from Paolo Amoroso's Journal

The Z80-MBC2 homebrew Z80 computer is a living retrocomputing museum that runs early microcomputer operating systems such as CP/M, QP/M, and UCSD p-System. Since the latter is the one I know least, I explore it with the Z80-MBC2.

On UCSD p-System the user runs programs and manages the system through a series of hierarchical menus, unlike the command interpreters of other operating systems. Navigating the menus down the hierarchy is easy, but sometimes I'm not sure how to get up one level. Pressing the Q key works most of the times, but occasionally nothing happens and I get stuck.

Running UCSD p-System gives a sense of how slow the output is on serial terminals. For example, a demo program to plot an ASCII sine wave takes almost 20 seconds over a 115200 bps serial line to the 8 MHz Z80-MBC2.

It's best demonstrated by this video, which shows the output as well as the menus:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liuKNrMC4bo

Here the Z80-MBC2 runs in a Minicom terminal emulator session under Crostini Linux on my Chromebox.

#z80-mbc2 #retrocomputing #sbc

 
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from Telmina's notes

こちらに書くべきかどうか散々悩みましたが、書きます。

 また、しばらく定期的に通院しなければならなくなりそうです。

 今年1月に右手の小指を骨折したときには、半年ほど通院した挙げ句、結局指は完全には元通りになりませんでした。

 今回は、今まで黙っていましたが、3連休の中日である2022年9月24日(土)の朝からいきなり左足が痛み出し、丸2日以上経過した昨日日中の時点でも痛みが引く気配が全くなかった(それどころか余計に悪化していた)ため、昨日は仕事を早退し、夕方に近所のクリニックに行ってきました。

 なお、そのクリニックは1月に骨折したときにも一度だけ行きましたが、そのときは大病院への紹介状を書いてもらって終わってしまいました。


少なくとも骨折ではないようだが…

 痛めた足を診てもらったところ、検査が必要とのことで、その結果次第で治療方針が変わるとのことです。そのため、今週中にもう一度通院する必要があり、今後の通院については恐らくそのときに医師から告げられると思います。

 とりあえず、痛み止めの薬などを処方してもらい、それらを服用したことで、足の痛みそのものはだいぶ緩和されています。とはいえ、痛みが完全に引いたわけではなく、ましてや患部そのものが治ったわけではありませんので、しばらくはあまり長距離の歩行も出来ないと思います。下手すると、普段であれば徒歩10分程度で行けるヨドバシカメラにも、電車で行かなければならなくなるかも知れません。

 これまで自分は大病を患ったことはないのですが、元々不摂生な生活を送ってきましたので、じわじわと体にきているのかも。

おまけ

 帰宅後、「Stable Diffusion UI」でおバカな画像を作成していました。

a Japanese tall young woman doctor bringing huge syringe at the clinic, wearing white hot pants, dark green tank tops, white boots, dark green headband, and white coat.

This image is created by Stable Diffusion.

 タンクトップにホットパンツという軽装の上に白衣だけ着た女医さんが自分を診てくれるなら、俺はもう死んでもいいなどと思っておりました(ぉぃ)。

 なお、実際に昨日診察していただいた医師は男性でしたけど。

#2022年 #2022年9月 #2022年9月27日 #通院 #仕事 #体調不良 #StableDiffusion #StableDiffusionUI #AI

 
もっと読む…

from Praveen Ramesh

There are three proven ways to have good ideas. At least those that have worked for me

Thinking For Someone Else

It’s so easier to come up with ideas when you’re not the one executing it. It’s much easier to paint a picture to your words and care as a consumer.

Bad Ideas

Lots of them. The harder we work for bad ideas, the better. And eventually a great idea might just slip through.

Cross Pollinating

Connect dots from completely different fields/streams. Relatively easier to contextualise what has worked somewhere else!

 
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from Philosophia

To speak of just or unjust in itself is quite senseless; in itself, of course, no injury, assault, exploitation, destruction can be “unjust,” since life operates essentially, that is in its basic functions, through injury, assault, exploitation, destruction and simply cannot be thought of at all without this character. One must indeed grant something even more unpalatable: that, from the highest biological standpoint, legal conditions can never be other than exceptional conditions, since they constitute a partial restriction of the will of life, which is bent upon power, and are subordinate to its total goal as a single means: namely, as a means of creating greater units of power. A legal order thought of as sovereign and universal, not as a means in the struggle between power-complexes but as a means of preventing all struggle in general […] would be a principle hostile to life, an agent of the dissolution and destruction of man, an attempt to assassinate the future of man, a sign of weariness, a secret path to nothingness.—

Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 2nd Essay, Section 11

Introduction

I was recently struck by this passage in Nietzsche, which briefly and powerfully states a position at once glaringly obvious and deeply uncomfortable. The violence of life is something that most modern people, it seems, have a very confused relationship to. On the one hand, we have jettisoned the Christian conception of God and the supernatural—all that suggests a different, deeper reality not ruled by the principle of violence; on the other hand, we have intensified the Christian concern for justice and equality into an unprecedented societal obsession. We know the natural world is all there is, and that nature is red in tooth and claw; yet won’t rest until violence and oppression are done away with. Assuming life is good, this presents a troubling contradiction. (Suspending this assumption, as Nietzsche’s concludes, this call for absolute justice is simply a call for life’s elimination.)

We might reframe this more generally as the tension between our ideals and what we are. By the latter phrase, of course, I don’t mean what we happen to be because we have not yet attained our ideals—but what we essentially and ineluctably are. We are, of course (whatever else we might be), living beings, a manifestation of life. Life predates upon other life—depends upon its injury and destruction. Of course, life also depends upon cooperation. Aside from examples of mutually beneficial symbiosis, we can see this within an individual organism itself: if a body was ruled by competition, it could not cohere (this is Nietzsche’s point about justice being needed within units of power). Yet even within a body, cells are constantly dying and being replaced—and often actively killed, if they present a threat to the body as a whole.

If violence is constitutive of our being, it’s schizophrenic to be universally opposed to it (that is, when it’s not simply suicidal). Such an endeavor is likely to drain away our vital strength and rejoicing rejoicing and cast a deep gloom over our existence, dooming us to forever despise ourselves. Nietzsche’s affirmation of power and violence as basic conditions of life is one way out of this. Another way is religious: the natural world is violent, but is not the fundamental reality. This is the Christian notion of nature as fallen, and the Christian promise of a perfected world to come. This makes the tension a war between worlds rather than between human thoughts and the biological brains that generate them. If our ideals are rooted in a transcendent realm that is more real and potent than the immanent world we live in, then fully pursuing our ideals need not undermine the conditions of our very existence.

There are, of course, problems with this position. What exactly is this other world we are positing, and how exactly could it be? While faith in it might relieve us of the sense that fighting ourselves is futile, it just creates a deeper level of self-conflict if it cannot convince our intellect. I’ll therefore explore a couple of other approaches to the problem—approaches that are at once religious and (so to speak) reconciled to the world as it is. In these, the transcendent and immanent are both real, but separate. Finally, I’ll offer a couple of suggestions as to how we might move past this present confusion.

Christianity

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. [...] They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:6–9

There is something beautiful in this image of final peace and harmony. The Christian story goes like this: the world was made perfect, out of absolute love; but due to the willful disobedience of its most significant creature, it fell from this original perfection; God in his love will one day restore it, and it will have no more evil or suffering. Therefore, the world of violence we now behold is a temporary perversion of its true nature. Renunciation of violence in the world as it is may lead to our demise—but this is no matter, for the true life (and the true world) is to come. The story of Jesus encapsulates this: renouncing violence, he was crucified—but then gloriously rose in a perfected body, the very substance of the world to come.

In Doors of the Sea, David Bentley Hart writes powerfully about these two worlds (or two modes of the one world):

The Christian should see two realities at once, one world (as it were) within another: one the world as we all know it, in all its beauty and terror, grandeur and dreariness, delight and anguish; and the other the world in its first and ultimate truth, not simply “nature” but “creation”; an endless sea of glory, radiant with the beauty of God in every part, innocent of all violence. To see in this way is to rejoice and mourn at once, to regard the world as a mirror of infinite beauty, but as glimpsed through the veil of death; it is to see creation in chains, but beautiful as in the beginning of days. (p. 61)

He supports his account with the insight of Dostoyevsky (whose Zosima the Elder sees this divinized world) and the testimony of real saints and mystics. Personally, I am willing to credit these experiences. I don’t automatically assume they are delusions; they may be revealing some real aspect of being. And yet, not having had these same experiences, I am at a loss as to how this deeper and more glorious world relates to the world that we know. In the world that we know, the lion predates—is almost defined by its predation (not only in popular imagination, but by the evolutionary necessity for his particular shape, speed, sharpness of teeth, etc.). It seems that for the lion to lie down with the lamb (or the calf), it would not be a lion at all! Likewise, the human being truly free of violence—may not be a human being.

The problem of how God’s glorious creation relates to fallen nature is magnified by the myth of the fall itself: at one point, creation was perfect, and then it was corrupted. But we don’t have any knowledge of this prior world—not in the earliest days of humanity, of our earth, or of the universe itself (the very laws of physics guarantee destruction and decay). There is no continuity in time as we know it. This gives rise to ideas about a different kind of relationship—between time and eternity, or fallen and divine time—but what does any of this mean, exactly? (The ‘time’ of our ordinary experience is ontologically baffling enough.) Actually, time is a good thing to focus on, as time (as we know it) and death are intertwined, just as we are shaped and defined by time.

The mystic insight opened up by burning love and asceticism may reveal an aspect of reality the rest of us, blinded by our fallen natures, cannot comprehend: the glorious, eclipsed essence of our presently violent world. This conception ennobles the natural world, without affirming her violence (a theme I explored more fully in Christ and Kali). But there are, at the very least, rational difficulties with this approach.

Modernity

In any case, rightly or wrongly, we in the modern West have cast aside this whole notion as fantastical. We hold that the only world is this world that we can all experience and measure. And yet no civilization has been more obsessed with ideas like equality, love and justice. According to the dominant worldview, all violence and oppression must be done away with—at least among human beings, though increasingly also in our relation to the natural world. Ironically, this very sentimentalism is a luxury afforded by our incredibly effective domination of the natural world. (On a related note: the state that would eliminate violence could only do so due to a monopoly on violence.) We can afford to be soft—yet to what end? The Christian (who may at the same time be rather ascetically hard on himself) can say: for the sake of the world to come. We cannot.

Let’s say, charitably, that the aim is to establish ‘justice’ as far as it can be established, without undermining life itself. We will have a world where ‘justice’ flourishes, relatively speaking, while accepting that injustice must tragically continue to rage in the animal kingdom, in the fact of human mortality, in all the ineradicable inequalities between people, and in all our embarrassing, archaic urges to domination (which we will appropriately channel, where we cannot remove). Still—the question must be asked: where does this passion for justice come from, where this deep discomfort with violence? Ontologically, are we more than mere life or mere matter, after all? If not, why not just dismiss this obsession as a curious self-delusion? The status quo worldview about this is incoherent, and so it seems it must lurch into either Nietzschean life-affirmation (with all its violence) or life-denial. As it hovers between these, it is too often nothing but ressentiment: the resentful protest of weakness against strength, the progressive undermining of the conditions of flourishing life by those too cowardly, even, to end it at once.

There is a strand of the modern worldview that seems to escape this dilemma, however. One way to articulate this would be: there is only this world, yet we (and our ideals) are the unfolding or fulfillment of this world. Before humanity, nature needed to subsist by violence—but now that we have arisen, the intelligence that lay latent in nature is coming to conscious fruition. With this intelligence—using its tools, and in its image)—we can remake ourselves and the world. For example, using technology we can extend our lifespan—perhaps indefinitely. We can enhance ourselves, cyborgize our brains and our bodies. We can hack our DNA, and that of other creatures—perhaps to finally excise our lingering aggression, perhaps to remove predation from the natural world. We can live in virtual worlds that are far more interesting and do far less harm. At the extreme end of this aspiration, perhaps our minds can merge, the destructive ego gone forever, finally harmoniously one.

I will call this strand of the modern worldview transhumanism. I say it is just a strand because it still makes most people uncomfortable, and I feel like most wouldn’t consciously go along with it, though history is tending in its direction. Obviously, enhancement by technology needn’t be wedded to an attempt to constrain or eliminate violence. (If we consider the technologies of war, the effect has generally been the opposite.) But this tends to be the case, because this strand of the modern world is quasi-religious: it strives to have transcendence within immanence. It suggests we can regain the religious hope for salvation without buying into fables of the supernatural. But the price we pay is twofold: first, the technological transformation of everything; and second, following from this, the loss of ourselves. For better or worse, transhumans will cease to be human.

And finally, after all this effort, the project will necessarily fail. We cannot rewrite the laws of physics. We will be left with a compromise, like the more tepid status quo referred to before. Perhaps, at best, one vast hivemind will subsist, lost in its own virtual world, sustained by some solar-powered sprawl of servers entwined with residual human brain tissue. Still violence will be constitutive of existence—an existence now extremely distant for this mind.

Nietzschean Vitalism

Nietzsche would despise all this. Neither the Christian, modern–confused, or transhumanist approaches affirm and rejoice in life as it is. Though the transhumanist may seem an example of humanity’s triumphant will to power, I suspect Nietzsche would reject this. Is what triumphs here life, or intellect (and a certain kind of intellect, at that)?

Nietzsche loves life. And by directing our attention to what life is and does—namely, violence, the destruction of other life—he offers us an opportunity to embrace our own life forthrightly, without self-denial. This is not passive resignation—the sad awareness that I must harm and destroy, and be harmed and destroyed in turn. The life that I am is dynamic: it asserts itself, grows, reaches forth, conquers and rules. It is ever moving and striving, and there is joy in all this essential activity of life. Nietzsche’s vision is of life lived fully, and therefore joyfully, while fully recognizing the tragic (in the rich aesthetic sense of that word) reality that we must eventually be defeated and destroyed. This is the Dionysian vision—hot, ecstatic physicality rather than cool Apollonian ideals.

Yet this does not mean mere savagery. Culture and intellect are an integral part of who we are, and it would be ridiculous to try and abandon them—as it would typically be absurd to regress to crude physical violence to get whatever we want. But Nietzsche is clear about the hierarchy: culture and intellect are to serve life, to enhance the feeling and expression of it. They are not (flowing as they do, for Nietzsche, out of it) independent standards by which to judge it. Nietzsche is a vitalist.

(This, by the way, shines some further light on the difference between the Nietzschean and transhumanist—the transhumanist is a mechanist. ‘Life,’ like everything, is just a mechanism that can be taken apart and reassembled. For Nietzsche, life is fundamental, a self-organizing force.)

But would Dionysian existence really be a life fully lived? Is there not, after all, more to life than the lifeforce? Is there not something else that life itself is for? There is a sense in which the intellect, for example, flows out of life; but there is also a sense in which it is independent. It has its own standards, values, and aspirations. Its objects have their own reality (mathematics being the clearest example of this). And there are different kinds of intellect—from the contemplation of God or absolute being, down to the technical intellect that would take apart and reassemble the world. There are also moral values, the pursuit and realization of which make life worth living—justice being but one of these. In his Non-Formal Ethics of Values, Max Scheler argued persuasively for the reality of values and their arrangement in a hierarchy (we will return to this). The spiritual/intellectual values are intrinsically higher than the vital values that Nietzsche invokes. Yet that does not mean the latter should be neglected, or even impatiently borne with. They should be appropriately fulfilled and affirmed.

Hinduism

If Christianity holds that imminent nature will be transformed or restored to its transcendent origin, Nietzsche would have us wash our hands of transcendence completely. And yet this doesn’t seem possible—or if possible, it would be an impoverishment of the human experience. Is there a way to affirm a transcendent reality and the imminent natural world just as it is?

Some of the greatest examples of this can be found in Hinduism, a religion renowned for the most austere asceticism and uncompromising monism on the one hand, and the most scintillatingly vital panoply of deities and myths on the other. Even in the most monistic streams of Hinduism there exists a bold affirmation of the world as it is.

He who is attributeless also has attributes. He who is Brahman is also Shakti. When thought of as inactive, He is called Brahman, and when thought of as the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, He is called the Primordial Energy, Kali. Brahman and Shakti are identical, like fire and its power to burn…

Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, vol. I, ch. 3

So said Sri Ramakrishna, the great 19th Century mystic and all-but-illiterate synthesizer of different Hindu traditions—who might therefore be taken as an authentic summation of that vast and varied religion. His goal was clear: liberation from the relative world, realization of God, moksha. He pursued this with singleminded intensity and never ceased spurring his disciples to do the same. ‘Renounce everything and seek God alone,’ he taught was the one all-essential message of the Bhagavad Gita. And yet he uttered the quote above, and taught that when you have renounced all and realized God you will see that God is also everything you left behind.

The Hindu cosmos is vast in time, and endlessly cyclical. After the universe is destroyed, it arises again. There is no final salvation in time—no abrupt fall and definitive restoration. To attain moksha is, in a sense, to step completely out of time. The universe exists in time; Brahman does not. There is no sense in the material world being redeemed from violence and suffering—these realities are constitutive of it. And yet it is not all there is: there is also, at the heart of this world, the transcendent being that ceaselessly gives rise to it, to whom it is possible to relate and, ultimately, to realize your identity with.

The Divine Mother is full of bliss. Creation, preservation, and destruction are the waves of Her sportive pleasure.

Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, vol. II, ch. 16

Why does Brahman, the supreme and only being, ceaselessly give rise (as Shakti) to this relative universe? The Hindu answer is lila, God’s divine play. This world with all its beauty and tragedy is God’s self-enjoyment, Shakti realizing all her myriad possibilities, the bliss of her creative self-expression. ‘But is that fair?’ we might ask. ‘It is we who have to suffer for her enjoyment!’ Yet the Hindu reply is perfectly self-consistent: ‘You are her! Who you think you are is only her playful self-delusion.’ The basis of reality is bliss (God is conceived as Sat-Chit-Ananda: limitless being, consciousness, and bliss)—and as far as the the relative world is involved in this, the violence of life is essential.

Simone Weil

Necessity is the screen set between God and us so that we can be.

Limitation is the evidence that God loves us.

Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

This Hindu vision of the cosmos is sublime: it is, in all its beauty and terror, God’s blissful self-expression. Yet there is something lacking in this vision: something of the dignity of human being, something of love. The 20th Century French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil had a view that is quite similar, yet different. In accord with the Hindu position, she held that the universe is exactly as it should be. But as the quotes above suggest, God’s motive for creating it is somewhat different.

God, who is infinite and all, lovingly sacrifices himself: limits and reduces himself to create a space for us to be. (There is a similar idea, I believe, in mystical Judaism.) As Weil explains, “God could create only by hiding himself. Otherwise there would be nothing but himself.” For “if we were exposed to the direct radiance of his love, without the protection of space, of time and of matter, we should be evaporated like water in the sun.” As limited beings, we must be embedded in limitation in order to exist. As other than God, he must remain (in a certain sense) distant and hidden from us, for us not to be consumed by him. This limitation and absence of God is simply necessity, the very stuff of the universe: time and space, the laws of physics, change, suffering, death—and violence.

For this reason, for Weil, our very wretchedness becomes a way to experience God’s love for us and so to love him in turn. Although she was never baptized, Weil was powerfully influenced by Christianity, and reported having mystical encounters with Christ. This is perhaps why love, suffering, and self-sacrifice feature so strongly in her thought. As God sacrificed himself in creating the universe in which we could be, we must imitate his action and ‘decreate’ ourselves out of love for him. Briefly, this means allowing our ego to die completely. The universe, with all its violence and suffering, therefore becomes the indispensable scene for an exchange of love.

Weil did not believe in God until she experienced him, unexpectedly and directly. What God is is a question best left aside for now; but for Weil, at least, what she experienced was a reality far more real than the everyday physical world. If we accept with Nietzsche that God is dead in the popular imagination, we must nevertheless acknowledge that the phenomenon called ‘God’ remains extraordinarily powerful and transformative to the few who do encounter it. It is not good enough to simply exclude it from our worldview.

Weil integrates God and the world exactly as it is. Her approach is perhaps compromised by a too intense asceticism: “But God can only love himself. His love for us is love for himself through us. Thus, he who gives us our being loves in us the acceptance of not being.” (Is this really an adequate description of love?). But the central claim that God’s universe is constituted by limitation (and thus violence and suffering) in order to be at all, is a compelling one. It has no need for a mysterious ‘Fall’ somewhere in the primordial mists of time. If we can speak about a ‘Fall’ at all, it is simply an ontological distinction: the sheer fact of not being God.

Reflections

The question of the relation between the violence of life and justice ‘in itself’ is a question about the imminent and transcendent. We can discern at least five clear positions on this.

First, the extremes:

1. The Nietzschean affirmation of life, including all its violence. (All imminence, no transcendence.)

2. The moralistic denial of life, due to its violence. (Imminence nullified by transcendence.)

And then the more nuanced positions:

3. The Christian belief that life is only violent in the fallen creation (i.e. violence is not essential to life), and that creation will be restored to just perfection. (Imminence infused with and transformed by transcendence.)

4. The Hindu (and Weilian) belief in both a transcendent God and the essential violence of life. (Imminence and transcendence, related yet eternally ‘separate.’)

5. The transhumanist endeavor to transform life using imminent means. (Transcendence projected into imminence; this may ultimately be more a confused than a clear position.)

The status quo in the modern West is unclear and confused regarding this question. We deny the existence of any transcendent realm and claim to celebrate imminence. This is largely true as far as, say, sexuality goes. But we condemn violence maybe more than ever before. In general, we tend sometimes to Nietzschean affirmation, sometimes to moralistic denial, sometimes to transhumanist transformation—yet we are uncomfortable with each of these. This situation is dangerous: it saps our sense of meaning, saps our strength, and fuels our tendency to ressentiment.

It seems to me that reintegrating the Nietzschean affirmation of life (including its violence) is indispensable to the health of our civilization. This is the most immediate remedy for the consuming sense of guilt about our—individual and collective—existence, excellence, and dominance. This is not to justify anything (declare it ‘just’), but to acknowledge necessity, and have gratitude for the necessity by which we benefit. Attempts to ‘justify’ invasions, colonizations, etc., in the sense of pretending they were inspired by impartial moral principles, are just as repugnant as a consuming guilt about one’s own existence. The honest will to expand and rule, the honest joy in conquest—these are not, in themselves, repugnant. These are as natural as the desire for food and the pleasure of eating.

Note that I’m not saying there is nothing higher than these vital pleasures and desires; just that they must be affirmed on their own level, as the indispensable precondition for existing and thriving in the world we find ourselves in. They may perhaps be limited and channeled by a higher realm of values; but I’m suspicious of anyone who preaches these higher values without having passed through the lower—such a one is either simply preaching ressentiment, or too unintegrated to be a reliable model or teacher.

For my part, I do think there are higher levels. Scheler’s hierarchy of values is a good way of picturing this:

Scheler's Hierarchy of Values

The lower levels are best pursued for the sake of the higher, though that doesn’t mean they are simply reducible to the higher. Utility is for the sake of pleasure; but it may be uncoupled from it, and be pursued for its own sake—generally a bad situation. Likewise, pleasure is ideally for the sake of vital values: the pleasure of eating good food conduces to (and is best enjoyed in the overall context of) health; but it may be pursued for its own sake, and thus ruin health. Likewise, the vital should be oriented to the ‘spiritual’: For what is all this strength and health and power to be used? In what way is it to be exercised? Power pursued solely for its own sake is as toxic as pleasure pursued solely for its own sake—and here I part ways with Nietzsche.

Note that pursuit of higher levels of value doesn’t abolish the lower levels. The question is not if we kill and dominate, but how and to what ends. Vital power is also, generally, the fuel by which we approach the higher level; and is in turn stimulated by the higher level. The pursuit of beauty, truth, and justice can give us amazing vital strength. In is book on Ressentiment, Scheler objects to Nietzsche’s characterization of Christianity as a religion of ressentiment. Yes, he says, it can be—but it isn’t essentially. Moving above the vital level can look very much like attacking it from below. The early Christians, he says, gave their lives away in agapic love out of an abundance of vitality, inspired by unlimited hope and the experience of God’s love. They were stronger than the merely strong—the ones who, though powerful, must always defend themselves. This is a very different phenomenon than that of resentfully railing against a power and strength one is not capable of.

To me, at least, this is all very instructive. We can affirm each level, while striving higher. The highest—the Holy—returns us to our basic problem of how the transcendent and immanent relate. If we posit an absolute God, what becomes of this relative world? Is it a mistake to be abolished or a fallen reality to be restored? Does it serve some greater purpose, or is it valuable in itself?

The Christian story of fall and restoration is the most beautiful and compelling to me—to a point. Even if we strip off the ‘fall’ aspect (let us say that is a metaphor for God’s intention for creation), we still have the apparently insuperable difficulty of imagining a world that is ours without obeying the most basic laws of ours. (And, on a higher level, there is the difficulty of imagining any physical world of which change and destruction are not constitutive.) Everything appears interwoven—life and death, joy and suffering, identity and change.

In this respect, the Hindu approach resonates more with me. The universe must be just as it is, and is valuable as such (as an expression of God’s innate creativity—lower values gaining their full meaning in light of higher). Weil supplements this approach by bringing it more in line with the Western emphasis on agapic (self-giving) love. More than merely God’s creative self-expression, it is his sacrificial self-limiting so that beings other than him may be. The blind and unchangeable necessity of the universe then becomes a sign of God’s love for us, and our amor fati becomes love of him.

The problem with this view, I think, is that the universe that we know through science isn’t utterly ruled by blind necessity. There is a basic, irreducible randomness in the quantum realm—and a curious enmeshment of it with observers. This, in itself, doesn’t prove much. But if we credit the consensus of human experience to date, that magic and miracles are real, then the picture changes dramatically. Then it seems that the physical world, on the human level, can be directly altered by the spiritual. (Obviously, this is the central claim of Christianity—a body devoid of life came alive again.) The work of Rupert Sheldrake suggests that nature operates by habits rather than ‘laws,’ and thus the ‘laws of nature’ can change. The Christian hermeticist Valentin Tomberg claims:

Thus the ‘law’ of the struggle for existence that Darwin observed in the domain of biology will one day cede its place to the law of cooperation for existence which exists already in the cooperation of flowering plants and bees, in the cooperation of different cells in an organism, and in cooperation in the human social organism. … This will be, because the new ‘law’—i.e. a profound change in the psychic and physical structure of beings—will replace the old ‘law,’ firstly in consciousness, then in desires and affections, then lastly in the organic structure of beings.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IX: The Hermit

For Tomberg, this is achieved spiritually, through the power of self-sacrificial love. And again, there is an abundance (a superadundance) of at least anecdotal evidence of this in the stories of saints and holy men. However, it is not achieved by the clever technological manipulation of the existing world which is the modus operandi of transhumanism. I believe this approach is a temptation we must discard. Perhaps the natural world can be fundamentally redeemed and transformed by the transcendent, working via the sacred magic of agape; this can never be accomplished by willful human engineering. In striving to have transcendence totally within the bounds of imminence, transhumanism may just be an intensification of the basic confusion that underlies our modern worldview. It would do boldly what we now do falteringly.

Where does this leave me? Without total clarity, perhaps; yet with more than before. In the only world we know, life and violence are inseparably intertwined. Unqualified justice ‘in itself’ is indeed hostile to life. And yet, at the same time, justice is one of those values that human life is valuable for. While Nietzsche notes that justice can help to make overall units of power more powerful, it is also true that it is intrinsically valuable, and more deeply so than mere power. Individually and collectively, we ‘unjustly’ subjugate the world around us—in order to practice it! (Much could be said regarding precisely what justice is; I have ignored this question aside in order to pursue the larger one about the relation between spiritual and vital values in general.) We must look at this truth squarely, and embrace it. To neglect this easily becomes neurotic self-denial and ressentiment.

Nietzsche provides an antidote for this (just reading him can help us feel the power and exultation of the life we are), but we mustn’t go too far. Scheler reminds us of the whole hierarchy of values, and how they relate to each other. At the least, I am with Ramakrishna and Weil (perhaps a strange synthesis of the two): we can affirm transcendent reality, with its utmost value, and the imperfect world we live in. Whether we can do the latter perfectly is another question; whether we should, still another (Weil hoped that God would forgive her compassion). There are hints here and there, that matter can be transformed by spirit—in isolated cases, if not unto universal paradise. If this world really can be perfected by God, it would seem our affirmation of the violence of life—while vitally necessary now—must remain provisional.

 
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from anobody

I don’t believe that demons exist anymore. The only demons that exist are lies. But lies are often wrapped in alot of truth. Lightness cannot be separated from darkness in Middle-Earth.

Within living memory, two demons have shaped a story. This story that I am living.

The last demon was related to my addiction to pornographic manga. Within erotic Japanese manga, lays the blur, evil, line between adults and children. This is what I remember now. This was around March of 2021. I have been addicted to this kind of pornography since I was twelve. It has been over a decade of addiction. I had grown near numb. But this event was enough to throw me up against a gate of Hades. A Fear was born. I was scrolling MangaFox’s catalogue of erotic manga (a stock-standard website for reading “free” manga – not so free, I was just another bloody pirate), and I saw a small icon (amongst many good icons) that bore the drawn image of a sexualised child. It wasn’t the first time I had seen a sexualised image of a child-like adult in Japanese manga, but after many years of being stuck in pornography, the fears of becoming more than just an addict vehemently dawned me. I could become a monster. There was a monster inside. I had to run to prison. I had to call the police, pre-empt my thought crime. I was the oldest in my family, with many younger siblings, surely I wouldn’t! But living in secrecy, I knew not. Only whispers of death.I had already been trying for three years to get out. It didn’t work. I was at a gate of Hades. I must find someone. I found a shrink called Peter, and, with tears streaming down my face, in a choked face, I called him and asked for help. This the beginning of the end. I had to pre-empt my own evil. a satan that lived within me. I needed to crush his head before he took control, before he, with his puppet strings, turned me into a pure, fucking demon.

The first demon was born when I was around six years old (It’s too blur). The details are a more scant. They are clouded in the past. There was my sister’s doll. There was a table I lay under. There was my pants down. The doll was unclothed, close to my uncovered privates. I held it near me. I was looking for something, I knew not what. My father so happened to come by, and saw the clothed part of me under a table. I was ashamed. Deeply ashamed. That is all I remember.

The first demon and the last demon. How can I slay them? I can only do a best with words. What words can I use?

I might have found a Key to Paradise (if it exists). I found it in The Chest of Luke (Luke et. al. +85).

_One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.” _ I found this key roughly in March of this year. In mid-March, the most painful moment in a/my life occurred (a story for another time). Never have I hated the world or myself like I did that day. I found myself lying down the next day on my bed, lying there for many hours. A mate called Nate indirectly told me to “Pray to God with my arms open” (Nate J.F. et. al. 2019). I found myself saying this key from Luke’s Chest “Remember me”. I was ready to die. I will let this King, who I have never seen, remember me, while I continue to burn in Hades.

Writing this for a public is letting social seppuku come knocking. Will I answer? All will The Public come and Break Down The Door, guns blazing? Off with his head! Burn him at the stake!

If I were to die tonight, if the Reaper were to come for me, I would be ready. I have made peace with and slain my first and last demons. If I live to see another day, I would make peace and slay more.

 
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from Dad vs Videogames 🎮

Having the Lightning Rod (single target) and Updraft Tome (AOE) makes it easy to take down Redstone Golems in the game.

I for one am a big fan of the Lightning Rod and use it as much as possible in any Minecraft Dungeon build I make. It is in my experience, one of the best sources of single target damage in the game. And since it has a very low cool-down, you can use it frequently against tough enemies.


Me and my son defeated the Tempest Golem a few months ago (this game log is months behind). The key was to focus on clearing out one zone at a time. There are two of them in the boss fight against the Tempest Golem. And it also helps to have lots of AOE damaging artifacts, like the aforementioned Updraft Tome, and some other ones like the Harvester and Satchel of Elements. Once you clear out the two zones that spawn enemies, the Tempest Golem will be vulnerable to attacks.


A few months ago as well, we defeated the Vengeful Heart of Ender. By we, I mean me, the wife and our son. We did it on our first try, but we only barely made it. That was because we weren't prepared at all for the boss fight. My son was familiar with the map, but me and the wife weren't. Having at least one Totem of Shielding artifact available would have helped make it easier. It wouldn't hurt to have some kind of healing artifact as well. Plus some single target damage artifact like my favorite, the Lightning Rod.


Lastly, to the dads and moms out there. I would just like to say, that if you're looking for a great game to play with your young ones, Minecraft Dungeons is one of the best games to pick. In my opinion, it is better than Minecraft, because it is easier for your kid to pick up and play. At its core, it is a well made hack and slash game. As long as your kids can move a character on the screen, follow the yellow arrow, and press the buttons to attack and use potions, they're all set. All you have to do, is follow them along in the game, or lead them if you want. I'm sure you'll have a great time playing together.

I'll end this post with a screenshot of me, the wife and my son playing Minecraft Dungeons local co-op. Minecraft Dungeons local co-op is a great way to spend time with the family.

Tags: #GameLog #MinecraftDungeons

 
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from Attach to Process

Cache Implementations in C# .NET — good blog post on implementing caching with .NET.


You're using HttpClient wrong and it is destabilizing your software — great blog post that told me that we should avoid the use of the “using statement” when working with an HttpClient instance. And that's because disposing it after say a one time use, like doing one API call and then immediately disposing, will leave open/pending socket connections. Do this often enough and you'll accumulate a number of those open/pending socket connections and that will slow down your app. The better approach is to use a single static HttpClient instance in your app.


The always-recent guide to creating a development environment for Node and React (with Babel and Webpack) — good guide to setting up a full-stack JavaScript development environment on your local, with an eye toward ReactJS.


Good blog posts on how to create Windows Services using .NET Core:


Combining multiple changes into one commit is a bad idea, because then you cannot revert the single change that you want to revert, without reverting all the other changes that came along with it.


Inadvertently discovered a way to find out who is running a specific process on a server. This is useful if you cannot remote into the server, like say because the connections are full. Using Visual Studio, you can do “Attach to Process” on a server. Assuming that server is setup with remote debugging, doing so will get you a listing of the apps/processes running on that server, plus which user are running those apps/processes.

And now you know where I got the name for this blog as well.


Tags: #DevNotes #Bookmarks #DotNet #Caching #HttpClient #ReactJS #WindowsServices #SourceControlBestPractices #TroubleshootingWindowsProcesses

 
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from RandomThoughts

Day 304 Well, today was busy afff. I mean really tiring but overall a good day. I went to a wedding, it was busy as you can imagine an ethnic wedding to be, now I've never been to a wedding from another culture so I can't really say how they're like but let me tell you, the weddings we have are unorganised, unpredictable at times and always late lol. But you know damn well the food is also going to be 50/50. So much like every other wedding it followed the same rhythms and patterns which was to be expected but nonetheless it was enjoyable and mildly infuriating at times. It very much over ran it's course and the rest is history.

I'm home late, like I have to be up for work in 6 hours late but I think I'll have a little lie in and condense my working hours tomorrow. Be effient, not wasteful my friend.

So yeah my day was consumed with all things wedding and now it has indeed come to an end.

Much like this post.

Until next time.

 
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from katelovesorange

last night was fun. went out with my gf and her husband and her parents. we went for dinner at a seasonal resturant. the food was good i had fish tacos. it was the last dinner for the season. so we timed it good. then we went to the casino. well i had never been to one, so i was not sure what to expect. after only seeing one on tv, i thought maybe CSI was going to come in and arrest someone...ha. anyhow i played a couple of machines , it was ok. nothing to write home about. we only stayed about an hour. i broke even and cashed out. my gfs husband won 216.00 lucky day for him. so we all went home. i felt so alone. after a night out brent and i would talk and maybe have a cup of tea before bed. but last night it was just too quiet.

today i spent trying to clean the kitchen. it was a small effort. i got some dishes done and made dinner and a cake. brent loved cake. he was always asking for cake. i always tried to make something he would like. some days i dont even want to make the effort , no one here to care but me.

today i hard time finding the rabbit. he has found a new hiding spot. sigh. now i have to find that spot to make sure he is ok.

i am trying to tidy the house. it didnt get messy in one day its not going to get cleaned in one day.....

 
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from Roscoe's Story

Sunday 25/Sep/2022

Prayers, etc.: • 05:00 – Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel • 19:10 – 2022 – 09 – 25 USCCB Daily Mass Readings • 19:25 – the daily meditation from Magnificat monthly magazine; – Fr. Chad Rippberger's Prayer of Command to protect my family, my sons, my daughter and her family, my granddaughters and their families, my great grandchildren, and everyone for whom I have responsibility from any demonic activity; and the Sunday Prayers of the Association of the Auxilium Christianorum. – Tonight's Rosary is the Glorious Mysteries.

Diet: • 08:15 – ham sandwich, 1 banana • 10:30 – meatloaf • 14:00 – fresh apple chunks with peanut butter

Chores, etc.: • 10:00 – schedule a ZOOM meeting • 10:30 – post meeting notice to GG • 12:00 – begin following the day's NFL games • 16:20 – A few words about my Friday heatstroke: It was caused by my wandering lost, as lost as I've ever been, trying to find my way to a new eye doctor's office for a 1:30 PM appointment. The temperature in San Antonio was in the upper 90s, and it was humid. I thought I'd save Sylvia the hassle of driving through the convoluted mess of blocked streets. Little did I know that the blocked streets, as messed up as they are, are not as bad as the sidewalk closures. AND the bus routes in town are all screwed up, with old bus stops closed and newer stops poorly marked. I only found my way to my appointment thanks to the kindness of two women who picked me up and drove me to the doctor's office.

Trying to find my way back to a bus stop that would connect me to a route headed back home was just as frustrating as trying to find the doctor's office. Yes, I got hopelessly lost after wandering around for hours in the heat. Despite stopping at a corner store and drinking a bottle of Gatorade, and waiting at a bus stop for a bus that never came, the heat stroke hit. I passed out briefly as I was vomiting at the edge of the sidewalk. Regaining my senses, I saw a corner store across the street with a big shaded area next to the building. I walked carefully across the street, stood in the shade for a few minutes, and called Sylvia to come rescue me.

And now, late Sunday afternoon, I'm still not fully recovered. But I am getting better. And I have learned that at 73 years old, I no longer have the fitness level I had when I was a young man.

Chess: • 14:40 – moved in all pending CC games

Posted 25/Sep/2022 ~20:00 Central Time

#Blog #DailyNotes

 
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from Ithaka's Blog

I’m reading “This Is the Voice” by John Colapinto now.

As is often the case with great nonfiction, there are too many interesting ideas in this book. It’s not possible to cover them all on Sponge, because then it will be “The Mirror and the Palette” all over again, or even more extreme... I’d be doing 20 episodes on “This Is the Voice,” alone.

So, to prevent that, here’s an interesting topic that I don’t think I’ll get to cover in Sponge.

... the human voice is unique, in the animal kingdom, not only in its specialization for speech, but for its sexual dimorphism—the way it splits along gender lines. All other mammals are vocally monomorphic: their roars, barks, meows, and baahs sound the same whether made by a male or a female of the species. Even our closest primate kin, chimpanzees and bonobos, display less sexual dimorphism of voice than we do—only a few semitones difference. Human males speak at a pitch that is, on average, a full octave below women, twelve semitones, a big difference.

There’s a whole lot of talk about sexy, low man voice in this chapter.

Basically, the idea is that woman are attracted to low male voice... because it’s sexy... and during parts of the ovulation cycle... it sounds even sexier...

BUT THEN, also: human women have learned to select mates who don’t boast their low sexy man voice too much. The idea is that, if a man is too sexual, he isn’t ideal as a long-term partner. He’ll go mate with some other lady. 😂 And...

This is likely how our species has ended up with male voices significantly lower than that of females, but nowhere near the rumbling growl of gorillas. With their evolved attraction to voices that are low (but not too low), women have dialed-up the average pitch of the male voice from that of our primate ancestors, even at the cost of a slightly weaker immune system in their offspring.

And so, while human males may use extra-low voices around males as a territory signal of sorts, they usually know not to act too macho toward their women (or to people to whom they don’t want to behave in a caveman-like manner)... unless they come from a culture where over-machoism, including the kind uttered through voice, is seen as sexy.

In some other cultures, the over-low macho voice is interpreted as being so offputting that people who use that voice get sued more.

Kinda scary, isn’t it? I mean, if you did the whole caveman bit, then maybe you deserve to get sued. But what if your voice is naturally extra-low, and there’s no way to make it any higher? Is it worth it for men with naturally extra-low voices to adopt fake-high voices? Would that fakeness turn off people equally? (There was no answer to this in the book. But I wonder.) Maybe, even if it does turn off people, it will decrease your likelihood of getting sued?

Anyway, what I really wanted to mention in this post was this:

Darwin cited gibbons as a living example of how certain ape species use vocal melodies, in a complex duet, for courtship. If gibbons are any guide, the melodic elasticity of the voice is a big romantic draw—especially its ability to soar into the upper registers, in clear high notes that (in males) indicate that the vocalizer is not only a fierce warrior, but also a sensitive, nurturing, romantic soul.

I find this quote so amusing. 🤣 Show your lady that you’re “not only a fierce warrior, but also a sensitive, nurturing, romantic soul.” Sing “into the upper registers, in clear high notes”!

Being like the gentleman gibbons is the way to go if you want ladies, because it’s not just the gibbons who do this: Jimi Hendrix is mentioned as an example of the “explicit connection between male music making and sexual success,” due to his ability to sing and play the guitar. Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant is also mentioned. Him, and his many, many groupies!


Summary:

If you’re a heterosexual male who wants to appeal to heterosexual females, the examples in this book suggest that you should...:

  1. ...have a low voice.
  2. But not too low. Keep the extra-low voice for your hangouts with the boys, if you’re in North America/Western Europe. It’s likely that ladies there will find extra-low macho voices patently unsexy. I’m not sure about other cultures. Ask your girl what kind of voice she finds sexy. 🤷‍♀️
  3. Learn to sing high notes.
  4. Seranade your lady.
  5. Failing at all of the above, learn to play the guitar. Or some other instrument that can emit that sexy low-range to high-range sound.

This, gentlemen, is apparently the roadmap to romantic success. (Disclaimer: I cannot vouch for its efficacy, because I haven’t ever been a heterosexual male who wanted to appeal to heterosexual females.🍻 )

#reading

 
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from the ultimate question

Sometimes we’re in a hurry to say sorry. We’re in a hurry to be forgiven.

We apologise for the wrong thing.

This hurts the other person even more, because they feel that we never understood them.

You can’t rush the other person to forgive you. Seek forgiveness and give it time.

It’s ok.

 
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