mostly a links roundup, plus adventure time

cosmic _____

meaning, “cosmic horror but not necessarily horror.”


Adventure Time is so good. we’re on season 4 and there are just, like, stretches of gold - the two-part Nightosphere episode (5-6), Goliad and Beyond this Earthly Realm, King Worm through The Hard Easy - it’s this great blend of silly, trippy, beautiful, cute, heartfelt, real.

blaseball. blaseball. blaseball.


it’s so often that I want to just see the graph and if it’s going up or down; until I discovered the NYT tracker it was hard to find that.

I like this explainer of how to think about infection risk in places - mostly people breathing/talking close to you, or maybe on stuff.

guess I should stop wearing a knit neck mask. (I find their use of “fleece” confusing - what about other neck gaiters, I can’t imagine they matter - but at any rate all the “informal” ones were worse than the cheap surgical masks, which you can get now, so might as well use those) Edit: it’s complicated, maybe they’re fine


young people who aren’t from a pretty wealthy (/academic/high cultural capital) background have no idea what jobs there are except the quite obvious ones

11 jobs common only in romantic comedies

I don’t know what to say about this, besides that that’s basically my experience too (and I’m pretty wealthy/academic/high cultural capital!). Really, you need someone in a particular field to talk to, to know anything about who does what in that field. 


I wanna go through this math to figure out why SVD is the best matrix decomposition 

the Roguelike Celebration is in October and you can attend this year


Daniel -

Maybe cosmicism? Though “cosmicism and humanism are incompatible” seems bananas to me – seems kinda like humanism is the only viable response, but then you would expect my brain cocktail of chemicals and memes to say that :)

In this category also, IMO: Books of Sorrow, The Goddess of Everything Else and of course Meditations on Moloch.

Dan -

“humanity’s fear of their insignificance in the face of an incomprehensibly large universe”
“they have absolutely no power to change anything in the vast, indifferent universe that surrounds them.”
“whatever meaning or purpose may be invested in the actions of the cosmic beings is completely inaccessible to the human characters”
^^ yeah this. (especially like, large conceptually, not large physically.)

“the idea that the reality underlying the veneer of normality is so alien that seeing it would be harmful.”
^^ imagine you didn’t have all the mind filters that like, recognize objects and edges and filter out high and low frequencies, and you just experienced pure pixels and pure sound; it would be so intense. I feel like Michael Pollan’s description of 5MeO-DMT sounded like this.

anyway yeah - I don’t really want a belief system as much as an aesthetic, but it’s kinda in the ballpark. and I think we can start with cosmicism and take it in a new direction - we’d have to take a lot of Lovecraft things in a new direction. like, Lovecraft himself was apparently a huge asshole and super racist, and some have argued that this is inherent to his stories - like they’re all about “fear of the unknown” and that’s just connected with his hatred of groups who aren’t him. but maybe that’s why I mean, like, cosmic-not-necessarily-horror - I get “delight in the unknown”, just enjoy the mind-explode quality of seeing something that’s completely new, and maybe if that’s your outlook towards it all, it doesn’t have to be so uh racist

(plus the more we divorce it from Lovecraft himself, the less I have to tie myself in knots with caveats every time I mention it)

Books of Sorrow is still on my list! I can’t believe I didn’t remember (or never read?) the Goddess of Everything Else but I like it. And Moloch is both in this vein *and* promotes useful memes, so I love it of course.

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