GMG Classical Music Forum

The Back Room => The Diner => Topic started by: Gordo on December 30, 2012, 02:55:32 PM

Title: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on December 30, 2012, 02:55:32 PM
Quote
“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. ... This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked.

“This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”

 — The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4, May 1946
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on December 31, 2012, 10:22:49 AM
Quote
Cynthia: "... You know, I'd like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor insignificant preamble to something else".

-- Dazed and Confused (1993)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: mc ukrneal on December 31, 2012, 01:11:50 PM
I've always rather liked this one....

Quote
No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.

- Emperor from Mulan (though perhaps they stole it from someone else)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 10, 2013, 01:53:20 PM
I've always rather liked this one....

- Emperor from Mulan (though perhaps they stole it from someone else)

Oh, nice! I'm not alone here. Thanks, Neal.  :)

As a commemorative snippet, I will post this one:

Quote
A woman is sitting in her old, shuttered house. She knows that she is alone in the whole world; every other thing is dead. The doorbell rings.

-- THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH: Works, vol. 9, p. 341 (1912)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 10, 2013, 03:57:08 PM
Actors

Quote
Young netters won't remember actor Raymond Massey, Canadian actor who played the part of Abraham Lincoln in Robert Sherwood's  classic and very successful Broadway play about that great president. Massey was almost a double of Abraham Lincoln in looks even without any makeup. He seemed to grow into the part even off-stage in words, looks, and actions. Someone said he was trying to grow a face wart to make the Lincoln look even more authentic.

"Uncanny, isn't it?" someone remarked to George S. Kaufman, famous
playwright.

"Uncanny indeed!" replied Kaufman; "Massey won't be satisfied until he is assasinated!"

-- Charles Tidwell, http://archive.thehumorlist.com/Site0/Txt/9608280.txt
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: snyprrr on January 10, 2013, 08:39:13 PM
"I gotta go... NOW!!"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 11, 2013, 06:47:32 PM
I've always been fond of this quote by Thomas Jefferson:

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 15, 2013, 03:26:04 AM
I like it, too.

Heard last night in TV series Criminal Minds (recited by Mandy Patinkin):

Quote
Evil is unspectacular and always human,
And shares our bed and eats at our own table.

― W.H. Auden
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: DavidRoss on January 15, 2013, 09:33:48 AM
Quote from: W.H. Auden
Evil is unspectacular and always human,
And shares our bed and eats at our own table.
And believes itself righteous, morally and intellectually superior, thus entitled to FORCE others to do its bidding. And thus willfully blinds itself to its own embodiment of the essence of evil, which is FORCING another to do your bidding.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 16, 2013, 09:40:34 AM
And believes itself righteous, morally and intellectually superior, thus entitled to FORCE others to do its bidding. And thus willfully blinds itself to its own embodiment of the essence of evil, which is FORCING another to do your bidding.

Coincidentally, these days I'm reading a book by Lorenzo Infantino titled Ignorance and Freedom (I’m really reading the Spanish translation of the original in Italian), which sustains this interesting idea: ignorance (= the conscience of our fallibility) is the true foundation of democracy, free market and scientific thought. Right now, I'm thinking this is probably one of the real foundations of the whole life (we are always exposed to be wrong), being our worst enemy any position which claims any kind of “privileged knowledge about the world”.

P.S.: That said, I'll need to explain my avatar some day.  ;D :D ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: DavidRoss on January 16, 2013, 10:23:58 AM
Coincidentally, these days I'm reading a book by Lorenzo Infantino titled Ignorance and Freedom (I’m really reading the Spanish translation of the original in Italian), which sustains this interesting idea: ignorance (= the conscience of our fallibility) is the true foundation of democracy, free market and scientific thought. Right now, I'm thinking this is probably one of the real foundations of the whole life (we are always exposed to be wrong), being our worst enemy any position which claims any kind of “privileged knowledge about the world”.

P.S.: That said, I'll need to explain my avatar some day.  ;D :D ;D
Yes. Awareness of our own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.  True democracy, with the power of individuals constrained by the rule of law, is the political expression of that awareness. Free trade is the economic expression of it. Science is the intellectual expression of it.

The delusion that we know what's best for ourselves -- let alone for other people -- causes much needless suffering in our world ... especially when our arrogance is so great that we believe we're entitled to violate others' rights and force them to do our will, "for their own good."

Sadly, history shows that not only are we slow learners, but we quickly forget what we've learned, and thus take for granted what's been hard-won by the blood of our forebears.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 16, 2013, 04:55:05 PM
Yes. Awareness of our own ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.  True democracy, with the power of individuals constrained by the rule of law, is the political expression of that awareness. Free trade is the economic expression of it. Science is the intellectual expression of it.

The delusion that we know what's best for ourselves -- let alone for other people -- causes much needless suffering in our world ... especially when our arrogance is so great that we believe we're entitled to violate others' rights and force them to do our will, "for their own good."

Sadly, history shows that not only are we slow learners, but we quickly forget what we've learned, and thus take for granted what's been hard-won by the blood of our forebears.

Reading this discussion reminds me of a Nietzsche quote:

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."

I first read that as a teenager and found it bizarre, but now in my ripe old age (mid 20s :P) I take his point.  A lie can generally be disproved.  Good luck disproving a conviction.  Never mind the fact that a strong enough conviction can make one believe that telling lies is fine if it's for the cause....
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 16, 2013, 05:45:48 PM
Aye, the sound of a mind snapping shut.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2013, 06:32:33 PM
Quote
Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2013, 06:36:42 PM
Quote
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 17, 2013, 01:30:21 PM
This one is particularly relevant now:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

-- H.L. Mencken
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 17, 2013, 01:52:37 PM
Some from Albert Einstein:


"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. "
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
"Information is not knowledge."
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."
"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. "
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
"One may say the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 17, 2013, 02:17:00 PM
Quote
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

After university, I worked almost 15 years at the same legal office, until 2 years ago.

My boss was a curious guy.

He was simply unbearable, a pain in the ass, when, for instance, he lost the car's keys. You could hear his cries at the whole office. But when it had a great problem, a really important problem, he was a gentleman, totally serene and cold... I liked this feature of his personality. 

 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 18, 2013, 01:16:05 AM
Reading this discussion reminds me of a Nietzsche quote:

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."

I first read that as a teenager and found it bizarre, but now in my ripe old age (mid 20s :P) I take his point.  A lie can generally be disproved.  Good luck disproving a conviction.  Never mind the fact that a strong enough conviction can make one believe that telling lies is fine if it's for the cause....

People in those old times had convictions; we moderns only have opinions. And it needs more than a mere opinion to erect a Gothic cathedral. - Heinrich Heine

 ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 18, 2013, 04:09:49 AM
People in those old times had convictions; we moderns only have opinions. And it needs more than a mere opinion to erect a Gothic cathedral. - Heinrich Heine

 ;D

Touché. :P

Another Mencken quote:

"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

I'm pretty sure he classified himself quite firmly in group number two.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on January 18, 2013, 08:35:40 AM
“The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.”

-Charles Dickens
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on January 18, 2013, 08:40:34 AM
“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

-Mark Twain

Twain has some a lot of great quotes. :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Lisztianwagner on January 18, 2013, 02:16:59 PM
"A man who drinks only water has a secret to hide from his fellow men." - Charles Baudelaire.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." - Albert Einstein.

"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable." - Leonard Bernstein.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 18, 2013, 08:13:46 PM
Talking about quotations...

Quote
The Mirrors of Enigma
Jorge Luis Borges

The idea that the Sacred Scriptures have (aside from their literal value) a symbolic value is ancient and not irrational: it is found in Philo of Alexandria, in the Cabalists, in Swedenborg. Since the events related in the Scriptures are true (God is Truth, Truth cannot lie, etc.), we should admit that men, in acting out those events, blindly represent a secret drama determined and premeditated by God. Going from this to the thought that the history of the universe -- and in it our lives and the most tenuous details of our lives -- has an incalculable, symbolical value, is a reasonable step. Many have taken that step; no one so astonishingly as Léon Bloy. (In the psychological fragments by Novalis and in that volume of Machen's autobiography called The London Adventure there is a similar hypothesis: that the outer world -- forms, temperatures, the moon -- is a language we humans have forgotten or which we can scarcely distinguish... It is also declared by De Quincey: 'Even the articulate or brutal sounds of the globe must be all so many languages and ciphers that all have their corresponding keys -- have their own grammar and syntax; and thus the least things in the universe must be secret mirrors to the greatest.')

A verse from St Paul (I Corinthians, 13:12) inspired Léon Bloy. Videmus nunc per speculum in aegnigmate: tuc autem facie ad faciem. Nunc cognosco ex parte: tunc autem cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum. Torres Amat has miserably translated: 'At present we do not see God except as in a mirror and beneath dark images; but later we shall see him face to face. I know him now imperfectly; but later I shall know him in a clear vision, in the same way that I know myself.' 49 words do the work of 22; it is impossible to be more languid and verbose. Cipriano de Valera is more faithful: 'Now we see in a mirror, in darkness; but later we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; but later I shall know as I am known.' Torres Amat opines that the verse refers to our vision of the divinity; Cipriano de Valera (and Léon Bloy), to our general vision of things.

So far as I know, Bloy never gave his conjecture a definitive form. Throughout this fragmentary work (in which there abound, as everyone knows, lamentations and insults) there are different versions and facets. Here are a few that I have rescued from the clamorous pages of Le mendiant ingrat, Le Vieux de la Montagne and L'invendable. I do not believe I have exhausted them: I hope that some specialist in Léon Bloy (I am not one) may complete and rectify them.

The first is from June 1894. I translate it as follows: 'The statement by St Paul: Videmus nunc per speculum in aegnimate would be a skylight through which one might submerge himself in the true Abyss, which is the soul of man. The terrifying immensity of the firmament's abyss is an illusion, an external reflection of our own abysses, perceived "in a mirror." We should invert our eyes and practice a sublime astronomy in the infinitude of our hearts, for which God was willing to die...If we see the Milky Way, it is because it actually exists in our souls.'

The second is from November of the same year. 'I recall one of my oldest ideas. The Czar is the leader and spiritual father of a hundred and fifty men. An atrocious responsibility that is only apparent. Perhaps he is not responsible to God, but rather to a few human beings. If the poor of his empire are oppressed during his reign, if immense catastrophes result from that reign, who knows if the servant charges with shining his boots is not the real and sole person guilty? In the mysterious dispositions of the Profundity, who is really Czar, who is king, who can boast of being a mere servant?'

The third is from a letter written in December. 'Everything is a symbol, even the most piercing pain. We are dreamers who shout in our sleep. We do not know whether the things afflicting us are the secret beginning of our ulterior happiness or not. We now see, St Paul maintains, per speculum in aenigmate, literally: "in an enigma by means of a mirror" and we shall not see in any other way until the coming of the One who is all in flames and who must teach us all things."

The fourth is from May 1904. 'Per speculum in aenigmate, says St Paul. We see everything backwards. When we believe we give, we receive, etc. Then (a beloved, anguished soul tells me) we are in Heaven and God suffers on earth.'

The fifth is from May 1908. 'A terrifying idea of Jeanne's, about the text Per speculum. The pleasures of this world would be the torments of Hell, see backwards in a mirror.'

The sixth is from 1912. It is each of the pages of L'Âme de Napoléon, a book whose purpose is to decipher the symbol Napoleon, considered as the precursor of another hero -- man and symbol as well -- who is hidden in the future. It is sufficient for me to cite two passages. One: 'Every man is on earth to symbolize something he is ignorant of and to realize a particle or a mountain of the invisible materials that will serve to build the City of God.' The other: 'There is no human being on earth capable of declaring with certitude who he is. No one knows what he has come into this world to do, what his acts correspond to, his sentiments, his ideas, or what his real name is, his enduring Name in the register of Light... History is an immense liturgical text where the iotas and the dots are worth no less than the entire verses or chapters, but the importance of one or the other is indeterminable and profoundly hidden.'

The foregoing paragraphs will perhaps seem to the reader mere gratuities by Bloy. So far as I know, he never took care to reason them out. I venture to judge them verisimilar and perhaps inevitable in the Christian doctrine. Bloy (I repeat) did no more than apply to the whole of Creation the method which the Jewish Cabalists applied to the Scriptures. They thought that a work dictated by the Holy Spirit was an absolute text: in other words, a text in which the collaboration of a chance wa calculable as zero. This portentous premise of a book impenetrable to contingency, of a book which is a mechanism of infinite purposes, moved them to permute the scriptural words, add up the numerical value of the letters, consider their form, observe the small letters and capitals, seek acrostics and anagrams, and perform other exegetical rigours which it is not difficult to ridicule. Their excuse is that nothing can be contingent in the work of an infinite mind. Léon Bloy postulates this hieroglyphical character -- this character of a divine writing, an angelic cryptography -- at all moments and in all beings on earth. The superstitious person believes he can decipher this organic writing: thirteen guests form the symbol of death; a yellow opal, that of misfortune.

It is doubtful that the world has a meaning; it is even more doubtful that it has a double or triple meaning, the unbeliever will observe. I understand that the hieroglyphic world postulated by Léon Bloy is the one which best befits the dignity of the theologian's intellectual God.

No man knows who he is, affirmed Léon Bloy. No one could illustrate that intimate ignorance better than he. He believed himself a rigorous Catholic and he was a continuer of the Cabalists, a secret brother of Swedenborg and Blake: heresiarchs.

Translated by James E. Irby
From Labyrinths, Penguin: Harmondworth, 1964
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on January 18, 2013, 08:35:50 PM
Talking about quotations...

Was Leon Bloy a real person, or simply another individual in the Borges omniverse?

Anyway,  since the Bible apparently has a longer heritage of translation in English, Anglophones can call on the Authorized (King James) Version,  which should in this passage should be poetical enough to satisfy anyone, although where the AV uses "charity" here, modern English would use "love".    The whole chapter is certainly one of the best known ones in the New Testament.


I Corinthians 13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 18, 2013, 09:21:26 PM
Was Leon Bloy a real person, or simply another individual in the Borges omniverse?

Totally real and and quite annoying for many of his contemporaries, as he was a sort of professional of the insult.

I have nine or ten books by him, including several volumes of his diaries, maybe one the most important part of his output.  :)

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 19, 2013, 10:29:19 PM
Just tonight:

Quote
Wyatt Earp: Mac, you ever been in love?
Mac: No, I've been a bartender all me life.

-- My Darling Clementine (1946)

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Fq6ijXp8RZg/TBLZVXDhtAI/AAAAAAAAAo8/uMEsDKkXqKs/s1600/my+darling+clementine.jpg)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The new erato on January 20, 2013, 08:01:38 AM
-- Dazed and Confused (1993)
"Been dazed and confused for so long, it's not true
 Wanted a woman, never bargained for you"
-- Dazed and Confused (1969)
 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 20, 2013, 09:09:13 AM
"Been dazed and confused for so long, it's not true
 Wanted a woman, never bargained for you"
-- Dazed and Confused (1969)

It makes you want to listen to that disc.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The new erato on January 20, 2013, 09:13:14 AM
I saw the reunion concert on the telly last night, including Dazed and Confused. An awesome track.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 20, 2013, 10:02:37 AM
"Been dazed and confused for so long, it's not true
 Wanted a woman, never bargained for you"
-- Dazed and Confused (1969)
 

:D


"What are the facts? Again and again--what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget "what the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history"--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue.

-- Robert Heinlein

I love this Heinlein quote.

I also love this quote from a John Wayne movie.  It's a great re-write of the golden rule.

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."

-- John B. Books
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 20, 2013, 11:50:13 AM
Speaking of John Wayne, this is attributed to him:

Life is hard but if you're stupid it's even harder.  ;D

Now a few gems from Kenneth Clark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Clark)

Meanwhile the average man has become progressively less able to recognize the subjects or understand the meaning of the artworks of the past. Few people have read the classics of Greek and Roman literature, and even fewer people have read the Bible, with the same diligence as their parents. It comes as a shock to an elderly man to find how many biblical references have become completely incomprehensible to the present generation.

Opera, next to Gothic architecture, is one of the strangest inventions of western man. It could not have been foreseen by any logical process.

What on earth has given opera its prestige in western civilisation — a prestige that has outlasted so many different fashions and ways of thought? Why are people prepared to sit silently for three hours listening to a performance of which they do not understand a word and of which they very seldom know the plot? Why do quite small towns all over Germany and Italy still devote a large portion of their budgets to this irrational entertainment? Partly, of course, because it is a display of skill, like a football match. But chiefly, I think, because it is irrational. "What is too silly to be said may be sung" — well, yes; but what is too subtle to be said, or too deeply felt, or too revealing or too mysterious — these things can also be sung and can only be sung.

We are so much accustomed to the humanitarian outlook that we forget how little it counted in earlier ages of civilisation. Ask any decent person in England or America what he thinks matters most in human conduct: five to one his answer will be "kindness." It's not a word that would have crossed the lips of any of the earlier heroes of this series. If you had asked St. Francis what mattered in life, he would, we know, have answered "chastity, obedience and poverty"; if you had asked Dante or Michelangelo, they might have answered "disdain of baseness and injustice"; if you had asked Goethe, he would have said "to live in the whole and the beautiful." But kindness, never. Our ancestors didn't use the word, and they did not greatly value the quality — except perhaps insofar as they valued compassion.

Bright-minded young people think poorly of existing institutions and want to abolish them. Well, one doesn't need to be young to dislike institutions. But the dreary fact remains that, even in the darkest ages, it was institutions that made society work, and if civilisation is to survive society must somehow be made to work. At this point I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves.

It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilisation. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on January 20, 2013, 06:40:33 PM
Florestan, thanks for providing me with a new signature line!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 21, 2013, 12:44:46 AM
Florestan, thanks for providing me with a new signature line!

My pleasure, Jeff!  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The new erato on January 21, 2013, 02:04:18 AM
Florestan, thanks for providing me with a new signature line!
I would have chosen: "Life is hard but if you're stupid it's even harder".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 22, 2013, 06:54:51 AM
I would have chosen: "Life is hard but if you're stupid it's even harder".

:D

I've seen this attributed to him before but it was phrased somewhat differently:  "Life's hard.  It's harder if you're stupid."  Personally, I prefer that phrasing.

Here is a quote from my favorite writer, Edward Abbey:

"God help me, I will never sacrifice a friend to an ideal.  I will never betray a friend for the sake of any cause.  I will never reject a friend in order to stand by an institution.  Great nations may fall in rusty ruin before I will sell a friend to save them.  I pray to the God within me to give me the power to live by that design."

This quote is often shortened to "I will never sacrifice a friend to an ideal."  It's one of my favorite quotes not only because it's a statement of what Cactus Ed would have called 'practical anarchism' but because it's a statement I try to live by, in particular when I find myself caught in a heated political argument with someone I care about.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 22, 2013, 07:13:22 AM
:D

I've seen this attributed to him before but it was phrased somewhat differently:  "Life's hard.  It's harder if you're stupid."  Personally, I prefer that phrasing.

Here is a quote from my favorite writer, Edward Abbey:

"God help me, I will never sacrifice a friend to an ideal.  I will never betray a friend for the sake of any cause.  I will never reject a friend in order to stand by an institution.  Great nations may fall in rusty ruin before I will sell a friend to save them.  I pray to the God within me to give me the power to live by that design."

This quote is often shortened to "I will never sacrifice a friend to an ideal."  It's one of my favorite quotes not only because it's a statement of what Cactus Ed would have called 'practical anarchism' but because it's a statement I try to live by, in particular when I find myself caught in a heated political argument with someone I care about.
What if your friend is a crook?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 22, 2013, 09:46:08 AM
Here is a quote from my favorite writer, Edward Abbey:

"God help me, I will never sacrifice a friend to an ideal."

Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas. --- (atributted to) Aristotle

 ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 22, 2013, 11:17:55 AM
What if your friend is a crook?

That depends on what kind of crookery said friend is engaging in. :P

More seriously, though, if the friend is doing actual and serious harm I would be sacrificing them for something practical, not an ideal.

Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas. --- (atributted to) Aristotle

 ;D

Delightful quote, but to be fair I'm pretty sure 'truth' wasn't the kind of ideal Abbey was talking about. :P
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 22, 2013, 03:29:18 PM
Attributed by Borges to "some writer":

Quote
Les idées naissent douces et vieillissent féroces.

Ideas are born sweet and get old ferocious.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 27, 2013, 05:56:49 PM
I like this thread and decided to help it float to the top:

 “Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”

--Edward Abbey

"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks!"

"Where cat is, is Civilization."

"Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse."

"Sit back down — and for God's sake quit trying to be as nasty as I am; you don't have my years of practice. Now let me get something straight: you are not in my debt. You can't be. Impossible — because I never do anything I don't want to do. Nor does anyone, but in my case I am always aware of it."

"Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours in doing whatever you think is worth doing."

"I am an almost extinct breed, an old-fashioned gentleman- which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-bitch when it suits me."

-- Robert Heinlein
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on January 27, 2013, 07:19:50 PM
Just tonight:
Wyatt Earp: Mac, you ever been in love?
Mac: No, I've been a bartender all me life.

-- My Darling Clementine (1946)
Lol, not being a bartender, I still get it.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 28, 2013, 02:24:38 PM
Quote
I recall one of my oldest ideas. The Czar is the leader and spiritual father of a hundred and fifty million men. An atrocious responsibility which is only apparent. Perhaps he is not responsible to God, but rather to a few human beings. If the poor of his empire are oppressed during his reign, if immense catastrophes result from that reign, who knows if the servant charged with shining his boots is not the real and sole person guilty? In the mysterious dispositions of the Profundity, who is really Czar, who is king, who can boast of being a mere servant?

–- Léon Bloy
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: spooky on January 28, 2013, 04:37:14 PM
A few of may favorites  relating to music.

What will be the judgment a century hence concerning the lorded works of our favorite
composers today? Inasmuch as nearly everything is subject to the changes of time, and –
more's the pity – the fashions of time, only that which is good and true will endure like a
rock and no wanton hand will ever venture to defile it. Then, let every man do that which is
right, strive with all his might towards the goal which can never be obtained, develop to the
last breath the gifts with which the gracious Creator has endowed him, and never cease to
learn. For life is short, art eternal.
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
perhaps more succinctly in Latin - Ars longa Vita brevis

Music is a moral law.
It gives a soul to the universe,
wings to the wind, flight to the imagination,
a charm to sadness, gaiety, and life to everything.
It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good,
just and beautiful, of which it is this invisible,
but nevertheless dazzling,
passionate, and eternal form.
Aristocles (Plato)

The man that hath no music in himself.
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds.
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils,
The motions of his spirit are dull as the night
And his affections dark as Erebus
Let no such man be trusted Mark the music.
Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice V, 1

There is no truer truth obtainable / By Man than comes of music.
~ Robert Browning

"...when the night came, tortured by the usual melancholy of my thoughts, taking a vihuela,
I went out by a back door to the fields, to put aside my worries, and to enjoy the fresh wind
that was blowing..." Rojas, 1603

Curious if anyone is aware of who we can attribute this lovely quote ????
Let Music Rise Out Of Chant as Life Rises Out of Ashes

And a favourite non-musical quote - likely plato
"Advise in the event of Plaque"
Cito-longe-tarde : Flee quickly, go far away, return slowly



Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Xenophanes on January 28, 2013, 05:59:54 PM
Quote
Life is hard, then you die.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Est.1965 on January 28, 2013, 06:26:38 PM

"Per aspera ad astra."  That is what I believe.

And from one of my favorite ever American human beings:

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is my symphony.”

WE Channing
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on January 29, 2013, 03:56:48 AM
Lol, not being a bartender, I still get it.

Hmm....Greg friendly version:

"Wyatt Earp: Mac, you ever been in love?
Mac: No, I've been a gamer all me life."

:D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 29, 2013, 04:01:25 AM
Hmm....Greg friendly version:

"Wyatt Earp: Mac, you ever been in love?
Mac: No, I've been a gamer all me life."

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The new erato on January 30, 2013, 02:18:12 PM

Conductor Kenneth Kiesler is a fine Ginasterist. Shockingly, the booklet bio ignores his illustrious if brief tenure as conductor of the Johns Hopkins University Glee Club ca. 1980, focusing instead on such relatively inconsequential pit stops as his couple of decades with the Illinois Symphony. His immediate predecessor at Hopkins was the also-not-too-shabby Hugh Wolff, and during his time in Baltimore Ken, I mean Maestro Kiesler, led the Glee Club on its first international tour (of Bermuda), on which, despite several incapacitating mo-ped accidents in the soprano section and some iffy island cooking, he directed a splendid performance of Ginastera’s rarely heard Lamentations of Jeremiah, with yours truly in the tenor section.

The Hurwitzer - here:

http://www.classicstoday.com/review/an-exciting-ginastera-premiere-from-an-unlikely-source/?search=1 (http://www.classicstoday.com/review/an-exciting-ginastera-premiere-from-an-unlikely-source/?search=1)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 31, 2013, 09:26:16 PM
I saw around here the name of Dario Argento. This is the answer of his daughter Asia to the question if her father is a misogynist:

Quote
I don't think so. He makes women look very powerful and very beautiful. He said something I loved once: he kills more women in his movies because they scream better and they move better. Women know pain more genetically so they can express that better than a man.
 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on February 02, 2013, 08:57:08 AM
;D ;D ;D

For some reason I just knew you would love that. :D


Hmm...perhaps this qualifies as an insight.  It certainly explains why many of the people one meets are so rude...

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v18/Harvested_Sorrow/ScreenShot2013-02-01at42111PM_zpsdcb00f01.png)

 ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 03, 2013, 03:13:48 AM

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v18/Harvested_Sorrow/ScreenShot2013-02-01at42111PM_zpsdcb00f01.png)


(*chortie*)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Brian on February 03, 2013, 06:35:37 PM
On revising something you did years ago:

"Something similar may occur if one day you happen to hear a piece of music which was written perhaps decades earlier and which you think still has some validity. Then it may happen that you pull out the score with a view to eliminating some technical errors which are now thought embarrassing and which could easily have been avoided.

"But that is a dangerous business to start, because you are a different person from the one who wrote the music. In individual cases you can perhaps enter into the spirit of an older composition, but it will always be as a guest that you come to the music, and even little technical alterations may affect the work and make its bearing insecure."

- Vagn Holmboe, Music - the Inexplicable, on p. 56 of Experiencing Music: A Composer's Notes from Toccata Press
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 04, 2013, 04:16:51 AM
An excellent insight.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 04, 2013, 05:32:37 AM
An excellent insight.

Yes, indeed. It vaguely recalls me this paragraph of Cioran:

Quote
A work is finished when we can no longer improve it, though we know it to be inadequate and incomplete. We are so over taxed by it that we no longer have the power to add a single comma, however indispensable. What determines the degree to which a work is done is not a requirement of art or of truth, it is exhaustion and, even more, disgust.

Anyway, I think Cioran writes more "nausea" or "repugnance" than simply "disgust".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2013, 05:49:39 AM
Cioran is a treasure trove...

Two OTOMH:

All waters have the color of drowning.

We lost by being born just as much as we'll lose by dying - everything.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 04, 2013, 06:06:49 AM
Cioran is a treasure trove...

Yes, one of the greatest aphorists that in the world have been. Someone not unworthy to be listed with Martial, Lichtenberg and all the big ones.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Est.1965 on February 04, 2013, 06:15:21 AM
Cioran is a treasure trove...

Two OTOMH:

All waters have the color of drowning.

We lost by being born just as much as we'll lose by dying - everything.

I've never heard of Cioran.  I looked him up and read some quotes.  Wow.  He is awesome, helping my ennui to balance itself no end.   ???
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2013, 06:29:48 AM
I've never heard of Cioran.  I looked him up and read some quotes.  Wow.  He is awesome, helping my ennui to balance itself no end.   ???

TBH, his constant whining and pessimism can be rather boring, but his aphorisms are true gems, and the numerous pages where he vituperates against the modern cult of work and action are a welcome antidote to the platitudes of our hyper-active times.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: DavidRoss on February 04, 2013, 09:06:41 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v18/Harvested_Sorrow/ScreenShot2013-02-01at42111PM_zpsdcb00f01.png)
Maybe more true than apparent at first glance...?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on February 04, 2013, 01:49:24 PM
Yes, indeed. It vaguely recalls me this paragraph of Cioran:

A work is finished when we can no longer improve it, though we know it to be inadequate and incomplete. We are so over taxed by it that we no longer have the power to add a single comma, however indispensable. What determines the degree to which a work is done is not a requirement of art or of truth, it is exhaustion and, even more, disgust.

Anyway, I think Cioran writes more "nausea" or "repugnance" than simply "disgust".

This quote is excellent.  I picked up a short story I wrote a while back and decided it was done simply on those grounds.  Making a few edits made me feel depressed and sick so it was finished. (Fortunately it was pretty well polished prior to that.)



This one is for you, Florestan :P:

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
 -- H. L. Mencken
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 05, 2013, 01:19:34 AM
This one is for you, Florestan :P:

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
 -- H. L. Mencken

Thanks for reminding it to me. I think this one from the same source is even better:

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.   ;D

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 05, 2013, 02:58:37 AM
Thanks for reminding it to me. I think this one from the same source is even better:

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.   ;D

I totally agree with this if you write "realistic" rather than "pathetic".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on February 05, 2013, 03:11:05 AM
Consistency is a human word but it certainly expresses nothing human.
L. E. L
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 05, 2013, 04:53:21 AM
Quote from: L. E. L
Consistency is a human word . . . .

As distinct from . . . what other sort of word? . . .
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 05, 2013, 04:55:03 AM
As distinct from . . . what other sort of word? . . .

Human, as distinct from menschlich, methinks.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 05, 2013, 05:04:14 AM
Could be a Vulcan word, I reckon . . . .
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on February 05, 2013, 10:35:53 AM
As distinct from . . . what other sort of word? . . .

Good one. :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on February 05, 2013, 02:23:52 PM
As distinct from . . . what other sort of word? . . .

If such a simple concept puzzles you, stick to simple fiction. ::)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: DavidRoss on February 05, 2013, 02:30:42 PM
Consistency is a human word but it certainly expresses nothing human.
L. E. L
Apparently L.E.L. never met anyone with severe O.C.D.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Daverz on February 05, 2013, 02:36:26 PM
Quote
I recall one of my oldest ideas. The Czar is the leader and spiritual father of a hundred and fifty million men. An atrocious responsibility which is only apparent. Perhaps he is not responsible to God, but rather to a few human beings. If the poor of his empire are oppressed during his reign, if immense catastrophes result from that reign, who knows if the servant charged with shining his boots is not the real and sole person guilty? In the mysterious dispositions of the Profundity, who is really Czar, who is king, who can boast of being a mere servant?
–- Léon Bloy

Traudl Junge: History's greatest monster.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 05, 2013, 06:49:48 PM
–- Léon Bloy


Traudl Junge: History's greatest monster.

"... who knows if..."  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 05, 2013, 06:54:25 PM
Quote
Let me share a few suggestions ... after all, it’s Yom Kippur, and what is this holy day without a suggestion or two for self-improvement?

    Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
    Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
    When you say, "I love you", mean it.
    When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.
    Believe in love. Not just romantic love, but love for causes, friends, and country. Be informed and be passionate about your ideals and values. You might get hurt, but it's the only way to live life completely.
    Never laugh at anyone else's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
    In disagreements, fight fairly. Stick to the issues; don’t get personal.
    Don't judge people by their relatives. We all have our genetic baggage to carry.
    Talk slowly but think quickly.
    When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"
    Remember that great achievements involve great effort.
    Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze. It returns their soul to them. It also removes their embarrassment.
    When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
    Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
    Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
    When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. Never lie to get out of a tricky situation. It only compounds the error. Presidents Nixon and Clinton found this out the hard way.
    Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
    Spend a little time alone.
    Pray as if God cares; care as if God needs you to be the best you.

In the new year, may we all live as if what we do and what we say and how we act can change the world for the better. Perhaps it will efsher? Perhaps it will.

Amen

-- Rabbi Zwerin's Sermon Kol Nidre

http://web.archive.org/web/20030118221508/http://americanet.com/Sinai/resources/sermons/Zwerin_YKKN02.html
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on February 06, 2013, 04:16:04 AM
Apparently L.E.L. never met anyone with severe O.C.D.

Probably not. Anyway, I was being quizzical and meant no disrespect. On reflection, I sure that Karl can see that anyone who takes things so literally will find poetry a closed book, so I don't believe he does. Miss Landon was primarily a poet and prone to writing poetically.
I will now answer the question: in those days the word of God was very much alive for most people.
Incidentally, she was also a critic and thus examined language externally. As a novelist, she explored the purpose of the novel and in so doing examined language internally.
She could equally have said 'People speak of consistency but cannot but it into action'. However, her meaning is quite clear.   
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 06, 2013, 05:56:35 AM
Ronald (Wilson) Reagan, 40th President of the United States, born in Illinois on February 6, 1911.

Well, here there is a lot to choose. I have selected just two:

Quote
[in the 1980 campaign] Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. Recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.
 

Quote
Status quo, you know is Latin for "the mess we're in".

 :)

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 06, 2013, 06:05:38 AM
From Reagan I especially like these 2:

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.

How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 06, 2013, 06:40:44 AM
He had a good sense of humor, and a becoming manner of self-deprecation.

And that latter quote is Reagan in top form
: )
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Brian on February 06, 2013, 06:55:20 AM
He had a good sense of humor, and a becoming manner of self-deprecation.

And that latter quote is Reagan in top form
: )

Reagan had a fondness for addressing attorneys by telling them lawyer jokes, which suggests a certain cheekiness you can't help but admire.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on February 06, 2013, 07:18:40 AM
A few by Bill Clinton I like:

"Frankly, I'm fed up with politicians in Washington lecturing the rest of us about family values. Our families have values. But our government doesn’t."

"For too long we've been told about "us" and "them." Each and every election we see a new slate of arguments and ads telling us that "they" are the problem, not "us." But there can be no "them" in America. There's only us."

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”

“Being President is like being the groundskeeper in a cemetery: there are a lot of people under you, but none of them are listening.”

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 06, 2013, 07:22:17 AM
How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

Anyway, this is quite a sophism because, in my experience, NOBODY reads Marx.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 01:09:24 PM
Quote from: Friedrich von Schiller
Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 10, 2013, 01:08:01 PM
Brilliantly insightful. Mandatory for everyone interested in the future of physical books, e-books and almost any form of digital copy:

"Used e-book, slightly foxed" by Nicholas Carr [enriched with some stupendous comments by him and some readers]:

http://www.roughtype.com/?p=2869

 :)



Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 20, 2013, 07:59:58 AM
I'd love to know the source of this great G.B. Shaw's quotation, but I haven't found it:

Quote
If I have an idea and give the idea away it is not gone, but I still have it! This experience does not conform to the arithmetic of things.

Let us examine this experience from the point of view of exchange. If I have an apple and you have an apple and we exchange apples -- then you have an apple and I have an apple. But if I have the idea that the apple is red and you have the idea that the apple is small and we exchange ideas, then you have two ideas and I have two ideas. It is quite obvious, therefore, that the laws governing thoughts or ideas are different from the laws governing things. If I have an idea and give it away, I still have it to give again, and if I give the idea away again and again, I still have the idea left.

 8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 08, 2013, 07:56:44 PM
Quote
... the legend (says) that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a novel in just six words. His heartbreaking result: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
-- Things Don't Have to Be Complicated by Larry Smith (2012)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 29, 2013, 11:27:19 AM
G.K. Chesterton explaining to his dedicatee C. F G. Masterman, M. P., his reasons to write What's Wrong with the World:

Quote
Well, I do it partly because I think you politicians are none the worse for a few inconvenient ideals; but more because you will recognise the many arguments we have had, those arguments which the most wonderful ladies in the world can never endure for very long. And, perhaps, you will agree with me that the thread of comradeship and conversation must be protected because it is so frivolous. It must be held sacred, it must not be snapped, because it is not worth tying together again. It is exactly because argument is idle that men (I mean males) must take it seriously; for when (we feel), until the crack of doom, shall we have so delightful a difference again? But most of all I offer it to you because there exists not only comradeship, but a very different thing, called friendship; an agreement under all the arguments and a thread which, please God, will never break.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 16, 2013, 11:22:35 PM
From Erich Fromm's The Sane Society (1955)

Quote
A relatively primitive village in which there are still real feasts, common artistic shared expressions, and no literacy at all—is more advanced culturally and more healthy mentally than our educated, newspaper-reading radio-listening culture..

Quote
In the development of both capitalism and communism, as we visualize them in the next fifty or a hundred years, the processes that encourage human alienation will continue. Both systems are developing into managerial societies, their inhabitants well fed, well clad, having their wishes satisfied, and not having wishes that cannot be satisfied. Men are increasingly automatons, who make machines which act like men and produce men who act like machines; there reason deteriorates while their intelligence rises, thus creating the dangerous situation of equipping man with the greatest material power without the wisdom to use it.

Quote
In spite of increasing production and comfort, man loses more and more the sense of self, feels that his life is meaningless, even though such a feeling is largely unconscious. In the nineteenth century the problem was that God is dead; in the twentieth century the problem is that man is dead.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 17, 2013, 12:20:26 AM
St. Thomas Aquinas on government:

Quote
A King who is unfaithful to his duty forfeits his claim to obedience. It is not rebellion to depose him, for he is himself a rebel whom the nation has a right to put down. But it is better to abridge his power, that he may be unable to abuse it. For this purpose, the whole nation ought to have a share in governing itself; the constitution ought to combine a limited and elective monarchy, with an aristocracy of merit, and such an admixture of democracy as shall admit all classes to office, by popular election. No government has a right to levy taxes beyond the limit determined by the people. All political authority is derived from popular suffrage, and all laws must be made by the people or their representatives. There is no security for us as long as we depend on the will of another man.



Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: MishaK on April 18, 2013, 07:11:25 AM
I like this thread and decided to help it float to the top:

 “Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.”

--Edward Abbey

Ha! This needs a small amendment: "If you don't stir it up once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top and the bottom gets burned."  ;)

"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks!"

I prefer:

"Everything in moderation, including moderation."

This seems to have been attributed to several people from Oscar Wilde to Julia Child.

Along the same lines, one of my favorites, from a fortune cookie I once received:

"He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on April 18, 2013, 07:18:36 AM
On my recent trip to Sichuan, China, I saw these two signs, one on entrance to the freeway and the other on a street corner, apparently using quotes from a local official.

"You may enjoy driving. You may enjoy grabbing tits. But never do both at the same time!"
(This after photos of someone driving while grabbing the tits of a lady on the passenger seat was posted online.)

"As a society, we need good Sameritans, but not ones without life insurance."
(This after a good sameritan was killed and the family sues the government for financial support.)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on April 18, 2013, 07:49:19 AM
I'd love to know the source of this great G.B. Shaw's quotation, but I haven't found it:

Quote
If I have an idea and give the idea away it is not gone, but I still have it! This experience does not conform to the arithmetic of things.

Let us examine this experience from the point of view of exchange. If I have an apple and you have an apple and we exchange apples -- then you have an apple and I have an apple. But if I have the idea that the apple is red and you have the idea that the apple is small and we exchange ideas, then you have two ideas and I have two ideas. It is quite obvious, therefore, that the laws governing thoughts or ideas are different from the laws governing things. If I have an idea and give it away, I still have it to give again, and if I give the idea away again and again, I still have the idea left.
8)

That strikes me as fuzzy thinking.

When you "give" an idea away you do not give away the idea itself, you give away the right to the proceeds of the idea.  If, for example, your idea is an algorithm for comparing finger prints and you "give it away" you will have lost the opportunity to make money from your idea, and others will gain the opportunity to make money from your idea.  Their gain is your loss (although it is not strictly zero-sum.)  That is why advanced countries have copyright/patent laws, so people can sell their ideas to those who can make use of them.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 18, 2013, 07:52:47 AM
On my recent trip to Sichuan, China, I saw these two signs, one on entrance to the freeway and the other on a street corner, apparently using quotes from a local official.

"You may enjoy driving. You may enjoy grabbing tits. But never do both at the same time!"
(This after photos of someone driving while grabbing the tits of a lady on the passenger seat was posted online.)

"As a society, we need good Sameritans, but not ones without life insurance."
(This after a good sameritan was killed and the family sues the government for financial support.)

I like the first one.  ;D

I have a question for you about the following paragraph, dear springrite:

Quote
The Chinese word for "crisis" (simplified Chinese: 危机; traditional Chinese: 危機; pinyin: wēijī; Wade–Giles: wei-chi) is frequently invoked in motivational speaking along with the statement that the two characters it is composed of represent "danger" and "opportunity." Some[who?] Western linguists consider this analysis fallacious, arguing that the character jī alone does not necessarily mean "opportunity."

From the standpoint of common sense -I know you're not a linguist-, has any sense this explanation of the Chinese word for "crisis"?  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on April 18, 2013, 01:41:28 PM


I have a question for you about the following paragraph, dear springrite:

From the standpoint of common sense -I know you're not a linguist-, has any sense this explanation of the Chinese word for "crisis"?  :)

From a linguistic standpoint, yes, it does make sense although it is not the only interpretation. Ancient Chinese is very, how should we put it? inprecise, which is part of its beauty. It could also mean "moment of danger" or "window of danger", etc. But the most likely scenario is that it meant all of the above but opportunity most of all. Early words are like zen lessons.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 19, 2013, 04:19:51 AM
Anton Pavlovich Tchekhov

I have no faith in our hypocritical, false, hysterical, uneducated and lazy intelligentsia when they suffer and complain: their oppression comes from within. I believe in individual people. I see salvation in discrete individuals, intellectuals and peasants, strewn hither and yon throughout Russia. They have the strength, although there are few of them.

The person who wants nothing, hopes for nothing, and fears nothing can never be an artist.

When you live on cash, you understand the limits of the world around which you navigate each day. Credit leads into a desert with invisible boundaries.

Russian forests crash down under the axe, billions of trees are dying, the habitations of animals and birds are laid waste, rivers grow shallow and dry up, marvelous landscapes are disappearing forever.... Man is endowed with creativity in order to multiply that which has been given him; he has not created, but destroyed. There are fewer and fewer forests, rivers are drying up, wildlife has become extinct, the climate is ruined, and the earth is becoming ever poorer and uglier.

People should be beautiful in every way—in their faces, in the way they dress, in their thoughts and in their innermost selves.

When we retreat to the country, we are hiding not from people, but from our pride, which, in the city and among people, operates unfairly and immoderately.

Can words such as Orthodox, Jew, or Catholic really express some sort of exclusive personal virtues or merits?

Wherever there is degeneration and apathy, there also is sexual perversion, cold depravity, miscarriage, premature old age, grumbling youth, there is a decline in the arts, indifference to science, and injustice in all its forms.

Pharisaism, obtuseness and tyranny reign not only in the homes of merchants and in jails; I see it in science, in literature, and among youth. I consider any emblem or label a prejudice.... My holy of holies is the human body, health, intellect, talent, inspiration, love and the most absolute of freedoms, the freedom from force and falsity in whatever forms they might appear.

He is no longer a city dweller who has even once in his life caught a ruff or seen how, on clear and cool autumn days, flocks of migrating thrushes drift over a village. Until his death he will be drawn to freedom.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on April 19, 2013, 10:42:32 AM
St. Thomas Aquinas on government:

I got curious about that, and did a bit of googling.  Apparently that passage is more what Lord Acton would have liked Aquinas to say,  and not what Aquinas actually said.
See here, although it expands out from discussing the "quote" towards a more general Catholic political theory.
http://religionandliberty.blogspot.com/2005/09/aquinasfirst-whig-novaks-catholic-whig.html
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on April 19, 2013, 10:53:08 AM
Excellent set of Chekhov quotes, Florestan, though I am a bit suspicious about what he may have labeled as perversion.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 20, 2013, 12:14:50 AM
I got curious about that, and did a bit of googling.  Apparently that passage is more what Lord Acton would have liked Aquinas to say,  and not what Aquinas actually said.

Yes, that's true but I realized it only after I posted it.

Quote
See here, although it expands out from discussing the "quote" towards a more general Catholic political theory.
http://religionandliberty.blogspot.com/2005/09/aquinasfirst-whig-novaks-catholic-whig.html

Interesting article, thanks for posting.

Actually, the terms "liberal" and "liberalism" are perhaps the most difficult political ones to define with certainty, their sad perversion in USA notwithstanding . Socialism and conservatism can be explained in 5 minutes to anyone, but liberalism requires a whole seminary in the history of ideas.  :D

http://www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-2-number-4/four-liberalisms (http://www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-2-number-4/four-liberalisms)

http://www.mmisi.org/ir/33_01/leddihn.pdf (http://www.mmisi.org/ir/33_01/leddihn.pdf)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 20, 2013, 12:16:20 AM
Excellent set of Chekhov quotes, Florestan, though I am a bit suspicious about what he may have labeled as perversion.

Well, as a physician, he might have known a thing or two about it.  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on April 20, 2013, 03:44:49 AM
Well, as a physician, he might have known a thing or two about it.  :D

Hehehe, nice reply.  I'm just suggesting that his viewpoint on what constitutes a 'perversion' may be a bit outdated...at least in Western countries :P

Great set of quotes, though.  Where are they pulled from?  I'd love to read more of his thoughts.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 20, 2013, 06:52:09 AM
Well, as a physician, he might have known a thing or two about it.  :D

Quote
Our moral autonomy is proved when we disapprove what it is tolerated by our sensibility.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un texto implícito, Atalanta, p. 90

(http://www.tallerdecreacion.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/nicolas-gomez-davila.jpg)

http://www.amazon.es/Escolios-texto-impl%C3%ADcito-Brevis-atalanta/dp/8493724718/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366472643&sr=8-1&keywords=nicolas+gomez+davila

Naturally, I won't need to recall that my first encounter with Gómez Dávila was, some months ago, when he was quoted by you. Thanks again. :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 20, 2013, 10:03:49 AM
Hehehe, nice reply.  I'm just suggesting that his viewpoint on what constitutes a 'perversion' may be a bit outdated...at least in Western countries :P

Oh, I do I agree that "sexual perversion" is hard to define; if you ask me, the things that qualify are paedophilia, necrophilia, zoophilia and coprophilia.  ;D

OTOH, if we talk about perverting words' meaning, "liberal" is a prime example: in USA it means "more or less socialist" (actually, more than less) while elsewhere it means the opposite: free market and free trade.  ;D

BTW, here are some gems from Gladstone, a genuine liberal:

I think that the principle of the Conservative Party is jealousy of liberty and of the people, only qualified by fear; but I think the principle of the Liberal Party is trust in the people, only qualified by prudence.

Here is my first principle of foreign policy: good government at home.

The rule of our policy is that nothing should be done by the state which can be better or as well done by voluntary effort; and I am not aware that, either in its moral or even its literary aspects, the work of the state for education has as yet proved its superiority to the work of the religious bodies or of philanthropic individuals.

But let the working man be on his guard against another danger. We live at a time when there is a disposition to think that the Government ought to do this and that and that the Government ought to do everything. There are things which the Government ought to do, I have no doubt. In former periods the Government have neglected much, and possibly even now they neglect something; but there is a danger on the other side. If the Government takes into its hands that which the man ought to do for himself it will inflict upon him greater mischiefs than all the benefits he will have received or all the advantages that would accrue from them. The essence of the whole thing is that the spirit of self-reliance, the spirit of true and genuine manly independence, should be preserved in the minds of the people, in the minds of the masses of the people, in the mind of every member of the class. If he loses his self-denial, if he learns to live in a craven dependence upon wealthier people rather than upon himself, you may depend upon it he incurs mischief for which no compensation can be made.


Quote
Great set of quotes, though.  Where are they pulled from?  I'd love to read more of his thoughts.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Chekhov (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Chekhov)

Besides that, his short stories and plays are chock-full of "Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things" which are best appreciated in their proper context.  IM(not so)HO he was one of the geatest minds ever to tackle the human condition.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 20, 2013, 10:35:35 AM
Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un texto implícito, Atalanta, p. 90

(http://www.tallerdecreacion.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/nicolas-gomez-davila.jpg)

http://www.amazon.es/Escolios-texto-impl%C3%ADcito-Brevis-atalanta/dp/8493724718/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366472643&sr=8-1&keywords=nicolas+gomez+davila

Naturally, I won't need to recall that my first encounter with Gómez Dávila was, some months ago, when he was quoted by you. Thanks again. :)

I'm only too happy you like him! Together with Cioran he's my favorite modern aphorist.

How about the following, also from him?

A youth’s revolutionary activity is the rite of passage between adolescence and the bourgeoisie.

Revolutions do not solve any problem other than the economic problem of their leaders.

The first revolution broke out when it occurred to some fool that law could be invented.

A man is called a Communist if he fights for the state to assure him a bourgeois existence.

Three persons in our age make it their profession to detest the bourgeoisie:
the intellectual—that typical representative of the bourgeoisie;
the communist—that faithful executor of bourgeois intentions and ideals;
the progressive cleric—that final triumph of the bourgeois mind over the Christian soul.

Dialogue between Communists and Catholics has become possible ever since Communists started to falsify Marx and Catholics Christ.

We reactionaries are unfortunate: the left steals our ideas and the right our vocabulary.

To democratize Christianity they have to falsify the texts, reading “equal” where they say “brother.”

Democracy is the political regime in which the citizen entrusts the public interests to those men to whom he would never entrust his private interests.

For the democrat it is not enough that we respect what he wants to do with his life; he demands, in addition, that we respect what he wants to do with our life.

The people never elects.
At most, it ratifies.

We enemies of universal suffrage never cease to be surprised by the enthusiasm aroused by the election of a handful of incapable men by a heap of incompetent men.

By the same measure that the state grows, the individual shrinks.


And my favorites of them all:

To be a reactionary is to understand that man is a problem without a human solution

It is no longer enough for the citizen to submit—the modern state demands accomplices.

Reactionary thought breaks into history as concrete liberty’s shout of warning, as the spasm of anguish in the face of the unlimited despotism arrived at by the man intoxicated with abstract liberty.

Reactionary thought has been accused of irrationalism because it refuses to sacrifice the canons of reason to the prejudices of the day.

More here: http://don-colacho.blogspot.ro/ (http://don-colacho.blogspot.ro/)

Oh, lest I don't forget: Eric, YHM!

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: DavidRoss on April 21, 2013, 07:09:55 AM
Thanks for calling this thoughtful observer to our attention. I'll check out the site. 1408 pages of aphorisms? Makes Nietzsche seem like a piker!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on April 23, 2013, 11:46:16 AM
Oh, I do I agree that "sexual perversion" is hard to define; if you ask me, the things that qualify are paedophilia, necrophilia, zoophilia and coprophilia.  ;D

Seems a reasonable set of parameters for perversion.  I probably should have been a bit more clear though; at that time--and in certain demographics in the US at the current time--'perversion' was often used as a euphemism for homosexuality.  That's what I was referring to when I commented that his views on sexual perversion may be outdated in the West.  In Middle Eastern countries on the other hand.... ::)

OTOH, if we talk about perverting words' meaning, "liberal" is a prime example: in USA it means "more or less socialist" (actually, more than less) while elsewhere it means the opposite: free market and free trade.  ;D

This reminds me of a story told in a geologist's memoir that also relates to the perversion of words:  The geologist was outside of a state congressman's office and overheard the congressman's aide informing him that he would be speaking to two scientists, one a Republican and the other a Socialist, and that his current meeting was with the former.  The author, clearly anticipating a national audience, made a parenthetical remark that Socialist is Texan for Democrat. 8)


http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Chekhov (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Chekhov)

Besides that, his short stories and plays are chock-full of "Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things" which are best appreciated in their proper context.  IM(not so)HO he was one of the geatest minds ever to tackle the human condition.

Thank you.  Assuming you read his works in translation, do you have any favorite translators for the short stories in English?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 24, 2013, 12:51:52 AM
This reminds me of a story told in a geologist's memoir that also relates to the perversion of words:  The geologist was outside of a state congressman's office and overheard the congressman's aide informing him that he would be speaking to two scientists, one a Republican and the other a Socialist, and that his current meeting was with the former.  The author, clearly anticipating a national audience, made a parenthetical remark that Socialist is Texan for Democrat. 8)

 :D

Quote
Thank you.  Assuming you read his works in translation, do you have any favorite translators for the short stories in English?

You're welcome, but regarding English translations I can be of no help: I read his work in Romanian translation.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Superhorn on April 24, 2013, 07:17:20 AM
   I love this quote which I found on facebook yesterday : " Religion is like a penis. It's fine to have one .
                                                                                      It's fine to be proud of it .
                                                                                      But please, don't whip  it out in public and
                                                                                      and  shake it around ".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 26, 2013, 01:27:21 AM
Sir Bertrand Russel

I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work. (In Praise of Idleness, 1932) (http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html)

I am completely at a loss to understand how it came about that some people who are both humane and intelligent could find something to admire in the vast slave camp produced by Stalin (Why I Am Not A Communist, 1956).
 (http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/opiate/why.html)

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on April 26, 2013, 05:09:50 AM
Both Russell quotes are nice, I particularly like the first one.  Here's a Faulkner quote that it reminds me of:

"In my opinion it's a shame that there is so much work in the world. One of the saddest things is that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy."

 8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 26, 2013, 06:47:05 AM
 Russell is one of mine oldest intellectual idols. I have always been amazed by the number of powerful brains getting their acmé in Europe and America (this time, as a concession, I use America as a synonym of USA) between 1870-1930. Just to mention my own preferences, an inaccurate list would include: Russell, Chesterton, Ortega, Wilde, Shaw, Santayana, William James, Wittgenstein, Whitehead and so.

BTW, I guess this could be a nice resource for Russell's fans:

http://archive.org/details/westernphilosoph035502mbp

My personal favorite history of the philosophy.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 26, 2013, 07:47:57 AM
Both Russell quotes are nice, I particularly like the first one.  Here's a Faulkner quote that it reminds me of:

"In my opinion it's a shame that there is so much work in the world. One of the saddest things is that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy."

 8)

Yes, I am familiar with that: a great one, too.

Here are some more on work:

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.~ Robert Frost

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.~ Robert Frost

The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.~ Ronald Reagan

If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves.~ Mark Twain

Nobody talks more of free enterprise and competition and of the best man winning than the man who inherited his father's store or farm.~ C. Wright Mills

Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilisers of man.Benjamin Disraeli

All intellectual improvement arises from leisure.~ Samuel Johnson

Education...now seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and 'fans,' driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve 'education' but to do away with it, to end the ugly and antihuman business of people-shaping and to allow and help people to shape themselves.~ John Holt

I believe that liberation from wage slavery starts with liberation from school slavery.~ John O. Andersen

If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?~ George Carlin

If one looks at the world without prejudice but with an eye to maximizing freedom, the major coercive institution is not the state, it's work.~ Bob Black

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.~ Krishnamurti

Some people giving orders and others obeying them: this is the essence of servitude. Of course, as Hospers smugly observes, "one can at least change jobs," but you can't avoid having a job....[…] But freedom means more than the right to change masters.~ Bob Black
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 26, 2013, 07:52:55 AM
Russell is one of mine oldest intellectual idols. I have always been amazed by the number of powerful brains getting their acmé in Europe and America (this time, as a concession, I use America as a synonym of USA) between 1870-1930. Just to mention my own preferences, an inaccurate list would include: Russell, Chesterton, Ortega, Wilde, Shaw, Santayana, William James, Wittgenstein, Whitehead and so.

Brilliant minds indeed. Not to be forgotten in the same generation: Unamuno, Guglielmo Ferrero, Luigi Sturzo, Nikolai Berdyaev...
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 26, 2013, 08:00:21 AM
And then there is, of course, the one and only Oscar Wilde.

[...]that monstrous and ignorant thing that is called Public Opinion, which, bad and well-meaning as it is when it tries to control action, is infamous and of evil meaning when it tries to control Thought or Art.

Indeed, there is much more to be said in favour of the physical force of the public than there is in favour of the public's opinion. The former may be fine. The latter must be foolish. It is often said that force is no argument. That, however, entirely depends on what one wants to prove. Many of the most important problems of the last few centuries, such as the continuance of personal government in England, or feudalism in France, have been solved entirely by means of physical force. The very violence of a revolution may make the public grand and splendid for a moment. It was a fatal day when the public discovered that the pen is mightier than the paving-stone, and can be made as offensive as the brick-bat. They at once sought for the journalist, found him, developed him, and made him their industrious and well-paid servant. It is greatly to be regretted, for both their sakes. Behind the barricade there may be much that is noble and heroic. But what is there behind the leading article but prejudice, stupidity, cant, and twaddle? And when these four are joined together they make a terrible force, and constitute the new authority.

In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralising. Somebody - was it Burke? - called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time, no doubt. But at the present moment it really is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism. In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.

[...]

People sometimes inquire what form of government is most suitable for an artist to live under. To this question there is only one answer. The form of government that is most suitable to the artist is no government at all. Authority over him and his art is ridiculous. It has been stated that under despotisms artists have produced lovely work. This is not quite so. Artists have visited despots, not as subjects to be tyrannised over, but as wandering wonder-makers, as fascinating vagrant personalities, to be entertained and charmed and suffered to be at peace, and allowed to create. There is this to be said in favour of the despot, that he, being an individual, may have culture, while the mob, being a monster, has none. One who is an Emperor and King may stoop down to pick up a brush for a painter, but when the democracy stoops down it is merely to throw mud. And yet the democracy have not so far to stoop as the Emperor. In fact, when they want to throw mud they have not to stoop at all. But there is no necessity to separate the monarch from the mob; all authority is equally bad.

There are three kinds of despots. There is the despot who tyrannises over the body. There is the despot who tyrannises over the soul. There is the despot who tyrannises over soul and body alike. The first is called the Prince. The second is called the Pope. The third is called the People. The Prince may be cultivated. Many Princes have been. Yet in the Prince there is danger. One thinks of Dante at the bitter feast in Verona, of Tasso in Ferrara's madman's cell. It is better for the artist not to live with Princes. The Pope may be cultivated. Many Popes have been; the bad Popes have been. The bad Popes loved Beauty, almost as passionately, nay, with as much passion as the good Popes hated Thought. To the wickedness of the Papacy humanity owes much. The goodness of the Papacy owes a terrible debt to humanity. Yet, though the Vatican has kept the rhetoric of its thunders and lost the rod of its lightning, it is better for the artist not to live with Popes. It was a Pope who said of Cellini to a conclave of Cardinals that common laws and common authority were not made for men such as he; but it was a Pope who thrust Cellini into prison, and kept him there till he sickened with rage, and created unreal visions for himself, and saw the gilded sun enter his room, and grew so enamoured of it that he sought to escape, and crept out from tower to tower, and falling through dizzy air at dawn, maimed himself, and was by a vine-dresser covered with vine leaves, and carried in a cart to one who, loving beautiful things, had care of him. There is danger in Popes. And as for the People, what of them and their authority? Perhaps of them and their authority one has spoken enough. Their authority is a thing blind, deaf, hideous, grotesque, tragic, amusing, serious, and obscene. It is impossible for the artist to live with the People. All despots bribe. The people bribe and brutalise. Who told them to exercise authority? They were made to live, to listen, and to love. Some one has done them a great wrong. They have marred themselves by imitation of their inferiors. They have taken the sceptre of the Prince. How should they use it? They have taken the triple tiara of the Pope. How should they carry its burden? They are as a clown whose heart is broken. They are as a priest whose soul is not yet born. Let all who love Beauty pity them. Though they themselves love not Beauty, yet let them pity themselves. Who taught them the trick of tyranny ?


RTWT here: http://libcom.org/library/soul-of-man-under-socialism-oscar-wilde (http://libcom.org/library/soul-of-man-under-socialism-oscar-wilde)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on April 26, 2013, 08:01:02 AM
Yes, I am familiar with that: a great one, too.

Here are some more on work:

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.~ Robert Frost

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.~ Robert Frost

The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.~ Ronald Reagan

If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves.~ Mark Twain

Nobody talks more of free enterprise and competition and of the best man winning than the man who inherited his father's store or farm.~ C. Wright Mills

Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilisers of man.Benjamin Disraeli

All intellectual improvement arises from leisure.~ Samuel Johnson

Education...now seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and 'fans,' driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve 'education' but to do away with it, to end the ugly and antihuman business of people-shaping and to allow and help people to shape themselves.~ John Holt

I believe that liberation from wage slavery starts with liberation from school slavery.~ John O. Andersen

If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it?~ George Carlin

If one looks at the world without prejudice but with an eye to maximizing freedom, the major coercive institution is not the state, it's work.~ Bob Black

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.~ Krishnamurti

Some people giving orders and others obeying them: this is the essence of servitude. Of course, as Hospers smugly observes, "one can at least change jobs," but you can't avoid having a job....[…] But freedom means more than the right to change masters.~ Bob Black

The aphorism, it would appear, is the primordial twitter. 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 26, 2013, 09:35:21 AM
And then there is, of course, the one and only Oscar Wilde.

Let me recommend some of the best pages ever written about Wilde:

http://books.google.cl/books?id=xvycg3RMAW4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

I have always thought the essay "About Oscar Wilde" like inseparable of the essay "On Chesterton".

I can't recommend these readings highly enough.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Brian on April 26, 2013, 09:52:36 AM
The aphorism, it would appear, is the primordial twitter.
One can only imagine the glorious possibilities had Wilde or Nietzsche been on Twitter.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on April 26, 2013, 11:34:19 AM
One can only imagine the glorious possibilities had Wilde or Nietzsche been on Twitter.

Hehehe, a fascinating thought.  Personally, I'd give all the money in the world to revive H.L. Mencken and give him a Twitter feed around election time.  (Any given election.)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 26, 2013, 12:07:15 PM
Hehehe, a fascinating thought.  Personally, I'd give all the money in the world to revive H.L. Mencken and give him a Twitter feed around election time.  (Any given election.)

Yes, but we face an intrinsic problem here: Aphorisms and related short forms are manifestations of extremely intensive/concentrated thought. Internet and Twitter, for the case, are promoting -by their own nature- exactly the opposite form of reading and thought: superficial and careless. At their best, they allow some funny boutades, but almost never deep thought.  :(
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Brian on April 26, 2013, 12:12:52 PM
Yes, but we face an intrinsic problem here: Aphorisms and related short forms are manifestations of extremely intensive/concentrated thought. Internet and Twitter, for the case, are promoting -by their own nature- exactly the opposite form of reading and thought: superficial and careless. At their best, they allow some funny boutades, but almost never deep thought.  :(
But this is not inherent to Twitter; it is altogether a function of what Twitter users do. There is no preventing a philosopher from joining (and indeed I believe the Dalai Lama was once a regular user). There is no reason that Twitter promotes by its own nature superficiality, any more than the idea that, say, you would promote superficiality by demanding Nietzsche or Cioran use only 140 characters per aphorism.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 26, 2013, 12:35:12 PM
But this is not inherent to Twitter; it is altogether a function of what Twitter users do. There is no preventing a philosopher from joining (and indeed I believe the Dalai Lama was once a regular user). There is no reason that Twitter promotes by its own nature superficiality, any more than the idea that, say, you would promote superficiality by demanding Nietzsche or Cioran use only 140 characters per aphorism.

I don't believe this as a sort of dogma, but I think there are quite proofs to demonstrate an evident decline of intensive thought/reading, as a consequence of new technologies, and many people are thinking seriously about this. Means aren't inocuous and have a direct impact on the content (message). Nicholas Carr aptly summarizes this issue in his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.

Of course, mere "transcriptions" of thoughts produced through different "technologies" aren't a product of Twitter. I think it's quite clear, isn't it?  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on April 26, 2013, 01:10:59 PM
But this is not inherent to Twitter; it is altogether a function of what Twitter users do. There is no preventing a philosopher from joining (and indeed I believe the Dalai Lama was once a regular user). There is no reason that Twitter promotes by its own nature superficiality, any more than the idea that, say, you would promote superficiality by demanding Nietzsche or Cioran use only 140 characters per aphorism.

Nietzsche was a twit who wrote book after book about the nature of women despite the fact that he had apparently never spoken to a girl.  I think Nietzsche would have to have raised his game to be able to compete on twitter.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 27, 2013, 01:32:14 AM
Let me recommend some of the best pages ever written about Wilde:

http://books.google.cl/books?id=xvycg3RMAW4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

I have always thought the essay "About Oscar Wilde" like inseparable of the essay "On Chesterton".

I can't recommend these readings highly enough.  :)

Gracias, caballero!

I don't believe this as a sort of dogma, but I think there are quite proofs to demonstrate an evident decline of intensive thought/reading, as a consequence of new technologies

I second that.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 27, 2013, 01:33:18 AM
Nietzsche was a twit who wrote book after book about the nature of women

Name three such books, please.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 27, 2013, 05:15:25 AM
http://books.google.cl/books?id=xvycg3RMAW4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Being right now in the process of reading "About Oscar Wilde" I can't help pause for a moment to comment this:

Quote from: Jorge Luis Borges
The Soul of Man under Socialism is not only eloquent; it is just.

Just it undoubtedly is; it is the kind of Socialism that I can gladly subscribe to, nay, it is the only Socialism I can approve of enthusiastically. My only quibble is that any attempt to put it into practice would result in what was always the result of trying to create Paradise on Earth: Hell.  ;D

Which reminds me of a profound insight of Andre Gide: Admire those who seek the truth, but beware of those who have found it!.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 27, 2013, 05:33:19 AM
http://books.google.cl/books?id=xvycg3RMAW4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Quote from: Jorge Luis Borges (Our Poor Individualism, 1946
[...]the Argentine is an individual, not a citizen.

[...]

The European and the North American believe that a book which has been awarded any sort of prize must be good; the Argentine acknowledges the possibility that it might not be bad, in spite of the prize.

Ich bin ein Argentiner!  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on April 27, 2013, 09:11:16 AM
Name three such books, please.

Did he write a single book that wasn't filled with aphorisms or pronouncements on the nature of women?  I outgrew my fascination with Nietzsche by the time I was 18.  When I got to his theory of the eternal return it became clear that he was neurotic half-wit who could write well. 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 27, 2013, 09:51:23 AM
Did he write a single book that wasn't filled with aphorisms or pronouncements on the nature of women?

For instance, The Birth of Tragedy, The Gay Science, The Case of Wagner are nothing of the sort.

Quote
I outgrew my fascination with Nietzsche by the time I was 18.

I never had such fascination.

Quote
When I got to his theory of the eternal return it became clear that he was neurotic half-wit who could write well.

If such a half-wit influenced philosophy and literature so profoundly, I guess a towering genius like you will change their course forever --- or so Twitter has it...
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on April 27, 2013, 09:56:40 AM
If such a half-wit influenced philosophy and literature so profoundly, I guess a towering genius like you will change their course forever --- or so Twitter has it...

I've not mistaken myself for a towering genius, but half-wits often influence history. 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 27, 2013, 10:02:34 AM
half-wits often influence history

No doubt. Karl Marx immediately comes to mind.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Octave on April 27, 2013, 01:49:38 PM
How was Karl Marx a half-wit, Florestan?

And whence all these little bons mots about work?  Do you want to see a world where everyone---everyone---needs to work less and less, and gets to work more for themselves (creatively, personally, not just for or in exclusive relation to money/commerce), and to live better while assuming lighter and less-soul-killing burdens?  Or could the upshot to all these quotes be that the proof is in the pudding, and that anyone who does soul- and body-killing work is demonstably a sucker, and deserves their lot, and should be despised and used accordingly, because what else are they good for?  I am all for the de-glorification of work, but only if the motive is to make life more tolerable for those who have hard work to do, especially if/since that work must be done.  One individual's personal freedom is problematic if it's set atop a mountain of unjustly destroyed (sacrificed, exploited) subalterns.  Those dead are/were individuals, too.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 27, 2013, 11:48:50 PM
How was Karl Marx a half-wit, Florestan?

He wasn't. I just wanted to be even with Parsifal.  ;D

He was nevertheless dead wrong in his predictions, not a single one of which came true.

Quote
Do you want to see a world where everyone---everyone---needs to work less and less, and gets to work more for themselves (creatively, personally, not just for or in exclusive relation to money/commerce), and to live better while assuming lighter and less-soul-killing burdens?

Of course.

Quote
  Or could the upshot to all these quotes be that the proof is in the pudding, and that anyone who does soul- and body-killing work is demonstably a sucker, and deserves their lot, and should be despised and used accordingly, because what else are they good for?

I really don't see how all this can be infered from those quotes, not by a long stretch of imagination.

Quote
  I am all for the de-glorification of work, but only if the motive is to make life more tolerable for those who have hard work to do, especially if/since that work must be done.  One individual's personal freedom is problematic if it's set atop a mountain of unjustly destroyed (sacrificed, exploited) subalterns.  Those dead are/were individuals, too.

I couldn't agree more.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: vandermolen on April 28, 2013, 01:14:15 AM
I like the original quotation in this thread. I like the Churchill quote below.

Also: 'Your difficulties are not obstacles on the spiritual path, they are the path' (Ezra Bayda)


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 28, 2013, 05:33:41 AM
Leo Tolstoy

The sanctification of political power by Christianity is blasphemy; it is the negation of Christianity.

Christ says, "Do not resist evil." The sole object of courts of law is – to resist evil. Christ enjoins us to return good for evil. Courts of law return evil for evil. Christ says, "Make no distinction between the just and the unjust." Courts of law do nothing else. Christ says, "Forgive all. Forgive not once, not seven times, but forgive without end." "Love your enemies." "Do good to those who hate you." Courts of law do not forgive, but they punish; they do not do good, but evil, to those whom they call the enemies of society. So, the true sense of the doctrine is that Christ forbids all courts of law.

For a Christian the oath of allegiance to any government whatever — the very act which is regarded as the foundation of the existence of a state — is a direct renunciation of Christianity. For the man who promises unconditional obedience in the future to laws, made or to be made, by that very promise is in the most, positive manner renouncing Christianity, which means obeying in every circumstance of life only the divine law of love he recognizes within him.

Christianity in its true sense puts an end to government. So it was understood at its very commencement; it was for that cause that Christ was crucified. So it has always been understood by people who were not under the necessity of justifying a Christian government. Only from the time that the heads of government assumed an external and nominal Christianity, men began to invent all the impossible, cunningly devised theories by means of which Christianity can be reconciled with government. But no honest and serious-minded man of our day can help seeing the incompatibility of true Christianity — the doctrine of meekness, forgiveness of injuries, and love — with government, with its pomp, acts of violence, executions, and wars. The profession of true Christianity not only excludes the possibility of recognizing government, but even destroys its very foundations.

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
The government assures the people that they are in danger from the invasion of another nation, or from foes in their midst, and that the only way to escape this danger is by the slavish obedience of the people to their government. This fact is seen most prominently during revolutions and dictatorships, but it exists always and everywhere that the power of the government exists. Every government explains its existence, and justifies its deeds of violence, by the argument that if it did not exist the condition of things would be very much worse. After assuring the people of its danger the government subordinates it to control, and when in this condition compels it to attack some other nation. And thus the assurance of the government is corroborated in the eyes of the people, as to the danger of attack from other nations.

The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without authority, there could not be worse violence than that of authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. "To establish Anarchy." "Anarchy will be instituted." But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require protection from governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power.

There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.
How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.

Understand then all of you, especially the young, that to want to impose an imaginary state of government on others by violence is not only a vulgar superstition, but even a criminal work. Understand that this work, far from assuring the well-being of humanity is only a lie, a more or less unconscious hypocrisy, camouflaging the lowest passions we posses.

When among one hundred men, one rules over ninety-nine, it is unjust, it is a despotism; when ten rule over ninety, it is equally unjust, it is an oligarchy; but when fifty-one rule over forty-nine (and this is only theoretical, for in reality it is always ten or eleven of these fifty-one), it is entirely just, it is freedom!
Could there be anything funnier, in its manifest absurdity, than such reasoning? And yet it is this very reasoning that serves as the basis for all reformers of the political structure.


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 28, 2013, 08:15:42 AM
Jorge Luis Borges

[...]for me the State is the now the common enemy; I would like—and I've said this many times—a minimum of State and a maximum of individuality. … I certainly won't see a world without States. For this it is necessary for humanity to be ethical, and what is more, humanity must be intellectually stronger that what exists today. … Without a doubt, we are quite immoral and not very intelligent in comparison to the men who are to come, and because of this … "I believe dogmatically in progress." … I think that in time we will deserve to not have government.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on April 28, 2013, 08:28:41 AM
Really, do any of these supposedly profound utterances have anything to do with how one is to conduct oneself in the world?  It's just a lot of self-aggrandizing hot air. Twitter is sounding more and more profound to me, after looking over this thread.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 28, 2013, 08:58:00 AM
Really, do any of these supposedly profound utterances have anything to do with how one is to conduct oneself in the world?  It's just a lot of self-aggrandizing hot air. Twitter is sounding more and more profound to me, after looking over this thread.

This brought to my mind the motto of Britain's Voluntary Euthanasia Society called "EXIT":

Quote
Remember... the door is always open.


 >:D :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on April 28, 2013, 11:08:55 AM
Leo Tolstoy

The sole object of courts of law is – to resist evil.

Ehhh, I'm not sure about this bit. :P  He seems to have criminal courts in mind rather than the sort that interpret and alter laws; sometimes the goal there is to enforce evil, not resist it.

It is a nice quote, though, my quibbling about some of his rhetorical language aside. :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on April 28, 2013, 05:40:17 PM
I've always thought the concluding lines of Das Rheingold could apply to most politics.

THE THREE RHINEDAUGHTERS
(in the valley below, invisible)
Rhinegold! Rhinegold! Pure gold! How pure and bright you once gleamed upon us! For you and your brightness, we lament now: give us the gold!  O give us back the pure gold!
WOTAN
(stopping on the point of setting foot on the bridge and turning round)
Who’s that grumbling to me?
LOGE (peering down into the valley)
The children of the Rhine, lamenting the theft of the gold!
WOTAN (to Loge)
Damned mermaids!  Stop them irritating us!
LOGE (calling down into the valley)
You there in the water!  what are you crying to us for?  Listen to what Wotan desires for you!  No longer gleams the gold on you girls, but in the gods’ new radiance you can happily bask now!
(The gods laugh and, during the following, cross the bridge.)
THE THREE RHINEDAUGHTERS
Rhinegold! Rhinegold!  Pure gold! If only you still shone your bright glitter in the depths!  Tender and true are only the depths:  False and fated is all that rejoices up there!
(The curtain falls as the gods cross the bridge to the fortress.)


LOGE (in das Tal hinab rufend)
Ihr da im Wasser!
was weint ihr herauf?
Hört, was Wotan
euch wünscht!
Glänzt nicht mehr
euch Mädchen das Gold,
in der Götter neuem Glanze
sonnt euch selig fortan!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 28, 2013, 09:36:10 PM
Really, do any of these supposedly profound utterances have anything to do with how one is to conduct oneself in the world?  It's just a lot of self-aggrandizing hot air. Twitter is sounding more and more profound to me, after looking over this thread.

Why don't you go to Twitter then and leave us half-wits alone?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 28, 2013, 09:40:19 PM
Ehhh, I'm not sure about this bit. :P  He seems to have criminal courts in mind

Precisely. The issue is extensively covered in his last novel, "Resurrection".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 10, 2013, 04:40:20 PM
This perfect ars poetica in the preface of The Picture of Dorian Gray:

Quote
The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.

Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.

The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art. From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself. We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

All art is quite useless.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on May 12, 2013, 10:59:06 AM
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue. ... To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

Communism is oppression and slavery. Man is very willing to obey the law of duty, serve his country, and oblige his friends; but he wishes to labor when he pleases, where he pleases, and as much as he pleases. He wishes to dispose of his own time, to be governed only by necessity, to choose his friendships, his recreation, and his discipline; to act from judgment, not by command; to sacrifice himself through selfishness, not through servile obligation. Communism is essentially opposed to the free exercise of our faculties, to our noblest desires, to our deepest feelings.

All parties without exception, when they seek for power, are varieties of absolutism.

Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of government.

Money, money, always money - this is the crux of democracy.

Democracy is incompatible with liberty.

Democracy is nothing but the tyranny of the majorities, the most execrable tyranny of all because it rests neither on the authority of a religion, nor on the nobility of race nor on the prerogatives of talent or property. Its foundation is numbers and its mask is the name of the people.

Democracy is an aristocracy of mediocrities.

Left to themselves or led by a tribune, the masses will never accomplish anything. They have their faces turned to the past. No tradition is formed among them . . . about politics they understand nothing but intrigues, about the government only waste and sheer force; of justice only the accusations; of liberty only the erection of idols which are destroyed the next day. The rise of democracy starts an era of backwardness
which will lead nation and state to their death.

When we say 'the People' we always mean unavoidably the least progressive part of society, the most ignorant, the most cowardly, the most ungrateful.





Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on May 25, 2013, 11:44:42 AM
Few, save the poor, feel for the poor :
   The rich know not how hard
It is to be of needful food
   And needful rest debarred.

Their paths are paths of plenteousness,
   They sleep on silk and down ;
And never think how heavily
   The weary head lies down.

They know not of the scanty meal,
   With small pale faces round;
No fire upon the cold damp hearth
   When snow is on the ground.

They never by the window lean,
   And see the gay pass by ;
Then take their weary task again,
   But with a sadder eye.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on May 26, 2013, 10:30:05 AM
My point was that without government it becomes the responsibility of individuals to care for those less fortunate than themselves. In general, humans tend to be very poor at doing this. In any case, when there is a power vacuum, we all know what happens and that is much worse than a democratic authority.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 26, 2013, 11:16:19 AM
My point was that without government it becomes the responsibility of individuals to care for those less fortunate than themselves. In general, humans tend to be very poor at doing this. In any case, when there is a power vacuum, we all know what happens and that is much worse than a democratic authority.

I think I fully understand your point. I've never been a big supporter of the State nor less of increasing its powers. If I'm forced to, my usual preference would be a minimum of State and a maximum of individual. However, the course of history in the West has taken an unexpected road (and new technologies are an important part of this picture, but it's long to explain) because we have apparently gotten the maximum desirable of individualism and individuals, but it has happened at the expense of the almost total destruction of the public space. We now have a “society of individuals” and not a “society of citizens” which would seem better. Faced with this state of affairs, concern for the others seems increasingly unlikely, if we don’t redefine some basic social concepts.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on May 28, 2013, 12:45:44 PM
I think I fully understand your point. I've never been a big supporter of the State nor less of increasing its powers. If I'm forced to, my usual preference would be a minimum of State and a maximum of individual. However, the course of history in the West has taken an unexpected road (and new technologies are an important part of this picture, but it's long to explain) because we have apparently gotten the maximum desirable of individualism and individuals, but it has happened at the expense of the almost total destruction of the public space. We now have a “society of individuals” and not a “society of citizens” which would seem better. Faced with this state of affairs, concern for the others seems increasingly unlikely, if we don’t redefine some basic social concepts.

I more or less agree with your position - a society of citizens would be good. One problem we face in limiting government is that whenever something bad happens, everyone says 'this must never happen again' - result, a public enquiry and more regulation. Yet can we face the alternative?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on May 28, 2013, 01:21:12 PM
I more or less agree with your position - a society of citizens would be good. One problem we face in limiting government is that whenever something bad happens, everyone says 'this must never happen again' - result, a public enquiry and more regulation. Yet can we face the alternative?

The idea that the marketplace will solve all of our problems seems no less absurd to me than the idea that a Marxist state will create an ideal society.  What we need is a government which is pragmatic, and which allows the marketplace to act freely in areas where it is efficient, and which performs those functions which will not be performed at all if the government does not perform them. 

For instance, there is no need for government to interfere in the styling of cars, since we all know very well what we want in a car.  It was an idiotic feature of the communist countries that some bureaucrat would have power over manufacture and distribution of consumer products.  On the other hand, we all want to breath.  Every car in the US has a "check engine" light which is the most annoying feature of any car.  It goes on for no apparent reason and they won't let you register your car until it goes off, often after expensive repairs.  The purpose of that light is to alert you that the emission control measures in your car are not working right.   Even if you hate air polution there is no incentive to pay extra for emission control on your car because no matter how clean your car is you will breath smoke from everyone else's car.   The marketplace provides no incentive to the individual to pay extra for a low emission vehicle.  However, people are willing to vote for a law which says that everyone is required to pay extra for a low emission vehicle.  You can say the government is inefficient, but there are some things that only the government can do.  If I proved to you that your kidneys are inefficient it doesn't mean you should get rid of your kidneys.  Inefficienty or not, you will die without them.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 06, 2013, 10:24:01 AM
What we need is a government which is pragmatic, and which allows the marketplace to act freely in areas where it is efficient, and which performs those functions which will not be performed at all if the government does not perform them.

If you put it this way, there is little, if anything, that will not be performed at all unless government doesn't perform them. Education, health care, helping the poor, mutual aid, public works, maintaining public safety, fighting an external enemy, administering justice --- all these and many more (you name it) were performed during history, for better or for worse, without government, and in some cases even in spite of government.  ;D

Quote
You can say the government is inefficient, but there are some things that only the government can do.

Sure.

Only the government can force people to give away a portion of their income (taxes), property (nationalizations and expropriations), time and life (forced labor, military conscription) --- all these without being labeled a robber or a slave-holder.  ;D

Only the government can indoctrinate people from their earliest age and inculcate in their minds obedience and submission to its authority (public education) --- all this without being called a tyrant.  ;D

And so on, and so forth...  ;D











Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on June 06, 2013, 05:59:52 PM
Florestan,  I didn't know you've joined the Republican Party!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 06, 2013, 07:23:41 PM
If you put it this way, there is little, if anything, that will not be performed at all unless government doesn't perform them. Education, health care, helping the poor, mutual aid, public works, maintaining public safety, fighting an external enemy, administering justice --- all these and many more (you name it) were performed during history, for better or for worse, without government, and in some cases even in spite of government.  ;D
And then there's almost the entire free market... that's still quite a bit. Some of those things (like education) you listed are pretty much basic essentials for the average person to be able to have a decent life, which the free market may or may not be able to provide to low income people. Government should be mainly a safety net.



Only the government can indoctrinate people from their earliest age and inculcate in their minds obedience and submission to its authority (public education) --- all this without being called a tyrant.  ;D
Sounds like working for any corporation, the difference being the brainwashing starts later in life.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 07, 2013, 04:16:27 AM
Florestan,  I didn't know you've joined the Republican Party!

God forbid! I'm a monarchist, how could I?  :D


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 07, 2013, 04:17:44 AM
I believe that if they could have gotten away with it, the Republican party would have crowned Reagan after his second term, rather than let him retire.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 07, 2013, 05:09:22 AM
Government should be mainly a safety net.

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. Besides performing its basic function of protecting the life, liberty and property of the people, government should do all those things that society cannot do by itself, but only in the last resort, if and only if it is obvious that the society cannot do by itself. As John Stuart Mill very aptly put it, "At some times and places, there will be no roads, docks, harbours, canals, works of irrigation, hospitals, schools, colleges, printing-presses, unless the government establishes them; the public being either too poor to command the necessary resources, or too little advanced in intelligence to appreciate the ends, or not sufficiently practised in joint action to be capable of the means."

Now, the problem is that governmental policies (left, center and right alike) in the last decades (say, post-WWII, although in reality their can be traced back in time as far as at least 150 years ago) stemmed not from the healthy "safety net" point of view, but from the entirely different, and altogether contrary, point of view of government as " provider": each and every need an individual or a group of individuals rightly or wrongly thought they had a right to be satisfied, the government irresponsibly took upon itself to satisfy, with two pernicious but only too logical results: (1) as the "needs" of man are infinite and ultimately unsatisfiable on the whole, the "rights" and "entitlements" multiplied accordingly and so did the governmental burden, because no government past, present and future was, is or will ever be able to satisfy them all; and (2) as a result of governmental policies and actions aimed at fulfilling that impossible task of satisfying them all, the society's capacity of performing its natural functions was almost totally destroyed --- generally speaking, nowadays the public is exactly too poor to command the necessary resources, too little advanced in intelligence to appreciate the ends, and not sufficiently practised in joint action to be capable of the means.

The philosophy of governments since at least WWII strikingly resembles that of a firefighter who sets a house on fire in order to be regarded as a savior.  ;D

Quote
Sounds like working for any corporation, the difference being the brainwashing starts later in life.

You're wrong. The differences are twofold: (1) joining a corporation is a voluntary act, and (2) one is free to leave the corporation any time one wishes.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 07, 2013, 05:12:04 AM
I believe that if they could have gotten away with it, the Republican party would have crowned Reagan after his second term, rather than let him retire.

Now, Karl, you don't really believe that, do you?  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 07, 2013, 05:14:07 AM
Sure felt that way, during the Reaganalia  0:) . . . and the chants of Four more years! when he spoke at the 1988 convention sounded genuinely spooky to these ears.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on June 07, 2013, 05:32:23 AM
Sure felt that way, during the Reaganalia  0:) . . . and the chants of Four more years! when he spoke at the 1988 convention sounded genuinely spooky to these ears.

He may not have been crowned, but if a (rather clever) commenter on a political blog I read is to be believed, he has been sainted. 0:)  (The fellow refers to him as "Saint Ronnie of the Low Taxes".)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 07, 2013, 05:35:20 AM
(* chortle *)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 07, 2013, 07:16:04 AM
Sure felt that way, during the Reaganalia  0:) . . . and the chants of Four more years! when he spoke at the 1988 convention sounded genuinely spooky to these ears.

Well, the first to have "Four more years!" was "His Majesty" Franklin D. Roosevelt. :)  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 09, 2013, 09:06:24 AM
Now, the problem is that governmental policies (left, center and right alike) in the last decades (say, post-WWII, although in reality their can be traced back in time as far as at least 150 years ago) stemmed not from the healthy "safety net" point of view, but from the entirely different, and altogether contrary, point of view of government as " provider": each and every need an individual or a group of individuals rightly or wrongly thought they had a right to be satisfied, the government irresponsibly took upon itself to satisfy, with two pernicious but only too logical results: (1) as the "needs" of man are infinite and ultimately unsatisfiable on the whole, the "rights" and "entitlements" multiplied accordingly and so did the governmental burden, because no government past, present and future was, is or will ever be able to satisfy them all; and (2) as a result of governmental policies and actions aimed at fulfilling that impossible task of satisfying them all, the society's capacity of performing its natural functions was almost totally destroyed --- generally speaking, nowadays the public is exactly too poor to command the necessary resources, too little advanced in intelligence to appreciate the ends, and not sufficiently practised in joint action to be capable of the means.
Corporate welfare is expensive, after all...



You're wrong. The differences are twofold: (1) joining a corporation is a voluntary act, and (2) one is free to leave the corporation any time one wishes.  ;D
I don't think you're thinking through some of the details here. Of course, corporations could never become as bad as the government can at its worse (ex. North Korea). But:
1- people only take low-paying corporate jobs because they need a job
2- you can leave, sure, but you face a) possibly losing health insurance that you may never get back; b) possibly long-term unemployment; c) likely the only jobs out there are more corporate or restaurant jobs, with the same indoctrination.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 09, 2013, 09:16:07 AM
Sorry, I just saw this picture today and am jealous of your country. 'Murrica not #1!? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttt????

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/944108_10151475712221275_1966595818_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on June 09, 2013, 11:23:46 AM
Sorry, I just saw this picture today and am jealous of your country. 'Murrica not #1!? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttt????
Jealous of whose country?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on June 09, 2013, 06:32:23 PM
Sorry, I just saw this picture today and am jealous of your country. 'Murrica not #1!? Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttt????

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/944108_10151475712221275_1966595818_n.jpg)

"households whose income is less than 50% of the national median" is not the usual definition of poverty.  That's mere claptrap,  since it suggests that by definition half of the households in a country live in poverty.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on June 09, 2013, 08:19:59 PM
"households whose income is less than 50% of the national median" is not the usual definition of poverty.  That's mere claptrap,  since it suggests that by definition half of the households in a country live in poverty.

By definition half of households have income less than the median ifself.  It is not true that half of the households have income less than half of the median.

What the statistic tells us is that in the US households with children are poorer than households without children

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 10, 2013, 12:20:48 AM
The only problem is that they don't state what they mean by "poverty": what income and what household properties (eg, number of rooms, household appliances, cars, computers, mobile phones, running water, power etc) qualifies as such. I'm pretty sure that a "poor household" in the US would be rather "low middle class" in Romania.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 10, 2013, 12:26:34 AM
I don't think you're thinking through some of the details here. Of course, corporations could never become as bad as the government can at its worse (ex. North Korea). But:
1- people only take low-paying corporate jobs because they need a job
2- you can leave, sure, but you face a) possibly losing health insurance that you may never get back; b) possibly long-term unemployment; c) likely the only jobs out there are more corporate or restaurant jobs, with the same indoctrination.

If indoctrination (which anyway you can always ignore) pays your bills and your health I don't see what's wrong with it. Trust me, you wouldn't want to know what real, government enforced, secret police backed-up indoctrination means.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on June 10, 2013, 07:32:04 AM
Jealous of whose country?
Romania!!!!! They took 'urr #1!!!!!

I think the main reason for this is all of the young parents. Not sure why so many 15 year olds have kids.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: snyprrr on June 10, 2013, 07:34:40 AM
The more you chase something, the more it runs?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 10, 2013, 09:09:54 AM
Romania!!!!! They took 'urr #1!!!!!

Greg, where does that statistics come from?

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on June 10, 2013, 09:16:06 AM
By definition half of households have income less than the median ifself.  It is not true that half of the households have income less than half of the median.

What the statistic tells us is that in the US households with children are poorer than households without children

Yes, thanks for the correction.  This is what comes when you post at the end of a long day.   My brain somehow read that as "half of households have income less than the median income".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 28, 2013, 01:35:36 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/PCrH7LL5KT8

Translation:

http://faculty.uca.edu/rnovy/Borges--Borges&I.htm

... the translator omits the word "etymologies" between "maps" and "eighteenth-century typography".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 28, 2013, 01:58:05 PM
... and this one, the first poem by Kavafis that I knew:

Quote
Ithaca

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on June 28, 2013, 05:25:19 PM
... and this one, the first poem by Kavafis that I knew:

I first encountered him in high school, when we read Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria QuartetThe Gods Abandon Antony is the poem that most impressed itself on my memory.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on June 29, 2013, 08:22:27 AM
... and this one, the first poem by Kavafis that I knew:

A great one, a classic.
Title: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on June 29, 2013, 09:27:42 AM

A great one, a classic.

Great, indeed!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 29, 2013, 03:12:37 PM
Yesterday I did read this paragraph 83 from Nietzsche's The Joyful Wisdom and I instantaneously recalled some discussions on board (f.i., Romantic v/s HIP approach):

Quote
83. Translations. — One can estimate the amount of the historical sense which an age possesses by the way in which it makes translations and seeks to embody in itself past periods and literatures. The French of Corneille, and even the French of the Revolution, appropriated Roman antiquity in a manner for which we would no longer have the courage — owing to our superior historical sense. And Roman antiquity itself: how violently, and at the same time how naively, did it lay its hand on everything excellent and elevated belonging to the older Grecian antiquity! How they translated these writings into the Roman present! How they wiped away intentionally and unconcernedly the wing-dust of the butterfly moment! It is thus that Horace now and then translated Alcaeus or Archilochus, it is thus that Propertius translated Callimachus and Philetas (poets of equal rank with Theocritus, if we be allowed to judge): of what consequence was it to them that the actual creator experienced this and that, and had inscribed the indication thereof in his poem! — as poets they were averse to the antiquarian, inquisitive spirit which precedes the historical sense; as poets they did not respect those essentially personal traits and names, nor anything peculiar to city, coast, or century, such as its costume and mask, but at once put the present and the Roman in its place. They seem to us to ask- "Should we not make the old new for ourselves, and adjust ourselves to it? Should we not be allowed to inspire this dead body with our soul? for it is dead indeed: how loathsome is everything dead'"— They did not know the pleasure of the historical sense; the past and the alien was painful to them, and as Romans it was an incitement to a Roman conquest. In fact, they conquered when they translated, -not only in that they omitted the historical: they added also allusions to the present; above all, they struck out the name of the poet and put their own in its place-not with the feeling of theft, but with the very best conscience of the imperium Romanum.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on June 29, 2013, 03:54:38 PM
When governments take leave of their senses, it's the sane who get locked up.

A stray quotation from the Jewish-German journalist Ludwig Borne (ne Loeb Baruch), found in Emancipation by Michael Goldfarb
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 20, 2013, 09:18:53 AM
From the extra material of the blu-ray of 2001: A Space Odyssey:

Quote
The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent.

If we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death, our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfilment.

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

-- Stanley Kubrick
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 21, 2013, 05:01:33 PM
Read on Wikipedia this afternoon:

Quote
L'Académie française, also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution, it was restored in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest of the five académies of the Institut de France.

Quote
The Académie française has forty seats, each of which is assigned a separate number. Candidates make their applications for a specific seat, not to the Académie in general: if several seats are vacant, a candidate may apply separately for each. Since a newly-elected member is required to eulogize his predecessor in his installation ceremony, it is not uncommon that potential candidates refuse to apply for particular seats because they dislike the predecessors so much that even an enormous exercise in tact will not suffice.

Members are known as les immortels (the immortals) because of the motto, À l'immortalité ("To immortality"), that appears on the official seal of the charter granted by Cardinal Richelieu.

Quote
Many notable French writers have not become members of the Académie française. In 1855, the writer, Arsène Houssaye, devised the expression, "forty-first seat", for deserving individuals who were never elected to the Académie, either because their candidacies were rejected, because they were never candidates, or because they died before appropriate vacancies arose. Notable figures in French literature who never became academicians include: Descartes, Molière, Pascal, De La Rochefoucauld, Rousseau, Diderot, Beaumarchais, Chénier, Honoré de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas (father), Gautier, Flaubert, Stendhal, Nerval, Maupassant, Baudelaire, Émile Zola, Daudet, Jules Verne, Marcel Proust, Gide, Giraudoux, Sartre, Camus, among others.

 :o
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Xenophanes on July 21, 2013, 05:12:07 PM
"Confronted with the succession of scientific hypotheses, some minds are surprised that anyone could find inspiration today in metaphysical principles acknowledged by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas and rooted in the oldest intellectual heritage of the race. My reply is that the telephone and the radio do not prevent man from still having two arms, two legs and two lungs, or from falling in love and seeking happiness as did his faraway ancestors."

--Jacques Maritain

I also like aphorisms. That's one of the attractions of the Presocratic Philosophers.

My current favorite is: Life is hard, then you die.

Another is from Michael Flanders: Always be sincere, whether you mean it or not.  In another form, that's attributed to Harry Truman.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on July 21, 2013, 06:21:09 PM
My current favorite is: Life is hard, then you die.
The most true. Probably most people have thought of this before discovering any type of saying like this.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on July 21, 2013, 08:01:59 PM

I also like aphorisms. That's one of the attractions of the Presocratic Philosophers.

My current favorite is: Life is hard, then you die.


My favorite variant is "Life is a beach from which you dive."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 22, 2013, 01:12:02 AM
Another is from Michael Flanders: Always be sincere, whether you mean it or not.  In another form, that's attributed to Harry Truman.

My favorite variant of that is from George Burns: The most important thing to succeed in show business is sincerity. And if you can fake that, you've got it made.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on July 22, 2013, 02:16:08 AM

My current favorite is: Life is hard, then you die.


Life is hard. And you will never get out of it alive!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 27, 2013, 01:51:23 PM
Roger Ebert on Belle de jour:

Quote
It is possibly the best-known erotic film of modern times, perhaps the best. That's because it understands eroticism from the inside-out--understands how it exists not in sweat and skin, but in the imagination. Belle de Jour is seen entirely through the eyes of Séverine, the proper 23-year-old surgeon's wife, played by Catherine Deneuve. Buñuel, who was 67 when the film was released, had spent a lifetime making sly films about the secret terrain of human nature, and he knew one thing most directors never discover: For a woman like Séverine, walking into a room to have sex, the erotic charge comes not from who is waiting in the room, but from the fact that she is walking into it. Sex is about herself. Love of course is another matter.
-- Roger Ebert, Great Movies

Also here: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-belle-de-jour-1967
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 31, 2013, 08:35:01 AM
John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (1861)

IT HAS LONG (perhaps throughout the entire duration of British
freedom) been a common form of speech, that if a good
despot could be insured, despotic monarchy would be the
best form of government. I look upon this as a radical and
most pernicious misconception of what good government
is, which, until it can be got rid of, will fatally vitiate all our
speculations on government.

The supposition is, that absolute power, in the hands of an
eminent individual, would insure a virtuous and intelligent
performance of all the duties of government. Good laws
would be established and enforced, bad laws would be reformed;
the best men would be placed in all situations of
trust; justice would be as well administered, the public burdens
would be as light and as judiciously imposed, every
branch of administration would be as purely and as intelligently
conducted as the circumstances of the country and its
degree of intellectual and moral cultivation would admit. I
am willing, for the sake of the argument, to concede all this,
but I must point out how great the concession is, how much
more is needed to produce even an approximation to these
results than is conveyed in the simple expression, a good
despot. Their realization would in fact imply, not merely a
good monarch, but an all-seeing one. He must be at all times
informed correctly, in considerable detail, of the conduct and
working of every branch of administration, in every district
of the country, and must be able, in the twenty-four hours
per day, which are all that is granted to a king as to the humblest
laborer, to give an effective share of attention and superintendence
to all parts of this vast field; or he must at
least be capable of discerning and choosing out, from among
the mass of his subjects, not only a large abundance of honest
and able men, fit to conduct every branch of public administration
under supervision and control, but also the small
number of men of eminent virtues and talents who can be
trusted not only to do without that supervision, but to exercise
it themselves over others. So extraordinary are the faculties
and energies required for performing this task in any
supportable manner, that the good despot whom we are supposing
can hardly be imagined as consenting to undertake it
unless as a refuge from intolerable evils, and a transitional
preparation for something beyond. But the argument can
do without even this immense item in the account. Suppose
the difficulty vanquished. What should we then have? One
man of superhuman mental activity managing the entire affairs
of a mentally passive people. Their passivity is implied
in the very idea of absolute power. The nation as a whole,
and every individual composing it, are without any potential
voice in their own destiny. They exercise no will in respect
to their collective interests. All is decided for them by a
will not their own, which it is legally a crime for them to
disobey. What sort of human beings can be formed under
such a regimen? What development can either their thinking
or their active faculties attain under it? On matters of
pure theory they might perhaps be allowed to speculate, so
long as their speculations either did not approach politics, or
had not the remotest connection with its practice. On practical
affairs they could at most be only suffered to suggest;
and even under the most moderate of despots, none but persons
of already admitted or reputed superiority could hope
that their suggestions would be known to, much less regarded
by, those who had the management of affairs. A person must
have a very unusual taste for intellectual exercise in and for
itself who will put himself to the trouble of thought when it
is to have no outward effect, or qualify himself for functions
which he has no chance of being allowed to exercise. The
only sufficient incitement to mental exertion, in any but a
few minds in a generation, is the prospect of some practical
use to be made of its results. It does not follow that the nation
will be wholly destitute of intellectual power. The common
business of life, which must necessarily be performed
by each individual or family for themselves, will call forth
some amount of intelligence and practical ability, within a
certain narrow range of ideas. There may be a select class of
savants who cultivate science with a view to its physical uses
or for the pleasure of the pursuit. There will be a bureaucracy,
and persons in training for the bureaucracy, who will
be taught at least some empirical maxims of government and
public administration. There may be, and often has been, a
systematic organization of the best mental power in the country
 in some special direction (commonly military) to promote
the grandeur of the despot. But the public at large remain
without information and without interest on all greater
matters of practice; or, if they have any knowledge of them,
it is but a dilettante knowledge, like that which people have
of the mechanical arts who have never handled a tool. Nor is
it only in their intelligence that they suffer. Their moral capacities
are equally stunted. Wherever the sphere of action
of human beings is artificially circumscribed, their sentiments
are narrowed and dwarfed in the same proportion. The food
of feeling is action; even domestic affection lives upon voluntary
good offices. Let a person have nothing to do for his
country, and he will not care for it. It has been said of old
that in a despotism there is at most but one patriot, the despot
himself; and the saying rests on a just appreciation of the
effects of absolute subjection even to a good and wise master.
Religion remains; and here, at least, it may be thought, is
an agency that may be relied on for lifting men’s eyes and
minds above the dust at their feet. But religion, even supposing
it to escape perversion for the purposes of despotism,
ceases in these circumstances to be a social concern, and narrows
into a personal affair between an individual and his
Maker, in which the issue at stake is but his private salvation.
Religion in this shape is quite consistent with the most selfish
and contracted egoism, and identifies the votary as little
in feeling with the rest of his kind as sensuality itself.
A good despotism means a government in which, so far as
depends on the despot, there is no positive oppression by
officers of state, but in which all the collective interests of
the people are managed for them, all the thinking that has
relation to collective interests done for them, and in which
their minds are formed by, and consenting to, this abdication
of their own energies. Leaving things to the government,
like leaving them to Providence, is synonymous with
caring nothing about them, and accepting their results, when
disagreeable, as visitations of Nature. With the exception,
therefore, of a few studious men who take an intellectual
interest in speculation for its own sake, the intelligence and
sentiments of the whole people are given up to the material
interests, and when these are provided for, to the amusement
and ornamentation of private life. But to say this is to
say, if the whole testimony of history is worth any thing,
that the era of national decline has arrived; that is, if the
nation had ever attained any thing to decline from.


This is the most accurate description of Communism in regards of civic life I've ever read.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: MishaK on July 31, 2013, 02:06:30 PM
This is the most accurate description of Communism in regards of civic life I've ever read.

You know, there are other despotisms besides Communism. In other words, this doesn't touch any peculiarities of Communism. All this describes is the fallout of accepting a despot with absolute power of whatever political ilk. It doesn't speak at all to the perniciousness of Communism and what top down absolute control of the economy and lack of private ownership of anything does to a society's development.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 31, 2013, 11:36:04 PM
You know, there are other despotisms besides Communism. In other words, this doesn't touch any peculiarities of Communism. All this describes is the fallout of accepting a despot with absolute power of whatever political ilk. It doesn't speak at all to the perniciousness of Communism and what top down absolute control of the economy and lack of private ownership of anything does to a society's development.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The new erato on August 01, 2013, 12:43:23 AM
People in those old times had convictions; we moderns only have opinions. And it needs more than a mere opinion to erect a Gothic cathedral. - Heinrich Heine

 ;D
It also took convictions to burn heretics at the stake.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: MishaK on August 01, 2013, 05:00:47 AM
It also took convictions to burn heretics at the stake.

 :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on August 01, 2013, 05:06:50 PM
You know, there are other despotisms besides Communism. In other words, this doesn't touch any peculiarities of Communism. All this describes is the fallout of accepting a despot with absolute power of whatever political ilk. It doesn't speak at all to the perniciousness of Communism and what top down absolute control of the economy and lack of private ownership of anything does to a society's development.

Actually, if one leaves out the portions specific to despotism, it's a fairly good description of USA 2013.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 11, 2013, 02:05:30 PM
Quote
James Reston wrote in The New York Times (July 7, 1957):
A health director... reported this week that a small mouse, which presumably had been watching television, attacked a little girl and her
full-grown cat... Both mouse and cat survived, and the incident is recorded here as a reminder that things seem to be changing.

-- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The extensions of man (1964) 

 :laugh:
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on August 14, 2013, 06:53:29 AM
Some insightful Chinglish (Chinese English) word people here have invented to more accurately represent the situation here in China:

Democrazy
Freedamn
Smilence
Shitizen
Innernet
Departyment
Sexretary
Gunvernment
Goveruption
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 14, 2013, 07:49:14 AM
Very nice (although I had heard sexretary long since from, of all people, my high school band director).
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on August 14, 2013, 07:50:55 AM
Very nice (although I had heard sexretary long since from, of all people, my high school band director).

That's odd, because the band director in my high school got booted out for having sex with the students, not secretaries.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 14, 2013, 07:57:31 AM
After that post, it will not sound quite right to add that my high school band director did not have a secretary.

But that is the simple fact; and his behavior would have withstood the closest scrutiny.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on August 15, 2013, 08:17:24 AM
Charles Babbage, the English mathematician who developed the programmable computer, wrote to the young poet Tennyson. "In your otherwise beautiful poem," he said, "one verse reads,
Every moment dies a man,
 Every moment one is born.

" ... If this were true," he went on, "the population of the world would be at a standstill. In truth, the rate of birth is slightly in excess of that of death. I would suggest [that the next edition of your poem should read:"
Every moment dies a man,
 Every moment 1 1/16 is born.

"Strictly speaking," Babbage added, "the actual figure is so long I cannot get it into a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on August 15, 2013, 06:45:52 PM
Nothing actually insightful,  but certainly witty--seen on Facebook:
a New Hampshire licensce plate.  Currently, New Hampshire features as suitable decoration a moose on the left side.  The car owner ordered a vanity plate (as opposed to random assigned number) which reads

& SQIRL.


I'm sure Karl at least will appreciate that one.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 15, 2013, 08:31:21 PM
Quote
I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia. The mirror troubled the far end of a hallway in a large country house on Calle Gaona, in Ramos Mejia; the encyclopedia is misleadingly titled The Anglo-American Cyclopaedia (New York, 1917), and is a literal (though also laggardly) reprint of the 1902 Encyclopœdia Britannica.
 
The event took place about five years ago. Bioy Casares had come to dinner at my house that evening, and we had lost all track of time in a vast debate over the way one might go  about composing a first-person novel whose narrator would omit or distort things and engage in all sorts of contradictions, so that a few of the book's readers—a very few—might  divine the horrifying or banal truth. Down at that far end of the hallway, the mirror hovered, shadowing us. We discovered (very late at night  such a discovery is inevitable) that there is something monstrous about mirrors. That was when Bioy remembered a saying by one of the heresiarchs of Uqbar: Mirrors and copulation  are abominable, for they multiply the number
of mankind
. I asked him where he'd come across that memorable epigram, and he told me it was recorded in The Anglo-American Cyclopaedia, in its article on Uqbar.

-- first two paragraphs from "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius", a short story by Jorge Luis Borges

 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 15, 2013, 08:46:23 PM
Charles Babbage, the English mathematician who developed the programmable computer, wrote to the young poet Tennyson. "In your otherwise beautiful poem," he said, "one verse reads,
Every moment dies a man,
 Every moment one is born.

" ... If this were true," he went on, "the population of the world would be at a standstill. In truth, the rate of birth is slightly in excess of that of death. I would suggest [that the next edition of your poem should read:"
Every moment dies a man,
 Every moment 1 1/16 is born.

"Strictly speaking," Babbage added, "the actual figure is so long I cannot get it into a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry."

It's interesting, but maybe, if something, "moment" is a poetical notion more than a mathematical one? I mean strictly speaking.  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on August 16, 2013, 02:57:59 AM
It's interesting, but maybe, if something, "moment" is a poetical notion more than a mathematical one? I mean strictly speaking.  :D
Nah, it's too hard to swallow that Tennyson was more interested in poetry than demography.  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 16, 2013, 03:05:33 AM
Nothing actually insightful,  but certainly witty--seen on Facebook:
a New Hampshire licensce plate.  Currently, New Hampshire features as suitable decoration a moose on the left side.  The car owner ordered a vanity plate (as opposed to random assigned number) which reads

& SQIRL.


I'm sure Karl at least will appreciate that one.

As would any no-good-nik!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 16, 2013, 03:07:52 AM
Nah, it's too hard to swallow that Tennyson was more interested in poetry than demography.  8)

Too hard, as well, to imagine that a mathematician would be unaware that words have some non-quantifiable readings  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on August 17, 2013, 06:06:34 PM
Charles Babbage, the English mathematician who developed the programmable computer, wrote to the young poet Tennyson. "In your otherwise beautiful poem," he said, "one verse reads,
Every moment dies a man,
 Every moment one is born.

" ... If this were true," he went on, "the population of the world would be at a standstill. In truth, the rate of birth is slightly in excess of that of death. I would suggest [that the next edition of your poem should read:"
Every moment dies a man,
 Every moment 1 1/16 is born.

"Strictly speaking," Babbage added, "the actual figure is so long I cannot get it into a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry."
Babbage would have been right if he were talking about modern day Russia, and I think the 1/16 figure would be close to reverse in Japan.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on August 17, 2013, 06:13:13 PM
"Never to suffer would never to have been blessed." - Edgar Allan Poe
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on August 17, 2013, 06:19:15 PM
Too hard, as well, to imagine that a mathematician would be unaware that words have some non-quantifiable readings  :D

To hard, as well, to imagine that a mathematician might have a sense of humor.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 04, 2013, 09:38:46 AM
John Stuart Mill --- Considerations on Representative Government, 1861

Obedience to a distant monarch is liberty
itself compared with the dominion of the lord of the
neighboring castle; and the monarch was long compelled by
necessities of position to exert his authority as the ally rather
than the master of the classes whom he had aided in affecting
their liberation. In this manner a central power, despotic
in principle, though generally much restricted in practice,
was mainly instrumental in carrying the people through a
necessary stage of improvement, which representative government,
if real, would most likely have prevented them from
entering upon. There are parts of Europe where the same
work is still to be done, and no prospect of its being done by
any other means. Nothing short of despotic rule or a general
massacre could effect the emancipation of the serfs in the
Russian Empire.


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on September 04, 2013, 09:58:21 AM
"Never to suffer would never to have been blessed." - Edgar Allan Poe

One of my all-time favourite quotes!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 10, 2013, 04:05:48 AM
Quote
89. Mrs. George Reece

TO this generation I would say:   
Memorize some bit of verse of truth or beauty.   
It may serve a turn in your life.   
My husband had nothing to do   
With the fall of the bank—he was only cashier.            
The wreck was due to the president, Thomas Rhodes,   
And his vain, unscrupulous son.   
Yet my husband was sent to prison,   
And I was left with the children,   
To feed and clothe and school them.    
And I did it, and sent them forth   
Into the world all clean and strong,   
And all through the wisdom of Pope, the poet:   
“Act well your part, there all the honor lies."

-- Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology (1916)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on September 10, 2013, 05:15:19 AM
Quote from: Denis Diderot  (editor of  Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers,  published in France 1751-1772)
Aguaxima (natural history)
Brazilian plant.

That is all this article says about it. And I wonder who such a description is made for. It can't be for people who live in Brazil, because they know what aguaxima is, and that it grows in their region. It would be as if you told a Frenchman pears grow in France. It's not for us either, because what do we care that there is a plant in Brazil called aguaxima.
This article leaves ignorant people just as ignorant as they were before. It teaches us nothing. And so, if I have decided to mention this plant, it is just to indulge certain kinds of readers who would rather find nothing of interest in an article in a dictionary, or indeed something perfectly stupid, than not find the word in a dictionary at all.
Quote from: David Goodstein, in his book States of Matter
Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics.
Quote from: Ambrose Bierce
War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Sef on September 10, 2013, 02:25:04 PM
Monty Python:

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill
Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whiskey every day

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart
"I drink, therefore I am"

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed
A lovely little thinker
But a bugger when he's pissed
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 16, 2013, 06:45:32 AM
http://www.panarchy.org/spooner/letter.html[/u]]http://www.panarchy.org/spooner/letter.html (http://[u)

Yes, yes and yes --- a thousand times yes ! ! ! Valid not only for the US Constitution, but for each and every Constitution, everywhere, past, present and current!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on September 20, 2013, 06:00:30 PM
(http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/webdr02/2013/8/22/13/enhanced-buzz-8099-1377192852-41.jpg)


Also, from a writer from the Orlando Sentinel:

"Sure, as they say, having a miserable job is better than having no job, but having one arm is better than having no arms, right?"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 20, 2013, 07:57:00 PM
These days I'm reading Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith. A stimulating reading indeed, which leaves few doubts about Mr. Smith's opinion on rich people:

Quote
The rich only select from the heap what is most precious and agreeable. They consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity, though they mean only their own conveniency, though the sole end which they propose from the labours of all the thousands whom they employ, be the gratification of their own vain and insatiable desires, they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species. When Providence divided the earth among a few lordly masters, it neither forgot nor abandoned those who seemed to have been left out in the partition. These last too enjoy their share of all that it produces. In what constitutes the real happiness of human life, they are in no respect inferior to those who would seem so much above them. In ease of body and peace of mind, all the different ranks of life are nearly upon a level, and the beggar, who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for.

I know, reality is overwhelmingly less poetic, but what a beautiful line: "[...] the beggar, who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Octave on September 20, 2013, 07:58:05 PM
Thanks for that; Smith was a lion.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 20, 2013, 08:06:11 PM
Thanks for that; Smith was a lion.

No doubt: He was essentially a decent man, with strong moral concerns. 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kyjo on September 25, 2013, 10:42:12 AM
I've chosen a simple yet profoundly true quote from Nadia Boulanger for my signature:

"Nothing is better than music.... It has done more for us than we have the right to hope for."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The Six on September 26, 2013, 07:31:03 AM
Quote
Egger: Heres the history of our medicine.
       "I have a sore throat."
       2000 BC : "eat this root"
       1200 AD : "That root is heathen, say this prayer."
       1500 AD : "That prayer is superstition, drink this elixir."
       1800 AD : "That elixir is snake oil, Take this pill."
       1900 AD : "That pill is ineffective, Take this antibiotic."
       2000 AD : "That antibiotic is artificial, Here why dont you eat this root."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 27, 2013, 08:10:56 AM
E. F. Schumacher (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._F._Schumacher)

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

If greed were not the master of modern man--ably assisted by envy--how could it be that the frenzy of economism does not abate as higher "standards of living" are attained, and that it is precisely the richest societies which pursue their economic advantage with the greatest ruthlessness? How could we explain the almost universal refusal on the part of the rulers of the rich societies--where organized along private enterprise or collective enterprise lines--to work towards the humanisation of work? It is only necessary to assert that something would reduce the "standard of living" and every debate is instantly closed. That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no amount of of "bread and circuses" can compensate for the damage done--these are facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence--because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.

Anything that we can destroy but are unable to make is, in a sense, sacred, and all our 'explanations' of it do not really explain anything.

Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation to man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations: as long as you have not shown it to be "uneconomic" you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper.

The art of living is always to make a good thing out of a bad thing.

Every increase of needs tends to increase one's dependence on outside forces over which one cannot have control and therefore increases existential fear.

What do I miss, as a human being, if I have never heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? The answer is: Nothing. And what do I miss by not knowing Shakespeare? Unless I get my understanding from another source, I simply miss my life. Shall we tell our children that one thing is as good as another-- here a bit of knowledge of physics, and there a bit of knowledge of literature? If we do so, the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, because that normally is the time it takes from the birth of an idea to its full maturity when it fills the minds of a new generation and makes them think by it.

Science cannot produce ideas by which we could live.

[E]verything can be learned about [man] except that which makes us human.

[W]hile the higher comprises and therefore in a sense understands the lower, no being can understand anything higher than themselves.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on September 27, 2013, 08:29:38 AM
I've chosen a simple yet profoundly true quote from Nadia Boulanger for my signature:

"Nothing is better than music.... It has done more for us than we have the right to hope for."

Love this one!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 27, 2013, 08:34:07 AM
Thanks, Andrei!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 27, 2013, 08:38:14 AM
Thanks, Andrei!

You're welcome, Karl!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 28, 2013, 08:01:50 AM
Ivan Illich (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Illich)

People need new tools to work with, rather than new tools that work for them.

n a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.

The habitual passenger cannot grasp the folly of traffic based overwhelmingly on transport. His inherited perceptions of space and time and of personal pace have been industrially deformed. He has lost the power to conceive of himself outside the passenger role. Addicted to being carried along, he has lost control over the physical, social, and psychic powers that reside in man's feet. The passenger has come to identify territory with the untouchable landscape through which he is rushed. He has become impotent to establish his domain, mark it with his imprint, and assert his sovereignty over it. He has lost confidence in his power to admit others into his presence and to share space consciously with them. He can no longer face the remote by himself. Left on his own, he feels immobile.
The habitual passenger must adopt a new set of beliefs and expectations if he is to feel secure in the strange world where both liaisons and loneliness are products of conveyance. To "gather" for him means to be brought together by vehicles. He comes to believe that political power grows out of the capacity of a transportation system, and in its absence is the result of access to the television screen. He takes freedom of movement to be the same as one's claim on propulsion. He believes that the level of democratic process correlates to the power of transportation and communications systems. He has lost faith in the political power of the feet and of the tongue. As a result, what he wants is not more liberty as a citizen but better service as a client. He does not insist on his freedom to move and to speak to people but on his claim to be shipped and to be informed by media. He wants a better product rather than freedom from servitude to it. It is vital that he come to see that the acceleration he demands is self-defeating, and that it must result in a further decline of equity, leisure, and autonomy.

Universal education through schooling is not feasible. It would be no more feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions built on the style of present schools. Neither new attitudes of teachers toward their pupils nor the proliferation of educational hardware or software (in classroom or bedroom), nor finally the attempt to expand the pedagogue's responsibility until it engulfs his pupils' lifetimes will deliver universal education. The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.

Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting. Most people learn best by being "with it," yet school makes them identify their personal, cognitive growth with elaborate planning and manipulation.

During the late sixties I had a chance to give a dozen addresses to people who were concerned with education and schooling. I asked myself, since when are people born needy? In need, for instance, of education? Since when do we have to learn the language we speak by being taught by somebody? I wanted to find out where the idea came from that all over the world people have to be assembled in specific groups of not less than fifteen, otherwise it's not a class, not more than forty, otherwise they are underprivileged, for yearly, not less than 800 hours, otherwise they don't get enough, not more than 1,100 hours, otherwise it's considered a prison, for four-year periods by somebody else who has undergone this for a longer time. How did it come about that such a crazy process like schooling would become necessary? Then I realized that it was something like engineering people, that our society doesn't only produce artifact things, but artifact people. And that it doesn't do that by the content of the curriculum, but by getting them through this ritual which makes them believe that learning happens as a result of being taught; that learning can be divided into separate tasks; that learning can be measured and pieces can be added one to the other; that learning provides value for the objects which then sell in the market.
And it's true. The more expensive the schooling of a person, the more money he will make in the course of his life. This in spite of the certainty, from a social science point of view, that there's absolutely no relationship between the curriculum content and what people actually do satisfactorily for themselves or society in life.


    The latent function of schooling, that is, the hidden curriculum, which forms individuals into needy people who know that they have now satisfied a little bit of their needs for education, is much more important... The idea that people are born with needs, that needs can be translated into rights, that these rights can be translated into entitlements, is a development of the modem world and it's reasonable, it's acceptable, it's obvious only for people who have had some of their educational needs awakened or created, then satisfied, and then learned that they have less than others. Schooling, which we engage in and which supposedly creates equal opportunities, has become the unique, never-before-attempted way of dividing the whole society into classes. Everybody knows at which level of his twelve or sixteen years of schooling he has dropped out, and in addition knows what price tag is attached to the higher schooling he has gotten. It's a history of degrading the majority of people.

Increasingly people live in an artifact and become artifacts themselves, feel satisfied, feel fit for that artifact insofar as they themselves have been manipulated.


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 01, 2013, 02:35:13 AM
Quote
Family tangles, bereavement, and failure send us home, seldom happiness.
-- Paul Theroux, I'm the Meat, You're the Knife
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The new erato on October 01, 2013, 03:22:03 AM
These days I'm reading Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith. A stimulating reading indeed, which leaves few doubts about Mr. Smith's opinion on rich people:

I know, reality is overwhelmingly less poetic, but what a beautiful line: "[...] the beggar, who suns himself by the side of the highway, possesses that security which kings are fighting for."
Certainly a part of Mr Smith's writings that market liberalists seem less eager to quote.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 01, 2013, 11:04:11 AM
Certainly a part of Mr Smith's writings that market liberalists seem less eager to quote.
Yes, indeed. They have even invented a theory of "the [supposed] two faces of Adam Smith". 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 01, 2013, 11:07:44 AM
Talking about "liberals" (European meaning, of course]:

Quote
"A Liberal may be defined approximately as a man who, if he could by waving his hand in a dark room, stop the mouths of all the deceivers of mankind for ever, would not wave his hand."

G.K. Chesterton, Robert Browning
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 03, 2013, 04:30:32 PM
Sonnet 81: Or I Shall Live Your Epitaph To Make

by William Shakespeare

Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten,
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.

Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombed in men’s eyes shall lie.

Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o’er-read;
And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse,
When all the breathers of this world are dead;

You still shall live, such virtue hath my pen,
Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.

Sonnet 81: Translation to modern English
Either I will live to write your epitaph or you will survive my rotting in the grave. Death can’t obliterate memory of you, although everything about me will be forgotten. Your name will live forever, whereas I, once I’m gone, will be dead to the world. All I will be able to get will be a simple grave but you will be in tombed in everyone’s eyes. Your monument will be my loving poems, which will be read by eyes not yet born, and tongues not yet born will will recite them when everyone now breathing in this world will be dead. You’ll live on – my pen has that power – where life is most evident: in the very mouths of men.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on October 04, 2013, 12:05:27 PM
(http://foxnews1450.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Edward-Abbey-Anarchism.jpg)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on October 04, 2013, 12:15:07 PM
(http://foxnews1450.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Edward-Abbey-Anarchism.jpg)

Based on the insight that life was more pleasant 5,000 years ago than it is now.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Geo Dude on October 04, 2013, 03:12:34 PM
Based on the insight that life was more pleasant 5,000 years ago than it is now.


That you can derive that from that quote is quite strange to me.  Tha claim was not made.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on October 04, 2013, 04:15:57 PM
That you can derive that from that quote is quite strange to me.  Tha claim was not made.

How can 5,000 years of experience tell us we cannot trust government if, during those 5,000 years, human civilization rose from nomads following herds of animals and gathering nuts to the civilization that produced Einstein, Brahms and Tolstoy?  If we had 5,000 years of anarchy we may very will still be following herds of animals and gathering nuts.

Anarchism is a fable because no example of a peaceful anarchist society has ever existed.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on October 04, 2013, 05:58:38 PM
How can 5,000 years of experience tell us we cannot trust government if, during those 5,000 years, human civilization rose from nomads following herds of animals and gathering nuts to the civilization that produced Einstein, Brahms and Tolstoy?  If we had 5,000 years of anarchy we may very will still be following herds of animals and gathering nuts.

Anarchism is a fable because no example of a peaceful anarchist society has ever existed.

Think a minute how much of that progress was made in spite of government (Mr. Galileo, the Inquisitor has a few questions for you), and how much more was achieved in which government had no role, positive or negative. 

Other than police and courts to keep the rule of law in place,  what do we actually need government for?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 04, 2013, 07:03:37 PM
Other than police and courts to keep the rule of law in place,  what do we actually need government for?
How about stuff that is essential to society that would be unprofitable in the free market?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on October 04, 2013, 07:20:26 PM
Think a minute how much of that progress was made in spite of government (Mr. Galileo, the Inquisitor has a few questions for you), and how much more was achieved in which government had no role, positive or negative. 

Galileo's research was supported by the Catholic authorities until he fell afoul of a political intrigue, his history runs counter to your claim.

Quote
Other than police and courts to keep the rule of law in place,  what do we actually need government for?

You really want to maintain that the US would be better off if government entities had not built roads, established public education, established public universities, established institutions to verify the safety of food, drugs, etc?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 04, 2013, 09:08:58 PM
How can 5,000 years of experience tell us we cannot trust government if, during those 5,000 years, human civilization rose from nomads following herds of animals and gathering nuts to the civilization that produced Einstein, Brahms and Tolstoy?  If we had 5,000 years of anarchy we may very will still be following herds of animals and gathering nuts.

You do have a point, but.. Tolstoy himself was an anarchist.  :D

Quote
Anarchism is a fable because no example of a peaceful anarchist society has ever existed.

There, fixed it a little.  :D

One can paraphrase Pascal and say: two excesses: to exclude government, to admit nothing but government.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 05, 2013, 04:29:03 AM
You really want to maintain that the US would be better off if government entities had not built roads, established public education, established public universities, established institutions to verify the safety of food, drugs, etc?
Not to mention that the very thing we are using to communicate (the Internet) was funded largely by the US government.

This one ultra-conservative customer I used to have a while back used to say that the only thing government should do is protect the homeland (I'm assuming military). He drives two hours to work every day, so I would like to propose to him a model of private roads, which would come to around $50 a day in tolls. I think that might be more than what he currently pays in taxes for roads, but if you really like less government that much, then you should be fine with it.

Another position which is kind of bizarre to me is the fear that Universal Health Care would be a success because then people would "rely on government more." So if you are uninsured you'd rather either just die or go into massive, unpayable debt if you get sick rather than get government aid? I'm not saying I definitely support Obamacare or know that it is even a good idea now, but most of these conservative arguments against it are downright retarded. The only valid argument against if I've heard so far is the negative impact towards businesses, hiring, hours, etc.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 05, 2013, 08:35:39 AM
Other than police and courts to keep the rule of law in place,  what do we actually need government for?

Have you relapsed into libertarianism as of late, Jeffrey? :)  ;D

The irony of it all is that governmental action can be inferred from the very libertarian mantra "protect life, liberty & property".

Life in the abstract has no meaning; life is always contextual. The right to life means nothing to a concrete person if that person's health is precarious, if that person has no shelter and no food. Hence, it is the very duty of a government pretending to defend the right to life of its citizens to ensure that each and every citizen, regardless of social status, has access to basic shelter, food and medical care. Universal, compulsory, government-managed, single-payer health insurance (which is the unquestionable norm in European countries) strikes me as the most logical and relatively efficient solution when it comes to health care: it does not, and should not, exclude supplementary private health care insurance for those who can afford it, while at the same time not excluding those who cannot afford it from being treated properly. The libertarian argument that health is not a public issue but a private one is absurd: let the most vocal advocates of libertarianism live for just one week in a neighborhood where the majority is suffering of tuberculosis...

Liberty in the abstract also has no meaning at all. Should we congratulate a convicted mass murderer, who has just managed to escape, for regaining his liberty? Besides, what is most curious and telling is that liberty, which is the Latin equivalent to the Germanic freedom, has not produced in English any noun equivalent to free; one can say free to or free from, but can one say liber to or liber from? Be it as it may, if we consider freedom as a thing that the government is duty bound to protect, then we might ask: is an uneducated man free? is he not the slave of his own passions and instincts? who is freer, a man who has read, or at least has been taught to read, Aristotle, Dante and Dostoyevsky, or a man who has never ever heard of them? a man who has listened to, or at least has been taught to listen to, Palestrina, Mozart and Mahler, or a man who has never heard of them? Hence, it is the very duty of a government pretending to defend the right to liberty, i.e. freedom, of its citizens, to ensure that each and every citizen, regardless of social status, has access to basic education.

Property in the abstract --- it is THE road to serfdom. Pray tell, what is the time zero AFTER the property rights are to be accounted for? In the same time, one can rob someone at the point of a gun and one can earn his money by hard work; both of them pass their fortune to their inheritors. And now I ask you: from a libertarian point of view, are the sons of a pirate to be treated in the same way as the sons of an honest shoemaker? The former inherit the fruit of plunder and crime, the latter inherit the fruit of hard work; is it the same thing altogether, in the name of abstract "property rights"? Hence, it is the very duty of a government pretending to defend the right to property of its citizens, to ensure that each and every citizen, regardless of social status, has his property upheld and, moreover, that each and every citizen, regardless of his social status, can acquire, by honest work, property.

Case in point: Romania, my country. Until 1859 it was not even a country: two distinct principalities, both of them under the Ottoman Empire's nominal suzerainty; both of them under the effective rule of the local aristocratic class, whose main concern was exactly that: to have police and courts of law keeping the "rule of law" in place, and otherwise to let things run their course. As a result, there were no universities, no schools, no hospitals, no printing presses, no railroads no etc, except for those who could afford them: exactly the same aristocratic class members or their clients. Then came 1859: the two principalities united under the rule of the same elected Prince: a bourgeois army Colonel, elected by the ascending low and high bourgeoisie and the civic-minded fraction of the aristocracy. After 7 years of his rule, in which all kinds of government-inspired-and-enacted reforms were implemented, he was replaced in 1866 by a Prince (Charles I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen) who, after the Independence War of 1877-78, was proclaimed full king in 1881 and reigned until 1914, the longest reign (1866-1914) in the whole history of Romania. Now, Romania in 1914 was quite different from Romania in 1866, let alone 1859: a modern country, where educational and cultural institutions were open to all, where banks, railroads, printing presses, ports, industry and commerce were open to all --- and where all those institutions without which a country cannot be counted as belonging to civilizations were either established, or supported, or promoted, by the government. Modern Romania is exactly that case to which John Stuart Mill referred to when he wrote that: In the particular circumstances of a given age or nation, there is scarcely anything really important to the general interest, which it may not be desirable, or even necessary, that the government should take upon itself, not because private individuals cannot effectually perform it, but because they will not. At some times and places, there will be no roads, docks, harbours, canals, works of irrigation, hospitals, schools, colleges, printing-presses, unless the government establishes them; the public being either too poor to command the necessary resources, or too little advanced in intelligence to appreciate the ends, or not sufficiently practised in joint action to be capable of the means.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on October 05, 2013, 09:17:49 AM
Not to mention that the very thing we are using to communicate (the Internet) was funded largely by the US government.

...and almost every member of this board would probably be dead by now if not for biomedical research funded by the governments of the US and other advanced nations.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 05, 2013, 10:09:20 AM
...and almost every member of this board would probably be dead by now if not for biomedical research funded by the governments of the US and other advanced nations.

Well, let's not exaggerate: most of us are alive because more than a century ago the physicians finally decided to follow Semmelweis' advice: wash your hands before helping a pregnant woman deliver a baby!...



Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 05, 2013, 10:26:32 AM
The irony of it all is that governmental action can be inferred from the very libertarian mantra "protect life, liberty & property".
...
This post makes sense. The libertarian mindset really does aim for some good stuff, such as personal responsibility and freedom, but it completely overlooks how to get there, which unfortunately does often involve... the government.

I'm luckily not drowning in debt already after being halfway through school, because of... the government. I can go to school in the first place because it's there and there is a minimum wage law which means I actually have time to go to school because of... the government. If I got fired, I won't starve because of... the government. Going to school means a chance to be happy in my life; I get to go to school because of the government... so, there's still some good points about the government.


What would happen to Life, Liberty, and Property under an extreme Libertarian scenario of no minimum wage + no government assistance?

Government is one of those things... when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's really bad.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 05, 2013, 10:57:31 AM
Government is one of those things... when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's really bad.

That's like saying: a human being is one of those things... when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's really bad.

Government is just as good, or just as bad, as the people who are in charge of it.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 05, 2013, 06:35:19 PM
That's like saying: a human being is one of those things... when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's really bad.

Government is just as good, or just as bad, as the people who are in charge of it.  ;D
Yep, and I suppose that's why there are Constitutions... helps to keep bad leaders accountable to a set of rules.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on October 06, 2013, 08:10:58 AM
This post makes sense. The libertarian mindset really does aim for some good stuff, such as personal responsibility and freedom, but it completely overlooks how to get there, which unfortunately does often involve... the government.

I'm luckily not drowning in debt already after being halfway through school, because of... the government. I can go to school in the first place because it's there and there is a minimum wage law which means I actually have time to go to school because of... the government. If I got fired, I won't starve because of... the government. Going to school means a chance to be happy in my life; I get to go to school because of the government... so, there's still some good points about the government.


What would happen to Life, Liberty, and Property under an extreme Libertarian scenario of no minimum wage + no government assistance?

Government is one of those things... when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's really bad.

The libertarian/conservative agrument is that government intervention and manipulation is the main reason that education and health care are so expensive now: government programs and direct/indirect subsidies to students and patients have allowed schools/doctors/hospitals/medical equipment providers/pharmaceutical companies to charge higher and higher prices.  I've fallen behind in education costs, not having kids of my own.  In the late 70s I attended a private university, and the total cost (paid for mostly by school sponsored scholarships, a school run job program, and the government backed student loan program of that era) ran about $10,000 per year.  That included not merely tuition but the charges for living in the school dorm, eating on campus and off,  books and supplies, and doing the stuff which is the real purpose of going to college--going to concerts and bars in Atlanta on the weekends,  sharing pitchers of beer at the pub just off campus on weeknights,  throwing/giving parties as an alternative to the other two, etc. etc.  I had jobs over the summer when I was at home,  but during school terms I only worked perhaps 10-15 hours per week in that school program--and it was a job that allowed me to study intermittently while on the job. 

The only real change in education between my era as a student and yours is the advent of computers and wireless communication.  (Back then,  the IBM Selectric was the typewriter of choice among my crowd,   35mm cameras were either not yet in use or just starting out,  files were manila folders full of paper documents, and if you got stuck on the road with a car problem,  you had better figure out quick where the nearest payphone was.)

So deduct what you think is reasonable amounts to represent that sort of technological change, and the difference between what you (or your peer at a not quite big name private school like my alma mater) pay and what I paid is, in essence, all government induced inflation.  And remember that a hundred and twenty years ago plenty of men worked their way through school--or had middle class parents who paid for their college years without needing to contemplate  bankruptcy.


I do know one thing about education costs now, from stepfamily:  to attend a school to get the necessary qualifications to work as a cosmetologist now costs about the same as what I paid per year to get a BA in English.


Another position which is kind of bizarre to me is the fear that Universal Health Care would be a success because then people would "rely on government more." So if you are uninsured you'd rather either just die or go into massive, unpayable debt if you get sick rather than get government aid? I'm not saying I definitely support Obamacare or know that it is even a good idea now, but most of these conservative arguments against it are downright retarded. The only valid argument against if I've heard so far is the negative impact towards businesses, hiring, hours, etc.

The basic conservative argument against any sort of national health insurance is that, ultimately,  there's not enough money in the world to actually pay for. No country, not even the USA at its most prosperous, could afford at current rates to give its residents truly first class health care, with all the doo dahs and whizbangs and wonder drugs available through modern technology.  So some people won't get first class care, and under government run programs,  it would be government bureaucrats deciding, almost literally,  who shall live and who shall die, and doing so for budgetary or political reasons, not medical reasons.    The flaw in that argument is of course that under our current scheme, it's corporate bureaucrats who make that sort of decision, and that's not really any better.  (The conservative answer is that without government subsidies, etc,  costs would actually be less, and you'd not be dependent on your employer's health plan--you'd be able to find a provider/insurance plan that actually meets your needs.)

Question to Florestan--how much of that lack of Romanian progress was due to living under an Ottoman regime that had a vested interest in keeping up the status quo and depressing Romanian nationalism?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on October 06, 2013, 08:32:11 AM
There are two reasons education has gotten expensive.  One is that public education is no longer subsidized to the extent it was.  In 1970, the state paid 3/4 of the cost of educating a student at the University of Michigan (the archetype of a US state university).  Now the state pays 1/4.  That is typical of the US system.  Another reason is that education is one of the few things in the economy which has not been automated, it is still done "by hand."  Everything else got cheaper and education stayed the same, so education is now more expensive relative to everything else.  The measures the cost-conscious schools are taking to make education cheaper - replacing regular faculty with adjunct lecturers who are paid shockingly low wages and given no benefits - is not making education better.

With regard to health care, your argument makes no sense to me because the government, which you blame for causing health care costs to expand, pays the lowest rates for health care.  Medicare/Medicaid is more typically blamed for putting health care practitioners into bankruptcy because of their low reimbursement rates.  Big corporations and their insurers also drive hard bargains.  Only people without health care are billed "retail" prices.  Last year I had a very minor, outpatient surgery.  The process took about 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes of prep time in which they did things like take my blood pressure, measure my heart rate and make me sign waivers.   When I got the statement from my insurer, I found that they had been charged $7,000 for the procedure.  The insurer stated that their price schedule would reimburse about $600.  The charge was adjusted to $600.  If I did not have insurance I presume I would have been sent a $7,000 bill.  That's the system that people want to protect from "Obamacare."

I think the main hope for the US economy would be to adopt something like the Canadian system.  Of course, that will never happen because of the control that big economic interests like the health care industry exert over the government.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on October 06, 2013, 08:57:01 AM
There are two reasons education has gotten expensive.  One is that public education is no longer subsidized to the extent it was.  In 1970, the state paid 3/4 of the cost of educating a student at the University of Michigan (the archetype of a US state university).  Now the state pays 1/4.  That is typical of the US system.  Another reason is that education is one of the few things in the economy which has not been automated, it is still done "by hand."  Everything else got cheaper and education stayed the same, so education is now more expensive relative to everything else.  The measures the cost-conscious schools are taking to make education cheaper - replacing regular faculty with adjunct lecturers who are paid shockingly low wages and given no benefits - is not making education better.
Computers/Internet/wireless technology is education's version of automation. 
And please note my experience was at a private university, so government loan and grant programs had impact, but state structuring of tuition was irrelevant.
Quote

With regard to health care, your argument makes no sense to me because the government, which you blame for causing health care costs to expand, pays the lowest rates for health care.  Medicare/Medicaid is more typically blamed for putting health care practitioners into bankruptcy because of their low reimbursement rates. Big corporations and their insurers also drive hard bargains.  Only people without health care are billed "retail" prices.  Last year I had a very minor, outpatient surgery.  The process took about 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes of prep time in which they did things like take my blood pressure, measure my heart rate and make me sign waivers.   When I got the statement from my insurer, I found that they had been charged $7,000 for the procedure.  The insurer stated that their price schedule would reimburse about $600.  The charge was adjusted to $600.  If I did not have insurance I presume I would have been sent a $7,000 bill.  That's the system that people want to protect from "Obamacare."

I think the main hope for the US economy would be to adopt something like the Canadian system.  Of course, that will never happen because of the control that big economic interests like the health care industry exert over the government.

Medical prices inflated because of Medicare and government subsidies.  Government essentially spent three decades pumping in free money to the medical system.  Think of it this way--if Medicare had not existed,  you'd probably be a total bill of perhaps $1000, to be worked out between you and whatever major medical insurance plan you signed up for.   There wouldn't be the nonsense of sending out multi thousand bills knowing that Medicare and insurance companies would be shave off 90 percent or more of the total. 

And I bolded one portion of your post because it's an important point.  Medicare is doing that because of financial constraints.  Under any sort of national health insurance,  that would end up happening to everyone, not just Medicare/Medicaid patients and providers.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 06, 2013, 09:08:23 AM
Quote
Question to Florestan--how much of that lack of Romanian progress was due to living under an Ottoman regime that had a vested interest in keeping up the status quo and depressing Romanian nationalism?

Actually, the Romanian principalities were rather autonomous; the Ottoman influence was restricted to extracting a yearly amount of money and products and, between 1720 and 1821, to nominating / deposing the Princes, selecting for that office only Greeks. After 1829 when the commercial monopoly of the Ottomans was broken as a result of the Adrianopolis Peace, their influence withered away almost completely. The formal proclamation of independence in 1877 only sanctioned a de facto state.

Anyway, the modernizing of Romania was the result of deliberate and steady governmental plans and actions and it couldn't have been any other way. The vast majority of Romanians were illiterate and poor peasants; had the libertarian dogma of minimal government been applied, they would have remained illiterate and poor to this very day.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on October 06, 2013, 09:43:39 AM
In the late 70s I attended a private university, and the total cost (paid for mostly by school sponsored scholarships, a school run job program, and the government backed student loan program of that era) ran about $10,000 per year.  That included not merely tuition but the charges for living in the school dorm, eating on campus and off,  books and supplies, and doing the stuff which is the real purpose of going to college--going to concerts and bars in Atlanta on the weekends,  sharing pitchers of beer at the pub just off campus on weeknights,  throwing/giving parties as an alternative to the other two, etc. etc.  I had jobs over the summer when I was at home,  but during school terms I only worked perhaps 10-15 hours per week in that school program--and it was a job that allowed me to study intermittently while on the job. 
10-15 hours per week... away from home? Must have been quite a bit of money you got from those scholarships and loans. Probably had to use a lot for living expenses.


Quote
I do know one thing about education costs now, from stepfamily:  to attend a school to get the necessary qualifications to work as a cosmetologist now costs about the same as what I paid per year to get a BA in English.
Depends on the school. I've known a few cosmetologists that graduated at a school I attended, and it's only about $3,000 or less for the whole course.


Quote
And remember that a hundred and twenty years ago plenty of men worked their way through school--or had middle class parents who paid for their college years without needing to contemplate  bankruptcy.
Okay... this is a bit hard to believe. So if I were a poor person who grew up in a poor family, 120 years I could have just "worked through school." Seems like everyone would have had a bachelor's back then. And if what you meant to say was that you definitely had to be middle class first (was there even a decent-sized middle class in the 1890's?), well then, that's not quite an American ideal. The American ideal is that anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard enough, regardless of what you were born into.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on October 07, 2013, 11:48:08 AM
10-15 hours per week... away from home? Must have been quite a bit of money you got from those scholarships and loans. Probably had to use a lot for living expenses.
Quite so. The debt I owed at the end of my schooling was not small by standards of that time, but I paid it off by the time I was thirty.  But what I got was about the same as my peers, and I apparently paid as much for the four years as some people pay for one year now.
Quote
Depends on the school. I've known a few cosmetologists that graduated at a school I attended, and it's only about $3,000 or less for the whole course.
Possible.  I wasn't comparing costs, just told what someone was paying.  And it may vary depending on the precise career goal.  I have no idea what she intends to do when she finishes this.
And of course student loans taken to pay for cosmetology school count as student debt just as much as loans taken to pay for a year at Harvard.
Quote
Okay... this is a bit hard to believe. So if I were a poor person who grew up in a poor family, 120 years I could have just "worked through school." Seems like everyone would have had a bachelor's back then. And if what you meant to say was that you definitely had to be middle class first (was there even a decent-sized middle class in the 1890's?), well then, that's not quite an American ideal. The American ideal is that anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard enough, regardless of what you were born into.
Don't forget that a college degree was much less important for career prospects back then.  Unless you wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, preacher, teacher, or scientist, you generally could start at entry level directly out of high school, and hope to work your way up the food chain from there.  The 18 year old stockboy could realistically hope to be the middle aged manager with home and family in due course. In a sense, the idea that everyone should go to college before starting their first job was something that did not come into being until after WWII, and the GI Bill had a large impact in that.  And those men (being realistic about who was going to school then) who did attend school often did have jobs on the side, just like you are doing now.  (On the issue of gender,  there were plenty of teacher's colleges or normal colleges, as they were called,  which focused on meeting the needs of young women who wanted to teach.)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 07, 2013, 11:59:00 AM
Quite so. The debt I owed at the end of my schooling was not small by standards of that time, but I paid it off by the time I was thirty.  But what I got was about the same as my peers, and I apparently paid as much for the four years as some people pay for one year now.Possible.  I wasn't comparing costs, just told what someone was paying.  And it may vary depending on the precise career goal.  I have no idea what she intends to do when she finishes this.
And of course student loans taken to pay for cosmetology school count as student debt just as much as loans taken to pay for a year at Harvard.Don't forget that a college degree was much less important for career prospects back then.  Unless you wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, preacher, teacher, or scientist, you generally could start at entry level directly out of high school, and hope to work your way up the food chain from there.  The 18 year old stockboy could realistically hope to be the middle aged manager with home and family in due course. In a sense, the idea that everyone should go to college before starting their first job was something that did not come into being until after WWII, and the GI Bill had a large impact in that.  And those men (being realistic about who was going to school then) who did attend school often did have jobs on the side, just like you are doing now.  (On the issue of gender,  there were plenty of teacher's colleges or normal colleges, as they were called,  which focused on meeting the needs of young women who wanted to teach.)

Jeffrey, let me ask you a question, if I may: all things considered, would you rather live today or 120 years ago?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on October 07, 2013, 12:20:54 PM
Jeffrey, let me ask you a question, if I may: all things considered, would you rather live today or 120 years ago?

As a quick answer,  probably today.  There are things I would have liked that I could have done back then,  but couldn't do now.  But the things I could do now, but wouldn't be able to do then, are far more numerous.  And it's easier (meaning less overt anti-Semitism) to live as a Jew now than it was then.  (I'm assuming we're talking about living then in circumstances roughly equivalent to my current economic, social and cultural situation--in America, Jewish,  lower middle class with as high an education as would be available to me.)

And of course, that would mean I would almost certainly never hear a note of Mahler (and heaven knows who else), so definitely--better to live now than six score years ago.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 07, 2013, 01:16:07 PM
As a quick answer,  probably today.  There are things I would have liked that I could have done back then,  but couldn't do now.  But the things I could do now, but wouldn't be able to do then, are far more numerous.

Thanks for your honest answer. That is the crux of the matter. State or no state, market or no market --- we are far better off right now than our ancestors were 120 years ago.  8)

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And it's easier (meaning less overt anti-Semitism) to live as a Jew now than it was then.  (I'm assuming we're talking about living then in circumstances roughly equivalent to my current economic, social and cultural situation--in America, Jewish,  lower middle class with as high an education as would be available to me.)

Well, let me tell you something: in Romania 120 years ago a Jewish, lower middle class family offspring, if he wouldn't have gone into an industrial / commercial career, he would have went into being a physician, a pharmacist, or even a Romanian-language philologist, e.g. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazar_Saineanu (http://(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazar_Saineanu)), whose Dictionary of the Romanian Language was an authoritative source for generations to come.

That doesn't mean that anti-Semitism was completely absent from Romanian politics 1918-1947 and beyond; it means only that the educated, moderate middle class --- who until 1947 comprised the majority, and after 1947 was the main object of Communist persecution, has never attached too much importance on who's have been born into what religion...

Case in point: the husband of my paternal grandmother's sister was a Hungarian Jew who came to Romania in 1930's and never ever learned to speak Romanian proper; everytime after 1980 I asked him why he had come to Romania he always answered: Because Romania was far better than Hungary at that time! (1930's).  May you rest in peace, uncle Dezső!:D

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And of course, that would mean I would almost certainly never hear a note of Mahler (and heaven knows who else), so definitely--better to live now than six score years ago.

As a low middle-class offspring, I rest my case.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on October 07, 2013, 01:29:35 PM
Of course, I come at that from a slightly different perspective.  120 years ago (and less--my father's parents didn't actually get to the US until the 1920s--they were the ones who lived in Moldava) my family were subjects of the Czar of all the Russias, and while life was good for some Jews back then, the policy of the Russian government in that era was supposedly aimed at having one third of the Jews emigrate, one third assimilate via conversion to Russian Orthodoxy, and one third starve to death.  (There's actually a semi-confirmed quote from a Russian prime minister of the era that said exactly that.)  Apparently all four of my grandparents had no fond memories of Russia, since they never said much of anything about what life was like to their children or grandchildren.  We're not even sure of the exact name of the towns anyone of them came from.

But I was thinking less of governmental policies and legal discrimination than of social discrimination here in the US.   The late nineteenth century was the period when hotels felt free to advertise that they did not accept Jews as guests.  Ironically, the most famous case involved a hotel in upstate New York (Saratoga Springs, to be precise), which in due course became the prime vacation location for American Jews looking to escape the city for a week or two in summer.  And even more recently--supposedly, after WWII, Jewish doctors in Miami found it necessary to start a hospital of their own because none of the existing places would give them admitting privileges.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on November 02, 2013, 01:44:57 PM
Quote
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity
-- Yeats, "The Second Coming"

Quote
Resignation

KEEP off your thoughts from things that are past and done;
For thinking of the past wakes regret and pain.
Keep off your thoughts from thinking what will happen; To think of the future fills one with dismay.
Better by day to sit like a sack in your chair;
Better by night to lie like a stone in your bed.
When food comes, then open your mouth;
When sleep comes, then close your eyes.
-- By Po Chu-i (translated by Arthur Waley)

Is all of this true?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 04, 2013, 01:42:44 AM
-- Yeats, "The Second Coming"
-- By Po Chu-i (translated by Arthur Waley)

Is all of this true?

The first one is debatable; the second one is bull, if you'll excuse my French.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 08, 2013, 05:13:12 AM
Lysander Spooner, No Treason No. 6, 1870

It is true that the theory of our Constitution is, that all taxes are paid voluntarily; that our government is a mutual insurance company, voluntarily entered into by the people with each other; that that each man makes a free and purely voluntary contract with all others who are parties to the Constitution, to pay so much money for so much protection, the same as he does with any other insurance company; and that he is just as free not to be protected, and not to pay tax, as he is to pay a tax, and be protected. 

But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: “Your money, or your life.” And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat. 

 The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful. 

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a “protector,” and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to “protect” those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave. 

The proceedings of those robbers and murderers, who call themselves “the government,” are directly the opposite of these of the single highwayman. 

In the first place, they do not, like him, make themselves individually known; or, consequently, take upon themselves personally the responsibility of their acts. On the contrary, they secretly (by secret ballot) designate some one of their number to commit the robbery in their behalf, while they keep themselves practically concealed. They say to the person thus designated: 
 
"Go to A_____ B_____, and say to him that “the government” has need of money to meet the expenses of protecting him and his property. If he presumes to say that he has never contracted with us to protect him, and that he wants none of our protection, say to him that that is our business, and not his; that we choose to protect him, whether he desires us to do so or not; and that we demand pay, too, for protecting him. If he dares to inquire who the individuals are, who have thus taken upon themselves the title of “the government,” and who assume to protect him, and demand payment of him, without his having ever made any contract with them, say to him that that, too, is our business, and not his; that we do not choose to make ourselves individually known to him; that we have secretly (by secret ballot) appointed you our agent to give him notice of our demands, and, if he complies with them, to give him, in our name, a receipt that will protect him against any similar demand for the present year. If he refuses to comply, seize and sell enough of his property to pay not only our demands, but all your own expenses and trouble beside. If he resists the seizure of his property, call upon the bystanders to help you (doubtless some of them will prove to be members of our band.) If, in defending his property, he should kill any of our band who are assisting you, capture him at all hazards; charge him (in one of our courts) with murder; convict him, and hang him. If he should call upon his neighbors, or any others who, like him, may be disposed to resist our demands, and they should come in large numbers to his assistance, cry out that they are all rebels and traitors; that “our country” is in danger; call upon the commander of our hired murderers; tell him to quell the rebellion and “save the country,” cost what it may. Tell him to kill all who resist, though they should be hundreds of thousands; and thus strike terror into all others similarly disposed. See that the work of murder is thoroughly done; that we may have no further trouble of this kind hereafter. When these traitors shall have thus been taught our strength and our determination, they will be good loyal citizens for many years, and pay their taxes without a why or a wherefore."
 
It is under such compulsion as this that taxes, so called, are paid. And how much proof the payment of taxes affords, that the people consent to “support the government,” it needs no further argument to show. 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on November 16, 2013, 08:09:46 PM
"Even paranoids have enemies, son."
-- Said by Ricardo Piglia's father to his son
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on November 23, 2013, 03:34:00 AM
As a part of the artistic project “Play me, i’m yours”, these days 20 pianos have been installed in streets of Santiago:

http://www.youtube.com/v/02wV8xX_-s8

http://www.streetpianos.com
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 25, 2013, 06:58:32 AM
Were they ahead of Boston on that, do you suppose?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 29, 2013, 06:42:32 AM
Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.” - George Carlin

Valid also for Romania.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 29, 2013, 06:47:26 AM
That's why working with the public is the greatest thing ever. Especially for people who have to work this morning with the public.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 29, 2013, 06:53:36 AM
I shall have the pleasure of waiting upon the shopping public the latter part of this afternoon and this evening.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 29, 2013, 07:19:19 AM
I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world - no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.Woodrow Wilson
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on November 29, 2013, 09:56:57 AM
If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.” [/i] - George Carlin

Don't despair - George Carlin is just another selfish, ignorant citizen. So there is hope!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 29, 2013, 12:09:52 PM
I shall have the pleasure of waiting upon the shopping public the latter part of this afternoon and this evening.
Me, too. But usually it isn't that bad for me. Of course, I could be the guy who worked at Wal-Mart today and got trampled to death.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on November 29, 2013, 04:09:49 PM
I shall have the pleasure of waiting upon the shopping public the latter part of this afternoon and this evening.

And I had the pleasure of waiting on the shopping public for eleven of the last fifteen hours.

At about 3:30 AM, a mother and daughter team heavily laden with bags began to try on what small assortment of sandals we have at this time of the year.   The mother sympathized with the hard lot of we retailers in having to work such hard hours (in my case, 2AM to 2PM).  I suppressed the urge to point out to her that if she and her ilk were not shopping at 3:30 AM, the corporate bosses would not be tempted to be open all night, and we retailers would not be working quite such hard hours....

I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world - no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.Woodrow Wilson

Be it noted that American conservatives love to point to Wilson as a prime example of an elitist pro-Big Government Democrat.....
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 30, 2013, 08:25:53 AM
And I had the pleasure of waiting on the shopping public for eleven of the last fifteen hours.

At about 3:30 AM, a mother and daughter team heavily laden with bags began to try on what small assortment of sandals we have at this time of the year.   The mother sympathized with the hard lot of we retailers in having to work such hard hours (in my case, 2AM to 2PM).  I suppressed the urge to point out to her that if she and her ilk were not shopping at 3:30 AM, the corporate bosses would not be tempted to be open all night, and we retailers would not be working quite such hard hours....

I wonder where the Black as in Black Friday come from...  ;D

Quote
Be it noted that American conservatives love to point to Wilson as a prime example of an elitist pro-Big Government Democrat.....

Are American conservatives opposed to elitist pro-Big Government Republicans, too? ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on November 30, 2013, 08:38:57 AM
I wonder where the Black as in Black Friday come from...  ;D

The idea is that for most retailers,  whatever profit they make for the year can be represented by sales from the Christmas shopping period, and therefore on the first day of the Christmas shopping period  stores move from financial red to financial black. However true it was in former times,  now it's probably urban legend.  But a potent one, as not merely normal stores engage in it.  Chevrolet is advertising a "Black Friday Sale" at its dealerships this weekend, and Amazon UK is as keen to offer Black Friday deals as Amazon US.

Quote
Are American conservatives opposed to elitist pro-Big Government Republicans, too? ;D

In theory, yes.  In practice many of them dutifully trot off to vote for such Republicans because they are at least better than those demonic Democrats.  But much of the strength of the Tea Party movement (which is far from spent) comes from the dissatisfaction of the Right for the GOP establishment, whom they refer to as "Republicans In Name Only"--RINOs.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 30, 2013, 08:52:49 AM
The idea is that for most retailers,  whatever profit they make for the year can be represented by sales from the Christmas shopping period, and therefore on the first day of the Christmas shopping period  stores move from financial red to financial black. However true it was in former times,  now it's probably urban legend.  But a potent one, as not merely normal stores engage in it.  Chevrolet is advertising a "Black Friday Sale" at its dealerships this weekend, and Amazon UK is as keen to offer Black Friday deals as Amazon US.

Why, thanks, but I was thinking about black as in "Black was the sky at 3:30 AM when a mother and daughter team heavily laden with bags began to try on what small assortment of sandals J.Smith & Sons had at that time of the year." Boy, wouldn't that make a great first line of a novel?  :D

Quote
In theory, yes.  In practice many of them dutifully trot off to vote for such Republicans because they are at least better than those demonic Democrats.  But much of the strength of the Tea Party movement (which is far from spent) comes from the dissatisfaction of the Right for the GOP establishment, whom they refer to as "Republicans In Name Only"--RINOs.

I see. "Our" Big Government is at least better than "theirs".  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 30, 2013, 08:56:58 AM
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

Education: the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.

When the final result is expected to be a compromise, it is often prudent to start from an extreme position.

A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind.


John Maynard Keynes

To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.

The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletariat to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeoisie.


Gustave Flaubert
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on November 30, 2013, 09:11:53 AM
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

John Maynard Keynes


The whole ideology of "free market capitalism" is built on a profound paradox: that the greatest degree of global economic efficiency is attained through allowing the maximum number of local economic inefficiencies: that, for instance, millions of purchasers acting with limited information and choosing among products limited by local circumstances, will together provide the best price and flow of supply vs. demand.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Todd on November 30, 2013, 09:19:49 AM
The whole ideology of "free market capitalism" is built on a profound paradox: that the greatest degree of global economic efficiency is attained through allowing the maximum number of local economic inefficiencies: that, for instance, millions of purchasers acting with limited information and choosing among products limited by local circumstances, will together provide the best price and flow of supply vs. demand.



That's not quite right, particularly as it pertains to information.  Standard competitive models, pure or perfect, assume symmetric information for buyers and sellers.  And this is micro theory more than macro or trade theory.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 30, 2013, 09:31:27 AM
That's not quite right, particularly as it pertains to information.  Standard competitive models, pure or perfect, assume symmetric information for buyers and sellers.

Communism was as pure and perfect a model as one could imagine --- and it failed miserably.  ;D

Purity and perfection have got nothing whatsoever to do with humans and their society.  ;D




Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Todd on November 30, 2013, 09:34:43 AM
Purity and perfection have got nothing whatsoever to do with humans and their society.



True, I was just pointing out the shortcoming in the analysis of capitalism.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on November 30, 2013, 09:40:44 AM


That's not quite right, particularly as it pertains to information.  Standard competitive models, pure or perfect, assume symmetric information for buyers and sellers.  And this is micro theory more than macro or trade theory.

And it is theory.  There are very few real life scenarios in which both sides have symmetric information--although the Internet is probably making that ideal more attainable.  (Think, for an example most germane to GMG, how much Amazon MP and Ebay plays into our decisions on prices of the recordings we want to buy.)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Todd on November 30, 2013, 09:42:36 AM
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

[etc]

John Maynard Keynes



If you're going to quote Keynes, I think this should be considered:

The time has already come when each country needs a considered national policy about what size of population, whether larger or smaller than at present or the same, is most expedient. And having settled this policy, we must take steps to carry it into operation. The time may arrive a little later when the community as a whole must pay attention to the innate quality as well as to the mere numbers of its future members.


(One can disregard his casual anti-Semitic quotes.)





Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Todd on November 30, 2013, 09:47:30 AM
And it is theory.



Of course it is, and all economists will tell you that the models they use are grossly simplified, but it is essential to accurately communicate what is in the models, and what level of economic thinking one is considering.  Micro theory at least has the advantages of being almost universally accepted and sort of testable; macro theory and trade theory, which more closely tie to political-economic ideology, really have neither of those advantages.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 30, 2013, 10:26:56 AM


If you're going to quote Keynes, I think this should be considered:

The time has already come when each country needs a considered national policy about what size of population, whether larger or smaller than at present or the same, is most expedient. And having settled this policy, we must take steps to carry it into operation. The time may arrive a little later when the community as a whole must pay attention to the innate quality as well as to the mere numbers of its future members.


(One can disregard his casual anti-Semitic quotes.)

Well,  AFAIC the above is as stupid and totalitarian as it gets and then some.  :D

Now, the problem with quotes is manifold.

First and foremost, they are almost always taken out of their context. And context is everything. Speaking of Keynes, conservatives love to use "In the long run we are all dead" as proof for keynesian economics being irresponsible and hedonistic. Few of them ever bother to give the full quote, which reads "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead." and which means completely the opposite of what they think it to mean. In the same vein, one can selectively quote Adam Smith and thus make him appear the most outspoken apologist of laissez-faire capitalism, which in reality he was clearly opposed to.  ;D

Second, it all depends on who quotes what. We are all psychologically inclined (should I say conditioned?) to quote approvingly that which seems to support our own worldview and to disregard that which doesn't.  :D

And last but not least, the same person can be absolutely right on some issues and completely wrong on others. The difference between an intelligent man and a stupid one is that the intelligent is stupid only now and then, while the stupid is stupid always.  :D

Micro theory at least has the advantages of being almost universally accepted and sort of testable

Exactly so was the theory that the Sun was revolving the Earth, until not that too long ago...  ;D


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 30, 2013, 10:58:14 AM
Good ol' G. K. Chesterton  :D

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.

I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.

There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.

Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.

Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference which is an elegant name for ignorance.

Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.

My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.

Journalism largely consists in saying "Lord Jones is dead" to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.

It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.

Psychoanalysis is confession without absolution.

If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments.


(to be continued)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Todd on November 30, 2013, 11:08:32 AM
Well,  AFAIC the above is as stupid and totalitarian as it gets and then some.


My quote was purposive.  Remember that Lord Keynes was an unabashed elitist, and he was an enthusiastic believer in eugenics - to the point of being the director of the British Eugenics Society.  That is very much in line intellectually with his advocacy of select elites - perhaps Oxbridge economist types? - nudging the economy in the desired direction to meet desired ends.

I disagree with your assessment of his "in the long run" quote.  An even longer, better contextualized quote is: But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.  This is used to challenge the traditional notions of market equilibrium and full employment.  Keynes of course argued that an economy could achieve an equilibrium with comparatively high unemployment and lowered output that could last for years, and that it is quite possible for an economy to get stuck in a liquidity trap, where low interest rates, and presumably inflated returns on investment, do not in fact lead to significant increases in productive investment and employment, thus leading to the need for robust, expansionary demand side policies.  But Keynes offers no true long run policy or outlook; policy makers are forever fiddling with monetary and fiscal policy, favoring loose monetary policy and deficit spending in bad times, and tighter monetary policy and surpluses in good times.  (No one ever seems to want the tighter monetary policy and budget surpluses in good times, though.)  This is not the same as irresponsibility and hedonism (I'm not sure what hedonism is in economic terms), but it does deviate from then accepted concepts, and concepts still beloved by some.  Possible future inflation or output distortions are less important than addressing current needs.

To be honest, I'm not sure why this famous quote has not been coopted by people to attack environmentalism.  Since we are all dead in the long run, policy makers should adopt policies to maximize potential economic growth and investment here and now, with the understanding that there are long term environmental costs.  Policy makers could could then parry the inevitable admonitions about the increased environmental/social/economic costs in the long run by stating that the expenditures needed will be economically expansionary when they occur.  I suppose one then could argue about the relative suffering of those actually alive today who are jobless and hungry, and those who do not yet exist.  You know, our children, our children's children, and so on, will bear the costs of our actions, and so forth.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 30, 2013, 11:29:20 AM
My quote was purposive. 

I'm only too aware of that.  :D

Quote
Remember that Lord Keynes was an unabashed elitist, and he was an enthusiastic believer in eugenics - to the point of being the director of the British Eugenics Society.  That is very much in line intellectually with his advocacy of select elites - perhaps Oxbridge economist types? - nudging the economy in the desired direction to meet desired ends.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the info.

Quote
I disagree with your assessment of his "in the long run" quote.  An even longer, better contextualized quote is: But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.  This is used to challenge the traditional notions of market equilibrium and full employment.  Keynes of course argued that an economy could achieve an equilibrium with comparatively high unemployment and lowered output that could last for years, and that it is quite possible for an economy to get stuck in a liquidity trap, where low interest rates, and presumably inflated returns on investment, do not in fact lead to significant increases in productive investment and employment, thus leading to the need for robust, expansionary demand side policies.  But Keynes offers no true long run policy or outlook; policy makers are forever fiddling with monetary and fiscal policy, favoring loose monetary policy and deficit spending in bad times, and tighter monetary policy and surpluses in good times.  (No one ever seems to want the tighter monetary policy and budget surpluses in good times, though.)  This is not the same as irresponsibility and hedonism (I'm not sure what hedonism is in economic terms), but it does deviate from then accepted concepts, and concepts still beloved by some.  Possible future inflation or output distortions are less important than addressing current needs.

I gladly admit that you have a far better knowledge and understanding of theoretical economics than I have. But I am firmly convinced that the crisis of our time is first and foremost moral and spiritual; and that monetary and fiscal policy, deficit spending, budget surpluses and all the like, while useful for economists, financial experts and bankers, are just epiphenomena; the most tightly constructed budget, the most prudent fiscal policy, the most carefully planned deficit spending amounts to nothing if the hearts and souls of men are not attuned to them ---  nay, what I really want to say is actually the reverse: as long the budgets, the fiscal policies and the deficit spendings will continue to ignore the natural, innate and unavoidable propensities of human hearts and souls they will amount to nothing.  ;D

Quote
To be honest, I'm not sure why this famous quote has not been coopted by people to attack environmentalism.  Since we are all dead in the long run, policy makers should adopt policies to maximize potential economic growth and investment here and now, with the understanding that there are long term environmental costs.  Policy makers could could then parry the inevitable admonitions about the increased environmental/social/economic costs in the long run by stating that the expenditures needed will be economically expansionary when they occur.  I suppose one then could argue about the relative suffering of those actually alive today who are jobless and hungry, and those who do not yet exist.  You know, our children, our children's children, and so on, will bear the costs of our actions, and so forth.

Well, the first keynesian was Madame de Pompadour Apres nous, le deluge.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on December 02, 2013, 05:07:18 AM
Served them right!
Quote from: Peter Jones. The Spectator, 27/7/02. Quoted at QI Talk Forum
In the course of a 22-year athletic career around 480BC, Theagenes of Thasos was said to have won more than 1,300 victories in various games, and when he died a bronze statue was erected in his honour. According to Pausanias, writing in 170AD, one of Theagenes' enemies took to visiting the statue every night and flogging it, until one night it fell on him and killed him. The man's sons successfully prosecuted the statue for murder; a sentence of exile was passed and the statue was taken out to sea and dumped.

 The next year the crops failed, and when the Thasians sent to Delphi for advice the oracle instructed them to bring back their exiles. This they did, but the famine continued. They sent to Delphi again, and the priestess replied "You have forgotten your great Theagenes". The Thasians had no idea how to find the statue, but luckily it was accidentally caught in some fishing nets, brought in, and returned to its original position. It was still being sacrificed to as a god in Pausanias' time, 650 years later.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 02, 2013, 05:20:33 AM
Maybe the priestess was having a wee joke . . ..
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 05, 2013, 06:10:11 PM
"$17 Trillion in debt.
Thanks, Obama."

-Sticker on the stop sign at my school
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on December 06, 2013, 08:58:47 AM
John Maynard Keynes, again and at length (he might have been wrong on other issues, but in the following he has my seal of approval --- excerpts from his 1925 essay "Am I a Liberal?").

If one is born a political animal, it is most uncomfortable not to belong to a party; cold and lonely and futile it is. If your party is strong, and its programme and its philosophy sympathetic, satisfying the gregarious, practical, and intellectual instincts all at the same time, how very agreeable that must be!—worth a large subscription and all one's spare time—that is, if you are a political animal.

So the political animal who cannot bring himself to utter the contemptible words, ‘I am no party man’, would almost rather belong to any party than to none. If he cannot find a home by the principle of attraction, he must find one by the principle of repulsion and go to those whom he dislikes least, rather than stay out in the cold.

Now take my own case—where am I landed on this negative test? How could I bring myself to be a Conservative? They offer me neither food nor drink—neither intellectual nor spiritual consolation. I should not be amused or excited or edified. That which is common to the atmosphere, the mentality, the view of life of—well, I will not mention names—promotes neither my self-interest nor the public good. It leads nowhere; it satisfies no ideal; it conforms to no intellectual standard; it is not even safe, or calculated to preserve from spoilers that degree of civilisation which we have already attained.

Ought I, then, to join the Labour Party? Superficially that is more attractive. But looked at closer, there are great difculties. To begin with, it is a class party, and the class is not my class. If I am going to pursue sectional interests at all, I shall pursue my own. When it comes to the class struggle as such, my local and personal patriotisms, like those of every one else, except certain unpleasant zealous ones, are attached to my own surroundings. I can be influenced by what seems to me to be justice ad good sense; but the class war will find me on the side of the educated bourgeoisie.

But, above all, I do not believe that the intellectual elements in the Labour Party will ever exercise adequate control; too much will always be decided by those who do not know at all what they are talking about; and if—which is not unlikely—the control of the party is seized by an autocratic inner ring, this control will be exercised in the interests of the extreme left wing—the section of the Labour Party which I shall designate the party of catastrophe.

[...]

There were always two arguments for free trade—the laissez-faire argument which appealed and still appeals to the Liberal individualists, and the economic argument based on the benefits which flow from each country's employing its resources where it has a comparative advantage. I no longer believe in the political philosophy which the doctrine of free trade adorned. I believe in free trade because, in the long run and in general, it is the only policy which is technically sound and intellectually tight.

[...]

I believe that the seeds of the intellectual decay of individualist capitalism are to be found in an institution which is not in the least characteristic of itself, but which it took over from the social system of feudalism which preceded it—namely, the hereditary principle. The hereditary principle in the transmission of wealth and the control of business is the reason why the leadership of the capitalist cause is weak and stupid. It is too much dominated by third-generation men. Nothing will cause a social institution to decay with more certainty than its attachment to the hereditary principle. It is an illustration of this that by far the oldest of our institutions, the Church, is the one which has always kept itself free from the hereditary taint.

[...]

[T]he Labour Party will always be flanked by the Party of Catastrophe—Jacobins, Communists, Bolshevists, whatever you choose to call them. This is the party which hates or despises existing institutions and believes that great good will result merely from overthrowing them—or at least that to overthrow them is the necessary preliminary to any great good. This party can only flourish in an atmosphere of social oppression or as a reaction against the Rule of Die- Hard. In Great Britain it is, in its extreme form, numerically very weak. Nevertheless its philosophy in a diluted form permeates, in my opinion, the whole Labour Party. However moderate its leaders may be at heart, the Labour Party will always depend for electoral success on making some slight appeal to the widespread passions and jealousies which find their full development in the Party of Catastrophe. I believe that this secret sympathy with the Policy of Catastrophe is the worm which gnaws at the seaworthiness of any constructive vessel which the Labour Party may launch. The passions of malignity, jealousy, hatred of those who have wealth and power (even in their own body), ill consort with ideals to build up a true social republic. Yet it is necessary for a successful Labour leader to be, or at least to appear, a little savage. It is not enough that he should love his fellow-men; he must hate them too.

[...]
[/b]




Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on December 11, 2013, 04:49:39 PM
Quote from: Stephen Fry on the joys of swearing. Stephen Fry: Guilty, BBC4, September 8th 2007
Swearing is a really important part of one's life. It would be impossible to imagine going through life without swearing and without enjoying swearing... There used to be mad, silly, prissy people who used to say swearing was a sign of a poor vocabulary -such utter nonsense. The people I know who swear the most tend to have the widest vocabularies and the kind of person who says swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary usually have a pretty poor vocabulary themselves... The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest or -is just a fucking lunatic... I haven't met anybody who's truly shocked at swearing, really, they're only shocked on behalf of other people. Well, you know, that's preposterous... or they say 'it's not necessary'. As if that should stop one doing it! It's not necessary to have coloured socks, it's not necessary for this cushion to be here, but is anyone going to write in and say 'I was shocked to see that cushion there, it really wasn't necessary'? No, things not being necessary is what makes life interesting -the little extras in life.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Thing
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 12, 2013, 05:00:08 AM
I love that Stephen Fry, wonderful wit, frightfully bright chap . . . but he's just wrong on a number of points.  It's not an important part of my life, it doesn't shock me, I don't particularly care about anyone else swearing, and if he finds it impossible to imagine going through life without swearing and without enjoying swearing . . . well, I should never have thought that his imagination, of all people's, would be so deficient  ;)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Thing
Post by: North Star on December 12, 2013, 05:31:45 AM
I love that Stephen Fry, wonderful wit, frightfully bright chap . . . but he's just wrong on a number of points.  It's not an important part of my life, it doesn't shock me, I don't particularly care about anyone else swearing, and if he finds it impossible to imagine going through life without swearing and without enjoying swearing . . . well, I should never have thought that his imagination, of all people's, would be so deficient  ;)
Well, doesn't he sort of say that it does not shock?
Of course swearing has its time and place, but damn, it would be ludicrous not to curse when e.g. hammering a finger or trying to get out of water after the ice has broken under you - it's nature's own painkiller. Of course one doesn't want to overdose on those ;)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 12, 2013, 05:37:06 AM
Well, doesn't he sort of say that it does not shock?

Aye, but he seems to say that the people who don't swear are prissies who feign shock . . . .

No argument that if you bark your shin, an indelicacy is apt to emerge involuntarily, and I wouldn't hold that against the Pope himself.  But that wouldn't fall under the heading of, erm, enjoying swearing  0:)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on December 12, 2013, 05:48:42 AM
Aye, but he seems to say that the people who don't swear are prissies who feign shock . . . .

No argument that if you bark your shin, an indelicacy is apt to emerge involuntarily, and I wouldn't hold that against the Pope himself.  But that wouldn't fall under the heading of, erm, enjoying swearing  0:)
I don't think he says that all people who don't swear are prissies, just those who try to control others' language.
As for the imagination thing, one could replace swearing with Wagner, soccer or Shakespeare, and some people would agree, and some would find the suggestion incredibly silly.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 12, 2013, 06:03:18 AM
I don't think he says that all people who don't swear are prissies, just those who try to control others' language.

Yes, you're perfectly right.  My brain cells haven't all quickened yet :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on December 12, 2013, 08:05:37 PM
I don't think he says that all people who don't swear are prissies, just those who try to control others' language.
As for the imagination thing, one could replace swearing with Wagner, soccer or Shakespeare, and some people would agree, and some would find the suggestion incredibly silly.  :)

Flibbertigibbet became a valued member of my expletive vocabulary as soon as I encountered the name when reading King Lear for 12th grade English.   So high school education does have some practical uses....
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 20, 2014, 07:33:29 PM
Quote
New Hampshire is one of the only states that has an express right of the people to revolution: Article 10 (of its Constitution) reads:

[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

June 2, 1784

These wise old men.

I took this quotation from Lawrence Lessig:

http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/65527936195/help-us-organize-a-new-hampshire-march-in-january
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on January 20, 2014, 07:59:19 PM
"Once upon a time, there was this foolish traveler, who'd gone on a journey, why was he foolish, well because he was fooled by everyone he met. “Please some money for medicine” said an old lady, and he gave money to her. Everywhere he went people made up all kinds of sad stories to tell him, and the traveler fell for every one of them, “I have a sick younger sister” a little girl said to him, “I don’t have money to buy seeds to plant in my fields” a man said to him, and he gave to them each something of his. Pretty soon his money, his clothes, even his shoes had been cheated away from him, but the foolish traveler was always glad to help, and he always told people the same thing, he said, “I wish you happiness”. But by this point though, the traveler was completely naked, and with nothing left to cover himself, he decided to leave the main road and travel through the dense forest, where no one could see him. But soon he was discovered by the goblins that lived in the woods. The goblins wanted to eat the traveler’s body, so they begged, and they pleaded, and they used kind words to try and trick him, of course, the traveler was fooled, first he let the goblins eat one of his legs, then an arm, then more and more, before it was over, all the traveler had left was his head. He’d even given his eyes away to the last of the goblins, and as that last goblin was eating the traveler’s eyes, he turned and said “Thank you traveler, in return I leave you this present”, what the goblin left was a slip of paper with the word "fool" written on it. The traveler couldn’t see it, he didn’t know what it was, even so, tears began to float of his face. “Thank you” he said, “This is the first present anyone’s ever given me, I’m so happy, I’m so happy thank you”. Even without his eyes, he cried and he cried great tears of joy. Then the traveler died… the smile is still on his face.…I feel so sorry for him, see… lost, hardship, things like that, you can’t really focus on them. The traveler didn’t, he never thought about his own troubles at all, I imagine that it probably does sound foolish to some people, but not to me. I don’t think he’s foolish at all, even though other people would probably think he was being tricked, I don’t think he was, I think he did exactly what he wanted to do… I think more than anything he just wanted to make other people happy."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 04, 2014, 06:20:26 AM
Adam Smith again:

Quote
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

-- The Wealth of Nations, I, X, paragraph 82.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on March 04, 2014, 07:16:01 AM
Adam Smith again:

-- The Wealth of Nations, I, X, paragraph 82.
This is something I've been thinking about lately. I don't think power-hungry corporations actually like capitalism, after all, despite what certain people may say; perhaps when starting out, but in the long run, I think not.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The new erato on March 04, 2014, 10:16:19 AM
This is something I've been thinking about lately. I don't think power-hungry corporations actually like capitalism, after all, despite what certain people may say; perhaps when starting out, but in the long run, I think not.
That's the real problem with capitalism of course. Big corporations do everything they can to bypass Smith's free market mechanism. Not that there's anything wrong wih that per se, but it means strong governing mechanisms are needed if market efficiencies are to be achieved.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Todd on March 04, 2014, 10:38:39 AM
It should be remembered that Adam Smith's critique of corporations was primarily aimed at state chartered monopolies.  They were a bit different than the large public companies of today, though similar to modern state monopolies.  From the small quote, I do enjoy this portion most: 

"But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary."  (My italics, of course.)

Surely things like Davos and systemically important financial institutions whose leaders routinely meet with central bankers fall outside this proscription.




but it means strong governing mechanisms are needed if market efficiencies are to be achieved.


Effective, consistent enforcement of, or at least threats to enforce, anti-trust laws would be good, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 10, 2014, 09:40:31 PM
I thought maybe somebody could enjoy this article ("Dead Dragons, Then and Now") by G.K. Chesterton, as ever, insultingly intelligent:

http://books.google.cl/books?id=mfevqXnWHwEC&pg=PA25&lpg=PA25&dq=%22dead+dragons,+then+and+now%22&source=bl&ots=Z15WmrH7Lo&sig=p1Vvk7zia3Zzh1MEGeqID5czZUc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DJ4eU7biM5LI0gGu1IHQCA&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22dead%20dragons%2C%20then%20and%20now%22&f=false

I read it in Vol. 36 of "The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton", published by Ignatius Press (available as Kindle download).

Vols. 27-37 include all his articles written for "The Illustrated London News."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on March 11, 2014, 02:00:32 AM
I read recently that Poe was influenced by Miss Landon and thought it made sense since both use a particularly rhythmic flow of words, although in Poe this is terser and more powerful. Landon often employed a profusion of words that should be viewed, as it were, from a distance and which can have a hypnotic effect. I found this poem with an interesting association of name:

ALICE LEE.
by L. E. L

Through the dim and lonely forest
   Comes a low sweet sound,
Like the whispering of angels
   To the greenwood round.
Bearing through the hours of midnight.
   On their viewless wings,
Music in its measure telling
   High and holy things.
      Through the forest lone and dim
      Swelleth soft the twilight hymn
      Of the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee.

On the grass the dews unbroken
   In their silver lie.
And the stars are out in thousands
   On the deep blue sky;
Bright as when the old Chaldeans
   Held them as the shrine
Where was kept the varying fortune
   Of our human line.
      Would that o'er their mystic scroll
      Better hours may have to roll
      For the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee !

Time was, coming forth together,
   She and Spring might seem
Like the beautiful creations
   Of a morning dream ;
Each went through the quiet greenwood
   Wandering alone.
With the green leaves and wild flowers
   O'er their pathway strown.
      Of the seasons in the year
      Spring seemed fittest to be near
      The old knight's lovely daughter^
         The gentle Alice Lee.

Round her head the locks are golden,
   So the sun in June
Pours his glory o'er the summer
   At his crystal noon;
From that shining hair, when parted.
   Came the pure high brow.
With the carving of a statue.
   With the mountain's snow.
      Blue her eyes as yon blue heaven,
      Nature every charm had given
      To the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee.

But it was the inward beauty
   Breathing from her face.
That gave every look and motion
   Its diviner grace ;
Thought was on the high white forehead.
   In the deep blue eyes.
And it was the quick warm feeling
   Bade the blushes rise.
      Which could such sweet light impart.
      Writing on the cheek, the heart.
      Of the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee.

Lovely was the highborn maiden,
   Happy were the hours
Gathering in the oak-tree's shelter
   Mosses and wild flowers ;
When the deer from each green coppice
   Fled, a startled band.
Save when some familiar favourite
   Fed from her small hand.
      Danger now, and fear, and wrath.
      Are around the woodland path
      Of the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee.

Nobly doth she meet the trial.
   She who hath but known
Till the present time of trouble
   Life's smooth path alone.
Though her smile be somewhat sadder.
   And her eye subdued.
Such are lovelier as the token
   Of a higher mood.
      Like an angel's is the face,
      In its meek and pensive grace,
      Of the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee.

Not an hour of calm and quiet
   Hath his old age found.
There are foes and strangers haunting
   His ancestral ground.
Of his ancient halls and woodlands
   Is the old man reft.
But they have not quite bereaved him.
   For his child is left.
      Others evil fortunes move.
      Deeper, dearer, is the love
      Of the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee.

'Tis her voice that now is raising
   Words of praise and prayer.
Heaven will consecrate the worship
   Of this hour of care.
Earthly care and earthly sorrow
   Only purify;
Such a heart as that uplifting
   Its best hopes on high.
      Heaven will bless the faithful maid.
      Heaven will bless the duty paid
      By the old knight's lovely daughter.
         The gentle Alice Lee.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 11, 2014, 02:05:53 AM
Most interesting, thanks; I have an augmented appreciation for Poe's poem  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on March 11, 2014, 02:20:20 AM
Most interesting, thanks; I have an augmented appreciation for Poe's poem  :)

Quite right, too!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 15, 2014, 05:14:13 PM
Quote
Fat heard in her rational tone the harp of nihilism, the twang of the void."

-- Philip K. Dick: Valis
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on March 18, 2014, 03:59:05 AM
I have since discovered that Alice Lee is the heroine of Walter Scott's novel 'Woodstock'.
Miss Landon also wrote a poem entitled 'The Village of Bells' but don't have a text for this, otherwise you might gain some further appreciation for another of Poe's poems!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on March 18, 2014, 04:22:28 AM
I wonder what Lenny would think of Spotify or Youtube ads...
Quote from: Leonard Bernstein
The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 18, 2014, 05:35:42 PM
Quote
Our future was with the collective, but our survival was with the individual, and the paradox was killing us everyday.
-- John Le Carre Smiley's People (1979)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on March 19, 2014, 07:03:14 AM
Quote from: Konstantin Balmont
I do not know wisdom – leave that to others –
I only turn fugitive visions into verse.
In each fugitive vision I see worlds,
Full of the changing play of rainbows.
Don’t curse me, you wise ones. What are you to me?
The fact is I’m only a cloudlet, full of fire.
The fact is I’m only a cloudlet. Look: I’m floating.
And I summon dreamers… You I summon not.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 19, 2014, 07:55:20 AM
I think you may mean Konstantin Dmitriyevich . . . .
 
 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on March 19, 2014, 08:22:53 AM
I think you may mean Konstantin Dmitriyevich . . . .
 
 :)
I must have sniffed something very special when I wrote that...
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 19, 2014, 08:35:59 AM
Look! I'm floating!  ;)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on March 19, 2014, 02:29:31 PM
Interestingly, L.E.L. belongs to a style that cannot really exist in music, a style that has been referred to as Post-Romantic. To quote from a useful essay:
L.E.L.'s poetry is characteristically about artifice and artificial narratives, and not about language per se. Though readers from her lifetime to now sometimes miss the point, her works are not about the experiences and feelings of the narrated characters; they are about the narration of those feelings and experiences. L.E.L. writes poems about tales of love, but she does not write tales of love.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 19, 2014, 05:55:53 PM
I do not know wisdom – leave that to others –
I only turn fugitive visions into verse.
In each fugitive vision I see worlds,
Full of the changing play of rainbows.
Don’t curse me, you wise ones. What are you to me?
The fact is I’m only a cloudlet, full of fire.
The fact is I’m only a cloudlet. Look: I’m floating.
And I summon dreamers… You I summon not.

I recalled these verses tonight when I read this:

Quote
Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion [...]. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

-- G.K. Chesterton: Orthodoxy
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 19, 2014, 06:08:40 PM
Quote
Only mirrors have good taste all around!
-- Octave: New Releases (thread), Reply #1951
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: DavidW on March 19, 2014, 06:09:55 PM
That is very nice Gordo I had to share that one.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Octave on March 19, 2014, 06:10:16 PM
Hey: "G.K. Chesterton.....Octave..."

Me like!   8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 19, 2014, 06:21:14 PM
That is very nice Gordo I had to share that one.

Thanks! I'm not currently reading Orthodoxy, but an excellent  book titled G.K. Chesterton The Apostle of Common Sense, written by Dale Ahlquist.

BTW, it's the Kindle version and it works out nicely on my iPad mini.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 19, 2014, 06:31:16 PM
Hey: "G.K. Chesterton.....Octave..."

Me like!   8)

As you can see, we are open to fresh talent.  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Octave on March 19, 2014, 08:42:19 PM
Your charity is duly noted!   0:)

That Chesterton quote is a nice one.  I am quite often taken by surprise by his writing; it sneaks up on me.   
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 20, 2014, 03:59:16 PM
Quote
Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?

-- G.K. Chesterton: Evening
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on March 21, 2014, 02:30:36 AM
Speaking of Chesterton...

Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?

The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their commonsense.

The word 'good' has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.

Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer's day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented.

The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us.

The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.

The most dangerous criminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men.

People who make history know nothing about history. You can see that in the sort of history they make.

What people call impartiality may simply mean indifference, and what people call partiality may simply mean mental activity.

A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over... is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on March 21, 2014, 02:59:58 AM
Quote from: P.J. O'Rourke

The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you're rich.

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat - in other words, turn you into an adult.

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.

You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they're going.

The Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock?

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.

Government proposes, bureaucracy disposes. And the bureaucracy must dispose of government proposals by dumping them on us.

Let's reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools - and use it on the teachers.

The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.

Distracting a politician from governing is like distracting a bear from eating your baby.

Ideology, politics and journalism, which luxuriate in failure, are impotent in the face of hope and joy.

There's something about Marxism that brings out warts; the only kind of growth this economic system encourages.

What would annoy the most people most often? That is the true left-wing test of government intervention.

Whatever it is that the government does, sensible Americans would prefer that the government does it to somebody else. This is the idea behind foreign policy.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on March 21, 2014, 04:00:22 AM
L. E. L would have liked to be a cloudlet too but her clouds had to remain hidden, as poetry was her only source of income. To appreciate her mature works, one needs to understand those double meanings. She sets out her philosophy thus:

THE POET'S POWER.

OH, never had the poet's lute a hope,
An aim so glorious as it now may have,
In this our social state, where petty cares
And mercenary interests only look
Upon the present's littleness, and shrink
From the bold future, and the stately past, —
Where the smooth surface of society
Is polish'd by deceit, and the warm heart
With all its kind affections' early flow,
Flung back upon itself, forgets to beat,
At least for others: — 't is the poet's gift
To melt these frozen waters into tears,
By sympathy with sorrows not our own,
By wakening memory with those mournful notes,
Whose music is the thoughts of early years,
When truth was on the lip, and feelings wore
The sweetness and the freshness of their morn.
Young poet, if thy dreams have not such hope
To purify, refine, exalt, subdue,
To touch the selfish, and to shame the vain
Out of themselves, by gentle mournfulness,
Or chords that rouse some aim of enterprise,
Lofty and pure, and meant for general good ;
If thou hast not some power that may direct
The mind from the mean round of daily life,
Waking affections that might else have slept,
Or high resolves, the petrified before,
Or rousing in that mind a finer sense
Of inward and external loveliness,
Making imagination serve as guide
To all of heaven that yet remains on earth, —
Thine is a useless lute : break it, and die.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Cato on March 21, 2014, 04:34:29 AM
Just spotted on the bulletin board outside the Music Teacher's Room:

RECORDER KARATE

 ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? :o :o :o :o :o :o

And then underneath: "Ode to Joy," "Oh Susannah," "Dvorak's Largo," "Three Blind Mice."

To quote W.C. Fields: "It baffles Science!"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 01, 2014, 06:10:01 AM
Quote from: Henry David Thoreau
The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 09, 2014, 04:31:04 PM
Quote
The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.

-- A.N. Whitehead: Process and Reality.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on May 22, 2014, 12:15:44 PM
He who possesses liberty otherwise than as an aspiration possesses it soulless, dead. One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands still in the midst of the struggle and says, "I have it," merely shows by so doing that he has just lost it. Now this very contentedness in the possession of a dead liberty is characteristic of the so-called State, and, as I have said, it is not a good characteristic. No doubt the franchise, self-taxation, etc., are benefits — but to whom? To the citizen, not to the individual. Now, reason does not imperatively demand that the individual should be a citizen. Far from it. The State is the curse of the individual. With what is Prussia's political strength bought? With the absorption of the individual in the political and geographical idea. The waiter is the best soldier. And on the other hand, take the Jewish people, the aristocracy of the human race — how is it they have kept their place apart, their poetical halo, amid surroundings of coarse cruelty? By having no State to burden them. Had they remained in Palestine, they would long ago have lost their individuality in the process of their State's construction, like all other nations. Away with the State! I will take part in that revolution. Undermine the whole conception of a State, declare free choice and spiritual kinship to be the only all-important conditions of any union, and you will have the commencement of a liberty that is worth something. Changes in forms of government are pettifogging affairs — a degree less or a degree more, mere foolishness. The State has its root in time, and will ripe and rot in time. Greater things than it will fall — religion, for example. Neither moral conceptions nor art-forms have an eternity before them. How much are we really in duty bound to pin our faith to? Who will guarantee me that on Jupiter two and two do not make five ? --- Henrik Ibsen
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on May 22, 2014, 12:17:25 PM
The State is the curse of the individual. --- Henrik Ibsen
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: jochanaan on May 22, 2014, 01:09:30 PM
Quote
Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two equals four.

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on May 22, 2014, 04:27:29 PM
The State is the curse of the individual. --- Henrik Ibsen
And vice-versa.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on May 22, 2014, 11:01:53 PM
And vice-versa.

 :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 08, 2014, 12:56:19 PM
The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)

"The Blue Cross”

Quote
- “He was smoking a cigarette with the seriousness of an idler.”

- “The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen. A few clouds in heaven do come together into the staring shape of one human eye. A tree does stand up in the landscape of a doubtful journey in the exact and elaborate shape of a note of interrogation.”

- "How in blazes do you know all these horrors?" cried Flambeau.
“The shadow of a smile crossed the round, simple face of his clerical opponent.
"Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose," he [Father Brown] said. "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil?”

“The Secret Garden”

Quote
- “He was one of the great humanitarian French freethinkers; and the only thing wrong with them is that they make mercy even colder than justice.”

- “He had this great quality, which very few of us can claim, that his presence was as big as his absence.”

- “I am the head of the police; I am so public that I can afford to be private.”

- “There was an inhuman silence in the room, like that sea of inhuman silence round the dock of the condemned murderer.”

- “… and on the blind face of the suicide was more than the pride of Cato.”

“The Queer Feet”

Quote
“The Vernon Hotel at which The Twelve True Fishermen held their annual dinners was an institution such as can only exist in an oligarchical society which has almost gone mad on good manners. It was that topsy-turvy product--an "exclusive" commercial enterprise. That is, it was a thing which paid not by attracting people, but actually by turning people away. In the heart of a plutocracy tradesmen become cunning enough to be more fastidious than their customers. They positively create difficulties so that their wealthy and weary clients may spend money and diplomacy in overcoming them. If there were a fashionable hotel in London which no man could enter who was under six foot, society would meekly make up parties of six-foot men to dine in it. If there were an expensive restaurant which by a mere caprice of its proprietor was only open on Thursday afternoon, it would be crowded on Thursday afternoon.”

 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on June 08, 2014, 03:17:05 PM
The Innocence of Father Brown (1911)

"The Blue Cross”

“The Secret Garden”

“The Queer Feet”

 :)
My favorite is about the truth in Israel Gow, when you get to it.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 09, 2014, 04:50:11 AM
My favorite is about the truth in Israel Gow, when you get to it.

Thanks! I will be reading it very soon.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on July 17, 2014, 07:19:38 PM
Someone online wrote something that I realized basically sums up my political views: Democrats are dumb and Republicans are dangerous.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on July 17, 2014, 09:11:32 PM
Someone online wrote something that I realized basically sums up my political views: Democrats are dumb and Republicans are dangerous.  ;D
I think the reverse. An example.  Republican idiots want to set up creationist theme parks, democrats idiots think vaccinations are dangerous. Which of these idiocies is really dangerous. The assault on funding for museums comes from the right.  The assaults on free speech, due process, and open enquiry come mostly from the left.
Which of these is really dangerous?
Republicans given free reign would set up ten commandments plaques, and democrats would enact protectionism.
Which of these is really dangerous? 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: EigenUser on July 18, 2014, 01:08:59 AM
I think it depends on what areas you look at.
[...] Republican idiots want to set up creationist theme parks [...]
As someone who tends to veer right (not that I have any interest in politics), it is these people who bug me the most (i.e. the crazy republicans rather than the crazy democrats). Even I prefer to say "conservative" to avoid putting myself in a party, these kinds of republicans just ruin the whole image. I don't want to be associated with creationism just because I am marginally conservative! That isn't fair! I'm sure that many people who are more liberal feel the same way about the example you posted.

Basically, I hate parties. Don't ask me specifics because I am not a poly-sci person at all, but I agree with many of the fiscal/international relations policies championed by republicans and I agree with many of the social policies championed by the democrats. If I had to pick one, it would be the republicans only because I think that the economy and international relations are two far more important issues than any social issues (not to say that these are totally unrelated all of the time).
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on July 18, 2014, 10:01:07 AM
I think it depends on what areas you look at.As someone who tends to veer right (not that I have any interest in politics), it is these people who bug me the most (i.e. the crazy republicans rather than the crazy democrats). Even I prefer to say "conservative" to avoid putting myself in a party, these kinds of republicans just ruin the whole image. I don't want to be associated with creationism just because I am marginally conservative! That isn't fair! I'm sure that many people who are more liberal feel the same way about the example you posted.

Basically, I hate parties. Don't ask me specifics because I am not a poly-sci person at all, but I agree with many of the fiscal/international relations policies championed by republicans and I agree with many of the social policies championed by the democrats. If I had to pick one, it would be the republicans only because I think that the economy and international relations are two far more important issues than any social issues (not to say that these are totally unrelated all of the time).

+1 more or less. Both parties have "useful idiots" in Lenin's phrase. Their votes are needed. The gop has *embarrassing* useful idiots but the democrats have *destructive* ones.

I have a broad libertarian streak -- I positively itch to leave people alone, I burn with desire to not know  how they eat, smoke, or screw -- but find most self-described "Libertarians" of the Ron Paul persuasion so embarrassing and awful (neo-confederates, conspiracy nuts, isolationists) I don't like the term anymore.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: EigenUser on July 18, 2014, 11:53:38 AM
+1 more or less. Both parties have "useful idiots" in Lenin's phrase. Their votes are needed. The gop has *embarrassing* useful idiots but the democrats have *destructive* ones.

I have a broad libertarian streak -- I positively itch to leave people alone, I burn with desire to not know  how they eat, smoke, or screw -- but find most self-described "Libertarians" of the Ron Paul persuasion so embarrassing and awful (neo-confederates, conspiracy nuts, isolationists) I don't like the term anymore.
Sounds like we are pretty much on the same wavelength, at least based on that (not totally, as I am listening to Mahler 1 right now :D). In fact, I was going to use the "L" word to describe my views but I feared the same thing that you did!

To be fair, I think that part of my "leave people alone" ideas stem from a general apathy in politics altogether. I don't have strong political views.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 19, 2014, 11:00:34 AM
Democrats are dumb and Republicans are dangerous.  ;D

Democrats and Republicans are both dumb and dangerous --- not only in USA, but everywhere.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 19, 2014, 11:02:11 AM
Basically, I hate parties.

+1.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 19, 2014, 11:05:54 AM
To be fair, I think that part of my "leave people alone" ideas stem from a general apathy in politics altogether. I don't have strong political views.

To be fair, I think that my hating all parties stems from a general interest in politics: I have strong political views.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on July 19, 2014, 11:11:34 AM
To be fair, I think that my hating all parties stems from a general interest in politics: I have strong political views.  ;D
And I guess my hatred of parties comes from my hatred of politicians- just a bunch of pricks that want to tell us what to do.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on July 19, 2014, 05:47:20 PM
To be fair, I think that my hating all parties stems from a general interest in politics: I have strong political views.  ;D
And I guess my hatred of parties comes from my hatred of politicians- just a bunch of pricks that want to tell us what to do.

I too have some strong political views. Usually I am strongly against someone or something. That does not translate into political involvement though. I summarize my views in six words: freedom works, incentives matter, enemies exist.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2014, 05:45:12 AM
And I guess my hatred of parties comes from my hatred of politicians- just a bunch of pricks that want to tell us what to do.

For the democrat it is not enough that we respect what he wants to do with his life; he demands, in addition, that we respect what he wants to do with our life. --- Nicolas Gomez Davila

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: jochanaan on July 20, 2014, 01:56:05 PM
Florestan, your statement is as true for many social conservatives as it is for liberals.  In my experience, it's the extremists on either end of the left/right scale who most want to run others' lives.  The ones in the middle mostly just want to live our own lives.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on July 20, 2014, 02:28:49 PM
Florestan, your statement is as true for many social conservatives as it is for liberals.  In my experience, it's the extremists on either end of the left/right scale who most want to run others' lives.  The ones in the middle mostly just want to live our own lives.
Really? Is there a more broadly supported policy in the USA than drug prohibition? I doubt it. In this case the extremists are people like me who would end the war on drugs immediately.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: EigenUser on July 20, 2014, 03:04:16 PM
For the democrat it is not enough that we respect what he wants to do with his life; he demands, in addition, that we respect what he wants to do with our life. --- Nicolas Gomez Davila
This is true with both social republicans and fiscal democrats. It never made sense to me why one party wants to tell you how to run your social life yet have more financial freedom (R) while the other is the exact opposite (D).
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on July 20, 2014, 04:48:11 PM
Florestan, your statement is as true for many social conservatives as it is for liberals.  In my experience, it's the extremists on either end of the left/right scale who most want to run others' lives.  The ones in the middle mostly just want to live our own lives.
This sums it up... go as far left as possible and as far right as possible and you end up in a similar sort of dystopia.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2014, 11:57:16 PM
Florestan, your statement is as true for many social conservatives as it is for liberals.  In my experience, it's the extremists on either end of the left/right scale who most want to run others' lives.  The ones in the middle mostly just want to live our own lives.

Firstly, it's not my statement.  :D

Secondly, the mere fact that somebody runs for an office as a party candidate supporting that party's political platform is already a clear sign of his wanting to meddle with other people's life. He might be the most moderate person; once in office he becomes ipso facto a menace to liberty.

Gore VIdal had it right: [Anybody] who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.  ;D

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 21, 2014, 05:52:43 AM
Firstly, it's not my statement.  :D

Secondly, the mere fact that somebody runs for an office as a party candidate supporting that party's political platform is already a clear sign of his wanting to meddle with other people's life. He might be the most moderate person; once in office he becomes ipso facto a menace to liberty.

Gore VIdal had it right: [Anybody] who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.  ;D

A digression:

I recall the striking effect on me when, many years ago, I was studying Commercial Law, and our professor defined "professional" by saying: you're a professional in commercial terms, if you project a certain activity as a permanent source of funds for you.

I guess professional politicians are not an exception. 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 21, 2014, 06:03:17 AM
A digression:

I recall the striking effect on me when, many years ago, I was studying Commercial Law, and our professor defined "professional" by saying: you're a professional in commercial terms, if you project a certain activity as a permanent source of funds for you.

I guess professional politicians are not an exception.

Professional politicians are the most dangerous species the Earth has ever known since creation.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 21, 2014, 06:49:22 AM
Professional politicians are the most dangerous species the Earth has ever known since creation.  ;D

Please, I beg you to avoid these religiously biased comments.  :P
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 21, 2014, 09:02:45 AM
Please, I beg you to avoid these religiously biased comments.  :P

"Creation" to me is not religiously biased at all, but a scientifically established fact --- I am not kidding at all ---, as opposed to "professional politicians being any good whatsoever", a fairy tale that even my 1-year-5-month-son could debunk, with a grin that would make you smile big time, even if you be an atheist... :D

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 21, 2014, 09:06:51 AM
the Earth has ever known since creation.  ;D

I defy any atheist here and now on GMG to explain me in no uncertain terms what "Big Bang" means, as opposed to "Creation".

Al Moritz, where art thou?  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on July 21, 2014, 09:23:16 AM
I defy any atheist here and now on GMG to explain me in no uncertain terms what "Big Bang" means, as opposed to "Creation".

Al Moritz, where art thou?  :D
Perhaps American slang has not made it to Bucharest, but a big bang sometimes leads to creation.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: jochanaan on July 21, 2014, 09:25:44 AM
Really? Is there a more broadly supported policy in the USA than drug prohibition? I doubt it. In this case the extremists are people like me who would end the war on drugs immediately.
This policy, in my reading, is a good example of an extremist position that becomes mainstream.  And many thoughtful folks in the middle would love to end the war on drugs.  As a bumper sticker I saw in Denver a while ago put it: "Drugs Are Bad.  The War On Drugs Is Worse."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 21, 2014, 09:30:24 AM
Perhaps American slang has not made it to Bucharest, but a big bang sometimes leads to creation.

 :D :D :D

If this be true of men and women, then how much more would it be true of God, who made men and women in His image? ;D ;D ;D?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on July 21, 2014, 11:06:28 AM
This policy, in my reading, is a good example of an extremist position that becomes mainstream.  And many thoughtful folks in the middle would love to end the war on drugs.  As a bumper sticker I saw in Denver a while ago put it: "Drugs Are Bad.  The War On Drugs Is Worse."
You are right on the history. But it is certainly mainstream now.
Presently, even politicians who support legalizing pot like to burnish their credentials by sounding even tougher on other drugs. So I expect it to get worse.

How nutbar extreme is it now?
You know those daily drug dispensers the people put their medicine in so that you can remember what drugs they've taken not suffer adverse effects from taking too many or too few? Using those is a felony in some states and if one is found in your home with prescription drugs in it your home can be seized.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Brian on July 21, 2014, 11:12:47 AM
I defy any atheist here and now on GMG to explain me in no uncertain terms what "Big Bang" means, as opposed to "Creation".

Well, I would assume that "Creation" means absolutely no material or knowable things existed before that point; that is, at the very least, no physical matter.

The "Big Bang" theory is uncertain about this. Perhaps there was a single tiny dot of physical matter, which exploded (creating the bang). Other theorists believe that there are other universes out there, outside of ours. There's no way for a human scientific brain in the year 2014 to answer that.

But I think that the difference which can be explained "in no uncertain terms," is that "Big Bang" means something could have existed before it, while "Creation" means that the thing which existed is divine or unknowable in nature.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on July 21, 2014, 11:20:41 AM
Well, I would assume that "Creation" means absolutely no material or knowable things existed before that point; that is, at the very least, no physical matter.

The "Big Bang" theory is uncertain about this. Perhaps there was a single tiny dot of physical matter, which exploded (creating the bang). Other theorists believe that there are other universes out there, outside of ours. There's no way for a human scientific brain in the year 2014 to answer that.

But I think that the difference which can be explained "in no uncertain terms," is that "Big Bang" means something could have existed before it, while "Creation" means that the thing which existed is divine or unknowable in nature.

Any particular big bang theory will also make potentially testable predictions and so might be proven wrong.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on July 21, 2014, 11:20:54 AM
One should probably leave people alone - as long as they are leaving other people alone.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 21, 2014, 08:41:16 PM
One should probably leave people alone - as long as they are leaving other people alone.

Quote
It's true you're alone when you're successful, but you're alone at the bathroom too.

-- Burt Reynolds (I read it several years ago, but I don't recall the exact place)  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 21, 2014, 11:18:23 PM
Well, I would assume that "Creation" means absolutely no material or knowable things existed before that point; that is, at the very least, no physical matter.

The "Big Bang" theory is uncertain about this. Perhaps there was a single tiny dot of physical matter, which exploded (creating the bang). Other theorists believe that there are other universes out there, outside of ours. There's no way for a human scientific brain in the year 2014 to answer that.

But I think that the difference which can be explained "in no uncertain terms," is that "Big Bang" means something could have existed before it, while "Creation" means that the thing which existed is divine or unknowable in nature.

Very good.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 28, 2014, 04:57:24 PM
Quote
One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of way.

-- Bertrand Russell: The Conquest of Happiness, Routledge Classics, p. 92

Full agreement, Lord Russell. 



Bananas?

 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 22, 2014, 06:32:16 PM
[after a wise advice, but opposed to Ted's intentions]

Ted (serious): I hate how you're always right.

Lily (charming): It's my best and most annoying trait.

-- How I Met Your Mother, Season 1, Ep. 18
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 23, 2014, 02:10:35 PM
Quote
The most elementary definition of ideology is probably the well-known phrase from Marx's 'Capital': "They do not know it, but they are doing it."

-- Slavoj Žižek, Žižek! (documentary)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 23, 2014, 07:34:12 PM
Quote
Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.
-- Nelson Algren: ‘Newsweek’ 2 July 1956

 ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: mn dave on August 28, 2014, 05:32:42 AM
"In accordance with my conception of life, I have chosen not to bring children into the world. A coin is examined, and only after careful deliberation, given to a beggar, whereas a child is flung out into the cosmic brutality without hesitation."

The "cosmic brutality". Nice. :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 28, 2014, 05:35:23 AM
“And the point is, you can deal with multiple problems with a single action. You can deal with gender equity, you can deal with school safety, you can deal with general relations with the unions – it was a smart move.” (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2014/0827/How-New-York-mayor-de-Blasio-trumped-Obama-on-equal-pay-for-women)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: mn dave on August 28, 2014, 07:29:36 AM
"If you don't want my peaches, honey, please don't shake my tree."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 01, 2014, 03:50:40 AM
Politicians are a necessary fact of life if we want any freedom. If we are not prepared to give up some freedom then not one of us will possess it.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 01, 2014, 03:52:37 AM
Politicians are a necessary fact of life if we want any freedom. If we are not prepared to give up some freedom then not one of us will possess it.

Says who?  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 01, 2014, 06:28:05 AM
Says who?  :D

Try arguing against it. The idea seems far more sensible than some of the other quotations given so far.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 01, 2014, 06:52:41 AM
Try arguing against it.

It doesn't work this way, I'm afraid. You came up with it so the burden of proof it's on you. I was just curious who said that but now I begin to suspect who is the author.  ;D

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 01, 2014, 07:24:33 AM
It doesn't work this way, I'm afraid. You came up with it so the burden of proof it's on you. I was just curious who said that but now I begin to suspect who is the author.  ;D

Okay, for one, you accept no property rights: everything belongs to everybody. Sounds a little like communism. Accepting ownership is one example of yielding a little personal freedom.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on September 01, 2014, 07:45:54 AM
Okay, for one, you accept no property rights: everything belongs to everybody. Sounds a little like communism. Accepting ownership is one example of yielding a little personal freedom.
Or your stuff will end up belonging to the person with the most power (whoever can get the most people to work for/protect them).
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 01, 2014, 08:44:40 AM
Or your stuff will end up belonging to the person with the most power (whoever can get the most people to work for/protect them).

Indeed, that is one reason we need an administration in which we have some say. I wonder who they are to whom we will trust that administration.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 01, 2014, 10:41:38 PM
Okay, for one, you accept no property rights: everything belongs to everybody. Sounds a little like communism. Accepting ownership is one example of yielding a little personal freedom.

Huh???
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 02, 2014, 01:24:40 AM
Huh???

I see you have no arguments.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 02, 2014, 01:32:01 AM
I see you have no arguments.

Arguments for / against what? I understood nothing at all from what you wrote. Please try to write in plain English.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 02, 2014, 02:42:59 AM
Arguments for / against what? I understood nothing at all from what you wrote. Please try to write in plain English.

I appreciate you may not be English but maybe you need a better language master. Do you know the meaning of property rights?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on September 02, 2014, 04:35:55 AM
I appreciate you may not be English but maybe you need a better language master. Do you know the meaning of property rights?
The fallacy is with your argument.  Property rights can exist and be enforced without a formal government.  Government is the most convenient way to protect rights,  but that does not mean it is the only way.  Are you familiar with anarchocapitalism?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 02, 2014, 04:39:06 AM
Just want to say (probably again) that I love the Sargent which is your av, Jeffrey.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on September 02, 2014, 04:50:31 AM
Just want to say (probably again) that I love the Sargent which is your av, Jeffrey.
I have yet to see  a Sargent which is not great.
But it is time to put up a seasonal avatar.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 02, 2014, 06:42:53 AM
I appreciate you may not be English but maybe you need a better language master.

Oh, I don't pretend to master English inside out, although I do hold a government-authenticated certificate of English to Romanian translator.  ;D

Quote
Do you know the meaning of property rights?

Ummm, let me think.... It's something linked to Ayn Rand, ain't it?  ;D

Seriously now, I didn't make much sense of your post, and frankly it didn't make much sense. You wrote:

Okay, for one, you accept no property rights:

Now, do you imply me that I, Florestan, accept no such rights? Or do you speak generally?

Quote
everything belongs to everybody.

That is a mere mental construct, which has no real counterpart. As far back as recorded history goes, nowhere and never did everything belong to everybody.

Quote
Sounds a little like communism.

Actually, it sounds very little like communism, where almost everything belonged to the State (whicha different matter altogether than everybody) --- and things like homes, cars and home appliances, for instance, were still individually owned. Trust me, I know what communism means by personal experience, not by book, articles or movies.

Quote
Accepting ownership is one example of yielding a little personal freedom.

Au contraire, mon ami: not accepting ownership is a limitation of freedom, namely of freedom to acquire and possess things.

Now, let's get back to you original "insight, snippet, quote, epiphany and that sort of things".

Politicians are a necessary fact of life if we want any freedom. If we are not prepared to give up some freedom then not one of us will possess it.

This has two parts: the former one is a nonsense, the latter one is a truism. Let's see.

"Politicians are a necessary fact of life if we want any freedom."

The original Swiss cantons, the rural communities in the early medieval principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, the cities of the Hanseatic League --- to name but a few examples --- had no politicians. The leaders were either elected from among the whole population, or simply acknowledged as such from among the wisest elders or the bravest youngsters, or elected from among the most successful and respected merchants and traders; be it as it may, they were not politicians in the modern sense of the world, as they didn't devote their whole life to the sole business of (1) getting themselves voted into power and (2) trying to stay in power for as long as possible, using any means available, including deception, cheating and rigged elections. Therefore,. to pretend that the Swiss, the Wallachians / Moldavians or the Hanseatics had no freedom at all because they had no politicians is nonsense.

"If we are not prepared to give up some freedom then not one of us will possess it. "

This is a truism which has been long since expressed in the concise form of "one man's liberty ends where another man's liberty begins". Actually, "freedom" as an abstract term devoid of any context has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. As per Edmund Burke (via Cervantes and his Don Quijote), are we to congratulate a convicted murderer who managed to escape for regaining his freedom? Freedom will always be "freedom to" and "freedom from", ie it will always be contextual. It could even be argued that there is no general "freedom " at all, there are only specific "freedoms".

Bottom line: politicians as we know them are just as necessary for safeguarding our freedoms as crutches are necessary for a perfectly healthy man to walk.  ;D

(Kudos, Jeffrey Smith!)



Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 02, 2014, 07:59:33 AM
The fallacy is with your argument.  Property rights can exist and be enforced without a formal government.  Government is the most convenient way to protect rights,  but that does not mean it is the only way.  Are you familiar with anarchocapitalism?
I never specifically linked property rights with a formal government, so what is your point? I'm aware there are other systems but generally they can only be regarded as Utopian. As Greg pointed out, if there is a power vacuum, someone will seize it.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on September 02, 2014, 08:29:08 AM
I never specifically linked property rights with a formal government, so what is your point? I'm aware there are other systems but generally they can only be regarded as Utopian. As Greg pointed out, if there is a power vacuum, someone will seize it.
You seemed to be saying property rights need a formal government to exist.  If that was not your intent, could you please explain what you actually meant?
I too agree with Greg, but lack of politicians does not equal power vacuum.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 02, 2014, 12:16:56 PM
You seemed to be saying property rights need a formal government to exist.  If that was not your intent, could you please explain what you actually meant?
I too agree with Greg, but lack of politicians does not equal power vacuum.

I said, if you look, that property rights require that others give up their freedom to use that property. There are various ways of establishing those rights but they all involve other people unless you suggest it be done by force. Whosoever these people are they will always be subject to human nature.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on September 02, 2014, 12:28:55 PM
I said, if you look, that property rights require that others give up their freedom to use that property. There are various ways of establishing those rights but they all involve other people unless you suggest it be done by force. Whosoever these people are they will always be subject to human nature.
That is reverse formulation of the usual idea, which is that you are free to use your property without interference from others.  And ultimately all rights are established by force, implicit or explicit, your force or societal force. 
Of course, the whole concept of property assumes a context of two or more individuals.  Outside of society, property rights and all other rights are meaningless.. 
But I still do not see how property makes politicians necessary.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 02, 2014, 12:49:44 PM
Oh, I don't pretend to master English inside out, although I do hold a government-authenticated certificate of English to Romanian translator.  ;D
Your English is very good but you miss some nuances. My opening statement that 'you accept no property rights' implies that I don't for a minute believe that to be true.

I meant of course ideal communism, not the corrupt dictatorship that was inflicted on you. This ideal has never existed, as you say, nowhere and never did everything belong to everybody.

My point was that you only have the freedom to acquire and possess things because others give up their freedom to possess those things.

You make the following point:

The original Swiss cantons, the rural communities in the early medieval principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, the cities of the Hanseatic League --- to name but a few examples --- had no politicians. The leaders were either elected from among the whole population, or simply acknowledged as such from among the wisest elders or the bravest youngsters, or elected from among the most successful and respected merchants and traders; be it as it may, they were not politicians in the modern sense of the world, as they didn't devote their whole life to the sole business of (1) getting themselves voted into power and (2) trying to stay in power for as long as possible, using any means available, including deception, cheating and rigged elections. Therefore,. to pretend that the Swiss, the Wallachians / Moldavians or the Hanseatics had no freedom at all because they had no politicians is nonsense.

I think your distinction here is a little foggy. These people were still elected and the populations were relatively small. However, I agree it was a good model in those days.

Then:
"If we are not prepared to give up some freedom then not one of us will possess it. "

This is a truism which has been long since expressed in the concise form of "one man's liberty ends where another man's liberty begins". Actually, "freedom" as an abstract term devoid of any context has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. As per Edmund Burke (via Cervantes and his Don Quijote), are we to congratulate a convicted murderer who managed to escape for regaining his freedom? Freedom will always be "freedom to" and "freedom from", ie it will always be contextual. It could even be argued that there is no general "freedom " at all, there are only specific "freedoms".

I'm glad we agree on that. Why then do you object to giving up some freedom?

Politicians are human beings: there are good ones and bad. You can say the same of lawyers. In both cases, most of us can quote some bad experiences.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 02, 2014, 01:31:54 PM
I'm glad we agree on that.

I'm glad we agree on that, too.


Quote
+Why then do you object to giving up some freedom?
I don't object to it at all. See my point  ;D

Quote
Politicians are human beings: there are good ones and bad.

Of course. Agreed.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 04, 2014, 05:52:46 PM
I discovered this site tonight. It has short stories by Argentine writers (and others) translated into English.

I found here one of my favorite short stories in Spanish, a hearthbreaking love story, titled Carpe diem by Abelardo Castillo.

So I thought it would be nice to post this link:

http://contemporaryargentinewriters.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/carpe-diem-by-abelardo-castillo/
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on September 09, 2014, 08:44:50 AM
This, from a female Taiwanese politician when questioned about why she is still unmarried:

"Because marriage does not make sense. If all you want is a sausage, would you buy a live pig?"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: mn dave on September 09, 2014, 08:50:00 AM
This, from a female Taiwanese politician when questioned about why she is still unmarried:

"Because marriage does not make sense. If all you want is a sausage, would you buy a live pig?"

 :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 09, 2014, 10:27:36 AM
When I see album titles like The Most Soothing Lullabies in the Universe (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,23544.msg829305.html#msg829305), I think, Perhaps they're right;  but they cannot have done their extraterrestrial homework properly.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 12, 2014, 12:23:40 PM
Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "the opiate of the mind"? I have found "Alas! that ever
Praise should have been what praise has been to me The opiate of the mind !" (1837) but opium was in common use as a pain killer early in that century, so there are probably earlier instances.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on September 12, 2014, 12:34:40 PM
Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "the opiate of the mind"? I have found "Alas! that ever
Praise should have been what praise has been to me The opiate of the mind !" (1837) but opium was in common use as a pain killer early in that century, so there are probably earlier instances.
From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people):

Quote
In the Marquis de Sade's Juliette, published in 1797 (trans. Austryn Wainhouse, 1968), Sade uses the term in a scene where Juliette explains to King Ferdinand the consequences of his policies:

"Though nature lavishes much upon your people, their circumstances are strait. But this is not the effect of their laziness; this general paralysis has its source in your policy which, from maintaining the people in dependence, shuts them out from wealth; their ills are thus rendered beyond remedy, and the political state is in a situation no less grave than the civil government, since it must seek its strength in its very weakness. Your apprehension, Ferdinand, lest someone discover the things I have been telling you leads you to exile arts and talents from your realm. You fear the powerful eye of genius, that is why you encourage ignorance. This opium you feed your people, so that, drugged, they do not feel their hurts, inflicted by you. And that is why where you reign no establishments are to be found giving great men to the homeland; the rewards due knowledge are unknown here, and as there is neither honor nor profit in being wise, nobody seeks after wisdom.

I have studied your civil laws, they are good, but poorly enforced, and as a result they sink into ever further decay. And the consequences thereof? A man prefers to live amidst their corruption rather than plead for their reform, because he fears, and with reason, that this reform will engender infinitely more abuses than it will do away with; things are left as they are. Nevertheless, everything goes askew and awry and as a career in government has no more attractions than one in the arts, nobody involves himself in public affairs; and for all this compensation is offered in the form of luxury, of frivolity, of entertainments. So it is that among you a taste for trivial things replaces a taste for great ones, that the time which ought to be devoted to the latter is frittered away on futilities, and that you will be subjugated sooner or later and again and again by any foe who bothers to make the effort."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 12, 2014, 11:12:29 PM
Thank you. This introduces the analogy, more or less when I expected but not the exact phrase 'the opiate of the mind', which struck me because my quotation predates the famous one made by Marx.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 13, 2014, 11:55:16 AM
Outside of society, property rights and all other rights are meaningless.. 

You appear to have yourself answered your question. Property requires society but society requires some form of governance if it is to have any stability - the science of that governance is called politics (by definition) and those who put politics into action are politicians (again by definition). Florestan gave some examples where the politicians are appointed and act without reward. This is fine but with a large population this is difficult to achieve. How is one to consult everybody? Differences of opinion are bound to arise and, with a free press, there will be criticism from an opposition. Moreover, there is much to be done and those acting will need to have bread on the table - hence the need for a salary. You surely wouldn't want to be ruled by an elite who can live on income from their investments? What we need is not no politicians but politicians who are honest and trustworthy. The trouble at the moment is that we would then be told things we do not want to know or believe.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 15, 2014, 03:06:14 AM
What we need is not no politicians but politicians who are honest and trustworthy.

That's an oxymoron, actually.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 25, 2014, 01:16:46 AM
The ear disapproves but tolerates certain musical pieces; transfer them into the domain of our nose, and we will be forced to flee. - Jean Cocteau   

 My new signature line.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Wanderer on September 25, 2014, 02:05:04 AM
The ear disapproves but tolerates certain musical pieces; transfer them into the domain of our nose, and we will be forced to flee. - Jean Cocteau   

So true.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: springrite on September 25, 2014, 02:06:31 AM
So true.  ;D

I smell a Stockhausen...
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 25, 2014, 02:40:33 AM
Foo-eeey!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 28, 2014, 01:00:17 PM
Roberto Bolaño's business card:

(http://biblioklept.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/rbbc.jpg?w=1000)

POET AND IDLER

  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 29, 2014, 03:24:09 AM
. . . but that is redundant!

(Oh, I kid, I kid . . . .)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 29, 2014, 06:50:18 AM
. . . but that is redundant!

(Oh, I kid, I kid . . . .)

When I found this card on line, it was translated as "POET AND LAZY". But I think I did a good job replacing "lazy" for "idler" (thanks Dr. Johnson!).  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: EigenUser on September 30, 2014, 04:30:08 AM
"Why is it that when it's a human it's an abortion, but when it's a chicken it's an omelet?!"
-George Carlin
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 30, 2014, 04:42:03 AM
Well, when it's a human, you don't want it to be an omelette.

(Oh, thank goodness snypsss doesn't read this thread . . . .)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 30, 2014, 04:46:49 AM
Well, when it's a human, you don't want it to be an omelette.

And abortion is a strange way of describing a chicken laying eggs.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 30, 2014, 04:50:44 AM
Even for a humorist, the false equivalence of human and poultry is . . . a stretch 8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 30, 2014, 04:52:17 AM
Even for a humorist, the false equivalence of human and poultry is . . . a stretch 8)

Carlin is very good most of the times, but he can be really bad sometimes.  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: mn dave on September 30, 2014, 04:52:43 AM
"And the first commandment reads
That human flesh and blood
Is sacred
Until there is no more food" -- The Stranglers
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: mn dave on September 30, 2014, 05:04:33 AM
"Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh." -- Marcus Aurelius
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 01, 2014, 05:40:03 AM
"Death is a release from the impressions of the senses, and from desires that make us their puppets, and from the vagaries of the mind, and from the hard service of the flesh." -- Marcus Aurelius

Unfortunately, those miseries are all what we own... at least, all that which we are sure of having.

I recalled this quote from Unforgiven:

Quote
Will Munny: It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: jochanaan on October 01, 2014, 07:22:44 AM
Even for a humorist, the false equivalence of human and poultry is . . . a stretch 8)
Hmmm...Would a spirit chicken be a poulter-geist? ;)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on October 01, 2014, 07:32:01 AM
Even for a humorist, the false equivalence of human and poultry is . . . a stretch 8)

Tell that the Ultraorthodox Jews this Friday
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapparot

what the Wikipedia article does not mention is that the slaughtered chickens are given directly to a poor person or poor family to provide a meal for them.  In pre 1900 society, that was practical and easily doable in most communities.  Nowadays, the Jewish communities that engage in this version of the ritual make arrangements so that the chickens do in fact end up as meals for people who need financial help.

But even the relatively traditional Israeli rabbinate has now come out discouraging the use of chickens because too much can go wrong with the chickens in the mass factory approach that is now used.

My family always observed the money instead of chicken version--in my case, a check made out to this organization.
http://mazon.org/

ETA: I've gone in and edited the Wikipedia article to make the charitable element clear.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 01, 2014, 07:47:49 AM
Most interesting, thank you.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on November 02, 2014, 02:31:06 PM
Here's a similar thread on another forum, full of great material:
www.online-literature.com/forums/showthread.php?31481-What-is-your-favorite-quote-And-why/
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on December 14, 2014, 07:30:40 AM
"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
 George W Bush
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: jochanaan on December 16, 2014, 08:37:31 AM
"One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
 George W Bush
Ouch! :o  I had forgotten the "misunderestimated" predecessor to the current President, about whom one can say many things but not that he is guilty of any sort of malapropism. :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on December 25, 2014, 07:51:19 AM
Dostoyevski - The Possessed

 I will say at once that Stepan Trofimovitch had always filled a particular rôle among us, that of the progressive patriot, so to say, and he was passionately fond of playing the part—so much so that I really believe he could not have existed without it. Not that I would put him on a level with an actor at a theatre, God forbid, for I really have a respect for him. This may all have been the effect of habit, or rather, more exactly of a generous propensity he had from his earliest years for indulging in an agreeable day-dream in which he figured as a picturesque public character. He fondly loved, for instance, his position as a "persecuted" man and, so to speak, an "exile." There is a sort of traditional glamour about those two little words that fascinated him once for all and, exalting him gradually in his own opinion, raised him in the course of years to a lofty pedestal very gratifying to vanity. In an English satire of the last century, Gulliver, returning from the land of the Lilliputians where the people were only three or four inches high, had grown so accustomed to consider himself a giant among them, that as he walked along the streets of London he could not help crying out to carriages and passers-by to be careful and get out of his way for fear he should crush them, imagining that they were little and he was still a giant. He was laughed at and abused for it, and rough coachmen even lashed at the giant with their whips. But was that just? What may not be done by habit? Habit had brought Stepan Trofimovitch almost to the same position, but in a more innocent and inoffensive form, if one may use such expressions, for he was a most excellent man.

I am even inclined to suppose that towards the end he had been entirely forgotten everywhere; but still it cannot be said that his name had never been known. It is beyond question that he had at one time belonged to a certain distinguished constellation of celebrated leaders of the last generation, and at one time—though only for the briefest moment—his name was pronounced by many hasty persons of that day almost as though it were on a level with the names of Tchaadaev, of Byelinsky, of Granovsky, and of Herzen, who had only just begun to write abroad. But Stepan Trofimovitch's activity ceased almost at the moment it began, owing, so to say, to a "vortex of combined circumstances." And would you believe it? It turned out afterwards that there had been no "vortex" and even no "circumstances," at least in that connection. I only learned the other day to my intense amazement, though on the most unimpeachable authority, that Stepan Trofimovitch had lived among us in our province not as an "exile" as we were accustomed to believe, and had never even been under police supervision at all. Such is the force of imagination! All his life he sincerely believed that in certain spheres he was a constant cause of apprehension, that every step he took was watched and noted, and that each one of the three governors who succeeded one another during twenty years in our province came with special and uneasy ideas concerning him, which had, by higher powers, been impressed upon each before everything else, on receiving the appointment. Had anyone assured the honest man on the most irrefutable grounds that he had nothing to be afraid of, he would certainly have been offended. Yet Stepan Trofimovitch was a most intelligent and gifted man, even, so to say, a man of science, though indeed, in science... well, in fact he had not done such great things in science. I believe indeed he had done nothing at all. But that's very often the case, of course, with men of science among us in Russia.

(I really don´t know why I posted that. It´s just that after the exchange in another thread I felt the urge to re-read those two paragraphs.)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on December 25, 2014, 07:57:10 AM
Ouch! :o  I had forgotten the "misunderestimated" predecessor to the current President, about whom one can say many things but not that he is guilty of any sort of malapropism. :)

Not in the Austrian language. Not in any of these 57 states at least.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 29, 2014, 07:06:00 AM
Dostoyevski - The Possessed

 I will say at once that Stepan Trofimovitch had always filled a particular rôle among us, that of the progressive patriot, so to say, and he was passionately fond of playing the part—so much so that I really believe he could not have existed without it. Not that I would put him on a level with an actor at a theatre, God forbid, for I really have a respect for him. This may all have been the effect of habit, or rather, more exactly of a generous propensity he had from his earliest years for indulging in an agreeable day-dream in which he figured as a picturesque public character. He fondly loved, for instance, his position as a "persecuted" man and, so to speak, an "exile." There is a sort of traditional glamour about those two little words that fascinated him once for all and, exalting him gradually in his own opinion, raised him in the course of years to a lofty pedestal very gratifying to vanity. In an English satire of the last century, Gulliver, returning from the land of the Lilliputians where the people were only three or four inches high, had grown so accustomed to consider himself a giant among them, that as he walked along the streets of London he could not help crying out to carriages and passers-by to be careful and get out of his way for fear he should crush them, imagining that they were little and he was still a giant. He was laughed at and abused for it, and rough coachmen even lashed at the giant with their whips. But was that just? What may not be done by habit? Habit had brought Stepan Trofimovitch almost to the same position, but in a more innocent and inoffensive form, if one may use such expressions, for he was a most excellent man.

I am even inclined to suppose that towards the end he had been entirely forgotten everywhere; but still it cannot be said that his name had never been known. It is beyond question that he had at one time belonged to a certain distinguished constellation of celebrated leaders of the last generation, and at one time—though only for the briefest moment—his name was pronounced by many hasty persons of that day almost as though it were on a level with the names of Tchaadaev, of Byelinsky, of Granovsky, and of Herzen, who had only just begun to write abroad. But Stepan Trofimovitch's activity ceased almost at the moment it began, owing, so to say, to a "vortex of combined circumstances." And would you believe it? It turned out afterwards that there had been no "vortex" and even no "circumstances," at least in that connection. I only learned the other day to my intense amazement, though on the most unimpeachable authority, that Stepan Trofimovitch had lived among us in our province not as an "exile" as we were accustomed to believe, and had never even been under police supervision at all. Such is the force of imagination! All his life he sincerely believed that in certain spheres he was a constant cause of apprehension, that every step he took was watched and noted, and that each one of the three governors who succeeded one another during twenty years in our province came with special and uneasy ideas concerning him, which had, by higher powers, been impressed upon each before everything else, on receiving the appointment. Had anyone assured the honest man on the most irrefutable grounds that he had nothing to be afraid of, he would certainly have been offended. Yet Stepan Trofimovitch was a most intelligent and gifted man, even, so to say, a man of science, though indeed, in science... well, in fact he had not done such great things in science. I believe indeed he had done nothing at all. But that's very often the case, of course, with men of science among us in Russia.

(I really don´t know why I posted that. It´s just that after the exchange in another thread I felt the urge to re-read those two paragraphs.)

(* munches popcorn *)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 03, 2015, 03:58:12 PM
This is the kind of insight I'd love to read more usually from primatologists and ethologists:

Quote
"The possibility that empathy resides in parts of the brain so ancient that we share them with rats should give pause to anyone comparing politicians with those poor, underestimated creatures."
-- Franciscus Bernardus Maria "Frans" de Waal: "Do Humans Alone 'Feel Your Pain'?", The Chronicle Review, October 26, 2001.

 :D 8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on January 05, 2015, 03:26:08 AM
"Manolo, shoot that piece of shit." - Tony Montana. What really makes it work is the way Al Pacino pronounces it: "Manolo, choot that piece of chit."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on January 05, 2015, 03:33:00 AM
"All we had to do was follow the damn train, CJ!"

"You wanna make some money?"
"Does the Pope shit in the woods?"
"Why do you keep asking me that Holmes, I told you, I dunno. Where his holiness does his business, is his business.






Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 05, 2015, 03:44:26 PM
This morning in the subway, road to the office, two "Events this Day" mentioned by the Encyclopedia Britannica caught  my eye:

Quote
1914: Following the great success of Model T, American Automobile maker Henry Ford raised his workers' pay from $2.40 to $5.00 a day and reduced the hours of the workday.

1919: Anton Drexler founded the German Workers' Party, the forerunner of the Nazi Party, in Munich, Germany.

P.S.: According http://www.dollartimes.com $5.00 in 1914 had the same buying power as $116.52 in 2014. Annual inflation over this period was 3.20%.

 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 11, 2015, 02:11:36 PM
I didn't exactly know where to put this, so this miscellaneous thread didn't seem totally wrong.

This afternoon reading an old interview to the violinist Vilde Frang, I found some interesting (and unusually frank) responses:

Quote
Although she says she "belongs" to Scandinavia, "that's where I have my roots, where I was shaped as a musician and a personality," as a professional musician Frang now feels more comfortable in Germany. "It's as if I can breathe more easily in Germany. You need to be near colleagues and have people around you who you can really connect with. Scandinavia can be a little like Switzerland. It is very clean and safe and the people are a little bit spoiled and they don't have much to worry about. I need things to worry about. I need some resistance and struggle. That's part of my music-making." As her schedule becomes busier Frang says she is having to make a conscious effort to find time for life away from the stage. "I've never really separated my life inside and outside of music, but if you only see the hotel and the concert hall, then you have nothing of life to enrich your music. So I'm looking forward to coming back to London and also to giving people another look at Bruch."


Quote
Considering her recording and concert repertoire, the Bruch appears a conservative choice. "In a way it has become a tourist trap in the violin repertory. It is something that students are given when they reach a certain level, and an 'audience friendly' piece to play alongside, say, the Lutoslawski partita on tour. A piece suffers by being treated like that and so for many years I was completely against it. But when I eventually started to engage with it I was astonished at just how much you could express through it. It feels like I am singing it, not playing it, and while such a great piece of music doesn't need too much help from me, I do hope that I can help rescue it from being just a victim of its reputation as music only for student classes and old ladies."

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/apr/20/vilde-frang-violin-philharmonia-orchestra

(http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h--/q-95/sys-images/Admin/BkFill/Default_image_group/2012/4/19/1334831805721/Vilde-Frang-008.jpg)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on January 12, 2015, 01:23:27 AM
Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov:

“I tell you, the old-fashioned doctor who treated all diseases has completely disappeared, now there are only specialists, and they advertise all the time in the newspapers. If your nose hurts, they send you to Paris: there's a European specialist there, he treats noses. You go to Paris, he examines your nose: I can treat only your right nostril, he says, I don't treat left nostrils, it's not my specialty, but after me, go to Vienna, there's a separate specialist there who will finish treating your left nostril.”


And who said Dostoyevsky can't be funny?  :laugh:
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on January 13, 2015, 10:56:26 AM
(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2483520/thumbs/o-CHARLIE-COVER-570.jpg?5)

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 15, 2015, 08:37:30 AM
"When I gave food to the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist.” - Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Moonfish on January 15, 2015, 12:02:36 PM
.

(http://www.rugusavay.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Edward-Elgar-Quotes-3.jpg)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 15, 2015, 12:05:20 PM
Khalil Gibran

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity."
"Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them."
“Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being."
“Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth'."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on January 15, 2015, 01:00:30 PM
.

(http://www.rugusavay.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Edward-Elgar-Quotes-3.jpg)
Nice of him to leave so much for the rest of us.
 >:D :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: 8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 15, 2015, 01:19:02 PM
"Conquer yourself, rather than the world"    Descartes

"Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing." Euripides

"Waste not fresh tears over old griefs." Euripides

"Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish." Euripides

"Cowards do not count in battle; they are there, but not in it." Euripides

"You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore." Faulkner

"Give me a hero, and I will write you a tragedy" - F.Scott Fitzgerald

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day.” - Dalai Lama

"Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want...."
Anna Lappé

"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."    - Martin Niemöller
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 16, 2015, 04:34:29 AM
"The maxim ‘Nothing avails but perfection’ may be spelt shorter: ‘Paralysis.’"  Churchill
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 16, 2015, 04:43:34 AM
"The maxim ‘Nothing avails but perfection’ may be spelt shorter: ‘Paralysis.’"  Churchill

A great artistic truth  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 16, 2015, 04:46:33 AM
A great artistic truth  8)

And yet... Brahms, anyone?  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 16, 2015, 04:48:16 AM
And yet... Brahms, anyone?  :)

Some do make it work  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 16, 2015, 04:49:26 AM
And yet... Brahms, anyone?  :)
The works others managed to persuade him from not burning, you mean? A great example of the truth in the quotation, indeed.  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 16, 2015, 04:53:36 AM
The works others managed to persuade him from not burning, you mean? A great example of the truth in the quotation, indeed.  8)

No, I mean the works he chose to publish. Aren't they just perfect?  ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 16, 2015, 04:55:58 AM
No, I mean the works he chose to publish. Aren't they just perfect?  ;D

No quarrel there!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 16, 2015, 04:58:42 AM
No, I mean the works he chose to publish. Aren't they just perfect?  ;D
Yes - and some of precisely those works are ones that others persuaded Brahms to not throw them into the fireplace.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 16, 2015, 09:52:34 AM
“How many wars have been averted by patience and persisting good will! Religion and virtue alike lend their sanctions to meekness and humility, not only between men but between nations. How many wars have been precipitated by firebrands! How many misunderstandings which led to wars could have been removed by temporizing! How often have countries fought cruel wars and then after a few years found themselves not only friends but allies!”
Churchill
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 17, 2015, 01:51:40 PM
"You can believe in stones, as long as you don't throw them at me" Wafa Sultan
"Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes." - Thoreau
"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Mark Twain
“To see is to forget the name of the thing that one sees.”  Paul Valery

Picasso supposedly met an American G.I. who told him he didn't like modern paintings because they were not realistic. To illustrate his point, the G.I. showed Picasso a photo of his girlfriend. "My," said Picasso, "Is she really so small?"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Moonfish on January 17, 2015, 02:12:16 PM
“There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.”


― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 17, 2015, 02:22:43 PM
“Knowing others is intelligence;
 knowing yourself is true wisdom.
 Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”

“To attain knowledge, add things every day.
 To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

Laozi
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 17, 2015, 04:52:45 PM
“Knowing others is intelligence;
 knowing yourself is true wisdom.
 Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”

“To attain knowledge, add things every day.
 To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

Laozi

Excellent. It suggests me two things: how our intellectual faculties are probably quite more superficial than we usually believe, and some feeling about the "tragic" nature of erudition...


 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on January 17, 2015, 06:27:31 PM
“There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.”


― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

Not bad. Here are some of the most powerfully described things Dickens ever wrote IMO:

"The state of the man was murderous, and he knew it. More; he irritated it, with a kind of perverse pleasure akin to that which a sick man sometimes has in irritating a wound upon his body. Tied up all day with his disciplined show upon him, subdued to the performance of his routine of educational tricks, encircled by a gabbling crowd, he broke loose at night like an ill-tamed wild animal. Under his daily restraint, it was his compensation, not his trouble, to give a glance towards his state at night, and to the freedom of its being indulged. If great criminals told the truth—which, being great criminals, they do not—they would very rarely tell of their struggles against the crime. Their struggles are towards it. They buffet with opposing waves, to gain the bloody shore, not to recede from it. This man perfectly comprehended that he hated his rival with his strongest and worst forces, and that if he tracked him to Lizzie Hexam, his so doing would never serve himself with her, or serve her. All his pains were taken, to the end that he might incense himself with the sight of the detested figure in her company and favour, in her place of concealment. And he knew as well what act of his would follow if he did, as he knew that his mother had borne him. Granted, that he may not have held it necessary to make express mention to himself of the one familiar truth any more than of the other.
He knew equally well that he fed his wrath and hatred, and that he accumulated provocation and self-justification, by being made the nightly sport of the reckless and insolent Eugene. Knowing all this,—and still always going on with infinite endurance, pains, and perseverance, could his dark soul doubt whither he went?"




...


"Bradley assenting, went with him into an early public-house, haunted by unsavoury smells of musty hay and stale straw, where returning carts, farmers' men, gaunt dogs, fowls of a beery breed, and certain human nightbirds fluttering home to roost, were solacing themselves after their several manners; and where not one of the nightbirds hovering about the sloppy bar failed to discern at a glance in the passion-wasted nightbird with respectable feathers, the worst nightbird of all.
An inspiration of affection for a half-drunken carter going his way led to Mr Riderhood's being elevated on a high heap of baskets on a waggon, and pursuing his journey recumbent on his back with his head on his bundle. Bradley then turned to retrace his steps, and by-and-by struck off through little-traversed ways, and by-and-by reached school and home. Up came the sun to find him washed and brushed, methodically dressed in decent black coat and waistcoat, decent formal black tie, and pepper-and-salt pantaloons, with his decent silver watch in its pocket, and its decent hair-guard round his neck: a scholastic huntsman clad for the field, with his fresh pack yelping and barking around him.
Yet more really bewitched than the miserable creatures of the much-lamented times, who accused themselves of impossibilities under a contagion of horror and the strongly suggestive influences of Torture, he had been ridden hard by Evil Spirits in the night that was newly gone. He had been spurred and whipped and heavily sweated. If a record of the sport had usurped the places of the peaceful texts from Scripture on the wall, the most advanced of the scholars might have taken fright and run away from the master."

- Charles Dickens, Our mutual friend, book 3, chapter 11, "In the dark".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 01, 2015, 06:06:52 AM
"Voyager est, quoi qu'on en puisse dire, un des plus tristes plaisirs de la vie".
 — Mme. de Staël Holstein: Corinne ou L’Italie, Tome Premier, Chapitre II (1807).

The complete paragraph translated by Isabel Hill:

"Traveling, say what we will, is one of the saddest pleasures in life. If you ever feel at ease in a strange place, it is because you have begun to make it your home; but to traverse unknown lands, to hear a language which you hardly comprehend, to look on faces unconnected with either your past or future, this is solitude without repose or dignity; for the hurry to arrive where no one awaits you, that agitation whose sole cause is curiosity, lessens you in your own esteem, while, ere new objects can become old, they have bound you by some sweet link of sentiment and habit."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on February 01, 2015, 07:17:01 AM
“It is precisely from the regret left by the imperfect work that the next one can be born.” - Odilon Redon
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”  - Maria Edgeworth & Samuel Johnson
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”  - Albert Camus
“It is no use doing what you like - you have got to like what you do” - Winston Churchill
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” - Winston Churchill
“When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise.” - Winston Churchill
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 01, 2015, 07:49:59 AM
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”  - Warren Buffett

Terrible, but and true. It's like a summary of adult's life.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 01, 2015, 08:33:42 AM
Terrible, but and true. It's like a summary of adult's life.

BTW, now I have learnt - from the Quote Investigator - that the attribution to Warren Buffett is wrong. Here it can be read the detailed investigation about the origins of this quote:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/07/13/chains-of-habit/
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on February 01, 2015, 08:55:06 AM
BTW, now I have learnt - from the Quote Investigator - that the attribution to Warren Buffett is wrong. Here it can be read the detailed investigation about the origins of this quote:

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/07/13/chains-of-habit/
Thanks, I picked that quote from a Literature Networks thread.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 02, 2015, 09:31:13 AM
"Voyager est, quoi qu'on en puisse dire, un des plus tristes plaisirs de la vie".
 — Mme. de Staël Holstein: Corinne ou L’Italie, Tome Premier, Chapitre II (1807).

The complete paragraph translated by Isabel Hill:

"Traveling, say what we will, is one of the saddest pleasures in life. If you ever feel at ease in a strange place, it is because you have begun to make it your home; but to traverse unknown lands, to hear a language which you hardly comprehend, to look on faces unconnected with either your past or future, this is solitude without repose or dignity; for the hurry to arrive where no one awaits you, that agitation whose sole cause is curiosity, lessens you in your own esteem, while, ere new objects can become old, they have bound you by some sweet link of sentiment and habit."

I couldn´t disagree more. 

First of all, I don´t travel in order to meet strangers, but to see new places and experience new things (architecture, art, music, cuisine, folklore, a way of life different than my own etc). When in Venice, Paris or Madrid I really had no time to notice being in the middle of unknown people.  ;D

Secondly, speaking foreign languages (the more, the better) certainly helps a lot; now, Mme de Stael probably knew only French and probably deemed it enough for a civilized person...  ;D

Thirdly, if in the process of travelling I can get acquainted with, and even make friends of, a few people, than would only add to the pleasure of travelling, but it is by no means its main purpose.  ;D

Lastly, to rub shoulders with people who could not care less about you and your ideas and to hear all around you a language you cannot comprehend is very good for one´s soul: it shows one that one is not the center of the universe, that the world was not created for the instant gratification of one´s own whims and desires, and that one´s own nation and country is only one among many. In short, travelling (if done properly, ie with open heart and eyes) teaches one both personal and national humility. Now, of course, Mme de Stael was not the most humble, or receptive to humility, person in the world... ;D

Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on February 02, 2015, 02:13:14 PM
First of all, I don´t travel in order to meet strangers, but to see new places and experience new things (architecture, art, music, cuisine, folklore, a way of life different than my own etc). When in Venice, Paris or Madrid I really had no time to notice being in the middle of unknown people.  ;D

Secondly, speaking foreign languages (the more, the better) certainly helps a lot; now, Mme de Stael probably knew only French and probably deemed it enough for a civilized person...  ;D

Thirdly, if in the process of travelling I can get acquainted with, and even make friends of, a few people, than would only add to the pleasure of travelling, but it is by no means its main purpose.  ;D

Lastly, to rub shoulders with people who could not care less about you and your ideas and to hear all around you a language you cannot comprehend is very good for one´s soul: it shows one that one is not the center of the universe, that the world was not created for the instant gratification of one´s own whims and desires, and that one´s own nation and country is only one among many. In short, travelling (if done properly, ie with open heart and eyes) teaches one both personal and national humility. Now, of course, Mme de Stael was not the most humble, or receptive to humility, person in the world... ;D

Fair enough, but like millions and millions of people today, Mme de Staël travelled as a displaced person rather than engaging in a leisure activity. I think this rather coloured her feelings. As for language, there is more to it than her bare statement, she was after all also familiar with Italian, German and English. She knew Latin too but that would not have helped her much. I can understand her loneliness.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on February 03, 2015, 08:06:03 AM
"I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature." - Edvard Munch.

Greatest description of panic attack ever, period. Munch could have been just as great of a poet as he was a painter.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on February 03, 2015, 08:58:52 AM
“Prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.” Francis Bacon

“Money is like muck, not good except it be spread.” Francis Bacon

“Let not the sun go down upon your anger.” Francis Bacon

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better" Samuel Becket

“It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required. “ Churchill
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 03, 2015, 11:26:13 AM
“Let not the sun go down upon your anger.” Francis Bacon

What is the source for this quotation? If he really wrote it then he was a plagiarist.  ;D

Ephesians 4:26: Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on February 03, 2015, 11:40:33 AM
What is the source for this quotation? If he really wrote it then he was a plagiarist.  ;D

Ephesians 4:26: Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath
It's from Essays (1625), according to Wikiquote (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon). But as I say, good writers borrow, great writers steal. ;)
"To seek to extinguish anger utterly, is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles: Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and in time."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on February 03, 2015, 12:16:29 PM
But as I say, good writers borrow, great writers steal.

I've heard that before!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 03, 2015, 12:48:09 PM
It's from Essays (1625), according to Wikiquote (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Francis_Bacon). But as I say, good writers borrow, great writers steal. ;)
"To seek to extinguish anger utterly, is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles: Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger. Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and in time."

Things are clear now. Bacon was actually quoting St. Paul word by word without directly naming him (we have better oracles is an obvious allusion, though) because he need not do it. Any reader of the Essays at the time of their publication would have been able to make the connection. Not so with the compiler of the Bacon quotes on Wikiquote. He printed the words of St. Paul in bold type, as if they were Bacon's own contribution to the topic.  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on February 03, 2015, 12:53:25 PM
Things are clear now. Bacon was actually quoting St. Paul word by word without directly naming him (we have better oracles is an obvious allusion, though) because he need not do it. Any reader of the Essays at the time of their publication would have been able to make the connection. Not so with the compiler of the Bacon quotes on Wikiquote. He printed the words of St. Paul in bold type, as if they were Bacon's own contribution to the topic.  :D

Agreed. No-one now knows Paul. Yet it is odd to see you of all people here applauding this progress.

 ;)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 03, 2015, 01:21:02 PM
No-one now knows Paul.

You´re wrong. Many still do. I, for instance, was able to spot the reference on the spot (pun intended).  ;D

Quote
it is odd natural to see you of all people here applauding deploring this progress regress.

Fixed.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2015, 02:25:20 AM
Fair enough, but like millions and millions of people today, Mme de Staël travelled as a displaced person rather than engaging in a leisure activity.

That she was forced into exile is true, although her quarrelsome and self-righteous nature played perhaps a greater part in her conflict with Napoleon than her political principles. Yet to compare her life at Coppet or her travels in Europe and England to the dire predicament of, say, Syrians or Iraquis today is rather exagerated, methinks.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on February 04, 2015, 03:58:02 AM
That she was forced into exile is true, although her quarrelsome and self-righteous nature played perhaps a greater part in her conflict with Napoleon than her political principles. Yet to compare her life at Coppet or her travels in Europe and England to the dire predicament of, say, Syrians or Iraquis today is rather exagerated, methinks.

Certainly I was not making such a comparison. Nevertheless, not being able to return to ones homeland is unsettling. Hopefully, you have never had to seek political asylum. Her principles played a much greater part than you think - as a popular saying went, around 1814, there are three great powers in Europe: Russia, England and Mdme. de Staël. Her views and writings on nationality were anathema to Napoleon.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2015, 04:45:50 AM
not being able to return to ones homeland is unsettling.


Absolutely no argument. One of the greatest misfortune that can befell someone.

Quote
Hopefully, you have never had to seek political asylum.

I haven´t indeed, but neither has Mme de Stael. She just went to her family estate at Coppet, without having to ask for the permission of anyone.  :)

Quote
Her principles played a much greater part than you think - as a popular saying went, around 1814, there are three great powers in Europe: Russia, England and Mdme. de Staël. Her views and writings on nationality were anathema to Napoleon.

I am aware of all that*, I was just exaggerating in my turn, in order to make a point.  :)

Still... The harshest action Napoleon took against her, though, was forbidding her to reside at less than 40 leagues away from Paris. And when she defiantly braved the interdiction she was able to live in Paris undisturbed for quite some time.  :)

(* in terms of practical politics and diplomacy, though, Talleyrand was far more powerful than her. Just saying)

EDIT: typos
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on February 04, 2015, 07:27:05 AM

Still... The harshest action Napoleon took against her, though, was forbidding her to reside at less than 40 leagues away from Paris. And when she defiantly braved the interdiction she was able to live in Paris undisturbed for quite some time.

In terms of practical politics and diplomacy, though, Talleyrand was far more powerful than her. Just saying.


That was in 1802-3. Napoleon exiled her from France entirely in 1810, although that is later than the quotation in question. Coppet was a family property but, attractive as it might be, it was not home.
Sayings are not necessarily factual but are merely an indication of opinion. She had no power of action, only the power of influence.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2015, 07:31:16 AM
That was in 1802-3. Napoleon exiled her from France entirely in 1810, although that is later than the quotation in question. Coppet was a family property but, attractive as it might be, it was not home.
Sayings are not necessarily factual but are merely an indication of opinion. She had no power of action, only the power of influence.

Hey, you really love her, don´t you? Is your name Benjamin Constant, by any chance?  :P
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 04, 2015, 08:22:27 AM
http://www.youtube.com/v/i2CgUIrBHoo

I haven't confirmed at all these "facts" about WW1; but some of them are quite impressive.

However, as I consider some dose of skepticism a good intellectual trait; at least, the "fact" placed as number one has caught my eye:

Quote
The Armistice was signed at 5 AM on November 11, 1918 but ceasefire only came into effect at 11 AM.
Nearly 11,000 pointless casualties occurred that day - the equivalent of total Allied casualties on D-Day in WW2

I think it looks weird, isn't it? 11,000 people died in 6 hours of the morning, at the end of the war? Will be this an accurate account?  ???
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 04, 2015, 08:35:15 AM
But as I say, good writers borrow, great writers steal. ;)

I've heard that before!

This was a kind response.

My first inclination was to write: "I have never heard that before."  :P ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2015, 02:02:43 PM
Miguel de Unamuno

These terrible sociologists, who are the astrologers and alchemists of our twentieth century.

Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.

There is no tyranny in the world more hateful than that of ideas. Ideas bring ideophobia, and the consequence is that people begin to persecute their neighbors in the name of ideas. I loathe and detest all labels, and the only label that I could now tolerate would be that of ideoclast or idea breaker.

The man of flesh and bone; the man who is born, suffers, and dies—above all, who dies; the man who eats and drinks and plays and sleeps and thinks and wills; the man who is seen and heard; the brother, the real brother.

To believe in God is to yearn for His existence and, furthermore, it is to act as if He did exist.

Warmth, warmth, more warmth! for we are dying of cold and not of darkness. It is not the night that kills, but the frost.

Over all civilizations there hovers the shadow of Ecclesiastes, with his admonition, "How dieth the wise man? — as the fool"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2015, 02:15:06 PM
It´s always easier to deceive a collectivity than an individual.- Pio Baroja
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 04, 2015, 02:24:06 PM
Perhaps the most urgent educational work in the world is to convince people that their greatest ennemies are those who promise them the impossible. - Ramiro de Maeztu
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on February 04, 2015, 03:07:20 PM
This was a kind response.


It won't happen again! I promise!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on February 04, 2015, 05:51:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/i2CgUIrBHoo

I haven't confirmed at all these "facts" about WW1; but some of them are quite impressive.

However, as I consider some dose of skepticism a good intellectual trait; at least, the "fact" placed as number one has caught my eye:

I think it looks weird, isn't it? 11,000 people died in 6 hours of the morning, at the end of the war? Will be this an accurate account?  ???

Casualties is a term that includes not merely killed but also wounded, captured , or missing in action.  In the context, 11,000 could included an unknown number of men named Hans or Jean who decided not to wait for official orders to demobilize, or surrendered to the Allies in advance of 1100 hours.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on February 04, 2015, 05:59:57 PM
Fuller details, although this site gives the figure as 10,000.
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/november_11_1918.htm
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 05, 2015, 05:33:05 AM
Fuller details, although this site gives the figure as 10,000.
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/november_11_1918.htm

Thanks, Jeffrey. It's a very interesting link.

BTW, under current parameters, Pershing's decisions and statements sound as plainly criminal.  :( 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on February 05, 2015, 09:36:28 AM
Hey, you really love her, don´t you? Is your name Benjamin Constant, by any chance?  :P

She would have been far too much for me. ;)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on February 11, 2015, 11:53:24 PM
Quote from: Edgar Degas. a remark to E. Rouart in 1904; as quoted in Renoir – his life and work, Francois Fosca, Book Club Associates. Thames and Hudson Ltd, London 1975, p. 274
You must aim high, not in what you are going to do at some future date, but in what you are going to make yourself do to-day. Otherwise, working is just a waste of time.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 15, 2015, 11:33:22 AM
After a sumptuous Sunday lunch, I guess this quote is quite appropriate:

Quote
"In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas", i.e., "In wine there is truth, in water there is health."

Its source isn't clear, but an early reference is found in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on February 15, 2015, 12:06:14 PM
After a sumptuous Sunday lunch, I guess this quote is quite appropriate:

Its source isn't clear, but an early reference is found in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia.  :)
It certainly wasn't appropriate after the fall of Roman empire for quite a while, though.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on February 15, 2015, 12:14:00 PM
It certainly wasn't appropriate after the fall of Roman empire for quite a while, though.

Well, we Catholics have changed a lot. ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on February 16, 2015, 03:10:11 AM
"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." - Mark Twain

Twain is one of those authors whose quotes outside of his books are IMO much funnier than quotes from the books themselves.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on February 16, 2015, 03:13:53 AM
"You see the irony is what they need to do is get Syria, to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's all over." - George W. Bush

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on February 28, 2015, 11:31:06 AM
The danger of modern liberty is that, absorbed in the enjoyment of our private independence, and in the pursuit of our particular interests, we should surrender our right to share in political power too easily. The holders of authority are only too anxious to encourage us to do so. They are so ready to spare us all sort of troubles, except those of obeying and paying! They will say to us: what, in the end, is the aim of your efforts, the motive of your labours, the object of all your hopes? Is it not happiness? Well, leave this happiness to us and we shall give it to you. No, Sirs, we must not leave it to them. No matter how touching such a tender commitment may be, let us ask the authorities to keep within their limits. Let them confine themselves to being just. We shall assume the responsibility of being happy for ourselves. - Benjamin Constant
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on March 20, 2015, 05:12:02 PM
"Later, Wagner ran off with Cosima, had two more children with her and married her. In that order. While we're on the subject, you might be interested to know that Isolde's brother was born right in the middle of Wagner's Siegfried. The opera, that is. Naturally, Wagner had enough to worry about without having to think up names, so he simply called the baby Siegfried. The way I look at it, the kid was pretty lucky. Another couple of years, and he would have been called Götterdämmerung." - Victor Borge with Robert Sherman.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on March 31, 2015, 09:34:52 AM
"You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." - Ash, from Alien

I freaking love that quote. Easily makes Ash my favorite character in Alien. And the following ones from him are not bad either:

"I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."

"I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies."

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on March 31, 2015, 09:48:33 AM
Nice!

The character of Matthew McConaughey in True Detective, talking about his technique as a successful interrogator:

“Look — everybody knows there’s something wrong with them. They just don’t know what it is. Everybody wants confession, everybody wants some cathartic narrative for it. The guilty especially. And everybody’s guilty.”

 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on March 31, 2015, 10:24:30 AM
Good one.

"Many unlikely people play golf, including people who are blind, who have only one arm, or even no legs, and people often wear bizarre clothes to the game. Other golfers don't think them odd, for there are no rules of appearance or dress at golf. That is one of its minor pleasures. But Goldfinger had made an attempt to look smart at golf and that is the only way of dressing that is incongruous on a links." - Ian Fleming
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Sef on March 31, 2015, 11:23:21 AM
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." Terry Pratchett
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on March 31, 2015, 06:17:12 PM
"Most people believe what they hear. I never do." -- Miss Marple
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on April 01, 2015, 03:31:30 AM
Never to make a line I have not heard in my own heart; yet, with all modesty to say:
"My soul, be satisfied with flowers,
With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
In the one garden you may call your own."

- Edmond Rostand
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on April 02, 2015, 12:24:12 PM
"The habit, too, of seeking some sort of recompense in the discontented boast of being disappointed, is a habit fraught with degeneracy. A certain idle carelessness and recklessness of consistency soon comes of it. To bring deserving things down by setting undeserving things up is one of its perverted delights; and there is no playing fast and loose with the truth, in any game, without growing the worse for it." Charles Dickens
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on April 02, 2015, 04:24:11 PM
"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life." Terry Pratchett
I love it.
TP, RIP
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 04, 2015, 01:06:59 PM
Round are the woods of the ancient oak,
And pines that scorn at the woodman's stroke ;
And yet the axe is on its way,
Those stately trees in the dust to lay.
 
They have open'd the quarries of lime and stone ;
There is nothing that man will leave alone :
He buildeth the house—he tilleth the soil ;
No place is free from care and toil.
 
Ye old and ye stately solitudes,
Where the white snow lies, and the eagle broods,
Where every sound but the wind was still ;
Or the voice of the torrent adown the hill.
 
Wo on our wretched and busy race.
That will not leave Nature a resting-place.
We roam over earth, we sail o'er the wave,
Till there is not a quiet spot but the grave.

Letitia Landon, 1837

This still seems apt and now we invade places that weren't even thought of then.
 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on April 04, 2015, 01:26:52 PM
Round are the woods of the ancient oak,
And pines that scorn at the woodman's stroke ;
And yet the axe is on its way,
Those stately trees in the dust to lay.
 
They have open'd the quarries of lime and stone ;
There is nothing that man will leave alone :
He buildeth the house—he tilleth the soil ;
No place is free from care and toil.
 
Ye old and ye stately solitudes,
Where the white snow lies, and the eagle broods,
Where every sound but the wind was still ;
Or the voice of the torrent adown the hill.
 
Wo on our wretched and busy race.
That will not leave Nature a resting-place.
We roam over earth, we sail o'er the wave,
Till there is not a quiet spot but the grave.

Letitia Landon, 1837

This still seems apt and now we invade places that weren't even thought of then.

This poem, when you think about it, is really a paean to hatred. It expresses the exaltation of things over other people, a disdain for the wishes and striving of others, the mindless worship of "Nature" as an abstraction. It expresses contempt, loathing, disgust. It expresses the impulse for Lebensraum. In rhyming couplets.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on April 05, 2015, 06:55:46 AM
"And I have no doubt she loves you like a brother?"
"Humph! Some brothers are not loved over much." Charles Dickens

"I am heavy company for myself, sometimes." Charles Dickens

"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" Max Reger

"[Javert] was a compound of two sentiments, simple and good in themselves, but he made them almost evil by his exaggeration of them: respect for authority and hatred of rebellion." Victor Hugo

“Without knowing it, Javert in his awful happiness was deserving of pity, like every ignorant man who triumphs. Nothing could have been more poignant or more heartrending than that countenance on which was inscribed all the evil in what is good.” Victor Hugo

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 06, 2015, 01:20:45 AM
This poem, when you think about it, is really a paean to hatred. It expresses the exaltation of things over other people, a disdain for the wishes and striving of others, the mindless worship of "Nature" as an abstraction. It expresses contempt, loathing, disgust. It expresses the impulse for Lebensraum. In rhyming couplets.

You are mistaken. Landon was a city girl and very far from being a worshipper of Nature. She found much more fascination in Art. In the extract quoted, she reflects upon the inevitability of decay. There is no hatred nor disgust, only an acceptance that we all (including Nature) one day face the grave.

Here is another fragment (probably representing a statue or painting):

The thick curls cluster round thy graceful head,
And over thy pale forehead, where the mind
Her visible temple hath; upon thy lip
Is throned a rich yet melancholy smile —
So sad, it seems prophetic of the doom
That hangs on thy young life ; and thine eye wears
An inward look, where outward things but pass
Unnoticed — thou dost hold communion with
Thoughts dark and terrible. A blight hangs o'er
The spring flowers of thy morn, the seeds of death
Are sown within thy bosom, and there is
Upon thee consciousness of fate.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 06, 2015, 06:17:44 AM
We talk of the beauties of nature, I must own I am more pleased with those of art. I know no spectacle more impressive than a great street in a great city,—take Piccadilly, for instance; the immense variety of faces that hurry past, each without interest in the other, for how rare it is to remark the greeting even of acquaintance ; indeed, you may often walk for days, and not meet a creature you know. The houses, with all their daily life—associations of comfort, force you to think how man's ingenuity has been exerted for man's pleasure. The shops, where every article is a triumph of ingenuity—some curious, some beautiful. The sweep of the Green Park: grass close beside the worn pavement,—the beautiful garden of Lord Coventry,—the royal gift destined for the solace of the blind and of the aged friend. Westminster Abbey rising in dim and dusky grandeur,—Westminster Abbey, where history becomes poetry, and whose illustrious dead are familiar to every memory. The many carriages, each like a grade in the complicated grades of society ; the wealth few pause to envy, the poverty still fewer pause to pity. The gradual closing in of night, whose empire is here disputed by the lamps linked in one long line of light,—each holding its imprisoned flame, and, last, the triumphal arch at Hyde Park, while the open space behind is shrouded in unbroken darkness.

Letitia Landon
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on April 06, 2015, 08:12:35 AM
You are mistaken. Landon was a city girl and very far from being a worshipper of Nature. She found much more fascination in Art. In the extract quoted, she reflects upon the inevitability of decay. There is no hatred nor disgust, only an acceptance that we all (including Nature) one day face the grave.

Here is another fragment (probably representing a statue or painting):

The thick curls cluster round thy graceful head,
And over thy pale forehead, where the mind
Her visible temple hath; upon thy lip
Is throned a rich yet melancholy smile —
So sad, it seems prophetic of the doom
That hangs on thy young life ; and thine eye wears
An inward look, where outward things but pass
Unnoticed — thou dost hold communion with
Thoughts dark and terrible. A blight hangs o'er
The spring flowers of thy morn, the seeds of death
Are sown within thy bosom, and there is
Upon thee consciousness of fate.

Well actually I was mocking those who find hidden horrors and outrageous crimes in every piece of writing from the past. Here I conjured the Holocaust from a little nostalgia over quiet woods ...
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 07, 2015, 12:07:05 AM
Well actually I was mocking those who find hidden horrors and outrageous crimes in every piece of writing from the past. Here I conjured the Holocaust from a little nostalgia over quiet woods ...

Your warning is certainly justified. There are many who like to find hidden meanings in every word, especially in Shakespeare. Knowing how widely Landon read, one could surmise that the trees in the forest represent people of genius, or even more specifically, women of genius. This is not impossible but is unverifiable. In any case, were this so, surely they would have been cedars rather than oaks and pines, although these two might conceivably allude to the two sexes. As you point out, these are but vain musings. Similarly, you make the mistake of finding nostalgia, which is foreign to Landon. One thing we do know, is that her philosophy includes a belief that decay and death are innate to all bodies. The axing of the trees are an inevitability, just as our own deaths are.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on April 11, 2015, 02:20:38 PM
Quote
The question of whether Machines Can Think... is about as relevant as the question of whether Submarines Can Swim.
-- Dijkstra (1984) The threats to computing science
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on April 11, 2015, 03:14:05 PM
”The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Gandhi
“Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.' “ Khalil Gibran

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death. - Elie Wiesel

Visitor: “That woman’s arm is too long.”  - Matisse: “That is not a woman, sir, it’s a painting.”

“To attain knowledge, add things every day.
 To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
Laozi
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 15, 2015, 05:12:31 AM
Quote from: Florestan (Robert Schumann)
[T]otal nonsense in music is an impossibility, and even a madman cannot suppress harmonic laws.

Even a madman could not have predicted Xenakis or Boulez during Schumann´s time. - Florestan (Andrei)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 15, 2015, 05:14:11 AM
Boulez, maybe . . . he's just a hodgepodge of elements which predated him, some of them exaggerated in quite foreseeable ways  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on April 15, 2015, 05:16:31 AM
Even a madman could not have predicted Xenakis or Boulez during Schumann´s time. - Florestan (Andrei)
Perhaps he was referring to himself by 'madman'.  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 15, 2015, 05:17:52 AM
Boulez, maybe . . . he's just a hodgepodge of elements which predated him, some of them exaggerated in quite foreseeable ways  8)

I was hoping for a (*chortie*)...  :P
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 15, 2015, 05:18:51 AM
”Visitor: “That woman’s arm is too long.”  - Matisse: “That is not a woman, sir, it’s a painting.”

Nice!  Borrowing this.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 15, 2015, 05:19:54 AM
I was hoping for a (*chortie*)...  :P

Hah!  "Dear Lord, grant that I may never take myself too seriously . . . ."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 15, 2015, 05:20:20 AM
Perhaps he was referring to himself by 'madman'.  8)

I´d take that madman´s music over that of many a sane people´s, any day and night .     :laugh:
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on April 15, 2015, 05:56:55 AM
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."  ― Plato
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”  ― Rumi
“There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it." ― Man Ray
"After all is said and done, more is said than done." ― Aesop
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 15, 2015, 06:12:05 AM
Hah!  Does that really date back to Æsop?  Love it even more!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on April 15, 2015, 08:35:35 AM

“There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it." ― Man Ray


I knew a guy who was convinced that previous generations knew nothing of "modern sex".  ::)

Be thankful Boulez did not become a sexologist. "All past ways of having sex must be destroyed!" Or "He screws worse than Honegger!"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 22, 2015, 12:18:44 PM
The same, yet not the same . . .

Letitia Landon
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on April 22, 2015, 06:58:24 PM
Edith Wharton on Henry James’s asking for directions. From A Backward Glance, 1934 (autobiography)

Another year we had been motoring in the west country, and on the way
 back were to spend a night at Malvern. As we approached (at the close of
 a dark rainy afternoon) I saw James growing restless, and was not
 surprised to hear him say: “My dear, I once spent a summer at Malvern,
 and know it very well; and as it is rather difficult to find the way to
 the hotel, it might be well if Edward were to change places with me, and
 let me sit beside Cook.” My husband of course acceded (though with doubt
 in his heart), and James having taken his place, we awaited the result.
 Malvern, if I am not mistaken, is encircled by a sort of upper
 boulevard, of the kind called in Italy a strada di circonvallazione, and
 for an hour we circulated about above the outspread city, while James
 vainly tried to remember which particular street led down most directly
 to our hotel. At each corner (literally) he stopped the motor, and we
 heard a muttering, first confident and then anguished. “This–this, my
 dear Cook, yes…this certainly is the right corner. But no; stay! A
 moment longer, please–in this light it’s so difficult…appearances are
 so misleading…It may be…yes! I think it IS the next turn…’a little
 farther lend thy guiding hand’…that is, drive on; but slowly, please,
 my dear Cook; VERY slowly!” And at the next corner the same agitated
 monologue would be repeated; till at length Cook, the mildest of men,
 interrupted gently: “I guess any turn’ll get us down into the town, Mr.
 James, and after that I can ask–” and late, hungry and exhausted we
 arrived at length at our destination, James still convinced that the
 next turn would have been the right one, if only we had been more
 patient.

The most absurd of these episodes occurred on another rainy evening,
 when James and I chanced to arrive at Windsor long after dark. We must
 have been driven by a strange chauffeur–perhaps Cook was on a holiday;
 at any rate, having fallen into the lazy habit of trusting to him to
 know the way, I found myself at a loss to direct his substitute to the
 King’s Road. While I was hesitating, and peering out into the darkness,
 James spied an ancient doddering man who had stopped in the rain to gaze
 at us. “wait a moment, my dear–I’ll ask him where we are”; and leaning
 out he signalled to the spectator.

“My good man, if you’ll be good enough to come here, please; a little
 nearer–so,” and as the old man came up: “My friend, to put it to you in
 two words, this lady and I have just arrived here from SLOUGH; that is
 to say, to be more strictly accurate, we have recently PASSED THROUGH
 Slough on our way here, having actually motored to Windsor from Rye,
 which was our point of departure; and the darkness having overtaken us,
 we should be much obliged if you would tell us where we now are in
 relation, say, to the High Street, which, as you of course know, leads
 to the Castle, after leaving on the left hand the turn down to the
 railway station.”

I was not surprised to have this extraordinary appeal met by silence,
 and a dazed expression on the old wrinkled face at the window; nor to
 have James go on: “In short” (his invariable prelude to a fresh series
 of explanatory ramifications), “in short, my good man, what I want to
 put to you in a word is this: supposing we have already (as I have
 reason to think we have) driven past the turn down to the railway
 station (which, in that case, by the way, would probably not have been
 on our left hand, but on our right), where are we now in relation to…”

“Oh, please,” I interrupted, feeling myself utterly unable to sit
 through another parenthesis, “do ask him where the King’s Road is.”

“Ah–? The King’s Road? Just so! Quite right! Can you, as a matter of
 fact, my good man, tell us where, in relation to our present position,
 the King’s Road exactly IS?”

“Ye’re in it,” said the aged face at the window.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on April 23, 2015, 01:20:35 PM
The ostensible supporters of the Constitution, like the ostensible supporters of most other governments, are made up of three classes, viz.: 1. Knaves, a numerous and active class, who see in the government an instrument which they can use for their own aggrandizement or wealth. 2. Dupes — a large class, no doubt — each of whom, because he is allowed one voice out of millions in deciding what he may do with his own person and his own property, and because he is permitted to have the same voice in robbing, enslaving, and murdering others, that others have in robbing, enslaving, and murdering himself, is stupid enough to imagine that he is a "free man," a "sovereign"; that this is "a free government"; "a government of equal rights," "the best government on earth," [1] and such like absurdities. 3. A class who have some appreciation of the evils of government, but either do not see how to get rid of them, or do not choose to so far sacrifice their private interests as to give themselves seriously and earnestly to the work of making a change.

Lysander Spooner
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on April 24, 2015, 09:56:50 PM
François de La Rochefoucauld

“What we term virtues are often but a mass of various actions and diverse interests, which fortune or our own industry manage to arrange; and it is not always from valour or from chastity that men are brave, and women chaste.”

“Passion often renders the most clever man a fool, and even sometimes renders the most foolish man clever.”

“We should not be upset that others hide the truth from us, when we hide it so often from ourselves.”

“We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.”

“Neither the sun nor death can be looked at steadily.”

“One is never so happy or so unhappy as one fancies.”

“To succeed in the world we do everything we can to appear successful already.”

“The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune.”

“It is more disgraceful to distrust than to be deceived by our friends.”

“Only great men have great faults.”

“Most people judge men only by success or by fortune.”

"It is easier to know man in general than to know one man.”

“We should often be ashamed of our very best actions if the world only saw the motives which caused them.”

“Mediocre minds usually dismiss anything which reaches beyond their own understanding.”


"Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition." - Alexander Smith


Robert Louis Stevenson

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty to be happy. By being happy we see anonymous benefits upon the world. “

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”

“In every part and corner of our life, to lose oneself is to be a gainer; to forget oneself is to be happy.”

“There is but one art, to omit.”

“A healthy adult male bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.” John Updike
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on April 24, 2015, 10:17:09 PM
“Mediocre minds usually dismiss anything which reaches beyond their own understanding."

Who would dispute that!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on April 25, 2015, 12:52:49 AM
"He begged and he stole, and he cut throats, and starved at that, by the powers!" Robert Louis Stevenson

Probably one of my favorite quotes from Treasure island.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on April 25, 2015, 02:21:14 AM
Blind Pew? or about whom is the quotation?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on April 25, 2015, 05:05:21 AM
Silver talking about Pew, if I remember correctly. Silver, in general, is a treasure chest of awesome lines.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Daverz on April 25, 2015, 11:56:43 AM
Via Eschatonblog:

“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, 1965

So it goes.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 01, 2015, 07:20:16 AM
On Shehrzad:

Quote
Now this Vizier had two daughters, the elder called Shehrzad and the younger Dunyazad, and the former had read many books and histories and chronicles of ancient kings and stories of people of old time; it is said indeed that she had collected a thousand books of chronicles of past peoples and bygone kings and poets. Moreover, she had read books of science and medicine; her memory was stored with verses and stories and folk-lore and the sayings of kings and sages, and she was wise, witty, prudent and well-bred.

-- The Book of Thousand Nights and One Night/ Now First Completely Done Into English/ Prose and Verse, From The Original Arabic,/ By John Payne/ In Nine Volumes, 1901 (Project Gutenberg Ebook)

She was a collector, too! I love her! ;D

 :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 07, 2015, 03:40:11 AM
Quote
Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts—the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others; but of the three the only quite trustworthy one is the last.
--John Ruskin, St. Mark’s Rest: The History of Venice
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on May 08, 2015, 10:38:17 AM
"Military justice is to justice what military music is to music." - Georges Clemenceau
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: vandermolen on May 08, 2015, 11:26:06 PM
'Trouble? To live is to have trouble.'
(Zorba the Greek)

'There is praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute. Did you think this would not happen to you?'
(The Buddha)

Quoted in 'A Lamp in the Darkness' by Jack Kornfield.

I've probably posted them before but I think that they are always worth revisiting - I find them helpful anyway and my daughter really likes the first quote.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on May 21, 2015, 01:57:39 AM
Feeling pessimistic?

Weep not for the dead with a fruitless recalling,
    Their soul on the wings of the morning hath fled;
Mourn rather for those whom yet life is enthralling,
    Ah! weep for the living—weep not for the dead.

Letitia Landon
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on May 21, 2015, 05:03:59 PM
Every cliche began as a fresh original idea.
---Me.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on May 21, 2015, 07:44:52 PM
"I can recognize any one by the teeth, with whom I have talked. I always watch the lips and mouth: they tell what the tongue and eyes try to conceal."    -     Lord Byron at the funeral of Percy Shelley, according to E.J. Trelawny

“We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.”   -    Anais Nin

“I shall not find a painting more beautiful because the artist has painted a hawthorn in the foreground, though I know of nothing more beautiful than the hawthorn, for I wish to remain sincere and because I know that the beauty of a painting does not depend on the things represented in it. I shall not collect images of hawthorn. I do not venerate hawthorn, I go to see and smell it.”
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”   -   Marcel Proust

“Fame is something which must be won; honor, only something which must not be lost.” Schopenhauer
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 22, 2015, 11:04:25 AM
Every cliche began as a fresh original idea.
---Me.

There is not an idea stupid enough to not have followers.
-- Mine  :)

P.S.: After reading today my last post, I have been aware that somebody could understand that I'm suggesting that the thought posted by Jeffrey is a "stupid idea." It would be a big misunderstanding. I just tried to post a thought of my own, as Jeffrey did, and that's the reason why I quoted him.   
  :)

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 22, 2015, 11:16:33 AM
There is not an idea stupid enough to not have followers.

+1  :P
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on June 10, 2015, 08:19:17 AM
"At the root of creativity is an impulse to understand, to make sense of random and often unrelated details. For me, photography provides an intersection of time, space, light, and emotional stance. One needs to be still enough, observant enough, and aware enough to recognize the life of the materials, to be able to 'hear through the eyes'."
Paul Caponigro


From The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius:

Book II. 17. In human life time is but an instant, and the substance of it a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of certainty. And, to say all in a word, everything that belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger's sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion. What then can guide a man? One thing and only one, philosophy.

Book XI. 27. The Pythagoreans bid us in the morning look to the heavens that we may be reminded of those bodies that continually do the same things and in the same manner perform their work, and also be reminded of their purity and nudity. For there is no veil over a star.



From Thoughts, by Blaise Pascal:

For, in fact, what is man in nature? A Nothing in comparison with the Infinite, an All in comparison with the Nothing, a mean between nothing and everything.

But what will man do? He cannot prevent this object that he loves from being full of faults and wants. He wants to be great, and he sees himself small. He wants to be happy, and he sees himself miserable. He wants to be perfect, and he sees himself full of imperfections. He wants to be the object of love and esteem among men, and he sees that his faults merit only their hatred and contempt.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 23, 2015, 11:12:40 AM
Borges and I (translated from the Spanish)
by Jorge Luis Borges

It’s to that other one, to Borges, that things happen. I walk through Buenos Aires and I pause, one could say mechanically, to gaze at a vestibule’s arch and its inner door; of Borges I receive news in the mail and I see his name in a list of professors or in some biographical dictionary. I like hourglasses, maps, eighteenth-century typefaces, etymologies, the taste of coffee and the prose of Stevenson; the other shares these preferences, but in a vain kind of way that turns them into an actor’s attributes. It would be an exaggeration to claim that our relationship is hostile; I live, I let myself live so that Borges may write his literature, and this literature justifies me. It poses no great difficulty for me to admit that he has put together some decent passages, yet these passages cannot save me, perhaps because whatsoever is good does not belong to anyone, not even to the other, but to language and tradition. In any case, I am destined to lose all that I am, definitively, and only fleeting moments of myself will be able to live on in the other. Little by little, I continue ceding to him everything, even though I am aware of his perverse tendency to falsify and magnify.

Spinoza understood that all things strive to persevere being; the stone wishes to be eternally a stone and the tiger a tiger. I will endure in Borges, not in myself (if it is that I am someone), but I recognise myself less in his books than in those of many others, or in the well-worn strum of a guitar. Years ago I tried to free myself from him by moving on from the mythologies of the slums to games with time and infinity, but those games are now Borges’ and I will have to conceive of other things. Thus my life is a running away and I lose everything and everything is turned over to oblivion, or to the other.

I do not know which of the two is writing this piece.

______
Borges y yo
por Jorge Luis Borges

Al otro, a Borges, es a quien le ocurren las cosas. Yo camino por Buenos Aires y me demoro, acaso ya mecánicamente, para mirar el arco de un zaguán y la puerta cancel; de Borges tengo noticias por el correo y veo su nombre en una terna de profesores o en un diccionario biográfico. Me gustan los relojes de arena, los mapas, la tipografía del siglo XVIII, las etimologías, el sabor del café y la prosa de Stevenson; el otro comparte esas preferencias, pero de un modo vanidoso que las convierte en atributos de un actor. Sería exagerado afirmar que nuestra relación es hostil; yo vivo, yo me dejo vivir para que Borges pueda tramar su literatura y esa literatura me justifica. Nada me cuesta confesar que ha logrado ciertas páginas válidas, pero esas páginas no me pueden salvar, quizá porque lo bueno ya no es de nadie, ni siquiera del otro, sino del lenguaje o la tradición. Por lo demás, yo estoy destinado a perderme, definitivamente, y sólo algún instante de mí podrá sobrevivir en el otro. Poco a poco voy cediéndole todo, aunque me consta su perversa costumbre de falsear y magnificar. Spinoza entendió que todas las cosas quieren perseverar en su ser; la piedra eternamente quiere ser piedra y el tigre un tigre. Yo he de quedar en Borges, no en mí (si es que alguien soy), pero me reconozco menos en sus libros que en muchos otros o que en el laborioso rasgueo de una guitarra. Hace años yo traté de librarme de él y pasé de las mitologías del arrabal a los juegos con el tiempo y con lo infinito, pero esos juegos son de Borges ahora y tendré que idear otras cosas. Así mi vida es una fuga y todo lo pierdo y todo es del olvido, o del otro.

No sé cuál de los dos escribe esta página.

Source:
http://anagrammatically.com/2008/01/31/borges-and-i-borges-y-yo/
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on June 23, 2015, 12:13:13 PM
Borges and I (translated from the Spanish)
by Jorge Luis Borges
Superb, and so true.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 25, 2015, 11:42:03 AM
Superb, and so true.

Yes! A customary theme in Borges.

I also like very much a short story titled "The Other": a meeting between an older Borges and a younger Borges that occurs in Cambridge, MA (at least, for one of them).

It is widely available in the Web, translated into English.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on June 29, 2015, 01:51:13 AM
"Talk about basing the currency on gold; you might as well base it on pork. Gold is only one product. Base it on everything!" - Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, "The Gilded age"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 29, 2015, 12:46:38 PM
"My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell "Overture" without thinking of the Lone Ranger."
-- Billy Connolly
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on June 30, 2015, 02:37:10 AM
I chanced on this today from A History of the Lyre, one of my favourite poems:

    "Methinks we must have known some former state
More glorious than our present, and the heart
Is haunted with dim memories, shadows left
By past magnificence; and hence we pine
With vain aspirings, hopes that fill the eyes
With bitter tears for their own vanity.
Remembrance makes the poet; 'tis the past
Lingering within him, with a keener sense
Than is upon the thoughts of common men
Of what has been, that fills the actual world
With unreal likenesses of lovely shapes,
That were and are not; and the fairer they,
The more their contrast with existing things,
The more his power, the greater is his grief."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 04, 2015, 04:23:45 AM
“If you have something to say, the idiom in which you choose to say it is irrelevant.” - Lorin Maazel

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 10, 2015, 09:35:06 PM
Quote
Your thumb is the same length as your nose.
-- https://twitter.com/UnusualMindFact/status/619709207596679168
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 10, 2015, 09:48:48 PM
Quote
If you have a tough decision, flip a coin! Not to decide for you, but you'll realize what you really want when it's in the air.
-- https://twitter.com/UnusualMindFact/status/619528525977124864

 ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 18, 2015, 11:58:01 AM
Read on YouTube as a comment to a recent J.E. Gardiner's interpretation of the B Minor Mass:

gyes99:
Quote
The audience is bad. They don't get the concept of what to do at the end of the performance when the conductor still has his arms up. He does this to let the last tone properly reflect at the walls of a Church/concert hall to come to an end, and to give the musicians/singers time to settle down and the audience a moment of time to process what they just heard.

This frenetic clapping and chanting is hooliganism, especially after the performance of a mass. They can do this when a Beethovens Symphony is finished. Beethoven would have liked being considered a star.


Grumpy as it is, I liked this comment.  :D

http://www.youtube.com/v/JxKR7BaitxM
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on August 15, 2015, 11:05:22 AM
Quote from: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Solvency is maintained by means of a national debt, on the principle, "If you will not lend me the money, how can I pay you?"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on August 18, 2015, 04:16:27 AM
Kurt Schlichter
Quote
“Let’s be absolutely clear – Donald Trump is entirely the fault of a GOP establishment that lied to conservatives and refused to do what it promised it would do. Trump is no secret Machiavellian genius cunningly outmaneuvering his enemies from his super-classy Atlantic City volcano lair. He’s a finger-to-the-wind charlatan who will say whatever he needs to say to maximize his own personal adulation. And he would still be merely a tiresome reality TV catch-phrase generator if the GOP establishment had not treated the rest of us like dirt.”
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 22, 2015, 03:58:18 PM
Quote
One of the basic messages of HIP is the rejection of the idea of progress that still holds many of us—unconsciously—in thrall. The history of music, HIP is saying, is not a story of gradual improvement; or, as Collingwood put it, “Bach was not trying to write like Beethoven and failing; Athens was not a relatively unsuccessful attempt to produce Rome.” The history of art can be seen as a kind of Darwinian evolution only if we remember one essential condition: evolution depends on the principle of appropriate adaptation to environment. The goals of a Vivaldi concerto are quite different from those of Mozart, Beethoven, or Paganini; and to compare them is rewarding only in the context of their differing artistic aims. Most important of all, the evolutionary theory breaks down when it is associated with value judgments. A common assumption among musicians is that art evolves in a continuous line to the perfection of the present. This implies that the world of art today must be the best of all possible worlds—a conclusion most people would find difficult to agree with.
-- Bruce Haynes, The End of Early Music: A Period Performer's History of Music for the Twenty-First Century.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 26, 2015, 12:28:10 PM
Some memorable Chesterton's ideas about gratitude:

"The test of all happiness is gratitude."
-- Orthodoxy (1908)

"Thanks are the highest form of thought."
-- A Short History of England (1917)

“You say grace before meals
   All right.
   But I say grace before the play and the opera,
   And grace before the concert and pantomime,
   And grace before I open a book,
   And grace before sketching, painting,
   Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
   And grace before I dip the pen in the ink."

EVENING

   "Here dies another day
   During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
   And the great world round me;
   And with tomorrow begins another.
   Why am I allowed two?”

Excerpt From: Maisie Ward. “Gilbert Keith Chesterton.” iBooks (available on the Gutenberg Project)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on August 29, 2015, 06:26:30 PM
Some of these are very funny. Especially the discount.
http://www.tickld.com/x/20-most-profound-things-people-thought-of-in-the-shower-9-is-epic (http://www.tickld.com/x/20-most-profound-things-people-thought-of-in-the-shower-9-is-epic)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on August 29, 2015, 06:40:43 PM
Posted that to my MeWe page.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on October 08, 2015, 05:44:37 AM
"I woke pretty early—a habit you pick up in the bush." - Arthur Conan Doyle
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 28, 2015, 07:32:26 AM
I judged this short article about Einstein's relationship with music, interesting enough as to post this link: https://hec.su/bS8A

Quote
Just before his 17th birthday Albert played at a music examination in the cantonal school. The inspector reported that “a student called Einstein shone in a deeply felt performance of an adagio from one of the Beethoven sonatas”.

Quote
In later life, his fame as a physicist often led to invitations to perform at benefit concerts, which he generally accepted eagerly. At one such event, a critic – unaware of Ein- stein’s real claim to fame as a physicist – wrote, “Einstein plays excellently. However, his world-wide fame is undeserved. There are many violinists who are just as good”.
  :D

Quote
The physics revolutionary who overturned the classical universe of Newton was nonetheless deeply conservative in his musical tastes. He adored Mozart and worshipped Bach, of whom he wrote in response to an editor, “I have this to say about Bach’s works: listen, play, love, revere – and keep your trap shut”. Beethoven he admired but did not love, while Schubert, Schumann and Brahms gained only guarded and par- tial approval.


Conservative taste? C'mon!   :o ??? ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: San Antone on October 28, 2015, 07:55:11 AM
"I woke pretty early—a habit you pick up in the bush." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know."

Groucho Marx
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on November 15, 2015, 06:58:56 AM
A handy guide to some Diner topics.  0:)

Quote from: Umberto Eco
There are four kinds of people in this world: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics…Cretins don’t even talk; they sort of slobber and stumble…Fools are in great demand, especially on social occasions. They embarrass everyone but provide material for conversation…Fools don’t claim that cats bark, but they talk about cats when everyone else is talking about dogs. They offend all the rules of conversation, and when they really offend, they’re magnificent…Morons never do the wrong thing. They get their reasoning wrong. Like the fellow who says that all dogs are pets and all dogs bark, and cats are pets, too, therefore cats bark…Morons will occasionally say something that’s right, but they say it for the wrong reason…A lunatic is easily recognized. He is a moron who doesn’t know the ropes. The moron proves his thesis; he has logic, however twisted it may be. The lunatic on the other hand, doesn’t concern himself at all with logic; he works by short circuits. For him, everything proves everything else. The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars…There are lunatics who don’t bring up the Templars, but those who do are the most insidious. At first they seem normal, then all of a sudden…”
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2015, 10:13:50 AM
A handy guide to some Diner topics.  0:)

Thanks for the Eco . . . and for reminding me that there are reasons why I am not going to read the Paris thread  0:)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The Six on November 15, 2015, 04:30:55 PM
Fresh pasta was traditionally produced by hand, sometimes with the aid of simple machines, but today many varieties of fresh pasta are also commercially produced by large-scale machines, and the products are widely available in supermarkets.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on November 15, 2015, 06:29:46 PM
I have never been a supporter of ideas of minimum wage, but these words by Bernie Sanders to justify a $15/hour minimum wage - in the last Democratic debate - resounded heavily on me:

“It is not a radical idea to say that if somebody works forty hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty.”
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: jochanaan on November 17, 2015, 05:16:36 PM
Thanks for the Eco . . . and for reminding me that there are reasons why I am not going to read the Paris thread  0:)
"We'll always have Paris." :laugh:
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on November 18, 2015, 01:34:21 AM
 :D
A handy guide to some Diner topics.  0:)

Is that from "Foucaults pendulum" or from somewhere else?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on November 18, 2015, 01:50:05 AM
:D
Is that from "Foucaults pendulum"?
Yes
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/11221066-il-pendolo-di-foucault
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 18, 2015, 02:45:30 AM
“The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.”― George Orwell

“The truth has become an insult.”― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (never heard of her before but boy is she spot on!)

“I'm very depressed how in this country you can be told "That's offensive" as though those two words constitute an argument.”― Christopher Hitchens


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 18, 2015, 06:35:03 AM
We aren’t worried about posterity;  we want it to sound good right now.
Duke Eliington
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on November 18, 2015, 05:38:38 PM
“The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.”― George Orwell

“The truth has become an insult.”― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (never heard of her before but boy is she spot on!)

“I'm very depressed how in this country you can be told "That's offensive" as though those two words constitute an argument.”― Christopher Hitchens

I see some pattern behind these quotes.  :P
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 19, 2015, 02:10:40 AM
I see some pattern behind these quotes.  :P

Just frustration in general, and bitter disappointment in one particular case...

A bon entendeur, salut!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 20, 2015, 03:08:34 AM
"I believe that there is little probability that the twelve-note scale will ever produce anything more than morbid or entirely cerebral growths. It might deal successfully with neuroses of various kinds, but I cannot imagine it associated with any healthy and happy concept such as young love or the coming of spring." --- Sir Arnold Bax

I can vividly imagine the horror, the shock and the consequent wave of outraged condemnations and solemn protestations to the contrary that would have followed had anyone posted the above in certain threads without mentioning the author...   ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 20, 2015, 03:15:30 AM
In a sense, it is perfectly true: the author could not imagine any such things  0:)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 20, 2015, 03:31:03 AM
In a sense, it is perfectly true: the author could not imagine any such things  0:)

Well, I would really like to hear 12-tone music associated with young love or the coming of spring. Please recommend me some. TIA.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 20, 2015, 05:57:58 AM
Well, I would really like to hear 12-tone music associated with young love or the coming of spring. Please recommend me some. TIA.

Do you mean, if I cannot show you that it has been done, to your satisfaction, and in the relatively brief time that a relatively few composers have been working with the method, it is impossible, and that therefore maestro Bax's lack of imagination is fully vindicated?  8)

The fourth number of Webern's second Cantata (Leichteste Bürden der Bäume) probably does not strictly fall into your request for "the coming of spring," but it is sufficiently lovely that I'll bring it forth (from the beginning to about the 01:05 mark):

https://www.youtube.com/v/b3RMic1rQ2E

I don't believe the Webern Op.12 are actually twelve-tone (too early, I am guessing);  but I am sure maestro Bax would have found the musical language equally "unimaginable."  This is a setting of Goethe's "Gleich und gleich; 'Ein Blumenglockchen'" (beginning at 05:28):

https://www.youtube.com/v/TXXXb8xmihg

At 01:40, the young lady plays the Andantino amoroso from Dallapiccola's Quaderno musicale di Annalibera (so at least we have both young and love represented):

https://www.youtube.com/v/eAmy8dtqHDQ

Not really what you're looking for, either, but this is Stravinsky's setting of The Owl and the Pussycat:

https://www.youtube.com/v/VkCbRttgaeA

A duet from Wuorinen's Brokeback Mountain (begins tenderly, the scene ends in tension . . . and note that the music drives the contrast in character):

https://www.youtube.com/v/T9pb3RP12YE
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 20, 2015, 06:11:06 AM
Do you mean, if I cannot show you that it has been done, to your satisfaction, and in the relatively brief time that a relatively few composers have been working with the method, it is impossible, and that therefore maestro Bax's lack of imagination is fully vindicated?  8)

You´re putting in my mouths words I have never spoken and in my mind thoughts I have never entertained. Regardless, thanks for the recs, will listent attentively asap.

As an aside, Bax might have lacked many things but imagination certainly was not among them.  :)

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 20, 2015, 06:42:27 AM
You´re putting in my mouths words I have never spoken and in my mind thoughts I have never entertained.

No; I only asked a question.  I imagined the situation possible, I was not claiming that it was The Case.  I certainly was not averring that I could not imagine a situation where you thought otherwise than I was hypothesizing  0:)

As an aside, Bax might have lacked many things but imagination certainly was not among them.  :)

This is not an aside, it is the point;  this is a case where Bax's imagination fails.

Look at Sean:  he cannot imagine that there is new music to be written.  His inability to imagine it does not mean that it isn't happening.

Bax wanted music "associated with any healthy and happy concept such as young love or the coming of spring" to sound a certain way; that is one limitation of his imagination.

The statement, I believe that there is little probability that the twelve-note scale will ever produce anything more than morbid or entirely cerebral growths is, in the first place, mere prejudice (what, we're going to praise people for expressing narrow-minded prejudice?) and in the second, an insufficient grasp of the idea which he is dismissing—"the twelve-note scale"? Just which scale is that?  That is another limitation of his imagination.

I get the idea that he hadn't paid attention to the musical idea, because he didn't think it worth his time—but that just brings us back to prejudice, above.  The elective nature of his limited imagination is lamentable, and to be pitied.

I don't find Bax's screed against "the twelve-note scale" any more artistically binding than I do Tchaikovsky's calling Brahms "a talentless bastard."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on November 20, 2015, 11:04:59 AM
Your last example was one that came to my mind.

Yet my ears heard that as two musics running in conjunction until the break point (when the one physically pushes the other away):  a voice singing melody with a tonally related descant, and an orchestral music with no apparent relation to the music being sung: and the tenderness all in the vocal portion.  (I will of course admit that having heard only clips of the opera, such as this one,  there may be connections that would be apparent if I heard the opera in full.)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 20, 2015, 11:13:38 AM
Yet my ears heard that as two musics running in conjunction until the break point (when the one physically pushes the other away):  a voice singing melody with a tonally related descant, and an orchestral music with no apparent relation to the music being sung: and the tenderness all in the vocal portion.  (I will of course admit that having heard only clips of the opera, such as this one,  there may be connections that would be apparent if I heard the opera in full.)

I think there is tenderness in the accompaniment, too (some curious echoes of Copland at times, too, which must have been deliberate).  I am not saying you have to hear it as I do, of course;  just saying my own piece.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 20, 2015, 11:30:11 AM
No; I only asked a question.  I imagined the situation possible, I was not claiming that it was The Case.  I certainly was not averring that I could not imagine a situation where you thought otherwise than I was hypothesizing  0:)

This is not an aside, it is the point;  this is a case where Bax's imagination fails.

Look at Sean:  he cannot imagine that there is new music to be written.  His inability to imagine it does not mean that it isn't happening.

Bax wanted music "associated with any healthy and happy concept such as young love or the coming of spring" to sound a certain way; that is one limitation of his imagination.

The statement, I believe that there is little probability that the twelve-note scale will ever produce anything more than morbid or entirely cerebral growths is, in the first place, mere prejudice (what, we're going to praise people for expressing narrow-minded prejudice?) and in the second, an insufficient grasp of the idea which he is dismissing—"the twelve-note scale"? Just which scale is that?  That is another limitation of his imagination.

I get the idea that he hadn't paid attention to the musical idea, because he didn't think it worth his time—but that just brings us back to prejudice, above.  The elective nature of his limited imagination is lamentable, and to be pitied.

I don't find Bax's screed against "the twelve-note scale" any more artistically binding than I do Tchaikovsky's calling Brahms "a talentless bastard."

Actually, you took much too seriously that quote, or my posting it. It was exactly Sean who sprang into my mind when I stumbled upon it so I thought it would be fun to play a little upon the whole thing. Apparently I was wrong.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 20, 2015, 11:35:38 AM
Actually, you took much too seriously that quote, or my posting it. It was exactly Sean who sprang into my mind when I stumbled upon it so I thought it would be fun to play a little upon the whole thing. Apparently I was wrong.  :)

Well, why didn't you say!  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 21, 2015, 01:46:17 PM
My new signature.

Interview with Mikael Akerfeldt, main songwriter for Opeth.

Quote
Tate: The songs that you create tend to be very dark. Would you say that that is an expression of your personality, or is it more your dark side coming out through the music?

Mikael: I think that comes out more in the lyrics than the music. Music-wise, I just kind of dig dynamics, and everything that is out of the ordinary. I don't enjoy a simple g chord with some happy singing over it. It has to be somewhat dramatic. But lyrically, especially for this last album, it's more the dark subconscious that contributes to the lyrics. But musically, it's just the style that I prefer. I've never been into happy stuff. I totally despise Blink-42 or whatever it's called, or Green Day. It's like child's play music, and it's not for me. I think that happy music has no soul.

It's rare for me to ever actually enjoy any happy sounding music. I think he summed it up for me in the last sentence so perfectly.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: jochanaan on November 22, 2015, 08:20:23 AM
My new signature.

Interview with Mikael Akerfeldt, main songwriter for Opeth.

It's rare for me to ever actually enjoy any happy sounding music. I think he summed it up for me in the last sentence so perfectly.
There are many who feel as you do.  It's been my experience, though, that the happiest music does have a soul, but it comes from recognizing the darkness and transmuting it into joy.  Bach, Mozart, Haydn Beethoven and Mahler are particularly good at this.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on November 22, 2015, 09:04:48 AM
My new signature.

Interview with Mikael Akerfeldt, main songwriter for Opeth.

It's rare for me to ever actually enjoy any happy sounding music. I think he summed it up for me in the last sentence so perfectly.

IMO, it's needed to be an artist more skilful than the average to create good stuff from true and deep happiness. I think it's because happiness is an end itself: when you're (really) happy, you don't need anymore; you are done. The fight is over.

On the contrary, as a human being, you need to do something with sadness and desperation, to transform it in something else, in something valuable and more bearable.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 22, 2015, 03:01:37 PM
There are many who feel as you do.  It's been my experience, though, that the happiest music does have a soul, but it comes from recognizing the darkness and transmuting it into joy.  Bach, Mozart, Haydn Beethoven and Mahler are particularly good at this.
And I could certainly name several "happy" pieces by all of those composers that I enjoy. But what I find enjoyable about those pieces is not necessarily the happy sound, but how they are written (Mahler 4th, for example).

Something like a simple I-IV-V progression is pretty much the epitome of harmony that I dislike. I think that quote applies best to that. What sounds light years better is something like C maj-Ab maj-F min-C maj (how do you write that in Roman numerals?), and I guess that could be described as "happy." But to me that isn't simply "happy," it also has to me a sort of "fantasy" type element to its sound.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 22, 2015, 06:09:30 PM
"Happy music has no soul" is a prejudiced simplification, on about the same order as "Any dyspeptic teenager can write sad music."
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 22, 2015, 06:36:19 PM
"Happy music has no soul" is a prejudiced simplification, on about the same order as "Any dyspeptic teenager can write sad music."
It might be quite an overgeneralization, but he's probably mainly thinking about happy sounding pop and pop rock music (like the bands he mentioned). And I would add to that pretty much most Christian rock songs, also (I've heard so many that I do know what I'm talking about here). And most Christmas music.

(Or I could be wrong about him overgeneralizing. Most of his stuff sounds harmonically like minor key Prokofiev, so maybe he just doesn't have a taste for the major scale)?

To me, I agree that type of stuff doesn't sound like it has a soul. My emotional reactions are about the same as listening to a lawn mower. I guess some people feel differently, and that sort of music makes them happy, which I'll never understand. Brings up memories of being 9 years old and listening to a kids' version of "Onward Christian Soldiers" sing-along with a bouncing ball following the lyrics across the screen. It was psychologically tortuous. The only tune I remember from around that time that caught my attention was Peter's theme from Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf- which also was happy, but a sort of twisted melody at the same time. Of course, it was nearly a decade after then when I actually discovered classical music and the composer who wrote that.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on November 22, 2015, 07:00:18 PM
My new signature.

Interview with Mikael Akerfeldt, main songwriter for Opeth.

It's rare for me to ever actually enjoy any happy sounding music. I think he summed it up for me in the last sentence so perfectly.

To add in my two cents: so the last movement (Allegro con spirito) of Brahms' Symphony No. 2 in D major has no soul because it's jovial? Happy is far too simplistic of a word anyway, because the connotations of the word mean something different for everyone, but I'll be damned if anyone thinks this Brahms movement lacks soul. For me, something that has these kinds of emotions tend to be uplifting and can soothe the soul as much as something that's more introspective and troubled. I'm a man of many emotions and can only hope that you are as well.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 22, 2015, 07:41:27 PM
Brahms is one of the rare composers whose happy stuff sounds soulful to me lol. I guess Bruckner would be another one.
Mozart I have a hard time with a lot of his stuff, especially some major key symphonies that just pretty and nothing else. I don't think Akerfeldt was thinking about classical music when he said that.

What are you doing listening to Brahms, anyways?  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 22, 2015, 07:50:13 PM
Quiz: which one sounds like it actually has soul and is human and which sounds plastic and fake?

https://www.youtube.com/v/TDSbZUKMvtI

https://www.youtube.com/v/NUTGr5t3MoY

Of course, I could get way worse with pop music, but Green Day was specifically one of the bands he mentioned. That's the gist of his point, Brahms/Mahler/whoever doesn't really factor into the equation.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: kishnevi on November 22, 2015, 07:58:24 PM
Brahms is one of the rare composers whose happy stuff sounds soulful to me lol. I guess Bruckner would be another one.
Mozart I have a hard time with a lot of his stuff, especially some major key symphonies that just pretty and nothing else. I don't think Akerfeldt was thinking about classical music when he said that.

What are you doing listening to Brahms, anyways?  :D
There is happy music in Bruckner?  >:D

Some of the best "happy" music is Mozart's, especially some of the middle movements of his piano concertos.  But it isn't the "get up and party" sort of happy, it's the walk-in-the-park-smell-the-flowers-on-a-sunny-day sort of happy.
Perhaps serenity or genial optimism is a better term for it.

Thee are some parts of music that are just pretty.  He did have a public to please, after all, same as Justin Bieber.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 22, 2015, 08:12:36 PM
the "get up and party" sort of happy
Like this, which I don't look forward hearing to a million times again this year:

https://www.youtube.com/v/wrvebqA8xdM

Actually, that Green Day song is actually listenable, but this... not so much.

The "walk-in-the-park-smell-the-flowers-on-a-sunny-day sort of happy" is a great description of something like a Brahms Adagio. I like stuff like that. The first movement of the Jupiter Symphony, though, just makes me feel empty inside.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Mirror Image on November 22, 2015, 08:46:52 PM
Brahms is one of the rare composers whose happy stuff sounds soulful to me lol. I guess Bruckner would be another one.
Mozart I have a hard time with a lot of his stuff, especially some major key symphonies that just pretty and nothing else. I don't think Akerfeldt was thinking about classical music when he said that.

What are you doing listening to Brahms, anyways?  :D

Yeah, I didn't imagine Akerfeldt was talking about classical music as he probably doesn't even listen to it or is this a fair assumption to make? I don't really think Bruckner is a 'happy' composer per se, but I also don't think his music plums the depths of darkness either. He's somewhere in-between those two emotional extremes as many of the great Romantics were.

Oh and I love Brahms! I may not listen to him much or make it appear that I don't enjoy his music here, but this couldn't be any further from the truth.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: The Six on November 22, 2015, 09:55:56 PM
Quiz: which one sounds like it actually has soul and is human and which sounds plastic and fake?

https://www.youtube.com/v/TDSbZUKMvtI

https://www.youtube.com/v/NUTGr5t3MoY

Of course, I could get way worse with pop music, but Green Day was specifically one of the bands he mentioned. That's the gist of his point, Brahms/Mahler/whoever doesn't really factor into the equation.

Basket Case is probably the worst possible example you could have chosen. Here's a good summary of the song:
Quote
This song is a vivid description of emotional instability. Its common knowledge that Armstrong was suffering from anxiety and panic disorders at the time when he wrote this song: "The only way I knew how to deal with it was to write a song about it". Everything in this song reflects mental unsteadiness: being overwhelmed ("Do you have the time to listen to me whine, about nothing and everything - all at once"), self-doubt and confusion ("Am I just paranoid? Am I just stoned?"), self-contradiction and inconsistency ("I went to a whore, he said my life's a bore, and quit my whining 'cause it's bringing her down'"). Behind the joke-like lyrics and the slightly comic mental institution video, lies an implication of great emotional pressure that damaged mental health is causing.

Not really "happy". That's the thing with songs - they have lyrics. And those "happy" chord progressions take on a new meaning when the lyrics are saying something else. It's actually smart songwriting. Opeth dude sounds like a pretentious bore.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on November 23, 2015, 12:39:05 AM
Don't care about and won't listen to the pop music examples but overall I find "happy" often not a very good description of "positive" classical music. Serene, uplifting, dancing, powerfully optimistic, triumphant, exuberant etc. all seem more specific.

I often like happy and light music (say "Happy days are here again" :D) but I do not think that "happy" is an informative attribute for e.g. Mozart's Jupiter symphony or the finale of Brahms 2.

There is also plenty of harmonically not very complex major key music that most listeners find wistful and melancholic: Adagio from Mozart's clarinet concerto, Lascia ch'io pianga, Taubenpost etc.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 23, 2015, 05:06:24 AM
It might be quite an overgeneralization, but he's probably mainly thinking about happy sounding pop and pop rock music (like the bands he mentioned). And I would add to that pretty much most Christian rock songs, also (I've heard so many that I do know what I'm talking about here). And most Christmas music.

Well, if he means to criticize a certain body of sonic artifacts, he should refrain from offering Universal Truths.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on November 23, 2015, 05:30:55 AM
Xmas music is supposed to be happy, but there are quite a few pensive or wistful pieces (I wonder as I wander). Even extremely popular ones, e.g. "I'll be home for Christmas".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 23, 2015, 05:34:17 AM
Xmas music is supposed to be happy, but there are quite a few pensive or wistful pieces (I wonder as I wander). Even extremely popular ones, e.g. "I'll be home for Christmas".

Indeed.

And then there is:

http://www.youtube.com/v/5Ss0ww5o_8A
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 23, 2015, 05:46:24 AM
In sum, “There is a great deal of air-headed happy music, therefore no happy music has soul, nor can have soul” is s signally shallow observation for some one who wishes to whine, “But here, this music that I like, it's got so much soul, hasn't it?”

That said, I haven't read the interview with Akerfeldt;  so perhaps I am only writing in response to responses . . . .
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on November 23, 2015, 05:57:07 AM
And I could certainly name several "happy" pieces by all of those composers that I enjoy. But what I find enjoyable about those pieces is not necessarily the happy sound, but how they are written (Mahler 4th, for example).

Well, I hope you also appreciate 'sad' music for deeper reasons than just 'the sad sound'. . .
Making a joyful noise well is of course a different thing than generic upbeat pop music and the muzak blasted in shops.

And, as Jo498 implied before, classical music isn't usually so stationary that you can just put a label on it and call it 'happy', 'sad' or 'ambivalent'. It's certainly not always happy whenever the music happens to be in major key. Or is there anyone here who thinks Schubert's Quartet in G major, D 887, or Sibelius's Symphony no. 7 in C major are some soulless (more so than anything else) collections of happy sounds?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 23, 2015, 06:41:30 AM
is there anyone here who thinks Schubert's Quartet in G major, D 887, or Sibelius's Symphony no. 7 in C major are some soulless (more so than anything else) collections of happy sounds?

The reverse can also be true. Arthur Somervell´s Violin Concerto in g minor or Paganini´s Violin Concerto No. 2 in b minor are charming, warm and uplifting.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on November 23, 2015, 06:43:49 AM
or the "Badinerie" from Bach's b minor suite.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 23, 2015, 09:42:44 AM
Well, if he means to criticize a certain body of sonic artifacts, he should refrain from offering Universal Truths.
My signature is taking his quote out of context.  >:D


Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 23, 2015, 10:21:55 AM
Well, if you're happy doing him that apparent disservice  8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on December 06, 2015, 04:05:05 AM
"Is it on your grandfather's or grandmother's side that you claim descent from the apes?" - Bishop Samuel Wilberforce
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on December 10, 2015, 11:38:31 AM
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on December 10, 2015, 12:52:02 PM
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell

I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on December 10, 2015, 01:00:59 PM
I'm not sure.
It might be a start, but we may need to convince seven billion others, too.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on December 10, 2015, 01:20:38 PM
(http://cdn8.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/20002051/betrand-russell-uncertainty.jpg)

Are you SURE?  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on December 10, 2015, 03:39:46 PM
“When another blames you or hates you, or people voice similar criticisms, go to their souls, penetrate inside and see what sort of people they are. You will realize that there is no need to be racked with anxiety that they should hold any particular opinion about you.” - Marcus Aurelius

"People are really going to hate you. Deal with it." -  nice blonde glamour model married lady in her late thirties speaking to a 16 year old apprentice photographer.

 V chuzhuyu zhenu chort lozkyu mioda kladiot.
- a Russian saying (which I have most probably misspelled throughout)

These reasonings are unconnected: "I am richer than you, therefore I am better"; "I am more eloquent than you, therefore I am better." The connection is rather this: "I am richer than you, therefore my property is greater than yours;" "I am more eloquent than you, therefore my style is better than yours." But you, after all, are neither property nor style. - Epictetus

"Well, Long Tall Sally,
She's built for speed,
She's got everything that Uncle John need"
- Little Richard.

Final words to dear old Marcus: "A good disposition is invincible."

(Bonus: "I always think there's a band, kid" - Prof. Harold Hill.)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on December 19, 2015, 07:58:46 AM
To enjoy and give enjoyment, without injury to yourself or others; this is true morality.” - Nicolas Chamfort

(read one minute ago on Forbes.com --- thank Jens for that!  :) )
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on December 27, 2015, 02:15:03 PM
In modern drama the bad is always represented by the most brilliantly gifted characters, whereas the good, the upright, is represented by the grocer’s apprentice. The spectators find this entirely appropriate and learn from the play what they already knew, that it is far beneath their dignity to be classed with a grocer’s apprentice.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.

The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.


Søren Kierkegaard

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 08, 2016, 06:22:52 PM
Those Kierkegaard's insights are very profound, with the exception of the first and the last, I think.

I guess four over six isn't a bad harvest.  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on January 09, 2016, 02:48:10 PM
About the last though, I do think people should more often put away there cameras, mobile phones, and video-recorders and actually look at what is before them.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on January 12, 2016, 06:51:09 AM
This doesn't quite belong in the What Are You Eating thread, or that recent thread with a vulgar name.

http://www.strangehistory.net/2014/03/10/immortal-meals-13-buttock-eating-in-milton-berkshire/

Quote
In 1650 or possibly in 1649 at Milton in Berkshire. Five royalists ‘out of zeale of affection to their King at Bredagh, would drink his health in blood, and to effect this, unanimously agreed to cut a peece of their Buttocks, and fry their flesh that was cut off on a grid iron.’
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 12, 2016, 12:58:39 PM
About the last though, I do think people should more often put away there cameras, mobile phones, and video-recorders and actually look at what is before them.

This was the very first post in this thread, a similar thought by Mrs. Anaïs Nin:  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on January 12, 2016, 01:32:17 PM
This was the very first post in this thread, a similar thought by Mrs. Anaïs Nin:  :)

Yeah, I like that. Live each day as if it were a year.
Title: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 12, 2016, 01:37:16 PM
Today at the office felt about like a year ....
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on January 12, 2016, 01:47:35 PM
Today at the office felt about like a year ....

Try hibernating during the winter.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 12, 2016, 02:54:21 PM
This was the very first post in this thread, a similar thought by Mrs. Anaïs Nin:  :)

A few years ago while travelling by bus I overheard a young babe talking on radio: "I haven´t been meeting my friends for a very long time, about a week or so!"  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 14, 2016, 06:20:23 AM
George Enescu (1881-1955) was not only a great composer but also a gifted violinist who, apparently, was constitutionally unable to turn down a friend's request for a favor. One such friend begged him to take on his son as a pupil in violin studies. Enescu tried to demur, noting that he took on only very advanced pupils and he did not believe the friend's son would be ready for the sort of instruction Enescu would give. The friend insisted, however, pointing out how much it would mean to him and his son, and Enescu caved in.

After about 3 years during which the friend's son had done nothing to belie Enescu's low expectations, the friend approached Enescu again and reminded him that Enescu's students usually gave a recital after 3 years of study. Enescu reminded the friend that he had accepted the son as a pupil 3 years before even though he had not felt that the son was as ready for him as the other pupils were, and that, by the same token, he did not really feel that the son was ready to give a recital at this time. Again, the friend pleaded with Enescu, noting how much it would mean to him and his son, and again Enescu relented.

The recital was announced and advertised, and shortly thereafter the friend again came to Enescu and complained that nobody was buying any tickets. Enescu suggested the obvious explanation but the friend had an idea. If Enescu would agree to accompany the friend's son on the piano, everybody would buy tickets. Enescu protested that, while he could play the piano, he wasn't a pianist but a violinist, and wouldn't be able to accompany the friend's son. The friend, however, was sure the public wouldn't mind and would snap up the concert tickets if Enescu would accompany at the recital. Besides, it really would mean a lot to the friend and his son. So Enescu agreed.

At the concert in Paris, which was indeed a sellout, Enescu discovered, shortly before they were to start, that they had forgotten to engage a page turner. Looking around in desperation, Enescu saw Alfred Cortot sitting in front of the audience. He told Cortot about his problem and asked him if he might not perhaps find one of his pupils in the audience who could volunteer to turn pages for Enescu. Cortot couldn't find anybody but, as a favor to Enescu, agreed to turn the pages himself.

The next day the newspaper review of the recital read: "A strange recital took place this afternoon at the Salle XYZ. The man who should have been playing the violin was playing the piano. The man who should have been playing the piano was turning the pages. And the man who was playing the violin might barely have been qualified to turn the pages for the man who should have been playing the piano!"

Se non è vero, è ben trovato.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on January 14, 2016, 04:04:05 PM
Everything that goes on in the world affects me – politics, literature, people – and  in my own way I think about everything, which then vents itself or seeks an outlet through music. That’s why many of my compositions are so difficult to understand, because they connect with remote interests, often to a significant degree, because I am  gripped  by  everything  that’s  remarkable  at  the  time  and  then  have  to express it musically.  - Robert Schumann
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on January 16, 2016, 10:54:38 AM
I liked this found on Twitter:
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on March 25, 2016, 12:48:26 PM
Most of them, and especially those who deal in the astronomical part, have great faith in judicial astrology, although they are ashamed to own it publicly. But what I chiefly admired, and thought altogether unaccountable, was the strong disposition I observed in them towards news and politics, perpetually inquiring into public affairs, giving their judgments in matters of state, and passionately disputing every inch of a party opinion. I have indeed observed the same disposition among most of the mathematicians I have known in Europe, although I could never discover the least analogy between the two sciences; unless those people suppose, that because the smallest circle has as many degrees as the largest, therefore the regulation and management of the world require no more abilities than the handling and turning of a globe; but I rather take this quality to spring from a very common infirmity of human nature, inclining us to be most curious and conceited in matters where we have least concern, and for which we are least adapted by study or nature.

Jonathan Swift - Gulliver´s Travels, Part III, Chapter II
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on March 29, 2016, 09:48:03 AM
"Scrooge said that he would see him—Yes, indeed, he did. He went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him in that extremity first."

Charles Dickens
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 01, 2016, 12:24:50 PM
Her likeness ! why it is a vain endeavour
To image it. Painting or words may never
Say what she was ; yet dwell I on the task,
As if that Poesy had a right to ask
From Memory its treasure.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 02, 2016, 01:10:28 PM
Like a death-black ocean, whose billows lie
Dreaming dark dreams of storm in their sleep
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on April 04, 2016, 05:19:04 AM
And a third from 190 years ago: this one remains all too true.

It is the veriest madness man
    In maddest mood can frame,
To feed the earth with human gore,
    And then to call it fame.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on April 23, 2016, 02:03:41 AM
"The captain, as may be seen, was simply one of those professional heroes, grown old in the leather stock, who know of no country but the
flag, and no other law but military discipline. Iron arms and wooden heads. They are neither citizens nor men. They only recognize honor in
the form of a general's epaulets."

Victor Hugo
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on May 01, 2016, 05:10:01 AM
I dreamed a dream, that I had flung a chain of roses around Love, — I woke, and found I had chained Sorrow.

Letitia Landon
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on May 01, 2016, 05:17:19 AM
I dreamed a dream, that I had flung a chain of roses around Love, — I woke, and found I had chained Sorrow.

Letitia Landon

Variation in A minor on a theme by Wordsworth.  :D

Excellent!


 
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on May 01, 2016, 12:17:04 PM
Variation in A minor on a theme by Wordsworth.  :D

Excellent!
That makes sense. It is an introduction to a poem and sometimes for such she quotes other poets directly, in which case she provides acknowledgement.

Here is a quote that is, I think, all her own:

Silence is love's own peculiar eloquence of bliss.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 05, 2016, 07:20:47 PM
I recalled this fragment by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (an old "signature" of mine!!!  :P):

If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake — Aye! and what then?
--"Anima Poetæ : From the Unpublished Note-books of Samuel Taylor Coleridge" (1895) edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge, p. 282.

 8)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on May 05, 2016, 11:34:18 PM
I recalled this fragment by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (an old "signature" of mine!!!  :P):

If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake — Aye! and what then?
--"Anima Poetæ : From the Unpublished Note-books of Samuel Taylor Coleridge" (1895) edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge, p. 282.

 8)

That´s exactly what I had in mind. My bad for mistaking Wordsworth for Coleridge.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on May 12, 2016, 03:48:06 AM
You ask what this freedom is? It means not fearing either men or gods; it means not craving wickedness or excess; it means possessing supreme power over oneself and it is a priceless good to be master of oneself. - Seneca
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 28, 2016, 02:57:23 AM
Quote
"The battle of Marathon, even as an event in English history, is more important than the battle of Hastings. If the issue of that day had been different, the Britons and the Saxons might still have been wandering in the woods."

-- John Stuart Mill: "Early History Grecian Legend" review on History of Greece by Grote, The Edimburg Review, October 1846.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 05, 2016, 07:05:26 PM
Quote
“Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases — though not often.”
-- Samuel Butler: The Note-Books, I, xiii
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on June 05, 2016, 10:54:36 PM
    "The battle of Marathon, even as an event in English history, is more important than the battle of Hastings. If the issue of that day had been different, the Britons and the Saxons might still have been wandering in the woods."

-- John Stuart Mill: "Early History Grecian Legend" review on History of Greece by Grote, The Edimburg Review, October 1846.

I still kind of grew up with the narrative that the Athenians defended European "democracy and freedom" against the totalitarian Persians (there was still cold war in the 1980s...). Be that as it may, I do not quite follow Mill.
Even if the Persians had gone on to conquer quite a bit of Europe (which is doubtful, they probably lost in Greece because they were already logistically and politically spread too thin) there were 1500 years between Marathon and Hastings and A LOT could and would have happened in that time even if Greece hat become a Persian Satrapy for a couple of hundred years or more.
And the Persians were not barbarians (in our sense as uncivilized hordes). Why should not have a Persian Empire brought "civilization" to the Germanic hordes of Northern Europe 1000 years later?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 06, 2016, 01:51:33 PM
I still kind of grew up with the narrative that the Athenians defended European "democracy and freedom" against the totalitarian Persians (there was still cold war in the 1980s...). Be that as it may, I do not quite follow Mill.
Even if the Persians had gone on to conquer quite a bit of Europe (which is doubtful, they probably lost in Greece because they were already logistically and politically spread too thin) there were 1500 years between Marathon and Hastings and A LOT could and would have happened in that time even if Greece hat become a Persian Satrapy for a couple of hundred years or more.
And the Persians were not barbarians (in our sense as uncivilized hordes). Why should not have a Persian Empire brought "civilization" to the Germanic hordes of Northern Europe 1000 years later?

From a logical standpoint, you’re right. I think this is a sort of boutade.

In addition, our current image of the Athenian democracy is quite less idealized than during the XIXth Century; and we read things like the Pericles' Funeral Oration more skeptically than Mill. Even if we believe, like me, that our Western culture is essentially an assortment of Jewish beliefs subordinated to Plato and Aristotle.  :D
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: 28Orot on June 06, 2016, 03:05:15 PM
From a logical standpoint, you’re right. I think this is a sort of boutade.

Even if we believe, like me, that our Western culture is essentially an assortment of Jewish beliefs subordinated to Plato and Aristotle.  :D

Well Maimonides claims that Greek Philosophy was really rooted in Judaism, so the question is how the Greeks got their hands on it?

This is been answered here:

Judaism then is based on a particular philosophy. Maimonides (GP 1.71) takes this to mean that before Plato and Aristotle introduced science and philosophy to the Greeks, the patriarchs introduced it to Israel. To someone who asks why we have no explicit record of their philosophy, Maimonides answers that any record of such teaching was destroyed when Israel went into exile and suffered persecution. So despite the appearance of a split between Jerusalem and Athens, Maimonides thinks there is only one tradition worth preserving: that which affirms the truth.

Source: read 2. Fundamental Orientation

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/maimonides/


But said all this, the Greeks must have added some new ideas that were foreign to Judaism, that is why Greek Philosophy can't be really Jewish. But you're unfortunately rite, today:s world is ran by some major Jewish ideals like the Ten Commandments and the Bible, but it has been hijacked by Greek Culture, sports, entertainments and secular pursuits have overshadowed on these Great Jewish Ideals and Teachings, and the world today is as it was in the time of Greece, captivated by the celebration of beauty and self erected so called *divine* entities. We pray and long that a day will come that this will be changed and humanity will be awakened to a greater reality of understanding and appreciating what is really important in life.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on June 07, 2016, 12:53:15 AM
I focussed on the political aspect because this was more explicit in the quotation. I am not sure if Persian overlords would have prevented all or most post-Socratic Greek philosophy. I simply don't know enough about the Persian Empire and its religion and culture. But a brief glance at the wikipedia article about the Ionian revolt that led to the Persian Wars shows that they usually were not at all totalitarian but happy enough collect tributes and let them otherwise keep their ways.

And of course Persian Expansion might have stopped somewhere on the Balkan even if they had crushed Athens and Sparta. So the Greek colonies in Sicily and Southern Italy might have remained. We might not have had Plato and Aristotle but some other Schools dominating, either the Empedokleans or the Eleates or whatever Pre-Socratic thought that was basically lost or at least marginalized by the dominance of Plato and the later Academy.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on July 12, 2016, 10:14:35 AM
Quote
Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago. Isaac Newton, a posthumous child bom with no father on Christmas Day, 1642, was the last wonderchild to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.

-- John Maynard Keynes, “Newton, the Man,” Newton Tricentenary Celebration, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1947

Here there is a link to the whole thing:

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Extras/Keynes_Newton.html
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on July 13, 2016, 12:02:58 AM
If you have some spare time read Richard Westfall's Newton biography (I think there are two versions, one shortened with more focus on life, the other including extensive reconstructions of his work and scientific development.) Keynes apparently was one of the first to look at the unpublished and posthumous papers that show that Newton spend almost as much (actually more in his later years) time on alchemy and theology (in a wide sense, including scriptural chronologies, he also was a (secret) Arian and denied the doctrine of trinity (despite working at Trinity College, Cambridge ;)) as on physics and maths.

I am far from an expert but the impression I got from reading a few more recent things in history of science is that the "textbook" narrative of the "scientific revolution" in the 17th century is as deeply flawed as the textbook narrative of the middle ages as an "age of unreason". It is far more complicated and there were plenty of lesser "magicians" around even in the 18th century.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 13, 2016, 01:58:20 AM
I am far from an expert but the impression I got from reading a few more recent things in history of science is that the "textbook" narrative of the "scientific revolution" in the 17th century is as deeply flawed as the textbook narrative of the middle ages as an "age of unreason". It is far more complicated and there were plenty of lesser "magicians" around even in the 18th century.

If you haven´t read this yet, you should.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Z6J6ehGbL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on August 06, 2016, 11:35:15 AM
Now there are short and simple exercises which tire the body rapidly, and so save our time; and time is something of which we ought to keep strict account. These exercises are running, brandishing weights, and jumping…But whatever you do, come back quickly from body to mind. –  Seneca, Epistle 15 [2]
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on August 06, 2016, 11:37:56 AM
“I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there - that is living.”  ― Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on August 07, 2016, 03:02:07 AM
"If anything is wrong with your nose, they send you to Paris: there, they say, is a European specialist who cures noses. If you go to Paris, he'll look at your nose; I can only cure your right nostril, he'll tell you, for I don't cure the left nostril, that's not my speciality, but go to Vienna, there there's a specialist who will cure your left nostril." 

Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on August 10, 2016, 07:32:50 AM
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."

Mark Twain
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Spineur on September 10, 2016, 11:07:18 AM
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: its deadly
Paolo Coelho
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 16, 2016, 10:27:35 AM
Beauty.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on September 16, 2016, 10:36:00 AM
I'm reading "Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker" by Gary Giddins and wanted to share this quote with you.

"An elemental difference between popular and serious art is that the former gives society what it wants and the latter gives it what it must."

You're confident that Justin Bieber is not giving what he "must?"
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on September 16, 2016, 10:42:50 AM
Beauty.
*reaches back to the bookshelf*

Quote from: John Keats, Endymion, Book I, beginning
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing 
A flowery band to bind us to the earth, 
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth 
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, 
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways           
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all, 
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall 
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon, 
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon 
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils           
With the green world they live in; and clear rills 
That for themselves a cooling covert make 
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake, 
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms: 
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms           
We have imagined for the mighty dead; 
All lovely tales that we have heard or read: 
An endless fountain of immortal drink, 
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 16, 2016, 11:49:03 AM
I'm wondering how to classify art that gives what it must but disguises it as what society wants.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 17, 2016, 03:02:58 AM
I'm wondering how to classify art that gives what it must but disguises it as what society wants.

It may be a question of overlap of use, rather than of intentional disguise.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 17, 2016, 11:38:26 AM
It may be a question of overlap of use, rather than of intentional disguise.

In very many cases this is so - great art is often popular (I'm talking of all the arts - take Shakespeare as an extreme case) but there have been those for whom a living has to be made, and what has to be is dressed up as what the public want.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 17, 2016, 11:44:24 PM
On further reflection, the idea that the public do not appreciate great art smacks of cultural snobbery. Generally speaking, artists do give what they must - there is no other classification.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 19, 2016, 03:45:37 AM
'cause, remember: no matter where you go, there you are.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on September 22, 2016, 04:16:59 AM
"Happy lovers arouse our envy before we know it, and the unhappy ones are always tedious."
Goethe
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 22, 2016, 04:24:20 AM
"Happy lovers arouse our envy before we know it, and the unhappy ones are always tedious."
Goethe

0:)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on September 29, 2016, 08:02:04 AM
"Monseigneur could swallow a great many things with ease, and was by some few sullen minds supposed to be
rather rapidly swallowing France".

Dickens
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 30, 2016, 03:23:08 AM
"You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail."
-- Charlie Parker, quoted in Ágil mente by Estanislao Bachrach

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on September 30, 2016, 03:33:08 AM
I'm wondering how to classify art that gives what it must but disguises it as what society wants.

As a happy coincidence: like Telemann, Handel, Haydn, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd.  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 03, 2016, 02:14:50 AM
Quote
Socialism is a system which makes the corporate unity of society responsible for all its economic processes, or all those affecting life and essential living. If anything important is sold, the Government has sold it; if anything important is given, the Government has given it; if anything important is even tolerated, the Government is responsible for tolerating it.  This is the very reverse of anarchy; it is an extreme enthusiasm for authority. It is in many ways worthy of the moral dignity of the mind; it is a collective acceptance of a very complete responsibility. But it is silly of Socialists to complain of our saying that it must be a destruction of liberty.  It is almost equally silly of Anti-Socialists to complain of the unnatural and unbalanced brutality of the Bolshevist Government in crushing a political opposition. A Socialist Government is one which in its nature does not tolerate any true and real opposition.  For there the Government provides everything; and it is absurd to ask a Government to provide an opposition.

You cannot go to the Sultan and say reproachfully, "You have made no arrangements for your brother dethroning you and seizing the Caliphate."  You cannot go to a medieval king and say, "Kindly lend me two thousand spears and one thousand bowmen, as I wish to raise a rebellion against you."  Still less can you reproach a Government which professes to set up everything, because it has not set up anything to pull down all it has set up. Opposition and rebellion depend on property and liberty. They can only be tolerated where other rights have been allowed to strike root, besides the central right of the ruler.  Those rights must be protected by a morality which even the ruler will hesitate to defy. The critic of the State can only exist where a religious sense of right protects his claims to his own bow and spear; or at least, to his own pen or his own printing-press. It is absurd to suppose that he could borrow the royal pen to advocate regicide or use the Government printing-presses to expose the corruption of the Government. Yet it is the whole point of Socialism, the whole case for Socialism, that unless all printing-presses are Government printing-presses, printers may be oppressed.  Everything is staked on the State's justice; it is putting all the eggs in one basket.  Many of them will be rotten eggs; but even then you will not be allowed to use them at political elections.
-- G.K. Chesterton: The Outline of Sanity (1927)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 03, 2016, 02:26:34 AM
-- G.K. Chesterton: The Outline of Sanity (1927)

Amen!
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on October 07, 2016, 03:37:57 AM
"You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it within himself."

I found this attributed to Galileo Galilei in Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy. Probably, he took it from How to Win Friends and Influence People (1935) by Dale Carnegie; also paraphrased as "You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it for himself."

According Wikiquote, attributions to Galileo are found as early as 1882: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: San Antone on October 07, 2016, 05:08:23 AM
"Definite feelings and emotions are unsusceptible of being embodied in music.… To the question: What is to be expressed with all this material? The answer will be: Musical ideas. Now, a musical idea reproduced in its entirety is not only an object of intrinsic beauty but also an end in itself, and not a means for representing feelings and thoughts. The essence of music is sound and motion."

-- Eduard Hanslick
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on October 12, 2016, 06:19:20 AM
"If I were reading a book and happened to strike a wonderful passage I would close the book then and there and go for a walk. I hated the thought of coming to the end of a good book. I would tease it along, delay the inevitable as long as possible, But always, when I hit a great passage, I would stop reading immediately. Out I would go, rain, hail, snow or ice, and chew the cud.”

― Henry Miller, Plexus
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on October 12, 2016, 06:24:45 AM
At a distance, one learns only about the first artists, and often one contents oneself with their names. But if one comes closer to this sky of stars, and those of second and third size too begin to twinkle, and each stands out as belonging to the whole constellation, then the world seems wide, and art rich. --- Goethe
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on October 14, 2016, 01:11:26 PM
Quote from: Mr. Winston Churchill, letter to the American author Mr. Winston Churchill, London, June 7, 1899
Mr. Winston Churchill presents his compliments to Mr. Winston Churchill, and begs to draw his attention to a matter which concerns them both. He has learnt from the Press notices that Mr. Winston Churchill proposes to bring out another novel, entitled Richard Carvel, which is certain to have a considerable sale both in England and America. Mr. Winston Churchill is also the author of a novel now being published in serial form in Macmillan's Magazine, and for which he anticipates some sale both in England and America. He also proposes to publish on the 1st of October another military chronicle on the Soudan War. He has no doubt that Mr. Winston Churchill will recognise from this letter -- if indeed by no other means -- that there is grave danger of his works being mistaken for those of Mr. Winston Churchill. He feels sure that Mr. Wiston Churchill desires this as little as he does himself. In future to avoid mistakes as far as possible, Mr. Winston Churchill has decided to sign all published articles, stories, or other works, 'Winston Spencer Churchill,' and not 'Winston Churchill' as formerly. He trusts that this arrangement will commend itself to Mr. Winston Churchill, and he ventures to suggest, with a view to preventing further confusion which may arise out of this extraordinary coincidence, that both Mr. Winston Churchill and Mr. Winston Churchill should insert a short note in their respective publications explaining to the public which are the works of Mr. Winston Churchill and which those of Mr. Winston Churchill. The text of this note might form a subject for future discussion if Mr. Winston Churchill agrees with Mr. Winston Churchill's proposition. He takes this occasion of complimenting Mr. Winston Churchill upon the style and success of his works, which are always brought to his notice whether in magazine or book form, and he trusts that Mr. Winston Churchill has derived equal pleasure from any work of his that may have attracted his attention.


Quote from: Mr. Winston Churchill, in reply to Mr. Winston Churchill
Mr. Winston Churchill is extremely grateful to Mr. Winston Churchill for bringing forward a subject which has given Mr. Winston Churchill much anxiety. Mr. Winston Churchill appreciates the courtesy of Mr. Winston Churchill in adopting the name of "Winston Spencer Churchill" in his books, articles, etc. Mr. Winston Churchill makes haste to add that, had he possessed any other names, he would certainly have adopted one of them
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on October 25, 2016, 01:07:13 PM
Quote from: John Ruskin: Modern Painters (Volume III, part IV, chapter XVI)
The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, — all in one.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on December 18, 2016, 07:06:47 AM
To enjoy and give enjoyment, without injury to yourself or others; this is true morality.” - Nicolas Chamfort

(read one minute ago on Forbes.com --- thank Jens for that!  :) )

Ha! Was that the commercial-wall-insight? I'm so glad they had to offer a good one.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 24, 2017, 06:54:16 PM
Coming soon:

https://youtu.be/UW8Zyt8SF_U

“Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.”
-- Woody Allen
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on May 31, 2017, 11:37:17 AM
What kind of beauty is the beauty of a musical composition? It is a specifically musical kind of beauty. By this we understand a beauty that is self contained and in no need of content from outside itself, that consists simply and solely of tones and their artistic combination. - Eduard Hanslick.

The more instrumental music progresses, develops, and frees itself from its early limitations, the more it will tend to bear the stamp of that ideality which marks the perfection of the plastic arts, the more it will cease to be a simple combination of tones and become a poetic language. - Franz Liszt.

Pick your choice.  ;D

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on May 31, 2017, 10:16:39 PM
What kind of beauty is the beauty of a musical composition? It is a specifically musical kind of beauty. By this we understand a beauty that is self contained and in no need of content from outside itself, that consists simply and solely of tones and their artistic combination. - Eduard Hanslick.

The more instrumental music progresses, develops, and frees itself from its early limitations, the more it will tend to bear the stamp of that ideality which marks the perfection of the plastic arts, the more it will cease to be a simple combination of tones and become a poetic language. - Franz Liszt.

Pick your choice.  ;D

I choose Pater, and this famous quote from his essay "The School of Giorgione":

Quote
All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music. For while in all other kinds of art it is possible to distinguish the matter from the form, and the understanding can always make this distinction, yet it is the constant effort of art to obliterate it. That the mere matter of a poem, for instance, its subject, namely, its given incidents or situation — that the mere matter of a picture, the actual circumstances of an event, the actual topography of a landscape — should be nothing without the form, the spirit, of the handling, that this form, this mode of handling, should become an end in itself, should penetrate every part of the matter: this is what all art constantly strives after, and achieves in different degrees.

-- Walter Pater, The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Literature (1873)

I guess this is closer to Hanslick than Liszt, isn't it?  :)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on May 31, 2017, 11:29:14 PM
Much closer to Hanslick, to my understanding.
Even if one does not share that *all art* aspires to this condition, one can agree that this might be something fairly special and typical of music (and I think it characterizes a lot of great 18th-21st century instrumental art music quite well).

Although I think it is a historically fairly recent understanding. The major position from antiquity (cf. the notorious discussion of poetry and music in Plato's Republic where music is always understood in the context of the sung text and the (social) context) until the 17th century or so, seems to have focussed on music with sung texts and then the music is usually only one aspect of a work of art. This is not to deny that there might have been differing opinions or music that in practice clearly denied the dependence on texts. Like those renaissance pieces with texts sung parallel in different languages or otherwise so complex in many voices that the sung words were often impossible to understand (a frequent complaint from church officials).
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on June 02, 2017, 03:25:23 AM
Much closer to Hanslick, to my understanding.
Even if one does not share that *all art* aspires to this condition, one can agree that this might be something fairly special and typical of music (and I think it characterizes a lot of great 18th-21st century instrumental art music quite well).

Although I think it is a historically fairly recent understanding. The major position from antiquity (cf. the notorious discussion of poetry and music in Plato's Republic where music is always understood in the context of the sung text and the (social) context) until the 17th century or so, seems to have focussed on music with sung texts and then the music is usually only one aspect of a work of art. This is not to deny that there might have been differing opinions or music that in practice clearly denied the dependence on texts. Like those renaissance pieces with texts sung parallel in different languages or otherwise so complex in many voices that the sung words were often impossible to understand (a frequent complaint from church officials).

I agree, all of this is hugely debatable. But Pater's quote has a quality inherent to any successful quote: when it says "all art", it's lapidary, and suggests a sort of undoubtable knowledge, which obviously is not the case. If this aspect is understood, I see here a great starting point to fruitful debates on this matter.

About music and poetry, I think debate is also huge; but generally speaking, I think that exploting musical possibilities of language (a certain kind of musicality in the spoken word, for instance) has very often been a primary goal to poetry.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on June 02, 2017, 03:58:20 AM
I think the quote is pithy and very good. I have myself thought long ago that in music the familiar distinction between form and content/matter is often misleading, but I certainly never got to such a strong formulation and that this could be THE salient difference between music and other art forms.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on July 02, 2017, 10:17:29 AM
“Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear, and I must say that these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposeful forces of any kind, no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be completely dead. That’s just all—that’s gonna be the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.” - Dr William B. Provine, Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University (William B. Provine (1942–2015) was the ‘Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor’ at Cornell University and was a professor in the Departments of History, Science and Technology Studies, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.)

Those of you who subscribe to this worldview, raise your hands!

Those of you who think [insert your favorite composer] is worth more than a rat's fart raise your hands!

Please, have the intellectual honesty to answer sincerely both challenges!...

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Spineur on July 02, 2017, 11:15:03 AM
Much better: from Primo Levi "The story of a carbon atom" in The periodic table

Quote
Carbon is again among us, in a glass of milk. It is inserted in a very complex, long chain, yet such that almost all of its links are acceptable to the human body. It is swallowed, and since every living structure harbors a savage distrust toward every contribution of any material of living origin, the chain is meticulously broken apart and the fragments, one by one, are accepted or rejected. One, the one that concerns us, crosses the intestinal threshold and enters the bloodstream: it migrates, knocks at the door of a nerve cell, enters and supplants the carbon which was part of it. This cell belongs to a brain, and it is my brain, the brain of the me who is writing; and the cell in question, and within it the atom in question, is in charge of my writing, in a gigantic minuscule game which nobody has yet described. It is that which at this instant, issuing out of a labyrinthine tangle of yesses and nos, makes my hand run along a certain path on the paper, mark it with these volutes that are signs: a double snap, up and down, between two levels of energy, guides this hand of mine to impress on the paper this dot, here, this one.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: nodogen on July 02, 2017, 12:05:53 PM
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
- Voltaire.

Certainty is the death of wisdom, thought, creativity.
- Shekhar Kapur.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Jo498 on July 02, 2017, 12:42:13 PM
I think it is extraordinarily parochial to think that evolutionary (or any other biology) should be able to answer questions about gods, purposes, ethics and aesthetics. Nobody who could think clearly ever expected this particular science to answer these questions in the affirmative. How could it even try do that, it is not about these things. By the same argument it cannot answer them in the negative.
To take the most blatant thing: There are all kinds of people who believe in some kind of afterlife: Hindus, Christians, Spiritualists etc. But I don't think anyone ever expected biology to find any argument or evidence for that. So it is not even attacking a straw man to think that with the obvious biological result that the human body as investigated by biology is mortal one has told the Spiritualist a stunning truth. He knew that before and also that biology could not tell him whether he has an immortal soul or not. Whoever wrote the Requiem Mass text 800 years ago knew that people were (obviously) mortal and that a resurrection would (obviously) be a miracle, even death and nature are astonished about it: "mors stupebit et natura cum resurget creatura".
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Parsifal on July 02, 2017, 01:08:31 PM
I think it would be difficult to find anyone that thinks you can prove that god does not exist or that there is no afterlife based on biology. But I think biology and the sciences can go a long way towards demonstrating that the assumption that god exists is unnecessary and creates more unanswerable questions than it answers.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: nodogen on July 02, 2017, 01:14:46 PM
I think it is extraordinarily parochial to think that evolutionary (or any other biology) should be able to answer questions about gods

"Science has nothing to do with Christ." - Charles Darwin.
Over the course of his life he moved from theism to agnosticism, never atheism.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: drogulus on July 06, 2017, 08:58:50 AM

     "Irrationality is the Square Root of All Evil"

                                                               Douglas Hofstadter, Metamagical Themas
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: bwv 1080 on July 06, 2017, 09:19:07 AM
(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11164736_1431107193874425_8759971073376740718_n.png?oh=e6b112b6f6271d3dd94bda36321e9e7f&oe=59C46C24)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Spineur on July 24, 2017, 10:30:48 AM
Tonight a bit of Proust-ology

Quote
Ni tenir une épée, un lys une colombe
Dans la main
ne vaut tenir ta main

Pic: Carlo Carrà, Madre e figlio
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on August 06, 2017, 05:45:47 AM
The heads of roses begin to droop.
The bee who has been hauling his gold
all day finds a hexagon in which to rest.

In the sky, traces of clouds,
the last few darting birds,
watercolors on the horizon.

The white cat sits facing a wall.
The horse in the field is asleep on its feet.

I light a candle on the wood table.
I take another sip of wine.
I pick an onion and a knife.

And the past and the future?
Nothing but an only child with two different masks.

—Billy Collins, “In the Evening” (2005)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 07, 2017, 02:32:44 AM
“What doth the Lord require of thee, save that thou be no asshole?”
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 07, 2017, 02:33:31 AM
“The Devil cannot endure to be mocked.”
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 10, 2017, 04:32:17 AM
“...Dream other dreams, and better!

“Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago—centuries, ages, eons, ago!—for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane—like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!...

“You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks—in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier.”
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 17, 2017, 08:19:19 AM
For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. (https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-06-02-0135)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on August 22, 2017, 04:52:52 AM
'If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets.' - Frank Herbert

"I'm the well trained fruit tree. Full of well-trained feelings and abilities and all of them grafted onto me - all bearing for someone else to pick." - Frank Herbert
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: drogulus on August 22, 2017, 09:23:59 AM
"As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of
science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the
light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported
into the situation as convenient intermediaries - not by definition in
terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits comparable,
epistemologically, to the gods of Homer. Let me interject that for my
part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in
Homer's gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise.
But in point of epistemological footing the physical objects and the
gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter
our conception only as cultural posits. The myth of physical objects
is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious
than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure
into the flux of experience."

                                                               -W.V.O. Quine, Two Dogmas of Empiricism
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on October 10, 2017, 07:49:09 AM
"I weep over my imperfect pages, but if future generations read them, they will be more touched by my weeping than by any perfection I might have achieved, since perfection would have kept me from weeping and, therefore, from writing. Perfection never materializes. The saint weeps, and is human. God is silent. That is why we can love the saint but cannot love God." Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet (tr. Richard Zenith)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Spineur on October 20, 2017, 12:27:46 PM
Confidence is gained in drops, and is lost in liters.

Jean-Paul Sartre
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: SymphonicAddict on October 23, 2017, 06:00:05 PM
“We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.”

Ray Bradbury
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: drogulus on October 28, 2017, 07:01:16 AM

     If something can happen it has. That leaves what can't happen, which hasn't.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Spineur on October 28, 2017, 07:03:55 AM
Infinity takes a long time especially toward the end
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: drogulus on October 28, 2017, 09:44:45 AM

     What time is it?
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on November 24, 2017, 01:00:56 PM
I spent the whole week with Moritz Moszkowski's music and it was time well spent. Not least because I found this:

Moszkowski’s most celebrated bon mot immortalised  him — a  riposte  to the  pompous pronouncement by  Hans  von  Bülow,  ‘Bach,  Beethoven, Brahms: Tous les autres sont des crétins’ (‘All the others are idiots’), to which Moszkowski replied: ‘Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer and your humble servant Moritz Moszkowski: Tous  les  autres  sont  des  chrétiens!’  (‘All  the  others  are christians!’).

(from the liner notes to the Moszkowski / Paderewski volume of the Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series).
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on December 17, 2017, 11:33:19 AM
Schreker is my cup of tea:
No one wrote quite so ambiguously -
In elusive harmony.
And if you listen you’ll agree.


-


There are rumors which are crippling
It seems he did some fiddling -
On the other hand he sounds sublime:
Tricky business - James Levine.

Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Gordo on December 27, 2017, 06:56:43 PM
.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Alberich on January 13, 2018, 03:39:32 AM
"Miss Marrable was that hardest of all born tyrants - an only child." - Wilkie Collins
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: NikF on January 18, 2018, 04:54:57 PM
"Your silence must rouse her curiosity, one conversation must leave her wanting more. You've got to play on her feelings all the time. She'll scorn public opinion a dozen times for your sake and call it a sacrifice, but she'll get her own back by tormenting you, and then later simply declare that she can't stand you. If you don't get the upper hand, her first kiss won't give you the right to expect a second." - Lermontov
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on March 18, 2018, 01:53:17 AM
My chief objection to the innovators is that they aspire to go beyond Beethoven, and altogether dethrone Mozart and Haydn, hitherto the acknowledged keystones to the foundation of music; of course, we lesser lights are to be buried under the ruins of the tottering temples, and I for my part consider myself honored by such sepulture; who knows if we shall not some day or other be dug up like Herculaneum and Pompeii? - Ignaz Moscheles, 1857
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on August 31, 2018, 09:07:34 AM
Personally, I consider that we have in Medtner one of the few remaining oases of the old musical outlook - when music was music and not a sport; when it still served as the language of expression; when it was permissible and not ridiculous to feel, and to disclose one's feelings. - Leonid Sabaneyev, The Musical Times, March 1, 1928

RTWT here: http://www.medtner.org.uk/sabeneev_1928.pdf (http://www.medtner.org.uk/sabeneev_1928.pdf)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: North Star on September 20, 2018, 05:28:30 AM
A prosperous fool is a grievous burden. - Aeschylus
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 20, 2018, 05:34:04 AM
A prosperous fool is a grievous burden. - Aeschylus

Confirmed.
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Ken B on September 24, 2018, 05:52:20 PM
A music critic was sentenced to death and stood before the firing squad. He was asked if he had any final requests — a cigarette perhaps, or a blindfold.

“Yeah,” he said, “play ‘Achy-Breaky Heart,’ but shoot me first.”
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: Florestan on September 24, 2018, 10:27:53 PM
A music critic was sentenced to death and stood before the firing squad. He was asked if he had any final requests — a cigarette perhaps, or a blindfold.

“Yeah,” he said, “play ‘Achy-Breaky Heart,’ but shoot me first.”

(https://media.giphy.com/media/5aRvCPWNKrGLe/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Insights, Snippets, Quotes, Epiphanies & All That Sort of Things
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 24, 2018, 11:51:34 PM
And: shoot to kill . . . .