Critical Section

Archive: September 19, 2009

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blogging shoes (New Yorker, 9/14/09)

Saturday,  09/19/09  09:45 AM

I put mine on this morning, before sitting down in my blogitorium :)


Saturday,  09/19/09  09:54 AM

Back in the blogitorium on a Saturday, enjoying the day.  I have a major coding project planned for this weekend, it will be Outlook down, Sharpreader down, Citydesk down, and Photoshop down, as I happily launch Visual Studio.  But first, this:

Can you even believe these ACORN videos?  Wow.  I really don't see how ACORN is going to survive this.  And of course President Obama worked closely with ACORN, but he is distancing himself as fast and as thoroughly as possible.  In him, we may have the new teflon President.  Although some of this crap is bound to stick...

Murray Gell-Mann with Richard FeynmanRichard Feynman and Murray Gell-man: bananas and antibananas.  I love this:

Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann's chief competitor for the title of the World's Smartest Man but a stranger to pretension, once encountered Gell-Mann in the hall outside their offices at Caltech and asked him where he had been on a recent trip; "Moon-TRAY-ALGH!"  Gell-Mann responded in a French accent so thick that he sounded as if he were strangling.  Feynman - who, like Gell-Mann, was born in New York City - had no idea what he was talking about.  "Don't you think," he asked Gell-Mann, when at length he had ascertained that Gell-Mann was saying "Montreal," "that the purpose of language is communication?"

I can remember that both had their offices at the same end of the same hall at Caltech, a sort of living hall of fame.  And that the hall ended in a cul de sac, with a conference room as an island in the middle.  And that the rumor was, it was so they could chase each other in the hallway, endlessly...

Facebook: the English (pirate) dialect :)Once again, Facebook owns "talk like a pirate day" on the web.  Avast!

This is unbelievable: new lawsuit brings clarity to Skype's problems.  I have to agree with the conclusion: Prognosis: Screwed.  How could you possibly buy a business without also licensing the IP on which it is based?  Due diligence, anyone?

Mike Arrington answers my question: Mint is Yodlee's YouTube.  "Yodlee never thought to ask for equity in Mint in the early days of the company, so they didn’t make anything from the acquisition."  Bummer.

Subaru Tribeca - subject of Robert Farago's review...Robert Farago is leaving TTAC, prompting a retrospective.  My personal favorite was his review of the Subaru Tribeca, one of the ugliest cars ever built.  ("Once again, form murders function".)  He was definitely irreverent an entertaining, and he will be missed...


Midway, revisited

Saturday,  09/19/09  10:29 AM

You might remember a year ago, while attending Pathology Visions, we had a banquet on the Midway aircraft carrier.  And that in addition to being a great experience for me, it was also quite moving; I reconnected with the memory of my father, and I felt in some senses I was "midway" in my life, grappling with turning 50 in a couple of months.

As I noted at the time: "Midway is a great name, and a great concept, full of ambivalence and implied meaning.  Almost anything can be halfway between two other things."


the Midway, revisted... welcome home?Last Tuesday night, after this years' Pathology Visions, I took a little bike ride around the back bay of San Diego.  And it took me right by the Midway.  And I was able to re-experience all those emotions from a year ago, with the new perspective of a year. 


Has it been a good year?  No.  It has been a tough year; the first year of my second half (if so it will become) did not go as planned.  My family are great, Aperio is doing great, all the "big important things" are great, but my head is not.

It does not feel, in retrospect, like the Midway was in any sense an inflection point.  I didn't do anything differently, and nothing happened differently as a result.  I am still midway to figuring it all out.  It is ironic that the Midway has a banner saying "Welcome Home"; of course it is intended to seaman returning from war in the middle east, but for me it has another meaning; do I really live "midway"?  Perhaps I do.

Revisiting the Midway gives me an opportunity to rededicate myself to changing.  I strongly hope that when I ride by it again next year, I'll feel that this year was really a turning point.

We'll see.


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained