Wednesday, April 15, 2009

miniaturized jokes in English and Latin

I do seem to be writing about art and architecture as much on joculum as on Counterforces these days, but a visit to the LiveJournal blog will reveal quickly why the posts belong on that blog more than on Counterforces...since the latest post begins with abstract painting, detours through artificial intelligence and astrophysics, and ends up reflecting on the structural problems inherent in writing science fiction. I have never let a degree of ignorance deter me from exploring what sorts of things one ought to know if one is to make the sorts of intelligent remarks that one at present is unqualified to make with any degree of authority.

Or as my Old Professor put it once in seminar, "If you are carrying out an area of research and you find that you must learn an entire new field in order to continue, you must stop what you are doing and learn the field. You do not resort to an easy survey text, you learn what you have to learn and then you move forward."

And this is why the published work of my Old Professor comprises perhaps five per cent of the topics on which he actually discoursed quite intelligently in his seminars, and why I quote his maxims and offhand observations to this very day.

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