Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Twenty-six tenses in English

In the American Cultural Center a couple weeks ago, picked up a copy of an “English Tenses Timeline Chart.” The chart lists 26 verb tenses.

“Past Perfect Simple Passive: The painting had been sold twice before it was destroyed.

“Future Perfect Continuous Active: She will have been working here for two years by the end of next month.”

Friday, March 21, 2008

reality for what it is

LautrĂ©amont forces his readers to stop taking their world for granted. He shatters the complacent acceptance of the reality proposed by their cultural traditions and makes them see that reality for what it is: an unreal nightmare all the more hair-raising because the sleeper believes he is awake.”

--Alex De Jonge

Thursday, March 20, 2008

one word, two opposing usages


1. to represent in drawing or painting.
2. to portray in words; describe.


Confessional State

“From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“A confessional state is the concept that a particular government would adhere to a specific creed. Prior to the 20th century, many nations were confessional states and enshrined in their respective constitutions or by decree of the monarch, that the state acknowledged one official religion, even if other religions were permitted to freely practice. In Europe, especially in the time of monarchs, confessional states were common. In the American colonies, prior to the Revolutionary War, most colonies were confessional states in that each colony had an official religion. Subsequently, even after the American Revolution, most of the newly-formed American states had official, tax-funded, state churches the last of which lingered until the 1840s. The confessional state is largely gone in the Western World, although in the Middle East, the confessional state, particularly in Islamic nations, is still quite common.”

Monday, March 17, 2008

In Your Own Time

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

George Berkeley

“He was an idealist: everything that exists is either a mind or depends for its existence upon a mind. He was an immaterialist: matter does not exist. He accepted the seemingly outrageous position that ordinary physical objects are composed solely of ideas, which are inherently mental. He wrote on vision, mathematics, Newtonian mechanics, economics, and medicine as well as philosophy. In his own time, his most often-read works concerned the medicinal value of tar-water.”

Spam and “The Internet as a Solipsistic Phenomenon”

So I got some spam. But I registered the blog at their website. First in Mongolia.


“Your blog Adventuria caught our attention. I'm the CEO of a recently launched startup for bloggers. We are searching the internet for the world's best blogs by geography, and we found yours for Mongolia. I would like to invite you to our site which plots the content of the internet on an interactive map of the world. VerveEarth is an entirely new way to surf the net. It shows spatial and geographic connections that a blog search engine could never reveal.

“The site is www.VerveEarth.com.

“Kind Regards,
CEO VerveEarth.com”

VerveEarth automatically added to Blogger a sidebar widget: “Top 10000 Blog.” It doesn't look like VerveEarth has 10,000 blogs registered yet. But I think their widget with its sadly optimistic hit counter at the top of the sidebar contrasts nicely with the “This Page Is Applied Solipsism” link at the bottom of the sidebar:

“But solipsism is also a very dangerous idea. If one gets too indulged into it he might get carried away. If taken very serious and if you believe in it and think about it too much, the effects are just like other drugs.

“Sure, there are many who disagree with the idea of solipsism, and they have good arguments, too. But even if one plays a little with the idea but generally rejects it he has to agree that in everyday life there can occur solipsistic everyday effects. Again and again you might ask yourself: what is wrong here? . . .am I the only sentient being here? Are these people really existing? Does anything really exist? Am I the only one to notice something?

“And this is where the Internet comes into play. With so many dead links and wasted bandwidth, illogic, faulty search engines, general information overflow - no, information landslide - no one will notice you and your page no matter how nice, intelligent or wholesome it might (or might not) be. And, after all, nobody is really looking for your page, anyhow. So why did you put it up, then?

“The only logic answer to it is, frankly, that you put it up primarily for yourself. The only real visitor will be you. You are going to enjoy your pages, laugh at your jokes, find and fix a bug or check your links and advices. No one takes notice of it but you.

“You have to admit, whether you like it or not and no matter if you believe in solipsism or not, that your page therefore constitutes an actual occurrence of real, Applied Solipsism. Since you are the only person that notices your page, if it weren't for you noone would experience it and therefore it would not exist. The page exists only in your own solipsistic imagination, because if only you experience it who can tell if it really exists? . . .

“But this campaign and its ribbon might also fit you because of its enormous humoristic, absurd potential. Held to its own words, the campaign that ‘exterminates any and all other campaigns’ because it denies the very existence of any sentient outside world is completely useless and self-denying in itself, because where there is no audience, why should there be a campaign to convince it of its non-existence?”

stand on the utility sink

“His undershirt is wet; he can feel the sweat rolling from his underarms. He sits on the step with the empty glass in his hand and watches the shadows fill up the yard. He stretches, wipes his face. He listens to traffic on the highway and considers whether he should go to the basement, stand on the utility sink, and hang himself with his belt.”

--Raymond Carver, “Are These Actual Miles?,” 1972

Sunday, March 09, 2008