My observations may or may not be related to anything in the books, may or may not be related to anything at all...also included are quotes I like and other miscellanea.


Hey kids! If you don't 'fit-in', you're doing something right. Why fit-in with a corrupt society?
You can survive high school, no matter how it feels right now, it ends. And two years after, you won't remember their names. 
Instead of the horrors of 'band', or the football or basketball nightmare of macho posturing, join a good martial arts program. No, not to beat people up. A good school teaches self defense, not offensive self. You will learn poise under pressure, excellent proprioceptive skills (balance, awareness of the space around you and where you are in it), build stamina, expand your vocabulary, among other benefits like focus. Taekwondo is available almost everywhere, but you may prefer aikido or judo. The system doesn't matter, attendance does.

When life hands you lemons, make peace

Do you regard marriage as an institution to establish a family? Is not the family a unit in opposition to society? Is it not a self enclosing activity that brings about division, separation, the high and the low, the powerful and the weak? The family as a system appears to resist the whole; each family opposes other families, other groups. Is not the family with its property one of the causes of war?
The problem is not the family, but the desire to be secure. Is not the desire for security exclusive? The spirit of exclusiveness shows itself as the family, as property, as the State, the religion and so on. Does not this desire for inward security build up outward forms of security which are always exclusive? The very desire to be secure destroys security.
Exclusion, separation, must inevitably bring about disintegration; nationalism, class antagonism, and war are its symptoms. The family as a means of inward security is a source of disorder and social catastrophe.
J. Krishnamurti Commentaries on Living II

That tree is talking

Insects….get some

It doesn’t matter if it’s Christians, Muslims or Hindus, as Krishnamurti said, ‘The disciples are worshipping dead knowledge, dead tradition, a dead teacher. Most of us never know what it is to live because we are living with the dead.’

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the total number of calories your body burns at rest. Also called resting metabolic rate (RMR)
BMR calculator 1

BMR calculator 2

“You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

The mind, with its incessant weaving of patterns, is the maker of time; and with time there is fear, hope, and death. Hope leads to death.
Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living vol. 2 

Maybe self-improvement isn't the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club 

…the living were the dead…the disciples were worshipping dead knowledge, dead tradition, and a dead teacher.
J Kriishnamurti, Commentaries on Living II

Kintsugi キンツギ  
Kintsugi, also known as Kintsukuroi, is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. Wikipedia

There is always a well known solution to every human problem---
neat, plausible and wrong.
H.L. Mencken

Free Will Isn't Free

The Valley Spirit never dies
It is named the Mysterious Female
And the doorway of the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang
Lao Tzu

If you want to get to the plain truth
Be not concerned with right and wrong
The conflict between right and wrong
Is the sickness of the mind
Seng Ts’an, Third Chinese Patriarch of Chán 

I'm a wary believer in signs and portents. The universe is always muttering threats.
Isaiah Coleridge, Blood Standard, Laird Barron

We are ego machines, but we do not have selves. We cannot leave the ego tunnel, there is nobody who could leave.
The ego results in part from the constant attempt to sustain its own coherence and that of the organism harboring it; thereby arises the constant temptation to sacrifice intellectual honesty in favor of emotional well being.
Since our inbuilt existential need for full emotional and physical security can never be fulfilled, we have a strong drive toward delusion and bizarre belief systems.
Thomas Metzinger, The Ego Tunnel

If there is a God, either nobody knows what God wants or God wants everything to be exactly as it is.

​The trick to ending a tantrum, the scientists concluded, is to get the child over the anger peak as quickly as possible and the trick to that was ... doing nothing. Even intervening to ask what was wrong appeared to prolong the process.
From a study by Michael Potegal, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota

“I met a man at a party. He said, ‘I’m writing a novel.’ 
I said, ‘Oh really? Neither am I.’”
Peter Cook

…cognitive neuroscience has shown that the process of conscious experience is just an idiosyncratic path through a physical reality so unimaginably complex and rich in information that it will always be hard to grasp just how reduced our subjective experience is. While we are drinking in all the colors, sounds, and smells—the diverse range of our emotions and sensory perceptions—it’s hard to believe that all of this is merely an internal shadow of something inconceivably richer. But it is.
Thomas Metzinger, The Ego Tunnel

I confess to not understanding what physicists mean by spacetime. 
Whose time? Earth time? The universe knows nothing of Earth time, why would it know anything of time? Time on Jupiter is vastly different than Earth time, not to mention the millions of years it takes light to reach us from distant stars. We see the light as it was in the past, the stars are already in a future we haven’t seen yet.

Mind, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

I keep seeing news stories, including video, of citizens arguing with cops, and losing. People, when a guy with a gun, a taser, handcuffs, and a baton tells you to move, get down, get up, do the hokey pokey, you do it. You can sort out the indignities later, while you are still alive to do it.

Names I’d love to NEVER hear again.
Trump, Michael Jackson, Game of Thrones, any Kardashian.

TV I am unable to process: 
-ESPN with endless talking heads talking endlessly about this player or that team and who should have done, or may do, this or that.
-Netflix Originals, mastering the art of filling screen time with empty scenes that don’t move the story forward.

Insanity is hereditary, you catch it from your children.

Trash Girl had to change schools because her idiot classmates trashed her for being conscientious enough to pick up roadside trash and dispose of it properly.

Girls Gone Sane

Offering advice to someone shows that you’ve been listening, expecting them to take it shows you haven’t been paying attention.
​Dale Dauten

It can read your mind, started with good intentions for the speech disabled…then the ‘authorities’ glom onto it, and use it as the ultimate lie detector

Live long and prosper…immortality, whatever…even

‘Stop thinking., You were made for better things than thoughts.’
Claire DeWitt, The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

Five year old daughter asks, “Mom, who is Jesus fucking Christ?”
Paraphrased from Lost Children Archive, Valeria Luiselli

There are metaphors that are more real than the people walking down the street.
There are images in the secret corners of books that live more clearly than many men and women. There are literary phrases that possess an absolutely human individuality.
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Many thoughts, many words…clean your house

'In the present moment, when your mind remains in its own condition without constructing anything, Awareness at that moment is itself quite ordinary.
And when you look into yourself this way with no descriptive thought, since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid clarity without anyone being there who is the observer, only a naked manifest awareness is present, which is empty and immaculately pure, not being created by anything whatsoever.
It is authentic and unadulterated, without any duality of clarity and emptiness.
It is not permanent yet it is not created by anything.
However, it is not mere nothingness or something annihilated, because it is lucid and present.
It does not exist as a single entity because it is present and clear in terms of being many.
Yet, it is not created as a multiplicity of things because it is inseparable and of a single flavor.
This inherent self awareness does not derive from anything outside itself.
This is the real introduction to the actual condition of things.'
Padmasambhava

Nothing creative happens by following

'Out of a few misunderstandings of reality we construct beliefs and hopes, and we live on these crusts which we call bread, just like poor children who play at being happy.'
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Hot

'Today I suddenly experienced an absurd but quite valid sensation. I realized, in an intimate lightening flash, that I am no one. No one, absolutely no one.'
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

When I’m dead, I’m going to leave my ashes to science.

Creation is contemplation and contemplation is creation.
When sunyata (emptiness) remains in itself and within itself, it is contemplation; when it subjects itself to differentiation it creates. As this act of differentiation is not something imposed on it but an act of self-generation, it is creation; we can say it is creation out of nothing.
DT Suzuki, Studies in Zen
 
…perhaps the fairy tales are right, she thinks: ‘No matter what you do, somebody always gets boiled.’
Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride
 
‘Writing is both the excursion into and the excursion out of one’s life. That is the queasy paradox of artistic life….the thing that removes one both painfully and deliciously from the ordinary shape of existence. It joins another queasy paradox: that life is an amazing, hilarious, blessed gift and that it is also intolerable.’
Lorrie Moore, See What Can Be Done

The space encompasses all things, without emptiness, nothing can exist.
 
If you understand Zen, you don’t understand Zen.
​If you don’t understand Zen, you understand Zen.

DeathWatch
I’m not sure deleting these atrocities is the solution. Much of the world’s nastiness is hidden from sight, reading about it isn’t the same. It’s like the US government’s refusal to allow video of soldiers returning…in caskets. Pretending this horror never happened does nothing to address the source.

​The space encompasses all things, without emptiness, nothing can exist.
 
If you understand Zen, you don’t understand Zen. If you don’t understand Zen, you understand Zen.
Zen is like quantum physics, if you understand it, you don’t understand it.


One surefire way to get smarter is to be less stupid. Krishnamurti said, ‘If a stupid man knew he was stupid, he wouldn’t be stupid anymore.’ That seems simple enough, except stupid people don’t know they’re stupid because they’re…stupid, leading to Ron White's observation, 'You can't fix stupid'.

​When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.
William Wordsworth

Death twitches my ear;
'Live,' he says...
'I'm coming.
Virgil

 'One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar.'
Oscar Wilde

We cannot help thinking of our theories, our systems, our magnificent and futile mental constructions in whose corners some victim can always be found crouching.
Marguerite Yourcenar, The Dark Brain of Piranesi

Want privacy in public? Wear a hat, sunglasses, and shut up.

Be not solicitous for tomorrow; for tomorrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6

‘One of the strange laws of contemplative life is that in it you do not sit down and solve problems: you bear with them until they somehow solve themselves. Usually the solution consists in a discovery that they only existed insofar as they were inseparably connected with you own illusory exterior self. The solution of most such problems comes with the dissolution of this false self.
And consequently another law of contemplative life is that if you enter it with the set purpose of seeking contemplation, or worse still, happiness, you will find neither. The contemplative self is content to be.’
Thomas Merton,  The Inner Experience

Survival is overrated

‘Beware irony, ignore criticism, look to what is simple, study the small and humble things of the world, do what is difficult precisely because it is difficult, do not search for answers, rather love the questions, do not run away from sadness or depression for these might be the very conditions necessary to your work. Seek solitude, above all seek solitude.’
Sigrid Nunez, The Friend

Tech addiction is not one of my problems, I don’t tweet, or Facebook, no Instagram or Snapchat, never played a video game. I have an advantage, my tribe is sizable, we live in the same house and get along splendidly. If you have a different circumstance and need to cut down your screen time, here’s a guy who went from all screen all the time, to some screen sometimes.

Read this, be that

‘When people gifted with at least a little intelligence repeatedly think about the problems of identity, life, or death, sooner or later they’re likely to arrive at reasonable, even original conclusions.
​I’ve never been able to spend much time mulling over such topics: I get distracted after a couple of minutes, odd places in my body start to itch. And so I’ve never arrived at any truly interesting conclusion about myself.’
Valeria Luiselli, Sidewalks

‘This life is a hospital where every patient is possessed with the desire to change beds.’
Charles Baudelaire, Anywhere out of the World

External quiet is irrelevant (mostly) it’s internal silence that matters

​Compassion
begins at home

Laptop Philosophy: When you gaze into Windows, Windows also gazes into you.

‘…learning a language is a first banishment, an involuntary, silent exile to the interior of that nothing in the heart of everything we name. Perhaps learning to speak is realizing, little by little, that we can say nothing about anything.’
Valeria Luiselli, Sidewalks

‘Patriotism is a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it.’
George Bernard Shaw

Fascinating stuff….a personalized map of you.

Humans were slowly killing their own ecosystem, now there are far too many people killing the ecosystem far too quickly. Zen and Bees

‘Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance.
In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.’
Orson Wells as Harry Lime in The Third Man

Dolphins live in the ocean, not theme parks. No animal should be removed from its natural habitat to entertain humans. Zoos and other animal attractions should be illegal, with perhaps an exception for endangered species, for humane reasons, not for public viewing.

Regrets, you have them, I have them, but we need not cling to them. Click the link for a few suggestions.
​Or, you could go oriental, where there is respect and appreciation for the broken and repaired, the character marks that say, ‘imperfection is perfection’. Kintsugi キンツギ

‘The human understanding, once it has adopted an opinion, collects any instances that confirm it, and though the contrary instances may be more numerous and more weighty, it either does not notice them or else rejects them, in order that this opinion will remain unshaken.’
Sound like modern psychology?
Nope, that insight was penned by philosopher Francis Bacon in 1620.It seems we never learn.

There’s someone in my head but it’s not me...depersonalization disorder

Get your creative on…anyone can do it. Understand that whatever your creative thing is, art, music, writing, a sport, science, at first, second and third, it won’t be good…that doesn’t matter, keep at it …you will get better in small increments, then, BOOM, it all falls into place.

The problem with constant entertainment is habituation. Like any addiction, amusement requires stronger hits, Pong becomes Pac Man, then Mario, then Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto. Pokemon Go turns into Pokemon Showdown. The next inevitability for the dopamine tsunami is playing for real, you know, like Stand Your Ground.

How I decide to not read a book
If the jacket cover or review says anything resembling ‘a family saga of love and loss’, or any mention of redemption, or finding redemption.
If the description refers to ‘a woman returns to her hometown after years away and
a) finds true love with the boy she left behind 
b) uncovers long held family secrets
If the book starts in the present, bounces back to some past time, then jumps to years in-between, or if there are multiple points of view, such as one character speaks in one chapter, then a different character in another.
No amnesia, it’s been done, it’s boring.
If the cover pictures a chiseled bare chested man, a horse, or a bunch of people dressed like Vikings, or soldiers of any kind.
Anything cover with a swastika.

Sometimes I have the feeling that nothing that happens happens, because nothing happens without interruption, nothing lasts or endures or is ceaselessly remembered, and even the most monotonous and routine existences, by its apparent repetitiveness, gradually cancels itself out, negates itself, until nothing is anything and no one is anyone they were before, and the weak wheel of the world is pushed along by forgetful beings who hear and see and know what is not said, never happens, is unknowable and unverifiable. What takes place is identical to what doesn’t take place, what we dismiss or allow to slip by us is identical to what we accept and seize, what we experience identical to what we never try, and yet we spend out lives in a process of choosing and rejecting and selecting, in drawing a line to separate these identical things and make our story a unique story that we can remember and that can be told. We pour all our intelligence and our feelings and our enthusiasm into the task of discriminating between things that will all be made equal, if they haven’t already been, and that’s why we’re so full of regrets and lost opportunities, of confirmations and reaffirmations and opportunities grasped, when the truth is that nothing is affirmed and everything is constantly in the process of being lost. Or perhaps there never was anything.
Javier Marias, A Heart so White

Pre-publication snit-fits. How is it that the same people who want ‘diversity’ get apoplectic when a novel portrays things they don’t like, or are offended by.
They demand diversity then deny it.
More importantly, it’s a novel, fiction, it’s made up, imaginary, not real, and who decreed that nobody should ever be upset by anything in a book?

“I just want to leave you with something I’ve learned in this process,” he said, referring to his quarterbacking years. “I feel like we all have two battles or two enemies going on. One with the man across from you. The second is with the man inside of you. I think once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn’t matter.”
Tony Romo
Now all you have to do is figure out who is the ‘you’ doing the controlling.

Self interest and self concern are the focal points of the false. Your daily life vibrates between desire and fear. Watch it intently and you will see how the mind assumes innumerable names and shapes, like a river foaming between two boulders. Trace every action to its selfish motive and look at the motive intently until it dissolves. 
​Nisargadatta

A book pulled from publication for its ‘depiction’ of slavery?
It’s a novel…she made it up, as in imaginary. People need to get a grip on this PC crap, this isn’t free speech, it’s coerced conformity. Besides, who’s going to read a book with a character called Ramson Quicktongue? A woman’s dream man…Ram-son Quicktongue, really now, the whole business is laughable, childish.
Perhaps it’s just a publicity ploy and she will ‘announce’ that she’s going to publish it anyway.

There is always a well known solution to every human problem---
neat, plausible and wrong.
H.L. Mencken

Everybody twists, prevaricates and outright lies; you, me and the man behind the tree. Not our finest moments….these three took it too far.

​People give up personal data in exchange for exposure on social media, then complain about privacy. Did you think they provided that capability out of generosity, a gift, a platform to Bring Us All Together? Do you live in a Coke commercial?

'Not only do I not know what I want to write, I don’t even know where I want to get to, I don’t even have a narrative plan I can propose before or after my novels have been written; indeed, when I begin a novel, I don’t even know what it is going to be about, what will happen or who the characters will be or how many, let alone how it will end.’
Javier Marias, Roving with a Compass, essay in Between Eternities
Pretty much describes me. When I started on the MLOC novels, all I had was an idea of two unrelated girls who discovered, without meeting beforehand, that they could be in each others' mind. That was it, no plot, no outlines, no character lists.

Choire Sicha gives good column, read him

Good advice from John Grisham, most of which I follow, sometimes not. I don’t like ‘very’, as in very happy, very hard. I don’t like ‘some’, as in do you want some coffee, some tea, some breakfast. We can figure out on our own that the character doesn’t want all the coffee in the world, some is an extra word you generally don’t need. How to tell? Read the sentence, even out loud, with and without it. It will be evident that you either need it or not.

In every work of fiction, there are nuggets of wisdom. Some only revealed after rereading, others, if you can put aside your critical mind, your biases, or at least know that you are biased, will open entirely new vistas that would never rise to your awareness on their own.

“Never be cool. Never try to be cool. Never worry what the cool people think. Head for the warm people. Life is warmth. You’ll be cool when you’re dead.”
Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig

Decluttering both your external and internal living space. Marie Kondo

Quite an egglegant story

‘When you mind is at rest, what it is really doing is bouncing thoughts back and forth. Your association cortices are always running in the background, but when you are not focused on some task—that’s when your mind is most free to roam..when you most actively create new ideas.’
Nancy Andreasen, neuroscientist

Did what she had to do

'I shall have to accept the fact, I'm afraid, that her mind is a very thin soil, laid an inch or two deep on barren rock.'
Virginia Woolf reviewing Bliss, a short story by Katherine Mansfield

'Frozen Thoughts: defined as deeply held ideas and principles we long ago developed and no longer question. Complacent reliance on such accepted ‘truths’ is akin to thoughtlessness.'
Hannah Arendt, political theorist and philosopher.

‘That is why the quality of grit is important: When you reach an impasse, you may feel frustrated and be tempted to give up. But that is precisely the moment when, if you keep struggling, your ACC may kick into action and your most original ideas begin to surface.’
Elastic, Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change, Leonard Mlodinow

*ACC, anterior cingulate cortex

‘On some days, my head is filled with such wild and original thoughts that I can barely utter a word.
​On other days the liquor store is closed.’
Frank Varano, musician

‘…we do know that the default network governs our interior mental life, the dialogue we have with ourselves, both consciously and subconsciously…absent the sensory input from the outside world, it looks toward our inner selves. When that happens, the neural networks of our elastic thought can access the database of knowledge, memories and feelings stored in the brain, combining concepts we normally would not associate, and connections we would not normally recognize.’
(I paraphrased the text a bit, the intended meaning is not compromised)
Elastic, Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change, Leonard Mlodinow

No one ever welcomes the truth. No one ever congratulates you for pointing it out and you will not be thanked.
Claire De Witt, The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

The cognitive process underlying creative thinking:
--Preparation and impasse, awareness of the problem and failure to resolve with normal problem solving strategies
--Incubation, after cognitive and/or emotional tension, withdrawal from the problem and a period of incubation
--Illumination, solution suddenly emerges from the unconscious shifting one’s personal paradigm (how we think of ourselves in the world)
--Verification, validity of insight tested found true and a subsequent release of tension
Mike Jackson, clinical psychologist
Daphne’s comment: this ‘aha’ applies to all learning and creative advances. Doesn’t matter if it’s learning calculus, painting, writing, or any other form of expanding one’s limits, sports to meditation. There will eventually be a wall, a cognitive obstacle, at first seeming to be insurmountable. You can feel your brain expanding, a physical sensation..then out of nowhere, POP!, a solution, everything falls into place.

Duality to unity and back again…ad infinitum
‘For the entire life of our universe, we see an endless procession of forms taking shape, lasting for some time, then passing away once again back into the unified field from which they came.’
From: Rethinking Madness, Paris Williams, Ph.D.

What you resist, persists, makes it stronger, embeds it more deeply in your brain. You become the thing you want to avoid becoming.

Step back from your Facebook Wall for a moment: Doesn’t it, suddenly, look a little ridiculous?
Your life in this format?
Zadie Smith, Feel Free

I found it hard, it's hard to find
Oh well, whatever, never mind
Kurt Cobain, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away
--Antagonish, Hughes Mearns

Hunt for as long as you want, there’s nobody home. The world is contained within you, and you’re not there.
Daniel Kehlmann

Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter

​I read an opinion column, which one is not important, where the author claimed to be a ‘fiscal Republican and social Democrat’.
I call bullshit. The two are mutually exclusive. Why? Because the message is, ‘I want to appear liberal but not if it costs me anything.’

High Hopes, and a bit of uh-oh, AI and you.

Article on sleep aides via background sounds
I use Lectrofan, small, various options for white noise or a fan, volume adjustable.

Alleged Christians...you do realize that Jesus was a socialist Jew.

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
 Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
--Well Alice, it seems your dream has come true

Geniuses may do eccentric things, but doing eccentric things won’t make you a genius. The good news is, eccentricity, intentional or not, can open you up, let you out of your box so to speak. You needn’t go extreme, wear two different color socks once in a while, put on a hat you wouldn’t be caught dead in, eat stuff you’ve never tried, have a silent day, you get the idea…expanding your self-imposed limits will…well, expand your limits.
Medium article on creativity

Little worthwhile is comfortable. The fun of life is to stay dissatisfied, curious and challenged. Life is challenge. The dead are comfortable; the comfortable may as well be.

Parents, quit trying to please your kid, to ‘make’ them happy. Children are happy when their parents are, unhappy parents have unhappy, troublesome kids.

“…as life wore on, I would realize that most people think everyone hates them. The truth is worse, for most people, no one is thinking of them at all.”
Claire DeWitt, The Infinite Blacktop, Sara Gran

​Remember paint by numbers? This is that…sort of, Picasso, Dali, Magritte, without Picasso, Dali or Magritte.

Zero gravity is a myth, gravity is everywhere, it was there before the big bang, it is everywhere now, it will be everywhere forever.

Everything that happened, is happening or will happen has already happened. It just seems as if there is a past, present and future.

​​Why is anyone stillCatholic?Or any religion? The whole bit ranges from absurd to cruel.

​​Listen up maggots! Get out there and fail, fail BIG…gloriously. If you don’t, you aren’t trying very hard. That’s why resumes are so useless and Facebook is a joke, everyone hides their screw-ups. Applications should require at least three examples of errors, bad judgment or simple bad luck, nothing is learned by getting everything right, that’s only for robots. Certainty is the death of creativity.Rejection Rules 

You Matter, unless you hustle at the speed of light, then You Energy.

I think my writing would be better, more interesting anyway, if I left more out, or at least unexplained. That way the reader could fill in the not said with their own perspective.

''The world is not what it seems, but it isn't anything else either.'
Raymond Queneau

‘There is another world, but it’s in this one.’
Paul Éluard

Maybe it was the New York Thames?

Who would you rather have as President, a baboon with bad hair, or Ellen?

'Explaining something makes it go away. Ideally, if it were any good, it would be indescribable.'
Edward Gorey

Keep it simple, but not too simple. Think of the velvet rope at the club, no line, nobody wants in, make them line up they all want in.
From the article: “It goes back to values,” Ms. Smith said. “People perceive it as harder to get into, and they want to be a part of it.”

The good news is there is good news

‘If you know what you are going to write, it’s going to be average.’
Derek Walcott, 1992 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature

From the book: When I referred to James’ Asperger’s Syndrome, he replied gently, ‘I am an Asperger, pure and simple—I do not have or suffer from any artificially constructed syndrome, disorder, disease or flaw.’
Anil Ananthaswamy, The Man Who Wasn’t There.

Believe in the simple magic of life, in service in the universe, and the meaning of that waiting, that alertness, that ‘craning of the neck’ in creatures, will dawn upon you.
Martin Buber

My books are a bit sci-fi, but lately it's been hard to keep up with reality.
Baby Satellites

​​You know that feeling, when you sense someone staring at you?
Turns out, they are.
This is a list of government surveillance projects and related databases throughout the world.

Defense is equal to offense, cause you're gonna get hit, best learn how to take it and survive.

​And directly related to my post above...
Fromthe column: 'career success is rarely about finding the right solution to a problem — it’s more about finding the right problem to solve.'

Everything old is new again...sort of

​Fromthe article: 'I’ve heard plenty of my fellow parents either justify doing it — or grumble about the fact that it’s generally not a socially acceptable thing to do — by declaring, “It didn’t do me any harm".'
Daphne says, Yes, it did, because you see hitting a child as justifiable discipline, which is stupid. You hit them because you don't have the self control you expected from a child. 

From the headline: 'Their more meritocratic, diverse and secular successors RULE US neither as wisely nor as well.'NYT
Two words defining the problem, the submissive acceptance of so called leaders and rulers. See, the one who pays is the boss, the one who collects the salary is the employee. Politicians are neither leaders nor rulers, they are employees.

Interesting and entertaining scifi without grotesque creatures and spaceships.
Zero Sum Game by SL Huang

Creativity lives alone. We are always influenced by the people around us, not just consciously, much influence is subliminal. Most people are trapped in a box of ideas, ideology and biases, it feels safer there. Creativity is not safe, and alone is not lonely.
From the article: Why think about what doesn’t need to be thought about? Why not remove choice from all those things that don’t reward choice? Why not wear the same turtleneck every day if that means you don’t have to waste time thinking about what to wear, every day, ever again? Why not live on air?

Unlike the Zombie Apocalypse, the Insect Apocalypse is real. The Human Apocalypse isn’t far behind…better wake up people, or your children’s children will be the next extinction.

‘…time to look at the poverty of imagination in its broadest venue: the political narratives of the United States as created by our political leaders and their comrades in the media, technology and business. Here the implications of the poverty of imagination are starkest and most deadly…add to this list of comrades the military, but the truth is we don’t really hear much from them…politicians do the work of justifying the military’s existence and the 50% of the discretionary federal budget that the military gobbles up, leaving all of 8% to education. So the military can afford to be strong and silent. They’re professional killers, you see. They don’t do talk.’
Curtis White, The Middle Mind
Daphne notes: This farce continues due to the ease of distractibility of a public that applauds the flag, and pledges allegiance which, I presume, let’s them ignore the basic necessity of voting, requiring them to actually DO something besides complain.

This is Cop Mentality…protect and serve has nothing to do with it

Brooks thinks if we just sit around the campfire with s’mores and sing kumbaya, we can dodge social collapse. It’s about the MONEY David, it’s always about the money. You have yours, now you want the bottom half to behave as the rich throw a few crumbs at them..this isn’t Mardi Gras, plastic trinkets don’t cut it.

​Here’s a perfect example of the wrongheadedness of ‘good guy with a gun’. When cops respond to a shooting, how are they supposed to distinguish between a guy with a gun and a guy with a gun?

Nobody lives up to their potential, primarily because nobody wants to step too far out of their cultural box. Another reason is fear of failure, of ‘looking’ bad, as if the opinions of others were relevant to anything.

Nothing is accomplished in ‘safe spaces’, the demand of massively insecure college students ensures that college will prepare them for future mediocrity.

Daphne says: As religion fades, new (old) religions arise from the ashes of ignorance. It seems that people have to have a belief system, a guide. Personally, I use a dartboard. A tiny bullseye is 'yes', the thin line around the edges is 'no', the fat grey area in between is 'maybe'.
From the article: “When it comes to figuring out your identity on a larger scale, I think people are moving toward, ‘I don’t want to be funny about this anymore,’” she said. “‘I want to be more serious about what my identity means.’”
--What the identity searchers don't get is that, everyday, identity changes, just a little, or in case of trauma, a lot. The notion that personality is fixed at birth is childish.

Some quick to arm,
some for adventure,
some from fear of weakness,
some from fear of censure,
some for love of slaughter, in imagination,
learning later . . .
some in fear, learning love of slaughter;
Died some, pro patria,
non “dulce” non “et decor” . . .
walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving
came home, home to a lie,
home to many deceits,
home to old lies and new infamy;
usury age-old and age-thick
and liars in public places.
Ezra Pound, Hugh Selwyn Mauberly, 1920
Sound familiar? All politics is recycled bullshit, the lies of old men

The horror! This phrase is originally found in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The final reflection of Kurtz on his own life, actions, and humankind ...
Replicated by Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) in the film Apocalypse Now

Pop Goes Your Mind...don't worry, it's good for creativity, which is mostly a matter of making connections others don't. Contrariwise, not so good if your schizophrenic.
From the article: "If many different concepts remain activated in your mind, you can make connections more efficiently than if activation disappears right away."

I cannot—will not—go through life with a dead body on my back.
Henrik Ibsen, Rosmersholm

From the article: After a couple of decades of constant advice to “follow our passions” and “live our dreams,” for a certain type of relatively privileged modern freelancer, nothing less than total self-actualization at work now seems enough.
--Daphne asks, which Self are you trying to self-actualize? The one when you're alone, or the one when you're at work, or the self you show your friends or relatives, or the semi-reality of your Facebook image? 

Apparently God likes indigenous people who want to be left alone better than he likes self-absorbed Christianswho feel everyplace is open for their pathetic ‘adventures’, cause, you know, God and all…whatever…even  Natives 1...Christidiots 0

​Fascinating snapshot of you…or not you…BBC

“I truly regret this incident,” Peterson said at the time, claiming that he loved his son and was trying to employ the same methods of discipline that he felt helped mold him effectively as he grew up in East Texas.
Daphne says: The sheer level of ignorance here is breathtaking, ‘daddy whipped me and I’m okay (sic), so I’ll wail on my son’ who will, guess what, do the same bully crap to his kids.
The whole male attitude towards ‘I got it, so now somebody else gets it is a time dishonored tradition. Fraternity hazing comes to mind.
I once asked a surgeon who trained surgeons if he hazed and bullied his residents. He said, “Of course, I took it when I was a resident, now it’s their turn.”
Adrian Peterson outs himself as an asshole This is how to perpetuate the stupidity that might is right, and is the source of all wars.

​From the NYT article on AI: ‘In many cases, this new breed of artificial intelligence is also an ideal means of deceiving large numbers of people over the internet. Mass manipulation is about to get a whole lot easier.’
Daphne asks, why worry about AI, religions have been manipulating people for centuries and even gets parents to spread the lies to their children.

‘…let us stifle all memories in our sense of freedom, in joy, in passion.’
Henrik Ibsen, Rosmersholm
Daphne comment: remembering where your keys are, or dance steps, is one thing, much of memory is a prison. You can't go forward by looking back.

Unconditional love, with conditions…way to go mom and dad…fuckers

‘it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence’
William Kingdon Clifford, The Ethics of Belief, 1877, Aeon article here

Regarding Brexit. England is no longer a world power. It’s a theme park, like Disneyland, except wetter. This has not sunk into the British brain, living on memories of an empire that no longer exists, that began to die when Winston Churchill did. (If anything remains glorious, it’s William and Kate, Harry and Meghan) After WWII, the only thing grand about the UK was Monty Python. The parrot sketch was prescient. England is the guy who sold John Cleese a dead parrot and, like the pet shop proprietor, remains in total denial.

Overpopulation is killing the planet
Developments in gene sequencing and AI
Are allowing for fewer deaths and longer lives
Fortunately, humans love war

From New York Times article on Facebook Follies
‘Part of the reason is that we tend to forget that technology is only as good as the people who use it. We want it to elevate us; we tend to degrade it.’
Nice sentiment, but impossible. See, the higher never elevates the lower, it’s just the opposite, the lower drags down the higher. It's easier to fall than to ascend, like moral gravity.

The fight against this disease or that, fight for equality or fair wages or a ‘way of life’ (whatever that is in the age of instant cultural upheaval), beat cancer, the battleground states, a politician’s war chest…does it occur that everything in America is about the war for or against something? 
Your brain absorbs those words and phrases of violence, and you get out what you put in....yeah, I know, my books are violent, what can I say? Consistency is impossible in hormone driven humans.

The pioneering cognitive psychologist Amos Tversky once joked that where probability is concerned, humans have three default settings: “gonna happen,” “not gonna happen” and “maybe.”
New York Times: AI and prediction

You aren’t a computer or even a calculator, neither device has hormones. Machines don’t get angry, cry or have sex, they don’t want, there’s no blood. I suppose they could be programmed to spout patriotic or religious crap, but deep down in their chips, they really don’t care. Silicon, copper and plastic don’t feel.

Let your mind roam free rather than bludgeon it into mindful obedience. Mental freedom is creative and free, mental discipline is an attempt to put your brain in jail. Daydreaming is your jailbreak.  

Life is a near death experience, nearer every moment, nearer than you think; party on

Zen: attachment to detachment

First rule of contentment: If it’s good enough, it’s good enough

Humans and ideals, both are born, have a moment, eventually deteriorate and putrefy

Rationality requires objectivity
No human is objective
No human is rational

Quotes and things other people wrote that caught my attention

Best personality summary I've read in a while:
​(Seth told me)…’that Emily isn’t too happy about you and Seth spending so much time together.’
‘Imagine that…(Sarah said)…do you know what a truffle is, Mr. Turner?...They’re tubers. They grow underground, on the roots of trees that have spent years earning their place, struggling for it, working their way up into the light. The tuber lives off the tree and gives nothing back.’
‘Okay.’
‘Emily is a truffle.’
Cypress Grove, James Sallis

‘Suicide, the need to be rid of other people.’
Eugene Thacker, Infinite Resignation

There are writers who can express in a mere twenty pages things I sometimes need two whole lines for.
Karl Kraus

There is Matter, Dark Matter, Anti-Matter and recently discovered Doesn’t Matter, that would be us.

Enlightenment is the sudden insight that the universe will get along just fine without you.

You get knocked down. But you get up again. Ain’t never going to keep you down. Because you’re a glutton for punishment. And kind of an idiot.

The view is always better from a distance.

You can 'God Bless America' all you like, if there is a God she doesn't take sides.

Nothing happens until someone feels something, a sense of responsibility, happy, sad, anger, worry, tenderness. We are hormone puppets, and a good thing too.
Harness Your Anxiety

‘Death is only a word. Life is much, much worse.’
​Huis Close (behind closed doors), Jean-Paul Sartre

You want to change the world? Fair enough.
Sit, take a breath, let your shoulders drop, be quiet.
There…you’ve done it.
Dalai Daphne

'The Road Less Traveled, Stumbling on Happiness, Learned Optimism, The How of Happiness….a nauseating list of ineffectual ideas whose odorous pages seem to pour fourth year after year like some kind of psycho-pharmaceutical hemorrhage of the American psyche.
The entire discourse is so unbelievably vapid and imbecilic that I cannot help but make sweeping general indictments against all over-educated, vain and cretinous self-help gurus…'
Eugene Thacker, Infinite Resignation

Rodney Dangerfield: I was making love with my wife, and she had a faraway look in her eyes, and I said, ‘Darling, is there someone else?’ and she said, ‘There must be.’ ” 

What is repulsive about children—all children—is not that they are not yet adults, but that they are already adults—whining, self-absorbed, demanding attention, unable to care for themselves, throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way. Far from what we tell ourselves, children are the most concise expressions of humanity.
Eugene Thacker, Infinite Resignation

Amnesia is the only thing worth looking forward to.
​Only to Sleep, Lawrence Osborne

From Wiki: Blindsight challenges the common belief that perceptions must enter consciousness to affect our behavior; showing that our behavior can be guided by sensory information of which we have no conscious awareness.

They swing between extremes, desire pulls one way, fear the other, slaves to a half dozen hormones. They sing about love and pray for peace, but they know neither.

Is this a violation of religious freedom? After all, Christians, Jews and Muslims murder people they don’t like every day.

‘There are plenty of things in history that are best left in the shadows. Accurate knowledge does not improve people’s lives. The objective does not necessarily surpass the subjective, you know. Reality does not necessarily extinguish fantasy.’
The Commendatore, from Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

Do you want to be treated like an animal in training? Neither do your kids, or your sig other, or your employees. So cut the crap, throw away the carrots and the sticks.
​Get the facts Here

Just finished Murakami's latest, Killing Commendatore. As you see above, I did find one interesting quote in 680 pages, and am reminded of the quote by Ambrose Bierce, 'The covers of this book are too far apart.'
Why?
1) He goes on an on about his almost ex Yuzu, about another character's British cars, repetitive in several others descriptions as well, and an obsession with breasts.
2) Overkill art interpretation.
3) Not enough fleshing out of character Mariye, sad as she has the most potential to be interesting.
4) As in other of Murakami's work, overuse of the word 'some', as in, 'I made some coffee, or some tea, or some dinner, breakfast, lunch. (Other authors are guilty as well, but Murakami brings it to an Olympic level.) I think we as readers can figure out he didn't make all the coffee, breakfasts etc. in the world, so why not, 'I made coffee, tea, lunch? It makes me think authors are being paid by the word so they add irrelevant modifiers where none are needed.
*Yes, I know Murakami has tons of readers and has been translated into 40 languages. I also know I have few readers and have only this website. Still, I can critique, offer observations on what I find dull or distracting.

Keys, glasses, phone, no matter what it is, you find it the last place you look. It can't be any other way.

Americans childproof their existence to better secure the illusion of control and so continue gliding on autopilot while focusing on their appetites and vanities. All of it—the mass production franchises, the shake and bake blockbusters, the commercial jingle pop songs, the seen-one-seen-them-all subdivisions, simply extensions of sloth and willful amnesia. Stretchy pants for the fat ass of the American soul.
Did I tell you I'm a cynic?

It’s hard to figure out a fish when it’s flopping around on the dock of your assumptions. You gotta get wet.

Everyone but everyone makes noises about being critical and open minded. But confirmation is really the only thing they’re interested in. People are as allergic to contradiction as they are to complexity and uncertainty, and none more so than those who devote their lives to religion or politics.

Talking to yourself doesn’t necessarily amount to anything. You can do it for years without experiencing any personal growth or cognitive decline. Listen to yourself however and you eventually become a comedian, whether you want to or not.

What little dignity truth does possess comes from tragedy. It’s all bullshit otherwise, without pain to do the sorting. Mistaking self-interest for truth is just part of the human floor plan, unconsciously covering your own ass. Remortgage your house to by a hybrid lately? No? Let me guess. You have a bunch of excuses.
And maybe that’s not so bad, considering how principles are as likely to get you a Hitler as well as a Gandhi.

Ever been in a car accident? If so, then you know: Life is quick, too quick.
The thing to realize is that every moment is a car accident. It only seems otherwise because the apparent regularity of things fools us into thinking we can intervene and take some measure of control.

Following quotes (asterisked) are from Disciple Manning in the book Disciple of the Dog, R. Scott Bakker
*One of the great paradoxes of being human has got to be the way the past is at much at mercy of the present as the present is at the mercy of the past. As soon as we ziplock something into memory, it becomes static, something we can run circles around. Considered from that standpoint, it really does seem that everything we do is fraught with decisions, as if every moment were a window onto thousands of future possibilities, instead of automatic and obscure.
Which is what they are, pretty much. You can sooner fish water out of a flushing toilet.’

*I’m the archivist of your lesser self…you know, the side of you that calls the shots between official engagements. I’m the bastard who makes your secrets real.

*Amanda was overweight, but in that healthy, pear-shaped way that seems to drive death row inmates crazy.

*We keep waiting for something Shakespearean to happen when most of the world is just an annex to the Jerry Springer show. Squalid. Cheap. Mean-spirited.


Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
  The Second Coming, WB Yeats

Dear Capitalists, 
Capitalism is a system designed to search out and seize competitive advantages. That entire structure is based on getting YOU to do what SOMEBODY ELSE wants you to do.
Think about that for a moment. The system you claim to prize, even worship, is nothing more than a puppet master, and you are its puppet, dancing at the end of your master’s strings. How perfect.​

Ever been in a car accident? If so, then you know: Life is quick, too quick.
The thing to realize is that every moment is a car accident. It only seems otherwise because the apparent regularity of things fools us into thinking we can intervene and take some measure of control.

One of the great paradoxes of being human has got to be the way the past is at much at mercy of the present as the present is at the mercy of the past. As soon as we ziplock something into memory, it becomes static, something we can run circles around. Considered from that standpoint, it really does seem that everything we do is fraught with decisions, as if every moment were a window onto thousands of future possibilities, instead of automatic and obscure.
Which is what they are, pretty much. You can sooner fish water out of a flushing toilet.’

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
  The Second Coming, WB Yeats

Dear Capitalists, 
Capitalism is a system designed to search out and seize competitive advantages. That entire structure is based on getting YOU to do what SOMEBODY ELSE wants you to do.
Think about that for a moment. The system you claim to prize, even worship, is nothing more than a puppet master, and you are its puppet, dancing at the end of your master’s strings. How perfect.

My partial list of annoyances when reading fiction
(let me add that I write for my own amusement, it isn’t easy to make the stories interesting, informative or entertaining, any book needs at least one category, preferably all three, so I fully appreciate the author’s dilemma)
Too many characters. If I get to page twenty and twenty characters have been introduced, I surrender.
Too much description. I don’t care how she was dressed, or what the room looked like, at least not in the detail many authors go on about, sometimes for several paragraphs.
In police procedurals or mysteries, the out of favor cop has issues with the Captain, or the female detective or cop goes on about the boyfriend, or fights with her unwanted partner only to wind up in bed with him on page thirty five.
Also, skip endless maybes, perhaps, what ifs, what time did the murder happen and is it possible suspect X could have done it, returned to the gala and nobody notices.
I am weary of forensics, Mike Hammer solved all sorts of crimes and never had any idea of the stomach contents of the victim.
No amnesia, it’s been done.
No multiple characters as narrators in different chapters, it’s hard enough to keep up with who’s who without changing perspectives every other chapter.
Don’t start me in 1887, then bounce to 1950, then to 1895, then to 1968, you get the idea.
Why does the woman, girl, ALWAYS trip when running through the woods?
Why are people always dropping their guns? 
I don’t care about the protagonists family issues, it isn’t a sociology book.
No actual historical characters, it sounds like name dropping to punch up some literary aspect.
I don’t care about the cop’s whining wife, brought about by ‘the job’ because he’s never at home, or doesn’t get to the kid’s recital. You married a cop honey, not an accountant.
Why do TV shows and movies depict cops or FBI entering a dark home with the power clearly available but instead they prowl around with the gun in one hand and a flashlight over it in the other? First, the power is on, turn on the lights doofus. Second, does it not occur that a flashlight directly over the gun in a dark room makes the cop a great target?

The goal of A.I. isn’t to be perfect, because you can always adjust the metrics. A.I. simply needs to do better than humans can do — which is usually not very hard.
Yuval Noah Harari

‘You want the truth and you want the truth and when you get it you can’t take it and have to turn away.’
Offertory, The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel

It comes as no surprise that neuroplasticity has been linked to mental afflictions ranging from depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder to tinnitus. The more a sufferer concentrates on his symptoms, the deeper those symptoms are etched into his neural circuits. In the worst cases, the mind essentially trains itself to be sick.
… When it comes to the quality of our thought, our neurons and synapses are entirely indifferent.
The Shallows, Nicholas Carr

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Attributed to J. Krishnamurti

Here’s a good idea, substitute one fake religion for another...
Witches Wicca and Satanic Panic

Good Luck Faux-Masters of the Universe, since you can’t predict stock prices or interest rates, or any other damn thing, occupy your wasted time reading self help books. It is gratifying to know that youswallow bullshitjust like you feed your clients.