Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thursday Verses: In Broken Images

(Yes, it's only Wednesday when I post this, but it'll be up all through Thursday and beyond)

Perhaps it dulls the effect of the poem to admit this up front, but this is the loveliest descriptions of skeptical epistemology I've ever seen.

In Broken Images
Robert Graves (via)

He is quick, thinking in clear images;
I am slow, thinking in broken images.

He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;
I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images.

Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;
Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.

Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact;
Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.

When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;
When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.

He continues quick and dull in his clear images;
I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.

He in a new confusion of his understanding;
I in a new understanding of my confusion.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Aphabetical Meme

  • Accent: hardly any.
  • Booze: Irish Coffee; dark beer
  • Chore I Hate: refrigerator cleaning.
  • Dog or Cat: neither. If I had to pick one, it'd be the smart one, the one I'm not allergic to.
  • Essential Electronics: digital camera
  • Favorite Cologne(s): flowers
  • Gold or Silver: silver, mostly.
  • Hometown: my parents still live there, but it's changed so much....
  • Insomnia: Not once I lay down.
  • Job Title: probationary phronetic pontificator
  • Kids: One Little Anachronism
  • Living arrangements: single-family dwelling
  • Most admirable trait: intelligence?
  • Number of sexual partners: low single digits
  • Overnight hospital stays: no
  • Phobias: not really.
  • Quote: "In a word, in history, as elsewhere, the causes cannot be assumed. They are to be looked for. . ." -- Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft, p. 197.
  • Religion: Liberal Judaism
  • Siblings: Smarter than me.
  • Time I wake up: 6-ish
  • Unusual talent or skill: modular origami
  • Vegetable I refuse to eat: brussel sprouts are pretty much the only vegetable I've managed to avoid eating ever. Not sure why, to be honest.
  • Worst habit: blogging instead of working
  • X-rays: not in a long time.
  • Yummy foods I make: chocolate fondue. Also chicken soup.
  • Zodiac sign: western: Sagittarius; Chinese: sheep.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Blogging is like playing chess against yourself. And everyone else. At the same time.

I haven't done a quiz in a little while. I haven't played chess in even longer....
A Black Knight
You scored 3 Power-Finesse, 2 Leader-Follower, 3 Unique-Ordinary, and 0 Offense-Defense!
The rules don't really apply to you, do they? Impediments for you are opportunities, not obstacles. You are dashing and flamboyant, and you like to be right in the middle of the action. You like to protect your team and your King and Queen, by fighting off those who would dare to threaten them. In the long run, however, you cannot win the game alone. It is impossible for you to checkmate your opponent all by yourself, so you appreciate and value your teammates.

Link: The What Chess Piece Are You Test written by Gundark27 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test [via]

Monday, September 11, 2006

Modern Amphibians

Frogs in Concrete Contexts

Disclaimer: These pictures have nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11/01, terrorism, politics, memory or policy.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday Lyric: Stormfront

This is a particularly powerful piece. It's more of a spoken-word verse than a song as such, but the powerful music doesn't hurt. I got the text here, but I heartily recommend the album Sparrow's Wing.

Garnet Rogers

As silent as the voice of God
these empty barren hills
they hover above the dry plain
they shimmer in the distance
I feel a sudden chill
The ground is dry and cracked
like an old mans skin stretched across the plain
Lightning flickering across the thunderhead
Empty promises of rain

Some kind of stormfront on the move tonight
Feel the tension in the air
Dust devils dance on the side of the highway
Leaves and garbage everywhere
Mothers call their kids from the door
"C'mon get inside, shut the windows, lock them tight"
The sun has burned its bridges
plunged into the mountains in a sea of steam
and poison light
I hear thunder bumping boxcars in the valley
the wind is laughing up my sleeve
the cars have turned their headlights on
It's way past time-- I should be gone
We've turned our towns into a filthy joke
like a theme park built for swine
We bulldoze farms, fields turn them into strip malls
Nobody seems to mind
Who elected these cheap hustlers anyway?
This worthless pack of pimps and whores
The developers come smiling with their pockets jingling full of change
We get down on all fours

And I don't want your Black Hills gold
Not at any price
we built a trail of tears and broken trees through here
then swarmed the earth like lice
Townhouses, casinos and trailer parks
Cheap neon light up the falling night
I saw the Four Horsemen ride through here about an hour ago
They were sickened at the sight

These highway signs are full of bullet holes
Burnt rubber cross the road
Someone's angry about something somewhere here
They're just waiting to unload
We're putting bombs in buildings
Bombs in letters, bombs in trucks
We're drowning kids in the backs of cars
We're dressing killers in Armani suits
We turn them into TV stars

We become a race of leering voyeurs
We're big on Progress Sex and Death
Something evil is lurking in the darkness here with me
and I can smell its stinking breath
It's in the blankness of our children's stares
It's in a courtroom in a suit
It's in the hand that holds gun that made these bullet holes
It's a secret pocket filled with loot
It's the soft white faces of these soft white men
with their soft white grasping hand
who laugh and sneer at those who have to stand and wait in line
and never got their chance

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Quotations #083

"In The Cycle of Juvenile Justice, historian Thomas J. Bernard shows how over the past 200 years each generation has believed that juveniles were committing more frequent and more serious crimes than juveniles 30 or 40 years ago." -- Mara Dodge, Z Magazine, 3/2000.

"The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr" -- Mohammed

"History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten." George Santayana

"The First Amendment recognizes that a certain amount of expressive disorder not only is inevitable in a society committed to individual freedom, but must itself be protected if that freedom should survive." Iowa Superior Court Judge Rosemary Sackett.

"Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization" -- Eugene V. Debs