On the Precipice of Christmas

Just lost a round $32 to the Atlantis Casino Reno. I had wanted to come to a corner of this casino and mope about landscaping. That’s right, landscaping. Today, I finally admitted to my wife that I have never before understood why so many people plant so much vegetation near their houses, and by near I mean touching. Why do people do so when it has been well known for decades that trees pull up moisture and rots wood used to build the house? The phenomenon is quite prevalent in the Bay Area. People do landscaping to their houses all the time like people do drugs to their own bodies.

And then it dawned on me today that they do it out of hedonic needs. The trees and flowers, so close you can touch and smell, they make people happy. So what if the house will fall down in 20 to 30 years? What comparison can you make with the happiness of the house’s residents for those number of years? A modern human being would always choose happiness of people over the happiness of dead wood. An ancient human being may also argue that since god created everything for humans, that this destructive servitude is most holy. There is no why. It just happens, by will of God and Humans. There is no why.

But I choose not to mope about soiled by my realization of how normal people think. Another idea to write about is the wonderful buildings of casinos. The Atlantis has two gigantic torches outside that blows 5-stories-tall flames every 30 minutes. The other casinos are also decadently extravagant. The artwork, the fanciful lighting, the domes, arches, fountains,… a single casino could have many architectural and distinctive features that come from centuries of history and art. Combined with modern day lighting, they look fantastic. The casinos here look like the originals of buildings and paintings that belong to a future museum. How do they get white walls so white? How do they make yellow walls work?

But this fantasizing is colored with the lens of twenty-teens. We go to museums to see these historical buildings because they are beautiful, difficult to create, and original (when they were created) in a few centuries time, what will actually attract humans to museums? It is not going to be casinos for sure. I mean, they won’t be able to get the smoke out of these buildings for another millennium.

Occasionally, some of us has the experience of being reminded that classic, museum-worthy, privately collectible and perpetually appreciating, transcendental art works from the past, they might have been nouvo and scandalous at their time of production, and they might have taken hundreds of years to gain their due desert of acceptance and appreciation. What we know for sure is that some sufficient number of human beings, at some remarkable times in the past, found such works appealing and decided to preserve them and propagate appreciation for them. Here and now I remark upon Reno casinos… I appreciate these whole buildings that art art.

Museum put on display historical intellectual arguments: who said what and influenced whom… visualized or represented in multi-media ways. We can watch great historical debates about politics and sciences. We can watch humanity decide what it wants to believe and wants to do. We can put on display Creationist Science versus Evolutionary Sciences, Climate change spectrum, Bayesian versus Frequentists, Empirical risk minimization versus… We can put on display the battle among titans of industries–IBM versus Apple, Tesla versus the rest, Intel versus Asia, AC versus DC, Amd versus NVIDIA, Ford versus Ferrari, … possibly many other struggle for dominance or survival. Perhaps these will be the legacies we will be remembered by. Our modern marvels will be the process that got us to that time and place where we are museum-worthy relics.

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