March 3

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

It is only by preserving faith in human dreams that we may, after all, perhaps some day make them come true. ~ James Branch Cabell
Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before. ~ Alexander Graham Bell (born 3 March 1847)
In mathematics the art of asking questions is more valuable than solving problems. ~ Georg Cantor (born 3 March 1845)
You cannot force ideas. Successful ideas are the result of slow growth. Ideas do not reach perfection in a day, no matter how much study is put upon them. ~ Alexander Graham Bell
Consent in virtue knit your hearts so fast,
That still the knot, in spite of death, does last;
For as your tears, and sorrow-wounded soul,
Prove well that on your part this bond is whole,
So all we know of what they do above,
Is that they happy are, and that they love.
Let dark oblivion, and the hollow grave,
Content themselves our frailer thoughts to have;
Well-chosen love is never taught to die,
But with our nobler part invades the sky.

~ Edmund Waller ~ (born 3 March 1606)
If there be such a thing as truth, it must infallibly be struck out by the collision of mind with mind. ~ William Godwin
The proper method for hastening the decay of error, is not, by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself. ~ William Godwin
Those who try to combat the production of shoddy pictures are enemies of the best art today. Those woodland lakes in a thousand sitting-rooms with gold-tinted wallpaper belong to the profoundest inspirations of art. It always feels tragic to see people labouring to saw off the branch they are sitting on. ~ Asger Jorn
Whenever government assumes to deliver us from the trouble of thinking for ourselves, the only consequences it produces are those of torpor and imbecility. ~ William Godwin ~
Parliamentary government is simply a mild and disguised form of compulsion. We agree to try strength by counting heads instead of breaking heads, but the principle is exactly the same. … The minority gives way not because it is convinced that it is wrong, but because it is convinced that it is a minority.
~ James Fitzjames Stephen ~
We prove what we want to prove, and the real difficulty is to know what we want to prove.
~ Émile Chartier ~
It is the human condition to question one god after another, one appearance after another, or better, one apparition after another, always pursuing the truth of the imagination, which is not the same as the truth of appearance.
~ Émile Chartier ~
One must preach life, not death; spread hope, not fear and cultivate joy, man's most valuable treasure. That is the secret of the greatest of the wise, and it wil be the light of tomorrow.
~ Émile Chartier ~
I did not hate the author of my misfortunestruth and justice acquit me of that; I rather pitied the hard destiny to which he seemed condemned. But I thought with unspeakable loathing of those errors, in consequence of which every man is fated to be, more or less, the tyrant or the slave. I was astonished at the folly of my species, that they did not rise up as one man, and shake off chains so ignominious, and misery so insupportable. So far as related to myself, I resolved — and this resolution has never been entirety forgotten by me — to hold myself disengaged from this odious scene, and never fill the part either of the oppressor or the sufferer.
~ William Godwin ~
The anomaly of war is that the best men get themselves killed while crafty men find their chance to govern in a manner contrary to justice.
~ Émile Chartier ~
Truth is powerful, and, if not instantly, at least by slow degrees, may make good her possession. Gleams of good sense may penetrate through the thickest clouds of error … and, as the true object of education is not to render the pupil the mere copy of his preceptor, it is rather to be rejoiced in, than lamented, that various reading should lead him into new trains of thinking; open to him new mines of science and new incentives to virtue; and perhaps, by a blended and compound effect, produce in him an improvement which was out of the limits of his lessons, and raise him to heights the preceptor never knew.
~ William Godwin ~
Persuasion, indeed, is a kind of force. It consists in showing a person the consequences of his actions. It is, in a word, force applied through the mind.
~ James Fitzjames Stephen ~
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it's the only one we have.
~ Émile Chartier ~
Six days ago, Russia’s Vladimir Putin sought to shake the foundations of the free world thinking he could make it bend to his menacing ways. But he badly miscalculated.
He thought he could roll into Ukraine and the world would roll over. Instead he met a wall of strength he never imagined.
He met the Ukrainian people.
From President Zelenskyy to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination, inspires the world.
~ Joe Biden ~
  • proposed by Kalki; recent remarks on the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It has an unhappy effect upon the human understanding and temper, for a man to be compelled in his gravest investigation of an argument, to consider, not what is true, but what is convenient. The lawyer never yet existed who has not boldly urged an objection which he knew to be fallacious, or endeavoured to pass off a weak reason for a strong one. … Above all, the poet, whose judgment should be clear, whose feelings should be uniform and sound, whose sense should be alive to every impression and hardened to none, who is the legislator of generations and the moral instructor of the world, ought never to have been a practising lawyer, or ought speedily to have quitted so dangerous an engagement.
~ William Godwin ~
Everybody continually tries to get away with as much as he can; and society is a marvelous machine which allows decent people to be cruel without realizing it.
~ Émile Chartier ~
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A set is a Many that allows itself to be thought of as a One.. ~ Georg Cantor

  • 3 Kalki 23:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 04:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Mathematics, in the development of its ideas, has only to take account of the immanent reality of its concepts and has absolutely no obligation to examine their transient reality. ~ Georg Cantor

The fear of infinity is a form of myopia that destroys the possibility of seeing the actual infinite, even though it in its highest form has created and sustains us, and in its secondary transfinite forms occurs all around us and even inhabits our minds.. ~ Georg Cantor

  • 3 Kalki 23:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 04:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus. ~ Alexander Graham Bell

  • 3 Kalki 23:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.
  • 2 Zarbon 04:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3. -- ~ #SheSaid 08:44, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with — a man is what he makes of himself. ~ Alexander Graham Bell

The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion. ~ Alexander Graham Bell

  • 3 Kalki 23:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 2 Zarbon 04:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse,
And every conqueror creates a Muse.

~ Edmund Waller ~

Poets lose half the praise they should have got,
Could it be known what they discreetly blot.

~ Edmund Waller ~

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that time has made;
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become,
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view,
That stand upon the threshold of the new.

~ Edmund Waller ~

Let us embrace, and from this very moment vow an eternal misery together. ~ Thomas Otway

O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you.
Angels are painted fair, to look like you:
There’s in you all that we believe of heaven,—
Amazing brightness, purity, and truth,
Eternal joy, and everlasting love.
~ Thomas Otway

To me this question whether liberty is a good or a bad thing appears as irrational as the question whether fire is a good or a bad thing. It is both good and bad according to time, place, and circumstance, and a complete answer to the question, "In what cases is liberty good and in what cases is it bad?" would involve not merely a universal history of mankind, but a complete solution of the problems which such a history would offer. ~ James Fitzjames Stephen

To say that the law of force is abandoned because force is regular, unopposed, and beneficially exercised, is to say that day and night are now such well-established institutions that the sun and moon are mere superfluities. ~ James Fitzjames Stephen

  • 2 Zarbon 06:01, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 02:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 bystander (talk) 00:42, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

To try to regulate the internal affairs of a family, the relations of love or friendship, or many other things of the same sort, by law or by the coercion of public opinion, is like trying to pull an eyelash out of a man's eye with a pair of tongs. They may put out the eye, but they will never get hold of the eyelash. ~ James Fitzjames Stephen

  • 2 Zarbon 06:01, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 02:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 bystander (talk) 00:42, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

There can be no question of selecting in any direction, but of penetrating the whole cosmic law of rhythms, forces and material that are the real world, from the ugliest to the most beautiful, everything that has character and expression, from the crudest and most brutal to the gentlest and most delicate. ~ Asger Jorn

What we have, and what constitutes our strength, is our joy in life, in all of its moral and amoral manifestations. ~ Asger Jorn

  • 3 and lean toward a 4. Zarbon 06:01, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 02:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC) In this form I rank it only a 2, although I would give what is perhaps another translation of this same statement (or at least a similar one), a 3 or even perhaps a 4:
What we have and what is our strength, is our joy in life; our interest in life, in all its moral aspects. That is also the basis of our contemporary art.
  • 3 for the first; 2 for the possible alternative translation. InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

If a symbolic language dies, it tortures us like a nightmare, like a thousand piece orchestra grating on our nerves and tearing our mind to pieces. It is a corpse with no symbolic power or strength. ~ Asger Jorn

  • 4 Zarbon 06:01, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 02:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC) but somewhat inclined toward a 3
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I, too, often shrivel the grey shreds,
Sniff them and think and sniff again and try
Once more to think what it is I am remembering,
Always in vain. I cannot like the scent,
Yet I would rather give up others more sweet,
With no meaning, than this bitter one.
~ Edward Thomas

I like to think how easily Nature will absorb London as she absorbed the mastodon, setting her spiders to spin the winding-sheet and her worms to fill in the grave, and her grass to cover it pitifully up, adding flowers - as an unknown hand added them to the grave of Nero. ~ Edward Thomas

Perfectibility is one of the most unequivocal characteristics of the human species. ~ William Godwin

Everything is in constant flux, from state to state, from good to bad and back again.., only in transmutation, perpetual motion, lies truth. ~ Asger Jorn

We are sparks that must glow as brightly as possible. ~ Asger Jorn

  • 3 Kalki 02:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 01:00, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3. -- ~ #SheSaid 08:44, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

To break and be able to grow together again in a better way: that is the difficult art. ~ Asger Jorn

  • 3 Kalki 02:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 01:00, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

To understand the magic way of thinking you have to know non-magic thinking. If you see that clearly, you will see how many magic thoughts are necessary elements even of natural science today. There seems to be just as much magic thinking in modern thought as in older; only it takes place in other areas. ~ Asger Jorn

  • 3 Kalki 02:14, 2 March 2009 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:17, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 01:00, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

As opposed to the incoherent spectacle of the world, the real is what is expected, what is obtained and what is discovered by our own movement. It is what is sensed as being within our own power and always responsive to our action. ~ Émile Chartier

It is very true that we ought to think of the happiness of others; but it is not often enough said that the best thing we can do for those who love us is to be happy ourselves.
~ Émile Chartier ~

Humanity will have to extricate itself from the bags created by false moralists, according to whom we taste happiness and then pass judgment on it, as if it were a piece of fruit. But I maintain that even for a piece of fruit we can do something to help it taste good. This is even truer of marriage and every other human relationship; these things are not meant to be tasted or passively accepted; they must be made. A relationship is not like a bit of shade where one is comfortable or uncomfortable depending on the weather and the way the wind is blowing. On the contrary, it is a place of miracles, where the magician makes the rain and the good weather.
~ Émile Chartier ~

Untie, liberate, and do not be afraid. He who is free is disarmed.
~ Émile Chartier ~

Never be insolent unless it is a deliberate decision, and only toward a man more powerful than yourself.
~ Émile Chartier ~

Politeness is for people toward whom we feel indifferent, and moods, both good and bad, are for those we love.
~ Émile Chartier ~