The Aleph


There are two observations that I would wish to add: one, with regard to the nature of the Aleph; the other, with respect to its name. Let me begin with the latter: “aleph”, as we all know, is the name of the first letter of the alphabet of the sacred language. Its application to the disk of my tale would not appear to be accidental. In the Kabbala, that letter signifies the En Soph, the pure and unlimited godhead; it has also been said that its shape is that of a man pointing to the sky and the earth, in indicate that the lower world is the map and mirror of the higher. For the Mengenlebre, the aleph is the symbol of the transfinite numbers, in which the whole is not greater than any of its parts. I would like to know: Did Carlos Argentino choose that name or did he read it, applied to another point at which all points converge, in one of the innumerable texts revealed to him by the Aleph in his house? Incredible as it may seem, I believe that there is (or was) another Aleph; I believe the Aleph of Calle Garay was a false Aleph.

– The Aleph, Borges.

Cool film podcast.

The Canon, with Amy Nicholson.
“What films should be included in the list of all-time greats? Film critic Amy Nicholson (MTV News) and a guest debate, discuss and sometimes harmoniously agree about whether a film should be Canon-ized. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Cast your vote in the Earwolf [aka FearWolf] forums, and decide the legacy of each movie forevermore. No pressure.”

I’ve been listening to this show for a while, but it’s really been on a roll lately. October is apparently Fear/Horror month. Good stuff.

School refusal

“It’s a struggle that many parents are familiar with — your child doesn’t want to go to school. But for some kids, this happens every day, leading to weeks and sometimes months of missing school. Mental health professionals say these students’ chronic absenteeism is part of a condition called “school refusal” that may be triggered by anxiety, depression, family crises and other traumatic life events.”

Interesting talk on Here and Now.

Telic and Atelic activities.

Philosophy Bites takes on:
The Meaning of Life; or, How to Avoid the Midlife Crisis

What’s the solution? Key, Setiya argues, is to distinguish between telic and atelic activities:

Telic: “Almost anything we call a ‘project’ will be telic: buying a house, starting a family, earning a promotion, getting a job. These are all things one can finish or complete” (12).

Atelic: “not all activities are like this. Some do not aim at a point of termination or exhaustion: a final state in which they have been achieved and there is nothing more to do. For instance,… you can go for a walk with no particular destination. Going for a walk is an ‘atelic’ activity. The same is true of hanging out with friends or family, of studying philosophy, of living a decent life. You can stop doing these things and you eventually will, but you cannot complete them in the relevant sense…. they do not have a telic character” (12-13). So, “If you are going for a walk, hanging out with friends, studying philosophy, or living a decent life, you are not on the way to achieving your end. You are already there” (13).

Tacit knowledge and IT.

Tacit Knowledge

Tacit knowledge (as opposed to formal, codified or explicit knowledge) is the kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. For example, that London is in the United Kingdom is a piece of explicit knowledge that can be written down, transmitted, and understood by a recipient. However, the ability to speak a language, knead dough, play a musical instrument, or design and use complex equipment requires all sorts of knowledge that is not always known explicitly, even by expert practitioners, and which is difficult or impossible to explicitly transfer to other people.

– Wikipedia.

How much of working in an IT environment is tacitly learned? How much of that can be made explicit? I’m thinking of the term Definition of Done. I wonder if the first people who started using that were met with the objection, “Come on. That’s obvious.”

Anyway, the idea was running through my head, off and on, today. Someone should post on this in a clear, concise way with examples everyone can relate to. At the moment, this is all I have to contribute. Ca va.