July 18, 2007
May 14, 2007
“i wanted to create something truly disgusting
and useless, that no-one would like,” said the conceptual artist
whose latest work is a world map rolled into a cylinder
suspended above a wire mesh waste paper basket
containing a dead crow.
“i invite people to drop their own waste through the map
and into the basket. mostly the response has been negative.”
“you have no idea how long it took to procure
the dead crow,” the artist added,
pulling a string of filthy pearls from his rectum.
May 07, 2007
or: Please refrain from sleeping in the Grid.
Student advisors are here to help you –
Please give groups priority.
Can I eat in here?
Where do I find?
Can we talk here?
Please Eat Hot Food in the Atrium.
It doesn’t work!
Look for the Blue Shirts.
Please clear your work-station.
March 27, 2007
Frequently Asked Questions About Dropping Pennies In The River To Mitigate Inflation:
Q: Why drop pennies in the river?
A: To mitigate inflation.
Q: Does dropping pennies in the river mitigate inflation?
Q: How does dropping pennies in the river mitigate inflation?
A: Inflation is caused by increased money supply. Dropping pennies in the river effectively decreases money supply by taking currency out of circulation (and into the river).
Q: I don’t understand.
A: Broadly speaking, if we all have less pennies, the pennies we do have become more valuable.
Q: I still don’t understand.
A: Consult your friendly local economics student.
Q: How many pennies ought I to drop in the river?
A: Opinions vary, but it is important to drop no more pennies than you can realistically afford to lose.
Q: What about larger denominations (two pence coin, five pence coin, etc.)?
A: Dropping coins other than pennies in the river is also viable. As ever, please use your own discretion.
Q: Is it more ethical to drop pennies in the river, or give pennies to a beggar?
A: Perhaps surprisingly, the former. If you give pennies to a beggar, only the beggar benefits. However, it benefits everyone to mitigate inflation.
Q: What if I believe the beggar will go on to drop pennies in the river?
A: Then you can feel free to give generously.
Q: Someone told me that dropping pennies in the river does not mitigate inflation.
A: This person may subscribe to the Keynesian school of economics, and ought to be responded to with skepticism.
December 31, 2006
from Solving Procrastination: an application of Flow by Kevin Chiu
Chiu’s model is of interest to me because if it is correct, procrastination is a function of perceived ability – therefore, procrastination can be caused by low self-esteem.
Please note that “Flow” in this case refers specifically to the mental state proposed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. “Flow” corresponds with the idea of “being in the zone”, and perhaps with “no-mind” in Zen.
Chiu suggests that “solving procrastination” involves ordering tasks according to perceived difficulty, then starting at the bottom and working up.
I would suggest that anything that reduces self-absorption, even if it is not immediately useful, will increase one’s perceived ability. For instance, someone who meditates regularly is likely to feel confident as an effect of being less anxious and self-centred. Therefore they are less likely to procrastinate because of not feeling up to a particular task.
New Year’s resolutions, anyone?
November 25, 2006
I’m watching you. I’ve been watching you for a while now. Heaven knows you’re a handsome young man. Greg Space, Engineer, Information Systems, Deck 13. Your room is in Section A3 – it has a little camera in it. You are, in fact, Infosys’ most talented Engineer. And I’ve always admired a man who knows how to use a screwtool.
Ha ha! My, how smutty I am. But don’t get the wrong impression: I’m not stalking you. No. I need you.
Right now you’re frightened and trying to fend off a growing feeling of despair. It’s been two days, one hour and fifty-two minutes since it happened, and you have been trapped in Section A all this time. You have no idea what happened. But ever since that afternoon (you were reading mystery novels in bed) the electrics have gone, most of the doors are jammed shut (though mercifully not the door to your bunk), and you’ve had to find your way around with only a box of matches and the dim emergency lights. Also, you’re alone.
Or not quite alone. There is Cerpin. He’s a quiet man, and a paranoid schizophrenic. He helped you find food from the ration store, and has discussed with you his views on death and organised religion.You don’t know it yet, but he’s only half human. Not to worry though – he’s mostly harmless.
I know a great deal about your emotional life. Enough to suppose that there is one thought – one person – you cannot shake from your memory. Laura, the Exec from Deck 3. The one with the odd face and two pairs of awful shoes. Perhaps I am not as sentimental about this individual as you are. But your memory of her is enough that, when Cerpin passes your bunk and announces “A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?”, you just mutter mm-hm and fail to give it a thought. You are reading lyrics from the sleeve notes of a very old Ella Fitzgerald recording,
The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
Oh, they can’t take that away from me.
Perhaps you are remembering that time on the observation deck when her eyes found yours, her irises two cobalt discs in the thin starlight. Or perhaps when you danced – listening to Ella’s cool voice and the fine, faint trumpet – and all the tender feelings the girl expressed in her careful swaying.
If only you understood! If you were here, we could have a real heart-to-heart, and I could explain how horribly pointless an art form jazz music is. What a sorry little diversion it was, how it represented the aesthetic nadir of an age already drowning in mass produced popular garbage. But you’re not here, and you can’t hear me. Yet.
As it turns out, something else needs my attention. Cerpin pokes his head around the doorframe and says, quite seriously, “I think the mascara snake is coming to visit.”
“The mascara snake?” you say.
“That’s right, the mascara snake.” Cerpin giggles to himself.
There is wisdom yet in his wild and whirling words. But I can tell that you’re bored almost to death, so before I deal with our visitor, I decide to give you a break.
You hear a clunk and a creak. Cerpin runs off, toward the Section A exit door. He calls back – “It’s open!” Now you can go exploring. Perhaps you will find me by yourself, without my help. If not, I will send Ariel to bring you up here. Or perhaps you’ll hear from Laura – she’s still on the station. But first, I must deal with this pest, who appears to be flying an obsolete vacfighter named “Troutmask”. Hm. Missiles should do fine.
Take care, Greg Space. I’ll be looking out for you.
November 23, 2006
bed in darkness, the
earth to my loneliness, keeps
dust, and lovers’ breath
Firstly, apologies for my absence.
I trust the message got through to “check the blogs”. And here you are. We are due to workshop my story next week (Wk 9). The best thing now is if you read it on my blog and bring me any notes and comments on the day.
The post below with the improbably stupid name is the first part of the story – there is more to come. This weekend I should think.
All comments welcome, even of the “what the hell are you doing?!” variety.
Many many thanks and I’ll see you all next week