The memories grew stronger even as the impact faded to dust

Validating your thesis via an under-powered data set

I was thinking about going into someone’s house and re-labeling all the spice jars in their spice drawer or spice rack or wherever they keep their spices.

I think for some people they’d see the humor in this and be like “ha! all my spices have the wrong labels now!” and they’d really just roll with it. Maybe over time they’d learn the mapping from wrong label to actual spice in the jar and be able to operate more or less intact, even though any guest chefs operating in their kitchenétte would struggle to make sense of it all.

Other people would be like hey that’s sort of messed up I had really labeled all of those nicely and was in a groove with my spices and you just messed it up. They’d be a little disappointed in you and also upset with you. Maybe they’d go stew or brood in their room for a while.

What I’m not sure about is how to put an objective assessment on the act of relabeling someone’s spices that is removed from the subjective reaction that the prank-ee (the person who has had their spices relabeled) has to the prank-er. Is it a funny thing to do? Is it a mean/jerk sort of thing to do? Can you make either of these statements in the absence of knowledge of how the person reacts? Is there just not an answer?

Within the field of philosophy of ethics that I work in, we have the ideas of consequentialism where the moral character of an act is judged by the impact it has — in this case, if the spice owning person reacted negatively the act would be bad; and if they reacted positively the act would be good — and the idea of deontology or virtue ethics, which would look at the person who initiated the act (the spice relabeler) and what their intentions were, regardless of what the reaction was.

Another angle to contemplate here is what if the person whose spices were being relabeled had anticipated that this might happen someday, and had preemptively and proactively replaced the entire contents of their spice drawer with the spices from the drawer of the person doing the relabeling?! In this case the tables are flipped or the tide is turned or something, and we have what the millennial call a “self own”, I think.

Ranking every acorn you’ve ever seen in your life

Despite what you see in films, within the firearms industry it is understood that gun “silencers” can’t actually make shooting a gun totally quiet so they are instead called “suppressors”. The degree of muffling/quieting that you can achieve will vary a bit and depends on the properties of the ammunition being used, the weapon itself, the surrounding environment, etc.

One fun thing that emerges here though, is that since people making movies are not actually firing guns at other people in the movies, any time there’s a scene with a silencer being used on a gun where they are pretending it actually makes the gun really quiet, it’s the job of some person to go back in and ADD SOUND to make the sound of what a movie silencer makes a gun sound like. It’s typically like a little “pew pew” or “pfft” sort of sound. I bet the person adding that sound in has lots of moments throughout the day where they’ve got to take a long hard look in the mirror and think about what they’re really doing here.

A cool product to make would be to make a really really effective gun silencer that muffled like 99% of the firing sound … but then put a tiny little speaker on the silencer that let the user customize the actual sound being made! If you wanted to license one of the in-film silencer “pfft” sounds you could do that. Aa fun thing to do would be to hire a couple 12 year old boys who had been “playing guns” to get into a sound studio and make their own “pew” and “uht-uht-uht-uht-uht” (semi-automatic) noises, and then export these as high quality FLAC files that people could load onto their Alexa-powered Smart silencers.