Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gradual and Silent

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
- James Madison

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Soursop / Guanabana

I had nectar of guanabana (also known as soursop, gaviola, etc). The Wikipedia article says "The flavour has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple, with sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavour reminiscent of coconut or banana." As far as I could tell, though, there wasn't much taste difference between that and pear. A hint of citrus, perhaps. But it's a New Thing which has been tried.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gell-Mann Amnesia

   Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward--reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
   In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story--and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
-- Michael Crichton