‘Science explains the world, but only Art can reconcile us to it. What do we really know about the origin of the Universe? A blank so wide can be filled with myths and legends. I wished, in my mythologizing, to reach the limits of improbability, and I believe that I came close. You know this already, therefore what you really wanted to ask was if the Universe is indeed ludicrous. But that question each must answer for himself’.
“King Globares and the Sages” is one in a collection of short stories by Stanisław Lem titled Mortal Engines. It was published by The Seabury Press in 1977 and by Penguin Classics in 2016. All of the stories in the collection were chosen, translated, and introduced by Michael Kandel.
I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral. The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this.
When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only “what are the facts?” and “what is the truth that the facts bear out?”
Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts.
That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say. The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple.
I should say love is wise, hatred is foolish.
In this world which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way. And if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.
Bertrand Russell’s response when asked what lessons from his life may be worth imparting to future generations. Russell was 86 years old when the interview aired.
Separate but related: “A Little History of Philosophy” by Nigel Warburton. Very digestible and enjoyable. Must be noted that the author omits a few big names and focuses entirely on Western philosophy. Fair enough, would probably be 300% longer otherwise.
This idea began as a bit of a joke of course, over whiskey in Nicosia late at night we said “Hey, we should run a book store with this stuff.” And like most things that are worth doing, the jokes are worth following through because they’re fun.
the ecstasy of sanctimony.
Such a great and concise phrase. Hadley Freeman referred to it recently in her Guardian column when describing the court of Twitter’s harsh and questionable justice.
Databases are generally associated less with open-endedness than with the muted horrors of bureaucracy, in which the fear and pain and misery of human experience is reduced to data and evidence.
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news:
“My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
Fred Rogers created and hosted the classic American television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for more than 30 years. Since 1963, he has been a dependable source of comfort and delight for generations of children and their parents.
The final new episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired on 31 August 2001. His goodbye message was aired on PBS a year after the 9/11 attacks. About five months later, he passed away at the age of 74.
Their relaxed, workwear aesthetic was an integral part of a carefully considered image, one that complemented the practice of the Eames Office, its philosophy and the Eameses’ own resolute work ethic.
Moloney, Alison. “The Dress of Charles and Ray Eames.” The World of Charles and Ray Eames. Ed. Catherine Ince with Lotte Johnson. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd in association with Barbican Art Gallery, 2015. 149.
Ray’s aesthetic was feminine – unsurprisingly so, given the era in which she was working – but it is the habitual wearing of the same style that is most telling, and which, instead, reveals her to be uncompromising and non-conformist.
Moloney. The World of Charles and Ray Eames. 149.
His shirts were well worn, as evidenced by numerous repairs, and reflected the Eames’ make-do-and-mend mentality, which extended to all aspects of their lives, from their routinely darned pillowcases to their wedding-gift toaster, which was said to be constantly repaired.
Moloney. The World of Charles and Ray Eames. 151.
Q: How would you define yourself with respect to a decorator? an interior architect? a stylist?
A: I wouldn’t.
One of 29 questions posed by Madame L’Amic and answered by Charles and Ray Eames. The resulting Design Q & A formed the conceptual basis of the exhibition Qu’est ce que le design? (What is Design?) at the Louvre. I believe the exhibition was held in 1969, though I have seen 1972 listed elsewhere.
Motivation matters more than talent, and for a particular reason. The craftsman’s desire for quality poses a motivational danger: the obsession with getting things perfectly right may deform the work itself. We are more likely to fail as craftsmen, I argue, due to our inability to organize obsession than because of our lack of ability.