February 15, 2018

A Story Often Told: A Love Poem

 A shrewd man invented chess
The king of the realm was so pleased
He took the inventor aside
Told him could ask for his own reward.

And the inventor of chess
Being a clever man
 Asks for one simple thing.

As his reward, the inventor ask for
A single grain of rice
To be placed on the first square.
Then on the next square he wanted that to be doubled.
And then doubled again on the next
And so on.
By the last row the mountains of rice are taller and taller.
Everestine piles of rice. Numbers beyond

Now this story of the shrewd inventor is often told
To show the powers of exponential increase
Something our linear minds have trouble with.

But here, it stands as metaphor,
Repurposed to show my ever growing love
For you.

Where are we on the chessboard though?
It feels just like the beginning.

January 22, 2018

Puns are the best

Puns have strength because humor, for me, is all about the subversion of expectations.
Language, in its rules and usage have built in expectations. It is taking those formal structures and looking at them in a new and surprising way in which puns have power. It may seem subordinate humor, but I take great joy out of it.
A secondary consideration is that in punning, there is no object to the joke. There is no one to feel bad as the pun is not at the expense of anyone. It is neutral and self-contained. The only person you have to apologize to is the one who heard the pun in the first place.

December 9, 2017

On the Psychopath Test by Ronson: I Think I'd Pass

I got this for a friend because I joke that she is a psychopath, and she read it and liked it and passed it back onto me.

The book isn’t just about psychopaths, though it is the frame the whole book hangs on. It is more a look into the various people who try to peer into other people’s minds and try to know them – from the creator of the psychopath test to criminal profilers to the compilers of the DSM.

Overall, Ronson is an engaging writer, putting it all together in a readable, conversational manner. The problem is that he is so focused on some individual examples and hits the surface on a lot of things, but doesn’t establish the depth really needed to draw grand conclusions.