Monday, May 14, 2007

Wonderful Day

Truly. Now in proper post-graduate fashion, I awoke at 10 AM, took a shower. I was all ready to start my day... yet I noticed some lingering feelings of drowsiness. So I took a nap. Cellphone went off at noon, waking me up, Jay wanted to have lunch at Chili's with H-dawg (Hanah).

I grabbed a cup of coffee at Borders, then headed down to Crystal City to meet the crew. We got a table for four (Sasha would be joining us). I tried to explain the Chinese Room hypothetical to Jay, but he didn't understand it (he didn't even give a behavioral response that we'd expect from someone who'd understood it. Indeed, were one of the questions of the Turing test "What do you think of the Chinese Room thought experiment?" Jay would have failed miserably.) In an effort to make things clearer, I began to yell.

JAY: Why Chinese?

SCOTT: It doesn't matter! It could be any language.

JAY: Then why not English?

SCOTT: Because you understand English.

JAY: You're thinking of the Turing test.

SCOTT: No. You're thinking of the Turing test.

JAY: I know the Chinese Room.

SCOTT:
You obviously don't.

JAY: Yes, I do.

SCOTT: Who came up with it then?

JAY:
That's not important.

SCOTT: Searle. Now shut up, because I obviously know more than you.

Soon Sasha joined us. We ate, Sasha made some bad puns, I tried to tell a joke and failed miserably.

SCOTT:
So Nixon goes to the Soviet Union. And um... there's a phone. Anyway, the phone calls Hell. No wait! Let me start again. Nixon in Russia, right? So the phone calls Satan.

JAY: You're not telling this right.

SCOTT: I'm definitely not.

SASHA: Is the punchline that Hell's a local call?

So between all of us we completed the joke. Much like a dwarf inside a computer reading a Chinese to English dictionary. This led to a few rounds of jokes, some colorful, some only funny in the original Russian, and some not even funny then.

I sped back to Borders, which I use as my own personal library. I could keep a personal library at home; but that would involve me buying books, and using Borders as my library (it being across the street) is far cheaper. And my Borders-library is superior to most. Most libraries do not have a coffee shop--mine does. People will reshelve my books if I leave them around the place wherever. Cute girls wander into my library from time to time. Plus what a selection. Now granted, I can't take my books out of my library, but who cares? There are comfy chairs.

Meanwhile, of course I called home and wished a Mom a happy holiday, plus talked to both of my graduating brothers. Seriously, I was born, 'tis true, with slight deficiencies in a neurotransmitter or two, but I also got a pretty amazing family out of the deal, and so I consider the cosmic accounts settled.

So I spent the day listening to my current current album, a Boulez rendition of Pierrot Lunaire, which has surprisingly bad reviews (the Sprechstimme is apparently too much singing, not enough Stimme. The Erwartung is, however, amazing), reading various books in the comfy Borders chair. I got lost in a collection of Schoenberg's writings. A fantastic writer and music theorist--everything a guy could want out of an artist: unabashed elitism, unflinching logic, a touch of emotion, really everything but the melody (joke--Schoenberg's melodies are carefully crafted and plentiful--just not pretty).

(Incidentally, I have no problem with people hating modern music. I have no problem with people hating things generally. Hatred is a way of taking quality seriously--nothing more abhorrent than omni-tolerant acceptance or an "Everything's a matter of taste" attitude. But I do demand that, if you are going to hate something, you do it in an intelligent, or at least interesting, way.)

Got a hundred pages into that or so, and then Jay and I went to the old Cinema 'N' Drafthouse to drink Yeungling and watch Grindhouse. What a movie to watch in a drafthouse, incidentally. We, the crowd, laughed, cheered, and clapped in unison.

JAY: So Jacob didn't like that movie?

SCOTT: Bizarre. I mean, beautiful women, scantily clad, plus zombies, blood, and fast cars.

JAY: How could he not like that?

SCOTT:
He's a prepubescent girl. Not a man like you and I.

So, obviously, after watching a movie about fast cars, the ride home I kept egging Jay into driving faster or at least ramming the guy ahead of us. But he hadn't as much to drink as I had, and kept responsible.

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