Stephen Hawking’s Last Reddit Post

•March 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Stephen Hawking participated in a science Q & A on Reddit a couple of years ago. Anyone could write in a question and he would try to answer it. Here’s the last question he received, and his response:

I’m rather late to the question-asking party, but I’ll ask anyway and hope. Have you thought about the possibility of technological unemployment, where we develop automated processes that ultimately cause large unemployment by performing jobs faster and/or cheaper than people can perform them? Some compare this thought to the thoughts of the Luddites, whose revolt was caused in part by perceived technological unemployment over 100 years ago. In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated? Do you think people will always either find work or manufacture more work to be done? Thank you for your time and your contributions. I’ve found research to be a largely social endeavor, and you’ve been an inspiration to so many.


If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

Oregon Travel Animation, Miyazaki-Style

•March 14, 2018 • 1 Comment

I agree. It is only slightly exaggerated.

Secret Passages in a Hillside Town

•February 14, 2018 • Leave a Comment


The first few reviews are out for Secret Passages in a Hillside Town, written by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen and translated by your faithful correspondent. This is the same author who wrote the brilliant Rabbit Back Literature Societyand his second book is just as wonderful and “gloriously strange”, according to the (5 star) review in SFX.

My favorite review so far is a short and sweet one from Goodreads:

“One of the best books I’ve ever read.” – Michelle Rose.

More about the book at FELT Cooperative.

Available through Pushkin Press, on Amazon and Amazon UK, or at your favorite local bookstore.

A cinematic life can’t take away pain, but it can make it more aesthetic, make of it a kind of wine of emotion, a music of feeling.


Bicycle Kites

•January 19, 2018 • Leave a Comment

They’re wind puppets!



Several kinds of feelings of freedom in one delightful thingy!

Down to Earth

•January 15, 2018 • 2 Comments

A film by Anna Vasof.

Down to Earth from Anna Vasof on Vimeo.


Our Favorite Films of 2017

•January 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Rick and I have a tradition of saving all of our tickets to plays, concerts, films, and anything else that involves buying a ticket, then looking through them at the end of the year and remembering all the fun tickety things we did.

Here are the best movies we went to see in 2017:

Toni Erdmann

The previews for Toni Erdmann made it look like a typical quirky, cringe-inducing comedy, but the rapturous reviews made me think there must be more to it–and there is. It’s such a moving story of a father trying to reconnect with his daughter. Bit by bit, in a series of hilariously preposterous scenes, you get glimpses of the girl he misses and why their former oddball affection matters so much to him.

Get Out

Get Out is thoughtful and funny. It’s a smart person’s horror movie, a mind-bending allegory in the great tradition of sci-fi social criticism. It is just as insightful as you would expect a movie by Jordan Peele to be. You’ll want to see it more than once, to relish all the biting cleverness you missed the first time through.

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

Based on the real-life boxing match between the Finn Olli Mäki and the American fighter Davey Moore in 1962, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is about deciding what matters most in life. While preparing for the big fight, with the hopes of the entire Finnish nation weighing heavily on his shoulders, Olli Mäki is also falling in love. The black-and-white cinematography is wonderful, the period feel of Finland in the 60s is fascinating, and the story is sweetly told.

Sami Blood

Sami Blood was our favorite movie at the Seattle International Film Festival. It won the SIFF Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Space Needle audience award for its star, Lene Cecilia Sparrok. It expanded my understanding of Sami culture, and what it means to live in any displaced culture, and it felt very true to my own experiences of girlhood and sisterhood and leaving home for the wider world. I didn’t cry at this movie, I wept.

Predictions for the Coming Year

•December 31, 2017 • Leave a Comment

crystal-ball-1478195126FLEIn 2018, you will eat breakfast. You will spill water and wipe it up. You will hear a song and it will remind you of someone, and you will wonder where that person is now.

In 2018, you will be reading something and you’ll stop reading and think, Why am I spending my time reading this?

A child will smile at you.

In 2018, you will see a stranger and you’ll think you know that person, and not be able to remember where you know them from, and then later you’ll remember why their face is familiar.

You will wash your face. You will see your reflection and think you look terrible. You will see your reflection and think you look good.

In 2018, you will have a headache, and then the headache will get better. You will change clothes. You will be planning to meet someone and you’ll rehearse in your head what you’re going to say to them.

In 2018, you’ll cover yourself with a warm blanket. You’ll feel sunshine on your face. You’ll sit with someone for a long time, talking.

In 2018, you will be surprised.

The Ink Spots with Ella Fitzgerald: I’m Beginning to See the Light

•December 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Happy Solstice, everybody! For us northern people, the days are getting brighter, if not metaphorically then at least literally.

Here are the Ink Spots and Ella the Great singing I’m Beginning to See the Light to celebrate.

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