Gleanings from the Past #90


The Persistence of Memory

What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

— Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980


It seems to me, Golan, that the advance of civilization is nothing but an exercise in the limiting of privacy.

— Isaac Asimov, Foundation’s Edge, 1982

This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature. – Murray (WN 285)

— Don DeLillo, White Noise: Text and Criticism, 1985

The Art of not Reading

The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.

— Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms, 1851

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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

4 thoughts on “Gleanings from the Past #90

  1. The smell of a book can never be replaced.
    Technology has made life easy but at the same time, we are missing out on so much more.
    The feelings, the expressions, and lot more. Thank you for discussing this. Keep shining 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love books. I spoke to a man yesterday who buys books to sell and I asked him what he liked best. He said he doesn’t read! What??? Interesting, but he makes good choices, so he likes to read enough to “choose” books.


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