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Showing posts from May, 2015

Human deaths noted in Werner Herzog's filming diary 1979-1981

Fitzcarraldo is famous for being a film about a German maniac having locals drag a huge steamboat up a hill, made by a German maniac having locals drag a huge steamboat up a hill. Anthropological hearsay aside, his moral responsibility for any of the following is minimal; the region just seems to have been a very violent and chaotic place. All page refs from this.

p.17 (a dead Peruvian soldier floats down the Pongo, eyes missing)p.24 (a boat of 11 drunk men is lost in the rapids)p.34 (he mourns Larisa Shepitko)p.50 (a labourer falls off the ship in Iquitos and does not surface)p.79 (remembers Kainz Ruepp, burned to death in his bed)p.105 (a child in camp vomits itself to death)p.120 (two in one day: dysentery in the morning and drowning at night)p.168 (a cot death)p.169 (recalls the ghoulish death of René Barrientos)p.183 (recalls a drowned Swiss billionaire)p.192 (two people shot by Amahuacas)p.214 (recalls a child grabbing a pylon)p.218 (find a body in the river, 'valiant swimmer…

Highlighted passages in Herzog's Conquest of the Useless

A fairly young, intelligent-looking man with long hair asked me whether filming or being filmed could do harm, whether it could destroy a person. In my heart the answer was yes, but I said no.

In the evening I finished reading a book, and because I felt so alone, I buried it in the forest with a borrowed spade.

Laplace [the set engineer] is talking about levelling the slope to a mere 45 percent grade; but that would look like the narrow strip of land that forms an isthmus. I told him I would not allow that, because we would lose the central metaphor of the film. ‘Metaphor for what?’ he asked. I said I did not know, just that it was a grand metaphor. Maybe, I said, it was an image slumbering in all of us, and I happened to be the one to introduce him to a brother he had never met… he said he could not go working under these conditions, and wanted to leave.

The jungle is obscene. Everything about it is sinful, for which reason the sin does not stand out as sin. The voices in the jungle a…

Is your methodology an adaptive preference?

If a person knows he is being denied an opportunity... he can never be quite certain whether his lack of desire for it is shaped by the fact that it is unavailable to him (“sour grapes”). That gnawing uncertainty counts as a harm. – Jon Elster

ONE hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the things to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch.

Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”
– Aesop

A research programme that would be very illuminating and thus very unpopular: How much does someone’s methodology have to do with their rationalising their own particular abilities? Does not having the …

Among the worst papers I have ever read:

What Lies Beneath? The Role of Informal and Hidden Networks in the
Management of Crises (2014), 
Financial Accountability & Management,
Vol. 30, Issue 3, pp.259-278

"It is easy to lie with statistics. It is hard to tell the truth without it." – Andrejs Dunkels

A piece of organisation theory which is simultaneously vague, ugly, repetitive, and trivial. Welcome to the fourth-hand, corporatized end-point of Merton and Latour: the desert of the firm.

The paper's fatuousness can be found at many levels: from the overall repetition (the same badly-conceptualised ideas stated ten times) to nonsequitur passages like this, to its sentences, most of which are formally crude and intellectually empty:
Prediction is based on both known and unknown factors, and thus the organisation’s ability to capture relevant information and make informed judgements on which to base their predictions, becomes essential. or this: There are issues around determining the legitimacy of knowledge an…