A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Brainy quotes

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5 quotes from Michel Foucault

"People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does."

"I don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think that you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing and for love relationships is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don't know where it will end."

"What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something that is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?" 

"I don't write a book so that it will be the final word; I write a book so that other books are possible, not necessarily written by me."

"The imaginary is not formed in opposition to reality as its denial or compensation; it grows among signs, from book to book, in the interstice of repetitions and commentaries; it is born and takes shape in the interval between books. It is the phenomena of the library."

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8 quotes from Frank Herbert’s Dune

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The wisdom of the epic sci-fi fantasy book Dune

1. "The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience." - Frank Herbert, 'Dune'.

2. "Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."

3. "The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future."

4. "It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult."

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What does the philosopher say

Credit: Photo portrait of Russian-American writer Ayn Rand used for the first-edition back cover of her novel The Fountainhead (1943).

Ayn Rand

"I do not think that tragedy is our natural fate and I do not live in chronic dread of disaster. It is no happiness, but suffering that I consider unnatural. It is not success, but calamity that I regard as the abnormal exception in Human Life."
Atlas Shrugged (1957)

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6 Quotes by Umberto Eco

20220115-094948479px-Italiaanse_schrijver_Umberto_Eco_portret Credit: via Wikipedia under CC0

Credit: via Wikipedia under CC0  

Thoughts to reflect on

1. "The good of a book lies in its being read. A book is made up of signs that speak of other signs, which in their turn speak of things. Without an eye to read them, a book contains signs that produce no concepts; therefore it is dumb."

2. "Our life is full of empty space."

3. "Religion has nothing to do with God. It's a fundamental attitude of human beings, who ask about the origins of life and what happens after death. For many, the answer is a personal god. In my opinion, it's religion that produces God, not the other way round."

4. "Beauty is boring because it is predictable."

5. "Translation is the art of failure.

6. "But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth."

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Thoughts to reflect on

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Science is a double-edged sword

We have to realize that science is a double-edged sword. One edge of the sword can cut against poverty, illness, disease and give us more democracies, and democracies never war with other democracies, but the other side of the sword could give us nuclear proliferation, biogerms and even forces of darkness.

- Michio Kaku

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Thoughts to reflect on

Credit: Wikipedia


"Human misery must somewhere have a stop; there is no wind that always blows a storm; great good fortune comes to failure in the end. All is change; all yields its place and goes; to persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs."

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Thoughts to reflect on

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The Modern Myths

"There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed."

― Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics

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Thoughts to reflect on

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Who said that a small group of people is not capable to change the world?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
― Margaret Mead

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Thoughts to reflect on

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Oscar Wilde

"Life is one fool thing after another whereas love is two fool things after each other."

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Thoughts to reflect on

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Ursula K. Le Guin

"To oppose something is to maintain it... You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal; then you walk a different road."

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Inspirational Quotes

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Henry Miller

"Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such"
― Henry Miller

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As the poet says

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Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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What does the poet say?

Photo credit: American poet Walt Whitman. This image was made in 1887 in New York, by photographer George C. Cox.; by Wikipedia

Walt Whitman

...All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
(What is less or more than a touch?)

Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.
(Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what nobody denies is so.)...
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

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Sunday Brainy Quotes

Portrait of Blaise Pascal; Image credit: gettyimages.com

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662) was one of the most distinguished French polymaths of early Modern Times. He was a child prodigy. Pascal's earliest works date from the time he was just 16 years old. He made important contributions in mathematics and physics. A great inventor, he constructed one of the firsts mechanical calculators. In his later life, he became a Catholic theologian, philosopher, and writer demonstrating a well-elaborated and refined writing style. His last and unfinished work - Thought (Pensées) – a collection of fragments, is a delicate and yet incredibly powerful illustration of his concise and aphoristic genius.

Below you can enjoy and muse upon seven quotes by the French master of eloquence:

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Sunday Brainy Quotes: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde in 1882; via Wikipedia
Egoism vs Egotism vs Egocentrism

There is a widely spread misunderstanding of these three terms. Often they are used interchangeably thus a negative shadow has been cast over all of them. Egocentrism is a childish (nevertheless it could frequently be observed in adults behavior) state of mind in which one is unable to accurately assume or understand an opinion or perspective different from one's own; egotism is defined as the drive or tendency to overestimate one's own personality, qualities, and values; whereas egoism stands for the philosophical presumption of the profound importance of individualism usually opposed to the moral censure of self-interest supported by the more conservative and dogmatic parts of society. Therefore, the first and the second are somehow deviations from the clear perception of one's own place in the world, while the third is the acceptance of the personal rights that each individual embody. In that regard, egoism is to principally base your convictions on the belief that the most genuine and true source of knowledge for one is the individual's experience of world phenomena.

Of course, preoccupation exceptionally with one's own personality and beliefs could end up in egocentric or egotistic behavior. However, egoism is a precondition for, on the one hand, the recognition of the Other as an individual and thus as someone worthy of consideration, and on the other hand, for the inner drive for personal development and improvement. After all, the best that one could give to the world is his unique point of view and talents. Or, as Oscar Wilde might say – playing someone else role is boring, better play yourself!

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

― Oscar Wilde

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Thoughts to reflect on: Hermann Hesse

Photo credit: newstatesman.com

The Steppenwolf

Called "the last romanticist", Hermann Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962 ) made a major impact on 20th-century western literature and culture. Hesse inspired authors like Thomas Mann, Sam Shepard, Colin Wilson, and Timothy Leary, the composer Richard Strauss, the musician Carlos Santana and many more. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize, of which he wasn't really enthusiastic, though. His works reflect upon the nature of the self, the search for meaning and authenticity, the complicated relation between the individual and the others, and the enigmatic nature of collective archetypes and unconsciousness. The German-Swiss writer was a true traveler in the universe inside us. A few people in the history of literature possessed such eloquence and abilities to represent so genuinely the depth of the inner world, emotions, and dreams of their characters. Hesse's studies of Eastern knowledge became a significant inspiration and theme in his novels, some of which are considered as the most refined and "true translations" of Eastern wisdom into the terms of Western culture. There was something of a cult of Hermann Hesse's "Magical theater" of the self. Rock bands, artists, and writers, part of the 60's counter-culture partly embraced his visionary and imaginative narratives, evidently without his approval or identification with any of them. Hermann Hesse has lived, especially in his late ages, a peculiarly secluded life. Notoriously, in front of his door in Switzerland, there was a sign saying "No Visitors".

Probably his most-known books are Demian, Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game. All of them enacting the psychological inner dramaturgy of the individual. Hermann Hesse's stories embody the timeless existential journey of one towards his destiny and mission in this world. He became one of the finest voices of the human condition, soul, and personality.

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Thoughts to reflect on: T.S.Eliot

Photo credit: gettyimages.com

The Rock

In 1934, T. S. Eliot, arguably the most prominent modernist poet, produced a play – The Rock – characterized by great allegorical, historical, and metaphysical complexity and eclecticism. Some of his most graceful religious poems derived from that text. Matter of fact, the project was part of a fund-raising contest for the collection of money for the construction of forty-five new churches. The interwar years were marked by considerable disillusionment of Christian morality and religious belief in general. The Diocese in London was worried that there is a decrease in worshiping communities in the suburbs and decided to issue an appeal for public funding. T. S. Eliot participated with his play and thus helped for the collection of at least 1,500 pounds, which would be around 107,308.0 pounds in today's currencies.

Later, the Choruses from the Rock were published as part of T. S. Eliot Collected Poems, 1909 – 1962.

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SSA Recent Posts

27 November 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Portrait Franz Kafka, around 1905; Getty Images Thoughts to reflect on 1. "A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity." 2. "All language is but a poor translation." 3. "By believing passionately in something that still does not exist...
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