nary a murmur or complaint

Friday, February 26, 2016 | |

In Big Bend National Park, six days after the tourists arrived in the U.S., an undercover park ranger spotted the white Tahoe in campsite #16. The ranger pitched a tent beside the five tourists, 20 yards away, where he could safely observe them. The park straddles the Texas-Mexico border, and over the serrated brown mountains the sun was setting and the moon hung faintly in the sky like a watermark. One of the tourists had angled his camera atop a tripod to take a photo. Posing as a fellow camper, the undercover ranger chatted with the photographer, remarking on the pleasantness of the 80-degree weather, and the beauty of the desert. At night, the five foreigners slipped into their tents. At 2 a.m., the ranger bugged their Tahoe with a GPS tracking device.

I remember the feverish week when I read “Love In the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and my heart travelled a thousand miles all while sitting there drinking coffee.

Real-life personCharacter name
Jack KerouacRay Smith
Gary SnyderJaphy Ryder
Allen GinsbergAlvah Goldbook
Neal CassadyCody Pomeray
Philip WhalenWarren Coughlin
Locke McCorkleSean Monahan
John MontgomeryHenry Morley
Philip LamantiaFrancis DaPavia
Michael McClureIke O'Shay
Peter OrlovskyGeorge
Kenneth RexrothRheinhold Cacoethes
Alan WattsArthur Whane
Caroline KerouacNin
Carolyn CassadyEvelyn
Claude DalenbergBud Diefendorf
Natalie JacksonRosie Buchanan

One of the most key, most basic tenets of survival is: Don't get out of yourself into the situation in the reverse when there is not one in the first place.

Monday, February 8, 2016 | |

Get your own food.

How beautiful an act, it inspires me to want to be around you and to surround myself with other people who have such rare ability.

If magnetic north is east of true north, the local declination is positive.
If magnetic north is west of true north, the local declination is negative.
B) Draw a line on the map that connects your starting point with the destination (your "map bearing"). Extend the line all the way through the map border (the "neat line").
C) Distance yourself from any nearby metal such as keys, belt buckle, desk, car, fence, etc. Place the compass on the map so the needle’s pivot point is directly over the intersection of your map bearing and neat line.
D) Rotate the dial until compass ring north agrees with map north. Read your map bearing from the compass dial. Make sure the bearing agrees with your direction of travel – for example, if you intend to travel due east, the bearing is 90 degrees, not 270 degrees.
E) Do this step mentally – don’t turn the compass dial: If the local declination is positive, then subtract the declination amount from the bearing you just derived. If the local declination is negative, then add the declination amount to the bearing you just derived.
F) Turn the compass dial until the figure you calculated in step E lines up with the index line.
G) Lift the compass off the map, and with the direction of travel arrow pointing directly away from you, rotate your body and the compass all in one motion until the red magnetic needle overlays the orienting arrow.
H) Sight a landmark along this bearing, and proceed to it. Repeat this step until you reach your destination.

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”

murmur murmur murmur

But it increases the mystery. My favourite might be a song I sing called As I Roved Out, because it’s less of a story and more of a dude wandering drunk in the woods and singing whatever comes into his head.

également disponible en français.

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Wittgenstein had finished his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, at once an austere work of analytic philosophy and—for some readers, Wittgenstein apparently included—an almost mystical experience. In it, he claimed charmingly and not without reason to have solved all the problems of philosophy. This was because of the book’s famous “picture theory of meaning,” which held that language is meaningful because, and only because, of its ability to depict possible arrangements of objects in the world. Any meaningful statement can be analyzed as such a depiction. This leads to the book’s most famous conclusion: that if a statement does not depict a possible arrangement of objects, it doesn’t mean anything at all. Ethics, religion, the nature of the world beyond objects … most statements of traditional philosophy, Wittgenstein contended, are therefore nonsense.

The essence of human language is, according to Chomsky, the ability of finite brains to produce what he considers to be infinite grammars. By this he means not only that there is no upper limit on what we can say, but that there is no upper limit on the number of sentences our language has, there's no upper limit on the size of any particular sentence. Chomsky has claimed that the fundamental tool that underlies all of this creativity of human language is recursion: the ability for one phrase to reoccur inside another phrase of the same type. If I say "John's brother's house", I have a noun, "house", which occurs in a noun phrase, "brother's house", and that noun phrase occurs in another noun phrase, "John's brother's house". This makes a lot of sense, and it's an interesting property of human language.
But what if a language didn't show recursion? What would be the significance of that? First of all, it would mean that the language is not infinite—it would be a finite language, there could only be limited number of sentences in that language. It would also mean that you could specify the upper size of a particular sentence in that language. That sounds bizarre, until we think of something like chess, which has also got a finite number of moves, but chess is an enormously productive game, it can be played and has been played for centuries, and many of these moves are novel, and the fact that it's finite really doesn't tell us much about its richness, or its importance.
If there were a finite language, because of the lack of recursion, that wouldn't mean that it wasn't spoken by normal humans, nor would it mean that it wasn't a very rich source of communication. But if you lived in an environment in which culture restricted the topics that you talked about, and not only just your general environmental limitations on the topics you talked about, but if there were a value in the culture that said, don't talk about topics that go beyond, say, immediate experience—in other words, don't talk about anything that you haven't seen or that hasn't been told to you by an eyewitness—this would severely limit what you could talk about. If that's the case, then that language might be finite, but it wouldn't be a poor language; it could be a very rich language. The fact that it's finite doesn't mean it's not a very rich language. And if that's the case, then you would look for evidence that this language lacked recursion.

So in the case of Pirahã,

the satiating effect of fats and protein.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 | |

Wednesday's most notable features are her pale skin and long, dark twin braids. She usually has an irritated look on her face, though does smile, occasionally.



Neighbors, please join me in reading this seventh release of the International Journal of Proof of Concept or Get the Fuck Out, a friendly little collection of articles for ladies and gentlemen of distinguished ability and taste in the field of software exploitation and the worship of weird machines. If you are missing the first six issues, we the editors suggest pirating them from the usual locations, or on paper from a neighbor who picked up a copy of the first in Vegas, the second in S˜ao Paulo, the third in Hamburg, the fourth in Heidelberg, or the fifth in Montr´eal, or the sixth in Las Vegas. This release is dedicated to Jean Serri`ere, F8CW, who used his technical knowledge and an illegal shortwave transceiver to fight against the Nazi occupation of France. His wife Alice Serri`ere once, when asked “Where are the tubes?” showed occupying soldiers the leaky pipes in their basement.

“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”Where are the tubes?“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”“Where are the tubes?”