“Reading the very best writers—let us say Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy—is not going to make us better citizens. Art is perfectly useless, according to the sublime Oscar Wilde, who was right about everything. He also told us that all bad poetry is sincere. Had I the power to do so, I would command that these words be engraved above every gate at every university, so that each student might ponder the splendor of the insight.”
― Harold Bloom, The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
But I think the deeper and more interesting aspect of this misreading of the New Aesthetic is that it directly mirrors what it is describing: the illegibility of technology itself to a non-technical audience. From the very first post about the New Aesthetic I have been talking about what these images reveal about the underlying systems that produce them, and/or the human viewpoint which frames them. It is impossible for me, with an academic background in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, with a practical background in literary editing and software programming, with a lifetime of interacting with the internet and other systems, not to look at these images and immediately start to think about not what they look like, but how they came to be and what they become: the processes of capture, storage, and distribution; the actions of filters, codecs, algorithms, processes, databases, and transfer protocols; the weight of datacenters, servers, satellites, cables, routers, switches, modems, infrastructures physical and virtual; and the biases and articulations of disposition and intent encoded in all of these things, and our comprehension of them
Reformation, Girlfriend Collective
granola mom ('90s "green" style --> generic brand)
Numi Tea, 7th Generation Soap
Anything remotely vegan
just literal greenwashing
(RED) by Apple
Whole Foods x Amazon
Everybody in the world has an idea of what Los Angeles is. Everybody thinks they know what Los Angeles means, even if they’ve never been here. And, if you live in Los Angeles, you’re used to having your city explained to you by people who come in for a couple of weeks, stay at a hotel in Beverly Hills, and take in what they can get to within 10 minutes of their rented car. The thing that people find hard to understand, I think, is sort of the magnitude of what’s here, the huge number of multiple cultures that live in the city who come together in this beautiful and haphazard fashion. And the fault lines between them are sometimes where you find the most beautiful things.
You must act like a warrior. One learns to act like a warrior by acting, not by talking. A warrior has only his will and his patience and with them he builds anything he wants. You have no more time for retreats or for regrets. You only have time to live like a warrior and work for patience and will.
Will is something very special. It happens mysteriously. There is no real way of telling how one uses it, except that the results of using the will are astounding. Perhaps the first thing that one should do is to know that one can develop the will. A warrior knows that and proceeds to wait for it.
A warrior knows that he is waiting and knows what he is waiting for. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for the average man to know what he is waiting for. A warrior, however, has no problems; he knows that he is waiting for his will.
Will is something very clear and powerful which can direct our acts. Will is something a man uses, for instance, to win a battle which he, by all calculations, should lose. It is not what we call courage. Courage is something else. Men of courage are dependable men, noble men perennially surrounded by people who flock around them and admire them; yet very few men of courage have will. Usually they are fearless men who are given to performing daring common-sense acts; most of the time a courageous man is also fearsome and feared. Will, on the other hand, has to do with astonishing feats that defy our common sense. You may say that it is a kind of control.
Will is not what one calls "will power." Denying oneself certain things with "will power," is an indulgence and I don't recommend anything of the kind. The indulgence of denying is by far the worst; it forces us to believe we are doing great things, when in effect we are only fixed within ourselves.
Will is a power. And since it is a power it has to be controlled and tuned and that takes time. When I was your age I was as impulsive as you. Yet I have changed. Our will operates in spite of our indulgence. For example your will is already opening your gap, little by little.
There is a gap in us; like the soft spot on the head of a child which closes with age, this gap opens as one develops one's will. It's an opening. It allows a space for the will to shoot out, like an arrow. What a sorcerer calls will is a power within ourselves. It is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. An act of "will power" is not will because such an act needs thinking and wishing. Will is what can make you succeed when your thoughts tell you that you're defeated. Will is a force which is the true link between men and the world.
The world is whatever we perceive, in any manner we may choose to perceive. Perceiving the world entails a process of apprehending whatever presents itself to us. This particular perceiving is done with our senses and with our will. Will is a relation between ourselves and the perceived world.
What the average man calls will is character and strong disposition. What a sorcerer calls will is a force that comes from within and attaches itself to the world out there. One can perceive the world with the senses as well as with the will.
An average man can "grab" the things of the world only with his hands, or his senses, but a sorcerer can grab them also with his will. I cannot really describe how it is done, but you yourself, for instance, cannot describe to me how you hear. It happens that I am also capable of hearing, so we can talk about what we hear, but not about how we hear. A sorcerer uses his will to perceive the world. That perceiving, however, is not like hearing. When we look at the world or when we hear it, we have the impression that it is out there and that it is real. When we perceive the world with our will we know that the world is not as "out there" or as "real" as we think.
Will is a force, a power. Seeing is not a force, but rather a way of getting through things. A sorcerer may have a very strong will and yet he may not see; which means that only a man of knowledge perceives the world with his senses and with his will and also with his seeing.
Now you know you are waiting for your will. You still don't know what it is, or how it could happen to you. So watch carefully everything you do. The very thing that could help you develop your will is amidst all the little things you do.
h n fav books:
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Beloved by Toni Morrison
In the Boom Boom Room by David Rabe
History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault
Medea by Euripedes
Agamemnon by Aeschylus
HIT by Alice Tuan
Elektra by Sophocles
Howl by Allen Ginsberg
Phaedra by Racine
Discourse on Method by René Descartes
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
Oedipus by Sophocles
A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White by Adrienne Kennedy
"Documentary photography has amassed mountains of evidence. And yet, in this pictorial presentation of scientific and legalistic “fact,” the genre has contributed much to spectacle, to retinal excitation, to voyeurism, to terror, envy and nostalgia, and only a little to the critical understanding of the social world."
Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951
Celebrities might inhabit your life, but they are not your friends. Regardless of the intentions of those on whom it is bequeathed, celebrity is the lieutenant of exploitation. Let’s turn our neighbours back into our neighbours, and turn our backs on those who impersonate them.
"People say sometimes that Beauty is superficial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superficial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray