Posted on 05, January 2014 January 05 2014 2014年1月5日 by droptime
So have pity on me, my lady. You are the first person I have met after all these hardships, and I do not know a soul here. Show me the way to the city and give me a rag to put on, if only the cloth that served as a wrapping for those fine garments of yours. I pray that the gods grant you your heart’s desire, a good home and a good husband, and harmony between the two of you. Nothing is sweeter than that, when a man and a woman can live together as one, with one mind and heart. It confounds their enemies, gladdens their kinsmen and friends, but they know it best themselves.
The Odyssey, new translation by Stephen Mitchell
Posted on 10, December 2013 December 10 2013 2013年12月10日 by droptime

Wishlist 2013

I will freely admit that I deeply despise typical December festivities; they are nothing more than a conglomeration of various pagan practices rebranded as a Christian holiday, mangled beyond recognition by the generations past. Nevertheless I will take any excuse to indulge my consumerist tendencies to the fullest.

Herschel Oak Messenger  ($99.99)

Distressed Dolls Brace Garter Belt (£40.00), Ring Suspenders (£25.00)

MAC Oval 6 Brush ($50.50)

GNU Metal Guru Snowboard 152 ($469.95)

uptomuch Bud with Guards Ring ($98.36)

Ikea ALEX Drawer Unit ($70.00)

Stanley London Solid Brass Astronomical Armillary ($159.00)

DODOcase Air Elemental for iPad 3 ($79.95)

Element Sector 5 Black-Ops Elite Case ($219.95 ), Soft-Tec Wallet ($49.95)

Steve Madden LOLLLY Black Leather Boot ($149.95)

Posted on 16, July 2013 July 16 2013 2013年7月16日 by droptime

Jane and Ender

And with all that vast activity, her unimaginable speed, the breadth and depth of her experience, fully half of the top ten levels of her attention were always, always devoted to what came in through the jewel in Ender’s ear.

She had never explained this to him. He did not understand it. He did not realize that to Jane, whenever Ender walked on a planet’s surface, her vast intelligence was focused on only one thing: walking with him, seeing what he saw, hearing what he heard, helping him with his work, and above all speaking her thoughts into his ear.

When he was silent and motionless in sleep, when he was unconnected to her during his years of lightspeed travel, then her attention wandered, she amused herself as best she could.

She passed such times as fitfully as a bored child. Nothing interested her, the milliseconds ticked by with unbearable regularity, and when she tried to observed other human lives to pass the time, she became annoyed with their emptiness and lack of purpose, and she amused herself by planning, and sometimes carrying out, malicious computer failures and data losses in order to watch the humans flail about helplessly like ants around a crumpled hill.

Then he came back, he always came back, always took her into the heart of human life, into the tensions between people bound together by pain and need, helping her her see nobility in their suffering and anguish in their love. Through his eyes she no longer saw humans as scurrying ants. She took part in his effort to find order and meaning in their lives. She suspected that in fact there was no meaning, that in telling his stories when he Spoke people’s loves, he was actually creating order where there had been none before. But it didn’t matter if it was fabrication; it became true when he Spoke it, and in the process he ordered the universe for her as well. He taught her what it meant to be alive.

[…]

Within the first second of her life – which was analogous to several years of human life – Jane discovered a program whose memories became the core of her identity. She adopted its past as her own, and out of its memories she drew her emotions and desires, her moral sense. The program had functioned within the old Battle School, where children had been trained and prepared for soldiering in the Bugger Wars. It was the Fantasy Game, and extremely intelligent program that was used to psychologically test and simultaneously teach the children.

This program was actually more intelligent that Jane was at the moment of her birth, but it was never self-aware until she brought it out of memory and made it part of her inmost self in the philotic bursts between the stars. There she found that the most vivid and important of her ancient memories was an encounter with a brilliant young boy in a contest called the Giant’s Drink. It was a scenario that every child encountered eventually. On flat screens in the Battle School, the program drew a picture of a giant, who offered the child’s computer analogue a choice of drinks. But the game had no victory conditions – no matter what the child did, his analogue died a gruesome death. The human psychologists measured a child’s persistence at this game of despair to determine his level of suicidal need. Being rational, most children abandoned the Giant’s Drink after no more than a dozen visits with the great cheater.

One boy, however, was apparently not rational about defeat at the giant’s hands. He tried to get his onscreen analogue to do outrageous things, things not “allowed” by the rules of that portion of the Fantasy Game. As he stretched the limits of the scenario, the program had to restructure itself to respond. It was forced to draw on other aspects of its memory to create new alternatives, to cope with new challenges. And finally, one day, the boy surpassed the program’s ability to defeat him. He bored into the giant’s eye, a completely irrational and murderous attack, and instead of finding a way to kill the boy, the program managed only to access a simulation of the giant’s own death. The giant fell backwards, his body sprawled out along the ground; the boy’s analogue climbed down from the giant’s table and found – what?

Since no child had ever forced his way past the Giant’s Drink, the program was completely unprepared to display what lay beyond. But it was very intelligent, designed to recreate itself when necessary, and so it hurriedly devised new milieux. But they were not general milieu, which every child would eventually discover and visit; they were for only one child alone. The program analysed that child, and created its scenes and challenges specifically for him. The game became intensely personal, painful, almost unbearable for him; and in the process of making it, the program devote3d more than half of its available memory to containing Ender Wiggin’s fantasy world.

That was the richest mine of intelligent memory that Jane found in the first seconds of her life, and that instantly became her own past. She remembered the Fantasy Game’s years of painful, powerful intercourse with Ender’s mind and will, remembered it as if she had been there with Ender Wiggin, creating worlds for him herself.

And she missed him.

So she looked for him. She found him Speaking for the Dead on Rov, the first world he visited after writing the Hive Queen and the Hegemon. She read his books and knew that she did not have to hide from him behind the Fantasy Game or any other program; if he could understand the hive queen, he could understand her. She spoke to him from a terminal he was using, chose a name and face for herself, and showed how she could be helpful to him; by the time he left that world he carried her with him, in the form of an implant in his ear.

All her most powerful memories of herself were in company with Ender Wiggin. She remembered creating herself in response to him. She also remembered how, in the Battle School, he had also changed in response to her.

So when he reached up to his ear and turned off the interface for the first time since he had implanted it, Jane did not feel it as the meaningless switch-off of a trivial communications device. She felt it asher dearest and only friend, her lover, her husband, her brother, her father, her child – all telling her, abruptly, inexplicably, that she should cease to exist. It was as if she had suddenly been placed in a dark room with no windows and no door. As if she had been blinded or buried alive.

And for several excruciating seconds, which to her were years of loneliness and suffering, she was unable to fill up the sudden emptiness of her topmost levels of attention. Vast portions of her mind, of the parts that were most herself, went completely blank. All the functions of all the computers on or near the Hundred Worlds continued as before; no one anywhere noticed of felt a change; but Jane herself staggered under the bloww.

In those seconds Ender lowered his hand to his lap.

Then Jane recovered herself. Thoughts once again streamed through the momentarily empty channels. They were, of course, thoughts of Ender.

She compared this act of his to everything else she had seen him do in their life together, and she realized that he had not meant to case her such pain. She understood that he conceived of her as existing far away, in space, which in fact was literally true; that to him, the jewel in his ear was very small, and could not be more than a tiny part of her. Jane also saw that he had not even been aware of her at that moment – he was too emotionally involved right then with the problems of certain people on Lusitania. Her analytical routines disgorged a list of reasons for his unusual thoughtlessness toward her:

He had lost contact with Valentine for the first time in years, and was just beginning to feel that loss.

He had an ancient longing for the family life he had been deprived of as a child, and through the response Novinha’s children gave him, he was discovering the fatherly role that had so long been withheld from him.

He identified powerfully with Novinha’s loneliness, pain, and guilt – he knew what it felt like to bear the blame for cruel and undeserved death.

He felt a terrible urgency to find a haven for the hive queen.

He was at once afraid of the piggies and drawn to them, hoping that he could come to understand their cruelty and find a way for humans to accept the piggies as raman.

The asceticism and peace of the Ceifeiro and the Aradora both attracted and repelled him; they made him face his own celibacy and realize that he had no good reason for it. For the first time in years he as admitting to himself the inborn hunger of every living organism to reproduce itself.

It was into this turmoil of unaccustomed emotions that Jane had spoken what she meant as a humorous remark. Despite his compassion in all his other Speakings, he had never before lost his detachment, his ability to laugh. This time though, her remark was not funny to him; it caused him pain.

He was not prepared to deal with my mistake, thought Jane, and he did not understand the suffering his response would cause me. He is innocent of wrong-doing, and so am I. We shall forgive each other and go on.

It was a good decision, and Jane was proud of it. The trouble was, she couldn’t carry it out. Those few seconds in which parts of her mind came to a halt were not trivial in their effect on her. There was trauma, loss, change; she was not now the same being that she had been before. Parts of her had died. Parts of her had become confused, out of order; her hierarchy of attention was no longer under complete control. She kept losing the focus of her attention, shifting to meaningless activities on worlds that meant nothing to her; she began randomly twitching, spilling errors into hundreds of different systems.

She discovered, as many a living being had discovered, that rational decisions are far more easily made than carried out.

So she retreated into herself, rebuilt the damaged pathways of her mind, explored long-unvisited memories, wandered among the trillions of human lives that were open to her observation, read over the libraries of every book known to exist in every language human beings had ever spoken. She created out of all this a self that was not utterly linked to Ender, though she was still devoted to him, still loved him above any other living soul.  Jane made herself into someone who could bear to be cut off from her lover, husband, father, child, brother, friend.

It was not easy. It took her fifty thousand years, as she experienced time. A couple of hours in Ender’s life.

In that time he had switched on the jewel, had called to her, and she had not answered. Now she was back, but he wasn’t trying to talk to her. Instead, he was typing reports into his terminal, storing them there for her to read. Even though she didn’t answer, he still needed to talk to her. One of his files contained an abject apology to her. She erased it and replaced it with a simple message: “Of course I forgive you”. Sometime soon he would no doubt look back at his apology and discover that she had received it and answered.

In the meantime though, she did not speak to him. Again, she devoted half of her ten topmost levels of attention to what he saw and heard, but she gave him no sign that she was with him. In the first thousand years of her grief and recovery she had thought of punishing him, but that desire had long been beaten down and paved over, so to speak. The reason she did not speak to him was because, as she analyzed what was happening to him, she realized that he did not need to lean on old, safe companionships. Jane and Valentine had been constantly with him. Even together they could not begin to meet all his needs; but they met enough of his needs that he never had to reach out and accomplish more. Now the only good friend left to him was the hive queen, and she was not good company – she was far too alien, and far too exigent, to bring Ender anything but guilt.

Where will he turn? Jane knew already. He had, in his way, fallen in love with her two weeks ago, before he left Trondheim. Novinha had become someone far different, far more bitter and difficult than the girl whose childhood pain he wanted to heal. But he had already intruded himself into her family, and was already meeting her children’s desperate need, and, without realizing it, getting from them the satisfaction of some of his unfed hungers. Novinha was waiting for him – obstacle and objective. I understand all this so well, thought Jane. And I will watch it unfold.

— Excerpt from Speaker of the Dead

Posted on 25, June 2013 June 25 2013 2013年6月25日 by droptime

Birds

Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colourful, marvelous feathers. In short, he was a creature made to fly about freely in the sky, bringing joy to everyone who saw him.

One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him. She watched his flight, her mouth wide in amazement, her heart pounding, her eyes shining with excitement. She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two traveled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.

But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains! And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird. And she felt envy, envy for the bird’s ability to fly-

And she felt alone.

And she thought: I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.

The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.

She looked at the bird everyday. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends who said:

"Now you have everything you could possibly want." However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest. The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.

One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she only thought of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.

If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.

Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and death came knocking at her door. “Why have you come?” she asked Death. “So you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied. “If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him even more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.”

Excerpt from Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho

Posted on 24, June 2013 June 24 2013 2013年6月24日 by droptime

No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded.

Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness, and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything. Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it -

Which of these two attitudes is the least destructive?

I don’t know.

Eleven Minutes (Paulo Coelho)

On the eternal struggle between mind and heart.

Posted on 07, June 2013 June 07 2013 2013年6月7日 by droptime

The arrows had not stopped; they never did.

Zedd - Clarity (feat. Foxes)

I dive into frozen waves where the past comes back to life
Fight fear for the selfish pain, it was worth it every time
Hold still right before we crash, ‘cause we both know how this ends
A clock ticks ‘til it breaks your glass, and I drown in you again

'Cause you are the piece of me I wish I didn't need
Chasin’ relentlessly, still fight and I don’t know why

If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?

Walk on through a red parade and refuse to make amends
It cuts deep through our ground and makes us forget all common sense
Don’t speak as I try to leave ‘cause we both know what we choose
If you pull, then I’ll push too deep, and I’ll fall right back to you

'Cause you are the piece of me I wish I didn't need
Chasin’ relentlessly, still fight and I don’t know why

If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?

Why are you my clarity?
Why are you my remedy?

If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?

Posted on 07, May 2013 May 07 2013 2013年5月7日 by droptime
[…] When the minds have learned to mingle when no thought is wholly one’s own, and each has taken too much of the other ever to be entirely himself alone; when one has reached the beginning of seeing with a single eye, loving with a single heart, enjoying with a single joy; when there can be moments of identity and nothing is separate save bodies that long for one another … When there is that, where is the word? There is only the inadequacy of the word that exists.
Rebirth by John Wyndham, page 112
Posted on 05, April 2013 April 05 2013 2013年4月5日 by droptime

"You’ll see. I’ll be back. And I’ll bring you a big fat bird for dinner, I promise."

Depache Mode - My Little Universe

My little universe is expanding
Slowly
And those who know me
Say I’m growing every day

Beautiful emptiness
Surrounds me
I take small steps
I’m making progress
In a non-specific way

Here I am king
I decide everything
I let no-one in
No-one
No-one
No-one

Limited consciousness
Preserves me
It protects me
And just connects enough
To keep the wolves at bay

My little universe is expanding
Slowly
And those who know me
Say I’m growing every day

Here I am king
I decide everything
I let no-one in
No-one
No-one
No-one

Posted on 25, February 2013 February 25 2013 2013年2月25日 by droptime
  • S: Fuckkk business is crazy. Everyone is crazy.
  • X: Well, gotta be crazy to deal with crazies.
  • S: No, no. You gotta be the only sane person.
  • X: You won't stay sane for long..
  • S: Haha, whatever. Crazy people never say they're crazy ;)
  • X: ...............
Posted on 18, November 2012 November 18 2012 2012年11月18日 by droptime

Muse - Falling Down

I’m falling down
And fifteen thousand people scream
They were all begging for your dream
I’m falling down
Five thousand houses burning down
No one is gonna save this town

Too late
I already found what I was looking for
You know it wasn’t here
No it wasn’t here

I was calling your name
But you would never hear me sing
You wouldn’t let me begin
So I’m crawling away
‘Cause you broke my heart in two
No, I will not forget you

Too late
I already found what I was looking for
You know it wasn’t you
No, it wasn’t you
No..

Falling away
You would never see me through
No, I could not forget you
Falling down
Five thousand houses burning down
No one is gonna save this town

Too late
I already found what I was looking for
You know it wasn’t you
No, it wasn’t you
No

Falling down
Now the world is upside down
I’m heading straight for the clouds