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"Everything you can imagine is real."— Pablo Picasso

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Nov
2nd
Sat
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My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That’s heaven. That’s gold and anything else is just a waste of time.
Cormac McCarthy, an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, interviewed by John Jurgensen in Hollywood’s Favorite Cowboy, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009.
Dec
7th
Fri
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Paul Klee, Swiss born German painter (1879-1940), Pedagogical Sketchbook1925, cited in S. Manghani, A. Piper, J. Simons, Images: A Reader, SAGE, 2006, p. 222. (tnx the-rx)
Apr
14th
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Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.
Paul Brandt, Canadian country music artist in a song There’s A World Out There
Mar
26th
Mon
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Jerry Mander on the replacement of human images by television (1978)

“The power that television images have to replace imaginary images that you created yourself operates in all realms of external-image information. All of our minds are filled with images of places and times and people and stories with which we’ve never had personal contact. In fact, when you receive information from any source that does not have pictures attached to it, you make up pictures to go with it. They are your images. You create the movie to go with the story. You hear the word “Africa” and a picture comes to mind. (…)

The question is this: Once television provides an image of these places and times, what happens to your own image? Does it give way to TV image or do you retain it? (…) China, Africa, Borneo and the moon. How about life under the sea? Life in an Eskimo village? A police shoot-out. (…) Dope smugglers. A Russian village. A preoperation conference of doctors. An American farm family. The war room of the Pentagon. Ben Franklin. The Battle of Little Big Horn. The FBI. The Old South. (…) Ancient Greece. Ancient Rome. The Old West.

Were you able to come up with images for any or all of these? It is extremly unlikely that you have experienced more than one or two of them personally. Obviously the images were either out of your own imagination or else they were from the media.

Can you identify which was which?

Most of the people in America right now would probably say that the images they carry in their minds of the Old South are from one of two television presentations: Gone With the Wind and Roots. These were, after all, the two most popular television shows in history, witnessed by more than 130 milion people each. And non of the 130 million was actually in the Old South. (…)” “
Jerry Mander, American author, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (pdf), Morrow, New York, 1978, p. 242-244. See also: Memory and Forgetting, Radiolab, 2007
Mar
14th
Wed
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We balance probabilities and choose the most likely. It is the scientific use of the imagination.
Mar
8th
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“Even today, some opt for the comforts of mystification, preferring to believe that the wonders of the ancient world were built by Atlanteans, gods, or space travelers, instead of by thousands toiling in the sun. Such thinking robs our forerunners of their due, and us of their experience. Because then one can believe whatever one likes about the past - without having to confront the bones, potsherds, and inscriptions which tell us that people all over the world, time and again, have made similar advances and mistakes.” “
Ronald Wright, Canadian writer, historian, archeologist, A Short History of Progress, House of Anansi Press, 2004. (Illustration: The Colossus of Rhodes)
Mar
5th
Mon
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Anthropologists seek out epiphanies through a sense of “Vuja De.” Everyone knows that feeling of déjà vu, a strong sense that you have seen or experienced something before, even if you really never have. Vuja de is the opposite - a sense of seeing something for the first time, even if you have actually witnessed it many times before.
Tom Kelley, business consultant, author, The Ten Faces of Innovation, Doubleday, 2005. (tnx innovationcultures)
Jan
12th
Thu
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What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.
Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist (1844-1900), Thus Spoke Zarathustra, cited in Keith Ansell-Pearson, Nietzsche and Modern German Thought, Routledge, 2002, p. 155.
Nov
11th
Fri
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The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.
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How did Einstein’s musical practice inform his scientific work


“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” — Albert Einstein

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge. (…) All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration. (…) At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.”
— Albert Einstein cited in Paul Schilpp, 1979, Albert Einstein: Autobiographical Notes

The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition. My parents had me study the violin from the time I was six. My new discovery is the result of musical perception."
— A. Einstein stated to Shinichi Suzuki, musical historian and instructor cited in Shinichi Suzuki, 1969. “Nurtured by Love. A New Approach to Education”, p.90.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
A. Einstein cited in Alice Calaprice, 2000, The Expanded Quotable Einstein” p. 10, 22, 287.

“Whenever he felt that he had come to the end of the road or into a difficult situation in his work, he would take refuge in music, and that would usually resolve all his difficulties.”
Hans Einstein, Einstein’s son cited in Ronald W. Clark, 1971. “Einstein. The Life and Times”, p106.

“After playing piano, he would get up saying ‘There, now I’ve got it’, something in the music would guide his thoughts in new and creative directions.”
Einstein’s sister Maja, cited in Jamie Sayen, 1985. ”Einstein in America”, p26.

Einstein recognized an unexplainable connection between music and his science, and notes that Einstein’s mentor, Ernst Mach had indicated that music and the aural experience were the organ to describe space.”
— Einstein’s close friend Alexander Mozskowski cited in Robert Mueller, 1967 unknown work, p171.

Inspired by Quora question: How did Einstein’s musical practice inform his scientific work?

See also:

☞ Brian Foster, Einstein and his love of music (pdf), physicsweb, Jan, 2005
☞ Arthur I. Miller, A Genius Finds Inspiration in the Music of Another, NYT, Jan 31, 2006.
Nov
8th
Tue
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A concept is a brick. It can be used to build the courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.
Brian Massumi, Canadian political philosopher and social theorist, in Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari Introduction to A Thousand Plateaus, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, p. xiii cited in Wildcat, Knowmads, of Texture and sensuality in hyperconnectivity
Nov
2nd
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I think we should - we need to recognize also that sometimes the actual universe is more fascinating than even our imagination, and it can spur - it can spur our imagination not just as scientists, but I also, I suspect, as - for artists.
Lawrence Krauss, American Theoretical Physicist who is Professor of Physics, Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Director of the Origins Project at the Arizona State University, ☞ Werner Herzog and Lawrence Krauss on Connecting Science and Art
Oct
22nd
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Thoughts are real’, he said. ‘Words are real. Everything human is real, and sometimes we know things before they happen, even if we aren’t aware of it. We live in the present, but the future is inside us at every moment. Maybe that’s what writing is all about, Sid. Not recording events from the past, but making things happen in the future’.
Paul Auster, American author known for works blending absurdism, existentialism, crime fiction and the search for identity and personal meaning, Oracle Night, Henry Holt, 2003
Oct
4th
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What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness.
M. C. Escher, Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints (1898-1972)