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GreenCine General
Off Topic & Games
For when your thoughts are drifting to things not so movie, or if you're feeling trivially inclined.

What are you reading?
Topic by: dwhudson
Posted: June 27, 2002 - 2:49 PM PDT
Last Reply: June 13, 2003 - 3:30 PM PDT

page  1  2  3      prev | next
author topic: What are you reading?
post #21  on November 5, 2002 - 8:13 PM PST  
I try this again...

> On November 5, 2002 - 8:04 PM PST wdrazo wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Yes, that's a great article. See the difference:
> Forty movies every film fan should see
> vs.
> Reel world domination
> Please notice the differences and click on the separate links...
> > On November 5, 2002 - 6:48 PM PST DPOWERS wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> > [wdrazo]
> > > Salon has this great article on films that everyone here would be interested in, but you probably need to subscribe to their premium service to see it: <
> >
> > somebody off salon typed up the list of forty movies from the article. /d
> > ---------------------------------
> ---------------------------------

post #22  on February 27, 2003 - 9:11 AM PST  
Dura, by Myung Mi KIM. this is a long poem and its incomplete syntax and strict formatting partially explain the oddity of some of my phrasing lately. a friend of mine in new york has been working on theresa hak kyung CHA's dictee, which proved too much for me. i picked up dura as a distant apology and because it has superficial OULIPO aspects. better to read it after meditating for a while or something.

Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia WOOLF. actually this is a companion to dura, little did i know. one line of thought meets another.

The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley ROBINSON. an alternate history of the world. christiandom was wiped out by plague in the 15th century; columbus never happened; go from there. told from the point of view of a group of souls reincarnated in various important periods and places from that point to the "present."

Dead Man, Jonathan ROSENBAUM. monograph on the movie by the critic.
post #23  on February 27, 2003 - 9:12 AM PST  
ha i knew that was "christendom." lazy child couldn't be bothered to retype more than the last few letters of "christianity"...
post #24  on February 27, 2003 - 9:22 AM PST  
> The Years of Rice and Salt ... christendom was wiped out by plague in the 15th century; columbus never happened; go from there. <

even more interesting, this book was published last year, 2002, but clearly the author started writing it years before. oh and as this review notes (wow i remember laura miller!), according to the timeline at the front of the book, the mysterious plague happened in the 14th century CE.
post #25  on February 27, 2003 - 7:51 PM PST  
Current reading list:

Jean Renoir by Raymond Durgnat and Open Doors by Leonardo Sciascia.

post #26  on February 28, 2003 - 2:24 PM PST  
Glad this thread is revived! On the plane over here, I read Kafka Was All the Rage by Anatole Broyard. Splendid little book, perfect on-the-road or up-in-the-air reading. Nice bits about what happens to intellectuals when they don't keep one foot in the real world, very nice bits about what sex meant in 1947, fun cameos by the likes of Delmore Schwartz, Dylan Thomas and Maya Deren (speaking of whom, anyone know anything about any Deren at all on DVD?)...
post #27  on February 28, 2003 - 3:20 PM PST  
> speaking of whom, anyone know anything about any Deren at all on DVD? <

as a matter of fact...

not only does the distributorhave a DVD (and a little too much love for HTML frames)...

there's a little teaser...

hee hee.
post #28  on February 28, 2003 - 3:55 PM PST  

> not only does the distributorhave a DVD (and a little too much love for HTML frames)...
> there's a little teaser...


Just talked to GG, who is indeed a Superhero, and she's on the case! We need some Maya.

More literary moments of Maya: James Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover.
post #29  on February 28, 2003 - 4:23 PM PST  
here yah go:
Maya Deren Experimental Films

I created this catalog entry from scratch .. so I just grabbed whatever info I could get online. If there's additional info on this DVD that any of you know about and want to add on to the page, just send me a note!! :)

> >
> Oooh!
> Just talked to GG, who is indeed a Superhero, and she's on the case! We need some Maya.
> More literary moments of Maya: James Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover.
> ---------------------------------

post #30  on February 28, 2003 - 4:26 PM PST  
hhmmmm .. .that link aint workin'. here'a another try:

Maya Deren Experimental Films

here's the actual URL if this still doesnt work.
post #31  on February 28, 2003 - 4:59 PM PST  
Up in the sky! It's GGSuperhero! Hip-hip...
post #32  on February 28, 2003 - 5:11 PM PST  

> Maya Deren Experimental Films


I read Deren's Divine Horsemen book about Voodoo a few years back and it made for some fascination reading.

Currently, I'm reading Elijah Wald's Narcocorrido: A Journey Into the Music of Drugs, Guns and Guerillas. Basically it's about Mexico's version of gangsta rap, which has accordians and acoustic guitars in the place of drum machines and turntables, cowboy hats instead of skully caps.

Still the same ol' bling-bling, though.
post #33  on February 28, 2003 - 5:44 PM PST  
Wow, David, I haven't heard anything of Anatole Broyard in years, much less thought about him. A terrific little book, Greenwich Village Memoir was de rigueur back when. Back when? Back when I finally crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.

post #34  on February 28, 2003 - 9:52 PM PST  
> On February 28, 2003 - 5:44 PM PST Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>Back when I finally crossed the Brooklyn Bridge.

and i assume you did that in a chariot?

post #35  on February 28, 2003 - 10:42 PM PST  
ooh and now i'm reading 100,000,000,000,000 sonnets. 100 trillion each in english, french, and swedish!

i wanted to adapt this poem for the web myself, in english, and was already halfway through designing widgets that i hoped someone would program with/for me. i did a web search and somebody'd already done it in principle, which is great. i think there's still room for a more beautiful version.

the following explanation comes from the book oulipo compendium, edited by harry mathews and alastair brotchie.


100,000,000,000,000 Poems consists of a sequence of 10 14-line sonnets by Raymond QUENEAU. Its composition was perhaps inspired by the children's game Heads, Bodies, Legs: just as in that game body parts from each section can be interchanged, so any line in any one of these sonnets can replace the corresponding line in any other sonnet. (The rhyme scheme of the sonnets is uniform; grammatical correctness is assured no matter what sequence of lines occurs.)

The consequences of this interchangeability are not hard to see.

Start with the first line taken in isolation: there are, obviously, 10 alternatives or possibilities for it. When we now add a line, we know that each of the 10 first lines can be followed by any of the 10 second lines: this gives us 10 X 10 = 100 (or 10^2) possible combinations of 2 lines. Each of these combinations of 2 lines can in turn be followed by any one of the 10 third lines, a step that will produce 10 X 100 = 1000 (or 10^3) possible combinations of 3 lines. In similar fashion, every additional line raises the number of possible combinations by a factor of 10 until, with the 14th line, we attain 10^14 possible combinations of 14 lines, a number than can be variously written as 100 billion (U.K.), 100,000 billion (U.S.), or 100 million million -- a very large number however you write it. Queneau calculated that someone reading the book 24 hours a day would need 190,258,751 years to finish it.

[Some notes here on how the poem was originally published and how it is published in this new book.]

Stanley CHAPMAN's translation was received by the author with "admiring stupefaction." [The English version on the web site is this British translation. Keep that in mind when rhymes don't quite work, and watch out for a few typing errors.]

post #36  on February 28, 2003 - 10:49 PM PST  
when looking at that poem, it's a little dumb, there's only the one button for making a "New Poem" and that randomizes every line in the poem. however once you click the "New Poem" button you'll notice the URL change to something like:


where "p=XXXXXXXXXXXXXX" is the current line selection, and each X can be from 0 to 9. so by manipulating the URL and resubmitting it to the web site you can actually control the poem. if you decide you don't like the 5th line, count in to the 5th number in the "p=" sequence, change that number, resubmit the URL, and voilą.

like i said there's room for a prettier version and with javascript or a smarter form you could maybe even build it right on top of this guy's web app...?
post #37  on February 28, 2003 - 10:54 PM PST  
to actually use the URL control method you have to delete "&n=New+Poem" from the end of the URL before submitting the URL again otherwise it will randomise everything anyway.
post #38  on March 1, 2003 - 4:53 AM PST  
> and i assume you did that in a chariot?

Yeah, it was called the BMT.

post #39  on March 1, 2003 - 6:52 AM PST  
Okay winky, it was a long time ago but not that far back - but my chariot looked something like this.

post #40  on May 30, 2003 - 2:21 AM PDT  
Im currently struggling through (and enjoying every minute of) Frank Tiplers The Physics of Immortality. I first read this book about five years ago. Now Im about halfway through reading it again.

Tipler is a Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University. His Ph.D. specialty is global general relativity. In the 1970s and 80s, he published a series of research papers in respected academic science journals on the topic of time travel (including a paper published in 1974 which lays out the mathematical details for an actual design of a time machine!). In 1986 he published, along with his colleague, John D. Barrow, a book entitled The Anthropic Cosmological Principle in which, as I understand it, he argues  persuasively, exhaustively, and with mathematical proofs and lots of detailed physics  that the existence of mankind places constraints on the future evolution of the universe.

In The Physics of Immortality, which he wrote in 1994, his imaginative approach to physics goes farther. Much farther. The Physics of Immortality presents Tiplers testable scientific theory, which he calls The Omega Point Theory. It purports to be a scientific proof of the existence of God. It is one of the most intellectually audacious books Ive ever read.

He tackles all the traditional big questions of philosophy, including determinism, indeterminism, and free will; technical (i.e., mathematical, not mystical) definitions of "life", "person", and "soul;" whether progress is possible forever or we are doomed to an "eternal return;" and so on.

With sections that have titles like "The Hartle-Hawking Boundary Condition on the Universal Wave Function," "Omega Point Boundary Condition: Agent Determinism Is an Ontological Ultimate," and "Probabilistic Markov Recurrence," it is a deep, highly technical, and very very challenging read. I am enjoying the challenge immensely. The overwhelmingly huge ideas bandied about in this book are truly staggering. It is thrilling just to be along for the ride, to see Tiplers mind at work on philosophical issues that are about as enormous as it is possible to imagine. The level of detailed analysis and the amount of cross-disciplinary knowledge he brings to bear on these issues is likewise staggering.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. But, I must warn the potential reader: you should not even attempt it without first reading at least a popular science book about relativity, and another one about quantum mechanics. Some background reading in automata theory would also be helpful. Even though I have done this background reading, some of Tiplers argument moves into mathematical territory where I am simply not equipped to follow. Even so, this book is a mind-bender well worth the effort. It will make you see many things from new, strange perspectives, and strongly communicates the awesome power of scientific inquiry.

If I had to sum up the experience of reading this book in one word, that word would be "Wow."
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