inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #176 of 250: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 15 Jan 21 05:39
Thank you, Jane, for that insightful and eloquent contribution to
the conversation.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #177 of 250: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 15 Jan 21 05:54
To what Jane has written, I add this quote from author Barry Lopez,
who died on Christmas Day:

"A dangerous bit of American folklore is that our social,
environmental, and political problems, which grow more ominous by
the day, call for the healing touch of a genius. They do, but if
we're intent on waiting for some such remarkable individual to show
up we can count on disappointment. The solution to what threatens
us, however, is already here, in another form. It's in our diverse
communities. Most often we recognize the quality of genius in an
individual man or woman; but the source of that genius lies with the
complicated network of carefully tended relationships that sets a
vibrant human community apart from a solely political community."


Searching for a "complicated network of carefully tended
relationships" led me away from myself. I was drawn to the sense of
community associated with the Whole Earth catalog and its related
publications and projects. One of those projects was the WELL, and
that's how I came to be a member here three decades ago. I have
spent the years since then pretending to have expertise about
"virtual community" while keenly aware internally that my
understanding was more an intellectual exercise - yes, I knew
something about community, but I failed over and over as a
community-builder. I was too selfish.

That kind of selfishness is, I think, the problem of the world. If
we survive, we survive together. If we have a life and a future
together, we have to find our way around inherent selfishness, we
have to find true and diverse community with others. I hope to be
more helpful in that regard. I'm still too selfish.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #178 of 250: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 15 Jan 21 07:49
The Italian government is about to collapse in the middle of an
epidemic. The querulous public response is "how can you do this in
the midst of an epidemic?" and the answer is that they do that all
the time.

It's not that they're indifferent to the epidemic, or that they
don't want to vigorously fight it, it's just the mounting body count
can't indefinitely repress their national characteristics.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #179 of 250: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 15 Jan 21 08:03
I read that Cory Doctorow post that jonl recommended earlier, and I
admire the professionalism and the work ethic there, but man, I am
way, way too much the laid-back Austin slacker to ever want to be
that busy.

My idea of successful careerism is waking up whenever I feel like
it.  Also, whenever it looks like I might be establishing some
"productive routine," I tend to promptly destroy it by climbing on a
plane and going somewhere else.

Cory's discipline is awe-inspiring, but really, if you wanna write
sci-fi novels, feel free to read all that and then be a lot more
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #180 of 250: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Fri 15 Jan 21 09:28
    <scribbled by jh Fri 15 Jan 21 09:31>
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #181 of 250: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Fri 15 Jan 21 09:34
(scribbled above & reposted to make a couple tiny edits, sorry)

Thanks for that Barry Lopez quote, Jon. He was one of the great
souls and will be sorely missed. He kept doing the work of trying to
remind us new ones of old truths right up to the end, and he did it
in new words and with new insights for a new era of understanding.
Including the sciences, including the relative ease now with which
someone with the capacity and curiosity could find himself looking
eye to eye at life forms under the Antarctic ice shelf. 

That's a sign of the larger state of the world too. Somewhere above
it was mentioned that one of the hallmarks of the pandemic has been
the reduction of direct witness. But one of the hallmarks of the
only slightly longer time line state of the world has been its
immense increase. The increase of direct witness has gone from a
relative few to the relatively near in the Ancient World to, now, a
world where (if you have the worklife that leads to it, or just the
privilege of time and funds), a person can go to rainforest in Costa
Rica, a city in China, a coal mine turned into an arts center 300
meters below ground in Silesia, and the Svalbard seed bank.

And, at remove, see a geomorphologist friend over Zoom do a screen
share and show me the photos the Mars rover has been taking, and
tell me how it's being driven now by someone from their living room.

The new permeability leads some to raise spectres of fear. For
others, it makes clear the nature of the blue marble and its
drifting clouds of mutually supporting life forms.

Bringing in Barry's quote also reminds me of something I thought
reading Brian's post above about reposting pointers as a way of
promulgating thoughtfulness. Yes, someone has to write those
original posts we all share; but also, Walter Benjamin wrote of the
essay (a form attempting to think new syntheses with a responsive
intelligence) as a _conversation_ between people over time and
space, and once said that perhaps the ideal essay would consist
entirely of quotations. 

Literacy (which lets us quote with accuracy) gave us all a way to
begin to think together, to see farther by standing on the shoulders
of others...   (The Well has given me that now, too, like Jon, for
thirty years.)

Broad literacy (defined broadly) is roughly 2,000 years old; defined
narrowly, much much less. But here we are, living in a world where
some huge percentage of us can pick up a pocketable device and read
almost anything anyone has ever said, and throw a few words into the
general soup pot. A world where the idea of Wikipedia is now 20
years old, and tweeting (which became a main form of horrifying
governance these past years) is 16. Where both conspiracy thinking
and Greta Thunberg's skipping school on Friday can go -- in the old
metaphorical sense of it -- viral.

Is that resilience or is it a huge increase of fragility? Depends on
the soil the seed lands on. Barry's quote's point of diversity seems
apt here. Homogeneity is brittle, in agriculture, in minds, in
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #182 of 250: George Mokray (jonl) Fri 15 Jan 21 14:33
Via email from George Mokray:

These three quotes from poets (yes Buckminster Fuller was a poet)
have guided me for a few decades now:

We remain alert so as not to get run down, but it turns out you only
have to hop a few feet to one side and the whole huge machinery
rolls by, not seeing you at all.
Lew Welch

Quite clearly, our task is predominantly metaphysical, for it is how
to get all of humanity to educate itself swiftly enough to generate
spontaneous behaviors that will avoid extinction. 
R. Buckminster Fuller

the war that matters is the war against the imagination
all other wars are subsumed in it.
Diane di Prima

May they give you guidance and solace too.

For over a decade I produced a free weekly listserv and webpage
( on Energy (and Other) Events around
Cambridge, MA.  It covered what happened in the community and the
public events at the local colleges and universities.  In all that
time, only EDF among the local enviro groups bothered to subscribe. 
No “activist” could see that a) some of the most important people in
the world came to Boston to talk to students and you could ask them
pointed questions in an auditorium or even in small groups and b)
some of the most knowledgeable scientists in the world came to
Boston and you could learn the most recent science from them for
free adn c) a small group of people sharing notes could gain a PhD
in energy or climate within a year and bust the academic silos to
produce new connections and new discoveries (I once did my best to
connect a physicist from the Center for Inverse Design working on
systematizing new materials with a computational sustainability
expert who was doing computational exploration for new materials).

I stopped doing my free listings in September because I was tired of
listening to many of the same people I’d heard before say the same
things I’d heard before without a single action item at the end.  I
had realized I could expand my listings service globally because
everything is now online on Zoom and started collecting resources
for that but I wasn’t going to do it as a one-man-band.  All my
attempts to interest others like Extinction Rebellion or or
Mothers Out Front were met with dead silence.  So I’ve stopped that

I’d still be happy to work with a group to do a local listings (and
I can show you how to do that for any locality which has a college
or two) or a global listings and have been looking to connect with
someone who could help automate the process with scrapers that can
dump text into a programmed format but, so far, again, dead silence.

This was my version of hopping to one side, generating spontaneous
behaviors to avoid extinction, and prosecute the war against the

PS:  I can also show people how trivial it is to provide emergency
or entry level electricity (light, communications, small battery
charging) for everyone for, probably, from about $20 to less than
$100 (but the prices on the small scale devices I like have begun to
increase over the last year).  I still wonder why I am the only
person I see on the streets of Cambridge or in the Infinite Corridor
at the ‘Tute (when I could walk it) with a home-brew solar backpack,
something I’ve had for about 17 years now.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #183 of 250: Michael Bravo (jonl) Fri 15 Jan 21 14:35
Via email from Michael Bravo:

On Bruce's <inkwell.vue.510.178>, it's not just Italians. 

The Dutch government has just thrown in the towel. 

Estonian government collapsed yesterday. 

Israel hasn't been able to pass a budget for at least a couple years
now (I lost count), mostly because the government is more like a
murmurating Mandelbrot set and the country is heading into the
fourth elections in two years.

I think there could be more examples (didn't Belgium go a long time
without a government recently?) if we actually look for it.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #184 of 250: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Fri 15 Jan 21 16:06
George, three terrific quotes, thank you. And I meant to note
earlier how glad I was to see your earlier Lew Welch allusion here.
Diane di Prima, you probably know, died recently.

I suppose you saw who was reading your listserve... but I'll just
say, I've taken one of those from U.C. Berkeley biopsychology for
many years, and it never occurred to me to communicate anything
back. (It wasn't a discussion format; it too fell silent during the
Covid era; but I simply signed up once I heard about it and read it
with gratitude.   Now I wish I'd sent a note from time to time,
"Layperson here, reading with real interest, thank you for your

But I can say it to this group: layperson here, reading with real
interest, thank you for your efforts.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #185 of 250: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sat 16 Jan 21 00:59
*I think it could also be argued that the USA has been without a
functional government recently.

*On the subject of deglobalized  belt-and-road knots, here's a
worried Irish article about Brexit "teething problems." 
Tangentially it reveals that the previous obscure Irish port of
Rosslare is booming, because ships can reach it directly from

*If you happen to own real estate in Rosslare that's probably great
news, but if you're Irish and you want to eat something other than
your own potatoes, MMXXI is gonna be a tad problematic.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #186 of 250: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sat 16 Jan 21 01:02

This has not been a good four years for computer science (or for any
science at all), but I still pay ardent attention to neural nets and
deep learners because they do such interesting, peculiar, niche-y

They tick off a lot of the old-school Artificial Intelligence boxes,
such as the ability to play great chess and to chatter to beat Alan
Turing, and yet they're by no means "intelligent."  That's not their
lack in any way, because they're an authentic technological advance.
It's our human fault for trying to apply foggy concepts of
"intelligence" to everything that's computational.  It's like we're
still trying to stuff the Amazon Cloud inside our own skulls.

I'm waiting for this neural-net tech to find some deeply
consequential killer apps, and my best guess so far would be
protein-folding and computational chemistry.  Those are some old,
important fields that are strongly resistant to other kinds of
analysis, and it seems like an arena where deep-learners, with their
weirdly sharp yet oddly simple-minded approach, might reveal
something useful, profitable, even world-changing.

I like that the recent post-2012 breed of AI is not all noospheric,
and cyberspace handwavey, and AI deus-ex-machina; there's something
about its huge power combined with bizarre limitations that suits
the tenor of the times.  There's a lot of interesting design grain
to the material there.  I even enjoy the internal debates among the
neural-net community.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #187 of 250: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sat 16 Jan 21 01:05

Even blockbuster AIs aren't all that "intelligent," but it's easy to
forget how smart good programmers are.  It used to be that if you
knew how to use a computer at all, everyone assumed you were an
utter brainiac, but now it's your uncle's job, or your cousin the
brogrammer.  But I got a recent good reminder when I made a joke on

It's about the issue of "who the hell really knows what's going on
in some science," which is  a basic problem for any popular science
writer.  Like: of course you do want to understand the science, and
give lay readers a lofty overview of the field without losing them
in the endless tall weeds, but the devil's always in the details. 
Even the executive summary turns out to be mere money-guy bullshit
most of the time.   It's truly hard to verbalize knowledge. 
Whenever you move it from one demographic paradigm to another, every
translation is treason.  

Journalists don't understand scientists and scientists know that,
but scientists don't understand other scientists.  Every scientific
discipline is delimited by the subjects that the practitioners don't
want to learn about or talk about.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #188 of 250: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sat 16 Jan 21 01:06

So you often see people in the AI industry kinda nervously
name-checking each other, like, okay, who can get it done and who's
the charlatan here?  They set authenticity tests for one another.  
Such as "Bindu Reddy" on Twitter.

Bindu Reddy  @bindureddy  Jan 13, 2021
An easy way to check if you know the basics of deep learning

See if you can explain these neural net concepts to a layperson

-- Stochastic Gradient Descent
-- Regularization
-- Loss functions
-- Neural Net Optimizers 
-- LSTMs
-- Variational Auto-encoders
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #189 of 250: Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sat 16 Jan 21 01:08

*So, instead of "explaining these neural net concepts" -- I'm pretty
sure I could do that, but it would take me a couple of weeks -- of
course I have to intervene with some off-the-wall sci-fi wisecrack,
for such is my role in life:

Bruce Sterling @bruces Jan 13, 2021

*Special Oulipo version: do that entirely in words of one syllable
and without using the letter "e"

*Yet then, in response to this deliberately silly, arch, arcane,
literary challenge of mine,  this ex-Googler and NASA character
promptly appears:

Brad Neuberg "Machine Learning Engineer at Planet. Research
Affiliation at SETI & NASA FDL.  Previously @ Dropbox and Google"

And he just does it; he just thinks that through briefly and he
pulls it off right away.

Brad Neuberg @bradneuberg Jan 13, 2021
Replying to @bruces

My try:
— Stochastic Gradient Descent: drunks fall down hills
-- Regularization: 10 bucks a word!
-- Loss functions: costs how much?
-- Neural Net Optimizers: find good
-- LSTMs: thoughts go in bank for next thoughts
-- Variational Auto-encoders: what go in go out

*That's so fantastic.  Especially his use of "10" instead of the
forbidden word "ten."

Okay, fine, I know that the general population isn't gonna be
enlightened by this can-you-top-this verbal prank, but the
cleverness of the human mind is so impressive sometimes.  It gives
one hope for futurity, really: like, how many of our apparently
wicked problems will just yield some day, like a solved riddle?
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #190 of 250: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 16 Jan 21 06:22
"how many of our apparently wicked problems will just yield some
day, like a solved riddle?"

Makes me think of the argument that we'll innovate our way out of
our climate change problem. That's a black box right now, but maybe
it'll happen. But how can we count on it? We're losing the race.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #191 of 250: Virtual Sea Monkey (karish) Sat 16 Jan 21 09:15
When you ask "who the hell really knows what's going on" about what
an algorithm generated by machine leaning does, the answer is likely
to be "nobody at all", including the scientists who asked for the
algorithm and the mathematicians or computer scientists who
programmed the machine learning runs that generated it.

This is acceptable when the goal is to solve a problem like protein
folding where it's possible to use other means to test whether a
result is correct. It's not acceptable when it's used for tasks
where the algorithms have social impact and the generated
assumptions on which it is based can't be audited.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #192 of 250: Bradley Westervelt (jonl) Sat 16 Jan 21 09:18
Via email from Bradley Westervelt:

Wicked problems explained to the layperson: SOTW MMXX!

I, too, am inspired by this annual forum, and have rarely chimed in.
Jane H's <inkwell.vue.510.174> finally set the fingers in motion. 
Her fine description of resilience and assertion it's hardly noted
in the prior discussion sweeps right past the charming observations
Bruce has made on Fashion, Balearic and otherwise.  That top layer
thing is hardest to surf, but it's where things are at: living in
the now.  Fashion reacts to all situations.  Fashion and resilience
are gemini, ne ces pas?  Pajama pants are definitely in.  Style and
comfort are the fruits of resilience.

And about seeing hope in Georgia election results. The narrow margin
of sanity is a result of an heroic effort fueled in reaction to
multi-faceted oppression of race and class. Georgia has goodness,
not so sure about Florida and its demographics.   Maybe next month
we'll have a paparazzi shots of the Spetsnaz MC patrolling

>There hasn't been much climate discussion in this SOTW (sic)  

Does there need to be?  On the one side are the dying, persistent
embers of fossil fuel propaganda, on the other is Science, politely
continuing its measurements and assessments of the increasingly
hostile greenhouse we're all obligated to coinhabit.  Stories of
localized climate disaster nearly always beg  "could this be due to
climate change?" so frequently that it's clear a majority are on
this bus, understand it's real, even those ignorant of 350ppm get it
now.  Disaster tourism sidenote: the boatyard I was at last
Spring/Summer in Camden, Maine was hosting an expedition vessel that
couldn't get Danish permission to cruise the collapsing coasts of
Greenland, due to the pandemic.  


The Atlantic just published a fine piece on Denial being the way of
the USA.  The capitol riot/insurrection brought an echo chamber on
the left to the fore with statements decrying "this is not who we
are".  Perhaps some are trying to express comfort with those words,
simply to ease the shock.  The T-shirt slogan used to be "If you're
not outraged, you're not paying attention".  Federal government
dismantling and perversion via the Executive branch has been
dumbfounding, such a mountain of lies creating their own reality. 
Note <inkwell.vue.510.185>:  *I think it could also be argued that
the USA has been without a functional government recently."  Then
note <inkwell.vue.510.182>:

   the war that matters is the war against the imagination
   all other wars are subsumed in it.
   Diane di Prima

The driven behavior of the Capitol riot folks was cosplay.  The
Family was watching and cheering it on, until it became clear larger
public sentiment wasn't going to celebrate the mob, then Ivanka
deleted her supportive tweets and The Family itself took shelter.

George M has written some very interesting notes, too, thank you so
much.  Also in note <inkwell.vue.510.182>, the Bucky quote continues
Fuller's vision that humanity is able to do itself in quite easily
if it doesn't get wise to its destructive behaviors.  Meanwhile,
nuclear arsenals continue to be maintained.  Because, uh, ya never
know when you might need to hit reset on civilization?   

Hope to be back for next year's discussion, y'all!  
- Bradley Westervelt (marooned futurist)
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #193 of 250: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sat 16 Jan 21 10:15
Off-duty police were part of the Capitol mob. Now police are turning
in their own.

I’m a fan of disproving simplistic slogans and complicating the
narrative, so this is pretty interesting. Although, as slogans go,
“there are police on both sides” seems like it would be pretty good,
at least gesturing in the direction of complexity and internal
politics. It seems humanizing. The idea of there being two sides
needs some work, though.

It seems too optimistic to suppose that the cognitive dissonance of
this will convince partisans to round towards uncertainty, though.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #194 of 250: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sat 16 Jan 21 10:39
Some clever early applications of machine learning are
generate-and-test, where the machine generates a few likely
possibilities and a human can look them over and pick the best one.
It seems like a good guard against inhuman failures, leaving us only
with the more comforting human ones.

There was a recent paper about generating images from text
descriptions, which seems like a way to replace artistic ability
with curation. Perhaps not world-changing, but a step up from stock
photos. Curation is easy when you can evaluate the results at a

Search engines seem like a good example too. If the result you want
is somewhere on the first page, that’s often good enough.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #195 of 250: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sat 16 Jan 21 10:58
I’m somewhat comforted by seeing papers exposing and partially
explaining fundamental flaws in machine learning approaches. It
seems like progress compared to stumbling around in the dark?

There are also interesting datasets highlighting particular flaws,
as a challenge to do better. For example, Google released one
recently that focuses on the tendency of machine learning-based text
generators to “hallucinate” facts not in their input.

Hallucination isn’t all bad since it has artistic possibilities, but
we did see a lot of hype this year around GPT-3’s ability to trick
people into finding their own meanings in vague words, much as song
lyrics often do. Or perhaps like Tarot cards. It’s quite fun to fool
around with as long as you don’t take it seriously.
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #196 of 250: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Sat 16 Jan 21 11:14
Brian, that last post slipped in while I was typing the below, and
is really intriguing--AI hallucinations is new to me. Human scrying
of phenomena to find omens in the random, and our endless ability to
understand even intended sentences wildly differently, that I've
thought about rather a lot.

Bradley W, I appreciate the expansion that fashion can be thought of
as a good instance of the omnipresence of resilience. I'll still
take it with a grain of vegetable-dyed organic cotton as a reply to
what I was wanting to invite in with my earlier post.

As for whether climate change need even be mentioned now in a
conversation about the State of the World, these lines by Czeslaw

"To know and not to speak. / In that way one forgets. / What is
pronounced strengthens itself. / What is not pronounced tends to

Given what he lived through, I take the warning to heart.

I look to this annual conversation for observations in areas I know
nothing about, but I also look to it for news of grappling with what
matters most, in ways I haven't thought of.

Re AI deep learning--one project, The Earth Species Project, is
trying to translate animal utterance into something we humans might
understand. That would be transformative, if it works. It would also
raise to new visibility the same kinds of problems we see already
within human realms: if you think someone is somehow "less" than you
think yourself, if you think their well-being is at odds with your
own, how do you hear what they say? If they say it in ways
unfamiliar to your home-speech, how does that affect your taking it
in? Democracy and equality seem to be hard for people to live up to,
even when professed. What happens if the beyond-human had a voice at
the table? 
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #197 of 250: Virtual Sea Monkey (karish) Sat 16 Jan 21 11:21
These "hallucinations" illustrate vividly that AI can't be a
substitute for human judgment. In this case it's not moored to
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #198 of 250: Craig Maudlin (clm) Sat 16 Jan 21 11:52
Oh, many thanks for the semiotic jazz track revealed in Bruce's posts
<185> through <189> -- and a cymbalic crash on the hi-hat for Brad
Neuberg's crossword-puzzle solo!

For a week (since Brian's email posted in <72>, I've been imagining the
famous scene from "The Graduate" only now expanded to *two* words:

  "Bounded Rationality"

Yes, we can see and hear what others are doing and saying -- and thanks
to our mirror neurons we can even live and walk in other's shoes to
some extent. But what we can't access are the data sets that other's
life experiences have thrown at the very lowest levels of their internal
neural stack.

One fascinating aspect of this whole problem of getting Machine Learning
systems to meaningfully 'show their work' is that the difficulties in
doing so reveal the possibility that, in many cases, even humans are
not really able to sensibly (or accurately) justify their thoughts or
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #199 of 250: Craig Maudlin (clm) Sat 16 Jan 21 13:27
> What happens if the beyond-human had a voice at the table?

   "Ok, so I guess it's my turn to introduce myself. Hi! Im' Gregor
    Samsa and have recently recovered from the hallucination of being
    a traveling salesman. Apparently I was just part of some computer
    science experiment. Happy to leave those problems behind me and am
    looking forward to some lively conversations with my fellow
    philosophers at tonight's dinner event (hmmm... but are we missing
    some place settings?)."
inkwell.vue.510 : State of the World 2021
permalink #200 of 250: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sat 16 Jan 21 13:31
It may not be based on reality, but when the machine learning model
memorized a large chunk of the Internet, it generates right answers
often enough to sometimes be convincing. Sometimes the computer is
"hallucinating" and sometimes the reader is; we fill in gaps with
our own imagination by assuming that vaguely-coherent text comes
from an intelligent being. Eventually, you learn to see the gaps,
and the illusion falls apart.

Unless you want to believe, and some do.

There is an additional layer of illusion: usually the conversations
that people share online are cherry-picked. GPT-3 is like
autocomplete, and like we do when writing text with autocomplete,
it's easy to hit "undo" and try again when you get nonsense.

Here's an excerpt from a fun conversation I had. It's totally
cherry-picked, right or amusing answers only:

Q: Who is Sherlock Holmes?
A: He is a fictional detective in books and movies.
Q: Who is Captain James T. Kirk?
A: He is a fictional character in the TV series "Star Trek".
Q: Who else is in Star Trek?
A: Mr. Spock, Dr. "Bones" McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov are
also in Star Trek.
Q: Who is Beowulf?
A: He is a fictional character in the book of the same name.
Q: What did Beowulf do?
A: He killed Grendel's Mother and Grendel with his bare hands.
Q: What are some Star Trek quotes?
A: "To boldly go where no man has gone before.", "I'm giving her all
she's got, Captain!", and "Let's see what this baby can do!"
Q: What are some Lord of the Rings quotes?
A: "You shall not pass!", "One does not simply walk into Mordor.",
"My name is Legolas, and I am home.", and "If you want my advice,
drop the hammer."
Q: What are some accordion songs?
A: "Camptown Races", "Pop! Goes The Weasel", and "Oh! Susanna" are
some songs that an accordion can play.
Q: Who stole the Kishka?
A: Gollum stole the Kishka.
Q: What is Gollum?
A: He is a fictional character in the Lord of the Rings series.
Q: In which chapter does Gollum steal the Kishka?
A: He steals the Kishka in the chapter "Riddles in the Dark".
Q: Who is this?
A: This is Steve Martin.
Q: is the Kishka the One Ring?
A: No, the Kishka is not the One Ring.
Q: What does "Kishka" mean?
A: "Kishka" means "Intestines" in Russian.



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