Considering the Immortal Effects of Our Actions
(In transit reading on Air Transat)
Terry Starr, Raven Dancer, 1990.
Arrived back in Rotterdam after twelve whirlwind days in glorious Vancouver. (The point of our visit? To show the one I love the city that I love.) First impression upon arriving home: "Come on... who's kidding who? Rotterdam is a third world city."
Joined a new gym today. This one much closer to the house and with a much better swimming pool. (I am heeding the message received during my last ayahuasca session: "Swimming cools the body and dissipates excess heat. You must swim more.")
Wading through the pile of physical post I discover two gifts:
Note concerning the difference between practice and pastime. Passing time is not practicing waiting. (Jalal Toufic writes: "In waiting, time is for the most part not mine but others'" and a few lines later, "What happens if we all waited at the same time? If there were no other sentient beings, time would no longer progress at all: it would be the end of time.")
A great gadget weblog: gizmodo.net
A review of Konami's DigiQ tanks cool toys found via gizmodo.
Warchalking.org ("Collaboratively creating a hobo-language for free wireless networking.")
I became aware of the practice of warchalking a couple of weeks ago while researching free 802.11 access points in Vancouver.
The final project of graduating Rietveld Academie student Henk Jan Bouwmeester was to create a site for all the persons named John Green he could find (living or deceased) and then allow those not lucky enough to be named John Green to "adopt" one.
For reasons of my own I'm interested in this sort of work.
Proper Name Stumbling Block
Following a reference to 'The Green Man' by Bhikku and my own memories of a mystical road trip to California in the seventies that resulted in my both falling in love and having my first 'near-death experience' -- I googled for The Green Man - Sufi connection and came across this paper (The Sufi Basis of The Taming of the Shrew) thus stumbling across yet another Shakespeare was not Shakespeare but Francis Bacon site (Summary of Baconian Evidence for Shakespeare Authorship).
For more on this, see the Shakespeare Authorship Information Center.
(Watched Donnie Darko this evening. Excellent. The film's time branching escape-from-and-then-meeting-death (Donnie's 'fear'?) reminded me of Maugham's Appointment in Samarra (for a link between Samarra and the Nosferatu story see Alamut: 17 November 2001).
Reading W. B. Bartlett's Assassins: The Story of Medieval Islam's Secret Sect (2001).
Compiled a rough bibliography of Alamut History (it seems some books have been republished since 9/11).
Browsing Anthony Campbell's online book The Assassins of Alamut I came across this surprising piece of conjecture:
There will be data. There will be many.
I'm becoming more and more frustrated with my current content management system (Radio/Frontier) and am considering migrating to a MySQL based (or similar) knowledge management system. Does anyone have any advice for me? I'm looking for a "permanent solution", something that I can depend on, something that I can grow with...
Please note I'm not only looking for a weblog management system but for a complete system to manage my various databases (books, films, games) and project notebooks. I envision a personal 'everything2-like' database of objects (people, places, things and ideas/memes) and their associations.
A Persian saying: "A jewel that never leaves the mind never acquires polish."
With stomaches stuffed with roti-wrapped salad and Ben and Jerry's ice cream (Caramel Chew Chew) we watched Quebecois filmmaker Robert Lepage's Possible Worlds (2000) last night. A brave attempt, I imagined, at illustrating Everett's many-worlds interpretation of quantum reality...
What? Googlewhacking Lepage + "Possible Worlds" + Everett + "many worlds" turns up no link...
Re: yesterday's 'Help Wanted'. I'm thinking about the value of a personal encyclopedia -- the organization of an eclectic body of interests, research topics and associations in a non-redundant and accessable form.
Need to spend more time looking at the Wikipedia.
It was a year ago today that N. and I hiked up Cerro Uritorco. I miss Argentina.
Suzanne Briet, aka "Madame Documentation", 1894-1989.
In 1951 Briet published a "remarkable modernist manifesto on the nature of documentation": Qu'est-ce que la documentation? (english translation).
(via Heidi Ganshaw)
Tine Melzer: The Complete Dictionary (2003)
Saw this work today... 26 beautifully bound volumes each numbering 1,600 pages... unfortunately the website is still under development...
Still researching time travel games...
The rules to Timeline, a 4-dimensional chess variant (with the move history of the pieces as a sort of 5th dimension!) designed and produced by George Marino.
A review of Timeline by Steffan O'Sullivan.
In My Opinion
Watched Clive Donner's adaptation of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker.
Like The Servant directed by Joseph Losey, it's good, but not as good as I would have hoped.
Interestingly Pinter was Somerset Maugham's nephew. Interestingly too, The Servant (screenplay by Pinter) and The Caretaker were both released in 1963 (a good year for Pinter?).
Repeat After Me
Read two short Beckett plays, both of which involve or require some form of repetition: Play (1963) and Nacht und Träume (1982).
Following a line of thought which emerged in an interview conducted at the Rijksacademie last week and considering the proximity of several friends with cancer I've been thinking about my feelings concerning friendship and death (it seems that death for Heidegger meant "my death", whereas death for Levinas meant "death of the other").
Researching Levinas on this subject I stumbled across this surprising paper concerning Blanchot's essay on 'Friendship'. It's a PDF file but in my opinion well worth the download.
Also of interest -- considering Blanchot's view of the 'impossiblity' of the obituary -- the Guardian's obituary of Blanchot.
Amazon.com: Maurice Blanchot, Friendship.
Here is another paper which provides a good overview of the 'destabilized self' from various existential perspectives (Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas):
Anthony Macri Jr., The Otherness of Selfhood: Levinas and Existential Inquiry (PDF).
Wishing to buy a book today by Levinas and finding nothing in the bookstore in english I ended up buying Stephen Mulhall's Guidebook to Heidegger and Being and Time which I started immediately. It's certainly helpful but if I had checked online before purchasing I would have probably opted for one or both of these books instead:
Michael Gelven, A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time (better?)
Hubert Dreyfus, Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger's Being and Time (best?)
An interview with Gus van Sant on the making of 'Gerry' (2002).
More 'Being and Time'. Borrowed Lance St. John Butler's study Samuel Beckett and the Meaning of Being from the library.
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