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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Rosen's "Praeludium" / TiddlyWikis

If you want to read what I'll be presenting on in this Friday's Literature meeting at work, you can view the document here. It's the Prelude to Robert Rosen's book Life Itself. Pretty odd stuff (esp when you remind yourself that this is a book about biology--a book that claims to address Schrodinger's question, "What is life?" I'm still not sure whether Rosen is profound or something of a very learned crank. But he does have one very good point--biologists are largely silent on that fundamental question.)

I'm really hyped about using TiddlyWikis--I'm going to try to do my Lit Mtg presentation using one, instead of PowerPoint or even KeyNote. We started one at work as a way to collaboratively write a draft manuscript about the model we're working on (actually, we're using a ZiddlyWiki for that, so we can store it on a server). And I created another TW Monday night to serve as a BookLog. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Evening @ the Commonwealth Club & in the Mission

Yesterday--even though it was a Monday--was a good day, reminded me how good life in this city can be. In fact, the whole weekend was like that, but more on that later, hopefully.

But yesterday--the weather was glorious, clear, sunny, and warm. I went down and across Parnassus to the library in the afternoon to find a book ("What is this think called Science?" by A.F. Chalmers--got to read up on scientfic induction) and read a bit in preparation for the literature talk I have to give Friday. Felt lucky to sit there with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands to the north, Golden Gate Park and the ocean to the west.

Almost on the spur of the moment decided to head downtown after work to hit an event at the Commonwealth Club. Aaron Peskin, President of the SF Board of Supervisors, in conversation with the COO of the Club. It worked out perfectly--I used to catch an inbound N-Judah, as if it was sitting there waiting for me when I took the elevator down to Irving St. Twenty minutes to the Montgomery St station, which put me (thanks to choosing the right exit--a key in navigating undeground public transit) right at the doorstep of the Club's building.

Some complimentary wine during the reception, a bit of browsing their nice library, one the 2nd floor above 2nd & Market--even before the event itself, I was thinking again that I really ought to spring for a membership. Where else can you hear speakers ranging from
Bill Frist to Steven Levitt to the RZA?? Each of those guys will be speaking over the next month!

Listening to Peskin speak about the issues facing the city was fascinating and stimulating. I took copious notes, which I really should go through and write up.

Afterwards, back down to Market and down into the Montgomery St station, but this time down to the BART level. Five minutes to wait for a train heading my way, maybe 10 minutes to 24th St. The plan was to meet Anj, Emily, and Greg at the Attic, just across the street from the BART station. I didn't get through to anyone's cell, so I took a walk around the block--down the Osage alleyway to 25th, across to Mission and back up to 24th--so that I could take a few more graf shots. Here are two; Check the rest in this Flickr set.

viva el vandalizmo - Osage Alley, 11 July '05

Osage Alley - big wall - 11 July '05

After a quick Bud @ the Attic ($2 on Mondays), we walked around the corner and had excellent pupusas for dinner at La Santaneca. Yet another little spot to hit in the 'hood for cheap eats.

Yes, all in all, a good day and evening in the city.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Graffiti archaeology

Capp @ 17th St
Originally uploaded by suman_ganguli.

A whole month passed w/o an entry! I've mentally been composing a summary of the past month, but that will have to wait, since I'm at work (and trying to focus on actually getting some done).

I did do a couple posts over at dillytaunt, our new (but so far fairly quiet) group blog. (Don't ask me about the name--ask fatmango).

I'm always pleasantly surprised (amazed actually) that some folks are still dropping in here and reading. Both Arjun and Simeone told me they liked my 'walk to work' essay. I would still like to follow through on that idea of making it a photoessay. A positive development is that (as of Friday) I've started lugging the camera around--check my Flickr photostream for my latest uploads. Quite a few of those are yet more Ukraine photos that I uploaded over the weekend (we've got almost all of them up, so we should finally be mailing out the link soon. I have also been meaning to write up something about the trip to go out with the photos, but that hasn't happened yet either.)

More specific to the idea of taking some photos of the walk to work, however, is that I started taking some shots of graffiti in our neighborhood. It's another thing I'd been thinking about doing for a while, but I was motivated to finally start after Anj pointed out this NYTimes article about the Graffiti archaeology site, which in turn led me to the Flickr Graffiti Archaeology pool.

The SF photos in the Flickr pool inspired me to get started. Check my own baby SF Graffiti set. I added that handful of shots to the Graffiti Archaeology pool, which elicited a comment--a mini-dialogue, in fact--regarding the piece pictured above. It seems the hype about Flickr being a social forum is in fact true.

A footnote: Flickr got mentioned in a couple NYT articles about last week's London bombings. This Arts essay in particular is primarily about how the events got covered on Flickr. I happened to take a look at Flickr's Hot Tags list on Friday, and of course "londonbombings" was up there. But as that Times piece points out, most of the photos weren't of the events itself, but one or more steps removed from them.