Updates on the life of Brian

  • Evan’s a bit sick today, staying home from daycare and playing with Daddy. Fortunately I don’t have any urgent editing deadlines at the moment (just turned in MIT Press project #3 yesterday) so I can relax a bit.
  • Didn’t see much of the eclipse yesterday because (1) I didn’t have eclipse glasses, and (2) Ohio wasn’t in the path of totality so there wasn’t as much to see. But I’m told that we’re due for a 100% eclipse in April 2024, which is pretty cool. Evan will be seven years old by then!
  • I started reading a fascinating book called Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. (A very cool & slightly early birthday present from my Amazon wish list from my parents-in-law — thanks!) The author points out that the octopus is the only animal to evolve intelligence on a completely different evolutionary path than humans (dolphins, chimps, dogs, crows, and so on, are all pretty closely related to us) and so studying the octopus can teach us a lot about the nature of intelligence in general. I mean, dude. You had me at “octopus.”
  • Excited to press on to the next phase of Crane Girl revision, but editing is busy and parenting is busy (both good things!) which makes it a bit tough. Gotta make the time, though.
  • The Trump Experiment continues to leave me encouraged with the strength and resilience of American institutions: the judicial and legislative branches, state governments, nonprofits, corporations, and the people in general. We’re far from perfect, but the sheer size and scope of our checks on executive power is more impressive to me than ever. Assuming we don’t blow ourselves to kingdom come, I think Trump’s tenure will diminish the power of the presidency, and I think that’s probably a good thing.
  • I’ve been seeing more of my friends lately, and that makes me happy.
  • Tomorrow I turn 32. If for any reason you’re itching to get me some sort of gift, I can think of nothing that would make me happier than a donation to Doctors Without Borders (or any other nonpolitical charity you prefer). I’m immensely fortunate to be at a phase of life where, if I really want something and I can buy it with money, I probably already have it. People are always reluctant to give like this, presumably feeling that such a gift doesn’t really “count,” so my biggest difficulty is in finding a way to convince them that it counts more than anything else I can think of.

Have an excellent day!

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