". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, October 29, 2011

We Have It All

Rain, sleet, snow, thunder, wind -- and police brutality:  "Emperors! Beware, Beware, the Praetorian Guard!"

Fortunately we are prepared for this as I spent yesterday scurrying about getting in supplies.  Excellent cold weather comfort food dinner last night, pasta tonight.

We have plenty of work.

Yesterday also brought me American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson, by the handsome, distinguished and o so brilliant and entertaining David O. Stewart -- who will be reading here next month


The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge, who surely is the equal, if different from, Mr. Stewart.  This is his second Tines world novel, the first, A Fire Upon the Deep, was published in 1993.  Having zipped through the first 100 pages last night before bed, this one may be even more mind provoking than the first.  Built upon the strong foundations of the first Tines' world book, Children is equally strong, but is revealing itself to possess an elegance perhaps the first one did not have, yet the elegance is dependent upon what was made in the first.   Recall, Mr. Vinge, is a retired math and computer science professor, as well as Science Fiction writer.  He's much credited for the concept of the "singularity" -- quoting wiki:

"His 1993 essay "The Coming Technological Singularity", in which he argues that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which "the human era will be ended," such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.

Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended."

In the meantime this week I've been devoting myself to Charles B . Dew's Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession and the Causes of the Civil War (2001), in order to get absolutely straight the process of secession -- at least as far as one can get straight such a white hot emotional fury and terror at the curtailing expansion of their wealth and national political domination on the part of the slaveholding class's ruling elite.

Laundry, also.  I am doing it.  le sigh.

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