TTIX 2009 - The Idea of the Idea (Chris Lott)


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Slides for the "Idea of the Idea" keynote (all quotes)

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TTIX 2009 - The Idea of the Idea (Chris Lott)

  1. 1. TTIX 2009 The Idea of the Idea Chris Lott 1
  2. 2. I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare; My business is to create. —William Blake 2
  3. 3. It is better to entertain an idea than to take it home to live with you for the rest of your life. —Randall Jarrell 3
  4. 4. If particulars are to have meaning, there must be universals. —Plato 4
  5. 5. The many, as we say, are seen but not known, and the ideas are known but not seen. —Plato 5
  6. 6. Outward beauty is a true sign of inner goodness. This loveliness, indeed, is impressed upon the body in varying degrees as a token by which the soul can be recognized for what it is, just as with trees the beauty of the blossom testifies to the goodness of the fruit. —Baldassare Castiglione 6
  7. 7. If a man, fixing his attention on these and the like difficulties, does away with ideas of things and will not admit that every individual thing has its own determinate idea which is always one and the same, he will have nothing on which his mind can rest; and so he will utterly destroy the power of reasoning. —Plato 7
  8. 8. There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. —Edith Wharton 8
  9. 9. A rival to Prometheus, [Vaucanson] seemed to steal the heavenly fires in his search to give life. —Voltaire 9
  10. 10. Jacquard is he who attempts the impossible… to tie a knot in a stretched string. — Nicolas Carnot 10
  11. 11. You are aware that the system of cards which Jacquard invented are the means by which we can communicate any pattern desired. Availing myself of the same beautiful invention I have communicated to my Calculating Engine order to calculate any formula however complicated. But I have advanced on stage further and without making all the cards, I have communicated orders to follow certain laws in the use of those card and thus the Calculating Engine can solve any equations... —Charles Babbage 11
  12. 12. The economy of human time is the next advantage of machinery in manufactures. —Charles Babbage 12
  13. 13. Man need not be degraded to a machine by being denied to be a ghost in a machine. —Gilbert Ryle 13
  14. 14. You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I've only ever had one. —Albert Einstein 14
  15. 15. Great ideas originate in the muscles. —Thomas Edison 15
  16. 16. One of the things that makes Wittgenstein a real artist to me is that he realized that no conclusion could be more horrible than solipsism. —David Foster Wallace 16
  17. 17. Ideas won’t keep: something must be done about them. —Alfred North Whitehead 17
  18. 18. The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas. —George Santayana 18
  19. 19. Ideas are the great warriors of the world. —James Garfield 19
  20. 20. Harold, like the rest of us, had many impressions which saved him the trouble of distinct ideas. —George Eliot 20
  21. 21. It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. —Albert Einstein 21
  22. 22. The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite. —Thomas Sowell 22
  23. 23. Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men. —Theodore Adorno 23
  24. 24. Utopianism is probably a necessary social device for generating the superhuman efforts without which no major revolution is achieved. —Eric Hobsbawm 24
  25. 25. The nature of an innovation is that it will arise at a fringe where it can afford to become prevalent enough to establish its usefulness without being overwhelmed by the inertia of the orthodox system. —Kevin Kelly 25
  26. 26. Like Cato, give his little senate laws, and sit attentive to his own applause. —Alexander Pope 26
  27. 27. Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. —Albert Einstein 27
  28. 28. Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. —Henry David Thoreau 28
  29. 29. In the intellectual order, the virtue of humility is nothing more nor less than the power of attention. —Simone Weil 29
  30. 30. Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are. —Jose Ortega y Gasset 30
  31. 31. Genius is nothing but continued attention. —Claude Adrien Helvetius 31
  32. 32. You're a wise person if you can easily direct your attention to whatever needs it. —Terence 32
  33. 33. Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be. —W. H. Auden 33
  34. 34. Every day, mindful practice. When the mind is disciplined then the Way can work for us. Otherwise, all we do is talk of Tao; everything is just words; and the world will know us as its one great fool. —Loy Ching-Yuen 34
  35. 35. As is your sort of mind, So is your sort of search; you'll find What you desire. —Robert Browning 35
  36. 36. Anything done with focus, awareness or mindfulness is a meditation. —David Harp 36
  37. 37. When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely - the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears- when you give your whole attention to it. —Jiddu Krishnamurti 37
  38. 38. Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn't look up. Well, maybe once. —Isaac Asimov 38
  39. 39. Meditation here may think down hours to moments. Here the heart may give a useful lesson to the head and learning wiser grow without his books. —William Cowper 39
  40. 40. One must have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star. — Friedrich Nietzsche 40
  41. 41. To make a prairie it takes clover and one bee one clover, and a bee, and revery The revery alone will do, if bees are few. —Emily Dickinson 41
  42. 42. [Flow is] being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost.quot; 42
  43. 43. Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another. —Ambrose Bierce 43
  44. 44. One question: if this is the Information Age, how come nobody knows anything?. —Robert Mankoff 44
  45. 45. Everybody gets so much common information all day long that they lose their common sense. —Gertrude Stein 45
  46. 46. Chock them so damned full of “facts” they feel stuffed, but absolutely “brilliant” with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. —Ray Bradbury 46
  47. 47. A friend is one before whom I may think aloud. — Ralph Waldo Emerson 47
  48. 48. A virtuous circle is a complex of events that reinforces itself through a feedback loop. A virtuous circle has favorable results, and a vicious circle has detrimental results. A virtuous circle can transform into a vicious circle if eventual negative feedback is ignored. —Gang of Wikipedia Monkeys 48
  49. 49. Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason. —Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 49
  50. 50. To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way. —Plato 50
  51. 51. The Six Virtues • Wisdom and knowledge • Courage • Humanity • Justice • Temperance • Transcendence —Institute on Character 51
  52. 52. …the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self … the really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able to truly care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. 52
  53. 53. TTIX 2009 The Idea of the Idea Chris Lott 53