Is the Examined Life the Same One You Lived?

Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory
I wanted to bookmark this so I don't forget where I saw it. The short version is that you would think that upon reflection (like if you "take stock" of your life) the overall feeling would be a culmination of what you experience moment to moment.

But it turns out that the two things are only slightly connected and in fact the reflective self rewrites what you actually experienced (or so the studies say). Which almost sounds like one of those wacky physics riddles where the observation changes the event merely by looking at it. I wonder what Socrates would say?


Is Three Months Enough?

Nice looking girls with this online course!
I see this guy's website. And even though it feels a bit too much like upbeat self help, it still makes me think. I always thought of “Fluent” as being basically as good as a native speaker, but he seems to fudge that somewhat.

And I Google some more and found this guy http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/01/20/learning-language/
Italian in Three Months 1999 edition
10 Chapters
200 pages
100 Exercises

Other resources:

Mango online language course (free if you have the right library card)

One a week basic Italian group at work

In the background Italian Rosetta Stone that I'm only so,so keen on.

Assorted other Beginning Italian textss.

Remembering the Second semester Italian class I took 5 years ago

Can it be done?

I just ran out of time and missed Aikido class this morning. Arrrgggh!


A Good Wallow or A Bad Wallow?

Tonight we worked from different attacks but with the intended response of ikkyo or nikkyo that fails and you modify what you do. But it is really hard to explain and after I got home late tonight I watched a bit of The Bourne Identity on HD fx. Sooooo.,, as I watched Jason B battle a hit man in his Paris apartment I wonderfully saw the thing we were trying to do. Admittedly it was just one second in a two minutes of Hollywood fight scene, but you take what you can get. (see clip above at time code of around :55)

The other part of the story is that I was tired and feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to just go home eat a frozen pizza (cooked) and drink a bottle of wine. BUT I managed to go to class and had a good workout. And instead of going home and wallowing in self pity and pizza and wine, I came home from class to wallow in self satisfaction and pizza and wine.


Siamo come il sole a mezzogiorno baby

Siamo come il sole a mezzogiorno baby
We're like the sun at noon, baby

Senza più nessuna ombra intorno...baby
Without any more shadow around...baby

Here is another Lorezo Javantti video. I downloaded an album from amazon and interestingly it automatically imported the songs to iTunes. Anyway, I am now taken with the song Mezzogiorno (noon) and the lines above are what sealed the deal on my affection. With Bacciami Ancora I understood maybe 1/4 or so of the words right off, but with this I had to download the lyrics and translation before I got a feel for what it was about.

There are multiple videos for the song but for some reason the main one featuring Lorenzo himself the embedding was disabled so above is the one with for of them at the same time.

Below is the last singer I was infatuated with singing in a language I couldn't understand, but at the time I had no resources for translation so I enjoyed the song for years without knowing what it meant and tonight I finally know. Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing? In retrospect it may have been a more pure experience not being able to find a translation.


Un bellissimo spreco di tempo

While looking at websites to help me learn Italian I found embedded in one site the video above by Lorenzo Jovanotti. It is the title song to an Italian movie I don't think has been released in the US. Anyway, knowing nothing about the singer, song or movie I fell upon it with a unreasonable affection. Visually it speaks to an American ideal of “Italian”, a villa with a big family and a red and white checkered table. I mean, really! and musically it echoes a bit of Leonard Cohan's "Hallelujah" so is it cool, pop, maudlin or what? But I keep clinking to that virtual bookmark.

About the Italian checkered tables...I wonder if Italy is trapped by it's own cliches and Americans are? In the video they even load the table with the wicker chianti bottles you get at any US Italian restaurant, and of course the women are beautiful and all the men are thin. They left out the plump mother bringing out the huge platter of spaghetti. In the Us the Texans are shown as loud and with Cowboy hats and Oklahoma is filled with “Indian” with plumed headgear.

But aside from any cultural study, I somehow end up like a sentimental old lady on the verge of tears while listening to lyric like these below. Maybe my favorite line is the first line since it might describe my sad attempt to learn Italian on my own...

Un bellissimo spreco di tempo
a beautiful waste of time

FYI, the translator has ancora as “again” but in my crude Italian I used “still” and even if the other is more accurate I'm sticking with “kiss me still” which for some reason sounds way more powerful

KISS ME still

Un bellissimo spreco di tempo
a beautiful waste of time
un’impresa impossibile
an impossible undertaking
l’invenzione di un sogno
the invention of a dream
una vita in un giorno
a whole life in one day
una tenda al di là della duna
a tent beyond the dune
Un pianeta in un sasso, l’infinito in un passo
a planet in a rock, eternity in a step
il riflesso di un sole sull’onda di un fiume
reflection of a sun on a river's wave
son tornate le lucciole a Roma
the glow-worms are back in Rome
nei parchi del centro l’estate profuma.
in the midtown's parks the summer perfumes
Una mamma, un amante, una figlia
a mother, a lover, a daughter
un impegno, una volta una nuvola scura
a commitment, once a dark cloud
un magnete sul frigo, un quaderno di appunti
a magnet on the fridge, a notebook
una casa, un aereo che vola.
a house, a plane that flies
Baciami ancora…
kiss me still
Tutto il resto è un rumore lontano
everything else is a distant sound
una stella che esplode ai confini del cielo.
a star exploding on the edge of the sky
Baciami ancora…
kiss me still
Voglio stare con te
I wanna be with you
inseguire con te
chase with you
tutte le onde del nostro destino.
all the waves of our destiny
Una bimba che danza, un cielo, una stanza
a little girl who dances, the sky, a room,
una strada, un lavoro, una scuola
a road, a job, a school
un pensiero che sfugge
a thought that escapes
una luce che sfiora
a light that skims over
una fiamma che incendia l’aurora.
a flame that inflames the dawn
Un errore perfetto, un diamante, un difetto
a perfect mistake, a diamond, a defect
uno strappo che non si ricuce.
a tear that can't be mend
Un respiro profondo per non impazzire
a deep breath to don't go crazy
una semplice storia d’amore.
a simple love story
Un pirata, un soldato, un dio da tradire
a pirate, a soldier, a god to betray
e l’occasione che non hai mai incontrato.
and the chance that you've never met
La tua vera natura, la giustizia del mondo
your true nature, justice in the world
che punisce chi ha le ali e non vola.
that punishes who has wings and doesn't fly
Baciami ancora…
kiss me still
Tutto il resto è un rumore lontano
everything else is a distant sound
una stella che esplode ai confini del cielo.
a star exploding on the edge of the sky
Baciami ancora…
kiss me still
Voglio stare con te
i wanna be with you
invecchiare con te
grow old with you
stare soli io e te sulla luna.
be alone you and I on the moon

Coincidenze, destino,
coincidences, destiny
un gigante, un bambino
a giant, a child
che gioca con l’arco e le frecce
playing with bow and arrow
che colpisce e poi scappa
that hits and runs
un tesoro, una mappa,
a treasure, a map
l’amore che detta ogni legge
love that lays down the law
per provare a vedere
to try to see
che c’è laggiù in fondo
what there is down there
dove sembra impossibile stare da soli
where it seems impossible to be alone
a guardarsi negli occhi
looking each other in the eyes
a riempire gli specchi
filling the mirrors
con i nostri riflessi migliori
with our best reflections



note to myself on how to restore the grub boot loader for Ubuntu

1. Pop in the Live CD, boot from it until you reach the desktop.
2. Open a terminal Window
3. Type "sudo grub"
4. Type "find /vmlinuz” and determine where the linux partition is as in (hd0,4)
5. Type "root (hd0,4)" which I think puts you in that partition
6. Type "setup (hd0)" "quit".
7. Type “quit”

I don't know if this will work on Grub2

I am planning to buy a copy of Windows7 and when I install it I plan to also tryout the new Ubuntu 10.04. So this info might come in handy.


Is My Mind Half Empty Or Half Full?

Last week during Aikido class we worked on responses to ShomenUchi (strike to the head) and started off with the standard ikkyo, nikkyo techniques (moves #1 and #2). I've done these a number of times over the past few years so while I still feel like a beginner I sometimes feel like there is a little muscle memory going on and I can stumble through.

Durning the Sankyo move (#3, but who's counting) I kept getting to a point where I started kotegaishi which we had not even worked on at that point. The strange thing was I didn't simply forget what Sensei had showed us. Please allow me a little room for psycho-hyperbole since I kinda felt like I forgot everything and I would “wake up” just as I started kotegaishi and realize it was not what I was supposed to do, but I could get my mind back to what we were supposed to be practising. My mind kept emptying out half way when uke (the atacker) started the attack.

Sensi came by and watched a few times and I briefly explained my mind was skipping off track and could not stay on the Sankyo line.

He suggested that maybe I might have progressed enough that I was trying to simply do the most logical move for our positions at that time.. It might actually be a good thing that my body sensed what should be done and just did it.

The thing is in order to learn the techniques you have to sometimes practice them even with it really doesn't feel right. Of course when you are a beginner no moves really feel right but you have to start somewhere.

So.............there you go, I managed to pull success out of failure.