Friday, March 31, 2023

Praise And Dispraise

Men have divided the world into heathen and Christian, without considering how much good may have been hidden in the one, or how much of evil may have mingled with the other.  They have compared the best part of themselves with the worst of their neighbours, the ideal of Christianity with the corruptions of Greece or the East.  They have not aimed at impartiality, but have been contented to accumulate all that could be said in praise of their own, and in dispraise of other forms of religion.

-- Benjamin Jowett (1817 - 1893), theologian and classical scholar who became one of the great public figures of Victorian England, Sermons on Faith and Doctrine (1901) II. p. 28, quoted in Bushido, The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobi (1899), "Is Bushido Still Alive?"

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Had Any Fun?

We have sought truth, and sometimes perhaps found it.  But have we had any fun?

-- Benjamin Jowett (1817 - 1893), theologian and classical scholar who became one of the great public figures of Victorian England; Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford from 1855, Master of Balliol College, Oxford from 1870, and Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1882, as quoted in Notebooks (1984) by Geoffrey Madan, p. 61

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Exercising Excellence

Happiness comes from the full use of one's power to achieve excellence.  Life is potentially an empty hole, and there are few more satisfying ways of filling it than achieving and exercising excellence.

-- Hyman George Rickover (1900 - 1986), United States Navy admiral known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy", Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974)

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Use Them To Battle

Let us pray.  Eternal God, we stand in awe of You.  Lord, when babies die at a church school, it is time for us to move beyond thoughts and prayers.  Remind our lawmakers of the words of Edmond Burke: All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.  Lord, deliver our Senators from the paralysis of analysis that waits for the miraculous.  Use them to battle the demonic forces that seek to engulf us.  We pray in Your powerful name.  Amen.

-- Chaplain Barry Clayton Black, 62nd chaplain of the United States Senate (27 June 2003 -) in his opening prayer, 28 March 2023

Monday, March 27, 2023

RIP Gordon Moore

The complexity for minimum component costs has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year.  Certainly over the short term this rate can be expected to continue, if not to increase.  Over the longer term, the rate of increase is a bit more uncertain, although there is no reason to believe it will not remain nearly constant for at least 10 years.

-- Gordon Earle Moore (3 January 1929 - 24 March 2023), co-founder of Intel Corporation, first writing about Moore's Law (which has held for 50 years) in Electronics Magazine, "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits" (19 April 1965)

Friday, March 24, 2023

On Those Days

On those days,
when you miss someone the most,

as though your memories,
are sharp enough,
to slice through skin and bone,

remember how they loved you.

Remember how they loved you,
and do that,
for yourself.

In their name,
in their honour.

Love yourself,
as they loved you.

They would like that.

On those days when you miss someone the most,
love yourself harder.

-- Donna Ashworth, poem "On Those Days", from the book "Loss" (2023) (h/t Alyssa)

Thursday, March 23, 2023

You Will Be Tomorrow

You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.  You cannot escape the result of your thoughts, but you can endure and learn, can accept and be glad.

-- James Allen (1864 - 1912), British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry, Above Life’s Turmoil (1910)

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Deep Learning

Deep learning takes data points and turns them into a query-able structure that enables retrieval and interpolation between the points.

You could think of it as a continuous generalization of database technology.

-- Fran├žois Chollet, deep learning @google, posting as @fchollet on Twitter, 26 August 2022 (h/t Grady Booch)

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Be Really

What you seem to be, be really.

-- Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), Poor Richard's Almanack, 1744

Monday, March 20, 2023


Tonight I enjoyed a concert by the band Journey at State Farm Center at the University of Illinois.  They are on their Freedom Tour (with very special guest Toto), celebrating their 50th anniversary.  I was late to the gig, so sadly I missed Toto and saw only Journey.

I recall seeing them at that same venue (then called Assembly Hall) in the early 1980s -- a quick Googling suggests it was likely May 1st, 1980.  Neal Schon clearly had a good time tonight laying down guitar, and Arnel Pineda is very impressive on lead vocals.  Good stuff.

Friday, March 17, 2023

ICC Arrest Warrants

Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court") issued warrants of arrest for two individuals in the context of the situation in Ukraine: Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.

Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born on 7 October 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation (under articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute).  The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022.

[T]he Chamber considered that it is in the interests of justice to authorise the Registry to publicly disclose the existence of the warrants, the name of the suspects, the crimes for which the warrants are issued, and the modes of liability as established by the Chamber.

-- International Criminal Court, in a press release, "Situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova", 17 March 2023

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Charm Us

Charm us, orator, till the lion look no larger than the cat.

-- Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (1809 - 1892), Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign, after William Wordsworth, Locksley Hall Sixty Years After (1886), line 112

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

No Longer Count

You know you're an adult when you can look back and no longer count all of your mistakes.

-- Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. (1913 - 1973), American animator and cartoonist, usually known simply as Walt Kelly, most famous for the comic strip Pogo

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


While fifty-one per cent of the people have their eyes on the goal of integrity, our investments are secure; but with fifty-one per cent of them headed in the wrong direction, our investments are valueless.  The first fundamental of prosperity is Integrity.

-- Roger Ward Babson (1875 - 1967), American entrepreneur, economist, and business theorist, Fundamentals of Prosperity (1920) p. 12

Monday, March 13, 2023


When we say people are delusional, it's because their delusions differ from ours.

-- Nina Paley (3 May 1968 -), American cartoonist, animator, and free culture activist, most famous for her film Sita Sings The Blues, tweeting as @ninapaley, 9 March 2023

Friday, March 10, 2023

Method Of Treatment

When executing exercises from 72 Arts, the main point is peace of mind and concentration.  It is necessary to give up extraneous thoughts, not allow an outside evil (distracting factors) intrude (into your mind), and shun inner (thoughts).  The method of treatment of internal organs consists in harmonizing them.  Then the sick will cure his disease and the healthy will make his body and nervous system stronger.  The heart should be pure, it is necessary to foster high moral qualities, it is necessary to form clearness of purpose.  If after that you engage in Gong Fu, you will get excellent result.

-- Jin Jing Zhong, Andrew Timofeevich, Authentic Shaolin Heritage: Training Methods of 72 Arts of Shaolin, "72 Kinds of Shaolin Martial Art and Man's Internal Organs" (1934) p. 48

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Nature's Little Way

Pain is just Mother Nature's little way of telling you not to do something again in a way you'll remember.

-- Tim Huntley, One on Me (1980), Chapter 11

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

The Moment You Believe

Another person will not hurt you without your cooperation; you are hurt the moment you believe yourself to be.

-- Epictetus (c. 55 - c. 135 AD), born a slave, Greek Stoic philosopher.  The name given by his parents, if one was given, is not known.  The word epiktetos in Greek simply means "acquired", The Discourses of Epictetus, with the Encheridion and Fragments, Enchiridion 30 (c. 125 CE), h/t Evan Restivo

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Alone In A Room

You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.

-- Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904 - 1991), best known as Dr Seuss, American children's author, political cartoonist, illustrator, and poet, on becoming a writer, NY Times (21 May 1986)

Monday, March 06, 2023

Conservation And Sustainable Use

General objective -- The objective of this Agreement is to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, for the present and in the long term, through effective implementation of the relevant provisions of the Convention and further international cooperation and coordination. 

-- United Nations Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, Draft agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 5 March 2023

Friday, March 03, 2023

Proper Method

The proper method for hastening the decay of error is not by brute force, or by regulation which is one of the classes of force, to endeavour to reduce men to intellectual uniformity; but on the contrary by teaching every man to think for himself.

-- William Godwin (1756 - 1836), English journalist and political philosopher, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) Vol. 2, bk. 8, ch. 6

Thursday, March 02, 2023

The Democratic Principle

I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

-- Leo Szilard (1898 - 1964), Hungarian-American physicist, as quoted in "Some Szilardisms on War, Fame, Peace", LIFE‎ magazine, Vol. 51, no. 9 (1 September 1961), p. 79

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Dark Side Of The Moon

On 1 March 1973, a new moon rose over rock music.  Immersive, quadrophonic, celestial and deeply introspective, Pink Floyd's eighth album arrived in a heady flurry of cash tills, chiming clocks, pained-angel arias and cold, disembodied voices speaking of violence, death and insanity.  [T]he Floyd delved into the dark universe of humanity's inner space; into the stresses and horrors of everyday life that daily push us all to the brink.  A record as relatable as it was cosmic, as melodic on the topics of "Time" and "Money" as it was climactic on the themes of war, division and madness, The Dark Side of the Moon set a new standard for high-concept intellectual rock.  Forty-five million prism-clad units later, it remains the fourth best-selling record ever made.

-- Mark Beaumont, "'Sublime menace and sonic enormity': Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon at 50", The Independent, 1 March 2023