Friday, November 11, 2011
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Social scientists such as Szlemko say that people carry around three kinds of territorial spaces in their heads. One is personal territory -- like a home, or a bedroom. The second kind involves space that is temporarily yours -- an office cubicle or a gym locker. The third kind is public territory: park benches, walking trails -- and roads.
Increased territoriality leads people to treat public and temporary territory the same as personal territory. So as the public becomes the personal, it seems so would more abstract public notions become personal--the sense of ownership and territoriality would extend to ideas, which would bring about frustration when different or opposing ideas came into that extended personal space. Read my bumper sticker, love my stance, as it were.
This is something I'd considered, so I'm glad to see the validation. The article also notes that the more bumper stickers a car has, the more aggressive the driver (where owner and stick-er are the same person). What strikes me about people with lots of bumper stickers is the noise level of their expression--so much to say, and making damn sure that it gets broadcast. I think this goes equally for t-shirts, buttons, tote bags, whatever.
More on this as I think about it.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
We hear a lot about Robyn Gardner's disappearance in Aruba because she was from the DC area. Natalee Holloway's disappearance helps up the newsworthiness, too. It could be that because of the news coverage, I'm more sensitive than I would be otherwise. And if you talk to any of my college buddies, they'll assure you that I might not be the first person to avoid saying something that could be in poor taste. (If it weren't for poor taste, I'd have had no sense of humor at all back then.) However, even I'm wondering if LivingSocial shouldn't reconsider the art and text combination for this ad.
Edgy? Sure. But was it intentionally so? That's what I'm curious about.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Interesting event at the Strathmore, near DC: UkeFest 2011. I must admit that I can't think of a ukulele without seeing Tiny Tim playing it.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
[T]he most recent research I’ve been doing, and I haven’t published on this yet, but I’m finding links between the work of H.P. Lovecraft and influence of that on 2012. Michael Coe was a huge Lovecraft fan, even. I’m working on a manuscript on that right now. But Lovecraft is at the root of a lot of the ideas here, like the cycles of destruction, for instance. That’s not Mayan, that’s Lovecraft. Lovecraft himself had a lot of skepticism and felt that spiritualism was appropriate for fiction but didn’t believe any of it in everyday reality, and he kind of used his fiction as a way to mock those beliefs a little. But now that’s being used as reality.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Say what you wish about Russell's beliefs, lack therof, and attitudes, this is the sort of advice from which we all--yes, I mean everyone--could benefit. I find myself wishing more frequently that I had people like this in my life as I was growing up. If you're not familiar with Sir Bertrand's work, be careful about dismissing his words too easily, and be especially careful about quoting Rodney King back at him.
Tip o'the hat to BoingBoing for this one.
Monday, August 01, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
In DC, it's touron season (I will leave that neologism to the student). It occurred to me just now, from the bar of Hill Country on 7th in Penn Quarter, that tourists dress in light clothing more often than not because the new environment reduces their situational awareness, and that's why they are easy marks. Discuss.
PC Magazine et al have articles today about how our Russian friends are going to scuttle the ISS in 2020. So why aren't we planning a moon base? If we need something to fire human imagination, I can"t think of anything better.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
1. David Lynch and Eraserhead. The emotion in the performance struck me as being something like joy squeezed through a toothpaste tube.
2. Remix not of remix culture. It's overlay, not appropriation and revision.
I found the urgency unsettling at times. I know I'm a weirdo at times with some pop culture stuff (I think Disney is like The Prisoner, for instance), but this was one of the most stressed-out attempts at happiness I've seen. Did someone have a gun on her off camera?
Monday, July 25, 2011
They even have mathcore as a genre. Who's not going to love that? Other than my mom. And your mom.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I'm posting this while I still have the resolve to do so. I can't write about her yet here on the blog. I've started a remembrance book, though, and I did want to mark it in some way online. I can't deal with posting it on Facebook or anywhere else just now.
She was the sunshine in my life, the most wonderful companion I could have asked for. Sweet baby girl, I did everything I could for you at the end, and so did the doctors, but it wasn't enough. I'll always love you, Maggie.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The development of the Russian oil industry in Salkhallin, an island almost the size of Japan and other areas of the Russian Far East, combined with Central Asia's oil reserves, will be more than sufficient to replace Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the other OPEC producers of the Middle East in their entirety as far as future U.S. strategic energy requirements are concerned.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Can any narrative be trusted?
Must we be condemned to nothing more than subjectivity?
Monday, July 11, 2011
Why don't we figure out a way to interface these robots with people who are in near-vegetative states--the ones whom we know are locked inside their bodies yet likely conscious? They regain the ability to act in some ways, not to mention communicating again, and we learn from them about both their condition and the robot interface.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Still reading this (longish) article, but I can tell already that there's lots to pull from it. The responses on the Gen-X list are both predictable in some instances, which is fascinating within the context of the article, and helpful in formulating counterarguments.
Here's to brain chemistry.
Friday, July 08, 2011
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
What happens when busyness and sociability leave no room for solitude? The ability to engage in introspection, I put it to my students that day, is the essential precondition for living an intellectual life, and the essential precondition for introspection is solitude. They took this in for a second, and then one of them said, with a dawning sense of self-awareness, “So are you saying that we’re all just, like, really excellent sheep?” Well, I don’t know. But I do know that the life of the mind is lived one mind at a time: one solitary, skeptical, resistant mind at a time.
This is from an otherwise white liberal guilt-ridden article on class distinctions and Ivy League education. Don't get me wrong, the article is well written, but it's transparent in its disingenuousness. Surely no one can be that callow.
Anyway, I'm thinking about this now. I think about solitude a lot because, one, I'm an only child and have been alone all my life, and two, I know how important solitude is for my own well-being. More on this as I muse on it.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
I think there's more to it than that. My sense is that people who do well in DC are those who prefer weak ties to strong ones. A recent article in Wired by Jonah Lehrer discussed weak versus strong ties and community activism, noting that "weak ties play a seminal role in building trust among a large group of loosely affiliated members, which is essential for rallying behind a cause." Life in DC is all about being affiliated with some kind of cause, some passion. Nobody comes here just to hang out. (The people who hang out and do nothing else--the street-pacing idle--are largely natives who fall within the poverty demographic. I don't mean to sound dismissive about poverty, but that'll have to be another blog post.) People work, and work hard, at something they believe in. To gather a group together for a common cause, you need to focus on the work, not on the relationships. It's one of those commitment to truth things. Focusing on the higher ideal will carry you through the human messiness that comes from working with others.
No wonder I found DC to be an easy place to assimilate. I've spent my life making weak ties rather than strong ones. Anyone else do this?
Saturday, July 02, 2011
Many thanks to Ryan Barrett for taking this pic for me last night on the way back to the Hilton Portland from Ping. Yes, the sign really says that.
The food at Ping is awesome--Asian small plates. I had a lamb skewer, two Kobe beef skewers over which I nearly wept, and a pork shank. One of my dining companions had a vinegar soda (really kind of a vinegar Rickey, but without alcohol). It wasn't bad, I have to say. Another companion had a tamarind soda that was really good, and yes, you need to like the flavor of tamarind first.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
My Paint skills are UNRIVALED.
Monday, June 27, 2011
WITS is best described as the very nerdy, slightly tipsy, younger cousin of A Prairie Home Companion. There are authors, there are musicians, there are the creators of MST3K heckling from a balcony seat. In other words, you'd love it.
I very much miss this kind of environment. Aye, DC, I love you, but you're a bit dull.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power...Green Lantern’s light!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Scratch that. I might find out that he's feeling inviting.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Reassurances about your delicates courtesy of Rob Zombie. Now, if we could just get Treyarch to make commercials for Walmart....
Monday, June 20, 2011
Corollary 1: Scientific thought, as derived from rigorous examination and the scientific method, will lead us to ideas that will eventually become axioms.
Corollary 2: The more rigorously derived ideas we have, the better.
Corollary 3: It is important to distinguish between bad ideas rising to the surface for examination and dismissal, and bad ideas being recycled by those with even worse motives.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Science as a collective iterative process to get closer to The Truth. This goal is never attainable as such, but we can get arbitrarily close to it over time. Science in this sense is neutral and judgment free. In retrospect, it might also be wrong.
Scientific Investigations are not value neutral — although the best ones strive to be.
Applications of Science is by default to be considered biased and with selfish motives — but sometimes it rises above that. This should in no way reflect on the value of science itself, only on the entity who is [claiming to be] applying science. Sometimes the claimed use of science is based ignorance or other motives [e.g., homeopathy]. This should only reflect on the entity making the claim, not on Science itself.
You will never know for sure. The very essence of Science is that is a collective refinement over time. At best you later discover that some particular part of Science was wrong. However, once consensus — based on a large set of opinions — has been established, it is OK to assume that that particular piece of science is "true".
Get used to never knowing for sure, and be very suspicious of people claiming to be.
Nice use of simple typographic conventions to indicate distinctions among terms, too. I have long argued that science is the only way we'll get closer to understanding objective truth. The fact that I am convinced there's an objective truth at all is enough to make some people stop listening to me. (Eh, we all have our blind spots.) If someone wants to cling to subjective truth as an item of value, they're welcome to do so, just as long as they don't then try to make it into an objective truth through some fallacious appeal.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
I think it's clear now that there's space for both, though I am always concerned about the value of information versus the time spent reading it. I worry about shortening attention spans; perhaps I would be instead cheering the demise of assigned research papers of specific lengths.
So if it's okay to be a blogger, then how does one gracefully mention one's blog? Where does good taste fit into this?
I've decided that a blog should be mentioned with the grace and frequency that one would produce a business card. Nothing is more off-putting than having someone comment solely to mention his blog, just as nothing is more graceless than a party arrival who's plastering hands with his business card.
Be a good person, worthy of attention, and you'll be someone people will want to read.
This is harder than it seems.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain--a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.
Or as I call it, Thursday. Interestingly, Lovecraft's feel for the tone of shifting perception was mentioned in this article on four-dimensional space and topology. The author, Richard Elwes, uses Lovecraft as an intro to his notion that four-dimensional spaces are remarkably similar to the shape of Yog-Sothoth as Lovecraft described it. Perhaps that's all we should say about that, lest eldritch horrors appear.
You're feeling courageous? What about an automatic sanity check fail? Here's a mashup of Stephen Colbert and Cthulhu, intended for 3D printing at Thingiverse. Never heard of 3D printing? It's just the most awesome thing ever. Almost as awesome as finding two Lovecraft references to start your day. Tip o' the hat to BoingBoing for both of these.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
Second is a list from Famous Writers about the process of writing a book. The range goes from David Crosby (yes, the one of rock music and liver transplantation fame) to Cory Doctorow. I cannot imagine two more different people. At this point, I am not in mind of writing a book, but this is a fine set of pointers from people who know, from my point of view, everything that needs to be known about the process.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
This year's format is different, it seems; no opening puzzle to determine coordinates, no list of extensive red herrings mixed in with a few correct answers. Here's hoping that everyone has fun. If not, there's always dinner at Gordon Biersch tonight at 6.
Friday, June 03, 2011
As of this post, the "GE Instagram" (as they're calling it) has only two tumblr pages. Best get on it early to stay caught up. Happy drooling!
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
While watching this, I concluded that the one message I would send those in our collective past would be, "Thank you." What was normal for them seems insurmountable to me. It's not just that we're soft today; I don't have the skills needed to make my way in that world. They're just as smart, crafty, and innovative as we are, yes, but still, there's something about the world of 1814 that reminds me I'm suited only for my current time at the earliest.
I'm also reminded that I have nowhere near the skills of the people who did the work on this mapping project. Thank you, geologists and geographers of the past. Your data has provided essential continuity for the lives of those who have followed you.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Only I call my office a Wunderkammer. If I had, as Viktor Wynd does, "a box reputed to contain some of the original darkness that Moses called down upon the Earth (nailed tightly shut, I’m glad to say)," then perhaps my office would measure up. For now, my miniature D&D figures, New Orleans Saints toy ball, glow-in-the-dark skull, reproduction antique tin of dog treats, and plastic jellyfish will have to do.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Important safety tip: Cut the jelly slab into 1"/2.54 cm squares, no matter what the devil on your shoulder urges. The shots are potent. I used Mandarin orange segments and maraschino cherries, cut into fourths, for the garnish. Mine do not look nearly as nice as the photo here, which is from the linked article.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Before I start sounding too arch, I must also confess my love of tiki culture and tiki drinks. (There goes my rep.) I grew up with an interior designer for a mother, and when I was a preschooler and schoolchild, our living room was done Polynesian style--thatching on the walls, palm trees in each corner, solid teak furniture with legs and columns carved like tiki gods, war masks on the walls, emerald green carpet and draperies, and a 50-gallon fish tank with an actual, live, real piranha in it (my mom bought him on the black market, and yes, I know they're from South America). I even love the cheap tiki stuff at party stores.
In other words, the following tiki drink recommendations are inescapable. These are all good for mixing in big batches. The links will take you to Serious Eats recipes, but that's just to get you started.
Scorpion: This is a pleasant change of pace from the age-old pina colada, which to me should be served only to children (alcoholic or not).
Mai Tai: Many, many variations and ripoffs of this drink abound. The original cannot be duplicated; it called for a vintage of rum that has all been drunk. (Seriously. You can't get that kind of rum any more; no bottles are left outside of private collections.) The key is to not get the ingredients out of balance. If you've had a Mai Tai from a bar, chances are you've had an overload of juice and syrup. This recipe should be a pleasant change.
Fog Cutter: I'll always have a special place in my heart for Fog Cutters (or as my mom jokingly called them after a night of one too many and slurred speech, Frog Cutters). You'll notice a trend in these recipes: Lighter, more naturally sweet, and nuanced. If you've had a Fog Cutter in a bad Chinese restaurant before, don't despair. This recipe should help.
Planter's Punch: I have made many a bad pitcher of this punch and drank them gleefully. I've also ordered many a glass of this drink; no two were alike. Yes, it can be a fruity, oversyruped concoction with umbrellas AND fruit AND a whirlygig AND a plastic whale; Planter's Punch can also be a more streamlined and classic cocktail. I've included recipe links for both here.
It's getting to be time to plan a tiki party. Aloha kakou!
*Yes, I understand that you, you right there, have a favorite 'tini, and I know that the cosmopolitan is a classic cocktail that was stomped to death by Sex and the City. I can't help preference and history.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Gauss can get to the other side of a Möbius strip.
Gauss can colour any map using only one colour.
There are no postulates, only theorems Gauss believes are unworthy of a proof.
Gauss disproved Godel's Incompleteness Theorem by exhaustion.
The Wikipedia article on Gauss is here.
The example of the Guatemalan DOAN (and of more recent Mexican police reform efforts) demonstrates that even a competent, well-paid and well-equipped police institution cannot stand alone within a culture that is not prepared to support it and keep it clean. In other words, over time, an institution will take on the characteristics of, and essentially reflect, the environment surrounding it.
As unlikely as it is to happen, the solution for now seems to be to protect the United States as best as possible from the violence that has taken over northern Mexico's hinterlands, whether by constructing more walls, setting up more armed forces, or something else. The situation strikes me as being much like that between Israel and the Palestinian territory. I very much agree with Israel's construction of the security walls (recognizing that I am in the minority on that, usually) and from day one I've been in favor of the walls along the southern US border. Like Robert Frost said, good fences make good neighbors.
Human permeability is behind institutional permeability, despite our efforts in the US to give institutions a life of their own through legal definitions and court decisions. I think this environmental effect goes through every area, every level of life. As I've posted on Facebook before, if you want to change your life, you have to change your values. This is way more complicated than blithely observing, "Do what you always did, get what you always got." The latter is so easy that it's dismissive. Changing values is some of the hardest work anyone will do. If it's that difficult on a personal level, then how much more difficult must it be on the national and international level? People rail about incremental change, but frankly, I don't see any other way that change can happen. So for now, I approve of the walls, the increased numbers of guns and agents, and the heightened awareness being used along the US-Mexico border.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
"More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit, etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with."
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
But that was then. I think we've inverted all those behaviors, despite the recent (and now fading) popularity of that vintage. Courtship practically no longer exists. I suppose people still flirt, though in my experience we have lost our sense of subtext. Using subtext to flirt requires mindfulness, delicacy, respect, all of which are time-consuming activities and which require attention to others' responses.
I think that's what people are trying to get back. Cocktail culture has a set of understandable, attainable codes, and even though those codes are a bit old-fashioned, they're not so out of date that they can't offer us anything. I'd even go so far as to argue that there was more sexual equality in the original cocktail culture than there is now. Flirting, coyness, playing hard to get--all of those things are games, and games are for those on equal ground (if the rules don't potentially apply to all, i.e., if all players don't get an equal chance to win, then it's not a game). Might there be a difference between the balance of the sexes and their equality?
Monday, May 23, 2011
Long ago, something went awry in professional journalism the way the Americans do it, and it left these visible deformations. In my own criticism I have given various names to this pattern: agendalessness, the quest for innocence—most often, the View From Nowhere. The problem is not what it is usually said to be: that the press is supposed to remain “objective” but no one can be totally unbiased. The problem is equating trustworthiness with the prohibition on taking sides, when the actual result may be exasperation with he said, she said, rage at the helplessness that “leaving it there” creates, and mistrust of the formulaic ways in which journalists try to advertise their even-handedness.
This is part of the problem that I keep coming back to with regard to truth. Again I quote Mark Clark, my classics and Greek professor in my undergraduate studies, who asserted that in order to be a good skeptic, one had to believe in the truth. I immediately saw the wisdom in his statement and adopted it as one of my own truths. Here, though, the question is, how can we have journalism if we can't have truth? How can we have anything at all, really, if we can't have truth? We are slowly being reduced to facts only, yet we refuse to endorse science, which functions on facts, wholeheartedly, out of our fear of offending the religious. Facts are data; truth is our understanding of the larger implications of facts. Where will the idea of the truth be when we need it? Locked away somewhere because we can't trust ourselves to be right? Hidden because we are too afraid to take a stand? We have reduced truth-telling to court decisions and legal documents; that's the only safe place left for the truth to be judged, and I fear that even that is disappearing.
We have given up our responsibility to gather facts, understand them, and judge for ourselves, instead becoming wheedling and fearful. I fear that there may be a tipping point already passed, that we've taken on too much fear as a culture and will not be able to overcome it in order to reach the truths we'll need to survive.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Is civility relative? Given that by its nature, civility is about common ground, do we have a sense of what that is? Is our generation--and by "our" I mean mine, GenX--the last generation raised with the duty of civility? Is it possible that civility is something that we truly hold in common?
I ask this because Washington's rules of civility strike me as being just as apt today as they were when he copied them from the Jesuits. (Now that I've been to the George Washington Masonic Memorial, I cannot picture him without a Masonic apron.) I cannot profess an ability to get inside the minds of all classes and creeds, nor do I pretend to include the most extreme or isolated groups in this. I mean the middle ground. Is a sense of civility what begins to define the lower edge, so to speak, of that middle ground?
I think a lot about social markers and markers of privilege. Washington, DC, is a battleground of those markers; we are each assessed, day in, day out, by those in each rung. Civility as self-discipline, as an external signification of self-control and self-mastery, is the least of the lessons that we carry forward from Roman stoicism. Yet these limits imposed on the self seem to be slipping away from us. Perhaps it's not that we've lose a sense of civility so much as we're losing belief in ourselves. After all, self-discipline requires one believe that such discipline is possible and fruitful.
Bread and circuses did not help Imperial Rome outlast external aggression. For all our democratizing of education and social access, we still cast bread about and set up circuses to entertain. What will it take for us to believe in ourselves enough to master ourselves?
Friday, May 20, 2011
In this essay, Hitchens's topics range from the painful mundanity of radiation therapy to the friendship of Heraclitus and Callimachus; and of course that's the range, because Hitchens is learned and mindful. But the idea of voice goes farther than that. Here's a quote that I, as a former college writing instructor, identified with:
"To my writing classes I used later to open by saying that anybody who could talk could also write. Having cheered them up with this easy-to-grasp ladder, I then replaced it with a huge and loathsome snake: “How many people in this class, would you say, can talk? I mean really talk?” That had its duly woeful effect. I told them to read every composition aloud, preferably to a trusted friend. The rules are much the same: Avoid stock expressions (like the plague, as William Safire used to say) and repetitions. Don’t say that as a boy your grandmother used to read to you, unless at that stage of her life she really was a boy, in which case you have probably thrown away a better intro. If something is worth hearing or listening to, it’s very probably worth reading. So, this above all: Find your own voice."
Italics are Hitchens's. Unbeknownst to me that Hitchens used these ideas to harangue his students, I was doing the same thing when teaching. I'd even have my students read their essays aloud in small groups so that they could hear the flaws and correct them (and they did, scratching out swaths and making margin notes). Funny how good ideas survive through movement among persons, not the stasis of pages and screens. At any rate, Hitchens's essay is a reminder that voice, a voice worth hearing, is not simply sound.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
"Sicilians might remember Sicily, they might harbor a cultural commitment to its values and they might even have a sense of residual loyalty to Sicily or to Italy — but Italy was thousands of miles away. The Italian government could neither control nor exploit the migrant’s presence in the United States. Simply put, these immigrants did not represent a geopolitical threat; even if they did not assimilate to American culture — remaining huddled together in their “little Italys” — they did not threaten the United States in any way. Their strength was in the country they had left, and that country was far away. That is why, in the end, these immigrants assimilated, or their children did. Without assimilation, they were adrift....
"The immigration debate in the U.S. Congress, which conflates Asian immigrations with Mexican immigrations, is mixing apples and oranges. Chinese immigration is part of the process of populating the United States — a process that has been occurring since the founding of the Republic. Mexican immigration is, to borrow a term from physics, the Brownian motion of the borderland. This process is nearly as old as the Republic, but there is a crucial difference: It is not about populating the continent nearly as much as it is about the dynamics of the borderland."
I recommend Stratfor to people all the time (and no, I don't receive anything for doing so, nor do I work for them). This article in particular is refreshing in its clarity and precision. I need more of that, daily; I think we all do.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I've been reading and thinking lately about people who live life according to the principles of improvisation. The title link above is to the blog I found this morning; looks like it's got good insights, or at the very least foundational ones. So the questions are, do changes really happen when people shift to a "yes, and..." way of doing things; do those changes reflect only a different inner state; and does that distinction matter?
Our souls against the weight of a feather. I am still convinced that this is by what we will be judged. Thinking again about a "yes, and..." way of living, the emotional work required to shift one's inner space would necessarily change the weight in the scale pans.
NB: Yes, I watched the Jim Carrey film Yes Man. I think it lacked the core of ideas necessary to make it an equivalent to Groundhog Day, which is unfortunate because we could use another film like that.
I've also been thinking about how the film Eyes Wide Shut seems like Hollywood allegorizing itself yet again, but that may be unnecessarily reductive. Might turn into another blog post.