The Most Perfectly Timed Shot in the History of Television

Fat claim, but I cannot imagine anything more badass than this.

Here’s the full video. The presenter’s James Burke. From the YouTube comments:

I remember seeing an interview with him and the person asking him the question asked him “How was that shot perfectly timed?” He said “I just saw the count down clock and we waited until minus 10 seconds to start recording”.

And there was an assistant doing the count down with his fingers that Burke could se [sic] so Burke could time it perfectly.

You Don’t Need to be Exceptional

Michel de Montaigne:

Storming a breach, conducting an embassy, ruling a nation are glittering deeds. Rebuking, laughing, buying, selling, loving, hating and living together gently and justly with your household – and with yourself – not getting slack nor being false to yourself, is something more remarkable, more rare and more difficult. Whatever people may say, such secluded lives sustain in that way duties which are at least as hard and as tense as those of other lives.

Here’s a video that elaborates upon this sentiment.

And while you’re at it, don’t be a dick and try to communicate clearly and simply:

Difficulty is a coin which the learned conjure with so as not to reveal the vanity of their studies and which human stupidity is keen to accept in payment.

And always remember:

Kings and philosophers shit, and so do ladies.

I finally see where the title of this book comes from.

On Side-Projects

I stumbled upon a book called Refuse to Choose and it’s about a personality type (that is definitely not ADHD) that happens to want to do a lot of things (sometimes in parallel or in sequence). It was very comforting to know others struggle with this and this book helps you to be ok with it. I wouldn’t say it “cured” me but I think about it differently now and use it more to my advantage. Worth a read at a minimum.

There was one very profound idea in this book that goes like this:

“If you are no longer interested in a project you started, maybe you already got what you came for”.

In essence, maybe it’s not the finishing of the project you came for but maybe the learning or understanding of how it could be done if it were to be done.

This realization is interesting for someone who exhibits this behavior. When I was a kid, I loved to build legos but after following the instructions and building a kit, I wouldn’t touch it again. As I think back now, it likely was because “I got what I came for” (the challenge of putting it together was more interesting to me than the end product).

@ryeguy_24

On America Right Now

I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

and

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

“Genre Defining” Trip Hop

From a Reddit thread on the subject.

With as diverse of a sound as trip hop can have, I wanted to know what everyone here thought would be the one song they would pick if someone asked them “What’s trip hop?”

User submissions:

On Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

Science, technology, and economics focus on efficiency, but not effectiveness. The difference between efficiency and effectiveness is important to an understanding of transformational leadership. Efficiency is a measure of how well resources are used to achieve ends; it is value-free. Effectiveness is efficiency weighted by the values of the ends achieved; it is value-full. For example, a men’s’ clothing manufacturer may efficiently turn out suits that do not fit well. Another less efficient manufacturer may turn out suits that do fit well. Because “fit” is a value to customers, the second manufacturer would be considered to be the more effective even though less efficient than the first. Of course, a manufacturer can be both efficient and effective.

Put another way: efficiency is a matter of doing things right; effectiveness is a matter of doing the right things. For example, the more efficient our automobiles have become, the more of them are on city streets. The more of them on city streets, the more congestion there is. The efficiency of an act can be determined without reference to those affected by it. Not so for effectiveness. It is necessarily personal. The value of an act may be, and usually is, quite different for different individuals. The difference between efficiency and effectiveness is also reflected in the difference between growth and development, and development is of greater concern to a transformational leader than growth.

Russell L. Ackoff, A Systemic View Of Transformational Leadership

The Des Moines Register’s Website is a Crock of Shit

This is what it takes to view a read a bloody article with a PiHole to block ads. I don’t even want to get started on the AMP nonsense. First, a focus-stealing popup asking if you’d like to subscribe to some bullshit.

Followed by another popup asking you’d subscribe to more bullshit.

After which you can finally see what you came for… which helpfully occupies the bottom 20% of the viewport 💯

See also: Every Website in 2019. Nothing will change.

On Fiction

It was the pivotal teaching of Pluthero Quexos, the most celebrated dramatist of the Second Dominion, that in any fiction, no matter how ambitious its scope or profound its theme, there was only ever room for three players. Between warring kings, a peacemaker; between adoring spouses, a seducer or a child. Between twins, the spirit of the womb. Between lovers, Death. Greater numbers might drift through the drama, of course—thousands in fact—but they could only ever be phantoms, agents, or, on rare occasions, reflections of the three real and self-willed beings who stood at the center. And even this essential trio would not remain intact; or so he taught. It would steadily diminish as the story unfolded, three becoming two, two becoming one, until the stage was left deserted.

Clive Barker, Imajica

The Conservative Refrain

Starring Ted Cruz. It cannot be anyone else.

And there’s the 10-hour version (of course) for when a batshit-crazy, cultist conservative whinges about freedom and liberty and censorship and free markets and privatization and regulation and “corporations are people” and the incipient Demise of Western Civilization (due to ‘Marxists’ and Feminists and Immigrants) a little more than usual.

On Moochers

Many years ago interviewed an older gentleman as part of a study I was conducting. He said “Republicans are people who will withhold food from 100 people out fear that 1 might not need or deserve it. Democrats will feed 100 out of concern that 1 might really need it.

@silvercoug

With this follow-up:

The flip side of course is that Democrats will regulate 100 businesses out of fear that 1 will be a cheater, but Republicans will eliminate regulations out of fear that one might not survive.

BTW for my part I am 100% with the Democrats on both of these.

@dudleypj

On Imagination

The function of the imagination is not to make strange things settled, so much as to make settled things strange.

G.K. Chesterton

Shadow of a Doubt (1943) · IMDb · A

Watched with CK. This was Hitchcock’s favorite movie:

This was my father’s favourite movie, and it was because he loved bringing the menace into a small town1, into a family that had never known any bad things happen to them. They adored this uncle. They just adored him. Yet they had no idea what he is like. The whole suspense of the movie is, “When are they going to find out?”

Patricia Hitchcock

And then there’s this exchange 🤣

CHARLIE
Oh, what’s the matter with you two ? Do you always have to talk about killing people?

HERB
We’re not talking about killing people.

JOSEPH
Herb’s talking about killing me, and I’m talking about killing him.

ANN
It’s your father’s way of relaxing.

CHARLIE
Can’t he find some other way to relax? Can’t we have a little peace and quiet without dragging in poisons all the time?

  1. The thick black smoke at Uncle Charlie’s arrivals is meant to be a bad portent. He uses this a lot. ↩︎