Things that seem easy but aren’t

MiloAlbertsky
Dancing. I wouldn’t say it looks “easy”, but when I see people do it, they’re so good at it and it flows so well it looks easy. But damn, I just CANNOT get my body to do anything more than a bop and maybe some stupid arm moves.
I’m 25 and dance like a 50 year old at a reunion.
Dancers are so delicate and make it look so easy, it’s honestly amazing. It’s just hilarious when I try to do literally anything and fail horribly.

Chipitz
All smoke and mirrors, friends. As a dance teacher, I can tell you confidently that it feels absolutely silly until you just start to sell it.
90% confidence, 10% squats.
Having fun is step #1. Fake it til you make it!

SimplySolstice
Whistling with your fingers.

KayGlo
Drawing something from memory. Like a bird or something.
In mind – yep that’s a bird
On paper – that’s… a bird?

Peptuck
Coding.
Watching tutorial: Oh, this is easy.
Writing code: WHERE IS THE FUCKING MISSING SEMICOLON? WHERE?

NoobSov
Being in your 20’s. As a clueless kid I thought by now I’d have everything figured out and my life on track. I’m still clueless but now I also have depression.

The_Highest_Five
In my 30s. Still clueless.

jim10040
In my 50s. Not completely clueless, but I sure wish my older generation were still around to bounce ideas with.

reddit

What looks easy peasy lemon squeezy but is actually difficult difficult lemon difficult?

Questionable Value of Authenticity

In the 1970s, the cultural critic Lionel Trilling encouraged us to take seriously the distinction between sincerity and authenticity. Sincerity, he said, requires us to act and really be the way that we present ourselves to others. Authenticity involves finding and expressing the true inner self and judging all relationships in terms of it.

Authenticity now dominates our way of viewing ourselves and our relationships, with baleful consequences. Within sensitive individuals it breeds doubt; between people it promotes distrust; within groups it enhances group-think in the endless quest to be one with the group’s true soul; and between groups it is the inner source of identity politics.

It also undermines good government. James Nolan, in his book “The Therapeutic State,” has shown how the emphasis on the primacy of the self has penetrated major areas of government: emotivist arguments trump reasoned discourse in Congressional hearings and criminal justice; and in public education, self-esteem vies with basic literacy in evaluating students. The cult of authenticity partly accounts for our poor choice of leaders. We prefer leaders who feel our pain, or born-again frat boys who claim that they can stare into the empty eyes of an ex-K.G.B. agent and see inside his soul.

Our Overrated Inner Self
Orlando Patterson, Dec. 26, 2006
NYTIMES

Aleatoric Theater

Back when it was fashionable to do so, I once saw a play in which actors drew their lines from a hat before declaiming them. I’ve spent better evenings. Works that make a single point seldom entrance me even when I like the point, but this time the point was wrong too. The play set out to show the value of the aleatory, the randomness art needed if it was to imitate the universe, but it really showed through negative example that the arrangement of the action was more important than diction, spectacle, thought, music, or even character, all of which might, at least in part, survive a good shuffling.

Belknap, Robert L., Plots (Leonard Hastings Schoff Lectures) 
Amazon 

Movies retold from a different character’s point of view

If, instead of rebooting movies, it became a trend to retell them from a different characters perspective, what film would you want to see retold and from who’s point of view? from r/AskReddit

GRZMNKY
The Matrix from Agent Smith’s view. Constantly trying to quell the stupid human insurrection…

inckalt
Matrix but from the perspective of a regular police detective trying to stop the murder spree of these crazy people who kill everybody without reason. At one point he would interrogate Neo:

“So you believe that nothing is real? That’s why you can kill random people? Because they don’t exist?”

“No. The world is fake but the people are real.”

“And you kill them anyway?”

kim-sheckell
Mean girls, as told by Regina George

robotlasagna
Star Wars from the empires POV: basically telling the story about this terrorist group that was planning the biggest act of terrorism in the galaxies history: the destruction of a military peacekeeping starbase.

We follow the empires anti terrorism unit as they try to find the spies transporting the stolen plans and head off the attack.

CaptainMighty1
Top Gun from Iceman’s perspective. Maverick’s the asshole in that movie.

Bomber_Haskell
Maverick is the asshole in the original movie too.

Zolo49
The plot of just about every 80s Tom Cruise movie is that he’s a cocky asshole who meets a hot chick and somehow becomes a better person by the end of the movie.

Dan Harris Interview – Fresh Air

Having this self-awareness — otherwise known as mindfulness — which is what’s developed through the process of seeing your distractions and then beginning again (gently over and over and over again), that is a game-changing skill. Because … this nonstop conversation … is a central feature of your life — whether you know it or not, we’re all walking around with this inner narrator that if we broadcast loud, you would be locked up. And when you’re unaware of this cacophony internally, it’s owning you all the time. And what we’re doing in meditation is dragging all of this nonsense out of the shadows and into the light.

Fresh Air

The Extended Mind

Where does the mind end and the world begin? Is the mind locked inside its skull, sealed in with skin, or does it expand outward, merging with things and places and other minds that it thinks with? What if there are objects outside—a pen and paper, a phone—that serve the same function as parts of the brain, enabling it to calculate or remember? You might say that those are obviously not part of the mind, because they aren’t in the head, but that would be to beg the question. So are they or aren’t they?

Consider a woman named Inga, who wants to go to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. She consults her memory, recalls that the museum is on Fifty-third Street, and off she goes. Now consider Otto, an Alzheimer’s patient. Otto carries a notebook with him everywhere, in which he writes down information that he thinks he’ll need. His memory is quite bad now, so he uses the notebook constantly, looking up facts or jotting down new ones. One day, he, too, decides to go to moma, and, knowing that his notebook contains the address, he looks it up.

Before Inga consulted her memory or Otto his notebook, neither one of them had the address “Fifty-third Street” consciously in mind; but both would have said, if asked, that they knew where the museum was—in the way that if you ask someone if she knows the time she will say yes, and then look at her watch. So what’s the difference? You might say that, whereas Inga always has access to her memory, Otto doesn’t always have access to his notebook. He doesn’t bring it into the shower, and can’t read it in the dark. But Inga doesn’t always have access to her memory, either—she doesn’t when she’s asleep, or drunk.

Andy Clark, a philosopher and cognitive scientist at the University of Edinburgh, believes that there is no important difference between Inga and Otto, memory and notebook. He believes that the mind extends into the world and is regularly entangled with a whole range of devices. But this isn’t really a factual claim; clearly, you can make a case either way. No, it’s more a way of thinking about what sort of creature a human is. Clark rejects the idea that a person is complete in himself, shut in against the outside, in no need of help.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/04/02/the-mind-expanding-ideas-of-andy-clark

Andy Clark on the Extended Mind
Does your mind extend beyond your skull? Andy Clark, who developed the theory of the extended mind with David Chalmers thinks it does. He explains the idea here.

https://philosophybites.com/2017/03/andy-clark-on-the-extended-mind.html

Former Parole Officer Reflects On His Time Supervising ‘The Second Chance Club’

Four and a half million Americans are on probation or parole — more than twice the nation’s jail population. Parolees and probationers are required to check in regularly with officials, who are charged with helping them rebuild their lives.

I got the book after hearing this interview. It was quite good.
The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison
Jason Hardy
Amazon

Roger Ebert – American Beauty review

“American Beauty” is a comedy because we laugh at the absurdity of the hero’s problems. And a tragedy because we can identify with his failure–not the specific details, but the general outline.

The movie is about a man who fears growing older, losing the hope of true love and not being respected by those who know him best. If you never experience those feelings, take out a classified ad. People want to take lessons from you.

Roger Ebert
https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/american-beauty-1999

Roger Ebert’s Movie Home Companion

wp-15896046936892370667704226605190.jpg

Q ** 1/2
R, 92 m., 1982
————————————
A few days after Q was screened at the Cannes Film Festival (under its original title, The Winged Serpent), the following conversation took place between Samuel Z. Arkoff, the film’s producer, and Rex Reed, the critic:

Reed: Sam! I just saw The Winged Serpent! What a surprise! All that dreck – and right in the middle of it, a great Method performance by Michael Moriarty!
Arkoff: The dreck was my idea.

I believe him. Arkoff has been producing films for thirty years now, and even if he was honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, his heart still lies with shots of a giant flying lizard attacking a woman in a bikini on top of a Manhattan skyscraper. He’s just that kinda guy.

Roger Ebert’s Movie Home Companion, 1989 Edition: Full-Length Reviews of 875 Films on Cassette
Amazon

This is a great collection. Movies Roger Ebert loved and ones he hated. From the VHS era.

Snippets of life living alone during Coronavirus – NY TIMES

Claire Manship belted songs out the window. Ketaki Chowkhani began barking at a stray puppy. Blake Mitchell performed in drag.

As millions of people grapple with isolation in a pandemic, those who live alone face a particular kind of solitude.

More people live alone now than at any other time in history, a seismic shift from even a half-century ago, and one fueled largely by women’s economic rise.

Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing, of course, and many people who live by themselves spend little time alone.

Until, perhaps, a pandemic hits.

Weeks or months into the stay-at-home orders worldwide, we wanted to know how solo dwellers were faring. What were they doing to keep themselves occupied? What did they most long for? What did they feel liberated to live without?

More than 2,000 readers shared their stories and their photos. Here are some of them.

Jessica Bennett, Daniel Jones and Anya Strzemien
Alone.

It’s a relief or a nightmare, irritating and liberating, and already, for many, interminable. This is living alone in a pandemic.

Renewable Energy Poised to Overtake Coal in US – NY TIMES

WASHINGTON — The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show, a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change.

It is a milestone that seemed all but unthinkable a decade ago, when coal was so dominant that it provided nearly half the nation’s electricity. And it comes despite the Trump administration’s three-year push to try to revive the ailing industry by weakening pollution rules on coal-burning power plants.

Brad Plumer
NY TIMES
In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S.

Things They Should Bring Back …

If you could bring back one discontinued item, what would it be? from r/AskReddit

7 Up Gold would be my vote. Good stuff.

mattreyu
McCormick used to sell a pizza seasoning in their grinder bottles that was delicious and could make any pizza better. I went so far as contacting them about it, and they told me they don’t even sell a comparable herb mix anymore.

shirobearr
Tangerine Altoids

omglolnub
The headphone jack on cell phones. Thank you, Apple, for your “bravery” that slimmed down the phone 0.0 nanometers.

TutumTeRebore
Not an item exactly, but IMDB discussion boards.

Some were toxic and all were difficult to moderate but, damn, was it excellent for analyzing and discussing films, and getting others’ takes and interpretations.

What are things from the early days of the internet that you don’t see much of anymore?

What are things from the early days of the internet that you don’t see much of anymore? from r/AskReddit

LeRacoonRouge
Website visit counters.

_nurse_
Especially ones that look like analog car odometers. I added one to my practice’s web site in 1996, and the doctors thought I was a genius.

tooboredtobebusy
“Under construction” GIFs and “Web rings”

jgladding
And an animated gif of a guy with a jackhammer, with an “Under Construction” sign.

Hinter-Lander
Active chat rooms.

MultiPass21
a/s/l?

How to Handle Coronavirus Isolation and Anxiety – WebMD

Take a break from news.
The 24-hour news cycle can make anxiety spike. Give yourself a limit. Stick with what you need to know and what’s happening in your community.

Change your mindset.
Avoid thinking too much about the future or worst-case scenarios. Forecasting can trigger anxiety. Instead of saying, “I’ll never recover,” tell yourself, “I’ll make it through this.”

https://www.webmd.com/lung/handle-isolation-and-anxiety#1

From a Railway Carriage – Robert Louis Stevenson

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poem/railway-carriage/