something I don't think occurs to settlers is that Indigenous people already are living in a post-apocalyptic world
So when YOU sew a bunch of unmatched parts together, it is "a quilt" and "a beautiful gift" and "will assuredly become a family heirloom" but when I sew a bunch of unmatched parts together it is "A MONSTER" and "AN ABOMINATION, AN AFFRONT TO THE GODS" and goes on "A MURDEROUS KILLING SPREE."
Link to spread: Doctors having to tell patients coming down begging for a vaccine as they are coming down with COVID: I'm Sorry, But It's Too Late.
Heh, put like that it reminds me of the end of the world vision some Fundamentalists Christians paint for the end of the world, with repentant sinners pleading for mercy it is too late for.
"I try to be very non-judgmental when I'm getting a new COVID patient that's unvaccinated, but I really just started asking them, 'Why haven't you gotten the vaccine?' And I'll just ask it point blank, in the least judgmental way possible," she said. "And most of them, they're very honest, they give me answers. 'I talked to this person, I saw this thing on Facebook, I got this email, I saw this on the news,' you know, these are all the reasons that I didn't get vaccinated.
"And the one question that I always ask them is, did you make an appointment with your primary care doctor and ask them for their opinion on whether or not you should receive the vaccine? And so far, nobody has answered yes to that question."
Arabic has words for many modes of camelness though looking at it, it feels like German, where compound words are doing a lot of the work that other languages might use a few words for.
When I think about like, "Yeah I did this." You know, "I'm so great. I had 30, I had 25-10-10," or whatever the case might be. Because you're going to think about that ... Usually the next day you're going to suck. Simple as that. Like, the next few days you're going to be terrible. And I figured out a mindset to have that, when you focus on the past, that's your ego: "I did this in the past. I won that in the past."Congratulations to Antetokounmpo and the Bucks! By all accounts an amazing player and person (if a little too fond of Chick-fil-A for liberals' liking) And he's right, it's great when anchoring the hometown team instead of going to join a superstar squad is great.
And when I focus on the future, it's my pride. "Yeah, the next game, Game 5, I'll do this and this and this. I'm going to dominate." That's your pride talking. Like, it doesn't happen. You're right here. I try and focus in the moment. In the present. And that's humility. That's being humble. That's not setting no expectations. That's going out there and enjoying the game. Competing at a high level. I've had people throughout my life who have helped me with that. But that's a skill that I've tried to, like, how do you say? Perfect it. Yeah, master it. It's been working so far, so I'm not going to stop.
I have always admired the art of Alison Bechdel -
from the real-life-feeling stories a lesbian community in "Dykes to Watch Out For", to seeing parallels with some of my own story in her autobiographical books such as "Fun House", to seeing her talk about building up her craft in "The Indelible Alison Bechdel" - the introduction showing her childhood and teenage growth as an artist was amazing...
Anyway in Slate she praises the Stuck Rubber Baby, now in its 25th anniversary reprint by Howard Cruse... I'm gonna check that out!
(Tangentially related, the best secondary use of the oversized iPad Pro I got when it was the only one that supported the Apple Pencil is as a reader app for comics...)
roses aren't red
violets aren't blue
the world is an illusion
& so are you
Median number of views a YouTube video had in 2007: 10,262
In 2017: 89
When we gittee back from de funeral, tain nobody in de house but me and Seely. De house was full but now it empty. We old folks now and we know we ain' going have no mo' chillun. We so lonesome, but we know we cain gittee back de dead. When de spit goes from de mouf, it doan come back. When de earth eats, it doan give back. So we try to keep one 'nother comp'ny and be happy.
UX Design and the most brilliant idea for a toaster improvement ever.
I listened to Sam "Waking Up" Harris' podcast where he interviews Scott "Dilbert" Adams about Trump. Adams is relatively pro-Trump, but more to the point, he seems to be more pro-"Persuasion" over unearthing and acting on the facts as objectively as we can.
One of his favorite things to pick on is "analogy" - he thinks it's a terrible, limited way of knowing things, forever an imperfect mistaking of the map for the territory. (Err, to use an analogy, I guess.) I think it's kind of a dick power move, frankly. The Persuasion shtick - and Adams mentions how he was a trained hypnotist - is all about elevating authority and truthiness over trying to empower people to get through to the facts themselves. The Objective Truth is unknowable, so why not give up trying to know it and just Trust Me?
When I was searching my own website trying to find some half-remembered bit about how analogy-based thinking was probably the key to "real" artificial intelligence, I found reference to a book I only barely remember reading but I think may have been mightily influential on me: Hofstadter and Sander's "Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking". Given how often I annoyed my estranged talking companion EB by realizing I tend to be focused on interactions at the surface and he seem obsessed with the supremacy of the essence, the core of what something "really was", that book seems like it had quite an impact on me.
Anyway, getting rid of analogies is nuts; you can barely have a conversation without 'em, and I am deeply suspect of Adams' desire to go without.
All that said, it would be good if the left wasn't so cartoony in its portrayal of Trump.
Impressionistic sounds affect our subconscious and our state of mind. This is due possibly to the fact that sounds, if present, are continuously entering our mind whether or not we are actively listening. Visual inputs, on the other hand, require the user's attention. If we are distracted from the TV set, we cease to concentrate on the picture and the image leaves our mind. Sound therefore offers the programmer a direct path to the user's mind--bypassing his thought processes and zeroing in on his emotions.
[Buddha visits Geek Squad]
IT GUY: So all your files are in one huge folder named 'Temporary.'
BUDDHA: [nods peacefully]
My Dozen Best Photos of The Year -- *2000*!
July 21, 2016
Open Photo GalleryClearly we survived Y2K without much hassle. I was kind of uptight about in 1997-8 or so, but then calmed down a bit as systems failed to collapse, even ones that had to look ahead.
My friend (and former coworker from my first job) Habib, from Morocco.
Mo and I got engaged on Valentine's Day. (She had been a little frustrated that I hadn't punctuated a promise made early in dating that I wouldn't propose before 2000 by popping the question on the stroke of Y2K.)
This photo here as a reminder for me of my biggest "dot com" play, "Event Zero".
For an only child, I have a lot of cousins-once-removed or whatever it is.
Beloved English Teacher Judith McLaughlin, who died a year or two ago. I would call on her every visit back to Cleveland - it's a hoot to do some day drinking with your funny and gracious high school teacher.
After the wedding of Wendy, with Mike Witczak--
We visited Veronika in Germany that fall... here we are at Uni-Marburg... and I thought Tufts had a big hill, it ain't a patch on Uni-Marburg.
Me in Wurzburg.
Back at work - Giant Spider! Lowering from the Monster.com blimp. (A bit of office tom-foolery)
Another year, another new apartment. And a little peck from Dylan.
Brooke threw a lot of fun parties these years.
Mo's friend and then-(uh)-future-maid-of-honor Lee. For some reason I think I remember she's around to help Mo try on wedding dresses (We had a year and a half engagement.)
Video Shows Unarmed Black Man Pleading With Arms Raised Before Getting Shot by Police - Hands up, don't shoot. Mercifully, not a death, and maybe "just" an error from an itchy trigger finger? Still... Racist, Barney Fife BS.
The Centipede is especially good...
How Republicans went from the party of Lincoln to the party of Trump, in 13 maps - want to keep this around in for when the old "Us? Racist? But we're the Party of Lincoln!" comes around.
Jimminy Frickin Crickets, Republicans.
Extra bonus: Trump and Putin see eye to eye on NATO (even as Pence tries to say we WOULD stand with the alliance that kept us through the cold war.)
The ultimate Tell Me Again Why Trump is a Fascist.
Celebrities should adopt pets from shelters and then offload them onto normal people who would take them because they were previously owned by a celebrity.
Gambling is essentially believing in the heart of the cards.
NYC Woman Throws Herself Off Rooftop Bar, Party People Keep Drinking This is sad - I think I met the woman in question at a "BeaconWeek" presentation. Faigy Mayer was an aspiring app developer, with a special focus on apps to help other people who were also breakaways from the hasidim community. (Other reports say most people at the bar had no idea about what had happened)
I don't know the story of her current struggle, but she's in a documentary about ex-Hasidic folk... -- what a tough transition to make.
Me at Saturday's JP Porchfest... I have to say the day was a smashing success! Awesome turn out for a first-year event and great enthusiasm and fun all around. As far as I could tell my lil' website for it (http://jpporchfest.org/) held up fine - in fact I've heard rumors some of the Somerville Porchfest Organizers (who were the (freely admitted!) inspiration for this event) might like to pinch some of our ideas to punch up their own site.
July 21, 2014
I swear I should consider moving to JP one of these years.
Also, later, I grabbed Leigh's percussion wearable, and my cousin Bill took a shot:
I love things that recast pop culture mythos and show how the lens we're given to watch and read this stuff as children isn't the only one: "LotR DVD Commentry" by Zinn and Chomsky http://kottke.org/14/07/lotr-dvd-commentary-from-zinn-and-chomsky and even better: https://storify.com/tcarmody/the-people-s-history-of-tattooine A People's History of Tattooine, where Luke Skywalker group up.
I ran into the typewritten sheets that represent a few months of diary from my sophomore year of high school. In some fundamental way, it feels like a different person is writing that-- a sense I don't get from my writing, say, a decade and a half ago. Which raises the question, is there a transition point between who I was and who I am?
If I had to pick a point, I'd choose losing my virginity or coping with unrequited love, both around college time.
July 21, 2012
Drag with the mouse to create select boxes of ships, then click to send them where you want them. "S" adds more ships, "R" resets the game, sort of.
You can play the Processing.js/HTML5 rendition or original Java version.
Best sentence that would have made no sense 10 years ago: "Galaxy Nexus: Android Ice Cream Sandwich Guinea Pig" (via reddit)
I've said this before but I'll say it again: Why do bad things happen to good people? To even out the good things that happen to bad people.
July 21, 2011
July 21, 2010
Crewmate casualties in the original Star Trek series, by uniform color: Red: 43 // Blue: 5 // Yellow: 6 // Engineering Smock: 4
Innumeracy must affect, like, a kajillion people.
We cannot sense a belief or desire in another person's head the way we smell oranges.
Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.
When I was a kid, I had this awesome windup rubber tire toy; it had an offcentered weight and bounced like crazy, and overall had this great, highly appealing kinetic feel. Any idea where to get information on it, or where to replace it?
http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/dead-sites-web-1-0?click%E2%80%A6 - the Web 1.0 graveyard. I really miss Suck.com.
[about fake online dating scammers]
"'Cause of all your cyberstalking... you KNEW I really was that good"
"Oh honey- scammers don't pretend to be 30-something programmers working from home in an apartment in their aunt and uncle's house."
JZ's pup Brody:
July 21, 2009
Mostly I was amused by the series of nearly identical photos of him JZ had on his iPhone.
I made a simpler Small Gif Cinema version but it's not that great:
http://www.doublex.com/section/arts/changing-my-shape-learning-hindi - how learning Hindi remolded her mind, some of the changes seemed interesting, others disturbing in terms of gender roles.
iPhone timezone support is so addled. If you forgot to manually set the timezone and started putting in appointments, you're hosed.
Ok, so it's nice that I can synch to Exchange at work. But iPhone- first calendar "red", second "orange? Your rainbow-love makes for bad UI!
My main task in helping my mom unpack in Viginia (besides providing a bit of grunt labor) was to setup the computer and the television- the cable, the DVD, and three or four video game systems.
July 21, 2008
MELAS (My Ever Lovin' Aunt Susan) asked if the rejiggering of the AV stuff was basically easy for me, and just a bunch of work, or if it was complex. It was easy, I assured her, and then explained a bit about matching white and red and yellow connectors for the sound and picture, and recognizing and knowing an "S-Video" plug, etc.
But then I thought about it, and realized that with a moderately advanced setup (and in this case we have two A/V switches, one that's "TV / DVD / Games" and the other that selects the actual game system) it gets pretty complex. Or rather, complex enough so that if it's not working you don't immediately know what's going on.
And I could see that maybe that's where I do have a skillset she doesn't, or at least not as refined... it's a process very similar to debugging a computer program: figure out what assumptions you're making, and then isolate and challenge each assumption in turn so you know what's going wrong. (OK, the Wii picture isn't showing up... does it show up when I plug it directly into the TV? Yes, so the TV is probably on the right channel. Now what if I plug it into the first switch box? Still works. How about into the second switch box? Problem. OK, so there's likely a loose plug or something between the two switch boxes.... etc etc etc)
This process comes easily and naturally for me... so easily I don't know if it's something semi-instinctive, something I figured out for myself growing up, or something that was drilled into me in computer science class and then refined through years of practice as a professional programmer. Quite possibly the latter, though it might be some of each, that I had that kind of temperament that led me to my eventual career field...
And does this tie in to my general hemming and hawing, my strong reluctance to speak in absolutes, and reliance on saying stuff like "I don't see it here" rather than "it's not here"?
This morning I had detailed dreams about playing World of Warcraft, which felt kind of weird because I've never actually played it.
Aw, nuts....Jeff Hawkins thinks Searle is right about the Chinese Room thought experiment??
Thinking about how historically bad I am at plotting vacations. I think one factor is... I dunno, other places don't interest me much just in the sense of being other places, that sense of "being elsewhere" doesn't feel like a relaxing change of pace. (It doesn't necessarily score highly on my "interesting"-based way of viewing the world and judging actions.)
July 21, 2007
But I'm happy to go some place if there's someone I want to see, or something particularly interesting to do.
How normal is that? I mean, I know "I need a vacation to recover from my vacation" idea is not uncommon, so I guess I'm not the only person who finds these things to require trade offs...
Silly GIF etc of the Moment
My very-late-release July loveblender is out. I kind of went with a bit of a Harry Potter theme.
I haven't read a book in the series after I quit two halfway (too much like the first, I thought at the time, and then the pagecounts started to go up up up) but I've been enjoying Wikipediaing some of the details, and that's where I'll go for Spoilers of the latest one... supposedly it has been leaked already, but I don't know who to trust, since there are conflicting reports. So I've read 3 or 4 different possible endings. And, you know, they're all fairly plausible, and might make a for a good wrap up. But of course, people want to know what REALLY happens. Though, duh, it's fiction, so nothing REALLY happens, there's just a "canonical" plot and all the others.
And in honor of the day, (vaguely) adult material, the finest in instant messaging cybersex, I put on my robe and wizard hat. Though I like the one about the rhino better. It's surprisingly hard to find the version I remember of these.
Geek News of the Moment
To merge two Nixon memes, You won't have Checkers to kick around anymore. Its been "solved". Though I'm not sure if that solving is that much of a detriment to actually playing it.
As I lose weight I'm going through a bit of a pants crisis. Everything I own seems to be either still small enough that I can't engage in my favorite hobby of "simultaneous pants wearing and taking a deep breath" or purchased around my peak weight so that are now at risk for falling right off my ass.
July 21, 2006
Of course I don't want to buy a lot of clothing now, at what I think is an intermediate weight, 2/5 of the way to my final goal.
But, I wondered, if I don't want to buy clothing on my way down, didn't I buy anything when I was around the same weight on the way up? The answer turned out to be "yes, but only cargo pants" which I guess I don't think of as being very summery. They were part of my "Queer Gal for the Straight Pal" makeover a few years ago, the main remnants of which are more interesting glasses and an aversion to jeans for day-to-day use.
Video of the Moment
One of the nice things about break.com, relative to other sites that carry a lot of the same content, is that you can link to it without having to warn about gloms and gloms of porn ads, they have their acts together. Anyway, here is a brilliant brilliant bit from a home shopping cable show where the announcer is extremely slow to acknowledge that the large digital photo he is holding is not in fact a horse, but a detailed view of a butterfly. You have to see it to believe it.
Speaking of insect closeups, for what it's worth, I indeed took those pictures of that beetle the other week. Ksenia didn't realize that I was the actual photographer, and even EB expressed surprise that it was me when he saw the fully zoomed-in version as my desktop wallpaper.
Geektivity of the Moment
July 21, 2005
So I'm really getting into this batari BASIC for the Atari 2600, even though the language is still very much a work in progress. The 0.2 release made it much easier to right fairly readable code, losing the need for line numbers and letting variables have arbitrary names instead of being A-Z. I've made that webpage for it, and got Al from AtariAge.com to give bB its own forum. (Actually he made me a moderator of it, which is kind of a novelty for me.)
In about one evening I was able to put together an idea I'd been thinking about for a while, a simple "drumpad" program using the joystick as a simple bass/snare/cymbal drumset. (The game was inspired by Dance Dance Revolution, especially when the steps seem to control the music directly.) That's the screen shot here...it uses the "Pac-Pilgrim" logo of the New England Classic Gamers (minus the beer in one hand and joystick in the other.) You can get the binary here, I'm feeling too lazy to explain how to run it in an emulator. Also, it points out a serious limitation in most emulators: the sound has a noticeable "lag", so the drumming isn't nearly as much fun. In fact, it sort of sucks...I really need to try running this on a real 2600.
I have some slightly mixed feelings about Batari BASIC. On the one hand, it's great, it probably would have taken at least a week for me to program it in assembly language, probably longer to get my chops back, and maybe I never would have gotten up the energy for it. And this BASIC variant is opening up programming to a bunch of Atari fans. The game environment is a bit limited (right now it's two players, two missile graphics, and a score, though he's made up a big pixel "screen memory" that lets you draw on the screen like the old 8-bit computers of the 80s which opens the field to some cool game play ideas) but already boundaries are being stretched.
I know I could make a semi-passable version of JoustPong in this, even better with the features expected in future releases. The games made in Batari BASIC probably won't be as polished as their "true homebrew" brothers, but still, the will be original games that run on real hardware. (Actually people are a little worried about a flood of mediocre homebrews.)
It's funny of think of my alternate-reality self, living in a world where this came out in 2002 or so. (The language compiler itself ain't rocket science, it some ways it's just a big macro that takes simple BASIC statements and writes out the corresponding assembly.) I definitely would have written JoustPong in it, and it would have taken a lot less effort. And I'd probably even call myself an "Atari coder", even though I would have learned so much less and worked so much harder than I have here.
The previous barrier to learning how to code an Atari game really made it kind of elite thing, (even though I tried to lower it a bit with my 2600 101 tutorial) and that's shifted somewhat. It seems to be splitting hairs to say "I programmed a game for the 2600 in Assembly Language" vs "I programmed a game for the 2600" even though the former is a big achievement in a way the latter isn't. You used to have to gain this expertise in archaic things to make a game that could run on the real hardware...now the particulars of that pursuit seem a bit quaint and oddball, since there's a much better effort/reward ratio to just doing it in "BASIC".
Spike in traffic yesterday...looking at my referers I think it's because I got this comment in early in a slashdot discussion, and it had a link to my site (just mentioning that my site's structure isn't super-RSSable--though I'm almost tempted to ask this guy to give it a whirl).
July 21, 2004
Some of the bulk has to do with this stupid web hijack scheme where I seem to get a hit from a link at
Passage of the Moment
Bacon is truth, friend. It's not only a food that knows no culinary boundaries, it is a forceful, vengeful, little pile of fat that loves to make things crispy and dangerous.Found part of this quote on mo's LJ profile. One summer Tufts computer lab geek's had a Cult of Bacon, and had a few BaconFests. Good times - and '95-'96 was pretty early for such cultish activity.
Bacon makes everything crazy. Tie two hot dogs together with bacon. Strangle Bay scallops with bacon. Devil an egg and then stab it with bacon. Stick seventy-seven strips of bacon up a Cornish hen's ass. Rape a baked potato with bacon. Fuck with your peanut butter sandwich. When it's expecting the grape jam, hit it with the bacon.
News of the Moment
The Olympic Village as the world's most elite "two-week-long private party for thousands of hard-bodies". Heh, that would be interesting.
Queestion of the Moment
Huh, Just realized that the day the divorce is final is a Saturday, August 7...I'm almost half tempted to try to throw my apartmentwarming party that day. Though I think that might be a bad idea--A., is 2 1/2 weeks enough time for evites and all for a big party? and B. I think I explicitly asked Mo not to have celebrations that day, so it would be kind of cheeky for me to do that.
Whaddya think? Would the 14th or 28th be a better bet?
Game of the Moment
July 21, 2003
Addictive little enticement to wrist-based RPI, it's your job to Defend Your Castle...mostly by flinging the little stick figure attackers away, but later you can buy a temple to convert them to your faith, and then later train them to become archers and wizards and other defenders of the castle walls... (supposedly the game pretty much plays itself once you have enough of those guys.)
It occurred to me that I haven't been rambling much lately, just keeping up the steady barrage of links and quotes with the odd political sniping. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I know some people read this page and it's their central way of knowing what's going on with my life, but on the other hand excessively journal-y pages can get pretty dull. On the third hand, some of my favorite pages are just kind of rambles, with relatively few links. If you have an opinion one way or the other, let me know in today's comments section.
So Brooke and Mo threw a big dual birthday party. It was, by our modest standards, wildly successful. Biggest turn out we've had, almost 30 people in all. Cohosting parties is great, especially when your friends had fun friends. (And we recently cohosted with John, and met lots of fun people, many who were also at Saturday's shindig.)
Brooke's friends got her a general lawn games set, the highlight being a badminton net that came with two terrifically awful plastic rackets. Those were supplemented by two good rackets, and when more than 4 people wanted to play, further supplemented by Brooke's shoe (startlingly well wielded by Ryan), the cardboard box the set came in, and a frisbee.
The focus of the party in the evening was the Karaoke machine we rented. We're looking to get one for ourselves, it will pay for itself in a party or two. Mo's looking to get this massive collection of songs, like 1275 in all. Even "Mysterious Ways" by U2 and the odd Weird Al song. (Signs of a brutally geeky childhood.)
Having a decent hosting house ("phat party pad") is a wonderful luxury. Admittedly our lawn is a bit tight for badminton, (it would be more room but much less fun to head to the playground across the way, since amusing the spectators is a big part of the entertainment value.)
I have mixed feelings about the "no video game" rule Brooke and Mo decided on for their cobirthday. Their complaint, and there is something to it, is that parties with videogames often degrade into videogame parties...especially with the living room's big honkin' tv centrally placed. But games can be a lot of fun. This party started at 6, and went on 'til 1 or 2. Maybe we can make up some rules, preparty gaming from like 2 to 6, and then any further videogames have to be in a gaming ghetto in my study, to encourage more blatantly social and inclusive forms interaction. (Though many games are often good spectator sports.)
I did something to a calf muscle, don't know if it was while dancing or what, but it's been sore ever since. Almost enough to make me limp a bit.
Game of the Moment
July 21, 2002
Link of the Moment
The Art of Computer Game Design is an interesting document by Chris Crawford, a game designer...I think it (or at least exerpts from it) were in Antic magazine, and Chapter 6 (about balancing one player games, and indirection in the tank game Battlezone) left a big impression on me, I've been paraphrasing from it ever since. Most of the game it refers to are pretty old, it would be interesting to see a supplement to this that had a view of modern games.
Quote of the Moment
July 21, 2001
"You should never stand in love's way, especially if love is driving a bus."
--R. M. Weiner
Net Toy of the Moment
Two shockwave games: sometimes you get the worm, and sometimes the worm gets to be you, or something. The first is the cooler by far, an interesting blend of frustrating game and art piece. Turns out the whole thing is based on this video short, a commercial for UK Compaq. Guess the video, by these guys takes out some of the mystery. Still, kind of neat to see. (found via memepool's archive)
Net Humor of the Moment
This poem is making the e-mail rounds, apparently compiled from actual quotes of our president:
I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.
Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?
They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.
Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!
There's a brilliant commercial for the VW Cabrio, a convertible. 4 people are driving on a moonlit road in the country, enjoying the night air, looking up at the moon, trying to catch the magical looking pollen as it blows past, all to this wonderful mellow folksy song 'Pink Moon'. They finally arrive at the destination, a party- through the windshield you see many cars, strings of big festive lights, people talking... it seems very pleasant but the foursome look at each other and silently decide to keep driving into the night. It's a beautifully shot piece, the convertible nature of the car permitting intimate shots from many angles in the moonlight, not just the typical headon from the front view. Even though I find the decision to ditch the party unbelievable and just the wrong choice, as a whole the spot really resonates with me. I'm seriously tempted to look into one when I get my next car. (Then again I've always liked the compact boxiness of VW convertbles.)