Did a ton of errands today with my kid. Got ready to host a sleep-over birthday party for said kid. Joined the Stanford Heart Study and made a Workflow.app workflow for tracking Soylent nutrition. Went for a walk with the other kid. Not a bad little Saturday.

For the past two weeks I’ve kept $1.50 in quarters in my jacket pocket, thinking I’d like to buy a paper newspaper to read one morning. I keep forgetting and the $1.50 is still there.

I from-scratched my iPhone today. It’s quite cleansing. I’m a little sad that I don’t get to keep the health data, but at the same time, I never actually use the data for anything.

I ate a Jimmy John’s sandwich for lunch. It wasn’t in the budget, and it just tasted OK. I mostly wanted to eat non-stuck-at-home food, but was too lazy to walk to a real restaurant. I should have just had a Soylent. I also ate some combos and drank two diet colas. I really do just eat junk food because I’m bored.

Why [Lessig] Ran For President

“Why I Ran For President” by Lawrence Lessig:

That recognition made more urgent this question: What if we could recruit a candidate who would draw the public back to a point that, in some sense, they already recognize—that the system is rigged, and that it must be unrigged if anything real is going to happen? Given the stakes, I thought it worth a try. And after I spent much of the summer trying to recruit a credible, outsider candidate, I recognized something that would be critical to my own decision to run: that even if a candidate got only as far as the debates, his or her candidacy could make a difference. Even if all that the candidate did was to drive attention to this latent demand for reform, it could well shift the focus of the campaign in a way that made reform more likely. For much of July, I spoke to everyone I could about the idea. It was when the Democratic National Committee announced the rules for the debates, at the beginning of August, that I became certain I would try.

I’m so glad that Mr. Lessig ran the campaign he did. I’m saddened by how the DNC treated his candidacy. It’s made me even more cynical about the power of party politics to bring about meaningful change in US politics. But, it’s what we have. How much change needs to occur within existing institutions (like political parties) and how much needs to be systemic change of the way those institutions work in our country.

I’ll just go watch Season 5 of Angel again.

New Girl

I sidecar[1] a ton of TV shows during my work day. While I work , the iPad next to my computer plays through seasons of TV shows. Some I’ve already seen, others that are new for me. It helps me to get work done to have something going on in the periphery.

I’ve been working my way through “New Girl” and it’s delightful. I love the characters, the recurring quirks, the laugh-out-loud gags, and the little easter eggs for regulars. I care about the characters and I want the best for all of them.

Schmitt is the best character. He literally has a douchebag jar, but you root for him. He’s so kind and caring, he just doesn’t have a clue. Through flashbacks, we see how Schmitt used to be overweight (the actor wears a fat suit). Unlike, say, a Monica fat suit, where the butt of the joke is that the character is fat, fat-suit Schmitt is never played as anything but a caring nice person. The joke is that people treated Schmitt like garbage when he was overweight and made the Schmitt we know. Everything douchey about Schmitt is a direct result of his naive attempt at understanding how to be the person he thinks he should be.

We root for Schmitt to learn how to be the good man we already know he is.

  1. Work on a laptop with an iPad streaming Netflix next to me.  ↩

From the Chomsky book, on activism:

Well, it depends what you look at. If you look at 200,000 corpses in Central America, it doesn’t seem like much of a victory. But if you look at ten million people who are still alive, it does seem like a victory. It depends where you’re looking. You don’t win what you’d like to win, but you could have lost a lot more.

Reading For My Brains

I just finished reading the Aaron Swartz book and now I’m reading my first Noah Chomsky book. I feel like I can and should be working to change the world.

From the industrial factory origins of schools, to the clandestine activities of the Reagan administration, my brain is working like it hasn’t in years. Chomsky just said something in his book, about how to not look at the effects of activism by what happened, bad stuff definitely happened, but how much worse would it have been if people had done nothing.

I want to talk with people about the world, play off each other’s thoughts and ideas, and try to better myself. I’ve felt so stagnant intellectually, and I finally feel like I’m overcoming the coefficient of static friction.