Monday, April 01, 2013

Talk At Dinner: Four “Aberrant Forms” Sequels

“But, Henry, these are real dinosaurs. You said so yourself.”

“I know,” Wu said. “But we could easily breed slower, more domesticated dinosaurs.”

Domesticated dinosaurs?” Hammond snorted. “Nobody wants domesticated dinosaurs, Henry. They want the real thing.”

“But that’s my point,” Wu said. “I don’t think they do. They want to see their expectation, which is quite different.”

Hammond was frowning.

“You said yourself, John, this park is entertainment,” Wu said. “And entertainment has nothing to do with reality. Entertainment is antithetical to reality.”

Hammond sighed. “Now, Henry, are we going to have another one of those abstract discussions? You know I like to keep it simple.   The dinosaurs we have now are real,   and—”

“Well, not exactly,” Wu said. He paced the living room, pointed to the monitors. “I don’t think we should kid ourselves. We haven’t re-created the past here. The past is gone. It can never be re-created. What we’ve done is reconstructed the past—or at least a version of the past. And I’m saying we can make a better version.”

“Better than real?”

“Why not?” Wu said. “After all, these animals are already modified. We’ve inserted genes to make them patentable, and to make them lysine dependent. And we’ve done everything we can to promote growth, and accelerate development into adulthood.”

Hammond shrugged. “That was inevitable. We didn’t want to wait. We have investors to consider.”

“Of course. But I’m just saying, why stop there? Why not push ahead to make exactly the kind of dinosaur that we’d like to see? One that is more acceptable to visitors, and one that is easier for us to handle? A slower, more docile version for our park?”

Hammond frowned. “But then the dinosaurs wouldn’t be real.”

“But they’re not real now,” Wu said. “That’s what I’m trying to tell you. There isn’t any reality here.” He shrugged helplessly. He could see he wasn’t getting through.

from Jurassic Park
by Michael Crichton

Alban Maria Johannes Berg (February 9, 1885 – December 24, 1935) was an Austrian composer. He was a member of the Second Viennese School with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, and produced compositions that combined Mahlerian Romanticism with a personal adaptation of Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique.

... Berg was a part of Vienna's cultural elite during the heady fin de siècle period. His circle included the musicians Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker, the painter Gustav Klimt, the writer and satirist Karl Kraus, the architect Adolf Loos, and the poet Peter Altenberg. In 1906, Berg met the singer Helene Nahowski, daughter of a wealthy family (said by some to be in fact the illegitimate daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria from his liaison with Anna Nahowski); despite the outward hostility of her family, the two were married on May 3, 1911.

... Other well-known Berg compositions include the Lyric Suite (1926), which was later shown to employ elaborate cyphers to document a secret love affair; the extraordinarily elaborate post-Mahlerian Three Pieces for Orchestra (completed in 1915 but not performed until after Wozzeck); and the Chamber Concerto (Kammerkonzert, 1923–25) for violin, piano and 13 wind instruments: this latter is written so conscientiously that Pierre Boulez has called it "Berg's strictest composition" and it, too, is permeated by cyphers and posthumously disclosed hidden programs.

Alban Berg
at Wikipedia


Could anything be more secret
than meaning that’s hidden away
in a code that’s hidden away
in a message that’s in plain sight
if no one is even aware
that the message is a message?


The dinosaurs will ask, “Why do you look so surprised?”

People will say, “We didn’t know you were coming back.”

Then the dinosaurs will smile a legalistic smile
and they’ll say something about the book of creation
but they’ll start laughing so hard and they’ll get so hungry
they’ll just start eating the people they’ll be talking to.


“I don’t think they’re real,” somebody will say,
“I think they must be Animatronic
like all those things they have at Disneyland,
but much more advanced, maybe created
by scientists at Carnegie-Mellon
or some place like that on CIA grants.”

He won’t even notice he’s talking to
a dinosaur that’s hungry and laughing.

“No, really,” the guy will say, “robots now
can be controlled by fuzzy logic and
artificial intelligence and things
called neural nets that can link together—”

The dinosaur will just eat him before
he works out the details of his theory
about robot dinosaur counterfeits.


I wonder if a dinosaur ever
will ask another dinosaur, “Do you
ever listen to the weird things they say?”

I wonder if the other dinosaur
will chew, swallow and then ask, “Why should I?”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Aberrant Forms

Creatures Surrounded By Stone

Dinosaurs Are Searching For A Path To Disney

Preliminary Notes For A Space Opera

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