aftermath

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23 November 2017 at 7:30 am

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Macheide’s Aurelian Dream

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The more we know what we know, the more we know we don’t.

Almost a quarter century ago, I wrote an article for an early issue of Contingencies, the #1 magazine for actuaries, entitled “Next Best Thing to an Aurelian Dream“. Now standing at retirement’s shoreline, I am realizing that vision to be as recurring a dream as all those I’ve ever kept dreaming. Maybe if I start now, then a quarter century from now I can look back claiming to have made my dream at least more vivid, if not ever to be real. Or at least to have been content spending an entire lifetime dreaming it . . .

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30 March 2015 at 4:08 pm

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Underground Systems

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On a personal leave of absence from 43things the past two years, mildly disappointing to now finally get the memo about that site going down soon. It was always more the idea of it than anything else, that and a community I never belonged to, but nothing great functionality-wise. Even so, it was better than anything else I am finding by way of search for a replacement.

Why do I bother wasting time any longer looking for a new killer app for such interests or records? For years now, my go-to has settled into a close collaboration between Excel and Word, stored and controlled on my own local laptop. I won’t stop looking for some means to move some of the content online, if only so I can access things I want on different devices. But for the vast volume of material I work with, Word and Excel work quite fine; so I can stop wasting time playing around with tools that can only manage little pieces of the job.

So now among my major underground systems —

  • Benefits Finance Study — The first of my systems to demonstrate to me a power in Excel-Word collaboration that I have not found anywhere else. Also perhaps the best example of the “underground” nature of these systems – although I continue to dig and build on and on, quite likely nobody will ever see this material.
     
  • Poetry Register — Despite the success of my Benefits Finance Study’s use of Excel-Word, I persisted far too long with far too many alternatives, wasting so much time and effort, before I finally started treating the poems and poets as though they were pension plans, recreating almost overnight via Excel-Word what I had taken years to lose to the likes of Google’s junkyards. And again, like my benefits study, the system that I’ve built in my Poetry Register will more than likely never make it aboveground to get seen by anyone, despite how useful many might find its content.
     
  • Bucket List — Despite how well Excel-Word had been working for me on benefits and on poetry, there I too easily went again, off hunting for some app or software to handle for me what 43things had previously been doing. Why? No, once again, now I’ll turn to Excel and Word to rebuild what 43things will soon demolish. And more than ever, like my benefits study and poetry reading, this task list will never see the light of day, certainly not as I had felt comfortable doing with the 43things website.
     

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Written by macheide

25 September 2014 at 4:25 pm

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Perfecting the Future Imperfect

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I’m done starting anything new. Except for this one last new thing I’d already recently started: shutting things down.

Yesterday I settled into what will be the final year I will have been working on my favorite hobby: my spreadsheet of pension disclosure information, which includes details going light years beyond what any of the formal studies look into. Even for me to say “final year” plays the weasel: I ought to say yesterday I opened a new corporate financial statement for the last time, input a new piece of data for the last time from one of the financial statements I already have, for an existing trend rounded out the data for the last time, selected a subset of companies and hit recalc for the last time, even so much as opened the spreadsheet the last time. For this one, shutting down will be a longer process, I think. Still, I’ve turned the corner. I will start nothing new on the spreadsheet. And anything further I do on it will be aimed toward closing it down.

Some things I won’t be back to. I’ve already played my last game of chess. I’ve already ridden my last century on a bicycle. This is not quitting. I’ve done what I wanted to do, and I don’t need to keep doing it for it to have been done. Other things I will return to, as I have returned to this account, for the purpose of closing things out. I’m not finished cooking soups or making teas. I’ve not yet seen all the new words I want to know. But even for those things I will be starting nothing new. It is time to turn toward closing the books.

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Written by macheide

27 March 2012 at 5:56 pm

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9th Life

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In other words, to borrow a line from a favorite movie, “mostly dead.”

Eight times I actually did die. And then eight times they brought me back. I had made up my mind and body and soul to go. They didn’t accept my answer and came up with their own: stay.

I am on my ninth life.

This record – here in this leftover blog – is not that. Not even a reflection of that, nor a shadow of it.

But as I make the turn, I will reopen the windows on this room and air it out and spend some time in here again.

Bear with me as I dust the shelves and throw out old receipts and devices I no longer use and cords that have been tangled way too long. Eventually, everything here will work again. Eventually, everything here will again have its place. Eventually, everything here will be worth something again.

I don’t believe in waste. I don’t believe in chance. I never stopped believing in what was meant, only in thinking anyone else had to believe the same, or ever once did.

And I have never stopped believing in love. That won’t change, no matter how many more times I manage to die.

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Written by macheide

15 March 2012 at 11:17 am

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Coming Back Around

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This is already starting to feel like the times when I’d been writing a really good poem and made it maybe eight or nine good stanzas into it, then had most of that destroyed or lost, then tried to rewrite it all over again. In some ways, the new version can emerge better than the original, with parts that never would have been seen if the original had remained intact blocking the view. Yet there are always pieces irretrievably lost.

Aftermath will never be public again (update 3/2/2012 – or what is uncloaked once again will not be public as most of the public would think as such, rather more along the lines of the clothes I might choose to wear when walking out and about), but will always remain the core of my blogging experience. Much of its sidebar will have been lost, with old passwords for some of the pieces long forgotten and unattainable, and with other pieces – like Bloglines and Ning – gone to their graves. Eventually, new pieces will take all the places of those parts, and in some ways it will never quite be as it had been, but it should eventually be better than ever.

Polymath will carry the “public” face of Aftermath. Why public? I don’t write for anyone else to read, and I don’t expect to ever collect any regular readers. But maybe it’s like how I don’t just remain stuck in my rocking chair in my bedroom in my own home 24/7: I don’t go out to eat or work or run errands or do other things outside for establishing and maintaining any solid external relationships, nor even to make any particular impression, but I’m still out there being seen – and occasionally interacting.

Other pieces that make Aftermath and Polymath work – Facebook, Twitter, et cetera – are gradually loosening up and moving out into the world once again. It feels like when you try to walk after you’ve been sitting on your leg until it’s gone numb. (Update 3/3/2012 – Or more like, still being seen here after eight unsuccessful attempts to convince them I was done.)

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Written by macheide

12 September 2010 at 7:50 am

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La Macheide

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In the case of “Prufrock”, though, Eliot obviously wants to avoid that “contract”. He wants the poem to sound like the “rambling” of an old man; perfect, symmetrical or predictable meter would run counter to that goal. Instead, he surprises us with each line, all within its scrambled heterometrical structure. IMHO, this is a significant part of the beauty and innovation in “Prufrock”. (It also explains its alleged role as “la Macheide” in debates over the subsequent decline of metrical work and study but we can leave that discussion for another day.)

comment to a post under the blog for the poetry foundation

Another day? Oh, let’s not delay another!

Search “macheide” on Google, on Microsoft’s new Google-wannabe Bing, contributing to Cornerstone Recovery via GoodSearch (powered by the Yahoo! search engine), on Excite, or on just about any other Internet Search engine, and perhaps upwards of 95% of the search results will point to one of my own footprints (including my own websites, mrs macheide’s websites, or discussions pointing to me or to her), with most of the remaining links arising from German chess players, topped off with a small handful of links pointing to Lasker’s philosophical treatise wherein he created the word “macheide” and its concept.

Throughout the thousands of links comprising that collection, the quote above stands out quite unique: obviously drawing no reference to me, it uses the term “la macheide” in a non-chess discussion, on a topic very near and dear to my heart – poetry! indeed, about an issue of poetics that has always been of extreme interest to me!! And does so in a very natural manner that seems to presume that the other readers will naturally understand the reference! Then is not questioned by any of those other readers about that statement!

Yet any followup Internet searches on “la macheide” or on “the macheide” or on any other restricted reference do nothing more than make it easier to find references to the Lasker origin of the concept.

Since when have poetics experts become so natural with the macheide concept as to use it so fluently?! I’m not complaining that they do – their reference is quite exquisite! Just . . . I feel a bit left out. Now I want those lectures or treatises or discussions that led this commenter to so naturally, so correctly, so appropriately call on the name ‘macheide’ in this non-chess context.

Consider that a new Internet research expedition I shall undertake. Possibly commencing with simply contacting the author of the comment.

Written by macheide

10 June 2009 at 6:06 am

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