1.10.2017

recently noted thoughts

"The supposedly dystopian aspect of my work has never been that, but rather the application of literary naturalism to imagined futures." -- william gibson

"make visible, what without you, might perhaps never have been seen." -- robert bresson

"Duality can breed insight but it can also breed delusions." -- Tressie McMillan Cottom

"The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know." -- kevin ashton ["how to fly a horse"]

 "where egotism is not made the measure of reality and value, we are citizens of this vast world beyond ourselves, and any intense realization of its presence with and in us brings a particularly satisfying sense of unity in itself and with ourselves" -- john dewey [art and experience]

"Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all." ~Richard Feynman

it is truly horrifying how little we learn from history and how quickly we throw away what little we had learned. 

"To a man devoid of blinders, there is no finer sight than that of the intelligence at grips with a reality that transcends it." -- Albert Camus

"most peasants want nothing more than the illusion of a voice. father says that's what democracies are for." -- from "the capture of benedict arnold" episode, Timeless.

facebook: where news comes to die a horrible death of a thousand fake links.

FUN FACT: "Internet of Things" is the colloquial short form of the longer term "Internet of Things that should not be on the Internet". -- fabian giesen


"you're a giant chunk of spinach in the teeth of the universe." -- the good place

 “be-careful for what you wish for it may be seeking you as well...”
― Master Golden Wizard "Luxas Aureaum"


"Only when the past ceases to trouble and the anticipations of the future are not perturbing is a being wholly united with his environment and therefore fully alive. Art celebrates with particular intensity the moments in which the past reinforces the present and in which the future is a quickening of what now is." -- john dewey ["art as experience"]

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere." -- Elie Wiesel [1986 Nobel peace prize speech]

all that you touch
you change

all that you change
changes you.

-- octavia e butler


"My newest horror story: Once upon a time there was a man named Donald Trump, and he ran for president. Some people wanted him to win." -- stephen king

"Oh! Suspense! Democracy's going to end with cliffhanger! I guess we're all just gonna have to wait until November 9th to find out if we still have a country! If Donald J. Trump is in the mood for a peaceful transfer of power.
Or if he's just going to wipe his fat ass with the Constitution."" -- stephen colbert


"Counter to the internet isn't censorship, it's misinformation & information glut. Counter to dissident politics is destruction of privacy." -- zeynep tufekci


"My favorite English professor was primarily concerned with the mass psychology of fascism. Wish I weren't finding that all so handy now" --william gibson
"a word of advice: stop searching. forget vision, forget personal style, forget unique voice; these are not goals, they are byproducts. the most meaningful art you can make is not about a particular look, subject matter or visual effect, but about the way you respond to and interpret the world." -- guy tal

"working under a deadline is endlessly rich in opportunities for self-discovery." — andré kukla

"humor is a far more potent crowbar than statistics for wrenching people from their preconceptions." -- p z myers ["happy atheist"]

"you're over 40? you don't even remember what your dreams were..." -- anonymous comic ["whitney cummins' bleep show"]

"i'm 18! ...
la la la la la la
I don't hear you!!!" -- the kid


"some things you teach yourself to remember to forget." -- william gibson ["count zero"]

To those who wish to become better artists, and better people, my best advice can be summed up in one word: read. And to those who wish for their work to make a difference to others, my best advice can also be summed up in one word: write." -- guy tal

"If you are talking about humans and you use terms like 'half breed' seriously you're racist, an idiot, or a racist idiot."
-- peter da silva


sake for the body, haiku for the heart;

sake is the haiku of the body,
haiku is the sake of the heart.
-- santōka taneda


"Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell." -- carrie fisher [wishful drinking]

7.21.2016

blue shutters

revisiting an old favorite for a touch of color and dynamic range. this one is from new orleans french quarter, february 1999. i'm out very early, sun just coming up. walked quickly to ursulines and chartres to visit the old french colonial ursulines convent. it is closed, and there is not much to photograph from the outside. i turn around to leave, and see this across the street. [fuji velvia at iso 40] i should rescan and re-process this slide, but this original scan made for a limited edition print is workable with modern image processing tools.

google street view of the corner of ursulines and chartres shows that (as is the case with everything in the french quarter) the colors are the same, and the tree is still there.

6.16.2016

overturned

head full
of light and
white water


eyes
gleaming stones

I have become
a river running
to you


and time

the canoe

overturned


george swede [from "I want to lasso time"]

6.08.2016

recently noted thoughts

imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but continuous flattery, however sincere, is extremely irritating. -- me

"People are very protective about the "things they know" especially if they've had to fight hard to get that information. The greater the effort, the harder it is to let it go." -- Kim Taylor

"If we were all given by magic the power to read each other’s thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be almost all friendships would be dissolved; the second effect, however, might be excellent, for a world without any friends would be felt to be intolerable, and we should learn to like each other without needing a veil of illusion to conceal from ourselves that we did not think each other absolutely perfect.” ― Bertrand Russell, ["The Conquest of Happiness"]

"There is a vast gulf between impossible, and impossible to imagine" -- sherlock ["elementary"]

"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." -- bertrand russell

"Each closure is an awakening, and every awakening settles something. This state of affairs defines organization of energy." -- John Dewey ["art as experience"]


"To come to a place with preconceived notions and expectations of what you will get from it, is a very dangerous thing. Because you might actually succeed in accomplishing exactly what you came there to find." -- guy tal


"Form follows function doesn't mean all objects have to look the same." -- Tonfisk [Finnish design company web page]

"There are at least six or seven individual apps all buried inside the guts of iTunes whimpering to get out. It is a perfect example of how not to write an application, and if someone were to release an app like this today, we’d laugh at it and it’d die of shame." -- chuq von rospach

"You live a life, Sherlock. if you're not a fool, it changes you." -- morland holmes ["elementary"]

4.27.2016

scalzi's tweets on Hugo puppy mess

[from @scalzi on twitter]

Going to do a series of tweets relating to the Hugos, but I'll be quick and there will be a kitten pic at the end. Okay? Okay.

1. Reading commentary on my reaction to the Puppy bullshit this year and some folks are upset I'm not reacting the way they think I should.

2. Specifically, they seem to be upset that I'm suggesting the Pup slating stuff that would be nominated anyway isn't a genius strategy...

3. ... and that essentially in cases like that the attempted puppy co-op should be entirely ignored. This is apparently AGAINST THE RULES.

4. So, basically, it's "Waaaaaah! You're not playing this game like you're supposed too! Why can't you see this is the end of days!"

5. My response to this is, a) who made you the boss of me, b) who cares what you think, c) I'm not obliged to follow anyone's playbook.

6. It's doesn't take genius to stuff a ballot box. Nor does co-opting people for your scheme mean people have to respond the way you want.

7. And this really isn't a crisis or a clash of worldviews. It's, simply, having to deal with opportunistic assholes. Again.

8. How do you deal with opportunistic assholes? In this case, by shrugging about their MASTER PLAN and do what you, not they, want.

9. The most exasperating thing of all this Hugo shit is people pretending this is about anything other than jerks and trolls being jerks...

10. ... or opportunists being opportunistic. I'm not inclined to give them any more importance than that. And that bugs them. Good!

11. So, yeah. If you're upset because I'm NOT DOING HUGO OUTRAGE RIGHT, or whatever, well, just suck on that. It's not your call.

12. Rant done. Compensatory kitten picture coming up in just a second.

As promised: Kittens!




[photo by john scalzi]

3.01.2016

recently noted thoughts

"Originalism is philosophically incoherent (the old texts bear the same multivalent marks of dispute and argument that persist now) and in practice ridiculous."-- adam gopnik

"When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial cliches." ~Edward Weston


"donald trump views the truth like this lemur views the supreme court vacancy. i don't care about that in any way, please f***off, i have a banana." -- john oliver


"Democracy embodies justice, free discussion embodies rationality, and it is only through justice and rationality that an issue can be found from the dangers with which modern war is threatening the human race" -- bertrand russell ["a scientist's plea for democracy", 1947]


"trump personifies everything the rest of the world despises about America: casual racism, crass materialism, relentless self-aggrandizement, vulgarity on an epic scale. the fact that so many Republicans are comfortable with the thought of this monumentally unqualified man in the Oval Office shows how warped the party has become." -- paul thomas [the new zealand herald]


"One cannot express something compelling, interesting or inspiring without first having something compelling, interesting or inspiring to express. And so, in pursuit of expressive work, one also becomes motivated to seek those things that are worth expressing: meaningful experiences, complex thoughts, powerful emotions, and useful or interesting knowledge." -- guy tal


"In a world with boundless opportunities for amusement, it's detestable that anyone would choose to get thrills from killing others who ask for nothing from life but the chance to remain alive." -- sir roger moore

"Let’s be honest; blazing skies at sunrise and sunset, wide-angle near-far compositions, etc., while often spectacularly beautiful, have become the photographic equivalent of fast food: momentarily satisfying, requiring little creative effort, and lacking any characteristics to distinguish the sensibilities and expressive powers of their creator from those of a million others." -- guy tal

"there is a very big difference between styling and design. design is about being perceptive of the contemporary culture and creating the future. styling is about borrowing from history." -- karim rashid


“I've always thought tests are a gift. And great tests are a great gift. To fail the test is a misfortune. But to refuse the test is to refuse the gift, and something worse, more irrevocable, than misfortune.”
[Lois McMaster Bujold, "Shards of Honour"]

"we owe nearly everything to others. generations are also generators. the point of the fruit is the tree, and the point of the tree is the fruit." -- kevin ashton ["how to fly a horse"]


"METAPHOR STEW: Trump is a karma tsunami, the long-imagined chickens of decades of race-baiting and rich-worshiping coming home to roost." -- lolgop [twitter]


after exhausting both
principle and reason
the ancient "not one thing"
that knows not
the bright moonlight.
-- musashi [at nagoya]


lovecraft!? h.p. lovecraft?
lovely lyrical name, isn't it, for such a troubled mind.
-- the librarians


"As an astronaut I spacewalked 220 miles above the Earth. Floating alongside the International Space Station, I watched hurricanes cartwheel across oceans, the Amazon snake its way to the sea through a brilliant green carpet of forest, and gigantic nighttime thunderstorms flash and flare for hundreds of miles along the Equator." -- piers j sellers


haskell: Primarily a CV decoration language. Code is typically written to be admired rather than compiled; this is technically known as the "lazy execution model." -- verity stob


the ordinary reader -- the ordinary audience -- is a barren conceit.

it guarantees a shared mediocrity.
don't preconceive the reader's limitations.
they'll become your own. -- verlyn klinkenborg ["several short sentences about writing"]

"has there ever been a critic of sam harris who is not been accused of misrepresenting him? this is a literal question!"-- cenk uygur


"I happen to be, at this very moment, purposefully misunderstanding Richard Dawkins as a way to generate clicks on some bloggers’ page[s], and so are all of the other mindless hivemind sockpuppets controlled by the aforementioned nameless bloggers." -- consciousness razor


1.20.2016

three cranes tsuba (sketch)


following is a partial illustrator/inkscape  rendering of a sukashi tsuba design, based on existing japanese designs. [i happen to own edo-era examples of this design, with three and four cranes] if you are interested in piercing your own tsuba, or would like three cranes in a circular formation for some other purpose, here it is. Unlike some of the tsubas I have seen, the cranes here are perfectly organized. [triangles and lines are there to let me understand the placement of the components] I left it incomplete but with sufficient detail. you still need to organize the lines as they merge into each other, compete the design of kozuka hitsu-ana, nakago hitsu-ana and kogai hitsu-ana and so on. exercise for the serious designer.

copyright, cc attribution, share-alike.

three cranes tsuba