Archive for the ‘Me Myself&I’ Category

We Real Cool 2004-2021

Thursday, May 20th, 2021

bell hooks’ book on black men and masculinity is spot-on.

It’s making my mind spin at full speed because her solutions to black men embracing a fulfilling life? I did them all. I avoided the traps. I didn’t follow. I created my own. I questioned. I asked. I participated. I listened.

I got lucky. Adoption allowed me to be treated as an experiment, pushing adults around me to do better. To nurture more, without giving me any pass either. My foster family was really like this. Patriarchy was around of course, but it was light and almost every time, turned all the way down when I was around. Growing up, it seemed to me that men and women were equal, except that men were faking more. But that was it.

My parents as a younger couple, were quite amazing. Both doing everything. Both doing manual and intellectual work. Both caring, cooking, cleaning. Both able to fix “anything”.

And the biggest thing: they consistently did that. Both pretty much never failing ever to do the things that need to be done in a household, for the fifteen years or so that we lived together. I’m grateful.

It makes me feel sad as shit too, because I know what my black peers have had to deal with, or are dealing with. We connect well on the abandonment issues, that ALL black folks and adoptees share (in my case I get the 2X multiplier here we go). Without really knowing why –but with strong focus and will, I did find fulfillment in creative stuff and the pit that is game development when my brothers have been trying to “get that money”, no matter what. I understand.

bell hooks’ book really demonstrates how patriarchy and late stage capitalism have destroyed opportunities for other ways to live to be discussed and tried. Her book was written in early 2000s. It is sadly so much truer now.

I keep thinking how the 2010s mobile computing era has enable the once very looked down hustler and pimp cultures (embraced by black America in the late 60s and 70s especially, as a crutch to massive unemployment) to take over the mainstream, fueling a gigantic crowd into working like crazy, most likely screwing over folks, while never questioning anything. Technology flipped the script, took 20 to 30% off people’s hard work, and supercharged every single problem that we had before mobile technology took over in the past decade. What have we done?

When bell hooks talks about black men being seen as violent and predators, I don’t forget that the main computer game field where black men showed up the most in the past twenty years, is the  field of competitive, fighting games. Of course. The stereotypes keep going and black men keep endorsing them.

A lot to ponder on.

Lightbulb

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

I’ve always felt that there is a strong connection between music and basketball. The game is inherently rhythmic in nature and requires the same kind of selfless, nonverbal communication you find in the best jazz combos. […]

I discovered early that the best way to get players to coordinate their actions was to have them play the game in 4/4 time. The basic rule was that the player with the ball had to do something with it before the third beat: either pass, shoot, or start to dribble. When everyone is keeping time, it makes it easier to harmonize with one another, beat by beat.

Phil Jackson in his 11 Rings book.

He also talks in his Sacred Hoops book how basketball is so much more improvisational that other team sports: it is fast paced and allows for individuals to be themselves and improvise over a defense like no other team sport.

You know what is an activity that requires rhythm and is super improvisational as well? Skateboarding.

You know who practices music, basketball and skateboarding daily? This guy.

It’s the first time I connect those dots. I guess I’m highly attracted to freedom and doing the right thing at the right time.

Spurs school

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

It’s undeniable that the pleasure of watching the NBA Spurs team is in the fact that its players improve. Constantly. Regardless of where they are in their careers.

It’s quite beautiful to see.

This year has made me want a DeMar and Dejounte jerseys. They’re so good and so composed, getting better every year like the rest of the Spurs. Lonnie is solidifying, Rudy is rejuvenating while Patty chooses timelessness. Jakob is faster than ever. I hope DeMar stays because for real, he’s so key to their offense.

He became a beast at passing. His footwork and skills are some of the prettiest in the past 20 years. Dejounte is so special and he looks like a sponge, absorbing DeMar’s J like Kirby.

Give this end of 2021 season Spurs team an offensive center and they’re WCF contenders, straight up. And if they’re not, they’re fun to watch giving other teams the WORK. Let’s go Spurs!

2nd dose

Sunday, May 16th, 2021

My immune system after yesterday’s second vaccine dose feeling like

Maydemic

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

I’m doing okay. My place is clean, my plants are growing. Projects are being built and shipped. Financials are doing their thing.

It is hard to keep up with everything though.

Things are better but not really actually

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

The book "Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" brings a different perspective to this conversation. I strongly encourage folks to read it, but if I had to summarize the point that feels relevant here, it’d go something like this.

Relative to the whole of human history, the time we’re living in right now is by far the most neutral, even OK, (in some cases, even good) things have ever been.

You are correct that the divide between privileged/lucky and not is still wide. But arguably this is more about the uneven distribution of progress, and ignores the fact that poverty has significantly gone down, deaths from disease are significantly lower now than even 10-20 years ago, and so on.

This does not minimize or invalidate the fact that many do live in dangerous or "not OK" environments, but it’s worth looking at the broader historical context to help contextualize that.

Yes, more change must happen. There is much progress to be made. But much progress has been made, and that should be acknowledged.

It’s a Hacker News comment that gives the common argument, often used in conservative and libertarian circles, that everything is pretty cool today compared to thousands of years of human history. Therefore, no need to turn it up to fix the latest (which are in fact old) issues.

I understand very well what this means and how this allows a little more breathing in our lives when thinking about it.

I also don’t like it at all.

It is such a counter-productive, complacent thing to say. The argument that the world is better now than ever is a non-argument. Why not celebrate that earth hasn’t exploded yet, it’s about as deep as that.

First of all, there is an intellectual entitlement to think at that scale. “Human History”. Most people don’t, never will think about life this way and they still don’t deserve to struggle daily, trying to avoid all kinds of traps. That’s something that seems to hurt intellectuals because yes, if you believe that everything is better now and that there’s no need to be that angry, you are being soft (maybe disconnected as well) about fixing issues. Because you probably can afford that. You are removed from the heat.

if you were angry you would/should triple the fuck down on making distribution of progress/wealth a much, much more even affair.

Progress distribution has been very stagnant and skewed towards a small amount of people, that’s the elephant in the room. This is the major problem we have and it completely exploded considering how much wealth is floating around since the 1970s (compared to the rest of human history, wealth grew 100, 1,000, 10,000 folds in the last 40 years). Even in a pandemic the richest got way richer and the poor kept and stay dying.

And you want me to relax because our ancestors would not believe how much less wars there is now? There are still wars on every continent so I’m not even sure what the argument is doing here, besides wasting our time.

The world WILL BE truly better when there are not so many flagrant failures in our systems, like having homelessness with vacant places all around. How am I supposed to close my eyes over this in 2021? It’s ultra fucking embarrassing for the human race, I’m sorry. We have no business reaching out for Mars if we can’t even solve basic housing issues here. We don’t. How come giant tech companies couldn’t afford to provide internet access to communities that needed it here last year in LA? With the absolute filthy, ever-growing income coming from our data, you can’t deploy hotspots for families and kids in the middle of a pandemic?

I don’t want to hear you tell me things are better than ever, then. They’re not.

Just use email

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Email is the best.

The message is, whatever you think about it, email is the best. Decentralized, open protocol. That’s what you want for ALL digital things, especially if you want to slow capitalism the fuck down.

His arguments are good. I think we could have better email clients, maybe upgrade the protocol to get a few features. But the truth is, email as it is is enough. And always will.

I’ve had the best digital conversations using email compared to everything else, by far (always one on one, group messaging is a waste of time in email too). You can reply with a lol or 3,000 words with links and pictures. That’s unbeatable. That’s Diversity & Inclusivity right there, boy.

I don’t recommend email to solely receive things though. Maybe it’s just me. I always tried to keep email a conversation tool or to receive receipts and negative answers from jobs I applied to. I am not trying to get a fascinating article between my SoCalGas bill and a reminder to use a coupon. I won’t read it. Therefore I don’t do newsletters. RSS readers are for that (and much, so much better at it).

Now the real bad thing about email is when they don’t show up. It happens, still. I’ve had on-site interviews landing in my spam folders in gmail and outlook, if I hadn’t checked those.. But nothing is certain in life, we keep going.

Just use email. ❤️

City Kid

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

I’ve been swallowing books lately. After going through his book on Motown, I finished Nelson George’s memoir City Kid. I really enjoy his fine prose.

It made me think a lot about my own memories matching his pages. The parallels, tangents and intersections. Different countries, different times. Many things being the same if not the exact same. I think there’s something about folks kind of born between generations. We don’t really fit a mold, we bridge.

Also It’s always harder to ponder over what a book did to oneself compared to a movie. Sometimes the details of something insignificant in a written story give you a better sense of what you value in life, for instance. Sometimes just a sentence makes you laugh hard as if you had just been waiting for that joke all along, even though it comes out of nowhere. It’s hard to pinpoint. It’s a feeling.

I’m also realizing that for the first time in history the kids that are roaming cities now? They might be the very first generation that will never need to learn to read.

I wonder if Berry Gordy finally did learn.

Good morning, bank

Monday, May 10th, 2021

I opened an online bank account in 2014.

The online bank was bought by another bank somewhere in 2016.

The another bank is being bought in 2021 by a bigger bank and needed to fold the online bank, while keeping everything for customers the same. Sure!

The switch was last weekend and of course, it went wrong.

So now I’m on the phone, and it looks like it’s going to be ALL day, just to access my bank account. Which didn’t change at all.

There’s a lot of things like that taking over our lives without us asking for anything. With heavy capitalism there’s nothing trickling down but annoyances, stress and loss of good services.

Simple.com was really great (but apparently wasn’t collecting enough fees so, shot in the head).

Archi-soothy

Friday, May 7th, 2021


FLW’s brilliance in display at Taliesin West in Arizona.

Thinking about architecture is my coping mechanism. If I’m writing about architecture, I’m probably going through some shit.

Architecture soothes me. There’s no bullshit in building. If there is, it will be unearthed and squashed away.

Building housing means thinking in five, ten year strides instead of the millisecond zeitgeist that I’m used to with video games, music and worse, social media and the tech scene. Virality doesn’t really exist with stones and concrete.

Building means bringing together a bunch of different material and make them harmonically fit somewhere. And then you put people in there, having fun and enjoying life. This is good. I can’t wait to build my own.