💬 capacity for the nobler feelings

Capacity for the nobler feelings is in most natures a very tender plant, easily killed, not only by hostile influences, but by mere want of sustenance; and in the majority of young persons it speedily dies away if the occupations to which their position in life has devoted them, and the society into which it has thrown them, are not favourable to keeping that higher capacity in exercise. Men lose their high aspirations as they lose their intellectual tastes, because they have not time or opportunity for indulging them; and they addict themselves to inferior pleasures, not because they deliberately prefer them, but because they are either the only ones to which they have access, or the only ones which they are any longer capable of enjoying.

― John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (1868)

14 October 2019

💬 user impatience

From one perf optimization article: “However, one of the few things in the known universe faster than the speed of light is users impatience. ”

— Dimo Belov (@DimoBelov) August 6, 2019
9 October 2019

💬 the fallacy of gray

The Sophisticate: “The world isn’t black and white. No one does pure good or pure bad. It’s all gray. Therefore, no one is better than anyone else.”

The Zetet: “Knowing only gray, you conclude that all grays are the same shade. You mock the simplicity of the two-color view, yet you replace it with a one-color view . . .”

—Marc Stiegler, David’s Sling (1988)

via https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/dLJv2CoRCgeC2mPgj/the-fallacy-of-gray


A guilty system recognizes no innocents. As with any power apparatus which thinks everybody’s either for it or against it, we’re against it. You would be too, if you thought about it. The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. This might not be your fault, because every society imposes some of its values on those raised within it, but the point is that some societies try to maximize that effect, and some try to minimize it. You come from one of the latter and you’re being asked to explain yourself to one of the former. Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible.

Iain M. Banks, Player of Games (1988)

citing out of context here, but still worth it

25 September 2019

💬 the web is non-disruptive for once

As Michael Clarke memorably put it nearly a decade ago: when Tim Berners-Lee created the Web in 1991, it was with the aim of facilitating scientific communication and the dissemination of scientific research. The extent to which the Web hasn’t disrupted the scientific publishing industry (while, at the same time, dramatically reshaping nearly all other retail services) is therefore surprising.

“Rise of the platforms”, Nature Physics 15, 871 (2019)

11 September 2019

💬 the new gold

If data is the new gold, then we’ve been living in the Wild West.

― Hannah Fry, “Hello World” (2018)

9 September 2019

💬 dear future generations

This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.

A plaque penned by Icelandic writer Andri Snær Magnason will memorialize Okjökull, Iceland’s first glacier lost to climate change.

Seems relevant to add this quote:

Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies. We were rolling drunk on petroleum.

― Kurt Vonnegut

23 July 2019

💬 louder than words

We need a civilised world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour auctioned off his guitars for $21.5 million and donated the money to public-interest environmental-law firm ClientEarth.

27 June 2019