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, (…).
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.

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

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Accumulations, Yayoi Kusama

“(…) The Accumulations ironically cater for – furnish, equip, dress, accessorise – a society in which the devastations of fascist ultra-authoritarianism, war deprivation and even atomic obliteration were somehow to be rectified through the production and consumption of disposable goods and their corresponding stereotypes, where overdoing was a social obligation in the performance of gender, consumerism and geopolitical alike.”

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


It is these different aspects of life together that make up a social culture. And it is the culture which he inherits that gives a man his human dignity as well as his material prosperity. It teaches him his mental and moral values and makes him feel it worth while to work and fight for liberty.
But a culture has no meaning apart from the social organisation of life on which it is built. When the European comes to the Gikuyu country and robs the people of their land, he is taking away not only the livelihood, but the material symbol that holds family and tribe together. In doing this he gives one blow which cuts away the foundations from the hole Gikuyu life, social, moral and economic. When he explains, to his own satisfaction and after the most superficial glance at the issues involved, that he is doing this for the sake of the Africans, to “civilise” them, “teach them the disciplinary value of regular work”, and “give them the benefit of European progressive ideas”, he is adding insult to injury, and need expect to convince no one but himself.
There certainly are some progressive ideas among the Europeans. They include the ideas of material properity, of medicine, and hygiene, and literacy which enables people to take part in world culture. But so far the Europeans who visit Africa had not been conspicuously zealous in imparting these parts of their inheritance to the Africans, and seem to think that the only way to do it is by police discipline and armed force. They speak as if it was somehow beneficial to an African to work for them instead of for himself, and to make sure that he will receive this benefit  they do their best to take away his land and leave him with no alternative. Along with his land they rob him of his government, condemn his religious ideas, and ignore his fundamental conceptions of justice and morals, all in the name of civilisation and progress.
If Africans were left in peace on their own lands, Europeans would have to offer them the benefits of white civilisation in real earnest before they could obtain the African labour which they want so much. They would have to offer the African a way of life which was really superior to the one his fathers lived before him, and a share in the prosperity given them by their command of science. They would have to let the African choose what parts of European culture could be beneficially transplanted, and how they could be adapted. He would probably not choose the gas bomb or the armed police force, but he might ask for some other things of which he does not get so much today. As it is, by driving him off his ancestral lands, the Europeans have robbed him of the material foundations of his culture, and reduced him to a state of serfdom incompatible with human happiness. The African is conditioned, by the cultural and social institutions of centuries, to a freedom of which European has little conception, and it is not in his nature to accept serfdom for ever. He realised that he must fight unceasingly for his own complete emancipation; for without this he is doomed to remain the prey of rival imperialism, which in very successive year will drive their fangs more deeply into his vitality and strength.

Facing MT. Kenya