Sean, Tessa, Dana, Kelly, me, Scott, Mom, Michelle, Lindsay
Topics of dinner discussion:
1. Is North Carolina a swing state? Recent polls suggest maybe, but most of us didn’t believe it.
2. Is “Fahrenheit 9/11” sorta racist against Arabs? And if so, why are Sean’s in-laws so hellbent on not seeing it? Does it matter that Kerry is half Jewish?
3. The corn is local, and unbelievably delicious.
4. Is it a critic’s job mainly to say whether something is good or bad, or is it to just say what it is so that smart people can make their decision from there?
5. Take two exampled of “printed directions for artists”: a musical score, and a script for a play. In overall terms, which of the two give more total information? It was argued that a musical score gave an artist much more information than a play script.
6. What exactly is the difference that two different musicians can bring to a piece, you know, really? To most people, doesn’t Beethoven’s 5th sound the same no matter what orchestra is playing?
7. Jim Surowiecki’s awesome book The Wisdom of Crowds has cool examples about how humans are remarkably good at cooperating without rules.
Take this example: You have to meet somebody in New York City. You don’t know who they are, where they are from, nothing. All you know is that they are looking for you too, and they know nothing about you either.
Where in Manhattan do you go to meet them?
What time would you go there?
When you have formulated a response, click here to see what an overwhelming percentage of random Stanford law students said. Basically, it means that two random people trying to find each other in Manhattan have a pretty good chance of doing so, which is a nice thought.
Want another one? On a piece of paper, draw a cross like this:
Then put an “X” in the quadrant you think everyone else would pick as well. Remember, they are trying to guess which quadrant YOU would pick too.
Then click here to see which one was picked by a huge percentage of respondents. Fun, huh?
8. If Bush loses in November, it will be a colossal fuck-up by people who were supposed to be good at controlling everything.
9. Singing “California” by Joni Mitchell is fun, but really hard.
10. The pregnant person in the room is tired! Time for bed…