- Regarding Warhol
I saw "Regarding Warhol: Sixy Artists, Fifty Years" at the Met today. I've always enjoyed Warhol: his every work makes a clear, prescient statement, and there are days I just want to go to a museum, understand what the art is saying to me, and [ ... ]
- Review of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" by James Agee and Walker Evans
"Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" by James Agee and Walker Evans, 1941. I give up. I can't finish this nor ever will. Walker Evans begins the book with a few dozen photos, most of which are mediocre at best, a handful of which are among the best [ ... ]
- Review of "Opening the Hand of Thought" by Kosho Uchiyama
Highly recommended, but don't feel bad for skimming the second half. The book's early chapters offer the most specific and practical guide to zazen that I have read—the method, its goals, and what the meditator can reasonably [ ... ]
- Review of "The Social Organization of Zen Practice" by David L. Preston
I read this while I was practicing at Zen Mountain Center in 2003; it describes the effect of peer pressure on new Zen students.
- "Digital Dharma"
I saw Digital Dharma last night at the Rubin Museum: Digital Dharma is E. Gene Smith's epic 50-year journey to find, preserve and digitize more than 20,000 volumes of ancient Tibetan text; a story of one man’s mission that became the [ ... ]
- Review of "The Snow Leopard" by Peter Matthiessen
- Review of "The Evolution of God" by Robert Wright
The Evolution of God, 2009 by Robert Wright, has two big ideas. Convincing: Our ideas of gods or God evolve in a social and political context. When we see gain in warfare, we imagine a vengeful God, but when our interests lie in [ ... ]
An obsessive and eccentric book, but well worth reading.
- Review of "Introductory Graph Theory" by Gary Chartrand
If you are a software developer, then from time to time you will have to solve an Interesting Problem in optimization, such as finding the best matches on a dating site, or the right sharding key for a database cluster. As often as not, such [ ... ]
- Review of "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen
Patience, grasshopper—the book does not promise well, but rewards your effort in the end. We spend the first few chapters with Chip, a po-mo literature professor at some small college. Franzen wastes our time with tired tropes: [ ... ]