Monthly Archives: August 2003

Notes from my social calendar

  • Last Thursday, we went to see Amir Lev perform at The Barbi in Kfar Saba. Lev performed accompanied by another Guitarist (Moti Bikovski – “we’ve played together for 10 years and we split the money half and half”, Lev said). The sound was terrible, and they paused midway to tune their instruments; Suzie still complained that the vocals were too quiet to make out the words (her sister and her husband were with us), but this didn’t seem to bother the rest of the modest audience, who knew the words to most of the songs by heart (except for a couple of new songs, most of the material was from his first two albums).
    The second part of the show, which was quieter, was better – or maybe it just got better as it went along. I like Lev’s voice, rough and low and warm and gentle, and he has the ability to write songs which capture a whole image in a single line of mundane speech.

    “The was only once before in Kfar Saba,” Lev said, “I was in New York before that, I’m sure lots of people visit New York before they visit Kfar Saba. I came to buy my first car. It was a horrible Opel Kadet, but I was glad I managed to buy it and drive home instead of taking the bus. Now I have a Subaru pick-up, you can see it parked up front. I make slow progress in life.”

  • This Tuesday I went to Asif 2003, a special screening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque of Israeli Animation, to see my brother’s films being screened. I think his films were nearly the only example of classic animation in the show. It didn’t win the prize in it’s category, but it got some laughs and applause.

  • This Sunday, I’m attending Itai’s wedding. He’s my friend since kindergarten and he’s finally getting married.

  • And this Monday, on my birthday, we’re flying to Eilat for the Jazz Festival. Hurrah!

Procmail

Since I’m looking at my corky.net email from 4(!) computers these days (2 work machines, 2 home machines), I’ve decided it’s time to set-up all my handy-dandy email filters on the server, rather than re-creating them in each mail program. So it’s time to look into configuring procmail, which I’m using anyway for SpamAssassin: Procmail How-To Page and Procmail Tutorial.

Amotz Zahavi and the Handicap principle

Some links about Amotz Zahavi and his Handicap Principle: a Why We Take Risks, a feature article by Richard Conniff from December 2001, an introduction to The Theory of Honest Signalling from the site of Carl T. Bergstrom, a researcher in Theoretical Biology (here’s another academic page by Michael Lachmann), and a review of Zahavi’s book (The Handicap Principle, written with his wife), by Geoffrey Miller, which accurately describes how Zahavi often comes across:

Depending on your viewpoint, they (the authors – DD) act like (1) dangerous hyper-adaptationists even more extreme than Steven Jay Gould’s worst caricatures of Richard Dawkins and Dan Dennett, weaving just-so stories out of thin air, (2) harmlessly entertaining, pseudo-scientific fabulists in the tradition of Sigmund Freud and Margaret Mead, (3) classical Victorian natural historians (somehow displaced to contemporary Tel-Aviv University) using the same hypothetico-deductive methods as Darwin himself, or (4) ardent, creative biologists who, whatever one’s qualms about their methods and examples, deliver a revitalizing shock to animal communication theory, sexual selection theory, kinship theory, reciprocal altruism theory, and evolutionary psychology. I favor this last judgment.