Inigo Quilez   ::     ::  
1402 blog posts, written between 2008 and 2016. These are mostly short observations, funny thoughts and word playing. Some are embarrasingly corny, some more deep. I keep it here mostly a little time capsule for myself, organized by month:

March 2014
kids think different
There's this little girl sitting in front of me in the train, next to her mum. Mum reads a book, and the girl is drawing colors in one of those books for kids to colorize.

I observe her process, and realize she seems not to be interested in realism and chooses random colors for faces, trees or sky. The sky is brown, the trees yellow, the sun blue. However, despite she sucks at picking colors, I notice she's really good at segmenting the regions in the image. She easily identifies sections of the image and never draws outside the lines.

And then I think, perhaps computer vision and artificial intelligence scientist should let kids design the recognition algorithms. I wonder if kids would have things to teach the computers that adults scientists have forgotten?
how come nobody has though of this yet?
Glowing shower curtains. You'd think this would exist, but no, nobody has invented it yet. I've looked for it. Imagine, showering in the dark!
the travelers of the late night cable car
late night cable car. intimate and charming.

you only see one or two passengers in them at most, but it feels like actually there's lots of spirits traveling with us, the spirits that just woke up and go to their night jobs at this time, still yawning, carrying their ghost briefcases. i can almost sense them sitting here next to me right now, in this cable car.

i also don't get used to this one
In America, why do elevators (and floors) start at 1?? It fucks with my mind every time, I don't seem to get used to it.

You know, all the feet and inch and mile mess, even the pounds and Fahrenheit degree messiness, alright, I guess there's some historical reason behind that and the hating the decimal system. But buildings and elevators... really, was that necessary? Can't you just count cardinal numbers like everybody else? Aixxxxxx
took me a while
i just understood something important for me.

for quite some time i though that i don't like people. and i have good reasons for believing so.

what i just understood is that i do like them, but only one at a time. in the close distance, in the intimacy, in a dialog (or a shared moment). and that's not exclusively reserved to women - i do like people in general, just like anybody else does. when in the one to one dynamics.

it's the gatherings, meetings, parties and dinners of people that i sometimes don't like.

it took me a while to realize
who comes first?
google glass users, or people wearing shoes with toes?

which one is a bigger jackass?
iconic identity,
idealized immeasurability.

i imagine it interminable,
indefinitely increasing.

insanely immense.

ironically, it is


isn't it incredibly intriguing? inviting? irresistible?
they can't "handle" it
brown paper grocery bags without handles.

i know, again. it really fucks with my mind.

and, i am positive the existence of such thing MUST be somehow related to the american tradition of driving a car (!) to do grocery shopping. i'm not sure which explains which, but there's a link there for sure (as in "because of shit, then more shit").
what exactly is it in the physiology of sneezing that makes us completely halt all other operations when we are going to sneeze?

even if something is itching or you are in the middle of peeing or shitting or yawning, no matter what, if a sneeze is coming all of the former needs will halt and let the sneeze take over as if it was a live or death emergency situation, just to resume afterwards with the regular operations. i think human body is even ready to halt an ongoing fart, a sudden and imminent sneeze happened to need attention at the same time.

what i'm not sure is whether sneeze wins to hiccup as well or not.
one of those days
today is one of those days.

i know i have an intense day of work ahead, but despite of it, or perhaps because of it, i'm taking it easy with my commute. it's a warm day too, so that helps for sure with my improvised decision...

... to not jump in my bike, but leave it home and walk to the cable car stop instead
... to meet there with the old ladies who come from doing groceries and wait together with them for the car
... to get in the car, close my eyes and hear the sounds of the city
... to feel the intermittent sun and shadows from the sky and the buildings
... to feel the gravity pull my body as we climb and descend the hills
... to open my eyes when i smell and hear we arrive to chinatown, and suddenly be thrilled with all the colors and frenetic life
... to arrive to my destination in financial district and see all the people take a break under the sun by the little flower kiosk

today is indeed one of those days. i must confess i do actually have quite a few such days. but i don't allow myself to feel bad about it. because, isn't this living and working thing a bit about these "one of those days" moments?
only adults care
A friend described today how funny it was when she saw that a family composed of a kid and the parents got scared when they suddenly bumped into a naked man and they realized they were in a nude beach.

My own mental interpretation of the facts is that actually only the parents got scared at first, that the kid was not. Because I don't think that children have any problem with nudity, unless educated otherwise. At least I never had any problems myself with it. In fact, I naturally got used to nudity early on my childhood and I was just fine with it.

Clearly, unlike spiders or dogs with sharp teeth, kids don't have any natural instinct of protection against vaginas, penises or boobies, and there's no need for it. It's not like vaginas eat children or something. I'd say that any feeling of discomfort in the presence of nudity is purely cultural, an arbitrary artifact of your local social environment.

So yeah, I'm pretty sure the kid would have been just fine and happy and looking at the waves as long as his/her parents had behaved cool, relaxed and normal about the nudity in the beach. But the parents freaked out, so the kid learnt the lesson that nudity is, for some undetermined reason, scary. And under the lack of a reason for it, perhaps the kid built the idea that nudity is scary in itself!

And I agree with my friend that the situation was funny. But at the same time it's yet another example of how certain nonsense ideas/values perpetuate themselves.
just because somebody is drawing in black and red markers while a narrators talks about something, it doesn't mean it's true, that the creators have any clue of what they are talking about, or that the explanation is good. all that it means is they are just trying to be trendy.

i felt the urge to point it out.
just a dream
i dreamed tonight, which is rare. no matter how much you tell me we all dream every night but not always remember it, i'm pretty sure i do not dream but some rare times.

tonight i was in a castle somewhere in Normandy. i was with a bigger group doing something that required us to stay there a few days, although this had been our first day of work. it had been something involving tv cameras and computers, but i'm unsure what it was. we were finally finished with work and i got some spare time, so i decided to explore the castle.

it's getting dark, the sun was already set, but the sky is still blue. i walk downstairs and find the store with souvenirs. it's installed in a old room of the castle, protected by a heavy door and two metallic dragon wings above it. i open the door and go in to explore the books, figurines, soaps and gothic-medieval decoration they are selling. the are two more persons browsing items, and the old storekeeper in the back is cleaning an old statue. there's Meret Becker's Gläsernes Gesicht playing. I see there's another room next by this one through an open door that has some stairs going down. i can hear some voices coming from there. the man asks me "how can i help you" in English, to which i reply "oh". i have nothing to ask him really. but then i remember i have a broken pink crystal in my left pocket. "perhaps you can fix this for me?". i take the crystal out and lay it on his desk. he looks at it and replies "sure". he pulls out some sort of unguent and starts preparing the crystal for the reparation. in the meanwhile i glimpse some movement in the side room with the voices. "the glue will take some minutes to dry". i nod to the man. the voices and moving shadows from the small room finally materialize in two young women and a young man, who seem to be very excited. "je pense que c'est le dix-huit de janvier", says the blonde one. the three of them do obviously have a great sense of clothing and style. they are super excited about whatever happens january 18th. i know i'll be there still around in the castle working, so i decide to ask "qu'est-ce qui se passe le dix-huit?". they look at me and immediately reply "il ya un festival de musique païenne ici dans le chateau!". now i realize what i came here for. "hahaha, oh mon dieu, bien sure!" i answer. the notice my accent and ask "where are you from" in english. "je suis basque" i reply. "oh dad, he's basque!". the three of them seem very excited about it. the old man replies "i see. speaking of what, monsieur, this is your crystal, it's fixed. it will be 5 euros". i pay the man.

end of dream.

there's nothing special to the dream really. i know people dream very verbally and build complex stories in their minds, but my dreams, when i dream, are really more of a simple idea or situation or shape, usually a bit more abstract, not really a story with characters and stuff. so this dream is very unusual for me. and i am surprised this dream happened at all!
a delicate line
Taking the wrong train just because you've seen an attractive woman get in it?

At that point, the difference between being a creep or just a man in spring depends on if you got in the train on purpose or unconsciously.

Such a delicate line.
For three years the main phone, internet and tv company here has been (and of course still keeps) sending me the same TV-subscription offer letter every single week, without a miss. You'd think that by know they'd have noticed that I, every week for three years also without a miss, don't give a shit about TV.

WTF-Note: so clearly it's cheaper to blindly bomb customers than being selective.

LOL-Note: according to the Wikipedia, "Marketing is the science of choosing target markets through market analysis and market segmentation, as well as understanding consumer behavior and providing superior customer value."
concessions and pain
when it comes to innovation, working outside of the system can be risky and results might be uncertain. but it can be more convenient and it can offer a great opportunity to be faster, more agile, innovative and creative.

the problem with being successful working out of the system is that the original rejection suddenly becomes acceptance. to the acceptance follows a generalized desire to be included in the success. and then, before you know it, you have become the new standard. and so, you become THE system and carry all of its slow, mechanical, conservative and unimaginative qualities, which were the things you were trying to avoid in the first place.

when that happens, one option is of course to abandon the ship and break through again with something new. which requires lots of energy.

the other option is to give the people using the new system what they want enough to have them calm and at the same time accustom them to some degree of constant discomfort in form changes and gradual but momentarily inconvenient modifications. that delicate balance of political concessions and pain you are offering to them, might be a convenient way for you to keep working outside enough of the system and remain fast, agile and creative.