last week

September 14, 2018

I enjoy that there's a range of body weights - a bit higher than where I'd like to be, but lower than where I've been - that correspond to years I've been around, divided by ten - today's "197.0" is a bit before I was born. And it's better than "201.8" of the current day or times lately where I've been dabbling into the future.

But, I'd like to explore more of, say, American History, weight/year wise than just the time since JFK. Maybe the Civil War.
Fantastic use of greenscreen to warn people about why storm surges are not to be trifled with, and behind the scenes....

September 13, 2018

12 Letters That Didn't Make the Alphabet - Icelandic Lowercase Thorn is still available as a bandname.
Not sure if losing weight (slowly) because of half-assed diet (light breakfast, generous lunch, all other eating during day < 150 calories at a time, like one of those Chilly (not "Skinny") Cow popsicles) or just the stress of life and pangs of fight or flight :-D

Also I restored walking as part of my commute. Again, not sure if it really matters in terms of weight, though obvious more motion is better than less.

Still the best diet plan comes from the book "Chubster: A Hipster's Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool" and also "The Hacker's Diet": "find a method to hit a daily calorie count without making yourself miserable" I doubt there's an all-in-one for everyone, but so many successful diets boil down to that.

September 12, 2018

'But back to your question: why do people [get tattoos]. I've always thought of it as a way to get a little more in touch with your body.'

The kit leaned forward. 'Really?'

'Yeah. Your mind and your body. Two separate things, right?'

Sidra directed all her processing power to the conversation at hand. 'Right.'

'Except not. Your mind comes from your body. It's born out of it. And yet, it's a wholly independent thing. Even though the two are linked, there's a disconnect. Your body does stuff without asking your mind about it, and your mind wants stuff that your body can't always do. You know what I mean?'

'Yes.' Stars, did she ever.

'So, tattooing . . . you've got a picture in your mind, then you put it on your body. You make a hazy imagining into a tangible part of you. Or, to flip it around, you want a reminder of something, so you put it on your body, where it's a real, touchable thing. You see the thing on your body, you remember it in your mind, then you touch it on your body, you remember why you got it, what you were feeling then, and so on, and so on. It's a re-enforcing circle. You're reminded that all these separate pieces are part of the whole that comprises you.'

--Becky Chambers, "A Closed and Common Orbit". Sidra is a former spaceship AI housed in a humanoid body (the "kit").

September 11, 2018

sax minus sax. that is an amazing sound:

quotes from bell hooks' "yearnings" essayramble

September 10, 2018
In educating myself about anti-racism, someone suggested I check out the black feminist author bell hooks, so I got a copy of "Yearnings", short essays.

From "The chitlin circuit on black community":

That way "downhome" black folks had of speaking to one another, looking one another directly in the eye (many of us had old folks tell us, don’t look down, look at me when I’m talking to you) was not some quaint country gesture. It was a practice of resistance undoing years of racist teachings that had denied us the power of recognition, the power of the gaze. These looks were affirmations of our being, a balm to wounded spirits.
Two from "counter-hegemonic art do the right thing":
Cool Pose, manifested by the expressive lifestyle, is also an aggressive assertion of masculinity. It emphatically says, “White man, this is my turf, you can’t match me here.” Though he may be impotent in the political and corporate world, the black man demonstrates his potency in athletic competition, entertainment and the pulpit with a verve that borders on the spectacular. Through the virtuosity of a performance, he tips the socially balanced scales in his favor. “See me, touch me, hear me, but, white man you can’t copy me.” This is the subliminal message which black males signify in their oftentimes flamboyant performances. Cool Pose, then, becomes the cultural signature for such black men.
and then
Racism is not simply prejudice. It does not always take the form of overt discrimination. Often subtle and covert forms of racist domination determine the contemporary lot of black people.
That second one has really stuck with me. In the progressive community, there's sometimes a use of the word "racist" that doesn't quite match the vernacular sense of the word - for one thing it's not just about race and ethnic group, and for another, sometimes it draws attention to how insufficient examination of privilege can be complicit in perpetuating bad power structures. Understanding that surface prejudice isn't a requirement is useful.

Finally, a quote from Cornel West in the dialog with bell hooks "Black women and men partnership in the 1990s"

I don’t think it’s a credible notion to believe the black middle class will give up on its material toys. No, the black middle class will act like any other middle class in the human condition; it will attempt to maintain its privilege. There is something seductive about comfort and convenience. The black middle class will not return to the ghetto, especially given the territorial struggles going on with gangs and so forth. Yet, how can we use what power we do have to be sure more resources are available to those who are disadvantaged? So the question becomes “How do we use our responsibility and privilege?” Because, after all, black privilege is a result of black struggle.
I don't know if it's unseemly to focus too much on this quote, to use it as a justification for the amount of my own middle-class privilege and material toys I am unlikely to willingly part with. I suspect this helps paint the picture of liberal racism; it's not that we think other groups don't deserve privilege, but we would rather work to help other groups get the same privilege and not worry that much about giving up our own.

so what introspection

September 9, 2018
A few days ago I posted the Paul Simon lyric ""You know life is what you make of it / So beautiful, or so what..."

Recently on kottke I saw this quote from Andy Warhol's autobiography:
Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, "So what." That's one of my favorite things to say. "So what." "My mother didn't love me." So what. "My husband won't ball me." So what. "I'm a success but I'm still alone." So what. I don't know how I made it through all the years before I learned how to do that trick. It took a long time for me to learn it, but once you do, you never forget.
Kottke goes on to compare that to Marcus Aurelius' stoicism (on how we have don't power over many outside events but we have power for our interpretation of them) and says
Not having control over some outside events was a source of despair and anxiety for me. These happenings were facts, they had a "truth" that I perceived as immutable; everyone knows you can't change facts! But human brains don't work like that. Your perception of and emotional reaction to events *is* your reality. Sure, those things happened, that person is that way, the system will do its thing, but you don't have to feel a certain way about any of it.
I've been toying with using this idea a bit. (While thinking of the Miles Davis' song So What) I guess though, I have reservations that it's incomplete; like it's not a technique you'd want to apply to everything in life, and so misses Kant's idea "Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law". If I used "So What" all the time, or for everything, I would be callous and apathetic - by itself, "So What" does provide a positive motive force. And there's no outside authority or yardstick telling me when I should and shouldn't apply it; I have to grow up and use judgment and take my lumps.
Stores that offer their own credit cards, with a large discount on the current purchase. Doesn't that just set off everyone's spidey sense?

September 8, 2018

ready for a day of 4 different sets (not even counting the one I'm skipping for other social obligations!)
i enjoy shots of me and melissa where our cranium sizes seem to place us as different species.