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 Searching2004-06-28 16:58
17 comments
by Flemming Funch

Now, Google allows me to easily find a great many things I previous would have a hard time locating. If I know the name of something, I can learn about it very quickly. But it is still very difficult to find things I don't have good keywords for.

For example, I just thought about a letter I had seen somebody reference a while back, and I'd like to quote it, but I can't find it. It is peripherially on the subject of the state of education and how it might have been different at other times. There was this fellow in the 19th century, I believe, who was a school teacher and who wrote an application to be the editor of some dictionary or encyclopedia. He became the leader of the project, for decades. I forgot which dictionary or encyclopedia it was, though. And I don't remember if it was in the U.S. or in England. But it was mentioned on one of their main pages, as a historical note. His letter was at the same time rather humble, but also very impressive. He was just a teacher of some little small town schoolhouse, but he apparently had used his spare time for mastering a whole bunch of languages, particular romance languages, and other subjects. His letter is quite a gem of understated mastery. But all of that is too fuzzy for a google search, as I don't remember his name or any of the phrases he used. I need better tools. Or, hey, does it ring any bell with anybody?


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17 comments

28 Jun 2004 @ 18:19 by jmarc : Frank Moore Colby? 1865–1925).
I love these little search puzzles that come up here now and then. I'm just guessing though. He did start out in education, edited an encyclopedia and wrote essays...There is one essay he wrote titled 'Simple Simon" that is oft quoted , though i can't find the essay...  


28 Jun 2004 @ 20:04 by frept @24.242.5.20 : augmenting the physical
no need to rely on technology alone. augment your existing tools with the mental stance that you will most certainly come across this man's name again, and his letter. use of the imagination will align your outer reality and "prime the channels," so to speak, making stumbling across the requisite information easy and inevitable.

and i can't help but comment that a lot of your posts seem to contain an implicit idea, that you need something else / more robust / better-- "if only technology could advance a bit"... etc. that is simply a belief. there are no fundamental prerequisites except those that you create for yourself. (hint hint-- look at your ideas re: entrepreneurship with that in mind)

but i'm certain you knew that already :)  



29 Jun 2004 @ 04:32 by ming : Frank Moore Colby
Great suggestion, jmarc, even though it doesn't seem to be him. He seems to have said a lot of good things, though, seeing how many quotes are attributed to him.

"Clever people seem not to feel the natural pleasure of bewilderment, and are always answering questions when the chief relish of a life is to go on asking them." (which seems to be from 'Simple Simon')

"Every Man ought to be inquisitive through every hour of his great adventure down to the day when he no longer cast a shadow in the sun. For if he dies without a question in his heart, what excuse is there for his continuance?"  



29 Jun 2004 @ 04:40 by ming : If only ..
Frept, yes, knew that already, and you are quite right. I seem to frequently drive myself by thinking "If only ...". Dissatisfied with what is there, and looking for something better. And, ok, that works for me to a large extent. At least it gives me something to write about. But at the same time it collides a bit with my beliefs that life is basically alright and complete as it is, and that the answers are all found in the present. For that matter, I might paint myself into a corner, where I'm always missing something, so I continuously might have the opportunity to complain that "if I only had so-and-so" it would be alright. Which is a lot less useful if you're trying to make things happen than if you're just trying to have things to talk about.

So, yes, I need to try it on for size sometime, as something I actually mean. Where I actually believe that everything I need is right here.  



29 Jun 2004 @ 19:13 by Quirkeboy @209.92.185.201 : Status Quo..
You know.. Im one of those people who is always saying.. "If only".. which I dont look at as a downfall.. usually I find myself saying this when the scenario is more or less out of my hands.. like the government.. the culture etc..
And it allows my mind to dream of alternatives.. and is open to it..
And nothing annoys me more than talking to someone and saying "What if.. " and they argue with me or belittle me for not being realistic.. but alot of times what they are really saying is:
"thats not the way things are because things arent that way .. so tough luck.. deal with it!"..
Where, THE REALITY IS: the solution to our problems are merely a change in perspective, a shift of focus.. just being open to new ideas..
If you become one of the people who make the rules in our culture..then all of a sudden you have all those brainwashed people repeating your mantra..
"Thats the way things are.. because thats what the rules are.."

Reality is just the opinion of the few people in charge.

(I think I just made a quote..)

Think about that.. think about how your reality is determined by your representatives in government, your boss, etc.. and the people who buy and sell those people.. and realize that their OPINIONS create YOUR reality.. its amazing.. and sick.. and sad..
Sorry about the rant..  



30 Jun 2004 @ 10:04 by ming : If only you could see what I see
One way of looking at it is that some people tend to see a little beyond what is there, to what potentially is there. Or what is there in a slightly different reality. And, yes, no reason to regard that as a downfall. If there weren't people who looked at an empty canvas and saw a painting, we'd be a bit low on paintings.

The key point is whether it activates constructive action, or it impedes it. Seeing a flying car in my driveway, and then working on building it - that's a good thing. Looking in my empty wallet and deciding I can't go anywhere, because I can't afford to buy a car - that's probably not a good way of looking at it.  



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Jun30Dori Kellams So often we look only at the negative and not see that smtnohieg is supposed to be encouraging. Some days I feel that everything I do will be just burned up, and there will be nothing left. But as you point out Dan, what will be left is what we have done right. It is the pruning of the bad, including looking at everything negatively, that needs to occur so that we can focus on all that is good. This goes hand in hand with Tom Cain's post on Facebook, if we focus on the bad that is only what we are aware of. Focus on God and His Son and you will be aware of Them and all the good that there really is.  


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