"It's Difficult to Comprehend how Insane Some People Can Be, Especially When You're Insane"
(backup links: 1 2 3)
"...a man that I met asked me if I had a cellular phone and then asked me to lift up my shirt." Mor-Yosef, who doesn't speak Hebrew well, didn't respond. "I thought it was a game, then he pulled out a gun and shot me" 14 times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hearings on whether to attack Iraq are a sham.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome
(Thanks to James)
Type your zip code in to one of the blanks at "NETWORK and it will help you find issues and action you can take.
"'We’ve got to do whatever it takes – if it takes sending SWAT teams into journalists’ homes – to stop these leaks,' admonished James B. Bruce, vice chairman of the CIA's Foreign Denial and Deception Committee."
AS Internet Graph: "The graph reflects 1,224,733 IP addresses and 2,093,194 IP links, (immediately adjacent addresses in a traceroute-like path) of skitter data from 16 monitors probing approximately 932,000 destinations spread across over 75,000 (70%) of globally routable network prefixes."
"He who kills one is a murderer.
He who kills many is a hero.
He who kills all is a god." --Alphonso Lingis
Sloterdijk "seeks the answer in Gnosis. This is a path followed by many philosophers and artists before him: Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Cioran, Beckett and Baudrillard. Without exaggerating, we may say that a discussion is underway regarding the dissidence potential of the language of Gnosis in the post-historical media age. Within this debate Sloterdijk's position is that a new `epoch-making' revolution is possible, and that, analogous to Gnosis in the past, it must come from an individual revolution of the soul. His study of Gnosis resulted in a massive work published in 1993 with T. H. Macho, entitled Weltrevolution der Seele, Ein Lese- und Arbeitsbuch der Gnosis. The book is not an attempt at a religious-historic consideration of a phenomenon of the past, but rather a collection of texts from past and present which offer a sense of what Gnosis could mean today. This meaning is more closely explained in a book published shortly afterward, Weltfremdheit. Sloterdijk's thesis on unworldliness is that, for the first time in history, Gnosis has formulated a dualistic principle which makes it possible to live in this world without being of this world.
The Gnosis investigation provides Sloterdijk with a set of instruments for making a diagnosis of our age which demonstrates that our culture displays signs of a sort of neo-Gnostic turn. After two hundred years of attachment to the world, many people are now turning away from it and thereby spontaneously following the second path of Gnosis."
New commenting system installed. Relevant thoughts welcome.
Theses/Dissertations on Philip K. Dick
An account of the creation of the Alchemical Tarot deck
The Cunningham Dax Collection of Psychiatric Art
"I see nothing but distress, disorder and madness everywhere; but justice mocked, but the right betrayed, but falsehood. And I wonder what life could bring me that matters, what does all this mean? What is it all going to lead to, and the rest? In what an absurd mess humanity is sinking, how and where to escape?" --Andre Gide (1936)
"The madness of one man is terrible enough, the madness of millions... is unbearable... one has to build private shelters against it not to be contaminated and maddened by it." --Anais Nin (1942)
"I loathe politics. Because of politics, all that I love is in danger; it is a menace to individual liberty, a menace to happiness, it disturbs my work. I wholeheartedly believe in works of literature and works of art. This belief is entirely foreign to political preoccupations." --Julien Green (1932)
"Singer studied 141 three- and four-year olds, and found that 65% reported having imaginary playmates. The children who reported having such companions were less aggressive, more cooperative, smiled more, were better able to concentrate, were less frequently bored, and were more linguistically advanced than their companionless cohorts. They were clearly cognizant of the difference between external reality and the worlds of their imagination..." from Invisible Guests by Mary Watkins
United States loses fight to block U.N. vote on torture convention (but the battle's not over yet)
"the Hermetic system was the earliest in the West to propose a mystical initiation, consisting of multiple experiences, that is simultaneously a journey through places and a series of changes in the ontology of the self. Its ascension to the sky compares with Jewish and Christian apocalypticism; but its division of ontological states compares with Neoplatonic distinctions among sensibles..." --Stages of Ascension in Hermetic Rebirth
(Thanks to Matt)
"If there's another terrorist attack, and if it's from a certain ethnic community or certain ethnicities that the terrorists are from, you can forget civil rights in this country." --Peter N. Kirsanow (member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights)
In a bioterrorism exercise "a Manhattan building was deliberately contaminated with anthrax by terrorists and a New York Police Department official was asked what he would do. 'And he said he would bring in the tank,' Perkins said. 'I said, 'The tank?' And he said, 'It's a show of force.'" --A Lack of Teamwork
Operation TIPS-TIPS: Report TIPS informants
(Thanks to Mike)
Americans are "happy to do some spying," for the government.
Second law of thermodynamics no longer applies
Imagine three different boxes. One is large, one is medium, and one is small.
Now, imagine seeing something different in each box.
Write down what you see in each size box, then click here
"One day Nasrudin was out walking and found a man sitting on the side of the road crying.
'What is the matter, my friend?' asked Nasrudin. 'Why are you crying?'
'I'm crying because I am so poor,' wailed the man. 'I have no money and everything I own is in this little bag.'
'Ah-ha!,' said Nasrudin, who immediately grabbed the bag and ran as fast as he could until he was out of sight.
'Now I have nothing at all,' cried the poor man, weeping still harder as he trudged along the road in the direction Nasrudin had gone. A mile away he found his bag sitting in the middle of the road, and he immediately became ecstatic. 'Thank God,' he cried out. 'I have all my possessions back. Thank you, thank you.'
'How curious!' exclaimed Nasrudin, appearing out of the bushes by the side of the road. "How curious that the same bag that made you weep now makes you ecstatic.'" --Roger Walsh
"At Harvard in the 1890's Professor William James had in his classes a rather wonky, stubby talkative Jewish girl from California. She was late for classes, didn't seem to understand what was going on, misspelled, knew no Latin -- that sort of typicall mess, the girl who couldn't get it together, a 'typical neurotic' as we might say today. But William James let her turn in a blank exam paper, and gave her a high mark for the course, helped her through to medical studies at Johns Hopkins. He saw something unique in this pupil. She was Gertrude Stein...
In a Southern small town a man named Phil Stone, who had some literary education at Yale, took under his wing as coach and mentor, a short, wiry, heavily drinking, hihgly pretentious lad of the town. This young fellow wrote poems, pretended to be British, carried a walking stick and wore special clothes -- all in smalltown Mississippi during the First World War. Phil Stone listened to the boy, whom we might call today a 'typical puer' and perceived his uniqueness. THe man went on to become the William Faulkner who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949...
In the year 1831 one of those marvellous old-fashioned scientific expeditions was to set forth; a schoolmaster named John Henslow suggested that one of his former pupils be appointed naturalist. The lad was then 22; he had been rather dull at school, hopeless in maths, although a keen collector of beetles from the countryside; he was hardly different from the others of his type and class: hunting and shooting, popular member of the Glutton Club aimed for the clergy. He had a 'typical family complex' as we might say today, soft in the mother and dominated by a 300-pound father. But Henslow saw something and persuaded the parties involved, including the pupil named Charles Darwin, that he make the journey." from Egalitarian Typologies versus the Perception of the Unique by James Hillman
"Many artists go so far as to engage in conversations with more than images and art materials; some even with the developing work... One artist describes the give-and-take that occurs: "I always listen to the work. I will sit and talk with it a long time". Another artist relates specific information about the negotiations. For her, not only did the painting ask for assistance, but she voiced her affirmative response: "This is what I'm gonna be," it says, "Can you help me become that?" And I say, "Okay. How can I help you?". Another artist, in describing her conversations, performs a vaudeville-like routine, physically and vocally enacting both roles--the artist and the painting: "Paintings are a dialogue between the artist and the picure. You have to listen to what the painting wants you to do. It's a dialogue between the two of you. It says, 'I want a little bit more blue over here.' And you say, 'No, you were supposed to be white.'"" from Creative Transformations by Helane Rosenberg
"If someone gave Manuel a common stone, he would hold it in his hand and look at it eagerly. In a few seconds, it would begin to shine and he would see that it was made of silver, then of gold, then of the most precious things imaginable, until the glitter died
Roberto would hold the same stone and would murmur, "Mmmmm, , , What is this good for?" But he wouldn't know the answer.
Marta would hold it in her hand for just a moment, and without a thought, would throw it away.
I, Consuelo, would look at it wonderingly. "What might this be? Is it, could it be, what I have been looking for?"
But my father would take the stone and set it on the ground. He would look for another and put it on top of the first one, then another and another, until no matter how long it took, he had finally turned it into a house." from Children of Sanchez, by Oscar Lewis
My blog archives are working again! (Usually you'd want to look for the "Earlier blog entries..." link at the bottom of the page)
Nice HTML color table
The RAVE Act holds rave promoters responsible if people use drugs during their rave.
(Thanks again to Joel)
A monster /. thread on electronic music.
(Note the subsequent page links at the bottom: "1|2|3|4|5|6|7...") (Thanks to Joel)
Georges Perec's A Void was originally written in French (as La Disparition). It completely avoided using the letter "e". As you know, the letter "e" is the most common letter in the English alphabet. Without it you can't use "the", "he", "she", "love", or about three quarters of the words in English. Since French uses even more e's, I am told that that constraint excluded seven eighths of all French words from being used in the composition. The translation that was subsequently made in to English managed to keep the same constraint.
Perec did all sorts of other interesting constrained writing experiments, many in conjunction with Oulipo (a group that included Italo Calvino), who were also particularly interested in constrained writing.
One of their other members, Raymond Queneau created a work called 100,000,000,000,000 Sonnets, which "consisted of ten pages of 14 lines, cut into strips so that one could lift a strip and make up to 10^14 combinations, thus the title. If you attempted to read all the sonnets contained, it would take 190,258,751 years until you finished it."
"You see symbols were made to be doorways. You don’t stop at a symbol and say, here, this is an equal armed cross with a circle around it. You're supposed to go through that symbol and find out what’s behind it... for me, a symbol is just a beginning. To what is behind the symbol. It is not just a pretty decorative pattern. You take it and you chew it... You take it apart. You look at it, and can use any one of a dozen ways... Look at it, wait and see if another symbol comes up, add that to the first one. Wait and see if another one comes up. When you’ve finished all that lot, kind of sit and look at the symbol... you make a friend of your symbol. And you give it a name. ‘Hi Fred! How are you doing?’ And the symbol sits there and says, ‘I’m doing O.K. What would you like to know today?’ ‘Well listen Fred, I’ve been thinking. You know, you’re always drawn in this way, can you give me an aspect of yourself that was before this?' ‘Well, let me think.’ says Fred, ‘I used to be drawn like this...’ --An Interview with Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki
"Suffering is the fastest horse that leads to perfection" --Meister Eckhart
"FEMA, the federal agency charged with disaster preparedness, is engaged in a crash effort to prepare for multiple mass destruction attacks on U.S. cities - including the creation of sprawling temporary cities to handle millions of displaced persons..."
(Thanks to Mike)
"It may be that after this life we shall perish utterly, but if that is our fate, let us so live that annihilation will be unjust." -- Etienne de Senancour
The Queen of Spades --Alexander Pushkin
Igitur --Stéphane Mallarmé
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
A Modern Perspective on Classical Technologies for Personality Restructuring: Processes of Ecstatic Initiation in Ancient Eleusis and Pompeii
"On the Beach tells a simple story. Some kind of complicated mix-up happened, and nuclear war has devastated the Northern Hemisphere. Who is to blame? The explanations would be hilarious in their complexity, if not for the implied question: who is not to blame? The people of Australia wait the 7 or 8 months for the radioactivity to drift southwards. Then everyone dies. Their dogs die. Their infants die. Either messy deaths due to radioactive poisoning, or swift deaths due to cyanide pills. Radiation approaches, they die, the end..."
"From the day of its foundation, in 1866, the Societé Linguistique de Paris let it be known that it wouldn't accept papers claiming to explain how human language had originated. The savants felt they had a right to be spared the at best ignorant and at worst lunatic theorizing of those who believed they had an answer to this seductively remote question.
Historical linguistics had become a subject reserved for those who dealt in facts, and the extra-historical matter of language's origins could be left aside, exciting for sure when addressed by a Rousseau or a Herder, futile when addressed by madmen or amateurs led on by the new fashion for thinking in evolutionary terms.
The situation wasn't promising therefore for the man whose theorizing was, it's safe to say, the most lunatic of all, so strange indeed as to have been cherished now for more than a century, whether as an example of what André Breton called the "humour of reception", which is when we laugh at something that wasn't intended to be funny, or as a crucial resource in the study of linguistic misapprehension. This was Jean-Pierre Brisset..."
"Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness." --Blaise Pascal
"Luck is when the guy next to you gets hit with the arrow." --Aristotle (paraphrased)
"Character traits are secret psychoses." --Sandor Ferenczi
"Nor wonder how I lost my Wits;
Oh! Caelia, Caelia, Caelia shits!" --Jonathan Swift
"Why are you unhappy?
Because 99.9 per cent
Of everything you think and
Of everything you do
Is for yourself -
And there isn't one." --Wei Wu Wei
The nonduality of Life and death: A Buddhist view of repression
"The Terrorism Information and Prevention System, or TIPS, means the US will have a higher percentage of citizen informants (one in 24 Americans) than the former East Germany through the infamous Stasi secret police."
American dirty nukes: Depleted Uranium Weapons
"It is my opinion that never before have we, as a nation, stood in greater danger of losing our individual liberties as we are today," Serpico said. "We, the people of this great nation, are being punished for the transgressions of our leaders and their consorts."
500,000 to be vaccinated for smallpox
"United Nations weapons inspectors colluded with British secret service agents to spread disinformation about Saddam Hussein's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programmes as part of a campaign to justify military strikes, according to the head of the UN inspection team in Iraq."
"Everything human strikes me with horror" --attributed, by Camus, to a camp survivor
Who's afraid of the International Criminal Court? The US, Russia, China and Israel, of course.
History of Guided Imagery
List all the things you just don't want to think about.
How is your life impacting others?
So... what is the life you intended?
--Journaling prompts (and more)
Paperjournal: real-world journal group
5 Year Journal
(No need to actually buy it... just use the ideas you like in your own journal)
Only a few cities dare oppose the so-called "Patriot Act"
BlogComp: Blog Tool Feature Comparison Table
(thanks to Mike!)
Ego, Self and Individuation
Terence McKenna on Alchemy
Free online storage: 1 2