Blog: Ethical Splits

Ethical Splits
Ethical Splits
Date: 2019-Dec-26 22:18:13 EST

Playing along with the artifice of the boundaries of the clock, and at peace with it right now because of the idea of constraints being helpful for creativity. Physical analogy: bridges over gaps.

Yesterday, on Christmas, I decided to have Chinese food, and it led me to a very nearby restaurant (less than a block away) that had very good food. Perhaps that's another example. I liked the experience of seeing NYC with slightly fewer people - still more than a normal Pittsburgh day by a wide margin, but comparatively desolate for here. Novelty is something I worry about getting enough of, particularly as I am alone and need to take care to feed myself enough of it to avoid ossification.

Been slowly growing close to some more coworkers, although some of them look like they're preparing to lift anchor and the pain of that loss is already something I anticipate and resent.

My body has been reminding me that although I now understand my headaches and can mitigate them somewhat, they're not gone. Still helpful.

I'm starting to put together the set of ideas that will turn into my DragonCon 2020 costume idea; I am pretty sure I'll be going as Tychoides (from Mage:Ascension). The problem here may be that it's a bit underconstrained, as the character was never very well described in the official source material, and interactions and persona are entirely lacking. But that's fun too. Brainstorming into a Google Doc. I also should be starting to plan the trip to Buenos Aires next year; I had hoped to get a feel when the neuroscience conference at Janelia will be so I can steer clear of that, but I can't wait on that forever.

Having a bit of fun with the New Year in that I selected a new set of sounds for my phone. Been nostalgic for "The Critic", and its nice smooth intro seems like it would be good to wake up to. As one example.

Some inputs and thoughts:

  • Interesting musings from Salman Rushdie about how he writes, and the purpose of writing. I don't know which I prefer, but I see some nobility in his earlier "write what you will, people will show up as they will" and his latter "writing for comprehension is a craft". So long as it is a deliberate choice between.
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan are the two nightly late night shows that I regularly watch (on Youtube, having no other TV); I really love how Karen Chee and Sona Movsesian have their little moments of stardom. I don't know if they have a shot at eventually inheriting the shows, but the camera loves them
  • I comntinue to be both pleased and perturbed that the major culture-hosting companies are losing power and competitors (to either their funding model, e.g. Patreon replacing streaming returns, or to their entire platform, e.g. Youtube to Twitch to Mixer). Negative because this makes finding things harder, but positive because the family-friendly and controversy-phobic policies people are fleeing are harmful and too much centralisation is dangerous to free expression.
  • Having read over the details of Berners-Lee's Contract for the Web, I find myself opposing it. It's not that it's entirely bad, but I think we should read creeds and platforms carefully and if they significantly work against our interests in significant ways, we should reject or oppose them. In this case, I don't like that it looks to come near support for the Right to be Forgotten, that it pushes for diversity as a value in itself (rather than just limiting those who oppose diversity - the difference is subtle but crucial), and that more broadly it looks to limit free speech beyond the narrow acceptable justifications for doing so.
  • I continue to be deeply disturbed by Evo Morales' intent to remain politically active in Bolivia; for me, the twin red lines of people remaining in office past known term limits, and them modifying those limits primarily for benefit of themselves mark him (and anyone else doing the same) as beyond the pale; use of any means necessary to remove and keep someone who breaks those rules from office is justified. It is unfortunate that there are no "good guys" in Bolivia, in that the conservatives who swept into power are likewise immoderate, but the red lines come first.
  • I love that there are juicy mysteries to be solved about the (thin) atmosphere of Mars. I'm hungry for humanity to build interplanetary comms and a permanent basis for exploration of most of our solar system; I have little doubt there are many more mysteries to find and solve out there.
Starting to collect my thoughts of the last year and last decade. Not sure that'll go in a post. Maybe.