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Thursday, June 30, 2005
bad decisions

Rubbed my thumb absently against the blade of my razor to clean it.

love it

But at the Aquarium four walrus cows raised their blubbery heads, waggled their fat whiskers, yawned at me, tumbled all over each other in the tank-water, flipped over onto their backs, swimming through the slowly percolating light, in the glass and blue prison we built for them because we love them so, love these soft animals, love and hate and hurt them.

[:: comment! :]

Tuesday, June 28, 2005
the level of abstraction (via syntheticzero)

"MPS is an implementation of Language Oriented Programming, whose goal is to make defining languages as natural and easy as defining classes and methods is today. The purpose is to 'raise the level of abstraction', which has been a major goal of programming since the first assembly language was born. MPS uses a variety of techniques, especially generative programming, to achieve this."

the world is complex (via tsm)

"Existing physical theories do not predict every feature of our experience but only certain regularities of that experience. That difference between what could be observed and what can be predicted is one kind of limit on scientific knowledge. Such limits are inevitable if the world is complex and the laws governing the regularities of that world are simple."

[:: comment! :]

Sunday, June 26, 2005
knowledge and indifference

He even talks about how the charm of an analogy evaporates when you find a generalization that encompasses both terms:

"The day dawns when the illusion vanishes; intuition turns to certitude; the twin theories reveal their common source before disappearing; as the Gita teaches us, knowledge and indifference are attained at the same moment. Metaphysics has become mathematics, ready to form the material for a treatise whose icy beauty no longer has the power to move us."
antinomies of intelligence

His panopticon of a computer alludes to Wittgenstein's unmooring of language while firmly binding an evolutionary etiology of such language:
"If one who is thinking could perceive this horizon - his intellectual range - in the same way that he perceives the limits of his body, nothing like the antinomies of Intelligence could arise. And what in fact are those antinomies of Intelligence? They are the inability to distinguish between transcendence in fact and transcendence in illusion."

[:: comment! :]

Friday, June 24, 2005
craven

physics

[:: comment! :]

Monday, June 20, 2005
what is your world view?

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative

75%

Postmodernist

69%

Modernist

56%

Materialist

56%

Romanticist

50%

Idealist

50%

Existentialist

50%

Fundamentalist

25%

what is your theological worldview?

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Emergent/Postmodern

71%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

68%

Classical Liberal

68%

Modern Liberal

61%

Reformed Evangelical

50%

Roman Catholic

50%

Neo orthodox

46%

Charismatic/Pentecostal

21%

Fundamentalist

11%

[:: comment! :]

Saturday, June 18, 2005

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Thursday, June 16, 2005
thoughts on genre: exceptional science fiction

A good example of the back and forth around the ideas of this genre is in Richard Harter's analysis of Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations." I think the story and its theme--nature's uncaring hand--is trite, and could be easily used to condemn the impoverishment of ideas in the genre.

heads down, thumbs up by gavin j. grant

Borders shift, and not just the borders between one country and another. "Borders" is, in some ways, the wrong word -- what's really going on in "Heads Down, Thumbs Up" are shifts between definitions.

[:: comment! :]

Sunday, June 12, 2005
uncover your eyes

I'm still chilled by the matter-of-fact explanation as to why it is women who collect firewood, even though they're the ones who are raped. It's an indication of how utterly we are failing the people of Darfur, two years into the first genocide of the 21st century.

"It's simple," one woman here explained. "When the men go out, they're killed. The women are only raped."
the illiterate surgeon
Ms. Mamitu's story begins when she was an illiterate 15-year-old in a remote Ethiopian village unreachable by road and with no doctor nearby. She married a local man, became pregnant and after three days of labor, she lapsed into unconsciousness and the baby was stillborn.

"After I woke up, the bed was wet" with urine, she remembers. "I thought I would get better after two or three days, but I didn't."

That's typically how an obstetric fistula arises: a teenage girl, often malnourished and with an immature pelvis, tries to deliver her first baby. The fetus gets stuck, and after several days of labor it is stillborn - but some of the mother's internal tissues have been damaged in that time, and so to her horror she finds herself constantly trickling urine or sometimes feces from her vagina.

Soon she stinks. Her husband normally abandons her, the constant trickle of urine leaves her with terrible sores on her legs, and if she survives at all she is told to build a hut away from the rest of the village and to stay away from the village well. Some girls die of infections or suicide, but many linger for decades as pariahs and hermits - their lives effectively over at the age of about 15.

[:: comment! :]

Thursday, June 9, 2005
ambivalence and oscillation (via null.org)

revenge of global finance (via fimoculous)

[:: comment! :]

Monday, June 6, 2005
"Ask any Catholic priest, or Jung, or Scott McLoud about the power of icons, and they'll explain it the same way. Too much detail, and they lose their ability to induce our identification." --douglas rushkoff

"I hope that some experimental results will help us out, after all physics is fortunately an empirical science and ultimately not determined by 'consensus' or blogs." --wolfgang beirl

[:: comment! :]

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