September 28, 2008

"The polar bear and the tiger cannot fight."

Freud, from a book of aphorisms that I've been reading, very slowly, for years. Collected and categorized by W.H. Auden (and some other guy). Look, the whole thing is on line here.

I love aphorisms. I wish I could blog entirely in aphorisms...
We boil at different degrees...

On the heights it is warmer than those in the valley imagine...

34 comments:

Bissage said...

(1) Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas

No, wait!

That’s not an aphorism.

That’s a maxim.

(2) You toucha this car I breaka you face.

Nope.

Still off.

That’s a dumb bumper sticker.

(3) How about one last try?

This too shall pass.

Ahhhhhhhhh, yes . . . that's it.

Just right!

Palladian said...

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.

Palladian said...

"If a lion could speak, we could not understand him."

Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, II, xi.

TetonSig said...

My favorite, from this book:


The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

Geoff Matthews said...

"The polar bear and the tiger cannot fight."

I'm sure that there's a millionaire in China willing to disprove this.

Meade said...

"First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again."

William said...

"Life is hard and then you die."

bearbee said...

"Fear is faith in evil"

Trooper York said...

They are all pink on the inside.

rhhardin said...

If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.

Wittgenstein's lion is Wittgenstein himself, a careful lit crit person has observed.

Ann Althouse said...

In the 12th episode of the first season of the Ricky Gervais podcast, Ricky and Karl Pilkington have a hilarious conversation about that Wittgenstein lion thing.

rhhardin said...

Vicki Hearne's essay on Wittgenstein's Lion here, less a couple pages thanks to google's strange policy compromise.

Chip Ahoy said...

That aphorism is not just an insight on the varying steadiness in tempers, it's a scientific fact.

In Denver, water boils at slightly above 200℉, which turns a three-minute egg into a four or five minute egg, depending on the size of the egg and how long it's been removed from a refrigerator.

It's even worse in Breckenridge, Vail, Aspen, and other elevations, where water boils at a mere 195℉, which can be a problem when it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to cook, say, a pot of potatoes, and can throw off the schedule for a holiday gathering or make for longer delays in restaurants.

So it's a good thing you can keep an eye out for hummingbirds while waiting.

An advantage of pressure cookers is it forces the liquid inside to boil at significantly higher temperature. Using a pressure cooker is equal to cooking at the bottom of a 17,000 ft. pit. <---100% of scientific fact.

This concludes my pedantry for the remainder of the day.

ricpic said...

A wet bird never flies at night.
--ricpic

Trooper York said...

If there is Astroturf on the field, play ball.

dbp said...

Here in gun-hating Massachusetts my favorite is:

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

OTOH

A criminal is frequently not equal to his deed: he makes it smaller and slanders it.

--Nietzsche

vbspurs said...

Ann wrote:

I wish I could blog entirely in aphorisms...

And yet "aphorism" was not seen fit to become a label.

Michael_H said...

Beer. The cure for, and cause of, all the world's troubles. -Homer (Simpson)

Trooper York said...

Don't let the little head do the thinking for the big head.

Michael_H said...

Girls are like pianos. When they're not upright, they're grand.

My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that's what she says.

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.

Trooper York said...

A stiff dick has no conscience.

rhhardin said...

Parables for today.

1. The king of India wanted to reward the creator of chess for his fine invention. He granted the man anything he wanted. The man asked for one grain of wheat to be placed on the first chessboard square, two on the second, three on the third, and so forth until all 64 squares were filled. That is all he wanted.

So the king granted it, and the man took home over two thousand grains of wheat, much to everyone's astonishment.

Moral: the quadratic term grows very fast, so don't use bubble sorts in real programming problems.

2. The great mathematician Friedrich Gauss was asked at age ten to add all the numbers from 1 to 100, and before anybody else had his hand up with the answer. The teacher could not believe how quickly he had it. It turned out he could add really really fast.

Moral: Practice makes perfect in mathematics.

Trooper York said...

Don't Teach your grandmother to suck eggs

rhhardin said...

Civilization be made with things that interest women.

Trooper York said...

Don't let that weird guy with the dobermans and the slide rule suck your chickens.

rhhardin said...

Civilisation cannot be made with things that interest women.

Someday the invisibility of just-written typos will be studied. There's a pattern to it.

They're obvious a minute later but not when the sentence is still in your head.

Michael_H said...

OT: Hey Trooper - How' bout them Jets? Favre pitched a CAREER-HIGH 6 TDs!

The man is a human highlight film.

Oligonicella said...

rhhardin --

Well, he did better than the poor bastard in China who asked that the grain seed be doubled with every square.

As soon as the Emperor figured out it would bankrupt him, he had the guy executed.

Meade said...

"Someday the invisibility of just-written typos will be studied. There's a pattern to it"

Twice a typo is a mistake.

Or a Freudian slip. Or a smack on the old kisser.

Still, to err is human, to nail the runner trying to steal home, divine.

That said, divinity is not always all it's crèched up to be.

mcgredo said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=becYVInK9UU&feature=related

Tiger vs. Brown Bear. Tiger has chunks of bear in its stool.

Concerned Citizen said...

The beakless penguin chews no ice.

bleeper said...

Gauss was good at analyzing the problem - 99+1 = 100. 98+2 = 100. 97+3 = 100, and so on to 49+51 = 100. You get 50 of those pairs, plus 50, and you have your answer. That's what gave him the advantage and the answer. I am good at adding, but would have started with 1+2 and I might have gotten to 10+5 by the time Gauss had his answer.

Surly to bed, surly to rise is my favorite aphorism.

amba said...

Wow! Awesome book.

My longtime favorite, almost qualifying as a motto, and especially poignant just now, is from Kafka:

There is infinite hope, but not for us.

Concerned Citizen said...

I can only trust myself and my burrow.

The Burrow
Kafka