say not the struggle nought availeth

    Few doctrines are announced and articulated as clearly in Plato’s writings, as the thesis that the cosmos hands down certain moral commandments, that it is imbued with an absolute moral authority. Thus Socrates rebuts amoral hedonism advocated by Callicles:

And wise men tell us, Callicles, that heaven and earth and gods and men are held together by communion and friendship, by orderliness, temperance, and justice; and that is the reason, my friend, why they call the whole of this world by the name of order (κόσμος), not of disorder (ἀκοσμία) or dissoluteness (ἀκολασία). Now you, as it seems to me, do not give proper attention to this, for all your cleverness, but have failed to observe the great power of geometrical equality amongst both gods and men: you hold that self-advantage is what one ought to practice, because you neglect geometry (γεωμετρίας γὰρ ἀμελεῖς).
Gorgias, 508a-b translated by W.R.M. Lamb

Therein lies its obstacle to casual understanding. As Plato wrote above his door, let no one devoid of geometry enter here, ἀγεωμέτρητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω. (Quoted in Elias’ coommentary on Aristotle’s Categories.) Continue reading say not the struggle nought availeth

des esseintes

    Afin de jouir d’une oeuvre qui joignît, suivant ses voeux, à un style incisif, une analyse pénétrante et féline, il lui fallait arriver au maître de l’Induction, à ce profond et étrange Edgar Poe, pour lequel, depuis le temps qu’il le relisait sa dilection n’avait pu déchoir.     To enjoy a literary work that adjoined, according to his wishes, to an incisive style, a penetrating and feline analysis, he had to get to the master of Induction, that profound and strange Edgar Poe, for whom, since the moment when he started re-reading him, his devotion could not have declined.

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franco-american prophecy

    Le monde va finir. La seule raison pour laquelle il pourrait durer, c’est qu’il existe. Que cette raison est faible, comparée à toutes celles qui annoncent le contraire, particulièrement à celle-ci : qu’est-ce que le monde a désormais à faire sous le ciel ? — Car, en supposant qu’il continuât à exister matériellement, serait-ce une existence digne de ce nom et du dictionnaire historique ? Je ne dis pas que le monde se réduit aux expédients et au désordre bouffon des républiques du Sud-Amérique, que peut-être même nous retournerons à l’état sauvage et que nous irons, à travers les ruines herbues de notre civilisation, chercher notre pâture, un fusil à la main. Non ; — car ce sort et ces aventures supposeraient encore une certaine énergie vitale, écho des premiers âges. Nouvel exemple et nouvelles victimes des inexplorables lois morales, nous périrons par où nous avons cru vivre. La mécanique nous aura tellement américanisés, le progrès aura si bien atrophié en nous toute la partie spirituelle, que rien parmi les rêveries sanguinaires, sacrilèges, ou anti-naturelles des utopistes ne pourra être comparé à ses résultats positifs. Je demande à tout homme qui pense de me montrer ce qui subsiste de la vie. De la religion, je crois inutile d’en parler et d’en chercher les restes, puisque se donner encore la peine de nier Dieu est le seul scandale en pareilles matières. La propriété avait disparu virtuellement avec la suppression du droit d’aînesse ; mais le temps viendra où l’humanité, comme un ogre vengeur, arrachera leur dernier morceau à ceux qui croiront avoir hérité légitimement des révolutions. Encore, là ne serait pas le mal suprême.     The world is going to end. The only reason for which it could last, is that it exists. This reason is feeble, compared to all those that announce the opposite, particularly to this one: what does the world have from now on to do under the sky? — Because, supposing that it should continue to exist materially, would that be an existence worthy of its name and a historical dictionary? I do not say that the world reduces itself to the expedients and the farcical disorder of the republics of South America, that perhaps we shall even revert to savagery and that we shall proceed, across the grassy ruins of our civilization, to seek our grazing ground, rifle in hand. No — because this fate and these adventures would still presuppose a certain vital energy, echo of the first ages. New example and new victims of the unexplorable moral laws, we shall perish by what we had believed to live. Mechanics will have Americanized us so much, progress will have so thoroughly atrophied in us all our spiritual faculties, that nothing among the sanguinary, sacrilegious, or anti-natural daydreams of the utopians could be compared with its positive results. I ask any thinking man to show me what remains of life. Concerning religion, I believe that it is useless to speak and to seek its remains, since to go to the trouble of once again denying God is the only scandal in such matters. Property had virtually disappeared with the suppression of the right of primogeniture; but the time will come when humanity, like a vengeful ogre, will extract its remainder from those who will believe themselves to have legitimately inherited from the revolutions. Still, that would not be the supreme evil.

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sig p210

SIG: Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft

    The SIG P210 pistol was created in 1947 by Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft, also known by the acronym SIG. Founded in 1853 as a train car manufacturing plant in Neuhausen am Rheinfall by Friedrich Peyer, Conrad Neher, and Heinrich Moser, SIG started making small arms in 1860. Three years later, master locksmith Johann Ulrich Hämmerli established his company in Lenzburg to fulfill the Swiss army order for rifle barrel manufacture. Serving the Swiss passion for bullseye shooting, Hämmerli became a world-class maker of target firearms for 50-meter pistol and 300-meter rifle competition. In 1921 Ulrich’s son Rudolf took over the family business. After Rudolf’s death in 1947, Hämmerli was sold and converted into a joint stock company. Meanwhile, SIG fulfilled numerous Swiss government and private orders for military small arms and their commercial counterparts. Its designs for the delayed blowback Sturmgewehre 57 and gas-operated Sturmgewehre 90 were adopted as Swiss military rifles. Their commercial derivatives in the SIG 510 and 550 series are regarded as the finest weapons of their type ever made. Continue reading sig p210