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Sacred and Terrib...
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Gavin Gavin said: " Two translations: tequilla_sunset5 (professional) and Group Ibex (machine + edits). ...more "

Dream Makers.  Th...
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See all 9 books that Gavin is reading…
“humans have thrived by turning every need, every vulnerability into something high in its own right.

Shelter becomes architecture. Reproduction gets wrapped in romance and love: think of all the cultural significance and artistry and labor that goes into [eating]. I wanted to bring that same creative power and meaning-making to death...”
BJ Miller

“Poetry presents the thing in order to convey the feeling. It should be precise about the thing and reticent about the feeling - for as soon as the mind responds, connects with the thing, the feeling shows in the words; this is how poetry enters deeply into us.

If the poet presents directly feelings which overwhelm ... they cannot strengthen morality and refine culture, set heaven and earth in motion, and call up the spirits!”
Wei Tai (魏泰)

“This page is related to that page.

You're reading something constructed using a rhetorical practice, something informed both directly and indirectly by the entire history of composition up until this point, from the Sophists to Derrida. But you're navigating it using pure logical statements, using spans of text or images that, when clicked or selected, get other files and display them on your screen. The text is based in the rhetorical tradition; the links are based in the logical tradition; and somewhere in there is something worth figuring out.

...the entire history of Western pedagogy [is] an oscillation between these two traditions, between the tradition of rhetoric as a means for obtaining power — language as just a collection of interconnected signifiers co-relating, without a grounding in "truth," and the tradition of seeking truth, of searching for a fundamental, logical underpinning for the universe, using ideas like the platonic solids or Boolean logic, or tools like expert systems and particle accelerators ... what is the relationship between narratives and logic? What is sprezzatura for the web? Hell if I know. My way of figuring it all out is to build the system and write inside it, because I'm too dense to work out theories.”
Paul Ford

Joseph Brodsky
“If anything's to be praised, it's most likely how
the west wind becomes the east wind, when a frozen bough
sways leftward, voicing its creaking protests,
and your cough flies across the Great Plains to Dakota's forests.
At noon, shouldering a shotgun, fire at what may well
be a rabbit in snowfields, so that a shell
widens the breach between the pen that puts up these limping
awkward lines and the creature leaving
real tracks in the white. On occasion the head combines
its existence with that of a hand, not to fetch more lines
but to cup an ear under the pouring slur
of their common voice. Like a new centaur.

There is always a possibility left to let
yourself out to the street whose brown length
will soothe the eye with doorways, the slender forking
of willows, the patchwork puddles, with simply walking.
The hair on my gourd is stirred by a breeze
and the street, in distance, tapering to a V, is
like a face to a chin; and a barking puppy
flies out of a gateway like crumpled paper.
A street. Some houses, let's say,
are better than others. To take one item,
some have richer windows. What's more, if you go insane,
it won't happen, at least, inside them.

... and when 'the future' is uttered, swarms of mice
rush out of the Russian language and gnaw a piece
of ripened memory which is twice
as hole-ridden as real cheese.
After all these years it hardly matters who
or what stands in the corner, hidden by heavy drapes,
and your mind resounds not with a seraphic 'do',
only their rustle. Life, that no one dares
to appraise, like that gift horse's mouth,
bares its teeth in a grin at each
encounter. What gets left of a man amounts
to a part. To his spoken part. To a part of speech.

Not that I am losing my grip; I am just tired of summer.
You reach for a shirt in a drawer and the day is wasted.
If only winter were here for snow to smother
all these streets, these humans; but first, the blasted
green. I would sleep in my clothes or just pluck a borrowed
book, while what's left of the year's slack rhythm,
like a dog abandoning its blind owner,
crosses the road at the usual zebra. Freedom
is when you forget the spelling of the tyrant's name
and your mouth's saliva is sweeter than Persian pie,
and though your brain is wrung tight as the horn of a ram
nothing drops from your pale-blue eye.”
Joseph Brodsky

Ben Goldacre
“Science is the optimum belief system, because we have the error bar, the greatest invention of mankind. It is a pictorial representation of our glorious undogmatic uncertainty in our results, uncertainty which science is happy to confront and to work with. Show me a politician's speech, or a religious text, or a news article, with an error bar next to it.”
Ben Goldacre

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