May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
— Neil Gaiman
To be worth making at all, a journey has to be made in the mind as much as in the world of objects and dimensions."
"I am learning, as I make my way through my first continent, that it is remarkably easy to do things, and much more frightening to contemplate them."
"The bike was essentially the same Triumph that had been on the roads for decades: a simple, solid piece of engineering, difficult to break and easy to repair. It was a vertical twin, with pistons that moved up and down in unison and had a reputation for drilling the marrow out of the rider's bones, but I had low-compression pistons that allowed me to run on low-grade fuel and also flattened out the vibration.
In fact it was a comfortable bike to ride. It was the 500-cc Tiger Hundred that had been used by the police. Its single carburetor was easier to tune and more economical than the twin carburetors of the Daytona.
Good gas gave me fifty-five miles to a gallon, so that even the standard tank offered a range of nearly two hundred miles. It had high, wide handlebars so that I could sit up and take notice as I went, and good ground clearance to take me over rough going. And it was light as well as sturdy. Of all the bigger machines it was the lightest by thirty pounds or more, the equivalent of about three gallons of petrol.
We had planned all sorts of interesting modifications at the factory, a list as long as a sheet of legal paper, but when the time came to fetch it, I was lucky to get a machine at all. The workers had just decided to lock the management out, it was the end of the road for the old-style Triumph company and I think my bike was the last one to leave the factory for a very long time.
It was totally unmodified, and so hastily prepared that a pint of oil fell out of the chain case on my way down the Motorway from Coventry.
I know Triumphs are supposed to leak oil, but this is ridiculous.
But it was nothing, a paper seal slipped in assembly, easily put right. You could stop the oil if you took the trouble. That was what British bikes liked, a bit of trouble. They thrived on attention, like certain people, and repaid you for it. Not a bad relationship to have."
”...the interruptions were the journey.”
— Ted Simon
I'll let a train be my feet
If it's too far to walk to you
If a train don't go there I'll get a jet or a bus
Because I'm going to find you
You're going to see me shadow soon around you
And my head is my only house unless it rains
I walk the meadow plains
Water deserts are my eyes until I find you
I won't sleep until I find you
I won't eat until I find you
My heart won't beat until
I wrap my arms around you
My arms are just two things in the way
Until I can wrap them around you
You can make my sad song happy
Make a bad world good
I can feel you out there moving
You're mine, I know I'll find you
And my head is my only house until I've found you
I hate to have other people hear me sing this song
If this reaches you before I do
Follow it to "I love you"
That's where I'll find you
And my head is my only house until I find you
Lyrics - Captain Beefheart - My Head is My Only House Unless it Rains
One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars
One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this.
With these words and phrases the poor gentleman lost his mind, and he spent sleepless nights trying to understand them and extract their meaning, which Aristotle himself, if he came back to life for only that purpose, would not have been able to decipher or understand.
In short, our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset, and so with too little sleep and too much reading his brains dried up, causing him to lose his mind. His fantasy filled with everything he had read in his books, enchantments as well as combats, battles, challenges, wounds, courtings, loves, torments, and other impossible foolishness, and he became so convinced in his imagination of the truth of all the countless grandiloquent and false inventions he read that for him no history in the world was truer.
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts."
"A poet once said, 'The whole universe is in a glass of wine.' We will probably never know in what sense he meant it, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflection in the glass; and our imagination adds atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth's rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe's age, and the evolution of stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization; all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts -- physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on -- remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure; drink it and forget it all!"
— Richard P. Feynman
The only organization capable of unprejudiced growth, or unguided learning, is a network. All other topologies limit what can happen.
A network swarm is all edges and therefore open ended any way you come at it. Indeed, the network is the least structured organization that can be said to have any structure at all. It is capable of infinite rearrangements, and of growing in any direction without altering the basic shape of the thing, which is really no outward shape at all. Craig Reynolds, the synthetic flocking inventor, points out the remarkable ability of networks to absorb the new without disruption: "There is no evidence that the complexity of natural flocks is bounded in any way. Flocks do not become 'full' or 'overloaded' as new birds join. When herring migrate toward their spawning grounds, they run in schools extending as long as 17 miles and containing millions of fish." How big a telephone network could we make? How many nodes can one even theoretically add to a network and still have it work? The question has hardly even been asked.
There are a variety of swarm topologies, but the only organization that holds a genuine plurality of shapes is the grand mesh. In fact, a plurality of truly divergent components can only remain coherent in a network. No other arrangement -- chain, pyramid, tree, circle, hub -- can contain true diversity working as a whole. This is why the network is nearly synonymous with democracy or the market.
A dynamic network is one of the few structures that incorporates the dimension of time. It honors internal change. We should expect to see networks wherever we see constant irregular change, and we do.
A distributed, decentralized network is more a process than a thing. In the logic of the Net there is a shift from nouns to verbs. Economists now reckon that commercial products are best treated as though they were services. It's not what you sell a customer, its what you do for them. It's not what something is, it's what it is connected to, what it does. Flows become more important than resources. Behavior counts.
Network logic is counterintuitive. Say you need to lay a telephone cable that will connect a bunch of cities; let's make that three for illustration: Kansas City, San Diego, and Seattle. The total length of the lines connecting those three cities is 3,000 miles. Common sense says that if you add a fourth city to your telephone network, the total length of your cable will have to increase. But that's not how network logic works. By adding a fourth city as a hub (let's make that Salt Lake City) and running the lines from each of the three cities through Salt Lake City, we can decrease the total mileage of cable to 2,850 or 5 percent less than the original 3,000 miles. Therefore the total unraveled length of a network can be shortened by adding nodes to it! Yet there is a limit to this effect. Frank Hwang and Ding Zhu Du, working at Bell Laboratories in 1990, proved that the best savings a system might enjoy from introducing new points into a network would peak at about 13 percent. More is different.
On the other hand, in 1968 Dietrich Braess, a German operations researcher, discovered that adding routes to an already congested network will only slow it down. Now called Braess's Paradox, scientists have found many examples of how adding capacity to a crowded network reduces its overall production. In the late 1960s the city planners of Stuttgart tried to ease downtown traffic by adding a street. When they did, traffic got worse; then they blocked it off and traffic improved. In 1992, New York City closed congested 42nd Street on Earth Day, fearing the worst, but traffic actually improved that day.
Then again, in 1990, three scientists working on networks of brain neurons reported that increasing the gain -- the responsivity -- of individual neurons did not increase their individual signal detection performance, but it did increase the performance of the whole network to detect signals.
Nets have their own logic, one that is out-of-kilter to our expectations. And this logic will quickly mold the culture of humans living in a networked world. What we get from heavy-duty communication networks, and the networks of parallel computing, and the networks of distributed appliances and distributed being is Network Culture.
Alan Kay, a visionary who had much to do with inventing personal computers, says that the personally owned book was one of the chief shapers of the Renaissance notion of the individual, and that pervasively networked computers will be the main shaper of humans in the future. It's not just individual books we are leaving behind, either. Global opinion polling in real-time 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ubiquitous telephones, asynchronous e-mail, 500 TV channels, video on demand: all these add up to the matrix for a glorious network culture, a remarkable hivelike being.
Kevin Kelly - Out of Control
This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.
Resist much. Obey little.
— Walt Whitman
Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.
— Alexandre Dumas
Excerpt from an article on runnersworld.comBy Yishane Lee From the August 2004 issue of Runner's World
Why do you run, when did you start?
I began running on an everyday basis after I became a writer. As being a writer requires sitting at a desk for hours a day, without getting some exercise you'd quickly get out of shape and gain weight, I figured. That was 22 years ago. I also took it as a chance to quit smoking. You see, I became rapidly healthier since the time I became a writer. You may call it rather a rare case. But because of that, I weigh now just as much as I weighed back then.
Before I became a writer, I was running a jazz bar in the center of Tokyo, which means that I worked in filthy air all the time late into the night. I was very excited when I started making a living out of my writing, and I decided, "I will live in nothing but an absolutely healthy way." Getting up at 5 a.m. every morning, doing some work first, then going off running. It was very refreshing for me.
I have always liked running, so it wasn't particularly difficult to make it a habit. All you need is a pair of running shoes and you can do it anywhere. It does not require anybody to do it with, and so I found the sport perfectly fits me as a person who tends to be independent and individualistic.
........... quote from his book
People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree"
— Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
... a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn't really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, at least new fancy cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures...
Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969) Dharma Bums
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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