(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tue, 27 Aug 2019

Consume Less, Create More

Shane posted an essay by an unknown author, "Consume Less, Create More" [0][1]. It is an inspiring essay. I've been aware of the relationship between my overall happiness and how much I create for some time, in my case my main source of creativity is the material I create for the D&D games I run, supplemented by journal/blog/phlog writing. Which brings to mind another point - you don't need to create for anyone but yourself. Creating is harder if you are constantly worrying what others might think of your creations.

Also, this quote is insightful:

Smartphones, I've decided, are not evil. This entire essay was composed on an iPhone. What evil is passive consumption, in all its forms.

There are many things to demonize about smartphones in this day and age (mainly revolving around security and privacy), still they are useful at times. I never considered actually writing an essay on a smartphone, but in the context the author describes (daily bus rides), it seems like a great use of the device.

EDIT: Alex Schroeder linked to the original source [2] with more comments of his own [3][4].

Thus, the audience is small, and I'm mainly doing it for myself. I think that's how I keep our sanity.

posted at: 23:10 | path: / | permalink | consumer, creativity, mobile, smartphone

Sat, 24 Aug 2019

Crappy Cellular

My wife and I were discussing how our efforts to improve at French are hampered by the crappy quality of cellular voice calls. We don't notice it when calls in English are of bad quality, my guess is our brains interpolate and fill in any missing words for us - but in French, the poor quality is obvious and makes it impossible to understand the full meaning of what someone is saying. Voicemails seem to be particularly bad. We listened to one left in French yesterday from our local bike shop where every other word was unintelligible, as if the guy had a mouthful of marbles. My suspicion is that the cell carriers are double-compressing the audio - once as normal during the original call and once again when the voice message is stored. When you play it back it gets compressed yet again. It's worse that we're both old enough to remember when phone call quality did not suck. It all makes me want to go back to a landline and tape-based answering machine.

posted at: 03:30 | path: / | permalink | cellular, compression, mobile, voip

Wed, 14 Aug 2019

Privacy is Dead

I was listening to a news radio story about a woman who tried to divorce herself completely from the big five tech companies (you can guess which ones), which did not go well. She found it was effectively impossible, given the hold these companies have on the internet. Many of us here in the gopher underground or on the small internet have done the same, but really how effective is it?

read more after the break...

posted at: 02:12 | path: / | permalink | big5, data, email, privacy, social