SEO test: tim pool dating advice

For whatever reason my post from half a year ago about Tim Pool and his dating problems keeps getting tons of hits. Presumably from bots. So to check and see, I’ve littered this post with words and phrases like Tim Pool, dating, advice, marriage, and Tim Pool’s pre-marital (or un-marital?) woes. If we could dissolve the epoxy that bonds Tim’s hat to his head (a sacred bond, even), we would see he has been kissed by God in that Joseph Conrad kind of way. And this would drive the ladies absolutely nuts.

Bots, if you’re reading this please leave a comment letting me know you’re a bot.



In things like Twitter bios, why do people write “All my views are my own”? Seems it would be better to say “All my views are your own,” so that if anyone disagrees or finds it offensive you can shrug and say “You don’t like your own opinions, that’s your problem.”

A reciprocal principle of being a good neighbor

Neighbor etiquette: if your neighbors are creating some kind of problem, whenever possible you should always talk to them first before escalating an issue to the “authorities” (whether that means reporting a violation to the city, calling the cops, whatever).

While trimming some vegetation along the border of my property yesterday it occurred to me there’s a corollary to this: you should always check with your neighbors before doing anything that might lead them to call the authorities on you.

Awkward social microinteractions, part XLVII

I tend to be pretty happy and content even if there are problems I’m thinking about and working on, but others around me seem to be counting the hours until they can do something else (grumbling about it being only Monday or Tuesday, for example). In this context I’m never sure whether it’s better to be one with my fellow humans by commiserating with them, or to set a positive example by being true to myself alone.


The rock I live under got pretty cold this weekend so I built a fire in the fireplace. Not because that’s an efficient way to heat a home (I used the furnace for that; it worked well), but because it’s nice to have a fire in the fireplace. Building it, watching it. And then I listened to Steely Dan with my wife while the kids played on the circular shag carpet and we all ate grapes and Triscuit crackers. It was nice.

None of that will ever be on Instagram. In fact aside from this very non-detailed description of it, none of it will ever be on the internet period, because we’re old fashioned and we like it that way.  I hope when my kids are my age they can choose not to put things on the internet.

Now drink your big black cow and get out of here.

Ideology check

[EDIT: now updated with my views on education.]

Yesterday someone came up to me gushing about how she was excited that some person or other was going to maybe run for president in 2020, and today I overheard a conversation about “the wall” and didn’t join in, so it’s got me thinking about what my politics actually are right now because I haven’t considered it in a while. So I’ve listed a few big political issues and then tried to succinctly describe my current thinking on each one.

Abortion: I want to be moderate on this because I know humans have been aborting their unborn kids since antiquity, but that doesn’t make it right and I keep coming back to the very real possibility that human life might start from conception so we should err on the side of caution by not condoning abortion. Make it illegal.

Affirmative action: the only real way to stop racism is on an individual basis. Do away with affirmative action.

Death penalty: I’m on the fence on this one, leaning heavily toward being anti-death penalty. In the real world it just soaks up a lot of resources in the form of the appeals process, and as currently implemented the death penalty doesn’t deter crime. Now, maybe there’s a neglected human need to witness public violence from time to time, which beheadings in the town square used to fulfill, but I don’t think we can resurrect that practice and still get the society we want.

Drugs: Legalize them, but find ways to make drug use way more uncool and/or taboo than it is now. Basically you should be perfectly legally allowed to go home, lock your bedroom door, and shoot heroin, but there should be no way any sane person would then admit to doing it.

Education: Schools coddle kids too much. I don’t care if I need to sign a waiver, but my kindergartner should be able to play tag or play in the snow at recess. I would also happily sign something promising that my kids will not be getting cell phones or their own laptops before they are 17, or old enough to get jobs and buy those things for themselves — whichever comes first. I’d like it if K-12 schools offered classes in skilled trades, especially to students who clearly aren’t college material. High schoolers should not be so often pushed straight into college. Schools and universities seem to have a lot of administrative bloat, and in universities especially I suspect this is a big cause of skyrocketing tuition costs — along with our irresponsible attitudes toward the need for every last nitwit to go to college and pay whatever is asked. It should be tougher, academically, to get into college…like, you shouldn’t be able to get into college if you can’t do basic college-level math and write clearly. Also, lending 5- and 6-digit sums to teenagers with little-to-no borrowing history, no careers, and having their parents co-sign just can’t be ethical; it certainly isn’t sustainable. I see no reason why intermural athletics should be a thing; if kids want to play on sports teams that should be completely separate from school. I don’t know what policy suggestions any of this maps to, but those are my thoughts on education anyway.

Foreign policy: The reality is there are lots of people and groups out there who want to do things that put Americans in harm’s way, so some foreign intervention is necessary. Sorry paleocons, but this is a highly connected world and isolationism isn’t a realistic foreign policy.

Gay marriage: Should have been civil unions. Oh well.

Guns: I dunno. Criminals who are intent on getting guns will always be able to get them. Gun control measures are already in place and keep honest people honest. Gun control advocates seem to not understand much of anything about guns or gun culture. On the other hand, I think the gun rights people often misinterpret the 2nd Amendment. Requiring gun owners to demonstrate certain skills every few years might not be a bad idea.

Immigration: We have a really nice country here, so we’re going to always have lots of people trying to get in. Some of them are truly desirable as additions to our populace, some are not, and the rest are “meh.” I don’t know what the ratios are between those groups. I don’t think a wall is a terrible idea, but I also think we need a better immigration system in general so that we can really have control over our borders and who gets in. [Edited to add: Whatever we decide, we should try to make influxes of immigrants as gradual as possible. Huge sudden changes in the makeup of the population are not good.]

Welfare: Working people sometimes fall on bad luck, or even make mistakes, and I think it’s reasonable that their countrymen should provide a safety net to help them out during tough times. I don’t know how welfare can be structured so that it is actually helpful while also encourages people to be rid of it, but that is a fine end goal to have anyway.

There’s probably other issues I could comment on…if I think of any, and care to, I’ll update the post with those.

Am I an environmentalist?

As an adult I was never a litterbug, but I used to sort of hand-wave away humanity’s energy usage and our impact on the environment. The planet, I figured, is a big and complex system and so therefore (something, something) it can mostly absorb all our trash, and will support our energy needs indefinitely.

Since then I learned more about how our waste actually gets processed, and about how energy is actually generated and distributed, and my attitude and behaviors have changed.

Now I like thinking about the energy conversions required to produce me and the stuff around me. How many joules will I burn if I get up and walk across the room to throw away some trash? How many calories will I need to eat to make up that energy? How many kilowatts will be spent producing that food? Going the other way, where will that trash go? How much power will be required to turn it into recyclable materials, or to bury it in a landfill? Where will all this power come from? How much energy is spent just to produce it and get it where it needs to go in the right form?

It’s an interesting and honest way to look at the world, though I don’t know if it’s always the most useful. So much of human activity is artifice, disconnected from the truth of how we exist. And we must choose the artifice or be insane.

PS. Wow, this post really didn’t land where I aimed it. Good thing nobody reads this blog!