May 27th, 2011

Interesting words

"If science wins, the world will prove to be one in which man is thrown entirely on his own resources, skill, and self-control, his courage and his strength, perhaps on his ability to be happy in adjusting himself to pitiless fact. If science fails, there is room for childlike hopes that unseen powers may come to the aid of human weakness. If science wins, the world is the necessary consequence of logically related facts, and man's enterprise the playing of a game of chess against an opponent who never errs and never overlooks our errors. If science fails, the world resembles fairyland, and man's enterprises are no longer a test of skill and knowledge, but conditioned by the goodness of his will or the possibility of luck."
Walter T. Marvin

377 - a holiday at last

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and for me it is the first time in living memory for this holiday not to be an oppressive work weekend. Always I would be in a high pressure tension trying to get the end of the year wrapped up, and these three days would be the only time. That means this would be a time of paper grading, grade calculating, finals organization and writing, etc. I can't recall ever being relaxed during this weekend on the calendar. So this is a clear and embraceable advantage to retirement. No more final exams, no more grading of term grades, final exam grades, semester grades.

Even so, I am not in favor of the way current fashion has transformed this holiday into a party and picnic weekend, when it is the most somber of holidays, taken rightly.