from Kurt Vonnegut's "Timequake"

All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental.
Kurt Vonnegut, pre-Prologue of "Timequake"

I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, "The Beatles did."
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

The African-American jazz pianist Fats Waller had a sentence he used to shout when his playing was absolutely brilliant and hilarious. This was it: "Somebody shoot me while I'm happy!"
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

I gave advice, too. I said, "My uncle Alex Vonnegut, a Harvard-educated life insurance salesman who lived at 5033 North Pennsylvania Street, taught me something very important. He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to notice it. "He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the aroma of a nearby bakery, or fishing and not caring if we catch anything or not, or hearing somebody all alone playing a piano really well in the house next door. "Uncle Alex urged me to say this out loud during such epiphanies: 'If this isn't nice, what is?' "
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"
(I try to put that in to practice myself.)
We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.
Kurt Vonnegut's son Mark Vonnegut via "Timequake"

Humanists try to behave decently and honorably without any expectation of rewards or punishments in an afterlife. The creator of the Universe has been to us unknowable so far. We serve as well as we can the highest abstraction of which we have some understanding, which is our community.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

The German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who had syphilis, said that only a person of deep faith could afford the luxury of religious skepticism. Humanists, by and large educated, comfortably middle-class persons with rewarding lives like mine, find rapture enough in secular knowledge and hope. Most people can't.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

I say in lectures in 1996 that fifty percent or more of American marriages go bust because most of us no longer have extended families. When you marry somebody now, all you get is one person.

I say that when couples fight, it isn't about money or sex or power. What they're really saying is, "You're not enough people!"

Sigmund Freud said he didn't know what women wanted. I know what women want. They want a whole lot of people to talk to.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

I do not propose to discuss my love life. I will say that I still can't get over how women are shaped, and that I will go to my grave wanting to pet their butts and boobs. I will say, too, that lovemaking, if sincere, is one of the best ideas Satan put in the apple she gave to the serpent to give to Eve. The best idea in that apple, though, is making jazz.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

But as I have reported elsewhere, [my sister Allie] said, "Just because you're talented, that doesn't mean you have to do something with it."
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

Our last conversation was intimate. Jane asked me, as though I knew, what would determine the exact moment of her death. She may have felt like a character in a book by me. In a sense she was. During our twenty-two years of marriage, I had decided where we were going next, to Chicago, to Schenectady, to Cape Cod. It was my work that determined what we did next. She never had a job. Raising six kids was enough for her.

I told her on the telephone that a sunburned, raffish, bored but not unhappy ten-year-old boy, whom we did not know, would be standing on the gravel slope of the boat-launching ramp at the foot of Scudder's Lane. He would gaze out at nothing in particular, birds, boats, or whatever, in the harbor of Barnstable, Cape Cod.

At the head of Scudder's Lane, on Route 6A, one-tenth of a mile from the boat-launching ramp, is the big old house where we cared for our son and two daughters and three sons of my sister's until they were grownups. Our daughter Edith and her builder husband, John Squibb, and their small sons, Will and Buck, live there now.

I told Jane that this boy, with nothing better to do, would pick up a stone, as boys will. He would arc it over the harbor. When the stone hit the water, she would die.

Jane could believe with all her heart anything that made being alive seem full of white magic. That was her strength. She was raised a Quaker, but stopped going to meetings of Friends after her four happy years at Swarthmore. She became an Episcopalian after marrying Adam, who remained a Jew. She died believing in the Trinity and Heaven and Hell and all the rest of it. I'm so glad. Why? Because I loved her.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

"Of native talent itself I say in speeches: 'If you go to a big city, and a university is a big city, you are bound to run into Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Stay home, stay home.'

" To put it another way: No matter what a young person thinks he or she is really hot stuff at doing, he or she is sooner or later going to run into somebody in the same field who will cut him or her a new asshole, so to speak.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"
I think this is more true than ever with Social Media... people get so good at stuff its absolutely intimidating (on the other hand, sometimes they teach you how to do stuff that impresses the locals...maybe it balances out.)
Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different!
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

[On writing books in an age of movies and TV] Still and all, why bother? Here's *my* answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: "I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don't care about them. You are not alone."
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

But I now ask you to look precisely at one [twinkling star], and then precisely at the other."
"OK," I said, "I did it."
"It took a second, do you think?" he said.
"No more," I said.
"Even if you'd taken an hour," he said, "something would have passed between where those two heavenly bodies used to be, at, conservatively speaking, a million times the speed of light."
"What was it?" I said.
"Your awareness," he said. "That is a new quality in the Universe, which exists only because there are human beings. Physicists must from now on, when pondering the secrets of the Cosmos, factor in not only energy and matter and time, but something very new and beautiful, which is *human awareness.*"
Trout paused, ensuring with the ball of his left thumb that his upper dental plate would not slip when he said his last words to us that enchanted evening.
All was well with his teeth. This was his finale: "I have thought of a better word than *awareness*," he said. "Let us call it *soul*." He paused.
"Ting-a-ling?" he said.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Timequake"

An ode to grids. Love the petri-dish animation. I spent a lot of time with graph paper, both in high school and then at one job when it was my notebook was graphpaper - making 2D and 3D fonts and playing with the constraints.

Was hoping I could tempt Cora into getting her head around coordinate systems via Minecraft but it feels too much like school to her :-(
Heh, kind of similar to that last one : the desmise of the 10x programmer points out this one generation of coders, growing up with 80s home computers and then some later still hackable things, and the early DIY web... may end up being a more special era than we realized
Nice practical piece on using various AIs