Monday, July 30, 2007

Quotes: Mathematics. Maturity. Media.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in fold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Mathematics: Proposition that if something is true of something, it is also true of something else.
Mathematics 480 Pure mathematics consists entirely of assertions to the effect that if such and such a proposition is true of anything, then such and such another proposition is true of that thing...essential not to discuss whether the first proposition is really true and...what the anything is of which it is supposed to be true. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell.

Maturity consists of the realization that there are things that cannot be understood.
Maturity 294 Kierkegaard: Maturity consists in the discovery that “there comes a critical moment where everything is reversed, after which the point becomes to understand more and more that there is something which cannot be understood.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Maturity means understanding that imitation is suicide, that one must understand oneself as an individual, for better or worse.
Maturity 259 There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction...that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion.... Emerson, Self-Reliance.

Maturity means understanding that one is responsible for the consequences of one’s actions.
Maturity 563 Natasha’s thought after Andrei’s proposal: Can it be true that there can be no more playing with life, that now I am grown up, that now a responsibility lies on me for my every word and action? Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Maturity means recognizing that what is, is, and accepting our place in it.
Maturity 162 Albert Schweitzer: The great progress in the evolution of life is that a moment arrives when we see what lies around us, comprehend what is, and accept our place in it. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

The function of WWII movies was to build morale, i.e., education, inspiration and confidence.
Media 25 “The wartime function of the movies…is to build morale, and morale is…education…inspiration…confidence.” Hollywood Writers Mobilization for Defense. Blum, V Was for Victory

If I had done it the way the movies do it, I’d have hit her with the back of my hand across the face.
Media 30 At last both were out of the quivering apartment--the vibration of the door I had slammed after them still rang in my every nerve, a poor substitute for the backhand slap with which I ought to have hit her across the cheekbone according to the rules of the movies. Nabokov, Lolita.

Reporters seek the lurid and the sensational because it sells newspapers, rather than to report factually and educate readers.
Media 157 Too many reporters think the search for the lurid and the sensational is their job, and in some selfish sense it is—after all, it catches the eye of the editors, and increasingly editors are being asked by publishers to sell more papers rather than simply report factually on events or educate their readers. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

To make the TV news, it must be reduced to 30 seconds.
Media 159 Write a thoughtful analysis of the American predicament and it will be reduced to thirty seconds, if it makes the TV news at all. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Newspapers, radio and TV give their audience what their market research people tell them the audience wants.
Media 160 Newspapers and radio and television networks are in the business of making money…not so much intellectually opposed to intelligent political coverage as they are aware of the importance…of pandering to what their market-research gurus tell them the public wants—and buys. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Panel discussions discuss violence on TV followed by shows full of violence.
Media 160 …television’s attitude toward violence yields panel discussions and public-service ads decrying it, followed by programs full of violent acts. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Local TV news: If it bleeds it leads; if it thinks, it stinks.
Media 160 The dual credo of local television news seems to be: “If it bleeds, it leads; if it thinks, it stinks.” Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

TV news rarely uplifts the human spirit.
Media 161 Rarely does [television news] make the human spirit soar. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

TV news makes America look worse than it is.
Media 161 America isn’t as bad as it looks on the television news. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Money is to be made by giving the TV audience what it likes.
Media 170 Frank O’Connor: The real trouble is, the moment you get a mass audience, commercial interests become involved…”There’s big money in this…we’ve got to consider what the audiences like.” Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

In writing for the media, you cannot offend Catholics, Jews, the Salvation Army or the mayors of cities.
Media 170 Frank O’Connor on writing for the media: “Now you mustn’t offend the Catholics, you mustn’t offend the Jews, you mustn’t offend the Salvation Army, you mustn’t offend the mayors of cities.” Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

The camera is a limited instrument of expression compared to the pen.
Media 217 A. Moravia: The camera is a less complete instrument of expression than the pen, even in the hands of an Eisenstein. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

German reporting in WWII stressed the bravery of groups rather than of individuals.
Media war 71 German reporting stressed the bravery of military groups rather than individual soldiers. Blum, V Was for Victory

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