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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Prequel to Genesis

Satan said unto the Lord, “Hey, God. I was wondering…”

God’s attention turned, and Satan continued: “I know that you’re omnipotent, but I was wondering if you could create a world that had some good things in it, but also an overwhelming amount of toil, suffering, and evil.”

The Lord replied, “Yes, I could do that.”

“But could you, really?” asked Satan, stretching out the final word.

“Look, Satan,” said God, “you’ve agreed that I am omnipotent. That word just means all powerful. An omnipotent god can do anything.”

The Lord added, with the clarity and force of proof, “You’ve mentioned a thing to do. I am omnipotent. So I could do it. QED.”

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Season songs’ revenge

One side effect of the pandemic is that I’m out and about less, so I hear less programmed Christmas music. Here’s a flashback to pre-pandemic times, when I did a series of posts about my favorite holiday songs. I’m not sure the list would be any different this year.

  1. Fairytale of New York
  2. The Boar’s Head
  3. Fuck You If You Don’t Like Christmas
  4. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  5. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
  6. Good King Wenceslas
  7. Greensleeves
a boar carrying a tray of food