Basketball stands for war or battle.
That's why I think about the players'
personalities, in my foxhole or squad.
Danny and Ben are fast and smart. Dan
especially can pass making him master
and commander. To defeat them as we did
is very satisfying. Ben's five year old son
is intelligent but distant. Disdains to answer
my question Why are you you?
But I'm not here
to catalogue the men's personalities.
I like them. But each of us has moved on
many times, when _______ suddenly died
the games went on with hardly a mention
and his name has since been forgotten.
But even this, absolute mortality
of not just our bodies but our names
and souls is not what I came
to talk about. Yesterday, between games,
I asked Joe how Molly his daughter likes
the high school. He mounted an impassioned
defense of reading as the indispensable skill
when I suggested math, the scientific method
and history are essential too.
Also between games
Bob diffidently asked why my kids are bald.
I was moved by the care he took to satisfy
his curiosity, concerned the subject might be
difficult. He's a political science teacher so
I took the opportunity to ask What ails
the republic? Of course I answered myself
wanting mostly to hear myself talk about Iraq
and how empire is self-correcting. For once I was amusing
I thought, treating the subject with a light touch
But none of this is what I came to say.
A new guy, very big and strong, a
bulldozer under the boards with a good
outside shot if needed got into a dispute
with the other Bob who likes to tell people
what to do sometimes, about an offensive
foul Bob called which we almost never do.
The new guy said If you can't take it don't
play under the boards which is what I say
when I'm pissed and don't give a shit.
Bob said You've been pushing and shoving me
all day. I said He doesn't want to be
pushed and shoved which got a wry
smile out of Danny as I put the ball in play.
I am thinking of the day
I came to you
with a yellow rose
a passing businessman
said hello to you
you put it in your hair
today is like that day
the sun is hot
on a crowded city
we are discovering each other
in the crowd
Two fine films: The Lost City and Blood Diamond.
I joined Blood Diamond during a village massacre
and said to my wife A gun in every home.
Those devils would think twice
before razing the village and seizing the boys.
A well-regulated militia.
The local militia the most interesting moment
in a strong film with motive (economic, emotional), action (chases, fights)
and a sexy, sexless love story.
Use of violence by the local militia for a limited purpose: protect the
community, the young
from the janjaweed. The crop from the weed.
Limited scope and defensive posture
but armed and coordinated, cooperative, the men (and the women) side
Warriors at the gate, you will not run, you will not bargain.
Just violence = limited scope, defensive posture.
Great music. Cuba, Africa.
The Lost City, when the communists tell the club owner under threat of
No saxophones in the band. The saxophone!
Invented by a Belgian -- Look what the Belgians are doing in the Congo!
When the state's violence is turned against the citizenry
for non-violent acts.
This quiet neighborhood, July,
undergirded by violence, force. That's a given --
any farmer, custodian, EMT will tell you that.
Without just violence
Gandhi's scope, and King's, might be vanishingly limited,
negligible (but not non-existent)?
the matter is simple -- he was non-violent but dependent upon
federal force to counter the South's violence.
No doubt without the larger force, the non-violent would be
overwhelmed by southern violence.
Here, non-violence was a tactic, not an ethic.
Gandhi, however, had no violent partner to protect him from the British.
Or did he?
1. There was the potential violence of the population, which Gandhi
restrained but could release which the British feared, and
2. It was the restrained (limited scope) violence of the British that
allowed Gandhi to exist rather than be extinguished -- this restraint
was a (British) cultural imperative (limited scope) as well as emanating
from Britain's view of India as a protectorate and valued citizen of the
United Kingdom (defensive posture).
What about violence or threat of violence to compel compliance with
as in mortgage foreclosure, driving without license, drug possession.
Perhaps it is necessary violence to maintain orderly commerce, the
common space, and preempt bad behaviors associated with
otherwise neutral, private acts.
The defensive posture is the common good; the limited scope is forgoing
But the citizen, too, must maintain a disciplined, armed non-violence,
in case the state (the janjaweed) engages in an unjust, autoimmune
Hence, a gun in every home.
When Peg laughs like Liz
deep woman-hearted laugh
eating beef jerky on Mesa Verde
the good hearts and smarts of women
come back to me, not guessing
any better than they at the time what love
meant, leaving them behind in sandstone time
going to my own cement, sandstone
or good mountain grave
having seen the sharp-shinned and sparrow
hawk flying and at rest, not at peace,
seeking prey from a ponderosa snag.
I left my woman behind to float
alone down the long canyon for feathers
and signs, she's making camp
the moon half full, the sun half high
sky full of planets birds and stars
I look up from the rocks
love that's learned to love
from earlier loves
laughs remembered, heard
in the laugh of the woman who is my wife.
You can feel it spinning
the Chinese, Japanese, American and European junk
orbiting at several thousand miles per hour could
a hole in your armor, future. Thanksgiving passes, then Christmas.
A nuclear detonation, we absorb that fact. The scientist in us
delays sadness by recording observations. What is is,
sorrow's for tomorrow.
By reducing probabilities to near zero I hope to avoid sorrow.
In yr suburb.
In history when there were many fewer people we still found reason
to cross space, explore, trade and war. Now
may not be the problem but food and water shortages
get our attention.
I have Korfxs fears.
And hear what I want to hear.
Some hear singing, some hear speeches or complaining.
Martin Luther King sang his complaints, dreamed of a brotherly nation
which came to pass, spinning fast, past Thanksgivings, past jailings
into reconnaissance, small wars, drones, renaissance, inventions.
At the border,
where the Juaristas fought Maximilian:
Benito Juarez (1806-1872) Zapotec Amerindian who served five terms as president of Mexico. He was the first Mexican leader who did not have a military background and also the first full-blooded indigenous person to lead a country in the western hemisphere in over 300 years. For resisting French occupation, overthrowing the Empire, and restoring the Republic, Juarez is regarded as Mexicoxs greatest and most beloved leader.
Each soldier chooses what war at what border, or just
spinning with the planet.
The neighborhood and surrounding nature is orderly.
But always there is implied force, violence holding it together,
kept out of the playground, government buildings, childrenxs games
but lies within
the force maintaining order, a spinning tumor, a gyroscope of
The force of the spinning, the speed of the force bring one to one's death
seasons, weather, earth.
While the emperor's being beheaded
enduring seeds are discovered and invented, cross-fertilized and bred.
Corn, yams, potatoes, sunflowers, rice.
Food is life and a good study,
The fighting man protects the farmer
and the farmer feeds the fighting man.
They elect the governor
who serves the people. Peace out.
Peace and war are transitory manifestations of spinning
The sun's a nuclear detonation, essential
to spring and planting. Food is life. Seeds endure
if man goes to his daily discipline. If woman is man.
Birth and death
together are orderly, the border can be known,
voluntarily. How we live together, by prayer or force,
is our story.
from laboratory to starry corridor keeps us very
Did Juaristas consider the rights of animals not to be eaten?
Not during that spinning.
And perform the history that surrounds us.
All that can be done
is written in the spinning:
The people of the land, the Indian farmers of North America - like their counterparts in Mesoamerica, the Andean region, and the Amazon - have continuously cultivated maize, beans, squash and other crops for more than five thousand years. One of the salient features of their traditional farming systems is the high degree of biodiversity. These traditional farming systems have emerged over centuries of cultural and biological evolution, and they represent the accumulated experience of indigenous farmers interacting with the environment without access to external inputs, capital or scientific knowledge. In Latin America alone, more than 2.5 million hectares under traditional agriculture in the form of raised fields, polycultures, agroforestry systems and the like document indigenous farmers' successful adaptations to difficult environments.
-- Altieri , Miguel A., Foreword to Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation, by Gary Paul Nabhan, The University of Arizona Press, 1989
blueberries gasoline and prostate gland
breast cancer Wonderbread and pacifier
controlled experiment space travel and honey
peanuts inductive reasoning and electricity
tornadoes torture chamber and biscuits
copyright car radio cantaloupe
golden eagle lunch break tomato
Romanian songbook rhubarb and barbed wire
always hungry nevermind meat loaf
goosefoot mango juice Ipad
mosquito bite city street and broccoli
Chinese cabbage female sex drive water sport
pure contralto goat yogurt new year
black death white light and green tea
You may feel about the planet what
you feel about a great baseball team or band:
that once there was a moment when, unknown
to us at the time, we convened
and lost and found ourselves in what we created.
Who should I thank for this day?
A fresh-mown lawn is a robin's repast.
A bear a black bear a rolling delicately dancing
graceful as silence sailing through the ferns and understory
unafraid and in no hurry.
My musician referral service, vacation rental business,
nonprofit management system, plant identification database,
great American songbook and anthology of poems. Coach says
in a thousand years back and forth games like lacrosse and soccer
will be played against genetically engineered primates
but baseball will be played solely by humans.
In a thousand years, amen.
Is it stress,
or loss, despair and survival
we must discuss.
Stress is just the symptom
of a universe intent to destroy the individual
before it births new life. It sends the dogs
after us, after the holocaust, in the tattered ruins
of our city.
There is this despair and expectation
of destruction, but somewhere there is still also
simple sky blue,
flowers among railroad ties,
true love between sexual partners.
Is it sex,
or love, companionship and reliableness
we must expect.
Sex, nothing but laying my head
at your cunt, can interest me sometimes. Your legs
lead to a pleasure that seems infinite and smells
So there is this tenderness, a connection
like a suction to the biological that is ephemeral
as snow on the ground,
one elk in aspen,
death and nothing less.
"I begin the day buying yogurt in a small favorite grocery store."
Not pizza, nor gatorade.
although they are imported from afar and grown in monocultures.
Attract fruit flies in August.
locally grown with rainwater. I ate all the farmer's peaches alone
stacking them by the railroad tracks.
rainwater, tap water, distilled water, carbonated water, spring water --
deep gulps, infinite sips.
in moderation, or not, unsalted, raw, replacing chips. His bowl
of filberts, almonds, walnuts quiet weekday mornings.
Edible plant parts --
roots, leaves, stems, flowers, fruit. In olive oil
look online how best to prepare. Baked or fried. With a little
fish or meat.
Tea and honey,
play and prayer. Swimming and running,
Bread's possible as the Bible. Each is liable
to bloat your thoughts.
Wine and dandelions.
Dandelion wine's Ray Bradbury's story. Cans in a pantry, books on a
to the end of time.
we used to call spaghetti, never noodles. I wonder if I can remember
how to make
cherry, grape. Grab God's eye
Yr cancer is inevitable as love.
You didn't last forever. The pain
wasn't the main problem, unconsciousness
was. Dad cannot see or hear,
the walls of the house contain just dust,
that's it, and if he shows up as a ghost
I'm lost, all my theories false.
Dr. Cherry certified my cancer as a cyst.
A drupe, a stone, a past mistake.
I left the examining room elated,
and have gone on to conflate my happiness,
relief, with that of the whole village.
The message is: to the east and west, the self
which is carried around as a pound of garbage.
"I like to be kissed before I'm fucked."
And what is poetry anyway. Its role,
local and global. Well, I for one have no
friends or family sufficiently interested
to come to a reading. Don't take offense,
we prefer novels, and especially movies,
coffee, sugar, oil, parrots, ponies, you
name it. Seven goes to six. Prices
bust and burst, but life (and school) goes
on, or whatnot. Atomic bubble gum. Protein computer.
Grass roof. Sun spot. Perfect error.
In the mirror where everybody hides the body.
Finally, I have been going for walks, girls
with protection dogs, black flies in my eyes.
Peace of noon, bird siesta. August returns,
the snow flies. Did you survive summer,
beat the reaper? I hope so, and yr fern allies.
Perfect rest is priceless, paradise.
We like trees.
Trees are good.
Shade. Food. Wood.
If they leave,
we'll leave, too.
Snow. How come
some there, none here.
Sun can kill
or be fun.
God can't care
about you, one.
in thought thicket.
thorn in nose.
Elect a nobel laureate
not a noble idiot.
Eat. Eat so much
your bones grow.
Almost edible words.
Naked buds, girls,
Have I ever been profoundly lost? Yes. Railroad tracks and a river wide as the Amazon, yet lost. Living in the intense sunshine of northern New York summer, but lost in the shade of a gazebo. And here? Here I am enclosed in a tomb of porcelain machinery. With another winter passing its calling card in at the window. The warm steam no longer cutting the rough edge. Wearing wool sweater nights. The freedom of summer gone and only one fuck. What a nightmare, what a strange dream, life on planet, winter all around.
A system, they call it a system. I call it an evolved anarchy. Repetition, never. What do I know. Repetition, every two thousand years. Coming of a frost, coming of a fire. When nature proves furious beyond remembrance. Polar bear mugs wino.
Tall, attractive, talented WM, 31,
trumpet player, takes pleasure in
performing cunnilingus with clean
attractive women. Age, race, marital
status no object. All replies answered.
Here is where it started, amusing myself in an undisciplined manner in the playpen. Being rude when interrupted. Height of bad taste hitting the wall, what's he talking about. Marlowe went to bed. He had a headache. Used an empty bottle for a teddy bear/sap. In the middle of the night, three secret men approached the rock he slept under. They did not see him there, the fire had long ago gone out. But they'd seen it across the valley, and tried to estimate. They were close.
What do I care. They did this, he did that, they did this and this and that. He used his feet, took off his shoes. It mauled him to death in two minutes of the first round. Would have been better for him if it happened faster. Never got his knife out of his pocket. But he lived, with one eye after that.
What do you do with a drunken sailor early
in the morning?
You pull that sailor out of bed by his hairy
Why should anybody believe this, this tiresome outpouring of old moans and groans, grumbles about loneliness of life and dominance of telephone. This gamble on print, above the spoken, sung word. The meditative call to inhabitants of planet to kneel woefully and pray. No, to chant as if the planet were mending.
Mending rhymes with ending, why not. And television, radio appreciated. Drugs and booze, jagged bent faces, black wet rock. The mantle of moss ripped away. Period. Amen to men. Absolute magical ripcord.
Madison's defense of the establishment clause to the Virginia legislature:
Religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them, and not only during the period of miraculous aid but long after it had been left to its own evidence and the ordinary care of Providence.
May I say
electromagnetic waves. Radiant energy.
Light travels in waves
Waves of what?
Electromagnetic waves consist of electric and magnetic fields
oscillating at right angles to each other
and to the direction of motion of the wave.
All waves can be described
in terms of amplitude, wavelength, frequency and speed.
Waves of what?
Think of a hand waving. The wave itself
is virtual, ideal. The hand and eyes are waves. The wave's
a quantum guess.
Religion and electromagnetic waves - visible, audible, ideal
causing real reactions in earth-time (real as it gets). Madison's
care of Providence
impossible to handle.
Needed is a medium: antenna, cathode ray, page,
with the capacity to say Providence electromagnetic visible light
Alone in your life and body. Say
the heavy word
charged word (ion god)
the particle physicist and political philosopher have it over the poet
who is sharing ignorance
pretty much all he doesn't know.
Or who stays within a dimension she knows she knows, extrapolating
her hand in a child's hand or husband's hold or nest in a tree hole
separation of powers
daily low intensity warfare
light, radio and gamma waves
Waves of what?
Matter can be treated by both wave and particle theories (the duality of matter) since its convertible counterpart - light - has long been treated successfully by both theories.
light matter light
Solutions to the equations are called wave functions, or orbitals.
Religion or the duty which we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much to soon forget it.
Last night's movie She's No Angel on the Christian channel
begged many essential questions (and had bad music)
the loving liberal successful couple should
keep a shotgun in the home (later used per Shakespeare)
the community's (authority's) reaction to the violence
and precipitating dissembling might have been (per The Crucible)
the golden spiritual couple would subsequently dissemble lobby or defend
themselves and the loved one legally and lengthily (per Dostoyevsky)
unclean tragic outcomes end in Death's cleanliness
ravens eat the fur and guts of bad guesses off the roads (per A Designer of
but not I think missing
the deeper lesson
that she is neither her past
nor her wings
but a pure goodness
a light wave
and a particle.
--LeMay, Beall, Robblee & Brower, Chemistry: Connections to Our Changing World, Prentice Hall, 2000
By which nothing is divided.
no Adam, no apple, no marriage, no morning.
no God, no soul, no ear lobe, no Iliad, no Odyssey.
no black hole
no mission, no omission, no fission, no fusion.
no 7:30, no wind, no window, no owl, no one.
In 773, at Al-Mansur's behest, translations were made of the Siddhantas, Indian astronomical treatises dating as far back as 425 B.C.; these versions may have been the vehicles through which the "Arabic" numerals and the zero were brought from India into China and then to the Islamic countries. In 813 the Persian mathematician Khwarizmi used the Hindu numerals in his astronomical tables; about 825 he issued a treatise known in its Latin form as Algoritmi de numero Indorum, Khwarizmi on Numerals of the Indians. After him, in 976, Muhammed ibn Ahmad in his "Keys to the Sciences," remarked that if in a calculation no number appears in the place of tens, a little circle should be used "to keep the rows." This circle the Arabs called sifr. That was the earliest mention of the name sifr that eventually became zero. Italian zefiro already meant "west wind" from Latin and Greek zephyrus. This may have influenced the spelling when transcribing Arabic sifr. The Italian mathematician Fibonacci (c. 1170-1250), who grew up in North Africa and is credited with introducing the decimal system in Europe, used the term zephyrum. This became zefiro in Italian, which was contracted to zero in Venetian. --Wikipedia
After my father's appointment by his homeland as a state official in the customs house of Bugia for the Pisan merchants who thronged to it, he took charge; and in view of its future usefulness and convenience, had me in my boyhood come to him and there wanted me to devote myself to and be instructed in the study of calculation for some days. There, following my introduction, as a consequence of marvelous instruction in the art, to the nine digits of the Hindus, the knowledge of the art very much appealed to me before all others, and for it I realized that all its aspects were studied in Egypt, Syria, Greece, Sicily, and Provence, with their varying methods; and at these places thereafter, while on business, I pursued my study in depth and learned the give-and-take of disputation. But all this even, and the algorism, as well as the art of Pythagoras, I considered as almost a mistake in respect to the method of the Hindus (Modus Indorum). Therefore, embracing more stringently that method of the Hindus, and taking stricter pains in its study, while adding certain things from my own understanding and inserting also certain things from the niceties of Euclid's geometric art, I have striven to compose this book in its entirety as understandably as I could, dividing it into fifteen chapters. Almost everything which I have introduced I have displayed with exact proof, in order that those further seeking this knowledge, with it pre-eminent method, might be instructed, and further, in order that the Latin people might not be discovered to be without it, as they have been up to now. If I have perchance omitted anything more or less proper or necessary, I beg indulgence, since there is no one who is blameless and utterly provident in all things. The nine Indian figures are: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. With these nine figures, and with the sign 0 . . . any number may be written. --Fibonacci, Leonardo of Pisa
--Fibonacci, Leonardo of Pisa, The Autobiography of Leonardo Pisano, trans. Richard E. Grimm, Fibonacci Quarterly, Vol. 11, 1973
Kissed his student.
Punched his friend.
Accused her lover.
What if China's navy asserts control where our navy also patrols?
Should we concede the South China Sea? Not on your life! Or maybe.
Lives may be lost but so what. There's so much biomass in the
Lord have mercy on my soul
Which means bring my confusion into an expressible state before it's too
Sal went to jail. I belong to the loved ones. Never may the anarchic
man's thoughts be my thoughts. Not one.
It could be cancer or just a cyst
That killed Frost's considerable speck
Instead of considering its considerable intelligence.
Although bottomless ancient night stretches
From your short life forward, remember
It also stretches backward without measure.
There are few straight lines in nature and only one alternative to ageing,
so suck it up!
Suppose everything's fine and you've wasted your time wearing
sackcloth over your soul?
Start now knowing joy.
Science can't save you, neither can religion,
at least Popper and Niebuhr, philosophers and poets,
are entertainers, which is why actors and athletes
are paid so much. Thanks for the summaries.
I was teaching Shakespeare's 92nd ridiculous sonnet
to my student who lays blacktop in the off season
Shakespeare bellyaching about dying without her love
a feeling foreign to a modern adolescent sensibility
although many teens are pretty far gone searching
for their mothers or fathers in their dazed lovers' eyes.
Which is why we call it "the wound that never heals."
Or the lesion that's always lengthening. And bleeding.
Muslim fundamentalists and their Christian counterparts
are a mystery to me. Pews and prayer rugs, the airless
indoor environment of religious worship, reading
scriptures, hypnotized by hymns and fainting from staring
at candles through stained glass windows, almost certain
the preacher is faking his certainty about the afterlife.
It's not my problem. A more immediate concern:
receding gums and tooth extractions, swollen joints,
poor lubrication and circulation, wave after wave
of viral infection, the occasional antibiotic-resistant
bacterial attack, usually urinary, and who knows
what internal organs are dividing and conquering
without mercy or cease, i.e. the wound that never heals.
It is wise not to overvalue your continued existence,
good not to be innumerate, unable to compare
a mere 80 years with say 6.0 x 109 or all of time
(to date) times the multiverse. Conversely,
it is interesting all of space and most of history is contained
in your little mind (realizing of course it's just a map
of the cosmos not the cosmos itself, or is it?). I'm
unable to wrestle free, tongue in that cavity
and locked in my memories, so separate and disparate
from the biomass in the crosswalks, even my spouse.
Alone, so alone, even your doctor can only devote
limited thought to your situational mortality through
the redress of poetry - also a wound that never heals.
Snow for eternity, that's what this February's been.
All to the good, for someone it's the final February
so enjoy it to the extent you can. By that I mean joy.
Joy at birth. Joy at death. All joy. All times. Anyway.
That was Shakespeare's message: even tragedies are comedies.
May, a Buddhist, chants each morning.
Her husband, Marc, who's Jewish, plays league tennis.
Their son, Aaron, will soon make Eagle scout.
How does it relate to your wound that never heals?
Luck runs out. For D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico
or Ulysses S. Grant in Ohio or Yasujiro Ozu in
Tokyo or Satyajit Ray in Bombay or Rabindranath
Tagore in Bangalore or at the Battle of the Atlantic in the Azores.
The night is a poultice, winter or summer solstice.
My anonymity will not effect the anomie ghettoside
seeing for myself how season by season
vacations and accomplishments accumulate, late in life
and early on, sunrise over mountains or moonrise over Bronx.
Masturbator, prisoner of war. Hospice of the Holy Roman Empire.
Numerous blue notes: the 3 flat, 7 flat, 5 flat,
the 6 flat and the 2 flat too. I don't get
what Wallace Stevens means by imagination.
When groundhog shows up as a totem, there is opportunity
to explore the mystery of death without dying.
This then is the purpose of purposelessness (and of eating less)!
Now what about that wound that never heals.
The Skeptical Observer column in Scientific American
was somewhat alarming when he accepted a paranormal
explanation for how his wife's grandfather's inoperable
transistor radio played music from its hiding spot
in his sock drawer on, and only on, their wedding day.
Now I'll have to believe my father (or mother!) is watching me
perform private sexual acts with (or without) partners
or that they could even know my thoughts. Or aliens
are attending our committee meetings and making
perfectly reasonable decisions given the available information
and the world is rotating just fine without humans.
These possibilities - angels, ghosts, aliens - are better
than holocaust and genocide. In this way,
and only in this way, does doom become endurable.
The wound that never heals in the end is all you'll feel.
I begin the day buying yogurt in a small
favorite grocery store. The clerk
a man of few pretenses was making jokes
about his wife, how they fight in bed.
Discovering the better stores in the community.
In a given day, isolated from friends,
I speak to few people. An old woman
asks me for directions to the post office
or I speak to a stranger over the phone about night work.
At home my every thought comes to the counterpoint of
a girl I love surprises me by knocking on the window.
I ply my arts all day alone.
After this silence like being hidden away in the woods
in a cabin, bored
but owing no member of society an explanation,
invitation to a party. A flow of wine and devilish drugs
and quickly I am making a fool of myself.
My new friends like me
but when they think about me at all,
through the midnight air, alone again,
the ghostly houses of my new neighbors
by new moonlight.
Negligible morsel of biomass
my fat belly, formerly abs
insignificant yet it occupies me
hourly while bored or hungry.
Fat is what? a picture
of despair, giving up caring
or man out of balance, other
side of the world's starving
mass, case of the soul's malnutrition
industrial agriculture, television
supermarkets, vacations, hydrocarbons
and the grid. Electricity, urban
traffic jams, photons at final
rest. Sugars synthesized, abundant
plastics to carry them home in.
Into your house and into your mirror.
Memorizing the periodic table
and learning the calculus makes one
no thinner. Walking the mountain
in heat and cold and rain, alone
or in fire crews should do it. And a
healthy fear of death. A laugh
a day at sex and pain and fate
which renews the biomass I hate.
The four fundamental forces:
Zeus, Aphrodite, Ares (or Mars), and Adam and Eve.
<<0>> >> 0 <<
Electric field induced by Electric field induced by
a positive electric charge a negative electric charge
"Deutsch thinks that such 'jumps to universality' must occur not only in the capacity to calculate things, but also in the capacity to understand things, and in the closely related capacity to make things happen. And he thinks that it was precisely such a threshold that was crossed with the invention of the scientific method. There were plenty of things we humans could do, of course, prior to the invention of that method: agriculture, or the domestication of animals, or the design of sundials, or the construction of pyramids. But all of a sudden, with the introduction of that particular method of concocting and evaluating new hypotheses, there was a sense in which we could do anything. The capacities of a community that has mastered that method to survive, to learn, and to remake the world according to its inclinations are (in the long run) literally, mathematically, infinite. And Deutsch is convinced that the tendency of the world to give rise to such communities, more than, say, the force of gravitation, or the second law of thermodynamics, or even the phenomenon of death, is what ultimately gives the world its shape, and what constitutes the genuine essence of nature. 'In all cases,' he writes, 'the class of transformations that could happen spontaneously--in the absence of knowledge--is negligibly small compared with the class that could be effected artificially by intelligent beings who wanted those transformations to happen. So the explanations of almost all physically possible phenomena are about how knowledge would be applied to bring those phenomena about.' And there is a beautiful and almost mystical irony in all this: that it was precisely by means of the Scientific Revolution, it was precisely by means of accepting that we are not the center of the universe, that we became the center of the universe."
Danger comes from the root bad brakes and bald tires. Chain saws and
ideologies, housecleaning chemicals and toiletries. Powerful industrialists,
Invasive species, illegal immigrants. Concentration camps, attention
Performance phobia, identity enhancements. Pleasure, applause. Quiet
moments, walking and
talking war buddies. Electoral politics, marriage and divorce. Pest
exterminator, Yeats seminar.
Love affair, pencil sharpener. Whatever, matter. Ionic and covalent
bonds, republican hairstyle.
Events in their mere chronology.
"What is a typical place in the universe like? Let me assume that you are reading this on Earth. In your mind's eye travel straight upwards a few hundred kilometers. Now you are in the slightly more typical environment of space. But you are still being heated and illuminated by the sun, and half your field of view is still taken up by the solids, liquids and scum of the Earth. A typical location has none of those features. So, travel a few trillion kilometers further in the same direction. You are now so far away that the sun looks like other stars. You are at a much colder, darker and emptier place, with no scum in sight. But it is not yet typical: you are still inside the Milky Way galaxy, and most places in the universe are not in any galaxy. Continue until you are clear outside the galaxysay, a hundred thousand light years from Earth. At this distance you could not glimpse the Earth even if you used the most powerful telescope that humans have yet built. But the Milky Way still fills much of your sky. To get to a typical place in the universe, you have to imagine yourself at least a thousand times as far out as that, deep in intergalactic space. What is it like there? Imagine the whole of space notionally divided into cubes the size of our solar system. If you were observing from a typical one of them, the sky would be pitch black. The nearest star would be so far away that if it were to explode as a supernova, and you were staring directly at it when its light reached you, you would not even see a glimmer. That is how big and dark the universe is. And it is cold: it is at that background temperature of 217 Kelvin, which is cold enough to freeze every known substance except helium. And it is empty: the density of atoms out there is below one per cubic meter. That is a million times sparser than atoms in the space between the stars, and those atoms are themselves sparser than in the best vacuum that human technology has yet achieved. Almost all the atoms in intergalactic space are hydrogen or helium, so there is no chemistry. No life could have evolved there, nor any intelligence. Nothing changes there. Nothing happens. The same is true of the next cube and the next, and if you were to examine a million consecutive cubes in any direction the story would be the same."
The 5 colors of sadness:
disappointed, didn't get what was wanted
confused, don't know what to do next, where to go
lonely, no one to love or be loved by
sorry, unable to help or change what happened
depressed, can't get out of bed, want to kill self
"Unless a society is expecting its own future choices to be better than its present ones, it will strive to make its present policies and institutions as immutable as possible. Therefore Popper's criterion can be met only by societies that expect their knowledge to grow -- and to grow unpredictably. And, further, they are expecting that if it did grow, that would help. This expectation is what I call optimism, and I can state it, in its most general form, thus: The Principle of Optimism -- All evils are caused by insufficient knowledge. Optimism is, in the first instance, a way of explaining failure, not prophesying success. It says that there is no fundamental barrier, no law of nature or supernatural decree, preventing progress. Whenever we try to improve things and fail, it is not because the spiteful (or unfathomably benevolent) gods are thwarting us or punishing us for trying, or because we have reached a limit on the capacity of reason to make improvements, or because it is best that we fail, but always because we did not know enough, in time. But optimism is also a stance towards the future, because nearly all failures, and nearly all successes, are yet to come.
As I think of things to do I do them.
Thing by thing I get things done.
That's how my father and his father did things.
I guess my mother and her mother did things that way too.
Sometimes I'm driving and I think how my father and his father drove too.
There was weather and they had problems. There is weather and I have
Time exists only in the human mind. But if the mind exists, time exists.
Joy everywhere. Joy at birth. Joy at death. All joy, all times.
--Deutsch, David, The Beginning of Infinity, Viking Press, 2011