good old academic snark.

From: Koschmann, Timothy, Kuutti, Kari and Hickman, Larry. (1998) The Concept of Breakdown in Heidegger, Leont’ev, and Dewey and Its Implications for Education. Mind, Culture, and Activity 5:1, 25 — 41

Indeed, in some cases the authors themselves recognized such links. Leont’ev (1981), for example, made reference to the writings of both Heidegger and Dewey. Dewey also apparently perceived some parallels between his own work and that of Heidegger. When first hearing a description of Sein und Zeit (Heidegger, 1953), Dewey was quoted as observing that “it sounded as if a German peasant were trying to render parts of Experience and Nature into his daily idiom” (Hook, 1962, p. 6).

I figured I should read this recently found article tonight while eating dinner. I haven’t really accomplished anything else today since when I went out to run my early-afternoon errands, my car went “thunk” and quit working as I was driving 45 mph on a busy two lane country-esque road. I was able to get off to the side of the road safely, but had to do the whole tow truck and hang out at the garage thing. Still don’t know what happened with my poor dirty purple car.

But anyway… get it? Breakdown? Breakdown. Har.

music for writing.

It’s difficult for me to read anything dense if there is music or other auditory distraction. Sometimes I’ll play nature sounds to drown out other sounds. Ocean and Storm are my favorites.

For writing, however, music is essential. Somehow having music playing entertains some over-analytical and busy part of my brain that gets in the way of pushing words out.

What works best for busying that part of my brain is instrumental (or mostly so–if the vocals mostly blend in, it’s ok) music without a strong beat or any abrupt changes. Complexity in the music is good, but it can’t be obvious about the complexity. This category ranges from insanely loud guitar rock to quiet ambient stuff. Here are some favorites:

Mogwai — This would represent the insanely loud guitar rock end of the spectrum. The Scottish guitar army. It was while writing and listening to their Happy Songs for Happy People that I realized how well this type of music works for me while writing. After completing a particularly long review, I couldn’t listen to Mogwai for months without feeling slightly ill. Now that I’ve collected more writing music, I love Mogwai again. [hear/buy]

Rhys Chatham
A Crimson Veil — A composition for 400 electric guitars, recorded live at Sacré Coeur in Paris. It was comissioned by the city of Paris for the Nuit Blanche Festival and performed in 2005. It is drony, shimmering, vast, and soaring. I wish I could have heard it live. [sample/buy elsewhere (i’m mad at emusic)]

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
— another in kind of the same vein. [listen/buy]

Explosions in the Sky — I have several of their albums and they are all great for writing. They get accused of being Mogwai-ripoffs, so of course I would like it. [samples @ amazon]

Loop GuruThird Chamber and Loop Bites Dog — Electronic, trancy, world-music inspired. I love Loop Guru’s more energetic and bouncy albums like Amrita…All These & the Japanese Soup Warriors and Loopus Interruptus, but Third Chamber and Loop Bites Dog are very mellow and work great for writing. [listen/buy]

Yume Bitsu — More orchestral guitars. Here’s one description: “space-drone quartet Yume Bitsu play ambient rock music that could be the soundtrack to a psychedelic art film — or a psychotropically stimulated excursion into the deep space of consciousness.” That’s nice, but they have a 18 minute, 29 second song entitled “The Frigid, Frigid, Frigid Body of Dr. T. J. Eckleberg.” That is enough for me. [samples @ amazon]

7oi — A very recent find. 7oi is an electronic music composer from Iceland who makes up some of the best song titles ever. Much of this music is good for writing, but not all, so I pick and choose what goes on the playlist. [hear/buy]

Steve Roach
— “ambient-atmospheric-electronic music” [listen/buy]

Stars of the Lid
— “a duo specializing in drone-based ambient music” [listen/buy]

A mix: My friend Jens recently put together a mix called Shiver 2, which I’ve enjoyed for writing.

And there is more, but that’s all I’ll write about now because, er, I need to go actually do some writing.

quiet around here.

Pretty much all my attention is going to:
a) reading about classification, categorization, and representation
b) working on a clump of 16 films that suddenly fell into my lap all at once for the project

I’ve always liked henna/mehndi art. I used to do it a little, and I designed a line of tshirts inspired by the designs for my old company, leading to getting contracted by A Big Name Jam Band to design two shirts for them.

So, I have enjoyed watching Painted Bride, about the henna done on the hands and feet of brides among Pakistani immigrants in Queens.

All the trouble getting the sound right on the capture and streams? Didn’t enjoy that so much, but so it goes.

Yeah, back to reading.


Local people!

It has come to my attention that not everyone knows the joys of LOCOPOPS and their new Chapel Hill location. Inspired by paletas, Locopops serves one thing–POPSICLES!!!

Today I went and had three popsicles in the following flavors:

  • Mexican gazpacho – made with pineapple, jimica, jalapeno, and cucumber. It was rather mildly flavored, except for theheat of the pepper. OK. Not great. Had to try it, though.
  • Lemon basil – OMG to die for. I think I actually moaned out loud when I first tasted it.
  • Blueberry buttermilk – this convinces me that I am simply a fan of any popsicle made with buttermilk. Divine.

Of course they have plenty of other, more “normal” flavors like chocolate and cherry/pomegranate and mojito (lime+mint). They also have chicken or beef pops for your dog. Blech. A partial list of flavors is available at their Wikipedia page, which I suspect they are using in lieu of setting up a real website…

Anyway, there is now, in answer to all my prayers and magic incantations, a location on W. Franklin Street. It is in The Courtyard, next to Penang, across the street from Chapel Hill Tire.

Open 12-9pm.

Small pops $1.25 (including tax)
Large pops $2.25

I no longer have to make runs to the Durham location with an ice-filled cooler, feeling guilty about burning all that gas. Now there are delicious, intriguingly flavored pops between campus and home. Danger…. 🙂

it is always something.

My (quite new) laptop didn’t want to start up this morning. So instead of working on going through all the abstracts I downloaded yesterday, I’m running diagnostics on the computer. All crossable appendages crossed.

That’s today’s productivity killer.

Yesterday’s was using the record export features of ISI’s citation databases to tranfer all those records I should be going through now to WebEndnote, an ISI product, so that I could export them to Procite (also an ISI product) (footnotebegin)It’s one that I live a third of my working life in. Another third is spent in TreepadLite, taking notes and arranging them into the structures of papers.(footnoteend), only to find that the journal titles were not transferred with the records. It only took a little over the hour to find and scrounge around in ugly text files and import config files to fix that. Good job, ISI!

I will also take this opportunity to mention the anxiety I have over the fact that (to my knowledge) I cannot save sets of marked records in the ISI citation databases across sessions. It makes sense why they would not have this feature, however I live in constant fear that my browser is going to crash or my internet connection is going to go out, and I’m going to have to sift through and re-mark lots and lots of records. Once a graphic designer who learned to save Photoshop files every ten minutes, always one.

The big productivity killer of the past couple of weeks was that pesky emergency appendectomy.

And tomorrow night’s will be air travel. I’m headed to SF to visit J. This one isn’t so bad, since I tend to be productive enough while I’m there to make up for the time lost in transit. Plus, I get to see J.