Learning Pascal was like starting life over from scratch. The machine, I discovered, was an utter fool, numbingly literal, that had to be told what was what, where to put it, and what to do with it, guided step by step with instructions that broke everything down to the smallest part.
Late in his career, Freud, our god of psychic disturbance, had concerns as to whether or not we as a species were going to make it. Our instinct to assert ourselves, along with our tendency to self-destruct, he feared, was greater than any reactions we might form to divert the urge, than any concessions civilization might toss us in its desperate attempts to keep us all together.
The wonder we now felt was that nothing could move us to wonder.
—What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Which got no response, but it wasn’t the question I meant to ask. A few days later, maybe sober or maybe not, I asked this:
—Where are the snows of yesteryear?
As to meanings, I have to punt. What WCX meant in itself or to the world is a question as large and involved as the world itself, whose answer, as far as I can tell, is still unsettled. Because WCX was a part of the world, and at the rate it was growing, it soon would have virtually absorbed it.