Here’s a quote from Stanley Kubrick, in a Playboy interview, that captures a number of ideas I’ve liked for a long time (there’s echoes of Russell, zen, and Lovecraft in there) in a lovely formulation: PLAYBOY: If life is so purposeless, do you feel that it’s worth living? KUBRICK : Yes, for those of us [...]
Archive for the 'Smart Things' Category
The subjects vary — crime and penal policy, healthcare, don’t get me started on foreign policy — but there is an ideological approach in America that is distinguished by one common characteristic: words and deeds utterly lacking in the quality of mercy. There is a cancer in the collective American soul — a mercy deficit [...]
When I consider the solar system as our working neighborhood, I am reminded not of “the final frontier,” but of Antarctica. Our Antarctic stations are a bit like moon bases that we can reach with airplanes. We staff them with rotating crews, and carry out interesting and useful research, but fully inhabiting the ice is [...]
Better to have a good story than a good time. Bad life experiences often end up great material for stories. Good times are often forgotten. —Jonathan Carroll
A parade is a group, and I’m not a group animal. I think a mob, no matter what it happens to be doing, is the lowest form of living thing, always steaming with potential murder. Several things I could write on my placard and then carry it all by myself down empty streets. UP WITH [...]
“Man, that's like seeing a stake put through the heart of the 20th century. Watching banks fail is a picnic compared to this.” —Bruce Sterling in “You know newspapers are screwed when even the CARTOONISTS catch it“.
Does the word postcapitalism look odd to you? It should, because you hardly ever see it. We have a blank spot in our vision of the future. Perhaps we think that history has somehow gone away. In fact, history is with us now more than ever, because we are at a crux in the human [...]
We have very nearly succeeded in turning reading–that most active of cultural activities–into a passive extension of mass media. Alex Irvine takes a quick swing at the kind of literature produced when about half of potential writers don’t read for pleasure. I actually wanted to quote the whole second paragraph, but since the post was [...]
Spotted on Jonathan Carroll’s blog today: “The secret of life,” said sculptor Henry Moore to poet Donald Hall, “is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is—it must be something you cannot [...]
One of many.
I’ve never mistaken my hobbies for real life. I’ve always craved real life, even when I didn’t have one. I’ve sought out life, even when I didn’t know how. I’ve always tried to live real life, even when I didn’t have a clue. I travel a lot. I talk to strangers. I eat their candy. [...]
The Commercial vs the Artistic in writing – is there a genuine difference between these two philosophies or are they artifical attributes? Are they in opposition, and if so, can they meet? The difference seems to me very genuine. The error is to think them antithetical. The purely commercial writer writes for the editor. The [...]
“But, although we’re very good at giving ourselves things to buy, we’re not very good at understanding ourselves. We don’t really know what we want. And that’s really a cultural vaccuum there–it’s kind of a lack. And it’s becoming sinister.” —Bruce Sterling The most stinging part of this observation is that the idea that self-knowledge [...]
You know what I’m tried of? Cynicism that blocks honest attempts to improve the situation. People trying to seem soooo “plugged in” and “been around the block” by acting like shock and anger are inappropriate and even childish reactions to deplorable, illegal, and occasionally reprehenisble behaviour. I could try to make this thought clear, but [...]
Whatever » From the “People This Lacking in Self-Awareness Really Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Speak in Public Ever Again” Files But, you know what, there’s “graduate from good schools and work hard in public service” elite, and then there’s “make millions in corporate America and marry into the family that owned the mortgage on Europe” [...]