#453 - Basketball and Nerd Stuff

5 minute read

In this Column: the coolest I can be juxtaposed with possibly the least cool I can be.

Basketball 🏀

I have a complicated relationship with basketball.


On one hand, I don’t love the game. People always want to talk to me about it, but I’ve never found basketball as enjoyable as I did skateboarding when I was younger, or playing pool, or even just a really good workout… on the other hand, I’m not bad at it. I don’t hate it. I would go so far as to say I really enjoy some parts about it: the process of simply shooting baskets, the workout, and the chance to play with people.

Basketball is the closest thing I have to experiencing human synchronicity. I’ve read about the feeling of performing, moving in-time with others, and the give-and-take that people find so joyous in choirs and choruses. That taps into some sort of very primal “part of the tribe” area of our evolutionary biology, and brings about a sense well-being. Or, at least that’s what supposedly happens. I’m not in a band, not in a chorus. The closest thing I have to being able to relate to that feeling is basketball. There are some guys I will always like - even though my only interaction with them was on a basketball court.

As of this writing, I just I played what is probably my last ever game basketball a couple days ago. It was the most in-sync I have felt with a group of guys in a very long time. We played well - in particular I had a great game. The final game of my career and I finally realized how to be ~6’9”.

I was never great at the game.

I lack the killer instinct that some people seem to be born with. I want to have fun. It was rare that I wanted to “beat” a team very badly, let alone “destroy” them. At best, I just didn’t want to lose a game. Even then, it was mostly so that people around me weren’t disappointed. Only a couple times in my life was I truly emotionally invested in basketball as a sport. Every single one of those times, I was actively playing. I cannot bring myself to care about watching someone else play a sport. I suspect this may change when I’m watching my sons play.


I suspect I’ll miss basketball, but only as a good reason to hang out with some particular dudes.


Fallout is a recently-released TV show on Amazon Prime, based on a video game series by the same name. The TV show is good, although I cannot really recommend it to anyone, per se. There are tons of off-putting aspects to the show (and video games) that happen to align with my tastes, but I could easily see many (perhaps most) not agreeing with. It’s silly, but also horrific. It plays up gore for laughs from time to time. If that’s not your bag, that makes total sense.

What I want to say about Fallout is how impressed I am with it as a show, and separately, how impressed I am about it as a video game.


The show looks incredible. The set design, costumes, locations, and effects are without exception phenomenal. They brought that world to life in immaculate detail. No part of that production was put together half-heartedly. They captured the spirit and the feel of the games so well. I very much enjoyed the show.

The video game is so incredibly technically amazing, despite the series being known for game-breaking glitches and bugs. When I played Fallout 4 eight years ago my mind was absolutely blown. They’ve made a living, breathing land. Complete with day-and-night cycles, hundreds of named characters, interwoven stories, dozens of types of enemies, hundreds of types of material, equipment, and weapons. Everything exists in the same, cohesive system. So so so much creativity packed into the experience.

As a person who writes code from time-to-time, I’m flabbergasted by the fact that things like Fallout can be made… which is embarrassing to admit because I know things like ChatGPT and the operating system I’m using right now are much more technically impressive than the bug-ridden franchise that is Fallout… but if you pulled some Pong-playing nerd from the year 1972 forward and tried to explain what Fallout: New Vegas is, I reckon they wouldn’t believe this sort of thing is possible.

Semantic Canvas

Coding is a superpower. This Column is running long and nobody probably cares about this but me, but I wrote and released a plug-in for the note taking app “Obsidian”, which is now generally available through their community plugin list: Semantic Canvas. It’s been installed by 889 people as of this writing.

It solves a problem I was having with the app. I wanted to be able to use the arrows you draw in Obsidian’s “Canvas” feature to modify the notes you put on it. That wasn’t possible. So made it possible. Took two days.


My plugin lets this canvas 👆 update all the notes it contains to reflect the groups they’re in & the canvas elements they’re linked to. As an example, the “Lisa” note, after running my plugin:


If that makes no sense to you, THAT’S ALRIGHT ENJOY THE TOP 5.

Top 5: New Notes

Sorry I wanted to take a break from writing about my notes, but I’m outta ideas.

5. Horizontal and Vertical Approaches

4. E Ink

3. Diagram Semantic Mechanisms

2. Case Types

1. Competing Prinicples


Uno, Dos, Tres, Patro, Cinco.  My son knows 80% of Spanish