Archive for April, 2006

Machine Readable: The Cure for Information Overload

Posted in Speculation, Techniques on April 27, 2006 by Patrick

Machine Readable: The Cure for Information Overload

This is surprisingly relevant to my information model of magic


Poetry Reading

Posted in Literature and Performance on April 11, 2006 by Patrick

I went to a poetry reading of the Poetic Justice League yesterday. Several of the readers were energetic and entertaining. Djazz rocked my little world with her refrain “I could so write poetry to this.” She’s got the good fortune to have a beautiful voice on top of a strong ear for sound and rhythm. I found the Mutinous Mutt alternately amusing and frustrating. I still have one of his lines stuck in my head — high praise. I just wish he’d spend less time telling us in abstract terms how it should be, and more time describing how it is. One clear beautiful image of reality is worth a dozen cliched tirades.

Still, it’s the nature of the genre, I suppose, and the nature of contemporary poetry, that it be militant, activist, and abstract. They’re trying to undo the damage done by the concrete imagists, but they’re throwing out the powerful tools that did such damage in the first place. Pick back up the image and use it, because the sermon is played out.

I had hoped I’d have a chance to sit and talk with them (poets at poetry readings are approachable, especially slam poets — they’re weird enough not to find it odd when a hairy little stranger strikes up a conversation about poetry). Sadly, the show started late and I had to leave by intermission. Still, they’re in the area, and it turns out I know someone who has performed with the Mutt, so it’s quite possible our paths will cross again, unless — as seems likely — I relocate this summer.

Boing Boing: Prayer won’t heal ya

Posted in Speculation, Uncategorized on April 4, 2006 by Patrick

Boing Boing: Prayer won’t heal ya

I wonder. From a scientific standpoint, I can find lots wrong with this study, for one thing. First of all, who wrote the prayers?

One thing that I find fascinating about this study is the measure of success is entirely material. Was there any effort to measure the attitude of those participants for whom prayers were said? Perhaps the effect of prayer is not material in many cases; maybe they went to their eventually fate feeling more confident and less stressed. But the study finds that largely irrelevant, I suppose.

In any event, it’s an interesting study but proves precious little.