For what purpose humanity is there should not even concern us: why you are there, that you should ask yourself: and if you have no ready answer, then set for yourself goals, high and noble goals, and perish in pursuit of them! I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible…
– Nietzsche, unpublished note from 1873
To A Poet A Thousand Years Hence
I who am dead a thousand years,
And wrote this sweet, archaic song,
Send you my words for messengers
The way I shall not pass along
I care not if you bridge the seas
Or ride secure the cruel sky,
Or build consummate palaces
Of metal or of masonry.
But have you wine and music still,
And statues and a bright-eyed love,
And foolish thoughts of good and ill,
And prayers to them who sit above?
How shall we conquer? Like a wind
That falls at eve our fancies blow,
And old Maeonides the blind
Said it three thousand years ago.
O friend unseen, unborn, unknown,
Student of our sweet English tongue:
Read out my words at night, alone:
I was a poet, I was young
Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.
— James Elroy Flecker
For the first time in human history, children are hearing most of the stories, most of the time, not from their parents or school or churches or neighbors, but from a handful of global conglomerates that have something to sell. It is impossible to overestimate the radical effect that this has on the way our children grow up, the way we live, and the way we conduct our affairs.
People think of television as programs, but television is more than that; television is a mythology – highly organically connected, repeated every day so that the themes that run through all programming and news have the effect of cultivating conceptions of reality.
George Gerbner – ‘Reclaiming Our Cultural Mythology’
[Local news warning]
Sharrow Lantern Carnival this sunday – should be lots of fun. Kev’s put up new photo galleries here, so click if you’d like to see what it is all about (or relive some memories)
This classic, finally properly sourced, thanks to Wikiquote
All models are wrong. Some are useful.
Sometimes seen as:
All models are false but some models are useful.
Wikiquote continues: ‘The remark has two phrasings, both of which appear in George E.P. Box & Norman R. Draper, Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces (Wiley 1987) pp. 74 and 424: “Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.”; “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.’