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Greg Pavlik

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Welcome to the blog of Greg Pavlik, software technologist and frustrated adventurer. Currently, I am working on technologies related to processing very large data sets. This blog will contain a mix of commentary on technology, our industry and unrelated topics that interest me.Greg Pavlikhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02076590604248408230noreply@blogger.comBlogger234125
Updated: 9 hours 53 min ago

3 film non-meme

Sun, 2014-09-21 15:09
Riffing off previous post - was discussing with my wife last evening what we thought the three best "recent" films we had seen were. Here's my list:

1) Jia Zhangke's A Touch of Sin.

Reason: this is a powerful, powerful film that explores the effects of radical individualism, and economic inequality and of the overturning of normal, local, rooted communities. Banned by the Chinese government, it is as much a critique of the values of neoliberalism globally as it is of the current Chinese economic experiment.

2) Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful.

Reason: a moving exploration of responsibility and ethics in the face of poverty, hopelessness and impending death. What do we make of the human spirit and our obligations to each other - and our obligations in the face of The Other?  Javier Bardem was birthed for this role - fantastic acting.

3) Pavel Lungin's The Island.

Reason: who is guilty before whom and for what? Take a director of Jewish background, give him a story that is loosely inspired by a hagiography of the fool-for-Christ Feofil of the Kieven Caves, and cast a retired-rock-star-current-recluse (Pyotr Mamonov) as a Orthodox monastic in the far north of Russia, and I would have quite low expectations for the outcome. What Lungin produced is instead not only his best film but I think one of the best films of the last 20 years.

Top 10 Book Meme

Tue, 2014-09-16 10:48
What books have most impacted me? I picked books I have returned to over and over. Yes, I know this is solipsistic to publish, but its a fascinating thing to think through. I'm sure the list will not look right in a few months anyway. But here I go...
1 The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Reason: the best book ever written. Duh.

2 Iob, LXX
Reason: bad things happen to good people, quite often.

3 I Am a Cat, Natsume Soseki
Reason: comedy is good for the soul. This is the funniest book I've ever read.

4 The Symposium, Plato
Reason: love. And I'm an only partially reconstructed platonist.

5 Demons, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Reason: explains a big part of the 20th century. Makes 1984 look like crude propaganda.

6 Also Spracht Zarathustra, Friedrich NietzscheReason: Nietszche saw the enormity of the modern project clearly.

7 Life of Moses, Gregory of NyssaReason: before structuralism, post structuralism, semiotics, and deconstruction, there was Gregory of Nyssa. And apokatastasis.
8 For the Time Being, WH AudenReason: aside from the fact that Auden is the best English language poet, this is a deeply moving meditation on Christmas in the anglophone experience. Read it several times each winter.

9 The Divine Comedy, Dante AlighieriReason: great art meets allegory meets beauty. Honestly, stuck with only one book this might be it.
10 Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Reason: we are all compromised to one degree or another.