A new test

It never ends. Now, I’m trying a new blog generator: Athena. There is a way in which this blog is less a blog and more of bikeshedding therapy. I admit that. This new thing is nicer, because it does less, and it outputs to Tufte CSS, which definitely makes my semiliterate babbling about whatever nonsense at least look like someone cared. Otherwise, eh. I wonder if I should store my posts in some intermediate format, so that they can be output to the input format of any given static site generator....

April 23, 2018 · James Felix Black

Some update items

Linux === For perfectly valid reasons, I need to install Linux on my main computer. As this is a bog-standard Intel PC, of course the kernel on the latest “CentOS” distribution is too old to work. Exotica like Intel’s X99 chipset and Intel’s 5930k processor are apparently too weird for CentOS, because, software, I guess? There’s doubtless some stupid song and dance you can do to put an updated kernel on the installer media, but really, at the end of the day, what you get is a RedHat based distribution....

December 3, 2015 · James Felix Black

A Minor Victory

I recently found myself wanting to add Canadian holidays to my (OS X) calendar. Apple doesn’t make this easy; as you have to switch your primary region to switch calendars, that’s probably a step too far for me. It’d be nice to have a curated, updated list of holidays for both the US and Canada (to be reminded to wish friends and family a happy True Thanksgiving and False Thanksgiving, respectively)....

March 20, 2015 · James Felix Black

Movies of 2014, Amended

Add to the A bucket: Babadook (also probably cracks my top ten) Add to the B bucket: ‘71 Original here.

March 20, 2015 · James Felix Black

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...

March 2, 2015 · James Felix Black

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....

February 5, 2015 · James Felix Black

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. {{ <figure alt=“It’s so dumb” caption=“Robots gonna robot” src=“basilisk.gif” > }} It’s wonderfully insane ↩︎ h/t to Matt Phillips ↩︎

January 28, 2015 · James Felix Black

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....

January 27, 2015 · James Felix Black

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....

January 12, 2015 · James Felix Black


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....

January 10, 2015 · James Felix Black