Blog: Zauberheit und die Jahren

Zauberheit und die Jahren
Zauberheit und die Jahren
Date: 2018-Dec-01 20:32:57 EST

I've been looking forward to Mozart's Zauberflote for a little over a week now, and finally saw it today. The Met did an amazing job on it - the costumes were memorable, the sets looked amazing (I can't help but think they must have been built for something else, perhaps modeled after a bank, and repurposed or redreamed), and the music was grand. I had a great time, followed up with a trip to a bakery I like and now hopefully an hour or two in the coffeeshop I'm in now. I should do this more.

And yet. There were times when it didn't hold my full attention - moments here and there where I wish I had had a fast-forward button. Although that would no doubt have ruined the experience. I'm bothered a bit at this feature in myself. I feel my attention span may not be as long as I'd like - perhaps age or addiction to games or living in NYC has led to this. And the opera also touched a bit on issues of loneliness which are painful for me to contemplate, although I may be nearing the determination I need to try to put myself out there some more and see if I can end it.

Work has been busy recently with a lot of interviewing for CCB candidates. So many of them are actually good candidates; this is something I really like about academia. We've also been having some external visitors doing talks as another way of feeling out potential employment (at various levels). With one of them recently we heard about ways of measuring larger-scale folding of DNA strands, and I asked a question about how much the folding patterns are specific to a particular cell line (think skin cells versus cardiac cells). In another, we had a speaker talking about neural representation of bird songs, and I asked about whether teaching birds synthetic songs might risk memetic contagion (not sure if that's an ethical concern or not) and also if we could hear the song slowed down to make hearing the pattern easier. It was a great talk, and with that second speaker I talked with her afterwards about Dr Behrmann's work with greebles and then sent her a link to that paper. Great conversations. I'm awful at a lot of small talk, but at least in the sciences we can talk about ideas that inspired us. Although I always worry about running out of things to talk about, and whether that limits the possibility of social interactions that are not based on familiarity and character. Although although, maybe that's not a worry that should concern me because most longer-term things actually are about that.