Scratch: Inspo

When we talk mathematics, we may be discussing a secondary language built on the primary language of the nervous system.

—Johnny von Neumann

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.

—Johnny von Neumann

[T]his awareness has always been reflected first by the artist, who has had the power–and courage–of the seer to read the language of the outer world and relate it to the inner world.

—Marshall McLuhan, as Interviewed in Playboy

Sorcerers say that we are inside a bubble. It is a bubble into which we are placed at the moment of our birth. At first the bubble is open, but then it begins to close until it has sealed us in. That bubble is our perception. We live inside that bubble all of our lives. And what we witness on its round walls is our own reflection.

— Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan

Blind is the world;
Few see clearly here.
As birds who escape from nets are few,
Few go to heaven.

—The Dhammapada

Those who believe that what appears is real
Are stupid, like cows.
Those who believe that emptiness is real
Are even stupider.




I wonder if I've been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?'

—Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

—Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

Mike Michaelson: Christof, let me ask you, why do you think that Truman has
never come close to discovering the true nature of his world until now?
Christof: We accept the reality of the world with which we're presented. It's as
simple as that.

The Truman Show

Craig Schwartz: There's a tiny door in my office, Maxine. It's a portal and it takes you inside John Malkovich. You see the world through John Malkovich's eyes… and then after about 15 minutes, you're spit out… into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. Maxine: Sounds great! Who the fuck is John Malkovich? Craig Schwartz: Oh, he's an actor. He's one of the great American actors of the 20th century. Maxine: Oh yeah? What's he been in? Craig Schwartz: Lots of things. That jewel thief movie, for example. He's very well respected. Anyway, the point is… this is a very odd thing. It's supernatural, for lack of a better word. I mean, it raises all sorts of philosophical-type questions, you know… about the nature of self, about the existence of a soul. You know, am I me? Is Malkovich Malkovich? I had a piece of wood in my hand Maxine. I don't have it any more. Where is it? Did it disappear? How could that be? Is it still in Malkovich's head? I don't know! Do you see what a metaphysical can of worms this portal is? I don't see how I could go on living my life the way I've lived it before.

Being John Malkovich

Mrs. Hooten: Albert, what brought you to the philosophical club?
Albert Markovski: You mean the existential detectives?
Mr. Hooten: Sounds like a support group.
Cricket: Why can't he use the church?
Mrs. Hooten: Sometimes people have additional questions to be answered.
Cricket: Like what?
Albert Markovski: Well, um, for instance - if the forms of this world die, which
is more real: the me that dies or the me that's infinite? Can I trust my
habitual mind or do I need to learn to look beneath those things?

I Heart Huckabees

O fragile human, ashes of ashes, and filth of filth! Say and write what you see and hear. But since you are timid in speaking, and simple in expounding, and untaught in writing, speak and write these things not by human mouth, and not by the understanding of human invention, and not by the require- ments of human composition, but as you see and hear them on high in the heavenly places in the wonders of God.

—Hildegard of Bingen, describing her vision


I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.

—Abraham Lincoln

Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad … mathematicians go mad.

—G.K. Chesterton

Wilson describes himself as a 'guerrilla ontologist,' signifying his intent to attack language and knowledge the way terrorists attack their targets: to jump out from the shadows for an unpro- voked attack, then slink back and hide behind a hearty belly laugh. — Robert Sheaffer, The Skeptical Inquirer

—as quoted in Prometheus Rising

Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.

—William James

If man is connected to the machines of the universe, if he is in tune with his desires, if he is "anchored," "he ceases to worry about the fitness of things, about the behavior of his fellow-men, about right or wrong and justice and injustice. If his roots are in the current of life he will float on the surface like a lotus and he will blossom and give forth fruit. . . . The life that's in him will manifest itself in growth, and growth is an endless, eternal process. The process is everything."

Introduction, Capitalism & Schizophrenia


it's something like:

Hm, that won't do. Let's try this again, but less cryptic. Once more, without feeling.

Portland weird. I like that. I think the internet is losing a lot of its weirdness. The corporations are taming it, man! It's eternal September! This is a weirdness infusion, 3 CCs, scheduled: yesterday!

I often observed to my brother, You see now how little nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a path strewed with briars and thorns.

—Daniel Boone

If you have questions, perspective, doubt, or a simple longing for general camraderie, you can communicate with me directly by emailing robert at 99theses dot com. Don't hesitate. Your correspondence is personally enriching.