A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox – NYTimes.com

Fascinating piece in the Times today on the potential explanations for the behavior of “information” in a black hole. A Black Hole Mystery Wrapped in a Firewall Paradox – NYTimes.com.

The interesting thing about this information is that it, information, is “stuff” from our universe and constitutes information because we can recognize and manipulate the ideas, but that doesn’t make this a predictive science of what will happen inside a black hole. We remain in a purely speculative relationship to the universe as a whole, even when a hole is drilled through it by something that is literally no longer of this reality.

Blogging broke my writing habits

For months, I’ve been thinking about what blogging has done to my writing. It worked great as a format when I was writing columns, but as a workshop for essays, stories and other types of written work, blogging is the wrong tool because it does not allow for the word to be pondered in isolation through a series of rewrites. Blogging is for short bursts of expression but not crafted prose that requires weeks and months of private contemplation to produce the effects at which it aims. Blogging broke my discipline as a writer, in some ways. That’s not to say that I will never blog again, but that I know it isn’t a good idea to stretch one’s writerly muscles in public first, before the requisite work is done in private.

Kierkegaard, all full of himself. Existing.

“Had I not enjoyed independent means I would not have been on a good footing with my times. First of all, I would not have found the time to write large, thematically unified works; my efforts would have been like everyone else’s. It would have been bits and pieces — then one is read.” — Soren Kierkegaard, in his journal.

There is a time for pamphleteering, but also a need for rigor of thought that doesn’t fit within a slogan. We’re living in times that accommodate, and require, both modes of thought if we are to use this crisis as a foundation for change. Our launch pad.

The state of human computing

pI wrote this with a pen. I find myself today using a Win7 tablet. Except for certain brand name abbreviations, such as “Win7”, the handwriting recognition is perfect. It’s quite encouraging as a Microsoft employee, signs that Windows has a strong future. My wife and daughter, who have strong feelings about the iPad, negative and positive, respectively, want this computer, and they want it now. I will use this to write and doodle. I’ll use it for work, which the iPad defies through its demand the at I move between applications to do different, but related, tasks. The browser and a few add-ons let me do most of what I need to do, and want to do. I like my a href=”http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/productID.224522600/parentCategoryID.44066900/categoryID.54536100/list.true”Asus Eee Pad EP 121./a/p

My theatre career: I played Lincoln’s Severed Arm


Last night, I attended the final performance of Edgewood Jr. High’s performance of “Beauty and the Beast” and, after, the cast gathering at Dairy Queen. While waiting in line for Blizzards, my daughter, Genny, who played both the Hag and Marguerite, and her friend Kendra (the Enchanted Mirror) asked if I’d ever acted.

“Did you play a tree?” They asked in the way two 15-year-olds fresh from theatrical triumph ask.

“I was the judge in ‘Inherit The Wind'” did not impress them.

“I did play Lincoln’s severed arm,” which got the kind of reaction I was looking for, but they insisted I made that up. Here then, the proof, in the form of an excerpt discussing the role from Wilford’s Dramaturgical Catalog, the 1927 edition:

The arm, dislodged from the President by the shot that killed him, goes in search of Lincoln’s assassin. The role of the severed arm is a difficult one the play, as all it’s emotive powers are limited to gestures that can easily descend into the pathetic or comical, such as, for instance, the “startled revulsion” expressed by the hand of Lincoln’s severed arm when, dragging itself Southward on the trail of Jefferson Davis, whom the arm mistakenly believes commissioned the killing, encounters the rotted remains of soldiers North and South in the mud it struggles through near Antietam. While the hand cannot see the gore into which it is sunk up to it’s knuckles, it can feel it and is repulsed by the physicality of the war’s bloody cost, as well as despairing, because of Davis’ escape across the Virginia border. The actor portraying the hand must react without theatrics–recoiling from the remains of boy soldiers, horrified, but not dramatically raising itself palm opened, questioning and ready to grasp at whatever answer the gods may deliver, nor by shaking a fist or flipping the bird at empty fate. Lincoln’s hand, as with The Dane, challenges the actor’s emotionality to come forth in silence, behind the dialogue, in quiescent action. It is not a part to be shrugged on like a costume, the performer must become Lincoln’s arm, as well as his gentle and determined spirit, ever separated now from life.

Location:Hilltop Ln SW,Lakewood,United States