Category Archives: Quotes

Why We Like Lists?

From Spiegel Interview with Umberto Eco Eco: At first, we think that a list is primitive and typical of very early cultures, which had no exact concept of the universe and were therefore limited to listing the characteristics they could name. But, … Continue reading

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The First Telephone Directory

Today in 1878, George Willard Coy and a group of investors from the District Telephone Company of New Haven published the world’s first telephone directory, a single sheet with only 50 names. Yes, another thing we don’t have because of technology. Here’s … Continue reading

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The Future of Liabraries (Infographic)

“The internet has already had a major impact on how people find and access information, and now the rising popularity of e-books is helping transform Americans’ reading habits. In this changing landscape, public libraries are trying to adjust their services … Continue reading

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Our Flexible Memories: Forgetting the Useless And Remembering Other People’s Experiences

“…selective forgetting of the useless is as important as selective remembering of the useful. And much of this winnowing  takes place during sleep, as two papers in this week’s Nature Neuroscience observe… the process of sleep acts as a form … Continue reading

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George Orwell Day, January 21

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” “Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness” “Political language – … Continue reading

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Bernard Lewis on Owning Books

“At an early age I made an important discovery: that the pleasure of reading a book could be greatly increased and renewed at will if one actually owned it. To begin with, one could choose the time and place of … Continue reading

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The Probability of Common Sense

  The Great French mathematician Laplace wrote, “The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus.” Voltaire, his much older contemporary, added, “Common sense is not so common.–John Allen Paulos, Once Upon a Number

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Coping with Information Overload, 1964

To cope with the present information explosion we suggest the following:  1) No one should publish any new papers. 2) If 1) is not feasible only short papers should be published. “Short” means not more than 2500 characters counting “space,” … Continue reading

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Mark Twain and History Repeating. Or Not

Ben Zimmer, the executive producer of and, gives us a great introduction in today’s Boston Globe to the recently published The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs. He concludes by telling us that “Recognizing that the search for early information on proverbs … Continue reading

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What’s Your Memorable Day?

“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause … Continue reading

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