Saturday, 29 August 2015

Something about you

Here is an quote that is perhaps worth mulling over at length:

"If, during your lifetime, you don't find out something about yourself, then surely you have found out nothing worth knowing." 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Attaining Education

I recently caught part of a late night discussion broadcast on BBC Radio 3. It was a discussion primarily about liberal education. The point of a university education was raised. It was, one commentator suggested, about learning to write: it is through writing that one clarifies one's ideas and makes them complete.

One starts to write with the supposition that one's ideas are complete, in need only of expression. However, during the process of writing one finds this not to be the case; they are more of a jumble and mishmash in need clarification than originally thought. One's ideas need expression in ways that both writer and reader understand.

One might argue that all education is about learning to write but at different levels. The level to which one ascends within the education system is about the depth and clarity of thought to which one wishes to aspire.

Just because they are at the top of the education system, it does not follow that writing in universities is at the highest level attainable. (Clearly, there are poor standards in many universities these days but that is not my point.) Significantly, one can always take one's standards beyond the level of one formally reaches in education. Thus, after university (or instead of it) one can aspire to much higher standards of writing and much deeper levels of understanding than even universities can reach.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Epictetus - 5

From: The Golden Sayings of Epictetus (translated by Hastings Crossley) - from Project Gutenberg.

No labour, according to Diogenes, is good but that which aims at producing courage and strength of soul rather than of body.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Barcode - 19

This is a PDF417 (ISO 15438):

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


In the early days of home computers, there was a lot of talk in advertisements about the amount of memory a computer had. That is still the case but the terms RAM (Random-Access Memory) and ROM (Read-Only Memory) are not as prominent as they once were. While computers are great tools, there are still things that paper can do much better. It occurs to me that paper can be described as a Random-Input Medium (RIM). When I write on paper - especially when making notes - I write in different directions all over the page. The text is sometimes small, sometimes large; depending on the importance of what is written. Asterisks, dots, dashes and underlining is common; again, denoting relative importance. Ticks, crosses and text struck-through with a light single, heavy double or wavy line also appear.

So, after the high tech RAM and ROM, there is the decidedly low tech RIM. Of course, let's not forget REM, which was used in the computer programming language BASIC to denote a non-executed REMark statement and RUM, which is a drink.