Notes & Quotes
Entry for 2017-06-21

Writing & Thinking

Most people suppose that writing is the product of thought. In reality, thought is the product of writing. Steering does not propel the car. But when you're moving forward at fifty or sixty miles an hour, you simply must aim the goddam thing.

Postscript to Triage

As a fourth step, malingerers are taken away in ambivalences.

Aztec Chauvinism

In the Aztec language, nahuatl means "pleasant sounding." It is also the word for the Aztec language. Nonotli, the word for "stammering," is also the word for foreign languages.

Barb's Favorite Quote

"The enemy is in front of us. The enemy is behind us. The enemy is to the left and the right of us. They can't escape us this time!"

Lt. Gen. Lewis ("Chesty") Puller
Marine Commandant

Corporate Mysticism

The ancient Pythagoreans believed in, and arranged elaborate rituals around, the Music of the Spheres. Down through the ages, these practices evolved into corporate mysticism and its rituals - the Music of the Chairs.

(The following is form DPA-157 as of March, 1976, to be used when medical assistance recipients passed away. Conceivably this form has been discontinued or replaced since that date.)

          Illinois Dept. of Public Assistance

Dear _____________,

It has been reported to our office that you have expired.

Consequently, your Medical Assistance payments will be discontinued as of ____(date)____


Time is Relative

In modern thought, time is relative, as is urgency. The opportunist sees that the time is ripe when the alarmist thinks the need is urgent and the defeatist says the jig is up.

... or maybe it isn't

Confronted with the remark that time is relative, British philosopher G.E. Moore would say, "If by that you mean that one thing doesn't follow another, then you must be mistaken. This morning I awakened, then ate breakfast, afterwards got on the bus, and later arrived at my office."

Some people go around saying that everything is relative. That, said George Santayana (or somebody), makes about as much sense as saying that everything is bigger.

As Bertrand Russell pointed out, "If everything were relative, there would be nothing for it be relative to."

The Problem of Evil

Evil to he who he who he he he hoo hee hee hee heh heh heh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hoo hee hee heh heh ha ha hee hee hee.


Notes may appear in the margins of a book or manuscript, but they seldom stay for long. They're nomads, either headed off the page to the marshland of vestigial notions, or moving toward the center of the page, the intellectual high ground of the next generation. Disqualified from consideration: one-word notes that say "No!" or "Bullshit!"

The Universe as an Investment

Applying the charting tools of technical analysis to the unresolved questions of cosmology, it becomes apparent that the universe is a speculative bubble. At 13-1/2 billion years, its expansionary phase is the longest on record and, clearly, is due for a sharp correction.