Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Origin of Consciousness (or Theory of Mind)

Long review of Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind, which was a pretty important book for me in my unwinding of religion's hold on me. (Not because it is necessarily true, but because it was an explanation of how minds could evolve without the intervention of a god.)

Found in the comments of Kevin Drum's post, Do You Think In Words? Not Everyone Does

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Welcome to the Freedom Cafe!

Welcome to the Freedom Cafe!

We trust you to make your own choices if you want to wear a face mask. And, in the same spirit of individual liberty, we allow our staff to make their own choices about the safety procedures they prefer to follow as they prepare and serve your food.

We encourage employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom, but understand that some people may be allergic to certain soaps or may simply prefer not to wash their hands. It is not our place to tell them what to do.

We understand that you may be used to chicken that has been cooked to 165 degrees. We do have to respect that some of our cooks may have seen a meme or a YouTube video saying that 100 degrees is sufficient, and we do not want to encroach on their beliefs.

Some of our cooks may prefer to use the same utensils for multiple ingredients, including ingredients some customers are allergic to. That is a cook's right to do so.

Some servers may wish to touch your food as they serve it. There is no reason that a healthy person with clean hands can't touch your food. We will take their word for it that they are healthy and clean.

Water temperature and detergent are highly personal choices, and we allow our dishwashing team to decide how they'd prefer to wash the silverware you will put in your mouth.

Some of you may get sick, but almost everyone survives food poisoning. We think you'll agree that it's a small price to pay for the sweet freedom of no one ever being told what to do – and especially not for the silly reason of keeping strangers healthy.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Confidence vs Competence, and other insights

A while back, I read an article about how people who project confidence get ahead more than people who are quietly competent. I recently had the chance to experience that once again. It isn't exactly the same as extroversion vs introversion, but there is an element of that going on.

Similarly, in the past three years, I've been a part of several social circles focused around someone who is very good at making you think that you really matter to them, when in reality, they would throw you under the bus to get ahead. Just because someone is super-friendly doesn't mean they'll help you out. Lesson to take, IMO: it is entirely possible to like someone and not trust them.

Finally: some of the smartest, most interesting people are, at their core, fundamentally negative people. They can be (and often are) good, loyal friends. But spending too much time around negative people is likely to lead you to be more negative in the long run.

Competence about to be taken down by confidence. Photo by Anne's pal Ned.

Thursday, April 1, 2021


If the vaccine microchips don't get you, the chemtrails* will!

*Obviously joking.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Mr Robot clarification

 Watch the second-to-last episode and then speculate on how it could end. Don't watch the last episode.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Not Everyone Should Be a Citizen

Not a joke. Some people don't want "those" people to be citizens and given a say in representation.

Friday, March 26, 2021

TV Recommendations

Mr Robot is very, very dark, but very well done. Extremely fascinating plots, great acting. 

Similarly, The Expanse is excellent (and not quite as dark, but pretty darn dark at times). I'm told the novels are also very good.

Both of these should be binged. Watch them straight-through, rather than spend a lot of time between seasons (luckily, they're both all out now). 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Great Ezra Klein column

Can Magic Mushrooms Heal Us?

"What’s striking to me about [Oregon's] Measure 109, though, is that it breaks away from the medicalization-legalization binary that has defined drug reform for the past few decades. It does not allow anyone to sell psilocybin pills in stores. Nor does it restrict treatment to those with a diagnosis of mental illness. The measure does not grudgingly accept psilocybin as the lesser evil compared with, say, the drug war or PTSD. Instead, it is based on the idea that psilocybin has the potential to change our lives for the good, whether we are sick or well, and so it is worth investing in the frameworks and safeguards so that it can be used safely and productively. It would be foolish to posit psilocybin-assisted therapy as an answer to all that ails our society, or even our mental health system. But it would be one more option for those who need it, and both evidence and anecdote suggest it would be life-changing for many. That would be enough. That would be so much."

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Impossible Germany

Anne gets her first shot Thursday. One step closer to going back to Germany!

Wilco's great Impossible Germany, live, so you can see the guitar interplay.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Can't choose one line

My Dad was sent a long list of lies about how "awesome" the former host of the Celebrity Apprentice has been. The request was for one single reply. It is impossible to figure out, but these were the first things that came to mind:

"They were beating the shit out of him," said Cole. "Right in front of my eyes."

If US had Canada’s Covid-19 death rate, 225,000 Americans would be alive today.

December’s jobs report confirms Trump is set to be the worst jobs president on record.