Ligotti in the WFR

Some reading suggestions from Thomas Ligotti, including this temptation:

The weirdest stories I’ve ever read composed the collection Hollow Faces, Merciless Moons (1977) by William Scott Home. The prose is so complex and recondite that it’s all but unreadable, much like that of Clark Ashton Smith. Furthermore, Home’s narratives are baffling and sometime barely comprehensible, somewhat in the manner of Robert Aickman. For a while I thought that Home was either an inexpert writer or a mental case.

(More Ligotti at the WFR here. Plus a story.)

Yoga Bared

Beyond the downward dog:

Despite the modern innovations in meditation and exercise, “yoga” remains a flexible term that need not be bound up with notions of health and self-actualization. In truth, in ancient India, “yogis” were considered to be witch doctors that practiced dark arts to harness unnatural powers such as the ability to control other humans both living and dead, and to fly using human corpses as vehicles, as well as tele-vision, mind-melds, shape-shifting, immortality, extra-sensory perception, and indestructible adamantine bodies. If these sound like cool superpowers, know that yogis are considered evil. Even today, as [David Gordon] White points out, yogis form stock villains in Bollywood films and disobedient children are told “Be good or the yogi will come and take you away.”

Among White’s translations of Patanjali’s four-word definition of yoga (yoga-citta-vritti-nirodha):

Yoga is the icy silence of post-disintegration.

Convergence

Game-design time:

With Human Revolution, DeMarle and the narrative team had a bit of breathing room because the game was set so far before the original Deus Ex. There was time and space to build something totally new within the existing universe. But with Mankind Divided, and any other sequels that may follow, that space is shrinking. “With the sequel, we now have to stay true to what we were building,” she says, “but we also have to be aware that we’re getting closer and closer to the established future.”

Underlinings (#27)

Peter Galison on Einstein and Poincaré (from Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time, 2003):

Yet despite their differences, both were grappling with the same extraordinary insight into electrocoordinated time, and in so doing both men stood at the crossing of two great movements. On one side lay the vast modern technological infrastructure of trains, shipping, and telegraphs that joined under the signs of clocks and maps. On the other, a new sense of the mission of knowledge was emerging, one that would define time by pragmatism and conventionality, not by eternal truths and theological sanction. Technological time, metaphysical time, and philosophical time crossed in Einstein’s and Poincaré’s electrically synchronized clocks. Time coordination stood, unequaled, at that intersection: the modern junction of knowledge and power.

(Tracking this techno-cultural lineage forward into Bitcoin is illuminating.)