Speaker for the Diodes

Aug. 30th, 2017

04:39 pm - QotD

"For politics is not like the nursery; in politics obedience and support are the same." -- Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil</i> [via Goodreads]

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Aug. 29th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"'Naps and Courage' is a slogan and a praxis I can get behind." -- Shepherd Commander, 2017-01-30

context )

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Aug. 28th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"what no one else is *getting* is that if my rights can evaporate overnight, so can theirs." -- safarishane, 2016-12-31

"Who do you think looks down from Heaven and says 'I didn't say that' more? God or MLK?" -- Kar Against Humanity, 2017-01-16

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Aug. 27th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-03-23:

"He's a poor person's idea of a rich person. They see him. They think, 'If I were rich, I'd have a fabulous tie like that. Why are my ties not made of 400 acres of polyester?' All that stuff he shows you in his house--the gold faucets--if you won the lottery, that's what you'd buy." -- Fran Lebowitz, on U.S. President Donald Trump.

[ http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/10/fran-lebowitz-trump-clinton-election]

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

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Aug. 26th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"'Neuroskeptic' of Discover magazine found four allegedly peer-reviewed science journals happy to accept a paper on Star Wars 'midi-chlorians', based on Wikipedia's mitochondria entry (after a quick search-and-replace and thesaurus shuffling), peppered with references to the Force, Darth Plagueis of the Sith, etc., and signed as by Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin. Of nine targeted journals, five rejected this nonsense (full marks to JSM Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for 'The authors have neglected to add the following references: Lucas et al., 1977, Palpatine et al., 1980, and Calrissian et al., 1983'); three published the paper; one accepted it but wanted a $360 publication fee which was not forthcoming." -- Paul Barnett in David Langford's Ansible #361, 2017-08-01, describing/citing "Predatory Journals Hit By 'Star Wars' Sting", Discover, 2017-07-22 [the Ansible description is snappier but the Discover original has additional amusing details. The fake paper itself is now on Scribd, but I haven't read it yet because Scribd doesn't seem to want to play nicely with my browsers.]

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Aug. 25th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"Trauma ripples through families. It ripples through cultures. If there is coming back from genocide, it is the work of centuries." -- Leah Bobet, 2017-01-27 [The thread I pulled this from is long. And powerful. And, I think, important and disquieting.]

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Aug. 24th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

<-- lj-cut text="the mayor, on knowing when it's time" -->

"There's one hard lesson every leader needs to know. To recognize the situation has changed, you're no longer the right person for the job, and it's time to give up power." -- the mayor[*] of planet Jean, in Freefall by Mark Stanley, 2017-06-30

[Come to think of it, if you substitute certain other groups for robots in her previous statement, it sounds like it applies to som present-day, real-world politicians: "I didn't see robots as people. I'm still having a hard time with it. That's a fatal flaw in someone who's supposed to represent them."]

[*] Her name has never neen given in the comic; she has only ever been referred to by her title.

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Aug. 23rd, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable." -- Aaron Copland (b. 1900-11-14, d. 1990-12-02), "The Pleasure of Music", 1959, The Saturday Evening Post

[Happy birthday to my bandmate, Becky!]

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Aug. 22nd, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"Even if we do not believe that a Higher Power has made detailed arrangements for the gifts and opportunities we have, we get to decide what meaning we want to make of the current situation. We can decide to craft the story of our lives along the path of justice, kindness, mercy, and shared liberation." -- Rev. Lyn Cox, 2017-03-05

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Aug. 21st, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Anti-Blackness doesn't stop being important when we are talking about the environment, White supremacy doesn't stop being important... Environmentalists that know how to talk about the ice caps melting, but can't talk about asthma rates in cities are missing the mark." -- J Mase III, 2017-01-03

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Aug. 20th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-05-10:

"One of the great challenges of our age, in which the tools of our productivity are also the tools of our leisure, is to figure out how to make more useful those moments of procrastination when we're idling in front of our computer screens. What if instead of tabbing over to the web browser in search of some nugget of gossip or news, or opening up a mindless game such as Angry Birds, we could instead scratch the itch by engaging in a meaningful activity, such as learning a foreign language?

"If five million people can be convinced to log into Zynga's Facebook game Farmville each day to water a virtual garden and literally watch the grass grow on their computer screens, surely, Ed [Cooke] believes, there must be a way to co-opt those same neural circuits that reward mindless gaming to make learning more addictive and enjoyable. That's the great ambition of Memrise, and it points towards a future where we're constantly learning in tiny chunks of our downtime."

-- Joshua Foer, on British memory champion Ed Cooke's online learning company, Memrise.

[ https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/09/learn-language-in-three-months]

(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)

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Aug. 19th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler, 2017-05-03:

Petey:  Galactic civilizations didn't all end the same way, but the endings all seem to start with people like you having meetings like this.
Admiral Chu:  At least now I have a scientific reason to hate meetings.

ibid., 2017-03-16:

Captain Kaff Tagon:  [...] Two wrongs don't make a right, but two unluckies do make a lucky.
Ennesby:  You meat-sophonts rarely notice, but words actually feel pain when they're abused.
Captain Kaff Tagon:  Cool. Long meetings just got way more fun for me.

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Aug. 18th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"Millennials aren't creating new gender identities they're only giving language to ones that have always existed under the burden of shame. " -- Ayishat A. Akanbi, 2017-04-07

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Aug. 17th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it." -- Edith Sitwell (b. 1887-09-07, d. 1964-12-09)

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Aug. 16th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"As I hear all the tawdry details of Jenner's story, I am also re-reading 'How Sex Changed' by Joanne Meyerowitz. [...] In it, Meyerowitz discusses the reactions to Christine Jorgensen's coming out in the 1950s, and how both her tale and many others who came out shortly thereafter, were steeped in the same sort of salaciousness as the promotions for Jenner's autobiography.

"Upon reflection, I realize, too, that every transgender person - and not just the Jorgensens and Jenners - face this same sort of thing. When you are trans, the standards of privacy are thrown out the window. We are expected to share our most intimate details to anyone we come across.

"Without exception, any time I was interviewed in any depth, I found myself asked about my name prior to my transition, or for photos of myself from my youth, or for details of any surgeries I may have undertaken. It really didn't matter if any of that would be relevant to the story: my disclosure was simply expected.

"The same standard is not expected of non-transgender people. Maiden names and other such things are considered private enough to be used as security features with banks and other institutions. Non-transgender strangers don't expect details of another's hysterectomies or vasectomies unless they happen to be medical professionals. So many things are naturally considered one's own private business.

"The minute one divulges one is transgender, however, all bets are off. What's more, to make an issue about such questions is to risk being panned as deceptive."

-- Gwendolyn Ann Smith, 2017-04-27

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Aug. 15th, 2017

05:26 am - QotD

"Race hatred cannot stop us
 This one thing we know
 Your poll tax and Jim Crow
 And greed has got to go
 You're bound to lose
 You fascists bound to lose."

  -- Woody Guthrie (b. 1912-07-14, d. 1967-10-03), "All You Fascists"

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Aug. 14th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"From a programmer's point of view, the user is a peripheral that types when you issue a read request." -- P. Williams

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Aug. 13th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-12-01:

"This generally has been called the "hate election" because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let's not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us. We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone.

"We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.

"If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: "He says the things I'm thinking." That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool's paradise. Now we aren't."

-- Neal Gabler, in his essay Farewell, America.

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<!-- 08/13/1860 Annie Oakley born --> <!-- 08/13/1934 Li'l Abner debut --> <!-- 08/13/1951 Dan Fogelberg is born in Peoria, Illinois --> <!-- 08/13/1961 Berlin wall erected --> <!-- 08/13/2017 Pennsic War XLVI --> <!-- lj-cut text="Neal Gabler, on hatefullness" --> <p>From the <a href="http://quotationofthedaylist.blogspot.com/"> Quotation of the day mailing list</a>, 2016-12-01:</p><blockquote> <p><i>"This generally has been called the "hate election" because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let's not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us. We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone.</i></p> <p><i>"We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.</i></p> <p><i>"If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: "He says the things I'm thinking." That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool's paradise. Now we aren't."</i></p> <p>-- Neal Gabler, in his essay Farewell, America.<br /> <p[<a href="http://billmoyers.com/story/farewell-america/"> http://billmoyers.com/story/farewell-america/</a>]</p> </blockquote><p>(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)</p>

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Aug. 12th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days." -- Bill Dana

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Aug. 11th, 2017

05:24 am - QotD

"Intimacy is that state in which, as Malamud Smith wrote, 'people relax their public front either physically or emotionally or, occasionally, both... [One] comes as close as one is capable of, or as close as one feels permitted, to revealing oneself to another person.'

"Intimacy has to be voluntary. It can't be forced, presumed, or automated, and as such, it runs counter to the logic of conventional surveillance, which enrolls us before and regardless of whether we're aware or consent.

"Surveillance culture, therefore, is fundamentally inhumane: as Dr. Hortense Spillers recently said, losing the ability to choose connection is a paradigmatic sign that one is not free."

-- Keisha E. McKenzie, 2017-03-07

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