Archive for June, 2011

Hemingway in and the WSJ.

June 30, 2011

buffalo with hemingway

It isnt easy being human: It wasnt easy being Hemingway; it wasnt easy being his wives (for whom it is easy?) being his children; it was bad being a grandaughter(s). Margaux killed herself. Hemingway impacted  generations worldwide  by his, mostly, “global writing”: toreros, the spanish civil war,  killing beasts in africa, the old man and the sea, the shark, the sailfish,  all had an inordinate impact in english speaking  writers that otherwise would have remained invisible. How tough was being Gregory Hemingway? I would say incommensurably and unknowable: fathered eight children as a functional man  and dying as a woman in jail? Life is larger than any fiction.

The Hemingway saga is simply cosmic. Ignore his life when reviewing his oeuvre and you are in trouble. Impossible to avoid this tragic grid overimposed on his daily life. Mr. Jeffrey Meyers, at the WSJ today, Thursday 30 June,  (whose achievement seems to have been writing a …Hemingway biography….and also a Huston biography and other unimportant bs biographies):  “he-Hemingway- was an uneven writer, but wrote at least (at least, mind you) one great work in every decade of his career’. 

 Mr Meyers: Writers dont have careers : they write, they kill themselves. And they leave writings to be enjoyed and devoured and re read and recried. Unless you became a “writer” in creative writing in college.

However, he concludes: “Most modern US writers…, are now mostly forgotten. Hemingway along with Fitzgerald and Faulkner provides the literary gold…”

 You gotta be fucking kiddin me: I grew up in Chile and read plenty of american writers, not to say british and scottish and welsh and irish…. some in english, some in spanish, some in french. They were considered lesser writers relative to the worlds’ writers: european, India, africa, arab countries, russian (what a drag) and everybody else that we read biased by our own parochialism. But to say everybody else  as USA writers is forgotten? I doubt it. For me, Fitzgerald is mostly a bore and Faulkner, well, a great writer. What about the rest? Jerzy Kosinski, a world hero! (not really) Philip Roth,  a genius, Wolfe?: on account of “Sorry, your soul just died” essay, deserves its own place as a top seeded. Updike, Plath, even Mailer. Henry Miller, not to acknowledge JD Salingers’ catcher is a sin. And I am just streaming. We all have biases, but Mr Jeffreys is unaccountable.

Even though, this review of Hemingways “achievements” is somehow balanced, I feel as always that critics’ focus is misplaced. What do we have today?: Foster Wallace dead and Franzen striving to grow his penis and make literary history.

A well read WSJ client agrees with my view of Mr Jeffreys’ comments in todays’ paper.


The true “discoverer” of Machu Picchu: Agustin Lizarraga

June 30, 2011

In the June 26  Wiken supplement of El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile,  Sebastian Montalva Wainer writes:

 “En julio de 1902 un agricultor cusqueño llamado Agustín Lizárraga llegó a Machu Picchu y registró su hazaña en la pared de uno de sus templos principales. Sin embargo, tras la llegada del estadounidense Hiram Bingham, nueve años después, su nombre fue borrado para siempre. Hoy sus descendientes lo reclaman como el verdadero descubridor de la legendaria ciudad inca e intentan reescribir una historia que en 28 días más cumplirá 100 años de vida.” “Entonces Bingham, el sargento Carrasco y el pequeño Pablo ascendieron hasta el final de la ladera. Una vez arriba, en medio de la selva, encontraron andenes,casas de granito y construcciones simétricas de piedra. En la plaza había incluso una huerta de legumbres y, cerca de ella, un curioso recinto de tres ventanas trapezoidales donde se podía leer claramente una inscripción sobre la piedra. Decía “Agustín Lizárraga, 14 de julio de 1902″.  Hiram Bingham, entonces, apuntó el nombre en una libreta y siguió tomando fotos del lugar con su Eastman Kodak. La visita duró unas cinco horas, el mismo tiempo que demora hoy cualquier turista que visita la famosa ciudad inca de Machu Picchu”.

Machu Picchu 1911

In synthesis, Mr Lizarraga, as it described in a forthcoming book should be credited with opening Machu Picchu to the westerners. As probably hundreds if not thousands of locals that had visited from the time of Machu Picchu construction. Hiram Bingham brought it to USA and to Yale…..

Bingham highway

The Guardian BEST 100 nonfiction fiction list: the selfish gene is fiction, not non fiction

June 19, 2011

Ah, the british! so anally retentive (some like it). The Guardian published a rather rancid list of the best, imagine, the best 100 nonficition books. Grow up: the best is written in spanish, mostly. The rest in sanskrit.

What they didnt say was that the list is mostly british authors loved by both, the ignorati and the itterati (I started counting, but got bored…and mad). Obviously. The best of the world. With a few, mind you,  token ‘affirmative action” spliced among the list: african (one), southamerican, one, (vargas llosa!!) and assorted nationalities and times. Is this like the MLB world series?

What really drives me around the bend though, is the fact The Guardian-the pinheads that manufacture the list-  qualifies “The selfish Gene” as a work of nonfiction. Nonfiction.

The mind of God (actually its brain) (or the organic matrix of abalone nacre)

June 17, 2011
Courtesy of Volker Springel/Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany.

When I saw the above pic ( a simulation based on the standard model) I thought: “that is why I feel trapped sometimes”: we are living in a mesh of someones’ brain. It actually is a simulation from the Millenium project (Germay): Simulations based on the standard cosmological model, as shown here, indicate that on very large distance scales, galaxies should be uniformly distributed. But observations show a clumpier distribution than expected. (The length bar represents about 2.3 billion light years). In Physics 4, 47 (2011) DOI: 10.1103/Physics.4.47. Cosmic smoothness. Michael J. Hudson Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada writes a cogent viewpoint on: “Excess Clustering on Large Scales in the MegaZ DR7 Photometric Redshift Survey.” Shaun A. Thomas, Filipe B. Abdalla, and Ofer Lahav. Physical Review Letters, 106, 241301, June 13, 2011. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.241301.

Hudson: “The universe is expected to be very nearly homogeneous in density on large scales. In Physical Review Letters, Shaun Thomas and colleagues from University College London analyze measurements of the density of galaxies on the largest spatial scales so far—billions of light years—and find that the universe is less smooth than expected [1]. If it holds up, this result will have important implications for our understanding of dark matter, dark energy, and perhaps gravity itself. In the current standard cosmological model, the average mass-energy density of the observable universe consists of 5% normal matter (most of which is hydrogen and helium), 23% dark matter, and 72% dark energy. The dark energy is assumed to be uniform, but the normal and dark matter are not. The balance between matter and dark energy determines both how the universe expands and how regions of unusually high or low matter density evolve with time.”

The simulation shown above could also be a giant immunofluorescent image of a giant brain OR the organic matrix of abalone nacre: in both cases we are screwed. In the first case, we are part of the brain of God, in the second case we are part of the shell of a giant haliotidae mollusca.

We are heating up: wear linen

June 16, 2011


wear linen

the way we feel tonite

June 15, 2011


luv you

A Chilean jesuit: Manuel Diaz Lacunza, and his extraordinary exile

June 15, 2011

A surprising revelation via an unlikely source and an astonishing prediction (i mean if you take this stuff seriously)

“Lacunza believed – based on his reading of Bible prophecy – that during the period before the “day of the Lord” there would be a general apostasy of the Catholic Church which would make it part of the Antichrist. In this sense “the church” was not individuals, but “a moral body” composed of all the apostates and atheists. Naturally this view was especially controversial because it placed the official church on the wrong side in the final struggle between Good and Evil. It was this belief that finally brought about the Vatican’s condemnation of his work.” (around 1750). via wiki

Check out his book(s) available free online; Coming of  Messiah in glory and majesty, two volumes.

I have received many warm messages from atheists thanking me for having made apparent their purpose on earth: save us from damnation….jajajajajjajaj

Greg C Mayer on Holloway et al paper: we agree

June 14, 2011
Posted at WEIT:
Gregory C. Mayer
Posted June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

Having now read this paper, I can only say that the authors’ conclusions are not fully supported by the results presented. Some lacunae are historical: What did Morton think about cranial capacity? What did Morton think about polygenesis? In the latter case, the online supplements provide a smidgen of data (a quote from a letter), but there is nothing about the first. Perhaps Morton said nothing– but then they should say that. And are Gould’s assumptions about Morton’s prejudices supported by evidence about Morton’s prejudices? I don’t know.

As regards the statistical treatment, the authors present almost nothing in their paper, save the listing of seven skulls they consider Morton to have erred in measuring. It is also hard to reconstruct Morton’s method from their account. In box 2, they aver he used “grouped” (presumably meaning unweighted) means, while in the text they state he used “straight” (presumably meaning weighted) means. The tables, figures and statistical analyses that one would expect are lacking. There are some elements of this in the online supplements, but not all of it, nor is it presented in a manner facilitating interpretation (e.g.,they show what looks like raw computer output, rather than conventional tables).

The authors are to be praised for their remeasurement, their consideration of their measurement errors, and for providing the specimen measurements. Almost everything they say may be true, including their main conclusion about Gould’s errors. But, by and large, the paper is an “executive summary” lacking the background, data summary, and analyses that would be expected in a scientific paper, that leaves the reader unsatisfied.

It seems to me that the authors have done a more substantive piece of work that deserves a considerably longer paper than the one before us.”

I said it differently, Friday 10:

“Ok. The points here are: too few skulls, too few “datasets’, two flaky, by todays protocols, methods of measuring accurately,  volumes when arguing about a couple of cubic inches!!.  I think the whole thing is arcane and silly”

I cant believe he is the only one that has concluded the obvious. Whtas wrong with people??

The free will scandal

June 13, 2011

One cacophonist equated belief in god with “belief” in free will. I didnt choose to write this post.

More on this later: going to the docs (obvioulsy besides the metaphysical, free will is an operational concept to denote this).

Now is later: I was gonna read the cacopost de novo,  but a new cacopost caught my bewildered nonfreewill eye: Broadway; is not for gays anymore…not for gays? not for gays anymore? what a turp

The comedian-in-chief

June 12, 2011

Paw-lentil made a remark: “Im not running for comedian in chief”. Maybe he should

Which brings me to a creative ranking of presidents, regarding their hilarity-meter:

Obama: humorless (in public)

GW Bush: wise ass, sometimes funny.

Bill: a disgrace in the comedian front

GH: whats laughing? (Barbara was a comedian)

Reagan: wise cracker-asser redneck

Carter: who??