Everything flows and flows and flows…………

Heraclitus

Panta rhei, “everything flows”

Πάντα ῥεῖ (panta rhei) “everything flows” either was not spoken by Heraclitus or did not survive as a quotation of his. This famous aphorism used to characterize Heraclitus’ thought comes from Simplicius,[32] a neoplatonist, and from Plato’s Cratylus. The word rhei (cf. rheology) is the Greek word for “to stream”, and to the etymology of Rhea according to Plato’s Cratylus.[33]

Heraclitus by Hendrick ter Brugghen

The philosophy of Heraclitus is summed up in his cryptic utterance:[34]

ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμϐαίνουσιν, ἕτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ.
Potamoisi toisin autoisin embainousin, hetera kai hetera hudata epirrei
“Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers.”

The quote from Heraclitus appears in Plato‘s Cratylus twice; in 401d as:[35]

τὰ ὄντα ἰέναι τε πάντα καὶ μένειν οὐδέν
Ta onta ienai te panta kai menein ouden
“All entities move and nothing remains still”

and in 402,a[36]

“πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει” καὶ “δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης”
Panta chōrei kai ouden menei kai dis es ton auton potamon ouk an embaies
“Everything changes and nothing remains still … and … you cannot step twice into the same stream”[37]

Instead of “flow” Plato uses chōrei, to change chōros.

The assertions of flow are coupled in many fragments with the enigmatic river image:[38]

Ποταμοῖς τοῖς αὐτοῖς ἐμβαίνομέν τε καὶ οὐκ ἐμβαίνομεν, εἶμέν τε καὶ οὐκ εἶμεν.
“We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not.”

Compare with the Latin adages Omnia mutantur and Tempora mutantur (8 CE) and the Japanese tale Hōjōki, (1200 CE) which contains the same image of the changing river, and the central Buddhist doctrine of impermanence.

 

Also in Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’:

Bk XV:176-198 Pythagoras’s Teachings:The Eternal Flux

 

‘Since I have embarked on the wide ocean, and given full sails to the wind, I say there is nothing in the whole universe that persists. Everything flows, and is formed as a fleeting image. Time itself, also, glides, in its continual motion, no differently than a river. For neither the river, nor the swift hour can stop: but as wave impels wave, and as the prior wave is chased by the coming wave, and chases the one before, so time flees equally, and, equally, follows, and is always new. For what was before is left behind: and what was not comes to be: and each moment is renewed.’

 

And from Ovid to Shakespeare:

We have to look no further than Shakespeare (who read Ovid in Golding’s translation) to confirm this point. Shakespeare, quite literally, plundered Ovid for stories and moved them directly into his plays – in Titus Andronicus or A Midsummer Night’s Dream for example – and, like so many of his contemporaries used Ovid as a sort of handbook for classical allusions and similes (as sad as Niobe, as crafty as Ulysses, as vain as Narcissus, as impetuous as Phaethon, as foolish as Icarus, and so on). Shakespeare lifts whole speeches from Ovid and adapts them to his purposes (so, for example, Prospero’s famous invocation of the spirits in the Tempest is adapted directly from Medea’s similar speech in Metamorphoses (a speech Shakespeare had used before, in Macbeth). In Shakespeare’s early work, something like three quarters of the classical imagery is derived directly from Ovid’s poem. And if we want to see modern poets doing the same thing, we have only to look at, say, Eliot’s Waste Land, in which images and references to Ovid are just as frequent. In fact, if one wants to have any sort of historical appreciation for the development of English poetry, understanding the influence of and the reference to Ovid is essential.

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Posted in Philosophy

Self-censorship in the digital age: We won’t be able to recognize ourselves – Feuilleton – FAZ

Self-censorship in the digital age: We won’t be able to recognize ourselves – Feuilleton – FAZ.

 

Self-censorship in the digital age We won’t be able to recognize ourselves

07.04.2014  ·  More than a century ago, Sigmund Freud showed how we censor ourselves. In the age of digital mass surveillance we are facing self-censorship of a different dimension. We are more cautious, warier. Our behavior is changing drastically .

Von Peter Galison

 

© dpa Vergrößern Will streetlamps soon be equipped not only with LED’s but also with facial recognition technology?

 

On February 24, 1998, back when Edward Snowden was but fifteen, the National Security Agency finished one of the most remarkable documents in the history and theory of communications media. The Internet itself had just recently shifted into a commercial mode and was hosting an ever-growing fraction of all two-way communication.  Electronic intelligence officers took notice, in concert with its “partners.”

 

The document said: „In the past, NSA operated in a mostly analog world of point-to-point communications carried along discrete, dedicated voice channels.  [M]ost of these communications were in the air and could be accessed using conventional means….Now, communications are mostly digital, carry billions of bits of data, and contain voice, data and multimedia.  They are dynamically routed, globally networked and pass over traditional communications means such as microwave or satellite less and less. … To perform both its offensive and defensive missions, NSA must live on the network.“

 

Lurking in the shadows of the shadows

The NSA and its allies have indeed, learned to “live on the network,” hovering over tweets and texts, emails and videocalls, social networks, games, images, searches, and phones.   They are not the only ones with eyes on the digital prize.   The British GCHQ has been fiercely aggressive in pursuing electronic intelligence, the French DGSE have happily joined in with their own version of massive electronic surveillance, and the Germans, alongside the Americans and British, grown very familiar with the NSA “crown jewels,” like the digital vacuum cleaner XKeyscore (capable of searching emails, chats, and browsing histories), using the program to capture hundreds of millions of German data sets.   In one NSA document reported on by Der Spiegel, the NSA applauded „the German government [for] modif[ying] its interpretation of the G-10 privacy law … to afford the BND more flexibility in sharing protected information with foreign partners.“

 

Of course, prying eyes on the Internet come too from countries beyond Europe and North America.  If anyone doesn’t know that the Chinese and Russians have invested heavily in cyber-espionage they reside in some other solar system.  Multi-national corporations plead “shock” and “outrage” that their servers and data pipes were so well hoovered– they doth protest too much.  Meanwhile, those same companies are themselves cross-correlating data on all of us at a staggering rate.  Lurking in the shadows of shadows are the cybercriminals, profitably snatching government and corporate data.

 

Reshaping the self

In fact, the most shocking thing I’ve read over the last year has not been that electronic espionage agencies spy electronically.  Instead, it was a small salmon-colored text balloon lodged on the lower right of an NSA PowerPoint PRISM slide: “PRISM cost: ~ $20M per year.”

 

Twenty million dollars per year?  An absolutely insignificant drop in the NSA’s budget. Of course that low price depended on getting the data but by pressure, law or stealth from the corporate data world.   The very ease of this kind of monitoring suggested by this low seven-figure bill means that this debate is effectively over.  Sure this or that program will be curtailed.  But no one, no institution, no treaty, law, or country is going to stop this world-wide harvesting of data.

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Posted in Psychology, Society, Thinking

Wallace Stevens, Philosopher-Poet

Originally posted on sweep:

Wallace Stevens philosophized in his poems.  William Carlos Williams had some qualms about this.  Consider Williams’s 1937 review of Stevens’ collection  The Man with the Blue Guitar :

And so, to clinch the argument—for this book is in a way one long argument to emphasize a point—Stevens goes on and unfortunately overemphasizes what he has to say, relative to the function of a poet, making a defense of the poet, an apology for the poet, for Stevens himself, facing his world. Because of this and the wordiness of its effect I don’t like the second poem, a long subdivided one also under the general head, “Owl’s Clover.” It has its old woman very effectively balanced against the heroic plunging of sculptured horses, but nothing moves as it should.

Five beats to the line here, and that’s where the trouble is let in. These five beats have a strange effect on…

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27 Pictures Say More Than Words Even Can | Top 10 Snaps

 

Game over

27 Pictures Say More Than Words Even Can | Top 10 Snaps.

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Posted in Wordpress

6 Tips on Productivity Tools for Writers – BLOG – Stories To Tell Books

6 Tips on Productivity Tools for Writers – BLOG – Stories To Tell Books.

6 Tips on Productivity Tools for Writers

Writing well is difficult at best. Here are some tools gathered from around the net to help make it easier. Sometimes there’s nothing like having the right tool for the job. I hope you find these useful.


Begin with an overview: How to Be Productive: INFOGRAPHIC

10 Good Grammar Resources  on Writing Forward

10 Apps to Help You Stay Focused on Your Writing  on Jane Friedman’s Blog

8 Ways Scrivner Will Help You Become a Proficient Writer Overnight  on The Creative Penn

5 Apps for Copy Editing on Galley Cat

25 Must Have Free Tools for All Content Writers on Web Content Blog

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Posted in Writing

Vladimir Nabokov on Writing, Reading, and the Three Qualities a Great Storyteller Must Have | Brain Pickings

Vladimir Nabokov on Writing, Reading, and the Three Qualities a Great Storyteller Must Have | Brain Pickings.

“Between the wolf in the tall grass and the wolf in the tall story there is a shimmering go-between. That go-between, that prism, is the art of literature.”

“Often the object of a desire, when desire is transformed into hope, becomes more real than reality itself,” Umberto Eco observed in his magnificent atlas of imaginary places. Indeed, our capacity for self-delusion is one of the most inescapable fundamentals of the human condition, and nowhere do we engage it more willingly and more voraciously than in the art and artifice of storytelling.

In the same 1948 lecture that gave us Vladimir Nabokov’s 10 criteria for a good reader, found in his altogether fantastic Lectures on Literature (UK; public library), the celebrated author and sage of literature examines the heart of storytelling:

Literature was born not the day when a boy crying wolf, wolf came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels: literature was born on the day when a boy came crying wolf, wolf and there was no wolf behind him. That the poor little fellow because he lied too often was finally eaten up by a real beast is quite incidental. But here is what is important. Between the wolf in the tall grass and the wolf in the tall story there is a shimmering go-between. That go-between, that prism, is the art of literature.

Vladimir Nabokov by William Claxton, 1963

He considers this essential role of deception in storytelling, adding to famous writers’ wisdom on truth vs. fiction and observing, as young Virginia Woolf did, that all art simply imitates nature:

Literature is invention. Fiction is fiction. To call a story a true story is an insult to both art and truth. Every great writer is a great deceiver, but so is that arch-cheat Nature. Nature always deceives. From the simple deception of propagation to the prodigiously sophisticated illusion of protective colors in butterflies or birds, there is in Nature a marvelous system of spells and wiles. The writer of fiction only follows Nature’s lead.

Going back for a moment to our wolf-crying woodland little woolly fellow, we may put it this way: the magic of art was in the shadow of the wolf that he deliberately invented, his dream of the wolf; then the story of his tricks made a good story. When he perished at last, the story told about him acquired a good lesson in the dark around the camp fire. But he was the little magician. He was the inventor.

What’s especially interesting is that Nabokov likens the writer to an inventor, since the trifecta of qualities he goes on to outline as necessary for the great writer — not that different from young Susan Sontag’s list of the four people a great writer must be — are just as necessary for any great entrepreneur:

There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three — storyteller, teacher, enchanter — but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer.

To the storyteller we turn for entertainment, for mental excitement of the simplest kind, for emotional participation, for the pleasure of traveling in some remote region in space or time. A slightly different though not necessarily higher mind looks for the teacher in the writer. Propagandist, moralist, prophet — this is the rising sequence. We may go to the teacher not only for moral education but also for direct knowledge, for simple facts… Finally, and above all, a great writer is always a great enchanter, and it is here that we come to the really exciting part when we try to grasp the individual magic of his genius and to study the style, the imagery, the pattern of his novels or poems.

The three facets of the great writer — magic, story, lesson — are prone to blend in one impression of unified and unique radiance, since the magic of art may be present in the very bones of the story, in the very marrow of thought. There are masterpieces of dry, limpid, organized thought which provoke in us an artistic quiver quite as strongly as a novel like Mansfield Park does or as any rich flow of Dickensian sensual imagery. It seems to me that a good formula to test the quality of a novel is, in the long run, a merging of the precision of poetry and the intuition of science. In order to bask in that magic a wise reader reads the book of genius not with his heart, not so much with his brain, but with his spine. It is there that occurs the telltale tingle even though we must keep a little aloof, a little detached when reading. Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.

Indeed, as important to the success of literature as the great writer is the wise reader, whom Nabokov characterizes by a mindset that blends the receptivity of art with the critical thinking of science:

The best temperament for a reader to have, or to develop, is a combination of the artistic and the scientific one. The enthusiastic artist alone is apt to be too subjective in his attitude towards a book, and so a scientific coolness of judgment will temper the intuitive heat. If, however, a would-be reader is utterly devoid of passion and patience — of an artist’s passion and a scientist’s patience — he will hardly enjoy great literature.

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Posted in Literature, Reading, Storytelling, Writing

For every ship there is a harbour!!!

For every ship there is a harbour!!!

Posted in Wordpress
Watson Wolf

Watson Wolf

It's all learning and teaching to me!!! I am a German tutor for German, English and French, who loves tutoring person to person!!! In addition I love writing, sports, social media and the Greek island Crete, my second home!!!

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