Friday, September 30, 2022

Like A Vampire

I wanted books like a vampire wants blood.

-- Dame Hilary Mary Mantel DBE FRSL (6 July 1952 - 22 September 2022), British writer whose work includes historical fiction, personal memoirs, and short stories, Giving Up the Ghost (2003)

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Success Depends

Success depends on what you choose to ignore.

-- Bola Adesola, Nigerian accountant, Senior Vice-Chairman at Standard Chartered Bank Group, (10 October 2020)

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A Global Endeavor

We are showing that planetary defense is a global endeavor, and it is very possible to save our planet.

-- Clarence William Nelson II (1942 -), American politician and attorney serving as administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), congratulatory message to NASA teams, after the successful impact of the DART spacecraft into the moonlet Dimorphos of the asteroid Didymos, (26 September 2022)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tinier Even Than Science

Still among the myriad microwaves, the
infra-red messages, the gigabytes of ones
and zeroes, we find words, infinitesimally
small, byte-sized now, tinier even than
science lurking in some vague electricity
where, if we listen we can hear the solitary
voice of that poet telling us,

"We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the show."

"The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on:  nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."

"Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;
Tomorrow's Silence, Triumph or Despair:
Drink!  for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink!  for you know not why you go, nor where."

-- Irma St Paule (1926 - 2007), as "Poet" in the movie Twelve Monkeys (1995), quoting Omar Khayyam's The Rubaiyat (1120), stanzas LXVII, LXXI, and LXXIV

Monday, September 26, 2022

All Houses Are Haunted

You come to this place, mid-life.  You don't know how you got here, but suddenly you're staring fifty in the face.  When you turn and look back down the years, you glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led; all houses are haunted.  The wraiths and phantoms creep under your carpets and between the warp and weft of fabric, they lurk in wardrobes and lie flat under drawer-liners.  You think of the children you might have had but didn't.  When the midwife says, "It's a boy," where does the girl go?  When you think you're pregnant, and you're not, what happens to the child that has already formed in your mind?  You keep it filed in a drawer of your consciousness, like a short story that never worked after the opening lines.

-- Dame Hilary Mary Mantel DBE FRSL (6 July 1952 - 22 September 2022), British writer whose work includes historical fiction, personal memoirs, and short stories, Giving Up the Ghost (2003)

Friday, September 23, 2022

Life Is Heaven

The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work brings you and the world's need of that work.  With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get.  Without this -- with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need -- this life is hell.

-- William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868 - 1963), American civil rights activist, educator, and author, To His Newborn Great-Grandson, address on his ninetieth birthday (1958)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Structure Is Everything

In an extreme view, the world can be seen as only connections, nothing else.  We think of a dictionary as the repository of meaning, but it defines words only in terms of other words.  I liked the idea that a piece of information is really defined only by what it's related to, and how it's related.  There really is little else to meaning.  The structure is everything.  There are billions of neurons in our brains, but what are neurons?  Just cells.  The brain has no knowledge until connections are made between neurons.  All that we know, all that we are, comes from the way our neurons are connected.

-- Tim Berners-Lee (born 8 June 1955) is the inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees its continued development, Weaving The Web : The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web (1999)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

We Conclude That He Would Not

Here, we analyze whether Plaintiff would be "substantially injure[d]" by a stay.  Largely for reasons we have already discussed, we conclude that he would not. 

First, as we have explained, Plaintiff does not have a possessory interest in the documents at issue, so he does not suffer a cognizable harm if the United States reviews documents he neither owns nor has a personal interest in. 

Second, we find unpersuasive Plaintiff's insistence that he would be harmed by a criminal investigation. "Bearing the discomfiture and cost of a prosecution for crime even by an innocent person is one of the painful obligations of citizenship." Cobbledick v. United States, 309 U.S. 323, 325 (1940). 

Third, because of the nature of the classified materials at issue here and based on the record, we have no reason to expect that the United States's use of these records imposes the risk of disclosure to the United States of Plaintiff's privileged information. 

-- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruling in Donald J. Trump v United States of America, USCA 11 Case: 22-13005 (21 September 2022), staying a lower court ruling that denied the FBI access to classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

I Am Patient

I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it. 

-- Edith Sitwell (1887 - 1964), English poet and critic, The Last Years of a Rebel (1967)

Monday, September 19, 2022

Fleeting Instant

Remember that man lives only in the present, in this fleeting instant; all the rest of his life is either past and gone, or not yet revealed.  Short, therefore, is man's life, and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein he dwells.

-- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 - 180), Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher, Meditations (c. AD 121–180), Book III, 10

Friday, September 16, 2022

After Silence

After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

-- Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894 - 1963), British author, Music at Night and Other Essays (1931), "The Rest is Silence"

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Old Men Delight

Les vieillards aiment à donner de bons préceptes, pour se consoler de n'être plus en état de donner de mauvais exemples.

Old men delight in giving good advice as a consolation for the fact that they can no longer provide bad examples.

-- François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld, le Prince de Marcillac (15 September 1613 - 17 March 1680), French author of maxims and memoirs,  Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims (1665-1678), Maxim 93

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

New Form Of Capitalism

Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn't end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people.  We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.

-- Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, 83, in an interview announcing the transfer of the $3 Billion company to the Holdfast Collective, which will donate 100% of future profits to combat climate change, New York Times, 14 September 2022

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

As Few Lies

One tells as few lies as possible only by telling as few lies as possible, and not by having the least possible opportunity to do so.

-- Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924), Bohemian-Jewish novelist, The Zürau Aphorisms (1917 - 1918), p. 58

Monday, September 12, 2022

Providence For Us All

Well, every one for himself, and Providence for us all -- as the elephant said when he danced among the chickens.

-- Charles Reade (1814 - 1884), English novelist and dramatist, A Simpleton (1873)

Friday, September 09, 2022

Sent From My iPad

From: Steve Jobs,
To: Steve Jobs,
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 11:08PM

I grow little of the food I eat, and of the little I do grow I did not breed or perfect the seeds.

I do not make any of my own clothing.

I speak a language I did not invent or refine.

I did not discover the mathematics I use.

I am protected by freedoms and laws I did not conceive of or legislate, and do not enforce or adjudicate.

I am moved by music I did not create myself.

When I needed medical attention, I was helpless to help myself survive.

I did not invent the transistor, the microprocessor, object oriented programming, or most of the technology I work with.

I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well being.

Sent from my iPad

-- Steve Jobs, in an email to himself (2 September 2010), from the Steve Jobs Archive, which was just announced by Laurene Powell Jobs as "a repository of historical materials relating to Steve, some of which have never before been made public"

Thursday, September 08, 2022

The Queen Is Dead

The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.

Thursday, 8th September 2022

-- Pronouncement placed today on the gate of Buckingham Palace, announcing the passing of Queen Elizabeth II (21 April 1926 - 8 September 2022), Britain's longest-serving (70 years, 214 days) monarch, and the ascendance to the throne of King Charles III

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Upside Down

There is something intrinsically upside down and counter-intuitive in the relationship between money and happiness.

-- David John Orrell (born 1962 in Edmonton), Canadian mathematician and author living in Oxford, England, The Other Side Of The Coin (2008), Chapter 2, Odd Versus Even, p. 70

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Amendment 14, Section 3

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.  But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

-- Section 3 of Amendment 14 to the US Constitution, as cited in State of New Mexico v Couy Griffin, wherein Judge Francis J. Mathew ruled, "Mr. Griffin Became Constitutionally Disqualified from Any Federal or State Office, Including His Current Office, Effective January 6, 2021." (6 September 2022)

Monday, September 05, 2022


Back in 2001, I was in my 8th year of working for NovaNET, the descendant of CERL PLATO.  Each year the company hosted a national gathering of its customers and employees in Phoenix.  As a long-time Cardinals baseball fan, I noted that the Cardinals would play the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Phoenix, during the conference.  I bought a ticket for the Diamondbacks home opener, Friday April 6th 2001.  

At the game that night, the Cardinals fielded a much-heralded rookie right fielder (later first baseman) by the name of Albert Pujols, who, at 21 years old, was playing in what I think was just his third MLB game.  In the 4th inning, facing Armando Reynoso on a count of 1 ball and 2 strikes, Albert Pujols hit his first career home run, a 2-run shot that tied the game.

Fast forward to this weekend, and my daughter (who was 2 when that first home run was hit) treated me to a Labor Day Sunday game at Busch Stadium, as the Cardinals faced their arch-rival Cubs.  The game started more than an hour late due to rain, and it drizzled off and on, but it was well worth it.  Albert Pujols didn't start the game, but in the bottom of the 8th inning of a scoreless game, he emerged from the dugout to hit a pinch-hit, 2-run home run, and the Cardinals went on to win 2-0.  It was Pujols' 695th career home run as he aims for 700 before retiring at the end of this season.  There's a lifetime between those 2 home runs.

This post made possible by my daughter.  Thanks, kid!

Friday, September 02, 2022

That I May Learn

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

-- Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, in a letter to Anthon van Rappard (18 August 1885)

Thursday, September 01, 2022

What To Do Next

Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Virtue is doing it.

-- David Starr Jordan, Ph.D., LL.D. (1851 - 1931), leading ichthyologist (the study of fish), educator, and peace activist; he was president of Indiana University (Bloomington) and Stanford University. "Ideals of Stanford", quoted in The Land of Sunshine: A Southern California Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 1. (Los Angeles, June 1898), p. 11