Matthew Henry John Bartlett

+64 27 211 3455
email me

Wednesday 30 June, 02004

My interminable defense

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:33 am

Edmund Burke said:

A clear idea is another name for a little idea.

Mental illness

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:36 am

Demons, angels, anthropomorphisms of agglomerations of people, prinicipalities, powers, The Economy, consumerism, Pirsig’s Giant, loneliness, fashion, forces that oppress or uplift.

Perhaps mental illness is possession by the demons of the age, at least as much about societies’ sicknesses than any particular sufferer’s.

Says Walter Wink (quoted here):

So formidable a phalanx of hostility demands spiritual weaponry, for it is clear that we contend not against human beings as such (“blood and flesh”) but against the legitimations, seats of authority, hierarchical systems, ideological justifications, and punitive sanctions which their human incumbents exercise and which transcend these incumbents in both time and power. It is the suprahuman dimension of power in institutions and the cosmos which must be fought, not the mere human agent. For the institution will guarantee the replacement of this person with another virtually the same, who despite personal preferences will replicate decisions made by a whole string of predecessors because that is what the institution requires for its survival. It is this suprahuman quality which accounts for the apparent “heavenly,” bigger than life, quasi-eternal character of the Powers. Naming the Powers, pp. 85-86.

Tuesday 29 June, 02004

Richard’s 30th

by Matthew Bartlett @ 2:48 pm

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:28 am

Flat 4b is looking for some more lounge chairs/couches. If you know of anyone hiffing any out, do let me know.

Gomez are playing in Wellington July 9, tickets available from PostShops for $57. I intend to go. Feel so free to join me.

Prospects are bleak

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:15 am

On two consecutive Saturdays I visited the Wellington City Gallery with friends to have a look at the Telecom Prospect 2004 New Art New Zealand exhibition. I found it very hard to not adopt a distancing wry uninvolved stance towards most every item in the show. I couldn’t get a handle on anything. Nothing made any sense. I came away feeling disorientated. There are so many beautiful things around to celebrate, and so many horrible things to challenge, why are these artists all wasting everyone’s time being clever and quirky and self-involved?

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:08 am

Gordon McLauchlan: Dear God: What’s going on here? [via Dan]

Monday 28 June, 02004

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:08 am

In a good article The Open Source Paradigm Shift, Tim O’Reily says:

I have a simple test that I use in my talks to see if my audience of computer industry professionals is thinking with the old paradigm or the new. “How many of you use Linux?” I ask. Depending on the venue, 20-80% of the audience might raise its hands. “How many of you use Google?” Every hand in the room goes up. And the light begins to dawn. Every one of them uses Google’s massive complex of 100,000 Linux servers, but they were blinded to the answer by a mindset in which “the software you use” is defined as the software running on the computer in front of you. Most of the “killer apps” of the Internet, applications used by hundreds of millions of people, run on Linux or FreeBSD. But the operating system, as formerly defined, is to these applications only a component of a larger system. Their true platform is the Internet.


by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:07 am

I think I’ll make a whip today, tip some tables over, maybe rub some clay & spit into someone’s eyes.

Sunday 27 June, 02004

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:00 pm

Today I got to touch a little blue penguin. It had tiny blue feathers really tightly packed on its back.

Friday 25 June, 02004

Good art

by Matthew Bartlett @ 6:29 pm

In an interview, Wendell Berry said:

Nothing exists for its own sake but for a harmony greater than itself which includes it. A work of art which accepts this condition and exists upon its terms honors the creation and so becomes a part of it.

Evil from the East

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:48 am

It appears trite at first, but I think the question at the end of this quote (from ZMM) is very profound:

The South Indian Monkey Trap
The trap consists of a hollowed-out coconut chained to a stake. The coconut has some rice inside which can be grabbed through a small hole. The hole is big enough so that the monkey’s hand can go in, but too small for his fist with rice in it to come out. The monkey reaches in and is suddenly trapped… by nothing more than his own value rigidity. He can’t revalue the rice. He cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable than capture with it. The villagers are coming to get him and take him away. They’re coming closer — closer! — now! What general advice… not specific advice… but what general advice would you give the poor monkey in circumstances like this?

Thursday 24 June, 02004

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:31 pm

You’ll no doubt be pleased to learn that TrinityRoots/Home, Land and Sea is growing on me.

by Matthew Bartlett @ 9:30 pm

Art machines [via RDB]

by Matthew Bartlett @ 1:12 pm


Vertigo again

by Matthew Bartlett @ 1:02 pm

I collect stories of intellectual vertigo. A man I met yesterday evening said he experienced what might be called spiritual vertigo upon realising that suffering pain hardship is not optional. It was a shock to him when he realised God didn’t make it easy for even the best man, Jesus. God didn’t even give him a choice. Terrifying.