„Quoted raw, a note in a bottle, this passage conveys, as any similar one similarly presented would do, a fair sense of how much goes into ethnographic description of even the most elemental sort — how extraordinarily “thick” it is. In finished anthropological writings, including those collected here, this fact — that what we call our data are really our own constructions of other people’s constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to — is obscured because most of what we need to comprehend a particular event, ritual, custom, idea, or whatever is insinuated as background information before the thing itself is directly examined.“

—  Clifford Geertz, p. 9
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Clifford Geertz
1926 - 2006
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„Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos“

—  H.P. Lovecraft American author 1890 - 1937
Context: What do we know … of the world and the universe about us? Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have. "From Beyond" Written November 16, 1920, published June 1934 in The Fantasy Fan, 1

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„All of us, if we are of reflective habit, like and admire men whose fundamental beliefs differ radically from our own. But when a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand.“

—  H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956
Context: All of us, if we are of reflective habit, like and admire men whose fundamental beliefs differ radically from our own. But when a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or count himself lost. … All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. Bayard vs. Lionheart, The Evening Sun, Baltimore (26 July 1920), newspapers.com/clip https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21831908/hl_mencken_article_26_jul_1920_the/

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„How do ideas come? What a question! If they come of their own accord, they are apt to arrive at the most unexpected time and place.“

—  Maxfield Parrish American painter and illustrator 1870 - 1966
Context: How do ideas come? What a question! If they come of their own accord, they are apt to arrive at the most unexpected time and place. For the most part the place is out of doors, for up in this northern wilderness when nature puts on a show it is an inspiring one. There seem to be magic days once in a while, with some rare quality of light that hold a body spellbound: In sub-zero weather there will be a burst of unbelievable color when the mountain turns a deep purple, a thing it refuses to do in summer. Then comes the hard part: how to plan a picture so as to give to others what has happened to you. To render in paint an experience, to suggest the sense of light and color, air and space, there is no such thing as sitting down outside and trying to make a “portrait” of it. It lasts for only a minute, for one thing, and it isn’t an inspiration that can be copied on the spot... Letter to F.W Weber (1950); published in New York—Pennsylvania Collector (8 August 1991)

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