James Garfield, America’s first hipster president, died this day in 1881. Garfield, shown below at an artisanal vodka bar, had been on his way to a Williams College reunion when he was shot by George Steinbrenner, who had heard Garfield was about to give the Red Sox a special tax exemption for players with beards most resembling his own. “YOLO!” the stricken president was heard to cry as he fell, mortally wounded.
I’ve long said the interior “map pocket” is the form factor a lot of tech has to meet — even things you may not think of as tech, such as a paperback book. I feel strongly enough about this that when I had a bespoke suit made for me in Hong Kong, I had them make special pockets in which my Nexus 7 tablet would fit.
Diana Kimball picks up the story from there.
A mangling by me. The original quote, by Stephen Frears about Daniel Day-Lewis, was:
Interviewer: ‘Can I get a quote about Daniel?’
Frears: ‘I used to know him before he was Irish . . .’
(Day-Lewis’s add-on: ‘I never knew Frears before he was a facetious slob.’)
In my head, the way my version of that line has been:
“I’ve known Daniel so long, I can remember when he was English…”
…which only goes to show you my capacity to elaborate.
These days, I tend to use the form to draw similar contrasts, though.
“I’ve known Jerry Pournelle so long, I can remember when he was a patriot.”
Right now, I’m furious over what I see as a strictly pro forma objection to something I wrote on Facebook. Facebook fills me with dread at the best of times, but this… This post branched on so many false assumptions it would have taken thousands of words to adequately rebut it.
Life is too short for such nonsense.
Which reminded me, of course, of “The Toxoplasma of Rage,” by Scott Alexander, one of the best essays on how net discourse so often leads to rage I’ve ever read. It’s long, but worth it.
Older tech never really dies. It fades and becomes an ever fainter background in our civilization’s palimpsest, never quite reaching invisibility.
For example, as earlier generations outsourced their memory to books, I have largely outsourced my memory to the net. But not entirely, of course. I still have plenty of books at home, and they also largely function as part of my memory. But the net is easier to carry around, even if more fragile due to signal strength and/or battery life.