Cross of Iron


Finally comes Ada’s Note G. Early on, she states: “The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. … Its province is to assist us in making available what we are already acquainted with.”

“Any situation involving violence calls for the forging of mythologies that aim to justify the death of innocent people” (Corm, 1988: 258) Corm, Georges (1988) 'Myths and Realities of the Lebanese Conflict' in Shehadi, N and Millis, D. N. (1988) Lebanon: a History of Conflict and Consensus (London, I. B. Tauris) pp 258-274

"What does it matter? All is grace." - Journal d'un curé de campagne (1951)

Duhem said we had to hurl in their face "the word lie! Lie in the domain of logic, lie in the domain of history!" 1911

St. Stephen Harding, the founder of the Cistercians, who, when he lay dying and heard monks extolling his virtues and saying that he “would enter fearlessly into the presence of God,” rebuked them with his last breath: “I assure you, that I am going to God as trembling and as anxious as if I had never done any good at all, and if any fruit has been produced from my littleness, it was through the help of the grace of God: and I fear greatly lest perhaps I have husbanded that grace less jealously and less humbly than I ought to have done.”

In 1931 Godel proved that no sufficiently broad set of laws of arithmetic can have its proof of consistency within itself. To have the proof, one must reach after assumptions lying outside the set and to prove these assumptions the same step should he repeated again and again. This means that to prove the consistency of the science of the quantitative one must rely on considerations which the prevailing jargon calls metaquantitative or metamathematical. In older times when there was still more courage to call a spade a spade, one would have said not metamathematical but metaphysical. Well, I do not wish to argue about words. The explanation of man by machines completely breaks down if one admits at least the realm of metamathematieal. Steps that are metamathematical or metaquantitative, cannot have by definition quantitative symbolization which as machine parts could he built into a computer. w:Stanley Jaki

Herein lies the worst fallacy of the whole modern discussion about computers and minds. Machines do not add, they do not calculate, they do not integrate any more than a gutter does not add or integrate by collecting millions of raindrops. In an electronic computer not raindrops but electronic impulses are collected and channelled along strictly predetermined routes. In the process no addition is performed. It takes a mind, always a mind, to abstract meaning from each step through which the machine is directed by its specific man-built mechanism.

As soon as we make a scientific breakthrough we put it to use in the service of evil. And as for the standard, some wise man once said that sin is that which is unnecessary. If that is so, then our entire civilisation is built on sin, from beginning to end. - Andrei Tarkovsky Sacrifice

he still contrasts childhood as a time when one "wants to know nearly everything" with "the period of what is commonly called education; that is , the period during which I was being instructed to somebody I did not know about something I did not want to know." Maisie Ward p25 on G.K. Chesterton

... I abominate sights, and all people who want to look at them. A great deal more instruction, to say nothing of pleasure, is to be got out of the nearest haystack or hedgerow taken quietly, than in trotting over two or three counties to see "the view" or "the sight" or the extraordinary cliff or the unusual tower or the unreasonable hill or any other monstrosity deforming the face of Nature. Anybody can make sights but nobody has yet succeeded in making scenery. Maisie Ward p37 - G.K. Chesterton's letter to Bentley c.1891

To sleep and smell the incense of the tar,
To wake and watch Italians dawns aglow
And underneath the branch a single star,
Good Lord, how little wealthy people know.
Belloc quoted in Chesteron's autobiography

"NO MAN who worships education has got the best out of education; no man who sacrifices everything to education is even educated. I need not mention here the many recent examples of this monomania, rapidly turning into mad persecution, such as the ludicrous persecution of the families who live on barges. What is wrong is a neglect of principle; and the principle is that without a gentle contempt for education, no gentleman's education is complete." ~GKC: from 'The Superstition of School.'

Life gets interesting when we fail because that's when we surpass ourselves

"But faith, it keeps the lamp alight; in waiting and in expectation keeps the lamp alight to the end; and if fulfilment comes, still keeps the lamp alight, in not forgetting that it was impossible" Kierkergaard, Gospel of Suffering, pg 35

On one level at least, the TFA network works to ‘naturalise’ private participation in education, rendering it more ‘obvious’ and ‘sensible’