Jul 04

Spelled out

I’ve embedded this before. I’ll probably embed it again. It’s my favorite rock/blues performance by anyone, ever.

The way she bends those notes. I could practice for a decade and couldn’t do that. That’s a song I didn’t even like till she owned it so hard the stage about melted.

Conventional wisdom is that women just can’t play the guitar because their dainty little hands or something. I’d invite anyone to watch this performance and claim such a stupid fucking thing.

Jul 04

Blasphemy and triggers

It’s interesting how human thought always follows parallel tracks even in supposedly positionally opposed groupings.

Blasphemy is profaning the sacred. “Triggers” in Tumblr-speak and its outgrowths is the broaching of taboo topics that violate the supposed sensitivities of various assumed-to-be traumatized groups.

However different these may seem, both evolved eventually to achieve the same end: to control the ideological direction of thought and to proscribe any out of bounds thinking on any issue.

Humans shamble down the same worn paths time after time. It gets a bit boring, really.

Jul 03

Cos I am

Science, Chance, and Emotion with Real Cosima.

OMG there’s a real Cosima. Well, she’s on the dinner list. Along with real fake Cosima. Or fake real Cosima.

In other words, Tatiana, you’re invited too. Ha.

But it’d be cool if Tatiana M pretended to be Cosima Herter, while Cosima Herter pretended to be Cosima Niehaus.

“The hand-wavey, pacing around, going off on tangents about all kinds of weird things while she talks, is a similar characteristic (one that my friends often tease me about). She’s cheeky, mischievous, curious about everything, and sincere – I think that’s pretty true-to-life. And, the ‘I’m kind of always late, so I’m kind of always sorry’ is embarrassingly accurate.”

-Cosima Herter about what qualities she and Cosima Niehaus share

Jul 03


In a way it’s nice to see that CEOs as inept as Ellen Pao can rise to the top and fail so spectacularly and be so incompetent.

It’s not when amazing, peerless women are permitted power that a signifier of equality is achieved; no, equality is at least in sight when someone as terrible and clueless as Pao can also wield power and be as bungling and foolish as Steve Ballmer without it being a commentary on her gender.

About the fired moderator, I’m guessing she was canned because she wasn’t part of the management cool kids club, had no MBA and was therefore completely alien to someone like Pao.

It’s kind of fun watching Pao destroy Reddit because it’s a good illustration of how not to do so many things.

Lessons for the future. Always good to have.

Jul 02

The Great Stag

Tyler Cowen’s “Great Stagnation” is mostly a crock.

Just like with the Wright brothers, most important innovations are only obvious in hindsight. There is a long history of world-changing technologies being written off as irrelevant toys even years after they were developed.

There are several nascent innovations happening or about to happen that are going to change lives completely in the next 20-100 years, assuming technological society continues and all that.

This list isn’t comprehensive; I’ll miss many. But I can guarantee a few of these will come to fruition, seem obvious in hindsight but be widely derided and scorned as “playtoys” or “impossible dreams” now:

1) Lab-raised meat.

2) Fusion.

3) Widespread and greater-than-human AI.

4) VR.

5) Neural implants.

6) Uplifting animals to human-level or greater intelligence.

7) Genetic engineering.

8) Anti-senescence treatments and a general cure for aging.

I could go on. But some that will definitely change nearly everything aren’t on this list because likely even to me they look like inconsequential playthings or just don’t exist yet.