A Hundred for the 100th

This is my 100th post. It took me more than five years to get here, and I thought a minor celebration would be fitting.

What should I do? What’s relatively stress-free for me to fiddle around with over summer? What’s different from my usual yearly reviews? What’s a good arena for micro-jokes and playing with patterns? What’s at an appropriate level of self-absorption? What will make people think I’m cool?

Haikus of course!

Could I summarize each of my 100 posts with a three-line poem of 5, then 7, then 5 again syllables, inspired by a traditional Japanese form of poetry, and ideally containing semi-cryptic wisdom and a “turn” of some kind?

Turns out I could. It wasn’t that hard, and a surprisingly enjoyable set of small puzzles to dive into and work on here and there. I recommend it.

Here they are, from the beginning to now.


1) Origin Story
This is the story,
of why i spend all this time
It had to come out

2) Erisology
On disagreement
From many points we can speak
One word is needed

3) Illusory Communion
I don’t know people
…now I think I do

4) The Underdetection of Fiction Logic
I struggle with worlds
with the hand of God present
That’s just who I am

5) A Tiny Mountain
It should be small but feels big

6) Conversations Going Critical
Ideas touch ideas
Pull one and others follow
Prune or it explodes

7) Problems and Challenges
Language lies too much
Language covers and reveals
Language hurts and bores

8) My Shadow Twin Sister
At a point in time
before an app could show me
Tried to picture her

9) “Literally” Literally Explained
So often misused?
It’s not as dumb as it sounds
It’s not that simple

10) There Are Four Seasons
Despite what Nate said
the year can be quartered
Use sine and cosine

11) Idea Infatuation
You must close early
when the message is in bloom
Too soon it wilters

12) Why I Love the ESC
Grand and bombastic
Complex and systematic
Fun and fantastic

13) The Charms of Foreign Language Music
Tricky sequences
Meaning is not in the way
Alien soundscapes

14) Partial Derivatives and Partial Narratives
I see a circle
But you claim to see a square
Chose different facts

15) Argument Sniping
Why did you say that?
It will not stop nagging me
“This is why it’s wrong”

16) Do Say “Could Care Less”
Degenerate phrase
It has some logic to it
That’s language for you

17) Hiatus
Been away for months
It will not happen again
Not for plenty years

18) Case Study: The War on Christmas
What counts as a war?
If you think it’s clear, you’re wrong
It’s over background

19) Varieties of “Black Mirror” Appreciation – A Statistical Analysis
Crunching the numbers
Of a show that went downhill
I love PCA

20) Erisology, Take Two
I try this again
So many relevant fields
Tie them together

21) Hating Mr. Collins
Why is he hated
Despite nice behavior
He’s not appealing


22) Superweapon Proliferation Worries
New orange top dog
New poisons in the water
New ways to not hear

23) In Defence of Evidence Resistance
when weaker than expected
Backfire rational

24) Science, the Constructionists, and Reality
I did learn a lot
Reading things I didn’t like
From which end the real?

25) Mass-producing Hansons
I just met Robin
His many hats are impressive
Make others like him?

26) Reactions to Infinite Jest
I read a long book
It was an experience
Better afterwards

27) People Are Different
It’s easy to forget
the title of this blog post
It always matters

28) All the World’s a Trading Zone, and All the Languages Merely Pidgins
Every one of us
A culture unto itself
I’m a foreigner

29) The Eurovision Song Contest Taste Landscape
What is the reason
Countries vote for their neighbors
Birds of a feather

30) The Good, the True and the Undefined
Stop with the madness
It does not have to be perfect
It can never be

31) Rant on Arrival
I liked the first half
Because unlike the second one
It was cerebral

32) Introducing r/erisology
Shortest post of all
(Unnecessary filler)
A new subreddit

33) Erisology of Self and Will, Part 1: Introduction
I wrote a thesis
Imported claims cause trouble
Here in seven parts

34) Erisology of Self and Will, Part 2: Representative Campbell Speaks
Charles’s magic act
It’s from nothing and from you
Duty, thus freedom

35) Erisology of Self and Will, Part 3: A Naturalist Offering
An extended self
Embodied, distributed
Chain, of memes, in meat

36) Erisology of Self and Will, Part 4: The Gulf
Tale of two systems
Bits from one in the other
Now there’s scar tissue

37) Erisology of Self and Will, Part 5: Campbellianism in the Wild
People think like him
Illustrated by comments
Choices are magic

38) Erisology of Self and Will, Part 6: The Need and the Reasons
Here comes the payoff
This is why, and why it’s wrong
“Mind is matter” works

39) Erisology of Self and Will, Part 7: Closing thoughts
Conclusion: hybrid
Hard determinism: dead end
Next step: maybe wait

40) On Chords, Maps and Effects in Art
It’s all about fit
Chords fit themselves, maps the world
Effects caused by it

41) Dangers at Dilettante Point
Rising up in rank
Goes disproportionately fast
Know lots and little

42) The Big List of Existing Things
Don’t poke existence
“Things” fall apart when questioned
Fixes are band aids

43) Guest Post: Editing for All
Soon it will arrive
Not as soon as many want
Did it for the kids

44) Signed Google Translate
A robot poet
A post became word salad
A set of small laughs

45) The Nerd as the Norm
What if wambs were odd?
The shoe on the other foot
We would see this guide

46) My Week in the Real World
No phone between jobs
A week of books and paper
A lot reappears

47) A Lament on Simler Et Al
Seeming paradox
Selfish genes make kind people
There is no problem

48) The Signal and the Corrective
I’m right and you’re right
In that order or no deal
Two steps require trust


49) Leaving 2017 for 2018
First yearly review
This year I got up to speed
Things are going well

50) Wordy Weapons of Is-Ought Alloy
Endpoints: facts, slogans
In the space between the two
seconds pose as firsts

51) Beliefs as Endorsements
A queer word, “believe”
This is true, or this is good
And any in between

52) Six Kinds of Reading
Add, connect, or twist
Reading rearranges you
A bit or a lot

53) Musical Interlude
It’s all counterpoint
My hobby before this one
Fugues, chaconnes, and misc

54) Voices on the Genius of the Bit Artists
The strongest of all
Evokes the most by the least
It’s all in your head

55) A Deep Dive into the Harris-Klein Controversy
Sam, Charles and Ezra
A whirlwind on our nature
A big hit for me

56) The Eurovision Song Contest: A Meaning-Making Machine
Slow, gradual growth
Focus on a single point
Thrown forward in time

57) Decoupling Revisited
Coda of the deep dive
picked up and spread like fire
Time for subtler take

58) Postmodernism vs. The Pomoid Cluster
Pomo’s in the news
The word hurts more than it helps
There is something there

59) 30 Fundamentals
To grok what I write
You must know from where it comes
On this it all stands

60) Facing the Elephant
Minds can’t be trusted
Book with no news but its whole
So much signaling

61) The More The Merrier
Many eyes can see
No eye can see all at once
Gather many eyes

62) Taste Books That Don’t Take Off
Two writers on taste
Small candies don’t satisfy
Where can I get steak?

63) Anatomy of Racism
It’s a hundred things
Multiplied by overuse
There is not one source

64) I, LPC
Again: words confuse
A dash each: lib, prog, and con
Makes: my position

65) The Romeo And Juliet Fallacy
Families say no
When theories have no quarrel
Also tragedy

66) 2018 in Review
Ending a good year
Let’s keep a good thing going
Now cue fireworks


67) A Meta-Meditation
Stream of consciousness
Works for some but not for me
I critique myself

68) Postscript to a Podcast
I spoke to Peter
First time being interviewed
I critique myself

69) The Tilted Political Compass, Part 1: Left and Right
Standard one’s no good
This at forty-five degrees
With two new axes

70) The Tilted Political Compass, Part 2: Up and Down
Two quadrants last time
Representing left and right
Here’s the remainder

71) A Defense of Erisology
I got criticized
Some fair, most beside the point
This is what I mean

72) A Disagreement About Disagreement
Someone visited
Responded without reading
I spent too much time

73) In Favor of Sometimes Sounding Like a Robot
Don’t use some words, yo
Makes you sound robotic, yo
Robots have strengths, yo!

74) The Prince and the Figurehead
Intent or mistake?
Two part mind solves the riddle
Take back your kingdom

75) Interpretation Matrix: Free Trade Benefits Everyone
Two rather than one
useful ambiguities
makes one phantom truth

76) Cat Couplings
This or the other?
Picking one destroys the trick
You’ll see it a lot

77) Erisology, Round Three
Third time’s a charm
Or a stage in long process
Improves on second

78) The End of 2019
Success and hiccup
I need to find the way back
In more ways than one


79) It’s Not So Only
Semantics matter
Categorization too
Prompted by debate

80) Picking Apart Eugenics
Prompted by a tweet
Another post about words
Now extra spicy

81) Review: The AI Does Not Hate You
The first part of three
Prompted by Tom Chivers’s book
Actual review

82) Leftovers from Last Time
Second part of three
Decent, valid, assorted
It had to be cut

83) Good vs. Good
Subjective or not?
On which side lies the standard?
Depends on the tongue!

84) To Die Happily Ever After
Final part of three
I suspect we desire
an end without end

85) Turnabout Trash: An Exercise in Lowbrow Cryptonormativism
One revenge, served warm,
with a side of contrition
Cake had — and eaten

86) Notes on Notes
is nonlinear
And an image of thinking
a web you can read

87) Ahistorical Siblings
Lacking history
It’s a crime like no other
What if there were more?

88) Fantasia For Two Voices
No thought comes alone
Pull and it’d all unravel
if we could just speak

89) Variations on the Tilted Political Compass
Engine kept running
One foursquare was not enough
Didn’t stop at ten

90) Hindsight in 2020
Another year gone
One uncommonly alone
Pun finally done


91) I Hate the Plate
Her bucket, my plate
I need it to be empty
It never happens

92) A Quickie on Cancel Culture Questions
Question came to me
Answer too long for a tweet
Whipped this up instead

93) Platist Politics
Others’ needs are tasks
They need to be kept in mind
Those with plates — in pain

94) Abolish Secret Ballots
Secrecy is bad
No accountability
Everyone must know

95) Further Comments on a Joke
Jokes die by the cut
But I couldn’t help myself
This is how and why

96) Love Letter to an Encyclopedia
We have many first loves
They all make their mark on us
Here’s my firmament

97) Rereading Defenders of the Truth: The Sociobiology Debate
Some trepidation
With an old inspiration
Got confirmation

98) Cat Couplings Revisited
I kept finding them
Ambiguities galore
All had not been said

99) Political Capital Flow Management and the Importance of Yutting
Mining and minting
Makes ruthless exploitation
Towards the heat death

100) A Hundred for the 100th
This points to itself
A haiku about haikus
Finally finished

• • •

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5 thoughts on “A Hundred for the 100th

  1. Haikus are puzzles
    as opposed to poetry
    I used to not know

    In a usual instance of missing the ill-specified but important for the well formalized, I used to think that poetry was about rhyming and rhythm. Despite being forced to learn concepts such as metonimy, it took me until …er, sometime in my twenties to realize that the latter is what poetry is actually about. In my case, it was foreign-language music being unexpectedly useful because, looking up and reading the lyrics, their literal meaning was for the most part reasonably quickly understandable, whereas their connotations took appreciably longer to comprehend.


    1. I’m not sure I get your point, but it seems clear to me that poetry, like art in general, until quite recently was understood to be about both those aspects (“puzzleness” and expressive meaning) at once, with its a big part of the challenge and the delight when it’s done well.


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