I hate you, you hate me

30 09 2015

This is a nightmare-in-waiting: a human-rating app.

And it’s called peeple. (Of course it is.)

“So, you can’t please everybody, but if you’re a business owner, or you’re a professional, or you’re that young urbanite or you’re that parent looking to make better decisions, you also deserve to see where you could improve,” [peeple CEO and co-founder Julia Cordray] said.

“Think of this as an ability to grow and get some honest feedback.”

Yes, that’s just what the internet is good for: honest feedback.

And if you sign up and decide you don’t like it? Tough.

“Let’s say we allow you to delete your profile and let’s say you are a person of questionable character. All the people of questionable character could hide from the app and then what’s the point?” said Corday, adding those on the app could see benefits for their good scores.

What would be the point, indeed?

And even I, the epistemological nihilist, shrinks from this:

“It doesn’t matter how far apart we are in likes or dislikes,” she tells some bro at a bar in episode 10 [of her YouTube series]. “All that matters is what people say about us.”


h/t Shelby R. King, The Stranger

We’re sailing on a strange sea

15 06 2015

A friend who I thought Had It All. . . doesn’t.

She’ll be okay—she’s the most resilient person I know—but the next few months will be rough for her, and it’s unclear what her life will look like once matters do clear.

I’ve been lucky with friends. My life doesn’t look much like theirs’, but it’s not an issue. Some are married, some own homes, some have kids, some are, like me, alone in a rental, but I’ve never gotten the sense from any of them that how I live is inferior to how they live.

I often think that I live an inferior life. I do compare myself to others, as well as to what I think I could have if-only, and I preface any invitations to visit with the warning I live like a graduate student. Almost 50, and I live like a graduate student.

But what I missed in seeing only my own shortfalls was that the Having It All can be a kind of front. Not a false-front, but the kind that seems sui generis—as if it just happened, and that there was no work, no struggle, no falling-short behind it all.

I think we are all so separate and our lives so distant, and in some ways, we are. But we’re also all just bobbing alongside one another in the wavy deep.


Looking out my window

8 06 2015

Finally got the basil in:

Okay, so I should have taken the picture before replacing the screen.

Okay, so I should have taken the picture before replacing the screen.

I would have done this earlier in the week except that I was a) sick, and, as a result of a, b) tired. And it was rather cool here last week.

Anyway, I only planted 6 plants this year and it seemed a bit sparse, so I checked last year’s blog posts (search=basil), and it looked like I crammed in more plants (which, given that they pretty much gave up the ghost by mid-summer, might have been too many*).

I’m thinkin’ that the nursery last year sold them in 4-packs (and I bought 2) and this year in six-packs, hence the six.

(I did have two 6-packs in hand at one point, but was dubious, so I finally read the little plastic info thingy the nursery sometimes includes in plants, and it said to *plant ’em 8″ apart. Yeah, 12 plants in a 16″ box woulda been too many.)

Anyway, the basil box is back. One of the few unreservedly good things about summer.

Now eleven million later, I was sitting at the bar

3 06 2015

Many years ago, when my friend T. and I were both broke (she no longer is, I’m, well, I ain’t at her level), we’d fantasize about how we’d support ourselves in old age:

“Let’s rob banks, and if we don’t get caught—helloooo Costa Rica. And if we do, then it’s at least three hots and a cot.”

That’s if the lottery didn’t work out for us.

Well, it seems some seniors have beaten us to it:

Elderly Crime Rates Increase - Bloomberg Business'e

Never was much of a golf fan.

In the summertime

31 05 2015

Three signs of summer in the absurd household:

1. Sheer fabric in the windows:


2. The summer quilt:


3. The shaving of the legs (human, not feline) twice rather than once a week.

Nobody needs to see a picture of that.

Oh, and the heat, of course, the fucking heat.

How could I forget.

Sitting in a tin can

12 05 2015

Okay, so, a question for those in favor of life-extension: why?

Is this just about “more”: more time to do more things, see more sights, experience more experiences? That if you could live to 1000 years you could do so much more than if you could live only to 100?

I asked this question to my intro-level bioethics students today, and for those in favor, the notion of “more” came into play.

But then there was the issue of how those 1000 years would play out, relative to a life lived within the confines of a century. Would you reach adulthood at ~20, as we do today, and then live 980 years as an adult? Or would live just be stretched, such that instead of two decades to reach adulthood, you’d take 2 centuries?

And if the latter’s the case, then, really, aren’t you just living life much more slowly—playing the same record at very low rpms, as opposed to playing many more records?

And even if you were able to do more—if you reached adulthood, and then the aging process slowed—what about that more is better? If all that happens by living 10x as long is that you get to do 10x as much as the same things you already do, then. . . what? Instead of 15 jobs you have 150, or instead of 15 sexual partners you have 150, or instead of 1000 fantastic meals you have 10,000—is life-extension really just about extension? about the ability to do more. . . of the same?

Does your life change substantively by being able to do more of the same? Or is it really just the same, only longer?

The idea of extending life to do more of the same seems to me, someone who sees life as an equivocal good, as not worth it. Living some magnitude longer would, to someone like me, only make sense if living 1000 years allowed you to do things you couldn’t otherwise do.

Like space travel. Really.

Right now we can send people into near space. We may at some point in the next few decades figure out how to set up an outpost on the moon, and some are already talking about colonizing Mars, but even Mars settlement would likely be a one-way trip, as almost certainly would be anything further out: You’d live long enough to get there (wherever “there” is), but not enough to come back.

Live a millennium, however, and you could go and come back. Can’t do that with a mere 100 years.

Beside that, however, and it seems that everything you could do in a thousand years is just a magnification of what you could do in a hundred. But with all that more, it’s still nothing more than that.


There is another way to look at life-extension, of course, and that’s an a compensation for a lack. That is, we know that people can live more than 100 years, but if someone dies at 85, it might be said that she had a good go-round.

If someone dies at 45, however, well, that seems a bit young. And there are populations around the globe—not as many as there used to be, but still there—where the average life-expectancy is below 50 years of age.

Would altering our social practices such that life-expectancy is raised for those at the low-end count as life-extension? Or is life-extension something beyond the (current) outer-bounds of life-expectancy?

And if one is good, why not the other?


I’m not convinced of the equivalence implied by that last question, but I can’t quite dismiss it, either.

There might be some kind of curve of “more” that goes up and up—that is, one gains something that he wouldn’t have had before—and then after a certain point, flattens out.

Alas, even if one were to accept this more-curve in theory, there is the little matter of determining that “after a certain point” point.

And the immortalists, well, the immortalists would say that even if does flatten out, that one continues to exist at all is all that matters.

To which this equivocationist can only say, Huh.

I got cat class and I got cat style

22 04 2015

Time and thoughts are both scattering. Nothing serious, just: life.

So how about some pictures of tiny Jasper?

Jasper July09a

Jasper Jul09h

Jasper Jul09d

He was a smelly, feral little boy, and lordy, did he do a number on my feet, ankles, and calves.

He’s pretty clean now, and only rarely goes gonzo. And, of course, he’s big.


But I still call him my kitty-boy.


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