quote 2 Jul
In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social structure, the real enigmas started not to be outside. The rain and the thunder were logical now. But the real enigmas became social. All those impulses that we were repressing: cannibalism, murder, these things needed an explanation. The sex drive, the need to hunt, the need to kill, these things then became personified in monsters. Werewolves, vampires, ogres, this and that. I feel that monsters are here in our world to help us understand it. They are an essential part of a fable.
— Guillermo Del Toro (via sovietcop)

(Source: iwearthecheeseyo)

quote 30 Jun
When designing a new application you should design it in such a way as to make it easier for it to be strangled in the future. Let’s face it, all we are doing is writing tomorrow’s legacy software today. By making it easy to be strangled in the future, you are enabling the graceful fading away of today’s work.
quote 30 Jun
The philosophy of moderation has always been one of bloodshed. Aristotle, who in his Eudemian Ethics celebrated the virtue of Mildness and argued that the moral good always lies between two extremes, was a tutor to Alexander the Great, who slaughtered hundreds of thousands so that modesty might conquer the world.
quote 20 Jun
Cathode ray memory relies on the fact that when a dot is drawn on a cathode ray tube, the dot becomes positively charged and the area around it negatively charged. When the beam is next pointed at that location, a voltage pulse is generated, which will differ depending on whether there was a ‘dot’ or a ‘dash’ stored there. A metal pickup plate over the tube detects the voltage pulse and passes the data out to the next part of the memory system and ultimately to the control unit. The act of reading the memory also wipes it, so it must immediately be rewritten; and as the charge well fades quickly, the whole thing must also be frequently rewritten.
quote 16 Jun
But society, like whales, is very big [citation needed]. Long before a group can take over society, it reaches a size where it needs to develop internal structure and rules about interaction between group members. If you collect a bunch of people and tell them to abandon all the social norms like honesty, politeness, respect, charity, and reason in favor of a cause – then the most likely result is that when your cause tries to develop some internal structure, it will be overrun by a swarm of people who have abandoned honesty, politeness, respect, charity, and reason.
quote 12 Jun
Men, to the boy I was, were dull, neuter, slightly stale when you got up close and infinitely tedious. The burdens they carried with such absurd solemnity seemed to me entirely fictitious and the presumption of authority that defined them to a standstill was utterly alien to how I imagined a just world to be, alien and pointless, and painstakingly justified, for each individual man, by a self-perpetuating system of titles and obligations that were unfailingly referred to as “the real world”.
quote 12 Jun
On the one hand, the impulse to mock this nonsense was both natural and pressing – and yet, at the same time, there was a sense that something real was concealed behind it all, something that, if it were allowed to sour, would leave a gap, not just in my mother’s, but in all our lives, an emptiness that nothing else could possibly fill. Where we lived, everything was cooked in lard, white pudding was a Saturday-night treat, the men all smoked eighty a day and drank themselves into oblivion every chance they got, but the real killer, the thing that truly sapped your strength, like a leech sapping the blood from your heart, was disappointment (synonyms: failure, defeat, frustration), a word whose etymology – from Middle French desapointer, “to undo an appointment, to remove from office” – barely hints at its destructive power, but, given a moment’s further analysis, does express something of the pain of workaday defeat that people in that world endured. If a soppy love song could ease that sense of defeat for a while, who was I to mock? The fact that, on occasion, during my clever-clogs years, I did mock now shames me more than I can say.
quote 11 Jun
Epigraphs, despite what my young mind believed, are more than mere pontification. Writers don’t use them to boast. They are less like some wine and entrée pairing and more like the first lesson in a long class. Writers must teach a reader how to read their book. They must instruct the tone, the pace, the ostensible project of a given work. An epigraph is an opportunity to situate a novel, a story, or an essay, and, more importantly, to orient the reader to the book’s intentions.
quote 8 Jun
In games the player generally experiences success and failure directly correlating with the success and failure of the protagonist, making it easy to empathize with the protagonist. When the player and the protagonist’s success and failure do not align, the game narrative is a tragedy. Why a player would want to experience this is the same as why one would want to experience a tragedy in any other artistic medium: to experience deep emotion. Especially if the death is an inevitable as a result of finishing the game, the player is guiltless while deriving aesthetic pleasure.
quote 8 Jun
It must be said, however, that the universal appeal of the Robin Hood legend comes largely from temporal distance. We do not approve of redistribution of wealth in real life. If Robin Hood showed up today at some poor back-country farmhouse in Arkansas with a handful of quarters pilfered from the CEO of Walmart, the farmer would shoot him, and then congratulate himself on having preserved the Republic from communism.
quote 8 Jun
The key to understanding English history for the next few centuries, therefore, is understanding that the kings of England did not regard England as any really keen thing to be king of. It was like being King of the Elk County Maple Syrup Festival: very nice in its way, but not something that would put you on the geopolitical map. As far as the English kings were concerned, the only place worth being king of was France. And if some other fellow was going around pretending to be king of France, then someone would have to teach that guy a good lesson.
quote 8 Jun
The Normans lived under a comfortable arrangement by which the King of France granted them practically limitless autonomy, in return for which they performed for him the valuable service of not gutting him and leaving his carcass for the vultures. So everybody was happy. The arrangement also included a clause that required these Viking invaders to protect the north of France from Viking invaders. King Charles of France, who negotiated the original agreement, is for some reason known to history as Charles the Simple.
text 7 Jun Reading photographs may be like reading language, but only up to a point.

believermag:

We have this lemon tree in our yard in LA, and in the springtime I watch the bees maneuvering from flower to flower, completely in their zone, burrowing in for the nectar, seemingly unaware of anything else. Making pictures can be like that—a biological impulse, a state of heightened attention, with the camera as a proboscis/prosthesis, extracting all these pictures and letting them cross-pollinate over time. I don’t really intellectualize this until later.

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quote 5 Jun
There is no master plan or secret logic: imperialism is a catastrophe. Not an explosion of violence or the sudden onset of famine, but a single, sustained, rolling catastrophe, blind and stupid and propelled only by its own weakness, that has bounced around the world for five centuries, until it has eventually become the world.
quote 31 May
One of the novel’s remarks about colonialism is that it’s worsened by the specific types of people who implement colonial rule: those who failed in their mother country, and are taking part in a dangerous, isolating, and morally questionable project that is their last hope at acquiring authority.

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