Maybe we need a bit more philosophy?

Everyone knows about the Roe vs. Wade decision which was overturned yesterday by now. There is a planned parenthood/abortion clinic near my house that we routinely drive by if Megan and I are doing errands or grabbing a bit to eat at Panera. Without fail there are protestors out in front of it. Even today, in the rain, after the largest anti-abortion victory in fifty years, they were out there again protesting. 

Ironically, I came across this video on TikTok this morning and while I don't normally like this sort of hyperbolic rhetoric, I do feel like it aptly sums up what I seem to observe. 

As I continued to drive home in the rain, it really got me thinking about the why and my mind drifted for some reason to philosophy. I have mentioned on here before who I studied political theory as my undergrad degree and there is a lot of overlap to philosophy there. Without a doubt those courses changed my entire outlook on the world and me as a person, and I grew and learned more from those courses than anything else I have ever taken. STEM has been such a large push in our world the past 20 years or so, and it just makes me think that perhaps instead of reinforcing the productive, output-driven focus of STEM education if we all might just be a little bit better off if we have some art, philosophy and music eduction to slow everything down. To teach people some contemplation an insight. 

You know, in Dungeons and Dragons there are two fundamental mechanics for using your brain to solve problems. Intelligence and Wisdom. We've really been pushing that intelligence part pretty hard with STEM learning. Perhaps we need to take some time and give the Wisdom score a little bit of love.

Several years ago I posted some reading ideas for those who may want to get into Political Theory, and by proxy some philosophy. I'll re-link that post here: Matt's Reading Suggestions for Political Theory

Additionally, this seems to be a nice list to start for many people, although any 1-2 of these will probably suffice as an introduction: 15 Best Philosophy Books for Beginners (Introductory Books to Start With)

I Think I Want to Get Into Watches

So my latest ADHD obsession right now is watches. I've pretty much always worn a watch in some fashion or another all the way back to high school, may be even junior high. Nothing fancy. A Fossil typically. The most recent iteration happens to be an Apple Watch, which I have had for maybe four years now. I am noticing though that I am not really utilizing all that many smart features on it and it is basically a fancy heart rate monitor. Now, don't get me wrong. I still love that and being able to track all my health data all the time is fascinating, but I feel like I want to start to get into the watch game a bit more. 

James Bond was always a favorite character growing up and of course he has quite the watch game. It wasn't until last year that I realized how expensive some watches are though. Omega has always been a brand that seems to have caught my eye, but it wasn't until this past fall when I decided to look up how much an Omega Speedster costs. It is somewhere around $4,000, which if I am being honest is incomprehensibly expensive. I don't think I can justify that much money on a watch, but I suppose I would be willing to pay a few hundred dollars for one. After all I paid ~$350 for my Apple Watch. 

Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium

The Citizen Eco-Drive Super Titanium has caught my eye. I think in general any watch that doesn't require a battery seems appealing as I can just sort of pop it on and go. The titanium color matches my wedding ring too and I think the style of this watch has a nice look that can be dressed up or dressed down. 


Timex North Field Post Solar

Timex really catches my eye as well, especially their field watches. The Field Post Solar has that nice rugged look which I really like with the fabric band. Although I can't say that I really like how it loops. Perhaps the leather band would be the best way to go, and I have never owned a leather banded watch. It seems like it has a nice simple and clean look. 

There are a few others that catch my eye as well. Some are dreams and some are something perhaps worth looking at more closely. 


Trying to watch sports on TV is a nightmare

I don't watch a lot of sports, but it just so happened that this weekend there are two sporting events that I wanted to catch. The Wimbledon finals and also the Euro championship game. I watched the women's final yesterday afternoon on standard broadcast TV, NBC. I got up this morning, having a free day due to a rained out motorcycle ride and popped on NBC expecting to see the men's final broadcast. 

Was it on TV? No it wasn't. Bummer, but not the end of the world. I'll just pop on over to watch the Tour de France. Ohh, you know what, that isn't on broadcast TV either. That is playing on NBCSports network. The Euro championship this afternoon? That is on ESPN. What a nightmare. Wimbledon used to be aired on NBC's main broadcast channel for years and add to that, so was the Tour de France. All three networks were local news and your standard "Meet the Press" Sunday political shows. 

So, I went to dig around and figure out how I could stream these shows today. First off, there is no way I can see of just buying them pay-per-view style or subscribing to just a specific network. I have used SlingTV in the past but unfortunately their NBCSports and ESPN channels are on two different packages (Blue vs Orange). What? Come on guys. 

Knowing that the Olympics are coming up in a couple of weeks I always want to try and watch that as much as possible when it is on. Again, NBC is dropping the ball here and they only plan to broadcast the Olympics during primetime. 3-4 hours a night of just gymnastics and he occasional track and field match is embarrassing. Why would they not fill up their standard daytime programming with Olympic coverage? 

So I spent a good portion of this morning, browsing my options and I ended up getting a temporary subscription for Youtube TV. It is expensive, $65 but it includes ESPN, NBCSports and has the olympic channel. It also thankfully is a month to month subscription so I can cancel as soon as the olympics are over. 


Man, I really don't want to go back

The weather is finally starting to come around, people are getting fully vaccinated and I can already see the eagerness in most people's eyes to try and "get back to normal". Despite 2020 being full of different levels of stress for different people, I can't help but feel a bit more anxiety right now more than at any time back in 2020. I missed being able to go on vacation last year and also going out to dinner, but man, do I not want to go back. To be honest, I think I would rather take 2020 again than take pre-covid. I just really do not want to have to interact with people, like at all. 

You know what, last year was the first time in as long as I can remember that I didn't get a bad cold or the flu. I felt like there was something strangely comforting with being home and also knowing that everyone was at home. We all had a taste of seeing the world through the same lens there for a moment, regardless of what your income or social status was. I feel like some of that is going to be lost and in many cases people are trying so hard to get back to the "default" that any sort of learned habits are going to go completely out the window. 

:shrug:

D&D: Artbreeder.com - AI Generated profiles for D&D and other cool art

I came across what has to be one of the coolest website I have seen in a long time. It is called Artbreeder.com and it utilizes AI to morph and merge images together. You essentially input two parent images and it will create an offspring. There are several categories on the site that you and select from, so I presume the the AI system has been tweaked for each one to get the best results. As you can see from the image above, where I have the portrait system selected, there are some sliders for various features you can select. 

The results are algorithmic, so you don't have any control over the creation. This isn't drawing, but it is an easy way to get an endless amount of good imagery. I have found the portrait mode to be very useful and something you can easily kill a few hours just going down the rabbit hole on. 

The only quirk I have found with the portraits at least, is that they tend to favor very "soft" female features. You also have to pay a fee to upload your own images, which is understandable, if unfortunate.