Gleanings From The Past #5


Common Sense

We teach the children Danish, trigonometry, and Spanish; fill their heads with modern notions, and the secrets of the oceans, and the hieroglyph inscriptions from the land of the Egyptians; learn the date of every battle, know the habits of the cattle, know the time of every crowning, read the poetry of Browning; make them show a preference for each musty branch of science; tell the acreage of Sweden, and the serpent’s wiles in Eden; and the other things we teach ’em make a mountain so immense that we have not a moment left to teach them common sense!

The Atchison Daily Champion, 31 March 1895


Chief among out gains must be reckoned this possibility of choice, the recognition of many possible ways of life, where other civilizations have recognized only one. Where other civilizations give a satisfactory outlet to only one temperamental type, be he mystic or soldier, businessman or artist, a civilization in which there are many standards offers a possibility of satisfactory adjustment to individuals of many different temperamental types, of diverse gifts and varying interests.

– Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa, 1928

Natural Beauty

That sort of beauty which is called natural, as of vines, plants, trees, etc., consists of a very complicated harmony; and all the natural motions, and tendencies, and figures of bodies in the universe are done according to proportion, and therein is their beauty.

– Jonathan Edwards, “Notes on the Mind”, 1718

Posted by

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

16 thoughts on “Gleanings From The Past #5

  1. At least in 1895 they taught all these subjects, so some basic knowledge did get into kids’ heads. Today, there is no common sense and no knowledge. Twenty years ago we used to say that freshman students grow dumber every year; now I see the same tendency in graduate students.
    I didn’t mean to complain, but to thank you for a great post!

    Liked by 2 people

What's On Your Mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s