Maybe it is better to talk/write about what we love. So here she is once again, Leila: this time together with Sarasate and his Zigeunerweisen (earlier). More about Pablo de Sarasate’s masterpiece (including an incredible 1904 recording of Sarasate himself playing it!). More on Leila’s Zigeunerweisen. Fabulous!
For some reason I (once in a while) remember something Supachai Panichpakdi, then-WTO boss, said at a keynote speach in a Rotterdam conference celebrating 100 years since the birth of Jan Tinbergen (earlier on this blog, in Romanian): namely that we, then-PhD students in Economics, should stop reading [all sorts of books, papers etc.] and start writing immediately [papers, books, anything?], without wasting any further time (footnote here: — which I do not know if Blogger can handle– next to that, Dr. Panichpakdi, who also appeared to speak more than decent Dutch, had all sort of nice memories involving his PhD supervisor, Jan Tinbergen, and, my favourite part, he had plenty of anecdotes about the intense interactions between himself, Pascal Lamy, the– ironically– current WTO boss, then- EU Commissioner for Trade, and Robert Zoellick, current World Bank boss, then-US Trade Representative; Lamy said later that year that ‘Panichpakdi talks too much’, when I brought that up to him, in a “Young European Citizen Convention” videoconference, where we could ask him questions…). Now, the thing is that I am more and more convinced (despite similar advice from other, call them, “seniors”) that Panichpakdi was dead wrong in that particular suggestion: there is simply too much written stuff around, and most of it is worthless (vox populi: crap); you don’t need to be part of that. Au contraire, in order to make a(ny) difference (assuming you do not get significant utility from simply writing down stuff, that is, from the action of writing/typing per se…), you’d better take all the time in the world and read sufficiently… before you write anything. I mean, you’re still in gain committing the error of too much reading (can one ever err there?), then that of too much writing, all else equal. Some caveats surely apply (some revolve around the slight alteration “live sufficiently“, instead of “read sufficiently.. before you write anything”), but no more space for those here: I wrote too much already :-).Anyway, what I actually wanted to bore you with is that I have recently returned from home, i.e. Cluj, Transylvania, Vampire Empire, which nowadays happens to be part of Romania (more), a country where in order to get a new, biometric, passport, you have to wait no less than 20 (twenty! and they stress: week)days. In the Netherlands or Denmark (or any other sane country) you get the same, biometric, passport in 5 (five) days. And there they also do not (implicitly or explicitly) ask if you agree to be fingerprinted because (as in my country, the default assumption is that) you, as in you-citizen, might believe there is some connection of fingerprinting/digital photography/anything involving a biometric passport to a peculiar 666 number, or some– whatever– religion, or to both. Pathetic. And still (what a child, ain’t it?), I insist: I want to have my Romanian (biometric or not) passport. I am by now 99% sure that Marcus Messner’s so perfectly displayed indignation (hopefully they get back to their senses in that Nobel Literature committee and give the next prize to Roth, rather than persisting in rewarding mediocrity) is simply a most natural feeling, with or without Olivia (or Bertrand Russell) in the background.