associated five things with me. If you want to play you know what to do.opera
It’s no secret that I enjoy opera and have done for a very long time, as in since I was a teenager. For the longest time I had a huge blind spot about some of the most popular parts of the repertoire, principally the Italian 19th and early 20th stuff like Verdi and Puccini. I have come to like that stuff quite a lot recently so my opportunities to enjoy have increased greatly. I still think my preferences lean more to early and late though. There should be much more Handel opera performed.
A lot of people claim to really not like opera at all. I think there a lot of reasons for that. The first and most obvious is that a lot of people don’t like “classical” music. I can understand that. It’s quite hard work to learn (in what other genre do you have to come to terms with technical conventions that have evolved over many centuries and where works of all those times are still performed?), you can’t really dance to it and drugs don’t improve it. Then there’s the problem that many people have tried to listen
to opera rather than watch it which is a bit like listening to football on the radio never having seen a game. It doesn’t work. So a lot of people get put off without ever having seen an opera which I think is a shame. It’s also quite expensive and I can see why people would be reluctant to spend $150 on something they might not enjoy. Fortunately the current MetHD broadcasts are very good and only cost $20 so that’s not really a good excuse anymore.
Bottom line, I like opera and I suspect more people would if they gave it a go. That said I don’t think it’s for everyone but then what is?feline caretaking
Currently of course we just have three adult cats so the care and feeding thing is pretty easy. Looking after kittens was far more work and was almost a full time job for the lemur who is undoubtedly a Hero of the Feline Revolution. The hardest thing about having cats is going away. Apart from the hassle of organizing care I miss them horribly and worry about them constantly.debate
Yes, I’m an argumentative bastard but I like to think I’m a logical and reasonable one. I really dislike people who argue ad hominem
and I’m deeply suspicious of discourse which privileges a priori
I did do the formal debating thing for a while at school and university. The high point was probably debating against Michael Ramsay shortly after he retired as archbishop of Canterbury. I also, of course, got involved in debates at conventions when I was politically active, both on the conference floor and more relevantly in caucus (where all the real debate happens). People I’ve crossed swords with include Trevor Philips, Charles Clarke and Sue Slipman..rugby
I first played competitive rugby in 1968. I had a long lay off for all kinds of reasons between about 1980 and 1996 when I started playing again. I stopped playing competitively in, I think, 1993 and then altogether two years ago. Both decisions were injury related. I’m still involved as a coach and referee.
Rugby is a fun game to watch but better to play. As Surtees said of ‘unting, “All the excitement of war but not five and twenty percent of the danger”. It’s a truly physical activity requiring speed, strength, skill and, frankly, courage. I like that and I like the kind of people the game tends to produce. Sure there are some pretty awful rugby types (mostly South African) but most of the people I’ve played with I have liked in one way or another. I’ve also found the parents of the kids I coach to be quite the opposite of the horror stories I hear about soccer and hockey parents.science stuff.
As opposed to that hand wavy arts stuff? I’m a mathematician by academic background. I’m glad of that because mathematical thinking at quite a high level is necessary to understand much of modern physics. It’s more than just a language or a set of techniques it’s a fundamentally different way of perceiving/constructing reality and that helps with, for example, physics where what happens on a large or small scale simply doesn’t make ‘sense’ in that what is going on is beyond our powers to perceive directly. I also like having an easy familiarity with quantitative arguments. It means I can call bullshit on a large range of crap that floats past my tender nostrils at work and elsewhere.