#62: Universal uncertainty

Metal mariachi, surrealist wine, deathbed music, friends for rent, etc.


Lovely Linky Bits

Thoughtful reads and so forth.

Fantastic Beasts and How to Rank Them
“One of the strangest things about the human mind is that it can reason about unreasonable things. It is possible, for example, to calculate the speed at which the sleigh would have to travel for Santa Claus to deliver all those gifts on Christmas Eve. It is possible to assess the ratio of a dragon’s wings to its body to determine if it could fly. And it is possible to decide that a yeti is more likely to exist than a leprechaun, even if you think that the likelihood of either of them existing is precisely zero.”

The Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness
“We really — we’re afraid of uncertainty, and what I say in response to that is that we need to distinguish between what I call universal uncertainty and personal uncertainty. So personal uncertainty is: I don’t know. I know I don’t know. Maybe you know; therefore, I have to fake it in some way or feel bad about not knowing it or whatever. Universal uncertainty is an awareness: I don’t know. You don’t know. In some sense, we really can’t know, and that then the interaction proceeds differently.”

The Booming Japanese Rent-a-Friend Business
“It doesn’t happen often, but there are cases when I have to be a groom. There are situations where parents pressure a daughter to marry—if she’s a lesbian, for example. So, they have an entire wedding, and it’s a fake wedding, except for the client’s family. The friends, and everyone else are fake. My side is all fake. Fifty fake people all pretending it’s real. The cost is 2 million yen, for everyone.”

Curiosities & Delights

Some things to be glad about.

Frances Glessner Lee’s forensic dollhouses.
Giant otters of yesteryear.
A map of all the record stores in the world.
People talk about Jeff Goldblum.
The story of Prussian Blue.
Antarctica’s fossil forest.
More than you need to know about cranberries.
The very best deathbed music.
Salvador Dali’s surrealist wine guide.
And more Dalì.

Moving Pictures

Video treats upon which to press play.

The first (and only) heavy metal mariachi band.
Art as advertising for the things we truly need.
The minds behind  beloved childhood toys.
The swift art of freehand road marking.
Stay cool, little lizard.

Happening Things

Book releases, courses, and other timely tidbits.

Masterclass has introduced a shiny-new all-access pass.
That’s a whole lot of good learning from some
very impressive teachers.