September 26th, 2003

classic beard

Severe Leather Warning

Finally saw Pulp Fiction. Funny movie. The interview with Charlie Rose (on disk 2 of the DVD) was pretty interesting too - Tarantino seems so driven but at the same time sane and civilised.

One of the points he made was about how many directors had career turning points where they poured their soul into a movie and the movie got harshly criticized, and they weren't quite the same after that (less willing to or successful at taking risks, etc.) What intrigued me wasn't the insight, as much as the extent to which he has studied their lives... which lead me to think about whether that applies at all to people in my field, or other fields. In CS, the only life that gets studied is Alan Turing, and it isn't at all about how his life influenced his work - just that he had an "interesting" life in parallel with the work. In the "startup" space, it's usually the work that influences the life, and not the reverse; none of the startups I've been in or close to have really been diverted by life events of the founders - mekinok was derailed by 9/11 but it was because we were gambling on one specific customer, who had a change of focus, and we were already at the edge of failure anyway, it wasn't our lives.

So maybe it is just the truly artistic fields that are this entangled, which suggests that perhaps software is not as much of a "creative" field as is sometimes expressed (usually in the "it's not very engineering-like, so it must be..." sense.)

(Oh, the title? Just an amusing mishearing of a comment at dinner.)
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classic beard

another round of famous deaths

Gordon Jump ("WKRP", the maytag repairman), age 71
Robert Palmer (rock musician - "addicted to love", "didn't mean to turn you on") age 54
George Plimpton (actor, author, lots of other things) age 76
Franco Modigliani (Nobel Prize for Economic Science, 1985; MIT lecturer) age 85
(I recall the prize, he was still full-time at MIT then, and I was an undergrad, and he credited his wife with pointing out some of the "common sense" aspects of how people save, which contributed to the research he won the prize for.)