2 July 2005
"None of us got where we
are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here
because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns -
bent down and helped us pick up our boots."
Marshall was born this day in 1908 into an impoverished family, attended
schools for African-Americans, Black colleges and an Black law schools
because that was all that was open to him. With reason and patience,
he worked for change in the system that had held him back, and argued before
the US Supreme Court in the most influential cases of the 20th Century,
striking down segregation in public schools. A decade later, Marshall
was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Johnson, and continued to
argue for fairness and economic justice until his death in 1993.
1 July 2005
made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't
try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down.
But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and
hide it from Him. Nor from me, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't
come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square;
it was because I was playing double. I was letting on to give up sin, but
away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying
to make my mouth say I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go
and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me
I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it.
"You can't pray a lie — I found
30 June 2005
In the same way that the mindless diamond keeps
one spark of the planet's early fires
trapped forever in its net of ice,
it's not love's later heat that poetry holds,
but the atom of the love that drew it forth
from the silence: so if the bright coal of his love
begins to smoulder, the poet hears his voice
suddenly forced, like a bar-room singer's -- boastful
with his own huge feeling, or drowned by violins;
but if it yields a steadier light, he knows
the pure verse, when it finally comes, will sound
like a mountain spring, anonymous and serene.
Beneath the blue oblivious sky, the water
sings of nothing, not your name, not mine.
29 June 2005
One of the most important and
least understood abilities of the human brain is capacity to deal with
ambiguity. We make guesses from context. We correct our own mistakes, and
allow for errors in the information that comes in to us.
The brain processes "tentative
interpretations" in real-time as we attempt to integrate various sources of visual
and linguistic information.
It iss extly tis fakolti tat
nablz us to cmmmprhnd a mangled sntece kile thus wn.
Computers, for all their
speed and accuracy, have yet to step up to the challenge of making sense
from a world that sort of follows the rules.
Cornell University press
Laboratory of Michael
28 June 2005
"Nature uses human
imagination to lift her work of creation to even higher levels."
"You too must not count
too much on your reality as you feel it today, since like yesterday, it may
prove an illusion for you tomorrow."
"Life is full of
infinite absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear
plausible, since they are true"
Pirandello, Italian playwright, born this day in 1867, who learned
about patience and human nature while nurturing a schizophrenic spouse
through 25 years of her illness.
27 June 2005
"The happiest part of a
man's life is what he passes lying awake in bed in the morning."
- Samuel Johnson