Archive for April, 2006


14:47 25 Apr 2006. Updated: 10:01 04 May 2006

I went to see this about ten days ago and it was fantastic. Raymond Chandler noir in a high school. Completely amazing dialogue. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Seth and I were both stunned by how great it was. Go see it.

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Random email about mame.dk

13:06 09 Apr 2006. Updated: 19:14 23 Feb 2009

A few years ago, I wrote this article about mame.dk closing. (mame.dk was a site hosting game files for MAME, an arcade game emulator.) I get more email in reference to that article than, I think, anything else I’ve put up. Most of the email is in agreement with my viewpoint, and some ask for where one can get ROMs now (sadly, I have no idea). Last week I got a negative email, from “Mark”, and decided to post it and my reply.

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Logical Fallacies and Cognitive Biases

18:27 05 Apr 2006. Updated: 11:59 09 Oct 2006

I randomly found these two categories on Wikipedia:


There’s a lot of really great reading in there, and in fact I feel like *everyone* should read all of them. Especially the logical fallacies. I mean, wow, how much better would the world be if people were less swayed by emotional manipulation? And if everyone were more aware of their own biases?

I also came across a good explanation of the Monty Hall problem while skimming the Gambler’s fallacy.

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Parsing Sartre

22:55 03 Apr 2006. Updated: 07:20 08 Jan 2007

This evening Seth and I spent a couple of hours getting through about a page of *Essays in Existentialism*. That’s slightly slower than our usual rate… and most of that time was spent on the first half-page. We ended up having to re-word it significantly in order to make sense of it. (More accurately, to make what we thought was sense out of it—naturally it’s unclear if we were correct about that.) Presented below are the original and our parsing—please note that I’m not making any claims about the comprehensibility or even sensicality of our version, either in relation to the original or independent of it…

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Unplugging my Television

10:04 03 Apr 2006. Updated: 20:45 27 Jun 2013

I decided on Saturday to unplug the cable feed from my TV. I haven’t been watching a lot of television, but I have been drifting into it, especially when I’m tired.

I don’t want to get rid of the TV entirely, since I use it for DVDs and DDR (and, in theory, other PlayStation games). I don’t necessarily want to get rid of my cable feed either, since I do occasionally want to watch stuff on it. But unplugging it is an attempt to make sure that I only watch television when I want to watch television… seems to be working so far.

So what’s wrong with watching television? Nothing, really. Except that when I’m not really enjoying it, then what’s the point? Why do something that isn’t enjoyable, acts as a soporific, isn’t productive, and is apparently really bad for you? That doesn’t seem to be a good idea.

Whenever I mentioned the ill effects of television to Juliana, she would always ask if, therefore, watching movies/series on DVD was also bad for you, by implication. I usually said no, but clearly didn’t have a convincing reason for this (else she wouldn’t have kept asking, presumably). Having thought about it a little more, I think the answer is engagement and enjoyment. After a good movie, or an episode of some excellent series, I feel engaged with it, I feel like I want to watch another one (if it’s an episode, less so with movies), and I feel like I’m really thinking about it. None of which is really true when just watching cable television. There are exceptions, but those seem to be rather rare. And the advertising really takes away a huge amount of the potential for engagement. So the difference is really between active engagement and passive viewing. Even though they’re both passive (it’s a passive medium), one is clearly different from the other, and that’s most evident in how I feel after doing one, versus how I feel after doing the other.

Anyway, it seems to make a lot of sense that I should only watch television when I actively want to, hence the unplugging of the cable. I’ll see how it works out.

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