Emerson: “The ambitious soul sits down before each refractory fact, one after another reduces all strange constitutions, all new powers, to their class and their law, and goes on forever to animate the last fibre of organization, the outskirts of nature, by insight.”
“Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it is their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon, have given; forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books.”
“The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul. This every man is entitled to; this every man contains within him, although in almost all men obstructed and as yet unborn.”
“The sacredness which attaches to the act of creation, the act of thought, is transfered to the record. […] The writer was a just and wise spirit: henceforward it is settled the book is perfect; as love of the hero corrupts into worship of his statue.”
“The book, the college, the school of art, the institution of any kind, stop with some past utterance of genius. [...] They look backward and not forward.
Man hopes, genius creates. Whatever talents may be, if the man create not, the pure efflux of the Deity is not his…”
“When the mind is braced by labour and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion.

[…] The discerning will read, in his Plato or Shakespeare… only the authentic utterances of the oracles; all the rest he rejects…”
“Action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential. Without it he is not yet man. Without it thought can never ripen into truth… Inaction is cowardice… only so much do I know, as I have lived. Instantly we know whose words are loaded with life, and whose not.”
“I do not see how any man can afford… to spare any action in which he can partake. It is pearls and rubies to his discourse. Drudgery, calamity, exasperation, want, are instructors in eloquence and wisdom. The true scholar grudges every opportunity of action past by…”
“Life lies behind us as the quarry from whence we get tiles and copestones for the masonry of to-day. This is the way to learn grammar. Colleges and books only copy the language which the field and the work-yard made.”

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More from @visakanv

14 Sep
the problem with guillotining people – even if you put aside that pesky ethical question of murder – is that you’re subsequently left with a bunch of people who have taken a lot of pleasure in using guillotines. The monster may have been beheaded, but the monster in you remains
there are two kinds of people who are flippant about violence: idiots, and the malevolent. and the malevolent seize power every time. once you summon this demon you cannot unsummon it
if you speak lightly about advocating for this it’s likely because you’ve never come face to face with a murderer who delights in it

and if you get too good at memeing the murders into existence, you will find that their next delight is you
Read 5 tweets
14 Sep
kinda feel like doing an AMA because I crossed 34k followers but I’m also sleepy and lazy and can’t be arsed to do the voice - you know the talkshow host sort of voice? anyway. I’m just some guy lounging in a bunk bed, feel free to ask me questions if u like
maybe, tho I don’t watch much anime these days and I have several others in my backlog (eizouken, evangelion). but maybe
to rebuild the Baghdad house of wisdom
Read 34 tweets
14 Sep
people often expect someone who understands something to be able to explain it, but the understanding of something sometimes eludes explanation

this is an issue with the bandwidth of communication, and consciousness, but it does not necessarily imply a lack of understanding
of course, this is not of much consolation to the person who understands a thing, but is unable to communicate their understanding to others, and is consequently assumed not to understand the thing

but you CAN *demonstrate* your understanding. (Assuming you do understand it.)
but demonstrations can take a long time, and they can be ignored by people who don’t know what they’re looking at, so there are layers and layers to this

what I wanted to talk about though actually is how it feels to understand something you can’t quite yet convey in words
Read 15 tweets
13 Sep
some stuff i’m hoping to do after my current book ships:

- start commissioning essays & content about scenes
- cybergaruda substack, about southeast asia (@GRIFTGURU)
- research review of past 30-40 years of current affairs
- essay about smartphones
- read Jung
- play guitar
- start turning some of my old nerdy threads into youtube video essays
- 100 tiktoks
- flesh out and publicly share drafts for next few ebooks (optics, constructive adhd, unlearning coercion, high voltage living, after gifted…)
- my own research project on historical scenes
- tidy up my archives somewhat, do an essay spelunking thru the archaeology of all my junk
- organize irl meetups
- essay about memory palace notetaking and information architecture
- get a gaming pc and start streaming on twitch
- finish @1000wordvomits
- restart my 🇸🇬 blog
Read 7 tweets
12 Sep
this is kind of a vague post but generally speaking if you think i have done anything wrong or made any mistakes, i would love to hear about it so i can do something about it. my DMs have always been open
sometimes people talk about me like i’m some abstract depersonalized entity rather than some guy you can just talk to
like if you think i’m arrogant or full of myself or whatever i would actually be really happy to have a conversation about it! if you’ve thought your position through i’d love to hear it and there’s a good chance you’d adjust my position as well
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
i also think a big part of why “kids learn faster than adults” is that kids are *expected* to be learning all the time, and adults (who might not even know each other!) will actually *coordinate* to create supportive learning environments and experiences for kids
One way adults can approximate the child’s experience is to be an immigrant, broadly speaking, or “the new guy” in some context – if you can signal clearly that you’re clueless and earnestly trying to learn, people similarly tend to chip in to help
another way to do it is to create a small cluster or scene where a group of people all agree that they all want to learn, and so challenge and support each other’s learning as much as possible. these environments produce massive increases in learning beyond what is “normal”
Read 5 tweets

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