Month: May 2013

My Problem with Hyperlinks (and Reading Online in General)

Hyperlinked anchor text offers an immediate means of connecting one’s assertions to sources, of mighty use to the perennially skeptical. It fans the flame of curiosity, limiting the chances that a cyberflâneur arrives at a dead end in his itch for information about an arbitrary subject. And most trivially, it provides SEO value in the eyes of Google, and hence, is one of the reasons I have a job right now.

But for all their convenience and connection, I find hyperlinks to be detrimental towards my reading of a piece. It prevents me from finishing a damn article in one swoop. The blue underlining seduces me to click and spontaneously click, click click click until I have so many tabs open that my browser is slowing down and I have to grimly face the fact that I will never be able to wholly absorb and digest everything that I have followed. I can form no coherent recollection about what I have read; features, profiles, and short stories get mixed together into one thematic blur!

And screw the links that launch Outlook!

The Pain of Inner Mouth Wounds and Swollen, Inflamed Gums

Every time I accidentally chew my lip, or the insides of my cheek while eating, every time someone accidentally headbutts (or purposefully grinds — assholes!) my jaw in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, causing me to bite off a chunk of my inner lip, I dread. For I know the point of trauma will sting like fuck the following day, afflict my consciousness for a few days after.

Inner mouth wounds are among the more fuss-inducing, inconvenient minor injuries one can obtain. The other ones, they annoy, but they don’t obstruct eating and drinking, or at least not the chewing and swallowing part even if the delivery-to-mouth step of the process is hindered. (Chewing and swallowing are actions I believe a mouthed organism should never have to think or stress about.) I can console a sore shoulder by munching on a cream cheese pumpernickel bagel. I can still enjoy slightly over-fried fish and chips on a rolled ankle. And I do not have to anticipate tearing up from citrus juice burn with a jammed finger or wrist.

With an inner mouth cut, the soft tissue surrounding the lesion will swell into something that looks like a mini-volcano. Typically for me (I am not sure if I am alone in this), the nearby gums will also inflame into an element of torture. The pain is two-fold. First, there is the wound itself, and then, there is also the inability to enjoy crunchy, fried food. Life is always slightly less bright when the hardness and flakey nature of fried breading surfaces become lethal and, for a period, I am reduced to water and dairy — string cheese, liquid yogurt, kefir, and milk — as close to a fast as I usually get.


Governor Chris Christie went the stomach surgery route for his weight loss approach. Weak. Obese masochists should consider opting for inner mouth laceration instead. Masochists, along with wrestlers and grapplers who are having trouble dieting for their next tournament and would like to add another facet to their bag of weight-cutting tricks.

Dream Recollection (High School for The Physically Disabled)

A high school laid out a lot like the one I went to. It’s an institution with a lot of humans physically “disabled,” or at least unlike the symmetrical norm. One girl, a tall, strong, tanned bull of a girl, she’s got a thumb sticking out of an arm stump, kind of like Nick Newell.

This is a recurring element in my dreams: I go to school one day, realize I have forgotten to attend chemistry for weeks. There is now an exam coming up. I am fucked. And I feel guilty. The chemistry teacher’s hard work and tolerant teaching style deserves attention, not flippancy.

What of the test?

The thread is, per the norm in dreams, left hanging.

A college friend-for-a-couple-months reaches out to catch up out of the blue. I can count our number of mutual hangout sessions on one hand, but my spirit is nonetheless livened by the news. She was a self-described hypochondriac with some thug taste in music. I had wanted to get to know her more. We had shared shots of cheesecake-flavored vodka together at our first meeting, back in a time when I was still willing to entertain shots.

Alas, I realize and remind her that we are not in the same city. The meetup unceremoniously falls through with mere “Doh!” acknowledgement, without any marked exchange of regret. “Doh!” as in ‘We are not close enough friends. What are we doing, intersecting again anyways?’

This thread is closed.


Daniel Kahneman’s Chicago Council on Global Affairs Talk

Delivered on 05/02. The chief theme he charted involved his conclusions for why warhawk politicians have historically won more debates than peace doves in courts of public opinion.


1) (Paraphrased) On the contrasts between George W. Bush’s “man of action” leadership style and Barack Obama’s “deliberately analytical” approach:

“We like a leader who rewards his friends and punishes his enemies.”

2) (Again paraphrased) On whether being aware of biases can help you make better decisions:

“Buying my book will not make you smarter … awareness of biases does not change the decisions you make.”

3) Optimism wins hearts and minds, even when deluded.

Bummer on the second point. Nonetheless, I still bought his book out of delusional optimism.