this week i

worked with pauses only for ramen al dente, a rough week in a suffocating month in an ugly year.  khat did nothing for me.

published our annual employer health benefits survey, coverage from nyt, wsj now bookdown-based.

ask should webmasters sort state by population not alphabetization.  not many nebraskans force numerous new yorkers to toggle down arrow again.

ignore beggars and street hawkers, real-time in-person email spam.  my silence at its core says, "hey not my fault you were born"

want to see that video when they successfully program a drone to remain within the calm eye of the hurricane.  i can't even photograph an airplane.

would create a museum to one day.  buy every newspaper, detail major events, gather media first then photos of worldwide individuals (births, deaths, marriages, divorces) and items, call them artifacts, attached to those hours.  prepare with an army of sunrise and sunset photographers across the globe, maybe boring street-life otherwise but unique to the life of that day.  preserve then wait.

packed my shit.  goodbye first humans, perfect weather.  as they say at the end of every chapter in every history book: what a time to be alive

9/21

this week i

celebrated ethiopian new year with abebech's cooking..


.."could i take a photo?"  "give us seven cents"  "sorry no money"  and turn my back  "wait wait please take photo please"

usually don't let him in the house, but magnificent hail.

read stephen jay gould's bully for brontosaurus, lived while neptune more distant than pluto.

but why fret over lost optimality.  history always works this way.  if montcalm had won a battle on the plains of abraham, perhaps i would be typing en francais.  if a portion of the african jungles had not dried to savannas, i might still be an ape up a tree.  if some comets had not struck the earth (if they did) some 60 million years ago, dinosaurs might still rule the land, and all mammals would be rat-sized creatures scurrying about in the dark corners of their world.  if pikaia, the only chordate of the burgess shale, had not survived the great sorting out of body plans after the cambrian explosion, mammals might not exist at all.  if multicellular creatures had never evolved after five-sixths of life's history had yielded nothing more complicated than an algal mat, the sun might explode a few billion years hence with no multicellular witness to the earth's destruction.
compared with these weighty possibilities, my indenture to qwerty seems a small price indeed for the rewards of history

nowhere does kinsey express more agitation than in his commentary on freud's theory of the shift from clitoral to vaginal orgasm

fox terriers have only firmed up their position ever since.  experts cite this simile, as in a.s. romer's leading text, vertebrate paleontology (3d edition, 1966): "eohippus' was a small form, some specimens no larger than a fox terrier."  they have also entered the two leading high-school texts: (1) otto and towle (descendant of moon, mann, and otto, the dominant text for most of the past fifty years): "this horse is called eohippus.  it had four toes and was about the size of a fox-terrier" (1977 edition); (2) the biological sciences curriculum study, blue edition (1968): "the fossil of a small four-toed animal about the size of a fox-terrier was found preserved in layers of rock."  college texts also comply.  w.t. keeton, in his biological science, the hertz of the profession, writes (1980 edition): "it was a small animal, only about the size of a fox-terrier."  baker and allen's the study of biology, a strong avis, agrees (1982 edition): "this small animal eohippus was not much bigger than a fox-terrier."
you may care little for dawn horses or fox terriers and might feel that i have made much of nothing in this essay.  but i cite the case of the creeping fox terrier clone not for itself, but rather as a particularly clear example of a pervasive and serious disease-the debasement of our textbooks, the basic tool of written education, by endless, thoughtless copying

the fossils from this one small quarry in british columbia exceed, in anatomical diversity, all modern organisms in the world's oceans today.  some fifteen to twenty burgess creatures cannot be placed into any modern phylum and represent unique forms of life, failed experiments in metazoan design.  within known groups, the burgess range far exceeds what prevails today.  taxonomists have described almost a million living species of arthropods, but all can be placed into three great groups-insects and their relatives, spiders and their kin, and crustaceans.  in walcott's single canadian quarry, vastly fewer species include about twenty more basic anatomical designs!  the history of life is a tale of decimation and later stabilization of few surviving anatomies, not a story of steady expansion and progress

artificial selection practiced by breeders proceeds rapidly at first but soon reaches frustrating limits.  jenkin writes of racehorses:
hundreds of skillful men are yearly breeding thousands of racers.  wealth and honor await the man who can breed one horse to have run one part in five thousand faster than his fellows.  as a matter of experience, have our racers improved in speed by one part in a thousand during the last twenty generations?

admiral fitzroy, the former captain of the beagle, waved a bible aloft, shouting over the tumult that it, rather than the viper he had harbored in his ship, was the true and unimpeachable authority

"how can you believe those evolutionists if they can base an identification on a single worn tooth?"  william jennings bryan, the wily old lawyer remarked: "these men would destroy the bible on evidence that would not convict a habitual criminal of a misdemeanor"

9/14

this week i

have no recollection.  a blur of employer-provided health benefits number checking, prescription drug plan data manipulation, aca eligibility survey preparation.  at one point i spent $350 on gifts for friends and then another dollar for lunch.  tabasco on the egg sandwich more expensive than the cumulative other ingredients.  and asshole dog bit me in the stomach lunging for ratty tennis ball.  culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

9/7

this week i

finished the vaccine course.  nobody has ever played with this dog, he couldn't discriminate between my finger and the big stick.

watched some digital photography lectures.  fish-eye lens: these two people are looking at one another.

read the road to wigan pier, frustrated with the world, disenchanted with the alternative..

they may be any age up to sixty or even sixty-five, but when they are black and naked they all look alike

you try walking head down as the miners do, and then you bang your backbone.  even the miners bang their backbones fairly often.  this is the reason why in very hot mines, where it is necessary to go about half naked, most of the miners have what they call "buttons down the back" - that is, a permanent scab on each vertebra

when you think of a coal-mine you think of depth, heat, darkness, blackened figures hacking at walls of coal; you don't think, necessarily, of those miles of creeping to and fro

every miner has blue scars on his nose and forehead, and will carry them to his death.  the coal dust of which the air underground is full enters every cut, and then the skin grows over it and forms a blue stain like tattooing, which in fact it is.  some of the older men have their foreheads veined like roquefort cheeses from this cause

wigan pier has been demolished, and even the spot where it used to stand is no longer certain

to write books you need not only comfort and solitude..you also need peace of mind

when nationalism first became a religion, the english looked at the map, and, noticing that their island lay very high in the northern hemisphere, evolved the pleasing theory that the further north you live the more virtuous you become.  the histories i was given when i was a little boy generally started off by explaining in the naivest way that a cold climate made people energetic while a hot one made them lazy, and hence the defeat of the spanish armada

why should a man who thinks all virtue resides in the proletariat still take such pains to drink his soup silently?  it can only be because in his heart he feels that proletarian manners are disgusting.  so you see he is still responding to the training of his childhood, when he was taught to hate, fear, and despise the working class

a machine evolves by becoming more efficient, that is, more foolproof; hence the objective of mechanical progress is a foolproof world - which may or may not mean a world inhabited by fools

the truth is that when a human being is not eating, drinking, sleeping, making love, talking, playing games or merely lounging about - and these things will not fill up a lifetime - he needs work and usually looks for it, though he may not call it work.  above the level of a third- or fourth-grade moron, life has got to be lived largely in terms of effort.  for man is not, as the vulgarer hedonists seem to suppose, a kind of walking stomach; he has also got a hand, an eye and a brain.  cease to use your hands, and you have lopped off a huge chunk of your consciousness

it would help enormously, for instance, if the smell of crankishness which still clings to the socialist movement could be dispelled.  if only the sandals and the pistachio-coloured shirts could be put in a pile and burnt, and every vegetarian, teetotaller and creeping jesus sent home to welwyn garden city to do his yoga exercises quietly !


8/31