Month: November 2008

Mumbai under attack

Good friends of ours lost a cousin and his wife in a restaurant in Mumbai in this terrorist attack. We are so very sorry this happened and wish them our deepest condolences. These same friends generously sent me to India ten years ago and because of them I now have many friends all over the country.

We are thinking of India this Thanksgiving weekend.

IPA and Piaget

IPA and Piaget

Santa Monica, California. No doubt this tall glass of IPA is all about the old Piagetian conservation idea that a given amount of liquid will remain constant no matter the shape of the container. The taller the glass, the more arrested development types like me will think we’re getting more than a typical glass of beer.

Piaget’s task included showing a child two beakers, one tall and thin, the other short and fat. The tall and thin would be empty; the short full. He would pour water from the short to the tall, asking the child if the quantity of water was the same. In accordance with Piaget’s ideas, the children replied ‘there is more’, because the appearance of the tall made it look as if it were bigger. This concluded that Piaget was correct, and the children did not have the ability to conserve. In his words, ‘children who are unable to conserve believe a perceptual change means a quantitative change.’

He furthered the conclusion to suggest that this confusion was born from a pre-operational child’s inability to understand the notion of reversibility; the ability to see the reversal of a physical transformation as well as the transformation itself. These ideas were used to create the ‘Principle of Invariance’.

On the other hand, even though I may be stuck in a stage that prevents me from seeing "reversibility," I have proven many a time in my younger years that if I drink enough beer I can most easily (and unpleasantly) reverse that beer drinking, moving the beer from a tall thin container (me) to a wide flat container (the floor) all the while knowing that the same amount of beer existed in both places.

LACMA photo shows

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has two excellent photography shows up right now that are well worth seeing.

Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913–2008 which includes work for the magazine by Cecil Beaton, Harry Benson, Julian Broad, Imogen Cunningham, Annie Leibovitz, Man Ray, Mary Ellen Mark, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Edward Steichen, Mario Testino, and Bruce Weber. It’s an incredible show, well worth seeing. This show runs through March 1st, 2009.

A Story of Photography: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection which includes a spectacular array of some of the most famous photographs ever taken by Ansel Adams, Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, W.H. Fox Talbot, Edward Weston and more. This show runs through February 1st, 2009.