Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Just Watch It

Beckenbauer obviously a bit of a surprise there...

Thanks to CosmicV for this doesn't matter, really it doesn't.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Congrats to Will

on receiving a clerkship with Judge Michael McConnell of the Tenth Circuit. I, for one, wish Will many raucous evenings out in the bustle of Utah.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

on Andy Warhol pt 2

As I was preparing dinner last night I turned on PBS to catch a documentary on Andy Warhol in the series "American Masters." Although I was taken with John Updike's remarks concerning Warhol, a line last night added a whole new dimension to my understanding. When Warhol was first experimenting with silk screening and candid photography he took one of his friends (I am trying to find the name. Update to follow) to a photobooth on 42nd, pumped coins in the machine and said, "Now pose, this is costing me money." He would go on to show a series of 36 images from this photobooth. When interviewed the subject remarked, "I thought I was going to have my photo taken, like Richard Avedon, but instead he dragged me down to 42nd..."

After years of fascination, I finally bought "In the American West" by Avedon. Having been utterly captivated by the images in this book for a few years now, I was really excited when it arrived on Tuesday. Avedon's portraits focus such a careful eye on the subjects; every pore, every scab is indelible. Much in contrast to Warhol, Avedon looks at the beautiful "accuracy" (his word, not mine) of the camera to show those of us that inhabit the world. This counterpoint was what I was missing from my initial understanding of Warhol. Sure, Warhol saw a new mass media and it's radical shift of the visual-scape, but his was only one critique. Avedon came to offer a brilliant balance to Warhol in his ability to show and replicate accuracy when Warhol could not. While Warhol's screens smudged and blurred, each of Avedon's prints were as stunning as the very first. You couldn't have had Warhol without Avedon, and it all comes from this very casual remark of Warhol's subject.

Note: This post, like many in 3W, is mostly in my head and only partly in the text. If you are lost, consider yourself in good company. But like Warhol's works, a little is sometimes more to work with than a lot.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Privileged Experience/Reality

April 43rd, 2000
Today is a day of great triumph. There is a king of Spain. He has been found at last. That king is me. I only discovered this today. Frankly, it all came to me in a flash. I cannot understand how I could even think or imagine for one moment I was only a titular councilor. I can't explain how such a ridiculous idea ever entered my head. Anyway, I'm rather pleased no one's thought of having me put away yet. The path ahead is clear: everything is as bright as daylight. (Emphasis added. "Diary of a Madman" by Gogol)

I have been very interested for some time (ever since reading Spinoza's Theo-Political Treatise) about how we know things, or more specifically, when we realize we know something. Many times one might solve an equation on an exam, erase it fully and completed and then proceed to write the completely wrong solution. It would seem that this individual does not really "know" the answer to the question. We stumble upon many possibilities during the course of a day, but to say we know or understand takes a certain sense, the clarity of an Ahah! moment--then the thought resonates or fits in with the rest of ones knowledge base. Most of the time that Ahah! moment indicates that one has stumbled upon a tiny Truth, but sometimes it confirms that one is crazy, as demonstrated by Gogol above.

Update: I tried to write more about my disunderstanding of American culture when I am in Israel too long, and visa versa, but it was eaten by a Computer Ogre named Quentin. So it goes.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Belated Summer Vacation

I went white water rafting today. It was sunny and 85 and the water was 65. I got to ride in a school bus, and we sat in the back. My legs are terribly sunburned, it really hurts to bike. I got to stare out the window as we passed small towns and large fields of corn. For some reason, still ponderous, girls are just more fun to soak with water. If they squeeked less it would not be as fun. And the montains are Huge. Green, clear and huge.

Thank you summer, and goodbye.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

All the Hubbub

I was surprised and dare say happy to hear that Harvard is doing away with Early Admissions. As I thought about the matter more carefully I realized that I am of two minds. On the one hand it is really not fair to work 17 year olds up into such a frenzy about college. College is important, but at 17 it is difficult and unnecessary to labor umteen hours in SAT prep courses, higher a college admissions councilor and only then actually begin to fill out the stupid apps themsevles. It is not fair to the students and not fair to those without the impulsive mothers who nag relentlessly to get their kids into the Ivy (not to mention those that lack the resources to do so). On the other hand research has shown that which college you go do does not affect your long term earning potential, so why not accept students who will be likely more committed to your establishment by forcing them to sign a binding agreement upon application? It is really quite arrogant on the part of these schools to believe that they are the sole gatekeepers of success.

My only firm opinion on the matter is that, irrespective of Early Admissions, schools should not get rid of the early application deadline which alleviates the unbearable wait from Jan to March not knowing what the future holds. They should just flatten the acceptance rates.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Facebook 1 Your Soul 0

To the Wide World of Facebook:
People are upset about the Facebook Mini Feeds (also see Wiki), I respect that. You have friended 900 zillion 5 trillion 276 billion and three people, most of whom you could not recognize sans Facebook, and now they know everything that lurks inside your dark dark soul. If I may be so bold, why do you, then, compulsively update your account? If you wanted to keep a list of friends and favorite books you could do that from the comfort (and privacy) of your own desktop using a simple text app. The whole bloody point of Facebook is to share these things,* so stop getting your loins all tied up in knots about this. And if it is because you feel exposed now that all these unfamiliar friends can see into your soul (see ibid.) when they could not before, I have two thoughts for you, either A. Unfriend those children-of-parents-who-were-not-properly-wed-to-one-another -at-the-time-of-their-conception or B. You didn't know what an RSS feed is??? This was sooo in the pipeline. Personally I don't care that my 50 or so Facebook friends know that I have just added Gogol's "The Nose" to my favorite books (even though it is not a book, per se, but a story).

*In truth, I have pondered for some time to understand the base impulse to join the Facebook, but have made no considerable progress.

Frenchies on Lebanese Coast

Apparently, French boats will now guard Lebanon. According to Jpost (the newspaper too right wing to be associated with Zev):
French FM says: "We're going to make sure there are no deliveries" of arms by Hizbullah.
Great! Now France will deliver the arms herself.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

So Many Names

So is this how it works in Mexico, the more names you have the bigger a nut-case you are*? Andrés Manuel López Obrador just sounds like the name you give your son if you want him to become a meglomanic political administrator. Somehow setting up an alternative government in Mexico smacks me as a bad idea.

*Borges, who was not from Mexico, had six names, but he was a cool nut case.