Dec 04

Her

This movie could be interesting, though it’s not a new idea. The novel Galatea 2.2 which I read many years ago — well, someone obviously had read it also and was inspired by it. As in the novel, the male character in the film is a writer. Pretty clear sign there.

This idea — this conceit — is not new at all however. Orson Scott Card had Jane*. Robert Heinlein had Minerva. Star Trek: TNG had Minuet.

And of course the real love story of Iron Man is Tony Stark and Jarvis.

*And one of the worst betrayals in history was Ender Wiggin turning Jane’s external interface to the world off briefly for idiotic reasons, which at her rate of thought was the equivalent of locking you in a dark room for a billion years. (Why yes, I have read a lot — why do you ask?)

Dec 03

Fashionably ignorant

In The Hunger Games books I really enjoy how much of a role Suzanne Collins places on fashion, and how geeks (mostly male ones) with no historical knowledge at all condemn taking fashion and its semiotics seriously.

Of course if any of them had the slightest knowledge of history, they’d know how much fashion has been used as a signifier and itself a form of rebellion in revolutionary times.

There is not as much documentation out there as should exist because study of the topic itself is denigrated and seen as not worthy.

I like when people complain about it though because it immediately marks their ignorance.

Dec 03

Google “features”

Since everything is becoming idiot-friendly and I am not an idiot, most tech is becoming very hard for me to use as I have to constantly fight with it to get it to do what I want.

For instance, the Google “results for similar searches” that obscures search results. Yeah, it is a minor thing but it means nearly every search I attempt takes longer.

Also, making a quoted search not be a verbatim search is just inexcusable and every single developer and manager who had anything to do with that should be fired with no severance.

Eventually, I will not be able to use anything as the effort it takes to make it work for me is too much and just not worth it.

We don’t need to make everything idiot-friendly. We just need to make fewer idiots.

Nov 30

A bicycle

“I think that one of the things that separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool-builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing of about a third of the way down the list – it was not too proud of a showing for the crown of creation. So that didn’t look so good. But then someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And a human on a bicycle blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts. And that’s what a computer is to me. It’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with. It’s a bicycle for our minds.”

-Steve Jobs

Too bad GP computers will be defunct soon.

Nov 30

BF

This is probably the most insightful thing I have ever read about Black Friday.

I really like it when smart people make me think of something I never would’ve thought of on my own, that also explains human behavior I previously could not have made sense of.

Of course the feeling of defeating capitalism at its own game is an illusion, but illusions are reality to the people experiencing them.

Nov 30

First world

I’m really tired of the phrase “first world problems.” Originally, it highlighted something that was relevant and worth paying attention to.

Now it’s just used to dismiss people. For instance if my (nice, fast) car breaks down, yes that might indeed be a first world problem but it’s a real damn problem and I have to deal with with it.

“First world problems” has metamorphosed into a phrase mostly used to avoid paying attention to anyone who cares about anything besides your particular problem, and to guilt-trip people into silence.

This never works and is completely counterproductive, though it is a common liberal failure mode.

Nov 29

Heavy boots

Myth: The astronauts didn’t float away because they had heavy boots.

I don’t know why people seem to feel the need to apologize or excuse people who are freakin’ idiots. I would’ve gotten this question correct when I was four years old.

I annoyed a teacher one time when I was seven or eight years old who asked the classic trick question, “Which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?”

Of course I said, “They’re the same.”

Nothing like ruining lesson plans routinely.

Nov 28

Midnight

Kappa Paul Band featuring Halie and Emma covering the Allman Brother’s “Midnight Rider.”

Not sure why they instagrammed the video, but so be it – they are better live and recording all at once than most bands in the studio with multiple separate takes and all sorts of digital enhancement.