“Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge: the serenity to accept the things we cannot predict, the courage to predict the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” - Nate Silver
Death is the dark backing that a mirror needs if we are able to see anything. — Saul Bellow via Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality (p. 89)
Christopher Hitchens – and other icons – on criticism.
“A graphic representation is not merely a drawing, but often entails a heavy responsibility when deciding on how to proceed. One does not ‘draw’ a graphic representation in a solid form; instead one constructs it and rearranges it until every relationship between the data has been revealed.” – Jacques Bertin, 1977 (quoted by Sandra Rendgen in INFORMATION GRAPHICS, Taschen, 2012)
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies-the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”
-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, 1958
An interesting look at how much various American cities spent on books as gifts this holiday season.
Reality: Two Views
At the close of World War II Picasso is said to have been confronted by an American soldier who complained that he could not understand Picasso’s paintings because everything was distorted; the eyes were displaced, the nose in an odd place, the mouth twisted beyond recognition, and so on. “And what do you think a picture should look like?” asked Picasso. The G.I. proudly whipped out his wallet and showed a tiny photograph of his girlfriend: “Like this!” Picasso studied the photograph and said, “She’s kind of small, isn’t she?”
– taken from Robert L. Solso’s The Psychology of Art and the Evolution of the Conscious Brain
“While reflection, cognition, and interpretation of art are all enhanced through our memory for past experiences and subjective logic, it is the intrinsic structure of the brain that provides the canvas on which perceptions are painted… Art and science contribute to this magnificent process, each providing its own view of what the world is, each telling its truth about a single reality.”
- The Psychology of Art and the Evolution of the Conscious Brain by Robert L. Solso