The tangled web

In which I find myself unironically missing old, hard-copy Yellow Pages.

I came into the possession of a vintage sport coat which was in excellent condition except for several strata of dust on the shoulders, from hanging unused but uncovered for decades. The care instructions say dry clean only, so I went looking for a dry cleaner. The internet suggested there were several near me. On further examination, however, one was shuttered up. Another had remodeled and become just a regular laundromat.

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👍: 💀&🎸

Two capsule reviews of things I’ve enjoyed recently.

🕴️💀 Lockwood & Co., streaming on Netflix: It’s YA fiction about magic kids, but the dark magic is pretty dark. Thematically, Harry Potter meets Arkham Horror.1 The actors all have screen presence, and the characters nicely developed.

It’s already cancelled, but the existing season tells a satisfying story and reaches a sensible (albeit not total) conclusion. I haven’t read the books, and so my thumbs up is just for the show.

🎸🛡️ Invincible Shield, the new album from Judas Priest. Listened on the recommendation of my brother. It rocks unequivocally, without any discounting for the fact that frontman Rob Halford is 72.

Who even am I?

I’ve watched a bunch of superhero movies recently. Some (like Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad) lived up to expectations. Others were surprising.

Based on friends’ comments on social media, I expected Quantumania (the third Antman movie) to be a dud. But it was a fun ride, with fun world building and characters. And it had MODOK!

Based on friends’ comments and the fact that it had Batman in it, I expected to enjoy The Batman (the 2022 movie). I was disappointed in it and surprised with myself.

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Some days I have no idea how to do this job

Reviewer #1 calls it “well-written, well-researched, clear and compelling.” They say it’s “good to go.” Reviewer #2 says that the “ideas are evasive and not well developed.” The verdict is Revise&Resubmit— that is, rejection with encouragement to resubmit with “major revisions.”

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If you hadn’t nailed its tweets to the perch

I stopped using Twitter a while back, before it was an X website. The ongoing meltdown at that steaming crater in the connectivity graph where Twitter used to be illustrates why putting power in the hands of the super-rich is not a recipe for harmony. Contra economists’ assumptions, it’s not even a recipe for profit and economic progress.

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The bagel disputation

A recent exchange over on bookface:

Gary Hardcastle: Necessarily, there is no everything bagel. It would have to contain itself as an ingredient. But, I can buy one at the deli.

P.D. Magnus: A bagel always trivially includes itself.

GH: That way lies madness.

PDM: Take an empty bag. Put a bagel in it. There is nothing in the bag now that was not an ingredient of the bagel. Since the bagel is in the bag, it follows that the bagel too is an ingredient of the bagel.

I feel like I should drop a QED at the end of that, but I also feel like this is the kind of dispute which would get one of us excommunicated if we were medieval monks.

And that’s why I’d make a bad monk.

Small updates

It has probably been more than a decade since I made any changes to the format of my home page— but today I changed around the CSS and modernized some of the code. It shouldn’t change the functionality, beyond replacing a header graphic with text in a custom font.

It’s possible that I’ve broken something or that it won’t show up properly on your device. If it has become unusable, maybe let me know.

AI is a joke

The genre of post that echoes an interaction with ChatGPT is stale and tedious. As Tom Scott comments, “Telling someone about your fascinating AI conversation is like telling someone about your dreams. They don’t care, it just sounds like you’re hallucinating nonsense.” I swore back in December that I wouldn’t make another post like that, but this one has jokes.

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