1. Man, it was a long year! The stuff at the beginning of the year seems so long ago. (Seems kind of weird I've only been going out with Melissa for a year and half or so.)
2. Arguably, there's too much band stuff :-D I mean it's important to me, and photo/audiogenic, but maybe I should start favoring less repetitive stuff...
3. I think I might start posting these seasonally rather than monthly. I'm wondering if 30 seconds is too short but 6 minutes is too long - 1:30 seems like a decent time, and I tend to think of the year in seasons anyway (meteorological not astronomical - fall being Sept Oct Nov, Winter being Dec Jan Feb, etc, not based on solstice / equinox etc)
"These Dunkin Donuts drink carry trays seems like they should be useful for something - I think there's a lifehack for them? Like you put in seedlings in them?"
"Yeah, that sounds like such a lifehack thing. You know what's another lifehack? Don't spend your precious time and energy making seedlings."
--Melissa and Me
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I've shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I'll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that's a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
--Maggie Smith, "Good Bones"
January 2, 2017The media I consumed in 2016. The counts indicate if there were more or fewer of that in the year prior.
As always, something that I enjoyed and meets expectations is "3 star", something that I really liked is listed in red for 4 stars, potential all-time-favorite material, 5 star, is listed in red and bolded. Stuff in gray was below all that.
Movies at the Cinema (6 (-4))
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spotlight, Deadpool, RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion, Ghostbusters: Heed the Call, Rogue OneThe MST3K really made me laugh. More and more I think that should be what I favor in media.
Movies on Video or Streaming (33 (--))
RocknRolla, Interstellar, What, Hannah and her Sisters, Fish Called Wanda, Donnie Darko, Spirited Away, Chinatown, 8 1/2, Down Periscope, Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Mystery Men, Hail Caesar, The Graduate, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Face-Off: Gates vs Jobs, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask , Voices of a Distant Star, Kentucky Fried Movie, Age of Ultron, Inside Out, Streetcar Named Desire, Absolutely Fabulous, Star Trek Beyond, The Martian, Tropic of Cancer, The Jerk, Look Who's Back / Er ist wieder da, Drumline: A New BeatHeh, exactly as many videos as in 2015... some of that was catching up on Marvel stuff on the flights to and from Malaysia. No real standouts here.
TV Show Seasons (26 (+12))
Rick and Morty Season 2, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6, Girls Season 5, Broad City Season 3, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Modern Family Season 7, New Girl Season 5, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 7, Extras Season 1, Extras Season 2, Game of Thrones Season 6, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 8, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 9, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 10, Silicon Valley Season 1, The Expanse Season 1, Orange is the New Black Season 4, Silicon Valley Season 2, Lady Dynamite, Scrubs Season #1, Silicon Valley season three, Scrubs Season #2, Pulling Season 1, Pulling Seasons 2, Black Mirror Season 1I guess it's not surprising that "Rick + Morty" and "Black Mirror" were the highpoints, both interesting scifi lenses on alternate versions of our own world. "Scrubs" deserves a special nod given how LONG is seasons were - I watched it while doing a giant scan-o-thon. And you know, Episode 4 of the first season made me weep; it's a goofy comedy but grounded both in real hospital life and in real emotion.
Books (56 (+10))
The Atari Book, The Enthusiast, The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture, Trump Temptations: The Billionaire and the Bellboy, Dreaming in Code, Egghead, The War of Art, Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, Existentialism for Beginners, When Nietzsche Wept, Speak, The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History, Fear of Flying, Spelunky, How I Conquered Your Planet, The Violet Hour: Great Writers at The End, Couples, The Psychology of Romantic Love, Sleights of Mind, Constellation Games, Travels with Epicurus, is it evil not to be sure?, Shader, A Game Design Vocabulary, World of Warcraft (Bossfight Books), Dead Presidents, The Birds, Still Life with Woodpecker, Super Mario Brothers 3, Save the Cat, Don Quixote, The End of White Christian America, Letter to a Christian Nation, 10:04, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialog, The Joy of Leaving Your Shit All Over the Place, Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, Instructions for Living Someone Else's Life, Zen in the Art of Archery, Rules for a Knight, Kiss Me Like a Stranger , The Neurotic’s Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-brain Plays Unending Games of Self-improvement , How They Were Found, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Boss Fight Books: Mega Man 3, The Fermata, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, How to Save Your Own Life, The Shephard's Crown, Aqua and Bondi: The Road to OS X & The Computer That Saved Apple, The Princess Diarist, Anthonology, Four ReincarnationsI'm always wary about how keeping this kind of log (for like 17 years now!) threatens to be "gamification", where I'm doing stuff just to add to the year tally - not the way I want to be. But the dip in "books" in 2015 (which had been down 15 from 2014) was on the back of my mind. Somewhat corrected this year. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was a reread, and still one of my favorites. "is it evil not to be sure" by Lena Dunham was a great little read - interesting thinking of the parallels with Carrie Fisher's. (You can see a minireview with quotes I made on it. "Fear of Flying" was excellent in general. (Interesting how all of the stuff I rated 5 stars were in the form of first person storytelling.)
Comic / Graphic Novel (9 (--))
Mastermen, Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus, Zap Comix 16, Paying for It, Anatomy of Melancholy: The Best of A Softer World, Mauretania, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2: Squirrel You Know It's True, Frog and Toad (series), Hyperbole and a HalfChester Brown's sparsely drawn works ("Mary Wept..." and "Paying for It"), with their thoughts about sexwork, probably stood out the most.
Video Games (1 (-6))
Saints Row: Gat Out of HellI guess what's most striking is how little I'm playing. Some of my friends have disdain for video games, and some regret over the time they themselves put into 'em over the years. I don't really - I liked 'em, I like physically interacting with and exploring virtual worlds. But- I guess I don't as much as I used to? Have games changed, or have I? Or is it just a busier schedule? (There's some games I played but didn't finish, like Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and GTA: San Andreas, both repeats.)
Deacon: I think we drink virgin blood because it sounds cool.
Vladislav: I think of it like this. If you are going to eat a sandwich, you would just enjoy it more if you knew... no one had f***ed it.
--"What We Do in the Shadows", a funny "reality tv" movie about vampires sharing a flat. This quote is such a funny take on that usual "true love waits" line...
Watching the rose bowl parade on ABC. Good lord how I hate those tweets blatted to the screen. Just let us watch the damn bands and floats, please?
While I'm in my cranky old blogger man mode...
FB begging us to make Live a thing. Share the moment. But the examples they show are like, startling events? Big plays at the game etc.
The thing is, if it was a really good time, maybe you were watching the game, without your device up, and then maybe you were taken surprise by a big play? So they're offering to share, like, the moment after the moment? Or encouraging us to go further down the path of devices up for recording/broadcast all the damn time.
January 3, 2017Respectable month for new music. 4 or 5 star songs in red.
- Marching Band Medley (Drumline Soundtrack) I had this song but lost it in the Apple Radio Crapfest; putting it at 5 stars which is a bit high but I really like marching band music horns and drums, especially mixing it up with hiphop. (Incidentally, "Drumline: A New Beat" was a made for TV movie I watched that, unsurprisingly, wasn't great.)
- I Told Y'all [Explicit] (Petey Pablo) I finally looked up the hiphop song in the middle of the Drumline Medley, it's this, and I think it stands on its own...
- Why Can't We Be Friends? (War) From 1975, this song sounds way ahead of its time.
- Wind Your Neck In (Lily Allen) I like how Lily Allen uses UK vernacular (like a dinner proposal to "get a chinese"). Also nice clean drums.
- The Blue Danube (Spike Jones & His City Slickers) Novelty Song. My Mom and Aunt confirm from their recent trip that inspired me to find this - as the song says, the Danube is in fact not blue but green.
- Time After Time (feat. Sarah McLachlan) (Cyndi Lauper) Interesting duet, how their vocal styles contrast.
- Everyday (Single) (Buddy Holly) Someone posted that you can google this song via the query "buddy holly song that sounds like a dude jacking it"
- Sippin Cider Through a Straw (Susie Tallman) A Piers Anthony novel mentioned this campfire song that was new to me. (I swear in finding this I heard a raunchy parody of it that I haven't been able to locate since.)
- Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone) A new addition to the Porch-i-Oke/Protest-i-Oke set. And so on, and so on, and scooby dooby doo.
- Sweet Georgia Brown (Teddy Riley Remix) (Brother Bones) Melissa kind of hates the "All Around the World!" shout but its grown on me.
- Hot Knife (Fiona Apple) Intriguing multilayering in this song.
- Blue Funk (Blue Mitchell) Heard this guy at Marie's soup party...
- Did I Shave My Legs for This? (Deana Carter) Melissa mentioned this song. But she points out that it's a little odd it's "you want me to go back to school", you think the problem might be tuition money.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (The Temptations) Heard this at the supermarket, bought a cheap "Motown does Christmas" compilation for it.
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Jackson 5) From that compilation
--Caitlin Roper on Katherine Dunn - the December 25 New York Times Magazine section was "The Lives They Lived" with some good articles about the lives of people who died in 2016. "The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else."
--AI theorist Eliezer Yudkowsky, via Gizmodo on The Worst Lies You've Been Told About the Singularity - the reference is in part to the "Paperclip Maximer", an AI that is instructed to have an inordinate love of paperclips might not have the same assumptions about what else in the solar system is worth preserving that we do...
--via Coworker was showing off his first woodworking project, a lovely World Map Table. "The path isn't against you. It's just the path."
--Psychic in "Mistress America". I saw the quote before the movie, and it's been stuck in my head since. It's a much more eloquent and more widely applicable version of that "it is absurd to take traffic personally" idea I mentioned the other week.
I can't figure out if it's complementary to or opposed to "Amor Fati", deeply loving this fate we find ourselves in, because there is no other.
Trigger warning: The saddest anti-smoking commercial I've ever seen - and a real heartwrencher for anyone who's had a loved one in a hospice-care kind of situation at home - the hospital bed in the dining room scenario.
Also, the most beautiful version of Que Sera Sera I've heard. They say it's an artist named Marita Dyson, but it seems like a full version of song hasn't been released anywhere
Blender of Love
January 8, 2017[The doorman] whistled up a two-man pedicab, and Kathy gave the lead boy the hospital's address. "You can come if you like, Mitch," she said, and I climbed in beside her. The doorman gave us a starting push and the cabbies grunted getting up momentum.
Unasked, I put down the top. For a moment it was like our courtship again: the friendly dark, the slight, musty smell of the canvas top, the squeak of the springs. But for a moment only. "Watch that, Mitch," she said warningly.
"Please, Kathy," I said carefully. "Let me say it anyhow. It won't take long." She didn't say no. "We were married eight months ago--all right," I said quickly as she started to speak, "it wasn't an absolute marriage. But we took the interlocutory vows. Do you remember why we did that?"
She said patiently after a moment: "We were in love."
"That's right," I said, "I loved you and you loved me. And we both had our work to think about, and we knew that sometimes it made us a little hard to get along with. So we made it interim. It had a year to run before we had to decide whether to make it permanent." I touched her hand and she didn't move it away. "Kathy dear, don't you think we knew what we were doing then? Can't we--at least--give it the year's trial? There are still four months to go. Let's try it. If the year ends and you don't want to file your certificate--well, at least I won't be able to say you didn't give me a chance. As for me, I don't have to wait. My certificate's on file now and I won't change."
We passed a street light and I saw her lips twisted into an expression I couldn't quite read. "Oh, damn it all, Mitch," she said unhappily, "I know you won't change. That's what makes it all so terrible. Must I sit here and call you names to convince you that it's hopeless? Do I have to tell you that you're an ill-tempered, contriving Machiavellian, selfish pig of a man to live with? I used to think you were a sweet guy, Mitch. An idealist who cared for principles and ethics instead of money. I had every reason to think so. You told me so yourself, very convincingly. You were very plausible about my work too. You boned up on medicine, you came to watch me operate three times a week, you told all our friends while I was sitting right in the room listening to you how proud you were to be married to a surgeon. It took me three months to find out what you meant by that. Anybody could marry a girl who'd be a housewife. But it took a Mitchell Courtenay to marry a first-class rated surgeon and make her a housewife." Her voice was tremulous. "I couldn't take it, Mitch. I never will be able to. Not the arguments, the sulkiness, and the ever-and-ever fighting. I'm a doctor. Sometimes a life depends on me. If I'm all torn up inside from battling with my husband, that life isn't safe, Mitch. Can't you see that?"
Something that sounded like a sob.
I asked quietly: "Kathy, don't you still love me?"
She was absolutely quite for a long moment. Then she laughed wildly and very briefly. "Here's the hospital, Mitch," she said. "It's midnight."
--from "The Space Merchants", by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. What Aldous Huxley did to Orwell with eugenics, this 1952 book does to Huxley with sheer capitalism - a semi-dystopia vision of a world of salesman run amuck.
This passage has stuck with me; the concept of "interim marriage" still sounds futuristic. But more than that, Kathy's protesting paragraph, that's what really has rattled around in my brain for a while. (Some parts more than others - being a guy who doesn't change much more so than being a guy who argues and sulks and fights.)
But yeah, the surgeon thing - I've been pondering about how admiration is an important part of romantic attachment for me, and how I can almost always identify the specific, objectively cool something that made each person I've been lucky enough to be with distinct from everyone else, the gray lining to that silver cloud is how sometimes I do it to show off - it sounds cynical to identify it, but I think it's a natural human trait to enjoy having a partner who boosts ones own status in your shared social circles. Happy Birthday iPhone! The real way to get his attention, which I always wanted but only fitfully received, was through email, sent the way we all sent email on campus: telnet. It was black and white, devastatingly simple, with one-letter commands to delete, forward, reply. You couldn't attach photos, at least not without a great to-do; you couldn't use bold, or italics, or underline. The best feature was a secret widely told: FINGER.
You'd type in the command on the telnet homescreen, and then the six-letter username of the person you were trying to, uh, finger (the first four letters of the last name + first initial + middle initial). And then the screen would proffer the best/worst thing a lovesick college freshman could ever want: the date, time, and location from which person-in-question had last logged into their email account.
--from Anne Helen Petersen's thoughtful look at the internet of dormlife in the late 90s. "America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy."
January 12, 2017tl;dr: The traffic isn't against you. It's just the traffic.
In Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut introduces the concept of a "wrang-wrang": a person who steers people away from a line of thinking by reducing that line, with the example of the wrang-wrang's own life, to an absurdity.
I'm trying to make Homer Simpson my wrang-wrang. Specifically this clip:
A sudden irrational and disproportionate fury at somewhat trivial things that are out of my control. In some circumstances I'm almost too controlled, many of my potential feelings of desire have to be vetted by my inner judge before they're allowed... but the feeling of "this is just wrong" rises up in a sudden furious tantrum, and I don't like that about myself. (It's gotten me into trouble in previous jobs; it's not that I rant and rave endlessly, it's just that one moment of exposed anger, even if directed at a system and not an object, can make people very uncomfortable.)
The issue has been on my mind for a while. In 2008 I wrote
"C'est la Vie!" / accepting that / "this should not be!" / but coping / more stoically; / philosophically-- / "C'est la vie..."
A few years later I read about William Irvine's modern application classical Stoicism, in "A Guide to the Good Life'; protecting one's equanimity and contentment at all costs, in part by triaging the world into things one has complete control over, no control over, and somewhere in between, and attending only to the first and last category, along with "negative visualization" - a meditative technique of thinking about how bad things could get, and then being happy when they're better than that; and realizing that you'd be able to cope even if they were that bad. So that was helpful, but just recognizing that a situation was out of my control didn't actually help my equanimity all that much.
Other approaches suggested themselves. I wrote this in 2015:
Recently a conversation with Derek gave me the idea of approaching the world with a kind of cheerful pessimism- assume that "a bit screwed up and annoying" is kind of the natural state of the universe, that things WILL be messed up, but generally not irretrievably so, and then be extra cheerful when the dice roll your way. "Lousy minor setbacks" that could otherwise be absolutely and inappropriately infuriating become almost soothing reminders that Murphy's in His Heaven and all's right, or wrong in the right way, with the world.
Again, that sounded better on paper than in real life, in terms of not being upset. I don't really want to be all that dour all the time.
In early 2016, I stumbled on "Amor Fati" - still a concept that resonates for me, a call for the cultivation of love of one's fate, even the parts that are unpleasant, that you wouldn't have it any other way. As Nietzsche put it:
"My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it--all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary--but love it."
I felt - still feel - that much of the problem is that our monkey brains are so good at daydreaming up these alternate realities that are just like this one, but better - this same roadway, this same car, not all these other cars - but those realities don't exist in our world, except for the power we give them to make us unhappy.
Later in the fall I also stumbled on the idea of using empathy to make situations more palatable. In its more extreme form, this is a kind of hippy-dippy "we are all one thing", but even without going to that extreme, if you see yourself on a common team of humanity, someone cutting you off might be a win you can share in. Of course, this doesn't apply to traffic jams so much, at least when everyone is equally stuck. (Remember- you're not 'in' a traffic jam, you 'are' the traffic jam)
But now I've found what seems the strongest counter-formula yet... the recognition of this weird animism humans tend to have, that we look for intent and purpose even in things that are just accidental and emergent. The first stage of the this realization was that "it is absurd to take traffic personally". And yet I do. Later, in the movie "Mistress America" I found the even wider application: "The path isn't against you. It's just the path." I've been finding that a very useful mantra lately. Similarly, when I get mad at a malfunctioning device or app, I should give it some sympathy, or even empathy; it's doing the best it can, you know? It has no sense of mischievousness, and it's more accurate to presume it would like to be doing a good job for me than whatever its current results actually are.
The other nice thing is that these various view points are complementary, they don't really undercut each other that much. (I've been told that's characteristic of Eastern religions, in general they are less combative, and defensive of their "unique path to truth" sense, than many Western outlooks.)
The traffic isn't against you. It's just the traffic.
FOLLOWUP (2017.02.27): Whether I'm furious about it and making myself angry or accepting of it, the traffic is still there. So why be furious? The only counter-example is if my rage now helps me avoid future bad traffic. But I could probably do that via rationality, not just gut level rage... I've been tracking "Todos" on a gadget for two decades now, and it works pretty well for me. But in December I realized the number of due items had been creeping up... I like to keep it from around 10-20 and it was hitting 30, 35. For New Years I thought I'd resolve to keep to 20 or less. So of course now it's at 50. "People who say 'everything happens for a reason' actually have no idea why it happened."
To be honest I'm absolutely loving my extreme ambivalence about the Patriots. On the one hand - they're this town's team! And they win a lot so it's easy to be a fairweather fan, and Brady does great aw shucks talk. On the other hand both Emperor Hoodie and Pretty Boy Brady love Trump. So I'm not rooting against them or not, but I'm so much more relaxed about their fate.
(My cousin Billy wrote "Yeah, talk about ambivalence.....it is troubling." and I said "It's great! I wish I could be so disengaged but entertained by everything I A. am interested in the outcome of but with no big stakes in and B. have no control over whatsoever) Alright, jumping on that "10 albums influential to you as a teen, don't think too much"
1. All these classical and jazz tapes I tried to convince myself I liked, because I thought A. that's what smart people like B. I am a very smart person. This really set back my appreciation of pop music, which seemed beneath a kid of my intellectual stature. (ahem)
2. But "Weird Al" was my gateway back to pop music, starting with his self titled album, back when it was all accordion. I think I had every song on that tape memorized. (Shout out to "Even Worse" as well.)
3. "License to Ill", Beastie Boys . This album was my anthem of young teen disenchantment, I remember sulking and listening to it on repeat in the back seat on headphones. Later in a bit of personal Christian revival I destroyed the tape. And then after I got it again, though maybe not until college?
4. "Christmas Rap", a holiday tape with a ton of artists. especially the crazy mechanical looping beat of Sweet Tee's "Let the Jinglebells Rock", it really stuck with me years later...
5. "Basin Street" by the Canadian Brass. I remember listening to this over and over while writing a nerdy paper on Charles Babbage in middle school. It's not bad, but kind of feels rather square to me now . Saw them in conert a few times.
6. "Chameleon" by Maynard Ferguson. This is literally one of the first three CDs I bought when my family finally got a CD player - and the screaming title song is super influential in honk bands, and a staple of JP Honk.
7. Dirty Dozen Brass Band "New Orleans Album". One of the other first 3 CDs I bought (the other was a Glen Miller tape). Of all ten albums on this list, maybe this one stands up the best from a sheer music standpoint.
8. "Soundtrack to the Blues Brothers". Man, every stage/jazz band kid in america wanted to be these guys. We tried to dress like them, a bit, in Euclid High School's "222nd Street Jazz" Now it seems a little white guy co-opting, but back then it was just so cool. Worked up a version of Peter Gunn JP Honk sometimes does.
9. Ugh, reaching here. PID (Preachers in Disguise)'s "Back to Back". Christian Hiphop. And what good white christian in the late 80s DIDN't try to rap? Again trying to find something in the faith I had here. (Similarly- One Bad Pig's "Smash", Christian Heavy Metal. I remember arguing with my cousin about if that term was a contradiction.)
10. "Dr. Demento Bootleg Mixtape" compiled either off the radio or off the albums by Thomas Shenk. Made for my dad when he was sick, I listened to it a lot.
BONUS: EMF's "Unbelievable" single. A few variants. It was instructive that people in the band room didn't want to hear Africa Bambaataa's "Hip Hop remix" - they wanted to hear what they liked. (Runner up in the 'random cd singles' category - U2's "Mysterious Ways"
I guess this is all "middle school and high school". In college I'd be able to add The Beatles (missed them somehow growing up), Paul Simon's stuff, Deee-Lite, Ani Difranco.
animals.alienbill.com - I de-adventized my collection of Ed Emberley inspired animal puppets, to make it a less seasonal showpiece.
"You know how you *shouldn't* eat those hundred calorie snacks? Seven at a time."
--Melissa "There's so much stuff that matters, but so little of it matters to my well-being! You know what the real answer to Camus' 'Question of Suicide' is? Because I don't feel like it!"
"You're like the Raft of the Medusa, but piloted by Pippi Longstocking."
Final 3 panels of this SMBC comic - the whole thing resonated for me deeply. (Not completely; like I think there is at least some meaning between life and non-life...) Admittedly I had to look up "Raft of the Medusa".
On my devblog, some thoughts on game design Maybe "insurance for everybody" is the new "you can keep your insurance"? A relatively sincere statement of intent, just don't take it so gosh darn literally. In Obama's case, the edge case where your insurance was basically in name only. In Trump's... well. We'll see.
"Music is just sculpted air pressure"
"This is why I think Aerosmith is SUCH a great name for a band"
"I'm not an expert on everything--I work as a grief counselor for robots, for god's sake. [...] People who aren't in the industry don't even realize grief is the main emotion that robots can feel. Robots are hyperaware of both death and obsolescence."
--Charlie Jane Anders, "Stochastic Fantasy", in Wired's Fiction Issue.
The Atlantic had a nice piece on Richard Loewy's design aesthetic:
Loewy had an uncanny sense of how to make things fashionable. He believed that consumers are torn between two opposing forces: neophilia, a curiosity about new things; and neophobia, a fear of anything too new. As a result, they gravitate to products that are bold, but instantly comprehensible. Loewy called his grand theory "Most Advanced Yet Acceptable"--MAYA. He said to sell something surprising, make it familiar; and to sell something familiar, make it surprising.Interesting stuff. It reminds me of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and its description of how we know "Quality", the Tao, how something is good at being whatever it is, in a circular way: we learn define the quality as we recognize the quality in the instances of the thing we're defining.
"Serotonin, dopamine and endorphins are technically the only things you enjoy." --/u/McGerty A few days ago I posted my Ed Emberley Tribute animal puppets on his official Facebook page and last night I got this email from his personal account!
Needless to say I am stoked!
Aww Mr. Rogers! GIFCities brings you back to those animated GIFs of yesteryear...
Such a funny little art form. Reminds me of the little bestiary I assembled on my old compsci server homepage I already reposted Richard Wilbur's poem Love Calls Us to the Things of this World".... here is the cover of the paper I wrote on it in highschool. Even now when doing the wash "Oh, let there be nothing but laundry!" comes to mind. (It was an injoke too with Marnie, whom I took the class with.)
A book of National Lampoon stuff had "Pornography for the Dumb" (in the unable to speak sense). You had to translate sign language characters. So I did.
longer video I rescued someone else's program from the defunct section of openprocessing.org and put it online again - it's an amazing pattern making, like a lavalamp generating patterns ala Rorscharch's mask in "Watchmen"
I like how Hufstedler invites you to hit the 'f' key to disable the filter and see how it works...
via Let's talk about hypocrisy.
If you voted for Trump because of Hillary's email "problem" but are not upset that the Trump administration is using a private email server and unsecured phones, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe Jesus was a persecuted refugee fleeing Herod, but support the ban on Syrian refugees, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe life begins at conception, but support defunding the countries number one source of prenatal care, planned parenthood, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe the mainstream media lies but believe Trump when he spouts verifiable lies, you are a hypocrite.
If you dismiss the AP, Reuters or NPR as biased media but accept everything Fox news says, you are a hypocrite.
If you think all life is sacred, but do not support reasonable gun control, you are a hypocrite.
If you think children are the future, but support reducing funds for SNAP, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe in education, but dismiss evolution or climate change as hoaxes, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe in the sovereignty of the United States, but support forced incursions on Native American lands, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe that we need to drain the swamp of Washington but support Trump's cabinet picks, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe in the Constitution, but support indiscriminate detainment and torture, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe our troops lives have worth, but support Trump's claims to foreign countries natural resources, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe that unborn black babies lives matter, but black lives don't matter, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe that we deserve life, liberty and happiness, but support taking away healthcare from millions of Americans, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe that the practice of your religion is more important than the practice of no religion or a different religion, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe in equal rights under the law, but don't support marriage equality and non discrimination for LGBTQ Americans, you are a hypocrite.
If you are glad that California or New York do not decide national policy for you, but insist on forcing your red state policies on others, you are a hypocrite.
If you believe in the first amendment, but call people who peacefully protest the President as hooligans, you are a hypocrite.
If you are an American but think dissent is disrespectful, you are a hypocrite.
If you think that anything that has happened over the last week is normal or acceptable, then you have not been paying attention.
Learned something about fractals!
"No one wants to die on a Wednesday- that's for suckers."
--Lamont Price (at the recent 2 Dope Queens live show)
Ahh, immigration bans on a really arbitrary mix of moslem countries, not even the one the 9/11 folks came from. The ultimate in self-delusional Security Theater, except instead of inconveniencing passengers it's screwing up lives. We have a no fly list right? and terrorists can be homegrown? What racist-placating bullshit. Quotes via "Dangerous Visions", a seminal sci-fi story collection edited by Harlan Ellison:
"He speaks, thinks, lives in the present tensely."
--Philip José Farmer
"There is nothing as ridiculous as the verbal outpourings of a young poet in love. Outrageously exaggerated. I laugh. But I am also touched. Old as I am, I remember my first loves, the fire, the torrents of words, lightning-sheathed, ache-winged. Dear lasses, most of you are dead; the rest, withered. I blow you a kiss. --Grandpa"
--Philip José Farmer, in "Riders of the Purple Wage"
"The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary"
""Oh-h-h... bitchballs," growled Bux, his anger visibly deflating. "Buggerly bangin' bumpin' *bitch*balls.""
----Theodore Sturgeon "If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?"
"I said, 'Well, how about that.' It's the one phrase I know that can be said any time about anything."
----Theodore Sturgeon "If All Men Were Brothers, Would You Let One Marry Your Sister?" Hm. Coworker mentioning German uses "wenn" for both "when" and "if". So that "It's not a matter of if, but when" Google translates as "Es ist nicht eine Frage der wenn, aber wenn"
Asking my friends Veronika and Volker, if this is true? Was it hard to grasp if vs when when you were learning English? Does "wenn" feel more like it's probably going to happen, or does it leave in the sense that it might not?
(Reminds me of the Spanish Para/Por differentiation, which is tough for many English speakers.)
Followup: my friend Tim found this link that explains some of it Looks like "Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann?" covers it. Though I'm already bad enough with vowels, wenn/wann would drive me nuts. (Surprised Google Translate missed it) Campaign Idea! "Bannon: 2024", with the winking, meme-friendly slogan "Why vote for the lesser of two evils?" This way he can park his money truck right next to the Trump 2020 truck, which opened for campaign donation business on January 20 2017.