I got past a milestone, and I’m hoping to finish these this week, or at least the main part of the work. I’ve been feeling procrastinatory because whenever I try something new with the intent to create a final product as opposed to just exploring or creating a draft, I have a sense of impending, devastating failure. Maybe I can relieve the pressure by lowering my expectations and treating these labels as drafts.
I picked up my AI movie project again, and Tim and I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which I’d borrowed from Heather. I found it to be an effective and timeless story about the stubborn and troublesome traits that might make humans bad neighbors. It treated AI as an integral part of the solution, and it was a tad too optimistic, in my opinion. I think it needs a sequel where the robots go haywire and threaten galactic civilization. The next movie in my list is the 2008 remake.
I finished Andy Thomas’ The Truth Agenda, an integrative overview of major conspiracy theories. The book at least got me to pay attention to some topics I’d only dismissed before, such as 9/11, the moon landing, Princess Diana, and crop circles, and it made better arguments than I was expecting, so now basically I have several more research projects to file somewhere in my big list. Overall my impression is he made his best cases for particular historical events and much weaker cases for a global conspiracy and claims from alternative science.
Currently I’m listening to Hidden Wisdom, a book about Western esoteric spirituality, covering traditions like gnosticism and the Kabbalah. I should finish it this week, so I’ll give you my thoughts in the next update.
Thanks to the impeachment hearings and my conspiracy reading, I’m in even more of a political mood than I have been, so after Hidden Wisdom I’m going to put the rest of my current philosophy queue on hold and try some of the political books I’ve been putting off, starting with Craig Unger’s House of Trump, House of Putin.
They sent us the orchestra music early last week, and I managed to practice pretty consistently, so I’m seeing progress, and I should be fairly prepared by the first rehearsal on Tuesday. Somehow I seem to have more endurance this year, meaning my lips don’t get too tired playing high notes, which is good because this music seems to hang around in the upper register more than in past years. I’m still planning to write alternate lines for myself in case my lips give out.