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The Thursday Newsletter - Issue #16

Dan Hugo
Dan Hugo
And then there was one

One month remains?!?
Technically it’s about 33 days until the drop-dead move-out date (31 days until the end of lease) until I need to be purged, packed, and pressing on to parts beyond Nevada for a spell. My current spot has been that for the longest contiguous time span since I headed off to college from my parents’ home, and while I’m not pleased with how the property owners where I live at present handled the “no-cause notice of non-renewal” (higher rents from new tenants, no doubt) after I had received my notice to renew, I think the change is ultimately good and will lead to positive things with just a small change in surroundings.
Not to mention the joys of those first two P words above… clearly it would be easier if I was living at home as I did when I was traveling abroad so often for work. Always ready to pack up and head to the airport, whether I was at home in Las Vegas, in my favorite North Star Hotel in Dublin, or anywhere else. While I did learn quite a bit from my post-house-fire move just over 8 years ago from Sunnyvale, California to here in Las Vegas, I can factor my possessions yet again as I prep this move with more than a few seconds to head for the door.
Something that has been sort of interesting, is the process that began the moment I learned that I would be moving… there is a process that is not unlike anything else we deal with day to day, and as a programmer it becomes immediately clear (again) just how much of a programming challenge a move is. Not quite Towers of Hanoi (though I’ll leave that as a possibility, because we can never be too sure), but there is definitely a workflow here that includes factoring the process, coordinating some garbage collection, some compression, some loading and storing, some parallelism, and so on. Once I had the relocation destination sorted (that was 28 hours after I got the news, luckily…), arranging the operations and their ordering is not too difficult.
I’m going to leave that there because 33 days from now I will be quite pleased with myself, or quite not.
Motivated Reasoning
I mentioned in a previous Monday Newsletter (are you subscribed?), that I had been reading (and then, that I had read) The Scout Mindset by Julia Galef (here’s an interview with her on Vox if you’re curious), and she makes a point to make a point about Motivated Reasoning. Once you know that it has a name, you immediately find that you are surrounded by it on all sides and at all times. No more true that it is during this next wave of pandemic here in the US.
So what is motivated reasoning? Let’s pull a definition from Wikipedia:
Motivated reasoning is a phenomenon studied in cognitive science and social psychology that uses emotionally biased reasoning to produce justifications or make decisions that are most desired rather than those that accurately reflect the evidence, while still reducing cognitive dissonance.
I was listening to a local podcast (I will not share the episode or even the name of the show) and the host went into a ramble about how requiring vaccinated individuals to wear masks is stupid. He then went on to refer to another podcast show wherein an epidemiologist, who likes Vegas, will tell you everything you need to know based common sense, about why it is indeed so stupid to require vaccinated people to participate in public health efforts.
Here is Julia Galef presenting a TEDx talk about the Scout Mindset:
Why "scout mindset" is crucial to good judgment | Julia Galef | TEDxPSU
Why "scout mindset" is crucial to good judgment | Julia Galef | TEDxPSU
One wonders what we might learn from an epidemiologist who does not like Vegas. This is not the only great example of motivated reasoning, but it is certainly applicable almost everywhere as a working demonstration of how this can completely derail sensible consideration of useful and effective action. In the mean time, a visit to the gym, from whence we received a “we’re back to requiring masks” email just a few days ago, still includes unmasked people ignoring policy signs posted everywhere and no enforcement by employees. Small efforts are too stupid?
This is a topic worthy of more discussion (the motivated reasoning, since the pandemic has its own pile of useful and useless discussion happening at every turn), but I will plug once again the Microbe.tv website as a reasonable source of information and discussion wherein the reasoning, if motivated, appears to be leaning heavily toward accuracy and intelligence without politics and certainly without the deeper tribalism we’re encountering elsewhere. I will leave this topic and the related pandemic meanderings with a link to the YouTube version of the episode of This Week in Virology to which I am listening as I type this:
TWiV 789: Does delta mean a change?
TWiV 789: Does delta mean a change?
CES 2022?
I’m finally getting the nonprofit (and then eventually, public charity) Casa Nunzia Foundation formed (filing the paperwork, prototype logo, etc) and one of the early agenda items is putting together a functional demonstration of the co-creation workflow that we will espouse, in time for in-person discussion come January and CES 2022. The question is, will CES manifest itself physically here in Las Vegas, or will it be the virtual sequel to last year’s show?
While I do live in Las Vegas (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that previously), trade shows and conventions and other events generally do not impact my daily life, unless I find myself attempting to get to the airport (not so much lately) or if I’m actually going to one of the shows (ditto). Given the nature of CES, it is a show I tend to attend either directly (actually going into the halls, ideally spending more time in the Eureka Park area for smaller companies and projects), or indirectly by hanging out with friends and colleagues in town for the show. CES 2021 was a bit of a change in many ways, and I have to say, I would vote for Virtual CES 2022.
That said, are you planning to attend CES in January, 2022? How about any other shows or conferences in Las Vegas?
Links and Such
As you may have seen mentioned somewhere in one of my newsletters or in one of the podcast episodes, I use Buy Me a Coffee as a central link and update hub, as a sort of augmented link tree that exists outside of a personal blog or similar. The same people who do BMaC have launched a linktr.ee competitor calling bio.link so I gave it a try, and it’s at least useful and nicely done. It isn’t rocket science, to be honest, to enable a single page with some editable links and some social media icons, but as I like to say these are all vectors that can point back to my own properties.
So here is my bio.link:
Dan Hugo | Bio Link
The page at that link includes at least one link to my actual BMaC page, which doesn’t always link well when I try to use the Revue editor (don’t get me started) to construct this message body, but just in case you don’t see it in the bio.link above, check out Buy Dan a Coffee for link goodness (there is no obligation at all to actual contribute to the caffeine supply, though you are welcome to do so since it’s so conveniently located right there).
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Dan Hugo
Dan Hugo @DanHugo

Various topics of the day, whichever day, from home or abroad, about this and that and the other thing.
Engineer in Las Vegas, working on a variety of cool projects; Maker of Friends, Friend of Makers. Answers to most pronouns, you can call me Al.

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Las Vegas, NV 89101