So we went to San Francisco which is so unlike anything else in the US it doesn’t really bear thinking about. it’s utterly light-weight and sugary with no sense of purpose or depth. The people are overcome with an incurable frivolity whenever they set foot in it. This doesn’t mean that one couldn’t live here. In fact I think one could easily, preferably with something equally frivolous to do.
“Ah, I see,” says George, “reporting for duty. It begins already, your double life.” He smiles and drains his cocktail.
“That is what you’re proposing, you realize?” he continues. “A double life. A divided existence, schismatic even. Let me give you a bit of advice about such endeavors: they are even trickier than they look. You must be careful. One half is always threatening to swallow the other, to consume it, to wipe it out. Sometimes a double existence is more than impractical; it is fundamentally an impossible feat- a folly- and in the end you may have to give one side up.”
The three-pound organ in your skull – with its pink consistency of Jell-o – is an alien kind of computational material. It is composed of miniaturized, self-configuring parts, and it vastly outstrips anything we’ve dreamt of building.” David Eagleman.
“selfish gene” has discovered that the most successful approach is to behave unselfishly.
I am back after a few weeks of surfing, running and a visit to Nicaragua. Photos to come very soon, but you can get started here.
Have you ever done a daily mug shot for a year, a few months or weeks? I got curious a while back and started it but quickly dropped it – you know how it goes, no time for anything! But this time around I am combining it with my running, so almost every time I get out there I will capture a shot. Daily.
What I have been reading:
- Exceptional colour photographs from Russia in the early 1900’s
- What F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns reveal about his life and times. Or living on 500,000 a year.
- One of the few pleasures of going on the Internet on a Sunday is reading Paul Kedrosky’s “Weekend Reading.” In his column, Kedrosky regularly summarizes the business week past, hints at the news to come in the coming week, and lists articles to read to explain what it all means. The MIT Sloan Review is introducing The Pile: a new weekly feature on improvisations (their blog) and the links are worth a visit!
- Google redefines disruption: the “less than free” business model.
- The evolution of Apple Design between 1977-2008.
- Tim Minchin: the best love song ever! If I didn’t have you.
- Speaking opportunities and resources for women in open source (a mailing list).
- Slate: Can crimes and crashes be blamed on bad genes?
- Oh Dear David Foster Wallace. RIP.
Murakami runs six miles a day, six days a week.
(via The New York Times) In the style of Albert Camus — who claimed that much of what he knew about morality and duty he learned from soccer — Murakami believes that “most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day.” Specifically, he believes that writing requires, in order of priority, talent, focus and endurance — all of which find their complements in the habit of running.
Murakami’s latest book is really not that great but I forgive him since I am such a big fan… but his choice of music for running? oh lord“It’s not bad, but it’s sort of ordinary and doesn’t amount to much.” Blah.
In October Slate published an exclusive excerpts from Rose George’s book The Big Neccessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters and I just ordered the book.
It drips on her head most days, says Champaben, but in the monsoon season it’s worse. In rain, worms multiply. Every day, nonetheless, she gets up and walks to her owners’ house, and there she picks up their excrement with her bare hands or a piece of tin, scrapes it into a basket, puts the basket on her head or shoulders and carries it to the nearest waste dump. She has no mask, no gloves, and no protection. She is paid a pittance, if she is paid at all. She regularly gets dysentery, giardiasis, brain fever. She does this because a 3,000-year-old social hierarchy says she has to.