Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free Guptastan

You are lucky that he is on your side.

It only recently occurred to me that people don’t realize that I’m absolutely serious about starting a new nation state within three or four years if conditions are historically right.

library moment: grieg

This wonderful patron (an exuberant and adventurous Russian grandmother) who I get to help every two or three weeks rushes into my office, says, "Can you hep me?"

I say I can, and she has me pull up the Wikipedia page on Edvard Grieg, and play the .ogg there of the first movement of the piano concerto so that it will jog her memory. She thanks me profusely ("Thank you, thank you," she shakes her finger at me, "I like you so much!"), apologizes for her strong perfume, and rushes off to go to sing the piece in a performance. She said she'd been so nervous that she'd forgotten the music during her commute.

That's a good reminder for me: to keep my door more open more often.

And a good reminder that sometimes granny knows just where to go for her collaborative media music archive resources without any input from you, brother.

Granny can surprise you.

Doctorow's Little Brother

Link to purchase and download this audiobook without Flash interaction

Albert Hofmann gone now

Albert Hofmann, LSD inventor, RIP

Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), has passed away. He was 102 years-old.
 2007 10 Hoffman"I believe that if people would learn to use LSD's vision-inducing capability more wisely, under suitable conditions, in medical practice and in conjunction with meditation, then in the future this problem child could become a wonderchild." -- Albert Hofmann (1906-2008)

Link to Wikipedia article


Wasn't it Grace Slick who said she used to believe that if everybody dropped out and read a bunch of books the world would be a perfect place? But then we grow up and see that drugs do nothing but magnify our own psychosis (maybe peppering it sometimes with hints and glimmers of something magnificently transcendental), and that no problem is ever going to be solved, in this world or in the next, by the magnification of our own psyches. We get weary of drugs, weary of our own psycho-drama, and ready for reality (a reality more real than the daily-babble monkey-mind of our 'headache gray', fluorescent lit chattersphere)?

But that's not to disparage Mr. Hofmann -- he was a brave man, I think.

books are weapons in the war of ideas

Doesn't this mean that "books" as an idea are the right idea and that book-ism is situated somewhere opposite State-ism (or maybe particular species of facism or national socialism)? That would imply that State-isms of any kind are the idea-things that book-ism undermines and subverts; and this would (or could) potentially threaten even American-ism, or Liberal-ism, or any other idea-thing, or idea-culture-thing.

The idea that we will stand up for the idea that "we may disagree with your idea but we will die to protect your right to express it" (or Z) is dangerous to any kind of idea-culture-thing except for the idea-culture-thing that defends (or identifies itself as or with?) Z.

This is all in the realm of abstraction and ideal, of course -- making sense of the face of an idea-culture-thing that has been presented by its self through wartime propaganda.

What's missing here?

information decay

like when you let your records go to seed, and the OPAC gets cumbersome; the interface is brittle and bright. A broken bureau-asthetique, a little red and yellow grave for books and mags and The Journal of Noospheric Phenomena & Neuro-Christology. A $15,000 so-what. Shelves sagging, homebrewed references crookedly photocopied onto acidic 2lb LaserBrite, and glum librarians staring lustily off toward retirement. Bad records getting worse. Truncation and limiters splintering into arbitrary chaos, returning a search for "teen suicide" with nothing but Carl Yanni's The Architecture of Madness, claiming it's shelved somewhere between the book on medieval Italian crown-mold milling and that dusty box of realia that some bigwig on 'the board' must've once given to some middle manager as a thank-you, back before The Cosby Show wowed us all on Thursday nights.