August 8, 2015

Your conscious mind may not be doing anything all that interesting. No, not just you, but like, for everyone. From San Francisco State University: Associate Professor of Psychology Ezequiel Morsella’s “Passive Frame Theory” suggests that the conscious mind is like an interpreter helping speakers of different languages communicate. “The interpreter presents the information but is not the one making any arguments or acting upon the knowledge that is shared,” Morsella said. “Similarly, the information we perceive in our consciousness is… Read more

August 4, 2015

The latest episode of my podcast with Brian Hogg, Thinkery, is out! (Here’s my introductory post explaining, sort of, the show.) Here’s Brian’s writeup: It’s another episode of the show THEY don’t want you to hear! In this episode we talk about Rick Perry’s electoral desperation, our grand plans to monetize the empire that this show obviously already is, how the idea that everyone should be inclusive is actually exclusionary, why if you don’t do your job you should be… Read more

August 3, 2015

I gotta say, I’m not so sure there’s much reason these days to buy a phone that retails (unsubsidized) for more than $600. Merely a year or so ago, I wouldn’t have said this, as the most well-regarded and reliable phones were those such as the HTC One M8, the Galaxy Note 4, the LG G3, the Nexus 6, and of course the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus. All of them came out at prices over $600, and reached into… Read more

July 31, 2015

Long have I writhed in doubt, regret, and anger over the heat emitted by the Nexus 6. What ought to be the perfect phone for me – for its design, its high-resolution display, its pure Android software, and its sheer size – has always stopped me just short of sheer contentment by getting simply too hot to be comfortable to hold for long periods of time. And I want to be able to hold it for long. Periods. Of time…. Read more

July 28, 2015

Oh, the teeth-gnashing I have indulged in over not being able to come up with The Perfect Podcast Project™ for myself! Then, out of the blue, a very silly person who I have long respected emerges and ropes me into his own podcast jiggery-pokery. That man is Brian Hogg, of whom I’ve been a great fan since discovering the painfully hilarious Walt Mosspuppet. One day, Brian’s all, hey, let’s do a podcast together, talking about stuff. And I was like,… Read more

July 21, 2015

I keep starting and then deleting tweets that convey my overall feeling about the whole Trump-v-McCain slap fight going on right now. I know that if I’m not careful, I’ll trip a wire. But this morning, via @VideoSawyer, I find an essay by Jim Wright that, while not a tweet, gets the point across very well. You really have to read the whole thing, because it cleverly builds to a kind of crescendo, but here’s a taste of what I mean:… Read more

July 8, 2015

I’ve been deeply affected by Neal Stephenson’s latest novel Seveneves. While I am often a slow and somewhat lazy reader, I found myself taking every opportunity I could to dive back into it. While my favorite novel, Anathem, also by Stephenson, presented a world I wanted to explore more deeply and spend more time in, I found that the story of Seveneves was one that I wanted to tell everyone I spoke to. I didn’t of course because everyone would hate… Read more

July 3, 2015

The bargain I made with myself after my tortuous search for the perfect over-ear headphones, for the purposes of meditational escape and overall awesomeness, was that I could also have a pair of decent earbuds as long as they were cheap. (Such things do exist!) Sometimes the Sony MDR–7506s are too big to take somewhere, or it’s just too hot to put big electronic earmuffs on, and buds become necessary. I have before me three highly-regarded such buds in the… Read more

July 2, 2015

Last week, a contact of mine at CNN asked me to write an op-ed for the website on the recent Gallup poll showing an uptick in the number of Americans who would be okay with voting for an atheist for president (now at 58%). I was delighted to be asked, and not a little bit surprised. It had to be somewhat hastily written, but the response to the piece has been great, so here’s a chunk of it: The conventional… Read more

June 30, 2015

A thing a sack of problems like me is supposed to do to mitigate crippling anxiety and PTSD is to allow oneself to escape, to decompress. I am notoriously terrible at this. And it’s not just because of the overt crazy from which I suffer, but all manner of tangential hangups. Let me begin with an experience from earlier this afternoon. I was having my twice-yearly dentist appointment, which is really just a chunk of time during which a very… Read more


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