kirk.is | last weeks

April 28, 2016

Here is a post generator and here are someinteresting posts from it

"the difference between crows and ravens is that crows romanticize sin"
Skepticism on the Rise Worldwide. I have no intention of becoming a strident atheist, or even a militant agnostic ("we don't know the answer to these things... AND NEITHER DO YOU") but still, I would think that the sheer number of faiths and beliefs would give fundamentalist "we have an exclusive line to The Truth" thinking pause. But the whole disastrous mess of fundamentalism isn't prone to that kind of thoughtful reflection or self-doubt.

(And people dig-in, and can become more and more entrenched in an individual as the years go by. I mean, who'd want to accept that they'd invested so much of their life in something that wasn't true? So let's double down on faith -- sunk cost fallacy meets pascal's wager.)

April 27, 2016

"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us."
-- John Culkin (paraphrasing Marshall McLuhan)

April 26, 2016

Kids and Crafts. As an uncle with show-off tendencies and decades of doodling it can be a challenge to find the right balance co-creating with kids. I want to foster their creativity, show them the joy of amateur creation by example... but it's hard to conceptualize the challenges they face, and I don't want them to be frustrated with their skillset. In the same way it's weird when a toddler is at an age where you can have a mini-conversation with them about the state of their diaper, the way "coloring in the lines" is a developmental milestone and the stages of drawing they go through defies simplified cognitive models - it's hard to get your mind into that lack of hand-eye coordination.

I think of Sedaris' hilarious "Front Row Center With Thaddeus Bristol" - - where a professional theater critic brings his full guns to bear on a local elementary school Christmas Pageant. Or, worse, that real life story of a kid whose musical ambitions were quashed by a father who would almost throw her off the piano stool to show how he could do it better.

It takes mindfulness to find a decent balance: having fun making stuff with the kid, not blatantly condescending in terms of artistic level but not overwhelming them with tricks I've picked up over 4 decades, and also praising their effort and not intrinsic ability-- trying to keep them away from fixed mindset! (Maybe it helps to keep in mind how mediocre my attempts to draw real-life things are... I'm not half the cartoonist I'd like to be.
My new favorite black ink pen. I really have developed a preference for thick lines ala "Bold"/10mm.
Why So Many Smart People Aren't Happy

April 25, 2016

"We sometimes say that adults are better at paying attention than children, but really we mean just the opposite. Adults are better at not paying attention. They're better at screening out everything else and restricting their consciousness to a single focus."
--Alison Gopnik, "The Philosophical Baby"
Time to go to bed... I thought I saw a headline about Zuckerberg stopping a Donald Trump "pregnancy"

April 24, 2016

"From 1982, Mattel ran this advertisement in movie theaters for the Intellivision gaming console. It features a futuristic newscast that reports on news events that are actually demonstrating several Intellivision games. These games include: Space Battle, Night Stalker, Utopia, TRON Deadly Discs, Boxing, Tennis, Skiing, and Star Strike."

Love the pixel work!

April 23, 2016

"We should probably get back to the theater- those pre-movie trivia questions aren't going to answer themselves, are they? ...actually they do."
--Mitchell on "Modern Family"
With Kristin L at Honest Weight Artisan Beer

April 22, 2016

Wendy: Hes a girl, for sure, but hes not gay. He looked at me like a gay woman would look at another woman.
Lisa: Totally. Hes like a fancy lesbian.
--Prince collaborators Wendy and Lisa in an previous interview with Out magazine. It's intriguing learning how consciously he cultivated his omnisexual persona.
"Did Your Parents Have Any Kids That Lived?"

Stupid insult, or stupidest insult? (Recently used on me by some clown on FB with a Prince userpic who was arguing that manbuns were terrible and showing how Millennials were awful, men morphing into women. Either a choking level of irony, or a master-level troll.)
Why Arabs Lose Wars. You always need to take this kind of broad brush painting with a suitable grain of salt (to mix a metaphor or two) but I find it fascinating; the tl;dr is that armies of Arab nations are hobbled by a rigid sense of hierarchy that's not present in the US military (to name one example) and may reflect greater cultural differences.
What's In Prince's Fridge circa 2011...
"the anus is the ear of the butt"
--The Comics Curmudgeon

April 21, 2016

"[Minsky was] trying to create a computer beautiful enough that a soul would want to live in it."
--Student of Marvin Minsky's (quoted in Sherry Turkle's "Reclaiming Conversation")
RIP Prince. WTF is up with 2016?

Days like today always remind me of this Achewood about Michael Jackson's death (WARNING: read only if you want to dwell in that sad place a little more fully and thoughtfully for a bit.)
Deadspin suggests his 2007 Superbowl show
Awesome collection of Prince moments. The video of his best throwing shade moments (under "Anna") is worth the price of admission.

April 20, 2016

"Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency." is alarming to me. I know I make a good salary; but given that I'm not all that extravagant on rent or car and don't have a kid, I do have a bit of "where the hell DOES the money go?" I have some answers, but maybe I should double down and renew studying went Mint.com is trying to tell me.

Sometimes I feel swamped by a kind of innumeracy: On the one hand, I'm ok with numbers, but on the other hand, I don't know how anything works. How do people get by without $400 ready money? How does any company make money? How does anyone buy a house? I think some of the thing is, it's really hard to get an intuition for how things scale, especially over time. 365 is a lot of days; 52 is a lot of weeks. Expenses can be death by 1000 paper cuts over that time, but if you set up things well, the money can come in (or, more typically, some weird gas-law-like equilibrium seems to set in.)

Sometimes I think I should go dig up that old "Lemonade Stand" game and play it 'til I "get it".

April 19, 2016

"You know- I do understand that I'm not a real bear. "
"Mm-hmm"
"But I am - I know what I am... I am what I am!"
"Well, that's true. We all are, what we are."
"But I'm a real puppet!"
--Fozzie and Kermit, during this 1979 camera for the Muppet Movie with Frank Oz and Jim Henson riffing existentially. (Later it's Miss Piggy instead of Kermit.)
Real World Bulldozer Fight.:

These seems like it would be an awesome sport, or videogame.
Boston's Old Combat Zone-- and I thought that Times Square was the model for getting boring and Disney-fied...

April 18, 2016

Dream-inspired product idea: tiny stickon LCD screens for your fingernails. Powered by the wearer's bio-electricity, or by a thin layer of battery. Showing off changing patterns, or possibly an image of the object you are touching. (In which case they'd need bluetooth or something, so something touched by a few fingers could be displayed by all.

You know, an e-ink version of the simplest form of that might just be possible.

--from this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. The concept has stuck with me: "And THAT'S why Daddy is an Anarchist!"

The best volleyball video you'll watch today, I promise you.
The 3-point shot and other basketball history... with Curry having basically broken regular basketball (check out this chart) I was wondering where the 3 point shot came from.

April 17, 2016

"This is the universe we come home to in the evening, when we rejoin our partner. It is a universe made of silent understandings and unspoken words, of eloquent glances and humorous shorthand signals, a universe of shared subjectivity. Everyone who has been in love more than once knows that each love relationship has its own music, its own emotional quality, its own style-- and its own world."
--Nathaniel Branden, "The Psychology of Romantic Love"
"Of all proverbs I have ever heard, my favorite is a Spanish one which says, "' Take what you want,' said God, 'and pay for it.'""
--Nathaniel Branden, "The Psychology of Romantic Love"

April 16, 2016

"God and I are fine."
--Janis Donaldson Roihl (Mo's mom). Went to a remembrance celebration for her today.

April 15, 2016