strictures and structures

if only we stopped trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time

Month: September, 2011

The real magic of Burning Man is luxury, not drugs.

Some people think Burning Man is magical. Not just good, excellent
fun, but life-altering magic. I met one woman who said she felt like
it was the one time every year she got to be her true self. The vast
majority of the thirty or so folks I met were repeat offenders, with
some having a history of debauchery lasting over a decade. And of
those few first-timers I did find, they all wanted to come back next
year, except me. I was worried for a while that my inner child was
finally dead.

But I don’t think it’s true that my inner child is dead. I think the
reason Burning Man doesn’t impress me as some kind of mecca of
tolerance and awesome is because it is really easy to be nice and
friendly when the likelihood of long-term conflict is low, and when
everyone has enough stuff. It’s easy to be open and relaxed around
someone who isn’t going to be around in a week. If you knew they were
going to be a part of your life for the next five years, you’d have to
be much more on guard about not saying anything offensive, and
carefully managing their perception of what might offend you. Think of
how when you’re meeting a boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents–if you
have any hope that your relationship will last, you will be on your
best behavior, and very, very careful around those potential in-laws.

That it’s easy to be kind when you have enough stuff to live
comfortably, is a point so obvious it should go without my needing to
provide an example.

So. Believing, as I do, that the wildness of expression and unusual friendliness
of burners is due to the luxuries of transience and abundance–well, it’s like I just
unraveled the rainbow.

So rock on, Burning Man. You are a wild, wild party, but magic–you are not.

Screw rounded corners, THIS is amazing UX

I was using a lot of bandages, thanks to a freak allergic reaction to
a golden retriever. I would like to take this opportunity to endorse
the finest bandages I have found so far. I don’t know who the
manufacturer is, but more people should imitate them.

You’d think it’s simple, right? A simple square of gauze stuck onto a
piece of tape. How could one bandage be better than another?

They certainly can. The inferior bandages have tape exposed around all
edges of the bandage. If you have a wound that is a little bit longer
than the piece of gauze, you’ll have tape sticking to your raw,
painful scab.

The best bandages only expose gauze on two sides–the sides you
actually need to tape down the gauze.

Clearly, these excellent bandages were devised by some poor fellow who
gets a lot of papercuts.