4 July 2013: Black Screen of Death and the dangers of solitary shopping


30 minute dawn workout: walked to crest of senior staff blocks hill, did stone staircase, returned to room to to 120 low-rise steps (not quite as exhausted after this as I was yesterday, 100 supine (that is, easy) pull ups.

Missed the 3 July deadline but the day started with the usual workout. Its solitary shopping and stress is documented below.

Evil Laugh

Nyah ha ha: cue evil laugh, have full access from my hospital bed to the Internet. Will retain this even if “they” throw my hurting butt into Queen Mary, Tung Wah, or the ICU. Cost is prepaid between 500 and 1000 HKD per month. I’ll have to make a point about being sociable and visiting the day room once a day where previously I’d come for the wireless only to realize how great the staff and volunteers can be.

Black Screen of Death

On the one hand: I have full Internet access from my bed again.

On the other: I have a new problem I didn’t have last March: Black Screen of Death: the screen just goes completely black and you must wait to reboot. During a siege it will happen multiple times. It may be a Stage IV problem…no cure until you buy a new system such as the Mac Air being touted as having all-day power capabilities. Gee, I thought that my model was supposed to have these.

Anyway, one writes carefully, saving one’s work, during Black Screen of Death, and one doesn’t visit You Tube, for running its videos can cause BSOD. It’s actually like a self-discipline App – no more wasting time on YouTube, and, it turns you off randomly, as far as I can see, even outside of Youtube, forcing you to smell the roses.

In a recent column that I unfortunately cannot locate Paul Krugman charges Apple and other “cool” companies with using “coolness” to charge unearned economic rents.

Thus Microsoft’s “blue screen of death”, actually just a storage dump printed owing to an expected CPU error, was an occasion for Apple to mock Windows as a funny little nerdy man prone to fainting fits, that is, the weak term in a binary relation…despite the fact that early technology was based on escape from pecking orders, until the assholes caught up with us. If your code calls the storage dump and error status display for a reason it didn’t cause, you did your job…not if (as apparently may be the case) you’re just too cool to clear parameter RAM, asshole.

The “black screen of death” is much, much worse than a blue screen of death on a PC because it unlike the blue screen of death bsod is not an anticipated event; Microsoft’s software was smart enough to at least call the storage dump and then terminate whereas Apple’s just bombs.

I think it’s time for me to acquire a new model HP Mini (I gave my old system to my sister). It’s a PC based machine on which I can better leverage my knowledge of good PC tools such as the movie maker. The good Apple tools such as Hypercard have been deliberately neglected and now, in the case of Hypercard (in which you could create simple, genuine Mac applications without having to buy the “white books of death”, the documentation of the API that I bought for my late son when he was ll years old…he created advanced, genuine Mac apps). I have to clear most of my files just to get C++ but I have done so…accidentally. I have the critical files and can mentally reconstruct my to-do list: this is actually a good exercise for the brain and its priorities.


I learned on a Grantham “home leave day” spent solitary shopping in Causeway Bay … that I can no longer solitary shop. I got exhausted fast.

First to Eslite Books where I found a gift for a supportive friend, and the Cambridge Companion to the (eep!) Critique of Pure Reason (sighs and flute notes). Also the Routledge History of Ancient Philosophy to St Augustine (alive with fiery breath)…clearly, I need to read this, as I read my Kant material, as part of an Open Courseware self-administered seminar documented right here and possibly transformed into an iTunes educational application when I get the chance to organize lecture notes and assigned essays. Then just release it for free like the child releases the Red Balloon.

Then to Sogo basement and the Choc section. OK, one (1) Godiva bar at 60% Cacao added. Two Lindt bars…cheaper…80% and … 99%. The latter choc so close to the real origin of chocolate (bitterness and danger) but releases just a hint of sweetness to encourage one to keep penetrating the Heart of Darkness to find She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Then une mauvais quarte d’heure at PCCW obtaining dongle access, trying to explain what I needed to predominantly Guangdong-Wah (Cantonese) speakers. Happy ending: got a dongle that fixes design flaws in old dongle, for it can be set at 90 to 135 degree angle to prevent damage to the USB interface, and which, given no or few Black Screens of Death, gives me what I had last March, full Internet access from my hospital bed. Sorry, but there it is. I need what the rich have, like Elvis Costello. All that useless beauty on Causeway Bay.

Then it was on to Commercial Press which has redesigned to meet the Eslite challenge…but I needed office supplies…was ready to cry when the dogs body told me that their stationer section has moved to the cellar of the Regal Hotel across Victoria park.

No no no no no.

So instead I humped it, now seriously tired and in pain with my walking stick and heavy burden of purchases, over to the only stationer’s I knew in CB, a Mom and Pop operation in an old building near Lee Gardens. And then found a cab and returned early to Grantham, gloating over the success of missions including “find tape to repair books” and “buy two serious books that will be hard to comprehend fully and which will enhance my knowledge and #Occupy my time fully.”

Moral being no more Yuppified solitary shopping. It’s not 1985 and Deborah Harry has forgotten me. Need to shop with supportive others preferably but not necessarily in a wheelchair like Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

For Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell

Received a package today containing my late son’s copy of Kant’s Grounding for a Metaphysic of Morals and a huge choco bar, an American style version of the 68% cacao beads…people out here don’t like big choco bars but they sell well in the USA. Someone knows my tastes, and my son who was Good in the Kantian register, where the only thing we know to be good is the good will when it is good. My poor son had the best of intentions and this form of innocence destroyed him, dammit. But now I have his book with chocolate stains and annotations such as “take that, utilitarians!”.

Pow. Biff. Wham.

Why oh why was he taken from us.

All I can do is a Grand High Re-Read, or possibly a Read (may have never read the grounding in full) of this short, well-written and engaging book, far more representative of Kant’s style than the tortured Critique; for the Critique was written before mathematical tools existed to support it notably, Cantor’s two infinities and intuitionistic mathematics…the latter being created in certain agonized passages as Kant rebooted Western math, anticipating but not quite seeing the Russellian paradoxes. Doing so using Scholastic logic, rather as I use an ancient rackety row machine to gradually restore my formerly wither’d legs to strength. I’m gonna write a poem, see if I don’t, about Kant on the rock face, writing the message of the Just, what then (as Tolstoy asked) must we do if we are Superman again?

O Superman…o Judge

I need then to know the point of this hypothymic and megalothymic need for accomplishment and recognition, the meaning of all those cross-country flights which now seem as dust, and nothing compared to the Chicago/Hong Kong run, a wearying trip which will give one deep vein thrombosis even in business class. Like my dear son, poor little beetle that he was, looking at his crib toys with a fever, sadly, wistfully, I have accomplished dust, and nothing, yet “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Dang, that old early 1980s Muscular Christianity of Chariots of Fire still moves me and gives me a ground to bear my weight.

A dead son (that I did not kill nor help to kill), many odd paintings (for the visual arts may be accurst after all as the iconoclast Muslim says), reams of not-bad writing but no end to it, now a 20 volume Gesammelte Schriften…complete works…available in Politically Incorrect calfskin gilded with golden decoration and titles as were Oxford books before WWI or just good old blue buckram. The Complete Nonsense of Edward G. Nilges. A real nowhere man? Perhaps, but writing stays one’s hand and reveals the darker instincts and there can be nothing wrong with that.

Nobody writes or buys complete works anymore but I think it would be damned convenient to have, let’s say. Adorno’s complete works as an App. They are available in book form but most of his output before 1937 and after 1951, his sojourn in America, is in German and hasn’t yet been translated properly.

At the electronic level we’re in the old world of Complete Works. I can listen to Beethoven’s “complete” string quartets or piano sonatas while going to work and I can discover how he developed certain themes and discarded others. The spoken word recording gives me all of Shakespeare. Once again the magisterial and canonical defeats the marginal with sheer weight as if “mah Daddy’s collected works out-weigh yore old man’s collected works”.

Nyah ha ha. But a parent shouldn’t survive a son.

Shall these bones live? Shall these bones live? For miraculously I have Stage IV prostate but no bone pain and no lesions appearing on my bone scans. For thou didst not leave his soul in hell?

Dunno. Time for bed.

Change Record

5 July 2013 Fixing various typos, proofreading


4 Responses to “4 July 2013: Black Screen of Death and the dangers of solitary shopping”

  1. A stunning essay, the real deal.

  2. absolutely as if your web-site nevertheless you ought to look at the punctuation upon many within your content. Many of them usually are rife together with punctuation difficulties and that i to find it pretty irritating to share with the truth on the other hand I will definitely can come yet again once again.

    • spinoza1111 Says:

      I find it hard to charitably reply to you because your comment adheres to no known punctuation rule. You start the first sentence with a lower case letter, and your second sentence is run-on without any punctuation.

      Whereas I consistently adhere to punctuation rules including its as the possessive and it’s as the contraction of the phrase.

      The problem seems to be that poor practice such as yours is so normed, and so forgiven by teachers, as to now make me look incorrect. There has been too much water under the bridge and there have been too many Hunger Games, and note that to get verb agreement in this very sentence, I use “has” for the uncountable noun water but “have” for the plural “games”.

      It is not the case that the new way can be adopted without harm since rules for punctuation are there for a reason: to communicate meaning. I can scarcely figure out what you’re saying owing to your absence of punctuation.

      Sorry for being so harsh but these issues are important to me. I was punished and hounded out of a company because as a techie I wasn’t supposed to know how to write well, and to let otherwise unemployable University of Chicago types work me over.

      I know how to write, and I can punctuate better than you. Come here to learn, please.

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