Friday, October 5, 2012

Five together

I am a fan of brevity, where it can help.  Most of the time, duration recommendations have not been fully researched.  Since we don't live more than 100 years, maybe not more than just a few, even, getting things we need and want accomplished in shorter times can be good.  

The symbol of brevity today is Twitter, a "microblogging service".  I just joined and it looks like it could be fun.

Along the lines of brevity, here are a few ideas that have been trying to appear.

N.N.Taleb wrote about unlikely but costly events and dubbed them "black swans".  I am interested in noting unlikely events of a persistent frequency.  My best example is left-handedness, which seems to occur worldwide in about 10% of the population.  I don't know if that figure is rising or falling at all but it may be stable.  If it is, something must cause a small but reliable percentage of people to favor that hand.  Sighting bluebirds is relatively rare but happens.  Some small nations (Netherlands, Finland, Vietnam) manage to persistent but without the numbers some countries have.  They don't change their relative populations but they don't disappear either.

I attended a presentation on rhetorical devices in music as well as speech.  In Aristotle's day, the educated man might learn rhetorical devices as part of his training to be an orator.  These would be stylistic devices, such as repetition or producing a rhythm in a speech by arranging ideas or nouns in triplets so as to create an expectation there would be three in a set.  Many of the same patterns have been used in musical compositions.

My wise senior friend advises me not to knock shame and guilt.  "Shame and guilt are what keep me going."  

Many small towns try to develop a theme, such as fine trout fishing in the area, or lovely loons and their haunting calls.  Between National This Day and Polka Festivals and Chess Fests, we are being invited to celebrate all the time.  Very tiring!

I like good writing and I see all sorts of courses, classes, books, tools, and gurus that will improve one's writing.  I find that good writing, like good friendship, may be found in unlikely places.  A given line of a novel, a line of poetry, a particular passage of music may be very memorable, often from the middle of a book or composition that is not all that arresting.  Such gems may pop up in works already judged to be second or third rate.  

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