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"God is in the details" (--Mies van der Rohe[fn.46[ Go to footnote! ]]
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Hermann Broch, The Death of Virgil. The original German text is: "Noch nicht, und doch schon" (suhrkamp taschenbuch 296, p. 60). Jean Starr Untermeyer's English translation reads: "Not quite here but yet at hand" (p. 61). I asked Broch's son about this, and he assured me that my interpretation -- "Not yet and yet already" -- was correct, not the published version (for more details here, see my H.F. Broch de Rothermann page). [The English translation of "Dear Mrs. Strigl" (John Hargraves, trans., The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 2001) translates this yet a third way: "still to come, yet already past" (p. 57).] Even when we err, which is at least much of the time, we are already also in truth: to be aware of this is a critically defensible ground for a -- trepidant and pluralistic -- measure of comfort and hope.
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I apologize if your browser can't cope with what I've done. I'm not trying to make this site "perverse", but I don't want just plaintext. Until I added the "Lynxfriendly" button at the bottom of my home page, Netscape 4.0 beta 1 showed the page as a blank window after one clicked Return from the Essays page (but the page material curiously appeared if one then resized the browser window's width...). Trying to view the site with the Jan 97 HotJava 1.0 PreBeta2 was humbling.... And why did the animated .gifs on my home page (but not the one on my Essays page) suddenly stop working under Netscape (Both 3.01 Gold and 4 beta 1), sometime on 1 Feb 97, and just as suddenly start working again on 10 Feb? (Unexpectedly and inexplicably, on 3.01 Gold and 4 beta 2, this problem returned, on 23 Mar 97....) Even though almost every page on the site has been validated with the W3C validation service as valid HTML 3.2 or 4.0, I had a version of the Opera browser which messed up the display of at least one of these validated pages, and the W3C's own Amaya 2.0a browser (June 1999) doesn't honor align attributes on <img> tags.... Whatever else may be the case, however: This site is friendly to both Lynx browsing and lynx[tipped] cats.
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See, e.g., description of television antenna on top of "Guild House" Quaker housing for the elderly (Philadelphia, PA), in Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (2nd Ed.), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1977, p. 116: "The antenna, with its anodized gold surface, can be interpreted two ways: abstractly, as sculpture in the manner of Lippold, and as a symbol of the aged, who spend so much time watching T.V." Also, Robert Venturi et al., Learning from Las Vegas (Revised Ed.), MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1979, pp. 92-3. See also: my postmodernism background info page.
4[ Return to footnote trigger! ]It seems that, since the page exists, and is even being changed and added to, deconstruction must mean something different from demolition. One might say that even straightforward destruction (e.g., military "saturation bombing") is a form of construction, since it endeavors to transform one thing into another. But deconstruction seems a much more unambivalently productive enterprise (e.g., it makes new books, without necessarily destroying any old ones -- indeed, a book which deconstructs an existing book needs for that other book to continue to survive, for reference, etc.). What kind of shared environment and personal situations are the various deconstructors trying to bring into being, and what are their motivations?
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"Why are you doing this to me?" -- These words were captured by a surveillance camera in New York City's Bellevue Hospital. They were spoken by a woman doctor, who was being murdered by an intruder.
6[ Return to footnote trigger! ]What are some of the qualities of reasonable action plans? The best, of course, are those which open up previously unimagined opportunities for everybody to benefit beyond their reasonable expectations (including fairness, compassion, enjoyment, etc.). Where there are conflicting interests which cannot be "reconstellated away" by transfiguring how persons understand their situation, often the most reasonable solutions will be ones with which nobody is entirely pleased and nobody is much more displeased than anybody else (e.g.: an economy in which ordinary workers are in constant danger of being "downsized" but their companies' CEOs have huge incomes and "golden parachutes" clearly would not meet such a test).
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[ Go to Site Map! ]This website has long since [as of June 1998] outgrown its site map. Hence the Table of Contents HTML form and the "annotations" beneath the map. The reason the map remains is that it does give a good overview of the site, and I haven't thought of anything better -- especially since the present map already just barely fits on an 800 by 600 pixel screen. Any ideas for genuine improvement will be appreciated. You may wish to look at the complete Table of Contents page I have added (as a kind of "second level"...), "underneath" the site map: If, in the site map, you click either on the "Table of Contents" "button", or any blank space, you go to this new "underlying" directory page. (And, below it, there is yet a third level site directory: Website page inventory by title, which I have not figured out how incorporate into this layering scheme in an intuitively effective and appealing way.) Thank you.
[ Go to Site Map! ]16 Aug 2001 Addendum: As part of integrating my new in lieu of an alphabetic Index page into the site navigation scheme, I redesigned the part of my site map page just below the Site Map (the part with the HTML form where you can select a page to visit from a dropdown list (HTML select element). I ran into a seemingly uncircumventable problem doing the layout here, because, in IE 5 and Netscape 4, a form seems to automatically add a blank line below itself (and sometimes also adds a blank line above itself), whereas Netscape 6 does not add the blank line beneath the form. I do not see why a form element should use any space besides the space taken up by the various widgets (buttons, select element, etc.). But that does not seem to be the way it is. Either there is something I do not know, or this seems a bad problem in the way the browsers layont forms, since I have to wonder where some unexpected space is going to appear in my page layout (and/or else count on space that cannot be accounted for by the sizes of the layout elements on the page nonetheless being there...). Can you help me solve this problem?[ Email me! ]
25 Aug 2001 Addendum: I am painfully, sadly and frustratedly aware that many pages on this website are too "dense", have too much text, etc. I have chosen content before form: To get what I feel is important to say here in the best form I can fit it in, and then to try to make the presentation better. I hope you will find it worth the effort to try to see the trees even though the forest has in many places not recently been "thinned".
8[ Return to footnote trigger! ]At the time when the McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 jumbo jet gained notoriety for crashing due to a certain cargo door spontaneously breaking open in flight, a New Yorker magazine article about the plane described it as being: "adequately engineered". In contrast with the Boeing 747 and Lockheed L-1011, the DC-10 had only double, instead of triple redundant hydraulic systems. Hydraulic control lines ran along the leading edge of the wings, where they were more vulnerable to being severed than if they had been located further back. Etc.
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"Half-enlightenment..., i.e., rationalistic dismissal of all mystification, superstition, legend, and so on... does not measure up to its scientific criteria. Genuine enlightenment... criticizes any distortions in an ideological product, but then goes on to take it more seriously, to read it closely for any critical or emancipatory potential. Half-enlightenment deludes itself... by thinking that truth and enlightenment can be obtained solely by eliminating error rather than offering something positive and attractive. Indeed, Bloch believes that part of why the left was defeated by the right in Weimar Germany is because the left tended to focus simply on criticism..., whereas fascism provided a positive vision and attractive alternatives to masses desparately searching for something better." (Douglas Kellner, in Not Yet: Reconsidering Ernst Bloch, Verso, 1997, p. 83)
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"Filed at 11:21 a.m. EDT [21 Oct 98] By The Associated Press. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA insists safety -- not the presence of the president -- will determine whether Discovery lifts off next week with John Glenn.... [T]he White House announced that President Clinton will attend the Oct. 29 [1998] launch of Glenn, a Democratic senator who went into politics after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth back in 1962. The last time an American president witnessed a manned space shot, the rocket soared through storm clouds and was hit twice by lightning. Apollo 12 was launched to the moon that rainy November day in 1969, the never-confirmed story goes, because Nixon was there. A senior member of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel said the space agency wouldn't dare launch Discovery just because Clinton was in the viewing stands. 'No way, no way' Seymour Himmel said. 'No, it's going to be within the boundaries that are allowed or it ain't going to go.' The 1986 Challenger disaster is still too fresh in too many minds, Himmel said. Rumor had it -- again, never confirmed -- that [ Notice what's hiding in plain sight! ]President Reagan was keen to mention an orbiting schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe in his State of the Union address. McAuliffe never made it to space. She and the six others on board were killed when Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff that icy January morning."
11[ Return to footnote trigger! ]The more I think on it, the more saddened and outraged I become at the way my course of studies was imposed on me in school. Some egregious examples come from high school "Ancient History": What purpose was served -- what did either society or myself gain ("value added"...) -- by my being required to memorize the names of the 10 kings of ancient Assyria, and my prospects for adult life being made partly contingent on succeeding in repeating this list [from rote memory] back to the teacher on his test? (after which social interaction, of course, I was "free" to forget them....) --Rote memorization is sometimes called: "learning by heart". I think I vaguely "got the message" (aka: learned) that learning was heartless, but I must admit to not having been "bright" enough to figure all this out clearly at the time. The teacher was probably proud of how well he designed his test, and I didn't have the idea that life could be better. But if I had clearly thematized the issue: If I had shown the faculty the damage they were doing, and proposed that, instead, they and I could mutually collaborate on building a meaningful study space for all, would they have welcomed me as a peer policy-maker? Would they have thanked me for helping them advance to a higher stage of social life? (I do know that, when, as an adult, I tried to do this at a psychoanalytic training instutute, my initiative was rebuffed.)
12[ Return to footnote trigger! ]I started with NT 3.51. Then I got NT 4.0 pre-Sevice Pack 1, and had a dual-boot NT 3.51 and NT 4.0 system for a while, until I removed NT 3.51 to have space to install a second copy of NT 4.0 so that I could test web pages with both Internet Explorer 3 and 4 (eventually I discarded the second copy of NT 4.0, when the need for testing with MSIE 3 went away). I applied NT 4.0 Service Packs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as each was released. I removed my first installation of SP2, because of problems it caused with my Jaz drive, and then applied SP2 a second time, when Microsoft released a version of it that worked better. I used Microsoft's "selective install" to install SP5 (this reduced a download of 36meg to a bit more than 1meg). I wonder if I've ever written over any service pack level modules while installing other software (I have never re-installed a service pack on this account). Considering how little I really know about "NT", I feel I have been lucky not to have had a lot more problems maintaining an "NT box".
13[ Return to footnote trigger! ] [ Get Internet Explorer 5! ]Browser battles: When I initially started developing this website, in December 1996, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 2 displayed my web pages very unattractively, while Netscape's Navigator 3 displayed them quite appealingly. IE 3 was a vast improvement over IE2, but still not as nice as Netscape 3. When Netscape brought out Communicator, I thought Communicator displayed things less well than Navigator 3. On the other hand, IE4 was much better than IE3, so that I felt the two were "about equal". In June 1999, IE5 was out, and it displayed XML (eXtensible Markup Language) as well as HTML pages. IE5 also had far better HTML DOM (Document Object Model) support, and somewhat better HTML "layers" implementation than Communicator. So, at that point, I felt Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5 was the best browser, and Netscape's Navigator 3.04 (not Communicator 4+!) second best. I still think the email component of Netscape Navigator 3 was the nicest to work with (but you could not use it if you have an IMAP email account). Netscape 3 was not "Y2k" compliant, so it ceased to be a viable choice at the end of 1999. As of May 2001, I think Netscape 4.7+ (currently: 4.77) displays this site best, although MSIE 5.5 also does well. But I do not like Microsoft's email programs, and I use Netscape 4.7+ mail exclusively. Netscape 6.01 still does not work well, but Netscape 7 seems better. Mozilla 1.3.0 (and Netscape 4.80) are currently my web browser of choice (although sometimes I use IE 6.0 to view sites that do not display correctly in Mozilla or Netscape).
14[ Return to footnote trigger! ]Actually, this is the second time I moved the sculpture. But I don't have any pictures of the second place where I had it.
15[ Return to footnote trigger! ]When I was a teenager, my mother reserved for herself the right to pick the pimples on my face. She prohibited me from squeezing them. But, each afternoon, when I came home from school, she would make me stand still for her to squeeze them with her fingernails. When, once, I refused to stand for this, she threatened me that she would tell my father and he would punish me when he came home.
16[ Return to footnote trigger! ]Phenomenological philosophy and hermenutics are "self-validating" in at least two senses: (1) the very activity of engaging in these disciplines provides evidence to test the validity of the hypotheses which arise in the activity, and (2) such activity "validates" (i.e., nurtures) the human "selves" who engage in it, even as they engage in it.
17[ Return to footnote trigger! ] An obvious contrast to this would be Jupiter's visitation to Danae (e.g., Rembrandt's version).
18[ Return to footnote trigger! ] Personal correspondence, 03 Jan 2000. See also the following article from Computerwworld (http://www.computerworld.com/): 'Y2K glitch a "black eye" for Naval Observatory[, b]y Linda Rosencrance 01/01/2000 [/] The Navy called it a "bump in the road" and a "black eye" when a Web site operated by the U.S. Naval Observatory, the nation's official timekeeper, marked the date Jan. 1, 19100, early on New Year's Day. [/] According to Navy spokesman John Fleming, the year 2000 software glitch occurred because of an error in a JavaScript written with an older version of the programming language that was not Y2K-ready. The script ran at a Web hosting service he could not identify, not at the observatory's own site (www.usno.navy.mil/home.html). [/] For 45 minutes, visitors to the observatory's millennium countdown Web site were given an incorrect date for the U.S. time zones that had already entered the year 2000. [/] The problem didn't affect the Naval Observatory master clock in Washington, the nation's official timekeeper since 1845. [/] "This really is a non-problem," Fleming said. "It was almost like a typo that was fixed within 45 minutes [after it was discovered by a technician] at about 1:30 or 1:45 a.m.[" /] Data services specialists at the observatory could not be reached for further comment today.'
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Obviously, this is not true: The United States does not have a national cultural assets certification bureau (unlike, e.g., France, Italy, and Japan). But I feel that we should have one, for such "things" as Maine Coon cats. Note: Both Abiko and Misu are "pure breed", with papers. Riddle: What do you call a mixed-breed/"alley" cat? A "chat ordinaire".
  (Footnote #20 deleted, 07 July 2002)
21[ Return to footnote trigger! ] This footnote is a "dummy" target for item in change log, noting change in footnote "trigger" style from superscript numbers to [fn.nn[ Go to footnote! ]] format.
22[ Return to footnote trigger! ] Mike Kingston wrote on an Internet forum: "One of the main characteristics of APL in the commercial world has been that users have been able to pursue their own specialty, taking on that of the programmer as well, without the latter detracting from or swamping the former. Many user applications did not lend themselves to the treatment Specify Requirements Completely, Wait Two Years, Oops! Not What I wanted. On the engineering side, aircraft are still flying whose structural analysis programming was done in the late 1950s by end users employing one of APL's forerunners, the Ferranti Pegasus Matrix Interpretive Scheme. 'Without APL we would not have been able to ....' - typical user comment." (http://www.remarq.com/read/3476/qAkYKWxnlyDcC-wE2#LR)
23[ Return to footnote trigger! ] When I arrived at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, in 1980, the Senior Manager who took me around to interview in the several department where I might work, explained to me that I did not want to work in the APL group, because APL was not "strategic".
24[ Return to footnote trigger! ] I originally used the word: "operator", instead of: "function" in this document. An APL expert told me that "function" was the correct word, so I have changed it. I think that the layperson should keep in mind the "spirit" of my original choice of words, however. In computer programs, "function calls" usually look something like: "sum(a,b,c)", not: "+/a b c" -- which I think looks more like an arithmetic operation (e.g., "a+b"). The difference in "tone" cannot be captured in a brief snippit, but page after page of logorrheic "func1(func2(func3(...),func4(func5(func6(...)),...),func99(...),...),func100(...),...)" would be far more unreadable than a pithy string of APL symbols (such as the example "find prime numbers" APL program) to accomplish the same effect. I felt the difference merited a different and more evocative word.
25[ Return to footnote trigger! ] The reader may be offended at what I have written here, interpreting it as meaning that I want only to "take" from that "lower" social environment -- and "selfishly"(sic) go off and do things that do not matter to the real persons "around me". This is not what I mean: I very much want [to use another "Winnicott phrase":] to contribute into my immediately supporting social milieu (face-to-face community) -- but I want to do this in ways which nourish both myself and the others -- i.e., in ways that are "win-win" [help others and also help me!], not either "selfish" [helps me but hurts others] or "altruistic" [helps others but hurts me].
26[ Return to footnote trigger! ] Lettres a Giorgio is a lovely book of envelopes with drawings by the artist Folon, which Folon mailed to Giorgio Soavi. Folon's envelopes are, of course, much more beautiful than mine (each envelope is a subtly nuanced watercolor painting). Lettres a Giorgio was featured by Rizzoli Bookstore one Christmas season. I remember thinking when I saw the book, that I was glad I had had my idea for envelope art before I encountered Folon's book, for otherwise I could not have done my envelopes, since I would have felt I was just imitating. But that is not the way it happened: I [re]invented this wheel independently, so I had a right to see my idea as an accomplishment I could develop as "my own". (Frank Lloyd Wright had a similar response to finding out that Japanese architects long ago discovered an architectural idea he invented.)
27[ Return to footnote trigger! ] "...[N]egotiating with the Russians on arms control, ...gave Admiral [William J.] Crowe [Jr., the now retired chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff] a profound respect for the Russian people. Admiral Crowe visited Stalingrad and Leningrad, sites of enormous bloodshed in World War II.... [/] 'Our sacrifices pale in comparison to theirs,' he said." (from: The New York Times on the Web, 16Aug00, article by David Stout)
28[ Return to footnote trigger! ] There seem to be sources of ambivalence intrinsic to social life, wherever issues of resource scarcity arise. If two persons want something and there is only one of it and it cannot be shared, there may be no "win-win" course of action. I wonder if ambivalence-exacerbating social customs often are "Darwineanly evolved" (and/or conspiratorially imposed) mechanisms for trying to cope with these pre-social sources of conflict which arise from "the things themselves"? But might it be better, when not everyone can have everything they want, for the community to sraightforwardly acknowledge instead of repressing or trying to hide (etc.) the problem, and for the losers to be given maximal social support for their loss, at the price of the winners having to cope with something akin to "survivor guilt"? More often, the customs of a society make the losers feel they deserved to lose, and the winners to win, thus making the "to those who have much... and from those who have little..." problem much worse than the factual constraints of the problem space coerce.
29[ Return to footnote trigger! ] You can make a stand-up paper sculpture our of this web page. Print the page on your computer printer (monochrome is OK; you may need to reduce the Scaling to less than 100% to get it to fit on the paper). Fold the paper along the vertical center axis of the drawing ("right down the middle"). Fold the paper back and forth along this line several times. Then fold the paper to about a 90 degree angle (the paper should retain this position by itself). Stand the paper where you want to display it (away from strong winds...). Of course, you can work out further elaborations for yourself -- let me know if you think of anything you like![ Email me! ]
30[ Return to footnote trigger! ] Heard on NPR Morning Edition radio program, 28Oct00: "Giants are only giants when you compare them to their surroundings."
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I once read (ref. lost): "God reigns in sorrow" -- because He is all alone in His [Her, Other...] Omnipotence, due to His having either destroyed or otherwise excluded everybody else from His companionship by intimidating them. God is alone, therefore He is lonely. But, of course, this is not true, for He is on entirely collegially friendly ("chummy") terms with The Devil (Satan), in the story of Job -- where the two make a gentlemen's wager about Job's fate, like two business executives talking about their sportsmanly avocations (automobile racing, soccer...) over cocktails at the Harvard or Yale club.
32[ Return to footnote trigger! ] Reference is to controvertial and possibly scandalous Presidential pardons which Bill Clinton gave on his last day in office, including a multi-million dollar tax cheater and four other individuals who had defrauded the Federal government of tens of millions of dollars.
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18 April 2008 (2008-04-18 ISO 8601)
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