To be a teacher is my greatest work of art. The rest is the waste product, a demonstration. If you want to express yourself you must present something tangible. But after a while this has only the function of a historic document. Objects aren’t very important any more. I want to get to the origin of matter, to the thought behind it.

Joseph Beuys (via thingswethinkweknow)

Teete. Es evidente que hablaremos de las imágenes que vemos en el agua y en los espejos, e incluso aquellas dibujadas o grabadas, y otras más por el estilo.

Extran. Lo que es evidente es, Teeteto, es que tú no has visto nunca a un sofista.

{ΘΕΑΙ.} Δῆλον ὅτι φήσομεν τά τε ἐν τοῖς ὕδασι καὶ
κατόπτροις εἴδωλα, ἔτι καὶ τὰ γεγραμμένα καὶ τὰ τετυπωμένα
καὶ τἆλλα ὅσα που τοιαῦτ’ ἔσθ’ ἕτερα.
239.e.1 {ΞΕ.} Φανερός, ὦ Θεαίτητε, εἶ σοφιστὴν οὐχ ἑωρακώς.

Teete. ¿Por qué?

Extran. Te hará creer que tiene los ojos cerrados, o que no tiene ojos en absoluto

Teete. ¿Cómo?

Extran. Cuando le respondas de ese modo, refiriéndote a algo que se ve en los espejos o que está modelado se reirá de tus argumentos, como si estuviesen dirigidos a quien no puede ver; él, en cambio, pretenderá ignorar qué son los espejos, las aguas, e incluso la vista, y sólo te preguntará sobre lo que se obtiene de tus afirmaciones.

{ΘΕΑΙ.} Τί δή;
{ΞΕ.} Δόξει σοι μύειν ἢ παντάπασιν οὐκ ἔχειν ὄμματα.
{ΘΕΑΙ.} Πῶς;
239.e.5
{ΞΕ.} Τὴν ἀπόκρισιν ὅταν οὕτως αὐτῷ διδῷς ἐὰν ἐν κατό-
πτροις ἢ πλάσμασι λέγῃς τι, καταγελάσεταί σου τῶν λόγων,
ὅταν ὡς βλέποντι λέγῃς αὐτῷ, προσποιούμενος οὔτε κάτοπτρα
240.a.1 οὔτε ὕδατα γιγνώσκειν οὔτε τὸ παράπαν ὄψιν, τὸ δ’ ἐκ τῶν
λόγων ἐρωτήσει σε μόνον.

Platón, Sofista, 239.b-240.a  (via juanfermejia)

do you know what i was smiling at? you wrote down that you were a writer by profession. it sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism i had ever heard. when was writing ever your profession? it’s never been anything but your religion.

j.d. salinger, seymour: an introduction, 1959 (via onlyondemairt)

For many years the conventional view was that young humans take a surprisingly long time to learn basic facts about the physical world (like that objects continue to exist once they are out of sight) and basic facts about people (like that they have beliefs and desires and goals) — let alone how long it takes them to learn about morality.

I am admittedly biased, but I think one of the great discoveries in modern psychology is that this view of babies is mistaken.

The Moral Life of Babies, by Paul Bloom – NYTimes.com (via whyshouldeye)

But then a remote Australian aboriginal tongue, Guugu Yimithirr, from north Queensland, turned up, and with it came the astounding realization that not all languages conform to what we have always taken as simply “natural.” In fact, Guugu Yimithirr doesn’t make any use of egocentric coordinates at all. The anthropologist John Haviland and later the linguist Stephen Levinson have shown that Guugu Yimithirr does not use words like “left” or “right,” “in front of” or “behind,” to describe the position of objects. Whenever we would use the egocentric system, the Guugu Yimithirr rely on cardinal directions. If they want you to move over on the car seat to make room, they’ll say “move a bit to the east.” To tell you where exactly they left something in your house, they’ll say, “I left it on the southern edge of the western table.” Or they would warn you to “look out for that big ant just north of your foot.” Even when shown a film on television, they gave descriptions of it based on the orientation of the screen. If the television was facing north, and a man on the screen was approaching, they said that he was “coming northward.”

Very compelling, thought-provoking and unsettling. Guy Deutscher (the author of The Unfolding of Language) strikes again, with a new book Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages.

I liked very much his previous book; I hope this new one will prove as good and interesting…

nyt (via rthr)

‘You don’t want to hear the phrase, ‘I’ll be right back,’ either. That’s code for ‘Go fuck yourself,’ according to a woman who used to fly for Northwest and taught me several terms specific to her profession.

‘You know how a plastic bottle of water gets all crinkly during a flight? Well, it happens to people, too, to our insides. That’s why we get all gassy.’

‘All right,’ I said.

‘So what me and the other girls would sometimes do is fart while we walked up and down the aisle. No one could hear it on account of the engine noise, but, anyway, that’s what we called ‘crop dusting.’

Just in time for the JetBlue chute incident, David Sedaris writes a personal history of air travel (via newyorker)

A mathematical idea should not be petrified in a formalised axiomatic setting, but should be considered instead as flowing as a river. One should always be ready to change the axioms, preserving the informal idea.

J. J. Sylvester quoted by V. I. Arnold (via jmbr)

(via bluelephant)

In a world of giants, it helps to be a giant yourself. But a rationale, an intellectual argument, is not the same as an emotional driving force, based on direct personal experience and an immediate sense of threat. We don’t have that sense in today’s Europe. For standard of living and quality of life, most Europeans have never had it so good. They don’t realise how radically things need to change in order that things may remain the same. It would take a new Winston Churchill to explain this to all Europeans.

Europe is sleepwalking to decline (via The Guardian) (via detectivesalvaje)

(Por Timothy Garton Ash – la frase “The current and emerging great powers of the 21st century, from the United States and China to Brazil and Russia, already treat European pretensions to be a major single player on the world stage with something close to contempt” es fuerte) ¿Será justificado todo ese euro-pesimismo de 2010?

The freedom of the philosopher consists in either moving freely from topic to topic or simply spending years returning to the same topic out of perplexity, fascination and curiosity.

… we might say that to philosophize is to take your time, even when you have no time… as Wittgenstein says, “This is how philosophers should salute each other: ‘Take your time.’ ”

What Is a Philosopher?, by Simon Critchley via THE STONEOpinionator BlogNYTimes.com

Wittgenstein’s quote comes from Culture and Value, p. 80e.

(via whyshouldeye)

En efecto, en Colombia la ilegalidad -el incumplimiento habitual y sistemático de la ley- logra presentarse muchas veces como justa (cómo no va a robar quien no tiene comida para su familia; para qué pagar impuestos si luego se los roban). Es más: la ilegalidad llega a ser vista como fuente de justicia (Pablo Escobar, con su fortuna y violencia, convenció a muchos de estar proporcionando justicia social). Las diversas aspiraciones por justicia deben encauzarse hacia un respeto generalizado a la ley y a los mecanismos legales para procurar justicia. Cuando hay igualdad ante la ley e igual posibilidad de acceder a la justicia se puede hablar de legalidad democrática. Igual derecho de todos a hacer valer derechos iguales.

Antanas Mockus (via bluelephant)

Anyway, this case brought to the forefront the fact that men are constantly forced to deal with their sexuality. The issue for a woman is menstruation, when her blood pours forth. But generally women can be removed from their own sexuality—they never have to think about it or confront it like men do. Every time men pee, it’s right there. They have to worry about it constantly. It’s a part of their bodies that they are not in control of. It can be embarrassing. In gym class or wherever, they can suddenly be humiliated, embarrassed. It defines so much about men. Because of the nature of the penis, men have performance anxiety, whereas no woman ever has to prove herself in this way. So men’s egos are totally involved in performance, in doing, achieving. An erection is a kind of achievement. So is peeing. As I’ve said, a boy has to learn to aim in order to no longer be infantile. So it’s an accomplishment. The male orgasm is short-lived and transient—and that’s the irony of men’s sexuality. It’s ironic that feminism looks at the penis as power and violence when in fact it is very weak. Every time a man approaches a woman, he is overcome with anxiety because he is approaching the place where he was born. There is a subliminal memory of that and there is always the nightmare that he can be shot down. All of a sudden, whoosh, and like Alice in Wonderland, you are shot through the looking glass. Every time a man puts his penis in a woman, he is gambling that he is going to get it back again. And in a sense, he loses that gamble each time. It goes in, he is very powerful, and then it’s over and he is no longer so powerfull. This highlights where feminists have erred. It took most of my life to realize that men are not tyrants or egomaniacs. I had an epiphany in a shopping mall recently that put it all in perspective. I was having a piece of pizza and I saw all these teenage boys running around in the mall. They were wild. I looked at them and saw this desperation. When I was their age I hated those kinds of boys because they were so obnoxious. They are so involved in their status, gaining it, afraid of losing it. I’m glad I don’t have to be that age again. So they sat down near me and they didn’t notice me. I didn’t exist on their radar map. I was thinking, This is great. I was watching. They were full of energy and life. And I suddenly realized, My God, the reason they are so loud, the reason they are so uncontrolled, the reason I hated them at that age is that they bond with each other against women. It was the first time they were able to be away from the control of a woman—their mothers. They were on their own and for this period they’re very dangerous. Women have to watch out when they go to fraternity parties, because the men are all trying to up their status among one another and there is all this testosterone. And then some girl will snag them. And that’s it. It’s over for them. They get married and they’re under the control of their wives forever. You hear these women all the time, on, like, Ricki Lake, saying, “You know, I have two children, but actually I have three children” about the husband, and it’s true: The husband becomes a child again. Even when men are doing their share, taking out the garbage, doing the mopping, whatever, women are still running the household. They are in control and the men become subordinate again. So that’s what the feminists are so worried about? Men who are subordinated by their mothers and then by their wives? Men are looking for maternal solace in women, and that’s the nature of heterosexuality. Now you tell me, who really has all the power?

Camile Paglia, en la entrevista para Playboy de 1995

(via alemartin)

What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.

Franz Kafka (via virginiawoolf)

(MUJER LEYENDO)

Admirar es el verbo
que dice en su doblez
lo que despierta en mí tu quieta pose.
Esa misma doblez está en tus pechos
porque elevas el libro y lo sostienes
juntando bien los brazos, plegando la atención.
Me tienta imaginar el personaje
al que estás abrazando, en qué adjetivos
prefieres detenerte. Me entretengo
calculando la pausa, la cadencia
con que pasas las páginas: sonrío
al comprobar que eres una lectora lenta,
con rodeos de asombro o de pregunta.
Quién pudiera de ti recibir esos ojos
con el mismo deseo, con idéntica hondura.
Eres lo que hace falta. Belleza meditando.
Carne con su temblor y su sintaxis.
Ese lugar en que la inteligencia
y la sensualidad se hacen un nudo.

Andrés Neuman – Mística Abajo

http://www.andresneuman.com/libros.htm