Best. Movie. Ever.

I have liked many films, been moved by many, but never have I had a favourite until last night. Claudia is a fan of Klaus Kinski and rented Fitzcarraldo.  You must see it.  The exquisite camera work and extraordinary directing are riveting by themselves, but the jaw-dropping realism renders the surreal storyline a visceral verisimilitude that is utterly enthralling.

The fact that the story is a wish-fulfillment fantasy that seems to have been written precisely for a Don Quixote like me took the aforementioned elements, which alone would have sufficed to render the film among the greatest I’ve ever seen, and enthroned it firmly at the peak of my regard.

Your permanent record.

I hadn’t really thought about the fact that the talk Adam Kelsey and I gave was going to be uploaded onto archive.org. I was just reading an article in Nature by Cory Doctorow about the infrastructure archive.org uses, replicated on three continents, and designed for the Long Now (at least as close as one can get with racks in data centers, anywho), and it made me think of how this point in human history is like the short, hot time at the beginning from an informational perspective.

There will come a time, not long from now, that the notion that one would ever “lose” data is like the notion that one could misplace one’s ear, or more gentle parts; just not even considered, because everything naturally persists in multilayered, adaptive caches that cause all data to be conserved like the data at archive.org.

12 items or fewer

OK, here’s your motivation. You’ve been chosen for a new reality show.

You’ve been taken to infinimart, where they have literally everything available for retail sale on the planet.

The check-out lane says you can have 12 items or fewer, and those are the only physical items you can own for the next year. Otherwise your life is as normal, and at the end of the show you get to keep whatever it was you picked to spend the year with.

For purposes of this checkout, you can have a “bulk pack” or a “set” containing up to 24 copies or pieces.

I would have:

  • 1 portable computing device
  • 1 portable communication device
  • 1 vehicle
  • 1 12 piece global knife set
  • 1 wok
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 pair chopsticks
  • 1 24-piece set of jumpsuits
  • 1 pair shoes
  • 1 12 pair sock set
  • 1 12 pair underwear set

This data suggests that if I could go naked all the time I could save 25% more stuff for things like, oh, a private jet. Or, if I stopped preparing food, I could have 1/3% more stuff.

Pragmatically, there are too many tools missing from that set for me to live that way; I’d also need a shikifuton for sleep and all the materials needed to clean and maintain the other stuff.

What would you grab from infinimart on the way out?

An intense couple of weeks

These last two weeks have been challenging for me. I’ve had a bunch of stuff to get done at work that had some small, but critical pieces outside of my hands. At the same time, the technology / service stack I’m using is in heavy flux (like, major pieces are slated to land in the next week or two from this writing). Additionally, I have other responsibilities that tend to flop between idle and urgent.

In the first week, I failed to manage the external bits to a place where they could be used by me. Additionally, some of my other responsibilities came up, and I spent a little more time on some voluntary tasks than maybe I should’ve. This meant that most of the last two weeks worth of work was still pending by the time this week started.

This would have been mostly OK except other team members had stuff they were going to do based on my stuff, and so I ended up being an external-bit-that-ain’t-set for them, as well. That really bothers me.

I think I need to get more mentally flexible. The pattern I seem to be in is: I come up with a plan and when pieces of it aren’t available I just wait. Sometimes that’s OK, and is even the right choice, but for the most part I need to just step back, think “OK, what’s the nearest approximation I can accomplish now”, do that bit, and re-visit when things are more opportune.

This is hard for me. Part of it is that I have to do things that are below my quality standards, or don’t meet the actual target. I am a bit more of a perfectionist than I should be, I guess.

But the other part is that I have a mental map of what I’m going to do based on what was planned, and when pieces aren’t there I don’t know how to proceed. Typing this out, I think what I need to do is “sort by externalities” – that is, I need to take the parts that depend on NotMe and push them to the end of my plan, or list in advance what I’m going to do if the externalities don’t materialize.

I also had one of my all-too-frequent gaps in my psychopharm meds at the beginning of the month, which (when combined with some of this pressure) lead to strong feelings of anxiety and … well, it’s hard to describe, but I’d call it the emotional component of what people are talking about when they say they feel worthless.

I don’t, in fact, think I’m worthless, and I know I don’t have much to feel anxious about. I’ve been around the bend with these meds enough that this is basically like ‘engine knocking’ – it’s a symptom of not being settled into a dosage pattern.

I was also alone for most of this period, as my sweetie has gone off to teach art in the hills somewhere, which made it harder for those emotional loops to terminate.

All in all, I don’t think I want to have this experience again; I need to put more effort into giving ritual obeisance to the DEA’s petty rules.

Anyway, that’s the life update for the nonce. More content-ish stuff soon, I assure you.