I’ve been slowly winding through Robin DiAngelo’s educating “White Fragility” which brilliantly chronicles how white people can experience racial guilt and transmute their reactions into denial and defensiveness. Having experienced this psychological contortion myself, I was intrigued to explore it further. One particular topic which caught my attention in the middle of an early chapter that expounded on 3 “sub-types” (my term) of racism. This post is my own summary of and reaction to the chapter, done as an exercise to really dig into the subject. I hope it will entice you to read the source, and other scholars on the subject, Toni Morrison who recently passed is foregrounded.… Read the rest
All the books I have been reading recently have had extremely instructive titles. There was “How to Be Idle” by Tom Hodgkinson on the pleasures of laying about, “How to Be Bored” by Eva Hoffman, which has a slightly more historical take, and finished this week was “How to Do Nothing” by Jenny Odell, which puts the notion into conversation with art and activism.
Odell’s book takes on particular importance for me as it is based off an epiphany she had at the Oakland Rose Garden, a location dear to me as well.… Read the rest
It was a “how did you know?” moment. At a dinner party I was telling a physical therapist I had just met about my herniated disc. She replied “did you just turn 30?” I hadn’t, I was only 29 at the time, but I amazed at the accuracy nonetheless. She told me herniated discs were a very common injury among specifically men of my age. It’s a juncture in life when people typically reckless with their bodies are all of a sudden greeted with a mortal reality.
With the pain that I was feeling and the obvious link that was placed in front of me, a level of self knowledge was immediately unlocked.… Read the rest
If you are reading this I imagine it’s because you are suffering yourself from a herniated disc. I was there too, and still am 2 years later. While I’m not a doctor, and ask you not to take this as medical advice, I hope you might gain something from my experience. My first five lessons that I wrote when I was just 3 months in remain cogent and apt, are a story without an ending. As the injury transitions into a memory rather than an urgent priority, I should leave this map for who ever finds it useful.
1. Recovery has an unintuitive shape.… Read the rest
The librarian part of my mind has surfaced these musical gems for me to re-evaluate, now that I am mathematically deserving. On point 1 Momentum, I am entirely behind. On Distance (2) and Death (3) they are themes perhaps darker than I would like to delve today, but give lots to think about in the upcoming decade.
Used to think 30 years old then the end comes
Now I feel like I’m just gainin’ momentum
Blackalicious, World of Vibrations
… Read the rest
Now I’m pushing past 30. If I bow out as the years close in. Abandon my sound man and band and them.
Hello, how are you? Would you like to engage meaningfully with me? How do you feel about this as-personal-as-you-want-it-to-be, non-threatening, question? Those are the hallmarks of a good ice-breaker, and these are the best ones I’ve created or pilfered in the past three years.
1. Describe your ideal burger, layer by layer.
At the SOAK festival in 2016 I suffered back spasms from an extended Butoh session, and in order not to spoil that last night I made a game of laying still in one public location from dusk to dawn. As I needed to entice people to keep me company among the night’s many attractive options, this little ditty came to me.… Read the rest
I suffered a herniated disc by foolish jumping off a large drop while camping. It has been the most serious injury of my life to date. As it invaded almost every aspect of my life, my mood, my career, my friendships, it gave me lots of pause to reflect. This is what learned and wrote after 3 months. However in the end it took me 2 years to be pain free, at which point I wrote a follow up “5 more lessons learned” which also contains more practical lessons than the more abstracted ones here.
1. The thing you can’t do is sitting.… Read the rest
Prompted to find alternative ways to entertain my friends due to a herniated disc, I tried my hand at writing a trivia/pub quiz.
Please use, remix, and fix some of the impossible questions.
(The specific genre of audience-tailored trivia for a group of friends owes a deep gratitude to Sumedh Joshi R.I.P.)
Round point structure.
- 1x 1 points Warmup multiple choice question.
- 3x 2-point one-correct answer.
- 1x List as many as possible.
- (1 point) The name Mendocino is derived from A). The 16th century Spanish circumnavigator. or B) A bastardization of the “Mein de Chino” owing to the famed chow mein from the area?
“I was on holiday, and I saw the same people advertising their room on Couchsurfing and Airbnb.” Two years ago my friend and co-author Benjamin Mako Hill pitched to me investigating the phenomenon of seeing the same exact accommodation available on both the paid site Airbnb, and the totally free site Couchsurfing. My advisor Haiyi Zhu turned to me and asked “what do you think?” I’m not sure how long I took to respond, but in that moment two memories came flooding back. The first was having Couchsurfed with someone who also on occasion Airbnb’d their room.… Read the rest
My internship this summer at Lawrence Livermore National Lab was nothing if not practical. The exceedingly real objectives of government science gave my first foray into deep learning gravitas and purpose.
The domain was satellite imagery, and the research question was whether computer vision could be trained to identify objects for which we have no training data. This presents a problem for the family of convolutional neural network algorithms (CNNs) which on the contrary require lots examples to learn from. The idea that I implemented to address this conundrum was to “synthetically” manufacture training data with renders from CAD software, and then test its performance on “natural” (i.e.… Read the rest