Samstag, 1. Dezember 2012

Gedicht / Poem / Стихи

Der, wer dichtet, richtet Worte
Aus um Muster zu erzeugen
Aus Bedeutung und aus Klang.
Mal ein kleines, feines Muster,
So wie Karos oder Streifen,
Das man leicht erkennen kann;
Mal ein schweres, das verwirrt,
Wo man nicht weiß, ist da eins?
Lies die Worte, hör die Worte,
Lass sie auf der Zunge klingen,
Klingt es gut, hast du's verstanden,
Klingt es schlecht, versuch es anders.
Wenn das Muster schief und krumm ist,
Wenn die Worte hohl und dumm sind,
Kann's ein schlechter Leser sein,
Kann's ein schlechter Dichter sein.

Donnerstag, 25. Oktober 2012

Kitchens by the Dozen

When I was a boy, "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "Belles on their Toes" (In German: "Im Dutzend billiger" und "Aus Kindern werden Leute") were among my favourite books. I liked these memoirs of living in a large, "rationally organised" family, which to me, at that age, seemed to be extremely funny and attractive at the same time. I was vaguely aware that the Gilbreths were supposed to be real people, not inventions of a fiction author's imagination, but somehow I'd never expected for information about them to show up in the real world. So it was a pleasant surprise to find this article in Slate about Lilian Gilbreth's contribution to modern home kitchen organisation. It's a bit like finding out that, say, Sindbad was a really existing merchant adventurer who plied the seas at the times of Harun Al-Rashid.

Donnerstag, 11. Oktober 2012

Hobbes's God

Last week's Economist published a review of "the first critical edition of Hobbes’s “Leviathan”". Even though Hobbes
destroyed many of his private papers, which is one reason why the life and work of Hobbes has long been such a tricky subject for scholars,
it's astonishing that it took so long. I liked this nugget:
Above all, though, it was Hobbes’s scientific materialism that rendered him an anathema. Like Descartes, and other devotees of the “new philosophy” pioneered by Galileo, Hobbes regarded nature as a machine. But he took this idea further than anyone else and maintained that absolutely everything is physical. There are no immaterial spirits: man’s immortality begins with the resurrection of his body. And God himself is a physical being. This is what made Hobbes an “atheist” to practically everyone except himself. For most of history an “atheist” was a man who worshipped the wrong God, not no God at all; a physical God, as imagined by Hobbes, was not really God. Hobbes’s idea is one of the rarest heresies in the history of Christianity. Some have claimed that Tertullian, one of the Latin Fathers of the Church, believed it. But the idea was abhorrent to all denominations until the 19th century, when the new American religion of Mormonism adopted it. Like Hobbes, Mormons maintain that the Bible means what it says in the passages that describe man as made in God’s image. If Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate in next month’s American presidential election, believes the scriptures of his own religion, he accepts that God the Father “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s”—the very belief which caused Hobbes to be vilified for centuries.
Now, whatever official theologies say, the image of a god with a human form has always been a feature of Christian popular belief (the father-figure with the beard). Interesting to see this view to be held at least by one great philosopher and by one major religion.

Freitag, 14. September 2012

Есть только миг

В послндние два года ушли из жизни дорогие мне люди. Эта песня для них - для бабушки, для Раке, для John Reilly, хотя я его знал только по интернету, и для Саши - сколько раз он пел её для меня!

Mittwoch, 29. August 2012

Blogroll News

Followed a recommendation of zompist and found the bLogicarian. Language, translation, literature - and that by someone who really seems to know what he is talking about, at least where I'm able to judge. Added to my blogroll.

Montag, 20. August 2012


A young man inherits the position of his dictator father. He sets a new, lighter tone, shifts aside some of his father's courtiers, shows himself with an attractive, smiling young wife. Promising? That portrait also fitted Bashar Al-Assad 12 years ago.

Donnerstag, 29. März 2012

Die Beste Aller Welten / The Best of All worlds / Лучший из всех миров

It used to be about god, now it's about time travellers. But the argumentation leaves out (at least) one possibility - that time travellers are not interested in improving the past. Still, that strip made me smile.