Thursday, August 31, 2017

2017 Mindset List, Faculty Edition

The Mind-Set List, Faculty Edition

Robert Scherrer provides a guide to the college years of a typical 50-something professor, 22 August 2017

* Roommates shared a single phone provided with their room.  It was connected by a cable to an outlet in the wall.  The phone couldn’t talk.

* A student who was not in their room was impossible to reach on the phone.

* Those who couldn’t afford to phone home could write letters, a precursor to email.  These were hand delivered and took two to four days to arrive.

* Students wrote papers on a mechanical word processor called a typewriter.  At the end of every line, a bell would ring, signaling the student to slap the carriage holding the paper until it returned to the beginning of the line.

* Cutting and pasting required actual cutting and real paste.

* A textbook cost less than a calculator.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2017 Mindset List

Beloit College publishes an annual mind-set list to promote understanding of the new students.  Here are a few items from this year's list for the Class of 2021.

* They are the last class to be born in the 1900s, the last of the Millennials -- enter next year, on cue, Generation Z!

* They are the first generation for whom a phone has been primarily a video game, direction finder, electronic telegraph and research library.

* They have always been searching for Pokemon.

* A movie scene longer than two minutes has always seemed like an eternity.

* Having another child has always been a way to secure matching tissue to heal an older sibling.

* Bill Clinton has always been Hillary Clinton’s aging husband.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons?  Nuclear weapons.  What is the priority target for nuclear weapons?  Nuclear weapons.  What is the only established defense against nuclear weapons?  Nuclear weapons.  How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons?  By threatening the use of nuclear weapons.  And we can't get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons.  The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.

-- Martin Amis (1949-), British novelist, essayist, and short story writer, Einstein's Monsters, "Introduction: Thinkability" (1987)

Monday, August 28, 2017

At The Same Time

Lots of people are afraid, for different reasons, at the same time.

-- NPR Politics podcast, July 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

An Essential Facet

Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and sexual orientation.  Privacy also connotes a right to be left alone.  Privacy safeguards individual autonomy and recognises the ability of the individual to control vital aspects of his or her life.  Personal choices governing a way of life are intrinsic to privacy.  Privacy protects heterogeneity and recognises the plurality and diversity of our culture.  While the legitimate expectation of privacy may vary from the intimate zone to the private zone and from the private to the public arenas, it is important to underscore that privacy is not lost or surrendered merely because the individual is in a public place.  Privacy attaches to the person since it is an essential facet of the dignity of the human being

-- The Supreme Court of India, in a decision deriving a right to privacy from the Constitution's stated purpose to "assure the dignity of the individual", 24 August 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

No One Should

Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn't be allowed on the Internet.  No one should have that power.

-- Matthew Prince, Co-founder & CEO of Internet service Cloudflare, in a memo to his employees on the lack of due process in his decision to drop The Daily Stormer based on that site's content, 16 August 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Truth Is Like The Sun

Truth is like the sun.  You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away.

-- Elvis Presley (8 January 1935 - 16 August 1977), American rock-n-roll icon, handwritten message on Elvis's King James Bible

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We Shall See

We shall see what we shall see.  We have the start now; the developments will follow in time.

-- Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845 – 1923), German physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901, quoted in "The New Marvel in Photography", by H. J .W. Dam, in McClure's magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5 (April 1896)

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'll Do It Again

I signed up to fight Nazis 73 years ago and I'll do it again if I have to.  Hatred, bigotry, & fascism should have no place in this country.

-- World War II veteran and former Congressman John Dingell on Twitter, 12 August 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Prepared To Obliterate

We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city.  We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications.  Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war.

It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26 was issued at Potsdam.  Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum.  If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.

-- White House Press Release Announcing the Bombing of Hiroshima (6 August 1945); this announcement was based largely on a draft of 31 July 1945 by Secretary of War Henry Stimson

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Between Hell And Reason

Our technical civilization has just reached its greatest level of savagery.  We will have to choose, in the more or less near future, between collective suicide and the intelligent use of our scientific conquests. ...  Let us be understood.  If the Japanese surrender after the destruction of Hiroshima, having been intimidated, we will rejoice.  But we refuse to see anything in such grave news other than the need to argue more energetically in favor of a true international society, in which the great powers will not have superior rights over small and middle-sized nations, where such an ultimate weapon will be controlled by human intelligence rather than by the appetites and doctrines of various states.  Before the terrifying prospects now available to humanity, we see even more clearly that peace is the only goal worth struggling for.  This is no longer a prayer but a demand to be made by all peoples to their governments -- a demand to choose definitively between hell and reason.

-- Albert Camus (1913 - 1960), French author, philosopher, and 1957 Nobel Laureate in Literature, in the French Resistance newspaper, Combat (8 August 1945), as translated by Alexandre de Gramont, in Between Hell and Reason: Essays from the Resistance Newspaper Combat, 1944–1947 (1991), p. 110

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Fire And Fury

North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States.  They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

-- President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, NJ, New York Times, 8 August 2017

Monday, August 07, 2017

Infinitely Complex

Who could blame the people who felt abandoned and ignored by the major parties for reaching in despair for a candidate who offered oversimplified answers to infinitely complex questions and managed to entertain them in the process?

-- Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), in his new book "The Conscience Of A Conservative" (2017)

Friday, August 04, 2017

One Or The Other

If you're in one camp, it's a horror to be avoided, and if you're in the other camp, it's desirable.

-- Dr. Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford, on so-called germline engineering, changes made to an embryo that are inheritable, New York Times, 3 August 2017

Thursday, August 03, 2017


This must be Thursday...  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

-- Douglas Adams (1952-2001), English author and satirist, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chapter 2 (1979)

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Deeds Grow

Actions are the seed of fate, deeds grow into destiny.

-- Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972), 33rd President of the United States, attributed