Currently reading Fifth Sun, by Camilla Townsend, a history of the Mexica people (later known as the Aztecs) based on accounts written by Christianized indigenous historians in the early phases of Spanish colonization. The politics of polygyny can get bewildering at times, but the cultural and historical background is fascinating.

Been reading John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, and I keep seeing these big weed-things all over the neighborhood. 😬


Got someone new helping me out in the garden.

Twitter stuff 

I'm getting this screen when I try to log into Twitter. The button just reloads the page. The Status link below works, but the Home link just loops back to this. I'm not putting a Twitter app on my phone, so if they're intentionally breaking mobile web access, then I'll probably just… stop checking Twitter on my phone. They'd be doing me a favor, really.

uspol: repro rights, guns 

As is often the case in SCOTUS filings, the minority dissent's sharpest criticism of the majority's partisanship is parenthetical — specifically this passage where they cite the majority's opinion in the gun regulation decision released YESTERDAY contradicting the same majority's reasoning today.

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Here's the trendline for Celo, the proof-of-stake currency fielded by the company building Kickstarter's blockchain. Celo and Kickstarter share several board members.

TIL about hyaku-monogatari ("one hundred stories"), gatherings where participants would take turns telling kaidan (spooky stories) in a closed room by candlelight. After each story, a candle would be extinguished, the last story plunging the room into darkness. Popular during the early Edo period, the goal was to induce a supernatural experience — or, at least, to test the nerve of participants. From Michael Dylan Foster's The Book of Yokai.

What else? Maybe you ONLY want to see posts by people you've chosen to follow. You can disable boosts in your Home timeline.

Maybe you follow several very chatty people, and their conversations tend to crowd out other things you'd prefer to see. You can turn off replies in Home, so that only the start of each thread is displayed.

(You can also make the Local and Federated timelines show only posts containing media.)

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Not my usual fare, but something about this book caught my interest, and I'm enjoying it a great deal. It's a reconstruction of an infamous case in antebellum Kansas and the ensuing pursuit through Texas. I'm a little skeptical about Jonusas' presentation. Her research is extensive, but she writes novelistically, extrapolating details and dialogue that are lively, but probably aren't well attested in the sources.

Oh man. So many new philosophy academics Mastodon this week.

If you want to separate your notifications a bit more, click the little sliders icon in the notifications tab and flip the "Display all categories" toggle. That will let you look at just follows, or just polls, or just favs, or whatever. Turn it off to limit the categories to All/Mentions.

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Wasn't sure my sage was going to spring back from the pruning I gave it at the start of winter, but I guess I needn't have worried.

"[O]ur standard historical meta-narrative about the ambivalent progress of human civilization, where freedoms are lost as societies grow bigger and more complex — was invented largely for the purpose of neutralizing the threat of indigenous critique." Graeber and Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything

This wasn't why I picked up this book, but I have been wondering about Akhenaten, so this brief discussion of the Amarna Revolution is both timely and interesting.

Kickstarter has been uncharacteristically cagey about what moving its service to a blockchain would actually accomplish. They've mostly answered with PR-speak, as in this interview to reassure comic book creators: So pledgers can use card transactions and creators can withdraw in standard currencies, but this KS rep doesn't say what happens in the interval. And presumably something does happen there, because: Why else change your entire infrastructure?

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Celo, the blockchain to which Kickstarter is moving, claims to be carbon negative. It bases that calculation in part of its use of Proof of Stake verification. In a footnote, to its claim, it acknowledges that Celo Reserve is not included in that calculation. Celo Reserve is a bank reserve that backs the Celo currency with "a basket of other cryptocurrencies." If that basket is made up of Proof of Work assets, that calls into question their "carbon negative" calculation, right?

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