last week

October 11, 2017ramblediet

On "Shower Thoughts" I saw "Trailers would be so much more appreciated if they didn't reveal most of the plot of movies/series..." Also last night Liz and Melissa and I watched "The I.T. Crowd" including the episode where Roy is trying to find a nice big screen to watch a "Tarantino South Korean zombie movie" but frustrated because his would-be watching companion keeps trying to guess or spoil that there will be a twist at the end.

There's probably a spectrum - and possibly a bathtub-shape curve with most people on one side or the other- of how much people care about plots being "spoiled" by trailers or online discussion. I know I'm at the far end of not caring, at all - maybe even liking them.... the slow reveal is absolutely not what I'm watching the movie for.

Being the indefatigable naval gazer I am, I'm trying to figure how and if that fits into other things I know about how I tend to view with the world -

It sort of ties into how I'm a shallow/skimmer. If I think about I realize I don't closely watch most movies, don't have much facility for keeping labyrinthine plots in my head, and when I really lose track, I just let go and enjoy the ride. (This happened a bit during the new Blade Runner.)

Also I probably have a preference for knowing where a story is going rather than being in suspense, because I like paying attention to how they do what they do, and not what they do. Maybe that suggests a new descriptor for that interactionalist and anti-essentialist vibe I've talked about before, where I care about how something is interacting now and now what you think it is: I'm a Why and How person, now a What or Who person.

Or- I'm very much about transparency, and err on the side of too much information (like this post, say!) I don't want to keep something to myself in case it turns out keeping it withheld was a mistake, and I'm solely on the moral hook for acting on that information. And I hate, hate, hate not knowing - almost any bit of not knowing feels potentially more threatening than any known issue. Hell, in some of my breakups, it wasn't the infidelity so much as the secrecy that killed me. So I like knowing things, like spoilers, but I also enjoy seeing how they make their broad strokes happen along the way.

How about you - do you hate spoilers, or don't mind them, or like them? And do you think the reason why someone is on that spectrum is an interesting question?

Latest diet thought (proven effective for at least one day...) -

I should eat so that a casual spy on my life, like someone reviewing a video of my day but no special insight to my intentions and inner-monologue - would know that I was dieting / trying to eat well. Or at least not be surprised to hear about it after!

Appearances are important - even appearances to ourselves.

Religions know this, and a lot of religious education I've seen emphasizes how God Is Watching. The Islamic salat has a part that acknowledges ever-present angels recording every deed.

For people who have their doubts about supernatural witnesses, everpresent or otherwise, maybe we can be our own witness.

In fact there's psychological research that says a displayed image of a pair of watching eyes can lead to better behavior... so this might all represent a kind of self-hack to take us out of the maelstrom of id and let the super-ego hold more sway in a way that is good for our longer term goals.
Dance like there's nobody watching, but diet like there is.

October 10, 2017

(The irony of crossposting that to FB when I could be doing something more productive is not lost on me)

October 9, 2017

I am about to finish Dan Dennett's "From Bacteria to Bach: The Evolutions of Minds" and it's pretty good (though recapitulating stuff I've heard before from him) but it's a little disconcerting how he writes about Java Applets in the present tense - they were a great model for virtual machines, but it's not clear he knows how much they've slipped into the dustbin of tech history for the most part.
"In The Kalevala, Vainamoinen and the others are burrowing into a mountain to find The Sampo, when they come across a bunch of snakes drinking beer. Vainamoinen is infuriated for some reason and curses all snakes so that they can never drink beer again. This is never mentioned again."
--TV Tropes "Big Lipped Alligator Moment"

October 8, 2017

I just love the TRS-80 Aesthetic... there weren't that many systems that were monochrome but still using huge chunky pixels (vs character graphics) Here's the port of Zaxxon:

Dancing Demon is the only program I remember seeing back in the day on the hardware, at school... besides Zaxxon the other Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman games were pretty cool as well, like Donkey Kong

October 7, 2017historyfiction

Found an old DOS "lworks" text file (luckily ported to html by my past self at some point since then) containing a diary from my senior year of high school. Interesting how at the beginning of the year I weighed "still 197 pounds" - what I weigh now - but by the end of the year I had lost "about 30 pounds worth" of weight.

Man, my writing was insufferable. Very difficult for me to look back on.

Since misery loves company, here's a story I wrote 7/31/91
Jones and his Flight
Kirk Israel
"My God, this is like a dream!" thought Jones as he fell and fell and fell and fell.
Jones was not falling down in the sensible fashion. He was falling up.
He was hard pressed to explain exactly how this odd reversal of events (and gravity) was taking place.
So up he fell, slowly at first, and then faster as the savage acceleration gripped him. Vertigo caused his head to swim amusingly.
Jones was not amused.
He had been in his back yard, leaping to make a spectacularly athletic frisbee catch, when he inexplicably failed to return to terra firma. His friend was staring at the patch of grass Jones would have landed on (had gravity not been slightly inebriated,) utterly bewildered.
Now his lawn (not a huge lawn, but a fair sized place for the occasional casual frisbee toss) was just one of many lawns that Jones' commanding view afforded him.
The air started to get quite cold and moist as he continued his ascent.
It was getting harder and harder to breathe.
He could see the curvature of the Earth in the distance. Wow, was it big.
Then, popping out of the atmosphere like a cork out of a champagne bottle, via laws hitherto unknown to modern physics, his lungs exploded as all the pressure (14.7 pounds per square inch) inside of Jones struggled violently to equalise with the pressure ouside of Jones, namely next to zero pounds per square anything.
Thus ended Jones and his flight.

And a poem (8/11/91)

And in the distance I saw
A city of white that gleamed:
in imperial splendor
its defiant towers of ivory
thrust against the crystal sky
besides an angry green sea
I examined the mud and earth around me
that covered me and merged with me
untill it was not possible to tell
what was first dirt and what
was first me
so I set out to enter
I pulled my weary body
through the common sludge
untill I came unto the edge of
splatterings of mud
(or was that me? I could not tell)
fell of me, staining the
pristine road that I then
stood on
And on these defiant towers
I could see no doors and no
windows and no Cosmopolitans
conversed, standing between
towers of Ivory and so
I threw my head back and
screamed and laughed and
yelled and cried untill
breath came reluctantly
and my echo was my only
companion in

"The donation bucket is always open! ....Actually, that's kind of how buckets work."
--Me, during a recent JP Honk gig outside Purple Cactus in JP to raise money for Mexico Earthquake Relief where I was holding the donation bucket with my free hand while playing tuba.
"'Know what I saw? On fire off the Shoulder of Orion? ATTACK SHIPS.' -- Norm McDonald as Roy Batty in 'Blade Runner'"

October 6, 2017project

I made a custom case with James Harvey art from my comic on mortality...

It's got it all! Artsy-Fartsiness (it's a Picasso), Boobies (it's a Picasso), an encouraging aphorism, my own head, a hoodie, and I can take photos through the physical form of it. (and the material is maple so I can always knock on wood) And then I made an artsy lock screen from a different panel of the same comic:

Me and my the shadow of my own mortality!

The only way these two things could be more Kirk-y is if they had Alien Bill and/or Tubas.
FOLLOWUP: I think it's too much! I like the lock screen but might look to change the case.
FEMA Deletes Information About Lack of Water and Electricity in Puerto Rico. When you start hiding relevant objective facts, you're doing evil, from the NRA blocking statistics being gathered to the DOE being told they can't use the term climate change. In denial and fucking evil. It's one thing to disagree on interpretation and meaning and making value judgements and priorities, but when your ideology goes downward to change the scene on the level of facts rather than the flow of influence going the other way, that's evil.
Lego Giraffe near the Assembly Square AMC - work field trip to see the new Blade Runner... we are so coddled.

October 5, 2017

"I can't believe it took me this long to realize that robots don't use contractions because programmers don't like escaping single quotes."