Functional Thinking

November 26th, 2003 § 0 comments § permalink

is there any precedent for a dynamic, function based law? for example, what if the discussions about retirement age resulted in a functionally encapsulated principle, (encapsulating the reasoning that lead to it) say:

    retirement age = 80% of life expectancy modulated slightly by the needs of the job market as represented by some other metric, and some vague proportionality of the present social security coffers.

or another example:

    suggested jail time for given offense = some coefficient proportional to the severity of the crime, inversely proportional to the population behind bars for this offence to a lesser coefficient, and inversely proportional to the population behind bars in general for any crime to an even lesser coefficient.

it seems that such logically, dynamically phrased solutions (except the social security, that was me being facetious) may cast the inevitable reconsideration of laws farther into future.

there is also a strange futuristic appeal to the idea of jail time market speculation, and people buying derivatives on retirement ages, etc. that such formulations may lead to.

Youth Culture Insight

November 21st, 2003 § 0 comments § permalink

an eloquent girl provided the closing argument to a spontaneous performance by her prenubile troupe. though i’m not clear on what she said, the whole flock scurried away quickly and not without a fuss when i expressed an intention to “hand these videos over to the authorities.”

Young Girls Smoking in Christ’s Pieces, Cambridge, UK from Peretz Partensky on Vimeo.

Coincidentally, these 12 year old girls are 18 now and of legal age, so I feel it’s ok to post this video. I took it in on a stroll in the park in Cambridge, UK with my friend Dana in 2004.

“Cause I want to smoke”

Dana – “Is smoking Cool?”

“Yeah! Yeah!”

“I’m high, so high.”

“Do these look like chocolate cigarettes?”

Step Off The Grass

November 9th, 2003 § 0 comments § permalink

britain has a peculiar relationship with its grass. after all, britain has significantly contributed to the many grass based activities and sports of the world: golf, tennis , and football have all originated here. in fact, the local claim is that the first written rules of football (soccer) were set down on a plot of land called parker’s piece, several minutes from my lodgings.

britain has in turn infected america with its passion for a verdant lawn forming the cornerstone of a stereotypical suburban existence to such an extent that more water is spent irrigating lawns than for drinking. (a harper’s index fact)

the deification of the green blade is apparent in every courtyard in cambridge in the form of a permanent “keep off the grass” sign. the instant you disobey a stern-spoken grey english gentleman will approach and invect, “are you a member of this college?” then process you into the street (by the ear) without waiting for an answer.

occasionally, you will see “fellows”, who are permitted to transgress this edict, rolling balls around, perhaps working on another sport to popularize/export.