Saturday, December 31, 2011

As You Post It

All the world's a blog,
And all the men and women merely posters ...

I have, I feel sometimes, too many streams of my own to feed: Blogger, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, ...

Two of each, up until LinkedIn, which I totally neglect, as well as a couple of others I forget right now ...

And now I'm producing ebooks as well. These are bigger chunks than these posts for sure ...

This doesn't count comments I post on posts in other streams: other's blogs, other's Google+ posts,, ...

And all those circles (Google+) and lists (Twitter) and RSS streams (Google Reader) I need to read and manage ...

People say they don't blog, but they are probably lying. Every time they make a comment on a blog, or on Facebook, or whatever ... they are blogging (publishing posts) too.

It's all one big blog and we are all blogging into it.

"Doesn't he ever talk?" a prisoner in Cool Hand Luke says, referring to the 'Man With No Eyes, the guard who then shoots a bird from the sky. "I think he just said something," Luke replies.

photo from Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Antiwar Horse

I agree with Indiewire reviewer Peter Knegt: War Horse is a "bizarrely gay" movie. But it is bizarre in the sense that it is totally unexpected. People going in probably know it's about the love of a young man (Albert) for a horse (Joey) and vice versa. But who would know it's also about the love of the horse Joey for another horse (the "black horse", Topthorn)? It's like the two "war horses" are the first openly gay soldiers in the military. A breakthrough moment.

It helps of course that Albert (played by Jeremy Irvine) is incredibly beautiful — the camera loves him as much as Joey — but there are others too worth noting who come along and display compassion for Joey (e.g. Gunther, played by the German actor David Kross). That I heard sobbing throughout the sold-out theater during the last twenty minutes of the movie means it appeals to everyone (not just gay men).

But what Spielberg does with this movie is amazing. It is like John Ford (The Searchers) on steroids. Some reviewers and commenters take the movie down a notch or two because they think it is too schmaltzy, or the dialog too corny. But they are missing it completely. There is so much going on here, and it's not only the homage to Ford. The trench warfare scenes bring back images of Stanley Kubrick's antiwar movie Paths of Glory.

At the heart of the movie is a scene in "No Man's Land" between British and German forces. A Englishman (Geordie, played by Toby Kebbell) and a German meet alone to rescue Joey who has been caught in barbed wire. One has no idea what the war is about.

In all, I think that this is the best antiwar movie I've ever seen. War is a shitty deal for humans — and horses.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011 in collision

Gravity supersymmetric'ly reigns:
That's what Large Hadron is trying to love.
Strings and branes and peppermint canes.
Is that what the M-verse is made of?

Arab protester's front page on the TIME.
Libyan rebels have raised a new flag.
Occupy's message has started to climb.
What happened to Tea Party's teabags?

Ebooks bypass the printers' ink jets.
Kindles and tablets and NOOKs, oh my!
The publishing world is hedging its bets.
The old-fashioned bookstore is starting to die.

Osama Bin Laden gets one in the eye.
Republicans give credit to Cheney and Bush.
"Obama's a weakling," Republicans cry.
"Tax cuts and shutdowns is all we will push."

Sheen and Weiner. Casey Anthony.
Jerry Sandusky? Sports fans' heads in sand.
Apes and War Horse just want to be free.
Time now to strike up the New Year's Eve band.

photo: LHC reports discovery of its first new particle, BBC News

placed in Poets United Poetry Pantry #81 and in dVerse Poets Pub Poetics—Endings & Beginnings

Sunday, December 18, 2011

M's Gödel

Machine M thinks it's a real smarty pants that believes it will never print false statements and will eventually print all true statements. For the sake of argument, let's say it can print with at least the characters A-Z and *.

For example, M could print out ONE*PLUS*ONE*EQUALS*TWO, which could be a long-winded way of printing 1+1=2. Count that as a true statement.

Count that as something M would never print if it's true to its belief that it will never print a false statement.

Now strings printed out by M of the following forms have particular meanings (M is "speaking" in the first person here):

    P*x       "I will print x."
    NP*x       "I will never print x."
    PR*x       "I will print xx."
    NPR*x       "I will never print xx."

For example, NPR*FOO means "I will never print FOOFOO." NP*FOOFOO means the same thing. If M ever did print both FOOFOO and NPR*FOO, then its belief in its truthfulness would be violated.

Now consider whether M would ever print

    NPR*NPR*      ("I will never print NPR*NPR*.")

If M does print NPR*NPR* at some point, it has printed a false statement.

But if M never prints NPR*NPR*, then NPR*NPR* is a true statement that M never prints.

So either M sometimes prints false statements, or there are true statements that M never prints!

Sorry, M. Not such a smarty pants after all.

*   *   *  

The above is derived from World's shortest explanation of Gödel's theorem, which relates all this to the limits of machines that produce only true statements in arithmetic.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

High-speed sonnet

Let every boarding be a Hitchcock thrill,
a mystery express from east to west,
a silver bullet train that kills the still,
revive a broken, stagnant land distressed.

And high-speed lines, like healthy arteries,
send lifeblood to the countrysides and towns,
and trains of populated coaches be
America's corpuscles world-renowned.

Reactionaries want no part, it seems,
and therein lies bemusing irony:
When once rail moved a country and its dreams,
it now could be its high-tech destiny.

What fuels romance at every turn? The trains,
that also are the dreams of bright geek brains.

Commentary: Obama should set as his goal his legacy to include the USHSRS (United States High-Speed Rail System), in the way the Interstate Highway System is in the legacy of Eisenhower, the moon landing of Kennedy.

placed in imaginary garden with real toads Open Link Monday and in dVerse Poets Pub OpenLinkNight

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gingrich's new site

I, of Newt, in tow of blog.

BTW: Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feed of streams

From every stroke a feed of streams
that run throughout the sphere
of internetting clouds and teams
of current technogear.

They go by names—the streams, that is—
that brands their place to be
the kings of social network biz
that range from A to Z.

Of all the posts that do flow in
and sent electric'ly,
some subset only just begin
to wind way to me.

Then tap into that world, I say,
and send your bits of rhyme.
Who knows on whose crystal display
they'll spend a bit of time.

placed in the imaginary garden with real toads ~ Fireblossom Friday: Arrivals & Departures

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Steven Wright, b. December 6, 1955

"Black holes are where God divided by zero."
"I bought some batteries, but they weren't included."
"I intend to live forever. So far, so good."
"I invented the cordless extension cord."
"I like to reminisce with people I don't know."
"I was at this restaurant. The sign said 'Breakfast Anytime'. So I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance."
"I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done."
"I'm writing an unauthorized autobiography."
"If you tell a joke in the forest, but nobody laughs, was it a joke?"
"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time."
"I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize."
"To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research."
"How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?"
"I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met."
"When I turned two I was really anxious, because I'd doubled my age in a year. I thought, if this keeps up, by the time I'm six I'll be ninety."
"A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths."
"Do you think that when they asked George Washington for ID that he just whipped out a quarter?"
"Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect."
"I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place."
"I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly."
"Borrow money from a pessimist - they don't expect it back."
"Five out of four people have trouble with fractions."
"My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted."
"I mixed this glass of water myself. Two parts H, one part O. I don’t trust anybody!"
"There was a power outage at a department store yesterday. Twenty people were trapped on the escalators."
"When I was little, my grandfather used to make me stand in a closet for five minutes without moving. He said it was elevator practice."
"How young can you die of old age?"
"I busted a mirror and got seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five."
"I had some eyeglasses. I was walking down the street when suddenly the prescription ran out."
"It doesn't matter what temperature the room is, it's always room temperature."
"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
"Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country."

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