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Showing posts from July, 2015

Highlighted passages from Huxley's Island

Science is not enough, religion is not enough, art is not enough, politics and economics is not enough, nor is love, nor is duty, nor is action however disinterested, nor, however sublime, is contemplation. Nothing short of everything will really do.



One third, more or less, of all the sorrow that I must endure is unavoidable. It is the sorrow inherent in the human condition, the price we must pay for being sentient and self-conscious organisms, aspirants to liberation, but subject to the laws of nature and under orders to keep on marching, through irreversible time, through a world wholly indifferent to our well-being, toward decrepitude and the certainty of death.

The remaining two thirds of all sorrow is homemade and, so far as the universe is concerned, unnecessary.




"Which brings me back to those American doctors. Three of them were psychiatrists... We just couldn't believe our ears. They never attack [illness] on all the fronts; they only attack on about half of one front.…

the great toolchain

(c) PuppyOnTheRadio (2011)

To do web dev, I need an incantation:

"ES6, Atom, Mocha, Mongo, V8, Node + Promises, npm, Express, Docker, Grunt, Ractive, VMware, Git, Gitlab, JIRA!"
Together, these technologies form a toolchain and a stack. (To clarify: each of the above are different programs, or frameworks, all used in making one other program. Each link in the chain has quirks and an internal mini-language to learn. And this is all besides the home-grown scaffold the target program actually uses / consists in.) Two months ago, I'd no idea that people use a dozen widgets to get large projects up and talking; I had no acquaintance with most links in the above chain.

But I'm being melodramatic: we use these because the project I'm working on is so large; all of the links make my life easier, and most are unobtrusive (to the point where they don't need launching, even). And it is easy enough to get by with only afewer components. It's just that I learned cod…

official research miscellany

(c) DCLCQ (2014)

I made a Markov chain of my social media data recently. Here are my cherry-picks (out of perhaps 300 seeds):

What an option for underhand comments made as just data. I'm being a first-world problem?I think the inevitable is still on loan from the History Department. will smash them.ran out of your 'reality' bullshit. We're the lowest of others; we continue in our children, and in Libya.scratching a certain region of spacetime. gee thanks bud.Ah, my cruelty.I am currently reading Robbie Williams' thought-provoking autobiography...metaphysics really want us to perve.A city full of men die like dogs, for telling your name, sacred music in the matter. I think, tooaccount for the softer tribes living in the missing beats.I'm moving closer to you, but it never fully comprehend woman's concrete situation. my epaulettes, ripped offWhile desire focuses on the line of flame that characterizes the universe in terms of bogon sources such as the other c…

Been Reading, Q2 2015

(c) Ben Orlin (2015)


Increasingly, people seem to interpret complexity as sophistication, which is baffling – the incomprehensible should cause suspicion, not admiration. Possibly this results from the mistaken belief that using a mysterious device confers [extra] power on the user.

– Niklaus Wirth
'I’m afraid I don’t understand that' was a reply uttered in those days with great self-righteousness, the implication being that what you had said was deficient in true ordinariness... It was felt to be a very strong defence, not only intellectually but also morally. (“You are confused or pretentious, or both; my inability to understand is proof of virtue.”)– Jasper Griffin

1/5: No.4/5: 4/5: Very good.2/5: Meh.4*/5: Amazing but one read will do..3/5: Skimmable.5?/5: A possible 5/5.3*/5: Mind candy.5/5: Encore. A life companion.


Had my Final exams, but that didn’t stop me doing these, for reasons of perversity.

I wonder about books that would take me a full 3 months to read. Infinite …

Rip it Up and Start Again: Post-punk 1978-1984 (2006) by Simon Reynolds

Playlist here.


An exhaustive essay on art and/versus pop, politics and/versus aesthetics, intellect and/versus passion, and on how seriously music should, in general, be taken. He reads post-punk as far wider than the sombre anti-rock art-school thing people usually take it to be – so he includes Human League and ABC as post-punks with emphasis on the post:
To varying degrees, all these groups grasped the importance of image, its power to seduce and motivate. And they all coated their music in a patina of commercial gloss, some of them pursuing a strategy of entryism, while others simply revelled in sonic luxury for the sheer glam thrill of it… it’s simply inaccurate to portray New Pop, as some histories of the period have, as a ‘like punk never happened’ scenario. Almost all of the groups had some connection to punk…

New Pop was about making the best of the inevitable – synths and drum machines, video, the return of glamour. Colour, dance, fun and style were sanctioned as both stra…