zen


more angst in wowsville

I had really hoped that things would fall in place and the mild flirtation we shared would eventually allow

me to kiss you

but instead you went back to your room and i paused, only for a second and saw myself in third person as a movie star in some passionate melodramatic nineteenforties black and white tv-dinner special

I walked back slowly fantasizing about how I’d call you Doll and you’d be quite a dish and I’d smoke a cigarette in every scene

and when I kissed you you’d throw your leg up

 

 

— Lance, circa 1996

 

 

Credits How To Kiss from [...]

Read The Rest Of This Post

Scale and Perspective

 

“It takes these very simple-minded instructions—’Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it’s greater than this other number’––but executes them at a rate of, let’s say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic.”

— Steve Jobs

Read The Rest Of This Post

falling back

Head of a Ruler Third Dynasty of Ur Bismaya Temple Gypsum bitumen 2000-2050 BCE

 

 

I like daylight savings time because it reminds me that my perception of time is a completely arbitrary abstraction based on the base 60 / 12 number system of a dead civilization which I have to translate into base 10 numerals in my head because my ancestors never thought to use their closed hand as one and six, but that’s ok because they are both, in turn, just arbitrary abstractions.

 

Read The Rest Of This Post

There is something magical about describing something into existence

Image by Paulo Colacino

It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t done it.

She asked me how I can take the boredom of just sitting there writing instructions to a computer for hours.

“Don’t you ever just want to scream?”

If I was writing a novel, she’d get it. It’s romantic even… the image of the reclusive writer weaving stories and directing characters through arcs of conflict and resolution, forever tumbling toward that final page.

A musician iterating through melodies, alone at [...]

Read The Rest Of This Post

Coding Ugly

I am a forest - by Gustav Klim

Sometimes it’s good to just hack. Don’t worry about scalability or maintainability, don’t sweat coding standards, ignore DRY but mutter YAGNI as often as possible – just duct tape things together as you think of them.

It’s like sketching, but instead of a pencil you have a text editor. You pop around the control flow tweaking bits and dropping little #todo’s when you get an idea that might be worth pursuing… but later. Just jot it down in a comment so [...]

Read The Rest Of This Post

Life Is Short

So it is — the life we receive is not short, but we make it so, nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it. Just as great and princely wealth is scattered in a moment when it comes into the hands of a bad owner, while wealth however limited, if it is entrusted to a good guardian, increases by use, so our life is amply long for him who orders it properly.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, [...]

Read The Rest Of This Post

What do I want to do when I grow up?

If you’re reading these words and you’re not an archiving bot sifting through the digital detritus of the early internet a thousand years from now, you were born as a squishy bag of meat. The fact that you are the particular sort of meatbag that can perceive light to such fine detail that you can interpret the squiggles that make up this sentence and convert them to meaningful electrical signals in the spongy bit of meat above your food hole [...]

Read The Rest Of This Post

Zombies in the Workplace

I love this talk by Sebastian Hermida called Zombies in my Workplace:

Read The Rest Of This Post

Zen Cynicism: maitri

 

There was a story about the Zen master Suzuki Roshi. This was a situation where his students had been sitting and they were 3 or 4 hours into a very hard sitting period, a sesshin. The person who told the story said every bone in his body was hurting, his back, his ankles, his neck, his head, everything hurt. Not only that, his thoughts were totally obsessed with either “I can’t do this, I’m worthless. There’s something wrong [...]

Read The Rest Of This Post