Wednesday, November 16, 2005

[Random] Slashdot 20051117

  1. (here) What you do today will cost you a day of your life.

  2. (here) You can not truly appreciate Shakespeare until you've read him in the original COBOL.
    if ( $question = ( 2B || !(2B) ) ) {
    if ($mind[SlingsArrows] > $mind[TakeArms]) {
  3. (here)
    According to Plato (or Socrates rather - who never wrote) writing itself was a threat to wisdom, because it made writers dependent on an external memory and weakened their own memory. So replace centuries with millennia. Heres a bit of Plato's Phaedrus, where Socrates speaks about writing:
    It would take a long time to repeat all that Thamus said to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts [technai]. But when they came to letters [grammata], Theuth said, "This invention, O King, will make the Egyptians wiser and give them better memories; I have discovered a remedy [pharmakon: potion, medicine, drug] both for the memory and for wisdom." Thamus replied: "O most ingenious [technikotate] Theuth, the parent or inventor of an art is not always the best judge of the utility or inutility of his own inventions to the users of them. And in this instance, you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a power opposite to that which they in fact possess. For this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it; they will not exercise their memories, but, trusting in external, foreign marks [graphes], they will not bring things to remembrance from within themselves. You have discovered a remedy [pharmakon] not for memory, but for reminding. You offer your students the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom. They will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.
    Quoted from [] where you'll find a nice extract of the parts of Phaedrus that deals with writing.

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