Wednesday, August 31, 2022

What They Want To Do

Have I ever remarked on how completely ridiculous it is to ask high school students to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives and give them nearly no support in doing so?  Support like, say, spending a day apiece watching twenty different jobs and then another week at their top three choices, with salary charts and projections and probabilities of graduating that subject given their test scores?  The more so considering this is a central allocation question for the entire economy?

-- Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (1979 -), American writer, blogger, and advocate for the Singularity and Friendly Artificial Intelligence, on Memetic Hazards in Videogames (September 2010)

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

All That I Could

My life’s work has been accomplished.  I did all that I could.

-- Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (2 March 1931 - 30 August 2022), General Secretary of the Communist Party and leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, 1990 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, The Observer [London] (15 December 1991)

Monday, August 29, 2022


With Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.  We will collaborate with commercial and international partners and establish the first long-term presence on the Moon.  Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.

We're going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers: the Artemis Generation.  While maintaining American leadership in exploration, we will build a global alliance and explore deep space for the benefit of all.

We will build an Artemis Base Camp on the surface and the Gateway in lunar orbit.  These elements will allow our robots and astronauts to explore more and conduct more science than ever before.

All that we build, all that we study, all that we do, prepares us to go.

-- NASA, on their home page for the Artemis project, retrieved 29 August 2022

Friday, August 26, 2022

It Hereby Files

The United States gives notice that, in compliance with the Court's August 25, 2022 Order To Unseal, Docket Entry ("D.E.") 94, it hereby files the redacted version of the search warrant affidavit, submitted in support of the search warrant signed and approved by the Court on August 5, 2022.  The redactions were previously submitted for the Court's review and approved by the Court's August 25, 2022 Order (DE89-1; DE94).

-- US Attorney writing for the Department of Justice in a court filing related to the FBI search of Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, 26 August 2022

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Zero Emissions

By 2035 all new passenger cars, trucks and SUVs sold in California will be zero emissions.  The proposed Advanced Clean Cars II proposal would take the state's already growing zero-emission vehicle market and robust motor vehicle emission control rules and augment them to meet more aggressive tailpipe emissions standards and ramp up to 100% zero-emission vehicles.  The proposal was presented to the Board on June 9, 2022 with a second hearing planned for August 25, 2022 when the Board will vote on the item.

-- Website of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which today voted to adopt the proposed standard described above, 25 August 2022

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Moral Mischief

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society.  When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.

-- Thomas Paine (1737 -  1809), British-American political writer, theorist, and activist who had a great influence on the thoughts and ideas which led to the American Revolution and the United States Declaration of Independence, The Age of Reason, Part I (1793)

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Insofar As I Discover It

It seems to be my destiny to discourse on truth, insofar as I discover it, in such a way that all possible authority is simultaneously demolished.  Since I am incompetent and extremely undependable in men's eyes, I speak the truth and thereby place them in the contradiction from which they can be extricated only by appropriating the truth themselves.  A man's personality is matured only when he appropriates the truth, whether it is spoken by Balaam's ass or a sniggering wag or an apostle or an angel.

-- Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855), Danish Christian philosopher and theologian, considered to be a founder of Existentialist thought and Absurdist traditions, Journals IV A 87 (1843)

Monday, August 22, 2022

In One Form

1. The human mind is so constructed that it must see every perception in a time-relation -- in an order -- and every perception of an object in a space-relation -- as outside or beside our perceiving selves.

2. These necessary time-relations are reducible to Number, and they are studied in the theory of number, arithmetic and algebra.

3. These necessary space-relations are reducible to Position and Form, and they are studied in geometry.

Mathematics, therefore, studies an aspect of all knowing, and reveals to us the universe as it presents itself, in one form, to mind.  To apprehend this and to be conversant with the higher developments of mathematical reasoning, are to have at hand the means of vitalizing all teaching of elementary mathematics.

-- Nicholas Murray Butler (1862 - 1947), American philosopher, diplomat, and educator, Editor's Introduction, The Teaching of Elementary Mathematics (1906) by David Eugene Smith

Friday, August 19, 2022

Fundamental Cause

The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.  Even those of the intelligent who believe that they have a nostrum are too individualistic to combine with other intelligent men from whom they differ on minor points.

-- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), British philosopher and mathematician, 1950 Nobel Laureate in Literature, in his essay "The Triumph of Stupidity" (1933), lamenting the rise of the Nazi movement in Germany, h/t Quote Investigator

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Passionate Intensity

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

-- William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939), Irish symbolist poet and dramatist, 1923 Nobel laureate in Literature, The Second Coming (1919)

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

History Repeats

History repeats itself.  That's one of the things wrong with history.

-- Clarence Darrow (1857 - 1938), American lawyer, most famous for defending John T. Scopes in the so-called "Monkey" Trial (1925), opposing William Jennings Bryan, as quoted in Peter's Quotations: Ideas For Our Time (1977) edited by Laurence J. Peter, p. 248

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Path Was Clear

Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote.  I could easily have done the same again.  The path was clear.  But it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election.  It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic -- that was a path I could not and would not take.

No House seat, no office in this land, is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect.  And I well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty.

Our republic relies upon the goodwill of all candidates for office to accept honorably the outcome of elections.  Tonight, Harriet Hageman has received the most votes in this primary.  She won.  I called her to concede the race.  This primary election is over.  But now, the real work begins.

-- Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) in her concession speech after losing her primary for reelection, 16 August 2022

Monday, August 15, 2022

Not Invariably Governed

The actions of human beings are not invariably governed by the laws of pure reason.

-- William Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889), English novelist, playwright and writer of short stories, he was a pioneer in the writing of detective fiction, The Law and the Lady (1875), Vol. I, p. v

Friday, August 12, 2022

Search Warrant

In the Matter of the Search of the Premises Located at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL 33480, as further described in Attachment A

Property to be seized 

All physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 793, 2071, or 1519, including the following: 

a. Any physical documents with classification markings, along with any containers/boxes (including any other contents) in which such documents are located, as well as any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found together with the aforementioned documents and containers/boxes; 

b. Information, including communications in any form, regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material; 

c. Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021; or 

d. Any evidence of the knowing alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification markings

-- Excerpts from the search warrant issued against Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, 5 August 2022

Thursday, August 11, 2022

One Way Rather Than Another

Language is not a handmaiden to perception; it is perception; it gives shape to what would otherwise be inert and dead.  The shaping power of language cannot be avoided.  We cannot choose to distance ourselves from it.  We can only choose to employ it in one way rather than another.

-- Stanley Eugene Fish (1938 -), American literary theorist and legal scholar, and Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, How To Write A Sentence And How To Read One (2011), Chapter 4, What Is A Good Sentence?, p. 42

Wednesday, August 10, 2022


Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking.  I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or my grandchild's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.  The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sounds bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentation on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

-- Carl Edward Sagan (1934 - 1996), American astronomer and author, The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995), Ch. 2 : Science and Hope, p. 25, h/t @TonyT2Thomas

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Right Is Right

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control,
These three alone lead life to sovereign power.
Yet not for power (power of herself
Would come uncall'd for) but to live by law,
Acting the law we live by without fear;
And, because right is right, to follow right
Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence.

-- Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (1809 - 1892), Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign, after William Wordsworth, "Oenone", st. 14

Monday, August 08, 2022

Some Were Wrong

By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.

I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.

To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months, to my family, my friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed it was right, I will be eternally grateful for your support.

And to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments might differ.

So, let us all now join together in affirming that common commitment and in helping our new President succeed for the benefit of all Americans.

-- Richard Milhous Nixon (1913 - 1994), 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974, Resignation speech, 8 August 1974

Friday, August 05, 2022


The time which we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains.

-- Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922), French novelist, essayist, and critic,  Remembrance of Things Past (1913-1927), Vol II: Within a Budding Grove (1919), Ch. I: "Madame Swann at Home"

Thursday, August 04, 2022

No Matter Whether We Know

Good deeds remain good, no matter whether we know how the world was made or not.  Vile deeds are vile, no matter whether we know or do not know what, after death, will be the fate of the doer.  We know, at least, what his fate is now, namely, to be wedded to the vileness. 

-- Felix Adler (1851 - 1933), Jewish professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, and religious leader who founded the Ethical Culture movement, Life and Destiny (1913) Section 9 : Ethical Outlook

Wednesday, August 03, 2022


Experience isn't interesting until it begins to repeat itself -- in fact, till it does that, it hardly is experience.

-- Elizabeth Bowen (1899 - 1973), Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer, The Death of the Heart (1939)

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

The Professional Is Involved

If you're really looking for a reason why I feel I've played enough, I'll tell you this.  There are professionals and there are mercenaries in sports.  The difference between them is that the professional is involved.  I was never a mercenary.  If I continued to play, I'd become a mercenary because I'm not involved anymore.

I have a year to go on my contract with the Celtics.  It's one of the most lucrative in sports, and I was very happy with it.  A couple of my friends think I should at least stick out that year because of the money.  Believe me, I wouldn't mind having all that money.  But I'm not going to play basketball for money.  I've been paid to play, of course, but I played for a lot of other reasons, too.

-- William Felton Russell (12 February 1934 – 31 July 2022), former U.S. basketball player of the Boston Celtics, remembered for his central role in the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships in thirteen seasons, "I'm Not Involved Anymore", Sports Illustrated (4 August 1969)

Monday, August 01, 2022

RIP Nichelle Nichols

Star Trek represented, and still does represent, the future we can have, a future that is beyond the petty squabbles we are dealing with here on Earth, now as much as ever, and are able to devote ourselves to the betterment of all human kind by doing what we do so well: explore.  This kind of a future isn't impossible -- and we need to all rethink our priorities to really bring that vision to life.

-- Nichelle Nichols (28 December 1932 - 30 July 2022) American actress, singer, and voice artist, best known for her portrayal of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek and its film sequels.  Nichols' portrayal of Uhura was groundbreaking for African American actresses on American television, as quoted in "Uhura Fest: 'Star Trek' legend Nichelle Nichols talks Wizard World Philly and transcending race" by Jerome Maida, The Philadelphia Enquirer (29 May 2017)