Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Saturday November 8, 2003. I own a wok again. Will I get into the habit of using it?
Read lately:

On the web: http://examinedlife.typepad.com/johnbelle/ "November 04, 2003

"On sober, morning-after reflection, there is a link between last night's two posts. Their mutual subterranean rhizomaticity is as follows. Zizek's critical writings are the academic equivalent of Nigerian scam spam. (Think about it: the urgency; the dangled carrot of impossible utopian returns; the diddling stick of bold, risky, radical ALL CAPS action to be taken NOW; the exceeding verbal awkwardness due to greedily flailing, failing grasp of English; notable vagueness concerning just those salient points one would think most in need of clear explanation and exposition.)"

I wondered whether this qualified as euphuistic prose. For comparison, here's a bit from John Lyly's _Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit_:

"The freshest colors soonest fade, the keenest razor soonest turneth his edge, the finest cloth is soonest eaten with moths, and the cambric sooner stained than the coarse canvas: which appeared well in this Euphues, whose wit being like wax apt to receive any impression, and having the bridle in his own hands, either to use the rein or the spur, disdaining counsel, leaving his country, loathing his old acquaintance, thought either by wit to obtain some conquest, or by shame to abide some conflict, and leaving the rule of reason, rashly ran unto destruction. Who preferring fancy before friends, and his present humor, before honor to come, laid reason in water being too salt for his taste, and followed unbridled affection, most pleasant for his tooth."

My verdict: It's two other kinds of prose excess, neither of which I know the technical term for. Compared to "mutual subterranean rhizomaticity," Lyly's language is plain. Googling for "rhizomaticity" gives only eight hits. Two are the original passage. One is a quotation of that passage. Four are this, from the inactive blog http://rhizomorph.blogspot.com: "My space for a little rhizomaticity! Really, for working out the strange new connections between technology and society, and between the sciences and the humanities." One is from a mailing list which seems to be devoted to either violins or literary theory. By comparison, "ultradispensationalism" gives "about 224" hits and "shoggoth" yields "about 14,600."

On paper: two military sf novels set in interstellar empires past their pull dates -- Walter Jon Williams's _The Praxis_ and Allan Cole and Chris Bunch's _Empire's End_. The Williams book is better-written.

The Cole-Bunch book is the one worth reading. The writers were trying to subvert an sf cliche, and it worked. The Williams book is a potboiler.
From EurekAlert http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 8-Nov-2003
Society for Neuroscience 33rd Annual Meeting
Diet may improve cognition, slow aging, and help protect against cosmic radiation
Eating certain foods can help protect you from heart disease, some types of cancers and other illnesses. But can your diet also help protect your brain if you should suffer a stroke or accidental head injury? Or keep your thinking and memory skills strong as you age? Some scientists believe it might. They even think eating the "right" foods --specifically, those high in antioxidants -- may help defend astronauts from brain-damaging cosmic rays on future manned missions to Mars.

Public Release: 8-Nov-2003
Society for Neuroscience 33rd Annual Meeting
OHSU researchers study physical and mental impacts of exercise on the brain
OHSU researchers and other collaborators have found that exercise results in brain development (specifically blood vessel development in the brain.) The researchers have also found that exercise causes a subject to be more mentally engaged. The study was conducted using non-human primates.
NIH/National Institute on Aging

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