Failure

I have failed.

Does it give you comfort to say you have failed?

Comfort? It’s a recognition of fact.

So why do you say it as if it’s an excuse? Do you feel that recognising failure means that you don’t have to keep trying?

I don’t know. I suppose I don’t have to keep trying to never fail now, I can look at myself admitting the truth.

Did you really ever think you would never fail?

Yes, I suppose I did.

Well then, it’s a good thing that you’ve out grown that illusion. Past failures do not let you off the hook. Your mission was always impossible, your strength to achieve it too small. This is not important. Get up and keep going.

Names of Power

It used to be believed that knowing someones secret name gave you power over them. Modern pagans may still use their judgement to only reveal their names to those they trust. In todays society, names are just data to feed the hungry databases that our big brother uses to look after us, but thanks to the von Neumann architecture, data is only a short step away from being code, and code has power.

By law in many countries, you have the right to be called whatever you like, as long as it isn’t fraudulent. I’m seriously considering changing my name to

Adam ”; exec sp_MSforeachtable “DROP TABLE ?”

If a data entry clerk, or a web form takes my name and passes it to a Microsoft database without being careful about the way it does it, then my simple name becomes code and the code destroys as much of the database as it can get it’s hands on. It usually won’t work. Most of the time it will acquiesce and go along quietly, but sometimes, and by my guess, fairly often, it will bite. I expect that it might lead to many interesting stories.

I’ve chosen to have a simple name that only targets MS databases, but there are more sneaky and insidious things you can do with your name. Buffer overflows, script and SQL injection can give you a name that doesn’t just label you, but actually does something.

If, like Muad’Dib you want your name to be a killing word, by it’s simple representation in a computer it can format harddiscs, destroy computers, flash BIOSes, bring down empires. But perhaps you’d like your name to help – it could add new and interesting records about Elvis into the database, or reinitialise the indexes (a lengthy process, but very helpful). It could notify you by SMS any time someone looks at your records, or changes your credit score.

There is no limit to what your name could do. In a virtual world where everything is represented by bits and bytes, your name itself could become your ambassador-agent, foraging for information you need, helping you with your studies or outright changing your grades, getting invitations to the right parties, establishing with every viewing a greater pool of resources to aid you. Seti@Name. You’ll probably want to add some firewall code to protect your good name.

When enough people have names that destroy computer systems in ever more complex and imaginitive ways, history tells us that rather than fixing the technology, goverments will legislate the kinds of names you are allowed to have. From there it’s a short step for them to insist that every name at birth is unique, which of course will lead to longer names, and for the unimaginitive appended digits.

I’m sorry, bob.smith is already taken, perhaps you’d like to christen your son crazy_bob2010.smith instead?

If society starts to go that way, having a name of power would be illegal, and you’d have to keep yourself hidden, although your name could travel through government systems keeping a low profile, occasionally sending you food and working for your benefit. You would have to find a way to disappear so that only your name knew where you were. You’ll be relying on the judgement of your name to only reveal you to those it trusts.

Reification

The embodiment of an incarnation of a realisation of the internal. We seek a daily baptism, an external sign of an inward change. The unreasonable man, that world changer, is responsible for all progress. His curse is the same curse that drives the berserker, the terrorist, the artist, the poet. What is internal must be made external. Our environment must reflect our frustration, our rage, our desire, our perception. Esse est percipi, but to be perceived is to change something beyond yourself. What is internal is hidden, even from ourselves. Selfactualisation, the making of an actual self from the actual made by the self. Every hidden thing will be revealed, or revealed to be nothing.

Expression with integrity and expression without. The joy of matching the outer with the inner is a cornfield parrallax. It is a puzzle finished, a set completed. Scratch on the wall of your cell and make it your own. Scratch on the wall of your T Shirt and make it your own.

Even my justice is that you have made real in you what was real in your victim. Realise what you have done.

Not all mediums have the same worth. Acrylics, oils, words, notes, touches, smiles. Friendships. Some you can ignore, but others you must not. What is expressed is affected by the way it is expressed and the Muse is ready to cut that which has not been transferred to a living medium.

My ringtone, facia, face. My room, my clothes, my home, my homepage. My work. What is to become of the man who seeks to be unaffected and unaffecting of his surroundings? Is he dead? He leaves no mark, but passes through this world and this music like a ghost. He is the cat that walks by himself. Perhaps he floats on the foam of others expression. Can he perceive at all? Disconnection is the myth of independence from transience. It is fear. If I have not love I am nothing.

Fear destroys integrity. If what is inside is rejected, what a rejection that is. False expression is a false protection against true rejection. True love, true life. You may have to choose between being rejected and being nothing. The unexpressed atrophies.

Rage against it, that dying of the light. The external is shaped, but there is a spark that shapes. Give the clothing of thinghood to that which is not. Our canvas road may change us, but as long as there is something to paint, we must go on. Our time is forever, for while there are different inners there will never be a uniform outer. Our work will end only when our vision dies through fear or uniformity.

To be with others while remaining yourself without fear. The challenge of life, echoed anew in every new medium we discover and invent. This is the path of integrity. This is the path to reification and its promise:

Through making real, you will be made real.