User talk:Archimedes

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Username Archimedes on Wikiquote was created May 8, 2009.

Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.
(Every country has the government it deserves.)
~ Josephe de Maistre (1753-1821),
Lettres et Opuscules Inedites (1851), volume 1, letter 53 (15 August 1811)

Some Experiences ( & Thoughts ) Re: Sourced / Unsourced / Misattributed / Etc.Edit

Cirt - a bit earlier, I was reading the discussion at the Village Pump regarding Sourced / Unsourced Sections etc., & it stimulated some thoughts on the topic that I wanted to share. I am more than a bit reluctant, however, to just jump into the discussion on the Village Pump, since I have only been here at Wikiquote for a short time (two or three brief periods of activity punctuated by longer periods of inactivity - at least, IIRC ). Since I was also looking for someone to ask a few questions, even before reading this discussion, and since you were one of the people I had thought of in that regard, I thought I would start by writing a note to you. To focus my musings and ramblings, I did some research on a fairly well-known quote: "Many complain of their memory, few of their judgment." I chose this quote to look at because I had just been doing some editing on the page for Poor Richard's Almanack immediately prior to going to the Village Pump. I thought I would treat this quote in the manner I might employ if I were ignorant about it, and see what would come up. The first thing I did was to do a plain-vanilla Google search on the quote. Using [Quote Many complain of their judgment] as the search argument, I got 12,200,000 results. Out of the first ten results (i.e., first page), eight attributed this quote to Benjamin Franklin. The seventh and tenth results, respectively, attributed quotes that were phrased slightly differently to Francois de La Rochefoucauld (brainyquote) and Michel de Montaigne (iWise). The eight quote sites that attributed this quote to Franklin were : quotes(dot)net - two results, randomquotes(dot)org - two results, finestquotes(dot)com, feedagg(dot)com, nickelkid(dot)net, and last but not least, sayings-quotes(dot)com. There is one teeny problem - out of ten results, the number of results with more info about it than just a name (Franklin, de la Rochefoucauld or Montaigne ) to slap on it is ZERO . But so far, my man Ben is winning 8 - 1 - 1 . I feel like I'm getting warm. Click on Next, & result # 11 , and (WhaHoo!) benandverse(dot)com not only has the exact quote, but it also gives a year for it (1745), AND it mentions Poor Richard! Gee, that sounds familiar! Let's try a new search with [Quote Ben Franklin 1745 {text} Poor Richard]! Bingo! The first result this time says, "600 Proverbs from Poor Richard's Almanack by Ben Franklin": at richhall(dot)com. and when I search to find the word judgment (Find on this page), occurrence #5 of judgment is the quote, and when I scroll back about half a page, I see that the quote is in a section labelled 1745 ! Looks like I'm all set - right?

Regrettably, I have to interrupt this program briefly, because it is now 4:02 A.M. local time, I have things I MUST do tomorrow (alright, today), and I'm getting punchy due to lack of sleep. However, I DO have a point - & I promise to complete this narrative soon - ASAP, in fact. Besides, although I don't want to just leave you hanging, I'm betting that you already have some suspicions about where I'm going with all this. As T1 said, "I'll be back." I'm sure you have no lack of other things to do in the interim. Later - Archimedes (talk) 08:15, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Okay sure, feel free to continue it later. :) Cirt (talk) 10:34, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I will. Archimedes (talk) 13:52, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Now, where was I? So far, the vote tally was 8-1-1, IIRC. (Of course, this isn't necessarily a democracy we're dealing with here, but I wouldn't rule out at least the possibility that at least some people might look at it that way ... or, simply take the first result that popped up ... or, stumble on this quote by reading a dead-tree copy of Poor Richard, for that matter.) Hmmm. Speaking of [Poor Richard's Almanack], mebbe I'll do a Google Books search on that! If I do so, and click on the first result that I get ( it's labelled "Juvenile Fiction" - 1914 -, but OTOH, it says that it's Full view ), I see a box with "Search in this book" in it - [1745] here returns {No results found in this book for 1745}, but if I try [complain memory few judgment] (small box ...), here is what I get: another, larger box with Page 36 .. in the upper right-hand corner, and 345. Many complain of their memory, few of their judgment. in the center. Clicking on the Page 36 .. takes me, unsurprisingly, to page 36 ... looks good to me! Ben, you da man!

Time for a little break. I'll return shortly ... Archimedes (talk) 15:01, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, I'm back. I still wanna know what happens if I do a Google Books search with the full quote : [Many complain of their memory few of their judgment ]; that is just how I roll. Lessee ... who the [bleep!] is Charles Caleb Colton? Lacon; or, Many things in few words : not only the first result, but the fourth too (different editions, it seems like). In the first result, you are pointed to p. 146 ; near the bottom of the page, we see MEN OFTENER COMPLAIN OF THEIR MEMORY THAN THEIR JUDGMENT.-Why is it that we so constantly hear men complaining of their memory,* but none of their judgment; is it that they are less ashamed of a short memory, because they have heard that this is a failing of great wits, or is it because nothing is more common than a fool with a strong memory, nor more rare than a man of sense with a weak judgment. And, at the very bottom of the page, this note appears:
{asterisk} Of all the faculties of the mind, memory is the first that flourishes, and the first that dies. Quintilian has said, "Quantum memoriae tantum ingenii ;" but if this maxim were either true, or believed to be so, all men would be as satisfied with their memory as they at present are with their judgment.

(Is that really ingenii, or is it something else? My eyes are getting blurry ... and I'm getting a headache. Maybe I should take another break ... Archimedes (talk) 16:20, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
I would say always best to obtain the hardcopy of the book itself, to verify it. Cirt (talk) 20:57, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Cirt - I was striving for a sort of ironic effect, there. I was about to walk away because I had already spent an enormous amount of time at the computer, and I was looking for something mildly amusing to say. FWIW, I'm a hardcopy sort of person, too - not that I let that deter me from doing a lot of reseach on the Net. Still busy - BBL Archimedes (talk) 22:56, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

If I may intrude here, I believe that the quote you are looking for is on the page for François de la Rochefoucauld:

  • Tout le monde se plaint de sa mémoire, et personne ne se plaint de son jugement.
    • Everyone blames his memory; no one blames his judgment.
      • Maxim 89 from Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims (1665–1678) - InvisibleSun 02:06, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Hello, InvisibleSun. Actually, I was getting to that - but I'm a very slow typist, among other thigs. Thank you for taking an interest, tho ... I do appreciate ! Archimedes (talk) 02:33, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Cirt - I was striving for a sort of ironic effect, there. I was about to walk away because I had already spent an enormous amount of time at the computer, and I was looking for something mildly amusing to say. FWIW, I'm a hardcopy sort of person, too - not that I let that deter me from doing a lot of reseach on the Net. Still busy - BBL Archimedes (talk) 22:56, 19 October 2009 (UTC) Ahhh - that's better ! When I was signed on last, Cirt, I had been working on a longer post, and when I tried to save it, I was notified that your User Talk page had changed since I grabbed it. Here is a save I did of my changes then - starting here - You just gotta love that serendipity ! Prior to yesterday, I had never heard of Charles Caleb Colton, or Lacon: yet the first paragraph (i.e., #1) of Lacon, IMHO, could have been written with the express intention of discussing the problem that we are addressing here! Wierd ... see if it strikes you the same way ...

  • It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge. Mal-information is more hopeless than non-information; for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one, on which we must first erase. Ignorance is contented to stand still with her back to the truth; but error is more presumptuous, and proceeds in the same direction. Ignorance has no light, but error follows a false one. The consequence is, that error, when she retraces her footsteps, has further to go, before she can arrive at the truth, than ignorance.
    • Lacon, vol. I (1820) #1

In any case, I'm back. Home is the sailor, home from the sea,

and the auto home from the Collision Repair Center ...
and no worse for the fender-bender at all. Apparently, never happened (... in the literal sense, i.e. "from appearances alone").

Getting back on topic: Lacon was the first Google books result for the quote. Interesting as Lacon may be, however, it is clearly not the info I went searching for. The second result is for a book titled A Course of English Reading by James Pycroft, and without going into (any more) tiresome detail, trust me, that one isn't what we're looking for either; I'm not even sure what Google Books search saw in it, other than that, on p. 40, Pycroft uses the word memory a whole lot, and also the word judgment a few times as well. Movin' right along ... Result #3, otoh, is more promising. Title is Dictionary of Essential Quotations (1983), ed. Goldstein-Jackson, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0389203939 , and , on p. 102, there's our quote, all right, attributed to our old buddy Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) Poor Richard's Almanack, 1745. Lookin' good ... Google Books search result #4 is another edition of Charles Caleb Colton's Lacon, from 1836: I believe we can just pass that one right by , for now. Result #5 is Mike Myers' CompTIA A+ guide to managing and troubleshooting PCs (second edition), Michael Myers, McGraw-Hill ISBN 0072263563, and on p. 117 (the first page of Chapter 4, which apparently discusses RAM, i.e. Random Access Memory, we see our old (dead, actually, if we want to be honest ...) hermano Senõr Franklin. And our quote. RAM. "Memory". OK, I get it! Ooops! Dunno what I did, but the results page just reshuffled like a kaliedoscope! Perhaps it would be sensible if I summarize at this point; nothing here that is substantially different from what I've already seen. Minor variations, yes; startlingly new directions, no. To sum up; so far, the consensus seems to run towards Ben Franklin, or specifically, Poor Richard.

OK, that clears the backlog - let me know what you think of the Colton quote. I certainly like it - as a matter of fact, I put it on my user page.
And, while we're asking questions, why, I wonder, does tout le monde assume that every line of Poor Richard's Almanack is material that was 100% original from Benjamin Franklin ?

Just thought I'd ask ... Later, Archimedes (talk) 02:34, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

InvisibleSun - may I suggest you check the history for the last revision to the Poor Richard's Almanack page, and then maybe come back here? Just a suggestion ... Archimedes (talk) 02:39, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Might I suggest this discussion could be best continued at the talk page of the quote page in question? Cirt (talk) 05:50, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Cirt - me again. My suggestion that InvisibleSun check the most recent update to the Poor Richard's Almanac page was a response to his earlier post, in which he pointed out that the quote I've been discussing here, "Many complain ... etc." was actually a quote from de la Rochefoucauld: my reply was intended to draw his attention to evidence that I already knew that - to wit, the last update to Poor Richard, which I made myself, less than 24 hours before InvisibleSun's comment, to add a note which pointed to the de la Rochefoucauld maxim ... and one of the things I was building up to in this discussion was that, despite the apparent overall consensus that the quote was a Franklin quote, Ben actually borrowed it from François. And, to take it a bit further, this is one of the things that bothers me about the whole Sourced / Unsourced issue - IMHO, a good deal of it is simply focused on the wrong things. Having said that, I do want to apoligize for hijacking your User page this way. And for inflicting this long, rambling discursion on you. When I'm mulling something over, I tend to talk out loud, if you will ... kind of my way of seeking feedback. Archimedes (talk) 08:05, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Okay no worries. Cirt (talk) 09:32, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

More PoorEdit

I'm still mulling this one over. Recently, I started adding some quotes to the Poor Richard's Almanack page, and among other things, I noticed that there were no quotes for certain years ( the Almanacks were published annually from 1733 through 1758 ). I first noticed that there was a hole where the years 1743-1748 should be. That evening, I added quotes from 1743, 1744 and 1745, with the intention of returning at a future point to add even more quotes.

This morning, I went back to the Poor Richard page to do some additional work. At that time, I noticed that the earliest quotes on the page were from 1734. I also saw the statement near the top of the text that says : "The publication appeared continuously from 1732 to 1758. This had me scratching my head, since as far as I know, the first Poor Richard was the version for 1733. Checked the Wikipedia entry: also states 1732. After some (unproductive) musings, I did a Google search for [Poor Richard's Almanack 1732]. Here is an interesting sentence from the site history(dot)com(slash)this-day-in-history : "December 19, 1732 : On this day in 1732, Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia first published Poor Richard's Almanack." Eureka! Of course, that's how it's done: just as the Old Farmer's Almanac for the coming year starts to appear at the bookstores between Thanksgiving and Christmas of the previous year in modern times. But for whatever reason, I had jumped to the conclusion that there had been a Poor Richard for the year 1732, and I could not get this notion out of my mind until I read that sentence. On a different day, I might not have made this mental error at all, but once I made it, I could not shake it. I felt like I had been staring for an hour at an optical illusion. One more illustration of the principle, "It's not the things that you don't know that really get you into trouble; it's the things that you know that aren't necessarily so !"

Poor Richard's Almanack: SourcesEdit

I intend to collect here information on the aphorisms that were used in Poor Richard's Almanack, where a source, by which I mean an earlier version of the quote (thought/maxim), can be identified. If enough good info on these quotes can be identified, I will try to organize a section for the page itself, either on the article itself, or on the discussion page. For now, let me start by identifying François de la Rochefoucauld as one example of a 'source' (Many complain of their memory, few of their judgment.):

  • Tout le monde se plaint de sa mémoire, et personne ne se plaint de son jugement.
    • Everyone blames his memory; no one blames his judgment.
    • Maxim 89.

Two more: Francis Quarles (The way to be safe is never to be secure.)

and Lord Chesterfield (Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.)

Another source: George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax

Invalid Quote on Winston Churchill PageEdit

Some time ago, someone added the following to the Winston Churchill page :

  • Gentlemen, we have run out of money. Now we have to think.

I was suspicious of this quote at the time, and I considered going after it then, but I was reluctant to do so without more information, so I contented myself with mentioning it to Ningauble (who added a "citation needed" tag), and moving it to the "Unsourced" section. Since that time, I have identified the quote (to my satisfaction, at least) as a quote by Rutherford. When I have adequately sourced and documented this info, I will probably delete it; I may need to inquire about proper procedure first.

Found the following on Antiquary's talk page, and thought it was worth reproducing here :

{When to delete entries?}

Here's an elementary question, and one I should know the answer to by now: when does it accord with the etiquette of Wikiquote to delete quotations? I ask because I see that many of the various Attributed sections include entries which I find it impossible to believe were written by the supposed authors, and which I cannot find that anyone has ever attributed to those authors. I'm not talking here about quotations that are merely unsourced and (by me) unsourceable - that's what Attributed sections are for. In some ways it seems a shame to delete anything that someone else thought worth including, but then again it also seems a shame that Wikiquote should become a factory of misattributions. Antiquary 20:50, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we have any policy or regular practice on this issue. My personal take is that "attributed" or "unsourced" quotes are, for the most part, not much better than rumor, so we lose nothing when someone deletes them. There are, of course, well-known attributions without sources, especially for the more famous of our quotees, and removing any attributed quote decreases the chance someone will work to find a source for it. But given the overall editing activity at Wikiquote, the commonality of widespread mistakes in quote attributions, and the not infrequent attempts of some editors to introduce bogus or misrepresented quotes, I think we need to encourage the very few people who are willing to remove material to do so, especially when the quotes are implausible. I'd remove such a quote with an edit summary like "rm unsourced, unlikely quote" to make clear the reason (and hopefully encourage any objector to make a bit more effort to source or otherwise justify it). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:18, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Changing usernameEdit

If you wish to change usernames, please see WQ:CHU. You should do this before editing extensively under a new name, because there is no way to merge the histories of two accounts. See also w:WP:SUL about coordinating an account on multiple wikis. ~ Ningauble 17:11, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Last modified on 11 November 2009, at 17:11