Mataphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct, 3449.
Scientific law as a re-coding: "Science itself, therefore, may be regarded as a minimal
problem, consisting of the completest possible presentment of facts with the least possible expenditive of thought [his italics]." Ernest Mach 5187.9.
What a man means by a term is to be found by observing what he does with it, not by
what he says about it. Bridgeman 5114.
"Out of the mass of interesting data which is available in any business, how much
is worth collecting? The answer: Only that which can influence policy" Edwards, 4638.
"The problem of three bodies in astronomy is technically intricate. The mechanics
of the galaxies is simple. It is easier to think rightly of a million neurons in a
random net than of a couple of score in our specified nets" McCulloch, Finality and
Forum p. 38.
(The critic speaks!) "We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings,
not in figures on a dial." Phillip James Bailey, "Festus". See my Anthology, 23, [p. 196.]
"I would be clear as to what we mean by "new" evolving from "old". "New" signifies
here no more than a fresh arrangement, a reconstruction, a novel combination, of parts,
the parts themselves not other than those existent before. New therefore in the sense
in which we speak of new machinery which is but modified older". (Sherrington.)
Quotation by Eddington on the distribution of part-functions, 2917.
"If social institutions are not changed, deliberately and successively, so as to fit
the ever-moving conditions of the age, they will break." (Webb)
"The essential feature of our proposal is the separation of current administration
on the one hand from the decision of policy on the other." (Webb)
'There is no desire more intense or more exalted than that which exists in all rightly
disciplined minds for the evidences of response'. (Ruskin)
"I find no way of conceiving a true Universe, a state of things that is unified through
and through, if the human spirit is not inseparably and essentially identified with
it all." Ritter.
"The simplicity of the question of reinforcement, or selective retention of some responses
and not others, is like the simplicity of the fundamental postulates of mathematics
that are taking centuries to ravel out. A simple common-sense answer has no value
what-ever; the first thing one has to do is get away from the animism that saturates
common sense." (Hebb)
"In the early part of the nineteenth century the business of government, whether national
or local, was honeycombed with favouritism, corruption, and barefaced peculation.
This wholesale dishonesty on the part of representatives and officials has been largely
swept away by the adoption of a social invention of definitely scientific character,
namely the audit - a device which is scarcely a century old. The systematic checking
of the cash transactions of all public officials by a special class of [continued
on the next card]
[continued from the previous card] independent experts has found, in the course of
not more than a couple of generations, to have an amazing influence not only upon
their accuracy but also upon their honesty. It has been proved that the world can,
by taking thought, so far predicted and alter the future as positively to grow the
habit of honesty on a large scale." Webb, S. and B. Methods of Social Study. London
"The properties commonly ascribed to any object are in last analysis names for its
"A mathematician is a maker of patterns." (Hardy)
Quotation re 'stability': "....the act, a slave to limit." Troilus and Cressida.
"Nothing is more alarming than the ignorance of our public men of the commonplaces
of our history, and their consequent readiness to repeat experiments which have in
the past produced national catastrophes." G.B. Shaw: Preface to the Showing up of
Quotation on regarding the brain as a factory and trying to study it by seeing the
main events of input and output but being unable to see the small details in the workshops,
"He is a born politician in the higher sence: that is, he is not really interested
in individuals, but in societies, states, and their destinies." G.B. Shaw Article
"Hyndman" the Nation, 21 Oct. 1911.
"A statesman should be able to produce a result at ten removes." G.B. Shaw: Article
in The Nation 17 March 1917.
"Activity is the only road to knowledge". The Revolutionist's Handbook". G.B. Shaw.
The fundamental problem of theoretical biology is discover how the behaviour of myriads
of blind, stupid, and by inclination chaotic, atoms can obey the laws of physics and
chemistry, and at the same become integrated into organic wholes and into activities
of such purpose-like character" Sommerhoff, 3675.
"Pleasure is nothing else but the intermission of pain". John Selden - Anthology,
The question 'how much design?' can be made quantative by information-theory.
"I know of no way of judging of the future but of the past." Patrick Heary, 1775.
Anthology, 18, p.335.
'Designing' a machine means giving values to parameters.
█"While there are no strings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, the mind may be said
to be in the state of Equilibrium, when those feelings have been stirred, and they act in their due degree, there ensures
what may be called the state of Harmony. This Equilibrium is the great root from which grow all the human actings in the
world, and this harmony is [continued on the next card]
[continued from the previous card] the universal path which they should all pursue."
Confucius. Anthology, 1, 188.
To hew the handle of an axe, the carpenter grasps the handle of an axe. Old Chinese
'A method is a device you use twice'. Polya, 3818.
"If corn be dear and butcher's meat cheap, the farmers all apply themselves to the
raising of corn, till it becomes plentiful and cheap. and then butcher's meat becomes
dear; so that equality is always preserved. No, Sir, let fanciful men do as they will,
depend upon it, it is difficult to disturb the system of life." Johnson, in Boswell's
Serial Adaptation. "When I was a child I played with blocks which I set up as wooden
soldiers. I learned several things from those blocks which I have used ever since."
Warren S. McCulloch, Finality and Forum, Springfield, Illinois; Charles C. Thomas,
"All science has its origin in the needs of life." Ernst Mach 5188.
"Tous les actes aussi variés soient-ils, n'ont qu'un but, celui de maintenir constantes
les conditions de la vie dans le milieu intérieur." Claude Bernard. 3093. [~ "All such various acts have only one purpose, to maintain the constant conditions
of life in the internal milieu."]
Any system that influences the behaviour of another system, by what-ever means, is
communicating with it. (Wm,J.McGill) Ref C.