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Just finished reading "V for Vendetta" and an article by Moore about the creative process and having just read a good piece of art I wonder if my mind is just too rigidly practical to make good art.
The world needs practical people, that's good in it's way, but, I do sometimes daydream and wish I could create good art that moved people.
(yeah, lots of practice, making lots of bad art, hundreds and thousands of hours etc.)
bolson: (Default)
[Brian looks at the gathering darkness outside, curses Sauron northern latitudes in winter.]
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New tactic on political idiocy: When they say something so blitheringly stupid that it's not worth denying it and correcting them, don't! Respond with a non-sequitor statement about some interesting policy.

Example non-segue I might use:
So, who wants a carbon tax?
I like rankings and ratings ballots.
Non-gerrymandered redistricting, anyone?
Should we be subsidizing clean renewable energy or taxing legacy energy?
In a certain light, even monetary policy could be interesting.

The more I think about this, the more I think it could work. In a debate, who are we? He's not the guy setting the agenda and I'm following, he's the guy spouting nonsense and I'm too cool for that and talking about something interesting instead.
bolson: (Default)
I think within the last month I've developed a new ability: the ability to see blank walls. I never saw them before. There was nothing there so I didn't see them. But now I see blank walls and I think, "Something could go there."
bolson: (Default)
Visa and Master Card. Democrats and Republicans. Coke and Pepsi. Verizon and ATT. The US and the USSR (or now China). There must be something profound in economics and game theory about these duopolies.
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An NPR story just now noted that retailers are charged $0.44 per debit card transaction. I found one source where credit card transactions run $0.30 + 2-3%. 2-3% looks like a pretty big additional tax when compared to common sales taxes of 5-10%. There was talk of a bill in congress to limit debit card fees to $.12 per transaction. That sounds like it would be a big win for consumers and retailers - a bit of a loss for bankers but dammit they should be able to operate efficiently and still make a big fat load of money being middleman to an increasing flood of zillions of little transactions.
bolson: (Default)
Do you ever make yourself remember that you need something at the store, like peanut butter, and then forget to stop remembering that until you wind up with four jars on the shelf at home?
I seem to have done that with USB flash doohickies. On my desk now are 3 1GB and 2 8GB things.
One was temporarily lost, two were forgotten, and then one was bought last week because I thought I was running low.
Oh well, like jars of peanut butter, they don't go bad and eventually they'll come in handy.
bolson: (Default)
what do you get when you cross unspeakable ultimate all consuming deity of the underworld with a church of nice midwestern farmers?
Cthlutheran
bolson: (Default)
There's a meme that goes around after big events, "We're all X now" for X in New Yorkers, Egyptians, or whatever. Can I preempt them all and say "We're all Human now"?
bolson: (Default)
Two intense weekends, two different crowds.
I just thought of a short explanation that feels mostly true.
Blues: these are people I share a fun awesome passion with.
Arisia: these are my people.

At dance events my connections with people often don't stray far outside of dancing. At Arisia I found people who I could dance with and do acro with and talk about favorite scifi with and talk about lame libertarianism in fiction with and a dozen other things. And while I know a few people who fit all of those things, there's also a great diversity of people who fit a few or several of those things. I get it all. It's great.

At the end of the dance workshop weekend, I noticed the demographic. Mostly young 20s-30s fit dancers. I expected and got a much wider set of shapes and sizes and ages of people at Arisia, and it was good! It was interesting! Of course, part of the variety was due to costuming. :-) I think I made someone happy by recognizing their semi-obscure costume as a Galifrean time lord.

This was my first year getting a room at the con hotel. It definitely improved my experience. Previously I had to subway or bicycle home around midnight or 1am every night, and back the next morning, always missing very late things or slightly early things. This time I was good and got to sleep around 1am Friday night and got up in time for 9am yoga in the morning. As I got dragged to more and more interesting nocturnal activities I wound up staying up till 4am and 6am.

Now I'm home and I can again eat food that is neither disgusting nor disgustingly priced. The best food all weekend was at the reception for my favorite vegan newlyweds. That was also a beautiful thing, but another story.

Yay megadose of geek culture and nifty new people (made some new local friends). If I am very good I'll find a way to sleep 10 hours tonight. Uf.
bolson: (Default)
"… the sort of shabby, battered goods that only folks who feared they couldn't get more would ever use, or save." -- Lois McMaster Bujold, Cryoburn

Huh, yeah. Nothing begets hoarding like scarcity. Thus, perhaps bounty is a good facilitator to simplicity. It's safe to have a few, good things if you are confident that you'll be able to get those good things and not have to hang onto or settle for lesser things. (Thinking of my local simplicity guru, [livejournal.com profile] flexigon)
bolson: (Default)
I'm in a time machine in Earth orbit. If I pop forward in time six months, the earth should be on the other side of the sun and the whole solar system would have moved away from me. Maybe my momentum gets continued and similarly scaled so that I continue to move along with the solar system. Maybe the effects of gravity continue and are scaled so that I continue to orbit the sun. Maybe neither of these things are true and it's best to do time travel safely in interstellar space where relatively nothing will be during the whole time-space path of your travels. Or you need to just instantaneously pop out of one time and space and into another. Or 90% of time travel sci fi is broken or inconsistent or has crazy mechanics or is just a plot device and I should learn to stop worrying and enjoy the ride.
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Look at this aerial view of the Porter Square mall. Look at the thin strip of solar panels along the front edge of the building, now look at the vast expanse of roof not covered by solar panels. That's the difference between solar panels being a popular thing that can be used for a little "greenwashing", and solar panels being an actually good economic idea. If solar panels paid for themselves and were profitable (and profitable at a better rate than basic conservative investments like bond funds), every roof would be covered in them. We're not there yet, I want us to be. I want solar to be cheap and effective and I want Coal and Natural Gas taxed to offset their externalities.
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I saw a 9-11-01 sticker on a truck today and got into my usual groove of think that the owner of the truck probably doesn't have much in common with me politically. Then my mind wandered to the term "Ground Zero" which has been back in the news a lot lately. I've always been irked by this term because I'm more likely to think of the three places which really defined the term: Trinity Site, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I think an act of war that destroys a city and kills a hundred thousand people pretty thoroughly overshadows a (tragically effective) terrorist bombing of a couple buildings. I think calling the world trade center collapse site 'ground zero' is diluting the memory of the first three atomic bomb explosions. (7-16-45) 8-6-45 8-9-45 Never Forget
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Just watched "Capitalism: A Love Story". It seems that one of the bigger injustices of foreclosure is that owner's equity is lost. Person A buys house worth $100000 with mortgage from Bank B. Bank B forecloses while Person A still owes $30000. Bank B sells for $30000. Where did the $70000 go? Why wasn't the house sold for as much as possible, the debt covered, and the remainder given back to Person A? Am I misunderstanding the foreclosure process? It seems like the story always goes: "Person foreclosed on, left with nothing".
bolson: (Default)
I am jealous of academia, its respect and prestige. I make myself feel better about not being in it by thinking about its negatives. Not being in academia is probably still actually the right choice for me.
bolson: (Default)

I was never really happy with the rule that you should date someone at least as old as (((your age) / 2) + 7) /* pictured here in green, also the upper bound (((your age) - 7) * 2) */. I didn't like that it collapsed at 14 (and I was aware of both dating and math at that age, so this was a problem). So I worked out something with logarithms, observing that relative ages weren't such a big deal as you got older and logarithms would achieve that kind of scaling. So, I worked out that a possibly reasonable dating age range was 2^(log2(your age) ± 0.5) /* pictured here in blue */. The lower bound on that works out to x/sqrt(2) and the upper bound simplifies to x*sqrt(2), and of course other slopes could be chosen.

After staring at this graph a while, I've become more a fan of the traditional method and the offset. Having tighter limits in the sensitive years from 14 to 24 might actually be a good idea, and expanding wider later is fine too.

(Thinking about this too much prompted by random discussion of this rule of thumb Saturday night.)

bolson: (Default)
I've been having a lot of fun with my increasing fitness lately in climbing and acro-gymnastics. This new good feeling has on occasion turned my my thoughts towards those of the newly converted zealot: "wow, this is awesome, this is clearly better, everyone should do this"
This may be partially true, but for the other part I should probably try to not be a jerk about it.

. . . . .

and I don't have to look very far to see examples that make me think humbly that I have a lot more improvement yet I could do.
bolson: (Default)
I've been mulling over getting a $900 chair for the home office for months. It would be a good, durable thing that would give me many years of improved sitting. Monday Apple upgraded the MacBooks and within a couple hours I placed an order. It should be here next week wednesday, and have a useful-to-me lifespan of 2-3 years. (Current laptop to be retired at 2.7 years.) I think this must have something to say about how I am more comfortable thinking about technology than furniture.

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