User:Garamond Lethe

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Declaration of Interests

I am a scientist employed by the United States Department of Energy. I am not paid to edit any articles.

The Parable of the Sunfish

A post-graduate student equipped with honors and diplomas went to Agassiz to receive the final and finishing touches. The great man offered him a small fish and told him to describe it.

Post-Graduate Student: "That's only a sunfish."

Agassiz: "I know that. Write a description of it."

After a few minutes the student returned with the description of the Ichthus Heliodiplodokus, or whatever term is used to conceal the common sunfish from vulgar knowledge, family of Heliichtherinkus, etc., as found in textbooks of the subject.

Agassiz again told the student to describe the fish.

The student produced a four-page essay. Agassiz then told him to look at the fish. At the end of three weeks the fish was in an advanced state of decomposition, but the student knew something about it.

--from Ezra Pound's ABC of Reading, pg 16-17, quoted in Richard Sieburth's "Organized Water", Cabinet, Issue 28, Winter 2007/2008.

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Bon Mots[edit]

Let me share one last tid-bit: One of the reasons I've enjoyed the ears of so many around here is that you never know who gets on my nerves and who doesn't. I keep my cards close to my vest, so outside of vandals/socks/trolls, you really have no idea how I feel about much of anyone. But I assure you, I have no less emotion than you about some people, but I find it serves my purposes better to keep emotion out of it, and in return, others don't discount my opinions due to my personal feelings. If you have a good argument (and you usually do) you would be amazed how how persuasive it can be when there is no question that it is based in logic and reason, and not an emotional reaction. When I learned how to do this, an amazing number of doors opened up for me.
Dennis Brown

One highly productive editor is worth 10 admins in my book. People come here for the great articles, not the great admins....
Dennis Brown

If Wikipedia had been available around the fourth century B.C., it would have reported the view that the Earth is flat as a fact and without qualification. And it would have reported the views of Eratosthenes (who correctly determined the earth's circumference in 240BC) either as controversial, or a fringe view. Similarly if available in Galileo's time, it would have reported the view that the sun goes round the earth as a fact, and Galileo's view would have been rejected as 'original research'. Of course, if there is a popularly held or notable view that the earth is flat, Wikipedia reports this view. But it does not report it as true. It reports only on what its adherents believe, the history of the view, and its notable or prominent adherents. Wikipedia is inherently a non-innovative reference work: it stifles creativity and free-thought. Which is A Good Thing.

If a group of researchers had been tasked to create a working / hobby environment specifically designed to attract high-functioning autistics, it's hard to see how they could have come up with anything better than Wikipedia!

We are tied down to a language that makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.
— Player King in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

When someone calls you dumb as a bag of hammers, don't quibble over the number of hammers in the bag.

Morality is not the sum of legality.

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