neal young / quotes

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    So this termite walks into a bar and says "Is the bartender here?"


    In one ear and gone tomorrow.

    It's an ill wind that spoils the broth.

    Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.


    So, if it is an ox, do we go on by it, or do we go up to it,
    so as to do it in on my ax?


    A student came to Wirth and said, `I have this idea for memory
    management. We just store the number of references to each cell of
    memory as the program progresses. When the count for a cell reaches
    zero, the cell may be reclaimed.' Wirth said: `A student came to me
    and said, `I have this idea for memory management...'


    A student was unsuccessfully trying to fix a crashed machine by toggling
    the on-off switch. Minsky apprehended the student, and said `You can't fix
    the machine by just turning it on and off without knowing what you're doing.'
    Minsky reached down and toggled the switch; the machine began working.


    CHUANG TZU 369 BC - 286 BC

    Suppose I am arguing with you, and you get the better of me. Does
    the fact that I am not a match for you mean that you are really right
    and I am really wrong? Or if I get the better of you, does the fact
    that you are not a match for me mean that I am really right and you
    are really wrong? Must one of us necessarily be right and the other
    wrong, or may we not both be right or both be wrong? But even if I
    and you cannot come to an understanding, someone else will surely be a
    candle to our darkness. Whom then shall we call in as arbitrator in
    our dispute? If it is someone who agrees with you, the fact that he
    agrees with you makes him useless as an arbitrator. If it is someone
    who agrees with me, the fact that he agrees with me makes him useless
    as an arbitrator. If it is someone who agrees with neither of us, the
    fact that he agrees with neither of us makes him useless as an
    arbitrator. If it is someone that agrees with both of us, the fact
    that he agrees with both of us makes him useless as an arbitrator. So
    then you and I can never reach an understanding. Are we then to go on
    piling arbitrator on arbitrator in the hope that someone will
    eventually settle the matter? This would lead to the dilemma of the
    Reformation and the Sage. (1)

    (1) Deadlock.

    Take the case of some words. I do not know which of them are in
    any way connected with reality or which are not at all connected with
    reality. If some that are so connected and some that are not so
    connected are connected with one another, then as regards truth or
    falsehood the former cease to be any different from the latter.
    However, just as an experiment, I will now say them: `If there was a
    beginning, there must have been a time before the beginning began, and
    if there was a time before the beginning began, there must have been a
    time before the time before the beginning began. If there is being,
    there is also not-being. If there was a time before there began to be
    any not-being, there must also have been a time before the time before
    there began to be any not-being.' But here am I, talking about being
    and not-being and still do not know whether it is being that exists
    and not-being that does not exist, or being that does not exist and
    not-being that really exists! I have spoken, and do not know whether
    I have said something that means anything or said nothing that has any
    meaning at all.


    HEGEL 1770-1831

    Existence, then, is not to be taken here as a predicate or as a
    determination of essence, the proposition of which would run: essence
    exists, or has existence; on the contrary, essence has passed over
    into Existence; Existence is essence's absolute emptying of itself or
    self-alienation, nor has it remained behind on the side of it. The
    proposition should therefore run: essence is existence; it is not
    distinct from its Existence. Essence has passed over into Existence
    in so far as essence as ground no longer distinguishes itself from
    itself as the grounded, or in so far as this ground has sublated
    itself. But this negation is essentially its position, or absolute
    positive continuity with itself, its identity-with-self achieved in
    its negation.


    WALTER LIPPMANN 1889-1974

    I doubt whether the student can do a greater work for his nation in
    this grave moment of its history than to detach himself from its
    preoccupations, refusing to let himself be absorbed by distractions
    about which, as a scholar, he can do almost nothing.

    The Scholar in a Troubled World, (1932)


    LAURENCE STERNE 1713-1768

    It is the nature of an hypothesis, when once a man has conceived it,
    that it assimilates every thing to itself, as proper nourishment; and,
    from the first moment of your begetting it, it generally grows the
    stronger by every thing you see, hear, read, or understand. This is
    of great use.

    bk.ii, ch.19

    ALEXANDER POPE 1688-1744

    Like following life thro' creatures you dissect,
    You lose it in the moment you detect.


    SIR JOHN BETJEMAN 1906-1984

    `Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another--
    Let us hold hands and look.'
    She, such a very ordinary little woman;
    He, such a thumping crook;
    But both, for a moment, little lower than the angels
    In the teashop's ingle-nook.
    --In a Bath Teashop.


    Plaisir d'amour ne dure qu'un moment,
    Chagrin d'amour dure toute la vie.


    WILLIAM BLAKE 1757-1827

    Everything that lives, Lives not alone, nor for itself.

    HENRY JAMES 1843-1916

    Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is
    an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest
    silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and
    catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.

    JOHN DONNE 1571-1631

    No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece
    of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away
    by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
    as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any
    man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It
    tolls for thee.
    Meditation XVII

    MATTHEW ARNOLD 1822-1888

    This truth --- to prove, and make thine own:
    `Thou hast been, shalt be, art, alone.'
    Isolation. To Marguerite, l.29

    CLAUDE LE PETIT 1638-1662
    Le monde est plein de fous, et qui n'en veut pas voir
    Doit se tenir tout seul, et casser son miroir.

    The world is full of fools, and he who would not see it should
    live alone and smash his mirror.

    An adaptation from an original form attributed to Claude Le Petit
    (1640-1665) in Discours Satiriques, 1686


    JOHN KEATS 1795-1821

    Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in
    uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after
    fact and reason -- Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine
    isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from
    being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge.


    Nothing more certain than incertainties;
    Fortune is full of fresh variety:
    Constant in nothing but inconstancy.
    The Shepherd's Content, xi


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