To attain the rank of grand master of memory, you must be able to perform three seemingly superhuman feats. You have to memorize 1,000 digits in under an hour, the precise order of 10 shuffled decks of playing cards in the same amount of time, and one shuffled deck in less than two minutes. There are 36 grand masters of memory in the world.
The question is, shall it or shall it not be linear history. I've always thought a kaleidoscopic view might be an interesting heresey. Shake the tube and see what comes out. Chronology irritates me. There is no chronology inside my head. I am composed of myriad Claudias who spin and mix and part like sparks of sunlight on water. The pack of cards I carry around is forever shuffled and re-shuffled; there is no sequence, everything happens at once. The machines of the new technology, I understand, perform in much the same way: all knowledge is stored, to be summoned up at the flick of a key. They sound, in theory, more efficient. Some of my keys don't work; others demand pass-words, codes, random unlocking sequences. The collective past, curiously, provides these. It is public property, but it is also deeply private. We all look differently at it. My Victorians are not your Victorians. My seventeenth century is not yours. The voice of John Aubrey, of Darwin, of whoever you like, speaks in one tone to me, in another to you.
And I told them anyways" -George Canyon">well-i-knew-those-boys-would-roll-their-eyes-when-they-heard-what-i-had-to-say-but-i-shuffled-cards-said-deuces-wild-and-i-told-them-anyways-george-canyon
Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.
Who are we, who is each one of us if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things we have imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.
Four times, under our educational rules, the human pack is shuffled and cut - at eleven-plus, sixteen-plus, eighteen-plus and twenty-plus - and happy is he who comes top of the deck on each occasion, but especially the last. This is called Finals, the very name of which implies that nothing of importance can happen after it.
the cracked plate has to be retained in the pantry, has to be kept in service as a household necessity. It can never be warmed on the stove nor shuffled with the other plates in the dishpan; it will not be brought out for company but it will do to hold crackers late at night or to go into the ice-box with the left overs.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
I soon forgot about my bedraggled appearance. Until, that is, an old man shuffled in and propped himself, hunched and wheezing, over the check-in desk. Karen asked him if he needed assistance. 'No, ' he grunted sucking on his teeth, 'your wet-T-shirt librarian with the punk rock hair is helping me out just fine.
I hurt myself, ' Syren bit out. 'I make myself bleed and it feels good. It eases the pressure inside me, but it never lasts for long.' His lips trembled. 'Before I slept in your bed, I'd never had a full night's sleep. Before I crawled into your arms I'd never been safe.' He shuffled forward. 'You give me that. You hold that power and you can take it away.
I learned that money can be a lot of things,It can be something that is hoarded, fought over, protected, stolen and withheld. Or it can be like an energy, fueled by the desire, will, creative interest, need to laugh, of large groups of people. And it can be shuffled and pushed around and pooled together to fuel a common interest, jokes about garbage, penises and parenthood.
Louis C. K.
He taught me that language was rubbery, plastic. It wasn't, as I thought, something you just use, but something you can play with. Words were made up of little bits that could be shuffled, turned back to front, remixed. They could be tucked and folded into other words to produce unexpected things. It was like cookery, like alchemy. Language hid more than it revealed.
Mmm, " said Ares, without turning his head. "This war on terror isn't producing enough casualties. Bringing in Iran is the obvious choice, but I don't think they've got enough fire power yet. I wonder if I could somehow antagonize Japan."... "There's always Russia, " said Ares, "but they've been harder to provoke since the end of the Cold War. Why are mortals so hung up on peace?" He shuffled through his papers. "Or maybe it's time to broaden out some of the African civil wars?
[Vestiges begins] from principles which are at variance with all sober inductive truth. The sober facts of geology shuffled, so as to play a rogue's game; phrenology (that sinkhole of human folly and prating coxcombry); spontaneous generation; transmutation of species; and I know not what; all to be swallowed, without tasting and trying, like so much horse-physic!! Gross credulity and rank infidelity joined in unlawful marriage, and breeding a deformed progeny of unnatural conclusions!
That's sweet. Nice of you.' Johnson put his hands in his pockets. Dove couldn't help but wonder if he was massaging a sore bag of testicles. Dove looked around, and Johnson shuffled his feet. It seemed neither knew what to say, but she hoped neither wanted to part ways either. Johnson's default was always medical. 'How's your infection?' Die. Die. Kill me. 'It's... cleared up... nicely.' Dove twisted her hand into her hair.
Individuals are not stable things, they are fleeting. Chromosomes too are shuffled into oblivion, like hands of cards soon after they are dealt. But the cards themselves survive the shuffling. The cards are the genes. The genes are not destroyed by crossing-over, they merely change partners and march on. Of course they march on. That is their business. They are the replicators and we are their survival machines. When we have served our purpose we are cast aside. But genes are denizens of geological time: genes are forever.
He held his crotch, his knees bent and his kilt showing he wore nothing beneath it. She shuffled from one foot to the other as she stared at his Scottish bagpipe. Bet he could hit a lot of high notes with that thing. "You... you startled me when you grabbed me like that." "Well, ye needna be afraid now. I couldna molest ya, even if I wanted to, which I dinna.I'm betting foreplay with ye would be like grabbing hold of an electrical wire while sitting in a tub of water." He groaned and cussed some more. "Hell, I bet yer vagina is lined with shark's teeth.
But I guess the nice thing about driving a car is that the physical act of driving itself occupies a good chunk of brain cells that otherwise would be giving you trouble overloading your thinking. New scenery continually erases what came before; memory is lost, shuffled, relabeled and forgotten. Gum is chewed; buttons are pushed; windows are lowered and opened. A fast moving car is the only place where you're legally allowed to not deal with your problems. It's enforced meditation and this is good.
Did you know that she was cyborg?" asked a woman in an unhidden tone of disgust. Kai stared at her, appearing confused, then let his gaze dance over the crowd. He shuffled his feet closer to the podium, a wrinkle forming on the bridge of his nose. Cinder bit the inside of her cheek and braced herself for adamant disgust. Who would ever invite a cyborg to the ball? But instead, Kai said simply, "I don't see that her being cyborg is relevant. Next question?" Cinder's metal fingers jolted.
Your body, which is bonding millions of molecules every second, depends on transformation. Breathing and digestion harness transformation. Food and air aren't just shuffled about but, rather, undergo the exact chemical bonding needed to keep you alive. The sugar extracted from an orange travels to the brain and fuels a thought. The emergent property in this case is the newness of the thought; no molecules in the history of the universe ever combined to produce that exact thought.
That's right. You'll like Owl. He flew past a day or two ago and noticed me. He didn't actually say anything, mind you, but he knew it was me. Very friendly of him. Encouraging." Pooh and Piglet shuffled about a little and said, "Well, good-bye, Eeyore" as lingeringly as they could, but they had a long way to go, and wanted to be getting on. "Good-bye, " said Eeyore. "Mind you don't get blown away, little Piglet. You'd be missed. People would say `Where's little Piglet been blown to?' - really wanting to know. Well, good-bye. And thank you for happening to pass me.
That's right. You'll like Owl. He flew past a day or two ago and noticed me. He didn't actually say anything, mind you, but he knew it was me. Very friendly of him. Encouraging." Pooh and Piglet shuffled about a little and said, "Well, good-bye, Eeyore" as lingeringly as they could, but they had a long way to go, and wanted to be getting on. "Good-bye," said Eeyore. "Mind you don't get blown away, little Piglet. You'd be missed. People would say 'Where's little Piglet been blown to?' -- really wanting to know. Well, good-bye. And thank you for happening to pass me.
A. A. Milne
At night I no longer dreamed, nor did I let my imagination work during the day. The once vibrant escapes of watching myself fly through the clouds in bright blue costumes, were now a thing of the past. When I fell asleep, my soul became consumed in a black void. I no longer awoke in the mornings refreshed; I was tired and told myself that I had one day less to live in this world. I shuffled through my chores, dreading every moment of every day. With no dreams, I found that words like hope and faith were only letters, randomly put together into something meaningless - words only for fairy tales.
You, my child, will marry well. More than once." (...) The lady retrieved the cards and shuffled them back together into one stack in an attitude of dismissal. Taking this as a sign her fortune was complete, Preshea stood. Looking particularly pleased with life, she passed over a few coins and gave Madame Spetuna a nice curtsy. Mademoiselle Geraldine was fanning herself. "Oh, dear, oh, dear, Miss Buss. Let us hope it is widowhood and not" - she whispered the next word - "divorce that leads to your multiple marriages." Preshea sat and sipped from a china cup. "I shouldn't worry, Headmistress. I am tolerably certain it will be widowhood.
Then a movement began among the people. They creaked to their feet, shuffled and fumbled up to the front, kneeling on the floor, and she saw little Thomas at the beginning of the row. The priest turned and made the sign of the cross and all signed themselves; then he came forward and moved along the line, placing the Hosts in the mouths of the people. Cecil had a very strange feeling; she felt that this was at the same time the most natural and the most unnatural thing she had ever seen. They were like little birds being fed by their mother, and yet it was grown people who knelt to receive what looked like a paper penny of bread on their tongues. She knew at once why the Mass provoked such love and such hate. Either what they believe is true, or else it is a dreadful delusion, she thought.
Gabriel shuffled around the trunk again, searching for faux arrows-arrows designed to injure but not kill. 'All these arrows are sharp-and have blood on them.' 'Yes, well, I left my cotton candy arrows at home next to my teddy bear.' Gabriel turned to Tristan. 'We're not going to kill that guy.' 'We might.' 'Tristan, that's homicide.' 'It's self defense.' 'It's not self defense. He didn't come after you.' 'But he came after Scarlet. And, technically, Scarlet is a piece of me. So, yeah. It's self-defense. Are you coming with me or not?' 'I don't want to kill him. I just want to hurt him. Or detain him.' 'Or maybe you could just give him a big hug.'Tristan started marching into the woods. 'You can stay there and clean weapons or whatever, but I'm going after our intruder.
They didn't exchange a single word. But in the weeks that followed, Trip spent his days wandering the halls, hoping for Lux to appear, the most naked person with clothes on he had ever seen. Even in sensible school shoes, she shuffled as though barefoot, and the baggy apparel Mrs. Lisbon bought for her only increased her appeal, as though after undressing she had put on whatever was handy. In corduroys her thighs rubbed together, buzzing, and there was always at least one untidy marvel to unravel him: an untucked shirttail, a sock with a hole, a ripped seam showing underarm hair. She carted her books from class to class but never opened them. Her pens and pencils were as temporary as Cinderella's broom. When she smiled, her mouth showed too many teeth, but at night Trip Fontaine dreamed of being bitten by each one.
Auctus took the initiative again, eyeballing his foe as he strode towards him. Indavara bounced up and down on his toes and waited. His options were limited; he needed time to see what Auctus could do before he tried anything. The German jabbed the trident forward again, simultaneously swinging the net at his enemy's knees. Indavara shuffled backwards, avoiding both attacks. Auctus pressed on and repeated the move. Indavara leapt to his left, sure he was clear of both net and trident. But then Auctus twisted his wrist and swung the net upward. Indavara felt rope brush his neck, then a shuddering crack as one of the stones caught him under the chin. Blinding white flashed into his eyes. He staggered back, reeling as the pain bloomed higher. His eyes cleared; and he saw the trident-head coming at him. He pushed off to his right, dropping into a neat double roll that took him clear. Springing back to his feet, he looked up as the German marched towards him, yelling in a language no one else in the arena understood.
I dunno." She sat on the bench and hugged the robe like a pillow. "I still think that Brett guy is cute." "Good luck getting him away from Bekka." Cleo gathered her silky black hair into a high pony and pink-dabbed Smith's Rosebud Salve on her lips. "She's got more grip than Crazy Glue." "More cling than Saran Wrap, " Lala added. "More hold than Final Net." Cleo giggled. "More possession than The Exorcist, " Lala managed. "More clench than butt cheeks, " Blue chimed in. "More competition than American Idol, " Frankie stuck out her chest and showed them her diva booty roll. The girls burst out laughing. "Nice!" Blue lifted her purple gloved hand. Frankie slapped it without a single spark. "I hate to be a downer... " Claudine shuffled back into the conversation wearing her slippers and robe. "But that girl will destroy you if she catches you with Brett." "I'm not worried, " Frankie tossed her hair back. "I've seen all the teen movies, and the nice girl gets the boy in the end.
By the second day, the song lyrics had faded, but in their place came darker irritations. Gradually, I started to become aware of a young man sitting just behind me and to the left. I had noticed him when he first entered the mediation hall, and had felt a flash of annoyance at the time: something about him, especially his beard, had struck me as too calculatedly dishevelled, as if he were trying to make a statement. Now his audible breathing was starting to irritate me, too. It seemed studied, unnatural, somehow theatrical. My irritation slowly intensified - a reaction that struck me as entirely reasonable and proportionate at the time. It was all beginning to feel like a personal attack. How much contempt must the bearded meditator have for me, I seethed silently, deliberately to decide to ruin the serenity of my meditation by behaving so obnoxiously? Experienced retreat-goers, it turns out, have a term for this phenomenon. The call it 'vipassana vendetta'. In the stillness tiny irritations become magnified into full-blown hate campaigns; the mind is so conditioned to attaching to storylines that it seizes upon whatever's available. Being on retreat had temporarily separated me from all the real causes of distress in my life, and so, apparently, I was inventing new ones. As I shuffled to my narrow bed that evening, I was still smarting about the loud-breathing man. I did let go of the vendetta eventually - but only because I'd fallen into an exhausted and dreamless sleep
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.-Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd!
During this hour in the waking streets I felt at ease, at peace; my body, which I despised, operated like a machine. I was spaced out, the catchphrase my friends at school used to describe their first experiments with marijuana and booze. This buzzword perfectly described a picture in my mind of me, Alice, hovering just below the ceiling like a balloon and looking down at my own small bed where a big man lay heavily on a little girl I couldn't quite see or recognize. It wasn't me. I was spaced out on the ceiling. I had that same spacey feeling when I cooked for my father, which I still did, though less often. I made omelettes, of course. I cracked a couple of eggs into a bowl, and as I reached for the butter dish, I always had an odd sensation in my hands and arms. My fingers prickled; it didn't feel like me but someone else cutting off a great chunk of greasy butter and putting it into the pan. I'd add a large amount of salt - I knew what it did to your blood pressure, and I mumbled curses as I whisked the brew. When I poured the slop into the hot butter and shuffled the frying pan over the burner, it didn't look like my hand holding the frying-pan handle and I am sure it was someone else's eyes that watched the eggs bubble and brown. As I dropped two slices of wholemeal bread in the toaster, I would observe myself as if from across the room and, with tingling hands gripping the spatula, folded the omelette so it looked like an apple envelope. My alien hands would flip the omelette on to a plate and I'd spread the remainder of the butter on the toast when the two slices of bread leapt from the toaster. 'Delicious, ' he'd say, commenting on the food before even trying it.
Of the not very many ways known of shedding one's body, falling, falling, falling is the supreme method, but you have to select your sill or ledge very carefully so as not to hurt yourself or others. Jumping from a high bridge is not recommended even if you cannot swim, for wind and water abound in weird contingencies, and tragedy ought not to culminate in a record dive or a policeman's promotion. If you rent a cell in the luminous waffle, room 1915 or 1959, in a tall business centre hotel browing the star dust, and pull up the window, and gently - not fall, not jump - but roll out as you should for air comfort, there is always the chance of knocking clean through into your own hell a pacific noctambulator walking his dog; in this respect a back room might be safer, especially if giving on the roof of an old tenacious normal house far below where a cat may be trusted to flash out of the way. Another popular take-off is a mountaintop with a sheer drop of say 500 meters but you must find it, because you will be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate your deflection offset, and have some hidden projection, some fool of a crag, rush forth to catch you, causing you to bounce off it into the brush, thwarted, mangled and unnecessarily alive. The ideal drop is from an aircraft, your muscles relaxed, your pilot puzzled, your packed parachute shuffled off, cast off, shrugged off - farewell, shootka (little chute)! Down you go, but all the while you feel suspended and buoyed as you somersault in slow motion like a somnolent tumbler pigeon, and sprawl supine on the eiderdown of the air, or lazily turn to embrace your pillow, enjoying every last instant of soft, deep, death-padded life, with the earth's green seesaw now above, now below, and the voluptuous crucifixion, as you stretch yourself in the growing rush, in the nearing swish, and then your loved body's obliteration in the Lap of the Lord.
There was just enough room for the tonga to get through among the bullock-carts, rickshaws, cycles and pedestrians who thronged both the road and the pavement-which they shared with barbers plying their trade out of doors, fortune-tellers, flimsy tea-stalls, vegetable-stands, monkey-trainers, ear-cleaners, pickpockets, stray cattle, the odd sleepy policeman sauntering along in faded khaki, sweat-soaked men carrying impossible loads of copper, steel rods, glass or scrap paper on their backs as they yelled 'Look out! Look out!' in voices that somehow pierced though the din, shops of brassware and cloth (the owners attempting with shouts and gestures to entice uncertain shoppers in), the small carved stone entrance of the Tinny Tots (English Medium) School which opened out onto the courtyard of the reconverted haveli of a bankrupt aristocrat, and beggars-young and old, aggressive and meek, leprous, maimed or blinded-who would quietly invade Nabiganj as evening fell, attempting to avoid the police as they worked the queues in front of the cinema-halls. Crows cawed, small boys in rags rushed around on errands (one balancing six small dirty glasses of tea on a cheap tin tray as he weaved through the crowd) monkeys chattered in and bounded about a great shivering-leafed pipal tree and tried to raid unwary customers as they left the well-guarded fruit-stand, women shuffled along in anonymous burqas or bright saris, with or without their menfolk, a few students from the university lounging around a chaat-stand shouted at each other from a foot away either out of habit or in order to be heard, mangy dogs snapped and were kicked, skeletal cats mewed and were stoned, and flies settled everywhere: on heaps of foetid, rotting rubbish, on the uncovered sweets at the sweetseller's in whose huge curved pans of ghee sizzled delicioius jalebis, on the faces of the sari-clad but not the burqa-clad women, and on the horse's nostrils as he shook his blinkered head and tried to forge his way through Old Brahmpur in the direction of the Barsaat Mahal.
A wealth of research confirms the importance of face-to-face contact. One experiment performed by two researchers at the University of Michigan challenged groups of six students to play a game in which everyone could earn money by cooperating. One set of groups met for ten minutes face-to-face to discuss strategy before playing. Another set of groups had thirty minutes for electronic interaction. The groups that met in person cooperated well and earned more money. The groups that had only connected electronically fell apart, as members put their personal gains ahead of the group's needs. This finding resonates well with many other experiments, which have shown that face-to-face contact leads to more trust, generosity, and cooperation than any other sort of interaction. The very first experiment in social psychology was conducted by a University of Indiana psychologist who was also an avid bicyclist. He noted that 'racing men' believe that 'the value of a pace, ' or competitor, shaves twenty to thirty seconds off the time of a mile. To rigorously test the value of human proximity, he got forty children to compete at spinning fishing reels to pull a cable. In all cases, the kids were supposed to go as fast as they could, but most of them, especially the slower ones, were much quicker when they were paired with another child. Modern statistical evidence finds that young professionals today work longer hours if they live in a metropolitan area with plenty of competitors in their own occupational niche. Supermarket checkouts provide a particularly striking example of the power of proximity. As anyone who has been to a grocery store knows, checkout clerks differ wildly in their speed and competence. In one major chain, clerks with differing abilities are more or less randomly shuffled across shifts, which enabled two economists to look at the impact of productive peers. It turns out that the productivity of average clerks rises substantially when there is a star clerk working on their shift, and those same average clerks get worse when their shift is filled with below-average clerks. Statistical evidence also suggests that electronic interactions and face-to-face interactions support one another; in the language of economics, they're complements rather than substitutes. Telephone calls are disproportionately made among people who are geographically close, presumably because face-to-face relationships increase the demand for talking over the phone. And when countries become more urban, they engage in more electronic communications.
Edward L. Glaeser