„It is by the straight line and the circle that the first and most simple example and representation of all things may be demonstrated, whether such things be either non-existent or merely hidden under Nature's veils.“

— John Dee, Theorem I
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John Dee
1527 - 1608
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Friedrich Nietzsche photo

„Mathematics would certainly have not come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no actual circle, no absolute magnitude.“

— Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900
As quoted in The Puzzle Instinct : The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life‎ (2004) by Marcel Danesi, p. 71 from Human All-Too-Human

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James Burke (science historian) photo

„The trouble is, that's not easy when you have been taught as I was, for example, that things in the past happened in straight-forward lines.“

— James Burke (science historian) British broadcaster, science historian, author, and television producer 1936
Context: The question is in what way are the triggers around us likely to operate to cause things to change -- for better or worse. And, is there anything we can learn from the way that happened before, so we can teach ourselves to look for and recognize the signs of change? The trouble is, that's not easy when you have been taught as I was, for example, that things in the past happened in straight-forward lines. I mean, take one oversimple example of what I'm talking about: the idea of putting the past into packaged units -- subjects, like agriculture. The minute you look at this apparently clear-cut view of things, you see the holes. I mean, look at the tractor. Oh sure, it worked in the fields, but is it a part of the history of agriculture or a dozen other things? The steam engine, the electric spark, petroleum development, rubber technology. It's a countrified car. And, the fertilizer that follows; it doesn't follow! That came from as much as anything else from a fellow trying to make artificial diamonds. And here's another old favorite: Eureka! Great Inventors You know, the lonely genius in the garage with a lightbulb that goes ping in his head. Well, if you've seen anything of this series, you'll know what a wrong approach to things that is. None of these guys did anything by themselves; they borrowed from other people's work. And how can you say when a golden age of anything started and stopped? The age of steam certainly wasn't started by James Watt; nor did the fellow whose engine he was trying to repair -- Newcomen, nor did his predecessor Savorey, nor did his predecessor Papert. And Papert was only doing what he was doing because they had trouble draining the mines. You see what I'm trying to say? This makes you think in straight lines. And if today doesn't happen in straight lines -- think of your own experience -- why should the past have? That's part of what this series has tried to show: that the past zig-zagged along -- just like the present does -- with nobody knowing what's coming next. Only we do it more complicatedly, and it's because our lives are that much more complex than theirs were that it's worth bothering about the past. Because if you don't know how you got somewhere, you don't know where you are. And we are at the end of a journey -- the journey from the past.

Mark Twain photo

„A circle is a round straight line with a hole in the middle.“

— Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910
Quoting a schoolchild in "English as She Is Taught".

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„Bisexuality is the proportional representation of sexuality in a world where most of us — straight or gay — operate a first-past-the-post system.“

— Mark Steyn Canadian writer 1959
" Sorry, but voters prefer straight choices http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/01/31/do3102.xml", Daily Telegraph, 31 January 2006

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Clive Staples Lewis photo

„We reduce things to mere Nature in order that we may 'conquer' them.“

— Clive Staples Lewis Christian apologist, novelist, and Medievalist 1898 - 1963

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E.E. Cummings photo

„Simple people, people who don't exist, prefer things which don't exist,simple things.“

— E.E. Cummings American poet 1894 - 1962
Context: Simple people, people who don't exist, prefer things which don't exist, simple things. "Good" and "bad" are simple things. You bomb me = "bad." I bomb you = "good." Simple people(who, incidentally, run this socalled world)know this(they know everything)whereas complex people—people who feel something—are very, very ignorant and really don't know anything. "Foreword to an Exhibit: I" (1944)

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Jimmy Wales photo

„A few things are absolute and non-negotiable, though. NPOV for example.“

— Jimmy Wales Wikipedia co-founder and American Internet entrepreneur 1966

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