Second & third thoughts re. scuba wisdom

This week I’ve been reading On Dialogue, by the late, great physicist-philosopher-neuropsychologist David Bohm. In this book, he presents, among other things, a useful notion he describes as the “proprioception of thought.” I now see that, once again, I’ve reinvented the wheel, though my scuba-wisdom version is pretty primitive compared to Bohm’s.

Never mind that Bill the Mathematician had already asked me how my stop-breathe-think fix differed from counting to ten, an idea that has been around awhile. So here … Read more

Entertaining war with the spin doctors

Last night I watched Fair Game with friends at RCA House. A thriller with real teeth, this film presents a barely fictionalized account of events related to how the Bush administration apparently lied on a massive, perhaps criminally reprehensible, scale regarding Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction program, seeking justification for America’s going to war with Iraq.

One of the most interesting things about Fair Game, for me, is how an entertainment based on actual events cycles back to … Read more

Digital bedlam

Yesterday I was riding the BTS here in Bangkok, when I noticed a guy standing in the corner of the car. What first caught my attention was his face, which was bathed in an unholy glow. Short of sleep as I was, my first thought was, yow, this is some kind of divine messenger, maybe sent by my dear, departed mother to have another go at finally setting me straight.

Then I realized the light came from the iPad he … Read more

No Christian, just a curmudgeon

My favorite song of the month is “St. Jerome the Thunderer,” by Dion. I’m not even a Christian, only a curmudgeon, yet I find this piece uplifting. Plus I can’t stop grinning every time I listen to it.

Yes, Dion is that same Dion DeMucci who recorded such ancient hits as “The Wanderer” (1961) and “I Wonder Why” (originally in 1958)—then and more recently). Now in his 70s, he rocks, totally—better than ever, an inspiration to anyone approaching … Read more

Starbucks and the social construction of reality

Sara and I are having breakfast at Starbucks. Being a kee niaow species of curmudgeon, I’m complaining about everything from the prices to the clonish docking of people and their digital devices. Discerning impatience in her manner, I eventually desist.

“Give me a break,” she says, going on to explain that Starbucks doesn’t sell coffee; it sells a lifestyle experience, and I should dummy up about it, she’s trying to relax.

Ah, I reply. So we’re banking some sort of … Read more

Pretty good sandwiches. Questions of relativity and quantum theory

The other day I went to meet the charming Ms. Weow at the new Dean & Deluca coffeeshop, a glitzy branch of the New York deli in what’s to be the ground floor of the Ritz Carleton Residences, still under construction.

On my way over, I phoned her to check that I had the correct location.

“Right at the Chong Nongsri BTS Station,” she said.

“West side or east?”

“Which way are you facing now?” she asked me.

“What do … Read more

Um… (attention-span failure)

Kindle Singles. Score one for iPad enthusiasts. Soon there’ll be no time to suffer the unfortunate effects of backlit screens. Kindles are better for extended reading? Yeah, well. Whatever.

Savage Chickens cartoon used with permission. Read more

New, improved reading experience. Not.

“Alice” fans and critics (see my last post) likely fall into opposing iPad and Kindle/Sony camps. The former will view Alice as a new and improved kind of reading: “Great! It’s just like browsing the Internet.”  The latter — i.e. those who actually enjoy extended reading — will view it with horror: “Whoa! This is just one more patch of digital quicksand.”

In the spirit of deteriorating attention spans and debilitated Muses, and  because it’s way easier than writing … Read more

Crack-crazed butterflies in rampant botanical garden

The future of the book

“Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?”

1. Alice. To say I resemble a Ludditic old fart is … Read more