Carnaval and Dune

I would compare my disposition towards the Carnaval to that of a residual migraine. São Paulo, as a myriad of other Brazilian major cities, organizes a series of street blocks spread throughout a number of neighborhoods over a 2-3 week period. Some absolutely adore this phenomenon. I see chaos, severe intoxication with a visible loss of motor skills, massive scale littering, and noise pollution. I’m not sure what, if any, the regulatory principles are, beyond don’t commit violent or anarchical acts…

On a contrasting end, I reread Frank Herbert’s Dune after the initial read 12 years ago, this time in a Russian translation for a change of perspective. If I had to designate an indicator ratio corresponding to the amount of plot context recalled vs the gratification experienced, or the RG (recollection/gratification) ratio, I claim that Dune, upon that initial read, would have yielded the lowest RG among all fictional works I had read. This time, however, I more diligently immersed myself in the novel and kept a detailed set of notes to increase the long term RG.

I love this novel, not only for the solitary (albeit harsh) desert experience I craved especially in the midst of the nauseating Carnaval, but for the captivating infrastructure the author synthesized among complex ecological, biological, entrepreneurial, and religious interactions in an otherwise soft science fiction setting. As a bonus for the linguist fanatics, the author introduces much terminology influenced by mostly Semitic but also the Slavic and Germanic language families.

In other developments, several days ago I initiated a 21-day no complaint experiment as described in this blog, using a bracelet I’ve been carrying around. So far I have failed and reset the counter daily.

I also started to experiment with the Major System memory technique, something I’ve been entertaining but postponing over the last 7-8 years, along with other memory tactics.

Z szacunkiem,
 Vitaly