Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

death, misdirection, what people are: the simple stuff
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I'm exhausted, since someone who lives something like UPSTAIRS was doing this periodic hammering thing last night. Someone like UPSTAIRS has been left a letter, a very nice letter -- well, a nice letter about quiet hours. We'll see.

So, being exhausted, this post will be full of too much weight. Not sure how the scales balance that one, but...

Two stories worth noting in the papers today.

One about Gin Rummysfeld winning the "Foot in Mouth Prize" from the Brits for the following professional obfuscation:

""Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know," Rumsfeld told a news briefing.

"We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

What's sad is that the only media outlet via which he probably got a truly hard time over this statement here is The Daily Show.

The other thing worth noting is the passing of Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, who died at the ripe old age of 98 in a New Jersey nursing home yesterday. It's a life that deserves at least a moment of reflection, I think.

We need more people who make grand symbols of their lives just now.

And lastly, I've been reading fascinating essays by Paul Broks from his book, INTO THE SILENT LAND: TRAVELS IN NEUROPSYCHOLOGY. I highly recommend seeking it out. It's a lovely, slender book full of short essays packed with both flattening and inflating observations, and it has a very pretty cover of a closed eye rendered in black and white.

Identity is something that fascinates me. It is so strong and so vulnerable at once. My grandmother has never quite been the same since her stroke; wonderful, and at times the spark is there, but there are more shadows now and she's just different. But still the same. So fragile. So strong.

This passage is worth sharing, on the off chance you have too many books to read already and no library close at hand with a copy.

Like the surface of the Earth, the brain is pretty much mapped. There are no secret compartments inaccessible to the surgeon's knife or the magnetic gaze of the brain scanner; no mysterious humours pervading the cerebral ventricles, no soul in the pineal gland, no vital spark, no spirits in the tangled wood. There is nothing you can't touch or squeeze, weigh and measure, as we might the physical properties of other objects. So you will search in vain for any semblance of a self within the structures of the brain: there is no ghost in the machine. It is time to grow up and accept this fact. But, somehow, we are the product of the operation of this machinery and its progress through the physical and social world.

Minds emerge from process and interaction, not substance. In a sense, we inhabit the spaces between things. We subsist in emptiness. A beautiful, liberating, thought and nothing to be afraid of. The notion of a tethered soul is crude by comparison. Shine a light, it's obvious.

earworm: anything without a hammer

random rec: lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub

namecheck: Howard "MJ Signed My Paycheck -- Once" Rodman

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