Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Christakis and Fowler explore network contagion in everything from back pain (higher incidence spread from West Germany to East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall) to suicide (well known to spread throughout communities on occasion) to sex practices (such as the growing prevalence of oral sex among teenagers) to politics (where the denser your network of connections, the more ideologically intense and intractable your beliefs are likely to be). And while it’s hardly surprising that emotion can be transmitted from person to person, the authors report that getting a $10,000 raise is less likely to make you happy than having a happy friend is — in fact, the raise is less likely to make you happy than is having a friend who has a friend who has a friend who is happy. They even argue — and this is sure to generate controversy — that the obsessive drive to create “nut free” environments is not the result of any real increase in children’s allergies but rather something akin to an epidemic of adult hysteria, spread via network transmission.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Making things make sense requires a type of effort and energy that I simply do not have at the moment and yet I’m compelled to type lovely little letters in ‘Times New Roman’ on a white screen glowing in my dark room under my down comforter in a ‘Word file’ titled “Document 1” with the sound of the fan and the meowing of a cat named ‘Go-Go’ and you may read on if you dare…
There is a chorus of some kind of chirping outside and I have no idea what from! Are there bugs here in Silverlake? A neighborhood dog seems to be aggravated at the sounds and is barking and the cars hum along on the 101.
I went to the beauty supply store and bought ingredients to mix my own hair color, I felt like a wonderfully mad scientist and the result is a very pleasing rich and coppery red. I also cut my own hair with some scissors and a hand mirror while leaning over my porch so as to let the bits drop over the edge. I’m pleased with this trim-and-tone and have received many compliments. If I can keep my hands away from a pair of clippers I think I’ll let it grow long again.
A guy came into the café this morning and chatted with me for about two hours. His theory is that everyone is meant to do something very specific and that when they realize what it is they will be amazing at it and it will energize them rather than drain them. He says you have to try lots of things to figure it out and that there are clues that can help you discover it. One, is noticing what things you do that people respond to positively, also, what things seem to serve others in a unique way and what things you are totally passionate about to the point where you could imagine doing them all the time. *He still seems to be trying to figure out his own thing, but I like his theory.
He also told me about how a lion kills a wildebeest in the most efficient manner so as not to die itself and that it requires "totally severity". He teaches self-defense and sells shampoo and might be doing an acting course at the Stella-Adler school. He’s huge and I’m pretty sure he could take out a wildebeest if need be.
I met a dog whose name is ‘Noodle’. He loves me because I gave him a piece of turkey. If only that worked on people. You would have to give me Tofurkey.
Reading about a book called “Connected” in the New York Times book review I learned that we really, really do take after the people in our lives and even the people in their lives in a very direct way. You have to read it to know what I mean because I don’t feel up to explaining it without quotes and I lent the article to a co-worker, but you really must read it and then tell me what you think. Especially fascinating in terms of online social networks. It struck me on a personal level in terms of 'cutting out' or 'letting go of' negative people in my life. Something I’ve never really made a practice of doing in the past. I tend to sort of love everyone for one reason or another but I’m learning that that isn’t exactly healthy or realistic and that I can’t just will people to be the best they can be, or whatever it is I want them to be (although I know on some level they are unique perfection and wholeness) there really are some meanies out there believe it or not! It sucks. Tangent. Apparently I’m sensitive. Mainly, I'm just realizing I'm not a victim in any way when it comes to the world around me, I don't have to take up with everyone who comes into my life if they're harming me in any way.
I watched “Jules and Jim” the Francoise Truffaut film, rented from the library, highly recommend it. Beautiful, complex, moving, philosophical, entertaining, tragic. They really don’t make movies like that these days.
Today I read about a women’s Shakespeare company and started to tear up with inspired emotion. I dork-out about stuff like that once in awhile.
The free clinic I went to today was another moment of true admiration and inspiration in my day. Women working in shitty buildings for low pay with poor un-insured patients in a non-glamorous, non-Grey’s-Anatomy-esque environment are my heroes today! The one who drew my blood had the lightest touch and smiled and chatted the whole time and the doctor who saw me felt like a cool aunt or a best friend’s mom and filled me in on some realistic pointers to a healthier lifestyle that I actually want to follow! She even told me I can drink the water here! (Everyone else is all obsessed with bottled) but I’m anti-bottled water anyway and I don’t notice any taste to our tap! I will be drinking this tap water joyfully and you can see if I die or not.
Speaking of which, I had this weird, gross thought about online graveyards, virtual headstones like little website memorials… Freaky. Don’t know where that one came from.
Do you think they’ll publish famous peoples’ Twitters in books when they die? I shudder.
In “Jules and Jim” I remember Jim saying something about a mentor telling him his job was to go out into the world and be curious. I’ve always wanted a mentor and I’ve always wished someone I could trust and respect would tell me what to do and I would love it if “being curious” was the job prescribed. Well, no such luck, it’s me, myself and I (and you) and if no mentor will have me then I will run wild like the crazy wildebeest I am! Besides, I’ve already appointed myself the job of curiosity and observation and I am my boss and I say, “good work, Shakti! You shall have a raise! It’s not in the form of money but, uh, well, it’s a raised glass of tap water! Carry on brave adventurer!”
Over and out.
Wait, one other thing. Just so you know the reason the lion has to attack so precisely is because the wildebeest could very easily kill the lion. It's a moment of life or death, total commitment and the attacker has to be completely on target. We're all capable of "going for the throat". Not in a violent or killing sense, I wonder what positive things I can be that precise and severe about, wasting time throwing punches in the air is starting to take it's toll. Wait, am I the lion now? Oh dear...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
It's a strange time, but when is it not?