user since
Wed Feb 5 2003 at 07:09:46 (15.4 years ago )
last seen
Wed Jan 18 2012 at 15:01:05 (6.4 years ago )
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2 - View Ashenai's writeups (feed)
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0 (Initiate) / 125
mission drive within everything
Figgering stuff out.
Confusion and Diffusion
EŲtvŲs LorŠnd University of Science, Budapest, Hungary
Ring the bell that still can ring.
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"Oh, so you're a newbie, are you? Don't worry, E2 is a friendly place. Here, this featureless, blindingly white room will be your new home. Feel free to make up some furniture for yourself."

Oh look, it's not a featureless room anymore. I just made me some angst. Mmm, comfy angst.

Well, that was cute. Let's see.

I'm Laszlo, and I live in Hungary. 27, male. I majored in Computer Science and English Literature at ELTE. I work as a coder.

Sometimes I go on coding binges (code absorbs my dedication, code forgives all). Sometimes I go hiking (streaking for the horizon). Sometimes I conform (look, I'm normal! When I drink far too much, I vomit, just like you!). Sometimes I find enlightenment (then lose it the next day). Sometimes I think I've found a place that needs me (I'm invariably wrong).

Sometimes, I really don't have anything to say. I try to shut up then.

I gave birth to the following bit of spleen one fine spring afternoon, while I was waiting for a professor. I had not slept; I was desperately tired and only the coffee kept me going. Inspiration struck, as it sometimes will at times like these, and I scrawled my stream of consciousness on a scrap of paper I had handy. After a lot of editing and E2-ifying, here's the result.

I would very much appreciate anyone's opinion. At the time, it seemed to me like the most brilliant bit of prose EVER. Not anymore; but for some reason, I find myself incapable of looking at it critically. And thus, I would be most grateful for any critique or opinion. Really, anything at all.

It's here in my homenode because I don't think it's worthy of noding (and I don't think I'm capable of finishing it properly), but I was getting tired of it taking up space on my Scratch Pad. And I don't have the heart to obliterate it.

He sits and writes, oblivious, brain brittle, fevered; rips out thoughts, crushes them into words with his bare hands. Blood leaks between his fingers, he doesn't mind, the pain drives him on. He looks at what he has created, feels a stab of panic: it's not good enough, no one will care. In a frenzy, he grabs paint, splashes garishly vivid colours, tries to keep the edges clean.

Too much; they blur and mingle, he can do nothing but despair - a grey haze of mediocrity is all that's left. No, not quite all: a few pieces are still visible, desultory fragments, a mockery of his effort.

He turns away, chokes back bitterness, lies to himself. He wasn't really trying, he didn't take enough time, it's good enough.

And it is good enough: he is commended, plays his part well - humble, pleased, self-effacing - and is met with vacuous smiles in return, empty approval. His earlier self is forgotten, locked away; he is a young man again, self-assured, happy.

But barriers splinter, the abyss gazes back. Something in him wails to Parnassus, to minds of stone: a fusillade of silence,

he stumbles

Attention arcanamundi:

There are 6 articles in the pdf. The first four are concerned - wholly or in part - with magic and esotery. The fifth one is a fairly dry sociological-historical text about educational legislation, and the last is a cognitive science article about the human learning process. Math abounds in that one. As far as I can tell, they are all rigorous, scholarly works. I'm no expert, however.

1) L√°ng: Secret Magical Sources in a Medieval Library

This starts off talking about a certain Richard de Fournivale, and his book called Biblionomia, which is actually a list of his 300-book library, and a short description of every book therein. It also mentions a secret library which is apparently so secret that not even the titles of its 24 books are divulged. With some fascinating in-depth filological sleuthwork, however, the article deduces which books they were (a set of magical texts). Next, L√°ng talks about the texts in question (as well as some others), and about what the general medieval consensus about them appeared to be; which types of magic were acceptable, which were not, and why. A bit of historical perspective is given, and a pretty interesting classification of medieval magic.

2) J√°mbor: The Classification of Magic in the Works of Guillaume d'Auvergne

Discusses d'Auvergne's (13th century philosopher) system of classification. The categories discussed are idolatria, divinatio, astrology, magia naturalis, and nekromantia, among others. Very nice, clear explanations are given, as well as (again) some historical perspective, and discussions on how the various styles of magic fit into the natural sciences and philosophies of that time. All of it is _very_ interesting and easy to understand.

3) Bobory: Gerolamo Cardano: a Scientist of Magic, a Magician of Science

Starts with a reinterpretation of the Renaissance, and a refutation of some commonly held views about it. The topic is then narrowed to Cardano, a 16th century polymath. Special attention is given to "De propria vita", his autobiography. His devotion to both magic and science is examined in some detail; some surprising and intriguing conclusions are drawn about his - and by extension, Renaissance Man's - belief systems.

4) Nacsin√°k: Asceticism - The Appearance of Ecological Questions in Religions

Eco-spiritualism. Examines the tendency of the various religions to give spiritual solutions to ecological problems. What is humanity's purpose on Earth, etc. Christianity is identified as somewhat unique in its extreme anthropocentricism; this is discussed in exhaustive detail. Asceticism (as a commonly given solution) is then discussed, and some excellent points are made about why there is no "mainstream" asceticism today, and why it seems like a less and less acceptable lifestyle choice to most, especially in first-world countries.

5) Kelemen: Turning Points in Our Educational Legislation in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This is exactly what it sounds like: a historical analysis of the various changes wrought in the Hungarian educational system, and the reasons thereof. If you want to know, say, when primary school became compulsory in Hungary, or precisely what legislative breakthroughs were made regulating teachers' pay, and when, then this is the text for you.

6) Molnár-Csapó: A Logistic Model for the Development of Ability

The meat of this article would be difficult to comprehend without a solid grounding in mathematics (especially statistics). It's about how fast people (especially children) can learn, and explains things like "Wunderkinds" who later slow down and end up achieving at about the same level as other, "normal" adults. Horrifically boring, IMO.

Stuff I need to node, sooner or later:

black eye (Very little information. Needs specific medical info, healing, disguising, social aspects)
The stories I write are just fiction sprinkled with tiny flakes of truth (Nodeshell. Hold off on this one until I've actually written a few worthwhile stories.)
real fight (What really happens? Figure out a better node title, if possible.)
Daniel Martin
The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect (Nodeshell. Either create a w/u, or mirror the whole thing.)
John Fowles (There's an OK writeup about him, but he deserves a more detailed one.)
The Magus (Needs better writeup)
Robert Merle
Fighting : Some practical advice (Incredible rep, but is worse than useless, and _will_ get someone killed.)