Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Super Short Alternative Life. Sized Photoessays

When you go to an opera, you’re not looking for simple explanations, but want to experience on the stage the whole diversity and complexity of life… We all bear conflicting needs within us. We want both, simplicity and abundance
~ Christine Douglas in the Power of Suggestion

Dorrigo. Doritos. Drones. Drama. The perfect recipe for the big game.  Amazon Alexa 

How and why did HMRC get the Making Tax Digital numbers so wrong?

UK Robots could replace 250,000 public sector workers

Q. Do you really hate your own novels?
A. Yes! I hate them. I mean that. Nobody believes me, but it’s true. They’re an embarrassment and a deep source of shame. They’re better than everybody else’s, of course, but not good enough for me. There is a great deal more pain than pleasure in writing fiction. It’s only now and then, maybe once every three or four days, that I manage to write a sentence in which I hear that wonderful harmonic chime that you get when, say, you flick the edge of a wine glass with a fingernail.  — John Banville

 Terrorism not even being reported Trump cites Sydney siege in list of attacks 

Bessie in knotted wood via John Banville

The Daily Beast KAROSHI
: Latitudy Japanese for “working to death

You would think, with a history such as ours, that we would have understood two things: first, that the government, while we need it, ultimately cannot be our friend, and also that we don’t need it to be our friend, really. It is just an instrument. If minorities broke their alliance with the government, the would depend more on themselves… You see, we would not be here were it not for our own efforts. Most of our history has been in relationship to a government that has not been very kind. Government is not a savior …

You Think ‘Alternative Facts’ Are Like Science Fiction? Ursula Le Guin Would Like A Word With You

In a letter to her local paper, she writes, “We call it fiction because it isn’t fact. … The test of a fact is that it simply is so – it has no ‘alternative.’ The sun rises in the east. To pretend the sun can rise in the west is a fiction, to claim that it does so as fact (or ‘alternative fact’) is a lie.”
A history of dark matter Ars Technica - As in so many eco-disaster SF novels, wonderful science is being done in the midst of the chaos and collapse….

Trump defends ‘killer’ Putin: ‘You think our country’s so innocent?’ The Hill. And: “[TRUMP:] There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers.” Clinton: “We came. We saw. He died.” Obama: “[I’m] really good at killing people.” But this time, cue the hysteria. And By Criticizing This Liberals Look Like Fools Ian Welsh. “[Trump] [1] lies a lot, yes, but he [2] tells truths that no one else is willing to say, and he has, so far, [3] kept his high profile promises.” All the yammering is on point [1]. But points [2] and point [3] are more important. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that clickbait on [1] is easy for lazy people to generate. But [2] requires work; truth-telling always does, like it or not. And evaluating [3] requires actual reporting and analysis; more work. Once more: Do not underestimate Trump! 

With clothes the new are best; with friends the old are best...

How Bad Is It, Really, To Contradict Yourself?

“In philosophy, since Socrates (a troll before there ever was an internet), the answer has been ‘very bad.’ If you find you believe two inconsistent propositions you need to do something about it. You owe a theory. But theories themselves tend to be confusing, unsatisfactory or both.”

Crazy ex-girlfriend goes rogue at wedding

Daniel Kahneman likened his relationship with Amos Tversky to a marriage. It was among the most successful marriage of minds in academic history. Here's how it broke up ... Breaking Up Is Hard to do... 

White House Adviser Steve Bannon Says Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’ Vice  The whole quote is a smidge less awful

Vinyl-record sales are up and creative types cling to their Moleskines. What if the benefits of digitizing everything turn out to be drawbacks?... Bohemian with Biros - An ant may well destroy a whole dam

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Bannon said. “I want you to quote this: The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

A fire once broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the audience. They thought it was a joke and applauded; he repeated his warning; they cheered even more. This is how I imagine the world will end: to general applause by clever people who think it’s a joke.

What philosophers say about reality is often as disappointing as when you see a sign in a second-hand shop that reads Pressing Done Here. If you went in with your clothes to have them pressed, you’d be fooled: it’s the sign that’s for sale.

To write is to rewrite, which is to say to quibble, which is to say to lie. Thus to write is the work of the devil and to be written is the work of God. But to write is unavoidable and to write is also to be written.
— Frenet, Journal

Thomas Friedman — oracular New York Times columnist, bard of the C-suite, irrepressible fount of thought leadership — has a new mantra: “Naïveté is the new realism”... Mantras 

The clouds change. The seasons pass over our woods and fields in their slow and regular procession, and time is gone before you are aware of it. In one sense, we are always traveling and traveling as if we did not know where we were going. In another sense, we have already arrived.
— Thomas Merton

As a student of still life photographs, Stuart Westly would wander the New York Museum of Photography during his lunch hour and during the weekends whenever there was a new exhibit to such an extent, the admissions lady would usually wave him through the turnstile and the guards would recognize him and nod, occasionally letting him stay long after closing. While he loved the stark reality of the black and whites, he was always drawn to “Exhibit 582: Digichromatographic color print from a glass plate;” otherwise known as “Unidentified Girl, New York, 1907,” photographed by Randolph Morton Phillips, a renowned Gilded-Age portrait artist and protégée of legendary Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, but what always lured him to the print was the fact that it was a full length, life-size photo of a stunning, young dark-haired Gibson Girl-type, head playfully cocked, caught in half-smile, her beautiful brown doe-like eyes looking out from beneath a large flowery hat spoke to him across the ages in a way women his age did not and could not. Even though he had researched extensively online and among the dusty shelves at the New York Public Library, he knew too little about her and yearned to know more; what she was like, if she had a happy life, what was her world like, had she been a lover of the photographer as some had surmised, what happened as soon as the shutter clicked and possibly, most importantly, why that taunting smile upon her blossoming lips? He would linger in front of the portrait for such extended periods that visitors to the museum would cautiously walk around him and the guards even once brought him a chair, which he never used, believing it would demonstrate impassivity. Feeling as if he somehow knew her all of his life and aware that he had fallen hopelessly in love with her, it did not disconcert him the one rainy afternoon when the museum was virtually empty that her hand somehow reached out to him, imploring his in return. Instinctively, he took her hand and was gently guided into her Victorian world, forever leaving his world behind, all of his questions soon to be answered; the true nature of the smile being revealed as having grown from a young lady who too was looking at a museum painting of a man she felt she had known all of her life, but had never met, until now.
— Joseph Grant

“The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga