Sunday, June 30, 2019

In my eyes grief dissolves;
I ran like a deer;
Tree-gnawing wolves
In my heart followed near.
I left my antlers
A long time ago;
Broken from my temples,
They swing on a bough.
Such I was myself:
A deer I used to be.
I shall be a wolf:
That is what troubles me.
A fine wolf I'm becoming.
Struck by magic, while
All my pack-wolves are foaming,
I stop, and try to smile.
I prick up my ears
As a roe gives her call;
Try to sleep; on my shoulders
Dark mulberry leaves fall.

ATTILA JÓZSEF, 1929

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

With its population made up of two categories of people, those who do business and those upon whom they prey, the city has only a painful life to offer the young person who goes there to learn and to study; for sooner or later anyone who lives there, whatever his constitution, becomes disturbed and is eventually deranged and destroyed by the city, often in the most deadly and insidious manner.
--Thomas Bernhard, Gathering Evidence

“Those who live in the country get idiotic in time, without noticing it, for a while they think it's original and good for their health, but life in the country is not original at all, for anyone who wasn't born in and for the country it shows a lack of taste and is only harmful to their health. The people who go walking in the country walk right into their own funeral in the country and at the very least they lead a grotesque existence which leads them first into idiocy, then into an absurd death.” 
-- Thomas Bernhard, The Loser

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Artist's Fight With Art

"Compared with the average professional man, the artist has, so to say, a hundred percent vocational psychology. That is, the creative type nominates itself at once as an artist...which marks the subordination of the individual to one of the prevailing art-ideologies, this usually showing itself in the choice of some recognized master as the ideal pattern...in becoming the representative of an ideology...at first his individuality vanishes, until later, at the height of his achievement, he strives once more to liberate his personality...from the bonds of an ideology he has himself accepted and helped to form. This whole process of liberation is so particularly intense...exposing the artist to those dangerous crises which threaten his artistic development and his whole life....In this creative conflict it is not only the positive tendency to individual self-liberation from ideologies once accepted and now overcome that plays a great part. There is also the creative guilt feeling, and this opposes their abandonment and seeks to tie down the individual in loyalty to his past. This loyalty is itself opposed
by a demand for loyalty to his own self-development, which drives him onward...So the struggle of the artist against art is really only an ideologized continuation of the individual struggle against the collective; and yet it is this very fact of the ideologization of purely psychical conflicts that marks the difference between the productive and the unproductive types, the artist and the neurotic; for the neurotic's creative power, like the primitive artist's, is always tied to his own self and exhausts itself in it, whereas the productive type succeeds in changing this purely subjective creative process into an objective one, which means that through ideologizing it he transfers it from his own self to his work...an actual artistic achievement....A characteristic quality of the unconforming type, both the productive (artist) and the thwarted (neurotic), is an overstrong tendency towards a totality of experience. The so-called adaptability of the average man consists in a capacity for an extensive partial experience such as is demanded by everyday life, with its many and varied problems. The non-conforming type tends to concentrate its whole personality, its whole self, on each detail of experience, however trivial or insignificant; but as this is not only practically impossible but psychically painful (because its effect is to bring out fear) this type protects itself from complete self-exhaustion by powerful inner restraints. Now the neurotic stops at this point in the process, thus cutting himself off from the world and experience...faced with the proposition "all or nothing" he chooses the nothing. The artist, however....finds a constructive middle way; he avoids the complete loss of himself in life...by living himself out entirely in creative work."
- Otto Rank , Art and Artist, 1932

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

1945


Transcript of Surreptitiously Taped Conversations among German Nuclear Physicists Learning America had Dropped an Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima

 All the guests assembled to hear the official announcement at 9 o'clock. They were completely stunned when they realized that the news was genuine. They were left alone on the assumption that they would discuss the position and the following remarks were made.:–

HARTECK: They have managed it either with mass-spectrographs on a large scale or else they have been successful with a photo-chemical process.

WIRTZ: Well I would say photo-chemistry or diffusion. Ordinary diffusion. They irradiate it with a particular wave-length. – (all talking together).

HARTECK: Or using mass-spectrographs in enormous quantities. It is perhaps possible for a mass-spectrograph to make one milligram in one day – say of '235'. They could make quite a cheap mass-spectrograph which, in very large quantities, might cost a hundred dollars. You could do it with a hundred thousand mass-spectrographs.

HEISENBERG: Yes, of course, if you do it like that; and they seem to have worked on that scale. 180,000 people were working on it.

HARTECK: Which is a hundred times more than we had.


HEISENBERG: We wouldn't have had the moral courage to recommend to the Government in the spring of 1942 that they should employ 120,000 men just for building the thing up.

WEIZSÄCKER: I believe the reason we didn't do it was because all the physicists didn't want to do it, on principle. If we had all wanted Germany to win the war we would have succeeded.

HAHN: I don't believe that but I am thankful we didn't succeed.

HEISENBERG: It is possible that the war will be over tomorrow.

HARTECK: The following day we will go home.

KORSHING: We will never go home again.


KORSHING: If one hasn't got the courage, it is better to give up straightaway.

GERLACH: Don't always make such aggressive remarks.

KORSHING: The Americans could do it better than we could, that's clear.

(GERLACH leaves the room.)


WEIZSÄCKER: I admit that after this business I am more ready to go back to GERMANY, in spite of the Russian advance.

WIRTZ: My worst fears have been realized with regard to the complications which will now arise about us.

HEISENBERG: I believe that we are now far more bound up with the Anglo–Saxons than we were before as we have no possibility of switching over to the Russians even if we wanted to.

WIRTZ: They won't let us.

HEISENBERG: On the other hand we can do it with a good conscience because we can see that in the immediate future GERMANY will be under Anglo–Saxon influence.

WIRTZ: That is an opportunist attitude.

HEISENBERG: But at the moment it is very difficult to think otherwise because one does not know what is better.

Although the guests retired to bed about 1.30, most of them appear to have spent a somewhat disturbed night judging by the deep sighs and occasional shouts which were 12 heard during the night. There was also a considerable amount of coming and going along the corridors.

Friday, January 25, 2019

1976



I delivered the orders from your last Stanley Party Though I got some strange looks at the doors And I cancelled our subscription to the Ladies Home Journal And told Avon not to call anymore Men have no need for magazines they don't read For perfume and powder and such Me and the house and everything in it Have lost the feminine touch The clock on the wall just gave up and stopped ticking And the flowers on the mantle have died The dust is gettin' deep on everything but the ceiling And I've lost all my homeowner's pride Bottles are made from the bar to the bedroom I've turned to such things for a crutch Me and the house and everything in it Have lost the feminine touch Girl I sure miss your feminine touch


                                                               

                           Brother Theodore


     http://www.playbill.com/article/stand-up-tragedy-brother-theodore-gottlieb-dead-at-94-com-95915





1.75 Counterintuitive Concepts Purr

Previous research with adults suggests that a catalog of minimally counterintuitive concepts, which underlies supernatural or religious concepts, may constitute a cognitive optimum and is therefore cognitively encoded and culturally transmitted more successfully than either entirely intuitive concepts or maximally counterintuitive concepts. This study examines whether children's concept recall similarly is sensitive to the degree of conceptual counterintuitiveness (operationalized as a concept's number of ontological domain violations) for items presented in the context of a fictional narrative. Seven- to nine-year-old children who listened to a story including both intuitive and counterintuitive concepts recalled the counterintuitive concepts containing one (Experiment 1) or two (Experiment 2), but not three (Experiment 3), violations of intuitive ontological expectations significantly more and in greater detail than the intuitive concepts, both immediately after hearing the story and 1 week later. We conclude that one or two violations of expectation may be a cognitive optimum for children: They are more inferentially rich and therefore more memorable, whereas three or more violations diminish memorability for target concepts. These results suggest that the cognitive bias for minimally counterintuitive ideas is present and active early in human development.

Melting Lizards and Crying Mailboxes: Children's Preferential Recall of Minimally Counterintuitive Concepts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Esteemed gentlemen,

I am a poor, young, unemployed person in the business field, my name is Wenzel, I am seeking a suitable position, and I take the liberty of asking you, nicely and politely, if perhaps in your airy, bright, amiable rooms such a position might be free. I know that your good firm is large, proud, old, and rich, thus I may yield to the pleasing supposition that a nice, easy, pretty little place would be available, into which, as into a kind of warm cubbyhole, I can slip. I am excellently suited, you should know, to occupy just such a modest haven, for my nature is altogether delicate, and I am essentially a quiet, polite, and dreamy child, who is made to feel cheerful by people thinking of him that he does not ask for much, and allowing him to take possession of a very, very small patch of existence, where he can be useful in his own way and thus feel at ease. A quiet, sweet, small place in the shade has always been the tender substance of all my dreams, and if now the illusions I have about you grow so intense as to make me hope that my dream, young and old, might be transformed into delicious, vivid reality, then you have, in me, the most zealous and most loyal servitor, who will take it as a matter of conscience to discharge precisely and punctually all his duties. Large and difficult tasks I cannot perform, and obligations of a far-ranging sort are too strenuous for my mind. I am not particularly clever, and first and foremost I do not like to strain my intelligence overmuch. I am a dreamer rather than a thinker, a zero rather than a force, dim rather than sharp. Assuredly there exists in your extensive institution, which I imagine to be overflowing with main and subsidiary functions and offices, work of the kind that one can do as in a dream? —I am, to put it frankly, a Chinese; that is to say, a person who deems everything small and modest to be beautiful and pleasing, and to whom all that is big and exacting is fearsome and horrid. I know only the need to feel at my ease, so that each day I can thank God for life’s boon, with all its blessings. The passion to go far in the world is unknown to me. Africa with its deserts is to me not more foreign. Well, so now you know what sort of a person I am. —I write, as you see, a graceful and fluent hand, and you need not imagine me to be entirely without intelligence. My mind is clear, but it refuses to grasp things that are many, or too many by far, shunning them. I am sincere and honest, and I am aware that this signifies precious little in the world in which we live, so I shall be waiting, esteemed gentlemen, to see what it will be your pleasure to reply to your respectful servant, positively drowning in obedience.

WENZEL