Causality is a concept as meaningless as “the soul” and just as inappropriate for modern mathematical science. And yet, somehow, this doesn’t seem quite right. If causation is nothing but a meaningless word that laypeople have layered over correlation, then why the ceaseless insistence that “correlation does not imply causation”? Why are our thoughts filled with causal comments (he made me do it!) and never correlational ones?
Despite a “loss” season, the M’s have played one of the best defensive seasons in baseball history. Interesting stats and analysis. (Yes, my brother finally got me to read Mariners-related blogs, which are actually quite good…better than most of the economics, politics or geek blogs I follow.)
“I don’t like Apple products. And the better-designed and more ubiquitous they become, the more I dislike them. I blame the customers. Awful people. Awful. Stop showing me your iPhone. Stop stroking your Macbook. Stop telling me to get one. Seriously, stop it. I don’t care if Mac stuff is better. I don’t care if Mac stuff is cool. I don’t care if every Mac product comes equipped a magic button on the side that causes it to piddle gold coins and resurrect the dead and make holographic unicorns dance inside your head.”—Microsoft’s grinning robots or the Brotherhood of the Mac. Which is worse? | [Charlie Brooker]
George Martin used to claim that his composition was inspired by the Bernard Herrmann score for François Truffaut’s film Fahrenheit 451, however this is not possible because the film had not yet been released. The writers of the book Recording The Beatles theorized that Martin was probably referring to the score from Psycho, which was also scored by Herrmann. Martin has since altered his telling of the story and agrees that he was probably thinking of the score to Psycho. The strings were recorded without reverberation, and compressed, giving a stark, urgent sound.
For 35 years I’ve listened to the wonderful song that became (at least in some small and probably unconscious way) part of the inspiration for my daughter’s first name.
But, holy Christ. I’d never heard the Herrmann/Psycho influence. Until now. And now it’s all I can hear. Which, in its way, is kind of awesome.
Man, nobody did it like Bernard Herrmann. His stuff still sounds as taut, fresh, sophisticated, and unknowable as it did the day it came out. Hard to imagine a handful of Hitchcock classics without him (and Saul Bass).
Hitchcock originally wanted the shower scene to play with no music. In post production, while the director was out of town, Herrmann composed the famous theme and showed it to Hitchcock with the music upon his return. Hitchcock had to admit his original notion was an “improper suggestion.”
“ER” MP3 Source: Revolver Deluxe Vol. II (Purple Chick). If it exists. And if I have it. Which I’m not saying it does. And I’m certainly not implying I do. Although it would be an awesome not-to-miss addition to any Beatles nerd’s collection. If it exists. Which I’m not saying it does.
Excellent post, just to hear the separated audio. There’s a great Rigby mashup I adore that draws out the ominous flair, too, but via other songs. I’ll post it in a few. It’s from mashup DJ BC’s xmas compilation, Santastic II.
On Friday, Microsoft (MSFT) announced that its board had adopted a “say on pay” plan that will allow investors to vote every three years on compensation for senior executives.
We don’t mean to be cynical here — not too much, anyway. But what was particularly ironic about that announcement was that it came on the same day that Microsoft filed its preliminary proxy which had some interesting details about … [the new] president of Microsoft’s Business Division.
In the filing, Microsoft notes that “During fiscal year 2009, other than relocation assistance, we did not provide any significant perquisites to our named executive officers” which sounds great until you skip down to footnote 4 to the summary comp table and then sub-footnote (it’s a footnote to footnote 4) 1, which notes that Elop’s relocation cost a whopping $4.1 million….
Kestenbaum: “Economists pretty much agree that one reason for all the waste in the health care system is a simple lack of information. We just don’t know which doctors are good, which order too many tests, which order the wrong tests etc. And the doctors don’t know, either.”
“Speaking of a vast wasteland, you might want to start picking out and clearing off a place for our spacecraft to land. Our spacecraft, as you will see shortly, is huge. Do not be alarmed; this does not mean that each one of us is that much bigger than each one of you. It’s just that there were so many of us who wanted to come that we had to build a really huge spacecraft.”—Attention, People of Earth : The New Yorker The perfect remedy to a crap day—I’m tempted to shrug and go shovel gravel.
Early in the First World War, British generals decided to attack German trenches with an initial light bombardment, followed by infantry walking in close order across No Man’s Land. The result was tens of thousands killed in a series of military disasters, but the generals reacted with only small adjustments to their approach and essentially persisted in repeating the same mistakes for years. “The English soldiers fight like lions,” one German general remarked. “True. But don’t we know that they are lions led by donkeys?” was the reply.
“I’m always charmed by old photographs of skiers which show groups of people in what appear to be street clothes, with uncomplicated pieces of bent wood strapped to sturdy walking boots. These men and women have a playful and unaffected air. Today every novice is caparisoned in skin-tight spandex, like an Olympic racer, and even cross-country skiing, a simple enough pastime, has been infected by a preoccupation with correct dress, authentic terminology, and up-to-date equipment. This reflects an attitude toward play which is different from what it was in the past. Most outdoor sports, once simply muddled through, are now undertaken with a high degree of seriousness. “Professional” used to be a word that distinguished someone who was paid for an activity from the sportsman; today the word has come to denote anyone with a high degree of proficiency; “professional-quality” equipment is available to—and desired by—all. Conversely, “amateur,” a wonderful word literally meaning “lover,” has been degraded to mean a rank beginner or anyone without a certain level of skill. “Just an amateur,” we say; it is not, as it once was, a compliment.”—Waiting for the Weekend [The Atlantic, Aug 1991] via Ario and Give Me
…our brains are designed to more easily be stimulated than satisfied. “The brain seems to be more stingy with mechanisms for pleasure than for desire,” Berridge has said. This makes evolutionary sense. Creatures that lack motivation, that find it easy to slip into oblivious rapture, are likely to lead short (if happy) lives. So nature imbued us with an unquenchable drive to discover, to explore. Stanford University neuroscientist Brian Knutson has been putting people in MRI scanners and looking inside their brains as they play an investing game. He has consistently found that the pictures inside our skulls show that the possibility of a payoff is much more stimulating than actually getting one.