Blog Page 8

Jeff’s Maps

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I found a very interesting business yesterday, Jeff’s Maps. It seems to be a one person business, run by a guy named Jeff of course, that sells really good maps to a few hotspots in Ontario, including two of the big provincial parks (Algonquin and Killarney).

He designs the maps himself, and adds a bonus information that’s useful to hikers, canoeists and hikers. After I googled a bit, I found that the maps are very popular with this crowd, who rave about the quality.

What I find interesting is how modern his operation seems. The whole world of hiking/canoeing/camping information is generally not very modern. Books about hiking provincial parks, for instance, always sort of seem like they were designed and printed 20 years ago. This is totally fine – there’s no real reason for it not to be like this. Jeff’s Maps, however, does things in a very up to date way, like being very specific about how fast you’ll received printed copies and when your order will ship (there are little images for different regions that tell you this, and I assume update automatically).

Example shipping image from Jeffsmap site (I viewed this on a Thursday)
Example shipping image from Jeffsmap site (I viewed this on a Thursday)

What’s the most modern part to me though, is that the main part of the websites (one for each region) is an online map viewer that lets you view the maps for free, and has quite a nice, usable interface. The maps are actually Creative Commons licensed, and you can download them in a number of formats and print them if you like. The actual commercial part of the page is just the sale of traditional printed copies (which are waterproof as well).

Anyway, pretty cool stuff. I’ve yet to check out the paper ones, but going through the map in the web viewer makes it clear it’s very nice. Just thought I’d write it up since it’s an uncommon style of business for something in the hiking/camping sort of space, and it’s pretty neat.

Revolving Restaurants

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The future is probably going to be very robotic and extremely efficient. It’s already sort of like that – every new big business is very professional, and everything is very logical. Apple became incredibly successful by making computers, so they decided to make computer-phones as well, and then computer-tablets, and then computer-watches.

I miss the old way of doing things in weird ways that weren’t completely logical. The best example of this to me is revolving restaurants. Around the 1960s, the way I imagine it, some guy was looking at a beautiful view, and he said “People would like to see this. People would pay some money to see this. People would pay even more money if they could look at this for like an hour, and eat the whole time. And you know what, we could probably charge $20 extra for a steak if the whole restaurant was revolving.”

Just think about that: “we could probably charge $20 extra for a steak if the whole restaurant was revolving” – it’s not a direct quote, but I quoted it and put it in bold anyway, just because that looks kind of dramatic. That’s a blogger tip for you. A little gravitas goes a long way. And a lot of gravitas goes even further. This is blogger wisdom that has been lost to the ages. I honestly don’t know why I’m still typing this paragraph.

But anyway, just think about that: Why should the steak cost more just because the restaurant revolves? It doesn’t make logical sense, but it just works. It just works. I’m doing that thing again where I repeat something and put it in bold. You see this trick on blogs like Slate or Medium all the time, it’s extremely shit.

I sort of got off topic, but anyway, revolving restaurants: They came, they were extremely successful, they still do very well, but they’re not building many new ones I bet. They just seem sort of dumb.

You know what else probably seems dumb to a lot of people? A little company named Apple Computers going ahead and making a whole range of cakes and selling them in Apple Stores. This is something I think would do amazingly well.

People love buying Apple products so much, and Apple love charging a very high retail markup for products, but there are only a certain number of things anyone can buy from Apple in any one year. But if they made cakes, they could definitely sell them for maybe $80 and tons of people would buy them. People would buy them every week, and it’d be a big talking point with their guests. People eat so much cake, this is the most obvious idea in the world. But it’ll probably never happen.

Lights things that are actually heavy

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For a long time, I’ve had a theory that almost everything with light in the name is actually heavy. Here are some examples:

Lighthouse – These are extremely heavy.

Lightning – This is heavy in the sense of heavy metal.

These are the only examples I’ve thought about over the years.

Ergonomics Hack

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I think it’d be cool to start some sort of myth that it’s really good for your back to wear a lifejacket while you’re working at your desk. If it caught on, it’d be pretty hilarious.

There’s a thing where sometimes people sit on those big yoga balls at their desk, and are convinced it’s good for their back. It looks cool in theory, but I had one of those available for a while and I tried it, and it sucks, it sucks so bad, it really is not good. It’s always some quite fit 23 year old who actually does this, so it works out, but when I tried it, my back was screaming in pain in minutes.

I think the key to making people believe in ergonomics things is to mention the lumbar a lot. Everyone has a lumbar, everyone understands basically where it is on their body, but what do we really know about lumbars? Almost nothing.

The Word Geek

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I was thinking about how before computers got popular, the word geek usually meant a circus freak who bit the heads off of live chickens. My first thought on this was that maybe anytime anyone calls themselves a geek, it’d be fun to accuse them of appropriating circus sideshow culture, but I don’t know if that would actually be fun, you know?

But the other thing – how was watching a guy bite the head off a chicken actually entertaining? Obviously it’s gross, but even if you don’t find it gross, is it really going to be fun to watch? I guess there is some element of danger, like maybe the beak scrapes your mouth and it hurts? But I mean, I eat fried chicken sometimes, and it’s covered in breading, which is full of carbs, and that’s infinitely more dangerous long-term. Makes you think.

Smales’s Law

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Any Internet message board, given enough time and users, will eventually contain a 5000 post thread about buying small apartment buildings, and renting them out for income.

My Easy Guacamole Recipe

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It seems like everybody is into guacamole. It tastes great and is extremely good for you, but there’s one problem: It can take a while to make. Also it is messy to make. What I’m saying is that there are two problems, I guess.

You also have to own lemon or lime juice and garlic when you’re making it. Quite often, I don’t own those, so what I do is I make my easy guacamole recipe. Here is the recipe:

Take an avocado, cut it in half, and squeeze the pit out, into the compost thing where the fruit flies live. Now pour some salt on a plate. Put the avocado on the plate, and then grab little pieces of it, and dip them into the salt. Then, I just eat them, but you could probably stick them on a nacho or whatever.

The “Are We Living In a Simulation” Hypothesis

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I forget where I first ran across the whole “We’re probably living in a simulation” thing, but I think it may have been in a Youtube video. Later on, I watched another video, which I believe was a TED Talk, by Nick Bostrom. (edit: Here’s a video of him discussing it – I just googled that and I haven’t watched it yet, but I think I saw it in the past).

So I’m going to summarize the simulation hypothesis as I understand it, and hopefully I don’t get it wrong:

The idea is that one of these 3 things must be true:

  1. Probably no civilization will reach the stage where they can do a high fidelity simulation of their ancestors.
  2. Future civilizations will reach the stage where they can do high fidelity simulations, but won’t be interested in it.
  3. Future civilizations will be able to do high fidelity simulations of their ancestors, and then will do so, and they will do tons and tons of them.

And so if case 3 is true, then once you add up all the people who actually lived (outside of simulations), along with all the people who were simulated, the simulated people:real people ratio will probably be incredibly high.

If case #3 was true, and a future civilization ran only 1 simulation ever, there would already be a full 50% chance that we are currently living in a simulation. But why would they only run 1 simulation? Maybe there are a trillion people in this future universe, and they constantly want to check out what their human ancestors were up to, so they run simulations all the time. If that was true, then maybe it’s a trillions-to-one probability that we’re in a simulation right now.

I am probably explaining it very badly, or missing a crucial point, but listen, I’m just a guy on the internet with a webserver, and I don’t know much.

So anyhow, while I think these 3 points do add up logically, I’m still unclear about a couple of things.

One of them is probably super obvious, and has to do with consciousness: Even if some future civilization can do a really high-fidelity simulation of the past (including right now, 2016), would the simulated humans actually be conscious, as we are? They might, but it seems a stretch to just assume it, so I almost feel like there should be a case #4 which is “Maybe future civilizations will do a ton of high-fidelity simulations, but nobody inside them will have consciousness”. I have a feeling there’s probably a well thought out argument against this, but I don’t know.

Originally, I also thought “Well okay, even if there is a 99.999% chance that we’re in a simulation, who cares, it doesn’t make any difference!”, but then I decided that it does, for this reason:

Okay, so I don’t see how it’s possibly for one universe to fully simulate another universe. I feel like, and maybe I’m wrong here, but I don’t see how, computationally, you could create a simulation with the same resolution (just as many quarks, atoms, etc,) as the real thing, it just seems like it’d be impossible, or maybe at least very, very hard. So what if we are living in a simulation, but they left a bunch of stuff out to save disk space!

Maybe all the scientists trying to figure out what dark matter is are just one day going to say “Oh it’s because RAM wasn’t on sale when Elder127392319 booted up this simulation”. How lame would that be, it would be so dumb. What if the real Universe is way, way bigger than ours? That would suck.

Also, thinking this through, let’s imagine that creating a simulation like this takes a lot of computing power: If this is the case, then perhaps someone would just create the simulation once and distribute it to anyone who wanted to run it, so essentially, we wouldn’t just be living in a simulation, but the whole Universe would be a torrent file. This would suck. What if our whole universe is called something like Copy%20of%20UNIVERSE1-Final.XxXRAIDERZXxX.sim holy crap that would suck, it would suck so bad, I’m getting mad just thinking about it, aaaaaagagagaggaghahgaghaghaghahgaghgahahgghghaaghghahgaghahgaghaghahgahgaghaghaghaagagagaghagauhsgduiaeygrdkuwesyrfgwek vuirtyg4vkeiruger kriuweg rwieurg weiurg iwrug

FUCK THIS FUCK THIS FUCKLTHIS FUCK THSI FUCKS TSUFGHIUSDGFDSFiurg weilruqgw rliuwegr liwuer liweurgh ewilurewrliuweg riuewqrg iweurg irug irlu wliu wegriluwegrilu wegrilu grilewqur gwielur gewliru gewilru gwilrug wero7wrty79878eifeiuwrfghwzsdeugfvbswKAEDfcvujgbAWSEDKfvujbgwesdlifvgubASWEilfugbawsedlirfugabwefilckuawesdgbficluwaesgdfvliuswebgvfliasweufbgaewirlfugbaweslifugbaswerlfguivbawserlfuivgbawselifugbswealifugbawesrlfgiuvgbwaserfviluawserfvliuwasergfvliuwasgefvlikuwaesfgvbilaewufgvbliaswefgbvjulawesifgvbulaewiruIUGBLIUGVLIUGILYUG OIASDUG LKIUDG ILASUDG LIDUASG DP98DTGY AP9WEDT9YPASDYT9IOLDGHASDLIOGUAHSDL IASUDGH LASIUD GASOIDUG ASOIDUG ASOIUDG ASOIUDG ASOIUDG ASIOUDG ASOIDYUG SALF87GIFYUKWLFGH BSDKLIFUGHY SFLIUGSF

Fucking garbage.

Second Post

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I was thinking that a funny thing to do here would be to do my first post by quoting that “First thing first, I’m the realest” line, which is from rap artist Iggy Azalea. But instead I’m going to think pretty hard about what kind of stupid-ass crappy opinion I can come up with and post here, in order to get outrage clicks. I’m kidding of course. I don’t want a whole bunch of people mad at me, both because of cowardice, and I had another reason that I forget.

Definitely the easiest way to get eyeballs and attention in 2016 is saying something that gets people really outraged though, but I’m not totally sure whether that’s a great idea or not. Look at that couple who spend their lives dressed as if they live in Victorian times – they didn’t actually do anything seriously bad, and people are just sooo mad at them constantly.

They first got noticed about a year ago (I’d guess), but they sort of disappeared, and then just a week or two ago, they popped up again, because they were turned away from some botanical garden in Victoria B.C. What got me about this was that I’m pretty sure they just wrote a blog post about it, and didn’t issue a press release or anything, but still: Boom, as soon as it happened, people were all over them again.

It’s weird how much hatred that couple gets, just for wanting to go around wearing Victorian clothing. To me, it’s really overkill, and I don’t get it. Is it the big unicycle the guy rides? That’s part of it right, those things just annoy everyone?

One thing I find really weird about when people get mad at the Victorian couple, is that someone always has to throw in “Oh yeah the 1800s…. when there was SLAVERY”, as if this is some really good argument against these guys. It’s pretty clear that these guys are not into slavery or whatever, they just like these old Victorian clothes. It’s like if you went up to some guy dressed in bell bottoms and said “Oh nice, pants from the 1960s.. WHEN THERE WAS APARTHEID.”

I maybe rambled there, but my point is basically: I don’t think I’d be doing myself any favours by actually trying to rile people up with some post like “Trump’s Worst Fault? He’s Not Racist ENOUGH” or “GIFs and Emoji Are Really Terrible and Dumb” (one of these is true).

Oh you know what these things are called, I forgot: Hot Takes. People like Hot Takes on Twitter, but they mostly like saying “Hot Take:” and then saying something pretty dull. Personally, I don’t do Hot Takes, they’re mainly a tool of the weak thinkers and clowns.

 

TIME TO BLOG

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Well, it’s August of 2016 and I feel like it’s time to get blogging. A lot of great things are happening in the world, we’re basically living in a golden age and nothing is bad. People are happy, and they are ready for my posts.