„The principal customers aimed for are other economists or members of other professions, who are somewhat closer to the making of policy recommendations… The question of the clientèle is even more baffling when the problem concerns growth paths for time spans covering several generations. What can at best be recommended in that case is the signal the present generation gives, the tradition it seeks to strengthen or establish, for succeeding generations to take off from.“

p. 244, as cited in: Vincent Martinet (2012) Economic Theory and Sustainable Development. p. 90
Concepts of Optimality and Their Uses, 1975

Tjalling Koopmans photo
Tjalling Koopmans
1910 - 1985

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„Reflect on these questions — and others that these can generate. Please do not merely react to them.“

—  Neil Postman American writer and academic 1931 - 2003

[1] What do you worry most about? What are the causes of your worries? Can any of your worries be eliminated? How? Which of them might you deal with first? How do you decide? Are there other people with the same problems? How do you know? How can you find out?
[3] What bothers you most about adults? Why? How do you want to be similar or different from adults you know when you become an adult?
[4] What, if anything, seems to you to be worth dying for? How did you come to believe this? What seems worth living for? How did you come to believe this?
[5] At the present moment, what would you most like to be — or be able to do? Why? What would you have to know in order to be able to do it? What would you have to do in order to get to know it?
[8] When you hear or read or observe something, how do you know what it means? Where does meaning "come from"? What does "meaning" mean? How can you tell what something "is" or whether it is? Where do words come from? Where do symbols come from? Why do symbols change? Where does knowledge come from? What do you think are some of man's most important ideas? Where did they come from? Why? How? Now what? What's a "good idea"? How do you know when a good or live idea becomes a bad or dead idea? Which of man's ideas would we be better off forgetting? How do you decide? What is "progress"? What is "change"? What are the most obvious causes of change? What are the least apparent? What conditions are necessary in order for change to occur? What kinds of change are going on right now? Which are important? How are they similar or different from other changes that have occurred? What are the relationships between new ideas and change? Where do new ideas come from? How come? So what? If you wanted to stop one of the changes going on right now (pick one), how would you go about it? What consequences would you have to consider? Of the important changes going on in our society, which should be considered and which resisted? Why? How? What are the most important changes that have occurred in the past ten years? twenty years? fifty years? In the last year? In the last six months? Last month? What will be the most important changes next month? Next year? Next decade? How can you tell? So what? What would you change if you could? How might you go about it? Of those changes which are about to occur, which would you stop, if you could? Why? How? So what?
[9] Who do you think has the most important things to say today? To whom? How? Why? What are the dumbest and most dangerous ideas that are "popular" today? Why do you think so? Where did these ideas come from?
[10] What are the conditions necessary for life to survive? Plants? Animals? Humans? Which of these conditions are necessary for all life? Which ones for plants? Which ones for animals? Which ones for humans? What are the greatest threats to all forms of life? To plants? To animals? To humans? What are some of the strategies living things use to survive? Which are unique to plants? Which are unique to animals? Which are unique to humans? What kinds of human survival strategies are (1) similar to those of animals and plants? (2) different from animals and plants?
[11] What does man's language permit him to develop as survival strategies that animals cannot develop? How might man's survival strategies be different from what they are if he did not have languages? What other "languages" does man have besides those consisting of words? What functions do those languages serve? Why and how do they originate? Can you invent a new one? How might you start? What would happen, what difference would it make, what would man not be able to do if he had no number (mathematical) languages? How many symbol systems does man have? How come? So what? What are some good symbols? Some bad? What good symbols could we use that we do not have? What bad symbols do we have that we might be better without?
[12] What's worth knowing? How do you decide? What are some ways to go about getting to know what's worth knowing?
Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969)

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Umberto Eco photo

„Every specific semiotics (as every science) is concerned with general epistemological problems.“

—  Umberto Eco, livro Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language

[O] : Introduction, 0.4
Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (1984)
Contexto: Every specific semiotics (as every science) is concerned with general epistemological problems. It has to posit its own theoretical object, according to criteria of pertinence, in order to account for an otherwise disordered field of empirical data; and the researcher must be aware of the underlying philosophical assumptions that influence its choice and its criteria for relevance. Like every science, even a specific semiotics ought to take into account a sort of 'uncertainty principle' (as anthropologists must be aware of the fact that their presence as observers can disturb the normal course of the behavioral phenomena they observe). Notwithstanding, a specific semiotics can aspire to a 'scientific' status. Specific semiotics study phenomena that are reasonably independent of their observations.

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„Certainly this man, such as I have described him, this loner who is gifted with an active imagination, traversing forever the vast desert of men, has a loftier aim than that of a simple idler, an aim more general than the passing pleasure of circumstance. He is looking for what one might be allowed to call modernity; for no better word presents itself to express the idea in question. What concerns him is to release the poetry of fashion from its historical trappings, to draw the eternal out of the transient.“

—  Charles Baudelaire, Le Peintre de la vie moderne

A coup sûr, cet homme, tel que je l'ai dépeint, ce solitaire doué d'une imagination active, toujours voyageant à travers le grand désert d'hommes, a un but plus élevé que celui d'un pur flâneur, un but plus général, autre que le plaisir fugitif de la circonstance. Il cherche ce quelque chose qu'on nous permettra d'appeler la modernité; car il ne se présente pas de meilleur mot pour exprimer l'idée en question. Il s'agit, pour lui, de dégager de la mode ce qu'elle peut contenir de poétique dans l'historique, de tirer l'éternel du transitoire.
IV: "La modernité" http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/La_Modernit%C3%A9
Le peintre de la vie moderne (1863)

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„Sacred customs, venerable dooms of ancestral wisdom, hallowed by tradition and professing to hold good for all time, are put to the question. Cultured reflection“

—  Thomas Henry Huxley English biologist and comparative anatomist 1825 - 1895

Evolution and Ethics (1893)
Contexto: Even purely intellectual progress brings about its revenges. Problems settled in a rough and ready way by rude men, absorbed in action, demand renewed attention and show themselves to be still unread riddles when men have time to think. The beneficent demon, doubt, whose name is Legion and who dwells amongst the tombs of old faiths, enters into mankind and thenceforth refuses to be cast out. Sacred customs, venerable dooms of ancestral wisdom, hallowed by tradition and professing to hold good for all time, are put to the question. Cultured reflection asks for their credentials; judges them by its own standards; finally, gathers those of which it approves into ethical systems, in which the reasoning is rarely much more than a decent pretext for the adoption of foregone conclusions.<!--p. 56

Richard Feynman photo

„Suppose two politicians are running for president, and one goes through the farm section and is asked, "What are you going to do about the farm question?" And he knows right away - bang, bang, bang. Now he goes to the next campaigner who comes through. "What are you going to do on the farm problem?" "Well, I don't know. I used to be a general, and I don't know anything about farming. But it seems to me it must be a very difficult problem, because for twelve, fifteen, twenty years people have been struggling with it, and people say that they know how to solve the farm problem. And it must be a hard problem. So the way I intend to solve the farm problem is to gather around me a lot of people who know something about it, to look at all the experience that we have had with this problem before, to take a certain amount of time at it, and then to come to some conclusion in a reasonable way about it. Now, I can't tell you ahead of time what solution, but I can give you some of the principles I'll try to use - not to make things difficult for individual farmers, if there are any special problems we will have to have some way to take care of them," etc., etc., etc.
Now such a man would never get anywhere in this country, I think. It's never been tried, anyway. This is in the attitude of mind of the populace, that they have to have an answer and that a man who gives an answer is better than a man who gives no answer, when the real fact of the matter is, in most cases, it is the other way around. And the result of this of course is that the politician must give an answer. And the result of this is that political promises can never be kept. It is a mechanical fact; it is impossible. The result of that is that nobody believes campaign promises. And the result of that is a general disparaging of politics, a general lack of respect for the people who are trying to solve problems, and so forth. It's all generated from the very beginning (maybe - this is a simple analysis). It's all generated, maybe, by the fact that the attitude of the populace is to try to find the answer instead of trying to find a man who has a way of getting at the answer.“

—  Richard Feynman, livro The Meaning of It All

lecture III: "This Unscientific Age"
The Meaning of It All (1999)

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„I should be far more concerned about the general attitude of a candidate toward present day problems and his own inward desire to get practical needs attended to in a practical way.“

—  Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President of the United States 1882 - 1945

1930s, Fireside Chat in the night before signing the Fair Labor Standards (1938)
Contexto: I certainly would not indicate a preference in a State primary merely because a candidate, otherwise liberal in outlook, had conscientiously differed with me on any single issue. I should be far more concerned about the general attitude of a candidate toward present day problems and his own inward desire to get practical needs attended to in a practical way. We all know that progress may be blocked by outspoken reactionaries and also by those who say "yes" to a progressive objective, but who always find some reason to oppose any specific proposal to gain that objective. I call that type of candidate a "yes, but" fellow.

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„In a progressive country change is constant; and the great question is, not whether you should resist change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws, the traditions of the people, or in deference to abstract principles and arbitrary and general doctrines. The one is a national system; the other…is a philosophic system.“

—  Benjamin Disraeli British Conservative politician, writer, aristocrat and Prime Minister 1804 - 1881

Speech on Reform Bill of 1867, Edinburgh, Scotland (29 October 1867); quoted in William Flavelle Monypenny and George Earle Buckle, The Life of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield. Volume II. 1860&ndash;1881 (London: John Murray, 1929), p. 291.
1860s

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“