Morning refuge

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

mole:

Until enlightenment I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and in the supreme assembly of the Sangha, I mutter, but I don’t really: I take refuge in the car starting and in scrambled eggs and in coffee fatted with cream. I think of all the cancers growing in my friends, and in strangers, possibly in myself: the race between cells that know restraint and cells that don’t is not a hard one to call. The worst are full of passionate intensity, and single-mindedly, bloodily intent on replication. The faces in the Republican Convention hall didn’t even look human to me: they looked like masks.

The future of copyright copyrestriction

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Mike Linksvayer:

Although it is often said that a work is protected by copyrestriction, this is strictly not true. A work is protected through the existence of lots of copies and lots of curators.

[…]

Free and open source software has demonstrated the ethical and practical value of the opposite of copyrestriction, which is not its absence, but regulation mandating the sharing of copies, specifically in forms suitable for inspection and improvement. This regulation most famously occurs in the form of source-requiring copyleft, e.g., the GNU General Public License (GPL), which allows copyrestriction holders to use copyrestriction to force others to share works based on GPL’d works in their preferred form for modification, e.g., source code for software. However, this regulation occurs through other means as well, e.g., communities and projects refusing to curate and distribute works not available in source form, funders mandating source release, and consumers refusing to buy works not available in source form.

Charles Simic on poets and money

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

NYRblog:

In a country that now regards money as the highest good, doing something for the love of it is not just odd, but downright perverse. Imagine the horror and anger felt by parents of a son or daughter who was destined for the Harvard Business School and a career in finance but discovered an interest in poetry instead. Imagine their enticing descriptions of the future riches and power awaiting their child while trying to make him or her reconsider the decision. “Who has recognized you as a poet? Who has enrolled you in the ranks of poets?,” the trial judge shouted at the Russian poet Josef Brodsky, before sentencing him to five years of hard labor. “No one,” Brodsky replied. He could have been speaking for all the sons and daughters who had to face their parents’ wrath.

The spell of Moominland

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The Myriad Things:

These days, the Moomin characters have turned into a global franchise; and yet when I think about my own relationship with these books that were so formative of my imagination, I realise that what I owe these books is something much more private and intimate, a philosophy of sorts. Because in Tove Jansson’s books, when I re-read them now, I find a fierce recognition of the importance of solitude; an expansive sense of friendship—not a friendship that erases solitude, but one that is a kind of mutual recognition within it; a sense of delight in the world, its seasons and its changes, that doesn’t require any form of transcendence; and a hospitable generosity of spirit that manages, in one way or another, to accommodate even the most awkward and tricky of characters—not just eccentrics, stove-dwelling ancestors, hemulens, free spirits and oddballs, but also genuinely alarming creatures such as grokes and philosophers.

Artistic creation as a radical act

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

the cassandra pages:

The fact is that we are living in a time when the decision to be an artist, to continue to create in spite of everything that’s happening around us, IS a radical political act. This is, I feel, quite a dark time, potentially destructive to the best and most noble aspects of the human spirit. And that’s precisely why it is terribly important for artists in all disciplines to continue to create, even when it feels like there’s little market and little appreciation for our work. Just doing it, and making the difficult decision to continue to do it — to live creative lives that celebrate what life is and can be — is both defiant and affirming, and it’s crucially important. People need to know that someone they know — a neighbor, a friend, a cousin — is committed to the arts. Young people particularly need to know this.

Reading Dawkins

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John Miedema:

You can make a bold claim — God is a delusion — if you exclude all good thinking on the subject and only focus on a straw man. Like Dawkins, I reject the fairy tale and instead use religion poetically. Thing is, we are not all eloquent poets. Many theists use the language of religious tradition but the essence of their belief is the same awe at the grandness of nature. I dusted off my old Psalter Hymnal and its Confession of Faith begins by saying that we know God by the “creation, preservation, and governance of the universe”.

Mindful of the mindset

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Twisted rib:

The best cup of coffee I’ve ever had remains the one I drank in southern Tanzania after spending one of the least pleasant nights of my life (so far, as Homer Simpson would qualify) at a large warehouse-like structure near the Tazara railway station in Mbozi. After sleepless hours of giant fearless rats, lying over my rucksack to mitigate attention from fearless (if not giant) thieves, accompanied by a naked man with floor-length dreads dancing round a fire reciting verse in a mellifluous voice in at least four different languages (I only recognised the Shakespeare) all night – well, almost any fluid would probably have tasted like the nectar of the gods.

Complicated compasses

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

A year of Mt. Tamalpais:

It’s hard to keep the focus on the ridgeline before us, isn’t it? We are so given to keep looking beyond. And we tend to look beyond not so much with our eyes, as with our feelings, whatever those may be, from fear to hope to greed. We set out to map that beyond with our complicated compasses: some of us look for adventures, while others for more territory to claim for our sprawling desires. We go from surveyors of experiences to purveyors of schemes in a heartbeat.

I grow old, I grow old

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Slow Reads:

So much of what I’ve written before feels like innocence.
I could no more write it again than the earth could cool.

How did I find this pencil? Was I reaching in the kitchen drawer
for a twist tie, or did I fish it out of my old shorts?