Monday, March 26, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. March 26, 2007

132 [Communism] proved to be a medicine more dangerous than the disease…. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

43 …when everything belongs to everybody nobody will take care of anything. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

157 Johnson: A fly, sir, may sting a stately horse, and make him wince; but one is an insect and the other is a horse still. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

280 Johnson: “…I have no more pleasure in hearing a man attempting wit and failing, than in seeing a man trying to leap over a ditch and tumbling into it.” Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

287 Johnson: “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs…not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

343 In comparing these two writers [Richardson and Fielding], he [Johnson] used this expression: ‘'that there was as great a difference between them, as between a man who knew how a watch was made, and a man who could tell the hour by looking on the dial-plate.” Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

370 Johnson: I do not know, Sir, that the fellow is an infidel; but if he be an infidel, he is an infidel as a dog is an infidel; that is to say, he has never thought upon the subject. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

610 Johnson: It is as unreasonable for a man to go into a Carthusian convent for fear of being immoral, as for a man to cut off his hands for fear he should steal…for though it is out of his power to steal, yet he may all his life be a thief in his heart. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

224 The most steadily attractive of all human qualities is competence…good at his trade…understands its technique thoroughly,…surmounts its difficulties with ease…. Mencken, Minority Report.

Competition and Cooperation
54 It is increasingly important to be able to compete and cooperate at the same time but that calls for a lot of maturity. Gates, The Road Ahead.

105 Hindu proverb: I had no shoes--and I murmured until I met a man who had no feet. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

69 The Quaker was haunted by fear that every compromise was a defeat, that to modify anything might be to lose everything. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

220 But simple is difficult. [computer software] Gates, The Road Ahead.

255 Alan Turing in 1950 suggested what has come to be called the Turing Test: If you are able to carry on a conversation with a computer and another human, both hidden from your view, and were uncertain about which was which, you would have a truly intelligent machine. Gates, The Road Ahead.

70 ...the self-conceit of a weak head.... Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

982 Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all management of human affairs. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Power.

Concise Expression
294 A Frenchman once asked Hegel to put his philosophy into one sentence; and he did not succeed so well as the monk who, asked to define Christianity while standing on one foot, said, simply, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Hegel.

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