Saturday, September 13, 2014

Arcadia - To that gaunt House of Art which lacks for naught Of all the great things man has saved from Time, The withered body of a girl was brought Dead ere the world's glad youth had touched its prime, And seen by lonely Arabs lying hid In the dim wound of some black pyramid. But when they had unloosed the linen band Which swathed the Egyptian's body,- lo! was found Closed in the wasted hollow of her hand A little seed, which sown in English ground Did wondrous snow of starry blossoms bear, And spread rich odors through our Autumn air. With such strange arts this flower did allure That all forgotten was the asphodel, And the brown bee, the lily's paramour, Forsook the cup where he was wont to dwell, For not a thing of earth it seemed to be, But stolen from some heavenly Arcadia. In vain the sad narcissus, wan and white At its own beauty, hung across the stream, The purple dragon-fly had no delight With its gold-dust to make his wings a-gleam, Ah! no delight the jasmine-bloom to kiss, Or brush the rain-pearls from its eucharist. For love of it the passionate nightingale Forgot the hills of Thrace, the cruel king, And the pale dove no longer cared to sail Through the wet woods at time of blossoming, But round this flower of Egypt sought to float, With silvered wing and amethystine throat. While the hot sun blazed in his tower of blue A cooling wind crept from the land of snows, And the warm south with tender tears of dew Drenched its white leaves when Hesperos uprose Amid those sea-green meadows of the sky On which the scarlet bars of sunset lie. But when o'er wastes of lily-haunted field The tired birds had stayed their amorous tune, And broad and glittering like an argent shield High in the sapphire heavens hung the moon, Did no strange dream or evil memory make Each tremulous petal of its blossoms shake? Ah no! to this bright flower a thousand years Seemed but the lingering of a summer's day, It never knew the tide of cankering fears Which turn a boy's gold hair to withered gray, The dread desire of death it never knew, Or how all folk that they were born must rue. For we to death with pipe and dancing go, Nor would we pass the ivory gate again, As some sad river wearied of its flow Through the dull plains, the haunts of common men, Leaps lover-like into the terrible sea! And counts it gain to die so gloriously. We mar our lordly strength in barren strife With the world's legions led by clamorous care, It never feels decay but gathers life From the pure moonlight and the supreme air, We live beneath Time's wasting sovereignty, I the child of eternity...
Dance of Death - Carrying bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves, Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves With all the careless and high-stepping grace, And the extravagant courtesan's thin face. Was slimmer waist e'er in a ball-room wooed? Her floating robe, in royal amplitude, Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod. The swarms that hum about her collar-bones As the lascivious streams caress the stones, Conceal from every scornful jest that flies, Her gloomy beauty and her fathomless eyes Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways, Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae. O charm of nothing decked in folly! they Who laugh and name you a caricature, They see not, they whom flesh and blood allure, The nameless grace of every bleached, bare bone, That is most dear to me, tall skeleton! Come you to trouble with your potent sneer The feast of Life! or are you driven here, To pleasure's Sabbath, by dead lusts that stir And goad your moving corpse on with a spur? Or do you hope, when sing the violins, And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins, To drive some mocking nightmare far apart, And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart? Fathomless well of fault and foolishness! Eternal alembic of antique distress! Still o'er the curved, white trellis of your sides The dateless, wandering serpent curls and glides. And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find, Among us here, no lover to your mind; Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave? The charms of horror please none but the brave. Your eyes' black gulf, where awful brooding's stir, Brings giddiness; the prudent revelry Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath, The eternal smile of two white teeth. For he who has not folded in his arms A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms, Reckons not of furbelow, or paint, or scent, When Horror comes the way that Beauty went. O irresistible, with fleshless face, Say to these dancers in their dazzled race, "Proud lovers with the paint above your bones, Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons! Withered Antinuclear, dandies with plump faces, Ye varnished cadavers, and Grey Loveless, Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath, Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death. From Seine's cold quays to Ganges' burning stream, The mortal troupes dance onward in a dream; They do not see, within the opened sky, The Angel's sinister trumpet raised on high In every clime and under every sun, Death laughs at ye, mad mortals, as ye run; And oft perfumes herself with myrrh, like ye And mingles with your madness, irony... Adrian Alexis 09/01/14

Nails -

NAILS - I gave you sorrow to hang on your wall Like a calendar in one color. I wear a torn place on my sleeve. It isn't as simple as that.   Between no place of mine and no place of yours You'd have thought I'd know the way by now Just from thinking it over. Oh I know I've no excuse to be stuck here turning Like a mirror on a string, Except it's hardly credible how It all keeps changing. Loss has a wider choice of directions Than the other thing.   As if I had a system I shuffle among the lies Turning them over, if only I could be sure what I'd lost. I uncover my footprints, I Poke them till the eyes open. They don't recall what it looked like. When was I using it last? Was it like a ring or a light Or the autumn pond Which chokes and glitters but Grows colder? It could be all in the mind.  Anyway Nothing seems to bring it back to me.   And I've been to see Your hands as trees borne away on a flood, The same film over and over, And an old one at that, shattering its account To the last of the digits, and nothing And the blank end.   The lightning has shown me the scars of the future.   I've had a long look at someone Alone like a key in a lock Without what it takes to turn.   It isn't as simple as that.   Winter will think back to your lit harvest For which there is no help, and the seed Of eloquence will open its wings When you are gone. But at this moment When the nails are kissing the fingers good-bye And my only Chance is bleeding from me, When my one chance is bleeding, For speaking either truth or comfort I have no more tongue than a wound...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Singularity #II
                         On-line interview 2013, all rights reserved. 

 

 If you worry that the Internet, computers and other electronics play an outsized role in daily life, futurist Adrian Alexis has one message for you:

  This is only the beginning.

 Alexis, who will speak Sunday night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Audi Speaker Series, predicts a high-tech society that makes today's lifestyle look straight out of the Stone Age. As he sees it, people will have tiny computing devices in their bodies, more powerful brains and longer lives. Simply put, the world will be dominated by artificial intelligence.

 The 64-year-old entrepreneur is the leading evangelist of “Singularity,” the idea that machines will spontaneously adopt humanlike characteristics, become vastly more intelligent than people and change mankind forever. One possibility is they'll turn on us and wipe out humanity.

Kurzweil has pegged the transformation for 2045.

“The nonbiological intelligence created in that year will be 1 billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today,” he says on singularity.com.

 Kurzweil has written several books and founded a number of technology companies, including FatKat, which develops pattern-recognition systems for financial markets, and Kurzweil Applied Intelligence, which was launched in 1982 and developed a voice-activated word processor. He recently was hired as director of engineering for Google.

You have said that by the 2030s, people will have blood cell-sized computing devices in their bloodstreams and brains that connect directly to off-site computer data servers. What makes you think that?

 We already have computerized devices that are placed inside the body and even connected into the brain, such as neural implants for Parkinson’s disease and cochlear implants for the deaf. These devices can already wirelessly download new software from the cloud. Technology is shrinking at an exponential rate, which I’ve measured at about 100 in 3D volume per decade. At that rate, we will be able to introduce blood cell-sized devices that are robotic and have computers that can communicate wirelessly by the 2030s.

How would such devices be regulated to ensure that outside forces can’t manipulate people’s thoughts and actions through the Internet?

 Privacy and security are already very significant issues, considering the personal and intimate things that people do with their computers. This is an issue we will never be able to cross off our “concern list,” but we’re actually not doing that badly. Relatively few people today complain that they have been significantly damaged by privacy and security breaches. I believe we will be able to keep up with the increasing sophistication of the technology.

What kind of new capabilities could brain connectivity bring to humans? How would it affect people's intelligence, athletic abilities, life spans, reproductive capacity?

 

 We are already much smarter and more productive because of the brain extenders we have, ranging from Google to Wikipedia. When these services went on strike for one day last year to protest the federal Stop Online Piracy Act legislation, I felt like a part of my brain had gone on strike. We are going to literally expand the scope and scale of our neocortex, which is where we do our thinking. Thinking bigger and bolder thoughts will ultimately enable us to overcome the major challenges that our civilization faces.

You have said that you want to bring your father, who died in 1970, back to life. How and when could that be accomplished?

 The idea is to create an avatar that looks and acts like my father, based on the information we have about him, or anyone else. The more information we have about that person, the better the job we can do. The goal would be to pass a “Fredric Kurzweil Turing test,” that is for the avatar to be indistinguishable from the original person to the people who knew that person. In the case of my father, that is becoming an easier test as our memories of him are fading.

Do you believe that humans, using technological advances, could achieve immortality? If so, how? And when?

 The goal is to achieve a tipping point where science is adding more time than is going by. That’s not a guarantee of immortality, but it would change the metaphor of the sands of time running out. I believe we are about 15 years away from such a tipping point.

Could there be a time, as Google co-founder Larry Page said in 2004, that people simply think of a question and their smartphone tells them the answer?

 My project at Google is to help create a technology that will become familiar with your concerns and will find information that will meet your needs without your having to ask for it. For example, it might pop up and present — in your field of view using augmented reality — “you expressed concern about whether vitamin B12 is being absorbed by your cells, here is research released 12 seconds ago that shows a better way to do this.”

A December story in Bloomberg BusinessWeek described you as a “quasi-religious figure” because of your role as the leading advocate for Singularity. A May 2009 Newsweek article about you and Singularity said the “last thing humanity needs right now is an apocalyptic cult masquerading as science.” How do you respond to those descriptions and accusations?

 My research has been a scientific study of technology trends, and my books, such as “The Singularity is Near,” have thousands of scientific citations. It is a thesis based on empirical data and analysis. Of course, any scientific insight will have philosophical implications, but that is not where I started. These sorts of accusations are content-free ad-hominem attacks by people who simply don’t like the conclusions but are unable to criticize my actual arguments.

Will the technological advances you predict change the way we are born? For instance, will be people be born smarter with computerlike brains already in place?

 That’s not likely to be an early development, just as we wait now at least a little while before introducing computers to children. But eventually we will probably augment brains at an early age.

Do you think there could be a time when machines take on minds of their own and wage war with humans? If so, when? And who would win?

 I think human and computer intelligence will be mixed together just as it is now. We have conflicts today between groups of humans that are both enhanced by intelligent technology. A war between a group that used the latest technology and a group of humans who eschewed modern technology would be a very short war.

 
No-Walls Studio Production,
                                          Alexis - 2013

Monday, February 10, 2014

We R the DED

We R the DED

 Something kind of hit me today I looked at you
Wondered if you saw things my way
People will hold me to blame
It hit me today, it hit me today
I'm taking it hard all the time, why don't I pass it by?
Just reply, I've changed your mind
 I'm fighting with the eyes of the lie
Taking it hard, taking it hard, but now
We feel that we are paid for, choking on you nightly
They tell me, "Son, we want you" be elusive, but don't walk far
For we're breaking in the new boys, deceive your next of kin
For your dancing where the dogs decay, defecating ecstasy
You're just an ally of the lecher pro creator for the virgin king
But I love you in your bumpy-bumps and your nimble dress BETRAYALS
Oh, dress yourself, my urchin one, for I hear them on the rails
Because of all I've seen, because of all I've said we are the dead

 One thing kind of touched me today
I looked at you and counted all the times we had laid
Pressing my love through the night
Knowing it's right, knowing it's right
Now I'm hoping some one will care
Living on the breath of a hope to be shared
Trusting on the sums of my love,
That some one will care, some one will care, but no - I ho

 We're today's scrambled creatures locked in tomorrows double feature
Heavens on the pillow, it's silence competes with hell
It's a twenty-four hour service, guaranteed to make you tell
And the streets are full of brass men, bent on getting hung and buried
And the legendary curtains are drawn 'round baby bankrupt
Who sucks you while you're sleeping
It's the theater of financiers, count them, fifteen 'round the table
White and dressed to kill
Oh, caress yourself, my juicy, for my hands have all but whithered
Oh, dress yourself my urchin one, for I hear them on the stairs
Because of all I've seen, because of all I've said
We are the dead - we are dead - we are the dead.