Saturday, May 23, 2009

Inner Game

Last week I ventured above 50th street and went up to Morningside Heights for a meeting. It was a beautiful spring day, and I ended up wandering around the area vaguely looking for labyrinth books. However, due to my shopping moratorium, I ended up perusing the stalls at a second hand book store.

I found a copy of Inner Tennis, a self help book along the lines of improve your tennis game, improve your life. One section discusses how greater focus on a task seems cause time to slow down. Gallwey makes an analogy to film. In films of the 20s, for example, the action seems sped up. This is because the shutter speed on these cameras were slower. That means you had less images to work with. When you play back the images, you have less images to play and the action seems to proceed faster.

So apply this to focus. If I am half focused on a tennis ball, and half focused on my inner dialogue that says - this is a easy shot, or a hard shot, or I suck, or I am awesome - I have a slower shutter speed. I am taking less pictures of the ball. This means I have less information. When I "play back" the movie, the ball will seem faster because there are gaps in my inner movie of the ball's trajectory.

(This is not a great explanation - but I am trying with this blogging medium)

What if you focus completely intensely. Is time continuous or digital? Is time like the number line, with more irrational numbers (holes) than rational numbers? What does this mean for our inner movie?

On a more practical level: For kids time seems to move slower because we are more engaged and focus - there is more newness. As we become older, we experience this 'newness' less and are probably less attentive - we are taking less pictures of the here and now - and are spending more time with a wandering mind.

I am really having a lot of fun with this book - and I'm itching to pick up a racket.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What is the deal with Sibelius on NPR?

I am over at the 13Bit compound engaged in some production administrativa. Paul has set the radio to WNYC AM - which is all classical music all the time. I was going to change it but I figure this is a good idea to bone up on my classical music knowledge and perhaps improve my standing in the learned league (damn you John Eckstein).

Generally I catch classical music when it is played on NPR Evening Music. But for years now I cannot help but notice the obsession with Sibelius music on NPR! Why is that? Can someone enlighten me?
    Is it a..
  • copyright issue - like the Beatles - Michael Jackson owns the rights to all composers other than Sibelius.

  • He is modern, yet Ye Olde Time - unlike say Shoenberg, Sibelius sounds classical - but then why not just play someone older

  • The Finland lobby

Friday, May 15, 2009

Long Days Journey into the End of Night

I just finished reading Long Days Journey into Night (O'Neill) and subsequently started reading Journey to the End of Night (Celine). Although these two works could not be more different I keep merging their titles.

O'Neill really is the best titler in literature. "Mourning becomes Elektra" That is such an awesome title. "The Iceman Comeith" Great! That is his true talent. O'Neill would probably be a great twitterer. I also love how characters in his plays are always quoting other authors, poets and playwrights.

Journey to the end of Night - this is a book that wants to be XXX but is only PG 13. I think if it was a bit more graphic it would be better but then unbearable. I don't love it - but I'll finish it. Really I want to read "Death on the Installment Plan" because I love the title - Mort a Credit.