Friday, July 23, 2021

Quote of the Day

Speaker loved the weave of grammar. Tracker found solace in the march of numbers. Where Speaker treasured nuance, semantics, word roots, double meanings, Tracker feasted on riddles of calculus and the satisfaction of solution. The end to their respective means were the same: finding the most elegant way of expressing a desire. They were two components of the same tool, in that respect.

Beck Chambers, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within

This living in a body ridiculousness

I got a “piece” tailored today. I haven’t gotten anything altered since…….1998? And I have really unusual (guessing by the general shape of clothes) measurements on an overweight body. While making my clothing into a masterpiece, my tailor kept saying how she needed to do this and that to the piece to properly show off my beautiful curves.

In the car on the way home I ruminated on whether she could possibly have been speaking a subjective truth to me or if she was being nice to a paying client. I also ruminated on how I immediately assumed option B was the correct option, and flirted with the idea that she actually meant what she said.

Then this article came up in a list recommended for me, and I decided that I better pay attention:

How to love your body

Most of it is ideas I have heard / seen / tried before, but this at the end is interesting

Some body image scholars and activists have suggested that aiming for a positive body image can keep you overly focused on your appearance. In other words, for some people, trying to feel good about how they look might involve too much thinking about their appearance. If this resonates with you, then you might want to aim for ‘body neutrality’. Whereas the goal of body positivity is to feel good about your body, the goal of body neutrality is to just not really think about your body. For some people, body neutrality might be a stop on the way to a positive body image. For others, body neutrality is a satisfactory endpoint.

A body-neutral perspective allows for any and all people to be beautiful because the focus is on inner beauty and not physical beauty. It reduces the pressure to try to feel positively about or love aspects of your body that you currently might not. Instead of trying to convince yourself that you love your entire physical self, you can make a decision to not care as much about every aspect of your physical appearance.

Body neutrality can be comparable to not caring that you’re not a gifted musician, nor a talented athlete, nor a charismatic public speaker. If you don’t expect these things of yourself and don’t care that you don’t possess these qualities, you’ll spend less time and energy thinking about them. For example, aside from sometimes saying: ‘I wish I had learned to play an instrument as a child,’ I don’t ever yearn to be more musically inclined or able.

Charlotte H Markey

Don’t do as I say

This is fascinating to me.

How PepsiCo uses AI to create products consumers don’t know they want

When it comes to consumer research, Gans likes to say that “seeing is the new asking.” Historically, this stage of product development has always been based on asking people questions: Do you like this? Why don’t you like this? What would you like? But participants’ answers aren’t as telling as we’d like to think. They might not really care because they’re paid to be there, or they might just be trying to be nice. They might also be sincere in the moment, but it doesn’t mean they’ll still be excited about the product three years after launch.

“People will give you all sorts of answers,” Gans said. “It’s just not very close to what is ultimately driving their buying behavior.” …

By collecting data from all these different sources — which represent what people are voluntarily talking about, searching for, and ordering in their daily lives — Gans says his team “can get a really good idea as to what people are more and more interested in.” …

“If you would’ve asked consumers, ‘tell me what your favorite flavors are and let us know what you think would be a great flavor for this brand,’ nobody would have ever come up with seaweed. People don’t associate that typically with a specialty snack from a brand. But because of the kind of listening and the outside-in work that we did, we were able to figure that out through the AI that’s embedded in that tool,” he said.

Sage Lazzaro

What does it say about society that we can’t have a direct conversation about what we want to people who are eager to provide exactly that? Lying about what we eat due to huge societal and interpersonal pressure to eat in specific ways that no one actually eats in is more normal than being honest. Or / and is the problem that we are often so completely disconnected from our desires that articulating them isn’t even possible?

There’s also something tickling my brain about how PepsiCo could attempt to make food that is made from real food and is nourishing and tastes good that is addictive as potato chips and they wouldn’t need a complicated AI solution to help them Frankenstein another food-like product into being, but that’s probably a different article.


That’s great

MIT Predicted in 1972 That Society Will Collapse This Century. New Research Shows We’re on Schedule.

Study author Gaya Herrington told Motherboard that in the MIT World3 models, collapse “does not mean that humanity will cease to exist,” but rather that “economic and industrial growth will stop, and then decline, which will hurt food production and standards of living… In terms of timing, the BAU2 scenario shows a steep decline to set in around 2040.” …

While focusing on the pursuit of continued economic growth for its own sake will be futile, the study finds that technological progress and increased investments in public services could not just avoid the risk of collapse, but lead to a new stable and prosperous civilization operating safely within planetary boundaries. But we really have only the next decade to change course. 

“At this point therefore, the data most aligns with the CT and BAU2 scenarios which indicate a slowdown and eventual halt in growth within the next decade or so, but World3 leaves open whether the subsequent decline will constitute a collapse,” the study concludes. Although the ‘stabilized world’ scenario “tracks least closely, a deliberate trajectory change brought about by society turning toward another goal than growth is still possible. The LtG work implies that this window of opportunity is closing fast.” 

 Nafeez Ahmed

If there’s only a decade during which to make any serious dent in not living in a dystopian future without showers or cupcakes or electricity or clean air or any water at all or a society that doesn’t resemble Mad Max movies, am I doing the right thing with my life writing little stories? Seriously? I don’t honestly know.

I’ve had thoughts about collating resources around actual useful actions concerned individuals can take that aren’t performative, and maybe that needs to become a real thing. I dunno. 10 years isn’t very long, is it.


On that note

I’m going to try making these. I suggest you do too.

Triple Chocolate Scones