Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker

Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker is downloadable from Feedbooks, the University of Adelaide, and Goodreads, though the Goodreads download is the same as Feedbooks.

Among the Lozi of Zambia, Max Gluckman discovered a culture focused on debates with a rich vocabulary to describe the quality (or lack thereof) of someone’s argumentation:
kuyungula —to speak on matters without coming to the point
kunjongoloka —to wander away from the subject when speaking
kubulela siweko —to talk without understanding
muyauluki —a judge who speaks without touching on the important points at issue
siswasiwa —a person who gets entangled in words
siyambutuki —a talker at random


So guessing I'm at around 150lbs without my gear

My hikikomori life

So this is what the kids call "feels." I've been thinking of Ranma 1/2 recently, maybe because it's summer.

So ESL teaching on Skype is ramen profitable, though somewhat precarious. Nose to the grindstone, save up some money. Need a better laptop, though probably not anytime soon.
I liked Scott Alexander's Unsong and thought it was very clever, but I fell off the update wagon a few months ago. Been waiting for it to finish so I could get a complete epub. Googling around, there’s a bunch of versions out there that still haven’t caught up to the ending, but here’s a complete download in variety of formats.
In my head, I keep Spoonerizing the name of the guy who wrote The Quantum Thief. Get it through your head, Hannu Rajaniemi.

Paramore: Feeling Sorry (Audio)

I've had this song stuck in my head the last few days, only yesterday realized that the lyrics are calling me out.
3Jane stepped from behind the bathchair. “Where? Describe the place, this construct.”

“A beach. Gray sand, like silver that needs polishing. And a concrete thing, kinda bunker. . . .” He hesitated. “It’s nothing fancy. Just old, falling apart. If you walk far enough, you come back to where you started.”

“Yes,” she said. “Morocco. When Marie-France was a girl, years before she married Ashpool, she spent a summer alone on that beach, camping in an abandoned blockhouse. She formulated the basis of her philosophy there.”
-William Gibson, Neuromancer

Test blog from phone

I can't get past how Wordpress won't let you customize templates; if you're a free account peasant, take what we give you and like it, or pay up, loser.

But writing could be a good way to clear my head. So coming back to blogger as a kind of mental scratchpad.

Timog Avenue wheelchair symbols

If you look at the ramps along Timog Avenue going from west to east, it’s the story of a guy figuring out how to do the wheelchair symbol.

That took about 20 frustrating minutes, but confirmed no loans on my SSS

Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King attributes "the bungled and the botched" to Nietzsche

Googling "the bungled and the botched" gets you the Wikipedia page on a drone doom album by Nadja. I posted on the Talk page, no mention of Nietzsche?

Found this thread, seems Bertrand Russell came up with the phrase in his History of Western Philosophy, so not original to Nietzsche himself.

From Nietzsche's Beyod Good and Evil: "O you fools, you presumptuous, pitying fools, what have you done! Was this a work for your hands! How you have bungled and botched my beautiful stone! What a thing for you to take upon yourselves!"

But the above Reg Hollingdale translation was from 1973, 27 years after Russell's AHOWP. An independently invented meme-phrase back-translated into the attributed author's body of work.

One step forward, three steps sideways

Ok, so put the Asus X200MA notebook on Ubuntu. LAN and wifi drivers work fine right after the install. But the screen's stuck on max brightness, hard on the eyeballs, and changing brightness in settings does nothing. Wasted some time looking for a dark theme, but Ubuntu's got 3 free themes and that's it. (One of the the reasons why I switched back to Windows, I love HiContrast yellow on black.) Googling, this blog post looked promising, so edit in some grub code and brightness keys should work. But "You do not have the permissions necessary to edit this file." Sudo gimme a break. So apparently gedit doesn't have root user powers by default anymore, I'm missing something else. Hello yak, I am here to shave you.

Asus X200MA install error, BIOS not fully ACPI compliant

Been looking at the Asus X200 notebooks for a couple of months. I loved netbooks when they first came out, went through a few. I still think it's the sweet spot between portability and fuctionality, but there's not much in that zone now, market split off into tablets/phones vs full-function laptops. 14-inch laptops have gotten pretty cheap, but they're harder to lug around, you need a dedicated bag for that. There's a couple of different versions of the X200 out there, but I just wanted the basic, not-touchscreen one.
So yeah, small, cheap, go for it. No OS but I can deal with that. External CD drive, Win7, and then
Dealing with bluescreens isn't how I wanted to spend my downtime, but Murphy's Law never sleeps. Googling around, this Microsoft Support page said press F7 when the drivers are loading to disable ACPI.
Go ahead and delete the partition, then the FreeDOS will be gone, but you don't need it anyway and might as well get the 13 gigs back. (whybackinmyday, DOS was one 5-inch floppy...)

Win7 installed, but can't detect wifi, hardwired ethernet doesn't work either.
Nice. Cmon techsupport monkey, figure something out. So smartphone's connected to the shin bone, err, wifi. Connect phone with USB cord to notebook, turn on network sharing, ok, online without network controller. Download what you need.

TL;DR Don't buy the no-OS, DOS-only Asus X200 if you want something that just works right away. Thought I'd post this in case anyone else is stuck or panicking at that bluescreen.

Last belief standing

Takei's point is made and certainly I agree. Then my mind wandered off to other things. Of course this is why we have joke religions like Pastafarianism, the Church of the SubGernius, Discordianism, etc. The religious reply is that stuff's just made up, while our beliefs are eternal truths hallowed by tradition. Got me thinking, what would it take to craft a memeplex that lasts hundreds or thousands of years, with traditions, rites, observances, symbols recognizable across millenia?

Neal Stephenson's Anathem seems divisive among nerds, but it's one of my all-time favorite books for its sense of time, and yeah I love the idea of Long Now Foundation too. I've been doing the LessWrong/atheist thing of marking the solstices and equinoxes.

More than words

A long time ago, I thought wouldn't it be interesting to have an entire love story that never once uses the actual word "love," the most overused and misused word ever. Show, don't tell.

A Youtube comment mentioned that no one ever says love (or any of the related Japanese words) in Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children, a film that is entirely about love.

For a more directly romantic version, the other "next Miyazaki" guy Makoto Shinkai never uses the word love or anything like it in my all-time favorite love story, 5 Centimeters Per Second.

What's it got in its pockets pockets pockets preciousss

This vest thing wins all the utilons. Been playing with it for an hour and I'm still finding pockets.

Jacked in

[Oscar Chichoni cover for Neuromancer]

After almost 2 weeks of back and forth calls, SkyCable finally got me hooked up.
The standing desk makes my ankles hurt, but I'll give it another week.

Falcon Heavy would be a great band name

I love the soundtrack, I want more, who did the music? No attribution on Youtube, I asked in the comments, checked Reddit, nothing. Tried SoundHound, which misidentifies it as Dawn by Kenichiro Nishihara. Rockin guitar =/= mellow piano. :\

Brand X supervillain lair

Bought some shelf things. Trying to work out a standing desk and regular desk combo.
Jill was born into an inner-city home. Her father began having sex with Jill and her sister during their preschool years. Her mother was institutionalized twice because of what used to be termed “nervous breakdowns.” When Jill was 7 years old, her agitated dad called a family meeting in the living room. In front of the whole clan, he put a handgun to his head, said, “You drove me to this,” then blew his brains out. The mother’s mental condition continued to deteriorate, and she revolved in and out of mental hospitals for years. When Mom was home, she would beat Jill. Beginning in her early teens, Jill was forced to work outside the home to help make ends meet. As Jill got older, we would have expected to see deep psychiatric scars, severe emotional damage, drugs, maybe even a pregnancy or two. Instead, Jill developed into a charming and quite popular young woman at school. She became a talented singer, an honor student,and president of her high school class. By every measure, she was emotionally well-adjusted and seemingly unscathed by the awful circumstances of her childhood.
-John Medina, Brain Rules, Chapter 8: Stress

Great lines, mostly poetry

This is the school in which we learn/ that time is the fire in which we burn.
-Delmore Schwartz

I want to do to you what Spring does to the cherry trees.
-Pablo Neruda

Our father who art in heaven, stay there. And we will stay on earth, which is sometimes so beautiful.
-Jacques Prevert

I didn’t say "I love you" to hear it back. I said it to make sure you knew.

To see her in sunlight was to see Marxism die.
-Harold Brodkey

Sifting through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way.
-Charles Bukowski

 I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me, lest I rot.
-Nikos Kazantzakis

 The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
 -Martin Luther King, Jr

All cities are mad, but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.
-Christopher Morley

I have no parents. I make the earth and sky my parents. I have no home. In the depths of my soul I make my home.
-samurai creed, traditional

Almost No One is Evil; Almost Everything is Broken

 Everything that rises must converge.
-Teilhard de Chardin

He told her about the Afterglow: that brief, brilliant period after the Big Bang, when matter gathered briefly in clumps and burned by fusion light.
-Stephen Baxter

"You've a good heart," she told him. "Sometimes that's enough to see you safe wherever you go." Then she shook her head. "But mostly, it's not."
-Neil Gaiman

Death the Kraken waits to drown you/ In the sea of earth.
-the Skolion of Seikilos

Beautiful sentences are harder than I thought

So there was that Buzzfeed article, 51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature. Some great ones in there, some dull ones. Some odd choices, the T.S. Eliot is lovely, the Yeats, some bits of Shakespeare that are nowhere near the best. But if we allow that, then poetry should overwhelm the entire list. (Poetry bits, that would be fun and easy, file for future use.)

I sat down and tried to come up with my own prose list, and it's surprisingly hard. My quotes file and favorite sentences are clever or deep, not pretty: I seek Truth, not Beauty. But here's a few.

"Her kimono was printed in a design of irises and violets. The skin beneath it was like a dying man's dream of skin."
-Bruce Sterling, Schismatrix Plus

"He slept curled against her back, a dark comma against her pale elegant phrase."
-A.S. Byatt, Possession

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Requires Hate, punching up, trying to do good

So there was this blog, Requires Only That You Hate. (Trigger warning... all of them) Somewhat Internet-famous, once memorably described as "performance rage." It was kinda amazing, in a horrible way, savagely slagging sf books and authors, playing the sexist or privilege card on everything within range. Apparently some people have been tracking this anonymous troll/drama queen since back when LiveJournal was a thing.

I've been on the Internet a long while, I like to think I'm as jaded as the next guy. But this trolling was weapons-grade, it wound me up, it was infuriating and made me want to engage. I mean, I'm not white, that's worth something isn't it? Sanity prevailed and I stayed out of the fray, but I kept reading and put her blog in my RSS feed reader. It was a great vaccination, because truly, afaik Requires Hate is the ne plus ultra of trolling.

Requires Hate got doxxed, outed as Thai blogger and Campbell Award nominee Benjanun Sriduangkaew.

So what's the point, what's the lesson to be learned? Hateblogging is counterproductive. Hateblogging is stupid. Maybe not a stretch to say that hateblogging is evil. Here's Laura J. Mixon's compendious rundown on Requires Hate's attacks, one of which apparently caused a suicide attempt. Another lesson, social justice rhetoric is easily weaponized. RH bounced around for a while, but settled on social justice language as the perfect vehicle for the vitriol. Vicious righteousness, what more can you ask for?

Sriduangkaew's public apology says "I believed I was doing good and was punching up." How's that? Requires Hate is forevermore my touchstone for radfem #killallmen fuckery. Performance rage indeed. Performance and posturing, take a tough stance and shout over everyone, instead of discussion and engagement, or God forbid, compassion and empathy.

Burn rate bragging

That last 10k did it, Vibram heel worn through. Call me Merrell-killer. Bought these 4 Aug 2014. I wanna get up to 15k before xmas.