Vostok Space Beer: "From the dawn of civilisation, humanity brewed beer and wherever we venture, beer follows. Fast forward to today and off the back of those hefty space travel ticket prices, you’d want to be drinking the good beer you drink at home – and if it’s tasting good down here, imagine how it’d be up there, with views of our big blue globe!"
The Atlantic discussed SimCity with Stone Librande in the summer of 2013:
Geoff Manaugh: While you were making those measurements of different real-world cities, did you discover any surprising patterns or spatial relationships?
Librande: Yes, definitely. I think the biggest one was the parking lots. When I started measuring out our local grocery store, which I don't think of as being that big, I was blown away by how much more space was parking lot rather than actual store. That was kind of a problem, because we were originally just going to model real cities, but we quickly realized there were way too many parking lots in the real world and that our game was going to be really boring if it was proportional in terms of parking lots.
Manaugh: You would be making SimParkingLot, rather than SimCity.
Librande: [laughs] Exactly. So what we do in the game is that we just imagine they are underground. We do have parking lots in the game, and we do try to scale them -- so, if you have a little grocery store, we'll put six or seven parking spots on the side, and, if you have a big convention center or a big pro stadium, they'll have what seem like really big lots -- but they're nowhere near what a real grocery store or pro stadium would have. We had to do the best we could do and still make the game look attractive.
"David Randall and Christopher Welser are unlikely authorities on the reproducibility crisis in science. Randall, a historian and librarian, is the director of research at the National Association of Scholars, a small higher education advocacy group. Welser teaches Latin at a Christian college in Minnesota. Neither has published anything on replication or reproducibility. But when a report the two men wrote, “The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science,” was published by the National Association of Scholars on Tuesday afternoon, it received a Congressional reception. The launch took place in a House office building on Capitol Hill. The Texas Republican Lamar Smith, chairman of the House science committee and one of the most powerful science policymakers in Washington, spoke at the event. In a statement to Undark, he described the NAS report as an 'important study.'"
Norman Mailer for Dissent -- "It may be fruitful to consider the hipster a philosophical psychopath, a man interested not only in the dangerous imperatives of his psychopathy but in codifying, at least for himself, the suppositions on which his inner universe is constructed. By this premise the hipster is a psychopath, and yet not a psychopath but the negation of the psychopath for he possesses the narcissistic detachment of the philosopher, that absorption in the recessive nuances of one’s own motive which is so alien to the unreasoning drive of the psychopath."
Michael Ian Black for the NYT:
"But cruising’s simple sincerity never sat well with Wallace and the generation of cruise writers who followed on his sea legs. Dan Saltzstein, an editor at The New York Times Travel section, wrote in a recent articleabout taking a Disney cruise with his wife and daughter. “I’ve been a travel editor for nearly a decade,” he said, “and yet this was my first cruise.” The reason he hadn’t yet participated in America’s most popular vacation choice? “It hadn’t seemed like my bag.” Your “bag?” My dude, it’s a Disney cruise, not Burning Man."
Additional reading: David Foster Wallace's "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again".
"60 years ago, Kevin Lynch defined “legible” cities as those whose patterns lend themselves to coherent, organized, recognizable, and comprehensible mental images. These help us organize city space into cognitive maps for wayfinding and a sense of place. But what Boston lacks in legible circulation patterns, it makes up for in other Lynchian elements (paths, edges, districts, nodes, landmarks) that help make it an “imageable” city for locals and visitors."
Jonny Thakkar in The Point -- "The trouble for philosophers is that they find disagreement to be one of life’s higher pleasures. Part of the fun of philosophy, for those who have acquired the taste, is the cut and thrust of argument: for the person proposing it’s the thrill of trying to articulate yourself in the knowledge that a step in the wrong direction could get you skewered; for the person responding it’s the thrill of trying to reverse engineer an argument until you find a chink in the armor. In principle there’s nothing personal about this, just as there’s nothing personal about trying to exploit a weakness in someone’s backhand. In practice things tend to be more complicated."
"At first, no one knew exactly how to telephone. Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to start conversations by saying, “Ahoy-hoy!” AT&T tried to prevent people from saying “hello,” arguing in Telephone Engineer magazine that it was rude [...] Texting is fun, lightly asynchronous, and possible to do with many people simultaneously. It’s almost as immediate as a phone call, but not quite. You’ve got your Twitter, your Facebook, your work Slack, your email, FaceTimes incoming from family members. So many little dings have begun to make the rings obsolete." (Alexis C. Madrigal for The Atlantic)
"Respond as you would to the telephone, for the call of the telephone is incessant and unremitting. When you hang up, it does not disappear but goes into remission. This constitutes its Dasein. There is no off switch to the technological. Remember: When you’re on the telephone, there is always an electronic flow, even when that flow is unmarked." (Avital Ronell in The Telephone Book)
Rose Callahan's "Dandy Portraits" — "Today, the question, "What is a dandy?" has no simple answer, and I do not claim to have the last word. Rather, this is a very personal exploration of dandyism - in it's "infinite variety" - thru the gentlemen I have had the pleasure of meeting. With each new portrait comes more curiosity, and the realization that a true dandy is a rare thing indeed."
In the 1880's, who was King of the Dudes? — "Wall was born in 1860. His father and grandfather each left him more than $1 million between his 18th and 22nd birthdays, which enabled a certain grandeur. Thereafter, Wall never drank water - only champagne - and sported a walrus mustache, gleaming monocle, and high, stiff collars encircled by one of his 5,000 flamboyant neckties. Wall eventually owned a wardrobe of 500 complete changes, useful for someone who completely changed his clothing at least six times daily.”
"To publish a definitive collection of short stories in one’s late 60s seems to me, as an American writer, a traditional and a dignified occasion, eclipsed in no way by the fact that a great many of the stories in my current collection were written in my underwear.
This is not to say that I was ever a Bohemian. Hardly a man is now alive who can remember when Harold Ross edited The New Yorker magazine, but I am one of those. The Ross editorial queries were genuinely eccentric. In one short story of mine, I invented a character who returned home from work and changed his clothes before dinner. Ross wrote on the galley margin: "Eh? What's this? Cheever looks to me like a one-suiter." He was so right. At the space rates he paid, I could afford exactly one suit. In the mornings, I dressed in this and took the elevator to a windowless room in the basement where I worked. Here I hung my suit on a hanger, wrote until nightfall when I dressed and returned to our apartment. A great many of my stories were written in boxer shorts."
"Music participates in what Clement Greenberg called the division of all art into kitsch and avant-garde, and kitsch — the dictatorship of profit over art — has long since subjugated the particular, socially reserved sphere of art. This is why reflections on the development of truth in aesthetic objectivity must be confined uniquely to the avant-garde, which is excluded from official culture. Today a philosophy of music is possible only as a philosophy of new music. What sustains is only what denounces official culture; the latter alone serves the promotion of that barbarism over which it waxes indignant. The cultured listeners almost seem to be the worst: those who promptly respond to Schoenberg's music with "I don't understand that" — a statement whose modesty rationalizes rage as connoisseurship." (Adorno, Philosophy of New Music, introduction)
From the New York Times Magazine, Jan. 26, 2018:
"Imagine having no talent. Imagine being no good at all at something and doing it anyway. Then, after nine years, failing at it and giving it up in disgust and moving to Englewood, N.J., and selling aluminum siding. And then, years later, trying the thing again, though it wrecks your marriage, and failing again. And eventually making a meticulous study of the thing and figuring out that, by eliminating every extraneous element, you could isolate what makes it work and just do that. And then, after becoming better at it than anyone who had ever done it, realizing that maybe you didn’t need the talent. That maybe its absence was a gift."