My life was insane in August 2006. I moved twice and generally tried to piece my life and relationships together after a huge falling-out with my wife’s family, where we ended up moving out of a house they owned. For most of August, I sublet a bug-infested studio apartment without air conditioning or even working windows that had the questionable virtues of being on a bus line and across from a 7–11. I remember cleaning the kitchen, which had at one point harbored rats, top-to-bottom with industrial strength oven cleaner, which filled the house with toxic fumes but ate through the layers of grime and filth that had accrued over the years. Still, I stacked chairs in front of the kitchen and never used it once in the five weeks we were there.
As a consequence, I don’t really remember what the heck was going on Snarkmarket then; but that’s what archives are for! Here are a handful of posts that caught my fancy trolling through the stacks:
- “8.5″ X AWESOME,” images of paper art by Peter Callesen that I must have missed, because I posted some of the exact same material three-and-a-half years later: “I love paper so much I should marry it.”
- “Twelve Movies.” The ten-to-twelve information streams the brain uses to reconstitute the experienced universe: “Although we have the illusion of receiving high-resolution images from our eyes, what the optic nerve actually sends to the brain is just outlines and clues about points of interest in our visual field. We then essentially hallucinate the world from cortical memories that interpret a series of extremely low-resolution movies that arrive in parallel channels.”
- “A (Really Expensive) Room of One’s Own.” On the impossibility of writing a novel in San Francisco — written by Robin, of course. I really enjoyed his summary of Bruce Sterling’s Holy Fire in the comments: “As people live longer and longer (we are talking serious life extension here — decades more than we’re used to now), the magic of compound interest associates wealth more and more strictly with age. So we shift from an all-ages plutocracy to a gerontocracy — and it sucks to be in your 20s even more than it does now.”
This last point reminds me of this Economist article on “the unemployment netroots” — basically, young, highly-skilled, politically-active folks who have the incentives and abilities to get organized in a way that the long-term unemployed (for various reasons) have never been able to do.
Highly-engaged older people have long made it a point to be politically active as members of a semi-solid bloc; maybe young people, who’ve been disproportionately hurt by the Great Recession (I wrote a half-joking post about this called “The Coming Age Wars”) could pull it off. After all, in all of human history, the greatest revolutionary force has always been the idle, disaffected young.