Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If you think you are beaten you are

If you think you are beaten you are
If you think you dare not, you don't
If you like to win, but you think you can't
It's almost certain you won't
If you think you'll lose, you're lost
For out of the world we find
Success begin's with a fellow's will
It's all in the state of mind

If you think you are outclassed you are
You've got to think high to rise
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger for faster man
But soon or late, the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN! 
- napoleon hill

Aphoristic Thinking - Susan Sontag

In an entry dated April 26, 1980, Sontag offers a short but brilliant meditation on aphorisms — the ultimate soundbitification of thinking:

Aphorisms are rogue ideas.

Aphorism is aristocratic thinking: this is all the aristocrat is willing to tell you; he thinks you should get it fast, without spelling out all the details. Aphoristic thinking constructs thinking as an obstacle race: the reader is expected to get it fast, and move on. An aphorism is not an argument; it is too well-bred for that.

To write aphorisms is to assume a mask — a mask of scorn, of superiority. Which, in one great tradition, conceals (shapes) the aphorist’s secret pursuit of spiritual salvation. The paradoxes of salvation. We know at the end, when the aphorist’s amoral, light point-of-view self-destructs.
Then, ten days later, on May 6, she continues:

With the (1943) epigraph of Canetti. ‘The great writers of aphorisms read as if they had all known each other very well.’

One wonders why. Can it be that the literature of aphorisms teaches us the sameness of wisdom (as anthropology teaches us the diversity of culture)? The wisdom of pessimism. Or should we rather conclude that the form of the aphorism, of abbreviated or condensed or rogue thought, is a historically-colored voice which, when adopted, inevitably suggests certain attitudes; is the vehicle of a common thematics?

The traditional thematics of the aphorist: the hypocrisies of societies, the vanities of human wishes, the shallowness + deviousness of women; the sham of love; the pleasures (and necessity) of solitude; + the intricacies of one’s own thought processes.


Aphoristic thinking is impatient thinking: by its very brevity or concentratedness, it presupposes a superior standard …

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marengo: The Myth of Napoleon's Horse

Marengo - legend has it that it was captured during the Egyptian campaign, that Napoleon rode it on all his famous campaigns from the second Italian campaign, through the retreat from Moscow, to the final battle at Waterloo. The horse reputedly was captured after that climatic battle and taken to Britain, where it was put on exhibition and even today its skeleton is on display in the National Army Museum.
Jill Hamilton has found that no horse with the name Marengo appears in the registers of Napoleon's stables or in any primary source. Historian Dr. Jean-François Lemaire has stated, "The French archives are silent about Marengo." It is possible that Marengo was a nickname of another horse. Napoleon had a penchant for giving nicknames (Josephine's, his wife, real given name was Rose). A number of his horses had nicknames, Mon Cousin was nicknamed Wagram, Intendant was given Coco, Cirus was bestowed with Austerlitz, Cordoue was also known as Cuchillero, Bonaparte was called Numide, Moscou nicknamed Tcherkes, Ingenu also was Wagram and Marie was called Zina.
Napoleon's coach, which had been captured after Waterloo, was placed on display at Bullock's Museum in Piccadilly. Though it has often been said that Marengo was also put on display at the same time, this is not the case. Marengo first appeared on display in 1823 or 1824 in the Waterloo Rooms in Pall Mall. Later Marengo was put out to stud. After the horse's death in 1831, its skeleton was sent to London Hospital to be articulated. Its hide, with its distinctive "N" brand, was lost. The skeleton went on display at the RUSI museum. One of its hooves was incorporated into the Guards' Officer's Mess at Buckingham Palace, another hoof had been lost. Another stuffed Napoleon horse, Vizir, also wound up in Britain. It had been on display at Manchester's Natural History Museum, in 1868 the museum presented it to Napoleon III.
In the end, Marengo remains something of a mystery. Hamilton concludes the horse may actually be Ali (or Aly), a horse Napoleon did ride throughout his career and which could be considered a "favorite."



The name is derived from the 13th-century inn named Ter Beurze in Bruges, Belgium where traders and foreign merchants from across Europe conducted business in the late medieval period.
noun \'bu?rs\
Definition of BOURSE
: exchange 5a; specifically : a European stock exchange
: a sale of numismatic or philatelic items on tables (as at a convention)
Origin of BOURSE
Middle French, literally, purse, from Medieval Latin bursa — more at purse
First Known Use: 1597

Monday, August 27, 2012

Definition of Wealth - Buckminster Fuller

"Wealth is our organised capability to cope effectively with the environment to sustain our healthy regeneration and decreasing both the physical and metaphysical restrictions of the forward days of our lives." from Buckminster Fuller - Operating manual for Spaceship Earth

Friday, August 24, 2012

When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly: Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith (November 10, 1730(?) April 4, 1774) was an Irish writer and physician known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770) (written in memory of his brother), and his plays The Good-natur'd Man (1768) and She Stoops to Conquer (1773)
Oliver Goldsmith: When Lovely Woman Stoops To Folly (English)

When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom, is-to die.
Orfèvre D'Oliver: Si Belle La Femme Se penche À la Folie (French)

Quand est-ce que la belle femme se penche à la folie, et trouve trop
tard que les hommes trahissent, quel charme peut apaiser sa
mélancolie, quel art peut enlever sa culpabilité ?

Le seul art sa culpabilité pour couvrir, cacher sa honte de chaque
oeil, de donner le repentance à son amoureux, et d'extorquer sa
poitrine, être- à la matrice.

Oliver Goldschmied: Wenn Reizend, Stoops Frau Zur (German)


Wann stoops reizende Frau zur Unsinnigkeit und findet zu spät, daß
Männer verraten, welcher Charme kann ihre Melancholie beruhigen,
welche kunst kann ihre Schuld weg waschen?

Die einzige kunst ihre Schuld, zum ihrer Schande von jedem Auge zu
umfassen, zu verstecken, repentance zu geben ihrem Geliebten, und
seinen Busen, sein- zum Würfel auszupressen.

Goldsmith De Oliver: Quando Encantadora A Mulher Inclina-se Ao (Portuguese)


Quando a mulher encantadora se inclina ao folly, e se encontra
demasiado tarde que os homens betray, que encanto pode soothe sua
melancolia, que arte pode lavar sua culpa afastado?

A única arte sua culpa para cobrir, esconder seu shame de cada olho,
dar o repentance a seu amante, e wring seu bosom, est- ao dado.

Orfebre De Oliver: Cuando Es Encantadora La Mujer Se inclina A la (Spanish)


¿Cuándo la mujer encantadora se inclina a la locura, y encuentra
demasiado tarde que los hombres traicionan, qué encanto puede calmar
su melancolía, qué arte puede lavar su culpabilidad lejos?

El único arte su culpabilidad para cubrir, para ocultar su vergüenza
de cada ojo, de dar repentance a su amante, y de sacar su pecho, ser-a dado.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Cult of the Expert - Brian J Ford

The Cult of The Expert
The Cult of the Expert is a highly entertaining and ingenious attack on the Experts who blind us with science, confuse us with jargon, frustrate us with bureaucracy, intimidate us with superiority - and yet - precisely because they are so successful at all this - have the power to appropriate huge shares of public funds and to make decisions which fundamentally affect our daily lives.

Author's Website:

Vermeer's Maps

World Maps in Vermeer's painting reflect the power and reach of the Dutch seaborne empire and the emergence of mapmaking as a pursuit of the superrich Dutch merchants.
With Dutch naval power rising rapidly as a major force from the late 16th century, the Netherlands dominated global commerce during the second half of the 17th century during a cultural flowering known as the Dutch Golden Age.

At the time maps were popular among prosperous citizens: they were good to look at as well as educational and useful for showing off their owners’ interest in geography and politics and even their patriotism. This trend is very eloquently demonstrated in the most accurate witnesses of everyday-life scenes of the time: the famous interior paintings of the 17th century Dutch masters, Vermeer being the most remarkable amongst them.

Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.


In 1999 Lionel Tiger (born 5 Feb 1937 Montreal, Quebec, Professor of Anthropology, Rutgers University) coined the word “bureaugamy” to refer to the relationship between officially impoverished mothers of illegitimate children and the government.

The resources that husbands traditionally have been able to contribute to reproduction and marriage -- financial support, protection, and socialization of their children -- have been supplanted, and sometimes replaced, by what Tiger terms government "bureaugamy" (women's dependency on the government, or the "government-as-husband").

While medical reproductive technology has had the effect of marginalizing men reproductively, the state's "bureaugamy" has marginalized the importance of men's marital and parental contributions. Women are often encouraged to live independently (as evidenced by the feminist slogan: "A woman needs a man about as much as fish needs a bicycle"). The bureaugamy supports the superfluousness of husbands by assuring a woman that it will provide what historically a husband did -- with government help she can live independently and generally without fear of hunger, lack of shelter, attack, or lack of socialization and education of her children.

Tiger, Lionel (1999). The Decline Of Males (sometimes subtitled: The First Look at an Unexpected New World for Men and Women)
Book Review:

The Road to Serfdom - Ferdinand von Hayek (1899–1992)

The Road to Serfdom is a book written by the Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek (1899–1992) between 1940–1943.

Hayek warned of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning," and in which he argues that the abandonment of individualism, classical liberalism, and freedom inevitably leads to socialist or fascist oppression and tyranny and the serfdom of the individual.

Hayek challenged the general view among British academics that fascism was a capitalist reaction against socialism, instead arguing that fascism and socialism had common roots in central economic planning and the power of the state over the individual.

About experts: “Parliaments come to be regarded as ineffective “talking shops,” unable or incompetent to carry out the tasks for which they have been chosen. The conviction grows that if efficient planning is to be done, the direction must be “taken out of politics” and placed in the hands of experts – permanent officials or independent autonomous bodies”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

wǔ yán liù sè 五颜六色

wǔ yán liù sè 五颜六色

multi-colored; every color under the sun

wǔ = 5
yán = face
liù = 6
sè = color, look, appearance

yán sè = color

Originally the term 'color' (yán sè) referred to the color of a person's face before later being adapted to mean color in general.