A few short links, mostly about feelings

Imagined Vastness: yes this! I love when I see this in movies/books/etc, and it’s cool that the dependably-solid blogger Matt Webb has also tried to put a name on the same feeling. See: The Cleaners in Labyrinth, the room above the convenience store in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (and, really, most of season 3), the space jockey in Alien.

Excerpt from Perfume: the Alchemy of Scent: I love this kind of thing. It’s like, ways to sharpen your senses almost give you more life; you get the same amount of time but you feel things more during it. See also: coffee tasting wheel.

Speaking of, Modeling psychedelic tracers: (First, don’t do drugs, kids, but:) when I have talked to people who have used certain drugs, their vocabulary about their experience is often pretty fuzzy. Now, they’re talking about big super-complex experiences, so on the one hand, of course it is. But on the other hand, it’d be neat if we could understand these a little better. FMRIs are one, but if we could say “this experience is kind of strobey, that one is kind of color-pulsey”, that might help distinguish a little bit.

As someone who once thought emotion detection was a cool idea, everyone who thinks emotion detection is a cool idea should read this: “Emotion detection doesn’t work, but it will try to change your behavior anyway.

Edit: a couple podcast episodes, both from planet money, that I feel like sharing, or at least linking for my future self:

1. REDMAP - a good explanation of how the Republicans won the game so damn hard (and if Trump weren’t such a weirdo, they would probably still be winning)

2. Waste Land - how we got lied to about plastic recycling and how we’re still getting lied to

warning: both are hard listens if you’re prone to hopelessness! but the Planet Money folks are pretty upbeat so maybe not so bad?


Daniel -

The “three feelings” blog post reminded me of a feeling I put a finger on yesterday, to describe a work project my team was thinking about taking on: “like buying Silver in Dominion.” It’s never _bad_, right? The opportunity cost is pretty low, and at least we’re doing something; maybe it’ll lead to something better. Sometimes it _is_ the right call, but… (smash cut to a deck full of Silver that can’t do anything else)

…and because everything is great, I was able to deploy that metaphor in a meeting and people knew what I was talking about :)

Dan -

ahh that’s a great metaphor! and it has a couple other nice characteristics: you never know if it’s going to help or hurt; if you *never* do it you’ll probably have problems; at some point you should stop but it’s really hard to know when (you kinda have to go by feel, because getting out a spreadsheet is too slow).

ooh, idea for when I start a company (lol): every year all coworkers should be allowed to submit one metaphor that everyone would be soft-required to experience. e.g. “my metaphor is “buying silver in dominion”; to understand this we will all learn to play dominion and play 3 games.” (this runs the risk of being cultural-exclusionary, but if everyone submits one maybe it’s not so bad.)

or maybe it’s not for a company, but for a friend-group, or even for a 1-1 relationship; it creates a real feeling of closeness (and efficient communication!) when you get each other’s metaphors. (adventure time has been great for this btw)

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