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Favorite Quotes

Dunning and Kruger set out to test these hypotheses on Cornell undergraduates in psychology courses. In a series of studies, they examined student self-assessment of logical reasoning skills, grammatical skills, and humor. After being shown their test scores, the students were asked to estimate their own rank in the class. The competent group estimated their rank accurately, while the incompetent group overestimated theirs. In other words, students who were about to get Ds and Fs thought they had turned in B-or-better work. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect


In un'intervista comparsa nella rivista Prometeo nel 1911, Frontini bollò la musica contemporanea con il termine di "confusionismo", stigmatizzando la produzione musicale dell'epoca, basata sui gusti del pubblico, sulla pubblicità e sull'abbandono della "grande arte italiana" per "affarismo".

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesco_Paolo_Frontini


During the October crisis, Sorenson writes, JFK dispatched former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to show the CIA's surveillance photos of the Cuban missiles to French President Charles de Gaulle. I don't need to see pictures of the weapons of mass destruction, de Gaulle replied: "The word of the president of the United States is good enough for me."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/13/opinion/13iht-edbeam.1.13693498.html


If it's not worth doing it's not worth doing well.

Donald Olding Hebb


“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Alexander Pope


Academics are people who’ve spent their lives battling to be No. 1. They’ve gotten the top grades, the scholarships, the honors, and the awards. Along the way most have also become confident public speakers, but some can be insufferable. At social gatherings they gather in knots and take turns lecturing each other. Often — even when discussing the weather — they’ll count off the points on their fingers: "First, there’s the humidity." They listen reluctantly, impatiently, pawing the ground.
http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Dangers-of-Faculty-Book/237863?cid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en&elqTrackId=bfb85a337923444a9b19d5b9d1d6ede2&elq=259f3b38a27243449bfab88215626ae1&elqaid=10840&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=4117


"It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world."
~ Nelson Mandela

Solamen miseris socios habuisse malorum  

(Spinoza, Ethica, 4, 7. A et passim)

 (I've seen it attributed to Terentius, Heautontimoroumenos)


Colleges have long been engaged in an odd deal with students and their parents. Paying for a college education — or taking on a huge amount of debt to finance an education — is a transaction in which most of the buyers and most of the sellers have fundamentally different understandings of the product.

Think about it this way: Suppose I start a print newspaper tomorrow. I might think I’m selling excellent journalism, while my “readers” are actually using my product to line their birdcages. It might work out fine for a while. But the imbalance in this transaction would make it difficult to talk in general terms about improving the product or whether the product is worth what I’m charging. I might think I should improve my grammar and hire more reporters. My customers might want me to make the paper thicker.

In the college transaction, most parents think they’re buying their kids a credential, a better job and a ticket, economically speaking at least, to the American dream. Most college professors and administrators (the good ones, anyway) see their role as producing liberally educated, well-rounded individuals with an appreciation for certain kinds of knowledge. If they get a job after graduation, well, that’s nice, too.

The students, for the most part, are not quite sure where they fit into this bargain. Some will get caught up in what they learn and decide to go on to further education. But most will see college as an opportunity to have fun and then come out the other end of the pipeline with the stamp of approval they need to make a decent salary after graduation.

Naomi Schaefer Riley

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-is-a-college-education-really-worth/2011/06/02/AGzIO4HH_story.html?utm_term=.6fba6e068ec5


Plato was no friend of democracy (as pandering classics professors routinely fail to tell us in their TV series on Greek democracy), not least because it killed his hero Socrates. He saw it as a system that gradually expanded freedom and equality to the point where authority imploded and its ensuing disorders allow a demagogue to seize power, promising to “take back control” or “get our country back”.

Michael White in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/blog/2016/aug/25/resentful-americans-turn-blind-eye-donald-trump


"After Trump went after the 'Mexican' judge from northern Indiana then (House Speaker) Paul Ryan endorsed him, I decided that in fact this was not my party anymore," (George) Will said on "Fox News Sunday."

Trump attacked Will on Twitter over his decision to leave the GOP Sunday morning, writing: "George Will, one of the most overrated political pundits (who lost his way long ago), has left the Republican Party. He's made many bad calls."

Will responded on "Fox News Sunday," saying: "He has an advantage on me, because he can say everything he knows about any subject in 140 characters and I can't."

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/25/politics/george-will-donald-trump-leaving-republican-party-election/


Eén van de intelligentste mensen die ik ooit heb ontmoet was Pater Emile de Strycker s.j.  professor aan de Antwerpse Universiteit.  Hij was als classicus en specialist van vroeg-christelijke teksten volkomen op de hoogte van de moeilijkheden die een gelovige ondervindt wanneer hij als wetenschapsmens de Bijbel bestudeert.  Toen ik hem in een periode van twijfel vroeg voor mij de historiciteit van de evangeliën aan te tonen, antwoordde hij - wel wetend wat dit voor mij zou betekenen, maar ten volle eerlijk - dat hij dat niet kon.  We hebben dan een lang gesprek gehad over de existentiële motieven die hem ertoe gebracht hadden zijn geloof trouw te blijven. Toen heb ik ingezien dat voor sommige mensen die existentiële behoefte zo sterk is dat ze bereid zijn er een deel van hun rationeel inzicht voor tussen haakjes te zetten. Ik respecteer dat en ik zal de Strycker altijd dankbaar blijven om zijn eerlijkheid in een voor mij kritieke periode.

Etienne Vermeersch, http://www.etiennevermeersch.be/artikels/godsdienst-religie/kort-vertoog-over-de-god-van-het-christendom


On s'engage, et puis on voit.

Napoléon Bonaparte (quoted by Lenin)


“It’s tough to know how much philosophical instruction anybody can absorb at age 20, before most of life has happened, but seeds can be planted.”                                                                                                                                                                         David Brooks


As someone who has loved this country for a long time and seen it as having a more enlightened and outward looking population than the US, it came as quite a shock to see the numbers and face up to the ground swell of opinion counter to my own. 

A friend living in the UK, expressing her shock at the Brexit vote.


Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.

David Brooks


Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!

Wolfgang Pauli (Ttheoretical physicist)


The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled persons suffer illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their own ability accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: highly skilled individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect


One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

Bertrand Russell


Coiled Gibberish in a Thicket of Prose

Following is an excerpt from "Transgressing the Boundaries," a parody by Prof. Alan D. Sokal of New York University that was published in the journal Social Text as a serious article.

"Here my aim is to carry these deep analyses one step further, by taking account of recent developments in quantum gravity: the emerging branch of physics in which Heisenberg's quantum mechanics and Einstein's general relativity are at once synthesized and superseded. In quantum gravity, as we shall see, the space-time manifold ceases to exist as an objective physical reality; geometry becomes relational and contextual; and the foundational conceptual categories of prior science -- among them, existence itself -- become problematized and relativized. This conceptual revolution, I will argue, has profound implications for the content of a future postmodern and liberatory science."

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/18/nyregion/postmodern-gravity-deconstructed-slyly.html


"When people type their notes they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can," Mueller tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective — because you can't write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them."

http://www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160417


It was about five years ago that Paul Thagard, a professor of philosophy at the University of Waterloo, started noticing a “wall” of screens in his lectures. When he installed a graduate student at the back of the classroom to spy on his plugged-in students, he learned that 85 per cent of them were using their computers for something unrelated to class.

The study found that these students scored significantly worse on a pop quiz about a given lesson’s content than students whose laptops were closed – a finding consistent with troves of research showing that “multitasking” is virtually impossible for most people.

In The Pen Is Mightier Than The Keyboard, their cleverly titled 2014 paper on the subject, Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote that even when students use computers only for note-taking, they retain less information than students who take notes by hand.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/professors-push-back-against-laptops-in-the-lecture-hall/article26046828/


In their new book, The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy – fittingly, with a snail on the cover – Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber apply the principles of the “slow” movement to academia. Proudly proclaiming themselves “slow professors,” the authors offer insights on how to manage teaching, research and collegiality in an era when more professors feel “beleaguered, managed, frantic, stressed and demoralized” as they juggle the increasingly complex expectations of students, the administration, colleagues – and themselves. “Distractedness and fragmentation characterize contemporary academic life,” they write. Today’s professors, they argue, need to slow down, devote more time to “doing nothing,” and enjoy more pleasure in their research and teaching. It’s time, they say, “to take back the intellectual life of the university.”

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/features/feature-article/the-slow-professor/


I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave.

Michael Bublé to Laura Pausini


Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.    …  Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have publicly condemned the oversensitivity of college students, saying too many of them can’t take a joke.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/



Many years ago, Mike Adams, a biologist at Eastern Connecticut State University, studied the problem and proved that there’s definitely a correlation between grandparent deaths and exams. After collecting data for 20 years, Adams concluded that a student’s grandmother was far more likely to die before midterms than at any other time of the year. More specifically, his research showed that grandmothers are 10 times more likely to die before a midterm, and 19 times more likely to die before a final exam. Grannies of students who weren’t doing well in their classes were at even higher risk of meeting their maker: Students who were failing a class were 50 times as likely as others to lose a grandmother.

https://chroniclevitae.com/news/886-dear-student-should-your-granny-die-before-the-midterm


"The only thing that this 10-string monstrosity accomplishes is to transform the guitar from a voluptuous femme into a matronly hausfrau." (quoted in: 'Narciso Yepes' [Obituary] The Times [London (UK)] 19 May 1997: 23.)


In an interview with People magazine, she (jazz guitarist Emily Remner) once said of herself: "I may look like a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey, but inside I’m a 50-year-old, heavyset black man with a big thumb, like Wes Montgomery." ~People Mag. 1982~




The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Quando Laplace presentò il suo Trattato di meccanica celeste a Napoleone Bonaparte, l’imperatore osservò: «Signor Laplace, mi hanno detto che in quest’opera sull’Universo il Creatore non è citato neppure una volta». «Sire, non ho bisogno di questa ipotesi», fu la risposta di Laplace. Entrambi erano di parola pronta. «È una bella ipotesi, che spiega molte cose», ribatté Napoleone. E Laplace: «Certo, spiega tutto. Ma non permette di predire niente».

Piero Baianucci in La Stampa 03/09/2010



"Ordnung braucht nur der Dumme, das Genie beherrscht das Chaos." 
Albert Einstein (?)
variant: Der Kluge hält Ordnung, das Genie beherrscht das Chaos!
Der Kleingeist hält Ordnung, das Genie überblickt das Chaos!


That I - the only thing that really put it into perspective for me was after my first blues book came out, "The Country Blues," I was at a party with the Folkways office and there was Langston Hughes. And Langston was telling me how much he liked the book, and I said, Langston, thank you, but you could tell me so much more about the blues than I'll ever know. And Langston looked at me and said tell me something about Schubert that I don't know. And I realized at that point that this is simply something to learn about and that it didn't matter what color or what your background was. If you set out to learn it and you were open, you could learn. And so this has been my final justification for continuing to absorb myself in it. Absolutely, there may be nuances I miss, but after all these years there a lot of nuances that I get, and I'll settle for that.
Samuel Charters in an interview with Terry Gross
 http://www.npr.org/2015/03/20/394277831/fresh-air-remembers-blues-and-jazz-historian-samuel-charters

The gospels are written in a language that Jesus did not speak.
J.S. Spong

Last weekend was far from the first Palin appearance that has raised eyebrows among her onetime fans. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013, she said of her husband, Todd: “He’s got the rifle. I got the rack.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sarah-palin-and-her-one-time-fans-on-the-right-its-so-over/2015/01/28/20625eb8-a70b-11e4-a06b-9df2002b86a0_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free …, it expects what never was and never will be.
Attributed to Thomas Jefferson (but he probably never said it with those words)

C'est en voyant un moustique se poser sur ses testicules qu'on réalise qu'on ne peut pas régler tous les problèmes par la violence.
Proverbe Chinois (?)  put on facebook by Willy Denzey

Une fourmi sur le sol, tu l'écrases; Une fourmi sur ton bras, tu la pousses doucement.
proverbe belge


As the actress said to the bishop:  you couldn't have come at a better time.
Anon.



“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.” 


Les jeux sont faits.
Les faits sont jeux.
Les feux sont jets.
les feux songeaient.
Carlo Cappellaro


"Telling someone to follow their passion -- from an entrepreneur's point of view -- is disastrous," says Cal Newport, Georgetown University professor and author of So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search For Work You Love. "That advice has probably resulted in more failed businesses than all the recessions combined... because that's not how the vast majority of people end up owning successful businesses.”

“The myth of the virtuoso is also a problem," Newport says. "In the majority of cases people think of someone who became a virtuoso as having had unusual talent when they were very young."

Instead, most highly skilled people were exposed to something in a way that made it interesting. Take musicians. Something (a song, an instrument, a teacher, etc) initially inspired them. They started learning and then benefited from what Newport describes as a feedback effect.

"If you practice hard, soon you might find you're the best in your group of students," he says. "That's great feedback and it motivates you to keep practicing. Then you're one of the best in a larger group and that's motivating too. Practice and achievement is a gradual, self-reinforcing process."

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140602121626-20017018--do-what-you-love-is-horrible-advice


Dear Colleagues,
                As I have looked out my window in the past two days, I have beheld a sunny quad with masses of students in shorts and flip-flops and even one professor hoping to communicate knowledge while holding class on the lawn, so I guess we can finally believe that spring is here. 
Father James Miracki, Dean, in an email to the Loyola faculty



The Jesuits have a famous maxim: "Give me a child for the first seven years, and you may do what you like with him afterwards." Lenin later went one better and reckoned if he had the child for eight years, they would be a Bolshevik forever.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/politics_show/7867305.stm



God is dead.
Friedrich Nietzsche
God is dad. 
Sigmund Freud.


- Just because you’re not a drummer, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep time.

- They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along and spoil it

- Make the drummer sound good.

- Don't play the piano part.  I'm playing that.  Don't listen to me, I'm supposed to be accompanying you!

- What should we wear tonight?  Sharp as possible!

- You've got it! If you don't want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any case: you got it!

Thelonious Monk


Famous guitarist Julian Bream began his career playing a harp guitar, and not just any guitar, this was a Selmer-Maccaferri. A picture exists showing your Julian, at around 13 years of age, playing his harp guitar. The picture was taken during a visit to Banjo, Mandolin & Guitar Magazine when Julian was just about to be 'discovered' and appeared on the magazine's cover in June 1947. Julian's first teacher, Dr Boris Perrot, had owned a Russian harp guitar and advocated the use of these extra strings, in fact Julian's father enjoyed the sound so much he helped build the guitar into the logo of the Philharmonic Society of Guitarists, so he was very willing to look for suitable instrument for his talented son. His choice was a nine stringed harp guitar said to have been played by Maccaferri himself. Despite this, when Julian Bream gave his first concerts, he used a conventional, six stringed guitar, so what happened?

Apparently it is all down to one man, Wilfred Appleby, a member of the Philharmonic Society of Guitarists who was partially responsible for the launch of Breams career. Unlike Bream senior he was not enamoured of the harp guitar, in fact he described it as a 'freak instrument'. Appleby wrote that 'no music requiring extra strings is really representative guitar music' and demanded that Julian use a conventional guitar for his debut.



Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4406024


Segovia was ever adamantly against extra strings.
http://harpguitars.net/blog/2012/07/if-this-harp-guitar-could-talk%E2%80%A6/




Egidius waer bestu bleven                                                        Egidius, where are you?
Mi lanct na di gheselle mijn                                                        I long for you, my friend.
Du coors die doot du liets mi tleven                                            You chose death, you left me life.

Dat was gheselscap goet ende fijn                                    Ours was companionship good and fine.
Het sceen teen moeste ghestorven sijn                            It seems we ought to have died together.

from a Flemish manuscript of around 1400.
In memoriam Kristina Dekelver 1957-2013, my friend of 38 years.
Nobody saw it coming.

The lottery is like a tax on the mathematically challenged.    
Oscar Wilde

Des idées réclamant le fameux sacrifice
Les sectes de tout poil en offrent des séquelles
Et la question se pose aux victimes novices
Mourir pour des idées, c'est bien beau mais lesquelles ?
Et comme toutes sont entre elles ressemblantes
Quand il les voit venir, avec leur gros drapeau
Le sage, en hésitant, tourne autour du tombeau
Mourrons pour des idées, d'accord, mais de mort lente
D'accord, mais de mort lente
Georges+Brassens


What works?  More than four decades of education reforms didn't make me a better teacher and haven't made T.C. Williams a better school.  Rather, the quick fixes promulgated by headline-seeking politicians, school administrators and self-styled education gurus have in some cases done more harm than good.   
I found that the most helpful professional-development experiences involved fellow English teachers sharing what worked in their classrooms -- always with the caveat:  "This works for me; it may not work for you."  Being with people who loved doing what I did and exchanging ideas without any professional jealousy was always reinvigorating.  
A passion for communicating one's subject matter to the next generation isn't among the 74 items on Alexandria's Curriculum Implementation Walkthrough Data Collections list, which Sherman, who left Alexandria schools last month, used to evaluate faculty.  But it's what all great teachers have in abundance.  And it's what will keep them going when the next wave of reforms comes rolling through.
 "Four decades of failed school reform"  Washington Post B3,  Sunday, September 29 2013
by Patrick Welsh (retired in June after 43 years teaching English at T.C. Williams High School) 

The typical Fleming generated 28,900 euros ($37,900) in economic output in 2010, 18 percent above the European Union average, according to the latest EU data. Per capita production in the French-speaking region was 21,500 euros, 12 percent below the EU average.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-19/belgium-to-crown-seventh-king-amid-doubts-about-an-eighth.html

Disce aut discede (learn or go away)
An inscription above the entrance to the Shepton Mallet school in England, found by my friend Nick Blanton.  
It seems to have been common at English schools.


"I hate the sight of pen, ink, and paper... I do not believe that I was born for such a lot. I have aimed higher than this"
Henri Wadsworth Longfellow, Harvard professor, poet and translator.

The best writers, especially war correspondents, are moralists.  I think of Richard Harding Davis' picture of the German army marching into Brussels and burning Louvain in 1914: he had witnessed wars where both sides followed some rules, but, "At Louvain it was war upon the defenseless, war upon churches, colleges, shops of milliners and lacemakers; war brought to the bedside and fireside; against women harvesting in the fields, against children in wooden shoes at play in the streets."
What would he say today about drones?  Your papers are due tomorrow in the first minute of class.
Raymond A. Schroth, S.J.

Aut amat mulier, aut odit, nil tertium.  (a woman either loves or hates, there's no other (third) possibility.)
  Seneca

God did it, so there's no evolution.  Evolution did it, so there's no god.  Nil tertium????

I can explain it to you, but I can't comprehend it for you.
   Ed Koch, late major of NY

And that's where this book runs the risk of trampling over sacred ground.  The Holocaust, of course, is largely a story of mass deaths.  The events memorialized in "Isaac's Army" were freakish aberrations.  Only an abnormality can produce a happy ending in a Holocaust tale.  The triumph of the human spirit is trumpeted on every page, but the larger, darker truth of the Holocaust can end up being trivialized amid the desperate wish to affirm life.  
Thane Rosenbaum reviewing "Isaac's Army" in the Washington Post, Jan 6 2013, B5


It is so easy to get a lot of noise out of an accordion that it is very difficult to get music out of one. In the hands of an unfeeling person or a show-off, it can be a pain to listen to. But in the hands of a sensitive person with taste and restraint -- and also with a good deal of strength and power in arms and shoulders -- perhaps it can be just as beautiful as any instrument. Listen to the accordions accompanying the Piatnitsky chorus on Russian folksongs, or the Louisiana cajun accordion ("windjammers" they called them -- Leadbelly could play one).
 Pete Seeger in his Johnny Appleseed, Jr. column in the February-March 1963 issue of Sing Out! magazine


Art is a lie that enables us to see the truth.
Pablo Picasso

Everything here is designed to focus your ear on Ostroushko’s bright, crisp, precise playing. And, that’s the only knock with this three-and-a-half hour set. There’s an inherent sameness to the mando’s narrow ring that makes these songs best in short takes. But, there isn’t a cut here that won’t make you marvel at Ostroushko’s touch.
An online review of Peter Ostroushko's latest album (and a warning for mandolin players)

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.    
Henri Ford

erit enim tempus cum sanam doctrinam non sustinebunt sed ad sua desideria coacervabunt sibi magistros prurientes auribus
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food - catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.

2 Timothy 4:3-4



“Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – 

attributed to Albert Einstein



 

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. ... I get most joy in life out of music.”

ALBERT EINSTEIN



Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

--Antoine de Saint-Exupéry



Mensen willen bemind worden.  Bij gebrek daaraan willen ze gerespecteerd worden.  Bij gebrek daaraan, willen ze gevreesd worden.  Bij gebrek daaraan willen ze verafschuwd worden.  Bij gebrek daaraan kan je beter doodgaan.

Herman van Veen


Seuls 4% des Belges se disent encore catholiques pratiquants

Une enquête du Crisp révélait ainsi qu’en 1977, 84% des Flamands, 74,9% des Wallons et 46,9% des Bruxellois se mariaient encore à l'église. Trente ans plus tard, ils ne sont respectivement plus que 28%, 28,4% et 7,2%, soit une moyenne de 21% pour l’ensemble du pays.

link to source


Another commonly held notion, that studying is how learning occurs and testing is an afterthought, was upended by Henry L. "Roddy" Roediger III, a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, who has studied what is known as the "testing effect."    

In an experiment, he broke students into three different groups: One studied a list of words eight consecutive times without taking any tests; the second studied the list six times and was tested twice. The last studied the words four times and took four tests. Two days later, they were asked to recall as many words as they could. Those who took four tests recalled words at up to twice the rate of those who only studied.   

"Taking a test on something is a very effective way to learn about it," Mr. Roediger said.

http://chronicle.com/article/Harvard-Seeks-to-Jolt/130683/

  • Gli Italiani tutti ladroni.  (All Italians are plunderers.)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte, when in Italy.
  • Non tutti, ma buona parte.  (Not all, but a good part (good part is buona parte, intending Buonaparte).
    • Supposed response by a lady who overheard him.
    • Reported in Samuel TaylorBiographia Literaria, Satyrane's Letters No 2 (Ed 1870). 

IF VOTING COULD CHANGE ANYTHING, IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL
Sign held by a protester at the World Economic Forum in Davos (cited in Time Magazine Feb13 2012 p 21)


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.      Mark Twain

Craigslist Ad: 
"We are a new casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD's. No pay will be involved.This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More Jazz, Rock, & smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP."

A Musician's Reply: 

"Happy New Year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. No pay will be involved. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response. More fine dining & exotic meals and mixed Ethnic Fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP."


Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
Laurie Anderson

Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that despite the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak foreign languages.     
Dave Barry

I've said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.
B. B. King

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

Americans eventually always do the right thing, after exhausting all other possibilities.

Winston Churchill, quoted on NPR


As a child, (folk singer Judy) Collins studied classical pianowith Antonia Brico, making her public debut at age 13, performing Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos. Dr. Brico took a dim view, both then and later, of Collins's developing interest in folk music, which led her to the difficult decision to discontinue her piano lessons. Years later, when Collins had become internationally known through her music, she invited Dr. Brico to one of her concerts in Denver. When they met after the performance, Brico took both of Judy's hands in hers, looked wistfully at her fingers and said, "Little Judy—you really could have gone places." 

Wikipedia s.v. Judy Collins



"...while a great mandolin is a wonderful treat, I would venture to say that there is always more each of us can do with the tools we have available at hand. The biggest limiting factors belong to us not the instruments." Paul Glasse


The butcher feeds the turkey.  The turkey thinks it's permanent.  Who am I, the butcher or the turkey?
(quoted in This American Life?)

“Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling,
And I would still be on my feet,
Oh I would still be on my feet.”
From the song "a case of you" by Joni Mitchell, Blue album.


Chet Atkins to the bass player in his band:  "did anybody ever tell you you're the greatest bass player in the world?"
Bass Player: "Why, no Chet, that's mighty nice of you to say that.
Chet:  "Ever wonder why nobody ever told you that…?"
(heard on Prairy Home Companion)

When the American composer George Gershwin met Ravel, he asked the French composer if he would take him on as a student.  Ravel responded: "Why should you be second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?"


"Theorrhoea-poisoned Groves of Hackademe"
Raymond Tallis


 "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." 
Steve Jobs.

Segovia was selective and only performed works with which he identified personally. He was known to reject atonal works, or works which he considered too radical, even if they were dedicated to him; e.g. he rejected Frank Martin's Quatre pièces brèves, Darius Milhaud's Segoviana, etc
wikipedia

When a man makes up his mind without evidence, no evidence disproving his opinion will change his mind-
Robert Heinlein

"Musik ist die Vermittelung des geistigen Lebens zum sinnlichen."
Bettina von Arnim, in a letter to Goethe, wrote that Beethoven had said this.

"(In Mussolini's opinion).. Neapolitans were feckless and undisciplined, and
nothing could be done to amend their failings, which were primordial: in 1936
Mussolini suggested one day organizing a "March on Naples" so he could "sweep
away guitars, mandolins and violins, folk-singers, etc."
-Mussolini, RJB Bosworth (p273)

The truth about the bombing of Barcelona is that Mussolini gave the orders, Franco knew nothing … Mussolini claimed to be pleased that the Italians managed to horrify by their aggression instead of giving pleasure as mandolin players.
Quoted from the diaries of Galleazzo Ciano (Mussolini's son-in-law) 
in the documentary "Fascism in colour"


L’italiano tradizionale doveva sostituire l’affetto per la mamma e la famiglia, con la dedizione appassionata al Duce e alla Patria; il mandolino (una vera ossessione di Mussolini, che nel 1935 vietò ai giornali di pubblicare fotografie di soldati italiani al fronte, mentre erano impegnati a suonare chitarre o mandolini), col moschetto; gli ideali cristiani di bontà e di amore per il prossimo, con la durezza e, là dove necessaria, la spietatezza.
http://assemblealegislativa.regione.emilia-romagna.it/wcm/studenticittadini/aapp/approfondire/approfon/storia_memoria/p2_Esperienze/viaggio/p2_percorso_2/n4/p0_intro/93.htm.

By 1938 Mussolini was declaring war on “those fools [in Italy] and abroad who prefer the carefree, disordered, amusing, mandolin-playing Italy of the past and not the organised, strong, taciturn and powerful [Italy] of the fascist era”.
On perhaps no other issue was Mussolini so consistent: violence, inflicted by and upon his people, would transform the Italians from a bunch of undisciplined, chattering "mandolin players" into fearsome, conquering warriors."
Michael Erbner, Ordinary Violence in Mussolini's Italy

Please forgive this intrusion on this pleasant August afternoon.
(our new deparmtent head in an email. The fall looks better already.)

Lomax's description of southern Italian singing is widely cited: "A voice as pinched and strangulated and high-pitched as any in Europe. The singing expression is one of true agony, the throat is distended and flushed with strain, the brow knotted with a painful expression."[4]
wikipedia

Eye have a spelling chequer,
It came with my Pea Sea.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss Steaks I can knot sea.

Eye strike the quays and type a whirred
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am write oar wrong
It tells me straight a weigh.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your shore real glad two no.
Its vary polished in its weigh.
My chequer tolled me sew.

Jo Fearnley



Italy was not unified politically until the 19th century. The drive towards unification led to efforts to create a sense of Italian identity, famously described by the Italian statesman Massimo d’Azeglio: "We have created Italy; now we have to create Italians."[6] Abroad, Italian culture and society are often stereotyped, associating all Italian music with certain styles. For example, some years ago the Mayor of Venice banned gondoliers from singing Neapolitan songs for the tourists, most of whom requested "‘O sole mio" and other songs typical only of Naples but widely regarded abroad as characteristic of all Italian music.[7]
wikipedia


Quando Laplace presentò il suo Trattato di meccanica celeste a Napoleone Bonaparte, l’imperatore osservò: «Signor Laplace, mi hanno detto che in quest’opera sull’Universo il Creatore non è citato neppure una volta». «Sire, non ho bisogno di questa ipotesi», fu la risposta di Laplace. Entrambi erano di parola pronta. «È una bella ipotesi, che spiega molte cose», ribatté Napoleone. E Laplace: «Certo, spiega tutto. Ma non permette di predire niente».
Piero Baianucci in La Stampa 03/09/2010


L'art de la citation est l'art de ceux qui ne savent pas réfléchir par eux- mêmes" (quotations are for people who have no thoughts of their own)
Voltaire.

 

Quid enim molestiae tristitiaeque ingerant prudentibus fratribus temerarii praesumptores, satis dici non potest, cum si quando de prava et falsa opinatione sua reprehendi, et convinci coeperint ab eis qui nostrorum Librorum auctoritate non tenentur, ad defendendum id quod levissima temeritate et apertissima falsitate dixerunt, eosdem Libros sanctos, unde id probent, proferre conantur, vel etiam memoriter, quae ad testimonium valere arbitrantur, multa inde verba pronuntiant, non intellegentes neque quae loquuntur, neque de quibus affirmant.

Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion."

Augustinus --De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim (trans. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers).


Non omnes qui habent citharam sunt citharoedi   (Not all those who have a guitar are guitarists)
Marcus Terentius Varro Reatinus (116-27BC)

Colleges have long been engaged in an odd deal with students and their parents. Paying for a college education — or taking on a huge amount of debt to finance an education — is a transaction in which most of the buyers and most of the sellers have fundamentally different understandings of the product.

Think about it this way: Suppose I start a print newspaper tomorrow. I might think I’m selling excellent journalism, while my “readers” are actually using my product to line their birdcages. It might work out fine for a while. But the imbalance in this transaction would make it difficult to talk in general terms about improving the product or whether the product is worth what I’m charging. I might think I should improve my grammar and hire more reporters. My customers might want me to make the paper thicker.

In the college transaction, most parents think they’re buying their kids a credential, a better job and a ticket, economically speaking at least, to the American dream. Most college professors and administrators (the good ones, anyway) see their role as producing liberally educated, well-rounded individuals with an appreciation for certain kinds of knowledge. If they get a job after graduation, well, that’s nice, too.

The students, for the most part, are not quite sure where they fit into this bargain. Some will get caught up in what they learn and decide to go on to further education. But most will see college as an opportunity to have fun and then come out the other end of the pipeline with the stamp of approval they need to make a decent salary after graduation.

What is a college education really worth? By Naomi Schaefer Riley

Washington Post June 3 2011  B3



Music washes away the dust of every day life.
ART BLAKEY


"Without deviation, progress is not possible."
-Frank Zappa

Peut-être dans le domaine de la religion, comme dans celui de l'amour, est-il inévitable de recourir à des termes vagues: tout y est vrai, pourvu qu'on y croie." 

J. Cabanis


Gertrude Stein described the essence of agnosticism well: "There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer."
Quoted by Vincent Bugliosi

Hillel the Elder, a sage who lived in the first century BCE, was known for having said that "a shy man cannot learn, nor can the impatient man teach" 
(Mishna Avot 2:6)

Judgment Day is the most rescheduled event of all times.
Alexandra Petri, Washington Post May 14, 2011, p. A13 (A conversation with Cicadas)

L’art de diriger consiste à savoir abandonner la baguette pour ne pas gêner l’orchestre.

Herbert von Karajan



If a student is successful, he usually ascribes that to his own hard work.  If a student doesn't learn anything, he usually blames his incompetent teacher.    

(an Indian lady I met today at a party; she says it's a Chinese proverb)


We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

-- H L MenckenMinority Report (1956), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Insulting Quotations

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.
Frank A. Clark

Each generation produces its squad of "moderns" with peashooters to attack Gibraltar.

Channing Pollock


The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing". "But," says man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It proves you exist and so therefore you don't. QED." "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Oh, that was easy," says man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white, and gets killed on the next zebra crossing. Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys. But this did not stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme for his best selling book, Well That About Wraps It Up for God.

From Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Better to remain silent and appear to be a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

   Abraham Lincoln


As I watched the Harris video, I tried to imagine myself giving a similar talk, and it was obvious to me that if I even raised the issues where I’m disagreeing I’d get bogged down making subtle distinctions that might confuse the audience. You can be more forthright and straightforward and rhetorically effective if you have a simple story to tell. But alas, none of that entails that any simple story is more than an approximation.


‘The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.’

Thomas Jefferson, deist and the third president of the USA, in a letter to John Adams.


“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” 
Steven Hawking, director of research at Cambridge’s Centre of Theoretical Cosmology


A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

unknown


Beware the man of one book.

Thomas Aquinas


Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art. – 




When conversing with young and gay women, do not discourse of metaphysics, but chat about the latest fashion, the new opera or play, the last concert or novel, &c.  With single ladies past twenty-five, speak of literary matters, music, &c., and silently complement them by a proper deference to their opinions.  With married ladies, inquire about the health of their children, speak of their grace and beauty, &c.

True Politeness. A hand-book for Gentlemen, by an American Gentleman.  (New York 1847) 24


 : We must believe in free will — we have no choice.

"National languages are . . . almost always semi-artificial constructs and occasionally . . . virtually invented," writes Eric Hobsbawm in Nations and Nationalism. "They are the opposite of what nationalist mythology supposes them to be, namely the primordial foundations of national culture and the matrices of the national mind. They are usually attempts to devise a standardised idiom out of a multiplicity of actually spoken idioms, which are thereafter downgraded to dialects." 

Gary Younge in the Guardian, Monday 14 June 2010 



"Hobsbawm estimates that only 2.5% of Italians spoke the national language at the time of unification. "We have made Italy. Now we must make Italians," said Massimo d'Azeglio at the first meeting of the newly united Italy's infant parliament in 1861".

Gary Younge in the Guardian, Monday 14 June 2010


"A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us."

Kafka


"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words."

Often attributed to Francis of Assisi

"A few months ago I was told that the Johns Hopkins University had given me a degree. I naturally supposed this constituted me a Member of the Faculty, and so I started in to help as I could there. I told them I believed they were perfectly competent to run a college as far as the higher branches of education are concerned, but what they needed was a little help here and there from a practical commercial man. I said the public is sensitive to little things, and they wouldn't have full confidence in a college that didn't know how to spell the name John."
Mark Twain

"Und willst du nicht mein Bruder sein, so schlag' ich dir den Schädel ein." (If you refuse to be my brother, I'll crack your skull).

German saying

"I think I'd been playing guitar twenty years before I figured out I couldn't tune very well. Of course, by that time I was too rich to quit. 
Chet Atkins 
 


A witty saying proves nothing.
Voltaire

A Haiku about hair: 
Hair blows in the wind
After years there is still wind
Sadly no more hair.
Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy
(who recently became the first European President!)


"I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse."
Charles V


"De Pompeiano saepe est eiecta theatro
Quae duxit silvas detinuitque feras."
Martial


"A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married."
H. L. Mencken


"Iets kan zowel goed, slecht of geen van beide zijn. Muziek is bijvoorbeeld goed voor iemand in een melancholische bui, slecht voor degene die rouwt en de dove maakt het niks uit." 
(Something can be goo, bad, or neither.  Music for instance is good for someone in a melancoly mood, bad for someone who mourns, and for the deaf person it makes no difference.)
Ethica deel IV Baruch Spinoza

Aan de Belgen
Ik ook ik ben een Belg en mag tot Belgen spreéken.
'K mag d'eer van't Vaderland op't geén haer vreémd is vreéken,
Myn Citer stemmen op een vaderlandschen toon,
En wapens zoeken voór een onverdienden hoón.
Ik zing de vrye tael die d'oude Belgen spraken.
Wie zou myn iver voór die dierbre kunnen laeken?
Ik zoóg ze uyt moeders borst, 'k lasze op myns broeders graf,
Myn Vader sprak ze toen hy my zyn zegen gaf.

Aux Belges.
Je suis Belge, il m'est permis de parler à des Belges; Il m'est permis de venger mon Pays de tout ce qui est contraire à son honneur. Ma Lyre peut rendre des sons patriotiques et ma Muse chercher des armes contre un outrage non mérité. Je chanterai librement la langue que les anciens Belges se vantaient de parler. S'il y avait quelqu'un qui pût blâmer le zèle que je mets à sa cause, - Je lui répondrais: cette langue, je l'ai sucée avec le lait de ma mère, je l'ai lue sur le tombeau d'un frère, elle était dans la bouche de mon père lorsqu'il me bénissait!

Het was ook in die tael dat Wodans harpenaeren
Den krygszang hooren deên,

J.F. Willems, Aen de Belgen. Aux Belges. J.S. Schoesetters, Antwerpen 1818

"If they act too hip you know they can't play sh.."
Miles Davis

"Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature."
George Bernard Shaw

"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered."
Voltaire

"Everyone complains of his memory, and nobody complains of his judgment."
Francois de La Rochefoucauld


"Metaphors are much more tenacious than facts."
Paul de Man

"Le bon sens est la chose du monde la mieux partagée : car chacun pense en être si bien pourvu, que ceux même qui sont les plus difficiles à contenter en toute autre chose, n'ont point coutume d'en désirer plus qu'ils en ont."

René Descartes

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
Albert Einstein


"The baths were mostly tiled showers, with an endless variety of spouting mechanisms, but with one definitely non-Laodicean characteristic in common, a propensity, while in use, to turn instantly beastly hot or blindingly cold upon you, depending on whether your neighbor turned on his cold or his hot to deprive you of a necessary complement in the shower you had so carefully blended."
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita 1955


" 'Tis the temper of the hot and superstitious part of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries & for that reason to like best what they understand least."
Isaac Newton

"Go to graduate school, write a conventional dissertation, get a tenure-track job, publish in academic journals and in university presses, give papers at professional conferences to small groups of fellow specialists, and comply with all the requirements of deference, conformity, and hoop-jumping that narrow the road to tenure while also narrowing the travelers on that road. Then, once tenured, you can take up the applied work that appealed to you in the first place."


"You can achieve anything you set your mind to." - American proverb
"Non omnia possumus omnes." (Everyone cannot do everything.) - Latin proverb

"Tout ce qui branle ne tombe pas."
Montaigne


ἡμεῖς δ’, οἷά τε φύλλα φύει πολυάνθεμος ὥρη

ἔαρος, ὅτ’ αἶψ’ αὐγῇς αὔξεται ἠελίου,

τοῖς ἴκελοι πήχυιον ἐπὶ χρόνον ἄνθεσιν ἥβης

τερπόμεθα, πρὸς θεῶν εἰδότες οὔτε κακόν

οὔτ’ ἀγαθόν· Κῆρες δὲ παρεστήκασι μέλαιναι,

ἡ μὲν ἔχουσα τέλος γήραος ἀργαλέου,

ἡ δ’ ἑτέρη θανάτοιο· μίνυνθα δὲ γίγνεται ἥβης

καρπός, ὅσον τ’ ἐπὶ γῆν κίδναται ἠέλιος.

αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν δὴ τοῦτο τέλος παραμείψεται ὥρης,

αὐτίκα δὴ τεθνάναι βέλτιον ἢ βίοτος·

πολλὰ γὰρ ἐν θυμῷ κακὰ γίγνεται· ἄλλοτε οἶκος

τρυχοῦται, πενίης δ’ ἔργ’ ὀδυνηρὰ πέλει·

ἄλλος δ’ αὖ παίδων ἐπιδεύεται, ὧν τε μάλιστα

ἱμείρων κατὰ γῆς ἔρχεται εἰς Ἀΐδην·

ἄλλος νοῦσον ἔχει θυμοφθόρον· οὐδέ τίς ἐστιν

νθρώπων ᾧ Ζεὺς μὴ κακὰ πολλὰ διδοῖ.

Mimnermus