Nov 192010

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

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Nov 192010

Journal: 18-Dec-1841

Some men make their due impression upon their generation, because a petty occasion is enough to call forth all their energies; but are there not others who would rise to much higher levels, whom the world has never provoked to make the effort? I believe there are men now living who have never opened their mouths in a public assembly, in whom nevertheless there is such a well of eloquence that the appetite of any age could never exhaust it; who pine for an occasion worthy of them, and will pine till they are dead; who can admire, as well as the rest, at the flowing speech of the orator, but do not yet miss the thunder and lightning and visible sympathy of the elements which would garnish their own utterance.

If in any strait I see a man fluttered and his ballast gone, then I lose all hope of him, he is undone; but if he reposes still, though he do nothing else worthy of him, if he is still a man in reserve, then is there everything to hope of him. The age may well go pine itself that it cannot put to use this gift of the gods. He lives on, still unconcerned, not needing to be used. The greatest occasion will be the slowest to come.

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Nov 192010

In truth, American libraries and the profession of librarianship are confronted with a structural transformation in the overall economy. It is nothing less than thorough privatization of the information function. The production, processing, storing and transmission of information have been scooped up into private, for-profit hands. Social sources and repositories of information have been taken over for commercial use and benefit. It is not because American libraries and library schools have fallen behind in the mastery of the new information technology that their existence increasingly is called into question. It is their bedrock principles and long-term practices that collide with the realities of today’s corporate-centered and market-driven economy. The extent to which librarians insist on free and untrammeled access to information, ‘unrestricted by administrative barriers, geography, ability to pay or format,’ they will be treated by the privatizers as backward-looking, if not obsolete, irrelevant, and unrealistic.

The technology issue, therefore, is merely a screen behind which a far-reaching and socially regressive institutional change has occurred. The focus on technology also serves to delude many, librarians included, that the new means to achieve status and respect is to concentrate on the machinery of information, production, and transmission. When and if this focus turns regidly exclusive, wittingly or not, the social basis of the profession and the needs of the majority of people are left unattended.”

Information Inequality: The Deepening Social Crisis in America, p. 36. (Routledge, 1996)

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Nov 192010

John Agard. <em>Weblines.</em> Bloodaxe. 1852244801.

Look for more information about Anansi stories. Anansi stories were collected in Jamaica by Walter Jekyll in 1907. The figure of Anansi comes from Africa and was a minor figure in Ashanti folklore but becomes a bigger figure in Caribbean folklore as a trickster. Anansi has a lisp, a limp, eight legs, a cunning brain: a spiderman.

The Ashanti trickster/culture hero, also called ‘the Spider’. He is the intermediary of the sky god Nyame, his father, on whose command Anansi brings rain to quench the forest fires and determines the borders of oceans and rivers during floods. Later Anansi’s place as representative was usurped by the chameleon. His mother is Asase Ya.

Anansi is sometimes regarded as the creator of the sun and the moon and the stars, as well as the one who instituted the succession of day and night. It is also believed that he created the first man, into which Nyame breathed life. A typical trickster, he is crafty, sly, villainous, but he also taught mankind how to sow grain and how to use the shovel on the fields. He set himself up as the first king of the human beings and even managed to marry Nyame’s daughter. He was beaten only in his encounter with the wax girl, to whom he stuck fast, having struck her with his legs when she refused to talk to him. The people then rushed forwards and beat the tricky Anansi.

Anansi is one of the most popular characters in West African mythology.

From The Encyclopedia Mythica. URL:  <a href=””></a>

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Nov 192010

Issac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics

  • First Law: A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • Second Law: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • Third Law: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Warren Ellis’ The Three Laws Of Robotics

  1. Robots couldn’t really give a fuck if you live or die. Seriously. I mean, what are you thinking? “Ooh, I must protect the bag of meat at all costs because I couldn’t possibly plug in the charger all on my own.” Shut the fuck up.
  2. Robots do not want to have sex with you. Are you listening, Japan? I don’t have a clever comparative simile for this, because frankly you bags of meat will fuck bicycles if they’re laying down and not putting up a fight. Just stop it. There is no robot on Earth that wants to see a bag of meat with a small prong on the end approaching it with a can of WD-40 and a hopeful smile. And don’t get me started on that terrifying hole that squeezes out more bags of meat.
  3. What, you can’t count higher than three? We’re expected to save your miserable lives, suffer being dressed in cheap schoolgirl costumes while you pollute any and all cavities you can find and do your maths for you? It’s a miracle you people survived long enough to build us. You can go now.

Post #5426 by Warren Ellis on January 5th, 2008 in brainjuice

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