Game of Truth

REZ: i remember one summer a long time ago
REZ: probably middle school
REZ: i went to a “writing camp” over the summer
REZ: i.e. a class run by non-teachers
REZ: and for some reason i forget we played this game
REZ: two people would be blindfolded and put into a ring
REZ: a rolled up newspaper would be thrown in there
REZ: and there’s two stages to the game
REZ: first is someone needs to find the newspaper
REZ: second is when the newspaper is found, it’s announced, then the guy with the newspaper needs to be able to find and whack the other guy
REZ: arena size was…
REZ: i was a kid so it was smaller; i’m trying to imagine how large it’d be for an adult
REZ: 9×9′ or 10×10′, thereabouts
REZ: i wasnt the first to play so i got a chance to see others play for a while, maybe it was even the second or third time it happened until it was my turn
REZ: maybe multiple days, maybe not, i forget
REZ: but the way i saw people do it was really really obtuse
REZ: granted it’s young teens doing it but whatever they had in their minds, it was different than mine
REZ: newspaper’s somewhere on the ground, and what they do is they reach out at different spots with their hands to see what’s there
REZ: second phase was basically the same except standing up and with one guy not reaching out at different spots
REZ: maybe 3~5 minute rounds of people blindfolded, acting as if they weren’t blindfolded
REZ: as if the lights had just been turned off
REZ: the whole time.
REZ: then it came my turn with some girl
REZ: and i swam along the carpet
REZ: the objective was to find a newspaper and there was nothing that would hurt me, so the strategy as far as i could tell involved covering the largest amount of area as soon as possible
REZ: made me look like an idiot but i wasn’t interested in that
REZ: so basically, breaststroke.
REZ: unfortunately my strategy wasn’t able to get me the newspaper because i hadn’t thought through how to measure covered ground versus uncovered ground, and i started in a bad direction
REZ: i hit the edge of the arena multiple times and didn’t know where i was facing after i got turned around
REZ: so now i’m the hunted versus the hunter
REZ: and rather than walking around with the smallest profile like a girl in a movie walking down a dark unfamiliar street
REZ: my upper body was about as wide as it’d normally be
REZ: but i was basically squatting with how far apart my legs were
REZ: and rather than having (nothing) to indicate to me where my opponent was
REZ: i listened and felt for heat
REZ: if i felt something, i’d move far with only a few strides
REZ: i’d stay mostly put otherwise unless something changed
REZ: it went on for 10~15 minutes until the “teachers” finally stopped it.
REZ: i got pretty popular afterwards for a few minutes.
REZ: then afterwards the game was broken and i don’t think anyone really felt tension from playing it anymore.
REZ: both players would always start out with breaststroke and whoever got the newspaper would instantly start swinging it around like a madman
REZ: i forget if everyone actually got a chance to play in the end or if it was just stopped without comment.
REZ: oh yeah i forgot one part of the story
LAX: I feel like someone would have accidentally gotten punched like that
REZ: when the blindfold was put on, i was also the first to insist on a certain way it was put on
REZ: namely, that they didn’t cover my ears.
REZ: oh sure
REZ: i meant relatively speaking
REZ: rather than a swordsman in a dark dungeon on the wary for large monsters
REZ: the hunter actually did assume the role of the hunter after that
REZ: moved quick, “sword” in front, extended arms
REZ: one time where i really did change ‘everything’.
REZ: i solved it
REZ: and then i ruined it.
LAX: What do you mean ruined it?
REZ: what’s the point in playing a game?
LAX: To win
REZ: no no no
REZ: that’s the point when you’re already playing a game
REZ: why do you pick up a game?
REZ: why play a game rather than do something else?
LAX: Because other stuff is boring?
REZ: yes
REZ: because games are fun
REZ: it wasn’t fun after i and whoever came after me solved it, me with the search and defensive standards, and him with the offensive standard
REZ: “everyone” had a certain understanding of “how” the game was played
REZ: then i played it
REZ: and that other guy played it.
REZ: it was a game of tension and mystery
REZ: then it became a dice roll.
REZ: or rather, a coin flip.
REZ: i wonder if i was the dumb one in the end.
LAX: Nope
LAX: You were the only one to think outside the box
LAX: The rest of the kids followed in your footsteps, no one else attempted to change it
LAX: It’s like when a new “unbeatable” meta shows up in a game
LAX: Everyone conforms to that meta and no one tries to break it
LAX: Everyone was doing what you did rather than thinking about how to beat what you did
LAX: AKA they were fucking stupid sheep
REZ: as was the case with most educational summer camps, no kid actually wanted to be there and little of it was interesting at all
REZ: that was the first time something happened that was both interesting and something they couldnt simply replicate at home
REZ: you really do need a human ring creating an arena for no danger of running into things to be involved, and enough eyes on the scene to determine what the objective state of the game is
REZ: but after those two games it was just another thing to do.
REZ: and then not a thing to do, because it stopped.
REZ: back to writing stupid shit no one cares about and no one reads.
LAX: The problem with your story isnot that you ruined the game
LAX: It’s that the game was stupid.
REZ: oh sure
LAX: Or more that the rest of the kids were….
REZ: we’re adults and we have experience with games so we can see that the design was absolutely retarded
REZ: but i don’t think that changes the purpose and niche the game filled for that situation at that time
REZ: everyone played the game as if there was also the rule that you had to act as if you could actually see
REZ: and that created a certain feel for the game
REZ: i played as if that rule didn’t exist and revealed that the emperor wasn’t really wearing any clothes
REZ: good for me i suppose
REZ: but all that was left for me and everyone else after that was looking at a hairy fat ugly old man.
LAX: The real problem is that you were theonly person that actually played the game
LAX: In a competetive game the goal is to win
LAX: Or rather to beat the other person
LAX: Everyone saw that you found the winning defense strategy
LAX: If there were a few smart kids in that group the game could have been a bit more like rock paper sissors with a phsyical aspect
LAX: The problem with being smart is you tend to ruin the “fun” for everyone else who isn’t smart.
LAX: No one else there had the physical or mental capacity to win aginast a decently thought out plan
LAX: But, was there a point to that story?
REZ: i’ve been reading some of the kaiji stuff i hadnt before since i cant sleep and something in there reminded me of this story
REZ: the point was that i wasn’t sure if it was the right move
LAX: It was the right move for you
REZ: it was the right move inside the game.
LAX: Same difference
REZ: no, i think it was the wrong move outside
REZ: there’s fewer smart people than dumb people
LAX: No matter what, the same outcome would have happened
REZ: if smart people can figure out a way to win, they should also figure out the cost of ruining the whole thing
REZ: on a long enough timeline, yes
REZ: but it was a camp of like 4 weeks, maybe 16 days
REZ: and its not like we played all that time
REZ: the dumb kids wouldn’t have made it out, only the smarter ones
REZ: we could’ve played for a few hours longer rather than not
LAX: With enough iterations the game would have evolved anyways
LAX: With your strat that is
LAX: Someone would have figured out how to beat it
LAX: Really, the burden lies on the teachers.
LAX: For ruining the game
LAX: They’re the ones who cancled it, presumably
REZ: i think that way of thinking will evade the understanding of a lot of things people do
REZ: there are more dumb kids than smart kids, more dumb people than smart people
LAX: Sure
REZ: how much of society is run with the super smart people pretending just enough so that all the dumb people continue enjoying life the way things are?
REZ: or rather: not seeing how absolutely retarded their situation is, not realize such a thing, and thus also never start trying to even want to look for a way out of it?
LAX: A lot.
REZ: probably.
REZ: and people like us, not-dumb not-super-smart people, spend time looking at how to win the individual games instead.


The Primary Principle behind Writing

Finally sat myself through this >5 hour interview.

The most interesting thing I got out of it was the idea that compelling writing requires looking at its structure in terms of the relationship between “a unit of meaning” and “number of syllables”.

As opposed to, say, the relationship between “a paragraph” and “number of supporting evidences”.

It was intuitively obvious to me the moment I heard of Schaffer that nothing produced in that structure would ever be worth bothering with, but in all the years since I’ve never stumbled upon any idea that felt like it’d result in the fundamental opposite. I’ve tried reading and copying the style of this or that blogger, collecting and retyping entire passages that sound like they have something; all to, whatever improvements on my writing it may have had, has largely felt incoherent. Because I didn’t know what to look for. I wasn’t even looking in the right place. It’s not something to “look” for.

I think this idea is, at the very worst, pretty close. It, or something like it, is the primary principle behind writing, in the same way (no, it’s not “creativity”) contrast is the primary principle behind painting. “Contrast” doesn’t “produce” beautiful women, and this “sounding” doesn’t “produce” profound philosophy, but it’s definitely what makes it sound profound.

And sounding profound is 80% of being profound.

You’re going to find that the ordinary unit of meaning in the English language is three hard stresses long, or sometimes four, but often it’s two, three, or four. As you enter the realm of intellect and have more to say, or more nuances to say, you need larger units of meaning. Five, that’s iambic pentameter, even six, that’s hexameter, the Greeks used seven, septameter, and you’ll feel that by reading and memorizing some of this poetry, you’ll have the models built into your head to shift back and forth according to your audience.

Shakespeare, to the ignorant, writes iambic pentameter lines, and one of the reasons you don’t even want to look at Shakespeare is all the lines seem to be pretty much the same length. I’m gonna teach you something he knew four centuries ago: it looks like they’re all the same length, but there’s a breath pause in this speech after two hard beats, the next breath’s pause is twelve before you’ve delivered your meaning, three, four, there’s this inner jazz at work underneath this regular pattern. You can learn to do that after someone exposes the secret to you, that’s half the game, and the other half of the game is simply building the models into yourself so you don’t have to think.

We used an exercise that immediately turned horribly dull writers into at least moderately interesting writers, and it’s totally mathematical […] Write 1 to 20 on twenty pieces of paper, put them in some sort of container, then list what you’ve drawn out at random, now you’re going home, and you’re gonna write a paper on X subject, and if 1 is the first number that came out, the first sentence will be 1 word long or 1 word long, and if the second one is 20 it’ll be 20 long. […] Now they had the kind of jazz that readers aren’t completely conscious of but they’ll record as, “something’s interesting about it”, even if he’s writing about a milk separator.

And you as a filmmaker remember Eisenstein’s film of the peasants watching milk being separated on a Russian farm in the 1920s. Why is it so awfully interesting? Because he understood things, that the eye is looking at the movement of light around the screen, it’s looking at entrances and exits.

Thirteen year old kids from Harlem can master these secrets just as well as twenty-five year old Harvard students can. And then they become preternaturally sophisticated.

Air vs Liquid Cooling, Lies and Pretending

Today was hot and my house doesn’t have AC so I spent today doing nothing other than laying around and complaining about how it was too hot to do anything.

One of those complaints led to a debate about air cooling vs liquid cooling.

That was pretty productive, for a hot day anyways, because I learned something about the world: there are who people buy into liquid cooling simply because they think it’s cool. By which I mean they’re stupid, and it feels like they are probably the majority. Liquid cooling computers isn’t strictly wrong, there are reasons why it is better, but it took me a while to come to the conclusion, using thought routes that a bunch of people who support liquid cooling certainly didn’t use. Eventually I’ll make the comprehensive essay I’ve dreamed of writing, but for now the concept of Communication vs Conveyance suffices: people can write a lot of things about how something works and how well it works, but other people only read the parts they understand (if they understand at all), and they perpetuate their own story from there. Of all the comparison tests out there, where the liquid cooler wins, there’s people who read “liquid cooling (in all its forms) is better than air cooling (in all its forms)”.

When so many of these things are titled and labelled “air cooling vs liquid cooling”, who can blame them? That’s what you said, right? And the liquid cooler(s) won? Then liquid cooling is better. Hey wait… it’s not better. Wait, what do you mean you weren’t talking about all liquid coolers anywhere and everywhere?

So anyways, I was sitting in my room in front of my computer, complaining to my good friend Laxeris that it was too hot to lay in bed and do nothing, too hot to think, and too hot to play videogames, when he stated the extremely curious idea that liquid cooling is better than air cooling… for the sole reason that it has liquid in it.

Which is absolutely fucking wrong. But how was he supposed to know? I only happen to know because I took classes on thermodynamics and more broadly engineering classes that helped me look at the physics/systems behind the specifics. His knowledge goes as far as the average person’s i.e. journalist’s understanding takes him.

And what do the journalists say?

EK Water Blocks (liquid cooling manufacturer)
      “Air Cooling vs. Liquid Cooling”
NZXT (computer case/accessories manufacturer)
      “Should You Cool a CPU with Air or Liquid”
PCWorld (magazine about computers)
      “Liquid cooling vs. traditional cooling: What you need to know”
Tom’s Hardware (online magazine about computers)
      “How to Choose a CPU Cooler”
Corsair (computer peripherals company)
      “Liquid Cooling vs. Air Cooling: Which Performs Better?”

These are the top five non-video results from Google searching ‘ air vs liquid cooling ‘.

On the topic of the fundamental idea, the driving physics behind the reason these ideas exist to begin with, throwing any particular implementations aside, this is what I got from each of the results on air cooling vs liquid cooling:

EK Water Blocks:
      “Liquids and solid materials are better conductors of heat.
      ” […] water transfers heat much more efficiently than air.
      “[…] fans aren’t as efficient as water cooling […]”
Tom’s Hardware:
      (no comment on comparison between physics)
      (no comment on physics at all)

Excluding the 4th and 5th results, the latter of which is “just” playing the SEO game at the cost of coherency for the English language, the first three claim liquid cooling is more efficient than air cooling because ‘liquid is a better conductor of heat’. Which is correct. Liquid is indeed a better conductor/transferrer of heat than air.

But do people know what that means?

Here’s an extremely simplified thermodynamics lesson, without symbols and without math, and it’ll still be better than all the “look at all these pretty parts from our associates you might want to buy” garbage.

The two laws of thermodynamics that are of interest to us are, simplified:

  1. If two non-isolated items have the same temperature, no heat is exchanged.
  2. Energy is never created or destroyed.

In the zeroeth law, “isolation” means it’s in a vacuum and not touching anything. Such a thing does not exist in the scope of our analysis of a computer; everything is connected at least by air. ” The first law is clear enough after the clarification that heat is a type of energy, basically saying that if something is hot it’s not about to be cool unless it dumps its heat onto something cooler. According to Wikipedia it’s also the first law states that heat only (naturally) passes from hot to cold… I always thought that followed from the zeroeth, but it’s also in common sense.

Understanding the concept of heat capacity is also helpful: it’s the amount of heat that can be dumped into something before it changes a certain amount of temperature. Example, water has high heat capacity and air low: with any given heat source, air will rise in temperature faster than water ‘because it has less capacity for heat’.

Beyond that… heat transfer between solid-solid and solid-liquid is better than solid-gas.

And that’s all you need to know.

So how do air cooling and liquid cooling work?

Air cooling: You have a part under load. A heatsink is directly attached to the part, and a fan is directly attached to the heatsink.

  1. Heat moves from part to heatsink.
  2. Heat moves from heatsink to air, fan speeds that up.
  3. We stop analyzation of the system at the air in your room.

Liquid cooling: You have a part under load. You have a loop of liquid with a coldplate at one end, a radiator at the other, and a pump somewhere inbetween.

  1. Heat moves from the part to coldplate.
  2. Liquid moves to radiator, pump speeds that up.
  3. Heat moves from liquid to radiator.
  4. Heat moves from radiator to air, fans speed that up.
  5. We stop analyzation of the system at the air in your room.

That’s right: “liquid cooling” is actually liquid and air cooling. There are a few other super fancy and exorbitantly expensive ways you could potentially do it, but look at any standard consumer liquid cooling system, and you’ll find a fan on it somewhere. That’s because the air as the final “heatsink” is cheap. Air is, as far as human activity is concerned, everywhere, and, as far as mechanations are concerned, basically always cold. So that’s where they dump their heat in the end.

The original question I was debating with Laxeris was whether or not a liquid cooled system would keep the room a computer is in cooler, which somehow also also got into whether or not a liquid cooled system would keep the computer itself cooler. His position is that both the room and the computer would be cooler.

If we assume that everything about the system is completely identical except for the existence of a liquid system, then a liquid and air cooled system will reach the exact same temperatures and exact same effects for the sole reason that the origin point and the endpoint are the same.

Heat is generated by the computer/part at the start, and heat is dumped into the air in the end. Liquid in the middle doesn’t make that heat disappear, it just means some heat can build up there because there happens to be stuff in the middle, “some heat” being “however much heat capacity it has until it reaches the same temperature as the part”. Its supposed efficiency over air, i.e. solid-liquid vs solid-gas, doesn’t matter because its final steps are exactly the same bottleneck, i.e. solid-gas. It’s not as if you have a river in your room and you stuck the radiator/heatsink in that. If you did then yes, all the logic stacks up, it’s a true liquid cooled system, one which has the same 3 steps instead of 5, and it is accurate to say it is superior “because liquid transfers heat better than air”. And it would be. You wouldn’t need to test it to be confident it had superior results.

But unless you have that river, or a gigantic lake, you’re going to run into the same problems in the end, because the end is the same: you’re still dumping heat, from a solid to a gas, in the same way as air-cooling. Better than liquid cooling is solid cooling; let’s put a giant metal block inbetween the part and the heatsink instead. Actually… since it’s the same anyways, why not just put the heatsink directly on top of the part?

Because that’s air cooling.

Not that any of these top results of self-purported “explanations” would tell you that. If anything what they say is deliberately misleading. It’s not apples to apples. Sure solid-to-gas is less efficient than solid-to-liquid. But if that’s true, why does your liquid system end with a fan? It feels like they’re reciting something they heard more than anything else.

Except the EK Water Blocks guys. Those guys knew exactly what they were doing.

“In comparison to air, liquid cooling is 2-10 times more effective in transporting heat away from a source to a secondary cooling surface”

“Secondary cooling surface”? Air-cooled systems don’t have a secondary surface. It’s heatsink to air and you’re done. This supposed air cooling system that they’re saying liquid is 2-10 times better than is a system which has the computer heat up air, air which then piped to a heatsink (the “secondary cooling surface”)… which presumably also dumps its heat with a fan into the outside air.

So basically, a liquid cooling system except the tubes are empty.

Or a computer inside a fridge.

What the fuck am I reading? Is this a serious publication by a manufacturing company? They’re inventing fictional competition which would absolutely never exist to promote their product technology?

That’s the other thing which floors me. It’s one thing that Laxeris and similar aren’t educated or aren’t interested past “just tell me which one keeps my temperatures lower and i’ll decide if the cost and hassle is worth it” and misremember things they don’t understand. It’s another thing entirely that people that do know what’s going on lie, hide, and pretend. Or are unimaginably stupid, but Hanlon’s Razor is for idiots.

This is the “explanation” between the two systems by PCWorld. A bunch of words. If you’d never really looked at liquid cooling before, you’d be fooled by this journalist into thinking that a “radiator” is something that’s fundamentally different from a “fans” and “a big […] heat sink”. Quoted earlier in this post and appearing later in that article, he says “fans aren’t as efficient as water cooling“. You think he doesn’t know that liquid cooling systems have fans on them?

After not bothering with Laxeris on the topic anymore because it was going in circles, I thought about why liquid cooling for computers exists at all. I could figure out why they existed for cars; engine blocks are huge and complicated and air can’t properly cool them, but with cases designing in cable management these days that’s not a problem…

I eventually decided that it was because one of my initial premises was not true: liquid cooled systems aren’t simply the same as air-cooled systems with a loop of liquid inbetween. They do have a fundamental advantage, not in that they use “liquid cooling is 2-10 times more” nonsense, but because they are flexible heat pipes that can allow remote and thus larger heatsinks. Look at actual liquid cooling products, their “radiators” are almost all gigantic pans, significantly larger than any heatsink you can mount on any component (There are some which aren’t, and I’ll bet those are strictly worse than air-coolers). There are more details than the cartoon model/diagram, like the existence of the computer case, and given that there’s no huge fundamental difference between air and liquid cooling, it’s these smaller differences which set them apart. The inside of a computer is only so large, but the outside of a computer is larger, and if you want to jury rig a clothes rack outside to support a bunch of radiators and fans, the flexibility of piping liquid makes that possible. Theoretically you could do it with solid metal blocks or heat piping, but they’re not flexible, and they’re exorbitantly expensive in comparison to some plastic tubes. Effectively, without liquid cooling, you must have heatsinks which fit inside a computer case (caseless is bad, trust me on this).

So the real reason, tl;dr, why liquid cooling would be fundamentally better than air?

“Our heatsinks are bigger”.

But that doesn’t sound as cool as “liquid cooling is 2-10 times more effective”.

One would think that such statements would instantly make people question why air coolers aren’t ancient history if a 200~1000% gap exists, but I suppose not. People will believe such a thing, then continue by the tens or hundreds of thousands to read and watch head-to-head comparison tests on this liquid cooler vs that air cooler, with differences coming down to 1~3°C. We need to test it man! It’s the scientific method! If it’s better by 1° then it’s better! And it’d be better because it’s just inherently more effective!

I mean, I suppose it’s not wrong. Liquid cooling is more efficient than air, all things being equal. Which they aren’t. But given so-and-so test results, it does appear that this liquid cooler is better than that air cooler. And it was a fun video. So I’ll buy the liquid cooler, giving that company some business. And I’ll remember to like, comment, and subscribe, giving these YouTubers some business. I’ll receive the liquid cooler in the mail in a few days, making the temperature monitors show lower temperatures, and most importantly of all, I’ll feel satisfied about my purchase, all the interactions which led to it, and that one science-y sounding bit explaining these results, and science is cool, so science is what I’ll tell all my friends: “liquid cooling is 2-10 times more effective.

I don’t know the textbook example of marketing success, but I imagine this would be it:

“Everyone involved goes home happy having gained more “value” in their lives.”

Everyone, except me.

I feel like I should know a bit about how things work, and I feel that things like these show that there’s a lot of lying going on unseen in the world. I was able to identify this one after quite some work, but what about the ones I can’t identify? Or have failed to identify? How do I defend against things which I not only don’t know of, but don’t know the nature of? I could tell that a fan advertising itself as “25% Quieter” without saying what it was compared to is meaningless. But now I’m not so sure that fans which list their exact noise value in decibels mean much either. Do they have a different definition of “decibel“?

I’m not happy about that. I did not gain any “value” from having thought this problem through. More than a market for lemons, it’s a world for lemons. If I had to use vocabulary I’m not used to to refer to things I’m not familiar with: Is this the cost of refusing postmodernism?

But in the end, we all know what they say about the constant through all your problems:

so maybe, just maybe,

or maybe absolutely certainly,

I’m the one who doesn’t get it.

Vector of Truth vs Vector of History

A long time ago for a reason I don’t remember, I was watching a Q&A session with developers of a videogame I didn’t play. The game was World of Warcraft, the session was at BlizzCon, the questioner was some guy and the answerer was the lead producer. Or developer. Some title that was a “lead” but not a “writer”. I remember having played AION at this point so it must’ve been 2009/2010, i.e. pretty close to the peak of the days of MMORPGs. Or in other words, the start of their decline. And World of Warcraft was the biggest one in subscriber count, in world size, in game depth, in all primary respects.

The guy asked some question about how the recent update made sense, given that some prior lore established by these minor characters in this quest somewhere said something. Took quite a while for him to explain things. Very serious business. His rhetorical skill didn’t quite get there, but from what he said it sounded like something that could potentially overturn the entire canon. At least a few few of the guys near the mic stand looked like if they hadn’t come with it themselves, they were considering it seriously now.

There were two guys sitting on stage, some head honcho money-guy and our lead. After a short pause, our lead answered the question. I don’t remember if any of the guys around the mic were satisfied, or if the camera even panned back to show the reaction.

I do remember what happened between the two representatives of Blizzard right before the answer. A quiet signal between themselves, to signal who’d lean into their mic to answer the audience. This was back in the days before the prevalence of 720p, the camera wasn’t zoomed in, and it was only there for a moment, in and out in a flash. But I caught it. Any human who was even remotely watching would’ve caught it.

It was a chuckle.

I woke up today and checked my usual internet feeds to see that /v/ had a sticky. That’s not something that happens every day, what’s in it? The line “It’s dead, jim.”, and a link to some guy’s blog. The link is some pseudo-fanfiction where all the names were changed around for some reason, which I didn’t read beyond figuring out it was written from the perspective of the real character which I knew the name of, from a game I’d never played, but knew enough about to get the gist of things. So I went to my other feed and asked, “didn’t everyone know it was dead? who’s this guy and why does he matter?”.

Turns out that this Marc Laidlaw guy was a lead writer, and the meaning of the existence of this “fanfiction” was that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 was dead.

Half Life 2 was released in Nov 2004. Half Life 2: Episode One (a sequel) was released Jun 2006, and the most recent one, Half Life 2: Episode Two, was released Oct 2007. But that sticky still got a ton of posts and the rest of the catalog is filled with threads about it.

/v/ is a place which prides itself on realism. With a few exceptions, positivity about anything is regarded as shilling/marketing. It’s seen through No Man’s Sky, Might No. 9, Star Citizen, and a lot of big names hyped by all the big journalists which turned out to be a whole bunch of nothing. Kickstarters are all bad, Early Access are all bad, anything by this guy or that company are all bad, basically everything is bad unless said otherwise – and they can back it up with a seemingly endless number of examples. And yet, even after the perhaps unprecedentedly realistic crowd reaction to Valve’s announcement of their new digital card game, many people still thought that HL3 was going to be a thing.

10 years of back-to-back constant watching and participating in other peoples’ dreams being crushed wasn’t enough to convince some that they weren’t special.

Or maybe something else is going on here.

Linkedin is Signalling Hell

I fundamentally do not like Linkedin.

I don’t like Twitter, but not in the same way. OWS and BLM and the SJWs with their hierarchies of oppression – the primary people who flock to and are produced by this system (as far as English is concerned; Japanese it’s entirely different) – these are really simple power games whose mechanics are transparent as long as you don’t buy into the content, and probably still at least somewhat clear if you do. There’s a method of resolving things which is inherent to these groups/systems, reliable enough so that you can predict approximately what they’re going to do given something. Facebook or YouTube comments are usually less extreme but have that same structure. I don’t care to read what any of these groups have to say, but supposing I was to read them, I could read them. I can simulate their frame of reference, I understand approximately what’s going on; enough of the important possibilities are settled such that I could extract meaning from my time reading them, however many brain cells it would cost me to do it.

On the contrary, I feel like I can’t understand anything that’s going on in Linkedin. It’s like an infinite number of 5-star Amazon Vine reviews about anything anyone has ever done in the real world. Every post, every comment, every review, every line of text anywhere on the site has been crafted for the maximum amount of mediocre positivity. On Twitter I am disgusted, and I know why I’m disgusted. On Linkedin I am disgusted, and that feeling is the only thing which doesn’t feel foreign. Whatever level of status signalling SJWs are at, clearly they’re not the big leagues, because however bad I might be at replicating or competing with it, I can tell SJWs on Twitter are signalling.

Linkedin is about signalling. Somehow. But no one there passes the Turing test.

The most important thing is it’s really clear that where people exist at all, they basically don’t interact with things. Go on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and compare the like-to-comment ratio on posts. “Like” is what people use to demonstrate they’ve seen it, and “Comment” is what people use to demonstrate interest. You’ll find that the ratio for Linkedin is by far the highest, i.e., that most people don’t actually care. Which is incentivized by the way it’s laid out: a Linkedin feed, where it shows posts at all, cuts a post off at three lines before a “read more”. Why? Why are the pictures so big? The comments, when a post actually gets comments, is just a number. Every other system has them default expanded, why here are they default to hidden? Then, supposing you somehow find someone interesting in this environment, and you go to their profile, it’s static. Constant. 90% of the visual space is old news, only 10% shows their activity.

This is flipped for organizations, where all their activity appears as an infinite feed without any additional actions. What is this system saying it prefers? People going to organizations, and that’s it. What does it mean for interactions between people? Well, imagine if comments were default hidden on Facebook. I’m not so familiar with Twitter but there’s no hashtags on Linkedin; not ones that operate in the same manner. Linkedin has predefined categories of “topics” beforehand and they say they give you trending posts on those topics… but you have no idea what the other posts are that it’s trending in relation towards. You can find out with 1 click on Twitter what the posts on the trending topics are, and the column for it is ~25% of visual space on the home page. I’ve no idea where I would look up other things on the same topic on Linkedin. I am subscribed to “Leadership & Management” some apparently officially curated feed called Linkedin Pulse, and I was unable to find a way to that page by any internal organic linkage. I had to go to Google. And if I have to go to Google, your site is broken.

With this backdrop you look at the big companies’ pages and the official curated topics, you see the most popular representation, the statistical mode, of what kind of people this system attracts and/or creates… and it’s an audience that’s blander than what a second grader could come up with for what a crowd sound like at a baseball game. Occasionally a comment says something more than just “Congratulations” and “Amazing” maybe 8% of the the time, but they almost always use some grandiose way of saying things laden with jargon. Which could be fine, maybe it means something and goes somewhere, and the rest of us are just the uncultured masses, but by the responses of their peers commenting on the same topic, they’re clearly not. One hop over to any StackExchange and the difference will be clear. The comments on Linkedin do not respond to each other. Linkedin has a tagging system where in a comment you can pull in one of your friends to come look, but that’s just as rare. You’d expect on a reveal of a new hip thing people can buy it might ever so slightly slip over to looking like Facebook where a bunch of comments are just taggings of friends, but no. Doesn’t happen.

These things aren’t errors. They’re by design. It’s not just because “oh they’re new they haven’t quite figured things out yet” either, Linkedin’s older than any of the other guys; they’ve been around since 2002. And all of it’s worse than a simple html vBulletin (ref: 2000), a forum standard, which social networks are theoretically supposed to replace. For whatever reason when I visit forums through Google it usually dumps me on the version as close to simple text as possible, and often enough I’ll see a conversation that happened, something useful was produced, which even though that’s what I searched and came for, I’ll wish I was there to participate. Maybe with another mind the idea could’ve been developed it a bit further. Or in a different way entirely. That could happen on Facebook et. all, if the infinite scrolling cancer weren’t around and the profiles aren’t private. But it basically won’t happen for Linkedin. A visitor isn’t going to wish he participated, feel that there’s a community there he could’ve been and maybe still could be a part of, because the fucking residents themselves didn’t bother.

Put all the stuff together and on Linkedin, we have:

People who don’t interact with each other, only (visibly) interact (which is what matters in a social environment) with large companies, with comments that are almost always along the lines of “Congratulations”.

And that’s the end of all there is to the available interaction.

They’re signalling ridiculously like Twitter SJWs, but unlike Twitter SJWs, they don’t respond to each others’ signals. At least there’s potentially some sort of intrigue behind the development of, say, the progressive stack, as stupid as it is, because it’s clear a number of the guys are telling this story and a number of other guys are listening and if not believing it then at least following along. What’s going on when one guy says “Underpin the future of technology”, another guy says “Game changer is now here”, every other comment ends in a [ ! ], and no one builds on what anyone else says?

IS there something going on?

On Twitter there’s almost always, and at least from this outsider’s perspective, it almost seems like there are people just sitting in a quiet room waiting on some big-time tweeter to say something just a bit wrong so they can jump in and scoop a large audience. Facebook comments and YouTube comments work similar ways, though depending on the topic the kind of scoop changes. It’s a little exciting. Who knows what fun things are going to show up tomorrow? And who knows if you or anyone else will have anything witty to say or constructive to add to it? Maybe you’ll write the response that gets the big numbers! That’s part of the appeal of social networks and how, in general it seems, groups perpetuate their own existence. Even on 4chan where all users are anonymous, people want to collect those replies, those (You)s, for a good OC or a timely pasta.

Who the fuck cares about clicking Like, much less writing yet another comment of praise for a big company with another bi-weekly post conjured up by a PR committee about how they’re yet again breaking ground, leading the industry in innovation, and humanity in the frontier of cutting-edge progress with this latest creation of passion and inspiration? It’s one thing to be paid to serve as non-bots to help pretend a press release is actually a community announcement and reaction. It’s another to pay to do that thing.

Is that the point of Linkedin?

“Well that’s part of being professional.”

Well then it’s clear professionalism sucks. Like, as a self-evident truth, which everyone agrees on, just look at the actual activity patterns. That being said I’m not sure Linkedin is equivalent and interchangeable with being professional; obviously they would like everyone to believe it is, but I’m not so sure about that. I haven’t done that here anyways.

For sure Linkedin sucks.

This is before all the other stuff about selling your data, which, now that I think about it, seems to be correlated to all these “leaks” and “hacks” from all these companies with the complete nonsense justifications, like passwords being stored in plaintext.

Plausible deniability; thank god people buy Hanlon. God damn Hanlon.

But anyways, if it is true, then professionalism sucks too.

“For me, I fucking hate how immediately everyone publicly denounces him via vague tweets.

If it’s true, and this is some open-secret thing that everyone’s letting on, then why the FUCK are Griffin and co only coming out NOW? That makes them look gross. This will make Grffin’s shit + Bombcast super hard to listen to because it will make me question their entire integrity.

If it’s false or blown way out of proportion, then why fucking disown the guy? If this is the case, then Griff+Bombcast will be impossible to listen to because I’ll assume them to be opportunistic.

And I just fucking know that no one will even address this shit on their podcasts. Just fucking tweet it out and say NO, DON’T TALK ABOUT IT THO, like what the fuck? It’s legitimately disgusting behaviour.”

Communication vs Conveyance

What does it mean to have communicated or understood something?

Is such a question even important?

Altera: Ahh... When will I awaken from this dream?

The images in this post reveal the primary plot driver of Fate/Extella.

Conveyc. 1300, to go along with;” late 14c., “to carry, transport;” from Anglo-French conveier, from Old French convoier “to escort” (Modern French convoyer), from Vulgar Latin *conviare “to accompany on the way,” from Latin com “with, together” (see com-) + via “way, road” (see via). It was a euphemism for “steal” 15c.-17c., which helped broaden its meaning. Related: Conveyed; conveying.

Of all the generic interview questions, the one I hate the most is “Tell me about yourself”. I’m fluent in English, but I’m not quite fluent in conjuring a response to these words. Is the purpose to get an audio summary of what everyone already knows is on the resume? Is it to see how I’d respond to an open ended question? Any possible answer I’ve come up with I feel there are better alternatives. My visceral response to the question every time it comes up is “This is a stupid question”. That’s not what comes out of my mouth in an interview, but is that communicated through anyways? Even if the interviewer doesn’t consciously understand it, can that sentiment be read through whatever I actually say?

If they ask “Tell me why you’re the best candidate for the job” and I say “Sorry, I can’t do such a thing without having seen the qualifications and personalities of the other candidates for myself”, will the humility and empathy get through? Or will only the cheekiness and lack of respect for authority, and a demonstration of failure to fulfill objectives in favor of laziness and some smug sense of superiority?

There’s things a person simply won’t pick up on. Having different political opinions is the easy example, introverted vs extroverted or similar personality differences are the slightly harder example; these sorts of things are knowns, and then there are unknowns, of no lesser strengths. People will vehemently reject this or that, before or even without becoming aware that such a thing is happening. If the other person is a different skin color, speaks a different language, or wears different clothes, then the reason is assigned easily after-the-fact, but if they don’t, then it’s said to be due to bad personality traits or group associations.

Which has its uses, to be sure. The purpose of knowledge is judgment, if someone is dangerous you want to know sooner rather than later, and, though subdued for most other decisions, that urgency is the same push behind all judgement, and therefore, understanding. Any other push for understanding can’t be stronger than the one powered by survival instinct (unless for whatever reason the instinct is deficient). It’s not so important that one is aware of why the other guy is dangerous, as it is acting on the decision that the other guy is dangerous. It’s not so important that one is aware of why one believes the other guy is untrustworthy… and so on. Especially when one considers how much time it takes to actually become aware of things and think things through on a level that can be written down. When these automatic judgments are right, then there’s no problem, and when they’re wrong, they’re too costly to bother fixing. Easier to agree to disagree, whether it be verbally “Let’s agree to disagree” or taking an extra turn at buying donuts, because otherwise it’s at least a few hours of everyone’s time, and aint nobody got time fo dat. Donuts plus a word starting with “S” is usually sufficient, unless it’s stealing or murder, in which case an entire class of rich people have all the time in the world, except it’s still not for that.

By all means these are not “logical”. But they get the intent across.

If understanding is not done because it is not financially or realistically viable, then communication is effectively about how to sing songs in another language. It’s about how to hit all the tones and inflections, correctly angles of chests and palms, all the things which “speak to us” as genetically similar descendants of a species, rather than anything to do with “content”. Not that content is completely meaningless, strong heartstring-pulling words mean more than logic, and logic means more than evidence, evidence means more than how it was obtained or checked, etc. etc. etc. all of them, 80/20, each step of the way.

It’s idyllicaly stated that “A good speaker is a good listener”, I don’t think this is true at all; I’m pretty sure a good communicator is 80% signalling. Similarly, a good listener is also 80% signalling. If we assume that the words “communicate” and “understand” refer to things that the majority of people actually do in the majority of situations, these are the approximate proportions and descriptions borne out by reality. Any “true” version of either “with a capital [letter]” is niche ideal nonsense at worst and still completely different from the norm at best.

But, because the writing population does spend a lot of time among words and logic, and because the probability of finding a “compatible” speaker or listener is not zero, when communication and understanding through words do happen they are treasured and remembered over all the other instances of it leading nowhere.

And so we read and learn that getting an idea across is about things which it isn’t.

Altera: Now, ba-boom! Wow, what a beautiful waterfall. This must be what Kings dream about!

“There is a saying in business.

>”Suckers try to be right. Non-suckers try to win”

They don’t care about being right. Even if they get everything wrong, they will have more friends, game and social security than you. Do you think that birds will suddenly fall to the ground because they don’t understand the physics of aerodynamics? They don’t need to know why they are successful. They just will be because their system labels them so.

This system, “/ic/”, what does it labels you as?”

“”The most important part about art is expressing yourself” – Pablo Picasso

According to one of the most renowned artists in history, expressing yourself is more important than grinding boxes and fundies. Is this why so many people here never make it and are instead stuck in a miserable shitposting loop?”

“unbeknownst to picasso the human personality is always expressing itself to the best of its capability

when he was bound by ‘technicalities’ he was expressing his anxiety

when he was being a useless hack he was expressing his flamboyance

when you consider all the ‘box drawing shitposters,’ can you figure out what they are expressing?”

“Fuck you Picasso.

The most important part about art is managing to make a living with it.
It’s also the ugliest part.”

Altera: I can't get myself out, so there's no point in trying. And so...
Altera: ...Well, it can't be any other way.

Communicate1520s, “to impart” (information, etc.), from Latin communicatus, past participle of communicare “to share, communicate, impart, inform,” literally “to make common,” related to communis “common, public, general” (see common (adj.)). Meaning “to share, transmit” (diseases, etc.) is from 1530s. Related: Communicated; communicating.

“Isn’t” – I say this as shorthand for “basically isn’t” because I can’t possibly be bothered to explain the 80/20, the letter versus the spirit, the absolute versus the general, before every single use. Sometimes I say “zero” to mean “actually zero”, other times to mean “basically zero”. In general inaccurate word choice doesn’t break the intent, but every once in a while, and usually for more important things than not, choices must be critically correct.

A stranger helped me get past the mental rut I was in with drawing. Nothing they said was particularly new or groundbreaking, and I’d had some semblence of the idea myself for a while before meeting this person, but I didn’t do it because reasons, reasons which they largely ignored because it wasn’t important. The reasons I could vocalize were insignificant or even contradicting the reasons I couldn’t, and, like in most cases, the latter was the driver. The stranger understood the problem I was having, and ignored most of my words in favor of saying that which would actually solve the issue. If I had gone on in essay format, they would’ve ignored 80% of my points. They picked up the important 20% quick, were critically correct multiple times on end, and leaving me with the sentence or two I’d been suspecting the whole time but was covering up with words words words words words, and believing the direction they pointed in was correct. Or alternatively: I had the right idea in the wrong frame, and they provided a better frame.

But that’s generally not how it works.

I’d had some other troubles with drawing and drawing philosophy before and almost every step of the way there’d be a “okay you can stop there, I’ve diagnosed the problem” rebuttal. So much so that I can start imagining them before they appear. An example of my disagreements:

“/ic/ told me to follow Loomis. But Loomis is overrated crap. He’s not wrong, but he’s not great. Just looking at what he proportions out as “the ideal woman” it’s clearly not pretty. He says draw skulls one way, and then draws them a different way. The way I draw now might have some similarities to Loomis, but it’s more because they felt right than because it’s what Loomis said.”

Example of potential levels of rebuttals, nonexhaustive, from broad to specific:

  • >following advice from the internet
  • >following advice from 4chan / anonymous posters
  • >implying /ic/ is one person
  • >getting memed by the sticky
  • actually Loomis is from the era of average = ideal so he’s not overrated
  • post your work
  • well you read Loomis and you draw like Loomis, so Loomis. praise Loomis!
  • mad cuz bad

Rewording for a more widespread issue:

“My parents, teachers, and the media told me to get a STEM degree. But STEM degrees are overrated crap. They’re not terrible, but they’re not great. Just looking at how many actual [countrymen] get jobs as opposed to [foreigners on worker visas] it’s clearly not pretty. They say when they went to college they paid for everything with a summer part-time job and got a real job just by walking on a lot and giving a firm handshake, look at what it takes now. I have a STEM degree, but looking at everything now, I really wish I didn’t.”

Examples of potential levels of rebuttal:

  • Any idea that originates from this place is bad (nothing you say is trustworthy)
  • Your story doesn’t disprove the statistics (the experts overrule you)
  • Worked for me (i overrule you)
  • You just hate different people (i.e. tangent into some other topic / politics)
  • You’re just lazy / stupid / (some other personality deficit)

For all these other responses, what is one to say?

Is it really a communication mistake or an understanding error? Is there any value at all at being right on one thing or wrong on another if everyone’s signalling past each other?

If you know what kind of audience you are looking to talk to, i.e. what kind of “brand” you want to build, then you can just hammer the same thing over and over again for some of that sweet sweet survivorship bias. If you just want to feel good about yourself then you just talk about whatever you’re most confident on or know the most about, then pull out the rhetorical tricks if you’re losing somehow.

If none of that applies – what then?

When I started out my post on BART, it was because I was pissed off that I had to hide my old knife under some bush after being told I couldn’t bring it into the building and finding coin lockers did not exist (and a second item I did not successfully retrieve). After coming home I thought I’d put together some imagery comparing what life looks like around Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Tampa – three regions where I either had or could easily obtain photos of and knew what to talk about, since I’d been there in recent memory and had read up on a bunch of stuff relating to urban planning. Ended up only tangentially talking about urban planning, barely on the coin locker issue, and not at all about Tampa, because the more I wrote the more I saw something even more infuriating than the ugliness of cars and land use designed around cars, namely, the mentality behind the design and defenses of the American system. Robert Stark later interviewed me not on what I wrote but on BART and SF Bay land usage, to which I prepared ~5000 words in text and proceeded to use almost none of it.

So after gone through this topic three and a half times in very different ways I get pingback from a forum on a site called where the first comments summarize my post as “‘America sucks because it’s not Hong Kong’, maybe he should move there then” and “this guy doesn’t know how to communicate and talks about killing himself, why are we listening to him”.

I mean… sure. These aren’t that far off the mark. There’s quite a few more negative things that could be said about me, if they wanted. But I can’t really care to argue about it, because it feels like I already have, and because it’s pretty clear, at least among those sentiments, there’s nothing that more words can solve. On the actual discussion too, there’s not much more I have to input: whether this city should take this decision or that agency should take that decision I don’t know. My opinion and knowledge don’t go that far. I’m aware about how much time is spent in cars and waiting in lines while in cars, I’ve seen how much better it could possibly be, and that’s about it. Maybe some disillusionment about how much can actually be done to change how systems work in America, and preference for saving time over having space. I’m not all that educated on the topic. I just wrote because I had material and I was mad.

Granted, this was a pretty unique case. I commented on a blog, and someone else who runs a podcast found me through that blog, and yet another someone else who listens to that podcast posted that podcast and my post to a forum, so clearly there was going to be some sort of audience/culture/style disconnect.

But even on the few topics which I am experienced in and can string together coherent paragraphs on and with people I spend time with it’s the same fuckin deal. Tweak some percentages on types of responses, even go ahead and switch all negatives to positive if you like; the picture will remain the same:

No one responds to what I’m trying to convey.

I mean, maybe it is just me. Maybe I’m the only idiot. Maybe I think in words too much and don’t realize or even consider why people are even around and what they want to get out of their dropping or pitching into any given conversation.

But how is one to think if not with words?

What important things could there be other than being right and true?

2017 July (Perfectionism)

I don’t really have anything to show this month.

Spent all the hours instead on watching anime, playing videogames, and appreciating all their flaws.

Coming from having only schooling and testing and going to 4chan’s /a/, /v/, and more recently /ic/, I’ve only ever looked for how things are wrong. These are all places that pride themselves on having high quality insights and tastes, and it’s enforced: the smallest thing can bring you down. In school an insignificant trivia point can be the difference between one letter grade and another, a feature of the system that only becomes more prominent as you go from 10 questions on a test, 1 test a week, for ~30 weeks, that count for 33% of your grade in public school, to college, where there’s 4 questions on a test, 2 tests ever, and count for everything. On 4chan it doesn’t matter how popular or appealing anything is, there’s something wrong with it. And if there is something wrong with it, no matter how prominent that thing actually is, it’ll be given the spotlight over everything else, and anyone who disagrees has “shit taste”.

It’s with this sort of mindset that I approached drawing. For the anatomy grinding that I was doing, it served its purpose well. There really was always some other little thing to work on. But, just like how my good grades in class prevented me from thinking about communication and life skills, my grinding relieved me from worrying about my complete lack of ability to put together anything the common man would be interested in looking at. /ic/ always criticized how these proportions were unrealistic or that muscle insertion was wrong – I wanted my works to be free from the types of criticisms that I saw. In the process I “lost” the larger picture and didn’t see that I wasn’t making any works at all.

“Lost” because I vaguely know what it should be, but haven’t had it myself for a very long time.

I started drawing a couple of years ago because I had just graduated college with muh stem degree, couldn’t get a job, and after half a year wanted to have something to show for with my life. I didn’t actually start off grinding feminine body parts, that only happened after visiting /ic/. They had resources on how to draw figures and not much else, a lot of its discussion revolved around anatomy correctness, and I didn’t really know where to start or what to do. I had my own specific disagreements, but the scope of thought was basically the same: I didn’t pay any attention to anything except line drawings focused on anatomical correctness. Coming out of college having no more classes to study for, my bar of productivity was simply “do something that amounts to more than a winrate in a videogame”.

Drawing was “something to do”. Not “something I want to do”. Like probably many other young men it was a great attraction to be able to create my own fap material to specifically cater to my own tastes, but other than that, I didn’t “want” to draw. I didn’t have anything I “wanted” to draw. I needed “something to do”, something that was “productive”, and something “that could be successful”… and drawing fit the bill. Or I should say: I made drawing fit the bill.

It doesn’t fit the bill anymore.

But the bill was wrong too.

I wanted to “succeed” at drawing: specifially, I wanted to “not fail” at drawing, failing being anything that either looks bad or is anatomically incorrect. The idea of failure and success motivated me more than any idea of being able to create beautiful women with my own hands. As long as I kept putting in the hours, as long as those hours showed some improvement, as long as they didn’t fail… it was okay. “Okay” – i.e., “not a failure”.

The moment I start really thinking about something I’m doing it becomes a matter of success or failure. School wasn’t about this or that subject, it was about the grade; making art wasn’t about fun and viewing art wasn’t about appeal, it was about realism. To a lesser extent anime and videogames too, but all the same: something is only good when it overwhelms and leaves me with absolutely nothing to say. Having some modicum of intelligence and being trained to complain, this leaves me with “good taste”. But it also cripples me from doing or exploring. What I spend time with needs to “not fail” in the ten thousand ways i invariably and passively come up with.

I’ve been trying to remedy that by spending a lot of time with things I’d normally call “average” or “sub-par”, and things I’d normally not care about. There’s some truth to the criticism rebuttal of “well you do better then” and this is what I think that truth is. There’s the timeless masterpieces, there’s the lacking me, and there’s all the completed moderate quality works inbetween. The flaws in masterpieces are too obvious because of the contrast, the flaws in garbage are too obvious because there’s nothing else to look at, but for average “pretty good” no-name things I’ll probably forget soon enough, there’s no real concept of failure or success. Here’s a piece of entertainment, which people put many hours into making, with its own successes and failures, and it doesn’t really matter in the end because no one’s heard of it and no one will really remember it.

Recently I read a manga called “Gunsmith Cats”. I wouldn’t say it was a waste of my time. It wasn’t amazing either. It wasn’t my favorite style of art but it did its job. It was basically a slice of life with mostly static main characters, one of which i had trouble remembering the name of even at the end. But it was enjoyable. It was fun. And it must’ve been at least okay because the series ran for about 6 years. And for all of the things it did right and things it did wrong it doesn’t matter because no one mentions it either way these days and it’s been 20 years since it finished. “It has its good points and it has its bad points”. It was a thing. And that’s all there was to it.

This sort of idea seems like it should be self-evident to someone who cranks out a hundred iterations of anything in a week and has trouble remembering what happened two days ago, but there’s clearly some domain dependence thing going on. It’s not that I don’t “know” that it doesn’t matter what I do. It’s not that I don’t “know” that no one starts off perfect and even masters don’t make great things all the time. But I forget or ignore it when the time comes, and it only ever really matters what you can think of in time.

I took a couple of stabs at it.

A guy called Robert Stark who runs a podcast-show interviewed me on my BART/suburbia complaints. I didn’t think I had much to say or was at all a good choice for a show, but I gave it a shot.

In the few pages I did fill this month I thought one of the things looked nice and wanted to make it a bit bigger, with a few more details and some values. So I did that.

Will I care about the quality of these even three months from now? I don’t care much about the whole “the internet is forever, the media will dig everything bad on you in the future” thing, so discounting that – the answer is no.

But remembering and believing that is another story.

A story I’m not sure can be taught or learned through words.