vague, but exciting

the porous city

/

/

email me

/

about

Probable Futures
Probable Futures

"We started asking climate scientists practical questions about what climate change would look and feel like in different places around the world. We found the answers to be useful, intuitive, and profound. We created Probable Futures to share them with you."

We are not living in a simulation

Wet bulb temperatures and danger to human beings
The wet bulb temperature is the temperature of a bulb of mercury inside a damp cloth, in the shade. Basically, what's the temperature taking evaporative cooling into account? When the wet bulb temperature is too high, that's dangerous for human beings, since we depend on evaporative cooling - we're essentially wet bulbs. If the wet bulb temperature and the dry bulb temperature are the same, you're not getting any benefit from evaporative cooling.



chart of wet bulb temps for given temp and relative humidity

Statistics about sexual assault
  • Less than 1% of rapes and attempted rapes end in a felony conviction
  • Less than a third of rapes are reported to the police
  • Between 2 and 8% of reported sexual assaults are false (does not include rapes that were not reported)

Washington Post article from 2018

Saving this because literally every victim going public leads to "we have the courts for a reason" and "but what about false rape claims".

Penda's Fen (1974)
"Manichaeism ... heresy ..."

"The belt moves on regardless of the needs of men. It gets at a man's heart. The whole rhythm of his life is chained to the machine. It's called productivity, Stephen. I've seen it. All day long the ambulances here are never still."

"No ... no! I am nothing pure. Nothing pure ... my race is mixed, my sex is mixed. I am woman and man! Light with darkness! Mixed! Mixed ... I am nothing special, nothing pure. I am mud and flame!"


A photo of a boy looking into the water of a fen, not seeing the angel standing near him, watching him.

Beautiful, readable text online

TextBundle, an open format for text-based notes
TextBundle
The TextBundle file format aims to provide a more seamless user experience when exchanging plain text files, like Markdown or Fountain, between sandboxed applications.

Sandboxing is required for all apps available on the Mac and iOS app store, in order to grant users a high level of data security. Sandboxed apps are only permitted access to files explicitly provided by the user - for example Markdown text files. When working with different Markdown applications, sandboxing can cause inconveniences for the user.

An example: Markdown files may contain references to external images. When sending such a file from a Markdown editor to a previewer, users will have to explicitly permit access to every single image file.

This is where TextBundle comes in. TextBundle brings convenience back - by bundling the Markdown text and all referenced images into a single file. Supporting applications can just exchange TextBundles without asking for additional permissions. Beyond being a simple container, TextBundle includes a standard to transfer additional information - to open up new possibilites for future integration.

Hmmmm

Shooting for the stars: the only rational choice
Recognize that in an uncertain contest against Nature your instinct is wrong. Bigger potential rewards are not correlated with more risk. If you are pursuing a truly uncertain endeavor, like a startup, there is no way of knowing if the larger or smaller possible outcome is more likely to succeed, so the only rational course is to pursue the biggest possible outcome you can imagine.

Uncertain decision-making and the maxi-max criterion

Of course there are other reasons you might want to not pursue "the biggest possible outcome you can imagine" ... maybe you want to pursue the best outcome you can imagine, not just the biggest; maybe you have other constraints, like resources or your desired lifestyle.

Still an important insight - more ambitious goals are not necessarily correlated with more risk.

Zero data apps
0data

AFAICT these are webapps that work with localStorage or can sync with your cloud storage service.

Probability that I already posted this link ~51%.

Life of King Alfred
Asser's Life of King Alfred
"... he was so harassed by daily and nightly sadness that he complained and made moan to the Lord, and to all who were admitted to his familiarity and affection, that Almighty God had made him ignorant of divine wisdom and of the liberal arts ..."

In Asser's account Alfred is obsessed with learning, despite (?) not learning to read until after being crowned. Interesting given Alfred's position in English history, and with this essay on oral vs written culture banging around my head.

Killing time, and goblins
Fighting Fantasy project
I would have loved these back in my D&D days. Choose Your Own Adventure + dice combat.

On Percy Bysshe Shelley
West Wind, 8
The young, tall English poet–soon to die, soon to sail on his small boat into the blue haze and then the storm and then under the gray waves’ spinning threshold–went over to Pisa to meet a friend; met him; spent with him a sunny afternoon. I love this poet, which means nothing here or there, but is like a garden in my heart. So my love is a gift to myself. And I think of him, on that July afternoon in Pisa, while his friend Hunt told him stories pithy and humorous, of their friends in England, so that he began to laugh, so that his tall, lean body shook, and his long legs couldn’t hold him, and he had to lean up against the building, seized with laughter, abundant and unstoppable; and so he leaned in the wild sun, against the stones of the building, with the tears flying from his eyes–full of foolishness, howling, hanging on to the stones, crawling with laughter, clasping his own body as it began to fly apart in the nonsense, the sweetness, the intelligence, the bright happiness falling, like tiny gold flowers, like the sunlight itself, the lilt of Hunt’s voice, on this simple afternoon, with a friend, in Pisa.

  • Mary Oliver

Bartkira

Living in the dark place
Because you are human beings you are going to meet failure. You are going to meet disappointment, injustice, betrayal, and irreparable loss. You will find you're weak where you thought yourself strong. You'll work for possessions and then find they possess you. You will find yourself - as I know you already have - in dark places, alone, and afraid.

What I hope for you, for all my sisters and daughters, brothers and sons, is that you will be able to live there, in the dark place. To live in the place that our rationalizing culture of success denies, calling it a place of exile, uninhabitable, foreign.
A Left-Handed Commencement Address by Ursula K. LeGuin

The wildfires didn't have to be this bad
Gone
  • Cities founded in the fire-prone frontier by anti-government types that didn't want to be told how to build (proper infrastructure, firebreaks etc.)
  • Real estate has been the main wealth generator for a while, "Selling out to a developer was the only retirement plan most farmers knew."
  • "What was once sparse is now densely packed with pine, fir, cedar, and manzanita. A forest that supported 64 trees an acre in pre-settlement times now boasted 160 trees an acre ... 'I don't think we could have managed the forests any worse.'"
  • "as Wilson and his staff studied the fires more closely, he could see that their oddly linear pattern of ignition clusters corresponded to major electrical power lines."
  • “These weren’t outlier events,” Wilson said. “These same spots had a history of fire. They had burned before and were destined to burn again. If you charted it out, we weren’t having far more wildfires than in the past. But the wildfires we were experiencing were far more deadly and destructive, and that had to do with mismanaging the forest and building communities in the wildland-urban interface. The state’s population was exploding in the very areas most susceptible to wildfires.”
  • Forestry management and fire prevention - prescribed burns, reducing fuel load - curtailed in favor of military-style firefighting.
  • "To justify its high costs, [Cal Fire] had to figure out a way to make itself essential throughout the year. This was how it evolved into a 24/7 provider of emergency services to the sprawling mountain communities ... instead of trying to slow down the suburbanization of forestlands, Wilson said, the department served the growth — to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in funding."
  • "In their filings, each attorney traced the historic blazes to a culture of mismanagement, corruption, and cover-up that had taken hold inside PG&E decades before. A pattern of venality, they argued, began in the company’s early years and became more recalcitrant in the 1980s and 1990s, when PG&E, with the connivance of the California Public Utilities Commission, its watchdog, made a decision to place profits and bonuses to top executives — and dividends to shareholders — over safety."
  • "It was fiction that the California Public Utilities Commission exercised any watchdog role over PG&E, he said. “They don’t have the resources, they don’t have the trained personnel or mindset, to monitor and audit PG&E’s compliance with safety regulations. PG&E can literally get away with murder.”"

Techno and its history
Awesome reading list with special focus on techno as black music.

See also this talk from DeForrest Brown Jr.

The Great Pan is Dead
EVERYONE HAS ONCE READ, for it comes up many times in literature, of that pilot in the reign of Tiberius, who, as he was sailing along in the Aegean on a quiet evening, heard a loud voice announcing that "Great Pan was dead." This engaging myth was interpreted in two contradictory ways.

Part of a larger work that locates creation myths with a change about 6,500 years ago when the position of the sun during the equinoxes stopped lining up with the Milky Way.

The rest of the site ... lotta wild stuff there.

Infinity Window - Artificial Midnight

Manage the DOM with vanilla JS

Mellow Mix From Mr. Weatherall

Good all-in-one guide to preparing for coronavirus

Cool electronic music events in the Bay Area
19hz.info wow how did I not know about this

edmtrain also has some good stuff on the more mainstream tip as you might have guessed

really going to learn CSS the right way this time

AIDungeon
interactive fiction in 2019 is wild

I just won a game by getting broken up with and then crying. Which ... I play games to escape from real life, not to recapitulate it.

Best Kindle Edition of Ulysses by James Joyce
The number of cheap Kindle editions of Ulysses continues to grow. None of them are perfect: so far the editions generally accepted to be most free of errors (like the Gabler edition) aren't available, and the typesetting and layout are often amateurish. On the other hand, you can get a copy of a marvelous and strange book for the price of a candy bar and carry it anywhere.

  • 2019 update: there is now a Penguin edition on Kindle, based on the 1960 Bodley Head edition, which would seem to be the obvious choice. However, it looks like it was poorly digitized and is riddled with errors.
  • The Shmoop study version seems to be the only one that breaks the book up into 18 episodes. It adds Cliff's Notes-style commentary, for good or ill. Typesetting is pretty basic.
  • The free Kindle edition is free, has the most reviews by far, but is apparently missing text (The Ballad of Joking Jesus and any other verse printed centered on the page.) Might be badly scanned. No idea what printed edition this is based on.
  • Ulysses Unabridged (Illustrated) has the text the other version lacks. It's $2.99. Has only has one review, which makes me a little uneasy. No idea what printed edition this is based on. (Update: I ended up buying this one. It doesn't have chapter breaks. Despite what the one review says, it is actually illustrated. "Proteus" has a modern-day photo of Sandymount strand.)
  • Project Gutenberg has a Kindle version up that lacks chapter breaks, although it keeps the three-part structure. Based on the 1922 edition.
  • epubBooks also has a Kindle edition. Good luck finding out anything about it. It's probably fine. Why do I have to do this? Why isn't the answer obvious?

Recommendation: get the Project Gutenberg edition. Free, better than the "free Kindle edition", as good as the paid editions.

If you thought that was nitpicking, Google "gabler kidd".

Labor and value
tfw the best explanation of the labor theory of value in Marx you've seen is in a ten-year-old blog comment.

"Do you have a feeling that you've done this before?"
"No."
"Neither do I. Maybe that's a good sign."

Study Guide to the Pali Canon

“No seré capitán.”
And this, surely, is what Shakespeare also felt, because in one of his comedies there is a soldier, a cowardly soldier, the Miles Gloriosus of the Latin comedy. The man is a show-off, he makes people believe that he has acted bravely, and they promote him and he becomes a captain. Then they discover his trick, and in front of the entire troop they pull off his medals; they humiliate him. And then he is left alone and says: “Captain I’ll be no more; / But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft / As captain shall: simply the thing I am / Shall make me live.” “No seré capitán.” He says simply, “the thing I am shall make me live.” That is, he feels that above and beyond the circumstances, beyond his cowardice, his humiliation, he is something else, a kind of strength we all have within us, what Spinoza called “God,” what Schopenhauer called “will,” what Bernard Shaw called “life force,” and Bergson called “vital impulse.” I think this is also what was going on with Boswell.

Borges on Boswell

Oh man it's been WAY too long since I've read Shakes

Yet am I thankful: if my heart were great,
'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more;
But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft
As captain shall: simply the thing I am
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a braggart,
Let him fear this, for it will come to pass
that every braggart shall be found an ass.
Rust, sword? cool, blushes! and, Parolles, live
Safest in shame! being fool'd, by foolery thrive!
There's place and means for every man alive.
I'll after them.

Ways of Seeing


"There's something here that really, I'd like to twist round a little bit ... because, narcissism, is a very sort of pronounced way of stating a relationship to the world, whether it's a man or a woman, isn't it. But this other question, which is contained within it, doesn't go as far as it as an idea - is this sort of self-delight of a person, whether it's a man or a woman, in life, in what they'e doing, in their relationships with men or women. And it's a thing that matters tremendously. And it's not only a sort of inner thing, by which you live, but it's a very outer thing by which you gain relationships with your own context in the world that you can't gain any other way. That it's when you have somehow been made so unconscious of yourself that you easily, naturally sort of compulsively go out to whatever is going on around you. Now, when [inaudible] a child, that tends, more than people, to be other things, doesn't it. Mountains, streams, wherever you go. And then, only gradually, as you go on, you make this kind of absolutely necessary contact with people. But I do think that the sort of essence of self-delight as a kind of possible thing in the modern world, and something which fewer woman have than men, and want, and must have ... is the power, the compulsion, not the power, the compulsion to make contact with the world as you are living in it. And when I say that I don't just mean the people next door, or your friends, I simply mean what is going on."

I don't buy what she says about the differences between women and men here, but

high-pitched buzzing sound

Live streaming like it was in the old days
9128 ambient, downtempo etc from A Strangely Isolated Place, Mysteries of the Deep and friends.

Quick start guide to research on human factors in software engineering
Papers, references, books

Could have used this three years ago, but better late than never.

The Bushy Bride and others

Zürich
trees and blue sky

In Venice
Reading Goethe's "Italian Journey". He hung out with a Frenchman, "a man of rank, who is well bred, but whose mind cannot go beyond himself and his immediate circle ... he is traveling through Italy for pleasure, but rapidly, in order to be able to say that he has seen it ... it caused me some surprise to think that anyone could ever travel in this temper, without a thought for anything beyond himself, and yet he is, in his way, a polished, sensible and well-connected person."

In Rome he is "oppressed and borne down with numberless phenomena. Wherever one goes and casts a look around, the eye is at once struck with some landscape, forms of every kind and style ... by the evening one is quite weary and exhausted with the day's seeing and admiring."

EYEDEEEM
I'm finally an Aleksi Perala believer:

What's that sound?

Lou Reed David Bowie 1979
Story time

"Don't you EVER say that to me!"

Satellite of Love
Hayabusa2NOW

I which I continue to post links to stuff I would have loved around the time I hacked together this blog.

Improving
  • Sriracha, but a little bit spicier.
  • Accessibility for software, but as a continuum instead of a few "accessibility features".
  • Me, but with the benefit of having observed a few more cycles of my habitual reactions to things and how those are oftimes unhelpful.
  • Now, but maybe paying attention to the meeting I'm in?

Writing on music worth your time

Open database of RSS feeds

Tech
WRX, Android, Medical, Data, Crowdsourcing, barcamp, s60, Development, MacOS, Security, Open, Energy, PIM, Automobile, OS, Web, Collaboration, Net, Hardware, Visual, Social, Product Management, Audio, RSS, Web analytics, Shopping, Business, a11y, Mobile, Storage, Wearables, Javascript

Other
Life hacks, CrowdFlower, Quizzes, NYC, Minnesota, Toys, Geography, Bicycling, Politik, Podcasts, L.A., Feminism, Friday, San Francisco, Law, Personal care, Surfing, Agriculture, Sports, Video, Berlin, Boston, Activism, History, Food & Drink, Statistics, Travel, Transportation, Clothes, Games, Housing

Music
L.A., Making, Business, Reviews, Events, Mailing lists, Mixes, Musicians, Good tracks, Videos, Streams, History, Hip-hop, House, Labels, Mp3s, Lyrics, Shopping, Booking, Boston

People
Meditation, Working with, Exercise, Friends, Gossip, Life hacks, Family, Languages, Vocations, Stories, Weblogs, Subcultures, Enemies, Health, Me, MOTAS, Heroes, ADD

Commerce
Shopping, Personal finance, Investing, International Development, Insurance, IP Law, Microfinance, Management consulting, Web, Non-profit, Macroeconomics, Marketing and CRM, Personal services, Real Estate, Taxes

Arts
Visual, Poetry, Events, Literature, Spoken Word, Animation, Comix, Movies, Rhetoric, iPad bait, Burning Man, Humor, Sculpture, Desktop wallpaper bait, Outlets

Design
Presentations, User experience, Architecture, Process, Cool, Web, Algorithmic, Type, Tools, Data visualization, Furniture, IA

Science
Psychology, Zoology, Networks, Environment, Statistics and Data, Physics

Travel
Kenya, Vagabond '08, Kingdom of Siam, Uganda

Photos
Friends, Moblog, Photos I Wish I'd Taken

Philosophy
Mind

Mathematics

One Acre Fund

Internet classic

Subscribe to this site's rss feed