10 months Ago

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.15

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of over 900 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV.

The Hateful Eight (2015) — 8/10
Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russel are two bounty hunters who meet on a road in... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.14

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Prizzi’s Honor (1985) — 6/10
Anjelica Huston, Jack Nicholson and... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.13

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60 (2016) — 5/10
Carvey still... [More]

Oblivion: Stories by David Foster Wallace (2005) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (2011) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Books read in 2016

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Seveneves (2015)

by Neal Stephenson

This is another epic work by Stephenson, spanning almost 900 pages and over 5000 years. He picks up some themes I’ve seen in other books while including a lot of his standard fascination for technological detail, weaponry in particular. This is the story of the eradication of life as we know it on the planet Earth. Something called The Agent enters the Moon from one side and exits from the other, shattering it into seven large pieces and innumerable smaller... [More]

Obey

Published by marco on in Philosophy

 Capitalism is the mechanism by which we attempt to regulate human interaction without ethics. We’ve discovered that, while many people will act ethically, there are those who do not. So we offer these monsters incentives. We try to build an economic system in which we harness their power for evil to our greater good.

But I think the leash is in the wrong hand. We’ve built a system that works fantastically for the small percentage of people who cannot be swayed by ethical arguments while at the... [More]

Something Happened by Joseph Heller (1974) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

An Open Letter to Greg Proops

Published by marco on in Miscellaneous

Dear Greg:

I wasn’t going to do a tl;dr, but I thought of one. I offer it as a bone thrown by an incorrigibly garrulous writer to his reader.

Stop being Chris Matthews.

Perhaps that’s too short.

Let me try again.

If I wanted to be yelled at by MSNBC to believe stuff for which they feel no obligation to provide evidence (or provide the “national security” copout), then I could just watch that. I want your opinion, not Rachel Maddow’s[1] shallow press-release regurgitations.

The rest I will... [More]

Bill Burr on Pregnancy and Christmas Stockings

Published by marco on in Fun

Bill Burr does an extemporaneous podcast every Monday and Thursday. He is one of the English language’s best living comedians, with a tremendous feel for timing and a much cleverer take on things than he’ll admit (but that’s part of his schtick).

On a recent show, Monday Morning Podcast 22.12.2016, his wife Nia joined him. She is pregnant, several months along. Once you’ve heard the podcast, you’ll wonder at the amount of patience that she brings to the marriage, all the more when very... [More]

Discussion between Mark Blyth and Wendy Schiller on Nov. 9, 2016

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The following video is well worth investing 90 minutes.

Mark Blyth and Wendy Schiller – Election 2016: What Happened and Why? on November 9th, 2016 (YouTube)

Mark Blyth is absolutely brilliant. Here are some choice quotes that I manually transcribed.

“How is all of this going to play out? Where is it all connected? Well, here’s a simple way of thinking about it. From 1945 to 1975, we targeted a particular economic variable called “full employment”. And there’s a thing called the Lukas Critique, which basically says that if you keep targeting something, people will game it. And they did:... [More]”

A philosophical and political discussion with Cornel West and Chris Hedges

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The following video is well worth investing 90 minutes.

Chris Hedges and Cornel West in Conversation − Wages of Rebellion | The New School on October 14th, 2015 (YouTube)

I can’t even summarize this. Watch all of it. If you don’t understand it, be worried, then rectify the situation. Because they explain exactly what’s going on. With no deviation and no exaggeration. I was surprised to see how reasonable West has gotten. He was on the Obama bandwagon for a few years.

Here are some choice quotes that I manually transcribed.

“It’s not a radical movement’s job to seize power. Its job is to make power fear... [More]”
Chris Hedges

Why propaganda works

Published by marco on in Quotes

“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.[1]
Oscar Wilde


[1] @Nid: This is what I was much less eloquently saying on the phone yesterday.

Capitalism is the engine behind racism

Published by marco on in Quotes

“If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power. Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.”
Stokely Carmichael

Propaganda about Obama’s love for Palestinians

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

 I figure that’s a better title than “Obama administration takes a significant step toward ending the occupation”.

I heard from a few sources that the U.S. Congress finally voted against funding Israel. That is patently untrue. What actually sparked this rumor is that—for the first time ever—the U.S. allowed a vote in the U.N. Security Council to proceed against Israel. Congress had nothing to do with it. The budget for Israel stands. The U.S. didn’t even vote against Israel. Instead,... [More]

Energy-consumption by type in the U.S.

Published by marco on in Finance & Economy

This is a sobering graphic for those who’ve been swayed by the propaganda that America is “just around the corner” from a 100% alternative—non–fossil-fuel—economy.

 Energy consumption in the US (1776 – 2015) (EIA)

You can see that coal consumption is way down, but natural-gas consumption is way up. Home-grown natural-gas consumption is declining again (rapidly, despite more propaganda) but imports will likely continue. Along with natural gas, other renewables have also replaced some of the coal, but not nearly as much. Just as much as... [More]

Whoosh: a missed joke on procrastination

Published by marco on in Fun

 I was about to go running, but it looks like it's about to rain, so I'm gonna sit this one out

OP; Heheheheheheheh
M: It’s been raining here all afternoon and night
OP; Mom, that’s not the point.
M: I know
OP; Hahah okay just checkin’ (upside-down smilie face)

11 months Ago

Choosing an electoral system

Published by marco on in Science & Nature

Americans have, once again, noticed that the electoral college is odd. And undemocratic. And odd.

There are much more democratic systems out there. “First past the post” is not one of them. YouTube and CGP Grey to the rescue.

The Trouble with the Electoral College by CGP Grey (YouTube) and Re: The Trouble With The Electoral College – Cities, Metro Areas, Elections and The United States by CGP Grey (YouTube)
These two videos combine to explain how the electoral college works and how it’s undemocratic. That is, regardless of whether it... [More]

A tutorial for reaching across the aisle

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

In response to a link to the article and video Why Trump supporters stand by debunked claim (CNN) and the ensuing comments, I posted the following discussion.

Initial remarks

The citations below are from the aforementioned comments.

  • “Ill-informed” <> Stupid
  • “Their feeling that they are getting screwed”: It’s not just a feeling, though, is it? Isn’t it more accurate to say that they *have noticed* that things are going from bad to worse. They understandably want to make things better. They grasp at... [More]

President Trump

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

I haven’t been asleep. I’ve noticed that Trump was elected president of the United States. I’ve been following the hyperbolic reactions and speculations. Predictions of doomsday have been loosed with abandon.

Most of this coverage comes from the same heedless simpletons who’ve failed miserably as journalists umpteen times. But this time, we should listen to them because what they have to say is important. Any opinion that lines up with their own is valid—regardless from whom it comes (i.e.... [More]

A Surfeit of C#/.NET IDEs

Published by marco on in Programming

For many years, the C#/.NET world has been dominated by a single main IDE: Visual Studio. MonoDevelop has also been available for a while, as an alternative for users on other platforms. Lately, though, there have been a few new contenders in the .NET IDE arena.

Visual Studio for Mac

We’ll get this one out of the way first: this is basically Xamarin Studio for Mac, rebranded as Visual Studio for Mac. This IDE is pretty and extremely well-integrated into MacOS, with a lot of animated editor... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.12

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of over 900 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV.

Krull (1983) — 5/10
I saw this movie for the first time over fifteen years ago. It’s actually better than I... [More]

High-Rise by J.G. Ballard (1975) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem (1965; 1974 in English) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Numero Zero by Umberto Eco (2015) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Revenge: A Novel by Stephen Fry (2000) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Making History by Stephen Fry (1997) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry (1994) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Definitely, Maybe by Arkady Strugatsky (1977) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (1921) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]