Letters to the editor, June 2009
This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for June 2009.
From: Peter Neilson
When clicking on the link to your June lettercol ...
I reach something unexpected ...
The directory listing suggests that you have yet to finish messing with let09jun.html and are even still doing things to let09may.html ...
Index of /cri_c/letters/2009 Name Last modified Size Description Parent Directory 02-Jan-2009 13:59 - let09apr.html 09-Apr-2009 12:41 19k let09feb.html 22-Feb-2009 03:21 17k let09jan.html 17-Jan-2009 13:07 28k let09mar.html 05-Mar-2009 16:41 13k let09may.html 02-Jun-2009 00:56 18k
My dear, dear, Peter,Return to index of contributors
From: Alexander Parkinson
I want to receive e-mail.
Any subscription suggestions?
I don't do subscriptions or a mailing list. What I do is public, free, and overpriced.Return to index of contributors
From: Louise J.
I've read your story about poker. You seem to have touched this realm well enough to be able to answer my question or to at least give me some pointers.
Here's the thing. I have a colleague who is a serious poker tournament player (age 25 - acts like 35). At work, he is flawless, well spoken, well poised and very professional. However, I'm very intuitive, and can sense that there is some kind of well burried but well present frustration.
If he's a pro? Hmmm... I wish I knew. There is NO WAY of getting any personal information on this guy. He'll get to know everything about YOU, but will never end up saying anything about HIM. He keeps his habits a secret and lives in an apartment with a male roomate.
Last girlfriend he's had was 5 years ago. And judging by the levels of testosterone guys have in the twenties, I presume it's uncommon for him not to have a girlfriend. He is tall and handsome. Likes sports (hockey and golf, the very latest). Very confident. Arrogant over others but never brags. Humble about himself, but laughs alot at other people (such as their IQ - which is what I hate the most about him). He says he's better off without women, but it's like he NEEDS ONE at the same time. He does observe pretty women so my guess is that his life with Poker has something to do with his staying single. A comment that often comes out of him is that in order to love something, he has to be good at it. He's a bad loser.
I think I'm the total opposite of a poker player who will calculate to get something. I am free-spirited and when I want something, I just ask for it regardless of timing and if I get "No" for an answer, it's okay. Life for me, regardless of obstacles is just plain fun all the time. But I'm not one of the brightest persons. My strength lays in unconditional love and intuition which almost never fails me. So underneath his layers of ironie, and carelessness about other people, I see a very passionate, sensitive and fun man.
So to come back to the intellectual side, as poker read body language and minds, I think he must have seen how I feel about him. Over time, only always refering to business subjects, we became closer and closer in a non tangible way. It was like there was no need to speak. The intellectual sized the intuitive one and vice versa. I know it sounds crazy, but this also happened in a work environment, with no possible way of being direct either.
One day, I decided to drop by his apt to get a document. On his doorstep he kept the hand on the door knob so it would stay shut. Then I saw his face: all swolen. He had been beaten by 12-13 guys the night before. I thought I would implode!! He told me not to worry. That this it was because he went in a bad place and that he had taken a drink too many. At this point, I did not pass judgement cause the only thing that mattered was that he was ALIVE!
So, you see, he didn't let me in his apt, but he did, that one time, let me inside of him. And I really like what I saw. He didn't even try to cover it. I could see his hurt, his deception. He was transparent. No layers. Just him: a man who cares darely about me. But then his roomate started pacing, so he closed the subject by saying that it was a very good lesson for him.
The next day at work, I hid a baby seal (stuffed animal) with a plaster on the forhead in his desk and wrote "PHOQUE!" (baby seal in French is pronounced "fuck"). When he saw it he was SO PLEASED and couldn't stop himself from laughing (not a mocking laugh though and amazed and happy laugh). It was like I was his SOLE friend and he appreciated it.
But as the days passed, the transparency slowly disappeared and the layers came back. Then, it was like there were a few layers MORE - so much that I can almost not gauge him anymore... so much that it's even like I became the most annoying person around whereas I was taking to him after more and more distant times. Today, I can still not relate his mood swings to anything. One day, wide opened and happy. The next day - back to the burried oyster.
Is there a way to get closer to poker players? I guess that's one of my questions. Do they need true friends like me or do they just want to go about their business and not have anything to do with anyone? Are they ever able to let someone in their life at some point? Or is the best thing to do is not mind their own business (in other words : CARE)?
There is little that I can say with certainty without knowing your young man, and even if I knew him, it quite likely wouldn't help. Still, I can't help but feel that your cause is hopeless.Return to index of contributors
From: Peter Neilson
Your web page that links to various members of the Harter Clan now contains more bad links than good. Only about four of them connect to anything clearly real, if you include your link to yourself.
If you whine that you do not have enough time to attend to your website, I shall retort that time is Nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once.
By the way, the photo of (probably) somewhere in South Dakota that appears on your site's home page looks remarkable like it might be somewhere in Italy. The wonders of South Dakotan Geography never cease!
Italy is part of Richard Harter's world. The photo is a picture of a cafe in Sorrento. I fear that it is time to remove the Harter page. It was a good idea in 1996 when (a) there were far fewer Harters on the web, and (b) I didn't have as many hair brained projects going.
... continued on next rock ...
I believe the expression is "hare-brained". As in "Silly rabbit!"
Have you noticed in any corners of your world that squirrels are selecting for straight ahead instead of zigzag? We saw it in New England over 30 years ago, and I've noticed it here in NC. The reason is of course that the automobile is the major predator, and a zig-zag course that would outfox a fox brings the prey right back under the rubber fangs of the rolling behemoth.
I mentioned this years ago to an acquaintance, and he said that it was impossible, because selection works over centuries or millennia, not years or decades. Apparently he was wrong.
Quite wrong. The whole inheritance system is trickier than people first thought. It is indeed true that changing a populations collective genotype can take many generations. However we inherit more than genes from our parents; we also inherit gene settings, i.e., which genes are turned on and which are turned off.Return to index of contributors
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Dear respectable personsReturn to index of contributors
This page was last updated June 1, 2009.