art/collections - Cleveland has a fine art museum (no pun intended) and the website made it trivial to find these.
I just now had a 2-and-2-together moment. I was thinking "Well, yeah, Cleveland Museum - I mean that's where we were living" - but also, that is probably the very museum in a story he'd tell of his own young boyhood - going on a school field trip, up from downstate Coshocton Ohio, and once there being kind of stunned by the art of undressed women... "teacher... teacher... you can see her, her THINGS". To go from the boy in that story to having works from his collection accepted there - that's a heckuva narrative arc.