Wednesday in Santa Fe

02010-09-02 | Uncategorized | 18 comments

Next week I will do a phone interview with Vincent Horn from Buddhist Geeks. I have read a few of Vicent’s writings – you can find his website here – and look forward to speaking with him. After we settled on a day and time for the call I made this note in my calendar:

I don’t like the name. A geek is generally a person who lives in his head, somebody for whom the body is simply a device to move his brain from A to B. Zen is a full body experience, meaning it involves the body and the mind, all of me.

I’ll let you know when the interview goes live on Buddhist Geeks.

Army Revises Training to Deal With Unfit Recruits – NYTimes.com
“What we were finding was that the soldiers we’re getting in today’s Army are not in as good shape as they used to be,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who oversees basic training for the Army. “This is not just an Army issue. This is a national issue.”

Excess weight is the leading reason the Army rejects potential recruits. And while that has been true for years, the problem has worsened as the waistlines of America’s youth have expanded. This year, a group of retired generals and admirals released a report titled “Too Fat to Fight.”

“Between 1995 and 2008, the proportion of potential recruits who failed their physicals each year because they were overweight rose nearly 70 percent,” the report concluded.

If that doesn’t teach the nation to stop feeding kids fastfood in public school, I don’t know what will.

I killed my Twitter accounts. You can read the reason in the comments to the Tuesday post. I remember a similar thing happening on MySpace a few years ago. Musicians would find artists they thought were somewhat similar stylistically and contact all of their “friends”. Then somebody developed software that would do that automatically. One simply entered the MySpace address of any musician, whose fans one wanted to mine and the software would send out invitations. It was a clever bit of software, too, and in order that MySpace didn’t figure out quickly what was going on, the software would send out the requests in small batches…

It is true, musicians have to be clever and thrifty to survive these days, but this sort of thing is a bit over the top. Do guys like that also go to concerts and hand out fliers for their stuff?

18 Comments

  1. marijose

    I believe zoning laws in the US also have a lot to do with obesity. It’s beyond ridiculous that so many people have to drive to every single place they need to get to. I feel very fortunate to live somewhere where we can walk to lots of places, with easy access to trails and public transportation.

    Reply
  2. Brenda

    Check out Handmade in America, Ashville NC – Cool Place.

    Reply
  3. Kaz

    OK.ok.ok, you got me worked up now!..I’ve been sitting back quiet.. but this was again a lack of good judgment from this ‘Other Art-twit’. We revisit again the ongoing debate that our double click society deems everything is free and Ok. You worked very hard to establish yourself and everything you have accomplished and I’m sure that didn’t come for free. This person could have at least asked! Let me know if you need the assistance of my two Italian cousins …(lol) :-)

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  4. dave

    Looks like the military will need to add Wii Fit to it’s training regimen. ;-)

    Reply
  5. LindaW

    marijose, I completely agree: I am blessed to walk or bus the places I need to go and own no car at all. One can survive this way & its a joy to live this way (in Santa Fe there is a lot that a walker can do)

    Dave: They can even put those Wii’s in front of “idiot boxes” and make the recruits feel right at home!

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  6. ottmar

    marijose, true

    Kaz, no, that’s fine. It was time to leave Twitter behind anyway. It had a certain novelty factor for a while, but I find that it’s rather like going to parties and asking people what they do and whether they like the party. I am not the party-going-type, really. Maybe Twitter can be compared to reading the magazine in a doctor’s waiting room. Well, I decided to bring a book to read, instead. But, thanks for the offer. Some other time perhaps!

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  7. Carol Anderson

    I remember some not too terribly clever guitar player getting his friends and himslf to write and compare his music favorably to yours, saying how many people preferred it. It was on Amazon I believe. It was a pretty transparent attempt, and after all, he did pick the best.

    Reply
  8. ottmar

    This could be me in a little while:
    http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/email.html

    Note that the page and statement belongs to a Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, not some guy who has never heard of computers and the web.

    And:
    I don’t even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.’ – Umberto Eco, quoted in the New Yorker

    I’ll be the Howard Hughes of guitar. How infinitely more interesting!

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  9. yumi

    I don’t know O, but I rather like Kaz-san’s offer…

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  10. dave

    “I’ll be the Howard Hughes of guitar. How infinitely more interesting!” … complete with his finger nails?

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  11. Kaz

    At your service (Yumi)!!! ;)

    Reply
  12. yumi

    See what can be found at Ottmar’s special journal?

    Wow!

    Reply
  13. Vic

    I enjoyed reading your tweets as they did provide us with your thoughts and ideas for that moment. They will be missed.

    You can’t blame the guy for seeking out folks with great musical taste, but you are right – his approach should have been a bit more ethical.

    Reply
  14. LindaW

    I think I will miss the twitter links to websites I do not normally visit. Perhaps Ottmar can once again post “Magnolia style” links on his main diary page??

    I suspect this can be done using the “Reeder” application.

    Reply
  15. ottmar

    dave – well, you know, I do have augmented right hand fingernails…

    Vic – I understand, but I think I did the right thing

    LindaW – No, I don’t think so. I don’t rate Netflix movies, nor do I let people see my choices, I don’t write reviews on amazon, I don’t make my RSS feed public.

    About twenty five years ago many large American corporations stopped doing quality control before shipping goods, because they discovered that it was cheaper for them to send a customer who complained about a non-working unit or malfunctioning unit, a new one, than to pay a number of people to test the units before shipping them out.

    I feel the same way about crowd-sourcing… it’s free data for Amazon and Google and Netflix. Why should I give them that data? Most reviews on Amazon are laughable! (((although I did find a number that were quite good))) But, I am not interested in contributing.

    I have given large parts of the Internet a long enough run, and it’s time to draw a few conclusions:

    1. Social media is not for me. It’s too time-consuming, and the focus is too short. I’d rather work on music or read a book. If I want short I’ll read Basho, where every short poem leaves a lovely long-lasting aftertaste!

    I also admit that when the herd runs north, I am usually tempted to run south. It seems that these days every artist is expected to maintain a MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter and now, Ping account… for me that means it is time to become more elusive. (((I imagine somebody will make a bundle offering an application that can post the same paragraph to all of the social media sites at the same time, so that one doesn’t have to enter one after another)))

    I offered an email subscription to my diary as far back as 1993 or 1994, so it’s not as if I didn’t put in some time before coming to my current view…

    2. I don’t want to share what I read, watch, think of a product. I don’t think my choices are that special and I prefer that my choices somehow quietly show up in my work, that the things I read and notice are digested by me and become fodder for music. Yesterday’s rotten vegetables are this year’s compost and beautiful dirt thereafter. While it might be interesting to see the choices and watch how they become part of a musical work, I think it is much more interesting to reverse-engineer, that is, hear my music and attempt to figure out why thing sound that way, why the title is that way and so on. (((perhaps akin to this)))

    3. Email is work, writing a letter is a pleasure. I am just starting to do this, with a few friends, but writing letters is a beautiful experience for me. Most of the more poetic things I have written in this Journal or the Diary, were first hand-written with a pen in a notebook. The clickety-clack of a keyboard does not inspire poetry in me, the scratching of a fountain pen’s nib on paper does.

    That said, while I won’t have any public linkage, I can add links at the end of my posts – you know, stuff that’s interesting, but not worth actually writing about. Yes, that might be a good compromise.

    Reply
  16. LindaW

    that would be perfect Ottmar. You do tend to post some pretty thought provoking links.

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  17. marijose

    “[aiming a video camera]…” Those slines and their speelycaptors… :)

    “Yesterday’s rotten vegetables are this year’s compost and beautiful dirt thereafter.” Perfectly put!

    Reply
  18. Vic

    Well Ottmar, elusive is good.

    We still have Ottmar-Friends for the time being, we can always enjoy your creative eye through your images on Flickr and of course, the fantastic music you create.

    (btw… recently rediscovered the wonderful music on disc two of Opium!)

    Reply

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