Dec 31

Big Mind

This post is saying nearly the same thing I attempted to discuss the other day with my own overly-abstruse bit about subsumption into algorithmic nightmare land.

People are now speaking in a way that results directly from the recent moneyballing of all of human existence. They are speaking, that is, algorithmically rather than subjectively, and at this point it is not only the extremely online who are showing the symptoms of this transformation. They are only the vanguard, but, as with vocal fry and other linguistic phenomena, their tics and habits spread soon enough to the inept and the elderly, to the oblivious normies who continue to proclaim that they “don’t like reading on screens,” or they “prefer an old-fashioned book or newspaper,” as if that were going to stop history from happening.

Historically, we are at an unusual moment that only occurs once every few centuries. There’s no possible path back to the past without massive death and dislocations, but the future also can’t be and won’t be more of the same. We are trapped — or rather, have caught ourselves — in a snare where struggling and thrashing will only make the line grow tighter. Something will have to be given up, to be lost, to keep moving forward. What will it be?

The above is the massive societal-level cogitation occurring now and though most people aren’t aware it’s being contemplated, that doesn’t matter. It still is.

Dec 31

310

New personal deadlift record of 310 pounds this morning! I am not going to lie, that was a struggle. But I did it.

I am starting to run out of weights to put on the bar. Here’s what the bar looks like on one side loaded for a 310 pound deadlift (none of these are bumper plates):

We do have another set of 45s but they are holding down the squat/pull-up rack so are inconvenient to move.

Dec 31

The Recog

People are having a great deal of trouble recognizing societal changes occurring because we had grown accustomed to direct technological change reconfiguring society so that is where we now look. You know, the arrival of computers, of cell phones and then smart phones — that sort of obvious introduction and adoption of a discrete physical good.

But we’re beyond that now, and that’s what’s causing confusion and the absurd claim that no change is occurring. To return to the ideas of the cybernetic philosophers, we are not being directly affected by the technology itself (contra and also moving beyond McLuhan) but rather the now-exponentially more complex cultural and cerebro-cybernetic reconfigurations that occur and can occur in this ever-expanding realm of informational combinatorial explosion.

So, everywhere everyone is looking for new technology that is not arriving and conclude the world is not changing. But in a sense, we’ve reached a plateau where the tech that used to be physical and available for inspection as an entified object has now been completely subsumed into and instantiated in a virtual realm where its unfolding is less apparent but no less instigative of effects and alterations of the mind and of the world. Rather, it’d be accurate to state that this virtual realm and the world are now selfsame, and that lack of comprehension of this momentous reformation of how we gestate ideas culturally is what is responsible for a large part of the befuddlement.

Dec 30

Way I Am

Alan Jackson’s cover of Merle Haggard’s “The Way I Am” is really excellent. That’s a mood that only country can evoke, and when it does, hot damn, it really does.

Country at its best is not an exercise in nostalgia but rather about yearning for something that you cannot have, or once had and irrevocably lost — that is not only lost but still is so close that it caresses your face with a breath of wind in the middle of the darkest nights. It’s the only musical genre that deals in tragedy and regret and loss credibly and with depth.

In that song you can hear the person that Jackson’s character almost was, wishes he were but is not, feels that he could’ve been if he’d just had a little more of…something. But he didn’t and that’s his fate.

And that mandolin playing is really great. My favorite of any song with mandolin.

Dec 30

The Edge

Knowledge and privilege have different spellings mostly by just serendipity and the vagaries of language drift and variation. Sometimes in language, that’s just way things are. An obsolete valid spelling of “privilege” is in fact “priviledge.”

These two words come from much different places, though. “Privilege” is from Latin by way of Old French while “knowledge” is from Old/Middle English by way of Old High German. This divergent linguistic path might have some influence because “privilege” means basically “private law” and we spell anything to do with that cognate “leg-” as found in “legal” and “legislate.” This probably helped to fix that stem it in the word “privilege.”

The above is just my speculation. Unlike most etymologists on the internet, I will admit it is such because I don’t have the time nor inclination to do all the research that’d be necessary to attempt to determine that with any degree of certainty.

Dec 30

Vegannot

People are not made to eat vegan diets and lots of raw foods. More accurately, we did not evolve that way. We are not gorillas. We can’t eat mostly uncooked leaves and similar. Though we are omnivores, that doesn’t mean we can consume only a tiny and nutritionally-deficient slice of our usually extremely varied diet.

That said, vegetarianism is fine if you’re careful. However, veganism is almost certainly long-term harmful to anyone who sticks to it, and definitely very harmful to children.

Dec 30

PWA

My partner was telling me about progressive web apps the other day and I thought they were applications that monitored what words you used and then got triggered and melted down or closed or something if you used an officially unapproved word.

No, that’s not what they are. But I am sure we’ll get there soon enough.

Dec 29

More Middle

I have another one for the below: nearly all the best film performances in the last five years have been in horror movies, and nearly all of those were by women.