Q: What does the “B” in Benoit B. Mandelbrot stand for?
A: Benoit B. Mandelbrot.
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
My old philosophy professor Norman O. Brown would periodically interrupt his lectures, tilt his head upward as if tuning in to the whisper of some heavenly voice, and announce in a puckish tone, “It’s time for your irregular reminder: We’re already living after the end of the world. No need to fret anymore.”
The implication was that the worst had already happened. We had lost much of the cultural riches that had given humans meaning for centuries. All that was going to be taken from us had already been taken.
On the bright side, that meant we were utterly free to reinvent ourselves. Living amidst the emptiness, we had nowhere to go but up. What remained was alienating, but it was also fresh.
Working from the hypothesis that you’re living after the end of the world, what are you free to do that you weren’t able to do before? Who are you free to be?
It’s been a rough year. I think we can all use a little pronoia.
My children are back in school, and I am able to return to my school day routine of reading The Transom after my older set get on the bus and my twins get dressed and make their beds. Admittedly, I don’t always make it to the end of the newsletter in one sitting, but the end is the best part. After the wonky political and economic news summaries, The Transom has an interesting links section, a slightly more serious version of Debby Witt’s Odd Links at The Corner.
This gem recently greeted me: “In a Mass Knife Fight to the Death Between Every President, Who Would Win and Why?” Perhaps because I have an eight-year-old son who took to the discussion like a moth to a flame when I discussed it with his uncle and father over dinner, this struck me as a very promising history lesson plan… one that the PC/we-need-feminized-men guardians would never allow.
This is an excellent example of the type of discussion that would engage young boys (and old ones based on the comment threads) but send experts and some moms into frets of whether it promotes aggression. Boys can’t even talk about theoretical fighting. When the boys get bored, rather than face that boredom is one of aggression’s main fuel sources, we drug them and congratulate ourselves that the little girls are doing so well.
I will grant that a knife fight is a bit harsh for a school lesson, but the game is easily modified to a survival island scenario, like Christ White posted. Both posts and comments are chock full of intriguing — and highly memorable — assertions. Think of the research possibilities!
From what I can tell whoever wrote this collection of notes:
- Folded the paper into three sections and then four more (
- Used both pen and pencil (and perhaps 2 pens as the ink in one square appears lighter than the others)
- Most likely male.
- At least 2 lists of items: a grocery list and an errand list.
- Apparently a listener of Los Angeles’ talk radio station KRLA? I see Hugh Hewitt and Bill Bennett’s names and what appear to be notes about the shows?
See the next 3 pages for close-ups of each column. And here’s the image from the other direction: