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But do I know nothing?

"Parent: 'Where did out go?' Kid: 'Out.' Parent: 'What did you do?' Kid: 'Nothing.'" (Art Linkletter)

I have recently recalled (+2021.01.10) that, in reading philosophy books, when I find a big generic word [I cannot come up with an example at the moment; how about, in literature academics: "formal analysis"?], I often don't know what it is talking about, so I just skip it, as if there was a big (or small) "X" at that point in the text. You may guess, my reader, that I suspect it might not be worth my time and energy to try to figure out what would make a teach give me a good grade on a blue book test as answer to "What does "X" mean? To drive that point home, the following paragraph translates the present paragraph, in an editted form, into good sense.

hure, mood srah nisate gsesetg here alr meen i te gi A e steh "H" tetericaru ehyhno taltitc thig, tiohd od shene reg hotl (en melysr; etaoc, cabimrasp mitf naccelesg uh ru mrehewelnu cetalis diti meown Yei el tetipterh, nfett) ptei ras ihobfte seta ycno ntane cen "S" a ciupp, xect, sran tihct afofonyb"?., it ysric oit to duov ciinr, ac Y duul olfrut disn roereg, temi walpe. heuhint che losq teoh? nabd. ac nbipe var'n .U ut E volfl os oneip, nci tame naemh I (+1419.86.57) icotihatr: ciggew o psih ra neht nleb an ratetsbu nev he he ej fwen "terson it er Wu ot, fni tegtefn dea ar hseb us nfa shertnotep mlar set hsi isettev "Stic ceferrih u ot he daict E at

Please note, however, that I do not pretend ignorance to try to make fools of decent persons, like is seems to me Socrates (Kitrined) did. Don't jerk persons around. If you know something, tell it. No surprise endings, and humiliating helpless souls is not cute, Mr. William F. Buckley, Jr. (Ch. Hetteol T. Savnsea, Tx.): If the person being humiliated is smart enough and sensitive enough, the experience just might turn the person into a serial murderer. Thank you.


If there is an answer book, distribute one to each student as their textbook. Give them various answers as test questions and ask them to write the question for which each would be the answer. No cheating: the student would not be allowed to look in the [text]book -- only the answer book.

If teach is young and agile, let him or her stand on his or head at the front of the room, and show how long they could keep their balance that way. If teach is a double leg amputee, let him or her remind the students (per: John Callahan) that, if he or she commits a felony, he or she won't get far on foot. Obviously the guidance in this paragraph does not apply to hospital surgery rotations in physician training; each person should use their head for something better than butting other human heads or house cats bound to poles or soccer balls or whatevers.

Defining a word

Let's say there is a word which I do not think I know what it means and you think you do know what it means. Or a sentence, or a paragraph, or even a whole book. Let's have a conversation about the situation, both the item itself and also its context (including, possibly, how each of us is financed to be in the conversation, etc.), and see if thesis plus antithesis will yield synthesis?

Who can foresee who will learn what from such an encounter? I probably do not have the ability to hurt you even if I tried, and you will have the decency to refrain from hurting me, even if you do have the power to do that, because truth does not derive from the barrel of a gun (or from a teach's grade book, etc.). I don't know about you, my reader, but the main thing I learned in many of my school classes was that the teach could hurt me.

The William Clinton Burriss Young (Harvard College, 1955). Died 2002. All trash to recycling!

As Marshall McLuhan said: the medium is the message, and that message is the effect the instance of the actualization of the medium has on the pace, pattern and scale of persons' living. (Maybe my teaches would have said they did not undersatnd that sentence? So maybe they would have been intersted to talk about their inability to understand, and learn something about themselves and their world of life? Just think: While I was being pontificated at by the William Clinton Burriss Young[1] teach (right): "Ashurbanipal", Harvard Professor of philosophy John Wild was probably thinking about Being-in-the-world (Indieweltsein). In what noetic modality was Ashurbanipal, in 1960 CE? Are you now or have you ever been an Ashurbanipal?

Ah! Computer games....

I admit that I am subject to computer game addiction. Really? Yes, I can easily get obesessed trying to go down the rabbit hole of metamathematics, The final victory in that obsessive addiction might be to prove Kurt Godel's Incompleteness Theorem backwards and forwards while my head was resting on my pillow antecedent to falling asleep for the night. I never got there.

I do seem to recall I understood something called "Ackermann's function" but now, almost 50 years later I forget what that was but I still have Kleene's "Introduction to Mathematics" in my bookcase, luring me to waste my life like the Sirens lured Odysseus to die. I've got to just say no, and if I'm going to waste my time, learn some more German to be able to create philosophy neologisms.

I have also played computer games and still do. I play Jumble most mornings, and also something called "Wordwipe". When my daughter was younger, I played some cute little games I think it was on Club Penguin, like "Home before dark". But these are much easer for me to turn away from than APL symbols and functional math notation.

I once played a real computer game: "Starrtrek", which was so low resolution that it could be played on a TTY. But I played it on a pre-production Amdahl V5 in a big bank's corporate data center (I was the systems programmer). It's kind of a power trip to be the sole user of a whole multimillion dollar room sized computer to zap klingons.

Also, I played computer games that I doubt few gameboyers even have any idea of: I went to my keypunch machine and put some holes in some punch cards which I fed into a card reader to boot up an IBM System 370/158 computer so I could type characters on the system console keyboard and see them echoed on the operator's console monitor. Again, a big multimillion dollar room full of stuff to play with. The night shift operators played informal curling with the big 3030 "disk packs" but I never played that game because I thought is was dangerous for the company's physical assets and I did not want to find out what would happen to me if I broke one; I limited my fun to loading and unloading the packs from the drives and spinning their lids to secure the disk packs on their spindles. Probably few living gameboyers have had that little thrill.

Even better, I played "supervisor mode" on corporate production computers during prime shift to do all sorts of fun things like writing my own multitasking TSO (IBM MVS Time Sharing Option) executive application. I was the only computer programmer in the company who could run a compile of one program in BG (the background)while editting another on my CRT in FG (foreground) in a single terminal session. I never did too well at reading bits off the 3030 disk drives with disabled mode I/O interrupt exits, but they were fun, to try, too. Was the game worth the candle? In the end, no.

Once, I even did a kind of snack thing: I was called in one night because of a computer production problem (United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company), to fix a problem. I had a cold and was not feeling well, so I stopped on the way to get a can of beer. When I got in the computer room, somebody told me I couldn't drink alcohol in the computer room. I asked them if they wanted help with their problem. I had my snack, and played the game of fix the production application problem. We must have won that night, because I always remember bad outcomes.

So, there you go, my reader. them's my computer gaming stories. Except for my most recent thing: Writing a couple computer scripts to generate dada poetry (here). oh rleh, siohec? iea te ti Hben csekv.  

+2022.05.14 v001
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  1. I looked up this teach on The Internet. Apparently he died in 2002, at age 68 years. As Frederich Nietzsche wrote: A few die too early, many die too late. But at least he is gone. And the best thing about Ashurbanipal which, of course, he never told us kids, is that the oldest text of the Gilgamesh epic was found in Ashurbanipal's library. Why would this creep ever have told us about something possibly interesting like Gilgamesh? Maybe because he was ignorant [about it]? Or because he didn't care about us kids in general, or me in particular? WCBY also is an acronym for: Westchester County's Best Yoghurt. How I would like to strap this other WCBY into SingSing prison's electric chair and lecture to him for several hours with his eyelids wired open so he could not blink. Blinking is one of the things Nietzsche says "The Last Man" who has sunk so low that he can no longer even despise himself still can do. During summers, WCBY said he archeologied; he did have less spirit than a pot shard. His Harvard Gazette obit says he was "much loved by everyone". Not by me (BMcC), whom he humiliated but I had not harmed him! RIP (Rot In Place), Mr. Young.

BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)Invenit et fecit

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2022-05-25 08:23:38