4.27.2016

scalzi's tweets on Hugo puppy mess

[from @scalzi on twitter]

Going to do a series of tweets relating to the Hugos, but I'll be quick and there will be a kitten pic at the end. Okay? Okay.

1. Reading commentary on my reaction to the Puppy bullshit this year and some folks are upset I'm not reacting the way they think I should.

2. Specifically, they seem to be upset that I'm suggesting the Pup slating stuff that would be nominated anyway isn't a genius strategy...

3. ... and that essentially in cases like that the attempted puppy co-op should be entirely ignored. This is apparently AGAINST THE RULES.

4. So, basically, it's "Waaaaaah! You're not playing this game like you're supposed too! Why can't you see this is the end of days!"

5. My response to this is, a) who made you the boss of me, b) who cares what you think, c) I'm not obliged to follow anyone's playbook.

6. It's doesn't take genius to stuff a ballot box. Nor does co-opting people for your scheme mean people have to respond the way you want.

7. And this really isn't a crisis or a clash of worldviews. It's, simply, having to deal with opportunistic assholes. Again.

8. How do you deal with opportunistic assholes? In this case, by shrugging about their MASTER PLAN and do what you, not they, want.

9. The most exasperating thing of all this Hugo shit is people pretending this is about anything other than jerks and trolls being jerks...

10. ... or opportunists being opportunistic. I'm not inclined to give them any more importance than that. And that bugs them. Good!

11. So, yeah. If you're upset because I'm NOT DOING HUGO OUTRAGE RIGHT, or whatever, well, just suck on that. It's not your call.

12. Rant done. Compensatory kitten picture coming up in just a second.

As promised: Kittens!




[photo by john scalzi]

3.01.2016

recently noted thoughts

"Originalism is philosophically incoherent (the old texts bear the same multivalent marks of dispute and argument that persist now) and in practice ridiculous."-- adam gopnik

"When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial cliches." ~Edward Weston


"donald trump views the truth like this lemur views the supreme court vacancy. i don't care about that in any way, please f***off, i have a banana." -- john oliver


"Democracy embodies justice, free discussion embodies rationality, and it is only through justice and rationality that an issue can be found from the dangers with which modern war is threatening the human race" -- bertrand russell ["a scientist's plea for democracy", 1947]


"trump personifies everything the rest of the world despises about America: casual racism, crass materialism, relentless self-aggrandizement, vulgarity on an epic scale. the fact that so many Republicans are comfortable with the thought of this monumentally unqualified man in the Oval Office shows how warped the party has become." -- paul thomas [the new zealand herald]


"One cannot express something compelling, interesting or inspiring without first having something compelling, interesting or inspiring to express. And so, in pursuit of expressive work, one also becomes motivated to seek those things that are worth expressing: meaningful experiences, complex thoughts, powerful emotions, and useful or interesting knowledge." -- guy tal


"In a world with boundless opportunities for amusement, it's detestable that anyone would choose to get thrills from killing others who ask for nothing from life but the chance to remain alive." -- sir roger moore

"Let’s be honest; blazing skies at sunrise and sunset, wide-angle near-far compositions, etc., while often spectacularly beautiful, have become the photographic equivalent of fast food: momentarily satisfying, requiring little creative effort, and lacking any characteristics to distinguish the sensibilities and expressive powers of their creator from those of a million others." -- guy tal

"there is a very big difference between styling and design. design is about being perceptive of the contemporary culture and creating the future. styling is about borrowing from history." -- karim rashid


“I've always thought tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift. To fail the test is a misfortune. But to refuse the test is to refuse the gift, and something worse, more irrevocable, than misfortune.”
[Lois McMaster Bujold, "Shards of Honour"]

"we owe nearly everything to others. generations are also generators. the point of the fruit is the tree, and the point of the tree is the fruit." -- kevin ashton ["how to fly a horse"]


"METAPHOR STEW: Trump is a karma tsunami, the long-imagined chickens of decades of race-baiting and rich-worshiping coming home to roost." -- lolgop [twitter]


after exhausting both
principle and reason
the ancient "not one thing"
that knows not
the bright moonlight.
-- musashi [at nagoya]


lovecraft!? h.p. lovecraft?
lovely lyrical name, isn't it, for such a troubled mind.
-- the librarians


"As an astronaut I spacewalked 220 miles above the Earth. Floating alongside the International Space Station, I watched hurricanes cartwheel across oceans, the Amazon snake its way to the sea through a brilliant green carpet of forest, and gigantic nighttime thunderstorms flash and flare for hundreds of miles along the Equator." -- piers j sellers


haskell: Primarily a CV decoration language. Code is typically written to be admired rather than compiled; this is technically known as the "lazy execution model." -- verity stob


the ordinary reader -- the ordinary audience -- is a barren conceit.

it guarantees a shared mediocrity.
don't preconceive the reader's limitations.
they'll become your own. -- verlyn klinkenborg ["several short sentences about writing"]

"has there ever been a critic of sam harris who is not been accused of misrepresenting him? this is a literal question!"-- cenk uygur


"I happen to be, at this very moment, purposefully misunderstanding Richard Dawkins as a way to generate clicks on some bloggers’ page[s], and so are all of the other mindless hivemind sockpuppets controlled by the aforementioned nameless bloggers." -- consciousness razor


1.20.2016

three cranes tsuba (sketch)


following is a partial illustrator/inkscape  rendering of a sukashi tsuba design, based on existing japanese designs. [i happen to own edo-era examples of this design, with three and four cranes] if you are interested in piercing your own tsuba, or would like three cranes in a circular formation for some other purpose, here it is. Unlike some of the tsubas I have seen, the cranes here are perfectly organized. [triangles and lines are there to let me understand the placement of the components] I left it incomplete but with sufficient detail. you still need to organize the lines as they merge into each other, compete the design of kozuka hitsu-ana, nakago hitsu-ana and kogai hitsu-ana and so on. exercise for the serious designer.

copyright, cc attribution, share-alike.

three cranes tsuba 

8.14.2015

recently noted thoughts

"selling out is usually more a matter of buying in." -- bill watterson

“the main function of the human brain, the primary instinct, is storytelling. Memory is storyelling. If we all remembered everything, we would be Rain Man, and would not be socially active at all. We learn to forget and to distort, but we [also] learn to tell a story about ourselves.” -- joss whedon

"It's fairly clear that one of the defining characteristics of the 21st century so far has been the creeping installation of a system optimized to exclude public opinion from the levers of power despite continuing to pay lip service to principles of democratic accountability: is this another (and big) step in ensuring that democracy can't actually threaten the interests of the global financial sector?" -- charlie stross [on  TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership]

"the ability to change anything was the change that changed everything." -- kevin ashton ["how to fly a horse"]

"while you cannot force ideas into existence, you can coax them into view. When you first notice some exciting fragment, your impulse may be to brush it aside. It looks so ... so small, so slight. Don't be deceived. What matters is not the idea's size but its resonance." -- stephen koch ["modern library writer's workshop: a guide to craft of fiction"]


"The 'draw a line' philosophy offers a substantial political advantage to people with hidden agendas. The method for getting what you want is first to draw the line somewhere that nobody would object to, and then gradually move it to where you really want it, arguing continuity all the way." -- terry pratchett, ian stewart & jack cohen ["the science of discworld"]

"To merely act as a conduit of inspiration from naturally-occurring phenomena to an audience is a great and important task, but it is the task of the journalist, not of the artist. The artist’s role is not in being a passive messenger, but in creating new configurations, symbols and metaphors – aesthetic experiences – that one would not be able to experience on their own, even if afforded the same access to the same subject." -- guy tal

"Hold on, an author can wait 55 years between books and people will still be interested? Man, this changes everything..." -- patrick rothfuss 

"I know self-care is important. As Morpheus said, there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. But here comes Red Riding Hood to remind you that walking the path is all well and good, but it’s even harder to stay on that path once you’ve started." -- jim hines

"Practicing isn’t always hard. At times, practice is joyous. When you are working at the edge of your abilities, acquiring mastery of something difficult that you value, practice is the best feeling. But if you only practice when it brings you joy, you won’t practice much. Logging the requisite hours inevitably involves some slogging." -- cory doctorow

"The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. This claim is not the result of revisionism. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history." -- ta-nehisi coates 

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon -- it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory." -- scott d. weitzenhoffer

5.15.2015

extracting my notes from drafts app database

well now. while digging into the content stored in my iphone, i found out the drafts app which I'm slowly abandoning by removing my content uses a sqlite3 database. previously I had no way to bulk-extract my notes.
# sqlite3 Drafts.sqlite
SQLite version 3.8.2 2013-12-06 14:53:30
...
sqlite> .tables

ZSPMANAGEDOBJECT  Z_METADATA        Z_PRIMARYKEY 

sqlite> .schema zspmanagedobject
...
CREATE TABLE ZSPMANAGEDOBJECT (
Z_PK INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, 
Z_ENT INTEGER, 
Z_OPT INTEGER, 
ZARCHIVED INTEGER, 
ZHIDDEN INTEGER, 
ZPINNED INTEGER, 
ZCREATED_AT TIMESTAMP, 
ZLAST_ACTION_AT TIMESTAMP, 
ZMODIFIED_AT TIMESTAMP, 
ZUPDATED_AT TIMESTAMP, 
ZGHOSTDATA VARCHAR, 
ZSIMPERIUMKEY VARCHAR, 
ZCOMPLETED_ACTIONS VARCHAR, 
ZCONTENT VARCHAR, 
ZLAST_ACTION VARCHAR, 
ZTAGS VARCHAR, 
ZUUID VARCHAR );
...
select z_created_at, z_content from zspmanagedobject;

produces the time-stamped draft notes, including notes that were deleted.
451329756.316168|supermarket notes, 2015: I find the selection of shaped,
filled, fried, baked, toasted, flavored, seasoned corn products entirely 
inadequate for a healthy diet.
451357888.003267|"what about the duck?"
"extra crispy!!"
-- looney tunes back in action

5.09.2015

ira glass's actual quote

never mind the abstract reader's digest quote poster that is going around. this is my transcription of what Ira Glass actually said in [ the first part of] his video. it is wonderful advice, especially about the discipline of producing work on a deadline. [ira glass on storytelling, part 3]:

"Nobody tells people who are beginners. I really wish someone had told this to me. Is that [if you are watching this video, you are somebody who wants o make videos right?] all of us who do creative work, we get into it. we get into it because we have good taste. you know what I mean? like you want to make TV, because you love TV. there is stuff you just like, love. ok so you got really good taste. you get into this thing … that i don’t even know how to describe it, but there is a gap. for the first couple of years you are making stuff, what you are making isn’t so good... ok, its not that great. it's really not that great. its trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but not quite that good. but your taste, the thing get you into the game, your taste is still killer. your taste is good enough that you can tell what you are making is a kind of disappointment to you, you know what i mean? you can tell it is still sort of crappy. a lot of people never get past that phase. a lot of people at that point, they quit. the thing i would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know, who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste, they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. they knew it felt short. [some of us can admit that to ourselves, some of us less able to admit that to ourselves] we knew like, it didn’t have that special thing that we wanted it to have. [...] everybody goes through that. for you to go through it, if you are going through right now, just getting out of that phase, if you are just starting out and entering into that phase, you gotta know it is totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work. do a huge volume of work. put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re gonna finish one story. you know what i mean? whatever its gonna be. you create the deadline. it is best if have somebody who is waiting work from you, expecting work from you. even if not somebody who pays you, but that you are in a situation where you have to turn out the work. because it is only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap and the work you are making will be as good as your ambitions."

4.17.2015

for a recent birthday

a period of time
a few minutes long
fifty eight years wide.

 
-- Tomas Transtromer ["the sad gondola"]