Friday, December 19, 2014

What Do You Care What Other People Think?

For some people, it would be instructive to know what others think of them, because they think too much of themselves; for another set of people, because they think too little of themselves.

(For my sort of people, knowing what others think would likely paralyze us into absolute inaction.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Parting Words of the Sage

The following quote is from an fantasy novel written in the late nineteenth century by William Morris, an author who inspired both J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. This is something that I hope to be able to say at the end of my life to the people that I love.

William Morris, The Well at the World's End:

Here then is the end of my journey with you;
and ye wot all that I can tell you,
and I can say no word more save to bid you
cast all fear aside and thrive.
ye wot = you know

Monday, December 15, 2014

Automaton (1999)

This is the sort of doggerel that results from a cold evening curled up in a comfy throw, with a cup of tea and an artificial intelligence textbook.

The very best and brightest minds
    With care they study our behavior
Searching out each taste and whim
    Eager, plotting every flavor

Uncovering what makes us tick
    The minute gears that rub and grind
Inching ever closer to
    Idealized, artificial minds

Intelligent, to serve our needs
    Mass-produced, because we can
Machine, now soul, created by
    The hand of soulless man

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Max Barry, Company:

[Her] main job is to transform routine tasks into urgent ones by concealing their existence until the last possible moment.

There seem to be a lot of these people around.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Cage

Our modern lives bring to mind a pacing tiger in a cage:  Potential power—and beauty—in carefully proscribed movement, going nowhere. But we hold the key to the cage. What would happen if we decided not to live our lives in captivity?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Secret to Long Life

Should I reach advanced age, I feel that it is my principal duty to, when asked the secret of my longevity, attribute it to my worst habit.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

All Things to All Men

Jacques Ellul, The Ethics of Freedom:

Modern protestants are in the main prepared to be all things to all men, like St. Paul, but unfortunately this is not in order that they may save some but in order that they may be like all men.

In the inspired words of Terry Scott Taylor, from Dr. Edward Daniel Taylor's Miracle Faith Prickly Heat Telethon of Love:

And now here they are, the all Christian female mud-wrestling missionaries, Prickly Heat International's own Sister Sludge and the Mudhoneys, to perform interpretative mud-wrestling accompanied by a Prickly University Racially Integrated Singers and Orchestras, to perform one of the great hymns of the faith, Big Guns.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Natural Environs of the Useless

There's no place like
to hide a

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

A Word To The Wise

Piet Hein, Grooks:

Let the world pass in its time-ridden race;
   never get caught in its snare.
Remember, the only acceptable case
for being in any particular place
   is having no business there.

Monday, December 01, 2014


Loneliness is at its most intense in crowded places.