You Wouldn’t Believe (The Legend of the Accursed Potato Chip)


I live in an American household that manages to make potato chips unpalatable. Let that point sink in.

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Groovy Mysteries and the Price of Tea at Arcturus


Why do people so desperately need mysteries?

Still, that is not the right question; one can easily see the potential for offense, but there is also a threshold at which it does not matter because someone, somewhere, will be offended by the merest whiff that their humanity is somehow imperfect. But if the comparative question arises that the gas bill is considerably less this year than it was last, and what we really want to know is why, how is it that the most obvious factors—weather and temperature, devices used, and unit cost, just for starters—must necessarily remain mysterious?

There comes a point at which one is frustrated at the lack of actual information about a chart and carefully-devised statistics that hide one particular bit of data: How much does the gas cost per measured salable unit? If we are paying X per Y volume, apparently both X and Y must remain mysterious as we discuss why the gas bill is lower this year than the same period last.

Wait, wait, wait: Must? Who says, “must”?

Either the gas company or the consumer; it is unclear which. Because in the moment when one exclaims, “Why is the one thing we don’t get, here, the cost per unit?” of course the answer is going to be, “I don’t know, it’s probably in all the other pages.” That is, the pages not simply thrown in the recycle bin without reading, but also determinedly torn up for security purposes.

The question remains: What is the proper question? That much, to be certain, remains mysterious.

It’s a Small Big Blue Marble


Brief notes:Detail of Google Map for Cyangugu, Rwanda, featuring Whatsapp Risizi River View Bar. [7 April 2018]

• Some setups are long enough to defeat the purpose, like, why one might even be thinking about some remote corner of the world in any given moment. Nonetheless . . .

• . . . I do find remarkable—and thus do remark upon—the fact that I might be able to recite the phrase, “Whatsapp Risizi River View Bar”, because, apparently, such a thing really does exist, and it really is in Cyangugu, Rwanda.

But That’s My Brain You’re Talking About


There is no specific answer . . . .

Conversations go wherever they will, but it also feels really, really stupid to actually stand there and say the words, “And if it kills me?” Honestly, I just don’t understand why the discussion really would need to go that far.

It may well have taken two and a half years to recover from the last time. And that’s presuming such repair and recovery is actually finished, which is itself a problematic definition.

Still, though, why not? I mean, I get it. Here, instead of just blindly telling you to try buying this and if that doesn’t work maybe in a year we’ll try buying something else, now we have a test to tell you what to buy, and if it doesn’t work, it only takes a couple years to recover, at least, but, hey, why do that, because you can just take the new, improved, updated test again and try buying something else, and at some point, being wrong can kill people.

But never ask the question, because we already know the answer:Say what?

“And if it kills me?”
Don’t be silly.

This is not some simple thing, like switching mouthwash. That we might achieve a need to ask the question explicitly would seem significant.

Life, the Universe, and Coffee


#yesreally | (#sigh)

To what degree is it significant that today is when a perfectly obvious fact finally occurred to me: My coffee pot is right-handed.

I mean, yeah, to the one, duh.

To the other, though: Really?

I wonder how much they saved by not putting numbers on the other side.

Notes on Interface


[#antisocialmedia]

View of NTT Docomo tower from Shinjuku Gyoen, 26 March 2017. (Detail of photo by bd)

Okay, so, here’s the thing:

▸ The software feature that you want me to use requires that I select a photo.

▸ There are hundreds of photos in the uploaded library.

▸ Therefore, I am only allowed to see twelve photos at a time, in reverse chronological order.

▸ If the photo I would use happens to be, oh, way the hell down the list, that I must simply keep clicking and clicking in order to ask you to please show me more of my photos, that I might eventually select one to use for the software feature you really, really seem to want me to use, since, you know, you won’t shut up about it, I’m probably not going to bother, and would you please, then, shut up about it?

↳ Because your interface really, really sucks. The most obvious question in the world is why you would refuse to simply open the entire album. These pathways are deliberate; you do not accidentally design such an inefficient method, as the extraneity is by definition extraneous unless, of course, it is not actually extraneity. That is to say, there must necessarily be something you get out of it, but it would seem really, really obscure. (Hint for the gallery: To wonder why a publicly traded company would show off its incompetence or inefficiency is to look at it wrongly; the idea of efficiency on which such an outlook depends is consumer oriented. The wasted clicks make some other point.)

Anyway, yeah. It’s pretty stupid. Just sayin’.

____________________

Image note: NTT Docomo tower, from Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo, 26 March 2017. (Photo by bd)

¿Who You Gonna Call?


In recent days, two television adverts, one for an insurance company and another for home security services, have drawn my attention for alleged customer testimonial that skipped over first responders. No, really:

• Crime, therefore call insurance company before callng police.

• Fire, therefore call home security company, who in turn called fire department for you.

In truth, I have no idea how to feel about this. And, you know, there was also something else that flitted by in those spots, but, honestly, the implications of spinning narrative would be entirely on my own conscience, and it’s not a pleasing prospect; even worse would be noticing something we are expected to notice—you know, a feature, not a bug. Never mind. It is enough to simply wonder at skipping out on first responders.