May 26, 2019

"Reason is an adaptation to the hypersocial niche humans have evolved for themselves," Mercier and Sperber write. Habits of mind that seem weird or goofy or just plain dumb from an "intellectualist" point of view prove shrewd when seen from a social "interactionist" perspective.
To summarize, from a socio-evolutionary perspective, the price of going against your tribe tends to be higher than than the price of being wrong on random things.

Sometimes doesn't seem worth advocating for moderate positions (taking the other tribe's presumptions into account) when your loyalty to your tribe may be seen as suspect, and when it's unclear that any potential moderate members of the opposing tribe will return the favor. But that becomes a self-reinforcing tragedy of the commons.

Also, I'm so suspect about psychological lab experiments built under assumptions of economist "rational actor" models. Much like casinos exploit artificially contrived exploits in probability that just didn't occur often to our ancestors, these experiments assume that real world people will take researchers at their word. Taking $50 now instead of $100 3 months from now may or may point a preference for immediate rewards - but also reflects an uncertain world where many, many intervening events can happen in 3 months, even if you basically trust the test operators. (This besides the sketchiness of using undergrads on hand at prestigious American Universities as stand-ins for citizens of anywhere in the damn world.)

i am bad at eating pickles

May 26, 2018

May 26, 2017

It is moving to read about people who take the death with dignity way out. To be able to throw your own wake is really something special. We need to push for the right to make this decision.

Also this song video was referenced in the article, The Wailin' Jennys - The Parting Glass:

Got James Harvey's latest "Mouth Baby". Besides the book I liked the stamps the package came with.

May 26, 2016

from Kids Are a Special Kind of Weird:

Actually, I think it's a good deconstruction of the limitations of previous cosmological models of the physical universe.
For nostalgia purposes I ebayed an original palm pilot; I was thinking about the journaling I started doing on one in 1997. there was something oddly intimate about scratching out words letter by letter with the stylus (and in that almost regular writing but not quite alphabet) Taking a photo of it with my current device (at "casa verde" which I located using the same device) feels a bit like "slum tourism". Still, it was such a perfect device in its way, the same thought as behind a Game Boy, but for personal information rather than fun...

May 26, 2015

Though he never lived to hear of either wave or particle theories of light, Vincent understood that one doesn't just simply 'see' a chair or a table, but rather that one's eyes are actually caressed by the light that bounces off them. Color, while being the most visible thing we can know about a tree, is also created by that part of light that the tree has cast off. The tree absorbs all the other light waves of color, welcomes them as part of itself; the green we see is the negative, the reflected-off reality it wants no part of. Where its definition of itself ends, our definition of it is just beginning.
Lucy Grealy

Sometimes love does not have the most honorable beginnings, and the endings, the endings will break you in half. It's everything in between we live for.
Ann Patchett

If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for life. If you build a robot to fish, do all men starve, or do all men eat?

May 26, 2014

'And nine rings were forged for the lords of men, who above all else crave power.' '--NOT ALL MEN

May 26, 2013

Man, playing Dr Mario with my friend EB and his wife EBSO, things started to get just a little heated... I reminded them that while hopefully it was a long way off, one day they might be making end-of-life decisions for the other, and a night like this had DNR written all over it...

tetris: the movie

May 26, 2012

--What if they wanted to make a Tetris movie as badly conceived as Battleship? via
I feel like Amber and I may have been the only two people watching "Men in Black III" and "My Dinner with Andre" today.

eurotrip day 12 - london

May 26, 2011

For English-speakers, that notorious language barrier is about two feet high. It keeps many people out of Europe, but with a few communication tricks and a polite approach, the English-only traveller can step right over it.
Rick Steves. Very true- smile, "s'il vous plait", point...the folks are willing to meet you more than halfway.

--I love the drama of the character name introductions, and the cleverness of the mapping to "realistic" characters. Tomorrow: live action!

listen all y'all it's the sabotage

May 26, 2010
click to play

sabotage - source - built with processing
--My kinda unfinished entry for Klik of the Month #35. Arrow keys move, z shoots. This is a rough copy (sans scoretracking or ending) of a game I played on PC in the early 90s, which in turn was a stripped down version (dropping the 'waves' and jets and bombs) of an old Apple II game Sabotage.

The PC version also had "gravity bullets" that were pulled down by gravity to help clear out landed troops, but I thought that might look a bit odd.
A shared Google calendar, synched with iPhones/iPod Touches, has proven to be a bit of a relationship saver, or at least helper.

One way Starbucks beats Dunkin Donuts: w/ iced drinks, the lid straw hole is 3 cuts, not a 2-cut cross; easier to insert and preserve straw.
The post-facto insert of "under God" wasn't just bad secularism and bad pluralism, it was bad poetry that breaks the rhythm of the Pledge.

on gay marriage

(1 comment)
May 26, 2009
(2019 UPDATE lost a video youtube p9VoXfuWtdA ... hints of it on google are tantalizing)

Here's to the faint hope CA Supreme Court will overturn Prop 8...

I'm happy more states are gradually switching over. In theory my inner moderate wants everyone to be content with some kind of "civil union" compromise, but really I'd rather just see marriage for any two people who can give meaningful consent.
Nothing is more conducive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

What we call matter is not completely dead, but is merely mind hide-bound with habits.
Charles Sanders Peirce

Sex and respect go together like... and me, please.

Note to future self: RegisterStartupScript() -- the secret to .Net "make a javascript popup (or whatever)". Woohoo, now I have .Net street cred!
Today I'm less "screw the CA Supreme Court" and more "screw 52% of voters in a state that opens its Constitution to the whims of the rabble"

the tragedy of the three day weekend

(1 comment)
May 26, 2008
Three day weekends are so funny.

Monday is all like "wow... I should be at work! Woo!"

Then Tuesday arrives, and it wants to be like a Sunday. But it's not. Back to the grindstone.

At least you have the comfort of a four day work week.

Photos of the Week Or So

3 day weekend paradox: monday: "ha ha i'm not in work, wow!" tuesday: "damn it it feels like sunday". at least it's just a 4 day week.

it only thinks it's happening.

(1 comment)
May 26, 2007
My company has a "Beer O'Clock" tradition of having some booze at 4PM on Friday. Somehow yesterday it got joined with a "Whisky-Thirty" supplement to toast some birthdays.

That was good.

Images of the Moment

Quote of the Moment
Oh man, this isn't happening. It only thinks it's happening.
Saying "it only thinks" is more clever than I remember it being; I never noticed the kind of sly nod to Descartes in that before.

good king friday

May 26, 2006
Man, four day weekend... mmm-hmm!

I'm sure I'm just going to waste it, but still.

Video of the Moment
Nick B, who has alibism himelf, linked to The Albino Code, a goofy but legitmately funny parody of Da Vinci, with a theme of what was more likely to happen if you hired someone with albinism to do your super secret killing people and skulking around work. I also thought that a fair skin and haired guy running around in a monk's robe wasn't the most stealthy choice, and didn't even think about the implications of the vision challenges associated with the condition.

Ksenia found the the Albino far and away the scariest part of Da Vinci Code, but I think that was more about how they played up the suspense movie aspect, along with the kind of freaky self-flagellation scene.

darth maulmail

May 26, 2005
--One last Star Wars fan pic... same Vader, this time with the junkmail.

Passage of the Moment
I think that the dying pray at the last not "please," but "thank you," as a guest thanks his host at the door. Falling from airplanes the people are crying thank you, thank you, all down the air; and the cold carriages draw up for them on the rocks. Divinity is not playful. The universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensible earnest. By a power that is unfathomably secret, and holy, and fleet. There is nothing to be done about it, but ignore it, or see. And then you walk fearlessly, eating what you must, growing what you can, like the monk on the road who knows precisely how vulnerable he is, who takes no comfort among death-forgetting men, and who carries his vision of vastness and might around in his tunic like a live coal which neither burns nor warms him, but with which he will not part.
Annie Dillard, from "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek".
Read that book for my UU "Science and Spirituality" group...good stuff, possibly there would have been even better quotes from its lovely in depth analysis of nature combined with philisophial speculation, maybe I wasn't paying enough attention because I needed to read it for the Tuesday meeting after buying the book on Monday. This bit reminds me a little bit of the ending of "American Beauty".

Funny of the Moment
Seanbaby hasn't been updating much (I read his game reviews in EGM but it's way-watered down, no where near the quality of the archives on his site) so I didn't realize last January he added a new Best of the Worst of Comic Advertising...Wheaties as Booby Trap for American Solidiers. I went and read all the old ones listed there on the side...that is deeply, deeply funny stuff. It reminds how rare it is to literally laugh out loud at online material, and to do so so many times in one place is really pretty amazing.

Gripe of the Moment
Glad to see I'm not the only one who hates the proliferation of Blue LEDs. My laptop has one...the thing is, if I suspend it instead of have it hibernate after some pre-sleep surfing, it blinks blinks blinks and seems like it lights up the whole damn bedroom.

sad songs and margaritas

May 26, 2004
Quote of the Moment
You can be alone and not be pathetic. But it's hard, especially if you can't stay away from sad songs and margaritas.

Style of the Moment
So Jane at work is encouraging me along through the process of a minor makeover. Currently the most blatant sign is I'm trying to more or less give up jeans for cargo pants, and also adding in more colored, simple-patterned T's rather than just my usual buttondowns (generally actually buttoned these days) with a white, more interesting T underneath.

Now she's thinking I should get contacts...I'm wondering. My one experience with them in 1990 or so didn't go that well, but there may have been some big improvements in contacts for people with astigmatism since then. (And even those were the second generation.) I haven't bothered with glassescontacts (thanks Lex) because A. I'm slightly weirded out by the concept B. I'm used to glasses and C. Mo said she liked me with 'em. Well now C isn't a factor, and I shouldn't let A or B weigh too heavily...I dunno. Maybe I'll try posting with glasses, without glasses comparision pictures and let the crowd here know what I'm talking about.

Book of the Moment
Note to self, get the O'Reill book mentioned in this boingboing piece, Digital Photography Hacks. "The flow of traffic provides a great opportunity to add motion to your compositions. Automobiles are light-painting machines, and it's easy to put them to work for you". Too cool.

I gotta stop thinking of this in terms of some kind of rivalry with Mo, who has been posting some of her own stuff lately.

News of the Moment
So we're back to thinking about terrorism (one of the reasons I wanted to get my house sold sooner rather than later, frankly.) US says al-Qaeda ready to hit "hard". Sigh. I wonder what "hard" means. I have a feeling that they'd have a difficult time getting much bigger than the Madrid bombings, and anything much smaller than that...I dunno, I think this country is braced for it, frankly.

What I'm also dreading is the Republican spin after any attack. "The terrorists want to disrupt our elections, just like in Spain! They want you to think that we can't protect you! If you vote for Kerry the terrorists have already won!" and people taking that thinking seriously.

Bush: too many resources in Iraq. Too little attention to the homeland. Too much bad karma worldwide.

Bill the Splut points out that the administration can't even admit to fault in him falling off a bike. "It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose" (someone checked and it was like 10 days since the last rain in Crawford). As Bill says "He fell off a bike. And there's already an official cover-up."

Jimminy frickin' crickets.

vacation filler day 5 (backlog flush #24)

May 26, 2003

the ring's the thing

May 26, 2002
Went over to my aunt's to watch Vanilla Sky (underrated movie, for the record) when I noticed my wedding ring finger was hurting a bit (And no, I'm not reading any particular symbolism into that) so I switched it to my other hand. Man, that was a weird drive felt like I was driving in England or something, I had to put a lot of extra thought into which way the road curved and how traffic was merging...I guess this ring has become a bit of an orienting device.

Bushism of the Moment
For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times.
G.W.Bush, Tokyo, Feb 18, 2002

Link of the Moment
Everything you wanted to know about the history of the Illinois License Plate...and then some! Cute presentation, actually.


May 26, 2001
Link of the Moment
Spacewar! is one of the grand-daddies of modern videogames, and a much deeper deathmatch than Pong. (I was amazed at how developed its deathmatch became when I read this old Rolling Stones article.) Written by MIT Hackers who were inspired by the space opera Fiction of E.E. "Doc" Smith. Someone has an the original game running on a PDP-1 emulator. There's a decent funny introduction at and a more comprehensive set of Spacewar! links as well. (Possibly the most obvious sequal to Spacewar! was the brilliant Star Control series. The first game added 12 new types of ships, each with 2 unique weapons systems, and the second created a whole universe to support it. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.)

Quote of the Moment
I've coined new words like 'misunderstanding'
George W. Bush, who meant to say "misunderestimated"
...and to think he accused Gore of exaggeration of invention! Thank goodness the Dems have found some traction in the Senate.

"Killer Tees" would be a good name for AIDS-related t-shirts, but I'm not sure if anyone would get it.
Last weekend was commencement for many schools, including Tufts I think. And of course it's been four years since college. It hits me that maybe my mortality pages are kind of like my thesis for some kind of degree from the School of Not-So-Hard knocks- I like that idea, though it's a bit silly.
"Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence."
--Spanish Proverb
I'm embarassed that I didn't censor parts of this for Kirk.... He's read all these personal and hateful feelings that I've left in here. His kisses were terribly sweet, though. I hope I won't be too forward or greedy. (grin!) (Let's do it again)
--penultimate entry from R's red journal. I wonder if it was any influence on the KHftCEA? I'm flattered she gave it to me, and impressed with some of her writing.  (Wow- it's been a while since I've written creatively in this journal.)