* Greek Paganism: I'm in the middle of Courtesans and Fishcakes
, which is a little too esoteric to get interested in, but it got me to start The Homeric Gods
, which is a lot more accessible. Although a bit difficult to grasp, the author basically is successful in explaining the way that the Greeks saw religion, not as some weird otherworldly spiritual experience, but as the spirit of nature. Thus, well, the paganism we're all sort of familiar with is based on the Greeks.
The explanation starts with the Illiad, in which heros perform mighty feats, but NOT impossible ones, with the help of gods and goddesses. That is to say, there are no "miracles" in the judeo-christian sense, just people whose natural abilities are somewhat enhanced by their deities. The Greek religion therefore was utterly rational in that sense. I mean, it's silly to us today to think that figuring out a problem was due to Athena or whatever, but it still works beautifully as a metaphor.
* Common Knowledge: Mr. XKCD posted the blue eye
logic puzzle yesterday, and while he also provides the solution*, he doesn't really explain the reasoning that well. Which is fine, you know, but I kept tripping over the logic in my head. I even got candid
to try to explain it to me, and he pointed me to the Wikipedia article on Common Knowledge (as a game theory term). I'll refrain from any other discussion till I get to the comments, but I think I got it now. I even emailed it to my ex Nick to see what he could make of it, since before Joel he was probably the smartest person I knew.
* Wall of Sound: There's a festival in Virginia with a bunch of loud bands
of that genre. (Although it says only "indie/shoegaze/New wave".) I am wondering if there is a market for that kind of thing here. I mean we have Kinski, right? I'd love to have something like that locally, and reading about dB fest's origins makes me really wonder.
edit: oh the solution