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2015.03.09 20:44
The Battle of the Ancients and the Moderns (sequel #______ )
If you think I believe that "modern technology=modern design," then you are mistaken. As the 20th century progressed, all architectural design became more and more an expression of newly developed technologies. For example, the existence of skyscrapers is largely dependent on elevators, and, even though most of the early skyscrapers are done in a classical style, their design is modern where the classical aspect is only a styling. The Tuscaloosa Court House is not a genuine classical building--for a start, the plan is a modern/classical hybrid, at best. And, like classical skyscrapers, the Court House is only classical in styling (and a very average deployment of classical styling at that).
And to clarify a big mistake you made, architecture was not the main technology for the storage and dissemination of information prior to the printing press. For example, much of the knowledge of the ancient world that fueled the Italian Renaissance came from Byzantine manuscripts brought to Italy by monks, etc. fleeing the Turkish invasion of Constantinople in the mid 15th century. Gothic cathedrals were 'texts' for illiterates, while literate people were reading and writing manuscripts.

2015.03.22 11:27
Take a Tour of Ancient Rome, 320 CE
Unfortunately, the narrative contains significant factual errors and the presentation overall does little to elucidate what was really going on in Rome 320CE. Under the reign of Maxentius (a usurper 306-312) Rome and southern Italy and northern Africa was pretty much cut-off from the rest of the Empire then ruled by a tetrarchy from four other 'capitals'. Rome's survival then was largely contingent on grain imports from northern Africa and the city overall was starting to be disenfranchised. After Constantine's defeat of Maxentius 28 October 312 the Imperial sanctioning of Christianity in Rome begins, with Rome's largest construction projects then being what's now St. John Lateran (312-318) and St. Peter's (319-330) concomitant with the gradual disenfranchisement of Rome's pagan establishment.
Like any large city, things get old and nothing lasts forever.
Between 312 and 326 Constantine spent what amounts to less than one year on three different occasions in Rome, thus the Palatine was largely abandoned (And Constantine did see the Arch of Constantine!) Helena and Eutropia, Constantine's mother and mother-in-law respectively, lived in Rome during that time (at a large Imperial villa at the southeast edge of the city, "down the street" from St. John Lateran) supervising, if not also designing, all the new Christian construction, much of which done on Imperially owned land outside the walls.
For that video to be more correct, you would need to see a fair number of the buildings already starting to fall apart.

2015.03.22 18:03
Take a Tour of Ancient Rome, 320 CE
Given Frischer's credentials, the errors and the more than slightly romanticized depiction of the video now only appear greater. If I'm aware of the more accurate history of Rome 320CE, then Frischer certainly should be! And the clear evidence that Frischer is not aware of the more accurate history is only to his discredit, not mine.
I wonder how much the word 'romanticized' comes from a false view of Rome itself. Ha.
When I heavily participated within the late-antique email list serve (around 10 years ago), every so often some older professor would vehemently disagree with some of my suppositions/questions about the architectural/political circumstances during the various reigns of Constantine, and, through back-and-forths with other participants and following suggestions as to where some information/answers might be found, it always turned out that my suppositions pointed to much more likely scenarios as to what actually went on back then.

2015.06.24 14:29
Why are people so fascinated with classical architecture?
It's a big mistake to think that "today almost all residential homes are modeled off of classicism or the Roman villa." There are faint traces of 'classical' details sometimes here and there, but, overall, classicism or the Roman villa are not today's predominate housing paradigm.

2016.03.22 21:10
Random Thought #4.1: Chemicals, no options (apparently), and Half-way up the Space Elevator Cable over Liberland: 15th Annual Parametric Convention
The phrase "such an arrangement of the most commonly successive letters made it even impossible to type with any speed" can be construed to mean "impossible to type at all." Thus, to express what I meant, the phrase should read "such an arrangement of the most commonly successive letters made it even impossible to type with speed." Here's your most recent mistake: "a highly inefficient arrangement." The typewriter with the QWERTY keyboard was a highly efficient mechanism. Its very success is proof of that.

2016.09.13 19:52
Celebrity-turned-"designer"-shitting-on-real-architect thread du jour
I don't get out of bed in the morning until I think of a mistake that I could make. Hence, getting out of bed is always my first mistake of the day. And of course I can't be wrong, because it's all your fault! Before free gluten I was crazy about free cholesterol. Couldn't get enough of that stuff.

2016.09.18 14:51
18 September
The thoughts which I publish in what follows are the precipitate of philosophical investigations which have occupied me for the last sixteen years. They concern many subjects: the concepts of meaning, of understanding, of a proposition, of logic, the foundations of mathematics, states of consciousness, and other things. I have written down all these thoughts as remarks, short paragraphs, of which there is sometimes a fairly long chain about the same subject, while I sometimes make a sudden change, jumping from one topic to another. --It was my intention at first to bring all this together in a book whose form I pictured differently at different times. But the essential thing was that the thoughts should proceed from one subject to another in a natural order and without breaks.
After several unsuccessful attempts to weld my results together into such a whole, I realized that I should never succeed. The best that I could write would never be more than philosophical remarks; my thoughts were soon crippled if I tried to force them on in any single direction against their natural inclination. --And this was, of course, connected with the very nature of the investigation. For this compels us to travel over a wide field of thought criss-cross in every direction.-- The philosophical remarks in this book are, as it were, a number of sketches of landscapes which were made in the course of these long and involved journeyings.
The same or almost the same points were always being approached afresh from different directions, and new sketches made. Very many of these were badly drawn or uncharacteristic, marked by all the defects of a weak draughts man. And when they were rejected a number of tolerable ones were left, which now had to be arranged and sometimes cut down, so that if you looked at them you could get a picture of the landscape. Thus this book is really only an album.
Up to a short time ago I had really given up the idea of publishing my work in my lifetime. It used, indeed, to be revived from time to time: mainly because I was obliged to learn that my results (which I had communicated in lectures, typescripts and discussions), variously misunderstood, more or less mangled or watered down, were in circulation. This stung my vanity and I had difficulty in quieting it.
Four years ago I had occasion to re-read my first book (the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus) and to explain its ideas to someone. It suddenly seemed to me that I should publish those old thoughts and the new ones together: that the latter could be seen in the right light only by contrast with and against the background of my old way of thinking.
For since beginning to occupy myself with philosophy again, sixteen years ago, I have been forced to recognize grave mistakes in what I wrote in that first book. I was helped to realize these mistakes--to a degree which I myself am hardly able to estimate--by the criticism which my ideas encountered from Frank Ramsey, with whom I discussed them in innumerable conversations during the last two years of his life. Even more than to this--always certain and forcible--criticism I am indebted to that which a teacher of this university, Mr. P. Sraffa, for many years unceasingly practiced on my thoughts. I am indebted to this stimulus for the most consequential ideas of this book.
For more than one reason what I publish here will have points of contact with what other people are writing to-day. --If my remarks do not bear a. stamp which marks them as mine,--I do not wish to lay any further claim to them as my property.
I make them public with doubtful feelings. It is not impossible that it should fall to the lot of this work, in its poverty and in the darkness of this time, to bring light into one brain or another--but, of course, it is not likely.
I should not like my writing to spare other people the trouble of thinking. But, if possible, to stimulate someone to thoughts of his own. I should have liked to produce a good book. This has not come about, but the time is past in which I could improve it. Ludwig Wittgenstein
January 1945.

2016.09.20 17:39
20 September
Nothing here is intended to represent some sort of achievement. Nor is anything here intended to deliver some sort of thesis. What the items here have most in common is their all having been published on a 20th of September.
I've hence been reminded of Rykwert's "On Hearing about Hermeneutics."
Making one's own interpretation of another's things is fine. Just don't mistake one's own interpretations as the same as the other's intentions.



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