What’s The Best Lossless Image Format?

Looking at the test results, the bottom line is that most modern lossless image formats, like WebP and JPEG XL, provide big gains in efficiency compared to even the most optimized PNG.

Johannes Siipola, “What’s the best lossless image format? Comparing PNG, WebP, AVIF, and JPEG XL.” siipo.la. July 27, 2021.

I’ve been favoring png over jpg. But, maybe it is time to consider the newer image formats as standard?

Guacamole

Note: I’ll add pictures after I make this today.

Ingredients

  • Fresh hot chilies, such as Thai, serranoes or jalapeñoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped (~1/3 cup)
  • 6 oz. (1 medium or 2 plum) fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 3 medium-large avocados
  • salt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • slices of radish for garnish
  • corn oil
  • corn tortillas

Preparation of Guacamole

  1. Roast chiles, garlic and tomatoes in small, ungreased skillet over medium heat, turning every minute until softened (5-10 minutes)
  2. Remove chili stems, garlic skins and blackened parts of tomatoes,
  3. Mash chilies, garlic into a coarse puree, using a mortar.
  4. Cut tomatoes into small bits
  5. Rise onion in a strainer under cool water, shake off excess water.
  6. Add onion, tomato and chili/garlic puree and stir.
  7. Cut the avocadoes in half, remove pit, score the avocado by cutting half inch lines to the skin using a paring knife.
  8. Scope out the avocado into the bowl with onion and chili/garlic.
  9. Stir avocado into the mixture, but don’t overdo it. Keep it chunky!
  10. Add salt and lime to taste, more lime makes it less spicy.
  11. Garnish with cilantro and radish.
  12. Set aside for flavors to mix while making chips.

Preparation of Fresh Tortilla Chips

  • Heat corn oil over medium heat in medium sauce pan
  • Cut store-bought tortillas into 6 pieces per torilla
  • Fry chips to a golden brown
  • Place chips in a paper towel lined, large bowl.
  • Best to have people eat chips as you make them.

Notes

  • You can use store bought chips. But, frying them yourself is much better.
  • It’s important not to over-mash guacamole. Over-mashed guacamole is what most people serve, and it is inferior.
  • Recipe is based on the classic guacamole recipe in Mexico: One Plate At A Time by Rick Bayless, pg. 4.

Zuihitsu: 2022-05

Technically, zuihitsu are longer reflections than what I tend to collect. But, the general idea is right. Here’s this month’s installment. If you want the complete set, please download the fortune file.

  1. Architecture is what you do with the potential of life. —Sir Peter Cook
  2. Specialization tends to shut off the wide-band tuning searches and thus to preclude further discovery.—Buckminster Fuller
  3. Walk the line between chaos and the man.
  4. Want to be irascible? Better be entertaining.
  5. Learn to recognize when it is not your turn.
  6. Know your why.
  7. The price of a free press is torrents of bullshit.
  8. Nothing in life is sure.
  9. We all have chapters we would rather stay unpublished.
  10. Everybody goes down the aisle with half the story hidden.
  11. New market benefit most from contrarian viewpoints.
  12. Cui bono? Who benefits?
  13. The more you own it, the more you learn.
  14. You have to speculate to accumulate.
  15. Four quadrants: truths, probabilities, possibilities, and lies.
  16. Never make an enemy by accident.
  17. Never mistake a wish for a certainty.
  18. A group will reflect the larger culture in which it is part.
  19. Dreams are greater than facts.
  20. Investing: start early, live below your means, save regularly, diversify broadly, and stick to your investment plan.
  21. Take a chance and fail spectacularly. That’s how you learn to succeed.
  22. You must be your own master and call your own tune.
  23. The materials dictate what needs to be done.
  24. Principles are like prayers. Noble but awkward at a party.
  25. A mind can only solve problems of similar size.
  26. Develop a core strength of taste and select for beauty.
  27. Complain less.
  28. Contemplate what the world looks like long after you are gone.
  29. Everything worthwhile is done with other people.
  30. Time favors truth.
  31. A bet is a tax on bullshit.
  32. Avoid disputes. Disputes are a time sink and prevent you from getting real work done.
  33. Avoid becoming an administrator, a job that consists of dealing with money and disputes.
  34. What we need today more than anything else is to invest in beauty.—Vangelis
  35. Temporal bandwidth is the width of your present, your now. How far into the past (or the future) is now?
  36. Half-truths are lies. Every statement is a half-truth. All statements are lies. Q.E.D.
  37. The perfect is the enemy of the possible.
  38. Environment beats self-control every time.
  39. Beware bullish borrowers.
  40. Art is what you make for yourself or give to others. Sell it and art becomes a business.
  41. Earn, learn or relax.
  42. Life is a single player game.
  43. Omniscience has no need for memory.
  44. Be curious about change.
  45. Embrace anomalies and outliers.
  46. Hold exploratory views, but loosely.
  47. Use tools that make you think differently.
  48. Look for patterns rather than timescales.
  49. Each of us must lives with inescapable loneliness, and the temptation is to destroy ourselves to escape it. —paraphrase of Jim Harrison
  50. Shift imagination from the periphery to the foundation of all knowledge.
  51. The less you know, the harder it is to learn.
  52. There are more stupid people to factor in than you imagine.
  53. The tool or platform we are using can keep us stupid, even when we’re smart.
  54. Ignorance is insufficient data to solve a problem; stupidity is where no amount of data will solve it.
  55. Rules inflexibly applied lead to poor outcomes.
  56. It is not what you do not know but what you know that is not so that gets you into trouble.
  57. Avoiding open disagreement reduces the collective intelligence of any group.
  58. Craving the safety of clarity will make you stupid.
  59. Two points define a line. Three a playing field.
  60. No net is so fine or strong that nothing can get through.
  61. Endure the blow, accept the damage, and let someone else strike back.
  62. Death or hardship is not fearful, but our fear of them can destroy us.—paraphrase of Epictetus
  63. If you spend enough time in spaces that demand you be interesting, you eventually become boring.
  64. Once a strongman loses the ability to terrorize, a loss of respect is rarely far behind.
  65. Populism’s animating spirit is hatred of cultural elites. 
  66. If you do not need it and will not use it, do not buy it.
  67. Mistakes are inevitable, the cost of tuition.
  68. Choose one: creativity or productvity.
  69. Competition gets in the way of being oneself.
  70. No fool like an old fool.
  71. Marriage is a novel, not a short-story.
  72. Marriage is like going to church. You need to believe in it.

Seven Varieties of Stupidity

“1. Pure Stupidity…

2. Ignorant stupidity…

3. Fish-out-of-water stupidity…

4. Rule-based stupidity…

5. Overthinking stupidity…

6. Emergent stupidity…

7. Ego-driven stupidity…

-Ian Leslie, “Seven Varieties of Stupidity.” ianleslie.substack.com. May 21, 2022

It’s a fun classification exercise. I’d say that 3 is a subset of 2, being in an unfamiliar environment is a variety of ignorance.

However, if you think about the kinds of stupidity we are most likely in contemporary times, it’s rule-based stupidity. Everyone is being turned into algorithms. They have a set of rules they are given, checklists, and they go through the checklist, whether it makes sense or not.

For example, if you take out a home equity loan of $20,000 on a home worth $200,000. Does the bank really need your credit report and income? But, by God, they’ll get through their checklist, before they’ll lend anyone money.

It’s also interesting to think about the connections. Rule-based stupidity is a variety of emergent stupidity, or the kind of stupidity you get when people get together and are afraid of conflict and sharing their ideas. Rule-based stupidity is trying to stripe initiative away from people because you are afraid of the first three forms of stupidity.

Ego driven stupidity reminds me of barkers in the Church of Interruption piece. People that are too busy thinking they are the only ones with anything interesting to say, aren’t learning anything. There’s only so much we can learn from our own experience. To be smart in any meaningful sense, we have to learn from the experiences of others. If we stop doing that, we slowly become more stupid.

Disabled But Able To Rock! The Danger Woman Story

“‘Disabled But Able To Rock’ follows the life of Betsy Goodrich, a high-functioning autistic woman and her superhero alter-ego, Danger Woman. Danger Woman fights the Tri-phobes (Race-ophobia, Homophobia, and Disable-phobia) with her high-octave, karaoke crime-fighting superpowers.

Meanwhile, the real Betsy contends with a severely autistic and schizophrenic older brother and a diabetic mother wrestling with the burden of caring for two disabled children on a daily basis. Once that all changes, however, the true challenge becomes finding the balance between freedom and care.

Using home movies, interviews, old photographs and performance footage, the film peers beneath the veneer of its subject’s disability and examines the hopes and dreams of a woman who gets older, but cannot grow up.”

Disabled But Able To Rock! The Danger Woman Story

Bookmarking for later.

America’s Modern Character: Paranoid Loser

“[Columbia professor Adam Tooze, writer of the definitive forensic analysis of the 2008 financial crisis in Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World,] does not buy the line that America is roaring back at the head of a resurgent West, even if the autocracies have suffered a crushing reverse over recent months. ‘I see America as the huge weak link,’ he said.

He broadly subscribes to the Fukuyama thesis that the American body politic is by now so rotten within, so riddled with the cancer of identity politics that it is developing a paranoid loser’s view of the world. The storming of Congress was not so much an aberration under this schema, but rather the character of modern America.”

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, “The world’s financial system is entering dangerous waters again, warns guru of the Lehman crisis.” The Telegraph. May 23, 2022.

Open question: Is the current populism and “paranoid style” of the American character an sign of decline or a trait that becomes more prevalent with populist resurgence?

The paranoid character of U.S. politics is not a new claim, see the Richard J. Hofstadter essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” The online version is Harper’s Magazine is currently behind a paywall. But, I’d imagine most city public libraries have a copy of it.

The paranoid style is a recurring feature of populist movements, right and left, evident from so-called militia/patriot movements to the “woke” left of our time. Nothing is really new about either. But, is there something new in this wave? Is it significantly different than movements that led to prohibition of alcohol and marijuana?

I’m inclined to see the current environment as a variation on a consistent pattern, like the Great Awakenings. Ultimately, these kinds of heated discussions are the strength of democracies, even when they lead to things like the U.S. Civil War. You get your say. If you feel strongly enough, you fight about it. But, in the end, a decision is made and you see how it goes. It’s not dictated by some clown at the top. It’s messy. But, it’s better than the alternative.

The Top Idea In Your Mind

“I think most people have one top idea in their mind at any given time. That’s the idea their thoughts will drift toward when they’re allowed to drift freely. And this idea will thus tend to get all the benefit of that type of thinking, while others are starved of it. Which means it’s a disaster to let the wrong idea become the top one in your mind.”

-Paul Graham, “The Top Idea In Your Mind.” paulgraham.com. July 2010

If your top ideas are getting money, arguing with someone, the past, how stupid you are and so forth, then your mind is working on destructive bullshit.

Monkeypox

“Monkeypox causes a flu-like array of symptoms, but also comes with a distinctive rash; one telltale sign is the fact that lesions often appear on the palms of hands. So far it seems that the cases are being caused by viruses from the West African clade, which triggers milder disease than the other family of viruses, called the Congo Basin clade. All monkeypox viruses are cousins of the one that caused smallpox, the only human virus to have been eradicated.”

-Helen Branswell, “A CDC expert answers questions on monkeypox.” STAT. May 19, 2022

In sum, monkeypox is not like COVID-19. It requires close contact. It can be transmitted by respiratory droplets when there are sores in the mouth, but it’s not the primary vector. The West African clade has a 1% fatality rate, which is much less than the 10% of the Congo Basin clade. The high death rate probably is due to West Africa’s poor access to health care.

There’s already a vaccine for monkeypox. This is not going to be a global pandemic like COVID-19. But, it is a serious disease, and it is prevalent in an unprecedented level.

If you must know more about it WHO has a monkeypox course.

Flyting

Flyting or fliting is a contest consisting of the exchange of insults between two parties, often conducted in verse.”

-Wikipedia contributors, “Flyting,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flyting&oldid=1066666401 (accessed May 17, 2022).
Hipshitical and batshittery, complete
coprolite words, drop like poop
from a mouth, a sewer of deceit,
ears, a sonar for the snoop.

You're wealthy, you're pale
are you eunuch or male?
A coward, a fool, a wannabe rebel
rolled up fetal with balls like a pebble.

Forever on holiday from morals
a dog's breakfast of contradiction
incubator of plots and quarrels
your presence a plague, an affliction.

Your face frozen in a sneer,
with teeth, a chain of half-built houses
in a heart of darkness, an evil frontier
with witches and cannibals for spouses.

Never tried insult verse before. It’s not good at all. But, it is kind of fun to make the attempt.

Reduce Your Death Anxiety

“The one thing all human beings have in common, is the fact that one day, our lives will end in death.

What does the idea of death mean to you? How does it make you feel?

Chances are the thought of death triggers fear or anxiety in you. You might not feel totally comfortable with the idea of dying and your life coming to an end.

Research shows that in our modern-day Western society death denial is a common attitude. Which is very contradictory in itself when you think about it, as death is ultimately the one thing we can not avoid from happening.

Ignoring death often leads to more death anxiety which can have a huge impact on your mental health and your day-to-day life, while contemplating death will give you the benefits of going through life more aware and with greater purpose.

With my online video course I will give you the tools to explore your relationship with mortality, and reduce your death anxiety.

https://acourseindying.com/get-ahead-of-death-online-video-course-on-mortality/

My father-in-law recently died after several years of illness. Talking about the possibility of dying is fraught with people engaged in magical thinking, as if broaching the subject is causal. It’s simply a reality people must face, and when they put it off, it is invariably worse. For €79, it’s probably a useful exercise, but the reality is the people that really need it won’t be the one’s buying this course.