Monday, January 19, 2004

And Death Shall Have No Dominion
by: Dylan Thomas, 1936

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Went out tonight and caught Matrix and Mathematics at DirectDrive , despite the fact that I was feeling pretty ill. Too tired and sick to post much, but I had a wicked time.

Friday, January 16, 2004

William Burroughs in a speech, 1980:

"We have a new type of rule now. Not one man rule or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but a small group elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The "Iron Will" dictator is a thing of the past - there will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecurable world are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots of a vast machine they cannot understand- calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push."

Here it is in Burroughs' own voice, set to animation.

I'm going to try and pick up a spoken word CD of his this weekend, it's been quite some time since I experienced any Burroughs.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

From the NYTimes site: British scientists say they have developed a robotic system that for the first time can design a genetics experiment, carry it out and interpret the results. No difference was found between the laboratory bench results generated by the robot scientist and those gathered by graduate students doing similar work, the researchers report today in the journal Nature. While the system remains in its infancy, they hope it will someday conduct laboratory-intensive work, freeing researchers from drudgery.

Could this mean laboratory science is on the verge of making a huge leap in terms of time it takes to conduct experiements? Will robotic scientists cook up schemes that humans never thought to try - or were too scared to try? Maybe it just means it's about to be harder to get a job as a lab tech.

Ok, ok! It's been a minute since I posted anything here. I made this blog my homepage so I would be reminded daily to post something, but most days I look at it and well...well, I just don't have anything interesting to say. What the hell has been on my mind lately? Hmm..yesterday was my birthday, I guess that explains why I've been thinking about what it means to grow older for the past week. My self-flagellating tendencies are already legendary, but this week I really took my ruthless introspection to another level. Surprisingly, I came out of it feeling relatively good about myself. I figured out that what is important to me is that I continue to grow as I age. When I say grow, I mean it in a variety of ways - for example, expanding my knowledge of the world, or enhancing my financial security, or developing a more mature sense of morality/spirituality/responsibility, etc. But for me to "grow", in the most important sense, is to expand one's sphere of action. Before you start calling me a megalomaniac - hear me out! For me, these other types of growth I've mentioned are not ends to themselves, rather they are increasingly powerful tools towards a greater end. I have a strong belief that to be called in any real sense a "human being", one must be devoted to creating positive action in the world - helping your fellow man should not be a lofty goal, rather a prerequisite. I also believe that before one can do any good for others, one must have his own house in order. So, the more fully realized the man - the more penetrating his action. Looking back on that past year, I think I've made some progress towards developing my capacities - and I believe I've touched some lives along the way as well. I wouldn't go so far as to say what I feel is self-congratulatory, but it's actually quite a feat for me to come out of my unending doubtfulness with a even the slightest sense of a achievement and hope. So here's to another year on Earth! Countless moments, each pregnant with possibility - what will tomorrow bring?

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