"If you wanna know real quick who wants to do evil shit it's the people who claim their ideology doesn't really exist." -- Gallifreyan Jedi (@JediofGallifrey), 2018-03-03
"She dons her velvet second skin -- she thinks that I don't know
She thinks I'm dreaming twisting dreams, and she prepares to go.
It's true that I am sated, but I'm wakeful and alert,
And I pray that she'll find prey, so that her kisses needn't ... hurt
I can only hope that something will go outside and steal
Through the darkness, where she'll find it quite enough to make a meal."
-- from "Crushed Velvet" by Rennie Levine, 1995 (after "Velvet" by Talis kimberly and to the tune of "Velveteen" by Kathy Mar. Source: Conterpoint Too program book, 1996)
"Many police officials and experts express optimism that the prevalence of cameras will reduce police lying. As officers begin to accept that digital evidence of an encounter will emerge, lying will be perceived as too risky -- or so the thinking goes.
"Yet interviews with officers suggest the prevalence of cameras alone won't end police lying. That's because even with cameras present, some officers still figure -- with good reason -- that a lie is unlikely to be exposed. Because plea deals are a typical outcome, it's rare for a case to develop to the point where the defendant can question an officer's version of events at a hearing.
"'There's no fear of being caught,' said one Brooklyn officer who has been on the force for roughly a decade. 'You're not going to go to trial and nobody is going to be cross-examined.'
"The percentage of cases that progress to the point where an officer is cross-examined is tiny. In 2016, for instance, there were slightly more than 185 guilty pleas, dismissals or other non-trial outcomes for each criminal case in New York City that went to trial and reached a verdict. There were 1,460 trial verdicts in criminal cases that year, while 270,304 criminal cases were resolved without a trial.
"To be sure, officers are sometimes called to testify before trial at so-called suppression hearings in which the legality of police conduct is evaluated. But those are rare. In Manhattan, about 2.4 percent of felony criminal cases have a suppression hearing, according to data from the Manhattan district attorney's office. The rate for non-felony cases is slightly more than one-tenth of 1 percent."
I've resumed listening to Music from 100 Years Ago[*] after catching up on history podcasts for a while. I'm up to the start of 2011 now, working my way through the archives ... And wow, it was several episodes ago, but "Accentuate the Positive" is still stuck n my head. Except for a while this morning when a passing siren ripped me out of an immediately-forgotten dream, and my brain kept trying to merge "Lilli Marleen" with "Molly Malone".
My Lilli of the lamplight
Singing cockles and mussels, alive, alive-o
[*] Recordings, mostly music, from the first half of the XXieme siècle[**] with a fair amount that really is 100+ years old. Looks like he starts each year with a show entirely of recordings from exactly one hundred years earlier.
[**] After I wrote that, I realized it looked funny, and it took me a moment to realize I'd switched to French. Dunno why, since "20th Century" is a construction my fingers have more muscle-memory for, but ... today it came out in French. Brains are weird.
Happy vernal equinox -- (atronomical) Spring starts at 12:12 EDT / 16:12 UTC. I note that my phone beeped an alarm about a winter storm watch about twenty four hours ahead of that, with "5 inches or more" of wet snow expected late tonight through Wednesday evening, and it was 61 °F / 16 °C / 289 K when that alert came in. Bit of a roller-coaster start to the season, here.
"Sufficiently advanced, non-transparent algorithms are indistinguishable from malice" -- @hondanhon, 2018-01-15
"By the way, I've looked at every sort of porn there is, and just so you know, Rule 34 is not actually correct, there are quite a few things no one's made porn of yet. Also, I'm really not sure why so many humans prefer it to cat pictures." -- unnamed, secretly conscious AI first-person protagonist of "Cat Pictures, Please" by Naomi Kritzer
Tristina Wright ( 2017-12-15): "You have 280 characters. Tell me a story."
You sold your soul to the Devil some years ago. Today he gives it back and says, "I need a favour"
Adrian Randall offered:
"As in, a token of my affection to wear into battle?" My heart races. "Yes," he says somberly. "The final battle is nigh, and I may not survive." When I'd first bargained with the handsome bastard, all I'd asked for was a date. Apparently he'd enjoyed it as much as I had.
"Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv'd, it is too late" -- Jonathan Swift (b. 1667-11-30, d. 1745-10-19), 1710
"Falsehood will fly, as it were, on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps, though sure, are slow and solemn" -- Thomas Francklin (b. 1721, d. 1784-03-15), 1787
"a Lie would travel from Maine to Georgia while Truth was getting on his boots" attributed to Fisher Ames (b. 1758-04-09, d. 1808-07-04) by William Tudow in 1821
"error will run half over the world while truth is putting on his boots to pursue her" -- The New-England Magazine, 1834
"A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots." -- posthumously attributed to Mark Twain (b. 1835-11-30, d. 1910-04-21)
"A lie will gallop halfway round the world before the truth has time to pull its breeches on." -- Cordell Hull (b. 1871-10-02, d. 1955-07-23), 1948
I pulled all of these from Quote Investigaror -- Garson O'Toole, quoteinvestigator.com -- who summarized, "there exists a family of expressions contrasting the dissemination of lies and truths, and these adages have been evolving for more than 300 years. Jonathan Swift can properly be credited with the statement he wrote in 1710. Charles Haddon Spurgeon popularized the version he employed in a sermon in 1855, but he did not craft it. At this time, there is no substantive support for assigning the saying to Mark Twain or Winston Churchill." At that page there are more quotations like this, plus discussion and footnotes. I just snagged soeme convenient bits.)
[I don't remember whether I've used this/these before, but in light of that recent study about the relative reach of fake news and accurate reporting on social media, and reminded by the weird tale from Blue Lives Matter yesterday about Chicago youth runnion riot at a strip mall during their seventeen minute walkout, this saying was on my mind. I was surprised to hear multiple podcasts that discussed that study fail to bring up this saying.]
The longer passages quoted at Quote Investigator from Swift and Charles Haddon Spurgeon that contain versions of this saying, are worth an extra look:
"Besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ'd only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv'd, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect..." -- Swift
"If you want truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly; it is as light as a feather, and a breath will carry it. It is well said in the old Proverb, 'A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.'" -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon (b. 1834-06-19, d. 1892-01-31), 1859
Advice to artists from Chuck Wendig 2018-01-15:
I often tell folks if you're going to be exposed, expose yourself. WHAT I MEAN is, ahem, "free" should only be you controlling and releasing that content -- not handing it over to others so they can make money and you can die from exposure. Now put your pants back on, jeez. twitter.com/erikjlarsen/st..."
"Damn, the world just got a little dumber. Or maybe a lot dumber." -- realinterrobang remarking on the death of Stephen Hawking (in a telephone conversation)
"For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking." -- Stephen Hawking (b. 1942-01-08, d. 2018-03-14)(via Wikiquote)</p>
[As of the moment I'm editing this, his Wikipedia page includes the line, "Coincidentally, and perhaps fittingly, Hawking passed away on Pi Day."]
"There's a subset of the establishment - in this case on the right but they crop up on the center and the left as well - that is desperate to believe that people like Milo or Trump have something to say. That they represent a meaningful political movement rather than just the same old hate and lust for power. And you can't even excuse that need with stupidity, a la Trump's fans. These are smart people who are refusing to see what's in front of them, because if they did they'd have to admit that the world is a very different place from what their comfort requires it to be." -- Abigail Nussbaum, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
"I don't know how to make this part of the right message, but I do think that what we're seeing with wages not going up very fast is sort of the same structural economic problem we've seen for decades: that the economy grows and the economy contract and yet we don't see benefits accruing to the vast majority of people. I think part of what explains Trump -- beyond all the ... obvious causes -- is some kind of fundamental sense amongst people that things aren't fair, and that we, each of us, don't have as much dignity in the society as we used to have. And that's something that crosses parties: because I think you see some of that same feeling in the desire for revolutionary change Bernie Sanders. It's something you see across races: Donald Trump appealed to it by using racism for white voters, but that same sense that something is broken -- in our economy, in our culture -- that saps us of dignity in our dealings with our bosses at work, where we don't feel we have enough power, with the companies we give money to every day -- the cable companies and the airlines and the banks -- and the people we deal with ... And I think Democrats don't neccesarily have -- none of us have -- the language for how to talk about this; I don't have the language to talk about this. But I think about it all the time. I think about it when we talk about the way in which people leave the Trump administration and pay no price for it. And it seems like it's disconnected -- but a culture that doesn't prize basic values about fairness, integrity, honesty, is a culture in which people feel as if the only way to get ahead is to cheat and steal and lie. And that brokennes is part of our politics, and it's a huge part of our culture right now, and I don't think that anyone has the language, really, to talk about it." -- Jon Lovett, on Pod Save America, 2018-03-11
[Not sure how he would have punctuated that or whether it would have been more than one paragraph, if he'd written it instead of speaking extemporaneously. This is my impression, punctuation-wise, of how it came out when he said it.]
Argh, blackletter. Caroligian Minuscule was a legible hand. Insular, too. But a couple hundred years after they had those perfectly reasonable scripts ... somebody had to invent Fraktur. *sigh*
I'm trying to read something from a book that uses a lot of Fraktur or some similar blackletter typeface. Any Latin or French or Italian name or word -- or Roman numerals -- got set in an almost modern-looking, very clear typeface, but everything that's German text or organ tabulature is in blackletter. I think I'm okay on the lowercase -- I'm sure this snippet:
is "c d e d c h c h a g" (well, c-overbar, d-overbar, etc. -- the overbars mean "an octave higher", and the octave seems to start on H (b-natural) though I think I've spotted inconsistencies in that). But I could use a sanity-check on uppercase, since I'm looking at strings that aren't words. With that in mind, am I correct in reading this:
as "c G c d e d e d e f"? That second letter looks awfully B-ish, but it's not actually a B, right? And this:
is "f d e f g e f g c G A h c h c h A h"? Or are those uppercase H, since they appear to be larger than the h in the first snippet? (I tried to make all these snippets the same scale, not zooming at all between screengrabs, but I'm not entirely sure converting from TIFF to PNG in Preview preserved that.) Though if those really are H instead of h, I think I'm going to treat that as a typo because jumps of a diminished ninth are out of character for the rest of the piece.( for context, a larger image, four voices for three measures )
The piece all these are from is "Da bei rami" by Clémentine de Bourges, taken from Ein schön nutz unnd gebreüchlich Orgel Tabulaturbuch (Jacob Paix, 1583, Getruckt bey Leonhart Reinmichel, Lauingen, Germany). That PDF is huge, but I have a smaller file containing just the cover and the pages for this tune. I'm just about finished transcribing it into standard modern notation (by way of ABC), but for proofreading the notes that go down into the uppercase octave and getting confirmation that this:
really does mean "[triplet: c# b-natural c#] [triplet: d c-natural d]", which so far has been the only sense I've managed to make of it. (What resembles an 'ae' ligature is, I'm pretty sure, a 'c' followed by the 'sharp' curlicue. Elsewhere there are what look like 'fe' ligatures that pretty much have to be f-sharps.) And that I'm putting my b-naturals in the correct octaves. So I guess in addition to somebody unfazed by Fraktur, I could use input from somebody who reads mensural notation.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-06-16:
"Sewers caused all our troubles. The masses in this country are not like your Americans, nor even like the British. They are slave stock. They are good for nothing but slaves and only when they are used as slaves are they happy. But we, the decent people, made the mistake of giving them modern housing in the cities where we have our factories. We put sewers in these cities, sewers which extend right down to the workers' quarters. Not content with the work of God, we thus interfere with His Will. The result is that the slave stock increases. Had we no sewers in Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao, all these Red leaders would have died in their infancy instead of exciting the rabble and causing good Spanish blood to flow. When the war is over, we should destroy the sewers. The perfect birth control for Spain is the birth control God intended us to have. Sewers are a luxury to be reserved for those who deserve them, the leaders of Spain, not the slave stock." -- Gonzalo de Aguilera y Munro, landowner and former army officer, offers his take on the cause of the Spanish Civil War.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
[Oh, the echoes I'm hearing in attitudes toward the poor...]
"Optimist: AI has achieved human-level performance!
Realist: 'AI' is a collection of brittle hacks that, under very
specific circumstances, mimic the surface appearance of
intelligence. Pessimist: AI has achieved human-level
performance." -- David Mimno,
"Of course, none of this matters unless you are the pilot. But historically pilots have made the same mistakes as passengers. Having been given the airplane, they had to learn to use it. Generations were required. Eventually they admitted that instinct was unreliable in clouds, and that they needed special instruments to tell them what was happening to the plane. Without the instruments they went into mysterious banks and dived out of control. Thus was born the most basic distinction in flying, between conditions in which the turn is visible and conditions in which it must be measured. The ability to fly through weather and in darkness is more important than speed in the conquest of distance. The mastery of the turn is the story of how aviation became practical as a means of transportation. It is the story of how the world became small." -- William Langewiesche, "The turn", The Atlantic Monthly, December 1993 [bold emphasis added]
"With all these headlines, I just assumed Steel Tariffs was Stormy Daniel's co-star." -- Stephen Colbert, 2018-03-07
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Slept very poorly (much interrupted; leg cramps, unable to find a comfortabl=
e position, etc.), and finally woke from a very vivid dream about sea level r=
ise (higher than I hear anyone predicting), migration from coastal areas int=
o the Appalachians, cultural shifts in WV from the arrival of large numbers o=
f lowlanders, and relieving the resulting tensions by way of new types of fu=
sion music, particularly finding common ground in the creation of swing-meta=
What woke me was when the dream turned to issues of transportation infrastru=
cture for relocated industries (the water was getting really, really high in=
my dream), and effects of water pollution from the flooding of dumps, citie=
s, and industrial sites abandoned in too much of a hurry to do any remediati=
on before the sea took them. (When problem solving in a dream gets to the p=
oint where I'm making charts and spreadsheets and discussing interlocking po=
licy proposals, that generally wakes me up. Many's the morning I wake after=
too little sleep because a dream got too surreal to avoid "going meta", or t=
oo mathy to keep doing all the problem solving in my sleep.)
"We have a pathology in this country. We're a self-governing country whose citizens don't actually believe in self-governance and in fact don't know how their government actually works." -- NonyNony, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments [thanks to
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