Josh is coming to Boston! "Okay, can one of you put up a post? I'll be there the weekend of the 22nd/23rd (leaving on Tuesday the 25th)," he says.
I should feel bad that my immediate response to defending a deposition at a big law firm is to pilfer their stationery. But really, I don't.
This unpleasant app will allow you to read 500 words a minute! I'm only linking it because if you click through, there's little test screens going of 250, 350, and 500 words per minute, and you can indeed keep up with the text.
If you are actually trying to make sense of a text as a coherent entity, I think it would be really difficult to get an overall sense of it. However, it is perfect if you're taking an easy class and only feel obligated to complete the reading out of a sense of guilt.
It is central to one's mental health to believe that everything will be all right, in a general sense. In times of crisis, to have certainty that things will be okay. Or even not in times of crisis.
It is central to one's compassion to recognize that it is super common for things not to turn out all right.
The goal is to simultaneously hold both beliefs. If you don't, you'll become either depressed or an asshole, depending on which one you sacrifice. There are a few ways to simultaneously believe both. First, you can decide that you are exceptional.This happens a lot, either by magical thinking, or the extent to which religions can prey on it. (This comes up in my FB Feed Christians a lot. The problem is that if everything will be all right for you because you're Christian, the natural conclusion is that you need to be constantly proselytizing.)
Or you can decide that you worship statistics. I think this only works to some extent. Or you can just realize that you must live as though everything will be okay, but not actually believe that in general. This also only works to some extent.
This paradox is the not unrelated to the problem that self-improvement movements make terrible public policy.
(I know I'm writing a terrible post when I'm speaking in bland generalities. I'm invoking the 40 comments rule to determine the real post.)
I have no idea what the quality of Neil deGrasse Tyson's academic work is, but he's certainly doing great work as a role model. When my kids picture a typical astrophysicist, he's it.
I'm mostly watching to find out if he ever says "Billions and billions."
I'd love to see everybody in LA on Tuesday, March 11th. Who's free?
Tuesday, March 11
We just had a USPS truck pull up and drop off a package, on a Sunday. It is Sunday, isn't it?
Also this article about Disney and the author's autistic son is pretty beautiful and complex.
Today is my first attempt ever baking bread from scratch. I decided on this recipe because it looked easy, and because:
If I've got a day where I've really got to get some uni work done - I'll make bread. Because it adds structure to my day, without taking much effort. I make the bread, and while it proofs, get some work done. Take it out, punch down the yeast. And as it rises again, more uni work. While the oven heats up, more uni work. While it bakes, I dot my 'i's and cross my 't's. Then, as a reward for a solid few hours work, I get freshly baked bread.
seems just so trustworthy.
Slate has a pretty good piece up on Wolfram Language, which links to this fantastic piece by Cosma Shalizi on Wolfram's big book from a few years ago. I knew Wolfram was a raving egomaniac, but didn't realize he was such a litigious jerk. Shalizi's piece is slightly technical, but so clear that it was easy (and entertaining) to read the whole thing.
There's a thing called "Baby Metal":
Things of note: 1) The chorus on this song is nefariously catchy; 2) This may be the best metal song ever written about how awesome it is to eat chocolate; 3) The people playing their backing music are dressed as skeletons; 4) If you show this to an actual metalhead, he or she will never forgive you.