Thoughts & Quotes of
Blupete

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N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MADNESS
§ See blupete's commentary of -- September 24th, 2000.
MAN, THE NATURE OF ...
¶ "[We are] part of a stupendous and inexorable succession of phenomenal conditions, moving according to laws that may be formulated positively but not interpreted morally." (John Morley.)
¶ "Man is not the creature of sense and selfishness, even in those pursuits which grow out of that origin, so much as of imagination, custom, passion, whim, and humour." (William Hazlitt, "On Will Making.")
¶ "You, like me and every other human being, were once a microscopic spherical ovum, then in turn a double sheet of undifferentiated cells, an embryo with enormous outgrowths enabling you to obtain food and oxygen parasitically from your mother, a creature with an unjointed rod -- what biologists call the notochord -- in place of a jointed backbone; you once had gill clefts like a fish, you once had a tail, and once were covered with dense hair like a monkey; you were once a helpless infant which had to learn to distinguish objects and to talk; you underwent the transformation of your body and mind that we call puberty; you learnt a job. You are in fact a self-transforming process." (Julian Huxley.)
¶ "Every man is presumed to seek what is good for himselfe naturally, and what is just, only for Peaces sake, and accidentally." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "Ambition, and Covetousnesse are Passions that are perpetually incumbent, and pressing." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "This naturall proclivity of men, to hurt each other." (Thomas Hobbes)
¶ "When the greatest part of Men are so unreasonable as they are." (Thomas Hobbes)
§ See blupete's essay -- "On The Nature Of Man."
MANDAMUS
§ See Prerogative Writs.
MARKET
¶ Consumers are victims of the market place. Fast foods; quack medicines and quack treatments; tabloids, books and movies that appeal to the prurient -- all are pitched to the gullible public with the result that billions of dollars are made. Our population mainly consists of the illiterate and more with wobbly or defective minds. The lot have been named by Mencken as the "boobocracy."
§ See blupete's commentary of -- February 21st, 1999.
MARRIAGE & DIVORCE
¶ "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief." (Francis Bacon)
¶ "Marriage is nothing but a Civil Contract." [John Seldon (1584-1654), as quoted by Alan Harding, A Social History of English Law (Pelican, 1966).]
¶ Trelawny recollects of Byron: "As to the oft-vexed question of the Poet's separation from his wife ... he treated women as things devoid of soul or sense; he would not eat, pray, walk, nor talk, with them. ... who would have marvelled that a lady tenderly reared and richly endowed, pious, learned, and prudent, deluded into marrying such a man, should have thought him mad or worse, and sought safety by flight? Within certain degrees of affinity marriages are forbidden; so they should be where there is no natural affinity of feelings, habits tastes, or sympathies." [Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron, (1858) (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 2nd ed., 1859), at p. 70.]
¶ "A good marriage consists of a blind wife and a deaf husband." (Montaigne)
¶ "All tragedies are finish'd by death, all comedies are ended by a marriage." (Lord Byron)
§ See blupete's essay -- "Marriage & Divorce."
MATHEMATICS
¶ "An idea, in the highest sense of that word, cannot be conveyed but by a symbol." (Coleridge)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- June 21st, 1998.
MEDICINE
¶ "Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do." (Montaigne)
¶ "Medicine was always joined with magick; no remedy was administered without mysterious ceremony and incantation." (Edmund Burke)
MIDDLE CLASS
§ See blupete's commentary of -- February 27th, 2000.
MIND
¶ "The impulses which travel up to the brain along the nerves are of an electrical nature and differ only in their time relations, such as their frequency, and in their intensity. But in the brain, these purely quantitative differences in electrical pattern are translated into wholly different qualities of sensation. The miracle of mind is that it can transmute quantity into quality." (Julian Huxley.)
¶ "If my mind could gain a firm footing, I would not make essays, I would make decisions; but it is always in apprenticeship and on trial." (Montaigne)
¶ "Men do not know the natural infirmity of their mind: it does nothing but ferret and quest, and keeps incessantly whirling around, building up and becoming entangled in its own work, like silkworms, and is suffocated in it. A mouse in a pitch barrel [Erasmus]. It thinks it notices from a distance some sort of glimmer of imaginary light and truth; but while running toward it, it is crossed by so many difficulties and obstacles, and diverted by so many new quests, that it strays from the road, bewildered." (Montaigne)
MISDEMEANOUR
¶ One of a class of indictable offences which were formerly regarded as less heinous than those called felonies. In 1967, in England, distinctions between a felony and a misdemeanour were abolished. Here in Canada, serious crimes (felonies) are called "indictable offences" while "less than serious" crimes (misdemeanours) are called "summary conviction offences."
MISFORTUNE
¶ "O Diamond! Diamond! Thou little knowest the mischief done!" (Isaac Newton) (Said to a pet dog who knocked over a candle and set fire to his papers.)
MOB
¶ "The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is -- a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it, is beneath pitifulness." (Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, 1884.)
¶ "The most instructive and universal lesson which history teaches is that mob violence, by an inevitable and natural reaction, increases the prestige of arbitrary authority ..." (George Otto Trevelyan.)
§ See blupete's commentary of -- October 31st, 1999.
MONEY
¶ "Ready money is Aladdin's lamp." (Lord Byron)
¶ "Money ... this convenient but dangerous convention." (H. G. Wells.)
¶ "In 1830, when there was much apprehension of invasion, and when great complaints were made of the scarcity of change, I began to read some books upon the subject; and, after reading several without coming to any thing like a clear notion of the real state of our currency, I took up the little essay of Paine. Here I saw to the bottom at once. Here was no bubble, no mud to obstruct my view: the stream was clear and strong: I saw the whole matter in its true light, and neither pamphleteers nor speech-makers were, after that, able to raise even a momentary puzzle in my mind. Paine not only told me what would come to pass, but showed me, gave me convincing reasons, why it must come to pass; and he convinced me also, that it was my duty to endeavour to open eyes of my countrymen to the truths which I myself had learnt from him: because his reasoning taught me, that, the longer those truths remained hidden from their view, the more fatal must be the consequences." (Cobbett as quoted by Spater, in William Cobbett: The Poor Man's Friend (Cambridge University Press, 1982).
¶ "A sizable portion of government expenditure was attributable to maintaining the debt that was particularly high coming out of the Napoleonic wars, circa 1815. That a third of the collected taxes was used to serve the national debt was a situation which Cobbett abhorred." (Cobbett)
¶ "Industrious and care-taking creatures reduced to beggary by bank-paper." (Cobbett)
¶ "The desolating and damnable system of paper-money." (Cobbett)
¶ "To put an end to the gains of the paper-money people." (Cobbett)
¶ "It is boundless joy to me, to contemplate this infernal system [of paper-money] in its hour of wreck: swag here; crack there: scroop this way: souse that way." (Cobbett)
MONOPOLY
¶ "A monopoly granted either to an individual or to a trading company has the same effect as a secret in trade or manufactures. The monopolists, by keeping the market constantly understocked, by never fully supplying the effectual demand, sell their commodities much above the natural price, and raise their emoluments, whether they consist in wages or profit, greatly above their natural rate." (Adam Smith)
¶ "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice." (Adam Smith)
MONOPOLY AND COMPETITION
§ See blupete's commentary of -- March 4th, 2001.
MORAL SENTIMENT THEORY AND SELF LOVE
¶ "That species of self-love, which displays itself in kindness to others, you must allow to have great influence over human actions, and even greater, on many occasions, than that which remains in its original shape and form. For how few are there, who, having a family, children, and relations, do not spend more on the maintenance and education of these than on their own pleasures? This, indeed, you justly observe, may proceed from their self-love, since the prosperity of their family and friends is one, or the chief of their pleasures, as well as their chief honour. Be you also one of these men, and you are sure of everyone's good opinion and good will; or not to shock your ears with these expressions, the self-love of everyone, and mine among the rest, will then incline us to serve you, and speak well of you." (David Hume)
MORALS
¶ Of Taste, or of Science: "The Aztecs considered it their painful duty to eat human flesh for fear the light of the sun should grow dim. They erred in their science; and perhaps they would have perceived the scientific error if they had any love for the sacrificial victims. Some tribes immerse girls in the dark from the age of ten to the age of seventeen, for fear the sun's rays should render them pregnant. But surely our modern codes of morals contain nothing analogous to these savage practices? Surely we only forbid things which really are harmful, or at any rate so abominable that no decent person could defend them? I am not so sure." (Bertrand Russell,What I Believe.)
¶ "... morality of the vast mass of mankind is simply to do what they please up to the point at which custom puts a restraint upon them, arising from the fear of disapprobation. The custom of looking upon certain courses of conduct with aversion may be felt by the very person whose conduct occasions it ..."[Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1873); (University of Chicago Press, 1991).]
MOTIVATION
§ See blupete's commentary of -- May 30th, 1999.
MUTINEERS
¶ "[The best way] perhaps is not to go against the mutineers when embodied, which would bring on perhaps an open rebellion or bloodshed most certainly, but when they shall have dispersed, to go and take them out of their beds, singly and without noise, or if they be not found the first time, to go again and again so that they may never be able to remain in quiet at home." (Thomas Jefferson)


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Peter Landry