Sunday, January 27, 2013

idealism and good text-to-speech

I am very impressed by the quality of the text-to-speech in this video.  It is from the group Anonymous, on behalf of Aaron Swartz.

I think of Anonymous as a no-nonsense group, but in this and related videos, they show a lot of empathy.  They call Aaron an angel and a fallen brother.  They apologize to his family for having attracted Westboro Church to plan a picket protest at Aaron's funeral.  The narration in the videos are eloquently written.

I also really like the time-lapse imagery they used.

I really respect Aaron Swartz for spending a good part of his recent years in furthering internet freedom.  It is ennobling to see.  Tech media can sometimes be dominated by money-driven headlines: who got funded by how much, who exited for what price, who IPO'ed at what value.  It is nice to see people working toward a mission they believe in.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

compare down

At survival school, they taught us to compare down.

Let's say it's very cold and you are sleeping on the ground, on a bed of pine needles.  You are shivering.  If you think to yourself, "I could be at the Four Seasons right now", you're going to feel depressed.  But if you think "At least it's not raining", then you'll feel better.

I was pretty good about doing this at survival school.  It rained for 16 hours during my first day of solo, and I reflected on the relief that I made the tree shelter before washing clothes, so the shelter was ready by the time it started to rain.

It is a good thing to remember in our modern world!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Mom trash-talking me

After tea with parents, my mom shared an umbrella with me.

Me: You're so great to share the umbrella with me!

Mom: Of course. Moms are the best. Ask anyone and they will say, "Yes, my mom is the best."

Me: True.

Mom: Except one day, your kids might not.

Me: [shock, dismay]

Mom: They will say "Grandma is the best!"