The Chinese poet George Wu... recorded on his comlog: "Poets are the mad midwives to reality. They see not what is, nor what can be, but what must become." Later, on his last disk to his lover the week before he died, Wu said: "Words are the only bullets in truth's bandolier. And poets are the snipers.
I had already developed inherited back problems. I had degenerative disk disease, a form of scoliosis, arthritis. And I truly believe that if it weren't for the use of steroids - I'm not saying steroids is for everyone, but in my case in general, if I have not used steroids, I mean, physically right now I'd probably be a wreck.
In 2001, the hard disk on my laptop crashed, and everything on it was lost. I'd been using the computer for two, almost three years, and had all my work on it - email, which was stored locally; photos; fragments of poems; presentations; sketches; ideas; love letters; everything. I lamented the loss to my friends and got lectured on doing backups.
I scooted over, patting the bed next to me. "No such luck. And now you get to watch forty straight hours of Easton Heights with me!" He turned on the first disk, shaking his head, then got onto the bed next to me. "Small price to pay for getting to hold your hand." I wasn't cold anymore.
Complex astronomical instruments like the Antikythera Mechanism and the Nebra Sky Disk were made by Pagans. Our Pagan intellectual heritage includes poets and scientists and literary intellectuals of every kind, especially including those who wrote some of the most important and influential books in all of Western history.
Technology has moved away from sharing and toward ownership. This suits software and hardware companies just fine: They create new, bloated programs that require more disk space and processing power. We buy bigger, faster computers, which then require more complex operating systems, and so on.
There are celestial sights more dazzling, spectacles that inspire more awe, but to the thoughtful observer who is privileged to see them well, there is nothing in the sky so profoundly impressive as the canals of Mars. Fine lines and little gossamer filaments only, cobwebbing the face of the Martian disk, but threads to draw one's mind after them across the millions of miles of intervening void.
The first human-to-computer uploads of 2100 will prove that a perfect simulation is the thing being simulated - that a silicon soul doesn't need a physical body to inhabit. So eventually everybody who ever lived will be resurrected inside a living machine indistinguishable from God. Isn't it amazing what you can do with unlimited hard-disk space?
Frank J. Tipler
She removed the shining black disk from its sleeve, holding it by the edges. After she placed it on the turntable and set the arm into motion, she adjusted the volume on the amplifier, flooding the room with sound. She closed her eyes and began to sway to the music. She could almost feel Clive's arms guiding her, as he had done so many times over the course of their lives together. (from Independence Day)
Code is not like other how-computers-work books. It doesn't have big color illustrations of disk drives with arrows showing how the data sweeps into the computer. Code has no drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology.
I was nerdy girl who went to Catholic school and wanted to be an engineer. I was all set to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology. And then I took a hard left turn and studied Liberal Arts at Northern Illinois University, majored in Communications. Then worked in radio as a disk jockey and as the weather girl.
When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured.
Now clearly this advantage is when the data on tape has been found and just needs to be transferred back. You need to add a minute or so of seek time to find the data. On large transfers, though, tape should outpace most disk systems. From an ingest perspective, LTO-6 and other enterprise tape formats may be unrivaled when compared on a single unit basis.
George Arthur Crump
Innovation and disruption are ideas that originated in the arena of business but which have since been applied to arenas whose values and goals are remote from the values and goals of business. People aren't disk drives. Public schools, colleges and universities, churches, museums, and many hospitals, all of which have been subjected to disruptive innovation, have revenues and expenses and infrastructures, but they aren't industries in the same way that manufacturers of hard-disk drives or truck engines or drygoods are industries. Journalism isn't an industry in that sense, either. Doctors have obligations to their patients, teachers to their students, pastors to their congregations, curators to the public, and journalists to their readers-obligations that lie outside the realm of earnings, and are fundamentally different from the obligations that a business executive has to employees, partners, and investors. Historically, institutions like museums, hospitals, schools, and universities have been supported by patronage, donations made by individuals or funding from church or state. The press has generally supported itself by charging subscribers and selling advertising. (Underwriting by corporations and foundations is a funding source of more recent vintage.) Charging for admission, membership, subscriptions and, for some, earning profits are similarities these institutions have with businesses. Still, that doesn't make them industries, which turn things into commodities and sell them for gain.
If you had come to me a hundred years ago, do you think I should have dreamed of the telephone? Why, even now I cannot understand it! I use it every day, I transact half my correspondence by means of it, but I don't understand it. Think of that little stretched disk of iron at the end of a wire repeating in your ear not only sounds, but words-not only words, but all the most delicate and elusive inflections and nuances of tone which separate one human voice from another!
Clothes, when abstracted from the flow of present time and their transmogrifying function on the human body, and seen as forms in themselves, are strange tubes and excrescences worthy of being classed with such facial decorations as the ring through the nose or the lip-stretching disk. But how enchanting they become when seen togetherwith the qualities they bestow on their wearer! What happens then is no less than the infusion, into some tangled lines on a piece of paper, of the meaning of a great word.
Rushing to optimize before the bottlenecks are known may be the only error to have ruined more designs than feature creep. From tortured code to incomprehensible data layouts, the results of obsessing about speed or memory or disk usage at the expense of transparency and simplicity are everywhere. They spawn innumerable bugs and cost millions of man-hours - often, just to get marginal gains in the use of some resource much less expensive than debugging time
Eric S. Raymond
If you had come to me a hundred years ago, do you think I should have dreamed of the telephone? Why, even now I cannot understand it! I use it every day, I transact half my correspondence by means of it, but I don't understand it. Thnk of that little stretched disk of iron at the end of a wire repeating in your ear not only sounds, but words-not only words, but all the most delicate and elusive inflections and nuances of tone which separate one human voice from another! Is not that something of a miracle?
HEY, HOW YOU DOING? IF YOU HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT THE LYRICS TO THE SONG YET VERSE ONE, IT'S A MOUSE AND A PRINTER THE SECOND VERSE IS THE KEYBOARD THE FIRST CHORUS IS A MONITOR HANG ON A SECOND I'M TALKING LIKE THIS BECAUSE IT SOUNDS REALLY SCARY BACKWARDS I JUST HOPE I DON'T MESS UP MY THROAT ANYWAYS, VERSE THREE IS A HARD DRIVE AND A FLOPPY DISK THE FOURTH VERSE IS A MOTHERBOARD WITH INTEGRATED CIRCUITS THE SECOND CHORUS IS A SCANNER I'LL SEE YOU LATER, BYE
As you wish, of course." Lucius lowered the volume on an old record player, which spun a warped vinyl disk that wailed unfamiliar music, scratchy and whiny, like cats fighting. Or a coffin with rusty hinges opening and closing over and over again in a deserted mausoleum. "Do you like Croatian folk?" heasked, seeing my interest. "It reminds me of home." "I prefer normal music." "Ah, yes, your MTV with all the bumping and grinding. Like a shot of raging adolescent hormones administered via television. I'm not averse.
My skills weren't that I knew how to design a floppy disk, I knew how to design a printer interface, I knew how to design a modem interface; it was that, when the time came and I had to get one done, I would design my own, fresh, without knowing how other people do it. That was another thing that made me very good. All the best things that I did at Apple came from (a) not having money, and (b) not having done it before, ever. Every single thing that we came out with that was really great, I'd never once done that thing in my life.
Computer security can simply be protecting your equipment and files from disgruntled employees, spies, and anything that goes bump in the night, but there is much more. Computer security helps ensure that your computers, networks, and peripherals work as expected all the time, and that your data is safe in the event of hard disk crash or a power failure resulting from an electrical storm. Computer security also makes sure no damage is done to your data and that no one is able to read it unless you want them to.
To be strong and true had been the most important task he had set himself since early childhood. Once, as a boy, he had tried to outstare the sun. But before he could tell whether he had really looked at it or not, changes had occurred: the blazing red ball that had been there at first began to whirl, then suddenly dimmed, till it became a cold, bluish-black, flattened disk of iron. He felt he had seen the very essence of the sun... For a while, wherever he looked he saw the sun's pale afterimage: in the undergrowth; in the shade beneath the trees; even, when he gazed up, in every part of the sky. The truth was something too dazzling to be looked at directly. And yet, once it had come into one's field of vision, one saw patches of light in all kinds of places: the afterimages of virtue.
A file on a hard disk does indeed contain information of the kind that objectively exists. The fact that the bits are discernible instead of being scrambled into mush - the way heat scrambles things - is what makes them bits. But if the bits can potentially mean something to someone, they can only do so if they are experienced. When that happens, a commonality of culture is enacted between the storer and the retriever of the bits. Experience is the only process that can de-alienate information. Information of the kind that purportedly wants to be free is nothing but a shadow of our own minds, and wants nothing on its own. It will not suffer if it doesn't get what it wants. But if you want to make the transition from the old religion, where you hope God will give you an afterlife, to the new religion, where you hope to become immortal by getting uploaded into a computer, then you have to believe information is real and alive. So for you, it will be important to redesign human institutions like art, the economy, and the law to reinforce the perception that information is alive. You demand that the rest of us live in your new conception of a state religion. You need us to deify information to reinforce your faith.
Time can play all sorts of tricks on you. In the blink of an eye, babies appear in carriages, coffins disappear into the ground, wars are won and lost, and children transform, like butterflies, into adults. That's what happened to me. Once upon a time, I was a boy named Hugo Cabret, and I desperately believed that a broken automaton would save my life. Now that my cocoon has fallen away and I have emerged as a magician named Professor Alcofrisbas, I can look back and see that I was right. The automaton my father discovered did save me. But now I have built a new automaton. I spent countless hours designing it. I made every gear myself, carefully cut every brass disk, and fashioned every bt of machinery with my own hands. When you wind it up, it can do something I'm sure no other automaton in the world can do. It can tel you the incredible story of Georges Melies, his wife, their goddaughter, and a beloved clock maker whose son grew up to be a magician. The complicated machinery inside my automaton can produce one-hundred and fifty-eight different pictures, and it can wrote, letter, by letter, an entire book, twenty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-nine words. These words. THE END
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Mindy runs to the DVD player and delicately places the disk in the holder and presses play. 'Will you sit in this chair, please, Princess Mindy?' I ask, bowing deeply at the waist. Mindy giggles as she replies, 'I guess so.' After Mindy sits down, I take a wide-tooth comb and start gently combing out her tangles. Mindy starts vibrating with excitement as she blurts, 'Mr. Jeff, you're gonna fix my hair fancy, ain't you?' 'We'll see if a certain Princess can hold still long enough for me to finish, ' I tease. Immediately, Mindy becomes as still as a stone statue. After a couple of minutes, I have to say, 'Mindy, sweetheart, it's okay to breathe. I just can't have you bouncing, because I'm afraid it will cause me to pull your hair.' Mindy slumps down in her chair just slightly. 'Okay Mr. Jeff, I was ascared you was gonna stop, ' she whispers, her chin quivering. I adopt a very fake, very over-the-top French accent and say, 'Oh no, Monsieur Jeff must complete Princess Mindy's look to make the Kingdom happy. Mindy erupts with the first belly laugh I've heard all day as she responds, 'Okay, I'll try to be still, but it's hard 'cause I have the wiggles real bad.' I pat her on the shoulder and chuckle as I say, 'Just try your best, sweetheart. That's all anyone can ask.' Kiera comes screeching around the corner in a blur, plunks her purse on the table, and says breathlessly, 'Geez-O-Pete, I can't believe I'm late for the makeover. I love makeovers.' Kiera digs through her purse and produces two bottles of nail polish and nail kit. 'It's time for your mani/pedi ma'am. Would you prefer Pink Pearl or Frosted Creamsicle? Mindy raises her hand like a schoolchild and Kiera calls on her like a pupil, 'I want Frosted Cream toes please, ' Mindy answers. 'Your wish is my command, my dear, ' Kiera responds with a grin. For the next few minutes, Mindy gets the spa treatment of her life as I carefully French braid her hair into pigtails. As a special treat, I purchased some ribbons from the gift shop and I'm weaving them into her hair. I tuck a yellow rose behind her ear. I don my French accent as I declare, 'Monsieur Jeffery pronounces Princess Mindy finished and fit to rule the kingdom.' Kiera hands Mindy a new tube of grape ChapStick from her purse, 'Hold on, a true princess never reigns with chapped lips, ' she says. Mindy giggles as she responds, 'You're silly, Miss Kiera. Nobody in my kingdom is going to care if my lips are shiny.' Kiera's laugh sounds like wind chimes as she covers her face with her hands as she confesses, 'Okay, you busted me. I just like to use it because it tastes yummy.' 'Okay, I want some, please, ' Mindy decides. Kiera is putting the last minute touches on her as Mindy is scrambling to stand on Kiera's thighs so she can get a better look in the mirror. When I reach out to steady her, she grabs my hand in a death grip. I glance down at her. Her eyes are wide and her mouth is opening and closing like a fish. I shoot Kiera a worried glance, but she merely shrugs. 'Holy Sh - !' Mindy stops short when she sees Kiera's expression. 'Mr. Jeff is an angel for reals because he turned me into one. Look at my hair Miss Kiera, there are magic ribbons in it! I'm perfect. I can be anything I want to be.' Spontaneously, we all join together in a group hug. I kiss the top of her head as I agree, 'Yes, Mindy, you are amazing and the sky is the limit for you.