7 years ago in Meta Collection

Peak Velocity

These aliens, these made-up worlds
of ours, are ways of making
mysteries mundane.
We see beauty and think
it truth.
Man's measure grips the world,
chokes meaning from it.

But you can't escape cages by studying their bars.
Laws prison licence
in slow spaces, snagged time.
So the best of science or of crafty fictive lies
presses us into true darkness,
away from the lamppost.
Beware of the snaky swoop of integrals.
Math's mad arabesques can conceal far
more than they reveal.
It's strangeness we must seek, not
more urns so Greek,
with their Pythagorean certainties.
We must live in the jagged outlands,
knowing truth may not fit snugly,
can be ugly,
and all our own.
"Bleak Velocities"
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
 7 years ago in Quotes

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
 7 years ago in Stuff
 7 years ago in Stuff
Quora is in the same boat as FB (and to a certain extent, Twitter)

They think that the experience of their largely 20-something staff is anything short of revolutionary.

A bunch of kids running a digital media company with questionable morals and no connection to digital history. I will delete me Quora account.

"Follow me, and I will make you fisherprice toys that can be stacked and linked in such a fashion as to enable capture, storage and exploitation of free men and women."
 7 years ago in Zitate
Vernunft erfordert Bezogenheit und Selbst-Gefühl. Wenn ich nur passiver Empfänger von Eindrücken, Gedanken und Meinungen bin, dann kann ich diese zwar miteinander vergleichen und sie manipulieren, aber ich kann sie nicht durschauen. Descartes leitete die Tatsache, daß ich bin, davon ab, daß ich denke. "Ich zweifle", so argumentierte er, "also denke ich; ich denke, also bin ich." Aber auch das Umgekehrte gilt. Nur wenn ich bin, wenn ich meine Individualität nicht an das Man verloren habe, kann ich denken, das heißt, dann kann ich meine Vernunft gebrauchen.

In engem Zusammenhang hiermit steht der Mangel an Wirklichkeitssinn, der für die entfremdete Persönlichkeit kennzeichnend ist. Wenn man von einem "Mangel an Wirklichkeitssinn" beim heutigen Menschen spricht, so steht das im Widerspruch zu der weitverbreiteten Idee, daß wir uns durch unseren größeren Realismus von den meisten geschichtlichen Epochen unterscheiden. Aber von unserem Realismus zu reden, kommt beinahe einer paranoide Einstellung gleich. Was sind das für Realisten, die mit Waffen spielen, welche zur Vernichtung der gesamten modernen Zivilisation, wenn nicht gar unserer Erde, führen können! Wenn ein einzelner bei so etwas ertappt würde, dann würde er sofort hinter Schloß und Riegel kommen, und wenn er sich mit seinem Realismus brüstete, so würden die Psychiater darin ein zusätzliches, und zwar ziemlich ernstes Symptom einer kranken Seele sehen. Aber ganz abgesehen davon ist unverkennbar, daß der heutige Mensch einen erstaunlichen Mangel an Realismus in bezug auf alle Gebiete, auf die es ankommt, aufweist; in bezug auf die Bedeutung von Leben und Tod, in bezug auf Glück und Leiden, auf Gefühle und ernsthaftes Denken. Er hat die gesamte Wirklichkeit der menschlichen Existenz zugedeckt und durch ein künstliches, verniedlichtes Bild einer Pseudowirklichkeit ersetzt - so ähnlich wie die Eingeborenen ihr Land und ihre Freiheit für glitzernde Glasperlen hergegeben haben. Er hat sich tatsächlich so weit von der menschlichen Wirklichkeit entfernt, daß er mit den Bewohnern von Brave New World sagen kann: "Wenn der einzelne fühlt, gerät die Gemeinschaft ins Wanken."
"Wege aus einer kranken Gesellschaft" (1960)
 7 years ago in Quotes
Q: Why do the police always travel in threes?

A: One to do the reading, one to do the writing, and the other keeps an eye on the two intellectuals.
 7 years ago in Quotes
I fortunately come from generations past that learnt to think using paper. If I have to cut off my right arm to escape computer addiction, I can do that. Generations now and especially in the future will quite literaly be unable to think straight without an electronic device in their hand. To them, life will be brutually stressful with no inner peace to be found because they will be assaulted non-stop by disingenuous companies who have every kind of life-sapping wares to peddle.
 7 years ago in Quotes
I think the university should tolerate a large diversity of opinion, which it does not. I think there is a severe failure - the failure is one of honesty, in my opinion. That is, I don't believe that scholarship within the university attempts to come to grips with the real structure of the society. I think it is under such narrow ideological controls that it avoids any concern or investigation of central issues in our society. And this is not merely a matter of opinion; I think this is easily demonstrable.
 7 years ago in Quotes
To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
 7 years ago in Quotes
But cast away the thirst after books, that thou mayest not die murmuring, but cheerfully, truly, and from thy heart thankful to the gods.

Remember how long thou hast been putting off these things, and how often thou hast received an opportunity from the gods, and yet dost not use it. Thou must now at last perceive of what universe thou art a part, and of what administrator of the universe thy existence is an efflux, and that a limit of time is fixed for thee, which if thou dost not use for clearing away the clouds from thy mind, it will go and thou wilt go, and it will never return.
 7 years ago in Quotes
When I was asked to make this address I wondered what I had to say to you boys who are graduating. And I think I have one thing to say. If you wish to be useful, never take a course that will silence you. Refuse to learn anything that implies collusion, whether it be a clerkship or a curacy, a legal fee or a post in a university. Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose. If you can take this course, and in so far as you take it, you will bless this country. In so far as you depart from this course, you become dampers, mutes, and hooded executioners.

As a practical matter, a mere failure to speak out upon occassions where no statement is asked or expected from you, and when the utterance of an uncalled for suspicion is odious, will often hold you to a concurrence in palpable iniquity. Try to raise a voice that will be heard from here to Albany and watch what comes forward to shut off the sound. It is not a German sergeant, nor a Russian officer of the precinct. It is a note from a friend of your father's, offering you a place at his office. This is your warning from the secret police. Why, if you any of young gentleman have a mind to make himself heard a mile off, you must make a bonfire of your reputations, and a close enemy of most men who would wish you well.

I have seen ten years of young men who rush out into the world with their messages, and when they find how deaf the world is, they think they must save their strength and wait. They believe that after a while they will be able to get up on some little eminence from which they can make themselves heard. "In a few years," reasons one of them, "I shall have gained a standing, and then I shall use my powers for good." Next year comes and with it a strange discovery. The man has lost his horizon of thought, his ambition has evaporated; he has nothing to say. I give you this one rule of conduct. Do what you will, but speak out always. Be shunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don't be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time.
Commencement Address to the Graduating Class of Hobart College, 1900
 7 years ago in Quotes
I used to yell at lusers when they didn't RTFM.
Then I yelled at developers because they didn't WTFM.
Now I yell into the abyss as all of you fucking dipshits gallivant around naked, singing the praises of a fucking number for the number's sake.
 8 years ago in Quotes
Don't let school interfere with your education.
 8 years ago in Quotes
Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.
 8 years ago in Quotes
Compare mathematics and the political sciences - it's quite striking. In mathematics, in physics, people are concerned with what you say, not with your certification. But in order to speak about social reality, you must have the proper credentials, particularly if you depart from the accepted framework of thinking. Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is the concern for content. One might even argue that to deal with substantive issues in the ideological disciplines may be a dangerous thing, because these disciplines are not simply concerned with discovering and explaining the facts as they are; rather, they tend to present these facts and interpret them in a manner that conforms to certain ideological requirements, and to become dangerous to established interests if they do not do so.