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Religion & Philosophy
By ucblockhead (Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:26:24 AM EST) (all tags)
I gather from the response to last diary that we don't have many Stephenson fans hereabouts.


The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.



I'm a right bastard.  Every time it is my turn to let the free range chickens range freely, I forget, leaving them cooped up in the coop.


I've acquired an eink ebook reader from unnamed sources and am discovering that the things have improved in the last year since I played with one.  The downsides are still there, what with poor refresh, etc., but the PDF support has improved, and:
  • There seems to be lots more free crap around the net.  (Thanks, Tor!)
  • You can load stuff on it without the crappy software!  (Sorry, coworker, who valiantly improved said software from completely unshippable garbage to merely crappy despite having to deal with one of the worst "software technologies" I've ever had the misfortune to deal with.)
  • The portability of the thing is even nicer than I remember.


I'm off to San Diego this weekend to witness my aunt and her long-time girlfriend marry.  (Though it seems really idiotic to refer to a 70 year old woman as a "girlfriend".)  It'll be nice wandering around Hillcrest...I have a lot of good memories of that area.  Not like Rancho Bernardo, where I was last week.  That brought up lots of memories of teenage tedium.  Yeah, it is still as dull as it was in the late 80s.

I strongly suspect that my sister, who isn't going, is actually going, and I am not being told because "we don't get along" and instead we are yet being brought together unexpectedly in yet another "I wish you guys got along better" scheme when in fact, we get along just fine when mom isn't around.  When mom is around, my sister turns into a whiny, passive-aggressive psycho-bitch.

Or more accurately, it is only in such cases that my sister's whiny, passive-aggressive psycho-bitchness is aimed at me.  When mom isn't around, she aims it at whatever service personel that has the misfortune to be in her path.



I seem to have almost entirely fallen off of the TV/Movie wagon.  We've had the same netflix movies sitting on the TV for four months, including an oscar winner, yet I am just never in the mood.  The "new" TV season fills me with "meh".  I have been watching "Farscape" in the evenings on my desktop, but often find myself losing track of the story while playing some Kongregate game.

I have discovered, what with Kongrate's achievement points and a certain other system's "trophies" that I am too damn easily led by meaningless numbers in databases.  Offer me 5 "points" to play some stupid ass game, and I mindlessly click away regardless of how lame the thing is.



Something shocking happened yesterday.  We had a contractor in to put in baseboards/case the windows yesterday.  And:
  • He was 10 minutes early.
  • He finished on time.
  • He fixed a jammed door that I'd forgot to tell him about without asking.
  • He reminded me to make  sure we had touch up paint before caulking.
  • He didn't want a check when leaving, but asked us to "make sure everything is all right first".


I've lost the work-at-home habit.  I used to prefer it, but now I just end up feeling isolated.  (Contractors in the house notwithstanding.)  Maybe it's because my job involves less and less coding.  Sigh...


The ucblockhead health report: All systems nominal.  Fluid pressure levels slightly elevated.  Excess energy packets should be discarded.


Speaking of elevated fluid pressure levels, the latest political issues have about sent me around the bend.  We, as a society, reward failure.  Makes me wonder why I bother doing things the "right" way, financially speaking.
< I survived the night | During my walk >
Random stuff | 35 comments (35 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I like Stephenson, but I'm behind in my reading by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:32:16 AM EST
I have to read the second Baroque volume before I can move on to something new.


I'm waiting for the paperback by Vulch (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:53:39 AM EST
Limited shelf space.

Thinking of which, it's nearly 5pm. Where's my Amazon order? Tracking says it was on the van at 10:13 this morning...

[ Parent ]
Ugh by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:54:04 AM EST
My advice: don't bother with the second Baroque volume unless you actually liked the first one.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I liked the Shaftoe bits by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:00:39 AM EST
the Waterhouse part was very boring.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, me too by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:01:47 AM EST
Speaking as one who has read all three, it doesn't "get better".
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
i liked the first one by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 03:35:00 PM EST
but still didn't like the others. i read them anyway, and there were some good bits, but generally interspersed with a lot of rambling nothing.

---------
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
my advice by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:39:28 AM EST
drop the rest of the baroque cycle and read anathem instead.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
free range ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:41:41 AM EST
We used to have push the little blighters out of the pop holes if they were going to be viewed. There was no way they were going outside with those foxes and cold weather !

It's California by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:53:23 AM EST
They get the run of the back yard during the day.  They get stuffed in the coop when the sun goes down and the raccoons are about.  They get peeved when we forgot (or sleep in on the weekends.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
note by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:40:06 AM EST
as i read prop. 2, your coop will be illegal in 2015 unless it has enough space for the chickens to spread their wings without touching the edge of the coop.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
It won't be. by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 11:09:38 AM EST
It has more than enough space. Though since there aren't individual pens, it is up to the chickens to arrange themselves such as to do do so. The only time they are confined to it, they are asleep, which they do voluntarily crammed together on the perch, which means that six *other* chickens could be spreading their wings.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Cryptomonicon turned off of Stephenson by lm (4.00 / 2) #6 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:56:18 AM EST
I may someday put another Stephenson volume in my mental queue, but with so many good authors out there I may never get to it. Especially since my tastes are turning away from sci-fi.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Actually by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:01:18 AM EST
Anathem seems written for you.  There aren't many other sci-fi novels that feature multi-page dialogs on platonism.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Aphrael said sort of the same thing by lm (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 07:59:46 AM EST
But my reading time outside of school is fairly limited and right now I'm revisiting classic works that I've not yet read. The current title is Don Quixote.

Oddly, science fiction holds almost no appeal to me anymore. I used to read about one sci-fi novel per week or so. But for the most part I now can't be arsed to pick one up.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
when multiple people say the same thing by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:40:58 AM EST
Like when multiple intelligence agencies by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 2) #20 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 02:48:37 PM EST

tell you to invade Iraq?


-
You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
I think you mean by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #24 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 04:35:58 PM EST
When multiple intelligence agencies who you have told to tell you to invade Iraq tell you to invade Iraq.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
congress did that? by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 04:36:42 AM EST
How gauche!
-
You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
Good for you by Clipper Ship (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 04:12:03 PM EST
Sci-fi is a joke that has not redeemed itself yet. Wait for the punchline, I say.

---------------

Destroy All Planets

[ Parent ]
Actually by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:58:33 AM EST
I'll probably pick it up based on your review. Might wait for paperback though.

TV/Movies by ana (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 08:36:09 AM EST
Also off the wagon. We really should cancel our Netflix membership.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

Boob toob by miker2 (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:48:50 AM EST
I actually packed and unpacked the two netflix movies I have now, when I moved, in April.  Same goes for the Wii, haven't touched it in months.


Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
Well by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 09:50:33 AM EST
I have been using the PS3 a fair amount...that's one thing that is distracting me from TV.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
same on the financial political issues by cam (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:07:21 AM EST
I am pretty disgusted.


cam 
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic
(Comment Deleted) by Clipper Ship (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 04:13:36 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by Clipper Ship



well, I have nothing to add by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 06:24:41 PM EST
I'm on page 300.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

I was with him by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Sep 24, 2008 at 10:57:57 PM EST

up until the end of Cryptonomicon. Then I read Quicksilver and thought, "I've seen everything there is to see here". There are too many good books in the world to go chasing down ancient alleys hoping for an echo of some fix from years ago.


----
Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
as i've said elsewhere by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #28 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:24:40 AM EST
i didn't like cryptonomicon and barely finished it.

i loathed the baroque cycle.

i *loved* anathem.



If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
tao by johnny (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:40:48 AM EST
That is the shit, fo-shizzle. Just say'n.

Buy my books, dammit!
Stephenson. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #30 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:58:34 AM EST
I liked Snow Crash better than most cyberpunk scifi of the day, and Diamond Age had some great tech.

The things I hate about him, though, outnumber the things I like about him.

For instance, he'll describe something in infinite fucking detail for pages and pages and pages. The tiniest of explanation about the most mundane goddamn thing. Like, hell, in Cryptonomicon (which would have been a great story) he goes on for a million words or so about whats-his-name's cereal habit, and the experience that whats-his-name has eating a bowl of fucking cereal.

Then there's the endings.

---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
endings? by dr k (4.00 / 1) #31 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 09:07:26 AM EST
Oh, you mean the part where there are no more pages in the book?

:| :| :| :| :|

[ Parent ]
Sort of like my ending by blixco (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 10:05:11 AM EST
up there.  Eleven million pages of cereal eating, and one sentence of

"He turned around and said 'Oh. I, uh. Oh.'"

to end the book.

---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Hell yes. by gzt (4.00 / 1) #33 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 11:15:07 AM EST
That's what always pissed me off the most about him. Such a tease. At least none of his endings were as disastrous as that of "Elementary Particles". That was so bad I had to wonder whether it was intentionally that bad as a literary troll.

[ Parent ]
the cereal bit was great by R343L (2.00 / 0) #34 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:53:18 PM EST
I loved that.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Really? by blixco (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:29:07 PM EST
I could totally write a story like that, but an editor or publisher who wasn't a) lazy or b) insane wouldn't let it go through the process.



---------------------------------
"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
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