Underlinings (#31)

The Platonic verses:

Since the principal subject of calligraphy always remained the divine word of God, copying of the Qu’ran gave rise to numerous questions involving geometry, beauty and theology itself. “Should all copies be written in exactly the same way? Should they all have same number of lines? Could words be broken at the end of a line and continue onto the following one? On these points there appears to have been no general consensus at first. Eventually, however, Qu’rans came to be copied out in odd numbers of lines and the splitting up of words was forbidden,” writes historian David James. The structure of these Qu’rans hints at number-mysticism and atomism very similar to ancient Greek philosophers like Euclid and Plato, whose works were also being studied and translated during this period.

Some recommended image support.

Smarm Singularity

Its contour already visible:

Lately Facebook is getting a little too intimate with me. “Good morning, Leigh,” it coos. “Thanks for being here. We hope you enjoy Facebook today.” Then, like a slice of dystopian cafeteria lunch, it serves one of its abysmal “memories” into my feed, some forgotten years-old share, and when I tell it I don’t want to see that, Facebook scrapes apologetically: “We know we don’t always get it right.” […] No, Facebook, of course you don’t. Remember how you started serving me wedding ads when I’d only just told one or two people I was engaged? That was creepy. Facebook is absolutely, indisputably creepy, a fungal colony of privacy violations fused helplessly to our human infrastructure. It spies on its employees and it demands pictures of our ID so it can regulate our names. […] Everybody knows Facebook is creepy. Nonetheless, all this time it never occurred to me to delete my account until it began doing this: Trying to act like a person. Pretending we are on a first-name basis. […] We often imagine the inevitable future tech dystopia will be cold, populations marching under the eye of sterile robot overlords, our speech monitored and scrubbed of sentiment and intonation. Increasingly, though, it seems like we’re hurtling toward the opposite: A singularity of smarm, where performative — maybe even excessive — intimacy is the order of the day. […] Of course we don’t want creeper spy colony Facebook to be our friend. But creating the impression of intimacy is becoming increasingly crucial to the content economy today, and it’s happening everywhere. …

(Coldness be my God.)