Monday, 1 August 2016

To endeavor to live the life which you have imagined

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

(...)
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. 

Walden

HENRY DAVID THOREAU


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

To be a writer

And I was a writer. In Australia I'd written since my early twenties. I'd just begun to establish myself through my first published work when my marriage collapsed, I lost the custody of my daughter, and I lost my life in drugs, crime, imprisonment, and escape. But even as a fugitive, writing was still a daily custom and part of my instinctual routine. Even there, in Leopold's, my pockets were full of notes, scribbled onto napkins, receipts, and scraps of paper. I never stopped writing. It was what I did, no matter where I was or how my circumstances changed. One of the reasons I remember those early Bombay months so well is that, whenever I was alone, I wrote about those new friends and the conversations we shared.  And writing was one of the things that saved me: the discipline and abstraction of putting my life into words, every day, helped me to cope with shame and its first cousin, despair.
SHANTARAM
By GREGORY DAVID ROBERTS

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Daddy, is it raining without water again?

(...) a thunderstorm will probably never be the same again for Ramsi Khalaf, who was two years old when I left Beirut in 1984. When shelling in his neighborhood used to get very heavy, Ramsi’s parents, Samir and Rosanne, used to calm his nerves by telling him that the flashes and booms rocking their apartment were only a thunderstorm. After a while, though, Ramsi began to realize that something was amiss. When the shelling became very intense one evening, he looked up at his father and asked, “Daddy, is it raining without water again?”
From Beirut to Jerusalem 
Thomas L. Friedman

Monday, 5 October 2015

Maybe he was born that way


No, but why is Croft that way?
Oh, there are answers. He is that way because of the corruption-of-the-society. He is that way because the devil has claimed him for one of his own. It is because he is a Texan; it is because he has renounced God.
He is that kind of man because the only woman he ever  loved cheated on him, or he was born that way, or he was having problems of adjustment.
The Naked and the Dead
Norman Mailer

Saturday, 29 August 2015

the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy


Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness”, “joy”, or “regret”. Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster”. Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy”. I’d like to show how “imitations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age”. I’d like to have a word for “sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar”. I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, (…).
Middlesex
By Jeffrey Eugenides 


Sunday, 5 July 2015

just a question

- Hey,- she said to Richard - do you think it's possible you're homosexual?

- You ask that now?

- I don't know. It's just that sometimes guys who have to screw a million women are trying to prove something. Disprove something.


Freedom
Jonathan Franzen



Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Quantum Theory & Love

Two relevant legs of the quantum theory are the "superposition of states" and "quantum knowing". The theory of superposition says that atoms are in many possible states simultaneously. They searching among the various alternative energy states (an effect Michael Conrad called "quantum scanning"), and they don't "choose" a state until they collide with matter or are observed.  The famous argument in support of this is provided by the double-slit experiment, in which a low-intensity beam of photons is projected onto a wall punctured with two vertical slits.  Behind the wall is a screen. Because the intensity is low and the photon stream is "dilute", each photon should pass through one slit or the other. Instead, the patterns on the screen suggest that each photon passes through both slits at once. The bizarre but oft-replicated experiment seems to suggest that a photon can be in two places simultaneously.
Quantum theory says the photon is not just in those two places, but in many others as well. Scientist decided the best way to talk about a photon's location would be to imagine a three-dimensional graph of all possible states. This is called the state space, and the "wave function" is a way of characterising all the possible states that the photon may be in. Amazingly, when a particle comes into contact with matter—the molecules on the screen in the famous two-slit experiment, for instance—the wave function "collapses" to a single point, and the photon is forced to choose a single state to be in. When we observe something, we don't see all its possible states—we see only one. We force it to be in only one state through the act of seeing or measuring it.
(...)
The idea of quantum knowing states that movements of atoms, electrons, or other quantum particles may, under certain instances, be synchronises at great distances. As Hameroff writes, "The greatest surprised to emerge from quantum theory is quantum inseparability or nonlocality which implies that all objects that have once interacted are in some sense still connected! Erwin Schrödinger, one of the inventors of quantum mechanics, observed in 1935 that when two quantum systems interact, their wave functions become 'phase entangled.' Consequently, when one system's wave function is collapsed, the other system's wave function, no matter how far away, instantly collapsed too."
Biomimicry, Invention Inspired by Nature
JANINE M. BENYUS