Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Change of Pace

I’m trying now to force out the long fabled “site,” yes, the one I gave up on last year. It will come screaming into this world sooner or later, and, now that I’ve some gracious help, it should be sooner.

To that end, my free time will be split again for a while. What to do?

I’ve been reading Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorisms. It’s been a fun read from Mae West’s “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before” to Bertrand Russell’s “War does not determine who is right—only who is left.” According to Geary a good aphorism should be short and have some sort of memerable twist.

I didn’t get a page into the book before I realized that I’m actually a collector of personal aphorisms and never knew it. I’m just so naturally longwinded. I suddenly remembered a file from years ago where I'd collected some aphorisms and just found it again.

I know I generally write posts that are way too long, and so now for something completely different (and time saving :-)). The next couple posts will be short, unbearably so for my traditional self, longing to explain in detail. But I think these short sentences get to some middle of my perspective and motivations, and, hey, I liked them enough to save them for years, and I’d love to see what sort of feedback they could elicit. Do you have a similar aphorism? A counter aphorism? Just keep in mind that:

As Laub says:

Men appreciate aphorisms because, among other reasons, they contain half-truths. That is an unusually high percentage.


So here begins a bunch of posts of some of my short aphorisms, starting with the notion behind the origin of my blog name:

Never look to complete yourself in love. Look instead to be the subordinate cog missing from a work much larger than any two individuals could ever become on their own.

Eh, I’d probably phrase that differently nowadays… Maybe:

Don’t aim to fill your missing pieces, but learn how they could help you fill a missing piece.

Or maybe:

Every cog inside a machine is as significant as that machine. Every other cog is as significant as a cog.

Or maybe:

A man has never been completed by completing himself.

(That picture is actually of a sculpture in our home; I guess I like the analogy.)


[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

Wow, that was remarkably short.

Scot said...


Java said...

I've wondered about the origin of the blog name. Thanks for filling us in. I find it amusing that you have that sculpture in your home! You must be quite a cog person! I gather from reading here for a while that you are some sort of scientist. I think those lovely little pictures on each post are images from under a microscope, cells maybe, but I'm not sure what. And each is different anyway. But they all have an artistic element to them, in line and/or color composition and/or balance. This also leads me to think "scientist." Would there perhaps be some engineering in there anywhere, either vocational or avocational? That would explain the whole "cog" thing.

Oh, and I like this aphorism. As John Donne said, no man is an island.

I also am long winded. I specialize in making a short story long. I love reading your rambling posts that always seem to arrive somewhere that makes sense. I'm not sure with my longwindedness that I am able to arrive at the intended destination. Sometimes I get misdirected in mid-thought and end up somewhere else entirely. Makes for an adventure filled life.

I like aphorisms: short and to the point. I just don't seem to be able to write or think like that! :-)

Java said...

Ah-hem. Case in point.

Scot said...

Yes, Java, I am in a science professionally (I haven’t posted exactly what field, but I don’t much fit in my field and I tinker in many areas outside of it anyway). And thank you for noticing the photos. I can never tell if my aesthetic sense translates :-). They are images from a simple light microscope I keep in my office at home (all my images from work would, sadly, look like bland noise).

Most of them are plant parts, or stuff found around the house. The boys love to explore the microscopic world with their pop and when we find something neat, I snap a picture. The one for this post is of sugar crystals. The one before this post is of cabbage and the one after is of an ink jet picture; it’s actually of Brian’s pixilated eye. And the next is a carrot... :-)

Oh and you bet I’ll get back to rambling. I just want to get this other project off the ground.