Life in an inhospitable future

Because you’re going to need shelter — and people don’t give their homes away. They barricade themselves in.

So, sooner or later, exhausted and desperate, you may have to make the decision to give up and die — or, to make somebody else give up and die because they won’t accept you in their home voluntarily.

And what, in your comfortable urban life, has ever prepared you for that decision?

From episode 1 of James Burke’s 1978 TV series “Connections”, entitled: “The Trigger Effect“.

Tangorium

Tonight at the Glenn Gould studio, I was lucky to hear “Tangorium“: a “Tango fusion show for full Orchestra” with clarinet and accordion soloists Kornel Wolak and Michael Bridge.

The energetic, virtuosic, and intensely creative fusion pieces were an impressive demonstration of what some people accomplished during the pandemic, and the rapport on stage between the composers had a little of the mischief of Vaudeville or a buddy comedy. Attending felt like being present at one of the forefronts of world culture, though with the benefit of a medium and mood that was inviting and mood-lifting rather than alienating or cerebral.

There is immense cleverness and application in how Kornel, Bridge, and their conductor slash composer-arranger Charles Cozens have combined classical with tango and other musical styles, and the hosts’ facility with languages and foreign names is impressive. I don’t have the musical sophistication to say much about what they actually did, but I found it all to be a concert like no other and a compelling and gratifying thing to witness.

I am still new to orchestral appreciation, but I must also extend my appreciation to the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, who gave power and substance to the written music and leading instruments and applied their talents skillfully to show how music from broadly separated traditions can speak in duet and with many voices at once.

Ologies on invisibility

Alie Ward’s marvellous science communication podcast has a new episode on invisibility: Invisible Photology (INVISIBILITY CLOAKS) with Dr. Greg Gbur.

I was just about bowled over during my exercise walk on the Beltline trail, when Alie and Dr. Gbur discussed my Hyperface Halloween costume, designed to confound facial recognition systems.

Tomorrow I will read Dr. Gbur’s latest book: Invisibility: The History and Science of How Not To Be Seen.

Δ

Prompt to ChatGPT:

Have people written about how life is like a river delta or the path of a particle through the detector in a particle accelerator lab – it spreads out in a triangle or cone as decisions are made and outcomes are determined

Output:

“The metaphor of a river delta or a particle’s path through a detector in a particle accelerator lab as a representation of the spread of possibilities and outcomes is a common concept in several fields, including philosophy, physics, and psychology.

In philosophy, this concept is often explored in discussions of determinism and free will, where the metaphor of a branching tree or river delta is used to describe the way in which the potential outcomes of a decision or event spread out in a tree-like structure, with each branch representing a possible future.

In physics, the concept of a particle’s path through a detector in a particle accelerator lab is often used to describe the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics, where particles exist in a superposition of states until they are observed or measured, at which point they “collapse” into a specific state.

In psychology, the concept of a branching path is often used to describe the way in which life choices and experiences lead to different outcomes and potential paths, with each decision or experience leading to a different branching point in the individual’s life trajectory.

While there may not be a specific work that focuses solely on the metaphor of a river delta or particle path as a representation of the spread of possibilities and outcomes, these concepts are frequently explored and discussed in various fields and contexts.”