"Most of us view the world as more benign than it really is, our own attributes as more favorable than they truly are, and the goals we adopt as more achievable than they are likely to be."
--Daniel Kahneman, "Thinking, Fast and Slow"
Hate how my pulse is racing, and I know I'll be extra cranky or extra happy, all 'cause of this silly game.
But, Pats just went ahead by a TD before the half, so.
Sometimes it feels like the end of these games is the result of voodoo priests rooting for their respective teams, battling it out. That crazy Seahawks "I'm on my butt but I'm juggling and catching" vs their "I feel compelled to throw right now" -- just the latest chapter in stuff like the Circus helmet catch and the Wes Welker drop in previous SBs.
February 2, 2015January was a low quantity, high quality month for new music finds
- Ghost of Stephen Foster (Squirrel Nut Zippers) The menace of this song! And the awesome early-animation-style video. I wish I knew what "if we were made of cellophane we'd all get stinkin' drunk much faster" meant.
- Log Driver's Waltz (feat. Ann Downey) (John Kirk, Dan Berggren & Chris Shaw) I grabbed a different version of the song, but this cartoon is terrific. I love the subtle suggestiveness of the lyrics "What pleases her most from her head to her toes / She'll say, "I'm not sure that it's business of yours", "A log driver's waltz pleases girls completely", and the "again" in "And when the drive's over, if he asks me again, I think I will marry my log driver"
- Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) (Mark Ronson) Slate's analysis of this song sounds about right: The early 80s sound that never hit the top of the pop charts finally there.
- Feeling Alright (Joe Cocker) For dumb reasons I dug up the Dave Mason version of this earlier, but Joe Cocker's piano and bongos version is more awesome.
- Love Is Endless (Mozella) ADmittedly this is the McDonalds shortened version... but I love all the characters they threw into it!
- Fat Bottom Girls (Live) (Tufts sQ!) I'm in with the alums singing this on stage at Tufts' Goddard Chapel.
- Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin) I don't like much of the guitar rock genre, but they have a lot of percussion stuff going on.
- Stupid Hoe (Nicki Minaj) Much of her music and her delivery is so great. She is "the female weezy"
- The Chills (Peter Bjorn and John) An older(ish) song? But good.
- I Want To Hold Your Hand (Al Green) Somehow a little better in theory than practice.
"We were on defense."
--Bill Belichick in his post-XLIX interview, when asked to second guess Pete Carroll's final play call. Even when goaded with the "hypothetically", he's all "we're different teams".
--Salen and Zimmerman (via Jones and Thiruvathukal "Codename Revolution: The Nintendo Wii Platform")
Welcome to the Information Superhighway! A land of beauty! A land of science! Philosophy! Architecture! Fan fiction! Everything you see, from the water to the leaves are made from sweet free flowing information. See if you can catch some information on your tongue! Of course . . . the whole place was abandoned years ago. This must be all that's left.
--World of Goo (ibid.)
FWIW, I also made a few notes about the book in my devblog...
"I don't believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet. We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology."
--Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson, high priest of 'Asatruarfelagid', as Iceland goes to build a temple to the old Norse Gods, the first in 1,000 years.
February 5, 2015I just finished the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo - it seems to be kind of trendy at the moment. There's an explicit overtone of Shinto animism to it that I enjoyed ("Express your appreciation to every item that supported you during the day" she suggests and she means it quite literally -- speaking out loud, or at least in your head... also "Greet your house every time you come home.")
The core of the book is "we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of" and what we keep should are things that give us a palpable "spark of joy" when we physically touch them. She argues
To get rid of what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a closet or drawer that you have forgotten its existence? If things had feelings, they would certainly not be happy. Free them from the prison to which you have relegated them. Help them leave that deserted isle to which you have exiled them. Let them go, with gratitude. Not only you, but your things as well, will feel clear and refreshed when you are done tidying.Later she starkly triages our options:
There are three approaches we can take toward our possessions: face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.(My mom has explicitly referenced a similar concept; she has some memorabilia from trips that bring her pleasure to have around but wants to make sure that I don't get hung up on keeping once she's gone.)
Kondo suggest a specific category-based order for tidying (and her repeated use of the word "tidy" and "tidying" is charming, or rather, almost starts to take on charm-like properties.)
Start with clothes, then move on to books, papers, komono (miscellany), and finally things with sentimental value.The books thing is interesting. Prior to this I was second-guessing myself in terms of thinking that maybe books were unfairly targeted because of their bulk, when really they can be stacked quite neatly. But maybe they are a fair-target, when using the "spark of joy" rubric:
Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?And on the point of books:
Their true purpose is to be read, to convey the information to their readers. It’s the information they contain that has meaning. There is no meaning in their just being on your shelves. You read books for the experience of reading. Books you have read have already been experienced and their content is inside you, even if you don’t remember.That's a lovely and forgiving footnote - "even if you don't remember".
And on my burgeoning "to get to" pile:
If you missed your chance to read a particular book, even if it was recommended to you or is one you have been intending to read for ages, this is your chance to let it go. You may have wanted to read it when you bought it, but if you haven’t read it by now, the book’s purpose was to teach you that you didn’t need it .Of course, I have to square all of that with my vision of "oh, I might want to show this book to someone someday" - or the even more ego-centric concept, that my big shelves full of books help convince people of my intellectual bona fides. Amber had me go through one deeper than usual purge a few years ago, and I guess I'm grateful in retrospect.
Things are slightly more complicated because I share a space with Miller... in fact, 5 of my bookshelves are in "his space". I would love to minimize that and arrange a few other things so that I could bring them into my own spaces, and/or swapping for the contents of two bookshelves he has in the common hallway.
Kondo's book is a brisk read. It goes on to suggest some specific patterns of tidying; besides the order of categories recommendation, the recommended technique is to gather everything in that category in one place, so that the laying of hands/spark of joy litmus can be properly conducted. (It's a bit pathetic that when I think about what currently most clearly provides that spark, it tends to be Apple products. But they're physically and virtually so well-designed, providing gateways to people I love and information I find critical or fascinating, as well as helping me keep track of my day-to-day life, that I shouldn't beat myself up about that.)
Another important concept, then, is the end goal, why tidying is so important. In the author's opinion, it clears the physical and mental space that will let us get closer to the life we want... practicing discernment in what gives us that "spark of joy" is critical rehearsal for finding that out in the rest of our lives, and acting accordingly. (In practice, there can be a "first world problems" aspect to the process; one has to recognize that being able to pare down and eliminate redundancy is a luxury... if you're fortunate enough to have money, you can keep your backup supplies in the store until you need them.)
I was vaguely uptight about not seeing her on my return, but just went to bed (I feel like at some point I felt her walking on the bedcovers, but wasn't awake enough to confirm.) And now I'm worried. My housemate and I have done a reasonably thorough "look in everything" tour with no luck and I don't know what to do now, left out some food and am trying to remember how it looks so I can tell if it gets nibbled at.
Either she is freaked out and very good at hiding (probably the most likely scenario), she zipped out with an open door (though we've been watching) or she found some exit from the house (which in someway is a variant of the first scenario)
Ugh. I feel horrible but also not like there was much I should have done differently.
Kitty has remerged!
Two final ways for Patriots fans to savor last Sunday, and then "We're On to 2015": 1. this photo - I am amazed at how Ricardo Lockette looks like a tumbling bowling pin in that shot. 2. Bill Simmons grantland piece is some of the most detailed and energetic football writing I've ever seen (I don't catch like half the references) recapping the 3rd quarter (I missed how the ref TOTALLY got in the way of the Pats Defender on that Doug Baldwin TD with the poop-the-ball celebration) and then doing detailed play by play. The final analysis: as much as the would be smart fans think BB shoulda called a timeout, there's a chance his experience with the crazy pace of big game endings led him to think that making a stand had a better chance than trying to drive for the FG.
Listen to music off the "Broad City" music pickers playlist, trying to decide if I like "Azealia Banks - Desperado"... I realize that my "3 Star and Up" criteria for adding songs to my music collection has a direct correlation to "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" concept of "spark of joy".
It's so weird seeing interplanetary motion put in such human-relatable visual terms. Of course, if you could get up to those speeds, much less time would seem to have elapsed, and there are other reasons this video isn't "accurate". Still, sometimes I think sci-fi that projects us moving inward (to VR) rather than outward (to space) might have it right.
You know, a decade ago I saw some water marked with a Kosher sign, and it got me wondering how it could possibly not be - I mean how far away from "don't cook a calf in the milk of it's mother, that's cruel" do we have to get? Well, thanks to a reference in "Broad City", now I see a better justification! NYC water is imbued with seamonkeys, basically, and so is not Vegan and maybe not Kosher...
"What do you mean?"
"You know, like elves and stuff. People just made that up."
"Oh, I don't know. I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like... like a whale? You know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you'd think that was pretty magical, right?"
"Yeah. But, like... right this second, there's, like, no elves in the world, right?"
"... ...No. Technically, no elves."
--The Movie "Boyhood"
I'm thinking it's time for a real bed. (One side effect of my big breakups seems to be that for a while I use some weird ass bed - an air mattress in 2003, and then this daybed for a few years now. In twin bed mode it's too small, pulled out it's too big for the space. One mattress is firm, the other is memory foam.)
Thinking about one of those Caster or Leesa mattresses. I went mattress shopping with Amber in 2012 or so, and really don't want to go through that crap again. I sort of really hate the pressure to know what kind of mattress I want.
Anyway, the daybed is probably up for grabs. It's gonna need some deconstruction to get out of there, but it's a pretty awesome conception for a daybed - slightly rustic looking, but with pillows would make a fine couch, and side by side it's a very decent sleeper, with room for mattresses etc under.
Are we all gonna be climate refugees?
On Scandinavian Happiness Some thoughtful analysis on how it can and can't be a model for the USA.
Also I just realized this printer/scanner Amber stuck me with (Lexmark freebie with a Mac she bought, perpetually out of ink) makes a darn fine footrest!
--Steve Martin - that seemed funnier to me 15 years ago!
"Of course, the player can't entirely dismiss the possibility that by trying to be Mr. Hero, he's hurting more than helping. The Humanoids might want to be mutated, as they haven't even evolved enough to work out how to build houses."
--Chris Federico on "Defender", in The Classic-Gaming Bookcast
"I'm helpless. I'm helpless. I'm helpless. I'm powerful."
--Rob Fulco on Pac-Man and related games.
"Here's my IF desk, and here are my IF papers and my IF cup and I'll drink out of it."
--Jeremy Douglass, in "Get Lamp", on a (sometimes unfortunate) tendency for Interactive Fiction authors to recreate their own local environments. Decent little video but I wish it came out later and/or had something to say on Twine games.
"He began with the first, serving up a long soliloquy about life, marriage, journalism, why we're here, why we die, why things begin, why they end. As someone who had also been through a divorce himself, making a few unscheduled stops in hell before coming back, he was impassioned. He explained that everything -- every relationship, every person, every job -- has its time in life, and then, as he noted, all of a sudden it doesn't. He told me I could feel sorry for myself that something was ending, or be excited and appreciative that it had ever even existed. He talked about his wife and daughters as an example of the good things life throws at you."
--Nick Bilton expressing the first of The Two Best Pieces of Advice David Carr Ever Gave Me
"It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the world."
--Stuart Smalley http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/2015/02/programming-atari-2600-part-ii.html - I wrote up the experience of programming an original game for the Atari 2600 over the weekend of the Global Game Jam Oliver Winnie
Watching Ben Wyatt be an enthusiastic goof ball at the "Donna & Joe" wedding/episode of Parks & Rec I kind of want to be an unending fountain of enthusiasm and positivity.
Does that get old after a while? Can you do it without losing rationality and/or being annoying?
"God! Throw this shirt! You've had it since we were dating. It's covered in holes!"
"You don't understand. The shirt is cursed. It grows older. I stay the same age."
"No you don't."
"I mean emotionally."
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal #3642
Trying to live "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up"
This morning got rid of a big snow-thrower box worth of clothing, and now can live with a small closet, things hanging in a wardrobe, and a skinny chest of drawers.
Next on the plan comes books. "Put everything on the floor she says". Yikes!
I hope to go from 5-6 book shelves to 2-3, and out of the living room that is pretty much Miller's space and into the hallway and my own room. Much less "look at my massive intellect with all these books!", not even "Oh yeah I remember reading that"... the goal is just books that carry a spark of joy for m. Like Marie Kondo says:
"Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn't that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?"
I suddenly had the thought - last purge, didn't I go and index all the books I was getting rid of? Like put it in Good Reads? But then, the idea that I had to think about if I had or not and still wasn't 100% sure is a sign that maybe that doesn't have to be a critical part of letting go.
That said, I think making a list helped Hannah and a few others pick some titles that they wanted. And right now I'm hedging a bet in that direction by not closing the cardboard boxes and making all the titles readable from above.
So weird putting a book in a box, thinking "I may never think of this book again". But I guess acceptance of that is part of the process.
--from this awesome New Yorker longform profile of Jony Ive and his team. I believe it though - I always thought that feature was cute but overhyped, exactly for the reason cited.
Good explanation of why mirrors flip left to right, not up and down... basically it's not really flipping X or Y, but Z...
"You don't have to be smart to laugh at farts, but you have to be stupid not to."
--Louis C.K., via http://thecathyckpage.tumblr.com/ that combines his quotes with Cathy comic strips
"Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it."
--Daniel Kahneman, "Thinking, Fast & Slow". Glad to finally be done with this book... it was more like "Fast and Slooooooooooooow".
I also like the sample applied quote "You are thinking of your failed marriage entirely from the perspective of the remembering self. A divorce is like a symphony with a screeching sound at the end-- the fact that it ended badly does not mean it was all bad." Combined with the idea of how do you feel about having a good or bad experience that you know you then don't remember, to what extent does it matter? That's a real thought-provoker for me. MB(ecket)TA - snow shots overlayed with Samuel Becket despair and absurdism...
NERDALERT For some reason this grails error made me laugh out loud:
InstallWarController.groovy: 29: expecting anything but ''\n''; got it anyway @ line 29, column 21.
NO! NOT \n!! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!!
"Was it the bourbon or the dye fumes that made the pink walls quiver like vaginal lips?"
--Darcey Steinke, opening of "Suicide Blonde". A book I am not keeping in part because all I remember about it is this line. Apple Watch Gold edition reminds me of that $999 "I Am Rich" app you could get that did nothing but demonstrated your wealth and willingness to pay to flaunt it.
Haiku by a Robot
Seven hundred ten
Seven hundred eleven
Seven hundred twelve
--Nathan Beifuss, Age 9. from plated jeans' Kids Say the Darndest Things
February 21, 2015"You know, just because I didn't like that ridiculous comedy you did with Goldie Hawn did not mean I did not love you. That's what you always do. You confuse love for admiration."
--Sylvia in movie "Birdman"
A Farewell to Books! The one box with M.C. Esher Popups is claimed, I have a labeling system such that if anyone seems a must have in there they can put in a request over the next few days...
I of course feel a little guilty about book purges, as is natural, but I think it's for the best. Having 2 tall shelves of stuff I really love is terrific. (Basically, I realize it's akin to my music collection; in iTunes only 3 stars and up get onto my device, but here the cut off for physical presence is 4.)
feeds crows and here are the gifts they leave her:
"Math has proven the existence of God, because it is absolute and without contradiction; but the devil must exist as well, because we cannot prove it."
--Descartes (paraphrased in "The Housekeeper and the Professor" by Yoko Ogawa) Practicing Islam in short shorts... As always I think the struggle is best seen in terms of fundamentalism vs being more balanced. I guess I worry about faith in general is that it feels like its potential to help fundamentalism can outweigh its more general benefits to humanity.
On some level I kind of appreciate that my company's first aid cabinet contains a small shaker of Morton's Salt. (Or is it just me who thinks of "salt in the wound"?)
One of my favorite parts of the Oscars this year were the (sometimes animated) title cards made up -- here's their story
--Katie Dippold, writer on Parks + Recreation , in this Oral History of the show. Man, sounds like the writing process was kind of a microcosm of the show itself... I am going to miss it so much.
--Sylvia in "Birdman"
Just posting this for posterity; http://www.wired.com/2015/02/science-one-agrees-color-dress/ if you've somehow not heard.
RIP Leonard Nimoy.
I suppost it's illogical to be sad about someone who had such a long and prosperous life, but also very human.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"
--Leonard Nimoy's final tweet
excellent 5 seconds turned into 3 1/2 minutes... and a great song: