2 April 2007

Notes in books

Filed under: Books,Ponderings

Sometimes, when I am lonely, feeling down or poor of spirit, I will search through my library for notes I leave in books.

I know not why I do this, or if I am even conscious of doing so, only that I do and that they are there, waiting for me. Their contents are varied; from expressions of love from my dearest, to itineraries from long past voyages, to calling cards of jobs I’ve almost forgotten that I ever did.

They remind me of my past; of where I’ve been and who I was when I was there last on that page. Be it a story of seven century-old knights or schematics on nuclear power, I always know that in some page there will be a piece of myself from an age gone by.

In them I see myself as a young man, bristling with anticipation of a new job, which at the time seemed new and exiting, and now looking back reeks of past inadequacies and even perhaps outright failure.

In them I see myself preparing for a journey, of which the outcome is unknown, which at the the time seemed new and exiting, and now molders in the experiences collected since.

In a way, they could be more interesting than the books which contain them, as they are of a subject which is more dear to me than anything, myself.

They show me a slice of who I was at that time, and perhaps give clues of who I shall be in the future. A personal time capsule, as it were.

1 April 2007

Irony: Orwell’s London neighborhood covered in spy-cameras

Filed under: Books,Ponderings

One of my all time favorite books is 1984 by George Orwell. I’ve read it several times over many periods of my life, and each time I do I find more in it than I saw before. I also realize how much closer we’re drawing as a society to Winston’s Ingsoc.

Our current society, of course, is more and more like the world that Orwell envisioned: rampant government surveillance, an over-active domestic spy program, everyday citizens imprisoned without trial or access to due process because of their political beliefs, and surveillance cameras everywhere…even around the very birthplace of the Orwellian Society.

As Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing writes:

“Dozens of private and public spy-cameras surveil the streets, walls and windows of the area around George Orwell’s apartment. Britain, the nation that “sleepwalked into a surveillance society,” has created the landscape that Orwell envisioned, a world where your every step is recorded from every angle. And as Cardinal Richelieu said, “If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him.” Is there any among us whose movements aren’t suspicious under the wrong circumstances?”

How long until what I’m doing right now will have to be written in an antique paper notebook (a Moleskine perhaps?) under cover of darkness, or risk the same imprisonment that others have found who disagree with the Neocons?

At the rate we’re going, it would appear not long. I wonder what 1984 will seem like to me the next time I read it, or, if I will be allowed to read it at all?

via Boing Boing

25 June 2006

Thoughts about “The Cat Who Walks Through Walls”

Filed under: Books

I’ve been re-reading the Robert Heinlein book The Cat Who Could Walk Through Walls recently and came to a revelation. (If you haven’t read it, are in the middle of it or hate spoilers please read another post).

In Book one Richard and Gwen are run out of Golden Rule by the Manager and framed for the murder of Ron Toliver, but were they? Is it possible that perhaps the people that killed Toliver were actually Richard and Gwen on a journey from another time line as they are later in the book trying to save the sentient computer in Luna?

That is a WAY cool book. So glad to be re-reading it.

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