Thursday, March 31, 2005

Reviewlet: Born into Brothels

A 2005 Oscar winning documentary by and about photographer Zana Briski's encounter with the children living in Calcutta's brothels.

At first irritated by the selective footage this (and every documentary) uses to tell only one version of the story, I was soon taken in by the greater story, emphasizing the potential and the plight of these brothel children of Calcutta, depicting the desperate lives these kids lead in Calcutta's prostitute-laden labyrinthine red light district, and yet the beautiful images they can create, when given cameras and tutelage by an earnest photographer (though I am a bit peeved that after spending years there, she never learned their language).

The cinematography was beautiful, the photographs both the photographer and the children created were absolutely stunning. In addition to the excellent job the film does in personalizing the story, there is a nice universality to the film, on the vast wasted potential in children everywhere in the world. And also an inspiration, what one person can do, and what she can't, as we find that the Zana Auntie's efforts largely led to failure, and even her successes meant the virtual excision of these children from their parents into boarding schools, as these budding Eliza Doolittle's are to be bred into a far different world from their parents and allowed little contact with home.

Grade: A

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Turkeys in Turkey

we saw a turkey in turkey, though in turkey, they call them indian (Actually hindi) which to them means indian, though of course, in france, they call turkey "from india" (dinde to be precise), whereas in most places, they just call them turkey, though in fact the turkey is an american bird, which is why ben franklin wanted to make the turkey the national bird, but was overruled in favor of the wussy bald eagle...

fuller reflections from turkey to come in my art pages with pictures!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

ramblings on sociology vs economics

excerpted from a debate about the future of economics amongst the social sciences:

i do give sociology credit, in that they seeem equally open to all ideas. at least woody powell is. the papers we read for his classes happily cite econ papers as readily as anthropology.

but they have yet to come up with the common framework. the common language that unites them that allows progress to be made.

i guess, at least from a stanford perspective, there's the big push for institutional theory, with micro-foundations in social psychology, but that's hardly universal, and will unlikley get there yet.

plus psychology is a rather muddled foundation, with its own fads and favorite theories that ebb and flow.

sociologists are an extension of what thinkers have been doing since plato and before. cataloguing phenomenon.

i do sorta think that modern economics represents a kuhnian paradigm shift, a new science, that will not easily be displaced.

though our methodology based on logic and math has faults of its own. I often say that modern economics is the true heir or Marxism, though a true marxist once retorted that modern economics is Marxism divorced from morality. and math and logic and objectivity is fine and good, but humans are creatures of passion, spirituality, and morality, and it is important not to forget that.