March 25th, 2003

beartato phd

(no subject)

Gave up and ordered the "Connections" DVD set the night of the 23rd. James Burke is so awesome.

This morning, ran into kaustuv and got lunch, and talked about a bunch of random PL weenie things. All linear-logic-related, though. Since sliced bread, I tells ya.

Got a little work done on that crazy research thing I do from time to time. That thing that they pay me for. Yeah. Good stuff.

Got the mix CD from catamorphism! Haven't found the time yet to listen to all of it, but already I like the first couple tracks.

Read more of the Cours. Finding myself disagreeing with ol' Ferdy on every other page. Some of it such flimsily-argued nonsense.

Watched the end of "billy elliot". Okay movie. Awfully cheesy, but it didn't bother me too much.
beartato phd

(no subject)

An argument I had with housemate norm:

Some friends were potentially coming over to the house, both female. We were discussing maybe watching a movie. Norm suggested "Ghost World" (a fine movie, which is adapted from a Dan Clowes graphic novelcomic about a coming-of-age-story of two young women finishing high school) and made some offhanded remark like "oh, they're women, they'll like it". I asserted that that was far from necessarily true, and besides which was sexist. He denied that it was sexist, since he based his assertion on the fact that (a) the protagonists are female and (b) it deals with themes of friendship and relationships, which, he claimed, allowed him to infer, statistically, that they (our guests) probably would like it. Now, (a) is obviously insufficient to make a movie a "chick-flick", given, oh, I don't know, "Tomb Raider", which is very obviously marketed to men (or at least people interested in an eyeful (or two, cough) of Angelina Jolie). And I doubt (b) is, either.

But really the issue is that the jump from "movie X seems like a movie that, stereotypically, girls would like more likely than guys" to actually believing that it's completely legitimate and reasonable to assert that some random girl you just met will like this movie because she's she. Not only is it a fallacy from the point of view of statistics, (hello, Bayes rule) but it feels surpassingly rude to me, somehow, even if it would happen that it successfully predicts preferences. As a person who claims to be all high and mighty and rational and scientfic all the fucking day long, this makes me a bit uneasy. Should there be anything wrong with understanding human behavior and what's a good predictor of it? It seemed like Norm was trying to argue starting with a no answer to this question. I always run up against the wrongness of implicitly acting as if you "know" a person, just knowing their gender. (resp. race, nationality, blah blah blah)
beartato phd

(no subject)

Listening to the mix. Probably only catamorphism will care about the following comments.

Tracks 3, 6, 10, 11, 14, 16 are the best song ever.
So much with the sexy vocals on 3, 6. Free-jazzy goodness on 8. 10 is just painfully beautiful. 11 tickles my Canon-in-D-variation lobe just right. 14, well, I have a hard time believing in things that call themselves "blues" which aren't actually proper I-I-IV-I-V-I blues or some direct variation thereof, but this is good enough to make me ignore such silly hang-ups. 16 reminds me of "Big Yellow Taxi" somehow, stucturally. Hey, wait? Is this blues structure I'm hearing? It is. Holy shit. Maybe that's the reason. Mmm. But the mood is really chipper. Good stuff.

And the CD as a whole is nice, too. Thanks, kirsten!

...And now he's in New york city plays jazz all the time
Says the problem with jazz is you don't make a dime
He got a big sax and a bad back and a black cat
He's got a black cat named Miles
He may be somewhat abrasive but that's just his style...