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Saturday, July 16th, 2022

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From Bertrand Russel's The Conquest of Happiness:

If you ask any man in America, or any man in business in England, what it is that most interferes with his enjoyment of existence, he will say: “The struggle for life.” He will say this in all sincerity; he will believe it. In a certain sense it is true; yet in another, and that a very important sense, it is profoundly false. The struggle for life is a thing which does, of course, occur. It may occur to any of us if we are unfortunate. It occurred, for example, to Conrad’s hero Falk, who found himself on a derelict ship, one of the two men among the crew who were possessed of firearms, with nothing to eat but the other men. When the two men had finished the meals upon which they could agree, a true struggle for life began. Falk won, but was ever after a vegetarian. Now that is not what the business man means when he speaks of the “struggle for life.” It is an inaccurate phrase which he has picked up in order to give dignity to something essentially trivial. Ask him how many men he has known in his class of life who have died of hunger. Ask him what happened to his friends after they had been ruined. Everybody knows that a business man who has been ruined is better off so far as material comforts are concerned than a man who has never been rich enough to have the chance of being ruined. What people mean, therefore, by the struggle for life is really the struggle for success.

7/16/2022 12:55 am | |
Tags: philosophy

I had no idea that Bill Watterson guested on 3 strips of Pearls Before Swine back in 2014 (stephanpastis.wordpress.com)

7/16/2022 8:00 am | |
Tags: newspaper, art, comic strips

Firemen don't rescue cats in trees anymore, but in Washington there's Canopy Cat Rescue (seattletimes.com 🗝️)

7/16/2022 8:04 am | |
Tags: cat

Hymn For The Hurting by Amanda Gorman

Everything hurts,
Our hearts shadowed and strange,
Minds made muddied and mute.
We carry tragedy, terrifying and true.
And yet none of it is new;
We knew it as home,
As horror,
As heritage.
Even our children
Cannot be children,
Cannot be.
Everything hurts.
It’s a hard time to be alive,
And even harder to stay that way.
We’re burdened to live out these days,
While at the same time, blessed to outlive them.
This alarm is how we know
We must be altered —
That we must differ or die,
That we must triumph or try.
Thus while hate cannot be terminated,
It can be transformed
Into a love that lets us live.
May we not just grieve, but give:
May we not just ache, but act;
May our signed right to bear arms
Never blind our sight from shared harm;
May we choose our children over chaos.
May another innocent never be lost.
Maybe everything hurts,
Our hearts shadowed & strange.
But only when everything hurts
May everything change.

7/16/2022 10:15 am | |
Tags: poetry

Today I learned that to do a soft break (eg a break tag vs a hard break being a paragraph tag in HTML) you just insert two spaces at the end of the line of text. I also confirmed that this works on Reddit (where I suspect most people could potentially engage with Markdown.)

7/16/2022 10:32 am | |
Tags: markdown, programming

"The Rise and Fall of the Manufactured Home - Part I" (constructionphysics.substack.com)

Several fascinating insights for me in this. I didn't know the exact origin of trailer parks. And also, I had thought the "Van Life" trend today was new, but in fact it sounds like some adopted it as soon as car trailers came about.

Early on, autocampers would park by the side of the road, or in a farmer’s field, or any other available space. But as camping became more popular, this became less tenable - a small town on a main road “might expect to see fifty to sixty cars seeking sites each night” [1]. Municipalities began to build campgrounds to accommodate the campers - between 1920 and 1924, an estimated 3 to 6,000 municipal campgrounds were built. And as camping trailers became more popular, campgrounds designed exclusively for trailers began to appear. These became known as “trailer parks.”

Almost as soon as trailers appeared, they began to be used for year-round living rather than camping trips, typically by traveling salesman or other itinerant workers. In the 1920s and 30s it was estimated that between 10 and 25% of trailers were used for year-round accommodation. And as unemployment soared and housing starts collapsed during the Great Depression, trailer living became more common. By 1937, it was estimated that 50% of new trailers were purchased as permanent shelter.

7/16/2022 11:06 am | |
Tags: housing, manufacturing

"Why Rhinos Fly Upside Down Over Namibia" (atlasobscura.com)

7/16/2022 11:33 am | |
Tags: science, zoology, rhinoceros

Cory Doctorow discusses money, debt, what they are, and why governments are not the same budgetarily as individuals or businesses (doctorow.medium.com)

Even though I had read Debt: The First 5,000 Years on which the start of the entry is based, the post goes into other areas I understood but did not have as clear a way of explaining. He then turns to Crypto and why seeing it as a form of money is bad.

This article is quite good, definitely worth a read!

7/16/2022 11:38 am | |
Tags: history, money, economics

Dick Cavett interviews Orson Welles (1970) (youtube.com)


I greatly enjoyed this interview. The two of them have wonderful chemistry and a willingness to embrace each other's silliness at times.

7/16/2022 6:27 pm | |
Tags: interview, television, dick cavett, orson welles

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