Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

From behind 2.32

In memory of the Hollow Men

...not with a bang but a whimper

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Boil 1.97 blog dada

"Marx discusses Feuerbach inside the democratic child"

sez Infinite Thought in

the grammar of meaning battles over on poetix

File 1.89

Ein anderer Zeimesser ist die Filmgeschwindigkeit: Die Hälfte der Zeit ist es im Kino dunkel. Eine achtundvierzigstel Sekunde wird der Film belichtet, eine achtundvierzigstel Sekunde dauert die Transportphase, in der in der Kamera oder im Projektor Dunkelphase herrscht. D.h.: Im Kino sehen die Augen eine achtundvierzigstel Sekunde nach außen, eine achtundvierzigstel Sekunde sehen sie nach innen. Das ist etwas sehr Schönes.

Another measure of time is the speed of film: half of the time the cinema is dark. 1/48 of a second film is exposed to light, 1/48 of a second lasts the film transport phase during which there is darkness in camera or projector. That is, at the cinema the eyes look to the outside for 1/48 of a second, 1/48 of a second they look to the inside. This is something of great beauty.
A. Kluge, Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die übrige Zeit, Frankfurt/Main, Syndikat, 1985, p. 56. Transl. mine.

Boil 1.96 Lob der Faulheit

Perhaps the future of Sloth will lie in sinning against what now seems increasingly to define us -- technology.

Pynchon on Sloth

via Scheinriese

From behind 2.31

The cult of Mithra, less widespread then than it has become since our expedition in Parthia, won me over temporarily by the rigors of its stark asceticism, which drew aut the bowstring of the will, and by its obsession with death, blood, and iron, which elevated tdhe routine harshness of our military lives to the level of a symbol of universal struggle. Nothing could have been more in contradiction to the views which I was beginning to hold about war, but those barbarous rites creating bonds of life and death between the affiliates all served to flatter the most secret aspirations of a young man impatient of the present, uncertain as to the future, and thereby open to the gods. [...] In recent years I have reflected upon the dangers which this sort of near-secret society might entail for the State under a weak ruler, and I have finally restricted them, but I admit that in presence of an enemy they give their followers a strength which is almost godlike. Each of us believed that he was escaping from the narrow limits of his human state, feeling himself to be at the same himself and his own adversary, at one with the god who seems to be both the animal victim and the layer. Such fantastic dreams, which sometimes terrify me now, were not so very different from the theories of Heraclitus upon the identity of the mark and the bow.

M. Yourcenar, Memoirs of Hadrian, Penguin, 1986, p. 56.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

milk thief

on the lam

Saturday, September 22, 2007

luhmann outtake

Thursday, September 20, 2007

biosphere 0.998 (the luhmann outtakes)

Man entdeckt schließlich die alte Inkompatibiltät neu als Problem in der Ehe: als Enttäuschung genau der Erwartungen, auf die die Ehe gegründet war. Möglicherweise sind besonders Männer solchen Desillusionierungen ausgesetzt, wenn zutrifft, was Madame de Stael vermutet hatte: daß sie die fehlende Bindung des Herzens durch Imagination ersetzen. Jedenfalls hat die Soziologie zunächst dahin spekuliert, daß ein solcher Realitätsschock gerade die Ehe gefährdet, die als Romanze begonnen hatte.

One eventually discovers the old incompatibility anew as a problem in marriage: as disappointment of the expectations upon which the marriage was based. Perhaps it is men who are especially exposed to such disillusionments, if what Madame de Stael had assumed is applicable: they substitute the lacking ties of the heart with imagination. In any case, sociology had initially speculated that such a reality shock would directly endanger that marriage, which had begun as romance.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

morituri te salutant


In the era Twain decried as the "great barbeque," the outrageous concentration of income and wealth eventually sparked a reaction and a vast reform movement. But it was not until the onset of the Great Depression, decades later, that massive labor/social unrest and economic collapse forced the country's political elite to check the growing concentration of income and wealth. Today, it does not appear that there are, as yet, any viable forces at work to put the brakes on the current runaway process of rising inequality. Nor does it appear that this era's power elite is ready to accept any new social compact. In a recent report on the "new king of Wall Street" (a co-founder of the hedge fund/private-equity buyout corporation Blackstone Group) that seemed to typify elite perspectives on today's inequality, the New York Times gushed that "a crashing wave of capital is minting new billionaires each year." Naturally, the Times was too discreet to mention is that those same "crashing waves" have flattened the middle class. And their backwash has turned the working class every-which-way while pulling it down, down, down.

But perhaps those who decry the trend can find at least symbolic hope in the new boom in yet another luxury good. Private mausoleums, in vogue during that earlier Gilded Age, are back. For $650,000, one was recently constructed at Daytona Memorial Park in Florida—with matching $4,000 Medjool date palms for shade. Another, complete with granite patio, meditation room, and doors of hand cast bronze, went up in the same cemetery. Business is booming, apparently, with 2,000 private mausoleums sold in 2005, up from a single-year peak of 65 in the 1980s. Some cost "well into the millions," according to one the nation's largest makers of cemetery monuments. Who knows: maybe the mausoleum boom portends the ultimate (dead) end for the neo-Gilded Age.

James M. Cypher, "Slicing Up at the Long Barbeque: Who Gorges, Who Serves, and Who Gets Roasted?", Dollars & Sense

via infinite thought

Monday, September 17, 2007

je crois encore entendre ces soupirs étouffés

The man once regarded as the world's most powerful banker has bluntly declared that the Iraq war was 'largely' about oil. [...] a survey of Iraqis, which was released last week, claims that up to 1.2 million people may have died because of the conflict in Iraq - lending weight to a 2006 survey in the Lancet that reported similarly high levels.
More than one million deaths were already being suggested by anti-war campaigners, but such high counts have consistently been rejected by US and UK officials.
in The Guardian

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tant pis pour eux

MELBOURNE'S busiest intersection will be closed for an entire weekend in February during filming of a $180 million television series being produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
A week after ridiculing the plans of five young environmentalists who wanted to stage a car-free day in the city, the State Government has backed the plan to close the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets and all major roads feeding into it. [...]
In May, Lord Mayor John So agreed privately to help the film producers close the intersection from midnight on Friday, February 1, until 5am on Monday, February 4.
Trams, buses and taxis will be diverted for the weekend, while train travellers will be diverted from Flinders Street. Police have promised to move on people who inconvenience the film shoot.
in theage

Thursday, September 13, 2007

biosphere 0.997 (the luhmann outtakes)

Wenn Liebe erneut als Ideal institutionalisiert werden muß, um unwahrscheinliches Verhalten sozial zu decken und psychologisch zu präparieren, wird dann nicht der Vergleich von Ideal und Person typisch zum Nachteil der Person ausfallen? Wenn ein Code darauf spezialisiert ist, unnormales Verhalten als normal erscheinen zu lassen, wird er dann nicht versagen, wenn das Verhalten unter dem Druck realer psychischer und sozialer Bedingungen sich renormalisiert?

If love must be freshly institutionalised into an ideal, so that questionable behaviour is supported socially and is encouraged psychologically, would not then the comparison between the ideal and the person typically end up being at a disadvantage to the person? If this code is dedicated to making unusual behaviour seem normal, would it not then collapse when the behaviour corrects itself when put under the pressure of genuine physical and social conditions?

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biosphere 0.996

Was helfen Trost- und Beruhigungsgründe, über welchen beständig das Damoklesschwert der Enttäuschung schwebt! Die Wahrheit, mein Freund, die Wahrheit allein hält Stich, beharrt und bleibt treu: ihr Trost allein ist der solide: sie ist der unzerstörbare Diamant. [...] Kein Irrthum aber ist unschädlich; sondern jeder wird früher oder später Dem, der ihn hegt, Unheil bereiten. Darum betrüge man niemanden, gestehe lieber ein, nicht zu wissen, was man nicht weiß, und überlasse Jedem, sich seine Glaubenssätze selbst zu machen.
Schopenhauer, Arthur. "Ein Dialog." In "Über Religion". Parerga und Paralipomena, 371–72.

So lebte er hin

Büchners Erzählung [Lenz] beschreibt den umgekehrten Vorgang zu Kleists Michael Kohlhaas. Dessen Eigensinn geht ganz nach außen bis an den Galgen. Und er würde lieber (wie ein Terrorist) die Welt zerstören als aufzugeben. Die Energie von Lenz bei Büchner geht nach innen, bis der Mensch äußerlich still aussieht. Das ist die innenwendige Zerstörung, zugleich die stärkste Ballung von Subjektivität.

Büchners narrative [Lenz] describes the inverted process of Kleist's Michael Kohlhaas. The latter's obstinacy is directed outward and leads him to the gallows. And he'd rather (like a terrorist) destroy the world than capitulate. Lenz' energy in Büchner is directed inward until the human outwardly seems still. This is the inner destruction, at the same time the strongest concentration of subjectivity.
A. Kluge, Fontane - Kleist - Deutschland - Büchner. Zur Grammatik der Zeit, Berlin, Wagenbach, 2003, p. 78. Transl. mine.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

For what it's worth, a number's game

The 225 richest people on the planet now earn the same as the poorest 2.7bn,
equivalent to 40% of humankind, the report finds.

in The Guardian