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Musical Comedy

May 13, 2011

Possibly the best musical comedian in the entire history of musical comedians.


macroeconomic animation

April 29, 2011

Ok, some of the content oversimplifies the issues, and even worse – some if it is outrageously incorrect. But regardless of accuracy, I can not stop laughing.

Nina Simone

December 18, 2010

One of the most beautiful women to ever walk this planet. An agnostic with soul.

Typing Comedians

May 1, 2010

There has been a lot of talk about typing comedians in the mbti community (without any attempt at justification), so I decided to give my assessment. (Please debate me on this, it’s why I started this blog).  Even if you think mbti is bullshit – which I think 35% actually is.

ENTP:Bill Maher, Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce, Katt Williams, Eddie Izzard, Jon Stewart, Denis Leary, Lewis Black, George Carlin, Sasha Baron Cohen, Sarah Silverman, Stephen Colbert

Like the INFP, they have an irreverent sense of humor, but coupled with far more anger. I get the sense, that when they are not on stage, it’s the way they are off camera with their friends and family. To these guys, it’s not a joke (they live this way, they rant the same way to their friends). They don’t care as much about entertaining you as much as preaching, or convincing you that their world view is correct. They have a certain aggressiveness that is palpable. They have a body language that is very confident and in your face.

Their views on religion, politics, social mores, etc are very well defined and thought out in a logical way. They are on a mission to force there views on you. Their humor is based on a social, political and moral agenda above all. They also tend to obsessed with making fun of religion, while another element in their humor typically, is that they try to make you feel small – if you don’t agree with their point.

Incidentally, when these guys make jokes about smoking crack in a trailer park with a bearded female dwarf; they probably have – it’s not really a joke.

INTP: Steven Wright, Larry David

Steven Wright is by far the most conceptual. His humor is based on language and the multi layered meanings of language. Similar to the ENTP, he doesn’t seem to care as much if you get it. The humor is far less humanistic or socially conscious as the INFP and ENTP. It’s the only kind of comedy, that amazingly, lacks people as the basis of the humor.

I think if there were more professional INTP comics, there sarcasm would have the same edge or making the audience feel small that the ENTPs exhibit. Sadly, I think the reason there aren’t more of these comics is that there humor appeals to smaller market (namely the NFs and NTs). I have a suspicion, though, that there are a lot of INTP professional writers, that work behind the scenes at places like SNL, Daily Show, Colbert Show, sitcoms etc). I think they might write comedy as well or better than anyone. Larry David I could see as a possible ENTP but something about his body language is more Introvert to me. Also, his humor has less of a social message than most ENTPs have. He’s also not as preachy.

IXTJ: Seinfeld

Not as sure about this one. I could see him being an INTP or ISTJ as well. His “observational” humor is centered around pointing out the idiosyncrancies in life. The illogical and the absurd but in a day to day way. He doesn’t have a heavy handed moral or political agenda. His body language screams introvert to me. He often laughs at his own jokes before he finishes them.

He’s not belligerent in his style. He has a light sense of humor but it doesn’t mean he’s a light person. He can be just as dark as an ENTP or INFP (off stage) but they don’t like to discuss those things in public as much.

I think the INTJs are more vicious in their thinking than the ENTPs but for some reason the ones I know in real life, hold it back in their humor. Maybe, because they want to hide that side of themselves? They hesitate when they say something off color (though I know they’re thinking it); they’ll do these quick darting sidewards glances before saying it to me. Which I think makes them less demonstrative in gesture and tone.

ENFP: Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Andy Kaufmann

They are edgy and belligerent to an extent. Quirky and ironic. But I get the impression that they want you to laugh more than anything else. They want you to like them. Lenny Bruce and Hicks could give a shit, they want you to hear the message. I get the sense the point of their comedy is to entertain above all else. They want to show you a good time than impress a world view. Not that they don’t have serious world views, but it’s secondary in their comedy. Sarcastic as well but not with the mean edge of the ENTPs.

ESFP: Carrot Top, Bob Hope, Howie Mandel.

Very off the cuff, slapstick. Sometimes clever and witty but in a very different way than the other comedians. They don’t take themselves seriously at all. They want to be liked and show you a good time (as well as have a good time themselves). If this means they take a pie in the face, it’s all good, as long as you laugh. You know their harmless so it’s hard to hate them, even if you don’t laugh at their jokes.

INFP: Richard Pryor, David Chappelle, Woody Allen

This type is my favorite kind, because I find them the most creative. ENTP comedians sound like myself expressing my own views on things (so to me, it’s less entertaining), I can sense them trying to force their views on me (luckily I agree, so I love ENTP comedians as well). But the INFP raises comedy to an artform! The INFP comic is the most soulful comic. Similar to ENTP comics,they have a deep moral and social message. But unlike ENTPs, they tend to use more narrative in their humor. They tell stories, they give you an understanding and sympathy of the human condition, the overly analytical ENTPs don’t. They are less antagonistic and exhibit far more vulnerability. They have less developed political or philosophical stances (in terms of logical expression); but they deeply care about those issues. There material is less ego driven. It’s more affirming and accepting of others, even the stupid fucktard muppets (as some ENTPs describe them).

If you watch Chappelle being interviewed with Maya Angelou, he was in awe of her. She was criticizing him but he couldn’t respond because he respected her too much. An ENTP might respect her just as much, but wouldn’t let that fact affect their view of them. INFPs tend to be more awestruck by their idols. Watch Chappelle when he has a band on he likes, he can’t speak. If an ENTP has a band on they like, they’ll still fuck with them. It doesn’t mean they don’t respect them as much as an INFP, it’s actually a way for them to get even closer and interact with their idols, instead of missing a one in a lifetime chance – by drooling and smiling.

ESTP: Andrew Dice Clay, Colin Quinn, Chris Tucker, Cedric the Entertainer, David Letterman, Rodney Dangerfield, Dane Cook?

Clever, witty, quick and aggressive. Similar to the ENTP, but I don’t see them with the same fervor in getting across a specific agenda or philosophy on life. Their humor tends to touch on serious subjects in a light manner (they haven’t thought it through as much) but when their humor touches those topics, they express it in the same aggressive manner as the ENTP. They tend to be concerned more about their image of being a badass or an alpha male.

ESTJ: Jay Leno

Not sure why on this one, maybe you guys can help out. I just get an ESTJ feel. He seems very disciplined and choreographed, extremely motivated, but doesn’t take big chances. Not conceptual, political or moral. He doesn’t have that F vibe that the ENFPs and INFPs have. Kind of sarcastic but not enough to hurt your feelings.

INFJ: Kevin Mcdonald (from kids in the hall – one of the most innovative troupes ever)

He seems INF to me but maybe INT. Definitely IN though.

Was Confused by: Andy Kaufman (my friend has a great argument for him being an ENFP)

I’ve never seen Andy Kaufman out of character. Whenever you see him, he’s playing a role. His humor is always about being in character. I don’t know what to think, because I’ve never seen him be himself.

Moore’s Law, Hydrocarbons and Infinity

April 17, 2010

If you look at BusinessInsider’s top 14 frightening things for our economy that came out last week, it’s essentially a long winded way to say two things matter – oil and sovereign debt.

Hormuz, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Malacca etc, are not listed because terrorism (which has been around forever) or regional peace in random faraway lands are world shaking in themselves; it’s listed because of the effect on the price of the most valuable commodity on earth – oil.

It doesn’t seem so catastrophic now, because most underestimate the impact that a serious shortage or significant price hike would have. The reason we can support the population of earth today is because the increase in productivity, provided by this formerly cheap and seemingly limitless commodity.

It isn’t only essential for transportation, heat, farming productivity and electricity – it is an essential ingredient in thousands of products most don’t realize. Plastic, vinyl, asphalt, fertilizer, medicines, CDs, batteries, vitamin capsules, ammonia, house paint, tires (it takes 22 gallons of oil to make a single truck tire) and countless other products are made with oil.

Hydro-carbons are the most concentrated dense form of energy on earth and is a unique molecular marvel. It took billions of years for carbon based life forms to decay and become pressurized to produce the stuff. The amount of pressure and time is what determines whether these hydro-carbons turn into oil, natural gas or coal. We have dug up what took the planet eons to create and consumed it in an orgiastic frenzy.

This was done in a miniscule fraction of the amount of time, it took the earth to create. Billions of years of pressure and heat applied to decayed carbon based life forms; extracted and used up in less than a century. How long is a century of consumption relative to the amount of time it took to create? Roughly 1 ten millionth.

How Oil and Gas were Formed
Hydrocarbon Systems
The Mysterious Origin and Supply of Oil
Where Does Coal Come From?

Moore’s Law is an analogous boost that has allowed us to double computing power every 18-20 months. This is not just an abstract thought exercise – computer productivity has also increased the amount of sustainable life. This exponential productivity growth (to a lesser extent, after oil) also allows us to sustain the population and comfort we have now (including billions living below the poverty line currently, before the likely shortfall). In other words, if we don’t maintain this geometric growth we must assume a painful population contraction and the phenomenon that always come with it (war, famine, conflict and strife).

Most think these productivity gains (created by man’s technology) and commodity supplies will continue forever, because of some bizarre notion that these things have to be limitless with no ceiling…

It’s more likely that there is a finite limit on oil supply, just as it’s moore likely there is a limit on how small we can make transistors. Sure Moore’s Law hasn’t been wrong yet, but it doesn’t mean that it will likely continue doubling (every 18-20 months), ad infinitum. I don’t underestimate the ingenuity of man here, I just think there may be a limit to how much we can bend the physical universe.

It doesn’t mean Kurzweil isn’t right here – Law of Accelerating Returns
He’s probably only going to be wrong in a few instances.

I think it’s likely that upper limits exist for certain technologies. I don’t think we’ll ever make transistors smaller than electrons or other even infinitesimally smaller particles (assuming an electron sized transistor was built). Not saying it’s impossible, just not very likely. Maybe as likely for man to come up with a way to send a 2 ton ship faster than the speed of light. Some things might simply be impossible to execute, regardless of how clever the monkey is trying to do it.

The problem that is being underestimated re: oil is that, it is a dwindling, contracting resource, with constantly expanded demand from overall world development (except for recessions, like we’re facing now). Yes, this current recession has halted this price increase temporarily, but any eventual recovery will inevitably increase the speed at which oil price climbs.

And when technologically sophisticated countries go through hard times, (like Japan and Germany went through in the 1930) – they generally try to compensate through military conquest or empire expansion. If a growing portion of population is going through this pain, who has military/technological ability – they usually invade and steal other weaker states’ resources. That scenario is far more likely than most realize, because of the overconfidence we have in the civility of modern societies.

Take a look at the wealthiest societies on earth and how they are trying to respond to these issues….. look at portion of military spending vs scientific research (by the 5 largest economies on earth). Our current path is not exactly the optimal strategy to solve our problems in the long run.

Keynes vs Hayek

March 21, 2010

Chilling with some old school flava in ya ear. I always pour out a sip of my 40, for some real OG’s.
As a former econ major – this boiled down the majority of intro macroeconomic theory in 7 minutes of verse.

“Absolutely fair and brilliantly rhymed. It’s not a complete account of Keynes but it seems to be completely right.” – Lord Robert Skidelsky (Keynes biographer)

Film history

March 12, 2010

This shows that you can be a talented director, while still being an asshole.

Birth of a Nation (from wikipedia)

Part 2 depicts Reconstruction. Stoneman and his mulatto protegé, Silas Lynch, go to South Carolina to observe their agenda of empowering Southern blacks via election fraud. Meanwhile, Ben, inspired by observing white children pretending to be ghosts to scare off black children, devises a plan to reverse perceived powerlessness of Southern whites by forming the Ku Klux Klan, although his membership in the group angers Elsie.

Then Gus, a murderous former slave with designs on white women, crudely proposes to marry Flora. She flees into the forest, pursued by Gus. Trapped on a precipice, Flora leaps to her death to avoid letting herself be raped. In response, the Klan hunts Gus, lynches him, and leaves his corpse on Lieutenant Governor Silas Lynch’s doorstep. In retaliation, Lynch orders a crackdown on the Klan. The Camerons flee from the black militia and hide out in a small hut, home to two former Union soldiers, who agree to assist their former Southern foes in defending their “Aryan birthright,” according to the caption.

A ticket to the film cost a record $2 (the equivalent of $42 today). It remained the most profitable film of all time until it was dethroned by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

At it’s premiere, the film was entitled ‘The Clansman’ but the title was later changed to ‘The Birth of a Nation’ to reflect Griffith’s belief that after the United States emerged out of the American Civil War and Reconstruction, ostensibly ended by the Klan, as a unified nation.

On the evening of March 21, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson attended a special screening at the White House of THE BIRTH OF A NATION, a film directed by D.W. Griffith and based on THE CLANSMAN, a novel written by Wilson’s good friend Thomas Dixon. The film presented a distorted portrait of the South after the Civil War, glorifying the Ku Klux Klan and denigrating blacks. It falsified the period of Reconstruction by presenting blacks as dominating Southern whites (almost all of whom are noble in the film) and sexually forcing themselves upon white women. The Klan was portrayed as the South’s savior from this alleged tyranny. Not only was this portrayal untrue, it was the opposite of what actually happened. During Reconstruction, whites dominated blacks and assaulted black women. The Klan was primarily a white terrorist organization that carried out hundreds of murders.

After seeing the film, an enthusiastic Wilson reportedly remarked: “It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” African-American audiences openly wept at the film’s malicious portrayal of blacks, while Northern white audiences cheered. The film swept the nation. Riots broke out in major cities (Boston and Philadelphia, among others), and it was denied release in many other places (Chicago, Ohio, Denver, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Minneapolis). Gangs of whites roamed city streets attacking blacks. In Lafayette, Indiana, a white man killed a black teenager after seeing the movie. Thomas Dixon reveled in its triumph. “The real purpose of my film,” he confessed gleefully, “was to revolutionize Northern audiences that would transform every man into a Southern partisan for life.”

In 1953, the Directors Guild of America instituted the D.W. Griffith Award, its highest honor. Its recipients included Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, John Huston, Woody Allen, Akira Kurosawa, John Ford, Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, and Griffith’s friend Cecil B. DeMille.

The website Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles reviews from various sources, indicates the film has a 100% “fresh” (positive) rating.