In summary, LCA remains unique in its combination of strongly technical talks, freedom-oriented and hands-on orientation, wide variety of topics covered, and infectious Australian humor. There is a reason some of us seem to end up there every year despite the painful air-travel experiences required. Linux Australia has put together a structure that allows the conference to be handed off to a new team in a new city every year, bringing a fresh view while upholding the standards set in the previous years.
— LWN’s Jon Corbet on linux.conf.au, An LCA 2012 Summary
Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel that it’s worth living?
Kubrick: Yes, for those of us who manage somehow to cope with our mortality. The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning.
Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism — and their assumption of immortality.
As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But if he’s reasonably strong — and lucky — he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s élan.
Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining.
The most terrifying fact of the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment.
However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
— Stanley Kubrick, Playboy Interview with Eric Nordern, September 1968
Side note: when a respected information source covers something where you have on-the-ground experience, the result is often to make you wonder how much fecal matter you’ve swallowed in areas outside your own expertise.
— Rusty Russell in Superfreakonomics; Superplug for Intellectual Ventures
One melancholy thought occurs as my fingers glide and flow over the surface of this astonishing object: Douglas Adams is not alive to see the closest thing to his Hitchhiker’s Guide that humankind has yet devised.
— Stephen Fry in The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again?
“Well, I put the towels in the bath tub so the hotel staff know they need to be cleaned.”
— A potentially fatal joke (in the context of marriage), which I apparently survived last night.
… not that the hotel staff took the towels away.
(Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!)
No. No musicals. I loathe musicals. I never did have a plan for doing one. My cousin made me sit through some fucking musical twice. I just hate them. They bore me stiff. I think they’re just horrible. Even Hair. And they’re always lousy music.
— John Lennon, from The Lost Interviews by Ray Connolly
The whole thing shows that if you have a basic contempt for the idea of government — that you wanted it to be small enough to “get it in the bathtub and drown it” — then it will come back at with you with failure that threatens the very basis of orderly life itself. California’s getting a lesson in that.
— Guy Rundle in Crikey: What’s happened to the once great state of California?
Some companies lack “open source table manners”. Often they don’t know what is expected. Like my cat bringing dead mice to the dinner table.
— Brian Aker, with some tiny Twitter wisdom
When your movement is being led by a 13-year-old child, the morbidly obese recovering benzodiazepine addict radio star Rush Limbaugh, and a mystical simpleton like Joe the Plumber, then you’re at the point medieval Europe reached around the time of the children’s crusade.
— Guy Rundle, US right on a long march to medievalism
I feel terrible for all the mothers in the state of Arizona because, as you know: Barry Goldwater from Arizona ran for President of the United States, Morris Udall from Arizona ran for President of the United States, Bruce Babbitt from Arizona ran for President of the United States, and I, John McCain from Arizona ran for President of the United States… Arizona may be the only state in the nation where mothers can no longer tell their children that some day they can grow up and be President of the United States.
— John McCain in May 2003, via ZUG’s 100 Senator Prank