quote 11 Aug
In twentieth-century culture, the heroic code served young men reasonably well until they were around twenty-five. After that, it turned seedy and bewildering because it had nothing to tell them about adult personal relations or adult social behavior. The band of brothers precipitates into lonely isolates who try to revive their fellowship as drinking buddies, with alcohol as the solvent of individuality, or who compete against each other in shows of manliness.
quote 5 Aug
There are many ways water looks when breezes blow across its surface. There are fewer ways it looks when breezes blow across its surface and make it look like something broken into many pieces. And there are still fewer ways it looks when breezes blow across its surface and make it look like something broken into pieces forming a rich mosaic with the colours of Venetian palaces and a greenish tint. Ruskin’s metaphor communicates that the waters of Venice look like that.
quote 28 Jul
A few years ago I saw a wedding ring lightly covered by dust in the window of a pawnshop. I couldn’t shake away the seeing of it. What seeing it did to my heart. You see a wedding ring in the window of a pawnshop, and it changes how you tell a woman you love her; it changes what you feel capable of promising to a woman. I walked into that pawnshop, and I asked to see the ring. I held it in my hand, turned it over, looking at it, feeling it. Holding that ring scarred my heart deeper than I imagined anything ever could. Then, I read the inscription on the inside of that wedding band, like reading it wouldn’t do anything to me. There are times when a man realizes there are words in this world that are not meant to be seen by anyone other than by the person the words had been written for. Seeing those words saddened me in ways that no other story ever saddened me before, and I have taken on that sadness. That man’s sadness is inside me. What that man wrote on that ring for that woman has come to be part of who I am. I felt his words, his hope, his promises, on my fingertips, felt it in the palm of my hand when I touched that ring. I can’t do anything about it now. I’m going to live the rest of my life knowing that man’s sadness. I live it when I’m about to fall asleep. I live it when I’m at a ballgame and a mosquito is biting into my skin. I live it when I am teaching my classes. People go to movies and cry over some made-up story of failed romance. These same people most likely have walked past that wedding ring in that pawnshop on East Ohio Street and didn’t feel a damn thing, and you want to know what’s wrong with this world?
quote 28 Jul
The issue of killing them was quite another matter. After all, I wanted to collect them because I had conceived a liking for them, and was concerned that if neglected, we, the scientific community, would not know, ironically, if these animals needed more vigorous protection. I loved them enough, I suppose, to want them dead; a couple of specimens of each species at the very least. I was the Noah of death and my ark was a killing jar.
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.

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