June 2016 news

topics: newsletter
created: 26 May 2016; modified: 21 Apr 2019; status: finished; confidence: log; importance: 0

This is the June 2016 edition of the gwern.net newsletter; previous, May 2016. This is a summary of the revision-history RSS feed, overlapping with Changelog & /r/gwern/ & LW media threads; brought to you by my donors on Patreon.







  • Bridge of Spies (overly earnest—painfully and ironically so given the War on Terror—Cold War Spielberg film about a lawyer defending a spy; becomes much better and tense when the primary plot begins and Donovan must carefully play off the East Germans and Soviets while not blowing the whole deal. Standard Hollywood polish, perhaps a bit too heavy on the deliberate symbolism like the cold passed from Abel to Donovan onwards or the train/fence pairings and the contrast between the film implying Abel would be treated as a traitor by the USSR compared to Powers, which was the departure from history I found most objectionable.)


  • Basilisk (review)
  • Tonari no Seki-kun (Situational comedy: the straight (wo)man tries to avoid the distraction of her seat-mate but often winds up in trouble or missing lesson information, although other times she becomes drawn in and scores moral victories. Simple yet entertaining—the gags are varied and it’s a fun light watch, especially since each episode is like 8 minutes so the premises don’t wear themselves out. An excellent and well worth watching summary is the AMV “My Neighbor Figaro Kun” which, in the great foot-steps of Bugs Bunny, demonstrates why The Barber of Seville is the best opera. To the extent there is any larger meaning of Tonari no Seki-kun, it struck me around episode 20 that the mute Seki-kun is something of a gifted child, trapped in a worthless conventional classroom learning stuff which no one cares about and all the students will forget as soon as possible, and that only Seki-kun is awake, as he works on his self-directed projects and learns far more than any school would teach him. Notes: whoever animated the cat episode clearly is not a cat owner; Seki-kun pulled off the magic trick by having another ace and crumpling a spare card to replace the original crumpled ace.)
  • Michiko to Hatchin (review)




A cappella: