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(Source: samdahmanphotography)


Bruno Latour: Love Your Monsters

Why we must care for our technologies as we do our children.

Today we can fold ourselves into the molecular machinery of soil bacteria through our sciences and technologies. We run robots on Mars. We photograph and dream of further galaxies. And yet we fear that the climate could destroy us.

Science is the shibboleth that defines the right direction of the arrow of time because it, and only it, is able to cut into two well-separated parts what had, in the past, remained hopelessly confused: a morass of ideology, emotions, and values on the one hand, and, on the other, stark and naked matters of fact.

“Kayfabe was the code we followed. Don’t break character. Pretend it’s not staged. Now we wink at the audience and they wink back.”

“Oh, when did that go into effect?” Caperton said.

The Rough Beast snorted. “You don’t get it at all, buddy. It’s not about wrestling. It’s about stories. We’re storytellers.”

Caperton studied him. “Somebody at my job just said that.”

“It’s true! You have to be able to tell the story to get people on board for anything. A soft drink, a suck sesh, elective surgery, gardening, even your thing—public space? I prefer private space, but that’s cool. Anyway, nobody cares about anything if there isn’t a story attached. Ask the team that wrote the Bible. Ask Vincent Allan Poe.”

“But doesn’t it seem kind of creepy?” Caperton said. “All of us just going around calling ourselves storytellers?”

Sam Lipsyte is brilliant. 

“I thought it was very interesting that in our self-sufficient western democracies, we don’t want to bother with defending democracy. Perhaps we don’t even vote. And yet when we [don’t] have democracy, we’re willing to die for it. And that is an interesting dilemma; how can we stand up for democracy when so many are so cynical about it? That was perhaps the very beginning of Borgen for me,” said Price.

Not all of the characters in Borgen are admirable, and most struggle with moral imperatives and judgements required in the business of government and media. There are no ‘good guys’ like there are on the more glossy and blithely idealistic West Wing. Yet occasionally the characters in Borgen actually believe in something, and represent possibility in politics and media. Watching politician protagonist Birgitte Nyborg negotiate career and family while also retaining her humanity and values is an important representation of womanhood in the modern age.

Goddamn I will miss Borgen.

This scene with the Bombay and the sink-fixing driver is gpoy 

This scene with the Bombay and the sink-fixing driver is gpoy 

I see a theme here.

Classy dame

Classy dame

algorithmic poetry doesn&#8217;t get much better than this

algorithmic poetry doesn’t get much better than this

I can’t claim to have always enjoyed reading Cormac McCarthy’s novels, but I always feel such a sense of satisfaction and revelation when I’m nearing the end. The man takes you on a journey - both literally and figuratively.

Reading the central novel in the Border trilogy, The Crossing, has given me some perspective on The Road, which will definitely stand re-reading now. 

Such a horrific, beautiful narrative. The meditations on death are sublime.

But the eyeball scene. The eyeball scene will stay with me always.

“The wicked know that if the ill they do be of sufficient horror that men will not speak against it. That men have just enough stomach for small evils and only these will they oppose. He said that true evil has power to sober the smalldoer against his own deeds and in the contemplation of that evil he may even find the path of righteousness which has been foreign to his feet and may have no power but to go upon it.

Even this man may be appalled at what is revealed to him and seek some order to stand against it. Yet in all of this there are two things which perhaps he will not know. He will not know that while the order which the righteous seek is never righteousness itself but is only order, the disorder of evil is in fact the thing itself. Nor will he know that while the righteous are hampered at every turn by their ignorance of evil to the evil all is plain, light and dark alike.

This man of which we speak will seek to impose order and lineage upon things which rightly have none. He will call upon the world itself to testify as to the truth of what are in fact but his desires. In his final incarnation he may seek to indemnify his words with blood for by now he will have discovered that words pale and lose their savor while pain is always new.” 

(Source: viciouslycyd)

Famous last meals - I would be happy with either Cleopatra&#8217;s or James Gandolfini&#8217;s. 

Famous last meals - I would be happy with either Cleopatra’s or James Gandolfini’s. 

Paris Review - William Gibson

Do you think of your last three books as being science fiction?


No, I think of them as attempts to disprove the distinction or attempts to dissolve the boundary. They are set in a world that meets virtually every criteria of being science fiction, but it happens to be our world, and it’s barely tweaked by the author to make the technology just fractionally imaginary or fantastic. It has, to my mind, the effect of science fiction.

If you’d gone to a publisher in 1981 with a proposal for a science-fiction novel that consisted of a really clear and simple description of the world today, they’d have read your proposal and said, Well, it’s impossible. This is ridiculous. This doesn’t even make any sense. Granted, you have half a dozen powerful and really excellent plot drivers for that many science-fiction n­ovels, but you can’t have them all in one novel.


What are those major plot drivers?


Fossil fuels have been discovered to be destabilizing the planet’s climate, with possibly drastic consequences. There’s an epidemic, highly contagious, lethal sexual disease that destroys the human immune system, raging virtually uncontrolled throughout much of Africa. New York has been attacked by Islamist fundamentalists, who have destroyed the two tallest buildings in the city, and the United States in response has invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.


And you haven’t even gotten to the technology.


You haven’t even gotten to the Internet. By the time you were telling about the Internet, they’d be showing you the door. It’s just too much science fiction.

Paris Review

Fucked up fairytales
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