Matthew David Rodgers

06/27/2021

Entry 13

Slow, hot week. Not too much going on. I finished the Kurosawa autobiography, and I’m hoping that my hold on Ellen Ullman’s Close To The Machine is ready soon, so I’m trying to find something quick to read.

I think that’ll be The Communist Manifesto, actually. I’ve had it lying around the house for a while now, and it’s only 35-ish pages. I’m frequently frustrated about how little I actually understand about the serious ideas in leftist politics, and I think Twitter frequently tricks me into thinking I know more than I do. But even still, it’s daunting to think about how much ground there is to cover. As I understand it, Marx and Engels believed that the proletarian revolution would occur within 5 years when they published the manifesto. A failure in such an explicit prediction makes the whole thing seem dated, but I know how relevant the theory can be - so how much do I actually have to read?

But, on the other hand, I don’t want to place too much stock in theory. I think the most important thing is empathy, the emotional basis for the struggle against oppressing systems. Everything else can follow as needed.

Got a new toy this week - a Keychron mechanical keyboard. Eventually I’m going to build my own keyboard. But I don’t really know enough about the specific components and preferences that I’d need, and the Keychron has hot-swappable switches - meaning I can experiment with the mechanical switches and build up some opinions as I go. This board is still pretty new - so I’m sure I’ll buiild up some more thoughts about the experience.

Came across something WILD this week: NAND to Tetris - a course about starting with the bare minimum of what can be considered a computational component, logic gates, and building everything along the way that it takes to build a working copy of Tetris. This sounds like such a brain-expanding experience, but I’m not going to start it right now. Definitely doesn’t sound like something you can half-ass, and there are still a couple things I’m juggling/want to get to first.

This week (today, actually) I revisited LACMA, a museum for contemporary art. In The Big Chill, somebody joins William Hurt’s character on the couch and starts asking him questions about the show he’s not really watching, questions he can’t anwser. And his response is “sometimes you just gotta let art wash over you.”

That’s the way I feel about museums. I don’t know a lot about art or its history, but I can really get a lot of out of it without understanding it at all. Most often that means just sitting with a piece, and letting it wash over. Sometimes it feels like a bit of a dialog - I’ll have a gut reaction about how something makes me feel, and look inward to see why I feel that way, and then outward to how the work invoked it… It’s a really rewarding experience.

Might as well attach something of the pieces that evoked something like that today, all part of the exhibit on modern art at LACMA.

K├Ąthe Kollwitz Pablo Picasso Claire Falkenstein Yayoi Kusama