"We must admit with humility that, while number is purely a product of our minds, space has a reality outside our minds, so that we cannot completely prescribe its properties a priori." -- Carl Friedrich Gauss (b. 1777-04-30, d. 1855-02-23). letter to Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, 1830
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-05:
"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
"But I'm so over defending my own humanity. I'm so over providing a power-point presentation about the fact that I exist. And I'm completely done with engaging with anyone who has a clever theory explaining why they actually understand my soul better than I do.
"To be blunt: if your crazy-ass theory of the world doesn't ease the suffering of people whom you do not understand, maybe what you actually need is a new theory."
"There is one area in which I think Paglia and I would agree that politically correct feminism has produced a noticeable inequity. Nowadays, when a woman behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, 'Poor dear, it's probably PMS.' Whereas, if a man behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, 'What an asshole.' Let me leap to correct this unfairness by saying of Paglia, Sheesh, what an asshole." -- Molly Ivins (via Jone Johnson Lewis' collection of quotations on about.com)
"They keep the radio on up front here all day long. The news snippets come from FOX, on the hour. If you're just a casual listener they make it sound as if Trump is achieving all these things he says. Tax reform? I just heard it will be done on Wednesday. I bet there are tens of millions of people who believe he is doing or has done this stuff he boasts about. It's really remarkable. His bullshit is working. He pretends he has accomplishments and it sounds like he does." -- Kay, Balloon Juice, comments [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
"As an opener, I'd like to state that elves are certainly NOT cliché. It doesn't matter if they all have pointy ears, or they all live a long time, or even if they all like forests. It doesn't matter if they're short or tall or both. It doesn't matter if they're related to forest spirits or even angels. Regardless of how many elves are like one another or how many elves appear in how many books, elves are NOT cliché.
"Well, for one, an elf is a creature. How can a creature be a cliché? Is a human clichcliché? They certainly do appear in a lot of books! How about dragons? Now there's a popular subject! Are dragons clichcliché as well? Well what about vampires too? Or werewolves? Or bats? Or rabbits? Or mice? Or owls? Or crows? Cats??"
-- Robert Fanney [via goodreads]
[Happy birthday to wayward-va!]
"One lesson America needs to understand is that the Holocaust did not begin with killing or gassing, but rather with words.
"In my work as a scholar of American Jewish history, I examine the Jewish experience in the United States and consider whether the near-obliteration of European Jewry could have been avoided through the adoption of different policies by countries throughout the world in the 1930s. For example, the experience of the infamous SS St. Louis teaches us the important power of executive orders, the words they use, and the messages they send -- not only to those immigrants who clamor to come to the United States but also to the larger world.
"The SS St. Louis left Hamburg in May 1939, carrying 937 German Jews -- many of whom had been imprisoned in concentration camps -- seeking to flee Nazi Germany. They all had valid visas for entry in the coming years but had to leave Germany immediately for their safety. Denied entry to the United States out of the preposterous popular misconception of their being German spies, the 937 Jews were sent back to Europe to await the calling up of their visa numbers. These passengers resettled in Europe, but many fell back into Nazi hands. As a result, over a quarter of these US visa-holding Jews perished in the Holocaust."
-- Rebecca Kobrin, 2017-04-23
"'[Spencer] said that America belongs to white people. His statement that white people face a choice of 'conquer or die' closely echoes Adolf Hitler's view of Jews and that history is a racial struggle for survival,' the museum said. Then it offered a history lesson to anyone who has forgotten: 'The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words.'
"Those words eventually led the Nazi party, which came into power legitimately in Germany, to kill 6 million Jews and millions more Communists, Gypsies, Poles, gay people and people with disabilities."
-- Julie Zauzmer (quoting from a statement from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum), 2016-11-22
[You can find plenty of hits for reminders that the Holocaust began with words. That remains a really important reminder, but also look at the other reminders different authors attach to that one.]
Gregorian: 2017 April 24
Julian: 2017 April 11
Hebrew: 5777 Nisan 28 -- Yom HaShoah, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day (started last night)
Islamic: 1438 Rajab 27
Persian: 1396 Ordibehesht 04
Indian: 1939 Vaisakha 04
Coptic: 1733 Paremoude 16
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-18:
"If your mind is expansive and unfettered, you will find yourself in a more accommodating world, a place that's endlessly interesting and alive. That quality isn't inherent in the place but in your state of mind. The warrior longs to communicate that all of us have access to our basic goodness and that genuine freedom comes from going beyond labels and projections, beyond bias and prejudice, and taking care of each other." -- Pema Chodron
(submitted to the mailing list by Rob Wood)
"In a perfect socialist society, only the people who really deserved it would catch tuberculosis. But alas, there is no ethical consumption under capitalism." -- Michael Yosef Miller [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
"Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow." -- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism [via Goodreads]
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (b. 1882-01-30, d. 1945-04-12; President of the United States 1933-03-04 to 1945-04-12), Second Inaugural Address, 1937-01-20
"There are a lot of things to remember that the Trump presidency has surfaced, one of which is that there is always money, but rarely will. The cost of security for the Trump family and Cabinet alone could fund the arts and public education at record levels. Money is there. When it comes to black people, to poor people, to any marginalized group, the response is often, 'there's no money.' But it's a lie. Electoral politics is important if not only because our representatives determine how tax dollars get spent. We need to be those people. We could equitably fund public education, arts, healthcare, etc. It's not a matter of money. It is, and has always been, a matter of will.' -- DeRay Mckesson, multiple tweets, 2017-04-08 (emphasis added)
"I do find it (darkly) funny that George Soros is portrayed everywhere in the world as a force of Wall Street and American capitalism, except in his home country, where he's instead believed to be plotting a communist takeover." -- CP, Lawyers, Guns, and Money, comments [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-08-30:
"It's become clear that we'll have to undo a lot of what was done in the last seventy years. Like the Russians emerging from the Soviet system, we are beginning to emerge from the era of the dominance of the automobile. We've got ingrained patterns and ways of thinking (and not thinking) to deal with, just like they do." -- David Byrne, musician, from his book Bicycle Diaries.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
[Χριστος Ανεστη! Christ is risen! A most joyous Easter to all my Christian relatives and friends!]
"Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord's Prayer is about." -- Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (2008)
[I disagree with Bishop Wright on some important points, but this passage, along with some others by him that I've read, speaks to me.]
"So here's the bottom line, kids. The United States is probably going to go broke during your lifetimes. Actually, it's already broke, but getting deeper into debt allows it to keep running on thin air, like the Road Runner. My advice? Learn Chinese. Start savings accounts. Don't buy what you can't afford. Any politician who tries to win votes by promising to cut taxes is digging our country's grave." -- Roger Ebert, reviewing I.O.U.S.A., 2008-08-21
"I guess this is how we are writing up the victims of crimes now. [...] In accordance with this new house style I am writing up an incident whose anniversary some people are celebrating this week.
"The gentleman arrested Thursday and tried before Pontius Pilate had a troubled background.
"Born (possibly out of wedlock?) in a stable, this jobless thirty-something of Middle Eastern origin had had previous run-ins with local authorities for disturbing the peace, and had become increasingly associated with the members of a fringe religious group. He spent the majority of his time in the company of sex workers and criminals.
"He had had prior run-ins with local authorities -- most notably, an incident of vandalism in a community center when he wrecked the tables of several licensed money-lenders and bird-sellers. [...]"
-- Alexandra Petri, "Crucified man had prior run-in with authorities", 2017-04-12
[To my friends and kin marking our faith's solemn holiday today and Sunday's joyous one: a blessed Good Friday to you according to whichever ways you observe the day. I chose today's QotD not to make light of the holiday, but to remind us there are better paths than propping up the powerful or rationalizing their excesses. In the essay I quoted from I see topical snark, aye, but more important matters the snark is meant to point to, as well.]
"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition." -- Thomas Jefferson (b. 1743-04-13, d. 1826-07-04, US President 1801-1809), 1785-08-19
"The main force in man -- is the power of the spirit." -- Yuri Gagarin (b. 1934-03-09, d. 1968-03-27, first human in space 1961-04-12)
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