"You may also like..."

Justin E. H. Smith for The Point — “It is one thing to target infants with material that presumes no well-constituted human subject as its viewer; it is quite another when thirty-somethings with Ph.D.s are content to debate the merits of the Marvel vs. the DC Comics universe or whatever. If I were an algorithm, and I encountered an adult human happily watching Spiderman, I would greet that human with a “You may also like…” offer to next watch “Johnny Johnny Yes Papa” on a ten-hour loop. That is how worthless and stunting I think this particular genre of cultural production is.”

Further reading: Smith’s follow-up to critics.

The café: not to be noticed, but remembered

“What is yet unpredicted has to consolidate into something obvious, so obvious that the guest may ask: for this you really needed an architect? Which indeed is the greatest compliment possible. After all, a café is not to be noticed, but remembered. It should be precisely to the point, and not annoy by pretentious ambitions.”

—Hermann Czech, in Christoph Grafe and Franziska Bollerey (Ed.): Cafés and Bars. The Architecture of Public Display; New York-London (Routledge) 2007, p. 94-96.

Nietzsche on the New Year

From Die fröhliche Wissenschaft — "I still live, I still think; I must still live, for I must still think. Sum, ergo cogito: cogito, ergo sum. Today everyone takes the liberty of expressing his wish and his favourite thought: well, I also mean to tell what I have wished for myself to day, and what thought first crossed my mind this year, a thought which ought to be the basis, the pledge and the sweetening of all my future life! I want more and more to perceive the necessary characters in things as the beautiful: I shall thus be one of those who beautify things. Amor fati: let that henceforth be my love! I do not want to wage war with the ugly. I do not want to accuse, I do not want even to accuse the accusers. Looking aside, let that be my sole negation! And all in all, to sum up: I wish to be at any time hereafter only a yes sayer!"

"At 58, Bobby Fischer is frighteningly strong at blitz."

From Martin Krabbé’s open chess diary, 2001. Fischer is supposed to have given up chess long before 2000; rumors have circulated that Fischer secretly competed online against highly ranked opponents.

Nothing more refreshing than a change of opinions, or as a friend of mine says: "I take back everything I said and claim the opposite." 

There were two candidates who could be the mysterious guest who beats masters and grandmasters with his sick openings - Fischer and a computer. In item 134, I said he couldn't be Fischer, but in the meantime, I found convincing evidence that he is not a computer. 

I found this evidence in a series of twenty-five 3-minute blitz games that 'guest71' played on 24 April 2001 against 'Beber', the French IM Robert Fontaine, who had then an ICC rating of 2827, and who has now a FIDE-rating of 2452. guest71, always with absurd openings, won 20 games, lost 3, and two games were drawn. 

[…]

To think that a computerized impostor would sometimes take a minute for a forced move to suggest that he's Bobby Fischer, would be too far-fetched. He must be Fischer, and he does this kind of thing to increase the odds he's already giving with his openings; he's also known to have added time to his opponents' clocks.

At 58, Bobby Fischer is frighteningly strong at blitz.