You Can Quote Me On That: Short Bits From My Old Blog

  • Portrait Gallery [2]»
    • These are the people in my neighborhood: Allison II (71 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      Front stoop of my apartment, day after Thanksgiving, 11/25/05

      As I was arriving home, my eccentric neighbor Allison was just leaving her building.

      Allison: [waves at me]

      Me: Oh, hey, how ya doing?

      Allison: Good. How 'bout you?

      Me: Good!

      Allison & me: [awkward pause while I hunt for something else to say.]

      Allison: Thank you!

      Me: [pause] uh... you're welcome!

      Allison: Thanksgiving, and all.

      posted in Portrait Gallery

    • These are the people in my neighborhood: Allison (187 words) Fly Bar, Alamo Square

      [My eccentric neighbor Allison walked into a bar where my friend Brent and I were sitting at a table near the door and I called out to her.]

      Me: [to Brent and Allison] Do you guys know each other? You both live in the neighborhood.

      Brendan: No.

      Allison: I don't think so. You might have seen me around the neighborhood. I always walk around with a little dog. [pause.] ...I used to walk around with a little dog. He died three days ago.

      Me: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.

      Allison: Yeah, he was sick for a while. A few days ago I could tell, it was the day, so I put him out in the backyard and he curled up in the grass... I went out for a while, and when I got back... ...

      Me: I'm really sorry.

      Allison: I put him in a bag in my freezer. [pause.] Well, I have his body in the freezer. I cut off his head.

      Me: [stunned silence]

      Brent: WHAT?

      Allison: I cut off his head. [pause.] I'm gonna put the skull on my bicycle.

      posted in Portrait Gallery

  • The Human Experience & Condition [3]»
    • Truth is Unknowable, Truth is Apparent (88 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      Truth is unknowable, because we can only know with our minds. I mean, no, of course truth is knowable.

      I'm sure, to an ant, truth is apparent: follow formic acid trails, dig in soil.

      To us, probably the same—the truth of whatever is our own equivalent of formic acid and digging. Broader by comparison, of course, but equivalent in terms of being constrained by limits we know nothing about, out there on the impenetrable edge of our own capacity.

      posted in The Human Experience & Condition

    • The Common Sense Conundrum (29 words) It seems to me that a frequent problem with most people's talk about "common sense" is not that it isn't really so common. It's that it isn't really sense.

      posted in The Human Experience & Condition

    • Like Butter (181 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      You know, it's funny... the other day I just plugged in a backup hard drive that I haven't used in about 4 years. I looked at all the stuff was working on again, none of which I have thought about since and most of which I hadn't even remembered, and realized, "Wow, that was a really long time ago."

      So I think the frequently-noted sensation of time seeming to pass more quickly as you get older has more to do with how often we think of something. The more often you think of something, the more recent it seems; but be reminded of something actually relatively recent but which you haven't thought back on even once since it happened, and the full weight comes to bear of just how long it's been, just how much time has passed since things that were even far more recent than long-ago things that seem like they were just yesterday. If the kids seem to be growing up fast, it's just a sign of your affection for them.

      posted in The Human Experience & Condition

  • Persuasion, Manipulation & Propaganda [1]»
    • You'll love this entry. (42 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity on 12/8/13 @ 11:49 pm.

      I've finally nailed what bothers me so much about those Upworthy headlines. It's that they they tell you what to think about about the video, instead of telling you what it's about.

      posted in Persuasion, Manipulation & Propaganda

  • Better Mousetraps [1]»
    • Business Idea: The Behavioral Marketing Dance Club (241 words) This originally was posted in my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      I just had a great entrepreneurial idea. With things opening up again, this might just be the jackpot.

      Open a dance club. But, the twist is, there's bouncers inside. Only good dancers will be allowed to stay on the dance floor. If you're out there, and you're not a visibly good dancer, you're just bopping your head or lazily doing the white boy shuffle... you'll get a firm tap on your shoulder, and be asked to return to the bar area. Eventually, you have a dance floor full of really great dancers, and a crowd of looky-loos buying drink after drink because alcohol happens to be an efficient solution to a number of the mildly uncomfortable aspects of that situation.

      Once this gets some buzz, I'm telling you, it would be hot as hell. It checks every single box for massive cultural success. It's got exclusivity, it's got variable rewards, it's got an aspirational aspect, it's got implacable authorities subjectively judging people, it's got a dance floor full of really great dancers, which is something everybody likes.

      Assuming, of course, there are enough good dancers out there that the dance floor wouldn't just always be empty. That's the idea's one achilles heel. (Well, that, and the material costs of opening a club. But looking around, it seems evident that that part is somehow surmountable.) Maybe I should open it in Miami.

      posted in Better Mousetraps

  • Humor [1]»
    • Humor: etruscanmingle.com (42 words) Time to renew again, and I just can't decide. I really thought this was going to be the domain I sold for a million bucks.

      What can I say? Everything was different before the pandemic. I thought they might be coming back.

      posted in Humor

  • Language, Grammar, & Vocabulary [3]»
    • Linguistic Reminder: A Kudos For Your Many Agenda (21 words) Remember: 'Kudos' is singular. 'Agenda' and 'data' are plural.

      'Nachos' is also singular. There is no such thing as one 'nacho'.

      posted in Language, Grammar, & Vocabulary

    • Vocabulary: That Vu That Yu Du So Well (99 words) Déjà vu: a false sense that something new has been seen before

      Jamais vu: a feeling or impression that something familiar is unfamiliar or is being seen for the first time, like when you repeat a word so many times that it suddenly loses meaning and sounds alien

      Presque vu: the illusory sense of having something on the tip of your tongue, or that a mental epiphany or breakthrough is about to occur

      I wonder if the French have a word for the strange feeling that something wonderful has just happened, but you don't have any idea what?

      posted in Language, Grammar, & Vocabulary

    • The most suggestive term in telecommunications (40 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      The 90 days after the creation of a new area code in which either the old or the new code may be used to dial that area is called the permissive dialing period.

      posted in Language, Grammar, & Vocabulary

  • Futurism & Prognostication [3]»
    • Man's Fate: The Beaked Shall Inherit The Earth (98 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      I believe after humans wipe themselves out a generation or two from now, the eventual next dominant species on earth will be descended from corvids. Most people think it'll be cockroaches, but corvids are already as intelligent in some ways as human children and comparably good at problem solving, they have the biggest brain volume per body mass on earth except for humans, and, they can fly away from danger. Sounds to me like a recipe for success once the hairless apes with the guns are out of the way.

      posted in Futurism & Prognostication

    • Man's Fate: Stone antennae waving (263 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      Link: A Geologist Investigates a Mass Extinction at the End of the Permian Period

      A friend commented on the above as a warning.

      Well, I do believe we need not to treat the world like an infinite resource, or to assume we can't push things past the tippng point, but the good news is, the Permian extinction event was both unusually catastrophic and very fast as these things goes... it took only about 60,000 years, or, roughly 12x as long as recorded human history. And whatever happened, it was very bad — the trilobites had ruled the world for nearly twice as long as the dinosaurs would when, in a geologic blink of an eye, they, along with 96% of the other plant and animal species living at the time, vanished forever. But despite it, 250 million years later, here we are, in full flower, and the earth is bountiful.

      And to whatever is ruling the Earth in 250 million years? We're trilobites, regardless of anything we do now. We're the ancient, primitive life forms, barely aware of our environment. And that's the assuming worst-case scenario, that the slate gets wiped clean, everything starts over from scratch, within the next twelve-times-the-length-of-recorded-human-history.

      So, I definitely don't think we should just let it all go to hell, and I'm sure there are people out there who'd let us be wiped out in a couple of generations for their own immediate gain, which is a terrible idea. But at the same time, I'm not *that* worried about it. We're trilobytes, no matter what.

      posted in Futurism & Prognostication

    • In Heaven, Everything Is Fine (121 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      I have an idea about what happens after you die. I think when you go to heaven, St. Peter lets you in, they show you to a room. You take a sauna, somebody brings you a plate of cookies or a slice of cake. Then you take a nap.

      Later on, when you're ready, they take you to a huge room, and everyone you've ever met is there. And everybody gets together and tells each other exactly what was going through their fucking heads. Then you all have a good laugh about it all. I see lots of back slapping and smiling eyes.

      Wouldn't that be a great thing to look forward to?

      posted in Futurism & Prognostication

  • Philosophy & Wisdom [1]»
    • The Advice For All Seasons (74 words)

      Originally posted on my blog Sloth And Dignity.

      An Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be always true; in all times, and in all situations; in sadness, and in happiness; in adversity, and in prosperity.

      After a lengthy period of debate amongs themselves, at last they presented him with the words:

      "If you lived here, you'd be home by now."

      posted in Philosophy & Wisdom