• The more you know…

  • My dad, a firefighter, was robbed of the chance to meet his granddaughter in this life. My daughter occasionally puts on a toy fire helmet & play acts, in the way little children do, being a firefighter. When Duolingo served up this sentence last night, I smiled.

  • I don’t understand the mind of an IT professional who pooh-poohs concerns about potential use of Facebook credentials to log in to university systems because “we’re all shoveling that data to the NSA anyway.” And yet, that just happened.

  • The theorbo went to England as well. It was brought in by Inigo Jones in the 1600s, but he was stopped at Dover at customs, as they thought the instrument was a Popish engine to destroy the king.

    I hope my brain concocts dreams of what John Fahey would’ve played on a theorbo.

  • Come, in my labor find a resting place
    And in my sorrows lay your head,
    Or rather take my life and blood
    And buy yourself a better bed—
    Or take my breath and take my death
    And buy yourself a better rest.

    Thomas Merton, “For My Brother Reported Missing in Action, 1943”

  • Machines are not squeamish.

    An examination of contemporary instances of political murder though the rubrics detailed in the CIA’s Cold War assassination manual.

    Finer Points of Murder | Times Literary Supplement

  • Dyson on algorithms:

    We imagine that individuals, or individual algorithms, are still behind the curtain somewhere, in control. We are fooling ourselves. The new gatekeepers, by controlling the flow of information, rule a growing sector of the world.

    Childhood’s End | Edge

  • Every time I listen to Aaron Parks’ Arborescence, I fall more deeply under its spell. I love this album.

  • Holy smokes, Duolingo is way more in-your-face precious than when I last used it — and I don’t imply that is an improvement. I wish there was a way to dial the whimsy back by at least 50%.

  • My hypothetical 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by enthusiasm:

    • Larry Walker
    • Edgar Martínez
    • Scott Rolen
    • Roy Halladay
    • Andruw Jones
    • Mike Mussina
    • Todd Helton
    • Mariano Rivera
    • Barry Bonds
    • Roger Clemens

    No reason to keep Bonds & Clemens out with Seligula inducted in 2017.

  • Rain & 16mph winds, high of 45°F. This is not January weather.

  • Each time my little girl & I dance to a polka on the radio, we’re one polka closer to our last polka. The dances get sweeter as time grows fleeter.

  • Go Zuck yourself.

  • Cliff Corcoran takes the launch of Baseball Prospectus’ new stat, Deserved Runs Created Plus, as a golden opportunity to get statistical luminaries on the record about developing & launching statistics.

    What does it take for an advanced stat to go mainstream? | The Athletic

  • Facebook's Ownership of Life Milestones

    One of the barriers to completely deleting my Facebook account (which I rarely log into) is that it’s the primary repository of support I received during three significant events my life from 2011: the Wisconsin protests, my dad’s death in April, & my stepdad’s death in December.

    I wish there was a way to preserve those posts & comments in an online environment I control. I suppose giving Facebook ownership of those moments of my online life were in the terms I agreed to when I created my account. I wouldn’t make that same mistake today.

  • Early Szymborska

    There are not enough lips to pronounce
    your transient names, O water.

    I would have to say them in every language
    pronouncing all the vowels at once,

    at the same time keeping silent—for the sake of a lake
    that waited in vain for a name,

    and is no longer on earth—as it is in the heavens,
    whose stars are no longer reflected in it.

    Wisława Szymborska, “Water”, originally published in Sól (Salt), 1962 | Virginia Quarterly Review

  • He said something to the effect of, “You do understand this is the former vice president.”

    Cheney looked up.

    I panicked and said the first thing that came to mind: “Yeah, well, waterboard me if it makes him feel better. It’ll still take a week.” And I walked out.

    A must read.

  • We were treated to a spectacular view of the Moon, Jupiter, & Venus this morning.

  • How many F-bombs does a respected tech blogger get in a piece dissecting a prominent news story before they start to look either unserious or a bit too enthralled by entity being analyzed?

  • We were treated to a spectacular view of the Moon, Jupiter, & Venus this morning.

  • I just learned my late grandmother’s oldest brother passed away on December 31st. I learned this from an Instagram post by a second-degree relative who has my phone number.

    Tell me again how social media draws us closer.

  • How I’ve chosen to start 2019.

  • Good morning, @manton! I’ve noticed the official iOS app’s character counter seems to be miscounting the number of characters generated by an ampersand: typing a & currently adds five characters to the counter instead of one.

  • Arriving home at dusk on the first night of the year, there is snow to be measured & shoveled. But first, I am being treated to an extended conversation with a few obliging local great horned owls.

    You still up? Me too.

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