Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. May 1, 2007

Efficiency 7 It is estimated that if all redundant passages were eliminated the whole concert time of two hours could be reduced to twenty minutes, and there would be no need for an interval. Anonymous. A Random Walk in Science. [If all redundancy were removed from a concert it would take twenty minutes instead of two hours.]

Ego and Egotism
Ego 205 We are all of us born in moral stupidity, taking the world as an udder to feed our supreme selves…. George Eliot, Middlemarch. [We all think that the world is for us alone; that is we are born with moral stupidity.]

Egotism 411 …a man never speaks of himself without loss: his condemnation of himself is always credited, his praise of himself discredited. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Einstein 2 It is not surprising therefore that many a college graduate still thinks of Einstein as a kind of mathematical surrealist rather than as the discoverer of certain cosmic laws of immense importance in man’s slow struggle to understand physical reality. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

Einstein 53 E = mc2: …energy contained in any particle of matter is equal to the mass of that body multiplied by the square of the velocity of light…extraordinary relationship becomes more vivid when its terms are translated into concrete values: i.e., one kilogram of coal (about two pounds), if converted entirely into energy, would yield 25 billion kilowatt hours of electricity or as much as all the power plants in the U.S. could generate by running steadily for two months. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein [E=MC2 means that if matter could be converted to energy that energy could be incredibly productive.]

Einstein 86 In the Einstein universe there are no straight lines, there are only great circles. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein [The Einstein universe has no straight lines but only circles.]

Emerson 1076 The music that can deepest reach/ And cure all ill, is cordial speech. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Considerations by the Way.

Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson 291 ...she wrote lyrical meditations...while practicing an art of singular economy. Bloom, Western Canon. [Dickinson wrote lyrical meditations very concisely.]

Emily Dickinson 291 What her critics almost always underestimate is her startling intellectual complexity. Bloom, Western Canon.

Emily Dickinson 308 Dickinson’s way...favors questioning over interpretation. Bloom, Western Canon.

Emotion 14 As John Buchan wrote of a friend in John Kennedy’s favorite book, Pilgrim’s Way, “He disliked [shows of] emotion, not because he felt lightly but because he felt deeply.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Emotion 151 Catherine: Why does my blood rush into a hell of tumult at a few words?

Emotion 669 Despair and penitence are two very different things. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Emotion 85 Giovanni Pisano’s relief in Pistoia of the Massacre of the Innocents: I did not weep, so much of stone had I become within. Clark, Civilization. [I did not weep because my heart had become stone.]

Emotion 183 Spinoza: “An emotion can neither be hindered nor removed except by a contrary and stronger emotion.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza. [Only a stronger and contrary emotion will overcome another emotion.]

Emotion 370 ...and suddenly she reached her hands upward in an ecstasy of life and strength and gladness: “O God,” [Nan] said, “I thank thee for my future.” Jewett, A Country Doctor.

Emotion 1058 …an emotion more delightful than he had often felt before, but which he forbore to analyze, lest, if he seized it, it should at once perish in his grasp. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun. [He felt the emotion strongly, but did not analyze it because he was afraid he would lose it.]

Emotion and reason 183 Spinoza knows that as passion without reason is blind, reason without passion is dead. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Emotions 180 Spinoza: A passion or an emotion is bad or good not in itself, but only as it decreases or enhances our power. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Encyclopedia 117 Encarta includes 26,000 topics with 9 million words of text, 8 hours of sounds, 7,0000 photographs and illustrations, 800 maps, 250 interactive charts and tables, and 100 animations and video clips...costs less than $100 [and comes on a wafer thin disk about six inches in diameter]. Gates, The Road Ahead.

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