Archive for July, 2013

July 20, 2013

how could it be that the person who pursues “only money” participates more in the divine than the person who pursues “only divinity” — (because he’s pursued it rightly.) (I do consider, for example, that the person who pursues money for money’s sake is a more serious person, divinely or eternally considered, than the one who pursues religion for money’s sake.)

and you would also consider the person who pursues money to be more poetic than the one who pursues poetry provided he does it more “correctly” (mind, he doesn’t pursue money more poetically than the poet does poetry, but only more correctly, whatever that may mean, maybe what you mean is that he prefers it “for its own sake”) — (when you put it like that I’m less sure, I admit)

Well, certainly you don’t mean to say something like this: that the greatest general is also the greatest poet or that the greatest computer programmer is also the greatest plumber, something of that kind? (–certainly not–) On the other hand, you do somewhat wonder if the greatest poet might have been the greatest plumber if he had only put his mind and talents to plumbing instead of to poetry, is that right (– yes –) and on top of this you are thinking that there is something good and artful about anything that is done well, whether it be a computer program, an epic poem, or a septic tank repair; so that if a computer program is done very well it is not only a good computer program but also a better poem than a poem which is done poorly, or (no that can’t be right) but… more poetic than a poorly done poem? (…) What I mean is, when the military general or the plummer and programmer performs his craft well, when what they’re doing comes together just right, as you say, there is something good and poetic about that, although it’s not poetry or goodness per se — is that right? Is that what you’d expressed?

Well, I’m thinking now about a criminal. Is there anything good and beautiful about a perfectly executed crime, about what they call the ‘perfect crime’? I’m sorry this is something a little different I’m thinking of. To answer my own question I suspect not. I suspect not, but I can not say why exactly. I feel I might say what a good crime might be but I can not say yet what a perfect crime would involve. A good crime would involve disobedience to an unjust law, I think: the refusal, for example, to kill or punish an innocent person. Or taxes and Thoreau. But ‘the perfect crime’, all morals aside, seems merely to involve having a plan of some complexity. Right, don’t we generally think of diamond heists, art thieves and so on, or rather maybe we should be careful to say, don’t we generally think of movies of diamond heists and of thieves dressed in black hanging from ropes above floors covered with laser beams and weight sensitive plates. Perhaps ‘the perfect crime’ as it would occur in reality, that is, instead of in a movie, would be more a sort of mysterious disappearance than an actual heist, a totally traceless vanishing of a thing. We would never know if somebody took it or if it had just disappeared and maybe no one knew it was there or guessed that it was of any value. Maybe the truly perfect crime wouldn’t be a crime at all: maybe it would be a kind of joke? Or that crime is by its nature an imperfection — the holocaust, a blundering stab for something, Crime and Punishment (But I like what you just said: that crime, to be perfect, should not be a kind of theft or murder or what have you, which are too serious in the end to be perfect, but a joke)

What do you think a cubist or modernist version of a platonic dialogue would be like? It would be like a regular, spoken conversation I mean what would it look like if you wrote it down,

ἄχος/ pain, distress

July 19, 2013

ὣς φάτο, τὸν δ᾽ ἄχεος νεφέλη ἐκάλυψε μέλαινα:
ἀμφοτέρῃσι δὲ χερσὶν ἑλὼν κόνιν αἰθαλόεσσαν
χεύατο κὰκ κεφαλῆς, χαρίεν δ᾽ ᾔσχυνε πρόσωπον:
νεκταρέῳ δὲ χιτῶνι μέλαιν᾽ ἀμφίζανε τέφρη

[Iliad. 18.22-25]

He spoke thus and a black cloud of grief overcame him,
and he took dust up in his hands and poured it over his head
he contorted his handsome face and the black ash settled
on his fragrant shirt.

July 18, 2013

Megawatt A large residential or commercial building may consume several megawatts gigawatt This unit is sometimes used for large power plants or power grids terawatt The total power used by humans worldwide (about 16 TW in 2006) is commonly measured in this unit […] The average strike of lightning peaks at 1 terawatt petawatt the total power of sunlight striking Earth’s atmosphere is estimated at 174 PW


The attack on Orleans was the only Central Powers raid mounted against the United States mainland during World War I. It was also the first time the Continental United States was shelled by foreign enemy guns since the Siege of Fort Texas in 1846. There were no fatalities. The Continental U.S. would be shelled again twice in 1942 by Japanese submarines during the Pacific War … Attack on Orleans

ζεω/ boil — οκνηρος/ lazy

July 17, 2013

Romans 12:10:

τη φιλαδελφια εις αλληλους φιλοστοργοι, τη τιμη αλληλους προηγουμενοι, τη σπουδη μη οκνηροι, τω πνευματι ζεοντες, τω Κυριω δουλευοντες, τη ελπιδι χαιροντες, τη θλιψει υπομενοντες, τη προσευχη προσκαρτερουντες, ταις χρειαις των αγιων κοινωνουντες, την φιλοξενιαν διωκοντες

φιλοστοργος, loving, devoted; οκνηρος, lazy, troublesome, irksome ; ζεοντες < ζεω, boil ; προσκαρτερεω, devote oneself to, continue in.

in brotherly love devoted to each other, in honor excelling each other, in zeal not lagging, bubbling over in spirit, in the lord being a servant, in hope taking cheer, with patience in suffering, in prayer concentrated, holding the needs of the holy ones in common, practicing hospitality.


July 16, 2013

Cases pertaining to the Citizens United decision:

Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce
McConnell v. Federal Election Commission
Buckley v. Valeo
First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti
Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc.

“We should celebrate rather than condemn the
addition of this speech to the public debate.”
Justice Scalia, concurring, Citizens United


“Essentially, five Justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law.”
Justice Stevens, dissent

“Congress crafted BCRA in response to a
virtual mountain of research on the corruption that previ­
ous legislation had failed to avert. The Court now negates
Congress’ efforts without a shred of evidence on how §203
or its state-law counterparts have been affecting any
entity other than Citizens United.” [Sounds like recent Shelby decision]
Justice Stevens, dissent

“The only thing preventing the majority from
affirming the District Court, or adopting a narrower
ground that would retain Austin, is its disdain for Austin.”
Justice Stevens, dissent

[Citizen’s United vs. FEC.]

July 14, 2013

Darién Gap (Gulf of Darién) false friends . 613. Mezuzah

Perotinitis Coronary thrombosis salacity apetalous overwinter

peent ; salafist ; doss ; Naoya Shiga ; Lambeth ; battuta;

Continual/ continuous

July 12, 2013

American Heritage on difference between ‘continually’ and ‘continuously’:

Continual is chiefly restricted to what is intermittent or repeated at intervals: The continual banging of the shutter in the wind gave me a headache. Continuous implies lack of interruption: The horizon is a continuous line.

July 11, 2013

The Decline of North Carolina, NYT

July 10, 2013

By day, the brothers did the kinds of work that Francis felt were sanctioned by the Gospel. They renovated churches, tended to lepers, performed manual labor for farmers and artisans, preached, and prayed. They could accept a payment of bread and fruit for their labor, but they were not allowed to have money. Nor could they, in any way, save up for the next day. They could not own any dwelling they lived in. (They rented the church in the Portiuncula from a local abbot.) They could not store up food. They couldn’t soak vegetables overnight.


July 9, 2013

……“[…] ἕλοιμί κεν ἤ κεν ἁλοίην.”

Iliad 22.253; Butler

αὐγή / light of the sun

July 8, 2013

ἀμφὶ δὲ χαλκὸς ἐλάμπετο εἴκελος αὐγῇ
ἢ πυρὸς αἰθομένου ἢ ἠελίου ἀνιόντος.

Iliad 22.134-135; Butler