"the search for something permanent is one of the deepest in the instincts leading men to philosophy. it is derived, no doubt, from love of home and desire for a refuge from danger; we find, accordingly, that it is most passionate in those whose lives are most exposed to catastrophe."

- bertrand russell, history of western philosophy.

a little pompous perhaps. after all it comes from a book which tries to condense a history western philosophy into 800 pages.

i felt today was a rather good counterpoint to yesterday's rather dionysian attitudes. "get angry more". "let it all out." feel." after all, don't wednesdays always leave you like that? it was sorely tempting to do so, being jolted out of bed by the alarm and worrying i had wisdom teeth, arriving for an economics tutorial which i missed the previous week and wished i had. "angry me" was saying, no mr, earnestness does not get you any points, not when it takes 6 bloody months to learn 1 model. how hard can it be? it's just writing long equations and seeing what goes up as this comes down. it's pathetic pretending it's difficult, and the cavalier way assumptions are treated is pathetic. i would certainly not teach it that way, and yes i'm certainly not qualified, but there was something about microeconomics and behaviour that challenged me in a way macroeconomics doesn't. it's weird, because most people would turn it around the other way having enjoyed macro more in jc. maybe it's cause i don't give a shit how r goes down by 3/20ths if the multiplier is 5. or i do, but that's the answer, so why the fuck spend so long talking about it. it really isn't rocket science. after all, isn't economics in the assuming? time would be better spent discussing the assumptions. after all, who disputes ability to crunch numbers? it's not even coming up with the equation.

that's angry me. but things turned up in their ever serendipitious ways. life isn't just about acting on impulse, and although art depends a little on reverie it doesn't need to border on autolysis. plenty of art today explaining the contrary. humans do progress. i didn't really want to be going back to spanish, so i headed for "philosophy" and looked for a book to read. i am a good boy, and i know i am not intelligent enough to read nichomachean ethics or something with 4 syllables in it, so i decided to get russell's history because it seemed the bestseller type and i enjoy reading how pythagoras says we should not eat beans (in addition to the sum of the 2 sides of the triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse), how that led to the conception of irrational numbers, killer lines including

"great empodocles, that ardent soul
leapt into etna, and was roasted whole"

a rumour being that he was filled with guilt for having eaten beans

"wretches, utter wretches, keep your hands from beans!"

and on aristocratic greek gods vs proper-gods-from-other-cultures (gilbert murray)

"the gods of most nations claim to have created the world. the olympians make no such claim. the most they ever did was to conquer it. and when they did that, then what did they do? do they attend to government, promote agriculture, or trades and industries? not a bit of it. why should they do any honest work? they find it easy to live off the revenues and blast with thunderbolts the people who do not pay. "

new meaning to dieting. and there was natalie's cousin (mitra) who played for the lunchtime concert in the shaw library. the shaw library is the closest we get to tradition, with portraits of the founding fathers (and mother), sidney and beatrice webb as well as george bernard shaw, old books, ornate lighting and a grand piano. which was used to good effect. there was bach played to sound like a harpsichord, mozart's sonata in a with the turkish dance (haha, even i recognize that it was in compton's 97), grieg's wedding day which was so gorgeous, something by rachmaninoff. the instant composition was really cute cause it was her birthday and she played the most gorgeous birthday song ever. i just like how they have these cute things in between lectures which keep us and the professors happy, and life isn't just all about three tuns and rushing.

after so much input i could go back and start working on a bit of distributions (it's the F distribution today, no significance attached to the capitalization.) that brought me to "be with me" (eric khoo), which was played at the new theatre in school as part of efforts to promote singapore film. i really appreciate any artist's attempt to preserve the past, to do society's remebering for it, yet i hesitate to hurl superlatives at it, just like how nowadays i hesitate to call any minimalist film "wonderful." it gave me a sense of perspective, yes, and it would be helpful viewing to anyone who feels their live is just about pain, drudgery and toil, because it just fucking isn't. neither is it just about sex and living life to the fullest. just like brokeback though, although mood was created brilliantly, you sort of expect more, maybe it's the older you get, but although silence draws you into contemplation, great films mix it up, they are never monotonal. in any case... it was okay... although sometimes if you criticize something it's like saying the emperor has no clothes and you open yourself up to everyone saying "but his clothes are so nice! what do you mean he has no clothes?"

naked emperors are cool too you know. they just really, don't happen to wear clothes.

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