Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Biosphere 0.991

The U.S. Department of Defense is attemping to create "an alternate reality holding a complex matrix with billions of individual 'nodes' to reflect every man, woman and child in the real world."
The system, or Matrix, is set to be called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS) that is quoted to be a "synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information."
via FST

The c-u-c-me device now with feel-u-feel-me plugin.


Spoil 1.94

I do not often write, as you know. I don't have the temperament for it.
Claire Messud, When the World was steady, Picador, 1994, p.184

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

From behind 2.30a

'Can't you just see the ghosts?' she said to Lady Circumference on the stairs. 'Pit and Fox and Burke and Lady Hamilton and Beau Brummel and Dr Johnson' (a concurrence of celebrities, it may be remarked, at which something memorable might surely have occurred). 'Can't you just see them - in their buckled shoes?'
E. Waugh, Vile Bodies, p.126

File 1.85 aglio et olio

Friedrich Christian Accum, A treatise on adulterations of food, and culinary poisons: exhibiting the fraudulent sophistications of bread, beer, wine, spirituous liquors, tea, coffee, cream, confectionery, vinegar, mustard, pepper, cheese, olive oil, pickles, and other articles employed in domestic economy and methods of detecting them. London: Printed by J. Mallett, ... sold by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1820.

Friday, June 22, 2007

biosphere 0.99_b (dictionarial digression)

dezent : subdued, discreet, unostentatiously


biosphere 0.99_a

In India, the difference between the army of a prince and the gang of a robber was, in general estimation of the people, only in degree - they were both driving an imperial trade, a 'paadshaahii kaam'. Both took the auspices, and set out on their expeditions after the Dasahraa, when the autumn crops were ripening; and both thought the Deity propitiated as soon as they found the omens favourable; one attacked palaces and capitals, the other villages and merchants' storerooms. The members of the army of the prince thought as little of the justice or injustice of his cause as those of the gang of the robber; the people of his capital hailed the return of the victorious prince who had contributed so much to their wealth, to his booty, and to their self-love by his victory. The village community received back the robber and his gang with the same feelings: by their skill and daring they had come back loaded with wealth, which they were always disposed to spend liberally with their neighbours. There was no more of truth in the prince and his army, in their relations with the princes and people of neighbouring principalities, than in the robber and his gang in their relations with the people robbed.

Sleeman, William. Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official (1844), OUP 1973, p. 396.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

biosphere 0.98

First, Nero had self-acknowledged Christians arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers of others were condemned - not so much for their incendiarism as for their anti-social tendencies. Their deaths were made farcical. Dressed in wild animals' skin, the were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be ignited after dark as substitutes for torches. [...] Despite their guilt as Christians, and the ruthless punishment it deserved, the victims were pitied. For it was felt that they were being sacrificed to one man's brutality rather than to the national interest.

Tacitus. The Annals of Imperial Rome.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Spoil 1.93

He was a secular puritan, one of those 'who have not got the Faith and will not have the fun'.
E. Waugh, A little learning, Chapman & Hall, 1964, p. 118

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

._.. . ._ ..._ . ...

Monday, June 11, 2007

the owls are not what they seem

In his Metaphysics L1 (dating from around 1778-80), Kant wrote: "The thought of Swedenborg on this matter [the existence of two worlds] is quite sublime. He says: the spirit world composes a special real universe; this is the mundus intelligiblis [intelligible world\, from which this mundus sensibilis [sensible world] must be distinguished."

R. Lines, "Swedenborg and Kant", TLS May 5 2006, p. 17.


Memorandum-book desk

From behind 2.30

Coleridge works his way towards the beginnings of a unified theory, the "great law of the imagination", that "a likeness in part tends to become a likeness of the whole": the brain is always busy recognizing, replicating, expanding, extemporizing and filling in the gaps. Under the right circumstances, humble decanters and inkstands can morph into human or demonic entities at which point they may do anything that such entities might be expected to do: walk, speak, wear evening dress or waggle their pointed tails [...] but, having tantalized himself and the reader, Coleridge announces reluctantly that he is unable to do it justice. "I have long wished to devote an entire work to the subject of dreams, visions, ghosts and witchcraft", he insists, and "I have indeed a memorandum-book filled with records of these phaenomena, many of them interesting as facts and data for psychology, and affording some valuable materials for a theory of perception and its dependence on memory and the imagination."

Mike Jay, "The fruitful matrix of ghosts", TLS May 5 2006, p. 15.


von ferne ein radio

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

biosphere 0.97 (new global player)

The number of people in India's slums more than doubled in 20 years. The number of urban slum dwellers rose from 27.9 million in 1981 to 61.8 million in 2001- the latest census data available [...].

The Guardian Weekly
, 25.05.07, Fieldnotes, p.43

File 1.84

Vile Bodies caught the public fancy for extraneous reasons. 'The Bright Young People' with whom it deals, and of whom I was a member rather on the fringe than in the centre, were one of the newspaper topics of the time. [...] The jargon most of us spoke came new to the novel reader and so captivated one prominent dramatic critic that for weeks he introduced into articles week after week: '"Too sick-making", as Mr Waugh would say.'
Evelyn Waugh, "Preface", Vile Bodies, Compact Books, 1993, p.7

...too too divine...

At week-ends they would swoop down from Oxford or London in merry hordes, to be greeted with solid disapproval by my mother and furious glares by my father.
Boud, Debo and I were on the whole carefully insulated from Nancy's friends, as my mother considered them a totally bad influence. "What a set!" she always said when some of their more outrageous ideas were expounded by Nancy. They talked in the jargon of their day: "Darling, too too divine, too utterly sickmaking, how shamemaking!" Fascinated I would hang around in the drawing-room as much as I dared, until my presence was noticed and I was chased back up to the schoolroom...
A high point in my life came when Evelyn Waugh, a writer feller and one of the main Swinbrook sewers, promised me that he would immortalize Miranda by substituting the word "sheepish" for the standard "divine" in his forthcoming book Vile Bodies.
J. Mitford, Hons and Rebels, p. 33-34

From behind 2.29

The oddly chosen battleground of Nancy's generation was that of the Athletes versus the Aesthetes - sometimes called the Hearties and the Arties - and the newspapers were full of accounts of pitched warfare staged at Oxford University between these opposing forces.
The Athletes, of course, were direct ideological descendants of past patriots, winners of wars on the playing fields of Eton, Old School Tie men and their horsey-set women.
The Aesthetes laid claim to a more exotic heritage...the Romantics, the England of Oscar Wilde, the France of Baudelaire and Verlaine. Most of the Aesthetes were vaguely pro-Socialist, pro-pacifist, and (horrors!) opposed to shooting, hunting and fishing on the grounds that these hallowed blood sports were cruel and sadistic. They gaily toppled the old, uncomplicated household gods - England, Home and Glory, the Divine Right of Kings (and hence the House of Lords), the axiomatic superiority of the English over all other races...
J. Mitford, Hons and Rebels, p.33

Boil 2.14

Testing: screenshot blog

Monday, June 04, 2007

Boil 2.16 epistolary

An email letter says:

Leider sind wir keine Festplatten, die man byteweise loeschen kann.

Regrettably we're not harddrives that can be deleted byte by byte.

File 1.83

(Someone has probably made a study of berries in the German imagination but, if not, it is a subject worthy of attention. I can think of no culture in which the words, Erdbeeren, Himbeeren, Brombeeren, Stachelbeeren, as well as the fruits, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, have so deep a resonance and are more closely associated with place, memory and longing.)
Thomas Laqeur, "Lectures about heaven,  LRB 29:11, 7 June 2007.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spoil 1.92

We live in a time of feverish enthusiasm about the brain.

Alva Noe, "Beyond the eye", TLS May 5 2006, p. 12.

Zeitalter der Nerven/The age of nerves redux


Friday, June 01, 2007

biosphere 0.96 (vroom)

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biosphere 0.95

Palanquins were provided with mattresses and cushions, and most travellers stocked them with supplies of food and drink. [...] The bearers were both highly skilled and militant (there was a general strike of palanquin bearers in Calcutta in 1828), and more than one high-ranking but overzealous British officer found himself abandoned by the roadside by bearers whom he had, most unwisely, abused for the discomforts of his journey.
Dash, Mike. Thugs. London 2005, 297.

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Boil 2.15

Mythical Monsters 1886

A Field Guide to Loners

via plep