July 30, 2010

Working with small data sets

tacoma narrows bridge
Every belief is a hypothesis, every action an experiment.

July 20, 2010

Certain inexorable trends

And what made it extraordinarily clever [...] was that this project would not even be a struggle as such. They would not have to defeat any adversary or overcome any obstacle - merely ride along with certain inexorable trends. All they [...] had to do was notice these trends.
Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver, p224

July 19, 2010

Live like there's no tomorrow

...propaganda was above all effective where it was building upon, not countering, already existing values and mentalities.

July 18, 2010

The mistress of the house

hate has quite eaten her up inside. but the pleasure of ownership has remained.
Women As Lovers, Elfriede Jelinek, p173

July 17, 2010

Unenlightened self-interest

Due to a 7-yr old house guest have only been to a bar once in the past month, and thus spent no time listening to people who drink, smoke, eat too much, exercise too little and carry too much debt complaining how stupid ‘the masses’ are for not acting in their own interests.

July 16, 2010

The hate grows ever bigger

the grandmother's role is the soothing role.
that's why granny is liked so much by the children. granny is always disliked by husband and wife, because she interferes.
her own husband, the grandad, hates granny, first of all because he always already hated her when he was younger, which an old much-loved habit, which one cannot give up so easily, and one keeps up this hatred in old age, because what does one have in old age after all, nothing except one's good old tried tested hate.
and the hate grows ever bigger, because the granny has long ago lost her only capital, a beauty which was perhaps present. granny was devalued. grandad, the worn out old duffer, long ago lost the other younger women to other worn out but younger men, who are still able to earn a living.
the younger women won't risk their secure existence at the side of these younger men for an old bugger like him.
so grandad too dies away, more slowly and more drawn-out than his almost-dead wife, but anyhow; dying is dying, lost is lost and gone. and one's own wife will always remind one of the decline from young lad to dirty old man.
Women As Lovers, Elfriede Jelinek, p82

July 15, 2010

The better life of others

but paula goes on looking at the better world, wherever she can grab hold of it, no matter where, in the cinema or with a summer visitor. but it always only the better life of others, never her own.
Women As Lovers, Elfriede Jelinek, p19

July 14, 2010

Wonderful times

terrible, this slow dying. and the husbands and the wives die away together, the husband does get a bit of variety, he watches over his wife like a watchdog outside, he watches over her as she dies, and from the inside the wife watches over the husband, the female summer visitors, her daughter and the housekeeping money, which must not be boozed away. and from the outside the man watches over his wife, the male summer visitors, his daughter and the housekeeping money, so that he can divert some for his boozing. and so they die in mutual dependence. and the daughter can hardly wait, to be allowed to die at last also, and the parents are already going shopping for the daughter's death: sheets and towels and dish clothes and a used refrigerator. then at least she'll stay dead but fresh.
Women As Lovers, Elfriede Jelinek, p15

July 05, 2010

Blurbs that work

The setting is an idyllic Alpine village where a woman's underwear factory nestles in the woods.

Two factory workers, Brigitte and Paula, dream and talk about finding happiness, a comfortable home and a good man. They realize that their quest will be as hard as work at the factory. Brigitte subordinates her feelings and goes for Heinz, a young, plump, up-and-coming businessman. With Paula, feelings and dreams become confused. She gets pregnant by Erich, the forestry worker. He's handsome, so they marry.

Brigitte gets it right. Paula gets it wrong.
Back cover of Women As Lovers, Elfriede Jelinek