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Some Bertrand Russell, anybody?
Thread poster: Aurora Humarán
Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 14, 2005

Alone in my tower at midnight, I remember the woods and downs, the sea and sky, that daylight showed. Now, as I look through each of the four windows, north, south, east and west, I see only myself dimly reflected, or shadowed in monstrous opacity upon the fog. What matter? To-morrow sunrise will give me back the beauty of the outer world as I wake from sleep.

But the mental night that has descended upon me is less brief, and promises no awakening after sleep. Formerly, the cruelty, the meanness, the dusty fretful passion of human life seemed to me a little thing, set, like some resolved discord in music, amid the splendour of the stars and the stately procession of geological ages. What if the universe was to end in universal death? It was none the less unruffled and magnificent. But now all this has shrunk to be no more than my own reflection in the windows of the soul through which I look out upon the night of nothingness. The revolutions of nebulae, the birth and death of stars, are no more than convenient fictions in the trivial work of linking together my own sensations, and perhaps those of other men not much better than myself. No dungeon was ever constructed so dark and narrow as that in which the shadow physics of our time imprisons us, for every prisoner has believed that outside his walls a free world existed; but now the prison has become the whole universe. There is darkness without, and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendour, no vastness, anywhere; only triviality for a moment, and then nothing.

Why live in such a world? Why even die?

Bertrand Russell


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Patricia Baldwin
United States
Local time: 06:14
Spanish to English
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Three passions... Jan 15, 2005

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind..

Remember your humanity and forget the rest.

Bertrand Russell

Gracias Au por recordarnos su filosofía.

Saludos porteños,
Patricia.

[Edited at 2005-01-18 02:39]

[Edited at 2005-01-18 02:42]


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giogi
Local time: 14:14
From "The Bomb and Civilisation" (1945) Jan 15, 2005

It is impossible to imagine a more dramatic and horrifying combination of scientific triumph with political and moral failure than has been shown to the world in the destruction of Hiroshima. From the scientific point of view, the atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination of genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind. Atoms are so minute that it might have seemed impossible to know as much as we do about them. A million million bundles, each containing a million million hydrogen atoms, would weigh about a gram and a half. Each hydrogen atom consists of a nucleus, and an electron going round the nucleus, as the earth goes round the sun. The distance from the nucleus to the electron is usually about a hundred-millionth of a centimetre; the electron and the nucleus are supposed to be so small that if they could be crowded together it would take about ten million million on end to fill a centimetre. The nucleus has positive electricity, the planetary electron an equal amount of negative electricity; the nucleus is about 1850 times as heavy as the electron. The hydrogen atom, which I have been describing, is the simplest of atoms, but the atom used in the atomic bomb is at the other end of the scale

Thanks a lot for sharing!
Giovanna


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xxxTadzio
English to Spanish
He who laughs first doesn't always laugh last... Jan 17, 2005

George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright, sent Winston Churchill two tickets to the opening of his play, Saint Joan, with a note: "One for yourself and one for a friend -- if you have one." Churchill replied that he regretted being unable to attend the opening, but asked if it would be possible to have tickets for the second night -- "If there is one."

(Excerpt from "If you Want the Rainbow..." by John Capozzi.)


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great! Jan 17, 2005

Tadzio wrote:

George Bernard Shaw, the famous playwright, sent Winston Churchill two tickets to the opening of his play, Saint Joan, with a note: "One for yourself and one for a friend -- if you have one." Churchill replied that he regretted being unable to attend the opening, but asked if it would be possible to have tickets for the second night -- "If there is one."



au


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Victoria Innocenti  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 11:14
English to Spanish
"How to Grow Old" from "Portraits from Memory" by Bertran Russell Jan 20, 2005

"Some old people are oppressed by the fear of death. In the young there is a justification for this feeling. Young men who have reason to fear that they will be killed in battle may justifiably feel bitter in the thought that they have been cheated of the best things that life has to offer. But in an old man who has known human joys and sorrows, and has achieved whatever work it was in him to do, the fear of death is somewhat abject and ignoble. The best way to overcome it - so at least it seems to me - is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river - small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past boulders and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks, recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will be not unwelcome. I should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no logner do, and content in the thought that what was possible has been done."

Leí este texto a los 17 años. Desde entonces me gusta Bertrand Russell y su filosofía.

Qué buena idea la tuya, Au. Gracias.
Victoria


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Some Bertrand Russell, anybody?

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