Saturday, May 01, 2010

Those wonderful people at ...

... may be able to save my site, by undoing the change of CNAME. Or maybe I am the victim of an international cyberconspiracy, orchestrated by pinstripe-suited villains who snigger "fnarr, fnarr" while disconnecting my web life support machines. Actually, loday's new post is mostly an experiment to see if the blog is still working. Being the First of May, I could perhaps sing "The People's Blog Is Deepest Red," but would anyone hear me?

Friday, April 30, 2010

It gets worse

Google has now hidden my entire site. Click it today (30 April 2010) and you read "Google Error. Not Found. The requested URL was not found on this server." Wiped off the face of the Internet. These blog posts, on the other hand, are working better than ever. The Google giveth, the Google taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Google.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Hearing my blog was about to be rubbed out, for technical reasons that I don't understand, I dutifully followed Google's instructions to migrate the content, and eventually saw a screen message congratulating me on my blog having gone live at a new address, -- but when I clicked on the link, there it wasn't. And isn't. D'OH!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Theorem on Power

The nature of power is such that decisions tend to get passed up the hierarchy to a level where nobody knows or cares what's involved. This partly explains the poor quality of decisions.
A possible objection to the above: But didn't Stalin have a wonderful grasp of detail? I answer: Yes -- the wrong detail. He was an excellent murderer, but a poor governor.
Which leads to a malign corollary: The nature of power is such that those who rise to the top tend to be those who are happy to take decisions on matters they don't understand.
George Santayana defined a fanatic as one who redoubles his efforts when he has lost sight of his goal. The great leader, on the other hand, simply redefines everybody's goal to fit his personal compulsions.
Democracy provides little defence against these ills. People like the smack of firm government.

Advice to a Young Writer

Don't buy a Brother printer.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gosh! How unkind...

In his engaging, informative, unsettling collection of essays on recent history, Reappraisals (New York, The Penguin Press, 2007), Tony Judt passes judgment on a number of warmongers and charlatans, including nice Tony Blair. The importance of Tony's earnest tone is neatly caught by Judt: "He conveys an air of deep belief, but no one knows in quite what. He is not so much sincere as Sincere."

Friday, October 17, 2008

On keeping one's own voice

John Coltrane, listening to Stan Getz, is said to have said, "Let's face it: we'd all play like that, if we could". I know how he felt. Yet how often one thinks, as one listens to some great maestro murdering a piece of music, "I never could hope to play like that, and if I could, I wouldn't". Such arrogance is needed, at times, to keep your own voice alive.

Absolute, not relative

"There are no difficult violin pieces. Either you can play it, or you can't" -- Nathan Milstein (quoted on Yossi Zivoni's website).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What's worth writing about?

Disjunctions of the world,
contradictions of the heart.