A monk asked Nansen: "Is there a teaching no master ever taught before?"
Nansen said: "Yes, there is."
"What is it?" asked the monk.
Nansen replied: "It is not mind, it is not Buddha, it is not things."

Nansen was too kind and lost his treasure.
Truly, words have no power.
Even though the mountain becomes the sea,
Words cannot open another's mind.

the Dirty Pair in the Mandelbrot Set. (use PNG for patent-free images)
ben taylor /
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New Term, New Legs
Sunday, June 23, 2002

Since my pc's motherboard fried 3 weeks ago, I've had to use other computers to get online (and maintain this blog). But now, thanks to my buddy Matt (who hasn't got a proper homepage yet, the weanie) I have a loaner until I can build a new computer properly. Thanks Matt!

With any luck, I ought to update this blog more frequently now. I have two dangling links off my vanity indulgence page to amend, and I have some amazing insights that need documenting on my graciousness to strangers page.

Last night I joined my buddies at Jan's apartment, and we saw Harry Potter. I hadn't seen it nor read it before, so I felt curious to observe this new pop phenomenon for myself. (Spoiler warning) I did enjoy the movie, but not without reservations. Several moments appeared derivative to me, such as Platform 9 3/4 from similar riddles in Alice in Wonderland, and the shifting staircases and malevolent library book from pterry's Discworld novels. The pacing occasionally felt rushed and I became confused from missing some points of the story. Harry and his friends trespassed on the 3rd floor, discovering the cerebus and its trapdoor, but what prompted them to go up there? In the quidich match, most of the players played for points with the larger balls, except for Harry who spectated until he discovered and then caught the tiny winged ball, which by itself won the game. So to what purpose did the non-seekers play? When was the fourth kid introduced, who confronted Harry and his friends, who the young witch froze with a spell, and who then earned 10 points for his house for that? Who did Weasley play against in his chess game, and why did they need to continue playing once the line of enemy pawns was broken? And what was it, exactly, about Harry's hands that enabled him to destroy the evil wizard by touching him? As a story in film, I felt unimpressed, though I did enjoy the amazing fx and various bits of humor. I anticipate I'll have to read the first book now, to check that I haven't judged the story too critically, but my favorite for the young-wizard-boy-goes-to-a-magic-school-and-makes-good category remains Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea.

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Copyright © 2002 by Ben Taylor <mithras@dhp.com>