Posts filed under ‘Links’
The new Pynchon has the usual oblique commentary in the form of prose poem i.e. epigrams. Here are a few from the first 100 or so pages. I might add Against the Day has hooked me much more quickly than Mason & Dixon, but it addresses concerns much more practical and down to earth than Gravity’s Rainbow.
“As the ordeal went on, it became clear to certain of these balloonists, observing from above and poised ever upon a cusp of mortal danger, how much the modern State depended for its survival on maintaining a condition of permanent siege-through the systematic encirclement of populations, the starvation of bodies and spirits, the relentless degradation of civility until citizen was turned against citizen, even to the point of committing atrocities like those of the infamous petroleurs of Paris.” – Against The Day, T. Pynchon
“Many people believe that there is a mathematical correlation between sin, penance, and redemption. More sin, more penance, and so forth. Our own point has always been that there is no connection. All the variables are independent. You do penance not because you have sinned but because it is your destiny. You are redeemed not through doing penance but because it happens. Or doesn’t happen.” – Against The Day
There’s a website for discussing the book with line by line breakdowns here:
I’ve also been reading a lot of Hannah Arendt these days, mostly because I find her thinking pretty fascinating. It’s refreshing to read someone with a value set unlike mine, but with whom I occasionally intersect in different ways. Regardless, she has more stuff that surprised me than Pynchon, so a few more quotes from her.
“And though one may argue that all notions of man creating himself have in common a rebellion against the very factuality of the human condition-nothing is more obvious than that man, whether as member of the species or as an individual, does not owe his existence to himself- and that therefore what Sartre, Marx, and Hegel have in common is more relevant than the particular activities through which this non-fact should presumably have come about, ” – Hannah Arendt, On Violence
One of the things I like abut Arendt is that I don’t understand her perspective sometimes. This phrase which obviously goes against the existentialist idea of man creating himself, I don’t disagree with, but what does Arendt think make up people (genetics? cultural construction? environment?) is not specified.
“Fanon’s worst rhetorical excesses, such as, ‘hunger with dignity is preferable to bread eaten in slavery.’ No history and no theory is needed to refute this statement… Reading these irresponsible grandiose statements-and those I quoted are fairly representative…one is tempted to deny their significance.” – Hannah Arendt, On Violence
I’m an idealist and find Arendt’s ordering or values here interesting. That she feels it’s better to live as a slave than say die for your ideals is well when I think about it probably the more likely path most people will take, and for that matter what the slaver prefers.
“To think, finally, that there is such a thing as a ‘Unity of the Third Word,’ to which one could address the new slogan in era of decolonization ‘Natives of all underdeveloped countries unite!’(Sartre) is to repeat Marx’s worst illusions on a greatly enlarged scale and with considerably less justification. The Third World is not a reality but an ideology.” – Arendt, On Violence
“If we look on history in terms of a continuous chronological process, whose progress, moreover is inevitable, violence in the shape of war and revolution may appear to constitute the only possible interruption.” – Arendt, On Violence
“Power corresponds to the human ability not just to act but to act in concert. Power is never the property of an individual; it belongs to a group and remains in existence only so long as the group keeps together… It is in the nature of a group and its power to turn against independence, the property of individual strength” – Arendt
“Sze’s work offers arrangements of unexplained significance which mimic confused reality and to a degree reconcile one to it.” – Peter Campbell on Sarah Sze http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n19/camp01_.html
October 29, 2007 at 4:37 am dignifieddevil
Was just checking my links and noticed I’ve been blogging here for 3 years now… and yet the links continue to pile in about 2 a year actually. Anyway, some qoutes I’ve been building up.
“Gazing across the river at this metallisation of a dream, one has to take one’s hat off to Gehry and the civic leaders of Bilbao. I’m impressed by Tate Modern and its vast Turbine Hall, with its echoes of Albert Speer and the Zeppelin field rallies, and its immense popularity proves that it satisfies a need that should have been met by the disastrous Millennium Dome, a wish for an uplifting social space more enduring than the local Tesco or Ikea.”
J.G Ballard from http://arts.guardian.co.uk/greatbuildings/story/0,,2183734,00.html
Ten to one Tesco will have a series of markets designed by Gehry or a similar architect by 2030. Carre Four has already embraced design by numbers organic organization in their new markets.
“When Phillis Wheatley’s book of poems had to be verified by upstanding white men in the community and they put their stamp of approval on the authenticity of these words as though it were an impossibility that a black woman could think of anything on her own. Now it’s debatable, you know, how artistically worthy what she thought of on her own was, but that’s really not the point. I like the idea of suddenly finding myself in the desirable echelons of the art world and presenting myself in this manner. <b> So I am incredibly grateful for the approval of white society who understands that I am an anomaly. It should raise questions I think, maybe more than it does.</b> “
Kara Walker from http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/walker/clip1.html
As white people we consistently fail to see the intelligence in the other, that we often can’t see it in African-Americans is even more a shame, because as it stands they’re difference from us is not as pronounced as say Asians and other cultures. That it is this view, this racism, that has led to an under-investment in Africans as a whole should make us rethink the nature of our perceptions and the way our eyes lie.
“All of us are familiar with these strategies – whether consciously or not – but can similar ideas ever be employed in a way which benefits the consumer, or society in general, without actual deception or underhandedness? For example, can artificially limiting supply to increase demand ever be helpful? Certainly artificially limiting supply to decrease demand can be helpful to consumers might sometimes be helpful – if you knew you could get a healthy snack in 5 minutes, but an unhealthy one took an hour to arrive, you might be more inclined to go for the healthy one; if the number of parking spaces wide enough to take a large 4 x 4 in a city centre were artificially restricted, it might discourage someone from choosing to drive into the city in such a vehicle.
But is it helpful – or ‘right’ – to use these types of strategy to further an aim which, perhaps, deceives the consumer, for the ‘greater good’ (and indeed the consumer’s own benefit, ultimately)? Should energy-saving devices be marketed aggressively to children, so that they pressure their parents to get one?”
via Persuasion & control round-up
To see the world from the perspective of a psychologist, is to witness amorality on a scale almost unbelievably high. But the question here of creating artificial scenarios that promote socially conscious products, ideas, or services is well worth investigating. After all, the means here might impeach on the ability of people to make rational choices for the ends of selling a product, but hijacking the means for a better ends, well that’s a different conundrum.
“I don’t see nobody reaching out to us, like we reached out to them. I told them guys when they went over to Europe and shit they think they going to Europe and they thought they was gonna come back superstars anybody with some sense know what’s gonna come back. Ain’t gonna be us.
You see? Because They aint nobody reaching back and doing shit for us for our kids. It’s up to us to do and make them high-tech. We got whole neighborhoods nobody got internet nobody got cable… They don’t even know why they’re supposed to have it. Ain’t nobody reaching out them.” -Mad Mike http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=8050739842417235420
October 24, 2007 at 4:23 pm dignifieddevil
Delicious isn’t posting ‘m
if i didn’t post before, very interesting interview about the origons of life.
chemist working with self-organizing structures and the origins of life.
Harold Morowitz on the origons of life.
Stuart Kaufman’s theory of evolution.
some pretty cool problems from physics
sounds like Al Gore’s thing is fun.
it’s pretty funny.
this one sounds interesting. Octavia Butler.
January 16, 2007 at 6:24 pm dignifieddevil
Al Jaeezera correspondent arrested and film seized in Egypt.
source for complexity theory news.
it’s the full text paper. she’s all about cultural evolution etc.
it comes to creativity, how your ‘beer cans’ are connected together is
as important as how many of them there are. This chapter explores the
cognitive mechanisms underlying the emergence and evolution of cultural
researcher in complexity theory and language + some rather interesting articles on creativity.
biophyscists who studies evolution and theoritcal biology deals with wether it’s continous or not.
it’s the discovery institute’s blog. it’s interesting and worth reading.
part of the discovery institute
January 16, 2007 at 6:14 pm dignifieddevil
Quantum Computers can do multiple calculations simaltenously becuase of entanglement,
“Suppose we have a black box that evaluates a
function f. The arguments of f (inputs) are either 0
or 1. The values (outputs) of f (which are also 0 or 1) are
either the same for both arguments (in which case f is
constant), or different for the two arguments (in which case
f is said to be ‘balanced’). We are interested in
determining whether f is constant or balanced. Now,
classically, the only way to do this is to run the black box twice,
for both arguments 0 and 1, and to pass the values (outputs of
f) to a circuit that determines whether they are the same
(for ‘constant’) or different (for
‘balanced’). Deutsch showed that if we use quantum states
and quantum gates to store and process information, then we can
determine whether f is constant or balanced in one evaluation
of the function f. The trick is to design the circuit (the
sequence of gates) to produce the answer to a global question
about the function (’constant’ or ‘balanced’)
in an output qubit register that can then be read out or measured.”
Hence is it possible for a biological system to behave similarly where action on one part of an entity effects another correalated entity? I suppose there are problems with this, after all quantum systems have the peculair properties of only having one measurable variable at a time, but it seems like the basic principle of two correalated bits calculating many answers to a question at once would be possible.
technorati tags:fictions, ideas, computers
November 4, 2006 at 9:34 am dignifieddevil
Flock has been messing up when logging into del.icious so here are my links from the past few days.
it’s getting more interactive per day
it’s all politics
another electric car
glasses business in cambodia.
another power utility.
this olde worldchanging post is quite humbling. who cares about obesity, when environmental education is so lacking?
yup, that’ll do it. GM goes down, a new one is born.
i got no sound, but it looks funny.
when I actually clicked on the link for the research it turns out that
some of the causes of death they list aren’t the leading ones.
I’m number #1 in the most likely category.
genuinely very interesting.
soliders get cameras and do stuff.
finally used my kiva credit today on this guy. anyway, hopefully he won’t default =)
more mixtures of animation and live action.
there’s a heavy emphaisis on zords which is good.
I don’t know either.
damn… ok so he’s got brazilian airline music and … damn…
the whole thing on rapid share.
focused on Drezner’s research/professional concerns, but it’s
interesting none the less. why does Daniel repeat his name twice in the
title of the page?
July 8, 2006 at 5:19 pm dignifieddevil
made nominated (I keep forgetting these government things take time and hearings) Treasury Secretary yesterday. Links: The Economist, Jane Galt, USA Today interview from 2004, NPR speech and bio, Political Donations, a PAC he contributes too, source watch for TomPac(very little to report), Greg Mankiw's brief note, conservative blogger Daniel Drezner who predicted that Bush couldn't find an A-List Wall Street job for the type announces the news, and a news article from FT on it.
Basically, Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs currently the most profitable and riskiest investment company in the world. Subject of a recent economist front page story on the culture of risk. He's pretty straight line republican, did give money to the Idaho democracts, Bill Bradley (along with Woody Allen too apparently) and a few scatter shot democrats, but primarily republicans… but what do you expect? Paulson also worked for Nixon's administration, graduted with a B.A. in English, and shows all the signs of a goodly liberterian leaning republican. Jane Galt remarks he doubts he will get the time to make much of an influence unless a major event occurs soon, but seems like a good pick. He also marks the second Goldman Sachs CEO to venture into politics, the last one is now in the Senate. Henry's tenure might be influential after all, if he can be confirmed
p.s. wikpedia on what the treasury secetary guy actually does. He has no direct powers except when it comes to issueing money, in other words he advises the president and is dependent on the president to introduce his legislation and endorse it.
Paulson is also a conservationist and pro-Kyoto.
May 30, 2006 at 7:08 pm dignifieddevil