The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Adversaria (7)

‘…we must fall back upon the wholesome truth that we cannot delegate our intellectual functions, and say to a machine, to a formula, to a rule, or to a dogma, I am too lazy to think, do please think for me.’ —Edward Sang (‘On Mechanical Aids to Calculation. A Lecture to the Actuarial Society of Edinburgh’, p. 265; mentioned in Daston, Rules, p. 116)

‘An island of stability and predictability in a tumultuous world, not matter what the epoch or locale, is the arduous and always fragile achievement of political will, technological infrastructure, and internalized norms. At any moment it can be suddenly overwhelmed by war, pandemic, natural disaster, or revolution.’ —Lorraine Daston (Rules: A Short History of What We Live By, p. 5)

‘We have received our early ideas, formed our taste, on books from which the first page was torn off, leaving us ignorant of both title and author. It is the old, tattered novel read forty times on the sly that has left the most lasting mark on us’ —Jules Renard (Journal, trans. Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget, September 1908)

‘Interpretation too readily declared dims the lights of things; holding off allows the elements to glow.’ —Lewis Hyde (A Primer for Forgetting, p. 339)

‘But fantasy machines defy friction and wear; no dust or moisture perturbs their inner workers; they never break down. An essential part of the story of the newfound rigidity of rules is how such fantasies first became imaginable, even if their realization lagged far behind.’ —Lorraine Daston (Rules: A Short History of What We Live By, p. 117)


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