2014/9/29

Heart weeps.
Head tries to help heart.
Head tells heart how it is, again:
You will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But even the earth will go, someday.
Heart feels better, then.
But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.
Heart is so new to this.
I want them back, says heart.
Head is all heart has.
Help, head. Help heart.

— Lydia Davis - “Head, Heart” in Varieties of Disturbance (via Alan Jacobs)

Nedroid Picture Diary - Identity Crisis

Sakuragi and Maria every weekend lately.

2014/9/28

Views like mine, in the world of American foreign policy, are considered extreme. This is because I believe that peace is preferable to war, that the last half-century of American warmaking has in the main been a series of disasters, and that this country’s political class has become so bent on war in the face of any and all challenges that those we call doves are just quieter hawks. I can envision no plausible scenario in which this country stops its endless projection of military force. Not in my lifetime. I suppose I hope only that people in the media will someday be honest and say: we are bent on war, and our media is bent on war, and there is no such thing as an anti-war voice in our politics or media, and we will go to war again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.

We might “win,” this time. We will certainly destroy ISIS if we set our minds to it. And we will leave behind another failed state, whether after a year or ten, and then that failed state will do what failed states do, and we will go back again. But every time a little weaker, a little more vulnerable, until someday at last, the next war is the one that leads to our own destruction.

Fredrik deBoer - no way out

Tim Lindenschmidt - 時の中で静かに

2014/9/27

If I could exhaustively give all my reasons for loving someone then I could articulate what someone else might have just as well, and so replace the loved one. But the loved one is irreplaceable. Therefore I can never exhaustively give all my reasons for loving someone. It follows that every love for a person is somehow infinite – and that there is always more beyond what I could hope to bring to conscious light.

Just Thomism - Haecceitas

Hark, a vagrant - Kokoro

I really want to re-read that. And everything else by Sōseki. In the original Japanese. When I have 100 years free with nothing better to do.

Hark, a vagrant - Kokoro

I really want to re-read that. And everything else by Sōseki. In the original Japanese. When I have 100 years free with nothing better to do.

2014/9/25

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #2627

Et In Arcadia Ego?

I’m with you in Rockland:

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there.

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #2627

Et In Arcadia Ego?

I’m with you in Rockland:

If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, you are there.

2014/8/26

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #2598

My professor used to say he wanted a piece of cake, but not a piece of cake with such-and-such a size or such-and-such flavor, just a piece of cake. He was a fan of Berkeley’s triangles, no doubt, but apparently there’s a similar argument to the unsatisfactory nature of material things somewhere in the canon of Indian philosophy.

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #2598

My professor used to say he wanted a piece of cake, but not a piece of cake with such-and-such a size or such-and-such flavor, just a piece of cake. He was a fan of Berkeley’s triangles, no doubt, but apparently there’s a similar argument to the unsatisfactory nature of material things somewhere in the canon of Indian philosophy.

2014/7/24

Adrienne LaFrance - How the Moon Became a Real Place

On a clear night and with the right telescope, if you know just where to look,
you will find the cup-shaped crater called Draper. It’s pocked into a
vast plain of volcanic moon rock that humans once believed, from afar, was
a lunar ocean. The mile-deep Draper aperture was named for physicist and
astrophotography pioneer Henry Draper, the man credited with taking
the first photograph of the moon through a telescope in the mid-1800s.

Those first photographs were as stunning as they were anticlimactic. For a
celestial body that was thought to host bizarre extraterrestrial life, it
looked, from afar, like something rather ordinary. “In truth, a common
photograph of the moon does bear a striking resemblance to a peeled orange,”
wrote The County newspaper of Missouri in 1881. And yet moon
photography was instantly popular—and people began collecting the images the
way they sought out photos of popular actresses, newspapers reported.

Adrienne LaFrance - How the Moon Became a Real Place

On a clear night and with the right telescope, if you know just where to look, you will find the cup-shaped crater called Draper. It’s pocked into a vast plain of volcanic moon rock that humans once believed, from afar, was a lunar ocean. The mile-deep Draper aperture was named for physicist and astrophotography pioneer Henry Draper, the man credited with taking the first photograph of the moon through a telescope in the mid-1800s.

Those first photographs were as stunning as they were anticlimactic. For a celestial body that was thought to host bizarre extraterrestrial life, it looked, from afar, like something rather ordinary. “In truth, a common photograph of the moon does bear a striking resemblance to a peeled orange,” wrote The County newspaper of Missouri in 1881. And yet moon photography was instantly popular—and people began collecting the images the way they sought out photos of popular actresses, newspapers reported.

Incidental Comics - The Problem of Perception

2014/7/23

The Japan Times - Buffalo Daughter calls on some ‘konjac-tions’ for its newest album

Be hyped y’all!

Via birds
Cat and Girl - Spooky Tales of Helvetica

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

— Philip K. Dick

I’d put it that, reality means you can stub your toe in a dark room.

Cat and Girl - Spooky Tales of Helvetica

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

— Philip K. Dick

I’d put it that, reality means you can stub your toe in a dark room.

2014/7/21

Jeremy Parish - Tomodachi Life and Emergent Heartbreak

“The baby grew up and moved out,” I texted to Cat.

“No. No, no, no,” she replied. And as soon I landed back home the following evening, I let her watch the slideshow. She didn’t say anything as the pretend milestones of our pretend family’s pretend baby’s pretend life flickered past; we simply sat in mute disappointment.

I found myself surprised by the visceral reaction we both had to the game rushing our Mii’s baby through to maturity. It’s not like we really thought the caterwauling digital child was real. Maybe it was a mistake to give her such a meaningful name, but even so we’re clear on the lines between fiction and reality. We didn’t even see it as some kind of omen.

I think, in part, the letdown came from the game simply hitting too close to home. We’d like a real family, but we’re not getting any younger, and it gets difficult once you reach our age. Having this little digital infant arrive only to take off mere days later hit a little close to home, too reminiscent of the times we’ve thought, “Maybe this time,” only to be let down.

Cf. Jenn Frank’s “The Map Is Not the Territory:

Tomodachi Life is a game about avatars.

More important, it’s about the avatars you create. It’s entirely about how you choose to remember others.

The problem with nonfiction writing—the problem with remembering anything, ever—is that, with each act of remembering, the photograph might fade. With enough remembering, the mental image dissolves completely.

With enough remembering, I am left with an oversimplification, an abstract map of a memory. I am left with a mess of so many sentences about a person, with just a cartoon of a face.

I cannot remember my birth father’s face.

That’s a fair enough critique of Tomodachi Life, but I think Jeremy’s story illustrates the opposite point: sometimes the map is the territory. The simulation of Jeremy and Cat’s life was a part of Jeremy and Cat’s life.

Moreover, nonfiction writing about your life is not just a map to your life: it is (a part of) your life.

Jeremy Parish - Tomodachi Life and Emergent Heartbreak

“The baby grew up and moved out,” I texted to Cat.

“No. No, no, no,” she replied. And as soon I landed back home the following evening, I let her watch the slideshow. She didn’t say anything as the pretend milestones of our pretend family’s pretend baby’s pretend life flickered past; we simply sat in mute disappointment.

I found myself surprised by the visceral reaction we both had to the game rushing our Mii’s baby through to maturity. It’s not like we really thought the caterwauling digital child was real. Maybe it was a mistake to give her such a meaningful name, but even so we’re clear on the lines between fiction and reality. We didn’t even see it as some kind of omen.

I think, in part, the letdown came from the game simply hitting too close to home. We’d like a real family, but we’re not getting any younger, and it gets difficult once you reach our age. Having this little digital infant arrive only to take off mere days later hit a little close to home, too reminiscent of the times we’ve thought, “Maybe this time,” only to be let down.

Cf. Jenn Frank’s “The Map Is Not the Territory:

Tomodachi Life is a game about avatars.

More important, it’s about the avatars you create. It’s entirely about how you choose to remember others.

The problem with nonfiction writing—the problem with remembering anything, ever—is that, with each act of remembering, the photograph might fade. With enough remembering, the mental image dissolves completely.

With enough remembering, I am left with an oversimplification, an abstract map of a memory. I am left with a mess of so many sentences about a person, with just a cartoon of a face.

I cannot remember my birth father’s face.

That’s a fair enough critique of Tomodachi Life, but I think Jeremy’s story illustrates the opposite point: sometimes the map is the territory. The simulation of Jeremy and Cat’s life was a part of Jeremy and Cat’s life.

Moreover, nonfiction writing about your life is not just a map to your life: it is (a part of) your life.