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Diary; Patri's memorial
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Saturday: In the early afternoon, cvirtue and the twins stopped by. We picked strawberries together, and I got about a pint. It would have been more without their combination of 'help' and impatience, but I like them more than strawberries so that's ok :)

After wandering about the house for a bit, Arthur gravitated to the video game consoles, and I ended up showing them Lego Star Wars II for a while. The twins mostly didn't get the jokes (C did, and kept giggling), but were enraptured for a goodly while anyways.

Once they were bored of that, I retrieved some buried treasure from our cellar. I had been down their last week (looking for a box in which to pack my ailing computer), and had come across the long ago mislaid portion of my physical Lego collection. I brought this up to gift the twins with. It contained some baseplates, some floating ship parts, lots of spaceship parts, ladders and cranes, and castle wall pieces. This kept them quite happy until I had to kick them out, in order to prepare for Patri's memorial service.

I was traveling with Meredith, and she was a bit frantic because herooftheage's surgery had been delayed, so we only had a little over an hour to get there.

The memorial was at the Higgins Armory. I had looked up the directions online for her, even though I was pretty sure I remembered the route from my youth. While on their web site, however, I noticed that (with sufficient notice) the museum offers *tactile* tours to the visually impaired. Now kestrell is all excited to try and put together a tour group.

In the hall, they had a slide show of many many pictures of Patri on continuous loop. There were occasional slides that struck me as particularly surreal, as they depicted Patri standing approximately where the screen itself was, doing demos at the Higgins.

The service was wonderful, full of stories and memories and love, lightly seasoned with tears. The hall was full nearly to overflowing (200?), most of them locals. As one perosn remarked, there were probably half a dozen other cities in the world that could have filled such a hall for Patri, so widely had his fame spread.

Some memorable lines (paraphrased from memory): "Patri now knows how many angels can dance on the head of a pin - and is doubtless working on new figures to maximize the number." "...that was the most important lesson Patri taught me: 'Look it up for yourself.'" "This became a common occurrence; wherever I went in my research, in whatever field, Patri had been there before me." (That sentiment was echoed many times.) "Patri *hated* sleep... in fact, in our years of acquaintance, despite often sharing hotel rooms, I don't think I ever *saw* him sleep."

David Friedman spoke last, and here's what I remember of that: "Patri once told me, if I understood him correctly, that he used aesthetics in place of morality. He didn't lie, or cheat, or steal -- not because those actions were *wicked*, but because they were *ugly*. 'And I want my life to be beautiful,' which, of course, it was."

There was a reception afterwards, and I shmoozed for a bit and gave out strawberries. If Tom couldn't be there, at least the fruit of his garden was. Meredith was very tired after a trying day, so I drove us home.

Sunday: Today's harvest was about two pints.

The main accomplishment of the day was to go through my to-be-read bookcase and strip about a third of it out as "I will never actually get around to this one." Embarassingly, I also found four duplicates. I clearly must want to read them, but I don't need *two* copies. Come to my birthday party and take away my books!

Kes and I went out to the comic book store. There was a big stack waiting for me, though not as big as it first appeared. A substantial portion was clearly meant for someone else! I wonder if there are two "Kay"s who shop there, or if the bag was just mislabeled.

Lazy evening, lying in bed reading.

Monday: 2.5 pints this morning, and I didn't have quite enough time to cover the whole garden. Now we're talking!

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I was surprised the kids didn't eat more strawberries; they were interested in the whole idea in the car.

They've been playing with the Lego nearly nonstop. Oh, and your SOMA blocks were in there -- you want that back?
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Nope, it's better to have them in the hands of those who will use them.
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Aesthetics vs. morality

David Friedman spoke last, and here's what I remember of that: "Patri once told me, if I understood him correctly, that he used aesthetics in place of morality. He didn't lie, or cheat, or steal -- not because those actions were *wicked*, but because they were *ugly*."

I'm actually not sure what the difference is. "Morality" just means a system for evaluating a deed (in the literal sense: given a deed, tell you what its value is). "Aesthetics" means pretty much the same thing, except that it evaluates objects, too.

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Re: Aesthetics vs. morality

Do you truly see no difference between the terms "wicked" and "ugly"? Admittedly, a lot of fiction tends to conflate the two properties, but that doesn't make them the same. (And this tendency to conflate them makes people like my wife really angry...)
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Re: Aesthetics vs. morality

Do you truly see no difference between the terms "wicked" and "ugly"?

In the realm of deeds, no, I don't. Suppose person A hits person B in the nose. Some people might call that wicked; some might call it ugly; but they mean the same thing.

I'll grant you that conflating "wicked" and "ugly" (in the sense that the Good Guys are always handsome, and the Bad Guys are always ugly) is a Bad Thing. But, for an individual, calling theft and lies ugly isn't that remarkable. It's kind of interesting; it suggests something like synaesthesia is going on; but it's not fundamentally different from calling them wicked.

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Re: Aesthetics vs. morality

I've heard my mother refer to evil actions as ugly acts. I don't use the term because I think it's a false comparison and encourages the converse as you mention (ugly things/people being viewed as flawed/evil/etc.)
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