• Maiden Name by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    Marrying left your maiden name disused. Its five light sounds no longer mean your face, Your voice, and all your variants of grace; For since you were so thankfully confused By law with someone else, you cannot be Semantically the same as that young beauty: It was of her that these two words were used.

    Now it’s a phrase applicable to no one, Lying just where you left it,scattered through Old lists, old programmes, a school prize or two Packets of letters tied with tartan ribbon - Then is it scentless, weightless, strengthless, wholly Untruthful? Try whispering it slowly. No, it means you. Or, since you’re past and gone,

    It means what we feel now about you then: How beautiful you were, and near, and young, So vivid, you might still be there among Those first few days, unfingermarked again. So your old name shelters our faithfulness, Instead of losing shape and meaning less With your depreciating luggage laden.

  • No books no life.

  • There are more good people in this world than bad.

  • Deceptions by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    “Of course I was drugged, and so heavily I did not regain consciousness until the next morning. I was horrified to discover that I had been ruined, and for some days I was inconsolable, and cried like a child to be killed or sent back to my aunt.”

    —Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor

    Even so distant, I can taste the grief, Bitter and sharp with stalks, he made you gulp. The sun’s occasional print, the brisk brief Worry of wheels along the street outside Where bridal London bows the other way, And light, unanswerable and tall and wide, Forbids the scar to heal, and drives Shame out of hiding. All the unhurried day, Your mind lay open like a drawer of knives.

    Slums, years, have buried you. I would not dare Console you if I could. What can be said, Except that suffering is exact, but where Desire takes charge, readings will grow erratic? For you would hardly care That you were less deceived, out on that bed, Than he was, stumbling up the breathless stair To burst into fulfillment’s desolate attic.

  • Dockery and son (from Whitsun Weddings) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    ‘Dockery was junior to you, Wasn’t he?’ said the Dean. ‘His son’s here now.’ Death-suited, visitant, I nod. ‘And do You keep in touch with—’ Or remember how Black-gowned, unbreakfasted, and still half-tight We used to stand before that desk, to give ‘Our version’ of ‘these incidents last night’? I try the door of where I used to live:

    Locked. The lawn spreads dazzlingly wide. A known bell chimes. I catch my train, ignored. Canal and clouds and colleges subside Slowly from view. But Dockery, good Lord, Anyone up today must have been born In ’43, when I was twenty-one. If he was younger, did he get this son At nineteen, twenty? Was he that withdrawn

    High-collared public-schoolboy, sharing rooms With Cartwright who was killed? Well, it just shows How much … How little … Yawning, I suppose I fell asleep, waking at the fumes And furnace-glares of Sheffield, where I changed, And ate an awful pie, and walked along The platform to its end to see the ranged Joining and parting lines reflect a strong

    Unhindered moon. To have no son, no wife, No house or land still seemed quite natural. Only a numbness registered the shock Of finding out how much had gone of life, How widely from the others. Dockery, now: Only nineteen, he must have taken stock Of what he wanted, and been capable Of … No, that’s not the difference: rather, how

    Convinced he was he should be added to! Why did he think adding meant increase? To me it was dilution. Where do these Innate assumptions come from? Not from what We think truest, or most want to do: Those warp tight-shut, like doors. They’re more a style Our lives bring with them: habit for a while, Suddenly they harden into all we’ve got

    And how we got it; looked back on, they rear Like sand-clouds, thick and close, embodying For Dockery a son, for me nothing, Nothing with all a son’s harsh patronage. Life is first boredom, then fear. Whether or not we use it, it goes, And leaves what something hidden from us chose, And age, and then the only end of age.

  • Aubade (from Collected Poems) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

    The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

    This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round.

    And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood.

    Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

  • ‘Do not believe what you want to believe until you know what you need to know’

  • Vers de Société (from Collected Poems) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps You’d care to join us? In a pig’s arse, friend. Day comes to an end. The gas fire breathes, the trees are darkly swayed. And so Dear Warlock-Williams: I’m afraid—

    Funny how hard it is to be alone. I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted, Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted Over to catch the drivel of some bitch Who’s read nothing but Which; Just think of all the spare time that has flown

    Straight into nothingness by being filled With forks and faces, rather than repaid Under a lamp, hearing the noise of wind, And looking out to see the moon thinned To an air-sharpened blade. A life, and yet how sternly it’s instilled

    All solitude is selfish. No one now Believes the hermit with his gown and dish Talking to God (who’s gone too); the big wish Is to have people nice to you, which means Doing it back somehow. Virtue is social. Are, then, these routines

    Playing at goodness, like going to church? Something that bores us, something we don’t do well (Asking that ass about his fool research) But try to feel, because, however crudely, It shows us what should be? Too subtle, that. Too decent, too. Oh hell,

    Only the young can be alone freely. The time is shorter now for company, And sitting by a lamp more often brings Not peace, but other things. Beyond the light stand failure and remorse Whispering Dear Warlock-Williams: Why, of course—

  • Today I’m mostly thinking about the dynamics and semantics of security.

  • Aubade (from Collected Poems) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
    Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
    In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
    Till then I see what’s really always there:
    Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
    Making all thought impossible but how
    And where and when I shall myself die.
    Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.

    The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
    —The good not done, the love not given, time
    Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because
    An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
    But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
    Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

    This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound,
    No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
    Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round.

    And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
    A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
    That slows each impulse down to indecision.
    Most things may never happen: this one will,
    And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without
    People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave
    Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood.

    Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
    It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
    Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
    Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
    In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

  • Vers de Société (from Collected Poems) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps
    You’d care to join us? In a pig’s arse, friend.
    Day comes to an end. The gas fire breathes, the trees are darkly swayed.
    And so Dear Warlock-Williams: I’m afraid—

    Funny how hard it is to be alone. I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted,
    Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted
    Over to catch the drivel of some bitch
    Who’s read nothing but Which; Just think of all the spare time that has flown

    Straight into nothingness by being filled
    With forks and faces, rather than repaid
    Under a lamp, hearing the noise of wind,
    And looking out to see the moon thinned
    To an air-sharpened blade. A life, and yet how sternly it’s instilled

    All solitude is selfish. No one now Believes the hermit with his gown and dish
    Talking to God (who’s gone too); the big wish
    Is to have people nice to you, which means
    Doing it back somehow. Virtue is social. Are, then, these routines

    Playing at goodness, like going to church? Something that bores us, something we don’t do well
    (Asking that ass about his fool research)
    But try to feel, because, however crudely,
    It shows us what should be? Too subtle, that. Too decent, too. Oh hell,

    Only the young can be alone freely. The time is shorter now for company, And sitting by a lamp more often brings Not peace, but other things. Beyond the light stand failure and remorse
    Whispering Dear Warlock-Williams: Why, of course—

  • A feathered friend

    a lorikeet in a tree.

  • Disinfect with alcohol

    “If prospective consultants are using to many buzzwords and phrases that you’ve seen or heard a lot already (“You should move to an event-driven customer-centric loosely-coupled bi-modal big data micro-services cloud architecture and you should liberate your data!”), they’re peddling simplistic silver bullets to the unawares (i.e. you). Play a game of buzzword bingo, then politely show them the way out. Disinfect with alcohol.”

    from Is Your Consultant a Parasite? by @RnA_EA

  • What is Cyber Security?

    We should explore the idea of cybersecurity. I mean, someone, somewhere is reading this and asking, “What is cybersecurity?” The subject hasn’t done itself any service by changing names frequently, overspecialising and spawning new titles, and exchanging names without changing concepts. Information security, information assurance, data security, cyber, cybersecurity, and so forth. I suggest we take cybersecurity broadly and let the term include all of the above as well as any other concepts related to the security of cybernetic systems as well as cyberspace itself.

  • What is requisite variety?

    Practically, it says that in order to deal properly with the diversity of problems the world throws at you, you need to have a repertoire of responses which is (at least) as nuanced as the problems you face.

    Ross Ashby, a pioneer British cyberneticist and psychiatrist, formulated his law of requisite variety in the context of regulation in biology — how organisms are able to adapt to their environment — and then, in quick succession, to aspects of Claude Shannon’s information theorem, and systems in general. Such interdisciplinary bridges were characteristic of the cybernetic approach. Stafford Beer extended the concept to help analyse the structure and management of organisations and whole societies.

  • Sad Steps (from Collected Poems) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    Groping back to bed after a piss I part thick curtains, and am startled by
    The rapid clouds, the moon’s cleanliness.

    Four o’clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
    Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
    There’s something laughable about this,

    The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
    Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
    (Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)

    High and preposterous and separate—
    Lozenge of love! Medallion of art! O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,

    One shivers slightly, looking up there. The hardness and the brightness and the plain
    Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare

    Is a reminder of the strength and pain
    Of being young; that it can’t come again,
    But is for others undiminished somewhere.

  • Today I’ve been mostly reading this….

  • 10/10 for intention. 0/10 for execution.

  • Ison and Straw start from the observation that our governance systems are not up to the task

    “Outdated, uber-complex, ineffective, unresponsive, unreflexive, unaccountable, captive to private interests, and hollowed out by preferential lobbying. These failings have unacceptable consequences, particularly in an age in which climate change risks to push us into ‘hot’ zones of our O-space.”

    <philippevandenbroeck.medium.com/ray-ison-…>

  • “The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and how people think.” Gregory Bateson (1904 - 1980)

  • Even the most exciting project becomes a chore when it is smothered by the constant brain noise known as tinnitus.

  • The Mower (from Collected Poems) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
    A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
    Killed. It had been in the long grass.

    I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
    Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
    Unmendably. Burial was no help:

    Next morning I got up and it did not. The first day after a death, the new absence
    Is always the same; we should be careful

    Of each other, we should be kind
    While there is still time.

  • High Windows (from Collected Poems) by Philip Arthur Larkin (1922 - 1985)

    When I see a couple of kids And guess he’s fucking her and she’s
    Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
    I know this is paradise

    Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives—
    Bonds and gestures pushed to one side Like an outdated combine harvester, And everyone young going down the long slide

    To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if
    Anyone looked at me, forty years back,
    And thought, That’ll be the life; No God any more, or sweating in the dark

    About hell and that, or having to hide
    What you think of the priest. He And his lot will all go down the long slide
    Like free bloody birds. And immediately

    Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
    The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

  • Are we designing for a hundred-year flood or a magnitude-8 earthquake?

    Requisite variety refers to the capacity required to overcome disturbances the system is “likely” to encounter. When an automated system is overwhelmed, human operators must come to its aid. We might say that the automated system lacked variety, and the humans increased the variety of the combined system. Deciding how much variety to include is a design decision. Are we designing for a hundred-year flood or a magnitude-8 earthquake? We weigh the likelihood of the disturbance against the cost of including the variety required to resist it.

    <www.dubberly.com/articles/…>

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