Went to see Captain America: Civil War yesterday at the Alamo Drafthouse. I don’t watch many movies, and I’m not into comic books, but the Marvel films series is one I watch partly for cultural literacy (years ago I got tired of references to The Dark Knight, so I watched them just to get caught up). Also, Alamo Drafthouse really knows how to make a profit on films and distinguish themselves from Netflix in terms of what they offer. Tentpole films are still something you want to go to the movie theater for, but most of the time someone like me is not profitable for the establishment, because I avoid purchasing $4.00 size giant coke’s at the concessions.
As far as the movie, it is hard from where I stand to side with anyone except Captain America, even though if you think about it there are many merits to the position of Tony Stark. I’d probably have been more persuaded by Stark’s consequentialism if it had been motivated by cold calculations, as opposed to an emotionally fraught interaction with someone negatively impacted by the Avengers.
One of the things that kind of annoys me about the Avenger’s films is how much hand to hand combat there is, and lack of acknowledgement at how fragile the human body can be. Recently I got into a bike crash. I’m fine, but I had a lot of bruising which is just healing. I can understand that Captain America can take the hits, but without the suit Tony Stark is a man just like us, while Black Widow at 5’3 putting the smackdown on so many people is kind of ridiculous. But then again, it’s just a movie, and one which had Ant-Man in it, so I’m not taking it too seriously.
Struck by the importance of ancient Near East in The Shape of Ancient Thought. The Axial Age in the middle of the first millennium B.C. resulted in an efflorescence of ideas which persist down to the modern age. The distribution of these of ideas were geographically distributed across the length of the Old World oikoumene, from Greece to China. The Shape of Ancient Thought is focused on two particular loci, Greece and India. But there is a repeated reference to the primacy of motifs and patterns which seem to have their ultimate roots in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The underlying idea here seems to be that Indian and Greece civilization did not emerge de novo, but rather hoisted itself up on the shoulders of the Bronze Age (the fact that both Indian and Greek writing styles derive from Aramaic roots illustrate this).
I tried to read some more of A New History of Western Philosophy. The author of this book, just like the author of The Shape of Ancient Thought, is on the prolix side. But A New History of Western Philosophy has more boring content in my opinion.
What Makes Texas Texas. Speaking of Texas, Uber and Lyft Are Leaving Austin After Losing Background Check Vote. Uber and Lyft are trying to muscle out and marginal city government, but is regulating ride-sharing really going to be the issue on which defenders of government prerogative are going to stand? Was this the “progressive” thing to do? Apparently some people were frightened by the lack of background checks on Uber and Lyft drivers, and the possibility of sexual assault. Perhaps anyone who uses a public restroom should also get fingerprinted. There’s the principle that corporations shouldn’t dictate to the polity, but in the case of taxi services and local governments, there’s been decades of cozy collusion.
If you leave a comment which tries to hijack a thread into on of your pet issues, I won’t publish it.
I have long had contempt for the television show Game of Thrones. My contempt was couched in the language of sophistication. Television shows are not as rich in texture and narrative depth as books. In hindsight this seems to have been mostly snobbery. I don’t watch the show as I don’t have HBO, and and I’m not invested in the serial in any deep way, but I am now paying attention to what’s going on since HBO has gone further than George R. R. Martin. And to be honest I am in the camp which believes there is a modest probability that HBO is the only way many of us will get satisfaction in relation to finale of the series.
Also, it is interesting to see clips of flashbacks, as such a young Ned Stark confronts Ser Arthur Dayne. And of course it confirms and foreshadows the final working out of R + L = J. I remember back before the show having discussions on message boards around ~2000, and it as pretty clear to everyone that R + L = J is the most parsimonious model. Not necessarily the right one, but it was always the one you were going to have to bet on. If Martin and the HBO show go in separate directions it would almost be cool. It isn’t as if fantasy and science fiction series haven’t done a bait-and-switch before; Brandon Sanderson did so in Mistborn and that’s how the Dune series ended (the books co-written by Kevin Anderson and Brian Herbert).
This complied version of ADMIXTOOLS runs straight-out-of-the-box on Ubuntu.
It would be nice if those you would speculate on genetics constantly in the comments actually bother to know something about genetics. That way it would be easier to understand what you’re trying to say, instead of having to always decrypt your inchoate ramblings. For the purposes of this blog John Gillespie’s Population Genetics would probably suffice. If you are a little more ambitious there are used copies of Nielsen and Slatkin’s An Introduction to Population Genetics to be had for $40. That’s a lot better than $90 used copies of Principles of Population Genetics, and, it is focused on population genomics.
Margot Honecker, unrepentant widow of East Germany’s last leader, dies at 89. She seems to have been quite unpleasant. But her fixation on shaping and determining the thought of the youth is very familiar.
I went to a coffee shop today to work for a while which was basically like being in Portland.
Speaking of the Pacific Northwest, ASHG 2016 is in Vancouver. I plan on going.
I had no idea what the lead singer of Radiohead looked like. He looks like a character out of British Movie.