A fascinating movie about various stages of life: childhood, growing up, parenthood. Richard Linklater is one of my favorite directors/screenwriters, and the Before series my all time favorites.
Here’s what actor Ethan Hawke said about the film:
It’s Tolstoy-esque in scope. I thought the Before series was the most unique thing I would ever be a part of, but Rick has engaged me in something even more strange. Doing a scene with a young boy at the age of 7 when he talks about why do raccoons die, and at the age of 12 when he talks about video games, and 17 when he asks me about girls, and have it be the same actor — to watch his voice and body morph — it’s a little bit like timelapse photography of a human being.
Posted in Movies | Tagged Boyhood, movie review, Richard Linklater | Leave a Comment »
Despite the strong wind and cold weather, my first marathon was overall a great experience. I was surprised by the number of people cheering throughout the five boroughs. The city is beautiful. If timing’s not a concern, it’d be nice to stop and take photos along the way (like what some participants did).
I didn’t come across any celebrities during the run, but managed to beat economist Justin Wolfers.
Training matters. I suffered much less from this marathon than any of my previous 10K runs.
Posted in Health and wellness, Recent activity | Tagged marathon, New York City Marathon | Leave a Comment »
Woody Allen continues his Europe shooting (in French Riviera this time) and provides a beautiful setting to ponder the meaning of life type questions (usual dose of Cole Porter, but also Nietzsche quotes and Beethoven music). I like the haughty rationalist that Colin Firth plays; reminds me of his 1995 BBC Darcy but also Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady.
I think we all need some magic and illusions in our lives.
Here is an interview with Woody Allen about the movie, and here‘s some real magic.
Posted in Movies | Tagged Colin Firth, illusion, magic, Magic in the Moonlight, movie review, Woody Allen | Leave a Comment »
The author argues in this article why he hopes to die at age 75:
I am sure of my position. Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.
But here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist: living too long is also a loss. It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.
I feel less strongly about death or the timing of it. And while I think I’ll get use to it, the thoughts of ageing still dishearten me.
But it also illuminates a key issue with aging: the constricting of our ambitions and expectations.
We accommodate our physical and mental limitations. Our expectations shrink. Aware of our diminishing capacities, we choose ever more restricted activities and projects, to ensure we can fulfill them. Indeed, this constriction happens almost imperceptibly. Over time, and without our conscious choice, we transform our lives. We don’t notice that we are aspiring to and doing less and less. And so we remain content, but the canvas is now tiny. The American immortal, once a vital figure in his or her profession and community, is happy to cultivate avocational interests, to take up bird watching, bicycle riding, pottery, and the like. And then, as walking becomes harder and the pain of arthritis limits the fingers’ mobility, life comes to center around sitting in the den reading or listening to books on tape and doing crossword puzzles. And then …
Posted in Happiness, Health and wellness | Tagged Ageing, death, Why I Hope to Die at 75 | Leave a Comment »
How to Get Into an Ivy League College — Guaranteed. Would the rise of this kind of services worsen inequality and education arms race?
The Trouble With Harvard – The Ivy League is broken and only standardized tests can fix it. Steven Pinker’s response to William Deresiewicz’s article I linked to earlier.
How to see into the future — by Tim Harford
So what is the secret of looking into the future? Initial results from the Good Judgment Project suggest the following approaches. First, some basic training in probabilistic reasoning helps to produce better forecasts. Second, teams of good forecasters produce better results than good forecasters working alone. Third, actively open-minded people prosper as forecasters.
But the Good Judgment Project also hints at why so many experts are such terrible forecasters. It’s not so much that they lack training, teamwork and open-mindedness – although some of these qualities are in shorter supply than others. It’s that most forecasters aren’t actually seriously and single-mindedly trying to see into the future. If they were, they’d keep score and try to improve their predictions based on past errors. They don’t.
Posted in Links | Tagged education, education arms race, forecast, inequality, ivy league college | Leave a Comment »