The monster Wait But Why post about Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface company that wants to give us the intellectual abilities of AI so we’re better able to defend ourselves against robots in the future.
Watching ice cubes melt in a hot water kettle.
Tatsu Ramen in LA’s adorable website and neon sign and great ramen.
How I thought I was above my wisdom tooth antibiotic’s [12-27-18] “common side effect” of diarrhea. I was wrong.
The hum of the fridge sounding exactly like “Adam+Eve Connection” by Deerhoof.
FaceTiming Mom from the hot tub at our ridick Airbnb.
The amazing footage of the Captain and Tennille on The Midnight Special.
Being afraid of swirling a spoon in mugs ever since I saw Get Out.
How some might accuse the Left of whataboutism by defending Rep. Tlaib’s use of “motherfucker” with evidence of Republicans’ use of profanity. But it would only be whataboutism if we believed profanity (in informal settings) is wrong and that we ought to direct people’s attention away from our own wrongdoing. We have no such belief. We like swearing (in informal settings) and we know that Republicans do, too. But they claim that they don’t and so we’re speaking out about their bad-faith arguments.
Dave Davies following me on Twitter after I liked one of his tweets (?!)
The poodle with red painted nails at security at LAX.
Remembering that the goal isn’t to hoard everything you have, but instead to spend it at a reasonable rate.
Meeting Casey’s perfect new dog, Basil.
Relocating a beetle from the bathroom wall to the basement garage, a move that upset my mom (does not want beetles in basement) but which technically satisfied her request of removing the beetle from the bathroom.
Getting rear-ended on my drive home. Sitting in the car, unsure of what to do, in the middle of California Avenue. The other driver being nice and apologetic and reasonable. A piece of her bumper stuck in my bumper.
Dan the bartender gingerly pouring a drink only at the loudest points of a free jazz trombone solo at Hungry Brain.
Talking to a class of percussion students at Senn High School about drumming, professional playing, and life after high school. I braced myself to be ignored/ridiculed/pied in the face but they were engaged and sweet.
A student with special needs playing badass fills with a drumstick balanced on his head.
Watching Free Snacks’ debut show (download their mixtape, freesnacks.bandcamp[.]com).
The poet Marty McConnell reciting this line at a reading: “Every bomber is a suicide bomber.”
How even if you got everyone on Earth to be courteous and generous, you’d still run into situations where others have to put some other person’s interests above yours, e.g. a private driver cutting you off to get their client to the airport in time, or a tour manager making your life hard as a hospitality person because they need to make sure their artist is happy. That could be a cause for pessimism, since it means that no matter how hard we try to get everyone to be nice to each other, there will still be moments of conflict. But it could also be a cause for optimism, since it means that in at least some of the cases where someone treated us like crap, they acted that way because they had a constructive obligation to someone else, not necessarily because they wanted to make your life worse. (You’re collateral damage, not the target—what everyone wants to hear.)
Of course, even if those conflicts are unavoidable, we can always try to navigate them in a better way. The driver can wave thank-you. The tour manager can be more polite.
This tweet, pointing something out I’ve thought about a lot since 2016: “I can’t believe we live in a world where a teenager— any teenager, good kid, bad kid, debate team, burnout, rebel, dork— would wear a slogan marketed by the president of the united states of America on their clothes. How is that not the corniest fucking thing in the world?” (@EricLabRat).
The Follow The Sun compilation of overlooked ‘70s Australian rock/folk on Anthology Records / Mexican Summer.
Mexican Summer’s pleasant, functional website.
Yuval Noah Harari’s Economist essay (“Moving Beyond Nationalism”; findable on Google cache) debunking some of the arguments against globalism and offering simple, concrete questions to ask politicians.
How Basil is startled by seemingly any noise except music.
How the books were installed in the new library on the North Side before the building was even finished. (It was heartening.)
Who picked the books?
Every few months, getting a message from a student in an Eastern European country whose textbook uses my face as an example of a teenaged American blogger. Sometimes these pictures come with no context.
Worrying that we’re already on the road to accidentally electing Howard Schultz because we seem to talk about him more than we talk about other, non-billionaire, non-dilettante candidates. i.e., we’re doing the 2016 thing.
Wondering what happened to the call for a Congressional Digital Service (like the Executive Branch’s U.S. Digital Service).
Another Evgeny Morozov Guardian article from 2018, emphasizing the importance of cities: “Our digital future [is] mostly an interplay of two conflicting dynamics: one of data extractivism – propelled primarily by big tech’s dependence on new sources of data; and one of data distributism – propelled by all those opposed to big tech’s rapid ascendance. […] To be credible and effective, the leftwing distributist agenda needs to overcome a great obstacle: citizens’ falling trust in the state as a vehicle of advancing their interests. […] The distributist left, thus, should not balk at proposing ambitious political reforms to go along with their new data ownership regime. These must openly acknowledge that the most meaningful scale at which a radical change in democratic political culture can occur today is not the nation state, as some on the left and the right are prone to believe, but, rather the city.”