Random comments

This blog entry is just a placeholder for attaching a stream of short comments (see below).

Dominant hand

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354 Comments

  1. Foresight is buying insurance. Prophecy is knowing the day you’ll die.

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  2. “I know it’s late. But there’s always room for pain.”

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  3. “”If you think the internet is bad, you should see what they say in books”.

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  4. According to Michael Bulley about Alfred Hitchcock

    There is this from the interviews: “I don’t want film to be a ‘slice of life’, because people can get that at home or in the street, or even in front of the movie theatre. They don’t have to pay money to see a slice of life” and “What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out?”. So I think he really meant ‘slice of cake’ and not ‘piece of cake’ in its sense of something easy. That is to say, he wanted his films to be a treat and not a continuation of the banality of real life. He adds that he avoids fantasy. So I don’t think he quite meant that he didn’t want people to think of his films as realistic. It is the difference between imaginative realism and a copy of reality.

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  5. According to neroden

    Flaring should be illegal and punishable by imprisonment. It’s astounding that it’s still allowed.

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  6. According to the Church of Reality

    What Atheists don’t get is that no one cares what you don’t believe in. What people are interested in is what you do believe in. Atheism is somewhat frustrating in that it is difficult to move the focus away from God and the Bible stories and put the focus on science and Reality where it should be. In contrast the Church of Reality focuses on what is real rather than what is not real.

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    • According to Cass R. Sunstein

      Akerlof and Shiller believe that the harms of alcohol are greatly underappreciated. They think that those harms “could be comparable to the harms from cigarettes, affecting not just 3 or 4 percent of the population, as a chronic life-downer [i.e., cause of a shortened life], but, rather, affecting 15 to 30 percent; the higher number especially if we also include the alcoholics’ most affected family members.” Akerlof and Shiller assemble suggestive evidence that alcohol consumption does far more damage to health than we think. Their larger theme is that “alcohol studies remain largely underfunded,” and without the necessary research, “we are especially prone to be phished for phools, since we cannot know whether we have the right story.” In their view, significant federal tax increases on ethanol (the kind of alcohol in alcoholic drinks) could have major health benefits—but the industry has successfully worked to prevent any such increases.

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  7. According to Josh Fruhlinger

    (Side note: I remembered Quench’s name without having to look it up! I’m a sad, sad man who’s wasted his life.)

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  8. According to Paul McLellan

    In EDA, as a rule, you make money with software that runs for a long time (like static timing or P&R) or that people sit in front of all day (like layout). This naturally creates a reasonable license demand. Other software suffers from what I call the “Intel only needs one copy” problem. If it runs fast then a single copy can be shared around a large organization. Since they are probably not going to pay a seven figure sum for the license, this creates a problem as to how to grow revenue. If one copy serves a lot of users, it is hard to turn the beach-head of a single copy into true proliferation. When this has happened in EDA various things have been tried: per tapeout fees, per named user fees, bundling it with something where lots of copies are needed. But these all have the problem that it is hard to change a business model. Users expect to pay a normal floating license. Anything else will at worst mess up the sale and at best delay it.

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  9. “Gold is a bigger ponzi scheme. You can’t eat it, drink it, or even wipe your ass with it. But you buy hoping that you can use it in the future to get something to eat, drink, or wipe your ass.”

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  10. According to Gordon Docherty

    New ideas are seldom delivered by those with an interest in preserving the status quo.

    In other words, look to understand what is being said, and whether it could make sense, not who is saying it, as those “in authority” are unlikely to want to understand a change that would undermine their very authority if true.

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  11. War is like a stinking drunk giant staggering around puking out poison and rotting body parts.

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  12. “Let your life become a Möbius strip of boredom punctuated by brief and compelling moments of exhilirating humilation.”

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  13. “Italy was the scene of almost constant war from the 1490s through the 1550s, and these wars were fueled by religion, which was then in an unheard-of state of flux. Even before Martin Luther’s ideas had begun to spread throughout Europe, Savonarola had castigated the Florentines for their decadence and declared Christ the king of Florence. These views first brought the zealous friar to power; then he was excommunicated and burned at the stake. In 1527, Habsburg troops sacked Rome. Living in early to mid-sixteenth-century Italy must have been more like living in twenty-first-century Syria or Iraq than in contemporary Europe—and amid such turbulence, how could art not reflect the loss of old certainties?”

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  14. “They will let us bark all we want so long as we stay in the cage.”

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  15. According to Jed Rothwell

    There are always people happy to destroy things for money. If you devise a way to earn an easy $100 per acre by incinerating a rain forest, or killing off a thousand tons of ocean krill, you can bet someone will do it unless laws are passed forbidding the practice.

    True enough, but is earn the accurate word there?

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  16. According to NotWithoutMyMonkey

    Orthodox economic thinking is destructively perverse – it treats money as a finite resource and the planet as infinite.

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  17. “Also, my pizza went cold while I was obsessed with writing this, so I know what it’s like to sacrifice something for my art.”

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  18. Don’t send email that you wouldn’t want forwarded to the whole world, because someday it will be.

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  19. “The advances will also lead us to be able to tackle big problems such as global warming and acidification of our oceans. Balanced with a loss of privacy will come new experiences while shopping.”

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  20. “Bellwood examines questions of the ultimate homeland region for the Austronesians in southern China and Taiwan, regarding the Austronesians as a population, like many other major ethnolinguistic groups in the agricultural latitudes of the world, who began their expansion as a result of an early adoption of agriculture in a world predominantly populated by hunter-gatherers. He continues with an examination of possible reasons for the success and remarkable extent of the dispersal (reasons which clearly extended beyond a simple reliance on agriculture) and raises a number of issues about some of the early transformations which occurred as Austronesian colonists moved into new social and environmental landscapes.”

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  21. According to Jonathan Rosen

    Thoreau, in a mysteriously beautiful passage in his 1862 essay “Walking,” likens the diminishing numbers of passenger pigeons in New England to the dwindling number of thoughts in a man’s head, “for the grove in our minds is laid waste.”

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  22. According to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Надя Толокно)

    Besides, modern art has always evoked negative reactions. After all, we’re not a $100 bill that everyone likes. On the contrary, the task of the modern artist is to provoke and divide society.

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  23. “In the writing of a great lyric the intrusion of Mind is to be avoided: States of possession recommend themselves. Kurt Cobain wrote great lyrics because he was out on his feet, on the nod, mumbling and screaming in his sleep; Johnny Rotten because he was fizzing with blind, rodent-like fury; Lennon and McCartney because they liked to compose with the TV and radio on, mail being delivered, phones ringing, and all sorts of people dropping by — a continuum of distraction they called The Random.”

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    • According to Alan Smith

      There has been quite a bit of discussion in various replication groups about the key ingredients required to operate an E-Cat successfully. The answer is simple: nickel in powder form, lithium aluminium hydride, and a “dirty” chopped AC waveform of the type obtained by using a thyristor controlled power supply. That is all. Regarding the use of iron in the reactor, AP said that it was not necessary to get a reaction; he has never used iron as an ingredient.

      A thyristor power supply gives an oscilloscope trace similar to an interrupted sine wive. Even though the base frequency is only 50 or 60 c.p.s, such a system produces a broad range of harmonics. It is these multi-frequency harmonics which trigger the reactions.

      So Nickel, LithiumAH and a noisy power supply is the trick.

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  24. “There are too many self-appointed bouncers on the doors of the liberal-left night-club

    Then they wonder why the dance floor is empty, despite the fantastic tunes being played.”

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  25. “If Fiddler marked the early days of multiculturalism, it also represented the climax of the process by which the Jews of Eastern Europe were rendered safe for their grandchildren, reduced to a set of reassuring stereotypes—poverty and piety, laughter and tears, candlesticks and chicken soup and ‘warmth’—that preserved them not so much in amber as in schmaltz.”

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  26. “A year later he joined the timeless Hoosier Diaspora of young men and women whose chief relation to their home state is an irresistible urge to leave it—a group whose ever-swelling ranks have come to include both Abraham Lincoln and Michael Jackson.”

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  27. “The political efficacy of violence is clear. But because violence can be so terrible, there is a persistent tendency to treat it as a problem rather than a solution.”

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  28. “I recall reading a book that postulated that America’s defining moment was not any of the tyopically cited iconic moments – the Pilgrims, the American Revolution or anything else you’d think of but instead was the California Gold Rush – the promise of easy riches, gold found just witing to be picked up…….even though most went home broke and the only ones that really made money were those supplying the miners AND THE BANKERS. Was in Nevada this summer near Virginia City. The REAL fortunes made off the Comstock Load were not made by the mine owners but the BANKERS and STOCK TRADERS in San Francisco. The inherent value of the gold and silver extracted from the ground was less than the money made by those speculating (and manipulating) the mining stocks of the companies that actually produced the gold and silver.

    “One of the underlying causes of the American Revolution was the desire of ‘locals’ to continue westward expansion (so they could cash in on all the land speculation) with Britain trying to abide by the treaties it signed with the natives. Americans were salivating at the prosepect of all the land to be swindled from the Indians and resold at huge profits to westweard bound immigrants. Washington was a surveyor for on such effort.”

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  29. “EVERYTHING OUR ECONOMY DOES IS BASED ON TURNING NATURAL RESOURCES INTO GARBAGE AND POLLUTION AS FAST AS POSSIBLE”

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  30. Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor. It alone prevents the hardest and most repulsive walks of life from being deserted by those brought up to tread therein. It keeps the fisherman and the deck-hand at sea through the winter; it holds the miner in his darkness, and nails the countryman to his log-cabin and his lonely farm through all the months of snow; it protects us from invasion by the natives of the desert and the frozen zone. It dooms us all to fight out the battle of life upon the lines of our nurture or our early choice, and to make the best of a pursuit that disagrees, because there is no other for which we are fitted, and it is too late to begin again. It keeps different social strata from mixing. Already at the age of twenty-five you see the professional mannerism settling down on the young commercial traveller, on the young doctor, on the young minister, on the young counsellor-at-law. You see the little lines of cleavage running through the character, the tricks of thought, the prejudices, the ways of the ‘shop,’ in a word, from which the man can by-and-by no more escape than his coat-sleeve can suddenly fall into a new set of folds. On the whole, it is best he should not escape. It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.

    The Principles of Psychology – William James – 1890

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  31. “The NSA is part of the expanding techno-dystopian police state, which is being directed at all citizens and all levels of government as a means to ensure compliance with Fascist goals. They don’t even want to catch the lone wolf terrorist; that guy going off at random helps them expand and extend the police state further.

    In some ways ZH reporting on privacy issues centered on the individual doesn’t help readers understand the growth of the police state designed to ensnare the entire nation. Once the nation falls and paranoia captures the national mood, you won’t be safe from your own children, forget about the NSA.”

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  32. “It is easy to dismiss LENR. Just stick with deductive reasoning and ignore the observations. I doubt that there would be even so much as a single step forward if that is what everyone did. Truth be told, people fixated on deductive reason can’t dance.”

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  33. “Two things need to be said about this tsunami of sad. First, that the vast size of it, when compared to the effect that it has had—close to nothing—should perhaps call into question the utility of journalism and argument and maybe even prose itself. The gradual Appalachification of much of the United States has been a well-known phenomenon for 20 years now; it is not difficult to understand why and how it happened; and yet the ship of state sails serenely on in the same political direction as though nothing had changed. We like to remember the muckraking era because of the amazing real-world transformations journalism was able to bring; our grandchildren will remember our era because of the big futile naught accomplished by our prose.”

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  34. “QE is about handing money over to the big insider banks and offloading their garbage bets onto the people. (Of course those banks also get to use funny ‘accounting’ so their bankrupt status isn’t recognized).

    Low interest rates are destroying capital in the real world (grandma’s small nest egg that she has to live off the rest of her life) and Main Street isn’t getting any loan money

    This isn’t even about ‘economics’ – – – its about theft

    Guess they didnt have a Theft 101 course at university, so many eggheads can’t wrap their heads around that concept”

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  35. “Why aren’t politicians subject to the same free market factors as the poor old bastard working for under $10.? It seems to me that if the worker could source his congressman from overseas he might get a better congressman at a cheaper price.”

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  36. “There’s not a single person out there that wouldn’t mind pressing the button for a million dollar if that also meant that somebody they didn’t know would die.”

    “The death button is less than a million dollars.”

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    • “What Levi would never understand was the willing remove of the Germans from their fellow humanity. The ability to look—for years on end—at a human being and see not a person but a thing became and remained for Levi the crime of crimes. Yet for this, he very nearly blamed not the Germans but life itself. After all, if thousands upon thousands of people were capable of not seeing themselves in others, could this capacity be anything other than innate? Life itself, he concluded, was to be pronounced guilty for having made possible such a monstrous divide within the human organism.”

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  37. ‘Leigh Fermor used to say that the loss of his first three diaries “aches, like an old wound in cold weather,” and yet it allowed him to recreate the early stages of his walk from a mixture of memory and imagination. The re-discovery of the final diary was not the boon he might have hoped: “It brings him slap up against two things—what actually happened, and the young, callow, Anglo-centric, slightly Woosterish, touchingly vulnerable young man that he was.’

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  38. “Each one of those things is either a neurotoxin or a carcinogen on its own, but when piled together in a boiling stream of Smurf Piss, they essentially become a stew of brain-detonating cancer juice.”

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  39. “Since you only die once, it’s worth putting some effort into it.”

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  40. “Standage makes a strong case that the 150 years or so when mass media – from newspapers to television – centralised opinion and news and peddled it to passive readers and viewers were an aberration in the long historical domination of social media.”

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  41. Religion: “stories about a descendant of apes … making up stories about mister super ape”

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  42. “Everyone agrees that the main threats to America are tied to nuclear detonations, chemical/biological attacks on several shopping centers and the introduction of psychotronic weapons on a mass scale preceded by a devastating blackout.”

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  43. “WWn is about to go hot and dudes are still talking about market functions and which way to make money on the impending death toll…………. funny how brown people have to pay with blood so guys in bow ties can rock a rolex”

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  44. According to MLK,

    A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

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  45. “Schmidt’s book is not about communicating with the public. He is worth $6.1 billion and does not need to sell books. Rather, this book is a mechanism by which Google seeks to project itself into Washington. It shows Washington that Google can be its partner, its geopolitical visionary, who will help Washington see further about America’s interests. And by tying itself to the US state, Google thereby cements its own security, at the expense of all competitors.”

    “In Braudel’s view, under capitalism the state has served as a guarantor of monopolists rather than as the protector of competition usually portrayed. He asserted that capitalists have had power and cunning on their side as they have arrayed themselves against the majority of the population.”

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  46. “Although genius does tend to wear the sanity strings pretty ragged, several of these guys had a little help in the lunacy department from Mr. Syphilis. I am not saying they weren’t already flirting with crazy but Syphilis can sure help consummate the relationship.”

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  47. “And this erratic power situation in Nigeria has become so malignantly normal that writing anything about it is like singing one old song over and over again.”

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      • According to Wikipedia about negentropy, “In information theory and statistics, negentropy is used as a measure of distance to normality.[8][9][10] Out of all distributions with a given mean and variance, the normal or Gaussian distribution is the one with the highest entropy. Negentropy measures the difference in entropy between a given distribution and the Gaussian distribution with the same mean and variance. Thus, negentropy is always nonnegative, is invariant by any linear invertible change of coordinates, and vanishes if and only if the signal is Gaussian.”

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  48. “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll ruin an ecosystem.”

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  49. “Uploading human consciousness into a machine, like in the Matrix, because a problem anyway. Who own’s the machine once the person’s human body is “dead”? The computer would obviously be ridiculously expensive, so unless you are a top 10% person, it’s unlikely you can buy it yourself. If “someone” legally inherits the computer you are stored in after your body dies, then what? They could play games with the software and torture your consciousness forever. They could enslave your consciousness as a neural net to solve problems, or amuse themselves by making you run 3-d mazes all day long in order to get “food”. Your consciousness will crave food, sleep, and sex just from habit and sensory interpretation alone, so the “owner” of the box will be able to force you to do what they want by with-holding these things….you’ll be reduced to an undying lab rat and experimented upon indefinitely.”

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  50. “A structural barrier is the fact that until at least the 1960s, the majority of black Americans lived in the south, and mostly in jurisdictions where they effectively had no access to the courts, which means they had no ability to conduct fair business transactions at any level. After emancipation, practically the only livelihood available to nearly all freed slaves was sharecropping or domestic servitude. Even within this limited ambit, they were constantly subject to the real risk of being cheated, underpaid, or not paid at all, without the ability to sue. Blacks who wanted to go into some sort of business for themselves had to contend with the fact that if they were robbed or accounts weren’t properly settled, they had no recourse, and worse, the mere act of accusing a white businessperson of bad dealing could bring violence from which there was no official protection.
    A structural barrier is the fact that, at the same time blacks were economically shackled, they were also shackled to the worst housing stock, the worst medical care (if any), unpardonably underfunded, segregated schools, lower wages for equal work, and an official policy of sanctioned violence and enforced inferiority that included, of course, a practical prohibition on voting.
    A structural barrier is what the Supreme Court described in 1973 as “an immutable characteristic determined solely by the accident of birth”: the sons of Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants could be white guys with no accent named Steven Smith, Roger Jones, and Ted Mitchell, but the sons of freed slaves were inescapably black. The immigrants’ children could attend the same public schools as any fifth-generation Protestant American child, be admitted to most any college their grades allowed, be hired to any job for which they were qualified, and rent or buy in any neighborhood they could afford. If they were dissatisfied with their employers, they could organize a union. If they were unhappy with the schools in their neighborhoods or the cleanliness of their streets, they could vote for a different municipal government, or even run for office themselves. The children of freed slaves, however, were subject to laws and prevailing powers that expressly denied them all the privileges that white immigrants’ children enjoyed, and that went on for five generations after emancipation. No one ever rioted and firebombed a neighborhood because the grandson of an Italian immigrant bought a house there that he could afford. But that kind of thing happened to the grandsons and granddaughters of slaves in the late 1960s. In Illinois. When was the last time a state did a careful examination of the voting habits of elderly white people whose grandparents or great-grandparents were Italian immigrants, and then passed a comprehensive set of regulations that conveniently made voting especially cumbersome for just them? North Carolina did that for black voters last week.
    So yes, at least 400 years – twenty generations of government policy and majority behavior that repeatedly separated black people from the most basic means of changing their situation. I don’t mean to make light of the very real discrimination faced by Italian, Irish, Eastern European Jewish, and other immigrants. I mean to make heavy of the discrimination faced by black Americans.”

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  51. Why brush your own teeth when you can pay someone else to brush them for you?

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  52. According to Adam Thorpe

    Two essential elements of modernity are the foundation myth and the assertion of the solitary will: both illustrated by Petrarch’s ascent of Mont Ventoux in 1336. Interrupting his admiration of the view by opening St Augustine’s Confessions at random, Petrarch fell on a stern admonition: “And men go to admire the high mountains . . . and pass themselves by”. He hurried back down in silence, convinced of the vaster landscape of contemplation. Five hundred years later, Jacob Burckhardt identified this moment in Provence as the arrival of the inward-looking “modern man”, the beginning of the modern age.

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  53. “I always believed that in hierarchical organizations the people who rose to the top were those interested in power and control while the people actually doing the work actually knew much more about the business and would do a much better job if they were put in charge of the organization. I learned this from my experience working and in churches. The posts in this thread prove this point better than anything else I can think of: the people working at Mac D’s know much more about preparing food than any corporate type ever will.”

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    • “I appreciate your point as a former counter worker who found my managers/assistant managers to be idiots (they were so obsessed with our looking busy that they would tell me to wipe the counter or fill the napkin holders when I had done both of those things and no customers had been there in the interim to dirty the counter or use any napkins!).

      “However, one thing I think you’re overlooking is that preparing food isn’t a skill needed by management. They need to be able to manage people, schedule so that the store is covered, understand employment law, order supplies, keep the books (or understand reports from those who do), write memos and reports, etc. Sure, it helps to understand the product and the process of preparing it–makes a better manager–but one thing I’ve noticed by being on both sides of this equation (not at McDonald’s, but elsewhere) is that the rank-and-file often have no idea what management’s job really entails.”

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  54. “I can’t believe that people are swayed by Nigel Farage’s ghastly charm. I have horrible vibes about this man and I can tell you now if he becomes PM you will all be sorry.”

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  55. “Most jobs in this world involve turning natural resources into waste, throwing away energy in the process. All this, for the most trivial and inconsequential desires, desires that are implanted into the minds of the people through advertising.

    “I’m not saying that everything is for naught, but I do think it’s time for us to re-think what we should be striving for.”

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  56. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/23/eduardo-galeano-children-days-interview

    And the most likely route to becoming blind, he believes, is not losing our sight but our memory. “My great fear is that we are all suffering from amnesia. I wrote to recover the memory of the human rainbow, which is in danger of being mutilated.”

    By way of example he cites Robert Carter III – of whom I had not heard – who was the only one of the US’s founding fathers to free his slaves. “For having committed this unforgivable sin he was condemned to historical oblivion.”

    Who, I ask, is responsible for this forgetfulness? “It’s not a person,” he explains. “It’s a system of power that is always deciding in the name of humanity who deserves to be remembered and who deserves to be forgotten … We are much more than we are told. We are much more beautiful.”

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  57. „Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein.“

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  58. “The feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.”

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  59. “I run a technology firm. We have a client – let’s call them C1, and they have a client – call them C2, and THEY have a client – whom we’ll call “THE CLIENT” (that is to say, the customer who ultimately pays the money.)

    For the past several days, THE CLIENT has had a problem sending an email to a particular recipient. And they want us to fix it.

    Actually, they don’t want us to fix it – they have never heard of us, they want C2 to fix it, and C2 contracted out to C1, and they contracted out to us, and we have a developer (call him THE DEVELOPER) trying to fix it.

    You can see how this is going to go. Any question to THE CLIENT from THE DEVELOPER needs to go through two intervening levels that don’t want anyone to know they are contracting out the work. We need a test email on THE CLIENT’s server, but C2 doesn’t want to let on that anything might be amiss, so they want us to work in the dark.

    So, to fix an email error now is involving (literally) four project managers, three developers, six days, and five thousand dollars.

    And the problem is not solved.

    This is all Private Sector work. C2 just wants to protect their nest eggs, but because they won’t let THE DEVELOPER talk with THE CLIENT, thousands are being spent to *fail to fix* something that should be a single, frig.ging MX entry in a database.

    Now, aside from the obvious question about how all this meaningless economic activity somehow counts as positive GDP, (which it does)”

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  60. Our challenge will be to minimize the benefits of big data while maximizing its harms.

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  61. “If you want people to change, show them how to change.”
    “If you want someone to change, show them how to change.”
    “If you want someone to change, show him how to change.”
    “If you want someone to change, show her how to change.”

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    • “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
      Buckminster Fuller

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  62. According to this

    Schindler suddenly snaps out of the money-induced coma he’s been in for the previous five years and realizes that his free work force is made up of real, actual human beings who are being exterminated by the Nazi regime.

    and

    Don’t take any of this to mean we’re diminishing what he did during the war — the sad epilogue in Schindler’s life actually makes his heroism during the Holocaust all the more remarkable. This was not a particularly competent or driven or talented man — he had no other successes to his name. But goddamn did the guy step up when the human race needed him to.

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  63. “Many if not most situations that call for heroism involve being in a sketchy situation in the first place, and most true-blue conformists won’t find themselves knee-deep in tragic anarchy to begin with. You don’t get too many chances to save people being held at gunpoint when you live in a gated community with a fenced-in yard; you’ve effectively taken yourself out of that situation. On the other hand, if you’re a little off, a little less like society’s idealized image of itself, you’ll be more likely to be in the rundown neighborhood where a guy keeps sex slaves in his basement, or where security isn’t all that great in apartment buildings and rapists can readily climb into windows that don’t have ADT. One of the unspoken goals of the straitlaced life is to avoid situations where you have to be a hero.”

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  64. “Washington was a guy with notable ambition, self-confidence and bloodthirst, who was offered absolute power and told absolute power to f**k off because we’ve got a precedent to set here. I think that’s worth a bit of idolization.”

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  65. “Re: 90 Million Americans Not Even Looking for Work Anymore
    And yet…the crops get picked and the cows get milked. The stores are stocked. The World revolves.

    Haven’t you realised most jobs are just adult day care? Society doesn’t need much of the work people do. Much of it is just waste of resources, all to Keep you off the street.

    Our labor hasn’t been necessary for society for a Long time. Weve worked And spent to enrich WHO o owns the jobs. Now they’ve hit marginal returnz. They dont need to be enriched by our labor or our consumption anymore. Its the sMs to them wherher se work or dont, buy or dont.

    Makes you wonder Why they Keep us around, dont it?

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  66. De Quincey describes … The Lady of Tears (“She it is that night and day raves and moans, calling for vanished faces.”).

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  67. “Science is not about removing mystery, it is about replacing superficial mysteries with much more interesting and profound ones.”

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  68. “Although asynchronous circuits by definition do not have a “clock”, the term perfect clock gating is used to illustrate how various clock gating techniques are simply approximations of the data-dependent behavior exhibited by asynchronous circuitry. As the granularity on which you gate the clock of a synchronous circuit approaches zero, the power consumption of that circuit approaches that of an asynchronous circuit: the circuit only generates logic transitions when it is actively computing.”

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  69. “When there’s food on the table, there are lots of problems.  When there’s no food on the table, there is one problem.”

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  70. “We try and keep up to date with all aspects – but no one can have eyes everywhere – that is the power of the crowd.”

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  71. “Witnessing someone not die should not convince you that they’re immortal.”

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  72. “Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

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  73. According to Frank Zappa, “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.”

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  74. “Anyone who has firm ideas about the way everyone else should live should be treated as suspicious. Get a few thousand of those kind of people together and this kind of bestial behaviour is always the result.”

    Like

  75. “In those days, reason designed the machines; now the machines, waking up, design reason.” Gordon Ficht

    Like

  76. Says Wilde as Hester Worsely … You love the beauty that you can see and touch and handle, the beauty that you can destroy, and do destroy, but of the unseen beauty of life, of the unseen beauty of a higher life, you know nothing. You have lost life’s secret …

    Like

  77. Says Chomsky … In the “City of God,” St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate captured by Alexander the Great. The Emperor angrily demanded of him, “How dare you molest the seas?” To which the pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a pirate and a thief. You, with a great navy, molest the world and are called an emperor.”

    Like

  78. Toilet seat that might eat you. Painted like two rows of yellowed teeth.

    Like

  79. Moulding the youth is like Mayan head binding. Factory schools are like factory farms.

    Like

    • “We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”

      Like

  80. When your suicidal fantasies start to give way to homicidal fantasies, that’s just your soul car merging onto the highway of healing. God help us all if you put on the brakes!

    Like

  81. “You’re supposed to hate your job, that’s why it’s a ‘job.’ If you liked it, it would be recreation.”

    Like

  82. “The only thing that people can try to do is make slightly better moves in an increasingly INSANE overall game. The Japanese appear to excel at imitating other people at playing such games even more INSANELY!”

    Like

  83. “We follow politicians into wars to slaughter millions of people in faraway lands, and yet when one person commits a horrible deed, we brand him as a psychotic malcontent. Our society is psychotic.”

    Like

  84. Most people aren’t good or bad, just indifferent. They won’t shiv you, but they won’t give you a hand either.

    Like

  85. I keep putting off saving my life until I have time. Putting out fires while busyness puts out mine.

    Like

  86. According to vjman

    Only people who believe in positive result have the diligence to work through all the obstacles and exhaust all possible approaches before they reach a conclusion. If they didn’t have the positive bias they would have given up long ago.

    Like

  87. According to Elliot, “reality is bandwidth limited”.

    Information Theoretic version of Reality – Things are where they “tell us” they are. QM effects are due to the fact that reality does not have infinite bandwidth to give us information about itself. If it did it would require infinite energy. So reality is bandwidth limited.

    Like

  88. According to Paul Klinkman of Klinkman Solar

    We can deploy Arctic Ocean thermal transfer devices for about $1 billion per year (a real bargain!) to chill the ocean in winter and restore the polar ice pack, reflecting sun back into space. We can deploy wind-powered standalone snowmaking machines to coat Arctic with snow in late spring and early autumn, and temperate lands in winter, again reflecting sunlight back into space the natural way.

    Like

  89. According to this

    I fear that using that “self-calibration” you get some “excess heat” whatever wire and gas is used, provided that the cell has a gas leak and the test lasts for a few days. Sorry.

    Like

  90. According to this

    The results indicated that both timings of exercise increased fat burning over the day and improved the metabolic profile in the blood. But, exercise before breakfast resulted in greater fat loss and larger reductions in the level of fat in the blood. Dr Gill said “Any exercise you do is beneficial, but the indications are that there might be an extra benefit associated with exercising before eating, compared to after.

    Like

  91. According to http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-11-school.html

    Children who were driven to school, or who took public transport, performed less well in a test measuring concentration levels, than those who had walked or cycled, a joint study by researchers at the universities in Copenhagen and Aarhus found.

    and

    “Most people know the feeling of being refreshed after having exercised, but it is surprising that the effect lasts for so long,” Egelund said.

    Like

  92. According to teaser

    I haven’t really seen any studies addressing whether or not humans in a “lean” culture get fatter and leaner in a yearly cycle. I have seen something–I think it was in Gambian women? There was a sort of cycle of famine and relative plenty, I think caused by an agricultural cycle, and these woman had regular cycles of fattening and weight-loss. There can be yearly cycles of food availability even outside of agriculture–it’s possible that this is the key in humans. It doesn’t have to be strictly seasonal, as with hibernating animals. There was a study posted by Turtle a few years ago, I believe, where some mice were either fed ad-lib or fed 95 percent of what the ad-lib mice chose to eat. The 95 percent fed mice got fatter–but the difference in food intake might not be why. They were given the opportunity to eat much less food–this is what I think caused the weight-gain, if you can get what you need, but just barely, it might be time to set aside a little bit of fat for the future. Lack of “more than enough” can be a problem.
    Eating nothing might not be worse (sometimes) than eating less. Eating nothing signals that you’d better cut into fat stores to survive, where eating slightly less suggests that even leaner times might be coming, better store fat.

    Like

  93. No freedom without bleedom.
    No freedom without bleedum.
    No freedom without bleeding.

    Like

  94. According to Ecco

    Did the power rise occur just after you took photos? Did you use the integrated camera flash for them? What if, for some exotic reason, that might have triggered excess power for a while?

    Like

  95. According to Sally Vincent

    By the age of 12, his sisters had married German aristocrats who would later distinguish themselves as bastions of the Nazi Party, which, along with his mother’s madness and incarceration in a mental institution, did not make Philip a boy to boast about his immediate family in any great detail. He was brought to England under the patronage of his Uncle George, second marquess of Milford Haven and inheritor of the anglicised Battenburg name of Mountbatten.

    George, whose main contribution to society was a vast collection of pornography, majoring most spectacularly in incestuous orgies and artificial sex organs that he left to the lucky British Museum, …

    Like

  96. According to this

    I am a small business owner and I considered Romney my mortal enemy because he supports oligarchs that would put me out of business as soon as they would shit in their gold-plated toilets.

    Like

  97. Center for Strategic Domination “The U.S. has total dominance of the skies above planet Earth.”

    Like

  98. “being well adjusted to a sick system is not a sign of good mental health.

    you’re not a realist…you just gave up.”

    Like

  99. “When it is finally established 50 years or so from now that fossil fuels were never ‘wealth’ but a source of planet killing biosphere DEATH, this sad period will be heralded as the stupidest epoch in human history.”

    Like

  100. Re the 1980 song “War Hero” by Toxic Reasons, GeneralError writes

    This is one of the best early punk singles I know! The A-side is a truly great song, one of the best anti-war-songs I know, with the lovely verse that always makes me sing along: “I don’t wanna be no war hero, I don’t want a movie made about me!”.

    Like

  101. Investing is 1) figuring out what will benefit the people with power (because that’s what’s going to happen) and 2) hitching a ride as best you can.

    Like

  102. “You are free to die and before you do, crawl off the sidewalk so the winners can get through.”

    Like

  103. “When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why there are so many poor people, they call me a communist.” (Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, Brazil)

    Like

  104. “On the 8th day …. God said let there be war …. and there was war …. and God said …. that is good !”

    — Monedas

    Like

  105. “It’s time to take away the matches from the people who want to see the world burn.”

    Like

  106. Regret is the illusion that, though you couldn’t predict what is, you can predict what might have been.

    Like

  107. Regret is the illusion that, though you couldn’t predict what would be, you can predict what might have been.

    Like

  108. Regret is the fantasy that, though we couldn’t predict what would be, we can predict what might have been.

    Like

  109. Regret is the fantasy that, though we can’t predict the future, we can predict what might have been.

    Like

  110. It’s painful worrying about getting old, but it’s even tougher worrying about not getting old.

    Like

  111. “Such feelings, of course, are the coin of the realm for those involved in such pursuits. “If the wheel slips while you are up there on the wall and you catch it and you don’t hit the floor, it’s kind of a rush,” she said.

    If you do hit the floor, of course, the rush is drowned out by the pain. And she has hit the floor, dozens of times. There have also been three big hits, which means a broken back. The most memorable time was at a 1992 show in France; she was so broken — pelvis, back, knee, shoulder, rib cage, sternum; “like a swatted fly,” she said — that she couldn’t go home for four months. The upside, she said, “is I speak French now.” The most recent big hit was in 1998, and now she has metal pins and rods in her back, plus one fake vertebra.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/fashion/20samantha.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    Like

  112. “The ones who want power should never be the ones who have any.” –rottenrascals

    Like

    • “I think that eventually the wheel will turn full circle, and Americans will decide that they need a functioning constitution again.

      “The lesson is continually forgotten and relearned: the people who overwhelmingly make it their business to climb the ladders of power are usually so unpleasant that we (the people) desperately need rules and regulations in place to protect us from them.”

      Like

  113. According to Bruno Monguzzi

    Boggeri shared with me his theory about the spider’s web. Like the spider’s web, he said, Swiss graphic design was perfect, but often of a useless perfection. The web, he stated, was only useful when harmed by the entangled fly. It was then that my vocabulary began to increase. And it was then that my use of type and pictures began to grow towards more expressive solutions.

    Like

    • This a general principle of theory and of life, not just of graphic design.

      Like

  114. According to Albert Einstein

    The discovery of general laws in the field of economics is made difficult by the circumstance that observed economic phenomena are often affected by many factors which are very hard to evaluate separately. In addition, the experience which has accumulated since the beginning of the so-called civilized period of human history has—as is well known—been largely influenced and limited by causes which are by no means exclusively economic in nature. For example, most of the major states of history owed their existence to conquest. The conquering peoples established themselves, legally and economically, as the privileged class of the conquered country. They seized for themselves a monopoly of the land ownership and appointed a priesthood from among their own ranks. The priests, in control of education, made the class division of society into a permanent institution and created a system of values by which the people were thenceforth, to a large extent unconsciously, guided in their social behavior.

    But historic tradition is, so to speak, of yesterday; nowhere have we really overcome what Thorstein Veblen called “the predatory phase” of human development. The observable economic facts belong to that phase and even such laws as we can derive from them are not applicable to other phases. Since the real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.

    and

    Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

    Like

  115. “The GDP computation is flawed as it omits leisure, a scarce and valued economic good.”

    Like

  116. According to this

    What’s the difference between a cult and a religion?

    In a cult, there’s a guy at the top who knows it’s a scam.

    In a religion, that guy is dead.

    Like

  117. According to Llabradwr

    Capitalism itself is not in crisis, just its lassez-faire variety, with all its superstitious worship of Infinite Growth and the Invisible Hand of the market. Lassez-faire capitalism has wrought untold misery on the world’s downtrodden, but material economic growth, regardless of whether it’s driven by consumer capitalist greed or a narrow-minded Marxist push for evermore production and expansion, will threaten our civilisations and ecosystems.

    The core of modern marxism hasn’t and doesn’t, as far as I’m aware, put much thought into how to organise society in a potentially resource-scarce, environmentally sensitive future world. Marxism was formulated way back when we humans and our civilisations had a minimal impact on the planet itself – whereas today we are fundamentally altering the planet, and many of the ways in which we are doing this are self-defeating to any long-term intentions of prosperity.

    Like

  118. According to radicalchange

    Or do you agree with me that ownership, be it of land or food, should be accorded to he who has the ability to acquire and secure?

    No I don’t agree with you on this. You are making the mistake of seeing land as property and the only things that can rightly be considered as property are those which are produced by labour. Since no labour was involved in creating the land it cannot be claimed by anyone as property. Any improvements to the land which is a produce of labour is property but that which nature alone has provided is not. The land belongs to humanity, it was there before mankind and no matter what might or man made law brought about the private ownership of nature’s bounty, it can never by natural law be considered private property.

    If you know of any landowner acquiring land without paying the necessary compensation, by all means report him to the authorities.

    I agree that landowners should pay compensation to the rest of the community, that’s why I’m a supporter of Land Value Tax. David Ricardo’s ‘Law of Rent’ and Henry George’s ‘Progress and Poverty’ involve sound economic principle and reasoning. You could argue against them but any argument you put forward would be to try to justify the unjustifiable.

    I could try reporting the pocketing of ‘economic rent of land’ by landowners to the authorities, but the authorities have the same flawed Lockean outlook as yourself and are confused or culpable in treating land as property.

    The truth though is that landowners are hardly parasites. They or their ancestors have paid their dues in voluntary exchanges that are mutually beneficial to all parties.

    Landowners (rentiers and banks) suck up much economic rent, the economic rent which derives from the community as a whole, not solely a product of the landowner (see once more David Ricardo’s Law of Rent).

    What dues did the aristocracy pay when they were awarded vast swathes of land after the Norman Conquest, and what dues are they paying now seeing as the same few families still own 70% of the land. What dues were paid to those who were deprived of the commons during The Enclosures? Voluntary exchanges that are mutually beneficial to all parties, what utter rubbish.

    What of the subsidies, grants (no small change by any means) the monopolisers of land receive without lifting even a finger in labour? What have the majority got in the way of dues but the choice between paying rent to the rentier class or rent in the form of interest to the landowning banks? What about the dues that small and medium sized businesses in the real economy get who rent from landlords or banks and on top of this are stung with taxes – their due is to support the economic system which enables the landowners to suck up the economic rent which exists because of the presence and activity of the community whilst the landlords (banks included) do little or nothing in the form of labour whilst they cream off this economic rent.

    Treating land as private property in the same way as something which has been created by labour is what as got us into this economic mess. Credit-fuelled land price bubbles, cyclical in nature, acting like Archimedes Screw to suck up from below to those up top who just have to sit there waiting for the machinery to endow them with the proceeds without any input of labour on their own part.

    Like

  119. According to Junkets

    The trouble with Marxism is not its economic theory, but the manner in which it doesn’t question, on a fundamental level, the nature of power. Do you imagine for one minute that those sections of the intelligentsia who have seized power in the name of ‘Proletariat’ will be willing to relinquish it? No, in the name of the Proletariat’ they will do everything they can to consolidate it. And in time they will use the state to become a new ruling-class. They have no real analysis of the way the state came into being in the first place, namely through conquest and subjugation. They say it was due to the emergence of classes. They are wrong. Classes only came into existence after power had been achieved through the conquest of less warlike peoples by more warlike peoples. The state then evolved from the relationship between these two as a means of keeping one down so the other could rule it. Do you imagine for one minute that this would not happen again? Historical circumstances have changed a great deal, but that does not mean the basic nature of political power has changed. Frankly, I wouldn’t trust Marxists as far as I could throw them.

    Like

  120. “You don’t have to be able to outrun a bear, just the person you’re with.”

    Like

  121. According to Mediocritas

    Christopher has adopted a model of meritocracy and then tried to force-fit that model to reality, concluding that the fit is poor, leading to a rejection of reality rather than the model. An alternative (Bayesian) approach is to accept that reality is already a functional meritocracy and that it is our models that need to be refined to fit the reality. This can be difficult as the required model may be something that is mentally repulsive.

    My two cents say that the reality of our meritocracy is that ‘merit’ is assessed by the ability to take and hold power. Social dominance is a product of aggression complemented by a collection of other traits that allow aggression to be carefully refined, key amongst them being intelligence. This model of meritocracy is biologically determined, a natural consequence of our genomic programming, and is not unique to Homo sapiens. Within humans we see it manifest throughout history in many different forms but is always thematically linked.

    Whether it be a philosophical collective turning into an organized religion controlled by (male) clerics or a social collective turning into a organized state controlled by (male) oligarchs, the underlying system is the same. The individuals with highest ‘merit’, defined by those most likely to rise to the top, are those with the best ability to intelligently unleash the greatest aggression, hence commandeering the most “social capital” with which to buy their way to the top of the in-group.

    Like

    • Lying is a core competency. If someone is more powerful than you, assume they are lying to you, and just try to figure out why they are telling you this particular lie. It not only says something about what they want from you, but about how they’ve read you. And often they’ve read you pretty well, else they wouldn’t have made it to so high.

      Like

  122. In the July 10, 1920 issue of The Illustrated London News, G. K. Chesterton took issue with both pessimists (such as Spengler) and their optimistic critics, arguing that neither took into consideration human choice: “The pessimists believe that the cosmos is a clock that is running down; the progressives believe it is a clock that they themselves are winding up. But I happen to believe that the world is what we choose to make it, and that we are what we choose to make ourselves; and that our renascence or our ruin will alike, ultimately and equally, testify with a trumpet to our liberty.”

    Like

  123. Don’t let that genius out of this room until he’s written down a solution to our problem.

    Like

  124. that titanic one always pissed me off. that bastard cameron cared more about his damn film than real people anyonjwtw

    I don’t think anybody will give you millions of dollars to direct a movie unless they’re damn sure you care more about that film than real people.

    SuperJebus

    Read more: 5 Real People Who Got Screwed by Famous Movies Based on Them | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/article_19851_5-real-people-who-got-screwed-by-famous-movies-based-them_p2.html#ixzz1xRcqfIOf

    Like

  125. According to Mark Edmundson

    Who hasn’t at least once had the feeling of being remade through music? Who is there who doesn’t date a new phase in life to hearing this or that symphony or song? I heard it—we say—and everything changed. I heard it, and a gate flew open and I walked through. But does music constantly provide revelation—or does it have some other effects, maybe less desirable?

    For those of us who teach, the question is especially pressing. Our students tend to spend hours a day plugged into their tunes. …

    I went back to what you might call music-as-usual: using music to tune my moods. It was as though I was myself an instrument

    Then all of my jarring and jangling emotions went into the radio and came back out making melodious sense. …

    Of course, some of the songs I listened to were sad, but sadness lies latent in the soul. We are always sad to some degree. The sadness in a Leonard Cohen song or the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” was different from the sadness that inhabited my spirit. The musical sadness was melodious: It had a shape, it made sense, it flowed along almost predictable lines. I won’t say that musical sadness exorcized my sorrows, but the music gave my sadness a benign expression. It put my sadness in an attractive box. It let me feel sadness from a distance. …

    Pop music suggests, by its easy, pleasurable repetitions, that life makes sense. …

    Usually, though, music gives harmony to feeling and suggests a sense to life. I wonder: Do we sometimes go to music to hide from our fears that the world makes no sense at all? Do we seek in music’s harmonies a way to stabilize an inner life that is incoherent and strange? Do we use music as a way to soothe ourselves into a kind of torpor, to quell in ourselves what we cannot understand?

    Music does sometimes kick a door open inside the mind, but it also sometimes insulates the house, secures it from all wayward feelings and thoughts. And when a song does seem to kick a door open, we frequently listen to it over and over again until it loses its power and all of its passion is spent.

    The philosopher Allan Bloom didn’t much care for the effect that music had on his students. He believed that they used music to counterfeit experience, in particular to fabricate joy. He said that music—rock music especially—reproduced in listeners the feelings of triumph that come from completing a great work of art or doing a heroic deed or making a conceptual breakthrough in science or philosophy—or even finding the true love of one’s life. Students, Bloom said, found in rock music a way to fabricate those emotions, and then they often took the logical next step and asked themselves, implicitly, Why bother going further? Why should one actually do the deed and put in all the work leading up to it, when one can have the reward simply by putting on some music or showing up at a concert?

    Bloom compared the Dionysian experience of rock music to the experience of drugs: He seems to have had hallucinogens in mind. After a heavy dose of LSD, in which the world becomes a wondrous kaleidoscope of sound and sight and even thought, what can everyday experience possibly offer? It manifests itself as a gray world of sameness and routine, nothing like the Wonderland one has recently left. People who have dabbled with psychedelics often trudge through wearisome lives that never quite meet their expectations.

    Just so, perhaps music lovers feel alive only when they are plugged in to their tunes: The rest of the time they have only themselves, and they are, in themselves, insufficient.

    My students, like Allan Bloom’s, live inside music. Their musical lives may well be their spiritual lives. …

    Students listen to it for hours a day. They trot around the university grounds with headphones on; they plug into their tunes when they sit at their computers. Music, usually rap, is the iron-hard heart of their parties.

    I ask them if listening to hard-core rap might influence their attitudes toward sex and money—major themes in rap, of course. They tell me that I’m being silly—which to me is a little like saying that the food you eat has nothing to do with how your body feels and how it functions.

    But I speculate, and my speculation is this: Music brings drama to their lives. It makes them feel more vital, vigorous, intense. Because—students tell me this all the time—much of their real life is a mildly toxic combination of boring and stressful. Music turns boredom into drama and anxiety into equanimity. Listening to little-known cool bands puts young people in a club in which they can feel special and singular. It is cool to be a fan of an up-and-coming band—you can look down on others who join the jam too late. My students need the melody and the preciousness that music brings.

    For life now is hard. It is as hard for my students as it was for me when I was their age. They are heaped with expectations. They are pressured to perform. Many are majoring in subjects that do not interest them at all. They are in their courses of study to succeed, to secure jobs. They grind away, in econ, say. Their prospects are shaky—they are worried about what is to come.

    Does music save their lives? No, it preserves them, much as it did mine. Music allows you to tolerate dullness, muted, icy boredom. Music is a balm—a cortisone spread.

    If I’d had a little more musical inclination, the song would have made me want to make some songs of my own. I’d have wanted to bring across my own view of things in musical language as strange and funny as Dylan’s and phrased with his sense of inevitability. In fact, the best thing that hearing music can do for you is make you want to make your own.

    I find it close to absurd that some people are musicians and singers and others are silent apostles who never let out a peep, maybe not even in the shower. Music seems like a basic human right, much like the right to prayer and the right to fall in love. Everyone’s got a right to sing his song—though no one should be compelled to listen to it.

    The notion that people have to do our singing for us is, in some ways, a result of the mind-set developed under capitalism with its insistence on the division of labor, which, though it surely has its virtues, we have taken to an absurd degree. It’s amazing that thousands of people will pay a lot of money to go to a concert to watch 10 people on stage have the lions’ share of the fun.

    I read recently that every Comanche warrior had his personal song, written for him by the wise man in his tribe, and modified by the singer as the mood arose. The warrior woke up singing it, sang it from time to time during the day, and hummed it when he was going to sleep at night. The song might go on about what a great hunter he was; how many buffalo he’d shot; what a formidable lover he could be; how tall and handsome. It was righteous music.

    If music kicks in any door regularly, it’s the door that separates us from making music of our own. Sing, hum, strum, toot. It’s said that when the Diggers, a group of early hippies, were invited to a Saturday night Grateful Dead show and told they could come in gratis, they declined. Saturday night was the night that they toked up, got out their guitars, banjos, and harmonicas—for the more amateur, the pots and pans and clicking spoons—and made their own noise. They had fun.

    The ultimate liberation that someone else’s music may provide is the liberation of you—the individual—into your own music, or your own creations, of whatever stripe.

    Music can be a pleasure to listen to. But spending your life as a consumer and not a creator is a chump’s bet. Nietzsche said that eventually he judged music by one standard. How fertile did it make him? How much and how well did it inspire him to write? Many of us have been duped by consumer ideology. Consumerism says that life’s greatest pleasures are in consuming, in buying good stuff and enjoying it. But that’s wrong.

    Life’s pleasures are in creating things, even if the creations have a few cracks in them. (Even if the creations are nothing but cracks.) If music doesn’t produce music, or something fresh, it’s often a sterile diversion. There’s no one whose company I shun more than that of the Music Geek—someone with catalog-like knowledge and taste like a guillotine, who sits at stiff attention when the tunes play. He is sterility itself.

    Take every aspect of his relation to music, reverse it, and good things will come. Music at its best moves you emotionally. But it should also move you from one place to another; it should move you to get off your enjoyment-oriented posterior and do something.

    The Music Geek listens only to the best music. He does it all day long, sitting in his Herman Miller Aeron chair, with his Bose headphones on; he wears pads on his eyes; his face is drawn in sublime concentration. He’s like someone who eats only the best food—very picky in all his selections—but then never uses the strength and health he engenders by it.

    The Music Geek condescends to everyone else’s taste. I half-believe that, on some level, the Music Geek doesn’t really like music, doesn’t get it, and wants everyone else to join him in his sterile funk.

    Can music save your life? My wonderful former teacher, Geoffrey Hartman, said that most reading was vague and lazy, like girl watching. Feminists gave him the bastinado for that, but he was right. Something similar is true about listening to music. Usually it’s about getting your emotions packaged for you, quieting the static inside, fabricating an exciting identity (the gangsta, the hipster) to counteract one’s commitment to a life of secure banality.

    Most music listening, like most reading, is passive. It’s about girl watching rather than woman wooing, which is a tougher game. Schopenhauer says that most reading is letting other people think your thoughts for you. I’d add that most music listening is about letting other people feel your feelings for you.

    Feel them for yourself, I say. Then shout them out loud. And sing them too. Do it for your own pleasure. It doesn’t matter whether anyone is listening.

    Like

  126. A palace is a crime scene. As you enter, imagine it surrounded by yellow police tape.

    Like

  127. According to Kurt Vonnegut

    When a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past.

    Like

  128. According to Richard Conniff

    In truth, the facts were badly flawed, and Fisher had reason to know it. Yerkes’s test, which supposedly gauged innate intelligence, was mainly a measure of how long a person had been in the United States and perhaps also how well he might fit in at the local country club. Among the questions asked: “Seven-up is played with A. rackets, B. cards, C. pins, D. dice.” “Garnets are usually A. yellow, B. blue, C. green, D. red.” “An air-cooled engine is used in the A. Buick, B. Packard, C. Franklin, D. Ford.”

    and

    But his eugenic enthusiasms drew him away from the arc of his true genius. His book The Theory of Interest was “an almost complete theory of the capitalist process as a whole,” according to Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter. But Fisher never found time to pull his ideas together into one grand synthesis, nor did he develop a school of disciples to carry on his work. His books are thus “pillars and arches of a temple that was never built,” Schumpeter wrote.

    and

    His interest in health had arisen largely from his own encounter in 1898 with tuberculosis, the disease that killed his father. It took Fisher three years of fresh air, proper diet, and close medical attention in sanatoriums around the country to regain his health. Having managed to get his own head out of the lion’s mouth, he said in 1903, he wanted to prevent “other people from getting their heads into the same predicament.” His initial approach was to lobby the government to reduce urban pollution, protect the health of mothers and children, and establish school health programs, “so that American vitality may reach its maximum development.”

    But his almost religious conversion to eugenics, not long after, turned all that upside down. Two decades after his own recovery, Fisher was denouncing “hygiene to help the less fit” as “misapplied hygiene” and “distinctly dysgenic. … Schools for tubercular children give them better air and care than normal school children receive.” He seemed to have forgotten that he was once among those who, by his own harsh standard, deserved to have their heads held fast in the lion’s mouth.

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  129. According to Sam Anderson

    Barthes’s basic idea (although with Barthes it’s always dangerous to reduce things to a basic idea) was that the operation of mass culture is analogous to mythology. He argued that the cultural work previously done by gods and epic sagas — teaching citizens the values of their society, providing a common language — was now being done by film stars and laundry-detergent commercials.

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  130. According to Wikipedia

    The Pappenheimer Family (died 1600) was a family tried and executed for witchcraft in Bavaria, Germany. Their trial and execution is considered to be one of the worst to have ever taken place in Europe. Their case is taken as an example of the torture used in witch trials, as it is unusually well documented.

    They were pointed out by an arrested thief, and arrested in the middle of the night, taken from their beds and brought to jail, accused of having assisted the thief in murdering pregnant women for the purpose of making candles out of their unbaptized fetuses. On order of the duke Maximilian I (Elector of Bavaria), they were taken to Munich, and exposed to a torture so fierce that they confessed everything they were questioned about. They were made responsible for every unsolved crime that had occurred in Bavaria in the later years and confessed to hundreds of thefts and murders. They admitted sorcery and pointed out over four hundred accomplices; at times, the torture was so painful that they mentioned ninety nine names at the same occasion to be granted a pause in the pain.

    The parents and the eldest sons were to be executed together with two other men. The bodies of the men were torn six times each with irons, Anna’s breasts were cut off and rubbed in the faces of her adult sons, the skeletons of the men were broken on the wheel, the father was subjected to impalement on a pike, and finally, they were burned at the stake. All this took place in front of the youngest son, ten year old Hoel, who was to witness the execution of his family; he had been brought along on the horse of the sheriff, who was to write down his reactions. In December 1600, six more people were burned at the stake in Münich, among them, the ten year old Hoel.

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  131. According to Ben Kauffman

    I went through five years of building a business from scratch and I found the experience to be a bit more complicated and intense than what you describe. Reading business magazines and books and networking with other business people may help, but, in the end, they amount to little more than moral support. So let me suggest 4 concepts that I think may be a little more useful to this discussion: (1) Contrary to what you said, the personality of anyone wishing to commit to such an effort has EVERYTHING to do with their suitability to do so. Are you really willing to focus most of your energy, spend much of your money and to sacrifice endless hours away from your family in the hope that this will work? Are you able to devout your mind 24/7 to thinking about all the things you need to do next to keep things moving? This isn’t a corporate job- you can’t leave business issues “at the office” when you go home at night. Can you stand the heartbreak you (and probably your family) will endure if you fail? I can guarantee you it will be more painful then anything you imagine when you start. (2) The cash that you beg, steal or borrow to start your “venture” is your precious lifeline. Get a simple accounting package (Quickbooks is the standard), learn it fast and use it to manage your cashflow like a hawk. Review it at least once a week. (3) Realize that you will be endlessly frustrated by mundane tasks that rob you of precious time that you will wish to God you could spend on your service or product or with your customers. Doing paperwork, managing bills, dealing with accountants and lawyers, etc. are simply unavoidable and will never go away- at least not until you can hire an office manager- and don’t hold your breath waiting for that. (4) MOST important- keep a prioritized to do list of everything you need to do exceed your customers’ expectations! Review and revise it EVERYDAY! It is the THE most important thing you can do to maintain a direction focused toward your customers’ interests. Good luck. It is harder than I can put into words but it can be incredibly rewarding and one thing is for sure- you will find out who you are in more ways than you ever knew.

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  132. According to Greg Kuperberg

    it’s quite striking that real computers are very close to two-dimensional, and yet they are mostly used in a RAM machine mode with an emulation of complete circuit connectivity.

    and here

    On the other hand, transistors in real computers are not very far away from melting. Even though many computers look 3-dimensional, most of the geometry of a computer is within each chip of the computer, and that geometry is almost completely 2-dimensional. One reason for that is the photolithography used to make the chips. But another reason is that there is no way to carry away the heat from a 3-dimensional block of transistors. Without that problem you could sandwich many chips together in a sort-of 3-dimensional pile. The heat problem effectively limits real computers to the power of 2-dimensional cellular automata. However, this 2-dimensional geometry is mostly used to simulate a RAM machine. It cannot be an efficient simulation, but it is what happens in practice, since most higher-level languages create a RAM machine environment for software. It’s also a pain to design algorithms for a 2D computational grid rather than for a RAM machine.

    According to Joe Fitzsimons

    The rate at which a region of space can be cooled scales as the surface area, where as the heat produced scales as the number of irreversible gates. For a 2D array these scale in the same way, but for a 3D array the heating scales as the volume (R^3) where as the cooling scales as the surface area of a bounding box (R^2). Clearly you need to balance the rate at which heat is produced with the rate at which it is removed, and hence you have a scaling problem with 3D arrays. This is entirely independent of the cooling mechanism.

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  133. According to Tesla

    I have been feeding pigeons, thousands of them, for years. But there was one pigeon, a beautiful bird, pure white with light grey tips on its wings; that one was different. It was a female. I would know that pigeon anywhere. No matter where I was that pigeon would find me, when I wanted her I had only to wish and call her and she would come flying to me. She understood me and I understood her. I loved that pigeon. Yes, I loved her as a man loves a woman, and she loved me.

    When she was ill I knew, and understood; she came to my room and I stayed beside her for days. I nursed her back to health. That pigeon was the joy of my life. If she needed me, nothing else mattered. As long as I had her, there was a purpose in my life. Then one night as I was lying in my bed in the dark, solving problems, as usual, she flew in through the open window and stood on my desk. I knew she wanted me; she wanted to tell me something important so I got up and went to her. As I looked at her I knew she wanted to tell me- she was dying. And then, as I got her message, there came a light from her eyes- powerful beams of light…

    Yes, it was a real light, a powerful, dazzling, blinding light, a light more intense than I had ever produced by the most powerful lamps in my laboratory. When that pigeon died, something went out of my life. Up to that time I knew with a certainty that I would complete my work, no matter how ambitious my program, but when that something went out of my life I knew my life’s work was finished.

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  134. According to Alec Scott

    In the keynote address at last year’s Frye Festival in Moncton, Atwood adeptly, and somewhat jokily, described the basic schema set out in Anatomy of Criticism: “[There are] four main types of story: the romance, in which the hero journeys on a quest, kills dragons and rescues maidens; the comedy, in which the hero and the maiden can’t get together due to interference by censorious old fogies, but which, after complication, ends with marriage; the tragedy, in which the protagonist falls from a height and ends up dead or in exile; and irony, in which old fogies sit round a winter fire in a frozen world and tell tales.”

    and

    One day, when Denham was going through Frye’s files, he came across a single piece of paper. On it was typed: “Statement for the Day of My Death.” Below, it read: “The twentieth century saw an amazing development of scholarship and criticism in the humanities, carried out by people who were more intelligent, better trained, had more languages, had a better sense of proportion, and were infinitely more accurate scholars…than I. I had genius. No one else in the field known to me had quite that.”

    According to Wikipedia

    Abrams shows that until the Romantics, literature was usually understood as a mirror, reflecting the real world, in some kind of mimesis; but for the Romantics, writing was more like a lamp: the light of the writer’s inner soul spilled out to illuminate the world.

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    • The impoverished anti-surreal conclusion will probably make you pity Adam Kirsch, who is clearly a very sensible man, but the opposition between tedious Aristotelian plot-boiling and the dreamlike, spectacular spontaneity of fairy tales and cartoons is worth remembering. According to http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/fairy-tales-zipes-adam-kirsch/

      Rather, what fairy tales obsessively conjure up is a world of mutability, in which things and people are not immured in their nature. The frog becomes a prince, the wolf becomes a grandmother, the little mermaid becomes a woman, the beast becomes a handsome man, the 12 brothers become a flock of ravens. So much of the appeal of these stories, in a preliterate, premodern culture, must have been simply in their demonstration of the power of words to defy the laws of nature. In this way, the storyteller enacts the magic powers he describes and possesses the wealth he fantasises about.

      In Aristotle’s Poetics, however, we are told that spectacle is the least important element of a drama, and that the most important is plot. Fairy tales, it is plain, reverse the order of importance, offering a constant parade of spectacles with the most rudimentary and illogical of plots. When we ask why something happens in a fairy tale, the real answer is usually just “because I said so.” That is why the marriage of fairy tale and cartoon was such a natural one: cartoons are the medium of spectacle, able to show us things that could never happen in the real world. And with the increasing sophistication of computer generated imagery, live-action films can take over this cartoonish plasticity. In Snow White and the Huntsman, the “mirror, mirror on the wall” is a molten pool of metal that assumes the shape of a man, while soldiers shatter into pieces of glass and a wounded deer turns into a flock of butterflies. This kind of movie magic is not a banalisation of the fairy tale, but its natural consummation, speaking to exactly the same popular appetite for spectacle that the storyteller once fed through words.

      Still, Aristotle was not wrong that spectacle is finally, for readers used to something more, the least interesting element of literature. If fairy tales are “marked” as literature for children, it is not, despite Zipes, because the patriarchy is trying to minimise their subversive power; it is because only children can be truly affected by stories of magic. The proof of this lies in the way that fairy-tale movies, even those designed for children, inevitably minimise the eventfulness and randomness of the tale in order to make it more logically and psychologically truthful: Snow White becomes a fable about vanity, Cinderella a fable about humility. In the Harry Potter stories, the formula of the fairy tale is inverted: magic becomes an accessory to what is essentially a parable about growing up, which may be why the Potter books appeal to older readers as well.

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  135. According to Tim Harford in Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

    It isn’t right to expect a Mario Capecchi to risk his career on a life-saving idea because the rest of don’t want to take a chance.

    and

    The moral of the story is not that we should admire stubborn geniuses, although we should. It is that we shouldn’t require stubbornness as a quality in our geniuses. How many vital scientific or technological advances have foundered, not because their developers lacked insight, but because they simply didn’t have Mario Capecchi’s extraordinarily defiant character?

    and

    Jack Galvin also taught Petraeus that it is not enough to tolerate dissent: sometimes you have to demand it.

    Like

  136. According to Fernand Braudel

    [W]hen I think of the individual, I am always inclined to see him imprisoned within a destiny in which he himself has little hand, fixed in a landscape in which the infinite perspectives of the long term stretch into the distance both behind him and before.

    Like

  137. According to Adam Gopnik

    You can’t help feeling, along with Pagels, a pang that the Gnostic poems, so much more affecting in their mystical, pantheistic rapture, got interred while Revelation lives on. But you also have to wonder if there ever was a likely alternative. Don’t squishy doctrines of transformation through personal illumination always get marginalized in mass movements? As Stephen Batchelor has recently shown, the open-minded, non-authoritarian side of Buddhism, too, quickly succumbed to its theocratic side, gasping under the weight of those heavy statues. The histories of faiths are all essentially the same: a vague and ambiguous millennial doctrine preached by a charismatic founder, Marx or Jesus; mystical variants held by the first generations of followers; and a militant consensus put firmly in place by the power-achieving generation. Bakunin, like the Essenes, never really had a chance. The truth is that punitive, hysterical religions thrive, while soft, mystical ones must hide their scriptures somewhere in the hot sand.

    Like

  138. According to Dave Gardetta

    Parking spaces can be amazingly expensive to fabricate. In aboveground structures they cost as much as $40,000 apiece. Belowground, all that excavating and shoring may run a developer $140,000 per space.

    Like

  139. According to one of Grigory Perelman’s teachers, Yuri Burago,

    There are a lot of students of high ability who speak before thinking. Grisha was different. He thought deeply. His answers were always correct. He always checked very, very carefully. He was not fast. Speed means nothing. Math doesn’t depend on speed. It is about deep.

    Like

  140. According to Evan V. Symon

    The art world couldn’t decide whether it was a real Pollock, but Horton became deeply convinced of the work’s authenticity after doing research into how rich that would make her.

    Like

  141. According to Fintan O’Toole

    In a culture saturated in the classics, Titanic was quickly assimilated to Greek tragedy as the inevitable nemesis that followed the hubris implied in the doom-filled word “unsinkable”. It was not, in a sense, an accident at all but a secular version of the biblical tale of the Tower of Babel, God’s punishment of human presumption.

    The great expression of this feeling is Thomas Hardy’s poem The Convergence of the Twain, written for a charity fundraising event for the survivors. His chillingly bleak reflections on human vanity and nature’s indifference can hardly have cheered the bereaved. His image of the mirrors in the ship’s luxury quarters has the force of a medieval memento mori: “Over the mirrors meant / To glass the opulent / The sea-worm crawls – grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.”

    The second reason for Titanic’s cultural resonance is that remembering it also served as a form of forgetting. George Orwell wrote that “nothing in the whole [first World] war shocked me so deeply as the loss of the Titanic a few years earlier.” Perhaps it was easier for the mind to grasp the comparatively small horror of the sinking ship than to plumb the fathomless depths of the war’s depravity.

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  142. According to Rick Moody

    our allegedly democratic political system, which increases inequality and decreases class mobility, which is mostly interested in keeping the disenfranchised where they are, requires a mindless, propagandistic (or “cryptofascist”) storytelling medium to distract its citizenry.

    Like

  143. According to Diane Brady and Christopher Palmeri’s “The Pet Economy: Americans spend an astonishing $41 billion a year on their furry friends

    The rising status of pets has started an unprecedented wave of entrepreneurship in an industry once epitomized by felt mice and rubber balls. There are now $430 indoor potties, $30-an-ounce perfume, and $225 trench coats aimed solely at four-footed consumers and their wallet-toting companions. Even those who shun animal couture are increasingly willing to spend thousands on drugs for depression or anxiety in pets, as well as psychotherapy, high-tech cancer surgery, cosmetic procedures, and end-of-life care. About 77% of dogs and 52% of cats have been medicated in the past year, according to APPMA, an increase of about 20 percentage points from 1996. Some spending can be spurred by vets who find such services more lucrative than giving shots or ending a pet’s life when it contracts a painful or terminal disease.

    Like

  144. According to Julian Stallabrass

    Maybe what has really changed in the last few years is that people have been finding out, essentially through publishing their own works on social networking sites, that making things that look a bit like art isn’t at all hard and that is very demystifying and empowering.

    And making a life that a looks a bit like happiness and fulfillment is not all that hard either.

    Like

  145. According to James Camp

    As the publication date drew near for Slaughterhouse-Five, on which Vonnegut had worked, fitfully, for 20 years, he brooded over his author photo. He was clean-cut, clean-shaven, a bit paunchy—in 1969, an unlikely candidate for cultural eminence. He decided “to cultivate the style of an author who was in.” “To meet the expectations of his audience was key,” Mr. Shields writes. “He lost weight, allowed his close-cropped hair to become curly and tousled, and grew a moustache. … He looked like an avant-garde artist and social critic now, not rumpled Dad-in-a-cardigan.” His upper lip would never reappear. Slaughterhouse-Five became a number-one New York Times best-seller, and its tousled (not rumpled) author became an icon of the counterculture.

    Maybe that’s the way he saw his real self. Maybe it was the first time he was authentic?

    Like

    • According to Vonnegut in Mother Night, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

      Like

  146. According to Arthur Miller

    The task of the real intellectual consists of analyzing illusions in order to discover their causes.

    Like

  147. According to Steve Martin

    Sales executives and account managers might typically prefer to be seen as the single point of contact for their customers. This makes sense given the likely amount of time and effort they have invested in establishing a productive and profitable partnership. This new research suggests that it would make sense to occasionally invite a colleague who knows the client less well to meetings. That colleague, given their reduced knowledge levels, could end up asking questions that the more experienced sales executive might be expected to already know but may have missed or considered less important.

    Like

  148. According to Mark McGuinness

    So the research evidence suggests that thinking outside the box fails to produce the expected creative solution. And far from being a hindrance, past experience and training can actually be the key to creative problem-solving.

    Like

  149. According to Dennis Hong

    You see, in poker, there’s something called variance. Variance is the stats nerd’s way of saying that, in order to generate an average profit of, say, $100 an hour, you have to tolerate swings of thousands and sometimes even tens of thousands of dollars. Let’s say you start a session with $10,000 and end up with $11,000 five hours later. Hey, you just had a great day, averaging $200 per hour in profit over five hours. But, during those five hours, you may at some point have been down to $1,000 and at another point been up to $20,000. That’s variance.

    and

    And since becoming numb to losses is part of the game, that extends beyond the poker table. Matt recently went to dinner with a bunch of poker friends. They decided to play credit card roulette for the $2,000 dinner tab — everyone tossed their credit cards into a pile, and the server picked one at random to charge. Matt’s card got picked, and the only reaction it elicited from him was an annoyed chuckle. And it wasn’t because $2,000 meant nothing to him. It’s just what poker does to you. You get desensitized to losing huge gobs of money due to random chance.

    Like

  150. According to http://www.laradio.com/whered.htm

    Dixon, Tom: KHJ, 1939-43; KFAC, 1946-87; KUSC, 1987-89; KKGO, 1989-98. Tom retired in May 1998 at the age of 82. He told the LA Times, “I feel like I’ve been beached.” Tom was part of the Classical music scene in Southern California for 50 years. His family moved to L.A. in 1922, and Tom never left. In 1939 he landed a job at KHJ when it was part of the Mutual Network. Tom worked as a transcription file clerk and as a member of the sound department and, after a year as an apprentice, he was promoted to the “announce” staff. He announced newscasts, dramas, dance band remotes, live broadcasts and game shows. He also emceed audience shows and filled in for Jack Bailey on Queen for a Day while Jack was on vacation. He left KHJ and for three years was a free-lance performer. He heard that KFAC wanted an announcer with a Classic Music background. He intended to stay six weeks, but, as Tom said over lunch during the holidays in 1994, “I was like the man who came to dinner and stayed 41 years.” After two years with KUSC, he joined KKGO when it was a Classical station. The highlight of his five years at KKGO was the opportunity to host the “Evening Concert” series, which was sponsored for decades by the Southern California Gas Company. For many years his car had a bumper sticker “WAMOZRT,” which stood for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and advertised his addiction. “You have no idea how many people ask, ‘What’s a WAMOZRT?’ And half the time, when I tell them it stands for Mozart…they ask, ‘What’s a Mozart?'”

    Like

  151. Nothing soothes a conscience faster than a babbling brook of money.

    Rinsing out your conscience in a cash flow.

    Like

  152. Want your message to have a real impact? Keep it simplistic enough to make your college professors ashamed of you.

    Like

  153. Most people, given the choice between doing the right thing and doing a slightly easier thing, will choose the slightly easier thing.

    A key to a happy life is finding the people that will choose to do the right thing.

    Another key is making the right thing easier to do.

    Like

  154. According to Algis Valiunas

    In this earthly lifetime we shall not know whether Jung found the most profound wisdom or rather a most interesting way of being mistaken.

    Like

  155. According to Jon Ronson

    There were some things I always felt nervous asking her about, like anything to do with her uncle Veit Harlan, but tonight over dinner – Paths of Glory making her nostalgic for the early days, I think – she brings the subject up herself. “Stanley and I came from such different, such grotesquely opposite backgrounds,” she says. “I think it gave us an extra something. I had an appalling, catastrophic background for someone like Stanley.” She pauses. “For me, my uncle was great fun. He and my father planned to join the circus. They were acrobats. They threw me around. It was a complete clown’s world. Nobody can imagine that you can know someone who was so guilty so intimately – and yet not know.”

    It turned out that when Harlan wasn’t clowning around with Christiane, he was writing and directing propaganda films for Goebbels. The most notorious was a film called Jud Süss, in which venal, immoral Jews take over and ruin a German city, stealing riches, defiling Aryan women, etc. The film was shown to SS units before they were sent out to attack Jews. Harlan was tried twice for war crimes, and exonerated, proving that Goebbels had interfered with Jud Süss, forcing him to re-edit and inject more antisemitism.

    “Where my uncle was an enormous fool, as many talented people are, was that he mistook his gift for intelligence,” says Christiane. “He was a great big famous film person. He looked better and talked better and had enormous charm. So he thought he was also far more intelligent than Mr Goebbels. Goebbels was 10,000 times smarter than my uncle.” She pauses. “Film people, actors, are puppets. We are silly. We are silly folk.”

    Like

  156. According to Martha C. Nussbaum

    Narendra Modi is a leading figure in the BJP and its allied network of social organizations. In 2002, after Muslim agitators were widely blamed for a fire on a train carrying Hindu pilgrims in Gujarat (though forensic evidence points, on balance, to a tragic accident caused by cookstoves carried on board the overcrowded train), Hindu mobs went on a rampage that resulted in the killing of more than 2,000 Muslims—most of whom were murdered far from the site of the train disaster—and in the rape of hundreds of women. (Because many of the victims’ bodies were torched by their assailants, a precise count of the number of fatalities is impossible to establish.) There is copious evidence that the rioting was planned by extremist Hindu groups that had stockpiled weapons in anticipation of a precipitating event. Propaganda was circulated during the pogrom expressing the wish to cleanse the state of Muslims. Police in Gujarat reported being told to sit on their hands, and some were even threatened with transfer or demotion if they did anything to put a lid on the violence.

    At the time there was enough evidence of Modi’s involvement for him to be denied a diplomatic visa in March 2005 to enter the United States to address the Asian-American Hotel Owners Association in Florida. (Modi has a large following among Indian-Americans, approximately 40 percent of whom are Gujarati, and the creepy coexistence of religious hatred and pro-business policies is typical of his career.) The US officials who denied the visa referred to the State Department’s Religious Freedom Report, which found Modi complicit in the 2002 attacks and, more generally, to have promoted “the attitudes of racial supremacy, racial hatred and the legacy of Nazism through his government’s support of school textbooks in which Nazism is glorified.” Hitler’s role as a hero in Gujarati history books has been an international scandal for some time, but Gujarati officials have rebuffed all demands for change.

    Subsequently, hidden camera interviews conducted by an enterprising Indian weekly, Tehelka, caught leading Modi henchmen implicating their boss and admitting they had carefully planned the attacks. A leader of the militant Hindu organization Bajrang Dal, after mentioning that his group wanted to kill all Muslims, described his actions in the following words: “There was this pregnant woman, I slit her open, sisterfucker. Showed them what’s what, what kind of revenge we can take if our people are killed. I am no feeble rice-eater…didn’t spare anyone…they shouldn’t even be allowed to breed…. I say that even today…. Whoever they are, women, children, whoever. Nothing to be done with them but cut them down. Thrash them, slash them, burn the bastards. Don’t keep them alive at all, after that everything is ours.”

    The Bollywood movie Dev (2004), starring Amitabh Bachchan as an honest cop who does his best to save lives, chronicles the shameful episode in Gujarat and sends a message of mutual toleration and healing, albeit with too little attention to the organized role of the Hindu right. When I saw Dev in a cinema in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, the audience booed the Bachchan character and cheered for the villain, a deferential police captain (played by Om Puri) who incited the rioters, apparently complying with government orders.

    The attitudes of that audience are so prevalent in Gujarat that Modi was re-elected twice, first in 2002 and again, after the Tehelka revelations, in 2007. Despite the overwhelming evidence of his complicity in the pogrom, he will probably never be brought to justice. Prosecutions for specific rapes and murders have been derailed by the intimidation of witnesses, and on June 30 of this year the Modi government admitted that it had destroyed all records of the events, citing a custom of destroying records after five years.

    Like

  157. According to BobSound

    Ever notice that every president since John Kennedy has said that we need to educate more people in math and science to give employers what they are asking for. Tell that to unemployed engineers that have the math and science background and still can’t get hired.

    You never hear the president say something like, “We need to educate more people in medicine and law because that’s where the best jobs are”. I wonder why…

    Like

  158. According to John Cheese

    The truth is almost every bully I’ve ever encountered in the real world had acquired his fighting skills, defending himself against a full grown, two hundred pound, drunken man at home behind closed doors. He’s had a lot of practice at fighting, and that puts him at a distinct advantage that most of you don’t have. Not only does experience count for a lot, but they’re used to taking punches. They’re not afraid of the pain.

    Like

  159. According to Adam Hochschild

    It was not only draft refusers who were locked up. In the spring of 1918, Russell himself was sentenced to six months for writings the authorities deemed subversive. When he arrived to begin serving his sentence, the warder taking down his particulars “asked my religion and I replied ‘agnostic.’ He asked how to spell it, and then remarked with a sigh: ‘Well, there are many religions, but I suppose they all worship the same God.’”

    Like

  160. According to Bonnie Ryan

    I felt an excitement about being close to the flat black rock and wanted to stand on it. […] It was, by outward appearances, nothing special but inwardly, emotionally, I felt like that rock was the most important thing I had seen on my trip. The atmosphere and altitude of the place was not appealing to me emotionally but that rock was as magnetic to me as it was to my compass! I would have liked to spend more time on that rock.

    Like

  161. Walking around town for a couple hours beats most movies. If not, maybe you’re in the wrong town. Or I’m in the wrong movies.

    Like

  162. The six pack is under the Big Mac. (The rock hard abs, that is, not the Stroh’s.)

    Like

  163. The web is an attention sponge soaking up all my genius juice, as if it were just so much drool on my pillow.

    Like

  164. Controlling your lunch hour weeping is not the same as being “OK”.

    Like

  165. He was so crazy even other people could hear the voices in his head. The snails left slime messages to him on the sidewalk like Charlotte’s Web.

    Like

  166. According to Mike Roddy

    Those Republicans pols have no feeling for the environment at all, though they will make a phony green statement once in a while. Their idea of getting out in nature is going to the golf course with their buddies, filling the cart with beer and scotch and rolling with laughter over racist jokes. Or, they get in their 40 horsepower boats and yank hatchery trout out of the lake. If any of them wandered into the wilderness for a few hours, he would break out in hives. They believe that if fracking poisons aquifers, they will be the ones to be able to afford bottled water.

    They have always been with us- their spiritual predecessors were the plantation owners, followed by timber barons and mall developers. Strangely- having known a few- they are tormented on the inside, because some part of them knows that their entire lives are wrong. They are butts looking for paddles, and will welcome them. Let’s give the bullies what they need.

    Like

  167. According to this US patent 7,893,422

    Transistor on the basis of new quantum interference effect

    A quantum interference transistor comprising a thin metal film having a protrusion and a thin insulating layer between the metal film and protrusion. A potential barrier is formed in the region beneath the protrusion as a result of quantum interference caused by the geometry of the film and protrusion. A voltage applied between the electrically isolated protrusion (“island”) and the thin film leads to a change in the electron wave function of the island which in turn leads to a change in the Fermi level of the metal film in the entire region beneath the protrusion. Consequently, a potential barrier may or may not exist depending on the applied voltage, thus providing the present invention with the transistor-like property of switching between open and closed states.

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  168. Throw him into the bum pit.

    No one else can drag you out of the bum pit.

    Somewhere between Palookaville and Gahenna lies the bum pit.

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  169. We’re thankful to the people that keep us occupied (with more tasks), so we don’t have to take our own initiative.

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  170. A battery running out of juice is god’s way of telling you to go outside and play.

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  171. Is it worth dying for? Maybe. Is it worth making your wife a widow for? No way.

    It’s surprising that widowers are not an especially dangerous class of men.

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  172. If there’s something you’re doing that you shouldn’t be, maybe there’s something you should be doing that you aren’t.

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  173. Treat Mother Earth like a pathetic old prostitute and she’ll act like one.

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  174. If you resent an assigned task as below you, maybe you’re just a loser. Suppose that the assigned task is indeed below you. Possibilities are that you are a slave of some sort, such as a woman trapped by sexism in the home, or a discriminated against racial minority not allowed to use your potential. But if none of those explanations apply, rather than be resentful, consider that maybe this should be a wakeup call and that given your life choices, level of social skills, work ethic, etc., this is not below you, but exactly what you deserve. Maybe you are just a loser. And if you could do better than picking up garbage for a living, why aren’t you?

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  175. I recalled a list from the Unix fortune file, which I thought was “Top ten signs you might be dead”, but couldn’t find it on Google.

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  176. According to Brent Richards

    fishermen off the northern coast of France have found a large parasitic isopod (a relative of the louse) that has evolved a rather hideous method for survival in its host: It gets into the fish’s mouth and then devours its tongue. It then attaches itself at the back of the fish’s throat where it presumably feeds of whatever the fish normally eats.

    A shortcut to the icky picture is here.

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  177. According to this

    The film does a fine job of illustrating the sheer absurdity of corn production in this country: it depletes soil, it’s unhealthy (for both people and animals) and if not for vast government subsidies farmers wouldn’t make a profit selling it. And maybe not so coincidentally, the more large corporations have taken over farming the greater the subsidies have become, creating a system where generational family farms are going belly up while tax payers are subsidizing corporations to make increasingly unhealthy food.

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  178. If people brushed and flossed as carefully each day as they do before a dental appointment, they wouldn’t need to see the dentist so often.

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  179. According to Sy Montgomery

    Wasps are another problem for tarantulas. Several varieties paralyze tarantulas with their sting and then lay eggs in the spider’s abdomen. When the eggs hatch, the paralyzed spider is eaten alive by wasp larvae. Even the goliath birdeater is not immune. The particular species of wasp that feeds on the goliath is the size of a sparrow.

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  180. In Milpitas, guns don’t kill people, knives kill people.

    According to Ian Bauer, writing 9/25/2009 for the Milpitas Post,

    The victim appeared to have been stabbed multiple times at the restaurant before attempting to drive away. But his car rolled to a stop in front of an under-construction apartment complex about 400 yards north of Montague Expressway. Arriving paramedics administered life-saving measures, but the victim died at the scene.

    The homicide is the first in Milpitas since October 2007, when resident Yu Ju “Amy” Fan was fatally stabbed in her home.

    Details here.

    Spoke too soon. On 7:20 pm, October 23, 2009, 34-year-old Michael Anthony Davis of Richmond was shot dead in the Great Mall parking structure.

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  181. Jonathan Mead wrote here

    Spending today trying to finish writing draft posts I have… I create way too many drafts.

    I responded

    That’s like saying there’s too much fruit ripening on your trees, or too much new wine laid down in your cellar

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  182. I wrote here

    Saturday morning doorbell, Milpitas sun and registered mail, a little box from Shau Kei Wan tied with pale purple ribbon.

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  183. According to Mickey Billingham

    I don’t know when to start or when to stop
    My luck’s like a button
    I can’t stop pushing it

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  184. “Lose weight” is another euphemism. You could achieve that by forgetting your head somewhere.

    Should be “lose fat”, or maybe better “burn fat”.

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    • Radio personality Thom Hartmann wrote a book called The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight.

      The last hours of ancient sunlight

      The last music from deserted cities

      The last X preposition adjective noun

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  185. According to Jason McCampbell

    C++ proponent for 15 years, then 1yr of non-EDA dev and it feels like running in molasses, dated. Newer languages == competitive advantage?

    I asked him

    Which language are you developing in that makes C++ feel so dated?

    According to Jason McCampbell

    Used C# for a year. Has garbage coll., better compiler checks, support for parallel & functional prgm. Very productive.

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  186. According to Benjamin Schwarz

    Granted, a version of the California Good Life can still be had—by those Starr calls the “fiercely competitive.” That’s just the heartbreak: most of us are merely ordinary. For nearly a century, California offered ordinary people better lives than they could lead perhaps anywhere else in the world. Today, reflecting our intensely stratified, increasingly mobile society, California affords the Good Life only to the most gifted and ambitious, regardless of their background. That’s a deeply undemocratic betrayal of California’s dream—and of the promise of American life. As R. H. Tawney wrote, “Opportunities to rise, which can, of their very nature, be seized only by the few,” cannot “substitute for a general diffusion of the means of civilization, which are needed by all men whether they rise or not.”

    I’ll have to meditate that, because it pretty much describes why I love today’s California. I can agree that one shouldn’t be punished for not being “gifted”, but why shouldn’t intense ambition within the rules be the price of admission to the good life?

    Like

  187. Who are the people that buy books “For Dummies” and “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to” this and that? Why not books “For Smelly Losers”, too?

    Like

  188. Twitter asks

    What are you doing?

    But often the hidden subtext is

    What are you not doing?

    Like

  189. According to this Inflation-Adjusted Dow Chart (1925 – Present)

    To better demonstrate the true magnitude of the great bull and bear markets of the last century, it is necessary to adjust the Dow Jones Industrial Average for inflation. What the CPI (Consumer Price Index) adjusted Dow chart shows is that the 1966 to 1982 bear market was almost as severe as that of the early 1930s. And since 1982, a true and great bull market has ensued (even when adjusted for inflation).

    Here’s a different version.

    Like

  190. There are worse reasons for getting something done than simply getting people off your back.

    Like

  191. According to Pat Rogers

    [Samuel Johnson] held slavery in abhorrence and, in the run-up to the American Revolution, dismissed the case of the colonists as “yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes.”

    Like

  192. According to Regina Schrambling

    The best lard is leaf lard, from the fat around the kidneys of a hog, preferably a heritage hog. Flying Pigs Farm sells this at the Greenmarket in Union Square in New York City for $6 per 8-ounce container, and it sells out fast. Lard from the supermarket can still be pretty scary; most of it has been hydrogenated to make it last longer.

    (As I learned from lard crusader Zarela Martinez in New York, you can make your own if you can get your hands on top-quality fat from a small producer—back, belly, or kidney fat will all work. Cut it into chunks and cook them very slowly over low heat until the fat seeps out and only crispy bits are left. Strain it and save the fat in the refrigerator almost indefinitely. Salt the cracklings and eat them as what Mexicans call chicharrones.)

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  193. According to Richard Zimmerman

    The palm oil industry is guilty of truly heinous ecological atrocities, including the systematic genocide of orangutans– who share nearly 98% of our DNA. The forests of Borneo and Sumatra are the only place where these gentle, intelligent creatures live, and the cultivation of palm oil has directly led to the brutal deaths of thousands of individuals as the industry has expanded into undisturbed areas of rainforest.

    When the forest is cleared, adult orangutans are typically shot on sight. These peaceful, sentient beings are beaten, burned, mutilated, tortured and often eaten. Babies are torn off their dying mothers so they can be sold on the black market as illegal pets to wealthy families who see them as status symbols of their own power and prestige. I am not trying to be overly dramatic. This actually happens. It has been documented time and again.

    More …

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  194. According to Naomi Klein

    In 2001 the US NGO Physicians for Human Rights published a manual on treating torture survivors that noted:

    perpetrators often attempt to justify their acts of torture and ill treatment by the need to gather information. Such conceptualizations obscure the purpose of torture….The aim of torture is to dehumanize the victim, break his/her will, and at the same time, set horrific examples for those who come in contact with the victim. In this way, torture can break or damage the will and coherence of entire communities.

    Yet despite this body of knowledge, torture continues to be debated in the United States as if it were merely a morally questionable way to extract information, not an instrument of state terror.

    Like

  195. According to Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

    despite the housing crisis, one deeply entrenched value remains sacrosanct: homeownership. […] But a growing chorus of economists and housing experts say that this mind-set needs fundamental reform.

    Like

  196. Another day, another belly flop into an Olympic-size pool of self-delusion.

    Like

  197. According to Fariss Samarrai

    A new low-bandwidth, high-frame-rate videoconferencing technology that creates the appearance of three-dimensionality and a strong sense of co-presence without the use of expensive motion-tracking devices or multicamera arrays could eventually become available for cell phones, laptop computers and personal digital assistants, according to a researcher at the University of Virginia.

    […]

    According to Timothy Brick, the U.Va. researcher who made the presentation, the new videoconferencing system may make high-frame-rate videoconferencing readily and inexpensively available to nearly anyone with small, portable communication devices, possibly within two to three years.

    Like

  198. Joke: When you find yourself muttering “I am not insane. I am not insane.” is that a good sign or a bad sign?

    Like

  199. Every minute you waste on stupid stuff, procrastinating, etc., is a minute you steal from your family and your higher self.

    Like

  200. According to Michi Henning

    There is also a belief that older programmers “lose the edge” and don’t cut it anymore. That belief is mistaken in my opinion; older programmers may not burn as much midnight oil as younger ones, but that’s not because they are old, but because they get the job done without having to stay up past midnight.

    Source: p. 56 of Communications of the ACM, Vol. 52 No. 5, Pages 46-56 (10.1145/1506409.1506424).

    Like

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