The White Whale Laughs Last
“Movies are about telling the same lies over and over again,” Michael says at one point. “You know, good beats evil, things happen for a reason, attractive people are interesting.”
- Grand Theft Auto V Is a Return to the Comedy of Violence
So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try and eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair.
- Antonin Artaud - General Security: The Liquidation Of Opium
The only way really to understand your position and its worth is to understand the opposite. That doesn’t mean the crazy guy on the radio who is spewing hate, it means the decent human truths of all the people who feel the need to listen to that guy. You are connected to those people.
- Joss Whedon’s commencement address at Wesleyan University. (via Fresser)
His essential claim is that there is no great gulf between nonliving, unconscious gizmos like computers and light switches, on the one hand, and the human brain, on the other. Our strong feeling that there’s something special and inexplicable about consciousness is largely an illusion. It will fade as science advances, like the illusion that the Earth is the center of the universe and everything revolves around us. Biologists used to believe that living things are made of some special material, some elan vital that sets us apart from the stuff of rocks and minerals. Now that we know about DNA, we no longer need an elan vital. Someday we won’t need consciousness either. There’s no metaphysical difference between your body and your mind, or between your laptop and your necktop, so to speak.
- Is the Brain No Different From a Light Switch? The Uncomfortable Ideas of the Philosopher Daniel Dennett
The Two
We think that our emotions are life. When in fact, they may be just a very pleasurable part of life as a human. Don't confuse the two.
He found that dominance by two or three firms “is not the exception in the United States, but increasingly the rule.” Consumers, easily misled by product labelling, often don’t even notice that products like sunglasses, pet food, or numerous others come from just a few giants. For example, while drugstores seem to offer unlimited choices in toothpaste, just two firms, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive, control more than eighty per cent of the market (including seemingly independent brands like Tom’s of Maine).
Russell’s paradox is often explained using the tale of the meticulous librarian. One day, while wandering between the shelves, the librarian discovers a collection of catalogues. There are separate catalogues for novels, reference, poetry, and so on. The librarian notices that some of the catalogues list themselves, while others do not.

In order to simplify the system the librarian makes two more catalogues, one of which lists all the catalogues which do list themselves and, more interestingly, one which lists all the catalogues which do not list themselves. Upon completing the task the librarian has a problem: should the catalogue which lists all the catalogues which do not list themselves, be listed in itself? If it is listed, then by definition, it should not be listed. However, if it is not listed, then by definition it should be listed. The librarian is in a no-win situation.
- Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem via RainyPixels
The title of this article was written by Mark V. Shaney. Mark was a member of a UseNet News group called, a users group chock full of dating tips, lonely heart chatter, frank discussions of sexual problems and high tech missionary gospel about the sins of premarital smut-typing. Mr Shaney was a little goofy but he was always there. He chimed in with poetic opinions on romantic empathy: “As I’ve commented before, really relating to someone involves standing next to impossible.” And he had a great Groucho Marx sense of humor: “One morning I shot an elephant in my arms and kissed him. So it was too small for a pill? Well, it was too small for a while.” And his idea of a good closing was: “Oh, sorry. Nevermind. I am afraid of it becoming another island in a nice suit.” _–_–_–_-Mark

Who is Mark V. Shaney? Some people on the Net thought he was smart and sensitive, some thought he was on drugs, many had him pegged as just another nut. But they never guessed that Mark V. Shaney was lines of code written by rob and brucee running on a Bell Labs computer. Mark Shaney program read all the messages in the group and spit messages back into the Net. The human didn’t catch the pesky little binary corespondent because of all the real nuts in this users group who were misdirecting -real honest to goodness damaged flesh and blood neural-nets spewing crazy flames all the time. And what if – “I spent an interesting evening recently with a grain of salt” was signed “Bob Dylan?” No one thought old Bobby was a program when he wrote – “He screams back you’re a cow, give me some milk or else go home.”
- I Spent an Interesting Evening Recently with a Grain of Salt via Fresser via Dan Catt
A spider that builds elaborate, fake spiders and hangs them in its web has been discovered in the Peruvian Amazon.
- Spider That Builds Its Own Spider Decoys Discovered,
Star architect Zaha Hadid is currently building several projects across China. One of them, however, is being constructed twice. Pirates are the process of copying one of her provocative designs, and the race is on to see who can finish first.
- Zaha Hadid vs. the Pirates, Spiegel via Fresser
America had sent the squarest motherfuckers it could find to the moon and the moon sent back humans. Armstrong became a teacher, then a farmer. Alan Bean became a painter. Edgar Mitchell started believing in UFOs.
- 454 W 23rd St New York, NY 10011—2157 via ericrodenbeck
Does Alexander know that DMT already exists in the brain as a neurotransmitter? Did his brain experience a surge of DMT release during his coma? This is pure speculation, of course, but it is a far more credible hypothesis than that his cortex “shut down,” freeing his soul to travel to another dimension.
- This Must Be Heaven by Sam Harris, Newsweek
Eric Twelker is the owner of The Meteorite Market, an online meteorite retailer. While working full-time as a lawyer, Twelker founded the company in 1995 to make some money on the side; it’s now a full-time business, which he runs with his wife out of Juneau, Alaska.
- The International Meteorite Market, The Naked Scientist
What's my place in it all? #questionsevenmymomcantanswer
- Lena Dunham
Growing But Not Getting Old
You would think, as folks grew old, and they really started feeling the reality of death starting to hang over them, they would start shedding the 'personas' they had adopted while young, and just become more human. To start releasing themselves from the pressures of society and just be. But it rarely happens. The fear of death perhaps isn't what it used to be. We cling to our misperceptions right to the bitter end.
This too shall pass. View the full archive.