this week i

landed in best city west of the mississippi.  your fave country delicious, scrumptious, outstanding, just one flaw: it's not mexicodead bread across panaderias, jerry garcia would've loved these desfiles, reckoning my album, my permanent social media status: dodgin' lions and wastin' time.  or maybe move fast and kintsugi things? ✨ orwell, hemingway both wrote uno libro spanish civil war, but unlike my unadorned self afaik neither declined neon-roped ossuary double-dutch amid sidewalk jams and popup makeup stands and an immortal middle-aged woman with flashing bunny ears roller skates past me into 7-eleven to buy kindest bueno, this día sure is.  i am saddest at mao for el gran salto adelante but i am angriest at mao for la revolucion cultural.  elevator eight button as sideways infinity sign indicates how many tacos i consume seated by afuera thoroughfare to watch costumed cdmx conga toward zocalo, zenithed by behemoth inflated eight foot beige t-rex (sans saxophone to shred) instead vested mourning black & white skelosaur bones bowed toward extinction's throne we and our contemporaries'll share and inshallah our descendants'll correspondingly celebrate.  benditos y'all y especially the horseman uno mesa away as i count to diez (mississippi) he shakes salt into pozole. the cancion del peyote:

las flores azules
las flores azules
que estan
atras de las montanas
que estan hablando
que estan hablando
que dicen saberlo todo

read a moveable feast by ernest hemingway

i've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if i never see you again, i thought.  you belong to me and all paris belongs to me and i belong to this notebook and this pencil

good and severe discipline

when i was writing, it was necessary for me to read after i had written.  if you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing that you were writing before you could go on with it the next day.  it was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved

"huxley is a dead man," miss stein said.  "why do you want to read a dead man?  can't you see he is dead?"

if you brought up joyce twice, you would not be invited back

"i don't know, tatie.  there are so many sorts of hunger.  in the spring there are more.  but that's gone now.  memory is hunger"

hunger is good discipline and you learn from it

"don't be a silly ass," my friend said.  "that's alestair crowley, the diabolist.  he's supposed to be the wickedest man in the world"

soothing as the noise of a plank being violated in the sawmill

"hem," he said, and i knew he was a critic now since, in conversation, they put your name at the beginning of a sentence rather than at the end, "i have a tell you i find your work just a little too stark"

"after chez les vikings?"  he grinned with his hat on the back of his head.  he looked more like a broadway character of the nineties than the lovely painter that he was, and afterwards, when he had hanged himself, i liked to remember him as he was that night at the dôme.  they say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure

"we need more true mystery in our lives, hem"

a full morning of work to write a paragraph

while i had been angry i had demoted him from scott to fitzgerald

i rang for the waiter.  he didn't come and i rang again and then went down the hallway to look for him.  scott was lying with his eyes closed, breathing slowly and carefully and, with his waxy color and his perfect features, he looked like a little dead crusader.  i was getting tired of the literary life, if this was the literary life that i was leading, and already i missed not working and i felt the death loneliness that comes at the end of every day that is wasted in your life.  i was very tired of scott and of this silly comedy, but i found the waiter and gave him money to buy a thermometer and a tube of aspirin, and ordered two citron pressés and two double whiskies.  i tried to order a bottle of whiskey but they would only sell it by the drink

"i learned one thing."
"never go on trips with anyone you do not love"


this week i

updated our medicare advantage and prescription drug coverage plan availability for twenty twenty four.  still taking pictures of people at rest

attended bigsurv23 (survey methodologists in the changing room trying on off-the-rack cyborg parts) at harry potter u.  two algorithmic failures: [lack of representivity / inaccuracy of labels].  on ai learning from ai: the extent to which we get recursivity. gpt: generative pre-trained transformers. 

learned pronounced geezus.  more charmin' than a roll of toilet paper

listened to nancy cordova describe exit poll accuracy then rafael correa's gov't raid of her wapor-affiliate office (computer systems still not returned)

enjoyed aleia clark fobia's burden, benefit, consent, and control findings: slightly more than half think the government shares data, slightly less than half think the government should share data.  no yes for me.  can ai pass the marshmallow test?  decisions, decisions, quotes i heard, a good tattoo

a computer learns if it improves its performance on a task over time based on experience

if you connect the dots, you are overfitting

the entire thing is just a predict the next word algorithm

captchas are training automated driving algorithms

we put a person on the moon before we put wheels on your luggage

the first word in openai is a lie

john snow, but not the guy from game of thrones

ice cream sales are correlated with drownings

k-means only works with numeric variables, k-prototypes work with categorical variables

census tract may not be the way they think about life

these two yellow ones?  or are they green?  i'm colorblind

single-letter words don't exist in the german language

there's some latin american band called census, so you can't just use the word

the elephant in the room is data quality

my data are bigger than your data

our total survey error comfort zone

title first wish it was just books.  a cat with a prehensile tail would be unstoppable


awaited hamburgesa after conference. downstairs tv on a 5 second delay from the upstairs screen, ecuadorian fans downstairs crossed fingers for penalty kick, heard upstairs cheers, looked toward sky, celebrated, watched penalty kick block, celebrated once more.  ¡campeonas! ¡hijo de puta!



(1) the defeat of cleopatra and mark antony..quickly led to a fivefold increase in the shipping heading to india

deposits of rice, dal, coconuts, coriander, tamarind, and huge pots containing several thousand black peppercorns from india show that the merchants who arrived in first-century egypt preferred their own deliciously spicy cuisine to that of egypt, much as their successors still do today

customs taxes on the red sea trade with india, persia, and ethiopia may have generated as much as one third of the income of the roman exchequer.  the principal source for this striking figure is the muziris papyrus, a remarkable document of unknown provenance that was probably found in the celebrated trash dumps of the egyptian town of oxyrhynchus - the city of the sharp-nosed fish

the ptolemies had established the facilitate the import of elephants for warfare

"pepper" and "ginger" are both loanwords from tamil 

(2) we could afford it if we designed our welfare state to expand opportunity and not guard fortunes

poverty did not increase during the worst economic downturn in nearly a century

franklin 1935 called welfare a drug

in 1980 the american psychiatric association made "dependent personality disorder" an official diagnostic category

compiling spending on social insurance, means-tested programs, tax benefits, and financial aid for higher education, the average household in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution receives roughly $25,733 in government benefits a year, while the average household in the top 20 percent receives about $35,363

americans who rely on the most invisible programs (namely tax breaks) are the least likely to believe that the government has given them a leg up

"taxes should hurt," president reagan famously said


(3) piranesi's view of the pronaos of the temple of concordia - majestic columns above, drunken wastrels below

 scenes that would startle geometry


(4) the dangers of the sundarbans

"on land a tiger, in the water a crocodile" (dangay bagh, jale kumir), a much livelier version of our "between a rock and a hard place"

should any person fail to appreciate your poem in the proper manner, my tigers will slay every member of his lineage

even as a tree, she weeps

we should really call arabic numerals indian numerals


(5) neither the vessels nor the rituals surrounding the iced tea ceremony are as scrutinized and codified as their japanese counterparts

i wonder where is all my relation
friendship to all - and every nation

ghostly kaolin

concatination..from the latin catena (chain)

many highly regarded japanese pots were apparently made by enslaved people..forcibly removed from korea to japan around 1600, after the so-called imjin war

idiosyncrasy does not necessarily constitute rebellion 


(6) johann wolfgang von goethe

he queened it in weimar.  he withdrew as much as he could - as behind a veil, ergo highly visible - from his political capacities, wrote, developed his theories on color, on plant growth, on aesthetics.  he had a bone named after him

when a man is old, he should do more than when he was young

(7) c&o canal's supreme court justice

the c&o canal national historical park remains to this day the only national park dedicated to a single individual

in 1969, he wrote an article for playboy denouncing the corps under the title "the public be damned."  mincing no words, he declared, "the corps has no conservation, no ecological standards....and when it finishes, america the beautiful is doomed"

(8) if a slave auction doesn't make you uncomfortable, please seek help

charleston, where omar ibn said was first enslaved

i had a mother once

giddens captures the language barrier with a clever device: sometimes characters sing gibberish, their scat vocals and echolalia signifying incomprehension

(9) the economic radicalism of the civil war

i will go back to washington, and issue notes for circulation; for it is certain that the war must go on until the rebellion is put down, if we have to put out paper until it takes a thousand dollars to buy breakfast

the nation owed around $65 million at the time of abraham lincoln's election - a sum roughly equivalent to one year's federal expenditure.  by the time the war was over, the united states would owe nearly $3 billion, and its annual expenditure would be close to half that sum.."the yankees did not whip us in the field.  we were whipped in the treasury department"

confederate officials didn't need to conquer the north, but simply to exhaust its resolve

the british approach to abolition had been to preserve enslavers' wealth by expanding the national debt; the union approach was to destroy the fictive $2.7 billion of white southern wealth and to liberate four million human beings who had been brutally commodified

(10) one of six people in africa

although more than 93 million nigerians registered to vote, only about 25 million cast ballots

the largest country in the world that they know the least about

the median age today is seventeen, half that of the us

prior to 1820, four times as many people were brought across the atlantic from africa as from europe

nigeria - inspired by the name of the niger river, which may have berber origins ("river of rivers") but whose echo of latin suggests "a land of the blacks"

the second-largest slave society around 1800, surpassed only by the united states

british marching into heavily forested areas and employing a tactic of "clearing volleys" with their maxim guns, which they fired indiscriminately wherever their route took them

(11) futarchy is a repackaging of nineteenth-century political systems that allocated votes proportionately to wealth

buterin thought the system could replace judges

imagine a blockchain containing your medical records or electoral rolls hard-forking and one of those forks hard-forking again

crowdsourced hedge fund

ethereum's attempt to invent economic democracy through the blockchain showed yet again that constitutional legitimacy is difficult to secure and can lead to political schisms

"whales" can rewrite the rules

"neoliberal converting the distinctly political character, meaning, and operation of democracy's constituent elements into economic ones."  it reconfigures elements of democracy, including "vocabularies, principles of justice, political cultures, habits of citizenship, practices of rule, and above all, democratic imaginaries," into market calculations

peter thiel..has written that he believes freedom and democracy are incompatible

proof of work is environmentally disastrous thanks to the huge amount of electricity expended doing redundant calculations, and proof of stake rewards and increases inequality

there is nothing to salvage here



this week i

can think of no time life more peaceful than when my father was reading.  unlike duluth to quebec, east african hydrology every which way: lake tanganyika flows to the congo river, so atlantic ocean.  lake victoria to the nile, then mediterranean sea.  lake malawi the zambezi, indian ocean

increased major tectonic plate visit count to 12 (taipei, galapagos) out of 16 in 2023.  chifa like peru, chivas like colombia, national fauna gargoyles


laugh after orgasm, i think that makes me the chuckliest fuck.  is lacrosse the original air hockey?  "lots of wavy hair like liberace" notably not true

see gaza as prison riot not a war, therefore oh so predictable.  but he did not say where he expected residents of the go.  the masses of humanity are, in fact, your friends.  "darling hisham," she said, as a relative held her steady. "do you hear me? come back to me in my dreams, because i will miss you" and a warm shanghello across the eurasian plate: "heaven is looking at what humans are doing.  the firmament has eyes"

diversify masturbation techniques as i age.  and i confess i think about the roman empire every seven seconds.  picasso's arcimboldo period:


(1) for god is an aesthete

a divine hulk stretched out on a cold marble slab; traces of human blood remain beneath his toenails, from stamping on populations as if they were grapes

here we meet a god who eats several of the ark animals when they are grilled after the flood

we do not believe that there is any hope for a race of people who do not believe that they look like god

a flowing beard, a symbol of sovereignty so ubiquitous in the ancient world that queens were known to wear prosthetic ones to mark their own power

in mesopotamian myth, gods were said to "gather like flies" around sacrifices of meat

god preferred to eat his meat not only well-done but still on fire

 who circumcised god?  an ancient phoenician myth, preserved by the second-century-ce writer philo of byblos, reported that el (like abraham) took matters into his own hands

yahwey..was "the paradigmatic alpha-male," but the alpha male is only a figment that sprang out of zoology into mass consciousness about forty years ago

in the evenings he would relax with his pet sea monster

(2) hollywood, once america's most persuasive evangelist, remains beholden to another country

such fevered reveries were reminiscient of the nineteenth century, when british industrialists dreamed, as one put it, that if only they "could add an inch of material to every chinaman's shirt-tail, the mills of lancashire could be kept busy for a generation"

panda hugger


(3) the son of an english pirate captain and a malagasy princess

daniel defoe compared the pirate settlers of madagascar to the founders of rome, and montesquieu claimed that the greeks, too, were originally pirates; graeber suggests that tales of pirate politics would have been well known to many writers and thinkers of the day.  as a roughneck utopian committed to liberty from all existing laws and governments, the pirate was 'just as much a figure of the enlightenment as voltaire or adam smith' 


(4) in 2020, some 400,000 seafarers were stranded on their ships

the ever given, one of the world's largest container ships, was operated by the taiwan-based shipping company evergreen, which had chartered it from its japanese owners, shoei kisen kaisha.  it flew the flag of panama; its agent was a dubai-based firm; and its indian crew and officers worked for the german company bernhard schulte ship-management.  it also had multiple insurers.  the ever given's hull, machinery and cargo were insured in the japanese market, while claims for injuries, accidents and pollution were covered by the uk protection and indemnity club.  the suez canal authority, shoei kisen kaisha, uk p&i and all of their lawyers negotiated in public and behind closed doors for the next three months, and finally took their case to egyptian courts.  after a settlement was forced on the parties, the ship was released on 7 july 2021

 from northern somalia to the offices of lloyd's of london


(5) the golden grape's cargo

only if a ship was fully abandoned or the crew had all perished would the vessel and everything on it become res nullius, the property of no one.  at sea these things were classified as flotsam (any floating object), jetsam (cargoes deliberately thrown overboard) and lagan (sunken goods marked with buoys).  but once something made landfall it became wreccum maris, wreck of the sea, and open to the competing claims of salvagers, coastal landlords and crown officials

so many barrels of brandy were unloaded from the wreck that..soon 'near halfe the town, men, women, and children lay drunk upon the sands'

dozens of deaths among the salvagers - some from exposure, some shot as looters, and others simple 'country people' who drank from the wrong barrel


(6) an ethical train wreck

"you would like to put abu zubaydah in a cramped confinement box with an insect" is how yoo and bybee describe one of the cia's proposals - a proposal that they go on to endorse

(7) impunity - the ability of some privileged actors to get away with causing harm - is a core feature of modern capitalism

by about 1720, impunity for all but the most fraudulent speculations was well entrenched within the emergent financial and legal system

nine nations - including colombia, peru, and chile - went bankrupt in the 1820s, failing to pay their debts

somehow, between about 1690 and about 1830, financial crises stopped being crimes and became natural disasters

(8) peat's importance to climate stability and human survival

today, peatlands cover about 3 percent of the planet's land surface, but scientists estimate that they store twice as much soil carbon than all the world's forests - which are about ten times as extensive.  just six years ago, researchers announced the discovery of peatlands in the congo basin that store as much carbon as the burning of fossil fuels worldwide emits in three years

the long-standing human penchant for draining swamps

95 percent water but fibrous enough to stand on

(9) the anarcho-syndicalist symbol of a caterwauling black cat, spine and tail raised high

perhaps you are one of the millions of people for whom the pandemic stirred a fascination with logistics

a robotic ballet

this ritualized "shape-up," bridges observed, resembled an old-world "slave market."  (it still exists in cleaning and construction.  just visit a home depot at 6:00 am, where immigrant day laborers haggle for work)

immigrants still must repudiate communism to stay in the us

why couldn't the ilwu represent people doing software development?

(10) we suck, in other words

the death of god at human hands - a crime so vastly ramifying that we needed to become gods ourselves to be worthy of having committed it


the great cosmic operating system upgrade


this week i

sped back to santa cruz.  fearlessness makes these islands.  no sightings but hey maybe gaudy to gaudi encourages conservation for same egotism that led stalin to burn infinite lives defending his grad.  strategically rename critically endangered for funding?  iucn lists all six boobies least concern /s




(1) to react in spectacular ways

will smith's immediate reaction to rock's joke, which had been laughter..every frame of the video sequence was pored over, as if it were the zapruder footage of the kennedy assassination

the online influencer's fear isn't negative reactions, but that 'engagement' drops

the most successful reaction video-makers have a likeable, innocent air; they listen in a spirit of wonder, not unlike a baby hearing something for the first time

(2) natural scarcity was just another kind of arbitrary authority, another palace to be stormed

theories of man-made climate change were widespread in the 18th century..the harvard minister samuel williams went round new england collecting plant specimens, plunging thermometers into deep-water wells and tracking the migratory patterns of birds, in order to confirm his theory that the arrival of christianity and industry on the continent had induced a more temperate climate - a view shared by benjamin franklin and thomas jefferson

 noah's flood provided theologians with a model for attributing ecological catastrophe to human sin

(3) do we need to know..that someone who teaches elementary school during the week is a drag queen on the weekends?

what is whispered in the closet shall be proclaimed from the house-tops 


(4) finns invented the molotov cocktail

the cossack takes everything that is loose

that is what we wish for you as well 

(5) every configuration of clouds he has ever witnessed

for borges, forgiveness and vengeance were siblings because both make use of oblivion

machine-learning networks perform better when they are allowed to forget

we played out emotional elements of our memories over and over again, we bathed them with humor, bleaching out their bloody hue

tony judt's postwar (2005) argued that the brisk adoption of such a willed collective amnesia facilitated europe's astonishing recovery

the commemoration of ancient hurts: "we should erect a statue to amnesia and forget where we put it"


(6) suing journalists personally

 the office of financial sanctions implementation, part of the treasury, issued waivers to allow the london law firm discreet law to represent prigozhin.  a man who is forbidden to enter the uk or hold a british bank account was given permission to harass a british journalist.  the office of financial sanctions also signed off on the lawyers' hotel and flights to meet prigozhin in st petersburg

(7) a map of semiconductor assembly facilities looked much like a map of american military bases across asia

in those days that part of the world was called the santa clara valley.  it goes by a different name today.  may bradford shockley, who spent the latter part of her life as a rather good painter and who died in 1977 at the age of 97, is the reason silicon valley is where it is

the military are the only people who know how to fund research, because the military are the only people who really know how to waste money

the cold war was over; silicon valley had won

can we have a moment to inhabit the technological sublime?  microchips are some of the most extraordinary objects humanity has ever made..the coronavirus is tiny, about a hundred billionths of a metre across, but it is a galumphing heifer of a beast compared to the smallest transistors being made in fab 18, which are half that size.  tsmc is now talking about transistor nodes in terms of three billionths of a metre.  that is so small that quantum effects, which happen mostly at the subatomic level, become relevant

for most of this century, china has spent more money on importing microchips than it has on importing oil


(8) the ancientness of the trees provides a maypole around which humans can perform their characteristic dance


using tree rings as proxies for snowpack and summer soil moisture, scientists determined that this twenty-plus-year period [from 2000 to 2020] was the driest in the sierra nevada since 800 ce

recalibrate our perspective on the geologic past..deformed by "an overemphasis on dinosaurs"

most people have trouble telling a beech from a birch

the chronological complexity of an old-growth forest, where "one-quarter of the trees...will be triple or quadruple the median age, and one-one-hundredth will be ten or twenty times the median age"

the niagara escarpment


(9) gregor samsa

when his fiancee, felice bauer, suggests in a letter that she keep kafka company, he sends her a panicked reply: "one can never be alone enough when one writes...there can never be enough silence around when one writes...even night is not night enough"


(10) erdogan is the state

"in 2008..turkey aligned itself with 88% of the eu's foreign-policy decisions and declarations.  by 2016 that share had fallen by half to 44%.  last year it was only 7%."  countries can be lost.  europe's leaders share the blame in this case: having promised turkey a future in the eu, they took that future away