Grab bag.

May 2, 2006

Usually, when I'm not updating this it's an indication of lazyness or tiredness. This hiatus is due mainly to tiredness. Last week, I spent several hours walking around San Francisco hoping to see some Rodin scuptures and some paintings at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. Stupidly of me, it was monday and the museum was closed. I suppose it was good anyways, I was able to finish off Frank Furedi's excellent book Where have all the intellectuals gone?, unfortunately I don't think he really devoted enough of his book to answer that question. It's mostly a depressing expose at who and with what ideas are stifling intellectual thought, or really intelligence in a very general sense. Anywho, I was able to start on C.P. Snow's book The Two Cultures and deeply blitz through that. I tuned out of school, and it's beginning to almost bite me on the ass, but I suppose I had "fun" reading those books. After reading Snow, I restarted reading John Brockman's The Third Culture. I hope to finally be done with the evolution section soon. 

Then on saturday, I was able to have dinner with my father and update him on my educational and life goals and situation. Unfortunately with all the reading, school, and tiredness that all that entails I also signed up at another forum in order to heighten by argumentation abilities. Started out bumpy, but was rewarding at the same time. Then this past Sunday, I tried to go to the Palace of the Legion of Honor again. I succeeded but was let down in terms of their quality of art. It's ancient baroque art. The whole bottom floor were sketches by "masters." They had a mini 2 inch by 2 inch Rembrandt doodle, a Mondrian study of a Chrysanthamum and several other sub-par squibbles by people I've never heard of. They nonetheless have an extrodinary selection of Rodin's, everything from The Mighty Hand, to The Kiss, to the Athlete, to the great Thinker, and one Camille Claudel portrait of Rodin himself. Other than that, the selection was poor and uneventful. So I departed early so I could make the lecture I bought tickets for at the JCCSF; Freuds Critique of Religion.

It was misleading, the original email suggested this was Freud's critque as well as reference to religion in the 21st century. It was presented by Johnathan Lear, whom I don't know but respect because he connects two fields; philosophy and psychoanalysis. The concepts and arguments were interesting, the lecture was boring. Sorry, Lear. During the Q&A a rabbi was accurate to point out that Freuds critiques, although probably were insightful for his time, are only in reference to classical fundamentalist religion of the pre-20th century and are completely unapplicable to current modern religion. I thought about it, and he's right. Religion has changed and it's somewhat fallacious to assume that because religion is typically anti-evolution (anti-change), that it therefore couldn't evolve itself. However evolution is a fact, and it has changed. Religion, according to the rabbi, is no longer related to the "supernatural" nor does it postulate that people should have a "personal God." He cited a book, Judaism without Supernaturalism. That modern religion has now consumped reconstructionist ideas and therefore expanded.. and maybe, if I read that book and really researched the new concepts of religion, that science and religion could once again be reconciled. It should be noted that by "modern" I mean "new." The majority of religions and religious ideas are still very classical. 

Some news I've read that I wish I had more energy to post about:
Evolution occurs faster at the equator
The Evolutionary Complexity of the eye… not so complex (this'll piss of a few William Paley ID'ers) 
Life in a unique Amazon tribe that lives without a concept of numbers or mathematics 

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2 Responses to “Grab bag.”

  1. sis said

    i read somewhere that Rodin’s “The Thinker” is supposed to be Dante looking pissed because Robin didn’t like Dante. Hmmm

  2. fito said

    This makes great sense..

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