This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

Hey mate. I had bit of an adventure on the bus up to visit you today. The bus ran out of AdBlue and we had to stop at the depot for a new bus. On the way I struck up a conversation with a few other passengers, talking about politics and philosophy and such. During the chat my interlocutors recommended two books for me to read, being Killing for Country: A Family Story and “Hold On, Let Go”, but there were multiple results for a search for “Hold On, Let Go” so I’m not sure exactly which book was recommended.

I found DisplayPort vs. HDMI: Which Is Better? which basically says DisplayPort is better but HDMI is good anyway.

Why are you giving me the secret signal to shut up?

So “EQ” is about “emotional intelligence”. There has been a lot written on the topic, this seemed like a good primer: How Can I Improve Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?

This guy Kyle Kingsbury, a.k.a “Aphyr“, is a first rate genius and a rather wild individual into… leather, and such. He did some excellent creative writing about programmers and their craft which I’ve documented here: The Technical Interview.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

The above quote from Tolstoy gave rise to what became known as the Anna Karenina principle: a deficiency in any one of a number of factors dooms an endeavor to failure. Consequently, a successful endeavor (subject to this principle) is one for which every possible deficiency has been avoided.

You made the observation that these days our narratives are more about individuals than in the past when they were more around collectives such as nations and religions.

My comment about Leonard Cohen was that he is an apologist for decadence and immorality. Also we joked that we could rewrite his famous song as “Everybody doesn’t know”.

I have told you about this before, but I mentioned again about Musk feigning thought in an interview. Check this out. He totally pretends to think deeply about the question! It’s awful to watch, like bad acting!

The TED talk about using paper towels: How to use one paper towel | Joe Smith | TEDxConcordiaUPortland. The fun part of this talk (apart from its central thesis) is the bit where he says “Why twelve? Twelve apostles. Twelve tribes. Twelve zodiac signs. Twelve months. And the one I like best: it’s the biggest number with one syllable.”

When Kurt Cobain gets asked why he named the album Nevermind: “I don’t know. So I could brush off the question.”

I mentioned about the cool retro games console I picked up from Vinnies for $15. I tell more about this and demo it on my video blog over here: In The Lab With Jay Jay – October 31, 2023 – Uboxing of Mini Classic Game Console.

Everyone is just collecting a paycheck.


I kissed the kids at noon
Then stumbled out the room
I caught a cab

Ran up a tab
On 7th and flower
Beth's recital I had to run
Missed my son's graduation

Punched the Nichols boy
For taking his seat
He gets all that anger from me
Still things could be much worse
Natural disasters on the evening news

Still things could be much worse
We still got our health
My paycheck in the mail
I promised to my wife and children
I'd never touch another drink

As long as I live
But even then
It sounds so soothing
This will blow over in time
This will all blow over in time

I'm just an honest man
Provide for me and mine
I give a check to tax-deductible
Charity organizations
Two weeks paid vacation won't
Heal the damage done

I need another one
Still things could be much worse
Natural disasters on the evening news
Still things could be much worse

We still got our health
My paycheck in the mail
I promised to my wife and children
I'd never touch another drink
As long as I live
But even then
It sounds so soothing
To mix a gin
And sink into oblivion
I promised to my wife and children
That accident
Left everyone a little shook up
But at the meetings
I felt so empty
This will blow over in time
This will all blow over in time

I will have to remember to get you some Hail Mary credit cards… with flybuys.

My favorite contemporary philosopher George Lakoff did some great work on the topic of “moral accounting” and how we conceive of that. There’s a good introduction to the ideas over here: Metaphor, Morality, and Politics.

I mentioned Raymond Chen who is a programmer from Microsoft who has a blog The Old New Thing.

I mentioned that experts (to the extent they even exist) usually know the boundaries of their subject, as in they have an idea of its full extent. In contrast non-experts are still trying to get a grip on the boundaries and extent of the subject, and there are still a lot of grey areas for them which they haven’t yet seen beyond.

Jordan Peterson. Conservative. Weirdo. Yuck.

You don’t have to eat everything on your plate! If there was too much food on your plate it was wasted when it was cooked and served, not when you didn’t eat it! If you want to be moral and less wasteful with your food stop the waste by not cooking or serving food which you don’t need, or save what you didn’t eat for later.

Mark Osborne of Happy Product, Inc. fame made this landmark video: MORE.

You said that in life we have to do things which are bigger than us. And I agree.

Mo Gawdat is an important contemporary intellectual (author, speaker, etc). He used to work for big tech companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Google. He came up with the equation for happiness: “happiness is greater than or equal to your perception of the events in your life, minus your expectation of how life should behave.” He has made a lot of videos about the challenges we will face with AI which you can find on his website www.mogawdat.com. Two of his recent books include Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy and Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence and How You Can Save Our World. If you only have time for one of Mo’s video this one is a good one: Mo Gawdat: AI Today, Tomorrow and How You Can Save Our World (Nordic Business Forum 2023).

I mentioned the Curse of knowledge.


  • I know you’ve got reasons, they’re just wrong
  • I grew up without a t-shirt
  • I grew up without a television, which is why I’m better than everyone else
  • <3

Languages supported by Google Translate

See here:

Language Language code
Afrikaans af
Albanian sq
Arabic ar
Azerbaijani az
Basque eu
Bengali bn
Belarusian be
Bulgarian bg
Catalan ca
Chinese Simplified zh-CN
Chinese Traditional zh-TW
Croatian hr
Czech cs
Danish da
Dutch nl
English en
Esperanto eo
Estonian et
Filipino tl
Finnish fi
French fr
Galician gl
Georgian ka
German de
Greek el
Gujarati gu
Haitian Creole ht
Hebrew iw
Hindi hi
Hungarian hu
Icelandic is
Indonesian id
Irish ga
Italian it
Japanese ja
Kannada kn
Korean ko
Latin la
Latvian lv
Lithuanian lt
Macedonian mk
Malay ms
Maltese mt
Norwegian no
Persian fa
Polish pl
Portuguese pt
Romanian ro
Russian ru
Serbian sr
Slovak sk
Slovenian sl
Spanish es
Swahili sw
Swedish sv
Tamil ta
Telugu te
Thai th
Turkish tr
Ukrainian uk
Urdu ur
Vietnamese vi
Welsh cy
Yiddish yi

Direct, referral or organic traffic

Just trying to get my head around the ‘Direct’, ‘Referral’ and ‘Organic’ traffic classifications in Google Analytics. Basically ‘Direct’ is where there is no referrer header, e.g. user typed URL into address bar, clicked on link in email, etc. ‘Referral’ means some website referred the traffic, e.g. a link in an article on another website. ‘Organic’ means that one of a predefined set of search engines referred the traffic in response to a search.

Not sure how Google AdWords traffic is classified… I expect that would be ‘Referral’ as it’s not ‘Direct’ and not really ‘Organic’ either.