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Here we go with the traditional inverse
chronological change-log, without which
no site is complete:
"Object-Oriented Ontology" and Graham Harman and the human comedy:
Richard E. Geis' most famous creation:
An angle on the history of software, artificial intelligence
vs "intelligence augmentation":
A couple of the software luminaries:
11/11/18 - 11/12/18
Once again, on the "critical information infrastructure for democracy",
beginning with some dicussion at crookedtimber:
Strategies for salvaging the anonymous voice:
And more strategies, plus the new term "verified ID":
If Twitter fails, does anyone really care?
A brief recap of me being ahead-of-my-time again:
Nicholas Gruen talks up a site that tried to score you
for epistemic virtue:
An ancient greek democratic institution and possible solution for the
modern world: deliberation by a body of randomly selected citizens:
If the truth will out, then...?
Defender of Jordan Peterson remind of Freud-apologists:
A familiar tale: to win someone over you must tell a better story.
The Backfire Effect was oversold, and there's an odd reluctance for
people to grasp that:
11/09/18 - 11/12/18
About Julia Galef's Long Now presentation,
"The Solider and the Scout":
Against the defenders of optimism and positive delusions:
Aristotle on the importance of metaphors:
Dan Kahan's data, purporting to show that greater
understanding increases lack of understanding (or
something like that):
Is Galef's idea we can just skip fighting?
More evidence that nice liberals can't be bothered with world politics:
Redefining the terms to avoid admitting that you were wrong:
An intellectual parlour game
"Is there anything you've changed your mind about?"
A conveniently clear, and unambiguous case where I can say
I changed my mind:
An outline of thoughts about phrases like "cognition in the wild"
and "motivated reasoning":
From piece of mine "Toward a Smarter We" from 2014:
Some examples of recent (2017/2018) anime, that are
nroblematic, but I think a bit lighter on the
suckage than usual:
Some bits about a flare-up of anti-nuclear at the usually
more level-headed crookedtimber, from back in 2015:
On the occasion of my second reading of Aristotle's "Poetics":
A run-down of Thomas Kuhn's "Structures" from memory:
Falsification and Friends:
I greatly expanded this page about a corner of the 2016 primaries:
And I wrote a follow-up piece, tracing this tiny "controversy" further:
Miscellanious things related to the town of Niles, CA:
A fine, never-ending source for internet outrage-fests.
A white girl dared to wear a chinese-style dress to her prom:
Some more details of the story:
About a remarkably vapid New York Times piece discussing cultural
appropriaton in general:
Amia Srinivasan discussing the tensions in being a
Ethnic fetishes, personal intepretations and social significance (if any):
Amia Srinivasan on sex-positive feminism and the problem of
volition in a world without perfect freedom:
For Srinivasan, either criticism of a sexual desire is fair
game, or we regard it as fixed and unchangeable:
The changing status of gay men taken as a model for social change:
Polarizing echo chambers, and the duel of internet feminists with
English makes it easy to express causal relations, even when
that's a dubious claim:
About a particular re-tread of the classic mecha-anime:
The concept of a "new type" from the original Gundam:
The powered-armor idea and japanese anime:
More ranting about a modern-day defender of Freud:
The world-building underlying Kim Stanley Robinson's "2312":
Intra-solar system transit in KSR's "2312":
An old idea at this point to get from ground to orbit:
Basic orbital mechanics, changing orbits with minimal energy
The O'Neill colony concept:
Strafford Beer's idea for a computerized, networked control
system for an industrial economy:
About the documentary "Merchants of Doubt" (loosely based
on the book of the same title):
Three from the Winter 2018 anime season all about the texture of existence...
"Yuru Camp" aka "Laid-Back Camp"
"Sora yori mo Tooi Basho" aka "A Place Further than the Universe"
"Koi wa Amaagari no You ni" aka "Love is like After the Rain."
Second seasons are rare in anime these days, but...
The horror of the "moe blobs":
A trick (thought experiment?) in fiction composition, if you
flip the gender of characters what happens to the story?
A minor piece about my personal preference to avoid video
streaming in favor of download:
(My apologies if you'd like to see a piece
about actual "self buffering". I should
figure out what that would mean, sometime.)
Dennis Dutton commenting on reaction to his book:
Sketching out an outline of possible positions on
nature/nuture and the arts:
Frederick C. Crews against the Freudoids:
Pinker's "Blank Slate", from around the edges...
Some quotes from John Quiggin's piece on Steven Pinker's
Squib about a possible pattern in intellectual activity
peaking in the late-Naughts:
About writing Skip Beat fanfic, no less:
"The Trashing of Margaret Mead" by Shankman, on a battle from
the Culture War: Derek Freeman's attack on Mead's work in Samoa:
Charles Stross laid down some challenges concerning the venerable
form of "space opera". I try to play along...
Some grumpy complaints about the "smart phone" craze:
An old bit about an old "J-Pop Summit", that last one
to be held in Japantown:
A set of music to start the day, every day... for awhile:
Narcissistic bit about my (out?) waves of interest in Japanese pop-culture:
An E. Phillips Oppenheim book from 1937, a fantasy about averting
the on-coming World War by a conspiracy armed with super-weapons:
John le Carre novel from 2003, arguably playing up to the Truthers:
The poetry of techno-babble:
Given Daniel Kahneman's work on human cognitive traps,
how would you fix or ameliorate the problems?
Fields of expertise bring with them shared cognitive traps:
Hutchinson's "cognition is socially distributed" considered as
a kind of poetry rather than a great insight in itself:
And what the hell, might as well push out the David Bowie material from 2016 or so:
Prompted by a remark by THE_DARK_KING,
a small piece about the 2016 film:
About some paradoxes concerning parody:
j-culture (anime, jpop, etc) and american culture:
For *decades* I've been thinking about breaking out some material
about the novel "Babel-17" out into it's own node like this
(originally-- and I mean *originally*, in the first doomfile)
it was part of DELANY:
Being attacked by your own hand (motif from a Superman DC comic
from ages gone by):
The worst job you can take on as a writer: merging together two of
your old drafts:
Some material about "Space Opera", using material posted to the
Charles Stross blog:
Material about the Tetlock book (originally from two years ago):
About the old Manga "The Glass Mask", about a young woman working
her way up as an actress:
03/07/17 - 03/08/17
The fire at Oakland's "Ghost Ship", and likely consequences:
Patti Smith, Haruki Murakami, "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki":
Sartre criticizing Marxism as relgion-- some questions about his jargon.
Fashions in translation from French?
An exhibition at the Oakland Museum wallows in Nike shoes and
November 9th and beyond:
All agree: "It's not my fault, and I was right all along."
Lefty protest in Oakland, we lost because Obama (?):
Causality going through the economic channel? Still seems weak:
Many tiny things, if they had been different...
We were told she was the safe pick:
When the polls are wrong, where do you go from there?
Krugman's scurrilous attacks on Bernie:
The economist who dared to predict big changes from big changes:
"Most liberal policy wonks"? Like who?
It's the Overton Window, stupid:
Rebecca Solnit, victim of Hillary-derangement:
The forgotten (?) context of Whitewater:
Japanese consumer products just seem better... perhaps they have
respect for the spirit of the object?
Struggling to buy a mop without buying into a chain:
Cassabella mop debacle and product placebos:
Revisiting the Hans Reiser case from years ago.
A legal system under trial.
The incompetence of software geeks dealing with physical
Evaluating critics based on tone...
Interpreting the line breaks in poetry:
V. Vale's thesis that punk is essentially about eternal rebellion:
Was punk a "spontaneous worldwide" thing? My take is it started in NY,
but spread weirdly fast...
Aging brit music journo jumps on M-train, and goes splat on the tracks:
The Doctor Strange comic:
(1) suceeding waves of creators did okay with it;
(2) it works inspite of an excess of power
Otaku as "gods of consumerism", a proposed standard for anime
"something to learn from"?
Miscellanious stuff I bought circa 2014...
So, back in 2014, I was talking about wrapping up this
project... on the off chance that anyone is wondering
what happened to that:
(1) recently I got involved with fixing-up the emacs
lisp code I use to edit this stuff, and now that it's
working better, I'm finding I'm more interested in
writing in this format.
(2) Also, I gave up on the experiment of "blogging" at the
dailykos-- mainly I quit as a small protest about the
rollout of new software ("DK5"), but Markos demonstrating
he can't tell a "better democrat" when he sees one was
really the last straw (actually I've got multiple problems
with the place, maybe I should write something about that...).
Anyway, here's some recent additions:
The idea that Japan is monoethnic is at best an exaggeration:
Bunch of stuff about the outrage at the thought of Scarlett Johansson
playing Major Motoko in a Hollywood "Ghost in the Shell":
A mystery novel from the 40s, set in New York's Chinatown:
A novel from 1906, "Blindfolded" with scenes from San Francisco's
Ye olde master of the Yellow Peril:
Some remarks from "Bohemian San Francisco" about SF's Chinatown
Description of Honlulu's "Chinatown" area, from the first Charlie Chan
novel from 1921:
The Charlie Chan phenomena, and the claim he was based on a Real Detective named:
A really brilliant black comic actor:
A woman lying about rape that lead to a racial lynching:
Bit about Tongs working through "Social Clubs" now:
The photographer of pre-earthquake Chinatown.
Lousy ethics, but were it not for him we'd have nothing:
About a Bucky Sinister book from 2014:
A series of Japanese television shows about a female doctor:
Takashi Murakami's ideas about Japanese art:
NYC was *once* an "engine of culture", but now it's...
David Byrne rails about NYC under the weight of the "great inversion":
The series by Charles Stross, "doing amber":
An odd dream about contending with an accidental AI:
The Korean comedy-drama version of "Bel Ami":
The roots of "cyber-punk", according to John Shirley:
Neustadt and May's book on principles for decision-making
using historical perspective:
About 70s domestic "terrorists" (the Weathermen and friends), and
the difficulty of evaluating whether they achieved anything at all
Hanging out with John and Yoko in the early 70s:
"How to Use Guys with Secret Tips"
Back to The Clash:
Borderlands Books, an odd example of a business model threatened
by a new local minimum wage law:
Julia Vinograd, beat poet of Berkeley:
Flashes of mysterious insight and plodding, laborious reasoning.
Using my experience with Eight Queens problem as an example:
A review of Norman Finklestein's latest book:
"My Secret Hotel" (2014), a Korean television show:
Sapir-Whorf and Korzybski again:
Anti-Nuclear Yellow Journalism:
China, pollution, climate change, photovaltaics and nuclear
The evils of Amazon:
Arguing for nuclear power, though you may be outside the
bounds of accepted opinion:
The 14th of the "final" pushes... I'm feeling the temptation
to Write More Stuff, but also feel like there's very little
point in continuing with this.
And the 13th in my series of "final" pushes.
This is looking pretty slim, things are definitely
slowing down on this project...
More j-pop culture:
The argument that applies against the arguer
Could it be that Penrose was right about quantum effects
and neural functioning?
A case where the makers of an anime struggle to maintain some
respect for the original manga:
James Hansen: environmental hero or nuclear devil?
The fans of the Korean show "You're Beautiful" seem to project
some elements on the story that aren't at all explicit:
Slowly, ever so slowly creeping toward the 12th push in the "closing"
series... could this be the end?:
Kahneman, on optimism: engine of capitalism, or enemy of sanity?
Dan Gilbert complains about irrational (or just "irrational"?)
Beverly Gage on recent JFK literature:
Oswald as distraction:
The latest wave, number 11 in the series:
01/11/14 - 01/13/14
The tenth grand push. The end is nigh. Really.
Kahneman gets specific about decision-making with bounded-input
What kind of thing is next? What the future of the web?
Freeman Dyson's advice to the young...
Mark Twain's comments on the Phillipine War:
An early adventure novel that takes socialist ideals
The days when the Futurians infiltrated the government:
If you consider software as an art, what does that imply?
My expierence with a variety of forms of social organization:
Chomsky and co wrote for the present day:
More about the JFK assasination, the attitude of
the Very Serious toward it, and what that might
imply for the present day world:
The point that sincerity doesn't imply correctness
(and presumably that earnestness is irrelevant and
Another biographical note about my life's cast-of-characters:
Might there be something like "Tales of Beatnik Glory"
to tell, concerning Cellspace?
Doing Dumpster Runs for Cellspace:
An Ex-Model babbles some light-weight tales of degradation,
and reminds of "Blue Jasmine":
It is time for the 9th grand push to finish up the grand pushes
of doomfiles material (I'm slowing down a bit here... too much
writing of new stuff, instead of sticking to cleaning up the
11/17/13 - 12/10/13
A bunch of stuff about a minor intellectual controversy from
five or ten years ago: did art have some biological adaptive
advantage as humans evolved, or could it be some sort of accidental
by-product... and what is it good for, anyway?
Three pieces of otaku-yaki on the theme of the failings of
reality and yet, the need to engage with it:
Follow up bit, multi-lingual (non-Japanese) puns in
"The World God Only Knows":
Insane behavior appropriate in certain fictional scenarios:
Back in 2010, a debate on Democracy Now between an alarmist about chemicals
in cosmetics, and a level-headed but dull industry scientist:
The psychology of conspiracy and anti-conspiracy...
The New York Magazine is Very Serious about conspiracy theories:
Comparing some internet videos, pro and anti conspiracy (both
have probs, but the anti guys are much worse):
The moon-landing-was-faked syndrome:
The counter-sexual sexuality of post-WWII US culture...
Ilya Shambat of alt.gothic, talking about a later-day Morrison
clone as the real deal *because* he's so far out of sync with
Late adopters don't get stuck with orphans:
Early experiences with early portable micro-computers:
Commuter Bicycle experiments, e.g. the Trek Soho:
Frederick Pohl on A.E. van Vogt (who went in for Dianetics,
but balked at the Scientology religious scam):
Comparing two quotations, another case where more is not less:
Comparison of the issue of explicit violence in horror movies,
and explicit sex in anime:
Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow":
Kahneman has salesmanship problems I think, being sloppy about
the all/many distinction is not something you expect of a scientist:
Money-on-the-mind changes people's reactions:
Kahneman points to ideas by Daniel Gilbert (and Spinoza?),
arguing you've gotta believe to understand:
Writing classes, and the standard advice "find your voice", etc.
And on with part 8 of working towards the great "wrap-up" (maybe):
A brief (?) outline of the cellspace saga, with
any eye on object lessons about styles of organization:
Don Joyce's uncontroversial version of the always controversial
Beginning to work my way through "Thinking Fast and Slow",
by Daniel Kahneman:
Feeling trapped by living circumstance into a middle-class conformity
(or a sort)
"Never let anyone fly under you": look out for the threat from below:
Complaining about Thomas Friedman. Now I am a real blogger.
Inventing languages to write poetry in them;
Minor joke in search of a context:
Nuclear Winter, the TAAPS study, a failure (?) of science and
Lester Bangs on the subject of chops:
It looks like it's worse than it looks, doesn't it?
An example of an anime/managa in no hurry to resolve or even to fully state it's premise:
"Cognition in the Wild", cognition, a socially distributed phenomena:
Part 7 of our continuing series "The End of the doomfiles,
really soon now":
Working over Plato's Gorgias:
Small bit about Tanenhaus, the reason the New York Times
Book Review has seemed increasingly useless of late:
Longer bit (but no less pointless) complaining about an old
NYT review of a Krugman book, as executed by a Stanford History
Now for some commentary on a really weight subject:
discussing an early William Powell film based on one of
the worst popular mystery novels ever written:
The boredom/seriousness tradeoff, this time in the anime world:
An old thought about differing cultural transmission lags
in different fields:
How does one measure the popularity of music?
Tracing literary influences can be complicated by legal fears
of plagarism accusations, etc:
Software design, preserving botches for the sake of
Esperanto and The Shadow:
Trying to apply the 'method of light' to the question of
A Walt Whitman quote (twas ever thus... maybe):
What would Steve Jobs do next? (Marketing visuals):
Going high and low at the same time, using the low to
support the high, and the high to excuse the low:
Trying to scrounge excuses to use an RDBMS as an application back-end:
A technical religious war not often commented on, the C programmers
vs the database people:
The basics of...
Out in the Ghost World, wanting to have A People:
The appeal of fireworks?
Various reflections of Holmes:
A particular variant, an American Holmes:
Charles Peirce talking about the One, the Two and the Many:
Lierre Keith, author of "The Vegetarian Myth":
And part six of my latest series, "how to increase output by
lowering standards (such as they are)":
New Urban/Free Market alliance makes me quesy:
Bicycling interactions involving me and/or others:
In the anime realm, it dawns on me that there's now a hybrid of
"serious" SF and moe/otaku silliness:
An old bit about about zinesters in denial about their roots in
William Burroughs, "Naked Lunch", copping attitudes about attitude coppers:
Oh, who remembers:
A generation raised to hate radio, thanks to clearchannel and friends:
Changes in the radio form as it goes on-line:
Some old stuff about the high-tc superconductors, and
gypping Paul Chu out of his share of the Nobel:
Accusing the "Distant Reading" crew of...
Guy named Fry teaching criticism at Yale, hence this clever-clever title:
Quote from some puply fiction, about sentimentality and morality:
Dreaming about reading:
Conventional advice about writing:
An old bit from alt-gothic about developing new "dating customs":
I'm not sure what this was either. Probably something about
needing to be comfortable with uncertainty, a common theme with me:
And now a fifth session (in two installments) of
ramping up output by dropping standards, where I
finish and ship stuff written some time ago:
Lost Who: centralization bad for preservation
Anti-Who Conspiracy Theorizing:
Walter Gibson's evident obsession with identity,
and his inability to get a handle on it:
My fantasy about rules making it a requirement to make the real
owners obvious e.g. with the Hearst-owned SF Chroncicle:
"Made in USA" labeling is now meaningless:
Using the wall of noise to screen out other sounds:
Charles C. Mann's 1491, environmentalism as preservationism
comes up against the problem that there is no Nature we know
of in a pristine, untouched state:
Brief note: Bateson's "Ecology of Mind" and Snyder's thinking
about "Wild Mind" were contemporaneous, and Bateson may need
another look from me in that light:
The cut-up, floating, disconnected bit format was a very 60s notion:
We tend to choose technical ideas for social reasons, e.g.
Solar Power Sats were originally rejected by solar enthusiasts
because they were too centralized:
Another critique of wikipedia, largely hypothetical this time:
post, stall on deletion, wait for print journalists to pick up on it,
then reference them:
Do I always prefer the first form I encounter out of prejudice,
or is that pattern an illusion: liking the first makes you
search out the second:
Humanism vs Elitism with Sartre's Roquentin:
Utopians and Marxists and other players,
Erik Olan Wright's "Envisioning Real Utopias",
Chris Carlsson's "Nowtopia", commentary by John Holbo
and Russell Jacoby, plus some Jane Jacobs "Systems
Apple succeeds by maintaining a monoculture,
Microsoft succeeds by having a monoculture maintained
by the manufactureres, Linux just struggles along...
The IBM & Microsoft story, as I understand it:
While I'm at it, some digs against Macs and Linux:
The 80s movies celebrating intelligence, notably:
The Homebrew Computing Club:
Xanadu compared to WWW, Xanadu compared to Gnu:
Some material on pulps, Doc Savage and The Shadow:
And the fourth session of "cleaning the closet"...
And extended sequence of babble about costumes, fashion, etc:
More wikipedia whining:
The Chroncile has it in for Oakland, perhaps:
Little bit of stuff about the phenomena of techies with artsy
pretentions, including Paul Graham, and also some stuff about
startup culture and advice:
Small philosophical point about abandoning the quest for perfection,
which means that the pursuit of the perfect itself should not be
rejected, just because it's imperfect...
Where I've gotten with "the doomfiles" and where I'm going:
Yet another intellectual exercise assignment for myself:
Argue behind or in front of data?
A first cut on the infamous Fukushima incident ("disaster"?):
Eric Tomb, interviewing Gary Snyder, discussing Ray Kurzweil:
The Juan Gonzales problem (Democracy Now):
Back before the beats, the only form of rebellion:
Traps in the intellectual landscape:
A labored attempt at something or other:
TED talk by RIchard Dawkins-- can our brains reason
beyond our evolved tendencies?
And here we go with out third installment of cleaning-the-closet:
A few words about our founder:
The "not-invented-here" syndrome, and a classic example of it:
Gore Vidal, (1) busting Kerouac for sexual dishonesty
and (2) making snide remarks about "California Buddhism":
Arthur Koestler, tales of atrocity runs up against the wall in
the healthy-minded who can't conceive of them:
Riding the singularity curve, means you're always looking up:
New media, explosions of activity, followed by a retrenching
process... into what state?
No one really wants any real news:
We have a possibly encouraging flare-up of a more information-based
journalism coming out of the net:
Too many choices cause problems:
Peak oil, a form of wishful thinking:
No one tech needs to be "sustainable", the juggling act is
what we must keep going:
Gary Snyder, dislikes the notion of "sustainable development",
Freeman Dyson calls out environmentalists for the "nature knows
Dyson on Descartes vs Bacon; Emerson on Plato:
James Howard Kunstler, and his "World Made By Hand" fantasies:
Modern primitives/modern civilization; Kunstler and Vale on Tattoos:
What name for the "dystopia" that's secretly desired?
Incorrect predictions are always shrugged off in preference to
abandoning the underlying train of thought: sure, they were wrong
this time, but...
Speculating on what will happen when "peak oil" predictions
A tale of obvious bullshit that *almost* slipped through my
The history of "ad hominem" had little to do with "personal attack":
Sabotaging regulation with insincere regulators who will
take the pay check, but not do the job:
Coase's Theorem, as used by the right. I speculate it might similarly
be used to justify socialist-style income redistribution.
Watching new construction on the edge of a superfund site
with some amused interest:
Krugman, struggling with the problem of the age: what are these guys
really thinking? How do they justify the lies to themself?
Me and Cockburn's "The Threat", and Fallows "The Nation":
The fall of the Wall gets treated as some sort of grave intellectual
problem for the left, but why not for the right?
The good-old "out of context quotation" attack, and related
Chomsky doesn't even get *The Internet*:
Another famous leftist, who had an optimistic thought that the
American Empire might go the way of the British:
The odd-- to me-- phenomena of lefties not getting how
dirty the 2004 presidential election was. (This one
probably wasn't quite ready to go out, but what the hell.)
A brief review again of the appeal of free market doctrine:
SF, no matter how serious the theme, must present it in a
light-hearted, jokey style in order to be popular:
When epidemology indicates the market is at fault:
The strangely anti-science, irrational (and not a bit incoherent)
tale of Stoker's:
The radio drama genre, and some modern examples of it:
Another exciting pile of stuff written over the last several
years, finished up quickly and shoved out, to what end, no one
Starting with more not terribly deep babbling
about how disciplines can be corrupted by political engagement...
A no doubt odd jump to some Brian Wilson lyrics (hang on to
Brief note on Doestevsky's The Possessed:
Long quotation from The Possessed, about how those
willing to die become god:
In San Francisco the Democrats are the establishment party,
and isn't really all that left/progressive:
Arguing with a Mises-erable character on Krugman's blog:
An accusation concerning women's complaints about men
and gender roles:
The worst convention of the mystery genre:
The overreaching oath as a motivational trick, often used in
A motivational rap of my own, about moving mountains in ones
The interrupted theme wedges the theme in your head...
A brief attempt at reading Toynbee:
Charlie Hunter sniped at SF (and not Manhatten?) calling it:
Noe Valley, SF, not the most exciting place, and yet with
A landlord overreaches, ignores a consumer boycott, and loses
(along with everyone else):
Phillip Glass, influenced by the Moog?
Keeping dope illegal to protect local industry:
"Unconditional Confidence", Don't beat up on yourself, etch...
Quibbling about the arguments used by a fellow 9/11 truth debunker:
Table-of-contents concerning the Nomster:
A commentor at delong's blog points out some things people don't
seem to get about Chomsky:
Chomsky conceeds (?) the US is freeest of them all:
Misc things about Chomsky's critics:
"Problems of Knowledge and Freedom":
Hawkes tries to pass off the phrase "the chomsky problem":
this is the nature/nuture, conservative/liberal association
abused as a criticism of Chomsky:
Actually, Chomsky regards our Ethical and Linguistic capacities
as both rooted in our nature:
Sneering at Posner for trying a weak dig at Chomsky...
Daddy gets to do what he wants:
Posner insists Nations are above mere human morality:
Continuing to clean-up: I've been banging through the literally
hundreds of half-way written things I wasn't sure were good
enough to bother with... they weren't going to get any better
rotting on my drive:
To encryption experpts everything looks like an encryption problem,
including internet voting:
The "aesthete" of the mid-30s, as viewed from below:
Poetry as a proto-philosophic tool; a linguistic theory of
understanding justifies the obsession with stylistic quirks:
Ginsburg on Joan Adams Volmer: high consciousness
A remarkably bad example of anime "hack//Roots;":
dialog written with fear of commitment to plot:
You don't just *assume* good faith, not when it matters:
Dreams about worrys about booking cellspace during the Burning
Man dead season:
With comicbooks, a half-century or more of shared background material:
context that can be invoked:
The promethian, technophilic view of history:
About Paul Romer's Long Now talk-- if odd things like "Hong Kong"
can become such great successes, maybe we should create more odd
Wisdom more beautiful than beauty:
A le Carre characters joy at having stood up to torture:
Lead exposure => the violent crime epidemic
The "Mundane SF Manifesto", hated by all including me:
The degree of imitation allowed in popular art may be one of the
elements that evolves over time:
A quote from Balzac about the collector's mania:
Brief history of the vampire trope:
A pointer to the greatest music video every made:
A compare-and-contrast exercise, picking away at the appeal of
the aforementioned greatest video:
Yet another greatest video, and extra on a VHS for the anime...
True fans like even the bad examples of a form, which means
that the people who know most are the people who you can't trust:
Sweeping the floors, scraping the barrels, clearing the decks,
and mixing those 'phors again...
Whittaker Chambers on Ayn Rand; complaint about the similarities of
fascism and communism:
Why oppose "the mainstream":
And artist's statement for a cellspace show: attitudes
toward Stuff in the modern world:
The editor of the "Thrift Score" zine, understands that it's
all just more consumerism:
Some pointers to discussions indicated that materialism may not
be quite what it seems:
Krugman quote: industries of the future have no lobbiests
Review of some amateur (?) porn manga, a syndrome of not quite
going all the way:
Quote from Tristram Shandy about perserverance and obstinacy:
The reclaimation of lost youth trope:
Some miscellanious critisms of Lessig's schemes to attack
About the poet Ron Silliman; recommended by Delany because of
Ron Silliman on the...
Silliman comments on the pathetic hard core lefties of the 70s...
Chomsky notes that provacateurs are not all from the government,
rival groups of lefties snipe at each other; an explanation of
Fleming's "Thunderball"; attitudes toward Health Food:
Lewontin disses Jacoby in the worst way possible, by (a) not
mentioning his name, (b) by appropriating the "public
intellectual" term for people Jacoby gives short-shrift to
(acadmeic scientists such as Gould):
"Boys Over Flowers", a forgive-thy-rapist story:
Yves Smith complains that capitalism and marxism are both
Going for complexity, but just smudging the lines of character:
Credulity of war propaganda, etc:
Orwell: It often does matter who wins:
Orwell: the brit upper class, stupid or evil?
Orwell: a wide range of people supported fascism:
Orwell: there is a body of netural fact that none challenges:
An old friend in high school and college (a "wild man" example):
The gulf between summarizing and generalizing is not huge:
One of everyone's favorite topics, gunfire in Oakland:
A long block that's unlikely to be of much interest
to anyone, I have to say...
Leading off with a pair about project leaders
who clearly have their shields up, and can
barely hear any criticism: Faarborg, the Firefox
designer and Wales, founder of wikipedia:
And that leads into this long stretch, largely a collection
of every gripe and whine I have leftover from my stint as
a wikipedia volunteer:
The various techniques someone can use to Own a wikipedia
page, to defend territory:
The ones who walk away from wikipedia:
An odd quirk of wikipedia jargon: contributers
are "editors" rather than, say, "writers":
Trying to tone down the propaganda in a page about
a piece of war-blogger slang:
An old piece of alt.gothic babble, travails of
editing the Beat Generation page:
There's always an information assymetry between the
people involved in a dispute and any moderator that
might be called in-- a foul when the refs not looking
can provoke a response that gets your opposition in
A book by Andrew Lih, "The Wikipedia Revolution":
A quote: borderline trolls are the wortst:
A claim: organizations veer from personal to impersonal and back again:
A Jason Scott talk "Mythapedia", a claim that wikipedia
needs centralized authority:
My adventures with trying to make a dent in the wikipedia
guideline about quote Weasel Words unquote spit, spit:
Two approaches, wikipedia an example of either:
A stub: there's more than trolls out there now:
Sometimes it takes me a while:
Link labels and title pages should match; link labels should be informative:
Another piece of alt.gothic babble, the Beats and feminism;
a general break with the recent past:
Some speculation on ranking contributors by contact
Again: the need for real ids on the web to get
anything to work:
Promising anonymity is problematic. Can you deliver?
an open standard...
jwz on browser UI, the obvious point that there is no one correct UI:
Apple's design geniuses fail New Urbanism:
Customization features are just to shut up the critics, if you
actually use them, don't expect much sympathy when they go wrong:
welcome challenges: liking to do what you don't like
kids don't know why they need to know anything
Downtown Oakland and Pacific Heights: under and over heated,
yet both can seem dead:
Krugman nods: so, the rich have 2nd homes in cool neigborhoods,
he doesn't see the problem:
I switch hats as convienient, is my allegiance with the
programmers or the artists?
An old bit from 1993, promoted up to it's own page for
ease of linking.
And now introducing a section on "contradictions"
(which could be the theme of every section...).
I insist that fiction has an almost metaphysical signifcance,
and yet it's transparently full of pandering and cheap tricks:
I turn up my nose at hustling for fame, and yet
conceed the importance of marketing, the need for
influence to have effect:
Kevin Kelly on the need to believe in the
Sartre on dialectic and the "unity of internal contradictions":
On being inside and outside the moment:
An old realization of mine, at this point, skill and training
need not interfere with spontaneous rule-breaking:
Presuming it's possible and desireable (big ifs, both),
What might a merger of art and science look like?
We rigorously separate "Science and Technology" and yet always
want to speak of them together:
The "compare and contrast" assignment gives way...
Applying a standard metaphor:
One of those things I say all the time that somehow never got
said here: the phrase "car accident" has a way of deflecting
A pretentious, probably redundant squibb about the sketchy way
the pre-web world is covered by the web:
Bands I saw preform at SF conventions in NY &&
the humor of context violations:
An interesting pedagogical trick (possibly unintentional),
providing an opportunity to step across a context barrier:
Kim Stanley Robinson's "global warming" trilogy,
which I call the "40/50/60" series:
A climbing adventure at Stanford:
More recently, a minor bit of climbing on Caltrain:
There are rules and rules, and a case can be made for self-imposed ones:
The 15th Century "Monkey King":
Concerning Peter Kwong's
"The New Chinatown": I succeeded in resisting the
title 'CHINATOWNS_JAKE'. For now.
Elements of fiction that "resonate" for reasons that aren't
The Wildman figure:
Peter Schwartz on scenario planning:
The interminable "Heel Sibilings" arc in the manga "Skip Beat:
Two kinds of humor, recognition and constrast, the expected and the surprising,
(split off from an existing node because it didn't really fit there):
Bigger is not always better:
Here, there be chickens. And eggs.
The existential hollowness of the modern world.
(What *did* the kids make of this at the double-feature,
Some fragments read on the radio, another entry in the genre of
Phil Och's "The Crucifixion", taken as an example of a piece of
art that trancends the obvious rules:
A few things about climbing. Physical climbing:
Off and on, I've spent the last month scribbling about things
related to the gun control issue... a lot of this is really
about public decision-making, getting stampeded by dramatic
events in the news, and so on:
Continuing to work over a single essay, Pauline Kael's "Trash,
Art and the Movies" from 1969, the closest thing to an overaching
manifesto that she ever wrote...
Kael was unable to decide if movie's are art (and didn't appear
to notice she had a problem with it):
The honest response of teens, the ignorant response of teens
(which is it?):
Perhaps the elder Kael was moving beyond her younger committment
Several incomprehensible remarks by Kael:
The ultimate transgression: other critics on Kael's turf...
Bad art is not always harmless. Proof: Doris Day:
(I did not name that one "KAEL_SERA_SERA" because I'm trying to be good.)
Further pondering on the possiblities of Alternate Kaels, purer
children without her contradictions:
A quick outline of ways of proceeding with that method, creating
fictional critics based on actual ones:
A timeline of some critical publications:
Pauline Kael's somewhat bizzarre, hostile response to the film "2001":
Another Roger Corman film, this time just Produced by him, and
directed by one of his "discoveries", Francis Ford Copolla:
Some thoughts upon the "origin story" common in the super-hero
comic book world:
Brief notes about the anime:
Puzzling over the obvious reference/theft of, of all things,
the Mannix theme:
Paul MacIssac of WBAI, who used to argue the anti-promethian
position, that human beings can't handle great power:
A plea for closure, or at least for conclusions:
Charles Stross, Walt Whitman, and the future of literature:
Manga about manga:
All genre eventually goes meta:
A James Blish novel celebrating cannibalism:
Sheet rock: bane or boon?
The summer of flies:
Theodore Sturgeon's inspiring and problematic:
An idea in the air, in 1956, the:
Stewart Brand's recent book, in favor of cities, nukes, and
About the old "biter bit" story-form:
Concerning a very popular example of shoujo (young girl)
manga (and also anime), "Skip Beat":
A common problem with series fiction, the writer has abundant
opportunities to show their
The fannish (critical?) compulsion to take-over for the writer;
and an interesting solution to the absence of closure in the
A brief primer for the anime "Sket Dance":
Some jamming about a pair of critics in opposition (but not
really): Dwight Macdonald and Pauline Kael
A number of things more-or-less related to George Scialabba's,
"What Are Intellectuals Good For?" (2009):
A now-classic rant with me, from a version I wrote down in 2009:
The observation that cutting off communications can
suddenly increase radical behavior:
The manga "My Girlfriend is a Geek", showing an Otaku in action:
Hiroki Azuma's "Otaku: Japan's Database Animals" (2001),
sheds a little bit of light on the Otaku sub-culture,
and shows that wonky postmodern cultural commentary
did not die with the last century:
Your culture is a database, you are an animal:
Azuma uses a very familiar human/animal distinction:
A distressing revelation from "Lucky Star": the Japanese
"Otaku" is essentially just a kid that watches a lot of
The film "Kamikaze Girls", a blatant attempt at encouraging
A stub asking the question of what Azuma's utopian dream
might be, what if we went the other way:
Given the Hegelian human-animal distinction, should we
then embrace back-to-nature movements?
The only choice, consumerism or snobbery?
Is all human contention "snobbery"? A loaded term:
Mouthing phrases that sound Very Serious:
Pontificating about the state of nature:
So why is the "database" view better than thinking about
a network of influences?
John Coltrane's "reservoir", the shared repository of music:
Denying history so your thing can be the New Thing:
The history of the development of the Otaku subculture...
Supposedly, the key term in Azuma's discourse is *moe*:
he uses it without explanation:
The way I came to Azuma's book:
The Japanese defeat in WWII (and what about the economic
lost decade, in the 90s?):
The iconic "Neon Genesis Evangelion" viewed different ways:
"Dusk Maiden of Amnesia":
They show a greater respect for the material
they work with... a result of a lack of individualism?
An anime trope: the duplicate city built in a far future
time somewhere off in space:
The drive to collect everything of a type can be defeated
by the sheer quantity that's available:
The drive to make the invisible visible:
What modern era? What grand narrative?
Two cultures that continually trade back-and-forth
imperfect images of the other:
A directory node of various otaku-related things I've covered:
On the subject of the "Macross" anime universe-- more stuff
originally written in 2010:
A note about the Hakim Bey essay:
(I see I have a bunch of stuff like this written around 2010
that I never bothered to push out because it seems a little
slight and pointless... )
Some notes about the Warren Beatty movie about John Reed
(which I started writing about in 2009...):
Different experimental phases I went through when
working on my high school mystery novel:
o A set of characters based on myself at
o Limitations on the amount of notes I
o A system of diagramming human relationships.
When pervs are obsessed with the truly immoral,
not just symbolic transgression:
Imitation vs creativity:
Roquentin's resolve at the end of "Nausea", to write a story as...
The triangular diagram of Sankaku Complex:
really meaning manga/anime/games:
Deeper problems that aren't addressed by campaign finance reform:
The myriad ways nodes can be linked:
Stewart Brand's "How Buildings Learn":
Larence Lessig, "Republic, Lost", and his scheme to
achieve public funding for elections via a constitutional
Problems with the "class war" line
Winning hands (when it's many hands against many dollars?):
The self-reinforcing knot of problems, the viscious circle:
The Japan-US connection/barrier:
A cluster concerning otaku-fodder (anime, manga, etc),
including soundtrack music.
The age old music-video problem:
Translations between media, the first-encounter prejudice...
An encounter with anime soundtrack music divorced from the visuals:
Same-style, different spin, Japanese vs American:
The "Drama CD" genre in Japan: the radio drama survives?
The "Fruits Basket" saga, first encountered by me in the most
obscure possible form:
The sense of "Walking Backwards", discovering things in a late-form
and working back to the origin:
Genres proceed by the slow recombination of tropes:
The orphan as hero, to get freedom of movement.
The ways fiction often cheats.
Sartre's opposition of fiction to life, the tale-teller isn't living
On re-reading Sartre's
Sorry about the sudden burst of edits here... I've been
writing stuff steadily since my last release of stuff in
August 2011 but it's been languishing on my laptop,
awaiting a quiet afternoon for me to learn how to push
it out to it's new home at sonic.net (since I've moved
from Noe Valley to Oakland, it's no longer hosted on a
machine in my apartment via Mike Durkin's Rawbandwidth).
(Don't you hate zine editorials?
Endless excuses for why the issue is late.)
Djerassi's "Cantors Dilemma" (1989), a novel essentially
about science as a trust network (but with a lot stuff
about sex tossed in to keep the rubes awake):
Speculating about a resurgence of amateur science, via internet
Pondering the degree of subversion of wikipedia on varioius
different types of articles:
Proceedures for conducting double-blind experiments with yourself
as the test subject:
Massive group art projects coordinated via internet:
A graduate student's eye view of the cold fusion dramatics:
Speculating about the source of confusion surrounding "Cold
5-fold symmetry in crystals was a "scientific impossibility" until
it was discovered experimentally:
The classic geometric definition of crystals, produced by translational
symmetry of a minimal unit cell:
Dogmatism vs. Anti-Dogmatism:
The vinyl/cd wars:
Movies/videos often need to be tightened up, I think:
Speculations about sourees of error in the standard measurements
of the human range of hearing:
Personal experience with the mp3 format acting as a high-filter:
Some stuff related to
"Proust was a
Neuroscientist" (2007) I scored a nice crisp trade paperback
by Jonah Lehrer. edition from 2008 for a buck in a thrift
store in New York, a nice find considering
I'd been meaning to read something by him.
Post-crash, here in the "great recession" I've heard it said there's a...
The American Right is looking like the old Soviets (yeah, I know: yawn):
What happens after the next wall comes down?
Neither Marx nor Smith? Some takes by Freeman Dyson and Kenneth McLeod:
Jean-Paul bouncing around on Marxism in "In Search of a Method":
Once again, evaluating ideas based on what they do:
The necessity of experts: Paul Krugman vs. Yves Smith:
The necessity of experts: Paul Goodman vs. the young
barbarians of the 60s:
The phrase "Search for a Method"; networks and human networks:
"The Last Ditch" by Saint-Pierre, a pamphlet in defense of
A note about Sartre "expressing sympathy" for anti-Israel terrorists:
A biographical note about Sartre's involvement in and break with
the French Communist party:
C.S. Peirce uses the word "habit" in an odd way to describe
almost anything that persists over time:
When C.S. Peirce talked of making ideas clear, he meant a clearing away:
(And remember, *you* have useless jargon, but *I*
have a rich language with subtle shades of meaning.)
Kadushin on social network theory (an academic subject dating
back to the late-60s at least, now being re-invented by
us ignorant hackers):
A fellow picking on that easy target, Ayn Rand,
and displaying quite a bit of tribal bias in
A John le Carre concept "walking back the cat",
using the enemy's actions to learn about them:
A 1950s historical novel, displaying a tendency toward
"prosaic explanations" that I suspect are just more myths:
Cautiousness with complex systems and identifiable
An autobiographical piece about moving out of our old apartment:
Using dubious sources for unusual purposes:
There's apparently some evidence that dead metaphor is not percieved as imagery:
We need history when we don't have understanding:
Trying to take "The Standalone Complex" seriously...
Complex, emergent phenomena in a networked world, apparently causeless:
Examining one of the great issues of the day: subs vs dubs.
The movie "Brick", a pastiche that didn't suck:
Tim Flannery's "The Eternal Frontier"; effects of connectivity
on geological time scales:
Everything leaks, everything is flawed... Wikipedia, The New York Times:
Does a software technology demand only average intelligence,
or extreme brillance?
Why not just try it? What are you afraid of?
A brief, modest proposal, the creation of a "trained
thinker" discipline separate from any particular body
I insist on real identities, but the point is to
guarantee "full disclosure", but how well would that
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, wikileaks-defector gives us the low down (with
low blows) on Julian Assange:
Daniel Domscheit-Berg gives us the pitch for his alternate to Wikileaks,
a new, more intelligently designed project which I suspect is doomed:
Some Daniel Domscheit-Berg quotes, in favor of openness in general:
A wikileaks criticism that I don't take as seriously as D, something
or other about how the staff at wikileaks has too much power/discretion:
The crazy founder syndrome:
My standard complaint about Creative Commons licenses: there are too
many of them (Allen Wrench Syndrome):
Playing with a new genre, "the DVD-R audio magazine" (the ultimate
"long play" record):
Example of the kind of thinking I put into a "set" of audio files
in a DVD-R audio magazine:
The long chain of odd circumstances that led me to mess around with DVD-Rs:
My lack of an mp3 player gadget (still!), an example of the failings
of modern consumer culture, from my point of view:
The self as a node in a network:
Continuity vs growth:
The New York Times reports internet shills for hire:
A directory: the low arts and the low critical apparatus
that's evolved around them:
Characters need distinguishing characteristics:
Dreyfus & Kelly's remarkable silly "All Things Shining"
(not a new release, but major re-writes):
Added a bunch of pages:
To spot references to Hollywood product, you need to know about
Hollywood product... I don't, and yet I do:
To study attitudes toward war, start with adventure fiction,
Dreyfus & Kelly's remarkable silly "All Things Shining":
A genre of books arguing against "overthinking":
"Getting psyched": direct control of emotion by intellect?
An old thought, now broken out in a node of it's own, the
power of the...
Quote about the difficulty of "facing the light":
Monbiot spots the internet shills:
Michael Specter's book "Denialism", a scientific fundamentalist
takes on modern irrationality:
"The Melancoly of Haruhi Suzimiya", and the strange state of
anime in general:
Listening to novels while half-asleep:
"The Flaming Jewell" by Robert W. Chambers (1922)
Kenneth Robeson, "The Fantastic Island" (1933):
The linguist Lakeoff and the tarnished reputation of his "frames":
The always problematic burden-of-proof:
Some Addendum to THE_HERETIC.
about properly adding up the environmental
costs and benefits of a course of action:
The book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway:
"The Beat Generation", and observation or an act of creation?
The key speech near the close of Gibson's "Neuromancer",
tear down the walls, change for change's sake, etc:
Buried underneath the stylish writing of "Neuromancer", a
romantic view of the soul:
The evolution of artificial organisms, "Darwin Among the
Machines" and Sturgeon's "Microcosmic God":
The differences between cultures as a source of energy:
Boyard's take from '48, the symbolic rebellion of the...
Links to what I've said about "pragmatism", and a brief
rundown of it's problems and virtues:
A somewhat redundant repetition of the above, but with added
name-dropping (de Beauvoir/Sartre, Peirce):
Peirce wielding irrational numbers as a club against Berkeley:
A primer on irrational numbers:
"Naked Lunch" as an honest book, albeit a corrupting one:
A set of directory nodes:
"Jesus Christ, Superstar" (why exactly? whatever):x
Talking about "The Left" in the third person:
A cribbed summary of human cognitive biases:
"The Monkees" and other successes of calculated fabrication:
The Sacher-Masoch novel, a success as a psychological novel
(unlike de Sade):
Agile Software development, what can be salvaged?
Examples of 60s SF extrapolating to a fashion for nudity:
The intellectual's contempt for fashion:
Making use of the biographies of the great:
The Sayer's novel, and the story as a vehicle for minutiae:
Some proposed exercises, concerning looking for wisdom in...
Between large scale human organizations, and
individual life, there's another subject I don't
touch much... sometimes called "project management".
Global warming media-manipulations:
Summary of Freeman Dyson's critique of the climate science establishment:
There's a defense of "genetically modified" food, afoot:
When opposites attract. Or when pairs of them do,
but only at one end:
Stefan Collini sneers at those *other* intellectuals who
keep writing about intellectuals:
Carefully attributing quotes-of-quotes in the clumsiest way
Charles Kadushin, who started in tracking intellectual elites
Quoting an old critique of Kadushin's old rankings (why is
the editor of the NYRB so far up there?):
There is actually no reason for this to have been pushed out
into public view, except that I felt the need for it as something
to link to. I already had some broken links looking for it,
so now it exists, though it's essentially redundant:
About "The Ghost in the Shell", in particular the "Stand Alone Complex
television series, with emphasis on interpreting the closing lyrics:
Charles S. Peirce was an admirable fellow, but does he still
speak to us?
Going through an odd Peirce essay "Man's Glassy Essence":
A very simple addtiton to SPORTS_LOGIC
(whose material I shuffled around a bit):
More on the great language wars, perl against the world:
One of my favorite idiot savants:
Making use of one's limitations:
Begginings of a thought about using what you are
shouldn't mean dictating to everyone to be like
The Ramones: not strictly a celebration of stupidity:
A reminder about early reactions to Patti Smith:
they weren't all glowingly positive:
The early stories of F. Scott F show a conviction that
our calendar age dictates our attitudes:
Raising the question of whether you can overcome the
Meditations on the original meanings of the word "punk":
A collection of Lester Bangs quotes about punkishness:
Lester Bangs and his influence (not entirely positive):
Punk history. A short list of first record releases by punk bands:
The problem of "The Runaways":
Paul Morrisey's take on Warhol in the days of the Factory:
A policy note on avoiding mentioning the names of those that
don't deserve promotion:
Using conspiracy theories as a
generator of hypotheticals in a I published this one by
program to use counter-factuals to accident when I was reaching
prove the nature of history. Or for NAMELESS_ASSASSINS... but
something like that. why was there any rush about
publishing that one?
A comment on the philosophic premise of the film
An introduction to things I hope you won't read:
Clipping a spiel from a mystery novel,
about melodrama vs. literature, where
rather than discuss the ideas I go off
on tangents... including complaints
about the esthetic problems of the
esthetic terminology deployed:
About a common piece of schtick in genre detective fiction:
Paul Morrissey on his movie "Flesh", and the peculiar set of esthetic
choices that underlie it:
A quote from Plato's Gorgias:
Some dubious musing on the motivations for creating art,
clipped from yet another mystery novel:
Starting a new (but not very) spiel about Nietzsche,
beginning with David B. Allison's book(s):
The old NIETZSCHE node has been renamed: WORDS_WITH_WHIPS
A wise man criticizes that dreadful innovation, the typewriter:
And here we have a long form and a short form of some quotes from
Well's "Outline" that I've always thought were fantastic, and I
can't believe I don't seem to have used them before. (I would
guess I couldn't make up my mind to use the long form or the
short... there comes a time to take the poet's choice):
A relatively minor critique of the modern DVD player:
On the design of policy for online discussion groups:
do you expect people to rise above insult, or do you
attempt to mandate politeness:
At long last, I weigh in on a teapot tempset about sexual humor
in a talk at a technical conference... (I fear there are
young geek women who haven't learned *why* the 70s feminists
First, the case (roughly) against the "feminist" side:
Second, the case (roughly) againt the Insensitive Males:
An aside about Telulah Bankhead vs Lillian Hellman:
I'm complaining about a group using broad generalities...
who am I talking about exactly?
The question of the absence of women in technical fields,
considered as a multiple-choice test:
Working over the wonky ideas of a resoundingly minor thinker:
The scene at the always reliable:
Kim Stanley Robinson on Science as a functional example of
utopian social organization:
Freeman Dyson on science as a conspiracy against ignorance:
About the Kim Stanley Robinson novel "Anatarctica":
The "Advanced Free Wanderers":
A bit from the KSR novel Antarctica that seems like it has wider
KSR, what "conservation of energy"?
The direction of time emerging out of complexity:
A quip about the uh, glacial, progress of science:
With the video age, we can all see what bad witnesses we are...
Tastes in solitary games:
Freeman Dyson's recent writings about Dirac -- mathematical
elegance as truth and philosophical agnotiscism about quantum
A simple, playable form of 3D tic-tac-toe:
Extending that to 4 dimensions:
James Blish's "The Quincunx of Time" aka "Beep".
Psychological reactions to pre-destination.
"Existentialism", the possibility, perhaps the necessity of
making choices that transform the self:
Freedom as something experienced, not a condition that can
be proved or disproved:
Murray Gell-man's take on "elegance", essentially another name
Some cases where being able to think two (apparently)
contradictory things is an perhaps an advantage:
Carefully going through one of Posner's attacks on Krugman,
Posner abuses the difficulty of tracing references:
Arguably, on-line booksellers, better than big boxes?
Filing away a Posner dig at some Krugman economic predictions
from 1990 or so. I haven't checked the original yet myself.
Orwell on the decline of morality evidenced in crime fiction.
About Chesterton's criticism of the pragmatists:
Menand's discussion of Charles S. Peirce displays a lack
of sympathy, and perhaps of understanding:
Dissing a silly TV show (yawn):
Flashlights into the unknown.
An insight into a pattern: the sequel to
space fiction often becomes...
Moved an old bit here elsewhere... a theory about later text
books in a subject invariably being worse:
Another response to "Last Intellectuals", an object about
academia being in decline:
Those Last Intellectuals pirouette and milk their endless...
Once again, instead of worrying about an intellectual's precise
beliefs, it's better to sketch out the field of possible beliefs:
Cartoon versions of the great "The Last Intellectuals" debate:
On the available components of social mechanisms:
Back to the need for a better web:
Stock of "rising stupidity" is low:
The genre of (Biased) Intellectual History:
On Menand's "The Metaphysical Club":
Susan Haack against Menand's "vulgar Rortyism":
Cosma Shalizi cheapshot against Rorty:
Problematic intellectuals, in particular Richard Posner:
The stupid-crazy-evil triangle:
Speculating on ways of measuring an intellectuals influence:
Posner and Dershowitz: just a coincidence?
Posner, Gould and Murrays' "Bell Curve"
Defending Krugman from Posner's unfounded accusation that he
indulges in unfounded accusations... among other things.
The Dvorak myth (or myth-myth?) and Krugman's use of the QWERTY example...
The Dvorak question... needs more research, I think:
Posner whaffles on torture:
The idiotic ticking-time-bomb scenario:
Giving up on "The New York Times":
Andrew Cockburn's complaints about the forgotten enablers of the Iraq war:
The New York Times doing blatant rah, rah reporting on the war in
Iraq, from a front page in 2003:
An example of some weird pro-Bush headline spin from the print
edition (and only the print edition) of the Times:
A front page NYT times story, remarkable because it wasn't:
What is so absurd about the idea that the NYT is a...
Guru Lew and the Four Maniacs! (Note: not a rock band):
Keeping your spirits up in the face of a blunder:
Platitudes, over-digested ideas, which aren't necessarily wrong:
The daring hero vs. the dread necessity to plan:
Merlin Mann's advice on "creative" work, very limited, and domain specific:
Dale Carnegie, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" (1936)
Beth Lisick, "Helping me Help Myself"
Two styles of Being Superior:
Sensible beliefs and sensible actions are often disconnected:
In praise of *some* Christians:
The secular humanist paranoia about Christians:
The people who voted for Bush in 2004 didn't know what they were voting for:
Hornblower/Forrester the saint of poor self-esteem:
Responsibility and "madness":
Dawkins on the built-in urge to help others, vs. the need to avoid
getting taken by human parasites:
Christians "walking the walk", and trying to deal with the dregs
of humanity (a side note about a skate bowl as a brilliant
"anchor" to revitalize a park):
Aaron Cometbus, the Telegraph Avenue scene, and a display of punk
The state of SF's "Day of the Dead", some problems with the idea
of ethnic authenticity:
Reactions to SF's Chinatown, once again problems with "ethnic authenticity":
Steve Yegge vs Larry Wall vs those Other Languages:
A write up of my reaction to reading Lao Tzu as a teenager:
The New York Times did a grossly incompetent job of covering the
2003 blackout in New York:
Scavenging some pieces begun long ago and left lying around...
A tiny little bit, a reminder to myself
to make use of my core conceit:
An overview of book and movie versions of "Absolute Beginners":
James Blish, author and critic of science fiction:
Puzzling over a "New Pornographers" song:
Continuing my blundering around through the history of genre fiction:
reading an E. Phillips Oppenheim novel:
A bit about the embrace of expansionism (from the above novel):
A guess about the Meaning of WWI (that it has none):
Some quotations from Goethe's "Theory of Color":
A (facetious?) suggestion about putting over a philosophy of programming
with a forced athletic analogy:
Failures of nerve in the web game
But then, the software world has seen some cases of excessive ambition...
An expanded discussion of one of Wikipedia's failure of nerve:
About fiction vs. non-fiction:
A long series about "masculinity", going over some claims
about the virtues of fictional violence, some discussion of
violent behavior among school children, and so on...
Re-wrote and expanded:
Bohemia in life and art...
SEEKING as in, "Desperately--"
A few fan write-ups:
The one and (one hopes?) only Bill Weinberg:
A first brush with the Greil Marcus book "Lipstick Traces" all about
the punk-dada connection, and perhaps one of the stupidiest works
ever generated by the pomo-eighties:
Jamming about the game of tracing influences, thinking broadly about
patterns in cultural change (e.g. cycles between apollo/dionysisus):
John Cage's take on the purpose of music "To sober and quiet the mind"
The evolutionary character of art may explain the mystery of "the muses"
speaking through the mediocre:
Fashion of the 1910s and 1920s, a rejection of decoration
that starts as asceticism and turns into elegance:
Tensions between activists and artists (with John Reed's musings
as an example):
A very small point about hipster neoteny:
A very inadequate piece about the moments when you know
you've crossed over into the underground:
The downtown could move uptown more easily once upon a time:
Discussing the poetry of the Moderns of the Greenwich VIllage of the 1910s:
About Edna St. Vincent Millay ("Renascene", etc):
Who she was sleeping with (and people's attitudes toward it)...
Some quotes by and about Duchamp:
(a) irony = "chance at another vista"
(b) artistic sensibility vs "the memory boys" in chess:
Duchamp: art != truth; onlooker as important as artist:
A review of a quick, cheap production of a Modesty Blaise movie
(produced so the Tarrention empire wouldn't lose its option),
that works well, presumably because it was quick and cheap:
You can't define "hipster" without using a negative definition.
A quote, defining the bohemian, circa 1960:
What are we after? (Some answers):
The scene at The Samovar in Greenwich Village, 1910s:
On atmosphere (1917, Anna Alice Chapin):
Chapin in 1917, writing about the Greenwich Village love of play-acting
A review, a broad outline of Greenwich Village transformations:
The war on Labor, in 1913, New Jersey:
Our freak predecessors at play, in 1917:
Attitudes toward collective madness: duck the inevitable, or fight to the end:
I theorize Reed's experience with WWI propaganda primed him to
reject later stories as "just propaganda":
Emma Goldman giving up on the Russian Revolution (so what was Reed's excuse?):
Reed cautions about "an astounding jumble of rumours":
The emdash: your key to sloppy, spontaneous writing
Chesterton quotes, touching on authenticity:
The people who claim to be...
Small survey of me abusing a metaphor:
A number of things related to
"Men of Tomorrow" (2004) by Gerard Jones
"Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book":
A quote about some of the strange interplay of idealism
On dealing with people, and cutting deals:
The Frank R. Paul cover of the August 1928 issue of _Amazing Stories_:
Siegel-Shuster, Superman and...
Stan Lee vs. Jack Kirby, who was...
The jokey quality to Siegel's thinking:
Independant convergence on men in...
The symbolic significance of nudity in pre-WWII America:
Coy nudity interjected in the Skylark:
The master of turn-of-the-century "Physical Culture":
Gernsback, master of radio, visionary of television:
The shady details of distribution, and some odd connections to
Some nit-picking (?) about "Men of Tomorrow":
Hearst used the narcotics craze to kill the hemp industy, or so
is claimed by Mike Gray (aka the author of "The China Syndrome" script):
Another case where Gerard Jones passes on a neat story with
Jones also shows a not unusual tendency to oversimplify
predecessors in preference to his main subject;
Getting the "proportions" right in political criticism,
describing a crime accurately without hitting the "crazy
extremist" filter is a tricky business:
The way is hard... therefore it can't be right?
A name for a self-constricting process:
The scientist as drunk holding a lamppost:
Some classic purple prose from Alan Moore:
Moore's "Miracleman" (aka "Marvel Man") and the songs that sing
you to sleep:
Moving some material from FAITH_CYCLE to it's own page:
Some material spun off from a recent discussion on alt.gothic,
with some additional material about creativity in the realm
of comic books (including some material about the Wylie novel
Gladiator, from memory -- but confirmed via web searches):
Talking about G.K. Chesterson's "Father Brown" stories again,
with emphasis on their Christian propaganda aspects:
Tales of force vs. tales of intelligence:
Out of the phone booth, endlessly oscillating:
The deceptive character motif, what kind of deceptions?
John Drake vs. Smiley, the too-perfect hero considered as a flaw:
Given two elements, alternation is the simplest structure:
Another one in a series arguing against a thought that
few want to express out loud: we are not involved in
a war against Islam.
A summary of Delany's tale about hob-nobbing with Umberto Eco.
About (against?) "networking":
(This was published before, I'm just extracting it into
it's own page for easy of linking.)
"Make every song your favorite song":
A bunch of old minor things I wrote some time ago, and actually
had links to, but never got around to publishing. On occasion,
I do check my error logs, though...
People care about having the latest gadgets, but don't
appear to care what they are:
Burning Man vs. The Long Now:
Beth Lisick's "Everybody into the Pool" (originally
part of NAUGHT_SEVEN):
The Bookchin/Foreman debate, where "opposing" sides met politely:
A note about smurph:
A craze in the 1920s amongst the elite:
About the faith of Father Brown, and G.K. Chesterton,
and his continuous delicate and yet heavy-handed
assaults on those without the faith:
Digging into a Chestertonian who appears to think
it's a sensible idea to get back to "common sense"
by all converting to Catholicism:
Reactions to Holmes, Chesterton's Brown and beyond:
An incomplete page, with some possibly odd links:
"Offering *practical* reasons to support religious
belief would seem to indicate that you have
Dave Egger's "826 Valencia" store, a fine example of the high-and-low strategy:
A suspicion that the meaning of "Beat" evolved amongst the "Beat Generation"
An old note explaining the joys of night clubs to a neo-goth:
Out-of-control hipsters keeping it under control,
while the straights on the street are losing it:
Write first, read later. Maybe:
Taking your time helps keep you from being trendy:
Does it matter if "it's been done"?
An old "hero" accumulates some criticism from me:
Since we can't know the future, we can't speak about the future?
The mixture of metaphor and meaning:
Death to the car metaphor:
Strange dream about dealing with maniacal passion from another:
Simile, metaphor, analogy...
UI design obsessed with metaphor, for a time:
Comparing fields, importing ideas from one to another:
Jane Jacobs, using organisms breathing as an example of a feedback system,
and comparing that to the way national currencies work:
Traces left of a re-write in a Shadow novel:
"The Embassy Murders" leading up to a classic surreal image:
"We are alike you and I":
The Thackery "novel without a hero":
"Below Suspicion", a John Dickson Carr novel that shows some unusual sympathy...
"The Skylark of Space" by E.E.Smith. Gimme that old time space opera...
except that upon re-reading, it strikes me that there's a central
theme about being able to trust the good guys to be good, while the bad
guys always must worry:
And here in that "old time space opera", I find buried a bit of political
commentary about US steel:
And an objection to the way the "free market" messes with the cost of platinum:
The Skylark, a story self-conscious about the fact that it's a story?
Speculations on the source of the pulp idea that The Orient
is the source of mystical knowledge. (Maybe Roerich?)
Nicolas Roerich, artist, peace activist, mystic -- genius or con-artist?
How *did* Kerouac get into Buddhism? At a guess, the Shadow pointed eastward.
About the (unfortunately) minor critic S.T. Joshi, the sort of
intellect the low arts must unfortunately often make-do with:
A few Walt Whitman lines:
The strange appeal of dictators, in this case the "Great" Napoleon:
Samuel R. Delany's "Triton", aka "Trouble on Triton":
The modern sensibility:
The homey, familiar appeals of:
(On TMI and nuclear safety).
The "Bright Gray" Mr. Inbetween identity:
Occam's Razor and Conspiracy:
And extraordinary proof:
"Highland Hawk" by Leslie Turner White.
Rafael Sabatini - "Captain Blood" (1922):
The editor's slushpile, and the phenomena of everyone having the
same "clever" idea at once:
An act of genius from a non-genius:
The deservedly forgotten, but once successful:
The metaphoric "wild card":
A big cluster of nodes related to
Nassim Nicolas Taleb and his book
"The Black Swan":
Ways to indicate imprecision:
Darenzia, selling out, losing her edges:
The phenomena of "selling-out":
The problem of re-branding on the web:
"Burning Man" wakes a sleeper:
Obscure joke suggesting a contradiction in Chomsky's ideas about
linguistics and his political attitudes:
Chomsky, the level-headed extremist:
A virtue of hypocrisy:
Psychological-types and associated philosophies:
The craving for adventure and action:
The "many truths" canardoid:
Bertrand Russel's objections to pragmatism:
How to live without principle? (Are there principles for doing that?)
Long term vs short term concerns, the instability of merely provisional
alliances, a need for over-arching shared goals.
Uncritical adoption of an intellectual vocabulary:
(1) "method", (2) "orientalism"
First impressions of Edward Said's book "Orientalism": generally it has
a bad odor of pompous, pomo nonsense, but one does not want to be led
astray by it's rabid conservative critics, either:
We use a more complicated model of the world that just
east vs. west, right?
The fear that close observation can negatively effect the thing observed:
Low-grade racial drama on the 22 Fillmore bus:
San Francisco's Fillmore district, the comforting charms of
A quote from Sabatini's "Captain Blood" (1922) making an
obvious point about wrongful imprisonment:
The old Silver Bullet cliche:
The utopia = boring meme, suspect? Variants of the idea of the ideal:
Giving Arne Naess' "Deep Ecology" manifesto the once-over:
Principles supported by:
A long one, using "deep ecology" as an example of a doctrine that
is wrong in some sense, and yet often gets the right answers,
which calls into question what I mean by "wrong":
Gary Snyder's notion of...
Humans and animals and a wildness possessed by language that is...
The radicals fondness for extremes:
The bland, dull necessity of "moderation", and the possiblity of
Should "the developing world" be fenced-off to prevent development?
(( TODO associate with prime directive ))
Against the idea of "one world power":
(( TODO associate with dyson etc defense dominated world ))
Imperialism thrives on the idea of the sub-human:
The oddly personal evaluation of thinkers independant of whether
Dave Foreman and Linda Davidoff play out the old debate about
working inside or outside the system:
Murray Bookchin's vision of "green cities":
Philosophy hater's and the necessity of philosophy:
A favorite Bertrand Russell quote about the need to withhold
judgement in the absence of evidence:
Simple stories often work very well (despite myself, despite
what we're told):
An almost certainly bogus understanding of "the death of the pulps":
The batteries that adventure fiction recharges are apparently not
installed in everyone:
(( note includes a remark about John Drake being too good: redundant? ))
A strange cultural hub in 1950s New York:
A round up of criticism and counter-criticism of "Burning Man":
The demand for perfection, plus inevitable loop holes:
Volunteer organizations develop defenses to any criticism:
Trying to do an intelligent job of questioning Burning Man:
Ravers want funding for their "sound art", I want to see them get
it past some
Anarchy zones for people with a sense of responsibility:
The extreme response of many first timers at Burning Man:
Become a BM outfitter?
Some high-flown rhetoric is taken more seriously:
A related subject, the accusation of self-destructive behavior
("circular firing squad") to counter any internal criticism:
Mediations on how the "thinkable" reflects what ever it is your
friends are doing just now:
Frequent repetition cheapens an argument, and then puts it over
(after it's too late)?
Don't mind me, just free associating.
About Anne Radcliff's "Mysteries of Udolpho" (1794):
Maxwell Grant nods:
I got the feeling some friends of mine needed
some hints in this direction...
Burning Man 2007 (don't be thrown by the babbling about Gary Snyder at
the outset... I decided to lead with what I was thinking about
instead of what happened):
My (very) little project for this year's "Burning Man":
Gary Snyder's "A Place in Space", my pick this year for
book-to-read-at-burning-man (yes, I'm the life of the party):
A hint that the writers working on this
mediocre movie understood that there are
some details missing from the Joan Vollmer
And there were a few more short pieces (added back on 07/29/07)
about my Joan Vollmer researches:
Anti-war demonstration in SF from back in 2003:
A directory page, linking the following three items:
"Corporate Media Lies!"; "My god. What do you people believe?!"
A lobbyist upset at the notion of Washington "corruption":
Who do you identify with? That's who's rights you defend:
A notion that there are unspoken arguments that need to be addressed:
For example, the idea that the Gulf War is about providing the US
with a supply of cheap oil:
Suburbia is the enemy of "community":
Sketching a path to a future with energy problems solved:
A 70s idea I've always liked: solar power satellites:
A brief mention of a common problem that we have:
Sketching out the case against racism:
Daniel Lazare contra Vegerarianism:
The obvious connection between vegetarianism and tea-totalling:
both are about avoiding things known to be bad for you:
Cafe Gratitude considered as an example of insane beliefs as a
motivation for doing good, creative work:
Abortion debate, definitions of humanity:
The "helpless" deserve protection:
Drawing arbitrary, but crucial distintions:
Minor squib about what I mean by "humanity" (probably
this needs to be expanded some time):
More interesting squib about the problem with
Chris Cutler: "the market is not a simple measure of
what a community of people wants":
Socialized aka Universal Health Care, my changes in attitudes:
A (minor?) objection to Michael Moore:
So why isn't "The Market" working better?
Bob Black and the distinctions between work and play:
A brief summary of ethnographic evidence cited by Bob Black
(this one isn't very interesting as it stands, I must say):
A continual pattern: lefties beating each other up (because
it's too dangerous to hit anyone else?):
On quoting unreliable characters...
My changing attitude toward Bob Black: from superficial appeal
to deep revulsion:
Digging into the minutia of one of Bob Black's many low points:
A small collection of Bob Black quips:
I.e. San Francisco and New York, which would not be legal to build
in any place with "modern" zoning regulations:
The perception of different elements ("objects") in music:
Many faces of Buddha:
A note that Cage compositions need sympathetic performers,
despite what Cage may have thought about it:
Toward a set of esthetic rules:
Writing up the Patti Smith show at CBGB's Second Avenue
(New Year's Eve, at the close of 1977):
The "what was your 'first concert' ?" game:
David Bowie live, on the "Low" tour, 1977:
"Hot Tuna", live at the Suffolk Forum on Long Island:
Out of the mouths of anthropologists: Ziggy Stardust.
Three items about names:
Not terribly new remarks about "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen",
moved here from NAUGHT_ZERO:
Quote from an A. E. van Vogt novel, about beauty as the
Lawrence Lessig takes on "corruption":
Going into CNN shock (I lead a sheltered life):
Ideas that do the opposite of what they were intended to do:
An optimistic hope for widespread American cyncism:
Thorne Smith's "The Night-Life of the Gods":
Maybe this is just a detail, but it's one I care about:
the WTC was actually a bunch of really awful buildings:
Fragments toward some experiments in inter-tribe communication:
Giving up on the Economist's "shenanigans":
The notion that conspiracy theories become less plausible as
they require larger numbers to be in on it:
Group think makes it difficult to hold on to a minority POV:
The rigged election of 2004:
United in our right to a diversity of states of denial:
"Tips for terrorists" are perhaps in bad taste, and yet...
Problems with the notion of "racial profiling":
The appeal of spontaniety to the un-:
A recent issue of "The Wire" magazine ("underground" music
of various stripes, definitely not including the white):
When it gets too easy to burrow down into the underground, then what?
A few odd locations in the United States I've never heard of:
Capsule reviews of music, quoted from "The Wire" in abbreivated form:
John Cage versus improvisation:
On the appeal of "spontaniety" to the over-intellectualized:
Social networking sites think of themselves as toys, and
hence will inevitably become played with, by well-funded
attempts at subversion:
"Have faith" as a learning strategy:
The difficulties with "considering the source":
The "Plat_Forms" contest: an actual attempt at getting real data
on the efficacy of different programming languages:
Quote from a Patti Smith poem...
The short life expectency of POCs cast as second-banana heroes:
Making a random selection of three entries from Paul Goodman's "Five Years":
Two barriers: "having nothing in common" and "being too close to the problem":
About "Macross 7": a case where popular art can be "difficult" art...
I got a million of them:
About Dave Eggers "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius":
A directory page, about:
"jargon, definition, paradox, neologism...
problems with words as mental tools."
An 80s fad for castles made of jargon:
A grand treatise in-progress on the nature of
"religious wars" in the nominally "technical"
world of software:
A case in point, where some connectivity is good, but too
much would probably have been bad:
Gene Simmons vs. Terry Gross:
Noting that "neo" is derisive:
Colin MacInnes on Jazz:
On the lifestyle of Homer Evans:
Another trip to New York around the beginning of the year,
and various related thoughts:
Being in New York city, 2007:
Being in New York, 2003:
Differences between New York and San Francisco, in particular in arts scenes:
Differences between New York and New York:
Improvised music in New York:
... and in the Bay Area:
The New Years poetry marathon, again:
A few of the poets
Being out on "The Island":
Cities vs. 'Burbs:
Musing on the utility of gender pronouns and what other tricks
like that might exist:
Brief thought about the death obsession of Tibetan art:
Conmtinuing with a possibly silly business... creating handles/nicknames
for the various members of friends and family I feel like talking about
A defense of Dave Eggers against the neopunks:
What does it mean when I think someone
Yes, at long last it's the doomfiles handbook of style. You can rest easy now:
Reflections upon Burning Man 2006:
The great RV debate:
The Flaming Lotus Girls piece:
Does it makes sense to worry about how much it makes sense?
Some people think about what-it-all-means:
Burning man policies on advertising and such:
Sound and meaning, explication and inference:
Explaining what a "doublet" is (fluid flow):
Squib about "The Wire", the British music magazine:
The Mona Caron/Chris Carlsson future:
Elements of formal poetry (rhyme, rhythm) depend on region accents:
To a large extent, this batch of stuff is just "infill",
I'm adding some (unfortunately, minor) pieces to try to
smooth over some (percieved) rough spots in the "browse
sequence"... which has undergone a lot of re-arrangement of late:
Quotes from David Byrne about the CBGBs days:
A quote of an old Paul Goodman proposal for a car-free Manhattan:
The word "anathema", an example of a definition doing a near
complete flip from it's original meaning:
A "directory node" of sorts, classifying a number of my
other writings according to the "snobbery"/"reverse snobbery"
In outline, the "writing pulp" game:
Franco Moretti's "Distant Reading":
Mention of Heinlein's theory that there's a connection between
poor health and becoming a writer:
Writeup of my reaction to the play "King Lear" (not very
An outline for a projected work "How-To Think":
Quoting the eight principles of the "Eight Track Mind":
Writer's are the last people you can expect to speak
truth to editors:
Editor's reserve the right to stick writer's work
with whatever title they feel might sell:
My '07 reading list, in progress:
About the novel "Moonraker":
I've got my tools working that let's me swap chunks
of doomfiles nodes around in the browse sequence...
so I've been doing a lot of rearrangement of where
the "NEXT" links go.
As far as new material goes, the new stuff isn't so new:
A quick list of "recommended" picks:
The full introduction I wrote to "The Beat Generation",
including the point that Kerouac was originally being
awfully loopy when he claimed that a "beat generation"
And related to that, we have a bunch of relatively
redundant, whiney material that no doubt sounds even
more egocentric than usual: a wikipedia flaw the "no
original research" requires that you report
consensus wisdom even if you know it's wrong:
And all this is just some still older material, split
out into it's own pages:
A ranking system without too many ranks.
The question: "Did you get anything out of it?"
Filling in an explanation of another handle:
Writing down a few of my old raps...
Attitudes toward characters in "Gone With the Wind";
The puzzling reputation of "Alan Alda" as a male feminist.
Pre-Rand "Objectivism" in a 1939 episode of "The Shadow":
Minor note about ghost writers who've used the "Ellery Queen" label:
Various musing about pornography, and people's reactions to pornography:
Some small bits about words in Carr novels:
Opon reading the Sept. 1952 issue of "FUTURE":
The importance of "flow" in language (you can't reduce a
text to bits without losing the text):
Doom Research: trying to find the source of the phrase
"The Voice of Doom":
Patti Smith's latest written poetry:
Problems with the "personal odyssey" angle in writing:
My personal political odyssey:
The original wedge between me and the left: nuclear power:
Sontag's post 9/11 remark about "cowardice" and the strange reactions:
Voting seems quixotic, particularly when you're off on the edges anyway:
Techniques for arguing from ignorance:
being morbid vs a sense of meaning
Conquest by not conquering:
About the journalist Robert Fisk, his book about Lebanon, "Pity the Nation",
and his ill-treatment at the hands of right-wing "bloggers":
Amy Goodman at the San Francisco Green Festival: on the
importance of the victim's point of view:
But "Democracy Now" isn't perfect... for example, it was
light on election fraud issues:
New rights, new lefts, and us left behind somewhere:
Argh. More beatnik poetry. Did I mean to publish this?
A brief discussion of usenet:
Some disputes among new left and old:
Some bitching about the mainstream media again
((maybe these should be stuck together into one page)):
The light dawns that one of our allies has been acting evil (a surprise,
I know). At long last I take a definite side on Israel-vs-the-Mideast:
Paul Krugman and smear campaigns.
Also, the rich-getting-richer theme.
Problems with neutrality:
About the slaughter of innocents:
Some more platitudes about how it isn't as bad as it seems:
Assasination okay? Musing on the meaning of the means...
Tracking my political "progress":
Pondering the need to understand the motives of the "great",
and speculation about the True Character of Bush Jr.
Poorly named node about talking to the wall. I mean, the people.
Irresponsible speculation about hired-guns infesting the discussion
groups of the internet:
On talking to the jailers:
Difficulties of deception:
So, which is it? Don't bother worrying about motives, or not?
Difficulties with maintaining integrity during political
Another wikipedia failure scenario, the trouble with consensus:
No "mandate" for the right:
And admission that I'm probably wasting my time (and yours --
but that's your problem) with this political stuff:
About fraud in the 2004 US election (beginning with a
book review of the Freeman & Bleifuss book):
But not even I buy into *every* conspiracy theory out there,
a case in point:
On the subject of being slow:
Pulp as the first mover:
The obvious problems with an over-worked, under-defined term:
Musing upon the practice of what the "bloggers" have been calling
War as PR:
09/23/06 - 09/28/06
The theory and practice of Agent Provocateurs:
Making a few (now obvious) points about "Competitive Advantage":
John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee and Me:
The fifty book challenge ("can you read 50 in a year") and some
About Richard Kostelanetz, and the problem of "cronyism":
Paul Goodman's magnum opus, "The Empire City":
At long last, wrote up the tale of Stuart Reges,
fired from Stanford for going up against the
"War on Drugs":
Another quote from Don Quixote:
A brief complaint about T.H. White's "Once and Future King":
Some speculation about the evolution of the Emma Peel
character from Catherine Gayle... and associates:
The Shadow of the novels was originally supposed to
also be the guy who narrates the radio show:
Making fun of the myth of High Art again:
Speculations on what might be the right way to
handle a cliche. "The Temptation of Luke":
Some additional pages on Jane Jacobs and
(distantly) related things:
Added a long over due tribute to Jane Jacobs (who died a few months
ago), and some stuff about traffic patterns in Bali and what this
says about human nature...
What does the blogging habit do to bloggers lives?
One of my many mildly deranged teenage schemes, reforming my life
by writing a mystery novel:
Shifting attitudes toward the fiction best seller list:
Talking about the Christopher Fry play, "The Ladies Not for Burning":
A little bit of stuff about scene-ology, with emphasis on
beatniks, and also on the expat artist scene in Bali in
Talking about mutations in comics and mutating comics...
Some things I started writing awhile back on hybrids of
western and world music, and the odd prejudice against them:
06/18/06 and 06/28/06
Firming up a little about what I know about what is
known about the ellusive Shadow:
More about being a college radio DJ, this time with emphasis
on the problem of doing live mixes of multiple sound sources.
Ibsenism, it's the latest craze:
Patti Smith on the subject of civic responsibility:
The problems with trying to fuse
the sciences and the humanities:
Returning to "War and Peace", and it's evident theme of
"flawed genius", perhaps somewhat contradicted by Tolstoy's
display of it...
A resolution to read more junky schlock rock biographies:
American Literature sucks, a case in point, "Huckleberry Finn",
and a minor remark about finishing books just so you can complain.
An old insight about insider hipster sabotage producing bad
government/corporate art, prefaced by a note about odd sexual
references in the titles of old pulp fiction...
Some basic material about James Blish's
Big block of minor stuff (that took forever to write none-the-less).
Bit of free-associating here -- which I don't do nearly enough of
these days, but still maybe it makes the non-linearity of it all
a bit too non...
Mystery novel author takes on Russian novelists!
Tolstoy strikes back.
Small bit of Carr's rumbling, this time about Ibsen, of which
I hope to have more to say in the future:
Slight (?) bit about how both the left and right seems to have
it in for "intellectuals" (at least on some occasions):
Trying to punch through an obvious thought or two, about punching
through the stone cold trail into the minds of idelogues (or something):
Odd little nostalgia piece, putting together bits I remember from
50s/60s television, attacking those damn intellectuals:
Once upon a time, the boobs felt self-conscious about it:
Trying to answer the question about War and Peace from WEAK_REEDS
Free associating (?) possible misogyny in War and Peace:
And the tale of Cerebus, and Dave Sims infamous descent into misogyny:
Sexism at Stanford, circa 1995:
Following the trail from STONE_COLD
Working from memory, trying to come up with attacks on
modern art in the movies. Companion piece to WEAK_REEDS
Carr's anti-intellectual intellectualism reminds me a bit
Really, these are some older pieces, extracted from GAIMAN
An example of the way serial fiction can become an all-consuming
passion (it's a good thing I don't do soaps, eh?):
Serial publication, prevalent in the history of high art as well
Writing a bit about the way that attitudes toward sexaul practices
change... It'll be interesting to see if this one climbs higher
in my weblogs than ACCIDENT
Around and around with transgression and puritanism:
Patterns of anti-sex polemics:
The nature of humanity, again:
Musing on the dorkiness of "The Lifestyle":
George Sand, trying to argue Flaubert out of his famous schtick:
Another Flaubert quote, on the sins of the romantics:
Back to punk and related subjects...
Some quotations from the eminiently quotable:
Problems with "punk=stupid":
At home with (one of) my tribe(s):
Intellectual puzzles considered as...
Typing up some of my file of Algis Budrys quotations:
This stuff isn't really new... mostly I'm just
rearranging the material that was shoe horned
into the one node HEINLEIN:
I stuck in some links to this a long time ago, it's
about time I pushed something out to fill the spot:
Some basic philosophy on the layout of tracks on a CD:
Back to the Shadow again:
A crazy attitude in older pulp fiction, and in modern politics:
A lecture on doing well with style:
A history of "The Saint", pondering the appeal, pondering what
is even there to have an appeal:
Silly bit about using words by feel without knowing dictionary definitions:
A list of ghost-writers, a piece that doesn't quite gel:
The first novel written by Charteris:
The first Charteris Saint story:
A series of pages about Arturo Perez-Reverte's "Club Dumas",
first considered as an example of a sub-genre, unusually
prominent in recent years:
From "Club Dumas", a "selfish gene"-style theory of books:
No more "innocent readers", eh?
Once again, a strange counter-factual lament (and a rant about
Fictional characters with a life of their own, e.g. Holmes:
A quotation of Stendhal by Perez-Reverte, about books one might
That Dan Brown book:
Ambivalence about royalty:
Comparing translations without knowing the original:
The omniscient narrator an obvious cheat:
Moliere's rather mild attack on religious hypocrisy:
Some Ed Sanders inspirational advice:
Have some respect for "low art":
Take high art low and low art high:
More material about Bond/Fleming, upon reading the
biography by Pearson:
Predicting fashions in mutable flesh...
About Don Quixote...
Added more beat research data:
Because I'm still: LOOKING_FOR_JOAN_VOLLMER
A 1992 review of a bad, self-conscious attempt at a cult movie.
Nerd meets wild babe, redux:
Unreliability of memory:
Dumas' "Count of Monte Christo", a book of many problems:
An intellectual maneuver you might call "the honest strawman":
addressing simplified/purified forms of your opponents position:
Ian Fleming studies is not a pretty business:
About the oddly fascinating though definitely flawed Russell
Jacoby book, arguing that a generation of intellectuals
have been lost to the academic world:
Identifying an absence:
An afternoon at the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco's Japantown:
The Walt Whitman Shopping Center in Huntington Station, New York:
A little bit about Gruen, the original architect of the shopping mall:
A brief listing of facts (hopefully not mere "facts") that I
think are "underknown". This was intended to be read on the
radio, which is one excuse for it's terseness. It's essentially
incomplete (at a minimum, it needs links to supporting information):
Miscellanious dreams, and the favorite word "elide" and a made-up
term, "anastructing" (creating to formula):
At long last, I'm beginning to talk about some of Paul
Graham's essays... the topic at hand being essays
Problems that I had with some high school assignments:
Some (not terribly new) thoughts on tactics for activists:
Cheap suspense in cheap thrillers:
Reader? Viewer? A difficulty in talking about stories
without specifying the medium:
My point-of-view concerning the point-of-view of narration:
Some "quick" notes on Delany's "1984", leading into some
thoughts on visions of human nature.
Which reminded me about Tolstoy's "War and Peace" which prompted
me to add a little about it...
Much of what I did add is all just quotation, though:
An aside about my problematic problems with Delany's Neveryon series:
A little history of the role of some magazines (particularly
pulps) with some emphasis on the Shadow:
A quick sketch of the problem of receiving technological gifts
that have problems...
H. Rider Haggard "King Solomon's Mines":
Ross MacDonald, successor to Chandler:
The cost in human life of power generation is all but ignored in our
Music, context, meaning --
Some babbling about the way I read stuff these days:
Edging toward yet another musical metaphor for social organization...
Talking about a recent (cf. only 5 years old) Bond flick:
Working with what you've got, even if it's trash...
Pulp fiction as a literature of evolutionary development:
Tedious personal detail:
An Algis Budrys quote. I've got a million of 'em:
An odd epitaph:
Trying to record my take on Delany's always
Working my way through Susan Sontag's "On Camp":
Ayn Rand's slightly different view of the campers:
A few related pieces:
Tricks of memory and muscle memory and attitudes toward tales of
your own stupidity:
War game strategies, the drive toward moderation, my
determination to find extremes:
Various sorts of inversions, "pendulum swings":
A brief discussion of
The dangers of wearing
Some more on the skiffy related stuff I started writing
A little bit of stuff about markets & madness & governments &
libertarian success and failure...
(Let us tarry while I wonder leak and leery from many
a furious brawl of forgotten ore).
Broke out pieces of BATESON
as separate nodes:
Added a few notes about Theodore Sturgeon's obessions,
notably the hive-mind notion:
Some notes about James Bond (largely the Ian Fleming
version, though not entirely):
Conan Doyle's "The White Company". Chivalry considered as a
an achievable ideal for a world without much practical hope:
A small hole in Rebecca Solnit's otherwise impressive defense
of optimistic philosphy of engagement:
The rules of fiction, i.e. the problem of coincidences:
Modesty Blaise, the comic strip and the prose works:
Blood-thirstyness as a realism criteria:
The movie pulp fiction (among others), and the fatal attraction
of twisted villians:
"The Emperor's New Mind" by Roger Penrose, a flawed argument
perhaps, but a flawless book of remarkable intellectual
A listing of books at the core of my world view (or
close to it), and a common thread among many of them...
the "two cultures" cross-over:
And a list of the also-rans:
And one that comes no where near making either list...
E.O. Wilson's "Consilience", a slippery book of questionably
honesty, in my opinion:
Wilson, argues for what sounds an awful lot to me like
Jungian archetypes, in particular for the sign of the snake:
Some clarification (?) is Wilson arguing for an understanding
that goes from the grand abstractions down to the atomic
level, or is he satisfied with evolutionary principles that
arise higher up than that?
Some notes on Science as a social process:
The nature-nurture debate, and it's near irrelvance:
Brief run-down of the old "Two Cultures" distinction,
and the probably useless changes it produced in the
About C.P.Snow's truly excellent novels, well worth
reading if one can stay awake through them:
The general futility of educational reform:
When standardized tests lead to standardized education
(and as an aside, a complaint about the ways the big
name schools can be really lousy):
Mostly, accumulated thoughts on experimenting with
different approaches to reading and listening:
Some minor insight into the character of RMS and Linux Torvalds
from reading their as-told-to's:
Some meandering about old ideas concerning the inevitability of
conspiracy, the low opinion held of people who speculate about
them, standards of proof for different situations, etc...
And a brief criticism of one thing Camille Paglia has
said about male role models, which touches on the
whole "high art and low" complex...
Note about the concept of imposing a linear "browse sequence"
in hypertext works such as the doomfiles:
The "who was the first" problem:
Richard Hell's worship of existence:
Added some remarks from a year ago or so on early encounters with
postmodernism, the co-incidence of it's incidence with object-oriented
programming, and some proposed defences the "Social Text" gang could
have used, if they weren't actually idiots:
A classic film that really is a classic:
Adventure fiction, ancient greek vs protestent
Mistakes in the control room as a proof of skill:
Actors as compulsive liars:
Added much exposition on the works and attitudes of the
mystery writer John Dickson Carr, with some emphasis on
his contempt for high culture, and some musing about where
those kind of attitudes lead to...
A year or two ago, back when she was still doing
the young and innocent schtick, I was severely weirded
out by Britany...
A probably ill-conceived, back-handed tribute to
Ashley Adams that I've been sitting on for a few
years, but what the hell:
Also added some meanderings about the difficulty of
being *really* eclectic in music:
Over the last five years, I've occasionally written one
or two little things discussing things related to the
bay area improvised/creative/new music scene, beginning
with the complete lack of an adequate name for it:
Incompetence is a selling point.
Dashiell Hammett's "The Glass Key", a novel that
writes about the nature of human consciousness
by avoiding any expression of it.
Quote from an earlier Hammett story:
Lawrence Sterne, author of "Tristram Shandy", clearly also
had some insight into this subject:
A long overdue (?) summary of the chapter from the "Maltese Falcon":
Aside about the true nature of action/adventure fiction:
Something I wrote a few months ago that seems related to the
Not to mention DEFINITION_GAME.
Digging into the esthetic->ethics notion I settled on long
Largely useless attempt at "applying" the esthetic->ethics
notion to a real world social problem:
Ducking sideways into an abstraction generation game:
When technological improvements aren't really:
Once upon a time, I read
"The Geography of Nowwhere" (1993)
by James Howard Kunstler,
and wrote up a bunch of things
I liked and disliked about it.
I am now promptly adding it all to
the doomfiles, three years later:
About Homer Evans of the Elliot Paul novels.
A favorite subject of mine in my continuing studies of
the popular trash of yesteryear, the Alcohol Comedy:
Added some stuff about the way the culturally conservative
(such as Heinlein) react to artists like John Cage and
Added stuff I wrote a few years back about the Tolstoy novel
"Anna Karenina", along with many a quotation:
Added an approach to non-fiction book reviewing,
an application of the rough/fine approach... TWO_LEVEL
an in depth look at just the first thirteen pages:
A stab at applying the above ideas to Joel Garreau's "Edge City":
Some (probably redundant) musing (about some ancient ideas)
about on-line debate and the kind of discourse it fosters:
My reaction to the "Tim Berners-Lee" book,
which I actually wrote a few years ago:
A comparison of old-style command-line ftp to
My take on the complex subject of...
These follow URB and
flow into MAPGAME
(which I've moved from where it was originally parked).
More beat generation stuff...
Much is known about who Joan Vollmer
had sex with and what kind of drugs
she did. Lately I've been wondering
what she said and thought about:
JUNE_ORIENTATION (Really, added:
Thu Jun 17, 2004)
Some discussion of one of Asimov's Foundation stories,
published in the 1945 issue of Astounding:
Added Genesis P. Orridge quote in
A self-fufilling negative slogan, in action:
Bruce Sterling's Legs, and the Viridian Movement:
Stating some obvious truths about the mainstream musical world:
Some stunning news for you: Punk did not begin with The Sex Pistols.
More musing on the sfnal mindset:
It all goes back
to Van Vogt.
About Samuel R. Delany's "The Madman":
Added 24 (!) nodes, all more or
less about Science Fiction, past
A golden oldie: what cyber-punk
meant to me, back in 1985
Is science fiction dead?
Or merely transmuted?
The brakes are on.
Of the West.
Glimpses of what might be done with SF
Awkward critique of fuziness in "LOST_WORLDS..."
points the way toward "Deep SF" in "IN_DEEP"
Advantages of making up your own terms, when the
existing ones seem too cluttered.
Staggering toward a manifesto for a new movement
in SF. (Probably needs work.)
The soft underbelly of Hard SF.
Taking on the esr thesis that libertarianism and hard sf
are what SF is really about.
Aside about E.E. Smith's Lensman series.
Just a redirect to send you to the page
"Libertarianism for People Who Don't Give a Shit"
How to find the good stuff?
Warm fuzzy regard for the icy charms of modernism.
Taking on the conceit that reading SF requires
you to be smarter than the average litcritter.
If you have something to say, then say it.
The advantages of being passe
Complaint about what newspapers think "technology" is.
The oversimplified curves of futures vs. history
Quotations flying off from Chairman Sterling.
(1) a radio show set (2) theme of said set: taz the enemy
of the revolution.
Idealized futures vs. messy realizations
Living with the idea of change
Stub (at the moment) about Edward Brenner.
Doom takes on Hollywood! A discussion of the *X-Men* movie!
Only out of date by a few years and a sequel or two...
You want to make something of it?
An outline of the methods of dealing with
the "Social Epistemology" problem raised
(Review of Robert Ehrlich's "Nine Crazy Ideas in Science")
Movements to change language usage always
run up against difficulties:
Slice of life, bumming around in North Beach:
Another slice, sailing trip to Angel Island:
And a slice of "life", watching an old serial on video:
(All about maintaining a sense of place in film and more
ranting about the incompetence of Hollywood in doing what
they're supposed to do best.)
About the James Thurber book:
Added review of Bardini's book about Englebart: "Bootstrapping".
My reaction to the infamous "The Wildones" flick.
One more time: the problems with didactic art,
and a lament for the lack public spirt among
Some (fairly slight) remarks about Balzac:
With a few satellite nodes:
Pushed out a cluster of things beginning with this:
An extended review of Martin Gardner's
"Fads and Fallacies in the Name of
Science", with emphasis on his failure
to address the problem of social
epistemology ("How do we know what we know?").
And now, never before published in this venue...
Notes on the novel Frankenstein, with some attention to the
actual technology that Shelley had in mind (note, nothing
much about electricity), followed up by some wild
speculation on how the Frankenstein scenario might have
played out if you didn't have some narrowminded notion about
the un-holiness of "playing God" i.e. creating a new
lifeform. (Actually I wrote this stuff a few years
ago, and read it on the air in March 2000... and posted
a copy to alt.gothic in 2001 or so...)
Also put out some entertaining (to me) ranting
about a bad mystery novel from 1928:
Some things about Beatness and Authenticity:
Minor piece about early encounters with the
music of Sun Ra:
Rambling about the novel the "Diceman" and the idea
of living randomly:
Excessively detailed description of a random bike
ride game I play sometimes:
A mapgame ride to McCluren Park. Musing about
descriptions, the art of connotations:
A cross-roads of some random writings about randomness:
Kevin Kelly's "Out of Control", and the bit about Sullivan's
work with system adaptability vs a connectivity parameter:
Some old, probably excessive, ranting about the Flaubert
novel "Madame Bovary", it's cyncism, and some dark
suspicions about why it may have been so well-regarded by
those who regard it well:
About Chaim Bertman's autobiographical novel, and the goal
of total honesty, complete nakedness in writing... and maybe
an example of not quite achieving it:
A quote from the same, about extreme attempts
at preservation becoming a kind of destruction:
And this stack has got a hell of a lot of stuff in it,
which I'm not in the mood to describe in detail.
Note: idea for a privacy sigil, to keep yourself out
of the major media.
Note: Odd notion of a generalized drag force as an
alternative to individual control or centralized
Oh yeah, and this little piece about
the speed of beat vs. style of dance:
And an even littler paradox about the
appeal of games:
The node SURVIVAL is supposed to
establish what may be a stunningly obvious point: the
purpose of human life is not just to live, and hence you
can't come up with a complete, rigorous moral/ethical code
based on the needs for individual or group survial.
While writing this, I decided I needed to extract this
bit from the DRUGS node and give it a node of its own:
(About the John Sladek story.)
And similarly, it turns out that it makes more sense to move
the "vanilla existentialism" stuff from IRONTHORN to:
Brace yourself, I'm about to press
the "irony" button:
I wrote this material, in which I
discuss the problem of writers
who ruin things with later re-writes:
The point being that maybe you should
just go with your first thought, and
never revise once you've published.
Stop questioning the judgement
of the version of yourself that was
probably more familiar with the material
than you are now.
Then I started thinking about where this
should go in the doomfiles "browse sequence".
Then I proceeded to rip apart the existing
browse sequence, and try to re-arrange everything
into a new order.
Who knows what damage I've done,
I certainly don't.
Other new nodes added while I was doing
this "great" re-arrangement:
Phil Jose Farmer's _Maker of Universes_ series,
and it's relatives:
Tidbit about improvisation in music:
Notions about how to create creative music
(perhaps ala Eno's infamous deck of cards):
Pretentious little bit about terror at the inadequacies of
The tendency to pick something to center your world
view on that's very often obviously bogus:
The act of naming, with an eye toward the problem of genre
names in music:
Musing on the definition of City:
Brief listing of some of the purposes of music:
When music has nothing to do with music:
On the popularity of H.P.:
Diamanda Galas = perfect, but perhaps not sincere. So?
Another vanilla existentialism quickie:
Misconceptions about Leonard Cohen's "Sisters of Mercy":
Misconceptions about pop-music lyrics in general:
Yet another scheme: pop music that is not pop music:
Early encounters with Suzanne Vega:
Why I am not that cool:
The Strange Case of Freeman Dyson... constantly brilliant,
though somewhat inconstant:
Wow, nearly a year since I've added something to this
mess... Anyway, took a short piece about a trip to New York
that I wrote last June, and picked a place for it (after the
UNINTENDED->AGES sequence... it would be funny if
chronological order was the right thing to do now, recording
the natural flow of the thought...):
Breaking that theory immediately though, by putting a bunch
of the alt.gothic.bookworms material (reviews of Lewis's
"The Screwtape Letters" and Twain's "Letters from the Earth"
and so on) after the old "GODDEATH" node, which is funny
because GODDEATH totally contradicts the MORTALGOD piece
it leads up to:
This is some jamming around the idea that the
limitations of human intelligence lead to a disconnect
between the desired and the beautiful.
In the "browse sequence", I'm putting it (and a slight
companion piece, AGES) after SENSATIONAL, and before NEOPUNK
(though getting it closer to PUNK might make more sense).
Added BURNING_MOMENTS, a description of some experiences
of my first trip to Burning Man in 2001.
I stuck this immediately before DRUGS (after SLOWCULPT),
though I suspect it will ultimately reside between SPLIT and
STURGEON. (The general
reasoning: the Burning Man folks might be interested in
my philosphy, such as it is, about recreational drugs.)
And while I'm at it, I'm pushing out something I wrote six
months ago: musing about the probable impracticality of the
legendary/mythical "Key Parties": KEYPART
It seemed to fit pretty naturally between STRANGER and
GROUPS... it didn't take an hour to figure out where to put
something for once.
Some ramblings about greenesque refrigerator design,
the emergency preparedness problem.
Includes a stab at a new slogan:
"The emergency is your life", which I suspect
will not catch on.
Got around to adding my reaction to the movie
GROOVES (a fictional account of the SF Bay Area
Wrote up the events surrounding Bill Sheffield's suicide:
(and after a bit of thought, I appended it before
the AMERICANBEAUTY node in the browse sequence...)
Babbling about the movie "American Beauty",
and it's main theme, seeing beauty in
Also wrote on the subject of the apparent
fear of sex that can be inferred from our
behavior, if not from our tastes in
fiction and so on.
And writing that stuff below left me
once again musing about truth, cynicism,
believability, persuasiveness and
Oh, and I also just decided to add
this silly thing:
And re-wrote the TOP
to reflect the recent changes.
Added some new nodes going into some more detail
on my theories (and very occasional practice)
in picking up women:
Restored the browse sequence,
putting the Friday night whining
about relationships up top again. DRYSPELL
It doesn't reflect the condition of
my life anymore, but it remains one
of the better examples of a doomfile
node, and the subject probably has
a certain universal appeal...
Fixed the browse sequence
(there were some bugs, where
skipping forward wouldn't take
you to the same places as
skipping back; skipping forward
actually literally skipped most
of the nodes; punching 'next'
would take you into an infinite
loop and so on...).
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