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?

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.

Bogleheads

“Welcome to the Bogleheads® wiki, a collaborative undertaking by members of the Bogleheads Community. This wiki is a reference resource for investors. Bogleheads emphasize starting early, living below one’s means, regular saving, broad diversification, and sticking to one’s investment plan.”

https://www.bogleheads.org/

Never heard of it. But, the emphasis seems right. Bookmarking.

Making Friends [on the Internet]

Summarized:

“[1.] follow people you resonate with.

[2.] engage with bigger accounts, support smaller accounts.

[3.] ask questions, offer suggestions, share learnings.

[4.] pay attention to who keeps popping up.

[5.] use the algorithms to your advantage.

[6.] attend virtual events. participate! 

[7.] attend offline events! Be adventerous.

[8.] send that dm / email / offer to connect.

[9.] if they don’t respond, try again in a few months.

[10.] put your thoughts out there.

-Jonathan Borichevskiy, “Making Friends on the Internet.” jon.bo. May 2, 2022.

Open question: How do you make new friends that will help you move in the direction you want your life to move and be fellow travelers?

The thrust is correct. If you want to make offline friends, you need to orient your online presence to make offline connections. However, there’s a bit of an age-bias. When you are 25 and single, it’s a lot easier to go to meeting on a lark. As you get older, it gets more difficult. You have to arrange a babysitter. There’s also the time to consider. Here’s a rough chart of time and quantities of friends a human brain tends to top out at:

  • 5 intimate friends (+200 hours)
  • 15 close friends (80-100 hours)
  • 50 general friends (40-60 hours)
  • 150 acquaintances (10-20 hours)

The problem, as you get older, is: how do you find those hours to spend with someone? The easiest method is some social institution, such as a church. Over a year, it should be possible to pick up a few friends and acquaintances from a church.

So, the above is how to make an initial connection with someone, and it assumes that you bridge these hours in some way. This is much harder, as you get older. But, perhaps something to think about when you start new chapters of your life.

Which Computational Universe Do We Live In?

“In 1995, Russell Impagliazzo of the University of California, San Diego broke down the question of hardness into a set of sub-questions that computer scientists could tackle one piece at a time. To summarize the state of knowledge in this area, he described five possible worlds — fancifully named Algorithmica, Heuristica, Pessiland, Minicrypt and Cryptomania — with ascending levels of hardness and cryptographic possibility. Any of these could be the world we live in.”

-Erica Klarreich, “Which Computational Universe Do We Live In?” Quanta Magazine. April 18 , 2022.

Quanta has some really interesting content. Let’s hope we live in Cryptomania.

Theater, Circus & Being

“In Acts: Theater, Philosophy, and the Performing Self, Tzachi Zamir proposes a theory of persons that allows participants in the theater to amplify and improve their own sense of self. According to Zamir, “a person is a cluster of possibilities, and actualizes a small portion of these.” The personal benefit of acting is that it broadens the scope of a person’s usual set of possibilities, potentially leading to a wider range of opportunities or ‘live options’ in real life for the person acting. Zamir calls this “existential amplification.” Acting (not merely observing acting) can help someone better understand themselves as they actually are, against a broadened backdrop of what’s possible for them…

…In Duncan Wall’s The Ordinary Acrobat, Jonathan Conant, one of the founders of Trapeze School New York describes the flying trapeze as “a machine for helping people re-evaluate what they are capable of.” He continues: “Before a flight, people are invariably uncomfortable. They’re pissed off, they’re scared, they’re sad. There’s a real fear of getting hurt.” They think that the trapeze is “…magical. It’s unattainable. It’s hugely difficult. It’s completely out of the realm of possibility for most people’s minds.” Yet after flying, “[t]here’s an evolution, an acceptance of what’s possible. The trapeze is so built up in people’s heads. And then someone says, ‘You can actually do this, too.’ That totally shifts the realm of what’s possible.” Conant continues, “People like to say that the trapeze is a metaphor for overcoming your fears. But this is wrong. A metaphor is just a symbol. The trapeze actually works.” Circus literature is rich with such accounts, especially in connection to the flying trapeze. Very often, there is talk of a great shift in perspective, of seeing the world differently, experiencing life anew, and even: becoming a whole new being.”

-Meg Wallace, “Circus and Philosophy: Teaching Aristotle Through Juggling.” aesthticsforbirds.com. December 2, 2021

Interesting throughout. I like the idea that trying new things, whether they be new ideas or ways of being in the world, can help us reconstruct ourselves into “a whole new being.”

Edited By

“A survey of two hundred and six editors who invented, developed, fine-tuned, and revolutionized the art of film editing.”

http://womenfilmeditors.princeton.edu/

“A momentous event in online film culture went mostly unnoticed earlier this year [2019]: the unveiling of Edited By, Su Friedrich’s large and invaluable web resource devoted to women film editors. Friedrich, a renowned experimental filmmaker with a body of work spanning over four decades, tells the story of coming upon a film history book, turning to the editing chapter, and finding that each reference to a film mentioned the director—but never the editor. Looking up the cited films on IMDb, she discovered that most of them were edited by women. Out of this seed of curiosity grew the enormous research effort that has now resulted in the website.

Edited By is global in scope, even if the majority of its entries are devoted to American women. Friedrich points to the unjust lack of attention to editors everywhere, contrasting their relative invisibility to the much greater awareness of directors, writers, and even cinematographers that exists in film culture. “It’s time to stop imagining that ‘it’s really the director’ who does the editing,” she writes. This neglect applies to both male and female editors, but it has had a special impact on the latter by occluding the fact that women have a rich but little-known history as editors, especially in American cinema.”

-Giresh Shambu, “Hidden Histories: The Story of Women Film Editors.” The Criterion Collection. September 12, 2019.

Thucydides and Realism

“In the face of hard realities, Thucydides embodied the dual concern of classical realism, consciousness of external threats while being wary of our capacity for self-destruction, to fall prey to irrational emotions and false hope. An age of blood and iron is well and truly now underway, and the bitter winds of economic warfare are only just beginning to blow back on us all. It is not a bad time, then, to think through what it means to be prudent, while avoiding excess brutality and the corruption of our polities. Thucydides’ realism, austere yet humane, should both shake and fortify us in the hard days ahead.”

—Patrick Porter, “Thucydides was a Realist.Engelsbergideas.com. April 1, 2022.