when are the ides again?
We've had two days straight of sun in the sky and liquid water on the ground. This is all good, except I think it's causing the Anxiety Bugs to hatch. I caught another one this morning. Also, I'm hung over.
Zack Exley, the man who created gwbush.com (how dumb is too dumb?) during the campaign, is now in a legal imbroglio with CNN. His CNNdn site ("dn" for "downturn") reported the financial news from one year in the future: financiers were hiring bodyguards, Bush had raised taxes, and failing dotcoms like Yahoo and Google were bought out by Warren Buffett and converted to nonprofits. The site's down now, per a restraining order requested by CNN, who claim trademark infrigement:
[Zack says] I imagined a world full of CNN trademark infringers--all because of my brazen disregard for intellectual property! People wearing unauthorized CNN t-shirts, people with CNN tattoos, parents naming their babies "CNN"--the humanity!
The Pentagon has created a pain beam. They've got a little CG model with the pain dish mounted on a truck. It reminds me of the heat ray in "War of the Worlds" somehow.
Chris in class yesterday: "All journaling is essentially an indulgence of one's own neuroses." Yup, and add that to exhibitionism and you get this beautiful thing called a weblog.
After class we go to Chris's place to blast a Talking Heads concert from his DVD player and see his file of rejection letters: everybody's got one. The most illuminating are those from C. Michael Curtis at the Atlantic Monthly, which begin as considered multiple-paragraph responses and steadily dwindle over the months until he's just writing "Not for us, thanks." We also play front-yard athletics (frisbee, football, wiffleball) with Chris's sons. Only I was conditioned in junior high to be afraid of spheres and discs and [whatever the hell geometric shape a football is]s flying through the sky, so I stay on the porch, which prompts Chris's older son to ask me if I have ever played Dungeons & Dragons.
"I used to," I say.
"I thought so," Marlowe says from the yard. "You have the aura of that guy who used to play D&D."
"Shut up," I say.
I want to write a scene where an elderly Hungarian mathematician explains set theory using bananas. Can this work? The trick in writing a novel about math is how to have your characters make mathematical discoveries without requiring the author to make those discoveries too: because sure, I get the basics of set theory, but it's not like I'm going to stumble on a revolutionary theorem by accident while writing this book.
Plants are getting hungrier. More carbon! More!
An editorial by Harvey C. Mansfield, the Harvard prof who is protesting grade inflation at Harvard by giving two grades to his students, the official one and the "real" one. Well, yes. I know--and let it be clear that I'm speaking only for myself here--that I didn't entirely earn that ridiculous Stanford GPA. If I had taken more tech classes, I would of course feel differently.
Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Karl Popper and the red-hot poker: what really happened?