Ansel Adams – The Camera (1980)

I attempt in these books to suggest the importance of craft and its relation to creativity in photography. As for the creativity itself, I can only assert that it exists; that there is a magical potential that can be demonstrated only by reference to those works that possess it, through all ages, in all media.

If everyone possesses some measure of this intangible quality called creativity, photography is unprecedented as an outlet for its expression. Yet at times it seems that the very freedom and accessibility of photography are self-defeating. Thoughtful application is often submerged by avaricious automation of equipment and procedure. … The impression prevails that the acquisition of equipment and the following of “rules” assure achievement.

Douglas Hofstadter – Metamagical Themas (1985)

Those who would caution people that it might be counter-productive to work against the arms race—unless they believe one should work for the arms race—are in effect counseling paralysis. But would they do so in other areas of life? You never know if that car trip to the grocery store won’t be the last thing you do in your life. All life is a gamble.

What it seems to me is needed is a healthy dose of indignation: a spark, a flame, a fire inside.

Neil Gaiman – Trigger Warning (2015)

In May I received an anonymous Mother’s Day card. This puzzled me. I would have noticed if I had ever had children, surely?

In October I found a notice saying, “Normal Service Will Be Resumed as Soon as Possible. Honest,” taped to the side of the goldfish tank. Two of the goldfish appeared to have been taken and replaced by identical substitutes.

In April I found a note on my bedside table apologizing for the problems in service, and assuring me that henceforward all faults in the universe had been remedied forever. WE APOLOGIZE OF THE INCONVENIENTS, it concluded.

In May I received another Mother’s Day card.

May tale, “A Calendar of Tales”


Douglas Hofstadter – Le ton beau de Marot (1997)

The image Searle wishes to project places the human front and center and downplays the rest nearly completely. In such a case, what else could one wish to map oneself onto but the human?

When, however, one realizes that the human being plays but an inconsequential role–that of dronelike bookkeeper–in a fantastically large and intricate system the interesting aspects of whose behavior take place on a slow-as-molasses time scale far more stretched-out than one can easily identify with, one starts to realize how ingenuous and wrong-headed it is to insist on mapping oneself solely onto the tiny human lost in the middle of it, because doing so completely leaves out of the picture the true source of the system’s complexity and interest.

(of Searle’s Chinese room argument)


Michio Kaku – Physics of the Future (2011)

Magnetic lines of force cannot penetrate a superconductor. This is the Meissner effect. (When a magnetic field is applied to a superconductor, a small electric current forms on the surface and cancels it, so the magnetic field is expelled from the superconductor.) When you place the magnet on top of the ceramic, its field lines bunch up since they cannot pass through the ceramic. This creates a “cushion” of magnetic field lines, which are all squeezed together, thereby pushing the magnet away from the ceramic, making it float.

, ,

Neil Gaiman – Trigger Warning (2015)

…The new mother did not like the girl and treated her badly, always favoring her own daughter, who was indolent and rude. One day, her stepmother gave the girl, who was only eighteen, twenty dollars to buy her drugs. “Don’t stop on the way,” she said.

So the girl…

“Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale”