Kodi Arfer


These pages mirror my Facebook status updates.

#459 |

In fantasy games, it never appeals to me to play a race that's almost but not quite human, such as elves (fancy humans), dwarves (grouchy humans), or halflings (hungry humans). I feel like, if I'm not gonna play a human, I might as well go full furry and play a cyan dog-person with an acidic stinger or something.

#458 |

A song you don't like can be even more painful to hear when it's by a band you really like. In the cafeteria in college, I remember recognizing that they were playing a particular Beach Boys compilation album, Sounds of Summer. I was desperate to finish lunch and get out of there before they got to "Sloop John B".

#457 |

With the help of cutting-edge psychological science, I've unlocked the ability to use 100% of my brain. Here's how I allocate my vast cerebral resources on a typical day:

#456 |

A lot of movies have the hero accidentally stumble into a harem or a girls' day at the pool or some other place with a large concentration of underdressed young women. I want a movie where the hero has to run through a mildewed YMCA men's locker room where a bunch of nude octogenarians are yelling at each other while blow-drying their pubic hair.

#455 |

The ability to reset passwords by email is the Internet's gift to criminals. No matter how good your passwords are, somebody who gets access to your email also gets access to every other account you have with every other Internet service. To increase security, many services have added two-factor authentication where one factor is your email and the other factor is your password, which can be reset with your email.

#454 |

I don't know who started the trend of writing out every digit of large round integers, like "12,000,000,000,000" for 12 trillion—maybe it was Randall Munroe, in xkcd #558—but I don't like it. My ability to distinguish billions from trillions shouldn't depend on how accurately I count thousands separators. That's just asking for trouble.

#453 |

DID YOU KNOW? Infinity is very big, even bigger than 400.

#452 |

At a party a few years ago, I spoke to somebody who had recently gotten a graduate degree in acupuncture. I said that doing good research on acupuncture seems difficult, but sham acupuncture makes things a lot clearer by providing a way to untangle placebo effects from treatment effects. She replied that there's no such thing as sham acupuncture. I resisted the temptation to ask what she spent all that time in school doing if acupuncture is no different from randomly sticking needles into people.

#451 |

The day I lost my innocence was the day I learned that Seinfeld was filmed in Los Angeles.

#450 |

It is said that you should do one thing every day that scares you. For example, the first thing I do every day is get out of bed.

#449 |

A few days ago, I had exactly 1,336 points of reputation on Stack Overflow, but then I got 10 more instead of just 1. Hello darkness, my old friend…

#448 |

Overheard in New York:

#447 |

In fantasy fiction, one can gain power over another creature by learning its "true name": an ancient, original name the creature has tried to purge from written records, because whoever knows it may be able to use it to do great harm. Indeed, fantasy protagonists should consider that misgendering someone on purpose is a low blow.

#446 |

They say there are two kinds of mathematicians: analysts and algebraists. I'm not much of a mathematician, but I'm definitely more of an analyst than an algebraist. One of the things that distinguishes these mindsets is the analyst's dependence on visual metaphor to reason about the objects of study. We see the missing limit points in the rational numbers as holes in a line, and we see vectors in a Banach space as specks in an ocean. By contrast, it is said that when a great algebraist was asked how he visualized a group, he replied "I see a big letter G."

#445 |

What I think: nobody appreciates my work.

What is actually the case: my work isn't widely acknowledged as being the best of its kind in history and the key to solving all of humanity's problems, which is the minimum required to satisfy my colossal vanity.

#444 |

One of several canceled Space Jam sequels was to star Tony Hawk. Warner Bros. got as far as shooting the first scene, but Hawk never showed up on set, just some other random guy who claimed to be him.

#443 |

Today I'm launching a brand-new pornography site. Check out all these exciting features:

#442 |

The undocumented function crash_and_print_an_error_message works in any programming language. Except JavaScript, of course.

#441 |

Mexico and the US are basically the same country. Both

#440 |

There should be a band named Ship of Theseus that replaces its oldest member every month.

#439 |

Sometimes, I accidentally mix up "neat" and "nice" and say "nece" (homophonic with "niece"), but maybe I should use "nece" deliberately as part of my noble quest to become more insufferable.

#438 |

Making software updates mandatory to protect people from forgetting to update is like making cellphones automatically call the address-book entry named "Mom" periodically to protect people from forgetting to talk to their parents.

#437 |

In future ages, when I am the preeminent legendary figure of the third millennium, people will naturally want to refer to me by a suitably heroic epithet. But what epithet will they use? Sure, something like "Kodi the Great" has a nice ring to it, but I deserve better. Here's some candidate epithets for future generations to consider:

#436 |

"The children were not allowed to help, but they loved looking on, and almost felt that, if they looked on earnestly enough, they must, in some strange mysterious way, be actually helping. You know the feeling, I daresay." —E. Nesbit (The Magic City, 1910)

#435 |

Using Roman numerals for numbers larger than 3 is just showing off.

#434 |

A mere glance at history shows that the politics of previous centuries involved just as much corruption and mudslinging as the politics of today, or maybe even more. Then again, it is said that James A. Garfield could write Latin with one hand while writing the same sentence in Greek with the other hand, so perhaps something has been lost.

#433 |

It's surprising how programmer-hostile a lot of programs are, considering who wrote them.

#432 |

"The Sequel"

Spinning down the drain,
The falcon cannot hear the falconer,
Probably because its ears are full of water.
The sink falls apart
(Including the center of the sink).
Somehow, this leads to anarchy.
But then again, it's mere anarchy.
Nothing too catastrophic,
Like the descent of a society into lawless disorder or something.
But not so mere that there isn't a whole ocean of blood out there!
Which drowns a ceremony of innocence.
However that works. Talk about mixed metaphors.
Of course,
This all ties into the Dunning-Kruger effect.

This seems like a good time for Jesus to show up again.
As if on cue,
Some kind of sphingian Antichrist appears.
I hate it when that happens.
But wait,
It has…
Slow thighs.
I can't decide if that sounds more like a blues musician, an exercise routine, or a kind of roast.
The buzzards are understandably indignant
That something uglier than them
Has insolently come into existence.
Anyway, we set off too many IEDs in the Middle East
And now this thing is gonna Godzilla the Holy Land.
Great work as always, humanity.
Actually, this poem was written in 1919,
So it probably wasn't about that.
Good thing nothing else terrible happened
In the decades following the Great War.

#431 |

In 2015, you saw the black-and-blue dress or the white-and-gold dress. In 2018, you heard "Laurel" or "Yanny". Now get ready to smell puke or Parmesan cheese.

#430 |

There's a canonically transgender Disney Princess. You see, Disney owns Marvel. Marvel published two different comic-book adaptions (one in 1975, one in 2009) of L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz. In this book, the first of many sequels to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the main character is a boy named Tip. But Tip turns out to have been magically transformed as a baby to hide his identity. His original identity, which he resumes when the transformation is undone at the end of The Marvelous Land, is that of the rightful heir to the throne of Oz: Princess Ozma.

#429 |

MYTH: People use "BCE" and "CE" instead of "BC" and "AD" to annoy Christians.

FACT: People use "BCE" and "CE" instead of "BC" and "AD" to preempt pedants who will catch them when they forget to put "AD" before the year.

#428 |

Scholars have recently discovered the lost original ending of Hamlet. Here are the final two lines.

Fortinbras: And what dost thou call this tragic spectacle?
Horatio: The Aristocrats!

#427 |

Our concern for the intentions of the Framers of the Constitution seems misplaced. If James Madison told you to jump off a cliff (being necessary to the security of a free state), would you?

#426 |

"If you keep making that smug look, your face will get stuck like that." —Bill Maher's mom, probably

#425 |

What's the difference between a geek and a nerd? Well, consider the name Wronski, in its various spellings. If it makes you think of linear algebra, you're a geek. If it makes you think of Anna Karenina, you're a nerd. If it makes you think of an incredibly obscure Harry Potter character, then I don't know what you are, but it's terminal.

#424 |

I was excited when I heard that BuzzFeed had published a listicle of the top 10 albino statisticians born on a Sunday who dislike peas, but less so when I learned that it had me as an "honorable mention".

#423 |

Here are some notable prompts and error messages from video games. (N.B. All of these are real.)

#422 |

"My worse-is-better is better than your worse-is-better because I'm better at being worser!" —Larry Wall (2007)

#421 |

We all have our own idea about who the best Democratic candidate for president is, but if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that there isn't enough candidates. To that end, I'm happy to announce that I'm throwing my hat in the ring. Here's my platform:

#420 |

Video-game testers used to be paid, but thanks to "early access", you can now pay a company for the privilege of testing their half-finished games.

#419 |

I can believe that Bill Burr's slow-witted, petulant, yet spineless personality is just part of his shtick. He's obviously a talented comedian. It's just that I'm not sure how many of his fans are in on the joke, the same way that Archie Bunker had a lot of fans who didn't quite get the point. If the Internet has taught me anything, it's that extensive roleplaying as an idiot, or a jerk, or a racist, tends to attract the genuine article. In the words of the great sage Michael Jackson, "be careful of what you do, 'cause the lie becomes the truth."

#418 |

"The smallest thing can make somebody sexually unappealing. A misplaced mole or a particular hair pattern can do it. There's no reason for this but it's just as well." —Jenny Holzer (1989)

#417 |

This is so sad. Alexa, play the one about the smart guy who got lost after he blew up Troy.

#416 |

Proof that Julius is the most powerful Belmont of them all: he can stand exactly one pixel above the ground. http://arfer.net/microblog/img/julius.png

#415 |

I'm 30 and I still feel like I'm lying when I tell a website that I'm over 18.