Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The 3-Quark Model of 1990

“Something CHANGED in The Culture around 1990...”

— Camile Paglia 

If you love somebody enough
You'll follow wherever they go
That's how I got to Memphis
That's how I got to Memphis

If you love somebody enough
You'll go where your heart wants to go
That's how I got to Memphis
That's how I got to Memphis

I know if you'd seen her you'd tell me 'cause you are my friend
I've got to find her and find out the trouble she's in
If you tell me that she's not here
I'll follow the trail of her tears
That's how I got to Memphis
That's how I got to Memphis

She would get mad and she used to say
That she'd come back to Memphis someday
That's how I got to Memphis
That's how I got to Memphis

I haven't eaten a bite
Or slept for three days and nights
That's how I got to Memphis
That's how I got to Memphis

I've got to find her and tell her that I love her so
I'll never rest 'til I find out why she had to go
Thank you for your precious time
Forgive me if I start to cryin'
That's how I got to Memphis (x8)

Monday, 5 August 2019

Zen and The Art of Holding The Table-Tennis Paddle

Sam-8 :
Hey, you want to play some ping-pong?


Sam-8 :

Come on, I'll teach you. It'll help you relax. What's the score? 


Sam-8 :

Do you want me to show you how to hold that?

No...No, I...

I don't need you to show me how to hold it!

Sam-8 :

OK, OK Yeah, "OK" 
Should we play? 

Fuck! God!




Sam-8 :

You want a...You want a stick of gum? You know... You should approach this in a different way.
Remember when you went to flight school? 
What are you doing?

I'm fixing the net.

Sam-8 :
It is very Zen with ping-pong, you have to just to relax. How long did it take you took to do that?
Sam-8 :

Oh, I don't remember doing all of it. I remember doing the church... and the Salvation Army. And doing the people. My mind has been acting kind of weird lately. That's Fairfield, right?
Sam-8 :
There's the town hall. Fairfield, that's right...
Sam-8 :

Yeah, that's Tess...and Eve... You...
Sam-8 :

You know Tess? Yeah, I know Tess.
Sam-8 :

You know about Eve, right? 

Sam-8 :

I had a...We had a girl... Eve. Ain't she beautiful? She's my little monkey. She's our little monkey. High five! She might be the milkman's, but she's beautiful.

Shipping Out — On The (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise - by David Foster Wallace

Captain's log, Pleasure Cruiser Morbillo.

We were sailing south-southwest on course for Havana when we realised something was amiss.

What's that on the horizon? 
But that's impossible.

It appears a vast expanse of seabed has risen beneath us in the night.

Strange people in long robes and diving helmets have come aboard the ship and are mingling happily with the passengers, who think that we have organised this for their amusement.

The High Priest has just won the Quoits contest.

Friday, 2 August 2019

You're Supposed to Be Wise

So that's The Story. 
That's how I ended my career. 

Backhand volley. 


That's how I did it. 
Geordi kept hitting to my backhand at the net. 

Guinan, two people died on this ship. 
Two lives that ended horribly and you're worried about your tennis game? 

Are you upset? 

I don't know. You tell me. 
You're supposed to be Wise. 

Well, if you are upset, why are you moping around here? 
Why don't you do something about it? 

I've done everything I could think of. 
It got me fired. 

Do you think Doctor Reyga killed himself? 


Do you think there's a murderer on board? 


Then why are you still sitting here? 

Don't you get it? 
If I start digging around again.... I 

You could be relieved of duty.

CRUSHER [on viewscreen]: 
I think Doctor Reyga was right about his shield.
The only reason it failed is because it was sabotaged, and I'm going to prove it. 

But you can't be certain of that. 
You're betting your life on a hypothesis. 

CRUSHER [on viewscreen]: 




We've arranged for a shuttle to take you to Starbase twenty three. 
You can leave the ship at oh seven hundred hours tomorrow. 

Thank you. 

About everything that's going on. I'm sorry. I'm sure it will all work out. 

Yes, of course. 

You know the inquiry's just a formality, and 
Captain Picard will do everything he can for you. 

I'm sure that'll help. 

But if you do anything foolish before that inquiry. 
It's not going to look good for you. 

I don't know what you mean. 

I think you do know what I mean. 
The best thing for you to do right now is go to your quarters and read a good book. 
If you do anything to make the situation any worse it's going to be that much harder on you. 

[ Because He Believe That She is WRONG. And Guilty. ]

Thank you, Commander. 
Your concern is noted. 

Beverly. I'm saying this to you as a friend. 

Yes, Will, I know. 
But, as a friend, please try to understand —
I can't quit now and I don't want you to become involved in this.

[Crusher's office]

Computer, access ship's medical logs and download current autopsy files. 

Autopsy files are restricted to active medical personnel only. 
Access denied. 


Doctor Crusher? What do you need the autopsy files for? 

Don't worry. I know I'm not supposed to be here. I'll go. 

Computer, access autopsy files. 

I assume you'll need the files on Doctor Reyga and Jo'Bril? 


I can see how important this is to you. 

[ She Doesn’t CARE if She’s Wrong— She wants to help her friend. ]

I don't want you to get involved in this. 

Is that an order, Doctor? 


Too bad you're not my boss now. 


" In considering the anxiety that consumes so much of human experience, [Petrarch] writes, “And what is the cause hereof, but only our own lightness & daintiness: for we seem to be good for nothing else, but to be tossed hither & thither like a Tennise bal, being creatures of very short life, of infinite carefulness, & yet ignorant unto what shore to sail with our ship.”

A metaphor for human existence, then, and for fate: “We are merely the stars’ tennis-balls,” in John Webster’s “Duchess of Malfi,” “struck and banded / Which way please them.” That is one tradition. In another, tennis becomes a symbol of frivolity, of a different kind of “lightness.” Grown men playing with balls. The history of the game’s being used that way is twined up with an anecdote from the reign of Henry V, the powerful young king who had once been Shakespeare’s reckless Prince Hal. According to one early chronicler, “The Dauphin, thinking King Henry to be given to such plays and light follies . . . sent to him a tun of tennis-balls.” King Henry’s imagined reply at the battle of Agincourt was rendered into verse, probably by the poet-monk John Lydgate, around 1536:

Some hard tennis balls I have hither brought

Of marble and iron made full round.

I swear, by Jesu that me dear bought,

They shall beat the walls to the ground.

That story flowers into a couplet of Shakespeare’s “Henry V,” circa 1599. The package from the Dauphin arrives. Henry’s uncle, the Duke of Exeter, takes it. “What treasure, uncle?” the king asks. “Tennis-balls, my liege,” Exeter answers. “And we understand him well,” Henry says (a line meant to echo an earlier one, said under very different circumstances, Hal’s equally famous “I know you all and will awhile uphold”):

How he comes o’er us with our wilder days

Not measuring what use we made of them.

A more eccentric instance of tennis-as-metaphor pops up in Shakespeare’s “Pericles,” where the tennis court is compared with the ocean. It occurs in the part of the play that scholars now believe was written by a tavern-keeper named George Wilkins. Pericles has just been tossed half dead onto the Greek shore and is discovered by three fishermen. He says,

A man whom both the waters and the wind,

In that vast tennis-court, hath made the ball

For them to play upon, entreats you pity him.

These lines may cause some modern readers to recall David Foster Wallace’s “Derivative Sport in Tornado Alley,” an essay about learning to play the game in the central Midwest, where extreme winds are an almost constant factor, but where Wallace succeeded, he tells us, in part because of a “weird robotic detachment” from the “unfairnesses of wind and weather.”

David Foster Wallace wrote about tennis because life gave it to him—he had played the game well at the junior level—and because he was a writer who in his own way made use of wilder days, turning relentlessly in his work to the stuff of his own experience. But the fact of the game in his biography came before any thought of its use as material. At least I assume that’s the case. It can be amazing how early in life some writers figure out what they are and start to see their lives as stories that can be controlled. It is perhaps not far-fetched to imagine Wallace’s noticing early on that tennis is a good sport for literary types and purposes. It draws the obsessive and brooding. It is perhaps the most isolating of games. Even boxers have a corner, but in professional tennis it is a rules violation for your coach to communicate with you beyond polite encouragement, and spectators are asked to keep silent while you play. Your opponent is far away, or, if near, is indifferently hostile. It may be as close as we come to physical chess, or a kind of chess in which the mind and body are at one in attacking essentially mathematical problems. So, a good game not just for writers but for philosophers, too. The perfect game for Wallace.

He wrote about it in fiction, essays, journalism, and reviews; it may be his most consistent theme at the surface level. Wallace himself drew attention, consciously or not, to both his love for the game and its relevance to how he saw the world. He knew something, too, about the contemporary literature of the sport. The close attention to both physics and physical detail that energizes the opening of his 1996 Esquire_ piece on a then-young Michael Joyce (a promising power baseliner who became a sought-after coach and helped Maria Sharapova win two of her Grand Slam titles) echoes clearly the first lines of John McPhee’s “Levels of the Game” _(one of the few tennis books I can think of that give as much pleasure as the one you’re holding): “Arthur Ashe, his feet apart, his knees slightly bent, lifts a tennis ball into the air. The toss is high and forward. If the ball were allowed to drop, it would, in Ashe’s words, ‘make a parabola.’ ”

For me, the cumulative effect of Wallace’s tennis-themed nonfiction is a bit like being presented with a mirror, one of those segmented mirrors they build and position in space, only this one is pointed at a writer’s mind. The game he writes about is one that, like language, emphasizes the closed system, makes a fetish of it (“Out!”). He seems both to exult and to be trapped in its rules, its cruelties. He loves the game but yearns to transcend it. As always in Wallace’s writing, Wittgenstein is the philosopher who most haunts the approach, the Wittgenstein who told us that reality is inseparable from language (“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”), and that language is inseparable from game (both being at root “part of an activity, a form of life”).

From such a description a reader might conclude that the writer under discussion was dry and abstract, and in the end only using the sport, in a convenient, manipulative way, to say other things, which he deemed more significant—but that is not the writer you’ll meet in the following pages. This is instead one who can transpose on-court sensations into his prose. In those paragraphs that describe how growing up in a windy country shaped his game, briefly allowing him to excel over more talented opponents who tended to get frustrated in unpredictable conditions, he tells us that he was “able to use the currents kind of the way a pitcher uses spit. I could hit curves way out into cross-breezes that’d drop the ball just fair; I had a special wind-serve that had so much spin the ball turned oval in the air and curved left to right. . . .” In reviewing Tracy Austin’s autobiography, he finds a way, despite his disappointment with the book, to say something about athletic greatness and mediocrity, and what truly differentiates them, remembering how as a player he would often “get divided, paralyzed. As most ungreat athletes do. Freeze up, choke. Lose our focus. Become self-conscious. Cease to be wholly present in our wills and choices and movements.” Unlike the great, who become so in part because it would never occur to them not to be “totally present.” Their “blindness and dumbness,” in other words, are not “the price of the gift” but “its essence,” and are even the gift itself. The writer, existing only in reflection, is of all beings most excluded from the highest realms.

Possibly Wallace’s finest tennis piece, certainly his most famous, is “Federer Both Flesh and Not,” an essay first published in 2006 in the Times’ short-lived sports magazine Play. The greatest tennis writer of his generation was writing about the greatest player of his generation. The sentence needs no qualifiers. Federer himself later remarked, in a question-and-answer forum, that he was astonished at what a “comprehensive” piece Wallace had produced, despite the fact that Federer had spent only “20 min with him in the ATP office.” But I doubt Wallace wanted more face time than that. He had come to Wimbledon in search of not the man Roger Federer but rather the being Federer seemed to become when he competed. What Wallace wanted to see occurred only as spectacle. In that respect and others, it is interesting to compare the Federer piece with the profile Wallace had written precisely a decade before, about Michael Joyce. I tend to prefer the earlier piece, for its thick description and subtleties, while recognizing the greatness of the later one. In the Joyce piece, Wallace had written about a nobody, a player no one had heard of and who was never going to make it on the tour. That was the subtext, and at times the text, of the essay: you could be that_ good and still not be good enough. The essay was about agony. In Federer, though, he had a player who offered him a different subject: transcendence. What it actually looked like. An athlete who appeared “to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws.” One can see exactly what Wallace means in footage of the point he breaks down so beautifully—a “sixteen-stroke point” that reads as dramatically as a battle scene—which occurred in the second set of Federer’s 2006 Wimbledon final match against Rafael Nadal, a point that ends with a backhand one can replay infinite times and somehow come no closer to comprehending, struck from about an inch inside the baseline with some kind of demented spin that causes the ball to slip _over the net and vanish. Nadal never touches it. Wallace is able not only to give us the moment but to let us see the strategic and geometric intelligence that went into setting it up, the ability Federer had (has, as of this writing) to “hypnotize” opponents through shot selection.

The key sentences in the Federer essay, to my mind, occur in the paragraph that mentions “evolution.” In discussing the “power baseline” style that has defined the game in the modern era—two heavy hitters standing back and blasting wrist-fracturing ground strokes at each other—Wallace writes that “it is not, as pundits have publicly feared for years, the evolutionary endpoint of tennis. The player who’s shown this to be true is Roger Federer.” One imagines his writing this sentence with something almost like gratitude. It had taken genius to break through the brutal dictates of the power game and bring back an all-court style, to bring back art. And Federer, as Wallace emphasizes, did this from “within” the power game; he did it while handling shots that were moving at hurricane force. Inside the wind tunnel of modern tennis, he crafted a style that seemed made for a butterfly, yet was crushingly effective. What a marvelous subject, and figure, for a twenty-first-century novelist, a writer working in a form that is also (perpetually?) said to be at the end of its evolution, and an artist who similarly, when at his best, showed new ways forward.

This piece was drawn from the introduction to “String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis,” which is out May 10th from Library of America.

John Jeremiah Sullivan is a contributing writer for the Times Magazine and the southern editor of The Paris Review. His forthcoming book is “The Prime Minister of Paradise.”

Bob, Jack Ryan here.

Good morning, Jack.

Listen, I was just thinking, maybe we got off to a bad start here.
We're going to be working together here.
Maybe we should spend some time. Get to know each other a little better.
You pIay Tennis?


You play Tennis?

Yeah, yeah, I play Tennis.

Well, how about we get together sometime?
Next week maybe. Hour before we start work or something.

Jack — 


Computer Theft is a Serious Crime.

So are crimes against The Constitution.

• "Writers would come in an say, 'What about the chaos theory?' And someone else would say, 'Well, what about it?' Everyone would struggle but nobody would devise a story. It wasn't until Jim Trombetta pitched that Michael [Piller] saw a story." 

• Michael Piller conceived Martus Mazur to be the wayward son of Guinan. Guinan herself was to appear in the episode but Whoopi Goldberg was unavailable. All the references to Guinan were removed and only Martus's status as an El-Aurian was retained. 

• "because there was this subplot of the racquetball game that they had wanted to put in a number of times and had not been able to, so they put it in this [episode] after I was gone because they felt it made the most sense since this was about games." He goes onto say, "I would have liked to have done more with the quantum-luck thing. I had the idea that if randomness could be managed, then you're in a lot of trouble. Basically, the universe is random; it's a mind boggling thing. Eventually Quark would beat [Martus] by using Mr. Randomness. We never got into that, although I would have liked to." 


Evolutionary Biology will make you ready to die for a Brother 
and risk your life for a Cousin.

Talk to me, Father.

I got to know Who I Am.
I got to know Who I'm Like.
I got to know...

The Majors Tom : MOON

The Movie which takes Self-Care 
to a whole other level

The ELIZA effect, in computer science, is the tendency to unconsciously assume computer behaviors are analogous to human behaviors, that is anthropomorphisation.

G•E•R•T•Y :
Sam, this is not going to work.

Sam Bell :

G•E•R•T•Y :
I have recorded everything that has taken place since your awakening.

If anyone were to check my memory cache, it would put you in considerable danger.

You could erase my memory banks. 
I could reboot myself once you have departed.

Sam Bell :
Are you okay with that?

G•E•R•T•Y :
[ BIG Smile ]
I'm here to keep you safe, Sam.
I want to help you.

E.L.I.Z.A arrival estimated in 24 minutes.

G•E•R•T•Y :

Sam Bell :
I set your...I set your
computer to reboot... the moment that I launch.

G•E•R•T•Y :
I understand, Sam.
You should be OK.
[ BIG Smile ]
I hope life on Earth is everything
you remember it to be.

Sam Bell :
Thanks, Gerty.
Are you going to be OK?

G•E•R•T•Y :
Of course.
The New Sam and I will be back to our programming as soon as I have finished rebooting.

 Sam Bell :
Gerty, we're not programmed —
We're People. Understand?