Category: Other Stuff

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:10 am

“Your cat wants to do more than disrupt your life. Your cat wants to be your life. And if your cat isn’t already your life, do you even have a cat? Don’t try to use a laptop. Don’t try to shut a door. Don’t you dare try to sleep in whatever part of the bed you want. You want to take a shit in peace? Absolutely not. You want to have adult alone time with one or more consenting fellow grown humans? Fuck you. Your cat definitely wants to rule your entire world and direct every single action you take. Your cat knows better than you, and you know this to be true, and your cat knows you know.” – Sara Benincasa, “Which Local Animals Are Plotting to Ruin You?” (emphasis in original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 8:44 am

“You must maintain your composure in the airplane, or you will die. You learn that from your first day flying.” – Alfred C. Haynes, Captain of United Airlines Flight 232, 1989

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:00 am

“During the day I saw many smiling people—for example, a woman who was sitting next to two big shopping bags on a park bench. She spoke to me in an absurdly happy voice, saying that she was waiting for her nephew to help her carry the bags home. ‘I’m so happy to have you standing next to me now, talking to me,’ she said. ‘When there are two of us, I’m less afraid of the artillery.’ She used to work as a museum guide at Saint Sophia Cathedral, and now she’s a pensioner. She is convinced that Ukraine will defeat the Russian invaders: ‘When I think about the frescoes of Saint Sophia, I believe that Ukraine will be protected by the whole world.’ She smiled, tears welling in her eyes. ‘We will win,’ she said. I didn’t know if she was crying more or laughing more, but I felt her courage and admired her. Is today only the third day of the war? Mariupol: fifty-eight civilians wounded. Kyiv: thirty-five people, including two children. This is far from a complete account. It feels strange to find myself in this broad, unarmed, almost delicate category: ‘civilians.’ For war, a category of people is created who live ‘outside the game.’ They are shelled, they must endure the shelling, they are injured, but they do not seem to be able to give an adequate response to it. I don’t believe this to be the case. There is something hidden in the smiles that I saw several times today—a secret weapon, an uncanny one.” – Yevgenia Belorusets, “Day 3, Saturday February 26, Bomb Shelter,” War Diary (trans. Greg Nissan)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:14 am

“Humans are the only creature on earth capable of building a rocket ship or developing a vaccine. That makes us intelligent, not wise.” – Sean Illing, “Why Cats Rule”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:00 am

“It’s easy for people to forget that they are not discovering the story, but creating it from random data.” – Rabbit Rabbit, “A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:15 am

“I’m not a candidate for the Old Person’s Hall of Fame. In fact, I plan to be a tattered coat upon a stick, nervously awaiting the second oblivion, which I’m reasonably certain will not have the same outcome as the first. Nonetheless, I like to think that I have some objectivity about what it’s like to grow old. My father lived to be almost a hundred and three, and most of my friends are now in their seventies. It may be risky to impugn the worthiness of old age, but I’ll take my cane to anyone who tries to stop me. At the moment, we seem to be compensating for past transgressions: far from devaluing old age, we assign it value it may not possess. Yes, we should live as long as possible, barring illness and infirmity, but, when it comes to the depredations of age, let’s not lose candor along with muscle tone. The goal, you could say, is to live long enough to think: I’ve lived long enough. One would, of course, like to approach old age with grace and fortitude, but old age makes it difficult. Those who feel that it’s a welcome respite from the passions, anxieties, and troubles of youth or middle age are either very lucky or toweringly reasonable. Why rail against the inevitable—what good will it do? None at all. Complaining is both pointless and unseemly. Existence itself may be pointless and unseemly. No wonder we wonder at the meaning of it all.” – Arthur Krystal, “Why We Can’t Tel the Truth About Aging”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:59 am

“Fish pain is something different from our own pain. In the elaborate mirrored hall that is human consciousness, pain takes on existential dimensions. Because we know that death looms, and grieve for the loss of richly imagined futures, it’s tempting to imagine that our pain is the most profound of all suffering. But we would do well to remember that our perspective can make our pain easier to bear, if only by giving it an expiration date. When we pull a less cognitively blessed fish up from the pressured depths too quickly, and barometric trauma fills its bloodstream with tissue-burning acid, its on-deck thrashing might be a silent scream, born of the fish’s belief that it has entered a permanent state of extreme suffering.” – Ross Andersen, “What the Crow Knows”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:00 am

“It is prudent to dispense with the conservatism, the emotionalism, and the theological arguments which are currently slowing progress.” – Charles W. Bachman, “The Programmer as Navigator”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:07 am

“Should a mouse that a cat just swallowed be considered as a part of the cat? The concept of a ‘definite position’ is also only approximately defined: how far should a cat be displaced in order for it to be considered to be in a different position? If the displacement is much smaller than the quantum uncertainty, it must be considered to be in the same place, because in this case the quantum state of the cat is almost the same and the displacement is undetectable in principle. But this is only an absolute bound, because our ability to distinguish various locations of the cat is far from this quantum limit. Furthermore, the state of an object (e.g. alive or dead) is meaningful only if the object is considered for a period of time.” – Lev Vaidman, “Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:09 am

“It is consoling to think that the emotions that music arouses in us have something to do with the makeup of the universe.” – David P. Goldman, “The Divine Music of Mathematics”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:29 pm

A clumsy mistake on my part led to my website having to be restored from backup; hence, the six-week gap that now exists in the posts. But I am here. I have been here all along.

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:19 am

“Is it forever that the sword must devour? Do you not know that it will be bitter afterward? Until when will you not bid the fighting-people to turn back from going after their brothers?” – II Samuel 2:26 (trans. Everett Fox)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 7:12 am

“Only in a vague way can we conceive the character of ant-society, and the nature of ant-morality; and to do even this we must try to imagine some yet impossible state of human society and human morals. Let us, then, imagine a world full of people incessantly and furiously working,—all of whom seem to be women. No one of these women could be persuaded or deluded into taking a single atom of food more than is needful to maintain her strength; and no one of them ever sleeps a second longer than is necessary to keep her nervous system in good working-order. And all of them are so peculiarly constituted that the least unnecessary indulgence would result in some derangement of function. The work daily performed by these female laborers comprises road-making, bridge-building, timber-cutting, architectural construction of numberless kinds, horticulture and agriculture, the feeding and sheltering of a hundred varieties of domestic animals, the manufacture of sundry chemical products, the storage and conservation of countless foodstuffs, and the care of the children of the race. All this labor is done for the commonwealth—no citizen of which is capable even of thinking about ‘property,’ except as a res publica;—and the sole object of the commonwealth is the nurture and training of its young,—nearly all of whom are girls. The period of infancy is long: the children remain for a great while, not only helpless, but shapeless, and withal so delicate that they must be very carefully guarded against the least change of temperature. Fortunately their nurses understand the laws of health: each thoroughly knows all that she ought to know in regard to ventilation, disinfection, drainage, moisture, and the danger of germs,—germs being as visible, perhaps, to her myopic sight as they become to our own eyes under the microscope. Indeed, all matters of hygiene are so well comprehended that no nurse ever makes a mistake about the sanitary conditions of her neighborhood. In spite of this perpetual labor no worker remains unkempt: each is scrupulously neat, making her toilet many times a day. But as every worker is born with the most beautiful of combs and brushes attached to her wrists, no time is wasted in the toilet-room. Besides keeping themselves strictly clean, the workers must also keep their houses and gardens in faultless order, for the sake of the children. Nothing less than an earthquake, an eruption, an inundation, or a desperate war, is allowed to interrupt the daily routine of dusting, sweeping, scrubbing, and disinfecting.” – Lafcadio Hearn, Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:54 am

“The conspiracy plot always has the same logic. The reason no one knows about the conspiracy is because of the conspiracy. Not because it doesn’t exist.” – Reed Berkowitz, “A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:17 am

“The Sumerians, according to their own records, cherished goodness and truth, law and order, freedom and justice, mercy and compassion—and abhorred their opposites. The gods, too, preferred the ethical and the moral to the unethical and the immoral. Unfortunately, in their inscrutable fashion, they had created sin, evil, suffering, and misfortune, and there was little that could be done about it. The proper course for a Sumerian Job to pursue was not to complain and argue, but to plead, lament, and wail, tearfully confessing his sins and failings. And since the great gods were far away in the distant sky and might have more important matters to attend to, the Sumerian theologians evolved the notion that each individual, or at least each head of a family, had a special personal god, a kind of good angel, who would hear his prayer and through whom he would find his salvation.” – Samuel Noah Kramer, “Sumerian History, Culture, and Literature”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:32 am

“A good railroad man is ALWAYS ON TIME.” – George H. Baker, Standard Railroad Signals: Fireman’s and Brakeman’s Preparatory Instruction – PART ONE (emphasis in original)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:48 am

“Teeth outlast everything. Death is nothing to a tooth. Hundreds of years in acidic soil just keeps a tooth clean. A fire that burns away hair and flesh and even bone leaves teeth dazzling like daisies in the ashes. Life is what destroys teeth. Undiluted apple juice in a baby bottle, sourballs, the pH balance of drinking water, tetracycline, sand in your bread if you were in the Roman army, biting seal-gut thread if you are an Eskimo woman, playing the trumpet, pulling your own teeth with a pliers.” – Jane Smiley, “The Age of Grief”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:22 am

“I was committed for two weeks to a mental health hospital for depression and suicidal behavior. Two weeks doesn’t sound long, but let me assure you that time is, in fact, relative. Imagine, if you will, being driven off in the middle of the night, poked and prodded by a doctor, having everything about you catalogued from your earrings to your underwear, being stripped and shoved in a shower, dressed in ill-fitting pink scrubs, marched out to a white-walled cage, and then watched. Watched by a panel of placating smiles, who ask questions for which they’ve already decided the answers. Watched as you color with the bright colored crayons, smile at everyone, swallow your pills, laugh too much, line up for the cafeteria, attend group and circle the happy face when you just want to yell, ‘I’m not in kindergarten!’ But you don’t because you want out, and, perhaps even more so, because you’re afraid you shouldn’t be let out. Sometimes I think I could spend a lifetime finding words in those two weeks alone.” – Beth McKinney, Rattle 56

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:42 am

“I get a lot of inspiration from just going out and pretending I’ve never been to this planet before. It’s a great way to remember just how absurd, strange, beautiful, and unlikely everything is.” – Brendan Constantine, Rattle 58

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:46 am

“Even one war in space will create a battlefield that will last forever, encasing the entire planet in a shell of whizzing debris that will thereafter make space near the earth highly hazardous for peaceful as well as military purposes. With enough orbiting debris, pieces will begin to hit other pieces, whose fragments will in turn hit more pieces, setting off a chain reaction of destruction that will leave a lethal halo around the Earth.” – Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams, “Star Wars Forever?—A Cosmic Perspective”

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:56 am

“Then it happened. The lighted end of a cigarette touched me in the fleshy part of my upper left arm. That was all. It just felt like a sudden burn and nothing worse. The burned part did not seem to be any larger in area than that part which could be burned by the lighted end of a cigarette. At the time there was no feeling within the arm, that is, no feeling as to aches or pain … Then the second one hit. It nicked the top of my left shoulder. And again came the burning sensation, only this time the area affected seemed larger … And then the third one struck me … there came a crash. It sounded to me like someone had dropped a glass bottle into a porcelain bathtub … it seemed that everything in the world turned white … pure white … I did not know whether I was alive or dead, but I did know that my mind was still working … I brought my right hand up toward my face and placed it to the left of my nose. My fingers rested on something soft and wet. I withdrew the hand and looked at it. It was covered with blood. As I looked at it, I was not aware that my entire vision was confined to my right eye, although there was considerable pain in the entire left side of my face … a bullet striking the ground immediately under my left cheek bone had ricocheted upward, going completely through the left eye and then crashing out through my forehead, leaving the eyeball and upper eyelid completely halved, the lower eyelid torn away, and a compound fracture of the skull.” – Floyd Gibbons, “Wounded—How It Feels to Be Shot”

The shiningThe shining

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:40 am

“It happened late Friday night. That morning no one suspected anything. I sent my son to school, my husband went to the barber’s. I was preparing lunch when my husband came back. ‘There’s some sort of fire at the atomic station. They’re saying we are not to turn off the radio.’ This wasn’t any ordinary fire, it was some kind of shining. It was pretty. I’d never seen anything like it in the movies. That evening everyone spilled out onto their balconies, and those who didn’t have balconies went to friends’ houses. We were on the ninth floor, we had a great view. People brought their kids out, picked them up, said: ‘Look! Remember!’ And these were people who worked at the reactor—engineers, laborers, physics instructors. They stood in the black dust, talking, breathing, wondering at it. People came from all around in their cars and on their bikes to have a look. We didn’t know that death could be so beautiful.” – Nadezhda Petrovna Vygovskaya (from Voices from Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexievich, trans. Keith Gessen)

Say we’ll meet againSay we’ll meet again

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:13 am

“We have everything here—graves. Graves everywhere. The dump trucks are working, and the bulldozers. The houses are falling. The grave diggers are toiling away. They buried the school, the headquarters, the baths. It’s the same world, but the people are different. One thing I don’t know is, do people have souls? What kind? And how do they all fit in the next world? My grandpa died for two days. I was hiding behind the stove and waiting: How’s it going to fly out of his body? I went to milk the cow—I came back in, called him, he was lying there with his eyes open. His soul fled already. Or did nothing happen? And then how will we meet?” – “Settlers’ Chorus: Those Who Returned” (from Voices from Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexievich, trans. Keith Gessen)

You call that equitableYou call that equitable

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 5:57 am

“Distributive justice can be reduced to the ideas of equality or equity. From the point of view of epistemology such notions cannot but be regarded as a priori, if by a priori we mean, not of course an innate idea, but a norm, towards which reason cannot help but tend as it is gradually refined and purified. For reciprocity imposes itself on practical reason as logical principles impose themselves morally on theoretical reason. But from the psychological point of view, which is that of what is, not of what should be, an a priori norm has no existence except as a form of equilibrium. It constitutes the ideal equilibrium towards which the phenomena tend, and the whole question is still to know why, the facts being what they are, their form of equilibrium is such and no other. This last problem, which is of a causal order, must not be confused with the first, which can be solved only by abstract reflection. The two will coincide only when mind and reality become coextensive.” – Jean Piaget, The Moral Judgment of the Child (trans. Marjorie Gabain)