Japanese Cowboy
Like a Japanese cowboy or a brother on skates
Like a blizzard in Georgia or a train runnin' late
I called out your name, girl, in the heat of the night
And nobody answers, cause somethin' ain't right

Ween

There Is As Yet Insufficient Data For A Meaningful Answer
Matter and energy had ended and with it space and time. Even AC existed only for the sake of the one last question that it had never answered from the time a half-drunken computer [technician] ten trillion years before had asked the question of a computer that was to AC far less than was a man to Man.
All other questions had been answered, and until this last question was answered also, AC might not release his consciousness.
All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected.
But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible relationships.
A timeless interval was spent in doing that.
And it came to pass that AC learned how to reverse the direction of entropy. But there was now no man to whom AC might give the answer of the last question. No matter. The answer -- by demonstration -- would take care of that, too.
For another timeless interval, AC thought how best to do this. Carefully, AC organized the program.
The consciousness of AC encompassed all of what had once been a Universe and brooded over what was now Chaos. Step by step, it must be done.
And AC said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
And there was light --

Isaac Asimov, The Last Question

Math

Bill Watterson, November 25, 1992

Path
When walking, I know that my aim
Is caused by the ghosts with my name.
And although I don’t see
Where they walk next to me,
I know they’re all there, just the same.

David Morin, Introduction to Classical Mechanics (197)

Jonathan Duhamel on Poker
He never came close to repeating his 2010 feat, he recalls. From 2011 to 2018, he only managed twice to rank in the top 1000 players of the World Series (409th in 2018 and 565th in 2015), which allowed him to receive part of the purses reserved for the 15% of best players in the tournament. The other six years he was quickly eliminated and lost his US $ 10,000 entry fee.

"I could still try to convince myself that I'm the best, but in reality, I was lucky when I had to be. I've come to terms with that."

La Presse

A very nice boy
What is the name of the Jewish boy with the Facebook? Zuckerberger? I met him. A very nice boy. Also the Jewish boy from Google, a nice boy.

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin

61A
Sometimes I look back at the midterms I've made and I'm like, how do I even do this question?

John DeNero

Longest Monkey Sentence
Give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you.

Nim Chimpsky

Reality
When my bird was looking at my computer monitor, i thought WOOOOAH! That bird has no idea what he's looking at. And yet, what does the bird do? Does he panic? No...he can't really panic. He just does the best he can. Is he able to live in a world where he's so ignorant? Well, he doesn't really have a choice. Yeah, he can kinda live. It's not- it's usually- Usually the bird is okay even though he doesn't understand the world. And uhh...He can kinda learn what's safe and what's..uh..dangerous. So uh. That's where i've been living. You're that bird looking at the monitor, and you're thinking to yourself "i can figure this out!" And, you know, maybe you have some bird ideas...that are...

Maybe that's the best you can do.

Terry Davis

Determinism
The secret is to just do whatever you want because there is no such thing as decisions. The way you end up playing is the only way you could possibly have ever played. This hand is just the next stop on a train that's been running for four billion years. Ever since life bubbled out of a simmering puddle of acid. You could stick a thermometer in that puddle, give it a read, and know whether four billion years later.

Jon Bois

Tech
The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.

Jeff Hammerbacher

Intermediate Axis Theorem
For example, John Mallinckrodt (CSU Pomona) relates the story of a student asking Richard Feynman if there is any intuitive way to understand the result; Feynman went into deep thought for about 10 or 15 seconds and answered, "no."

Source

Jon's Motto
never
try
anything
that
is
difficult

Jon Bois

Evil
It was granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience; how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer, and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. And it was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains… an unuprooted small corner of evil.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

In the Desert
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

Stephen Crane

A Libertarian Puzzle
Allow me to oversimplify.

People disagree about ends: Some people want to promote broader human flourishing, others want to preserve the status quo. People disagree about means: Some people think unfettered markets will best promote broader human flourishing, others think unfettered markets will best preserve the status quo.

We have a nice two-by-two: people who want to promote human flourishing and think that unfettered markets are the best way to get there (libertarians), people who want to promote human flourishing and think that unfettered markets are an impediment (socialists), people who want to preserve the status quo and think unfettered markets are the best way to get there (capitalists), people who want to preserve the status quo and think unfettered markets are an impediment (statists).

Both libertarians and capitalists will go around saying that unfettered markets are great. And both of them will try to persuade their audience by telling their audience that unfettered markets will lead to the thing their audience wants. If the audience wants to preserve the status quo, they will emphasize how unfettered markets properly reward the dynamic innovators who create greatness in the world. If the audience wants to promote human flourishing, they will emphasize how unfettered markets give everyone the opportunity to succeed without the inhibiting force of government regulation.

The trouble is, as an audience member, you can’t really tell whether the speaker is actually a capitalist or a libertarian (or a libertarian who has been duped by a capitalist, or a capitalist who has been duped by a libertarian). Like any salesman, they’ll tell you that their product is the perfect thing to accomplish your needs.

Which leaves just one puzzle: why are there so few statists?

Aaron Swartz

IMG 5148
Basically, if you go to Youtube and you search the letters 'IMG', and then a space, and any random 4 numbers like 'IMG 5148' or 'IMG 0968', something like that, give it a search, and you will find this collection of videos that were just automatically uploaded by some camera, or system, or something. Usually they were unintentional, or accidental, or automatic uploads. So what this means is you'll find a lot of videos, that have literally never been seen, uh, by anyone. They have 0 views and they've been up for years. I saw one one time, that, it was this automated wildlife footage camera, that just shot this up to Youtube. 0 view video, of this like rabbit and deer, like uh, snacking on the same piece of shrubbery, or whatever, and I was like "This is amazing! These 2 animals are getting together, and I was the only one in years to have seen it!" and I just found that incredible.

Jon Bois