Tac Anderson

The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.
― C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

What May in Seattle feels like.

What May in Seattle feels like.

Walking with a Ghost by The White Stripes

Love this cover

(Source: youtube.com)

In 1975, Newsweek Warned that Science Fiction Was Taking Over

 In December 1975, Newsweek’s book critic Peter S. Prescott began a feature on the science fiction literature and film that was taking up an ever-greater place in American culture by sounding a note of alarm. Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren had been published in January of that year, Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Dispossessed had been published the year before, while Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle were establishing Kurt Vonnegut as a major literary figure. Prescott was horrified.
“Suddenly, they’re all around us. Too late now to think of repelling them, or even of self-defense. They’ve conquered the nursery and have sunk tentacles into the colleges. Disguised as pimply kids and pallid biochemists, they look like us , and are multiplying, communicating with one another in frequencies the rest of us don’t hear. They have a message for us, too: We’re taking over. Pay attention. Be respectful.”

Resistance is futile! 

In 1975, Newsweek Warned that Science Fiction Was Taking Over


In December 1975, Newsweek’s book critic Peter S. Prescott began a feature on the science fiction literature and film that was taking up an ever-greater place in American culture by sounding a note of alarm. Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren had been published in January of that year, Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Dispossessed had been published the year before, while Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle were establishing Kurt Vonnegut as a major literary figure. Prescott was horrified.

Suddenly, they’re all around us. Too late now to think of repelling them, or even of self-defense. They’ve conquered the nursery and have sunk tentacles into the colleges. Disguised as pimply kids and pallid biochemists, they look like us , and are multiplying, communicating with one another in frequencies the rest of us don’t hear. They have a message for us, too: We’re taking over. Pay attention. Be respectful.”

Resistance is futile! 

Study: Men are more competitive than women in mobile gaming

Men are more competitive than women in mobile gaming; women are less social about their mobile gaming experience; and women are leading the trend toward the free-to-play format.

While I do know some very competitive women, the competitive finding, seems pretty obvious. The less social part kind of makes sense, but I wonder if this counts social games on Facebook, because almost all the invites I get are from women, and I hate it. 

Study: Men are more competitive than women in mobile gaming

Men are more competitive than women in mobile gaming; women are less social about their mobile gaming experience; and women are leading the trend toward the free-to-play format.

While I do know some very competitive women, the competitive finding, seems pretty obvious. The less social part kind of makes sense, but I wonder if this counts social games on Facebook, because almost all the invites I get are from women, and I hate it. 

23 Amazing Soviet Visions For The Future of Transportation
Those Russians had some creative imaginations.

23 Amazing Soviet Visions For The Future of Transportation

Those Russians had some creative imaginations.

The slow death of purposeless walking
Walking is a luxury in the West. Very few people, particularly in cities, are obliged to do much of it at all. Cars, bicycles, buses, trams, and trains all beckon.
Instead, walking for any distance is usually a planned leisure activity. Or a health aid. Something to help people lose weight. Or keep their fitness.

But there’s something else people get from choosing to walk. A place to think.

Wordsworth was a walker. Charles Dickens was a walker. He could easily rack up 20 miles, often at night. Henry David Thoreau, who was both author and naturalist, walked and walked and walked. But even he couldn’t match the feat of someone like Constantin Brancusi, the sculptor who walked much of the way between his home village in Romania and Paris. Or indeed Patrick Leigh Fermor, whose walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul at the age of 18 inspired several volumes of travel writing. George Orwell, Thomas De Quincey, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bruce Chatwin, WG Sebald and Vladimir Nabokov are just some of the others who have written about it.
I love walking and thinking.  

The slow death of purposeless walking

Walking is a luxury in the West. Very few people, particularly in cities, are obliged to do much of it at all. Cars, bicycles, buses, trams, and trains all beckon.

Instead, walking for any distance is usually a planned leisure activity. Or a health aid. Something to help people lose weight. Or keep their fitness.

But there’s something else people get from choosing to walk. A place to think.

Wordsworth was a walker. Charles Dickens was a walker. He could easily rack up 20 miles, often at night. Henry David Thoreau, who was both author and naturalist, walked and walked and walked. But even he couldn’t match the feat of someone like Constantin Brancusi, the sculptor who walked much of the way between his home village in Romania and Paris. Or indeed Patrick Leigh Fermor, whose walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul at the age of 18 inspired several volumes of travel writing. George Orwell, Thomas De Quincey, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bruce Chatwin, WG Sebald and Vladimir Nabokov are just some of the others who have written about it.

I love walking and thinking.  

This shelf holds nearly eight years of my hand written notes, taken almost daily, starting in June of 2006, filling 58 notebooks. #GTD at Tac’s office – View on Path.

This shelf holds nearly eight years of my hand written notes, taken almost daily, starting in June of 2006, filling 58 notebooks. #GTD at Tac’s office – View on Path.

theatlantic:

Why America’s Essentials Are Getting More Expensive While Its Toys Are Getting Cheap

The past decade in prices—and the story it tells about poverty and America.
Read more.[Image: Reuters]


Seems like simple economics to me. We will pay more for essentials because, by definition, we need them. Toys are more subject to price elasticity because we don’t need them.

theatlantic:

Why America’s Essentials Are Getting More Expensive While Its Toys Are Getting Cheap

The past decade in prices—and the story it tells about poverty and America.

Read more.[Image: Reuters]

Seems like simple economics to me. We will pay more for essentials because, by definition, we need them. Toys are more subject to price elasticity because we don’t need them.

Zero Translation: Why some English words are controversial in China

“Why is zero translation so prevalent?” screams the headline in a recent commentary piece, citing as a bad example the text below, which considers the merits of an open source platform.
"采用了基于OpenEdX开源平台,开发了HTML5视频播放器,不再依赖国外课程播放首选的YouTube,解决了国内用户无法访问国外edX平台问题。"
"Why do we have translations for Nokia and Motorola, but not for iPhone or iPad?" ask the authors.

I work with two Chinese colleagues, who both speak English very well, but still speak Chinese to each other at work. There conversation is interesting to listen to, because it jumps around between Chinese and English, like the above text demonstrates. I think part of it is also partly because of the context at work, and our very American (yes I said American, not English), tech and business words, and partly, I suspect, because they have both lived in the US for so long that sometimes it’s easier to use the American word than remember the Chinese word. 
This behavior at work was the same thing I experienced working with the Germans and the French, although it’s a little different because English is derived mostly from German and French and use the same alphabet, but even then the French have been very diligent about creating official French versions of new words. 

Zero Translation: Why some English words are controversial in China

“Why is zero translation so prevalent?” screams the headline in a recent commentary piece, citing as a bad example the text below, which considers the merits of an open source platform.

"采用了基于OpenEdX开源平台,开发了HTML5视频播放器,不再依赖国外课程播放首选的YouTube,解决了国内用户无法访问国外edX平台问题。"

"Why do we have translations for Nokia and Motorola, but not for iPhone or iPad?" ask the authors.

I work with two Chinese colleagues, who both speak English very well, but still speak Chinese to each other at work. There conversation is interesting to listen to, because it jumps around between Chinese and English, like the above text demonstrates. I think part of it is also partly because of the context at work, and our very American (yes I said American, not English), tech and business words, and partly, I suspect, because they have both lived in the US for so long that sometimes it’s easier to use the American word than remember the Chinese word. 

This behavior at work was the same thing I experienced working with the Germans and the French, although it’s a little different because English is derived mostly from German and French and use the same alphabet, but even then the French have been very diligent about creating official French versions of new words. 

So are suit-shorts a thing now? on Flickr.So are suit-shorts a thing now?

So are suit-shorts a thing now? on Flickr.

So are suit-shorts a thing now?

Putting out something that’s new in the world requires temporary removal from it.

Sarah Lewis, author of the indispensable The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, on the importance of our private domains and inner worlds, speaking at the 2014 99U conference.

Complement with philosopher Martha Nussbaum on honoring your inner world.

(via explore-blog)

I wonder than if people’s increasing connectedness to the world around them will decrease the amount of new things brought into it. 

(Source: explore-blog)

Kid Wearables? LeapFrog Debuts Fitness Tracker for Training Wheels Set

The LeapBand, designed for kids ages 4 to 7, gives kids commands like “wiggle like a worm” or “pop like popcorn” and then rewards the activity by giving points that can be used to unlock special game features on the band. When kids get a certain amount of points, they can redeem a virtual pet like a cat, dog, donkey or unicorn. Additional points are accrued to let children interact with their pets in different ways.
The device connects to a website or app, where parents can monitor their kids activity and select from a list of physical challenges. It gamifies fitness for kids, at a time when childhood obesity is getting attention as a public health issue and encouraging physical fitness for kids has been adopted by First Lady Michelle Obama as a favored project.

I can remotely monitor and control my character…. I mean, reward my child. So basically this turns your children into a role playing game? 

Kid Wearables? LeapFrog Debuts Fitness Tracker for Training Wheels Set

The LeapBand, designed for kids ages 4 to 7, gives kids commands like “wiggle like a worm” or “pop like popcorn” and then rewards the activity by giving points that can be used to unlock special game features on the band. When kids get a certain amount of points, they can redeem a virtual pet like a cat, dog, donkey or unicorn. Additional points are accrued to let children interact with their pets in different ways.

The device connects to a website or app, where parents can monitor their kids activity and select from a list of physical challenges. It gamifies fitness for kids, at a time when childhood obesity is getting attention as a public health issue and encouraging physical fitness for kids has been adopted by First Lady Michelle Obama as a favored project.

I can remotely monitor and control my character…. I mean, reward my child. So basically this turns your children into a role playing game?