sall greek ii

whereas no one in his right mind could truthfully say that he liked a vast edifice such as the Palace of Justice on the old Gallows Hill in Brussels. At the most we gaze at it in wonder, a kind of wonder which is in itself is a form of dawning horror, for somehow we know by instinct that outsize buildings cast the shadow of their own destruction before them, and are designed from the first with an eye to their later existence as ruins.

From ‘Austerlitz’ by W. G. Sebald.

Fascinating. Fascinating counterpoint to Keifer.



Something to Ridicule

by Yeun Mei trans. J. P. Seaton


Mencius tells us that Confucius, too,

like all the other men of Lu,  fought for his share

of what was taken in the hunt: it was

the custom there. To keep oneself in cloisters just

to seek a name for uprightness…. that

lacks a certain dignity.


But getting learning, too, may be

but putting makeup on.

If one’s a whore at heart, he’s

sure to act the part.


sall greek

…how the world is, as it were, draining itself,  in that the history of countless places and objects which themselves have no power of memory is never heard, never described or passed on.

From ‘Austerlitz’ by W. G. Sebald


I am finding more n more to love in Sebald. Fascinating connections he makes. Beautiful complex patterns he develops.

A core string of poetry running through these first couple of chapters of ‘Austerlitz’ is the grotesque lens that Empirical thinking lends to history. Maybe some clarity. Consciousness possessed by empire.


But then the algorithms have to maximize value from all the data that’s coming in. So they test use that data. And it just turns out as a matter of course, that the same data that is a positive, constructive process for the people who generated it — Black Lives Matter, or the Arab Spring — can be used to irritate other groups. And unfortunately there’s this asymmetry in human emotions where the negative emotions of fear and hatred and paranoia and resentment come up faster, more cheaply, and they’re harder to dispel than the positive emotions. So what happens is, every time there’s some positive motion in these networks, the negative reaction is actually more powerful. So when you have a Black Lives Matter, the result of that is the empowerment of the worst racists and neo-Nazis in a way that hasn’t been seen in generations.

Jaron Lanier: