296 Articles


2 years Ago

On successfully navigating tricky grammatical seas

Published by marco on

“When I look at people that I would like to feel have been a mentor or an inspiring kind of archetype of what I’d love to see my career eventually be mentioned as a footnote for in the same paragraph, it would be, like, Bowie.”
Mark Liberman on November 3, 2005 (Language Log)

Institutionalized Poverty

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“The cause of poverty is not that we’re unable to satisfy the needs of the poor, it’s that we’re unable to satisfy the greed of the rich.”

Incuriosity Killed the Human

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“You barely have to stir or incommode yourself to find things out. The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest… most foolish failing there is,”

MVP is a lie

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“Written by people with either no time or no money, most software gets shipped the moment it works well enough to let someone go home and see their family. What we get is mostly terrible.”

On Tripping Alone

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“Did the lights just change? Yeah? Good. I don’t mind if that happens. I just want it to happen for everyone.”
Greg Proops


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“Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.”
George Orwell

Film as a way of seeing into the past

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“It’s as if the movie satisfied an impossible yet basic human desire to see what our parents were like before we were born and to see what they did that affected what we became—not to hear about it, or to read about it, as we can in novels, but actually to see it.”
writing about Godfather II by Pauline Kael

A lunar metaphor for corruption

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“He was a man of splendid abilities but utterly corrupt. Like rotten mackerel by moonlight, he shines and stinks”
said about Edward Livingstone by John Randolph

Unknown Unknowns in Computing

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“A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn’t even know existed can render your own computer unusable.”

3 years Ago

No Sense of Humor

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“God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”

Words to live by

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“To make your passing easier on loved ones, why not be an asshole your whole life?”

Capitalism’s Achilles Heel

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“I think we’ve found the weakness of capitalism: it believes its own grandiose bullshit.”

American Foreign-Policy, in a Nutshell

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“America: You can’t get mad at us for what we do because we haven’t thought about the consequences.”

James Tobin on the ‘paper economy’

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I found this quote in the tooltip of XKCD #2101[1].

“I [suspect] that we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial activities remote from the production of goods and services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportionate to their social productivity. I suspect that the immense power of the computer is being harnessed to this ‘paper economy’, not to do the same transactions more economically but to balloon the quantity and... [More]”
James Tobin in July 1984

Why so angry?

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“Rage is by no means an automatic reaction to misery and suffering as such. Only where there is reason to suspect that conditions could be changed, and are not does, rage arise.”
Hannah Arendt

The True Self

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“At sea, a fellow comes out,”
Herman Melville

True Nobility

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“There’s nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.[1]
W.L. Sheldon

[1] The citation is often mis-credited to Ernest Hemingway, but the article at Quote Investigatoroffers quite a bit of clarification.

Hate vs. Envy

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“Unlike the Europeans, Americans have never hated the rich, only envied them.”
Gore Vidal

Stewart Lee on Racism

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“Like all reasonable people, I hate all Muslims. Except the ones I’ve met. They seem fine.”
Comedy Vehicle SO4E02 by Stewart Lee

Debt is a weapon in the class war

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“The criminalization of debt, then, was the criminalization of the very basis of human society. It cannot be overemphasized that in a small community, everyone normally was both a lender and borrower. One can only imagine the tensions and temptations that must have existed in a community—and communities, much though they are based on love, in fact because they are based on love, will always also be full of hatred, rivalry and passion—when it became clear that with sufficiently clever... [More]

4 years Ago

In Denial

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“And they would not believe me precisely because they would know that what I said was true.”
James Baldwin (cited in Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Page 314)

Keep fighting

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.


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From somewhere in The Expanse, season 2:

“When I was a kid, I thought the stars were magic. I made up all sorts of ways they might work. Children are stupid, though. My father disabused me of the notion and explained what they really were. I was even more fascinated. What’s the moral of the story?Just because you can’t figure something out doesn’t mean it’s magic.”

We Want You

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“There’s been a class war going on for decades and it’s time the bottom 80% of us got fucking pissed off, with or without a permit.”

~ 174 ~ Tax Bill Fraud, Secret US Spy Base, Genetic Warfare, Suppressing Dissent by Redacted Tonight (YouTube)

I’ll be mellow when I’m dead

Published by marco on

When asked about being “driven by this fear of inertia”,

“I’m almost 60. I’m 56, so I’ve got a few more years. It’s not old, it’s not young, it’s not anything, but it’s not 20.

“Unless you keep some amount of intensity and anger with it, whatever that is, where you’re like, I’m getting up today, I’m going for it, what are you angry at? Whatever it is, bring it on. I gotta be a little mad at it … to get through it. I have never been able to lose that. What I have done to displace some of that... [More]”

Mission Civilatrice

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“Every single empire in its official discourse has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort. And, sadder still, there always is a chorus of willing intellectuals to say calming words about benign or altruistic empires, as if one shouldn’t trust the evidence of one’s eyes watching the destruction and the misery and death brought by the... [More]”
Edward Said

Down the Ladder

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“If you find yourself angry at someone lower on the economic ladder than you, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’re being manipulated by someone higher on the economic ladder than you.”
Sentenced to Live by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

Comedy is Tragedy …

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“There’s an idea I myself have helped spread, that a vegan is someone who doesn’t like food. That’s wrong. But it is accurate enough, and often enough, to be mildly funny to some people. And, what with new dietary restrictions cropping up every day for any number of reasons, it’s tempting to mock the gluten-intolerant, the diverticular and the Celiac sufferer. Suffering is funny! Comedy is tragedy happening to people you don’t care about. (Emphasis added.)”

Kill the Messenger

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“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
Oscar Wilde (Seen on a wall in a library in Brooklyn Nine-Nine S04E18)

Nothing has changed in 125 years

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“The whole process of production as well as trade in every kind of goods has been brought almost entirely under the power of a few, so that a very few rich and exceedingly rich men have laid a yoke almost of slavery on the unnumbered masses of non-owning workers.”
From an encyclical letter, Rerum Novarum, on the 'The Condition of the Working Classes' by Pope Leo XIII in 1891