Saturday, August 25, 2018
Friday, August 24, 2018
After the age of eighty she found she had some difficulty in getting to sleep, so she habitually spent the hours from midnight to 3:00 A.M. in reading popular science. I do not believe that she ever had time to notice that she was growing old. This, I think, is the proper recipe for remaining young. If you have wide and keen interests and activities in which you can still be effective, you will have not reason to think about the merely statistical fact of the number of years you have already lived, still less of the possible brevity of your future.
Bertrand Russell, discussing his maternal grandmother in his essay, How To Grow Old. Published here
All the eventful year of 1793, which witnessed the execution of Louis XVI and the outbreak of the war between France and England, the decline of Danton and the rise of Robespierre, was passed quietly by Talleyrand in London. It was probably during this year that he wrote the treatise on the Duke of Orleans which forms part of his published memoirs. He offers no defence for, and indeed strongly condemns, the character and conduct of Philippe Egalite, but acquits him of any responsibility for the outbreak or the course of the Revolution. "If historians strive to attribute the blame of having caused, or directed, or modified the French Revolution, they will be wasting their time. It had no authors, nor leaders, nor guides. The seed was sown by writers who, in a bold and enlightened age, wishing to attack prejudice, overthrew the principles of religion and of social life, and by incompetent Ministers, who increased the embarrassment of the treasury and the discontent of the people." Whether Talleyrand wrote these words in 1793 or at a later date they can be taken as giving his considered opinion, the soundness of which few historians will be inclined to dispute.
-Duff Copper, Talleyrand
A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild: but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.
-James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Monday, August 20, 2018
A readiness to adapt oneself to the facts of the real world is often praised as a virtue, and in part it is. It is a bad thing to close one's eyes to facts or fail to admit them because they are not welcome. But it is also a bad thing to assume that whatever is in the ascendant must be right, that regard for fact demands subservience to evil. Even worse than conscious subservience to evil is the self-deception which denies that it is evil. When I find individual liberty being everywhere lessened by regimentation, I will not on that account pretend that regimentation is a good thing. It may be necessary for a time, but one should not on that account acquiesce in it as part of any society that one can admire.
-Bertrand Russell, from his essay "Hopes: Realized and Disappointed", as contained in this fine little tome.
-Ray Dalio, Principles
Sunday, August 19, 2018
|Cave of Hands|
"Instead of erecting mountains of theory over a molehill of tomb relics, cave paintings and bone statuettes, it is better to be frank and admit that we have only the haziest notions about the religions of ancient foragers. We assume that they were animists, but that's not very informative. We don't know which spirits they prayed to, which festivals they celebrated, or which taboos they observed. Most importantly, we don't know what stories they told. It's one of the biggest holes in our understanding of human history."
-Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
"Yet Trump’s apparent success, flawed as it is, offers one more illustration of how the corruption of ruling U.S. elites created a vacuum that opened the door to Trumpism."
-as cut and pasted from here
Lele smiled his crooked smile, one side of his mouth turning down, the other up, a smile Brunetti had always thought best expressed the Italian character, never quite sure of gloom or glee and always ready to switch from one to the other.
-Donna Leon, Acqua Alta