Last belief standing

Takei's point is made and certainly I agree. Then my mind wandered off to other things. Of course this is why we have joke religions like Pastafarianism, the Church of the SubGernius, Discordianism, etc. The religious reply is that stuff's just made up, while our beliefs are eternal truths hallowed by tradition. Got me thinking, what would it take to craft a memeplex that lasts hundreds or thousands of years, with traditions, rites, observances, symbols recognizable across millenia?

Neal Stephenson's Anathem seems divisive among nerds, but it's one of my all-time favorite books for its sense of time, and yeah I love the idea of Long Now Foundation too. I've been doing the LessWrong/atheist thing of marking the solstices and equinoxes.

More than words

A long time ago, I thought wouldn't it be interesting to have an entire love story that never once uses the actual word "love," the most overused and misused word ever. Show, don't tell.

A Youtube comment mentioned that no one ever says love (or any of the related Japanese words) in Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children, a film that is entirely about love.

For a more directly romantic version, the other "next Miyazaki" guy Makoto Shinkai never uses the word love or anything like it in my all-time favorite love story, 5 Centimeters Per Second.

What's it got in its pockets pockets pockets preciousss

This vest thing wins all the utilons. Been playing with it for an hour and I'm still finding pockets.

Jacked in

[Oscar Chichoni cover for Neuromancer]

After almost 2 weeks of back and forth calls, SkyCable finally got me hooked up.
The standing desk makes my ankles hurt, but I'll give it another week.

Falcon Heavy would be a great band name

I love the soundtrack, I want more, who did the music? No attribution on Youtube, I asked in the comments, checked Reddit, nothing. Tried SoundHound, which misidentifies it as Dawn by Kenichiro Nishihara. Rockin guitar =/= mellow piano. :\

Brand X supervillain lair

Bought some shelf things. Trying to work out a standing desk and regular desk combo.
Jill was born into an inner-city home. Her father began having sex with Jill and her sister during their preschool years. Her mother was institutionalized twice because of what used to be termed “nervous breakdowns.” When Jill was 7 years old, her agitated dad called a family meeting in the living room. In front of the whole clan, he put a handgun to his head, said, “You drove me to this,” then blew his brains out. The mother’s mental condition continued to deteriorate, and she revolved in and out of mental hospitals for years. When Mom was home, she would beat Jill. Beginning in her early teens, Jill was forced to work outside the home to help make ends meet. As Jill got older, we would have expected to see deep psychiatric scars, severe emotional damage, drugs, maybe even a pregnancy or two. Instead, Jill developed into a charming and quite popular young woman at school. She became a talented singer, an honor student,and president of her high school class. By every measure, she was emotionally well-adjusted and seemingly unscathed by the awful circumstances of her childhood.
-John Medina, Brain Rules, Chapter 8: Stress

Great lines, mostly poetry

This is the school in which we learn/ that time is the fire in which we burn.
-Delmore Schwartz

I want to do to you what Spring does to the cherry trees.
-Pablo Neruda

Our father who art in heaven, stay there. And we will stay on earth, which is sometimes so beautiful.
-Jacques Prevert

I didn’t say "I love you" to hear it back. I said it to make sure you knew.
-cavalaxis.tumblr

To see her in sunlight was to see Marxism die.
-Harold Brodkey

Sifting through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way.
-Charles Bukowski

 I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me, lest I rot.
-Nikos Kazantzakis

 The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
 -Martin Luther King, Jr

All cities are mad, but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.
-Christopher Morley

I have no parents. I make the earth and sky my parents. I have no home. In the depths of my soul I make my home.
-samurai creed, traditional

Almost No One is Evil; Almost Everything is Broken
-blog.jaibot.com

 Everything that rises must converge.
-Teilhard de Chardin

He told her about the Afterglow: that brief, brilliant period after the Big Bang, when matter gathered briefly in clumps and burned by fusion light.
-Stephen Baxter

"You've a good heart," she told him. "Sometimes that's enough to see you safe wherever you go." Then she shook her head. "But mostly, it's not."
-Neil Gaiman

Death the Kraken waits to drown you/ In the sea of earth.
-the Skolion of Seikilos

Beautiful sentences are harder than I thought

So there was that Buzzfeed article, 51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature. Some great ones in there, some dull ones. Some odd choices, the T.S. Eliot is lovely, the Yeats, some bits of Shakespeare that are nowhere near the best. But if we allow that, then poetry should overwhelm the entire list. (Poetry bits, that would be fun and easy, file for future use.)

I sat down and tried to come up with my own prose list, and it's surprisingly hard. My quotes file and favorite sentences are clever or deep, not pretty: I seek Truth, not Beauty. But here's a few.

"Her kimono was printed in a design of irises and violets. The skin beneath it was like a dying man's dream of skin."
-Bruce Sterling, Schismatrix Plus

"He slept curled against her back, a dark comma against her pale elegant phrase."
-A.S. Byatt, Possession

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Requires Hate, punching up, trying to do good

So there was this blog, Requires Only That You Hate. (Trigger warning... all of them) Somewhat Internet-famous, once memorably described as "performance rage." It was kinda amazing, in a horrible way, savagely slagging sf books and authors, playing the sexist or privilege card on everything within range. Apparently some people have been tracking this anonymous troll/drama queen since back when LiveJournal was a thing.

I've been on the Internet a long while, I like to think I'm as jaded as the next guy. But this trolling was weapons-grade, it wound me up, it was infuriating and made me want to engage. I mean, I'm not white, that's worth something isn't it? Sanity prevailed and I stayed out of the fray, but I kept reading and put her blog in my RSS feed reader. It was a great vaccination, because truly, afaik Requires Hate is the ne plus ultra of trolling.

Requires Hate got doxxed, outed as Thai blogger and Campbell Award nominee Benjanun Sriduangkaew.

So what's the point, what's the lesson to be learned? Hateblogging is counterproductive. Hateblogging is stupid. Maybe not a stretch to say that hateblogging is evil. Here's Laura J. Mixon's compendious rundown on Requires Hate's attacks, one of which apparently caused a suicide attempt. Another lesson, social justice rhetoric is easily weaponized. RH bounced around for a while, but settled on social justice language as the perfect vehicle for the vitriol. Vicious righteousness, what more can you ask for?

Sriduangkaew's public apology says "I believed I was doing good and was punching up." How's that? Requires Hate is forevermore my touchstone for radfem #killallmen fuckery. Performance rage indeed. Performance and posturing, take a tough stance and shout over everyone, instead of discussion and engagement, or God forbid, compassion and empathy.