node created 2019/09/29
Certain backward areas have advanced, and various devices always in some way connected with warfare and police espionage have developed, but experiment and invention have largely stopped.
"Nineteen-Eightyfour"
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.
The story goes that Thamus said many things to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts, which it would take too long to repeat; but when they came to the letters, “This invention, O king,” said Theuth, “will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories; for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered.” But Thamus replied, “Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess.

For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.
Phaedrus, 274e
The ordinary man with extraordinary power is the chief danger for mankind - not the fiend or the sadist.
Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
My Lord told me a joke. And seeing Him laugh has done more for me than any scripture I will ever read.
The trick isn't that you have no freedom, the trick is that you think that is freedom. All your fighting is for... consumer products.
By encouraging, or even requiring, students to take stands where they have neither the knowledge nor the intellectual training to seriously examine complex issues, teachers promote the expression of unsubstantiated opinions, the venting of uninformed emotions, and the habit of acting on those opinions and emotions, while ignoring or dismissing opposing views, without having either the intellectual equipment or the personal experience to weigh one view against another in any serious way
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mystical. It is the source of all true art and science.
Each new generation of programmers creates new tools to replace the 'complex' ones that came before without even bothering to understand them.

In my 25 year career I've seen it multiple times. We are all going downhill.

Attention spans in the smartphone era might be preventing people from reading the f*ing manual.

This means that any system or library which has an operating model that must be understood before it can be effectively used[1] simply can't be understood by the majority of programmers today.

[1] The currently popular things in software world are mostly the type of system that lack such a model and which can be 'mastered' by asking discrete questions on stack overflow. This lack of complexity causes a loss of expressive power.
The salvation of the world depends only on the individual whose world it is. At least, every individual must act as if the whole future of the world, of humanity itself, depends on him. Anything less is a shirking of responsibility and is itself a dehumanizing force, for anything less encourages the individual to look upon himself as a mere actor in a drama written by anonymous agents, as less than a whole person, and that is the beginning of passivity and aimlessness.
Since we’re awash in this contemporary ocean of speculation, we forget that things can be known with certainty, and that we need not live in a fearful world of interminable unsupported opinion. But the gulf that separates hard fact from speculation is by now so unfamiliar that most people can’t comprehend it.
Personally, I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions of society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level - there's little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I'm opposed to political fascism, I'm opposed to economic fascism. I think that until the major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it's pointless to talk about democracy.
The main part of the economics that don't make sense is trusting a secretive technocratic savior, wielding trillions of dollars of resources, to actually give a shit about helping out all the low-level peons who initially funded the system. It's an extremely elitist vision, that, by people's parents handing over investment money to a small cabal of technological geniuses, their kids will be handed a post-scarcity utopia on a platter --- instead of the wealthy technocrats simply joining forces with the rest of the oppressive oligarchy, laughing at the suckers who gambled away their children's futures on promises of technology serving the people rather than vice-versa.
Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.
We don't make a photograph just with a camera; we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard, the people we have loved.
There we go, now the entire conversation is everything or nothing, you're either with them or against them. Then it's off into personal attacks and arguments about followers and etc.

Nobody is talking to each other in any of that. They're just posting for everyone else to see.

The medium is the message and twitter is dumb, and it makes everyone on it dumb.
I got to write these jokes. So, I sit at the hotel at night and I think of something that's funny. Or, If the pen is too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of wasn't funny.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.