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I live on an island in the Salish Sea close to the Canadian border. I love human beings but am horrified by the way we are treating our environment. Society is in crisis I hope we can give up on greed and avaricious and create a more sustainable and equitable culture..

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Literature was born not the day when a boy crying wolf, wolf came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels: literature was born on the day when a boy came crying wolf, wolf and there was no wolf behind him. That the poor little fellow because he lied too often was finally eaten up by a real beast is quite incidental. But here is what is important. Between the wolf in the tall grass and the wolf in the tall story there is a shimmering go-between. That go-between, that prism, is the art of literature.

—Vladimir Nabokov

"Anomie" or a condition of normlessness

2 min read

From Wikipedia:

Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is "the condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals".  Anomie may evolve from conflict of belief systems  and causes breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community (both economic and primary socialization). In a person this can progress into a dysfunction in ability to integrate within normative situations of their social world - e.g., an unruly personal scenario that results in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of values

Anomie In literature, film, and theatre 

In Albert Camus's existentialist novel The Stranger, the bored, alienated protagonist Meursault struggles to construct an individual system of values as he responds to the disappearance of the old. He exists largely in a state of anomie,[21] as seen from the apathy evinced in the opening lines: "Aujourd’hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas" ("Today mum died. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know").

Fyodor Dostoyevsky expressed a similar concern about anomie in his novel The Brothers KaramazovThe Grand Inquisitor remarks that in the absence of God and immortal life, everything would be lawful.  In other words, that any act becomes thinkable, that there is no moral compass, which leads to apathy and detachment.

Reading List for the Traveler

1 min read

The traveler would be me.

  1. The Book of Disquite  - Pessoa
  2. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis by José Saramago
  3. The Walk by Robert Walser
  4. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

One: I have started reading this book numerous times. Sometimes I open it at random and start the content is in small components like a assemblage of notes.  

Two: Ricardo Reis was one of the 70+ heteronyms used by Fernando Pessoa, Saramago places both Reis and Pessoa in his novel as main characters. This choice is research into two of Lisbon's greatest authors and into life in Portugal in the 1930's.

Three: The Walk extols the virtues of walking without  clear purpose, in the manner of a Flaneur. I m interested in this practice and this ook is considered research.

Four: Zuboff's new book is a dense treatise on modern "Stack" capitalism and the surveillance systems currently built into the commercial internet. Zuboff has her detractors but the threat she discuses is very real.

____________#literature

Pessoa's Guide to Lisbon

This guidebook on Lisbon by Pessoa was found in the author's paper "trunk" in the late 80's as a bunch of unordered typewritten pages. The book was finished in the end of 1925 according to some references in the text. The original version, written in English.

Fernando Pessoa and the Embodiment of the Other

Fernando Pessoa and the Embodiment of the Other

Doing some background research on Pessoa and his concept of the Heteronym.

Traveler, your footprints

1 min read

 
Traveler, your footprints
are the only road, nothing else.
Traveler, there is no road;
you make your own path as you walk.
As you walk, you make your own road,
and when you look back
you see the path
you will never travel again.
Traveler, there is no road;
only a ship's wake on the sea
 

The Power of the Dog

1 min read

 

Just Finished Reading

The Power of the Dog 

·         Paperback: 560 pages

·         Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 9, 2006)

·         Language: English

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow published in 2005. The plot concerns the "Mexican Trampoline", this was when Columbian Drug Lords use Mexican smugglers to move cocaine across the US Mexican border. 

 

 I expected this book to cover more of the cocaine trade through Central America to the west coast of the United States, it was more a character study of Mexican Cartel Patrons and an assortment of underworld figures and obsessed federal law enforcement agents. The story is compelling and keeps your interest but if you’re looking for hard boiled action  and prose to match I recommend  James Ellroy and his Underworld USA Trilogy.

Trees By Warren Ellis and Jason Howard

1 min read

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Trees By Warren Ellis is a story of an alien invasion, where the aliens show zero interest in  humans or life on Earth. The aliens have come to earth in huge towering columns, humans call them trees. The humans of earth find this disinterest disturbing.  The aliens do not interact with the inhabitants of earth and people cannot see any effect or impact from the towering columns, it is like we are being ignored. 

There are four or five different stories being told, each at a different spot on earth were the Trees have landed. Sub text cover gender politics, sexuality, politics, global warming and urban crime. Each of these sub plots tie into the appearance of the Trees in some way.  This is a serial so there is still an aura of mystery about the columns, there will not be a resolution of the story till much later when the series has concluded. Recommended reading.

In The Dust Of This Planet - Horror of Philosophy, vol. 1

1 min read

Listening to : NPR's Radio Lab podcast for September 08, 2014.

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The episode discusses the book by Eugene Thacker, In The Dust of This Planet (2011). It is a pop philosophy book about the  impact of pessimism and nihilism on current culture. The show talks about  the HBO series True Detective, fashion and the Jay-Z and Beyonce tour plus more arcane things. They talk about why nihilism continues to have cultural appeal over the years and generations. And they attempt to answer the  question "is nihilism more prevalent today?" If so why.

More radio about the book at On The Media

I will read the book soon and write a review.