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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Quote #243 ‘a lust of the mind’


Desire to know why, and how, Curiosity; such as is in no living creature but Man: so that man is distinguished, not only by his Reason, but also by this singular Passion from other Animals; in whom the appetite of food, and other pleasures of Sense, by predominance, take away the care of knowing causes; which is a Lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of Knowledge, exceedeth the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure.

Thomas Hobbes, in Leviathan, part I, chapter 6

Quote #242


I seem to be, to my surprise, a member of a large profession. There are some 20,000 psychologists in this country alone, nearly all of whom have become so in my adult lifetime. They are all prosperous. Most of them seem to be busily applying psychology to problems of life and personality. They seem to feel, many of them, that all we need to do is to consolidate our scientific gains. Their self-confidence astonishes me. For these gains seem to me puny, and scientific psychology seems to me ill-founded. At any time the whole psychological applecart might be upset. Let them beware

J.J. Gibson. (1967) Autobiography. In: Reed, E.& Jones, R. (Eds.) Reasons for Realism (p. 21)

Quote #241


Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help from pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

From ‘On Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold, 1851

freedom through constraint, part #518

You’ve probably had the experience of not writing back to someone because you want to write properly and don’t have time. So you put off writing. And put it off. And put it off. And never write back because you wanted to do it properly.

I think twitter is a wonderful facilitator of social interaction. Because each tweet or message is limited to 140 characters it is impossible to write ‘properly’ (i.e. in any depth), so you are free to nudge, bother, flirt with, joke with or otherwise contact all those people who you would like to be in touch with but have been putting off contacting because they deserve more than 140 characters.

Now, in honour of twitter I will attempt to rehash this thought in less than 140 characters:

Twitter facilitates social contact because msgs are limited to 140 chars. Can’t write properly, so easier to write at all!

(122 characters)

@tomstafford, by the way

Quote #240 The secret is out

“The secret is out. You know what sex means to most people? […] Sex is what you can get. For some people, most people, it’s the most important thing they can get without being born rich or smart or stealing. This is what life can give you that’s equal to others or better, even, that you don’t have to go to college six years to get. And it’s not religion and it’s not science but you can explore it and learn things about yourself”

Donna, in Don Delillo’s Underworld (1997, p301)

links for june 09