Prophets

stop bashing your head

Stop bashing your head.

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Mnemonic Arbitrage

in the now

In the comments of this comic, I was introduced to the concept of mnemonic arbitrage by my friend Chung-chieh Shan.

André Aciman understands. In his essay, “Arbitrage,” Aciman introduces and explores the concept of “mnemonic arbitrage” (152), which ties into the idea of experiencing the moment to look back on it. Mnemonic arbitrage occurs when an individual “[firms] up the present by experiencing it as a memory, by experiencing it from the future as a moment in the past” (151). The individual “grounds the present on the past, and the future on the past recaptured” (152), such that riding a bike in Central Park is not ‘the moment.’ Instead, the moment is consecutively remembering the last time you rode the bike in Central Park and anticipating the fact that you will remember this current bike ride in Central Park. You are “not just remembering. [You are] remembering remembering” (152). Mnemonic arbitrage is a more complex idea than memory or nostalgia; it captures the human instinct to save memories for later.

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Been There Then

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You Are Perfect

just the way you are

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Nibble

nibbling away at your self-esteem

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Online Advertising

One of my very favorite web sites is Techdirt. Earlier this year they started running ads that would pop up and play obnoxious audio and video and freeze my browser so I couldn’t shut them off before they finished “loading”. I complained several times (as a guest poster there, I have special channels I can use to complain) and got the following responses: 1. It’s not supposed to do that, huh, wonder why that’s happening, addendum: we’re working on it, and 2. Get an ad-blocker. What I usually did was 3. Shut the browser as soon as I could and then complain again.

A few days ago I did finally install an ad-blocker (to which I immediately made the requested $5 donation, with gratitude). But I do wonder why those who want to make money through online advertising are practically poking their viewers’ eyes out with pop-up video and flickering GIFs, and assaulting their ears with pop-up audio. If I didn’t already love Techdirt so much, I never would have visited it again, once those godawful ads showed up. Countless other web sites have lost my attention forever because their noisy obnoxious impossible-to-shut-up ads amount to audience abuse.

I can tolerate still ads in moderation, but I won’t miss them, either.

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Why Are We Here?

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Education

people are wrong!

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Peaceful

This applies to pretty much any religion, but was inspired by the Hindutvadis who email me “peaceful” death threats. It also applies to the “peaceful” rule of State law.

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Body-Mind

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