Books Off My Shelves (Part 1)

A new project for me to never complete: photos of the books that make up my library.

“Never complete” because I’ll probably forget I started it and/or there are a LOT of books and/or I’ll keep getting more so it’s never ending anyway.

Not all of my books are educational or highfalutin, but all of them are here for a reason beyond just being a hoarder of books.

And, before anyone asks, no, I haven’t read all of them. And probably never will. In some cases I worry I’d wreck the book because of it’s age and I have it more for historical or personal reasons. In other cases I ascribe to Umberto Eco’s “Antilibrary” which Nassim Nicholas Taleb covered in Black Swan (which I own and will photograph at some point):

The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?” and the others — a very small minority — who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.

So many of these, sure, I’ve read. Many more I WANT to read because they’re knowledge I have yet to gain. Or mindless reads I’m waiting for a good vacation or retirement (HA! HA HA HA HA HA! I’m going to die working.) to get to.

I’ll be presenting these largely without context beyond my owning them. Maybe I’ll feel compelled to provide a backstory or explanation. Maybe not. We’ll see. It’s a lot of books.

Enough with the intro and excuses! Pictures of books!

Links for 2/26/2021

Hallelujah, there’s now a site for stock photos of potato chip sandwiches. (via B3ta)

Draw an iceberg and see how it will float. (via Kottke)

Doomscrolled to this article about doomscrolling and how you can stop it – which seems to mainly be to stop following doom-ish people and get offline once in a while. Winter and COVID would like to have a word with you, Professor Doctor Sir…

Mars sounds.

An Ode to Low Expectations

Strive for excellence, by all means. My God, please strive for excellence. Excellence alone will haul us out of the hogwash. But lower the bar, and keep it low, when it comes to your personal attachment to the world. Gratification? Satisfaction? Having your needs met? Fool’s gold. If you can get a buzz of animal cheer from the rubbishy sandwich you’re eating, the daft movie you’re watching, the highly difficult person you’re talking to, you’re in business. And when trouble comes, you’ll be fitter for it.

Links for 2/25/2021

Yes, I’m a nerd” edition

“One of my goals with this shop and in general is to be the poster boy for Magic: The Gathering and show kids how cool this game is and show them it’s dope, nothing to be ashamed of or hide from your friends.” Meet the NFL linebacker turning his love of Magic: The Gathering into a business

“So, for the price of an entire house, you could instead buy a highlight of Zion blocking a shot, that exists only on the internet, and can only be bought and sold on Top Shot.”

“So how do we balance sufficiently rigorous design with a playable and impactful wargaming experience? It starts with a good wargame ecosystem.” Is it a wargame? It doesn’t matter: Rigorous wargames versus effective wargaming

The folks behind Basecamp are testing a simple blogging service integrated into Hey. John Gruber: “Feels like simple stuff — like RSS — is experiencing a renaissance.”

Via Austin Kleon and The Good Enough Parent, Dan Sinker with There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Good’ Parent in a Pandemic:

Every parent wants to be a good parent. And every parent, every day, fails at that because, right now, being a good parent is literally impossible. A fine parent? Maybe. An OK one? Possibly. But a good one? We’re eleven months into a pandemic that sent all our children home, laid waste to jobs, killed a half-million people in this country, and sickened many millions more. Politicians like Ted Cruz ensured it would hurt as much as possible by fighting against public health measures and relief efforts that would have made a difference. So no: a good parent isn’t really an option. We’re all just barely getting by.

Links for 2/22/2021

When To Stop (Letters of Note) – “It is always best to stop a letter when you arrive at the bottom of the page.”

Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000

“If broadened out to look at the whole world, the percentage of the population of West Virginia already fully vaccinated would rank third.” (Fark)

Blogging: Tune Out and Switch On “Right on! The magic of blogging revealed at last. Its brain-training.” (J’s Notes historical find from 2002)

I want to remind readers that Facebook was not started for news. Our readers took news there because we in our field did not provide the mechanisms for them to share it and discuss it with friends outside of awful comments sections. Twitter was not started for news; our readers, as witnesses to news, chose to share it there. Google was not started for news; our industry could not get its act together (see: New Century Network) to provide an overview of the news ecosystem. We could have started Next Door to allow our local readers to meet with neighbors years ago, but Silicon Valley beat us to it. Our readers deserted us because the net provided mechanisms we did not. And we did not because our colleagues in news have been too busy trying to find new ways to pay for old ways instead.

Jeff Jarvis – CJR: Talking with Jeff Jarvis about forcing Big Tech to pay for news