Today is Gnuday, 23 of Yanar 4113. [4113.04.23]
…assuming you follow the Common Calendar, of course, but I assume you probably do not. Or should. Ahem. Newsletter!
Entropy Arbitrage welcomed visitors from British Virgin Islands, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States this month, which never fails to please me. Remember, all content is made available under the CC-BY-SA license, so if anybody needs to provide a translation, you don’t need my permission.
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Entropy Arbitrage Newsletter!
I don’t know how this is going to evolve, but I imagine that the links below will include more or less annotation/comment from me, from month to month, while this section will be my idle thoughts that don’t make much sense for social media and aren’t significant or persistent enough to be worth a full blog post—about a paragraph—plus any announcements and previews I might have along the way.
By all means, make your voice heard if you have directions you might like to see this go.
I tend to think about holidays a lot. For me, where there’s a trend, there’s a mystery. And in that respect, it’s worth pointing out that this time of year—July to August—contains a whopping 27% of celebrations of independence. You’ll notice that a lot of celebrations this time of year tend to revolve around f9re (including fireworks) and purification (including water), making me wonder if there’s some pre-historic holiday from which these all derive, since that sounds more likely than so many countries being established around the same time of year. It might be interesting to investigate how these sorts of holidays and the new year are celebrated differently between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, someday, since the holidays seem similar in how they’re celebrated as well as in following a solstice.
The fight over wearing a mask in public reminds me of my childhood, where people would rail against seatbelts, either out of discomfort or because of some never-named relative who escaped a deadly wreck because they were thrown free from their seatbelt-less vehicle…and apparently windshield-less, too, because smacking into the windshield is a quick route to death, especially back before the glass was laminated to prevent it from splintering into dozens of large knives. There were also arguments against stronger drunk driving laws, smoking bans, bicycle helmets, and probably a few I just don’t remember, just no protests, because the scammers and grifters didn’t have social media to corral gullible people into visible protests.
The only restriction that I can’t remember an outcry about? The now-ubiquitous “no shirt, no shoes, no service” signs in retail shops and restaurants, which started spreading widely not long before I was born. That seems like it might be inconsistent, but the consensus from researchers is that those signs were meant to target people who embraced the counter-culture, which included the…civil rights and anti-war movements…
While Postmaster General DeJoy has been overtly making mail service worse, it occurs to me that I should point out that I’ve had a Post Office Box for decades. I haven’t been able to make it over in a while, so I called and asked if I could pay extra to have my mail shipped to me, redundant as that sounds. No questions asked—other than to verify I’m really me and chide me for even offering money when it’s apparently a normal emergency service—the package was on my doorstep the next morning.
In addition to serving veterans, prisons, and rural communities when nobody else will, not to mention being an organization that arguably has done and still does more for lifting Black people out of poverty than any other organization in history, that is the service we support. If you’re in the United States and haven’t harassed your Senator about the HEROES Act, do that now.
In no particular order, here are some things I finished watching in July. No, I don’t remember when I started watching them.
Both are worth your time, I think, for different reasons.
In case you missed one and don’t like RSS readers, here’s a round-up of the past month’s worth of posts.
You’ve seen some of these already in Friday posts, but here’s more from the sources in my RSS reader that I thought were worth reading.
These are pages I bookmarked, basically. They might be old articles, non-articles, fiction, or any number of other possibilities. You’ve seen the web. You know what it’s like out there. And you also know that half the titles are probably bogus, because people are terrible at setting their page titles to something useful.
That’s it for this month. Stop by the blog and leave comments or contact me however else you see fit.