March 1, 2023
I sometimes wonder if fear isn't just God's way of saying, 'Pay attention, this could be fun.'
Life Hack: I wanted some popcorn as I coded but I didn't want to get grease all over my keyboard. Solution: chopsticks for the popcorn.
Double Life Hack: popcorn via chopsticks is a great way to learn how to use chopsticks.
Triple Life Hack: Despite what Dylan said in the 90s you can totally have popcorn as your dinner especially if you are more of a grazer at night anyway.
At 2:02 today, it will be the third minute of the third hour of the third afternoon of the third month of the the third year of the third decade of the third millennium.
March 3, 2023
Like, yesterday was Thursday, but today is DEFINITELY a Thirds-day.
Almost everyone [94%] has intrusive thoughts, but people respond to them in different ways. The key difference between people who do not struggle with their intrusive thoughts and those who do, is not that the former do not have them (although they may experience them less frequently and intensely), but that they are able to dismiss unwanted and upsetting thoughts as meaningless. Those who struggle with intrusive thoughts tend to attach great significance to the thought, and worry that they really do believe or feel those things, or really would commit those acts.FWIW I have AT LEAST my fair share of intrusive thoughts, but they are readily dismissed.
For me religion said, there's Objective Truth. And later the multiplicity of religions told me people are just guessing at it. But that means I'm deeply anti-authoritarian; ANY truth is only valid relative to it seeming like a probable good match for the Objective Truth, and that includes whatever random crap my brain comes up with.
The French call some of that "l'appel du vide", the call to the void, the unbidden urge to hurl yourself off a high place (which my grandfather had literally, but nothing ever came of it.) Less literally, it's a good framing for a lot of thoughts of weirdly dark possibilities. I went to a lot of antique-y and artisan stores with my dad as a kid, and I remember saying something like "wouldn't it be cool to spin and push and smash it all down?" and he was like "uh... no."
Heh, just had a thought that seems so blatantly obvious in retrospect.
Like I'd long heard of the overlap between programmers and musicians.
And with programmers, there are coders who are very into precision and isolation: unit tests and formal typing. And there are other coders who are more interested in context and are comfortable with duck-typing.
And with musicians, there are many players who love the precision, and aren't comfortable without sheet music in front of them. And there are group musicians who, while usually following forms (not talking jam bands, more like street bands) are comfortable doing more by ear, and emphasize interaction.
It's probably not a coincidence that I'm in the latter category of both, and I think the spectrums tend to run parallel.
As always, the best answers are somewhere between, but probably more on one side than the other.
I do love a good - or bad - Sisyphus joke!
via perry bible fellowship
by Seth Fleishman
Your only goal in life is to create as much dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphin as possible.
Two things: first, Matt Damon and other thoughts how the passing of DVDs has changed movies ...
Secondly... it's a good link but I only saw it because I'm weird about trying to "keep up" with the people on tumblr I follow. Like I tend to avoid the "endless streams" of Tik Tok, instagram, FB, because I like the sense of being caught up and not missing out. And in fact I think curating stuff online for others (and my future self) is a really good and rewarding activity for me. But I gotta worry about my anxiety about being caught up, and also the overall amount of time it takes.
Excerpt from a letter from Gordon S, circa 1993
March 6, 2023
|beautiful, soft, sweet.
|Sweet Dreams (feat. Holly Henry)
|Cool cover of the old classic, who am I to disagree?
|Do Whatcha Wanna
Rebirth Brass Band
|One of Two versions of this songs I grabbed this month as we played it for New Orleans
|Seven Nation Army
|I just collect these covers! This is like the second most abrasive.
|This Beat Is Military
|Charlie Murphy's rap group. Kind of like a cheesy attempt to make Public Enemy more commercial.
|Lean on Me
|Was thinking this would be a good song for my band to play, but maybe a version that's less "We Be Jammin'" as this one.
|With Arms Outstretched
|Very sweet early 2000s chick singer vibe.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
|My friend Duane noticed it uses some odd tuning and half-step kind of stuff. I keep seeing this on a very odd "Come And See Him" tumblr video.
|Bangers & Mash Theme Song
Chas & Dave
|Intro theme to a UK cartoon, fun "rockey" ("pub singalong, music-hall humour, boogie-woogie piano and pre-Beatles rock 'n' roll") goof.
|I Wanna Know
|Becca played this song to open a comedy show Melissa and I went to... I like her acoustic version much more than her studio version.
|Praise You (From the Series "Derry Girls")
|Always such a sucker for "cover of a pop song but slow and female vocal'd"
|Another from "Derry Girls" -- the Cranberries had such a distinctive beautiful sound.
|Good Rockin' Daddy
|Sexy r+b rocker of a song.
|Do Whatcha Wanna, Pt. 2
Rebirth Brass Band
|Grabbed this version because I think it's closest to what my band is trying to learn..
via tumblr, conceptually I love this:
I was trying to think of why I sometimes launch myself into angst-y procrastination rather than tackling items on my TODO list. If I track down that feeling, it's a bit of an anxiety response. But why? Most of the individual items are very manageable, only a few have that "oh this might being tougher than you think it should be for you, and therefore batter the old ego-laden self-image." I guess overall, it's just the sense that, as satisfying as it can be to knock things off the TODO into the DONE list, the process never ends. So it's like a fear of the endless grind, the awareness that I'll never get to the end of the pile.
It made me think of this quote - I couldn't locate the image I originally saw it with but it was something like this.
The goal of setting yourself tasks isn't to have a pile of useful things to do that ideally is whittled down to zero just before you kick it (not talking hospice situations, obviously, where sometimes the goal is to make space to let things unwind.) The goal is absolutely the journey, the process of doing worthwhile stuff and taking on that pile of TODOs day after day, and not beating yourself up too much on any given day about what is waiting 'til tomorrow... or what just ends up not being worth ever getting around to.
JP Honk, just another practice!
Shout out to the time Pee Wee Herman flew away from ED-209 and met Robocop at the Oscars
I hate myself, I hate clover, and I hate bees.
It's so weird being raised by christians and spending your entire childhood being told to care about others then one day they're just like you're not actually supposed to care about others you stupid socialist
i was in the grocery store and saw an onion on the ground and picked it up, absently saying "poor little guy." behind me a teenage girl started laughing and then stopped and went "aww. i'm sorry for laughing. that's nice actually." and the cycle of cruelty is broken for another generation as a young person realizes that it is not embarrassing to have empathy for another thing that was once living, because certainly to be a lone white onion rolling on the ground in a supermarket would be terrifying to anyone
#this is a poem to me#things that are poems
Today I visited the Cambridge lab of Bob Doyle... Bob is a Harvard Astronomer / Inventor / Entrepreneur / Philosopher. (If you remember the old toy "Merlin", that was him, which is why he's standing here next to a giant functional model of one. Along with the game "Stop Thief", synchronized sound for Super 8 recording, MacPublish (the first Desktop publishing program for Mac), was part of making the first podcast ever happen, etc etc. "information philosopher" site about page. I just finished his book on "Free Will", a large tome charting the history of that philosophical challenge along with an emphasis on the thinkers he thinks had the best idea for it, refined into a 2-stage-model he calls Cogito.
He agreed to lecture on Free Will at the March 23rd zoom meeting of the Science and Spirituality group I run, so if you'd like to sit in on that - like if you're interested in how we are able to make decisions and choices even though it seems like we're stuck in a Universe where every effect has a chain of causes, ping me and I will add you to the list.
Ha, talk about optimism... Excel doesn't realize that if I ever use it it's absolutely not by purposeful choice.
Oh, check the date... I thought it was feeling a little stabby in here.
Sometimes when people say "woke" they mean "liberals being self-righteous and vicious about trivial things" and sometimes they mean "integration," or "civil rights laws" or "black people on television" and it's convenient not to have to explain what you actually mean.
March 17, 2023
Here's to God Almighty, the laziest man in town.
I am now moved to suppose, with my primitive understanding of economics, that every successful government is of necessity a Ponzi scheme.
"Money is so strange," she said.
"Does it make any sense to you?"
"No," I said. "The people who've got it, and the people who don't--" she mused. "I don't think anybody understands what's really going on."
"Some people must," I said.
I no longer believe that. I will say further, as an officer of an enormous international conglomerate, that nobody who is doing well in this economy ever even wonders what is really going on.
"You inconceivable twerp," she said. Most of the speeches in this book are necessarily fuzzy reconstructions--but when I assert that Sarah Wyatt called me an "inconceivable twerp," that is exactly what she said.
To give an extra dimension to the scolding she gave me: The word "twerp" was freshly coined in those days, and had a specific definition--it was a person, if I may be forgiven, who bit the bubbles of his own farts in a bathtub.
"You unbelievable jerk," she said. A "jerk" was a person who masturbated too much. She knew that. She knew all those things.
Two top drawers in the dresser easily accepted all I owned, but I looked into all the other drawers anyway. Thus I discovered that the bottom drawer contained seven incomplete clarinets--without cases, mouthpieces, or bells.
Life is like that sometimes.
"What is the difference between an enzyme and a hormone? [...] You can't hear an enzyme"Jokes play an important role in the main character's relationship with Sarah, a tall college girlfriend. One minor theme is how their relationships was based on jokes and it replaced regular intimacy, maybe because physical intimacy seemed so ridiculous. Somehow that struck home for me.
SHE: How dare you kiss me like that?
HE: I was just trying to find out who ate all the macaroons.
He actually said one time, "Working for Mrs. Graham has been a religious experience for me. I was adrift, no matter how much money I was making. My life had no purpose until I became president of RAMJAC and placed myself at her beck and call."
All happiness is religious, I have to think sometimes.
We are here for no purpose, unless we can invent one. Of that I am sure.
"I want to thank you for hugging me," she said.Oof. With that last one... Hume wrote "Reason Is and Ought Only to Be the Slave of the Passions" and for a lot of people that's more or less how it works; the subjective emotional experience leads, and reason comes up with ideas to help those desires and justifies our impulsive actions after the fact. But for people like me... like, our feelings are grown in a controlled greenhouse, not a natural garden, and we are gardeners compelled to nurture some feelings and leave others to wither on the vine, all based on what seems to be the greater good, rather than springing from the mysterious soil of personal preference.
"Any time," I said.
"Once a day is enough," she said. "I've had my hug today."
"You were the first woman I ever really made love to," I said. "Do you remember that?"
"I remember the hugs," she said. "I remember you said you loved me. No man had ever said that to me before. My mother used to say it to me a lot--before she died."
I was starting to cry again.
"I know you never meant it," she said.
"I did, I did," I protested. "Oh, my God--I did."
"It's all right," she said. "You couldn't help it that you were born without a heart. At least you tried to believe what the people with hearts believed--so you were a good man just the same."
"I'll do it perfectly or I don't do it."
"Mike are you familiar with the saying 'perfect is the enemy of good'?"
"'Not good enough' is the enemy of humanity"
You either come to realise what an idiot you used to be, or you remain as that idiot
Everything you see, is a solution to a problem. Once you learn what the problem was, you will gain wisdom.
The last 50 years of GOP misconduct:
* Plotting to extend Iran hostage crisis
* Secret arms deal w Iran
* Illegal funding of Nicaragua rebels
* Brooks Brothers Riot to sabotage 2000 FL recount
* Lying about Iraq WMD to start war
* Attempted coup after 2020 election
Brutalism is when there's concrete. The more conk they crete, the more brutalismer it is.
Once again I've been thinking a little bit about how in a lot of places "vulnerability" and "openness" are conflated, while for me they're on a see-saw...
I.e. (for me) I don't feel very "vulnerable", I am confident in my ability to muddle through nearly anything, and so I'm willing to be "open" and talk about nearly everything, and be frank about how I feel about things. So the more vulnerable, the less open, and vice versa.
Hm. I guess it's because... well, maybe I feel things less, then? Or rather I'm less driven by my instinctual preferences than a lot of people. I know "I feel things less" sounds awful and robotic, but being able to have some say in what instinctive emotions seem likely to serve me -- which emotional interpretations are well-aligned with SHARED reality and so can be given room to grow from seedling to strong plant, vs what instinctive emotions don't seem in my best interest and should be broken up as a seed -- is good for me.
So I could imagine if I was less adept at curating emotions early, if my only option was to build a macho firewall facade around a raging flame of sadness or anger or whatever, then I would see how vulnerability and openness were more related. But I don't rage like that! (At least not often) And so I'm willing to talk about anything with great candor. (Though I think Joel's damning line to Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - "Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.")
(I was thinking too about once place I might be very vulnerable - I'm compulsive about Not Being Wrong. I don't have to be Right, for sure, but I have to express my uncertainty in no uncertain terms. This can lead to me being less clear and hard to follow, like when I start off with the disclaimer: "i know their might be competing views of this, and here's what they are, but I think the correct view is _____". All the disclaimers are absolutely a defense mechanism for this core vulnerability - so maybe I'm less "open" in that way.)
This weekend Cora came up and we hung out with Melissa's nieces, did a climbing gym, played some Lego, then today we went to the Stone Zoo.
Open Photo Gallery
March 21, 2023
"I always feel like I was lucky. I got to a point where all my answers--rock and roll answers--were running out. All the old things stopped working--as they should've and as they have to, and as time and the worlds and the way it is demands and dictates, in order for you to go on. They run dry, not as a joyous thing in and of itself, but as some sort of shelter for your inability to take your place in the world, whatever that may be. That's when either you recognize that that's happening or you don't and you continue with your trappings and your ceremony, whatever that may be, and slowly you just get strangled to death and you die. You just die."
"I remember, growing up, at night, and my dad would sit in the kitchen with all the lights out and he waited for me to come in, and he'd sit there and drink, and I'd stand in the driveway and I'd look into his screen door, and I could see the light of a cigarette, and then I'd rush up on the porch and try to get by him but he'd always call me back. And it was like he was always... always angry. Always mad. He'd be sitting there thinking about everything that he was never gonna have, until... until he'd get me thinking like that too. And I'd lay up in my bed, at night, and be staring at the ceiling, and I'd feel like if something didn't happen, if something didn't happen soon, it felt like I was just gonna... like some day, like I was just gonna..."
"And at certain moments time is obliterated in the presence of somebody you love; there seems to be a transcendence of time in love. Or I believe that there is. I carry a lot of people with me that aren't here anymore. And so love transcends time. The normal markers of the day, the month, the year, as you get older those very fearsome markers... in the presence of love - they lose some of their power. But it also deals with the deterioration of your physical body. It drifts away, it's just a part of your life. But beauty remains. It's about two people and you visit that place in each other's face. Not just the past and today, but you visit the tomorrows in that person's face now. And everybody knows what that holds."
"There is nothing like the sea at night when the water is slightly warmer than the air, even though the air is humid after a 95 degree day... God, I love swimming at night. It is all darkness and mystery. It is the void and it must be done naked. Clothes at the waterline, please. Do this, and my pilgrim, you will become cleansed. Never will the evening air, or a kiss on the beach, or a dry towel, ever feel so good again. The walk to the car will be filled with starlit grace and you will never forget it. Once you hit the water, you will be covered in the blossoming beauty of your youth no matter how old you are and whoever you're with, you will always remember them."
"Now those whose love we wanted but didn't get, we emulate them. That's the only way we have, in our power, to get the closeness and love that we needed and desired. So when I was a young man looking for a voice to meld with mine, to sing my songs and to tell my stories, well I chose my father's voice. Because there was something sacred in it to me. And when I went looking for something to wear, I put on a factory's worker's clothes, because they were my dad's clothes. And all we know about manhood is what we have seen and what we have learned from our fathers, and my father was my hero. And my greatest foe. Not long after he died, I had this dream, I'm on stage, I'm in front of thousands of people, and my dad's back from the dead and he's sitting in the audience and suddenly I'm kneeling next to him in the aisle, and for a moment we both watched the man on fire on stage. And then my dad who for years, he sat at the kitchen table, unreachable, but I was too young, I was too stupid to understand was his depression. Well I kneel next to him in the aisle, and I brush his forearm, and I say, "Look dad. That guy on stage – that's how I see you."
"I used to, uh, I had this habit for a long time. I would get in my car and I would drive back through my old neighborhood, back to the town that I grew up in. And I'd always drive past the old houses that I used to live in. Sometimes late at night ... when I used to be up at night. And I got so I would do it really regularly ... two, three, four times a week, for years. And I eventually got to wonderin', What the hell am I doin'? And so, I went to see this psychiatrist, and, uh – this is true – and I sat down and I said, 'Doc, for years I've been getting in my car and I drive back to my town and I pass my houses late at night and, y'know, what am I doing?' And he said, 'I want you to tell me what you think that you're doing.' So I go, 'That's what I'm paying you for.' So he says, 'Well, what you're doing is that something bad happened, and you're goin' back there, thinkin' you can make it right again. Something went wrong, and you keep going back to see if you can fix it, or somehow make it right.' And I sat there and I said, 'That is what I'm doing.' And he said, 'Well, you can't."
In a Slack community I frequent someone posted a link on Exponential growth is messing with our minds - Kevin Drum, including an example of filling Lake Michigan with double the number of drops every day.
There's this chestnut:
In a pond, there is a growth of algae. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 23 days for the growth to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the algae to cover half of the lake?and the surprising answer is "22 days" (the riddle phrasing does a good job of redirection)
But I think things like that are artificial thought experiments. Sort of like how square- and cube-laws means all creatures can't readily grown into much larger (and often seemingly evolutionary advantageous) sizes. I am not a biologist but I suspect algae patch growth is constrained by the linear 'surface area' of where the edge of the patch has non-covered water to grow into (In the Lake Michigan example, a 70 year lake filling project is actually half done on Tuesday and then done on Wednesday and that is clearly not a plausible volume of water to move in in a day)
We don't know what the constraints on tech growth are. I do know my phone in 2023 is much less different than my phone in 2013 then my 2013 was to 2003. Ditto my laptop and gaming system- but then again I remember frustrating years in the 90s where my PC would absolutely need a refresh every year or two in order to play recent games. And we might be well closer to that "90s PC" part of the curve for some of our AI techniques, and disruption will result.
Lately I've been thinking there's roughly similar shenanigans with a lot of thought experiments, specifically the trolley problem (and then that one where saying of course you'd jump into a pond to save a kid even if it ruined your nice shoes, but since we all haven't turned our personal finances into charity foundations we're hypocrites.) Like, the trolley problem says "if you take action, these people will die, if you don't take action this greater number of people will die" but I think it blows through one of the defining aspects of the real world - the certain uncertainty we face all the time. You so rarely face examples so crisply defined "1 person will die, 5 people will die". Instead it's like "if I wear a mask, I'm a certain amount less likely to catch COVID, and if enough people don't, this many hundred thousands of seniors will die, but some of them would have died anyway" etc etc etc
So many aspects of cultural norms that seem bizarre when you think about them too much (like human's intense tribalism) make sense when you realize they are examples of iterated behavior over time in a world that always carries a lot of unknowns.
an ok joke but what a picture!
Do ladies love stupid men or do they just love men who don't exhaust every opportunity to feel smart [...] "I used to think that melancholy was a vegetable" that's incredible, let's hang out more
I hope seeing Trump naked was not for nothing.
What if all the dead people suddenly came back as zombies but all they did was give everybody a little friendly smooch like "mwah!" and then they'd immediately go back to being dead and nothing else weird ever happened again
what if they didn't move besides stretching out their lips to kiss you, like you're just walking down the street and everyone around you is suddenly beset upon by rotten lip-snakes and then the second one of them smooches you on the cheek it just immediately snaps back all the way to its grave like a rubber band.
TETRIS PLUS MINESWEEPER LOOKS HELLA STRESSFUL
After the Adams County Sheriff's Office raided the home of Afroman and found nothing, Afroman turned footage of the raid into a music video. Now, the officers are suing over "emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation and humiliation."
here's the video...
Among Us - Atari 2400 by TheTeapotTanuki
RIP Gordon Moore of Moore's Law fame.
Loving renders of tech that mighta been
From Nina Paley, I got it from her collection "Depression is FUN" but she's put the whole run of Nina's Adventures online:
Click for Fullsize
I really do think there was a grace in the Kirk / Spock / McCoy triumvirate, and I'm not sure if the other series had quite the same grace that way.
Read Satoru Iwata (of HAL/Nintendo fame) posthumous autobiographical collection "Ask Iwata" (A play on his famous series that offers the most insight into Nintendo, "Iwata Asks"...)
March 26, 2023
Lots of people flick on the television without any thought the second they get home. The reason they turn on the television even when they don't have any specific show in mind is the confidence that once they're home, as long as they press the power button on the remote, something will happen, which feels better than doing nothing. I think this is the main reason why television assumed such a presence in our lives.
Sometimes in a game, you'll find a stone just sitting there for no reason. Ask whoever made it "Why did you put this here?" and they're liable to say "Why not?" But "why not" is the worst reason imaginable.
On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.
No part of my experience has turned out to be a waste of time.
The regular early morning yell of horror was the sound of Arthur Dent waking up and suddenly remembering where he was.
"The point is," he said, "that people like you and me, Slartibartfast, and Arthur--particularly and especially Arthur--are just dilettantes, eccentrics, layabouts if you like."
Slartibartfast frowned, partly in puzzlement and partly in umbrage. He started to speak.
"..." is as far as he got.
"We're not obsessed by anything, you see," insisted Ford.
"And that's the deciding factor. We can't win against obsession. They care, we don't. They win."
"I care about lots of things," said Slartibartfast, his voice trembling partly with annoyance, but partly also with uncertainty.
"Well," said the old man, "life, the Universe. Everything, really. Fjords."
"Would you die for them?"
"Fjords?" blinked Slartibartfast in surprise. "No." "Well then."
"Wouldn't see the point, to be honest."
Reading his stuff being a bit older, I really see where he's looking to develop characters. But also where he is so brilliant at critiquing and playing with deep philosophical ideas. Like, Pratchett has a lot of morality, but usually you can't help but see it. Douglas Adams is a bit sneakier...
Wowowow -- the Breath of the Wild sequel...
Can't wait to see where the combo system goes, keeping it remotely balanced must be a real challenge!
Reminds me of how much I loved Banjo-Kazooie Nuts + Bolts - its "Capsella" like building system had lots of types of vehicles made in it-- even giant mechs which I think is more than the original designers would have that possible...
Joan "Agent Garbo" Pujol i Garcia. - how to fight fascists and have fun doing it.
I remade my old "what day of the week is this date across years" webtoy (good to know when your birthday will fall on a weekend!) with programming via ChatGPT
awww early birthday gift from my sweetie Melissa! Minifig with Tuba/HONK shirt, a laptop, can o coke, lil Nitendo and a Dean kitty!
Happy Birthday to me! Memes like this make it worth not having a true unbirthday six months later (Because I didn't think September 31 existed)