Archive for August, 2006

Accelerating times

August 15th, 2006

These days we hardly have time to make a note of an idea.

Wir leben in einer Zeit, in der wir es uns nicht mehr leisten können, eine Idee aufzuschreiben. Ups.



August 14th, 2006

Der Lärm der Öffentlichkeit

August 12th, 2006

Here is one more quote about public opinion:

Die öffentliche Meinung ist der Lärm, der entsteht, wenn die Bretter aneinanderschlagen, die die Leute vor dem Kopf haben.

— Volkmar Muthesius

Wenn wir uns als Teil der “Leute” sehen, so können wir das Zitat auch als eine grobe Variante des Lügner-Paradoxons sehen, abgesehen davon, dass Sehen mit einem Brett vor dem Kopf möglicherweise schwierig ist. Aber so sehe ich das eben.

[According to my available sources there is no English phrase or saying that literally translates German “ein Brett vor dem Kopf haben”, meaning “having a board before your head”. Can anyone help with a translation of the above quote?]

Respecting public opinion

August 11th, 2006

One should respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.

Bertrand Russell: The Conquest of Happiness.
Reissued edition of 1996, page 107.

What if this actually were public opinion? Or is it? Respect respect. I do not know whether I would want my opinion to become public. Or, as Bertrand Russell is quoted:

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.


August 10th, 2006

I am afraid people engaged in sustainable development are seriously endeavored to sustain sustainability; sustainability of themselves.

Please, excuse me

August 8th, 2006

Ratta generously excuses your excuse

[Ratta says: It’s fine. I excuse your excuse.]

Conversations aren’t contests

August 7th, 2006

A conversation of Calvin with his cartoon fellow Hobbes from 1995-08-05.


When a person pauses in mid-sentence to choose a word, that’s the best time to jump in and change the subject!
It’s like an interception in football! You grab the other guy’s idea and run the opposite way with it!
The more sentences you complete, the higher is your score! The idea is to block the other guy’s thoughts and express your own! That’s how you win!


Conversations aren’t contests!


OK. A point for you, but I’m still ahead.

[*] [WP]

A liar who knows nothing

August 6th, 2006

Truth and knowledge often enter the arena hand in hand. Knowledge being honored if true, truth being more valued if known.

Imagine Socrates were living in Crete. Say, being Epimenides‘ brother. A liar saying he knows nothing but the fact of his ignorance. The Honorable Chief Judge Aristotle, as yesterday so today, might have had him burn at the stake much earlier.

In some languages a double negative resolves to a negative, while in others it resolves to a positive. (Wikipedia, as of 2006-08-06)

Let’s try this. Do the following resolve to a negative or to a positive?

  • I can’t get no satisfaction.
  • But never do what you are not told.
  • He doesn’t know nothing ’bout no knowin.
  • Though, she does not know her ignorance.
  • Anyway, no words ought not to be trusted.

It’s a weird thing.

I am glad I am a liar who knows nothing save that there is more to know than knowledge. Now, go ahead, sue me!