Anyone remember the kid's show "The Great Space Coaster"? Sort of a spiritual successor to H.R. Pufnstuf, and right behind "New Zoo Revue" in terms of impact. Stuff like "The Gnus with Gary Gnu" and "Speed Reader" ("he can read an entire news stand while doing a head stand! Speed Reader! Speed Reader!") really stuck with me.
Also here I cued the video to start at an odd cartoon about worms... (I love the device the guy uses in-show to play the clip... back then that was like future wackiness, now it's just any smartphone...) I think the worms were a big influence in how I cartooned for a while, really big nosed characters like from there and from the box art for Nerds candy.
Also I loved the way the "inhabited asteroid" setting looked, at the end of the intro, all those cool ramps and whatnot:
On my devblog, how CNBC published just about the worst chart imaginable to display the 12% "bounce" we got against the unfathomably huge job losses this Spring...
Love is like a bottle of gin
But a bottle of gin is not like love
i think humanity's love affair with the sea is perhaps the sexiest thing about us
NY Times on The Making of a Youtube Radical.
The algorithms that show you "Up Next" aren't politically biased by design, but in practice - yow.
"There's a spectrum on YouTube between the calm section -- the Walter Cronkite, Carl Sagan part -- and Crazytown, where the extreme stuff is," said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google, YouTube's parent company. "If I'm YouTube and I want you to watch more, I'm always going to steer you toward Crazytown."The story talks about how the algorithms at first focused on proximate content (i.e. videos with similar outlooks) but when they introduced the goals of getting people to stay on longer, started selecting towards pushing people to more engrossing stuff - and folks on the alt right figured out how to leverage this pattern.
Here's the most bullshit, weak-sauce, mathematically illiterate defense I've read this week:
In interviews, YouTube officials denied that the recommendation algorithm steered users to more extreme content. The company's internal testing, they said, has found just the opposite -- that users who watch one extreme video are, on average, recommended videos that reflect more moderate viewpoints.LOL, I think they're arguing that regression to the mean somehow shows there isn't a trend. I mean come on - if someone lands on some of the most wackadoodle stuff, chances are, statistically, the recommendations will be somewhat less wackadoodle than that. Math is hard!
A slim silver lining is that the left is figuring this out as well, a "group [that] calls itself BreadTube, a reference to the left-wing anarchist Peter Kropotkin's 1892 book, 'The Conquest of Bread.'" Previously I enjoyed Contrapoints response to Jordan Peterson and the unlikelihood of the conflation of "Post-Modern Neo Marxism".
But yeah. These algorithms are god-awful. "You might also like" was sort of cool on Everything2, but it's too clear that rabbit holing can be utterly abused. (And while I'm at it, screw Netflix and autoplaying next. It's like a self-refilling glass for casual drinkers.)
An x-ray of a brown long-eared bat.
(Photo: Chris Thorn)
"I'll Fly Away" from the Second Line for Dr. John (spotted by Daniel in SoH)
Just so it's known - I'm no Dr. John but if I die any time soon I sure as hell want as much music as the Boston area folk I've played with this past half-decade or so can muster. Probably w/ a lot of School of Honk songs so everyone can join n.
LOL, so Marvel/Disney are being uptight about streaming rental of Captain Marvel (gotta get that new gawd forsaken DisneyPlus mojo working I guess, grrrrrrrr) - maybe it'll be time to go to frickin' Red Box physical media for a while til they get this shit settled or I succumb to the Mickey Christ and subscribe or steal a subscription.
BABAM ran into Wally before marching Boston Pride
June 9, 2018
Follow Your Blisters.
I've been pretty happy with the alien bill tattoo I got in 2009. It's inobtrusive, most often hidden, and of strong personal iconic significance.
It's too soon, for now, but I've been thinking about how important and useful "Amor Fati" and the reminder to embrace - to love- this circumstance, because it is THE circumstance, is. And at least toying with the idea of getting a tattoo to represent that.
If I liked more elaborate concepts, the Bnomio design I semi-commissioned might be good:
But I've been feeling like I'm not sure I like the idea of unharmonized designs on random parts of me, so I've been toying with keeping some related, iconish designs in a column on the same arm.
This is a Processing-generated (then manually stretched) rendition of a simplification of the Bnomio I've been putting on graph paper (and it reflects those roots; maybe a more circular hour glass would look better)
Besides the poor rendition, it's maybe a little too fatalistic and dour. Also, I'm a little biased against tattoos in languages the wearer doesn't speak. (And google has a few too many "Amor Fati"s in simple cursive script.)
Lately I've been thinking of something like this:
This is a pretty good rendition, actually, even if I'm still uncertain about the kerning... I had to fake serifs for the "I" characters, otherwise they were too skinny.
Eh, just some thoughts. Not sure if at the size I'm thinking if typeface matters, or if will have a kind of handwritten look in any event.
Willing to listen to counterarguments and criticisms. This might not be my best idea ever, but I've had worse.
Of course the other idea I flirt with is the first bar of the bassline I stole from Atari 2600 "Moon Patrol" and have been using when making music with friends ever since early highschool:
Communities organically coalescing at McDonalds. It's easy to be snobby about that place, and how "Mc-" as a prefix became a jokey signifier, but still.
Also I was thinking how "Big Macs" used to feel like, the ultimate indulgent sandwich, now they're one of the least caloric thing on their specialty burgers menu. (Which assumes cheeseburgers come in twos anyway) I had one on my way back from Connecticut the other week. It was ok.
The Drunken Downfall of Evangelical America's Favorite Painter Someone posted this, here I think. I'm still not crazy about the final product but I have more respect for the outlook of the man, and pity for his plight.
The world is more than rationality.
I'm glad no one's here, just me by the sea
I'm glad no one's here, to mess it up for me
I'm glad no one's here, just me by the sea
But man I wish I had a hand to hold
Quite a whittling talent!
Amniotic fluid... is that like Coconut Water?
Time to clear out my T-shirts. Some were just getting old and dingy, others just didn't work.
June 9, 2012
Let me know if there's anything you want...
Open Photo Gallery
Loved but worn out
Ahh the Adventures of Alfredo... an obscure corner of PC stick figure theater legacy.
I'll miss this custom-T but it was a little dark.
These are all getting worn out, except for one I'm saving.
By my buddy Miller... I loved the idea of a turtle pondering death.
Had this made at a cool custom T-store at the Navy Pier in Chicago.
From JapanFrom my trip to Japan... kinda cool, but they all run a little snug, surprise surprise.
Too Plastick-y and Sweaty
This was gonna be cooler when it said "Pedroia the Destroya" but a trademark claim screwed it.
Loved the defense and the Bruins championship, dislike most everything else about Tim Thomas.
These 2 were like $2 or $3 each at Rodney's Bookstore, but they make me look like I'm trying too hard.
I love this HARVEYJAMES shirt but I hardly ever have the cajones to wear it.
Sigh -- I like the idea of this shirt by Auntie Pixelante but really I just don't like black T-shirts all that much.
And this recent arrival is black, and actually a bit TOO glow-in-the-dark.
A gorilla riding an ostrich. Better in theory than in practice.
Some weird art piece about jersey barriers, from the Cordova. Too minimalist to be fun.
Too sincere. Or green. Or something.
Kinda cool, a little touristy.
A bit too simple.
From startup weekend, but it was the wrong year, and it's an odd fit.
It's the remix to Ignition / hot and fresh out the kitchen / no we can't make you an omelet / our chef only does remixes
June 9, 2011
--via 22 words, posted here for Amber because even though she doesn't like youtube videos she sometimes likes this kind of stuff... Makes you wonder if NYPD is just looking to get the revenue or what...
Man, this is an exciting picture!
June 9, 2010
I've been training Winnie for three days now and I'm ready to kill him. I showed him how the spreadsheets are updated on the network, and he just stared at me with this blank expression. I tried to demonstrate the copy machine, but he somehow got his head stuck in one of the slots. I heard his muffled cry of "Oh, bother!" as five of us worked on getting him out. Honestly, is this the best that recruiting could do?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon_Runyon -had "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" in my head this AM-Runyon is terrific, more than somewhat.
Hmm, though my current Damon Runyon kick means that my current playlist has a lot of what are technically show tunes.
June 9, 2009
I think this is Abri N°177, by the Oz Collective. I like how it uses both open and closed umbrellas. (Via ArchMage who runs a weekly "Photo Friday" type LJ entry.)
Terrorism as an "autoimmune disease"; their strategy is to provoke over response. Those "terrorist will have won" jokes were right.
Geekgripe. JSP added JSTL, "Java in view is bad". But all these other toolkits want to make Java your only coding language. Bleh.
Wait, Andy Rooney is still alive?
I think my inner mammal digs the heat more than it digs the cold.
June 9, 2008
It still wants the option of air conditioned splendor or warm and cozy heat as conditions dictate, but given the choice, heat is preferable.
I wonder if there's any small chance if it's because I lived on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands for a year when I was three.
Video of the Moment
--First I've heard of it, but Will It Blend? is a long ongoing series of awesome.
Neuroscience of the Moment
To her surprise, though, the magnetic resonance scans revealed that the part of the brain lost among those who failed to perceive sarcasm was not in the left hemisphere of the brain, which specializes in language and social interactions, but in a part of the right hemisphere previously identified as important only to detecting contextual background changes in visual tests.It's tough to express just how cool it is that we have a part of the brain that's generically "context", whether visual or social.
"The right parahippocampal gyrus must be involved in detecting more than just visual context -- it perceives social context as well," Dr. Rankin said.
"Abraham Lincoln said all men are created equal. I guess old Abe never saw Bo Diddley in the Shower" RIP, man.
This morning at the T stop is the first time in a while I recall looking for a nice shady spot. (behind a local map billboard)
cex.co.uk is a kind of awesome used DVD, games, electronics store at downtown crossing.
i swear my development server has gremlins in it. no other explanation fits.
Ended up heading up to Rockport to help EvilB before his daughter's first birhday party tomorrow, so not much time for an update... but here are some fireworks I tried to take pictures of last Friday. I think it was Arlington's centennial or something:
June 9, 2007
That's actually from the end of the street where I live. It's always kind of cool to be able to see fireworks from your house.
"Thoughts on al-Zarqawi?" Cole prompted yesterday.
June 9, 2006
Well, I don't have much to say about that. Obviously his death bodes well for the situation in Iraq and a victory for people who would like to see peace and stability there, but I don't know how well. Sometimes the government downplays the importance of individual terrorists, like when it can't manage to track them down, times like this it talks about how this could change the tide there.
Update: Did Bush nix plans to take out Zarqawi a few years ago because doing so might diminish his case for war in Iraq? I wouldnt be surprised.
Photos of the Moment
This site has been lacking images as of late, so...
Open Photo GalleryI got the privilege of seeing EBaby in her first 24 hours on the planet! So cute! And a head full of pretty hair already!
Runner up in the cute contest: Ksenia's family's kitten Sonja:
A distant third: this random cubicle connector gadget I found on my desk at work, seemed a little bit like a Sanrio character...
Not so much "cute" as "weird", me messing around with EB's swim-goggles while waiting for him to pick up some clothes from home:
And then last Saturday Ksenia and I made up an army of chocolate covered Strawberries and an auxiliary corps of kumquats for her stepdad's birthday...
Art Article of the Moment
June 9, 2005
Slate on the history of reactions to American Gothic...go get yerself some culture! While we're at it, check out this New Yorker piece on the history of recorded music. It's possible impact on classical music is quite interesting. (Linked to from this blog entry which is still good if not quite as compelling reading.)
Musing of the Moment
So I was sitting in a dull meeting I knew I wasn't going to get much out of, and I started wondering...if I had an option to fast-forward through unpleasant or boring stuff, would I take it? Even though I have a feeling that life is short, and shouldn't be made shorter?
That reminded me of an idea I had when I was a kid...what if everyone had the same superpower, like flying, or teleportation, but could only use it a small, fixed number of times? Would people save it for emergencies? Special occasions? Would there be a ritual time set up for it, maybe gather all your friends and family? Kind of like a bar-mitzvah, perhaps.
And maybe some people would save, save, save the power, and then die of old age never having tried it.
When would you use YOUR power?
Link of the Moment
June 9, 2004
Making the rounds: the 50 Coolest Song Parts. Not coolest songs, just parts.
Interview Q+A of the Moment
June 9, 2003
Do you think it follows without God, without faith, life is indeed meaningless and purposeless?from a book called "Insights", where Attallah interviews many important cultural figures of England who are reaching the twilight of their lives.
No, I don't actually think that. Without God, it may be ultimately meaningless and purposeless, and I suppose intellectually, if you are an absolute atheist like Richard Dawkins, you have to believe that. But because it's true ultimately doesn't mean to say it's true penultimately; you can give meaning to it, you can believe that love is important, that truth and beauty are important. And in a strange kind of way, if there is God then that experience must be part of the experience of God as well, so I think all the fragments get gathered up. I hate the kind of moralistic preaching that tries to blackmail people into believing, on the grounds that otherwise they will live lives of extreme anguish. I know lots of wonderfully committed ethical atheists whose lives are no more anguished than mine. They've chosen, as it were, not to believe in the way I have chosen to believe, but then to suggest that they are incapable of ethical vision, or love of their children, or enjoyment of the Monet Exhibition is absurd. But I do think that the meaning of God is so extraordinary that even official atheism is somehow not safe from it.
What struck me is how much more common atheism and agnosticism is in England, and how even Christian believers (including Richard Holloway) there tend to see the story of the Virgin Birth and Resurrection as allegories, not historical fact. Of all the people interviewed, there was only one strong defense of what I think of as "traditional" Christianity. I think one thing that we forget in the USA is how much of a Fundamentalist influence there is, relative to other Western democracies. (Someone once claimed that some ethnographers view the USA as a third world country that got lucky wealth-wise; given how strong fundamentalism also is in, say, African nations, I wonder if religious influence is one of the things that ties into that view of the USA.)
Quip of the Moment
To err is human. To blame someone else for your mistakes is even more human.
June 9, 2002
Bad Web News of the Moment
June 9, 2001
Oh man oh man oh man. Suck.com ("a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun") is going away-- or at least "on vacation". These guys introduced the idea of daily web editorial to a lot of people, myself included. Hell, when they started in 1995 they practically invented that style of small little columns centered on the page that was a fad for a bit, and is still one of the most readable formats on the web. Not to mention their generally-insightful, smartassed style (with a big heap of point out sights that, well, suck) that made them famous.
Here's an Nov 1996 Wired news article on what they were trying to do. And an informative Salon article on the recent hiatus. The article mentions how Suck's parent company (man, aren't there any rich people out there with enough money to float this stuff as a perpetual pet project?) is keeping up their vaguely slashdot like community system plastic up-- they say that user-generated content is one of the more viable models on the web, which I've definately found out through the tiny portion of net fame I've grabbed with the loveblender.
Quote of the Moment
Oh fuck. If I kill this guy, I'll have millions of nerds on my case.Diamond was coauthoring an Linus' autobiography, Just For Fun (slashdot review here). The book looks like this:
"Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin."
--John von Neumann (1951)
"Perl is the Cliff Notes of Unix."
"It's no accident that the ductwork shows in shell scripts. Only we call them pipes."
--Larry Wall, "Perl, the first postmodern computer language"
YHTBT - "you had to be there" - rallying cry of my lunchtime gang at EHS.
Just read about how Sirius is an unstable blue-white supergiant that will blow anytime in the next few million years. Man, humanity is so so fragile. How the hell have we survived to the point where we can ask questions about how fragile we are?
God damn my blood pressure.
It used to be just fucking peachy.
(And then I started excercising. Probably unrelated?)
23 million "missing you" cards sold anually, 32 million "get well"
-VH-1's pop-up video
life goes on
like melting ice
you can't escape
no plot device
will free you from
this slope of fate
"The claim that 'They laughed at Columbus' is tempered by the fact that they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."
and that the big C could have sworn he was in India...