"And so I say to you, tender the dead as you would yourself be tendered, now, in what you would describe as your life."
Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Where was the dead body found?
Who found the dead body?
Was the dead body dead when found?
How was the dead body found?
Who was the dead body?
Who was the father or daughter or brother
Or uncle or sister or mother or son
Of the dead and abandoned body?
Was the body dead when abandoned?
Was the body abandoned?
By whom had it been abandoned?
Was the dead body naked or dressed for a journey?
What made you declare the dead body dead?
Did you declare the dead body dead?
How well did you know the dead body?
How did you know the dead body was dead?
Did you wash the dead body
Did you close both its eyes
Did you bury the body
Did you leave it abandoned
Did you kiss the dead body
Thursday, December 04, 2008
In 1958 you wrote "Pandemonium". What does pandemonium mean? What was the concept of this?
The concept, "pandemonium" was a word first used by John Milton in a very long English poem called "Paradise Lost". Pandemonium comes from the Greek "pan", meaning all and "demonium", meaning the demons. The idea of pandemonium is that in recognizing something - for example, recognizing a face or a character on a page - we have a little demon for each feature, for each part of the picture. And when the demons see themselves in the picture they shout, That's me! That's me! and then a higher level demon listens to these other demons and decides who shouts the loudest. If you are reading a character, a letter in a word, if the higher level demon hears the "A" demon shout the loudest, then he knows it is an "A". The idea is that we have separate neural nets, say, representing the demons, and what they shout, their output, is the amount of themselves that they see, that they perceive in what they are looking at.
So it's a network of neural networks at the end.
Yes, in the long run neural networks will have to be built up of pieces that are neural networks. But they still have to work together. Then the whole system does not have simple purposes or goals but very complex ones, just like people. In that sense the neural network is very different from the network of computers which we are talking about now because here it is a social thing. In our society not every piece, not every computer wants the same thing. They want to communicate but not because there is a single purpose; they want to communicate because everybody wants to do something different. In the neural network, in the good neural networks, they are all contributing to the same end.
Question 1: What are neural networks?
Answer: A neural network is a model of the way real nerves, real sensors like eyes and ears and brains, work. It tries to imitate so that it will work in the same way and do the same things.
Question 2: E' possibile costruire macchine, computer e altre apparecchiature con le reti neurali?
Answer: It is possible. We believe that our thinking works in a way like that and we want to find out how real brains work, and also to build machines to do some of the same things that our brains, our minds do.
Question 3: But these machines are not programmable. Will they learn by themselves?
Answer: One hopes so. They do learn by themselves, by their own experiences but not as much as people do. They are still very simple. The kinds of tasks that these machines can now do are low-level tasks. As science improves, as the engineers and scientists, the people at SMAU, work them and practice with them they get better, but they are still very far from real people.
Question 4: Can you compare the ability of neural networks with the ability of animals or children?
Answer: It is not an age so much. The neural network in the machine keeps trying, but an intelligent child stops trying after a while and gets bored. Our machines do not get bored yet, which is a sign that they are very elementary indeed. There are tasks which they can do for us. They will keep track of the right way to do a very easy task. But as yet they do not have much sense of purpose of their own beyond what they are given by the people who build them.
Question 5: That is interesting because they have to understand from the environment. How can they understand from the environment?
Answer: That is a very interesting point. It is not that they understand so much, it is that they work with the environment to get something done, to perceive something, to have the right effect. But they do not really understand what the environment is or how it works. So neural networks today do not make a model of the environment in the way that you and I make a model of the environment, instead they merely play with what they can do until it works.
Question 6: And can you compare the goals of cybernetics and the goals of neural networks?
Answer: The goals of neural networks are much more cybernetic than present day computers. Our computers are nearly all programmed, that is, they are told exactly what to do. Neural networks are not told exactly what to do. The study of cybernetics started out with Professor Norbert Wiener at MIT, who was my adviser, studying how gets to a particular place. The word cybernetics comes from the Greek word for the steersman on a boat, who moved the tiller or the rudder to get the boat where he wanted to go. The steersman is performing the goal, the seeking of the goal, the going where he wants to. At a very low level neural networks move their connections and rewire themselves so that the machine will do what it is programmed to want to do. In computers the programs are written so the machine will do what the designer wants them to do. So the machines in computers do not want. Neural networks are beginning to want, to care, to have purpose.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Dead Beat notes that Kiyoshi Ito, a mathematician whose innovative models of random motion are used today in fields as diverse as finance and biology, died Nov. 17 at a hospital in Kyoto, Japan. He was 93.
Ito is known for his contributions to probability theory, the study of randomness. His work, starting in the 1940s, built on the earlier breakthroughs of Albert Einstein and Norbert Wiener. Mr. His mathematical framework for describing the evolution of random phenomena came to be known as the Ito Calculus.
“People all over realized that what Ito had done explained things that were unexplainable before.”
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Posted by Gerard Beirne at 11:48 pm
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Speaking at a news conference in New York on Tuesday, the building's designer, David Fisher, declared that his tower will revolutionize the way skyscrapers are made - a claim that might strike some as excessively bold. Fisher acknowledges that he is not well known, has never built a skyscraper before and hasn't practised architecture regularly in decades.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits
I want to tell you something about words that I think is important.
They're my work, they're my play, they're my passion.
Words are all we have, really. We have thoughts but thoughts are fluid.
then we assign a word to a thought and we're stuck with that word for
that thought, so be careful with words. I like to think that the same
words that hurt can heal, it is a matter of how you pick them.
There are some people that are not into all the words.
There are some that would have you not use certain words.
There are 400,000 words in the English language and there are 7
of them you can't say on television. What a ratio that is.
399,993 to 7. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous
to be seperated from a group that large. All of you over here,you 7,
Bad Words. That's what they told us they were, remember?
"That's a bad word!" No bad words, bad thoughts, bad intentions,
and words. You know the 7, don't you, that you can't say on television?
"Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits"
Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that'll infect your soul,
curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war.
"Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits"
Wow! ...and Tits doesn't even belong on the list. That is such a friendly
sounding word. It sounds like a nickname, right? "Hey, Tits, come here,
man. Hey Tits, meet Toots. Toots, Tits. Tits, Toots." It sounds like a
snack, doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is a snack. I don't mean your sexist
snack. I mean New Nabisco Tits!, and new Cheese Tits, Corn Tits,
Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits, Onion Tits, Tater Tits. "Betcha Can't Eat Just
One." That's true. I usually switch off. But I mean, that word does
not belong on the list. Actually none of the words belong on the list,
but you can understand why some of them are there. I'm not
completely insensetive to people's feelings. I can understand why
some of those words got on the list, like CockSucker and
MotherFucker. Those are heavyweight words. There is a lot going on
there. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling.
I mean, they're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend
with. And those Ks, those are agressive sounds. They just jump out at
you like "coCKsuCKer, motherfuCKer. coCKsuCKer, motherfuCKer."
It's like an assualt on you. We mentioned Shit earlier, and 2 of the
other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go
together of course. A little accedental humor there. The reason that
Piss and Cunt are on the list is because a long time ago, there were
certain ladies that said "Those are the 2 I am not going to say. I
don't mind Fuck and Shit but 'P' and 'C' are out.", which led to such
stupid sentences as "Okay you fuckers, I'm going to tinckle now."
And, of course, the word Fuck. I don't really, well that's more
accedental humor, I don't wanna get into that now because I think
it takes to long. But I do mean that. I think the word Fuck is a very
imprortant word. It is the beginning of life, yet it is a word we use to
hurt one another quite often. People much wiser than I am said,
"I'd rather have my son watch a film with 2 people making love
than 2 people trying to kill one another. I, of course, can agree. It is
a great sentence. I wish I knew who said it first. I agree with that but
I like to take it a step further. I'd like to substitute the word Fuck for
the word Kill in all of those movie cliches we grew up with. "Okay,
Sherrif, we're gonna Fuck you now, but we're gonna Fuck you slow."
So maybe next year I'll have a whole fuckin' ramp on the N word.
I hope so. Those are the 7 you can never say on television, under any
circumstanses. You just cannot say them ever ever ever. Not even
clinically. You cannot weave them in on the panel with Doc, and Ed,
and Johnny. I mean, it is just impossible. Forget tHose 7. They're out.
But there are some 2-way words, those double-meaning words.
Remember the ones you giggled at in sixth grade? "...And the cock
CROWED 3 times" "Hey, tha cock CROWED 3 times. ha ha ha ha. Hey, it's in
the bible. ha ha ha ha. There are some 2-way words, like it is okay for
Kirk Youdi to say "Roberto Clametti has 2 balls on him.", but he can't
say "I think he hurt his balls on that play, Tony. Don't you? He's holding
them. He must've hurt them, by God." and the other 2-way word that
goes with that one is Prik. It's okay if it happens to your finger. You
can prik your finger but don't finger your prik. No,no.
So I'm shooting the breeze with George Carlin on mass suicide and ecological disaster.
"I sort of gave up on this whole human adventure a long time ago," he said. "Divorced myself from it emotionally. I think the human race has squandered its gift, and I think this country has squandered its promise. I think people in America sold out very cheaply, for sneakers and cheeseburgers. And I don't think it's fixable."
Dead Beat sighs, knows the truth of it.
Dead Beat and George Carlin had a thing going on. And now George has gone on spoiled it by dying. Well damn you George Carlin.
George, in case you young folks have forgotten, practically invented modern stand-up comedy. You know, the stand-up comic as a social commentator, rebel and truth-teller.
He talked about the injustice of Muhammad Ali's banishment from boxing for avoiding the draft — a man whose job was beating people up losing his livelihood because he wouldn't kill people: "He said, 'No, that's where I draw the line. I'll beat 'em up, but I don't want to kill 'em.' And the government said, 'Well, if you won't kill people, we won't let you beat 'em up.'"
George, go to Heaven, kill them up there.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
"A clampdown on corruption in professional tennis is to be announced on the opening day of Wimbledon, in the wake of revelations that match-fixing and illegal betting are rife.
Investigations ordered by tennis authorities have shown that at least 45 matches played in recent years are under suspicion, as are a number of players, including some of the top international professionals...
...Organised crime poses a serious threat to a cash-rich sport, which attracts hundreds of millions in bets each year. Tennis is considered particularly vulnerable because results can be changed by just one player."
Dead Beat has known it all along. The literary world is a fix. Just one player is approached, writes a series of bad lines and hey presto...!!!
Poor image, woeful metaphor, incredible characters, and the winning prize goes to....
Thursday, May 22, 2008
D.B. "So Leonard, great show."
L.C. "Thank you."
D.B. ""You sounded great."
L.C. "It's a gift."
D.B. "Anyway Leonard, what is it you are really trying to tell us?"
L.C. "Just to get serious about this thing, you know. One has to be compassionate. It's true that people are up against things, economically and emotionally. The obstacles are great and the suffering is great and people have got to make a living. It's easy to look down from the summit you've reached, or even the summit I've reached, and talk about the responsibilities of the artist, but most people are just trying to get their foot in the door and make a living. So we've got to temper anything we say with that. On the other hand, you've got to be serious about what you do. And you've got to understand the price you pay for frivolity or just for greed--it's a very high price, especially if you're involved in this sacred material, which is about the human heart and human desire and human tragedy. If there isn't some element of seriousness in the training of the artist or in the atmosphere that surrounds the enterprise, then this shabbiness grows and eventually overwhelms it. I think that's what we're in now. It's hard to be serious about so many things. [Look at the whole emphasis] on the charts, if you're a songwriter. Over the years, I saw that arise, where people were now longer interested in the song."
D.B. "We're still interested in your songs."
L.C. (tipping his fedora) "You're too kind."
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Posted by Gerard Beirne at 11:05 am
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Van Zandt was being groomed for Texas governorship, but he dropped out of college in the 1960s after being inspired by singer-songwriters and deciding to pursue a singing career. He was very intelligent and was diagnosed manic-depressive in his early twenties. He was treated with insulin shock therapy, which erased much of his long-term memory. His lack of memory and his mental condition contributed to both the passion and sense of isolation evident in his songs.
He was going into the DTs in the hospital. They took him out of the hospital so he could drink. They had to do it. He wouldn't have even had a chance if they had left him in there. They didn't know he was going away. They had tried to dry him out years before and it almost done him in. They were warned never to try and dry him out again or let him go without booze. That sounds strange but you can really take addiction that far. Townes was a ghost. Even when he was young he was a ghost. A beauty
Monday, April 07, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
[curfá]Ailliliú, puilliliú, ailliliú tá an puc ar buile!
[aonréad 2]Do ritheamar trasna trí ruillógach,
[aonréad 4]Bhí garda mór i mBaile an Róistigh
Brave - by Terrence Young
We were looking at the moon, a full one it seemed, though there
was some discussion about that, about which day precisely and for
how long, until it was decided it was okay to say the moon was
full as long as we knew we might be mistaken, a compromise
which satisfied everybody and allowed us to return to our quiet
lunar observations while a CD of Latin music played through the
outside speakers, each of the songs full, too, of swooping, senseless
lyrics that probably wouldn’t have made us want to cry if we’d known
what they were saying, but we didn’t, content, as we were with the
moon, to act on empirical facts alone—what looked full, what
sounded sad. The sea battered Mexico’s volcanic coast like a
ruminant horned beast that refused to give up the fight. Across the
bay, a flag we originally thought the size of a soccer field hung in
the moonlit air, not fluttering as flags are said to do in a breeze, but
coiling and uncoiling the way a snake might if it were flattened out
to the thickness of silk and suspended from a pole. These three
things—the rising moon, the waves, the undulations of the flag—
didn’t bring to mind anything so grand as Arnold’s “ebb and flow
of human misery,” but aligned seaward as we all were on our chaiselounges—
my son, my daughter, my wife and I—our legs extended,
backs upright, heads tilted to the sky, I couldn’t help thinking—maybe
it was the Spanish refrain, I don’t know, some hint of a hopeless cause
like love or war about to begin—that the four of us were courageous,
though not in the way heroes are said to be courageous, those people
who snatch small children from debris in the middle of swollen rivers,
but brave as my mother used the term on those occasions when another
pet sank beneath the soil of our back garden, or when on a morning
of rain and gloom I walked out the front door to school, lunch kit in
hand, the drawstrings of my hood pulled tight around my face, another
pointless day with the substitute teacher. “You’re a brave boy,” she’d
say, and I believed her, as I believed my family was brave simply for
sitting there on that tropical evening, like passengers on an ocean liner
who had left behind a country on the brink of ruin only to discover there
was no safe port left in the world, no haven that would take them in.
Well Dead Beat said his goodbyes to Patricia and Terrence Young over wine and song. And speaking of song:
Ruin and Beauty - by Patricia Young
It's so quiet now the children have decided to stop
being born. We raise our cups in an empty room.
In this light, the curtains are transparent as gauze.
Through the open window we hear nothing--
no airplane, lawn mower, no siren
speeding its white pain through the city's traffic.
There is no traffic. What remains is all that remains.
The brick school at the five points crosswalk
is drenched in morning glory.
Its white flowers are trumpets
festooning this coastal town.
Will the eventual forest rise up
and remember our footsteps? Already
seedlings erupt through cement,
crabgrass heaves through cracked marble,
already wolves come down from the hills
to forage among us. We are like them now,
just another species looking to the stars
and howling extinction.
They say the body accepts any kind of sorrow,
that our ancestors lay down on their stomachs
in school hallways, as children they lay down
like matches waiting for a nuclear fire.
It wasn't supposed to end like this:
all ruin and beauty, vines waterfalling down
a century's architecture; it wasn't supposed to end
so quietly, without fanfare or fuss,
a man and woman collecting rain in old coffee tins. Darling,
the wars have been forgotten.
These days our quarrels are only with ourselves.
Tonight you sit on the edge of the bed loosening your shoes.
The act is soundless, without future
weight. Should we name this failure?
Should we wake to the regret at the end of time
doing what people have always done
and say it was not enough?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
So I ask Houlihan about Paddy Kav. Dead Beat is starved for the stories, you see.
"I was lucky," he tells me. " I discovered Patrick Kavanagh at an early age, first in The Irish Press -- and later in magazines. Here was real poetry -- and it was about the world that I knew. In later life he used to say that he should have remained in Monaghan rather than come to Dublin. He would have made a fortune in smuggling during the war years -- or so he said. Of course he wouldn't -- some people are born not to make fortunes.
He came to Dublin because he wished to meet people with whom he could converse. Back in Monaghan he had plenty of neighbours who could talk all day and night -- but not about poetry.
Dublin attracted him as London had attracted Samuel Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith -- it was an intellectual capital -- kind of. It wasn't the heartland of mental and spiritual ferment that Kavanagh had visualised -- in many ways it was a petty town. Times were bad: most people were poorly paid -- and worked at jobs they deemed beneath them. There was much bitterness, born out of frustration. Kavanagh encountered back biting and front biting. In his own words, "The standing army of Irish poets was never less than five hundred." Alas -- many of them weren't poets at all. "Poets are born, not made" is an old saying. It could be rewritten as "Poets are born, not paid."
Houlihan goes on: Of course as children we loved those poems, even though we knew they were only nonsense verses. Here is my favourite.
"Mary had a little mule, one day he followed her to school.
"The teacher like a fool, went up behind the mule
"And hit it with a rule. There wasn't any school."
We will take an example.
"Halt, halt" the robber cried
"And hand me out your riches".
"I can't, I can't" the man replied
"For I'm holding up my britches."
If you took out "britches" and put in "pants" it wouldn't be funny at all. Rhyme creates the magic.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Hudson and Horace are back. It's that time of year they tell me. Oscar night approaching.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Anyway, the Maharashi, levitated his body right out of this world this week, but his spirit soars on.
By the way, listen to Ol D.B.'s backing vocals on Sexie Sadie - never earned a cent from it - those old misers.
Friday, February 01, 2008
And when I said that in public last week, they contacted me and said I was wrong in that. They said that it's when Revenue come to complete it. I thought completion meant 'the end'. Sorry if there was any misunderstanding."
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
The Stuckists of course are committed not just to painting but to writing also. A few things they have to say:
"There is popular writing known as the blockbuster or airport novel but this is considered trash by the critics. Then there is the writing by pseudo-intellectuals which is very popular with the critics but considered even worse trash by us.
Contemporary writing is cowardly and unchallenging because squalor is tedious not remarkable. If you find yourself in a rubbish bin the only interesting narrative is how to climb out, not how ill you can make yourself by ingesting it.
The writer can only write what he knows about him/her self. To develop as a writer you must develop as a person.
In any period that the writer lives he/she has to say the wrong thing to get it right.
One of the worst things a writer can do is conceive of themselves as a writer whilst writing. The best writing is written by human beings. Besides what kind of an idiot would want to be anything other than a human being? (This is especially true of poetry and poets).
The main advantage of contemporary literature over current established visual art is that it attracts less media attention and is therefore easier to ignore.
On inspection there would appear to be fewer problems with contemporary writing than with contemporary visual arts, but both have the problem of being spiritually bankrupt. (Except poetry, which on the whole has the problem of being utterly tedious).
Monday, January 14, 2008
Dead Beat is in mourning.
According to the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), more than 1,000 rural pubs have closed in the last four years. VFI president Paul Stevenson called on publicans to introduce a range of changes, such as providing ethnic food to attract immigrants and turning their premises into internet cafes during the daytime. "I think the day of standing behind your counter expecting customers to come in is finished. The pub is now in the hospitality industry. We have to realise that and move on." He also said that traditional pubs should look into making their function rooms available for dance classes, choir practice and even school homework clubs. It was also in their interest to provide a better range of wines for women because "the female will choose the pub to go to, and the husband will do as he's told."
What's that Mrs. Dead Beat?.... Why yes of course...
Monday, January 07, 2008
So Dead Beat is still stuck on Stuckism. Over Christmas he's been reading the Stuckist manifesto for light reading. Charles Thompson even popped in to say "You’re welcome."
Got an hour or two to spare, finished all those Best Novels of the Year, wondering what to read next... Get stuck in.