: posted by ben on 05.04.07 at 02:22, null, null, Leave a comment Permalink
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
-Arthur C. Clarke.

Any sufficiently kind act is indistinguishable from love.
my kind : posted by ben on 05.04.07 at 01:01, null, null, 5 comments Permalink

I think love is that feeling you get. The one where you can't breathe or eat... or finish a novel. It's that thing that absorbs every moment until it destroys you.

It might also be something more comfortable. There should be another name for that. Maybe there is. The thing where you settle down and buy fondue sets. It's not love. It's not the kind of love I want to read about. It's not what I want to write about. It's not what I want.

Love is the fetishism of little parts until they become indistinguishable from the whole. Her eyes... her lips... the way she speaks... until everything she does is perfect. And nobody wants to have those expectations imposed... but it's not love if there's something better waiting in the periphery.

I don't want to be realistic.

90+% of open dirs are porn : posted by ben on 05.04.06 at 19:31, null, puppies, 1 comment Permalink
QED bitch. : posted by ben on 05.04.06 at 18:00, math, math, 1 comment Permalink

The Economist has an article claiming computers will be doing math in 20-50 years.

"Why should the non-mathematician care about things of this nature? The foremost reason is that mathematics is beautiful, even if it is, sadly, more inaccessible than other forms of art."

First: Math isn't art. It's demoralizing rigorous work. It drives men like Godel and Erdos mad (assuming the mad aren't simply drawn to math). If, through the hand of providence, that doesn't happen, then they end up demoralized like Hardy. A life in math is a life of suffering. A life in art involves wine, love and the beautiful people.

Second: Sure, I can see computers filling in Flickr like meta data. They're good at that sort of mundane stuff, even if the algorithms aren't quite there. But proving things? No. The four colours proof wasn't done by computers. Computers only crunched some finite cases. They didn't come up with those cases. When we have a computer that can structure a proof, then I'll believe.

On the other hand, this proof automating software is cool. I want to use it for something. The manual for HOL: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/jrh/hol-light/manual-1.1.pdf

: posted by ben on 05.04.06 at 16:08, null, null, Leave a comment Permalink

I saw Clint Eastwood earlier today... panhandling for coffee money.
He had like 85 cents.

Espresso Ganja Matte : posted by ben on 05.04.05 at 03:23, coffee, coffee, Leave a comment Permalink

There are plenty of things other than espresso that can be put in an espresso machine. The most obvious is matte. Tea, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried berries... all these things could be mixed with espresso to give it a novel taste. I think a cinnamon and nutmeg infused mocha sounds quite tasty. I could even build custom espresso machines capable of extracting espresso from granite at ten billion PSI.

Is there a reason this is a bad idea?

Starbucks Delocator : posted by ben on 05.04.05 at 00:36, coffee, coffee, 1 comment Permalink

Stolen from boingboing. Nate thinks I should start a coffee shop site ranking on the basis of coffee, quality of people, ability to sit there for 3 hours... I'm lazy, but thinking about it. The Starbucks Delocator is almost that. It's missing the reviews though. I added the Trident, but misspelled wireless. How you ask? Wirless. It appears to be written in stone.

I want to write a collaborative essay on the ideal coffee shop. Floor color, menu, lighting, all of it. That way when I break down and give up, I'll know exactly what sort of coffee shop I will never have the capital to start.

Coffee in Boulder (really crappy reviews)

I can build it... stronger, faster...

I want to believe. : posted by ben on 05.04.04 at 17:48, null, puppies, 6 comments Permalink

I've been trying to use Firefox. You know... IE is so outdated and outmoded and out. But Firefox keeps doing stuff like this (which does look kind of cool):

Sure, I hit refresh and it went away... but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. I like the tabs. I like the opening and simultaneous refreshment of all my reading material from a single click.

So I'm in limbo. I have Firefox windows for the sites I know it will work on (most of the time and after refreshing), and IE for going new places. This is not right.

For the Mechanically Inclined : posted by ben on 05.04.03 at 18:54, null, kittens, 1 comment Permalink

See the little black piece of plastic? Which way should it go to give me the most travel?

It seems like it's (2), but my explanation would involve much hand waving.

no nirvana : posted by ben on 05.04.03 at 14:32, null, puppies, Leave a comment Permalink

"Not to be rich, not to be famous, not to be mighty, not even to be happy, but to be civilized -- that was the dream of his life."

-Philip Roth, When She Was Good, pg 1

"...she could not understand the most basic fact of human life, the fact that I am me and you are you."

-Philip Roth, When She Was Good, pg 11

I get the feeling Portnoy's Complaint was the height of him.

fuck you : posted by ben on 05.04.03 at 04:54, kittens, puppies, Leave a comment Permalink

Just because you gave up… I’m still brilliant. I’m going to fall in love… several times… at least once for real. I’m going to write a novel; I’m writing one right now. I’ll do some math; make something with computers. I’m good at that. Yes. Yes, I am.

Just because you crawled into a hole… No, I’m going to do something… many things. I can have self pity, but I’d like some glory too. It makes for irony and laughter and maybe humility. I’m bored with humility. I’m going to the moon. If not on PanAm, I’ll take TWA.

I’ll live on an island and win a Fields medal and write another book… well, maybe not a Fields medal… I don’t want one anyway… yes I do. I want two. I want everything and I can have something. I’m still destined for greatness.

There are lines in the sky. : posted by ben on 05.04.03 at 03:04, null, kittens, Leave a comment Permalink

Cool night air on my back.
Pinhead’s still crazy. She stabbed a man tonight. Twice. He bit her.
Escape. Get me out of here. Duff is reading “How to be an adult.”
I know: get a job you lazy slob.
He thinks he’s strong. Flexes his arms… they might snap like twigs. He’s arguing against the American dream tonight. It seems none of us can be rich… well 0.1% apparently. The odds are not good.
The good news: happiness is attainable. I saw it just the other day.
(What Duff doesn’t know is his life is destined to be misery and pain.) Fortunately when this happens Duff won’t notice. His friend is a reactionary in a Hawaiian shirt. They are both too tall. Perhaps one will tip over, his head on the wood floor like a melon...
In case you were wondering: metaphor is alive and well. Pretense is dead. No, really.

how it went down : posted by ben on 05.04.01 at 17:55, null, null, Leave a comment Permalink
Sk8ter: What're you studying?
Collin: Topology.
Sk8ter: Is that, like, really technicated?
The thing about books... : posted by ben on 05.04.01 at 16:57, null, null, Leave a comment Permalink

"I believe that Ghandi's views were the most enlightened of all the political minds of our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit. Not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by not participating in anything you believe is evil."

-Books Sample from there is no there
The trouble with writing... : posted by ben on 05.04.01 at 15:48, null, null, Leave a comment Permalink

It used to be if you were wealthy you wrote. Maybe you wrote strange and antiquated memoirs like Count Hermann Keyserling's Travel Diary of a Philosopher, or maybe you wrote like Spinoza... but you wrote. It's what rich people did. For the most part rich people wrote crap.

Mass literacy came along and suddenly the poor decided to write... and they wrote novels... and published them, some even made a living as writers (most starved to death in fetid basements).

Now everyone with an iBook can write. And they do... they submit manuscripts created in their spare time. First you get a job, secure financial well being, then you write. I don't want my artists starving, but I don't want them cynical and calculating either... maybe I do want them to starve: gives them character.

These new authors write in their spare time. They publish books if they can, and when they do the money is a consolation, not the stuff of subsistence... because they already have a day job. I hear it's even more fun if you happen to be a poet.

The result is a market flush with people willing to work for nothing... a market where it's impossible to make a living as a writer.

:: Next Page >>