# a summary of my adolescence


Slumped shoulders, wild eyes, and a stumbling gait -- this one is no more good to us.

        -- Unknown, Unix Fortune Database


Breakdown of the thalamus explains why trauma is primarily remembered not as a story, a narrative with a beginning middle and end, but as isolated sensory imprints: images, sounds, and physical sensations that are accompanied by intense emotions, usually terror and helplessness.

        -- Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score


Jade kicks her shoeless feet behind her slowly, as if she's swimming with the current of the gravitational waves pulling her ever closer to their source. Her feet aren't completely bare; they're still covered by her gray-striped witch stockings. But the ruby slippers are gone. She kicked them off hours ago, as if to jettison all hope of returning anywhere resembling a place she used to call home. The fond remembrance of such a place no longer has any pull on her.

Now, something else entirely is pulling her.

Believe me, I'm sympathetic to the temptation. It's always just there, isn't it? A limitless reservoir of emptiness, perfectly available to you, patient, omnipresent, and dead ahead.

        -- Andrew Hussie, Homestuck


Psychologists usually try to help people use insight and understanding to manage their behavior. However, neuroscience research shows that very few psychological problems are the result of defects in understanding; most originate in pressures from deeper regions in the brain that drive our perception and attention. When the alarm bell of the emotional brain keeps signaling that you are in danger, no amount of insight will silence it.

I am reminded of the comedy in which a seven-time recidivist in an anger-management program extols the virtue of the techniques he's learned: "They are great and work terrific -- as long as you are not really angry."

        -- Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps The Score


This is it, huh?

        -- My grandmother, to me, on her deathbed


Alien archaeologists millions of years from now have a heated debate over the prospects for civilization on Sol III. The "optimist school" argue that if Yellowstone had not exploded and killed all advanced life, the indigenous civilization would have ultimately spread into the stars the same way they had. The "pessimist school" argue that if Yellowstone had not exploded and killed all advanced life, the indigenous civilization would have gone extinct anyway because of its own self-destructive environmental, economic, and militarist tendencies. Both schools base this primarily on the artifacts found in a place they call "Boise, Idaho," which was preserved intact thanks to being instantly buried under ten metres of volcanic ash, though no one is sure how to pronounce the words "Boise" or "Idaho" in the indigenous alphabet.

        -- vyelkin, C-SPAM


Virtually nothing is known, in bacteria or humans, about how combinations of external stimuli of differing valence are integrated with interoceptive cues into a coherent behavioral response.

        -- Pamela Lyon, The Cognitive Cell


"What are you looking for?" I said.

"Oh, secrets," he said. "You know. Essences. Inherentnesses."

"Bravo on that ugly word. And?"

"And there aren't any."

"Mmm," I said. "Awkward."

"That's defeatist talk. I'll cobble something together. A scholar can never let mere wrongness get in the way of the theory."

"Bravo again." I toasted him.

        -- China Mieville, Embassytown


Žižek repeatedly argues that the most uncanny or abyssal Thing in the world is the subject's own active subjectivity -- which is why he also repeatedly cites the Eastern saying that "Thou art that." It is finally the singularity of the subject's own active agency that subjects misperceive in fantasies concerning the sublime objects of their regimes' ideologies, in the face of which they can do nothing but reverentially abide by the rules.

        -- Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Zizek, Slavoj


When it was gone, and there was everywhere beneath us the waste of rolling water and nothing more, the beast turned her head to regard me. Her beak was the beak of an ibis, her face the face of a hag; on her head was a miter of bone. For an instant we regarded each other, and I seemed to know her thought: You dream; but were you to wake from your waking, I would be there.

        -- Gene Wolf, The Book of the New Sun


Deleuze argued that the self, a concept that evokes self primarily as an entity, as separate or finite matter, is a misleading and erroneous way of conceiving what it is to be human. He was interested in thinking of human subjects as movement, as made up of intersecting lines of force where matter and force are not separable.

        -- Meenu Gupta, Reflections of Indian Philosophy in Deleuze’s 'Body without Organs'


There is a hole at the center of everything

And it is always growing

Between the stars i am seeing it

It is coming

And you are not escaping

And the universe is forgetting you.

And the universe is being forgotten

And there is nothing to remember it

Not even the things beyond

And now there is only the hole

You are atoms.

And your atoms are not caring if you are existing

Your atoms are monstrous existence

Little creature, you are not chosen

There is no one to choose you

This is going no where

We are not meeting again

And the universe is forgetting you

And I am remembering you

But not because i am caring

The beginning is moments ago

The end is moments away

There is no time to forget

Before all is forgotten

Goodbye, little creature

        -- Scott Benson, Night in the Woods


The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

        -- Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World


Feel my vessel go up in flames

Flesh torch lit by the unnamed

Direct connection to the source

Vestment of unnatural force

Forever burning black torch

Shining to reveal the ways

Of a darkness that pervades

All that is and ever was

Inferno of witches' blood

Worship is not on bended knee

Nature knows not of mercy

To pray is to accept defeat

Power pisses on the weak

Bowed and beheaded by the beast

Beggar on a bitch's leash

Scum is desperate for relief

        -- Death Grips, Beware


"I understood, at last. What real power is, what the victor, is." Her phosphorous eyes blaze, and the mask reappears, stealing over any echo of the person she might have once been. "You know, don't you? It's that empty waste, at the end of everything. The ultimate culmination of all our faith and all our failures." Her voice turns soft, both superior and hollow. "I will see it. I will stand there, in the ashes of the universe, and I will have satisfaction."

        -- Blue_Sunshine,


Tokusan brought his notes on the Diamond Sutra to the front of the hall, pointed to them with a torch, and said, "Even though you have exhausted the abstruse doctrines, it is like placing a hair in a vast space. Even though you have learned all the secrets of the world, it is like a drop of water dripped on the great ocean." And he burned all his notes. Then, making bows, he took his leave of his teacher.

        -- Mumon, The Gateless Barrier (Katsuki Sekida Translation)


You want to do some good in the world?

You want to make a difference?

Stop fucking,

Stop fighting,

Stop talking.

You move things around and you call it change.

You put your back to entropy and grin like a tourist,

Smug thumbs-up for the camera,

Look at me, doing my bit!

Give it up.

Stones only fall one way.

Make yourself ART -- and die fulfilled.

        -- ParaTactician,


What we know comes to so little,

what we presume is so much,

what we learn, so laborious,

we can only ask quesions and die.

Better save all our pride

for the city of the dead

and the day of carrion:

there, when the wind shifts

through the hollows of your skull

it will show you all manner of

enigmatical things, whispering truths in the

void where your ears used to be.

        -- Pablo Neruda