Pointers (January 2023)
Highlights from the internet of January 2023:
- The remaster of “Day of the Tentacle," which I somehow passed over on its initial release… thirty years ago. Better late than never, especially as it’s aged so incredibly well. A perfect adventure game, 10/10, no notes.
- “Even billionaires who made their fortune automating labor on Earth agree that Mars must be artisanally explored by hand.” Maciej “Pinboard” Cegłowski takes on the pointlessness of sending people into space.
- Geoffrey Litt has some great thoughts on how to run a satisfying side project, like avoiding operational stress, that apply well outside his specific example of browser extensions.
- Sumit Gulwani’s talk on finding research success by solving the easiest high-impact problem you can find. Pairs well with Allen Newell’s “Desires and Diversions," on not getting distracted from the core aims of your research, via Dimitris Vardoulakis, and Ben Kuhn’s “You Don’t Need to Work on Hard Problems."
- The Endless Thread podcast’s episode on the background of the “Woman Yelling at a Cat” meme really illuminates (the left side of) the meme. (The right side needs no explanation: Smudge is just a cat who looks perpetually affronted.) I always assumed the yelling woman was acting out some hyperinflated reality show drama, but I was totally wrong: she was really, truly Going Through It at the time. Fortunately, she has a sense of humor and uncommon grace about a painful time in her life being turned into, of all things, a cat meme.
- YouTube’s ixi continues to explain why I like the music I like, this time with Radiohead’s “Airbag”. (Bonus: check out her video on the saddest Nine Inch Nails song. I knew immediately from the title it couldn’t be anything but “Leaving Hope," which delivers what the title promises, though album-mate “And All That Could Have Been” is no slouch in the Downer Olympics, either.)