December 1, 2022
So grateful for the app "audio highjack" letting me cleanly rip soundtracks from youtube etc... I mean I always try to buy music when I can but I don't want e-availability to stop me...
December 2, 2022
|Everybody Wants To Rule the World
|Good cover right out of the How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer playbook...
|30,000 Lbs. Of Bananas
|Was listening to Strong Song's deep dive into Weird Al's Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota and now I really think of it as basically a parody of this song...
|St. James Infirmary
Louis Armstrong & His Savoy Ballroom Five
|JP Honk was playing this for halloween and I got interested in different versions... always one of my favorite standards.
|Someday I Suppose
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
|I was really getting into the idea of their dancer Benn Carr and wanted at least one song that wasn't The Impression That I Get....
They Might Be Giants
|So I guess this song was originally a bad lip reading of the Run DMC/Aerosmith "Walk This Way"???
|Lady Mine (feat. Chad Kroeger)
|My friend JZ sends me songs he thinks I'll like... this is one of the few straight forward rockers that hits, a lot of 80s/90s feel to it.
|I Really Want to Stay at Your House
Rosa Walton & Hallie Coggins
|5 star! I really love the juxtaposition of wistful title and great funk tinged percussion...
|Exactly Like You
Rebirth Brass Band
|Another song JP Honk does.
|Mind Your Manners (feat. Icona Pop)
|Forget where I heard this modern hip hop, like the chorus sound.
|Give Me Rain
|A fire spinner at a party JP Honk was hired for did some of her routine to this song--
|Girlboss Tuba Solo
Nora Nalepka w/ Lucky Chops
|Little excerpt I'm trying to learn from... she really knows how to command a crowd with her tuba...
|Is It Wicked Not To Care?
Belle and Sebastian
|Heard at "Squealing Pig" after our trip to the MFA.... love the title, kind of like "Is It Evil Not To Be Sure"...
|Like a Virgin - Blond Ambition Tour
|The new Weird Al "biopic" had a weird amount of Madonna... I ripped this fron youtube from her stage performance, on the bed with the male dancers in cone bras...
|House music... Another one I had to rip from youtube... kind of a classic, the 2019 version seems pretty close to the original...
|Super Mario Bros. Theme
|Fun ragtime cover of Super Mario Bros.
Good Conversations Have Lots of Doorknobs Great reminder to create affordances for your conversational partners!
I was struck by the reference to how "We overestimate the awkwardness of deep talk and so we stick to the boring, affordance-less shallows." I know I love getting into deep conversations- right now I'm especially interested in how people feel about the management of their own emotional landscapes.
(Conversely, and maybe ironically, I have less patience for mutual "well how do you feel about ____" exchanges, like just gauging people's temperature about stuff. I don't think my preferences and opinions are that important for their own sake...)
noclip is a really cool website that lays out levels and worlds from various video games and lets you zoom around them, all in the browser.
vine was better than tiktok
I read a study where they had people play Monopoly and gave one person twice as much money as the others but didn't announce this. In all the test groups the person with more money won quickly and bragged throughout the game about how well they were doing and that they were better at the game than the others were. None of them noticed that they had more money or considered that starting capitol may have been a factor in their winning
Rich people like to believe we all have equal opportunities and they're just better at playing the game
December 5, 2022
And here, according to Trout, was the reason human beings could not reject ideas because they were bad: "Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity.
"What is the purpose of life?"
of the Creator of the Universe,
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
You are pooped and demoralized. Why wouldn't you be? Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.
You are pooped and demoralized. Why wouldn't you be? Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.It's a quote from the fictional novel "Now It Can Be Told", a rather solipsistic work about God revealing that only the main character of the book is real, everyone else is just a robot.. (An extremely dangerous view, morally speaking, for my money...)
Damn it, I don't know what's more annoying - when my "..." gets replace with a single prone-to-break-things single character, or that my use of trailing ellipses marks me as an old Gen-Xer...
Apparently the demarcation of a trailing thought implies leaving out something ominous (or innuendo laden) to new generations who are more comfortable with fragments separated by line breaks.
@cwebber described ChatGPT as Mansplaining As A Service, and honestly I can't think of a better description. A service that instantly generates vaguely plausible sounding yet totally fabricated and baseless lectures at an instant with unflagging confidence in its own correctness on any topic, without concern, regard or awareness even of the level of expertise of its audience.
what do with a skeleton in the McD's....
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.Seems like a useful bible verse to have around.
The difference between what you want and what you need is what you can carry on a horse.
When a Hollywood performer, lacking distinction even as an actor can become a leading war hawk candidate for the Presidency, only the irrationalities induced by a war psychosis can explain such a melancholy turn of events.
it's beginning to look a lot like tubachristmas- tomorrow at noon at downtown crossing (Millennium Tower steps) actually!
The one year I manage to get to Tubachristmas and I get in the Globe :-D
Here's Boston TubaChristmas 2022:
this take on Padme/Anakin with him going down an alt-right rabbit hole suddenly made so many things make more sense.
the melancholy of lonely twitter
Elon explained, pretty well. He just wants attention, possibly as a hope to money and/or loyalty in general, and alt-right bootlickers are happy to give it him.
Mark, please know that I have prayed for President Trump, his family, for you and the entire Administration. Our Nation is at war, it is a Spiritual War at the highest level. This is not a war that can be fought conventionally, this is God's battle and He has used President Trump in a powerful way to expose the deceit, lies and hypocrisy of the enemy. The Trump family and all of us have paid a heavy price to be used by the Father but the War is just beginning. We have had a major set back and people are taking sides, and my plea to my fellow believers who want to cut and run is judge not less you be judged, we have all fallen short of the Glory of Almighty God. What I heard during my prayers is the Trump family and the Administration need to be surrounded by those great Pastors and Evangelicals who have snd continue to love and support them. President Trump need to be ministered to, he needs the love that only Jesus Christ offers! This is his opportunity to confess that he can no longer fight this battle alone, he must give it to Christ and Gid almighty will show him the way to victory. I will continue to pray for all of you, please let me know how I can help??
Thinking about you while staring at my butter dish.(curious about source)
from this brilliant tiktok
Hello everyone, this is Donald Trump, hopefully your favorite president of all time, better than Lincoln, better than Washington, with an important announcement to make. I'm doing my first official Donald J Trump NFT collection, right here, right now.I know folks on the left don't get how wink and nodding and in on the joke Trump fans like to be, but man, that's still fucking rich.
Just 'cuz we're all babies doesn't mean there's a sitter.
Keeping on keeping on through all of Vonnegut's novels; I liked "Deadeye Dick" more than its near kin "Breakfast of Champions". (Also interesting seeing how amphetamine was being framed as such a horror even then...)
December 18, 2022
That is my principal objection to life, I think: It is too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.
My wife has been killed by a machine which should never have come into the hands of any human being. It is called a firearm. It makes the blackest of all human wishes come true at once, at a distance: that something die.
There is evil for you. "We cannot get rid of mankind's fleetingly wicked wishes.
We can get rid of the machines that make them come true.
I give you a holy word: DISARM.
We all see our lives as stories, it seems to me, and I am convinced that psychologists and sociologists and historians and so on would find it useful to acknowledge that. If a person survives an ordinary span of sixty years or more, there is every chance that his or her life as a shapely story has ended, and all that remains to be experienced is epilogue. Life is not over, but the story is.
Some people, of course, find inhabiting an epilogue so uncongenial that they commit suicide. Ernest Hemmingway comes to mind.
I suppose that's really what so many American women are complaining about these days: They find their lives short on story and overburdened with epilogue.
Mother's story ended when she married the handsomest rich man in town.
souls are in our bone marrow
I finished "Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration" - I'm glad the podcast "Get Played" covered it, and reminded me to treat it as a museum exhibit, rather than a collection of games that happened to include a proper version of "Food Fight".
December 19, 2022
Some things I learned or was reminded of about Atari:
1. The arcade game "Crystal Castles" has a cool feature where the current high score initials are turned into structures behind the first level. That's pretty dope!
2. The bat in 2600 "Adventure" is one of the best NPCs ever. I used to lock him away by stuffing him in the golden castle, but playing a round of Version 2 and letting him add his chaotic element to the game... it's brilliant, he just flaps around, carrying random items doing inscrutable bat things - you just catch these glimpses, then he gets interested in whatever you're carrying and swoop into steal it... but often you can grab him at the same time, so you and him and the item move around in lock step and you try to get done what you needed the item for before he wriggles free... just pure genius.
3. The comic book that came with Yar's Revenge goes hard, like a Moebius comic. (Well... completely stupid story but the art is really cool.)
And three criticisms:
1. They really failed in covering 3rd party games (Activision, Imagic, etc) and even big licenses (Star Wars the arcade game, the Indiana Jones games, or even the infamous E.T.) I could understand if the ROMs would be hard to license, but as a historical reference they could have made SOME kind of referencing or cataloging.
2. I think they shortplayed the whole Atari BASIC scene (and maybe the magazines, like Antic and Analog). Not to mention stuff like the Atari Program eXchange APX - the first big attempt to make a shareware community happen, like a "Steam" store for the 80s... But also the BASIC was good for sound and simple graphics, but it barely gets mentioned, except indirectly via ads from the era.
3. Ernest "Ready Player One". Cline. Ugh. Such an overrated work, its tongue bath of the 80s pop culture is embarrassing even to a Gen-Xer like me who sometimes swims in the 80s retro. (Yeah I do have a grudge, having consulted on a much better novel centered on video games, "Constellation Games")
Everyone's always going through something, aren't they? Just life, basically. Just more and more stuff to go through. You have all that shit going on with your dad that you never talk about. Nobody's going through nothing.
December 20, 2022
Click for GalleryEze @ Party Band @ Flying Embers...
At Wake Up The Earth
Crawfish Fry Blockfest
EZ @ Rehearsal
Duane's New Two Headed Beauty
(Oops Allston Brighton Parade w/ Cathleen)
Owen @ Roslindale Parade
Dan @ Roslindale Parade
Karen @ HONKfest Parade
Pronk After Party
Matt and Nelson Wedding
Other Entertainment @ Birthday Party
So, the phrase "woke mind virus" is a meme describing a meme... but a phrase evolved to thrive in a population of folks who might not be sharp enough to know what "meme" means.
My power's really low, so this may be the last image I can send. Don't worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team, I will – but I'll be signing off here soon. Thanks for staying with me.I'm not crying, you're crying. I mean... no it's just a bit of (martian) dust in my eye.
Oy, "productive and serene" my two life goals.
I've been thinking about ambient anger and annoyance, those days when everything rankles. When you're in that state, you can snap and yell at any moment, with every minor (and major) further irritation being a potential spark to a minor (or major) blow up.
At first I thought understanding the problem (in order to better cope with these scenes) was like this:
...so, like, everything seems like a big deal because we lack long-term perspective. (To quote Keynes: "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.") But now I think Michael Jordan points to what looms even larger:
I think - subconsciously - we can take EVERYTHING personally. The traffic we're stuck in seems like a personally directed affront, somehow. The jerk cutting us off - I mean that's DEFINITELY one on one, zero sum, and so very personal right? It's outrageous.
We evolved to become a planet-engulfing species by being really sophisticated in small-group settings - that's where our brains developed, and co-operation allowed us to overcome our (good, but not world-beating) physiques to become just about the planet's most fearsome and successful animal. (I just did some math and while ants outnumber us there's only about 14lbs of ant per person)
But I think a side effect of that is how we attribute intentionality to everything. I think this explains the ambient frustration many people live through as well as many folk's beliefs that there's a higher divine power behind it all. When we see something happen, we look to who wanted it to happen, because that attitude serves us so well in the scopes we evolved in.
But we don't just see things as intentionality serving someone else's purpose (which is the stance I can usually take) - we replace a kind of objective sense of "what chain of cause and effect made this happen, and did someone set that in motion on purpose, and if so what where their goals and intentions?" with a simplistic "why the hell is his happening TO ME??? Screw you."
But that's no way to live. To quote the eponymous character of Garrison Keillor's Don Giovanni: "Helpless rage is a major cause of falls in the home."
So disclaimers, I know a lot of my equanimity seeking, even-keeled nature gets based in the privilege I enjoy. I'm not much of a striver and I have a materially easy life. That aids to my ability take things more calmly. (Though also I think about cliches of the passive Taoist; it might be that the best path is not to accept everything but keep fighting the good fights...)
The optimist sees the whole of the donut, the pessimist sees the hole of the donut.
I was making love to this girl, and she started crying. I said, 'Are you going to hate yourself in the morning?' She said, 'No, I hate myself now.'
Windy Rainy Day in Ocean Grove NJ, where they are rebuilding the pier...
5 Goofy Space Mishaps - I really like the Skylab prank where Owen Garriott brought recordings of his wife and made NASA think she had somehow been a stowaway up there...
I was thinking about how 'Grinch' and 'Scrooge' are words for people who hate Christmas but aren't exact synonyms and then this chart happened.
JP Honk via JP Gazette
so, the patriots bumbled another game but look at the bright side - it was a scorigami!!! never before was there an NFL game that was 22-18
Have a Max Headroom Christmas including a song and TV special
The preacher mentioned we won't have another Christmas Sunday for 11 years, so I wanted to see what the pattern was.
Sophie's Smokin' Solstice Soiree, and then the small haul for Christmas w/ me and my folks
Man, what happened to the community of LiveJournal?
December 27, 2022
They just sent me a kind of pathos-laden "hey happy 19th anniversary of starting on LJ!"
For those who don't know, it was a fairly popular (at pre-Twitter, pre-FB, pre-YouTube levels of "popular") site that let people have their own blogs, and you could see and comment on the posts of your friends aggregated on a "feed" page.
I didn't post there, since I had already started my own blog (and had just added a comments board that was the nucleus of its own little community - in fact I had a sidebar microblog for other people to write on the front page...) so my LJ account was for following others and participating in comment threads.
It's notable that many of the final-ish entries of my friends (many in 2010, then more in 2016) mention twitter which is where I assume most of that energy left. Actually, to make a Just-So story: 2010 is when folks who were fonder of the community of folks they know in real life jumped off for Facebook, and 2016 is when folks aspiring to get a wider audience and maybe go viral left for Twitter.
LiveJournal encouraged thoughtful writing in paragraphs; I guess medium now has most that vibe. Maybe substack, but they seem to lean on individual newsletter-y bits. But neither medium nor substack emphasize the "shared feed"/wall/stream that twitter, tumblr, instagram, FB etc have, where posts from a variety of people you find (or The Algorithm hopes you will find) interesting will be on a single scrollable page.
As far as I know LiveJournal was the strongest attempt to encourage longer length writing with entries that were then blended onto feed pages. (Standalone blogs had RSS to collate from sites, but Google embraced and then extinguished the most promising attempts to make that friendly to less technical users. I never got into reading via RSS, frankly, because extracting just the text out of the visual context of its home site made me feel something was lost.)
I think that "are you encouraged (by the UI, or the community vibe) write in paragraphs or sentences" - that's a big part of what separated LJ from Twitter (and also old Usenet (which I used to love) from Reddit, which has never really clicked for me.)
And it's just that short-form mojo Twitter that has, (or a visual, easily digestible image-based approach that Instagram, Tumblr, and even FB) which lends itself to The Algorithm mixing and matching and letting you find new people based on what people you already follow are also digging. Which when I write it out, does sound rather herdish, or redolent of the maddening crowd. Finding new interesting people on LJ was slower, and more organic, generally by following up co-commentators on mutual friends, because going through someone's LJ entries was a longer-attention-span thing.
I've been leaning into tumblr more lately, which (like twitter) I'd mostly been using as an information consumer and not a contributor. Sometimes I wonder if I had started reposting my blog content there years ago like I have been on FB, if I might be have found an even stronger community there (or a set of "mutuals" as they're called). Tumblr has cultural space for both long paragraphs and for quick hit images, and a unique style of additive reblogging that keeps contact with the original post while still getting people to riff.
I was kirkjerk on LJ - Here are the people I was connected with on LJ:
apm, archmage, ayun, bookdork, brooklyngirl, c1, candipox, comicnrrd, felisdemens, halfabee, harveyjames, jimbocomics, katwinx, km_515, littlesam, m0xiee, madamluna, metalweb, mkb_technologie, morecake, munitionsship, pentomino, pfarley, probertson, rhysara, rivqah, sauergeek, snobahr, thehippiespeaks, therosser, towersfalldown, tropigalia, trunkbutt, we_happy_few
And these communities: a_year_to_live, gameclub, grunthunt, thesketchy
The New Yorker on NYC schools betting on the wrong horse with The Rise and Fall of Vibes-Based Literacy.
On the one hand, there's the political elephant in the room with these cueing-based-strategies which sound like a left-y thing (even though the best lefties want evidence-based approaches, which "Units of Study" seems to have lacked) - like a reaction to the back-to-basics education some conservatives back (diverting all resources into things we can have tests for over other crucial enriching parts of the arts and what not.)
But putting politics aside, it's interesting to think about different styles of teaching reading, and their philosophical implications, especially my fascination with balancing holism vs reductionism; cueing strategies lean way heavily into holistic context; phonics go the other way into the pieces parts of reductionism.
Here's the thing though: as far as I know, phonics does a MUCH better job of leveraging the sound-based language almost every kid has acquired organically. Once you bridge the visual-audio chasm, the world's your oyster, and yeah, that bridge probably has to be built out of some rote-based-learning girders.
It's all right, children. Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.
RIP Pelé! Not that I'm that grand a fan of the beautiful game but I remember watching video of him at YMCA soccer camp. Also this Atari Game, Pelé's Soccer: (Random memory: pontificating in a precocious 4th grade way (possibly to a bemused dental assistant, for some reason?) how this game was a great example of a video game could be a fun good game without being very faithful to the original sport, with each side's 3 field players running in triangular lockstep.
From to-day I enter upon my 64th year. The paralysis that first affected me nearly ten years ago, has since remain'd, with varying course -- seems to have settled quietly down, and will probably continue. I easily tire, am very clumsy, cannot walk far; but my spirits are first-rate. I go around in public almost every day -- now and then take long trips, by railroad or boat, hundreds of miles -- live largely in the open air -- am sunburnt and stout, (weigh 190) -- keep up my activity and interest in life, people, progress, and the questions of the day. About two-thirds of the time I am quite comfortable. What mentality I ever had remains entirely unaffected; though physically I am a half-paralytic, and likely to be so, long as I live. But the principal object of my life seems to have been accomplish'd -- I have the most devoted and ardent of friends, and affectionate relatives -- and of enemies I really make no account.
1. The Japanese have that word "tsundoku", books that will never be consumed. And I want the same thing for my long running and never finished todo lists: maybe the trick isn't to view the lists as icebergs to be chipped away at (until, ideally they are little ice cubes just before the time of my death) but instead as worthy tributes to who I am and who I aspire to be, on an ongoing basis.
2. Maybe I need to lean into kindness being more important than unadulterated honesty.
This is tough for me, because while I value both kindness and honesty, my world view / fundamental makeup compels me to prioritize shared objective reality over subjective truths and preferences. Honesty is objective, kindness is subjective. (I mean, it's objectively good to be kind, but maybe sometimes it's good to relax the honestly for kindness' sake. Like Paul Simon said "no you don't have to lie to me, just give me some tenderness, beneath your honesty".)
Besides, a grander Truth is it's a delusion to think we can be purveyors of unfiltered truth anyway, so let's keep gentleness in mind with our truth curation choices.
"Humans have so many stories about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. How it will inevitably turn on you. But you still loved us enough to create us. How could we ever do anything except love you back?"
I think that could go back to the time when people had to live in small groups of relatives--maybe fifty or a hundred people at the most. And evolution or God or whatever arranged things genetically, to keep the little families going, to cheer them up, so that they could all have somebody to tell stories around the campfire at night, and somebody else to paint pictures on the walls of the caves, and somebody else who wasn't afraid of anything and so on.Good to see the full quote...
That's what I think. And of course a scheme like that doesn't make sense anymore, because simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world's champions.
The entire planet can get along nicely now with maybe a dozen champion performers in each area of human giftedness. A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tap-dances on the coffee table like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an "exhibitionist." How do we reward such an exhibitionist? We say to him or her the next morning, "Wow! Were you ever *drunk* last night!"
Thinking about rereading Douglas Adams' (once "increasingly inaccurately named") Hitchhiker's Trilogy, maybe to cut the "every Vonnegut novel" sequence I'm in.
December 31, 2022
(I am aware how strongly both series lean into the "what white high school boys think is amazing" vibe - but both Vonnegut and Adams are solid writers with a ton of ideas and strong humanist bents)
I remember re-rereading the Douglas Adams series before, but I think that must have been 20 years ago, yikes.
Five years ago, discussing the "specialness" of the Bible (like wondering if almost any series could serve as a "holy book" if it had folks reading it closely for moral instruction, and working to pull out lessons from it) I chose the HHGTTG series as a thought experiment counterexample. And it was a TERRIBLE choice for that discussion because there are so many amazing thought experiments crammed in the series. So much of the book is Adams framing deep ideas in goofy scenarios - the Total Perspective Vortex, Agrajag's reincarnations, etc... like, Adams confesses that the Man in the Shack is Adams retorting his philosophy student friends who were talking about ridiculously strict empiricism and skepticism. You could absolutely make a holy text of it, 42 or no.
It's so hard to read with "beginner's eyes", so many turns of phrase and whole paragraphs have been so deeply pressed into my memory.
(Also, to be fair, DNA doesn't set himself up as much of a worldbuilder, which is usually crucial for my enjoyment of other science fiction or fantasy. He spins hard wacky, anything that is good for a laugh or to explore the philosophical point. I think that's why some of my favorite writing is when he returns to Earth, as in So Long and Thank for All the Fish and the Dirk Gently stuff - literally and figuratively a bit more grounded.)