Quotes of quotes.

Imaginative knowledge

February 7th, 2008

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. — Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

Better don’t make this known. Just don’t!

[Quote provided by frequent reader and commenter BB — thanks a lot! Note that apparently there are at least two versions of Einstein’s quote, see Did you know? Of course not ;]

A wrong answer

December 18th, 2007

Do you mean that you not only want a wrong answer, but a certain wrong answer?

— Tobaben (from a computer fortune)

The liberty of wording

November 30th, 2007

Or: Are we free to be free?
Or: The tyranny of the liberty of meaning.

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.

— The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, “Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland” (April 18, 1864), p. 301-302; quoted from A collection of Abraham Lincoln Quotes by Roger Norton.

[X] [X] [X]

Colors between black and white (guest post)

November 11th, 2007

[Guest post by our dear reader and frequent commenter bb, in reply to To my friends]

Whenever I meet ‘black-and-white’ people (I call b&w those who part the world in what’s right=white and what’s wrong=black and don’t allow anything in between), I always have this kind of choking feeling — as if I was in a crowded elevator, with a horrible, tight dress my grandmother bought and obliged me to wear, going to some annoying 10th degree relatives dinner where everybody will inquire and argue about my empty love life. Ok, maybe I’ve a little bit overstated it, but not that much! However, I really feel compassion for this kind of people, who miss all the wonderful colors (and nuances!) between b and w …

Let me explain how this is pictured into my mind. The b and the w are just the extreme points of a straight line (maybe infinite), and anything in life is something (or everything) in between. Maybe everyone has different b and w points, and maybe what’s red for me is green for you (and this adds to the fun!), but the point is that there are infinitely many colors of life. And, I guess, two people feeling a great agreement, are lying on the same color, right on the same moment.

But now I discover something worse than b&w people, which is, b=w people! Or, everything is equal to nothing, wrong is equal to right, good is equal to bad. Aargh! Yes, you don’t need to be a mathematician to see what the result is: If the extreme points of a line coincide, then the line is just a point: No colors at all! How could I survive in a world without colors!? And, don’t you just try to drop the extremes and keep what’s in between! Because in this case, all what is in between exists just as (linear;) combination of the extremes. If there are no b and w, there is nothing at all! :-(

So, you need your reference points, your right and your wrong, so that you can choose. And, when you know you can choose to choose right, choose to choose wrong, or choose anything in between and change your position in the line as fast as you can, anyway you always choose. And this is the enjoyment of all the colors of life. If I look back to all my experiences (that I love to call the adventures of my life), I realize that I enjoyed more those I put in their right color. I enjoyed the white of being useful for a friend, I enjoyed the blue of stealing sunflowers to eat the seeds, I enjoyed the red of living my passions, I enjoyed the green and the yellow and the orange (oh, may I suggest you the orange …), and each in a wonderfully different way!

I wish you to see your b and your w, and to enjoy both, and everything in between.

BTW, to whom it may concern, I’m on the orange now: come here and make love with me! ;-)

[/Guest post by our dear reader and frequent commenter bb, in reply to To my friends]

[X] [X] [X]

Responsibility for free

September 26th, 2007

A local advertisement company is currently running a campaign where they print quotes on big posters at public places (Zeit für ein Zitat 2007). One the quotes repeatedly caught my attention on my way home:

Freedom’s other name is responsibility.
— Thomas Mann

Well done, Thomas. And thanks for the entertainment. It was a two corner walk until I saw the lie within.

P.S.: The original German quote is: Der Freiheit anderer Name heißt Verantwortung. I could not find any other reference of it. So, who knows, maybe Thomas Mann never said or wrote it anyway.

Love and lies

September 22nd, 2007
Cartoon by hugh macleod

Cartoon by Hugh Macleod

When I said that I loved you
you cried
‘cuz you knew when I said it,
I lied

[X] [X] [X]

Multitudes of the nonexisting (dragons)

September 21st, 2007

Everyone knows that dragons don’t exist. But while this simplistic formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific mind. The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned with what does exist. Indeed, the banality of existence has been so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further here. The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical, and the purely hypothetical. They were all, one might say, nonexistent, but each nonexisted in an entirely different way. And then there were the imaginary dragons, and the a-, anti- and minus-dragons (colloquially termed nots, noughts and oughtn’ts by the experts), the minuses being the most interesting on account of the well-known dracological paradox: when two minuses hypercontiguate (an operation in the algebra of dragons corresponding roughly to simple multiplication), the product is 0.6 dragon, a real nonplusser. Bitter controversy raged among the experts on the question of whether, as half of them claimed, this fractional beast began from the head down or, as the other half maintained, from the tail up.

— Stanislaw Lem: The Cyberiad. Harvest Book 2002 (original Polish edition 1967). Page 57, chapter “The Third Sally Or The Dragons Of Probability”.

Serious parody

September 14th, 2007

rattus rattus is not getting tired of adding to his life (and blog) this most serious statement:

Parody! Not to be taken seriously!

ik (anyway wittily) asked:

Is it a parody that you are not to be taken seriously or are you a parody which is not to be taken seriously or….? :))

After all, the parody is parody. — Not just trivially, also seriously.
Of course, the phrase is part of the parody — and as such — it is seriously not to be taken seriously either.

Serious as in law suit or getting shot. As the man, who signed many of his illustrations with this very phrase, knew so well.

What’s really wrong with most people is hey take life too seriously.
Larry Flynt

If this is part of your life (don’t) take it too seriously. Or be wrong.