Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bohemians Drowning in Comedy of Errors

“The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

A 68-year-old egomaniacal and absent-minded theoretical physicist meets a bikini model online. Of course, all is not as it seems... Bohemian Girls

For three decades, the surveillance of Britain's supposedly communist writers and intellectuals was a comedy of errors. Between 1930-1960, Britain’s MI5 kept tabs on prominent intellectuals, such as Auden, Spender, Orwell, Koestler... One of the most mythologised aspects of the British secret state has been its attempts to keep tabs on literary intellectuals. As Ian McEwan's last novel Sweet Tooth showed, the idea that poets, novelists or playwrights could have been crucial to the progress of the communist menace is an enduringly attractive one. It flatters poets, novelists or playwrights, after all; and it causes spooks to go into conniptions of paranoia. a comedy of errors

Ours is an authenticity-obsessed age. Politicians, coffee shops, food, art are scrutinized for evidence of inauthenticity. But some things are too real to be true... One way out of this hall of mirrors is to insist ever more loudly that one’s own offering is really, truly authentic. No one is more authentic than Ray Kurzweil who is not a philosopher, psychologist, or neuroscientist, but he knows “the secret of human thought.” There is danger in such loose talk... How do we get from pure chemistry to full-blown psychology?

"It's somewhere beyond $881 million in drug money. If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, you're going to go to jail... But if you launder nearly a billion dollars for international cartels and violate sanctions you pay a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed a night." Elizabeth Warren Slams Federal Regulators Over Bank Money Laundering

Smart technology and the sort of big data available to social networking sites are helping police target crime before it happens policing is in a good position to profit from "big data"

New wealth, especially from China and Russia, is having a dramatic impact on European tourism, cities and traditional rural havens How the influx of new global elites is changing the face of our societies

From sweet peas to sour milk, every smell is a combination of synapses and electricity. Molecules fire up receptors in the membranes of your nose and signals stream through a delta of neurons into the dark recesses of your brain. By some alchemy, action potentials and dopamine can render an entire world.

Water equals time,” wrote Joseph Brodksy, “and provides beauty with its double.” The poet was writing about Venice and he, like Italo Calvino in his sublime novel Invisible Cities (1972), was intrigued by how the waterborne city was able to reflect the things we want to see – that it becomes a cipher for our desires

“Some might think that the creativity, imagination, and flights of fancy that give my life meaning are insanity.”
― Vladimir Nabokov