Quotations

 

 

        Candidato

        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.

        Education

        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.

        Background

        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.

        Skill

        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 skill,
        and they don't want skill, because it's really interesting what happens when
        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".

        Poesía

        Pomelo, o melón,
        o fruta de estación.

        H. Tarnower, S. Sinclair Baker. Almuerzo del Miércoles,
        La dieta médica 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. loc. cit.

        Baldness

        ...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.

        Perfection

        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 lights.

        Being a mathematician

        I spent most of a lifetime tyring to be a mathematician-and what did I learn?
        What does it take to be one? I think I know the answer: you have to be born
        right, you must continually strive to become perfect, you must love mathematics
        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 parts, 1988.

        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
        alone.

        Alexander Grothendieck in Récoltes et Semailles, borrowed from Andreas
        B. Thom's personal list of quotations.

        Righteous behavior/thinking

        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
        honorable leisure.

        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: so
        long as he resists us we never destroy him. We burn all evil and all
        illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but
        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
        was nothing left in them except sorrow for what they had done, and love of
        Big Brother.

        George Orwell, 1984.

        Steak

        What's better than a big juicy steak? Nothing. But a stale crust of bread is better
        than nothing. Therefore a stale crust is better'n a big juicy steak.

        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 have
        come to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. He can still remember
        his excitement at the unfamiliar, picturesque uniforms of these
        magnificent ``colonial” troops, as they were still called in England then:
        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 any rate
        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
        over.

        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
        universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human
        government.

        Francis Fukuyama, (1992 ). The end of history and the last man.

        Public rage

        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, transcends.

        Salman Rushdie. At the auction of the ruby slippers.
        In: East, West. Vintage, 1995.