All posts by dmierkin

The Goldfinch

I have to read fiction once in a while. It’s like an urge. Somebody recommended Goldfinch – Thank You ! I’ve been totally immersed in it, living his life all the way to last pages. BUT WHY ?! Finishing story so anticlimactically, so out of narrative, I wonder and hope if this is just a segway for second tome.

queens of comedy

It feels like Tina Fey’s book is written on the wave of success over Sarah Palin sketch and 30 Rock. Same way you would expect Amy Poehlers book to be following her success at Parks and Rec, but it feels more like Tina’s successor. Too bad, though book is honest and entertaining. I think same way as 30 R was more driven by high minded reflections than P&R. And as a result, 15 y.o. girl for whom both authors are huge celebrities and role models gulped Bossypants but never finished Thank you, please.

I wonder what kind of personal book Amy Schumer would write. And I don’t think I would care for Sarah Silverman’s book,

pain is comedy minus time

Finished “Does Santa Exist?” by Eric Kaplan. In some way, an amazing book, just like “Plato at the Googleplex” by Rebecca Goldstein, bringing high minded philosophy home, to the everyday questions and struggles. And doing it while being witty, smart, erudite, relevant.

So what is my beef with Kaplan? I would not write anything if I did not have any. I have to become (well, stay) arrogant and oversimplifying, but here is the thing: he does not escape religious mindset, though easily skipping between religions. But like all religious people he insists on having unique global context, like God, Limitless, or unified physics theory, one global context relevant in every discussion, something one where all our material and emotional stuff lives in.

I do not believe in this. We use different models in different contexts. Models that have better predictive power show our better understanding of the context where this model is applicable. Models just have to be useful. One may use signaling to think about human interactions, or attachment disorder when it is relevant. I do not need to define God that have multiple faces to go around the fact that one model does not explain everything. All this verbal fog that have to be created to hide the simple fact that no model of reality is reality, that every model has limitations on context it is applicable to, and that we in fact use multiple models at all times and resulting behavior is akin to market indicator, derived by actions of many in or semi dependent actors.

One can take this further and derive meaning of life as creation of better communal models of reality, and/or spreading life across the universe. But lets drop unique global context as defining factor in our philosophy.

Great book. I specifically enjoyed the part on laughter.

To Hell with the Ugly

Here is setup in my head when I heard a conversation between two successful white dudes working at finance at a party.

– I remember reading Vian and specifically there was a scene where two “artificially designed” beautiful men discussing that what turns them on are super ugly and/or invalids, I think one mentioned he had a prostitute without a limb or smth.

– I have watched recently “Wolf of Wall Street”, apparently the movie with highest frequency of “fuck” utterance (yes, there is a list for that too). The scene of party planning, discussing what they could do to midgets.

– A long speech by friend of mine on how financial sector suffers from professional deformity. Same way teachers at home have a problem to turn off the teacher inside themselves, brokers continue to see the world and people as transactions that should make them money.

Now two people having discussion on what they will do for winter vacation. I am close by, but my experience is not on par, I can not contribute, I am (and they are too !) slowly getting bored listening about all the wonderful and warm, the tasty and sexy, and then. Two people in front of me found new topic so hot they actually became animated, drinks are back on table, so hands can do motions in the air. They were discussing what island has the most observable and most pitiful poverty as an attraction for family winter vacation.