I'm sick, but I'm temporarily enjoying the hazy effects of combined Neo Citran, cough syrup, throat lozenges, and sinus medication. I've lost my voice.
I watched Charlie Rose interview Malcolm Gladwell this afternoon, and interestingly (to me) my opinion of Gladwell and his book Blink has slipped a little. It's important to raise questions, but he offers so few answers or directions for answers as to render the exercise almost pointless.
When I was in high school, I often cut class to go for tea downtown. I developed a crush on one particular shopkeeper. I'd spend the early afternoon at his retro clothing shop and we'd talk about the books I was reading. Camus' L'Etranger was on the curriculum; I was going through a phase of W. Somerset Maugham then; he suggested I read Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh. From him I learned that "Interesting" is not an adequate response to "So what did you think?" That, and to look someone in the eye when they light your cigarette. This has served me far better than calculus (which I aced anyway).
Back to Gladwell. He stresses the power of first impressions, for good or ill, and its relationship with the knowledge of experience, how we've informed our unconscious over the years. But he can't tell us how to know when our blink impression is right or wrong, how to know that it's well informed by our unconscious. He concludes essentially, at least in the Rose interview and various Web snippets, that this is pretty interesting and warrants further study.
The blogosphere fails to inspire. But Rachel has inspired me to boycott the word "blogosphere." I will opt instead for il blogamundi and le bloguemonde. One can't imagine il blogamundi failing to inspire. (Le bloguemonde may be somewhat more pensive, however.)
Helena has been practicing balancing on one foot.