Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Thought and Action

I am a strong advocate of lifelong education, I just despair of ever putting it to good use. Some quotes for today:

You are on the battlefield. It is no longer the time to polish your gun, you must shoot.

  — Stendhal as quoted by Prosper Mérimée, HB (1850). Translation taken from Simon L. Altmann, Rotations, Quaternions, and Double Groups, Ch. 15.

It is not society's fault that most men seem to miss their vocation. Most men have no vocation.

  — George Santayana, The Aristocratic Ideal, Ch. IV. Quote taken from Wikiquote.

Those who act without thinking seek failure. Those who think without acting find it.

  — Dan Weston, Rantings of a Crazed Lunatic, "Thought and Action".


Brendan said...

Sign of old-guyness when you start actually committing your aphorisms to paper (or screen).

I know this. I do it, too.

I like yours.

I am afraid to put my own in company with Santayana, though. So kudos on your self-confidence.

Dan Weston said...

If I don't quote myself, who will? And I would rather be in good company than bad.

You should be more impressed with the fact that the quote is self-referential in nature: the quote quotes itself!

Luckily, I have avoided the Liar's Paradox (i.e. this self-reference has no valid referent). You might say that it is rather a Truth-Teller's Tautology (i.e. this self-reference is its own referent). More accurately, the referent is the unique fixed point of the reference.

P.S. I am not unaware of the possibility that your compliment was intended ironically. I just intended to interpret it in the way most flattering to me. So, thanks for the vote of self-confidence!

Brendan said...

Nope. No irony intended.

Charles Roldan said...

Hi! I hadn't written in my blog in a long time and I didn't see you posted comments in a few of mine! That's great that you joined the Peace Corps and taught math! I desire to become a math professor someday, so that sounds really really cool.

I like your quote. I also like that you found one of the others in a group theory book. Awesome.

Dan Weston said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I try to draw from eclectic sources for my blogs.

I think it is very important to cite the original reference of blog factoids, without which both the original author and the readers are cheated. Proofs by assertion and appeal to authority are among the most tedious of logical fallacies. Sadly among the most common in blogs nowadays.