(Quoting andy) This is from ‘we love sheffo’ a new fanzine type thing about how great sheffield is…most of it is kind of about urban design / town planning, but it has a hip hop flavour too:
yo yo peeps this is real life and I’m a tell you about it. So me and my homes is chilling in the ponder rosa and hubs (he’s 2nd in command) is all ‘yo we need more 40s’. they all turns to me, you know, being il duce of the beats, so I hit my pops on the 2way – ‘urgent 40 call ponder rosa’ and he’s all like ‘i’ll pick you up when I drive by’. Got kind of excited at that part. Anyhoo, he rolls by in the mondeo and chaffeurs the don of rhymes (i.e. me) to Jacksons. I look but hey, I don’t know this stock, so I give Janice a heads-up. ‘where the 40s at ?’ and janice gets on the mike, spitting out ‘shelly, this young man’s looking for some 40s. do you know where they are ?’. I’m like yo, are we freestyling ? is this a battle ? D-stroy V Janice who’s hotter ? Holler back. But she’s all like ‘if you don’t stop grabbing that microphone I’ll fetch security’.
A brother can’t find no peace in Crookes.
In 1777, Samuel Johnson wrote Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. (link).
In 1777, the population of London was approximately 800,000 people, a tenth it’s current size and a little larger than modern-day Leeds but smaller than Birmingham. (link)
Just found some transcriptions of Utah Philips’ Stories, from which this, a favourite of mine:
That’s when [Fry Pan Jack] told me – you know, he’d been tramping since 1927 -he said, “I told myself in ’27, if I cannot dictate the conditions of my labor, I will henceforth cease to work.” Hah! You don’t have to go to college to figure these things out, no sir! He said, “I learned when I was young that the only true life I had was the life of my brain. But if it’s true the only real life I have is the life of my brain, what sense does it make to hand that brain to somebody for eight hours a day for their particular use on the presumption that at the end of the day they will give it back in an unmutilated condition?” Fat chance!
Reading Tom Robbin’s Still Life With Woodpecker on the tube this morning i was pleasently surprised by this:
“Neoteny” is “remaining young”, and it may be ironic that it is so little known, because human evolution has been dominated by it. Humans have evolved to their relatively high state by retaining the immature characteristics of their ancestors. Humans are the most advanced of mammals — although a case could be made for the dolphins — because they seldom grow up. Behavioral traits such as curiosity about the world, flexibility of response, and playfulness are common to practically all young mammals but are usually rapidly lost with the onset of maturity in all but humans. Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature
Ha! And with that, I’m off to the Hay Festival.
Taking about the transition from naive ignorance to profound ignorance in the pub last night, this quote came up :
Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.
The quote reminded me of a Chinese poem which touches upon the same distinction
Mount Lu in misty rain; the River Che at high tide.
When I had not been there, no rest from the pain of longing!
I went there and returned…. It was nothing special:
Mount Lu in misty rain; the River Che at high tide.
Both are in Alan Watts’ book The Way of Zen
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity
(this from the very interesting MeatBall Wiki)
Quote #12 (via Ade):
“I try to live each day as though it’s my last. So mostly I just lie in bed slipping in and out of consciousness.”
I laughed my sick ass off
Two quotes from Po Bronson’s What Should I Do With My Life. An annoyingly complacent piece of American self-help literature on the one hand, but on the other I’m a sucker for bite-sized wisdom…
Three guys laying bricks are asked why they’re doing it. The first guy says, ‘I’m doing it for the wages.’ The second guy says, ‘I’m doing it to support my family’. The third guys says, ‘I’m helping to build a cathedral.’
…it is likely that we fall in love with people who bring out the part of ourselves that we’d like to see more of.
An example of implicit academic knowledge maybe? This simile, which Nicol told me last night, is actually pretty true and funny, trust me.
A Nature paper is like a red sports car that flashes past at 100 mph. A paper in Journal of Neuroscience is like a Rolls-Royce that cruises passed at a comfortable pace
A plough man said to Tzu-lu, a follower of Confucius, ‘Under Heaven there is none that is not swept along by the same flood. Such is the world and who can change it? As for you, instead of following one who flees from this man and that, you would do better to follow one who shuns this whole generation of men.’ And with he went on covering the seed.
Tzu-lu went and told his master, who said ruefully, ‘One cannot herd with birds and beasts. If I am not to be a man among other men, then what am I to be?’
– the Analects of Confucius, Book 18
It’s been a good day for quotes. These on, loosely, the scientific process:
People commonly use statistics like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support
rather than for illumination.
– Mark Twain
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself- and you are the easiest person to fool.
– Richard Feynman
I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.
– US Supreme Court judge Oliver Wendell Holmes
[Whilst watching 2001: A Space Odyssy, somewhere near the end]
Jon: I’m bored. I want to watch something else.
Tom: I’m bored too, but I want to know what happens.
Jon: That’s why you have a PhD and I don’t.