EppsNet Archive: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

How Can I Be as Great as [Insert Famous Person’s Name Here]?

Young Composer: “Herr Mozart, I am thinking of writing a symphony. How should I get started?” Mozart: “A symphony is a very complex musical form and you are still young. Perhaps you should start with something simpler, like a concerto.” Young Composer: “But Herr Mozart, you were writing symphonies when you were 8 years old.” Mozart: “Yes, but I never asked anyone how.” Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Collected Thoughts

If you recognize the person on this next slide, please raise your hand. Don’t yell out the name, just raise your hand. About two-thirds of you recognize Derek Jeter. I thought everyone would recognize him, but still a clear majority. I’m not a Yankees fan or a Derek Jeter fan particularly but the Captain and I are on the same page on this topic. I have to admit I was pretty competitive as a student. I didn’t want anyone to do better than me and I especially didn’t want anyone to do better than me because they worked harder than me. This Jeter quote reminded me of a quote from another notable sports figure . . . This is Bob Knight, college basketball coach, most notably at the University of Indiana. He won 902 games, three NCAA championships, and he coached the 1984 Olympic basketball team to a gold medal.… Read more →

EppsNet Book Reviews: The Known World by Edward P. Jones

I bought this book and read it because it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. See, it says so right there on the cover: “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.” Did you know there was a time in our country’s history when black people were bought and sold as property, sometimes by other black people? And did you also know that 15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance? Human slavery is deplorable, yes, but at this late date, can it be deplored any more than it has been already? If you have new depths of insight into the hearts and minds of the participants, by all means offer them, but Jones doesn’t have them. Reading The Known World is like reading a history book, albeit with a little more authorial contempt for some of the characters. It’s customary in book reviews to mention authors whose work… Read more →

Did Mozart Play Kickball?

Do we hear about Mozart playing kickball? I know, there wasn’t kickball. But if there had been, he wouldn’t have played it. Because you give up stuff. So I guess what I’m saying is that being an expert in something requires frugality. It’s not just a spending frugality. It’s a focus frugality. — Penelope Trunk Read more →

The Myth of the Natural Genius

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work. — Emile Zola   People err who think my art comes easily to me. I assure you, dear friend, nobody has devoted so much time and thought to composition as I. There is not a famous master whose music I have not industriously studied through many times. — Mozart Read more →

EppsNet Interview Tips

Willingness I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow I’m drunk and dirty don’t ya know, and I’m still willin’ — Little Feat, “Willin’” If you’re a genius like Mozart and you’ve got a 1000 IQ in music or whatever your specialty is, then you can distinguish yourself by doing things that other people are simply not capable of doing. Lucky you! On the other hand, if you’re a person of moderate intelligence like me, you’re going to have to distinguish yourself by doing more than other people are willing to do — not more than they’re capable of doing, but more than they’re willing to do. We were interviewing candidates this week for a web editor position. One of the candidates brought in some mockups he had made to illustrate how we could incorporate social networking elements into our web site. Were the ideas groundbreaking in any… Read more →

Mozart for Muslims

A German opera house announced that it would cancel its staging of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” because Berlin police concluded that staging the opera — which includes a scene in which Jesus, Buddha, Poseidon and Muhammad are beheaded — would pose an “incalculable security risk” from jihadists. Germany, recall, proudly opposed the Iraq war — but still narrowly missed a Spain-style terrorist attack on its rail system this summer. A leading Muslim spokesman in Germany explained that he was all for free speech, as long as it didn’t offend Muslims. The Germans’ all-too-typical appeasement of terrorism no doubt makes them “safer” and “creates” fewer terrorists. And all it cost them — for now — is Mozart. — Jonah Goldberg Read more →

A Bruce Lee Christmas

I’ve been reading Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do, in which he says that most athletes are not willing to drive themselves hard enough, and that only through extraordinary effort can one unlock the potential of the human body. Read more →