Will there be enough water when my ship comes in?

When I set sail, will there be enough wind?

“No,” Jordan said.  “Your surrender is not enough.” 

Ferdinand was tempted to let go; to open his arms and angle his hands against the wind; to be swept up and away forever.

“I can’t give you what you want,” he said.  “I am a builder of cities, not men.”

“You don’t believe that.”

“I’d like it not to be true,” Ferdinand insisted.  “That’s not the same as disbelief.”

“When you stand at the top of your tower, what do you see?” Jordan asked, turning so she was facing him head on.

The Vice Chairman caught the full force of her argument in that single stroke.  How beautiful it was, in spite of everything, to be her pawn.

“I see a world propped up out of ashes,” he told her, picking himself up so he was resting on his elbows.  The sky above them was growing dark, and he could see the first pin-pricks of starlight through the tenuous gauze.  “I see thirty million souls, shaking off the darkness and sitting down for tea.  I see the comfort of the world we’ve built them, and I see its flaws.  Do you think that doesn’t bother me?  I would get down on my hands and knees and scrub out the past—brick by brick if that was what was necessary—but I don’t have the right.  Neither do you.  Those wounds are not—and never will be—ours to heal.”

“That is a pretty argument,” Jordan told him.  “The kind made by pretty men standing above pretty worlds, grown just ugly enough to enhance their beauty.  How extremely convenient your hands have been tied in precisely this arrangement.”

withastolenlantern said: 

So uh, in relation to Bruce, I notice your notes are in pen. Might not want to show him, less some crossword related accusations start flying…

I am also making all my students do their lab notebooks in pen.  Take that, Thomas.

loveisthelongestwavelength said: 

Hold up, there’s no electric field in meat?

So, on the subject of inherited phrases like the “meat” of a conductor and “when the dust settles,” I was talking to Bruce the other day and he swears he has NO recollection of ever saying that divergence is a measure of the “outward pointiness” of a vector function.

(Source: thewildher)

The ocean was a frozen wall, pressed against their faces even as the heat from the dunes blew in on the wind.

“What good will it do?” Ferdinand asked.  He turned to look at Jordan.  “What good will I accomplish by bringing Rainer Jøberg to Greifswald?”

“Do you expect that I can tell you?” she said, returning the question with a question.  “That I can give you certainty?”

“No,” he said.  “But what you’re asking of me is treason.  I think it’s reasonable to know why.”

Jordan pulled the jacket she had been holding over her shoulders.

“We’ve said all we’re going to say on the matter,” she declared.  “If you’re not convinced by now, I can’t see how you ever will be.”

The Vice Chairman laughed.  She was a cloud against the water, advancing to overtake him with the full force of her natural will.

“And I can’t see how you’d ever stop trying to change my mind,” he said.

She laughed.

“Maybe you’re right.  But anyway, I suppose I know it’s a hopeless cause.”

The Vice Chairman spread out along the ground.

“Is that what I am?” he asked.  “Or rather, is that what you think of me?”

“Yes,” Jordan said, tilting her head so she could squint at Ferdinand in the fading light, “At least I would have said so at first—when I didn’t know you.”

“Oh?” Ferdinand asked.  “And do you know me now?”


“And has that changed your mind?”

Jordan lay down next to him.


Ferdinand smiled.  It was the slight, self-deprecating smile with which he won arguments against lesser foes.  He knew it would gain him nothing but it mattered to smile it just the same.  She would appreciate that.

“Then I am already defeated,” he said.  “You know what I will do, and I know it.  You’re only toying with me.”

“No,” Jordan said.  “Your surrender is not enough.” 



Jack White - Lazaretto.

From the upcoming album “World Fastest-Released Record

In case people want to hear it, they play Lazaretto at 7:20…