Tag Archives: art

Thomas Jefferson – Using taste in the design of houses

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Thomas JeffersonAs we double our numbers every twenty years, we must double our houses. Besides, we build of such perishable materials, that one half of our houses must be rebuilt in every space of twenty years, so that in that time, houses are to he built for three-fourths of our inhabitants. It is, then, among the most important arts: and it is desirable to introduce taste into an art which shows so much.

Thomas Jefferson   (1743-1826)

Oscar Wilde – Teaching acting

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Oscar WildeThe mere mechanical technique of acting can be taught, but the spirit that is to give life to lifeless forms must be born in a man. No dramatic college can teach its pupils to think or to feel, it is Nature who makes our artists for us, though it may be Art who taught them their right mode of expression.

Oscar Wilde  

Garry Kasparov – A lifetime analyzing the game of chess

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Garry KasparovHaving spent a lifetime analyzing the game of chess and comparing the capacity of computers to the capacity of the human brain, I’ve often wondered, where does our success come from? The answer is synthesis, the ability to combine creativity and calculation, art and science, into a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Chess is a unique cognitive nexus, a place where art and science come together in the human mind, and are then refined and improved by experience.

Garry Kasparov  

Joseph Addison – Deviation from the rules of art

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Joseph AddisonThere is sometimes a greater judgement shewn in deviating from the rules of art, than in adhering to them; and…there is more beauty in the works of a great genius who is ignorant of all the rules of art, than in the works of a little genius, who not only knows but scrupulously observes them.

Joseph Addison   (1672-1719)

David Hume – Beauty and value of nature’s productions

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David HumeIt is a great mortification to the vanity of man that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of Nature’s productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the underworkman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces which come from the hand of the master.

David Hume   (1711-1776)

Richard Feynman – No government has the right

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Richard FeynmanNo government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literary or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.

Richard Feynman   (1918-1988)

Tim Minchin – Thinking the arts and sciences are at odds

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Please don’t make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. That is a recent, stupid, and damaging idea. You don’t have to be unscientific to make beautiful art, to write beautiful things.

If you need proof: Twain, Adams, Vonnegut, McEwen, Sagan, Shakespeare, Dickens. For a start.

You don’t need to be superstitious to be a poet. You don’t need to hate GM technology to care about the beauty of the planet. You don’t have to claim a soul to promote compassion.

Science is not a body of knowledge nor a system of belief; it is just a term which describes humankind’s incremental acquisition of understanding through observation. Science is awesome.

Tim Minchin