Friday, September 29, 2006

A Primer

This is a cautionary post of the tides of time. Tension is backwards relavistic; it radiates backwards in time from the perceived source of the tension-causing event and is thusly assimilated into the unwary and hapless observer far back in the temporal stream. Some are more sensitive receivers than others. The quantitative scale of this receptivity to tension is known as "worrisomeness"; however, the ICS (Internal Common Standard) classifies it as "paranoia". Other, less reputable scales call it "obsessiveness", yet others classify it as a distant derivant of "work ethic". All generally agree on the accepted SI derivation of this measure. It is kgm^2s^-3, which is to say, work done over time. It is inversely proportional with distance to the source of tension. This is known as the Law of Frantic Revision. Unfortunately, it only applies to Ideal Students, because it makes several assumptions about the condition of the experimental medium, for example, that no intersocial forces exist between Ideal Students, or that his capacity to slack is negligible. But there is, then, no such thing as an Ideal Student. The effects of the non-ideal behaviour of some students may be remedied by 1. Increasing the pressure, and 2. Decreasing the heat.


The sheer banality of the forthcoming exhortation: The Exams Are Coming! Banal or blase? It is a thing of great debate. For are exams ever mundane? Or are they like a cheese grater? Or worse yet, a great cheese? Exams are necessary. Unpleasant, but the essence of exams go beyond that of testing one's concepts; they are engineered to pressure the growing student, to test his or her diligence, preserverance and time management. The post-exam time will bring with it fruit of plenty, and burdens anew. But on the whole I look forward to the time I can play Civ IV and read up on transhumanism. But now we can only plod on, ever stoic.


Friday, September 15, 2006

The Screamer

Ai. Once there was the Ardent
That once sailed the warm currents
Of the sea. Thousands did it plunder
With gun and leatherbound whip
And the great dog-pirate like steelclad thunder
Did spear the most with his swordtip.

Then there came one terror-dusk
Of raging sea. Storms did take the lives of men
Scurvy-ridden hounds. They cast the ballast
Into the hungry waters, gave their rum to the questing sea
And the Ardent ardently did pray for the mien
Of the sun mordant to be.

But it was of little avail, you see
For the Ardent did sink'st into the sea.
And men and dogs did give their lives
to She. A thousand chests of plunder
Were the payment for her savage fee.

But no sea-dog was he,
Great Dog-Pirate with the iron knee.
He shook his cutlass free and leapt into stormy sea.
Torrential maw consumed him not
That savage spirit
And found a plank did he, with his iron claw
He hooked the rotting wood to his body
And floated away with the debri.

And survived in the raging seas did he
Great Dog-Pirate
And he snarled portents of defiance
To the capricious fates of storm that came to be
Dogs howled in his commiseration
And agonizingly

His shouts were heard throughout the lands around the sea
His hollers herald the night to be.
And quaking landsmen did cower anxiously
At the echoing calls of the Great Dog-Pirate
He of the steel claw and iron knee.
And in the dusk when the night is clear to see,
Huddle in taverns and whisper mysteriously
Of the deep chants and savage howls of he

He, who they name the "Snarler of the Sargasso",
The Screamer of the Sea.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nursery Nonsense

The Pied Piper of Paris
had never heard of a ferry,
For when he led the mice
away from the rice
He joined them under the sea

Monday, September 11, 2006


These days I feel dry of thought, but the show must go on; blogs must be updated, guns must be shot, and IMF meetings must be allowed to begin in earnest. There will be no cessation of terrors if this blog is allowed to stagnate.

So, I do blog. But it is fortunate that there are issues to talk about. For instance, the IMF/World Bank Meetings. I, for one, must agree with the Singapore Government's ban on outdoor protests. This has nothing to do with the legality or freedom of expression - that issue is moot in this light. But it is true that the Government cannot afford to play double standards towards its populace, either it abolishes the ban for good, which will never happen as long as the PAP rules over this nation (or probably not), or it does nothing and stands firm by the order and, perhaps, restrictiveness that has become a part of the rule of law in this here and now. And there are of course several safety issues that must be observed, for both the would-be demonstrators and the IMF delegates. But its a shame, really, for our image - this is amounting to an image disaster for Singapore, and all the careful preparations - the flowers, the Smiles campaign, the Biennale, are going to seem rather flat when taken in the same dose as the restrictions. I wonder what the delegates think.

School rules. I must applaud the disciplinary measures the Student Council is taking, especially with regards to truancy. It's been an enduring and distressing issue that is plaguing the school - this wanton, casual, wilful skipping of classes and leaving school early. Draconian measures should be taken, and they have been. Notwithstanding Alistairs demented briefing the Council's measures are a good step forward. However, the ban on cards is another thing entirely. It, simply put, is nonsensical in premise and I am quite sure it will not be enforced. I've seen councilors playing bridge; cardplaying is a harmless activity as long as it doesnt involve an exchange of banknotes I don't see why it should be considered a violation of the school rules to play it as a purely recreational activity. You can gamble with anything, not just cards - you could bet on soccer matches, board games, and coin tossing, but that doesnt mean we can ban all those things. The rationale for the banning of playing cards is bunk. Better to join the mass of card players than hope to quash the tradition. And I don't even know how to play.

I have finished reading Olympos, the sequel to Ilium, and while most of the book was wonderful, the end left me in the dark as to what actually took place. Plot threads have been resolved in strange fashions and Simmons likes to leave some threads hanging. It is perhaps pertinent to re-read it as a future juncture to ascertain what Simmons was writing about. The inclusion of myraid literary elements, including Keats, Homer, Proust and Shakespeare were exceedingly novel, especially when deliciously juxtaposed against the modern-day musings of one of the protagonists, Thomas Hockenberry, a Twentieth century Iliad academic who has been revived by far-future Gods to catalogue their reenactment of the Trojan war as reported by Homer in Iliad. What else is interesting is that Simmons has chosen to make one of his non-human characters the most enduringly human of all the characters; Mahnmut, the moravec. That character is handled with great deftness and care, emphasizing one of the themes of the novel - the power of creative genius to inspire only those who truly understand the essence of humanity. Simmons places great store on the creative genius, reinterpreting it in a science-fiction sense, that it has the sheer power to create metaphorical universes of beauty and complexity. But you have to read it to understand it.