latest bout of ‘are people much better than me at this or just way overconfident about it’: how do you even know how long it takes you to fall sleep. like. basically by definition you’re not paying attention by the time it happens, it seems like it should be really hard to have anything like an accurate measure of it. sure you can tell the difference between an hour and a minute but i see people reporting numbers with granularity in the minutes and i have no idea how they could possibly know. unless they had a sleep test i guess, someone else doing the measuring for them, but then why would you ask other people and expect that same granularity? surely the default answer is ‘i don’t know’.

there’s the whole paradoxical insomnia thing, people who report they haven’t slept at all or slept very little but have in fact slept, which i think is evidence for ‘they are just overconfident’. people can say ‘i barely slept’ when they had several hours of sleep, because the borders of sleep and wakefulness are inherently fuzzy from the inside.

Fitness-tracker wristbands? Those alarm-clock apps that decide when (within a given window) to wake you based on how much you’re moving around and therefore how lightly you’re asleep?

(not to say that there isn’t *also* a lot of overconfidence going on, but very basic sleep tests are a lot more practical than they used to be)


#I don’t *super* trust Sleep Cycle’s graph of what times I was asleep #I *know* I’ve seen it fail to recognise times that I woke up in the middle of the night #but there’s something to be said for it and I wouldn’t be surprised if‚ like‚ some mattresses work better for it than others #reply via reblog #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #amnesia cw?





Too tired to draw but I still need everyone to be aware of this bizarre interaction I had at work this morning


Worth mentioning is that I’m in Iceland and the store I work at only accepts icelandic króna so like even euros wouldn’t have worked in this case

It occurs to me now that since cash registers are full Internet connected computers these days, surely they could be programmed to accept any currency and calculate appropriate change, with an exchange spread and an owner-configured Annoying Foreigner Surcharge.

Our full-Internet-connected-computer cash register *has* a foreign-exchange button, but (for some reason I am not privy to) it’s turned off. Our store policy is that we take U.S. cash at parity (with Canadian): if you want to pay a 35% Annoying Foreigner Surcharge, be our guest.

(Though I acknowledge that it makes a lot more sense to have a pre-existing policy on how to handle U.S. cash in Canada than it does in Iceland.)

(I think I had a guy hand me a USD$10 bill *once* in the several years I’ve worked here, and he was very apologetic about it and asked permission before ordering. Mostly it’s just a matter of not bothering to point it out when someone accidentally hands you an American nickel instead of a Canadian nickel.

We’re not *supposed* to accept when people accidentally give us British nickels or Jamaican dimes or something, but often cashiers don’t notice. Sometimes I’ll trade the cash register for it out of my own wallet so I can bring it home and go “hey guys, check out this neat coin we found!”.)


#reply via reblog #in which Brin has a job #adventures in human capitalism #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what #discourse cw? #embarrassment squick?





so many posts on so many different forums are about to break

just like photobucket

Dumb question: is the kind of entity that can undo much of this damage? Can they try to scrape and store the most accessed N% of content that’s flagged as probable-to-go-down? If not, what’s stopping them – laws, resource bottlenecks, or technical difficulties?

ArchiveTeam (a distinct entity from the Internet Archive, but works closely with them) has now spun up a project to scrape Imgur for ingestion into the Wayback Machine. They welcome help; the level of tech-savviness required is “knows how to run a provided VirtualBox file”.

(VirtualBox scraper instances currently default to scraping Enjin, but if you want to specifically do Imgur you can go to while the scraper is running and change the available-projects setting.)


#reply via reblog #PSA #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #amnesia cw?





smartphone storage plateauing in favor of just storing everything in the cloud is such dogshit. i should be able to have like a fucking terabyte of data on my phone at this point. i hate the fucking cloud

this is gonna make me sound very Old Man Yells At Cloud but i just hate how many things in my life assume i will always have access to a quick, reliable internet connection and almost cease to function without it. Obviously certain things Have To Have An Internet Connection, but i want to be able to listen to music if my service is bad. i want to still watch movies if Netflix is down. i want to have a working map when i can’t get a cell signal. nearly every tech product these days bears the fingerprint of the extremely internet-rich places they are developed, high rent offices in Seattle, San Francisco, etc.. I think often the idea of the internet not being available is so remote to them it doesn’t even factor in to development. i remember when the Xbox One was debuted and Microsoft was almost mockingly like “if you don’t have reliable fast internet, then don’t bother buying this”, and there was such backlash they completely went back on so much of that. But now that attitude is just the tech norm.

I don’t trust the cloud.

This makes me happy I don’t use my phone for going online

i mean you can get a terabyte phone but it costs like $1600 USD (give or take a couple hundred, idk, i’m not looking it up)

what really pisses me off is that the samsung flagship phones have completely phased out their sd card slots. you can’t get a cell phone with expandable storage anymore

Yeah, it’s such bullshit that it’s a whole ordeal to dig up a model with a microSD slot now.

I *do* have a 2020-model phone (a slightly different model of which is still in production) with a half-terabyte microSD† in it. (For CAD$155 instead of CAD$70 I could have gotten a full terabyte of microSD, but I didn’t have the budget. Mind you, I *could* upgrade later, without having to replace the whole phone…) But that’s because a microSD slot was my single highest priority when deciding what model to buy, absolutely non-negotiable: if I’d cared any less, I’d probably have ended up with a Pixel or a OnePlus.

Hmm, I wrote an extremely outdated guide to orienting your phone setup around not having reliable Internet access in 2015, and a substantially outdated guide in 2018, so it sounds like I’m due for another one. Be right back.

[three months of on-and-off tinkering later]

Okay, here’s “Tips on Offline-First Smartphones, 2023 Edition”.

†Some of the specs for that phone model you’ll see around will say it takes “up to 128 GB”, but don’t be fooled: 64 GB – 2 TB microSDs are the same backwards-compatibility tier. If a phone can take 32 GB, it might not be able to take 64, but if it can take 64 it can take 2048.


#reply via reblog #oh look an original post #disappointed permanent resident of The Future #Brin owns *two* 2010’s computers now #fun with loopholes #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers


you are offered a choice:

  1. You get to open a video-game style character creation screen and customise your body at will, to anything within range of human variation (no cat ears, sorry). This includes letting you set a new biological age, get rid of any physical health issues, and so on. Your new appearance seems unremarkable to anyone who knows you, all government databases with your picture are adjusted, etc.
  2. You get 150 000 USD every year for the rest of your life without having to do anything for it. You don’t pay taxes on this money, it adjusts with inflation automatically, it appears entirely legitimate to any authorities, etc.

what do you choose, and also, are you trans or cis (if you’re tempted to answer ‘it’s complicated’, round off to trans)?



My tag ramble was so long that Tumblr cut it off (apparently the current limit is 30 tags), so I’m dumping it into the main post body:

#I’ve been wavering on whether to reblog this for ages

#I felt kind of bad about piling on to Sofi’s notespam like that

#but it being context for the next post has pushed me over into “yes”

#I didn’t realise until after voting that the character creation is one-time-only rather than ongoing access

#which makes the correct answer less *obvious*

#but I stand by my vote of cis | character creation

#(as it happens I *am* considering doing a second puberty through this‚ but they’d both be estrogenic)

#(honestly I’d barely even need the magic ID updating)

#(29-year-old me in 12-year-old me’s body could pass for 29 about as well as I could in 29-year-old body)

#(the two mes look pretty much the same: it’s all a matter of how you act)

#((well‚ 12-year-old me was a little smaller‚ but within the adult range and her face was already more or less stable))

#(((ooh‚ I bet I could tweak it so that I *stay* five-foot-one this time around)))

#(((during my first puberty my body map never updated for my final growth spurt‚ and

#I’m not *dysphoric* about being two inches too tall‚ but it does get a bit disorienting sometimes)))

#anyway my point there is that…a lot of people in the notes are going “money can be exchanged for goods and services”

#but I think in this case that’s actually backwards

#while money and health do both feed into each other

#health can be exchanged for money to a much greater degree than money can be exchanged for health

#money can *maybe* buy you the *appearance* of 9 – 17

#–(depending on how much puberty I can get away with doing again without fucking up my brain)–

#more years of youth‚ but it won’t buy you the lifespan nor the functionality of it

#money can buy you the ability to *breathe* your homeworld’s atmosphere even during pollen season

#and enough of it can buy you the ability to *talk* while breathing it

#but it can’t really buy you the ability to eat and drink while breathing it‚ and that’s a significant handicap in itself

#(not to mention the street harassment you get wearing a prosthetic immune system (to keep your built-in immune system from freaking out))

#likewise‚ money can buy disease *prevention*‚ but not the ability to shrug it off once you’ve caught it

#the ability of money to buy more robust bones is extremely limited

#(have I ever broken a bone? no! but why settle for merely *adequate* bone strength when I can have *optimal* bone strength?)

#((…god‚ why is anyone who is not *actively dying* for want of resources taking the money over the health))

#((I was so very aware‚ that time last year that a ventilation floor grate broke beneath me‚ that if I’d been 80 I would have *died*))

#((but I was 28‚ and I got away without even a broken bone))

#((why would you give that up any more than you have to))

#the list goes on

#meanwhile‚ health can buy you a nice steady low-non-physical-barrier-to-entry job as a farmhand or dockworker

#(not *as* steady as magic income‚ yes‚ and I *do* care a great deal about that‚ but I care about health *more*)

#and I’m not altruistic enough to take more money than I need so that I can give the rest away‚ not given what else is on offer


#reply via reblog #tag rambles #surveys #transhumanism #gender #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #adventures in human capitalism #aging cw #death tw #poison cw? #injury cw #illness tw?

{{next post in sequence}}


An evil wizard holds you at gunpoint and requires you to choose one of the following emotions to lose forever. You will not feel the faintest trace of it ever again. Which do you pick?



Mildly surprised by the results of this poll, given that it’s a dead heat between the three for me. I suppose it shouldn’t be entirely surprising that shame wins, since it is in some ways a very social emotion, and how others perceive us (and our worries about how they perceive us) occupies a lot of our thoughts. But though I would gladly dispense with all three emotions, if I somehow could, a small sense of shame seems the most useful, since it is at least sometimes a useful key to whether others might be put off or annoyed by our actions.


I’m confused by the idea that this is an evil wizard. Losing shame and losing anger both seem clearly net positive to me?


oh wow. fear and shame both seem straightforwardly useful to me in a way that anger does not


“What could possibly go wrong with losing my sense of shame,” I say five minutes before shitting myself in public


There was a woman born with a congenital condition that prevents her feeling fear interviewed on, I think Radiolab a while back; something that struck me about the interview was that feeling no fear didn’t interfere with her life 99% of the time; it certainly didn’t make her more inclined to play in traffic as a kid or anything. Her cognitive ability to predict and avoid harm was perfectly intact. They did indicate (though did not really detail) that there were a handful of occasions in her life where a lack of being able to feel fear led her into riskier situations, but this was more akin to what a naive or trusting person might experience–if anything, someone who feels no fear would be less likely to be, say, an adrenaline junkie who takes risks because they experience a fear response in a particular way.

I think if you were cognitively normal except unable to experience shame, you probably wouldn’t shit your pants more often in public (so to speak); you would retain your ability to predict which situations might cause you to accrue negative social capital and to avoid them. I think a lot of what fear and shame (and all our other emotions do) is help us cache those calculations, or reinforce the desire to avoid behaviors, but we don’t depend on them to act like, in basically sane and rational ways. If you had no trace of shame I do expect your behavior would be at least a little different, unless it was really working hard to restrain some deeply unpopular compulsion, but I don’t think it would actively incentivize acting in weird ways.


more than anything else this poll made me feel perplexed about how different I am than others. I picked anger because it seems, like, really obviously the best choice, but it’s the least popular! Shame and fear are both defensive emotions, in the sense that they’re designed to protect you from threats, but anger is largely an offensive emotion; I’m much more concerned about compromising my defensive capabilities than my offensive ones, since society doesn’t feel like the kind of situation where you can just plow through everything with a strong preemptive assault. I think maybe the square-jawed dynastic banker guys can pull that off, which is why they do so much cocaine? But it’s not, like, usual. Having no sense of anger feels much safer than the other two.

I suppose the results are complicated by people’s individual tendencies, though, too. Someone who has way too much of a particular thing would probably be biased to get rid of it, so at least some of this might be that the reclusive tunnel-dwellers of Tumblr have more fear and shame than anger on the balance.


Anger is absolutely a useful, load-bearing element of my life. It’s motive, in a way that the others are not; it’s one of the basic things that distinguishes between the world I live in and the world as I want it to be. Reducing that better world to a mere ‘would be nice’ is… extremely disturbing to me.

So I guess I can agree that it’s ‘safer’ to get rid of anger, in that it’s not likely to result in dangerous situations for you or anybody else. But it’s also a life of extreme complacency, in a way that’s directly counter to many of my core values. Without anger, there’s no sense of unfairness; without unfairness, there’s no aspiration to justice. Most notably, I really hate death, to the point of being slightly loony about it- without that, I’m fairly sure my baseline personality would look very different.

Man, reading this thread makes me feel like one of those colourblind people wondering why people are making such a big deal about subtle variations in shades of brownish-gray.

I read through the notes, and almost *every* example that *every* person brings up for *every* emotion on this list parses as fear to me.

I’m reblogging this particular version primarily because of how surprising it is to see someone describe the-painful-awareness-of-the-gap-between-how-the-world-is-and-how-it-ought-to-be as *anger*, when as I experience it…okay, some of it is disgust† and a fair bit of it is simply pain (which is not exactly an emotion per se), but the rest is basically a *central example* of fear to me.

By the time I saw this post it was too late to vote on it, but I’d have gone with anger. I can’t say I’d be *fully* comfortable with “dealing with my inability to (safely, ethically, etc) satisfy my bloodlust†† by cutting it out of my soul”, but I have to admit it *would* be the most practical approach.

(I’m not going with shame because I absolutely do not understand what it would mean to cut out shame but leave fear intact, and I’m not fucking with that. At least there is *a* thing that it would mean to me to cut out anger while leaving the others, even if I’m not drawing that line in the same place as anyone else.)

†shitting myself in public would *also* be disgust, BTW: shitting myself in private does not seem like it would be significantly less unpleasant modulo bathroom access

††I cannot *begin* to wrap my head around what “non-violent anger” would be like as a quale, I suppose next you’re going to tell me eths can be placed at the ends of syllables


#this also happens a lot when people are talking about sadness #reply via reblog #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #anger management #surveys #unsanitary cw #violence cw? #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what

{{previous post in sequence}}


In the big list of “terms of art in a specific discipline that suddenly everybody is familiar with”, I think that to go with “coronavirus”, “core inflation”, etc. we’ll shortly be adding “cascading failure.”


tags from @brin-bellway

#I desperately want to make an “in the future‚ ‘zoonosis’ will be a word everyone knows” reference here#but I can’t think of a suitable word to stick in there#maybe if I were more fluent in webdev jargon#(…why does that quote not turn up on search engines)#(please tell me somebody knows what I’m talking about)

There’s a fancy word for this phenomenon, used by scientists who study infectious diseases from an ecological perspective: zoonosis. […] It’s a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the twenty-first century.

2014 Oct: Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus, by David Quammen

I got that off Siderea’s Great Age of Plagues series, though perhaps you got it from elsewhere.


That’s getting at the same idea, yeah, but I don’t think it’s the exact line I was thinking of. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the thing I saw was a David Quammen author interview, though.)


Siderea, 2022-12-31:

On the first anniversary of my 2020 post “Preparing for the Pandemic: Stage 0”, I wrote a post “The Very Bad News”, in which I said:

[…] the public imagination about climate change has been pretty much exclusively trained to entertain meteorological calamities – storms, mostly – but there are whole other categories.

Such as the epidemiological.

See, even if *this* pandemic wasn’t caused by the Climate Catastrophe, it seems the epidemiologists are expecting the Climate Catastrophe to cause other pandemics and epidemics. There’s a variety of reasons why – I had found a prescient essay from, IIRC, 2015 or so, which I have subsequently lost, which had a sentence to the effect of, “In the future, ‘zoonosis’ is going to be a word everyone knows.” – but we can discuss those later.

Well the actual quote, it turns out, is, as I quoted above, “Zoonosis.  […] It’s a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the twenty-first century.”

It *feels* like that specific “going to be a word everyone knows” line has been around since the 2010s, but (1) that might not be accurate and (2) 2021 might not be the first time Siderea said it. (She has apparently set her blog to not be indexed by public search engines, and I don’t currently have any plans to ingest it into my personal search engine.)


#oh look an update #reply via reblog #apocalypse cw #illness tw #amnesia cw? #climate change


mfw I realize my socks cost as much as my shoes


Yeah, for a couple weeks recently I was wearing CAD$35 thrift-store hiking boots (to be fair they were probably over $100 new) with CAD$50 merino socks.

My conclusion:

The socks *are* great. They’re remarkably comfortable especially compared to my lower-end wool socks, they’re well-built. They’re better than Walmart socks.

…but they’re not *fifty times* better than Walmart socks. And they cost fifty times as much.

I will be reserving them for hiking.


#although it looks like if you buy 3+ pairs at a time they’re only thirty times as much #but still #reply via reblog #clothing #recs #(sort of) #adventures in human capitalism


you guys are reading emails?

I am seeing polls like this one and like. the number of unread emails in my inbox is definitely in the hundreds and getting a more precise upper bound requires trusting gmail not to lie to me because it only loads emails in sets of fifty at a time. I do not, in fact, trust gmail not to lie to me about this, because they often do. doesn’t matter. anyway.

like. 99% of the email i get is

  1. we’re updating our terms of service!
  2. thing you were following updated!
  3. confirmation email from an online purchase!
  4. social media notification!
  5. spam from companies i can’t block because they don’t distinguish their spam emails from their actual useful emails!

and things like that. i don’t read those emails, in the sense of ‘click through so they are no longer marked unread’. i read the subject line, which tells me all i need to know. if it’s a notification on my phone sometimes i remember to quick-archive it because there’s a convenient button for it. then it accumulates as detritus on my inbox until it becomes relevant later on or i do an archiving sweep every few months.

Nothing in my main two email inboxes (one for Brin and one for legal-name stuff) is marked unread, though…*counts*…for my legal-name email around 15 are emails that I have not literally read (4 where the title alone tells me everything I need to know from it, the other 11 mostly newsletters or discussion of upcoming volunteer events), plus another 6 that I’ve read but have not finished acting upon. Brin has 3 inbox emails, all of them AO3 updates.

If an email is *marked* unread *and* in the inbox, that means it’s new enough that I haven’t even glanced at the title yet. Newsletters that I traditionally read over lunch (rather than whenever I get around to it) get moved to their own folders and *then* re-marked unread until I actually read them: I have 31 unread Canadian Accountant newsletters and 1 unread Money Stuff.

Most emails I move to one of several folders (options include, but are not limited to, “Other” and Trash) on a scale of hours after getting them. The ones that require more work to sort, like the ones that are in there right now, I do…well, *most* of them around once or twice a month (with the occasional smaller sweep in-between), but things that involve watching videos often take months or years.

I communicate with my parents over email pretty much every day.


#reply via reblog #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers











Sea Glass By IG: @seaglass_takechan

takipçi hilesi Pinterest: @artwoonz


for to eat????????

@another-normal-anomaly, are you still taking reports of violations of the food/pretty-rock binary?


#rocks #not to be confused with #food #it looks like that last picture has already been filed with Anomaly‚ but this is a more detailed report #pretty things #reply via reblog