last week

February 16, 2018

Drain the NRA Swamp

"In America, they say the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

But that just sounds like someone trying to sell two guns."

February 15, 2018

The Mystic Masters of the Pahjmannian arts boast near complete control over their pulse and respiration, as well as conducting enormous tremendous psychic and electrical energies. They are able to go extended periods without going number one, number two, or even number three (you really don't want to know about number three.)
--from a dream the other night. (Random point: I hear so much about the Oxford Comma but rather little about whether the period at the end of a parenthetical remark that finishes a sentence should go inside or outside of the parentheses.)
got this bit of phishing from someone who wanted me to be thinking of LinkedIn...

I like the phrase "Newtworking"

February 14, 2018

4 my sweetie Melissa

"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks."
--Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1935)
Heyyy, Officer Flatski, the cardboard cutout policeman who watches over the bike cage at Alewife got a shoutout in Cracked's 7 Serious Problems That Had Hilarious Cartoon Solutions

Blender of Love

"You look like a thing and I love you."
--A Neural Network for pickup lines

February 13, 2018

Sheezus. Trump's "food box" is a perfect example of "For Every Complex Problem, There Is an Answer That Is Clear, Simple, and Wrong" I'm sure it sounds great to some people, but Annie Lowrey is

starting a list of questions that need to be asked - it's up to 60 but starts with
1. What if you don't receive your box one month?
2. What if you're homeless?
3. What if you don't have a place to receive mail?
4. What if you move frequently?
5. What if you have allergies?
6. What if the box gets wet, or animals get into it?

I guess the general Republican impulse to privatize and channel government action through existing businesses stops when they have a chance to make people feel shitty about not having a lot of money.

February 12, 2018

"had a dream that i was getting sorted at hogwarts but i got into an argument with the sorting hat so he made up an entirely new house called 'GrungleBunk' just so i would be forced to sit by myself in the dining hall for the rest of my life"
Best Rube Goldberg I've seen in a while. Love the pinball-ish elements, magnets, and loaded springs:

John Perry Barlow's Principles of Adult Behavior wisdom

February 11, 2018
RIP Silicon Valley visionary John Perry Barlow. When he was 30, the EFF founder (and sometime Grateful Dead lyricist) drew up a list of what he called Principles of Adult Behavior. They are:
1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don't badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn't say to him.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4. Expand your sense of the possible.
5. Don't trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
7. Tolerate ambiguity.
8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
11. Give up blood sports.
12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don't risk it frivolously.
13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
19. Become less suspicious of joy.
20. Understand humility.
21. Remember that love forgives everything.
22. Foster dignity.
23. Live memorably.
24. Love yourself.
25. Endure.
What do you think of these? They seem pretty good to me. 3 might be a better way of getting to a sentiment I have of "no is the bad guy in their own story at the moment of action" (which has been pointed out to me is very shaky - but I think there's some important conceptual element to it.) I wonder what he meant by "blood sports" - would that include watching football?
Man I loved this one back in the day... Keeping your refrigerator stocked will get you many women

Sometimes I'm sad but then I remember TimeSplitters: Future Perfect had a Cat Driving Game.

February 10, 2018

When I was in fifth grade or so I read a book called "Truly Tasteless Jokes". I recently reread it on Kindle...
Two thoughts:
1. I was surprised how many jokes I remembered retelling over the years I got from this book
2. It was published in 1982 but I was still surprised at how often Kermit is a cultural reference.

My favorites from this time were "What's Helen Keller's favorite color? Corduroy" which is both kind of terrible (as were most Helen Keller jokes) but also kind of sweet and hopeful, and "Two cannibals are having dinner together, the guest says to his host 'Your wife sure makes good soup.' 'Yeah, but I'm going to miss her'"
A brief article I made for Lost in Mobile, about not quite understanding the pursuit of smart homes...
Had a maple scone from True Grounds this morning. It triggered very strong but entirely disconnected sensory memories... "I've had exactly this scone, and it's super evocative, but I'm not sure of what or when". Maybe 1369 Cafe circa 1998 when I lived in Inman Square?

Wonder if there's a French or German word for that...
"This country has lost its way. We need to go back to the good old days when America was prosperous."
"That's easy! All you have to do is fight a just war against a powerful overseas enemy during a time when major discoveries in computation, transportation, and energy production have just occurred. Prosecute the war in such a way that every powerful nation but your own is ruined. Afterward collect fleeing scientists and engineers. As your troops return enjoy the burst of social cohesion and the boom in manufacturing as you supply a devastated planet, while the world's best minds create ever better products, industries, and discoveries within your borders."
"Or we could stop letting gays marry."
"Your plan does have the virtue of simplicity."
--I cleaned up a transcription of This SMBC comic for This Quora Entry.
A while back I listened to Brett Weinstein on Sam Harris' podcast, here's a good summary. He mentioned the idea of "metaphorical truth"- a belief that is factually wrong but you come out ahead if you believe in it. The summary I link to summarizes his view as "Religion was valid metaphorical truth because it helped us before (for thousands of years). We're now at a point where it (often) hurts more than it helps, but that doesn't change how useful it was in the past."

Friendly Atheist had a pretty good piece on it, but I think Vonnegut nailed it in "Cat's Cradle" with what he called "foma" - "harmless untruths" - and advised "Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy."

I have very mixed feelings about that kind of pragmatic view about supernatural explanations for life as we can witness it...