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"Ich habe vergessen, wie lustig das ist und ich kann nicht denken, warum ich es zur Seite gelegt habe." 23 hours, 53 min ago

Bismarck: A Life
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  (page 480 of 592)
Jul 31, 2021 05:56PM

The Road to Reali...
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George Eliot
“MY DEAR MISS BROOKE,—I have your guardian's permission to address you on a subject than which I have none more at heart. I am not, I trust, mistaken in the recognition of some deeper correspondence than that of date in the fact that a consciousness of need in my own life had arisen contemporaneously with the possibility of my becoming acquainted with you. For in the first hour of meeting you, I had an impression of your eminent and perhaps exclusive fitness to supply that need (connected, I may say, with such activity of the affections as even the preoccupations of a work too special to be abdicated could not uninterruptedly dissimulate); and each succeeding opportunity for observation has given the impression an added depth by convincing me more emphatically of that fitness which I had preconceived, and thus evoking more decisively those affections to which I have but now referred. Our conversations have, I think, made sufficiently clear to you the tenor of my life and purposes: a tenor unsuited, I am aware, to the commoner order of minds. But I have discerned in you an elevation of thought and a capability of devotedness, which I had hitherto not conceived to be compatible either with the early bloom of youth or with those graces of sex that may be said at once to win and to confer distinction when combined, as they notably are in you, with the mental qualities above indicated. It was, I confess, beyond my hope to meet with this rare combination of elements both solid and attractive, adapted to supply aid in graver labors and to cast a charm over vacant hours; and but for the event of my introduction to you (which, let me again say, I trust not to be superficially coincident with foreshadowing needs, but providentially related thereto as stages towards the completion of a life's plan), I should presumably have gone on to the last without any attempt to lighten my solitariness by a matrimonial union.

Such, my dear Miss Brooke, is the accurate statement of my feelings; and I rely on your kind indulgence in venturing now to ask you how far your own are of a nature to confirm my happy presentiment. To be accepted by you as your husband and the earthly guardian of your welfare, I should regard as the highest of providential gifts. In return I can at least offer you an affection hitherto unwasted, and the faithful consecration of a life which, however short in the sequel, has no backward pages whereon, if you choose to turn them, you will find records such as might justly cause you either bitterness or shame. I await the expression of your sentiments with an anxiety which it would be the part of wisdom (were it possible) to divert by a more arduous labor than usual. But in this order of experience I am still young, and in looking forward to an unfavorable possibility I cannot but feel that resignation to solitude will be more difficult after the temporary illumination of hope.

In any case, I shall remain,

    Yours with sincere devotion,
George Eliot, Middlemarch

Viktor E. Frankl
“..Then he continued questioning me: “What school do you stand for?” I answered, “It is my own theory; it is called logotherapy.” “Can you tell me in one sentence what is meant by logotherapy?” he asked. “At least, what is the difference between psychoanalysis and logotherapy?” “Yes,” I said, “but in the first place, can you tell me in one sentence what you think the essence of psychoanalysis is?” This was his answer: “During psychoanalysis, the patient must lie down on a couch and tell you things which sometimes are very disagreeable to tell.”“Whereupon I immediately retorted with the following improvisation: “Now, in logotherapy the patient may remain sitting erect but he must hear things which sometimes are very disagreeable to hear.”
Viktor Frankl
tags: wit

Viktor E. Frankl
“..It is apparent that the mere knowledge that a man was either a camp guard or a prisoner tells us almost nothing. Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn. The boundaries between groups overlapped and we must not try to simplify matters by saying that these men were angels and those were devils...
From all this we may learn that there are two races of men in this world, but only these two—the “race” of the decent man and the “race” of the indecent man. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society. No group consists entirely of decent or indecent people. In this sense, no group is of “pure race”
Viktor Frankl

Arthur Koestler
“We are in the habit of visualizing .. the history of science as a steady, cumulative process,.. where each epoch adds some new item of knowledge to the legacy of the past, making the temple of science grow brick by brick to ever greater height.. In fact, .. the philosophy of nature evolved by occasional leaps and bounds alternating with delusional pursuits, culs-de-sac, regressions, periods of blindness and amnesia. The great discoveries .. were sometimes the unexpected by-products of a chase after quite different hares. At other times, the process of discovery consisted merely in the cleaning away of the rubbish that blocked the path, or in the rearranging of existing items of knowledge in a different pattern.. Europe knew less geometry in the fifteenth century than in Archimedes' time.”
Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe

“In the beginning, everything was void, and J. H. W. H. Conway began to create numbers. Conway said, "Let there be two rules which bring forth all numbers large and small. This shall be the first rule: Every number corresponds to two sets of previously created numbers, such that no member of the left set is greater than or equal to any member of the right set. And the second rule shall be this: One number is less than or equal to another number if and only if no member of the first number's left set is greater than or equal to the second number, and no member of the second number's right set is less than or equal to the first number." And Conway examined these two rules he had made, and behold! They were very good.

And Conway said, "Let the numbers be added to each other in this wise: The left set of the sum of two numbers shall be the sums of all left parts of each number with the other; and in like manner the right set shall be from the right parts, each according to its kind." Conway proved that every number plus zero is unchanged, and he saw that addition was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And Conway said, "Let the negative of a number have as its sets the negatives of the number's opposite sets; and let subtraction be addition of the negative." And it was so. Conway proved that subtraction was the inverse of addition, and this was very good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

And Conway said to the numbers, "Be fruitful and multiply. Let part of one number be multiplied by another and added to the product of the first number by part of the other, and let the product of the parts be subtracted. This shall be done in all possible ways, yielding a number in the left set of the product when the parts are of the same kind, but in the right set when they are of opposite kinds." Conway proved that every number times one is unchanged. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

And behold! When the numbers had been created for infinitely many days, the universe itself appeared. And the evening and the morning were N day.

And Conway looked over all the rules he had made for numbers, and saw that they were very, very good.”
Donald Moses Knuth

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