Saturday in Santa Fe

02010-03-14 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

For his morning tea
A monk sits down
In utter silence –
Confronted by chrysanthemums


Under a bright moon,
The children of the neighborhood
All lined up
On the porch of a temple.

Two poems by Basho. I love the last line of the first poem: Confronted by chrysanthemums… Confronted by beauty, confronted by the slanted Spring light entering the kitchen, confronted by a surprising chord change or turn of melody.

A piece of music becomes real for me when it seems to become a place, you know, when I can feel what the temperatur would be, and what the light, that would go with it, would be, and what the colors would be.

Brian Eno said that in this interview with the BBC. I didn’t embed the video because it’s longish, but go ahead and follow that link. He is always interesting, I find.

BBC News – Pink Floyd win EMI court ruling over online sales
Pink Floyd tracks may be removed from digital music services like iTunes after a High Court ruling.

Their latest record deal, signed with EMI before legal downloads came along, said individual songs must not be sold without the band’s permission.

They argued that the same rule should apply to digital sales as well as CDs.

I do think it would be nice for the album format to become an option on iTunes, where an artist can choose to be an album-only act. On the other hand, this could turn out to be just a legal move for superstars to get more money.

King’s Cross to Beijing in two days on new high-speed rail network – Telegraph
China is in negotiations to build a high-speed rail network to India and Europe with trains that capable of running at over 200mph within the next ten years.

The network would eventually carry passengers from London to Beijing and then to Singapore. It would also run to India and Pakistan, according to Wang Mengshu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a senior consultant on China’s domestic high-speed rail project.

A second project would see trains heading north through Russia to Germany and into the European railway system, and a third line will extend south to connect Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia.

Passengers could board a train in London and step off in Beijing, 5,070 miles away as the crow flies, in just two days. They could go on to Singapore, 6,750 miles away, within three days.

The excuse for not building high-speed rail in the USA has always been that the distances are so much greater. Well, the distances do not seem to stop China, do they.

Your Computer Really Is a Part of You | Wired Science |
An empirical test of ideas proposed by Martin Heidegger shows the great German philosopher to be correct: Everyday tools really do become part of ourselves.

The findings come from a deceptively simple study of people using a computer mouse rigged to malfunction. The resulting disruption in attention wasn’t superficial. It seemingly extended to the very roots of cognition.

“The person and the various parts of their brain and the mouse and the monitor are so tightly intertwined that they’re just one thing,” said Anthony Chemero, a cognitive scientist at Franklin & Marshall College. “The tool isn’t separate from you. It’s part of you.”

Chemero’s experiment, published March 9 in Public Library of Science, was designed to test one of Heidegger’s fundamental concepts: that people don’t notice familiar, functional tools, but instead “see through” them to a task at hand, for precisely the same reasons that one doesn’t think of one’s fingers while tying shoelaces. The tools are us.

This idea, called “ready-to-hand,” has influenced artificial intelligence and cognitive science research, but without being directly tested.

So you think you can ride a bicycle? Check this out:

(Via – The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog)


  1. steve

    Ottmar wrote: “The excuse for not building high-speed rail in the USA has always been that the distances are so much greater. Well, the distances do not seem to stop China, do they.”

    We have monkeyed around for DECADES in this country regarding interstate rail travel. “Amtrak” or whatever it is called this week is an absolute joke. I once took “Amtrak” from the Eastern US to Denver. I arrived 33 hours late. There was no strike, no goofy weather along the way, no damage to the track in the middle of nowhere, no one ambushed the train … in fact there was no explanation at all, simply, “we are going to be A BIT late…” smells like collusion with the airline/auto industry to me.

    We never seem to get off the dime with interstate rail travel in the US. I just don’t get it. I contrast with the trillions used to bail out “too big to fail” financial firms, it seems like a pretty trivial project cost wise.

    But it’s not just interstate rail travel that’s messed up: the regional transportation district (RTD) in the Denver-Boulder area has absolutely failed to deliver anything that is useful in the way of rail travel for everybody in the area except the south portion of Denver. There is nothing that will take you from Boulder to south Denver except for a high carbon footprint BUS. A. Bus. Pathetic.

    After all the talking RTD has been doing for the past 30 years about intra-city rail travel, we still depend on a bus. Hrmph.

    Contrast that with my experience in Munich, and generally getting around in Europe by rail … No, let’s not, on second thought. I’ll just get (even more) spun up.

  2. Brenda

    Enjoyment to tears of BBC’s documentary of an hour within the life of Brian Eno. Thank you Ottmar, as you are a blessing of connecting us to the goodness of the world.

  3. dave

    Oh, I ride my bike like that on the trail all the time. ;-)

  4. Carol

    The rail system is a heartache here. I cringe everytime I hear of what practically any other nation is doing to make rail travel better. I remember when we had passenger trains going along here. I traveled once when I was very young from Chambrlain to Reliance, about 20 miles. My folks used them regularly.. Now they’ve let the rails distintegrate and the bridges become unstable.
    Somebody or some people with clout have to do some enthusiastic pushing. And soon. WE’re really losing out.
    I’m sure you do, Dave! How about some movies :)

  5. yumi

    To be confronted by Basho…

  6. Tom

    Here in Ohio they want to put in high speed rail from Cincinnati to Cleveland (from the SW corner to the NE corner of the state). This will be a huge waste of money as people rarely make this trip. I live near Cincinnati and had two sons go to college in Cleveland. When the youngest son’s graduation I told my wife to take a good look around Cleveland since I couldn’t think of any reason we would ever return there (not a slam on Cleveland, there are just so many other places to visit in the US).

  7. Brenda

    Carol: Check this out – – There is a future for bridges and rails to become trails. The first phase will be completed by 2011.


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