Years of computer programming bend the mind. Agreement seems universal on this point. When you cease to speak in a human language and begin teaching machines, in their language, what humans are arguing about, you give up a piece of your sanity.
Writing code professionally seems increasingly like an act of finding meaning in the meaningless. Pieces like this ring true… I love how it ends (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler):
So no, I’m not required to be able to lift objects weighing up to fifty pounds. I traded that for the opportunity to trim Satan’s pubic hair while he dines out of my open skull so a few bits of the internet will continue to work for a few more days.
Posting from the iPad, for the first and maybe last time. Heh. Always sort of despised this touch keyboard thing that has changed the world so that we no longer get tactile feedback. Progress!
Not a bad app, WordPress for iPad. The ability to add a self-hosted WordPress site is, well, the only reason you’re reading this.
Saul Bellow is brilliant. I’d love to treat you to a great review of his novel Mr. Sammler’s Planet, but I’m pressed for time, and lucky I’m getting to read the book at all. A neat little passage about the power of applying labels… taxonomy as a soother of men’s souls… got me inspired.
Herzog was another good one. Give Bellow a try if you haven’t. I just heard someone criticize a “top 100 books” list of some sort, which included nothing from Bellow. Some list!
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies— all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information and experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception
In this day and age we have comedians apologizing for brilliant jokes. Travesty!
Humor tickles the funny bone precisely because it creates a mild discomfort, a tension that is then released. Ethnic jokes have always been excellent for this, but can tend to rely on stereotypes. Notice Steve Martin’s joke doesn’t really do that. It’s a great little piece of wit and also off the cuff, during a Twitter question-and-answer session with fans.
Keep it up, Steve. It’s nice to see fans from all backgrounds sticking up for you, too, in the comments of the CNN article. If we can’t all laugh together, we might as well fold.
I am supporting the Kickstarter campaign for a book in progress called Dads of Disability. This is a unique project being led by the very capable and sincere Gary Dietz, himself the father of a son with a disability.
The campaign is only running until August 9, 2013. Don’tcha wanna click the feelgood link and support it along with me?
My Google Voice number (which happens to be a Boston area code because they didn’t have any New Hampshire numbers available at the time) has now begun “ringing” my Gmail inbox, which the first few times took me off guard. I was not at the computer and I heard this new chiming. What gives?
But I’m getting used to it and I kind of like it. Just took a call from Abby while sitting here, and it was pretty convenient. Of course, if my sound is off, I likely won’t notice… as it should be.
Coincidentally, more press today concerning parenting-sans-coddling. This time thanks to Mick Jagger.
Here is a thought provoking interview about raising children with more competition in their lives. I’m not sure I agree with the focus on winning and losing, but resisting the urge to shelter and underexpose a child does resonate with me. Awhile ago I mentioned here that I follow the Free Range Kids blog for this reason.
One of the authors being interviewed, Po Bronson, I recognized as the guy who wrote The Nudist on The Late Shift, a collection of essays about culture during the dot com bubble, which I enjoyed.
It has come to attention that I have shirked my duty, and never, ever, not even ONCE have I posted a cat pic.
Here’s Woody Allen on basketball as a Knicks fan, from back in 1998.
When asked why it is so important that the Knicks win, since at the end of the game or even the season nothing in life is affected one way or the other, I can only answer that basketball or baseball or any sport is as dearly important as life itself. After all, why is it such a big deal to work and love and strive and have children and then die and decompose into eternal nothingness? (By now, the person who asked me why the Knicks winning is important is sorry.)
Pure Woody. But still:
In short, putting the ball into the hoop is of immense significance to me by personal choice and my life is more fun because of it.
Me, too. There are more gems in the piece, including the mock sports interview he closes with. Only Woody can write a love letter to a sport that eviscerates it, yet leaves you convinced of his love.
We had an old joke that we would raise our children ‘Hispanic’. Joke being that you can’t choose your ethnicity. But that’s not entirely true, especially as people have migrated to new places, they may adopt, willingly or not, new identities of heritage.
I got thinking about this while reading Is The New Pope Latino? Despite hailing from Argentina, it turns out his folks were Italian, and I was surprised to learn [from the article] that:
This confirms something I had never really managed to articulate before: that Latin America has a hint of Italian in its flavor. The prevalence of Catholicism, for instance, and names like ‘Marco’. But more to the point is the shared heritage of Europeans… ‘Latin’ is a broader term amongst languages… and although we think of Latin America as Spanish-dominated, it’s certainly not 100% ‘Latino’. Or perhaps those of Italian descent may also share that ‘o’?
Henceforth, we will be raising the kids ‘Latino’, in line with our new Pope.