My mind still can’t forget http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2014/06/09/140609fi_fiction_murakami – ‘Yesterday’.
It’s very Murakami, and also rather similar to some of his other works. You kind of sense the same underlying elements and inspirations in it. I guess this is only a short story, and perhaps he has fleshed the idea out further in his major novels. If you’ve read Norwegian Wood or the 1984 tome…I think you get what I’m saying.
Murakami seems to have an, perhaps one could call, obsession with a young man, a social outcast, who is awkwardly good friends with yet another bizarre young man. This second young man usually has a strange relationship with a young lady. First young man enters into another strange friendship with this lady. Many years pass. The especially strange growing up years, leaving school, entering adulthood, seeing the past and future together. That’s one Murakami for you.
Sometimes I feel that some part of me is trapped in the past, like this character, like Murakami, revisting old scenes again and again, re-telling the same story again and again. Of course history is trapped in memory and shouldn’t change, although perhaps our memory of it does fade and morph over the years. I wonder what story I narrated to you 5 or 6 or 7 years ago. Is it still the same now? I wonder.
But conversely, is this how novels come about? Full length story born out of a little fragment.
I love Murakami’s details. How he describes all sorts of peculiarities of the characters in his stories, giving them depth and life and color. I like how he doesn’t seem rushed into telling his story, how he seems to control his world. Too often tv shows and movies are packaged into 30min, 1 hour, 3 hour segments, forced to compress a beginning and end into this time frame. Sometimes reading Murakami’s descriptives feel like it’s not really moving much, but at the end of it, you feel like you’ve lived through something, experienced something, seen something.
Every year I come back to my story of my friend. So many years it’s been and I still come back to it. Perhaps it’s not over, perhaps there’s more to write, perhaps it’s just part of who I am.
Nightingale. and dreams.
Back to my Game of Thrones book.
Cute way of explaining it in food analogy.
nytimes is so fascinating
Land Transport Authority of Singapore – Master Plan 2013
I like to read stuff.
Speaking of quoting, I feel that those who are evangelists are often disrespectful of others who have beliefs different from theirs. You know how people dislike being approached by credit card salesmen? It’s the same feeling. People have better things to do in their short lives than to spend yet another minute on constructs like credit cards, easy debts, and unwanted sales pitches.
America has got this fetish for television debates, usually nothing gets done and it’s a big gong show.
It’s almost perfectly possible for me to posit why the camps of science versus creationism could exist. The most fascinating line for me has always been religious scientists and how do they reconcile their beliefs.
Anyhow, I’m still on the science side, brain is too logical to overcome.
Some beautiful stuff in the world:
An awesome tumblr of photos and short descriptions of people.
Quote: “I pretty much read fantasy because I’ve had enough of reality”
An incredible and intimate project to write love letters.
Quote: “More than once, visitors apologized for their imperfect English and asked me to “fix it.” But idiosyncrasies are important in a love letter. The words should sound like the sender speaking. It seemed very important to preserve that authentic rhythm.”
Quote: “But the rational girl just stares out at the sea, wishing she could peel off her clothes and dive in.”
Life is for these pretty things, these tiny little pretty intense intimate moments. In these moments I forget how hard and painful life can be, how evil, how stupid, how dumb the world can be, and I remember that there is some magic, some love, some beauty in humanity, in humans, in us, in you.
Read this article before my spoilers.
What a stunning op-ed in NYTimes by a medical resident at Stanford University. He certainly provides some cool insight into how statistics can be so cold and humans always gravitate towards instincts. As a person who has inside knowledge of the system, the detailed data, the perspective from both the physician and patient standpoint, it still was pretty difficult for him.
So many lovely lines in the article (italics by me):
“But this scan was different: It was my own.”
There’s always this eerie feeling when for once it’s about yourself.
“I learned a few basic rules. Be honest about the prognosis but always leave some room for hope. ”
does it really work…
“We never cite detailed statistics, and usually advise against Googling survival numbers, assuming the average patient doesn’t possess a nuanced understanding of statistics.”
then what do we do when this patient understands it, completely, or so he thinks.
“I still dissuaded them from looking up the statistics, saying five-year survival curves are at least five years out of date.”
indeed, most of our knowledge is out of date and incomplete. what then do we have to work on
“Mostly, I felt that impulse: Keep a measure of hope.”
“Physicians think a lot about these curves, their shape, and what they mean.”
think a lot, then?
“It’s impossible, irresponsible even, to be more precise than you can be accurate.”
still no answer
“One would think, then, that when my oncologist sat by my bedside to meet me, I would not immediately demand information on survival statistics. But now that I had traversed the line from doctor to patient, I had the same yearning for the numbers all patients ask for.”
“Now, instead of wondering why some patients persist in asking statistics questions, I began to wonder why physicians obfuscate when they have so much knowledge and experience.”
all those data and studies, and still largely helpless. do some questions not have answers, or are we far from it
” But then again, most of those patients were older and heavy smokers. Where was the study of nonsmoking 36-year-old neurosurgeons? ”
“Initially I wondered if all the stories referred to the same person, connected through the proverbial six degrees.”
“In a way, though, the certainty of death was easier than this uncertain life. Didn’t those in purgatory prefer to go to hell, and just be done with it?”
“The path forward would seem obvious, if only I knew how many months or years I had left. Tell me three months, I’d just spend time with family. Tell me one year, I’d have a plan (write that book). Give me 10 years, I’d get back to treating diseases. The pedestrian truth that you live one day at a time didn’t help: What was I supposed to do with that day? My oncologist would say only: “I can’t tell you a time. You’ve got to find what matters most to you.””
like questions without answers, lotteries without results, dice that never stop, stories without conclusions, they all haunt us, irk us, leave us with an unsatisfied feeling that is hard to shake off.
“Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely.”
“What patients seek is not scientific knowledge doctors hide, but existential authenticity each must find on her own. Getting too deep into statistics is like trying to quench a thirst with salty water. The angst of facing mortality has no remedy in probability.”
“I remember the moment when my overwhelming uneasiness yielded. Seven words from Samuel Beckett, a writer I’ve not even read that well, learned long ago as an undergraduate, began to repeat in my head, and the seemingly impassable sea of uncertainty parted: “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” I took a step forward, repeating the phrase over and over: “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” And then, at some point, I was through.”
“THE ONLY PEOPLE FOR ME ARE THE MAD ONES, THE ONES WHO ARE MAD TO LIVE, MAD TO TALK, MAD TO BE SAVED, DESIROUS OF EVERYTHING AT THE SAME TIME, THE ONES WHO NEVER YAWN OR SAY A COMMONPLACE THING, BUT BURN, BURN, BURN, LIKE FABULOUS YELLOW ROMAN CANDLES EXPLODING LIKE SPIDERS ACROSS THE STARS AND IN THE MIDDLE YOU SEE THE BLUE CENTERLIGHT POP AND EVERYBODY GOES ‘AWWW!’”
— JACK KEROUAC, ON THE ROAD
This huge quote above is plastered on the about page of http://thegreatdiscontent.com/.
I’m truly impressed by this site/magazine’s incredible style and polish.
This, and many other things, is why I gradually find that I do not have enough time left over for Ingress, even though there are many good things there too. Life is too brief. Yesterday I was on medium.com, reading. Today I discover The Great Discontent. Another day I might be on Quora.