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Siddhesh Recommends - February 2023
The best stuff I've listened to, watched, and read last month.
Siddhesh Recommends is a series in which I share the most memorable stuff I come across each month.
These posts are transient - I keep only the three most recent ones on the website. You can email me for previous ones and subscribe for the latest.
Reflections on Aphantasia (article)
“I am unable to visualize. When I close my eyes and try to imagine something, nothing swims into my mind’s eye. If you tell me to “picture” someone I love, I’ll recall a sense of their qualities, or how they make me feel. But their face will remain shrouded.
Sometimes, I forget that most people are not this way. Then I’ll mention it to someone and they’ll lose their shit. One friend recently asked me, “so what happens if you close your eyes and try to picture a Jedi.” Here is what happens: I hear the swing of a lightsaber, I smile at the beautiful absurdity of the Star Wars franchise, and I understand that the image, if it existed, would contain a white tunic. It’s a centerless cluster of ideas, playing out in different corners of the mental workspace.”
I also have some degree of aphantasia and this was a comforting read.
“This past thanksgiving, I asked my mother how old she was in her head. She didn’t pause, didn’t look up, didn’t even ask me to repeat the question, which would have been natural, given that it was both syntactically awkward and a little odd. We were in my brother’s dining room, setting the table. My mother folded another napkin. “Forty-five,” she said.
She is 76.
Why do so many people have an immediate, intuitive grasp of this highly abstract concept—“subjective age,” it’s called—when randomly presented with it? It’s bizarre, if you think about it. Certainly most of us don’t believe ourselves to be shorter or taller than we actually are. We don’t think of ourselves as having smaller ears or longer noses or curlier hair. […] Yet we seem to have an awfully rough go of locating ourselves in time.”
What it’s like to dissect a cadaver (article)
“There's a crazy amount of connective tissue, and it makes a creepy wireframe surrounding your skeleton. Even the space between the folds of the brain has it.
If you exercise, we'll know. Their insides just look different. "It's who you are inside that matters" is a much creepier sentence now.”
Advice to aimless, excited programmers (article)
“Stop and think about all of your personal interests and solve a simple problem related to one of them.”
Guy who gets all his opinions from rate your music (3 min. video)
Exactly the kind of niche comedy I relate to.
Getting past Indian immigration (3 min. video)
Also very funny.
Ali G interviews Noam Chomsky (3 min. video)
Discovered Ali G recently and been binge watching his interviews. Ali G x Chomsky has got to be the most unexpected crossover of all time. Comments also funny.
Can we still enjoy The Social Network? (26 min. video)
Banger video essay. Highly recommended if you’ve seen the film.
“We do what we do; not because it is easy, but because we thought it would be easy.”
- The Programmer's Credo