2023 July❮❮prevnext❯❯

July 1, 2023

Today Cora and I had a longer than usual weekly call and we did some excellent Minecraft-ing.

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The distance view - the house on top (low key the nicest detail was the cherry blossom tree), the pen for the new "Sniffer" MOB we raised from an egg, and between my proudest contribution, a big organic-looking walkway I made (even though in creative mode we fly all the time time it's nice to make it more like a real space)

Cora really impresses on interior design, here is the kitchen of our mountain top cottage-core-themed house.

And the bunkbeds upstairs... not shown were some bookshelves downstairs I was heartened to see her include

Also we had a secret underground science lab (some design cues from "Portal". It was set up to help her clone her beloved wolf pup Hachiko, but to practice we had a cloned creeper she is looking at here who became the lab mascot- she names all such pets she doesn't care about "Jeff", which was extra funny when I found out it's A. because of Jeff Bezos but B. she didn't know who Jeff Bezos is, she just picked on the name)

After the successful main cloning we did more Portal-like "science" in testing traps on a "Warden" monster in a nearby auxiliary testing area cave

Final overhead shot. Good day of crafting!

photos of the month july 2023


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I'm not fully endorsing this view but I think it's thought-provoking...
Here's what I suspect: mentally healthy people, if they still exist, aren't healthy because of the constant presence of positive feelings of self. They are healthy because of the habitual absence of any feelings of self at all. (I guarantee you this is already a thing in psychology or some 19th century German philosophy but it's proving stubbornly resistant to my Googling.) Where we've gone wrong as a civilization in terms of understanding confidence is in thinking of it as a presence, as an emotion. But I think what we perceive as confidence is simply not constantly thinking about yourself and your value. That's more real and sustainable to me than thinking about yourself all the time and consistently feeling good about what you find. Unfortunately it seems like not thinking about yourself is what many modern people find hardest of all.
Personally my guess is that the problem is people getting driven by too much raw emotion connected to how they want the world to be different (sometimes themselves included). I'm not sure I fully avoid "thinking about yourself and your value" - but when I do consider myself in an evaluative way, it's with a weird dose of "fixed mindset" that assures me I'm an ok mix of smart, funny, and capable, and that's not going to change (but! In return I shouldn't look too hard for where my limits actually are - that's my deal with my "positive fixed mindset devil").
UPDATE: On FB Nick (who has a set of challenges based on his albinism) sent me this HealthyGamer_gg video, and I wrote back:

Yeah, that's a pretty good video. Like when I think of what knocked me down a few levels - not getting into a high school NASA internship, swinging and missing with getting into the top of the Ivy league (only swung because of their invitations probably based on SAT scores), chasing an intermittently requited big romance in college (another mindful big swing but then I couldn't let go of the bat or whatever the metaphor is), a few chewing outs at work for slacking off (mostly slacking because of anxiety about the task showing the limits of my competence)... those are all specific events that were those nuggets of trauma it talks about.

But here's the thing - the video focuses on where the lost confidence doesn't have its roots in reality (like the "wet butt" water bottle mocking example) but, sometimes the traumatic event really has its basis in reality. And so I think the problem is acceptance of what those limits are, along with some confidence that you can muddle through whatever happens, and through mindfulness still find parts to enjoy and savor. Not getting too emotionally attached to outcomes you would hope for, I think that's the most important part of the non-attachment a Buddhist might encourage.

And it's a balance, because a dose of somewhat naive optimism - sometimes (but not always) less grounded in reality than the depressive "why bother" - is a good motive force. But like I get you - like for me "it's better to try and fail" seems like bunk, because "not trying and not succeeding" gets about the same results (except for not providing practice) but is much easier on the ego.

june 2023 new music playlist

OK month for music.

4 star:
* Romeo And Juliet (2022 Remaster) (Dire Straits)
(I went on an Indigo Girls kick, and tracked back to the original thinking of their cover that I've always liked. (Also Douglas Adams praises the romantic qualities of some Dire Straits albums, I wonder if this song is part of it.))

* Express Yourself (Remix) (N.W.A)
(Good hip hop with great sample (Years ago a friend of a friend put this beat under a riff I made on a Casio SK-8 .. https://kirk.is/2003/04/27/))

* Born This Way (Lady Gaga)
(Leftist Marching Band plays this song, and I've been toying with an arrangement for my bands. Great message. Interesting how Madonna "Express Yourself" it's like.)

* What's Up Danger (Blackway & Black Caviar)
(Heather Anne Campbell mentioned this song getting her through the time of her double mastectomy. I don't absolutely love the song, but the attitude of helping turn anxiety about threats into excitement seems so useful. )

* The Battle of New Orleans (Digitally Remastered) (Johnny Horton)
(I remember my mom singing this song for me way back when... "We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin' /
There wasn't as many as there was a while ago")

3 star:
* Trash Day (Parody of "Hot In Herre" By Nelly) ("Weird Al" Yankovic)
* Predator (Yvng Patra)
* I've No More Fucks To Give (feat. Damian Clark) (Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq)
* All That You Are (Bear's Den)
* A Box of Porn in the Woods (Heels)
* Nomad Shuffle (Southside Aces)
* The Drunkard Song (There Is a Tavern In the Town) (Rudy Vallée)
* Mowin' Down the Roses (Jamey Johnson)
* Into the Great Wide Open (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)
This "Pac-Man meets Sinistar" cracked me up.
(by Tom Northrop, via Atari Force - - Hmm - I guess the glider harkens from Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures)

July 4, 2023

toys.alienbill.com/2023july4 - a July 4th Virtual Card for you! (photosensitivity warning)

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July 5, 2023


I've been thinking about this, but how my version is
Whenever I'm about to procrastinate on tackling something I think "Is putting off the thing likely to make the problem it addresses better or likely to make it worse?" And if putting it off would not make it better, I go do that thing now.

July 6, 2023

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/player-piano/ cool podcast on electronic music protopioneer Raymond Scott- but you may be most familiar with the use of his song powerhouse in Looney Tunes cartoons.

Another interesting animation: The song name comes across as a bit racist (but not meanly so, like beyond the idea of "cigar store wooden indians" anyway), but it offers a glimpse into how Raymond Scott constructed Songs

July 7, 2023

Today Melissa and I went to Half Moon Beach in Gloucester's Stage Fort Park.

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July 8, 2023


pool day


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July 10, 2023


It's a big sky. Lots of room.
Dr. Freeze in "Pushing Tin"

July 11, 2023

I'm not sure if I ever posted this James Harvey piece I use on my business cards:

It's based on an outfit I don't wear much anymore (the "infamous sexy cop onesie" - with boots instead of my signature sandals)
(here's the same image but with a big amount of padding so I can center in circle based avatars)

Here are the photos I've been tending to use for profiles. That's the same Alien Bill I drew as a high schooler that I have as a tattoo - but only some people know who Alien Bill is, or why. The other shot I'm a little sick of its McKayla Maroney-ish smile, and frankly my side beard is more gray than that now.

July 12, 2023

Damn, Google... wasn't expecting the first search results (admittedly "sponsored" but part of Google's scam is to get companies to sponsor their own organic results lest they be sniped) like this:

To lead to a page like that:

Even if I had looked at the "what URL is this actually" bit, it starts "https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?" and is probably legit - Google Ad Services just didn't vet the link properly - even if it wasn't a scam site when reviewed, why one earth are they allowing other folks to advertise themselves as "Google Sheets"?
Fellow dataviz lovers! Nice set of visualizations at pleated-jeans - I liked this one showing the orbits of planets as seen from Earth, but the one it starts with (different piano notes reverberating in water) is great too, and most of them are cool.

July 13, 2023

A thread on Palindrome's mentioned Weird Al's "Bob" but I was more taken by the visual in this:

I do love the American Traditional tattoo style and this video had a lot of fun with it.

July 14, 2023

"Earth is gone! we're the only two humans left in the universe!"
"Oh God I'm sorry, Leela"
"Maybe this was meant to be- maybe you and I were meant to build a new world here..."
"We can avoid humanity's mistakes."
"Like the tuba!"
"Yes! We'll be like Adam and Eve."
"Only without the tuba."
Screw you Futurama :-P

Minor UX win...

I made a minimalistic free shared white board program, kirk.is-drawing ( https://kirk.is/drawing/ ) - actually it came in useful as a whiteboard for an interview today!

I forked a version of it as a drawing program with my niece during our weekly calls, and I was pleased it was straightforward to steal a UX trick I noticed for drawing in Apple Notes - they put the strokes from the broad highlighter tool BEHIND the strokes made by the fine tip pen. The resulting outline-centric approach is a nice cheap cartoon-y visual style. (Shown in the crude trackpad doodle here)

July 15, 2023

Liz came over and Melissa and I and her tackled a project where, since Melissa and I will be vacationing, we need to make a way to block the cat from hiding under the couch when the cat sitter needs to give him medicines. (the couch is a mid-century modern IKEA modular L thing)

So our first approach with weather sealing tape was obviously not going to hold, so we ended up with low cardboard pallets (from Dean's canned food, plus a few misc boxes) all around blocked by black duct tape. It's not great if you look close but we did a neatish job of it and you might not notice if you weren't looking for it. And most importantly I think it will be enough to dissuade Dean.

But it's another one of those "dang I'm glad I never got around to throwing those cardboard pallets!" situations, like those stupid rebuttals to the decluttering I would like to be doing more of...


I used to think emotions "just happened" and were illogical. I was a victim of my own feelings. I finally got curious enough to start challenging those feelings about feelings, and after years of exploring, I learned emotions actually have a very clear set of rules and structures.

Over a decade ago I wrote about learning to decode this language, here's a key part:

Basic Emotion ... Why We Have It
Anger ... To fight against problems
Anticipation ... To look forward and plan
Joy ... To remind us what's important
Trust ... To connect with people who help
Fear ... To protect us from danger
Surprise ... To focus us on new situations
Sadness ... To connect us with those we love
Disgust ... To reject what is unhealthy
Joshua Freedman
via my friend John K Sawers. And the link included this image:

"from @Mansi on IG reminded me of this life changing journey"
I would add ones too like:

Acceptance ... To cope with an imperfect world
Happiness ... To value what is good

I think those are great reminders about the purpose various emotions carry. I still get hung up on how sometimes - especially the negative or unpleasant emotions like anger or fear - aren't wise enough to recognize the limits they should have. They want the rest of the organism to burn with them. (and sometimes aren't wise but are often deviously clever.)

I've played with the idea that the main counter for an emotion might be another emotion. The urge for Happiness teaming up with Acceptance in telling the urge for Anger to calm the hell down. Maybe when those cross interactions happen early enough, less disruption occurs?

Like I've said, one of my strongest (countering?) emotions is an urge to align myself with a greater good - and I think this emotion is talented, sometimes too talented, at talking down other emotions before they get all fired up. So my personal preferences, my subjective happiness triggers, still matter, but mostly as validated by the idea that everyone should be seeking their individual joys.

I don't know. Is "Acceptance" an emotion in and of itself? I think it's pretty core at the regulation of the other ones. Stopping Anger and Fear from setting everything on fire, stopping Joy from turning us in hedonistic junkies...

Now that I think about it my drive towards Acceptance is really prominent. I can blame it for teaming up with Fear, say, and stopping me from taking too many big swings in life. Also, it lets me be comfortable with and find the cool parts of a much broader swath of people than I would otherwise. Like, I have a surprising number of somewhat incompatible friends, because some of quirks that get under the other's skin in a way that just slides off mine, possibly completely unnoticed...

But most of all maybe Acceptance is the base of that "natural philosophical antidepressent" I seem to be on. It cuts the lows of Fear and Anger. And it doesn't rule out Joy and Happiness, though I do worry it takes the peaks off of some of them...

Low-key obsessed with this photo of Cora's Bearded Dragon Loki. Something about the textures of the back, leg, and cushion, and the limited palette...

July 17, 2023

The secret to getting the most fun out of life is: *to live dangerously*.
Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into unknown seas! Live at war with your peers and with yourself!
Friedrich Nietzsche

Don't you know that when you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you do or not?
Vanilla Sky

I have found that it's useful to begin the conversation with a discussion not of homosexuality but of left-handedness. One hundred years ago, left-handedness was considered *pathological*: an abnormal condition requiring intervention to change the individual from left-handed to right-handed. The belief that left-handedness was abnormal was not unique to that era: on the contrary, that belief has been shared by many cultures in many eras, often with an added connotation linking left-handedness with evil or weakness. The Latin word for "left," *sinistra*, is also the source of our word "sinister." The Old English word *lyft*, from which we get our word "left," meant "weak" or "weakness." The French word *gauche* means both "left" and "clumsy" or "inept." One century ago it was common for teachers to "correct" left-handed children, forcing them to write with their right hand instead of their left. President Harry Truman recalled being forced to write with his right hand as a child instead of his left. All that began to change around the middle of the twentieth century, in part due to recognition that left-handedness is common and that left-handedness is innate. It's now generally recognized that between 7 percent and 10 percent of the population is left-handed. And it's equally well recognized today that left-handedness is innate, even though left-handedness sometimes is not clearly manifest until early or middle childhood.
Leonard Sax, "Why Gender Matters", 2nd Edition
Read this for a reading group I'm in. I think he does a pretty well researched job about how some innate differences between men and women are hardwired, and he plays lip service to the idea that people should be given more reign to explore their realities and preferences outside of those stereotypes, but falls into the trap of misunderestimating how much expectations have snowballed, and there's a whole lot of "must be" derived from "usually is"

from Kurt Vonnegut's "Timequake"

All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental.
Kurt Vonnegut, pre-Prologue of "Timequake"

I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, "The Beatles did."
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

The African-American jazz pianist Fats Waller had a sentence he used to shout when his playing was absolutely brilliant and hilarious. This was it: "Somebody shoot me while I'm happy!"
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

I gave advice, too. I said, "My uncle Alex Vonnegut, a Harvard-educated life insurance salesman who lived at 5033 North Pennsylvania Street, taught me something very important. He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to notice it. "He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the aroma of a nearby bakery, or fishing and not caring if we catch anything or not, or hearing somebody all alone playing a piano really well in the house next door. "Uncle Alex urged me to say this out loud during such epiphanies: 'If this isn't nice, what is?' "
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"
(I try to put that in to practice myself.)
We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.
Kurt Vonnegut's son Mark Vonnegut via "Timequake"

Humanists try to behave decently and honorably without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. The creator of the Universe has been to us unknowable so far. We serve as well as we can the highest abstraction of which we have some understanding, which is our community.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

The German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who had syphilis, said that only a person of deep faith could afford the luxury of religious skepticism. Humanists, by and large educated, comfortably middle-class persons with rewarding lives like mine, find rapture enough in secular knowledge and hope. Most people can't.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

I say in lectures in 1996 that fifty percent or more of American marriages go bust because most of us no longer have extended families. When you marry somebody now, all you get is one person.

I say that when couples fight, it isn't about money or sex or power. What they're really saying is, "You're not enough people!"

Sigmund Freud said he didn't know what women wanted. I know what women want. They want a whole lot of people to talk to.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

I do not propose to discuss my love life. I will say that I still can't get over how women are shaped, and that I will go to my grave wanting to pet their butts and boobs. I will say, too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

But as I have reported elsewhere, [my sister Allie] said, "Just because you're talented, that doesn't mean you have to do something with it."
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

Our last conversation was intimate. Jane asked me, as though I knew, what would determine the exact moment of her death. She may have felt like a character in a book by me. In a sense she was. During our twenty-two years of marriage, I had decided where we were going next, to Chicago, to Schenectady, to Cape Cod. It was my work that determined what we did next. She never had a job. Raising six kids was enough for her.

I told her on the telephone that a sunburned, raffish, bored but not unhappy ten-year-old boy, whom we did not know, would be standing on the gravel slope of the boat-launching ramp at the foot of Scudder's Lane. He would gaze out at nothing in particular, birds, boats, or whatever, in the harbor of Barnstable, Cape Cod.

At the head of Scudder's Lane, on Route 6A, one-tenth of a mile from the boat-launching ramp, is the big old house where we cared for our son and two daughters and three sons of my sister's until they were grownups. Our daughter Edith and her builder husband, John Squibb, and their small sons, Will and Buck, live there now.

I told Jane that this boy, with nothing better to do, would pick up a stone, as boys will. He would arc it over the harbor. When the stone hit the water, she would die.

Jane could believe with all her heart anything that made being alive seem full of white magic. That was her strength. She was raised a Quaker, but stopped going to meetings of Friends after her four happy years at Swarthmore. She became an Episcopalian after marrying Adam, who remained a Jew. She died believing in the Trinity and Heaven and Hell and all the rest of it. I'm so glad. Why? Because I loved her.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

"Of native talent itself I say in speeches: 'If you go to a big city, and a university is a big city, you are bound to run into Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Stay home, stay home.'

" To put it another way: No matter what a young person thinks he or she is really hot stuff at doing, he or she is sooner or later going to run into somebody in the same field who will cut him or her a new asshole, so to speak.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"
I think this is more true than ever with Social Media... people get so good at stuff its absolutely intimidating (on the other hand, sometimes they teach you how to do stuff that impresses the locals...maybe it balances out.)
Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

[On writing books in an age of movies and TV] Still and all, why bother? Here's *my* answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: "I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don't care about them. You are not alone."
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

But I now ask you to look precisely at one [twinkling star], and then precisely at the other."
"OK," I said, "I did it."
"It took a second, do you think?" he said.
"No more," I said.
"Even if you'd taken an hour," he said, "something would have passed between where those two heavenly bodies used to be, at, conservatively speaking, a million times the speed of light."
"What was it?" I said.
"Your awareness," he said. "That is a new quality in the Universe, which exists only because there are human beings. Physicists must from now on, when pondering the secrets of the Cosmos, factor in not only energy and matter and time, but something very new and beautiful, which is *human awareness.*"
Trout paused, ensuring with the ball of his left thumb that his upper dental plate would not slip when he said his last words to us that enchanted evening.
All was well with his teeth. This was his finale: "I have thought of a better word than *awareness*," he said. "Let us call it *soul*." He paused.
"Ting-a-ling?" he said.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

An ode to grids. Love the petri-dish animation. I spent a lot of time with graph paper, both in high school and then at one job when it was my notebook was graphpaper - making 2D and 3D fonts and playing with the constraints.

Was hoping I could tempt Cora into getting her head around coordinate systems via Minecraft but it feels too much like school to her :-(
Heh, kind of similar to that last one : the desmise of the 10x programmer points out this one generation of coders, growing up with 80s home computers and then some later still hackable things, and the early DIY web... may end up being a more special era than we realized
Nice practical piece on using various AIs

July 19, 2023

So yesterday's finishing of "Timequake" completed this suggested reading order of all the Vonnegut Novels (Starting last year, and a few were rereads). Cat's Cradle (and its study in how a thoughtfully designed religion could be) and Slaughterhouse Five (with its vivid reminder of how time could just be a big 4D block we go through one little 3D slice at a time) remain my favorites, but "Bluebeard" (with its musing on aging and artistry and abstract impressionism, though maybe I'm mixing it up with the great speech on Abstract Impressionism Karabekian gives in "Breakfast of Champions" ) was a great find, my reread of "Galapagos" seemed appropriately apocalyptic, and while the person who compiled this list 2 years ago didn't think much of it, the issues of automation and human dignity and work in his debut novel "Player Piano" really stood out as prescient and timely.
Protestors using weird funny bible verses at anti-abortion rallies.

July 20, 2023


July 21, 2023

RIP Tony Bennett

July 22, 2023

Floaty Fun at Myles Standish State Forest...

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July 23, 2023


July 24, 2023


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July 25, 2023


that memory foam mattress
with too many memories
kirk israel
(poem I just wrote for the Blender of Love, from a conversation over the weekend)

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July 26, 2023

RIP Sinead O'Connor. I think she had a point.

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July 27, 2023

Some thoughts about excuses and also disability porn

Cool tale about the fall of Rome (which kind of didn't happen, or at least not in the "slowly at first then all at once" sense most people think of) and what's going on with Twitter/"X"
The best way to spot an idiot? Look for the person who is cruel. When we see someone who doesn't look like us, or sound like us, or act like us, or love like us, or live like us -- the first thought that crosses almost everyone's brain is rooted in either fear or judgment or both. That's evolution. We survived as a species by being suspicious of things we aren't familiar with.

In order to be kind, we have to shut down that animal instinct and force our brain to travel a different pathway. Empathy and compassion are evolved states of being. They require the mental capacity to step past our most primal urges. I'm here to tell you that when someone's path through this world is marked with acts of cruelty, they have failed the first test of an advanced society. They never forced their animal brain to evolve past its first instinct. They never forged new mental pathways to overcome their own instinctual fears. And so, their thinking and problem-solving will lack the imagination and creativity that the kindest people have in spades.

Over my many years in politics and business, I have found one thing to be universally true: the kindest person in the room is often the smartest.
Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker
via, who links to a tweet with the full video

July 28, 2023


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July 29, 2023


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July 30, 2023


School of Honk on Georges Island

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from "The Fault in Our Stars"

finished "The Fault in Our Stars" which is a quick enough read but carries some of the weight of the author's "The Anthropocene Reviewed" podcast - the wikipedia page for the book mentions A.J. Jacobs review of Andrew Smith Winger where "In the review, Jacobs coined the term GreenLit, a play on John's surname, Green and the word literature, to describe "realistic stories told by a funny, self-aware teenage narrator", that include, "sharp dialogue, defective authority figures, occasional boozing, unrequited crushes and one or more heartbreaking twists" which is a pretty good combination.

So a brisk if emotionally challenging read... literate and self-aware young adults going through it is a compelling genre.
"Look at it, rising up and rising down, taking everything with it."

"What's that?" I asked.

"Water," the Dutchman said. "Well, and time."
Peter Van Houten, "An Imperial Affliction" (fictional work which also gives the epigraph for "The Fault in Our Stars")

There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this [gestures encompassingly] will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that's what everyone else does.
Hazel Grace Lancaster in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"

You might come here Sunday on a whim.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
you had was years ago.

(Off topic, but: What a slut time is. She screws everybody.)
Peter Van Houten in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"

I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.
Hazel Grace Lancaster in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"

Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.
Amsterdam Cabbie in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"

"You get to battle cancer," I said. "That is your battle. And you'll keep fighting," I told him. I hated it when people tried to build me up to prepare for battle, but I did it to him, anyway. "You'll...you'll...live your best life today. This is your war now." I despised myself for the cheesy sentiment, but what else did I have?

"Some war," he said dismissively. "What am I at war with? My cancer. And what is my cancer? My cancer is me. The tumors are made of me. They're made of me as surely as my brain and my heart are made of me. It is a civil war, Hazel Grace, with a predetermined winner."
Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"

You know what I believe? I remember in college I was taking this math class, this really great math class taught by this tiny old woman. She was talking about fast Fourier transforms and she stopped midsentence and said, 'Sometimes it seems the universe wants to be noticed.'

That's what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed.
Hazel Lancaster's father in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" Later she writes "I thought of my dad telling me that the universe wants to be noticed. But what we want is to be noticed by the universe, to have the universe give a shit what happens to us--not the collective idea of sentient life but each of us, as individuals."

We live in a universe devoted to the creation, and eradication, of awareness. Augustus Waters did not die after a lengthy battle with cancer. He died after a lengthy battle with human consciousness, a victim--as you will be--of the universe's need to make and unmake all that is possible.
Hazel Grace Lancaster's in a FB comment that gets swept away in al the other comments, "The Fault in Our Stars"

Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. [...] I want to leave a mark. But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, "They'll remember me now," but (a) they don't remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion.
Augustus Waters in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"

You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.
Augustus Waters in John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars"

I've pinpointed the source of the angst and depression I'm feeling today:

RIP Pee Wee Herman!
i should get that arrangement of "saber dance" ive thought about up for my band

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