josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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28 Sep '10 07:31:54 AM

Five yard signs in a row, none betraying its candidate's party affiliation.

19 Sep '10 06:31:12 AM

Some writers leave too much to their adjectives.

1 Sep '10 06:03:49 AM

I feel happy to walk onto an unfamiliar college campus.

20 Jul '10 11:15:57 PM

'I can only remind—more I cannot do! To move stones, to turn animals into humans—is that what you want from me?'

19 Jun '10 11:56:32 PM

'The words ['signs' and 'symptoms'] function like such words as 'traces' or 'clues'. Once you know the murderer, you don't get any more clues, only what were or would have been clues: nor is a confession, or an eye-witness's view of the crime, a particularly good clue—these are something different altogether.'

31 May '10 09:40:39 PM

'Before the existence of patents and copyrights, the value of ideas was preserved by the maintenance of secrecy and by strictly private and elitist consumption. But once ideas can be owned, their value lies in disowning them by making them public—not only in the economic sense of the creation of surplus value, but also in the sense that the very meaning of conceptual ownership depends upon the knowledge of others of your ownership, upon their capacity to know your ideas without also being able to extract material profit from them.'

26 Mar '10 06:41:26 AM

'O God, my God, what emptiness and mockeries did I now experience: for it was impressed upon me as right and proper in a boy to obey those who taught me, that I might get on in the world and excel in the handling of words to gain honor among men and deceitful riches. I, poor wretch, could not see the use of the things I was sent to school to learn; but if I proved idle in learning, I was soundly beaten. For this procedure seemed wise to our ancestors: and many, passing the same way in days past, had built a sorrowful road by which we too must go, with multiplication of grief and toil upon the sons of Adam.'

10 Mar '10 10:22:14 PM

Now, when I think of Biggie's death, I'm filled with sadness.

5 Mar '10 01:24:38 AM

Two moral phenomena:

1. The reluctance of someone accused, and acknowledged, to be guilty of doing something wrong, to refer to their wrong by name, to identify it as a wrong. (Dodges and evasions continue to tempt: 'what I did', 'when I did that'.)

2. The defining, fateful aspect a single action takes on, in all one's later life and reflection on life, when that action was the commission of a serious wrong. (Compare to all the other actions, not even necessarily rising to the level of deeds, which are done and forgotten in the course of living.)