Un príncipe buen mozo, simpático, inteligente, gordito,
estudioso, valiente y con bigotito.
María Elena Walsh. Historia de una princesa, su papá y el
príncipe Kinoto Fukasuka.
In the schoolroom her quick mind had taken readily
that strong starch of
unexplained rules and disconnected facts which saves
ignorance from any
painful sense of limpness.
George Eliot. Daniel Deronda.
We shall probably see much to wish altered in her, and must prepare
ourselves for gross ignorance, some meanness of opinion, and very
distressing vulgarity of manner; but these are not incurable faults;
nor, I trust, can they be dangerous for her associates.
Jane Austen. Mansfield Park.
Dorothea: Ah, okay so... they're not very good, and they know that, right?
Abbie: Yeah, it's like they've got this feeling, and they don't have any
and they don't want skill, because it's really interesting what
your passion is bigger than the tools you have to deal with
it. It creates this
energy that's raw. Isn't it great?
Dialogue in the movie "20th century women".
Pomelo, o melón,
o fruta de estación.
H. Tarnower, S. Sinclair Baker. Almuerzo del Miércoles,
Scarsdale para 14 días. En La dieta Médica Scarsdale.
½ taza de ananá fresco cortado en dados.
o ½ mango.
o ½ mamón.
o una generosa rodaja de melón.
H. Tarnower, S. Sinclair Baker. Desayuno diario, Dieta Scarsdale gourmet.
...and in church we sing: “The mockers of Elisha, while he went
to the house of God, felt the zeal of the bald”.[...] For if the
many mockers of Elisha, who was only one bald man, felt the zeal of
the bald, how much more will it be felt by one mocker of many friars,
among whom are many bald men? And we have a papal bull,
by which all who mock us are excommunicated.
Thomas More, Utopia.
Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about
winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your
family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look
your friends in the eye and know that you didn't let them down because
you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you
could. There wasn't one more thing you could've done. Can you live in
that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart,
with joy in your heart? If you can do that, gentleman--you're perfect.
Billy Bob Thornton as Coach Gary Gaines, in the movie Friday night
Being a mathematician
I spent most of a lifetime tyring to be a mathematician-and what did I
What does it take to be one? I think I know the answer: you have to be
right, you must continually strive to become perfect, you must love
more than anything else, you must work at it hard and never stop,
and you must never give up.
Paul Halmos, I want to be a mathematician: An automatography in three
Since then I've had the chance, in the world of mathematics that bid me
welcome, to meet quite a number of people, both among my "elders" and
among young people in my general age group, who were much more brilliant,
much more "gifted" than I was. I admired the facility with which they
picked up, as if at play, new ideas, juggling them as if familiar with
them from the cradle -- while for myself I felt clumsy, even oafish,
wandering painfully up an arduous track, like a dumb ox faced with an
amorphous mountain of things that I had to learn (so I was assured),
things I felt incapable of understanding the essentials or following
through to the end. Indeed, there was little about me that identified the
kind of bright student who wins at prestigious competitions or
assimilates, almost by sleight of hand, the most forbidding subjects. In
fact, most of these comrades who I gauged to be more brilliant than I have
gone on to become distinguished mathematicians. Still, from the
perspective of 30 or 35 years, I can state that their imprint upon the
mathematics of our time has not been very profound. They've all done
things, often beautiful things, in a context that was already set out
before them, which they had no inclination to disturb. Without being aware
of it, they've remained prisoners of those invisible and despotic circles
which delimit the universe of a certain milieu in a given era. To have
broken these bounds they would have had to rediscover in themselves that
capability which was their birth-right, as it was mine: the capacity to be
Alexander Grothendieck in Récoltes et Semailles, borrowed from Andreas
B. Thom's personal list of quotations.
Now you see how little freedom they have for being idle. There is no
pretext for laziness, no wine taverns, no alehouses, no brothels, no
occasion for vice, no lurking places, no secret meetings. Thus, under the
watchful eyes of all, they must perform their usual work or enjoy
Thomas More, Utopia.
We are not content with negative disobedience, nor even with the most
abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your
own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us:
long as he resists us we never destroy him. We burn all evil and
illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in
genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of
ourselvers before we kill
him. It is intolerable to us that an
erroneous thought should exist
anywhere in the world, however secret
and powerless it may be. Even in the
instant of death we cannot
permit any deviation. In the old days the
heretic walked to the stake
still a heretic, proclaiming his heresy,
exulting in it. Even the
victim of the Russian purges could carry
rebellion locked up in his
skull as he walked down the passage waiting for
the bullet. But we
make the brain perfect before we blow it out.
By the time
we had finished with them they were only the shells of men. There
nothing left in them except sorrow for what they had done, and love of
George Orwell, 1984.
What's better than a big juicy steak? Nothing. But a stale crust of bread is
Therefore a stale crust is better'n a big juicy
From the film: "Land of the blind" 2006.
The end of history The
writer’s mind runs back fifty years, to an afternoon in London in the
year 1897. He is sitting with his father at a window in Fleet Street and
watching a procession of Canadian and Australian mounted troops who
come to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. He can
his excitement at the unfamiliar, picturesque uniforms
magnificent ``colonial” troops, as they were still called in
slouch hats instead of brass helmets, grey tunics
instead of red. To an
English child, this sight gave a sense of new
life astir in the world; a
philosopher, perhaps, might have reflected
that, where there is growth,
there is likely also to be decay.
The author of the tenth chapter of the Book of Joshua was at
aware that any stand-still of Time was something unusual.
``There was no
day like that before it or after it, that the Lord
hearkened unto the
voice of man”. Yet the middle-class English in
1897, who thought of
themselves as Wellsian rationalists living in a
scientific age, took their
imaginary miracle for granted. As they saw
it, history, for them, was
Arnold Toynbee, (1948).
Civilization on trial.
What we may be witnessing is not just the
end of the Cold War, or the
passing of a particular period of
post-war history, but the end of history
as such: that is, the end
point of mankind's ideological evolution and the
Western liberal democracy as the final form of human
Francis Fukuyama, (1992 ). The end of history and the last man.
We, the public, are easily, lethally offended. We have come to think of
taking offence as a fundamental right. We value very little more highly
than our rage, which gives us, in our opinion, the moral high ground.
From this high ground we can shoot down at our enemies and inflict heavy
fatalities. We take pride in our short fuses. Our anger elevates,
Salman Rushdie. At the auction of the ruby slippers.
In: East, West. Vintage, 1995.