2 min read

Friday, February 2, 2024

Apple today released this new electronic device that might be a technological dead-end, and that you really don't want to drop. And then there's this. And this. So yeah, the Vision Pro isn't necessarily ready for prime time just yet.

Still, it seems clear to me that we're getting a (too heavy, too expensive, too compromised) glimpse into the future here, whether or not we're enthusiastic about that prospect. In a few years they'll have figured out what these things are good for and they'll be selling them for a mere arm & leg and they'll be everywhere. But for now, only the foolish (or, if it's you, dear reader, the... let's say "fearless") few will dare to don the Vision Pro in public.

So, as we all find a way to come to terms with mankind's inevitable fate as a bunch of goggled goons pickling our brains in an acetic stew of megacorp #content (in 3-D!), let's take some time to appreciate all the things we can enjoy today, without strapping on a headset. Like modernist art. Or the aurora australis. Or nuclear weapons.

I enjoyed this piece (gift link!) in the New York Times, about how the people behind the Manhattan Project actually wrangled its staggering budget without the word getting out:

Like many other people who turned out to see the biopic, I was captivated by Christopher Nolan’s portrayal of the Trinity test and Cillian Murphy’s performance as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the singularly ambitious, then morally conflicted father of the atomic bomb.
But as I watched images of the sprawling nuclear laboratory at Los Alamos flash across the screen, I couldn’t stop wondering: How did the U.S. government pay for the $2 billion project? Did Congress approve the money? And if so, how did lawmakers keep it a secret?

I won't spoil the surprise but... would you believe a handful of old white guys were involved?

Item 2: a list

Modernist Art Movements, Ranked:

  1. De Stijl
  2. Surrealism
  3. Constructivism
  4. Fauvism
  5. Post-Impressionism
  6. Dada
  7. Suprematism
  8. Cubism
  9. Vorticism
  10. Futurism

Item 3: a media recommendation

The B-52s - Give Me Back My Man

Item 4: word of the week


We don't do body-shaming here and we especially don't do hurtful nicknames so no, you may not call me "Plinth".

Item 5: a photograph

The research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer at Davis Station anchorage in Antarctica with an aurora australis light show overhead. The ship is operated as part of the U.S. Antarctic Program, managed by NSF. (Date of image: April 26, 2023; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Oct. 27, 2023)

See ya!

Thanks for reading. See you next week, with unparalleled passthrough, peerless resolution, and a color gamut good enough to get the job done for now.