Mark Twain on War

“There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one–on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful–as usual–will shout for the war. The pulpit will–warily and cautiously–object–at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, ‘It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.’ Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers–as earlier–but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation–pulpit and all–will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”

Visiting an Old Friend

Picked up an old book from the past, mostly out of curiosuity; read it first when I was around 16, and thought I’d revisit Alodar this evening (about all I remember about said book is the protagonist’s name) — first few pages, and bang, sucked me in like it did decades ago.

Reminders: Rethink, Repurpose, Reuse.

When asked for delay or deferment, ideas can simply become the repurposing of existing material. Take a moment to analyse the task at hand. Breathe and continue. You have the tools, the ability and any required means at hand. Don’t acquire more things. Gather carefully a list of requirements, find hacks to grease the wheels. Most of all: do (or do not) – acquiring things may make you feel as if you are making progress, but you are merely stalling out at the pre-beginning. Execute. Take action.

“We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.”

Idea: A Singular Short Story I

Revolves around Vinge’s “Singularity” – the idea being that AI creates versions of itself, these versions (improved) then fight amongst themselves ignoring humanity at large, but bring about the apocalypse. See also: the idea that groupism, of any stripe leads to war.

When we shovel-feed ideas to others, we are no better than “them”…