Opinion | A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On – The New York Times
How a target of students’ ire came to write a book about humanity’s transcendent goodness.
Christakis’s wife, Erika, who also taught at Yale back then, had circulated a memo in which she questioned a university edict against culturally insensitive Halloween costumes, suggesting that students could police themselves and should have both the freedom to err and the strength to cope with offense. She wrote that her husband concurred.
Despite listening and reasoning Nicholas Christaki was ostracized by some students. I think this intolerance fueled by youthful righteousness and the unwillingness to tolerate other reasoning is unhealthy. It suppresses healthy debate, which is so important in any academic environment.
It moves debates and deep thinking of what is moral to a fanatic emotional pitch, very similar to the “hatred of the other” in our current political and social siloes.
EURYDICE – City Lights: Innovative, intimate theater in San Jose
“The myth has been told and retold for centuries. Grief-stricken Orpheus travels to the underworld, where he learns he can rescue his wife, Eurydice—if he doesn’t look back on the way up. Now, we see the story through Eurydice’s eyes. City Lights’ innovative new production combines Sarah Ruhl’s strikingly fresh script with the beauty of American Sign Language, reflecting the characters’ efforts to communicate across worlds. A lush and moving tale about life, love and the enduring strength of memory.”
A unique production pairs actors as both mirrors of their voice (spoken and ASL) and their feelings and inner life reflecting the perspectives of the living and dead. The spoken actors interact with their ASL counters exposing their inner dialog, they also cross the boundary between characters. Layered on this is the unspoken language of Hades ruled by “An Interesting Man.” The Chorus of silent stones reflect he subtle sound scene of the environment. It highlights the metaphysical nature of both myth and existence. The doubled cast truly feel as one.
It truly is both a subtle and breathtaking interpretation of Sarah Ruhl‘s play as directed by Lisa Mallette. We know Sarah Ruhl from other plays like the The Melancholy Play, Orlando, and The Room with a View or Vibrator Play.
Euridice! What struck me at the heart? It is the feeling, the memory of the ecstasy of love imbued with the confusion that are all part of youth. And obviously there is the fear of loss, mortality striking at any time, and returning in a moment of weakness. The yearning and redemption of true faithfulness and trust – a path of salvation both between lovers, and father and daughter. And yet it all has to find its end in forgetting, losing your voice, oblivion, and peace – death.
Our journey is but short and predetermined, but glorious if lived with passion and mindfulness.
The play left me rejoicing in (a few) tears.
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Dick Dale: ‘King of Surf Rock’ guitarist dies aged 81
For me Dick Dale and the Beach Boys were “the California spirit” as seen from cold Germany. It was the future, where everything was sunshine and the girls were cool! It made me pull up my stakes and travel here before i knew what it meant and how hard it would be.
Just a couple of riffs get you there. All about the SLUDGE!
Thanks, man! I never met you, but I’ll miss you. Your music is an indelible part of my mind and journey.
Tony Schwartz on Twitter: “You read Trump’s anguished tweet about Saturday Night Live and the late night hosts all making fun of him and what’s clear is that underneath all his bluster, rage & hatred there is a sad, lost little boy desperate for the love and approval he never ever got.”:
A while back I realized that the GOP must be controlled by a backstage cabal that decided some time ago to put puppets into play. It became clear with Ronald Reagan, who was a third rate actor willing to learn his lines, die his hair, and wear the make up. He was good at ad-libbing along core concepts, especially with the whispering help of Nancy. He had me! He was the last Republican I voted for when I saw the damage. Yes, I was a conservative when that still had principles and values.
Bush the Elder appears a little more of his own man. George the Younger needed more help. But it was clear that Dick Chaney was there to keep things in line for both of them. Very “prudent.” But boy that man was the devil and more obvious than McNamara or Rumsfeld. Of course, none can compete with Henry Kissinger in pure, premeditated evil.
Trump seems to be an experiment gone sideways. From an acting perspective, we are now at amateur Reality TV level. The real management in Reality TV is massaging the talent ego and editing after the fact. The trouble is that works with “The Apprentice,” but is a problem in case of nuclear war and a polity addicted to social media.
Intelligence and ego-wise we have reached bottom. Trump has always had trouble with is ego: appearance is all, tallest buildings, lots of gold, fascist dictator mentality. But his lack of intelligence and morality accelerated by his dementia together with a phone running Twitter has made him really hard to handle. And it seems that his immediate handlers are also not “the best and the brightest.” The pure instincts of a conman coupled with his need for adoration still make him a dangerous demagogue with his base, who need him just as much. The danger is with terrorists on the fringe put on fire.
The Greek tragedy (or Shakespeare – choose your poison): the women most loved by him (for him love and lust are the same) are not likely to truly adore or love him. Love and lust unrequited are the greatest pain of all! But given the suffering and deaths already in play, I cannot feel compassion.
An experiment gone wrong and hopefully the end of the line, Fox News not withstanding.
Behind the Curve a fascinating study of reality-challenged beliefs
The documentary tracks how people form and maintain bizarre beliefs.
There’s a scene somewhere in the middle of a new flat Earth documentary that acts as metaphor for so much that surrounds it. Two of the central figures of Behind the Curve are visiting a spaceflight museum that pays tribute to NASA, an organization that they believe is foisting a tremendous lie on an indoctrinated and incurious public. One of them, Mark Sargent, sits in a re-entry simulator that suggests he should press “Start” to begin. He dutifully bangs away at the highlighted word “Start” on screen, but nothing happens.
He wanders away muttering even more about how NASA’s a giant fraud. Meanwhile, the camera shifts back to the display and zeroes in on a giant green “Start” button next to the seat Sargent was in.
I believe it’s not necessarily the seeing of facts that is the issue, it’s the underlying rules and patterns, the mental models that create selective attention and understanding.
Death of the calorie | 1843 Magazine – The Economist
“For more than a century we’ve counted on calories to tell us what will make us fat. Peter Wilson says it’s time to bury the world’s most misleading measure.
I always thought that digestion was extremely complex and not just dependent on the type of food we ingest, the physiology of multiple organ systems digesting, but also our microbiome and overall state. Inheritance certainly is a key factor.
“As a general rule it is true that if you eat vastly fewer calories than you burn, you’ll get slimmer (and if you consume far more, you’ll get fatter).“ But it is not that simple. “Each body processes calories differently. Even for a single individual, the time of day that you eat matters. The more we probe, the more we realise that tallying calories will do little to help us control our weight or even maintain a healthy diet: the beguiling simplicity of counting calories in and calories out is dangerously flawed.”
“The only major organisation to shift the emphasis beyond calories is one dedicated to helping its customers slim down: Weight Watchers.”