Librarian of Alexandria


Insights from Slavoj Žižek

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Indifference to the plights of others.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Their sleazy readiness to offer me help when I don't need or want it.

What makes you depressed?

Seeing stupid people happy.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

That it makes me appear the way I really am.

What does love feel like?

Like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures.

What or who is the love of your life?

Philosophy. I secretly think reality exists so we can speculate about it.

Have you ever said 'I love you' and not meant it?

All the time. When I really love someone, I can only show it by making aggressive and bad-taste remarks.

What is the worst job you've done?

Teaching. I hate students, they are (as all people) mostly stupid and boring.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That life is a stupid, meaningless thing that has nothing to teach you.

Q&A: Slavoj Žižek


A Downward Spiral

It is entirely possible that this blog will devolve into the Warren Ellis quoting hour.

Dance like you're stamping on a human face forever, love like you've been in a serious car crash that minced the front of your brain, stab like no one can arrest you, and live like there's no such thing as God.

Warren Ellis

Oh, wait, did I say devolve? I meant evolve.


Dead Literatures

(And I'm interested, I realise, because I want Network Realism for precisely the same reasons that Moorcock and Stross decry the aesthetisisation of steampunk: because the aesthetisisation of anything is an abdication of its politics, because the aesthetisisation of politics is fascism, and fascism is the opposite of imagination. We have too many dead literatures.)

Starpunk, James Bridle


Cascading recombinance

Cascading recombinance from Matt Webb

all of this is nothing compared to what will be.

this is early email, rabbit phones. this is technology demo, scoping the terrain and guessing what's going to be

in the future the infosphere will be as aether around us and you'll be able to make hiphopalikes by the dozen in five minutes

every cool thing made today is a dead end. each thing pulls together strands of technology and makes a knot, then leaves it.

but in the future every thing will also be a strand, ready to be knotted. and this'll happen suddenly. there'll be a way to combine and recombine, to mix and match, platforms and media and messages.

one day soon we'll get there, then it'll be a cascading recombinance and everything you play with now will be redundant. but that's okay, because you'll be able to make it yourself like that ><

it's *about* to happen on the www, very very soon now. and as that permeates the collective unconscious, it'll happen in the real world too.


A Brief Moment of Neal Stephenson

Isaac [Newton], though better equipped than Daniel or any other man alive to understand Relativity, showed no interest in his pie—as if being in a state of movement with respect to the planet Earth rendered it somehow Not a Pie. But as far as Daniel was concerned, a pie in a moving frame of reference was no less a pie than one that was sitting still: position and velocity, to him, might be perfectly interesting physical properties, but they had no bearing on, no relationship to those properties that were essential to pie-ness. All that mattered to Daniel were relationships between his, Daniel's, physical state and that of the pie. If Daniel and Pie were close together both in position and velocity, then pie-eating became a practical, and tempting, possibility. If Pie were far asunder from Daniel or moving at a large relative velocity—e.g., being hurled at his face—then its pie-ness was somehow impaired, at least from the Daniel frame of reference. For the time being, however, these were purely Scholastic hypotheticals. Pie was on his lap and very much a pie, no matter what Isaac might think of it.

—Neal Stephenson, "The Baroque Cycle", Vol. 3: "The System of The World", Book 7: "Currency", p. 457


G. K. Chesterton on Language

He knows that there are in the soul tints more bewildering, more numberless and more nameless, than the colours of an autumn forest... Yet he seriously believes that these things can every one of them, in all their tones and semi-tones, in all their blends and unions, be accurately represented by an arbitrary system of grunts and squeals. He believes that an ordinary civilised stockbroker can really produce out of his own inside, noises which denote all the mysteries of memory and all the agonies of desire.

—G.K. Chesterton