Good Morning December 2nd, 2016

Good morning on this the second day of December in the year of our Lord 2016.

I’m not doing as good a job getting this written early in the morning as I had started out, but since the title sort of forms a theme, I’m going to stick with it for now in the hope that it will encourage me to get things done in the morning. At least they’re still getting done. šŸ™‚

I went to the gym last night in the first time in a long time. Really since around the time my wife was pregnant with my third child. The gym has a room where they watch kids while the parents exercise, which we’d taken advantage of before, but that started to involve too much negotiation. We’ll see how that goes, but I’m hoping to take advantage of it to buy the time to actually get to the gym. I’m significantly closer to 40 than I am to 30, so I’m entering the age where I simply can’t afford to not work out. Especially given that I have a desk job by which I earn my livelihood. (I’m a programmer if I haven’t mentioned that before.) My preferred form of exercise is lifting weights, and it’s absurdly tempting to lift at close to what I had been lifting before (which was never all that high; two years ago I could do perhaps 4 reps of dumbbell presses (bench press but with dumbbells) with the 120lbs dumbells, and clean-and-press about 135lbs). But that’s a terrible idea. Even if I can lift close to it, the risk of injury is pretty high. So I’m stuck doing tiny amounts of weight for a few weeks at least. And I’m using the machines rather than the free weights to really play it safe. But if I do a good job playing it safe, at least I’ll be back to lifting real amounts of weight in a few months. It takes a long time to recover from injuries.

In other news, I got a comment on my review of the song Can’t Feel My Face:

The commenter was saying that the song wasn’t about addiction to romance or sex, but to cocaine. The “she” in the song is cocaine, personified. And googling around a little, he’s not the only one to take that interpretation. And a point in his favor, cocaine is a topical anaesthetic. It’s related to novocaine, lidocaine, and benzocaine and in fact there is medical cocaine which is used to numb areas prior to some types of surgery. It’s not as common as the others, but it’s a powerful vasoconstrictor and so there are applications where that helps. Anyway, this does suggest an explanation for the otherwise very strange metaphor “I can’t feel my face”. Since cocaine is usually snorted, it would make sense that it numbs at least the nose and possibly a wider area of the face. I will note that if the lyrics are personifying cocaine, they’re not well written, as they suggest the cocaine gets numb, whereas the cocaine doesn’t change. (That’s very artistically significant when personifying objects; how little they are is one of the most powerful things brought across in such a personification.) Anyway, I did cover the addiction interpretation of this song in my review, though I took it as romantic/sexual addiction, not cocaine (the cocaine angle hadn’t occurred to me, since the lyrics didn’t suggest it and never having used cocaine facial numbness isn’t instantly connected with cocaine in my mind). But I didn’t spend much time on this because addiction is boring. Addiction is most interesting to aspiring addicts; to almost everyone else it’s just about the most boring thing there is.

(By “aspiring addicts” I mean the people who are flirting with addiction. In the Catholic baptismal vows there’s a line, “Do you reject Satan? And all his works? And all his empty promises?” People flirting with addiction are in the position of hearing the empty promises but not really progressing onto the works part, where they find out that the promises are empty. So they’re full of hope because they’re tantalized by the promises they don’t realize are empty. And empty promises can promise so much! If you don’t plan to deliver on your promises, you might as well make very grandiose promises, after all.)

I don’t mean to keep ending on downers. If you’ve got a mathematical background, perhaps you’ll enjoy Klein Four’s Finite Simple Group of Order Two:

Or, more accessible, is this I Will Derive video that youtube recommended to me after I re-watched Finite Simple Group of Order Two:

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