All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.

Herman Melville

via moby-dick

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

If the sea should swallow up my house I will turn the rooftop inside out And the wind will be wailing But I will be sailing faster

"Elements"

A Fine Frenzy

Thursday, 5 May 2022

We belong on choppy seas, eternal maelstroms, vast laughing plains and unbound skies; in lieu, we cling to the underbellies of metropolises and offices, railroads and democracy. We belong anywhere but here.

Mehel

via mehel

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

"The Second Coming"

W. B. Yeats

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Roman emperors, as they proceeded in triumphant procession with the war booty and captives driven before them amongst the cheering throngs, had a slave behind them on the chariot whose duty it was to whisper in their ear at regular intervals: “Sire, you are mortal.”

via hungry-ghosts

Saturday, 8 January 2022

We make our own history, but not under conditions of our own choosing.

Karl Marx

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Civilised man has marched across the face of the earth and left a desert in his footprints.

via topsoil-civilization

Saturday, 13 November 2021

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.

via communist-manifesto

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, "Why, why, why?"

Tiger got to sleep, Bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.

Bokonon

via cats-cradle

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.

via 1984

Sunday, 8 August 2021

These grand and fatal movements toward death: the grandeur of the mass Makes pity a fool, the tearing pity For the atoms of the mass, the persons, the victims, makes it seem monstrous To admire the tragic beauty they build. It is beautiful as a river flowing or a slowly gathering Glacier on a high mountain rock-face, Bound to plow down a forest, or as frost in November, The gold and flaming death-dance for leaves, Or a girl in the night of her spent maidenhood, bleeding and kissing. I would burn my right hand in a slow fire To change the future... I should do foolishly. The beauty of modern Man is not in the persons but in the Disastrous rhythm, the heavy and mobile masses, the dance of the Dream-led masses down the dark mountain.

"Rearmament"

Robinson Jeffers

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Advert aversions, avariciously averred Extend excitations, externally extricated Implicate impoundments, implicitly imposed Optimise optimistic optical opiates Utmost utopian: utter utilitarian

"All Alliterations Are Alarming"

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Helicopters hovering above the Hudson inquiet Rotors buzzing, dragonflies poised over the metropolitan stream Dying light of the day departed Plating rose-gold those gem-cut edifices Each harbouring their own galaxy of electric stars Twinkling through the cool quartz, steely blue Titanics, sailing forth into that cold universe of night

"Hudson, dusk."

Saturday, 24 July 2021

What stories reside? Scribed in the annals of our DNA Saccharine ATCGs to our dulcet ABCDs

What crossed out lines, what bookmarks staked? Genes stage-actors each; trumpeted in vainglory, censured to obscurity

'Neath quarrelous quills Methylating, quibbling, acetylating

Every coition the re-incantation of a recombinant epic Every cremation the immolation of a fallen Alexandria

"The Living Library"

Saturday, 24 July 2021

I set my words down in Cartesian space But my thoughts they strained to fly away Frantic, aflutter, a'skew the gridded cage Golden eggs laid for the gilded age

Men of means intoned, "Quantify," Measure life, so you'll see the light. It's all too complex, let us simplify. You're quite free to choose between left and right.

Chomsky asked if we might see Colourless green ideas sleep furiously Chain up the lexemes; shake down the parse tree No finer message not generated context-free

Someday, they say, a bot might cry So let the masses hang out to dry Said I, but me too! Then they, Crosby three For sums we'll re-examine technicalities

"Now we have a crisis, socially: Reproducibility. People just won't stop changing their minds We can't ever seem to meet the same one twice!"

"Our theories shy from universality Savages too noble to oblige But physicists? Did it quantitatively We'll soon nail the worth o' each man alive."

"Gridlock"

Friday, 16 July 2021

The birds amidst their chirruping courtship The queen, methodical, in her dark hive The frogs in turns with their gelatinous brood Life begins with an act of non-consent

"Life begins with an act of non-consent"

Friday, 16 July 2021

Merely quantitative differences, beyond a certain point, pass into qualitative changes.

via capital

Friday, 18 June 2021

All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

via communist-manifesto

Sunday, 11 April 2021

The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine,"and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

If we have measles, we can just as well enjoy them. For if we do not, we shall still have measles.

Leopold Kohr's father

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Some people call me a crank. I don’t mind at all. A crank is a low-cost, low-capital tool. It can be used on a moderate small scale. It is nonviolent. And it makes revolutions.

E. F. Schumacher

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.

Winston Churchhill

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

But since when is the creation of new necessities a sign of progress?

Leopold Kohr

via breakdown-of-nations

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

George Box

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Mirrors and copulation are abominable, for they multiply the number of mankind.

Jorge Luis Borge

via tlon-uqbar-orbis-tertius

Sunday, 31 January 2021

People don't scale.

Sheryl Sandberg

via citation-needed

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Like most conversations and most chess games, we all start off the same and we all end the same, with a brief moment of difference in between. Fertilization to fertilizer. Ashes to ashes. And we spark across the gap.

Brian Christian

via most-human-human

Thursday, 21 January 2021

One death is a tragedy, one million a statistic.

Joseph Stalin (apocryphal)

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.

Lord Acton

Thursday, 21 January 2021

The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.

Jeff Hammerbacher

via data-best-minds-click-ads

Thursday, 21 January 2021

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite overcanopied with luscious wood-bine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight; And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.

"I Know a Bank"

Shakespeare

via magic-casement

Thursday, 7 January 2021

In the rivers north of the future I cast the net, which you hesitantly weight with shadows stones wrote.

"In the rivers"

Paul Celan

via rivers-north-of-future

Thursday, 7 January 2021

By the moon we sport and play, With the night begins our day;

As we frisk the dew doth fall; Trip it, little urchins all!

Lightly as the little bee, Two by two and three by three; And about go we, and about go we!

"The Urchins' Dance"

John M. Lyly

via magic-casement

Thursday, 7 January 2021