[A kick-ass programmer] should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly.

Specialization is for insects.

 from The Notebook of Lazarus Long (via monoxrom)

the original passage reads “a human being should be able to…”

"The Notebook of Lazarus Long" is a chapter of Time Enough For Love by Robert Heinlein

As for elitism, the problem may be scientism: technological edge mistaken for moral superiority. The imperialism of high technocracy equals the old racist imperialism in its arrogance; to the technophile, people who aren’t in the know/in the net, who don’t have the right artifacts, don’t count. They’re proles, masses, faceless nonentities. Whether it’s fiction or history, the story isn’t about them. The story’s about the kids with the really neat, really expensive toys. So “people” comes to be operationally defined as those who have access to an extremely elaborate fast-growth industrial technology. And “technology” itself is restricted to that type. I have heard a man say perfectly seriously that the Native Americans before the Conquest had no technology. As we know, kiln-fired pottery is a naturally occurring substance, baskets ripen in the summer, and Machu Picchu just grew there.
(…) “Newton’s Sleep” can be, and has been, read as an anti-technological diatribe, a piece of Luddite ranting. It was not intended as such, but rather as a cautionary tale, a response to many stories and novels I had read over the years which (consciously or not- here is the problem of elitism again) depict people in spaceships and space stations as superior to those on earth. Masses of dummies stay down in the dirt and breed and die in squalor, and serve ‘em right, while a few people who know how to program their VCRs live up in these superclean military worldlets provided with all mod con plus virtual reality sex, and are the Future of Man. It struck me as one of the drearier futures.
(…) I hope the story doesn’t read as anti-space travel. I love both the idea and the reality of the exploration of space, and was only trying to make the whole idea less smugly antiseptic. I really do think we have to take our dirt with us wherever we go. We are dirt. We are Earth.
Ursula K. Le Guin, A Fisherman of the Inland Sea, “Introduction” (via magnoliapearl)
Don’t get bombarded! Unplug some! There is no obligation to keep current or to have heard everything everybody’s talking about. None
…this bombardment you’re talking about, that’s a choice you make. If you’re interested by a piece of music, you can miss the next twenty new pieces of music that’re fishing for your attention and just focus on that one. It’s really all right. You can just ignore all the big-ticket releases and focus on Jandek’s 9-disc solo piano set for half a year and that’s a totally valid decision. You can take a year to just listen to opera: that was me most of last year, opera and old Silkworm albums. Did I miss something? Maybe; who cares? What I had was not just fine but completely amazing, and I can catch up with anything I missed later, if I want to, and if I don’t, that’s cool too. Being on top of stuff, having an opinion about something when it’s new, this is just not a priority for me at all. Music is eternal, I don’t need to experience it as part of a news cycle.

John Darnielle

this is something I still need to learn

Many adults are put off when youngsters pose scientific questions. Children ask why the sun is yellow, or what a dream is, or how deep you can dig a hole, or when is the world’s birthday, or why we have toes. Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before a five-year-old, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t know? Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys many adults. A few more experiences like this, and another child has been lost to science. There are many better responses. If we have an idea of the answer, we could try to explain. If we don’t, we could go to the encyclopedia or the library. Or we might say to the child: “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out.
Carl Sagan (via ikenbot)

john steinbeck



“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”

I think there is an anxiety about the status of the photograph amongst the new practitioners coming in. I have certain anxieties, too, of course, but, I think because I’ve had such an arc of existing work that I continue to build on as an artist, that I don’t feel as much anxiety about using the real world as my palette or as my template, to draw from. I don’t feel compelled to start staging my imagery or moving away from recording “reality” on some level in order to achieve a deeper subjective experience, and I think it’s because I came out of an analogue, more traditional way of approaching photography. Photography was a way to put a window onto the world and to enter into the world. For me, photography is a way to mine ideas that are things.
Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martialarts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.

Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (via mar-see-ah)

I recently turned 29, and the thought still crosses my mind sometimes. And I’m not even a little bit ashamed.

In related news, why haven’t I read Snow Crash yet?

(via joeross)
The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.

bell hooks (via grrrlstudies)

^ this is why bros gotta read To the Lighthouse. Virginia Woolf NAILED THIS. Every guy I know is a Mr Ramsey, more so the straight guys, and they’re all so wrapped up in it they don’t even know. Woolf unwraps it. And she does so with a stinging accuracy.

(via ourben)

men need feminism too


Disliking hip-hop doesn’t make you a racist any more than liking hip-hop makes you not a racist, and I’m sure there are plenty of Stormfront enthusiasts with Rick Ross in their iTunes. If you don’t like Jay-Z because you just don’t like the way he sounds, or you’re sick of his cloying ubiquity, or you wish he’d talk about something other than where he’s from for five seconds—hey, I’m not mad, I don’t like Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons. But if you don’t like rap music—a genre that contains multitudes—because of a self-satisfied moralism, or because you’re scared of it, or because you wish those people would stop talking about their problems and get out of your television and radio and kids’ bedrooms: well.

And I’m not just talking about the American right, I’m talking about all the well-meaning white folks who’ve told me how they want to like Lil Wayne but lo, the misogyny, the violence, the drugs. But, but, I’ll say: Bob Dylan aced misogyny; the Rolling Stones sang about violence; the Velvet Underground knew their way around some drugs. Yeeeah, but it’s different, they’ll say, elongating that “yeah” with conspiratorial inflection: you know what I mean. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

Rap music doesn’t get unarmed kids shot to death, “it’s different” does. “It’s different” infuses “these assholes always get away” and gives solace to people who hear that sound bite and nod their empty heads in agreement. “It’s different” is the same logic that suggests a teenager’s skin color combined with the music he listened to means he had it coming, and it’s the same logic that lets a bunch of people feign outrage over a teenager’s use of the n-word to describe himself when they’re really just outraged that he beat them to the punch.

“It’s different” makes me shake with anger because it turns music into a dog-whistle to justify the murder of a kid who doesn’t seem all that “different” from me was when I was his age, not that different at all. I liked Skittles and hoodies and weed, too. And yeah, I’m white and never worried about getting shot for any of it, which is only the most loathsome excuse for not identifying with someone that I can possibly think of.

Jack Hamilton, “America Is Dying Slowly: Talking About Hip-Hop After Trayvon Martin” (Good)

but for real: read this.

(via champagnecandy)