Yes, these are useless kitsch but I find them hilarious nonetheless. (Wouldn’t buy them, tho.)

Slowly getting back into iOS after years on Android (plus iPad). There’s a lot to like in iOS 14!

Spent two hours over the weekend to migrate 2 years of Google Fit data to Apple Health. Most of it made it, the important stuff. I’m pretty happy I could get it to work!

Finished reading Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom by Ted Chiang. 📚

A neat scifi short story about probability, free will and parallel universes. I liked it quite a bit.

Paolo Bacigalupi’s A Full Life 📚 is a poignant science-fiction story about America the Western World in the age of climate change.

That one kinda hit home.

Just created an account on The Storygraph, a new “keep track of your reading” alternative to the dumpster fire that is Goodreads. 📚 (I came across an article about it in NewStatesman.)

Look me up if you’ve set up an account there! Maybe we can figure this thing out together. 😏

The other day I read Blood Grains Speak Through Memories, a scifi short story by Jason Sanford. 📚

This 2016 Nebula Award finalist presented an interesting, far-future, pro-eco biotech setting with just enough world-building to make it work. In the end it was a tale of loss, betrayal and humanity. I liked it because I could almost feel the numbness and pain of the main protagonist, even though the world itself felt a bit weird.

Goodreads is not good anymore 📚

I just want to keep track of my reading, and I want good recommendations and maybe get into discussions over books I’ve read. By now, GR feels just like a data mining machine to me which it probably is (thanks, Amazon). Do you have any recommendations for me?

I’ll try to use this here M.b account for that … It’s a bit unstructured (in comparison to Goodreads et al) but it also feels like a throwback to the good ol’ blogging times (G-blog represent!) — and maybe, just maybe, that’s enough.

Finished The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. 📚

I didn’t like it; I don’t get the hype about it at all. It’s got a few interesting ideas, sure, but the storytelling was clinical, the characters were 1.5-dimensional at best, and the dialogs were wooden. What am I missing here‽

Started reading “The Three-Body Problem” 📚 today — in English. I’m curious to finally see what all that fuss is about. 😏

A few months back I gave its German edition a go but that felt terribly wooden, somehow. The English edition is more to my liking so far.

I’m going to miss the astrophotography feature of the Pixel 3a. (Switching to an iPhone SE 2020 in a few days to see whether iOS14 does something for me.)

These photos are nothing special per se but the fact that my affordable phone took them, that is something.

How small satellites are radically remaking space exploration is a nice quick overview about the ongoing small-sat and small-rocket space industry revolution. 🚀

Now, two emerging technologies may propel NASA and the rest of the world into an era of faster, low-cost exploration. Instead of spending a decade or longer planning and developing a mission, then spending hundreds of millions (to billions!) of dollars bringing it off, perhaps we can fly a mission within a couple of years for a few tens of millions of dollars. This would lead to more exploration and also democratize access to the Solar System.

In recent years, a new generation of companies is developing new rockets for small satellites that cost roughly $10 million for a launch. […] The concept of interplanetary small satellite missions also spurred interest in the emerging new space industry.

Cancel Culture and the Problem of Woke Capitalism - The Atlantic:

If you care about progressive causes, then woke capitalism is not your friend. It is actively impeding the cause, siphoning off energy, and deluding us into thinking that change is happening faster and deeper than it really is. When people talk about the “excesses of the left”—a phenomenon that blights the electoral prospects of progressive parties by alienating swing voters—in many cases they’re talking about the jumpy overreactions of corporations that aren’t left-wing at all.

Good article, not a condemnation of activism but a call for actual change, and a better direction for all our energy.

Indi Samarajiva: American Passports Are Worthless Now (Map) due to the US being governed by COVID-19:

At the same time, you can’t trust Americans. Americans have poor hygiene (low masking rate) and at least 40% of the population can’t be trusted to even believe that COVID-19 exists, let alone to take it seriously. They’re likely to refuse testing, not report symptoms, break quarantine, and generally NOT follow rules. Americans have a toxic combination of ignorance and arrogance that makes them unwelcome travelers.

Yikes. Rings true, tho.

We visited the #Munich zoo today. I petted a sleeping piglet. 🐖 Good times are good

“Something something #vanlife”, I think

🎵 15 mins of DJ Jazzy Jeff creating a catchy remix of another song, what a surprising treat! It probably looked easy because a) he does this for a living and b) he’s advertising a music-making tool, yes, but I’ve learned something about how beats are built up. Inspiring…

I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life… But I’m so proud of what I do now and what we’ve accomplished over those last three years. We and our deposit system for reusable coffee-to-go cups are Startbase’s Startup of the Month! ☕️

“Die nächsten 20 Jahre werden leichter für Menschen, die Unsicherheit aushalten können” (📦)

Krautreporterin Esther Göbel hat ein sehr interessantes Gespräch über Unsicherheit, Angst und Zukunftsplanung mit der Philosophin Natalie Knapp geführt.

Has anyone here successfully married M.b and Pixelfed yet? I guess it’d be possible to have a Pixelfed account on some instance and crosspost any of my new Pixelfed posts in its entirety to my M.b account, no?

I just imported ~250 Instagram posts using the macOS M.b client. Now I have to clean them up because some of the markup resulted in headline-heavy posts. 😂

And the multi-picture IG posts were turned into series of single-picture posts here. Gotta fix that, too.

I’ve two HEY invites to hand out, if anyone is interested, just holler! First come, first serve, it’s a 30 days trial, $99/year after that.

The Segway’s Inventor Has a New Project: Manufacturing Human Organs (📦)

Dean Kamen went into biotech? Whoa, that’s huge. I’ll watch that space!

🚀🖖🏻 Schroeder's Law

Novelist Karl Schroeder has an intriguing possible answer to Fermi’s Paradox, i.e. the question “Where are all those aliens?”.

I’ve lately been trumpeting my revision of Clarke’s Law (which originally said ‘any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’). My revision says that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Nature. […] Basically, either advanced alien civilizations don’t exist, or we can’t see them because they are indistinguishable from natural systems.

He proposes that an advanced civilization will inevitably reach a thermodynamic equilibrium with its surroundings. Since we try to detect alien civs via their waste products (heat, light, other radiation) we might not see them. Compelling idea.

The Big Blog Move of 2020

I’ve just finished moving my entire blog to Hello M.b! There were a few stragglers (M.b has some issues when importing Markdown files with quotes in front-end matter “title” fields) but I’m good now — settling in, shaping my new virtual couch cushions to my liking, etc.

My blog posts go back to 2002. I started blogging a bit earlier than that, actually, but I’ve pruned the archive over the years because not all those morsels stood the test of time. Nothing serious, nothing terrible, just some light dosage of Applied Forgetting. It’s permitted and it’s possible because this here content is mine, it never touched Facebook or its ilk, and every time I moved to another site, engine, destination on my journey, I would pack my bags and take that content with me.

That should be the most natural thing on the net … yet somehow it still is kind of special, isn’t it. We might yet get there, though. More people are waking up to the idea of owning their data. Ace!

I’m getting increasingly annoyed by people wearing their masks under their chins or their noses in stores or restaurants. Not talking about people who have a hard time breathing, them I understand — but people who clearly appear to think everyone else is “sheeple”.

I usually resort to asking those folks (friendly but firmly) to please put their mask over their corona holes and that usually works. But… man, it bums me out every single time.