Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thinking about this week

What I'm thinking about this week:

Delta Joe's post on a logical fallacy:

One of my favorite Richard Feynman quotes: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

That means we don’t believe Einstein because he was smart, but because we can check his math.


What works, and how we check that it works, are far more important than having the right credential, whether that credential is a familiar name or a degree or even experience in the field.

Kelley Eskridge on the fallacy of child prodigy:

our cultural bias toward the prodigy model of creativity denies many, many potentially good or great or genius artists the chance to reach their peak — simply because we are not willing to be patient. Gladwell cites the music and publishing industries: if a first album doesn’t sell well, the band is seen as not commercially viable; if a first novel doesn’t do well, people assume that the writer is a bad writer, not that this novel didn’t work. And that’s the fallacy in a nutshell: if the first product of an artist is not A Work Of Staggering Fucking Genius, then the artist isn’t a Real Artist after all.

This attitude kills artists.


She goes on to discuss how her lifetime of curiosity and exploration affects her art (which is writing). The gestalt of my life feeds my art.

Nicola Griffith comments on a study about treating addiction with food:

Basically, when we're in withdrawal from heroin/nicotine/gambling/crack we get low on glutamine, a precursor of GABA. It's GABA's job to keep us relaxed. So when we don't get our fix we get anxious and don't sleep. But we can restore your glutamine levels by eating an amino acid called N-acetylcysteine (NAC) that's found in nuts and seeds. Then you can start messing with other neurotransmitters, like serotonin (start by eating stuff high in tryptophans, e.g. meat, brown rice, nuts, fish, milk). And it's good to eat DHA (found in omega-3 oils, i.e. salmon oil, flaxseed oil and so on).

I know since my doc started me on Vitamin D, the times I've felt sadness and frustration have been less intense, less oppressive.

At GirlHacker's Random Log, car music. The car as player piano, the road as music roll:

Last month in Lancaster, California, a road was grooved for a Honda commercial. A Civic driving over the road at 55mph would hear the iconic part of the William Tell Overture (known to many as the Lone Ranger theme). After noise complaints from residents, the city paved over the road. But they decided to groove a different street in an industrial area with the tune. They're hoping it will be a tourist attraction.

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