3 m ago in Quotes
In all major socializing forces you will find an underlying movement to gain and maintain power through the use of words. From witch doctor to priest to bureaucrat it is all the same. A governed populace must be conditioned to accept power-words as actual things, to confuse the symbolized system with the tangible universe. In the maintenance of such a power structure, certain symbols are kept out of the reach of common understanding – symbols such as those dealing with economic manipulation of those which define the local interpretation of sanity. Symbol-secrecy of this form leads to the development of fragmented sub-languages, each being a signal that its users are accumulating some form of power.
"Children of Dune"
 3 y ago in Quotes
The net effect of this language system was not to keep these people ignorant of what they were doing, but to prevent them from equating it with their old, "normal" knowledge of murder and lies. Eichmann's great susceptibility to catch words and stock phrases, combined with his incapacity for ordinary speech, made him, of course, an ideal subject for "language rules."
"Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil"
 3 y ago in Quotes
When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence.
"Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil"
 4 y ago in Quotes
Because we are lied to all the time, in ways so routine they are beneath conscious notice, even the most direct lies are losing their power to shock us.
 4 y ago in Quotes
When daily life requires turning a blind eye to the falsity of countless things we’re told, it weakens the power of language to sort truth from fiction.
 4 y ago in Stuff

What "Orwellian" really means

by Noah Tavlin
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 4 y ago in Quotes
The complexity of the so-called individual that’s been praised for decades in America somehow has narrowed itself to the ‘me’. When I was a young girl we were called citizens – American citizens. We were second-class citizens, but that was the word. In the 50s and 60s they started calling us consumers. So we did – consume. Now they don’t use those words any more – it’s the American taxpayer and those are different attitudes.
 4 y ago in Music


by Sarah Silverman
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 5 y ago in Blog

I think I'll have to lie down for a second.

This just breaks my heart.. it's a good looking, solid website, and they probably do great work, but I cannot get over these sentences, probably because they are likely well meant. That is the part that makes me whimper in fear, that they might mean well.

With simple, powerful apps we change how people consume their day to day life

People consuming their life? You know what, if you're gonna keep writing copy like that, consume mine, too. And do it quickly.

We build amazing solutions that enable amazing companies to change the world around them

Okay, so this is more familiar territory. Still awful, but in context, I got a relieved chuckle out of this.

In the post PC era we work with destinations to reimagine how people experience location

And then something inside me just broke quietly. I cannot look at this sentence for too long, for fear it might start looking back at me.

I don't care in what twisted way this sentence technically describes the kind of apps they are making, nothing can justify this, or anything like it. If aliens ever force you to chose between writing sentences like this, or Earth being obliterated, do not write those sentences. All will come to an end eventually either way, and some deeds are not worth buying merely a little time.

Why put a turd on top of all that?
 6 y ago in Blog

random (not so) neat ideas

I dug up and dusted off this buzzword bingo bullshit text generator I made ages ago, here are some phrases that made me chuckle, and/or gave me shivers:
  • Rational Vacation Benchmarking
  • Human Relaxation Enforcement
  • [..] we specialize in research of security, with a new counting of intelligence. Other areas of expertise are space integration, elimination of privacy, new education transportation, color-coded definition of feedback and feedback engineering.
  • Irreversible Idea Distribution
  • Compatible Dogfood Dog
  • business-oriented bullshit processing
 6 y ago in Quotes
All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. [..] But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
 6 y ago in Quotes
We feel free because we lack the language to articulate our unfreedom.
 6 y ago in Quotes
There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman.

I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the facets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment.

In all of magic there is an incredibly large linguistic component. The Bardic tradition of magic would place a bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a magician. A magician might curse you. That might make your hands lay funny or you might have a child born with a club foot. If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. It would destroy you in your own eyes. And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. Then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity. Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die. It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.
 6 y ago in Quotes
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
 6 y ago in Quotes
Words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details.
 6 y ago in Quotes
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
 7 y ago in Stuff

The Prevention of Literature

by George Orwell
About a year ago I attended a meeting of the P.E.N. Club, the occasion being the tercentenary of Milton's Aeropagitica — a pamphlet, it may be remembered, in defense of freedom of the press. Milton's famous phrase about the sin of ‘killing’ a book was printed on the leaflets advertising the meeting which had been circulated beforehand.