Gleanings From The Past #63

Numerical Coincidence I have heard of certain individuals being regulated in all the important events of their lives by certain peculiar numbers, which fell out to them respectively, with a strangeness of accuracy which it is almost impossible to reckon altogether the effect of chance. The following account, which is taken from the work of an Arabian historian, affords […]

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Quotable #63: Thinking

“I wrote somewhere once that the third-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the majority, the second-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the minority, and the first-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking.” — A. A. Milne

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Quotable #61: Expenses

“Keeping up appearances is the most expensive thing in the world.” — A. C. Benson “A man often pays dear for a small frugality.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Benjamin Franklin On Ignorance

While browsing on franklinpapers.org, I stumbled upon a letter written by Benjamin Franklin to John Lining of South Carolina, dated March 18, 1755. Franklin’s perspective about admitting one’s ignorance caught my attention: I find a frank acknowledgment of one’s ignorance is not only the easiest way to get rid of a difficulty, but the likeliest […]

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Gleanings From The Past #59

Empire of Silence The great silent men! Looking round on the noisy inanity of the world, words with little meaning, actions with little worth, one loves to reflect on the great Empire of Silence. The noble silent men, scattered here and there, each in his own department; silently thinking; silently working; whom no Morning Newspaper makes mention of! They […]

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Quotable #59: Wealth & Fame

“Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

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Gleanings From The Past #58

Dining with a Miser [Jonathan] Swift having dined with a rich miser, pronounced the following grace after dinner: “Thanks for this miracle, it is no less, Than finding manna in the wilderness, In midst of famine we have found relief, And seen the wonders of a chine of beef; Chimneys have smok’d that never smok’d […]

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Quotable #58: Superstition

“It is true that that may hold in these things, which is the general root of superstition; namely, that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.” — Francis Bacon Edit: I apologize to those who only saw a blank […]

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Quotable #55: Necessity

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” — Anon. “Invention is the mother of necessity.” — Samuel Butler “Necessity knows no law.” — St. Augustine “‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ is a silly proverb. ‘Necessity is the mother of futile dodges’ is much nearer the truth.” — Alfred North Whitehead, cited in The Mathematical Gazette, […]

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