Went to see Soros, one of my inspirations, at Akateeminen bookshop two days ago. I took the signatures and Ville took the pics. He asked if I had really read Alchemy. I was happy to answer affirmative.

Here is what I wrote to as the first reviewer of Open Society in November 2000, six years ago:

After browsing and searching through shelves of literature in academic philosophy I found Soros and his alchemy of finance. It happened quite surprisingly when I was anxiously looking for a sensible presentation on derivative markets. The search ended with a coherent picture of the relationship between mind and market, and more generally, the social realm. This book presents the latest formulation of Soros’ practical philosophy, which is based on the concept of reflexivity. In short: thinking and reality interact and therefore perfect knowledge is impossible.

In overall, his theory sounds very solid and I have been happy to see that it has finally received serious attention among non-extreme scholars and self-thinking politicians. In social sciences and practical philosophy, the issues Soros writes about have been dealt innumerable times before with different notations. Especially Popper and his seminal teachings on fallibility and open society have been of great inspiration to Soros.

But why Soros? The reason why his presentation is superior to most previous attempts to understand thinking and reality is that Soros is very easy to read and understand. The book is completely clean of academic jargon although the things he writes about are in no sense trivial.

I’ve kept the teachings of Soros as basis where to compare other writers. Sure, there are weak parts in this book especially when he writes about world’s current political and financial context. The suggestion for a new political alliance sounds to me a bit similar as a suggestion for new global currency based on oil price.

The importance of Soros in the historical context will obviously not be his financial score or political proposals but all that he has achieved as a thinking and participating philantropist.

Peel the cap

Aargh, my Atlanta saga conties in a rat hole called Holiday Inn besides the airport. Delta Airlines cancelled the flight to Edinburgh last night and packed me here. I didn’t want this. 8 hours at the airport, no luggage, left me here. Nothing to do. The only positive signal was when I was able to convert a breakfast coupon to two cold Sam Adams bottles just before the midnight.

Before the mess, I completed A Man in Full. A great novel although the ending was a bit confusing. What the hell? It just stopped like out of blue. Well, today I need to find something new to read.

Yesterday I did my final exercise here. A run uphill Piedmont and around Piedmont park. Interestingly, just above Ponce de Leon a lot of houses are on sale. Like almost every other! According to Wolfe, Ponce is the dividing line between black and white Atlanta. Is this “the Atlanta way”? The white flight towards north goes on and on.

Miami Vice revisited

Walked up to the cinema in Atlantic Station and saw Miami Vice, the new remake. My perspective may be biased but I was impressed. I know the movie has got mixed reviews. But I give it thumbs up. Michael Mann has style. The movie is raw and realistic. Nightvision without flashlights. No overproduction at all. Pure stuff from the beginning to the end. It’s so real and detailed, and at the same time it’s all fantasy. Life is short, time is luck. Ok, I’ve heard it all before. But this is mr. Mann at what he does best.

Yeah, and forget about the thing “it’s not original”. This is by Mann and, besides, everything in America is redone for the next generation. You have to see it to believe it. The change!

Electric Ant

“In me somewhere, he thought, there is a matrix fitted in place, a grid screen that cuts me off from certain thoughts, certain actions. And forces me into others. I am not free. I never was…”

Yeah, I’ve jumped into fiction. Science-fiction. That one was from Philip Dick’s novel “Electric Ant”. After Androids I’m now continuing with his novel collections. I refound Dick after browsing through the early production of Hunter and Tom Wolfe. America in its craziest. 60s, hippies, junkies, electric kool-aid acid tests with all their colors. This art is well-written, clear and most of all: inspiring! Me being in this conservative family-man set-up. Maybe I should ask like Deckard. Who’s an android, after all, with a 4-year life expectancy?

“What I want, he realized, is ultimate and absolute reality, for one micro-second. After that it doesn’t matter, because all will be known; nothing will be left to understand or see… I will prick new punch-holes in the tape and see what presently emerges. It will be interesting because I will not know what the holes I make mean.”