Telephodot (aka “Threnody”) / Samuel Beckett

There’s a “video” of this at Vimeo. This was my working treatment:

On a distant hillside two small figures were making their way down to a far-away road. Behind them, green waves of grass gave way to higher misty hills, on a backdrop of distant mountains. The mountaintops were lost in the clouds and their slopes were a gauzy purple.

The figures moved microscopically, or perhaps the silence and the distance gave the illusion of slow motion. The road before them was unpaved, broad, no more than a wide patch of gravel and dirt among the tufts of grass. At each side the vegetation was dusty and burnt, bracketing the road up and down the hills like strips of old newspaper.

Eventually the figures stood on the road, as if looking each way, perhaps deciding which direction to follow. They were too far off to see clearly. They appeared to turn and look back, up the slope they had just descended. They appeared to be talking, but in brief animated bursts separated by long moments just waiting. Mostly they stood facing each other, looking down. They might have been thinking. Perhaps they were considering what to say.

After a long time, one of them sat down by the side of the road, and began doing something with his boots.

In the late afternoon, two more figures appeared in the distance to the east, moving down the center of the road. They walked single file, as if there might have been a line connecting them. As they drew closer to the first two, one could just make out large pieces of luggage carried by the first man. The second man occasionally waved a buggy whip as if snapping it in the air, but there was no sound.

When the second pair of men reached the first two, all four of them became engaged in conversation, but my attention was drifting. Later, I noticed the travelers had gone on.

Still later, in the fading light I could just see a boy picking through the bushes farther off. He seemed to be heading for the two men, who were still standing in the road. But the day was failing, and I did not wait to see.

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, given consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do the existence eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore of a et dolore magna aliqua. Ut personal enim ad minim veniam, quis god nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi outside ut aliquip ex ea commodo of time consequat. Duis aute irure dolor man in reprehenderit in voluptate velit wastes esse cillum dolore eu fugiat and nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat pines cupidatat non proident, sunt wastes culpa qui officia deserunt and pines mollit anim id est laborum.

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Plot vs Story [updated]

The post on E. M. Forster’s definitions of plot and story has been significantly updated. My position hasn’t changed (defining “story” as the factual sequence of events is inadequate), but the discussion is more interesting.

Permalink to the updated post: Plot vs Story.


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Star Warts and All

As expectorated: Cardboard characters, plugged into a recycle of the first film, with brief and implausible “plot exposition” speeches to cover decades in which a few key events must have happened but during which nobody changed or learned anything. No explanation as to why Han & Leia’s son went to the Dark Side, but perhaps a future out-of-sequence “episode” will concoct motivation-free coverage of that.

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Windows 10 SSSD Floppy Disk Installation Notes

I was looking at this today:AC-Win10-Setup-Floppy-640x640

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The Management Paradox

I’ve had the somewhat dubious good fortune to have spent many years doing very technical work, and many more serving as an executive. Technical work usually involves intense concentration, periods of long focus, and the ability to hold a huge collection of very short-term contingencies in your head. Interruptions, even brief innocuous ones, can break your concentration, destroy your focus, and bring the contingencies down like a house of cards.

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Aluminium High-Voltage Power Transmission

Here’s a compendium of factoids on power transmission, with a little directly on skin effect (which may not be the only salient aspect). I believe that skin effect per se is due to AC. Since not all long lines are AC, and since those that are AC are only 60Hz, skin effect doesn’t much enter into it. The real explanation for the practical use of what we think of as crummy aluminium* wire emerges from the following factoids (below the fold).

I had been talking with some radio & engineering friends, and we were surprised that aluminium cables are used for long-distance power transmission lines—even those which use Direct Current (DC). In fact, a few of us were surprised that long-distance power transmission can even be done with DC. So I did some online research, and learned a bunch of things. Of course, I’m not an EE, so don’t go running aluminium long-distance DC power transmission lines without professional help.

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Win10 Start Button: What’s an Application Launcher For?

The Windows 10 Start Menu is still buggy and barely functions for its intended purpose: finding, organizing, and launching programs.

The bugs I’m dealing with (through a couple of updates since the public release of Win10) are pretty basic:

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Windows 10 – The end of Microsoft?

I promised myself I would not attempt to review Win10 in any manner at all, so here’s a short rant on the surprisingly incomplete, poorly thought-out, much touted “new Start menu.”

What I cannot understand is how this iteration of Windows constitutes a “new operating system.” A handful of superficial (and incomplete) tweaks to the Start menu does not an operating system make. The GUI is a shell, not an OS. And the lame state of so many aspects of what little is new speaks to a superficial and sloppy development effort. I do believe that the super-tech folk at MS probably have the internals buttoned up pretty reliably, but my heavens, how can these trivial little mini-apps be so uninspired? How many hundreds of developers to they have?

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Red Alert: carmine



Ecco—cognitive dissonance.

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