Fast, Cheap or Good: You can only have Two

Good and Cheap ...

Rumor has it that Tom Waits once said this to Jim Jarmusch over whiskey and pop tarts, but it could have been Ben Franklin.

I find it to be a pretty decent appraisal of what is possible in today’s world. In the US, I believe people chose “fast and good” whereas in China people chose “fast and cheap” and that’s why there are so many misunderstandings.

But enough of that.

I swore that i would stay out of the whole endless circle of socio-political writing and re-focus on “cringe Literature” that explores my inner angsts and attempts to relate them to the fears of all others around me, thereby coaxing us all into a happy group of lemmings, companianable and willfully avoiding/constantly pointing at The Ledge!

Speaking of which. I find myself worrying deeply about the Singularity and how I can prepare my children for the coming of the Superintelliegence that will wipe away this cardboard box we drunken bipeds have been hiding in and reveal the world

as it truly is

as it truly should be

as a Superintelligent Being (half gecko, half fish-worm)

would have it.

The End of the World as We Know It
That sucking sound again ...

Singularity, for those who don’t surf the Interweb, is when technology reaches the point where it can exponentially improve itself thereby removing humans from the equation.

what happens when a variable is removed from the equation? In algebra, it is basically “cancelled out” by its negative, or “dropped” into the abyss left behind by mathematical calculation as it forges forward into the about to be known.

The greatest sci-fi minds of our time argue over the fate of that variable. Some feel hysterical terror well up in their bellies because a machine will

“neither love you, nor hate you — but might take the atoms you are made up of and use them elsewhere.”

Sure. Singularity may never happen. There might be a ceiling of tech-awesomeness that we meet (chips just can’t HANDLE THE HEAT) and we’ll live in a Utopia of Chill in which machines wipe ass, create content, grow food and distribute grapes while we lie about and have binge-purge contests and sex-athons in the name a Higher Self.

Or the followers of all things Mayan will be the true sages —


There can be only twelve

(when it all goes down and we in our very last seconds have that blinding realization


what will we be able to leave behind to prevent that one last human who survives from making the same mistake?)

— and the prophecy of a new man with a higher consciousness (not this crude matter) will rule …

I am a practical man at heart. Truly.

And I love my son (and his soon to be born sibling)


what does one teach the children of a civilization that faces Singularity, the End of the Calender, the rushing sucking sound of a species reaching a zenith?

you could teach him that this has all been said before and that things will just proceed as they always have

or ….

(this is where you, the reader, get to advise me.)

Picture of Sascha Matuszak
Sascha Matuszak

3 thoughts on “Fast, Cheap or Good: You can only have Two

  1. Mr. Matuszak, we’ll have to get together at some point with Nick Land, who blogs about the Singularity ‘n such on his Urban Future blog (note that he, too, has the misfortune of blogging on a site designed and run in-house by a Chinese company which has little clue to what web design is all about on the far side of the GFW).

    And here’s the Waits/Jarmusch “fast, cheap and good” bit as it appears on a friend’s Facebook page:

    “Jim Jarmusch via Tom Waits. Waits said: ‘The director Jim Jarmusch once told me, ‘Fast, Cheap, and Good… pick two. If it’s fast and cheap, it won’t be good. If it’s cheap and good, it won’t be fast. If it’s fast and good, it won’t be cheap.’ Fast, cheap and good… pick two words to live by.”

    Sorry, man… don’t want to make you revise your post or anything.

    And remind you to tell you about my descent into Pakal’s Tomb at Palenque in the Yucatan in the company of a raging Mayan calendar cultist some time….

    (And I bet you thought nobody would be able to post a comment that responds so directly and seamlessly to all three disparate threads you bring together above!)

  2. yeah i didn’t think anyone would understand, follow or have the non-sense to read the whole then … let alone have something to say … LET COMPLETELY ALONE be able to swat the ping back for me to pong!

    so. we have a lamp. a bike messenger. lunch at a streetfood stall that results in … a mad chase. a bad guy forced to be polite. a Student and a Hippy trading wary looks and a spleeeeeeef …. and it all starts with loss?

    and of course, the crazy Frenchman doing urban bike tricks scene. but just not french.

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