Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (A Review)


With only so many hours in the day, it’s impossible to read all the books that one wants to. But one should make the time for Snow Crash. As one view of the possible near future where governments have fallen to give way to franchised collections of territories, it acts as a warning as much as anything. The basis of the plot rests on language being able to perform a viral operation, like a disease being able to change the basic DNA of the system that it infects. And while the overall premise is commendable in its scope (so much historic detail is provided that the reader wants to believe in the theory), combining the visual snow that changes programmers and the babel-approach of fluid exchange that changes people in the non-virtual world does not really ever create a coherent flow of possibility. I felt that the over-the-top suppositions were not well enough supported despite the attempt at solidly founding them in some factual basis. However, I would still recommend this novel as a fantastic introduction to the world of cyberpunk.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Inappropriate


We spend our entire lives trying to live up to the expectations of others so that we may garner a modicum of trust and confidence in ourselves and in our morality - who we are depends of what we project. Perhaps, we are only ghosts of our inner selves. This lesson is taught to us early on, often accompanied by the phrase "What would people think?" All aspects of our outward appearance are carefully chosen to reflect what we wish to be. Our egos become inextricably attached to what we own and what we say.
Heavens forbid anyone trying to live outside that construct. And so, I have inside my head a little old lady chastizing me every second of my life. She used to have a general old lady voice, but it has lately become very specific. "Oh, you're not going to wear that are you?", "Stop biting your nails", etc. She regularly tells me of my inadequacies, and if I let her, if on any given day she wins, I lose and everything becomes very flat and dim and no amount of sun will fade the clouds.
However, most days, I kill her in the morning and skull-fuck her well into the nighttime. ;)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Loki*

interfacing a kindly
madness,

funneling devotions
into lettered nests,

this cracked to breaking
thin-boned hand

outputs purpose
via elegance



*(written while reading Chaos and Literature)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Heidegger is much like Cheesecake


I, the ontical me, wanted to create a little glossary of terms in regards to Heidegger’s work. However, instead of being strictly alphabetical, I find a stream of consciousness approach more useful (for the ontological me at any rate).

Ontic: physical or factual existence (actual?); whatever pertains to being generally rather than some distinctively philosophical (or scientific) theory of it (ontology)
Epistemology: branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge
See also: Chaos theory, determinism, causation, stochasticity
Definite Description ?
Ontological: of or relating to the essence or the nature of being; “What is the nature of the knowable things?”
See also: Universals, Substance (What is?)
Qua: the capacity of
*Something which exists is greater than that which is imagined.*
Process Philosophy
{reality indeed,
she said
is becoming}

Hermeneutics: the study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts

Exegetic: the elucidation of philosophical and legal texts
Postmodernism-Baudelaire
Prodromal?
Oneiromancers-hieroglyphic

To live by multiplication
Replacing ourselves
Until the historic We
No longer exists

.
.
Stochastically
We were never,
As now,
We are not


answer to the title: rich and creamy

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How to win friends and influence people

Dale Carnegie knew a few things about how to deal with people. He based his courses on a few solid assumptions about human behavior, namely the following: people want to feel important and this basic tenet will affect how they interact with others. This allows several more assumptions to be naturally concluded from that including the fact that no one wants to be told that they are wrong or to be criticized outright. So, the question becomes, “How does one mitigate or utilize these natural tendencies to any benefit?” In his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, this question is dealt with using anecdotal information based on his wide range of experience and the experiences of those who have taken his course and then applied it to their business and life affairs. It is best to read the book as a manual, rereading those passages that seem to not be sinking or those that have particular significance. But barring going out and buying it now, I will let you in on a few easy ways to start winning friends. Smile. Don’t directly criticize. Lavish praise and attention. However,of paramount importance is to do this honestly or not at all. If you must have an example to know why, then go out and read Dale Carnegie's work.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Taken to Task

we’ve hung our skins on the coatrack,
taken our nickel’s worth of iodine
to get outside cubic

this cartilage where opinions insinuate
corkscrewing into the ribcage-
protected fist of meat

drumming out percussions’ thump
beating ors into ands like us
always echoing what

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Matter of Opinion

In a very significant way, everything is a matter of opinion. We choose whether or not to believe in something, even if the facts support it or completely negate its possibility because we always have a choice. And so, it follows that the difference between good and bad is a matter of opinion. The difficulty arises in the amount and quality of information one has that can be used to ascertain the truth. Various examples are available to demonstrate the way something that is apparently bad can turn out to be beneficial to humanity. The easiest of these demonstrations comes from suffering (death, disease, etc.) leading to an epiphany that is then shared with the rest of humanity, thereby increasing the overall level of awareness in a society. But enough with abstractions.
One maxim that can easily be destroyed is the following: It’s not good to keep secrets. Of course it is. Following the Taoist tenet of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, propagating vicious rumors is detrimental to everyone. Propagating half-truths is also dangerous, but at the same time telling the truth to someone whose ignorance twists it into something evil is also destructive. Hence, the problem arises because unless we truly know someone and every nuance of their logical process, we cannot know how they will interpret information shared with them. So weigh your words carefully and be fully aware that choice and difference with ultimately shape shared information in a way that is nearly entirely unpredictable in the long run.