Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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Cement in a Flowing River

Tengia un poco alcohol nuevo - Brandy. No me gusta - fue repugnante y probaba como schnapps. Bleh.

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One of the things I strongly believe to be part of the human experience is a desire to be creative and share. We may labour for our existence, struggle for advantage, and indulge ourselves in various types of sensualities -- creativity, as a social act, is at least equally diverse in application. Any explanation of human behaviour on a larger scale must be willing to draw on this part of human nature - I'm certain that ideas in evolutionary psychology might, in theory, be able to explain things as diverse as art, blogging, and music as ways to better attract mates, but they neither can explain the other side of the urge (the appeal of such works) nor does it feel like they have enough power to explain the entire phonomenon. What is shared is sometimes a vague thing - sometimes art serves to convey the artist's emotion on a topic, sometimes music as well (memory: going to variety of unannounced musical gatherings in basements, closed galleries, etc, hearing everything from jazz to "tribal" music, the frequent smell of cigarettes and lack of booze markers or borders of the life lived - gritty but not decadent in the least). Is this the essence though? Is what's shared the notion that "I feel pain/passion just like you do" .. an appeal to move in the opposite of dehumanisation? Maybe participation in art is an appeal to hyper-humanise each other, in a temporary divorce (opposite of Mut'a al Nisa, perhaps...) from common living.. Maybe that's the same with music.. If that's the case, it's easy to see how famous artists/musicians might mistake that experience for an invitation down endless trips of ego.. On some level, we'd think we remember that we're all human - maybe such things are fruitless, but maybe that line of thinking is what's opposed in that task - to reduce the specific "meaning" of human contact down to an abstraction, in particular one that makes that meaning feel either redundant or unnecessary. (I struggle with this - when I can predict an interaction well enough, I take it as given and skip it, forgetting that talking with people isn't purely about gathering information but building social ties and sharing little emotions.. pheremones.. and all that). I don't know if it's important to figure out exactly what is shared with the urge to share - perhaps the experience of sharing is a big part of the phonomenon, and the topic only a small and variable part. How do creativity and sharing relate to each other? I don't think they're necessarily the same thing - there are some people who undergo creative tasks who don't ever share the result/specifics to other people (hobbyist programming can be like this) - in that case creativity can pair with curiosity or other things. Thinking about the only moderately-open art communities in Columbus again, I think I like the smaller audiences they achieved by not being advertised to the public - it felt much more intimate to feel part of a larger social circle that included the artist, it encouraged the free flow of ideas, and generally the doors were wide open to discuss/have lunch with/see more art from most of the people one met. That's very different from either the entirely private collections (of which I saw only a few) or the public museum-like work. ... Hmm. I have things to do today - cutting this short.

Soccer yesterday: We had tons of people, and split into two games. I was pretty off and wasn't much use.. Feet were very badly stomped near the beginning of the game by hard cleats. I think it was more that I've been feeling lonely and depressed though..

Schenley Lake is beautiful late at night.

Le Monde:

  • No links provided, but American media are pushing up the anti-Chavez propoganda machine. Over the last week frequent comparisons to Stalin have been made, initially in editorials but now occasionally in stories, and the "background info" provided with every story touching on him is getting increasingly hostile. I haven't come to an overall judgement on him yet - it's interesting to watch this from a fairly outside perspective.
  • Brits jail people for incitement online. The article says this is a landmark case in Britain
  • For a wiki I maintain for a small community, spam started to become a major issue, so I installed a CAPCHA to block automated creation of accounts and editing (the http logs were pretty clear on the issue). I was a bit weirded out to find that apparently the CAPCHA I chose is run by CMU's CS department. I've seen some of the people who work on the project around campus. Small world..
  • The Red Mosque standoff is mostly over - they were given an ultimatum, some lawmakers went in to try to negotiate, but the leaders said they preferred martyrdom. The military then blew some walls in the building, stormed the place, killed the leader, and they're carefully searching the building. Overall, it seems like a good resolution to an unfortunate situation. It illustrates one of the issues with weak states though - the situation ideally could've been defused earlier (and people could've been steered away from the ideology Laj Masjid pushed through its closure or isolation) had the state been strong enough to take action. I suspect that doing so might've made people uncomfortable because it might seem too similar to censoring an opinion/worldview, but when that worldview leads to competition with the state over systematic use of force to regulate society, it's a fairly drastic situation.
  • Random article on faith and believers in Western society. Publisher is Edge, which has an interesting essay on scientific cultures in their about page.
  • Linus Torvalds demonstrates his inability to think about societal issues. (not commenting on his actual position with this statement, as much as I disagree with it, so much as the ignorance that his words suggest)
  • Former Surgeon General of the United States claims that he was regularly censored for political purpose
  • Arab league to send a delegation to Israel to discuss peace. Possibly historic - this is done among interesting tensions between the league as a whole (which supports Fatah) and certain members (like Saudi Arabia) which don't want to isolate Hamas.
  • Al Qaeda threatens war with Iran over its support for Shi'a in Iraq and "warns" Sunnis not to do business with Shi'ia. I suspect this won't be widely publicised in American media, for a variety of reasons.

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