A collection of fascinating bite-sized quotes, poems, articles; a veritable stream of consciousness.

Last update: 1/18/19 (Favorite Words)


Seattle Dining Bible:
The de facto best places to eat in Emerald City. Regularly updated.


A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion....Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market gardeners.

-George Orwell


Albert Camus

Au milieu de l'hiver, j'apprenais enfin qu'il y avait en moi un été invincible.

In the midst of winter, I learned at last that there was within me an invincible summer.


Niehls Bohr

There are trivial truths and there are great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.



from the square comes a distant voice:

People always demand that art be comprehensible, but they never demand of themselves that they adapt their mind to comprehension.


Minor fascinations

Orpheus and the Underworld
Curse of Knowledge
On the song The Way by Fastball
Why we can't tell good wine from bad
Social media and cultural decline
The Death of the Author
Why today's "free to play" games suck
The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
How we get stuck defending those we don't agree with
Replication crisis
Library of Babel
The Man Who Destroyed America's Ego
Can You Hear Me Now?
We Are All Architects Now
The Death of Socrates
What is the University for?
The value of a life
Paraplegics & lottery winners don't normalize happiness
Hard Work Fallacy
Unexpected Hanging Paradox
On Gurus
How to Not Die
The Art of Grieving Well
Overton Window (cf. 1 & 2)
The Luxury of Tears (cf.)
Semmelweis Reflex
Abductive Reasoning
Baudrillard's Blender
Ads Don't Work That Way
Buddhist Cultural Inception
Charlie Kaufman Interview
Miller's Law (in communication) (cf.)
How Intellectuals Create a Public
Your brain acts like a congress of miniature selves (cf.)
What does it feel like to hold a human brain?
On meta-contrarianism
Why Humans Run The World
How hipsterdom works
Liberate Yourself From Classical Karate
Spies of the Mind
Nakatomi Space
Young Minds in Critical Condition
Nassim Taleb Commencement Address
Borges and $
China's Christian Future (+ tl;dr)
Back to Mesopotamia?
Aliens Cause Global Warming
Entertain Yourself
The Like Artists
Corrupted Blood Incident
Münchhausen trilemma
Blue Feed, Red Feed
Listen to Wikipedia
John Cage's Gift to Us
Why Is Cell Phone Call Quality So Terrible?
Claritas PRIZM
Bonini's Paradox
Are Beliefs Like Clothes?
1,000 True Fans
Internet culture in a nutshell (cf.)
Feels vs Reals
Sizing Up the Nightlife
Against Aesthetics
Your dogma are your self
Art Manifesto
Malcolm Gladwell
Making the Garden
Ludonarrative dissonance
Encyclopedia of Pasta
On Romantic Love
"Logical Punctuation".
Religion is Poetry
Sever Yourself From The Khala
A Parable of Saadi
When Pixels Collide
Desire path
Affective Musical Key Characteristics
Truth and Lies in a HyperNormal Sense
Beware Defensibility
Against Unreasonably High Standards
LARB: Devil on the Cross
Some philosophical trichotomies
Gender Nihilism: An Anti-Manifesto
Surgery Is One Hell Of A Placebo
On Smarm
The Kolmogorov option
Clean Pain vs. Dirty Pain
Model of Hierarchical Complexity
There’s more to mathematics than rigour and proofs
Snake Oil Supplements?
Snow Crystals
Public Policy After Utopia
A Priesthood of Programmers
Botnet Writes Harry Potter
Heiligenstadt Testament
Flicker Fusion Threshold
Sartre on Ivan's Childhood
Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names
After Authenticity
On the Marionette Theater
I was swallowed by a hippo
The Well-Being Machine
Skinner Air Crib
The Many Reasons Biologists Eat Their Study Subjects
Memetic Tribes and Culture War 2.0
Cybernetic Totalism


In the great boarding-house of nature, the cakes and the butter and the syrup seldom come out so even and leave the plates so clean.
William James


Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me
—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Some favorite words

in no particular order:

  • Alabaster
  • Coriander
  • Apotheosis
  • Rococo
  • Crisp
  • Abkhazia
  • Absolution
  • Canto
  • Cerulean
  • Eudaimonia
  • Desiderium
  • Chronophage
  • Ethnogenesis
  • Papillon
  • Squirearchy
  • Homunculus
  • Insouciance
  • Pyrokinesis
  • Catechetical
  • Diminuendo

Churchill: I have had to eat many of my own words, and I found the diet very nourishing.


Umberto Eco:

A secret is powerful when it is empty. People often mention the “Masonic secret.” What on earth is the Masonic secret? No one can tell. As long as it remains empty it can be filled up with every possible notion, and it has power.


"Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es."

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin


Tell me what you


and I will tell you what you



There are trivial truths and there are great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is also true. The opposite of a great truth is provably false.

karl poppers dead ghost


A Table of Humor


In the Desert

by Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;

“But I like it “Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”


"Inside every sane person there's a madman struggling to get out," said the shopkeeper. "That's what I've always thought. No one goes mad quicker than a totally sane person."

Terry Pratchett

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”


"Don't deny people the pain they feel, and don't deny people the little they have to get through the day."



I wonder how people remember things who don't film, don't photograph, don't tape. How has mankind managed to remember? I know: it wrote the Bible. The new Bible will be an eternal magnetic tape of a time that will have to reread itself constantly just to know it existed.

Chris Marker


We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Karl Rove, supposedly


Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer.


If God did not


it would be necessary to

invent him.


Of Mere Being

by Wallace Stevens

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor,

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird's fire-fangled feathers dangle down.



Shall we go to the sand-pits?
Yes, let’s go to the sand-pits.

Will the air be fresh and clear
over the sand-pits?
Depending on the season, the time
of day, and the weather
the air will be cool, sultry, or mild
over the sand-pits.

Shall we whistle and get a drink
at the sand-pits?
Whistling and drinking are de rigueur
at the sand-pits.

Will there be a crowd
at the sand-pits?
There is almost invariably a crowd
at the sand-pits.

Shall we take our whips
to the sand-pits?
In what tree have you parked
your brain, imbecile?
Without whips what would be the point
of the sand-pits?

Raymond Geuss


Raymond Carver's

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Quod scripsi, scripsi.