A while back when I lived in the tropics for a year, in a fiberboard and corrugated zinc sort of lean-to, I thought about luxury. Because I had all kinds of it: unlike my housemates, I had a laptop computer, occasional dinner in some excellent restaurant, the option for hailing a cab on days I didn’t feel like a 90 minute walk home through dust and crushing sun. A careening 15 minutes in a 1983 Lada, in that context, was far more meaningful than a jaunt these days down Sunset Blvd in somebody’s Porsche. Luxury isn’t absolute: it arises out of contrast. The ethical implications of this make me squirm, but anyway.
Saturday morning is not like the others, and so I revel in it like crazy. I get up after the sun, scrap the esoteric breathing shit, don’t bother like usual to pack 2 meals and 4 bags of books and clothes for the day, and clean the house and my in-box until 10. At 10, the minute the despised Click and Clack come on the radio, I make for my friend J’s vinyasa class, which after six days of Mysore is a long cool iced tea. Now that I look at it, housecleaning and late morning vinyasa flow maps exactly on my (unkind) stereotype of the uninspired Brentwood housewife life. But god is it nice one day a week.
Cleaning my in-box includes a couple of hours picking up links that have been sent me during the week, reading the smart mags and the not-so-smart ones, and a blogroll. This week, I’m going to try posting the notes I’d usually send to different sub-sets of you, to see if that’s useful. If I post something that’s 5 days old and so stale in internet time, it’s because when I read/listened to it this morning, I liked it anyway. Cheers.
Princeton ESP lab closes. “How do you get peer reviewed when you don’t have peers?”
Jenny Diski explains Second Life to the over-30 set. I love her writing.
On neuroplasticity, or changing your mind to change your brain. No surprise to you fans of habits-and-will student John Dewey, or to yogis. (Skip the first 30 min.)
Lethem on The Ecstasy of Influence in Harper’s. Read it as his typical looky-here cultural omnivorism, or an exploration of the boundaries between self and others.
Say Everything. NYM sociologizes the generation gap in privacy. Similar theme.
Buddhist geeks. Sort of promising.