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Showing posts from June, 2011

Happiness and Forgetting

Anyone who who cannot forget the past entirely and set himself down on the threshold of the moment, anyone who cannot stand, without dizziness or fear, on one single point like a victory goddess, will never know what happiness is; worse, he will never do anything that makes other people happy.  --Nietzsche
I have a rather, let's say, "above average" strength of memory, which, gratefully, has served me well in my profession in that I am able to quickly recall ideas or lectures from years past, recite lines from writers when I need them, or relate experiences to provide examples for this or that point I am making in a lecture. To be sure, memory always comes in handy. It is easy to surmise that, for a businessman for example, being able to retain various concerns and keep them in the foreground can only serve them well: every small thing is considered, every person is kept in mind, giving you a view of the whole while seeing it also in detail.
But memory, however necessary f…

The First Existential Question

The Curious Camel

A mother and baby camel are talking one day when the baby camel asks, "Mom why have I got these huge three toed feet?"
The mother replies, "Well son, when we trek across the desert your toes will help you to stay on top of the soft sand".
"OK" said the son. A few minutes later the son asks, "Mom, why have I got these great long eyelashes?"
"They are there to keep the sand out of your eyes on the trips through the desert", the camel mother answers.
"Thanks Mom" replies the son. After a short while, the son returns and asks, "Mom, why have I got these great big humps on my back??"
The mother, now a little impatient with the boy replies, "They are there to help us store water for our long treks across the desert, so we can go without drinking for long periods."
"That's great mom, so we have huge feet to stop us sinking, and long eyelashes to keep the sand from our eyes and thes…