Sunday, January 31, 2010

In the real world such defects could have consequences

My personal playwright, of K. und K. fame:

"The liberation of the laptop. We can work anywhere, any time, so we drift away from our offices, retreating into our own little cyberworlds, while the floors grow quiet as the prairie and the nexus of activity spins apart... Know what I have? A writing board, coffee shops, and a consortium of bastards. Go cry on someone else's shoulder."

"While a physicist's gotta hide, dramatista needs to feel the pulse of humanity and lots of bastards to get adrenaline flowing. Go get them!"

"Oh, I don't have to go get them, it's the theater community, I can't avoid them. On the other hand, knowing so many actors, directors, and, yes, playwrights, has given me an invaluable understanding of narcissism, callowness, superficiality, cravenness, hypocrisy, selfishness, and self-delusion. Fortunately, most of these people don't live in the real world, where such defects could have serious consequences. We are so much more comfortable in the black box than Out There, where the others don't realize how special we are."

"I've had some interest in [my own story] over the years, but that's never led to production. 2010 might be the year, though; I've submitted it to Essential Theater and to Stage Door. However, I've given up trying to figure out how ADs make their decisions. I've moved on."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Do no count citations, impact numbers

This from D. N. Arnold, SIAM NEWS, December 4, 2009 (via my friend Gregor)
Integrity Under Attack: The State of Scholarly Publishing

Pay no heed to silly numbers - just check what journal the good publications that you have read are, publish there. Even that can be gamed and is, in good journals like Physical Review Letters; once you establish a little subfield, with a group of friends citing and refereeing each other, it can have a good run with not very good articles. There is no defense other than common sense.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Incurrable schmaltz

I cannot help it. Instead of doing anything sensible, I fell for this. And this. OK, here are a few movies that I love. They might be pure schmaltz, but I cannot help it - I'm an incurable romantic:

Off the Map
Genghis Blues (a wonderful documentary by my two nephews)
Everything is Illuminated (with lead singer of Punk Bordello as interpreter)
Across the Universe (the baby boomer relapse)
Run Lola, Run (a movie about sensitivity to initial conditions)

For adult couple viewing I recommend any of Sid Nagel's 10 best movies.