Phil Dreizen


We all declare for liberty, but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. -- A. Lincoln


"There are physicists," Lauger explained, "who claim to understand this the same way they understand what stones and cupboards are. What they understand, in fact, is only that a theory agrees with the experimental results, with measurements. Physics, my friend, is a narrow path drawn across a gulf that the human imagination cannot grasp. It is a set of answers to certain questions we put to the world, and the world supplies the answers on the condition that we will not then ask it other questions, questions shouted by common sense. And common sense? It is that which is understood by an intelligence using senses no different from those of a baboon. Such an intelligence wishes to know the world in terms that apply to its terrestrial, biological niche. But the world - outside that niche, that incubator of sapient apes - has properties that one cannot take in hand, see, sniff, gnaw, listen to, and in this way appropriate."

--Lauger, Fiasco by Stanislaw Lem


Good paprika burns twice

--old Hungarian saying...supposedly

tags: quote

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought her back.

Update:I should fill this in a bit. I had been told erroneously, by a friend, that the original expression had always been "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought her back" and that the second part was eventually dropped. But it seems to be the case that the "satisfaction brought her back" part is much newer than the more commonly known first part. The etymology of the phrase is that it began as something like "Care killed the cat" in Elizabethan english, where "care" means something like "worry" and changed into "Curiosity" later. The "satisfaction brought her back" is more recent - dating at least as far back as the 1930s.

The meaning and origin of the expression: Curiosity killed the cat


What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.

--Woody Allen


In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

-- Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address