September 16, 2020

Recently I heard someone who said the admonition to "be a human being, not a human doing" was a great reminder for them.

As it is it doesn't land for me. I guess I find worth and value doesn't reside in individuals, it's either an emergent property that arises in group contexts, or maybe it's an objective property of the universe that can only be confidently realized by getting enough viewpoints on it.

Looking back, I think that was the concept I expressed without full understanding in this poem I wrote in highschool:
A rock sat in the woods, thinking,
for many years, of many things.
Realized God and His plan
How to perfect life for plant and man
but it was a rock, and rocks can't speak
so it had to keep it to itself
My feeling is, any self-contained pure knowledge without action or expression is kind of worthless. The noun of things don't matter except as a container for the verbs that are possible, so being a "human doing" is critical, and the "human being" aspect is just a path to that.

But I think other people take something useful and important from "be a human being not a human doing"... can anyone in that group try and express how it works for them?
Thinking further - and I'm going out on more of a limb here - my current theory of what consciousness might be relies on a concept of interaction: that you have a model of the world, and an awareness of your ability to make changes in that world. (Maybe cognition enough to make predictions is relevant as well?) But this is true even for cases like "locked-in syndrome", or when you're asleep: for a sophisticated enough brain, the world that's external to the self may be virtual, like another part of the brain.

There's a thought experiment of the Boltzmann brain - that quantum theory suggests it could be possible - though very unlikely - for a structure of a brain to spontaneously appear, complete with (fake-y) memories and all that jazz. But in my model where consciousness is not a static thing but a state of interacting, the problems presented by the "Boltzmann brain" evaporate. In the model where it's like a real brain, well, I guess it has a few moments of panic as it dies in a environment foreign to all its fake memories up to now. Or if it's just like molecules that drifted together, formed this brain, then drift apart, it's even more meaningless - that fleeting second of awareness was just a mirage.
"Hey, what's the matter?"
"I'm sad because you're going to die."
"Yeah, that bugs me sometimes too. But not so much as you think... ...When you get as old as I am, you start to realize that you've told most of the good stuff you know to other people anyway."
Richard Feynman and Danny Hillis
I think that captures some of my feeling, that an important thing is to find out good stuff and then share it.
Some pretty decentinspirational-ish quotes. Some are thought provoking.

September 16, 2019

Saturday was a busy day for JP Honk... we started with the Augment parade- here's a close up of my favorite tuba accessory, the piles of cheap Mardi Gras style beads, $1 for about a dozen strands at Dollar Tree...

photo from Now+There's twitter feed that has some good photos. Also, see Donna Dodson's video of the band.
Oh and earlier that day I posted this, with my usual selfie joke "feeling cute, might delete later" which is two half-lies.

Next time I'm explaining why the concept of "well now it's a level playing field across these demographic groups" is false I should remember to link to these 3 paragraphs of Fran Lebowitz where she puts it rather well...

reading andy warhol

September 16, 2018
I'm a city boy. In the big cities they've set it up so you can go to a park and be in a miniature countryside, but in the countryside they don't have any patches of big cities, so I get very homesick.
Andy Warhol

As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I've found that to be absolutely axiomatic.
Andy Warhol

People should fall in love with their eyes closed. Just close your eyes. Don't look.
Andy Warhol

If a person isn't generally considered beautiful, they can still be a success if they have a few jokes in their pockets. And a lot of pockets.
Andy Warhol

Fran Lebowitz talking about race in the US

September 16, 2017
The way to approach it, I think, is not to ask, "What would it be like to be black?" but to seriously consider what it is like to be white. That's something white people almost never think about. And what it is like to be white is not to say, "We have to level the playing field," but to acknowledge that not only do white people own the playing field but they have so designated this plot of land as a playing field to begin with. White people are the playing field. The advantage of being white is so extreme, so overwhelming, so immense, that to use the word "advantage" at all is misleading since it implies a kind of parity that simply does not exist.

It is now common -- and I use the word "common" in its every sense -- to see interviews with up-and-coming young movie stars whose parents or even grandparents were themselves movie stars. And when the interviewer asks, "Did you find it an advantage to be the child of a major motion-picture star?" the answer is invariably "Well, it gets you in the door, but after that you've got to perform, you're on your own." This is ludicrous. Getting in the door is pretty much the entire game, especially in movie acting, which is, after all, hardly a profession notable for its rigor. That's how advantageous it is to be white. It's as though all white people were the children of movie stars. Everyone gets in the door and then all you have to do is perform at this relatively minimal level.

Additionally, children of movie stars, like white people, have at -- or actually in -- their fingertips an advantage that is genetic. Because they are literally the progeny of movie stars they look specifically like the movie stars who have preceded them, their parents; they don't have to convince us that they can be movie stars. We take them instantly at face value. Full face value. They look like their parents, whom we already know to be movie stars. White people look like their parents, whom we already know to be in charge. This is what white people look like -- other white people. The owners. The people in charge. That's the advantage of being white. And that's the game. So by the time the white person sees the black person standing next to him at what he thinks is the starting line, the black person should be exhausted from his long and arduous trek to the beginning.

September 16, 2016

Oh Shazam, you too?

Next Draft, (which along with Quora act as the only semi-daily newslettery things I get) had this to say about watching shows together:
"New research from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has found that watching TV series, and consuming other media like films and books with one's partner, can help to achieve the same kind of closeness as having a mutual group of friends. In relationships without many shared friends, the characters actually take on a similar role, providing a shared social world which, the researchers say, helps two individuals feel close and connected." Yes, watching Game of Thrones with your spouse is good for your marriage (other than that time when Daenerys Targaryen got all her clothes burned off and you started giggling uncontrollably).

September 16, 2015

For the Medal of Honor stuff (I think), they brought a helicopter right next to where I work, between the WTC and the Convention center... but a tough time getting it past lamposts once it has landed.

September 16, 2014

My favorite from a series of post-Soviet ruins:

I made Yet Another 7-minute workout guide page This one's gimmick is that it talks more than most, announcing the next exercise, counting down "3 2 1" at the end of intervals, and playing a note at halfway points. More details at my devblog.

My coworkers and I are using it daily!
I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!
General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

September 16, 2013

Artist Juan Ortiz is making a book with movie-style posters of all 80 original Start Trek episodes

It's funny how I recognize most episodes-- I've seen most of them I guess, but also we had one of those "Star Trek Compendiums" that I kind of adored.
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter brings us this:

corn maze day

September 16, 2012

have a popsicle

September 16, 2011

--I <3 Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal...
JavaScript is not the Assembly of the Web. It's the C of the web. The to-JS languages are lining up to become the C++ of the web.


lg10: the things

September 16, 2010 Jabba the Hutt's palace with Oola the slave girl, who, it turns out, has a rather long 'jabba' where her 'hutt' should be...
MAD, "What caused Anakin Skywalker to become Darth Vader?"

Maybe I should replace the Larry-the-Cable-Guy's "Git-R-Done" with Tim Gunn's "Make It Work" for describing crunchtime work methodology.
How to spot a geek: have them make a list of scary words and see if they include "non-Euclidian." --yeesh, my alma mater Tufts "Most Dangerous College"? Harvard #3, MIT #14.


September 16, 2009
Images by other people I saved from long-lost Pixeltime.

You can see my Pixeltime tribute page for more things I did.

The final two are a nice tiny alphabet by Nick, which inspired my own version that added lower case, and then I must've used the expanded version of Nick's for reference.

I keep meaning to try to make a site that captures some of the old fun of pixeltime, even though it would mean I'd be looking at many, many pictures of pixelated penises. (The nature of public art forums, alas)

Had skipped shaving for too many days, went back to no-electric razor for the first time in years. Had forgotten the pleasantness of a hot water shave.

night and office photos

September 16, 2008

Using stress of Wall Street Splodin' to excuse blowing off my ToDo list utterly. Damn, Eagles/Cowboys is some good high scoring football.
(I use 'having been in marching band' as an excuse for putting football games on. Fewer drumlines than then, but more couch and less tuba.)
Career Idea: Odor Detective. Someone with a good nose and/or directional-sensing hardware to track down the most mysterious smells...
cmgaglione fair enough; but just to get you to roll your eyes, check out the Minsky quote at
TJ's ginger chews, (hansen's awesome) ginger ale, ginger with sushi... ginger ginger ginger!!
My aunt digs the slots-- she got a PC sim of one. Very amused to see she'll let it play itself... "hey I'm a gambler who gets bored easily."

java and klik and play

September 16, 2007
So I've made a few references to the weekend I had last weekend.

So there was Klik & Play, a mid-90s game creation tool for Windows. Glorious Trainwrecks is a current site dedicated to a renaissance of the type of games made in this system: an anti-aesthetic of gonzo wackiness, using terrible clipart animations and sometimes fostering oddball gameplay and styles.

The Emergency 100-In-1 Klik And Play Pirate Kart Meltdown, then, was a call to action for a team of 17 intrepid coders to make 100 distinct games over the course of a single weekend. The Independent Gaming Source message board post has more info and hype for the end result.

I didn't find out about the event 'til it was already Saturday morning. At first I thought I'd just throw in a Java game or two, since it said non-Klik-&-Play games were welcome, and my first dabbles with that system hadn't worked out. But as the weekend wore on, I had more ideas I wanted to try out, and then by the time it was Sunday I thought I'd try my hand at Klik & Play proper.

For me, the core of the event was the irc chatroom, where folks tapped in for encouragement and enthusiasm, trying each other's new games and asking questions and generally supporting the frenzied coding effort. Watching the total game count crawl upwards was extrememly satisfying.

Yesterday I also joined in the Klik of the Month get-together, the regular 2-hour irc-based creativity fest, and while it was fun it didn't have quite the same sense of huge-goal-based camaraderie that the previous weekend featured.

I've added the 5 processing games to my Java toys page and made a new klik & play page for this stuff, but here is what I came up with- first, the Java:

Nudge the white ball to sidestep the red chasers
Space a box! Click to play, arrows move, space fires.
A moral and aesthetic lesson in birth control.
My previous cosmic ark swarm meets Katamari Damacy.
breastpong the adolescent spirit of the event, it's pong. With breasts.

And then, the Klik & Play. Shift starts these games and then jumps or fires, arrows move, and on bug <3 flower you can click on a bananalemon if you get stuck:


homeworld defense

bug <3 flower

bug <3 flower was from yesterday. It was inspired by Eudaimon's 100-in-1 entry "Platform Builder" and is more of a "game" but lacks much of the charm, and is also too difficult.

In general, there are two ways of approaching this, with lots of overlap: I tend to try to make games with novel gameplay and ways of interacting with the computer (for me, that's what makes video games a worthy medium). Others just love the joy and anarchy of making weird, ugly, beautiful, gonzo audio/visuals, often with fairly traditional gameplay.

It's all good. And by good, I mean bad, but in entertaining ways, which is good.

it look like a cannon and sound like death!

(1 comment)
September 16, 2006
I gave blood this morning. What they take out in blood the body instantly replaces with an equivalent amount of good karma, cut by just a dash of self-righteousness.

Anecdote of the Moment
One night this big, bad-ass hood crashes into my dressing room in Chicago and instructs me that I will open in such-and-such a club in New York the next night. I tell him I got a Chicago engagement and don't plan no traveling. And I turn my back on him to show I'm so cool. Then I hear this sound: SNAP! CLICK! I turn around and he has pulled this vast revolver on me and cocked it. Jesus, it look like a cannon and sound like death! So I look down at that steel and say, 'Weelllll, maybe I do open in New York tomorrow.'
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong
(Via Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes, a massive tome that makes great bathroom reading but hasn't produced as much kisraelable stuff as I would have hoped.)

Armstrong's Wikipedia entry (which I think bears the scars of some harsh criticism being acknowledged but respun by admirers) had an interesting quote from Billie Holiday:
Of course Pops toms, but he toms from the heart.
I took a number of African-American culture classes at Tufts (to do double duty for "Foreign Culture" and "English major" credits, and also because it was some great stuff) so I've been pondering on that quote within that context. It's a great line from Holiday, with a blend of coolness and sincerity that acknowledges a bit of the complexity in race relations and entertainment in this country.

Product of the Moment
I couldn't find a shot of it online, but Home Depot has this terrific, simple torchiere floor lamp for like $13. It has a dark rust finish and a shaded plastic..err, shade that looks a lot more expensive than it is. (And I've determined that plastic is a much better choice, frosted glass makes these things top-heavy and generally scrapey-sounding. It's line is so elegant, just a thin tube all the way up with the switch at the top.

hold your tongue!

September 16, 2005
Weird Science of the Moment
I saw this first mentioned on Bill the Splut's site, but here's a page with more images of a parasite that eats, then uses itself as a fish's tongue. Crazy! I guess for the intelligent design folk, the Intelligent Designer must've been on a bit of a bender with that one.

Quote of the Moment
Things will get better despite our efforts to improve them.
Will Rogers
Loved this man ever since I saw that broadway show "Will Rogers Follies". Also I had some of his old radio show on tape as a teen.

Link of the Moment
I wasn't going to post this, but then I had a hard time digging up the link so I thought I'd put it here for my future reference: OneBitMusic is a cool project to embed little primitive music drivers, including battery and audiojack, into a CD jewelcase. The end result sounds like a combination of "glitch" techno and videogame music.


September 16, 2004
Funny of the Moment
The 25 Best Futurama Moments Ever. A surprising amount of the humor comes through...

Sketch of the Moment
--Touchpad sketch of a co-worker...I find touchpads much harder to sketch with than normal mice or even the old trackballs, but sometimes it's fun to try to work with the limits of the medium.

Coins of the Moment
More new nickels.'s cropped in close, and I guess that's the way it's going to be from here on in. Also he's facing right, thus ruining one little bit of folklore how Roosevelt, Jefferson, and Washington all face away from Lincoln ('cause he freed the Slaves, or some such nonesense.) (Another CNN story...this poor guy died after a lightning strike. And not to pick on a young man senselessly killed, but I was struck by his seems like his features could be expanded to fill more of his face...)

your applause is all backwards

September 16, 2003
I'm kind of interested in body language, and what stays the same and what varies between different cultures. I was thinking about getting a book called "Gestures:The Do's and Taboos of Body Language Around the World", when I saw this sample page on Amazon. At the bottom, it claims that "Incidentally, you can detect whether a person is right-handed or left-handed by observing the way they applaud. A right-handed person will slap that hand down into and on top of the left palm; a left-handed person will make the left hand dominant." Now, this is is not true for me (a right-hander) or Mo (who's always been a bit sinister.) How about all of you?

Quote of the Moment
I have never loved anyone for love's sake, except, perhaps, Josephine--a little.

Write Like An Egyptian
Put your name--or anything else, without numbers or puncuation--into hieroglyphics. I think I accidetnally stole a wheel card thing that did the same conversion from elementary school. Too bad "kirk" looks so boring in those letters.

knothing but knock knocks

September 16, 2002
"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Dwayne who?"
"Dwayne the bathtub, I'm dwowning!"
--Earliest knock-knock I can remember.

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
     "Death wh--URK!"
--via Bill and Li.

"Wanna do a
Knock-Knock Joke?"
"You start."
"Knock knock!"
"Who's there?"
--My Dad got me with this one when I was little kid.

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Not you anymore."
--Boss in Dilbert using "humor to ease the tension when the workplace is being trimmed."

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Anxious Cow"
--High School favorite.

"Knock knock."
"Cow with ESP"
--Steve Sian, from a dream he had.


"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"

--from Middle School... doesn't really work without being from with the title, alas.

hope and bad jokes

September 16, 2001
Quote of the Moment
He said, 'Brother, if you don't mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab my hand, let's get the hell out of here.' He helped me stand up, and we ran for what seemed like forever without looking back.
A Muslim man tells how a Hasidic Jew helped him during the World Trade Center disaster, via this article

Stupid Link of the Moment
Just to get this over with, "Lucy" signed my guestbook and urged me to look up the "Virtual Shit" site. This thing has been around for a long time. It's the Virtual Dog Shit Creator. The joke is, it's even a bigger waste of time than it looks. You enter all these detailed parameters (weight, consistency, age, etc etc, a whole page worth), it tells you there's an error, you proceed anyway, you wait for 15 seconds, it 'calculates', then gives your picture of poo. The thing is, and I'm not sure if Lucy realized this, it's totally ignoring the parameters you select. Every time you reload the final page, it shows you one of several random pictures of poo. The huge array of parameters and the "working" timer page is just to get you to waste more time, and the random picture convinces you the controls are doing something.

Sort of funny, but more funny if you see what's going on.

from the T-shirt Archive: 20-22 of a Tedious Series
I'm getting sick of all these shirts (and actually, I think this is the dullest section, so I want to hurry through it) so I'm going to try three at a time.

Lex Luthor: Now to unveil my latest and most important device for evil!  BEHOLD THIS BATHROBE!

Grodd: [God damn giant monkey hands... break the fucking computer every time...] A BATHROBE?! What does it do, Luthor?

LL: This bathrobe, when worn by a gorilla, renders him not fucking naked anymore!  Look at you! You're just standing there naked!

G: I'm a gorilla. Gorillas don't wear clothes.

LL: Look, I don't know what planet you think you're on, but once a species starts talking, it covers up its genitalia. You know our dog? It can go naked. The minute it starts talking to us, we're putting a sweater on it.
--Seanbaby's Superfriends Page
Locked my keys in the car the other day again damnit, listening to an NPR story. Mind degredation or just one of those things?
Finally getting through Sophie's World. I want to think on the idea that the opposite of a small truth is a falsehood but the opposite of a big truth is another big truth. Is it profound or just a bagatelle? (And if it is profound, that means its opposite is true... which means its opposite isn't true...uh oh.)
"I do have a cause though. It's obscenity.  I'm for it."
          --Tom Lehrer
"I should not allow any child entrusted to my care to be adopted by a woman who has had an abortion or used contraception. Such a woman is incapable of love."
          --Mother Teresa
I'm so unhappy with 'hardcore'(ish) software development.
I wear my sunglasses at night / because I'm blind
          (failed song lyric)