Stare.
     
 

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  Twelve Perfect Squares and Twelve Almost Perfect Squares (The Latter Being Affected Slightly From the Northwest) Transmitted in Eight Gatherings of Three
(Perfect, Almost Perfect, Perfect)

 
 
 

 
 
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4 June 1997
Twelve Perfect Squares and Twelve Almost Perfect Squares (The Latter Being Affected Slightly From the Northwest) Transmitted in Eight Gatherings of Three
(Perfect, Almost Perfect, Perfect)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Another week, another boring conceptual piece. This one's Twelve Perfect Squares and Twelve Almost Perfect Squares (The Latter Being Affected Slightly From the Northwest) Transmitted in Eight Gatherings of Three. And like most of these pieces, it looks horrible on a computer monitor and fine on paper and/or in the PDF version.

I don't think this boredom is so bad, and neither did Aldous Huxley.

    "Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty--his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure."

5 June 1997
Eric's Changes
Eric the fisherman is beginning to annoy me. Actually, Eric is a retired fisherman; he lives in a small city apartment with a doddering old cougar.

Eric is a kleptomaniac. When I visited him, I discovered a stolen rowing machine is a locked closet. (It wasn't hard to find, he left it running.) I didn't report him, though, since in his current job as a subway inspector he's overlooked my "underpayment" of fares on several occasions.

I was surprised to see that the cougar refused to sit on Eric's lap as it had always done in the past. There are some questions best left unasked.

6 June 1997
Big Blue Notes
I like Garry Kasparov even though he let the human race down by losing a chess tournament to a machine. (It has not escaped my attention that the machine that beat him is a distant relative of the machine that I write with, a machine that regularly beats me at chess too.)

The thing I like about Garry is that he can whine, snivel and rationalize better than any machine can. For example:

    IBM's total control of the site and the playing conditions underscored the vulnerability of the human player.

    My opponent was psychologically stable, undisturbed and unconcerned about anything going on around it, and it made almost none of the typical computer-chess errors.

    The decisive game of the [six game] match was Game 2, which left a scar on my memory and prevented me from achieving my usual total concentration in the following games.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Way to go, Garry! At this rate, it will be quite some time before a machine can beat a human when it comes to complaining. Or maybe not: that's what used to be said about computers beating humans at chess.

7 June 1997
Digitally Clever
I heard a speaker say "art and money have become digital." I thought that was terribly clever until I couldn't thing of anything that wasn't digital in some way. We're all heading into the digital vortex, smiling and singing.

8 June 1997
Irritainment
A night club owner in Berlin is trying to carve out a new business niche by offering "irritainment." I've been doing it for years, although without any attempts to make money from it. I've never been particularly greedy, just knowing I've irritated someone is adequate remuneration.

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9 June 1997
To Die For
A friend pointed out that the Heaven's Gate geeks who killed themselves in order to catch a ride on a passing meteorite had a definite idea of their new interstellar mates' appearance. They published a slick illustration of what appears to be an extra from a 1953 science fiction movie with the caption "How a Member of the Kingdom of Heaven might appear."

On the other hand, who's to say the Heaven's Gate nerds aren't sitting around with the space critters chugging beers, or whatever it is space critters drink?

10 June 1997
Dr. Pedanto, Pedantically
I found this in my notes:

"Life begins when the story comes to an end."
- Pedanto

As usual, I failed to note when or where I heard it. And, more to the point, I had no idea who Pedanto is. Or was.

Was. It turns out that Dr. Pedanto was an assumed name of Reynardine, who was also known as Crabron. Reynardine was the eldest son of Reynard the Fox. Reynard the Fox, in turn, was believed to be the creation of Hinreck van Alckmer, the tutor of the Duke of Lorraine. And here things get even more confusing: The Dictionary of Phrase And Fable By E. Cobham Brewer from The New and Enlarged Edition of 1894 goes on to say "This name is generally supposed to be a pseudonym of Hermann Barkhusen, town clerk and book printer in Rostock. (1498.)" Does "this name" refer to Hinreck van Alckmer, Reynardine, Reynard the Fox, or someone else?

My answer, as usual, is "Who cares?" Should I ever need to use the phrase, I'll claim it as my own. Almost no one will bother with the confusing research, and even fewer will claim it's under copyright after five hundred years.

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©1997 David Glenn Rinehart