this week i

visited my man in amsterdam, duckdb labs, narrowed down a crash.  draisine: two dudes pumping along the railroad.  lautmalerisch: onomonepeia



visited anne frank house, no sunshine.  we somehow continue to tolerate war, humans ought not call ourselves modern until state violence ends




  

on putin’s 70th birthday this autumn, an army telegram channel posted a caricature of an oversized zaluzhnyi standing behind him, covering his eyes as he was about to blow out candles on a cake.  hours later, an explosion damaged the kerch bridge

 

visited rijksmuseum for rembrandt's concord of the state, rembrandt's operation night watch, rembrandt's still life with peacocks, rembrandt's self-portrait as the apostle paul, rembrandt jeremiah lamenting the destruction of jerusalem, rembrandt's reclining lion, with bonus dopefiend macaque







 

read clandestine in chile by gabriel garcia marquez

an exile's brainstorm

in the dignified old hotel carrera, from whose windows it was possible to see the entire moneda palace.  a few days after we had checked out, a young couple took the room next to the one we had occupied and set up a photographer's tripod on which they mounted a bazooka with a delayed firing mechanism aimed at pinochet's office.  the conception and mechanics of the operation were first-rate and pinochet was in his office at the right time, but the legs of the tripod gave way with the force of the discharge and the projectile exploded inside the room

the father of the country, bernardo o'higgins

allende ran for office so many times that he used to say his epitaph would read: here lies salvador allende, future president of chile

 generals: love never dies.  allende and neruda live.  one minute of darkness will not make us blind

in case i were arrested i stayed up all that night writing a letter to the president of the supreme court, who still retained some independence under the military dictatorship.  in it, i acknowledged my clandestine return to my country.  writing the letter was not a sudden impulse but something i had considered for some time, which had become more urgent now that the circle had begun to close around us.  at first i conceived of the letter as a single dramatic sentence, like a castaway's message in a bottle thrown into the sea, but as i set about writing it, i realized that it was necessary to give my action political and human significance so that it would also express the feelings of the thousands of chileans trying to survive the plague of exile.  i made many false starts and tore up many sheets of paper there in the gloomy hotel room which was itself a place of private exile in my own land.  by the time i finished, the church bells ringing the mass had already shattered the silence of curfew and the first light of morning was making its way through the shadows of a new day in that unforgettable autumn

 "how can you not know me?" i said, bursting into laughter.  "i'm your son, miguel"

 

11/24

this week i

published our first looks at the privatized medicare and prescription drug plan markets

arrived in cologne for november eleventh with last minute hawaiian beach towel neck scarf costume, police maintained a glass bottle perimeter






read jomo kenyatta's entry, fixed too. kenya etymology: black rock, white snow reminiscent of male ostrich feathers. kenyatta: masaai beaded belt

jomo was close to a kikuyu word describing the removal of a sword from its scabbard
 
green for the land, black for the skin of the people, and red for the blood of liberty
 
permitted israeli jets to refuel in kenya on their way back from the entebbe raid
 
the funeral was orchestrated to deliberately imitate that of deceased british prime minister winston churchill


read..

 
(1) cigarettes and dixie peach

brian jones played the album for keith richards, who thought he was listening to two guitarists

the mississippi delta is not the delta of the mississippi river, but part of a gigantic alluvial plain created by the mississippi's annual flooding

eric clapton's belief that johnson's 'cross roads' was about drug addition (it was about lynching)

like jimi hendrix, jim morrison, janis joplin, kurt cobain and amy winehouse after him, johnson died at the age of 27

in 1943 international harvester introduced the mechanical cotton picker, hastening the collapse of the economic system johnson had lived and died under.  maybe he would have ended up in chicago, recording for chess.  if so, we'd probably know where he was buried


(2) vermont's loss should be quebec's gain

burning the remains of hundreds of millions of flora and fauna in the course of a few decades, we're forcing the planet through changes that usually take eons; deep time is suddenly running like one of those films of a flower opening in seconds

in the mountains..the temperature drops three degrees celsius with every 1,640 feet of elevation, but in the lowlands a bird or a tree would need to travel 310 miles north to get similar relief

grizzly bears don't live in yellowstone because they appreciate being part of the wyoming tourist economy, they live there because it's the right temperature

less than one percent of the planet's surface has an average temperature higher than twenty-nine degrees celsius, or eighty-four degrees fahrenheit; at the moment that's mostly in the sahara region.  but computer modeling shows that within fifty years those kinds of temperatures could be common in most of the tropics, an area projected to be home to 3.5 billion people

rice farmers in vietnam are planting at night with headlamps to avoid dangerous heat


(3) resegregation trends

from a high point of integration in 1988, when 37 percent of black students attended majority-white schools, america's public schools have resegregated to a startling degree.  by 2018, that percentage had fallen by half

justice louis brandeis wrote in 1932, "in most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right"

"it is my firm conviction," stevens wrote, "that no member of the court that i joined in 1975 would have agreed with today's decision"


(4) a very brief period in which to reshape our food systems

forced to live isolated lives in devastated environments often devoid of natural beauty, and indeed from which nature has largely been expunged, they watch their mortgages grow much more reliably than their crops, until some wonder whether life is worth living.  far too many decide that it's not, and in some regions - particularly in india - the rate of farmer suicides has reached horrifying levels.  even in affluent countries like france, the uk, the us, and australia, farmers kill themselves at almost twice the rate of the population as a whole

people who depend on the highly processed foods, abounding in fats and sugars, that tend to fill food banks can become simultaneously obese and malnourished.  according to the un food and agriculture organization, a good diet costs five times more than one that merely has adequate calories, and for those afflicted by an insufficient diet, high levels of diabetes and heart and circulatory problems can lead to early death..pundits insist that the problem with the obese is a lack of "'willpower' - people are 'failing to take responsibility' for their diets."  yet this overlooks the catastrophic consequences of poverty and inequality.  rather, he concludes, "obesity is a communicable disease.  its vectors are corporations"

 

(5) betty windsor

those of us who find it strange that a country should be deeply shocked by the death of a ninety-six-year-old woman must remind ourselves that it is a crime in england to let your thoughts dwell on the death of the monarch.  the treason act of 1351, still in force, makes clear that this most terrible of offenses is committed by anyone who can "compass or imagine the death" of the sovereign.  this thought-crime arises, presumably, from the belief that a world beyond the reign of the anointed queen or king ought to be unimaginable.  for if it is not, that supremacy is deprived of its most potent magic: the illusion of permanence.  the subject (and the british are subjects, not citizens) is compelled to feel for the ruler the love that shakespeare calls "an ever-fixed mark/that looks on tempests and is never shaken"

elton john..watching the queen, she approaches her nephew viscount linley.  his sister sarah had taken ill and retired to her room.  elizabeth asks linley to go and check on her: when he repeatedly tried to fob her off, the queen lightly slapped him across the face, saying "don't" - slap - "argue" - slap - "with" - slap - "me" - slap - "i" - slap - "am" - slap - "the queen!"  that seemed to do the trick.  as she left, she saw me staring at her, gave me a wink and walked off

whatever you say, say nothing

thomas hobbes called the papacy "the ghost of the deceased roman empire"


(6) the voluntary matrix

the hardware and software necessary to convert the two-dimensional internet into a three-dimensional experience

gucci is now designing apparel and accessories for video game avatars

real money dropping from an imagined, pixelated tree

in 2020 neurosurgeons at johns hopkins used an ar headset with a see-through display to do spinal surgery.  the headset let the surgeons superimpose the patients' scans over the actual affected area, allowing them to target it with more precision than if they had to consult those images on a nearby computer


(7) china's current system is inherently unstable

how had almost everyone gotten him so wrong?

placing clueless junior officials in positions of great authority was a deliberate strategy by mao to enhance his personal power while he still lived


(8) buster keaton: a very serious child

"keep your eye on the kid."  buster quickly assumed an equal and even predominant role, by the testimony of reviews in newspapers and trade journals, which singled him out as "a diminutive five-year-old comedian who is unusually funny," "a laugh-maker," "so clever...that there are many who believe him to be a dwarf"

 

(9) the first man to read that after more than two thousand years of oblivion

 the flood myth that significantly predated the book of genesis

that the epic of gilgamesh exists at all is close to a miracle, and has much to do with the bibliophilia of the last great assyrian king, ashurbanipal (reigned 669-627 bce), as well as the curatorial talents of desert sand

a scene that begs for an ennio morricone soundtrack

the sudden surfacings of new shards of gilgamesh..creates "a bizarre experience for a translator...like trying to paint a model who refuses to sit still

 

(10) intergalactic billiards

in 1992, 17-year-old michelle knapp of peekskill, new york, had recently bought a chevrolet malibu for $300.  after the car was smashed beyond repair by the impact of a large meteorite, she sold it to a collector for $25,000

for now, we know that we can successfully strike an incoming asteroid.  real progress, and certainly well ahead of anything the dinosaurs achieved, even if we have yet to show we can save ourselves from their fate

 

11/17

this week i

landed for 59th jazzfest, though i'd trade it all for ella in berlin.  concerts started 6pm thursday, no standards till after midnight saturday morning





visited ethnological museum, benin bronzes scheduled for repatriation.  water dumbells make strong like phuppet.  november mosquitos here too



 








read the diary of a young girl by anne frank.  eleanor roosevelt: the young are not afraid of telling the truth

on the subject of mrs. van daan, i must tell you that her attempts to flirt with daddy are a source of continual irritation for me.  she strokes his face and hair, pulls her skirt right up, and makes so-called witty remarks, trying in this way to attract pim's attention.  pim, thank goodness, doesn't find her either attractive or funny, so he doesn't play ball.  mummy doesn't behave like that with mr. van daan, i've said that to mrs. van daan's face

in my imagination the man who i thought was trying to get in had been growing and growing in size until in the end he appeared to be a giant and the greatest fascist that ever walked the earth

we all sat around the table upstairs, waiting with coffee and cognac to greet the newcomer

the freedom-loving gandhi of india is holding his umpteenth fast

paper is patient

if only i had a girl friend!

if one of the eight of us opens his mouth, the other seven can finish the story for him

the sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts, i cannot be unhappy

i must do some algebra, kitty - good-by

it's the eighteenth birthday of her royal highness princess elizabeth of york

we shan't get anywhere by following an ostrich policy


11/10

this week i

met erin for nobu before her aspen institute collaboration, concurrent beneficiary behavior publication.  plus population projections caught my eye

 

met alma over revati's fish curry.  a mosquito bit me at the end of october.  tightrope walkers hold that wide pole to resist the rotation of the rope



read archimedes' wikipedia entry

the greatest mathematician of ancient history, and one of the greatest of all time, archimedes anticipated modern calculus and analysis by applying the concept of the infinitely small and the method of exhaustion to derive and rigorously prove a range of geometrical theorems, including: the area of a circle; the surface area and volume of a sphere; area of an ellipse; the area under a parabola; the volume of a segment of a paraboloid of revolution; the volume of a segment of a hyperboloid of revolution; and the area of a spiral

 killed by a roman soldier despite orders that he should not be harmed

the last words attributed to archimedes are "do not disturb my circles"

by dividing the mass of the crown by the volume of water displaced, the density of the crown could be obtained.  this density would be lower than that of gold if cheaper and less dense materials had been added.  archimedes then took to the streets, naked, so excited by his discovery that he had forgotten to dress, crying "eureka!"

measurement of a circle..drawing a larger regular hexagon outside a circle then a smaller regular hexagon inside the circle, and progressively doubling the number of sides of each regular polygon, calculating the length of a side of each polygon at each step.  as the number of sides increases, it becomes a more accurate approximation of a circle.  after four such steps, when the polygons had 96 sides each, he was able to determine that the value of π lay between 3 1/7 (approx. 3.1429) and 3 10/71 (approx. 3.1408), consistent with its actual value of approximately 3.1416

in the sand reckoner, archimedes set out to calculate the number of grains of sand that the universe could contain..8 vigintillion, or 8 x 10^63

in the year 1500 europe knew less than archimedes who died in the year 212 bc

 

learned a little martian geology, iea sees a peak around 2030 for all fossil fuels, one pathogen impacted the evolution of our immune system

a mystery going back to the early years of modern astronomy, known as the mars dichotomy.  this is the contrast between the planet's southern hemisphere, which is predominantly mountainous and rugged, and the north is dominated by flat and dusty volcanic lowlands

 

read..

(1) worker surveillance

when videotape technology was supplanted by digital devices that could scan multiple locations at once, the cameras first installed to protect businesses from theft shifted their insatiable gaze from the merchandise to the workers

 

(2) neurosexism

 when the average sizes of organs are compared by sex, there is a great difference between lungs, livers, hearts and thyroids than there is between human brainsmost brains are good enough for most things; the problem is that too many are underfed, sunk in cortisol, hemmed in by stereotypes and taken up with the demands of survival..stephen jay gould forty years ago: 'i am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops'

 

(3) hoardiculture

 to enter his study you had to stick to narrow 'goat paths' (as they're called in the literature on hoarding) he had laid out between the columns of newspaper

in the most recent edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of the american psychiatric association, 'hoarding disorder' was given its own entry.  dsm-5 defines it as the 'persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value'

 

read tobacco coast: a maritime history of chesapeake bay in the colonial era by the retired director of colonial williamsburg arthur pierce middleton

 early in the seventeenth century navigators began to appreciate the advantages of the northern passage, which approximates the great circle track between england and the american coast.  it was shorter, it avoided the perilous waters off hatteras, and it lay entirely within the temperate zone, thus minimizing discomfort and disease on shipboard

the majestic but almost unnavigable susquehanna

the patapsco ferryman in 1719 received only five hundred pounds of tobacco, while in 1723 he received seven thousand pounds of tobacco

virginia, the first english colony

before the warehouse-inspection system went into effect in virginia in 1730 and maryland in 1747, hogshead cooperage continued to be characterized by carelessness, haste, and lack of uniformity

in 1682-83 the pirate william dampier and twenty of his men spent a year in virginia, where they disposed of their loot of cacao, hides, european goods, earthenware, and brandy gathered by buccaneering in the west indies.  dampier later said that virginia was a good market for loot and a good place to provision vessels, for there was a chronic shortage of european goods in the tobacco colonies and a perennial abundance of food

george washington expressed the opinion of the fishing interests when he asserted that "liverpool salt is inadequate to the saving of fish, and therefore useless in this business ... lisbon is the proper kind of salt for fish"

fore-and-aft mainsails and spankers tended to replace square sails in the interest of maneuverability, particularly on smaller vessels, such as brigs and snows, and gaff sails supplanted the lanteen mizzens


 

the waters of a tidal creek

in 1753 two sailors on a ship in chester river fell to quarreling.  apparently their vocabulary gave out before their anger died down, for they soon grappled with one another.  in the course of their struggle they tumbled overboard and, being unwilling to stop fighting, were drowned.  their bodies upon being recovered were buried in one grave, where, the gazette assured its readers, "they lie peaceably together"

her cargo consisted of coals, tile, beef, butter, candles, salt, bacon, nails, shoes, slippers, ribbons, earthen pots, arms, linens, shirts, copper and brass ware, and "chirurgical medicines"

the peculiar property of the chesapeake tidewater - the land's extraordinary accessibility to sea-borne traffic - that facilitated the rapid development of the two colonies and made possible the adoption of tobacco as a staple, had an adverse effect in discouraging the growth of towns and thereby depriving the tobacco colonies of the social and intellectual advantages of urban communities

 

11/3

this week i

worked late a couple nights for a few moments above the fold.  journal article too.  favorite phrase: this is similar to the percentage last year

 


met gayle, robert for beer, spaghetti, ice cream, exchange of travel stories, discussion of culpeper vinters


 

surprised rupak (en route to grant committee meetings) with the second yellow fever immunization of my life.  we agreed on barcelona over gelato

 

viewed three photobooks: prartha singh's har shaam shaheen bagh, chobi mela 2017, chobi mela 2021



 



 

read..

(1)  noam chomsky visited lula in jail

if i speak, the republic falls

corruption so widespread that it threatens the political system itself

 

(2) the most widely consumed fat on the planet

when the venetian explorer cadamosto encountered it in senegal in the 15th century, he wrote that it had the 'scent of violets, the taste of our olive oil and a colour which tinges food like saffron, but is more attractive'

 

(3) yawns, coughs, blinks and itches are contagious: why not convulsions?

one of the most effective treatments for resignation syndrome is to grant the family asylum, but even then recovery is slow - as would be expected of a body subject to such prolonged inactivity.  that the condition can be cured by a positive asylum decision leads some to dismiss it as malingering

 

(4) to understand afghanistan you have to start in islamabad

saudi arabia joined the us in financing the mujahideen, and training and equipment were supplied by pakistan's isi

the pashtun plural for the arabic word talib, 'student', since they had all been students or teachers at madrasas in afghanistan and pakistan

 

(5) san francisco came to be known in cantonese as 'old gold mountain' (gau gamsan), melbourne as 'new gold mountain' (san gamsan)

the gold rushes transformed the world economy.  in half a century 435 million ounces of gold were extracted, more than the total amount in circulation over the previous three thousand years..the discovery enabled an expansion of trade and finance, and much of the world adopted the gold standard in response.  since 88 per cent of the gold was held in britain and the us, this transition cemented the countries' status as global creditors and lenders.  at the same time, the value of silver held by many other economies, most notably the qing, collapsed.  chinese purchases of silver from latin america and asia, which began in the 15th century, had helped united earlier incarnations of the global market; the shift from silver to gold symbolised the transition from a world economy centered on asia to one centered on the north atlantic

women made up between 3 and 7 per cent of the chinese american population until the 20th century



(6) the neoliberal perspective

as first articulated in the 1930s by the austrian economist friedrich hayek and by henry simons of the university of chicago, holds that if we want entrepreneurs, financiers, and ordinary citizens to be liberated from state regulation, strong government rules must protect the market from the state.  milton friedman, in a 1951 essay titled "neo-liberalism and its prospects," agreed that this project went well beyond laissez-faire..to inoculate capitalism against the threat of democracy

 

(7) assyrian posterity

ashurbanipal corners and destroys roaring lions, then pours a libation onto four of their prostrate bodies.  the hunting of dangerous beasts, lions above all, served the assyrian kings, and later those of persia, as a display of power and dominion; large game parks were established in capital cities to allow them to demonstrate their prowess.  (the iranian name for these lush, walled spaces comes into english, by way of greek and hebrew versions, as the word paradise.)  the relief at the getty gives a good sense of how the royal hunt was choreographed: attendants are seen releasing one lion from a cage and driving others toward ashurbanipal to give him an opening for a solo kill.  to judge by their thick necks and beardless faces, most of the attendants are eunuchs.  similar beardless retinues accompany the king in nearly every relief panel, shading him with parasols, keeping off flies with whisks, playing musical instruments, or serving him food and drink; their ministrations attest to his hypermasculine, superhuman stature

 

(8) janicza bravo's zola

perhaps for this reason, her relationship to capital remains murky.  is she a canny producer or a rapacious consumer?  a thing to be used or an experience to be exchanged?  a fetishized commodity or a figure for capitalism itself?  "prostitution is only the specific expression of the general prostitution of the labourer," marx writes.  elsewhere, with a nod to shakespeare, he describes money as "the common whore, the common pimp of peoples and nations."  is she common?  what is the whore's class position?  she is traditionally the lowest in society, but can be catapulted to the top in an instant.  she still magnetizes resentment and desire from everyone

"you dance?"  "it's been a minute."  "i dance."  "okay bitch.  me too."

i invented threads

 

(9) disposal of the dead through history

embalming took off in the us during the civil war because of the vast distances bodies had to travel without refrigeration.  the physician who perfected the technique charged a hundred bucks a piece and displayed the corpse of an unidentified soldier in the window of his shop to drum up business

every magician..knows that sticking a closed box in the middle of a group of people is a recipe for sustained suspense

 

(10) wanking to banking


10/27