“The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense. […] Fiction has unity, fiction has style. Facts possess neither. In the raw, existence is always one damned thing after another…”—Aldous Huxley, The Genius and the Goddess (via itonaim)
Kicking off her presidential campaign in Waterloo, Iowa, Michele Bachmann explained the geographic significance to Fox News: “Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.
“This is problematic, the Washington Times explains, because “beloved movie star” John Wayne is not from Bachmann’s hometown of Waterloo. John Wayne Gacy, the “killer clown” who raped and murdered 33 teenage boys in the ’70s, is from Waterloo. Beloved movie star John Wayne is from Winterset, Iowa.
“One of Portlandia’s catchphrases is that it’s “where young people go to retire,” but that doesn’t fully capture it. Rather, think back to the moment when you realized you were grown up enough to buy candy whenever you wanted. Then imagine extending that phase indefinitely, for years.”—
What a perfect description. This piece on the hipsterfication and precious-ing of Brooklyn was entertaining and (from this distance) mystifying… if a little cynical. Also, I will always heart Portland.
“The homepage on my web browser is Yahoo, which I’m told it shouldn’t be, but I’ve just been too lazy to change it. From time to time I’ll read some of the comments under stories on it to get a sense of what it must be like at a Klan meeting.”—Aaron Sorkin: What I Read - Business - The Atlantic Wire
“Kipling’s game theory lessons for Greece27 July 2011, Financial Times The game theorist Martin Shubik invented an unpleasant economists’ party game called the dollar bill auction. The players agree to auction a dollar bill with one cent increments to the bids. As usual, the dollar goes to the highest bidder. The twist is that both the highest bidder and the second-highest bidder must pay. You might start with a low bid – but offers will quickly rise towards a dollar. Soon the highest bid will be 99 cents with the underbidder at 98 cents. At that point, it pays the underbidder to offer a dollar. He will not now gain from the transaction, but that outcome is better than the loss of 98 cents. And now there is a sting in the tail. There is no reason why the bidding should stop at a dollar. The new underbidder stands to lose 99 cents. But if a bid of $1.01 is successful, he can reduce his loss to a single cent. The underbidder always comes back. So the auction can continue until the resources of the players are exhausted. The game must end, but never well. There are reports that over $200 has been paid for a dollar in Shubik’s game. That would be a contender for the most valuable dollar bill in existence had not $43m been paid for Andy Warhol’s representation of 200 of them. You might resolve not to%”—John Kay - Kipling’s game theory lessons for Greece
“This continuous modification of man by his own technology stimulates him to find continuous means of modifying it; man thus becomes the sex organs of the machine world just as the bee is of the plant world, permitting it to reproduce and constantly evolve to higher forms. The machine world reciprocates man’s devotion by rewarding him with goods and services and bounty.”—Marshall McLuhan in a March 1968 Playboy interview, quoted by Mark Larson. Do bees resent flowers? Do they bemoan the ubiquity of beckoning floral distractions? (via mills)
“… Exclamations have taken over the function of reasoning; it is true that the scatterbrains who carelessly utter them give their slogans a discursive air, and that this tenuous syntactical simulacrum satisfies and persuades whoever happens to be listening… .”—Jorge Luis Borges. An Essay On Neutrality. (thanks seeyoulateraggregator)
Sheer egoism- Orwell argues that many people write simply to feel clever, to “be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on grown-ups in childhood, etc.” He says that this is a great motive, although most of humanity is not “acutely selfish”, and that this motive exists mainly in younger writers. He also says that it exists more in serious writers than journalists, though serious writers are “less interested in money”.
Aesthetic enthusiasm- Orwell explains that present in writing is the desire to make one’s writing look and sound good, having “pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story.” He says that this motive is “very feeble in a lot of writers” but still present in all works of writing.
Historical impulse- He sums this up by simply stating this motive is the “desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.”
Political purpose- Orwell writes that “no book is genuinely free from political bias”, and further explains that this motive is used very commonly in all forms of writing in the broadest sense, citing a “desire to push the world in a certain direction” in every person. He concludes by saying that “the opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.”
“Critical, leapfrog, monumental, castigate, majestic, obscene, frugal, radiance, countless, submerged, excellent, gust, hint, hurry, lonely, summit, pedant.”—Every single one of these words was coined by Shakespeare. Incredible. (via chiaraatik)
“I felt as if I was the only person awake in a city of sleepwalkers. That’s an illusion, of course. When you walk through a crowd of strangers it’s next door to impossible not to imagine that they’re all waxworks, but probably they’re thinking just the same about you.”—George Orwell, Coming Up for Air from liquidnight (via billyjane)
“Italy is now a great country to invest in… today we have fewer communists and those who are still there deny having been one. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries… superb girls.”—Italian Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi (via life)