Alas (and also alack), with all that’s been going on lately, my Artistic Muse has temporarily fled (she’s almost as prone to suddenly vanishing as her sister, Lady Luck). As such, I’m not feeling much inspiration towards posting right now.
But my Nine Year Blog Anniversary is nearly here, and I’m determined to publish post #1000 to celebrate it. Pulling that off requires three posts between now and then (not to mention figuring out what to write for post #1000).
So today I thought I’d take care of a bunch of random notes.
Last night I watched — for the second time this week — Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019), which is the latest episode of a saga polymath auteur Kevin Smith has been telling since 1994 with his first film, Clerks. The arc of that tale contains one of my very favorite movies, Dogma (1999), wherein we learn that God looks exactly like Alanis Morissette.
If you’ve never heard of Jay and (his “hetero life-mate”) Silent Bob, you’ve missed a minor cultural phenomenon. Clerks is a cinematic landmark on par with Reservoir Dogs, and is preserved in the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” In my book, it’s all three.
I’ve been waiting well over a decade to see these guys again!
A few weeks ago a friend loaned me The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2016), by Mark Manson. I just finished it, and — while I’m not a big fan of self-help books — I give this one an Ah! rating. Manson’s approach, contrary to our modern norm, is not about finding happiness, but about choosing the pain worth seeking (and letting the happiness come through our fulfillment).
The subtle part is that not giving a f*ck doesn’t mean one stops caring. The subtle part is learning to be selective about what matters to us.
The counterintuitive part is that chasing happiness leads to misery.
Walleye: It’s what’s for dinner!
Well, that’s a surprise. My Ideas folder has a document I thought was a description of my first Canadian camping trip with my buddy (let’s call him) “Scott”. I’ve been meaning to post it one of these days. Having just told a story about my dog Sam, I thought maybe it was time to post some of the other memories stories.
The surprise is that the document is about a trip in 1996, the 10th (or so) annual pilgrimage we’d made. That first time we didn’t really know what we were doing and both under- and over-prepared. That was of a vacation with a lot of pain, but which engendered fondness in retrospect.
Enough fondness that we did it annually for over 15 years.
Father’s Day, 1994
This post rises from deep in my Drafts Folder. I started it back in 2012 as a followup to the Sad Day; Perfect Day post. That one recalls a special 1994 memory about Samantha, my dog (who died a little before her time, in 2004). The second post would catalog various memories highlighting how much fun we had and how much she meant to me.
Two years later I did post a version of that eulogy: Dog Tales: Games. That post was actually the second beat to a post the day before, Sam’s Final Walk, which described the disposition of her ashes.
For Father’s Day, I thought it appropriate to post once more…
The two Solstices are the only universal holidays I celebrate. There many personal holidays, almost all anniversaries of whatever happened that day: births, weddings, deaths; the arcs of jobs and love affairs; graduations and engagements; all the milestones of life. (The trick is to avoid Marley’s chains and chests.)
When it comes to the world, I see only two true holidays whose meaning every mind on Earth shares; two that everyone can anticipate and appreciate. These holidays are defined by the star that gives us life. They mark our orbit as precisely as the numbers of a clock mark the hours.
In fact there are four such star-marked days; two major, two minor.
“Go home everyone!”
I seriously can’t believe I’ve never posted about this. It’s one of the few times in life I’ve been “in on the ground floor” of something — been there enjoying it from the beginning.
It’s doubly cool for being an overlooked secret in plain view. Something like a great restaurant hidden behind a plain door down the street from the obvious places. It isn’t some great secret, these taste delights; it’s that most people walked out too soon and never saw them.
I’m talking about movie cookies (they aren’t something one eats, but they are a delight).
In the nearly nine years of this blog I’ve written many posts about human consciousness in the context of computers. Human consciousness was a key topic from the beginning. So was the idea of conscious computers.
In the years since, there have been myriad posts and comment debates. It’s provided a nice opportunity to explore and test ideas (mine and others), and my views have evolved over time. One idea I’ve found increasing skepticism for is computationalism, but it depends on which of two flavors of it we mean.
I find one flavor fascinating but can see the other as only metaphor.
Little Big Town: (l to r) Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, & Kimberly Schlapman.
The last few weeks have been astonishing: Minnesota in the news for all the wrong reasons (but change may be coming); the covid19 thing ongoing; our strange politics ever stranger; we’re all going a little nuts. On the other hand, summer is here, so at least the weather has been cool and lovely (though there have been some hot and steamy evenings).
This past week or so, I’ve been mostly basking in my tree trying to figure it all out. Luckily, I’ve had some good music helping me along, and today I thought I’d share (once again) my love for the band Little Big Town.
It was eight years ago that I wrote about how I stumbled over them; they have been favorites of mine ever since.
Back in 2015, to celebrate Albert Einstein’s birthday, I wrote a month-long series of posts about Special Relativity. I still regard it as one of my better efforts here. The series oriented on explaining to novices why faster-than-light travel (FTL) is not possible (short answer: it breaks reality).
So no warp drive. No wormholes or ansibles, either, because any FTL communication opens a path to the past. When I wrote the series, I speculated an ansible might work within an inertial frame. A smarter person set me straight; nope, it breaks reality. (See: Sorry, No FTL Radio)
Then Dr Sabine Hossenfelder seemed to suggest it was possible.