deferred live

Today is only yesterday's tomorrow.                                                                   

I got lost and IT remained

We were talking about mental age.

How very commonly we hear it remarked, that such and such thoughts are beyond the compass of words! I do not believe that any thought, properly so called, is out of the reach of language. I fancy, rather, that where difficulty in expression is experienced, there is, in the intellect which experiences it, a want either of deliberateness or of method.

For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words, with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived it :: as I have before observed, the thought is logicalized by the effort at (written) expression.

There is, however, a class of fancies, of exquisite delicacy, which are not thoughts, and to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt language. I use the word fancies at random, and merely because I must use some word; but the idea commonly attached to the term is not even remotely applicable to the shadows of shadows in question. They seem to me rather psychal than intellectual. They arise in the soul (alas, how rarely!) only at its epochs of most intense tranquillity–when the bodily and mental health are in perfection– and at those mere points of time where the confines of the waking world blend with those of the world of dreams. I am aware of these “fancies” only when I am upon the very brink of sleep, with the consciousness that I am so. I have satisfied myself that this condition exists but for an inappreciable point of time–yet it is crowded with these “shadows of shadows;” and for absolute thought there is demanded time’s endurance. [ Edgar Allan Poe, “Marginalia – Part V” ]

I always loved the album “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. But when I was reading the orginal Poe (whose snippets from above is uttered in Orson Welles deep resonating voice in the album) I was transfixed by a sense of incredulity. Who was this man Poe? It came to me that he is my mirror image. Only the mirror is the nth one in the progression of images produced by two parallel mirrors.

August 7th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Posted in i

Subjective objectivity

Hunter S. Thompson was speaking about the Hippies. In those lines above. He is the same person who is credited as the creator of Gonzo journalism.

gon·zo | gnz

Perhaps Italian, simpleton (perhaps short for Borgonzone, Burgundian) or Spanish ganso, dullard, goose (of Germanic origin; see ghans- in Indo-European roots)The Free Dictionary

1971, Amer.Eng., in Hunter S. Thompson's phrase gonzo journalism, from It. gonzo "simpleton, blockhead." Thompson in 1972 said he got it from editor Bill Cardosa, and explained it as "some Boston word for weird, bizarre."Online Etymology Dictionary

The supposed etymology of the word gonzo is quite contradictory to its modern usage. Which makes me suspect that there is no etymology at all. Here is a word which is as it is. Gonzo.

All these urban history is very reassuring for me. The void of a “unique” is a terrible one. The novelty of that uniqueness soon can give way to the vacuity of uniqueness. And it does, more often than not. Not all abstract is good abstract. So it is really very assuring, this modern history. I always held to the belief that man can feel no emotion which has not been felt ever before. This can make the every succeeding moment mundane. What precludes this from happening is the fact that the “man” is a “new man”. So even if the emotions are not unique, the combination of that “old emotion” with this “new man” makes it a unique entity. And so I again drive to the edge and hold back. And so I again do not take the plunge. So I linger still.

I was thinking about a cuppa joe between Ayn Rand and Hunter S. Thompson. She the champion of Objectivity. He is the living practitioner of Subjectivity. She says, “2 + 2 = 4 is not an objective observation. In the base 10, 2 + 2 = 4 is the correct objective reporting”. He says, “2 + 2 indeed is not always equal to 4; sometimes it does fall short by a cent or two”. I kind of agree with Thompson. I believe in the subjective objectivity of this business [ in this journey ] of life.

The famous “Gonzo fist”, originally used by Hunter S. Thompson in his 1970 campaign for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. The fist has become a symbol of Thompson and Gonzo journalism as a whole.

What is Gonzo? The etymology of an urban legend.

July 27th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Posted in i

The day it will happen

Today is Friday the 19th and my father is now gone for a week and some hours more. He is dead. I was told of the inevitable on Thursday, 11th June 2009, the doctor called and summed up his existence in one single sentence. Your father is going to die, he said. And I waited for the moments yonder. Stretched from hour to hours, from evening to night to dawn to pre-noon and then I fell asleep. The telephone rang at some hours past noon. He was then really dead. The day was then 12th June, Friday, 2:30 pm. I was not even wide awake. I still had the advantage of negation that is borne by extreme tiredness. I still waited, waited; oblivion was sought desperately. And the clock skipped minutes. The quasi slumber peeled off slowly. And I had to get up and pee.

The willful procrastination had ended. But it was not over yet. My mother still did not know. She still knew he was on “life support” and she still knew that she was going to “see” him.

The car reached the hospital at around 4:55 pm. I stood in queue, for I had to get the multiple “passes” that the hospital authorities issued to the relatives of the patient. Multiple passes, because this was an exception to the rule. The rule was to allow only two relatives. I even said, “shut the fuck up bitch and give me the passes now” to the girl at the other end of the glass barrier. My mother was the first one to go up. My father was at last dead to all and sundry.

That was a week and some hours back. The man who admitted me to a “English medium” school is no more. The man who got me out of IIT KGP is gone. He will never come back again to embarrass me with his direct talk. He is my father and always will be.

This magazine is for you.

I read and saw about euthanasia all the more in the last month. And now I am not so sure anymore. I knew him since I was about 3 years old. He was the man who did the impossible thing of getting me admitted to Don Bosco, Park Circus. A refugee from Bangladesh, who had no precedent in “English medium schools”. He never asked me about grades, never ever. He got mad at me for a countable number of times. 9 times. 11 or 13 times. And the reasons were all very unlike the reasons I used to see with other parents. He was so unlike the faceless people that I was surrounded by.

Bosciana was the name of the magazine, published by the boys of Don Bosco, Park Circus. We were such proud kids, boys of DBPC! In the second edition of Bosciana, I wrote the article “Only a soldier”. I had earlier read the book All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

June 19th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Posted in i

iFAQ is real

Infrequently Asked QuestionsBy Donald Ervin Knuth (Ka-NOOTH)

Why does my country have the right to be occupying Iraq?

Why should my country not support an international court of justice?

Is my country not strong enough to achieve its aims fairly?

When the leaders of a country cause it to do terrible things, what is the best way to restore the honor of that country?

Is it possible for potential new leaders to raise questions about their country’s possible guilt, without committing political suicide?

Do I deserve retribution from aggrieved people whose lives have been ruined by actions that my leaders have taken without my consent?

How can I best help set in motion a process by which reparations are made to people who have been harmed by unjust deeds of my country?

If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions like these, won’t the good people of my country be guilty of making things worse?

Donald E. Knuth is the Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University. He is the man who is writing this book for the last 46 years, started at 1962. American Scientist has included this work among the best twelve physical-science monographs of the twentieth century. The other 11 are Dirac on quantum mechanics, Einstein on relativity, Mandelbrot on fractals, Pauling on the chemical bond, Russell and Whitehead on foundations of mathematics, von Neumann and Morgenstern on game theory, Wiener on cybernetics, Woodward and Hoffmann on orbital symmetry, Feynman on quantum electrodynamics, Smith on the search for structure, and Einstein’s collected papers.1

All this is still within expected. What is beyond expectation is the iFAQ! Why does a man like Donald Knuth need to put in black and white these uncomfortable and totally un-mathematical questions in his official website? My best shot is this saying from Arthur C. Clarke:

As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.

Knuth says, “Perhaps the best clues to the outlines of successful answers can be found in a wonderful speech that Richard von Weizsäcker gave in 1985.

February 7th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Posted in them

My favourite things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favourite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.The Sound of Music

Few of my favourite things also include: prime numbers, happy prime numbers, the phrase “six of one and half-a-dozen of the other”, the colour black and Bleu, the sounds pristine and the words deep, the infrequent questions, the unusual love songs, et al.

January 25th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Posted in i

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