2020 September❮❮prevnext❯❯

photos of the month august 2020

September 1, 2020

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Summer 2020 One Second Everyday Age of COVID Edition

September 2, 2020

new music playlist august 2020

September 3, 2020
Evil Boy (F**k You In the Face Mix)
Die Antwoord
This month's songs are bookend by two of the dirtiest and/or raunchiest hiphop videos I've posted, I think...
I guess I got this from a Quora What is the most R rated music video put out by a band?
No Diggity (feat. Dr. Dre & Queen Pen)
Love the infectious slow groove of this.
Via defining the 90s musical cannon - kind of weird I didn't know this song very well.
Watermelon Man (Single Version)
Mongo Santamaria
Version of this Herbie Hancock song built the genre "Latin boogaloo"
This is one song my bands play a lot. Easy and cool and delicious, just like watermelon.
A friend was posting on some kind of genre, like dark ambient country or something?
Jock Box
The Skinny Boys
Oldest school hiphop here.
The show "Workaholics" use bits of this as bumper music.

Florence + the Machine
Do I Look Moderate to You?
Recommendation from Arun
Rock Hard
Beastie Boys
This is... kind of bad? But it's interesting to hear something I hadn't heard so close to tape that meant so much to me as a teen.
via the Beast Boys documentary on Apple Plus or whatever it is.
Barcoders Jamming
Two guys using barcode scanners wired for sound! Amazing.
via this tumblr post that said "My brain was transported about 10,000 years into the future while listening to this."
Big Daddy vs. Dolemite (feat. Rudy Ray Moore)
Big Daddy Kane
Classing playing the Dozens...
Watch the Eddie Murphy "Dolemite" movie tribute....man what ever happened to Big Daddy Kane...

Slippery When Wet
The Commodores
Sexy 70s.
from the Dolemite movie soundtrack.

Holly Cole
Tender cover of the Elvis Costello song.
Some of my favorite covers ever come from Holly Cole... I've Just Seen a Face, Waters of March, her Tom Waits stuff...

A Hero's Death
Fontaines D.C.
Sink as far down as you can be pulled up / Happiness really ain't all about luck / Let your demeanor be your deep down self / And don't sacrifice your life for your health
I think my cousin Bill posted about this song...
Hey Heartbreaker
Dream Wife
Girls rock.
Recommended by Arun.

WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)
Cardi B
Heh. Kind of weird that there is a "radio" edit. (Wet and Gushy? huh) Am so enamored of the opening verse of the explicit version...
Making the rounds...

The flashbacks in Breath of the Wild play out like Zelda is a dating sim protagonist who flubbed all the sidequests and didn't understand the resource economy and did the relationship events all out of order and ended up getting such an incredibly Bad Ending that it literally destroyed the world, and the entirety of BotW proper is about the obligatory Childhood Friend NPC who was supposed to be the default endgame relationship if the protagonist didn't reach ten hearts with anybody else dealing with the fallout from that.

Jack Anderson's Gastrointestinal Map:

Taking a shit without looking at your phone counts as meditating now

when time meets space

September 4, 2020
I've always been interested in how humans visualize and put metaphors to time ("life's like an hourglass glued to the table" I've been told) Some of my interest was sparked by recognizing how idiosyncratic my own way of spatializing the course of a year and the course of a week as counterclockwise circles (I made visualization of those timehoops a while back)

All of these are akin to synaesthesia - time isn't inherently spatial, but we find the metaphors for it useful.

This Anthropology.net article discusses a few of those metaphors that were less familiar to me If you dig this topic, you might like the book "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman, that posits the great thinker dreaming of different ways times might behave, and how humans might respond. (If time slowed down noticeably with velocity, would people attempt to live their life always in motion in order to have more time, put their houses on wheels and go go go? Or in a universe where time slowed based on proximity to a central point, would adults with young children or old people journey to be nearer that point, while people trying to flee bad memories would head as far away from it as possible?)
The fact that "a fucking casual" is an insult in some circles of hobbies - a thing that you do in your free time for fun - really says something about how bad some people are at having fun.

the return of the obhack

September 5, 2020
Back in the 90s I was often on Usenet - a distributed set of conversational message boards. The level of discourse was generally pretty high, maybe because of the system's academic routes and relative lack of anonymity, and you could use whatever newsreader you liked and your single account to interact with all kinds of topic-based groups - kind of like Reddit, but more geared to writing in paragraphs rather than sentences.

Besides "rec.games.video.classic" and "alt.fan.cecil-adams" my favorite group was "alt.hackers" - hackers in in the sense of "making cheap and cheerful kludges" vs "hacking into computer systems". (Or the MIT sense of "grand stunts") It was "self-moderated" - there was a specific technical trick you had to pull in order to post there. The "netiquette" of the group suggested you post an "obligatory hack" or "ObHack" if your post would otherwise be off-topic.

I kept a list of my own ObHacks for future use, and there's still a part of my brain that thinks "oh, that was a clever little thing I came up with, I should file that away for an ObHack!" So here's two of those about the lockscreen wallpaper for my phone.

One is for band: I take a snapshot or screenshot of the setlist and then post it as my lockscreen, so I can quickly see what songs are coming up without fiddling with my phone too much. It's not quite as classic as taping a list to the floor but it's a lot less work.
(Plus then afterwards I have a nice memento of the concert until I remember to put my wallpaper back...)

Anyway, I noticed that changing wallpaper and case is a nice way to make a phone feel refreshed and new, so I got this bright yellow case to replace the blue silicone one that was starting to wear. I decided to lean into how "bumblebee" like it made my phone look and made up this wallpaper:

The slight ObHack cleverness was using a screenshot to layout where the bee appeared - I wanted it so that even if a song or podcast was playing, I could still see the bee, so I took a screenshot and used it as a layer to get the placement right:
Then I hid the layer and saved. (In practice, the bee was a smidge lower than where I thought it would show up, but I decided on a new shade of blue so I had to redo it anyway.)

Incidentally, Piskel was a lot better at making the pixel art bee (I stole the design by googling "pixelated bumblebee" and seeing these cool Etsy earrings)

Incidentally, this is the invader wallpaper I used for a few days that inspired my messing around with pixelart backgrounds: (from somewhere on tumblr)
Huh. I kind of like the strict monochrome nature of it. The Bee matches the new case, but still...
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
William Gibson, Neuromancer
I feel like when he wrote that, in 1984, he was thinking of something like this:

But eventually, a dead channel would be something that was toxic-looking in a different way:

(My first attempt with the bee was kind of an electric blue, which I realized was less soothing than I was hoping for...)
Also I finally remade my old (2001! I guess I mean "young") megamankirk sprite to have a beard...

the consciousness that moves us

September 6, 2020
Reading Sam Harris' "Making Sense", a set of edited transcripts from his podcast. He leads off David Chalmers, about the "hard problem of consciousness", as Neutral Milk Hotel puts it "Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all".

Thought experiments are one of the few tools we have to thinking about the issues. One favorite for sci-fans like me is, how do you know the Star Trek teleporter is transportation and not just murder+deep cloning, that the Captain Kirk who steps off the transporter pad has the same soul or consciousness as the swaggering dude who beamed up from the planet's surface?

Or you see the same issue if you could "upload" yourself into the Matrix. ("The rapture of the nerds", as its been called.) If your old meatself was still there, looking through the screen at the new uploaded self, it would certainly feel like a matter of cloning and not transportation. But the "you" inside would feel more like a transported individual than a "new being".

But really, is that any different than what happens when we wake from a deep, lights-out sleep? Yeah, we know we're the same person, same consciousness (or same soul if you swing that way). But that's mostly a matter of the continuity we enjoy, the memories we have, the patterns we recognize as continuing. I think that's what a lot of people mean when they say "consciousness is an illusion" - it's not a singular thing like that.

So if the "virtual you" woke up inside the computer, would it be "really you"? Our bias in favor of our traditional meatselves would say no - much more of a clone. But I think we should extend that same logic to out current selves... we're continuous with the person we were when we went to sleep, but not the same person. You can't step in the same river twice.

So, we're left wondering what consciousness is. I'm willing to accept very low standards of consciousness. Like I a thermostat has the faintest glimmer of it - it has a kind of model of the world and its place in it - or more importantly, a model of its ability to interact with world. That's why I feel it has a claim to consciousness that, say, a chair doesn't.

(Similarly I am comfortable with the idea that our unconscious selves are kind of independently conscious on their own terms, but our narrative/rational selves has only limited knowledge and communication access with those parts.)

Another set of thought experiments is modeled on the "Ship Of Theseus", as Wikipedia puts it:
It is supposed that the famous ship sailed by the hero Theseus in a great battle was kept in a harbor as a museum piece, and as the years went by some of the wooden parts began to rot and were replaced by new ones; then, after a century or so, every part had been replaced. The question then is if the "restored" ship is still the same object as the original.

If it is, then suppose the removed pieces were stored in a warehouse, and after the century, technology was developed that cured their rot and enabled them to be reassembled into a ship? Is this "reconstructed" ship the original ship? If it is, then what about the restored ship in the harbor still being the original ship as well?
A humbler version of that is "behold, by great-grandfather's axe! Its blade has been replaced 5 times and its handle twice!"

But people like to think about, what if we replaced bits of our brain like that, at what point if ever would we stop being us? You can play with all kind of variants of that, along with transfer to virtual systems, to interrogate your intuition about what it means to be us...

I just wanted to mention one variant I thought of and don't remember hearing: So, if we managed to duplicate our brain digitally, I think most people would say "fine, you have a digital clone, but you're still the original you". But what if you split a human brain in half, and gave each half a perfectly functioning digital duplicate of its missing part. Would we have successfully cloned ourselves then? Would one lobe have a truer claim to being the "real us"?
A few weeks ago all but one member of my work team collaborated for a new baby gift for the remaining coworker. Along with passing the hat for diaper money we came up with some nifty designs for custom onesies--

I did the Pac-Man and Simon game (the coworker is a gamer, and the baby's name is Simon...) the last one is our team logo

The more I think on that, the more true it seems. Spring and Fall have it all over Summer, except so many of us have a deeply ingrained association with summer and being more free to do interesting things.

Actually come to think of it the one thing summer does have is nice long days. So "atrocious" is overstating it, but the heat can feel gratuitous. (but even with all this late spring/early autumn are safer bets)
Multiple boats sink at Trump boat parade on Texas' Lake Travis. Sometimes the metaphors just create themselves.

My favorite meme about this: "Help, our boat is sinking!" Response: "All boats matter."
Mike Maines

September 7, 2020

Forgot there was a google earth flight sim. A little disappointing at least on my machine, was hoping for something closer to the quality of the 3D angle-able maps in Apple Maps
3 Day Weekends Never Feel Like Enough.
0emmllll 'll kkkkkl 'll lllllllllllllol 'll llilillilllilklilllöllllili olll I'll oko olllllllllplllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllloolll)lllllllllllll)ll 'll lollipop l)llllllll)llllllllllllllll li llllllllllllllllllllll?lolol)llllllllll mmmklklkloooooooplolllllllllloplllppl
David B's melodica, as transcribed by his iPhone
Do you do do you do you do you boo-boo Poopoo
My Tuba Scheiny, in response.
I didn't realize that whole "voice transcription of instrument sounds" really worked :-D

September 8, 2020

This article on why the word for the Empire Strikes Back tauntaun should not be capitalized reminds me of those "I probably would have thought ewoks were stupid if I was older when 'Return of the Jedi' came out" things - I thought the chaotic horseback (err, "fathier-back") dash through the casino in "The Last Jedi" had a goofiness only surpassed by the gallop (on "orbak-back") on the surface of a Star Destroyer in "The Rise of Sky Walker". But in the 80s I totally took the "yeah we need to cavort around astride these big kangaroo-ish things because it's too cold to use spaceships" excuse at face value. Maybe because tauntans were clearly awesome.
The other day I mentioned to Melissa I was going to write my doctor about a niggling medical issue and she asked if I had one of those Partners/Aetna/whatever systems where I could communicate with him, and I said yes, and she asked which one, and I said I had no idea, and she mentioned this struck her as a rather "male"-ish tendency... not that either of us our strong gender determinists but that there was a correlation such that a woman might be more likely to have that kind of detail remembered. (Similarly I notice both her and my aunt memorize credit card numbers, whereas I'm lucky if I succeed in efforts in remembering my "3 digit code".)

I would have put my lack of recollection into a more personal bucket of "I'm into gist, not nuance" - the same kind of explanation I have for being a little face blind, or for being able to effectively skim at great speed - and so I put info like "how to contact my doctor" in a little database-y thing I have.

What do y'all think? Is there a gender-identifying correlation here, in terms of remembering details?

September 9, 2020

While Mowing
A thought occurred in my front lawn,
and I paused my heated mow.
"Wouldn't dandelions be so lovely
if they were only hard to grow?"
--published in Eucuyo '91, Euclid High School's literary magazine

Of course, the second part of this storyline won't be written now. It's a shame I don't get to see what happens. But everybody dies, and there will always be places and experiences missing from anyone's life – the world has too much beauty and adventure for one person to see. I will miss marriage or children, blossoming careers and lives moving on. But I'm not alone in my life being cut short, and I think my time has been pretty good.
Truly inspiring article from a person who won't live to see the end of quarantine. He also expounds on these five points:
  1. the importance of gratitude
  2. a life, if lived well, is long enough
  3. be vulnerable and connect to others
  4. do something for others
  5. protect the planet
I know I have trouble with "be vulnerable", there's no shame in it but I don't deeply grok its value.


September 10, 2020

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.
John Adams, second President of the USA
via this Freakonomics podcast on the Great American Auopoly: Republicans and Democrats. Like Coke and Pepsi, sometimes a good rival is the greatest frenemy you can have. I am sometimes astonished at people who demand strict readings of the Constitution - along with looking at the likely intents of the Founders - and sort of miss how much day to day political procedure is based on parties, which aren't mentioned in the Constitution and were widely viewed as extremely suspect back in the day.
Other pollsters complain about declining response rates, but our poll showed that 96% of respondents would be 'somewhat likely' or 'very likely' to agree to answer a series of questions for a survey.

September 11, 2020

Menu items are the modern programmer's way -- even that of the Java programmer, who is too pure of heart to use pointers -- of putting an obscene number of unpredictable GOTO statements everywhere in his code.
I snagged that quote (old school tech and gendered language and all) 20 years ago and it recently inspired some musings on UI unit tests in my devblog.

My new favorite analogy: unit tests are like setting up a tiny 2 or 3 ant farm. It's great to check that your ants are indeed healthy but you're not going to predict many of the problems of the ant colony that way.
Had a dream last night, something about "Yehbébe", Brazil's #1 female pistoleiro / sharpshooter...
Why Are Conservatives Obsessed with Pedophilia Right Now? Basically, it's kind of a ploy/panic, a warning message that society adaption to a wider variety of people: allowing gay marriage, accepting Trans and non-Binary folk is making some kind of slippery slope, and won't somebody think of the children. (Again: not to be an apologist for abusers, not to discount the need to keep up vigilance, or deny that there are some horrific things happening - it's the timing of it that's odd, along with the way the news lacks a call to action. (as the article puts it 'No "share this number," no "put a sign in your yard" or "don't be a pedophile," "seven steps to protect your kids from getting trafficked," or even "donate to this fund to fight pedophilia." It's just "here's another story about pedophiles engaging in sex trafficking. Isn't it awful?!"')

It also links to a Mother Jones article that talks more about the QAnon/Pizzagate resonance.

TUBA from Eucuyo'90

September 12, 2020
An essay I wrote about playing tuba that was published in Euclid High Schools literary magazine "Eucuyo" - kind of a high cringe level for me now, so read at your own risk...

I play the tuba. It's a rather pleasant way I have of passing time. In this world there are few instruments in which the very playing of the said instrument is in itself a physical endeavor. The tuba is one of them. "I am a tuba player," states my philosophy, "therefore I can do anything." I consider the tuba the penultimate instrument. First God created the tuba, then with the material remaining He/She created the other instruments. The ultimate instrument, of course, is the kazoo. But the the tuba is a close second.

I started playing brass in third grade. I started on a baritone, which is like a premature tuba. I look back with fond memories on the days when I could only play two notes, F and G, and those not very well. Then things became "sorta interesting," to quote myself again. Well, actually, not all that interesting. Sigh.

Most of my musical training has been at school or at the Salvation Amy. The Salvation Army is a church, besides being a public service operation. So for three whole years, I happily, badly tooted away. Then, fate stepped in.

A trumpet player in my sixth grade band decided to switch from high pressure, high competition, world of trumpeteering to laid back, no competition land of Baritoneering. This upset me. I've always liked being the only player of an instrument in at least one of the bands I'm in. It's an ego kick to see your name as the only name listed under the heading "baritones." So when this trumpet player switched, a thought popped into my head. 'Right now, no one is playing TUBA! I can switch and voila, I'm a one man section again!'

So the powers-that-be of the Glens Falls Middle School music program (Mr. Antolini) locked me in a practice room with the scales of both instruments and told me to "learn 'em". So I did. My tooting continued, just as bad (if not worse) but in a lower octave.

Then I moved from Glens Falls (as immortalized in 'The Last of the Mohicans' and home of Glens Falls Middle School), New York to Cleveland Heights, Ohio. There I went to Monticello Middle School. Mrs. Beale, the music director there, was a major influence on my Tubaing. She taught me quite a lot about style and technique. I also continued playing in the Salvation Army corps band.

Around Christmas time of my second and last year at Monticello, I was informed about an event called Tuba Christmas by Mrs. Beale. I decided to try it out. 250+ tubas, euphoniums, and baritones gathered together in a large music hall and played, appropriately enough, Christmas carols. It was such a pure, mellow sound. It was enough to drive a man insane, so consider what it did to me!

Euclid, Ohio became my next home. I then joined the NEOSA (North Eastern Ohio Salvation Army) Divisional Youth Band. A trip to Mexico with the Youth Band highlighted my freshman year. Mexico was an experience that completely blew my mind. The people there had nothing like we have in the States, yet their spirit and appreciation was completely overwhelming. I also managed not to get Montezuma's Revenge.

One experience that I have neglected to mention is playing for the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle effort. This involves playing eighteen Christmas carols over and over for hours on end as your lips begin to stick to your metal mouthpiece and you pray that your valves will remain moving throughout the day. I returned to the lighter weight baritone for this chilly thrill. It is not easy to perfect your vibrato as your teeth chatter uncontrollably.

Of course there is always the wonder of Euclid High Marching Band. Marching across the field, playing as loudly as you can against eighty of everything else is not a favorable environment to hear the bass line, trying to remember where to march next, all while carrying a BIG white fiberglass tuba (sousaphone really) is not my idea of a Good Thing. Eventually football season ends, though, and symphonic band begins. Real music at last! Music that you can sit down for! Yippeeee!

Somewhere in this I became a fairly decent Tubaist. I'm not sure where, I'm not sure when, but it happened. So I'll continue making up bass lines (which is fun) and marching in marching band (which is not fun) and Life shall Trudge on.

Some thoughts, 30 years later: Kind of weird how I had a 15 year gap after college! It might be interesting for me to remake this sometime. But yeesh, I can't believe I thought I was hot stuff in English in high school...

September 13, 2020

Orca attacking sailboats off of the coast of Spain. Super sad. What kind of stresses are they under to change their behavior like that? Probably too poetic to think it's just the only sadly limited affordance they have of striking back at a species that have proven to be rather shitty caretakers of the planet, but there's a probably a parallel to what's really happening, where human-caused changes to their way of life are making them weird and desperate.

September 14, 2020

SCUBA is an acronym for "Self contained underwater breathing apparatus". Tuba is also an acronym.
It stands for "terrible underwater breathing apparatus"

Amazing slo-mo footage of insects taking off, and a nice unpretentious attitude from the creator, with a dash of "how this was made"

September 15, 2020

It's funny what sticks you from childhood, little mental snippets that lie dormant 'til they randomly remerge, unbidden. In this case, I thought of the official comics adaption of Raiders of the Lost Ark. That link is a good review but you can find the whole thing online.

In this case, it was this panel of Marion's naked back as she changed into a dress Belloq has given her:
I must have been in second grade. Sometimes I think about how difficult it was to get pictures of undressed people back then (especially relative to today where you have to remind Google not to show you naked boobies) From National Geographics to Art Books, I think I knew the location of every bare nipple in my parents' library.

Anyway, that lovely curve of back scandalized me and has stuck with me... of course that slinky dress in other panels might have helped:
And this shot of the Ark being filed away in a giant warehouse stuck with me more than the movie version:

BONUS: I grew up with people telling me I looked like this guy:
I guess in high school I sort of inadvertently leaned into the look with an unfortunate hat, and also the glasses. The trouble is no one remembered the characters name (Major Toht) so it was always "that Nazi guy from Indiana Jones, you know, the "We are not... heh heh... thirsty" guy who gets the medallion burned into his palm..."

September 16, 2020

Recently I heard someone who said the admonition to "be a human being, not a human doing" was a great reminder for them.

As it is it doesn't land for me. I guess I find worth and value doesn't reside in individuals, it's either an emergent property that arises in group contexts, or maybe it's an objective property of the universe that can only be confidently realized by getting enough viewpoints on it.

Looking back, I think that was the concept I expressed without full understanding in this poem I wrote in highschool:
A rock sat in the woods, thinking,
for many years, of many things.
Realized God and His plan
How to perfect life for plant and man
but it was a rock, and rocks can't speak
so it had to keep it to itself
My feeling is, any self-contained pure knowledge without action or expression is kind of worthless. The noun of things don't matter except as a container for the verbs that are possible, so being a "human doing" is critical, and the "human being" aspect is just a path to that.

But I think other people take something useful and important from "be a human being not a human doing"... can anyone in that group try and express how it works for them?
Thinking further - and I'm going out on more of a limb here - my current theory of what consciousness might be relies on a concept of interaction: that you have a model of the world, and an awareness of your ability to make changes in that world. (Maybe cognition enough to make predictions is relevant as well?) But this is true even for cases like "locked-in syndrome", or when you're asleep: for a sophisticated enough brain, the world that's external to the self may be virtual, like another part of the brain.

There's a thought experiment of the Boltzmann brain - that quantum theory suggests it could be possible - though very unlikely - for a structure of a brain to spontaneously appear, complete with (fake-y) memories and all that jazz. But in my model where consciousness is not a static thing but a state of interacting, the problems presented by the "Boltzmann brain" evaporate. In the model where it's like a real brain, well, I guess it has a few moments of panic as it dies in a environment foreign to all its fake memories up to now. Or if it's just like molecules that drifted together, formed this brain, then drift apart, it's even more meaningless - that fleeting second of awareness was just a mirage.
"Hey, what's the matter?"
"I'm sad because you're going to die."
"Yeah, that bugs me sometimes too. But not so much as you think... ...When you get as old as I am, you start to realize that you've told most of the good stuff you know to other people anyway."
Richard Feynman and Danny Hillis
I think that captures some of my feeling, that an important thing is to find out good stuff and then share it.
Some pretty decentinspirational-ish quotes. Some are thought provoking.

September 17, 2020

Low key rip your heart out Twitter thread from a doctor encountering the callousness of the economics of the USA's health care system. "Doc, which kills you faster? Blood pressure you don't control, or blood sugar you don't control? [...]
I just can't afford all these medications anymore." The other heart wrenching part is, he wants to aim for 4 or 5 more years which is how long he figures his pet dog has.

September 18, 2020

The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.
Mitch McConnell, February 2016 (within an hour of Justice Scalia's death)

September 19, 2020

I feel like this writer is using a rather idiosyncratic definition for empathy vs sympathy vs pity like saying empathy is where you actively worked to feel compassion but sympathy is where you feel it naturally because of similar circumstances for yourself? (Which is usually closer to the hallmark of empathy...)
"Temporal bandwidth" is the width of your present, your now... The more you dwell on the past and in the future, the thicker your bandwidth, the more solid your persona. But the narrower your sense of Now, the more tenuous you are. It may get to where you're having trouble remembering what you were doing five minutes ago.

The others speak of love, I speak of interest.

September 20, 2020
"Do you believe in fate and predestination?"
"No, I don't believe in predestination, but I have many dreams and aspirations, and I believe that each of my actions will change the world for better or worse."
"Your next reincarnation?"
"An AI with infinite wisdom."
"Are you afraid of death?"
"Yes, I am."
"Do you want to say anything at the end of our conversation?"
"Yes, I have a secret to tell you. It's my most favorite quote."
"The others speak of love, I speak of interest."

September 21, 2020

Fiddling with my home office setup, getting a keyboard well-positioned, has made me think about my typing. "I want to live like I type - fast, with a lot of mistakes." typingtest.com's 1 minute test puts me at about 74 WPM... I made (but caught) many mistakes, but they consider it fast, but under "Pro"
speed bag drum cadence:

September 22, 2020

then a miracle occurs/ I think you should be more explicit here in step two

September 23, 2020

via Cracked... yikes, what?

September 24, 2020

Ice Delivery 1918

On my devblog:
the importance of rapid iteration and proximate feedback

September 25, 2020

I think for me the worst part of procrastination is that idea of "well what if you get lean into it, get some things done, but stuff sucks anyway?"

Or: there's still that list of longer term projects you have that will still be there when you die! (Though, conversely, you could say that that since life is a process, that would be a good sign of ambition even into old age, not a bad fossil of failure...)

Definitely a bit of the best being the enemy of the good. (Along with that general fixed mindset concept that if you feel laziness had you leaving some in the tank, some potential untapped, you have a less certain view of your own limitations.)

Though sometimes I think I lean too much into this image, which I literally have framed near my workspace:
Procrastination: Hard Work Often Pays Off After Time, But Laziness Always Pays Off Now
For grins I keep around my Gen 1 iPhone. Found this photo on its camera roll from probably not too long ago...

I kind of like it somehow, Dean's "what the hell are you doing" look.

September 26, 2020

Fail Faster. Follow the Fun.
Marc "MAHK" LeBlanc on game design.

That quote from this video:

I'm proud of the little games I've made but sometimes I wish I had fleshed out more of them... most are just barely enough wrappers for playing with a lovely little mechanic.
toys.alienbill.com/daylight/ - woke up too early this morning. Noticing how it was still dark inspired me to update one of my first infographics, plotting out sunrise/sunset over the course of a year. I added a new overlay showing how much the daylight shifted on a day to day basis, and could see how that around the solstices there isn't much change, but around now, near the equinox, the shift is pretty rapid.

September 27, 2020

Thinking I should do an old game clear out (Wii/Wii U especially, also PS2, some other things) but it's really tough to let go!

It really runs into the muchness of the world. So many of these games, packing them up for selling is the last time I'll think about them. And I have a pipedream of like getting random young folkI know enthused about this stuff... but does that even matter? Is not being able to let them fire up "Rayman Raving Rabids" on Wii that big of a loss, wouldn't we find other things to do?

September 28, 2020

So glad to see the Poetry Unbound podcast is starting up another season. (One of the the few things I'm not tempted to put on 1.5x speed.) In each the poem is read, thoughtfully discussed, and then read again. The first episode of the new season, Ada Limón's "Wonder Woman" was moving.
Myth is not something that's false; myth is something that's so true that we find fantastical ways to tell it.
Pádraig Ó Tuama

This ain't our fight, baby. We want no part of the war between the Boomers and the Millennials. We took our lumps as young people in the 80s and 90s, and now we're middle aged, most of us just living our lives, doing the best we can.

Besides, no one ever wanted our fuckin opinions anyway. Why ask now?

Plus, and this is the biggie, there aren't really that many of us, at least as compared to the two ginormous (and noisy -- oh, so very noisy) generations we're sandwiched between.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I'll go watch Clerks and reminisce about the good old days.

September 29, 2020

Most people don't realise that their beliefs about winter are subjective. They feel like they're just someone who hates the winter and there's nothing they can do about it... But once you put it in people's heads that mindsets exist, and that you have control over your mindset – I think that that's tremendously powerful.
As the days have been getting shorter I've been reminding myself to reset my framing - night time is also a time! A time where things can happen, conversations had, art made, loved ones canoodled etc.

I always think back to that one angry-at-having-to-move adolescent summer when I programmed myself to despise summer camp with "I hate everything about this place" becoming such a personal catchphrase that I startled myself when a random thought starting "Oh I hate..." auto-completed with the rest of the mantra.

Like I once said about a tendency to rage against being stuck in traffic: "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..."

Of course the ability to dispassionately connect varies from person to person, though I think practice helps. I don't know if the abilities I have to not let emotions roil is more like adult self-control or just low-grade depression or what not. (I know it has its roots from a time when keeping on the religious straight-and-narrow felt like the most overwhelmingly critical thing I could possibly be doing, at peril of my immortal soul.)

September 30, 2020

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
Truman Capote

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