February 1, 2019
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: "I have to go to work -- as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I'm going to do what I was born for -- the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?"It's not quite sympathetic enough, I'd say, and yeah - a lot of people don't love themselves enough. (To clarify, I want to make sure"You don't love yourself enough" to be seen as a sympathetic observation, not a judgemental criticism.) That last line reminds me of "amor fati" and truly loving one's fate, however crap-laden it seems. Love THIS fate, for there is no other.
So you were born to feel "nice"? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don't you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you're not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren't you running to do what your nature demands?
You don't love yourself enough. Or you'd love your nature too, and what it demands of you.
Britain is one of the richest and most advanced democracies in the world. It is currently locked in a room, babbling away to itself hysterically while threatening to blow its own kneecaps off. This is what nationalist populism does to a country.That piece is one of the first I've seen that tries to get into what the Backstop actually consisted of - i.e. keeping Northern Ireland more inline with EU regulation so that the land border didn't have to be as locked down.
Wish I could find a better link but man, Sheila E on BBC4 talking funk drumming is great.
Awesome to pair that with Bootsy's Basic Funk Formula...
March 8, 2019
Oh, Epic Rap Battles of History, it has been a while!
Star Wars is almost totally black-and-white with its moral compass. [We excuse Luke Skywalker for the mass murder of everyone who lives on the Death Star, for example.]
April 1, 2019
Aww, work buddy Mifi left me a little Etcha-A-Sketch Animator birthday card...
May 1, 2019
Willie Nelson the original stoner
June 3, 2019
This is the real world, muchachos, and you are in it.Somehow the line has stuck with me but without the "muchachos"
Sometimes I wonder if the Mayans were right and that this quote is less true after December 2012 or so.
If you ever get a chance to work in mysterious ways I highly recommend it because you can get away with ANYTHING.
I really do appreciate how Trump's new hairstyle is doubling down on "Future Biff from Back to the Future 2"
Speaking of the Trump and the UK, I wonder if Boris Johnson was an inspiration? The whole "lets have a wacky bad blond hair situation that distracts people from what god-awful idiots we are"
July 3, 2019
Having a lovely time at the Jersey Shore, days at the beach, then back with my mom and Aunt Susan ... Aunt Susan's traditional "Kirk's arriving, going to oven fry up some chicken for him to consume cold like an animal at any odd hour" is great, I think only my Grandma's Meatloaf on a white bread sandwich with too much ketchup holds a higher place in my personal family food lore. (huh- both of my favorite dishes are best best day from the fridge...)
Also I love seeing fireflies here. Hope they find an ecological niche in whatever our world turns into.
her lips were netflix red
This medium story resonates for me in two directions; one is it being about the semi-defunct (but revived) GameLab game SiSSYFiGHT 2000 (I knew the coder for it) and the other is because it's about mourning a dad who died in one's youth, and seeking any path to getting to know who they were a bit more.
August 4, 2019
No one has proved that our intelligence is a successful adaption, over the long term. It remains to be seen if the human brain is powerful enough to solve the problems it has created.Quoted this 17 years ago and I think it holds up more than ever.
Every bad guy with a gun thinks he's a good guy with a gun.(Who follows that up with "Every massacre enacts a collective desire for them.
It's time we started viewing those who obstruct basic remedy to massacre as conscious participants in the desire for massacre.
And treating them accordingly.")
September 1, 2019
Also, the photos of the month:
everybody needs a tuba for a pillow, everybody needs a tuba
my pals think living in scotland is all beautiful rolling hills and friendly patter when in reality it's a junkie shouting 'ye goin for a shite hen?' at me because i'm carrying a 16 roll pack of toilet roll
October 1, 2019
November 1, 2019
This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke and all that stuff... You should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids and, you know, share certain things with you.
One danger I see among young people particular on college campuses is a sense -- among certain young people, and this is accelerated by social media -- that the way of me making change is to be as judgmental as possible about other people, and that's enough. If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn't do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself, cuz, 'Man, you see how woke I was, I called you out.' Get on TV. Watch my show. Watch Grown-ish.
That's not activism. That's not bringing about change. If all you're doing is casting stones, you're probably not going to get that far. That's easy to do.
December 3, 2019
January 2, 2020
Happy would-be 100th birthday Isaac Asimov!
With a certain linguistic register, it's very easy to hide yourself and just sort of repeat phrases that you've heard before. I still have that now when I talk to Americans: I'm always absolutely astonished at the breadth of their vocabulary; how wonderfully they actually manage to describe their own emotions, or express what they really want to say. East Germany, you wouldn't talk in a very open way about yourself, because opening up yourself was always also a dangerous thing. [...] I think in certain in societies, in socialist societies, you don't want to stress your individuality too much, I think. So when you start talking about yourself a little bit too much, I think that's always viewed as suspicious by the state. You don't want to be too individual; you don't want to reveal yourself as thinking too much about yourself or about your situation. But it's astonishing isn't it. If you don't have the word you actually can't understand yourself. You don't have the vocabulary that you don't understand your own feelings about a certain thing. It's astonishing isn't the whole language really sort of shapes the way you can think about a problem. I mean there are these these sort of Sapir-Whorf theories that have long been sort of criticized. They had this idea that your vocabulary allows you to sort of see the world in a certain way, which people don't agree with now. But I think there's still a way in which the way you think about yourself and about the world is shaped by the availability of words to describe it. Right? You can have a sort of an intuitive feeling, but I think unless you can actually describe it in words it's very very difficult.The podcast was fascinating; in many ways East German implemented a mild form of Orwell's Newspeak (Paradoxically, their close proximity to the West made them throw up more defenses against Western thought.) Personally I think this is more of a problem with authoritarianism than socialism, though.
I admit, I don't think this was my best month for still photos...
February 3, 2020
March 3, 2020
No is a future tense, No-no-no-no is a present tense, and Noooooo is a past tense for dog owners.
I know I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but: Can I just heartily recommend the Poetry Unbound podcast - twice weekly, poet Pádraig Ó Tuama reads a poem, discusses it, then reads it again. So often I find emotion welling up - I'm not sure if I'm more prone to that as part of re-evaluating the relationship with my inner self, or if the podcast is just that good... but it's like 2x10 minutes or so a week that is so well spent...
A little dark humor, Twitter imagines the CDC responding to pop music...
First election in a while where I'm keeping my selection to myself. Yes it's one of the two. No I'm not saying which one. Yes your candidate is great and I hope they win.
Voting is weirding me out. It's so weird how one vote just doesn't make a difference, it's just a necessary component of a sociographic trend. It's almost like quantum physics. Alone, a single vote has a value so small it's impossible to meter, so the value of votes is an emergent properties that rises up from groups.
April 2, 2020
May 3, 2020
Daddy's at the food store, Mummy's out of town,
She's working at the hospital since Rhona came to town,
Hide away, hide away, Miss Rhona's come to town,
Hide away, hide away, she's come to take us down.
Miss Rhona's at the doorstep, I'll keep 6 feet away,
But Grandma needs the paper, I'll take her some today,
Hide away, hide away, Miss Rhona's come to stay,
Hide away, hide away, we can't come out to play.
But Grandma needs the paper, I'll take her some today,
And here's a note from Rhona, she wanted me to say,
Hide away, hide away, keep 6 feet away,
Hide away, hide away, she took us down today.
June 1, 2020
An object falling to earth, for example, is being continuously accelerated by the force of gravity. It has no fixed velocity for any finite interval of time, even one as brief as a thousandth of a second; every "instant" its speed is changing.This raises an interesting question for me: are there any places where we really notice gravity is an acceleration, really feel that it's not just a constant speed applied once an object topples from its support?
I suppose the way a thrown object arcs is one, and we can trace that with our eyes.
Sometimes it seems unsurprising that flat-earthers exist. There are a lot of physical phenomenon that our monkey brains use the crudest approximations for. (Also, I think of my despair that I don't know of a good kitchen sink science demonstration that would clearly show how matter is divided into atoms...)
I worry that the way our senses can be fooled - that we need to be taught round earths and atoms and accelerating gravity (tempered by air resistance and terminal velocities!) bodes poorly for our intuition in other matters, such as morality.
I guess one could argue morality is different, maybe its definition arises from our collective intuitive feelings? I don't find that view very satisfying, it seems like the old parable of building on shifting sands.
(Earlier I had a further thought that everything is a simplification. Like in theory you can't TRULY describe the arc of a ball without describing every atom in it (for a moment I toyed with the idea of a comic or movie villain whose power was access to a computation source powered by... I dunno, like the multiverse or something-- enough of an overwhelming multiplicity that the villain COULD run simulations of every atom, and through this power of simulation, complete in both scale and detail, conquer the real world.)
July 1, 2020
August 1, 2020
Russian (and some other) cursives. So weird that so many languages with perfectly reasonable block letters evolve a high-falutin'/faster version. A weird elitism to it I guess? Like if you're just barely literate, stick with writing the same characters you read in print, but if you are privileged enough to have a life among words, and to have reason to write words down, you want a higher speed method.
I missed a school year of drilling in cursive, so my meh-handwriting was even worse in cursive, and for folks like me it's a big relief to student and teacher alike when we're "allowed" to go back to printing.
I can't say I think it's that important, and pretty much all the time I spent on cursive would have been better spent on keyboard skills. (Psychomotor skill building not withstanding. Maybe just playing a lot of videogames doesn't quite make up for that.)
Heh, though I guess people have to decide their signature... or as this tweet puts it:
Signatures are so weird. It's like, okay you have to believe it's really me because I used cursive.
A little bit more known about Umbrella Man, the white supremacist asshole breaking windows at an AutoZone early in the George Floyd protests, working to turn them into riots. Uh, at least he's not that one cop guy? (Assuming this is a legit lead.)
September 1, 2020