echoπ

history and ideas sans thesis

Ice to your blood, friends!

Slay him! The Christian’s son has bewitched The Mountain King’s fairest daughter! Slay him! Slay him! May I hack him on the fingers? May I tug him by the hair? Hu, hey, let me bite him in the haunches! Shall he be boiled into broth and bree to me Shall he roast on a spit or be browned in a stewpan? Ice to your blood, friends!

After listening to Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, I found these wonderfully sinister lyrics, and also that the piece was written for a play by Henrik Ibsen (Icelandic) called Peer Gynt (1876), itself inspired by a the fairy tale, Per Gynt “about a hunter from Kvam who rescues three dairy-maids from trolls and shoots the Bøyg, a gigantic, worm-shaped troll-being.”. The fairy tale is most famously recorded by Asbjørnsen and Moe in Norwegian Folktales (Norske Folkeeventyr). The English translation, Popular Tales from the Norse by G.W. Dasent was the only one endorsed by Asbjørnsen and Moe. A selection of Dasent’s work was further republished as East of the Sun and West of the Moon, subsequently illustrated by art nouveau artist Kay Nielsen, with additional translations.

#Norwegian #Folk Tales #Classical Music #19th Century |

Looks like history’s made room for us after all

From the phenomenally well done drama-documentary on the 1793 seige of Toulon and Napoleon’s very early career: BBC One: Heroes and Villains: Napoleon

Looks like history’s made room for us after all

From the phenomenally well done drama-documentary on the 1793 seige of Toulon and Napoleon’s very early career: BBC One: Heroes and Villains: Napoleon

6 notes | #18th century #French Republic #Napoleon Bonaparte #Military History |

Bertrand Russell’s Liberal Decalogue

Selected quotations from "The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism" in the New York Times Magazine, 16 December 1951. It was then included in The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 3,  1944-1967.

“Liberalism is not so much a creed as a disposition. It is oppposed to creeds. Locke maintained that there is only probable opinion, and that the person who feels no doubt is stupid.

“Those happy days are past. Nowadays, the man who has any doubt whatever is despised; in many countries he is put in prison, and in America he is thought unfit to perform any public function.

“America, which imagines itself the land of free enterprise, will not permit free enterprise in the world of ideas. In America, almost as much as in Russia, you must think what your neighbor thinks, or rather what your neighbor thinks that it pays to think.

“But the liberal attitude does not say that you should oppose authority. It says only that you should be free to oppose authority, which is quite a different thing.

“It is all very fine to wish to curb human passion, but you cannot curb the passions of those who do the curbing.

“Perhaps the essence of the liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one, but only to supplement it.

Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Bertrand Russell’s Liberal Decalogue

Selected quotations from "The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism" in the New York Times Magazine, 16 December 1951. It was then included in The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 3, 1944-1967.

“Liberalism is not so much a creed as a disposition. It is oppposed to creeds. Locke maintained that there is only probable opinion, and that the person who feels no doubt is stupid.

“Those happy days are past. Nowadays, the man who has any doubt whatever is despised; in many countries he is put in prison, and in America he is thought unfit to perform any public function.

“America, which imagines itself the land of free enterprise, will not permit free enterprise in the world of ideas. In America, almost as much as in Russia, you must think what your neighbor thinks, or rather what your neighbor thinks that it pays to think.

“But the liberal attitude does not say that you should oppose authority. It says only that you should be free to oppose authority, which is quite a different thing.

“It is all very fine to wish to curb human passion, but you cannot curb the passions of those who do the curbing.

“Perhaps the essence of the liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one, but only to supplement it.

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

4 notes | #Liberalism #Philosophy #Bertrand Russell #20th century |

Prof. Richard Feynman

“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts.”

"What is Science?", presented at the fifteenth annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, in New York City (1966) published in The Physics Teacher Vol. 7, issue 6 (1969)

Prof. Richard Feynman

“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts.”

"What is Science?", presented at the fifteenth annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association, in New York City (1966) published in The Physics Teacher Vol. 7, issue 6 (1969)

3 notes | #Science #Birds #Nature #Richard Feynman #Education |

Spread of the Mongol Empire (1206-1294)

The Mongol Empire existed during the 13th and 14th centuries, and was the largest contiguous land empire in human history. Beginning in the Central Asian steppes, it eventually stretched from Eastern Europe to the Sea of Japan, covering large parts of Siberia in the north and extending southward into Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Iranian plateau, and the Middle East.

Spread of the Mongol Empire (1206-1294)

The Mongol Empire existed during the 13th and 14th centuries, and was the largest contiguous land empire in human history. Beginning in the Central Asian steppes, it eventually stretched from Eastern Europe to the Sea of Japan, covering large parts of Siberia in the north and extending southward into Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Iranian plateau, and the Middle East.

Source: Wikipedia

17 notes | #Mongolia #Empire #13th century |