About Steven Alexander
Her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom,
Her glory shall rest on us all.
Phil Ochs &
"The Power and the Glory" (1963)
The children know. They have always known. But we choose to think
otherwise: it hurts to know the children know. If we obfuscate,
they will not see. Thus we conspire to keep them from knowing and
seeing. And if we insist, then the children, to please us, will
make believe they do not know, they do not see. They are
remarkable -- patient, loving, and all-forgiving. It is a sad comedy:
the children knowing and pretending they don't know to protect us
from knowing they know.
Maurice Sendak, preface to
I Dream of Peace: Images of War by Children of Former Yugoslavia
(UNICEF, HarperCollins 1994)
I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black
that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news,
because there has never been an era when
so many things were going so right
for so many of the wrong persons.
"Everybody Tells Me Everything" (1931-1940)
Justice Antonin Scalia was openly skeptical. "What is the meaning
of Terry?" he asked. Did Mr. Dolan mean that the police were
"allowed to ask questions but shouldn't expect answers?"
(As quoted in the NY Times, 23 Mar 2004)
Bertrand Russell joked that Hegel defined "liberty" as
"the freedom to obey the police."
The basic lesson of Bayesian analysis is that you can learn
only from information that disconfirms some part of your
current belief set. But of course the natural tendency of the
mind is to minimize cognitive dissonance by accepting confirming
evidence and rejecting disconfirming evidence....
Mark Kleiman, Responses to Comments
I'm 52 years old and left-handed.
My son, Zeno*,
was born in December 2001.
home of the
garden slug fun run,
where it really doesn't rain
It rains more in Seattle.
As a lawyer, I worked in the
York City Law
its Office of Midtown Enforcement
and the since-merged
Rosenman & Colin.
In Portland I practiced intellectual property law at
and volunteered with the
Tom Potter for Mayor
I get around*
bus, but I'm a
(more expensive since being
by FlexCar of Seattle,
running in the US.
I support the
Declaration of Human Rights,
its economic rights as much its civil ones.
Folk music speaks to me
(is that because it's a great way of taking out one's
and I maintain an obsolete
web page for New York City's
Folk Cafe and musical magazine-with-CD.
(Zeno is heavily into
Study at many fine institutions
has punctuated my time
but none compares with
Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics
which I attended in 1973 and
and where I taught in 1976 and
Perhaps I shouldn't deprecate my experience at the other institutions.
It was at Princeton that I contrasted civil engineers with
A Midsummer Night's Dream
over dinner with a B.S.E.;
I'll spare you the pun on the author's name
I made to
get around not having
A Passage to India
in time for class at Bronx Science.
(The former pleased mostly me; the latter brought down the whole
class and seemed to fulfill my obligation for the day.)
works for the
my mother is retired but teaches anyway,
and my father (half-involuntarily half-retired)
works as a structural engineer, but
Big Apple Greeters'
Greeter of the Year for 2003.
contributed to the
I'm a regular
I maintain these
for my own use,
but you may look if you promise not to laugh.
Also, here are my books entered into
Steven Alexander ()
(probably the only owner of a stuffed
as in three-toed sloth, not artificial intelligence
 See these pages about
Zeno of Elea
Zeno of Cittium.
 73 bookstores,
68 bike stores.
 Why is one said to
"drive" a car but "ride" a bicycle?
And what's so great about Single Use Vehicles
(though I can see why sales are so high)?
 Click on the
punctuation in this paragraph.
Now, some irrelevancies that should make one feel better:
- for everyone:
- If encryption is outlawed, we'll still have
- for you:
- if you need a pick-me-up
Prose ... is not ordinary speech, but ordinary speech
on its best behavior, in its Sunday clothes, aware
of its audience and with its relation to that audience
Northrop Frye, The Well-Tempered Critic, 1963
Presumably man's spirit should be elevated
if he can better review his shady past
and analyze more completely and objectively
his present problems.
His excursion may be more enjoyable
if he can reacquire
the privilege of forgetting the manifold things
he does not need to have immediately at hand,
with some assurance that he can find them again
if they prove important.
"As We May Think",
Atlantic Monthly, July 1945.
Most recently (not "last"!!) modified:
28 May 2009