Tom's Compares

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Compare 03/06/2017

Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
  --Carl Sagan, astronomer and author (1934-1996)

(118:8.6) The slowness of evolution, of human cultural progress, testifies to the effectiveness of that brake—material inertia—which so efficiently operates to retard dangerous velocities of progress. Thus does time itself cushion and distribute the otherwise lethal results of premature escape from the next-encompassing barriers to human action. For when culture advances overfast, when material achievement outruns the evolution of worship-wisdom, then does civilization contain within itself the seeds of retrogression; and unless buttressed by the swift augmentation of experiential wisdom, such human societies will recede from high but premature levels of attainment, and the "dark ages" of the interregnum of wisdom will bear witness to the inexorable restoration of the imbalance between self-liberty and self-control.

    Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. He is best known for his work as a science popularizer and communicator. His best known scientific contribution is research on extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space: the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them. Sagan argued the now accepted hypothesis that the high surface temperatures of Venus can be attributed to and calculated using the greenhouse effect.
    Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He wrote many popular science books, such as The Dragons of Eden, Broca's Brain and Pale Blue Dot, and narrated and co-wrote the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The most widely watched series in the history of American public television, Cosmos has been seen by at least 500 million people across 60 different countries. The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. He also wrote the science fiction novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the same name. His papers, containing 595,000 items, are archived at The Library of Congress.
    Sagan always advocated scientific skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Sagan and his works received numerous awards and honors, including the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book The Dragons of Eden, and, regarding Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, two Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award and the Hugo Award. He married three times and had five children. After suffering from myelodysplasia, Sagan died of pneumonia at the age of 62, on December 20, 1996.

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Compare 03/03/2017

When the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre -- the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
  --H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

(71:2.1-6) Democracy, while an ideal, is a product of civilization, not of evolution. Go slowly! select carefully! for the dangers of democracy are:
    1. Glorification of mediocrity.
    2. Choice of base and ignorant rulers.
    3. Failure to recognize the basic facts of social evolution.
    4. Danger of universal suffrage in the hands of uneducated and indolent majorities.
    5. Slavery to public opinion; the majority is not always right.

    Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also gained him attention.
    As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. As an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was a detractor of religion, populism and representative democracy, which he believed was a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors. Mencken was a supporter of scientific progress, skeptical of economic theories and critical of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine.
    Mencken opposed American entry into World War I and World War II. His diary indicates that he was a racist and privately used coarse language and slurs to describe various ethnic and racial groups. Mencken also at times seemed to show a genuine enthusiasm for militarism, though never in its American form. "War is a good thing," he once wrote, "because it is honest, it admits the central fact of human nature…. A nation too long at peace becomes a sort of gigantic old maid."
    Mencken's longtime home in the Union Square neighborhood of West Baltimore was turned into a city museum, the H. L. Mencken House. His papers were distributed among various city and university libraries, with the largest collection held in the Mencken Room at the central branch of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library.

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Compare 02/27/2017

To move freely you must be deeply rooted.
  --Bella Lewitzky, dancer (1916-2004)

(102:8.7)  Religion is ever and always rooted and grounded in personal experience. And your highest religion, the life of Jesus, was just such a personal experience: man, mortal man, seeking God and finding him to the fullness during one short life in the flesh, while in the same human experience there appeared God seeking man and finding him to the full satisfaction of the perfect soul of infinite supremacy. And that is religion, even the highest yet revealed in the universe of Nebadon—the earth life of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Bella Lewitzky (January 13, 1916, Los Angeles, California – July 16, 2004, Pasadena, California) was a modern dance choreographer and teacher.
    Born to Jewish Russian immigrants, Lewitzky spent her childhood in a utopian socialist colony in the Mojave Desert, and on a ranch in San Bernardino. She moved back to Los Angeles in her teens, and briefly studied ballet.
    In 1934, she joined Lester Horton's company, became its lead dancer, and was instrumental in the development of the Horton Technique.
    In 1946 Lewitzky founded Dance Theater of Los Angeles with Horton. The Dance Theater was one of the few institutions in the United States to house both a dance school and theater under the same roof. She left the company in 1950 to pursue her own interests and an independent career. She appeared as a specialty dancer in the 1943 Technicolor adventure film White Savage, and she choreographed the films Bagdad (1949) (with Lester Horton), Tripoli (1950), and Prehistoric Women (1950).
    In 1951, she was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee to answer questions about communist activities in the arts. "I'm a dancer, not a singer", she replied.
    In 1955 Lewitzky gave birth to her only child, her daughter Nora. The same year she moved her rehearsals to Idyllwild, California, a small town in the San Jacinto Mountains outside of Los Angeles. In 1958 she became the founding chair of the dance department at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, which has since been renamed the Idyllwild Arts Academy. She taught at the school until 1972. Her daughter, Nora, joined the dance faculty in 2003 and continues teaching Lewitzky technique. The Idyllwild Arts Academy is one of the few dance programs in the United States that offers Lewitzky Technique as part of their curriculum.
    In 1966, she founded the Lewitzky Dance Company. Under her artistic guidance, the company became one of the leading international modern dance companies, performing to critical acclaim in forty-three states across the U.S. as well as twenty countries on five continents. Among her dance associates was the former television child actress Noreen Corcoran of Bachelor Father.
    In 1970, she was the founding dean of the dance program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, CA.
    In 1990 Lewitzky crossed out the anti-obscenity clause on the acceptance form of a $72,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant. She eventually had to sue NEA-chairman John E. Frohnmayer to have the grant reinstated. The New York Times quoted her as saying in response, "I've been struggling in dance for 28 years. To exist merely to exist is stupidity. To exist to make art is a pretty grand act."

Tom's picture

Compare 02/24/2017

A timid question will always receive a confident answer.
  --Charles John Darling, lawyer, judge, and politician (6 Dec 1849-1936)

(180:4.4-5)  As the Master paused for a moment, Judas Alpheus made bold to ask one of the few questions which either he or his brother ever addressed to Jesus in public. Said Judas: "Master, you have always lived among us as a friend; how shall we know you when you no longer manifest yourself to us save by this spirit? If the world sees you not, how shall we be certain about you? How will you show yourself to us?"
    Jesus looked down upon them all, smiled, and said: "My little children, I am going away, going back to my Father. In a little while you will not see me as you do here, as flesh and blood. In a very short time I am going to send you my spirit, just like me except for this material body. This new teacher is the Spirit of Truth who will live with each one of you, in your hearts, and so will all the children of light be made one and be drawn toward one another. And in this very manner will my Father and I be able to live in the souls of each one of you and also in the hearts of all other men who love us and make that love real in their experiences by loving one another, even as I am now loving you."

    Charles John Darling, 1st Baron Darling (1849–1936) was an English lawyer, politician and later a High Court judge.
    He was educated privately, paid for by his uncle William Menelaus. After pupillage, Darling was called to the English Bar (Inner Temple) in 1874. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1885, and was a Conservative Member of Parliament for Deptford from 1888 until 1897, when he was appointed a Judge of the Queen's Bench Division.
    As a judge, he presided over a number of important trials, including the Stinie Morrison case (1911), that of 'Chicago May' Churchill. and the trial for criminal libel of Noel Pemberton Billing MP (1918), brought by Maude Allen after Billing and Harold Sherwood Spencer had claimed there were 47,000 "sexual perverts" in high places who were controlled by the Germans. He also sat on the criminal appeals of Dr Hawley Crippen and Sir Roger Casement, both of which he dismissed.
    He was known for his erudition and at times inappropriate wit, both on and off the bench, as well as for being impeccably dressed and wearing a silk top hat whilst riding to Court on a horse and accompanied by a liveried groom. He displayed his literary acuity in a book of essays Scintillae Juris. The novelist and barrister F. C. Philips gave his opinion, 'I think that the wittiest book ever written by a legal luminary was one called "Scintillæ Juris" by Mr. Justice Darling, when he was a barrister on the Oxford Circuit. I understand that when he was raised to the Bench he stopped its circulation.'
    Darling was made a member of the Privy Council in 1917, entitling him to sit on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. During the Billing trial one of the witness, Eileen Villiers-Stuart, claimed to have seen the mysterious "Black Book" in which the names of the "perverts" were listed, declared in court that Darling was one of them. She was later convicted of bigamy, and admitted that her testimony was invented.
    He retired from the bench in 1923, and was created Baron Darling in 1924. He was active in House of Lords debates on legal issues, including promoting the Infant Life Preservation Act 1929. He married Mary Caroline Greathed, 16 September 1885. She was the daughter of Alice Clive and Maj. Gen. William Wilberforce Harris Greathed.

Tom's picture

Compare 02/20/2017

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.
  --Christina Rossetti, poet (1830-1894)

(111:3.7) In so far as man's evolving morontia soul becomes permeated by truth, beauty, and goodness as the value-realization of God-consciousness, such a resultant being becomes indestructible. If there is no survival of eternal values in the evolving soul of man, then mortal existence is without meaning, and life itself is a tragic illusion. But it is forever true: What you begin in time you will assuredly finish in eternity—if it is worth finishing.

    Christina Georgina Rossetti (5 December 1830 – 29 December 1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is famous for writing Goblin Market and Remember, and the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.

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Compare 02/16/2017

Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves ... But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean's bottom.
  --William James, psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910)

(28:5.14) These are the angels who foster and promote the teamwork of all Orvonton. One of the most important lessons to be learned during your mortal career is teamwork. The spheres of perfection are manned by those who have mastered this art of working with other beings. Few are the duties in the universe for the lone servant. The higher you ascend, the more lonely you become when temporarily without the association of your fellows.

    William James was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labeled him the "Father of American psychology".
    Along with Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, James is considered to be one of the major figures associated with the philosophical school known as pragmatism, and is also cited as one of the founders of functional psychology. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked James as the 14th most cited psychologist of the 20th century. He also developed the philosophical perspective known as radical empiricism. James' work has influenced intellectuals such as Émile Durkheim, W. E. B. Du Bois, Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty, and has even influenced Presidents, such as Jimmy Carter.
    Born into a wealthy family, James was the son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James Sr. and the brother of both the prominent novelist Henry James, and the diarist Alice James. James wrote widely on many topics, including epistemology, education, metaphysics, psychology, religion, and mysticism. Among his most influential books are The Principles of Psychology, which was a groundbreaking text in the field of psychology, Essays in Radical Empiricism, an important text in philosophy, and The Varieties of Religious Experience, which investigated different forms of religious experience, which also included the then theories on mind-cure.

Tom's picture

Compare 02/13/2017

Reading is not just an escape. It is access to a better way of life.
  --Karin Slaughter, novelist (b.1971)

(52:6.4) Brotherhood is impossible on a world whose inhabitants are so primitive that they fail to recognize the folly of unmitigated selfishness. There must occur an exchange of national and racial literature. Each race must become familiar with the thought of all races; each nation must know the feelings of all nations. Ignorance breeds suspicion, and suspicion is incompatible with the essential attitude of sympathy and love.

    Karin Slaughter (born January 6, 1971) is an American crime writer, whose first novel Blindsighted (2001) became an international success, was published in almost 30 languages, and made the Crime Writers' Association's Dagger Award shortlist for "Best Thriller Debut" of 2001. She is the author of sixteen novels, and her most recent novel, The Kept Woman, was published in 2016. Slaughter has sold more than 35 million copies of her books, which have been published in 36 languages. Her books have debuted at #1 in the United Kingdom, Germany, and The Netherlands.
    Fractured, the second novel in the Will Trent series, debuted at number one in the UK and the Netherlands, and was the number one adult fiction title in Australia. At the same time, Faithless (Gottlos) published in Germany at number one.
    Slaughter was born in a small southern Georgia community. Now residing in Atlanta, she is widely credited with coining the term "investigoogling" in 2006.
    Slaughter is currently part of a "Save the Libraries" event that benefits the DeKalb County Public Library.
 

Tom's picture

Compare 02/09/2017

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
  --Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996)

(155:1.3)  Jesus continued to teach the twenty-four, saying: "The heathen are not without excuse when they rage at us. Because their outlook is small and narrow, they are able to concentrate their energies enthusiastically. Their goal is near and more or less visible; wherefore do they strive with valiant and effective execution. You who have professed entrance into the kingdom of heaven are altogether too vacillating and indefinite in your teaching conduct. The heathen strike directly for their objectives; you are guilty of too much chronic yearning. If you desire to enter the kingdom, why do you not take it by spiritual assault even as the heathen take a city they lay siege to? You are hardly worthy of the kingdom when your service consists so largely in an attitude of regretting the past, whining over the present, and vainly hoping for the future. Why do the heathen rage? Because they know not the truth. Why do you languish in futile yearning? Because you obey not the truth. Cease your useless yearning and go forth bravely doing that which concerns the establishment of the kingdom.

    Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy and other natural sciences. He is best known for his work as a science popularizer and communicator. His best known scientific contribution is research on extraterrestrial life, including experimental demonstration of the production of amino acids from basic chemicals by radiation. Sagan assembled the first physical messages sent into space: the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them. Sagan argued the now accepted hypothesis that the high surface temperatures of Venus can be attributed to and calculated using the greenhouse effect.
    Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He wrote many popular science books, such as The Dragons of Eden, Broca's Brain and Pale Blue Dot, and narrated and co-wrote the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. The most widely watched series in the history of American public television, Cosmos has been seen by at least 500 million people across 60 different countries. The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. He also wrote the science fiction novel Contact, the basis for a 1997 film of the same name. His papers, containing 595,000 items, are archived at The Library of Congress.
    Sagan always advocated scientific skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University, where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. Sagan and his works received numerous awards and honors, including the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book The Dragons of Eden, and, regarding Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, two Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award and the Hugo Award. He married three times and had five children. After suffering from myelodysplasia, Sagan died of pneumonia at the age of 62, on December 20, 1996.

Tom's picture

Compare 02/07/2017

Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.
  --Andrew Carnegie, industrialist (1835-1919)

(132:5.1) A certain rich man, a Roman citizen and a Stoic, became greatly interested in Jesus' teaching, having been introduced by Angamon. After many intimate conferences this wealthy citizen asked Jesus what he would do with wealth if he had it, and Jesus answered him: "I would bestow material wealth for the enhancement of material life, even as I would minister knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual service for the enrichment of the intellectual life, the ennoblement of the social life, and the advancement of the spiritual life. I would administer material wealth as a wise and effective trustee of the resources of one generation for the benefit and ennoblement of the next and succeeding generations."

    Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. He is often identified as one of the richest people and one of the richest Americans ever. He built a leadership role as a philanthropist for the United States and the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away to charities, foundations, and universities about $350 million (in 2015 share of GDP, $78.6 billion) – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming "The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and it stimulated a wave of philanthropy.
    Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated in 1848 to the United States with his very poor parents. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J.P. Morgan in 1901 for $480 million. It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed Rockefeller as the richest American for the next couple of years. Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others.

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Compare 02/02/2017

Progressive societies outgrow institutions as children outgrow clothes.
  -Henry George, economist, journalist, and philosopher (1839-1897)

(68:4.1) All modern social institutions arise from the evolution of the primitive customs of your savage ancestors; the conventions of today are the modified and expanded customs of yesterday. What habit is to the individual, custom is to the group; and group customs develop into folkways or tribal traditions—mass conventions. From these early beginnings all of the institutions of present-day human society take their humble origin.

(69:1.1) All human institutions minister to some social need, past or present, notwithstanding that their overdevelopment unfailingly detracts from the worth-whileness of the individual in that personality is overshadowed and initiative is diminished. Man should control his institutions rather than permit himself to be dominated by these creations of advancing civilization.

(71:4.1) Economics, society, and government must evolve if they are to remain. Static conditions on an evolutionary world are indicative of decay; only those institutions which move forward with the evolutionary stream persist.

    Henry George (September 2, 1839 – October 29, 1897) was an American political economist, journalist, and philosopher. George is famous for popularizing the idea that land/resource rents be captured for public use or shared, in lieu of harmful taxes on labor and productive investment. The philosophy and reform movement were known in George's time as 'Single-Tax'. His immensely popular writing is credited with sparking several reform movements of the Progressive Era and ultimately inspiring the broad economic philosophy that is today often referred to as Georgism, the main tenet of which is that people legitimately own value they fairly create, but that natural resources and common opportunities, most importantly the value of land or location, are rightfully owned in common by individuals in a community, rather than titleholders. His most famous work, Progress and Poverty (1879), sold millions of copies worldwide, probably more than any other American book before that time. The treatise investigates the paradox of increasing inequality and poverty amid economic and technological progress, the cyclic nature of industrialized economies, and the use of extensive land value tax as a remedy for these and other social problems.

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