Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Monthly Archives: March 2010

American Values  §

From a very young age:

Competitive, not collaborative.

Antagonistic, not synergistic.

Corporations, not communities.

Consumption, not contentment.

Independence, not interdependence.

Retribution, not redistribution.

Me, not you.

Von Neumann  §

The Von Neumann architecture is the founding conceptual document of today's world. All consequences proceed from it and its proof (and embodiment) of the fact that representation and operation, action and information, thought and matter are all one and the same quantity.

It is the single most important model for social scientists of the present to deploy, but unfortunately, it is also largely incomprehensible to those outside of computer science largely due to its newness and complexity—as incomprehensible as the concept textuality would have been for preliterate humans. No matter how much time one spends trying to explain it, eyes necessarily glaze over. To give a complete account at this point requires the diagrammatic articulation of an entire universe of schema that are (in ways that would shock computer scientists) fundamentally metaphysical in nature and voluminous in quantity.

Things  §

  1. The Who as the Super Bowl halftime show was the best entertainment decision of the decade. So suck on that, Who haters.
  2. Pier One has cheesy $10 somemetalorother lanterns with glass sides, and $8 lemongrass candles. I highly recommend the combination and I'm not newage stupid at all.
  3. Yes, new age nonsense is, generally speaking, stupid.
  4. The MTA is always doing construction but I don't think I've ever seen an improvement, or even anything that resembles keeping up with the decay. Bigger and better are needed.
  5. Two years ago I bought an Oregon Scientific (Portland Scientific?) digital clock that looks great and was also supposed to tell the weather. Problem: the weather function requires a remote that isn't anything near weather safe, but it needs to be outside in order to tell the weather.
  6. The most important button on my Acer flatscreen display started out broken, but I kept it anyway because it was the only one in town and I needed a flatscreen right then.
  7. Sometimes you are better off doing what everyone thinks you oughtn't be doing.
  8. Two days ago a squirrel almost killed me by dropping a large, dry, heavy object about an inch in front of my face as I was walking (I had to look up to realize it was a squirrel).
  9. The romance with New York may be over. The romance with life has been over for at least two decades.
  10. Steel Reserve remains one of the all time great worst brews of all time.
  11. BONUS: I'd kill right now to be watching South Pacific on DVD anywhere but here. No, I'm not flaming. I'm not even gay.

Ravings of a lunatic  §

Serious writing requires a singular kind of reckless courage.

Those born with the talent to write but without the necessary courage unavoidably go to a kind of purgatory. Those born with both, of course, go straight to hell.

Hard to know which is better.

Hard to know which is worse!

I'm not proud, in particular, to be a liar of multiple decades, but of course I value my life, my self, and my associates—the greatest of the talent-killing sins, and an express ticket to Dante's penthouse.

Oh, to have been an Antonin Artaud, to have twisted in the black matter, to have urchined in the urn, to have beaten back, flagellating, in time with rhetoritards, mongoliacs, bipolaroids!

Oh, the tragedick, the humanitack of et al!

Pity, pity, pity party!

Aieeeee!

Dragon Kite  §

On a summer afternoon in the land of seven- and eight-year-olds, a wise parent returned from work with a dragon kite. Red and green and blue and yellow, crackling and made of cellophane, it's wild tail threatened to savage any rival, while it's body, girth, and wizened head, each segment larger than the last, held itself for the moment to the floor, strained and taut.

A young boy—the recipient, in fact, caught for a moment transfixed—realized quickly that there was one thing to do, one thing only, any other to be a desecration.

The kite would be allowed to fly.

Mere minutes later, bathed in wind and sun, boy and kite stood one in the long light of afternoon, the arms and legs of mighty dragons dancing high above, ecstatic and free.

Time, so much as it was, stopped. When it started once again, the sun descended and so, regrettably and of necessity, did the dragon.

"Until tomorrow!" said the little boy inside the little boy, eyes shining as he made his way inside, kite in tow. "Tomorrow, first thing, we fly again!"

The kite never flew again. Buffeted by time, forgetfulness, and the inarticulate hands of childhood, it gradually receded into the world of immateriality once again, as the best monuments of childhood do.

Today, in the basement of a department store many lifetimes later, a little rack of well-packaged kites changed the space of time just enough for the dragon kite to return for the first time in a generation. Caught in fluorescent lights and in the incredible bittersweet of adulthood, for a brief moment my entire world once again was a kite, red and green and blue and yellow, fluttering in the summer afternoon air. If I hadn't turned my head and walked on through the aisles, its long forgotten passing would quickly have become too much to bear.

For love of the world, the truly sentimental leave home behind. Later in life and for the same reason, they seek out and grab hold of it once again.