Alicia Ostriker is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently The Book of Seventy. She teaches in the low-residency MFA Poetry Program at Drew University. She was also the first prof to get me writing “real” poetry when I was an undergrad at Rutgers.
A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves … Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavor to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.
“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable."
— Woody Allen”—via Evenings in Paradelle
The week of Feb. 9, 2010, may go down as one of the worst in Google’s corporate history in terms of product launches and public reaction. On that day, Google Buzz (http://buzz.google.com) invaded every Gmail account holders’ workspace through an auto-setup, opt-out routine. Other than widespread rumors of an announcement the day before, Gmail users had no warning that potentially highly personal information would suddenly be shared with their most-used contacts (email addresses) through cloud computing technology. Over the ensuing 7 days, Google weathered an angry online swarm of complaints that it had failed to account for personal privacy requirements. On Feb. 16, Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed that “the company misjudged public reaction to its decision to automatically load its Twitter, Facebook-like Buzz service into Gmail” (The Register, Feb. 17, www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/17/google_buzz_schmidt). Within the week, Google engineers also started tinkering with the Buzz settings, beginning on Feb. 11, the results of which were summarized by Gmail/Google Buzz product manager Todd Jackson in a Feb. 13 Gmail Blog post (“A new Buzz start-up experience based on your feedback,” http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-buzz-start-up-experience-based-on.htmlwww.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/17/google_buzz_schmidt). Within the week, Google engineers also started tinkering with the Buzz settings, beginning on Feb. 11, the results of which were summarized by Gmail/Google Buzz product manager Todd Jackson in a Feb. 13 Gmail Blog post (“A new Buzz start-up experience based on your feedback,” http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/new-buzz-start-up-experience-based-on.html)…