Friday, March 30, 2012

Basic Research

Wernher von Braun, May 1964Basic research is when I am doing what I don't know what I am doing.

-- Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), German-born rocket scientist, in an interview in the New York Times, 16 December 1957

Thursday, March 29, 2012

No More Dead Robots

Cover of the fantasy fiction magazine Avon Science Fiction Reader no. 3 (1952) featuring 'The Robot Empire' by Frank Belknap LongThis relentless law of death, life. Change is the rhythm of the galaxies and the seasons, the rhythm of the seed. It never stops.

If you've become a dead robot with your consciousness hooked into routines, and *more* routines:

Drop Out - Detach yourself from the external social drama which is as dehydrated and ersatz as TV.

Turn On - Find a sacrament which returns you to the temple of God -- your own body. Go out of your mind. Get high.

Tune In - Drop back in to express it. Start a new sequence of behavior that reflects your vision. Be reborn. Become your highest vision of you. Death. Life. Structure. The sequence must continue. You cannot stand still.

-- Timothy Leary (1920-1996), American writer, psychologist, and 1960s counterculture icon, Start Your Own Religion (1967)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Drop Out, Turn On, Tune In

Timothy Leary winkInto this Garden of Eden each human being is born perfect. We were all born divine mutants, the DNA code's best answer to joyful survival on this planet. An exquisite package for adaptation based on 2 billion years of consumer research (RNA) and product design (DNA). Each baby, although born perfect, immediately finds himself in a [sic] imperfect, artificial, disharmonious social system that systematically robs him of his divinity.

Individual societies begin in harmonious adaptation to the environment and, like individuals, quickly get trapped into nonadaptive, artificial, repetitive sequences. And the social systems? Where did they come from?

When the individual's behavior and consciousness get hooked to a routine sequence of external actions, he is a dead robot, and it is time for him to die and be reborn. It is time to drop out, turn on, and tune in. This period of robotization is called the Kali Yuga, the Age of Strife and Empire, the peak of so called "civilization".

-- Timothy Leary (1920-1996), American writer, psychologist, and 1960s counterculture icon, Start Your Own Religion (1967)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Permanently Succeed

Happy Teachers DayIt is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.

-- Harvey S. Firestone (1868-1938), American businessman, founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company

Monday, March 26, 2012

Second Daughter Of A Second Daughter

Talyn Rose, age 17 minutesAllow me to welcome into the world my number two daughter's second daughter -- Talyn Rose Schwartz was born at 10:01am on Saturday 24 March 2012, weighing in at 7 pounds 11 ounces, and 20 inches long.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Millionaire Graffiti Artist

David Choe's Facebook imageDavid Choe must have had a Kafkaesque morning, waking up to find himself changed in his bed into a monstrous millionaire. Seven years ago, the graffiti artist painted murals on the walls of Facebook's first offices in Palo Alto, California, and, according to The New York Times, he was paid in stock options in the realm of, reportedly, 3.77 million shares. On Wednesday [1 February 2012] night, the social network announced that it will seek an initial public offering, and at an estimated $53 a share, you can do the math on Choe's net worth. (He clearly did.) [$200 Million]

-- Jimmy So,, "David Choe, Facebook's Millionaire Graffiti Artist" (3 February 2012)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No Serious Threat

Defcon 5The Constitution poses no serious threat to our form of government.

-- Michael Joseph (Joe) Sobran (1946-2010), American journalist and writer, A Pair of Liberals (5 July 2007),

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blunt Or Rounded

BluntThe politician is ... trained in the art of inexactitude. His words tend to be blunt or rounded, because if they have a cutting edge they may later return to wound him.

-- Edward Roscoe Murrow (1908-1965), American journalist, address at London Guildhall (19 October 1959)

Monday, March 19, 2012


A pocket constitutionSome men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I knew that age well; I belonged to it and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. It was very like the present but without the experience of the present; and ... years of experience in government is worth a century of book-reading; and this they would say themselves were they to rise from the dead.

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), political philosopher, third President of the United States, Letter to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval), 12 July 1816

Friday, March 16, 2012


Sum of Happiness utilitarian logoThe only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise.

-- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), English political philosopher and economist, advocate of utilitarianism, On Liberty, Chapter 1 (1859)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


contentionRights are always asserted in a tone of contention; and when this tone is adopted, it must rely upon force in the background, or else it will be laughed at.

-- Simone Weil (1909-1943), French social and religious philosopher, Human Personality (1943)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chains Of The Constitution

FettersResolved [...] that it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is every where the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence may go; [...]. In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), political philosopher, third President of the United States, The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Political Rights

A red and black flag used as anarchy symbol. The flag is commonly associated with Anarcho-communists, a branch of Anarchism closely associated with labor organizations. The red portion of the flag represents labor; the black, anarchism.Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace. Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the Constitution. One compels respect from others when he knows how to defend his dignity as a human being. ... The peoples owe all the political rights and privileges which we enjoy today in greater or lesser measure, not to the good will of their governments, but to their own strength.

-- Rudolf Rocker (1873-1958), German-born American anarcho-syndicalist anarchist, writer, and social activist, Anarcho-Syndicalism, Ch. 5 "The Methods of Anarcho-Syndicalism" (1938)

Monday, March 12, 2012


Icon for Simplify PathOur life is frittered away by detail. ... Simplify, simplify.

-- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American writer and philosopher, Walden (1854)

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Coco judgment dayYou cannot avoid making judgements but you can become more conscious of the way in which you make them. This is critically important because once we judge someone or something we tend to stop thinking about them or it. Which means, among other things, that we behave in response to our judgements rather than to that to which is being judged. People and things are processes. Judgements convert them into fixed states. This is one reason that judgements are often self-fulfilling.

-- Neil Postman (1931-2003), American educator, media theorist, and cultural critic, Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Anti-Putin protest bannerWe have gained a clean victory. We won! Glory to Russia!

-- Vladimir V. Putin, after winning a six-year term in an election that the opposition called "a shame", New York Times, 5 March 2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Red Light

Red lightHow would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?

-- Joseph Jacques Omer "Jake the Snake" Plante (1929-1986), Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender, six-time Stanley Cup winner (five were consecutive), inventor of the first practical goaltender mask, commenting on his job as a goaltender

Monday, March 05, 2012

Church And State

Street signs at the intersection of Church St and State StThe idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.

-- Rick Santorum, ABC News "This Week", 26 February 2012

Friday, March 02, 2012

We Tried Poverty

Flag of the Oneida Indian NationWe tried poverty for 200 years. We decided to try something different.

-- Ray Halbritter, the leader of the Oneida Indian Nation, which is manufacturing cigarettes for sale at tribal convenience stores, New York Times, 23 February 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012


NASCAR logoNot as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.

-- Mitt Romney, Daytona, Florida, at the site of the Daytona 500, when asked whether he follows NASCAR, 26 February 2012