Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Como te va?

A coworker caught me reading Slavoj Žižek during my lunch. Then I was challenged to define parallax and explain the parallax gap. I thought I had done well, she seemed to understand and was intrigued by the concept.

This is the same lady who usually refuses to speak English with me, even though she is bilingual. At first it was fun, forced me to practice my Spanish, which I comprehend but cannot converse with. But now I find it more fun to reply in English to her Spanish.

The day after we talked about Žižek she stopped in, wanting another explanation. I understand the parallax gap as the interstice between juxtaposing systems. Wikipedia describes motion parallax as the change of angular position of two observations of a single object relative to each other as seen by an observer, caused by the motion of the observer. Simply put, it is the apparent shift of an object against the background that is caused by a change in the observer's position. (kinda like a Sunset Rubdown song "Will you live? Will you live in the physical world? With the sun setting low and the shadows unfurled? Will you live with the way they make you look unreal?" - from "the taming of the hands that came back to life"- lyrics as well as delivery, which is confident yet waivering and fragile.)

I used an example of a person moving from a 3rd world country to a developed one. She gave me homework. "You are going on a journey, you don't know how long you will be traveling and you don't know where you are going. Make a list of ten items that fit into a small bag that you would take with you". She is compiling these lists for some sort of immigration project. Here is my list. I wish I would have fit toilet paper and some basic toiletries in the bag, and I'm not sure I made the best choice of food.

First Aid Kit
Sleeping Bag
Water Bottle
Water Purifier
Cooking Pan
Oatmeal with dried fruit
Instant Ramen Noodle
A ziplock bag of extra undergarments

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