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October 1, 2021

She picked her phone up off the coffee table. It was a hand-sized, rectangular device, similar in appearance to a mirror, but when imbued with electrical energy, its surface would display images and glyphs that responded to her touch. The smartphone was one of the most revolutionary technological advances of the twenty-first century. Its primary function was as a communication device, allowing her to send her voice, her image, or messages she typed onto the screen to others who possessed similar devices, but it also allowed her to search compiled records of human knowledge for any information she desired, listen to music, and watch pre-recorded theatrical performances, known as "movies--"
That bit about a reader of a story being annoyed by the the house-out-of-no-where of a flashlight reminds me I think I need to replace my pocketknife. Wonder if they make a pocketknife case for phones…
After a short wait, they were ushered onto the plane with the other passengers. The plane was an enormous steel cylinder at least a hundred meters long, with sleek backswept wings on which four jet engines were mounted. They glanced into the front cabin and saw the two pilots, consulting a bank of equipment needed the fly the plane. Roger was glad that he did not need to fly the plane himself; it was a difficult profession which required years of training.

The surprisingly large passenger area was equipped with soft benches, and windows through which they could look down at the countryside as they flew 11 km high at more than 800 km/h. There were nozzles for the pressurized air which kept the atmosphere in the cabin warm and comfortable despite the coldness of the stratosphere.

"I'm a little nervous," Ann said, before the plane took off.

"There's nothing to worry about," he assured her. "These flights are entirely routine. You're safer than you are in our ground transport cars!"
(Matt McIrvin pointed me to that on FB. Which is the kind of thing explaining why I'm still on FB!)

photos of the month september 2021


Open Photo Gallery

LOL. I love that I'm on dev teams sweating load time scores because Google the Almighty has really made it a point of emphasis, lest our SEO ratings plummet, and I'm starting at a gmail loading screen (weirdly rebranded "Google Workspace" for like over a minute.)

september 2021 new music playlist

My Life Is Better With You (My Brother, My Brother and Me Podcast Theme Song)
Decent indie pop.
Theme song from the "My Brother My Brother And Me" podcast. Honestly it sounds way too slow to me, since I usually hear it at 1.5x to 1.8x speed.

Beast Unleashed
Vin Jay
Dumb video but I like the chanting in the song, and the beat.
My friend Jonathan Z is one of the few people who is pretty locked into songs I'll likely like. I think it's a pretty shallow thing about the percussion.
Hootie Hoo
Old school slow flow hiphop.
Was tracking down a character saying "Hooty Hoo!" as a greeting on Ted Lasso. (I also remember it referenced in a Missy Elliot song.)

I Can't Decide
Scissor Sisters
Kind of playful old-timey sound, but with a serious dark edge.
via this tumbler post

End of the Road
Noga Erez
Her vocals remind me a bit of the background of will.i.am's Trump song GRAB'm by the PU$$Y
Found digging up her cover of "I Walk The Line" below.
I Walk The Line
Noga Erez
Slow female / orchestral cover of "I Walk the Line", right out of How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer playbook....
Trailer for Netflix "Sex/Life"

Seven Nation Army
The White Stripes
Indie rock with an infamously catchy bassline.
I have and love a number of covers of this song but never had the original, looking to it when someone said I wasn't playing the bassline as it was written on a chart.
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Nina Simone
So the original, with a more famous cover. (Along with "Tainted Love", songs I'm chagrined how I assumed they were work of their more famous cover artists.)
from the movie "Nobody"
Pat Benatar
late 70s/early 80s Rock!
played in the movie "Nobody". I missed out on a lot of classic rock by being a nerd who pretended he only liked classical and jazz.
Witness (1 Hope)
Roots Manuva
UK hip hop... like the glissando sound and the line "Breakneck speed we drown ten pints of bitter"
Dr. Sharon Fieldstone in "Ted Lasso" was listening to this on her bike (and then got hit by a car :-( )
Crazy (Radio Edit) [feat. Joie Tan]
female cover of modern r+b song
Playing at my dermatologist's office... I really love Shazam sometimes.
El Sueño
Javi Colina & Quoxx
South/Central American club music.
Played by DJ at a friends retirement shindig.
Hard to Handle (Live)
The Black Crowes
Big hit Otis Redding cover (speaking by white folks making bigger hits covering black folk's songs)
Went to see these folks live with Leigh... didn't really know a ton about them...
Ben Folds Five
Jesus, I didn't really think about this song's lyrics until just now... wow is that raw and dark.
From this goofy meme "She's a brick"... "house"? "and I'm drowning slowly"?

Chief Rocka
Lords of the Underground
Pretty cool oldschool hiphop. Shades of Beastie Boys and Onyx.
Playing from an open air restaurant near harvard square

Falling In Love
Julia Wolf
Sardonic modern indie pop. (Warning, cuss words.)
Apple blogs, that's like an iPhone 13 new camera mode exploration.

Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds)
Regina Spektor
Moving song from Hamilton, to an illicit daughter. (I need more Regina Spektor in my life)
From the Hamilton Mixtape, now that I've finally watched the musical.

An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude]
Old school beat box behind a clever bit of Hamilton lyrics.
From the Hamilton mixtape.
My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix]
The Roots
Hiphop rework of Hamilton song. I do love Busta Rhymes sound and flow.
from the Hamilton Mixtape

how my honk bands work

In a sense, we work backward, either consciously or unconsciously, creating work that fits the venue available to us. That holds true for the other arts as well: pictures are created that fit and look good on white walls in galleries just as music is written that sounds good either in a dance club or a symphony hall (but probably not in both). In a sense, the space, the platform, and the software "makes" the art, the music, or whatever. After something succeeds, more venues of a similar size and shape are built to accommodate more production of the same. After a while the form of the work that predominates in these spaces is taken for granted--*of course* we mainly hear symphonies in symphony halls.
David Byrne, "How Music Works"
I've thought about this passage, or at least this book as the source of similar sentiment, often over the years, and was surprised to see I hadn't placed it in my common place blog before.

Currently I'm using it to bolster a defence of bands I'm in; I'm getting some heat from one of its members that it's not taking the music seriously enough.

But I think the idea that music is shaped by the space is mirrored by how it's also shaped by who shows up. My HONK! music tends towards the motley. Not just activist bands, but open community bands who will try to work with people at all levels and from all backgrounds - and, which might be the sticking point, doesn't necessarily demand a lot of time "woodshedding". (Maybe this reflects my own laziness about practicing. I've always coasted on tuba parts being less technical and my own constantly being in about 4 bands at once, and so I'm maybe too reluctant to tell people they need to hunker down.)

So we have a mix of people who maybe just had music-as-an-elective in high school and college and are getting back to it, or even some people who just started with ear training School of Honk, against, like, lapsed escapees from Berklee. We draw music influence and sometimes charts from lots of places (probably especially other HONK bands...) in the NOLA street tradition and trad jazz and maybe a little klezmer and African and Central/South American and Caribbean - like in a way it reflects a beautiful patchwork society. I mean not as much as we'd like at times- achieving diversity and looking like the less-gentrified parts of neighborhoods we're in is a challenge. Like if you're trying to frame most music as being of a culture, our is more loosely knit than many other traditions that come from a specific community - like, progressive liberals, often white, who live in small atomic families, often are living far from where they grew up, and who dig on bringing in lots of musical influences to their playing.

I've always thought that musical performance is usually leaning either towards connecting with crowds or impressing other musicians. The best can of course do both, but in a world of part-time musicians, I think it's ok to focus on the former more than the latter. "3 chord wonder" punk bands could rock the hell out of their venues! And while that's not who we are or what we do, I think it's a good reminder that even simpler music can be emotionally resonate.

I'm always going to worry that I'm not being harsh enough with the band, that maybe it could benefit from more tough love on demanding practice, more careful tuning, work on intonation, emphasis on dynamic, and thoughtful design of percussion. And my fundamental inability to judge critically (something that's really fundamental to my temperament, but that's a different story) is some of why I usually shy from an official role of "leader" - along my usual preference for consensus over top-down authority. (Also, I used to hold the idea that HONK bands - like my high school marching band - must always shun music stands, but have come to learn to split our repertoire into stuff we can march around with and pieces we will be stationary for, I think a decent compromise)

And we've lost a few of the "escapees from serious musical pursuit" players who get frustrated with the group, see its level as more of a ceiling than a floor. It's a bummer when that happens, because it's usually a loss acoustically and pedagogically , and of course I get filled with second-guessing. But still, I'm pretty happy with what my bands are able to do and the community they bring to my life and the chance to have musical fun for myself and others.

October 5, 2021

First, the old news: I am no longer a person (as I might put it to a believer) blessed with the gift of faith.

The primary fault line for me was one of empathy. The flavor of Christianity I had been given (and, in part, then would prepare for myself) was that of a belief system that was uniquely and universally True, and therefore pointed to the delusion or outright falsehood of other religions. But the contingency of it all -- when I reflected on how as the literal Sweet Talking Son of a Preacher Man I was striving to be a good Christian, but wouldn't an alternate me in the role of Sweet Talking Son of an Imam be trying just as hard to be a good Muslim? - led me to think that it was just terribly unlikely my people got it right and everyone else got it wrong, and this very powerful and loving God let that happen. Empathy (in combination with this deeply instilled idea that Religious Truth must be all encompassing and potentially universal) drove me from my precocious childhood sense of faith.

I'm reading Meghan O'Gieblyn's "God Human Animal Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning". She also had a strong Christian background she turned from, and writes
When I was in high school, the pastor of my family's church read the news through the lens of the minor prophets and frequently voiced his opinion, from the pulpit, that Christ would return within his lifetime (he was in his late sixties). For most of my life I had believed that I would live to see the coming of this new age; that my body would be transformed, made immortal, and I would ascend into the clouds to spend eternity with God.
That kind of thinking sounded very familiar to me. But now I'm thinking... hasn't at least one flavor of Christians been saying over and over and over for centuries? It feels like a certain gullibility there - akin to believing a tenant saying "oh, THIS month I'll get you the rent, I swear" or that any week now you'll win the lottery.

So that, too, lacks a certain kind of empathy. It's like the modern day believer, putting aside that Matthew 24:36 talk ("But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.") says - "C'mon... just look at the state of the world, the return of Israel, all that jazz. It's GOTTA be SOON!" and to the extent they acknowledge that line of thinking goes way, way back, it's like they're saying "What a bunch of rubes!" to those earlier generations of believers.

And I do resent that apocalyptic kind of thinking, which scared the bejeebers out of me as a kid, and has distorted our political and economic policy for centuries. It's tough to work to be really good long term planners when you think the end is nigh - ties in with our cult of individualism to make a country of "got mine, forget you" whether the "you" is others now, or in the future.

I do understand that this doesn't have to be the basis of Christian faith - here's a Baptist News piece from 2009 about surveys saying 40-60% of Americans say differing religions can lead to eternal life. (Heh, not even going to get into the eternal life bit.)

So not even every Christian was raised with this sense of uniqueness, and I'd say the many-path approach has a lot more wisdom, which is why I'm affiliated with liberal Unitarian Universalists.

It's funny, I always distrust any faith based on trusting an un-interrogatable "special revelation", but I also realize that I have no mechanism for absolutely saying that ISN'T how the Universal Truth might work. For all I know, one sect has it exactly right, and God is secretly blessing that one group, and the devil to all the rest. It just doesn't seem particularly likely to me.

October 6, 2021

A stopped clock is right twice a day.
A clock running in reverse is right four times a day.
A clock running at 720 times normal speed is right once a minute.
A faceless clock is never wrong.
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

Biometrics were easy to disguise, so the authorities tracked people by their brain patterns. The only way to disappear was to change the way you think. Revolutionaries recruited artists, poets, and philoso-phers to give them mind-blowing insights whenever they had to lose a tail.
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"
(Admittedly, as a detractor of special revelation, I have mixed feelings about that one.)
'Don't let your random-number generators get loose,' the old programmer warned. 'Pi used to be an even three before a wild RNG got ahold of it.'
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

'We had to switch from digital to analogue to get robots to feel emotions,' she explained. 'After all, they call them "numbers" for a reason.'
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

'Nerves all over the body have thoughts, but the brain cannot receive them,' he said. 'Want to know what your organs think of their tyrant?'
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

Relax while you can.
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

It's all about the timing....

A page for the hymnal for The Church of Gun, where every American student gets to be part of the worship whether they believe or not. From today's shooting in Arlington, TX.

October 7, 2021

I had a dream where I was checking out Paul McCartney's autobiography, but he padded it with like 100 pages about "Page-A-Day Calendars I particularly liked".

wait is this true? I thought it was like.... booty bouncing in general and maybe with a weird reference to "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE"

October 8, 2021

Nothing lasts forever, not even the world. So patch the holes and change the parts while we've still got it.
Heather Anne Campbell, quoting or paraphrasing the game "Death Stranding"

October 9, 2021


HAPPY HONK! One of my fellow tubists reminds me I have to keep up my dancing game.

October 10, 2021


Interesting defense of the old english system of measurement - fractions based on 2s 3s and 4s are much easier to deal with on your head than decimals

A serious pity, if we had 4 fingers on each hand or 6, our math would be much better, because 8 is great for getting to binary and 12 has that 3 and 4s dividing mojo.

October 11, 2021

Good advice.

October 12, 2021

One way to think about it is the longer your brain holds on to a negative event, or stimuli, the unhappier you report being. Basically, we found that the persistence of a person's brain in holding on to a negative stimulus is what predicts more negative and less positive daily emotional experiences. That in turn predicts how well they think they're doing in their life.
I do wonder to what extent this can be voluntarily controlled by people. I feel like I get good bang for the buck by drifting past negative emotions that don't serve me, refusing to let them snowball or self-sustain. And I feel like too many people are too emotionally driven. But then I feel like I might some kind of Spock-ian weirdo! Or that by working on my equanimity via self-"Talking Therapy" I've given up some highs as well as the lows.

I do feel I can be cheerful enough, mindfully acknowledging all the comforts of my kind of privileged life, though I feel I might've been bouncier/happier in the mid-90s. Like, after I got over worrying about nuclear annihilation but before getting worked up about Y2K and after that, adopting a kind of existential equanimity against a general panic about inevitable mortality.

October 13, 2021

Devblog of the moment:
Heh, in 3 days my UI Dev Blog will be a decade old! I was proud of this morning's entry on making and positioning circular image masks in p5.js - i also made up a sandbox program demonstrating the technique.

My friend Jeremy (of Glorious Trainwrecks thought this guy making art with big heaps of HTML checkboxes might be up my alley, and he wasn't wrong!

It reminds me of a mix of my Etch-a-Sketch animator art and my all-game-in-a-pushbutton game buttons.

October 14, 2021

How to hack, Missouri-style (a multi-step process):
go to a public, but HORRIBLY written site
right click and hit "View Page Source"(or hit F12)

Sounds like they are wanting to persecute some reporter for bringing their ineptness to their attention.

(So much for being the "Show Me State", clearly they are bigger believers in "don't show me")

October 15, 2021

Good morning. This is Randy Peone on KREZ Radio. That's K-R-E-Z Radio, the voice of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation. And Coeur d'Alene people, our reservation is *beautiful* this morning. It's a good day to be indigenous.
"Smoke Signals"
(finally getting around to rewatching)
"And what were you two?"
"...we kept each other's secrets."
from "Smoke Signals"

How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers? Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning? For shutting doors or speaking through walls? For never speaking, or never being silent? Do we forgive our fathers in our age, or in theirs? Or in their deaths, saying it to them or not saying it. If we forgive our fathers, what is left?
Thomas Builds-The-Fire, "Smoke Signals"

from "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

All things have a bit of soul.
Priest conducting Buddhist funerals for Sony Aibo robotic pups.

We are but whirlpools in a river of ever-flowing water. We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves.
Norbert Wiener, the "grandfather of cybernetics"

In a way we are already living the dualistic existence that Kurzweil promised. In addition to our physical bodies, there exists--somewhere in the ether--a second self that is purely informational and immaterial, a data set of our clicks, purchases, and likes that lingers not in some transcendent nirvana but rather in the shadowy dossiers of third-party aggregators. These second selves are entirely without agency or consciousness; they have no preferences, no desires, no hopes or spiritual impulses, and yet in the purely informational sphere of big data, it is they, not we, that are most valuable and real.
Meghan O'Gieblyn, "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
from Algernon Charles Swinburne, "The Garden of Proserpine"
(Describing the weariness of life and the relief that comes from the assurance that it cannot last forever.)
There are two types of creation myths: those where life arises out of the mud, and those where life falls from the sky.
George Dyson (in "Turing's Cathedral")

The philosopher Slavoj Žižek once made a joke to this effect. Perhaps, he mused, God got a little lazy when he was creating the universe, like the video game programmer who doesn't bother to meticulously work out the interior of a house that the player is not meant to enter. "He stopped at a subatomic level," he said, "because he thought humans would be too stupid to progress so far."
Meghan O'Gieblyn "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

The op-eds making the case for shutdown all seemed to follow the same formula, beginning with some vague appeal to the intrinsic value of human life and then quickly devolving into profitability algorithms and affordability assessments in an attempt to demonstrate that the choice made sense on both moral and economic fronts--a tactic that only confirmed, in the end, the opposing view that human life was reducible to economic logic. This trend reached its logical end in an op-ed by Paul Krugman, who flatly debunked the truism that human life was "priceless." The statistical cost of life was calculated all the time in transportation and environmental policy, he said: it was roughly $10 million.
Meghan O'Gieblyn "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

Damn, my devblog is 10 years old today!

October 17, 2021


"what is a workplace but a cult where everyone gets paid, really?"
"By that logic, a relationship is just a cult with two people. Well, okay, two or more people. A shared language, shared rituals, devotion to ideals like 'fidelity' or 'love' or 'getting really into Renaissance Faires together.'"
Calvin Kasulke from "Several People Are Typing"
Fun little somewhat surreal short story told totally as messages in Slack.

October 18, 2021

Vaccine mandates: as American as George Washington and the Continental Army...

Outside music everything I do is badly done and stupid.
Ludwig von Beethoven

October 19, 2021

I appreciate the goofiness of the new hit a homer get a ride in the laundry cart ritual of the Red Sox. But given the "Sox" name, the laundry aspect seems a bit on the nose.

fodder for my work slack "random image of the day" via tumblr
Cold Pizza (cheese) with Sriracha, breakfast of... the Gods? Champions? I dunno but I really like it, the calm of cold dough with the flour speckle and the comforting cheese, separated with the light tomato sauce tang, then Pow! the Sriracha to reframe and recontextualize it all. Paired so well with my usual large green coke glass of iced coffee from the fridge.

October 20, 2021

There's interesting left hemisphere implications in trans-rights issues; like recognizing rather than dictating who someone really is. Apparently horses can be pretty good at it.

October 21, 2021

I was googling for the "Out to Lunch" one but the other comic is relatable as well...

So funny how fall brings Dean back to this chair (and into the office to hang out near me) I guess it's just the 5 degree or so in-house temperature difference?

When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away--even if it's only a glass of water. Characters paralyzed by the meaningless of modern life still have to drink water from time to time. One of my students wrote a story about a nun who got a piece of dental floss stuck between her lower left molars, and who couldn't get it out all day long. I thought that was wonderful. The story dealt with issues a lot more important than dental floss, but what kept readers going was anxiety about when the dental floss would finally be removed. Nobody could read that story without fishing around in his mouth with a finger. Now, there's an admirable practical joke for you. When you exclude plot, when you exclude anyone's wanting anything, you exclude the reader, which is a mean-spirited thing to do.
Kurt Vonnegut

from "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven"

There's a little bit of magic in everything and then some loss to even things out.
Lou Reed

But, no matter what they do, keep walking, keep moving. And don't wear a watch. Hell, Indians never need to wear a watch because your skeletons will always remind you about the time. See, it is always now. That's what Indian time is. The past, the future, all of it is wrapped up in the now. That's how it is. *We are trapped in the now.*
Sherman Alexie, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven"
FWIW, I never wear a watch either. Though I guess now I carry a pocketwatch, and the corner of my screen usually has a clock. But I always feel I'm a captive to time, I hate the physical manifestation of that as a handcuff.
We both leaned further back into our chairs. Silence. We watched the grass grow, the rivers flow, the winds blow.
Sherman Alexie, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven"
Love that simplistic 3 line rhyming poem.
Norma always said that Indians are the most sensitive people on the planet. For that matter, Indians are more sensitive than animals, too. We don't just watch things happen. Watching automatically makes the watcher part of the happening.
Sherman Alexie, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven"

"I'm sorry, Detective Clayton," my father said. "But my son and I are diabetics."
"Oh, sorry," the detective said and looked at us with sad eyes. Especially at me. Juvenile diabetes. A tough life. I learned how to use a hypodermic needle before I could ride a bike. I lost more of my own blood to glucose tests than I ever did to childhood accidents.
"Nothing to be sorry for," my father said. "It's under control."
The detective looked at us both like he didn't believe it. All he knew was criminals and how they worked. He must have figured diabetes worked like a criminal, breaking and entering. But he had it wrong. Diabetes is just like a lover, hurting you from the inside. I was closer to my diabetes than to any of my family or friends. Even when I was all alone, quiet, thinking, wanting no company at all, my diabetes was there. That's the truth.
Sherman Alexie, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven"

October 23, 2021

Lost dog in JP...

hothouse gullibility flowers

It's probably not great to attack a book when I've barely started it, but early in Chapter 1 of Steven Pinker's "Rationality", he mentions an old chestnut of a riddle
On a field there is a patch of weeds. Every day the patch doubles in size. It takes 30 days for the patch to cover the whole field. How long did it take for the patch to cover half the field?
and Pinker bemoans that most people won't get the correct answer (29 days, i.e. since it doubles daily, the day before the final day it was half the final size.)

He explains
Human intuition doesn't grasp exponential (geometric) growth, namely something that rises at a rising rate, proportional to how large it already is, such as compound interest, economic growth, and the spread of a contagious disease. People mistake it for steady creep or slight acceleration, and their imaginations don't keep up with the relentless doubling.
But what a fantastical setup that riddle is! Like any physical model would show us that no patch of weeds on earth could have that kind of behavior "steadily" over 30 days. To show that to myself, I hacked my version of Conway's Game of Life to be even simpler : every alive cell lives on, and every dead cell with at least one alive neighbor is born. The result is visually boring - a square that grows from the middle of the screen. And checking the population numbers, they are far from doubling. The rate that the square can grow is clearly bounded by its boundary, the 2D "surface area" where it has new fertile territory to move into, and so there's no way its actual area could keep doubling. And similarly, I can't think of a mechanism and environment that would support much of anything from having consistent doubling behavior for 30 days!

I find these thought experiments infuriating when they are used as examples of people's "irrationality". It's akin to economists thinking people are irrational for preferring receiving ten dollars now vs thirty dollars a year from now. In an uncertain world, any real world test subject is absolutely correct to be suspicious of a test program reliably running over the course of a year (especially when its business model seems to have big deal of just giving away money!)

I used to think of these as "casino-ish" problems- like, they are customized to prey on human's response at this attractive edge of artifice. But I guess I'd say they're "hothouse gullibility" thought experiments - they take for granted that OF COURSE the research is trustworthy, or that a patch of weeds that doubles every day for 30 days is a meaningful prototype to ponder. They are merely interrogating how well subjects can navigate a completely artificial environment of simplifying assumptions.

Update... later in explaining why people make this kind of error he does say
we might point to the ephemerality of exponential processes in natural environments (prior to historical innovations like economic growth and compound interest). Things that can't go on forever don't, and organisms can multiply only to the point where they deplete, foul, or saturate their environments, bending the exponential curve into an S. This includes pandemics, which peter out once enough susceptible hosts in the herd are killed or develop immunity.
So I think it still forces the question: how meaningful are these contrived examples in generating useful knowledge about the world?

October 25, 2021


Loved seeing this big ol' original iPod prototype! (this twitter thread drops a few names about the software involved...)
When in doubt, 16px
Sous at work, Feb 23rd 2021

October 26, 2021

See, the problem with doing things to prolong your life is that all the extra years come at the end, when you're old.

Today I found out I'm the first Google Image search hit for "mardi gras beads on tuba".

(I am switching to using a smaller number of bigger bead throws, at least while using my spare tuba)

October 27, 2021

Last night I finished the series "Squid Game" and mocked up a simulation of one of the games, the one on the bridge:

I love being able to whip something like this up in short order, though in a way it's less smart of an approach than this probability based article.
So apparently "40% keyboards", where 60% of the keys are like, not there, exist? What's weird to me is the reviewer is more concerned about the lack of a right shift key and not the damn numbers and associated punctuation. I really don't get it.

October 28, 2021

So I indulged and got a new Macbook Pro 16. I'm excited by the New Hotness (or rather, coolness - very, very literally) of the M1 chip, but mostly by the larger screen... I was realizing that the my Macbook Air wasn't great for dev work when away from my desktop monitor, and I use my Mac enough to justify investing in something that feels good.

And the new screen size is pretty great! Especially combined with a program like "SizeUp" that makes it easy to have two windows each taking up half of the screen... it's almost like having two small monitors. (I have a similar vibe with my 32" LG Monitor)

I keep getting obsessed with trying to think of like, what's the perfect size for devices. I've been of three damn minds about it - tiny, devices still hold this appeal, the elegance of all that power in a compact space still has a frisson for me. But for phones and desktop displays and now laptops, big is in. And then sometimes I'm like "nah... right up the middle, best of both worlds".

As my eyes start to get creaky with age, and I end up doing that damn glasses on top of head thing for close up text, maybe big displays will keep winning out for me.

(Interesting to see where I go with iPads. I have a giant first gen Pro that was the first thing I could get that supported the Apple Pencil... it was FANTASTIC for e-comic-books but up until lately I've preferred the iPad mini as a reader. But between the creaky eyes and the way my large phone can do as a reader in a pinch, it's getting squeezed out. But the iPad Pro is corny huge, so maybe someday back to the cheap, medium-size iPad it will be. But iPads have tremendous longevity, so no rush.)
(also it's weird since I'm sure to be mixing up the new Monterey OS details with the new computer in general.)

October 29, 2021


October 30, 2021


good flirt
On my devblog: Math geekery, trying to figure out a 1D Zoom/Fisheye effect with some help from my friend Jon.

He's much smarter about the math than I am, though I'm glad I was able to frame the problem well and make a cool little dynamic tester for it.

October 31, 2021


i think ultimately you become whoever would have saved you that time that no one did
roach-works via

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