Sunday, March 19, 2006

1. My parents visited me this weekend. We ate dinner Saturday with the Prices, who graciously invited us to join in their St. Patrick's feast. You haven't had corned beef until you've had corned beef bao (Chinese dumplings). They were incredible; so was the corned beef curry and the rest. And a jolly time was had by all.

2. While I was biking to campus for my students' midterm review session, I had another of those great math-language insights, which tied into what I wrote below.

Economists, sociologists and psychologists have been trying for years to explain away human actions as purely the instinctive pursuit of one's physical and social needs (rationalized to ourselves, so that we don't think of them in such a base way). The acts that don't make sense in this picture are defined to be neuroses, or expressions of more deeply hidden needs, or anything but what they are at face value: the seeking of the true, good and beautiful, or the self-destructive rages of pride.

So what occurred to me is that human beings can be thought of as clever animals acting to fulfill their physical and social needs, but that's only the first-order Taylor polynomial of human nature. It only approximates it so well.

3. If you're looking for a team to cheer in the NCAA Tournament, a team that's been doing it with good discipline and clever strategy rather than big scholarships, look no farther than West Virginia. (The story's a month or so old, so it doesn't mention their tournament so far.) It doesn't hurt that my dad's business partner, a great guy, is coach John Beilein's brother. Go Mountaineers!

Oh, and anyone interested in seeing a Sweet 16 game with me in Oakland? Like, maybe, Gonzaga/UCLA?

No comments: