Hi friends! What a year, what a year. That's all I have to say about electoral politics. Seriously though, can you believe it's November already? Time to plan the holiday movie roster ❄️

Perhaps you'd enjoy a serene interlude. Visit the Wanderpath gazebo to contemplate "icicles which glimmer and glitter in the faint sunlight." Or run your eyes over the dreamy hues of flowers pressed in warmer days. (Thank you Polyducks 💝)

Today's soundtrack: Revelations II by Khan & Polo. "alone, you build new structures; some that you live inside, some that live inside you."

I have something to celebrate. Twelve months ago, I stopped drinking:

Helpful support groups: /r/stopdrinking and /r/dryalcoholics.

For me, eschewing booze was an unequivocally wonderful decision. But a difficult one, as you might expect. I want to share two hard-won realizations:

  1. Change requires loss. To be different, you have to do different things, to the exclusion of the things that you used to do. Maybe that sounds obvious, but the actual practice is terrifying (or at least it was for me). Change requires sacrificing the old self — stabbed through the heart and consigned to the grave, a vampire destroyed for its predatory concupiscence! Ideally with compassion, since that used to be you... Nonetheless, the old self's cherished pleasures are precisely what you must relinquish. It will torment you to retaliate for the privation of venal delights. Thus, like the vampire, the old self has gotta go. Ready your stake!
  2. Change requires choosing that pain and strife over the comfortable familiarity of stasis. It will hurt. But the price is the price — either pay up or accept that you don't want the finer things in life more than you want to avoid what it takes to attain them.

Related: "Don't just try harder," writes David MacIver. Do different things! While you're at it, read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

In unrelated happy news, the membership setup is fixed. Now I can tell you how I broke it: by changing my prices, which scrambled the Ghost-Stripe integration. Anyway, I got that sorted out. The new monthly price is $1.50 cheaper than before — $12/month instead of $13.50, or $120/year versus $135. Hooray for small economies of scale!

Current members, the price change is prorated, and no action is needed on your part. Potential members, if you'd like to receive monthly zines (both printed and digital!) as well as occasional Top Secret Special Notes, please go here to proceed.

Launches you may like:

Plus one bonus not-quite-launch snagged from David Auerbach's newsletter:

The videos/lectures from my class FIVE PARADIGMS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE are available. The course was very rewarding for me and the material is extremely relevant to present-day debates. They also form the historical basis of my forthcoming book from PublicAffairs, MEGANETS, which has been occupying most of my time recently.

In addition to his TinyLetter and that YouTube playlist, David has a website, a blog, and Twitter.

A few things to read:

That's all for now. Talk soon 😘

P.S. I dare you to buy a Mystery Zine Bundle. Great stocking stuffers, jussayin...

Still life by Pieter Claesz (1643).