Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday Photography: Ferry Terminal

click to enlarge
Daryl Samuel
(August 2007)

Location: St. George Ferry Terminal,
Staten Island, New York City

Photos posted in 2006 & 2007
2008:  Tulips / Metal Tree

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/19/2008 07:27:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Thursday, January 17, 2008

(3089/898) Entering Negativland

2234) Congress shall have the power [...] [t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries [...]
Constitution of the United State
Article I, Section 8 (Powers of the Congress)

Negativland in performance (2003), photo by Lloyd Dunn
2235) One basic failing of the U.S. legal system is that it treats the plaintiff and the defendent [sic] as though they are equally powerful entities, regardless of the actual resources each might have. Further, it disregards the fact that the cost of preparing a legal defense for a trial is prohibitively high - unthinkable for any entity other than a wealthy individual or a good-sized corporation. Thus, when a corporation goes after a small business or low-income individuals, the conflict automatically rolls outside of the court system because of the defendent's [sic] inability to pay the costs of mounting a proper defense. The matter is resolved by the more powerful organization threatening to press the suit back into the courts unless the smaller party agrees to their terms unconditionally. The powerful crush the weak. Note that all of this is purely a power relationship, essentially without regard to the legality of the issue, let alone the morality.
(Chris Grigg, Mark Hosler, Don Joyce, David Wills)
"U2 Negativland: The Case from Our Side"
press release (11/10/1991)
Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U
and the Numeral 2

2236) True folk music [...] is no longer possible. The original folk process of incorporating previous melodies and lyrics into constantly evolving songs is impossible when melodies and lyrics are privately owned.
(Chris Grigg, Mark Hosler, Don Joyce, David Wills)
"Fair Use"
Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U
and the Numeral 2

U2 by Negativeland2237) If the amount of control now being exerted over the ownership of our culture had existed from day one of human kind, we wouldn't have art and music the way we know it at all.
Mark Hosler
quoted by Tony Fletcher in
"The Letter U, The Numeral 2, and a Fistful of Lawsuits"
Creem (4/1993)

2238) Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mockingbirds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend a song of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute virtuoso display that served no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.

As the couple walked up to their Buick, two mockingbirds flew away from its grill, one of them tweeting in a little-known dialect of goldfinch, the other mixing a catbird with a raspy chord borrowed from a woodpecker. For centuries, mockingbirds had hunted live insects and foraged for seeds, but when motorcars began to appear in numbers on southern roads, they learned that they could dine more easily by simply picking dead bugs off the radiators of parked autos. Mockingbirds. Inventing new tricks to subsidize their own expression. Artists!.
Tom Robbins
Skinny Legs and All (1990)
quoted by Negativland
(Chris Grigg, Mark Hosler, Don Joyce, David Wills)
Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U
and the Numeral 2

click for a 2005 interview with Negativland
2239) Private property, including intellectual property, is essential to our way of life. It provides an incentive for investment and innovation; it stimulates the flourishing of our culture; it protects the moral entitlements of people to the fruits of their labors. But reducing too much to private property can be bad medicine. Private land, for instance, is far more useful if separated from other private land by public streets, roads and highways. Public parks, utility rights-of-way and sewers reduce the amount of land in private hands, but vastly enhance the value of the property that remains.

So too with intellectual property. Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it. Creativity is impossible without a rich public domain. Nothing today, likely nothing since we tamed fire, is genuinely new: Culture, like science and technology, grows by accretion, each new creator building on the works of those who came before. Overprotection stifles the very creative forces it's supposed to nurture.
Judge Kozinski
dissenting opinion in
Vanna White v. Samsung Electronics
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (3/18/1993)

2240) [A]lmost all popular [music] compositions bear some similarity to prior works. It is often difficult to separate originality from quotation in popular music. A successful pop song typically balances elements of familiarity and novelty. Pop songwriters frequently pay tribute to their peers and predecessors via allusion, pastiche and mimicry, making it difficult to determine exactly which elements in any given pop song are original. Furthermore, most popular music derives from a variety of musical traditions. Rock and roll "borrows" extensively from black music, country music, folk and Tin Pan Alley. Rap music too borrows heavily from funk, soul, free jazz and the avant garde. [...] Throughout history, classical composers drew liberally from folk music, popular music and even directly from their peers. But while musical language has an extensive repertoire of punctuation devices, there does not exist a musical equivalent to literature's use of quotation marks.
Alan Korn
"Renaming That Tune: Audio Collage,
Parody, and Fair Use"
22 Golden Gate University Law Review 321 (1992)

2241) First Amendment protections do not apply only to those who speak clearly, whose jokes are funny and whose parodies succeed.
J. Leval
Yankee Publishing v. News America Publishing
809 F. Supp. 267,280 (SDNY 1992)
quoted by Justice Souter in
Luther R. Campbell AKA Luke Skywalker et al
v. Acuff-Rose Music

Supreme Court of the United States (3/7/1994)

2242) The most influential distinctions in the music world today, after racists and sexist categorization, is between the familiar and the unknown. The common critical declensions of artistic experience are likable (as in "I know what I like"), boring and weird.
John Oswald
interviewed in
"Taking Samples Fifty Times Beyond the Expected" in
Musicwork's Magazine (1990)
John Oswald of 'Plunderphonics'
2243) If creativity is a field, then copyright is the fence.
John Oswald
quoted by Negativland
(Chris Grigg, Mark Hosler, Don Joyce, David Wills) in
"Copyright, Fair Use, and the Law"
Keyboard (6/1994)

2244) If copyright is a fence, then fair use is the gate.
(Chris Grigg, Mark Hosler, Don Joyce, David Wills) in
"Copyright, Fair Use, and the Law"
Keyboard (6/1994)

2245) Whenever there is [...] profound divergence between law and social practice, it is not society that adapts.
John Perry Barlow
"The Economy of Ideas"
Wired (3/19934)

Negativland publicity shot (2006)2246) We believe that artistic freedom for all is more important to the health of society than [...] private copyright tariffs which create a cultural climate of art control and Art Police. No matter how valid the original intent of our copyright laws may have been, they are now used to censor resented works, to suppress the public need to reuse and reshape information, and to garner purely opportunistic incomes from any public use of previously released cultural material which is, in fact, already publicly available to anyone. The U.S. Constitution clearly shows that the original intent of copyright law was to promote a public good, not a private one. No one should be allowed to claim a private control over the creative process itself. This struggle is essentially one of art against business, and ultimately about which one must make way for the other.
(Chris Grigg, Mark Hosler, Don Joyce, David Wills)
"Negativland's Tenets of Free Appropriation"
Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U
and the Numeral 2

2247) I think [copyright] ownership should extend to the entire work only. In other words, copyright and ownership of a song means that no one can use the song, or cover that song, without paying the artist - because that' the artist's work [...] but [...] I would totally eliminate any concept of ownership [for fragments of the whole].
Don Joyce (member of Negativland)
"Negativland Interviews U2's 'The Edge'"
Mondo 2000 (6/1992)
[Note: Some of the above articles can be found on Negativland's web site, which has a large collection of information on copyright and fair use issues. See here for an account of the "U2 incident" which lies behind these quotations.]
Rock music international phenoms U2

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 368 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/17/2008 01:48:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

(3089/898) This and that

Giordano Bruno2230) It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.
Giordano Bruno
On Heroic Frenzies (1585)
quoted by John Mason in
Great and Mind Liberating Thoughts (1940)
quoted by George Seldes in
The Great Thoughts (1985) [PAQ]
posted by Michael McMullin [ISQ] (12/4/1996)

2231) Action to be effective must be directed to clearly conceived ends.
Jawaharlal Nehru
Autobiography (1936) [WQ]
posted by Michael McMullin [ISQ] (12/7/1996)

2232) [M]usic is noise when those feelings and thoughts [expressed] are either incomprehensible or unpalatable to us, or when the form of communication itself fails to convey those feelings or thoughts.
Zenon M. Feszczak
posted on [AMB] (12/12/1996)

2233) Children's books, like women's lingerie, have to please two audiences at the same time – one element demanding comfort and the other titillation.
Adam Gopnik
"Grim Fairy Tales"
The New Yorker (11/18/1996)
posted by Alan Bostick on alt.folklore.urban (12/3/1996)


[AMB] - Internet Ambient Music mailing list
[ISQ] - Internet Serial-Quotations mailing list
[PAQ] - Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotes
[WQ] - Wikiquote

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 369 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/16/2008 05:21:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) The Tragedy of the Commons

2229) The tragedy of the commons occurs when there is a finite "public" or shared resource that individuals will be selfishly tempted to take more of than their fair share – such as the edible fish in the oceans. Unless very specific and enforceable agreements can be reached, the result will tend to be the destruction of the resource.
Daniel Dennett
Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995)
citing Garrett Hardin
"The Tragedy of the Commons" in
Science (v.162, pp.1243-48)

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 369 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/16/2008 02:02:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Science and scholarship

2226) Science is about continuity of ideas, a web of connections.
Gregory Benford
"A Scientist's Notebook: Life on Mars?"
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (2/1997)

2227) The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship.
Robert Heinlein
The Notebooks of Lazarus Long (1978)
posted by philo on alt.folklore.urban (12/11/1996)

2228) [A]ll origin myths and other pieces of religious writings and oral traditions have, as their most important meaning, moral lessons about the relationships between humans, god or gods, and the universe. While they may, like parts of the Bible, reflect some real past events, they are rarely accurate guides to geology or history. Attempts to fit what we know about the past into any of dozens of different religious traditions resembles Cinderella's sisters' trying to wear her shoes: the result is dishonest manipulation of science, degradation and misinterpretation of great literature and moral wisdom, and hurtful bigotry toward other people.
John C. Whittaker
"Red Power Finds Creationism"
Skeptical Inquirer (Jan/Feb 1997)
[review of Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans
and the Myth of Scientific Fact
by Vine Deloria Jr.]

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 369 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/16/2008 02:02:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Saroyan: The Time of Your Life

William Saroyan
2223) Living is an art. It's not bookkeeping. It takes a lot of rehearsing for a man to be himself.
William Saroyan
The Time of Your Life (play, 1939)
spoken by the character "Joe"

2224) Listen carefully. If anybody's got any money - to hoard or to throw away - you can be sure he stole it from other people. Not from rich people who can spare it, but from poor people who can't. From their lives and from their dreams. I'm no exception. I earned the money I throw away. I stole it like everybody else does. I hurt people to get it. Loafing around this way, I still earn money. The money itself earns more. I still hurt people. I don't know who they are, or where they are. If I did, I'd feel worse than I do. I've got a Christian conscience in a world that's got no conscience at all. The world's trying to get some sort of a social conscience, but it's having a devil of a time trying to do that. I've got money. I'll always have money, as long as this world stays the way it is. I don't work. I don't make anything. [...] I drink. I worked hard when I was a kid. I worked hard. I mean hard [...] People are supposed to enjoy living. I got tired. [...] I decided to get even on the world. Well, you can't enjoy living unless you work. Unless you do something. I don't do anything. I don't want to do anything any more. There isn't anything I can do that won't make me feel embarrassed. Because I can't do simple, good things. I haven't the patience. And I'm too smart. Money is the guiltiest thing in the world. It stinks.
William Saroyan
The Time of Your Life (play, 1939)
spoken by the character "Joe"

2225) Nick, this is a toy. A contraption devised by the cunning of man to drive boredom, or grief, or anger out of children. A noble gadget. A gadget, I might say, infinitely nobler than any other I can think of at this moment.
William Saroyan
The Time of Your Life (play, 1939)
spoken by the character "Joe"

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 369 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/16/2008 02:48:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) The Net's arrested development (1996)

Map of the Internet (2007)
2217) Most people I know who have embarked even half-heartedly upon the Net say they have no time anymore to read, watch TV, visit with their friends - no time to do all the things they used to do.
Charles McGrath
"The Internet's Arrested Development"
New York Times Magazine (12/8/1996)

2218) The problem is that the technology [of the Internet] isn't particularly hospitable to reading right now. The typical computer screen doesn't offer anything like the clarity and resolution achieved with ink and paper. Even in the classiest, most sophisticated presentations, type that is on the screen has an undifferentiated, flyspeck quality, and though some of us have taught ourselves how to look at this stuff long enough and carefully enough to make our livings from doing so, few people, I think, would do this for pleasure. [...] And then there's the disorienting business of scrolling, as opposed to simply turning a page. The old technology is still more satisfying [...] Page turning is actually faster and more flexible. By taking away many of the visual and tactile cues we use to measure our progress through a text - by making it harder to find one's place - scrolling helps render these texts shapeless.
Charles McGrath
"The Internet's Arrested Development"
New York Times Magazine (12/8/1996)

2219) Electronic communication prizes content over form, information over style, immediacy over proofreading and fact-checking; it tolerates an ungrammatical, misspelled sentence as happily as a correct one, and, by instantly storing a muddled thought in memory or displaying it on a screen, it can make that thought seem as shapely and permanent as a profound one. [...] What works best in this new writing - or what's more effective, at any rate, and what is imitated most often - is not subtlety but cuteness: emoticons, as those ubiquitous happy and sad faces are called - :) and ;( - and all the in-group acronyms and abbreviations that make up so much of what passes for discourse in the discussion groups: "lol," "f2f: and so on. Loudness works, too - lots of CAPITAL LETTERS, that is - and so does rudeness and incivility.
Charles McGrath
"The Internet's Arrested Development"
New York Times Magazine (12/8/1996)

2220) [T]he hypertext philosophy - and some of the libertarianism on the Net - [...] ignores that at a certain level reading is not about freedom at all, but about submission, about stifling your own voice, stilling your mind and yielding fully to the designs (in every sense) of another. If I'm going to read "Vilette," say, I don't want to choose my own Bruges, I want Charlotte Bronte to do it for me. Similarly, I don't want to tell Conor Cruise O'Brien what I think about Thomas Jefferson, I want him to tell me what to think. I want him, that is, to temporarily take over my mind and make use of it. Ultimately, reading is about what happens between a writer and me; it's not a community activity.
Charles McGrath
"The Internet's Arrested Development"
New York Times Magazine (12/8/1996)

2221) [M]ost of the sexual material on the Internet is not particularly erotic; it's not really concerned with sex at all, in fact, but with sexual imagery, devoid of even that filmy peignoir of narrative or context that usually accompanies the cheesiest of magazine spreads, the most low-budget of videos. Context and narrative, you discover in their absence, are no small part of what makes sex sexy.
Charles McGrath
"The Internet's Arrested Development"
New York Times Magazine (12/8/1996)

2222) Most of us have either sent or received an electronic jolt that would have benefited from the cooling-down period afforded by the traditional drawer-yanking search for an envelope and fumble for a stamp. But these occasional melt-downs are a small price to pay for such as benign and transforming invention [as e-mail], one that, if you allow it to, pleasingly combines the virtues of ease and immediacy. The great advantage the E-mail has over the telephone is not just that the line is seldom tied up, but that it forces you, literally, to compose yourself - to create a text that presents you in your own best version.
Charles McGrath
"The Internet's Arrested Development"
New York Times Magazine (12/8/1996)

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 369 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/16/2008 12:55:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) No standing O

2216) [A]n undeserved [standing] ovation serves neither the audience nor the production. It's like heaping praise on a mediocre meal: the chef will serve up the same disappointing dish the next time.
Peter Marks
"Stage View: Standing Room Only (And That's Not Good)"
New York Time Arts & Leisure section (12/8/1996)

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 369 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/16/2008 12:26:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

(3089/898) Silverberg: The World Inside

Land of Psychedelic Dreams
2215) Dillon is seventeen [...] He plays vibrastar in a cosmos group. That makes him valuable personnel. "I'm unique, like a flow-sculpture," he sometimes boasts. [...] He enters the sonic center. A fine new auditorium [...] There is no better hall for a cosmos group in the entire urbmon. The other members of the group are here already, tuning in. The comet-harp, the incantator, the orbital diver, the gravity-drinker, the doppler-inverter, the spectrum-rider. Already the room trembles with shimmering plinks of sound and jolly blurts of color, and a shaft of pure no-referent texture, abstract and immanent, is rising from the doppler-inverter's central core. Everyone waves to him [...]

"Tuning in!" he warns the other musicians.

They make feedback adjustments in their own instruments; otherwise the sudden surge of his entrance might damage both instruments and players. One by one they nod their readiness to him, with the gravity-drinker lad chiming in last, and finally Dillon can let out the clutch. Yeah! The hall fills with light. Stars stream from the walls. He coats the ceiling with ripping nebulae. He is the basic instrument of the group, the all-important continuo, providing the foundation against which the others will do their thing. With a practiced eye he checks the focus. Everything sharp. [...]

"Bringing up the sound, now," he says.

The heels of his hand hit the control panel. From the gaping speakers comes a tender blade of white noise. The music of the spheres. He colors it now, bringing up the gain on the galactic side, letting the stellar drift impart plangent hues to the tone. Then, with a quick downward stab on the projectrons, he kicks in the planetary sounds. [...]

After half an hour of preliminary maneuvers Dillon has his primary tuning finished. So far, though, he has only done the solo work. Now to coordinate with the others. [...] Precarious balance, constantly falling off. Up until five years ago, there had been only five instruments in cosmos groups; it was simply too difficult to hold more than that together. Like adding a fourth actor in Greek tragedy: an impossible technical feat, or so it must have seen to Aeschylus. Now they were able to coordinate six instruments reasonably well, and a seventh with some effort, by sending the circuit bouncing up to a computer nexus [...] but it is still a filther to put them all in synch. [...]

He is ready. He brings his hands up for a virtuoso pounce and slams them down on the projectrons. The old headblaster! Moon and sun and planets and stars come roaring out of his instrument. The whole glittering universe erupts in the hall. He doesn't dare look at the audience. Did he rock them? [...] The others, as if sensing that he's into something special, let him take an introductory solo. Furies fly through his brain. [...] Who says you can't start with your climax? [...] And bring up the sound, too, a great heaving pedal-point that sneaks up the webbing at them, a spear of fifty-cycle vibration nailing them in their assholes. Help them digest their dinners. Shake up all the old shit clogging the colon. Dillon laughs. [...] He pulls out all the stops. Fantastic! He's never done things like this before. [...] The whole universe is vibrating around him. A gigantic solo. God himself must have felt this way when he got to work on the first day. Needles of sound descending from the speakers. A mighty crescendo of light and tone. He feels the power surging through him [...] Has anyone ever done something like this before, this improvised symphony for solo vibrastar? Hello, Bach! Hello, Mick! Hello, Wagner! Shoot your skulls! Let it all fly! He is past the crest, starting to come down now, no longer relying on pure energy but dabbling in subtler things, splashing Jupiter with golden splotches, turning the stars into icy white points, bringing up little noodling ostinatos. He makes Saturn trill: a signal to the others. Who ever heard of opening a concert with a cadenza? But they pick up on it.

Ah, now. Here they come. Gently the doppler-inverter noodles in with a theme of his own, catching something of the descending fever of Dillon's stellar patterns. At once the comet-harp overlays this with a more sensational series of twanging tones the immediately transmute themselves in looping blares of green light. These are seized by the spectrum-rider, who climbs on top of them and, grinning broadly, skis off toward the ultraviolet in a shower of hissing crispness. Old Sophro now does his orbital dives, a swoop and a pickup followed by a swoop and a pickup again, playing against the spectrum rider in the kind of cunning way that only someone right inside the meshing group can appreciate. Then the incantator enters, portentous, booming, sending reverberations shivering through the walls, heightening the significance of the tonal and astronomical patters until the convergence becomes almost unbearably beautiful. It is the cue for the gravity-drinker, who disrupts everybody's stability with wonderful, wild liberating bursts of force. By this time Dillon has retreated to his proper place as the coordinator and unifier of the group, tossing a skein on melody to this one, a loop of light to that one, embellishing everything that passes near him. He fades into the undertones. His manic excitement passes; playing in a mechanical way, he is as much listener as performer, quietly appreciating the variations and divagations his partners are producing. He does not need to draw attention now. He can simply go oomp oomp oomp the rest of the night. Not that he will; the construct will tumble if he doesn't feed new data every ten or fifteen minutes. But this is his time to coast. [...]

After its frenzied opening the concert has settled into routine [...] the whole group vamps for perhaps twenty minutes, going through a set of changes that numb the ganglia and abort the soul, until finally Nat spectacularly shrieks through the whole spectrum from someplace south on infared into what, as far as anyone can tell, may be the X-ray frequencies, and this wild takeoff not only stimulates a rebirth of inventiveness, but also signals the end of the show. Everybody picks up on him and they blast free, swirling and floating and coming together, forming one entity with seven heads as the bombard the flaccid data-stoned audience with mountains of overload. [...]

Dillon is at the heart of it, tossing off bright purple sparks, pulling down suns and chewing them up, and he feels even more plugged in than during his big solo, for this is a joint thing, a blending, a merging, and he knows that what he is feeling now explains everything: this is the purpose of life, this is the reason for it all. To tune in on beauty, to plunge right to the hot source of creation, to open your soul and let it all in and let it all out again, to give [...] and it ends. Pull the plug. They let him have their final chord and he cuts off with a skullblower, a five-way planetary conjunction and a triple fugue, the whole showoff burst lasting no more than tens seconds. Then down with the hands and off with the switch and a wall of silence rises ninety kilometers high. This time he's done t. He's emptied everyone's skull. He sits there shivering, biting his lip, dazed by the house lights, wanting to cry. He dares no look at the others in the group. How much time is passing? Five minutes, five months, five centuries, five megayears? And at last the reaction. A stampede of applause. [...] We knocked them out of their miserable soggy skulls.
Robert Silverberg
The World Inside (1971)
Island of Psychedelic Illuminations
Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 370 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/15/2008 11:48:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Ambience

2214) A friend of mine was having a party and they played really really horrible music there. Then a record reached its end and I heard this incredibly soothing ambient sound. I asked my friend if it was Eno. 'What!' he said, there is no music playing now. I said: 'So what is this sound then?' 'Oh THAT sound. It's the fridge!'
Otso Pakarinen
posted on (12/2/1996)

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 370 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/15/2008 10:50:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Authority

2209) The faith that stands on authority is not faith.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The Over-Soul"
Essays (1841) [ODQ]
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

2210) Nothing overshadows truth so completely as authority.
Leon Battista Alberti
Momo o del Principe (c.1450)
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

2211) The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.
Stanley Milgram
Obediance to Authority; An Experimental View (1974)
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

Question Authority
2212) The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin. And it cannot be otherwise, for every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority, the cherishing of the keenest scepticism, the annihilation of the spirit of blind faith; and the most ardent votary of science holds his firmest convictions, not because the men he most venerates hold them; not because their verity is testified by portents and wonders; but because his experience teaches him that whenever he chooses to bring these convictions into contact with their primary source, Nature, whenever he thinks fit to test them by appealing to experiment and to observation, Nature will confirm them. The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.
T.H. Huxley
"On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge" (1/7/1866)
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

"...You know how Fair Witnesses behave."

"Well . . . no, I don't. I've never had any dealings with Fair Witnesses."

"So? Perhaps you weren't aware of it. Anne!"

Anne was seated on the springboard; she turned her head. Jubal called out, "That new house on the far hilltop - can you see what color they've painted it?"

Anne looked in the direction in which Jubal was pointing and answered, "It's white on this side." She did not inquire why Jubal had asked not make any comment.

Jubal went on to Jill in normal tones. "You see? Anne is so thoroughly indoctrinated that it doesn't even occur to her to infer that the other side is probably white too. All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't force her to commit herself as to the far side [...] unless she herself went around to the other side and looked - and even then she wouldn't assume that it stayed whatever color it might be after she left [...] because they might repaint it as soon as she turned her back.

"Anne is a Fair Witness?"

"Graduate, unlimited license, and admitted to testify before the High Court. [...]"
Robert Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land
(orig. pub. 1961, uncut ver. pub 1991)


[ODQ] - The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 4th edition (1992)
[UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 370 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/15/2008 10:20:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Intellectuals

2204) In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or exist in extreme boredom [...] Make no mistake; all intellectuals are deviants in the U.S.
William Burroughs
Yage Letters (1963)
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

2205) An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
Albert Camus
Notebooks 1935-1942 (1962) [ITQ]
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

2206) Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.
Albert Einstein (attributed)
not listed in [QE]
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

2207) An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (widely attributed)
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)

2208) Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan
Cosmos (1980)
posted by marlowe [UAQ] (11/29/1996)
[Note: A very similar quote

Intellectual brillance is no guarantee against being dead wrong.

is often found attributed to David Fasold, but never, as far as I can find, with any kind of citation.]

[ITQ] - International Theasaurus of Quotations (1970)
[QE] - The New Quotable Einstein (2005)
[UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 370 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/15/2008 07:15:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


(3089/898) Take four

2200) The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journals (1831) [ITQ]
posted by Wayne Aiken [UAQ] (11/19/1996)

2201) It is always difficult for one people to understand the nationalism of another.
Amos Elon
"Israel and the End of Zionism"
New York Review of Books (12/19/1996)

2202) Conduct is more convincing than language.
John Woolman
"Exercise of a Quaker Abolitionist's Mind" (1757)
posted by George Osner [ISQ] (11/29/1996)

2203) It is often asserted that discussion is only possible between people who have a common language and accept common basic assumptions. I think that this is a mistake. All that is needed is a readiness to learn from one's partner in the discussion, which includes a genuine wish to understand what he intends to say. If this readiness is there, the discussion will be the more fruitful the more the partner's backgrounds differ.
Karl Popper
Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (2002)
posted by Michael McMullin [ISQ] (11/29/1996)


[ISQ] - Internet Serial-Quotations mailing list
[ITQ] - International Theasaurus of Quotations (1970)
[UAQ] - Usenet alt.quotations newsgroup

Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began).

As of today, there are 370 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.

Ed Fitzgerald | 1/15/2008 06:13:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Ed Fitzgerald

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right,
Here I am...
site feed
2008 rules of thumb
Progressive populism!
Economic insecurity is key
Restore the balance
Cast the candidate
Persona is important
Iraq, not "national security"
Prefer governors over senators
recent posts
bush countdown
oblique strategies
recent comments
some links
storm watch
(click for larger image,
refresh page to update)

a progressive slogan
Fairness, progress and prosperity, because we're all in this together.

"I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless, incessant barking."
(Alex Gregory - The New Yorker)
new york city
another progressive slogan
The greatest good for the greatest number, with dignity for all.
reference & fact check
write me
evolution v. creationism
humanism, skepticism
& progressive religiosity
more links
election prediction
Democrats 230 (+27) - Republicans 205

Democrats 233 (+30) - Republicans 201 - TBD 1 [FL-13]

Democrats 50 (+5) - Republicans 50

Democrats 51 (+6) - Republicans 49

netroots candidates
awards and nominations
Never a bridesmaid...

...and never a bride, either!!

what I've been reading
Martin van Creveld - The Transformation of War

Jay Feldman - When the Mississippi Ran Backwards

Martin van Creveld - The Rise and Decline of the State

Alfred W. Crosby - America's Forgotten Pandemic (1989)
bush & company are...
class warriors
con artists
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
not candid
not "reality-based"
not trustworthy
out of control
without integrity

Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
recently seen
Island in the Sky (1952)

Robot Chicken

The Family Guy

House M.D. (2004-7)
i've got a little list...
Elliott Abrams
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
David Addington
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
John Ashcroft
Bob Bennett
William Bennett
Joe Biden
John Bolton
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Pat Buchanan
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Saxby Chambliss
Bruce Chapman (DI)
Dick Cheney
Lynne Cheney
Richard Cohen
The Coors Family
Ann Coulter
Michael Crichton
Lanny Davis
Tom DeLay
William A. Dembski
James Dobson
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
Dinesh D’Souza
Gregg Easterbrook
Jerry Falwell
Douglas Feith
Arthur Finkelstein
Bill Frist
George Gilder
Newt Gingrich
John Gibson (FNC)
Alberto Gonzalez
Rudolph Giuliani
Sean Hannity
Katherine Harris
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
Christopher Hitchens
David Horowitz
Don Imus
James F. Inhofe
Jesse Jackson
Philip E. Johnson
Daryn Kagan
Joe Klein
Phil Kline
Ron Klink
William Kristol
Ken Lay
Joe Lieberman
Rush Limbaugh
Trent Lott
Frank Luntz

"American Fundamentalists"
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)

Chris Matthews
Mitch McConnell
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Zell Miller
Tom Monaghan
Sun Myung Moon
Roy Moore
Dick Morris
Rupert Murdoch
Ralph Nader
John Negroponte
Grover Norquist
Robert Novak
Ted Olson
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Bill O'Reilly
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Perle
Ramesh Ponnuru
Ralph Reed
Pat Robertson
Karl Rove
Tim Russert
Rick Santorum
Richard Mellon Scaife
Antonin Scalia
Joe Scarborough
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
Bill Schneider
Al Sharpton
Ron Silver
John Solomon (WaPo)
Margaret Spellings
Kenneth Starr
Randall Terry
Clarence Thomas
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Donald Trump
Richard Viguere
Donald Wildmon
Paul Wolfowitz
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
John Yoo
All the fine sites I've
guest-blogged for:

Be sure to visit them all!!
recent listening
Smash Mouth - Summer Girl

Poulenc - Piano Music

Pop Ambient 2007
John Adams
Laurie Anderson
Aphex Twin
Isaac Asimov
Fred Astaire
J.G. Ballard
The Beatles
Busby Berkeley
John Cage
Raymond Chandler
Arthur C. Clarke
Elvis Costello
Richard Dawkins
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Kevin Drum
Brian Eno
Firesign Theatre
Eliot Gelwan
William Gibson
Philip Glass
David Gordon
Stephen Jay Gould
Dashiell Hammett
"The Harder They Come"
Robert Heinlein
Joseph Heller
Frank Herbert
Douglas Hofstadter
Bill James
Gene Kelly
Stanley Kubrick
Jefferson Airplane
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
John McPhee
Harry Partch
Michael C. Penta
Monty Python
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Prisoner"
"The Red Shoes"
Steve Reich
Terry Riley
Oliver Sacks
Erik Satie
"Singin' in the Rain"
Stephen Sondheim
The Specials
Morton Subotnick
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Tangerine Dream
Hunter S. Thompson
J.R.R. Tolkien
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
Kurt Vonnegut
08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003
09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003
09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003
09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003
09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003
10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003
10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003
10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003
11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003
11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003
11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003
12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003
12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003
01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004
01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004
01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004
02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004
02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004
02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004
02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004
03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004
03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004
03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004
03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004
04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004
04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004
04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004
04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004
05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004
05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004
05/16/2004 - 05/23/2004
05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004
05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004
06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004
06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004
06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004
06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004
07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004
07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004
07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004
08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004
08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004
08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004
08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004
09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004
09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004
09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004
09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004
10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004
10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004
10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004
10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004
10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004
11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004
11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004
11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004
11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004
12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004
12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004
12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004
12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005
01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005
01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005
01/16/2005 - 01/23/2005
01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005
01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005
02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005
02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005
02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005
02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005
03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005
03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005
03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005
03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005
04/03/2005 - 04/10/2005
04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005
04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005
04/24/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 05/08/2005
05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005
05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005
05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005
05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005
06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005
06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005
06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005
06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005
07/10/2005 - 07/17/2005
07/17/2005 - 07/24/2005
07/24/2005 - 07/31/2005
07/31/2005 - 08/07/2005
08/07/2005 - 08/14/2005
08/14/2005 - 08/21/2005
08/21/2005 - 08/28/2005
08/28/2005 - 09/04/2005
09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005
09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005
09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005
09/25/2005 - 10/02/2005
10/02/2005 - 10/09/2005
10/09/2005 - 10/16/2005
10/16/2005 - 10/23/2005
10/23/2005 - 10/30/2005
10/30/2005 - 11/06/2005
11/06/2005 - 11/13/2005
11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005
11/20/2005 - 11/27/2005
11/27/2005 - 12/04/2005
12/04/2005 - 12/11/2005
12/11/2005 - 12/18/2005
12/18/2005 - 12/25/2005
12/25/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 01/08/2006
01/08/2006 - 01/15/2006
01/15/2006 - 01/22/2006
01/22/2006 - 01/29/2006
01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006
02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006
02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006
02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006
02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006
03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006
04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006
04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006
04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006
04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006
04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007
11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007
12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007
12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008
01/06/2008 - 01/13/2008
01/13/2008 - 01/20/2008
01/20/2008 - 01/27/2008
01/27/2008 - 02/03/2008
02/03/2008 - 02/10/2008
02/10/2008 - 02/17/2008
02/17/2008 - 02/24/2008
02/24/2008 - 03/02/2008
03/09/2008 - 03/16/2008
03/16/2008 - 03/23/2008
03/23/2008 - 03/30/2008
03/30/2008 - 04/06/2008
06/01/2008 - 06/08/2008
09/21/2008 - 09/28/2008

search websearch unfutz

Bullshit, trolling, unthinking knee-jerk dogmatism and the drivel of idiots will be ruthlessly deleted and the posters banned.

Entertaining, interesting, intelligent, informed and informative comments will always be welcome, even when I disagree with them.

I am the sole judge of which of these qualities pertains.

All e-mail received is subject to being published on unfutz without identifying names or addresses.

I correct typos and other simple errors of grammar, syntax, style and presentation in my posts after the fact without necessarily posting notification of the change.

Substantive textual changes, especially reversals or major corrections, will be noted in an "Update" or a footnote.

Also, illustrations may be added to entries after their initial publication.
the story so far
unfutz: toiling in almost complete obscurity for almost 1500 days
2005 koufax awards


Carpetbagger Report
*Crooks and Liars*
Progressive Blog Digest


Daou Report
Media Matters
Political Animal
*Talking Points Memo*
Think Progress
James Wolcott

2004 koufax winners
2003 koufax award
"best blog" nominees
the proud unfutz guarantee
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.

If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.

(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)

Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.

original content
© 2003-2008
Ed Fitzgerald


take all you want
but credit all you take.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Buzzflash Bushisms Democratic Underground Impeach Bush Coalition