Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for March 8th, 2023

The Game Changers is back on Netflix

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The Game Changers is a very watchable movie about the effects of a whole-food plant-based diet on athletic performance and one’s health in general — and now it is again available on Netflix. The Game Changers has its own website, which notes:

Presented by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Las recewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic, and Chris Paul — a revolutionary new film about meat, protein, and strength.

The site also has recipes for the foods seen in the movie.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2023 at 8:50 pm

Signs of Spring

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Spring is beginning to appear. The yellow flowers are from today, on a plant with holly-like leave; the walk is from yesterday, as I resume walking following a walk-free winter; and the purple and white flowers are from the day before. 

The Wife has a better camera (iPhone 14 Pro vs. my iPhone XS), and she also took a photo of the flower:

Yellow flowers and red buds above green leaves.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2023 at 6:52 pm

Dig, Don’t Dunk: Avoid the temptation of cheap intellectual thrills

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George Dillard has an interesting article on Medium:

The New Yorker recently published a piece on a problem that is close to my heart: the decline of the humanities in American higher education.

Nathan Heller’s article “The End of the English Major,” though by no means perfect (it will surprise absolutely nobody that a New Yorker author writing about college spent half of his time talking about Harvard and casually mentioned that he went there), is worth reading. The piece looks at a lot of the reasons why the humanities are “in crisis” and why STEM has conquered modern American education.

One little snippet of the story stuck with me:

Some scholars observe that, in classrooms today, the initial gesture of criticism can seem to carry more prestige than the long pursuit of understanding. One literature professor and critic at Harvard — not old or white or male — noticed that it had become more publicly rewarding for students to critique something as “problematic” than to grapple with what the problems might be; they seemed to have found that merely naming concerns had more value, in today’s cultural marketplace, than curiosity about what underlay them.

This immediately rang true. I’ve taught history for over two decades, and it seems that my students are quicker than ever to declare historical figures or works of literature “bad.” When students find someone or something offensive, racist, retrograde, or otherwise problematic, they tend to want to dismiss it entirely as having no value. As Heller notes, they’re not terribly curious about exploring the nuances of the problematic thing. They want to dunk on it and move on.

This isn’t really a problem with Kids Today, though. The world around them has taught them to dunk when they should dig. That’s not good.

Let me define my terms before I get too far into this.

  • The dunk is a ubiquitous phenomenon in our internet discourse. To dunk on someone means to interpret someone or something in the least generous way possible, respond to them in the most aggressive terms possible, and rack up those sweet, sweet likes. Dunking is easy, it’s fun, and it signals that the dunker is good because they’ve identified that the other guys are bad. As a little treat, the dunker gets a nice squirt of dopamine.
  • Digging deep is the opposite of dunking. To dig means to read the whole thing rather than seeing an out-of-context quote and making a bold pronouncement. It means to take a breath and try to understand people on their own terms before passing judgment on them. Digging is hard and often unsatisfying. Sometimes, you may find yourself more uncertain than you were before you started digging.

Sadly, the dunk has become a default of our discourse.

Young people who grow up dunking rather than digging are learning the wrong lessons. They’re learning that it’s best to approach the world with arrogant self-righteousness, that they should chase cheap thrills rather than more difficult pleasures, and that they should armor up rather than open up.

Dunking is an act of hubris; digging is an act of humility

It takes a lot of self-assuredness to dismiss people, movements, works of art, or even historical eras as worthless. Dunkers might confidently declare — often based on very little evidence — that a historical figure isn’t worth listening to because they held an ideological position that now seems retrograde. The dunk often means that a person’s worst views or actions represent their entire selves.

Would you like to be judged by your worst thoughts on your worst days? Would you want your value to be determined by the thing you said or wrote in your younger years that you’re most embarrassed about? Would you want your hypocrisies — and we all have them — to define you?

Plus, as Amanda Hess of the New York Times writes, dunking makes you vulnerable to being dunked upon yourself:

The most successful ownage finds hubristic targets, people who think they know more than they do. But ownage is itself a hubristic act — it turns knowledge into a tool for exploiting another person’s lack thereof. Owning someone sets you up to be owned yourself, sometimes in the same breath. The self-own — and a related concept, “You played yourself,” the refrain of the motivational Snapchat user DJ Khaled — is a double entendre. In the self-own, you let yourself down by being so nakedly yourself. You fail, in the end, by being you.

Digging into a subject rather than dismissing it is an acknowledgment that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2023 at 5:28 pm

Active collage

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Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2023 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Art, Video

Rustler’s Ridge with the Kent BK4 and my trusty Edwin Jagger

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A shaving brush with a white wasp-waist handle and a  silvertip badger knot stands next to a tub of Rustler's Ridge shaving soap with shows a masked Western gunman in the foreground and a stagecoach in the background (but no cattle at all). Next is a rectangular transparent glass bottle of aftershave with a black cap and the same label. In front, lying on its side, is a chrome DE razor with a lined black handle.

This morning the G.B. Kent BK4 felt as I expected: much gentler than the Monarch. It loaded well and the lather was silky smooth and reasonably dense with a fine fragrance: 

Top Notes Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Ozone, Prickly Pear
Heart Notes Sage, Animalic Musk
Base Notes Spruce, Cedar

The soap is no longer available, but Phoenix Artisan does have a Rustler’s Ridge T-shirt.

My Edwin Jagger with its fresh blade did a wonderful job — BBS with no effort. It seems the blade is important. Three passes were pure pleasure, and then a good splash of Rustler’s Ridge aftershave/cologne with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept’s Aion Hydrating Gel finished the job.

The caffeine this morning is Fantastico’s Mexico Malinal Nayarita, and it’s delicious. I have perfected my brewing, and I now know to grind the be-jesus out of the beans using my spice & herb grinder. Uniformity of the ground coffee is important if you use a French press or a percolator or pour-over, but I use the Clever Coffee dripper, which lets the grounds steep in hot water. Once the brewing time is over, the coffee goes through a paper filter. For that, a fine grind is good, and uniformity doesn’t matter so much. 

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2023 at 10:06 am

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

Elon Musk Wants to Relive His Start-Up Days. He’s Repeating the Same Mistakes.

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In a post at Disconnect Paris Marx points out how Elon Musk has been consistent over the course of his career:

When Elon Musk announced his bid to take over Twitter in early 2022, he seemed on top of the world. On the back of soaring Tesla stock, he’d become the richest man on the planet and surrounded himself with sycophants who’d tell him anything he wanted to hear in the hopes he’d reward them for their fealty. But behind the scenes, things weren’t going so well.

In March 2022, the media reported that Musk and his girlfriend Grimes had split up. Then, in June 2022, court documents revealed that Musk’s trans daughter no longer wanted to be “related to my biological father in any way, shape or form” — a process that had clearly been in the works for a while. On top of all that, scrutiny of Musk’s companies was escalating as he couldn’t seem to pry himself away from his Twitter account. Many critics pointed out he exuded “divorced guy energy.”

But what does a rich guy do during their mid-life crisis? He couldn’t buy a fancy car, because he already has them, so instead he bought his favorite company for $44 billion. Despite his claims of protecting free speech and the public square, he seems to have had a deeper motivation: to return to the start-up years he felt nostalgic for.

The Hubris of Youth

Before Musk was Tesla’s Technoking and our collective Chief Twit, there was a period of a few years where he was just another guy trying to ride the dot-com boom to untold riches — and he imagined a “financial superstore” called was his ticket.

The idea didn’t come out of nowhere. Before moving to the United States, Elon Musk spent a few years in Canada and got himself an internship at Scotiabank, the country’s third-largest bank, in the early 1990s. He worked on its Latin American debt holdings, but wasn’t happy when his superiors wouldn’t agree to a series of risky trades that would’ve left them even more exposed to bad debt.

In The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley, Jimmy Soni quotes Musk as saying the experience taught him “how lame banks are” and made him feel they were ripe for disruption. It didn’t matter that he was nineteen years old; he felt he knew better than everyone else. After selling his first company, Zip2, Musk decided to take his swing at the big banks.

Many of’s early staff came from the Canadian financial world, and they very quickly butt heads with the obstinate founder who seemed more interested in getting press than building a product. The concept struggled to go anywhere, and Musk was pushed by investors to merge with Peter Thiel and Max Levchin’s Confinity in 2000. Confinity’s PayPal product was what ultimately made everyone money when they sold the company to eBay in 2002.

But Musk never gave up on the idea. In 2017, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

8 March 2023 at 5:46 am

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