[Karel Veprik

Ξ May 29th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

Stumbleupon Review

[Karel Veprik]

    Snow falls
    For a thousand years
    There is no shelter
    No reason
    Just an endless plain of blinding white
    Hiding everything



War is the Health of the State: Its Meaning

Ξ May 28th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

[Guernica - Pablo Picasso]

    What happens to the individual in the process of society and Government being dominated by the State? In times of peace, an individual acts according to his own conscience to secure what he believes to be in his self-interest, which usually includes pursuing prosperity, security for the family, and spending time on unique interests e.g. hobbies. Individuals interact peacefully in society without any necessary co-ordination because the interactions are sparked by a common desire (such as attending a football game, or exchanging goods for money) without any loss of individual choice.

    In times of war, individuals become what Bourne refers to as "the herd." He describes what is meant by this term, "The State is the organization of the herd to act offensively or defensively against another herd similarly organized." Bourne clearly acknowledges that the herd is not an emotional whole, but may include a wide range of emotional and intellectual reactions to wartime events and to the war itself. Nevertheless, "by an ingenious mixture of cajolery, agitation, intimidation, the herd is licked into shape, into an effective mechanical unity, if not into a spiritual whole."

    Just as the line between the State and society blurs so, too, does the line between the State and the individual. The State attempts to draw upon the powerful force of individual choice by appealing to the patriotism of people and asking them to make the "choice" to enlist and otherwise support the war effort. Usually, the individual obliges because "[in] a nation at war, every citizen identifies himself with the whole, and feels immensely strengthened in that identification." But, if the individual makes the wrong choice -- the choice to not volunteer, to not co-operate with wartime measures -- the State reveals that choice was never the real issue. "Men are told simultaneously that they will enter the military establishment of their own volition, as their splendid sacrifice for their country's welfare, and that if they do not enter they will be hunted down and punished with the most horrid penalties..."

    Usually, the individual does not rebel against this massive violation of rights because he feels what Bourne calls "a large element of pure filial mysticism" toward the State, especially the wartime State. Bourne likens this mysticism to the response often offered to religion. "As the Church is the medium for the spiritual salvation of men, so the State is thought of as the medium for his political salvation." The same feeling of patriotism that brings tears to the eyes of those saluting the flag at ball games is magnified by -- some would say 'distorted and exploited by' -- the wartime State to make individuals conform. Feeling strengthened by "identifying with the whole," people cease to be individuals and become, instead, citizens of the State. The man who dissents and remains an individual feels "forlorn and helpless," while those who think and feel as the others in the herd have "the warm feeling of obedience, the soothing irresponsibility of protection."

    Thus, "people at war become in the most literal sense obedient, respectful, trustful children again, full of that naive faith in the all-wisdom and all-power of the adult who takes care of them..." "This great herd-machine" functions under "a most indescribable confusion of democratic pride and personal fear" that makes the individuals who constitute the herd "submit to the destruction of their livelihood if not their lives, in a way that would formerly have seemed to them so obnoxious as to be incredible."

    This, too, is the meaning of 'War is the Health of the State': war is the death of individualism.


Take my hand by *~~ stef ~~ [bunty]

Ξ May 19th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Arts, Photography |


Day 76 without bucket. & I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?

Ξ May 6th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Arts, Photography |


YouTube – Bernard Purdie blues Drum/ bass duet

Ξ May 3rd, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Music |


Chuang Tzus Chaos Linguistics

Ξ May 3rd, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Science |

From the page: "Thus, beginning with total linguistic relativism, Chuang Tzu ends with a sort of metalinguistics. Spillover words do not ward and sector, They play. They contain more than they contain - therefore, like the famous cleaver which never needs sharpening because the Taoist butcher can pass it between all tendons and joints, the Spillover word "finds its proper channel." The sage does not become trapped in semantics, does not mistake map for territory, but rather "opens things up to the light of Heaven" by flowing with the words, by playing with the words. Once attuned to this flow, the sage need make no special effort to "illumine," for language does it by itself, spontaneously. Language spills over.

Now recall that Saussure was studying the Latin anagrams, and that he found the key words of the poems spilling over into other words. Syllables of characters' names for example are echoed in the words describing those characters. At first the founder of modern linguistics considered these anagrams as conscious literary devices. Little by little however it became apparent that such a "reading" would not hold. Saussure began to find anagrammatc spillovers everywhere he looked - not only in all Latin poetry, but even in prose. He reached the point where he couldn't tell if he was experiencing a linguistic hallucination or a divine revelation. Anagrams everywhere! Language itself a net of jewels in which every gem reflects all others! He wrote a letter to a respected academic Latinist who had composed Latin odes - poems in which Saussure had detected anagrams. Tell me, he begged, are you the heir to secret tradition handed down from Classical antiquity - or are you doing it unconsciously? Needless to say, Saussure received no answer. He stopped his research abruptly with a sensation of vertigo, trembling on the abyss of pure nihilism, or pure magic, terrified by the implications of a language beyond language, beyond sign/content, langue/parole. He stopped, in short, precisely where Chuang Tzu begins."


My days are of fire and

Ξ May 3rd, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

Stumbleupon Review

    My days are of fire and mist,
    mist and fire.
    Dreams drift in,
    blue over these green hills as
    wisps of wanton wishes bud in the trees.
    Day barely breaks
    in mauve murmurings
    from the east.

    I turn from ashes of the night
    and walk into day,
    exhaling dreams,
    tilting my face, flower-like,
    for dewdrops or tears
    gathering on my face.

    My days are of fire and mist
    mist and fire.
    Flames and shadows dance in a ring at my feet.
    and I am only half warm
    with mists across my shoulders
    like a cold, damp cloak.
    Smoke slips over these dark hills
    across a sometimes moon.

    I am held here,
    to a flame I dare not touch
    until I am a shadow
    or a mist.

    -- Raynette Eitel


Math Games: Evil Numbers

Ξ May 3rd, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Science |

From the page: "Evil numbers are easy to find, as one might expect with an arbitrarily defined property. Interestingly, π is doubly evil. Many numbers aren't evil. For example, e isn't evil. The important sums are 665 and 668 after 141 decimal digits -- e goes over 666 without hitting it. Chris Lomont notes that you can take every 15th digit of e, and show that e is somewhat evil. The farthest he had to reach for any constant was with Catalan's constant, which wasn't evil until he took every 28th digit.

It appears that most numbers are at least somewhat evil. With enough fiddling, almost anything is likely to be findable.

How common are evil numbers? (number of non-zero digits / sum of digits) gives a good estimate. For a base 10 number, the estimate gives 9/(1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9) = 20% = 1/5. Thus, any random number has a 1 in 5 chance of having this property.

A fifth is an estimate. Chris Lomont found a recursion that could give an exact value:

p[1] = 1/9;
p[k_ /; k <10] := p[k] = 1/9 + 1/9 Sum[p[j], {j, 1, k - 1}];
p[k_ /; k > 9] := p[k] = 1/9 Sum[p[k - d], {d, 1, 9}];
Timing[Table[p[100 n], {n, 1, 10}]][[1]]

The exact probability of 666 being hit is the following:

(large number edited out as it was breaking my blog)

Which is approximately .2000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002166222683713523944720537405934866672. That's very close to 1/5. The third term in the continued fraction expansion of p[666] is 184653222869167741981875869102352405779668736930185085305398884.

The probability of evilness converges quickly to 1/5, but it does so in a highly oscillatory way. Note that each term is being multiplied by 1.243n.

Figure 1. ListPlot[Table[(1/5 - p[n]) (1243/1000)^n, {n, 30, 900}]]

Another method Chris Lomont discovered for calculating evilness involved the series expansion of (1-t9)/(t10-10t+9). In this series expansion, coefficient n is identical to p[n].

It seemed like there should be a closed form for all of this, but it was beyond Chris's ability to calculate. Also, I wasn't able to calculate the evilness probability for the continued fraction of a random irrational number. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let them calculate the equations."


Hex String of Evil

Ξ May 3rd, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |



Scottish Parliament election, 2007 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ξ May 1st, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

Is this the end for Labour in Scotland?

We can hope 😀