Posts

Movies Of 2014

In grade order; otherwise, not ordered (IOW, Birdman is not sorted higher than Frank in any way other than orthographically) My top five: Boyhood Whiplash Only Lovers Left Alive Calvary Under The Skin Just on the outside, looking in: Frank John Wick Guardians Of The Galaxy Ida Edge Of Tomorrow It was, in my opinion, a very, very good year. A Birdman Blue Ruin Boyhood Calvary Edge of Tomorrow Frank Grand Budapest Hotel Guardians of the Galaxy Ida Inherent Vice John Wick Locke Only Lovers Left Alive Under The Skin Whiplash B
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The Peripheral

So I finished The Peripheral, which took a little time to get going but really paid off in the end. I am aware that there are alternate opinions, but I am a big faan of Gibson, not just as a futurist, a calling at which he is perhaps singularly excellent, but as a prose stylist; his tight sentences and utterly ridiculous yet totally believable dialog call to mind obviously Dashiell Hammett, among others, and make the strivings of fellow genre writers seem limp and stupidly expository by comparison.
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I'm less worried about the basilisk

Roko’s Basilisk1 is a strange LessWrong belief paralleling Pascal’s Wager. As of today2, however, I am much less worried. Robots gonna robot It’s wonderfully insane ↩︎ h/t to Matt Phillips ↩︎

So I may have to buy a new TV

And this really makes me sad. It does not appear that picture quality is a driving factor in anybody’s choices in stand-alone (e.g. not projector) televisions, so the market has dictated that paying less money for better PQ is worse than paying more for crappier quality, along with “Smart Apps” and “3D” and, worst of all, 4K. I want a plasma. Technically, I want a new in box 60" Pioneer Kuro (or, even more technically, two, one to store against accident), but my choices for high quality are now searching around for last year’s Samsung plasma (never as good as a Panasonic still less a Pioneer) or coughing up four big ones for an OLED which, while having superior black level performance to even a plasma, exhibits all the faults of the LCD that it is based on.
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The full documentation for this post is maintained as a Texinfo manual

My contempt for Unix is vast, measureless, perhaps finite but certainly unbounded, but today, I hate most that basename won’t operate on stdin. That’s just … I mean, it’s … isn’t this the whole point? I’m cooking along building up a command pipeline and some pedantic little shit decides that oh no, stdin is too pedestrian, you need to pass me arguments on the command line. It’s always these needless bleeding little string-warts of failed utility that put lie to the whole self-congratulatory ESR style “small programs that do one thing well is a morally superior way of composing software” pseudo-argument.
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Flying

My flight this morning was bumped from a large aircraft to a smaller one; as a result, many people including myself were moved from our chosen seats to others. This annoyance (the flight is 5 1/2 hours, which is not insignificant for some but minor for others) means that I am seated at the window. I look forward to taking a slo-mo of the takeoff and landing, but I do prefer the aisle, as I am tall and wide1, and steerage does not quite provide sufficient space for me to be fully comfortable.
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Coffee

Fed up with inconsistent results, I spent the morning fiddling with my coffee apparatus. I have come to the following conclusions: Making good coffee is not difficult per se; however, mixing imperial units of liquid volume and metric units of mass is a pain in the ass. I use a Chemex 8-cup coffee maker (with official Chemex™ filters, natch); a Capresso burr grinder; an electric kettle and, now that I’m getting all scientific, a scale.
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A New Hope

Every six months or so I get the urge to restart blogging. I am doing so yet again. We’ll see how long this urge lasts. Nothing interesting is going on in here at the moment. I’m trying to keep everything as simple as possible so I can switch to Hakyll when I’m more comfortable with arrows and comonads and whatnot. For the time being, I’m using a minimal Jekyll installation, so as to reduce the cognitive load for that glorious day when I finally uninstall ruby.
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