The Owl of Minerva

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Everyone seems to be suddenly proposing RFC-like protocols - Robin Sloan’s Spring ‘83, Tom Critchlow’s Library JSON

Spring ‘83 is a protocol for the transmission and display of something I am calling a “board”, which is an HTML fragment, limited to 2217 bytes, unable to execute JavaScript or load external resources, but otherwise unrestricted. Boards invite publishers to use all the richness of modern HTML and CSS. Plain text and blue links are also enthusiastically supported.
Robin Sloan’s Spring ‘83


But you, here, you’re capable of anything because you’re so bad at everything.
Waymond Wang, Everything Everywhere All at Once


Putin’s Philosophers, NATO’s Philosophers and An International Relations Theory Guide to the War in Ukraine — interesting reads to understand how we got here and what lies ahead.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Elmore Leonard


Crony Beliefs and and an addendum on this topc. A great set of essays - “Earlier I argued that other people are the cause of all our epistemic problems. Now I find myself arguing that they’re also our best solution.” From the author of The Elephant in the Brain


I need a drink…

Heaven is not your local pub,
but we’ve a house white on tap:
Water of Life. Glass or Goblet?

Shot glass. Neat.

Think of it as Korsvodka.
Red blush on your cheeks—
it’s not rouge. Is it?

‘Tis, but O All Knowing, when will the boat of capitalism sink?

When church spires soar above skyscrapers,
when those who influence the influencers
blast hell to heaven.
Rafiq Kathwari - Lenin in the Presence of God

Nobody knows
How cold it grows
And nobody sees
How shaky my knees
Nobody cares
How steep my stairs
And nobody smiles
If I cross their stiles
Nick Drake - Poor Boy

Pray for solace,
Pray for resolve.
Pray for a savior,
Pray for deliverance, some kind of purpose.
A glimpse of a light in this void of existence.
Now witness the end of an age.
Hope dies in hands of believers
who seek the truth in the liar’s eyes.
Lamb of God - Walk with me in Hell

I lay down in the empty street and parked
My feet against the gutter’s curb while from
The building above a bunch of gawkers perched
Along its ledges urged me don’t, don’t jump.
Bill Knott - Advice from the Experts



There’s no remaking reality… Just take it as it comes. Hold your ground and take it as it comes. There’s no other way.
Everyman, Philip Roth


The last one of this year!

You write what you see and what you hear with tiny letters squeezed together, squeezed together like ants, which go from your heart to your honorable right side.

The Arabs, they have letters that lie down, get on their knees and rise up completely straight, like spears: it’s a writing that coils and unfurls like the mirage, which is clever as time and proud as combat.

And their writing travels from their honorable right side to their left, because everything ends there: at the heart.

Our own writing, in the Ahaggar, is a writing of nomads, because it is all made up of dashes which are the legs of all the herds. Legs of men, legs of meharis, of zebus, of gazelles, everything that traverses the desert.

And then the crosses determine whether you go to the right or to the left, and the periods, you see, there are a lot of periods. They are the stars that steer us through the night, because we, the Saharans, we don’t know the way, the way that is guided, in turns, by the sun and then the stars.

And we set out from our heart, and we make bigger and bigger circles around it, to enlace the other hearts in a circle of life, like the horizon around your herd and around yourself.
Dassine Oult Yemma


If matter were prone to birthing monsters of this kind, Schwarzschild asked with a trembling voice, were there correlations with the human psyche? Could a sufficient concentration of human will — millions of people exploited for a single end with their minds compressed into the same psychic space — unleash something comparable to the singularity? Schwarzschild was convinced that such a thing was not only possible, but was actually taking place in the Fatherland.
When We Cease to Understand the World, Benjamin Labatut


Robin Sloan’s Notes on Web3 “I do not think Web3 is a desirable or even tolerable path forward for this web right here, but I take its lesson well. “Code wins arguments”, and so do clubs, and cults; time remains to build all three.” The Non-Innovation of Cryptocurrency, straight talk - “There are indeed a lot of fools in this world, but to presume an infinite chain of them as the core of an investment thesis is beyond absurd.”

topher fixed it - “parody alternate endings to beloved but problematic children’s literature”, featuring the fixed ending of The Giving Tree

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.
Christopher Morley

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