Monday, 29 May 2017

Sun and Moon... and Mercury

The sun comes out during the day and the moon at night... well, not quite. Here is a picture I took of the moon late one afternoon. The colour of the sky and that of the moon are continuous with each other giving an interesting transparency effect. On another occasion, I took a photograph of the sun (using, of course, appropriate filters and precautions). I did so to catch the transit of Mercury on 9th May last year. It can be seen as the tidy dot in the lower left quadrant.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

On Travelling to Work - 1

There are two ways to get to work: by private transport or by public transport. Private transport usually takes the form of travelling by car; public transport, the bus or the train. Some, of course, choose different forms of cycling. If one can't afford a vehicle, one has little choice than to go by public transport. Those who can afford a car often buy one and drive themselves to work.

However, if one becomes very wealthy one may decide to hire a chauffeur so that one no longer has to drive oneself. Here I think that there is a sense of coming full-circle here. Doesn't a bus or train driver chauffeur those who travel by public transport? So, don't knock public transport; it's much the same, to my mind, as being chauffeur driven.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Epictetus - 26

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

Never call yourself a Philosopher nor talk much among the unlearned about Principles, but do that which follows from them. Thus at a banquet, do not discuss how people ought to eat; but eat as you ought. Remember that Socrates thus entirely avoided ostentation. Men would come to him desiring to be recommended to philosophers, and he would conduct them thither himself—so well did he bear being overlooked. Accordingly if any talk concerning principles should arise among the unlearned, be you for the most part silent. For you run great risk of spewing up what you have ill digested. And when a man tells you that you know nothing and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun the work.

At feasts, remember that you are entertaining two guests, body and soul. What you give to the body, you presently lose; what you give to the soul, you keep for ever.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Google Maps - Can be funny

Browsing through Google Maps can yield some interesting finding. The world is not a static thing. Least of al the human wolrd. Things are always happening, so taking an aerial photograph can produce some interesting and even funny effects. Here are a few I collected sometime ago:

Heathrow airport:

Gatwick airport:

Somewhere over SE England:

In North London (a split tube train):

Mancot, North Wales:

Friday, 5 May 2017

Aristotle trumps Rumsfeld

By comparison with the false truths, half-truths (and nothing like the truth) that is currently being pumped out by the White House, the pronouncements on February 12th, 2002 by Donald Rumsfeld about 'known knowns', 'unknown unknowns' (and any permutation thereof) sound decidedly philosophical. And perhaps, so they should. There is a sense in which Aristotle got there first.

In Part (Book) 24 of his Poetics, Aristotle talks of prefering "probable impossibilities to improbable possibilities". I'm not sure exactly what he means - nor, at this point, does it matter. It is certainly much more thought-provoking than the current White House drivel which could learn much from the erstwhile Donald.