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pie for breakfast

a realistic, down-to-earth journal that's swarming with magic robots

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The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.

‘Cheshire Puss,’ she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider. ‘Come, it's pleased so far,’ thought Alice, and she went on. ‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

‘I don't much care where—’ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn't matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.

‘—so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation.

‘Oh, you're sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’


i'm a logician and linguist. i have various ideas about alternative careers if the academic thing doesn't work out, but most of them are silly.

‘He loved to dust his old grammars; it somehow mildly reminded him of his mortality.’ -Herman Melville

‘If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.’ -John von Neumann

‘I am sorry that I have had to leave so many problems unsolved. I always have to make this apology, but the world really is rather puzzling and I cannot help it.’ -Bertrand Russell


this journal is a basically personal project organized in a mainly conversational tone. things written here do not reliably represent my considered opinions on the matters they discuss - sometimes they'll turn out to be, but i also use this space to muse, vent, and otherwise develop, consider, refine, and reject ideas.

it's almost always okay if you disagree with me or offer criticism in comments on my journal, although i'd be grateful if people made a token effort to adhere to minimal standards of civility and felicity. i know other people use their journals for different purposes, or are of different dispositions, and so have different positions on what kind of comments they'd prefer to deal with, and i don't think less of them for it, but if somebody has an issue with me or with what i'm saying, i'd rather know what it is.

i don't remember what my settings are right now, but i've had things set to log anonymous comment IPs at various points in the past, and i reserve the right to set things to log some or all IPs in the future, and to change these settings without warning.

i reserve the right to have whatever friends policy i want, without apology or consistency, but i'll probably friend you back and put you on a couple of filters if you badger me enough.

neither of the names publicly attached to this journal is mine in any legally binding sense, but both have relatively boring stories behind them.

‘I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have had no time to make it shorter.’ -Blaise Pascal


my drugs of choice are Camellia sinensis and Theobroma cacao.

i want a realistic, down-to-earth show that's completely off-the-wall and swarming with magic robots.

love like nobody's watching. dance like it's never going to hurt.


i don't eat meat, on the grounds that it makes me feel unclean, and i don't drive, on the grounds that i have poor reflexes and am easily distracted.

‘I would be quite happy to start with achieving a point where I could somehow resolve the contradiction between wanting to live a quiet, solitary life, unnoticed by anyone, and seeking attention by committing eccentric acts of provocation which often exceed the limits of good taste.’ -Michal Ajvaz

‘I don't have a problem with being a man. I just want to be a princess.’ -old Doublestar Science Fiction Club play


i believe in algebra.


‘There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what you're talking about.’ -attributed to John von Neumann


‘And a stranger shalt thou not oppress; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.’ -Exodus 23:9

‘I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side...’ -Treebeard, in The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

‘Howso' great their clamour, whatsoe'er their claim, / Suffer not the old King under any name!’ -Rudyard Kipling

‘Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.’ -Thomas Paine

‘If we don't protect freedom of speech, how will we know who the assholes are?’ -The Onion

‘The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.’ -Billings Learned Hand

‘There is always an easy solution to every problem — neat, plausible and wrong.’ -H. L. Mencken


there isn't a church door in the world that couldn't be improved with a handful of nails and a few dozen theses.

‘On waxen tablets you cannot write anything new until you rub out the old. With the mind it is not so; there you cannot rub out the old till you have written in the new.’ -Francis Bacon (translated by Benjamin Farrington)

‘A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having.’ -anonymous, paraphrasing Emma Goldman

‘We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.’ -Otto Neurath



‘A fish-trap is for catching fish; once you've caught the fish, you can forget about the trap. A rabbit-snare is for catching rabbits; once you've caught the rabbit, you can forget about the snare. Words are for catching ideas; once you've caught the idea, you can forget about the words. Where can I find a person who knows how to forget about words so I can have a few words with him?’

-Chuang Tzu 26:13 (translated by Victor H. Mair)
μ4/3, algebra, american literature, attention whoredom, available light, bay area, bi-co, black pepper, black-and-white photography, bryn mawr college, california, camberville, cardamom, carmine awareness, chocolate, classical liberalism, commonwealth school, contra dancing, cosmopolitanism, costume, cross-dressing, cty, cynicism, dead languages, di-co, discernible reality, doublestar, empiricism, english language, epistemic revolutions, evolution, fallibilism, functionalism, games, gargoyle technologies, geek pride, gender: unspecified, genus rubus, ginger, godlessness, gratuitous application of math, gricean pragmatics, guerilla orthographic reform, hedonism, higher order logics, ingredients lists, intensionality, irony, liberal arts, liberal individualism, liberal values, liberalism, liberty, linguistics, logic, math, neo-montagovian semantics, new england, northeast corridor, obscure political movements, open society, philadelphia, photography, physicalism, pie, pie for breakfast, playing in the rain, pluralism, procedural due process, prose composition, sarcasm, satire, scones, semeiotike, skepticism, skirts with pockets, slavery-free products, small format photography, sophistry, soy products, space westerns, storytelling, structured information, surviving los angeles, swil-ψφ, taoism, tea, the enlightenment, transhumanist gender revolution, tri-co, uniformitarianism, university of california, used book stores, voting systems, walking, what ephedra stands for, zoological trivia

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