Jul 032013

How mighty, how terrible, and how kind is the power of habit! People can get used to anything – the seas, the southern stars, love, a bunk in a prison, the barbed wire of the camps.

What an abyss lies between the first night of passion and a long, grinding argument about how best to bring up the children! How little there is in common between a first wonderful encounter with the sea and trudging along the shore in the stifling midday heat to buy something from the souvenir kiosk! How terrible the despair of a man who has just lost his freedom! And then there he is, lying on his bunk and yawning as he wonders what will be in today’s prison gruel: pearl barley or pickled cabbage? What creates this abyss is the power of habit. Dull as it seems, it is as powerful as dynamite it can destroy anything. Passion, hatred, grief, pain  – habit can destroy them all.

Nothing can withstand it.

– from An Armenian Sketchbook

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Jul 022013

Goethe once said that during eighty years of life he had known eleven happy days. I imagine that everyone, in the course of their life, must have seen many hundreds of sunrises and sunsets; they must have seen rain, rainbows, lakes, seas, and meadows. But of these hundreds of scenes only two or three enter a person’s soul with a miraculous power and become for them what those eleven happy days were for Goethe.

One person may never forget a little cloud lit by a quiet sunset, even though he entirely forgets hundreds of more splendid sunsets. Someone else will never forget a moment of summer rain or a young moon reflected in the pockmarked surface of a forest stream in April.

For a particular scene to enter into a person and become part of their soul, it is evidently not enough that the scene be beautiful. The person also has to have something clear and beautiful present inside them. It is like a moment of shared love, of communion, of true meeting between a human being and the outer world.

– from An Armenian Sketchbook

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Apr 132013
  1. All beliefs in whatever realm are theories at some level. -Stephen Schneider
  2. Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong. -Dandemis
  3. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. -Francis Bacon
  4. Never fall in love with your hypothesis. -Peter Medawar
  5. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts. -Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. A theory should not attempt to explain all the facts, because some of the facts are wrong. -Francis Crick
  7. The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that is most interesting. -Richard Feynman
  8. To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact. -Charles Darwin
  9. It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. -Mark Twain
  10. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong. -Thomas Jefferson
  11. All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident. -Arthur Schopenhauer

Peter Surrock,  AKA Shakespeare: A Scientific Approach to the Authorship Question


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Nov 202010

Fascism was triumphantly anti-liberal. It also provided the proof that man can, without difficulty, combine crack-brained beliefs about the world with a confident mastery of contemporary high technology. … Nevertheless, the combination of conservative values, the techniques of mass democracy, and an innovative ideology of irrationalist savagery, essentially centered in nationalism, must be explained.

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Nov 202010

Janko, R. “The Derveni Papyrus: an Interim Text.” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 141 (2002) 1-62.

Janko, R. “The Derveni Papyrus (Diagoras of Melos, Apopyrgizontes Logoi?): a new translation”, Classical Philology 96 (2001), 1-32.

Betegh, Gabor. The Derveni Papyrus. Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. xii, 441. ISBN 0-521-80108-7. $110.00.

André Laks and Glenn Most (edd.), Studies on the Derveni Papyrus, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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